Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 08, 2014

Gates On War

Two remarkable paragraphs from former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' recent memoir:

Wars are a lot easier to get into than out of. Those who ask about exit strategies or question what will happen if assumptions prove wrong are rarely welcome at the conference table when the fire-breathers are demanding that we strike—as they did when advocating invading Iraq, intervening in Libya and Syria, or bombing Iran's nuclear sites. But in recent decades, presidents confronted with tough problems abroad have too often been too quick to reach for a gun. Our foreign and national security policy has become too militarized, the use of force too easy for presidents.

Today, too many ideologues call for U.S. force as the first option rather than a last resort. On the left, we hear about the "responsibility to protect" civilians to justify military intervention in Libya, Syria, Sudan and elsewhere. On the right, the failure to strike Syria or Iran is deemed an abdication of U.S. leadership. And so the rest of the world sees the U.S. as a militaristic country quick to launch planes, cruise missiles and drones deep into sovereign countries or ungoverned spaces. There are limits to what even the strongest and greatest nation on Earth can do—and not every outrage, act of aggression, oppression or crisis should elicit a U.S. military response.

Gates is right. World opinion polls show that the U.S. is seen -by far- as the greatest threat to global peace. Being hooked on hegemony is expensive.  But unless the consequences of that position become obvious to every voter in the United States that fact is unlikely to lead to a change of the general U.S. policy direction.

Posted by b on January 8, 2014 at 13:58 UTC | Permalink

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But this is written in the usual mode of spurious executive sovereignty, and Gates (who joined the CIA in 1969, just in case anybody has forgotten, and served for 24 years, until finally disqualified by the depth of his incrimination in Iran/Contra), should know better than most that foreign policy is driven by economics and economics is driven by military keynesianism. So his opinions are spurious and worthless.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 8 2014 14:06 utc | 1

"hooked on hegemony"

I know the tune but can't put my finger on the words right now.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 8 2014 14:30 utc | 2

Here's the tune...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 8 2014 14:38 utc | 3

The Iran's defense minister has gone on record today, calling the USA a paper tiger, only capable of attacking weak nations. He dares The USA to try and military attack Iran. Strong words, very strong. Listen to his speech.

It is good to see more bloggers now talking about the conflict in Syria as a Khazar empire war and the control of the desert religions. This is exactly what the Mayans wrote about. The outcome is very clear and concise. 2014 is the year of happening.

Posted by: hans | Jan 8 2014 15:56 utc | 4

@ #2: "hooked on hegemony"

An apt phrase describing the empire. Yeah b, he's right, but fuck him. He's trying to sell a damn book. As always, talk is cheap. Fact is, he has, and will always be, a whore for the empire.

Posted by: ben | Jan 8 2014 16:18 utc | 5

I once went to a meet with Gorbachev and Gates. (Geneva, a commemoration.)

They were both quite impressive, but of course playing to the audience, and obviously covering up their past differences.

(Gates accepted that Gorby was essentially a reformer though he fought that perception at the time, while Reagan, Thatcher, approved strongly of Gorby. Thatcher even looved him.)

Very smooth. Whole lotta clapping. World Peace was around the corner.

What Gates does not touch in his recent cogent comments is that the US is living in a kind of peculiar war economy, not geared to massive production / full employment, etc. as ppl tend to think of it with ww2 as an example, but selectively maintaining cultural clout, small or big (e.g. NSA) IT tech, and the military, in all areas, thru all the contractors, defense budgets, etc.

He does not afaik enter into what it means to be ‘too militarized’ and how that advantage is used but is at the same time detrimental to both World stability (or some such) - other Nations - the US and its ppl.

But good for him for melding the left and right together.

Here, from the WSJ, top 10 so-called revelations from his memoir. (of course i have not read the book.)

Twiddling about in upper spheres..

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 8 2014 16:56 utc | 6

The NYT story on the Gates book was more tepid than the WSJ quotes in b's post. In it Gates' badmouthing of Biden and his dismissal as political theater the opposing stances of Obama and Hillary on the Iraq surge are highlighted. But there is no thoughtful questioning of the maintenance of American hegemony.

I do think there is some sort of shift underway in the nerve center of Great Satan. The Realist camp is gaining followers. The NYT finally after many months has decided to shine on a light via its front page on the Saudi jihadi pipeline to Syria. This follows yesterday's front page story on Great Satan-Persian rapprochement chock full of quotes from a former Iranian National Security Council adviser saying that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is dangerously unstable.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jan 8 2014 16:59 utc | 7

The NYT exposes Saudi Arabia's sectarian, contradictory and messy foreign policy in Syria

The Saudis fear the rise of Al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria, and they have not forgotten what happened when Saudi militants who had fought in Afghanistan returned home to wage a domestic insurgency a decade ago. They officially prohibit their citizens from going to Syria for jihad, but the ban is not enforced; at least a thousand have gone, according to Interior Ministry officials, including some from prominent families.

But the Saudis are also bent on ousting Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and his patron, Iran, which they see as a mortal enemy. Their only real means of fighting them is through military and financial support to the Syrian rebels. And the most effective of those rebels are Islamists whose creed — rooted in the puritanical strain of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia — is often scarcely separable from Al Qaeda’s.

Abu Khattab, a slight-figured man with bulging eyes and the scraggly beard of an ultra-orthodox Salafist Muslim, embodies some of these paradoxes. He now volunteers here once a week to warn young men about the false glamour of the Syrian jihad at the government’s rehabilitation center for jihadists. “There is a shortage of religious conditions for jihad in Syria,” he said. Many of the fighters kill Syrian civilians, a violation of Islam, he added.

But as Abu Khattab talked about Syria, his own convictions seemed scarcely different from those of the jihadists he had carefully denounced (two officials from the Interior Ministry were present during the interview). He made clear that he considered Shiite Muslims and Mr. Assad’s Alawite sect to be infidels and a terrible danger to his own people.

“If the Shiites succeed in controlling Syria, it will be a threat to my country,” Abu Khattab said. “I went to Syria to protect my country.”

At times, his sectarian feelings seemed to outshine his unease about the excesses of some of his more extreme comrades. He did not deny that he had often fought alongside members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the brutal jihadist group affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Abu Khattab also mentioned proudly that he is no stranger to jihad. He fought as a teenager in Afghanistan (“With the government’s permission!”) and, a few years later, in Bosnia. He chose not to fight the Americans in Iraq “because there are too many Shiites there,” he said, with a look of distaste on his face.

Yet this is a man who lectures inmates at the rehabilitation center every week about ethics and war

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 8 2014 17:02 utc | 8

The Islamic Front Denies Being Part of the Fighting

Despite this, Hassan Abboud has insisted that the Islamic Front itself is not part of the offensive against the ISIL and that it has made no decision to fight Baghdadi’s men. In fact, he says the Islamic Front deplores all revolutionary infighting. The front has not publicly reported any clashes with the ISIL, although such reports abound on social media. Abboud also clarifies that the Islamic Front will not tolerate attacks on non-Syrian fighters and offers up Ahrar al-Sham bases as sanctuaries for foreigners who want to extricate themselves from the fighting. He says that conflicts should be solved peacefully in joint sharia tribunals.

These are probably heartfelt sentiments on Abboud’s part. But such an attitude also happens to spare the Islamic Front any public responsibility for the grisly rebel-on-rebel clashes now roiling northern Syria—in which at least some of its member factions are involved—while still leaving the Islamic Front very well placed to capitalize on the ISIL’s misfortune.

As a bonus, if the ISIL is cut down to size, the Islamic Front’s influence will probably increase over those jihadis who fear that they could be next in line if left without local support—the Nusra Front being the most obvious candidate.
The ISIL Is Still in the Game

Then again, it remains to be seen how much damage can be inflicted on the ISIL if the Islamic Front’s powerful northern factions stay out of the fray. The ISIL has been hurt, and its progress has been checked for now. But it is far from destroyed.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 8 2014 17:15 utc | 9

Lifetime CIA murderous war criminal has an opinion concerning humanity and human affairs?

How fucking adorable.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jan 8 2014 17:22 utc | 10

@Jsorrentine yep. Tell it to the Hague asshole.

Posted by: ran | Jan 8 2014 17:27 utc | 11

Somewhat OT but related by levels of absurdity:

Speaking of other fantastical hilarity from yesterday, why it appears that P*ssy Riot is going to form its own NGO in cooperation w/ Navalny et al AND Glenn Greewald went on Israeli TV and basically said that Israel is our bestest bud/allay and - wait for it - supported the movement to free Jonathon Pollard which just happens to - coincidentally - be picking up steam here in the Zionist Occupied US.

Gee, funny how all the Snowden "leaks" basically showed that Israel was a VICTIM of NSA spying. Wow, what a turn of narrative there, huh? Cuz I had thought that Israel had been receiving raw data from US intel sources for at least more than a decade. Oh well. I'm sure those future Snowden "leaks" concerning our greatest ally will be devastating.

So to recap the last couple of days on the media/psyop front:

A "power vacuum" has been "discovered" in the ME that just NO ONE could have foreseen or planned for. Oops.

We have a murderous American war-criminal CIA stooge telling the world that the US has finally - how many of MILLIONS of innocent lives later? - learned its lesson: war is bad.

A couple of US/CIA/NED etc-backed psyop agitators in Russia - having recently freed from prison - are going to keep on in their fight for "human rights" there all for the - sniff - good of the common Russian.

And we have the "hero" journalist du jour telling his fanboy base that Israel is really our greatest ally - not an apartheid back-stabbing abomination - and that we should release poor Pollard - sniff - b/c it would be hypocritical not to.

Yup, things are getting better by the minute. I can feel it.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jan 8 2014 17:47 utc | 12

Thanks for the NYT article. Amazing indeed..
"Abu Khattab, a 43-year-old Saudi hospital administrator who was pursuing jihad on his holiday breaks..."

At the same time, Qardawi in Qatar issued a fatwa forbidding pious Egyptians to participate in the referendum next week!

Posted by: Mina | Jan 8 2014 19:14 utc | 13

~12: They've got Jackass Kerry jumping through hoops, too. I think they're feeding him the line that just maybe the mighty ZOG will make him into the next President instead of Hillary. He really is a Jackass, I don't just call him that cos I'm mean.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 8 2014 19:54 utc | 14

The Gates of zusa have left a new doctrine,war without a single blood shed by the troops,war interalia through their proxies ,the Alqaeda mercenaries.there is a direct correlation between what is happening in Anbar especially Ramadi and Fallujah and the Zusa exit from Afghanistan.Remember Iraq exit in december 2011 and the Sofa they were negotiating with Maliki?remember how they left with their tales between their legs in the fog of night on december 2011?They are facing the same paradigm now in Afghanistan.Karzai with Tehran backing and probably the russians and the chinese (as for the accord they reached with Iran at the SCO conference in 2004 or 2006 I can't remember exactly)want them to leave with no troops behind and no talks of immunity for the americans left behind(pseudo NGO and personnel in charge of embassy security).How convenient then to have ISIS in Iraq bestowing mayhem on civilians for the last two years and now under saudi jordanian incitement asking for an independent Anbar.That's were the riding cowboys are coming in to the rescue of the central government to combat terrorism.I think the whole charade is directed at Karzai,see what happens when we leave?You will have to call us back as in Iraq where we are delivering arms,intelligence and satellite informations to deliver the country from Alqaeda.

Posted by: Nobody | Jan 8 2014 20:18 utc | 15

Unless the greatest Nation on earth is faced down. The world changed on the Whitehouse lawn August of last year.

Posted by: Mcdoo | Jan 8 2014 21:07 utc | 17

OMG! Horrible! Freedom of speech!

So what... if it's the customs of the barbarians...

Posted by: Mina | Jan 8 2014 21:16 utc | 18

Gee, funny how all the Snowden "leaks" basically showed that Israel was a VICTIM of NSA spying. Wow, what a turn of narrative there, huh? Cuz I had thought that Israel had been receiving raw data from US intel sources for at least more than a decade. Oh well. I'm sure those future Snowden "leaks" concerning our greatest ally will be devastating.


Riveting show Glenn has for us this week.

Oh the Drama! Glenn, finaly getting a chance to speak up for poor old downtrodden and abused Jonathon Pollard! Glenn must be thrilled - what a coup for that young jewish man, Glenn, starting out on his career with a scoop like that! How unexpected

Posted by: stfu | Jan 8 2014 21:44 utc | 19

Excuse me, b,

but, no, Gates is *not* right. Actually he rather paints, be it intentionally or delusionally, a picture that simply is far away from reality and that euphemizes zusa as something it isn't.

zusa isn't a state, where this or that president is taking the "easy" route of war. zusa isn't a state, where political processes can and will lead - by insight - to a change of course.

War *IS* the course, the course that comes "natural" to them, the course that has been designed and developed *deliberatly* and as the tool to achieve what they openly and frankly call "dominance".

Basically zusa had two waves of destructive zionistic operations. First, the zio-bankers who had the clear goal of getting control of and then perverting the finance system. About 50 years later and coinciding with the creation of the abomination called "israel" a second wave rolled over zusa, establishing full control of zusa through instruments like aipac and jdl.

I mention this because it leads to answers to more than one question.
First, and evidently, it corrects the delusional zusa self-perception of being "brave", "fighting for the good cause", "being strong", etc. The truth could hardly be more different. Actually zusa is a country of cowards, weaklings, derps, and scum who does *not even* have the courage to free and rid themselves from the parasitic zionist minority that completely controls them.

Furthermore, "the good cause" has, this can be and has been proven many times, in each and every case been hardly disguised greed, enjoyment of brutality, or similar despicable motives.

Last but not least, the reason for still rare but occasional "self criticism" (à la gates) is not insight or a vage reminescence of what and how humas are but a simple fact: the fact that, while zusa acted deceivingly, delusionally and fraudulently since decades, it now has reached a point, where not only the ugly and poor reality can not be conceived anymore but where even their deceiving maneuvers have been evidently, globally and undeniably ridiculous and infamous lies.

Ceterum censeo israel americanamque delenda esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jan 8 2014 22:31 utc | 20

"Glenn Greewald went on Israeli TV and basically said that Israel is our bestest bud/ally"

Nowhere at all did Greenwald "basically say" anything like that. Sadly, you are "basically" full of it.

That said, I am increasingly tired of seeing so much of Greenwald and so little of the Leaks.

He could certainly focus his public appearances and tamp down the discussions of his career and his travails and concentrate more on the work of the leaks and helping people to understand what is going on. It is a bizarre contrast, Snowden's inscrutable silence in holed up in Russia and Greenwald constant appearances around the world to accept awards and make public speeches.

Frankly it seems like it is going to his head.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 9 2014 2:25 utc | 21

As for Gates - just another war monger having second thoughts. Happens all of the time - and always too late for those who have succumbed to their murderous designs.

Maybe, though, there is such a thing as human conscience. Perhaps the cries of those children and the aged, of the mothers and fathers who were ripped apart by the bombs he ordered to fall and the guns he ordered to fire - are starting to keep him up at night.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 9 2014 2:36 utc | 22

The Gates memoir is suspect (or else I'm just cynical); but just consider that he says he came close to resigning over Libya. But what good is that? I'm suspicious that, like a lot of political memoirs by longtime players, Gates has written his, with a view toward sucking up and artfully brown-nosing for some future cabinet appointment.

In an excerpt of his little screed that I found on RT, Gates seems to be praising the anointed Hillary to excess, probably in order to "feather his bed" as a dues paying member of the permanent government.

Gates damns Biden with faint praise and mixed feelings; and there's a suitable quote in there, to be used later (if needed) to scuttle any presidential ambition old Joe might be considering.

Gates calls Vice President Joe Biden a “man of integrity,” but nevertheless says Biden led the White House staff’s supposed suspicion of the Pentagon, “poisoning the well” against military leadership.

“I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," Gates wrote of Biden.

Gates has an abundance of mud to sling at lame duck Obama, now,--a president whom he describes as having no real commitment to his own policies, whose administration is described as "the most centralized and controlling since Nixon", when it comes to national security policy.

But while we're ranking all these familiar and sinister figures, let's not forget why this crowd-pleasing president originally chose to keep the G. W. Bush appointee as the Defense Secretary: it was for continuity with "militarized foreign policy". It was for the purpose of providing cover for those in the previous administration; it was for normalizing the crimes of that group of goons; and it was to cement in place the precedent for committing the same sort of atrocities, regardless of which party is in power.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 9 2014 2:59 utc | 23

Equally interesting was Gates's revelation that the White House is completely dominated by election strategists.

Gates says, and, of course he is not a very credible source, that he felt like resigning when he realised that the Pentagon's views were not really wanted when the plan to "surge" 30,000 soldiers into Afghanistan was being discussed. Theirs but to do and die

The picture he paints of Obama seeing the disposition of forces not in military or strategic terms but solely for their impact on the media and the electorate, confirms what many have been saying about this administration's amorality and indifference to any interests but those of its sponsors.

This is a government which is doing politically what the financiers have been doing to US industry for decades: piecing its assets off and selling them to the highest bidders. The military is being used not to secure any "national" interests- we understand that by national is meant that "of the ruling class"- but to serve as pawns in a board game played for control over Washington.

Control, that is, over the tollgates and checkpoints at which the lobbyists and their clients are relieved of a chunk of the ill-gotten gains they have extorted from a nation being devoured by parasites, of the sort beside which vampires pale.

Rowan @1, describes the system as being Military Keynesianism.

It is nothing of the sort: Keynes’s policies were designed to revive Capitalism by investing in job creation, infrastructural public works projects and the expansion of consumer demand in order to foster private investment.
Obama’s government has done just the opposite: public payrolls have been slashed in all the states, there has been minimal investment in infrastructure and consumer demand has been cut in many ways. Most notably, to take very recent examples, by cutting unemployment benefits and food stamps.

Everything that Keynes warned against, the Obama government, sponsored by rentiers and indifferent to any but the narrowest Wall Street interests, has done.

Far from being Keynesian it is just the latest in a series of administrations pursuing suicidal Chicago School policies which have reduced the US economy to a shadow of its former strength, while vastly increasing the wealth of the capitalist class.

As to the military, it is certainly true that the government continues to pour enormous amounts of money into military expenditure but, dollar for dollar, it produces very little in the way of employment. In fact it’s a system of welfare for the rich, a means of syphoning off the wealth of the people and natural resources into the bank accounts of a tiny -1%- caste which increasingly shows signs of being ready to join its money offshore at any sign of impending trouble.

It is becoming clear that, underlying the hegemony project of neo-con true believers, military men and others eager to rendezvous with manifest destiny, the real purpose of the Defense budget is to protect the 1% from Americans, partly by maintaining a continuous state of emergency- fuelled by provocations globally, daily- but much more by militarizing the police, building the Panopticon and suppressing all dissent and potential opposition.

As has been often noticed in the past the US government is on auto-pilot.
Unchallenged militarily, invulnerable strategically, it doesn't need to develop a coherent foreign policy, so it doesn't.
Instead it looks away from the frenetic activities of military adventurers of a dozen conflicting types, including the various factions within the armed services, the secret agencies and police forces, from the JSOC and CIA to the DEA and the Immigration department. And this is not to mention the growing list of attack dog allies such as France in West Africa, Japan in east Asia, Ethiopia in East Africa and of course Israel in the middle east who have realised that, while they retain the impunity that US alliance gives them, nobody in Washington cares what they do in the way of creating chaos and provoking war.

This is not the background against which an ambitious hegemon is preparing to polish off its last rivals but the smoke left by a gang of criminals setting fires to cover their retreat with the plunder.

A country whose ruling class is seriously seeking to expand its power abroad is not one whose industries are rotting like the atrophying muscles of a crippled champion.

It is one that puts great importance on building up its manpower. Rather than allowing millions to rot in unemployment it will win their loyalty by putting them to work in productive jobs. Or in conscripting them into its armed forces. It will put the national interest in an educated, skilled and confident population above that of sordid educational profiteers and third rate intellectual quacks.

Instead of allowing its people to become marginalized and alienated- a Fifth Column-as they prepare for a final foreign push for power, (after winning which they will have all the time in the world to claw back any concessions they might come to regret) they will pour resources into consolidating their military and political base, not a few hundred billionaires but hundreds of millions of citizens.

The US does none of these things. As it seeks full spectrum dominance globally it is indifferent to the implosion of its great cities and the rapid immiseration of its “middle class.”
The paradox is easily explained: there is no single serious government in Washington, just a bunch of chancers, emptying Fort Knox into waiting getaway cars, letting the military do as it wants, approving every contract, ignoring every audit, with no thought for the future beyond stocking their mansions and securing their boltholes. Plus, of course, those with no idea what is really going on.

Does anyone seriously imagine that a ruling class that has given up on the planet’s climate is ready to put in overtime and dip into its savings to take it over?
The truth is that while there is a traditionalist commitment to US hegemony, in Washington the smart, cynical money is on ripping off everything that isn’t nailed down and getting the hell out of Kansas while it is still there.

As Keynes said “ In the long run, we’re all dead.” And that’s what the Obamas and, for that matter Gates’, remember about that particular defunct economist.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 9 2014 3:10 utc | 24

Bevin, you don't seem to understand that 'military keynesianism' is a phrase with its own definition, not by any means an assertion that turning the military into a planet gobbling industry subsidised by funny money, should serve the (declared) goals of keynesianism per se. The purpose of 'military keynesianism' is to protect the rate of profit, not to achieve full employment or anything else.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 9 2014 3:19 utc | 25

Here's FP's article on Gates' book. Reading through its links to MSM articles I get the impression Gates is not looking for a return to govt, but is rather trying to justify his fuck-ups while SecDef. Like a number of books from former W administration neocons, he is painting a picture of his role as restrained by his 'known-knowns' of WH staffers, cabinet members, VP, and O. Just another book to try to redefine his place in history, not as dishonest as Kissinger's but better than Rumsfeld's.
FP's Situation Report: Pentagon's Pete Lavoy: post-2014 Afg shouldn't last long

By Gordon Lubold

Angry man unmasks himself: Bob Gates loathed Congress, despised Joe Biden and was dismayed at how candid Obama and Hillary Clinton were about the politics they played on the Iraq surge. Gates' new book, "Duty," leaked out in advance of next week's release, shows just how angry he was in the job, working for a president he didn't think trusted him or the military. Gates, a Republican, is soft on George Bush in many ways. But he's highly critical of President Obama's White House if not Obama himself -- and harshes on Joe Biden as politically calculating whose instincts are completely off on almost all foreign policy and national security issues.

The WaPo's Bob Woodward: "It is rare for a former Cabinet member, let alone a defense secretary occupying a central position in the chain of command, to publish such an antagonistic portrait of a sitting president. Gates's severe criticism is even more surprising -- some might say contradictory -- because toward the end of "Duty," he says of Obama's chief Afghanistan policies, "I believe Obama was right in each of these decisions." That particular view is not a universal one; like much of the debate about the best path to take in Afghanistan, there is disagreement on how well the surge strategy worked, including among military officials." More here.

The LA Times' David Cloud: "By early 2010, Gates writes, a 'chasm' had opened between the White House and Pentagon leadership. He recalled moments of deep 'anger,' 'frustration' and even 'disgust' at the way advisors around Obama dealt with him and uniformed military officers. He recounts sitting in a White House meeting in March 2011 in which Obama sharply criticized Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander he had chosen to turn around the Afghan war, and voiced deep skepticism about working with Karzai." More on LAT story here.

The NYT's Thom Shanker: "Mr. Gates does not spare himself from criticism. He describes how he came to feel 'an overwhelming sense of personal responsibility' for the troops he ordered into combat, which left him misty-eyed when discussing their sacrifices -- and perhaps clouded his judgment when coldhearted national security interests were at stake. Mr. Gates acknowledges that he initially opposed sending Special Operations forces to attack a housing compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was believed to be hiding. Mr. Gates writes that Mr. Obama's approval for the Navy SEAL mission, despite strong doubts that Bin Laden was even there, was 'one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House.'"

Quotable Gates on Joe Biden: "I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

Gates on what Biden did to poison the military well: "I thought Biden was subjecting Obama to Chinese water torture, every day saying, 'the military can't be trusted.'"

On Obama's approach to Afghanistan: "I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission."

On Obama's approach to Afghanistan: "I believe Obama was right in each of these decisions."

On Obama and Bush: "It is difficult to imagine two more different men."

On what he tried to do in "Duty:" "I have tried to be fair in describing actions and motivations of others."

On his opaque style: "I have a pretty good poker face."

On being SecDef: "The most gratifying experience of my life."

On being SecDef: "People have no idea how much I detest this job."

On Obama and Bush: "During my tenure as secretary, Bush was willing to disagree with his senior military advisers on the wars, including the important divergence between the chiefs' concern to reduce stress on the force and the presidents' higher priority of success in Iraq. However, Bush never (at least to my knowledge) questioned their motives or mistrusted them personally. Obama was respectful of senior officers and always heard them out, but he often disagreed with them and was deeply suspicious of their actions and recommendations. Bush seemed to enjoy the company of the senior military; I think Obama considered time spent with generals and admirals an obligation."

On Obama as an ice man: "I worked for Obama longer than Bush and I never saw his eyes well up. The only military matter, apart from leaks, about which I ever sensed deep passion on his part was 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military that Obama successfully pushed to repeal."

On an oval office meeting that deeply pissed him off: "...Donilon was especially aggressive in questioning our commitment to speed and complaining about how long we were taking. Then he went too far, questioning in front of the president and a room full of people whether Gen. Fraser was competent to lead this effort. I've rarely been angrier in the Oval Office than I was at that moment; nor was I ever closer to walking out of that historic room in the middle of a meeting. My initial instinct was to storm out, telling the president on the way that he didn't need two secretaries of defense. It took every bit of my self discipline to stay seated on the sofa."

Gates in his own words in the WSJ, here.

Gates in a neckbrace: From Politico's Mike Allen's Playbook: "Despite yesterday's caustic leaks from his forthcoming memoir, Duty, former Secretary Gates will take a more reflective, contextual take about the President and Secretary Clinton on Monday, when he goes on 'Today' to begin a week of live interviews. Gates will say he believes Obama made the right strategic decisions on Afghanistan. Despite wearing a neck brace after a fall last week, Gates is keeping up a punishing book tour that includes 'Morning Joe,' 'Charlie Rose,' Jon Stewart, 'Hannity,' CNN and other stops." More here.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 9 2014 3:25 utc | 26

Saudi buying out Pakistan on Syria

Still, the Saudis would like to count on Pakistani support to keep international pressure on Assad. While we should be wary of entangling ourselves in a distant civil war, it may be worth providing diplomatic cover to the Saudis if we get economic assistance in return – particularly to reduce our oil import bill. Saudi Arabia had been the first country to step up with cheap oil during Nawaz Sharif’s previous stint in power after the US had imposed sanctions on us for testing nuclear weapons. Pakistan may not be as internationally isolated as it was back then but the power crisis in the country has become exponentially worse and could lead to instability in the country. Should Faisal’s trip lead to greater cooperation on energy we can count his visit to have been a resounding success.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 9 2014 3:31 utc | 27

The links didn't show up. Maybe here:

Did Bob Gates' New Book Just Trash His Golden Reputation? Gordon Lubold, Yochi Dreazen - See more at:

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 9 2014 3:31 utc | 28

"Mr. Gates does not spare himself from criticism. He describes how he came to feel 'an overwhelming sense of personal responsibility' for the troops he ordered into combat, which left him misty-eyed when discussing their sacrifices -- and perhaps clouded his judgment when coldhearted national security interests were at stake. "

That's what passes for self-criticism in the world of the US power elite.

"I f I have one fault, its that I'm too perfect."

Learn well, youngsters! You will only regret not being harsh enough, not throwing enough lives away for... whatever it was we did in Iraq.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 9 2014 3:56 utc | 29

"On Obama and Bush: "It is difficult to imagine two more different men.""

This guy apparently doesn't get out much - or maybe its just that the SC power elite is so damn small.

Difficult to imagine two more different men? Perhaps in style. Certainly not in substance.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 9 2014 3:59 utc | 30

Here are the links one at a time.





Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 9 2014 4:02 utc | 31

I wonder how a president who has no real faith in his own policies (as Gates says) can be lauded by Sec Def Gates, at the same time, for so many of what he calls "the correct decisions" in Afghanistan.

What does it mean to say the president supports the troops, while feeling irresolute toward his own military policy in a certain occupied country?

And per Gates, as himself, what does it mean for him to find gratification in a job he claims to detest?

Such a welter of contradiction suggests mental disorder.

Thom Shanker, NYT's man, surely zeros in on the crucial Gate's quote: "Mr. Gates acknowledges that he initially opposed sending Special Operations forces to attack a housing compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was believed to be hiding. Mr. Gates writes that Mr. Obama's approval for the Navy SEAL mission, despite strong doubts that Bin Laden was even there, was 'one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House."

Undoubtedly, provided one can find proof that Bin Laden was ever there.

The Defense Secretary who says he was in a huff on several occasions, and tempted to storm out of the corridors of power, has managed to run the gamut of contradictions; and he leaves on his whirlwind tour with his sprained neck, to see that all the butts that need kissing, get kissed.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 9 2014 4:17 utc | 32

I think the WSJ selections from the book are probably misleading, and when you cherry-pick individual passages, you exacerbate that probable misrepresentation of what he is saying. In the WaPo's selections, I found this, which is just as damning in regard to the Pentagon as anything he says about the National Security Council (which he consistently refers to as the 'National Security Staff' or 'NSS', so as to emphasise its supposedly bureaucratic aspect as opposed to its proper function, which is to assist the head of the Executive branch to define policy):

Gates says his instructions to the Pentagon were: “Don’t give the White House staff and NSS too much information on the military options. They don’t understand it, and ‘experts’ like Samantha Power will decide when we should move militarily.”

Overall the perception I get is not that he is complaining about the too ready use of military force by the Executive, but that he is complaining about Executive tyranny over the military. Often he descends to ad hominem vilification of the entire Executive, but as is equally traditional among complaining champions of military supremacy, he spares the Head of the Executive (ie the President) and aims his ad hominems at everybody else, from the Veep on down. So really, the angle I get is that this might as well be General MacArthur, complaining that the pantywaists won't let him use nukes on the Commies.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 9 2014 5:07 utc | 33

b - i agree with gates views and thank you for pointing them out to me, but like a drug addict addicted to drugs, the usa is a warmongering nation that relies on the profit from war.. many corporations and parts of the usa are dependent on it.. how do you visualize getting the usa off it's addiction to war? i apologize for saying this prior to reading everyone's comments. i find when i read the comments first i lose sight of my first response from reading the post! i will read them after i post this.

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 5:53 utc | 34

glenn greenwald is a smart guy. i have enjoyed reading him over the years.. however, he is getting a lot more enemies that are out to get him.. i don't know exactly what he did or didn't say. the article seemed like more b.s. the link to rt didn't offer that much either.. i understand many are out to get him now, and that would include trying to slur his comments or person in any way they can. i wish the snowden leaks would come out differently then they are, but i am not trying to profit off of it.. i guess he still needs to earn a living.

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 6:23 utc | 35

Considering all the verbosity, contradictions and bad-mouthing Gates indulges in, one would hope that it will inspire the plotters of the forthcoming US military coup to pull their fingers out and get a wriggle on. Back in July it was due to happen within 12 months +/- 6 months. With Gates' contribution it should stay on, or get ahead of, schedule.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 9 2014 6:41 utc | 36

Bush Jr. and Obama...presidents who share a hatred of Congress..."It is difficult to imagine two more different men"..."Much of my frustration came from the exceptional offense I took at the consistently adversarial, even inquisition-like treatment of executive-branch officials by too many members of Congress across the political spectrum—creating a kangaroo-court environment in hearings, especially when television cameras were present."

Where have we seen kangaroo courts before? Can anyone name two recent presidents who have encouraged courts like that? In the kangaroo courts run by the Executive Branch, you are not likely to see cameras at all. In fact, sometimes this administration dispenses with courts and normal processes altogether. But more to the point, the stench of Gates's collaboration in crimes of an historic nature cannot be washed away by his selective editing of history, an editing away of real "inquisition-like treatment", like the after-dark kidnappings and disappearances of Afghan civilians, by forces working under the Secretary's own military.

It is Gates who opines that the US strategic defeat, in Iraq, must not be viewed as a strategic defeat, in a never-ending hell where his Pentagon hands over more Hellfire missiles to Maliki, to contain the madness that was shaped by US "strategic thinkers" in the first place.

Gates found the grilling he got in Congress too vicious to bear. Good Lord!...the questions they ask, the tone they adopt!

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 9 2014 7:03 utc | 37

I agree with bevin @24.

Military Keynesianism is the position that the government should increase military spending in order to increase economic growth. The Cold War ignited it and continues today with support by both political parties.

But in the meantime, a revolution occurred in the Western World. Corporations and the trans-national Elite seized control of all the levers of government. The USA today is floundering around, being pulled here and there by this or that plutocrat or petro-sheik with a small privatized volunteer army unable to win any war.

The governments simply do not give a damn about their citizens in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Ireland,…and the USA. Governments function now to transfer wealth to the ultra rich by privatization, quantitative easing, and war.

The cosmic joke is that we, the people, think we stopped the bombing of Syria. No. It was Vladimir Putin saying “Nyet”.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jan 9 2014 7:07 utc | 38

bevin is right to a certain extent about Keynes; but I believe the term, "Military Keynesianism", was coined by Chalmers Johnson, in one of his famous books about the hubris of the American Empire. I think the term applies to the new economic reality that was ushered in, with the National Security State. While it's true, as bevin says, Keynes would never have supported cutting the social lifelines, because of course, people need to have work for the sake of their morale, and to be able to participate, and to stimulate the economy. But while Keynes was keen on constructive work projects, Chalmers Johnson also pointed out that he was not opposed to mere make-work either, since the point was to stimulate the economy.

What was fundamental in this idea, was that the government should not be concerned about deficits, when the economy was in a deep slump or a real depression. When the economy was running full stream again, and employment was up, that would be the time to work down the deficit.

What Johnson meant by "Military Keynesianism" was not about Keynes, per se: but rather was a new way of describing what the military industries were doing, to provide stimulus to pull the economy out of cyclical slumps. This became more addictive to the State, and was further embedded into the system, as the normal domestic manufacturing was phased out. Thus, in the hollowed out economy of the empire, the military increasingly became the machinery of this deficit-ignoring, mock-Keynesian stimulus.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 9 2014 7:42 utc | 39

The pathetic attempts to defend the hero Grunwald, from the usual brown tongued sycophants, are as laughable and pathetic as anyone could have hoped for.

Well done guys. Basically it's lie and claim "glenn never said that" (even though he did) or else lie and claim "its not clear what he said" (even though it is quite clear)

Seems no matter what route one take to defend Geunwald its gotta involve lying of some sort

Posted by: stfu | Jan 9 2014 11:05 utc | 40

Chalmers Johnson expounds his theory here. It isn't what I had in mind, exactly; for one thing, he considers what he calls 'military keynesianism' in the US to have been misconceived, ie the ruling class expected it to do one thing, but it did another. I always prefer to assume that the ruling class intended what happened, to happen, not something else. My theory of it in a nutshell is that it maintains profits for the most important layer of investors, and it does this in an interesting way. Military goods are not subject to the rigours of market competition; instead, contracts are awarded on a 'sweetheart' basis. This means that prices can be quite arbitrary. As long as free competition is absent, the problem of the falling rate of profit consequent upon the ever-increasing displacement of living labour by machines (living labour being objectively the sole source of profit), need not arise. If monopoly prices can be charged, profit can be made even on a fully automated production process. In fact, my idea is so specific and so unrelated to the established theories of 'military keynesianism' that I am quite content to relinquish the term and apologise for having used it in the first place (in comment #1).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 9 2014 12:23 utc | 41

Gates's words are worth unpacking, as there appears to be real content. But his deference to the power of the president to make decisions is window dressing. The president has no such power, and is a mere puppet. People within the administrations may fight over who holds the strings, but presidential power is an illusion. It is deemed important that the American people imagine they elect their leaders.

Posted by: Mark Tokarski | Jan 9 2014 14:16 utc | 42

Of course it is about a profit, about 50% of tax dollar went into the Pentagon's budget.

A second, diametrically opposite view—called the theory of permanent
arms/war economy, or permanent military Keynesianism—maintains that
military spending can be used to boost a weak demand and stimulate a lackluster
economy not only on a conjunctural or short-term basis, but also on a
regular, long-term, or permanent basis. According to this theory, a well-developed
market economy tends to produce more than it can consume or
absorb. This tendency to create a gap between supply and demand leads to
occasional economic difficulties (at the macro or national level) of underconsumption,
or overproduction. It follows that in the face of insufficient
demand military spending can serve as the lacking or needed purchasing
power to fill the supply-demand gap, thereby helping to contain or turn
around a declining or stagnant economy. The late German economist
Natalie Moszkowska described this “curative” property of military expenditures
as follows:

The development of civilian industry is increasingly cramped by the absence of
monetarily effective demand and by stagnant sales. The development of the
war industry knows no such restrictions. Based on the presupposition of war,
the armaments industry can develop at a totally different rate and with an
impetus never previously known or even suspected. . . . The arms industry
does not supply the market nor depend on its capacity to absorb its goods. The
state here both provides orders and takes delivery.3

Like other proponents of the theory of underconsumption, Moszkowska
concluded that, “based on the presupposition of war,” and based on the fact
that the war industry is immune to supply and demand fluctuations of market
mechanism, arms production and military spending can be expanded
at will, or as needed; implying that, therefore, continued increases in military
spending can provide a permanent solution to the problem of insufficient
demand. Not surprisingly, the theory came to be known as the theory
of permanent arms (or war) economy.

p. 249, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism, Ismael Hossein-zadeh, 2006

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 9 2014 15:59 utc | 43

In themselves, the banks are powerless. Such powers as they have are legislated, all of them. What banks do they do, Capital (sic) Hill willing and enabling. Political economy is first political; the economics is derivative.

So is military. By far the largest beneficiaries of neo-Keynesianism, Quantitative Easing (sic) or any expeditionary money policy, conquest of foreign lands, policy of the IMF is the U.S. political class - oligarchy/aristocracy. (Re) Distribution of the national products is key word.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 9 2014 16:13 utc | 44

Thanks to all contributors for making this an excellent thread,
in particular to Copeland, Bevin, and Rowan Berkeley. One might meditate on Peter Lee's not unrelated views on exceptionalism and what seems like a dark future in East Asia.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jan 9 2014 16:20 utc | 45

Anyone still struggling with the concept of 'military keynesianism' should just go back and read '1984'. Goldstein explained it well enough

Posted by: stfu | Jan 9 2014 16:21 utc | 46

Japan's biggest problem is that it's afflicted with a bad case of US-itis - an overwhelming obsession with "doing" WWII again, but better. Like the Yankees, the Japanese will keep imagining that hardware wins wars until they discover, the hard way, that it doesn't.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 9 2014 17:03 utc | 47

"dark future in East Asia"!?

that's enough for not to reading it.

East Asia is still based on real economy, unlike the countries who are in early stage of introducing a phantom thing called currency. Or are in endless discussion what gonna comes next: inflation or deflation. Clearly, real solutions and problems won't be addressed.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 9 2014 17:04 utc | 48

stfu @40 - i would say it is the reverse.. speaking to power is always seen as a threat by those in power..unfortunately most people just follow the msn or the leader, right or wrong.. did bush lie his way into a war in iraq? or is it that greenwald is lying in everything he does and for what purpose? i would sooner believe greenwald as opposed to those who would like to twist his words into something they're not.. maybe there is a reason others are ignoring your comment!

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 17:40 utc | 49

Wait wait wait: So, Greenwald went on Israeli TV and told the the interviewers that he believes that Pollard is getting a bad wrap, that quote "“I think you are absolutely right to contrast the Jonathan Pollard case with Americans spying on their closest allies within the Israeli government because it does underscore the hypocrisy” and fanboys here will state that this is NOT GG giving more credence to the criminal Zionists and their plans to free the scum Pollard? That the term "closest allies" does NOT mean that GG is saying that Israel is one of the US's greatest ally? Holy fuck, some loves die hard. Nudge wink.

And this quote from GG: "The United States government loves to claim that the value of surveillance is to stop terrorism. Does the United States government think that Angela Merkel is a terrorist or that Israel’s democratically elected officials are involved in terrorism?"

Awwwh, poor wittle Israeli babies!! Too bad we have known for a decade that Israel has been tapped into US raw intel data but way to deflect, GG!!!(And never mind the Mossad's fingerprints all over 9/11 but I digress) And I also like the juxtaposition of Germany w/ Israel for added effect!!! Zinger!!!

But my super duper favorite defense of GG and his fake a$$ nonsense - never mind that he's a billionaire's minion now - is that GG is soooo smart that we - wulp - just gotta believe what he says because he's so effing smart. So smart that none of us - not even together - could ever hope to peer through his carefully constructed - w/ the help of some "intelligen(ce)t" friends - stories and fairy tales concerning all this horsesh!te.

Seriously, these two guys - here and here - have seen through GG from the beginning so please fanboys take off your Snowden/GG masks, read somethings insightful for a change and save us all the embarrassing crush-posts.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jan 9 2014 18:18 utc | 51

It's nothing short of a miracle Greenwald and Snowden are still alive. That's the single argument which understandably he might not want to make too loudly, but explains why he and Snowden et al are holding back. I appreciate his analysis like few others... though I certainly disagree at times.

The problems with Snowden/Greenwald/Poitras and all the rest is that they still believe people should not know everything their government does. They are protecting massive criminality, massive numbers of criminals who should be named immediately. Hence, they are now part of the problem. Call it profiteering, gatekeeping, super double agent with a twist, whatever. They should have/still should dump all the files. I mean Greenwald's analysis of wikileaks files which were dumped didn't keep him from doing everything he claims slow leaking achieves.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jan 9 2014 18:21 utc | 52

"Seriously, these two guys - here and here - have seen through GG from the beginning so please fanboys take off your Snowden/GG masks, read somethings insightful for a change and save us all the embarrassing crush-posts."

I guess for the Programmed Population anything is difficult to figure out. That's why they do not teach "soft skills" in schools. That's why they are forcing them into the "chartered school" and the "prestige universities", to be burden with the students loans and not thinking about Cui bono. That's why is Hollywood there, in service of Programmed Population which eat, drink, watch same food, coffe, movies what not. The Programmed Population is on Android.

"Android science is an interdisciplinary framework for studying human interaction and cognition based on the premise that a very humanlike robot (that is, an android) can elicit human-directed social responses in human beings.[1][2] The android's ability to elicit human-directed social responses enables researchers to employ an android in experiments with human participants as an apparatus that can be controlled more precisely than a human actor.[3]"

That's is the average US citizen.

When I read Greenwalds, Snowdens, Chomskys as in past Elsberg, or NYT, WaPo etc., I read that the regime speaks with itself and promote social themes that obfuscate the reality and the truth.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 9 2014 19:03 utc | 53

i like the need to refer to anyone who has followed greenwald and thinks he has done good work as a 'fanboy'.. i suppose that makes the argument more convincing, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 19:26 utc | 54

Rowan, your quote @33, when I read it in WaPo made me think that Gates was committing treason. Perhaps there is some 'discretionary' space for a SecDef to lie, or instruct his officers to lie, to a prez, but I can't imagine what that space would be.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 9 2014 19:40 utc | 55

@51 - the first link you share at the "Seriously, these two guys - here and here - have seen through GG from the beginning..." i note in the thread he directs one to read - - a updated commentary that you may not have read. have you read it JSorrentine ?

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 21:53 utc | 56

the letters at the bottom of that link i shared are particularly fascinating as they have the authors of both links JSorrentine shared in a conversation that is indeed informative.

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2014 22:10 utc | 57

Syrian opposition 'near collapse'

“Geneva is proving to be a road to ruin for the so-called moderate opposition, both the political and military aspects,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center.

The various competing factions that make up the coalition are under intense international pressure to attend, Mr Shaikh said, all the while knowing that “if they do, they may very well be entering into a very ill-defined and ill-prepared conference that may not produce anything that they can show to their brethren inside Syria, and further diminish their credibility”.

The issue of credibility has haunted the coalition since its creation just over a year ago. The umbrella group was forged under international pressure for a stronger, more united body to serve as a counterweight to the extremist forces fighting the Assad government.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 9 2014 23:18 utc | 58

Here's Arthur Silber himself on this very subject. He can speak for himself quite well it seems

    Both Tarzie and I have argued our cases at considerable length.

    (The previous post contains links to some of our articles, so you can peruse those arguments as you wish.) But now all we hear about is our "tone," and that we occasionally have been cutting, or mocking, or harsh in our treatment of these issues and some of the persons involved.

    Remember: these issues concern a brutal Death State and the ways in which we might finally be able to mount a challenge to its actions that could cause genuine consternation among the ruling class.

    Also remember that the Death State claims absolute power: the power to kill anyone it wishes, any time it wants, for any reason it chooses.

    But it appears that if we wish to protest against these hideous crimes -- and if we dare to criticize those who turn a magnificent opportunity for challenging the monstrous ruling class into yet another avenue for meaningless "debate" and "reform" -- we can only do so while speaking in the dulcet tones of the poet who murmurs of gentle spring breezes.

    I consult history, and I look at the lessons of the past. I know -- as you do, too, as does anyone who considers the question honestly -- that such a poet ends up mangled and probably dead, choking in the end on his own sweet phrases in a blood-soaked gutter. We might end up dead as well, but at least a few more people may know that we've been here, and that we had something of consequence to say.

    Given the stakes involved, when I see people complain about my "tone," I say: Fuck that. 

    And given the horrifying, ongoing crimes of the ruling class, if you truly think the "tone" of a few protesters against these vast crimes is a subject that demands your oh-so-earnest attention and correction, I also say: Fuck you.

    Oh, dear, oh, dear.

    Am I making some people uncomfortable? Christ, I hope so.

Well said, Arthur

Posted by: stfu | Jan 9 2014 23:20 utc | 59

"If you agree that the proper objective of journalists like Barton Gellman and Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras is to use their reporting to bring about meaningful change, I think you have to agree that timing and tactics matter. That is, what course of action would have a better chance of achieving meaningful change: immediate, indiscriminate dumping, on the one hand, or deliberate, time-released reporting, on the other? I would argue the latter, and I think the events of the last two months tend to suggest that the kind of drawn-out, deliberate reporting for which Greenwald has been criticized by some on the left support that argument."

barry eisler aug 2013..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2014 1:33 utc | 60

James, Greenwald has chosen this particular moment to put himself on record alongside Netanyahu, Peres etc, as supporting the release of Jonathan Pollard. This is not a human rights issue, but a carefully orchestrated political issue. Greenwald is perfectly aware of that fact, he is not a political ignoramus. Alongside every hard-working anti-imperialist there is an instant celebrity who just happens to be an Israel supporter wearing trendy left liberal coloration. This is a Jewish systemic tactic, quite an old one.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 10 2014 3:11 utc | 61

Posted by: james | Jan 9, 2014 2:26:54 PM | 54

Yes. A generous sprinkling of ad hominem + Hasbara are pretty feeble excuses for deductive reasoning and a coherent argument which matches the observable reality of the effect of the revelations. It's always interesting to compare the things which the 1%'s Obama chooses to ignore with the things he (and the 1%) can't afford to ignore - like Occupy and Manning which both threw the damage-control wonks in panic mode.
It reminds me of one of those Monty Python sketches in which some pompous git makes a complete ass of himself and then says "I meant to do that!"

Yeah, right.

Ad hominem is supposed to make people feel too self conscious to think straight. Fortunately, it affects the way the perps think just as much as (if not mare than) it affects the targets.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 10 2014 4:07 utc | 62

It's a really striking pattern, once you give yourself permission to observe it, not just in US history but also European, Russian, and even (this is rather obscure) modern Egyptian history. It works as follows: every now and then a smattering of clearly Jewish individuals make a political breakthrough on the Left, and seem for a while to enjoy a relative immunity. Finally they cash their success in more or less successfully for higher kudos and privileges for Jews in general, and this exhausts their political credit. Now you're perfectly entitled to say, "What the hell else do you expect Jews to do?" And the answer is, Marxism makes very stringent demands in this respect: you have to abandon your Jewishness, relinquish it, liquidate it, regard it as dead, and permanently drop it. Otherwise, apart from anything else, your own credit will exhaust itself within a relatively short time period.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 10 2014 4:17 utc | 63

You are right JSore. The US AND Israel are not allies.

Poor wittle United States! Its billionaire elites are just so hoodwinked! Always doing things they don't want to do like invade Iraq!

As for stfoffu ones listening anymore.

Just remember folks, the real enemy is Chomsky, Greenwald, Snowden and Ellsberg.

JSorrentine, i don't think too many are lining up to live in whatever bizarre world you would like to see. Nothing compliments your obsessive hatreds like your childish, neutered manner.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 10 2014 4:34 utc | 64

Rowan, sorry, I don't see how one could not discuss the hypocrisy of the world's super spy imprisoning other spies.

But of course this is not exactly the same as "supporting the release of Jonathan Pollard", is it? You tell me - but I don't see it.

There is no doubt, of course, that it is hypocritical of Greenwald to be go to a country that is very much a beneficiary of the US spying without pointing that out, and without also pointing out that what Pollard did was also outrageous. But even Haaretz can seem to spin "supporting the release of Pollard" out of his statements, though you seem to have.

"I think you are absolutely right to contrast the Jonathan Pollard case with revelations of American spying on their closest allies within the Israeli government, because it does underlie, underscore exactly the hypocrisy that lies at the center of so much of what the US government does," he said.

Then of course, some here can't even seem to bring themselves to acknowledge that the US elite might possibly have a mutually beneficial relationship with the Israeli elite, and find it an utter scandal that Greenwald would describe Israel as "close allies". I mean, my god, you don't usually find such extreme language outside of fringe publications like the New York Times!

It is become harder and harder to defend Greenwald of course, with the constant news about his burgeoning career in the pay of a billionaire's corporate media outlet, especially alongside his increasingly morally tepid (as was this one) and self-congratulatory public appearances. But that still doesn't make it right to equate his calling the US government "hypocritical" (one of the most glaringly obvious and true statements a human being could utter) with "supporting the release of" another criminal, Jonathan Pollard.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 10 2014 5:17 utc | 65

excuse me: "But even Haaretz can't seem to spin"

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 10 2014 5:26 utc | 66

and hell, it wasn't even Haaretz... link

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 10 2014 5:43 utc | 67

ask most anyone (esp americans) what they thought of Mandela: theyd say :'humanitarian' and 'saint'; ask the same people(and esp americans!) about Gaddafi: and its : 'mad dog' 'grotesque clown', brutal tyrant', 'robbed his people'....such is the power of the media.But what did Mandela think of Gadaffi...

'Right upon his release from prison, after more than 27 years behind bars, Mandela broke the UN embargo and paid a visit to the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where he declared: “My delegation and I are overjoyed with the invitation from the Brother Guide [Muammar Gaddafi], to visit the Great Popular and Socialist Arab Libyan Jamahiriya. I have been waiting impatiently ever since we received the invitation. I would like to remind you that the first time I came here, in 1962, the country was in a very different state of affairs. One could not but be struck by the sights of poverty from the moment of arrival, with all of its usual corollaries: hunger, illness, lack of housing and of health-care facilities, etc. Anger and revolt could be read in those days on the faces of everyone.

Since then, things have changed considerably. During our stay in prison, we read and heard a great deal about the changes which have come about in this country and about blossoming of the economy which has been experienced here. There is prosperity and progress everywhere here today which we were able to see even before the airplane touched ground. It is thus with great pleasure that we have come on a visit in the Jamahiriya, impatient to meet our brother, the Guide Gaddafi.”

When Mandela was taken to the ruins of Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, which was bombed by the Reagan administration in 1986 in an attempt to murder the entire Gaddafi family, he said:

“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do. Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi. They are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.”

In response, Gaddafi thanked Mandela for his friendship, saying: “Who would ever have said that one day the opportunity for us to meet would become reality. We would like you to know that we are constantly celebrating your fight and that of the South African people, and that we salute your courage during all of those long years you spent in detention in the prison of Apartheid. Not a single day has passed without us having thought of you and your sufferings.”

Posted by: brian | Jan 10 2014 7:25 utc | 68

The pathetic excuses trotted out by the usual idiots,in support of Greenwald and his pimping for Israeli spies, is as predictable as the tides.

Basically it just consists of the usual childish rants from the usual idiot.

Posted by: stfu | Jan 10 2014 8:16 utc | 69

No one cam say Greenwald aint smart

Hes managed to get leftists to support Zionist spying.

Admittedly the people supporting him are just yer basic run-of-the-mill dishonest airhead morons, that the left produces so many ofm but still . . .

Posted by: stfu | Jan 10 2014 8:24 utc | 70

Arianna Huffington Courts Global Elite in Effort to Undermine Alternative Media
Kurt Nimmo, Infowars, Jan 9 2014

Arianna Huffington is behind an effort to afford the 1%ers their own voice on a medium flooded with the dangerous political ideas of commoners. Huffington, who sold the Huffpo to media giant AOL, and in the process angered no shortage of starry-eyed leftists, has teamed up with billionaire Nicolas Berggruen to create World Post, a news and comment website. The site will use the same worker model as the Huffpo. It will exploit unpaid citizen journalists who will serve as bunting on a stage dominated by the likes of former British prime minister Tony Blair, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt. Huffington told the Grauan:

You can have all those heads of state and major business people, etcetera etcetera, writing right next to an unemployed man from Spain, a student from Brazil. The great heart of HuffPo is no hierarchy.

Huffington’s venture will receive an appropriate christening. It will be rolled out at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month. The Davos shindig holds a special place in the globalist constellation along with the G7, World Bank, WTO and IMF. The idea is to use the Huffpo model to get the global elite message to the masses. This is critically important now that the establishment’s dinosaur media is dying and millions of people are flocking to alternative media websites beyond the grasp of the corporate media. Berggruen predicted:
I think there will be a few media voices that really have weight and will survive but fewer and fewer.

The Huffpo venture arrives as a tidal wave of investment cash is being doled out to new media operations, most notably First Look Media, the news operation featuring journalist Glenn Greenwald financed by Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder who bought Paypal. Omidyar will be on the World Post editorial board with a number of other major league news media corporatists, including Luis Cebrian, founding editor of El Pais, Dilip Padgaonkar, consulting editor of the Times of India, and Yoichi Funabashi, former editor-in-chief of Asahi Shimbun, a large Japanese newspaper that collaborated with the NYT. It is uncertain if the downtrodden and unpaid masses working for AOL-Huffpo will go along with the globalist plan to subvert alternative media. It is truly amazing so many supposedly progressive journalists and bloggers stuck around after Arianna sold them out in a deal with AOL back in 2011. Huffpo went on the block for a cool $315m and Arianna pocketed tens of millions, none of which, of course, she shared with her league of idealistic citizen journalists. It looks like the plantation model will continue with World Post. It is, of course, a model the global elite are comfortable with.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 10 2014 11:21 utc | 71


AH is also selling the Happy Up NeoLiberal 'Third Way' which made Bill Clinton '...the most revered human after Nelson Mandela and the Pope...', and paves the way for HRH Hillary 2016, the final conversion of America into a Kleptocracy:

¿ 'E Pluribus What Difference Does It Make?'

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Jan 10 2014 11:50 utc | 72

God forbid that the necessary work of discrediting sources of anti-imperialist information should be interrupted.

But for those interested in politics, rather than malicious gossip and juicy celebrity speculations of the sort the MSM only wishes it could indulge in, Gates (a very nasty piece of work and yet a fount of useful and credible historical evidence) is said to be reporting, see The Guardian, that the US and, now deceased, super-conspirator Richard Holbrooke intervened to attempt a putsch in the 2009 "elections" in Afghanistan. This is a matter of great interest given the timing.

Heartening to see that Huff Po is emerging as almost as dire a threat to humanity as Glenn Greenwald. But somewhat surprising that British posters, who must surely be aware of Arianna's long and formative relationship at the knees of the early neo-con ideologue and terminal Tory mediocrity Bernard Levin, should be expressing surprise as the perfidious bitch's, well, uh, perfidy.
Still, I suppose when one has nothing else to chew on regurgitation helps to pass the time. By the way, after Levin, a fellow fan of the fascist Colonels, came Huffington himself: a right wing Republican congressman.
And we are meant to be surprised that she runs a plantation?

Posted by: bevin | Jan 10 2014 14:08 utc | 73

sometimes it seems easier to let others just continue to spin stuff the way they want to while being derogatory at the same time.. i was thinking of stfu's post @70.. if only they would take those initials seriously, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2014 16:25 utc | 74

The thing I bolded in the Huffpo story was that Omidyar is taking part. That puts him right in the middle of what Kurt Nimmo calls 'the globalist elite'. Infowars and the whole Alex Jones operation manage this 'globalist' meme very consistently. It can be inflected as a socialist plot to take over the world, and that's how they prefer to play it; but at the same time, it's sufficiently ambiguous to allow them to face the fact that actually, all these people (even the most extreme bete noire, George Soros) are actually capitalists. This is just USAia in a nutshell, really.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 10 2014 17:30 utc | 75

If you would support "realism's" Empire, devoid of the neocons Empire you could find nothing wrong with the "get Greenwald"
attitude. Of course short of Ron Paul and perhaps Kucinich, I haven't come across politicians of the American right or left who both oppose Pollard's spying and oppose also some form of American imperialism.
This is probably why Pollard's harshest critics in the Elite support continuing alliance with Israel, just perhaps not doing everything it demands.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jan 10 2014 21:50 utc | 76

If only you might take those initials seriously james, the iq of the commenters here would rise exponentially. They were specifically chosen to attract the attention of moronic airheads such as yourself

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11 2014 7:49 utc | 77

Philip Giraldi -

    "And Greenwald should know better than to ask whether the “democratically elected” officials in Israel are carrying out terrorism. Of course they are, and all he has to do is refer to the murder of nine unarmed Turks on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ in 2010, the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010 and the assassinations of Iranian scientists over the past three years.

Referring to “democratically elected” officials in Israel is itself a bit of code, with it's echo of "The Only Democracy in the Middle East" that the zio-racists like to bleat about when discussing Israel - Well done Glenn! slipping zio-code into your Israeli TV interviews, very clever.

    Greenwald’s logic goes something like this: as the Snowden papers demonstrate that the United States has been spying on Israel Washington has no right to judge others engaged in the same behavior and is therefore hypocritical when it continues to hold an Israeli spy engaging in espionage against the United States. He states that Snowden and Pollard are connected, “When the US government goes around the world criticizing other countries for spying on allies and prosecuting them, are they going to maintain that with a straight face when they’re doing exactly that?” Greenwald calls the double standard governmental hypocrisy and insists that no country has the right to tell other countries not to do something that it itself is secretly engaging in. He rejects the argument that the NSA spying has been carried out to protect against terrorism and asks rhetorically if the US, revealed to be spying on Israeli officials, really believes that “democratically elected” Israelis are involved in terror?

    Greenwald goes on in his interview with Israeli television Channel 10 to assert that the leak of the Snowden documents has “defended the values of American democracy.”

    I, perhaps not surprisingly, see the issue differently. There is a certain amount of smugness and self -justification in what Greenwald is trying to sell about Snowden (and Pollard). Does he claim that stealing great masses of documents is intrinsically a defense of democracy or is he only referring to those documents that reveal illegal or unconstitutional behavior that should be halted and condemned? If stopping illegal activity by the United States government is his actual objective why is he releasing documents on spying on foreign officials, an action that is neither illegal in the US nor unconstitutional? Or is he designating himself as arbiter of acceptable behavior for the entire world?

So as far as Greenwald is concerned jailing Pollard is nothing but hypocrisy and in the end Greenwald helps the Zio-racists to appear as "helpless victims" of US spying . . . (Well done again, Glenn)

    And Greenwald might also consider the proportionality issue relative to the espionage that goes on between Israel and the US. It is largely a one way street with Israel doing most of the spying.

No mention of that relevant fact from intrepid fearless reporter Glenn

    Among nations friendly to the United States Israel is the most aggressive in its espionage activity, largely because it knows it can get away with it given the Justice Department’s all too convenient unwillingness to prosecute Israelis.

Well done Glenn!!!!!

Way to rock the system dude!

By the time you're finished with them they'll be trembling at the mere mention of your name, in the state Dept, the DHS, the NSA and corporate boardrooms, eh Glenn?

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11 2014 13:17 utc | 78

I've had a couple of thought provoking reactions from my friend Lobro (whoever he may really be, don't ask me) to the Greenwald on Israel TV story (which I have found a video clip of, and obviously the interview is in english). Lobro says, first of all, the same point Giraldi makes, how can you talk about people like Bibi and the Ehuds and Arik most of all, merely as "elected officials"? Obama and Hillary and Jackass Kerry are "elected officials" too, and we what is this claptrap? But the second point Lobro made is much cleverer: when the hasbara babe brings up Pollard, why doesn't Greenwald respond with Vanunu? As Lobro points out, Greenwald is a fast talker but not necessarily such a fast thinker, but nevertheless he would have known the babe would bring Pollard into the interview, it should have been obvious.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 11 2014 15:59 utc | 79


Your friend Lobro makes this statement, which I think falls short: "consider the case of mordecai vanunu, whose case superficially resembles that of pollard."

Vanunu's case most resembles Snowden and Manning's, actually. Pollard was a criminal - a spy, spying on one aggressive foreign government for another aggressive foreign government.

Vanunu, on the other hand, was a whistleblower in the best sense of the word. And it would have been a very apt thing for Greenwald to bring up. Of course hindsight - from our armchairs, no less - is always 20/20. But it seems as if he is more concerned with his own place in history than the fact that he is just another in a long tradition of dissent. Perhaps it was because of the format of the interview - a cheap little five minute job with a brain dead anchor on Israel's CNN. But then why do that kind of interview?

Greenwald, unfortunately because he has been personally handed the most critical evidence of elite (not "government", not "state", but elite - the corporate/state nexus) malfeasance and mal-intent in generations, is not looking like a moral heavyweight. Snowden maybe is - but he's hardly said a word since the leaks so we can't know. But Greenwald's main complaint about the spying seems to be this very privately-oriented, "Western-people's problem" that it will take away "a realm in which we can engage in conduct without other people's judgmental eyes being cast upon us" when the problem seems to me at least to be the that the United States ability to use it against dissenting citizens not in their private homes, but when we attempt to gather and effect change in the public sphere. The danger is not in letting us do what we may at home - our society already atomized into wispy dust - but its ability to use it to quash attempts at social reforms here and abroad. The same issues the Church Committee focused on decades ago - spying and social manipulation at home, and outright murder abroad.

That the NSA amplifies the powers of the United States elite exponentially, yet is completely secret and separate from democratic control, is the real problem. And these issues were laid out in the 4th Amendment - and the worry isn't that I can have my private time at home to do whatever mysterious stuff I want - but that this kind of government activity fundamentally damages the free, political functioning of our society and goes against fundamental human rights.

To say it more plainly: Greenwald's focus on personal privacy appears, to me at least, to carry all the moral weight of the argument that Vietnam was bad because it was bad for business.

It is taking our fundamental public rights out of their proper, communal, sphere and, essentially, privatizing them.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 11 2014 17:08 utc | 80

"Vanunu's case most resembles Snowden and Manning's, actually."

Of course everyone knows this. Sounds a bit asshole-y the way I pointed it out.

But what's new...

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 11 2014 17:15 utc | 81

thanks stfu. i would prefer not express hostility so openly to someone i have never met. we might actually enjoy each others company if we were to meet. words on a screen can be deceptive. i don't take everything literally, but i get the impression some people are more inclined that way.

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2014 19:00 utc | 82

There is no sense in critiquing those who are endlessly critiqued by the powerful already of course. And though I am personally becoming increasingly ambivalent towards Greenwald's seeming drift into the morally lukewarm waters of comfort and power, surely Greenwald risked a lot. Not as much as Snowden, but a lot. Not as much as Assange, who had a different, more combative, model, but a lot. Not as much as Manning, who has paid the ultimate price for her brave actions - and sadly had her trial ignored and overshadowed - but still, a lot. And the leaks are undoubtedly the most important exposure of criminal efforts by the US government since the flurry of Congressional Committees following the Viet Nam War and the death of J. Edgar Hoover. And they have obviously had enormous impact abroad - though their effects at home have been less clear. But that though, I suppose, is hardly Greenwald's fault. That issue surely lies with our bought-and-paid-for congress-creeps who would gladly sell out the rest of us for a dull nickel.

Really, we have only to look at the real criminals for a split second to see how craven and revolting they are, comparing our well-founded grievances about their destruction of out basic Constitutional Rights with those of a child not wanting to take a bath!

General Alexander: "It's like when you were younger — well, this is for boys," he said. "You know, when you're younger, you say, 'I don't want to take a bath.' You say, 'No, I'd never take a bath. Why would we want to take a bath?' Well, you've got to take a bath, cleanliness, (et cetera). I said, 'But isn't there a better way?' Well we don't, so we had to take baths, right, or showers. What about here, what's a better way to stop terrorists?"

And yes, these freaks are still discussing their attempts to stop the terrorist bogeymen from "getting us" while sending millions of dollars in aid to the same bogeyman's hideouts in Syria - to better whip and behead her inhabitants with. These freaks are still discussing the "damage" the leaks have done to their supposed "effectiveness" (scare quotes required) as people attend their children's funerals, weep for their lost loved ones, and learn to walk with prosthetics in Boston, Massachusetts. It is hard to imagine that we leave the prodigious power of our nation in the hands of such obvious pathological ignoramuses and outright monsters who have more to gain by allowing terrorist attacks than preventing them but we do. And that is the light in which any criticism of Greenwald should be viewed.

But all that said, there may be a danger in expecting too much from Greenwald, and maybe we should be asking more questions of one who has himself been handed so much power - first in the form of the leaks, and now in the form of the new media company and the millions attendant to it. We should, I think, begin to ask more of a man who seems to pride himself on being able to affably debate the servants of power - wether they be ones key to the mutilation of our public discourse like Bill Keller, or mindless toadies who can excuse or defend any type of elite malfeasance and murder like David Frum. Because of course it is easy to enjoy a good-natured debate with these fellows when you're also granted paychecks via the same channels theirs come instead of being thrown in prison (real or practical, like Manning, Snowden, and Assange), or seeing your nation ripped to shreds (like journalists in the Third World) by, those whom one's opponets slavishly defend in said mental chess matches. But where is the line between the social niceties, the increasingly bland interviews, and the gentlemanly conversation, and outright co-option?

But still something rare and brilliant has happened through the leaks - something extremely beneficial for the country and the world. And of course it is hard to get one's head around what is actually coming out - especially since the media does their best to bury it. But the best source I know of is Wikileaks' Free Snowden website which keeps a complete list of all the revelations and related documents as they come out. News on the "new venture" of Greenwald and Ebay Billionaire Omidyar, so far unseen, can be found here at the Omidyar Group's website. And so we hope that Greenwald will do justice to the precious information he has been handed - precious because it is, above all, the property of the people of the United States, and more so because it is a key ingredient in the antidote to the deadly rattlesnake bite the fascist security state has put on all of us.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 11 2014 19:13 utc | 83

i would prefer not express hostility so openly to someone i have never met

Well theres no one forcing you to do anything. You could just take your own advice yourself, and i doubt anyone would notice tbh

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11 2014 19:23 utc | 84

Rowan posted the whole interview which I found the original never downloaded. People can watch it for themselves to see what Greenwald said. A poor showing - to my mind - but neither should people rely on the childish and idiotic second-hand reenactment by stfoffu.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 11 2014 19:37 utc | 85

"According to this theory, a well-developed
market economy tends to produce more than it can consume or

then the purpose of a well endowed military would be to use the excess for target practice thus maintaining a perfect balance between supply and demand.

Posted by: ja1 | Jan 11 2014 19:56 utc | 86

then the purpose of a well endowed military would be to use the excess for target practice thus maintaining a perfect balance between supply and demand.

Isn't that exactly what's been happening for the last few thousand years?


Listen to the proven liar, instead? Proven liars like yourself are Much more reliable are they?

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11 2014 20:31 utc | 87

Glenn the fanbois hero is now portraying Israeli War Criminal Pols as "democratically elected" ("Israel: the only Democracy in the Middle East")and disingenuously portraying them as not at all connected to any "terrorism" whatsoever (when literally EVERYONE knows that's not even close to being true)

Almost brings a tear to my eye thinking about how proud you fanbois must feel right now.

So far Glenn's pushing 3 memes for Mother-Zion

  • Israel = the only Democracy in the Middle East
  • Israel = VICTIM (of US spying - when the opposite is actually a better reflection of reality)
  • Israel = Not Perpetrators of Terrorism. (by defalt then also a VICTIM)

I bet the Elders would be proud

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11 2014 20:41 utc | 88

Greenwald at his best. Of course he might never criticise Israel again, if you believe the

Posted by: truthbetold | Jan 11 2014 22:36 utc | 89

Posted by: stfu | Jan 11, 2014 3:41:37 PM | 88

It would never occur to the Right-wing Cranks (who take themselves so-o-o seriously) that Greenwald has a better grasp of irony in one fingernail than all them put together.
R-w C's are really good at forgetting how easy it is to set "Israelis" and Yankees up for an ambush.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12 2014 3:44 utc | 90


That a really stupid comment. You have no idea what sort of grasp of irony Grunwald has, and indeed if his recent comments are anything to go by, he too, just like you, clearly has a very poor "grasp of irony"

"R-w C's are really good at forgetting how easy it is to set "Israelis" and Yankees up for an ambush."

What a truly idiotic comment since "ironically" some of your fellow LW Airheads are actually trying to excuse Greenwald by claiming that it was he that was "ambushed"

If that was Greenwald setting up the israelis then clearly, just like you, he hasnt got a clue what an ambush is

You people are ridiculous, not just moronic, but hilariously so.

I cant wait to see what braindead, dishonest excuses you lot will go for next, in order to cover up for Greenwald. So far he's got you left wing idiots supporting his capitalist venture as well as excusing his pimping for Israel.

Well done LW Airheads.

What'll it be next that Glenn has you defending?

Posted by: stfu | Jan 12 2014 10:15 utc | 91

portraying this as a simple Left vs Right thing is frankly moronic. But it's what people like the guy @90 like to do because it helps him line the morons on both Left and Right into their respective camps

Anyone that a blindly supports Greenwald just because they are LW is a moron just as anyone that blindly attacks Greenwald just because they are RW is also a moron, just as anyone that sees Global Warming as a left wing vs Right wing issue is also a moron. That pretty much covers the majority of people that post here regularly

FWIW to the moron @ 90 - I consistently have voted LW over the years, and reguarly been involved in mainly LW issues, politically - hasn't made a god-damned ounce of difference to anything though

Your pathetic attempts to portray this issue (like you morons portray almost ALL issues) as a simple L v R dichotomy is but a mark of your own complete lack of both intelligence and imagination

Posted by: stfu | Jan 12 2014 10:42 utc | 92

I hope I don't fit into either of those boxes. After all, I insist on treating Greenwald as an instance of the Jewish identity paradigm: an identity which is split, alienated in a distinctive way from US norms, simultaneously 'progressive' in certain respects and prone to a tribal paranoid reaction when challenged, and as a result, cutting right through otherwise predictable left/right categories. This paradigm, to mix metaphors, is the key which is too hot to touch, or at least, you need enormous agility to touch it without getting burned, let alone to actually use it to unlock anything.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jan 12 2014 11:09 utc | 93

@ 91 & 92.
Nag, nag, nag. You've said all that stuff before. It's just as silly this time as it was before you repeated it. Who are you trying to convince?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12 2014 12:54 utc | 94

That whole L & R world view is an untenable (albeit wide spread) paradigm serving to disguise, make vage (or even unseen) and a non-issue, what actually is - and always was - the major issue: Top and Bottom.

Just note (and check) a simple observation: Social views very strongly tend to correlate with what is perceived as "me and my"; my kids, my relatives, my neighbours, my company, my city ... etc. It is those "mys" where humans tend to think or act social. The further away from the my (or the collective my) the more non-social humans think and act. The further away from the my the less humans are inclined to share.

Funnily it was zusa society with it's charity syndrome, often addressing beneficiaries who are socially, financially and otherwise at the extreme other end, that pointed me in the right direction.
For a simple reason. As far as zusa is concerned one can pretty much rely on them acting superficiously, eupemistically, socially distantly and generally lying and avoiding truth and reality. So, all in all the zusa charity syndrome actually is an euphemistically, superficious, lying way of extreme egotism.
Which is proven in reality as those "generous donors" quite typically have not the slightest qualms about abusing and robbing the peers of their beneficiaries in their companies the very next day.

Actually the L&R paradigm creates an intrinsically unsolvable problem based on intentionally false assumptions that have a built in high potential for trouble, such making sure that fire stays burning. And it clumsily assumes that, of course, power and wealth and there means therefore, must be held by one side, painting the other side as evil robbers. Actually though "the people" have the plundered idiots role in both models, left as well as right, while the official title for the games is, in both cases, coming down to "how to create wealth and a good living for the people".

"Funnily", both models are centered around capital and power; sometimes bluntly directly, sometimes indirectly - the human being exists only as a social function.(No matter what the parasite says and how he says it, there will always be, not at all or only thinly veiled, his real desire; no surprise as this desire occupies and commands all his thinking).

Not coincidentially this also describes the core problem of the "modern" world. It's centered around wealth and power; human beings are degraded to more or less useful objects of the wealth and power priorities and are fed with lies, fancy sounding but deceiptful plays (like "democracy"), and kept intellectually busy with crafted for that purpose and meant to be unsolvable riddles like L & R.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jan 12 2014 13:20 utc | 95

Arthur Silber takes another bite at james' 'anarchist' friend referenced in #56

    I've been blogging for more than ten years, and I tell you this. Calls for "civility" and the proper "tone" surface with deadening regularity at all points of the political spectrum.

    In every case, without exception, those who demand "civility" are liars of the first order. (How else can you describe someone who levels multiple, damning insults while simultaneously insisting that everyone speak in the hushed, pinched tones of Emily Post with ten extra rods shoved up her ass?)

    In every case, without exception, they are pursuing aims which they do not choose to disclose, and an agenda which they decline to identify. That is: they're trying to get away with something, and they hope you won't notice. . . . .

    And that's one of the dirty secrets about those who clamor for "civility" and insist on the importance of "tone." What they actually mean is that those whose "behaviors & attitudes" they approve -- or those whose favor they curry and/or whose power they fear -- will be invited for afternoon tea, when they will daintily sip their beverage with crooked pinky.

    Everyone else, and especially those of whom they strongly disapprove, will be heaved in the gutter with the other slop. So much for "civility" and "solidarity."

Posted by: stfu | Jan 12 2014 19:00 utc | 96

@96 What Mr. Silber fails to mention is that insults and foul language alienate the undecided. Maybe he's a saboteur?

Posted by: dh | Jan 12 2014 19:22 utc | 97

thanks stfu. i had read the article and contrary to you, i think tone does matter.. turning everything into a personal attack is enough of a turn off to not want to bother reading anything the person has to say even if my name is included in the message.. perhaps that is the part about 'tone' that escapes you..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2014 19:54 utc | 98

you seem to think my previous comment was addressed to you. I'm not at all interested in your opinion on tone so you keeping on offering it is amusing. No need to thank me for that little tidbit btw

Posted by: stfu | Jan 12 2014 20:54 utc | 99

I see we've got another (?) (Same one?) abrasive obnoxious asshole drooling all over the threads again.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 13 2014 0:05 utc | 100

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