Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 17, 2020

How Trump Rebelled Against The Generals

In early 2017, just as Trump was inaugurated, we wrote how an old power center theory that seemed to explain how Trump won the elections:

Seen from the perspective of power centers Clinton once had all the support she needed. But she then lost a decisive group due to her uncompromising neo-conned foreign policy. Here is an interesting take based on a theory from the 1950s:

[T]he power elite can be best described as a “triangle of power,” linking the corporate, executive government, and military factions: “There is a political economy numerously linked with military order and decision. This triangle of power is now a structural fact, and it is the key to any understanding of the higher circles in America today.”

The 2016 US election, like all other US elections, featured a gallery of pre-selected candidates that represented the three factions and their interests within the power elite. The 2016 US election, however, was vastly different from previous elections. As the election dragged on the power elite became bitterly divided, with the majority supporting Hilary Clinton, the candidate pre-selected by the political and corporate factions, while the military faction rallied around their choice of Donald Trump.


The decisive political point in this election round was the fight between neo-conservatives/liberal-interventionists and foreign policy realists. One side is represented as exemplary by the CIA with the U.S. military on the other:

A schism developed between the Defense Department and the highly politicized CIA. This schism, which can be attributed to the corporate-deep-state’s covert foreign policy, traces back to the CIA orchestrated “color revolutions” that had swept the Middle East and North Africa.

The CIA created bloodthirsty future enemies the military will later have to defeat. ...

That explanation has held up well. At the beginning of his regime Trump stuffed the White House with the military faction while the executive government -the deep state- waged a war against him. The corporate side of triangle of power was quite happy with his tax policies.

But Trump soon discovered that the military faction did not concur with his 'America first' isolationist tendencies. The 'grown ups' and generals wanted to explain to Trump why they believe that the U.S. needs many allies and bases and why the many long wars the U.S. fights are sensible policy.

According to a new book, partly adapted in a Washington Post piece, that effort did not end well:

Trump organized his unorthodox worldview under the simplistic banner of “America First,” but [Secretary of Defense Jim] Mattis, [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson, and [Director of the National Economic Council Gary] Cohn feared his proposals were rash, barely considered, and a danger to America’s superpower standing. They also felt that many of Trump’s impulsive ideas stemmed from his lack of familiarity with U.S. history and, even, where countries were located. To have a useful discussion with him, the trio agreed, they had to create a basic knowledge, a shared language.

So on July 20, 2017, Mattis invited Trump to the Tank for what he, Tillerson, and Cohn had carefully organized as a tailored tutorial.

The meeting in the Tank, a secure conference room in the Pentagon, were part of an effort to subdue Trump's insurgency against the top military's world view. and the presentation by top generals came off as a lecture which Trump immediately disliked:

An opening line flashed on the screen, setting the tone: “The post-war international rules-based order is the greatest gift of the greatest generation.” Mattis then gave a 20-minute briefing on the power of the NATO alliance to stabilize Europe and keep the United States safe. Bannon thought to himself, “Not good. Trump is not going to like that one bit.” The internationalist language Mattis was using was a trigger for Trump.

“Oh, baby, this is going to be f---ing wild,” [White House chief strategist Stephen K.] Bannon thought. “If you stood up and threatened to shoot [Trump], he couldn’t say ‘postwar rules-based international order.’ It’s just not the way he thinks.”

Bannon was right. Verbal scuffles about NATO, South Korea and U.S. bases followed. Then Trump took on the generals:

“We are owed money you haven’t been collecting!” Trump told them. “You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.”

The discussion turned to the war on Afghanistan:

Trump erupted to revive another frequent complaint: the war in Afghanistan, which was now America’s longest war. He demanded an explanation for why the United States hadn’t won in Afghanistan yet, now 16 years after the nation began fighting there in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a “loser war.” That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief’s commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war.
“You’re all losers,” Trump said. “You don’t know how to win anymore.”

When one reads the recent Congress testimony of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan one can see that Trump has a point. The war is long lost and the military is lying about it:

“There’s an odor of mendacity throughout the Afghanistan issue . . . mendacity and hubris,” John F. Sopko said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The problem is there is a disincentive, really, to tell the truth. We have created an incentive to almost require people to lie.”
“When we talk about mendacity, when we talk about lying, it’s not just lying about a particular program. It’s lying by omissions,” he said. “It turns out that everything that is bad news has been classified for the last few years.”

Trump's rant during the meeting with the generals continued:

Trump mused about removing General John Nicholson, the U.S. commander in charge of troops in Afghanistan. “I don’t think he knows how to win,” the president said, impugning Nicholson, who was not present at the meeting.
“I want to win,” he said. “We don’t win any wars anymore . . . We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.”
“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.

Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

A drill sergeant act performed on recruits with four stars on their shoulders. I find that quite impressive. Those perfumed princes must have fumed.

While some will certainly say that Trump disgraced the military with his rant most of the soldiers in the field will likely agree with his opinion about their generals.

Most of the 'dopes and babies' who were in that room have since been fired or retired. Their replacements are yes-men more to Trump's liking. They did not even protest about Trump's latest blunder. He rented out scarce air defense units to Saudi Arabia and went on to murder Qassem Soleimani in Iraq while the U.S. bases there no longer had air defenses to protect them against the inevitable retaliation.

The anti-Trump leaders of the executive side of the triangle have likewise been removed and replaced with people who are unlikely to put up a fight against Trump.

The third side of the triangle, the corporate faction, is happy that Trump pressed the Fed to douse the markets with free money. Unless the inevitable stock market crash comes before the election, which is unlikely, they will stick to Trump's side.

With all three sides of the triangle of power inclined to favor him or neutralized Trump seems to have a good chance to win the next election.

That is unless he continues to follow the advice of neocons with a bad record and, by sheer stupidity, starts a war against Iran.

Posted by b on January 17, 2020 at 18:47 UTC | Permalink

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Trump is a conman in on the biggest con of his life. He is enabled by the Republican Party for whom he is nothing more then a pen that will sign what ever paper they put in front of him, so as long as he / trump family gets its cut.
What ever thoughts he might have had before the election of things he could do etc he only had them until he started taking real money to the bank.

What i would like to know is who was the merry band of Republicans that went to the golden tower in NY to see if he would run on the Republican Ticket and what they promised him to have him elected of a whole bunch of equally unpalatable men and woman.

Grover Norquist once said: Make government so small you can drown it in a bath tub". I would suggest that they are not that far from it. And someone else said: We don't need a president who thinks he can do stuff, we need someone who can hold a pen and sign the papers we lay in front of him. And he is doing that.

the US is already and has been for the longest time at war with Iran. A long, protracted Cold War that kills mainly Iranians, keeps the young poor and unemployed, and the hardline clerics in place. And until now that worked well for both sides i would guess, but now bombs have fallen, a few of the unemployable, home schooled canon fodder from the depressed regions of bumbfuckistan USA have concussions (poor things) a few civilians are dead (collateral damage ), fallen out of the sky.........and all bets are off.

Put me on the map of 'Who would have thunk' - well all of us that looked at the record of Donald J Trump - he of the orange hairpiece - and we simply asked the many supporters of the hairpiece ' what could go wrong really :) maybe he will bankrupt the US as he bankrupted his Casino (again only he made money courtesy of the tax payer) and i guess he is in the process of doing so.

So really, Who would have thunk to elect a hostage taker, a serial cheat, an alleged wife rapist, someone who calls his daughter a 'fine piece of ass', and so on and so forth and expected him to be anything else then he is - a thouroghly unpleasant human being who has no moral compass and even less a social minded ounce in his body ?

Democracy depends on the population to be sane, and I can't seem to find many sane people in the US and many other places. but i seem to find a whole lot of people who are looking for a strongman and a 'dicktator' cause they are scared, believe they are owed money, jobs success, and if 'others' were to be deported, to be prevented from coming, if babies were stolen and lost (yes, kidnapping children as official policy), if detainees die in the 'immigration gulags' of the US, if libs and women and people of color were to be owned and put into the place they belong, then they would be 'something'. I could have been a contender" were it not for all the 'others' who took what is mine, and for all of the reasons, and A2, God, and outlaw Abortion they will vote for this guy again. Feel like the country is going places?

The con is on, the ride has started, buckle in and get comfy. There ain't no stopping for red lights on this roller coaster ride to nowhere.

Posted by: Sabine | Jan 18 2020 5:03 utc | 101

The ruling class: Barbarians have been barbaric historically documented mass murdering our own species for eons. Homicidal maniacs are controlling the earth, clearly. When does the cosmic reality enema get rid of the BS. The USA has met its Waterloo, too. Hang tight and figure out how to survive the evildoers' Georgia Guidestones Agenda.

Posted by: Biloximarxkelly | Jan 18 2020 5:57 utc | 102

Americans are sick of war. War anywhere.

I do not believe that for a second.
US initiated wars have been going on for decades, but I see no indication that US americans have any issues with it. The political parties are totally aligned on foreign wars, there are no people protesting in US cities.
Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 17 2020 21:46 utc | 27

I do not believe it either!
Since a good many Usians are morally bankrupt; they spend words like cheap cash.
Why not? It keeps them from having to actually do anything.
It's all out there; the lies, theft, murders, kidnapping, torture, and a corrupt educational system.
...and the band played on...

Posted by: V | Jan 18 2020 6:03 utc | 103

"Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief..."

Waht will be the next?  How they will use drone in future?


Posted by: arata | Jan 18 2020 6:09 utc | 104

@james 53

"...there is a huge vacuum in the leadership dept in the west..   you can see this in all of the western leaders."

Thank you for your reply. The question arise: why is that so? Where the  leadership come from? Isn't western civilization, western culture, western soul, has no dept? Has nothing to generate? Isn't decayed at root?

Posted by: arata | Jan 18 2020 6:23 utc | 105

@arata / # 104
How they will use drone in future?

indiscriminately and without remorse and when ever they please.

Posted by: Sabine | Jan 18 2020 6:28 utc | 106

@ V # 103

'It's all out there; the lies, theft, murders, kidnapping, torture, and a corrupt educational system.
...and the band played on..."

The band plays on folks, because of that corrupt educational system. Every school kid in america is brainwashed from nursery school, kindergarten, even before the formal waste of time. Then if they decide on college, unless their parents are one percenters, or hollywood insiders the kids are in hock to the tune of six figures when they grab that diploma. No one has time to protest anymore. 'They' have 'em by the balls and they're in a vice bein' squeezed daily. Most have to pull two, or even three jobs, just to get by. No one has the time to realize all of america's boogeymen are cia assets.

Besides, one's protesting against one of the most powerful militaries in the world and the police state is ever tightening here. Protesting is pretty much a fool's errand anymore, if it's against the government in general it's not covered by the msm, so only the protesters and their friends are aware of it.

Life if rough for many americans struggling to get by. They don't have time to protest, however, if the dollar were to lose it's world currency and our financial systems collapses there could be a revolt with all the guns here, but i wouldn't count on it looking anything like america's first revolution.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jan 18 2020 6:35 utc | 107

@ arata # 105

"western soul, has no dept? Has nothing to generate? Isn't decayed at root?"

Bingo! Except it is decayed at the root.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jan 18 2020 6:42 utc | 108

@106 Sabine

How they will use drone in future?

indiscriminately and without remorse and when ever they please.

They are already using when ever, they can. In future they will use  Where ever, including domestic states.

Posted by: arata | Jan 18 2020 6:45 utc | 109

Posted by: joetv | Jan 17 2020 23:52 utc | 66


Or instead they showed him what they did to Soleimani and made him understand that they could do the same to him. Sort of a Zapruder sequel. Such actions are always multi-faceted.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 18 2020 7:01 utc | 110

V #103

Thank you, my thoughts exactly. The USians are propagandised from cradle to grave every state has at least one Fort xyz and every stadium has military spectacles to ogle at. No football game without a military parade.

It will take a Herculean effort to turn that propaganda around and thankfully there are two candidates dedicated to that effort. More strength to their arm.

On the impeachment issue my take is like this:

Trump really cant afford to lose too many of them especially if the first motion to dismiss the impeachment case is to succeed. He can only be removed from office if there is a two thirds senate majority on the proposal to remove.

But a simple majority is what he has to hold to succeed at defeating all other forms of censure motions and getting the witnesses he wants dragged before the Senate.

The numbers are:

Democrazies 45

Independent 2

Repugnants 53

So three repugnant defectors would give a tied vote (assuming the independents vote with the democrazies).

Not a comfortable position and certainly not now after assassinating Souleimani, Afghanistan war report looking ugly and who knows what else. The 'permanent state' gangsters can do much damage to his brittle ego by getting four repugnants to defect.

So if Trump is damaged goods going into the election cycle he could well be defeated by Bernie Sanders IF he can overcome the jackals in the democazie party machine. Hope is all I have.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 18 2020 7:06 utc | 111

evilempire #73

I am having trouble getting replies to you posted but here is a tale on Mogilevitch (2014) that you might find interesting.

I was intrigued by its reference to one of the richest men in Ukraine, Dmytro Firtash and wondered as to his links to the 'Biden Burisma business' if any. Of course he may have links to the progeny of Pelosi too. The entire impeachment episode went ballistic as soon as Trump stated picking over the turds in Ukraine so I suspect that is where the democrazies will come undone.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 18 2020 7:28 utc | 112

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 17 2020 19:57 utc | 13

"At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks Trump is an honest man with noble intentions is a complete fool"

That only needs to be changed to: At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks any system politician is honest and has noble intentions is a complete fool.

But then religious fundamentalists, such as the cultists of electoralism, cannot be reached by evidence or rational argument.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 18 2020 7:45 utc | 113

So if Trump is damaged goods going into the election cycle he could well be defeated by Bernie Sanders IF he can overcome the jackals in the democazie party machine. Hope is all I have.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 18 2020 7:06 utc | 111

Hope is but a gossamer thread on which to hang, re: the democazie party machine.
But, I suppose, it is better than nothing.
Regardless of who wins the next "election"; we'll know for a certainty whether or not voting matters any longer. IMO; it does not...
We'll see...

Posted by: V | Jan 18 2020 7:50 utc | 114

Based on my information:

- Trump didn't expect to win in the first place.
- Trump won the elections because he tapped into the resentments of the "silent majority" with opinions that demonized people from Mexico, China and the Middle East (= muslims).

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 18 2020 8:25 utc | 115

"With all three sides of the triangle of power inclined o favor him or neutralized Trump seems to have a good chance to win the next election."
I don't understand that sentence. Who is ?

Posted by: alain | Jan 18 2020 8:38 utc | 116

c1ue @68

The plan has nothing to do with a successful impeachment trial. It's more about stacking the opposition candidate deck with a lengthy enough process to cripple both Sanders and Warren during the field thinning stage of primary electioneering. This presupposes a conjecture: deep state interests overall would rather have four more years of Trump than four of Sanders. At the highest levels, it appears dissent is about control over the ending of petrodollar dominance. What the world just witnessed at Ain Assad Airbase, is paradigm changing. Trump gets to preside over economic collapse, with all his dubious bankruptcy acumen. Zion gets to choose the juncture, as the parasite is about done with this host.

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Jan 18 2020 9:18 utc | 117

Life if rough for many americans struggling to get by. They don't have time to protest, however, if the dollar were to lose it's world currency and our financial systems collapses there could be a revolt with all the guns here, but i wouldn't count on it looking anything like america's first revolution.
Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jan 18 2020 6:35 utc | 107

Yea, I know. I have a sister living in Oregon. She's still working @ 70yo.
Revolution almost never has a good ending; in the U.S., at this time; it would be the worst, IMO.

Posted by: V | Jan 18 2020 9:49 utc | 118

karlof1 #58

"And second to that, when will Iran take the next action in its avenging Soleimani's murder?"

Elijah Magnier said in a tweet that he thought before February 11 something might happen. February 11 is the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Elijah J. Magnier
Jan 12
I believe something will happen before the 11th of February 2020 in #Iraq.

It is the anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the 40th day of the #US assassination of #QassemSoleimani #AbuMahdiAlMuhandis and their 6 companions.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 18 2020 9:59 utc | 119

The leadership in the US need to stop thinking that they are impervious to revenge. Very small drones can fly autonomously and each can carry 2 Kg of cargo which can be explosives, chemical or bioweapons or a combination. They are cheap, easy to build and can operate autonomously. With only using relatively simple algorithms they can be made to fly in groups and track using already extant facial recognition software. I can envision a scenario where drones are flown to the top of a semi-trailer somewhere south to hitch a ride north on I-95 until they get into DC near Fort Belvoir or Andrews AFB. They could then lift off and loiter perched on transmission lines where they can easily recharge using rf energy and wait. Once a target arrives, say a President on the golf course or perhaps Air Force 1 taxiing on the runway or even perhaps perch outside a window, they can then lift off and conduct an attack either directly or as limpet mines. With swarming you can send a mass of drones all flying autonomously with varied patterns. It would be impossible to stop them. Because they are autonomous jamming won't work. They would be impossible to trace back to their origin and most could be 3D printed and use off the shelf parts. If I can think this way, I am certain others are as well. Snake drones would be particularly difficult to stop.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Jan 18 2020 11:21 utc | 120

Being curious - has this content ever been checked?
" investigate Tweetie Bird and publish to the world, indeed, hammer to the world, the long grotesque story of his attempt to make a career in real estate, and the fraud he engaged in from the start. His string of bankruptcies was the most spectacular in the history of American business enterprise (this from somebody who has studied United States economic and financial history) instead of letting him constantly blather on about what a great businessman he was etc.

His father had him on the payroll when he was two, to the tune of $200,000, in order to pass wealth on to him without paying the very high gift tax. By the time his father died, he had made over to Tweetie Bird something in the neighborhood of $420 million. And Tweetie Bird squandered it all, plus the fabulous real-estate empire that his father had left him -- all gone...

In 2002, Tweetie Bird was over $3 billion (yes, BILLION) in debt to 72 banks in New York and no New York bank would give him a credit line, which he desperately needed to keep up his incessant refrain that money is no object for Donald Trump. So, he turned to the Russian oligarchs for whom he had been laundering money to generate cash flow. They gave him a credit line through the Cypriot banks that they controlled, and now they own him. They are his Russian connection, not V.V.P., who has been fighting the oligarchs since he first took office -- look at what V.V.P. did to Michail Khodokovski: ten years in the gulag (he's now living in Switzerland reduced to scraping by on the ten or so billion that he had squirreled away in Swiss banks).
Tweetie Bird owns NOTHING. Everything is in the name of the Trump Organization, to protect it from confiscation when the reckoning comes. And, since the T.O. publishes NOTHING about its affairs, it's reasonable to assume that he is in debt to his Cypriot banks, probably to the tune of five or six billion at this point, and that they hold liens on every piece of property he claims as his own.
Tweetie Bird is all about Tweetie Bird, exclusively. His pitch for détente with Russia was a classic case of doing the right thing for the wrong reason, to wit he intended to lift the sanctions if V.V.P. would round up the oligarchs who have Tweetie Bird over the barrel and pack them off to the gulag. However, in August 2017, Congress pulled the rung out from under him by reinforcing the sanctions and thus removing them from executive order purview and placing them under Congressional authority.“

Fits into this context may be better than vague assumptions about the structure of the "deep state". It had been published here and if it is nonsense the reasons may be told.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 18 2020 11:48 utc | 121

The ability to pass a simple field sobriety test should be a requirement that the us president is capable of fulfilling.

Posted by: Josh | Jan 18 2020 11:52 utc | 122

How Trump Rebelled Against The Generals

Did he? And at what exact point in time? The military from my uninformed perspective was one of the central columns of his campaign. And more arbitrarily, wasn't there this list of early military and intelligence supporters? But interesting. Power triangle.

OK, he could have declared war on North Korea and/or Iran directly already but didn't. ;) Considering war by other means?

I seam to recall Trump had some type of "Issues Quadruple". Anyone remembers what his central issues were?

Posted by: moon | Jan 18 2020 12:00 utc | 123

Once upon a time Christians believed bad people would end up here

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 18 2020 12:07 utc | 124

More to my post at #124. This is what Magnier refers to.

Importance of 40 Days After Death in Islam

It has been a tradition in society, if there is a death in family, many guests come to our home at night. They want to so hospitality and offer their condolences (see also how to give condolences for death in Islam). They pray the death person and family who is lived.
Commonly in the second until seventh or even 40 days after death, the family who is lived will arrange a Tahlil event and prayer that are sent to death person. There is food or not, it is no problem. But theimportant thing is the tahlil and prayer to add the provision of that death person.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 18 2020 12:17 utc | 125

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Jan 18 2020 11:21 utc | 120

Now that's curious you are around here too. So your mission has changed? What are your funds doing.

Posted by: moon | Jan 18 2020 12:17 utc | 126

Willy2 @115 "Trump didn't expect to win in the first place."

Correct. Trump was just a stalking horse for the Democrats to clear the field on the Republican side for Clinton. But your follow-on assumption, that people voted for the deliberately repulsive stalking horse because they are prejudiced deplorables, is based upon the same false assumptions that underlay the choice to proffer a repulsive figure as the alternative in the first place in order to lock in Clinton's victory.

There are a number of reasons people voted for Trump, but one of the bigger reasons for many was because they recognized that Trump was put on the ballot to force them to vote for Clinton. Their vote for Trump was this a kind of "Don't tell me what to do!" reaction.

Perhaps a bigger cause for the support Trump received is a building backlash against political correctness, identity politics, and the general infantilization of American society. For example, trying to tell people that the reason for the problems in life of frustrated obese women is not because they strap on the turbo feedbag full of Cheetos but because Joe Sixpack has a preference for Bernini babes rather than Botero blimps just doesn't sit well with some people. Trump's crude bluntness, which did repel some people as intended, was seen by millions of others as a refreshing honesty that is altogether absent from contemporary American politics. Telling people who are barely scraping by with gig work not far above minimum wage that a flood of cheap labor from abroad isn't going to shift the wage scale down contradicts what they can plainly see with their own eyes. That doesn't sit well with many Americans either. Again, Trump was telling truths that anyone can see as truths, even if they are unpleasant ones that "proper" people know shouldn't be said out loud, while even Sanders, the best Democrat option by miles, prevaricates on the issue.

It is surprising that so many people still fail to understand what "went wrong" with the brilliant plan to install Clinton. It wasn't racism. Many Trump voters voted for Obama in 2008. It wasn't sexism. Jill Stein was many of these voters' second choice. It wasn't xenophobia. Few Trump voters live in white gated communities.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 18 2020 12:18 utc | 127

ok should have been how are your funds doing in correct English.

Posted by: moon | Jan 18 2020 12:18 utc | 128

Sorry, let me try this again:
Once upon a time Christians believed bad people end up here

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 18 2020 12:18 utc | 129

Forgot the link.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 18 2020 12:20 utc | 130

What a well- told story and command of drama, private B!

Posted by: Ou Si (區司) | Jan 18 2020 12:21 utc | 131

@Karlofi 6

I suspect many people, including the country's leaders and MSM hosts like Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper believe that, all things considered, the U.S. is a force for the good.

But is it a form of madness or simply the result of being successfully propagandized for their entire life combined with fear of "losing it all" ?

I heard a prominent senator today state that the U.S. should leave Iraq because the Iraqi Parliament has shown disdain for the U.S., even though the U.S. has “liberated them” three times. This is a mindset of complete psychopathic insanity, and should be exposed for the lie that it is. Attacking an innocent country, destroying all that exists there, murdering more than a million of its people, and then claiming that this is liberation, borders on madness. This is the state of mind of those chosen by the confused and ignorant voters as their “leaders.”

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 18 2020 12:58 utc | 132

"Americans are sick of war"

Probably a sizeable chunk of the people. But not the ruling class.

"Most of this carnage by the United States is done in the name of dishonest and non-existent defense of country, of “spreading democracy” or of forced regime change based on the lie of protecting by force the people of other lands. The truth of all these politically motivated lies is that the brutality of U.S. aggression is purposeful slaughter for political and geo-political gain, all at the expense of innocent populations around the globe."

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 18 2020 13:11 utc | 133

@ karlof1 | Jan 17 2020 21:44 utc | 26

Relying on Michael Hudson for guidance in economics is one thing. Following him on political issues is something else. He thinks the Saudis did 9/11.

Posted by: sarz | Jan 18 2020 13:18 utc | 134

@ Posted by: V | Jan 18 2020 9:49 utc | 118

Inequality in the USA has reached an 100-year record high:

It's not the 1% anymore but the 0.1%!

The top 0.1% of US wealth holders now have as much wealth (property, financial assets) as the bottom 90% for the first time since the 'roaring 20s'.

It's not the 1% anymore but the 0.1%!

Posted by: vk | Jan 18 2020 13:29 utc | 135

“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.
Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

Source: Washington Post. So:

I don't believe it!

Posted by: Baron | Jan 18 2020 14:09 utc | 136

Lysander @ 30

Got it right, IMO.

Trump doesn't give a crap about wars killing people. He's about the bottom line. The business of the US is business. Further consider the Belt And Road Initiative (karlof1 briefly mentioned this). There's an underlying strategy of the empire. Only thing is a difference in how to make sure that it achieves it's goal: domination of world currency and business. The strategy is how to break the Russia-China coalition. Some believe that making friends with Russia could have caused them to detach from China (with the target being to tamp down China [again, think Belt and Road Initiative]). I cannot say for sure, but I do kind of think that this was the position that Trump had/has. This suspicion has legs if you consider the Russia-gate crap. And, the wars in the ME that Trump has vocalized against don't necessarily line up with being on the strategy path of using Russia to smack down China. Others believe it's better to go directly against China (and allow Russia to just kind of be isolated). The ME wars are, essentially, taking out the Road in Belt and Road. Having the area in a perpetual war makes business really difficult. This go-after-China-directly approach is seen in the Uyghur and Hong Kong battle fronts. Iran is made common to both strategy paths because, well, because of Israel (its overarching influence over US policies).

It's a left wing or a right wing of the same bird. The mechanism (bird) isn't the issue, it's the strategy (which wing). Chomsky really spells this out:

Perhaps the US doesn't want China to perfect the same authoritarian system the US is looking to achieve? The attempt to block Huawei from international markets is about who controls information (information flow).

Posted by: Seer | Jan 18 2020 14:13 utc | 137

“I want to win,” he said. “We don’t win any wars anymore . . . We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.”

These wars where never intended to be won. If you win a war you have to go home. It's pretty difficult to exploit natural resources and threaten other countries geopolitically without military and covert agency bases all over the region.

I'm not sure Trump even understands this strategy. As disgusting as it may be, the thought of someone actually believing we entered these wars for any other reason than to cripple and control them for the interest of our (not so)leader elite class is astonishing.

But, at the same time we are left with few alternatives due to the coup de 'etat perpetrated by the elite who stack the slate we vote from and use the legacy media to propagandize as many as possible into supporting this sociopathic/psychopathic foreign policy agenda.

All we are ever offered is slight changes in tactics while maintaining the original goal of world domination and total control of everyone in order to keep those on top, on top.

Nothing will change until the enforcers begin to fight back against the people showering them with unlimited budgets and propagandize adoration to the point of military/police worship.

Posted by: Dave | Jan 18 2020 14:19 utc | 138

Sabine | Jan 18 2020 5:03 utc | 101

"the US is already and has been for the longest time at war with Iran. "

Add to that the fact that in 1946 (or maybe '47?) Truman specifically threatened the Red Army in Northern Iran with the atom bomb. They withdrew. But the point is that Iran was the first defined target after Japan nuked in a display of "Overwhelming Power" (Stimson) deliberately to bring USSR to obey the US, or at least to intimidate Stalin.

Threatening Russians is just plain stupid. Threats are almost always stupid, unless you're trying to force an opponent into an attack-trap. Which "attack-trap" is what the Imperial Wizards are doing. The assumption, a chauvinist and incorrect assumption, is that the opponent is stupider than the attacker. Don't bet on's a sucker bet.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 18 2020 14:50 utc | 139


I can't say that I've dug into that in detail, although I do recall reading the post.

What I would like to say, however, is that the Cyprus question is one of the pivotal pieces in the current geopolitical situation.

A few points warranting further investigation to try and tie into a coherent whole:

1) The Cyprus banking crisis c. 2012-2013. This includes Russian oligarch/mafia money, and whether it was squirreled out of there before the buy-in orchestrated collapse of Laiki Bank of Cyprus as well as who was behind this push (IMF/NATO/GER/etc)

2) The Turkstream (1 & 2) gas projects (from which Turkey will extract considerable transit fees for decades to come). This also supports one of the main pillars of the Russian Federations' economy. Links also to US hegemon trying to kill off Nordstream 2.

3) The plans/MOU for Israel, Cyprus and Greece to build an undersea gas pipe network. This will effectively by-pass Turkstream, and is probably behind the push to have Israeli claims over the Golan Heights crystallise (along with the US staying put in Syria and Iraq). I also recall reading about ISIS shipments of stolen Syrian oil taking a cross-country route through Turkey to end up being refined in Israel, and on-sold to Greece (and others). This points at another whole behind-the-scenes dynamic.

4) Recent attempts by Turkey to get involved in Libya, create a new exclusive maritime zone, develop gas of the coast of Cyprus, and now military involvement. This is drawing rebuke from Israel, as it will scupper their planned pipe network. Greece likewise is now trying to send in troops (as observers/peace-keepers, LOL).
Cyprus is also rallying around to try and stop the Turkish plan from going ahead.

5) Recent arrests of Israeli intel assets in Cyprus of late also adds further heat to the situation.

I would really need to dedicate months of my life to try and untangle all of this, and by the time I did the situation would have moved on. (reminds me of the quote from Wagelaborers' blog: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Karl Rove)

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 18 2020 15:35 utc | 140

"with opinions that demonized people from Mexico, China and the Middle East (= muslims)."

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 18 2020 8:25 utc | 115

A clear example below of how quickly people's opinions can be influenced when they are bombarded with negativity by politicos and their MSM water carriers. ie Blame China for America's decline not Wall St. nor US Corporate Raiders like trump backer Paul Singer.

Unfavourable view of China rose in the US from 40% in 2013 to 60% in 2019

Same thing happened to views on Russia when the Democrats launched their Russia Russia Russia campaign. I thought it rather amazing that anti Russia sentiment could be revived so quickly.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 18 2020 16:24 utc | 141

cdvision @1

"... the US military is not very good, certainly nowhere near where it thinks it is. A commander in chief, surrounded by political and equal opportunity hires, with zero military experience in the modern era is ludicrous."

Why is that a bad thing?

Posted by: joe | Jan 18 2020 16:29 utc | 142

You wanna know who Trump really is? Trump is the dark soul of America. He's everything ugly that Amerikkka is: greedy, immoral, corrupt, an uncouth bully...more than that, he's a lawless tyrant, a pretentious hypocrite that sends the dumb masses kids to kill, die and occupy sovereign property while he, the privileged spends hundreds of millions revelling in superficial distraction, playing golf, comfortably numb, filthy rich and repulsed at the sight of tent cities, vets sleeping under bridges and by the migrant help that clean the toilets, pluck chickens all day and are bent over for hours picking crops at slave wages so he, his trophy wife and the well-off he favors, can eat.

Trump is America's depraved soul that Republicans and Zionists want to nurture and protect, because he's the Chosen one delivering everything they dreamed of; that Democrats are powerless to remove because Trump's the price you pay when your own hands are stained with the blood of those you killed with those you sent to war, stained with the betrayal of your principles and your own on behalf of AIPAC and corporate bribery to gain power.

Everything Trump is, Amerikkka is, and that's why he's in power. He's in the White House because he IS Amerikkka and who Amerikkka desires and deserves. Trump is the irresistable, uncensored charlatan; the rasputin Amerikkkans lusted after to free their lawless, depraved nature and latent immorality from the mask of shame, fake decorum and respectability. He's reassured Amerikkkans that selling your soul to the devil to do God's work is okay, as long as the end always justifes the means, and they love it!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 18 2020 16:47 utc | 143

"That only needs to be changed to: At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks any system politician is honest and has noble intentions is a complete fool.

But then religious fundamentalists, such as the cultists of electoralism, cannot be reached by evidence or rational argument."
Posted by: Russ | Jan 18 2020 7:45 utc | 113

Thank you for saying this much better then i could have, i agree 100%
i almost want to cry when i read "bernie will not..." "gabbard have my vote", the utter blindness and cognitive dissonans it takes to partake in the concent factory known as voting for the lesser evil.
The main reason i dont have any doubt there will be a war is bc off these "cultists of electoralism" that truly believes TINA and will die defending the empire.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jan 18 2020 16:56 utc | 144

Just never understood the concept of the triangle. All three sides are owned by the same people. Those who think only about their particular side or angle are merely operatives, not players.

The real players don't even like having their names said out loud. The Rockefellers would have you believe they lost or gave away all the money. Breathe the name Rothschild aloud and you just condemned yourself as an anti-semite. Those Saxe-Coburgs eke out an existence on a government allowance. And those are all merely second level players, recently arrived. The lot of today's slaves is most don't even know who owns them.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 18 2020 17:01 utc | 145

Posted by: Tom | Jan 18 2020 12:20 utc | 130🧐
Thnx for that link, i wondered abt it but i have been to lazy to look for it

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jan 18 2020 17:04 utc | 146

@ Circe | Jan 18 2020 16:47 utc | 143

Great description! But this circumstance came by, and was recognized in, degrees. No less a god of American Literature Herman Melville in his never-read novel "The Confidence Man"

It's not theater, not really Hollywood, but farce, right down to the clown, all of them.

Save what you wrote... and it dovetails to Marat Sade (the play)

>Don't be deceived when our Revolution has been finally stamped out, and they tell you that things are better now. Even if there's no poverty to be seen, because the poverty's been hidden. Even if you've got more wages and can afford to buy more of these new and useless goods. And even if it seemed to you that you'd never had so much - that is only the slogan of those who have that much more than you. Don't be taken in when they pat you paternally on the shoulder and tell you there's no more inequality worth speaking of, no more reason for fighting. If you believe them, they will be completely in charge in their shining homes and granite banks, from which they rob the people of the world under the pretense of bringing them freedom. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them, they will send you out to protect their wealth, in war - whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can, with the flick of a finger, tear a million of you to pieces."

Posted by: Walter | Jan 18 2020 17:14 utc | 147

@120 Old Microbiologist

The Russian airbase at Khmeimim has been attacked at least half a dozen times by drone swarms. The Russians never suffered a single blow. Current practice is to electronically commandeer and land the craft. These swarms are launched from ISIS locations by ISIS mercenaries but are conspicuously of American manufacture.

The American military is so dumb they may well be trying the same thing over and over expecting different results. There would be imaginary circumstance where a target would simply be undefended. Your I-95 example sounds plausible to me. But on first live trial in real combat circumstances the notion did not work.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 18 2020 17:27 utc | 148

Circe | Jan 18 2020 16:47 utc | 143

But is he really that rich? It is claimed that they just allow him to play the rich.
And that this is the reason why he serves Israel better than any other president before him. Or is this only a FakeNews assumption?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 18 2020 17:29 utc | 149

lots of thoughtful and interesting comments in this thread!

Posted by: ptb | Jan 18 2020 17:33 utc | 150

The technocrats and neocons claim to be acting in the "national interest" but is that claim ever assessed in terms of logical validity or results.
As a part of the nation I am truly sceptical as to weather my life was somehow enhanced by the middle east conquest and disruption. I know there are other factors and they should be assessed one by one and an aggregate conclusion could be made. I know they like to resort to "national security" but seems a stretch to say that this has enhanced our security in the long term unless the plan is to destroy all life in the middle east (save a select few).

Posted by: Jared | Jan 18 2020 17:43 utc | 151

The military-industrial-media-academic war complex. H/T to Ike who saw it coming. Was Ike the last "mostly" honorable President? Iʻd place Carter as "mostly honorable" also. Not looking to start a fight merely attributing the beginning of a phrase to the person believed to have begun it. Trump though is a "Conman-der in chief".

Posted by: SteveLaudig | Jan 18 2020 17:54 utc | 152

@psychedelicatessen #117
You are making a number of assumptions which I don't necessarily agree with.
1) That Sanders and Warren are on the same "side" and are viewed the same by the "establishment". They clearly are not. Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.
2) Trump vs. Sanders - again, depends on which part of the deep state. It is an error to assume the deep state is any more monolithic than anything else. The most credible breakdown I've seen is that the "deep state" is really 3 parts: the corporates who are happy with Trump, the intel agencies who are not, and the military which was unhappy originally but is now ok since they've come out ahead of the intel agencies and still have representation at the highest levels.
Looking at these same 3 with Sanders: the corporates would/are not happy. The intel agencies are fine with Sanders and so is the military (F35, baby!). So it isn't clear at all the "deep state" overall cares about/hates one more than the other - the constituent groups simply have different goals.
3) Control over petro-dollar dominance. Frankly, I don't see how Trump or Sanders matters there. The tactical plays are very clear: keep the Saudis happy so they won't accede to China wanting to buy Saudi oil in RMB, because the Saudis don't have any other reason to stipulate dollar payments any more.
4) Economic collapse: I am curious as to how you think this will happen. Specifically what is the driver?
If it is de-dollarization - that is going to take decades, unless the US has a debt crisis before then. And frankly, I don't see it coming soon because there is simply too much international trade dollar cushion for the US debt accumulation to be a visible problem for quite some time.
If it is domestic collapse not due to de-dollarization - what is the driver? The economy is already no longer a major manufacturing, etc - with helicopter money going to the 1%. As much as the neoliberals hate it, the reality is that the pain Trump inflicts via the trade war ultimately is net positive for domestic production. It takes a while to make an impact, but the trade war and the anti-China machinations have already caused Chinese manufacturers to move production abroad - and to increase in-US production.
Plus there are ways to extend the runway: health care in particular. That's a big, deep and very popular pot of gold which could be attacked, should Trump desire to do so. As far as I can see, he doesn't have any particular fondness or historical partnerships with the health care/pharma industry.
In 2016, HRC received $32.6M from health care (#1 overall) vs. Trump's $4.9M (#5 overall).
Compare with defense: Trump and Clinton were about equal (tied for #1 but only $1M or so).
Trump has also pushed through some laws which definitely aren't liked by the health care folks, like the hospital bill transparency law.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 17:57 utc | 153

So Trump said:

“I want to win,” he said. “We don’t win any wars anymore . . . We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.”...“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,”...“You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

If this is true, it means that Trump does not consider those ME wars useless or unwinnables, but only the people who manage them are not clever or resolute enough, which is quite scary, because imply that instead of "dupes and babies" if he put in charge "winners" and "real men" may be they can "go to Theran", or "win a land war in Asia" (Montgomery recommend not to start any never).

This language about "winners" and "losers" is so....American, it means that you do not "win" or "lose" as a matter of life, NO, but you are inherently a "winner" (always win)or a f**king "loser", it is the predestinationist (calvinistic) roots of the American culture and you can see it clearly in almost all the Hollywood movies with the "good gay" ("winner") overcoming an incredible number of obstacles, and at the end he kills all the "bad gays" ("losers"). It is all about is the Good against the Evil, the Winners (The Justs) against the Losers (The Doomed)

May be now the "winners" start to learn (again) how to lose (as in Vietnam), and this cultural roots make very dangerous for the US to lose a war, because it crumbles all this narrative of the Manifest Destiny, the Chosen People, and all that BS. The blow back could be devastating.

I think The American people love wars, they love to see in the CNN Tomahawks flying inside the Revolucionary Guard buildings and blowing them, US helicopters piercing with missiles the Iraqi APAC's packed with soldiers, the Abrams tanks blowing-up the Iraqi T72 with DU rounds, the videos US planes crushing the hangars, the command centers, the A10 straffing with their guns the "Highway of Death" and the bodies of Saddam soldiers scorched black inside the destroyed buses...They like it, especially if you carefully hide the busted bodies of woman and children from the cameras, or conceal the dead and injures GI's. They like the new tech weapons and how they "work" against the "bad guys"

American people love wars, what they hate is losing wars...and Trump represents, as someone said, what a good percentage of American people want to be, it is the archetype of "The Winner", a populists "Caesar", the last chance of a crumbling Empire

Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 17:59 utc | 154

Old hippe @128.yes, but these were being guided remotely from a US Navy aircraft and somewhat controllable from remote which is what happened. I think inside the US they don't think that far ahead and jamming would interfere with wifi etc. so not palatable. I Ave in mind they would be sitting in the grass or on a nearby telephone pole waiting for the target and travel less than 100 meters to hit. Autonomous means flying without any external controls and would be committed once set out. One perched on a window with 2kg of C4 waiting for whatever executive to sit down next to it would be another scenario. A snake drone could navigate in the sewers up to an executive toilet. The possibilities are endless. It is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Jan 18 2020 18:23 utc | 155

@DFC #154
That's one way to look at it, but I don't believe it is correct.
Trump is a businessman. He will jump onto opportunities, and equally leave when they don't pan out.
It is ideological types who refuse to admit defeat.
If Trump is, in fact, holding military management accountable - that itself would be a radical change.
To be clear, even holding accountability won't necessarily yield an exit. A short term tactic would be to simply play the musical chairs game until Trump leaves office.
Whatever actually happens, though, the fact that executive management recognizes these conflicts as losers is a dramatic change from the public "we're almost there, we've just about won, we're making good progress" bullshit that has been ongoing for 18 years in Afghanistan. And which privately nobody really believed.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 18:28 utc | 156

@ 105 arata quote back to my comment on their is no leadership in the west "The question arise: why is that so? Where the leadership come from? Isn't western civilization, western culture, western soul, has no dept? Has nothing to generate? Isn't decayed at root?"

leaders are a rarity.. i am speaking of ones with a higher vision for more then could say trump is a leader, but it is an all self centered, aggrandizing version.. he doesn't seem to care what people think - 1 characteristic of a strong leader.. but his vision is xenophobic and all about money, ego, image and totally lacking in substance.. it might be a long time before the west has a strong leader rise up within it's ranks.. the political sycophants just don't qualify... most of the soul in western culture is the arts, but generally the arts have been forced into the money game to such an extent that again, everything is dependent on money with few very visionaries, with rare exceptions.. roger waters is an interesting example of someone who has been speaking out, after a life of creative activity... mostly artists stick to their art and their art is their higher vision.. their leadership skills are in following on that, as opposed to wanting to offer a way forward for all of their culture collectively speaking.. decaying at the root might explain it all.. yes..

@ 121 Hausmeiseter / @140 john_in_au... the poster himself referred to it as parody on the thread in question @ 47..

Posted by: james | Jan 18 2020 18:34 utc | 157

From those muds...these mires...

Reinhard Gehlen: the Nazi father of the CIA

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 18 2020 18:41 utc | 158

@ 143 circe.. nice rant... much of it applies to the democrat party to.. they really aren't any different in substance..

@ 149 Hausmeister ... parody... the poster said that himself on the thread you keep on posting here..

Posted by: james | Jan 18 2020 18:48 utc | 159

sarz @134--

IIRC, it was a Saudi engineering firm that planted the explosives in the towers, and mostly Saudi nationals that were used as the patsies. Clearly, Saudis were deeply involved in the conspiracy. Just because the Outlaw US Empire's narrative about 911 is a lie doesn't exonerate Saudi involvement.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18 2020 18:52 utc | 160

james | Jan 18 2020 18:34 utc | 157

Thanks, James! "the poster himself referred to it as parody on the thread in question @ 47..“ - Hmmbh, Answer @47 on which page/thread?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 18 2020 18:55 utc | 161

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 18:28 utc | 156

We I do not consider the generals the real responsibles for the endless wars in the ME, normally are the politicians (as G.W. Bush, Cheney and others) who start wars, but Trump is not talking in the "political" terms, he seems to be talking in the "technical" terms of waging a war and "winning it", the language seems about producing a crushing defeat to the enemy and win, not a about why, in the first time, there is a war.
He could asl also something like "if you think you cannot win the war, why are you not saying it?", but nope, it seems that what Trump wants is the GREATNESS of win a war, crushing the adversary (as in the Gulf War or WWII), this is a real real way to MAGA and to pass to the History of Humanity, which I think is the project of Trump, is enormous ego is not satisfied only with a hugh number in a bank account, this nothing at the end when you die.

No, if this is true, Trump is thinking in another kind of people and to really WIN wars bigly, and this is scary (at least for me)

Sorry I have use "gays" instead of "guys", I have nothing against any sexual orientation

Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 19:11 utc | 162

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 18 2020 7:28 utc | 112

Moglivech is a nouveau pipsqueak compared to the Black Nobility.
They probably wouldn't admit him to their servant's quarters. He is
one of those mobsters that have to pay tribute to the Black Nobility types. They
seem to have limitless contempt for anyone beneath their station. Another
at the same address describes the control of institutions like the world bank and the
IMF by the Black Nobility. They seem to be the real power brokers in the Occidental
Empire. I just wonder who or what entity is the capo de tutti capi.

Posted by: evilempire | Jan 18 2020 19:16 utc | 163

Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo have managed to put Venezuelan egg on the face of the "Hola!" Vice President and the President of the United States.
Iranian chocolate is next...

Posted by: EL DISGUSTADOR | Jan 18 2020 19:16 utc | 164

>Iʻd place Carter as "mostly honorable" also.
>Posted by: SteveLaudig | Jan 18 2020 17:54 utc | 152

Maybe. His National Insecurity Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski kicked off Uncle Sam's plan to rule the world with mercenary head-choppers:

Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program to arm and finance the jihadists, in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR in support of its client, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. (from Wiki)

Current US policy, started by Zbiggy and approved by Carter, has killed millions, destroyed the lives of millions more, and shows no sign of stopping until the rabid elephant finally throws itself over the cliff. Is that a cliff just ahead?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 18 2020 19:36 utc | 165

@ 161 Hausmeister- @ 47 bottom of his post... RJPJR and rjp - same poster...

Posted by: james | Jan 18 2020 19:37 utc | 166

What if the real "rebellion" consist on the intertwinning of the Executive, Military and Corporate factions to all feed on profit while at the same time better control population and above all dissidents through the control of and proffitering from big data?

MILITARY-DIGITAL COMPLEX: Why Amazon is going to become the next US MIC giant

....And perhaps the ultimate goal is not just more government contracts, but influence over regulations that could affect Amazon. Today, some of its biggest threats aren’t competitors, but lawmakers and politicians arguing for antitrust moves against tech giants. (Or, perhaps, a president arguing it should pay more taxes.) And Bezos clearly understands that operating in Washington requires access to, and influence on, whoever is in the White House; in 2015 he hired Obama’s former press secretary, Jay Carney, as a senior executive, and earlier this year AWS enlisted Jeff Miller, a Trump fund-raiser, to lobby on its behalf.

....Steve Aftergood, who runs the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, has tracked intelligence spending and privacy issues for decades. I asked him if he has any concerns about Amazon’s rapid expansion into national security. “We seem to be racing toward a new configuration of government and industry without having fully thought through all of the implications. And some of those implications may not be entirely foreseeable,” he wrote in an email. “But any time you establish a new concentration of power and influence, you also need to create some countervailing structure that will have the authority and the ability to perform effective oversight. Up to now, that oversight structure doesn’t seem to [be] getting the attention it deserves.”

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 18 2020 19:44 utc | 167

@157 james

"most of the soul in western culture is the arts, but generally the arts have been forced into the money game to such an extent that again, everything is dependent on money..."

Thanks for your comment. It is very good comment. I would like to add my point further.I think the problem is the least " of the soul in western culture is in the arts". Flow of arts can not be forced to money game. Those arts dependent on money do not last longer, do not reproduce durable soul. How many Roger Waters needed to shake dormant, doped soul? How many Herman Melville to come and erect a tall mirror to show  Captain Ahab? Moby Dick was published in 1851. How many people have seen American soul in the clear mirror.

Then no brilliant leader can set  movement and lead a society whit shallow soul. 

Posted by: arata | Jan 18 2020 19:59 utc | 168

james | Jan 18 2020 19:37 utc | 166

Thanks. I see that RJP in there at @47 called it a parody. But it is said that Deutsche Bank was the last anchor for Trump and that this bank gave credit to him based on some Russian banks assurance. But may be this is a parody as well?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 18 2020 20:02 utc | 169

@ Sasha | Jan 18 2020 18:41 utc | 158 Gelhen may be the father and Dulles the mid-wife, but let's not forget "momma" Shepardson and MI6 (I probably spelled his name wrong...and Donovan - he was mostly in DC shaping his art project...but how...oh yes, I forgot. Conception by sodomy, how British!

Posted by: Walter | Jan 18 2020 20:12 utc | 170

@ 168 arata... thanks... you are right that money doesn't sway real art, but i have observed artists i know generally have a wife who is financially stable or come from a financially affluent background.. when an artist is forced to pay exorbitant rent costs, they are forced into doing menial jobs to keep the wolf from the door which distracts from their art work... 2020 is a very different reality then when herman melville was working.. i agree with you in your last line.. i can't see any change any time soon, but life is full of surprises and so maybe it can happen still - the birth of a brilliant leader... i am not seeing it.. soleimani on the other hand appeared as a brilliant leader.. the fact the usa got rid of him using the same lies and bs they are known for as justification - shows how much they respect or value the concept of a real leader... they will likely suffer a leadership vacuum for a good long time - karma...

@ 169 hausmeister...i think there is always some truth in parody which makes it more appealing.. i have heard these stories on the deutsche bank and trump as well.. i don't know how much of it is based on reality..

Posted by: james | Jan 18 2020 20:17 utc | 171

karlofi see

@ steemit

"9/11 and the Israeli Bomb Expert Infiltrated Art Groups: GELATIN (demo wiring team) and E-TEAM (sol-gel team)"

I do not doubt your claim about saud...but also there were strong, I think compelling, reasons to hold that there was also a zionish aspect...I mean the "Jew-calls" and the warnings.

At the very least they were photographing the action...they knew. It look like a cooperative effort.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 18 2020 20:37 utc | 172

Old Microbiologist @ 155:

I'm not sure if you've see this short horror video or not. This WILL be the reality within a generation. The only thing this War of Terror ever accomplished is creating more terror for profits. In any case, this technology would be unstoppable once you incorporate Artificial Intelligence as signal jammers would not be sufficient for protection. I suppose one could fight fire with fire; have your own swarm of AI drones attacking other drones.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 18 2020 20:42 utc | 173

@Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 17:59 utc | 154

The problem with people accustomed to play reality shows and screen games is that they end confussing fiction with reality and develop those false delusions of grandeur the games, fake reality, as the awaken dreams, have...

Your image of US society and rulling elite may be accurate, otherwise we would be already witnessing an US antiwar movement of a size comparable to Soleimani mourners...

Few days ago it was boradcasted at Spanish public TV,2nd channel...
This paragraph of yours,

I think The American people love wars, they love to see in the CNN Tomahawks flying inside the Revolucionary Guard buildings and blowing them, US helicopters piercing with missiles the Iraqi APAC's packed with soldiers, the Abrams tanks blowing-up the Iraqi T72 with DU rounds, the videos US planes crushing the hangars, the command centers, the A10 straffing with their guns the "Highway of Death" and the bodies of Saddam soldiers scorched black inside the destroyed buses...They like it, especially if you carefully hide the busted bodies of woman and children from the cameras, or conceal the dead and injures GI's. They like the new tech weapons and how they "work" against the "bad guys"

reminded me of this scene...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 18 2020 20:57 utc | 174

@karlof1 160 Don't think it was SA setting the charges that brought down the towers. Veterans Today had a pretty convincing article- "Joe Olson on 911 Nuclear-Unequivocal" by Robert David Steel. More like a Mossad operation than something the clumsy Saudy's could accomplish.

Posted by: LarsRagnar | Jan 18 2020 20:59 utc | 175

Sasha | Jan 18 2020 20:57 utc | 174

An American author, name forgotten: an anthropolgist survey of the Earth, done by green Mars-people in the USA. When they had finished it a final press conference. 2 things remained open questions: first why do American people like so much to see other people die? Second: what is the secret of the "blow job"?

The problem with parody is that in order to work it most resemble its object in an amount that makes that recognizeable. A minimum plaubility must be maintained. Therefore we recognize it as parody. While the real life offers such incredible things that no healthy brain would have dared to invent it. Too much cliche, overacted, ... that may prevent us from seeing the real picture. Without proof the clearest picture is in the fog of uncertaincy, though.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 18 2020 21:24 utc | 176

Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 17:59 utc | @154

The only countries which decisively lost wars in the recent past are Germany and Japan. Both were then taken over as vassal states, and the elites thoroughly purged. US culture was imposed, and their former cultures and national states were ruthlessly demonised. To this day both countries are not sovereign.

America may have "lost" in Vientnam, but not in the sense of Germany or Japan. Vietnam did not affect the sovereignty of the US. Same for all the ME wars. Even Israel did not really "lose" in South Lebanon. The IDF inflicted massive damage there and Hezbollah did not manage to breach the border. Hezbollah's "win" was per its own definition, not in the classical sense of military victory.
Since the likelyhood of actual territorial invasions of the US or Israel are low, they can just keep on attacking other nations as long as the internal morale is sufficient. That may be the sticky point. The weakness of both countries is their aversion to suffering.

Posted by: trind | Jan 18 2020 21:44 utc | 177

Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 17:59 utc | @154
I forgot Iraq and Afghanistan which were also invaded and the armies/elites disbanded. But they are tribal societies which can function without a central government, and in fact both launched counter-insurgencies against the US. In that sense they showed more resolve than Germany or Japan, which have been completely passified, with the population even favouring US imperalism.

Posted by: trind | Jan 18 2020 22:12 utc | 178

@DFC #162
What you say is possible, however, it is also possible it is not true.
Trump is very well known for hyperbole and exaggeration in public - why would anyone think he is any different in private?
I would suggest you watch some old episodes of "The Apprentice" to get an idea of the person behind the name.
The other reason for watching some episodes of that old show is that it encapsulates the exact dynamic underlying all of Trump's business activities in the past: enormous exaggerations, hyperbole but also rapid and decisive cutoffs when it is clear success isn't going to occur.
While it is certainly possible Trump has changed - to me, it is less likely that a 70+ year old will do so. Let's not forget that Trump has had numerous opportunities before this to start a shooting war:
1) The drone shootdown
2) The Syria gas attack (Douma)
3) This latest episode - Iran firing missiles at a US base
The question I would pose is: if Trump is truly all about a huge spectacle and war, why hasn't he done so yet?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 22:48 utc | 179

@trind #177
Your list is notably wrong - it excludes Libya, Iraq, Panama, Yugoslavia and many others.
As for sovereignty - it seems to me that you conclude that these nations have "lost their sovereignty" even as they're reaping clear benefits from the setup. Japan's lost sovereignty enabled them to become the 2nd largest GDP in the world - prior to the creation of the EU. Germany's lost sovereignty enabled them to become the largest exporter in the world, the de facto monetary owner of the ECB and one of the 2 dominant forces in the EU.
Hardly seems like a huge sacrifice to date.
Only when the benefits clearly outweigh the losses, and these nations continue to toe the line, would it be clear that sovereignty has been lost.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 22:52 utc | 180

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 22:48 utc | @179

I was on board with this type of thinking (since until now Trump was better than Hillary could have been) until he murdered Soleimani. That was beyond the pale. Since he was prepared to commit such an act, I am beginning to beleive the earlier stories of him engaging in other immoral deeds. The man simply has no ethics or conscience, so any good he may do is no longer worth considering. My impression is that he wants to humiliate Iran, employing anything short of a full-blown invasion.

Posted by: gunk | Jan 18 2020 23:19 utc | 181

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 22:52 utc | @180
yes you are right, there are other countries which enjoyed the same "pleasure".
the former elites were replaced by a comprador elite. both japan and germany had no choice but to make do with the status of vassals. they maxismised what was posssible. whether that was really what the populations wanted by the end of the war is debatable. loss of sovereignty is much more significant than economic setbacks. cultural, political and military sovereignty is the ultimate prize for any nation. the current political tensions in the EU are essentially a battle between the comprador elite and the populations which have been subjugated under US culture against their will.

Posted by: trind | Jan 18 2020 23:26 utc | 182

@gunk #181
I've never said Trump was moral. His past activities include all sorts of shady stuff, so I am personally not surprised by the Soleimani assassination - particularly given the military group now surrounding and advising Trump.
The question still remains: Trump could have had an Iran war if he wanted. All that would be necessary is to not evacuate the base and have a few dozen Americans killed.
Why not let that happen, if in fact Trump is hell-bent on a shooting war with Iran?
Just because Trump doesn't seem to want a shooting war - does not mean his reasons are moral.
Equally, the assassination of Soleimani can't be viewed in isolation - there have been many opportunities prior to start a conflict, why did he stop then and why did Trump not fan the flames this time?
Don't listen to his talk, watch his actions (or lack thereof).

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 23:28 utc | 183

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 22:48 utc | 179

Both things could be correct, Trump "was" a businessman, and now is a POTUS looking for his place in History. And IMHO he do not wants to be a "normal" US president, he wants to be one if not the "Greatest President in the History of USA", nothing short of this is not worth to try (for him).

People do not live in a "real" universe, everyone inhabit a "symbolic universe" that give sense to their desires and actions. There is a kind of "theater", and some people are more drenched than others in this "theater" and are looking for a "character" because the center of gravity of their lives, the sense of kin, tradition, roots, family in many cases are totally destroyed, so what is left is a kind of "movie" where you are the main character, this s**t tend to happens more and more frequently when civilizations are in decline (as ours), where the bonds between people, between people and the land, between people and kin, between people and roots and traditions dissolve in the abstracts sceneries of an impersonal world governed by money.

Probably Trump is looking for his "character" (as in the play of Pirandello) to pass to history as "Trump The Great", unfortunatelly for him the world is a very complex thing and the calculations of a gang with the habit of scaring people in New Jersey maybe do not work enough well against the mindset of the Shia world. Bad luck, accidents happens...

Posted by: DFC | Jan 18 2020 23:45 utc | 184

Walter @172 & LarsRagnar @175--

IMO, the Saudi engineering firm was a front just as the Saudi patsies were a front, but we also know there was close triangulation ongoing between CIA, Zionistan and Saudi that continues today. We know it was a false flag; the sham investigation served as cover-up; and only a few of the intended goals were accomplished and are in the process of being neutered except for the $$trillions made by the MIC and its stakeholders and those manipulating markets. Oh, I almost forgot that the event destroyed most of the evidence of massive fraud perpetrated by members of the Oligarchy, which IMO was the most important motive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19 2020 0:01 utc | 185

Posted by: trind | Jan 18 2020 22:12 utc | 178

The same happened during the Napoleonic Wars, when Napoleon won in Jena, Prussia surrender, the same with Austria, but in the case of Spain, this "backward" country, they destroyed many times the spanish army, but every single day 500 french soldiers died in the hand of the spanish guerrilla (the guerrilla name came from the spanish civilian people who fought against the Napoleonic army in Spain)

My small village was taking 10 times by the french troops and 10 times they were driven out, they burnt the church, and then my countrymen torched french soldiers, and if you know the paintures of Goya "The Disasters of War" you can have an idea de kind of war that was La Guerra de Independencia Española.

After reading some part of the church record that still exist in my villahe, with the kind of resolution that the peasants had, I can guarantee that if the french troops (Los Fanfarrones) were still in Spain they will be still fighting them to the last men.

The "civilized" people, whose lives are governed by money, surrender to a foreign army quite easily, they depends of complex estructures, and they cannot afford to live without them, they lack the bonds, the traditions, the community support and the will to fight; in fact they only care of money

Posted by: DFC | Jan 19 2020 0:01 utc | 186

There's just one problem with this scenario: Trump doesn't know "how to win" either. The generals are right in that respect - that Trump is an idiot with no clue about military affairs.

Because there *is no* winning once you start an unwinnable war. But for the generals, there is making rank and eventually retiring with a cushy job in the military-industrial complex. But you don't get that cushy retirement if you get fired for "losing" a war. So you make sure you *aren't* losing by classifying the evidence that you are and lying about everything.

It's like that line in the movie "The Battle of the Bulge" where Robert Shaw, as the German general leading the German forces, tells his sergeant personal aide that he wants the war to go on, and on, and on.

So, bottom line: The generals *and* Trump demonstrate how the US can't *win* anything any more. They can just lead the country into ruin with endless war.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 19 2020 0:58 utc | 187

@Posted by: c1ue | Jan 18 2020 23:28 utc | 183

.....The question still remains: Trump could have had an Iran war if he wanted. All that would be necessary is to not evacuate the base and have a few dozen Americans killed.
Why not let that happen, if in fact Trump is hell-bent on a shooting war with Iran?...

some 11 troupes were evacuated to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany with 'concussion symptoms'.

Just because the US is reluctant to admit to their home population that their boys and girls in uniform are not save in the bases anymore, does not mean that soldiers were not hurt or may have died or will die of injuries during the Attack. I hear that recruitment is having issues recruiting. This would not be helpful, so i am more waiting for a scenario that will call for a draft of sorts before any real action were to happen.

Posted by: Sabine | Jan 19 2020 2:46 utc | 188

@DFC #186
You are ascribing motives for which evidence isn't very strong - that I've seen.
Con artists don't care about history - they care about getting the money right in front of them.
Equally, I don't see Trump writing books trying to paint over his past - he literally doesn't care.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 19 2020 3:12 utc | 189

@Sabine #188
You should be aware that the entire base *was not* completely evacuated. There were a large number of armed drones which were in the air; a decision was made that those drones would not be unsupervised, so a significant number of people were still in their positions as they were hit, so that the drones could be kept under control and landed afterwards. And yes, they were of the type used to kill Soleimani...
I can't find the article again, but it was a major publication that mentioned this.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 19 2020 3:14 utc | 190

c1ue @153

Economic collapse I'd expect to be driven by Tehran in the coming hot war. I believe they will need to target production, refineries and transport as an early tactic, rather than something to hold in reserve. One element not often discussed, is the Iranian ability to withstand sustained barrages from conventional missile weaponry in abundance. This portends a drawn-out conflict with massive casualties.

Sanders and Warren being unable to properly campaign due to Senatorial considerations was the reason I put them together, not because they are on the same side. I'm expecting a long impeachment trial with "witnesses" and testimony resulting in several token sacrifices. Your assessment of deep state factions doesn't consider who would be perceived as easier to manipulate during a hot war. In addition, these factions are not of equal strength, with corporate representation perhaps being the most formidable. Factional infighting isn't a zero-sum roshambo like exercise either. This is for control over the demise of the petrodollar, as the bottom line being the U.S. dollar needs to be devalued in compensation for its infinite creation. The weak link in the chain is military enforcement, and a substantial defeat coming from Iran is what breaks the dominance.

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Jan 19 2020 3:18 utc | 191

Personally, as a republican (though not a Republican), I prefer that the President be surrounded by yes-men rather than seditionists.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 19 2020 4:27 utc | 192

@ Kali re post #7
It's the Yankee v. Cowboy war.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 19 2020 4:33 utc | 193

@ Richard Steven Hack re post # 187

You don't have to know dentistry to be upset if your dentist screws up your implant. Likewise, Trump doesn't need to be a general to be annoyed with generals who can't gain a victory despite having pre-eminently powerful forces.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 19 2020 4:39 utc | 194

Anybody know anything about Andrew Peek placed on administrative leave and escorted out of the White house tonight? NSC Russia desk. Fiona Hill's replacement.

Posted by: Idland | Jan 19 2020 4:57 utc | 195

I have the impression that a lot of the public has been bamboozled by the corrupt corporate/mockingbird media. Many, for example, are convinced that Israel faces an 'existential threat' from Hamas. Substantial numbers still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. Others have absorbed the doctrine that Trump is stupid and utterly perfidious in every respect.

Interestingly, among those who reject some of those narratives on the grounds that the main stream media is basically a factory of lies, will nevertheless accept others without the same skepticism.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 19 2020 5:20 utc | 196

evilempire #163

Thanks for that but the website at the end of that link is rich in information but its a bit of a spray paint job in the hands of a monkey (a right wing monkey at that). Not that I mind because I takes my gems from where I find them.

Can you point to a source that dispassionately describes the dispersal of the old Venetian team across the globe in the early 1600's?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 19 2020 7:40 utc | 197

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Jan 19 2020 3:18 utc | 191

"Sanders and Warren being unable to properly campaign due to Senatorial considerations..."

Do you mean unwilling? In what way are they unable?

Sure I might expect the corporate technocrat-posing-as-a-progressive Warren to play along with the impeachment farce, but if Sanders were really on the level the way his fans claim, and not a con artist the way I've long assessed, then why wouldn't he be flouting such fake "considerations"? None of his fans ever answers questions like these. (I posted about his willing participation in the NAFTA-vote geekshow the other day asking the same question and got no answers.)

It won't do to say he'd get slammed for it as irresponsible or derelict or something. He's already being slammed for that. On the contrary a real alternative campaigner who wasn't an incompetent spineless coward like Corbyn would be fighting to make a virtue of flouting fake conventions of the partisan geekshow. He'd be doing it as a feature of his campaign.

(It also won't do to say he'd render himself "unelectable", since the same people also keep assuming the DNC will steal, rob and murder to keep Sanders from the nomination anyway.)

Actually, when Sanders followers claim he's constrained by system niceties, I think they're really talking about their own preferences for a fake alternative who really doesn't want to change anything, only to put on a show. I bet if Sanders really were to start acting like an insurgent, his "progressive" support would lose enthusiasm. Otherwise why do they keep making excuses for his lukewarmness?

Posted by: Russ | Jan 19 2020 9:17 utc | 198

Russ @198

Sanders has given no indication he won't allow himself to be physically tied to DC six days a week as a participating Senator in the impeachment imbroglio. The same constraints bind any Senatorial candidate. What do you suppose would happen if any candidate were to recuse themselves from the trial? Is there any alternative to being tied down by something potentially protracted? Sanders going this route would be interesting to see, yet I think he would permanently outcast himself from the Democratic party if he chose to. I disagree that he might be able to positively spin recusing himself as a campaigner, obsesrving that his appeal arises from an ability to appear irresolute.

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Jan 19 2020 10:12 utc | 199

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Jan 19 2020 10:12 utc | 199

"What do you suppose would happen if any candidate were to recuse themselves from the trial? Is there any alternative to being tied down by something potentially protracted? Sanders going this route would be interesting to see, yet I think he would permanently outcast himself from the Democratic party if he chose to. I disagree that he might be able to positively spin recusing himself as a campaigner, obsesrving that his appeal arises from an ability to appear irresolute."

I agree completely that he doesn't want to become outcast from the Democratic party and that he wants to appear irresolute (a signal to his fans that he, like them, is only putting on an act and doesn't really want to change anything). But I say that's because he's a con artist who's there only to sheepdog for the corporate Democrats. I've said for many years now (since 2010, to be exact), that's all he's ever done and that's all he'll ever do. So far I've been right on.

My question was directed to those who believe he really is an insurgent against the status quo. If he were (or if he wanted to change into that right now), the answers to your questions (though I already answered them) are:

"What do you suppose would happen if any candidate were to recuse themselves from the trial?"

The establishment would whine and attack him for it, which would only be one added detail of their attack and therefore wouldn't change anything since they're already attacking him across the board.

"Is there any alternative to being tied down by something potentially protracted?"

Yes. Don't be tied down to it. Like I said - Speak only to the people, telling them "I'm not here to be a prop in their political con jobs which are meant to distract you from the real problems we have to deal with. I'm here for you, to be your representative and to speak to you about what's real, since the establishment politicians and media have nothing to say to you except what's fake."

Posted by: Russ | Jan 19 2020 10:51 utc | 200

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