The War Party Is in Control

Republicans and Democrats alike are blaming U.S. crises on foreign adversaries instead of themselves, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

A few things are clear after Robert Mueller’s testimony last week.  One is that the former special counsel is an out-of-touch figurehead who doesn’t even seem to have read his own report.  Another is that Russiagate is a stinking sack of excrement – as California Republican Tom McClintock more or less described it (quote starts at 3:40:45) – that Democrats would never again mention if they had half a brain (which they don’t).

A third is that America is now dominated by a war party that includes everyone on Capitol Hill other than a few isolationists on the right and the Bernie Sanders-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction on the left.  To be sure, there’s disagreement as to whether the enemy is Russia or Iran.  But such minor details aside, the logic is otherwise the same.  Foreigners are out to get us.  They are responsible for all our troubles.  Americans must mobilize to stop them.

U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock questioning Robert Mueller, July 24, 2091. (YouTube)

Elementary concepts like evidence meanwhile fall by the wayside.  During a visit to India last month, Mike Pompeo described Iran as “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror” (quote at 27:15). 

No one asked the secretary of state to back up his fantastic assertion, which overlooks the obvious fact that Al Qaeda and ISIS are both Sunni extremist organizations that despise Shi’ite Iran as much as they despise the United States, if not more.  In June 2017, for instance, the Islamic State launched a devastating attack in Tehran that killed 17 civilians and wounded 43.  In September 2018, it attacked a military parade in the southwestern Iranian town of Ahvaz, killing 25.  Three months later, suicide car bombers belonging to Ansar al-Furqan, a militant Sunni group linked to Al Qaeda, killed two policemen and wounded 48 in the southeastern town of Chabahar.

Why would Iran finance terror when it’s the victim?  It doesn’t make sense.  But, then, reality, as Karl Rove once put it, is something that empires feel free to make up to suit their own purposes.

Iranians mourn the victims of ISIL attacks in 2017. (Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Evidence-Free Terrain

Mueller’s assertion last Wednesday that Russia is interfering in U.S. elections similarly exists in an evidence-free terrain.  “It wasn’t a single attempt,” he declared in reference to misleading Facebook ads placed by a St. Petersburg, Russia, troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency. “They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.”

The New York Times and Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post agreed with Mueller and issued howls of concurring outrage. But how did Mueller know that Russia was hacking away “as we sit here”?  What evidence does he have that they will do it in 2020? The answer is zero.  To paraphrase The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” the attitude seems to be: “Proof?  We ain’t got no proof.  We don’t need no proof.  I don’t have to show you any stinking proof.”

Indeed, proof of Mueller’s entire thesis is somewhere between scanty and nonexistent.  To be sure, the Internet Research Agency did purchase misleading ads in Facebook. But the amount it spent, roughly $44,000 prior to Election Day, was less than a thousandth of the collective Clinton-Trump social-media budget of $81 million.  Moreover, the ads themselves were so amateurish and inept – a drawing of a muscle-bound Bernie Sanders in a Speedo, a picture of Jesus arm wrestling a pro-Clinton Satan, etc. – that it’s hard to believe that they persuaded anyone at all. 

“Sweeping and systemic,” to quote the Mueller report, this was not.  In October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch told the Senate intelligence committee that some 470 phony IRA accounts “collectively made 80,000 posts between January 2015 and August 2017,” which may have “reached as many as 126 million persons.”  Ominous as this may sound, two things are worth keeping in mind: (No. 1) fully half of this 32-month period either predates Trump’s candidacy or postdates his election; and (No. 2) American Facebook users received a total of 33 trillion posts over the same time span, a figure more than 400 million times greater. 

Drop in the Bucket

The IRA campaign was thus a drop in the bucket. What’s more, there’s no evidence that Russia had anything to do with it.  In February 2018, when Mueller indicted the IRA, its owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, and 12 employees for fraud and illegal interference, he made no mention of a Kremlin link.  He was less circumspect in his report 14 months later, which describes the IRA effort as a “Russian interference operation.”  But the only proof it offers – at least in the expurgated version made public in April – is a 2018 New York Times article stating that Prigozhin is known as “Putin’s cook” because the Russian president dined at a restaurant he owns a few times in 2001 to 2003. 

So glaring is the discrepancy that a federal judge presiding over the trial of an IRA sister company threatened to hold Mueller in contempt if he made any more statements about a supposed Kremlin connection. 

As for hacking the Democratic National Committee, the other half of Mueller’s tale of Boris-and-Natasha-style derring-do, the cupboard is also bare.  Mueller’s July 2018 indictment of the Russian military agency known as the GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye, or Main Intelligence Directorate) suggests that some sort of break-in may indeed have taken place. 

But even if it did, the news is hardly shocking in the wake of Edward Snowden’s June 2013 revelations about the National Security Agency harvesting millions of email and instant messaging contact listssearching email contentinvading computer privacy, and tracking and mapping cell-phone locations around the globe.  These are activities that put the GRU to shame.  Indeed, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel learned that she was one of 35 world leaders whose phone calls the NSA was routinely intercepting, she compared the agency to the Stasi.

Museum display of Stasi technology. (NikiSublime/Flickr)

The more important charge that the GRU not only hacked the DNC but passed along its findings to WikiLeaks doesn’t add up.  The problem is one of timing, as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report was released.  On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced that “leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton” were forthcoming.  Yet the Mueller report (volume one, page 45) says that WikiLeaks did not establish contact with the mysterious online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 until June 22.  If Guccifer is a GRU “cutout” created with the express purpose of passing data to WikiLeaks, why would Assange put out word 10 days before hearing from the supposed source? 

The Mueller report adds that Guccifer did not send WikiLeaks its files until July 14. But how would this give WikiLeaks enough time to vet some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents before releasing them to great fanfare on July 22?  This was the massive email dump that revealed that the DNC had tipped the scales against Bernie Sanders and caused DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign.  But since WikiLeaks didn’t know Guccifer from Adam, how could it be sure that the material he supposedly forwarded was genuine and tamper-free?

Assange More Credible

The answer is it couldn’t, which is why Assange’s statement that “our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party” is more believable than anything Mueller has had to say on the subject.  Mueller is the ex-FBI chief who told the Senate intelligence committee on the eve of the 2003 invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction pose “a clear threat to our national security.”  Why trust him over a man whose record for veracity is still a hundred percent?

And why now?  Why are Republicans and Democrats both casting logic and evidence along the wayside in order to blame everything on countries like Russia and Iran?

Pompeo: “Iran the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.” (YouTube)

The answer: growing social dysfunction into which the  current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine offers insight. The cover shows a bedraggled bald eagle alongside the question, “What Happened to the American Century?”  Inside, Editor Gideon Rose asks how things could “fall apart so quickly,” Fareed Zakaria bemoans the death of American hegemony, while Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson observe that “[r]ising death rates among middle-aged white Americans are … a symptom of the virtual collapse of the federal government’s ability to address major public problems.”  Julia Azari of Marquette University adds that a “broken” political system has resulted in “a democracy that is simultaneously inclusive and ineffective.”

It’s an impressive list of woes, yet there’s so much more: an energy crisis due to over-reliance on fossil fuels; a climate crisis due to global warming; an economic crisis due to slowing growth rates and skyrocketing wealth polarization; a constitutional crisis due to an unrepresentative Electoral College and a grossly malapportioned U.S. Senate, and a foreign-policy crisis due to what historian Paul Kennedy once described as “imperial overstretch,” a concept that neocons such as Norman Podhoretz, George F. Will, and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick once dismissed, but which has returned with a vengeance since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and other disasters.  

It’s positively Job-like.  When a country has as many problems as these, the temptation to attribute it all to “foreign adversaries … intent on undermining American democracy” is overwhelming.  Why take responsibility for one’s own actions when it’s so much easier to blame someone else?

Daniel Lazare is the author of “The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy” (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics.  He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nationto Le Monde Diplomatiqueand blogs about the Constitution and related matters at

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63 comments for “The War Party Is in Control

  1. August 12, 2019 at 21:48

    The Talpiot project. Technology transfer has left us vulnerable and maintaining relationships at all costs. Intel;Qualcomm; backdoors.

  2. August 6, 2019 at 01:38

    Math check: 33 trillion posts in the indicated time span (total served up by Facebook) divided by “as many as” 126 million ads by possible Russian sources = roughly 1/4 million, not 400 million. Still a huge differential, a vanishingly small proportion in the glittering ephemeral sea of ads and posts.

    Suppose we’re exposed to 1 “Russian” sourced ad for every 250,000 ads and posts we see, as the numbers above suggest. One professional source estimated we see about 5,000 ads a day, At that rate, it would take 50 days to see see 250,000 posts including 1 “Russian” ad.

    To put it another way: at 5,000 a day, we see about 1.8 million ads and posts a year. Perhaps 7 of them would be “Russian” ads.

    There are a dozen ways the assumptions here could be way off. For instance, depending on your demographics and online behavior, you could be seeing a lot more than 1 squirrelly ad every 50 days. Suppose we’re off by a factor of a hundred. If so, you might see 100 of those suspect ads or posts in 50 days. That would be two a day, out of around 5,000 ad impressions a day.

    Are we clutching our pearls yet?

  3. Tim Jones
    August 2, 2019 at 10:02

    Mueller, Pompeo, Clapper, Brennan, Hillary, etc. and all the secondary and tertiary bottom feeders (in the life cycle of a false idea=narrative) in the payola scheme are not stupid. Like all actors, they all just agree to practice the formulaic narrative—it was the Russians who hacked etc. All the actors, including the media are mostly repeating the same lines—supported by the “assessment” and flimsy “dossier”, over and over again until—most, who just dose themselves with mainstream news, drank-the-koolaid-narrative-pill and are believers.

    I’ll bet you there are a plethora of studies we’ve never seen—the newest ones including and using algorithms on the internet, show how to get outcomes you want from an ‘unsophisticated audience’. All the studies have been done on our dime to deceive us!

    I see a near-future class action lawsuit against these ABC agencies and the Congress for allowing, with our taxpayer dollars for us to be deceived, especially, by our public servants who are supposed to be doing our bidding—not the MICM’s agenda. Most people don’t realize that there are ongoing studies in mind control with all its sinister and mundane aspects. And we paying for Us to be deceived by Them!

  4. Larry
    August 1, 2019 at 16:25

    The War Party has been in control since 1776 when jefferson, franklin, washington and all the rest of SLAVE OWNERS started their little criminal empire.

  5. July 31, 2019 at 18:42

    The War Party is in Control?

    In case you missed it, they’ve been in control of the United States since WWII.

    Somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 20 million people killed by the United States in that period.

    All of it in pointless colonial wars.

    • Realist
      August 2, 2019 at 05:24

      Yeah, how do you think Americans would receive the news that THEIR lives are considered to be worth so little by the miscreants who control all in Washington?

      Not well, I would assume, but they had better get used to that reality because there is no refuting it any more. The internet provides orders of magnitude more truthful data–more actual facts–than our government would ever dare consider doing.

      We will all learn the hard way soon enough, when the goods stop moving, when the checks start bouncing and your credit cards are all refused because the financial institutions behind them have gone defunct, when the food, fuel and potable water run out because this system based on deceptions and debt collapses like a house of cards, leaving you stranded without a plane ticket out. Expect the zombie apocalypse, but without the zombies.

  6. Abe
    July 31, 2019 at 17:45

    In addition to the US government, both mainstream and independent journalists (including Lazare) steadfastly refuse to investigate mounting evidence that the Israeli government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion (and is prepared to do the same in 2020).

    The “Russia-gate” fiction has been orchestrated by both major American political parties to divert attention from the reality of Israel-gate: Israeli influence on US electoral politics and foreign policy.

    Israeli intelligence operatives in the United States have directed compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including US political organizations, and the disclosures were intended to interfere with the US election process on behalf of Israeli political and financial interests.

    As Bolton, Pompeo, Pence, and Trump, not to mention both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, clearly demonstrate on an almost daily basis, the pro-Israel Lobby is in control of the War Party.

    But like Mueller’s report and testimony, Lazare’s reporting consistently avoids the evidence.

    Lazare ends with the question, “Why take responsibility for one’s own actions when it’s so much easier to blame someone else?”

    Indeed, why take responsibility for selling out to the pro-Israel Lobby when it’s so much easier to blame the Russians.

    A case in point, ignored by Mueller and Lazare:

    A December 14, 2016 memorandum of understanding between the Psy-Group, an Israeli company owned by Israeli entrepreneur Joel Zamel, and British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica LLC, outlined a joint bid to win business from the U.S. government, provide “intelligence”, and deliver social-media services.

    In August 2016, Zamel met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower, Zamel and an emissary to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss how PSY Group could help Trump win, according to a May 2018 New York Times report.

    During the 2016 US presidential elections, Cambridge Analytica worked both for the primary campaign of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Trump’s general-election campaign. The firm helped propel Trump to the presidency.

    On 25 October 2017, Julian Assange said on Twitter that he had been approached by Cambridge Analytica, but that he had rejected its proposal.

    Assange’s tweet followed a story in The Daily Beast alleging that Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix had proposed a collaboration with Wikileaks to find the 33,000 emails that had been deleted from Clinton’s private server. CNN said it had been told by several unnamed sources that Nix intended to turn the Clinton email archive released to the public by the State Department into a searchable database for the campaign or a pro-Trump political action committee.

    On 14 December 2017, it was revealed that Robert Mueller had requested during the fall of 2017 that Cambridge Analytica turn over the emails of any of its employees who worked on the Trump campaign.

    In March 2018, following disclosures that Cambridge Analytica had improperly used the personal information of over 50 million Facebook users while working on Trump’s presidential campaign, the Times of Israel reported that the company had used what Nix had called “intelligence gathering” from British and Israeli companies as part of their efforts to influence the election results in Trump’s favor.

    In May 2018, Bloomberg reported that Robert Mueller had investigated money flows to Psy-Group. The article noted the firm’s close ties to the Israeli Army’s psychological warfare unit:

    “FBI agents working with Mueller’s team interviewed people associated with PSY Group’s U.S. operations in February, and Mueller subpoenaed bank records for payments made to the firm’s Cyprus bank accounts, according to a person who has seen one of the subpoenas. Though PSY Group is based in Israel, it’s technically headquartered in Cyprus, the small Mediterranean island famous for its banking secrecy.

    “Shortly after those interviews, on Feb. 25, PSY Group Chief Executive Officer Royi Burstien informed employees in Tel Aviv that the company was closing down. Burstien is a former commander of an Israeli psychological warfare unit, according to two people familiar with the company. He didn’t respond to requests for comment.”

    • Tim Jones
      August 2, 2019 at 21:20

      Cambridge Analytica and Psy Group, as two examples, could be involved in near-future class action lawsuits, along with the ABC agencies, and certain committees in Congress who were in the know. The only way to stop this madness is to proceed with both class action and private lawsuits. As soon as Psy Group was caught out, the company was disolved, but that may not prevent legal actions.

  7. July 31, 2019 at 17:31

    “The War Party is in Control” assisted by:
    “The Mad March of the Brainwashed”

    Left, right, left right, see them march ready to bomb and destroy
    Obeying orders from war criminals and maniacs; do you feel the joy?
    Full of pride and waving their flags, all standing to attention
    As they listen to the mad war criminals that brook no dissension

    An order is an order even if it sets the world on nuclear fire
    Left, right, left right, “Yes sir, what else do you desire”?
    “Just make every missile hit its target, as we your leaders’ watch on T.V.
    Burn up the peoples’ tax dollars, because this is, “the land of the free.”

    Left right, left right, the brainwashed take orders from the insane
    When the nukes start flying, their landings will be the end game
    Still, not to worry, the “leaders” will be hiding in their bunkers underground
    Issuing the orders; as the brainwashed bomb the people, that live on the

    Left right, left right, “A question sir, if I may, will we get a medal”
    When we blow up the world, this fine and wonderful day”?
    “Of course, you will my brave man/woman you are serving your country
    And we will be watching all the action from our bunker, to put it bluntly”

    Left right, left right, “Are you ready to fight and to do battle”?
    “Are all the bombs and missiles ready, to kill people like helpless cattle”?
    “Yes sir, yes sir, everything is ready and we are ready too”
    “Just issue the orders and we will press the buttons, we are a brave crew”

    Left right, left right and the brainwashed marched away
    Ready to fire their missiles on an unfortunate land this very day
    The war criminals that planned all this filthy hellish action
    Are hiding in their underground lairs smiling with crazy satisfaction

    The end result of all this treachery and insanity
    Could probably be the end of the world and humanity
    Left right, left right, orders are orders, and the enemy must be punished
    Will nuclear war be the end result of the mad march of the brainwashed?
    Will we all be extinguished?…

    [more info at link below]

  8. DH Fabian
    July 31, 2019 at 13:32

    America is the kid with frosting on his face insisting it was the dog who took a chunk out of the cake. One thing Mr. Lazare points out, that I hadn’t caught: “Mueller’s assertion last Wednesday that Russia is interfering in U.S. elections… ” I did catch his testimony few weeks ago, in which confirmed that they found no evidence of Russian interference, but that (in his opinion) doesn’t mean that they didn’t. He then claimed that we who criticized the Clinton wing on social media in 2016 were really Russians pretending to be Americans. And I knew it didn’t matter to those listeners who only hear what they want to hear. As has been pointed out, there are still many who devoutly believe Iraq had “stockpiles of WMD” long after this was proved to be a lie.

    Russia-gate will die out one more time, then be brought back next year by the Democrats as an excuse for an expected election defeat. Granted, we’ve pointed out many times how Democrats split apart their own voting base, driving so many voters away. We have pointed out how the reckless Russia-gate lies only drove more voters away, establishing that today’s Democrats are just too dangerous to vote for. But that gets a bit complicated, and the kids don’t want to hear it. The party bosses know this, and will rely on, “Russia stole the election!” again, in spite of the frosting all over the Democrats’ faces.

    • Realist
      August 2, 2019 at 05:39

      Every time I posted any comments on newspaper forums I would be accused of being a Russian bot or troll in St. Petersburg. The actual trolls operating out of farms at Langley got to be quite recognizable, using the same lines and insults time and again. If there were any Russian trolls interjecting their opinions on the American presidential race they were outnumbered a thousand to one by the clowns employed by the American spook agencies. If not, there were sure an enormous number of regular Americans who simply loved Hillary, took offense at any criticism of her, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that to not embrace her was absolute evidence of Putin’s malign influence at work. Not enough to win, however. And, if they loved her with such fervor, why did hardly anyone come out to her rallies? If not for California and NY she loses the popular vote… by a LOT.

  9. Nathan Mulcahy
    July 30, 2019 at 21:24

    As far as empire is concerned, the “Democratic” and the Republican parties are the two brands of the same “WallStreet/MIC/AIPAC” Party. When will people understand this?

    • DH Fabian
      July 31, 2019 at 13:35

      Disagree on what point the popular anti-Israel meme. The Ds and Rs merely exploit Israel as a tool in their own propaganda campaigns. One clue: The US is one of the top suppliers of weapons to those Arab states that seek the eradication of Jews from the Mideast. The Mideast has been wildly profitable to US weapons manufacturers.

  10. Nathan Mulcahy
    July 30, 2019 at 21:24

    As far as empire is concerned, the “Democratic” and the Republican parties are the two brands of the same “WallStreet/MIC/AIPAC” Party

  11. hetro
    July 30, 2019 at 19:02

    As pointed out by Joe Lauria in the most recent CN live, “Russian meddling” has been drummed into the American populace without the word “alleged” attached. Result = brainwashing. One problem we’re having is our amazement this fraudulence could deceive so many, so we have continuing repetition from one journalist to another of the essential delusion and laying out critique based on facts.

    We are also becoming aware of “stage setting” as the principal reason for the brainwashing. That is, a heavy barrage of propaganda is laid down as the way to justification for some forthcoming manipulation, accompanied with heavy sighs and flag waving. This is what is going on with Assange. Any decent investigation of his problems will come down to a man wronged for being a journalist Exposing The Mighty. The Russia-gate fraud has succeeded in convicting him, so that fair considering becomes very unlikely. As with Eugene Debs.

    We ought to remember a page of US history taking place in WWI with the Espionage Act of that time, which imprisoned those, as with Debs, with a view considered not sacred enough to Establishment Policies. And to recall Germany, 1935 to 1940 particularly, with the double-talk and falsity of that time, led by a certain charismatic leader with a short black mustache.

    Lessons may be learned, but are they learned well enough?

  12. Susan MacKenzie
    July 30, 2019 at 18:02

    There is NO climate crisis. For heaven’s sake!

    • Stygg
      July 31, 2019 at 14:33

      Compelling argument to refute decades of scholarship.

    • vinnieoh
      July 31, 2019 at 16:18

      Heaven has nothing to do with it, or anything else, for that matter. But the surest way to assure hell on earth is to: click your ruby slippers together three times and repeat “There is No climate crisis, There is No climate crisis, There is No climate crisis…”

      • ML
        July 31, 2019 at 17:57

        Looks like Ms. Mackenzie has been taken in by the Wizard, the man behind the curtain. Charlatans abound… yet the truth is there to see if only those with eyes would simply look clearly, steadily, and with humility. “For heaven’s sake,” indeed!

    • Anonymous
      July 31, 2019 at 20:58

      I see that your herring is quite red.

    • Jim other
      August 3, 2019 at 13:47

      The evidence says otherwise. The Trump administration’s recent announcement of the year round navigation of the Arctic Ocean was not possible 50 to 100 years ago. What happened????

  13. July 30, 2019 at 17:21

    YMMV, but Iran’s bankrupting one’s country to develop nuclear weapons seems a sufficient proof of intent to make war, if not immediately, then as soon as is safe. So does sponsoring terror organizations. I don’t think it necessary to wait until they feel they can “punch at our weight” before we make it abundantly clear this is anti-social behavior. Wars aren’t supposed to be even fights.

    That said, upgrading our own capabilities such that, when Iran achieves its own goals it still won’t be able to successfully wage war against us is an act of prudence, not belligerence.

    • Nick
      July 31, 2019 at 00:01

      So I’m assuming that social behavior would be invading the countries to the east and west of Iran, turning them into total bloodbaths, and then telling Iran ‘You’re next’. Thank you for helping clear that up for me, American Psycho.

    • AnneR
      July 31, 2019 at 11:01

      Ummm – you have proof, evidence that Iran is, has ever, worked toward nuclear weapons? And even were it to, the USA is much too far away to be in any direct danger (fallout always another problem given winds).

      Meanwhile, the USA has an enormous nuclear arsenal consisting of all types of nuclear weaponry – and that’s before we waste more billions on “upgrading” it. Which nation is more likely to drop, send such weapons anywhere? Which nation is it that has *already* slaughtered people using these weapons? Which nation is it that thinks it has a right to dictate to others how they should behave, what they should do (i.e. bow and scrape to the US-western world’s diktats)? Which nation is it that has invaded and destroyed numerous others over the last 70 years?

      Would that be the USA, perchance?

      Iran has *not* invaded anywhere in 100-200 years.

    • Deniz
      July 31, 2019 at 15:34

      I see, the real problem is the Mark’s unruly behavior.

    • vinnieoh
      July 31, 2019 at 15:58

      Then they’re getting those nukes from the same guy that sold the emperor his new clothes? One thing that bankrupted the Iranians was the almost ten year war they fought against Iran. But they held their own for a long time on the strength of the military largesse Uncle Sugar lavished upon our then newly-acquired vassal state under the puppet rule of the Shah. When they each blew up each other’s stuff, Europe, the Gulf Monarchies, and of course Uncle Sugar re-supplied Sadam, even the Soviets were sympathetic to the feckless Iraqis – on credit. Iranian friends were few and far between.

      Then of course have been the almost non-stop sanctions and embargoes of Iran led by the US. And as sort of the cherry on the whole thing, the Saudis purposely depressed the oil market to chasten all competitors, but most importantly Iran, which briefly saw a flicker of light at the end of a long tunnel. Gotta love the Saudis; pure reductionists in the geopolitical game.

      I have heard the accusations of corruption in today’s Iran. With all the other BS being pushed validifying Iran I don’t know how much of it to believe, or any of it. BUT, look around you; corruption is the word that so far defines the 21st century, and the epicenter is Washington, DC. Keep on believing that we’re the good guys, because “a lot of people say so” ™.

      • vinnieoh
        July 31, 2019 at 23:44

        Just re-read this. Iran was not at war with itself for ten years, but with Iraq. Chastened of course should have been chastised, and validifying was just me channeling George W. Oh well, it happens.

    • Gene Poole
      August 1, 2019 at 06:13

      When you say “our capabilities,” to whom are you referring? Who are “we”? Second question: Isn’t the US bankrupt enough for you yet after 70 years of extracting wealth from its citizens on the pretext of “defending us against our enemies”? Third question: Can the US’s overthrowing of legitimately elected governments (we can limit ourselves, again, to the past 70 years just for the purpose of discussion; there’s a list at by any and all means up to and including assassination be considered anti-social?

    • T
      August 2, 2019 at 05:57

      Lawrence Duffield,

      Yes, those points might make a reasonable “realist” argument — if there were any truth to any of them… But there isn’t. They are all complete lies.

  14. July 30, 2019 at 15:09

    I like the Boris and Natasha reference!

  15. Richard A.
    July 30, 2019 at 14:25

    “Social Media Giants” squirm when pressed on meddling from anyone besides Russia:

    I suspect they would have found troll farms like the IRA all around the world had they looked for them, but that would have gone against the anti-Russia narrative.

    • DH Fabian
      July 31, 2019 at 13:45

      I’m very skeptical of “troll farms” to begin with. People don’t need to be paid to express their opinions. We saw how Democrats claimed that those who criticized the Dem right wing and/or disputed the anti-Russian allegations, were really just “trolls,” and often paid trolls at that. In their arrogance, they cannot fathom that we don’t all march in lockstep behind them.

  16. July 30, 2019 at 14:24

    To highlight Drew’s comment: One can write the most thought out well documented academic-like essay and the true believers in Russisagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of the wrist. This is the most pervasive and hardcore group-think I’ve ever witnessed. It’s strained friendships and family relations.

    His words are so ominous, with nuclear apocalypse at stake. What is to be done? We have lost many, if not most, of our comrades of yore.

  17. A. McNeal
    July 30, 2019 at 14:11

    The war party consists of Donald Trump and his dummkopfs.

    • Skip Scott
      July 31, 2019 at 11:55

      And before that Obama and his minders, and before that W and his minders, and before that Slick Willy and his minders, …..
      I’d love to see them all on the docket at the Hague.

  18. Eddie
    July 30, 2019 at 14:01

    The US led by the likes of Trump and that horse’s arse Pompeo accusing Iran of being“the world’s largest state sponsor of terror” is laughable on its face. Since the World War II scholars report that the US has slaughtered 20 million to 30 million people.

  19. Peter Loeb
    July 30, 2019 at 13:53


    I never watched the TV show (the “live”televised hearings). I saw a piece of it on a wall TV while I was waiting for
    a doctor’s appointment. It was boring. The most interesting part was the gentleman with an impressive mustache sitting
    behind Mueller.

    I got bored as well with the reports of who done it and who didn’t.

    I think I made the right decision.

    Many forget the so-called “lessons of history”. I suggest Francis Jennings, first few chapters of THE INVASION OF AMERICA and

    What exactly is “democracy” and what has it ever been?

    I can recall first hand and personally similar elements. Going back only a few decades when my Dad had to sign
    a “loyalty oath”. But in fact, the history of human violence goes back hundreds of years and more.

    But to begin to persuade others of the non-existence of “democracy” when its assumption is an integral part of
    living here (it seems to guarantee our superiority , virginity etc.) and gives us solace. Many millions have sought
    and often found such comfort in myths.

    I was intending to circulate this article but after rereading it, felt regurgitating these meaningless facts is
    a waste of time.

    • Tim Jones
      August 2, 2019 at 22:17

      Yes, looking back, there may have been moments of a possible Democracy, but the wealthy class and their lawyers in Congress found ways to kill those moments dead before they could have life and develop into what a Democracy really is. So America starts out by usurping Native lands and then buys slave labor to amass wealth. Only now, in 2019, there is the Reparations card being played by some politicians to gain constituents in an election cycle, not a true discussion of the issue.

  20. Robert Emmett
    July 30, 2019 at 13:12

    As someone else already pointed-out in another thread, once you create the image of the enemy as filthy, inhuman vermin, it’s not that big a step to get the go-alongers to step-right-up and shriek for that *enemy’s* obliteration. Or at least to cow-tow to it.

    Always appreciate the writers and commenters who keep it real and suss-out relevant details. Some of us try to contribute in other ways. I wrote something in reaction to a recent article by Scott Ritter questioning masked threats of annihilation against ginned-up adversaries. It may serve here.

    Here’s the opening quote used in that article:

    “I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said. “I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone. It would be over in, literally, in 10 days. And I don’t want to go that route.”

    Threat posture

    Don’t the Hub-Bubs
    in Hubbub Land
    love them some braggin’?
    Hark back to times
    of tote them bales,
    drag that wagon.

    Big Daddy Brag
    got his grin-on.
    Fessin’-up stories
    to crack-yer chin on.
    Hand-Clappers clap
    in bright blue ties.
    Lies on their breath;
    death in their eyes.

    To scare a vole
    from its hole,
    a hawk hovers.
    Beats his wings,
    he’s menacing
    to break its cover.

    Six ways from Sunday,
    it’s all screwed tight, tighter.
    Situation’s in hand,
    ‘cause might makes right righter?

    What could go wrong,
    the philosopher moans.
    Threads of humanity
    held together
    by koans.

    • Hide Behind
      July 30, 2019 at 20:19

      Ritter knows and not just believes, as to what.he knows is not make believe, eyes that see and ears that know; truth is like that.
      Tis easy to start a war. but wars are unpredictable and oncenstarted hard to end.
      It is said by many that the US is a.war making nation, but when was last time US government actually had permission of the people, both Houses of Congress and they, Houses, have a.Constiyutional Duty to say yar or nay to Declaration of War?
      The last time US military faced a determined National military , Vietnam Conflict, US military and all Branches of Government got butts kicked.
      The most technologicly and destructive military on Earth fights not national militaries but civilian militia.
      Iraq military did not fight, other than a few patriotic and those who had not yet gotten word from commanders to surrender.
      In a nation of 360 millions it is easy to find those who kill for money or aid those who do.
      The Waprior Creed of Oath used by military has nothing to do with protecting Americans and their Constitution.
      All in Uniform of military branches becomenWarrior heros, no matter the slaughter of Civilians, the uniform became HOLy, and we must all genuflux to it.

    • Hide Behind
      July 31, 2019 at 14:30

      From the time before America’s were discovered unto today when has not the world outside of Eurocentric derived exploitive cultures not been targets of warfare by those northern hemisphere nations and peoples?
      Our excuse back then was the world was full of uncivilized savages, Japan and China were also deemed such clear into 1950s, and so was all of Africa band Middle East with only Israel exempted by design, all to bring civilization and moral sophistication to them.
      The means of choice, military, and warfare was always immensely profitable for the nations with strongest military, the victors.
      U.S of A. history has always denied the rapacious nature of it governing establishment and of, up until the 1970s, majority of its populace.
      They of old said, ” Ignorance Is Bliss”, but as to the vast majority of US since its beginning it should be said, “The vast majority of its populace has deliberately chosen to live in ” Blissful Ignorance”.
      A contrived historical narrative that stressed the purity of thought no matter the outcome or cost to non US people that justified all of transgressions of morality and destruction of humanity the nation took part in.
      Soft warfare was what Europe had to resort too after it was destroyed by Wars I and II and only by the US war party’s guidance and economic wealth were they able to hold sway over their old miliyarily conquered colonies.
      We are not seeing a revival of militarism, such as expansion of NATO, just that it never was fully removed and todays is but a willingness of following US military orderings.
      All the trappings of civilization, clothing and technology, are but things to hide behind the true nature of man.

  21. Guy
    July 30, 2019 at 12:50

    The amount of bull$hit is staggering to put it mildly .They lie with a straight face apologetically .It is already hard to believe that anyone in their right mind would not notice that the asylum is now in control in the USA . Is it like a horror movie or a Monty Python skit ?

    • Bob Guertling
      July 30, 2019 at 14:46

      I was going to leave a similar post but you summed it up perfectly. If I had youth and health I would move to the mountains of Alaska and tune out all media and just live off the land until the nuclear bombs hit. Most Americans are totally controlled sheeple.

      • Tim Jones
        August 2, 2019 at 22:25

        I second that!

    • Anonymous
      July 31, 2019 at 14:55

      I’m not saying that I disagree with your notion that this is absurd, but I do take issue with your choice of terms.

      “The lunatics” are always the extreme of the side you disagree with. It’s the lower scale version of the propaganda we shove on middle eastern “terrorists” vs the “heroes” that bombed Japanese civilians en masse. Adding to the heap does not make it disappear.

  22. Sally Snyder
    July 30, 2019 at 11:28

    Here is an article that looks the compensation packages for the Chief Executive Officers of America’s largest defense contractors :

    Thanks to the unfettered generosity of American taxpayers and Washington’s endless war stance, these individuals find themselves among the best paid “workers” in the United States.

  23. AnneR
    July 30, 2019 at 11:08

    Mr Lazare it doesn’t seem to bother the millions who have lapped up the “Russia did it” delusion that there is no evidence to back up Mueller et al’s assertions. Not at all. Electoral college realities be damned. A DNC leak – a hack is the preferred narrative.

    Clearly there are millions in the US who truly believe in the “American exceptionalism” bullshit – their perception skewed by the lies, obfuscations, distortions and distractions disseminated by the MSM.

    Meanwhile it would seem that the US government in one of its propaganda guises is creating a new VoA station to provide “information” to the clearly heretofore bamboozled Rohingya people. Now I don’t doubt that the Burmese minority has little to no access to outside information, news and that what news it does receive is slanted. But to posit anything that VoA broadcasts is (impartial) “information” is disingenuous at best. And of course NPR never mentioned (that I heard) that VoA is the US equivalent of RT or Sputnik or even more of a US propaganda outfit.

    • Jeff Harrison
      July 30, 2019 at 13:42

      I must protest! RT/Sputnik is the Russian equivalent of NPR/PBS. While all 4 are government funded, they also have the dictate to provide the news. VoA/RFE/Radio Marti are all unabashedly propaganda.

      Here’s the thing that bothers me. I’ve never had RT lie to me. The MSM does outright lie to you. They claim that we have a free press here in the US but the MSM will squash any story that American authorities want squashed. That sounds like a government controlled press if ever I heard one.

      • Skip Scott
        July 31, 2019 at 09:07

        I have noticed a pattern to the “nightly news” shows. First an “eye grabber”, ie. natural disaster or something similar, then propaganda messages for the evening, then finish it off with a “feel good” puff piece.

        I don’t hardly ever watch MSM, but whenever I do, I see the same pattern repeated again and again.

      • AnneR
        July 31, 2019 at 11:18

        Mr Harrison, I think that you mistake my meaning. Or perhaps – reading what I wrote more carefully, I clearly didn’t express myself properly.

        Yes, VoA is a vehicle for propaganda purposes. So too is NPR and the BBC (including the latter’s World Service).

        NPR and the Beeb *always* preface their mentions (when they mention) RT or Sputnik (interestingly less the latter than the former) as “state-funded”/”state-controlled” although not always the latter expressly – the presenter saying “state-funded” is expected to convey the latter.

        All that I intended, given that that NPR always prefaces its mentions of RT/Sputnik as “State” media (funded/controlled), then it *ought* to have done the same with VoA. I did not mean that I, personally, think that either RT or Sputnik are propaganda media (certainly no more so than either NPR or the BBC).

        And I check them both out several times a day because I want to read what the Op-ed contributors have to say about current events and have another perspective on what is going on in the world. My go to websites include this one, MoA, RT, Sputnik, Black Agenda Report, American Herald Tribune, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Mondoweiss, MintPress News and others… the radio is on the keep a lid on the silence that is my late husband’s absence. But it is useful, if the cause of much ranting on my part, to hear what NPR and the BBC, as representatives of the MSM, are purveying to their audience, what it is that our ruling elites want us to be distracted by, believe.

      • ML
        July 31, 2019 at 11:24

        Unfortunately, RT’s commenters are nothing like the commenters here at CN. The fact that RT allows truly vile, retrograde, racist and sexist comments to remain while often, but not always, censoring anything highly critical of Donald Trump, is a reason I no longer read RT. If their commenters reflect their actual views of the world and its peoples, then I’d rather read articles and comments here on Consortium News. Whoever moderates at RT is not doing RT ANY favors.

        • Tim
          August 2, 2019 at 06:09

          > Unfortunately, RT’s commenters are nothing like the commenters here at CN

          Exactly where are they? I read RT International, UK, and US regularly, but don’t see any comments.

  24. Jeff Harrison
    July 30, 2019 at 10:54

    Indeed, indeed. We are witnessing the desperate flailings of a power structure that has grown accustomed to being obeyed. Although occasionally, as Obama put it, we have to twist a few arms. Unfortunately, if you’re always having to twist a few arms, your control is being constantly challenged. The next thing you know, you’re getting ignored as Turkey buys the S400 system anyway and your threats are ignored by India as you try to catch flies with vinegar instead of honey.

    Will Rodgers had a saying for this. When you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

  25. Drew Hunkins
    July 30, 2019 at 10:21

    One can write the most thought out well documented academic-like essay and the true believers in Russisagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of the wrist.

    This is the most pervasive and hardcore group-think I’ve ever witnessed. It’s strained friendships and family relations.

    • Clark M Shanahan
      July 30, 2019 at 21:16

      A sobering revelation.
      It was bad during the Vietnam War, but, this mass refusal of reality is really worrisome.
      I was twice chased out of my father’s home by a sibling and fan of Rachel Maddow.
      Gabor Maté on America in denial:

      • ML
        July 31, 2019 at 11:31

        Yes Clark M Shanahan, we are left with no recourse but a silent, surreptitious eye roll whenever rabid Rachel fans appear. I am sorry your own sibling treated you badly. Keep on keeping on… what else is there to do but seek the truth, no matter what that truth is to paraphrase the dearly missed Mr. Robert Parry?

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 31, 2019 at 14:16

        Your description of what happened regarding the wild-eyed Maddow fan isn’t unexpected. Scary times.

        • Realist
          August 2, 2019 at 18:59

          A lot of very prominent people will be very embarrassed about this period in their lives when some semblance of sanity returns years from now and the truth and motives of today’s players becomes widely known. It will be a lifting of the veil similar to what happened after McCarthyism had run its course in the 1950’s. Big time celebs like Alec Baldwin, Robert DiNiro, Stephen Colbert, Harvey Weinstein and Rob Reiner will become very sheepish about having been such full-throated loutish “Jerks for Hillary.” I’m talking about the obnoxious incessant get-in-your-face loud mouths. There are many other would-be enlightened “beautiful people” who will simply quietly pretend all this never happened.

  26. MichaelWme
    July 30, 2019 at 10:19

    Reading the Mueller report, he gives all the details of the malware he found on the DNC and DCCC computers, and their links to the GRU. Since we know the US government never asked to see the computers, Crowdstrike must have prepared this report.

    I’m impressed. Crowdstrike is a company that is hired when an organisation gets hacked, e.g., someone gets all the creditcard numbers and PINs of its customers. They then prepare a report exonerating the corporation completely. And this is what they’ve done here for the DNC, and the establishment media reiterates that Russian’s theft of the election from St Hillary is irrefutably proven and that this obvious ‘fact’ is accepted by all except a few conspiracy theory nutcases.

    That all the ‘evidence’ is fabricated should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about IT and hacking, but it is accepted by the overwhelming majority of Americans (and most others who read English language media).

    Add to this Bush, Jr’s 2003 State of the Union address, rated as one of the very best by the Washington Post, when he revealed that Iran had planned, financed, and organised the 9/11 attacks, and these attacks were perpetrated by the Ayatollahs’ co-religionists: the Taliban, led by Mullah Omar (a popular name with the Ayatollahs), Iraq, led by Saddam Hussain, another big Iranian ally, and the DPRK. This has been judged by the US Federal Court system, and they ruled that no Saudi had anything to do with 9/11, and that Iran was 100% responsible and must pay damages to all the victims and their families.

    Pilate asked, ‘What is truth?’ I ask, ‘Where is truth?’ and it cannot be found anywhere in the establishment media, only in a few tiny publications like Consortium News.

    • DH Fabian
      July 31, 2019 at 14:06

      I wonder how many people actually fell for “Russia-gate.” The same media that lied from the start now give the impression that the Tale is established fact, accepted by the masses. Yet, it’s obvious that this isn’t true. The more people learn about Russiagate, the more they reject it.

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2019 at 22:06

      It’s people who think they have social standing to burn that decide who “conspiracy theory nutcases” are. This is more than colloquial, but it’s the same as it ever was. The moment someone with an opinion you can’t possibly agree with can be deemed “delusional”, those at the top start punching below the belt while a spade gets called a heart.

      Look at the some of the fallout in Trump’s not-quite-so-inner-circles when things started to go sour on him for an obvious example of this.

  27. Antonio Costa
    July 30, 2019 at 09:35

    ISIS/Al Qaeda are US/Israel/NATO militia based on history and arms supplies. I would say attacks on Iran are not mere driven by Muslim sects but by imperial hegemony by the West and ME soecial relations.

  28. July 30, 2019 at 08:35

    Indeed, Daniel Lazare! The war party is the direct result of the aristocracy gone greed. Luckily the old geezers in ancient Athens told us how to identify these oligarchs and how to deal with them:

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