It’s imperative to criticize presumable progressive politicians and parse their words carefully. It might open the door to actual improvements in policy, writes Sam Husseini.
In her New Year’s Eve announcement about forming an exploratory committee for the presidency, Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a great point: “Right now, Washington works great for the wealthy and the well-connected. It’s just not working for anyone else.”
In case you missed that, she did not say “the economy isn’t working well” or such, as we’ve all heard numerous politicos say countless times.
She rather said the opposite of that; repeatedly: “The way I see it right now, Washington works great for giant drug companies, but just not for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. Washington works great for for-profit colleges and student loan outfits, but not for young people who are getting crushed by student loan debt. And you could keep going through the list. The problem we have got right now in Washington is that it works great for those who’ve got money to buy influence.”
And in case anyone missed the point, she said it yet again: “We want a government that works not just for the rich and the powerful. We want a government that works for everyone.”
It’s laudatory that Warren is using her perch and analytical skills to avoid a common rhetorical trap and is articulating the truism that the political establishment largely does the bidding of the wealthy and connected when it comes to the economy.
Silent on War Profiteers
The problem is that she doesn’t articulate that in the same manner when it comes to bloody wars. Quite the contrary. Her list of problems—drug companies, for-profit colleges and student loan outfits—omits those who have an interest in continuing horrific wars.
When asked on Wednesday night by Rachel Maddow about Trump’s recent announcement on pulling troops from Syria, Warren said the U.S.’s wars are “not working.”
She didn’t say: “The wars are working great for military contractors, just not for regular people in the U.S. or Syria or anywhere else.”
Warren—who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee—did not say: “The wars are great for the wealthy profiting off of them, they’re just terrible for the people getting killed in them.”
Instead, Warren actually swallowed some of the rhetoric about U.S. wars having as their alleged goals stability or humanitarianism or security. The profits of military contractors or geopolitical elites went unexamined.
She said it was “right” to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, an arguably positive position, but added: “It is not working and pretending that somehow, in the future, it is going to work…it’s a form of fantasy that we simply can’t afford to continue to engage in.”
Ignoring War Mongering
But part of the fantasy is ignoring that the wars are indeed working great for some. Indeed, if Warren heard someone else say that “it is not working” about the economy, she’d likely correct them.
Warren did at least raise the question of what “success” in the perpetual wars might be, which is certainly better than most of official Washington. Advocates of perpetual war “need to explain what they think winning in those wars look like and where the metrics are,” she said.
But, like most of the U.S. political establishment, Warren doesn’t actually scrutinize the underlying motives: “When you withdraw, you got to withdraw as part of a plan, you got to know what you’re trying to accomplish throughout the Middle East and the pieces need to be coordinated,” Warren said, adding, “this is why we need allies.”
What allies? France, Britain and Turkey—the traditional colonial power in the region? Or the ever-aggressive, oppressive Israel? Or the tyrannical Saudi Arabia?
And that’s rather the point. U.S. foreign policy appears as a muddle—without any clear statement of what is supposed to be accomplished—because its stated goals obscure actual goals.
The idea that the U.S. establishment gets the country into wars for ulterior financial or geopolitical reasons should be regarded as banal. Instead, it’s barely articulated at all.
Most obviously, the military contractors benefit from wars.
Weapons Versus Drugs
Indeed, the power of the euphemistically called “defense sector” would seem to be substantially larger than the drug companies Warren focuses on. According to OpenSecrets.org, the top five military contractors — Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon—more than doubled the top five companies in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector ($14.4 million vs. $7.7 million) in their outlays to politicos. For more, see the writings of William Hartung, such as “Corporate Patriots or War Profiteers?“
Even more critically, the U.S. establishment’s geopolitical aims frequently thrive on war. Dahlia Wasfi argued in 2015 in “Battling ISIS: Iran-Iraq war redux” that “Obama’s unofficial strategy to fight ISIS may be that of former President Ronald Reagan’s for Iran and Iraq in the 1980s: a long, drawn-out war to strengthen U.S.-Israeli hegemony in the region.” Also, see Robert Naiman’s “WikiLeaks Reveals How the U.S. Aggressively Pursued Regime Change in Syria, Igniting a Bloodbath” and my own “Is U.S. Policy to Prolong the Syrian War?”
In 2015, Sen. Bernie Sanders was actually calling for more Saudi intervention in the Mideast. Said Sanders: The Saudis have “got to get their hands dirty.” He was criticized for this by Margaret Kimberley, David Swanson and myself.
Now, Sanders has taken the lead in Congress in criticizing the Saudi war in Yemen, opening the door to some alleviation of massive suffering. I wish he would be much better still on foreign policy, but this may be serious progress, though the ACLU has criticized the congressional resolution.
It’s imperative to criticize presumable progressive politicians and parse their words carefully. It might open the door to actual improvements in policy, as in the case of Sanders. And in the case of Elizabeth Warren, it’s simply asking her to cease obscuring war as she clarifies economic issues.
Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy, and founder of VotePact.org, which encourages disenchanted Democrats and Republicans to pair up. Follow him on Twitter @samhusseini.
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Tulsi Gabbard just announced a run for President!
One wonders how Senator Elizabeth Warren, her (99) United States Senate colleagues, the (435) members of the United States House of Representatives, President Donald Trump and his administration, the Academy Awards organization, plus the Western world’s media super-structure – are all silent on the December 20, 2018 United Nations 2-hour presentation of war crimes committed inside Syria by the (Oscar-winning) White Helmets.
Jerry, thank you for posting, but your comment under the video is dreadful to contemplate.
Was Trump’s “pull out of Syria” announcement only a media diversion so that revelations about the White Helmets would be ignored? If so, it certainly worked. Not that I doubt our leaders could be so deceptive, but I’ve been clinging to the hope that he means well but is subverted by the perma-state.
“Not that I doubt our leaders could be so deceptive, but I’ve been clinging to the hope that he means well but is subverted by the perma-state.”
Only United States President Donald Trump can resolve whether your and others’ hopes are warranted, and the only process available for that resolution is Donald Trump’s publicly addressing the White Helmets scandal – through the sharing of his honest, detailed, thorough (non-Twitter) assessment with Americans and people around the Earth.
In fairness, Warren says in an article in the Jan.-Feb. Foreign Affairs (of the Council on Foreign Relations): “The Pentagon’s budget has been too large for too long. It is long overdue for an audit that would allow Congress to identify which programs actually benefit American security and which merely line the pockets of defense contractors.” However she misses completely your perfect point, that “US foreign policy appears as a muddle — without any clear statement of what is supposed to be accomplished — because its stated goals obscure actual goals.” She is also terrible in Russia, making much of Russia’s supposed “meddling” in our elections; I’ve lost track of whether there is any evidence of that, but am perfectly clear that no actual influence has been shown. She writes of the need to “face down antidemocratic forces around the world,” in total ignorance of the extent to which the US is the leader of them (see Wm. Blum). She calls Russia “belligerent and resurgent” and says a “revanchist Russia…threatens Europe.” This is all fanciful; for the rebuttal please see the sources cited in my piece at https://www.unz.com/article/trumps-summit-with-putin-could-reduce-risk-of-nuclear-war/. Read Oliver Stone’s book of interviews with Putin, or former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin’s “Return to Moscow.” Or just take a look at the interview with Russianist Stephen Cohen posted http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/whos-responsible-for-the-new-cold-war-an-interview-with-renowned-russia-expert-stephen-cohen/2018/03/28/.
So Sam, I don’t like endless wars, but I was wondering what your approach to ISIS would be? Just leave them alone to do whatever they want?
They could cancel Timber Sycamore, but that might cut into KKR’s profits.
On “nailing the economy,” no, no legitimate discussion about the economy could exclude the very consequences of our deregulated capitalism — our poverty crisis. And no Democrat will address this today.
American foreign policy is a murky mess and I am far more concerned when I hear a presidential candidate who pretends to have all the answers than I am when I hear Elizabeth Warren treading lightly in her analysis of these issues. Sorting the mess out is a huge challenge that includes addressing not only the harm our policies create abroad but also the widely held beliefs that drive those policies at home. It will take a focused, cautious approach and I have no doubt we can count on Warren to provide exactly this. She fights corruption wherever she finds it. She is not beholding to the defense or financial industries. I believe her heart, her head and her morals are all in the right place and I am willing to put my faith in her.
You make good critical points and I hope the likes of Warren and Sanders reads your article. I only hope your political optimism is a true expression of what will happen.
Have you every considered looking into the US military role in geoengineering technology and its devastating effects on the environment? Would be very interested in reading your ideas on the topic.
Running through some of these comments is the oversimplified argument between “capitalists”, “regulated capitalists”, “New Deal socialists” and “socialists”. We hear it over and over again: “Socialism always fails, just look at Venezuela”. Never mentioned are the three letter agencies and clandestine NGO operations working ceaselessly to insure that countries like Venezuela “always fail”. FDR’s New Deal juiced the economy because socially responsible economic policies ALWAYS work – that’s the reality the one percent have been collaborating to obfuscate since about 1905. Argue about it all you want, but consider this: EMPIRES ALWAYS FAIL. Yep, that’s right. Empires ALWAYS collapse. Sure, Occasio-Cortez is a little loopy, and she lacks the intellectual armamentarium to rebrand, market and sell a re-treaded FDR inspired economy. But she’s not wrong. The next time you hear Venezuela, better think Mongol, Rome, Byzantium, Ottoman, Spain, Britain, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany and The Soviet Union. And NO, the Soviet Union was not “communist”. It was an oligarchic empire…just like ours. It’s happening right before your eyes, folks, but you’re all so fixated on the labels that you can’t see it. Empires always fail, and the harder everyone works to consolidate the empire, the sooner that inevitability will come to pass.
Great comment F.G. We can only hope that ours fails without any mushroom clouds being involved. We need to ship our “crazies” off to the Hague and give the rest of the world a big apology.
I presume forgot to press the post button on my comment but I don’t think it was outrageous or irrational. The point, a sad one, is that aspiring politicians are not going to get elected or even be nominated if they criticize Israel and our policy toward Israel is to ramp up the violence against its many enemies in the Middle East. Put simply, Israel points out the targets and we do the rest. What other reason would Iran be our number enemy, Libya destroyed, Iraq and Syria in tatters while Jordan, the Saudis and Egypt are left alone. What possible national interest was served by our involvement in Iraq. The oil arguments loses favor when one realizes and abundance of oil around the world, alternative energy sources, and greater efficiency and any of our “enemies” would be happy to keep us as a customer. The can’t drink the stuff.
The second point is the need for election reform, by leveling the field on finance and choosing some more rational way of getting good people into political, unencumbered by strings.
The third is the conflicting interests of the media which receives enormous amounts of money during our elections pitted against their willingness to call for a more effective means of electing our representatives.. It’s hog heaven for them in addition to their obvious slant on foreign policy.
The fourth is the temptation to sympathize with the Warren’s out there, who have to realize all this and somehow push forward to get the brass ring. Our politicians are above average people, regardless of our willingness to recognize that, and their rationalizations for wanting to be in office must be difficult or at least we can hope so. I would presume they get easier all the time.
Lots of national interests in Iraq. For one taking oil out of the national market and putting it in the hands of TNC’s. Industrial contracts, military contracts, hegemony in the ME, the removal of a leader who traded oil for euros, along with a nasserite politician who threatened to galvanize the ME.
Jake, you’re right on every point but they are not good reasons because they result in murder, destruction and whatever else. Our national interest is to be better than that.
Israel is certainly designating some targets, but the issue extends beyond Israel. It boils down to the military industrial complex, and its requirement for “enemies” to justify spending on 1.) active wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen); and 2) US/NATO military bases against “threats” from Russia, China, N. Korea, Iran, etc. The massive profits from and corruption associated with these ventures ensures their continued taxpayer and government support via a network extending from mainstream media, domestic and foreign payments to politicians, control over mainstream political parties, and private corporations including arms manufacture and sale, private contracting for security and military base operation. Host countries receive massive influxes of funding as rent, bribes, and tourist dollars (military personnel), and these serve as incentives for countries throughout the world to encourage local hostilities rather than peaceful solutions.
Warren would be great all things considered. Wall St would make a huge threatening rattle then go back to business under her no doubt dangerous to white collar criminal justice department. Pure socialists post here, but they should be disregarded come the election.
The ironic thing is that Trump is nearer doing some good things re foreign policy than various Neoliberals of the recent past. It’s fairly clear he has the balls to yank Americans out of South Korea, Germany, and the MidEast if he felt the voters would support it. He looks for a voter block locked into a belief, and he makes moves on that basis. If 100,000 people demonstrated outside the White House for Palestine, he never would have moved the embassy to Jerusalem. Alas the Neoliberal media machine via liars like Rachel Maddow spend every day making sure that anything Trump is radioactive so he turns to credulous tea baggers and Christians for his base. Progressive voters could actually flip the script and USE Trump like a tool, to get a hell of a lot of reversal in military affairs and hence our foreign policy. He is completely malleable but you have to connect. It is Neoliberal misdirection that is killing progressive causes.
If the DNC is as corrupt as we all know they are, they’ll run some hack like Biden, in that case I hope Trump is reelected just to demonstrate just how feckless Democrats actually are.
” Progressive voters could actually flip the script and USE Trump like a tool, to get a hell of a lot of reversal in military affairs and hence our foreign policy.”
Not one word of support for Trump’s pulling out of Syria from the “progressives”. Lots of tweets from them praising John McCain and GHWB though…
Absolutely right, Anthrax, but I don’t think using anyone as a tool is wise. It would be best to give support to Trump’s good policies and oppose his bad ones. For example, on health care Trump gave Democrats a real opportunity: 1) he refused to support bills killing Obamacare without having a replacement which was better; 2) he begged Dem & GOP legislators to come up with a better replacement; and 3) he indirectly gave guidance that insurance companies were the main reason for the high cost of US healthcare. This was met by silence and inaction from Democrats – actually massive criticism from them because he dared to find flaws in Obamacare.
On removing troops from Syria and Afghanistan, Democrats, rather than supporting Trump, became the party of warmongers. Warren exhibited extraordinary courage in supporting Trump on the withdrawal. She made one hell of a lot of Democratic elite and deep state enemies by doing this, and she undoubtedly knows this.
Finally, in the economic sphere, despite what elite economists and their brainwashed professors profess, the WTO and most free trade deals are anti-government, anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-local business. They provide obscene profits to multi-national corporations and banks. Donald Trump, in fighting (or renegotiating) these deals and trying to return manufacturing to the US, is becoming a major thorn in the side of GOP and Democratic elites who have, for too long, become used to sucking at the teat of the multi-nationals. Trump, in a short period, has proven his policies are working, bringing black and Hispanic unemployment to historic lows and overall unemployment to a level not seen in 40 years. Why don’t we see Democratic support for at least some of his policies?
I think many of the questions this article raises have been addressed by Ms Warren since its publication. Perhaps this had an influence! It certainly highlights what we need to demand from our candidates.
As far as some of the respondents’ criticisms of capitalism in general, no better solutions are included. One can only infer that anarchy is preferable to the capitalist system. This is black and white thinking at its finest. Any *realistic* position on these issues must involve working to change the system, whether internally or in extremis externally, but not throw away civilization entirely. Denying that the flaws in the system we see are not the result of human failings is untenable.
Comparison to the Clintons is not only unfair, it’s unrealistic. Labeling anyone who is not wholeheartedly anti-capitalist as neoliberal is a smokescreen for a “no solutions offered” position.
Nick, there’s an inherent fallacy in your response. In saying that “no one has ever proposed a better alternative to capitalism” (which is a standard “argument”), you imply that capitalism is itself a system, and that despite its faults, it’s still the best system that has been devised. In fact, no one devised capitalism. What you call capitalism – and what others call “the free-market system,” and still others call neoliberalism, etc. – is in fact nothing more than the dominance of the stronger over the weaker and the more clever over the less clever, a “system” that goes back to the Stone Age and beyond. Only it’s been dressed up as a full-fledged economic and social system and given an air of legitimacy by centuries upon centuries of propaganda – propaganda that has become an inherent part of our cultures and languages. So, for example, one hears/reads “Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty than any other system devised by mankind.” That’s horseshit. Mankind, despite domination by the strong over the weak as exercised by the monarchies in league with the Church, and now by the giant corporations and their financial institutions in league with “democracies” and the media, with education serving as enabler throughout it all, has raised itself out of poverty and created such notions as equality and social justice (granted, only to see them co-opted by the inexorable workings of the propaganda machine).
So that’s the solution I offer: Stop defending capitalism by crediting it with everything that’s good about human achievement and recognize it for what it is: a fancy name for greed, violence, and domination.
@ Gene Poole: “What you call capitalism – and what others call “the free-market system,” and still others call neoliberalism, etc. – is in fact nothing more than the dominance of the stronger over the weaker and the more clever over the less clever …”
I’m mostly in agreement with what you wrote but take exception to “the more clever over the less clever” bit. Make that “psychopaths over the normal” and I’m in agreement.
We need new leaders who will ask the right questions. A few Canadian politicians did, persons like Connie Fogal of the Canadian Action Party (a party about as suppressed and sidelined as the Green Party). Fogal exposed the rise of the North American Union (NAU) and a new monetary under-tow, that will redefine the use of currency itself. Will our presidential candidates open a debate about the inevitable collapse of the USD? discuss details for their Plan B? Fogal was straight forward, spoke plainly about a hidden master plan to replace three separate nations, USA, Mexico and Canada, with an amalgam of the three into one superstate, all with a border-less, single and shared currency, the Amero. This new currency has been printed and stored in the vaults of several US banks.
As of late, the high echelon politicians within the Democratic Party are in bed with the wealthiest individuals and corporations of our nation. In reaction, voters must learn new ways to follow the monies used for electioneering, this includes the issue of equal time broadcasting via cable, radio and newsprint. Let’s not forget, my fellow voters of America, that we, the citizenry own the air waves NOT corporations, they only get license to broadcast, that can be withdrawn at any time (a statutory law).. Voters must re-define political platforms where specific words are used, not take them for granted. The proles mustn’t rely on Webster. For example, when Bloomberg news touts, sixty thousand jobs were created, the actual translation of the word, job, must begin early in this new propaganda game. For example; not “jobs” as had long been envisioned in a past reality, rather, sixty thousand indentured servant positions were created, or sixty thousand new slave slots were added to the the economy. Slave slots, similar to the mantras of the thousands now rioting in Hungary and France for fair working conditions and salaries (soon Italy will follow). There’s no exaggeration here, ask the semi-retired and over fifty crowd, working at Amazon, running about, all day long, picking and packing for their billionaire overload and master, Jeff Bezos.
There will be no exit plans discussed, plan B’s or any talk of contraction. Contraction of our over nine hundred military bases over seas, the fact that we have six thousand of them in the USA, not one could lift a finger on 911. If there is talk of contraction, of any kind, it will surely be “word fluff”. The only true contractions will assume the shape of a steady loss of social safety nets for the poor, the ever shrinking size of our laundry detergents purchased at the same ‘ol price (hidden inflation),
No real change expected this time around or into the foreseeable future. What famous writer was oft quoted as saying; if a vote really mattered, they’d take it away from all of us.? Go ahead Liz, prove’ em wrong, I double dare ya!
“Her list of problems—drug companies, for-profit colleges and student loan outfits—omits those who have an interest in continuing horrific wars.”
Ahh, Warren demonstrates herself to be as big a hypocrite as every other establishment politician (including Mafia Don).
Warren is a member of the 1 percent economic class.
• She has a net worth in EXCESS of $7,820,514 (in 2015).
• She is the 28th WEALTHIEST person in the multi-millionaire club called the U.S. Senate.
• Her top investments include over $5 MILLION invested with TIAA-CREF.
TIAA-CREF is one of the largest institutional investment firms, which operates collaboratively, MUCH LIKE A CARTEL (even existing as the largest shareholders of each other) with the other money-management and investment firms whom have created virtual monopolies amongst the largest “competing” corporations in most every single industry, via large stock holdings.
The portfolio of TIAA-CREF includes:
Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, JP Morgan, SalesForce (remember the CBP/SalesForce immigratoin contract uproar?), Cisco (Big Data), UnitedHealth (insurance behemoth), Johnson & Johnson (think talc/asbestos cancer litigation), Bank of America (“too big to fail bank”), Boeing (defense comtractor), Honeywell (defense comtractor), Chevron, MobilExxon, Wells Fargo (“too big to fail bank”), Gilead, Abbott Labs, Abbvie, Pfizer, Merck (all Big Pharma giants), DowDuPont, and other of the largest neo-feudal controlled corporate behemohts on the planet.
Warrens largest political campaign contributors have included:
Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UMass, Boston Univ, and other “for-profit colleges”.
JESUS, her massive SPIN sounds nearly identical to that of Mafia Don Trump.
She’s “calling out” the exact same ELITE and firms she purports to fight.
SHE HAS ACTIVELY ENGAGED WITH AND SUPPORTED THE SAME ECONOMIC CONTROLLERS & MANIPULATORS SHE BLAMES.
She is very much part of the same MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX as every other politician, including Trump.
ELIZABETH WARREN IS NOT THE SOLUTION, SHE IS VERY MUCH PART OF THE PROBLEM!
GOD, the mindless masses are so desperate for a “saviour” that they’ll completely ignore the truth and realities, just for the mere ILLUSION of HOPE.
They’ll CONTINUE FALLING FOR THE MASSIVE LIES & PROPAGANDA.
I’m not bashing Warren here for the sake of supporting some other politician…THE ENTIRE SYSTEM HAS BEEN CORRUPTED.
AND LONG AS PEOPLE CONTINE FALLING FORR, AND SUPPORTING THAT CORRUPTED SYSTEM, IT WILL REMAIN A SYSTEM MERELY FOR THE .01 PERCENT.
The .01 percent control the .1 percent
The .1 percent control the 1 percent
The 1 percent control the 99 percent
THIS IS THE TRUE NATURE OF THE HIERARCHY OF WEALTH & POWER IN THE U.S. (AND WORLD).
The intimate relationships between the politicians and the neo-feudal Lords of today is nearly identical to the intimate relationships between the Lords and Vassals of medieval feudalism.
The U.S. has become a crony-capitalist, neo-feudal, Planned Market Economy (that is, “capitalism” for only the .01 percent).
PEOPLE NEED TO STOP FUPPORTING & FINANCING THEIR OWN SLAVERY!
I’ve no doubt that Warren and the rest of ’em are “campaigning” primarily to attract the necessary funding from the global aristocracy and the backing of the insider elites who control the DNC in order to be awarded the party nomination, not to attract popular votes… at least not at this stage of the game. The game changes once the major contributors and party insiders have, by hook or crook, ascertained who will “win” the primaries and run in the general against, presumably, the sitting president.
Warren is sending those power brokers the message that she will not reduce support for Israel one iota, nor will she put at risk profits of the MIC by laying out an assertive anti-war policy, even as she promises to attract “liberals” and “progressives” with promises on the economic, financial and monetary systems that the Deep State knows she can’t keep because they will oppose her tooth and nail even if she wins the election in a landslide. All the other Dems will pursue essentially the same strategy, bickering only about policy beyond their ability or their intention to really change–especially now with a solid GOP senate likely for several cycles to come and an essentially defunct filibuster.
Should any of them, including Ancient Joe Biden, Harris, Booker, or Hitlery herself win the office, just look to the federal policies of the past 25 years to predict the future. It’s easier to turn around a supertanker in a bathtub than to change American government policy, especially foreign policy. What we can never seem to do is turn around an aircraft carrier group once we station one of them off a designated “enemy’s” coastline. Soon we will be using our gunboats to defend “everyone’s” (i.e., our) right to traipse anywhere they (i.e., we) like in the Black Sea, the South China Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Wanna bet that Warren and the rest of the boys and girls vying for the blessings and money of the “leftist” oligarchs will not even debate such issues during the coming auditions, I mean campaign.
“Government is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex” -Frank Zappa.
Until we topple the script writers, it doesn’t matter who is president.
Elizabeth Warren is following the formula that any aspiring candidate does. Talk about the economy failing the middle class, which is not in the main true, praise our great military which can’t seem to win a war since WWII, and stay away from any criticism of Israel. You don’t, you not only fail to win election, you can’t even get in the ring.
Think about it. You need money to run. Where do you get it? And which institutions make the most money during elections. It is the major media who rake in billions over the years. What institutions are the vanguards of the American people, who speak truth to power. Why its the media that make the billions from the current process.
It goes even deeper…..these media are owned by the same firms that own everything else.
Take a look at the underlying ownership of the mass corporate media. Even Fox, MSNBC and CNN are largely owned by the same largest money-management and investment firms.
They exist to pit the followers of the “left” and “right”, their loyal readers, off each other, and profit in the process.
As followers of the “left” and “right” remain ignorantly distracted blaming & fighting each other over which sides “leaders” and policies are most corrupt, the same ultra-wealthy, the true ruling elite, continue to profit, whilst remaining unnoticed and unaccountable for their actions.
It’s called profiting by playing each side off each other.
Similarly, these same firms are the largest owners of the largest “competing” tech firms, telecoms, energy/utility co’s, insurance co’s. pharmaceutical co’s, defense contractors, banks, airlines, private detention co’s, and so on, and so on, and so on…..
One just has to do a search like “AT&T largest shareholders” (whom owns CNN) and go to the results from morningstar.com, or similar site and check the institutional owners.
You’ll see the same firms again, and again……..
Vanguard, BlackRock, StateStreet, Fidelity, Invesco, Geode, Wellington, Capital Research, etc.
What more, these firms operate collaboratively, LIKE A HUGE CARTEL, even existing as the largest shareholders of each other.
THESE FIRMS OWN UPWARDS OF 50 PERCENT OF ALL THE MARKETS.
The “Big Three” alone (Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street) account for over 17 percent ownership of all U.S. stocks).
Ben Bagdikian in his book “The New Media Monopoly” outlines how the media operate collectively, manufacturing both “news” and entertainment (people should be highly-concerned that the largest entertainment companies are similarly providing us the “news”).
Sadly, Bagdikian fails to outline this underlying ownership structure.
Even the entirety of the political process is ONE HUGE SCAM.
The corporate behemoths, in most every industry, that are owned by these largest investment firms “donate” hundreds of millions to political candidates, whom then spend most of that on advertising on media that are largely owned by these same firms.
THE MONEY STAYS IN THE CARTEL FAMILY.
Money spent on one end is profit made on the other, plus they get additional monies from political donations from the mindless public.
When Alpahbet, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, ExxonMobile, UnitedHealth, IBM, etc. “donate” to politicians, that money goes right back to the same investment firms as profit via political campaign advertisements.
It’s all about diverting more money to the .01 percent, the NEO-FEUDAL LORDS.
Even beyond that:
• Corporations owned by these institutional firms are among the largest political campaign donors, to politicians from both the “left” and “right” (even their “fringe” elements like the “Libertarians” and “Progressives”).
• Corporations owned by these institutional firms are among the largest spenders on lobbying activities, to politicians & bureaucrats of both the “left” and “right”.
• Not surprisingly, corporations owned by these institutional firms are also among the largest recipients of the over $110 BILLION given away ANNUALLY by the government in the form of corporate subsidies.
NOTICE A PATTERN HERE?
“DEMOCRACY” HAS JUST BECOME A HIGHLY CONCENTRATED AND CONTROLLED CONSUMER COMMODITY, CONCEALED & SUPPORTED BY MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT.
You’ve just characterized an elegant mechanism to ensure that a tiny controlling faction of self-appointed insiders decides how the great bulk of earth’s resources and how enormous numbers of human lives are to be wantonly squandered and made miserable. If merely achieving maximum delta S and minimum delta G in the shortest possible time interval the intricate mechanism you described might be considered a thing of beauty, if it weren’t actually so horrendous, so inimical to life and state of mind. It’s the diametric opposite of the utilitarian philosophy which strives for the greatest good for the greatest number. These creatures are steadfastly working for the greatest evil to befall the greatest number. Part of their plan is, of course, to vehemently deny this and hope you keep believing their lies.
What has been the “progressive resistance?” They spent the past quarter-century urging us to “stand in solidarity” to protect the advantages of the middle class, within our capitalist system — and to keep the consequences of corporate capitalism (our poverty crisis) swept under the carpet. Good people will “get up every morning, work hard, and play by all the rules.” We will wage a revolution to maintain the status quo.
Herman, it’s not just about the campaign finance (reform) question here? You seem to be suggesting it. In reality, this is about fiat currency itself. By this I mean, the twenty one TRILLION unaccounted for dollars our Pentagon boy’s seemed to have lost in a maze of accounting errors?. Visit the horrendous story at https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1407-mark-skidmore-on-the-pentagons-missing-trillions/
Since the generals don’t seem to care about the hemorrhage resulting from a wild spree of squandering, it can only translate into the Pentagon’s hidden realization or knowledge that our dollar is now in a hyper inflationary state and that the Amero will soon emerge to replace a now defunct fiat dollar. See my commentary above for my detailed analysis.
Yes, thank you, Sam Hussein for pointing out the big reason why several promising candidates like Elizabeth Warren must be scrutinized closely on Foreign Policy because they mindlessly accept 70 years of dysfunction and don’t seem to think they or we have a right to question it along with questioning domestic policy. I wish they paid some attention to Andrew Bacevich’s work – “America’s War for the Greater Middle East” – he confirms what many people already think about this even though there’s far too little discussion in the Congress or the press. Thank you for your work on this.
Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy speech 9/21/17 at Westminster College in Missouri is available on line. I don’t link to the video or the transcript because I think that using links places comments under edit review.
Towards the end of Bernie’s speech he reminds us of our role in the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and the installation of the “corrupt and brutal” Shah of Iran.”What impact did that American-led coup have on the entire region? What consequences are we still living with today?”; the overthrow of Allende and installation of the “torturing’ Pinochet in Chile; we supported “murderous regimes” in Guatemala and El Salvador; the “discredited domino effect” used to justify the deaths of “millions” of Vietnamese; Iraq – upended the “regional order of the Middle East and unleashed forces across the region and the world”.
“These are just a few examples of American foreign policy and interventionism……”
So Bernie openly shows concerns about these policies and now as you point out, has taken the lead on stopping the Saudi war on Yemen.
Barbara Lee is the only other member of Congress who seems to be asking questions about these policies…..
And I don’t yet hear anybody in the Congress asking about the brutal impact it all has had on Americans who have served and died in wrongheaded conflicts – not to mention their families. And the whistle blowers who are punished for telling us about wrongdoing in our name. And the drone operators who suffer from PTSD.
Bernie also mentions the Cold War mentality. Which is also getting the attention of some historians like Hajimu Masuda and Daniel Immerwahr
I think that some Americans on all sides of the political spectrum are very troubled by these endless regime change wars.
That plus the deregulation of the financial markets that shifted massive amounts of wealth from working people into the top few percent – may have been why some voters turned their backs on the establishment candidates out of disgust and distrust.
Evelyn, what your describing here, in a roundabout way, is “the law of unintentional consequences” from America’s stupid, moronic foreign policy misadventures & that they seem to keep repeating the same mistakes, in a sort of demented Groundhog Day repetition? For every action there is a reaction & no better example of this is the so called US War on Terror in the Middle East? They illegally install a puppet dictator in Iran & what happens? Americans taking hostage & the Shah disposed installing a Muslim Theocracy? The US illegally invades Iraq? What happens? They create ISIL & strengthen the Taliban in Afghanistan who now control most of that Country & can’t be defeated by US Forces despite 17 yrs if occupation? They try to topple Assad? The result is Russian intervention & now a humiliating withdrawal from a Country they were illegally in anyway? It seems the only qualification required to be POTUS is to be a dimwit or a moron!
I bow to the wisdom, insight and information shared by the preceding sages.
There is an alternative to Warren and Sanders. Tulsi Gabbard is committed to becoming president of the united states. She has said she cannot think of anything that will stop her. She has a clear view of ending regime change wars and redirecting national effort to increased quality of life for everyone.
Yes, Tulsi’s great. Although for me she would need to show me whether she is also committed to the effort to restore the New Deal; Glass Steagall, etc etc.
Similar to Elizabeth Warren who is weak on challenging foreign policy, Tulsi needs to prove she understands the crisis for the middle class created over 50 years of dismantling of the New Deal and the corruption that followed.
If only it were that easy. We are talking about deeply entrenched interests with trillions of dollars at stake. This power has taken decades to consolidate, and will not be relinquished without a fight (to the death).
This is why the MIC has operations in most if not all states. What candidate is going to throw all those people out of work and expect to get elected or reelected? Bernie and Warren know the drill; you go up against the MIC and you don’t get to play, no committees, no chairs, just sit and watch the wheels go round while you run out for sandwiches and sharpen everyone’s pencils for them.
BTW, Tulsi rocks!
Tulsi, like Trump, would be immediately accused of collusion with Russia – and this would be done by her Democratic opponents. Just look at the unethical (if not illegal) tactics, with extensive mainstream media cooperation, used on Bernie Sanders.
I won’t even consider Warren precisely because she turns a blind eye to the war machine. Too big a flaw in my book.
No, she did not “nail” the economy. She recited a couple of the usual cliches while pandering to the middle class. No legitimate eco0nomic discussion — and certainly, no progressive discussion — could exclude a focus on the consequences of our capitalist system, our poverty crisis.
A very good piece by Sam Husseini, calling Warren into question on many important matters.
Warren’s “Right now, Washington works great for the wealthy and the well-connected. It’s just not working for anyone else,” actually troubles me quite a bit.
Superficially, of course it’s true, but that kind of line has a lot in common with corporate advertising slogans, and I think it has about the same weight and importance and endurance – which is to say, very little.
You can’t disagree with it, but it says nothing of substance, contains nothing actionable. It commits her to nothing. It is a momentary battle cry, quickly to be forgotten, as at the opening of the next season’s advertising campaign.
I find much the same with some of her other rhetoric.
On matters I consider most crucial, Elizabeth Warren does not have a great record.
She voted for the truly unconscionable increases in budget for the Pentagon. Budgets which not only waste vast resources, they direct the nation’s attention away from so many important matters, and, effectively, such spending on the military absolutely commits you to war.
Where you put your resources tells me infinitely more about your values than any slogans or nice-sounding speeches.
Great standing armies have always been a powerful inducement to war.
There is a long historical record, including the assessment by great historians that the carnage of WWI reflected the very real impact of great standing armies. And Hitler’s destructive path across Europe could not have happened had he not been allowed to re-arm Germany.
Well, the Frankenstein we call the Pentagon is the greatest standing army of all time. And please note that the United States has been at almost constant war for two decades, wars which have killed a couple of million souls and created many millions of desperate refugees – all fought to no good, or even clear, purpose.
When resources to do something are at hand, they tend always to get used. Virtually unaccountably, too, knowing what we now know about the Pentagon’s bookkeeping and accountability for literally trillions of dollars.
Warren’s statements and votes on sadly-manufactured and dangerous issues like Iran’s supposed aggression and terrorism are very discouraging.
She is an old admirer and associate of Hillary Clinton, one of the most dishonest and murderous people in the international politics of our generation. It is not in the least an exaggeration to say that Hillary ranks with the likes of Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu.
The resources squandered on the Pentagon and security services have many other effects, none of them good. They feed the gigantic corporations serving the Pentagon, like a blood bank for vampires. They feed the entire class of wealthy and influential people who own and run those corporations, working towards the greater division of American society into “haves” and “have nots.” They subsidize the dishonest press and media conglomerates that relentlessly serve the interests of the ”haves.”
They even keep the nation in a kind of dangerous division where many ordinary people do not even see Washington as their legitimate government, and for the simple reason that it does virtually nothing for them and pretty much ignores them.
The Washington power establishment focuses on running the world and keeping the privileged “haves” happy. That’s where the resources and career opportunities are for aspiring American politicians. What does Warren represent to change any of that? Absolutely nothing that I can see.
Here’s an interesting fact to think about. Russia’s military has a budget of about $46 billion, which compares to more than $700 billion for the United States. Yet Russia is able to defend itself, and indeed is quite innovative in the technology of defense.
It also is responsible for no threatening aggression on the planet, whatever some Democrats and Republicans may say. It is America ringing Russia with threatening weapons and making countless threats and irresponsible charges. After all, apart from Trump’s crude noises, Obama was bombing and killing people every single day of his administration. He destroyed whole well-run societies such as Libya, started the covert war in Syria, and threatened Russia. He fomented the counterproductive coup in Ukraine.
In all of this, Hillary Clinton was his more-than-willing helper. Recall her charming jokes like, “We came, we saw, he died” laughing said of Gaddafi, a good leader for his people. Or her “Can’t we just drone him or something?” said of Julian Assange, one of the heroic figures of our time. And Elizabeth Warren supported it all.
I see Elizabeth Warren as having virtually nothing to offer. If you do not address fundamentals, you will change nothing but the slogans. And, good God, America has far too much of that already.
And finally, she has a huge silliness factor to overcome. That whole needless and pointless business of hers about having Native American heritage just becomes a source for jokes, but it means more than that. It calls her basic judgment and values into question. Why would anyone seriously concerned with America’s dangerous course play such trivial games?
“Obama was bombing and killing people every single day of his administration. He destroyed whole well-run societies such as Libya, started the covert war in Syria, and threatened Russia. He fomented the counterproductive coup in Ukraine.”
You forgot the coup in Honduras. Otherwise, a great post!
Russia, China & everyone else with a thinking brain can see that the wheels have fallen off the US Hegemonic Train that has railroaded over the World & run everyone under its murderous tracks? The lashing out with belicose Military threats, Sabre rattling & Trade Wars is the start of the endgame for the US Empire? America needs to acknowledge the sad FACT that it has LOST the Wars of its own arrogant making, from Afghanistan to Syria & every Country it has invaded & needs to cuts it’s losses & GET OUT NOW! Prolonging the conflicts just exacerbates the HUMILIATION of it’s DEFEAT as the so called enemies of the US, have something the US Empire doesn’t have & that is the luxury of TIME to wait out & exhaust American lives, Political & Public will & Military Moral & Trillions of dollars of dead Money! The fact remains that both Democrats & Republicans are united in the same Military objectives of Global Corporate domination backed up by its MIC! The US Hegemony’s goals are the same as every previous World power which is Power & domination over other Nations & theft of their natural resources! Thanks to Imperial overreach, the US Empire has made the same mistakes as previous Empires & is paying the price! Be that Republican or Democrat Red or Blue, Elephant or Donkey which are appropriate symbols for both American Political Party’s as one party is an ASS & the other a lumbering BEAST, until both Warmongering Party’s face up to reality & stop meddling, murdering & interfering in other Countries affairs then nothing will change?
Warren is a classic PEP (Progressive Except for Palestine) who supports whatever Israel wants. Meantime, the implicit suggestion at the end of the article that the ACLU criticism of the congressional resolution on Yemen is not good overlooks the content of the criticism, which makes it pretty clear that even should this resolution pass it will not do much to constrain our support for the Saudis’ attack, and virtually nothing about any US actions in Yemen….
No you can’t “nail” economy and not foreign policy. They are inextricably woven together. Which is why we’ll not have “Medicare for All”. A nation who gratuitous murders children will not provide care for its own.
ELIZABETH WARREN AND US MILITARISM
There has never been a doubt in this writer’s mind as to where Warren stands on
militarism. Her “service” on the Armed Services Committee is never
mentioned. In addition she has CO-SPONSORED militaristic efforts put
forth by AIPAC ( American Israeli lobby). She has been requested to
withdraw all support of this legislation (by me) with special scrutiny of Cong. Betty
McCullum’s law as to reasons.
While there is no proof of her accepting any favors in public at this point,
there can be no question whatsoever that Elizabeth Warren and her campaign
staff will highlight these positions as reasons for their support in the future.
What her DNA says re: her Native American background may be, it is
Her positions on issues and her role on many other issues as member of the
Senate Armed Services Committee are most relevant indeed.
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA
‘It’s imperative to criticize presumable progressive politicians and parse their words carefully. It might open the door to actual improvements in policy’
Agree with that! However we have a problem when 30% of the population vote Democrat , 30 % vote Republican and 40% vote for noone!
Deterioration of the social welfare system, social democracy in Europe and the old New Deal arrangements in the United States that came out of the 1930s. Which both Republicans and Democrats have resided .
You have a working class very much more agitated ,very anxious ,very worried . You see that in the movement to the right politically in Germany, the support for right in France, the anger of the French working class against the Socialist Party. It hasn’t helped them.You can add Brexit, the vote for Mr. Trump in the United States or the vote for Bernie Sanders, who for the first time in 50 years an American politician can take the name socialist and millions of people vote for him.
All of these are signs of the failure of this system to manage the transition to extraordinary wealth for the top 5 percent.
The political impact. If you make a tiny group of people relatively speaking 5 percent or whatever, the number is very very wealthy; you plunge the mass of people into a declining frightening situation, you are going to have political explosion.
the rich knowing that the mass of people are angry have decided to manage this situation by buying the political system; by literally taking it away from any democratic foundation. problems getting worse but cannot look to the political system for any kind of solution.
What do they do? they try wild things; they vote Brexit, or they vote Trump whatever.
Whether you are in the areas to which capitalism is gone and is growing; or whether you’re in the areas that capitalism is abandoning; you have a level of tension between the controllers and the controlled. That makes it impossible to know whether this is going to be a phase or whether it might be a system that can’t handle the contradictions. Warren will do nothing and the system will continue to fester under the global neoliberal /neoconservative mantra
Correction on Sen. Sanders: Research his past. He really is an interesting individual, a former legitimately-progressive activist. Sanders used to claim support for democratic socialism, a system that ensures modest incomes even for those who are left jobless. He used to point to American poverty as proof of the significant short-comings of our capitalist system, and he advocated for strengthening our former welfare aid programs. Then came the B. Clinton, who successfully sold right wing ideology to the beat of a rock and roll song. He ended actual welfare aid, and took the first steps to similarly “reform” Social Security (targeted the disabled). In deference to the Democrats, liberal media ignored the consequences ever since. By the time of his 2016 run, Sanders had leaned to the right, sweeping his former support for dem. socialism under the carpet. In US politics, you have to sell what the paying customers want to buy.
Your observations seem to me to be devoid of a feel for US history upon which one might accurately judge what is “naturally” American. Americans do not for instance, believe in a “social welfare system” they believe in a “safety net” ie a far less expansive thing. It took a huge depression to accept even minimal social welfare. Today they believe that capitalism might pay for minimal help for those in danger, not provide a base level of lifestyle against the market. You label the 5% which is a huge mistake, as it only takes $166,000 to be in that group. Two parents who have careers as nurses or university profs or car salesmen make that much, and while they will be giving and humane, they are not joining any socialist bandwagon by any means. So you are out of touch, I think you should look to see if you are not subsumed by ideology to the detriment of clear thinking. Finally, one of the greatest social justice warriors in Britain, George Galloway, who DOES believe in socialism and a base level of support, is for Brexit even if there is no deal. Easy enough to see him articulate it on Youtube: he believes a nation must control it’s own borders. Brexit is not a right wing thing.
PS I am a left progressive, that is why I read here. A specialty of mine is US history, and it’s remarkable to me how little modern progressives actually know about what an American is, how they’ve reacted to various crises and what they tend to accept as fair.
It took a huge depression to accept even minimal social welfare.
“Minimal social welfare”?
By the eve of Pearl Harbor, FDR & the New Deal built the most extensive social welfare system that the world had ever seen. (Measured by fraction of GDP). We were more Swedish than Sweden! See Theda Skocpol or Edwin Amenta for this. Skocpol also described a forgotten US welfare system based on widow’s, mothers, and veterans pensions that preceded Bismarck’s, usuallly Eurocentrically taken as the first model.
The US pattern is bursts of “social welfare” activity followed by decades of retrenchment – but the reaction never succeeds in turning back the gains. See James Galbraith, The Predator State, chapter on The Enduring New Deal – for how New Deal (& a lot of worse) “socialism” – government spending – is what keeps the US economy afloat. The crap about free markets is just rhetoric. And it looks like we are in for one of those bursts of progressive activity now.
Agree with you on Brexit. The EU & EZ are utterly in neoliberal hands, an obstacle to prosperity, progress, socialism and international cooperation. It creates conflicts where there were none.
Fair criticism of both figures. As the author states, acknowledging the influence of the military industrial media intelligence complex (‘MIMIC,’ anyone?) on US foreign policy should be a commonplace. Less clear to me is when politicians of an age to be running for US President (Warren’s and Sanders’ generations), is this a case of a candidate’s realpolitical discretion or of being a consumer of manufactured consent? Sanders, for example, could be much better on foreign policy, but that he isn’t may speak as much to his presumptions as to a political calculus.
Excellent and pointed article. The Democrats’ candidates have been essentially silent on foreign affairs since Bill Clinton first ran. Why, since they are so rabid about domestic matters? Israel, perhaps, but more likely an understanding with the CIA/MIC and Wall Street donors that they will not interfere with whatever those parties want in foreign policy. It’s why I, traditionally a Democrat, refused to vote for Clinton and won’t vote for anyone until both halves of policy are joined by one candidate.
For all of the media clatter and the MeToo fervor about the new “progressive” movement in the party, I find little maturity and a lot of inverted sexism trumping clear heads and excuse me, I can say all I want in my personal bubble, but it does not belong at the congressional rostrum. What we now deem starring politicians are still in their high school locker rooms. They will not save America.
Democrats have been anything but silent on foreign policies. My gosh, they spent the past two years vigorously working to build support for a catastrophic nuclear war against Russia (while the Rs worked to build support for war against China). Any claim about a “progressive wing” of the Democrat Party is just routine political marketing (so be sure to send your urgent donation!). By the time liberals stuck a “bold progressive” button on (pro-war, anti-poor) Hillary Clinton’s lapel, we knew the word had lost all meaning.
For all the noise that was made about the new three- to six progressive Democrats (depending on who you count), the “freshmen class” has eleven new Democrats that were “former” CIA and military intelligence agents, who if not the face of the Party fits with its corrupted soul. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/17/dems-n17.html
The feet of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, etc… must be held to the fire until these so-called progressives denounce US imperialism.
With all due respect that is exactly the advice a World Corporatist Neoliberal infiltrator to one of their election campaigns would suggest they do – to help them lose. Winning politics is not about raving the truth, it’s about raving a lot of what people want to hear, becoming elected, then doing better through leadership and the power gained by being elected.
There is no hope for the future of our species until we stop the war machine. We will never succeed in that regard until we demand it. “Lesser of evils” BS is what got us where we are now. I’m no “world corporatist neoliberal infiltrator’. I’m sick to death of endless war. We need to abandon the D’s and R’s in droves for the Green Party in 2020.
Rather than hold their feet to the fire, chère Charlotte, shouldn’t we rather leave them all out in the cold?
The cost of the war on terror has been estimated by several sources to be nearly $5000,000,000,000 since 2001. This money has gone to the small number of military contractors in the USA. The tax payers of the USA have paid that bill. The same taxpayers who see more and more government services cut and who are seeing their wealth decline in real terms. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.
WAKE UP, AMERICANS!
Hey John, did you mean $5 Trillion was wasted on the Wars or more appropriately the War for Profit racket using Terror as the excuse? If they say $5 trillion is the official cost of “the US War on Terror” or more fittingly it’s Wars of Terror, you can guarantee that the real cost is probably quadruple that cost & more like $20 trillion? The IRS collects $4 trillion from total US Taxation per year but the outgoing costs to Govt such as Military spending & Social schemes such as Medicare, Medicaid etc & other expenses total more than $6 trillion? With those numbers you can see why the Govt is constantly in debt from budget deficits & China can’t be blamed for poor American fiscal management? So the question must be asked, how has the US managed to get away with this debt accumulation without going broke as technically America is completely insolvent & bankrupt? Obviously they don’t rely on Taxation for funds to cover the costs as they don’t gather enough money out of Taxation & even less now due to the Tax cuts? How do they get away with this? Well it’s thanks to the Federal Reserve ability to print billions of dollars, of what amounts to, as counterfeit phoney money, out of thin air! Also the Petrodollar system also enables this ponzi scheme to continue with the US dollar as the Worlds Reserve currency? So really Americans should be paying zero Taxes because their Govt doesn’t really need your Tax dollars just as long as the Fed can print trillions of dollars of fake money until it collapses!
Wow. Has Warren hoodwinked another person to think she is a good candidate concerning the domestic economy? Maybe Husseini is, like Warren, a happy Capitalist that believes in markets and just has noticed that the some powerful people using corrupt politicians has messed it up. Maybe Husseini, like Warren, doesn’t want to radically change from a system designed for the benefit of the powerful at the expense of the many, but believes the chimera of the American promise can be restored with just a few tweaks.
I don’t know. I don’t know Husseini. Maybe Husseini doesn’t think that way and has just been taken in by Warren? Or maybe Husseini hasn’t been taken in and is using a rhetorical device in praising Warren’s domestic economic views in order to get those who like her because of that to listen to some real, valid analysis of her foreign policy failings? I hope it’s the last option even though I tire of it constantly being used in that it tends to strengthen false narratives that have hoodwinked so many. Oh well.
The extensive quote that Husseini uses opening the article is not part of Warren’s announcement video. Her actual video, in my careful listening, is not really very progressive as it plays to a certain ongoing narrative that justifies Capitalism and the reality that some succeed in it and most don’t.
Here’s what I wrote in another site about it-
Here’s a transcript of what she said in the video and my analysis:
“In our country, if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to be able to take care of yourself and the people you love. That’s a fundamental promise of America- a promise that should be true for everyone.”
The promise is very conservative and smacks of NeoLiberalism. Only if you work ‘hard’ and ‘play by the rules’ does the promise apply to you. This theme runs throughout her video. She paints the promise, like all conservative Capitalists, as one of opportunity not of economic justice.
The last phrase is her bringing in the current NeoLiberal version of identity politics. It’s not obvious at this point, but later she’ll make sure we understand what she means. The reality of some succeeding in this land of opportunity while others don’t because they don’t work as ‘hard’ or ‘play by the rules’ should be inclusive of all races and minorities and sexes.
That is, if 15% of the entire population is of a certain minority then only 15% of minimum wage workers working hard to someday have their kids succeed should be of that race and the elite professional class should also have 15% of that minority. But actually questioning if there should be such an economic disparity of class like this is not the issue. In the land of equal opportunity we still will have some do well (because of their ‘hard work’) and some not do as well.
“Growing up in Oklahoma, that promise came through for me and my family. After my older brothers joined the military, and I was still just a kid, my daddy had a heart attack and couldn’t work. My mom found a minimum wage job at Sears and that job saved our house and our family. My daddy ended up as a janitor, but he raised a daughter who got to be a public school teacher, a law professor, and a Senator. We got a real opportunity to build something.”
There it is. The maudlin personal story of success that tells us that the land of promise of opportunity works- or in Warren’s message used to work. This is how all successful people see things. A constant repetition of samples of one. Meanwhile the near 100% of those families in the same situation where their kids don’t become teachers then professors then senators and then declaring a run for the presidency are not included in the sample: all those families where the kids went on to work as janitors and minimum wage box store workers just like their parents.
But for Warren Capitalism works, it just doesn’t quite work as well now and she’ll restore it to a style where it does work. She’s going to promise to restore the promise- can I say it- to make America great again!
“Working families today face a lot tougher path than my family did. And families of color face a path that is steeper and rocker, a path made even harder by the impact of generations of discrimination. I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. What I’ve found is terrifying: these aren’t cracks that families are falling into- they’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack.”
Like I said. The problem isn’t Capitalism itself with the idea that success is based on righteousness, the problem is just two things. First it has been corrupted by greed. Second it wasn’t extended to minorities.
“How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice. They crippled unions so no one could stop them, dismantled the financial rules meant to keep us safe after the Great Depression, and cut their own taxes so they paid less than their secretaries and janitors.”
The elite wanted a fatter slice of the pie. That’s the problem. Not that the entire promise is a chimera. The elite then did bad things to get those fatter slices. Well, duh. They did bad things in the first place to create the system, not just corrupt it.
“After Wall Street crashed our economy in 2008, I left the classroom to go to Washington and confront the broken system head on. We created America’s first consumer watchdog to hold the big banks accountable.”
Well, the watchdog is better than nothing. But real reform would have broken the big banks up and sent the bankers to prison. Even that is compromise. What really was needed was nationalization of the banks. But Elizabeth Warren is a proud Capitalist, who believes in markets.
“I never though I’d run for office- not in a million years. But when Republican Senators tried to sabotage the reforms and run me out of town, I went back to Massachusetts and ran against one of them- and I beat him.
“Today, corruption is poisoning our democracy. Politicians look the other way while big insurance companies deny patients life-saving coverage, while big banks rip off consumers and while big oil companies destroy this planet. Our government’s supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected.”
Come on. It’s always been a tool for the wealthy and well-connected. But to admit that is to admit the entire system is the problem, not that some bad players that have taken advantage of an otherwise good and decent system.
“The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us. People who will do or say anything to hang on to power point the finger at anyone who looks or thinks or prays or loves differently than they do.”
She’s got to make sure she is an echo chamber of the Clintonista focus on Identity politics- because if you don’t see the real problem as economic injustice that means we need a revolution of the system, you have to focus on the only injustice NeoLiberals will discuss- unequal opportunity. Not unequal outcomes.
“But this dark path doesn’t have to be our future. We can make our democracy work for all of us. We ca make our economy work for all of us. We can rebuild America’s middle class- but this time, we got to build it for everyone. No matter where live in America and no matter where your family came from in the world, you deserve a path to opportunity. Because no matter what our differences most of us want the same thing: to be able to work hard, play be the same set of rules, and take care of the people we love.”
Oh, shes comes back to it. A land of the promise of *opportunity* for those who work *hard* and play by the rules. Is it clear yet that Elizabeth Warren is just as much a NeoLiberal as Hillary Clinton? She’s just a ‘kinder, gentler’ one.
“That’s the America I’m fighting for and it’s why today I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. But the outcome of this election will depend on you.
“In the last two years, millions of people have done more than they ever thought they would to protect the promise of America. And here’s what we learned: if we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together, we can win- we can and we will.”
Go back and watch Hillary Clinton’s announcement video in 2015. This is the same crap. Fight for you. America’s promise. We’re in this together.
A lot of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party folk are going to be taken in by this. Even Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk (https://youtu.be/lbGXG_AE71E) was somewhat taken in, saying her rhetoric of taking on the corporations sounds good, even though she has no substance on any issue what so ever. So instead of grading her video with a D he gave her a C+.
So, no thank you, Elizabeth Warren.
Thanks, Miranda, for your serious questions about Elizabeth Warren. At the moment, until proven otherwise, I think she has a very narrow perspective that would not justify her being a serious candidate. She understands very well, I think, how the games played by the big banks (in collusion with a corrupted government) ripped people off into bankruptcy and ruin. She’d make a good head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Because she was one of the very few people who understood how the banks shook down the middle class and spoke out convincingly about it, she was catapulted into her Senate seat and now, it seems, she believes that’s enough of a platform to run on for president.
I think you are justified questioning her view of Capitalism until she clarifies that and differentiates herself from Hillary Clinton who seemed indifferent to the ravages of crony capitalism.
Milton Friedman observed that corporate management is responsible only for delivering profits to corporate owners “within rules of the game”, any care for social consequences is up to the political system. If the political system is in their hands (and to a large extend it is), we are screwed (and to a large extend we are). ANY managerial elite will skew the “rules of the game” in its favor, so we need a mix system, experts, owners etc. running particular activities and political system with popular input imposing “rules of the game” to “common benefit”. [Friedman is actually claiming something more, namely that “rules of the game” should only assure free competition and lack of deception, which is simplistic to put it mildly.]
One problem is that the population must be aware that the rules can be changed to their benefit, and that is relatively easy in cases that pertain to personal experience. Foreign and military policy is pretty far from personal experience of, say, 95%, so the population to some extend does not care at all. That gives free reign to experts with personal interests in wasting money — they get some share of it — and if the results also cause death, starvation and other misery, mostly far away, so be it.
Realistically, going against the deranged “common wisdom” still has severe costs for a politician like Sanders and Warren who have seen people like Kucinich being marginalized, ridiculed, having very well funded primary opponents etc. Still, Trump have shown, the popular support of what I termed “deranged common wisdom” is very shallow, and people like Sanders, Warren, AOS etc. should be pressured to realize the dangers of tactical opportunism on foreign/military issues.
I think she has already clarified her views when she said she was a Capitalist and she believes in the market. She has made it clear she left the Republican Party not because she changed from her Reaganite views, but because she became convinced Democrats were now better at protecting the market in the mid 90s.
Basically, she’s another Obama. I mean it was Obama who championed her in the first place.
This is the best analysis of the next hope and change candidate to be trotted out by the Democratic Party for the next round of charlatanism in November 2020. Both political parties in the US are in the thrall of the Wall Street banksters and their evil twins, the war profiteers. Capitalism is proven to be an utter failure for everyone but the most rapacious and cynical of society.
Instead of supporting the capitalist likes of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or the cast of new sparkle ponies the Democrats foist on the gullible, it is time to overthrow the corrupt government in the US. Capitalism can no longer be tweaked. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal promised a respite for the working class, eventually the forces of reaction returned the system to where it is presently.
I’d prefer a New Deal Democrat to what’s going on the party now. I don’t think Warren is a New Dealer- I think she’s just a kinder, gentler New Democrat.
The problem is, there is no magical economics that works better than capitalism for providing gainful employment and wealth in huge nations. You overlook that the foundation of Western philosophy is personal property rights, not group outcomes.
A wide study of the options for people always turns back to capitalism, not because it is beautiful and noble and good, but because it best matches human nature, which is strongly given to cheating, self dealing, and self-excuse. I wonder if you know Marx had kids he didn’t support, never worked and was a moocher, and that Lenin had a Rolls Royce? That Ralph Nader is a millionaire? Soviet leadership had special rights to comparative luxury goods from the first days of the Revolution in 1917.
Be idealistic inside your own head, but stop kidding yourself, regulated capitalism may be aggravating but it is the best system for operating an economy when compared to all the rest.
Nope, I won’t be idealistic only in my own head. I won’t shut up and be quiet.
You go ahead and promote a regulated Capitalism: don’t be pragmatic only in your own head, don’t shut up and be quiet.
We can both promote what we think is what is needed and have an open debate and discussion as a society.
Thanks for your analysis, Miranda. Normally, I don’t like to wade through long comments, but yours was thoughtful and full of meaty tidbits, well worth the time.
I’m of a similar opinion, that Warren is disconnected from the Zeitgeist of this new era, and that a grand paradigm shift is needed economically, ecologically, and socially. I wonder how many focus groups were needed to tweak her announcement message so as to increase its mass appeal? I’m not sure the same worn-out phrases and promises are going to do it this time, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
We’ve trapped all the beaver, shot all the buffalo, fished out the oceans, mined most of the minerals, pumped most of the oil, consolidated most of the wealth, etc. How much longer can the commodification of our planetary resources (including humanity) continue before it all crashes down?
Thanks! (How’s that for a short comment?)
This is an example for holding their feet to the fire: analysing what they actually say and its underlying meaning. Thanks.
Warren’s interview w/Maddow was very uninspiring. She had me until she got to an exit strategy & working w/our allies to stop the endless wars. “Exit strategy” in D.C. speak means we never leave.
By the shores of old Potomac stand the domes and marble columns,
In the distance stark reminders mark the graves of fallen soldiers,
Solemn in the sunrise spires shadows cast recall the battles.
From the east came threats to conquer beaten back beyond the waters,
Lizzie Warren gazed upon them, songs recalled the carnage flood,
Lands beyond the purple mountains beckoned with a call to slaughter,
Western riches lay before them, lusty calls to blood and plunder,
Story tellers now forgotten chanted verses singing praises,
Lizzie knew the songs recited by the shores of old Potomac-
Songs the paleface Pat Buchanan sang beside the river banks.
“Entitlements will rob the future making weak our generations,
Fifty six percent of taxes can’t be mentioned those are sacred,
They insure the chance to plunder, blame instead the wasteful spending,
Blame the giveaways and takers, never name those weapons makers.”
Lizzie trembled at the prospect by the shining river waters,
Old Potomac tribal elders chanted wisdom through the ages,
She could campaign by those waters only heeding sage advisors,
Sacred wisdom by those waters keep the joint chief braves entitled,
Wampum tribute calms the waters, old Potomac tribal waters,
Brave lone gunmen still inspire tales the paleface elders tell.
Old Potomac singing waters chanted wisdom Lizzie heeded,
Filled with fear, her message pleaded, lacking courage she proceeded
Campaign plans she sorely needed lay in songs the elders chanted,
Tribal joint chief elder wisdom holds the key to campaign pledges:
Heed the paleface Pat Buchanan, never name the wasted taxes,
Sing the songs that praise war axes by the shores of old Potomac,
Never question joint chief wisdom, pay the wampum tribute pending,
Warpath braves require spending, war dance fever never ending,
By the shores of old Potomac, courage angers wise ancestors,
Praise is sung in tribal tales to those who spoke with fork-ed tongue.
Wise commissions made reports to pow-wows posed as learned courts,
Chiefs assembled to pronounce each verdict as a learned clan,
With confidence they could announce, and then the drums would beat the plan,
Decisions always favored war along Potomac’s mighty shore,
The singing waters would proclaim what common sense could not explain.
The tribal songs would eulogize the fallen sacrificed in vain
With tales the elders’ solemn gaze recited to intimidate,
The truth was known, but none would speak, the songs were sung invoking fate,
The wisdom guiding her campaign embraced what courage would disdain:
She’d serve the Pat Buchanan tribe, a blind eye turned to tax debate.
Hey, at least I threw in a couple of rhymes. Longfellow didn’t even bother!
Thanks for the laughs, FG! The absurd Hiawatha theme updated to “joint chiefs” works very well.
She needs to be questioned hard about military spending. Is she OK with it increasing more? Will she allow it to eat the Social Security system?
Excellent piece. The reality, of course, is that American motives for all this is global domination. We are basically a bunch of pussies. If we can’t control everything, we’re terrified and put on a John Bolton like bluster. Until the world stops cooperating with the US (and this means voting on resolutions instead of abstaining), we’re just going to keep going as we have been which has been getting us rich and a lot of everybody else murdered. I keep wondering when the dream will end and we are confronted with our war crimes and other bad behavior.
She needs to be questioned hard about where she stands on military spending. Is she willing to let it continue to increase? And what are the consequences? Will she allow it to eat the Social Security system?
I wrote a reply regarding Elizabeth Warren’s positions and her
role in general as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
My comment of a few days ago was never printed.
(Incidentally, I included a few examples of her Senate actions
of of the committee.)
No answer from Warren. No expression (to date) in this Consortiumnews.
—Peter Loeb, Boston. MA
PS: I hope this comment appears after the one by Bill. That is often
not the case at CNN I have noticed.
Something generally not considered when considering Warren… Her politics have changed very little from her days as a moderate Republican in the 1970s.
But, Amerika has moved so far Right since the ’70s that Warren is now considered to be a “progressive extremist”. Simply because she advocates a few modest controls on Wall Street.
And even though she advocates the Necons’/DNC’s suicidal We shall *never* have peace and justice, as long as our politics is this far removed from reality.
The subtitle “silent on war profiteers” is very illustrative when it comes to US foreign policy; If I had been Misses Warren, I would have mentioned the urgent necessity of reducing the military budget which has surpassed more than half of the discretionary budget. Moreover, she should have address the need to invest heavily in US infrastructure as a way of reducing unemployment. I still remained unconvinced by her rhetoric when it comes to attacking US unconstitutional foreign adventures worldwide.
I am afraid that if Misses Warren were to become US president; America’s criminal and corrupt foreign policy will continue unabated. Once I read the article penned by Mr. Hussein, I left with the impression that business will remained unchanged.
Warren is out campaigning to “protect the special prosecutor” who has “already gotten two dozen indictments.” suggesting his operation should continue another six months, The spectacle of supposedly liberal Democrats demanding continuation of what is an obvious FBI/MI6 witch hunt designed to prevent Trump from collaborating with Russia on matters of foreign policy is a sight to behold. Her foreign policy, if it could be called that, is simply a warmed-over version of Clinton’s neocon warmongering. Her economic policy, no longer based on return to Glass-Steagall, is nothing more than the tired old refrain against “corruption.” Not a word about restoring manufacturing jobs.
To some extend, the political power of health-related corporations is much larger than military-industrial. The total of political contributions from those sectors is larger, the part of GDP that they “process” is larger. Of course, this metric does not tell whole story. MIC has power which is larger than shown in financial measures. It is connected with client states that run their own lobbying efforts, and it has more supportive billionaires etc.
Politically, money waisted by MIC are easiest to cut. For example, replacing the nuclear arms race with ever more precise and evasive missiles and anti-missiles with renewed treaties would produce mental shock in some think tanks, but it is hard to see a negative impact on the general population, while big changes in the health care sector are felt by all, and there is always a minority (if not a majority) that is affected negatively, at least in a short term. A progressive leader with fiscal responsibility would be derelict tolerating such waste that increases global dangers and wrecks havoc.
All of the progressives appear uninformed and at its worst cheerleaders regarding the pernicious consequences of US foreign policy. Sanders’ record for the most part supports the endless wars and the threat of yet more wars, consistently voting for funding the military throughout the Middle East. I wonder if he has considered where the money is to come from to finance social spending with no cuts in the “defense” budget.
Thanks Sam for reminding us of left leaning Democrats unwavering support for empire.
Neither Warren, nor Sanders, nor any of the so-called “contenders,” are willing to accept the obvious – that the end to these permanent wars will involve the cooperation of the United States with Russia, and ultimately China in the rebuilding of a region trashed by the two past administrations. From the beginning of his campaign, Trump, in the face of major freakout from all quarters, has insisted that cooperation with Russia, which is the only nation that is in negotiations with all parties except the terrorists, is essential, earning him the wrath of the pro-Empire forces of the West. Warren has never distanced herself from Hillary Clinton’s insane demand for a Syrian no-fly zone to protect the terrorists and therefor initiate war with Russia. In contrast to Tulsi Gabbard, Warren’s inability to support the unqualified withdrawal of the US from Syria, are warnings as to who would actually be running Warren’s foreign policy.
Basically, the entire American socio-political zeitgeist is so skewed towards rabidly pushing an oppressive program of global hegemony while fraudulently but cheerfully labelling it the universal pursuit of “freedom and democracy” that any national candidate would be committing seppuku if they even tentatively poked at the truth, sort of the way William Orkin ended his career in the media yesterday. If Warren tried bashing the MIC and Washington’s vast assortment of glorious little wars, Trump would escalate from calling her Pocahantas to the 21st century Tokyo Rose. The mass media might even join in, in spite of being virulently anti-Trump. Of course, I think she should do so anyway. No one with a sane foreign policy is going to win the next presidential election in any event.
I think our only hope of taking on the propaganda is to have a third party candidate make it to the TV debates and get to challenge the lies directly in front of the American people. The MSM power structure has to be broken down, and the only way to do it is to get someone with “star power” to infiltrate the system. They would have to have enough money to fight “tooth and nail” to get their message out.
I want to know where Warren was in 2016. Her domestic policy agenda was completely in line with Sanders, yet someone must have convinced her it was “Hillary’s turn”. That proves to me that she hasn’t an ounce of integrity. If she gets into the primaries I would expect the exact same “bait and switch” sheep dog antics from her that Bernie pulled in 2016, and she’d wind up trying to herd the progressives over to corporate sponsored warmonger from column B. Fool me once….
Warren is Pocahontas already, so she has to have a strategy for that. Repeating insults more often is not necessarily productive, they also make Trump himself look ridiculous, any anti-Trump candidate has to capitalize on offensive aspects of Trump’s image. Politicians are more afraid of concerted vilifications from a myriad dispersed (but coordinated) sources, like what happens to Jeremy Corbyn, and what happened to John Kerry and many others here.
Liz needs to get the SNL writers to turn this Pocahontas beat down by reversing it into a joke we may all laugh at… are you laughing at me, or are you laughing with me strategy is the only way for her to combat this ‘lying Liz Pocahontas’ handle. Then Warren after accomplishing that would do well to let it die a peaceful death.
On the other hand I’m on the fence as usual. Just though I’d throw my two cents in there. I’m not endorsing anyone at this moment in time.
One last note. I think Trump is very accustomed to playing the Press. I honestly believe he is himself when the cameras & microphones are upon him. He doesn’t think twice, because he doesn’t care in the first place. He knows how to play a news cycle… this is his greatest gift unto himself bar none. Not an easy talent to acquire by a long shot. Trump could care less about fact checking, as his followers love him for his uncanny irreverent honesty even when he’s telling a lie or mangling the truth to gain applauds… it’s all fun in Trumpland.
“I think Trump is very accustomed to playing the Press. I honestly believe he is himself when the cameras & microphones are upon him. He doesn’t think twice, because he doesn’t care in the first place. He knows how to play a news cycle… this is his greatest gift unto himself bar none. Not an easy talent to acquire by a long shot. Trump could care less about fact checking, as his followers love him for his uncanny irreverent honesty even when he’s telling a lie or mangling the truth to gain applauds… it’s all fun in Trumpland.”
President Trump opens his mouth to change feet or to praise himself. Insecurity masquerades as confidence when he brags about his “accomplishments.” His ego requires that he fabricate for himself the praise that is not forthcoming from others. At those moments when the president is basking in his own braggadocio, I propose that his behavior be described as “selfellating.” Here are the particulars of this new word:
selfellate — verb, intransitive; to gratify oneself by glorying in one’s own (often exaggerated or imaginary) accomplishments; said of a bloviating, narcissistic blowhard, as in: “If history is any guide, he’ll selfellate throughout the press conference.”
It’s not clear that the big contractors like Boeing and Lockheed benefit from our endless fighting in the Middle East. Most of the fighting is done by locals. Our forces are mainly providing logistical support and training, with low-tech equipment.
For 70 years the big contractors have steadily profited from building huge expensive weapons that are NOT used in real fighting, and mostly CAN’T be used. ICBMs, super-stealth bombers, aircraft carriers.
We sell lots of weapons to Saudi and Israel and others, but we have always sold weapons whether we were involved in the fighting or not.
In other words, active aggression and profit aren’t closely connected. We could stop supporting and fighting wars without changing the economics of defense contractors.
Great article Sam; thank you.
Perhaps Warren is another political sadist who enjoys killing “lesser breeds outside the law.”
Excellent conclusion that we must criticize ostensibly progressive politicians and “parse their words carefully,” asking more foreign policy questions of Sanders and Warren. Neither of them seem far from the MIC/Israel bribes.
Sanders “calling for more Saudi intervention in the Mideast” in 2015 is an extremely bad sign regardless of his position on Yemen. If anyone will deny his campaign promises to get bribes from Israel it is he.
That Warren on the Senate Armed Services Committee thinks that there is anything the US is or should be “trying to accomplish throughout the Middle East” by armed force is not a good sign either. She will no doubt continue the wars and denounce the opposition as unrealistic for disagreeing with the lobbyist narratives.
Thank you Sam F. I have a personal tab entitled “The Next Election” and as I referred to it just now I realized how totally useless it is to brainstorm election information out of Washington D. C. It’s clearly impossible for the badly crippled two party system to self correct. Most likely the proven failures of the past are now too compromised to effectively deliver anything different from current standard policy, one can readily see that in the behavior of the New Speaker of the House; more obfuscation leading to more delay accomplishing anything of true value to The People.
I think that Skip Scott has it generally right about simply abandoning the rhetoric and talking about substantial world issues and solutions exclusive of the sound chamber, in hopes of frightening the two party duopoly with numbers, kind of like Eugene McCarthy did as an anti-war candidate in the Sixties.
Yes, I have been reconsidering the view that participation in the duopoly is wasteful, especially of intellectual resources. But then one must concentrate on debate and voter education, expecting no wins until severe crisis disrupts the duopoly.
And you have evidence that Sanders gets campaign bribes from Israel? That’s right up there with Wall Street Journal saying Sanders campaign benefited from Super PACs and the Super PAC they outlined was one by the Nurses Union. The Nurses Union that supports Medicare for all and actively campaigns and pushes that issue.
Unlike Schumer who routinely backs Israel and supports legislation to outlaw protests, Sanders has criticized Israel and Israel’s bloody actions in Gaza.
Sanders is not the mouth piece for Israel as Schumer and Pelosi are.
If you read my comment as implying that I have evidence of bribery of Sanders, I did not mean that. We cannot know much of Sanders’ Mideast policy only because he says nothing. But the unspoken policy always turns out to be oligarchy policy, in this case MIC/Israel. If he had any coherent opposition to US Mideast wars he would have said so. Although a candidate could hide true reform goals behind groupthink acceptance, so as to gain the power to reform, candidates who remain silent on critical issues must be presumed to be oligarchy shills. A Jewish candidate who is silent on Mideast wars, the most divisive issue of our time, must be presumed zionist. A weak partial opposition to Israel does not change that.
Actually, he wasn’t completely silent. He made a statement to the effect that it was time for the Saudis to “get their hands dirty” fighting terrorism. How in the world could someone in his position not know that the Saudis hands were already blood soaked funding those same terrorists?
Sanders has cetainly remained silent on Trump’s announcement of withdraw from Syria.
And, Sanders had loving tweets for John McCain and GHWB.
So yes. He is just another zionist shill.
The young people see it. Here’s one of ’em now:
Why don’t the old folks like Sanders and Warren and Trump and Clinton get it?
I’m one of those old folks and the question has me stumped. All those names you mentioned either protested against the war in Vietnam or took effective measures to avoid serving in it. Yet they sound more like the unreconstructed Robert McNamara than the disingenuous John Kerry of 50 years ago. Getting older seems to have made them all dumber and less able to discern right from wrong. Or, it could be, they’ve all got theirs and not much time left to enjoy it, so the life and death problems of younger generations does not much concern them.
Well, a good number of us old folks do have children and grandchildren. In my own case, I spend equal amounts of time worrying about their future and wondering when and how the Masters of War will lose their grip on our lives. Even while I’m playing golf and working on my art collections and stock portfolios…
As I said to Jean below, I’m pretty sure that Mr. Society was directing his vitriol not at old people in general, but at those controlling the highest levers of power… the Masters of War, as you described them, or perhaps those elected officials in a position to reign in, rather than facilitating, the destructive powers of those masters.
All I can figure is since Melvin Laird ended conscription in ’73, which means the military became voluntary, now nobody complains too much about war. It’s a drive thru ATM now, as the Erik Princes and Dick Cheneys of the world well know.
Used to be Slick Willie Clinton hiding under the couch until Vietnam was done baking made the rich folks skeert their own sons might just have to go fight someone and get themselves kilt.
Now? Hell, war looks like video games on the TV now. And best of all, nobody filthy rich has go 4-F Unfit for Service the Way of the Trump and live the rest of their life knowing they are, indeed, a shamed coward whose daddy gamed the system for ’em.
That’s exactly what happened. No skin in the game.
it’s not being old! I’m old and I get it.
Although, reading the demographics on any
particular issue, those at the bottom then to
differ from those at the top.
You read this blog, so I’m sure you do “get it” (the endless carnage and waste in pursuit of empire)… as do I. Mr. Society was asking the question about the oldsters in positions of government power, and even volunteered the names of several notably obtuse examples. What I don’t get is THEIR oblivious responses to the horrendous choices this government has made over the course of decades.
Probably because there are no shots fired on American soil nor bombs dropped on NYC or Washington DC, the oligarchs in the MIC tell the HNIC in the White House to sign the memo with his BIC pen authorizing war profiteering till we run out of uranium enough to kill everybody in the BRICS. Or something.
My guesstimation is the normalization of conflagration in war torn nations has reached peak saturation, so we must be headed towards some sort of downsizing minimization of this entire voluntary endless war of choice foreign policy regimentation cause we can’t remember all the war zones we’re supposed to be in right now and what shade of pigmentation is the enemy made of. Or something.
It’s real simple y’all, killing people is wrong. Says so in the Bible, in the law books, in the philosophy scrolls, and everywhere else you can buy yourself some sanity. It’s wrong. Don’t do it. Hell, you ain’t got to love your neighbor, just don’t kill him and take his shit. That’s good enough.
You would think this position would be common sense, but it ain’t. It’s very uncommon to find human beings in America who do not actively advocate murdering wogs for cash and prizes. Bless our hearts, we just can’t get our tiny minds and grubby hands out of the collection plate.
Thank you for this excellent article. Warren’s silence on the war profiteers who are dominating America’s politicians and press is symptomatic of the deep fear those criminals are clearly striking in the hearts of people in mainstream public life. For new CN readers, a lot of background details on the war profiteers’ grip on American society is compacted in “War Profiteer Story”
Completely agree with Sam Hussein. I consider Warren to be an Israel-firster. She has not deserved my vote.
The Zionist-militarist establishment may occasionally brook a bit of dissent as it comes to certain domestic issues — though that’s not an altogether sure bet — but when it comes to Washington’s sacrosanct global neoliberal imperial project it is firmly in the driver’s seat, no tepid questioning of the biggest and bloodiest waste of taxpayer dollars is ever allowed. It’s why there has never been a major presidential candidate in well over 60 years who’s ever dared call out the MICIMATT (Military Industrial Congressional Intel Media Academic Think Tank).
The United States is a young and naive state. Hopefully it doesn’t incinerate all of humanity across the world.
As I’ve stated before, the most pressing question of our time, and it’s the most urgent question in global history — will the biggest and most vicious empire the world has ever seen, the Washington-Zio imperialist project, fade off into the gloaming with a whimper or will it go violently into the night, kicking, scratching and biting like a rabid raccoon? Make no mistake, the United States military machine is in decline soon to be supplanted economically by China’s New Silk Roads with its Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s hypersonic weaponry.
If the global stage witnesses the rabid raccoon none of us will live to record the history of it all.
These dangers cannot be overstated. We are up against vast wealth controlled by deeply insane people.
The wealth controls the people.
We Americans are to blame for our constant wars, not Israel or the Man in the Moon.
Excellent comment Drew. I find it hard to believe that Warren and Sanders are stupid enough to believe the crap they spout about foreign policy. I think it is far more likely that they have been “in the game” long enough to know where the boundaries lie.
If we are to survive as a species, the pressure to stop the war machine is going to have to come from the bottom up. That is why I propose that people abandon the so-called progressive wing of the Democratic party and flock to the Greens in droves for 2020. There is no hope for reforming the two party system from within. 2016 proved that to anyone paying attention. The tipping point would be entry of the Green party candidate into the televised debates. Once the “average Joe” got to hear what the real possibilities are for foreign and domestic policy, the flimflam would be over, and real “hope and change” would become possible.
On a lighter note Skip maybe a 3rd party could ignite if let’s say Jesse Ventura were on the upper half of a presidential ticket…. Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson is another possible candidate with appeal. I mean if you want to equalize Trump on his own level then you need these household wrestler names who know how to get the American crowd roaring to their stomping fly over feet. Actually what the Greens need is their own Vince McMahon to organize this hullabaloo…. who would have thought 50 years ago that Studio Wrestling would be America’s future political science? Who said professional wrestling is fake? What is our news in this 21st Century? Fake. It’s so insane that my tears turn to laughter as I realize we have all gone over the edge, or is it the mat? Misery loves company, or so it seems, but here we are all together analyzing the bizarre always wondering what is the real story… but hey who cares we won, we did, we won. Thank god the Adult in the Room baby sitters are resigning at least… so who and what will put someone in the next round is the question. Forget I even spoke. Have a nice day Skip. Joe
People come and go so fast in Trump’s administration I can hardly keep track, but I’ve yet to see one I like even a little. Sometimes there’s no one to root for. I’m sitting out a rainy afternoon here in South Jersey. Always good to hear from you. Hope the puppy is doing well.
Both Sanders and Warren still think their foreign policies have to align with the hard-line Zionist warmongering peddled on MSNBC or CNN. “Correct thinking” has this as essential to keep the base that delivered the misguided “blue wave” in November. Personally, I don’t think it’s gonna get anyone elected who bucks any Trump “peace initiatives,” but it will make them less distasteful to the Russophrenic DNC which has decided to die on that hill (and take the rest of the world with them).
The DNC–still in charge on the so-called “left”–wants a candidate who will challenge Putin to a shoot-out at high noon. Frankly, they oughta just draft Rachel Maddow and pretend she is Joan of Arc. Her foreign policies are what they want. Coming from media herself, she can pose as the Anti-Trump and say it is well known that to destroy matter you need anti-matter, therefor she’s your man. She’s already an optimal choice from the perspective of DNC identity politics. Somebody is already trying to sabotage Bernie by characterizing his campaign (if not him per se) as “sexist,” for which he has reflexively rolled over and apologised.
With heartfelt apologies to Jimmy Dore, I don’t believe for a moment that Sanders has a snowball’s chance on South Beach in the upcoming campaign no matter to whom he kowtows. Warren too has allowed her moment to pass, unseized in 2016. The Democrats have already moved on to the Harris’s and Booker’s to participate in their next cattle call for a front man to profess their slant on neoliberalism in economics and neoconservatism in foreign policy, which means some more of that status quo, por favor. If that is depressing, consider this: if Sanders and Warren do not have the insight or the fortitude to buck the propagandist mainstream media even a year out from the main event, what are the chances that they’d stand up to the Deep State with any more resolve than has Donald Trump? Likely, two years from today we’d be cursing them as the latest sell-outs to insider power.
“That is why I propose that people abandon the so-called progressive wing of the Democratic party and flock to the Greens in droves for 2020. There is no hope for reforming the two party system from within” – spot on Skip.
– I and many others are with you all the way on that. It is sad to see how many well intended people have spent their the last two years tilting at these windmills of “reforming” the Democratic Party – “taking it over” – with – “progressive” – ideas. If the old guard Dems calling the shots (Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein, etc.) ever even had a – “progressive idea” – it was 50 freaking years ago by now.
Though I’m sure she likely has some of her own issues that I’m not aware of on some policy points, given her stance in the foreign policy realm I’d love to see someone with some true grass roots popular appeal like Tulsi Gabbard run as a Green. Her appeal comes from her integrity, not from her self-identification as either “liberal” or “conservative,” meaning she could potentially appeal to a rather broad base and draw from outside of simply the more “progressive” segments of the Democratic Party itself. It could put the Green Party on the map in a new way, and the Democrats of course hate Tulsi anyway, so?
Thanks Gary. I like a lot of the things Tulsi has to say, and her outspokenness on Syria was especially impressive. However, I have heard that she has ties to Sheldon Adelson, and I have a hard time squaring that with her policy positions. If her integrity is as real as it seems, I think she’d be a good standard bearer for the Greens in 2020. We really just need to get the 15% for the TV debates. I think that would be the tipping point. If we got a Green elected president, I think many of the progressive democrats in congress and at the state level would see the writing on the wall and switch to the Greens, and the two party flimflam would be over.
“they have been “in the game” long enough to know where the boundaries lie.”
I think you’re spot-on with this.
@Drew Hunkins: Respectfully, no. The most urgent question of our time and in global history is larger still. Can humankind put all us-and-them forms of conflict aside, unite as children of Mother Earth, and eschew all forms of violence, especially warfare, and get on with the urgent need to live sustainably and peacefully on the only planet we have. Climate change is merely the most obvious form of imminent ecological implosion. The human-caused sixth extinction event, deforestation, desertification, the destruction of arable land by agribusiness, the loss of wetlands to “development” and chemical waste, the warming and acidification of the oceans and the loss of coral reefs and all the species that depend upon them — I could go on. Consumer capitalism and the exploding human populations that aspire to follow the wanton consumptive practices perfected in America is destroying the Earth itself and will take our sorry example of human “civilization” with it. The time is short, the need to change the way we live could not be more urgent. Peace.
I feel your pain and suggest you read some history to alleviate it.
1. No we cannot unite as children of Mother Earth, no people ever have, even the sacrosanct natives of North America beat up the land and moved when they needed fresh resources. Many people believe that their day to day lives have primacy over the Earth, they constitute a great dilution of you ideals in any democracy.
2. No we cannot eschew violence, no people ever have, the history of the world is the history of war. Buddhists invented suicide bombing, Nixon was a Quaker. Armies have chaplains, theologians pray for victory not peace.
3. Climate change is important but not the “most urgent question … in global history.” Just 75 years ago we had 27,000 people dying by violence per day for 2174 days in a debacle called WW2. Any of us should swap climate change for that in a heartbeat.
4. I agree that population is the key culprit, but you may agree that current crop of left progressives fail to even mention incentivized population control, as it does not fit their blame/jealousy-driven ideological ulterior motive of de-engineering consumer society.
5. Consumer capitalism was perhaps perfected in America, but materialism is ancient. Barbara Tuchman in “A Distant Mirror, the Calamatous 14th Century” writes: “Many tried, a few succeeded, but the generality of mankind is not made for renunciation. There never was a time when more attention was given to money and possessions than the 14th Century, and its concern with the flesh was the same as at any other time. Economic man and sensual man are not suppressible.”
The Greek Spartans had money made of clay to dissuade materialism, and were for that know by their Mediterranean kin as easy to bribe.
6. Our human civilization is an absolute wonder, not a sorry example. From Socrates to St Augustine to Shakespeare to David Hume to Richard Feynman to your mother, humans have done endless good work. Your idealism did not spring up from rocks.
I hope that helps. Your idealism should be held personally as inner strength. You should read history to learn how it is disconnected from reality of human nature, and accept that life holds no perfection, utopianism is a lie that can only be held in place by unacceptable force.
Great comment, C. Kent!!
Let’s just say that there is much room for improvement between where we are now and the Utopian ideal ;-)
I would argue differently:
1. Over historical time we have united in ever-larger federations and the UN, and likely shall complete the process over another century or two. Those who believe “that their day to day lives have primacy” will be present long after the global unification. Where “civilization is an absolute wonder, not a sorry example” it must progress.
2. We certainly can avoid war as a planet, even though “the history of the world is the history of war.” The hypocrites and tyrants hiding in every tribe need not prevail, as institutions and education come to comprehend and avert their schemes.
Indeed we may achieve global federation without war before we have enough distributed knowledge to prevent corruption and tyranny of a unified government without external enemies.
Idealism conflicts with the self-interest of human nature, but is not disconnected from reality. It is not unrealistic because civilization does progress, but that requires very realistic application. It is only simplistic utopianism that fails to bring progress.
@C. Kent: The old “humans are by nature violent and greedy argument.” I certainly can’t disagree with your praise of human civilization, but do we humans get a pass on the wheel (as in “broken on”), Hiroshima, and systematic poisoning of our own environment?
Isn’t it better to see us as evolving towards a point where no single human individual can bear to see another made to suffer for the benefit of another? And I believe that we _are_ evolving towards that point. But I also believe that we are the first species in history to be able to influence its own evolution, and that our evolution is being deliberately held back on the grounds that “our day-to-day lives have primacy over the Earth.” One way of seeing our human culture is as a set of teachings that tell us we must struggle nobly against our inherently violent and selfish nature. But isn’t it better to believe that we are a co-operative rather than a predatory species?
I’ll leave it up to you all to decide whether Elizabeth Warren is one more politician who is participating in holding back our evolution as a species. But I will say that it’s what kept me from voting for Hillary Clinton and what keeps me from regretting it.
Thank you @C.Kent for your civil and thoughtful response. But I did not write that climate change is the most urgent question in human history. On the contrary, I clearly stated that climate change is just the most obvious of a number of clear indications that human “civilization” has taken us into the Anthropocene. We have sparked the sixth great extinction event, the only one caused by a single living species. I dare say this puts us in far greater jeopardy than did even calamitous events such as the second world war.
And I have studied history and prehistory and my reading of the past finds suggests that the transition from hunter-gather tribes to agricultural societies and then to patriarchal, urbanized “civilizations” can be seen both as an elevation of culture that led to the touchstones you cite, but also as a fall from nature wherein we made a pact with the devil. The Tree of Knowledge included technology and once we bit into that apple, we found ourselves on the road to all that’s followed, the good and the bad.
If, as your reading of human nature suggests, we’re incapable of learning to love one another, to love the planet and the creative energy that brought forth all life, and to use our knowledge to live sustainably on that planet, then those natural inclinations you cite seem to be driving us to a full realization of Fermi’s paradox: We have no conclusive evidence of other intelligent life on other planets because it’s in the nature of intelligence to self-destruct. Peace.
You’re ignoring the Christian Zionists, eager for the Rapture.
“MAD” (Mutually Assured Destruction) has been a reassuring deterrent, and I guess the worry is, will it work with MAD people?
> The United States is a young and naive state
Well, no: the great majority of states are considerably younger than the USA…
And its ruling elite is more Machiavellian than the ruling elites of most countries, including those in Europe, which is why they usually game the others, not vice-versa.