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Total number of comments: 117 (since 2014-09-14 15:29:43)


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  • How the JASTA override on Saudi could Bite Americans in the Ass
    • Agreed. It would be one of the last hopes for the US if it worked. But US courts will claim insufficient evidence regardless, (1) because the Saudis are rich and judges want the bribes and promotions from the right wing, and (2) because the Saudis help the US fight socialism and get Israeli bribes. I have much experience with the federal judiciary: Juan is right that they will do nothing right, but that means that they will not allow any prosecution regardless of evidence. And is not a grounds for keeping cases out of court, it is grounds for fixing the courts.

    • Yes, the morally correct path is to subject all nations to the same standard, to oppose the hypocrisy of presumptions of rights to violate international law.

    • Yes, it is not a solution, but it is a start, to public recognition that even the US is subject to law, or must explicitly exempt itself without cause.

  • Syria, Russia push to take East Aleppo pocket as airstrikes kill 66, wound 200
    • Any resolution will require taking care of legitimate needs (and non-negotiable demands) of the opposition. If Iraq and Syria and Saudi Arabia ceded a small territory at the border with Saudi Arabia, surrounded by UN DMZs, and both Syria and Iraq conceded greater rights and autonomy to Sunnis to remove support from the radicals, the rebels might go to their own little Islamic state and gradually demilitarize under the necessity of running a state. Perhaps the US and Russia should be discussing such alternatives.

  • Feds: We can read all your email, and you'll never know
    • The issue of unlawful search and seizure, and other unlawful acts of government, pits the citizen against often well-meaning but often personally-biased officials. Officials almost always abuse their power unless monitored closely. The founders well knew that no one in government may be assumed to perform their office honorably, any more than those government would regulate. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, and it is vigilance against government that legitimizes government, even when we willfully increase its domain.

  • America's New Reality: Mad Bombers, Merchants of Death, & Lawmaking Harlots
    • Let's call pyramid schemes “Madoff schemes” from now on. Bernard Madoff stole over eight thousand times the theft of an obscure amateur Ponzi. The earliest major pyramid schemes were the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Bubble. The largest modern Madoff schemes were those of Madoff ($65 billion), Stanford ($8 billion), and Tannenbaum (“billions”). Several more exploited “westernizing” former USSR economies in the 1990s.

  • Florida: Politicians in Big Oil's Pocket Beware, The People want their Solar
    • Yes, that would be quite helpful in clarifying the issues. The cost of transmission is much greater than the cost of generation, so to be fair the local sell-back meter should charge for the power line in either direction. But most meters just measure the power going by, so they need new meters. That's why they're sensitive about it.

      Then there's the problem that the power company has to handle the peak loads, so they have idle capacity at off-peak times, that they pay capital costs on but don't use much. That's why the y charge less for customers who can schedule off-peak consumption. The local generator can force them to buy power when they don't need it, which worsens their off-peak idle capacity costs.

      The answer as you suggest, is meters that track all that and charge fairly in either direction.

      In some states like Florida, solar output is greatest just when the air conditioning demand peaks, so the problem is somewhat less.

    • Corruption in Florida is its principal industry, and is not over: it simply saw more private gain in solar due to the partly illusory prospect of savings. Public utilities are actually a great thing, and private solar selling power to them at meter rates is unfair transfer of the cost of the power lines, but it is time for solar anyway. The utilities can probably get better efficiency than private solar and should do that. But they have enormous investments in present technology that must be paid for. So a fair means of cost balancing without hampering solar is the real issue.

  • America's Shameful Record on Syrian Refugees
    • What 10,000 refugees? Even that minor promise was made by Obama years ago. I wrote to the White House that I would take all of those 10,000, if the US would supply the modest budget and a (large) surplus building in Baltimore. No reply. Health and Human Services actually denied the building on the grounds that agencies to help the homeless are not allowed to conduct businesses (such as shops and restaurants) on the premises to employ the homeless. No doubt it was cheaper to twist arms in the EU to pay Turkey to do that, and then accuse them of blackmailing the EU.

  • The Great Mexican Wall Deception
    • The fundamental issue is that there are not enough jobs. The efficiency of modern production ensures that most must seek employment in non-essential goods and services, a market that disappears in every recession. Only a socialist economy can plan for full employment and prevent the financial scams that cause bubbles and recessions.

      Only strong economic regulation can protect the elections and mass media, the tools of democracy, from the economic power that seized them in the right wing revolution after WWII.

      Neither Trump nor Clinton have any wish for full employment or economic regulation for public benefit. Neither of them cares at all for the people of the United States, let alone those of foreign countries. Such persons are a disaster for America, and have made America a disaster for the world.

  • Our American Crimes against the Future
    • Tom's perspective on warmongering is always instructive to the young. But I think that it is obscured here by the personal perspective on advancing age, rather than illuminated, because young people do not see the last chapters of their life being written, nor any kind of national life in in its advanced age, no national reckoning for its generations of selfishness. Now if it urged a desperate last effort of some kind, this perspective might be effective upon us oldsters.

  • Nice, France, Attack: A Gandhian Response to Serial Killers
    • Your noble “Ghandian suggestion” of creating enterprise zones in immigrant slums and promoting democracy and growth by investment in poor nations may be educational, but of course is of no interest to the oligarchy, and the politicians and mass media they control.

      If the US had any intention of establishing democracy or aiding the peoples of poor nations, it would not have overthrown democracies and substituted dictatorships around the world, and would have a long history of humanitarian aid, when in fact US humanitarian aid amounts to less than one hamburger a year to the world's neediest.

      If the US had spent its pointless military expenditures since WWII on humanitarian assistance, it would have lifted half the world's population from poverty. If it had thereby built the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing world, it would have no organized enemies, and would have truly achieved an American century. It failed to do so because infantile tyrant warmongers control elections and mass media, disgraced the United States forever with idiotic wars and a litany of selfishness, and left the US the most despised and anti-democratic nation in the world's history.

      If we are to have a New American Century let it be one of decency, not greed and corruption. But the US people are too cowardly, tyrannized by economic slavery to fear the least nonconformity. They do not have the courage of the simple farmers and woodsmen who established the nation. And the tools of democracy, free elections and a free press, are already in the hands of their masters. They are truly enslaved, and cannot be freed without violence. So we educators gamble in despair that they can still be educated to assemble the shreds of power that remain to them into a new revolution. It is a desperate gamble, the last step before advocacy of physical destruction of the oligarchy.

  • Can Americans get back their Democracy from the Oligarchy?
    • The writer correctly points to the failure of democracy but merely advocates a new voting system. This cannot be achieved because the tools of democracy are controlled by money. The Constitution has no protection of elections or mass media from economic concentrations, which have overthrown democracy in a right-wing revolution. This has allowed tyrants to control democracy, as Aristotle warned, by causing foreign wars to demand domestic power and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty.

      The revolution of warmonger tyrants has disgraced the United States forever with idiotic wars and a litany of selfishness since WWII, has in fact ruined US security, and left the US the most despised and anti-democratic nation in the world's history. These are acts of treason by tyrants. Perhaps it should be punished as in China, quite mercilessly, because only fear regulates the tyrant.

      But the US people are too cowardly to force reform, tyrannized by economic slavery to fear the least nonconformity. They do not have the courage of the simple farmers and woodsmen who established the nation. And the tools of democracy, free elections and a free press, are already in the hands of their masters. They are truly enslaved, and cannot be freed without violence.

      So we educators gamble in despair that they can still be educated to assemble the shreds of power that remain to them into a new revolution. But secretly we know that democracy is only restored by the violent few most outraged at their losses, joined at last by rioters from the slums, and police who sympathize with a tyrannized majority, who terrorize the oligarchy into surrendering control to save their lives. Sadly, that is the way history works.

  • Why you can't explain the Iraq War without mentioning oil
    • Oil is the excuse given by warmongers. It is a lie.

      In fact we can buy the oil from whomever has it.

      Making enemies in the region is obviously the worst way to cultivate oil suppliers. The oil in Iraq mostly goes to US competitors now, and there was never any reason to believe that it would be otherwise.

      It may be that the infantile bullyboy warmongers of the US thought that they could steal the oil that way, but even had they installed a dictator to force lower prices to the US, most of the money would have gone to pay for, and repair damage caused by, invasion, which in fact has been added to US deficits, with no advantage for anyone, as always with warmonger gambits. Sometimes some of them believe their lies, but their rationales are always lies.

  • A new American Century or a Century of Wars and Refugees?
    • Very well written and persuasive. The "American Century" was nothing more than a nationalist excuse for warmongers, who as Aristotle warned millennia ago, must create foreign wars to gain domestic power and overthrow democracy by posing falsely as protectors and accusing their opponents of disloyalty. That is just what they have done. If they had had any intention of establishing democracy or aiding the peoples there, they would have had a long history of humanitarian aid there, when in fact US humanitarian aid amounts to less than one hamburger a year to the world's neediest.

      If the US had spent its pointless military expenditures since WWII on humanitarian assistance, it would have lifted half the world's population from poverty. If it had thereby built the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing world, it would have no organized enemies, and would have truly achieved an American century. It failed to do so because infantile tyrant warmongers controlled elections and mass media, disgraced the United States forever with idiotic wars and a litany of selfishness, and left the US the most despised and anti-democratic nation in the world's history.

      But no, control of elections and mass media by money couldn't possibly be the problem: it can't even be discussed.

  • The Real Problem with the Iraq War: It was Illegal
    • Yes, the Supreme Court are mostly scoundrels, but of course appointed by the same oligarchy that owns the elections and mass media. All US wars since the midpoint of the Korean War were nothing more than excuses for warmongers, who as Aristotle warned millennia ago, must create foreign wars to gain domestic power and overthrow democracy by posing falsely as protectors and accusing their opponents of disloyalty. That is just what they have done. If they had had any intention of establishing democracy or aiding the peoples there, they would have had a long history of humanitarian aid there, when in fact US humanitarian aid amounts to less than one hamburger a year to the world’s neediest.

      If the US had spent its pointless military expenditures since WWII on humanitarian assistance, it would have lifted half the world’s population from poverty. If it had thereby built the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing world, it would have no organized enemies, and would have truly achieved an American century. It failed to do so because infantile tyrant warmongers controlled elections and mass media, disgraced the United States forever with idiotic wars and a litany of selfishness, and left the US the most despised and anti-democratic nation in the world’s history.

      But no, control of elections and mass media by money couldn’t possibly be the problem: it can’t even be discussed.

    • And as the bard (almost) concluded, "to see our (leaders) as other see us."

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  • Top 5 things that Make Bangladesh a natural Target for Extremists
    • Where groups contend for conduct that will ""make them more popular" there is a likelihood of civility over a generation after the underlying causes are corrected.

      But in the US, support of foreign extremists as an army of convenience, and failure to ensure peace among nations or assistance for the most unfortunate, ensures that the underlying causes of extremism, such as poverty and Israeli aggression, are exploited and worsened.

      History will record that the greed of the affluent West is the cause that these old contentions have not died away, as they will when the affluent are at last impoverished or neutralized.

  • Now Iran-Kurdish Tensions are Spiking; Why?
    • I wonder whether the KDPI militancy in Iran affects IRG willingness to liberate Mosul.

      I have also heard that Israel was once heavily involved with the Kurds in Iran and perhaps Iraq. Before Iraq War II, the US used Israel as an intermediary to promote war between Iran and Iraq, as in the Iran-Contra scheme. Would they not both be likely to stir up trouble so as to interfere in Syria, to block the Shiite connection to Lebanon?

  • The end of the Beginning: The Fall of ISIL in Fallujah
    • Not if you don't stop the underlying cause of Sunni discontent, which appears to be denial of participation. Denying them one source of support for insurgency does not address the problem.

      It was the same in Vietnam. The US pretended that external powers were the problem. The problem was US denial of an end to colonialism (and its own dictatorships which appeared the same to the Vietnamese), very deeply desired by Vietnamese nationalists. So the US supported a doomed regime and cause the death of millions, simply because it assumed that the problem was military and caused by its own competitors, ignoring the underlying causes.

      Those are seductive assumptions not based upon fact.

    • I have to wonder whether the cost of recovering territory from Daesh/ISIL, and the greater cost of ensuing Sunni insurgency there, will have taught Iraq the lesson that excluding minorities from participation results in costly insurgency.

      If Daesh/ISIL is forced back into insurgency mode, and Iraq continues to deprive Sunnis of self-determination, as seems very likely, won't Iraq be back to 2007 indefinitely?

  • Top 7 ways to tell if Someone is lying about being a 'Salafi Jihadi'
    • The shooter wouldn't have been there if he was "conflicted." While discrimination based upon fear of one's self is certainly possible, the notion of "internalized homophobia" is usually psychomythology as propaganda. Gays often claim falsely that everyone is secretly gay, to avoid admitting that circumstances drove them that way, not genetics.

    • An experience I had may illuminate this problem: in an engineering company lunchroom, I was politely discussing a question of Islam with a Pakistani engineer, when a plainly gay male approached, threw his arm out violently, and angrily denounced the man for discrimination against gays. I pushed his arm down to the table in alarm, told the gay that “He isn’t responsible for that,” and the next day apologized to both of them. The gay did not know anything about the accused person, nor about Islam.

      From the facts given, I would guess that despite his presence at a gay bar, the shooter may have been discriminated against for his Muslim beliefs by others there, and may have been driven to outrage by their treatment of him. This would explain the assertion of a jihadist intent without pretense.

  • On Memorial Day, US Troops at War with ISIL near Mosul
    • William, I do not equate the U.S. defense of South Korea with the NV attack. But the argument is weak that the US was not setting up a containment state without regard for the justice of the matter, which is geopolitics arrayed against a local egalitarian revolution. The NV attack was not "Soviet-sponsored" as you suggest; apparently they went to China for military aid and were denied, so they went to Stalin who offered arms but said that he would not help at all if they got into trouble. So it was indeed a local rebellion, not a geopolitical scheme of the USSR.

      As to the US intention, recall that the US cut off diplomatic ties with China after the revolution there. When the India ambassador Panekar offered to serve as intermediary and stated the China position that the US must not position an army at the Yalu, he was ridiculed in the Truman administration as "Panicker." I find it unclear that MacArthur acted alone, as opposed to being willingly scapegoated for the disaster, although it may be so.

      Finally, I contest the right wing's claim that "containment" actions caused the collapse of the USSR: I doubt that it had much effect. They spent little on NK and NV, and would have militarized eastern Europe anyway. The only "containment" action that weakened them as the US sponsorship of AlQaeda in AfPak to destabilize the USSR regime in Afghanistan. This was a truly destructive and foolish act of the US, both because it resulted in 9/11 when the US backed out, and because the USSR was probably the best thing that could have been done for Afghanistan: they needed a secular ideology opposing a neutral enemy (poverty) to bind together their people against sectarian warlords, so the US should have left that burden to the USSR. It probably would have failed there anyway.

      But that illustrates the real weakness that collapsed the USSR: it was a federation of almost ungovernable central Asian states with Islamic insurgencies, the graveyard of empires. The US, mad with "containment" and angry about Vietnam, caused untold suffering there instead of staying clear in the interest of humanity, and then foolishly walked into its own trap in 2001.

      Really the US had no victory over the USSR, whose fortunes in no way depended upon any expansion, so the US had little effect on its collapse. The warmongers brag about something they had no part of, as is their ancient custom.

      I would say that "containment" was an illusion and a propaganda flag, that led the US from disaster to disaster, and the murder of six million innocents, and had nothing to do with the collapse of the USSR.

    • Mark, yes, the sentence was misstated and much too short. No dominoes fell other than the dictator Lon Nol. The Khmer Rouge were not backed by China, where Prince Sihanouk had refuge, but by NV. But while NV forces followed the KR into Cambodia, there was mutual distrust. The KR actually invaded Vietnam after its forces remained in eastern Cambodia to protect persons there. Then Vietnam invaded Cambodia and forced Pol Pot into Thailand, where the US indeed secretly supported him in attacking the Vietnam forces that had restored order. See Chandler's Brother Number One, a study by the govt of Australia.

    • I should add that China apparently did not want militarized states next door, and refused to support NK or NV (after France left): they were supported by the USSR as you note. So "containment" was in fact attack upon anticolonial nationalist rebellions, ignoring the causes of rebellion. When JFK sent LBJ to SE Asia to determine their leaders' views of the problems, he was told (approx.) that "The problem in SE Asia is not communism, it is poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease," but we did nothing at all about those real problems, and when the JCS met with LBJ during the 1964 election season, he told them "You can have your war if I can have the election." So they weren't containing anything, they were knowingly engaged in classic right wing fearmongering to demand power in the US as false protectors.

      And this continues today in the South China sea, and for the same reason. The "honor" of this militarism will become apparent in the future, when other powers are encroaching upon US waters and pointing to our constant harassment of them for the last half century.

    • Indeed the Korean War began with the NK invasion, although you would have to argue that the US presence there was beneficial to argue a right to repel the invasion. Most likely it was outright confrontationalism against socialism by the US right wing, like our other wars since WWII. After that, the US ignoring of China's warnings about placing large forces at its border was ignored by MacArthur. China had its primary industrial region near that border then, so MacArthur's move was comparable to China massing forces in Canada next to Chicago. So the inevitable result that the US was pushed back with heavy losses. That was a foolish and imperialist move, and every US war since then has been similarly aggressive and supported only by lies and secrecy.

      The US in Vietnam had no conceivable interest in "containment of communism." (1) It is not possible to contain an idea militarily. (2) The rest of SE Asia was not concerned. (3) China was not about to take on Indonesia's 300 million Moslems so as invade Australia to get those northern deserts. (4) No dominoes fell after we pulled out, except our Pol Pot forces put down by Vaetnam.

      So "containment" was propaganda (repudiated by Kennan before the war). It reflects only the utterly selfish and foolish US right wing strategy of attacking socialism.

      You seem to have made no contrary point here.

    • These reduced forces may have a valid mission or they may be just extending US errors. But their presence is not what we need to understand on Memorial day. We need to remember the wrongful causes of US military action since WWII, because those predominate today.

      The causes are muddied in the Middle east, but not elsewhere. We must always look to the causes of rebellions. Remember the Vietnam War: the cause was colonial exploitation and denial of self-government, far worse than the causes of the US revolution. The US was the first nation to rebel against colonialism and the last to defend it, and its defense had no rational basis whatsoever. The propaganda changes but the cause is the same. The fault was entirely in the demagogic US leadership, the corrupt military industry, and the control of US elections and mass media by economic concentrations. They simply have no good intentions at all, and would act quite oppositely if they had. If the US had spent its bloated military budget on humanitarian projects since WWI, it would have lfted half the world from poverty, and would have no enemies. Instead we have made the world our enemy and have killed over six million innocents for nothing at all.

      Every US war since WWII has attacked socialist governments on behalf of rich oligarchies, and the US has denounced all anti-colonial, nationalist, and egalitarian insurgencies as “terrorist” to prevent public awareness of the real causes of insurgency and the real causes of US “foreign policy.” In fact these are not wars of foreign policy, they are wars of domestic policy. These foreign wars are intended to prevent socialism in the US and to subvert constitutional rights in the US.

      The people of the US need to learn that ideas like “terrorism” and “communism” are nothing but the standard rationales for right wing power grabs that have destroyed democracies since long before Aristotle warned of this millennia ago. The right wing Must create foreign enemies to pose falsely as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. That is why the US right wing must have continual war or cold war. That is the only reason for the mass media propaganda about “GWOT” and “terrorism.” The destruction of constitutional rights is not an unfortunate accident, it is the motive.

  • ISIL hits Syrian Regime in Shiite northwest, killing 150
    • That is, diplomacy between US/Saudi/Turkey/salafis and Russia/Iran/Iraq/Assad/Kurds

    • Such bombings suggest that no outcome other than a federation or independent Sunni state could finally halt terror incidents. Diplomacy between US/Saudi/Turkey/Assad/salafis and Russia/Iran/Iraq/Kurds is the obvious solution, and those who have radicalized the Sunnis bear a heavy responsibility for continuing violence.

  • Fruits of Perseverence: Dem Platform Committee to Feel the Bern
    • Letting the liberal wing have "a say in writing the platform" is merely an offer to let them deceive their members that Hillary has any intention of following that platform. She will continue to sponsor wars and claim that "realism" prevents domestic reform.

      That platform is just more hopey-changey marketing crap from the Obama campaign.

  • Baghdad on Lockdown not from fear of ISIL but of poor Protesters
    • It would be useful to have a prognosis for the Sunni provinces of Iraq, apparently not much more enthusiastic about Shiite militia liberation and defense than about ISIL/Daesh.

      Does the Iraqi government recognize and proceed toward a federation of provinces allowing the Sunnis sufficient satisfaction that they undertake their own defense, or would it cede Anbar etc to ISIS, or allow an non-Daesh Sunni state there in negotiation with Saudi Arabia and Turkey?

      It would be good to know what conditions of this kind the US imposes upon iraq for US support, or whether it is just more of the same for more of the same, until disaster.

      Is there no think tank debate of these matters in the light of history and the military situation, credible to the Iraq govt and the US, to show them that disaster or indefinite misery looms, unless they negotiate or take certain action?

  • The late great Fourth Amendment: Feds, Police and Intrusive Technologies
    • Exactly. The right wing pushes investigative powers in ignorance of the downside, looking as always at only one side of the question. Such journalism as this exposes the downside to those who care for truth and justice, which never includes the right wing or the common man, although they pay the price and learn when it is too late.

    • The article argues for regulation, not abolition of investigative technology. Naive regulation is easily circumvented and is not regulation at all. Secret tribunals and secrets from trial judges, as well as our corrupt judiciary, obstruct proper regulation. The ability to turn off police cams or suppress the data obstructs proper regulation.

  • No US Troops on the Ground in Iraq & Syria . . . until there Were
    • Well said, Mr. Van Buren. Of course the right wing scam since long before Aristotle warned of tyranny over democracy has been to "spin up some vague facsimile of war fever." The US fails to learn because its elections and mass media are controlled by economic concentrations.

      The right wing never really believes the principles it claims: truth is not a factor in what its members must state as their beliefs. It waves the flag and praises the lord of whatever state it finds itself in, because it must do so to gain the advantages of the gang, and to avoid gang retribution.

      As H.L. Mencken put it,
      “The average man …avoids the truth as diligently as he avoids arson, regicide or piracy on the high seas, and for the same reason: because he believes that it is dangerous, that no good can come of it, that it doesn’t pay.” Even when sympathetic, the sheeple go along with the oligarchy and dump the problem on better citizens and damn them when that is inadequate. They can always pretend that personal benefit is “conservatism.”

      The days of courageous patriotism are long gone. Americans are not stout enough to resist bullying, because they no longer live with forces of nature, but only the forces of money and totalitarianism. They will do nothing until they fear suffering themselves, when it will be too late for them. This will not change until the angry dispossessed are at their door, when the empty suit of armor that the US has become, the fortress of the rich, is toppled by its enemies.

  • Chomsky - How the Elites' 'War on Terror' Multiplies Terror
    • Recommend choosing terms other than "elite" which suggests positive traits. Try"oligarchy", "plutocracy", "rich", or "one percent."

  • I Blame the US Media for Donald Trump
    • The article fails to argue that this exploitation of women in marketing is specifically directed at Latins. U.S. media does not consider Any group as "people...worthy of being defended against unjust laws" because it is controlled by money. The "exploitation and political corruption" of money is at the cost of all groups.

  • Al-Qaeda Everywhere: US support for Oppressive Gov't's made Bin Laden's Killing Moot
    • I would also suggest that the sources of the advantages the US has enjoyed, which substantially indicate the preconditions of democracy, are natural resources, geographic isolation, military isolationism, eighteenth-century egalitarianism, industrialism, and middle class productivity, which are antithetical to militarism and oligarchy. The warmongering oligarchy falsely credits its disastrous acts with the wealth of the nation, which it has in fact stolen, corrupted, and destroyed.

    • Correction: de-list Japan among pre-existing democracies, but it had much industrialized and no doubt was ready for more rational government.

    • Good remarks, super390. But in those cases (Germany, Austria, Japan) there were pre-existing democracies lost and restored by war, so all of the preconditions of democracy were there. In Spain and Portugal the preconditions were very favorable, as both had only missed being part of European democracy by historical accidents; Taiwan consisted largely of imported sympathizers with democracy who already had those preconditions; so South Korea and maybe the Philippines are the only partial-success stories, and as you note the preconditions were not bad at all.

      Interesting notes on racism as a factor determining where efforts were made. I would add lack of any genuine humanitarian motive on the part of the US, because we could easily have lifted (and could still lift) Africa from its extremity poverty and disease without expecting miracles. We could also have left the USSR to that task in Afghanistan and central Asia instead of forming AlQaeda to attack them.

      In SE Asia, Kennedy sent VP Johnson to talk with heads of state to see what hey saw as the underlying problems (for lack of any US institution that had any idea or concern!). Johnson said (approx.) "The problem in SE Asia is not communism, it is poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease." But that contradicted the right wing tyrants' propaganda allowing them to pose as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. So out the window it went, although Kennedy spoke of getting out of Vietnam just before his assassination. Of course Johnson went along with the Gulf of Tonkin fraud and reportedly told the JCS "You can have your war if I can have the election."

    • I would add to your "critical mass" (of standard of living, middle class, and legal order) the preconditions of two generations of peace without major ethnic/sectarian factions, the lack of an exploitative colonial/oligarchic order, lack of severe external threats, and adequate health and educational opportunity.

      Those factors usually grow under a secular nationalism, and are destroyed by the sectarian meddling, attacks upon socialist governments, oligarchic dictatorships, and military disruption that have been the hallmarks of US interventionism. US "foreign policies" since WWII have never proceeded from a cautious humanitarian and culturally-relative analysis of development options, and have never built a nation nor established a workable democracy.

      Democracy is a tree that requires the proper soil and nurturance for many years. The US oligarchy pretends that it can be fired from a cannon into a sand dune in the desert, and of course the results have been clouds of burning splinters. But the oligarchy gets what it wants, which is money and dominance of their moral superiors in the US.

    • It is very generally true that “insurgencies would be best addressed by fostering social justice policies.” The reason that Dems and Repubs always choose wars that only “call forth more resistance to an unbearable and unjust status quo” is that these are not wars of foreign policy, they are wars of US domestic policy.

      Every US war since WWII has sought to create dictatorships of the rich, by preventing or replacing socialist governments. Their intent is to fight socialism in the US, and the foreign wars against distant small countries have been their primary means to domestic power since Aristotle warned of this two millennia ago. Only by creating foreign enemies can they pretend to be protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. These wars are always sold as security threats, although not a single one has defended real US interests, only those of the rich. They allow the oligarchy to pose as the tough guys who will whip those unwashed masses into order and keep products on the big box shelves, while falsely accusing their moral superiors of subversion, begging, crime, etc.

      But it is the right wing oligarchs who have stolen from government, and have subverted the Constitution by eliminating constitutional rights, controlling the elections and mass media of democracy with money stolen from corporations and government itself. The right wing oligarchy has destroyed democracy in its own name, as they always do.

      Try to find a Republican who does not advocate right wing oligarchy: they are the true enemies of the United States. Most Democrats are exactly the same now, merely playing the democracy tune to lead progressives to new right wing slaughters. It’s so easy when you control the mass media and elections: just tell them one thing, do what you want, and give the excuse of “realism” now and then. You won’t find any Hillaries of the right wing trying to them left.

  • The End of American Iraq: Poor Shiites invade Parliament over corrupt Spoils System
    • The extremity of corruption sounds more like the Beginning of American Iraq. If that is ending, we have something to learn about invading the Green Zone in DC.

  • Winning in Losing: How Sanders pushed Clinton to the Left
    • These arguments for realism are always worth considering. But Hillary has advocated war at every single opportunity, and gives everything to Israel and the oligarchy without so much as a fuss. She is a Judas-goat leading progressives to the slaughter, and nothing more.

      Intelligent people want to show those who control the Democratic party that they will not be led to the slaughter. If the Dems had wanted a liberal platform they would have backed Sanders or Warren: they don't want it. They don't want it. They are the problem, not a solution.

      Let's have a little realism in favor of telling the oligarchy controlling the Dems that their lies and hopey-changey scams don't sell any more, even if it means that they lose this one because they betrayed their people. Let's let them learn their lesson the hard way, because they don't learn any other way.

  • ISIL Endgame: Obama to send 250 more US Troops into Syria
    • The minimalist-aggression hypothesis is interesting. But there is also the matter of installing a Tripwire force, as Eisenhower did in Vietnam and Kennedy was led to expand. US casualties are used to lead the US public to war, and that would make Turkey reluctant to attack YPG/Rojava, which might tend to isolate Daesh/ISIL from suppliers in Turkey.

  • What GOP New Yorkers just voted for: Torture, Syria Intervention, murder of innocents
    • The Bush/Cheney/Hillary war crimes should be punished, as should the bribery of most US politicians and judges, and some acts of Obama.

      The drone wars might be rationalized under the Constitution's permission of "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" which authorized arrest on foreign soil or attack of specified small foreign criminal entities (usually pirate ships). But those would not have included attacks on villages and homes and groups identified only by suspicions and statistics. Those are acts of war that require a declaration of war, which was intended to be defensive, and to permit repelling encroachments or depredations, not to permit aggressive wars. General acts like Authorization of Use of Military Force with vague targets defined by ignorant ideologues and warmongers are not within the federal powers.

      But the Constitution is not precise on that point, the Supreme Court consists of utterly corrupt right wing thugs anyway, nearly all of the politicians are all bribed by businesses and Israel, and the people are too deluded and morally corrupted by mass media to care, and will approve of any bullying of small nations far away to aggrandize themselves and for symbolic retribution against those who bully them. They are kept ignorant and militant as soldiers of their own oppressors.

      So the Constitution is dead, the US is an empty suit of armor blundering around the globe swinging its sword madly at delusions of the rich, and those trapped within must hope that it collapses or is toppled by its enemies.

    • Trump supporters should be made aware that these positions also violate the US Constitution, and no one so ignorant of the foundations of US government should ever be nominated.

      Torture violates both the eighth amendment and the inadmissibility of coerced testimony at trial.

      The punishing of relatives of even convicted criminals violates Article I section 9 prohibiting "bills of attainder" and Art. III section 3 that "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of the Blood" (no guilt of relatives of those convicted of treason).

      Closing religious or other gathering places violates freedom of religion, speech, and assembly in violation of the Amendment I.

      Finally a war in Syria with only 30,000 soldiers is an outright lie compliments of a tyrant, as any adult should be able to see. Military intervention overseas is prohibited by Article I section 8 without a declaration of war or to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. The NATO treaty obligations were defensive, and it should be repudiated because it has been used for aggression on pretext.

      And note that accepting bribes from Israel laundered as contributions from US citizens violates Article I section 9 "no person holding any office..shall accept any present...from any...foreign state." All bribes are prohibited by Article II section 4, which does not make impeachment and conviction optional but states that such persons "shall be removed."

  • Then they took the "Info" out of Infotainment; Corporate 'News' Cashes in on Fascism
    • There are strong parallels between MSM propaganda influence of the public and that of the military/security agencies upon the executive. Both use dominance of information sources, and social influence by smiles and social acceptance and fear of social rejection. Both use quasi-reason in he form of non-sequiturs and false facts to defeat reason, very much like corrupt lawyers. Both use economic coercion and the fear thereof: the threat of job loss or denial of promotion.

      This is ignorance engineering, the science of tyranny, which once depended upon mere lies to generate fear of foreign powers, traitors, and witches, so that the tyrant could demand power as false protector and accuse his opponents of disloyalty. Now they can create the illusion of factual grounds by repetition of lies and trivia, the illusion of logic by repetition of non sequiturs, the illusion of necessity by repetition of implicit economic and social threats.

  • The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur ARRESTED At Democracy Spring Protest In Washington D.C.
    • Cheers for the protestors against corruption and money in politics and mass media! They are the most responsible of citizens.

  • In an Age of Global Terror, do Failed States endanger you, too?
    • The fact that "no country has yet graduated from ... fragile state to a stable one" suggesting that current efforts are inadequate, argues well for massive foreign aid by the developed nations, rather than expensive and counterproductive military interventionism.

      Humanitarian aid to improve health, education, and industry in impoverished areas deserves the vast budget given instead for military aid, and would have far better results in national security alone. If the US had spent upon foreign aid the trillions it has upon military misadventures since WWII, it would have no organized foreign enemies.

      Any decision on the location and nature of intervention should be guided by a federal College of Policy Analysis to rigorously investigate every culture and region and explore what policies can really bring public benefit, a large institution with experts circulating with the universities, designed to protect unpopular and even “enemy” ideas, and rigorously analyze viewpoints and ideologies. This would have prevented every US misadventure since WWII.

      It would also prevent misspending of development aid upon insider non-performing contractors and foreign corruption, the perennial criticisms of foreign aid.

  • With Iraq's Shiite Gov't in Collapse, Can Country finally get past US-crafted Sectarianism?
  • Is Hillary Clinton responsible for rise of ISIL, as Bernie's Campaign Manager Alleged?
    • That is "SecState Clinton, VP Biden, and Obama"

    • Warmongering is clearly defined. You must read Aristotle's Politics in which he cautions against the warmongering of tyrants, who create fears to demand power as false protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. Much as you are doing in claiming to be "realistic" with "work to be done" and accusing critics of the opposite. They are prevalent in the US policymaking since the cold war, and their influence on VP Clinton and Obama via the NSC is clear in Woodward's The War Within and many other sources.

      Those who deal realistically with tough situations will not ignore these facts. It the is warmonger who is unrealistic and puerile and must get out of the way of humanity.

    • There is really no attack upon democrats or females in opposing Hillary, nor any attempt here to sanctify Sanders. The criticism of Hillary's consistent warmongering is very well founded. It is unfortunate that we don't have a female democratic candidate who can and will lead the way, but we don't. Commonly the first candidate from a group not before represented in the presidency is just a shill for the oligarchy, because they deceive the people best. So the wiser women will see that they are not yet represented by the female candidate. Wait for Senator Warren or one of the many other brilliant women who care for the people and have the intelligence to ignore the right wing warmongers and get on with the improvement of civilization.

    • But the idea that the US was not complicit in dissolving the Iraq military is of course false. The fact that it was defeated did not dissolve it, and that is the problem. That is propaganda, not argument, and apparently your Army friends agreed to spread propaganda today.

    • It was not claimed that the US advocated the factional strife that its Iraq War II created, only that it was quite predictable, and that there was no reason to believe that democracy would work among the warring factions left by warmongers. The US and Israel did secretly and systematically aggravate conflict among the factions in the 1980s Iran-Iraq War in the Iran-Contra affair and related schemes under Reagan and Bush 1.

    • Now, Ryan: show us research to the contrary. His points are generally quite valid. I would suggest that occupation is correlated rather than necessarily causal, but in the ME there have always been major insurgencies during occupations. So where is the evidence of democracy formation by warmongers?

    • Ryan, no one said that she orchestrated the details, only that she supported the war that predictably caused all of this and did not learn from the disasters and continues to support such wars when they are proven disasters. Those are the facts. You erase the distinctions to argue against valid points.

    • The Deaver statement "She continues to have a very, very hawkish foreign policy that has led to the rise and expansion of ISIS throughout the Middle East." indicates mostly that she approved and continues to support hawkish US foreign policy there, which was substantially responsible for the rise of ISIS.

      The US Iraq War II, created ISIS by displacing Sunnis from government and military positions, and failing to foresee that the Shiite/Kurdish majority would not grant them equal rights and would purge them from Baghdad. The US warmongers pretended that the factions of Iraq would suddenly jump to democracy rather than using its forms to settle scores. When the minority Sunnis were suppressed after a long violent insurgency, it is not surprising that many of them formed ISIS/Daesh with Saudi assistance. This appears to me a direct consequence of the warmongering of US Iraq War promoters.

      Warmongers like Clinton indeed created ISIL/Daesh by simpleminded propagandist warmongering. The fact that she was not the only one hardly exonerates her.

      If elected, she will indeed go on to spread death and destruction by giving her boys with the medals all they want, just as she has done at every opportunity since 2008. See Bob Woodward's The War Within on admin policymaking if not familiar with Clinton's attitude toward the military. We don't need bribed simpleminded propagandists in high office.

  • Unconstitutional: How the Imperial Presidents went to War all by themselves
    • The federal government has no warmaking power: it may only suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Warmongering for other purposes is tantamount to treason and should be a felony crime. Redefining invasion is not within the federal powers.

      The executive branch has no policymaking power: it may only administer the laws of Congress in finer detail. For the executive to secretly make, provoke, or facilitate war is tantamount to treason and should be a felony crime. Redefining administration is not within the executive powers.

      Humanitarian aid to improve health, education, and industry in impoverished areas deserves the vast budget given instead for military aid, and would have far better results in national security alone.

      Any decision on the location and nature of intervention should be guided by a federal College of Policy Analysis to rigorously investigate every culture and region and explore what policies can really bring public benefit, a large institution with experts circulating with the universities, designed to protect unpopular and even “enemy” ideas, and rigorously analyze viewpoints and ideologies. This would have prevented every US misadventure since WWII.

      But the US has intervened since WWII under false pretenses to serve the goals of warmongers against whom Aristotle warned, who seek war to pose falsely as protectors, to demand power and accuse their opponents of disloyalty. The US has the most powerful weapons and the largest moat in the world, and still its warmongers demand war against tiny poor nations far away, secretly overthrowing democracies around the world from Iran to Chile and Venezuela because they are also socialist. The tyrant warmonger never establishes a democracy.

      The warmonger uses the military to steal natural resources and land for insiders. We pay for those resources at market prices regardless of who owns them; we pay for the wars, we pay a third time for the blowback, we will pay again throughout our history for the enduring injustices, and our children will pay yet again to rebuild the societies we have destroyed. The warmonger steals our resources and enslaves us.

      The warmonger never has a plan for humanitarian results, but merely shops for propaganda fragments and shouts them while waving the flag and praising the lord of whatever nation he is in, an infantile bully, the lowest imitation of masculinity. His intended audience is the timid and the ignorant: those fearful of bullies and the irrationality of their own kind. Those who go along with the warmonger are cowards, and those who oppose a United States mad with warmongers are the only true heroes.

  • The Panama Papers and Middle East Leaders' Secret Bank Accounts
    • Right wingers simply decide that money=virtue. So once the money is stolen it is deserved, and the more they steal, the more they deserve. What's an honest gangster going to do without corruption?

  • 30 Americans die worldwide from Terrorism annually, while 130,000 die by accident
    • Good points. Further, unlike the expense on disease research which benefits everyone forever, the expense on "terrorism" victims is ongoing, does not solve the problem, apparently increases the problem, and erases the underlying causes from public awareness.

      Terrorizing is a military tactic used by all nations when they think it effective (US attacks on Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Cambodia, Grant's march though Georgia, secret terror wars in Latin America), not a belief system, while "terrorism" as political belief describes only warmonger tyrants over democracy, against whom Aristotle warned, who must pose a protectors to demand domestic power and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty.

      Only broad and intensive consideration of the underlying problems can avoid disaster and reduce violence. The right wing revolution, that has destroyed US democracy by controlling its mass media and elections, prevents all consideration of underlying problems in foreign and domestic policy.

  • Brussels: An Older Kind of Terrorism, and the challenge of Airport Security
    • Good points here. If soft targets cannot be protected, then major powers can seek further security only in removing the causes of terrorizing. The US must stop denying self-determination, and subverting social democracy, in poor countries, and it must switch the vast sums given to its bloated military provocateurs, to instead support humanitarian programs of infrastructure, education, economic development, and medical care.

      If the US had built the roads, schools, and hospitals throughout the developing world, it would have no organized enemies, and would have lifted half the world from poverty.

  • How Bush-Cheneyism made Mideast in its Image: Wars, WOT, With us or Against Us
  • The New Interventionists: It isn't just the Yanquis any more
    • Trying to accuse Russia of R2P interventionism in Ukraine is more than a little devious,as Russia had an ethnic minority on its very border under ethnicity-based attack, and did not intervene militarily, although the US had done so with the false excuse of democracy promotion, knowing that it was deliberately stirring up ethnicity-based violence on the border of Russia.

      This writer's argument is "ironic, to say the least" and appears to be mere warmonger propaganda.

  • Syria's Kurds to declare Federal Province
    • Perhaps Assad would like a Kurdish-manned DMZ between W and E Syria as part of the bargain.

    • A US-Russia-supported Kurdish province Isolating Daesh from Turkey sounds like a step forward, especially if agreeable by Assad as a step toward federalism. This could perhaps isolate Daesh in E Syria and W Iraq, where they could become a defensive force over a generation, perhaps de-militarized by the Saudis. Let's hope the Saudis are discussing just that in Russia.

  • Mystery: Russia & Hizbullah begin withdrawal from Syria
    • Great news; they took my advice. Perhaps now we shall see how many generations are needed to establish peaceful federalism after cessation of hostilities in the aftermath of US fake "liberal interventionism" in the MidEast. Unless Killary greenlights the boys with the medals again.

  • 9/11: Clueless US Judge doesn't Know Shiites from al-Qaeda, finds against Iran for $10 Bn.
    • That judge certainly knew that he was stealing from Iran. I base this upon extensive experience of gross political corruption in the federal judiciary (the state judiciaries are just as bad). The judiciary is uniformly corrupt beyond the dreams of the public, and the mass media are too vulnerable or corrupt to report this. Those who think of judges as Santa Claus make a very childish error, and will learn otherwise when it is too late to do anything about it. The fact that we cannot run the country without an uncorrupted judiciary does not mean that we have one.

      Federal courts routinely deny basic constitutional rights on the basis of corrupt influence, posting vacuous excuses as judgments and completely ignoring the law, the constitution, and their own prior judgments in favor of Repubs. Federal judges spend their careers inventing all-purpose excuses to use when violating the Constitution for political purposes, and they are nominated solely for this purpose by those who benefit.

      Whatever the decision, look carefully at the reasons, because those will be faked up to suit the political bias of the judges, as all federal judgments are. Judges are the most dedicated scoundrels in politics. We must get rid of every one of them, clean out the law schools, and throw out nearly all of their cases, which only enshrine the corruption of big money.

      Elected judges campaign with money from a political party that dictates the outcome of civil cases. State judges invariably rule along party lines, often declaring grossly unconstitutional principles, such as the idea that towns cannot commit civil rights violations because they are not people. See link to link to
      and also link to link to

  • Which Protest-busting Dictator is Trump most Like?
    • I should add that the Khmer Rouge rebellion was primarily against the aristocracy, and typically of peasant rebellions, was forced to communist organization by the political repression of oligarchy. The first nation to throw off the tyranny of colonial aristocracy in 1776 was also the last defender of colonial aristocracy in NV and Cambodia, because US democracy had fallen to oligarchy.

      NV initially supported the Khmer Rouge (of whom Pol Pot was one of a half dozen leaders) and later attacked it, not entirely because it had gone too far against its own people. The KR actually invaded Vietnam after attacking the supporting NV forces that remained in E Cambodia to protect an ethnic group spanning the border.

      It is noteworthy that the US media apparently exaggerated the KR casualties by a factor of ten or so in its propaganda. The KR opposed both presumed regime-supporters who had fled to Pnom Penh, and ethnic groups in E Cambodia presumed to be allied with NV. The fake US casualty figures of 1-2 million originated in a Reuters story by reporters who had been in Pnom Penh shortly before it fell to the KR (when its population was swollen with refugees from the conflict), and shortly afterward, who observed that approximate change of population there. The oligarchy-controlled US media picked up that figure as a casualty figure and never bothered to substantiate it. In fact most of the casualties were in the east, 100-300,000 at most. Burial pits have been found that substantiate the lower figure but are claimed to substantiate the higher figure.

      So the total casualties are probably 10-20% of the US murders in Vietnam designed to prop up dictators there to "contain" the communism of NV which was in fact a nationalist movement that used communist organization and development ideology as might have been expected in a peasant rebellion against Western oligarchic dictatorship over a desperately poor nation with a long history of colonial occupation.

    • Yes, I suggest taking a look at Brother Number One (political biography of Pol Pot) a study of the Cambodia wars commissioned by the govt of Australia. The US govt funded Pol Pot forces as the primary force of what it told its people was a "coalition" against the NV forces led by Prince Sihanouk, who was in fact isolated in Beijing and had no active role.

    • Hitler's party staged regular street gang fights against their political opponents. Probably Mussolini's supporters as well. Suharto killed 1.5 million political opponents in Indonesia with US support. The US supported Pol Pot after he was forced into Thailand, just to oppose N Vietnam which had thrown him out, neither fact ever mentioned in US mass media. Those are US presidents' choices to kill anyone who opposed Republican ideology, not opponents of democracy. Apparently the US-supported 1953 anti-democratic coup in Iran involved extensive repression of opponents of the dictator Shah.

      The many US secret wars since WWiI have primarily opposed socialism or communism intended to benefit the poor. Those are US presidential choices to kill roughly six million innocents due solely to political preference, as there were no security threats involved outside of W Europe.

  • GOP debate Civil? Candidates urged torture, child-murder, backing bloody Dictatorships
    • Administrative power is distinct from policymaking. The executive branch fills in the details in administering laws, but it may not fill in between laws or make them. There is no high level policymaking in administration.

      Presidents have gradually seized policymaking power from the legislative branch. “Checks and balances” has never worked, because it was designed as a first approximation suitable to the small government of the early federal era. Not only are there no checks at all upon the judicial branch (it was thought to be too few in number to misbehave), but also the other branches have no internal checks and are fundamentally unable to balance each other because their powers are completely different. The executive branch has always had all of the physical power (army, national guard, secret agencies, DOJ and marshals, etc.) as well as real control of the economic power (treasury, IRS, budget management, etc.). So the executive has gradually taken what it pleases. The judicial branch now rejects by subterfuge both constitutional rights and democracy itself, as in Citizens United. All branches are owned by the bribes of economic concentrations: if any branch represented the people, the conflicts between them would be immediate.

      The solution is to implement checks and balances within each branch (and add checks upon the judiciary). When factions control one of its components, the others check its power. That requires redundant control within each branch, just like the redundant processors in high-reliability control systems (aircraft autopilots, large memory systems, etc.). When one disagrees, the votes of the other two decide the action taken.

    • The primitivism of the Repubs not surprisingly includes the warmongering that tyrants need to pose as protectors and accuse opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned.

      It includes all of the elements of fascism: the claim that their group is superior to others, the claim that any criticism of any group member is an attack on the whole group, the demand for special benefits for their group, the efforts to seize resources from other groups to distribute as rewards, the claim of ethnic/religious faults in other groups, the attempts to blame problems of their group on others.

      Often fascism is a reaction to discrimination against a group, as in 1930s Germany, including ironically discrimination by fascists, as in modern Jewish fascism. And due to the irony, no one more vociferously denies it than the Jewish fascist, using all of the above defining means. But in fact it is present in any large group, and does all groups harm.

      US citizens as a group do nothing to deserve the economic benefits the US derives from natural resources, isolation, size, and history. If it had spent on humanitarian programs the funds wasted on warmongering exploits under false pretenses since WWII, it would not have killed six million innocents, and would have built the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing world, lifting half the world from poverty, and would have no organized enemies.

      Instead the US continues to to listen to warmonger tyrants, even after exposure of their deceptions and secret wars that led to its murderous rampages around the world since WWII.

      This descent into medieval tyranny is the result of control of the institutions of democracy by economic concentrations that did not exits when the Constitution was written. Money controls the tools of democracy, the mass media and elections, and democracy cannot be restored without them.

  • 5 Surprising Truths about Terrorism
    • The false enemy of “terrorism” is a war technology, not an ideology. The warmonger uses the term to (1) obscure the cause he opposes, (2) obscure his lack of any admissible rationale for war, and (3) obscure the fact that he is the terrorist, the one whose belief system requires terrorizing. Aristotle warned millennia ago that fearmongering is the ploy of the tyrant over democracy, who must create fears to pose as protector and accuse his opponents of disloyalty.

      What the US tyrant calls a “threat” is an insurgency with a cause that he opposes, usually economic progress or self-determination for the unfortunate. He fears better social programs in the US, and so we fight the “threat” of socialism around the world, in fact merely anti-colonial nationalist and populist movements. If we had supported those movements, their nationalism would have turned to democracy by now. Where the tyrant could not fight those “threats” as in China, those peoples have prospered.

      The tyrant warmonger destroys democracy and the social and economic progress, while claiming to promote them. The US secretly overthrows democracies around the world from Iran to Chile and Venezuela, always because they are also socialist. The tyrant warmonger tells us that we must have war to promote democracy, but never establishes a democracy. The growth of democracy requires preparation of the soil through stability and education, by humanitarian assistance, and always fails among the warring factions left by the warmonger, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      The tyrant uses the military to steal natural resources and land for insiders like oil companies, and campaign contributors like Israel. We pay for those natural resources at market prices regardless of who owns them. We pay for the wars that give those resources to insiders and campaign contributors. We pay a third time, for the blowback when dispossessed groups are forced back upon their religious or national identity, and form insurgencies to oppose the dictators our tyrants have imposed. And we will pay again and again throughout our remaining history, for the enduring instability and injustice caused by our warmonger tyrants. And our children will pay yet again, if they ever have the opportunity, to finally rebuild the societies we have destroyed, as we should have done long ago. The warmonger tyrant steals our resources and enslaves us.

      The warmonger tyrant never has a plan for humanitarian results, but merely shops for propaganda fragments and shouts them while waving the flag, an infantile bully, the lowest imitation of masculinity. His intended audience is the timid and the ignorant: those fearful of bullies and the irrationality of their own kind.

      Humanitarian aid to improve health, education, and industry in impoverished areas deserves the vast budget given for military aid, would have had far better results in national security alone, and since WWII would have lifted half the world from poverty. US military aid and action since WWII has had neither the intent nor the effect of improving security, human rights, or forms of government elsewhere, and has resulted in injustices for which the US is quite predictably and properly hated.

  • Don't be fooled: Lindsey Graham & GOP Establishment just as Crazy as Trump
    • A fine article, and a joyful season it is to see the GOP actually too incompetent to manage its usual ignorance engineering. But the Dems can, and the Reps are still there to pay for and ride the next waves of fearmongering from the MSM.

      He who controls the media controls the election, and in the US that is the economic concentrations, regardless of party. That will continue until the whole apparatus is surrounded and isolated in 100-200 years, and falls into economic ruin under economic tyranny, when mere bread and circuses cannot distract the victims. They will see healthier systems everywhere by then, and again throw off aristocracy, thinking that no one knew better until then.

  • US Says Mosul Dam faces serious risk of Collapse; Could Kill 1.4 Million
    • Really, a dam is suddenly facing collapse without prior engineering knowledge or warning, in a place that just happens to be a target, according to people who aren't there and are probably planning to bomb it?

      This much appears to be a false scare with little attempt to make it plausible. To get people out of the path of a military sweep? A threat to bomb it to cut power in Mosul without regard for the loss of life or cost of rebuilding? This needs more than a little explanation.

  • How the US went Fascist: Mass media Makes excuses for Trump Voters
    • The US mass media promote fascism, as they did in Germany and Italy in the 1930s, because it is the choice of the business bully-boy who controls the media. The solution to this is to get money power out of mass media and elections, which requires long-overdue amendments to the Constitution. It does not have this protection of the institutions of democracy from economic concentrations because those did not exist when it was written, apart from small ships and large plantations owned by families.

      The business bully-boy must also be removed from control of large businesses, by regulations requiring broad ownership of corporations. The wealthy must be prevented from acquiring power in any form, because those who gain great wealth do so by selfishness and lack of ethics, which disqualify them from power.

      But now that gold controls public opinion, there is no way to restore democracy or resist demagoguery, without an uprising of patriots as in 1776. Yet simple revolution is also prevented by gold: it is really another form of democratic institution destroyed by gold.

      When the Czars of Russia had such control of mass media and public opinion, the result was the secretive insurgency of communism. In the Mideast the result was secretive religious extremism: AlQaeda/Isis. The force that overthrows totalitarianism is usually not inclusive, and not much better for many generations. It seldom works until the government is inflicting poverty and outrages upon a majority.

  • Could a post-Scalia court restore Campaign Finance Sanity & pull back from Plutocracy?
    • There is certainly opportunity if the means is found.

      I have seen many plainly valid civil rights cases denied even a trial by the right wing federal courts, all denied hearing by the Supreme Court, even where wrongdoers had already confessed under oath, where the victims were charities, where there was no conceivable public interest to the contrary, and where every law and legal precedent required the case to proceed to vindicate civil rights. There is no hope of justice for the people until the entire judicial branch is replaced and reconstituted. That will not happen until the Constitution is rewritten to protect elections, mass media, and the people from economic tyranny. And that cannot be done peacefully because the right wing already controls the mass media and elections. We may hope for reform, but it is injurious to expect it: our only hope lies in the uprising of patriots to throw off the oligarchy as we did in 1776.

  • Top 5 Scalia Rulings that helped Progressives
    • Yes, truth is often nuanced. But for the right wing the nuances and the principles are just bribes of different kinds from different sources, direct, indirect, or hypothetical. They have no principle of justice for all, but only deals and hits for their own kind. Their idea of nuance is non sequitur, scams, collusions, and outright lies, and they accept this as rightful practice in law and public office. No nuance there, it is treason.

    • For an interesting example of utter dishonesty by the Supreme Court, in a minority opinion by Scalia opposing the ACA, see today's Consortium article by Robert Parry at link to

      It shows how Scalia quoted Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 33 claiming that Hamilton supported Scalia's opposition to federal regulation under the Commerce Clause, when in fact Hamilton was savagely ridiculing those who were fearmongering against the clause. I see this kind of deliberate cynical reversal of meanings of quotations and precedent cases almost every time I read a lawyer argument against civil rights. They are truly nauseating hypocrites at every opportunity, and you will see this shown of Scalia.

    • Agreed, the Constitution is not sacred, and still has significant flaws, particularly the lack of safeguards against economic tyranny and economic control of mass media and elections, and the lack of functioning checks and balances. There are no checks or balances upon the judiciary at all (it was thought there would only be 12 of them versus 900 now, and that they would have to behave well), and the executive has taken most warmaking power from Congress, and has established a dark state that must be abolished.

      Incidentally, I do not give them the distinction "conservative" because, as you state, they reject the Bill of Rights and its application to states by later amendments. In fact they are mere tyrants who aspire to succeed by business scams and deals, and arrogate themselves special rights. Because the Constitution is very liberal in rejecting aristocracy, one must be a liberal to be conservative in the US, so I call those self-styled "conservatives" right wing revolutionaries and traitors. I have often watched them completely ignore all constitutional issues and decide cases based solely upon the political affiliation or wealth of the parties, or some other right-wing prejudice. They conserve nothing but their personal wealth and power, and the term "conservative" lends them dignity when in fact they should be hung.

    • While the acts of a right wing enemy of the people will at times coincide with their interests, it is not helpful to make points in his favor. Those who study the federal judiciary know that the Supreme Court is truly the established enemy of the Constitution and of democracy, and seems otherwise only when the rich cannot get what they want otherwise. The oligarchy appointed them, and cares not the least for democracy or the people. The oligarchy cares only about the rich, and will send us all to hell for a nickel in their interest.
      The people need more than these coincidences, more than scraps from the table of the bully-boy tyrants who have overthrown democracy. The federal judiciary are nothing but minions of the right wing revolution that has overthrown democracy, very truly traitors wrapped in the flag, abusing the public office entrusted to them to the maximum of the ability, and should be sent to the wall at the earliest opportunity.
      Let us celebrate the death of Scalia. Let there be an eternal curse upon all his kind.

  • ISIL kills 70 in bombing of Shiite Area, Damascus, in bid to derail Talks
    • I would suggest that the usual reason for military incidents by insurgents during talks is to make a show of bargaining strength, not to derail talks. If they wanted to derail talks they would simply not attend. Of course there are often factions less willing to talk, and such incidents raise the issue of the ability of their negotiators to implement any solution. But either way they are seen as stronger negotiators.

      Any talk during war is more bargain than discussion of principle, and its success depends upon the existence of mutually acceptable compromises. That may be difficult where the insurgency leaders lose power in peacetime. Also where the motives of the West are corrupt and contradictory. Neither really wants peace because their leaders have power only during conflict, but the US leaders must actually start and prolong wars to get re-elected, so they do represent the causes of war, but do not seek any solution.

  • Obama: Is the Media Hyping the threat from Daesh/ ISIL?
    • The reason that “clear-eyed estimations” are discounted in favor of “klaxons sounding 24/7” to “stampede us into hateful hysteria” is that economic concentrations did not exist when the US Constitution was written, so that business gangs now control the mass media and elections, the principal institutions of democracy. Right wing fearmongers must create foreign monsters to pose as protectors to demand domestic power and accuse their opponents of disloyalty. The right wing are not conservative at all, they conserve nothing but their own gold, they are revolutionaries against democracy, and fearmongering has been their means of tyranny over democracy throughout history, as Aristotle warned. It is time for amendments to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited and registered individual contributions.

  • No, GOP, you can't win by Carpet-bombing
    • The warmonger has no concern for truth, and creates foreign enemies solely to demand power as protector and accuse his opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned millennia ago. He wants the bucks, and only the bucks. The same sleaze wins in business, and business buys power through control of mass media and elections. All thoughts of war and treason should be directed at the right wing, the ultimate causes of all wrongs. Only when they are seen as the terrorists, the subversives of democracy, the traitors, can truth and justice triumph.

  • Is Corporate Media a danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders
    • That might have been PT Barnum or Mark Twain. HL Mencken added that “The average man …avoids the truth as diligently as he avoids arson, regicide or piracy on the high seas, and for the same reason: because he believes that it is dangerous, that no good can come of it, that it doesn’t pay.”

    • Very true, but the Supreme Court is the most corrupt of the federal and state courts, rubberstamping any denial of constitutional rights. They are appointed by the politicians installed by corrupt funding of elections and mass media. So there can never be election reform from the Supreme Court. The US people are propagandized that the judiciary are Santa Claus that they can run to when wronged, and nothing could be further from the truth. They are the most dedicated of all traitors against democracy, wrapped in the flag.

    • The number of representatives is limited to make debate manageable: but even the elimination of gerrymandering does not address the problems of corruption, election funding, and control of public debate by right wing ownership of mass media. We certainly do need constitutional amendments to keep money out of mass media and elections and policy making. Why not?

    • Indeed we’ve been had. The US Constitution does not protect elections and mass media, the principal institutions of democracy, from economic concentrations that did not exist when it was written. The essential amendments to limit funding of mass media and elections to limited and registered individual contributions cannot even be proposed to large numbers because those instruments of public debate are already controlled.

      Money measures industry and intelligence only over a narrow range in each economic class. The class of an individual is determined by circumstances, and often reduced by the moral and intelligent choices of a career in education, science, or social services. Wealth and power go to the most unethical schemers for money, who then purchase testimonials to the virtue and intelligence they lack. They are among the most ignorant, selfish, hypocritical, and malicious members of society, and a failed Constitution allows them to dominate the rest of us. Their enemy is democracy.

      The right wing has throughout history used public debate to invent foreign enemies to pose as protectors and accuse their opponents of disloyalty, ruling the sheeple with propaganda and fear, hollowing out democracy to the empty suit of armor we now have, that blunders around the globe, swinging its sword madly.

      A people’s FCC would help, but would not be permitted by campaign contributors, and the public would never be allowed to hear about the issues. Bureaucrats would be installed to block changes and plead helplessness. We would have far more democracy under Chinese communism than we have under US capitalism: they actually round up and prosecute scoundrels, rather than paying them billions to get more bribes.

  • Top 10 Signs the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World
    • An excellent and very truthful article, omitting only the lesser-known extreme corruption of the federal and state judiciary. The corruption and debasement of society is due to the inability of the US Constitution to protect the institutions of democracy from economic concentrations that did not exist when it was written. But the necessary amendments to limit funding of mass media and elections to limited and registered individual contributions cannot even be discussed because those instruments of public debate are already controlled. As Europeans say, in a word the problem is “Capitalism.”

      The right wing has always invented foreign and domestic enemies to pose as protectors and accuse their opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned millennia ago of the tyrants over democracy. Their abject selfishness, ignorance, hypocrisy, and malice rule the sheeple with propaganda and fear, of false accusations and economic starvation. With the rise of economic concentrations, they have hollowed out democracy to an empty suit of armor that blunders around the globe, swinging its sword madly.

      Is there a cure for right wing tyranny? There is no cure for selfishness, ignorance, hypocrisy, and malice but to educate the next generation, and no cure for established tyranny but revolution, neither of which is feasible against our advanced totalitarianism. They have indeed reduced the United States to, “a third-rate, sorry excuse for a nation” (as the late Bill Moyers put it) that history will despise, and future historians will praise whatever slow or rapid process imprisons it economically or brings it down for recycling into something worthy of its better citizens.

  • 12 Million homeless, displaced Syrians facing Disaster as Winter Approaches
    • But of course the US will do nothing for these refugees but some minimalist gesture, pretending that its military meddling has no negative effects, and enriching its warmongers, just as it repressed the blacks for centuries before the civil rights movement. If the US media and elections were not controlled by morally corrupt economic gangsters, it would never have bowed to the right wing warmongers who pose as protectors, denouncing their opponents as disloyal, just as Aristotle warned of the tyrants over democracy millennia ago. But with the instruments of democracy in the hands of totalitarians, democracy can never be restored but by a complete recycling under external domination, whether military or economic, most likely by another criminal state. Quite an oversight by the Constitutional Convention, to leave our institutions unprotected from money, but there were no large economic concentrations then.

      Our educational efforts will have the same effect as lecturing bad drivers from afar. Selfishness, ignorance, hypocrisy, and malice will continue to rule the West, in modern as in ancient times, and modern history will be no more than the ignominious record of failed aspirations.

  • Syria: Mission Impossible
    • The "endless series of meetings" needed to eliminate the "quick fix" mentality is the very institution I have proposed as an eventual fourth branch of the federal government, a very large College of Policy Analysis charged with considering every aspect of policy in every major regions, methodically resisting groupthink and protecting the minority views and even "enemy" opinion, and with no outside influence. The college would circulate tens of thousands of experts with hundreds of universities.

      Legislators should have input into the issues studied, and able to request reports, but they should be accountable to citizens for advocating any policy generally rejected by the college. No aspect of the analyses should be secret, although information and studies by security agencies could be shared.

      Without that elaborately secured rational basis, US policy will continue to be nothing but the warmongering of right wing politicians to pose as protectors and accuse their opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned of the tyrants over democracy millennia ago. And it will lead as it always has to the trash heap of history.

  • Dear Saudi Arabia: Executing People for Atheism is in fact ISIL-Like; #Sosuemesaudi
    • The UN should condemn such atrocities by secret ballot, so that individual countries cannot be subjected to economic (oil) sanctions. But it regularly countenances atrocities due to economic (US) influence. Perhaps they should prohibit international aid except through UN channels, so that members cannot be blackmailed by the US: the aid would be restored via the UN by public opinion. They should also denounce and punish rich countries that don't meet their quotas.

      But the UN fails these duties exactly because the UNSC members are corrupted by economic power. None have had the kind of revolutions to regulate economic power, that they had centuries ago to regulate the power of direct force.

      The question is whether this is possible in the modern totalitarian pseudo-democracy.

  • Putin: Turkey supports Radicalism & We may have to Respond, hence Tourism Ban
    • As noted on this site, there is considerable evidence that Turkey is defending ethnic Turkmen groups in Syria, and opposes expansion of Kurdish territory, as well as Assad, "siding de facto with Daesh."

      The US right wing web of deceit and covert arming of insurgents to serve a rich minority in the US, has led to more NATO-Russia confrontation as predicted, and as in Ukraine, at the instigation of a local power pursuing local interests.

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • I think that everyone would be astounded if he accomplished anything in the ME, let alone a Palestinian state. What is your evidence of progress? Where is his power to do that? He would have to instantly blockade Israel and cut off all aid and all trade, and even then they would just bribe the mass media and the Repubs and Hillary Dems, and wait for the oligarchy to replace him. Let us know what you base this theory upon.

  • Kabul on the Potomac: How America became the most Corrupt Society in the West
    • The corruption of the judiciary is also far more extreme than the media dare to report. Those who think of judges as Santa Claus make a very childish error. Elected judges campaign with money from a political party that dictates the outcome of civil cases so that only paid-up Republicans can win. State judges invariably rule along party lines, often declaring grossly unconstitutional principles, such as the idea that towns cannot commit civil rights violations because they are not people. Such principles are legal garbage and corrupt the law itself. Federal courts routinely deny basic constitutional rights in liberty and property on the basis of corrupt influence, posting vacuous excuses as judgments and completely ignoring both the law and constitution.

      See link to and also link to

      In Florida, it has been alleged that state senate president Lisa Carlton teamed with fellow Repubs in state and county agencies to steal $51 million of state and federal conservation funds as a grant to her family ranch, for doing nothing at all, claiming that the ranch was a habitat for endangered species never sighted there or in any adjacent county, species that require forest and cannot live on ranches. Allegedly with that money as bribes to the Republicans, her sister Kimberly Bonner got herself elected as a judge and promoted by the Repubs, who control all judges in Sarasota County and most others, to attack cases involving their political opponents. The county denied their opponents equal protection of law, the Repubs asigned and reassigned Bonner to attack their cases, and Jim Crow republican federal judges refused to enforce the laws or recognize constitutional rights.

      And this is only the tip of the iceberg of conservation thefts: in Florida alone, hundreds of millions in federal and state conservation funds are already planned as gifts for rich rethuglicans who own wasteland.

      In a typical federal case controlled by Rethuglicans, the plaintiff inherited underwater land left over when his family sold off waterfront property. He claimed that it was priceless real estate on which he was about to develop a vast hotel, although that was prohibited by environmental laws, When the Corps of Engineers said No, he sued the US government, which routinely denies claims that wasteland is priceless. But he won, alone among plaintiffs in such cases, because he and the judge are jewish republicans.

      The fact that we cannot run the country without an uncorrupted judiciary does not mean that we have one. We don't, and must remove nearly all judges and lawyres to get there, as well as reverse decades of corrupt legal decisions.

  • "For Paris" on Russian Missiles hitting Syria as ISIL Oil Facilities Targeted
    • Good point. But since as ISIS bantustan would have to be propped up by the Gulf states, it would likely follow their course to progress more or less, and become little worse than they in the meanwhile.

      I think the main fault is that one would have to ensure a more moderate government of an IS state to avoid condemning moderate Sunnis to living under IS in the meanwhile, but presumably the Gulf states would want that also. So they might agree as a precondition to turning IS into an army under a more moderate state, if its borders were protected by a UN DMZ.

      I raise the issue of separate monoculture states because there is too much extremism and division to expect a multicultural Syria or Iraq to work.

    • I know, how can you champion head-choppers and rapists, how can you oppose our peace-loving killers, etc. But show me the plan, not the wishful thinking, that does not at best export ISIS from Syria for a while, with no plan for the future.

    • Really this is all to be expected historically. Let’s play devil’s advocate and hear some rational consideration of this scenario:
      1. The Sunnis of W Iraq and E & NE Syria have been denied self-determination, by the US invasion of Iraq which installed a Shiite government denying them participation, and by the Shiite/Alawite government of Syria;
      2. The Sunni Gulf states in sympathy covertly funded revolution in both areas to establish a Sunni state, using Daesh solely as the army, having no philosophy of its own or credentials of government, like all armies;
      3. Daesh takes over and its mandate and popularity decline over a generation or two as civil authority predominates, as in most revolutions including that of the US, leaving a Sunni religious state that gradually becomes enlightened.

      If that or eternal domination of the Sunnis there is the inevitable outcome, why would we oppose the quickest route to improvement? Why would we look only at the violence of revolution rather than the ultimate benefit? Why would we assume that self-determination must be nonviolent for them when it has never been so elsewhere? What force will create a Sunni nation for the Sunnis there by moderate means? I imagine that the Girl Scouts have tried and failed.

      We can easily imagine a thousand better scenarios (no extremism, no military losses, no harsh words) but there is no reason to believe that these would work, when they have not worked anywhere else. So why hate the violence instead of the underlying problem? Especially when we caused much of the problem. Do we really expect downtrodden victims to catapult themselves into the suburban middle class by leaps of academic propriety? Should we not let history take its course, moderated only by massive humanitarian aid, however painful that it is to the right wing? If that is all that history permits, are we not killing the animal to cure its disease?

      So why recommend Russia-US-Turkey-Gulf State diplomacy to crush Daesh with no plan for a better alternative, instead of containment and the same diplomacy to negotiate their independence under a moderate elected government controlled by humanitarian aid? If the Islamic State includes nearly all Sunnis NE of Saudi Arabia, where is the rationale for Daesh, who would they be fighting, and who would support their militancy? Just give Russia its port on the Med, maybe let Assad govern his supporters in a special district, set up UN buffer zones, and go home and pay NGOS to tend the wounds and educate the people.

  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • Seeing Daesh as a pirate state would permit use of Letters of Mark and Reprisal clause of the Constitution to permit attacks in international waters, as I suppose the administration sees it.

      But it is likely an error. Like other insurgencies, it is primarily an army, not expected to govern or present a coherent philosophy. But that does not mean that the insurgency does not have a popular base nor a cause outside of gains from piracy. It is the attempt to obscure the cause which distinguishes the right wing demagogue warmonger from the far-seeing analyst, so I would not go down that road.

      When we see only the "outrages" to our allies and ignore the "side effects" of our military killing, we have gone all the way to the far right, and have no more legitimacy than Daesh.

      The underlying causes must be addressed. Not after a conquest, but always. We cannot expect an army to negotiate much, nor the extremist leaders to bow much when their constituents have been so much abused for so long.

      It is the right wing that creates these foreign enemies, to support their demands for power. They are traitors wrapped in the flag, even less willing or able to govern justly than the enemies they have created, because they have no underlying cause but their own greed and lust for power.

  • Paris at Midnight: Attempt to push France out of anti ISIL coalition in Syria?
    • The problem, John, is that invasion is not a solution: it doesn't put us in a position to dictate to the people, it doesn't solve any of the underlying problems, but rather increases them. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and a dozen South American misadventures prove that it doesn't work. One cannot stop an insurgency by killing insurgents, even if most of them were killed. There are no swift martial victories over the anger caused by injustices, nor over ignorance, poverty, malnutrition, etc.

      The root cause must be addressed. The right wing will always tell you that violent intervention is a solution, and will never admit that it doesn't work. That's because foreign violence is their means to power: they must create foreign monsters to demand power and accuse their opponents of disloyalty. And they are paid to rent our forces out at a great loss to foreign pseudo-allies like Israel, and corporate scammers like the MIC, who fill their election funds.

      If you were a pacifist and conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, I urge you to reconsider what really works. That is cautious and humanitarian policymaking, not the corruption and propaganda that make US policies. If the US is to intervene, it must do so by diplomacy and massive humanitarian aid to improve health, education, justice, personal security, and standard of living, not by military force. It works every time, but slowly and only to the extent that circumstances allow. That is the best we can do.

      The enemy is always the right wing, not the foreign monsters du jour they create. They are traitors wrapped in the flag, against the US and all humanity.

    • The concerns over "cowards" and "stiffening resolve" and "stabilizing" may concede too much to the rhetoric of the right. It does look as though mere anger rather than strategy may have done the target selection in Paris. Spain withdrew from Iraq after a similar attack, but probably used it to excuse its withdrawal from a foolish US military adventure. Where the US failed to "stabilize" Iraq with 150,000 soldiers, it is unlikely that France stabilized Mali with a few percent of that: it was probably stabilized by insurgents choosing other targets for a while.

      The problem with the "cowards" critique (likely chosen to discourage the anti-muslim response) is that we all know that modern war deliberately kills civilians to destroy an enemy's will to fight. So-called terrorism is simply war by small-scale means, where insurgents have very similar civilian casualty rates as massed western armies. The problem is always the causes of the insurgency, which rhetoric ignores: careless policymaking is the true cause of endless insurgency.

      It is the imperialist practice of simply militarily attacking those they like least, or whom they get the most campaign money to attack, that leads to instability. Here the underlying causes are the Israeli strategy of destabilizing every neighbor they can't buy, and the US politicians' strategy of inciting fears of foreign monsters, to get Israeli and MIC bribes for election money.

      So long as this US corruption continues it will have insurgents for its deluded militarists to kill as a pretense of defending their country. But it is the US militarists and right wing demagogues who have attacked and destroyed democracy in the US, not the religious or socialist insurgents on the other side of the planet.

      We must quickly put aside the rhetoric of the right wing and get to the underlying causes.

  • Are 2,000 Gulf fighters in Syria a terrorist threat to . . . the Gulf?
    • It becomes ever more clear that the US does in fact support all of the rebel groups as long as they attack Assad, and only opposes their attacks on the Kurds, because the Kurds prevent a unified Iraq and Iran. It is also clear that the US govt has no concern at all for future instability in the region, and in fact has perpetual civil war as its goal, paid for by zionist political contributions.

  • Is Russia's offer of Parliamentary Elections in Syria Serious?
    • Such an offer by Russia is at least as plausible as the US pretense to promote democracy everywhere it has in fact left its signature of murder, destruction, and oligarchy. But clearly that is no more likely in Syria than in Iraq or Afghanistan. And it is no more likely in the US gangster state, where only corrupt opportunists gain power with the mass media and elections controlled by the oligarchy of money.

  • Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi
    • True, but they don't deserve the benefit of any doubt that they are immoral career opportunists and bullying demagogues, because almost no one else can get elected with elections and mass media controlled by money power.

    • Excellent point. The Constitution has a major defect in attempting to implement Checks and Balances on paper while leaving all of the military and police power in the executive. The decline of concern for truth and legality has led to the imperial presidency defying Congress. There are no checks over the judicial branch at all, and it consists entirely of the right wing who have extreme contempt for the rights and interests of the people. With the rise of economic concentrations, which now control elections and mass media, neither the executive nor legislative branches answer to the people. Without free public debate and fair elections, we have a tyranny which cannot be opposed.

      The problem comes down to regaining democratic control of the mass media and elections, which cannot be done without democratic control of the mass media and elections. The oligarchy has digested the former democracy, leaving an empty suit of armor to tyrannize the planet until toppled by its increasing enemies.

  • Putin says Afghan Situation 'Close to Critical': Will he intervene there, Too?
    • The quote from “a student at Kabul University” that “Russia … always wanted to bring Afghanistan under their control” tells us nothing. The USSR apparently wanted progress under a secular government on their borders rather than warlords divided by religion (as did China and Russia in Vietnam and Korea), a strategy far from imperialism, which the US would have left undisturbed if it cared in the least for progress for anyone else.
      It was the looney imperialist Republicans who created AlQaeda there to attack the USSR on its borders, lying as always to the US people that their goals were religious freedom and democracy. They had done the same thing in Iran 1953, Vietnam, Cambodia, and around the world, and continue with the Dems to do that around the world as in Ukraine and Iraq and Libya, replacing socialists or social democracies with dictators or failed states while pretending to defend democracy, attacking or subverting states on the borders of Russia and China while accusing the other power of imperialism, killing millions of innocents while glorifying themselves with war honors. These wars are not and have never been about US security (never once threatened since WWII except as a result of these wars), or oil (which we can and do buy from anyone), nor about progress elsewhere (which the US has always ignored apart from pittances from its advertising budget), they are caused by rich anti-democratic traitors wrapped in the flag, who control the US government by buying elections and mass media.
      Mr. Ruttig’s conclusion that “Moscow can end up helping Washington out in Afghanistan in a big way, even if indirectly” has been true all along. But if the US goes along, it will not be due to having learned anything from analysts or experience, but solely to the unrelated dynamics of its traitors wrapped in the flag. This is the disease of tyranny over democracy against which Aristotle warned in his Politics millennia ago.

  • Does Obama have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does.
    • But does this not goad Obama toward the failed strategy of military intervention with no viable plan for progress? Russia has a naval base in Syria; whereas the US has no goal that it can admit to its own people. It is quite likely that the US secretly backs AlQaeda and even ISIL to create another Zbig insurgency trap for Russia as in AfPak War I, and to deny it the naval base and influence in Lebanon opposed by Israeli campaign donors.

  • 14 Years after 9/11, US, Israel Tempted to ally with Al-Qaeda in Syria
    • Indeed everyone would have been better off “if Reagan had just left the Communists in Afghanistan alone.” That secular ideology was far more likely to unify and modernize than inciting factional strife, which was apparently the real goal.

      If the Syrian Baath party would consider “national elections for a pluralist parliament and … federal decentralization” but for Assad, then he is a problem, but is his conduct worse than US policymakers under like circumstances?

      Another American jihad would indeed extinguish any remnants of its former democracy, not extinguished by the right wing anyway, but likely there would have been no American jihads if we still had a democracy.

  • Whether Jewish Refugees in '30s or Syrians today, USA Falls Short of own Ideals
    • Always surprising that the nation of immigrants refuses or mistreats every new wave. The 1924 Immigration Act was motivated in part by misinterpretation of the results of the first IQ tests showing lower scores of recent immigrants (S and E Europe) due to culturally relative test questions. But when a few of each new group have been known in respectable positions for a generation the group is accepted by the chimps.

      Having a large empty residential facility, I offered its use to the White House way back to house refugees from Kosovo, and offered to staff it if they paid the food and utilities etc., but they declined. They had alternatives they preferred, which turned out to be no aid at all. Always cheaper to close your eyes, knowing that the mass media agree. Just blame the suffering on the victims as a group, you know, so you can’t let them in.

      Anyone want to guess how the political gang will handle an offer to house Syrian refugees? Let them suffer and blame them; claim that ‘we are doing all we can’; let Europe say ‘No’; let Europe house and feed them; say it is cheaper to house them overseas but don’t; blame the other party; give the politicos time to express their sympathy and then simply drop the story; blame the opposition in Syria and say that we just need more weapons to spread Democracy®.

      The US has never had a humanitarian foreign policy because it is not a democracy; it is run by and for political gangsters. If the US had spent the budget of its failed foreign wars since WWII on humanitarian aid, it would have very few enemies and would have lifted half the globe from poverty. Nothing will change until we get money out of elections and mass media to reverse the right-wing revolution against the Constitution. Without those essential tools of democracy, the only means to secure them are not available. We will not have a humanitarian foreign policy until we have a generation of civil war to restore democracy. Imagine the US cowards accepting that burden just to help those funny foreigners.

  • Why Boycotting Israel will Backfire, just as Netanyahu's Blockade of Gaza Has
    • This argument is false and highly suspect in claiming that BDS only hurts moderates in Israel. Israel is not comparable with Iraq in relations with the West, and BDS affects it through those relations. The author makes the unsupportable claim that other means will work when none have worked.

      Israel must be subject to far greater sanctions than BDS, including reparations for its massive injuries to US democracy and foreign relations. US military encirclement and defeat would be entirely appropriate, followed by redistribution of Palestine or relocation of Jewish extremists, and would much improve US relations with the muslim world. There are few modern examples wherein a US military response was appropriate, but this is one of the best.

  • Can Police Who Kill be held Accountable?
    • Police shootings of fleeing suspects were a significant factor leading to the Mexican revolution of 1911. They often allowed suspects to escape and then shot them in the back.

      Any discretionary power exercised without oversight will often be abused. Reporting of violations is usually corrupted. Every public official, employee, or contractor with discretionary powers must be monitored. Cameras that cannot be shut off are the best way, with presumption of guilt if they are disabled. Financial monitoring should also be standard.

  • The von Moltke Fallacy and avoiding another World War, with Iran
    • As only the second half of the last term of a president offers that opportunity, to "suddenly get serious" about his place in history, perhaps there should be no second presidential terms, and terms should coincide with those of Congress.

  • Founding Fathers decried Standing Army: How about a Global Pentagon?
    • The origins of support for the assumption that coercion is the best means of achieving foreign policy objectives are interesting. The assumption appeals to those with a lack of intelligence, lack of concern for justice, hypocrisy, and malice. But it is advanced by the right wing because, as Aristotle warned of the tyrants over democracy, they must create foreign threats to justify demands for domestic power and accuse their opponents of disloyalty. In our society those tyrants are the economic concentrations that have seized the mass media and elections, the very tools needed to restore democracy. To reduce foreign wars the US must declare war on its oligarchy.

      That the US military may undertake civil construction in developing nations is not so bad. I have long argued that as a way of maintaining preparedness while doing the development work that brings real security, as well as a way of putting development aid into the right wing budget priorities. But it should not remain there: most recipient nations don't want foreign military forces there, and we need far more foreign aid construction labor than military personnel.

      The best way to restore democracy, reduce standing forces and dark state - military power grabs, is to turn the dark state and military against the oligarchy that supports them. In short, education toward awareness of the problem and dedication to its solution. I give that a zero chance but applaud its proponents.

  • America's Walking Dead: The Perpetual War Machine
    • An excellent article. The amoral opportunism of oligarchy flourishes with bully-boy militarism in the banishment of morality and human rights from the erstwhile democracy. They have built a technology of thought control and repression greater than any prior challenge of democracy, that would require centuries of cultural learning to control, but prevents the very debate that could do so, and doubles in one percent of that time. Unfortunately, the problem will not be solved by education.

      Economic force is now the equivalent of military force, and those who use it to control government make war upon the United States, the definition of Treason in our Constitution. Those who serve gold rather than humanity have no use for democracy or peace, have betrayed us all, and must be imprisoned indefinitely.

  • Why Martin Luther King would support Pres. Obama's Tax on Super-Rich
    • Since the Constitution was written, economic power has displaced direct force as the dominant means of coercion, and economic concentrations have used that to control elections and mass media, preventing even debate of the issue, and so the Constitution was never amended to limit funding of elections and mass media to small personal contributions. An oligarchy has destroyed democracy by economic force.

      If the Dems and Obama had any intention of progress for the people, they would eliminate oligarchy with one stroke, prosecuting those who use money to control the mass media and elections, investigating and imprisoning politicians and judges, state and federal. For economic force is now the equivalent of military force, and those who use it to control government make war upon these United States, the definition of Treason in our Constitution. They are the ones who must be imprisoned in Guantanamo without hope of reprieve, for they have made war upon us and have destroyed our democracy.

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