How the US Creates ‘Sh*thole’ Countries

A new collection of essays, edited by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, clearly shows that it is the U.S. that is largely responsible for the poverty and suffering in these very nations, says Robert Fantina.

By Robert Fantina

In two years, the world has become accustomed to being shocked by the words and actions of United States President Donald Trump. In January of this year, he again showed his lack of diplomacy, tack and common decency, when he referred to many poorer countries as “sh*ithole countries”, asking, “Why do we want all these people from sh*thole countries coming here?” Former member of the House of Representatives Cynthia McKinney, in the new book she has edited, How the US Creates ‘Sh*thole’ Countries, (Clarity Press) has gathered a collection of essays, including one of her own, that clearly shows that it is the U.S. that is largely responsible for the poverty and suffering in these very nations.

McKinney

The first series of essays describes U.S. foreign policy, and its true motives. In the essay, The End of Washington’s ‘Wars on the Cheap’, The Saker sums up U.S. foreign policy as follows: “Here’s the template for typical Empire action: find some weak country, subvert it, accuse it of human right violations, slap economic sanctions, trigger riots and intervene militarily in ‘defense’ of ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ (or some other combo of equally pious and meaningless concepts).” The hypocrisy of such a policy is obvious. A weak and vulnerable nation is victimized by a far more powerful one. The U.S. has done this countless times in its history, and there appears to be no appetite in the government to change.

This introduction and explanation of U.S. foreign policy is followed by essays on some, but certainly not all, of the countries that have been victimized by the United States, usually following this template. As McKinney says in her essay, Somalia: Is Somalia the U.S. Template for All of Africa, “…while mouthing freedom, democracy, and liberty, the United States has denied these very aspirations to others, especially when it inconvenienced the US or its allies. In Mozambique and Angola, the US stood with Portugal until it was the Portuguese people, themselves, who threw off their government and voted in a socialist government that vowed to free Portugal of its colonies.”

In the essay, How the U.S. Perpetuates the Palestinian Tragedy’, Sami Al-Arian writes:

It might be understandable, if detestable, for Israel and its Zionist defenders to circulate false characterizations of history and myths to advance their political agenda. But it is incomprehensible, indeed reprehensible, for those who claim to advocate the rule of law, believe in the principle of self-determination, and call for freedom and justice to fall for this propaganda or to become its willing accomplices. In following much of American political leaders’ rhetoric or media coverage of the conflict, one is struck by the lack of historical context, the deliberate disregard of empirical facts, and the contempt for established legal constructs and precedents.”

The U.S. leads in these distortions, with its officials proclaiming, each time that Israel bombs Gaza, that “Israel has a right to defend itself”. There is hardly mention of the brutal, illegal occupation and blockade; never a discussion of the fact that Palestine has no army, navy or air force, and Israel’s military is one of the world’s most powerful thanks to the U.S. It is never stated that international law allows an occupied people to resist the occupation in any way possible, including armed struggle. The countless United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli actions in Palestine are ignored by U.S. officials.

Once again, U.S. hypocrisy is on very public display.

The third section of this informative book describes the United States’ mostly-successful efforts to camouflage its vile intentions and international crimes. Christopher Black, in his essay Western Imperialism and the Use of Propaganda”, clearly articulates how this is done:

The primary concern they [U.S. government officials] have, in order to preserve their control, is for the preservation of the new feudal mythology that they have created: that the world is a dangerous place, that they are the protectors, that the danger is omnipresent, eternal, and omnidirectional, comes from without, and comes from within. The mythology is constructed and presented through all media; journals, films, television, radio, music, advertising, books, the internet in all its variety. All available information systems are used to create and maintain scenarios and dramas to convince the people that they, the protectors, are the good and all others are the bad. We are bombarded with this message incessantly.”

Our memories are short, indeed, if we have forgotten both President George W. Bush and his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, telling the world from the United Nations the blatant lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, threatening civilization. We are not paying attention if we are unaware of the many innuendos given of the ‘dangers’ of all Muslims. Yes, the government fosters fear, proclaiming subtly and not so subtly that there is danger everywhere, and it is the role of the mighty United States to protect the world, whether or not such protection is wanted or needed.

Lastly, the U.S. Itself can be described as a ‘sh*thole’ country. Its many violations of international law, and crimes against humanity, are summarized by Richard Falk, in his essay The Sh*thole Phenomenon at Home and Abroad:

This kind of nationalist pride covered up and blindsided crimes of the greatest severity that were being committed from the time of the earliest settlements: genocide against native Americans, reliance on the barbarism of slavery to facilitate profitable cotton production and the supposedly genteel life style of the Southern plantations. This unflattering national picture should be enlarged to include the exploitation of the resources and good will of peoples throughout Latin America, who, once freed from Spanish colonial rule, quickly found themselves victimized by American gunboat diplomacy that paved the way for American investors or joined in crushing those bold and brave enough to engage in national resistance against the abuse of their homelands.”

The final essay is the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on his Mission to the United States of America, authored by Philip Alston. While Trump decries “sh*thole” countries, the conditions that the U.S. put those countries in are not unknown in the U.S. A few facts from Alston’s report will suffice:

  • The U.S.’s “…immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty. It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent, and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate, one of the lowest levels of voter registrations in among OECD countries and the highest obesity levels in the developed world.”
  • The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries. The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality.”
  • For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.”

The information in these essays is all rigorously documented with extensive footnotes. The writing is clear and the facts are presented in a concise manner that is highly beneficial for the average reader or academic.

For anyone who questions U.S. policies, at home or abroad, and who has perhaps become more aware of such issues since Trump’s election,

How the US Creates ‘Sh*thole’ Countries is an indispensable read.

Robert Fantina is a journalist and the author of Essays on Palestine.

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120 comments for “How the US Creates ‘Sh*thole’ Countries

  1. Mild - ly Facetious
    November 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm
  2. R Davis
    November 27, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    It is by the mismanagement of a nations government that a nation’s jobs are destroyed.
    As A result of & after the – 2008 GFC – the RBA artificially held the value of the Australian dollar too high & for too long.
    Business could not compete & subsequently declared bankruptcy.
    HOLDEN Australia went to PM Tony Abbott to ask for financial assistance.
    Abbott refused.
    Imagine the thrill a temporary ( PM to the next election only) nobody in the scheme of things got, telling the GODS of the corporate world – which the auto makers are, to piss off.
    When the automakers left Australia, 200.000 jobs went with them.
    Who is to blame for unemployment ??

    • November 28, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Why didn’t Australia just nationalize their auto industry? Who the hell gave the right to a bunch of kleptocrats to control the lives and futures of millions of people? Multinationals screw all of us by moving their crap game all over the planet to avoid regulation and to exploit labor.

      Pay the auto companies for their assets based on how the company has based their value for purposes of taxation.

      And don’t tell me that no one would ever start a major business if they thought it would become nationalized. They will always try to make money. As Marx so astutely observed, “A capitalist would sell you the rope to hang him with.”

      PS: I’d bet that like Aramco in Iran in the early 1950’s , the auto companies valued their assets on the cheap for tax purposes but don’t want to sell at the artificially low price THEY valued the company.

  3. Hank
    November 25, 2018 at 11:41 am

    When any nation has the power to proclaim itself “policeman of the world”, you can bet that crimes and abuses that result from this belief will NEVER be investigated and dealt with because the “investigation” will be done by the “policemen” themselves! American police abuse of authority sort of runs parallel with American abuse of “authority” in the world. The USA may “protect” its citizens from all these made-up demons and enemies around the world, but who will protect the American people from its “own” government? America as an example for the world to live by? Maybe for those who drink the Kool Aid and are in denial about American crimes, but the world OUTSIDE the USA is now VERY in tune with what dealing with the USA can do for a nation.

  4. Marb
    November 24, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    @Skip Scott, Re.. Putin, I Take your point and I have read some of Putin’s speeches and watched his press conferences..

    … I’m not demonizing Putin , but on the other Hand i dont believe he is squeaky clean, is any Politician? he is an incumbent autocratic president who is telling some truth when it suits his purpose , and when he deems it to be in Russia’s national interest … not all criticism of Putin or any other official enemy of Western Empire is unfounded NWO propaganda!.. whatever You may believe Putin has undoubtedly come down very hard on his political enemies .. left unchecked all political systems become corrupt..Putin is an authoritarian Neo-Liberal gangster just like the rest.. he just happens to be an intelligent and astute one ,and to be correct about the danger posed by NATO-US hegemony … that doesn’t make him Gandhi !..

    A simplistic cartoonized Hollywood reduction of geopolitical complexity isn’t going to help us bring about an end to War, and this miserable dominant economic system.

    • Skip Scott
      November 26, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Marb-

      Please provide specific and provable examples of Putin coming down very hard on his political enemies. All examples I have seen thus far are not proven, and there are very plausible alternative culprits. It is not a “simplistic cartoonized Hollywood reduction of geopolitical reality” to ask for evidence, and demonizing Putin without evidence does nothing but serve the purposes of the empire builders of the PNAC.

      The demonization began in earnest when Putin expelled many of the looters from the Yeltsin years. Capital flight was quickly destroying the country. The life expectancy of the average Russian fell a full decade. Putin turned all that around and thus became the enemy de jour for western power backed looters like Bill Browder. Our so-called Intelligence Community is capable of great evil, and false flag operations and MSM lackeys are part of their toolkit. Putin is right to be on his guard.

      I am not saying that Putin is Gandhi; but every indication is that he bends over backwards to respect the rule of law, both Russian and International. I definitely do not see him as a gangster. I see him as a patriot trying his best to serve his people while doing his damndest to prevent WWIII. “Gangster” more aptly describes every US president except Carter since the assassination of JFK.

      • Marb
        November 27, 2018 at 10:00 pm

        Skip , its not about individuals whether Putin or Trump the corruption is systemic…. Neo-Liberalism, Economic Rationalism whatever you want to call it , Reaganomics Thatcherism..etc is a gangster racket, a scam !… read about the so called Panama Papers about the gangster offshore tax haven industry
        https://www.icij.org/investigations/panama-papers/
        Putin among many western Politicians was caught up in that to an extent …
        There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence of Putin’s admittedly minor Kleptocracy …. and what about the relationship the Russian political elite has with Israel…
        https://www.globalresearch.ca/russias-putin-and-israels-netanyahu-negotiate-about-what/5643229
        Certainly most of the allegations that Putin has murdered journalists are either grossly exaggerated or the evidence is circumstantial at best…
        Skip if you’d like to continue a conversation drop me a line.
        DIPMONGATHOTMAILDOTCOM , (all Lowercase !)

  5. Joshua
    November 24, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    If people live in a 100% corrupt, Inverted-Totalitarian, Police-State, that is oppressing, impoverishing, and murdering them, as well as most of the people on the planet, and do nothing but allow it, stand-up-for-the-national-anthem, worship it–then I say bring it on–these worthless moron-oxygen thieves are getting exactly what they deserve.

  6. Darryl
    November 24, 2018 at 2:11 am

    Nice article, however, I’m for any tax cuts and the wealthy pay most of them. Also, equality is a myth that will never be implemented.

    • November 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Of course the wealthy pay the most in taxes: THEY HAVE TAKEN ALL OF THE MONEY FROM THE REST OF US.

  7. Letters
    November 23, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Ask Cynthia herself, it is the DeepState that has made division and strife across the globe. Washington is infested with globalist. The Deepstate is what ruined mankind’s chance at Peace last. America can turn this around. The American people are not unlike other peoples of the world. We want fairness, equality and our chance to pursue happiness on our own terms. The American People never intended any harm to any people anywhere.

    • ThisOldMan
      November 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      To the extent that they thought about it at all, that is.

      • Joahua
        November 24, 2018 at 7:56 pm

        Exactly! I’ve never known an American that could think–they all expound dogma they’ve been told to believe.

    • AndyS
      November 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Tell that to the Native Americans.

  8. jeff montanye
    November 22, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    imo the two policy changes that would most ameliorate the above problem are the one state solution in israel/palestine and the repeal of the harrison narcotics act and all those that followed. the palestinians will never conquer israel with bullets but ballots might make some welcome changes. portugal has shown the way for a generation: drug abuse is a health problem not a criminal one; for those that can use without abuse, this bud’s, etc. for you.

  9. November 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Well, the ugly truth is Washington is working very hard towards creating the world’s biggest sh*thole country…America.

    • jose
      November 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      I could not have agree more John. If economic indicators are correct, America’s future is numbered.

    • Al Pinto
      November 21, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Well, when over 40 million people, about 15 million of them kids go hungry every day in the US, the sh*thole designation for America is pretty much in sight. But hey, we don’t mind supporting other countries with billions , or have couple of ongoing quagmire wars for trillions. And don’t worry, our politicians will fix this by cutting the taxes for the rich and the oligarch….

      • Josep
        November 26, 2018 at 3:05 am

        One thing that irks me about the US is the large size of food portions served, to say nothing of the amount of food wasted because of it (not everyone can digest that big of a meal!) I believe this might have some effect on the poverty of the aforementioned 40M people.

    • Letters
      November 23, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Washington is infested with globalist. The Deepstate is what ruined mankind’s chance at Peace last. America can turn this around.

      • JOHN CHUCKMAN
        November 26, 2018 at 6:35 am

        Oh, please.

        Do you also believe in garden fairies?

        America’s problem is plutocracy and its international empire.

        Almost everything gets ignored for that.

        And there’s no resources left for anything else anyway.

  10. Kendra Hawk
    November 21, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Excellent article. Will buy the book.

  11. November 21, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Excellent opens ones eyes from the bling that that distorts ones insight into what is really happening in this sti—hole world of ours thanks

    • jose
      November 21, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      If every rational person were to apply “Cause and Effect Analysis” which “is a technique that helps you identify all the likely causes of a problem” people like Mr. Trump would not get away with calling other countries sh.. Holes. The true causes of economic backwardness and outright despair and misery in areas such as Latin America are a direct result of USA interventions more than any other one. Haiti is a prime example but sadly not the only one.

      • Letters
        November 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm

        jose – If the Clinton Foundation had given 9/10 of its donations towards Haitian cause Haiti could have run its whole budget for 10 years.

  12. November 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    What the essay produces is the fodder for consensus, to move in different ways and directions to right our ship of State, and that is what is missing. If the prescription is simply to do the opposite, that sounds ok but is probably incorrect, is at the least imperfect. For example, the war on poverty produced a class of benefactors but left behind those in need. Educational reform and what has it done to elevate the education of the American people. Regime change advocated by the progressive and where has that got us and where has it got the “beneficiaries” of that policy.

    Where does that lead, I for one, have no idea. But what is clear until the corrupt way we choose our elected and appointed officials, which follows from the first, we are not going anywhere.

    • O Society
      November 20, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Is “tax reform” really reform or is it a scam to shovel money into the pockets of people whose wheelbarrow is already full and sabotage social services?

      Is End of The Year testing really to improve education or is it to disempoer and frustrate teachers so they quit? Then we can say the system failed, let’s privatize and make money off children.

      Is support our troops real or does it mean support our wars? They have intentionally broken the GI Bill recently.

      The propaganda slogans the government comes out with and their stated reasons for doing what they do, are these real or just used to manufacture the consent of the citizens?

      None of this is about freedom and democracy. Those are advertising words – like new & improved – used to sell a product called theft and murder.

    • November 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Careless wordage referring to benefactors when intended to say the special class who benefitted from the war on poverty but were not themselves poor. This includes a huge bureaucracy within the government and outside, and the politicians who encourage and play upon victimhood. The best way to understand why the war on poverty has failed is to spend some time talking to blacks from the Islands or Africa and why they have been for the most part successful in the US.

    • November 21, 2018 at 1:39 am

      Highly recommend you listen to the “Freaakonomics” show about the DC duoploly. Extremely informative and right up your alley!

  13. vinnieoh
    November 20, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Whenever a discussion like this comes around I find myself asking what effect would there be if the truth of US imperialism were fully absorbed and acknowledged by US citizens. Would it make any difference? The next question is, to what extent or percentage of citizens understand that the official narrative about freedom, prosperity and human rights is just a feint, and they fully accept and support the exercise of raw power and domination? Is it roughly equivalent to the stubborn 40% that continue to support an authoritarian?

    An indication of the depth of the problem is shown in some of the earlier comments asking why these migrants or refugees would come to the belly of the beast. Because the US exports death and destruction most everywhere, this is the safest place to be. I became friends with a Guatemalan immigrant (of my age) of landed Spanish descent about 30yrs ago, and felt I should learn something about that country. A lot of what I found is the subject of the captioned book. I became acquainted with her mother also, someone who had lived the US machinations there. She was surprised and frightened that an ordinary American knew some of the reality and not the official narrative. Almost as if she thought I was some kind of CIA minder. Weird and disheartening. The point is, the victims of US policy understand that the truth remains largely unabsorbed by comfortable US citizens. Home of 21st Century Schizoid Man.

    So, would it make a difference if the official narrative about US benevolence and goodness were demolished? Publishing the above book is obviously hoping that it might. The roll-out of the next video war game is likely to get more press than this book or subject will.

    • Sam F
      November 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Yes demolition of “the official narrative about US benevolence and goodness” will “make a difference” because this is the way truth is found by those who care, the way that societies very slowly learn about past errors.

    • John Wright
      November 28, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      vinnieoh –

      More effective might be a massive ad campaign across all platforms showing WTC7 going down with the large crawl line reading:

      “This is what a classic controlled demolition looks like.

      This is WTC7. It was not hit by a plane. At 5:20pm on September 11th, 2001 this 47 story, steel-framed building fell at the acceleration of gravity. Crews showed up two hours later that evening and began hauling the debris away.

      The New York Times reported that some of the structural steel had been vaporized.

      Nanothermite, a high tech incendiary and explosive, was recovered from the dust at the site.

      The U.S. government wants the American people to believe this building “collapsed” due to “common office fires”.

      The corporate media has been a willing participant in the U.S. government cover-up of this heinous crime against the American people and the world.

      The so-called “war of terror” has cost at least $7 trillion, ended or ruined many U.S. soldiers lives, killed millions of innocent lives all over the world and forced many more millions to flee their destroyed countries.

      Wake up America and take our country back! “

  14. Lucius Patrick
    November 20, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Test.

    • Lin Cleveland
      November 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Lucius,

      [Attention Consortium Management ]

      I interrupt this discussion to seek needed help. I’m wishing to make a donation to the defense of Julian Assnage by check. As i use only a debit card, I never post that # online. Could you PLEASE, provide a snail mail address. You have my email address and that would be fine. Thank You!!!!

      • Skip Scott
        November 24, 2018 at 8:46 am

        Hi Lin-

        There is a link at the bottom of this page providing information for making a bank transfer. They have difficulties processing checks from outside the U.K.

        https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/

  15. Clay
    November 19, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Here’s a good example of how American politicians and the complicit CFR affiliated mainstream media lie and deceive the people of the United States and the world.

    Exposing the White Helmets : Collated Video Evidence of Terrorist Collusion – Over 50 Video Clips

    https://youtu.be/CCmN6X_7kn0?t=03

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 20, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Trump supporters need to prepare themselves for the reality that his administration is probably finished. Sure, Assange says he didn’t get the emails from a state actor, but since when does the truth matter? Democrats are so hell-bent for revenge that even they are cheering the Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange. Neera Tanden claims it’s “Karma”. If the truth were self-evident and widely understood, Cynthia McKinney wouldn’t have needed to point it out. Mueller may have already submitted as many as thirty six sealed indictments. It’s worth reading Caitlin Johnstone’s recent article about Democrat bloodlust to “get” Assange. And, if you think that the Trump administration has any intention of “draining the swamp”, Phil Giraldi’s most recent article about Bolton, Pompeo, Haley and Jeffrey is a “must read”. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to see a McKinney/RFK Jr. ticket in 2020. Now that the Trump administration is likely defunct, it’s a real possibility.

      • Bob Van Noy
        November 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

        Wow F.G., I love the idea of that ticket you’ve suggested. Are aware of the new book due out next month by Lisa Pease? I will post a link letting people know who she is. She’s one of those special and dedicated researchers that we’re blessed to have…
        https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKpease.htm

      • Clay
        November 20, 2018 at 11:07 pm

        The oxymoronically titled “democrats” are simply immoral swamp creatures, only different in title than the Republicans they profess to despise. My post had nothing to do with Trump draining the swamp. Alas, he is without a doubt a huge part of the swamp, a swamp creature placed in power by Kissinger and the Zionist elite as a contentious tool used to divide and conquer the American people. That much is obvious to those with eyes wide open. Trump is simply the antithesis to the Zionist controlled media and Hollywood’s thesis. Through these two corrupt entities actions comes synthesis. The Hegelian Dialectic is the main tool that the elite use to rule over the downtrodden masses.

      • Letters
        November 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Your whole concept of reality can fit inside the teeny tiny space of a matchbox.
        Sit back wait for the show.

  16. November 19, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    At the root of all the miseries currently existing in most countries of the world is the incessant drive to become richer and richer and to hell with the poor people of the world. Governments issue tax breaks. Who benefits the most from these tax breaks? The wealthy.
    I see little improvements for the ordinary citizen who tries to improve his lot in life, for the wealthy money grubber will always find new rules to circumvent the efforts of the poor and destitute. I see little hope for mankind and as long as the greedy on this planet are in control of the Economy it will continue to destroy what little is left.

    • Sam F
      November 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Yes, our institutions of social/moral education have decayed: such literature is rarely written or read, mass media sell and exalt materialism and greed, elections and mass media are owned by money. A higher social contract requires the elimination of money control first, by any means.

      • November 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm

        Sam F., that’s it in a nutshell. Control of information and control of our politicians and what follows from that. How do you control information and politicians. Your purchase it and them. There was a great deal of thought and wisdom of those who designed our government but they could not have seen how it could be and was corrupted. Not perfect themselves, I think they would be dismayed by what is happening today. I would like to think that John Adams, Jefferson, and the like if around today would have found an antidote.

        • John Wright
          November 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm

          Herman –

          The founders did leave us with an antidote! When was the last time you read our Declaration of Independence?

          Here’s just the first part, but it makes it pretty clear what their/our antidote is:


          IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
          The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
          When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. ”

          When you read the entire document, its brilliance and foresight becomes even more amazing.

          It is up to us, brothers and sisters, WE the people, to come together and form a more perfect union.

          We begin by creating a truly egalitarian cooperative economic system which subverts the present, criminally corrupt financial capitalist system so that we can can survive while we begin the arduous process of re-tooling our electoral and governmental systems and reforming our corrupt judicial system.

          Most of the solutions are actually fairly straightforward and simple, but that doesn’t mean they will be easy.

          The Second American (r)Evolution begins with peace gardens and national strikes, and the sooner we begin the greater our chance of reclaiming our country and future in a non-violent manner.

          Be well and see you on the streets!

  17. Peter g
    November 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    The arrogant buffoons are working hard to antagonize the Grizzly who’s swat will bring on nuclear winter. Only cannibals will survive.

    • Homer Jay
      November 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      this should be the inspirational poster on every office wall…with a gorgeous mushroom cloud as the back drop. sorry I had to make light of a grim picture which is coming more and more in to focus by the day.

  18. November 19, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    The almighty U.S. of America, creates it’s own “shithole” at home when it lavishes much needed domestic dollars on the least deserving “occupier” in the World, the Zionist pretenders in Palestine. Amen.

  19. Yahweh
    November 19, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    The heading should read…”How the Internationals Implement Policies That Creates Sh*thole Countries”. There are two reasons the international policy makers prop up a zombie nation (USA)…..(1) reserve currency status…(2) Over 800 military bases worldwide….The weak link, reserve currency status. So in the near future place your bets on a sure thing….WWIII

    • DFC
      November 20, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Ah yes… a logician.

      1] Were there sh_t hole countries before the US entered the scene?
      2] Would there have been sh_t hole countries if the US abdicated the scene to other powers?
      3] Will there be sh_t hole countries after the US is eclipsed?

  20. November 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    In summing up U.S. foreign policy in ‘Wars on the Cheap’, the author misses a key point. The U.S. only turns countries into sh*thole countries when there’s a profit to be made – usually in the form of natural resources that can be exploited by American corporations. We generally don’t bother countries that have absolutely no natural resources. In the process of exploiting countries for their resources, we turn them into sh*thole countries. Nearly all countries have some natural resources and most of them have already been exploited which is why there are so many sh*thole countries.

    • CBakerSmart
      November 21, 2018 at 11:04 am

      Note that the USA has rushed in where MASSIVE human rights are issues or where invasions of other peaceful countries are key. Maybe those countries who have natural resources use the most vile greed toward their own people who are usually poor.

  21. Neil
    November 19, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Sorry but neither of the links seem to work for me- to the essay you referred to.

  22. James Williamson
    November 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    “Tact,” not “tack”. (I’m sure you’ve already spotted it. But good article. Thank you.

  23. KiwiAntz
    November 19, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    I loved this article, as it sums up perfectly, this second rate, shambolic, Hegemonic Empire of chaos called America? America is the ultimate Sh*thole Country, as the writer correctly states? And it exports & imposes this mentality & philosophy on other Countries to try & make the World in its own Sh*thole image! From its endless Wars of violence; mass shootings; broken down infrastructure & lousy healthcare; the failure of its Political system & it’s massive greed by Oligarch’s & Corporations that has gutted the lives of millions of its own people, Trump should apply that sh*thole comment & redirect it to his own third world Country? Trump is coarse & vulgar in his Twitter diatribe’s & comments about “Sh*thole” Countries & yet he is only verbalising the true, ugly nature of America as a Nation! Trump is America! Trump’s new Foreign Policy Tagline should be “MAKE THE WORLD A GREAT BIG SH*THOLE AGAIN”? Just like the good ole US of A! I’d buy that for a dollar?

  24. Audrey Hanson
    November 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    I’m 97 and been aware of ny country’s evil ways for a long time. When Kissinger and his buddies got together after world war 2 and started building all these evil military bases all around the world ,800 and counting,we really are the killingist lioeing evilistnation in the world. The ugly Americans.

    • November 19, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      I venture to suggest you are not really one of those.

    • Ol' Hippy
      November 20, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      I refer to US citizenry as Americans. I Refer to the govt as US govt. American citizens are rarely represented by the US govt. We really have no representation. If we did wars would have stopped after the last ‘official’ war.(WW II) In reality WW II has never ended. The economy is built upon wartime production.

  25. Johan Meyer
    November 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    The US habit is to harm other countries, and to get other countries to harm themselves. That said, their success is very variable, and there are explanatory variables that allow one to predict where their nasty efforts will meet with greater success. Witness their success in harming Haiti, and their much more modest success in harming Cuba or North Korea, per unit effort.

    The institutional fake left (in particular, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones) has touched on a root cause (lead poisoning leading to reduced IQ and societal self harm through criminality), but reduce the issue to discrimination.

    To wit, higher black (African descendant) blood lead is interpreted as due to greater exposure, which should begin the question why African countries often show much higher lead poisoning when fuel consumption and lead content is controlled for.

    It is far more likely, e.g. on evolutionary grounds (sub Saharan Africans skipping the Bronze age, going directly to the Iron age, hence not evolving resistance to lead uptake through intergenerational exposure to the lead in tin and copper deposits) that for the same exposure, blacks will receive a higher blood lead than whites or east Asians.

    Genetically determined uptake would also explain the apparent lack of environmental effect on IQ in twin studies—the bulk of the variance would be counted as genetic.

    In the US as elsewhere, lead is mainly from paint, which is sporadic dosing, thus making a single measure of blood lead (“confirmed” by a second reading or not) irrelevant.

    Other vehicles of self harm are mercury based skin bleaching and Cassava consumption (the latter interferes with iodine uptake from the diet—it is South American).

    As a means of ethically testing for genetically variable uptake of lead, one can ask a municipal police force to take blood lead samples on officers prior to and after shooting practice, asking for the practice that a fixed number of rounds be used over a fixed interval at an indoor range. Ethnic, and possibly genetic regressions may be performed to predict uptake.

    The genes identified by the so-called Human Biodiversity crowd (especially Davide Piffer) are good candidates for independent variables to predict uptake of lead. I suspect that the best regression will be on inverse uptake, i.e. closing paths for uptake versus calcium (lead is a calcium analog).

    If it can be shown that lead uptake is genetically variable, then IQ tests can become cheap diagnostic tools (doing blood lead properly would mean weekly blood tests for the pregnancy and first two years of life, and solving a differential equation) and tools of liberation.

  26. Isabel
    November 19, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I’d like to make a small amendment to this excellent article . The Portuguese government pre 1974 was a fascist dictatorship , we didn’t have much say in the matter sadly , for 43 years we had no say on anything . On the dawn of the25th April 1974 the army came out and put an end to the dictatorship . The first election was 2 years later to the date on 25 April 1976 and Soares won these . In the immediate time post revolution -1974- we had a provisional government constituted with people from all the parties and members of the whole spectrum of the “ revolution council “ of which mario Soares was foreign affairs minister . It was during this provisional government ( still without elections ) that Soares announced the decolonisation .

    As Notes you may find the following interesting :

    Kissinger suggested attacking Portugal post revolution- he said it would serve as a vaccination to the other European countries . Portugal would be made an example of and all European countries would be afraid of doing the same – what that murderer called the “ Cuba of Europe “

    In 1980 our government was killed by a bomb in the plane they were travelling . CIA .

    1 month ago Madeleine Albright launching her anti fascism ( oh if only irony killed ) book in Portuguese translation gave an interview to a Portuguese paper in which she said “ Salazar was not a dictator he was an authoritarian who was afraid of democracy “ . A man that for over 35 years took our freedom and our lives .

    These people , like Kissinger , Albright and co and the intelligence agencies that run the USA have only psychopathy inside them . They destroy the world . They take lives .

    Somehow along the way, in the future , we have to learn how to stop them .

    Let me just say as well I absolutely love reading consortium news and I recommend it to everyone . Exceptional journalism . Thank you . Obrigada .

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 19, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Many Thanks Isabel, your participation is deeply appreciated here as we get a better idea of the depth of government corruption. Please keep in contact and continue to respond where you think appropriate. Obragado (I hope that’s correct)

    • ToivoS
      November 21, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Isabel, Do you have a link to that Albright quote about Salazar? Hope it is in English. That is a vintage Jeane Kirkpatrick .

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Isabel, thanks to your information, this is what I learned about 1980 in Portugal: “In 2001, a lawyer for relatives of the victims, Ricardo Sá Fernandes, published a book arguing that the target of the assassination was newly appointed Defence Minister da Costa due to his knowledge of arms deals with Iran obtained from his new position. 2001 also saw the release of Camarate: acidente ou atentado?, a film on the subject by Luis Filipe Rocha” (from a Wikipedia article which I will link) So this is directly of interest to followers of Robert Parry who was possibly the preeminent research journalist on this subject. (Iran Contra)

      Also I will attempt to link Madeleine Albright’s Conference Speech because we do not get this kind of reporting by our Mainstream Press…

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Camarate_air_crash

      • Bob Van Noy
        November 23, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        Here is Madeleine Albright’s press resentation at that conference. ESTORIL, PORTUGAL – MAY 31: Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright+press conference.
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xjIqjM9nmQE

  27. Realist
    November 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    America was crafting “shithole” cities and states long before it turned its attention to running the entire world. It tried to create an entire new shithole country from its own substance through binary fission in the 1860’s, but that was stopped by those who understood that taking over the world would be more feasible if the place remained “stronger together.” All that power in the hands of a small coterie of dictatorial lunatics has made it the most dangerous collection of humans in the history of the species.

    The font looks sharper today. Did they clean the dried ink deposits off the movable type? Or is my eternal hope for a better future getting the better of me?

    • Dave P.
      November 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Unique observation!

  28. Peter
    November 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    “Everything is illegal in Massachusetts. Revenge for the Tea Party.” A classic line from the 2006 film Edge of Night. (Financial instruments of the City of London being the puppet masters at work.)

  29. Vera Gottlieb
    November 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    And not just in Latin America does the US create sh**hole countries.

  30. Tekyo Pantzov
    November 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    There can be no doubt that the United States has committed great injustices and exploited weaker countries.
    However I find it passing strange that Richard Falk, who knows nothing about Latin American history, writes of “the exploitation of the resources and good will of peoples throughout Latin America, who, once freed from Spanish colonial rule, quickly found themselves victimized by American gunboat diplomacy that paved the way for American investors or joined in crushing those bold and brave enough to engage in national resistance against the abuse of their homelands.”
    This is a heavily ideological caricature of reality, since US imperialism did not start oppressing Latin America until several decades after it became independent, began in the form of expeditions by private adventurers like William Walker in just a handful of small countries close to the US, did not become official US government policy until the 1890s or so, and even then scarcely affected South America until well into the 20th century. Furthermore the US was not the only country that exercised gunboat diplomacy. Spain, France, England and perhaps other countries likewise interfered in Latin American affaisrs, principally England.
    And there was a lot of fighting among Latin American countries themselves that led to gret suffering, in which the US had no part whatever. For example the War of the Triple Alliance in the 1870s between Paraguay on the one hand and Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay on the other exterminated more than 70% of Paraguay’s population. The debt incurred by the Argentine government as a result of that war forced it to sell lands newly seized from the natives to the highest bidder, thus creating a political structure dominated by large landowners. In the US by contrast land was distributed free of charge to settlers, thus forming the basis for a democratic smallholder power structure.
    Moreover while Richard Falk loudly defends Latin America from the US, he has nothing to say about the terrorist acts of Hezbollah, which at the bidding of Iran blew up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 killing 94 Argentine Jews. The US, despite its notorious imperialist history, has never stooped to massacring civilians solely because of their ethnicity, as Iran did then.
    Consequently Richard Falk’s demagogic rant is revealed as mere hateful propaganda that lacks any scientific character.

    • P. Michael Garber
      November 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Keep your pants on, you already revealed yourself with your non-sequitur insertion of anti-Iran propaganda.

    • Frederike
      November 26, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      ‘There can be no doubt that the United States has committed great injustices and exploited weaker countries.” No sh*t. Really?

      That observation demonstrates a very scientific character, no doubt. As P.Michael Garber suggests: keep your pants on.

  31. November 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    No MOre War

  32. November 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    A day or so ago there was a gathering of the “elites” in Halifax Canada. The usual “experts” were there. So the article below might be of interest.
    November 18, 2018
    “Are Taxpayers Funding Fallacies at a “Forum” in Halifax”?

    “The first plenary session of the 2018 Halifax International Security Forum examined how liberal states and institutions can continue to champion their values…. The speakers were unanimous in their view that NATO remains an effective and unified institution.”…
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/11/are-taxpayers-funding-fallacies-at.html

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 20, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Many Thanks Stephan J. You always provide us with an extended perspective. As I mentioned to Isabel a couple of posts above this, it’s important while we still can, to have a broad input so that we can get a better concept of global corruption. Your link was especially interesting. I would encourage others to view your excellent reporting. Cheers…

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Many Thanks Stephan J. You always provide us with an extended perspective. As I mentioned to Isabel a couple of posts above this, it’s important while we can, to have a broad input so that we can get a better concept of global corruption. Your link was especially interesting. I would encourage others to view your excellent reporting. Cheers…

  33. Kathleen Greene
    November 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I am very proud to say that I voted for Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente twice rather than Obummer. I will never forgive the Damnocrats for giving up our votes to Republicans’ cheating in 2000 and 2004; and for what they did to McKinney, and most of all, for being imperialist pigs.

  34. Eric32
    November 19, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Trump may speak and sometimes act crudely, but it took Mrs. Bill Clinton to actually turn Libya into a sh*thole country. It was one of the better places to live in the Arab world, before the “I’m with her” political gangreen girl became Sec. of State.

    Her husband and her political vehicle, Bill, did much to turn the US into a sh*thole by facilitating massive narcotics imports into the country via an airport in the state he “served” as governor.

    • William
      November 19, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      This isn’t about the Clinton’s or Trump. It’s not about democrats or republicans. It’s about US policy towards empire building that benefits a select few. Realize both parties are in on it. Realize the coalition of the western societies are all in on it. You need to get over that managed perception and the thinking they have you trapped in to see the reality of the whole picture.

      • Eric32
        November 20, 2018 at 10:26 am

        You’re mixed up. Trump actually did initially try to change some things.

        When Trump first came into office, he tried resisting the ongoing deep state campaigns of continued balkanizing of the middle east, and of demonizing Russia with the long range aim of balkanizing it, too.

        What did he get met with? A CIA – Hillary Clinton – media fabricated “Russia collusion” campaign demonizing him.

        The reason the Republican party controllers feared Trump was that he was trying to disrupt their support of deep state activities.

  35. Guest
    November 19, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    If the US is so evil as to cause these nations to become “shithole countries”, why do their citizens come to the very nation responsible? Why do they think they will receive better treatment here by the very government that supposedly hates them?

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 19, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      That’s a great question, and one I have asked many a New York cab/Uber driver. The easiest way to answer your question is these foreign immigrants hate our countries foreign policy, but they particularly love us Americans and our way of life. Remember job opportunities in war ravished nation’s isn’t a good place to find legitimate employment either. Almost all the foreigners I’ve met say they plan to return to their homeland once they are set financially as once it safe to return home. I will admit it’s a paradoxical situation, but one easy to understand once you have left a world of war torn chaos. I might add that these people also feel safe here, because the U.S. isn’t going to bomb itself… well not yet anyway. Joe

    • Eric32
      November 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      You make a good point. Maybe it’s because of the good works of Sec. of State Mrs. Bill Clinton in Honduras, where she facilitated a coup putting a government in power, that set common people fleeing.

    • Kathleen Greene
      November 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      For one thing, they won’t have bombs dropped on them. For another, the US made THEIR country uninhabitable.

    • William
      November 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Challenge! Go live in their neighborhood for a while. You’ll quickly learn!

    • Vera Gottlieb
      November 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      I don’t understand it either…why move to the very country that is responsible for my misery. I guess the misery in their respective countries is even less endurable than the misery they will experience in the US.

    • Realist
      November 19, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      I would say that these naive people could never imagine the leadership in America turning the same policies it uses to suppress the rest of the world against its own population. Why do people join the mafia? Not for the pleasure of the killing I daresay, but for the safety conferred them against its enemies. Yes, I’ll be called on to do terrible things for “the godfather,” but at least he will protect me and I will not be one of his targets. I think people universally understand such an arrangement. That’s why all those Central Americans who know very well who destroyed their countries want to live here despite that.

    • James Williamson
      November 19, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      That statement doesn’t even make sense. Think about it:

      1.) Because they’re incredibly naive. Their hope blinds them.
      2.) They’re misinformed.
      3.) Even though human rights, generally speaking, might be better in the US (though this is also changing), economically things are getting worse and worse, and they don’t know it.
      4.) They’re not coming nearly as frequently anymore.
      5.) If you’re referring to Central and South Americans, they’re coming out of desperation, in an attempt to escape from conditions that are largely in part due to illegal US foreign policy in their home countries, sanctions, illegal coups, and horrendous trade deals like NAFTA, which hurts American workers too, etc.

    • fred
      November 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

      where else can they go?

    • Frederike
      November 26, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      I think they come because they do not know that the US is responsible. The information available they get from movies.

  36. November 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Off topic –

    Chris Hedges has a piece today in which he essentially supports the Mueller witch hunt. This is a serious left progressive who now seems to be buying the Maddow-NYT-DNC snake-oil.

    Regardless of how many times I say it — because I despise and denounce the Mueller witch hunt in no way means that I’m a supporter of the Trump regime.

    Et tu, Chris H.?

    • November 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I headed, with dread, over to TD to understand what you were saying. If I were religious, I would perhaps feel like the Apocalypse were nigh. I think your Shakespeare reference is spot on.

    • Kathleen Greene
      November 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Mueller’s investigation has already put criminals in jail. There are a multitude of crimes potentially exposed. You should wait until it’s done to jump to conclusions.

      • JoeSixPack
        November 19, 2018 at 3:52 pm

        None of them for election fraud. That’s the point.

      • November 20, 2018 at 3:18 am

        Nonsense. Mueller is following a long FBI tradition of inventing “crimes” to blackmail people into flipping. Some of the “crimes” he prosecutes are old tax evasion charges which were ignored until they became useful for FBI purposes. Some “crimes”, like “lying to the FBI”, are PRODUCED by the investigation itself. If Mueller hadn’t decided to interrogate those people, they wouldn’t have been trapped into a lie.

        The FBI’s job is creating crimes and turning ordinary people into criminals.

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 19, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      You’ve gotta keep in mind that Hedges is a militant moralist. He doesn’t allow a hierarchy in which some crimes are worse than others. He perseverates wherever he finds the crime. Hillary is guilty as hell, but I’m banking on the theory that she knows where all the bodies are buried — dating back to when Cheney and Rumsfeld were developing the Continuity of Government program and PNAC was being dreamed up. But NOBODY wants to tackle that reality. Trump, on the other hand, has been involved with Russian oligarchs due to his real-estate activities — some of whom no doubt have ties to and operate with the tacit approval of Putin. Putin can’t keep control without coddling them to a degree. So, Mueller will find a connection. Freelance right wing loonies like Stone and Corsi injected themselves into the fray seeking Clinton’s emails. One theory claims that Cohen, Trump’s attorney, took a supposed trip to Italy at the same time Corsi did, but they made a detour to meet up with mysterious Mr. Mifsud. They may have met in Poland where Clinton’s emails were passed by Russian operatives. Remember, Clinton’s emails came off a server which had been wiped. Podesta’s emails were locally downloaded from the DNC server, which was never turned over to the FBI. It is possible that Russians contemporaneously hacked both, and Assange is the perfect scapegoat. Remember when Trump said, “I love Wikileaks?” Doesn’t anybody wonder why he doesn’t love Wikileaks anymore? Regarding the Clintons, the independent audit of their crooked foundation was due to the IRS on the 15th. If nothing happens, it confirms that she’s immune to prosecution. But Trump’s lawyer colluding with Corsi, Stone and Mifsud in conjunction with ties to Russian finance oligarchs in a scheme to put Clinton’s emails “on the street” will turn out to be Rachel Maddow’s “I told you so” moment. I think the writing is on the wall, and Mueller has something that can be made to stick. That said, he won’t be catching the biggest monster in the swamp. Hedges, though, will be pleased to see any monster reeled in — just on principle.

      • Clay
        November 20, 2018 at 12:00 am

        Assange has already stated on record that the emails did not come from Russia. He and Craig Murray stated they know who provided the emails. Wikileaks has to protect the source in order to receive future leaks.

        The only thing Russia actually appears guilty of, that can be proven……is wiping out ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria. Hence the real reason the US demonizes, blames and sanctions that country.

        • Rob Roy
          November 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm

          Thank you, Clay. Sanford is a smart guy but totally off on Putin, who wiped out the power of oligarchs in Russia. Actually, Putin is the world’s most stable and reasonable leader.

          • Marb
            November 21, 2018 at 10:49 pm

            “Putin……who wiped out the power of oligarchs in Russia”
            to replace them with himself and his own Mafiosi cronies….just like every where else!… Putin may be a babe in the woods compared to the Banksters , Oiligarchs and super rich who own almost everything , but he’s no savior and there is no evidence to suggest that he is some kind of disinterested Saint ,intent on saving the World from itself …believing otherwise is naive and just as ridiculous as believing that Trump ,was somehow going to be different to Clinton.. or that he gives a shit about blue collar workers , why must people reduce everything to black and white, either or… We talk about the “Groupthink” of the Corporate Media , unfortunately its just as present in the Alt Media.. neither Trump, Putin or any other Politician no matter how noble (Corbyn being a case in point) is going to save us from ourselves… unfortunately it rests upon Humanity’s collective shoulder…

          • Skip Scott
            November 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

            Marb-

            I suggest your read Putin’s speeches and interviews rather than simply buying into the “bash Putin” propaganda from our MSM. There is plenty of evidence that he is a voice of sanity countering the western globalist’s vision of empire. The fact that he has enjoyed between 60 and 80 pct approval ratings inside Russia during his entire tenure and has raised the standard of living and life expectancy for the average Russian compared to the Yeltsin years is proof indeed that he cares about the people of Russia. I don’t do “groupthink.” I look at evidence. I agree that our future rests on “humanity’s collective shoulder”, but we should support anyone who speaks the truth, and that includes people like Putin. Working for peace in a multi-polar world is our only hope.

    • JoeSixPack
      November 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Very sad indeed. “indictments that would not, I suspect, have taken place without hard evidence”

      So Chris, “the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence” is that your point?

      You would when you don’t expect the accused to show up in court. As 13 Russians would most certainly not do.

      FYI ,Roger Stone knows nothing. He’s a self important dilettante trying to make a name for himself claiming he has connections when he doesn’t. Randy Credico already debunked Roger Stone’s claim. So why are you falling for this b.s.

    • Spatzcat
      November 19, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Did you read the entire essay? Hedges’ (and Ralph Nader’s) argument is on constitutional grounds, not on Mueller’s search for the still absent evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/are-we-about-to-face-our-gravest-constitutional-crisis/

    • November 19, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Drew – that is some very sad news to hear about Mr. Hedges. He is one of the last I’d suspect of buying into such nonsense.

    • Spatzcat
      November 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Did you read the entire essay? Hedges’ (and Ralph Nader’s) argument is on constitutional grounds, not on supporting Mueller’s failure to find any evidence linking Trump-Russian collusion.

      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/are-we-about-to-face-our-gravest-constitutional-crisis/

    • Realist
      November 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      So, you’re saying that he’s now essentially advocating burning down the village to save it–destroying our constitutional protections just to “get” Trump. That is so foolish but seemingly hard for many, otherwise intelligent people, to understand.

    • November 19, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      That’s not what I get out of it. There are at least two issues going on here.

      First is the Attorney General is the one who decides whether or not they prosecute Trump. Charge him with crimes. This is why Sessions recused himself. That left it up to Rothenstein.

      Trump fired Sessions and replaced him with Whitaker. So now Trump’s henchman decides. In other words, Mueller can have evidence that would land anyone in prison. Whitaker can blow it off.

      Second is impeachment. High crimes and misdemeanors means Trump can be charged with abuses of office. The rest of us might not be able to commit these acts because only Trump holds the high office.

      As of now, Pelosi flat out says she isn’t going to impeach Trump. Not unless some evidence of Putin and Trump colluding together to rig the election. Pelosi doesn’t become Speaker until 2019, so she can’t now.

      Remember last year about this time? Trump and the Congress got their tax scam passed. Called it a Christmas present. Done before recess.

      The concern Hedges has – and it’s a very real one – is Trump will move now. In the interim. Fire Mueller. Make information disappear. Mueller answers to Whitaker right now. Ryan isn’t going to impeach Trump.

      Therefore, if Trump feels cornered like a rat, now is when he begins biting. Before Mueller’s findings are made public. Before Pelosi is Speaker.

      He could pull it off if no one stands up to him. So far, no one has in 2 years. Trump loaded the DOJ and SCOTUS with his minions. Trump tells he military where to aim the guns. This could be deep shit time.

      That’s what I get out of Hedges’ take.

      https://opensociet.org/2018/11/19/timing-are-we-about-to-face-our-constitutional-crisis/

    • mike k
      November 19, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      I read Chris Hedges’ article on Truthdig today. I think you are too quick to condemn someone with his long record of clear vision. I think however that he should have made clear that Trump’s criticisms of CNN, the FBI and CIA, and the Democratic Party are actually totally justified.

    • James Williamson
      November 19, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Sorry to hear that about Hedges.

      • Marb
        November 21, 2018 at 11:06 pm

        Trump is just a lowlife criminal thug gangster narcissist and a rather obvious one at that , why should he not be criticized by Hedges.. he IS corrupt, he HAS done dodgy real estate deals in Russia no doubt with the help of his Mafia connections , he’s not battling the deep state… he’s not going to save Democracy , he’s just as vicious self interested and World destroying as Obama the Clinton’s or any other American President just dumber….

    • November 19, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Impeachment is a political process. Is there enough momentum to “Get Trump?”

      Holtzman was part of the impeachment of Nixon. She says Nixon firing people and trying to get the CIA to stop the FBI investigation swung public opinion against Nixon and got Republicans on board.

      Trump has already done the same thing.

      Trump isn’t very smart, but he may be the greatest opportunist in the history of the world. Is now his opportunity to bum rush the opposition?

      As long as nobody stands up to him, it doesn’t matter what Trump’s guilty of. Unconstitutional or illegal or immoral does not matter if Whitaker and Pelosi won’t go after him.

      https://opensociet.org/2018/11/17/impeachment-is-a-political-process-not-a-criminal-process-the-grounds-to-impeach-is-whatever-the-house-majority-says-it-is/

    • Roger Milbrandt
      November 19, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      Drew,
      Alarmed by your comment, I looked up and read the Chris Hedges item.
      I think you are over-reacting, but perhaps you understand some relevant nuances that escape me.
      Hedges seems to virtually concede that the Russiagate theory is baseless, although he does say he thinks there much be some ‘hard evidence’ for the indictment of the thirteen Russians.
      It seems to me his anxiety is based on procedure not content: that is, he does not seriously believe the Mueller inquiry has found any evidence of collusion with respect to the 2016 election but he sees danger in a President abusing his power to arrest an investigation whose intention was hostile to his own interests.
      Correct me if I am wrong

      • O Society
        November 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm

        Indeed. Nowhere does Hedges say Russiagate is real. Also, there are Trump’s finances to consider. Tax fraud. Money laundering.

        The question is what evidence is there to show it. Last I heard, Mueller was investigating Trump’s relationship with Saudis.

        Many fish in the sea besides Putin. Many crimes other than election rigging.

        Surely even Trump’s fan club realize how corrupt he and his grifter family are by now.

    • November 19, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      amen!

    • Patricia Ormsby
      November 23, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you, Drew. I’ll stop reading him.

  37. November 19, 2018 at 11:54 am

    One can’t help but wonder what the lives of most of earth’s inhabitants might be like today if the brutal machinations of the U.S. and our amoral policy makers could be magically erased from human history, even just the history of my lifetime. How much human suffering would be eased if we simply had never existed to cause it in the first place?

    A thorough discussion of the assassinations, coups and destabilization efforts, requires a great many volumes, this without even getting into our training and supporting death squads, outright invasions, use of proxy jihadists, endless support of dictators (including those brutal dictator’s toll of violence on their peoples), and then the various and sundry war crimes, i.e. from the use of depleted uranium, bombing civilian infrastructure like water plants, to the predictable and inevitable half-a-million dead Iraqi children rationalized as “worth it” by the sociopaths at the helm. Democratically elected Western leaders like a JFK, Aldo Moro or Olaf Palme simply disposed of when they act at cross purposes to the madness of Western empire and its neocolonial blood lust. The imposition of the U.S. led neoliberal economic plunder that now leaves the 5 wealthiest people on earth with as much wealth as the bottom one-half of the entire earth’s population is a source of absolutely ghastly unimaginable human suffering, daily misery and death about the globe – considered simply on its own.

    If the world is lost in a fine madness at this point in human history, it is in large part because we in the U.S. have been raving violent madmen throughout the course of my lifetime. We most certainly have been “exceptional” as a nation, but only in the most violent, anti-democratic and inhumane ways imaginable. Americans of all political persuasions continue to live in daily denial of these basic historical realities, mystifying ourselves and thus insuring this carnage will continue.

    • Tom Kath
      November 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      We are all in agreement, and keep getting it confirmed how rotten things are, but there is never any real solution proposed and the core values and CAUSES of the dilemma are not seriously addressed. Who would be prepared to give up their “basic human right” to make money or get rich at the expense of others? Who would be prepared to actually have to “earn” their entire wealth? – Our whole society fervently believes it is virtuous to “give yourself an unfair advantage”.

  38. November 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

    The list of colonies in the Empire indeed is a long one.

    I fear the next shithole country will end up being the United States. This is where American foreign policy leads.

    As things are now, war with China and Russia is likely. That would do it.

    Bipartisan panel: US must prepare for “horrendous,” “devastating” war with Russia and China

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