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January 23, 2020

Open Thread 2020-06

News & views ...

Posted by b on January 23, 2020 at 14:52 UTC | Permalink

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The murder of Soleimani was not a one-off: it will be the policy to take out leaders and US vassals dare not speak up: Murder and Sanctions (aka "Financial Warfare" ) is what they do.

US Warns New Quds Force Commander Could ‘Meet Same Fate’ as Slain Predecessor.


The US will assassinate Quds Force Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani if he targets Americans, US special representative for Iran Brian Hook has warned.

“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” Hook said, speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic newspaper, in an interview published Thursday.

According to the US diplomat, President Trump has made it very “clear that any attack on Americans or American interests will be met with a decisive response, which the president demonstrated on January 2”.

Hook also said he believed that “the Iranian regime” now “understands that they cannot attack America and get away with it”.

Yes and soon.

Europe needs new instruments to be able to defend itself from licentious extraterritorial sanctions.

The World Looks to Abandon the Dollar as US Sanctions Tighten Their Grip

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 23 2020 15:29 utc | 1

How long can Haftar take the oil out of play before oil prices start to rise?

Posted by: casey | Jan 23 2020 15:29 utc | 2

@casey #2
Libya was never a major producer - and their production levels fell after "the revolution" and are still really low. Not at all clear it matters compared to say, US fracking production.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 15:36 utc | 3

Colombia Reports: Despite violent incidents in Bogota and Medellin, anti-government protests resumed peacefully throughout Colombia and are expected to expand despite sabotage attempts.

El Salvador Perspectives:This is the 88th anniversary of "La Matanza" -- The Massacre. Following a failed uprising of campesinos in 1932 led by Farabundo Martí, the armed forces of the Salvadoran government under General Maximiliano Martinez slaughtered tens of thousands in reprisal. The memory of that event continues to shape the views of right and left in El Salvador today.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 23 2020 15:40 utc | 4

@Likklemore No 1.

If the U.S. can do it or rather, have been assassinating other countries Officials, so can others and eventually, they will retaliate. No U.S. official will be safe, even in the mainland U.S. An old saying applies here. You sew the wind and reap the whirlwind.
The world is rapidly tiring of the classless thuggery of the U.S.A.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jan 23 2020 15:44 utc | 5

and the memory of elliot abrams excusing and justifying and denying the massacres during the reagan administration probably resonates, too.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 23 2020 16:05 utc | 6

Trump’s Katyusha Conundrum

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 23 2020 16:05 utc | 7

According to the US diplomat, President Trump has made it very “clear that any attack on Americans or American interests will be met with a decisive response, which the president demonstrated on January 2”.

and american interests are defined very flexibly, sometimes in conflicting tweets.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 23 2020 16:06 utc | 8

Anyone else wonder about the "coincidence" that the new Coronavirus outbreak in China happens JUST before the Lunar New Year?

Used to be it was a major concern that terror bio-weapons could be released into water supplies. Obviously too easy to genetically detect where the bio-weapon came from. Could it be the US/ZATO has figured out how to tailor a similar-to-naturally-occurring-virus to be introduced into a target species which then masks the original genome of a lab-produced pathogen. Designed so when some humans ate, or interacted with, these animals, it became air-transmittable in humans. Designed with a long enough no-symptom but contagious gestation period so the infected humans would move about and spread it to a critical mass of the population before officials recognized the new strain.

Also apparently this virus mutates quickly, which seems to serve to make detection of the original source more difficult...

Things that make ya go HHHHMMMM...

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 16:09 utc | 9

Hoping against hope Bernie was shifting with his foreign policy views. Not the case::

Posted by: Kabobyak | Jan 23 2020 16:10 utc | 10

bernie fp positions in many cases really bother me, especially buying into the various russiagate theories. i don't think he's a sheepdog, but then i'm left with the alternative that he is still naive and gullible about some aspects of the u.s. neither is really palatable. still, i hope for a bernie presidency and tulsi becoming sos, where she could do a lot of good.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 23 2020 16:14 utc | 11

@ AP, post #9

Yeah it also occurred to me that the timing seems perfectly aligned for mass, inter-province travel before New Year, and the location at more or less the center of the country at a major transport hub. I wondered also if it could have been planted.

But the strain of the virus seems rather tame, since it has primarily killed seniors, many already with other health ailments. I would think if it was released as a deliberate weapon of biological warfare, that it would have been something more lethal. (Too lethal is not effective either, since it less chance to spread widely.)

Posted by: occupatio | Jan 23 2020 16:16 utc | 12

Trump’s Katyusha Conundrum

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 23 2020 16:05 utc | 7

Good to see someone reads MoA and has followed up on an idea I was spreading round here after Suleimani's assassination. There'll be a lot more of those Katyusha attacks, making life uncomfortable.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23 2020 16:22 utc | 13

How long can Haftar take the oil out of play before oil prices start to rise?

Posted by: casey | Jan 23 2020 15:29 utc | 2

Haftar has had those ports and fields for some time. It's not new. The affair is only getting publicity now because of the threat to Tripoli, and the West beginning to panic and call a peace conference.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23 2020 16:25 utc | 14

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jan 23 2020 15:44 utc | 5

Excellent point... and furthermore, if Russia & others are capable of clandestine hits (as per the accusations against them, i.e. Skripal, MH17, Litvinenko) then why on earth would US invite such operations against themselves?

I'm sure if they (Russia/Iran/others) really wanted to, unfortunate mishaps, like traceless, self-inflected, nail-gun accidents are easily possible

Just when you think ZATO couldn't get any stupider...

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 23 2020 16:25 utc | 15

pretzelattack @ 11

Your analysis re Bernie could be right, and I agree that Tulsi as SOS would be a good thing. But I seriously doubt the PTB will allow Tulsi anywhere near a position of VP or cabinet positions as she is too much of a threat. She would have to adopt the party line re Russia, she seems to have walked a tightrope on that issue so far (unlike Bernie and all the rest), and hopefully she would keep bucking the Dems on that and other FP issues.

Posted by: Kabobyak | Jan 23 2020 16:28 utc | 16

well if bernie does win, he can appoint her. he needs a good vp, too--not somebody like lieberman, or some other shill. the ptb much prefer character assassination to the real thing, imo. it's easy to arrange hits in prison, and maybe the odd senator in a small plane. presidents and sos are another matter imo, and people are wiser to them, now. the mighty wurlitzer is their weapon of choice, and people are increasingly skeptical of that, too.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 23 2020 16:35 utc | 17

IMHO, the contest between rightwing and leftwing activists is so skewed by money that it is becoming a joke.

There is a story in this month's Harper's about a conference of "National Conservatives" (i.e., batshit crazy, rightwing assholes) Trumpism After Trump

This conference seems to be the kind of semi-posh meet-and-greet/audition that rightwing money holds regularly to organize their ideologues and set some kind of uniform talking points. An earlier Harper's article, Come with us if you want to live, covers an even more loathsome gathering of this type - techno-libertarians.

You can get the drift of the T-L mindset from this quote:

Politics as we know it will lose relevance. Large, gridlocked states will be disrupted like any monopoly. Customer-citizens, armed with information, will demand transparency, accountability, choice. They will want their countries to be run as well as a start-up. There might be some civil wars, there might be many new nations, but the stabilizing force will be corporations, which will become even more like parts of a global government than they are today....Facebook will be the new home of the public sphere

-Eliezer Yudkowsky, quoted by Sam Frank

Interestingly, both of these "conferences" had the odious Peter Thiel as a speaker, rallying the troops, seeing if there are any sufficiently rabid looney-tunes he can fund to cause trouble.

My question to MoA is:

Is there any equivalent to the money and organizing power of the Libertarians and the Kochs on the left? Any leftwing conferences of comparable impact?

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 16:42 utc | 18

I don't understand how a city of 11 million people can be quarantined. And now BBC is reporting a second city of 6 million named Huanggang is "on lockdown" (BBC's words). Public transit is closed - everyone lives within walking distance of food stores?

These cities are roughly the size of New York City. Imagine New York City about three days after the food trucks stop arriving and the shelves are empty. For decades the central planners have been pushing more and more people into urbanized areas, but a giant city is the last place one wants to be during a crisis. Everything must be brought in from outside!

Cities are extremely complex brittle systems. It looks like the Chinese are about to find out just how brittle they are. Good luck to them.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 16:48 utc | 19

An excellent article (by NYT standards). Strongly recommend reading it:

The Myth of Middle-Class Liberalism

Only one correction: the historian (who's British) excludes the British and American middle classes from the rectionary group, but he's lying.


The end is nearing for the Asian Paper Tiger:

South Korea posts lowest growth in a decade

The article mentions Samsung dismal profit rates from last quarter (that I posted here a few weeks ago) and China-USA trade war. Both excuses are false; instead, South Korea is just the latest victim of the chronic falling profitability stage, a stage every fully developed capitalist nation will go through.

The South Korea Times was more sincere, it mentioned the country is entereing a "slow growth trap" (the bourgeois term to designate Marx's Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall).


The real reason the West is blocking Huawei:

Backdoored backup? Apple nixed iCloud encryption after FBI complained your data is a valuable resource

Apple was barred from offering customers encrypted iCloud storage because US intelligence agencies insisted on maintaining open access to users’ files, their primary means of evidence-gathering, sources claim.

The FBI quashed a planned feature that would have allowed Apple users to encrypt their iCloud storage, claiming that it would cut the agency off from its best source of evidence against iPhone-using suspects, according to sources who spoke to Reuters on Wednesday. Apple reportedly went along with the agency, hoping to avoid being made an example of in the media or used as the test case for a draconian new anti-encryption law, and the program was put to bed two years ago – yet the crusading surveillance state has returned in the wake of the Pensacola naval air base shooting to demand still greater incursions on user privacy.

So, when the USA does it, it isn't "totalitarianism", but "national security".

Posted by: vk | Jan 23 2020 16:55 utc | 20

pretzelattack @ 17

Agree that Bernie winning and appointing Tulsi would be a good thing, considering all alternatives are really bad. Here's Patrice Greanville's take on Bernie: (from the excellent

Editor’s Note: Bernie Sanders, at best a weak-spined FDR Democrat, is now carving his own political grave through his usual method, a cowardly implosion. And while many people, probably out of desperation, continue cut him a lot of slack arguing that he may be somewhat naive about what he’s dealing with, a rather naive assumption in itself, I refuse to see him in that light. I think Sanders is too smart to be that foolish, and that includes his presumed innocence about the true nature of US foreign policy, the Russiagate hoax, and the system that controls the USA. Maybe he simply likes to be in the spotlight. But whatever makes him tick, good will, ethical principles, thirst for publicity, whatever it may be, if this is the Great Electoral Hope on which so many progressives pin their future, the rotten system they would like to destroy has absolutely nothing to worry about. —PG

Posted by: Kabobyak | Jan 23 2020 16:56 utc | 21

#18 John Brewster:

Well, I guess someone has to have the stomach to read Harper's. I'm sure it still publishes good stuff on occasion, but after the dual insult of its handing over the editorial reins to some snivelly Catholic triumphalist and mediocre litterateur named Christopher Beha, and its publication and defense of a hysterical anti-Corbyn screed that dripped with the usual bogus charges of antisemitism, I let my subscription lapse.

Posted by: corvo | Jan 23 2020 16:57 utc | 22

To occupatio: We know that the US/ZATO is in the weaponized pathogen development business. The US has set up "plausible deniablility" black bio-weapons production sites in former Eastern Bloc countries, and the UK still runs Porton Downs, not far from the Skripal "poisoning" location. Israel also has bio/chemical-weapon labs.

A designer pathogen that "only" harms the old, young or otherwise infirm is a terror weapon, and highly disrupts the lives of the healthy individuals and overloads the health/social infrastructure... war by other means.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 16:57 utc | 23

Trailer trash @ 19

It's a very weird kind of "lockdown". Apparently, cars can come and go. Apparently, the police merely check the temperature of the occupants. It says people can go in with no problem.

So, the problem you mention comes down to the drivers of empty trucks trying to get back out.

The situation truly is "fog of war", considering the kind of hysterical BS the West was fed about the Hong Kong situation.

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 16:59 utc | 24

Corvo @ 21

I appreciate the background you provided on Harper's.

Yeah, Harper's has been brought under control. Like just about every other "brand name" "left-leaning" publication. I grant that. Even "brand name" blogs, like Counterpunch, have been tamed.

But, when all you have is Pravda and Izvestia, you learn to read what wasn't said. As the Russians say, "The silence screams." You look for the articles on the back page on Saturday. So, mea culpa, I look at Harper's.

Re my comment: do you have anything to say about my question? Do you think the article has any useful info?

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 17:06 utc | 25

>My question to MoA is:
>Is there any equivalent to the money and organizing power
>of the Libertarians and the Kochs on the left? Any leftwing
>conferences of comparable impact?
>Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 16:42 utc | 18

In the US there is no "left", just a bunch of tiny sectarian groups that will never about to a hill of beans. The Green Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dummycrats, along with the larger sort-of leftish groups.

>They will want their countries to be run as well as a start-up.

Only if they are ignorant of how start-ups work.

I have the dubious distinction of working for one of the first "internet" start-ups that went belly-up about 1997. Their only goal was to get to the magic land of "Initial Public Offering". Much of the investors' money went to a nice office and furniture and employees that really did nothing except look busy.

Another huge chunk of money went up the noses of the CEO and his girlfriend the COO. My supervisor, the company CTO, was soon sick of it, resigned his position, and told the investors what was going on. My boss arranged things so that I could bring home an HP Vectra and a valuable 4 channel Dialogic telephony board. That made for pretty good severance pay...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 17:15 utc | 26

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 16:57 utc | 22

To occupatio: We know that the US/ZATO is in the weaponized pathogen development business. The US has set up "plausible deniablility" black bio-weapons production sites in former Eastern Bloc countries, and the UK still runs Porton Downs, not far from the Skripal "poisoning" location.

They have been doing this for a long, long time at Porton Down. Not living in the UK, I first became aware of it in 1979 via a song called "Porton Down" by Peter Hammill. An excerpt from the lyrics gives it away

Won't hear a sound at Porton Down
The clear liquids keep their silence
Buried underground at Porton Down
The fast form of the final violence
Hurry on round about Porton Down
A quick glimpse of the future warfare
Hidden underground at Porton Down
Far too frightening to say what you saw there

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2020 17:20 utc | 27

"Only if they are ignorant of how start-ups work."
Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 17:15 utc | 25
There seems to be a common problem with people,, they only listen to the celeb ceo`s fairytales and forget to crunch the numbers..
I fear that "the commoners" would be extatic if their state/country were runned like TSLAQ, WE and UBER.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jan 23 2020 17:30 utc | 28

#24 John Brewster:

> Re my comment: do you have anything to say about my question?

I'll echo this observation from #25 Trailer Trash:

> In the US there is no "left", just a bunch of tiny sectarian groups that will never about to a hill of beans.

I'm disinclined to agree with his assessment of the Greens, who are too fractious and disorganized to be a subsidiary of anyone or anything; but I certainly agree that the American left (the real deal, not fakes like HRC, Biden, Fakeahontas, and yes, Saint Bernard the Sheepdog) will never amount to a hill of beans -- if only because it can't. Voices dissenting from the establishment narrative, for example, are increasingly eliminated from social media, as you well know; and as we can see from the latest OPCW scandal, facts that contradict establishment lies are simply not reported in the traditional media.

As to your second question:

> Do you think the [Harper's] article has any useful info?

I wouldn't doubt it, but I'll trust to your judgment on that one.

Posted by: corvo | Jan 23 2020 17:35 utc | 29

Like how we made Israel pay when it wantonly killed Rachel Corrie? All Iran has to do is kill an American to gets lots of money, weapons and military/diplomatic cover?

Posted by: paul | Jan 23 2020 17:35 utc | 30

Trailer Trash @ 25

Only if they are ignorant of how start-ups work.

Oh, I completely agree. Sorry to hear of your startup experience. (I played "you bet your career" five times. Never made a dime from stock options. One company imploded within two weeks of my arriving.)

Here's a snip from something I wrote about Come with us...

Run like a start-up? Start-ups attract more than their fair share of control freaks, egomaniacs, and con-artists. The attrition rate is high. Start ups are risky. A country should not be risky.

A question for libertarians. How is the Yudkowsky quote above any different than:

The interference of the state power in social relations becomes superfluous in one sphere after another, and then ceases of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direction of the processes of production. The state is not “abolished,” it withers away.

-Friedrich Engels, Anti-Dühring

This whole libertarian racket is, as Sheldon Wolin says, "Inverted Marxism" with downtrodden CEOs instead of workers.

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 17:36 utc | 31

The Big Picture is unfolding... Great series start by Yasha Levine:

Posted by: Seer | Jan 23 2020 17:38 utc | 32

@pretzelattack #11
I don't know why you're surprised.
Bernie is progressive domestically, but he's all in on the F35 and has gone along with most of the foreign policies of all of the previous and present Presidents: +Syria intervention, +Libya, +Serbia, voted for AUMF and Iraq Intervention act, etc etc.
He's always toed the DNCC line on foreign policy.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 17:39 utc | 33

Trailer Trash @ 25

In the US there is no "left", just a bunch of tiny sectarian groups that will never about to a hill of beans.

Not that I disagree with your take on the matter, but what is one to do? IIRC, you have gone into the far boonies of California. I'm just too urban/effete for that.

I recognize that question is too deep to answer in the comments on an Open Thread, but I am curious.

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 23 2020 17:40 utc | 34

@Trailer Trash #25
@Per/Norway #27
The public's views on startups aren't an accident.
In the Y2K era, the banksters worked hard to get positive press for IPOs and wannabe IPO startups.
More recently, the heavily funded moneylosing startups have been hiring political campaign experts like Axelrod to run their PR activities - so it is both banksters and politicians openly cooperating on image promotion.
Or put more cynically, the startups have learned the MIC way.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 17:43 utc | 35

Today finds Putin, Lavrov and a sizable Russian delegation in Occupied Palestine attending the World Holocaust Forum and the dedication of a monument in memorial tribute to the million people who died during the siege of Leningrad. The recent attempts to rewrite WW2 history to deflect responsibility were made visible at MoA mostly via comments. One of the more important facts of the matter was noted by Putin:

"Holocaust is Common Tragedy for Israel, Russia as up to 40% Victims Were From USSR."

And as I began or continued with exposing the roots of our current dilemma, it must be noted that the Anti-Communist Crusade began prior to WW2's outbreak as documents prove beyond doubt just as its continuance after the war is also proven beyond doubt. IMO, the post WW2 Anti-Communist Crusade launched jointly by the UK and USA is akin to the Holocaust for its racist nature and its consumption of perhaps two-three times the number of innocents destroyed by the Nazis, although their remains weren't burnt in specially constructed ovens. Yet even after the USSR's demise, the appetite by the Evil Outlaw US Empire for humans continues unabated with the millions dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, and throughout Latin America attest. It's as if Huitzilopochtli became the primary god of the Neoliberals and Neocons, adopted from the Anti-Communist Crusaders before them. When will this well documented Holocaust finally be acknowledged? By keeping silent about it, we allow it to continue.

Yes, I'm more than suggesting--I'm accusing--the European Fascist Ideal was added to the already existing American Fascist Ideal, which after WW2 has rode roughshod over the US Constitution and all aspects of International Law plus ethical and moral boundaries, just like the Nazis. The newest threat issued today to Soleimani's successor combined with the refusal to obey the edict from Iraq's government to immediately leave their nation. While at home, continuing cuts to those most in need along with unguarded boasting about even more while the Fed provides billions weekly to Wall Street Gangsters who'll never be asked to pay it back. Regardless his faults, Sanders is at least all against that. But given the fact that no compunction has served to stop the ongoing slaughter, if Bernie defies the Nazis and gets elected, I doubt he'll survive for long, nor will his Veep if its someone of a similar mind.

Am I getting too cynical? No, I don't think so given previous history and current events as a guide. I do think many consciously ignore reality since it's so ugly and evil. But until humanity comes to grips with the Post WW2 Holocaust driven by the Evil Outlaw US Empire, it will continue and those currently responsible will never be held to account, even if it's a version of the Nuremburg Trials, as imperfect as they were.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2020 17:44 utc | 36

Despite the establishment and media shenanigans designed to hurt Sanders, despite Hillary and Warren's attempts to turn women against Sanders:

Bernie has just DOUBLED his lead on Biden in New Hampshire 29 to 14 and is now only 3 points behind Biden nationally in choice for President and leads Trump by 2 points in the general. That figure will rise.

Bernie has the wind at his back. This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime to stop Trump's escalation on Iran, to stop Trump from turning the judiciary irreversibly to the far right and making it his fascist tool, to make climate change the burning priority that it is and to take power away from the oligarchs and empower people.

Bernie must make it. He is the only candidate who is genuine and can be trusted and is VIABLE. Yes, many here want Gabbard but she is not viable in the race since she has not gained any traction. The only hope I see for Gabbard's political career is if Sanders offers her a cabinet position later, but not V-P because Gabbard's unpopularity right now will certainly drag him down. Many want her primaried and then she may not win back her seat in Congress. If he offers her an important cabinet position, she will regain in stature and prove that she is presidential material. I see her as UN Ambassador and maybe at DoD. But right now the V-P choice must be wisely assigned.

Sanders now has momentum and everyone must do their part to help him sustain it. This opportunity must not be squandered! His defeat of the CORRUPT establishment is FUNDAMENTAL. The entire planet needs a Sanders presidency to stop military escalation and address the urgency of climate change. He must be supported all the way and Trump must fall to someone of Sanders' authentic calibre.

This is the last opportunity we all have to stop the madness and corrupt oligarch control, and make a global correction towards peace. I believe in this guy; I fear the irreversible changes happening. I HAVE BEEN RIGHT ON MANY THINGS AND I'M CONVINCED OF THIS: EITHER WE ALL, EVERYWHERE ON THIS PLANET, SUPPORT THIS MAN OR WE WILL BE POWERLESS

Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 37

"The Iraqi Shia, 66% of the 40 million Iraqi population, are expressing their hatred towards US forces in particular and all foreign forces in general. Iraq would like to see these forces depart for good, putting an end to US influence in Mesopotamia and West Asia. A massive protest has been organised for this Friday 24th January, led by Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr, who is warning the US of the consequences of ignoring this Parliamentary decision. It is expected to be the most massive protest in the history of Iraq. But this protest is only the beginning."

Posted by: Bruce | Jan 23 2020 18:02 utc | 38

karlof1 @ 35

Read the Yasha Levine article I posted a link to above. Yasha is connecting the dots!

Posted by: Seer | Jan 23 2020 18:03 utc | 39

Circe @ 36

It's not Bernie, it's the movement. Further, and more importantly, it's the folks that would make it into his cabinet that present the most hope. I count Tulsi Gabbard as one such person: 100% certain that if not selected as VP (which would be the best move politically for running against Trump- imagine a debate between Gabbard and Pence [Pence would become road kill]) she'd be SoS. Nina Turner will be there as well (she's as awesome as it gets, but I don't think her being VP on the ticket is going to be as advantageous as Tulsi being the ticket's VP).

Trump killed off the Bush dynasty. We have him to thank for that. Now we need to kill off the Clinton dynasty (this is Tulsi's job).

Posted by: Seer | Jan 23 2020 18:11 utc | 40

Haftar is a US citizen and has ties to the CIA. The USA's position on Libya is unclear to me. I am not sure the US government is supporting any side. Turkey is the only country I see providing support to Tripoli. It seems to me the usual suspects either back Haftar or are watching from the sidelines.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 23 2020 18:17 utc | 41


I'm certainly pleased to see a fellow Peter Hammill fan at moa. I've been a fan since Van Der Graaf. My band the Ophelias was heavily influenced by him. I got to see him at a supper club called Wolfgangs in San Francisco. He was amazing.

Posted by: Hammy Peters | Jan 23 2020 18:23 utc | 42


You seem to have a panache for declaring "truths" to the bar here and often seem very agenda-driven, with all due respect.

W.r.t Libya, they were producing ~7% of the MENA region consumed oil in 2011, and about 3% of the total MENA production (not big, but enough income to run a country).
They were producing in range of 800,000 - 1.2M bpd (wikiped says 1.65M) prior to the NATO/US/ZIO neo-lib/con blood-lust orgy of death unleashed since 2011.

I know that 3% is not big cookies, but it seems significant to me. When taken at 'oil production per capita, they sit in the top 10 (until Haftars' latest maneuvers) which means more ability to spend per citizen. The US sits at 23rd place on this metric. It is bang-for-your-buck that matters for the people on the ground.

They do hold sizeable reserves, and it is all on the heads of the West that they are not prospering (albeit under a dictator with a crazy taste in fashion; at least he wasn't Reagan, Bush 1&2, Clinton 1&2, Obama, or the current dumpster-fire).

If I were in the MENA axis, I would certainly have an inclination to sabotage/destroy ALL oil infrastructure globally, via whatever means possible. Because that would turn all of those happy little consumers in the "developed" world against their masters for breach of the social contract (read delusion) that we live under.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 23 2020 18:28 utc | 43

>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
>Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44

Sanders needs to choose a running mate who is less congenial to the powers that be than he is. JFK's mistake was choosing LBJ as running mate, so he lacked that insurance against assassination.

Who could Sanders choose that would fill this role and not hurt his election chances better than Gabbard? I can't think of anyone. She is half-Samoan, female, a veteran, good-looking, articulate, and courageous. I think that as running-mate she would help Sanders's election chances immensely.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23 2020 18:34 utc | 45

Likklemore @1

Red line / Green light

USA has just but a bulls-eye on every American in Iraq and Syria.

Every anti-Iranian ideologue (starting with Netanyahu) will now start planning false-flag attacks.

Just another dog whistle like Obama's "red-line" farce.

PS Did any media confirm the death of the US translator that caused USA to bomb the Iraqi PMU? His name wasn't even released for a couple of week AFTER he was killed and AFAIK no one really knows who killed him.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Probably little happens until UN sanctions "snap-back". That will light the fuse and the fireworks start a number of weeks later but certainly before July (somebody wrote about Russia's being able to sell arms to Iran on the 5th-year anniversary of the JCPOA on July 14th).

Sadly, the false-flag needed to energize the masses with "war fever" (like after 9-11) is likely to require that many Americans are killed. And possibly not just military but civilians.

Aside: The cover of the 2015 Economist comes to mind. Two arrows on the lower right contain the numbers "11.5" and "11.3". The sand behind the arrows might represent the middle east. Do the two arrows represent a date range (European-like dates) of March 11th to May 11th? FYI: Persian New Year is March 21st, UN sanctions are likely to "snap-back" by mid-March.

The eleventh of the month has gained significance due to 9-11 and 7-11 (in England). Thus, 3-11, 4-11, and 5-11 would have symbolic value as for a "terrorist" incident.

How could the Economist have predicted such a date range? I've said many times that I thought that the JCPOA was a delaying tactic that was needed simply because Syrian regime change was taking longer than expected. From such a point of view, it's reasonable to assume that steps are taken to end the agreement and/or prompt strikes (symbolized by the arrows on the Economist's cover) prior to the end of the agreement or important anniversary milestones (like Ruissia's being able to sell arms after 5 years).

While some might say that such musings are irrational "conspiracy theory", I bring it up because neocons and other bad actors engage in long-term planning to achieve their goals. We are not suppose to notice such planning and then when things happen (like 9-11 and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis) it is quickly claimed that "no one could've foreseen" such things - which becomes an excuse for the bad actors to go unpunished.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 18:36 utc | 46

karlof1 @ 35

I'd like to read some of the material documenting the fight against communism before WWII. I've been pondering this for a while. I've entertained the notion that although the US, Britain, and the Soviets were technically allies in the fight against Germany and the Axis, that the bigger war was between the USA and the USSR.

Maybe I'm crazy, but it sort of seems like the UK and USA showed up in Europe just in time to prevent the USSR from taking Berlin and all of Germany, perhaps into France. Almost as though they wanted Germany to inflict as much damage as possible on the Soviets.

And then the US forces in the Pacific made a huge push to get Japan to surrender before the Soviets could invade from Manchuria.

Makes you go "Hmmmm......."

Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 18:46 utc | 47

Thank you james and Robert Snefjella for your replies last week concerning Gwynne Dyer. Here is a recent offering of his for everyone to "enjoy".

Putin bids for post-retirement influence but not for immortality

Gwynne Dyer
Updated: January 20, 2020

Five years ago somebody posted on the internet photographs from 1920 and 1941 showing a man who looked a lot like Vladimir Putin. In both shots the man was in military uniform, defending the interests of the Russian people.

But how can this be? Putin wasn’t born until 1952.

A wave of faux speculation started that Putin is an immortal hero who returns at intervals to save Russia. Or maybe just that he’s an immortal vampire. At any rate, he’ll be around forever. It was as nonsensical then as it is now.

Last week the Russian president announced a wave of constitutional reforms, and the vast majority of foreign observers, especially in the West, jumped to the conclusion that Putin is changing the system so that he can stay in power forever.

Twenty years in power (his current term as president expires in 2024) is not enough for Putin, the foreign pundits insist. He can’t risk leaving power, they explain, or Russians would start asking where his vast illicit wealth came from. And then the pundits spin off into lengthy tirades about how he is evil incarnate, even comparing him to Stalin.

Story continues below

Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953, was a mass murderer without a conscience. Nobody was safe from his paranoia: he even killed most of the other heroes of the Bolshevik Revolution. He was probably responsible for the deaths of 10 million Russians.

And Vladimir Putin? Here’s Simon Tisdall, columnist and former foreign editor of The Guardian: “Like Stalin, (Putin) has made many enemies and caused untold misery . . . cronyism and corruption on a vast scale . . . military aggression and disruption abroad . . . Again like Stalin, retirement is not a safe option for the ex-KGB spy who normalized assassination as a modern-day tool of state policy.”

Where to start? Perhaps with the obvious point that Stalin killed tens of thousands for every death that can be attributed to Putin.

Moreover, corruption in Putin’s Russia is far less than it was in the 1990s under the first post-Communist president, the Western-backed Boris Yeltsin, a drunken puppet who made ordinary Russians cringe.

“Military aggression and disruption abroad”? Guilty as charged, in the illegal restoration of Crimea to Russian control (though most people in Crimea welcomed it), and in backing anti-government rebels in eastern Ukraine.

But there is a litany of Western invasions and military interventions (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Syria, Yemen) that didn’t meet the highest legal standards either, and had equally messy outcomes. Nor do Western governments lag behind on the assassination front.

More importantly, Russia’s western border is a thousand kilometres east of where it was in 1914. It is a minimum of 300 km east of where it was as recently as 1991. Putin has not challenged that new frontier (with the partial exception of Ukraine) in 21 years in office.

You could have a much more frightening and disruptive person than Putin in the Kremlin.

The old KGB was a ruthless organization, but also a rational and realistic one. Putin is a man steeped in that tradition, not an adventurer or a fantasist, and we should probably be grateful for that.

So what are the odds that he will still be running things after 2024?

He will be 72 years old in 2024: definitely time to start thinking about what happens after he’s gone.

And I’m going to make a bold assumption here: that he is a Russian patriot. Being Russian means he fears disorder above all else. Russians sometimes call themselves “Italians of the North,” and they don’t mean it in a good way. So he wants a strong state, run with a firm hand, even after he has retired, which means that a clear and orderly succession is very important.

However, living on under somebody else’s firm hand is not an attractive prospect for Putin. He may or may not have fabulous sums of stolen money tucked away — the evidence for that is unclear — but you make a lot of enemies in a quarter-century in power, and they could hurt you badly after you have relinquished it.

So what Putin needs is a position that gives him the final constitutional say when big changes loom, but lets him withdraw from the daily exercise of power. Something like the chairmanship of a strengthened State Council that can overrule both president and prime minister when necessary (but does so very rarely).

And lo! That appears to be exactly what he has in mind. The details of his proposed reforms are not yet clear, but a weaker president, a stronger prime minister, and a State Council presiding serenely from afar are all part of the package.

I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but I think it’s what Putin would like to happen.

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist based in London, England.

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2020 18:48 utc | 48

pretzelattack @11

Bernie's stances on fp are stronger today than they were in 2016, so I have hope that he is teachable. He's not perfect, but its the best serious alternative to date.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 18:49 utc | 49

Yes Jackrabbit, it is called Disaster Capitalism... never let a crisis (real or manufactured) go to waste...

I was reading about how the sub-prime mortgage scam was bound to lead to the 2008 "collapse" shortly after the US lenders began handing out mortgages like candy. I read this in 2004, as the renewal on those "interest only" mortgages that were all underwater by 2008 would start to come due...

The joke was you didn't let your dog out as it would come home with a mortgage.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 18:49 utc | 50


Before my last post, I was thinking to myself: "Didn't Haftar secure/surround most of the oil infrastructure around 2014?" I was sure I had read it somewhere. But if memory serves he was on a major advance, and then withdrew/got pushed, and made a second comeback in the past 2 years.

I'm going to have to go and do some more reading on Libya, once I've finished reading Super Imperialism.

My reading list seems to be growing faster than my ability to keep up of late, thanks to the collective resources of all you Barflies post. :O)

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 23 2020 18:54 utc | 51

Haftar is a US citizen and has ties to the CIA.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 23 2020 18:17 utc | 41

Haftar has clearly switched sides since his twenty years in Langley. Very common in the Middle East, suddenly switching sides.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23 2020 18:56 utc | 52

"Haftar has clearly switched sides" Other some Western press making a bit of noise I see no evidence of this. In fact the opposite. Any drone strike attempts on Haftar you can link me to? LOL. Don't pay attention to what the press says. Pay attention to who is getting bombed and who is not. At the end of the day that is how you tell the truth.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 23 2020 19:05 utc | 53

pretzel attack @11

Bernie doesn't want to take on the CIA, deep state, etc. until after he wins the election. He will be in a much stronger position then to go after them.

Posted by: Chas | Jan 23 2020 19:05 utc | 54

The media is going to try to get revenge on Tulsi for upsetting their plan to bring Bernie down, expect a massive negative reaction to Tulsi going after Hillary yesterday (Gaslighting Tulsi).

There is a lot of people who see Bernie Sanders as lacking what it takes to take on the neocons and MIC. That may be so, but maybe he is following the advice in Sun Tzu's Art of War which prizes deception as the most effective tactic to win a war. Which is why the establishment doesn't care if Bernie Sanders acts like he is one their side, they don't believe him, they believe he is deceptive and would be like Tulsi if he gains power.

It is interesting how the media was ramping up a massive anti-Bernie campaign with Warren attacking him and Hillary attacking and then Tulsi Gabbard does what she can to counter their attacks (The Ballad of Tulsi and Hillary).

The Russiagate conspiracy theory is still going strong with the impeachment trial going on with Trump, a weird thing about Russiagate is that the it is the mirror image of the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory on the right (The Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory Trump exploits for his fanatical support began as a reaction to the Beats and Counterculture of the 1960s).

Posted by: Kali | Jan 23 2020 19:09 utc | 55

It is interesting how the media was ramping up a massive anti-Bernie campaign with Warren attacking him and Hillary attacking and then Tulsi Gabbard does what she can to counter their attacks
Corporate Dems would rather have Trump than Sanders.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jan 23 2020 19:13 utc | 56

@AP and occupatio: And I thought I was just being paranoid, knowing Wuhan is the largest recipient of French FDI as well as the site of other large FDI investments and remembering the Soviet small outbreak of smallpox resulting from plankton infected by an accidental spill . . .

For pretzelattack and others re: Benie: Bernie's political maturation dates from the era of "democratic centralism" - the Party members debate, the Party decides, Party members, whether they agree or not, follow the Party line. Also, the collapse of the USSR was a betrayal - so, Putin's Russia is not worthy, Russia must be returned to a more Progressive path. (Bernie's heritage is from the same area as today's Ukrainian nationalists - from a Galician perspective, there's nothing goid about Russia . . . ever)

Posted by: Zee | Jan 23 2020 19:14 utc | 57

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone—a total that’s larger than the entire U.S. economy

Posted by: Mao | Jan 23 2020 19:17 utc | 58

@Jon_in_AU #51
What Libya produced before its "revolution" isn't the issue.
They used to produce 1.5M bpd - they're supposedly producing over 1M bpd now.
How much is actually exported vs. used internally or "lost"?
Sure, 1M bpd is significant compared to world oil production of 82M bpd, but my original point still stands: 1M bpd (a net fall of 500K bpd vs pre-revolution) is not very significant vs. the US' increase of oil production by 6M bpd in the same period (2014-2019).
And most importantly, world oil demand is sluggish. If demand were high and supplies tight, that 500K bpd might matter. As it is, it just means the Saudis/OPEC just have to "officially" cut less.
Reinforcing my original point: does it matter? IMO, no.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 19:18 utc | 59

Posted by: Seer | Jan 23 2020 17:38 utc | 32
In the article you link to, Levine seems to use the Ira Hirschmann book, The Embers Still Burn, to reinforce the notion of the preeminence of Jewish suffering.

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2020 19:18 utc | 60

Seer @38--

Thanks for the tip! It's a good piece. I used The Embers Still Burn as a search term and found this Foreign Affairs capsule review of the book, whose stance is no surprise to those informed:

"Mr. Hirschmann, traveling as a representative of UNRRA's Director F. H. La Guardia, passed briefly through a number of Eastern and Central European countries, giving especial attention to the D.P. camps in Western Germany. If he had confined himself to what he observed personally, such as the revival of the Nazi spirit, and not issued so many sweeping obiter dicta on American and Allied policies in general, his book would have been a better one." [Italics Original]

IMO, the excerpt from the book provided gave Hirschmann plenty on grounds to be more than critical. As for Yasha Levine, he's certainly moving in the proper direction, and produced an excellent essay that wove in the primary source very well. The additional journalist mentioned, Kathleen McLaughlin--world war 3 scoops--I tried to find mention of but so far zip, although she was certainly published at the time as Hirshmann attests. However, I must disagree with Yasha as to the authorship of the policy--it wasn't George Kennan. The policy was established and began during the war as proven by Kolko in his Politics of War. Or rather, the policy was re-established as testified to by the British general, Sir Frederick Morgan. That might help explain why Hitler didn't drive the BEF into the sea at Dunkirk--there was still a bigger plan afoot, perhaps. Recall what was called the Phony War. Too many still unanswered questions!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2020 19:26 utc | 61

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.


Posted by: Per/Norway | Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

Carson @ 47
Churchill had fought on the Western Front in 1915/1916 and dreaded a re-run of this horror in the Second World War, which is why he resisted American (and Soviet) pressure for an earlier invasion. So I think you may be barking up the wrong tree here.

Tucenz @ 48
You write that “Putin may have fabulous sums of money tucked away - the evidence for this is unclear.”
No it isn’t. There is no evidence. Lots of - Everyone knows he owns such and such a telecom, or oil company blah blah blah. That’s all there is and ever has been.

Unless of course you know something the rest of us don’t, in which which case please share.

Posted by: Montreal | Jan 23 2020 19:33 utc | 63

The idea that Bernie will "take on the CIA, deep state, etc." is a fantasy. He refuses to even protect residents of his hometown of Burlington, VT from harmful levels of noise from F-35 warplanes:

Many Burlington residents have resisted the Sanders-endorsed project, which would bring an Air National Guard base to the city's airport and bring several of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighter jets along with it.

The jets are expected to significantly increase noise heard in Burlington, Winooski and other nearby communities that are located under flight paths.

According to an estimate by the Federal Aviation Association, at least 2,640 homes will experience increased noise through 2023, something that local governments are expecting to decrease the value of both quality of living and homes.

Burlington residents have already endured extreme noise from F-16s for the past 30 years. The F-16s are being retired, only to be replaced with new jets that are four times louder. That's progress for ya!

Ole Bernie the sort-of-but-not-really socialist won't lift a finger to protect his own neighbors but he will save us from Uncle Sam's War on the World. I don't think so.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 19:35 utc | 64

Happy birthday to John Boyd, a truly Great American Hero!

Posted by: Charles R | Jan 23 2020 19:45 utc | 65

In fact the opposite. ... Don't pay attention to what the press says.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 23 2020 19:05 utc | 53

Oh really? The US has stopped supporting the Tripoli regime, has it - the very regime they themselves put in power.

Who believes what the press says? You seem to.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23 2020 19:47 utc | 66

@Per/Norway #62
I really doubt many, if any, of the MoA readers and commenters are worshippers of TINA.
I equally doubt that trying to secede from the nation you're in, will make any difference whatsoever.
Among just a few examples: is your independent town, also a producer of its own energy? That might possibly be true in Norway, it isn't true almost anywhere else.
What about electronics? automobiles? refined steel? pharmaceuticals? Is there a medical school to train doctors and nurses?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 19:50 utc | 67

Montreal @63

I welcome critique of my side theory, especially by those who have studied the history of these conflicts more than me. I have no desire to fall into conspiracy theories.

Trailer Trash @64

I live in an Air Force town, and I used to live under the flight path. You could always tell it was Thursday afternoon when you heard it the Guard or Reserve fighter jets overhead. They are a noisy bunch.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 19:52 utc | 68

@tucenz #60:

>In the article you link to, Levine seems to use the Ira Hirschmann book,
>The Embers Still Burn, to reinforce the notion of the preeminence of Jewish suffering.

But of course: Hirschmann was very much a Zionist. But that need not compromise the validity of his observations regarding the US/UK's nurturing of Central and Eastern European fascisms.

Posted by: corvo | Jan 23 2020 19:53 utc | 69

Posted by: Hammy Peters | Jan 23 2020 18:23 utc | 42
How nice! I can't play a note, but I have been hooked to PH & Van Der Graaf Generator since ~1977. I'm almost in the "I've got every one of your records, man, Doesn't that mean I own you?" category :-)

Hammill sometimes comments on politics, for example Every Bloody Emperor from 2005 is even more relevant today.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2020 19:53 utc | 70

The Jewish Progressive Agenda According to Bernie Sanders

In his recent extended article titled How to Fight Antisemitism, published by the purportedly ‘Left’ Jewish Currents, Sanders takes up the same line you’d expect from an ADL spokesman, ticking every Hasbara box from the Jewish right of ‘self determination ‘to the primacy of Jewish suffering.

The ideology of the Empire is Exceptionalism and Zionism is a key pillar. Zionists take pains to draw parallels between USA and Israel as divinely-inspired settler states.

Both parties support the Empire's New World Order (NWO) and Bernie has no answer for the toxic empire-building fantasies that plague those who rule in the West. He blithely joins other Democrats in focusing on "bread and butter" issues of "ordinary Americans" so as to distract from the truth that EMPIRE skews everything and disadvantages all of us except the ideologues and their wealthy backers.

Bernie is part of the problem. His sheep-dogging for Hillary was not an aberration. The establishment has doubled-down yet again on EMPIRE. And whatever the outcome, we lose.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 19:56 utc | 71

corvo #22

I used to enjoy Harper's; it had lots of good features.

But I let my sub lapse after the Nov. 2016 election. I am no fan of Trump (obligatory IANFOT statement), but I was disgusted at how Harper's *immediately* jumped on the no-holds-barred visual insulting of Trump in the very next issue. It went too far. I think it might have been a visual of Trump behind bars. Something like that. Good evidence, actually, that the "left" was after Trump from day one, if not before.

In addition I found that the "readings" section was no longer entertaining but was, rather, more dystopian. And had altogether too many mediocre identitarian essays and other middlebrow nonsense.

Today the BBC published a photo showing madman Adam Schiff with eyes bulging as if he was having a stroke. Schiff is clearly deranged and babbling.

I look forward to seeing that image on the next cover of Harper's!!

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 23 2020 19:57 utc | 72

Funny I mentioned Porton Down/Skripal proximity.

Turns out Wutan is the location of China's bio-hazard lab... and the "West" has been slagging the facility since its inception, perhaps not without cause.

So it would make sense to have a virus appear to "escape" from this facility... or that story provides cover for a US/ZATO false flag operation. A couple small glass vials smuggled in from Porton Down or another US black lab, infect a few bats/snakes/whatever and Bob's yer uncle...

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 19:57 utc | 73

Yes, many here want Gabbard but she is not viable in the race since she has not gained any traction. <- Circe

I contributed to her campaign, but realistically, because we need a visible, telegenic, articulate person to champion sane foreign policy, end of wars, sanctions etc. For Sanders, these issues are quite a bit afterthought. After Hillary, with her uncanny sense of politics, said "nobody likes him [Sanders]", Tulsi twitted #I_like_Sanders. For an official position, one has to consider that she has a lot of common sense, but education and managerial experience is not that impressive. Ambassador to UN would be perfect, low on management and large in communication. Given visibility of the position, it would be a powerful signal that USA changes the policy.

Anyway, to truly feel deplorable one has to contribute to Tulsi.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 23 2020 19:58 utc | 74

Tulsi Gabbard is the only sane candidate to show up to date. That makes her unelectable, even more so than her non-Anglo, non-African heritage and religion. Plus she is still an active Reserve soldier, which will scare the willies out of the Pentagram. I wonder how many current US generals have actual front-line, battle experience (and not just directing the action from behind the lines or 1000s of miles away). We know virtually none in Congress have any actual combat experience.

The US Congress, bureaucracy and top generals... Chickenhawks R US.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 20:05 utc | 75

Don't get me wrong, I like Gabbard for VP, she's a fighter, she would be great, but I'm just worried that she's the establishment Dems whipping child, and has been branded a Russiabot. She's very misunderstood. Sanders should secure the Presidency before bringing her on. Not sure. Nina's a safer bet, and would assure 90% of the black vote, but I'd like to see someone with AOC's charisma and spirit, however, she lacks experience.

Bernie said it won't be an old white guy. He wants someone young, so Warren might not make the short list, especially after what she pulled before the debate.

First he has to win in the primaries. SANDERS MUST WIN.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 20:06 utc | 76

Anytime I find myself thinking that Tulsi might not be qualified for the VP slot, I just do a quick mental comparison between her and Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 20:07 utc | 77

@ A P # 75. Spot-on, unfortunately. :/

Posted by: HD | Jan 23 2020 20:07 utc | 78

A Carson.. Sorry, Palin was not sane when she ran, not sane now. Gabbard has her head screwed on straight, and no amount of screeching about her time on the NSC or that she's going to "grab our guns" changes that.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 20:12 utc | 79

@ Circe: Not experienced? And Obomber was? Try another excuse not to vote for the best POTUS candidate. And I'd take Gabbard's experience IN A WAR ZONE over some paper-pusher lawyer.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 20:15 utc | 80

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 18:36 utc | 46

3.11.2004 Madrid Atocha train station attacks happened...allegedly AQ autorship...

1.7.2015 Charlie Hebdo attack...IS/AQ autorship...allegedly...

1.7.2020 Soleimani´s muder...US autorship....confirmed....

Already exposed that IS/AQ is a byproduct of US war on the whole world...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 23 2020 20:16 utc | 81

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82


"Sure, 1M bpd is significant compared to world oil production of 82M bpd, but my original point still stands: 1M bpd (a net fall of 500K bpd vs pre-revolution) is not very significant vs. the US' increase of oil production by 6M bpd in the same period (2014-2019)."

Three issues arise:
(1) The fracking boom generally only produces condensates NOT OIL, especially in the Permian basin (96%) which must be blended with heavy crude to process it at US refineries. Furthermore, some 90% of fracking companies or their investors are losing money and the boom appears to be short lived.

(2) Fracking has huge environmental costs that are literally dumped onto society as a whole (Tragedy of the Commons) such as the recent radioactive brine issue.

(2) The US is still a net hydrocarbon importer especially heavy crude such as the Russian Ural blend. Little wonder why Venezuela and Iran are targets for conquest by the "Masters of the Universe".

(3) The 1M bpd of petroleum from Libya is actually OIL and this cutoff has caused panic from Italy which imports most of this oil and must rapidly substitute oil from other sources:

Posted by: krillchem | Jan 23 2020 20:24 utc | 83

Carson @47--

The place to begin is before the beginning of the 20th Century during the great reaction to Southern and Eastern European immigrants as they were accused of importing anarchism and other un-American ideas like unions and such, the assassination of President Garfield being a good bookend to mark the beginning, although he wasn't any sort of reactionary. The next main event was the First Red Scare and associated Palmer Raids. A short Wiki citation tells much:

"At the end of the 19th century and prior to the rise of the Galleanist anarchist movement, the Haymarket affair of 1886 had already heightened the American public's fear of foreign anarchist and radical socialist elements within the budding American workers' movement."

No, it wasn't the Haymarket event; rather, it was the reporting and propaganda related to it and other actions that promoted the "public's fear." Gotta look at the Big Picture to get a grasp. It was also at this time that the attempts to stop the drive by classical political-economists to destroy the Rentier Class were greatly escalated as Hudson's detailed. The War against worker organization was also in the process of escalating. Much can be learned from Labor History of that period, particularly 1877: Year of Violence, which details the great railroad strike that took place then and is probably a better bookend.

But as is becoming clearer, the moneyed elite have always lived in fear of the masses rising and upending their ill-gained positions, a constant throughout Western History. The Anti-Communist Crusade is a description I got from Parenti's Anti-Communist Impulse, which is an excellent work but lacks an e-version.

Sorry for a rather scattered reply. My main point is that the public was deliberately scared into being anti-socialist, which was going to be difficult due to its being very Christian and keen on fellowship and sharing burdens. Yet another angle to pursue is that of the rising of the Populists from a sectional to a national prominence--it's most instructive to learn how their movement was derailed. The best work on that is Goodwyn's Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America; Introduction to abridged version provides excellent info. Then as I linked to yesterday in my reply to Bubbles, there's Operation Unthinkable and Operation Sunrise people need to know about. One person we must know as much as possible about is Allen Dulles, younger brother of John Foster Dulles--both Hitlerian criminals IMO--The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government being a recently published must read amongst others about him.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2020 20:33 utc | 84

Sander's job in the last election was to sheep-herd the anti-Clinton Dems, to keep them from jumping to the Rep side. He also got screwed by the Clinton camp, but only after he looked like he might win the nomination.

Otherwise he is no different in any meaningful way from all the other old white guys or puppets-in-waiting.

Posted by: A P | Jan 23 2020 20:41 utc | 85


I was probably being less than clear.

Being that they (Libya) were producing far more than the domestic demand of crude (and had the ability to refine it too), they would always have export market potential. Gaddafi was not looking wistfully across the Med', he was looking South at the entire African continent. It is well understood that he was trying to usher in a gold-backed African Lire/franc/pound/dollar, also.
It doesn't matter what the percentage of the crude market he held, with that currency he could have traded the oil Southward anyways. But I still contest that they (did) have a considerable 'slice-of-the-pie' prior to the NATO attack.

I consider Libya to be a significant player at the time (and potentially again someday). What they did have was the additional ability to be freed from energy imports, which is one of the levers of slavery 'they' love to hold over other nations.

The US frack-a-thon only has a few more years to play out, and it is about to tank (unless a war gets the oil price back up over USD$100pb, which may give them a year or two more). I would be getting increasingly nervous if your nation has any oil, let-alone 3% of MENA output (Libya c.2010).

It all comes back to the USA military IMO. Biggest consumer of oil globally, and no plans to end that. Well, you would have to say the same for all military really.

Ps. Krollchem/Krillchem@83
Interesting about Italy. I need to do much more reading in this area, to find out who was totally 'on-board' in 2011 and who was against. Thanks.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 23 2020 20:56 utc | 86

Somethings fishi about Tulsi

AFACT, Tulsi is against wars that America loses. (Where's the value for money?!)

She's not actually anti-war (she still serves!) and she's not anti-establishment (having joined CFR, and Democratic National Committee).

She never attacks Biden despite Biden's key role in the "regime-change wars" that is her signature issue(!).

She never says anything about Seth Rich despite both Tulsi and Rich having took action prompted by the bias/collusion against Sanders in 2016. (Rich supposedly leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks while Tulsi resigned from the DNC).

Her campaign was rescued by Hillary's sly smear ("Russian asset") - something that Hillary is too politically smart to have done by accident. Tulsi is still making hay from that: Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50m over 'Russian asset' remark.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Hard not to notice that Tulsi makes a great VP choice for Deep-Stater Biden as I wrote about here:

Deep-State has chosen: Biden-Tulsi 2020

One can easily imagine Biden gushing about Tulsi like he did about Obama:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 21:09 utc | 87

Norwegian. Hammy Peters.

Although Eno is God was scrawled throughout my campus, I always preferred Peter Hammil is God.

Full Porton Down lyrics:

Won't hear a sound at Porton Down
The clear liquids keep their silence
Buried underground at Porton Down
The fast form of the final violence

Quite right to be worried about the proliferation
Of nuclear bombs and power stations
But there's a deterrent that's going to
Unearth us yet...

Hurry on round about Porton Down
A quick glimpse of the future warfare
Hidden underground at Porton Down;
Far too frightening to utter what you saw there

They got bacteria to drop us where we stand
They got diseases still unknown to man
They got the virus and a microgram's enough
To do in a continent

The ultimate madness
Just one shattered test-tube to wipe out the world

It begins with the mustard gas
It proceeds to Hiroshima
The culture moves on -
Now it's bacterial, truly insane
Porton Down waits to fever the brain

Won't hear a sound at Porton Down
The clear liquids keep their silence
Buried underground at Porton Down
The fast form of the final violence
Hurry on round about Porton Down
A quick glimpse of the future warfare
Hidden underground at Porton Down
Far too frightening to say what you saw there

No sound at Porton Down
No sound at Porton Down
No sound from Porton Down
No sound
After Porton Down

Posted by: Realist | Jan 23 2020 21:13 utc | 88

The definition of madness: voting for the same Deep-State approved, Party-certified hacks every four years and expecting a different result.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 21:14 utc | 89

@80A P

Hello??? I wrote AOC lacks experience NOT Gabbard!

Literacy pre-requisite required to understand my posts. Hillary can't stand Sanders and the reverse is mutual. Many Sanders supporters stayed home or protest voted for Trump in 2016! Now get back to your KFC and your Trump and navel fixation.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 21:15 utc | 90

Carson @ 68
Apologies if my response seemed somewhat brusque. It wasn’t meant to be. The source I know best concerning this subject are the diaries of Lord Alanbrooke. He like Churchill had personal experience of the trenches. That experience loomed over all that generation.and I don’t think you have to look much further than that when examining their reluctance to invade France except with an overwhelming preponderance of force.

Posted by: Montreal | Jan 23 2020 21:15 utc | 91

>The definition of madness: voting for the same Deep-State
>approved, Party-certified hacks every four years and expecting a different result.

But this time it really, really, really is different, even more than four years ago when all us Dummycrats made the exact same claim!

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 21:27 utc | 92

A P @ 79,

Yes, that was my point. Sorry if it wasn't clear.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 21:34 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Carson | Jan 23 2020 18:46 utc | 47

You're not crazy: the Cold War indeed begun in November 1917, right after the Bolshevik Revolution.

See "Red Scare" in the USA. See the Russian Civil War (the White Army was the first regime change army in modern history in the sense we understand them today).

But what generally shocks most the newcomers in the study of this era is how the it was the center-left (social-democrats), at the time controlling the main unions in the West - and not the right-wing - which who was the main and most effective anti-communist force in the 1920s-1940s. They destroyed any possibility of revolution in the West from within. They were the main culprits for the stifling of the world revolution in the 1910s-1920s - and that also includes Germany (see the failed German Revolution of 1918-19).

The right-wing was actually just waiting the center-left and the left to kill each other in order to liquidate the survivor. Neoliberalism, for example, was born as an anti-social-democracy - and not as an anti-communist - doctrine. Nazism only arose in 1924 - when all the communists (and potential communists) already were essentially liquidated (by the social-democrats!). Until today, the SPD still refuses to recognize it murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.


@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2020 17:44 utc | 36

Both fascism and nazism are not true ideologies: they are actually liberalism. Maybe in the case of Italian fascism you could argue there was a sycretism between the liberals and the old, feudal remnants of the Italian State (Catholic Church, old landowner class) - but in all cases, liberalism was the dominant factor.

Antonio Gramsci - who was a victim of fascism - was an eye witness of the birth of Italian fascism and he described its phenomenon very clearly: it was born in a scenario where a communist revolution was imminent, but slow, and the bourgeoisie had the time and the resources to counterattack, i.e. to mount a counter-revolution strong enough.

And, indeed, that's the essence of every form of what we today recognize as nazifascism: when there's the danger of a revolution, but the capitalists have the time in their hands, they "get desperate" and resort to a last and most brutal form of counter-revolution. The main feature of nazifascism is its irrationality: it just exterminates, and only stops when the enemy doesn't exist anymore. Then it reverts to liberalism, its "democratic" form.

That's why I'm confident the USA, Japan and Western Europe will revert to some fascist variant soon, when the crisis of capitalism deepen.


@ Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 23 2020 19:35 utc | 64

Many people here have a lot of different opinions and diagnoses about Bernie Sanders. I think most of them are fair.

The only thing you can't accuse Bernie Sanders is that he's a farce: since Day 1, he's been clearly and publicly stating he's a "democratic socialist".

If you look at the definition of the term, you'll find out "democratic socialist" was how the right-wing of the British Labour Party called themselves. The term became famous in a manifesto, where they also stated they were pro-capitalism, i.e. they didn't want socialism at all. They thought of socialism as a new ethic-moral code the capitalist class should follow in order to crate peace, order and prosperity, so the risk of revolution would be eliminated once and for all.

Long story short, the democratic socialists considered socialism to be the code of conduct that would give capitalism "a human face".

And this fits perfectly with the policies Bernie Sanders has been defending: he wants the USA to continue to be an empire, so it can continue to sack, exploit and thus bring lots and lots of riches to the empire's homeland... in order for them to be distributed equally among all Americans, so all Americans can taste the sweetness of the spoils of war (and not just the capitalists). There's no contradiction here: he wants social-democracy (welfare state), but only for the American people.

Posted by: vk | Jan 23 2020 21:34 utc | 94


First, Tulsi resigned from DNC because of what the Hillary-Wasserman cabal were doing to Sanders!

Second, you got plently of cynical spin, outlandish conspiracy theories and no viable solution based in REALITY. Therefore, you may as well be shilling for Trump.


Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 21:42 utc | 95

The important thing about Sanders is the movement/organisation that is being built around his candidacy.
So far as I can see the power of the US President to do anything that offends the bulk of the Congress and their Masters, the Capitalist class, is extremely limited.
Without Congress Medicare for All is impossible. And Bernie knows this- the point of his campaign is to put Congress in the position of rejecting popular, electorally endorsed policies or not. And to do so in the face of a live, continuing public campaign from the grassroots.
It is difficult to have any illusions about Sanders but the reality is that the platform he is constructing is not only the only one anyone with reform pretensions can get elected on but a surefire winner in the election.
Bernie may not be a real socialist but he wants to win the race and his policies are the sort that he must campaign on, the only ones that would allow him to tap the real prize in the race: the 50% of the population who never vote. Never mind the independents and the soft Republicans, the vote a strong popular campaign, at grassroots level-door to door canvassing for example- will turn out will overwhelm Trump.
And that, I suspect is going to be the lesson of the Primaries: absent the kind of criminality that Tammany Hill and the DNC got up to in 2016 (for example losing 20,000 votes in Brooklyn) he will crush Biden and the rest of the centrists.
There is much wrong with him, his foreign policy positions, carefully crafted to keep moderate zionists and those who can't shake the idea that America is Good out of their heads calm, are very mild but that doesn't matter.
What matters is to beat the Oligarchy, from the Deep State to the Wall Street Journal to the DNC to the media to the Academy/Brothel in the Primaries and the General Election and then watch to see whether his supporters will rally to him, after the election, when he will need all the help he can get.
As to LBJ, Lysias old friend, a Devil's Advocate might argue that he is just the sort of VP a Bernie in the White House would need, a hard nosed Congressional assassin to twist arms and implement laws. I, of course disagree.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 23 2020 21:47 utc | 96

"If you look at the definition of the term, you'll find out "democratic socialist" was how the right-wing of the British Labour Party called themselves." vk
That is certainly true: it was. I think they got it from Harrington. In Gaitskell's day when preserving NATO was their main aim. But it hasn't been true for a long time: Labour's leaders since Michael Foot (on his last legs) have tended not to call themselves socialists of any kind. After 40 years of neo-liberal orthodoxy and the best part of a century of Cold War (not to mention the many now forgotten but vicious attacks on socialism preceding WWI) what was once the sign of a mealy mouthed rightwinger has come to signify something else. Quite what else it is difficult to say now that so many 'Leninists' have tiptoed into the Democratic Socialist parties and carried most of their vanguardist tactics with them.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 23 2020 21:57 utc | 97

This is a very interesting interview of Steve Bannon by PBS Frontline.
IMO, well worth the 2.5 hours of time Steve Bannon Interview on Youtube

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2020 21:59 utc | 98

Circe @95:

cynical spin, outlandish conspiracy theories

LOL. So despite your anti-Zionism crusade - expressed mostly as red-hot disdain for Trump's support for Zionists - you're willing to dismiss evidence of Bernie's Zionism in the link @71 as well as his sheepdogging for Hillary and his willingness to partake in Democratic Party's support for the Empire.

Tulsi resigned from DNC because of ... [DNC collusion against] Sanders.

Yeah, but that doesn't make me think better of Sanders, it just adds to my suspicions about Tulsi.

See my comment @87.

no viable solution [!!!!]

See my comment @89.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23 2020 22:00 utc | 99

So Chinas first BSL-4 biohazard lab was built in 2015. Guess where? Wuhan. One of its early projects was working on coronaviruses like SARs.

China with its 1.4 billion population, much of it aging due to birth rates are at its lowest levels since the famines under Mao, is a big problem. Makes you wonder if they are working on a solution.

As the most advanced Technocratic state in the world due to its authoritarian state control and technology , and complete control over the media, its the perfect technocratic lab to undertake projects like forced quarantining of mega cities like Wuhan.

Technocrats worldwide are salivating at the idea and eagerly awaiting results so they can update their own plans. If all goes well they can conduct their own quarantines having a better idea what to expect.

And can mandatory vaccines be far behind? NIH has already announced scientists are hard at work developing a vaccine working with Pharma, despite only just having got the gene sequences. Clinical trials should be ready to start in a couple of months but since vaccine makers have zero liability they could fast track approval and abbreviate if not eliminate any safety testing

Right now this just seems like a bad cold. Not really worth the hype but people today are so easily terrorized they will meekly submit to forced quarantine and forced vaccination. After all, you cant unleash a virus that might actually endanger the elite , and you can be sure the elite wont be quarantined or receive an experimental vaccine. Leave that to the cattle.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 23 2020 22:01 utc | 100

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