Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 13, 2018

Trump Orders Rexit - Torture Woman To Head CIA - (Updated)

U.S. President Donald Trump just fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 12:44 PM - 13 Mar 2018
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!

According to the anti Russian propagandists (vid) Tillerson got the job because Trump loves Russia and Tillerson was in good standing with Putin. The same people now claim that Tillerson was fired from his job because Trump loves Russia and Tillerson was not in good standing with Putin.

Neither is correct. The plan to oust Tillerson and elevate Pompeo to State has been rumored and written about for several month. The plan was "developed by John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff". It had nothing to do with Russia. 

Tillerson never got traction as Secretary of State. Congress disliked him for cutting down some State Department programs. Trump overruled him publicly several times.

There is some contradiction in the statements coming from the White House and the State Department. According to the Washington Post:

Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.

Last Friday Tillerson suddenly fell ill while traveling in Africa and canceled several scheduled events.

But a statement by Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein contradicts the Friday claim:

"The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security. [...] The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.”

Tillerson knew he was fired but did not tell his staff?

From the Associated Press White House correspondent:

Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller - 3:49 PM - 13 Mar 2018
WH official says chief of staff John Kelly called Tillerson Friday and again on Saturday. Both calls to Tillerson, the official says, warned that Trump was about to take imminent action if he did not step aside. When Tillerson didn't act, Trump fired him.

And shortly thereafter:

NBC Politics @NBCPolitics - 4:22 PM - 13 Mar 2018
JUST IN: Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein is being fired for contradicting the account of Rex Tillerson’s dismissal, White House official tells @PeterAlexander

Thus ends the 2018 insurrection at State.


With Tillerson leaving Secretary of Defense Mattis is losing an ally in the cabinet:

[I]t starts with me having breakfast every week with Secretary of State Tillerson. And we talk two, three times a day, sometimes. We settle all of our issues between he and I, and then we walk together into the White House meetings. That way, State and Defense are together.

Mattis sometimes calming influence over Trump on military issues will now become less effective.

CIA head Pompeo, the new Secretary of State, is a neoconservative with a racist anti-Muslim attitude and a special hate for Iran which he compared to ISIS. That he will now become Secretary of State is a bad sign for the nuclear agreement with Iran. The Europeans especially should take note of that and should stop to look for a compromise with Trump on the issue. The deal is now dead. There is no chance that a compromise will happen.

The new CIA director Gina Haspel is well known for actively directing and participating in the torture of prisoners at 'black sites':

Beyond all that, she played a vital role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and other secret agency locations. The concealment of those interrogation tapes, which violated multiple court orders as well as the demands of the 9/11 commission and the advice of White House lawyers, was condemned as “obstruction” by commission chairs Lee Hamilton and Thomas Keane.

Haspel would be in jail if former president Barack Obama had not decided against prosecuting the CIA torture crimes. Torturing prisoners is a war crime. Obstruction of courts and destruction of evidence are likewise crimes.

Both, Pompeo and Haspel, will need to be confirmed by Congress. Both will receive a significant number of 'yes'-votes from the Democratic side of the aisle.

Posted by b on March 13, 2018 at 15:01 UTC | Permalink

next page »

That the Democrats will accept both nominees shows their "resistance" to the Trump administration has nothing to do with a true ideological dispute--it's just political partisanship. Both parties fully support the CIA and its nefarious practices, including overthrowing governments, practicing torture, kidnapping, etc.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 13 2018 15:47 utc | 1

The deep state continues......

Posted by: notlurking | Mar 13 2018 15:57 utc | 2

Yet another Big Lie junkie whose entire worldview is based on bullshit. And he's no diplomat.

Lavrov's recent statements are the most dire I've ever seen him make:

"When, against the backdrop of an obvious failure to implement resolution 2401, in as much as it concerns militants and their sponsoring West, new resolutions are put forward under the pretext that it is Russia, Iran and the Syrian government that have failed to provide for the requirements of the previous resolution while Mrs. Haley makes a statement that the US is, of course, a peaceful nation but it may at any time deliver a strike against the forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, as they did a year ago by striking the Shayrat airbase, I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this."

"If a new strike of this kind takes place, the consequences will be very serious."

Russia's Caspian Sea Flotilla has moved South to shorten the range and new naval assets are entering Eastern Med. An arrest warrant has already been issued for the new CIA Director.

Very few tears would be shed if the entire Executive branch of the Outlaw US Empire got terminated. The world would become a more peaceful place immediately.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 16:12 utc | 3

..and this move will reduce MSM, Dems., EU criticism against Trump by a thousand.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 16:12 utc | 4

The deep state escalates.

Posted by: Frantica | Mar 13 2018 16:13 utc | 5

I think last straw to fire him been TRex stance toward russians -give up Crimea and we cease sanction(WHAT A JOKE) same toward eastern republics of Ukraine LNR,DPR..good move VSGPDJT !!!!!!!!!!!!!next Nicky H ?????

Posted by: sejmon | Mar 13 2018 16:16 utc | 6

Haspel would be in jail if former president Barack Obama had not decided against prosecuting the CIA torture crimes.
It's true that Obama ordered an end to CIA detention and torture (w/o prosecution), but then he greatly expanded the assassination of "suspected militants" and anyone near them largely as a part of Obama's extension of the war on Afghanistan into Pakistan.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 13 2018 16:24 utc | 7

Both, Pompeo and Haspel, will need to be confirmed by Congress. Both will receive a significant number of 'yes'-votes from the Democratic side of the aisle

yep, count on it, they're lookin' to the future...

pts 1, 2, 3

do read it all.

Posted by: john | Mar 13 2018 16:24 utc | 8

karlof1, I just posted a section from a Reuters article, similar to Lavrov's statements, in the poisoned spy thread. Looks like the recent propaganda effort by US/UK/France has been to condition us for an attack against Russia in Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 16:27 utc | 9

So much for draining the swamp. I wonder what the 'true believers' are saying? In my mind if this isn' proof that Trump isn't an outsider I'm not sure what is?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 13 2018 16:31 utc | 10

news report:
Speaking to the press, Trump said that he had been mulling Tillerson's ouster for some time. "When you look at the Iran deal – I think it's terrible," he said. "I guess [Tillerson] thought it was okay. I wanted to either break it, or do something, and he felt a little bit differently.//

The US dumping the Iran deal would cause major problems for Europe, with a probable effect of more negative impact on trade as well as on "US leadership."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 13 2018 16:36 utc | 11

Good on target post.

I'm a reader of zerohedge and I cannot imagine how so many there this this is 'draining the swamp'. It's embarrassing to me as an American to actually see how gullible most Americans are.

I appreciate this site as one of the few left telling it the way it is.


Posted by: ken | Mar 13 2018 16:51 utc | 12

thanks for this b.. the usa is out of it's mind.. it has an unpredictable president who continues to support a particular mindset towards iran that is really backward, but i guess it is what the mil and israel want, so they have to follow orders? i never get this.
meanwhile this new lady for the cia would be in jail in any other country, except that obama looks after these types and is not for accountability? wow...

@1worldblee and @3karlof1... thanks for your posts and info. - karlof1 - i don't think russia is going to take any shit here..

@9 peter.. i agree with your synthesis of it all.. thanks..

@10 tannenhouser - yeah, that concept is a joke..

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2018 16:56 utc | 13

@ken - thanks you!

After I made some some threats Zerohedge finally stopped to steal my pieces. (I didn't like them throwing my pearls before swine to increase their ad-revenue :-))

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2018 17:00 utc | 14

This is getting messy for the empire. Trump wants to attack Iran and be friends with Russia. The US neo-cons want to attack both Iran and Russia. UK and France want to be friends with Iran and attack Russia.
The current anti Russia propaganda - Haley, Macron, May. Veto wielding members of the UNSC Russia, China vs US, France, UK...?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 17:15 utc | 15

Poor Syria. At least one more fierce year of war. But more likely, endless 2,3,4 more years of war.
Israel and US are getting the rebels in Daraa (DEZ #4) primed to start up fighting again.

I think the US, UK and Israel want to battle Russia in Syria. There will be more collateral damage done to Russians.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 13 2018 17:31 utc | 16

Peter AU 1

It’s a perfect storm of bulls*t. Can we trust that those differences among “allies” really exist? I thing all of them would be happy to overcome both Iran and Russia.

So many differences yet no anti-war movement while the domesday clock stands at 3 minutes to midnight.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2018 17:37 utc | 17

As if it needs saying, the current ruling junta in the US absolutely does not have the interests of the American people or the nation at large in mind, they're answering to a different set of masters at this point.

Until we can purge the fifth column that's infested the halls of power in this country and obviously in the UK and much of Europe - at least the EU - we'll continue to fight wars for Zionism and all that will be left of the US and Russia when this is over will be bombed-out nuclear wastelands, which is exactly what the Zionists want to have happen.

They did it to Germany and Russia in WWII, and they're going to do it to the US, Russia, and possibly China in WWIII, which is spooling up as we dissect the latest maniacal machinations of the war cabal.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Mar 13 2018 17:46 utc | 18

If there has been a genuine move to attack Syria and Russian forces in Syria (as per Lavrov and Gerasimov), then the doomsday clock seems a little slow. Must new a new battery.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 17:52 utc | 19

The Doomsday Clock is actually at two minutes to midnight.

Gerasimov's reported statement is very clear. You strike Damascus we bomb your carrier.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 13 2018 18:11 utc | 20

Peter AU 1

I think the Union of Concerned Scientists should set it at 1 min and cite criminalization of dissent and the new McCarthyism as major reasons for doing so.

Do those nerds have the balls to do so?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2018 18:14 utc | 21

Do the nerds have balls? Seems not.
This from Mike Maloney's link... "Beyond the nuclear and climate domains, technological change is disrupting democracies around the world as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential to free thought and global security."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 18:26 utc | 22

Tillerson just read a statement to the press:

(My notes)
Tillerson says:
- got call today, afternoon from president, also spoke to Kelly (implies that this was the firing)
- hopes for smooth transition
- Deputy Sec State Sullivan will be acting Sec State
- Tillerson job officially terminates March 31

to DoD and State:
- bound by office oath, support constitution, ...
- always stay by oath, (sounds crying)
to people in uniform:
- great relationship State DOD - thanks Mattis and Dunford, all soldiers
work review:
- DPRK pressure campaign was success
- Afghanistan commitment also
- Syria, Iraq - work remains
- nothing goes without allies, partner
- work to be done on China and "troubling behavior" of Russia
- predicts more isolation if Russia doesn't knee
- nothing on Iran

Didn't say thank you to Trump. Emphasized oath to constitution, not to president. Nothing on Iran, Saudis or Palestine.

This was a f*** you to the White House and its priorities. The endorsement by name of Mattis and Dunlap makes them targets.

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2018 18:28 utc | 23

Anyone at MoA still think that Trump has the best interest of humanity at heart?

Iran and NK are not happy campers under the sacred umbrella of global private finance. Are there any yet at MoA still not clear on what drives geopolitics in our world?

Trump is a war president already even if you don't understand the elite war he is fronting for.

Thanks for the latest b, including the derisive "torture girl" truth of what America is today.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13 2018 18:34 utc | 24

As always a very informative post, thanks b!

Posted by: xor | Mar 13 2018 18:38 utc | 25


Your right, as of January 25th 2018 the ‘Domesday Clock’ is set at 2 minutes to midnight. And I was also wrong about the organization that maintained it - it’s the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists not Union of Concerned Scientists.

In the statement that was released when the clock was set at 2min to midnight, BAS referred to climate change and use of disinformation to undermine democracies. While they urged citizen action against nuclear war and climate change, they took no notice of criminalization of dissent and/or the new McCarthyism.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2018 18:40 utc | 26

A Professor for political science from the United Arab Emirates just posted this:
“History will record that a GCC country had a role in the sacking of the foreign minister of a great power, and this is only the beginning of more”

Interesting ...

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2018 18:41 utc | 27

@20 Lets watch US carrier group and other Navy assets movements. That should indicate if a strike is in the making. I know there was recent US Navy activity in the Black Sea, to purportedly « desensitize » Russia to its presence. May this escalation be only stupid posturing..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 13 2018 18:53 utc | 28


  • Sergei Skripal was most likely a source of the fake dirt in the Steele Dossier.
  • The murder / poisoning of Sergei Skripal was a provocation aimed at worsening British-Russian relations.
  • May accused Russia and wanted to invoke NATO's article 5.
  • Rex Tillerson also wanted to #AttackRussiaNow! and voiced his support for May.

The optics of the situation say that Trump is in bed with Putin and fired Tillerson because he did not want to go to war against Russia. The regular Russiagate pundits are saying exactly that.

If Rex Tillerson's firing had been planned for a long time, then Skripal's poisoning would have nothing to do with it. But maybe Tillerson knew of the firing and tried to preventing it playing the Russia card. If so, it failed and Trump kicked him out in anger.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 13 2018 19:17 utc | 29

Thank you b for all the updates!

Tkarlof1 @3

This is bad news for anyone and everyone who wishes and hopes to have a little bit of peace in this world. Scary time ahead.

Posted by: mali | Mar 13 2018 19:30 utc | 30

Did Tillerson really think Putin would give up Crimea in return for easing of sanctions?!

For one thing, the sanctions seem to have helped Russia more than hurt them.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 13 2018 19:55 utc | 31

Lozion 28

Perhaps something was lost in the translation re carriers. Any US attack on Syria I would think would start with missiles due to Russian air defense. It would be whatever launches these missiles - most likely ships - that Russia would target?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 19:58 utc | 32

Anyone at MoA still think that Trump has the best interest of humanity at heart?
Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13, 2018 2:34:41 PM | 23

That's me.
He hasn't ordered anything Evil yet. The cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase did surprisingly little damage considering the number of missiles deployed. And if he stops playing the role of warmonger-in-Chief, Bibi & The Swamp will get suspicious. Bibi is a fuckwit. Craftiness won't compensate for it.

Trump's instant acceptance of Rocket Man's offer to chat about NK's Nukes blindsided almost everybody. Now he's got 6+ weeks to plan his approach - a task which will take Trump 1 or 2 days, at most. He's certainly not going to adopt a Military Solution to Bibi's Iran Problem. And let's not forget that he hasn't TALKED to Iran's leaders (as far as I know). Things looked bleak for NK too, until Trump actually communicated with Kim.
Despite Trump's tr-r-raditional anti-China rhetoric, Trump would be well aware that Xi is no longer hampered by such trivia as consecutive term limitations, and has sworn to protect China from Nasty Christian Colonial aggression & Hypocrisy.
Imo, Trump's game of musical chairs with appointees to high office is all about deducing the best way to decapitate The Swamp. He has to be 100% certain that he's got the pecking order right, and that his anti-Swamp allies can be trusted, before he moves to have them arrested and tossed in the slammer.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2018 19:58 utc | 33

Mercouris at The Duran provides more info related to additional threats and their counters. Just one example:

"Meanwhile the Russians have also been accusing the British of ignoring the Chemical Weapons Convention, which they say stipulates joint investigations of incidents like the Skripal attack."

Certainly not least, it's suggested that May didn't listen to what Putin had to say on 1 March.

March Madness, and I don't mean basketball. Western nations lack diplomats and sane leaders not led by Big Lies. I read the Doomsday Clock to declare 11:59:45!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 20:00 utc | 34

@ Hoarsewhisperer with disagreement with my assertions about Trump

I would believe you if I also believed that The Swamp, as you call it, is something other than another face of the elite that own private finance and everything else. Please define the factions to me in other terms.

To me it continues to be ONLY about keeping those folks in control of the mechanisms and lifeblood (money) of our species. THAT is the true religion that all other (Western) pledge fealty to.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13 2018 20:07 utc | 35

Hoarsewhisperer @33--

It seems our definitions of "Evil" differ--Trump's continued the Evil since his inauguration, IMO. How much do you know about his administration's domestic agenda and the Evil it contains?

As you can infer from my #34, I don't share your optimism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 20:07 utc | 36

Is a Torture Queen anything like an Agony Aunt?
Gina has cold eyes and reminds me of ex-PM Julia Gillard. Julia stabbed PM Rudd in the back - primarily because of his anti-Neolib actions.
Rudd was the ONLY Leader in the World to throw Billions of dollars at The People instead of the effing banksters, and thereby helped Oz to dodge the sub-prime bullet.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2018 20:18 utc | 37

Petri Krohn

Lol you couldnt be more wrong,
Pompeo is a HAWK!

Are people totally unaware of this man? Alot of naive folks here.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13 2018 20:27 utc | 38

This signals a ramping up of conflict with Iran. The only question is where will the Neocons try to hit Iran?

Yemen - Easy target (in their minds, attacking starving poor people is up their alley) but more symbolic than a serious blow to Iran.

Syria - This is where my dime is, the Neocons believe Russia is a paper tiger and bombing Syria a year ago was fun and got them good press. Also, those imbeciles believe that this will send Kim a message. Trump even believes in this psychopathic reasoning. But how would this 'break' the Shiite Crescent? You still need someone to occupy all of eastern Syria. I don't know if the Neocons think that far ahead.

There is a good chance the Russians will resist this time but who knows, maybe they will back down. It is a roll of the dice.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 13 2018 20:32 utc | 39

@33 hoarsewhisperer

Kudos to you, sir. There are still things to be hopeful for. In lieu of the preferential MAGA 1 Option, there is always the MAGA 2 Plan. Basically, the plane is going to crash anyway, as I too don't believe there will be military confrontation with Russia or China. If Trump were a true-believer, then maybe, but as long as he is making decisions, I believe he can get us out of this neocon hole. We are always looking for the endgame when what is needed is patience. What good is: "You see?!?!? Do you see what a POS DJT is?" We need to get beyond the safety of our partisan bubbles.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 13 2018 20:41 utc | 40

@3 Peter. Well understood and why I wrote « and other Navy assets » but a serious intervention cant happen without air cover from carriers, floating ducks that they became or not..

@all Do we have a resident MoA Naval expert who track these movements? Saker has a guy called Ledhu I think..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 13 2018 20:55 utc | 41

At his Twitter, Julian Assange notes these moves by CIA:

"With Pompeo taking over State from Tillerson, we now have:

1) CIA taking over State
2) CIA/NSC/etc influx making 25% of 2018 Democratic candidates in competitive areas
3) CIA former heads, officers influx to NBC, MSNBC
4) CIA fake news journalist Ken Dilanian sheltered at NBC
5) CIA contractor Jeff Bezos ($600m in just one CIA contract) has already taken control of the Washington Post ($250m)"

His #2 is quite interesting and first time I've read such an assertion.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 21:10 utc | 42

Following up on the tweet that a GCC state got Trex fired -->This from December

"Tillerson is worried that bin Salman is trying to use his country's political cooperation and economic support for the peace process to obtain a blank check from the White House to confront Iran."

"Kushner and Tillerson have also clashed over the White House's support for Saudi Arabia's campaign against Qatar, which the Gulf states accuse of hosting terrorists. While Kushner has sided with bin Salman in the feud, Tillerson is defending Qatar."

Posted by: Daniel A Lynch | Mar 13 2018 21:10 utc | 43

The "swamp" is still operative, only the Alligators have changed..

Posted by: ben | Mar 13 2018 21:13 utc | 44

@ karlofi #42:

here's a compilation of all 3 parts from the wsws series that assange is talking about: stunning stuff.

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 13 2018 21:24 utc | 45

@ karlofi @42

my apologies, my favorite tankie on twitter just highlighted this overview of patrick martin's published today.

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 13 2018 21:29 utc | 46

ken | Mar 13, 2018 12:51:40 PM | 12

IMHO, ignoring the Evangelicals, it's less about gullibility and more of desperation for real hope and change.   I see Trump as the Obama for the political right, and the situation looks terrible.   Right now we're seeing power plays between private financiers such as Robert Mercer, Sheldon Adelson and Chao Si-Cheng.   Regardless of who Trump really is, if he allows the war to expand, then he failed and will not see past 2020.   This coming November will be very important.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 13 2018 21:34 utc | 47

Personal issues and not supporting the Saudi effort at regime change in Qatar are obviously important, but they don't seem to justify terminating the Secretary of State now, when the supposed opening to North Korea is afoot. Such a radical personnel change is a way of spiking it, I think. Which I conclude is the point of axing Tillerson this week.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 13 2018 21:55 utc | 48

Thanks to all for the high level of comments.

I am with psychohistorian that it is all down to finance. In this case the petrodollar, but not only that. Private equity, hedge funds and such can only operate if countries are opened up to their parasitical embrace. Without the petrodollar the US faces inflation in the hundreds per cent. Without opened-up countries, without privatizations, mergers, takeovers the elites have nowhere to go. So for them it is an existential matter, but only to an extent in the sense that they already have their billions.

Russia and China know their game, so does Iran, so does the whole of Latin America. Over many years in that continent I was continually amazed at the knowledge of the average Latin American man or woman about the antics and the strategies of El Tio Sam (Uncle Sam). I recommend the works of the late Venezuelan singer and artist Ali Primera, especially Casas de Carton (Houses of Cardboard).

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 13 2018 22:02 utc | 49

#Russia is sending more and more warships and submarines to the #Mediterranean: RFS 490 'Admiral Essen', a Admiral Grigorovich Class frigate + RFS 868 'Pytlivyy' Krivak II Class frigate + numerous Kilo class submarines.

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 13 2018 22:06 utc | 50

@ steven t johnson with the posit that axing Tillerson was to kill the NK initiative....interesting, thanks.

I agree that we are in a "Wag the Dog" world and your assertion may be spot on.

I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of geopolitical events and that makes it hard to sus out the connection of dots.

I find the information from commenter Daniel A Lynch above also interesting and likely.....the quotes he provided

"Tillerson is worried that bin Salman is trying to use his country's political cooperation and economic support for the peace process to obtain a blank check from the White House to confront Iran."

"Kushner and Tillerson have also clashed over the White House's support for Saudi Arabia's campaign against Qatar, which the Gulf states accuse of hosting terrorists. While Kushner has sided with bin Salman in the feud, Tillerson is defending Qatar."

Which countries are MADE stupid enough to go against China, Russia and their friends?
after that question marks come up about what is going on below the geopolitical water line

In my youth we were taught a game called musical chairs where all milled around until the music stopped and then rushed to get a chair when there were not enough. The stakes in our current "game" are a bit higher but I feel we are all waiting for the music to stop to see how it shakes out.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13 2018 22:13 utc | 51

CIA head Pompeo, the new Secretary of State, is a neoconservative with a racist anti-Muslim attitude and a special hate for Iran which he compared to ISIS. That he will now become Secretary of State is a bad sign for the nuclear agreement with Iran. The Europeans especially should take note of that and should stop to look for a compromise with Trump on the issue. The deal is now dead.
Nothing will happen. Because an attack on Iran risks a long war which Trump wouldn't want. What happens if an initial strike doesn't destroy all the weapons? Israel is at risk of becoming uninhabitable. Hizbullah and all that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 13 2018 22:17 utc | 52

Is US (UK) ... trying to prevent this at any price?

China to launch crude oil futures on March 26 - Xinhua |

Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 13 2018 22:20 utc | 53

wendy davis @45 & 46--

Thanks for the links. They'll join the queue. Currently reading the E-version of Lapham's Quarterly new issue: "Rule of Law" and Lapham's introductory essay discussing "Due Process." Strikingly, the header has this quote:

"Law is a flag, and gold is the wind that makes it wave. —Russian proverb"

Then Lewis intones a few paragraphs later:

"... the rule of law as the politically correct term of art for the divine right of money." [My Emphasis]

This echoes what Assange tweeted about yesterday regarding England being ruled by City of London banksters instead of Intelligence, and of course applies 1000% to the Outlaw US Empire's policy making, particularly the deep connections between CIA and financial institutions of all types--relations the late Mike Ruppert was very keen on exposing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 22:21 utc | 54

Hoarsewhisperer @ 37.
Don't conflate the good things Rudd did, like the GFC response, with his removal by Julia Gillard & co. The Rudd team (and it was a team, despite Rudd's ego) did the right thing responding to the GFC, and deserves credit for it.
It's unfortunate but true, though, that Rudd became unworkable in the early part of 2010- not consulting, not taking decisions etc, making the normal operation of government difficult, if not impossible. Rudd had to go to keep the government working effectively. He wasn't stabbed in the back, and it wasn't because of his 'anti-neoliberal' actions.

Posted by: extra | Mar 13 2018 22:29 utc | 55

@ Laguerre

Agree, nothing is going to happen.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 13 2018 22:30 utc | 56

Adding another Lewis Lapham observation to my 54:

"In the world according to Trump—as it was in the worlds according to Ronald Reagan, George Bush elder and younger, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama—the concentration of wealth is the good, the true, and the beautiful. Democracy is for losers.

"The framers of the Constitution were of the same opinion."

Will the Western Oligarchy prevail, or will Asian Wisdom save humanity from being devoured by the Golden Calf?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2018 22:33 utc | 57

Sharmine Narwani has photographed the CW site in east Ghouta. It leads directly back to Saudi Arabia and the US

Civilians that escaped from east Ghouta interveiwed, including a girl forced to appear in a Bana of Aleppo video.

No doubt much more still hidden in the terrorist enclaves given that the US/UK/France seem willing to attack Russian forces to ensure east Ghouta remains out of the Syrian governments hands

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 22:39 utc | 58

karlof1 @54

great link, thanks,

Posted by: spudski | Mar 13 2018 22:45 utc | 59

Here is a link the beautiful song I alluded to earlier by Ali Primera but by Los Guaruguaos:

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 13 2018 22:54 utc | 60

If "Tillerson got the job because Trump loves Russia and Tillerson was in good standing with Putin"
is not correct, as b says...

Then why DID Tillerson get the job of Secretary of State?

Posted by: MarkMosby | Mar 13 2018 22:59 utc | 62

@ karlofi 54

thank you; kept it. i also love the Cicero quote: True law is right reason in agreement with nature.

US constitution: written by the oligarchs...for the oligarchs. to the extras you've quoted, i'd add the philanthro-capitalists (and not just bill gates, but from the rockefellers onward). ;-)

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 13 2018 23:04 utc | 63

psychohistorian | Mar 13, 2018 6:13:18 PM | 51

Aramco IPO have been delayed to 2019, leaning towards Hong Kong.   I'm not sure if SA will go against China.   Or, is this an attempt by MbS to entice China to leave the Iranian-Russian camp?   IMO, I doubt China will switch sides.

ex-SA | Mar 13, 2018 6:20:17 PM | 53

Absolutely.   But, will China have the fortitude to make it happen?

Posted by: Ian | Mar 13 2018 23:05 utc | 64

Well I broke me fast this am with al Jazeera news as I just couldn't take any more of the englander bullshit on 'russian nerve agents' which has been wall to wall beeb for more than a week.
AJ was full of the Tillerson storm in a teacup (honestly what has the man done? Whoever replaces him is unlikely to do much either since their greed overrules their zionist inclinations when they realise that spending kazillions on the military with no war is much more profitable and easier to manage the masses, than an actual killing war where things have to actually be manufactured and even more tricky actually work) all about the dismissal and about a BBC investigation which uncovered a conspiracy by an 'amerikan businessman' to get rid of li'l rex.
So I went to beeb website and looked at Tillerson dismissal articles yet saw nothing about such a conspiracy or emails, I didn't look too hard cause I hate that poisonous site, but am confident in saying the beeb certainly aren't pushing that barrow too hard. What's blackmail and slander to rid the amerikan cabinet of a problem against a bunch of evidence free gossip about a retired russian traitor? Nothing - that is what.

So I had a bit of a hunt round the net and learned that yes the beeb had grabbed some emails from a bloke by the name of Elliot Broidy, who according to this piece over here is quite the little charmer:

eg from a 2009 article behind the WSJ paywall entitled "Just who is Elliot Broidy anyway?"

Elliott Broidy emerged on the main stage of New York’s pay-to-play scandal Thursday. His guilty plea to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct could mean up to four years in prison, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo,

he (Broidy) after the 9/11 attacks joined the Republican Jewish Coalition and ultimately became a member of the board of directors, a position he still holds say no more, yet another rabid four by two pulling donnie's strings. Incidentally back in '09 when he was temporarily embarassed (before cutting a deal to give up his underlings and avoiding time for being an instrinsic part of the global financial meltdown) a number of photos of Broidy with Netanyahoo circulated the amerikan media. Two crooked peas in a corrupt pod.

That bastion of truth and the amerikan way CNBC reports that

"Trump ally reportedly in talks to earn $75 million if he could get the US probe into 1MDB dropped"
Broidy a man at the heart of the scam de jour of 2015, an elaborate scheme by the malaysian dictator cum Prime Minister Najib Razak to funnel public monies earned by malaysians from resource development, straight into the pockets of Razak and assorted Wall St nabobs has come unstuck. When Razak landed a face to face with Trump to discuss ways to rein in the investigation Broidy knocked together Razak's 'talking points' $75 mill CaChing! goes the Broidy cash register

The emails demanding Rex's ouster were sent to one George Nader a Lebanese-American 'businessman and 'advisor' to a chap known as Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a sheik and allegedly defacto ruler of UAE since the bossfella of Abu Dhabi (bin Zayed) an hereditary position is automatically made the top dog of the UAE - see they're keepin it real down there at the emirates, none of that democracy stuff for them cannot have those mangy curs from Dubai running the joint, now can we?

Broidy is a greedy noveau elite of the first order and if agent orange is taking orders from the likes of him there should be no doubt about the unlikelihood of any swamp amerikan or otherwise getting drained.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 13 2018 23:12 utc | 65

@psychohistorian 24
Some people may think that it is in the best interest of American citizens if the US government would retain its mantel of superiority over the world. I disagree. I believe that anything that detracts from US world hegemony, and moves toward world collegiality, is a good thing. That includes anything that would break the US hold on Europe and being upstaged by Russia and China, as well as DPRK and Iran, in other parts of the world. So Trump's imperfect progress is fine with me, in those regards.

So that's what I think of your simple-minded lecture with "Anyone at MoA still think . . ."

What we think is our business, not yours. You are free to disagree.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 13 2018 23:14 utc | 66

UAE got Tillerson scalp

Posted by: Mina | Mar 13 2018 23:17 utc | 67

@61 Txs Red Ryder
@58 Peter. On the flipside, it may be too late for a false flag if the militants lost their lab(s)..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 13 2018 23:32 utc | 68

@ Ian 64.

Sanctions on Russia are being ignored. China is investing its USTrillions.
Under US imposed sanctions, ExxonMobil withdrew and China said "Thank You" and took the partnership.

Chinese state-controlled Huarong Asset Management has bought a 36.2 percent stake in the unit of CEFC China Energy through which CEFC is acquiring a $9.1 billion stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft.

According to CEFC filings seen by Reuters, Huarong has bought the stake in CEFC in two tranches, one in December and one in February. Huarong is controlled by China’s Ministry of Finance.

In September, CEFC Energy announced plans to acquire 14.16 percent of Rosneft shares from Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

“The final structure of Rosneft's shareholders has been formed,” Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Rossiya 24 television.

As part of a long-term agreement, Rosneft and CEFC Energy inked a deal on crude oil deliveries in 2017. According to the agreement, the Russian oil major will supply CEFC with 60.8 million tons of oil annually until 2023.

The agreement covers the development of exploration and production projects in Siberia. The two companies plan to cooperate in refining, petrochemicals and crude trading.

Betcha Rex is so so sorry he went to D.C.

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 13 2018 23:48 utc | 69

The girl that was forced to make the propaganda video and then escaped from East Ghouta re my link @58. The propaganda vid is still doing the rounds at Twitter.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 23:49 utc | 70

Adding to my post @70, not only is it still doing the rounds, but it is the very first tweet that appears at the moment when Syria is used as a search term in twitter search.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 13 2018 23:52 utc | 71

@ Don Bacon who wrote: "So that's what I think of your simple-minded lecture with "Anyone at MoA still think . . ."

What we think is our business, not yours. You are free to disagree."

Thanks for that. I asked a rhetorical question to which you answered but are not required to.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13 2018 23:52 utc | 72


Tillerson lost a large amount of money through the disclosures and required disgorgements of investments that he had to effect to take the position. He is being a consummate gentleman, when considering the CIA Deep State just purged him. He got too close to the Trurh About the Soviets.


A year ago Trump announced a $4B *private* Hotel:Casino deal with Xi. That project has stalled due to Chinese resistance. North Korea, tariffs, Trump is just squeezing Dis balls. He doesn't give two without anyone but Trump.

Posted by: Chipnik | Mar 14 2018 0:38 utc | 73

Could Tillerson dismissal be related to:
"@realDonaldTrump son-in-law Jared #Kushner told Trump to back the #Saudi/#UAE blockade on #Qatar after Qatar refused to invest in Kushner's indebted property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City."

When this blockade happened, Tillerson supported Qatar and clashed with Kushner. Now that Kushner's loan issue is public, could Trump be lashing out at Tillerson, could someone at State have publicized the loan?

Posted by: frances | Mar 14 2018 0:39 utc | 74

Lozion 68

hopefully that is the case. have been watching a few videos of the facility and seems a major setup. Been there for a number of years so possibly used for the 2013 Obama red line attack. This factory would only be a two or three kilometers from Kafr Batna and the locality where it took place. Sometime ago, b had an article on children being videoed faking a CW attack. Shaving cream sprayed on there faces and so forth. That was also located at Kafr Batna

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 14 2018 0:57 utc | 75

35 - It would be juvenile high school political analysis to believe the 2011 TARP funds transfer did not ALSO include massive funds transfer to Cheney/Rumsfeld Continuance of Government aka Deep State. If you have the slightest doubt, scroll back through 2016, the 'choice'between ZioWarPigA from Upstate NY Mafiya or ZioWarPig B from NYC Mafiya.

This November will be textbook stress positioning controlled-dissent Big Lie, on the Road to Charon's Crossing.

Posted by: Chipnik | Mar 14 2018 1:01 utc | 76

@75 Yes, if the near meteoric rethoric calms down then it may be an indication those Ghouta chaps lost their last chance at rallying Western support for intervention via a fake or real CW attack..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 14 2018 1:05 utc | 77

re: shaving cream #75

In the news biz, it used to be:
"If it bleeds it leads."

We need to update that now, what with all the nerve gas hoorah here and there:
"We need foam to drive it home."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 1:45 utc | 78

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 13, 2018 7:48:34 PM | 69
"Betcha Rex is so so sorry he went to D.C."

Nah I wouldn't be fretting 'bout l'il rexie; these 1%ers don't make a move unless they know there is gonna be a top earner or 57 in it for themselves.
I have no doubt tillerson pulled off a mob of smart (for himself n maybe exxonMobil) deals whilst SecState. That is what 'these people' do.

Tillerson is more than enough evidence for the premise that the first move of any truly revolutionary political movement must be to put the entire elite up against a wall and shoot them. For, as debilitating as such a move can be for the moral hygiene of a revolution, history has taught us that allowing sociopathic scum such as he to keep breathing, ultimately costs the lives of millions of ordinary decent, non-sociopathic humans. Sad but true.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 14 2018 1:46 utc | 79

WorldBLee, et al. The Democrats are not just OK with CIA, but are actively searching for Intelligence veterans to run for elected office in 2018.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 14 2018 2:38 utc | 80

In the latest episode of “Your Next Celebrity President,” our hero reprises his trademark, “You’re Fired” trope and sets the MSM off on a delightful round of cognitive dissonance.

Trump bashers who insist President Trump® is Putin’s Puppet are seeking ways to make Pompeo MORE friendly to Russia than the former EXXON CEO who actually had done $ Billions in deals with Russia.

Trump fans are stretching to explain how turning the State Department directly over to CIA and fulfilling Deep State’s emergence as just plain “the State” is somehow “draining the swamp.”

Meanwhile, President Trump® is seeking funding from congress for a 60,000 to 65,000 strong army in Syria to complete the Obama/Clinton destruction of Syria, effectively already partitioned along the Biblical Promised Border of the Euphrates River.

Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow to whatever sh*tshow the Kabuki Theater Players have in store to divert our attention from the ever-escalating AAZ Empire policies as they continue their murderous, rapine plunder.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 14 2018 3:24 utc | 81

This is Sam Adelsson’s “investments” in trumphs campaign paying off. At least Nikki Hayley is working hard for her pay check. Long live AIPAC

Posted by: Santosh SB | Mar 14 2018 3:42 utc | 82

@78 Don Bacon

That got a big chuckle. Good one.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 14 2018 3:42 utc | 83

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13, 2018 12:12:16 PM | 3
Very few tears would be shed if the entire Executive branch of the Outlaw US Empire got terminated. The world would become a more peaceful place immediately.

It wouldn't be enough. The rot runs throughout the entire society.
I threw in the towel more than a decade ago; the confusing part is; I totally mis-judged just how low, low is; way farther than I could imagine at the time.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 14 2018 4:05 utc | 84

@ V.Arnold 84
I threw in the towel more than a decade ago
Well obviously you didn't.
We can't quit, it's not in our DNA.
Bad always needs good to balance it.
It's the Yin-Yang theory, Chinese, two halves that provide wholeness.
Plus there's a lot of good out there.
It just doesn't get reported.
It's not generally newsworthy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 4:19 utc | 85

UK has presented its evidence to OPCW, the body both Russia and UK have signed up to to investigate such incidents.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 87th Executive Council session:statement on the Salisbury incident
the positive identification of the chemical agent by experts at the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down
our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so
Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and
our assessment that Russia views at least some defectors as legitimate targets for assassination

section of Russian representatives response
The British authorities’ unfounded accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in using poisonous agents on their territory are absolutely unacceptable. Our British colleagues should recall that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the OPCW which is one of the most successful and effective disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal framework of the chemical convention, which makes it possible to resolve this kind of situation.

If London does have serious reasons to suspect Russia of violating the CWC - and the statement read by distinguished Ambassador Peter Wilson indicates directly that this is so - we suggest that Britain immediately avail itself of the procedures provided for by paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the CWC. They make it possible, on a bilateral basis, to officially contact us for clarifications regarding any issues that raise doubts or concerns.
We would also like to emphasise that such clarifications under the Convention are provided to the requesting member state as soon as possible, but in any case no later than 10 days following receipt of the request. As such, the ultimatum’s demand that information be provided immediately, by the end of today, is absolutely unacceptable.

Our British colleagues should save their propaganda fervour and slogans for their unenlightened domestic audience, where perhaps they will have some effect. Here, within the walls of a specialised international organisation, such as the OPCW, one must use facts and nothing but the facts. Stop fomenting hysteria, go ahead and officially formalise your request to begin consultations with us in order to clarify the situation. A fair warning, we will require material evidence of the alleged Russian trace in this high-profile case. Britain’s allegations that they have everything, and their world-famous scientists have irrefutable data, but they will not give us anything, will not be taken into account.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 14 2018 4:19 utc | 86

@ 86
The sloppy assessments dressed up and presented as "intelligence" that we saw with the "election meddling" is now the norm, apparently. We know it because we know it! ....Try that in a court of law.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 4:30 utc | 87

Don Bacon | Mar 14, 2018 12:19:27 AM | 85

Point taken...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 14 2018 4:48 utc | 88

news report
Federal prosecutors in Munich are currently reviewing a request to issue an arrest warrant for Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump‘s recently named director of the Central Intelligence Agency . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 14 2018 5:03 utc | 89

Thanks all, much useful speculation.

I am currently working in New Orleans and don't have time to keep abreast of events as I typically do.

I would like to share these thoughts I have been holding for a time now...

Sometime last October, Russia's tone changed. I can't point to a specific event, however events in Syria were heated. Both Lavrov and Putin's rhetoric assumed a different tone. It may be that was when they had achieved success with their hypersonic and nucluear powered, cruise missiles in some fashion. Either successful tests or deployments had begun. I noted the time of the change in tone, but could not put a reason to the new Russian demeanor. Still just a guess on my part as to the why, but the change in tone was noticeable.

There have been several incidents over the past year of radioactive contrails over Europe, Finland, Sweden and the northern Russian hemisphere of unknown origin. I do not think Putin is bluffing about the new weapons in his arsenal. Google it.

I believe Syria is Russia's red line. I do not think they will allow Syria to be partitioned.

U.S. is not going to attack Iran. That will lead to Israel's destruction.

The U.S. needs a war.

They will have their war.

North Korea, is the most likely candidate despite recent events. U.S. is still technically at war with N. Korea, in spite of pertinent U.N. re-classifications of what is considered WAR. U.S. has not answered to anyone before, what makes you think they will start answering to others now? Trump could bomb them tomorrow and be acting within the purview of his office under U.S. law. North Korea borders both Russia and China. China has spoken on this, whoever strikes first is their enemy. If U.S. does hit North Korea, we all wake up to a different world, earthly or heavenly.

Syria is next most likely. Russia has drawn its line in the sand and will not back down. For those who think otherwise, how many countries has Russia deployed its armed forces to since the break up of the Soviet Union despite all of the provocations of the west?

If U.S. can draw Russia into a war in Syria, it will serve the same purpose as attacking Iran, while sparing Israel, Iran's wrath. If U.S. and Russia collide in Syria, the only question is how long China sits it out, not whether it will or not. China will not be boarding the U.S.S. Anything. When it joins the fray it will be against western powers. The only reason China will not join in will be because this war ends more swiftly than anyone can imagine. More destruction in a much shorter span of time.

Additionally to my thinking, America is over confident and if it collides with Russia it intends for Russia to be fighting on 3 different fronts. Russia has clearly stated its intentions and U.S. may force her hand.

When the first American city goes up in flames, there will be anger across the United States and tremendous calls for vengeance. Even the normally peace seeking individuals will be caught up in the thirst to avenge the loss of life which they have casually stood by and observed and allowed their government to deliver around the world. This is the first stage of growth for this young nation and its age of expansion and conquest will cease.

When the second city goes up in flames, fear and reason will both be equally recalled from the depths of our short lived memories...and the peace movement, in a deep slumber since the sixties, having been pacified by easy credit and electronic marvels, and devastated by the criminalization of natural laws will re-awaken and an for a new world of just opportunity is born.

When a third American city goes up in flames, America ceases to exist and breaks into colonies akin to what is seen in the walking dead. It becomes every man for his and his alone. Smaller more manageable enclaves will become the norm. As in when Hurricane Katrina hit this once fine city and people were shot for attempting to WALK across the Mississippi river bridge into Algiers.

Americans do not know that Russia has built enough nuclear proof bomb shelters to house its entire population in the event of a nuclear strike. Americans will run to convention centers, gyms and high schools which their government has deemed to be bomb shelters. I've been involved in the construction of many, and in spite of my warnings, they will not stand. They are tombs waiting to be filled.

The Georgia Guidestones, (google it) are a riddle. Which parts are predictions and which parts are the foundation of the new world's new religion. Someone spent a lot of money putting these in place and even more in concealing their identity. These stones scare me more than anything else, for in a strange way, they offer a glimpse into some powerful entity's plans.

America will have its war.

And I will say it again...until the first American city goes up in flames, Americans will not restrain their government. They have no recollection of the true costs of war. There is only one way America will grow as needed.


Sunshine go away today
I don't feel much like dancin'
Some man's come he's trying to run my life
Don't know what he's askin'
When he tells me I better get in line
Can't hear what he's sayin'
When I grow up, I'm gonna make it mine
These ain't dues I been payin'

How much does it cost
I'll buy it
The time is all we've lost
I'll try it
He can't even run his own life
I'll be damned if he'll run mine, sunshine

Sunshine, go away today
I don't feel much like dancin'
Some man's come he's trying to run my life
Don't know what he's askin'
Working starts to make me wonder where
Fruits of what I do are goin'
When he says in love and war all is fair
He's got cards he ain't showin'

How much does it cost
I'll buy it
The time is all we've lost,I'll try it
He can't even run his own life
I'll be damned if he'll run mine, Sunshine

Sunshine, come on back another day
I promise you I'll be singin'
This old world, she's gonna turn around
Brand new bells will be ringin'

Posted by: b4real | Mar 14 2018 5:16 utc | 90

@85 Don Bacon

I like reading your comments, you are appreciated.

re: Bad always needs good to balance it.

Imo, this is not so. It is that perfection cannot exist without a flaw, for there would be nothing to compare it to. The same goes for good and bad. There is no balance.

Take care

Posted by: b4real | Mar 14 2018 5:23 utc | 91

@b4real.. interesting post.. thanks! i love that song at the end..

new orleans is a fun place...i hope you are taking advantage of all the good music to be had down on frenchman st and etc..

Posted by: james | Mar 14 2018 5:30 utc | 92

@92 James,


Gentrification has its costs. NOLA is not the city it once was. Its turning into an Austin. :(

be good

Posted by: b4real | Mar 14 2018 5:55 utc | 93


US dumped the anti ballistic missile treaty in 2002. Since that time, Putin/Russia have been working towards having to face off with the US. The chosen battlefield is Syria. I think Putin would have preferred to wait until the development of the next gen weapons was complete, but Russia moved into Syria only weeks before Syria would have fallen to the US proxy takfiri's.
Like with Chechnya and the Syrian militant groups (not UN designated terrorist organisations) Putin will always give the option of negotiation/amnesty before their final destruction.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 14 2018 6:05 utc | 94

Lots of talk here about a brooding nuclear war. I dont think the doomsday clock is relevant, simply because everybody in the US, Western Europe, and Russia would almost definitely die. Oh, and probably most of the people in the Northern hemisphere. And as for the Ozzies here, I reckon you'll probably get one or two on the head too. There would be nothing left. No Empire. Just us Southern Africans and South Americans, who I doubt anybody with any clout considers important enough to nuke. In the case of a full blown nuclear war, we will probably inherit whats left of the world, and the nuclear powers, knowing that, would never risk the colonies in control, on principle. Besides, unless they are all in it together, its utter suicide.

Nobody is gonna push the button. Thats why they carry on like petulant children. The can spew all the vitriol in the world at each other, safe in the knowledge that nothing nuclear can or will be done about it. Ever. Its all posturing.

The world has changed in terms of how wars are fought. Information wars, cyber wars, trade wars, and even hot wars, but not ten times the heat of the sun hot.

Posted by: dan | Mar 14 2018 7:19 utc | 95

Re: Dan @95 "Nobody is gonna push the button. Thats why they carry on like petulant children. The can spew all the vitriol in the world at each other, safe in the knowledge that nothing nuclear can or will be done about it. Ever."

Sorry, I disagree. Just because "the button" hasn't been pushed is no guarantee that "deterrence can work perfectly, forever."
Deterrence requires rational behavior, as well as fear of "unacceptable retaliation". Hubris and ignorance are reaching such levels in the US/West that I am not convinced the "leadership" here is fully capable of making rational decisions.

I suppose you may be speaking of the "bolt from the blue" full-scale nuclear attack when you say "Nobody is going to push the button"? But nuclear war doesn't necessarily have to start in such a fashion; more likely it begins with a tit-for-tat military confrontation that quickly escalates to the point where one side or the other feels compelled to "de-escalate" the conflict by using a nuke. However, once this threshold is crossed, there will be enormous pressure on both sides to preempt, simply because of the universally shared perception that nuclear command and control is likely to be lost by the side that "rides out" an incoming first-strike. Which then will make launch-on-warning an imperative . . . which makes a false warning believed to be true the way a full-scale nuclear war can occur.

Do the neocons truly believe in the "nuclear primacy" proclaimed by Lieber and Press in Foreign Affairs? US BMD, as Putin has pointed out, is part of an offensive system, which neocons may think can be used as a "mop-up" system after a US first-strike. I believe this sort of thinking played a role in Putin's decision to reveal the existence of new Russian nuclear weapon systems, in order to hopefully preclude the insanity of a US nuclear first-strike. But can you convince neocon ideologues without using force, and will the use of force inevitably lead to nuclear war?

I spent a number of years at the UN making presentations on the environmental consequences of nuclear war. There were many occasions when even the nations promoting the side panels on the dangers of launch-ready nuclear weapons asked me to change my topic, because "everyone knows that nuclear war is bad" and also because everyone "knew" that there was no danger of anyone in the US or Russia "pushing the button". Today I have to wonder if some of their opinions have changed. There at least has been a general awakening among many nations to the existential danger posed by strategic nuclear war (this is largely why 122 nations have signed on to the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty), even if that awareness is not within the US and NATO member states.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 14 2018 8:31 utc | 96

Perimetr @ 96

Thanks for your expertise. Point taken. However, I do suspect that even the situation with North Korea possibly having the tech to nuke the US is enough to sober even the most hawkish Americans. Especially the ones that might at some point find themselves and their families slowly dying from radiation poisoning. Its the bastards that know they will be instantly shipped to a nuclear bunker underneath some mountain with enough supplies to outlive the rest of us ten times over, that pose the highest risk to us all. But even then, what kind of a life would that be? And surely, unless they nuked the southern hemisphere out of sheer spite, by the time they managed to leave their bunkers, in all likeliness, a new civilization would have emerged, without them at the helm. I just cannot for the life of me, see the benefits to anybody, of a full blown nuclear war. I understand your point about these idiots in charge who are reaching a point of becoming incapable of rational thought, but even animals usually maintain powerful survival instincts. Neither India, Pakistan, Israel or North Korea could ever use their nukes without getting completely obliterated, right? Its MAD for those fuckers. The same with US and Russia, and very soon China.
Perhaps I under estimate the psychopathy of these clowns. Its just out of my imagination periphery.

Posted by: dan | Mar 14 2018 9:25 utc | 97

Oh by the way b, I recommend dishing out your articles everywhere you can, even ZH. The more exposure, the better. I understand your reservations about the ZH crowd, but surely, considering their huge readership, surely there are as many wise folks there as here. Maybe they just don't comment much. Myself, I find reading the comments section there massively entertaining, if perhaps overly bigoted. Not to be taken seriously, anyway. In fact I think I found you through them. Capitalists that they are though, maybe you could squeeze a buck or two out of it.
Anyway, thanks for everything.

Posted by: dan | Mar 14 2018 10:00 utc | 98

wendy davis and karlof1

when you two are done thanking and congratulating each other i'd just like to point out that pts 1,2,3 were linked to at #8 in this very thread.

why not try paying a little more attention!

Posted by: john | Mar 14 2018 10:34 utc | 99

Don Bacon | Mar 14, 2018 12:19:27 AM | 85

On due consideration; good and bad are not in harmony; making two halves of a whole.
I would liken it more to a pendulum, if we need a metaphor, which I do not.
The west, exemplified by the U.S. is in a full blown hegemonic aggression towards the world it refuses to be a part of, but rather the owner of; with its full contingency of unrestrained violence and terror.
Usian's, every man jack one of us, must be held to account for the terror leashed upon the planet. Not doing so is proof positive the U.S. is indeed NOT a democracy; which, of course it isn't.
Cute Chinese phrases of wisdom are not warranted or appropriate under these dire circumstances.
Our world views are indeed far apart; I'll, as usual, follow my own council.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 14 2018 11:03 utc | 100

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