Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 22, 2017

The War Hawks Rolled Donald Trump

President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk:

In a 2016 speech to the Virginia Military Institute, McMaster stressed the need for the US to have "strategic vision" in its fight against "hostile revisionist powers" — such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran — that "annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries."

General McMaster, the new National Security Advisor, gets sold as a somewhat rebellious, scholar-warrior wunderkind. When the now disgraced former General Petraeus came into sight he was sold with the same marketing profile.

Petraeus was McMaster's boss. McMaster is partially his creature:

He was passed over for brigadier general twice, until then-Gen. David Petraeus personally flew back to Washington, D.C., from Iraq to chair the Army’s promotion board in 2008.

When Petraeus took over in the war on Afghanistan he selected McMaster as his staff leader for strategy,

McMaster was peddled to the White House by Senator Tom Cotton, one of the most outlandish Republican neocon war hawks.

McMaster's best known book is "Dereliction of Duty" about the way the U.S. involved itself into the Vietnam War. McMaster criticizes the Generals of that time for not having resisted then President Johnson's policies.

He is the main author of an Army study on how to militarily counter Russia. McMaster is likely to "resist" when President Trump orders him to pursue better relations with Moscow.

Trump has now been boxed in by hawkish, anti-Russian military in his cabinet and by a hawkish Vice-President. The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon. The next onslaught of the "serious people" is against Bennon and especially against his role in the NSC. It will only recede when he is fired.

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.

Posted by b on February 22, 2017 at 5:19 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I have to admit, I was surprised at borg-ish congrats on his appointment (McCain among them).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 5:52 utc | 1

More about Firtash in a post here ...

Former Manafort UA Partner Facing Extradiction

A Viktor Bout and Snowden Swap Imminent?

Posted by: Oui | Feb 22 2017 5:56 utc | 3

Flynn was cropped out of an Oval Office photo – here!

Did the Trump cabal read up on Stalin? :)

Posted by: Oui | Feb 22 2017 6:01 utc | 4

Dutch fake referendum on Ukraine ...

Dutch Parliament secures required majority to support ratification of EU-Ukraine deal – outcome of debate

On last day before recess and the March general election!

Posted by: Oui | Feb 22 2017 6:07 utc | 5

McMasters gave "acknowledgement" to his great friends and wise contributors in the forward of his book "Dereliction of Duty" to Fred and Kim KAGAN. Yes. Yes. The brother of Robert Kagan, husband of Cookies (aka fu*k the EU) Nuland. Then again. The comment board of MOA never met a ZIO-con-fascist-Russophobe-warmonger they didn't like. So what's the prob?

P.S. How many Soros-paid-thugs does it take to push over a hundred grave stones? Eh??? Betcha lots fewer than the ones in Maidan...

Posted by: Take Me | Feb 22 2017 6:08 utc | 6

right-wing pence, mad dog mattis, and tyrannus rex are running this administration. (priebus is the gofe with the republican party monsters and hacks, to keep them soothed and inline.)

unless they are geniuses, bannan and the Orange One are gonna continue to get further rolled by these guys

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 22 2017 6:44 utc | 7

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22, 2017 12:52:12 AM | 1

Indeed. Anyone McCain & Cotton endorses is extremely suspect.

Commissioned as Lieutenant in 1984, started writing his 'Dereliction of Duty ' book in 1992, published in 1997, so ~20 years ago.

Patronage by that soulless rat bastard Petraeus is certainly detrimental.

They went for Flynn with everything they had, Bannon is indeed next ... An isolated Trump with adversarial or hidden agenda advisors would be easily rolled/influenced ...

From a 2001 review of his book By Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., U.S. Army (ret.):

“I wondered how and why Vietnam had become an American war–a war in which men fought and died without a clear idea of how their actions and sacrifices were contributing to an end of the conflict.” In searching for the answer, McMaster “discovered that the military’s role in Vietnam decision-making was little understood and largely overlooked.” Dereliction of Duty is his attempt to correct that deficiency.

As Henry Kissinger has said, “Presidents listen to advisers whose advice they think they need.” In the Kennedy administration the most important determining factor would not be the advisers’ relative position in organizational charts, but instead their “ability to establish a close personal rapport with the President.” Thus, “under the Kennedy/Johnson system, the Joint Chiefs lost the direct access to the president, and thus the real influence on decision-making that the Eisenhower NSC [National Security Council] structure had provided.”

McMaster says “Diminished JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff] access to the president reflected Kennedy’s opinion of his senior military advisers. Kennedy and the young New Frontiersmen viewed the Eisenhower JCS with suspicion….The Old Guard in the Pentagon were relegated to a position of little influence.” McMaster follows this theme throughout his work, beginning with the rise of General Maxwell Taylor, brought back from retirement to serve as the “military representative of the president” and later chairman of the JCS.

McMaster also traces the rise of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s “whiz kids”–particularly Alain Enthoven, McNamara’s point man, whose “flair for quantitative analysis was exceeded only by his arrogance.” Enthoven, writes McMaster, “held military experience in low regard and considered military men intellectually inferior.” In return, “the military viewed Enthoven and the rest of McNamara’s staff as adversaries.”

The Cuban missile crisis only deepened the gulf between the JCS and the president. Dismayed by their insistence on using military force, John F. Kennedy said he would warn his successor “to watch the generals and to avoid feeling that just because they were military men their opinion[s] on military matters were worth a damn.” But Lyndon Johnson needed no such advice, for like JFK, he had a disdain for the military. “Johnson brought with him to the presidency a low opinion of the nation’s top military men and a long history of taking positions on military issues to enhance his political fortunes,” says McMaster. Taylor, by then JCS chairman, “demonstrated the same loyalty to Johnson that he had shown Kennedy. The other Chiefs and the JCS as an institution were the losers in status, influence and power...”

Eisenhower's administration, in conjunction with the Dulles brothers in CIA & State, was even more hawkish than Truman.

Nuclear weapons increased from 1,000 to 22,000 and tactical nuclear weapons were routinely deployed and considered 'conventional weapons' re possible usage from '53 onwards. The JCS recommended and the NSC endorsed using nuclear weapons against China in '53 and Eisenhower and Dulles communicated these threats to China. Under Eisenhower's NSC we overthrew Iran's Mossadeq in '53 and Guatemala's Arbenz in '54 on behalf of the 'United Fruit Company', etc.

For McMaster to champion Eisenhower's JCS/NSC over the Kennedy's efforts to de-escalate nuclear Armageddon, is indicative of a rabid aggressive warhawk perspective. The JCS wanted to actually invade Cuba, whether it risked war with the USSR or not.

Should he still hold these views ... a bad choice indeed.

@ Posted by: Take Me | Feb 22, 2017 1:08:28 AM | 6

The comment board of MOA never met a ZIO-con-fascist-Russophobe-warmonger they didn't like. So what's the prob?

Really ?

Posted by: Outraged | Feb 22 2017 6:48 utc | 8


Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason.
It is a serious reason.

Flynn likely ran afoul of a old law called the "Logan Act", which prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in disputes involving the American government.

It might be hard to prosecute Flynn but there are nevertheless serious political ramifications.

If Trump had tried to retain Flynn, over the objection of VP Pence, Trump risked being removed via impeachment or 25th Amendment because:

- If Trump asked Flynn to guide the Russian response to sanctions, then Trump could be guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors", or

- VP Pence could determine that Trump's keeping Flynn showed a pro-Russian bias that indicated that Trump was compromised (US intel agencies have already 'determined' that Russia influenced the elections to favor Trump).

That Flynn had not been truthful to Pence (from what we are told) and that Pence would not 'play ball' hint at Pence as an untrusted 'frenemy'. Indeed, Pence is apparently close to McCain. they traveled to Iraq together about 10 years ago, and Pence endorsed McCain in the 2016 election over Trump's wishes.

<> <> <> <> <>

I've read that Pence had made public statements that Flynn had NOT spoken to the Russians about sanctions but that was proven false by the transcripts.

Did Pence demand to know if Trump had asked Flynn to talk to the Russians about sanction? It would be a logical question - and one that would've been very threatening to Trump.

Trump hinted that he HAD asked, or authorized, Flynn to talk to the Russians about sanctions when Trump defended Flynn at the press conference saying:

- he's a great guy;

- he did nothing wrong - he did his job;

- If he HADN'T done what he did, Trump would've asked him to!!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 7:00 utc | 9

Here we go yet again........

An Israeli military plane carried out an airstrike on the Syrian government forces stationed in the western countryside of Damascus near the Lebanese border.

Posted by: Julian | Feb 22 2017 7:12 utc | 10

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22, 2017 2:00:43 AM | 9

The excuse of the ~216 year old Logan Act is a non-starter.

Not only has no-one ever been convicted, no-one has ever even been prosecuted under it. It's questionable if it would even survive a challenge re being constitutionally valid. So no grounds for impeachment or 25th amendment, especially when the GOP holds Presidency, House & Senate, a clean sweep, thanks to the Trump-faction.

Only politically suicidal lunatics would impeach their own party President if they wished to be re-elected ...

Posted by: Outraged | Feb 22 2017 7:22 utc | 11

Outraged @8

Good comment.

I've read elsewhere that in the early 1960's the US Mil wanted to (find a reason to) launch a first strike on Russia because THEY KNEW that the US had an overwhelming advantage that would dissipate over time.

Of course this was before scientists warned that a full-scale nuclear war would mean human extinction.

I wonder about JCS unwillingness to be forthright with civilian leadership. Was Johnson trying to appease the anti-Russian hawks (without realizing that it would be impossible to withdraw until victory was achieved)? Was JCS happy to go along with a gradual escalation knowing that the conflict would grow?

In other words, how valid are McMaster's lessons? Monday morning quarter-backing? Would JCS go along with gradualism TODAY if they thought it was "in the right direction?"

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Isn't the use of extremists to fight a proxy war a form of gradualism?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 7:22 utc | 12

It will be interesting to see if Trump tries to regain the upper hand in this "battle"and what that might entail. Until and unless Trump losses Bannon, he maintains the optics of a threat to the neocon agenda.

But since Trump is not a threat to those that own private finance of the world, what does it matter? Pick your CON...... Is it neocon? or Trumpcon?

Somewhere out there is a anti-humanistic war-hawk analyst that is telling his boss that using nukes for military/empire purposes would give cover for Fukushima ecological damage..........maybe our species is not meant to evolve and grow........because we are not hearing these corporations (who are people, as Romney would say) screaming for global remediation of Fukushima for the sake of their future customers.......are we?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 22 2017 7:23 utc | 13

Outraged @11

There's always a first time. It's as good an excuse as any.

And Republicans would not be throwing the Presidency to the Democrats, they would be choosing an alternative Republican. One that many of them would prefer.

I don't think Trump & Flynn were fooled into the resignation/departure. I think they were responding to a real risk.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 7:46 utc | 14

The thing that bothers me is why would well informed (are they really?) state officials who are supposed to know its own capabilities and those of a enemy-to-be, in this case Russia, want a conflict which is unwinnable?
When one thinks about such option it sounds really surreal.
I can only think on shortsighted attempt to sell even more useless weapons to allies at a price and an excuse of a "commitment" to protect them if they increase defence budgets.
So it is simply an extortion racket that EU shouldn't comply with, but instead should work with Russia to mend its socio-economic relations, as this is the only possible way of changing each other's minds, thus creating the long term stability on the European and Asian continents.

b. has wisely predicted, but it is not yet mentioning in the detail recent Libyan situation unfolding as an obvious current policy still is - stirr the trouble wherever you can to keep Russia busy or involved into it. That is stupid game that yields no result.

Posted by: laserlurk | Feb 22 2017 7:49 utc | 15

The War Hawks Rolled Donald Trump?

Are you serious?
He did it himself.
He is a traitor.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 22 2017 7:51 utc | 16

Isn't it just a bit surreal that the entire Deep State Media (DSM) and most of the military is seemingly chomping at bit for WW3? Can that be real? And why has this Oroville Dam collapse of digital ink been spilled over global warming? Too much fluoride in the D.C. drinking water?

Even the putatively "liberal" documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has branded Donald Trump a "Russian traitor" and has called for his impeachment for advocating good relations with Russia! Some of his Tweets:
Um, @realDonaldTrump -- It's now noontime in DC & it appears you are still squatting in our Oval Office. I gave u til this morning to leave.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) February 14, 2017

What part of "vacate you Russian traitor" don't you understand? We can do this the easy way (you resign), or the hard way (impeachment).
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) February 14, 2017

Or maybe it's all a giant cover-up, a colossal red herring to put up a smoke-screen between the the benighted population and the calamitous impending Dollaropocalypse? Doesn't everybody know that the Columbian Usa empire is on its very last legs, trapped between a crumbling Europe, survivalist Russia, and gluttonous China which has sucked in most of its productional systems? Come about 2017 0r 2018, they are desperately going to need on hell of a distracting dog and pony show and finale rack of fireworks to cover up the approaching ultra-depression supervolcano.

Posted by: blues | Feb 22 2017 7:51 utc | 17

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22, 2017 2:22:40 AM | 12

1. Of course this was before scientists warned that a full-scale nuclear war would mean human extinction.

2. Would JCS go along with gradualism TODAY if they thought it was "in the right direction?"

3. Isn't the use of extremists to fight a proxy war a form of gradualism?

1. It was first realized (1955) by the German physicist and Nobel laureate who had earlier first split the uranium atom, Otto Hahn, that only ten cobalt salted hydrogen bombs would be enough to extinguish life on earth, under revised calculations following the US Hydrogen bomb tests of the previous year. This was broadcast on radio throughout Europe in Feb 1955!. It was also the basis of the fictional Doomsday device in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

2. JCS would likely only want to deploy boots on the ground for a perceived clean, quick, limited war with a clearly defined, highly probable, resulting WIN. Something to get the scores up on the board, Hm, like Grenada redux ? Anything else is bad (military) politics.

It took almost two decades for the Military to recover from Vietnam, and the current military has certainly not yet recovered from Vietnam MkII, the combined Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, IMV. The best & most experienced/capable NCO's and junior officers exited service by choice, family pressure/responsibilities or literally burnt out through excessive tour rotations ... that will take another decade or more to recover from ...

3. Proxy wars are fine ... little risk, little downside, from their perspective ... see ~46 years of Cold War and current Cold War 2.0 (Lite).

Posted by: Outraged | Feb 22 2017 8:17 utc | 18

Games and more Games

Given that the strategy is to reign in China (the only way to get jobs back to the US), the triad of Russia-China-Iran must first be broken. Iran is the current weak link. Break the links to Iran, buy/intimidate Russia off support for China. This also fits Israeli interest so will buy Trump time to put out other fires... but Flynn jumped the gun. Putting Iran on notice without specific reason (it was not a ballistic missile test) exposed the strategy and gave both Russia and China reason to affirm their relation to Iran without cost. the deployment of troops to Europe could still be blamed on Obama and confusing times at the white house... but the Porter incident was deliberate and provocative - again playing the intimidation card before it would have best effect. In response Russia openly questions the motives of the new administration states it is reconsidering if it can negotiate with Trump at all. Two days later Flynn resigns. Do not confuse the announcement of the incident (14th - a day after Flynn resigns) with the timing of the event (10th, two days before his resignation).

If there is one thing Trump detests, it is signalling the opposition what your true position really is.

Same holds true with appointments, it is all smoke and mirrors, to confuse while real deals are cut.

Posted by: les7 | Feb 22 2017 8:38 utc | 19

When has war NOT been in the service of wealth? Is that not what war is for? To create wealth in two ways: 1. by taking the wealth of others; 2. by creating a means by which surplus can be destroyed in order to be replaced?

The whole Trump thing is to drain the swamp. The problem is that there is too much wealth involved in creating more wealth via war to reduce war.

As an archetype, consider the F-35? The perfect war tool ... too expensive, totally unreliable, needing immediate replacement.

So, the deep state wins ... the world loses. Where is Trump in all of this? It doesn't matter ... and a real bloody revolution won't be enough. I truly can't wait until we provoke the Russians or the Chinese into starting a war that ends with lots of good old life cleansing mushrooms!

Viva la Muerte?

Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 22 2017 9:54 utc | 20

Before anyone else gets around to it -- yeah I'm a sicko, especially if that means I disagree with you! I frankly don't give a rat's behind what you think.

B provides decent analysis and the rest of you rumble and grumble, but let's face it we'll all be f----d in the end.

Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 22 2017 9:57 utc | 21

Re: Posted by: rg the lg | Feb 22, 2017 4:57:02 AM | 21

You're a real ray of sunshine aren't you.

Dutch Election in 3 weeks. 21 Days and counting. Go Wilders.

Posted by: Julian | Feb 22 2017 10:04 utc | 22

@19 les7, 'Given that the strategy is to reign in China (the only way to get jobs back to the US) ...'

zeit-fragen notes that tee-rump's got his eye on germany as well ... Germany threatened by currency war.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 22 2017 11:01 utc | 23

...the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC...

yes, indeed. the pickings are slim. culling a more humane alternative from this gaggle of shit-stained, blood-soaked scumbags seems like an exercise in futility to me. no room for elfin heroes, no siree bob.

I don't think we're getting out. I think that we must adapt. The human organism
is fairly flexible, and the United States is being transformed into something
truly hideous, and those who wish to continue to live here and function as
Americans are going to have to find some way to adapt. You're going to have to
find a way to drink foul water, breathe foul air, eat semi-poisonous and/or
non-foods, and find some way to keep a job so that you can spend money to
experience the thrill of these things
(Frank Zappa)

or go east young man! life is but a quest! out there somewhere along the polyester, er, i mean silk, road fortune awaits.

Posted by: john | Feb 22 2017 11:52 utc | 24

les7 @19

That's a reasonable alternative hypothesis.

One thing is certain. Trump's explanation is nonsense:

1) he "lost confidence" in a guy that he praises so much?

2) his decision was made easier by having a great alternative? (Harward turned him down! so Trump didn't really know that he had an alternative, especially a 'great' one)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 12:03 utc | 25

Could Pence have been threatening to resign if Flynn was not fired?

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 12:09 utc | 26

Outraged @18

AFAIK, that a global 'nuclear winter' would follow a large-scale nuclear exchange wasn't something that was known until the 1970's.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 12:10 utc | 27

@Les7, #1 "If there is one thing Trump detests, it is signalling the opposition what your true position really is."

Any interesting idea, but Trump immediately after Flynn's anti-Iran speach launched his own anti-Iran tweetstorm. If anything, Flynn's speach might have been given in an effort to appease the Neocons demanding his head. Keep in mind he must have known he was in trouble before the rest of us did.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 22 2017 12:23 utc | 28

I wouldn't say it was ever known that nuclear winter would result from a nuclear exchange, as even today that is not known. Too many uncertainties.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 12:29 utc | 29

Sorry, I meant @ #19. Also, Trump was viciously anti-Iran throughout his whole campaign, so nothing new there. It is doubtful Russia did not long ago see the idea of splitting them from China and Iran. It was talked about in the blogosphere for months. Russia was never going to be dumb enough to fall for it, but probably didn't mind letting the US try.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 22 2017 12:29 utc | 30

Israeli warplanes bombard military positions outside Damascus: Reports

A Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an Israeli fighter jet crossed into Syria’s airspace at around 3 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) on Wednesday after circling the skies of Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley and flying above the eastern city of Baalbek, al-Masdar News reported.

i wonder if there really are 's-400' anti-aircraft defensees in syria. and if there are, i wonder if they really work.

i remember paveway explaining to me, the last time the israelis bombed syria, that in fact the airplane responsible was flying over israel and had fired a cruise missile, or someother type of 'standoff' weapon, across the border at that time.

the reasoning for not responding to that attack was said to be that the defensive weapon was much too expensive to waste on the missile, and that shooting down the plane over israel that actually launched the attack ... just couldn't be done.

that's obviously so emboldened the israelis that they now fly right into syrian airspace, like they own it. in fact they do.

the russian airforce is so busy acting as the turkish airforce over the portion of syria that erdogan has laid claim to that they cannot be bothered to defend hezbollah .., who've been doing a lot of the heavy lifting on the ground in syria.

i wonder if russia and tee-rump are coming to an understanding ... Trump Makes Good On Promise, Tells CIA To Stop Arming So-Called “Moderate” Rebels And Other Terrorists Groups In Syria !.

tee-rump begins to end cia support of al-cia-duh in syria in return for russia's looking the other way when israel kills syria's allies and destroys their armory?

Posted by: jfl | Feb 22 2017 12:55 utc | 31

jfl @31

Russia isn't in Syria to solve the world's problems. It is there to destroy the takfiris before they can be unleashed on Russian territory. It is also there to aid an ally. It is doing this with minimal forces. The S-400 systems are there to defend Russian assets, no more. Shooting down an Israeli aircraft, which caused minimal damage, would lead to unpredictable consequences and distractions from the prime task.

Posted by: Yonatan | Feb 22 2017 13:19 utc | 32

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it?
Posted by b at 12:19 AM

Yes He does. Bannon doesn't matter. Trump went into this with his eyes wide open. He told the borg their days are numbered as soon as he was sworn in. He thinks he's smarter than them and their Neocon spin tanks and I agree with him. At Trump's stage of life he could have opted for luxurious retirement in splendid isolation, but he's set himself one last challenge - to be the most famous person in History. He's already halfway there and he hasn't even done anything startlingly POTUS-ish yet...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22 2017 14:38 utc | 33

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk:

He is not as "anti-Russian" as it may seem. After all, Flynn himself had very little "love" for Russia and was merely a situational "ally", who understood, correctly, operational and strategic limitations of US Armed Forces. Real situation in the US Armed Forces is not good, to put it mildly. 16 years and no tangible results, all wars are lost, the force is indeed "stretched thin", which is a euphemism for being demoralized and ineffective. Moreover, in some crucial aspects of warfare, all those proverbial "offsets" and alleged technological "superiority" simply do not exist anymore. In some--the technological lag became insurmountable. So, there is a real problem with military which, from the US military-strategic point of view, must be addressed. Considering Trump being hellbent on attaining a full control of US foreign policy and Trump's personality--it doesn't really matter what degree of anti-Russianness Trump will get from his National Security Adviser. What Trump needs is a competent military man capable to explain to Trump limitations of US military power in order to adjust his foreign policy. McMaster is a competent man to do so--in this sense this appointment is a good thing and it really doesn't matter if Tim Cotton or McCain approve of this appointment, anti-Russian sentiment was inevitable within US military because comparisons are not only irresistible but highly warranted, especially when they are done not just over the period of the last 15 or so years, but over last 70-80. Anti-Russian mantras today are more of a self-psychotherapy nature than of real desire to fight Russia. Everybody in both militaries understand everything by now, but that is a totally different story altogether. Once brand new Russian military doctrine was published couple of years ago--many pieces of puzzle fell into their places.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Feb 22 2017 14:39 utc | 34

If you like your Wall, you can bloody well pay for it Yourself! Israel gets the no-bid as DHSs largest contractor in the USA SW.

Deport all the Imm... well, 'get tough' on Muslim and Mexican criminals, and ignore the Russian and Israeli mobs on Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Hillary for Pris...well, the Old Witch has been through enough, and I'm adopting the CG grift model for my Trump Enterprises. Buy Ivanka's stuff!

Drain the Swamp! ...with $5.8 trillion in tax cuts for the Wealthy and $30 trillion debt ceiling for the Chosen! Yeah, that'll work!

On to Crimea, if the Russians won't give it back!

Xi is a bad, bad, man! Yellow Cake! Yellow Cake!

Trump IS the Establishment, and it's the 100-Year Golden Jubilee of Goldman Bolshevim.

"Give me your children for 4 years, and I will plant seeds that will never be cut down!" DeVos Hebrew-Evangelical Charter Schools / Xe Security

Face it, the only ones being 'rolled' here are all the Trump fan-boys on MoA.

The pathos is now palpable.

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 22 2017 14:41 utc | 35

b -- you said, "The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon."

"consigliere" -- advisor to a crime boss.

Is that the word you wanted to use? I mean, I agree with the idea that trump views himself as a crime boss.

Posted by: Bardi | Feb 22 2017 14:50 utc | 36

b, you misspelled bannon's name in the penultimate paragraph (bright embed).

Posted by: annie | Feb 22 2017 14:54 utc | 37

Re Post by: lysias | Feb 22, 2017 7:29:08 AM | 29 "I wouldn't say it was ever known that nuclear winter would result from a nuclear exchange, as even today that is not known. Too many uncertainties."

Sorry, you are misinformed. Please see this article published by the Federation of American Scientists, "Turning a Blind Eye Towards Armageddon — U.S. Leaders Reject Nuclear Winter Studies"

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 22 2017 14:56 utc | 38

One article does not a scientific consensus make. The Wikipedia entry on "nuclear winter" has a good discussion on the controversy about how valid the hypothesis is.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 15:03 utc | 39

Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC: "Our job is to control exactly what people think. She's annoyed that Trump is interfering with their doing that job.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 15:04 utc | 40

I should add that, as long as there is a reasonable possibility that nuclear winter might occur, that, in my opinion, is sufficient reason to avoid nuclear war.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 15:06 utc | 41

Trump was thinking of John Bolton, a neo-con for the job. He obviously wanted to get one of them in his rank to better fight them. He also wanted to make a conciliatory gesture to the hardline republicans.
Mc Master is a good compromise. Not a 100% neocon but a pragmatic sympathizer.
Trump will hold on Bannon as much as possible to prevent his vision to be blurred by the others.
The next target of the dems is Bannon... What other bone can Trump give to the dems to chew on?

Posted by: virgile | Feb 22 2017 15:11 utc | 42

What other bone can Trump give to the dems to chew on?


Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 15:12 utc | 43

The comment board of MOA never met a ZIO-con-fascist-Russophobe-warmonger they didn't like.


Posted by: RudyM | Feb 22 2017 15:31 utc | 44

Perimetr, I looked at your FAS link. I notice the article quotes conclusions that use "could" about nuclear winter. With this, I agree. Nuclear winter is possible. We just don't know. Climate is too complex to predict with anything approaching certainty.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 15:37 utc | 45

Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC...
Posted by: lysias | Feb 22, 2017 10:04:04 AM | 40

Thanks. Great catch.
A member of the borg blowing the whistle on herself...
Who says they're not getting desperate?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22 2017 15:38 utc | 46

Oui @ 4: Man oh man, talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.

Reminds me a lot of the Reagan White House. An Actor and poser as President, and sycophants doing the real work.

@ 6: " The comment board of MOA never met a ZIO-con-fascist-Russophobe-warmonger they didn't like. So what's the prob?"

Obviously you're new here. Hang around a while, you may want to re-think that statement.
Or not.....

Posted by: ben | Feb 22 2017 16:12 utc | 47

Flynn Fired for Iran, not for Russia

The official reason for firing Flynn so early on was allegedly his refusal to disclose all details to Vice President Pence and others of his pre-inauguration phone call to the Russian Ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak, in the days before Trump became President.

Far more plausible as reason is the shoot-from-the-hip remarks of Flynn aimed at Iran in early February. Then Flynn held an unusual press conference in the White House to declare, “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” His remarks were aimed at Iran’s testing of a ballistic missile and a recent attack on a Saudi naval vessel by Yemeni militants, which Washington said were backed by Teheran. Sounds tough, or? Real Rambo macho, a la USA again asserting its power in the region. Grrrrrrrowl!

There were many things wrong with that inane declaration of Flynn. One, it had no content, much like Obama’s August 2012 “red line” statement on chemical weapons in Syria that almost got the US in a boots-on-the-ground war in Syria and resulted in a disastrous loss of US credibility in the Middle East. As Kissinger noted, the Obama “red line” disaster, “created the impression—and the reality—of an American strategic withdrawal from the region.”

Moreover, there is no international ban on Iran’s testing ballistic missiles. As former White House Middle East specialist Philip Gordon pointed out, “By issuing a warning so imprecise — in such a dramatic, public fashion — he has set himself and the United States up for either an embarrassing retreat or a risky confrontation.” Ballistic missile tests are not a part of the Iran nuclear agreement or any UN Resolution.

As it sunk in within the neophyte Trump Administration what a stupid thing Flynn had done, even before the Administration even had picked all its ducks– let alone set them all in a neat row on Iran policy– it became clear Flynn had to fall on his sword. The Russian Ambassador was useful deflection.

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 22 2017 16:16 utc | 48


Face it, the only ones being 'rolled' here are all the Trump fan-boys on MoA.

Yep. Notice how all the usual Trump man-god fan-boys are all over this like white on rice, busy distancing their god from this Neocon blob he just excreted as Trump man-child must be the first blameless President ever! The buck can never stop with him. It’s never his fault. The first White House press statement on Yemen pretended ZERO civilians were killed in Yemen mission until the leak indicated many civilians killed, but only the media lies; Trump never lies.

Trump poor thing is faultless; he can’t think for himself; can’t make decisions on his own anymore. Tom Cotton pushed McMaster; it's all Cotton's fault.

Oh-oh! Looks like Tom Cotton has been part of the Trump fan club for quite some time.

But here we are being led to believe Trump is being rolled by Neocons like Tom Cotton. Tom Cotton is to blame; he’s rolling Trump! After all, Trump only put those MIC generals on his team for show. Those Goldman buddies are not really there to de-regulate and ensure the banking system works for them. The Zionists on his team agree with Trump; they want a one Jewish state only. Palestinians can move to Jordan and Egypt.

Our lying eyes must still be deceiving us. Trump is being rolled cause he gets to keep his billionaire empire, fly back and forth with all the security detail to his estate in Florida on the taxpayers dime; keep his wife in the penthouse with security detail; have his sons do business for him all over the world with security detail – all this on the taxpayers dime. He’s not sacrificing a thing for the job and he’s so innocent. We must never, never blame Trump.

Now let’s get busy spinning 50 ways McMaster is someone else's fault and every other bad decision he’s made so far was pushed on him by the deep state and billionaires club Trump belongs to.

On a more realistic note: a showdown looms today at Standing Rock as the Trumpian Army Corps is set to forcibly remove protesters.:

President Donald Trump last month ordered the Corps to grant pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners the easement it needed to complete the project. The Corps complied this month and dropped plans to conduct an environmental study to identify a new route for the hotly disputed pipeline.

Big black oil must flow through Indian reserves. Who cares about their land.

But believe us! He’s really blameless Trump man-child is. Next we’ll be told Trump is the real Santa Claus.

Where's my umbrella? I should get ready for the barrage of ad homs.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 22 2017 16:23 utc | 49

virgile 42
I saw Bolton on the short list and was glad he wasn't selected. One wishes these failures would go away.

I am glad that b pointed out that McMaster is a Petraeus protege. It gives us something to watch out for. Yes he's a student of and regrets the Viet Nam war. But we heard that before from Powell and Schwarzkopf. And look where they took us and how. (It's like Bernanke the student of the Great Depression admitting the Fed caused it and that it wouldn't happen again.)

Posted by: Curtis | Feb 22 2017 16:25 utc | 50

7, 9

You can tell by studying Pence's BMI, white hair and creases on his cheeks and eyes that he has chronic low testosterone, making him susceptible to monthly mood flashes, and other haggery of bad judgement. He'll be a good partner for Donald, who looks like he's testosterone-juicing, judging from his wild Tweek tirades, flip-flopping on all his campaign promises, BFFs w/ war hawks.

All 'legal', mind you, and at this point, really, what difference does it make? God forbid they ever catch a Mexican or Muslim creeping around Wall Street! That'll make your ex-wive's shrieks seem like Sunday school nap-time at the Temple.

Speaking of Temple, Trump's CIA Director Pompeo strenuously opposes closing the Guantánamo Bay detention-without-trial gulag. After a 2013 visit to the prison, Pompeo said, of the prisoners who were on hunger strike,

"It looked to me like a lot of them had put on weight."

Good folks doing God's Work.

Posted by: chipnik | Feb 22 2017 16:30 utc | 51

@48, From The Hague

Flynn Fired for Iran, not for Russia

Flynn was fired for making a policy statement without consulting (coordinating) with his really really big Boss. In military it is called "going over the head" and there is no higher head in US than President. It just happened so that it was made on Iran, whom Flynn doesn't like.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Feb 22 2017 16:34 utc | 52


Yeah right; because all the tweets Trump made before and after Flynn's statement threatening Iran were just the musings of a blowhard and not also supporting every word Flynn spewed. Now you don't want me to list all those tweets on Iran, do you? As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, even Trump parroted the threat about putting Iran on notice. Yep.

But there just has to be another reason for firing Flynn instead of the reality: Flynn misleading Pence on Russia phone calls.

@42 - Here's the doozie of all deluded excuses for Trump.:

Trump was thinking of John Bolton, a neo-con for the job. He obviously wanted to get one of them in his rank to better fight them. He also wanted to make a conciliatory gesture to the hardline republicans. Mc Master is a good compromise. Not a 100% neocon but a pragmatic sympathizer.


Posted by: Circe | Feb 22 2017 16:44 utc | 53

Some Internet gossip predicts some dire straits ahead of the US of A:

...Critical to note too about this massive Islamic spy ring, ..., is that in spite of the FBI’s criminal targeting of Imran Awan, Democratic Party US Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz still has him on her payroll, despite his security clearance being revoked—and his wife, Hina Alvi, likewise, is still being employed by Democrat Party US Congressman Gregory Meeks.

And despite this massive Islamic spy ring, led by Imran Awan, being paid by the Democratic Party millions-of-dollars of US taxpayer money over the past decade, while they infiltrated nearly all of computer systems in the US Congress, ..., new reports are emerging that they didn’t pay their bills, were involved for years in criminal activity, and owed substantial money to a radical Hezbollah fugitive—and who are now being reported to have received $100,000 from an unnamed, and unknowable, Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the US House of Representatives’ secret and secure computer network.

To the main Democratic Party official most responsible for this radical Islamic spy rings infiltration of the US Congress, this report notes, was the radical leftist US Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz—who spread these Islamic spies throughout the US Congress as “shared employees”—meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and used them as needed for computer services.

With the linkages of this massive radical Islamic spy network spreading to the top of the Democratic Party leadership, and over two dozen Democrat US Congressman and women, ..., these Democratic leftists are even now preparing for their mass arrest by FBI agents loyal to President Trump by showing their power of being able to quickly assemble street mobs—and that once this should happen, would flood America’s cities with millions of radicals proclaiming President Trump was creating a dictatorship—therefore leading to the collapse of the United States as civil war would most certainly ensue.

In the mean time in Europe The hijacking of the Munich Security Conference, by Thierry Meyssan

This time, it was Sergey Lavrov who caused a scandal, by calling for a post-Western world order. We are obliged to admit that NATO has lost its superiority in terms of conventional warfare – even though it easily maintains first place in terms of nuclear war. We are obliged to admit that after 15 years of uninterrupted war in the «Greater Middle East», the mirage of remodelling the region into micro-states, each with less than 10 million inhabitants, and the fantasy of eradicating secular régimes for the benefit of dictatorships run by the Muslim Brotherhood, have failed.

Astoundingly, the Europeans persist in pursuing these goals, which have been imposed on them by Washington, but which the People of the United States and their President Donald Trump do not want any more. So the Europeans are counting on the deep US state (that is to say the Raven Rock Mountain Continuity of Government group who organised the attacks of 11 September). Their political leaders continue, as a preventive measure, to denounce Donald Trump’s supposed racism and Islamophobia, the same people who applauded when George W. Bush and Barack Obama killed more than 3 million people. Their Press continually insults Donald Trump, whom it presents as capricious and incapable [3].

Horrified by the opinions of Donald Trump, according to whom NATO is «obsolete», they were reassured by the declarations of his ministers, who in essence, told them the same thing – NATO no longer needs to exist in its current format - it needs to be transformed into a defensive alliance, and if you want to be part of it, you will have to dedicate 2% of your Defence budget.

Obsessed by their imperialist lunacy, the Europeans were terrified by the possible abandon of their anti-Russian investments in Ukraine and Syria. There too, they were reassured by declarations which were nonetheless as vague as could be. Trump’s ministers repeated that they would give up no interest vital to the USA in Ukraine, and that they would pursue a «political solution in Syria». So why did the Europeans understand that the People of the United States has vital interests on the banks of the Dnipro and that a «political solution in Syria» means replacing the Republic with the Muslim Brotherhood? Simply because that is what they were taught by the Obama administration – the administration that was rejected by the People of the United States.

Of course, everyone can see the struggle between the Trump administration on one side and the «Continuity of Government» group on the other. The mountains trembled when Donald Trump excluded the CIA and the Joint Chief of Staff from the National Security Council [4]. Everyone noticed the way in which the CIA, in response, refused Defence accreditation to six of the President’s advisors, and accused the National Security advisor of being a Russian spy, forcing him to resign, and how they are still pursuing four other representatives from the Presidential team. But losing a few battles does not mean losing the war, and it is distressing that the Europeans – enslaved for so long – do not know this. How can they believe that Donald Trump was going to sweep away such a powerful «deep state» in just a few days? And how could they imagine that his first defeats would be enough to make him give up? [5]

Over the last few years, this Security Conference has been a way for Germany to serve as a link between the United States and their European partners. This year, its only goal was to force the European leaders to confirm their allegiance to the deep US state, without taking into account either the will expressed by the US People, or the change in the White House.

A preparatory document, drawn up by the German organisers of the Conference, was handed to the participants. The Press was careful not to mention it. It contains an article by Volker Perthes, author of the Feltman plan for the total and unconditional capitulation of the Syrian Arab Republic [6]. This eminent «expert» presents his vision of the «Greater Middle East», or rather the vision of the US «Continuity of Government» [7].

- 1. [Even if we have not managed to remodel it,] this region will not be unaffected by the wars and the «Arab Spring». [We didn’t do all that for nothing].
- 2. The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran has become a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Chiites [which masks our geopolitical ambitions].
- 3. While everyone is caught up in this false religious conflict, no-one is paying any attention to the Palestinian situation [for the greater benefit of the colonial state of Israël].
- 4. While the Europeans are unanimously tired of these bloodbaths taking place far from their homes, and hope for the long-awaited triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood, no-one in the Greater Middle East has yet admitted to having been beaten.
- 5. During the war in Syria, the alliances have continually been sealed and unsealed at the regional level, the latest of which was the pact between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which should not last [luckily] any longer than the others.
- 6. Syria and Iraq will not beat terrorism, and will not find peace other than by inclusive government [that is to say, by accepting to introduce al-Qaëda and Daesh into their governments].
- 7. All of this could only end, for all the populations of the Greater Middle East, by a major international conference during which the Westerners would determine their future, just as, at the Congress of Vienna (1814), the Quadruple Alliance decided the fate of the rest of the world.

Quite clearly, neither faced with the vote of the US People, nor the Resistance of the Arab Peoples, do the European leaders intend to change – they can only be dismissed by the European People.

Posted by: ProPeace | Feb 22 2017 16:45 utc | 54

The goal of controlling European gas markets, conduits and pipeline routes is a position that looks unwavering. Same old, same old and Trump has been maneuvered into it if he was ever adverse to it anyway. Bannon is a different cat, that's for sure.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Feb 22 2017 16:46 utc | 55

Re: nuclear warfare those would probably be used first: Nuclear Education: Tactical

Posted by: ProPeace | Feb 22 2017 16:50 utc | 56

@50 Curtis
‘I saw Bolton on the short list and was glad he wasn't selected. One wishes these failures would go away’

They never go away. The only way to get rid of them is to catch them napping in their crypts and drive a wooden stake through their hearts. (even that didn’t work with Cheney)

from the Guardian:

“Previewing a possible future appointment, Trump also said during Monday’s announcement that his administration will be asking John Bolton, a hardline senior diplomat in the George W Bush administration, “to work with us in a somewhat different capacity… He had a good number of ideas that I must tell you, I agree very much with.””

Posted by: pantaraxia | Feb 22 2017 17:04 utc | 57

I read an item in the newspaper the other day - says that five minutes of loud laughter is therapeutic, good for the health. So I get in on the Moon of Alabama and do myself a world of good. Larf n larf n larf. Gordon Bennett, what a crew of comedians. Apart from Chpnik and Circe and one or two others, it's the Trumpolaters in this site who are so hilarious. Trumpo going to drain the swamp? He'll swamp the drain more like. Block it completely with sliudge from his own arse. Got Bannon and McMaster and Bibi etc as fans. Going to have a one/two/three/twenty (who knows?) state solution for Palestine/Israel - do a deal with Oman and Bahrein and Saudi. Sort out Iran. Get Iraq's oil (America's oil really) Liberate the deplorables of the flyover states by bringing back coal and gas and oil and building a fucking great wall to keep the spics out and destroy Isis and double the size of the US Navy that has more ships than the next five navies in the world put together and lower the taxes at least on the rich and spend more on infrastructure and destroy China and bring jobs back to America agin and separate Russia from Iran and destroy the EU and destroy Nato and strengthen Nato and deal with the terrorists in Sweden and stop all the rapes and and and and HE IS THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE and the sun shines out of his arsehole as far as you lot are concerned - Gordon Bennett. Well keep it up lads and lasses, it really does my health a lot of good scanning through your krap every day. Real hoot. Thanks lads and lasses.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 22 2017 17:15 utc | 58

Mike @58

Oh yes, Trump's really gonna f*ck up Obama's saccharine paradise. YES WE CAN play fast and loose with the truth and "f*ck the EU!"

The good news: If you like your Dear Leader, you can keep your Dear Leader.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Citizens United ensures that neither Party reflects the will of the people. Vote PIRATE PARTY.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 17:40 utc | 59

Whats this about a nuclear winter? I am more worried about a mine shaft gap.In the event of a nuclear exchange remember we, [the West]can destroy Russia 10 times over, whereas they can only destroy us once. "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks".Hej.

Posted by: harrylaw | Feb 22 2017 17:50 utc | 60

I don't think the neocon/neolib element, frantically as they may clog comments across the board, are going to win this battle, even if they take Trump down. They are never going to win over the US public, and what Trump is helping to do by shedding light on the tactics of his opponents is going to bring change even if he himself can't manage to do it. It is just a question of time.

Now, instead of having a faker kicking the can down the road, we have somebody in office attempting to stem the tide of corruption. It may well be that he doesn't succeed. But what he doesn't succeed in doing, someone else will. Personally, I thank him for trying, and I thank the posters who tell us positive things about his efforts. I pray for him, and I pray for this country. The nasties will continue to drag us through the mire like the parasites they are. It's going to be unpleasant, but they cannot win. They are just going to make it hard on everyone for some time to come.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 22 2017 17:52 utc | 61

I don't understand why taking a harder line on Russia makes one a war monger.

There is ample precedent for not accommodating expansionist authoritarian states.

Posted by: Horatio Parker | Feb 22 2017 17:58 utc | 62

Tactical retreat - and nothing more. There is simply no alternative to détente with Russia, since otherwise America will become completely isolated. That can't and won't be allowed to happen.
Trump (or any other President, for that matter) will have to confront all of America's parasitic "friend and allies" with the devastating trade wars that are surely coming - since cumulative trade deficits are endangering the country's economic viability - and in that context, rapprochement with Russia is crucial for the US. It's not an option anymore, but an absolute necessity. Right now Americans are desperately trying to soften Russians up with the fake hysteria, but Moscow should just sit tight, and move on a chessboard in silence.
America is boxed in, and the only way out of that box is through détente with Russia. Everything else leads to the national demise.

Posted by: telescope | Feb 22 2017 18:01 utc | 63

The Hague 48

"it became clear Flynn had to fall on his sword. The Russian Ambassador was useful deflection."

I have trouble understanding that sentence. can somebody clarify?

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 22 2017 18:02 utc | 64

CarlD @64:

... can somebody clarify?
Some have forgotten (already!) that Obama issued an Executive Order to share NSA intel. So they are (mistakenly!) attributing Flynn's departure to his overly-aggressive posture toward Iran.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2017 18:19 utc | 65

@13 How about alt-con? ;-)

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 22 2017 18:26 utc | 66

@62 horatio parker... i guess that explains why the whole world is against your exceptional 'warmongering' nation..

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2017 18:28 utc | 67

Some of McMaster's more provocative statements seems to be that he acknowledges that Russia and China are strategic threats to US domination of the world. Duh. Isn't that totally obvious?

The question is what he will do about that problem? Col Lang at Turcopieler has come out strongly supporting McMaster as NSC advisor. Lang thinks he is the right person for that job right now. I have no idea but it may very well be that Flyn's obsession with Iran could have been very dangerous. Mc Master might just do the right thing in these very dangerous times. We will just have to wait and see.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 22 2017 18:32 utc | 68

It is like Goodfellas. They may know it's wrong but they all want to do it to get ahead, maintain their lifestyle, and stay in the club. Who you gonna call?

Posted by: Les | Feb 22 2017 18:35 utc | 69

It’s essential to look beyond the headlines to get a sense of what’s really afoot. From the onset, as I’ve stated many times, the Trump Presidency is about deception and about replacing Obama’s failed “Plan A” for global dominion with what we might call Henry Kissinger’s “Plan B.”

What did the abrupt firing of Flynn do to possibly aid world peace? Was he not the dear friend of normalizing relations with Putin’s Russia? Was he not the ardent foe of the war-mongering neo-cons that dominated the foreign policies of George W. Bush and B. Obama? In a word, No. He wasn’t.

The issue is not Flynn as though he single-handedly was about cleaning the filth out of the Augean Stables of the Washington intelligence community. The issue is the declared priority foreign policy of the Trump Project.

Since the election campaign, certain themes have been clearly sounded: The nuclear deal with Iran was “bad” and new hostile sanctions are in order. Relations with Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud government must again become special Washington priority. Relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest financier of terrorism, must also be elevated. What has taken place in the four weeks since the inauguration?

Not a new policy, post-Flynn. What is taking place is a strategic pivot, as planned, to build a war coalition for US control of the oil and gas of the Middle East. It is not about “peace” in cooperation with Russia in Syria. Never was.

See 48:

Notable was that the stupid and imprecise threat from Flynn led both Russia and China to publicly declare their firm support of Iran, the opposite of what Plan B is supposed to bring. Three days before Flynn fell on his sword, the Kremlin Presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated, “Russia disagrees with a remark recently made by US President Donald Trump’s that branded Iran as ‘the number one terrorist state.’ All of you know that Russia enjoys warm relations with Iran, we do cooperate on a range of issues, and we do appreciate our economic ties which, we hope, will go further.”

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 22 2017 18:41 utc | 70

Apparently, Defense is still seriously considering sending troops into Syria on the pretext of fighting ISIS. When asked about this at the press briefing today, Spicer, immediately brought up the fact that everyone knows Trump is considering "safe harbors" (he expressed it that way first) or safe zones in the context of this troop deployment issue. So was this a slip up? He then said he would get back to report further on the issue.

So, what happened to Syrian sovereignty and International Law? What's Trump up to? So now that Israel again bombed a Syrian base, is the U.S. going to join in this breach of sovereignty as well?

There's only one country that got permission to operate inside Syria militarily; that's Russia. So now that Putin has remained silent on Israel bombing Syrian bases, will he remain silent when the U.S. joins in on the action?

I believe the last time Israel and the U.S. breached the sovereignty of a country together to conduct military agression was in Lebanon, and look what happened there!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 22 2017 18:46 utc | 71

M K Bhadrakumar Has Trump capitulated to Russophobes?

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2017 18:50 utc | 72


So, what happened to Syrian sovereignty and International Law? What's Trump up to?

He is up to claiming (at least some) credit for defeating ISIS. Considering US' track record of the last 16+ years in military (and geopolitical) affairs this is not an unreasonable thing to do from American point of view.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Feb 22 2017 19:11 utc | 73

@54 - some of that gossip seems to me to be stretching the facts as are known a wee bit, such as -

With the linkages of this massive radical Islamic spy network spreading to the top of the Democratic Party leadership, and over two dozen Democrat US Congressman and women, ..., these Democratic leftists are even now preparing for their mass arrest by FBI agents loyal to President Trump by showing their power of being able to quickly assemble street mobs—and that once this should happen, would flood America’s cities with millions of radicals proclaiming President Trump was creating a dictatorship—therefore leading to the collapse of the United States as civil war would most certainly ensue.

The word 'massive' is overstated given the facts as we know them - three brothers, two wives and I think a son who is 22 years old making $160k a year. Six people does not = massive. Also, no where have I read any hint of arrests of anyone other than the 5/6 mentioned in the reports I've read. That doesn't mean more arrests may not happen, they surely may, but until such time the dramatic tone offered by the author is, well, over the top dramatic.

As well, there are a plethora of excuses for these protests with one of the main one's being to distract, especially Dem/Indy voters from the grotesque loss by their Party leadership in 2016. Rather than holding these LOSERS accountable for LOSING significant power on the federal and state level, these LOSER leaders are doing everything they can to create havoc anywhere and every where BUT where it is most rightly deserved, on themselves and the rotten mess they've made out of a once healthy, viable Party.

Jimmy Dore did a four-part interview with Thomas Frank who wrote Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People - Well worth one's time if interested to learn how these LOSER Leaders of the Dem Party helped Trump get elected and it's 'Not What You Think' Part 3 of the interview.

b, here's a crazy thought to consider - who says Pence is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God? Flynn used the word 'scapegoat' for a reason. Maybe Pence went out there and said what he said and forgot or left out, purposely, or not key details Flynn did provide. Maybe it was Pence who screwed up. You can't fire a VP.

Posted by: h | Feb 22 2017 19:19 utc | 74

Assad has said he welcomes US troops to fight ISIS. He's possibly having second thoughts about giving the Russians a "free and forever" naval base on the previously sovereign Syria.

Circe: "So, what happened to Syrian sovereignty and International Law?"

Note that Turkey also has boots on the ground in Syria as well. "International law" has always been an inside joke.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 19:20 utc | 75

Let's be clear that "islamic" means UK spookie. Muslim Brotherhood, the house of Saud, and the rest of it are Anglo-Zionist creatures. Never forget.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 19:22 utc | 76

@65 ACLJ did this piece last weekend reminding their supporters what Obama did to expand EO 12333 surveillance powers to all 16 intelligence agencies a mere two weeks before departing the White House -

This totalitarian expansion of surveillance powers should scare the hell out of any thinking, engaged American. One has to ask themselves why aren't these protesters throwing a fit about this betrayal. Oh, and Trump hasn't rescinded the Order...yet. I guess he likes the expanded powers. Thank Obama and Team for that!

Posted by: h | Feb 22 2017 19:31 utc | 77

b writes

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.

If regular people who aren't POTUS and don't have a team of advisors working for them can recognize it, I sure hope Trump can. Will he roll over and let the war ghouls have their way? I hope not, the consequences of a capitulation would be disastrous for the world. So far Trump's administration is suffering from a glaring lack of leadership and direction. He needs to seriously up his game.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 22 2017 19:49 utc | 78

The emperor has no clothes!...after bullying the rest for the past sixty years or so the ruling factions in the land of the free and brave cant even tie its shoe laces and keep falling on its face:-)..dang when was the last time you guys pulled your collective head out of your collective 'american' ass?..get over it folks USA aint exceptional no more,now go home and mend your backyards!

Posted by: Nur Adlina | Feb 22 2017 19:51 utc | 79

h: "One has to ask themselves why aren't these protesters throwing a fit about this betrayal."

Fundamentally because the average person on this planet is effectively mesmerized & incapable of independent thought. This is not unique to the American Zombie. It is a global phenomena.

But even the barely educated Coastal American Zombie -- who should not be confused with the completely uneducated Flyover American Zombies -- know at a subconscious level that their standard of living comes at the price of trampling of rights, both foreign and domestic.

It just 'feels' nicer, and more modern and cosmopolitan, to be a Coastal Zombie. Remember when that hag bleeted about "deplorables"? That was the dumbed down version of Lumpenproletariat for the barely educated Coastal American Zombies.

So, yes the CAZ turns a blind eye to Obama the war president just as FOAZ ignores the orange wonders' wall to wall swamp creature administration.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 19:53 utc | 80

@75 nobody

Assad also made a point a few weeks ago to single out Iran, not Russia, as Syria's closest partner in its ongoing fight against Salafist/Wahhabi mercenaries.

Assad and Iran have always said dividing Syria is not an option; Russia has stated otherwise.

Putin has allowed Turkish troops into Syria. Why? How does this sit with Iran and the Syrian government?

If Assad "welcomes US troops to fight ISIS" (they're already there...illegally...and ISIS is a US creation as he well knows) he is a fool or someone is putting words in his mouth or, possibly, he was misquoted.

One needs only look at Libya's fate to see what happens to naive leaders who trust the US and assume its leaders and corporate "partners" are acting in good faith. Rule #1 Never EVER trust the USG and its mouthpieces.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 22 2017 20:01 utc | 81

lots of conjecture, but nothing substantial to back any of it up.. i feel like i am reading an alternate version of the nyt or something..

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2017 20:15 utc | 82

Temporarily Sane | Feb 22, 2017 3:01:22 PM | 81

As far as I can tell, the designated successor of Yeltsin has made a secret deal with the Zionist entity.

Russia has never, ever, not once, been a friend of Iran.

Don't forget, it was Putin that went along with the completely laughable Iranian nuke threat and force that nation to sign on extended protocols and "joint" (meaning for the benefit of both foreign devils and turbaned devils) business agreement TO LOOT Iran that flushed Iran's sovereign rights down the hole.

And Russia didn't step up to help its "ally" Syria until SAA, Hezbollah & Quds force started turning things around. Then the "heroic" Russians showed up.

And of course, you must have noted that beyond that 1st peace making troika, since then it has been Russia/Turkey.

The awful thing here though is that there is not a single good guy to root for here on this planet.

They all stink to hell. Makes you wonder if they are not just different facades of one singular stinky evil cabal.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 20:25 utc | 83


Things were "turning around" in Syria before Russians showed up? LOL, you must be smoking some good Shia hashish.

The fact is, General Soleimani pitched his tent at the Red Square and was refusing to leave unless Moscow agreed to help - because Assad's regime was simply collapsing in an accelerating fashion.

If not for the Russians, it'd be all over long ago.

You are right, however, that Russia doesn't regard Iran as a friend, since Iran brands anyone but Shias as "infidels".

Posted by: telescope | Feb 22 2017 20:45 utc | 84

Re: Flynn dismissal. Robt David Steele, ex-CIA, says Flynn fired over his investigation of Pizzagate. RDS's interview's on the Web. I've very ltd time just now. Haven't watched it.

Posted by: Penelope | Feb 22 2017 20:53 utc | 85

@84 Iran brands anyone but Shias as "infidels". Major facepalm..
The only country (with Syria) who ever tried to support (yes through Hezbollah) the Palestinian cause 99% of whow are Sunni..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 22 2017 21:01 utc | 86

telescope @ 84:

That's funny. When I said Iran I meant the Iranian nation, not the mullah regime. That regime is a creature of Moscow and a copy-cat- if not crypto-

"You are right, however, that Russia doesn't regard Iran as a friend"

History supports that.

But then again, Russia doesn't seem to have had "friends" but rather vassals or future "Russian" lands.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 21:01 utc | 87

Is this nobody another instance of "tom" the Hertzeliyan?

Posted by: Quadriad | Feb 22 2017 21:03 utc | 88

You can't fire a VP, but you can leave him without any power, the way FDR did to John Nance Garner and then later to Harry Truman, the way JFK did to LBJ.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22 2017 21:13 utc | 89

juliania says:

They are just going to make it hard on everyone for some time to come

i don't mean to impinge on your optimism, or to presume what your idea of 'recovery' might mean, but for some time to come sounds like a bit of a whitewash. the jig is up, and you'd do well to break this gently to your children. plant the seed.

here in Italy youth unemployment has surpassed 40%. i see distant roiling clouds of uncertainty and glints of unrequited dreams in my daughters dark eyes.

Posted by: john | Feb 22 2017 21:22 utc | 90

Quadriad @ 88:

Congratulations. Your one lousy input to this topic is "by the book" innuendo.

Posted by: nobody | Feb 22 2017 21:34 utc | 91


Bullshit. The U.S. has been involved in the Mosul front! Trump can go claim credit for that and not use ISIS as a pretext to OCCUPY SYRIA!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 22 2017 21:35 utc | 92

I want to voice agreement with Hoarsewhisperer @33 and Juliania @61. Thanks for hanging in with these vastly deteriorated comments. I'm still reading, but not much to say at present.

I watched the news conference Trump gave on Feb 17. You can find it at I watched and listened to every word, and I saw nothing but an extremely strong man having fun, as he said, in bouncing the corrupt presstitutes around, working to play the Fake News meme against them, taunting and challenging them to ask an intelligent question. He praised those few journalists who asked about real things. He will change the press corps into true reporters eventually I think. It will pay their publishers better, as he says.

I hold with my earlier assessment that he's letting people play with their current ideas and is himself throwing things at the refrigerator to see what sticks. In the end he'll do what works. It's madness to think anything is set in concrete yet - on the other hand, listen to his list of accomplishments achieved in his first few weeks, that no one pays attention to. I won't list them, since he does in his press conference.

Trump in his conference was talking to the people of the country. I have no doubt they're out there. I'm astonished to see so much formerly alt-news becoming the new public culture. Russia plays its part in fighting back against fake news, and Trump is a one-man juggernaut in this regard. I don't know how far he'll go. I don't know if they'll stop him. At a certain point, the energy required to stop him can only backfire into an explosion of truth and light that shows up the background subterfuges for what they are, in the clear light of day. And eventually, the establishment will have to make this same calculation, and every day they leave him alive is another day they drift further away from influence and it may already be too late.

I don't see Trump as having been rolled by anyone. I see everyone who tries to roll him being turned from roller to rollee, and often in public. I think it's a big mistake to over-analyze personnel and pronouncements at this juncture. What will matter are shovel-ready projects, economic improvements, and the hands of the doomsday clock turning gradually backwards. This is all the working people of the world want, in this wicked world of class warfare.

Trump is working, I believe from his own words, for the people and the nation as he in his patriotism conceives it to be. He will do many lesser things that I don't like, and a few major things that I may have to get on my knees to give adequate thanks for. And those few things are the only things that matter.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 22 2017 21:54 utc | 93

Before anyone else gets around to it -- yeah I'm a sicko, especially if that means I disagree with you! I frankly don't give a rat's behind what you think.

Would rather read Robinson Jeffers.

Posted by: RudyM | Feb 22 2017 21:57 utc | 94


Meanwhile, he's having a good 'ol time at Mar-a-Lago flying there every weekend with security detail in tow (millions every weekend)and keeping up with his own empire while his sons fly around with security detail and his wife enjoys the New York penthouse with security detail in different condos. All paid for by the saps and suckers that voted for him and unfortunately he's also screwing those that didn't.

He's laughing all the way to the bank while you hang on his every word like he's effing Elmer Gantry come to save your soul.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 22 2017 22:05 utc | 95

I don't know why anyone's missing Flynn. The guy's as dumb as a post. I don't know much about NcMaster but I know that Trump picked him, nobody else.

If the CIA and the liberals wanted to load Trump up with hawks they would have "inserted" Bolton. But nobody gets to insert anybody for that job. No hearings, vetting or fuck all.

I wouldn't be too sure that Trump's main mission is to make peace with Russia. If it is then maybe he should tell his crew. He talks lots of shit but diplomatically it's no different than before. Sorry, I don't buy into it being some part of an incredibly intricate plan. You can't make honey out of dog shit.

Posted by: peter | Feb 22 2017 22:08 utc | 96

Thanks too to Hoarsewhisperer @33 and Juliania @61, and Grieved, as usual. Comments lately are sounding more and more like those to be found on the Guardian.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 22 2017 22:40 utc | 97

Note on the Israeli attacks on Syrian government forces and the lack of response from Syria or Russia:

This is called a provocative effort; what Israel desires above all else is to have its jets attacked by Syrian or Russian forces, which would allow Israel to use this as a causus belli to attempt to seize more land from Syria and Lebanon in the name of national security.

Turkey's shoot-down of a Russian jet was a very similiar operation, aimed at drawing in NATO to attack Syria (this was pre-coup effort, however, before Russia hit the economic sanctions button on Turkey).

These kind of provocative operations have a very long history; they're been continually used by various actors in the Deep State to sabotage diplomatic peace efforts - from the Eisenhower era (the U2 flights taking place without Eisenhower's approval) to Ashton Carter's attack on Syrian government forces in Deir-Ezzor, the signature is pretty obvious.

Another point: Clinton would have had a far easier time carrying out this agenda than anyone in the Trump administration will. And this is really all about one thing: preserving that massive $600 billion a year military-industrial budget and preventing a much-needed 50% cut, with the other $300 billion directed mainly to domestic infrastructure problems, i.e. roads, bridges, dams, public buildings, water supply systems, etc. etc. etc. Until that's done, the United States will continue to look more and more like the corrupt bloated Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 22 2017 22:43 utc | 98


Syrian media reported that Israeli aircraft targeted Syrian Army positions, including a convoy bearing weapons for the Hezbollah terrorist group, early Wednesday morning.

The strike was said to have occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m., in the Qalamoun Mountains, northeast of Damascus, close to the Lebanese border.

According to Arab media, outposts of the Syrian Army’s 3rd Division were targeted in the strikes.

and this,

I got this from Jim Hanke, former US Attache to Israel. Israel has C130 landing strips along highways south of the Dead Sea. They block traffic, and you can actually see this on Google Maps, which carries live traffic from Israel. They actually block the roads and bring in planeloads of jihadists, which is seen on the traffic analysis, which we have samples of below:

Israel then runs a ratline into Jordan, to the CIA run training camps there and onto the Saudi payroll….then up into Syria where they get Israeli air support and medical aid as well.

the VT link features an interesting 5 minute video

Posted by: ALberto | Feb 22 2017 22:43 utc | 99

Grieved @ 93 and also Hoarsewhisperer, Juliania:

I'm inclined to agree with you three, that Trump represents a way or style of leadership that confuses hell out of Capitol Hill and the Washington press corps, and which the latter lacks the language to describe and to communicate to the public at large. Trump has been President for barely a month but The Powers That (Shouldn't) Be are determined to cut him no slack. Everyone else is over-reading their own narrative over Trump and over-analysing what Flynn's resignation means for Trump.

The other thing people have to remember is that the O'Bomber administration deliberately left unsigned bills or orders for the new administration to deal with once the Democrats realised that Killary Klinton had lost the election and the Electoral College. A lot of the flack Trump's government is getting stems from business left behind by Obama, such as the refugee visa ban targeting seven countries, based on a list of targeted nations in previous legislation approved by the Obama government.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 22 2017 22:50 utc | 100

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