Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 30, 2019

Who Is Supposed To Define U.S. Foreign Policy - Hint: It Is Not The Borg

The New York Times continues to lie about Joe Biden's involvement in the Ukraine and about Ukrainian involvement in the U.S. election. Today it also lied about a fact in relation to Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who was yesterday questioned by the Democrats 'impeachment inquiry'. The NYT reported that very fact just a day ago. During the hearing Lt.Col. Vindman expressed a rather preposterous view about who should define U.S. foreign policy. 

The NYT claims to debunk falsehoods but spreads more of them:

Debunking 4 Viral Rumors About the Bidens and Ukraine
As lawmakers examine whether President Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, here are some of the most prominent falsehoods that have spread online and an explanation of what really happened.

Why was Ukraine’s top prosecutor fired?
...
A year later, Viktor Shokin became Ukraine’s prosecutor general, a job similar to the attorney general in the United States. He vowed to keep investigating Burisma amid an international push to root out corruption in Ukraine.

But the investigation went dormant under Mr. Shokin. In the fall of 2015, Joe Biden joined the chorus of Western officials calling for Mr. Shokin’s ouster. The next March, Mr. Shokin was fired. A subsequent prosecutor cleared Mr. Zlochevsky.

We have shown the time lime of Biden's intervention against Shokin and provided evidence that the investigation into Burisma was very much alive:

Zlochevsky had hired Joe Biden's son Hunter for at least $50,000 per month. In 2015 Shokin started to investigate him in two cases. During the fall of 2015 Joe Biden's team begins to lobby against him. On February 2 Shokin seizes Zlochevsky's houses. Shortly afterwards the Biden camp goes berserk with Biden himself making nearly daily phonecalls. Shokin goes on vacation while Poroshenko (falsely) claims that he resigned. When Shokin comes back into office Biden again takes to the phone. A week later Shokin is out.

Biden got the new prosecutor general he wanted. The new guy made a bit of show and then closed the case against Zlochevsky.

and:

It is quite astonishing that the false claims, that Shokin did not go after Burisma owner Zlochevsky, are repeated again and again despite the fact that the public record, in form of a report by Interfax-Ukraine, contradicts it.

bigger

Back to the NYT 'debunking'. The second part is about Trump allegations connecting the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike to the Ukraine. The NYT is correct to say that Trump's claims in that direction are mostly confused or false. But it also makes this claim:

CrowdStrike, based in California, is not Ukrainian-owned and does not appear to have any Ukrainian connections.

CrowdStrike’s co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch issued a report about a Ukrainian software for artillery targeting. The report falsely claimed that the software was hacked by Russia and that Russia used the coordinates the hacked software allegedly transmitted.

Those CrowdStrike allegations were completely false:

In December, CrowdStrike said it found evidence that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, contributing to heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's war with pro-Russian separatists.

VOA reported Tuesday that the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which publishes an annual reference estimating the strength of world armed forces, disavowed the CrowdStrike report and said it had never been contacted by the company.

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense also has stated that the combat losses and hacking never happened.

CrowdStrike was first to link hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors last year, but some cybersecurity experts have questioned its evidence.

The debunked CrowdStrike report about the Ukraine demonstrated that the company can not be trusted when it alleges Russian hacking - be it of an Ukrainian artillery app or of the DNC servers.

The NYT 'debunking' also claims:

Mr. Trump’s own former Homeland Security secretary, Thomas P. Bossert, called the president’s assertion that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 elections on behalf of the Democrats “not only a conspiracy theory” but “completely debunked.”

Mr. Bossert indeed has said such but he is wrong. The Ukrainian actions against the Trump campaign are well documented. The Ukrainians even admitted their intervention:

The prospect of Mr Trump, who has praised Ukraine's arch-enemy Vladimir Putin, becoming leader of the country's biggest ally has spurred not just Mr Leshchenko but Kiev's wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.
...
Mr. Leshchenko and other political actors in Kiev say they will continue with their efforts to prevent a candidate - who recently suggested Russia might keep Crimea, which it annexed two years ago - from reaching the summit of American political power.

The third claim which the NYT tries to 'debunk' is that the CIA agent who played the 'whistleblower' against Trump is a political partisan. The debunking fails when the NYT itself notes the source of the claim:

Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the American intelligence community, found unspecified indications of “an arguable political bias,” suggesting the whistle-blower favored a rival political candidate, according to a Justice Department memo.

The fourth 'debunking' is about Hunter Biden's business with China:

Critics of Hunter Biden have sought other areas ripe for sowing disinformation. One they have homed in on is his dealings in China.
...
While the amount of money Hunter Biden made from those deals remains unknown, Mr. Trump has said that China handed over $1.5 billion to Mr. Biden in a “sweetheart” business deal meant to win favor with his father.
...
The $1.5 billion figure Mr. Trump has referred to appears to be the amount of money a Shanghai private-equity company raised in 2014. Hunter Biden joined the board of the company, BHR Equity Investment Fund Management, in late 2013. In 2017, he bought 10 percent of the firm, investing the equivalent of $420,000.

The NYT conveniently forgets to mention who is behind BHR and how the deal was made:

On one of the first days of December 2013, Hunter Biden was jetting across the Pacific Ocean aboard Air Force Two with his father and daughter Finnegan. ... Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden and Finnegan arrived to a red carpet and a delegation of Chinese officials.
...
[Hunter Biden's company] Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately 10 days after Hunter visited China with his father. The most powerful financial institution in China, the government’s Bank of China, was setting up a joint venture with Rosemont Seneca.
...
Rosemont Seneca and the Bank of China created a $1 billion investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a name that reflected who was involved. Bohai (or Bo Hai), the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea, was a reference to the Chinese stake in the company. The “RS” referred to Rosemont Seneca. The “T” was Thornton.

Trump claimed that China handed over $1.5 billion to Hunter Biden. But the truth is that the state owned Bank of China handed $1.5 billion (by now $2.1 billion) to a company that was partially owned by Hunter Biden. The timing of the very unusual deal additionally suggests that it was made for political purposes.

The NYT asserts that Trump was "sowing disinformation' about Hunter Biden's China relations. Trump often lies but in this case he just simplified the facts.

The debunking piece fails in all four points it raises. It is itself sowing disinformation about Biden's intervention against Shokin and the Ukrainian meddling in the U.S. election. It fails to mention relevant facts on the two other issues.

In its zeal to propagandize against the Trump administration the NYT is playing loose with the facts and is even disregarding its own reporting. Consider this item from today about media reactions to the Lieutenant Colonel who was yesterday questioned by the Democrats 'impeachment inquiry':

Jack Posobiec, a well-known figure on the far-right internet, tweeted the falsehood that Mr. Vindman had been advising the Ukrainian government on how to counter Mr. Trump’s foreign policy goals. Mr. Posobiec cited The New York Times as his source — in fact, The Times reported no such thing.

In fact, Posobiec quoted this New York Times piece from yesterday which reported:

While Colonel Vindman’s concerns were shared by a number of other officials, some of whom have already testified, he was in a unique position. Because he emigrated from Ukraine along with his family when he was a child and is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, Ukrainian officials sought advice from him about how to deal with Mr. Giuliani, though they typically communicated in English.

When Rudi Giuliani was trying to get information about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election he was undoubtly pursuing the president's foreign policy. Posobiec was right and the NYT should correct itself.

Lt.Col. Vindman did not like those policies. He in fact believes that U.S. foreign policy should not be directed by the president.

In his written opening remarks to yesterday's confidential hearing, widely spread to the media, he asserts:

In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West. The U.S. government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.

Given this perspective and my commitment to advancing our government's strategic interests, I will now recount several events that occurred.
...
When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to U.S. government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.

Who the f**k does this NSC minion thinks he is? The President of the United States?

The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."

The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that.

President Trump and many other people believe that it would be better for the United States to ally with Russia against an ever growing China than to push Russia and China into an undefeatable alliance against the United States. Trump often alluded to this during his campaign. The voters seem to have liked that view.

The U.S. coup in the Ukraine made that policy more difficult to achieve. But within the big picture the Ukraine is just a bankrupt and corrupt state that has little strategic value and can be ignored.

One can disagree with that view and with other foreign policy priorities Trump set out and pursues. I certainly disagree with most of them. But for those who work "at the pleasure of the President" his views are the guidelines that set the direction of their duties.

The anti-Russian/pro-Ukrainian fanatics in the Borg, to which Lt.Col. Vindman belongs, are trying to prevent Trump from achieving his large picture vision of U.S. strategic interest and from defining U.S. foreign policy goals. They want to implement their own polices independent of what the president thinks or believes.

We have warned that such interference by the Borg, the 'deep state' or 'swamp', is a danger to democracy:

If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?

The Democrats are stupid to applaud this and to even further these schemes. They are likely to regain the presidency in 2024. What will they do when all the Civil Service functionaries Trump will have installed by then organize to ruin their policies?

It is unfortunate that the above points have to be repeated again and again. But when powerful media try to sell the lies about the Ukrainian interferences by repeating the same falsehoods over and over again the truth only has a chance to win when it is likewise spread repeatedly.

Posted by b on October 30, 2019 at 18:46 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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c1ue @72:

[Caution bar patron against] Manichaeism ... [blames] bureaucratic hell. .. Not good vs. evil - different self interests.

The duopoly system is all about manichaeism! Were are the denounciations of THAT?

And a fractured elite doesn't explain USA's overwhelmingly pro-Empire stance. Example: You can not vote against military spending or subsidies for Israel. There may be a few congressman that are against these things but the vast majority is

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BM @73:

... CIA/MI6 narratives ... are forced at us by the brute force of universal contamination. [CIA] infiltrators who do their filthy work for some measly payment ... make-believe that the narrative makes sense when it does not. Not just in the media, politicians, newspeak think-tanks, etc but everywhere.

You can thank Obama:
Back in 2012, Obama signed a law that allowed for the " indefinite detention of American citizens " without a judge or jury. Then in 2013, Obama signed an NDAA bill that packaged an end to the Smith-Mundit act that prevented the government from using propaganda against its own citizens

USA Deep State is the new "King" in our neo-feudal Western world.

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jadan @76

True, the Constitution was written with "checks and balances" to avoid a unitary executive or "king".

The main check on the executive is that Congress has the "power of the purse". Framers of the Constitution failed to foresee that Presidents and their Deep State sponsors could use foreign money to fund their adventurism.

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Circe @82:

[Bernnie] ... had to exercise some discretion on how far to attack the Dems top prize.

No, he didn't. It's suppose to be a f*cking contest.

One can make a reasonable case that Trump is in office because of Bernie's cowardice or sheepdogging (take your pick).

Once again, everyone should read BAR's view of Bernie:

Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016

Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 16:06 utc | 101

Don Bacon @94--

Thanks for your reply! As to infrastructure, ambassadors need embassies, and then there're consulates and other offices related to the promotion and settling of commerce that goes unmentioned. Clearly Hamilton and others follow the British model which makes complete sense, but still allows for too much authority in the executive. I didn't set out to critique what Hamilton wrote; rather, I just wanted to present it to settle the issue over who has charge over foreign policy since the Constitution isn't 100% explicit as Hamilton notes. If you look into the issue, you'll discover the Anti-Federalist arguments that gibe with your position. I too am in many ways an Anti-Federalist if only because I've seen the results of having an overly powerful Executive. I caution you about bringing Presentism into your analysis of what was proposed in 1787. When you read 67-77 it becomes clear that Hamilton is trying to play down the very close resemblance in the amount of power wielded by the proposed Executive and the King of England, and I've echoed the sentiment of the times regarding the safeness of selecting Washington for the first Executive since he could be trusted not to turn the office into a dictatorship as many rightly feared would occur and which is very close to today's reality. My point that Article Two is essentially a tabula rasa isn't original at all as that term was used by the Anti-Federalists in their arguments. But when you read all the Colonial Era State Constitutions, you'll see that they too are brief and skimpy on details as to specific functions, and the Federal Constitution was somewhat modeled on them. Personally, I'd have much preferred to see the Continental Congress and its Articles of Confederation modified into a Parliamentary form of government where many of the functions of the Executive are shared with the Legislative; but of course, that didn't happen. And the use of semantics to skirt the meaning/intent of the Constitution is pure sophistry and essentially treasonous.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 16:11 utc | 102

Walter @100--

You are 100% correct in your appraisal of what are now known as The Federalist Papers; they were all separate anonymous op/ed-type essays published in newspapers or pamphlets as were those writing against ratification in what are now compiled as the Anti-Federalist Papers. Then there's the record of the debates over the Constitution's form that were never supposed to be published but sit on the shelf opposite me in two nice volumes. And of course, there's more. Closing in on 100 years of age, Bernard Bailyn is the dean of contemporary historians of the Revolutionary Era in US History and the author of the essential The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution which he wrote after having complied and edited Pamphlets of the American Revolution. A student of Bailyn's Gordon S. Wood, an author and student of the same period--one work being The Radicalism of the American Revolution--has also worked to compile a collection of pamphlets to augment the scarcity of Bailyn's work. Thanks to C-SPAN's Book TV, we have Dr. Wood's talk related to their publication recorded here. Of course, the upshot is the Federalists won the argument and got their Constitution ratified. But as our discussion shows along with the ongoing political debate within the Outlaw US Empire, knowing both arguments is still essential as the argument never ceased.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 16:49 utc | 103

Kiza @54 speculates on what will occur after the coming election. If precedent is anything, it seems to me that any change of leadership must happen before the election, so we are in the danger period now. What I think is the plan of the Russiagate movement, Borg, call it what you will, is to be shuffling into place what prospective candidates they prefer,not just one but both. But meanwhile they need to get the impeachment issue front and center before the election, and make it stick. After will be too late for them because the same thing will happen that did when Trump was elected. He will have gained in popularity because of this push against him, which is offensive to most ordinary voters, especially those who elected him the first time.

It seems that Trump's own Ukraingate investigation is holding fire. I wouldn't count on that though. I'm sure matters are quietly going forward. The main points of it will come forward during the impeachment process - it's clear from h's helpful clip above @ 16(important!) that the Dems are going to make sure this goes to the Senate, so that is where the contest is going to end up, and soon.

That might be a good thing. The attention of the nation will be upon it, and it only depends on how it will be orchestrated under the supervision of the Supreme Court Chief Justice. Given the Court's record that is not a slam dunk, but as karlof1 has reminded us from Pepe's input on who originally supported Trump, he did have some corporate business folk supporting his initial candidacy. Those (and perhaps others now)cannot be happy with how the unfriendly posture of the US is affecting business and trade.

Should impeachment be successful and Trump outed, we would have Pence. The Russiagatists would be okay with that. He probably wouldn't survive the coming election, and so they're also working hard to have Biden run against him. And lots of us probably would vote Green or not at all, which for whatever reason would be just fine with them.

I'm hoping, but not positive, that the impeachment will fail and we will all learn what has been going on to bring us to this unhappy situation where all other business goes by the board. Unfortunately I fear that the narrow focus of it, even if it fails, means the Borg has succeeded in kicking the can down the road. They won't win but the charade will continue into Trump's final term. And then maybe we can start the road back.

[By the way, I like very much b's term 'Borg'. I'm not a Star Trek expert, but I seem to remember that Jean Luc Picard got assimilated into the borg, and that was their undoing. Let it be so!]

Posted by: juliania | Oct 31 2019 16:58 utc | 104

Paul D. @ 9. The MSM (CH, F, Italy, where i am) particularly print, newspapers and magazines, are regularly sued by individuals, by cos. sometimes, for defamation: slander, libel.

Princess S caught in bed with the butler and a candlestick ! .. Company X sells toxic clothes-pins..

The complainants most often win, the media pays out a fine / compensation, everyone moves on. The suing are individuals, or entities formed by a collection of ppl that have a common interest, and ‘legal’ status, a company, an association, a Union, etc.

The cases, since 4k years, are set in a ‘stable’ societal landscape where defamation can be argued, judged. (1, Babylon.)

One attempt to use this channel by a country: "In Nov. 2017 a court in France ruled against the government of Azerbaijan in a defamation suit it had brought against two French journalists, Elise Lucet and Laurent Richard. The suit claimed Lucet and Richard had defamed Azerbaijan when they referred to the country as a “dictatorship”. During a broadcast (..) visit to Azerbaijan by (..) Hollande, Lucet referred to the country as “one of the world’s harshest dictatorships” …

http://legaldb.freemedia.at/2018/01/30/defamation-laws-still-concern-for-europe-media/ (+ other ex.)

Interpretations of ‘reality’ and its governing principles (religious, scientific, societal consensus, econo-pol structure.. etc.) have always been argued, but our present scene has no method of dealing with ‘fabricated hoaxes’, ‘fake events’, ‘lying news’, ‘control by news/propaganda’ , ‘outright lies about military events’ etc. Power controls the narrative..

So Paul, that is another can of worms. One body that set itself up as arbitrator was the UN.

1. "The bride-price had to be returned even if the father reneged on the marriage contract because of slander of the suitor on the part of the suitor's friend, and the Code stipulated that the slanderer should not marry the girl .."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_law]

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 31 2019 17:13 utc | 105

The Supreme Court in its Curtiss-Wright decision speaks of "the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations -- a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress".

Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2019 17:17 utc | 106

juliania 106

Borg is a term used by Pat Lang at his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.
It is there that you can find reports on the Russiagate investigation and what is happening legal wise. Three things occurring. 1) the investigation into Russiagate is now a criminal investigation. 2) Barr has been given authority to declassify relevant material. 3)Flynn court case.
The Flynn case is likely to bust russiagate open. The intel agencies now have to produce to the court relevant documents that were previously withheld. That is due to the Russia gate investigation being an official criminal investigation giving defence and court the power to demand relevant documents and also Barr having the authority to declassify these documents.

Non of this is reported in MSM or if it is, it is hidden in a paragragh somewhere. There is a good chance that those involved in Russiagate will be taken down and that part of the swamp drained. Depending on how soon this occurs, Trump may have a free hand in his second term.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 17:45 utc | 107

Woody Holton's "Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution" gives a very good account of the ratification process As the son of a Virginia governor, Holton understands American politics.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2019 18:25 utc | 108

lysias @108--

IMO, the concept of stare decisis is also followed in government--once a precedent's set and is made continuous, it not only becomes habit but an informal codification. Clearly, the writers of the Constitution sought to limit what they saw as excesses practiced by the English King in the making of war, treaties and the appointment of ambassadors when it came to actions beyond the realm, but they went no further--although by making ratification of a treaty automatically part of the supreme law of the land they also hoped such actions would be very carefully weighed.

What angers me is the sophistry involved in skirting the affects the ratification of the UN Charter had on the Constitution, particularly when it comes to the declaration of war. Few know that one of the first tests of the war making power of Congress occurred during John Adams presidency as we tried to remain neutral during the French Revolution and first round of the Napoleonic Wars. Knowing the background to the XYZ Affair and what's also called the Quasi-War is pivotal in seeing how both Congress and the Executive reacted and worked during this crisis that was brought about by the USA's defaulting on the loan it got from France to attain its independence. The Wikipedia entries are quite good as are the references they provide. For a better overview of the initial years of constitutional governance, I suggest The Age of Federalism by Elkins and McKitrick.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 18:25 utc | 109

Truman used the recently ratified UN Charter as his excuse for not going to Congress for a declaration of war in the Korean War, something he would have had difficulty getting. Hence his administration calling the war a "police action" authorized by a Security Council resolution.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2019 18:32 utc | 110

Peter AU 1 @109

IMO, Russiagate and Ukrainegate are bullshit. But the Deep State wanted to get Flynn and Manafort. Flynn for talking about USA "willful choice" to allow ISIS to rise; Manafort for helping to elect pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine.

Deep State has been consistent in advancing the Empire:

Bush Sr.
lies to Gorbachev when he says NATO will not advance "one inch" toward Russian border. Engages in War for oil (Gulf War I).

Bill Clinton
NATO campaign in the Balkans (destabilized via Saudi support for extremists).

GW Bush
Uses 9-11 to start a "war of choice" in Iraqi.

Obama
Wars continue covertly because the lies and torture of the Iraqi War angered the American people.

Trump
Attacks Obama's policies and asserts that he's "America First" but reveals himself to be otherwise when he 1) says he's "locked and loaded" for war with Iran; 2) illegally occupies Syrian land; 3) acts against UN resolutions to benefit Israel; dramatically increases US military budget (while demanding that allies pay more too).


I just don't buy the notion that Empire functionalities are at odds with each other.

LOL

Better explanation: it's all kayfabe for the purposes of the new McCarthyism, distraction, and 'managed democracy'. And enabled by Obama's having ended the prohibition against propaganda aimed at the American people.

Jackrabbit !!

=

PS I could fill in the above with much more militarism and empire crap as well as Presidential connections to CIA but I think you get the picture.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 18:49 utc | 111

Congress has plenty of opportunity to influence both domestic and foreign policy, if it wants to. Who is supposed to declare war, fund the war machine, approve appointments, and even remove the executive through impeachment?

Trouble is, Congresscritters make whatever policy they are paid to make by their donors and whoever promises the best deal after they leave Congress. Congresscritters also know the FBI, etc. has dirty laundry files on everyone. That is how the "government policy community" exerts control over Congress. Senator Chuck Schumer warned Trump, on the public record, not to upset the spooks:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

The spooks (and now the Pentagon as well) are using Congress as the handiest tool to beat Trump's gang into submission. But Trump won't go quietly. He knows how to fight back, being an experienced bully boy himself. So far he hasn't called for his supporters to go out in the streets and make chaos like in Hong Kong. But he could. That would be bad. Really bad.

There are plenty of reasons to impeach Trump and every other president, since they are all war criminals. But the current impeachment process is not about crimes or even a policy struggle with Congress. It is a power struggle between the "government policy community", who is supposed to work for Trump, (in theory) and Trump, along with his loyal gang of thieves. Trump's overall goals aren't much different from the "Deep State's goals but he is making Uncle Sam look like the thuggish regime it has always been. The recent embarrassing videos of US troops retreating under fire from potatoes are just too humiliating -- someone has to pay for that, and it won't be the generals...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Oct 31 2019 19:21 utc | 112

@Walter #91 #93
The dynamic you say definitely exists, but it is less clear - in Truman's case - whether it was corruption, leading a horse to water, or staying in front of where Truman was going anyway.
The way media gets controlled in the US, Europe and UK today is identifying those who parrot the company line best and rewarding them, as opposed to trying to corrupt those who are already visible and changing their minds/buying them out.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 19:39 utc | 113

@Jackrabbit #103
The American duopoly exists because of the dynamics of a voting system where there is no ranked choice voting.
Long before Israel existed, there have been 2 parties in the United States 90%+ of the time, so duopoly has nothing to do with AIPAC or other Israeli influence.
As for what influence Israel has today: it is to be expected given the smarts, money and focus which that nation and its proponents have devoted to the effort - aided by American Jews in the gambling and entertainment industries (and no doubt elsewhere as well, although not universally).
If Washington floats on money, and Israel provides the easiest access with the clearest and smartest policy guidelines - why wouldn't that lobby group be dominant? Compare instead with Japanese and Saudi money...
In any case, duopoly is not the same as manichaeism. Despite what the louder yappers say, the Republicans are no more inherently good or evil than the Democrats - particularly when both parties are basically extensions of the same oligarchy. Again, I recommend reading Codevilla's description of both parties.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 19:45 utc | 114

What rests at the core of this discussion is the National Interest--the genuine versus the perverted versions. Some months ago, this same topic arose and I remarked that not much was written about a concept so often alluded to having such great importance for all and sundry. I pointed to the two-volume study done by Charles Beard and G.H.E. Smith: The Idea Of National Interest: An Analytical Study In American Foreign Policy, 1934; and The Open Door At Home: A Trial Philosophy of National Interest, 1935, both of which are hard to find and aren't online. As the first title indicates, the national interest is intimately involved with foreign relations, which is odd when thought about--shouldn't the national interest be concerned with and examine first and foremost the condition of the nation and its people? (Yes, Beard asks this too.)

Anyway. It ought to be clear that the national interest's deeply involved in discovering how Russiagate was perpetrated. If Ukrainian actors are involved, then an investigation into their actions is warranted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 19:57 utc | 115

c1ue @116

Your reply is a bit strange because I didn't blame Israel for the duopoly and I didn't try to make a false equivalence between duopoly and manichaeism. I said that the duopoly limits our choices and uses manichaeism against us (aka demonization, lesser-evilism).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 20:07 utc | 116

karlof1 @117: What rests at the core of this discussion is the National Interest--the genuine versus the perverted versions.

I think we all agree that the National Interest has been perverted. The question is who is responsible? Some out-of-office, off-the-reservation Deep Staters or something deeper? Few seem to be willing to consider the latter.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 20:11 utc | 117

There are of course many American Jews in the entertainment and gambling industries, but their power rests above all on their domination of the financial industry.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2019 20:20 utc | 118

Thanks to Peter Au 1 @ l09! I am often behind the 8 ball because I refuse to watch mainstream media so I rely on b and comments and other internet sites. Didn't used to be the case; a necessity now. Your comment interests me exceedingly because I just went to look at Nixon impeachment details, and found a Slate piece detailing Barr's Oct 8th submission to I think a federal court objecting to the admission of extra material from the Russiagate enquiry, which material is admissable under the court ruling that happened when Judge Sirica allowed in the extra information from a grand jury in the Nixon case, and really threw the case for impeachment wide open.

Barr was unsuccessful, but I was really wondering if he brought up that historic case simply to make a point on extra matters coming into an impeachment inquiry, such as the Ukrainegate investigation perhaps. I'm not a legal mind, but a reminder on that couldn't hurt.

And, sidebar: Yeah Right @ 71, not all the Kennedy Administration were running around with their hair on fire - most of the generals and other military minded folk were, but not Kennedy or his brother Robert. They in fact were looking for ways to alleviate the tension, and the reported solution was to accept a conciliatory message from Kruschev after indeed a later ballistic one had caused the furor. Plus, later on there were further discussions to remove US missiles from Turkey that helped a lot, as I understand it. At the time this meant not refusing passage to an approaching USSR ship, which would have escalated the situation. The ship was allowed passage while the diplomacy was underway.

This was all very public at the time - I can remember being glued to the TV news reports. No longer am so glued.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 31 2019 20:54 utc | 119

That was "...objectiong to the admission to impeachment inquiry..."

Posted by: juliania | Oct 31 2019 20:55 utc | 120

"...Kennedy or his brother Robert. They in fact were looking for ways to alleviate the tension,"

Huh. I kinda remember that Uncle Sam issued a diktat to the USSR, imposed a blockade on Cuba, dropped depth charges on a USSR submarine, violated Cuban airspace with spy planes, etc. That doesn't sound much like de-escalation to me.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Oct 31 2019 21:19 utc | 121

@123 Indeed true.

The USA installed Jupiter missiles in Turkey, which would have allowed for a decapitation strike on the USSR.

The Soviets responded by installing their nuclear missiles in Cuba, which would have allowed them to launch exactly the same type of surprise attack that the USA was already in the position to launch.

A level-headed approach to this would be to publicly accept the above (i.e. that the missiles in Cuba are a *response* to missiles in Turkey) and then agree to negotiate the removal of both.

Which, in the event, was how the crisis was resolved.

The Kennedy administration mishandled this from the very beginning, it was completely unnecessary.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 31 2019 21:47 utc | 122

There are many different views of the crisis, Trailer Trash. I am remembering what I have read in a meticulous account printed 1997 "The Kennedy Tapes", edited by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow - subtitled "Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis."

Some of what you say occurred indeed happened after missiles had been installed secretly in Cuba. What I was reporting on was the conclusion of the standoff, which could have escalated even further. I could not find a report of depth charges on a USSR submarine - at least that didn't show up in the index. I did find this as the crisis began:

"...Admiral Anderson...estimated that the Soviets could not get naval surface ships to the area in less than ten days and Soviet submarines could not get to the area in less than ten to fourteen days.
"In response to a question, Admiral Anderson said that if the Navy received information that a Soviet submarine was en route to Havana, he would ask higher authority for permission to attack it..."

It sounds as though there were no Soviet submarines in the area during the crisis.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 31 2019 22:00 utc | 123

thanks to those posters who pointed out kennedy's recklessness during the crisis, a completely unnecessary escalation that is commonly valorized today by hagiographers.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 31 2019 22:17 utc | 124

thanks for not including the jackrabbit!! tagline at the end of your last two posts, jr.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 31 2019 22:18 utc | 125

"In any case, duopoly is not the same as manicheism..."
c1ue@116
It is the exact opposite: not the struggle between light and darkness but the perpetual gloom of two versions of darkness.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 31 2019 22:23 utc | 126

Robert Kennedy told a Russian interlocutor during the missile crisis that, if his brother's administration reacted too supinely to the Russian missiles, there was a serious danger of a coup in the U.S.

And the coup did in fact take place a year later, on Nov. 22, 1963.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 1 2019 0:08 utc | 127

karlof1
"Anyway. It ought to be clear that the national interest's deeply involved in discovering how Russiagate was perpetrated. If Ukrainian actors are involved, then an investigation into their actions is warranted. "

I don't quite follow this.
It seems to me that it is IN the national interest go discover how Russiagate was perpetrated. But you seem to be saying that "national interest" is some kind of entity and it is "involved" in a process. As though this "national interest" were akin to the Deep State or something. I don't see how "national interest" can be involved in anything in any active sense.

Posted by: Really?? | Nov 1 2019 0:17 utc | 128

karlof1 @117

"If Ukrainian actors are involved, then an investigation into their actions is warranted."

This is misconceived. The "Ukrainian actors" are just puppets of the US. You can investigate a few Ukrainian oligarchs, throw them in prison or take them out with a drone but the true evil emanates from the US.

Can you not see that Trump, if he is really going after the Ukrainian carpetbaggers, is going to be impeached by the Democratic Congress and the Republican Senate?

My guess is that nothing will come of it, other than electioneering, and Trump will win the next election - and then you will know that Trump was just BS. But... he could be impeached and then you'll know that he may actually have been trying to do something but no-one will do anything and Trump will be pardoned by Pence and live the rest of his life sequestered away somewhere. Can you really not see this?

You mentioned in another post that things went wrong in the US sometime between the Second World War and now. For this to be the case you have to be able to convince yourself that FDR did not intentionally cause and allow Pearl Harbour to happen, that the US really did need to drop those nuclear bombs on Japan and that there were no problems of significance regarding the deep state prior to WWII and you won't be able to do that. The nuclear bombs dropped on Japan are just one of many war crimes that has just not been faced up to by the US/West.

Look into US history and you will find the rot easily goes back to the First World War and that takes us within reach of the genocide of the original habitants and institution of slavery. And this isn't even considering the almost constant war that the US has been engaged with since it's inception.

In another post, you mentioned that as a result of the Clinton incident Tulsi Gabbard has been going up in the polls. But this was just one errant poll - it is far more likely, and there is far more evidence to suggest, that the Clinton smear and Tulsi's response has had a negative effect as far as the polls are concerned. We can't take the position that the polls are fixed and then champion the one particular poll whose results we like as if it means anything!

Russian interference is the established truth-lie and will remain so. Nothing will come of Ukraine, too many US carpetbaggers where involved and any reckoning will have to be be able to accept that it was the US/west that shot down MH-17 and that is one truth that I am certain that the people of the US/West are not prepared to accept - despite all the evidence to the contrary the US/West (practically 100% of the US/Western people) blame Russia.

The US/West are on the verge of a big financial collapse. When this happens Americans are going to find that everything has been hollowed out and everything (savings, pensions, public services, etc.) is gone. The "deep state" carpetbaggers will then emerge and buy up everything for pennies on the dollar just like what happened to Russia and Ukraine. One difference, that allowed Russia to survive, is that Russians routinely refer to themselves as brothers, Americans/westerners now tend to regard each other with hate and division. Another difference was a Putin figure who will work patiently over 20 years to rebuild Russia and require Russians to make sacrifices to enable this; I don't see such a person emerging in the US, I don't see that trust, and I don't see that patience.

It's already too late, miserable times are coming for the US/West and we have only ourselves to blame.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 1 2019 0:32 utc | 129

pretzelattack 127

Appreciate the feedback. I'll tone it down a bit.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 1 2019 1:20 utc | 130

@Jackrabbit #119
Fair enough. I'm super busy ramping out a new business, so have even less time to read carefully than normal.
As for national interest: that's the classic oligarchy's myopia of which "Let them eat cake" is a classic example. Many of the people doing this think they're doing the right thing and coincidentally being rewarded for their meritocratic achievements. Some recognize the crap, but are still preserving their rice bowls. A very few are actually giving direction with clear goals in mind.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 1 2019 1:28 utc | 131

@bevin #128
Agreed, which is why I have long stated that the only way to fix this is via a very serious revolution. It doesn't have to be a pitchforks one, but does have to be a major restructuring of American society.
FDR did it, TR did it, Jackson did it. Trump is not the guy to do it, but he has been the guy to break the stranglehold at the national level. Bernie hasn't done it, and it seems increasingly clear that Warren is going to ensure that he never will.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 1 2019 1:32 utc | 132

RE: Russ | Oct 31 2019 10:22 utc | 70

" History proves that people who want such change first have to put in the hard work and time to build a coherent cultural movement outside of the system, and only then extrude a political party and/or political candidates, including a pre-prepared administrative cadre, who could come into office ready to seize power from within supported by the movement pressure from without."

I guess history does prove that but history also demonstrates how worthless a 'new' movement can become after a culture and "pre-prepared administrative cadre" have been implemented, simply because that gives the same old gang under a new name, sufficient time to hop aboard and white ant that movement as soon as it is apparent that the force is turning into a viable political reality.

The only instance of this not occurring was in Aotearoa in the late 1980's.
The society had been suffering under a corrupt and oppressive Conservative with a Capital C government for decades - only interrupted once by an old school socialist Labour government in the early 70's. That government was led by a charismatic socialist very much in the mold of Venezuala's Nicolás Maduro. He really upset the USuk mob by announcing in the heat of an election debate that he wasn't gonna p1ssfart round with the 'phased withdrawal' of an artillery company (amerika wanted numbers of nations more than numbers of soldiers so the kiwis only ever sent a company in the 1st place), the troops were gonna be told to come home the day he took office.

At that time USuk were flat out like a lizard drinking engineering the dismissal of Gough Whitlam's Oz government, so no one should be surprised when kiwi Prime Minister Norm Kirk suddenly took ill and died.
Even that article I linked to attempts to discredit the assassination, but as an adolescent kiwi, it was a seminal moment for me. I have had numerous born in the usa cobbers over the years (including a oregonian gf at the time Kirk was topped), but I, like many of my generation saw the US govt as the enemy from that moment on.

Anyway after Kirk died the Labour Party got creamed next election thanks to a huge (by Aotearoa standards) influx of foreign money into the conservative National Party.

It took another 3 or 4 election cycles to dismantle the gerrymanders, expose the sticky hands in the till and generally level the playing field.
David Lange's Labour govt took power in the 80's and showed the world how to flog off the nation to the highest bidder while claiming to be about protecting it with a 'staunch' anti-nuclear policy.
I wasn't around but every time I came back to Aotearoa, there would have been a new outrage. Destroying the original reserve bank act whose primary purpose had been to ensure full employment and replace it with a monetarist policy where the number one objective was to 'combat inflation', float the dollar and introduce a fiat system for generating money.
All the previously publically owned banks (owned by the state sometimes but mostly coops owned by depositors) had been privatised.
kiwis were nonplussed blind freddy could see what was happening, it had been really hard to keep such a small base currency stable the old regulated way, but now that it had been deregulated the likes of George Soros who even back then were allegedly richer than our entire nation were short trading it to make a gazillion while ordinary citizens were being bankrupted by a money structure that had nothing owed to the society it fed off.

Who could kiwis turn to? Neither of the parties in the duopoly could be trusted.
So a youngish bloke by the name of Rod Donald who had been selected to run the Labour Government's furphy electoral reform investigation which was charged to come back with "She'll be right son, if it ain't broke no need to fix it" went rogue and began advocating a change from englander style constituency seats in parliament to a complex system of proportional representation, so that all kiwis had a voice.

As much as the duopoly tried to resist this they couldn't and Aotearoa's electoral system was completely altered through a referendum.

The smallish population of Aotearoa isn't the only reason our own deep state was defeated, the similarity of both arms of the duopoly was a major factor, but it sure made it much easier to do, and I do not believe it could have occurred within a much larger electorate. A few compromises (to do with minimum %'s to win a seat and state funding of campain implementation) were forced onto the people by the duopoly but that is all.
Achieving this in a sate of about 80 million (the UK) is not possible, much less amerika a political structure so over regulated by the duopoly that meaningful change via 'the system' is completely out of the question.

Hence the need for amerikans to aim for succession first then change.

Posted by: A User | Nov 1 2019 2:18 utc | 133

I don't see mention of Victor Pinchuk. Pinchuk is a Ukrainian money guy who has a big investment in Crowdstrike. He also happens to be a huge Clinton Foundation donor. You can find a lot more on him, including allegations of IMP loan money laundering with money flowing into the Clinton Foundation.

Posted by: srs | Nov 1 2019 11:10 utc | 134

Sorry - IMF money laundering (not IMP).

Posted by: srs | Nov 1 2019 11:12 utc | 135

lysias why am i supposed to believe commie hunter and martin luther king opponent bobby kennedy about something that enhances the image of his brother? lol kennedy didnt need a threat to be an aggressive warmonger, he ran to the right of nixon on a nonexistent missle gap. i wouldn't rule out an assassination the cia was involved in, but kennedy risking ww3 to "avoid" an alleged coup was not the motivation, whatever it was--more likely a fight among factions as we see with trump and the cia today. kennedy was a standard cold warrior; if the cia wanted to get rid of him they would have tried to smear with with something like the october surprise as they used against carter later.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 1 2019 13:25 utc | 136

Really?? @128--

Yes, your interpretation's correct--it's in the national interest, or the national interest is served by conducting the investigation. However, the national interest can be thought of as a distinct entity; for example, stamping out corruption by arresting and trying people like the Clintons serves the national interest.

ADKC @129--

Oh yes, I see what's happening all right! I'd like to see all of them--from Obama on down--arrested for their part in the Capital Crimes committed in the Ukrainian Coup for they abetted murder, kidnapping, torture, grand theft and so much more. As I'm sure you're aware, I want the Law applied to the so-called elite, as there'll be no end to the multiple decades long crime spree by the Outlaw US Empire until that occurs--and for me it doesn't matter which party's in power when the process begins: But begin it must. IMO, the 1% and their political pets need to be treated like Frankenstein's monster in the original film--pursued with pitchforks and torches until they're cornered in a decrepit building which is then set alight; their ill-gained wealth redistributed to the people whose debts owed to them are written off leaving heirs penniless. Too harsh? No. It's justice for 100+ years of getting away with murder and every other crime in the book.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2019 16:09 utc | 137

@srs #134
Do you have a link documenting the Pinchuk investment in Crowdstrike?
Pinchuk has a long record of Clinton/Clinton Foundation/Atlantic Council/Washington lobbying, but I've never heard of a direct link with Crowdstrike.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2019 17:12 utc | 138

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