Warnings for Washington About Cold War 2.0

The authors raise the brutal U.S. military misadventures committed during the first Cold War in the name of defending “the free world,” a term Biden ominously revived in his State of the Union address. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing U.S. Congress on March 16. (C-Span still)

By William D. HartungNick Cleveland-Stout and Taylor Giorno

A growing chorus of pundits and policymakers has suggested that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks the beginning of a new Cold War. If so, that means trillions of additional dollars for the Pentagon in the years to come coupled with a more aggressive military posture in every corner of the world.

Before this country succumbs to calls for a return to Cold War-style Pentagon spending, it’s important to note that the United States is already spending substantially more than it did at the height of the Korean and Vietnam Wars or, in fact, any other moment in that first Cold War.

Even before the invasion of Ukraine began, the Biden administration’s proposed Pentagon budget (as well as related work like nuclear-warhead development at the Department of Energy) was already guaranteed to soar even higher than that, perhaps to $800 billion or more for 2023.

Here’s the irony: going back to Cold War levels of Pentagon funding would mean reducing, not increasing spending. Of course, that’s anything but what the advocates of such military outlays had in mind, even before the present crisis.

Some supporters of higher Pentagon spending have, in fact, been promoting figures as awe inspiring as they are absurd. Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, is advocating a trillion-dollar military budget, while Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council called for the United States to prepare to win simultaneous wars against Russia and China.

He even suggested that Congress “could go so far as to double its defense spending” without straining our resources. That would translate into a proposed annual defense budget of perhaps $1.6 trillion. Neither of those astronomical figures is likely to be implemented soon, but that they’re being talked about at all is indicative of where the Washington debate on Pentagon spending is heading in the wake of the Ukraine disaster.

Ex-government officials are pressing for similarly staggering military budgets. As former Reagan-era State Department official and Iran-Contra operative Elliott Abrams argued in a recent Foreign Affairs piece titled “The New Cold War”: “It should be crystal clear now that a larger percentage of GDP [gross domestic product] will need to be spent on defense.”

Similarly, in a Washington Post op-ed, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates insisted that “we need a larger, more advanced military in every branch, taking full advantage of new technologies to fight in new ways.” No matter that the U.S. already outspends China by a three-to-one margin and Russia by 10-to-one.

Truth be told, current levels of Pentagon spending could easily accommodate even a robust program of arming Ukraine as well as a shift of yet more U.S. troops to Eastern Europe. However, as hawkish voices exploit the Russian invasion to justify higher military budgets, don’t expect that sort of information to get much traction. At least for now, cries for more are going to drown out realistic views on the subject.

Beyond the danger of breaking the budget and siphoning off resources urgently needed to address pressing challenges like pandemics, climate change, and racial and economic injustice, a new Cold War could have devastating consequences. Under such a rubric, the U.S. would undoubtedly launch yet more military initiatives, while embracing unsavory allies in the name of fending off Russian and Chinese influence.

The first Cold War, of course, reached far beyond Europe, as Washington promoted right-wing authoritarian regimes and insurgencies globally at the cost of millions of lives. Such brutal military misadventures included Washington’s role in coups in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile; the war in Vietnam; and support for repressive governments and proxy forces in Afghanistan, Angola, Central America, and Indonesia.

All of those were justified by exaggerated — even at times fabricated — charges of Soviet involvement in such countries and the supposed need to defend “the free world,” a Cold War term President Joe Biden all-too-ominously revived in his recent State of the Union address (assumedly, yet another sign of things to come).

U.S. President Joe Biden delivering State of the Union address on March 1; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on right. (C-Span still)

Indeed, his framing of the current global struggle as one between “democracies and autocracies” has a distinctly Cold War ring to it and, like the term “free world,” it’s riddled with contradictions. After all, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines, all too many autocracies and repressive regimes already receive ample amounts of U.S. weaponry and military training — no matter that they continue to pursue reckless wars or systematically violate the human rights of their own people.

Washington’s support is always premised on the role such regimes supposedly play in fighting against or containing the threats of the moment, whether Iran, China, Russia, or some other country.

Count on one thing: the heightened rhetoric about Russia and China seeking to undermine American influence will only reinforce Washington’s support for repressive regimes. The consequences of that could, in turn, prove to be potentially disastrous.

Before Washington embarks on a new Cold War, it’s time to remind ourselves of the global consequences of the last one.

Cold War I: The Coups

Aug. 16, 1953: Pro-Mosaddegh protests in Tehran. (William Arthur Cram, The Guardian, Wikimedia Commons)

Dwight D. Eisenhower is often praised as the president who ended the Korean War and spoke out against the military-industrial complex. However, he also sowed the seeds of instability and repression globally by overseeing the launching of coups against nations allegedly moving towards communism or even simply building closer relations with the Soviet Union.

In 1953, with Eisenhower’s approval, the C.I.A. instigated a coup that led to the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeqh. In a now-declassified document, the C.I.A. cited the Cold War and the risks of leaving Iran “open to Soviet aggression” as rationales for their actions. The coup installed Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, initiating 26 years of repressive rule that set the stage for the 1979 Iranian revolution that would bring Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.

In 1954, the Eisenhower administration launched a coup that overthrew the Guatemalan government of President Jacobo Arbenz. His “crime”: attempting to redistribute to poor peasants some of the lands owned by major landlords, including the U.S.-based United Fruit Company. Arbenz’s internal reforms were falsely labeledcommunism-in-the-making and a case of Soviet influence creeping into the Western Hemisphere. Of course, no one in the Eisenhower administration made mention of the close ties between the United Fruit Company and both C.I.A. Director Allen Dulles and his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Such U.S. intervention in Guatemala would prove devastating with the four decades that followed consumedby a brutal civil war in which up to 200,000 people died.

The bombing of the parliament building in Chile as part of the 1973 coup directed against Salvador Allende who had nationalized Chile’s copper industry. (Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional, CC BY 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons)

In 1973, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger followed Eisenhower’s playbook by fomenting a coup that overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Chilean President Salvador Allende, installing the vicious dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. That coup was accomplished in part through economic warfare — “making the economy scream,” as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it — and partly thanks to C.I.A.-backed bribes and assassinations meant to bolster right-wing factions there.  Kissinger would justify the coup, which led to the torture, imprisonment, and death of tens of thousands of Chileans, this way: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”

Vietnam & Its Legacy

Helicopters airlift U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, 1966. (James K. F. Dung, Wikimedia Commons)

The most devastating Cold War example of a war justified on anti-communist grounds was certainly the disastrous U.S. intervention in Vietnam. It would lead to the deployment there of more than half a million American troops, the dropping of a greater tonnage of bombs than the U.S. used in World War II, the defoliation of large parts of the Vietnamese countryside, the massacre of villagers in My Lai and numerous other villages, the deaths of 58,000 U.S. troops and up to 2 millionVietnamese civilians — all while Washington systematically lied to the American public about the war’s “progress.”

U.S. involvement in Vietnam began in earnest during the administrations of Presidents Harry Truman and Eisenhower, when Washington bankrolled the French colonial effort there to subdue an independence movement. After a catastrophic French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the U.S. took over the fight, first with covert operations and then counterinsurgency efforts championed by the administration of John F. Kennedy. Finally, under President Lyndon Johnson Washington launched an all-out invasion and bombing campaign.

In addition to being an international crime writ large, in what became a Cold War tradition for Washington, the conflict in Vietnam would prove to be profoundly anti-democratic. There’s no question that independence leader Ho Chi Minh would have won the nationwide election called for by the 1954 Geneva Accords that followed the French defeat. Instead, the Eisenhower administration, gripped by what was then called the “domino theory” — the idea that the victory of communism anywhere would lead other countries to fall like so many dominos to the influence of the Soviet Union — sustained an undemocratic right-wing regime in South Vietnam.

Four-ship defoliation spray run during the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons)

That distant war would, in fact, spark a growing antiwar movement in this country and lead to what became known as the “Vietnam Syndrome,” a public resistance to military intervention globally. While that meant an ever greater reliance on the C.I.A., it also helped keep the U.S. out of full-scale boots-on-the-ground conflicts until the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Instead, the post-Vietnam “way of war” would be marked by a series of U.S.-backed proxy conflicts abroad and the widespread arming of repressive regimes.

The defeat in Vietnam helped spawn what was called the Nixon Doctrine, which eschewed large-scale intervention in favor of the arming of American surrogates like the Shah of Iran and the Suharto regime in Indonesia. Those two autocrats typically repressed their own citizens, while trying to extinguish people’s movements in their regions. In the case of Indonesia, Suharto oversaw a brutal war in East Timor, greenlighted and supported financially and with weaponry by the Nixon administration.

‘Freedom Fighters’

Reagan meeting with Mujahideen, 1983. (Wikimedia Commons)

1983: U.S. President Ronald Reagan meeting with leaders of the Afghan Mujahideen. (Wikimedia Commons)

Once Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1981, his administration began to push support for groups he infamously called “freedom fighters.” Those ranged from extremist mujahideen fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan to Jonas Savimbi’sforces in Angola to the Nicaraguan Contras. The U.S. funding and arming of such groups would have devastating consequences in those countries, setting the stage for the rise of a new generation of corrupt regimes, while arming and training individuals who would become members of al-Qaeda.

The Contras were an armed right-wing rebel movement cobbled together, funded, and supplied by the C.I.A.. Americas Watch accused them of rape, torture, and the execution of civilians. In 1984, Congress prohibited the Reagan administration from funding them, thanks to the Boland amendment (named for Massachusetts Democratic Representative Edward Boland). In response, administration officials sought a work-around. In the end, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a Marine and member of the National Security Council, would devise a scheme to supply arms to Iran, while funneling excess profits from the sales of that weaponry to the Contras. The episode became known as the Iran-Contra scandal and demonstrated the lengths to which zealous Cold Warriors would go to support even the worst actors as long as they were on the “right side” (in every sense) of the Cold War struggle.

Chief among this country’s blunders of that previous Cold War era was its response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a policy that still haunts America today. Concerns about that invasion led the administration of President Jimmy Carter to step up weapons transfers through a covert arms pipeline to a loose network of oppositional fighters known as the mujahideen. President Reagan doubled down on such support, even meeting with the leaders of mujahideen groups in the Oval Office in 1983. That relationship would, of course, backfire disastrously as Afghanistan descended into a civil war after the Soviet Union withdrew. Some of those Reagan had praised as “freedom fighters” helped form al-Qaeda and later the Taliban. The U.S. by no means created the mujahideen in Afghanistan, but it does bear genuine responsibility for everything that followed in that country.

As the Biden administration moves to operationalize its policy of democracy versus autocracy, it should take a close look at the Cold War policy of attempting to expand the boundaries of the “free world.” A study by political scientists Alexander Downes and Jonathon Monten found that, of 28 cases of American regime change, only three would prove successful in building a lasting democracy. Instead, most of the Cold War policies outlined above, even though carried out under the rubric of promoting “freedom” in “the free world,” would undermine democracy in a disastrous fashion.

A New Cold War?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets virtually with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Sept. 27, 2021. (NATO)

Cold War II, if it comes to pass, is unlikely to simply follow the pattern of Cold War I either in Europe or other parts of the world.  Still, the damage done by the “good versus evil” worldview that animated Washington’s policies during the Cold War years should be a cautionary tale. The risk is high that the emerging era could be marked by persistent U.S. intervention or interference in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the name of staving off Russian and Chinese influence in a world where Washington’s disastrous war on terrorism has never quite ended.

The United States already has more than 200,000 troops stationed abroad, 750 military bases scattered on every continent except Antarctica, and continuing counterterrorism operations in 85 countries. The end of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and the dramatic scaling back of American operations in Iraq and Syria should have marked the beginning of a sharp reduction in the U.S. military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Washington’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine may now stand in the way of just such a much-needed military retrenchment.

The “us versus them” rhetoric and global military maneuvering likely to play out in the years to come threaten to divert attention and resources from the biggest risks to humanity, including the existential threat posed by climate change. It also may divert attention from a country — ours — that is threatening to come apart at the seams.  To choose this moment to launch a new Cold War should be considered folly of the first order, not to speak of an inability to learn from history.

Nick Cleveland-Stout is a researcher at the Quincy Institute.

Taylor Giorno is a researcher at the Quincy Institute.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and the author most recently of the Quincy Institute Issue Brief “Pathways to Pentagon Spending Reductions: Removing the Obstacles.” His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex.

This article is from TomDispatch.com.

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

24 comments for “Warnings for Washington About Cold War 2.0

  1. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H. Babu Sahib
    March 28, 2022 at 14:30

    This is a laudable and sane attempt by the authors to duly urge earnest introspection before recklessly blundering onto a potentially more disasterous (for the Rest as well as for the West and the “West”) iteration of the Cold War. The insidiously ensueing new Cold War may not really remain “Cold” for too long as the MADness that held the previous one so assuredly Cold, could no longer hold, as its apparently iron-clad deterrance capacity has long since eroded by American as well as other Great Power “developments” (most broadly defined and for want of a better word) ! By the way, you are quite right, the Mujahideens were not the original creations of the USA but were actually the foster child of the US, we may say, in fact, an US-Pakistan joint project. Their subsequent evolutions into the Al-Qaeda and, debateably the Taliban were even more American than joint projects really; remember Tim Osman was a CIA and not an ISI agent !

  2. elmerfudzie
    March 28, 2022 at 13:51

    As I have already commented elsewhere, in bits and pieces at a variety of Consortiumnews articles I will summarize most of them here.

    At bottom this new conflict is once again, about energy. Who has it, who is allowed to provide it, distribute it and more importantly-when. Enter onto the political scene, a new array of energy sources. In themselves they are miraculous, at the same time, cause fear among many a initial speculator’ investment and future profits.

    Both Fusion and Thorium 232 reactors for electrical energy are now a reality. France will have a fusion reactor on line by ~2025. The UK and US are near completing their fusion reactor projects within the next five years. There are high rollers in the mix here, entrepreneur’s like Peter Theil (German finance), France’s ITER pilot fusion project will kick out 500 megawatts but the full scale, estimates 15 times that figure. China’s EAST project. The USA hasn’t been twiddling it’s thumbs either, MIT’s “SPARC” test reactor, using yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) high-temperature superconducting magnet technology to form a magnetic field to contain a reaction. I’ve read that the fuel(s) component, deuterium and tritium will be lower in cost, hummm (we’ve heard that one before) estimated at 22 billion, and less than any other project cost analysis- so far. In total, there are approximately fourteen fusion projects around the world. Visit hxxps://www.energystartups.org/top/fusion-energy/ for additional info.

    Point being, be it five years away or ten from commercial use, the EU can temporarily reverse it’s (dubious in my view– green planet) course by re-opening, extending, coal and nuclear plants wherever feasible. This strategy is certainly better than war or worse nuclear war eh?

    Even Thorium shows more promise than ever, China has an up and running Thorium plant but has not been scaled up in size-just yet. India has decided to build a dozen or more standard MOX reactors in the very near future-fine, as the old funk-rock song goes “do your thing everybody, do your thing”. I trust that India will build identical reactors as France did. It’s a good idea in terms of long term maintenance and discovering problems in one reactor automatically solves for the rest of them.

    Why continue to antagonize Russia at this point? The EU should buy their gas for now. For a short while consider Canadian and USA carbon sources. In fact I’m shocked that a U.S. team went to Venezuela for oil, hey! we’ve got good friends across the border with more oil than the Saudis. If the farmers don’t want it piped over their pristine lands, okay. It’s a short jaunt from the tar sands through Canada out to the Kodak Island area, and shipped from there. IN very practical terms, these are simple doable things but the world is held hostage by profit margins, political considerations and the greed of shareholders. Glum, dishonest, technical can’t doers will be moved aside with American style -CAN do-ers! Ring up the Canadians, perhaps cash in that Gold just sitting in an Hawaiian vault, pull out the stops and get that new pipeline built pronto! The USA knows what a command economy is, we’ve had it since WWII and devoted every financial resource to corporate welfare (MIC’s)

    For just this once, DC beltway, can-you-do-something-right-for-a change?

    Alternatives? well we’ve all seen what corporate military armaments influence and the politics of hate has done so far. A Ukraine war, new armaments customers, mass displacement of people, emergency donations and foodstuffs wildly thrown at a needless war effort. A total and unnecessary waste of time, energy, resources, manpower…if only all that financial ways and means, talent could be focused towards R&D for alternative energy or at the very least, an ongoing maintenance of reliable energy sources. But No, the Peter Principle still rules. Incompetent dummies, are at the helm both corporate and government (throughout the entire Western Occident Nations).

    We proles in the world continue to shoulder the pain, the suffering, for corrupt and contemptible leaders in positions of power! The Panama and Pandora papers should have resulted in thousands of arrest warrants issued by the UN’s- ICJ but it didn’t, it couldn’t, no authority to do so. A useless agency swaggering around, told to (uselessly) point naughty, naughty!, fingers at Russia (oh again the same drivel) .. . What should have gone “global” for the sake of new energy, for the sake of world wide justice- in a word went Flat!

  3. Mark Clarke
    March 27, 2022 at 10:02

    What are the three successful democracies resulting from our 28 regime change operations? We need to stop thinking of American interventions as benevolent attempts to create democracy. They are intended to create chaos. If you step out of line you will face sanctions, coups, bombings, invasions and occupations.

  4. Donald Duck
    March 27, 2022 at 03:52

    Just been reading ‘Counterpunch’ Apparently everything is Putin’s fault. The 2014 coup, and the invasion of the Don Bass with the continuing war against Donetsk and Lugansk, which to date has claimed the lives of Donbass 14000 lives failed. But hey, but’s let’s forget about that. Egged on by NATO and the US and supplied by the Ukrainian ‘Government’ the Ukie army wound themselves with a force of 100,000 and was assembled to strike for another for another go at the Donbass bringing themselves a stone’s throw from the Russian border. At this point Putin’s patience snapped.

    Apparently Putin objected to hostile armies planting themselves slap on Russias’s borders along with NATO participation and nuclear armed missiles. So he counter-attacked. Tut, tut, how unreasonable of him.

    Russia must not defend itself against poor little NATO and its proxies because NATO is a defensive organization. It means no harm.

  5. Aaron
    March 26, 2022 at 20:08

    Biden was hugging a woman on the news promising her “We will rebuild Ukraine”, and I’m sure we will, but we can’t afford to even rebuild our own country. But we will spare no expense for rebuilding a non-Nato country on the other side of the world? I’m really disappointed in our leadership.

  6. March 26, 2022 at 11:10

    – “A new Cold War” ???? “Cold War 2.0 about to begin ” ????? Seriously ????

    Anyone who paid attention to what happened in the last say 30 years over there in Europe & Eastern Europe knows that the “Cold War 2.0” already began in the year 1998 with the war in Kosovo. And even one can question whether the previous “Cold War” ever ended (in 1990) with the fall of the “Iron Curtain”. When one looks at it from this angle one can doubt the “Cold War 1.0” ever ended.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    March 26, 2022 at 10:21

    No end to this country’s bellicosity? Destroying everything in it’s path, including its own citizens. The American ’empire’ will implode – not from the outside, but on account of a very rotten inside.

  8. Tony
    March 26, 2022 at 06:38

    “Chief among this country’s blunders of that previous Cold War era was its response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a policy that still haunts America today. Concerns about that invasion led the administration of President Jimmy Carter to step up weapons transfers through a covert arms pipeline to a loose network of oppositional fighters known as the mujaheddin. “

    This rather understates the issue. The Carter administration wanted the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and destabilised that country in order to help bring it about.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski actually boasted of this in his infamous 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur magazine.

    Brzezinski: “It wasn’t quite like that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”

  9. rosemerry
    March 26, 2022 at 03:10

    The resources used by the USA for its constant aggression have NO relationship to defense. The profits of the big weapons corporations are of supreme importance, since the USA produces practically nothing more, as its industrial base has been hollowed out for the profit of the few, and the needs of the vast majority of the population of the USA are ignored. The “free media” of the “free world” do not allow people to dissent-they are punished, like “our” sanctions on the rest of the globe.
    If anyone can explain why the important but until recently hidden away from our eyes “independent, sovereign nation” of Ukraine has now been invaded by Russia, unprovoked and criminal, please do.

    After 8 years of USA?CIA?NATO subversion and refusal to make any peace with Russia about the Donbass region and the deaths caused by far-right attacks of the Ukie Army, Russia has run out of patience and now is in the process of taking over Ukraine NOT to keep Kiev, “shock and awe”, kill democracy and civilians BUT to get rid of the influential neo- or even real Nazis (lots of videos online for at least 8 years from BBC, DW etc shows this was no secret) and lethal weapons and allow real Ukrainians to live their lives NEXT to Russia but in neutrality and peace.
    It is an existential matter for Russia. Why is it so important for NATO? NATO is defensive? Defending who or what???

  10. Cesar Jeopardy
    March 25, 2022 at 21:11

    A country like the U.S. that can “create” as much money as it wants, that can spend it any way that it wants, and that has increasingly has no sense of ethics, morality, or propriety is an extremely dangerous country. Such a country may very well destroy itself, but only after destroying many other countries and ruining the lives of millions of people. I’ve spent enough times in msm blogs to see that the American people are very much onboard with the new very aggressive U.S. It’s very troubling.

    • Tedder
      March 28, 2022 at 09:41

      You are right that a sovereign country can “create” as much money as it wants, but it is still constrained by real resources. The US may not be as strong as its GDP and monetary base indicate as it actually produces so much less than it did at its economic peak from about 1950 to 1970. Right now, other than weapons, food products are its greatest export and most of its GDP comes from services, especially financial services.

      • robert e williamson jr
        March 28, 2022 at 15:13

        Right on Tedder. FYI the url I listed below is access to a document that revolves around the INSLAW affair, which is the company that came up with the PROMIS software. This software was marketed illegally by (redacted for this comment only) to banking systems for monitoring illegally financial services.

        The document leaves little doubt of who did what, when and for whom. Thanks to one Mr. Elliot Richardson who wrote the cover letter, consisting of four pages to one Kenneth W Starr Independent Counsel on February 7, 1995. He included a lengthy, 55 pages, MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD , on INSLAW letterhead dated, Jan 23, 1995 from William A and Nancy Burke Hamilton, names are initialed by both.

        Subject: Questions That should Be Asked of Former Associate Alttorney General Webster Hubbell About His and Possibly Vincent Foster’s Involvement in an Apparent Arkansas Component of the ONSLAW Affair.

        Believe me you cannot make this stuff up!!

  11. robert e williamson jr
    March 25, 2022 at 17:53

    Late yesterday afternoon I did a google search, simply “INSLAW SCANDAL” and visited this site.


    I am absolutely amazed by what I’ve found. More important is the time line of your article here runs concurrent with the time line of the INSLAW Scandal over the PROMIS software.

    History of INSLAW : Founded as the Institute for Law and Social Research 1973-1981, in January 1981 William A. Hamilton established the for profit INSLAW, transferring the Institutes assets over to the new corporation.

    By 1983 problems were on the horizon for INSLAW and the Hamiltons. DOJ review September 1994 which concluded that DOJ had stolen the software.

    As much as the wiki may be hated, a short concise summation of these litigations can be found there. This brings me to the document I found at the link listed above.

    What I found was a letter from Elliot Richardson (his signature is on the page) Dated February 7, 1995, to The Honorable Kenneth W. Starr, Independent Counsel, Office of the Independent Counsel, Suite 490 North, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W., Washington D.C. 20004

    “Dear Judge Starr:

    Public revelations to date in the Independent Counsel’s investigation indicate that the so called Whitewater Affair is a banking industry scandal with as yet unexplained links to the rose Law Firm of Little Rock and to two of its former partners, Webster Hubbell who served as Associate Attorney General, and Vincent Foster, who served as Deputy White House Counsel in the Clinton Administration.

    Such are the apparent implications of guilty pleas thus far obtained in the investigation from individuals described as “cooperating witnesses,” including pleas by two person associated with Arkansas banking and financial services institutions, David Hale and Robert Palmer, and pleas by Hubbell for billing and expense frauds while a partner at the Rose Law Firm. it is also the apparent implication of the continuing investigation into the unexplained sudden depression and death of Vincent Foster.

    One common thread linking the Rose Law Firm, Hubbell and Foster with the banking industry is Little Rock-based Systematics, a $700 million-a-year Rose Law Firm client in which Hubbel and Foster each had financial interests. Systematics is one of the leading vendors in the United states and reportedly in some 40 foreign countries, of computer software and services for the banking industry. ”

    That paragraph is the end of the first page of this communication. The next page goes as far as to connect Sematices involvement with intelligence Allies.

    The linkage is all here. until page 5 where it ends. Page 6 is on INSLAW letter head.

    MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD date jan 23 1995 from William A and Nancy D Burke Hamilton both initialed their names

    Subject Questions That Should Be Asked of Former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell About His and Possibly Vincent Foster’s Involvement in an Apparent Arkansas Component of the INSLAW Affair.

    So what, you say, I say tell me why are the Russians in the Ukraine now?

    I’ll give everyone something they almost never want, FREE ADVICE. Pull this file up and read all 61 pages Questions 0n 20 topics and Exhibits:

    Those of you who know about this why aren’t we talking about it?

    Thanks Cn

    • Tim N
      March 26, 2022 at 16:39

      Not sure what this has to do with the essay at hand.

      • robert e williamson jr
        March 27, 2022 at 16:00

        For Tim: It ain’t over till the “Fat LADIES sing”!

        One of them recently died but as we see one is still very much alive and chipper or will be until word gets out.

        Tim did you pull this document and read it?. If you did and read any of the first ten or fifteen pages and you still ask this question you may be one of those who are unreachable by me. It’s all good just the same so here goes.

        Tim what has been the major topic about Putin and his Russian Oligarchs? Money right, it’s a no-brainer.

        Tim when did Putin and his Russia become world renowned for being the worst leader and worst country on the planet. Shrub didn’t have time for him, Obama didn’t like him or Russia so much it seems. Hillary liked him and Russia less.

        Then Trump election tampering and the Russia – Putin connections. You following me, Tim. And a Hillary missing server. Got that? Th Russians did it, the Russians did it! Pretty recent, all things considered.

        Now pull the document up and read it. Why because of the linkage exposed by this document and what it is. This document is apparently the work product Elliot Richardson produced in response to Janet Reno’s tasking having him review the INSLAW Scandal case. As you can see, although you may have missed it, by viewing the url I posted above. Part of or maybe all data included in these communications, cover page has scrawled in right margin Inslaw Affair, is from work done byBrett Kavanaugh for Ken Starr. Kavanaugh is who drafted the Starr Report recommending the impeachment of Slick Willy..

        Which brings us to Oct 6, 2018, a mere month and a half after the date given with the results of my search, Aug 14, 2018, we see the contested appointment of one Brett Kavanaugh to the SCOTUS. Pretty recent.

        Trump nominated this guy, Trump who now seems mired in all sorts of trouble or not, but very recent, like currently. Would you agree?

        Same with Ukraine, events happening now there are centered around the controversy that erupted in Ukraine even before the 2014 coup there. Events tht have lead to the current shit show in Ukraine.

        “For what it is worth”, 1967 song by Steven Stills, by Buffalo Springfield, “There’s a man with a gun over there . . .

        I leave it to you to figure this out should you choose to pursue the topic of crooked government officials which is exactly what this is about. People who got mixed in with some very bad people and became pawns , useful idiots, in the process. . Some were even presidents!

        For the moderator:

        I am aware of the twitter stuff from Hillary about Caitlin. I really don’t mind if you don’t post his message to Tim, but I am concerned for Caitlin and I’m not sure how this might play. Don’t want to screw something up but word needs to get out and I am contacting friends about this document.

        Thanks CN

        • robert e williamson jr
          March 28, 2022 at 21:53

          Both of them!


  12. March 25, 2022 at 17:47

    Sooo, for all those stupid enough to believe that free healthcare, education, etc., would be the result of a Biden presidency, or of any Democrat’s presidency other than Tulsi Gabbard, pull out your teeth, put them under your pillows and wait for the tooth fairy.

    • Tim N
      March 26, 2022 at 16:47

      With your endorsement of that right wing fraud Gabbard, it sounds like the tooth fairy will be visiting you too. Gabbard had zero chance of becoming President, but I guess you can dream. Best to not bother to vote at all at this point.

  13. Realist
    March 25, 2022 at 16:02

    How does Washington propose to raise the funds to pay for all of these dreams of glorious conquest? By stealing more money and gold from Russian, and then Chinese financial accounts? Or stealing their international trade and income through increasingly byzantine and lunatic sanctions? The US government is already spending hundreds of billions of dollars per year that it does not have, that it must borrow, in some cases from the very nations (i.e., China) that it targets with its aggression. This is simply mad, immoral and not at all feasible. Perhaps Washington should revisit the history books and recall why the Soviet Union collapsed and fragmented.

    America has already pauperized its working class by offshoring their jobs. The middle class is disappearing and tahing more economic hits to cover these absurd pipedreams of world hegemony will destroy what they hold most dear: the future of their children. I should hope that most human beings would value the well-being and happiness of their children and grandchildren more than a vainglorious pursuit of raw power by their shameless and delusional national “leadership.” I hope we can find the means and the fortitude to stop their mad plans, throw them out of office and find sane replacements who understand the constitutional responsibilities that come with the job.

    • Maxine Chiu
      March 25, 2022 at 19:31

      Considering America’s goal of world hegemony and the expenses that incurs as well as the increasingly disastrous results of climate change which we are now experiencing, anybody who would dare put children into the mix is hideously selfish.

    • Tedder
      March 28, 2022 at 09:49

      Michael Hudson’s Super Imperialism tells how America from its first imperial adventure in Korea overspent. This was exacerbated by the Vietnam War, when domestic resources could no longer sustain its war making. So, it went off gold and started to borrow to sustain its balance of payments deficits rather than raise taxes. In time, these Treasury debts, T-bills, came to be the world’s reserve currency. As Realist points out, the countries purchasing T-bills (they had no other use for their accumulated dollars) effectively financed the warmonger’s efforts against them. This is over now, and the one hope to destroy the hegemon, will be the world’s rejection of the dollar-based reserve currency. If this is too precipitous and an alternate financial system does not evolve, there could be devastating global recession.

  14. Ray Knowles
    March 25, 2022 at 15:28

    The US likes to brag that the USSR collapsed because it tried to keep up with US in defense spending even though they had a GDP a fraction of US. Because all of it will be financed with deficits, we will at some point discover no on wants to buy the bonds issued to pay for our defense. At which point, if we want to continue, will have inflate the currency to create more money. We have to ask ourselves is there a limit to amount we are willing to spend on defense.

    • James Simpson
      March 26, 2022 at 04:40

      So long as it’s called ‘defense’ not ‘war’ spending, there is no limit whatsoever.

    • DW Bartoo
      March 26, 2022 at 10:14

      Go Team U$A!

      War, to the elite, is like football to Penn State …

      It is what makes the money roll in.

      Without it, certain “folks” would not be riding their high horses.

      “Full Spectrum Dominance”, its “pushers”, beyond Consequence in a pretend “rule of law” nation of faked “democracy”, is not a principled policy, merely a PR expediency, to further the Divine Right of Money, it is “might is right” dressed up in pious righteousness with claims of “humanitarian” concerns .

      Whenever the political class or the M$M punditry say “You are either with us or against us”, which is but a lightly veiled threat intended to end discussion and dissent, they engage in fallacious argument.

      The Romans termed this type of rhetorical deceit Argumentum ad baculum (argument backed by a stick).

      Once upon a time, schools actually taught young people how to recognize when they were being lied to, now we pretend that, while “all politicians lie”, it is okay if it your gal or guy.

      When the narrative of the elite is challenged, Assange goes to jail.

      This nation has dire human needs unfilled, shelter, food, and access to healthcare among them, that are not being met.

      We cannot vote our way out of war and into peace.

      We cannot vote our way to a better more sustainable future because the elite control the system.

      Yet, far too many believe the elite are honorable, decent, generous, and fair, embracing such notions as, for example, that the Clintons are modern day Robin Hoods, taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

      Myth rules all and the current not-war in Ukraine is driven by some notion that it is an nostalgic revisitation of WWII, where the indispensable U$A won the day, the war, and the world (to do with whatever it dawned well pleases).

      So, as it is most unlikely that things will improve themselves, or that the elite will do anything but double down (vapulation will continue until morale improves) what are we to do?

      Suggestions that supporting the Democrats is all that makes sense, as they must improve, is ludicrous nonsense.

      If change there is to be, beyond everyone getting their noses rubbed real hard (what if war were to come here? or go nuclear, or the “economy ” collapses for all but Wall Street? what if inflation, realizing that housing, food, and transportation costs are NOT factored into “official” notions of the “Cost of Living”)?

      If it is a breach of “Nationsl Security” to hold psychologists who devise torture programs to account, then the “rule of law” must be recognized as a sham and that the legal system’s actual function is to protect the status quo of wealth, power, and privilege.

      If the legal, educational, and political systems do not actually serve the many then perforce, they must serve the few.

      It’s up to us.

      What are we going to do.

      Existential threats are not something to “muddle through”.

      And “better PR” does not cut it.

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