Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 03, 2018

Iran Sanctions - U.S. Responds To Court Order By Canceling Treaty That Gave The Court Jurisdiction

Earlier today the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a provisional judgment (pdf, 29 pages) against some of the U.S. sanction against Iran. The ruling is a preliminary injunction over urgent humanitarian issues that will later be followed by a final judgment.

The U.S. responded by canceling the treaty the gave the court jurisdiction over the case.

The ICJ is the main judicial organ of the United Nations and settles legal disputes between member states. The rulings of the court, based in The Hague, are binding. But there is no global police force that can make the U.S. government follow the court's ruling.

Nevertheless the judgment sets a precedent that other courts will use when more specific cases against the U.S. sanctions against Iran come up. A company that loses business because of the sanctions may sue the U.S. over financial losses. An ICJ ruling on the illegality of the U.S. sanctions will then be used by a local court, even an American one, as reference.

The core of the ruling says:


Indicates the following provisional measures:

(1) Unanimously,

The United States of America, in accordance with its obligations under the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights, shall remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from the measures announced on 8 May 2018 to the free exportation to the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran of

(i) medicines and medical devices;
(ii) foodstuffs and agricultural commodities; and
(iii) spare parts, equipment and associated services (including warranty, maintenance, repair services and inspections) necessary for the safety of civil aviation;

(2) Unanimously,

The United States of America shall ensure that licences and necessary authorizations are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction in so far as they relate to the goods and services referred to in point(1);

(3) Unanimously,

Both Parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve. 

The provisional judgment, comparable to an injunction, was issued because of the imminent humanitarian damage the U.S. sanctions cause to Iran. The final judgment may take a year and is likely to be much wider. After today's unanimous ruling the general direction of the outcome is not in question.

The U.S. had claimed that the the court has no jurisdiction over the issue of its sanctions against Iran.

Iran argued that U.S. sanctions are in violations of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between Iran and the United States of America (pdf), which was signed at Tehran on 15 August 1955. That treaty gave the ICJ jurisdiction over disputes between the two countries in all issues related to it.

The court accepted Iran's view.

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo just held a press conference in which he announced that the U.S. is now canceling the 1955 treaty. His statement was full of bluster and lies:

The United States on Wednesday called an international court ruling against its Iran sanctions a defeat for Tehran as it terminated a 1955 treaty on which the case was based.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the UN court did not rule more broadly against US sanctions and he insisted that the United States already exempted humanitarian goods from the sanctions.

"The court's ruling today was a defeat for Iran. It rightly rejected all of Iran's baseless requests," Pompeo told reporters.

The preliminary injunction is obviously a victory for Iran. The court has not yet judged on the wider issue of the U.S. sanctions. Having read the argument I am convinced that the final judgment will only confirm this win. The ruling is a big loss for the Trump administration. It shows the world that the U.S. is the one and only entity which is in breach of the 1955 treaty, the nuclear agreement with Iran (JCPOA) and the unanimous resolution of the UN Security Council endorsing the nuclear deal.

Pompeo's announcement of the canceling of the treaty is somewhat schizophrenic. It accepts the ruling and transgresses on it:

  • The U.S. would not have canceled the treaty without the court's judgment that is based on the treaty. With today's canceling, or the announcement thereof, the U.S. admits that the court intervention based on the treaty is legally correct. This contradicts its earlier argument.
  • The canceling of the treaty today transgresses on the courts judgment. Measure three of the court's ruling orders the parties to not make the issue more difficult to resolve. Canceling the treaty now makes the case more difficult and aggravates and extends the dispute in violation of the court order.

The U.S. is in fact mocking the court. It is unlikely that any court will accept the clearly upcoming U.S. claim that the treaty no longer exists,  that the ICJ has lost jurisdiction over the case and that its orders can thus be ignored. One can not simply change a contract after being found guilty of violating it. The case will be going to a final judgment under the 1955 treaty because that set the legal status when the case was brought to the court.

Pompeo and other will undoubtedly argue that the ruling does not matter for the U.S. and that transgressing it will have no costs. That underestimates the effect of such a ruling on lower national courts. It will be them that will judge about the seizure of U.S. assets when claims of economic damage are brought up against the U.S. and its sanction regime.

The case will also weigh on the global opinion. It makes it more difficult for other governments to follow the U.S. sanction regime. 

Posted by b on October 3, 2018 at 17:34 UTC | Permalink


Meanwhile, Bolton announced another unilateral treaty withdrawl. The ICJ made the ruling that judged the Outlaw US Empire to be the first--and so for only--nation to be found guilty of State-sponsored Terrorism for its mining of Nicaragua's harbors during Reagan's illegal Contra War. Note the recurrence of illegal, outlaw, unilateral, etc., regarding USA's actions--and--their duration: USA in violation of UN Charter as soon as it was ratified in 1945--73 years and still violating! Also, please see my comment toward end of previous thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 3 2018 17:51 utc | 1

As shown in this article, previously classified documents from the United States show that there was growing concern that anti-Iran sanctions could push Iran "over the brink":

The one thing that Washington has repeatedly ignored over the last seven decades is the fact that Iran is a sovereign state, a nation that has the right to make its own decisions whether Washington agrees with them or not.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Oct 3 2018 17:54 utc | 2

"One can not simply change a contract after being found guilty of violating it."

The Devil can.

Posted by: TJ | Oct 3 2018 17:59 utc | 3

It's going to be that much harder for anyone to pretend the US isn't a rogue regime. Seriously, it's like Trump is doing everything he can to alienate the world community from the US.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Oct 3 2018 18:00 utc | 4

Just because the Pompous One and Bolt-head SAY we've invalidated the treaties doesn't make it so. They were approved by the Senate, and only the Senate can vote to nullify them. Have they?

Posted by: gus | Oct 3 2018 18:02 utc | 5

A commenter Brian nailed in another thread by calling this Word War 3

In this case we want to use the current slang definition of Word = Truth

If the trolls that come here run out of work they can apply to dying empire to become Winston Smiths and continually attempt to rewrite history to fit today's lies.

I am waiting to be appalled by the victim card yet to be played by the US like Trump is using for the Supreme Court nominee. The victim cards being played by Israel and the US at the same time will be truly vomitous I am sure.....the dying howls of a wretched animal trying to take others down with itself.

But the howls will stop and humanity will evolve beyond the Enlightenment period finally into one governed by reason over faith

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 3 2018 18:10 utc | 6

thanks b... things are breaking down for the usa on a number of levels.. i think this is what happens to a dying empire.. they want to renege on the international agreements they have made in the past to maintain their exceptional status..

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2018 18:25 utc | 7

We need the US to fuck off. The US and Israel do not abide by anything, they do what they like and want.
They are roque states not to be respected , but crime syndicates. The Mob on steroids.
Washington needs to be hit by a meteor the size of Manhatten, then we will have peace. ok a lot of innocent will die, come on , many innocents have died by the hands o the US. So what ?
They have so many crimes on their conscience .
Read Ilja Ehrenburg.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 3 2018 18:27 utc | 8

Is Trump really smart, or really stupid, or perhaps, really blackmailed? None of his pronouncements make much sense and brings MAGA into question, since the consequences of these actions can hardly be beneficial to our country.

The only silver lining I see is that the nefarious hands of Israel manipulating the institutions of this country are now fully visible. Perhaps this, after all else has failed, will awaken our citizenry to action.

Posted by: Cloak And Dagger | Oct 3 2018 18:32 utc | 9

The USA prides itself on being a political system under the Rule of Law. What it does onto say is that this is gangster law, used to legalize the gangster policies of US power. China refers to this as rule BY law rather than rule under law, since the powerful are not subject to the laws usually. They are meant for the subjects of US power, and consequently are class and racist laws that can be ignored by the White plutocracy. Domestically this allows the police to shoot non-Whites (and Whites as well) randomly without being subjected to legal sanctions. Indeed, they are given paid vacations when they do so.

In foreign affairs, US power simply ignores international law in its gangster policies. US power kills in order to steal, and then lies ideologically about the stealing and killing.

Posted by: folktruther | Oct 3 2018 18:35 utc | 10

we can vote for warmongers or warmongers. freedom! what a tragic farce.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 3 2018 18:41 utc | 11

The same court ruled against Iran and in favour of the United States after the Iranian hostage crisis. Iran didn't pay the reparations, but they did not quit all the same.

Posted by: bobzibub | Oct 3 2018 18:51 utc | 12

Wikipedia provides a section on Treaty Repeal within its discussion of the Treaty Clause within US Constitution. IMO, it's well beyond time for US citizens to challenge the government on the legality of treaty withdrawl. Certainly, unelected officials shouldn't have the power to abrogate any treaty or legislation.

Attesting these moves to Trump is a mistake, IMO. It's the Neocon MO to kneejerk react to anything that goes against their desired course of action. Time for Iran to launch some more missiles and drones at Daesh East of Euphrates.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 3 2018 18:52 utc | 13

The “rules based international order” is a propaganda talking point meant to manufacture consent amongst the domestic populations, and not a statement of principle or consistent application. Some opinion maker will point out that the 1955 treaty was signed with the Shah, and therefore was abrogated with the Shah’s overthrow even if formal notice of such took some 38 years. But that principle does not apply to Ukraine....etc.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 3 2018 19:07 utc | 14

jayc @14--

Deposing the Shah didn't nullify the Treaty. It was invoked by the Outlaw US Empire relative to the Hostage Crisis and the court ordered Iran to pay reparations, which Iran ignored.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 3 2018 19:24 utc | 15
U.S. reviewing agreements that expose it to World Court: Bolton

Only few days back US admin announced it had changed its mission in Syria from eliminating Isis to Eliminating Iran presence in Syria. US uses the UN resolution on ISIS as a fig leaf for occupying eastern Syria , but now they have dropped that fig leaf.
Then the court ruling on Iran sanctions and now Bolton's announcement.
It seems the US is dropping any pretense of legality in their actions in preference to might makes right as the face of America to show the world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 3 2018 19:35 utc | 16

@16 peter... of course they would! anything that holds the usa accountable, must be ignored, circumvented, or etc. etc..

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2018 19:56 utc | 17

Was Trump always a secret neoon, or are neocons blackmailing him to do their bidding?

Posted by: Ragheb | Oct 3 2018 20:36 utc | 18

Thanks for the info Karlof1. Still, some think-tanker somewhere will try to make the argument anyway. Arguments lacking principles.

Like how the U.S. denounces and withdraws from the UN Human Rights Council but continues to cite its findings to bash Syria and Russia.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 3 2018 20:42 utc | 19

Posted by: Cloak And Dagger | Oct 3, 2018 2:32:48 PM | 9

Here's Congress working hard for the American Taxpayer by passing the H.R.5141 - United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018:

Passed by the House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018” rolls back any limitations that the US places on the amount of “aid” American taxpayers must hand over to Israel.

The bill states in “Sec. 102. Statement of Policy) that it “shall be the policy of the United States to provide assistance to the Government of Israel in order to support funding for cooperative programs to develop, produce, and procure missile, rocket, projectile, and other defense capabilities to help Israel meet its security needs and to help develop and enhance United States defense capabilities.”
“Most dramatically, this new act would eviscerate the ability of President Trump and his successors for the next ten years to withhold United States aid to Israel,” the review continued.

Posted by: jsb | Oct 3 2018 21:08 utc | 20

IMO Trump isn't a neocon, but he simply lacks the strength of character to challenge their idiocy. He's unwilling to go in with a shooting war because he knows it would wreck his presidency, so he's trying to appease the psychos by sticking to economic warfare. Of course, if the sanctions on Iran their intended effect, then the Iranians may well say "f*ck it" and turn the war hot themselves.

Posted by: dreml | Oct 3 2018 21:09 utc | 21

Like myself, Lawrence Davidson's a retired professor of history and has written a short essay echoing my thoughts on recent occurrences and pronouncements. Given the subject, it's title, Enemy of our Future, might be more apt in the plural--Enemies--since Donald Trump isn't the only Reactionary within the national government of the Outlaw US Empire, although I don't believe a Neocon can be seen as a traditional Reactionary despite sharing several traits. Davidson writes this within his intro:

"Present (that is, status quo) institutions that attempt to impose international rules of behavior are targets for Trump and his reactionary allies. To Trump, these institutions must be done away with just because they stand in the way of the nation’s alleged traditional unfettered right to act as, in this case, President Trump sees fit."

And that's what we just read about. His and my point:

"To the extent that the United States, or any other country, reverts to ultra-nationalism and stands against institutions such as the United Nations and the ICC, it endangers the future of not only Americans, but everyone else."

I think few entertained the idea that things would worsen after McCain's death, but they certainly have. I can only hope these recent events will serve to further empower and enlarge the ranks of what's being called The Resistance and for it to morph into a genuine Populist Movement aimed at dethroning Neocons and jettisoning Neoliberalism once and for all time.

Instead of making America Great Again, the Trump Team is quickly lowering it to the pariah status of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. And like WW2, this must become a global struggle to contain, defuse and finally demote the Outlaw US Empire back to its status of USA circa 1937. Those outside the USA must pressure their governments to actively resist and refuse to cooperate with the Empire while those of us within the USA must join and aide The Resistance with as much energy as we can muster--All Our Futures Demand We Act!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 3 2018 21:33 utc | 22

Trump was put into the white house by very wealthy, very powerful people. He was put there for a purpose. He is fulfilling that purpose.

The American people have literally been sold to the bankers and now the bankers are coming to take the rest, like a rocketfuelled Cyprus and Greece.

Blink and you'll miss it, but there'll be nothing left when you open your eyes.

Posted by: ross | Oct 3 2018 21:45 utc | 23

Posted by: jsb | Oct 3, 2018 5:08:09 PM | 20

It boggles the mind! Taxation without representation in our venal congress to steal from us on behalf of Israel!

Posted by: Cloak And Dagger | Oct 3 2018 21:51 utc | 24

karlof1 @ 22 says:

"I can only hope these recent events will serve to further empower and enlarge the ranks of what's being called The Resistance and for it to morph into a genuine Populist Movement aimed at dethroning Neocons and jettisoning Neoliberalism once and for all time."

karlof1, I doubt it. The Resistance is owned by the Neocons and Neoliberals and their Globalist (Davos Gang) sponsors. Trump is their worst nightmare.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 3 2018 21:54 utc | 25

Pimpino/Pompeo and his boss are both idiots of a grand scale. The way these outlaws think, is like if a US court finds one guilty of a contract obligation/crime, that person or entity can simply just denounce his/her US citizenship and ignore the court findings and walk away.

Posted by: kooshy | Oct 3 2018 21:59 utc | 26

Posted by: Cloak And Dagger | Oct 3, 2018 5:51:59 PM | 24

Not only that, the US taxpayer is on the hook for $38 billion over next ten years at a minimum, no doubt AIPAC will do its best to raise that much higher over that period of time. All done with full support of both US houses of CONgress.

Posted by: jsb | Oct 3 2018 22:03 utc | 27

dh-mtl @25--

I see a massive contradiction in your assertion rendering it false. Do you?

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 3 2018 22:07 utc | 28

karlof1 @28

Point out the contradiction.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 3 2018 22:14 utc | 29

I think what we are seeing is a very small amount of rightness and balance being bought to the table. The scales of justice have been deliberately skewed in the US favour for decades. They indeed are a rogue nation and the sooner they are bought into line the better.

Posted by: imoverit | Oct 3 2018 22:20 utc | 30


They have already decided.

"The Trump administration has pulled the United States out of an amendment to the Vienna Convention to keep the Palestinians from suing the US government at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. "

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Oct 3 2018 22:55 utc | 31


“The same court ruled against Iran and in favour of the United States after the Iranian hostage crisis. Iran didn't pay the reparations, but they did not quit all the same.”

The US filed with the court and received a discontinuance claiming an agreement between the 2 sides had been reached which we now may reasonably assume was due to their cooperation in the October Surprise. Iran has no current obligations under that 1980 judgement and has not had any since 1982

Posted by: Pft | Oct 3 2018 23:11 utc | 32

Some of Scholl-Latour's conclusions:

The Shia and their leader Sistani have outplayed the U.S. proconsuls by demanding the elections the U.S. propaganda of democracy set out. They may well build an axis from Persia to Lebanon to Bahrain.

The U.S. military is a "Thalassocrathic" force. It's carriers are dreadnoughts. There is no way it can every win a fight against a determined asymmetric land force.

Unlike in other wars, the U.S. forces (in Iraq) are completely insulated from the local population. Though they have a lot of comfort, which does not really help their fighting spirit, the distance from the population and the inability to vent through alcohol, love or other human means leads to dangerous psychic crisis.

The "human factor" in the U.S. leadership just isn´t there. Like Russia with Gorbatschow, who lost the Sowjet empire in just a few years, the U.S. is only a few presidential acts away from a loss of its status and role in the world.

The U.S. and "the west" has no understanding for the dynamic and power of the social and religious movements in the Middle East. It acts weaken the traditional moderate forces of Islam.

In the eyes of this man, who has seen it all, the prophecy of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar will again come true. The empire giant of gold and steel has feet made of clay which will break. The giant will fall.

Posted by Bernhard on December 27, 2005 at 05:13 PM


That was 13 years, 5 crushed states and $24,000,000,000,000 in fiat Debt ago.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 3 2018 23:14 utc | 33


Its not just the US. Everyone country in the Eurozone has been sold to the same bankers, indeed every country with a BIS controlled CB is owned to some extent by them, although arguably that excludes China (many of the party elites have significant assets outside China so they are vulnerable too). Iran and Venezuela (and Iraq and Libya before them) are not bought either but looks what happens when you dont sell out (sanctions or worse)

Posted by: Pft | Oct 3 2018 23:21 utc | 34


That Act will not be passed unless Trump signs it . He most surely will do so as he is Bibis puppet. He will also sign pending legislation that makes criticism of Israel a civil rights violation.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 3 2018 23:25 utc | 35

@33 anton... i have been meaning to say how much i enjoy your posts.. this one at 33 seems to be authored by bernard, but regardless, i appreciate what you bring to moa.. thank you..

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2018 23:36 utc | 36


La Resistance is more Controlled Dissent by a Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty, one which even more than a PetroDollar, must keep alive the allusion of a Two Party State, now transmogrified by the media Red Bolsheviks into the "Party of the Czars against the Party of the Zeks" meme, to rouse the tax-robbed proletariat of their next $1,000,000,000,000 tithe-tribute tranche in about 12 days from now, then their emotional and psychological buy-in to continued looting through their 'vote'.

The prols, for their part, have swallowed the New American Century Two Party Meme like they swallowed Hope and Chains, like Mission Accomplished, like The Miracle of the Two Planes and the Three Towers and like Gingrich Contract On Americans. Not so much 'swallowed it' as Red Bolsheviks rewrote the history of it, since nothing of prols has ever been, nor ever will be, ever, recorded in the annuals of history.

OK, Solzhenitzen, but good luck those will be burned and deleted shortly, Wikipedia trolled over and rewritten, Wayback Machine purged, Assange, Snowden, Winner and Schulte disappeared, gulaged and silenced. Then future generations of peons, our grandchilden will pay their $100 a ton carbon tithe-tribute to the New Energy Papacy, their $10T a year Mil.Gov UniParty burn rate tithe-tribute and their $1T a year interest-only FOREVER tithe-tribute debt service to the Global Banksters.

Because America is a 'democracy' and everyone must share the tribute, comrade!

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 3 2018 23:41 utc | 37

The US just can't stop digging itself into a hole.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 4 2018 0:16 utc | 38

You know, I think there has been a volcano eruption in the making and it might be coming sooner than later in form of a global war.

Combine US debt with
dollar demise,
multiple unsuccessful military campaigns,
pissed of allies and enemies alike,
countries that won’t simply submit to the empire and challenging its power,
Crazy and out of touch neocons in charge
Pressure from Israel
......and finally this ominous Presidential Alert System.

I think they are going to announce something soon. Something very bad. This alert system is not a joke like many on the net think. They are setting up for some event soon.

Impeachment might not be a bad idea. But it has to include this government, the congress and our Supreme Court. This country needs an enema.

Posted by: Alpi | Oct 4 2018 2:16 utc | 39

USA lost their bid upon New World Order - they hollowed out and exhausted their "Free World" foundation while forcing China and Russia to lay foundation of a more competitive one.

Now USA is aiming at New World Disorder, pulling plugs and cutting ropes, hoping upon Trump's long promoted self-Isolation and international chaos.

USA is employing scorched earth tactics: it invalidates and sabotages all the international structures they control of can which can fall into Chinese hands.

Remember how Churchill slaughtered millions in India just because that work-force could had fallen into hands of then advancing Japan.

"If we can't have it all then nobody will", rememeber the song?

Posted by: Arioch | Oct 4 2018 2:29 utc | 40


The system is a great way to announce martial law or the arrival/invasion of aliens (Russians)

Such a system is in place in my country and used to announce earthquakes or weather related emergencies (floods). So its likely its just an innocuous copying of other countries presidential alert systems. Of course, it can be abused. I believe Hawaii recently issued a bogus alert of a missile attack , by mistake they said. Maybe a test.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 4 2018 2:34 utc | 41

PFT 41

From what I have read, it is used only for US nation wide alerts. Any form of natural disaster is only regional in larger countries like US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 4 2018 3:02 utc | 42

"The US just can't stop digging itself into a hole."
And in large part because there is no disagreement within government/oligarchical circles on the question. Hillary and the Deep State don't say that Trump should not be digging but that he should sweat less, or wear better boots or watch his language when he hits a rock.
As to digging, they are all for it, they see it as the only way out of the hole that W began and Obama made larger.
The world got an idea of the problem its facing with the US when the immediate and almost unanimous response, in the media and Washington, to the tentative summit moves over Korea and the stark threat of peace breaking out, was one of scandalised disbelief. The Democrats out bid the Republicans in howling for the right to be at war with North Korea forever.
It was immediately agreed that to move towards peace was an act of treason, putting not just America but civilisation itself in grave danger.
This really is WW III: the US has no alternative but to win it. Except that victory is impossible. It is a unique situation in the history of Empires. It has never happened before that a great power has put its prestige on the line- and it has nothing but prestige-for no reason. There is no reason why the US should be in Syria, nor was there for it going to Libya or Iraq- (none of these moves had anything much to do with oil, whatever Alan Greenspan, a fucking Ayn Rand disciple, might have said. The further the US gets involved in the middle east the less power it has over the oil deposits there.)
It started WW III because the Israeli lobby, composed of russophobic former Trotskyists, their descendants and disciples, wants to use American power to open up the Levant for an expanded Israel. A madman's fantasy/nightmare.
It was obvious enough in 2003 that all those involved were psychiatric disasters, whose every word was a call for assistance in the form of restraints and strong guards. The French saw it, the Germans saw it, with the exception of Tony Blair, who is just as bad, the entire world saw it.
It was madness then and the fact that it just went on and on- though Libya, (don't let us forget poor Sudan) and into Lebanon, where it encountered grown ups in the form of Hezbollah, and onto Syria then back to Iraq, and down into Yemen, like a state sponsored version of St Vitus Dance- has tended to obscure the simple fact that it is only a particularly tragic form of madness.
Which is to say an exercise proved, again and again to be useless and damaging, persisted in. Until, the head having been banged against walls incessantly, it implodes and liquifies.

So this is the current state of play: the only force capable of defeating the Assad government is Israel. And even there the odds are not much more than 50:50, if that. And the only way that Israel can possibly succeed is by involving the US, directly, which would lead to Russia responding, most probably against Israel, the most isolated, vulnerable and culpable/legitimate target, because Russia would prefer not to have a nuclear war.

So the US can only succeed, in achieving the objectives of the neo-cons, by encouraging Israel to court suicide by provoking Russia to give it such a bloody nose that its long flirtation with Jabotinsky fascism would be ended. Israel would be left with the choice of dissolving itself or of making peace with its neighbours and repairing the crimes of the Nakba. Not easy but not impossible either.
Then the US would have no more business in the middle east and its attempts to establish military domination of the globe would be ended. And everybody would be happy, especially the American people who would have been relieved of the baby minding mission from hell- looking after a megalomaniac delinquent, given to setting fire to everything it sees, starting fights with nations ten times its size and stealing everything it comes across.
They could get back to getting rich again and pursuing happiness, just like young Brett Kavanaugh always did.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 4 2018 3:07 utc | 43


Que? The Koumintang and Allies held West China and its access to India. Japan advanced west into Burma from Thailand only to hold their occupation of Malaysia, and no more than two brigades of Indian troops were involved in holding off the occupation of Rangoon. Churchill was otherwise occupied with Battle of Britain, where do you get 'he ordered massacre of millions of Indians' bit?

Link to official war record, please.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 4 2018 3:08 utc | 44

National interests will always dictate behavior, and it will change with the passage of time.   People should not be surprised by treaty withdrawals; it's a normal part of interaction between nations.   The problem is when agenda of special interest groups masquerade as national interests.

Alpi @39:

Don't know about the "coming doom" part, but I agree with the enema suggestion.   Most governments remind me of an insect-mold infested house.   The politicians are the mold while the special interest groups are the termites.   The solution is total demolition of the house.   The tricky part is to avoid bringing down the neighborhood.

Posted by: Ian | Oct 4 2018 3:32 utc | 45

@45 bevin.. the only problem is israel has such a hold on the usa political class, it is going to take a serious wake up call to shake that out of its place of complacency..

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2018 3:34 utc | 46

Why do we have the UN anyway? Nations ratify this and that, sign treaties and make a whole lot of show. And thats about it.
The security council is a joke, it is polariezed and always votes in favor of the hegemon, two members are completely obsolete, France and GB, both countries have all but but declined in standing and importance in the last 4 decades.
Furthermore, any nation that is nuclear armed, does what it pleases, knowing nobody will dare take it on or wage war on it.
And lastly, the US has shed its skin of benevolent benefactor and shown its true face, it does not want a world of sovereign nations, choosing their own and different paths, to a new and better future.
The whole idea of the UN was ok and it probably was thought out idealistically, as was ideas like the ICC and other such organs, but the game is not level as big nations like the US, Russia and China, simply choose to flout what they do not like.

So what is to be learned from this:
Any nation believing in self determination should arm itself to the teeth with nuclear weapons. The complete opposite of what was agreed in the non -proliferation treaty. A treaty that seeks to keep status quo, namely secure the US as a hegemon.

It is hard for me, as a father with children, old and weary to watch the Atomic War Clock drop to 2 minutes before doomsday, it was not even there during the Cold War, but it is there now, I frankly has never been so upset as I am now about this, we are at the edge. It was not the future I had dreamed of in my distant youth.
The main difference from then and now is then we were pretty much aware of the tensions, but today, no news agency ( or few) actually spell out, how close we are to disaster.
The US has got 900 bases around the world, it has 11 aircraft carriers projecting death and destruction, why ?
It also has 50 million of its citizens living below he poverty line, that is one 1/6 of its population, and yet it has a populist government, in the spell of corporate interests.
I do not understand this. But that is how it is.
We who watched the and the Rejkaivik meetings between Gorbachev and Regan, hoped for a reduction in tensions and a relieve.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 4 2018 3:50 utc | 47

@14 "Some opinion maker will point out that the 1955 treaty was signed with the Shah, and therefore was abrogated with the Shah’s overthrow even if formal notice of such took some 38 years."

No, state succession took place. A successor state takes on the treaty rights and obligations of its now-defunct predecessor


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 4 2018 3:53 utc | 48

@ james who wrote to bevin
@45 bevin.. the only problem is israel has such a hold on the usa political class, it is going to take a serious wake up call to shake that out of its place of complacency..

I see it as a religion more than complacency. The US political class as you refer to them believe in Manifest Destiny and faith over reason. I expect karlof1 could tell us the shifts back and forth in US history that started with what, IMO, was reason over faith. That reason over faith beginning has been coopted by the private finance elite to provide us with the morally bankrupt faith over reason Western way we live today.

The myth faith folks are co-conspirators with the private finance elite as architects of the Western way of life including the ongoing wars over their myths that now threaten the rest of the world that could give a shit about their monotheistic religions that are putting humanity at risk.

Maybe they can put on our tombstone: Homo (not so) Sapiens who Darwin'd because they could not evolve beyond their myth obsession

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 4 2018 4:10 utc | 49


Oh, really, "official war record"?

Well, maybe some day later when US gov't officials would publish "official Syrian war records" including systematic arming and funding ISIS/AQ, flying USAF missions at ISIS requests, etc.

Posted by: Arioch | Oct 4 2018 4:18 utc | 50


Yes but a national system can also be used to issue regional alerts. So depending on the alert its either everyone gets it or just a particular region. Like the National Weather Service issues regional alerts

Posted by: Pft | Oct 4 2018 4:19 utc | 51

From the Bleeb, so it might be a lie:

"Over 15,000 people have been killed by guns in the United States in 2017, according to a list compiled by tracking website Gun Violence Archive.

That figure does not include an estimated 22,000 annual suicides using firearms."
That is 38 000 people who died by the gun. We are approaching the total losses in the Vietnam war (Ca 55 000).

Have they all gotten rabies or mad cow disease?

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 4 2018 4:22 utc | 52


I think he means this

Starved them to death, not slaughtered

Posted by: Pft | Oct 4 2018 4:23 utc | 53

The commenter bobzibub Beelzebub trumpets that “The same court ruled against Iran and in favour of the United States after the Iranian hostage crisis...”:
Can Beelzebub provide a link proving his false statement?! Because I can the duplicity is he talking about the same ruling that condemned US government to paying a fine for breech of multiple contracts, as you could have guessed. Obama finally complied with the ruling, after previous administrations refused to pay up for over 3 decades and later Obama got blackballed for accepting the verdict.

Posted by: Amir | Oct 4 2018 8:29 utc | 54

This is the second time that the USA has avoided dealing with the ICJ by withdrawing from the treaty

"The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America (1986) ICJ is a public international law case decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua."

Quoted from:-

Basicly - the USA put explosive mines in the harbours of Nicaragua, and also blew up oil storage tanks. Nicaragua proved this to the ICJ in the Hague and was awarded damages of about one million dollars. The USA avoided this penalty by withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the court. Nicaragua took the issue to the General Assembly of the United Nations who passes a vote of censure. The USA retaliated by witholding funds from the UN.

The informed reader should also review the Iran/Contra affair. It shows that The CIA and US military don't even obay the laws of congress (see "The Boland Amendment")
One of the reasons that it is relevant is that it involves the USA and Iran.

The informed reader should also review the USA's attitude to the ICC (The other "world" court.) This attitude is commonly called "The Invasion of the Hague" Act.

Posted by: Dan Donnachie | Oct 4 2018 10:54 utc | 55


I see it as a religion ...

Not a religion, a cult.

... started with what, IMO, was reason over faith.

It started with faith over reason (Puritans), creating a faith-based mythology around "providence" (gods blessing), which later morphed into manifest destiny.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 4 2018 13:00 utc | 56

I am daily impressed by this site and the quality of informed commentary I find almost nowhere else. Absolutely all of the msm and a number of the fake alternative outlets have either cut commentary, or the commentary is controlled by trolls. MOA and a small number of other sites are my daily go-to information sources, without which I would be gravely impoverished. Thank you!

Posted by: Bandit | Oct 4 2018 13:56 utc | 57

Karlof1 @ 22

Trump is motivated by his animus against Obama mainly. This plays to his base who also hated Obama, or more specifically the idea of any black or brown man becoming President who isn't also a GOP neocon/neoliberal.

Obamacare? Repeal it! Paris Treaty? Repeal it! Iran nuclear deal? Repeal it and reinstate/increase sanctions!

The failure of 2008 Obama supporters on the left to stand up to the intense anti-Obama reactionaries or even bother to vote in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 because of their own distaste for Obama's centrist, globalist compromise-with-the-GOP agenda (which he, uhm, campaigned on) led to a string of GOP victories when they willfully moved farther right with each election and unwilling to function as the loyal opposition as the US system requires for the system to work as intended.

I get the general equivalency between the demotardic and GOP establishments meme but of course this is an overgeneralisation on many fine points of distinction, in my mind the biggest of which is the repeal of Obamacare, which would negatively impact the lives of millions of the poorest Americans who gained health coverage through Medicaid and exchange subsidies and sets up an eventual path to a truly national system.

I agree with Karlof1 upthread in general but would also want to see the specific strategy to attain the goal. My belief is the electoral path in the US is a very limited utility for achieving incremental change that is very hard to sustain for mulitple generations. The FDR - LBJ post war period is an exception based on reaction to the exceptional WWI-Great Depression-WWII period which has no equal in US herstory. Karlof wants to form a Populist Party which I think he means combining the Trump "deplorables" (or the white lumpenproletarian element at least) with the disaffected "left wing communists" of the US left who preferred a Trump presidency to Hillary for it's ability to motivate a large resistance on the left (which seems to be working, at least to some degree).

If this is true I'd be interested to see Karlof1's thoughts on bringing these unwieldy elements together into a coherent political coalition. Unfortunately in my mind the amounts of $ required is only exceeded by the difficult necessity of building a 50 state political party from the ground up and with groups of people who exhibit political, social, cultural and racial animosity toward the other.

Herstorically speaking, certain large personalities can and have created buzz during presidential elections running on 3rd party platforms but the unfortunate result is the 3rd party splits votes with the main party closest to it in political philosophy, the opposing party candidate wins and the celebrity 3rd party candidate fades into herstorical footnote status (at best).

Conceivably, it is possible for a 3rd party populist to win the White House but unless we somehow radically alter the three part US system (through authoritaranism seems to be opening we see today) he/she will become blocked at the congressional and court levels by the establishments of both main parties, who will also then have added reason to band together to fight off this threat to their hegemony.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 4 2018 14:17 utc | 58

obamacare was a recycled republican plan from the 90's. obama was basically a somewhat moderate republican. since both parties are moving right, the definition of moderate today keeps moving right. both parties are corrupt political machines, with slighly different patterns of donor influence.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 4 2018 14:29 utc | 59

Pretzelattack @ 61, all your statements are undeniably true. Obamacare is basically Romney Care at the federal level. Still, one shouldn't ignore the sociopolitical impact of the federal Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, whose success was only blunted by the political decision of the SCOTUS to allow states to opt out.

Today, many of the opted out states are opting in or considering opting in, some through statewide direct ballot initiatives in very red to purple states. Healthcare seems to have become the major defining issue for voters in the upcoming midterms thus an important potential rallying point for a possible coalition among those (I believe) Karlof1 identifies as the Resistance who may otherwise disagree on most issues.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 4 2018 15:00 utc | 60


Blames the victim - despite his betrayals, Americans didn't love Obama enough!

Can't see why it is in the interest of "deplorables" and the left to work against the undemocratic, crony-capitalist establishment.

Exceptionals like to ignore the undemocratic system that ordinary people must labor under. But when they can't ignore it, they make lame arguments for working within the system. The thrust of these arguments: be happy with what you've got - resistance is futile!

Instead of real resistance, the Democratic Party channels our anger into toppling statues, bogus investigations into Russian influence, etc.

Donkey thinks we're stoopid.

@donkeytale: why haven't you responded to my question on the Open Thread?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 4 2018 15:53 utc | 61

dh-mtl @29--

"The Resistance is owned by the Neocons and Neoliberals and their Globalist (Davos Gang) sponsors. Trump is their worst nightmare."

Trump we've proven to be a Neocon promoting Neoliberal and Neocon policy goals. Trump is their dream, not "worst nightmare." Further, those putting up Resistance to Trump also resist Neocons, Neoliberalism and the entire globalist project which combines the two Neos. That you seem incapable of understanding those massive contradictions and need them spelled out is rather telling and smells of FUD.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2018 16:16 utc | 62

@51 pyschohistorian.. i am inclined to see it like @58 jackrabbit... if one wants to make the case that the usa is run by a group of faith based religious nuts - for the most part, i agree with that.. the religion being either money, or some messed up concept of what the bible says which always gives israel a pass and must be taken literally here to mean the israel of 1948.. the christian fundamentalist whackjobs are just so nuts, it is discouraging to think they have a say in anything, but they do get a vote and typically votes for similar nutjobs in the whitehouse..

back to where i was..until the usa gets it's head out of israels ass, the usa will continue on as it has for the foreseeable future..

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2018 16:45 utc | 63

Hi Jackrabbit, I never noticed your comment before now but shouldn't it be obvious why I feel no need to respond to your continuous trolling? Or at the very least act in good faith if you seriously want to dialogue with me (which of course all current evidence is to the contrary) rather than just use any response to grind my words into more of the same, repetitive mush excreting from your mouth, not mine.

As I'm sure you will now do once again with this response. Have at it man. And have a nice day.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 4 2018 16:45 utc | 64

This is just some wild speculation, but imagine yourself to be the sane leader of a powerful nation that has gone mad. While you retain your own sanity, everyone around you is snapping-at-shadows rabid; barking-at-the-moon insane. They insist upon trying to bite anything and everything that might trigger their cognitive dissonance and cause them to rightfully do some introspection to examine their own sanity. The population is convinced that it is surrounded by imaginary threats, which as a sane person you cannot see. This insanity is driving your country to launch wars against ever larger victims, and now even threatens to start hot wars with countries powerful enough to refuse to be victims.

How do you prevent the insanity from destroying the world? How do you get your population to hold off on more violence that it would be ashamed of should sanity and thus the ability to feel shame ever return?

Deliberately isolating your country so it might feel less certainty about committing additional violence seems like it could be part of a rational plan to save the world.

I don't truly believe Trump is bright enough to be playing 4-D chess, but if he were trying to avoid WWIII, how would he go about getting psychotic monsters like Bolton and Mattis to go along with it? While psychos like Bolton could never be convinced to go for peace, he would gladly rip up America's alliances if it involved lots of swaggering bravado. Rather than aiming directly for peace, Trump would have to aim at disrupting that which enables America's lunatic militarism... disrupting America's alliances and sufficiently alienating the empire's vassals such that when America works up the mania for ultraviolence, the USA finds itself standing alone. Without its attack poodles Britain and France to give it courage, America would likely back down from destroying the world.

What if what Trump has been accomplishing; things like forcing the move away from the petrodollar and forcing the Koreas together, fracturing NATO, driving Britain and France away... what if these were deliberate and not accidental? What if the point is that when the American Empire begins the worst of its death spasm, it does so harmlessly?

Note that the death of the American Empire does NOT mean the death of America, but if America triggers The Big One in its desperation to keep the empire going, then America very much will be destroyed. Is it possible that Trump is trying to arrange things in the world so that will not be an option for America?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 4 2018 17:55 utc | 65

donkeytale @60--

Thanks for your well thought, considerate reply. You are quite correct that the forces of Reaction within the Outlaw US Empire never seem to die, which is the major reason why Iran's new leadership after 1979 chose to institutionalize their Revolution so its principles can continue on a permanent basis within the government and Iranian national culture--Iran's a very instructive lesson. Historically, the path to gain control of the federal government has always begun at the state level--particularly before Senators were directly elected--by gaining statehouses and governorships and thus Senate and House seats--By design, the Senate has more power and is thus the more important of the two. That's the general formula the Prairie Progressive Populists used to gain their political power from the late 1870s through 1900. Their great error was fusing with the Democrat Party of Bryan. Given the resources they had to begin with, their accomplishment was astounding, and many of their issues and proposed solutions were adopted by the Republicans as documented in Kolko's Triumph of Conservatism.

Many states retained vestiges of the Populists and the post WW1 anti-war movement was greatly helped by women being granted the vote, which enabled the Kellogg-Briand Pact that Outlawed war as an instrument of foreign policy--a treaty that's still valid. The Depression rekindled the Populist Movement and drove FDR to the left. Unfortunately, the political reality of that era's been deliberately airbrushed to appear softer--less radical--than it actually was: FDR feared a national rebellion, particularly after the treatment meted out to the Bonus Army in 1932, which was a great factor in Hoover's defeat. Numerous investigations into banking, finance, munitions, and other industrial practices were made and legislation crafted in an attempt to solve the issues unveiled. The Neutrality Acts were meant to bolster Kellogg-Briand. But FDR allowed the Reactionaries who plotted the coup to purge him in 1933 to go unpunished and allowed them to quietly reenter his administration beginning with a trickle in 1938, then a gush after Pearl Harbor.

Populist ardor waned and the nation morphed in many ways during the War. Wallace was sacked in favor of Truman, with the Full Employment Act of 1946 became the last piece of New Deal legislation. Political lens were altered, and Truman's 1948 War Scare ruined any chance Wallace had to win. The 1947 National Security Act and Truman's reelection solidified the return of the Reactionaries and allowed them to begin entrenching themselves deep into the new security institutions which are likely unconstitutional. FDR began the Cold War; Truman massively escalated it and immediately violated the newly ratified UN Charter. The progenitors of today's Neocons were firmly in control. The Anti-Communist Crusade was meant to destroy resistance to the new order and was greatly aided by the GI-Bill. One-by-one, the Depression-era Populists within Congress and states retired and passed away, but were replaced by more reactionary minded politicos as the current Duopoly slowly formed.

I reviewed this history to show how previous Populist Movements formed and what foiled them. Painstaking, methodical, relentless Grassroots Organizing; political education; and solidarity were the key factors in their rise and success. One thing they didn't have to worry about was infiltration by reactionary agents of the federal government aimed at spoiling their efforts from within as is the case today. But such a Movement would be politically legitimate since it seeks change within the System--seeking change outside the System, armed rebellion, won't get anywhere thanks to the ubiquity of the surveillance state, which is the #1 reason I don't advocate that as a viable choice.

Fortunately, the forces of Reaction do make mistakes, major ones. The 2016 attempt to rig the nomination for HRC, subsequent win by Trump and the reaction all helped fuel the rise of the current Resistance. Yes, the mouthpiece/figurehead remains Sanders; but the forces rallying around him have no love for the DNC or the policies of either party--the policies demanded by the Resistance are Populist in their nature. And Populism is actually genuine democracy in action, which is why it's denigrated and despised by the forces and allies of Reaction. Apathy, cynicism and defeatism are the three biggest impediments I see--many people don't know that Commonfolk have had success in defeating Reactionaries by combining forces and using tools of the System, which is why Occupy Wall Street was attacked so savagely by both state and federal forces. Activism must replace passivity. The effort made by Californians to enact legislation aimed at preserving Net Neutrality is an excellent example of what's possible and why activism on the issue can't be allowed to die since the battle's just begun, not over as some mistakenly might think. Lawrence Goodwyn's Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America provides the best template I know of since it provides an accurate history of what the founders of the People's Party got right and wrong. One must be quite wary of Richard Hofstadter's works, specifically The Age of Reform as he's a closet Reactionary, although there's much to glean from carefully, critically reading him, just as one can learn from that eras Liberal-Reactionaries like Walter Lippman.

How to create Solidarity when centrifugal forces appear ascendant. I know of only one method--Dialog aimed at proving all of us Commonfolk are all in the same boat and must row together to avoid sinking by addressing primary issues, not the bullshit, contrived "cultural" issues aimed at keeping us divided. Such work takes courage to reach-out, tolerance, patience and knowledge--the same four traits used 140 years ago. The Reactionaries are almost everyone's enemies as are their allies within BigLie Media. They are currently ascendant but under attack. They know they can be defeated and will use every method at their command to prevent their downfall. Yet, they must be defeated; then we can worry about preventing their return.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2018 18:31 utc | 66

William Gruff @67--

The USA will always be an Empire unless it completely dissolves. Now to your assertions.

Awhile ago, we had a thread asking if Trump was indeed a Neocon or was just acting as one. Deductive reasoning allowed us to conclude Trump's at minimum an ally of the Neocons, particularly when looking at Domestic policy goals. As for Imperial Policy, Trump continues to pursue the #1 policy objective of the Outlaw US Empire--Full Spectrum Dominance--and has done nothing to deter it, while doing much to advance it--proven by the policy goals he's approved. I would agree Trump's not in the same Neocon class as Bolton or Pompeo, but that's small comfort.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2018 18:49 utc | 67


Maybe you're a Kool-Aid drinker or maybe you're a troll. If the former, then my in-your-face commentary might wake you up. If the later, then you deserve all the scorn and ridicule that comes your way.

The positions that you take are generally similar to the "progressive establishment", which is to say the self-proclaimed "progressive" side of the democratic party. Like the bureaucrat that they really are, these fake leftists promote narratives intended to protect their gravy train Party.

Given who you are, I think you know that Sanders raised A LOT of money in small donations. But you complain that there is no money for change.

That is deceitful. The establishment's worst nightmare is that the principled left and the principled right make common cause against the corrupt establishment.

But there's more. Despite saying that you "get" complaints about the duopoly, you argue that the frogs should remain in boiling water (to use the old analogy) because they'll get cold if they jump out.

There is MUCH to complain about the Democratic Party and it's role in the duopoly but you come to an alternative venue to complain that changing the system is not practical and we should've loved Obama more. Do you think MSM doesn't provide enough of that perspective?

Lastly, your non-response to my comment on the Open Thread is more baloney. The entirety of my 'beef' with you is about whether you are secretly a supporter US/Western establishment. As such, I was prepared to eat some crow if you had shown that you really were concerned about inequality and really were on the side of ordinary people. But you're not. You raised the issue of inequality in Russia because doing so serves the establishment.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 4 2018 20:16 utc | 68

Meanwhile, Khamenei celebrated the Iranian Revolution's resulting Republic's 40th year in existence by giving a combination speech and educational lesson to 100K+ Basiji that's recapped here. One of the lessons was related by analogy: Media as Chemical Weapons:

"Currently, the enemy is using the media tools to influence our public opinion. Media tools are important tools, and in the hands of the enemies, they are dangerous tools. Media tools are analogized to chemical weapons in military wars. Chemical weapons don’t destroy tanks or equipment, but they eliminate humans, purging the power to use the tools. Media tools work in the same way. TV, cyberspace and social networks are used against our public opinion today."

An interesting way of putting it. His reply to Trump's prediction that the Iranian Republic will fall in a few months is hilarious, but I'll allow the reader to discover what he intoned.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2018 20:37 utc | 69

This may be a bit of inside baseball, but DONKEYTALE has said in the past that he works/worked in health insurance(or similar).

He also smells of elderberries.

Posted by: sejomoje | Oct 4 2018 22:02 utc | 70

OT--Resistance larger than ever as protesters invade DC to implore rejection of Kavanaugh. While his sexual predation behavior hasn't yet been proven, his numerous instances of lying to the Senate and elsewhere have proven beyond doubt that he needs to be impeached and prosecuted, not confirmed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 4 2018 22:38 utc | 71


Resistance larger than ever
Resistance to what? high school hormones and statues of dead white men

his sexual predation behavior hasn't yet been proven
Five allegations, the more outrageous, the more unsubstantiated. The most serious being "he said/she said" of an incident dating back 36 years.

The Democrats decision to make flimsy sexual abuse allegations into a political weapon undermines the MeToo Movement. A Movement that has ensnared powerful men of both Parties but surprisingly MANY Democratic men like: Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weintein, Al Franken, Les Moonves, and many more.

Bonus: everyone's talking about the sexual allegations and not about Kavanaugh terrible record of support for authoritarian government.

Democratic Party protecting the establishment. It's what they do.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 5 2018 0:09 utc | 72

@jackrabbit..fwiw i tend to agree with your general observations and on the divisive topic of kavanaugh as well.. time has a way of revealing what isn't obvious at first.. that is mostly how i see it.. in this thread example - usa backing out of an international agreement in place since 1955 is another fine example of the usa as it continues down a slippery slope..

Posted by: james | Oct 5 2018 1:32 utc | 73

Rabbit @74--

I stand by my position which is bolstered by over 1,000 lawyers. As I told my wife, his sexual predation's important but as yet unproven, but is lying is there for all who can read to see, and that alone disqualifies him!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 5 2018 4:18 utc | 74

Karlof @ 68

Thank you for that excellent history lesson. I don't have the chops to add much of anything beyond what you already stated, so I will focus only on this section of your comment:

Fortunately, the forces of Reaction do make mistakes, major ones. The 2016 attempt to rig the nomination for HRC, subsequent win by Trump and the reaction all helped fuel the rise of the current Resistance. Yes, the mouthpiece/figurehead remains Sanders; but the forces rallying around him have no love for the DNC or the policies of either party--the policies demanded by the Resistance are Populist in their nature. And Populism is actually genuine democracy in action, which is why it's denigrated and despised by the forces and allies of Reaction. Apathy, cynicism and defeatism are the three biggest impediments I see--many people don't know that Commonfolk have had success in defeating Reactionaries by combining forces and using tools of the System, which is why Occupy Wall Street was attacked so savagely by both state and federal forces. Activism must replace passivity.

In order to be successful, activism requires sustained struggle, growth in the ranks and an openness to allies who may not agree on all parts of the agenda in order to make a difference.

There is also a filtering and exploitation through the political system which further complicates the idealism and purity of the agenda. In this age it seems to me the internet has become a source of de-activism and a breeding ground for passivity, cynicism, defeatism.

Posting "edgy" commentary on a blog is easy, cheap and fun. It can also be somewhat self-marginalising. Education is important and this is one of the best blogs I have seen for that purpose but if blogging becomes an end in itself only for the purpose of attaining higher and higher levels of knowledge.....

For me, Occupy was the first actual street movement of any note on the left since the 1970s. I participated and in fact made attempts to push a more activist agenda. We picketed the Federal Reserve Bank and some other federal offices in our area but my idea was let's picket some large private defense contractors too and attempt to stop and enlist their workers as they entered the job site. Nothing too heavy but would surely bring media attention, police, maybe some trespassing arrests, disturbing the peace.

You can imagine how it went, roundly rejected and I was thereafter considered an infiltrator, a troll. LOL. Just like on this blog!

But Occupy also became denigrated on the "left wing communist" fringe as coopted by Obama for his re-election (although I never saw signs of overt partisanship). Was Occupy a perfect expression of working class solidarity? Of course not. It was limp by comparison to the 60-70s antiwar and civil rights movements but it also didn't generate the huge reactionary backlash to those times, which in turn created space for Bernie's campaign to follow up and gain mainstream acceptance.

Occupy led directly to Bernie Sanders, whom (Jackrabbit please take note, LOL) I also supported and to whom I donated money. He was robbed by the DNCC and surely gave in a bit too easily. However, Bernie as imperfect a vessel as he is, gave rising voice to a class-based politics which hadn't been heard in the public mainstream for decades.

Occupy was created, funded and founded by the AFL-CIO which is part of the Democratic Party establishment. Bernie ran as a Democrat.

If you want to look at the inverse, the GOP created the Tea Parties in reaction to Obama and they succeeded in co-opting and defeating large parts of the Republican establishment eventually leading to Trump who has become de facto the Il Duce of reactionary, white Amerikkka as represented by the GOP.

So, I agree with you there are notes of optimism out there but the battle will remain long, hard fought and by necessity include a bigger, less purely ideological tent if we wish to rise above the constraining forces of reaction.

I have already noted naysayers to the young lady in the Bronx as a sell-out and she hasn't even won election yet. Lol. This is an example of self-defeating, self-marginisation through cynicism.

Yes, she is now a celebrity and she indeed may turn out to become wealthy as any other congressperson.

Or she may represent a generational change for the better as a descendent of Occupy and Bernie and not a sell-out. Is Bernie a sell-out with his niec lakehouse?

Time will tell but if the left again helps Democrats including social democrates to win some elections and then goes back home to study our laptop screens (as in circa 2009) while the forces of reaction organize and foment further moves toward fascism, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 5 2018 13:26 utc | 75

donkeytale @77--

I can't reiterate enough the intellectual tools required: courage to reach-out, tolerance, patience and knowledge. Trying to institute ideological purity becomes self-defeating as in negates reaching out and the tolerance required to build a Big Tent Movement. Such is the problem many have with Sanders, but he currently has the spotlight and resulting following. So, refusing to accommodate him defeats further Movement building before it's begun. Neocons and Neoliberals can't be driven out of the federal and state governments unless our opposition wins and enters office--the primary goal is to get elected and there're plenty of popular domestic issues to stand for that are considered mainstream. Trying to run only on Imperial Policy issues won't win because voters aren't as educated about them and often can't see the connection between lack of money for domestic issues and its wastage on Imperial goals not in the public's interest. I know that won't sit well with many here, but that appears to be the reality with overly propagandized voters. Gotta keep eyes on the prize.

Winning statehouses doesn't get the emphasis it deserves, IMO, but is really a prerequisite to changing the public's political perspective. One of the ways gridlock can occur is by states suing federal government over draconian, unconstitutional executive directives as we've seen with Trump's immigration and anti-net neutrality policies, for example. Activism on these and other issues at the state level helps to educate and radicalize the citizenry, which then aids electoral campaigns to oust reactionaries. There is truth to the old adage that all politics are local. Town meetings and local, non-corporate, media can be used as educational and outreach tools. Both were of strategic importance in building the 19th Century's People's Party and remain so today.

Two years ago, if HRC had won, most likely none of today's Resistance would be happening. But HRC and DNC hubris provided Trump with his victory. Currently, there's almost as many structurally unemployed voters as those who voted for Trump. The current economic malaise promises to worsen by 2020, providing political opportunity. I don't trust BigLie Media to provide an accurate analysis of what changes mid-terms will bring; so, we must await their outcomes. As soon as they're over and the changes digested, it will be time to begin working toward 2020.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 5 2018 17:07 utc | 76

The love that dare not speak its name: the love of Kool-Aid.

This bar doesn’t serve Kool-Aid but some patrons like to sneak it in.

Morality-based Movements effect change with a small outspoken minority. Examples include Abolition, Sufferage, Civil Rights, 1960’s Anti-War. But Kool-Aid drinkers insist that there can be no change without their precious Party leading the way. They don’t press for moral action, they peddle hope.

Sanders could have led a Movement. He refused to do so. What leader of a moral Movement would ever humiliate themselves by supporting a ‘friend’ (Hillary) that had conspired against him and his Movement? Then we have the example of Obama, who also betrayed his ‘base’. Yet the Kool-Aid lovers keep drinking and pushing it on others.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2018 12:21 utc | 77

Jackrabbit at 79

First, thank you for lowering the troll noise-to-signal ratio at least enough to allow (possibly, hopefully) for a conversation.

I believe you are addressing me (and perhaps Karlof1) as the "kool-aid" drinkers in your comment. If we can get beyond your cheap, meaningless, cliched name-calling denigrations to focus on the actual ideas of us "kool-aid drinkers" whom you believe to be engaged in some dastardly war against the "right, good people of the Bar" and whom you so badly wish to represent as their law and order man keeping the threads clean (and let's face it you do represent them badly--and no one other than your better-mannered "good cop" buddy James seems much to care or asking for your ignoble defense of the whiskey bar) then, who knows, maybe this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, albeit one consisting of opposing polemics which could add some value to the Bar in ways other than the ersatz camaraderie of fellow Saturday night drunks on a bender.

Sanders could have led a Movement? Uhm, maybe the truth is Bernie's not the type of leader you prefer (Putin/Trump-style authoritarian, top-down leaders)? FWIW, I also was very disappointed in Bernie backing down so easily to the DNC and supporting Hillary but, given his strategy, not at all surprised. He could have killed her IMHO during the debates on the emails and corruption but choosing not to was telling as it disclosed his long term game was to stay within the party for better or worse.

Bernie is trying to foment a long term movement as much as he wanted to be President. And he is old. His time is near done, new leaders are needed if leaders are needed at all.

And strategically he followed the path I have long espoused for such a movement (again for better or worse), that is, reaching inside the existing major party to coopt the structure necessary to build a truly effectve national movement. To date in US History no one has succeeded as a third party venture and with the way of the world it appears to me harder than ever to even contemplate doing so. However, that is the main argument point perhaps between moi and everyon else here, including Karlof1. I'm saying messy and imperfect but doable is a better bet than pie in the sky idealism. This is an idea similar to the one espoused by Lenin against "left wing communism," which he and I both see as ultimately defeatist and reactionary.

For any movement to extend into all 50 states, especially the red states which gain unequal representation in the US system requires the long term commitment of people and resources creating local up building blocks as Karlof1 illustrates so well in his comments. There is ample evidence in fact of Bernie's inspired movement doing exactly this today, so while he may or may not be leading the movement as you wish, the movement is undeniably in existence::

While Sanders conceded the Democratic nomination for president in the summer of 2016, the followers he cultivated haven't gone home and have vowed to remain engaged in politics and reshape the Democratic Party and its platforms.

"This wasn't a one-shot deal," said Chris Kutalik-Couthren, a Sanders supporter who is now a statewide coordinator for Our Revolution Texas, a coalition of former Sanders supporters. "Many of us wanted to keep going."

They have since created nearly 500 chapters throughout the nation with a proclamation: Campaigns end. Revolutions endure.

The results have already shown themselves in local races, with Our Revolution helping recruit candidates and mobilize voters in local races for city councils in San Antonio and school board races in Houston. Now, 2018 offers a chance for the movement to impact congressional races.

Now, you may say, mainstream political parties corrupt the movement so we must change the system, and that is a valid argument, but which do you truly believe to be more possible: changing the foundational political system that has arisen for better or worse since 1781 or ascending political power through seizing control within the party's own machinery?

I see very fresh evidence from the GOP that taking over the Party is doable, as the Tea Party has done and they started as a well-funded-by-insiders anti-Obama movement which quickly evolved from 2010 into the current Trump ascendancy. Trump is a demogogue and decidely his movement is top down authoritarian and racist (imho) and is still controlled by the moneyed interests, but notice how much success they are having wiring the conservative ideology into the fabric of US society against the will of half the nation. Which presents a real opportunity for the opposition to authoritarian racism (which in fact you may not oppose for all I know and read from your comments).

As you suggested elsewhere, the Bernie dynamic is notable because he was funded by small non corporate special interest donations and we have seen this now extending into other congressional, gubernatorial and senatorial races across the country. We are also seeing a flowering of female and minourity candidates in unlikely places such as Georgia and Florida governor races. You denigrate this as "identity politics," which I believe to be the handy cliched rebuke used buy conservative racists to help keep the white vote in line with the GOP no matter whether the white voters are well served by the GOP power interests.

Karlof1 probably doesn't entirely or majorly agree with me and believe me I would also in a prettier world much prefer a Populist Party to challenge and kill off at least one of the duopoly parties and this may also eventually come to pass, as in how a major (Whig) party coalition imploded of its own internal contradictions and was replaced by the abolitionist GOP of the time consisting of many former Whig leaders.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2018 14:22 utc | 78

Now, you may say, mainstream political parties corrupt the movement so we must change the system, and that is a valid argument, but which do you truly believe to be more possible: changing the foundational political system that has arisen for better or worse since 1781 or ascending political power through seizing control within the party's own machinery?

And JR, with all due respect, if you indeed see a better way to "fix the US political system" please by all means your arguments would be enhanced by putting forth some actual ideas to accomplish the fixing.

It's only fair in a debate about ideas to, y'know, have some of ideas of your own instead of merely castigating those of others.

Using your similar debate tactics as Hillary used versus Trump ("his ideas are bad and I have some great ones but I don't have to state them here because obviously everybody already agrees with me and hates him") didn't bring her the win and it doesn't help you either, imho.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2018 14:50 utc | 79

Rosa Lichtenstein -

Often called 'ultra-lefts', and the subject of Lenin's classic work: '"Left-Wing" Communism: an Infantile Disorder':

Ultra-lefts are often, but not always, characterised by a black and white approach to theory, strategy and tactics.

So, they will often attack everything that seems to them to constitute a compromise with 'the system', for example, trade unions, elections, united fronts, and so on.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2018 16:20 utc | 80


You continue to sidestep the fundamentally undemocratic nature of American politics. You clearly know enough to know better. That’s why you’re a troll.

The fake establishment left pretends that it doesn’t matter and fight for ‘good enough’ democracy. Just because no one’s in the streets doesn’t mean that people haven’t noticed or don’t care.

I don’t think it’s worthwhile to engage in the religious debate with you. How leeway the establishment allows for ordinary people is like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Each assumes a benevolent power.

As for Sanders, he was the ‘sheepdog’ that Black Agenda Report said he was early in the race.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 7 2018 17:41 utc | 81

donkeytale.. i happen to share jackrabbits view on usa politics.. it is all designed for the same end result - fuck the ordinary person and look after the powerful interests behind the scenes whether it is republican or democrat... unfortunately this too is how i see it.. neither side is honouring the concept of what the political process was at one time meant to do - serve the people... now, talk is cheap, but i see with my own eyes a consistent pattern of the leaders saying one thing but regularly doing another - regardless of which party is ruling - dems or repubs.. they are all a bunch of straight out liars.. the sooner the usa people awake to this, the sooner then can get beyond this 2 party system - which at this point is really a one party system... the topic of this thread is a case in point - it wouldn't matter which party was running the usa at this point.. both of them serve israel, the financial and military complex and no amount of anything the general public does vote wise seems to change any of this..

Posted by: james | Oct 7 2018 18:16 utc | 82

donkeytale & Jackrabbit--

I believe we're on the same side and share the same goals, but you can't grow a Big Tent Movement without tolerance--this is the Green Party's problem as they must have consensus on all decisions. Every person has their own point-of-view making everyone their own faction. But a faction of one won't get anywhere politically. That's why political parties go through the trouble to generate a Platform of Issues. (I was on California's Green Party panel for organizing its 1998 Platform which was sent to the national party convention for 2000 where much became Nader's Platform.) We haven't even gotten to that point yet. However, we all agree a political party having a markedly different chemistry is required to gain power with the goal of regaining control of the federal government for We The People--if I'm incorrect in that assumption, please announce your position.

Tolerance, dialog, accommodation, compromise, dedication, and courage are minimum requirements. The opposition is capable of murder--yes, I'm serious: it's killed millions and doesn't give a fuck over what they must do to retain power. Trying to take back the USA from its usurpers is an extremely serious undertaking since we know the reality of what we face; and it's certainly NOT a game--Davidson's essay makes that quite clear.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2018 18:50 utc | 83

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