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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Thanks,b. The truth is that the NYT piece is a published blue print for what the quality media in vassal countries are supposed to communicate. Being German, you know what I mean. Now, I know what will be presented in all channels tomorrow and I can spare the time considering that bs. ;-)

Posted by: Cemi | Oct 30 2019 19:39 utc | 1

Vindman is a Jew born in Ukraine and brought up in the Little Odessa neighborhood of Brooklyn. I surmise he is reflecting Israeli disquiet with the idea of a peace in Syria that leaves Assad in power.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 30 2019 19:43 utc | 2

No mystery here. As you pointed out already, the NYT first denied the deep state and then came to love it. There is no going back now, it is a love story for the ages...

Posted by: nemo | Oct 30 2019 19:47 utc | 3

All the lies are just part of a neverending media circus, with no real consequences on anything. Telling the truth about the media circus has exactly the same effect.

Posted by: AlainJ | Oct 30 2019 19:50 utc | 4

And if you look at the NY Times reporter's credit and CV, clicking her name will lead you there, her job at the NY Times is to "debunk" online disinformation.

But she posted a crap load of fake news here as you note.


Here's Ms Alba's NY Times bio-CV page, note the short first paragraph:

Davey Alba is a technology reporter covering online disinformation and its global harms.

Before joining The New York Times, Ms. Alba was a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News, writing about artificial intelligence and the invasive effects of tech in people’s lives. In 2019, her feature on how Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, used Facebook to fuel the drug war in the country won a Livingston Award for excellence in international reporting. The article also won a 2019 Mirror Award for best story on journalism in peril.

Ms. Alba has covered tech for the last decade, writing about topics as diverse as facial recognition’s civil rights problems, the industry’s practice of using forced arbitration in employee contracts and sexual harassment in tech. She has written for various publications, including Wired, Gizmodo and IEEE Spectrum.

She moved to the United States in 2010 after attending De La Salle University in Manila and has a master's degree in science journalism from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn.


Columbia University School of Journalism embarrasses itself again.

Posted by: Jay | Oct 30 2019 20:07 utc | 5

I first heard this idea that Trump is supposed to implement the foreign policy of the "government policy community" just a few days ago on the PBS Snooze Hour. It was startling to hear such a blatant admission of the existence of the "Deep State", and that Trump is supposed to obey it. I wonder who wrote the memo that says its now OK to publicly criticize Trump for not following the orders of the "government policy community".

Everyone was shocked when Trump won the election, especially Trump and the "government policy community". He is the proverbial dog that caught the speeding car. It's quaint that Trump thinks he can make real policy changes. His failures in medical insurance, controlling the FED, etc. underscore the point that being the leader is useless if underlings don't obey. The "government policy community" will never follow Trump and it won't stop until Trump is gone one way or another.

Trump is truly a horrible excuse for a human being, but apparently that is what is required to successfully rip the facade off the Deep State, however one wants to define it. Brain-dead Dummycrats will nod and exclaim that of course Trump is supposed to follow policy established by "knowledgeable experts". But I speculate that this new public attitude of the stink tank talking heads will enrage Trump supporters.

I'm starting to think that things may get really ugly in the "Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free".

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Oct 30 2019 20:08 utc | 6

I don’t agree with b that Posobiec’s assertion that the NY Times had reported that “Vindman had been advising the Ukrainian government” was factual just because the Times had reported that “Ukrainian officials sought advice from [Vindman]”.

Surely Ukraine seeking advice is not the same as Vindman actually providing it. It seems the Times may be accurate in calling Posobiec’s statement a “falsehood”.

Posted by: David G | Oct 30 2019 20:15 utc | 7

lysias @2:

Good point!

Posted by: Theophrastus | Oct 30 2019 20:22 utc | 8

I am not a legal or constitutional scholar, but I ask myself, not for the first time, whether the media can ever be held to account. One might argue that the criminal justice system could not function without credible penalties for perjury. Whistleblowers and journalists who bring the secrets of the powerful to light are increasingly fair game. But the only journalist I can think of who faced at least mildly negative consequences for her role in the run up to the Iraq war was Judith Miller, and she managed to have herself carted off on the laughable hobbyhorse of "protecting" her sources among the murderous architects of that war.

I get that we have wandered back into the arena of "fake news," which has been framed by the Right against corporate media that they quaintly characterize as "Left", and that the Oligarchy's concern for it (among the Right) has been a stalking horse for repressing actual progressive dissent. (A la Propornot.)

But are there simply no legal remedies that might actually serve to improve the quality of information that we are forced to wade through?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 30 2019 20:24 utc | 9

USG career bureaucrats doing their own foreign policy is not news. Japan was only able to be nuclear because two or three rogue Energy Department officials decided it should go nuclear in the 1960s-70s and acted, for more than a decade, on their own without any of their POTUSes ever knowing it (only some CIA elements were aware).

Posted by: vk | Oct 30 2019 20:32 utc | 10

Paul Damascene - 9
There should be very strict rules, put into law, that define what is legally considered "journalism", and all media that don't conform to them are therefore stripped of all advantages, benefits, protections, rights and freedoms afforded to journalism. For a starter, a real information media should be strictly economically independent and never be part of a bigger corporation of any kind. They also should deal with real information and be stripped away from their privileges when the deliberately lie and propagandize. I'd also add that any media that has a "people" section should be cast out.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 30 2019 20:37 utc | 11

The "Gray Lady" has dementia and fecal incontinence.
Sadly I have quite a number of colleagues who subscribe (&/or to WaPo) and cannot be convinced over hair-splitting details as they feel "enlightened" that they are in on the "real news",
and these are the ones who care somewhat about world affairs.

Posted by: ziogolem | Oct 30 2019 20:42 utc | 12

A great article thank you. There is no denying that the biggest loser throughout the Trump era so far has been the credibility of the main stream media. They have done themselves irreparable damage and I doubt I will ever take anything they report at face value again.

I suspect I am like many others who now get the vast majority of news and opinion from a range of non-main stream source who seem to publish with a LOT more credibility and neutrality than the traditional avenues.

Posted by: Ian D | Oct 30 2019 20:51 utc | 13

"There should be very strict rules, put into law, that define what is legally considered "journalism", and all media that don't conform to them are therefore stripped of all advantages, benefits, protections, rights and freedoms afforded to journalism."


Who gets to decide who is a "real" journalist and who isn't? This approach leads to censorship and suppression of minority views, always a bad thing. The antidote for "bad speech" is more free speech. New York Times publishes lies and buries important stories. So what. The real problem is the monopoly control of the media by a handful of corporate gangsters.

The US has anti-trust laws but they are ignored. Prosecutors could go after corporate gangsters but that is never going to happen. Instead they are arresting journalists like Max Blumenthal on phony charges. They would love to have a law for arresting "fake" journalists and closing "fake news" websites. Guess who's website would be at the top of the list.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Oct 30 2019 20:57 utc | 14

Our foreign policies have, IMO, long been tailored to the needs and expectations of our major corporations. Notably, the fossil fuel corporations and their allies on Wall street.

Our corporate empire wishes to export predatory capitalism around the globe, and pity any
nation who stands in our way..

Posted by: ben | Oct 30 2019 20:59 utc | 15

Isn't it something, b. Could you imagine ever reading a headline out of Russia or Germany where a subordinate went on record declaring he made attempts to edit Putin or Merkel's classified phone transcript, he then admits to sharing this classified information with a group of peers OUTSIDE classified channels and ended his 15 mins of fame by declaring Putin nor Merkel's policies on Ukraine fit the consensus of a national security bureaucratic group of nobodies. It's simply unimaginable!

Last night I watched a report by Catherine Herrhidge of Fox state that in Vindman's statement he admits to sharing POTUS' classified transcripts and other readouts to a small group of others outside the NSC. In essence he admitted to leaking classified information. When Rep Jim Jordan started to drill down into that line of questioning, Schiff cut him off.

Here's a link for those interested in watching the 1:30 clip - https://twitter.com/i/status/1189331134443917312

This entire shitshow honestly tells any w/an open mind that the D's and their leadership are desperate. Imagine a committee chairman not allowing members to question a witness about who he shared the President's classified information with. That's not the rascally Dem Party I know. It's painfully obvious these radicals will walk on hot coals, climb the Himalayans and swim across the Atlantic to pin anything and I mean anything on Trump. They do not care about downstream impacts, catastrophic as they may turn out to be.

Which tells me they are fighting for something else entirely. Maybe more light will be shed following the release of the IG's FISA report. Then again, maybe they are motivated by fear that their lining their pockets with taxpayers gazillions has finally caught up to them.

Posted by: h | Oct 30 2019 21:01 utc | 16

Paul Damascene @9--

You pose a great question, but within the Outlaw US Empire, media can espouse any point-of-view and spread any information within the legal bounds of libel and slander and within the parameters of what the USSC has defined as qualifying as free speech--advertising a product's false attributes does expose the writer and publication to lawsuit, but they are still free to say the falsehood. That said, there are principles related to the responsibility media has that were developed during the Nuremburg Trials. And there's my brief noting of C. Wright Mills warning of the ability for consent to be manufactured made in 1958 during yesterday's thread. Of course, Chomsky and Herman went much further in their 1988 Manufacturing of Consent by providing a propaganda model.

The problem with living within a Free Society is that there exists the freedom to distort, to lie, to cajole, to subvert, to freely associate with the wrong people, and so forth--you're free to be a deviant as long as you don't impinge on another's freedom, at least that's how the theory goes. Caveat emptor applies not just in business but in public and private life, too. Unfortunately, it seems that only puppets made of wood have their noses grow longer when lying. One rule known by most is that it's illegal to lie in a court of law--perjury. Unfortunately, the law against doing so while testifying to Congress doesn't get enforced often at all, which only serves to reinforce the culture of lying and corruption within government--people know it doesn't get enforced, so they lie and lie some more, ultimately all to the detriment of the public.

George Seldes was a journalist during the first half of the 20th Century. One of his first books was titled You Can't Print That!: The Truth behind the News, 1918-1928. He was followed by I.F. Stone. They did their best to get the truth to the American public, but did you learn about them when you took US History? Do they get a mention in Journalism courses as they should (I don't know myself)? Do you and other barflies know about FAIR and Media Lens? They are organizations aiming to continue the work of Seldes and Stone and ought to be in everyone's favorites.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2019 21:11 utc | 17

thanks b... who owns the nyt and who are they working for? it seems pretty clear they are trying to drive a wedge into trump..

@ 7 david g... you have a point.. it might be true, and it might not be... i am sure someone will know and will be able find something more substantial to confirm all that..

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/29/774507048/who-is-lt-col-alexander-vindman

Posted by: james | Oct 30 2019 21:11 utc | 18

@17 karlof1.. i do know about fair and media lens, but don't have them bookmarked!

Posted by: james | Oct 30 2019 21:13 utc | 19

h @16--

When Vindman admitted his crime, the Sergeant at Arms should have arrested him immediately after his testimony, but he was allowed to walk--yet another perversion of justice! By cutting off the line of questioning, Schiff was engaging in the obstruction of justice--the very crime he accuses Trump of committing! IMO, the application of the law must be depoliticized and all offenders arrested regardless of their station in life.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2019 21:25 utc | 20

Vindman:

"...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."

Ha! Ukraine's trajectory is better likened to that of an out of control 737 MAX.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 30 2019 21:32 utc | 21

Karlof1 @ 17 and Joe @ 11 --
Thanks for the thoughtful responses, which are better informed versions of the view I had.

I suppose what I was hoping was that barflies might have heard of any promising new ideas in this regard.

Look forward to following the evolution of the discussion.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 30 2019 21:48 utc | 22

It is Mockingbird media A to Z.

Intelligence controls ALL influential media, period. Nothing else would be permitted. This has been true in all English speaking countries for well over a century, much longer in the UK. It is presently a global phenomenon, with all large nations employing a raft of Lifetime Actors, posing as public figures, who determine the range of acceptable discourse by their pronouncements.

Posted by: Zedd | Oct 30 2019 22:06 utc | 23

@Paul Damascene: There are no legal remedies. The only way out is to educate people about the media dictatorship they live in and all the lies they believe are the truth. When a critical mass of media-literate people accumulates, change will become possible.

Posted by: S | Oct 30 2019 22:14 utc | 24

Great piece, b, many thanks! Really meticulous.

A guy like this Vindman character, a walking identity problem first and foremost, given his background, should never have made it through the ranks of the US forces, let alone be given a job at the Security Council. A loyalty issue waiting to get worse. It’s just wrong, a ridiculous notion.
If you want to join the British forces e.g. you are required to have parents who were already born in Britain. Kept me from applying to join their navy back when I tried to. I was disappointed then, but it makes sense to handle the nationality question just like that. I can see that now.
And nothing good ever comes from Ukraine. It’s a psyched country, or would-be country, just there to give the world trouble.
Regarding Washington, seems like the Beast, aka the Deep State, is finally coming out of its lair. Trump is way too salacious as bait for them to be careful and keep in hiding. Before they realize that trying to snatch Trump will be their own undoing, things will have way too much momentum for them to stop. Just look at Rep. Schiff moving from blunder to blunder. He’d be so much better off just doing nothing for half a year and keeping his mouth shut, but he somehow cannot do that. Neither can the Times.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Oct 30 2019 22:18 utc | 25

Jay @ 5:

Davey Alba is becoming Buzzfeed / The New York Times' answer to Olivia Solon, the digital journalist in San Francisco who wrote a hit piece for The Guardian newspaper vilifying Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett as propagandists for the Syrian government and then disappeared into the obscurity of writing IT articles again.

Why do so many journalists become "technology journalists" and where do they end up eventually?

Ben Grubb, "Where did all of Australia’s technology journalists go? Hint: mostly into public relations"

Posted by: Jen | Oct 30 2019 22:23 utc | 26

> Will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.

Take a look at that statement and realise how diseased it is.

Posted by: S.O. | Oct 30 2019 22:32 utc | 27

Paul Damascene @22--

Trailer Trash's rebuttal of Clueless Joe @14 is very important. The discussion's over what is essentially the First Amendment's guarantees and was very heated back in the late 1780s. Here's the link to Cornell Law School's First Amendment Page. As you'll see, there's a lot to explore. Perhaps the most important link is to Maintenance of National Security and the First Amendment, although there are just as many that have a similar level of importance depending on the angle of inquiry.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2019 22:32 utc | 28

Looks like Real Clear Investigations is suggesting a certain Eric Ciaramella is the "whistleblower", which might upset Schiff since the Democrats want he name and political attachments kept a secret. Anyway the article provides some more pieces for the Russiagate/Ukrainegate jigsaw puzzle.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Oct 30 2019 22:38 utc | 29

American citizens lost their voice in foreign policy a long time ago. It's a question I ask when the party politicians meet with lobbyists or attend events like Bilderberg. I am thankful for the alt media. Americans should be disgusted by their politicians and political parties.


How The Obama Administration Set In Motion Democrats’ Coup Against Trump

Posted by: Curtis | Oct 30 2019 22:44 utc | 30

Regarding Clueless Joe's comment @ 11, the one useful takeaway that we can agree with is that journalism and the creation, control and storage of information - indeed cultural products generally, like book publishing and the creation of visual arts including the dramatic arts (stage works, cinema) - and access to it, should not be in the hands of a small number of people and corporations, like Jeff Bezos or Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

The production of culture needs to be decentralised and interlinked, like the Internet itself. Even the recording and storage of cultural products online (on Youtube or Bandcamp for example) is dangerous in itself: what happens if the Internet comes completely under the control of a few corporations?

The rest of Clueless Joe's comment crosses into censorship and authoritarian control of information. It's the same mistake Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fell into when she quizzed Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook's policies about admitting / censoring real or fake news onto the social media site and he had to remind her that it was not up to FB to decide what news was fake and what was real before making it public.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 30 2019 23:09 utc | 31

Okay, so just what is the Outlaw US Empire's Foreign/Imperial Policy? I'm glad I asked!

The overarching #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire is to establish Full Spectrum Domination over the planet and its people as enunciated publicly in 1996 policy paper Joint Vision 2010 which was modified and republished as Joint Vision 2020, both of which are essentially military policies, not National Defense as they're espousing 100% offensive doctrines. In tandem is the much older economic policy plot known as the Washington Consensus, which I've referenced many times and is best explained by Dr. Hudson's book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, and began at the end of WW2 but was greatly expanded/escalated in 1978.

Now it's obvious that Trump's trying to implement his own policies since he's getting so much resistance. On the previous thread having this topic, I noted that Pepe Escobar had written several pieces citing members of the Current Oligarchy who are Trump supporters who provided him with info as to the likely directions of Trump's policies if he became POTUS. In response to a request by Evelyn, I went and looked for those old items and found several. This one IMO is worthy of close scrutiny. Pepe opens:

"And for all the 24/7 scandal time of non-stop groping and kissing and lewd locker room misbehaving, Trump seems to be ready to limp toward the finish line just as he began; an all-out populist/nativist/nationalist fighting open borders (a Clinton mantra, as revealed by the latest WikiLeaks Podesta email dump); 'free' trade; neoliberal globalization; and regime change/bomb them into democracy/'humanitarian' imperialism."

Yes, there's more, but the above's more than enough to show that Trump's 100% against the two major policies of the Outlaw US Empire--and--he's actually done what the above suggests he might do. I remember reading that just a little more than 3 years ago and thought Pepe was fed a line of bull from his sources--he wasn't.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2019 23:29 utc | 32

S.O. 2
"> Will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.

Take a look at that statement and realise how diseased it is."

I totally agree.
It is diseased on multiple levels.
"lock in"? he says?
What if Ukrainians change their minds???
Say, by electing a Russia-leaning politico?
Oh, right, that's what happened back in 2014.
Hence, the Maidan "lock-in."
to me this "lock in" comment is an open confession of ongoing meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.

That is quite apart from the sick joke that is reference to "a dream of vibrant democracy and economic development" brought about by the "West-leaning trajectory."

From what I have heard, Ukraine is an unmitigated disaster since "the West" decided to determine and "lock in" its political trajectory. Not to mention thousands dead in the Donbass and Lukansk.

Posted by: Really?? | Oct 30 2019 23:35 utc | 33

Sorry that was supposed to be S.O. 27.

Posted by: Really?? | Oct 30 2019 23:37 utc | 34

32 Cont'd--

And here's Pepe from 10 Nov 2016:

"Donald Trump’s red wave on Election Day was an unprecedented body blow against neoliberalism. The stupid early-1990s prediction about the 'end of history' turned into a – possible – shock of the new....

"Once again. A body blow, not a death blow. Like the cast of The Walking Dead, the zombie neoliberal elite simply won’t quit. For the Powers That Be/Deep State/Wall Street axis, there’s only one game in town, and that is to win, at all costs. Failing that, to knock over the whole chessboard, as in hot war...

"The angry, white, blue collar Western uprising is the ultimate backlash against neoliberalism – an instinctive reaction against the rigged economic casino capitalism game and its subservient political arms. That’s at the core of Trump winning non-college white voters in Wisconsin by 28 points. Blaming 'whitelash', racism, WikiLeaks or Russia is no more than childish diversionary tactics." [My Emphasis]

No, they didn't quit but immediately put their very improvised "insurance policy" into play based on the lies and contrivances concocted during the campaign and put into play by Obama in the most unprecedented fashion ever as a sitting POTUS had never before sought to undermine/sabotage the incoming POTUS in the manner being devised--essentially in my book, Obama committed treason: again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 30 2019 23:52 utc | 35

"I'm starting to think that things may get really ugly in the "Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free"."

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Oct 30 2019 20:08 utc | 6

TT, I have been saying the same for a 'while' now. This End Stage crap is going to suck.

Tom in AZ

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Oct 30 2019 23:53 utc | 36


In his written testimony (from the Stars and Stripes account in Don Bacon's link at 146 in the previous 'Deep State' thread) Lt. Colonel Vindman wrote:"...I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics."

Thanks so much b, for elaborating on that first part - "...sacred duty and honor to advance.."

It does seem the Constitutional duties and limitations got lost in the shuffle back when George Bush (I think it was) joked the Constitution was 'just a piece of paper.' Still, even he too thought foreign policy was his to dictate. I am remembering the 'first strike' doctrine that he propounded and Al Gore gave a speech decrying back in the day.

That "advance" stuck in my craw - thanks for shining the light.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 31 2019 0:22 utc | 37


Leonid Vindman. With a brother like that how do you get a security clearance at all, much less a desk in the West Wing?

Helps a lot if you're a pal of Firtash and Kolomoisky.

This is just beginning.

Posted by: oldhippie | Oct 31 2019 0:24 utc | 38

Treason or High Treason in Australia, Canada, New Zealand.

Australia..
"A person commits an offence, called treason, if the person:

(a) causes the death of the Sovereign, the heir apparent of the Sovereign, the consort of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
(b) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister resulting in the death of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
(c) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister, or imprisons or restrains the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
(d) levies war, or does any act preparatory to levying war, against the Commonwealth; or
(e) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist, an enemy:
(i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared; and
(ii) specified by Proclamation made for the purpose of this paragraph to be an enemy at war with the Commonwealth; or.."

Canada...
"(1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

(a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her;...."

New Zealand...
"Every one owing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand commits treason who, within or outside New Zealand,—

(a) Kills or wounds or does grievous bodily harm to Her Majesty the Queen, or imprisons or restrains her; or..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason
......................

All three also list various acts against the country as treason, but first and foremost offence in the colonies is acting against the monarch.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 0:27 utc | 39

The president defines and enables US foreign policy, supposedly with congressional oversight.

For instance Trump just authorized 4.5 million to the "white helmets"

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/trump-million-syria-jihadist-white-helmets/#more-15904

Posted by: Mark52 | Oct 31 2019 0:31 utc | 40

Posted by: h | Oct 30 2019 21:01 utc | 16

Nice try. Not

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Oct 31 2019 0:33 utc | 41

b seems to be concluding that when Vindman asserts "outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine" refers to President Trump. But he doesn't mention Trump at all in this quotation, and within this quotation there seems to be nothing meant to distinguish the agency view from Trump's. Vindman and others don't know what Trump thinks about everything, so they might not be wrong to believe there is an "interagency consensus" worthy of belief. As I read it, he could be referring to "outside influencers" such as b or me who promote alternative narratives such as the truthful "Nazi coup" narrative. Does Trump do that? As far as I know Trump officially endorses "Freedom and Democracy" as it now exists in Ukraine, and didn't hold up the last $450M weapons shipment for long if at all, which is what counts.

Perhaps there is better illustration of b's point elsewhere not quoted here, or one could argue in the fact there is a hearing at all, but just reading this snippet along with b's analysis of it I'm confused.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Oct 31 2019 0:45 utc | 42

There is a specific kind of activity in most professions. The prostitutes lay to do their profession, the presstitutes lie to do theirs. We do not expect prostitutes to ever do an honest day's work, so why would we expect the presstitutes to ever tell the truth? I am a bit tired of this constant harping about journalists' and talking heads' lying - that is their profession, always has been. They prostitute their pen (now keyboard) and their brain.

As to The New York Times, when printed on paper it is good for wiping your bum in the outhouse if you happen to run out of toilet paper. Could not imagine using my tablet for the same purpose.

To pay 50c or a $1 for a newspaper and expect to get the truth, such expectation is good only for those who believe in free lunch. The huge hidden cost is always in the brainwashing. Here at MoA, apart from a few persistent trolls, there is no brain washing - this zine (and a few other) is the only way to get close to the truth. The society divided itself into humans (consuming this) and zombies (consuming main sewerage media).

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2019 1:03 utc | 43

@29 Ghost Ship
fascinating... didn't realize how much the Trump Admin's seemingly simple retaliation-for-Russiagate investigation of Biden really struck a nerve among the Obama era CIA/NSC Ukraine team. Wonder what they know.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 31 2019 1:05 utc | 44

32&35 Cont'd--

Just prior to the R-Party Nominating Convention at Cleveland in July 2016, Pepe wrote:

"Some powerful, well-connected business interests supporting Trump from New York to the Midwest have outlined their reasons to me, off the record. The fact that their reasons run completely opposite to the Beltway consensus speaks volumes."

Yes, I remember this article quite well as should other barflies. As I wrote at the time, those Pepe cited had their own perverted twist on history and thus incorrect reasons as to the why of America's decline as this paragraph details:

"Why Russia? 'Because Russia does not rig their currency against us to destroy our industries, and is therefore a natural ally rather then Germany and Japan, who still rig their currencies against the United States and have destroyed much of our industrial power.'" [Italics Original]

The bolded text above is what the businessmen were wrong about, and in a big way. But Trump's isn't the first time policy was based on misconceptions and incorrect history. Pepe provides further citations that I'll omit here, although they are important, and just provide his summation followed by one a bit too important to omit here:

"For these business interests, illegal immigration, rigged currencies, and the 'unnecessary war' against Russia are the biggest issues of the presidential campaign....

"This business crowd is distinctly anti-war: 'When Mr. Trump talks about war having to have rational profit and loss expectation, he is sounding as a logical businessman.' They also stress that, 'the war against Russia is also destroying our oil industry as the US ordered the Gulf States to dump their shut-in oil production capacity on the oil market to bankrupt Russia.'" [Bolded text my emphasis]

But 3 years later, oil price has yet to really recover to the point where Frackers can make a profit and their Ponzi Scheme seems about to go bust, which is why we're seeing something that looks like a shift in Trump's initial plan regarding Syria. And there's still more that can be gleaned from the article that goes against what was then current policy and its direction. I think it's now fairly easy to see the reasoning behind Trump's UNGA tirade aimed at the Globalists while contradicting himself about patriots as he's fighting against one of the most noted--and demonized--of the planet's patriots--Bashar Hafez al-Assad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 1:16 utc | 45

ptb @45--

Perhaps they realize they're culpable for the murders related to the coup and that such a crime has no statute of limitations along with the many other illegalities that they perpetrated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 1:22 utc | 46

@29 ghostship... here is an interesting video on Eric Ciaramella and a number of connected links..

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2019 1:26 utc | 47

Vindman is a Jew born in Ukraine and brought up in the Little Odessa neighborhood of Brooklyn. lysias @2 download & read about Ukraine, 1956 Hungarian Revolution" history from 1919 Bolshevik revolution.. Lenin and Stalin vs social democracy and Christianity. The history of Hungary sheds light on Crimea and Ukraine example after example of regime change.


It's quaint that Trump thinks he can make real policy changes. His failures in medical insurance, controlling the FED, etc. underscore the point that being the leader is useless if underlings don't obey. The "government policy community" will never follow Trump and it won't stop until Trump is gone one way or another. Trailer Trash @ 6 <= Underlings are important iff democratic America is not called to help..

I took the following from a few different websites. I do not expect to be taken seriously in what follows, but I present them to demonstrate that no part of the Trump, the Deep State, the Bureaucracy, the military, the medical system, the economic system, the social system. the education system is about the governed Americans.
America is a democracy, the USA is a republic. The following raise that point.

Trump's has refused to ask the governed Americans to help him.. instead of fighting the deep state, the bankers, the insurance companies, the utilities, the commode cleaners, the Russians, the courts, the congress, the animal lovers association, the underwater basket weavers, and anyone else that has a say.. Trump should present a medical plan to the American voters to the effect that the government is going to nationalize and confiscate and take control of all retirement homes, hospitals, and medical teaching facilities and merge them into the VA medical program. After that merger, every kind of medical service in America will be essentially free to every citizen of the USA. The USA will provide all governed American Citizens in domestic America with free full service medicine. $5 per physician visit and $10 per night stay in the hospital..no insurance is needed and Trump might say he will ask the congress to have the USA invest billions to educate anyone that wants to become a physician. no strings attached.

If Trump would create a presidential order to the effect that anyone with a unpaid educational debt can serve 3 months in the military to have the debt and interest and penalties forgiven he would get a lot of votes..

I think Congress would cease to exist if it failed to go along with those kinds of directives. In other words eliminate in one swift move one the biggest of the deep state : the prey on the sick, medical money-making machine (big Pharma, big Insurance and big medicine and closed society medical training and medical schools). Open doors to all medical education, to anyone who can learn the stuff can attend. Forget qualifying admission criteria, just focus on turning out sufficient qualified persons to provide quality, full service medicine to all American citizens. No one can practice medicine or provide a medical service unless that person is a government employee.

If Trump said, anyone that can bring creditable evidence of corruption in any part of government or by any one of its contractors, Trump will personally see to it that the AG promptly prosecutes that person or corporation to the fullest extent of the law.

If Trump were to take steps to order that all secrecy in government were to be eliminated after 90 days. Force all agencies to reveal their all. Documents, information and histories will be open book after 90 days; Trump would be elected king, not president. A presidential order to the effect that: Nothing the government or any of its agencies do will be, or can remain classified after 90 days from the date of the event or the happening. With just a few sentences Trump could make America Truly Great Again..

Issue a presidential proclamation that exempts USA citizens and corporations that do business solely within the domestic boundaries of the USA from all patents, copyrights, government contracts, and any other monopoly power claimed or owned by any person or entity domestic or foreign.

Make it impossible for privately owned Real estate to be transferred to an heir.

Unless and until Trump makes a move to solve some of the big problems that exist at home. he is just one more cold, damp, wet, risky to take-in, mold contaminated bag of air. Turn bombs into free domestic health care services, remove all traffic lights from all towns to save gas and time and build under and over passes in their place, transform military budgets into a source of venture capital to restart the kinds of small businesses that once made America great.

Don't forget the above are just things I have found on other websites. and are presented only to make a point.. I don't expect them to be taken seriously.

Posted by: snake | Oct 31 2019 1:32 utc | 48

I do not know where they pulled this Vindman out of, but the first thing that stuck me was that MSM are putting the lieutenant colonel's personal opinion forward as some kind of reference that all of us must follow. They pull this turd out of nowhere and start instructing the zombie population through him that the US President should not be asking foreigners to (help) investigate US citizens? I can understand that he is only a delivery boy of a usual smoke screen formed by DNC's professional PR, which relies on the population's ingrained "US exceptionalism" - No foreigners must ever be allowed to investigate the US Übermenschen und Übermadchen!!!! In all normal countries of the world it is always that the local authorities that investigate the local crime committed by a foreigner, only sometimes with foreign involvement.

Can you just imagine how many turds like this DNC can dig out to keep launching their "opinions" through their Main Sewerage Media? Due to constant supply, the parade through the Impeachment Proceedings never has to stop - book that secret room for this and the next presidential mandate.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2019 1:38 utc | 49

b: The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."
Actually the Constitution states: "[The president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

So treaties require the advice and consent of the Senate, but US foreign policy is not entirely, or even mostly, determined by treaties. In this Ukraine case, there are probably no treaties (none have been mentioned) that govern US - Ukraine relationship. Therefore we may assume that it is subject to regular US government operations: the Congress makes laws and the President executes them.

Laws? The Founding Fathers probably never envisioned that the US would be a world hegemon, requiring a distinctive policy for dealing with each and every country in the world, including Ukraine. Understandably they didn't provide for that. It's impractical to have laws governing relationships with 200 countries. But the Congress does have an interest in foreign affairs, both congressional houses have foreign relations committees.

So, lacking any constitutional provision, do we then assume that the president is empowered to determine policy toward other countries on his own? Or should we require the Senate to consent to these strategies, as with treaties? Or should policies be subject to oversight and votes in the foreign affairs committees? It's an open question IMO.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 31 2019 1:55 utc | 50

Don Bacon 52

Seems that the question of who makes/breaks foreign policy is an ongoing area of conflict between the exec. and the legislative branches.

Congress generally is not the body to have actual contact with the heads of foreign nations. Even though both houses have foreign relations committees.

Fairly detailed discussion here:

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/congress-and-us-foreign-policy

Posted by: Really?? | Oct 31 2019 2:18 utc | 51

@ Really?? 53
who makes/breaks foreign policy is an ongoing area of conflict between the exec. and the legislative branches.
Their should be some semblance of democracy in whatever the government does.
Edward Abbey: "No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next -- if not a damn sight better."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 31 2019 2:30 utc | 52

I fully agree with Trailer Trash, OldHippy and Tom in AZ. There was an element of a huge surprise in Trump's 2016 election. None of the DNC crims in their private DOJ, their private Federal Entrapment Gestapo and their private Central Drug/Weapons/Slavery/Organ Running Agency expected it. They did criminal things before, during and after the election. If Trump gets another mandate all hell will break lose and the grassy knoll in unavoidable, possibly even before the Inauguration. This is because many of the DNC nouveau riche may end up in jail if the current investigations continue (it will take years to put Comey, Brennan, Clapper and the rest of the demo crime gang behind bars). It may actually be better for the US society for Trump to lose, by hook or by crook, because the deplorables are less likely to resort to violence than the armies of the "inclusives" & the "progressives". Just my belief.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2019 2:51 utc | 53

My final comment for today. I am aware that many commenters may think that I am saying totally basic things, but I am trying to identify the forest hidden by the trees.

I have written to our James here before that Trump is the worst candidate/President possible, but that Hillary was the worstest. I also wrote that the Democrats will put some worstest candidate again and thus get Trump elected again. No wonder some cynics feel this is just a kabuki. But, I do not think that this is just a kabuki and I think that there is a major hidden principle at work. US Democrats have truly become a party of all forms of corruption (only as reflection of the rotting society). As a party they can only put forward the most corrupt candidate such are Killary, Biden and so on (never ever somebody like Gabbard). Their candidate must have many skeletons in the closet to be reliably controlled by the deepstaters from the shadows. It is not different for the Republicans, but at least they do not have dogmas such as inclusiveness which prevents other opinions, bombing people to save them (the Republicans bomb to take the oil) and other similar "progressive" inventions. Trump is a one-in-a-lifetime aberration in the failed US system of governance, historically more consequential for US than even the Kennedies. Trump is truly the worst and the best that the failed & crumbling USA could come up with as an attempt at desperately needed reform against the deeply vested interests. And then this Cretin in Chief indebts the country even deeper to make it "great" again, that is he doles out the same drug which has been killing the nation to cure the nation. I am sure that a non-partisan history will one day view Trump similar to this - a small-time reality TV host, debt-junkie and a failed reformer who was facing insurmountable odds against a totally corrupt deep state establishment and its public wings in the Democratic Party and the Main Sewerage Media.

If Trump wins again, there is likely to be a coup and possibly a civil war to protect those vested interests. I hope the World survives. There is just this feeling that the end of the next year will be very important in history, even more than 1991 in Soviet Union, which we somehow survived. But US is not Soviet Union...

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2019 3:40 utc | 54

IMO moa newcomer Zedd @23 comes closest to the truth.

The level of "soft tyranny" has only increased as TPTB/Deep State paranoia due to the Russia-China Alliance went off the scale in 2014.

Few recall Obama Administration scrambling in Fall 2014 after Russia's refused USA entreaties to leave Crimea and abandon the Donbas rebels.

I've tried to explain this over many months, but so many (even here) prefer establishment-provided entertainment and blind alleys.

People in the West have stopped thinking for themselves. They are herded into groups that each cherish whatever partisan "truth" the establishment's 3-card Monte game provides them. Yet when that "truth" is proven false, they still play again, and again and again.

LOL.

>> Progressive, black, Nobel-prize winning, Constitutional lawyer Obama would NEVER start illegal wars, conduct extra-legal killings, bailout banker crooks and foam the runway for foreclosures, and make the Bush tax cuts permanent, and much more, ...

... but he did!

>> Democrats would NEVER act undemocratically, ...

... but Hillary and DNC colluded against Sanders and the Democratic Party asserted in court that they have NO OBLIGATION to act democraticly!

>> Independent socialist Sanders would NEVER betray his values and his followers ...

... but he did, refusing to attack Hillary on character issues ("enough with the damn emails!") and not denouncing her when she brought Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign.

>> 'America First' Trump would NEVER put Empire First - he's fighting the globalist Deep State ...

... yet he's dramatically increase the military budget - even as he asks allies to pay more, asserted that he's "locked and loaded" for war with Iran, and the kayfabe Deep State becomes more apparent with each passing every day.

Add to the above, clear evidence of propaganda and kabuki theater bullshit: Skripals, Integrity Initiative, White Helmets, Epstein, and more.

/rant

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 3:52 utc | 55

Kiza

Civil war in the US is perhaps the best the world can hope for. The cackling witch was a danger because she was capable of kicking of a war with Russia for what... insanity... a total belief in US propaganda... she was crazy.
With Trump I think we will see a Cuban missile crisis moment with much higher stakes. Cuban missile crisis was over who puts missiles where and both could pull back.
A big part of Trump's MAGA is energy dominance. But that is meshed in with zionism. Russia has warned against this, so now it is a matter of waiting to see if he thinks Russia (Putin) is bluffing.
I think most of this will occur in Trump's second term.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 4:48 utc | 56

"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 alliances against the United States. Trump often alluded to this during his campaign. The voters seem to have liked that view."

That shows that on foreign policy we have a competition of various delusions. While refraining from pointles conflicts with Russia is good because they are pointless, the idea that this could lead to some kind of anti-Chinese alliance is fanciful. Hard to see what could convince Russia to avoid cooperation on military technology with China, expanding bilateral trade or restricting external military presence in Central Asia.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 31 2019 4:56 utc | 57

@ 49 snake.. here and elsewhere.. i appreciate your comments and like some of the ideas mentioned in your post, as if they are ever going to happen! we can dream though.. thanks..

@ kiza... thanks.. it will be interesting to see where it all goes. i suspect we're on a downhill slope that's taking on unforeseen consequences at present and that is very hard to predict the outcome on, other then to say the usa and world are going thru a major 'radical' change here that's unstoppable..

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2019 5:03 utc | 58

Don Bacon @52--

Within The Federalist Papers, Numbers 67-77 deal with the Executive while Number 69 details the President's foreign policy chores:

"The President is to have power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur. The king of Great Britain is the sole and absolute representative of the nation in all foreign transactions. He can of his own accord make treaties of peace, commerce, alliance, and of every other description. It has been insinuated, that his authority in this respect is not conclusive, and that his conventions with foreign powers are subject to the revision, and stand in need of the ratification, of Parliament. But I believe this doctrine was never heard of, until it was broached upon the present occasion. Every jurist [2] of that kingdom, and every other man acquainted with its Constitution, knows, as an established fact, that the prerogative of making treaties exists in the crown in its utmost plentitude; and that the compacts entered into by the royal authority have the most complete legal validity and perfection, independent of any other sanction. The Parliament, it is true, is sometimes seen employing itself in altering the existing laws to conform them to the stipulations in a new treaty; and this may have possibly given birth to the imagination, that its co-operation was necessary to the obligatory efficacy of the treaty. But this parliamentary interposition proceeds from a different cause: from the necessity of adjusting a most artificial and intricate system of revenue and commercial laws, to the changes made in them by the operation of the treaty; and of adapting new provisions and precautions to the new state of things, to keep the machine from running into disorder. In this respect, therefore, there is no comparison between the intended power of the President and the actual power of the British sovereign. The one can perform alone what the other can do only with the concurrence of a branch of the legislature. It must be admitted, that, in this instance, the power of the federal Executive would exceed that of any State Executive. But this arises naturally from the sovereign power which relates to treaties. If the Confederacy were to be dissolved, it would become a question, whether the Executives of the several States were not solely invested with that delicate and important prerogative.

"The President is also to be authorized to receive ambassadors and other public ministers. This, though it has been a rich theme of declamation, is more a matter of dignity than of authority. It is a circumstance which will be without consequence in the administration of the government; and it was far more convenient that it should be arranged in this manner, than that there should be a necessity of convening the legislature, or one of its branches, upon every arrival of a foreign minister, though it were merely to take the place of a departed predecessor."

Pretty thin it must be admitted, so much is assumed and taken for granted as the making of treaties in the first place requires the operation of external relations and all its accessories and infrastructure, which also involves the appointing of ambassadors, which is discussed in the next paragraph that deals with all appointments. Coupled with the position of Commander in Chief, it seems obvious given the nature of most known previous governing arrangements that the President is in charge of conducting Foreign Relations and that the Legislative has very little opportunity to guide those relations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2019 5:04 utc | 59

@58 Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 4:48

Re: "Cuban missile crisis was over who puts missiles where and both could pull back. . . . Russia has warned against this, so now it is a matter of waiting to see if he thinks Russia (Putin) is bluffing."

Russians (Soviets technically) were not bluffing on Cuba in the '60's either. From what I understand, Moscow pulled the trigger but an officer in the chain of command to the sub's missile launch failed to obey. I doubt this will occur a second time under Putin and his government. It will not be business-as-usual in Trumpland if that happens. As Einstein is said to have remarked... 'sticks and stones' for the 4th WW etc, ... and no Trump towers!

DC just looks like one big 'sodomite puppy' looking to f_ck with two angels, to me. I don't subscribe to the zionist cult BS but some of the ancient Hebrew myth/narrative/fable has linguistic value in expressing what an ecological mess this trending is heading for.

Posted by: imo | Oct 31 2019 5:16 utc | 60

Is it foreign or domestic policy to have private finance running the American culture and social contract like now?

IMO, what exists now in US is a global/foreign policy to buy into the private financialization social contract which has taken over the direction of American society that 70 years ago had a 93% marginal tax rate and a lot less of the God of Mammon religion, corporations are people manifestations.

And who decided it should be one way or the other as the country evolved over the past 70 years?

@ Peter AU 1 who wrote
"
A big part of Trump's MAGA is energy dominance. But that is meshed in with zionism. Russia has warned against this, so now it is a matter of waiting to see if he thinks Russia (Putin) is bluffing.
I think most of this will occur in Trump's second term.
"
I agree but don't think it will take until a potential Trump 2nd term to play out given the pace of today's crazy

@ Piotr Berman who wrote
"
While refraining from pointless conflicts with Russia is good because they are pointless, the idea that this could lead to some kind of anti-Chinese alliance is fanciful. Hard to see what could convince Russia to avoid cooperation on military technology with China, expanding bilateral trade or restricting external military presence in Central Asia.
"
Totally agree. The strategy of playing up to Russia to limit China growth may have worked at some time in the past but it is, as you write, delusional to think it will work now.

Back to my starting remarks, I see US foreign policy as projecting the face of global private finance empire through attempts to control energy dominance.....which is going to fail in my estimation.....before the 2020 (s)election

Real American foreign policy, that was by and for the people, would look entirely different than what exists today and would be the product of coordination between the executive and legislative branches of our government, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 31 2019 5:30 utc | 61

See, this article is a perfect example of why I support Bernie Sanders. Those who support Bernie don't have to compromise their integrity like YOU just did here to defend the indefensible Donald J. Trump.

First let me say this, I unlike you refuse to play the game of who is more corrupt: Biden or Trump. Why? Because they are both owned by Zionism, therefore neither can be trusted at all, so why bother wasting so much time on either? In your case, WHY INDEED?

However, if it comes down to corruption on all levels, Trump is by far the most corrupt. So let's leave all that out of the equation and specifically focus on Trump's political corruption in this matter.

Second you really showed your hand here and it's not pretty. For this reason now, I am wavering in my perception that you have expressed yourself either as a Russian bot or a Trump bot or a combo of both.

When Rudi Giuliani was trying to get information about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election he was undoubtly pursuing the president's foreign policy.

Hello? Giuliani is a greasy sleaze NOT a State Department official pursuing foreign policy! Trump wasn't using him as a diplomat; and his mandate was not foreign policy! Trump was using him for personal gain exactly like he used Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy and the Playboy bunny to silence tawdry affairs. He's after the cheat edge NOT foreign policy.

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

Sure but it doesn't empower him to withhold designated tax payer funding to coerce a foreign government to give up dirt on his opponent.

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 alliances against the United States.

And how pray tell does this have anything to do with the dirt Trump attempted to gain from Ukraine on Biden? In other words you're telling us that in order for pro-Russia, anti-China policy to take effect Trump should be allowed to sabotage an opponent's campaign? Sorry, but in the real world sabotaging an opponent's campaign furthering the interests of a foreign country might be considered, TREASON, and at best a campaign violation, but the way you spell it out, I'd say it's treason. However, it may be that Trump only meant to further his own interests. If it's to ensure his policy on Russia survives, he's sure risking a lot abusing his office to achieve that.

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.

Okay. If he wants rapprochement with Russia and not China, he can start to push policy in that direction, and he certainly has with China, but trying to extort Ukraine to get dirt on Biden so he can win the election to further a Russia-friendly policy is crazy.

The anti-Russian/pro-Ukrainian fanatics in the Borg...are trying to prevent Trump from achieving his large picture vision of U.S. strategic interest and from defining U.S. foreign policy goals.

First of all, you are probably aware that Iran and Russia are livid with Trump's latest move to send a heavy weapons battalion into Eastern Syria to control Syrian oil resources? This here is proof that Trump has a higher allegiance to Zionism that might conflict with Russian interests and he would betray Russia in a New York minute for that reason. So in fact, Trump is knee-deep in borg allegiance. Just ask Lindsey Graham.

Secondly, allegiance to Russia is NOT the large picture. Allegiance to Zionist foreign policy IS the large picture foreign policy for Trump.

THAT is what YOU are defending with this waste of words. Trump is the one most preventing a rapprochement with Russia, because has been putting Russia in the line of fire since he first uttered: Russia if you're listening... Trump using Russia to further his personal ambitions puts a target on Russia! How's that working out for Russia? Now, why would he create the illusion of a grand conspiracy with Russia putting Russia in a constant negative light? He is either an unwitting idiot blinded by his gigantic ego OR there's something hidden from view in all this.

Trump will use anyone, anything, any country and even abuse his office to promote, empower and enrich himself. Don't you get that yet? Isn't it obvious?

Why is it that you certainly disagree with most of his policies therefore so readily sacrifice your beliefs/values and your integrity to defend this megalomaniac? And I ain't buying it's to defend the truth. As I outlined here in my responses to your truth -- that's some half-baked truth you laid out!

No, there's something else going on here, and it's not your love of the truth. Care to spell it out once and for all?

I'll stick to Bernie. He's a decent man. So unlike you with Trump, I don't have to write a tome in his defense or compromise my own integrity on his behalf. Pity you and those like you spining and twisting everything over the likes of Trump.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 31 2019 5:35 utc | 62

Important: The Militarization Of Everything

Militaristic messaging is both subtle and in-your-face. And it is relentless. Americans love war shows, war video games, war correspondents, military pundits, military displays at sports and public events, military metaphors ("locked and loaded"), etc.

You're ignored if you notice this. You're a son-of-a-bitch if you object to it.

It's all good fun until someone - some American, that is - gets hurt or drafted. DRAFTED?!?! Nah, that'll NEVER happen. We'll just nuke whoever stands in our way instead.

Capitalism means winners and losers. The "exceptional! nation" will 'win' or die trying. It's for the children (no, not YOUR children).

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 31 2019 6:11 utc | 63

Sorry, one more comment to explain the previous.

It appears that Trump lacks fortitude to distinguish between a business bankruptcy and a national bankruptcy. His life-long deployment of bankruptcy as a tactical business tool to take away from other rich people or, much more often, to take from the unfortunate hard working subcontractors and small investors/pensioners has clouded his minute mind to the reality of state bankruptcy. State bankruptcy means many dead people, the weakest ones the most (the sick, the children and the oldies). After bankruptcy, there is no option to re-name/re-brand the country like he could rename/rebrand his business or 737Max and phoenix back into business as usual. The US as a country has been getting away with being bankrupt for so long that now such state is business-as-usual, which it will be until it is not any more.

What I meant by US is not Soviet Union is that Soviet Union was, rightly or wrongly, filled with idealism and belief in people. The general mindset of the population was that human life was precious (forget for a moment about the Western propaganda about Stalin). The military officers were trained to be the defenders, not conquerors, to minimise the loss of life. In the SU, the source of military officers were the poor people and they were serving the people. This is exactly why Vasili Arkhipov countered the decision to launch a nuclear torpedo against the US aircraft carrier, which was dropping depth charges on Arkhipov's Soviet nuclear submarine in the international waters on the way to Cuba. See, the US cretins justifiably feel exceptional because they so far survived even after doing the stupidest things imaginable. Instead of shooting back, Arkhipov effectively surrendered the submarine by surfacing as the US CBG commander wanted. A side note is that year 1962 was when it appears that SU nuclear arsenal happened to be behind the US, in the eternal Russian Roulette game of US escalates - SU catches up. Also, Arkhipov had a higher rank than the submarine captain and apparently was on that particular nuclear submarine which was trying to break through the US maritime blockade of Cuba (in the usual shitty US vernacular called - the quarantine, as if Cuba was diseased) exactly to ensure that a nuclear war would not start. So just for a moment please do compare the mind of the US CBG commander and the Soviet submarine group commander! One was following the orders, the other one saved the World.

Therefore, the US mindset is very, very different, there is zero love for the people. You are either a winner or a loser and the losing side in a US civil war is likely to spoil it for everybody by launching the First Strike against Russia or China or both. Therefore, I would never say that US civil war would be a positive outcome.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2019 6:21 utc | 64

Kiza "has clouded his minute mind"

Far from it. Trump and the faction behind him could see the US was going down. Get taken in by the twitter TV reality persona and it is you who goes down. Trump was able to work US laws in his business life. For the US operating in the world, there are no laws. Nobody can hold US to account.
Cuban missile crisis was small chips compared to what is coming in the middle east. This time, US is driven by both desperation and zionism.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 6:41 utc | 65

@Kiza 56 & 66 --

Indeed, ... btw, you might like some of Dmitry Orlov's insights from Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjyyxW9AHUg [click into around 13:15]

The "... 2.0" option is the political economy pathway to the viable future for which the criminal cabals @the_top running the West into the ground cannot countenance -- they being the vermin in the cross-hairs.

It's now becoming a social evolutionary trend with economic gravitas and real-world consequences. Unless things change in the Western domain soon, it is basically death by slow cancer -- just look at that experimental basket case called Sweden. If things do change (ie, real change, and not the Obama-era garden variety paint job) then it is going to be bloody and ugly -- especially as the people's temples are cleaned out of the parasitic money changers du jour.

Posted by: imo | Oct 31 2019 8:13 utc | 66

Anyone who imagines that any of the scum who're permitted to compete in the quadrennial prez beauty contest are worth voting for is frankly, truly lost.
The corrupt duopoly of political structures which has controlled the amerikan electoral process for more than a century, simply does not allow any human with a skerrick of decency anywhere near the nomination.

Naturally the greedy arseholes who have charge of the dem or rethug processes, do prefer a candidate who will follow the elite strategy with a minimum of hassle, but as the current farce with orange moron shows us all, even a dingbat who struggles to maintain more than one simultaneous idea can easily be steered to do 'right thing' by use of standard PTB carrot & stick methodology.

So they play on his vanity, then double down by offerring him a coupla points on say, the oil that will be stolen from Syria, and orange moron always comes to papa.

Sanders is no different, sure there is some divergence between the things which the two of 'em considers essential for a fulfilled life, Trump wants a legacy plus billions whereas Sanders will settle "just for the legacy" and a decent family trust fund, but since both wants are well known and a clear path to satisfying them has been established, even if the worst thing should happen & Sanders wins, all that will happen is a little more inconvenience for the PTB.
eg The things ol' Bernie mutters whenever his missus tells him what "your base needs to hear" can be a pain, but even though the hacks would prefer someone who didn't startle the corporate clients, if by some mixture of blind good luck & skullduggery Sanders did jag the prez gig, he will be quickly house-trained.

eg see the ease with which he was persuaded to swing behind that evil misanthrope H Clinton last prez contest, even tho Sanders knew better than the rest of us, all the crazy evil shonkies & rorts, which dem party hacks had used to make sure he didn't get the nomination.

Anyone who imagines amerika can escape from under the well deserved huge mound of sh1t and despair that it has worked so hard to deserve, merely by having sufficient citizens tick a particular box on election day, has no comprehension of the scope of the murders, rapes and thefts which have been perpetrated upon true innocents 'offshore' on a daily basis in the name of 'national security'.

It is too far gone, there cannot be a way back without a total purge of all the perpetrators and the only chance Jo Blow the average seppo has is if he lynches the elites & scumbag pol enablers before the rest of us have to come in do it.

Posted by: A User | Oct 31 2019 9:04 utc | 67

So, it seems that the only two options left for USA's future are either revolution or civil war? The latter being vastly more probable, say 99.99%.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 31 2019 9:58 utc | 68

The caliph was on his way to Jarabulus?
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/shut-up-old-man-ttg.html
where the Turks are now exfiltrating people?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 31 2019 10:05 utc | 69

All this is a good case study in the fact that no one who really wanted to significantly change anything would run for office within the existing framework. 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.

That's a simple litmus test for who's real and who's a fraud that wants to change nothing. The latter will stay within the existing system and therefore be forced (more likely briar-patched) to conform to its mechanisms and processes.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 31 2019 10:22 utc | 70

@62 "From what I understand, Moscow pulled the trigger but an officer in the chain of command to the sub's missile launch failed to obey."

No, I do not believe that is correct.

My understanding is that communications with Moscow were lost, and so it wasn't possible to seek orders - for all they knew Moscow was already a radioactive crater.

The decision then devolved to the officers on the spot, and one of them refused to agree to launch a nuclear torpedo at the US Destroyer that was trying to force them to the surface.

Which is bad enough, certainly enough to start WW3, but still....

There was no danger of a "sub's missile launch" because there were no Russian ballistic missile subs involved in the Cuban missile crisis. Because if you think about it had the Russians been able to field ballistic missile subs off Cuban waters then there would have been no need for a Cuban Missile Crisis at all.

Russian attack subs, yes, but not Russian missile subs, no.

The Russian leadership actually acted coolly and with a level-head.
It was Kennedy's administration that ran around with its hair on fire.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 31 2019 11:26 utc | 71

A lot of (relatively) new blood commenting, always refreshing.
I would caution, however, the new as well as the old(er) to not fall into the trap of Manichaeism: the idea that there are only 2 sides - light vs dark or good vs evil.
What we have in the United States is our very own version of bureaucratic hell.
The USSR had a significantly worse case of it, largely compounded by being significantly poorer, but the American version is a lot more insidious and international.

Nor is it some shady cabal as so many think. The bureaucrats are no more united than their outside billionaire and multi-millionaire cohorts.
What we have are groups sharing economic interests of various levels, but bound by shared ideology - again of various shades.

The dominant group for the last generation (i.e. Reagan and after) shares neoliberal economics at the top level. This is both Republican and Democrat. As you scale down the demographics, divisions emerge whether pro-Israel, pro-Russia vs. China, pro-China vs. Russia, anti-Iran, identitarian, drug legalization, whatever. The tech industry largely falls into this space as well, as does Washington DC and the left coasts.

What Angelo Codevilla speaks to; what Trump got elected by (but isn't really) - is not precisely the opposite of neoliberalism, but definitely more conservative than anything else. The senator which Codevilla worked for - Daniel Patrick Moynihan - is a good example. Although he was a lifelong Democrat, he advised Nixon (after serving under Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson).
Although he was a strong believer in the War on Poverty, he was willing to admit that some welfare policies were potentially self-sabotaging. Although a supporter of women's rights to abortion in general, he opposed (and voted for a ban against) partial birth abortion.
Moynihan is from Oklahoma; that and all the other flyover states with their hinterland economies and landlocked ethos represents something different.

But the flyover states are not the opposite, only other face to the neoliberals. The South has different ethos than the hinterland or the left coasts and different baggage. They voted for Trump but not for the same exact reasons.

I don't know how the story plays out, but I can say that what we're seeing is a major front in the battle between the neoliberal/left coast faction - dominant for a generation - vs. everyone else who has been under-represented and economically discriminated against.

Not good vs. evil - different self interests.

To get an idea of how ideologies are formed, here's what I consider as a seminal moment (not founding) in the tech industry ethos: Steve Jobs' talking to Apple employees about the about to be launched "Think Different" campaign, after his return to Apple in its dark days (and after having been ejected, years before, in favor of John Scully)
The techies and their "dare to change to world" camouflage are a direct offshoot, but what is interesting is how Jobs points to the Got Milk and Nike marketing styles as a model for Think Different.
And while this could be wrong, a cynical person could say (and I do) that "Think Different" could simply a super smart but still manipulative way to hitch Apple's reputation to many icons of history: Einstein, Edison, Dr. Martin Luther King, Lennon, etc etc.
None of these people or their estates would ever endorse a computer company - something Jobs says.
But Jobs also said: "If they used a computer, they would have used a Mac".
That's the message he wanted sent, and it worked.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 11:36 utc | 72

All these nonsensical narratives that are being churned out non-stop are 100% typical CIA social narratives. Everything the CIA says when they are trying to manipulate society and peoples' beliefs is such nonsensical crap. It is the hallmark of how they operate, together with their partners in crime (MI6 etc).

They don't take the trouble to construct a narrative that is believeable, they just take whatever crap narrative that first comes into their heads and force people to believe it by sheer brute force - number of times it is repeated, and number of people (operatives plus all who already believe through propaganda) who believe it.

Normally when you say something it has to make some kind of sense, otherwise people will not take it seriously, and will ridicule it, and see straight away that it is nonsense. What is remarkable about these crappy CIA/MI6 narratives is that people don't reject them immediately as the nonsense they are. The reason is that they are forced at us by the brute force of universal contamination. Every aspect of society is contaminated with this CIA/MI6-disease - infiltrators who do their filthy work for some measly payment - and who make-believe that the narrative makes sense when it does not. Not just in the media, politicians, newspeakthink-tanks, etc but everywhere. The whole of society is infested with this disease like cockroaches. All the time and wherever they are they speak as though these narratives make sense, with a straight face, and through sheer brute force the foolish masses - all those Darleks who have ceased to think for themselves because they are so brainwashed by non-stop entertainment - just believe automatically.

Whenever you see these nonsensical narratives, and more than one single person believes them, then you should know straight away it is a CIA/MI6 psyop operation. It is absolutely standard modus operandus.

Posted by: BM | Oct 31 2019 11:36 utc | 73

Assuming that Trump is really in a battle with the deep state ("the borg") then he will definitely be impeached.

When Trump took aim at Biden, he also took aim at the Ukraine coup and extraction process. This action can't have come as a revelation to interested commentators as such action was telegraphed for a very long time (the theme that Trump would suffer under Russiagate for the first part of his Presidency, be vindicated and then hit back on Ukraine [it always goes back to Ukraine] and use it as part of his re-election campaign) was not exactly a secret (Q-anon effectively traded on this well-known "secret").

But, if this is for real then Trump is not just threatening Biden; he is threatening Kerry, Clinton, Obama, and nearly every senior Democrat. And he is also threatening McCain (he's dead, I know), Romney, Graham, etc. and probably every senior Republican. Manafort was a Ukraine carpetbagger and was recommended as Trump's campaign Manager by the Republican party grandees; a suspicious appointment unless you consider that Ukrainaian carpetbagging had practically become the reason for the existence of the Democratic and Republican parties.

So, if Trump goes down this path, he will definitely be impeached by the Democratic Congress and the Republican Senate as predicted by Jim Jatras.

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 31 2019 11:37 utc | 74

@Yeah Right #74
Indeed. While the first ballistic missile submarines were launched before the Cuban missile crisis (about 1960), the first American SSBN carried more missiles than 5 Russian equivalents. Plus the Russians had to come from Murmansk while American sub were based in Scotland, Spain and Guam.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 11:44 utc | 75

You are quite wrong, and with some heat, too, about the president's role in foreign policy. "Who the f**k does this NSC minion (Vindman) thinks he is? The President of the United States?"

The Constitution does not grant the president exclusive dictatorial powers in anything except perhaps his role as commander in chief. But you apparently think it does. The US president is not a "fuhrer". Advocates of the "unitary presidency", the fuhrer worshipers, did not write the Constitution and they are a tiny minority, although their influence is magnified by wealth.

You're a fool to defend Trump and you fail to understand that Americans do not like the authoritarian son of a bitch. He has no mandate, except in the mind of his supporters, such as yourself. A president with a mandate does not get booed at the World Series.

Posted by: jadan | Oct 31 2019 11:46 utc | 76

@BM #76
There is definitely a thumb on the scale, but I disagree that it is all - or even most - agitprop.
Talking your book is very common - as Codevilla points out, the liberal arts professor is just as vested, economically, in the neoliberal ethos as is the Washington policy maker mobilizing the LGBTQ and minority vote.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 11:47 utc | 77

@ADKC #77
You are right, except for the unspoken part which implies Trump is alone.
If he were truly alone, he'd be already gone.
There are still plenty of people in government who aren't neoliberal shills.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 11:49 utc | 78

"The Boeing crashes and the criminalization of American capitalism" (a recent essay at WSWS) suggests to me that the foreign policy must ultimately align with or buttress domestic policy - and that if one is corrupt, then so must the other part be. And they are corrupt... So?

So the question of "Who is supposed to Define..." may be moot.

A more salient question might be "Where is this Policy Set going to take the US in the future? (and) Why is that?"

As WSWS says, at one time the corrupt suits went to jail, and did not "suicide" or "become fugitives"...

Looks like "they got to" Truman at some point....and the Wallace switcheroo went on...a Policy Coup" with the sad "natural" liquidation of FDR...

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 11:56 utc | 79

During a meeting of the US Congress regarding the crash of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal called the aircraft created by the corporation "flying coffins."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/10/30/business/boeing-ceo-faces-withering-senate-fire-plane-involved-two-deadly-crashes/

Posted by: Maks | Oct 31 2019 12:22 utc | 80

@57 Jackrabbit

... but he did, refusing to attack Hillary on character issues ("enough with the damn emails!") and not denouncing her when she brought Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign.

Still peddling that stinky hogwash, I see. You know what the Democratic establishment mostly accuse Sanders of after 2016: attacking Hillary TOO MUCH and helping the other side sink her campaign. If you were more familiar with Dkos you would be aware of the rabid resentment of Sanders and stop with that bullset stupidity already.

Sanders attacked Hillary, example, associating her with Kissinger and Goldman Sachs, but as an Independent in Congress running with Democrats he had to exercise some discretion on how far to attack the Dems top prize. As I stated he was already lambasted for how much he did attack her.

Anyway, quit with that bull already. Bernie's not as pure as I'd like but he's one of the most authentic politicians in Congress, and for this reason the Squad is fully in his corner and that's good enough for me! STOP IT ALREADY!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 31 2019 12:28 utc | 81

@Walter #79
"Got to" Truman? Truman was the American equivalent of Churchill. He hated the Commies even when he was just a senator.
He also was the guy who pushed through a lot of the neoliberal international constructs ranging from the IMF/World Bank to the US export subsidies under GATT - the predecessor to the WTO.
I'd say he was more the getter than the gotten.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2019 12:39 utc | 82

@ imo | Oct 31 2019 5:16 utc | # 60

On the ground in Cuba at that moment, the local Soviet Commanders had authority to use atomics. There were about 100 gadgets on hand and use-able. There were not only rockets, but also cruise air-breather robot flyers - some aimed at Gitmo (ie on US forces already on Cuba)

The USSR submarine that almost fired was "B-59" searchterm >
"soviet b 59 submarine". Wiki is fairly true...

It was a coincidence that firing required 3 votes, as flotilla commander was on board. Highly democratic principle was launch required all 3 votes. It got 2...

Meanwhile, on Okinawa... see>The Japan Times Online
Sunday, July 8, 2012

MACE missile got the order to launch. Repeat...they got launch order.
However protocol required prerequisite DEFCON status was one notch too low. Nevertheless the birds were running (jets) and one man stopped the launch, at gunpoint...

"Okinawa's first nuclear missile men break silence - TAC ..."

There may also have been submarine surfaced with bird (again, jet) running and awaiting firing order (radio).

Soooo. about who makes foreign policy... Who gave the launch order?

And That was Then...

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 12:40 utc | 83

Oh yeah, the Okinawa birds targets were China...

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 12:42 utc | 84

@46 karlof1

Sure, except did the CIA/NSC (and perhaps the closely associated civilian policy advocacy orgs*) ever care about how many random foreign people they killed or what destructive and immoral alliances of convenience they made? I don't think they would find particularly threatening the possibility of being exposed for practices that are just normal to them.

What would be scary is if they were caught after they broke some unwritten rule within DC, screwed around too much in the territory of a rival agency or branch of govt, something like that...

No way to really tell from the political theater :-]
At least people are getting wise to where the decisions really come from.

[* this is usually the level where the neoliberal interests work their magic on the overenthusiastic natsec guys, but of course with people like the Clintons and Bush's, and also Biden and also Trump, there is the option of going straight to the top, and not wasting time bankrolling a bunch of quasi academics to write papers to tell the spooks what to do... just hire the kid or nephew, make a charitable contribution or big ticket defense purchase run thru a friendly dessert kingdom etc]

Posted by: ptb | Oct 31 2019 12:57 utc | 85

On who really defines US Foreign policy, a link on Netanyahu´s education in a John Helmer´s article, may result illutrative...

(...)In 1978, Netanyahu returned to Israel. Between 1978 and 1980 he ran the Jonathan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute,[20] a non-governmental organization devoted to the study of terrorism; the Institute held a number of international conferences focused on the discussion of international terrorism. Talking about a December 1979 conference, attended by the likes of George H.W. Bush and Senator Henry M. Jackson, the investigative journalist Max Blumenthal says that Netanyahu's aim was, after the Islamic revolution of Iran in 1979 which created "anxiety" in Israel, to "internationalize the Israeli understanding of terrorism", which he considers the clash of civilizations narrative and "the crude mantra of the post-9/11 era in America."[34] From 1980 to 1982 he was director of marketing for Rim Industries in Jerusalem.[35] During this period Netanyahu made his first connections with several Israeli politicians, including Minister Moshe Arens, who appointed him as his Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., a position he held from 1982 until 1984.[36] Between 1984 and 1988 Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.[36] Netanyahu was influenced by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, with whom he formed a relationship during the 1980s. He referred to Schneerson as "the most influential man of our time".[37][38][39]

It was while living in New York during the 1980s that Netanyahu became friends with Fred Trump, the father of Donald Trump..

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 31 2019 12:58 utc | 86

Posted by: snake | Oct 31 2019 1:32 utc | 48

lysias @2 download & read about Ukraine, 1956 Hungarian Revolution" history from 1919 Bolshevik revolution.. Lenin and Stalin vs social democracy and Christianity. The history of Hungary sheds light on Crimea and Ukraine example after example of regime change.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Hannah | Oct 31 2019 12:58 utc | 87

Kisa @ 43

Sorryto be so picky - and off topic, really, but despite the fact that many in the US don't seem to be aware the following is English language usage:

To Lie, as in tell untruths,(regular verb) (present: lie/s, simple past: lied, continuous: lying, past participle: has/had lied) - "They lie all the time."

To Lie (down) (irregular verb) - as in be recumbent. So "She is lying down." "He has lain in bed all day." "I'm going to lie down now." ( present: lie/s, continuous: lying, simple past: lay [this is where the confusion between to lie down and to lay down arises, past participle: lain)

To Lay (down) (regular verb) (present: lay/s, simple past: laid, past participle: laid, continuous: laying) - has to have a direct object to "lay down" - "She lay down on the floor." "He laid his weapons down." "The hen lays eggs."

Thank you b for this summation and questioning of what is spouted across the MSM, in this instance about the whole latest farce (and deliberate time consumption, distraction and deflection process) in Congress by the Demrats. The Strumpet is appalling in so many really existing ways, but they also tend to be the same ways that the Dems behave, albeit with a smoother, nicer, politer and more educated facade than his.

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 31 2019 13:20 utc | 88

Sorry- incorrect: "She lay down on the floor." This is in fact NOT the verb to "Lay" but the use of the past tense of "to lie down." My apologies - and a clear instance of why this past tense has affected the proper use of these two confusing verbs. It ought to have been something like "She laid her head on the pillow."

A big oops.

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 31 2019 13:24 utc | 89

@ : c1ue | Oct 31 2019 12:39 utc | 83

Ok. But the mark is always part of the con, essential.

Truman's status in the Senate made him a target for "seduction" by criminal capitalists who wanted to make corruption a sure thing...the anointing of Truman at the '44 Demo Convention followed by the (reasonably claimed) murder of FDR (see Irving on that) strongly followed by his actions in office and by his anticommie rhetoric suggests that the target was got.

It was the Texas Oil money @ the '44 convention...

Oil and Policy? Who'd a thunk?

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 13:30 utc | 90

I am inclined to doubt that either Churchill or Truman made Policy based on what they may have felt about the commies - rather that their emotional predictions and characters inclined others to give them money and power, subject to blackmail - such that the Cold War and plans for Operation Unthinkable were curated in a furtive and secret seizure of Policy.

Truman made himself? Pendergast made Truman...

Pendergast's support ended...and then? The oil boys, the FBI boys, the OSS boys...

If you are a cop-boss and you crack down on the whorehouses, then the Madams come and show you pictures...and pass envelopes of cash.

Basic Conjob 101

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 13:41 utc | 91

@ karlof1 59

Of course we are not governed by The Federalist Papers but by the Constitution. But still this is interesting, and goes toward my position @ 52.
"In this respect, therefore, there is no comparison between the intended power of the President and the actual power of the British sovereign. The one can perform alone what the other can do only with the concurrence of a branch of the legislature. "

And so I disagree with your wrap-up here.
"Pretty thin it must be admitted, so much is assumed and taken for granted as the making of treaties in the first place requires the operation of external relations and all its accessories and infrastructure, which also involves the appointing of ambassadors, which is discussed in the next paragraph that deals with all appointments. Coupled with the position of Commander in Chief, it seems obvious given the nature of most known previous governing arrangements that the President is in charge of conducting Foreign Relations and that the Legislative has very little opportunity to guide those relations. "

comments:
>The making of treaties is a rather minor function that requires a secretary of state and someone to liaise with foreigners. It doesn't require any "infrastructure." US ambassadors overseas are usually political rewards for financial support and are there "on station" primarily to advance US military and financial interests, not to make treaties. In fact the US being a world hegemon giving orders is not prone to engage in treaties. An extensive list of treaties unsigned or unratified by the United States is here.
>The fact that "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States" inherently carries no authority for independently conducting Foreign Relations. It's a military position. We've recently had a sour dose of the military wrongly getting involved in foreign relations with LTC Vindman.
>The Legislature currently has very little opportunity to guide foreign relations because many people think like you do, that the president has the sole authority for foreign relations which as I have indicated has no basis, besides being undemocratic and dangerous as we have seen. That includes presidents making treaties on their own without the advise and consent of the Senate. These treaties have been labeled "agreements" to avoid the Constitution. They include the Iraq withdrawal agreement and the JCPOA.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 31 2019 13:53 utc | 92

The essence of Washington DC in precipitous decline lies in its conformism, its groupthink, its automatic reactions, its lack of creativity, its determination not to change direction, not to recognise changes in circumstances.

This observation from a Canadian historian, seems to me a fairly precise description of the mental processes of that ultimate 'small-brained animal' the lemming like Deep State:
"Humans create institutions. Once institutions have been created, however, they more resemble small-brained animals than the humans whose creative capacity made them possible. They are the means by which humans adapt an environment, by freeing those who enter them from the need to struggle with that environment. They remove the need for thought and action, by requiring humans to fill roles, to behave in accordance with tacit rules."
Ann Kussmaul “Servants in Husbandry..”

Posted by: bevin | Oct 31 2019 14:03 utc | 93

BM @73 puts it in a nutshell. Not much more I can add to that, other than how astounding it is that people I consider to be intelligent and somewhat capable of critical thinking buy these narratives hook-line and shrinker! I chalk it up to conditioning, which is why the mockingbird technique is no longer disguised and the revolving door is in plain sight. "Former" intelligence community members simply hop on over to the MSM networks and continue their work. The block in the collective mindset seems to have be crafted over time and now serves as guiding device to prevent the questioning of the above mentioned narratives.

Regarding the Vinman identity, based on information available he seems like the perfect asset, right down to the twin brother. He checks all the boxes as an agent, and likely has a couple of passports as well...

Posted by: Chevrus | Oct 31 2019 14:19 utc | 94

Andrew Bacevich at Tom Dispatch makes similar points:
"Let us stipulate at the outset that Donald Trump is a vulgar and dishonest fraud without a principled bone in his corpulent frame. Yet history is nothing if not a tale overflowing with irony. Despite his massive shortcomings, President Trump appears intent on recalibrating America’s role in the world. Initiating a long-overdue process of aligning U.S. policy with actually existing global conditions just may prove to be his providentially anointed function. Go figure.

"The Valhalla of the Indispensable Nation is a capacious place, even if it celebrates mostly white and mostly male diversity. Recall that in the eighteenth century, it was a slaveholding planter from Virginia who secured American independence. In the nineteenth, an ambitious homespun lawyer from Illinois destroyed slavery, thereby clearing the way for his country to become a capitalist behemoth. In the middle third of the twentieth century, a crippled Hudson River grandee delivered the United States to the summit of global power. In that century’s difficult later decades, a washed-up movie actor declared that it was “morning in America” and so, however briefly, it seemed to be. Now, in the twenty-first century, to inaugurate the next phase of the American story, history has seemingly designated as its agent a New York real estate developer, casino bankruptee, and reality TV star.....

Posted by: bevin | Oct 31 2019 14:40 utc | 95

The Supreme Court held in United States v. Curtis Wright (1936) that the President has plenary power in foreign relations.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2019 15:13 utc | 96

Mina 69

The timing, coinciding with the US pullback from the Turk border, plus Baghdadi's location made me think Erdogan used him in a deal for the US pullback. But then the US say they had an asset in his security since May. That's possible as US have been using ISIS in Syria, both the Obama admin and Trump admin. Trump using ISIS to try and take the Raqqa oilfields, but more so to try and cut the Iraq Syria border. With Baghdadi being on the border, I take it he was on good terms with Erdo, or at least Erdogan was giving protection. Perhaps Erdogan was threatening to use Bagdhdadi US connections (make public) as a wedge to push the US and Kurds back from the border.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 15:24 utc | 97

@ Peter AU 1 | Oct 31 2019 15:24 utc | 99

I got the impression that one motive for the affair was liquidating the "witnesses" (and the papers (of which Trumpie spoke))

@ Don Bacon | Oct 31 2019 13:53 utc | 94

(Federalist Papers) It seems to me that these papers (which I have read) are rhetorical attempts to persuade the right people to ratify the questionable "constitution" of 1789. They are useful as lessons in BSing people into agreeing to proposals by rich people.

USC says what it says, but only according to what a judge says, not you or me...and even that depends on what Power decides...and we have zero power.

Posted by: Walter | Oct 31 2019 15:33 utc | 98

@ lysias 98
the President has plenary power in foreign relations.
No.
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation

Because "the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation," Congress may provide the President with a special degree of discretion in external matters which would not be afforded domestically. Roosevelt thus had the discretion to determine what impact a certain policy might have on foreign affairs and make decisions accordingly, even had Congress not authorized him. Because "the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation," Congress may provide the President with a special degree of discretion in external matters which would not be afforded domestically. Roosevelt thus had the discretion to determine what impact a certain policy might have on foreign affairs and make decisions accordingly, even had Congress not authorized him. . .here

So the president has a special degree of discretion to determine what impact a certain policy might have on foreign affairs and make decisions accordingly. The president doesn't make the policy, the Congress does. The president then executes the policy, which might require decisions not specifically authorized.

plenary: unqualified; absolute.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 31 2019 15:34 utc | 99

@ kiza... that is a good analogy to make.. the people of the 2 countries are very different..

@ a user... that is exactly how i see sanders as well... he is not capable of transcending the bullshite that has become the usa..

@ jadan... i thought you weren't going to post anymore if b didn't correct his ways! you're a (predictable) broken record now!

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2019 15:55 utc | 100

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