Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 05, 2016

One Way The White House Manipulates

A portrait of Obama's spokesperson and policy guru Ben Rhodes explains how government propaganda works. This part is about selling the Iran deal to the U.S. public:

As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.

When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” he said. “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal.

You can replace the "Iran deal" with "regime-change in Syria", "Russia's aggression" or some big trade deal the White Hosue wants to push through. It works the same way with every issue. Some experts in some (well paid) thinktanks get fed some juicy bits, they go out to cheerlead clueless reporters who then write whatever validates the various White House claims.

It is all test driven and works. Unless of course people have time and energy to inform themselves through other than the usual sources. Only few are able to do so.

Posted by b on May 5, 2016 at 03:19 PM | Permalink

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It's Operation Mockingbird and the Mighty Wurlitzer and they've been using these tactics for decades.

Operation Mockingbird

Posted by: Bruno Marz | May 5, 2016 3:31:58 PM | 1

thanks b... it is all pr-spin driven. vacuous, empty cultures don't last long... unfortunately for the good people who do live in the usa, so much of the culture they live in is devoid of much of anything worth cherishing or valuing... the almighty chase for the almighty $ sums up much of what they exemplify which not much in the way of ethics or values to back any of it up..

Posted by: james | May 5, 2016 3:36:28 PM | 2

OMG! Army Captain Nathan Michael Smith can read, write and think. Just like Corporal (awarded posthumously) Pat Tillman.

Army Captain Nathan Michael Smith is suing President Barack Obama, arguing that the war against Islamic State is illegal because it has not been authorized by Congress.

“Under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, when the President introduces United States armed forces into hostilities… he must either get approval from Congress within sixty day to continue the operation, in the form of a declaration of war

source - http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/05/05/army-captain-sues-obama-over-isis-fight/

Posted by: ALberto | May 5, 2016 3:43:02 PM | 3

James ... once upon a time I too thought it was the pursuit of the mighty dollar. Lately though, I've come to the conclusion that it the mindless pursuit of stuff. Dollars are both a means of acquiring stuff and stuff as well.

Alberto ... all the captain wants is to have congress make a nasty and unnecessary war 'legal' so he can sleep at night. Other than that, it is just more bulls--- .

And Bruno ... you are right ... the same old same old. Going back to the founding of the empire, ca 1776. Always making a big noise about how our way should ultimately rule the world. Manifest Destiny is the unstoppable clarion call of the US.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 5, 2016 3:52:36 PM | 4

Does any of this really matter? We can't do anything about it if we wanted to. The Neocons have made a mess of things far beyond what we are seeing today. As for all the posturing going on in the think tanks as well as the military too, it's pointing the finger to distract from the real issues. Why are we back fighting in Iraq, why hasn't Afghanistan been left in the dust, now more boots on the ground in
Syria. Let us not forget the E.U. whose new U.S.General wants to rebuild the U.S. forces that were around at the end of the cold war as well as reequip them too. All this, on the taxpayers dime, not the backs of the offshore crowd. Only in the U.S.A.

Posted by: originalone | May 5, 2016 4:06:14 PM | 5

This may be next installment in the Al-Qa’eda on the comeback trail media blitz ...
Foreign Policy: Al Qaeda Is About to Establish an Emirate in Northern Syria: After years on the back foot, the Nusra Front is laying the groundwork for al Qaeda’s first sovereign state.

( and then there was the Foreign Affairs article of a few days ago ... FOREIGN OLICY: Quitting ISIS Why Syrians are Abandoning the Group - among reasons, pay's bad, and too many non-Syrians in leadership -- oddly, Al-Qa’eda not mentioned -- FP's policy - one free article a month ... so print it out if you want to study it because ...usual tricks apply)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 5, 2016 4:39:42 PM | 6

Please substitute 'City of London' for Israel or Israeli in the following piece ...

An Iraqi security official revealed that an Israeli woman intelligence officer arrested in the holy city of Najaf holding American identity card journalist. Iraqi security secret service discovered and arrested her immediately. The judge in charge of this issue ordered her release under US pressure. Iraqi interior minister after reviewing the details of the case ordered Najaf intelligence Directorate to keep her under arrest to be transferred immediately to Baghdad.

In the end, as a result of increased US pressure on Iraqi officials, she has been released and handed over to US forces.

Women information that has been captured by:

Name: Baras Tamir Aviva. Born 24 | 6 | 1986. Place of birth: Tel Aviv. Identity Number: 026559518

Israeli passport number: 21488124 date of issue of the passport: 26 | 3 | 2014 expiry date. 25 | 3 | 2024

source - http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/05/05/an-israeli-secret-service-officer-arrested-in-a-hotel-in-najaf/

Posted by: ALberto | May 5, 2016 4:47:03 PM | 7

Seeding intel to seemingly neutral third-parties. OK.

But there are so many other ways, such as:

>> Lie to Congress

>> Fire Generals that won't 'get with the program'

>> Manipulate intelligence so that you can excuse your inaction against ISIS

>> Suppress intel

>> Lie and misdirect via credible/sympathetic intermediary

>> Pretend concern/solidarity:

- Jobs

- Gulf oil spill (and a don't miss this youtube video - especially the last part starting at 1:04)

- Racism (note: Obama didn't go to Ferguson or Baltimore)

- Guns

- Flint water

- Brexit/Churchill

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 5, 2016 4:55:12 PM | 8

If he is a policy "guru", he certainly sucks at his job since the results are in and they are not pretty, to say the least. Unless, of course, one wants to make a case that achieving both internal and foreign mess was an alpha-objective. I don't think that such case will have any merit but anything is possible in the mad house.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | May 5, 2016 4:55:18 PM | 9

... I was thinking that "guru" implies deep knowledge and wisdom and his job is more as propaganda coordinator or public relation brand wrangler ... perhaps some title from the world of animal husbandry?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 5, 2016 6:23:57 PM | 10

Whatever happened to the US Airbase being built in Syria? All news reports of this action ceased on or about January 20th of this year?

"The airbase is located Southeast of the town of Rimelan, which is one of the YPG’s main strongholds and “largest arms and ammunition depots”.

The US has not received or even asked for a permission from Damascus for reconstructing the airbase. The United States does not have a UN mandate for intervening in the Syria war."

source - http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000257

Posted by: ALberto | May 5, 2016 6:24:40 PM | 11

According to the New York Times article, Ben Rhodes had originally been an aspiring fiction writer with no real world experience of diplomacy.

" ... [Rhodes] was in the second year of the M.F.A. program at N.Y.U., writing short stories about losers in garden apartments and imagining that soon he would be published in literary magazines, acquire an agent and produce a novel by the time he turned 26. He saw the first [World Trade Center] tower go down, and after that he walked around for a while, until he ran into someone he knew, and they went back to her shared Williamsburg apartment and tried to find a television that worked, and when he came back outside, everyone was taking pictures of the towers in flames. He saw an Arab guy sobbing on the subway. “That image has always stayed with me,” he says. “Because I think he knew more than we did about what was going to happen.” Writing Frederick Barthelme knockoffs suddenly seemed like a waste of time ..."

From what Rhodes says about the Arab man (and how does he even know the guy was an Arab?), we can see how utterly clueless and arrogant he is.

That Rhodes has been allowed to advance as far as he has, given his ignorance about international politics, says a great deal about the cynical culture of Capitol Hill, that it will exploit and build up an idiot like him - and he willingly going along with his exploitation - and then spit him out once he has served his purpose.

What will happen to Rhodes once O'Bomber is out after January 2017 can only be guessed at: I suppose he will make a cool pile writing memoir after memoir squeezing whatever little value remains from the O'Bomber Presidency and maybe write scripts for third-rate Hollywood political thriller flicks and get a percentage from the future profits of the films if they get made.

Posted by: Jen | May 5, 2016 7:08:06 PM | 12

@12 jen.. thanks for the wider overview on him.. he'll be kept, or replaced with someone similar in the next admin... it seems to work the same with political leaders in the west in spite of all the yammer about democracy or accountability - none of which we are seeing any - they either fulfill the hidden mandate or they're replaced with someone who does.. check davutoglu deciding to pack it in as 2nd in command under erdofanatic today... interesting development.. berat albayrak looks like a likely replacement for davutoglu, probably due the fact he is more subservient..

Posted by: james | May 5, 2016 8:05:19 PM | 13

But the BS is right there in one sentence, " legions of arms-control experts" about Iran's Nuclear Energy deal. Two completely different areas...What exactly deep knowledge or commitment does one really need.

The people are willing, fearful dupes. The people bring in those characteristics into every shithouse PR op by the US evil empire for a slam dunk of obvious lies every time. I blame the most of the Western people too. You can fool all of the people most of the time.

Posted by: tom | May 5, 2016 8:07:51 PM | 14

Edward Barneys and Joseph Goebbels would be so proud.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | May 5, 2016 8:34:49 PM | 15

b, 'It is all test driven and works. Unless of course people have time and energy to inform themselves through other than the usual sources. Only few are able to do so.'

The few include all of us bellied up to your bar, b. I'm always ready for another. Oh, you know why.

Thanks.

Posted by: jfl | May 5, 2016 9:46:18 PM | 16

@5 originalone, 'Does any of this really matter? We can't do anything about it if we wanted to.'

Wasn't that Pontius Pilate's line?

Posted by: jfl | May 5, 2016 9:48:44 PM | 17

Apparently one of the job requirements for a mainstream journalist is keeping secrets from one's readers while bragging about sharing them with insiders. Such as details about the unnamed arms-control experts in the block quote above, or the "force multipliers" here:

The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”

“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.

Price laughed.

Aren't you impressed with how smart David Samuels is, how connected he is to the workings of DC? And isn't that more important than knowing the names of journalists feeding you White House propaganda?

Posted by: Tom Allen | May 5, 2016 9:58:52 PM | 18

They would use Honey Bo-Bo if they thought they could get more mileage out of her .Its amazing sometimes what is promoted as competent in the halls of the western Beast with 10 horns . Bring on the little horn and get this crap gone I say .

Posted by: Terry | May 5, 2016 10:13:39 PM | 19

I blame the cancer of propaganda on those I call "faith breathers".

Faith breathers are people who are cowed into being of faith or are inherently intellectually lazy about their responsibility to life, IMO.

I can't be a faith breather because I believe it a step beyond credibility to create things bigger than ourselves when we know so little about the cosmos and our existence in it....gods, AI, etc.

People who are not faith breathers are less apt to be victims of propaganda and brainwashing, IMO.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 5, 2016 10:48:15 PM | 20

interesting related article to this which i picked up at angry arab's site...

"So 15 years ago, there were two PR people for every reporter in the country. Now there are 4.8 PR people for every reporter. This is a huge change, as companies and organizations are seeking to bypass a shrinking media industry and tell their own stories. What this means is that people are getting less objective news and more biased content." link here..

Posted by: james | May 5, 2016 10:55:14 PM | 21

These are people without a soul. We all know the braggart who exists only while he impresses others, that he might experience himself through their eyes. Ben Rhodes not only has no soul; he has no self. To have a self requires finding ideas and values that one commits to, that one tries to enact in the world.

I am reminded of Glazyev being asked at the end of an interview "What is the most important characteristic in a man?" "Responsibility." "And a woman's?" "Fidelity." Do children getting to know each other still ask, "What's your favorite color?"

Responsibility. Fidelity. What terrible innocence in a world filled with interchangeable Ben Rhodeses. Rhodes is a microcosm of the world he's building. His higher ups explicitly regard deception and betrayal as effective virtues to bring in their world of interchangeable workers without privacy or private property, where consensus is mandatory, critical thinking banned and the self erased. Rhodes belongs there.

Posted by: Penelope | May 5, 2016 10:58:12 PM | 22

It is called PR which itself is the political correct word for propaganda. Look up Edward Bernays.

Posted by: Amir | May 5, 2016 10:59:35 PM | 23

No, RG the LG, The 1776 Revolution for Independence was was glorious. If one actually reads the history it wasn't kicked off by the tax on tea. Rather, the colonists wanted to continue issuing their own scrip. The English governor, on behalf of the crown, had forbidden their continuing to do so. The result was an economic decline. That was the real reason for the Revolution, and it was glorious. There was much that was correct, and made explicit in the Founding.

Your hatred of everything about America is not attractive. You seem not to have learnt how to delineate one thing from another, but instead content yourself with spitting on the good as well as the evil.

Posted by: Penelope | May 5, 2016 11:13:56 PM | 24

Penelope | May 5, 2016 11:13:56 PM | 24
Have you read the Royal Proclamation of 1763 ? Things were happening that ought not to have been .1776 may have been the date when things came to a head .The Natives after that had no other authority to appeal to other then their new over lords .

Posted by: Terry | May 5, 2016 11:26:20 PM | 25

james @ 2: Good take on the U$A, but don't hold your breath waiting for the downfall. We can create enough $ to bribe the entire globe.

psycho @ 20: " Faith breathers are people who are cowed into being of faith or are inherently intellectually lazy about their responsibility to life, IMO."

Great take, I couldn't agree more. Don't think, just accept. Don't act, the deity de jour will save you.

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2016 11:29:07 PM | 26

P.S. to psyco.. Your theory on LGB has merit.

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2016 11:32:43 PM | 27

Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide may have its faults but at least it had a large degree of consistency. Every larger organization must propagate its ideas to the degree they exits. Figuring what are the ideas of Obama's administration is surprisingly difficult. Obama is highly intelligent, his minions are not morons either, even if they may look like that at times, but every so often trying to figure out what they want stumps me.

Consider the opening topic of this post: Iran deal. What is the purpose of negotiating, wringing concessions and placating/converting critics and then subverting it? There is not straight forward explanation like "after much thought, Obama concluded that this is a good thing", because why should he subvert a good thing? With that out of the window, one has to seek more conspiratorial "cui bono" explanations and watching the flows of money in the aftermath. The Gulfies are ever feeling insecure and whiny, and to bolster their strategic position they bribe western powers, and most spectacularly by purchases of overprices military hardware, and one has to assume that there is also a lot of bribing that does not meet the eye. And when they feel more insecure than usual they make even more extravagant purchases. And that is what we have seen. So first their nervousness is elevated, and after ordering 40 billions of hardware above previous plans, USA deigned to provide "assistance" to the war in Yemen and screw Iran to some extend. You know, when you play violin the bow has to be moved in two directions.

However, with strategies that are so convoluted it is hard to get credit for achievements, and Obama has to bless dumbassery of GOP for ekeing 50.2 approval rate after "doldrums" at 45%.

Defense of the cause of freedom in the vicinity of Russia is much more consistent, and that can be easily explains by works of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov and his brilliant experiments on dogs. As such, no "White House propaganda" is needed there, think tanks and media follow the routine that is at least 70 years old. Regime changes belong to the same genre. If anything, the Administration could use some propaganda why it did not achieve all the promised regime changes, but then again, even that is unnecessary: even in GOP primaries imperialism is not that popular.

There is some propaganda to support trade deals, but increasingly, this is like trying to convince the citizenry to add habanero peppers to their hamburgers. I recall a marketing campaign with a truly beautiful slogan "At last, chewing gum for the rich." But it did not sell.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 5, 2016 11:38:30 PM | 28

PB @ 28: " his minions are not morons either, even if they may look like that at times, but every so often trying to figure out what they want stumps me."

Never has stumped me PB. They want to serve their owners:), and that isn't we the people:(

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2016 11:59:52 PM | 29


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/20160504/1039048638/trump-cruz-gop-primaries-sanders-clinton.html#ixzz47qEdqJNq"

Blues, if you can listen to Brian Becker on radio Sputnik Loud and Clear

"Trump Trumps Cruz to Take GOP Nomination; Sanders Upsets Clinton Once Again"

It seems California's primary may seal Bernie Sanders fates even if he win (and not likely). Hillary Clinton will be the D party nominee. Bit by bits the real Donald Trump exposed - Trump pick former Goldman and Soro employee as finance Chairman.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-05/trump-picks-former-goldman-partner-and-soros-employee-finance-chairman

The D party pushing hard. Foot soldiers canvases every street in my town. My one-vote counts. In 2014 midterm election my district had mandatory recounts. Most voters are confuses and angry. Many said they would vote Trump.

Watch the last big one California Primary Tuesday, 7 June 31 days to go.


Posted by: Jack Smith | May 6, 2016 12:07:03 AM | 30

Penelope ... interesting rebuttal. Inaccurate, but the standard fare of history classes at all levels. Ever heard of the Somersett Case (1772)? Imagine the reaction of the slave owning oligarchy (14 were planters who depended on slavery; Franklin and Jay who are later remembered for manumitting their slaves well after the constitution was ratified were among a number of wealthy northerners who had domestic slaves). Worse at least 7 were land speculators who saw the Demarcation Line (established in 1763 at the end of the so-called French and Indian Wars). At least a dozen were securities speculators; and 13 have been classified as merchants. These were not starry-eyed dreamers ... but hard men with an agenda. It was NOT democratic. Don't believe me? Read the Federalist Papers ... . It is all in black and white.

Regarding your notion that I hate America ... that may be true in terms of the double meanings. To call the alleged 'revolution' glorious is to ignore such things as the 3/5ths compromise ... or that in order to bring the south to heel, king cotton had to be crushed and that meant ending official slavery
in the states that had the right (in the constitution) to secede. But why did it take another 100 years before the civil rights movement made a dent in the blatant racism that is America? And, when that movement for civil rights began to gain traction with the dispossessed, why were it's leaders assassinated?

I will admittedly agree that the US was a hopeful possibility. But, when push comes to shove the US only has one remarkably resilient motto that can be summed up as Manifest Destiny for the world.

As a descendant of the first peoples (genetically, not culturally) I have to say that I do have a very negative view of America and Americans. But what really twists my shorts in a knot is when I see a person who seems to be rational and intelligent defend some of the most egregiously nasty humans ... I see the founding fathers as the roots for the neo-con mindset ... for neo-liberalism and all that it stands for.

In conclusion, I went to Vietnam in the late 60's - came home after being shot by one of our own officers - not to hate America, but to decidedly be opposed to what America has been from the beginning: a genocidally vicious, self-indulgent bunch of greedy misanthropes. Sadly, no better and no worse than other humans on the planet. Humanity is a cancer - and until it finally kills its host, the planet itself will slide into the abyss. It is not personal ... we disagree. That is a good thing.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 6, 2016 12:54:49 AM | 31

I have my doubts that this is a topic worth pursuing, analysing, or attempting to unpick. Lying, as a political tool, is giving everyone (except the 1% and their minions) the shits.

Apart from being dishonest, lying is infantile and unimaginative. The World is never going to improve if we allow ourselves to be led by liars with hidden agendas and no imagination.

All the World's problems could be addressed within a few months if we resolved to drag any, and every, politician we catch lying, outside, give him (or her) a good Hospital Grade Kicking, and ban them for Life from politics.

It's insulting, there is no excuse for it, and it should not be tolerated. EVER.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 6, 2016 2:01:54 AM | 33

Now this article puzzles me. Of course the US government feeds the press who then propagate the information back as reality. That has been going on for ever. Why pick this story about the Iran deal. It is, as far as I can tell, the only sensible thing Obama has done in his entire term. It is what the US should have done at least 30 years ago. Finally they did something right. More power to them when they do so.

Why not fixate on some of the really stupid stuff that the admin has done. The war against Libya? The coup in Ukraine? The destruction of South Sudan? Why not give the gov a little slack when they finally do the right thing? The press presented all of those events as rational responses to reality by the US govt. That has been going on for decades if not centuries. Why focus on one event that has tried to the the right thing even if it might be no more than reversing earlier errors?

It should be obvious that the main stream press simply regurgitates back as an obvious truth when the gov decides to do something. Usually it is bad but occasionally it is not.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 6, 2016 2:10:15 AM | 34

RG the LG, We are fighting for our lives in an unacknowledged WWIII
against the 99%, and all you can do is spit hatred. The 99% are
not the same people as the 1%. It is not constructive to try to paint every single aspect of the American founding as evil. If you're a good guy, try criticizing the US oligarchs who are killing people today.

Your message seems to be to try to create guilt for events 200 years
before we were born-- and on the basis of not very sound history either.
There's been all sorts of things written about the Founding motivated
by the wish to denigrate and destroy.

Posted by: Penelope | May 6, 2016 2:12:15 AM | 35

Same with "secret" negotiations and especially the people who participate in them and try to sell them as a good idea.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 6, 2016 2:12:26 AM | 36

Try? Penelope? Try?

Try to ignore the past? Try to rationalize that the present is not the descendant of the past? Yes, there IS a war against the 99.9999%, but this is nothing new. The Whiskey Rebellion, crushed by troops under the direct command of Washington himself, is the efforts of the 99.9999% of the time to throw off the yoke of servitude brought on by the 0.0001% of their time.

You and I agree on the fact that there is a class war. Where we disagree is about when this class war began. We also disagree about something much more fundamental to the issue of class war. Every time there have been advances against the uber-greedy oligarchs, the people (the good old 99.9999%) simply give up because they've been given a tiny slice of the pie ... enough that when the oligarchs start telling them how wonderful things are and how blessed they are to be Americans, they simply and quietly fold their tents. This whole thread started as a commentary about how the propaganda system works ... and whether we like it or not, most Americans are fine with being used and abused so long as they think they are getting a share of the pie.

An oligarch, FDR, was able to get his fellow oligarchs to tolerate the New Deal because at the time the people were truly restless. Restless enough, until duped by Pearl Harbor, to actually consider 'throwing the rascals out.' And then, we won the war ... we lost less than 1/2 million men while Russia lost at least 20 million (that's 40 times more) defeating Germany on the eastern front; while at the same time China lost about 15 million (that's only 30 times the number of Americans killed) defeating the Japanese. And, while Japan was trying to find a way to accept the reality of their defeat to the US, we dropped only two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (I am NOT saying that we should not have been involved in WWII. I am saying that we only marginally fought that war … leaving it to proxies to fight and die.)

Granted, the US provided a lot of food, arms and munitions to Russia and China in fighting what for the US was simply a proxy war. Is that substantively different than what we do via proxy armies today? It is not, and the roots of our process can be found in the way the US moved west against the first peoples, and Mexico. Nor is it any different than what Smedley Butler wrote in his book, "War is a Racket." [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket ] The Spanish American War, the destruction of the nascent Hawaiian Republic, and all of the rest of our machinations in the Pacific are rooted deeply in both the American psyche and process of bringing the 'evil other' to heel. What is happening in Venezuela and Brazil is more of the same.

Imagine the hubris of the United States telling Iran that they should not allow their navy to patrol the Persian Gulf. It isn't the only place we have the audacity to tell others what to do. And, because of the way our propaganda machine works, it is only because of people such a B with MoA and others of similar stripe make it possible for us to know we have a war on our hands.

In closing, this struggle you ad I are up against is NOT just the 0.0001% ... it is rooted deep in the American psyche ... so deeply that when someone points it out, there is an immediate and loud rebuttal that there is some good. We are as much in the pickle we now find ourselves because 'we have met the enemy, and he is us' as anything.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 6, 2016 3:13:45 AM | 37

rg the lg | May 6, 2016 3:13:45 AM | 37

Try? Penelope? Try?

Try to ignore the past? Try to rationalize that the present is not the descendant of the past? Yes, there IS a war against the 99.9999%, but this is nothing new....

In closing, this struggle you ad I are up against is NOT just the 0.0001% ... it is rooted deep in the American psyche ... so deeply that when someone points it out, there is an immediate and loud rebuttal that there is some good. We are as much in the pickle we now find ourselves because 'we have met the enemy, and he is us' as anything.

Like what you wrote and courage to say what you believe. I was accused being a racist beside others... It may help you to understand the Americans’ minds. Recommend a full length video produced by Mundovision Productions.

Watch it in RT this week The occupation of the American mind documentary. Tried for days to download it, was taken down by Media Education Foundation in YouTube.

Trailer and articles from various sites. Enjoy :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVkkTSRRE1M
http://anonhq.com/50003-2/
https://www.rt.com/shows/documentary/331975-israel-gaza-military-occupation/
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/the-occupation-of-the-american-mind-documented/

Posted by: Jack Smith | May 6, 2016 4:52:44 AM | 38

@ 34 ToivoS - But that's exactly why the NYT features this event in particular: it was successful and the NYT wants to show that the success is based on manipulation, therefore it is a sham, illegitimate. Now let's get back to the drawing board, guys, and seriously get into the war on Iran thing. 'Hillary Rodham Clinton, are you listening?', asks the owners of the NYT. 'Yes I am, you've done a very good job of getting the Israeli-US war party back on track. Thanks, now get me elected and you're set for at least the next four years.'

Posted by: Quentin | May 6, 2016 6:26:14 AM | 39

ToivoS @34 asks a reasonable and critical question. Why is an effort at peace denigrated? I agree with him/her.

On the other hand (OTOH), I agree with b. Whitewashing Rhodes’ skills are a dangerous precedent. The power granted this kid is unseemly. Who gives a shit that he can’t tell where his thought ends and the prez’s begins. It’s called pressure and getting paid.

Decades ago presidents had different procedures. No president decided national events by allowing their minions to run it. Unthinkable. When a national security item presented itself, outside experts--absolutely non-governmen and numerous--were called to Camp David for the weekend to present to the President and his Cabinet Ministers their opposing views with a Q&A to follow. Presentation: 20 minutes, like a TED talk. Q&A: 40 minutes. The president got the latest info with which to make critical decisions.

Clinton, the worse prez ever, eliminated this time-honored procedure. Bush Jr. and Obama followed suit.

This is the fucking problem. Insularity.

Posted by: MRW | May 6, 2016 9:28:44 AM | 40

rg the lg @ 31 said: "the US only has one remarkably resilient motto that can be summed up as Manifest Destiny for the world."

"Manifest Destiny for the world."

Apt turn of phrase. Describes The 4th Reich's goals perfectly. Think I'll plaghiarize it's use.

Posted by: ben | May 6, 2016 10:19:54 AM | 41

24;Yeah American manifest destiny?sheesh.How about Zionist manifest destiny.They've taken over the Western world.

Posted by: dahoit | May 6, 2016 10:32:11 AM | 42

Marginally involved in WW2?well we were far from the scene of the action,but we did do a damn good job in getting to it,beat Japan almost singlehandedly(British and Aussies also)and opened a Western front 5000 miles from our shores.
Yes the Russians had much more effect on defeating Hitler,but they were in fight for existence,unlike US who had no actual threat to our nation.

Posted by: dahoit | May 6, 2016 10:58:42 AM | 43

@40 mrw - "Insularity." i see that happening over at pl's sst place as well..

ps - i agree with much of what rg and lg says in the various posts here..

Posted by: james | May 6, 2016 11:41:08 AM | 44

@ rg the lg | May 6, 2016 3:13:45 AM | 37

An oligarch, FDR, was able to get his fellow oligarchs to tolerate the New Deal because at the time the people were truly restless. Restless enough, until duped by Pearl Harbor, to actually consider 'throwing the rascals out.' And then, we won the war ... we lost less than 1/2 million men while Russia lost at least 20 million (that's 40 times more) defeating Germany on the eastern front

(1) FDR wasn’t an oligarch.

(2) The elites did not go along with FDR. They hated him. Even more than they hate Trump today. FDR caved in 1937 to their pronouncements and the country descended back into depression for a year.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession_of_1937–38
More importantly, rare historical document:
http://www.ssa.gov/history/Gulick.html

(3) The people weren’t restless. They were destitute and jobless until the Republican Mormon banker Marriner Eccles (later FDR’s first Fed Chairman, 1935) explained in Senate hearings starting in 1932 why the US had to go off the gold standard. FDR did it as soon as he got into Office.

(4) FDR tricked the US into war with Japan by failing to alert the Pacific command about Japan. War with Japan automatically meant war with Germany because of treaty. That’s how FDR got us into the war. But it was going off the gold standard that allowed Americans to succeed at it. See “Keep From All Thoughtful Men” by military historian Jim Lacey (2011).

(5) The US didn’t win the war. Russia did. Russia pushed the Nazis backed to Berlin and liberated Auschwitz, etc. Every Russian living today lost family in WWII. Why May 9th is a national day of reverence.
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/22/local/me-43656

(6) Russian losses were in excess of 20 million and still disputed.
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/22/local/me-43656

Posted by: MRW | May 6, 2016 2:50:07 PM | 45

We owe Russia our eternal thanks for their WWII sacrifice. But, of course, that will never come. We’re too arrogant as a people.

Posted by: MRW | May 6, 2016 2:54:23 PM | 46

@james,

The reverence on Nov 11 of every year in Canada is testament to the horror of WWII. Canadians lost an enormous amount of men. They lost these people for two years before the Americans decided to act. Canadian vets are disgusted with American pronouncements that the US won the war. Because it’s bullshit.

Posted by: MRW | May 6, 2016 3:22:44 PM | 47

"Manifest Destiny for the World"

IMO this is a misreading of Manifest Destiny.

There seems to be a neocon effort to conflate USA expansion with Israeli settlements/remaking the middle east/NWO global control.

What to make of this? The analogy that comes to mind is saddling the horse . . . and oh, what an exceptional horse it is!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 6, 2016 3:38:19 PM | 48

@46 mrw.. thanks.. i agree with you in general.. i don't know that everyone is arrogant, but ignorance and arrogance share some things in common and as a culture we seem to have a lot of both..

Posted by: james | May 6, 2016 3:42:10 PM | 49

How sad and unfortunately true... Guys, those of you who want to fight media corruption please join our crowdfunding: https://goo.gl/74Pfub
"When the truth is on your side, it makes it a lot easier” (c) Charles Bausman
https://medium.com/@Frank_Gashumba/crowdfunded-news-site-about-russia-blasts-corporate-media-as-readers-cheer-e9ab8a05d677#.9zy0ghgjp

Posted by: Anna | May 6, 2016 3:43:47 PM | 50

Hoarsewhisperer @ 33, You're right. We began by tolerating lying by politicians-- even considering it the norm & look where we are now: Waiting w baited breath for each little sniveling liar of a candidate to reveal hints of what he says he will do if elected. A disgusting position for a sovereign people who ought to be telling him what WE want.
--
Piotr @ 28, "The bow moves in two directions." You are talking about fairness or at least negotiations. The US power-wielders are acting on behalf of the international oligarchs whose goal is neither. I think a lot of the back & forth is akin to the fox feinting in one direction to catch the rabbit sprinting in the other. Rabbit can't bring his full powers of quickness & agility to bear unless he understands what the fox will do next. A group of men who oppose the US's intentions are hard-pressed to come together in an effective countermeasure while the US appears to vacillate between a hardline position and one calling for a differing response. Like w the fox, the confusion IS the strategy, because the final goal is terminal.

Posted by: Penelope | May 6, 2016 3:46:24 PM | 51

re MRW 45

I much enjoyed your remarks. The only points I didn't quite take were:

(1) FDR wasn’t an oligarch.

(2) The elites did not go along with FDR. They hated him.

Evidently oligarchs didn't exist at the time. FDR was clearly a member of the elite, but he took another attitude in economic policy, which turned out to be right. If he hadn't been a member of the hereditary elite, he would have been shouted down and ridiculised.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 6, 2016 3:48:25 PM | 52

|@ Penelope | May 5, 2016 11:13:56 PM | 24

Your comment is not far off base; Britain's wars with France required financing which the Parliament levied heavy tax burdens particularly the N. American colonies which were stripped of currency to satisfy London's financial demands. Local script was used as an alternative to hard Sterling but was not approved to settle tax debts or debts involving trade with the home country leaving colonial businesses unable to operate. Relief was requested but refused repeatedly while simultaneously adding new tax schemes to burden commerce, e.g. Stamp and Tea taxes; history records the results in much greater detail than mythic memory if the effort is made to look.

Curiously enough, I find agreement with your reply re hate. To that I would add ignorance fertilising a poisonous mindset. Whenever encountering such historical garbage as produced by your detractors here, they are dismissed without second thought as coprophilic minds, failures the educational system excretes as it degenerates into disutility. Rarely do such ill educated fools add anything other than the disintegration of history into meaningless babble, without substance, without usefulness, without example. All they have is an opinion and it is rarely their own, none who spout their garbage is bright enough to invent their opinionated drivel. You will find also their presence befogging most subjects entailing complexity, propounding their simplistic ideas as profundity, economics is awash with their ilk, braying their epiphanies to any giving them the chance; nothing new or contradictory will change their mind, minds set in stone when formed, never to be altered. These fools make a large part of that well populated set that have all the answers to everything - flee from their presence for they are deadly and boring.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 6, 2016 4:35:26 PM | 53

rg the lg @ 31,
Thank you for sharing some of your life with us. I'm sure you know the Missouri Compromise, involving slavery, didn't occur until 50 years after 1776. You desire to deny that there has ever been anything good-- far less exemplary-- about America, about the constitution, about the Founders and their work, about Independence, about the sacrifices made by those who chose to fight for their Liberty. We all know that slavery and the broken treaties with the Indians were bad, and the Federal Reserve and every aspect of imperialism. When Americans count themselves as patriots it is not for these things-- but for the admirable past and their remnant in our hearts. The part of a person's identity which is based in his ancestors and his country is the part of those things that he CHOOSES as fitting expressions of his honor. No one chooses the evil acts or the guilt pertaining to them, not even you. So enough already. Your position on a virtuous podium lecturing the entirety of America for the evils of the past makes about as much sense as blaming all of us for Libya. Moving beyond the sins of the past doesn't mean endorsing them. All battles for independence are glorious. No virtue to which we aspire is possible without liberty.

There are only two sides to the battle in which we are today engaged. You are not strengthening our side by insisting, " America is and always has been 100% evil. Now get up and fight for her rejuvenation because we need that to save mankind from the globalists." It's a nonstarter. We need every possible source of strength.

It is NOT a class struggle. If you truly mean that you have missed the nature of the enemy entirely. It is necessary to his effectivenss that he used his initial power and malevolence to become wealthy, but not all wealthy people are a part of the project to rule all. And I would suppose that some of the wealthy are in it against their will. The murder of Amschel James Rothschild, perhaps as a consequence of his planning an expose, would be a powerful cautionary tale.

If we fail to raise the true Americans to prevent the victory of the forces allied against mankind, far more is at stake than your substantial hurts, or dahoit and I being insulted by your denial of the real worth of America past & present. America is not the oligarchs and their manipulations. Much of America still abides, fine and decent, lacking only enunciation of the way and leadership. We are all called upon to grow, to practice self-overcoming, because it is not about us. It's about the future of civilization. Do you really have no idea of the exact society that is planned?

Posted by: Penelope | May 6, 2016 5:56:23 PM | 54

I cannot let the comments re WWII go by w/o at least mentioning that UK/US purposely brought it about.
An interesting part of the backstory is in Wm Engdahl's books.

Another-- from the Russian side-- is in Starikov's economics book, which tells in alternate chapters the Russian story of the war, etc. http://lit.md/files/nstarikov/rouble_nationalization-the_way_to_russia's_freedom.pdf These parts read like a novel. You don't know what you're missing, covers material available nowhere else.

Posted by: Penelope | May 6, 2016 6:05:56 PM | 55

Piotr @ 28, "The bow moves in two directions." You are talking about fairness or at least negotiations.

Posted by: Penelope | May 6, 2016 3:46:24 PM | 51

Not really. As we have discussed, the deal with Iran opened a perspective for (a) economic growth in Iran with nice effect as growing power of moderates in Iran, new market for the Western goods etc. (b) cooperation to diminish the scourge of al-Qaeda/ISIS etc., and it was followed by nonsensical war on Yemeni people and escalation of aid to "insurgents" who are dominated by al-Qaeda/ISIS. Which also lead to increased profligacy of KSA and other GCC country on weapons and quite possibly, on direct bribes to Western politicians. The "bow that moves in two directions" comes from the expression "playing them like a violin". The swing up increases paranoia of the Gulfies, and the swing down collects the money and delivers appeasement. "Negotiations and even fairness" had their place during the up-swing of the bow, but in the major scheme of things they were merely instrumental en route to the major goal: the moolah.

Incidentally, it is almost delicious how the "critical investigative piece" is basically a puff story of the kind that Rhodes is alleged to engineer. Again, the sweet sound of violin rings in my ear when I try to understand how that could happen.

Unfortunately, while the technical virtuosity is definitely there, this music lacks the soul.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 6, 2016 6:55:45 PM | 56

Thomas Ricks over at Foreign policy calls Rhodes an asshole in the title and a schmuck in the body and asks if he can possibly not understand how bad he sounds ... not particularly informative, but amusing ...
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/06/a-stunning-profile-of-ben-rhodes-the-asshole-who-is-the-presidents-foreign-policy-guru/

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 6, 2016 7:27:04 PM | 57

There's a good article on the subject of manipulation at Syria, ISIS, and the US-UK Propaganda War.

Posted by: jfl | May 6, 2016 9:19:58 PM | 58

@Penelope | May 6, 2016 6:05:56 PM | 55,

The Russian history in Starikov’s book is fascinating, and in my view, accurate.

His knowledge of the Federal Reserve and the USD less so. He perpetuates the myth that private bankers created the Federal Reserve in 1913; probably got it from reading G Edward Griffin’s Creature from Jekyll Island which is rife with historical mistakes that didn’t become verifiable until after Google started scanning 95-year-old books that proved otherwise starting in 2008.

Griffin worked off what was presumed known in 1994.

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 defeated the NY bankers plan as exemplified in Rep Carter Glass’s House version of the Federal Reserve act passed in June 1913. It was the Senate version written by OK Senator Robert Owen in November 1913 that passed. Owen had President Wilson’s ear and trust. Owen was goddamed if US currency was to be under the issuance and control of anyone or anything other than the US federal government. He had asked Wilson a direct question in the Oval Office just after Wilson was inaugurated in March 1913 (in the presence of Glass, I might add) about who he wanted to control the currency: the banks or the government. Wilson answered the US government. That was all Owen needed to hear. Carter Glass was controlled by the bankers, but not Owen. Owen, the first Indian to be elected to the Senate, had been an Oklahoma banker and knew what the NY boys were trying to pull off; it was why he ran for Congress in the first place: to defeat them.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 12:20:29 AM | 59

Correction: It was the Senate version rewritten by OK Senator Robert Owen in November and early December 1913 that Wilson signed into law.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 12:28:08 AM | 60

Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China


Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments. As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.

[A] British vote on whether to remain a sovereign country or to dissolve and submit to Brussels and its dictatorial edicts ... is scheduled for June 23.

Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.

[W]hy does the Russian government permit its own destabilization at the hands of Washington’s intelligence service?

China is even more careless. There are 7,000 US-funded NGOs [in China]. Only last month did the Chinese government finally move, very belatedly, to put some restrictions on these foreign agents who are working to destabilize China.

My prediction is that Russia and China will soon be confronted with an unwelcome decision: accept American hegemony or go to war.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 2:01:47 AM | 61

Sorry. @61 got away from me without comment. My point being that it is not 'just' the US public that the USG tries to manipulate, it is the entire world population. We've been watching the US' EU minions crawling on their bellies like the snakes that they are - that'd be the United Snakes, right denk? - but the USG fully intends to do the same in Russia and China as well.

It's been 'human rights' that have been weaponized since Helsinki. Now it's 'free speech' ... the freedom of the USB to subvert the peoples of other countries around the world ... that will be weaponized in the EU and Russia and China ... while the six sinister sisters of the US corporate media keep ignoring any voice raised in opposition to the elephant-donkey party-line at home in the USA.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 2:11:23 AM | 62

Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz


“The people are being reduced to blood and dust. They are in pieces.”

A total of 211 shells hit the hospital. The Intensive Care Unit was wiped out. Every patient in the unit except for a 3-year-old girl was killed, some burning to death in their beds. A total of 42 people – patients, staff and doctors – died because of this lethal mistake.

[T]he U.S. government, having investigated the incident, has just released a 3,000-page, mostly classified report, uh, exonerating itself. This comes as no surprise.

It seems to me all this requires a moment or two of profound silence, as we try to absorb both the tragedy and the absurdity of these events, which unite in a sort of horrific shrug of indifference to the predictable consequences of war.


Yes let us still our hearts and consider again what happened here.

In what sense can this cold-blooded massace be considered a mistake? The location of the hospital was well known. People at the hospital called and reminded the occupying forces of their location. That they were a hospital.

The occupying force blew them to smithereens anyway.

It is a PR mistake. The 'Public relations' are ... 'not good' ... in the wake of the massacre. It was a mistake.

The occupying force has investigated itself and exonerated itself. Exonerated itself for the only part it is willing to reconize : the 'negative public relations aspect' of the massacre after the fact.

That was a mistake. Will they now investigate their ridiculous investigation and exoneration of their massacre? That was a mistake too, in every sense of the word.

What about the massacre, the victims, the future massacres and future victims of the US' occupying forces wold wide?

because that's what this report is really about. The US is admitting in advance that it will bomb hospitals in the future because, you know, mistakes happen, right? It is asserting its 'stochastic right' to destroy hospitals and to murder patients and the doctors and nurses and everyone else in them.

We really have to pull the plug on the USG. How many people did it take to write this 3000 page report, endlessly circling, never touching the matter at hand? No one is safe anywhere on earth while this monstrous machine runs amuk.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 2:58:17 AM | 63

It is falling apart. The US will have a four party system, the way these elections are going. Clinton moving to "main stream" Republicans leaves no room for left-wing Democrats, nor Trump Republicans. When Republicans split, Dems will split by default.
More parties will mean more messaging.
In the above case, I would suggest the number of US citizens who care about the Iran deal are very limited. The New York Times piece is part of a push back against the deal. Stupid as they are, they blow up the mechanics of their business model whilst doing it. Must have cost Saudi some money.

From the NYT article b linked to

"He referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East."

It is clear that with a Clinton presidency Rhodes is out.

Posted by: somebody | May 7, 2016 3:36:24 AM | 64

Israeli fighter jets carry out new airstrikes on Gaza Strip


The first airstrike struck a field behind Abu Subhia factory in the al-Zana area, south of the Gaza Strip, while the second targeted an area close to Abu Taima block making workshop.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli warplanes launched two air raids against the city of Beit Lahia and the southern Gaza Strip town of Khuza’a on Friday morning.

The Israeli military announced in a statement that the strikes targeted facilities run by the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas. There were no reports of casualties available.

It came a day after the Israeli tank fire killed a 54-year-old Palestinian woman, identified as Aytah al-Amur, in her home in Khan Yunis. Another Palestinian was also wounded in the attack.


The North America, Europe, and Oceania - and of course Israel - have all signed on to the war of “annihilation unto unconditional surrender” against the Palestinians and, in fact, against Islam.

The same cabal is engaged in the same “strategy of annihilation unto unconditional surrender” against Russia and China.

Russia and China need to get the Islamic nations on their side in this struggle, or they'll all be brutalized and warped by the USa, KSA, Turkey and the GCCs.

They need to introduce a resolution in the UNSC to break the illegal US/EU/NATO/Oceania/Israeli blockade of Gaza, and then to deliver the aid and building materials pledged yet still undelivered since Israel's Iron Fist smote Gaza in 2014.

Let the US veto the resolution, let the UK and France do so too, and then proceed anyway, with help from Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan picked up by the Chinese on their way. Russia can bring others of the coalition of the willing from the stans of Central Asia.

Break the blockade, rebuild Gaza, recognize Palestine, isolate the "west". Save the oh, so-long suffering Palestinians. Finally show them the regard and respect they deserves as human beings. Enlist the aid of the world's Islamic states to stop the deranged western states before they've followed the mad US over the cliff, in the death throes of their struggle for world wide hegemony.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 3:36:51 AM | 65

US military supporting Yemen in fight against al-Qaida


Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. is providing “limited support” to the Arab Coalition and Yemeni operations in and around Mukalla. He said that includes planning, airborne surveillance, intelligence gathering, medical support, refueling and maritime interdiction.

Davis declined to discuss whether or not special operations forces were in the country. But he said the U.S. has sent a number of ships to the region including the USS Boxer amphibious ready group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is embarked with the group. The USS Gravely and USS Gonzalez, both Navy destroyers, are also in the area.

“Trained and supported by an Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Yemeni government forces and resistance fighters have retaken Mukalla and continue their offensive against AQAP in eastern Yemen,” said Davis.


The US joins the occupation of the territories handed over the Saudi/GCC regulars by the AQAP shock troops.

US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Qaeda strikes


The Pentagon announced it has carried out a recent string of strikes on AQAP in recent weeks, outside of Mukalla.

"We have conducted four counterterrorism strikes against AQAP since April 23, killing 10 Al-Qaeda operatives and injuring another," Davis said.

The United States periodically targets AQAP in Yemen, including a strike in March on a training camp that killed more than 70 fighters.


10 + 70 = 80, 80 * 10 = the Saudis' 800 killed in taking over from AQAP. Who knows who the poor people were who were killed by the US special operations forces.

US boots on the ground in Yemen ... since last year.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 4:17:34 AM | 66

Editor who exposed Turkish role in arming Syrian militia shot at court


Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of the Turkish reputable Cumhuriyet newspapers, was attacked by a gun-wielding assailant while standing on trial.

Shouting “traitor” before firing 3 shots, Dundar emerged unharmed from the attack, while a journalist who was covering the event was wounded.


Purposefully misleading headline? Looks like Erdogan's boy shows up at Dundar's trial, shouts “traitor”, squeezes off three rounds, all of which miss Dundar, but a journalist covering the event is said to be wounded? Maybe he hit his head ducking for cover? Pretty disappointing writing from Zen Adra at Al-Masdar Al-'Arabi (AMN).

Maybe this is not unusual in Turkey? No problem walking into a court room with a loaded gun. Not this one anyway. How much longer before the civil war in Turkey is officially declared? Unlike in Syria, this actually does seem to be a civil war, doesn't it? I mean Erdogan is Turkish, right? I have to assume the rest of Turkey is.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 4:42:24 AM | 67

@64 somebody

Obama adviser explains why Clinton's Syria plan won't work


"A no fly zone in Syria would not solve the problem," Rhodes told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. "If you had an area of geography in Syria where planes couldn't fly over it, people would still be killing each other on the ground. ISIL doesn't have planes, so that doesn't solve the ISIL problem. They would still be able to massacre people on the ground. And we would have to devote an enormous amount of our resources -- which are currently devoted to finding ISIL and killing them wherever they are -- to maintaining this no-fly zone. So it's just not a good use of resources."

So ... Clinton's no-fly-zone would actually help Daesh, since they have no planes and the ones attacking and obliterating them do. A no-fly-zone would actually be ISIS' air cover. Clinton is on-board with Daesh, wants the USAF and NATO planes to protect ISIS from the Syrians and Russians. As though that were a big surprise. She was in on the ground-floor of the Blob, while it was eating Iraq, before it ate Syria, as we all know.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 4:52:01 AM | 68

More on US electoral split - looks like Trump is poaching among Democrats (voters) more than Clinton can poach among Republicans (donors). So 2 or 1 elite party and 2 left/right populist parties. What gives. Republicans seem to consider a 3rd party run, if they do the Sanders campaign is free to be 4th.

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 4:52:01 AM | 68
Saudi (and arms trade industries) donated to the Clinton foundation

Obama foundation seems to be more local

Posted by: somebody | May 7, 2016 6:16:39 AM | 69

Erdogan got rid of Davutoglu because Davutoglu was becoming far too popular and even more if the visa free deal with the EU would have worked.In addition Davutoglu disagreed with the Islamic overtone of the proposed constitution and less than enthusiastic about the presidential system Erdogan is after. Erdogan refuses that Davutoglu gets any credit for the refugee deal and he is now sabotaging that deal by refusing to make the changes requested by the EU.
Turkish leader parts way with the EU

He has seen how pathetically weak the EU has been and is intending to threaten the EU again to get more concessions. In summer if he does not get the 6 billions euros, he will threaten to unleash the refugees to Europe.

The attacks ( or pseudo attacks) on the refugees camps serve two purposes: Push again for the no-fly zone inside Syria so all the potential refugees from Aleppo and Turkey would be move there. The second purpose is to paint the Syrian army and the Russian as murderers of innocents.

Turkey is entering in a face of an Islamic dictatorship while the EU and the USA are still hoping it won't or accepting that it will as long as business blooms. The wake up may be very disastrous.

Posted by: virgile | May 7, 2016 10:00:51 AM | 70

54;Nah,i'm not insulted,just amused.All these people who hate America are all part of a victimization society.Blacks,NA,Jews,Muslims,Hispanics,Poles,Italians,French whomever have axes to grind over long ago and irrelevant actions to today.
As an American anglosaxon teutonic celt frisian,with a bit of NA leavening,we have none,as we've never been victimized.
We can salute the US Constitution as the greatest document ever produced by mankind wo prejudice.
Ben Rhodes is just another zionist.Notice that surnames which reveal place names are usually Jewish.Holland,London,Berlin,Leeds,Manchester etc.

Posted by: dahoit | May 7, 2016 11:23:06 AM | 71

@59 mrw on the link @55 from penelope..

i am curious if you think the imf, the world bank and the bank of international settlements is not controlled by a gang of thieves intent on controlling other countries based on a system put in place after the 2nd world war? while the federal reserve might have been set up a certain way, it is the us gov't that serves the fed and not the other way around.. one obvious example is the bank bailout of 2008... the people are held accountable, while the banks are allowed to continue with their bullshite.. mrw - you might know a bit about banking but you are missing the big picture as i see it.. the financial world today is one big ponzi scheme that favours some at the cost of others..

in other news - pl at sst has decided to chime in on this post with his own post which can be found here..

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 12:03:24 PM | 72

meant to say 'on this' with b's thread here on ben rhodes and usa foreign policy...

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 12:04:52 PM | 73

...
China is even more careless. There are 7,000 US-funded NGOs [in China]. Only last month did the Chinese government finally move, very belatedly, to put some restrictions on these foreign agents who are working to destabilize China.
My prediction is that Russia and China will soon be confronted with an unwelcome decision: accept American hegemony or go to war.
Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 2:01:47 AM | 61

Coming several years after Russia evicted a couple of dozen US NGOs (on 24 hours notice) and put many others on a short leash, China's "carelessness" would undoubtedly have been informed by advice from Russia containing a long list of "telltale signs" that a US NGO probably isn't China's friend. Imo, China would have wisely, and painstakingly, ferreted out, investigated, and listed EVERY FOREIGN NGO in China (the Yanks aren't the only one's using fake NGOs) before announcing the new NGO rules.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 7, 2016 12:36:13 PM | 74

@ MRW 59:

source(s) for your claims please.

Posted by: Malooga | May 7, 2016 12:36:51 PM | 75

@MRW - i am curious for you to give your views on this transcript which can be read at the bottom of the comment section of a youtube video on nikolai starikov on global debt slavery.. you don't have to watch the video, but can read the transcript if you prefer..

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 3:35:43 PM | 76

@Malooga | May 7, 2016 12:36:51 PM | 75,

source(s) for your claims please.

The Congressional Record. I searched for every instance of Marriner Eccles (FDR’s Chairman of the Federal Reserve) appearing before Congress between 1932 and 1947, and I read every damn document. The description of how Robert Owen wrote the Federal Reserve Act is in one of the 1947 docs.

The volumes of the October 2013 Senate month-long hearings (3600+ pages) are on HathiTrust.org. Search for Robert L. Owen, Senate banking Committee. Problem is you can’t access HathiTrust.org unless you are a University alum (or current student) and you have to do it via your alumni organization. They are in three volumes.

I ordered Robert L Owen’s papers from the Library of Congress. No links that you can download. You have to pay for it.

I’ve spent six years researching this.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 4:00:45 PM | 77

@james | May 7, 2016 12:03:24 PM | 72

mrw - you might know a bit about banking but you are missing the big picture as i see it.. the financial world today is one big ponzi scheme that favours some at the cost of others..

Au contraire. That’s exactly the big pic I see. But the average schmoe (1) doesn’t see how it’s done, and (2) doesn’t understand how it can be stopped because (3) he doesn’t know how it works.

Why do you think I bore the shit out of you every six months with my detailed explanations? Hunh? :-)

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 4:06:05 PM | 78

@@james | May 7, 2016 12:03:24 PM | 72

i am curious if you think the imf, the world bank and the bank of international settlements is not controlled by a gang of thieves intent on controlling other countries based on a system put in place after the 2nd world war? while the federal reserve might have been set up a certain way, it is the us gov't that serves the fed and not the other way around.. one obvious example is the bank bailout of 2008... the people are held accountable, while the banks are allowed to continue with their bullshite.
It’s immaterial, james. Sure, the World Bank rapes third-world countries. Confession of an Economic Hitman told how they did it.

But it’s immaterial, because the power to change this rests entirely, 100%, in Congress’s hands--in fact, it’s their legal constitutional duty--and they don’t do bupkes. Why? Because the people don’t know how it works, so they haven’t descended upon these elected rat bastards in DC with pitchforks and demanded change.

Remember when people showed up at bankers’ houses in 2008 after the crisis hit? If the average schmoe knew how federal accounting works, and it is not brain surgery, they would be scaring the shit out of every representative and senator in the country by tossing them out.

Instead, they like to believe Federal Reserve fairytales, and cluck among themselves about the corruption of it all.

As they said in The Big Short, if you don’t look, you don’t find. I’ll bet the writers got that from Bill Black (Dr. William H) because that is one of his mantras.

Listen, in 2009 I thought we borrowed from China and the Fed was run by a cabal in the City of London. I believed all that shit. But I have this congenital thing. When I find out that I could be wrong, I tear up the floorboards to rid myself of my ignorance. I can’t help myself; I’m like a fucking honey badger. And if you think I didn’t have weeks and months--hell, years--when I doubted what I was finding, you’re mistaken. I don’t believe one source. I want two and three for the same item. And then I call the US Treasury or the Federal Reserve to verify.

Then you have to add in the fact that I am just an average intelligence. I’m not a genius. A genius would have learned this stuff in 1/8th the time. I have to slog at it. I wish you could see my house. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars at Fedex Kinkos making coil-bound copies of 100-200-page Congressional Records and printing the pdfs I really need to study because I like to do it over a beer at the bar with my highlighter.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 4:31:13 PM | 79

@mrw.. you are right - we go over it every once in a while cause i am thicker then you! still, you seem to want to lay the responsibility for change on voters in the usa, when we live here in canada!!! as i see it, the change is coming from outside the usa - aka - russia, china, iran and any other country that wants to say no to the transnational corporations running the usa at present.. the way i see it, the ttip agenda and all the rest of the trade deals coming out of the usa tell me the usa is not run by the usa!! some good comments on this can be found in pl's post at sst on this here...

what does a canuck do about any of it at this point? looks like it has to end in a friggin' war of large magnitude with the end result a lot of dead people and a possible or not 'new world financial order'... thanks for confirming we see it the same way - one big ponzi scheme - we appear to differ in how we get to the next stop, but remember - my head is more dense then yours!

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 4:54:15 PM | 80

@james | May 7, 2016 4:54:15 PM | 80,

james, your head is not denser than mine. You just haven’t lost your friends trying to figure it out the way I have. It works the same way basically in Canada, Great Britain, Japan, and Australia, any country creates its own currency.

My uncle (married my Dad’s sister) created the Universal Child payment thing you guys have just after the war when he started working for the Bank of Canada. Best thing ever because so many fathers died in WWII and the children would have starved without it. That money the mothers spent into the real economy every month kept the country afloat. His name was on the CAN dollar bill for two decades, Deputy Governor.

In the 1970s while I was still in school I asked him how he knew what the tax collections were going to be. He said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “Well, you needed an accurate guess at what the tax collections would be in order to know that the dollars would be there in the future to pay for the [Universal child care thingey.]” He said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “The means to pay for it.” He said, “The Canadian government pays for it by mandate. The Ministry of Finance creates the Canadian dollar. There’s no question that we cannot afford it. We print it.”

I never understood what he meant until the last six years.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 7:30:42 PM | 81

On the subject of manipulation ... or the manipulation of subjects ...

President Obama weighs in on the E.U. "Brexit" debate


Stay in, Mr. Obama said, you're better off. And if the side that wants out thinks Britain can get a special, quick trade deal with the U.S. on its own once it leaves the E.U., think again.

"It's not gonna happen anytime soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big block, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done," President Obama said. "And U.K.'s gonna be in the back of the queue."


... Obama says you need us, we don't need you.

The Rise of the Celts and Britain’s Doom


... while the Welsh and Scotts (and people of Northern Ireland as well) are pro-EU, most English are against the Union. If England were to have its own Parliament, it would be highly Eurosceptic with new radical parties gaining power as it was in Scotland and Wales in similar situations, and would thus enter into conflict with those of Wales and Scotland. This issue demonstrates that the peoples of the UK see their futures differently ...

... but when push comes to shove, will it be color revolution time in England?

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 9:04:19 PM | 82

@61 MRW. 'There’s no question that we cannot afford it. We print it.'

Is that the case? When the US budget goes into 'deficit', does not the US Federal Reserve, on behalf of its private, member banks issue notes/bills/bonds in the amount of the deficit, and don't the private, member banks collect interest on those notes/bills/bonds until their principal is retired, slim to non-existent as the chance of that retirement may be? Who is creating the money and collecting the interest?

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 9:14:08 PM | 83

@81, above, not 61

Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2016 9:32:57 PM | 84

@81 mrw.. okay, if we accept that we print the money, how do we get around the concept of the imf regulating it? this is how i understand it.. if your country is designated developed nation, as opposed to developing nation - there are perks or severe downsides to this designation.. canada - developed nation - a perk, russia - developing nation - a real downside.. the imf seems to control this..

also, why is it that we go further into debt? why can't the canadian gov't backstop a number of loans - especially public infrastructure type activities, as opposed to letting the banks intervene and make high interest rates on it? it seems to me that while we print the money, we have given up the real value in this by assigning private banks to do the lending and profiting off of it.. thus the debt... if we have all this debt, what is to stop the gov't from printing up the money to pay off the debt? why does it always have to expand, whereby there is less money for social programs? it is always explained that so much money goes to pay the debt and therefore we don't have the money for a number of programs that would benefit the people that we have had in the past.. something doesn't add up, even if we do control and print the money....

thanks for the ongoing discussion!

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 10:24:30 PM | 85

mrw - forgot to mention - thanks for the personal stories in all this - that is quite fascinating in it's own right!

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 10:26:00 PM | 86

@jfl | May 7, 2016 9:14:08 PM | 83,

The “deficit” is the difference between what the federal government is spending in a given year and what it collects in taxes. That’s all. The “deficit” is when the federal government spends more than it takes in in taxes. A surplus is when the federal government takes in more tax dollars--takes more dollars out of the real economy--than the federal government is spending. An accounting artifact. A number.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 10:28:00 PM | 87

@jfl | May 7, 2016 9:14:08 PM | 83,

When the US budget goes into 'deficit', does not the US Federal Reserve, on behalf of its private, member banks issue notes/bills/bonds in the amount of the deficit, and don't the private, member banks collect interest on those notes/bills/bonds until their principal is retired, slim to non-existent as the chance of that retirement may be?

No. Not at all. Not how it works.

The only entity in the US federal government that can create new interest-free dollars into the real economy is the US Congress. It does that by “appropriating.” Or as you and I would understand it: “spending.” Supposedly, Congress is spending on things The People want and need to improve their general welfare.

So Congress decides, say, to spend $100 billion creating an interstate transportation system, as Eisenhower did in the 1950s. Only in 2016, let’s make it a high-speed national rail transportation system. Congress votes. It passes. $100 billion it is.

The US Treasury then, as Congress’ paymaster, authorizes the Federal Reserve, Congress’ bank, to mark up its General Account at the Fed by $100 billion, and pay the vendors across the country who are going to be building the damn thing.

The Federal Reserve does this by opening its spreadsheet—literally—and adding $100 billion to the US Treasury’s General Account. Just like that. Out of thin air.

Then it presses ENTER and sends all that money out to the various vendors’ banks for onward-forwarding to the actual vendors. [The Fed doesn’t have access to the vendors’ accounts. Only US banks and the US government can bank at the Fed...and foreign govts and banks.] So the Fed sends the money to the vendor’s bank. FedWire.

With me so far?

This has the effect of adding $100 billion to the “money supply.” All this means is that there’s an extra $100 billion now swilling around the real economy. For a bunch of reasons that I won’t go into the US federal government wants to restore the money supply to balance. Out of left-over laws from the gold standard days that Congress never bothered to change, the US federal government (US Treasury) cannot have a negative bank amount in its General Account. It’s a self-imposed restraint. It has a negative bank amount because $100 billion went out to vendors. It has to refill its General account.

So the US Treasury creates treasury securities. "notes/bills/bonds” The US Treasury does this. Not the Federal Reserve. The US Treasury makes them up out of thin air.

It creates treasury securities in the same amount as the spending. $100 billion.

Then it auctions them off to the public here and abroad through something called primary dealers. They usually sell in nanoseconds.

This restores the money supply to balance, and the US Treasury’s General Account is not in the red.

This happens day in and day out all year long. The daily market in treasury securities is $750 billion. Everyone wants to park their US dollar savings in US treasury securities for safe-keeping: businesses, households, foreign governments and banks, investors, state and local governments, pension funds, university trusts, Grandma.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 10:29:53 PM | 88

@jfl | May 7, 2016 9:14:08 PM | 83,

Continued.

Anyone can buy those treasury securities. You, me, IBM, Grandma. But not the Federal Reserve. They’re like buying a CD at your local bank, no different, except these are federal government CDs. They pay interest. They are 100% safe. Safer than gold because gold doesn’t pay interest, and you can lose physical gold. They are 100% guaranteed by the federal government. You can’t lose your money the way you can if your bank goes belly-up like so many did in 2008 because commercial banks will only insure (FDIC) individual accounts up to $250,000.

And. They pay interest! As I said. The interest they pay is called “Interest on the Debt.”

So who pays that interest? Taxpayers?

No.

Every year at the end of August the US Treasury asks the Federal Reserve to tell it what it owes in interest payments on all outstanding treasury securities domestically and worldwide for the coming year. All “notes/bills/bonds.”

Let’s say that amount is $150 billion.

The US Treasury whomps up $150 billion in treasury securities and sells those.

No taxpayers involved. No debt to children or grandchildren.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 10:30:12 PM | 89

@jfl | May 7, 2016 9:14:08 PM | 83,

Just like with a CD you get at your local bank, the person or business buying a treasury security owns the principal. It’s his savings he’s exchanging for a rock-solid safe financial asset. When he wants to cash it in, the same primary dealer that he bought the treasury security from at auction will sell it for him, and return his principal and interest.

Now. Let’s pretend it’s your treasury security, and you’re selling it. The technical term--I’m not shitting you--for moving your principal and interest from your savings account back to your checking account is called, “paying off the national debt.

How fucking off-the-wall is that? When you cash in your CD at your local bank, no one calls it paying off the bank’s debt. You call it “I cashed in my CD today,” right? But technically, from the bank’s point-of-view, it is paying off the bank’s debt.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 11:14:10 PM | 90

@james,

I’ve got to think about answering you simply. I could give you reams but it would be pointless and confusing. You’re mixing up a whole bunch of things together, but since we’ve been over this so many times in the last 18 months, I think you’re near the point where you can make a breakthrough and see things differently. So I have to think about it. I’ve got to come up with a good analogy that makes sense. So give me a while.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 11:20:42 PM | 91

@james,

Do you know what double-entry accounting is? Like QuickBooks.

Posted by: MRW | May 7, 2016 11:23:48 PM | 92

@mrw - i looked it up and have a vague idea..

Posted by: james | May 7, 2016 11:48:54 PM | 93

@88 MRW

Ok, so I had it wrong on who issued the securities, you say it's the treasury and not the fed.

But I got the rest right


For a bunch of reasons that I won’t go into the US federal government wants to restore the money supply to balance. Out of left-over laws from the gold standard days that Congress never bothered to change, the US federal government (US Treasury) cannot have a negative bank amount in its General Account.

... you won't admit the fact that the money 'created' by the treasury is actually borrowed in 'the market' at interest ...

@89

... and that treasury doubles down, borrows at interest to pay interest when it comes due.

@90

So as long as no one is concerned at the rise in federal indebtedness, they will continue to pony up for the federal securities used to finance the US economy.

But the day they judge that in fact the dollars they get in interest are not worth the risk of their principal - either because they think the dollar is collapsing/is going to collapse, or because they just can no longer convince themselves it may not - the game is over.

No more treasury sales, no more wars - the US' sole remaining business - and the dollar does collapse.

I think that for the government to 'print money', to actually create it, the step that involves the interest bearing securities has got to go. That a nationalized fed must just credit the accounts of the relevant government agencies that will spend the new money into the economy. Inject the money at the bottom as new credit, rather than at the top as interest on debts that 'don't matter' because 'everyone knows' they will never be paid.

The system as-is has its own demise built into it. When people allow themselves to notice that the US government's debt is beyond its ability to pay, people will all stand back and let 'other people' lend more money to the US government, or write down the value of the US dollar to bring the value of its debt in line with its actual ability to pay, as evaluated in some other more solvent currency/currencies. In fact the two 'alternatives' are the heads and tails of the same coin.

The only reason that hasn't happened yet is because of the poker face the US has been able to maintain through it all. There really is no need to have dollars, other than US coercion, which is becoming daily more apparent and distasteful. There is nothing the US makes that cannot be bought elsewhere - short of more shocking, awful death, devastation, and destruction - and bought using other currencies, probably more cheaply.

I don't believe that trees can grow to the sky. You tell me don't worry, there are no trees there is no sky. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: jfl | May 8, 2016 1:49:56 AM | 94

@ jfl | May 8, 2016 1:49:56 AM | 94,

you won't admit the fact that the money 'created' by the treasury is actually borrowed in 'the market' at interest ...

jfl, where did the market get the money (USD) that the US Treasury is supposedly borrowing from it at interest?

Posted by: MRW | May 8, 2016 2:13:34 AM | 95

@jfl | May 8, 2016 1:49:56 AM | 94,

the step that involves the interest bearing securities has got to go.

You’re right. There’s no reason for it. It’s habit. Congress made it a law when we were on the gold standard to protect the nation’s gold supply.

Posted by: MRW | May 8, 2016 2:21:34 AM | 96

@jfl | May 8, 2016 1:49:56 AM | 94,

Contd.

But the rich didn’t want the federal government to get rid of them. (treasury securities) AS JP Morgan said, I tell all my best clients government bonds are better than gold.

Posted by: MRW | May 8, 2016 2:25:40 AM | 97

Here's a tool I think is helpful jfl http://econviz.org/macroeconomic-balance-sheet-visualizer/

MRW .... sorry I'm not changing my perspective I'm with Starikov, Griffen, Ellen Brown and many others. Steve Keen covers this very well on his blog.

In general the act of borrowing/lending money itself "creates" new money, and applies to everyone not just Govt's running deficits.

Say I have $100 and lend it to you. You give me an IOU that says $110 to be paid by MRW to the bearer on the 5th of June. Because of your good standing in the community I can trot down to the butcher and use your promissory note to buy $110 worth of meat. In the meantime you spent the $100 (perhaps at the same butcher). The amount of money in circulation increased by $110. Notice also when the butcher calls you on the 5th of June the amount of money in circulation reduces by $110

The fraud is making Governments borrow money when they have the sovereign right to use seignorage to fund their deficits (if they have their own currency, and no it doesn't mean that taxes are not required). Who was it that said "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws"? And there is another quote to the effect of "The idea that a sovereign nation should have to apply to an individual to maintain it's credit is patently ridiculous" (I have really mucked that quote up, but it doesn't appear in searches) but it's a fact that somehow a group of people have convinced virtually every Govt in the world that they must borrow money to fund any deficits (and also a strange co-incidence that just about every Govt runs a deficit).

Posted by: Nobody | May 8, 2016 3:11:06 AM | 98

@ MRW | May 6, 2016 2:50:07 PM | 45 & subsequent

Thanks for your comments and a much appreciated acknowledgment of your efforts to bring enlightenment to economic troglodytes who have learned an ideology well and forever. Having read a large portion of John Maynard Keynes' oeuvre, I can appreciate what you experience in attempting to open settled minds to new information; your encounters above are excellent example. The reactionary minds will certainly wish to take the economic sciences back to the days of mercantilism and golden currency in the purse and the repeating failures that religion brings.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 8, 2016 4:09:15 AM | 99

Posted by: Nobody | May 8, 2016 3:11:06 AM | 98

It is political fraud. As is in this country/continent - Germany/Europe - noone wants the debt as there is nothing to invest really. To the point economic policies have reverted to negative rates on debt, i.e. the citizen gets punished if s/he does not spend. At the same time the government tries to incite people to invest in pension funds plus refuses government spending. Result is people who can buy real estate to save their money, sending prices sky high, whilst people who cannot afford that rely on the state to feed them when old.
All that so politicians do not have to call it inflation or government spending.


Posted by: somebody | May 8, 2016 4:11:52 AM | 100

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