LEE CAMP: Connecting the Dates – US Media Used To Stop The ‘Threat’ of Peace

Peace seems to have exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing, this latest time in Afghanistan, says Lee Camp. 

By Lee Camp
Special to Consortium News

This is not a column defending Donald Trump. 

Across my career I have said more positive words about the scolex family of intestinal tapeworms than I have said about Donald Trump. (Scolex have been shown to read more.) 

No, this is a column about context. When The New York Times reports anonymous sources from the intelligence community say Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers, context is very important.

Some of that context is that Mike Pompeo said, “I was the CIA director – We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses.” So we know for certain that U.S. intelligence agencies lie to you and me. We saw it with WMD, and we might be seeing it again now. 

But that’s not the context I’m referring to. 

We could talk about the context of the fact that the Taliban does not need to be paid to kill American soldiers because their entire goal for the past twenty years has been to kill American soldiers. Paying them a bounty would be like offering the guy sleeping with your wife twenty bucks to sleep with your wife. 

But that’s not the context I’m referring to. 

We could talk about the fact that the U.S. has been funding the Taliban for years! Yes, we fund them, sometimes arm them, and then fight them. This is barely a secret. So for all intents and purposes, the U.S. does the same thing our corporate media is now accusing Russia of doing (with no proof). 

But that’s not the context I’m referring to. 

No, the context I’m referring to is how our military industrial complex (with the help of our ruling elite and our corporate media) have stopped Trump from pushing us toward the brink of peace. …Yes, the brink of peace.


Now, I’m not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama, and that’s impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before.  

However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he’s doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment).

And each time this has happened, he is quickly thwarted, usually with hilarious propaganda. (Well, hilarious to you and me. Apparently believable to people at The New York Times and former CIA intern Anderson Cooper.) 

I know four things for sure in life. Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beat paper. And propaganda beats peace. All one has to do is look at a calendar. 

Trump has essentially threatened to create peace or pull U.S. troops out of a war zone in three countries – North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Let’s start with Syria. 

April 4, 2018: President Trump orders the Pentagon to plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. 

This cannot be allowed because it goes against the U.S. imperial plan. So what happens within days of Trump’s order? 

April 7, 2018: Reports surface of a major chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

What are the odds that within days of Trump telling the Pentagon to withdraw, Bashar al-Assad decides to use the one weapon that will guarantee American forces continue attacking him? Assad may not be a chess player, but I also don’t think he ate that many paint chips as a kid. And sure enough, over the past two years we’ve now heard from four whistleblowers at the Organization for The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) saying the so-called chemical attack didn’t happen. (Notice that the number “four” is even bigger than the numbers “one,” “two,” and “three.”) 

But establishment propaganda beats peace any day and twice on Sunday. The false story succeeded in keeping America entrenched in Syria. 


(Montage by Cathy Vogan)

Let’s move on to North Korea. As you surely know, Donald Trump “threatened” to create peace with the hermetic country. Simply saying he would attempt such a thing sent weapons contractor stocks tumbling—one of the many reasons peace had to be stopped.

Feb 27, 2019: Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam.

The summit fails, and reports begin emerging that Mike Pompeo and John Bolton succeeded in napalming any progress.

March 15, 2019: Pompeo and Bolton deny derailing North Korea nuclear talks.

From The Nation, “There were reports from South Korea that the presence at the talks of John Bolton, Trump’s aggressively hawkish national-security adviser, helped torpedo the talks.“

But just destroying the peace talks wasn’t enough. The American people needed some good, solid propaganda to reassert the idea that Kim Jung Un was a dastardly bloodthirsty dictator. 

March 30, 2019: The New York Times reports North Korea executed and purged their top nuclear negotiators. 

Yes, apparently Kim Jung Un must’ve fed his top diplomats to his top alligators. Then, two months later we learn…

June 4, 2019: The fate of the North Korean negotiator “executed” after the failed summit “grows murkier” with new reports that he’s still alive.

One would have to say that his being alive does indeed make the report that he’s dead “murkier.” Within the next day or two it becomes quite clear the diplomat is very much in the land of the living. But the propaganda put forward by The New York Times and many other outlets has already done its job.

Far more people saw the reports that the man had been murdered than saw the later retraction. And to this day, the Times has not removed the initial article saying he was executed. Exactly how wrong does propaganda have to be, to warrant an online deletion? Dead versus alive is a pretty binary designation. 

And now we get to the outrage du jour, and it’s a bombshell! 


May 26, 2020: Pentagon commanders begin drawing up options for an early Afghanistan troop withdrawal, following Trump’s request. 

June 16, 2020: “President Donald Trump confirmed in public for the first time his administration’s plans to cut the U.S. military troop presence in Germany from its current level of roughly 35,000 to a reduced force of 25,000.” – ForeignPolicy.com

June 26, 2020: The New York Times reports Russia paid the Taliban to attack U.S. troops. (According to anonymous sources from an intelligence community that proudly admits they lie to us all the time, sometimes just to amuse themselves.)

2/2/1983 Reagan meeting with Afghan Freedom Fighters in Oval Office to discuss Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan. (Wikimedia)

So when this story first came out, I thought, “You know, Trump has been stopped from withdrawing troops in the past by ridiculous propaganda that seems to land like a giant turd right after he announces his intentions. Maybe I’ll check what happened in the days preceding this jaw-dropping story.”

So just days after Trump goes against the military industrial complex and against the ruling establishment by announcing he’ll be withdrawing about a third of our troops from Germany, and just weeks after announcing an early withdrawal from Afghanistan, a seemingly mind-blowing story drops about Russia paying the Taliban to kill American troops.

This serves to remind everyone what a threat Russia is (so we better put more troops in Germany!) and serves to keep us in Afghanistan (because screw those Russian-funded Taliban!).

Look, I’m not saying Trump is a hero or a great guy or even a man who wants peace. I’m not even saying he’s a man. He very well may be a giant blood-sucking leech in a human skin suit. (A poorly tailored human skin suit.)

All I’m saying is the timing doesn’t add up. Either these landmark stories that destroy every chance of peace are false (in fact we’ve already proven two out of three of them are false), or peace has exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing. 

Lee Camp is the host of the hit comedy news show “Redacted Tonight.” His new book “Bullet Points and Punch Lines” is available at LeeCampBook.com and his stand-up comedy special can be streamed for free at LeeCampAmerican.com.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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24 comments for “LEE CAMP: Connecting the Dates – US Media Used To Stop The ‘Threat’ of Peace

  1. July 2, 2020 at 22:06

    North Korea’s primary complaint are US military bases in Korea. They are not needed as the South Korean military is five times stronger than the North. Start closing some unilaterally and peace talks will make progress.

    “The Mythical North Korean Threat”: hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG1b-bCVJzY

    • Dawn Reel
      July 3, 2020 at 17:11

      That is a great point about the South Korean military is so much stronger than the North Korean military. Yes, we should pull out all these troops and use the funding for helping the massive amount of unempl0yed and hungry folks in America.

  2. exiled off mainstreet
    July 2, 2020 at 19:30

    Excellent article. Did anyone ever notice that Beavis and Butthead looked like Gore and Clinton?

  3. Cratylus
    July 2, 2020 at 15:15

    Great article. Lee Camp at his best.

    I can hardly wait for Biden to bring us back to NATO’s Drang Nach Osten and the intensification of the Pivot to Oblivion and the resurrection of the China containing TPP. The Intel Agencies, the NSA excepted this time (see: news.antiwar.com/2020/07/01/nsa-dissents-from-other-agencies-over-russian-bounty-intel/) will have done their job and brought us one step closer to Armageddon.

  4. Frigga Karl
    July 2, 2020 at 14:09

    you are completey right Lee, peace is a threat to the deep state of the USA. The first and then the second worldwar gave them the wealth for imperium. Now they got the taste of blood. When you look at the presidents, they became more and more puppets of the IMC and Wall Street, republicans and democrats all together. The actual situation is a cry for revolution! Revolution is overdu! Organizing on a national level should not be so hard. Black Americans have all the qualities for organizing a big and long lasting change. Soldiers and police should think of the future of their kids. Surely there is a big mess in many brains but we become wiser every day and the ruling elite becomes more and more stupid and blind for reality. Let’s finish with this CIA and Pentagon shit ! Let’s occupy the White House, the Pentagon and the Wall Street.

    • paul easton
      July 2, 2020 at 16:36

      In principle I am all for The Revolution. In practice however I have a question. When the Government falls, who will pay for my Social Security? It is all I have.

    • Dawn Reel
      July 3, 2020 at 17:19

      Great question, Paul. In reality, if the deep state and military-industrial complex were NOT running America, or running it less, because regular people demanded it, the question is, what would regular people want the money spent on? Being that most Americans love their grandparents and elders, I think it is a pretty good bet that funds for Social Security would increase. Senior centers, Meal on Wheels, and Medicare would have more funding.

      Check out the #DefundThePolice movement. In cities everywhere folks are getting their City Councils to cut police spending and use the money on schools and other social services. Yes, it is a bit of a problem that our elders are underrepresented at the protests and thus demands are as visible as they should be. Thank you, I will personally be more conscious about raising issues of increased funding for our elders.

  5. July 2, 2020 at 11:44

    So, the NYT, Democratic Party and Deep State would have us think that Russia is putting bounties on the lives of United States service personnel at a time when the Trump administration has committed to withdrawing United States troop from that quagmire. Evidently their faith in our gullibility is boundless. Of course, the appeals are to our most base emotions and tendencies rather than to logic and a quest for a more peaceful, equitable and just world. That, to the NYT, Democratic Party and Deep State is anathema, it hits the military industrial complex where it hurts, not in American lives but in the pocketbook.

    Of course, if the Russians really were brilliant immoral Machiavellians, they would want to obstruct the withdrawal proposed by President Trump and, agreeing with the NYT, Democratic Party and Deep State, hope to keep us embroiled in the Afghan quagmire forever, and like Goldman Sachs and the investment class, invest, invest, invest available Russian government funds in the military industrial complex, thereby ameliorating the economic consequences of all the economic sanctions the NYT, Democratic Party and Deep State keep insisting on, making Russia economically self-sustaining while the United States falls apart, investing all of its available resources on military adventures while ignoring universal healthcare, free education, welfare, infrastructure, etc.


    • Narayan
      July 3, 2020 at 18:10

      Much like your rhetorical style:)

  6. Michael
    July 2, 2020 at 10:08

    Great article. Two notable instances occurred under Obama.

    One I recall was when the President said he would not bomb Syria unless the used chemical weapons. Within a week there was a report of a chemical weapons attack, and the president was only saved when Kerry made the offer that we wouldn’t bomb of they have up their chemical weapons. They did.

    The second was in October, 2016, when the President negotiated a cease fire with the Russians. Shortly after the cease fire took effect the Americans bombed Syrian positions and there was a report that Russians were killed. The Russians then pronounced that the Americans were agreement incapable and quit trying to negotiate with the Americans. For a brief time the future was uncertain.

  7. jdd
    July 2, 2020 at 09:28

    The author, and he is certainly not alone, seems to apologize and even agonize over the possibility that President Trump may actually seek good relations with Russia, and an end to endless wars, two hallmarks of his 2016 presidential campaign. Leaving aside all of the abuse, the endless investigations, threats and coup attempts against this president, which began even before he announced his candidacy, a cursory review of this president’s history on these matters by Mr. Camp would have removed any doubts that such views are, in fact, deeply and longly held by Donald Trump.

  8. July 2, 2020 at 06:36

    Nope, never mind, earlier comment about payment to taliban was a mistake, way up at the top of the story. My bad.

  9. July 2, 2020 at 06:25

    Have a couple of paragraphs from this article been, uh, lost?

    The text that I read, somewhere, about payments to the Taliban?

  10. July 2, 2020 at 05:24


  11. Curious
    July 2, 2020 at 04:10

    Lee, I like many of your astute observations, and this article is no different.
    Lets cut to the chase……. The Generals or their underlings have been saturated with a propaganda system for over 30 years and counting. Do they want to change? No. Same with 30 year CIA peeps…. Do they really care who is president? No, they have their own agenda.
    Remember when Clinton wasn’t even allowed into Area 51. Who has the power here? Not the prez.
    So, we have capitalism where the IMC is racking in the big bucks and they don’t want anyone to screw that up. So Pompous will lie, deceive, obfuscate, manufacture lies, with the believe the ignorant Americans listen and believe. He is mostly right, although also over the top wrong.
    And now the nukes start their new arrival as if no one knew the destruction they cause because Trump in his cluelessness is pulling out of all agreements to create a dead planet. He must hate his family in truth.
    Give the credit to the generals! They always wanted to nuke Russia, and China after WW2, and now they have NATO surrounding Russia, and perhaps China.. Isn’t nuclear winter grand? Just ask the generals with their hate driven motives which won’t decline. USA, bombs the world is what the NYT should say, but the won’t because they are in the game of killing.
    And to add a point to your mention of paying the Taliban to kill Americans, their own leader said “what a stupid story” more or less. We never need money to kill Americans, they are the invaders. Since the Feb ‘peace deal’ they haven’t killed an American so Pelosi is as demented as Biden on a good day, while the Pentagon, and other intel agencies agreed it is a bogus story. How many Americans hav the Taliban killed since Feb????? Good question.
    Keep on keeping on, thanks

    • July 2, 2020 at 11:04

      You rock


  12. Catherine Generous
    July 1, 2020 at 22:46

    Oh, this is rich. Trump, the peacetime, peacemaker president. You are a pretty good propagandist yourself. If I may point out, you don’t approve of anonymous, unnamed sources but clearly back up your own “truths” citing stories with non verified, unnamed witnesses. As for Pompeo? He was CIA. Accordingly, you claim the intel agencies are never telling the truth, so why do you selectively believe something he said that fits your narrative?

    • Skip Scott
      July 2, 2020 at 08:32

      Ah, the Gish is galloping. And if you actually READ the article: “Look, I’m not saying Trump is a hero or a great guy or even a man who wants peace.” Nice try Catherine. Now go back to Rachel.

    • dfnslblty
      July 2, 2020 at 09:35

      Author Camp is citing timing.
      From that limited yet important perspective, all of the noted events [actual or fabricated] display a pattern that points to purposeful intervention against suspension of hostilities.
      Cherry picking, maybe; the motive seems to be cessation of lying to the ‘merican citizens for the purpose of aggression and orporate greed.

    • Jared
      July 2, 2020 at 09:50

      Lee was quite clear that he does not view Trump as a peacemaker, but rather as a political opportunist who out of his own interests has attempted to withdraw troops from some US foreign wars. Even those limited efforts, whatever their motivation, have resulted in nationalistic hysteria from the pages of the “liberal” press and routine attacks on Trump from the right. NYT columnists lambasting Trump as Kim’s “buddy”, for instance, is not a progressive argument, but reactionary demagoguery.

      The argument is not that the US intelligence agencies *always* lie, but that they can be counted on to lie when it serves the propaganda needs of US imperialist war planners or when it is necessary to conceal their clandestine efforts to overthrow foreign governments which do not kowtow to Wall Street. There is a long history of this going all the way back to the revelations of the Church Committee. The left in this country and especially throughout the world have been well aware of this for more than a couple generations now. If you’d like we could discuss specific instances. The evidence that US spy masters lie, cheat and steal is far more extensive than Pompeo’s belated confession.

    • AnneR
      July 2, 2020 at 10:43

      Oh dear. You really do seem to be a supporter of the blue faces of the Janus party and thus unwilling to contemplate that what the MSM and the Blue Faces feed the citizenry with are lies, propaganda at its most Orwellian. Pompeo was actually boasting – and he was in fact, for once, telling the truth: the CIA – indeed ALL “intelligence” agencies – Lie, Cheat, Steal in order to ensure their govt (in this and almost all cases the US govt – rather, its plutocratic ruling elites) get what they want, whatever that is. And Lee does not view the Strumpet as a “peacemaker” President (he could Hardly under any whitewash be called a “peacetime” prez), just that when the Strumpet wants to withdraw troops (all about the $$$$, cos that IS all that the Strumpet is about – he must spend his nights calculating the cost of this or that to the US and where possible wants to get the same deal for fewer or no US $$$; the man’s a reality tv star and real estate dealer, for goodness sake) the real powers that be do things to prevent that happening. There’s money at stake – that of the plutocrats of the MIC, of the upper echelons of the Pentagonal, of the US Congress and all the quiet oligarchs. They are not going to let any idiot in the WH think that he/she can get away with cutting off the spigot. No way.

    • torture this
      July 2, 2020 at 11:51

      If you admit you’re a liar, you’re a liar. But, you’d have to be an idiot to think that liars never tell the truth.

    • July 3, 2020 at 04:49

      Did your brain suffer much before it died? Frankly I trust Lee more than a bunch of lying anonymous spooks but your mileage may vary.

  13. Jeff Harrison
    July 1, 2020 at 20:48

    I’ll go with bad timing, Lee. Everybody knows that peaceniks are stupid – peace is free and war costs money…..

Comments are closed.