http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/rss.aspx?blogid=4 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 20:14:44 GMT Mon, 04 Dec 2017 20:14:44 GMT How to Make Quick Peace with North Korea: Let Lindsey Graham Move to Seoul Robert Bridge http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/december/04/how-to-make-quick-peace-with-north-korea-let-lindsey-graham-move-to-seoul/

Sen. Lindsey Graham said the US is ‘getting close to a military conflict’ with Pyongyang, adding that Pentagon officials should stop sending their families to South Korea. But following Pyongyang’s latest missile launch, will they be any safer in the US?

In a deeply disturbing interview at the weekend, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said preemptive US military action against North Korea is becoming “more likely.” 

"We're getting close to a military conflict because North Korea's marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that can not only get to America but deliver the weapon,” Graham told Face the Nation on Sunday. "The policy of the Trump administration is to deny North Korea the capability to hit America with a nuclear-tipped missile. Not to contain it," he said.

“We're running out of time."

Graham, who failed to mention years of provocative US military moves in the Korean Peninsula, then had some rather strange advice for military officials, which will certainly ratchet up the geopolitical thermostat in the region.

“It’s crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, continued. “So, I want them [the Pentagon] to stop sending dependents and I think it’s now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea."

The question is: will that precaution make any difference if worst comes to worst?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, during a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, warned that the North Korea's "ballistic missile that was fired last week showed that all our States may be exposed to this danger."

Nevertheless, the games continue.

This week, after an illusory lull in the military exercises, the US and South Korea will hold“unprecedented” air force exercises, featuring six F-22 Raptor fighter jets and six F-35A stealth jets. A total of 12,000 personnel and over 230 military aircraft will participate.

Pyongyang responded to the announcement about the war games, saying the US is “begging for nuclear war."

Meanwhile, North Korea is certainly not oblivious to what happens to those chosen countries – Iraq, Libya and almost Syria, which just barely escaped the jaws of the regime change machine - that do not have the defensive means to protect themselves from US aggression. They strive to get the most powerful weapons they can procure. This type of survivalist thinking has defined military strategy ever since men fought wars with spears and shields.

On September 3, 2017, North Korea stated it had tested a thermonuclear device (hydrogen bomb), adding that the weapon could be “detonated…at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP [electromagnetic pulse] attack.”

At the end of last month, North Korea stunned military analysts when it successfully tested its Hwasong-15, an ICBM that according to Pyongyang could deliver heavy nuclear warheads anywhere in the continental United States. The missile had a 53-minute flight that finished its journey some 600 miles into the Sea of Japan. 

Pushing Pyongyang

For Lindsey Graham to speak so loosely about the prospects of military action suggests the Trump administration wants Pyongyang to strike first, thus giving the US carte blanche to resort to ‘defensive actions’ that will most certainly inflict tremendous destruction on the entire region.

Unfortunately, Graham has not been alone in uttering such reckless comments.

White House security adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday that North Korea represents "the greatest immediate threat to the United States," and the potential for war with the communist nation is “increasing every day.”

Meanwhile, America’s loose cannon in the UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley, told the UN Security Council “if war comes… the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

So much for diplomacy.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, called Haley’s spectacle “a really bloodthirsty tirade.”

“If someone really wants to use force to – as the US representative to the UN put it – destroy North Korea... then I think it’s playing with fire and a huge mistake,” Lavrov added.

However, before Lindsey and McMaster uttered their provocative comments, Lavrov preempted their saber-rattling by one day, reminding Japan and South Korea that, in the case of war with North Korea, they will be the “first victims” in the event of war on the Korean Peninsula.

“Unfortunately, they are trying to drag the Japanese, and South Koreans in the same direction, who... will be the first victims in the event of war on the Korean Peninsula,” Lavrov said in an interview with Belarusian broadcaster STV.

Although Lavrov failed to mention it, there are also tens of thousands of US military personnel and their families in the region who would also come under significant risk in the event of some emergency.

According to the latest available data, there are about 40,000 US military personnel stationed in Japan. At the same time, there are 35,000 US military personnel serving in South Korea.

And herein lies the solution for bringing a swift end to the ratcheting up of hostilities between the United States and North Korea. Let those pugnacious people – Lindsey Graham, HR McMaster, and Nikki Haley, for example – who speak so freely and recklessly about war in the Korean Peninsula – be required to live and work in South Korea and Japan, precisely in range of North Korea’s missile launches, much like the rest of the local population.

That would change their hawkish tunes very fast, and we’d be much closer to the road of peace and diplomacy rather than bloodshed and militancy.

Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/december/04/how-to-make-quick-peace-with-north-korea-let-lindsey-graham-move-to-seoul/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/december/04/how-to-make-quick-peace-with-north-korea-let-lindsey-graham-move-to-seoul/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 20:14:44 GMT
State Department's New Victoria Nuland...is Just Like the Old Victoria Nuland! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/november/03/state-departments-new-victoria-nulandis-just-like-the-old-victoria-nuland/

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration's top diplomat for Europe, "responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE."

Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland's virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by "midwifing," in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine. 

It was Nuland's coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington's neocons peddled the false line that "Russia invaded Ukraine" to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive, resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.

You don't hear much about Ukraine these days because the neocons hate to talk about their failures. But the corruption of the US-installed government has crippled the country, extreme nationalist elements that make up the core of the post-coup elites have imposed a new education law so vicious toward an age-old Hungarian population stuck inside arbitrarily re-drawn post-WWI borders that the Hungarian government has blocked Ukraine's further integration into NATO, and a new "Maidan" protest has steadily gathered steam in Kiev despite Western cameras being uninterested this time.

Fortunately Donald Trump campaigned on and was elected to improve relations with Russia and end the Obama Administration's neocon-fueled launch of a new Cold War. He raised eyebrows when he directly challenged the neocon shibboleth -- amplified by the mainstream media -- that Russia was invading Ukraine. But candidate Trump really blew neocon minds -- and delighted voters -- when he said he was looking into ending US sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama and may recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Which brings us back to Wess Mitchell. Certainly President Trump, seeing the destruction of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland's anti-Russia interventionism, would he finally restore a sane diplomat to the position vacated by the unmourned former Assistant Secretary. Would appoint someone in line with the rhetoric that landed him the Oval Office. Right?

Wrong!

If anything, Wess Mitchell may well prove to be Victoria Nuland on steroids. He was co-founder and CEO of the neocon-dominated Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Mitchell's CEPA is funded largely by the US government, NATO, neocon grant-making mega-foundations, and the military-industrial complex. The "think tank" does the bidding of its funders, finding a Russian threat under every rock that requires a NATO and defense industry response -- or we're doomed!

Mitchell's CEPA's recent greatest hits? "The Kremlin's 20 toxic tactics," "Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania: How to fight back?," "Winning the Information War," "Alliances and American greatness," "Russia's historical distortions," "What the Kremlin Fears Most," and so on. You get the idea. The raison d'etre of the organization founded by the new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia is to foment a new (and very profitable) Cold War (and more?) with Russia.

Last month, CEPA put on its big conference, the "CEPA Forum 2017." Speakers included central European heavy hitter politicos like the president of Latvia and also Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, who gave a talk on how "the unity of the NATO Alliance" is "what Russia fears the most." The grand event was funded, as might be expected, by war contractors Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. But also, surprisingly, significant funding came from the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who is seen as somewhat of a maverick in central Europe for refusing to sign on to the intense Russia-hate seen in the Baltics and in Poland.

The no-doubt extraordinarily expensive conference was funded by no less than three Hungarian government entities: the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group. Again, given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reputation for bucking neocon positions vis-a-vis Russia it is surprised to see the virulently anti-Russia CEPA conference so awash in Hungarian taxpayer money. Perhaps there is something to explore in the fact that the recently-fired Hungarian Ambassador to Washington,Réka Szemerkényi, was recently named executive vice president of CEPA. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

But back to Mitchell. So he founded a neocon think tank funded by a NATO desperate for new missions and a military-industrial complex desperate for new wars. What about his own views? Surely he can't be as bad as Nuland. Right? Wrong! Fortunately Assistant Secretary Mitchell is a prolific writer, so it's easy to track his thinking. In a recent piece for neocon Francis Fukuyama's American Interest, titled "Predators on the Frontiers," Mitchell warns that, "From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable US allies."

Mitchell continues, in a voice right out of the neocon canon, that:
By degrees, the world is entering the path to war. Not since the 1980s have the conditions been riper for a major international military crisis. Not since the 1930s has the world witnessed the emergence of multiple large, predatory states determined to revise the global order to their advantage—if necessary by force.
We are on a path to war not seen since the 1930s! And why are our "enemies" so hell-bent on destroying us? Because we are just so isolationist!

Writes Mitchell: "Over the past few years, Russia, China, and, to a degree, Iran have sensed that the United States is retreating in their respective regions..."

We are "retreating"? 

So what can we do? Mitchell again does the bidding of his paymasters in advising that the only thing we can do to save ourselves is...spend more on militarism:
The United States should therefore enhance its nuclear arsenal by maintaining and modernizing it. It needs to sustain a credible nuclear extended deterrent at a time when revisionist states are gradually pushing their spheres of influence and control closer to, if not against, U.S. allies. Moreover, it should use the limited tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal and seed them in a few of the most vulnerable and capable frontline states (Poland and Japan, for instance) under “nuclear sharing” agreements.
There is our new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. Our top diplomat for Europe. The only solution is a military solution. President Trump. Elected to end the endless wars, to forge better relations with Russia, to roll-back an "outdated" NATO. President Trump has replaced Victoria Nuland with something far more dangerous and frightening. Heckuva job, there, Mr. President!]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/november/03/state-departments-new-victoria-nulandis-just-like-the-old-victoria-nuland/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/november/03/state-departments-new-victoria-nulandis-just-like-the-old-victoria-nuland/ Fri, 03 Nov 2017 22:59:36 GMT
Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act Hijacked by Neocons William J. Murray http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/29/iraq-and-syria-genocide-relief-and-accountability-act-hijacked-by-neocons/

The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2017 (HR-390) which passed in the House without one dissenting voice and was supported by many relief agencies and social conservative organizations, has been transformed by Senator Corker into a Russia-bashing neocon bill that has little to do with genocide or with aid of any kind to victims of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Senator Corker, who authored the sanctions bill against Russia earlier this year, has crossed out every single line of the simple anti-genocide language in HR- 390 authored by Congressman Chris Smith.  He has transformed it into legislation to establish a worthless commission called the “Syria Study Group.” This “group” is tasked with furnishing a final report by November 30th, 2018.

Corker’s “substitute language” is more than four times longer than the original bill.

Senator Corker’s version of HR-390 would direct the “Syria Study Group” to “review the current situation with respect to the United States military and diplomatic strategy in Syria, including a review of current United States objectives in Syria and the desired end state in Syria.”

The Group is then to “develop recommendations on a military and diplomatic strategy for the United States with respect to the conflict in Syria.”

This “Study Group” will have eight members appointed for the “life of the group.” The selection process could not be more complex, and is designed to slow down the establishment of the group and to hold up any true investigation that would bring about results.  Here are the required members:
One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; One member appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
Then of course there are co-chairs, plus the involvement of appointed advisors or “liaisons.”The Corker language states that the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence must each designate an officer as a “liaison” to the Group.

This will be a full-time endeavor for the assigned members, and office space will be required as well as communications equipment. Of course, “fact finding tours” will be needed, probably to interview “refugees” now living on the French Riviera.  And all of this will be done with smoke and mirrors, since the bill requests no funding for the “Syria Study Group” or any other aspect of the work mentioned in the new language proposed by Senator Corker for HR-390.

The final section – Section 13 states: “No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act. This Act shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized and appropriated.” In other words, money – lots of it-- must be taken out of other government entities’ existing budgets.

The original purpose of HR-390 author Congressman Chris Smith was to bring aid as quickly as possible to the victims of genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State. It required no additional aid, just redirected some existing aid to serve the victims of genocide first. Also, the original text of HR-390 would place the victims of genocide in the front of the line for immigration to the United States – something that would cost no additional money, just change procedures in the existing system.  Under the Obama Administration, Sunni Muslims from Syria were at the front of the line, with Christians rarely included. 

Most of the new language substituted by Senator Corker concerns the Syrian government, Russia and Iran -- with little mention of the victims of genocide which include Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims. The Shia Muslims are now totally excluded because of Senator Corker’s love for Saudi Arabia and to honor the Kingdom’s desire to eradicate Shia Islam from the face of the Earth. Iran, being Shia Muslim, is of course singled out for blame in a civil war actually begun with Saudi Arabian cash and weapons.

The only mention of humanitarian assistance comes in Section 7, subsection c which states:

“The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development are authorized to provide assistance, including financial and technical assistance as necessary and appropriate, to support entities described in subsection (a)(4) that the Secretary and the Administrator determine have access, and are capable of effectively managing and delivering such assistance, to the individuals and groups described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of such subsection.”

Note the last line which states that the groups and individuals are described in paragraphs (1) and (2). Those are to be determined by the Secretary of State with the help of the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence among others.

In earlier sections of the bill most of the blame for the ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq is cast upon Russia which has only been involved for the last two years of the six-year civil war, and has not been involved in Iraq at all. In Section 3 (a) 7 the Corker version of the bill states as fact the “Widespread and systematic attacks on civilians, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, in violation of international humanitarian law, continue in Syria, in particular as a result of the actions of the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian supporters.” These accusations are in fact not proven at all.

Throughout Section 3 and other sections of the new text of HR-390 most atrocities in Syria are blamed on the current secular government and their allies including Russia and Iran. Never mentioned is the funding of the original Sunni Muslim uprising against the secular government of Syria by Saudi Arabia. At no point in the new HR-390- text are the arms supplied by Saudi Arabia mentioned. The purpose of the Saudi arms supplies (which were facilitated by the CIA) to the Sunni rebels in Syria had the goal of establishing a Sharia compliant Islamic State not much that different than the one proposed by the terror group Islamic State (ISIS).

The original purpose of HR-390 was to aid the victims of Islamic State genocide … but Senator Corker’s version of the bill, probably with the input of Senators McCain and Graham, downplays aid and focuses on military and economic measures. In the Corker version, the Defense Department and the national security agencies play a large part.

This bill is part of the ongoing anti-Russia hysteria on Capitol Hill, with the added anti-Iran hysteria being pumped out of the White House. Some of the conclusions and assumptions in the bill are baseless. The bill for example presumes that the prison system run by the Assad government somehow led to the genocide of Christians. In reality, the greatest number of ISIS fighters in Syria have never been Syrian; Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of jihadi fighters; the number two supplier of fighters is Jordan.

The “revolt” against Syria’s secular government is about religion, not repression. The Sunni Muslims of Syria, aided by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim Gulf States, sought to establish a Sharia compliant Syria that would have oppressed Christians and other minorities.

HR-390 is no longer an anti-Genocide bill … it has become an anti-Syrian government, anti- Russia, anti-Iran bill that actually downplays the Islamic State. The Islamic State (ISIS) becomes just a sideshow in this new bill, something for a commission to look at while condemning Syria, Iran and Russia.

As this new commission or “Study Group” chugs along eating up money over the next couple of years the United States will continue to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia to drop on schools, hospitals and funerals in Yemen. The disgusting human rights record of Saudi Arabia will be ignored in favor of arms sales, despite the fact that the royal family of Saudi Arabia makes President Bashir Assad of Syria look like someone who should receive an award for humanitarianism.

Reprinted with author's permission. 

William Murray is Chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/29/iraq-and-syria-genocide-relief-and-accountability-act-hijacked-by-neocons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/29/iraq-and-syria-genocide-relief-and-accountability-act-hijacked-by-neocons/ Fri, 29 Sep 2017 05:34:37 GMT
Spies, Hollywood, And Neocons Team Up To Create New War Propaganda Firm Caitlin Johnstone http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/20/spies-hollywood-and-neocons-team-up-to-create-new-war-propaganda-firm/

“We have been attacked. We are at war.”

So begins a video released today by The Committee to Investigate Russia, an organization founded by When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner and neoconservative senior editor of The Atlantic David Frum. The video, which stars Morgan Freeman and is rife with patriotic images of American flags, soldiers and bald eagles, continues as follows:
Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge. Taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia, and becomes president. He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy: the United States. And like the true KGB spy he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins.

We need our president to speak directly to us and tell us the truth. We need him to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and say, 'My fellow Americans. During this past election, we came under attack by the Russian government. I’ve called on Congress and our intelligence community to use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.'

The free world is counting on us for leadership. For 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to. And we owe it to the brave people who have fought and died to protect this great nation and save democracy. And we owe it to our future generations to continue the fight.
Wow. There’s a lot going on there.

Firstly, the establishment narrative that Russia used cyber warfare to hand the election to Donald Trump remains wholly unsubstantiated and riddled with gaping plot holes that the US intelligence community has yet to address; there is currently no publicly available evidence whatsoever that the Russian government did what Morgan Freeman tells us it did, let alone that Donald Trump was involved in it. The Russian hacking narrative is getting flimsier by the day, with the assertion that WikiLeaks is a Kremlin proxy being sorely weakened just today by a new leak drop on Russian surveillance activities, which itself comes on the back of an extensive amount of critical Russia-related leaks that the transparency organization had already published.

Establishment loyalists only believe the Russian government hacked the Democratic party and gave its emails to WikiLeaks because pundits, politicians and celebrities have been saying this happened in an authoritative tone, not because there’s any publicly available evidence for it. In a post-Iraq invasion world, this is simply unacceptable.

Secondly, the assertion that America is currently at war with Russia is horrifying, and if Americans start swallowing this disgusting propaganda there’ll be no public outcry if the US really does enter into actual warfare with the only other nuclear superpower on the planet. The evidence-free assertion that America has “been attacked” is plainly geared to elicit a fear response from the video’s intended audience and manufacture support for counter-attacks and/or dangerous new cold war escalations.

Third, a blatant war psy-op advanced by Bush-era neocons bitching about the Russian government using propaganda is hilarious.

Fourth, the notion that “the free world is counting” on the US for leadership is moronic flag-waving, chest-pounding B.S. I assure you that the free world is not counting on any such thing. The idea that America is destined to occupy a dominant role in world affairs is an integral part of neoconservative PNAC doctrine, which posits that its victory in the Cold War means history has selected the United States to hold a unique position of leadership over the rest of the world. Most US military aggression since the end of the Cold War can be seen as a nonstop global disruption campaign to prevent the rise of another rival superpower like the Soviet Union, and the neocons have been responsible for spearheading this initiative.

David Frum, author of President George W. Bush’s infamous “Axis of Evil” talking point, is a notorious neoconservative who has been pushing for war at every opportunity for nearly two decades. He is an unforgivable bloodthirsty psychopath, and everything he touches is cancer.

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In addition to Reiner — a virulent #Resistance Clintonist and Russiagate conspiracy theorist — Frum’s advisory board for his new Committee to Start World War Three includes PNAC signatory Max Boot, who has relentlessly pushed for increased US military aggression throughout his entire career, and who once called in plain English for America to “unambiguously to embrace its imperial role.”

There’s also former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has on more than one occasion voiced blatantly racist opinions about the nefarious genetic predispositions of the entire population of Russia. This eugenicist bigot’s handful of hand-picked analysts were behind the conclusions drawn in the intelligence community’s official statements regarding the alleged Russian election interference, forming both (A) the basis for the false narrative that there is unanimous consensus within the intelligence community about Russian hacking and (B) the foundation for the entire Russiagate conspiracy theory.

Also on the advisory board are Norman Ornstein of the neocon think tank American Enterprise Institute and conservative never-Trump pundit Charlie Sykes, who laughably just used the term “strange bedfellows” in reference to the idea of neoconservative Democrats working with neoconservative Republicans to advance their common goal of endless war.

As viscerally disturbing as it is to see the actor who played God conducting a brazen psy-op on the American people, it is already a well-documented fact that the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon have been balls deep in Hollywood for decades. They’re just being more blatant about that collaboration now.

As Noam Chomsky puts it:
Control of thought is more important for governments that are free and popular than for despotic and military states. The logic is straightforward: a despotic state can control its domestic enemies by force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public affairs, which are none of their business…the public are to be observers, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.
Don’t let them control your mind. Fight the propaganda machine, disrupt their craven agendas, and wake up the others.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com. Support Johnstone's writing here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/20/spies-hollywood-and-neocons-team-up-to-create-new-war-propaganda-firm/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/20/spies-hollywood-and-neocons-team-up-to-create-new-war-propaganda-firm/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:27:53 GMT
Nikki Haley Meltdown: Assad Must Go...and War With North Korea! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/15/nikki-haley-meltdown-assad-must-goand-war-with-north-korea/

There must be something about being named US Ambassador to the UN that brings out the inner mass murderer in people. Madeline Albright famously admitted that she thought 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to US sanctions was "worth it." John Bolton never met a disagreement he didn't want to turn into a war. Samantha Power barked about human rights while her Administration's drones snuffed out human life in unprecedented numbers. The real "butcher of the Balkans" Richard Holbrooke sold the Yugoslavia war on lies. John "Death Squad" Negroponte sold the lie that Saddam Hussein needed to be killed and his country destroyed for democracy to flourish, and so on.

Considering how many millions of civilians have been killed on the war propaganda of US ambassadors to the UN, perhaps the equivalent of another Holocaust could have been avoided if Ron Paul's HR 1146 has passed 30 years ago.

But nothing could have prepared us for Nikki "Holocaust" Haley, who has thundered into the Trump Administration as US Ambassador to the UN despite hating Trump and Trump hating her. Why would President Trump pick someone for such an influential position despite her being vocally and publicly opposed to the foreign policy that provided the margin of victory for him? We can only guess. Was Trump lying on the campaign trail? Possibly. Does he not bother to notice that he has surrounded himself with people who are deeply opposed, at the DNA level, to the policies he ran and won on? Seems more likely. As Johnny Rotten famously ended the Sex Pistols run, "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

In fact yes. One-time top Trump supporter Ann Coulter today Tweeted the question "is there anyone out there left who doesn't want Trump impeached?"

Coulter meant the wall or something else, but she could just as well have been complaining about the foreign policy about-face. Trump ran as a Ron Paul Republican, he governs as a George W. Bush Republican. Cheated? Yes, once again.

Which brings us back to the odious Nikki Haley. Today she no doubt thought she was being clever Tweeting in response to the predictable fact that yet another round of sanctions against North Korea did not result in Kim Jong-Un doing a Gaddafi suicide knife dance, that since the sanctions destroying the North Korean economy -- such as it is -- have not resulted in Kim's surrender it was time to hand the matter over to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Said US top UN diplomat Nikki: "We cut 90% of trade & 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options."

We killed their trade, we destroyed their oil imports and still they have the nerve to defy us and not surrender...so time for World War Three! That's Nikki. No foreign policy experience beyond the fetid breath of the neocon "experts" whispering in her all-too-willing ear.

But Nikki was not done today. After threatening a war on North Korea that would likely leave ten or more thousand US troops dead, hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians dead, and maybe another million North Koreans dead, she decided to opine on the utterly failed six year US regime change operation in Syria. Today, as Deir Ezzor has finally been liberated by the Syrian government from the scourge of ISIS, Nikki Haley chose to go on record defending ISIS and al-Qaeda by repeating Obama's line that Assad must go.  

Ponder this for a minute: Assad has just defeated ISIS in Deir Ezzor. ISIS is the reason the US has invaded Syrian sovereignty and initiated military action. Yet according to Nikki Haley Assad's reward for wiping out ISIS is that he must be deposed -- presumably in favor of US-backed rebels who have been in bed with ISIS for six years!

Is Nikki Haley pro-ISIS? Is she pro-al-Qaeda? Is she evil or just stupid? 

You decide.

But if she is not removed from office soon, she will be leading perhaps a million people to their graves.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/15/nikki-haley-meltdown-assad-must-goand-war-with-north-korea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/15/nikki-haley-meltdown-assad-must-goand-war-with-north-korea/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 00:06:57 GMT
Neocon Creep Karen Kwiatkowski http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/02/neocon-creep/

Those of us who closely observed, and tried to stop, the neoconservative takeover of the Presidency, and the nation’s security and intelligence leadership between 1999 and 2004, may have thought it was so well publicized and so destructive that it couldn’t happen again.

Others, while blaming the Bush and Cheney crowds for bringing cavalier interventionist chickenhawking perspectives into the White House, figured that at least it wouldn’t happen again with an outsider like Mr. Trump.

Still others, falsely believing that the eight Obama years were years of neoconservative silence, may have thought, given Trump’s non-interventionist America First campaign last year, that at least neoconservatism wouldn’t be the main thing they’d need to worry about.

These days, most everybody is wrong when it comes to politics in the US.

The neoconservatives have already crept into key parts of the national security state decision-making process.

As pointed out by The Guardian recently, we are seeing pressure from US political appointees on the intelligence agencies to produce data to support interventionist decisions already made. Honest men and women are again retiring and leaving their positions, rather than participate in the politicization of US intelligence.

The layman, perceiving the United States to be a democratic republic and a force for peace and goodwill around the world, may wonder why war decisions would be made before the intelligence case supporting those decisions had been put forth. But those less trusting souls, here and around the world, perceive correctly that the United States is a military corporate machine, and those who control its foreign policy not only get the chance to play war around the world, but to alter and create markets for goods and services, markets from which these individuals directly and indirectly benefit. Crony capitalism is far too kind a label for this system; it is very nearly the fascist-elitist Mafiosi-style kidnapping of the powerful and dangerous structural organs of a great empire.

When I mention fascist, many will think I am speaking of Mr. Trump himself. But he is far less fascinated by the sweet promises of a fascist state than have been most modern presidents, FDR, the Bushes, and Obama included. Elitist? Surely I am speaking of Mr. Trump again – but no, he is a striver, and a builder, a man who takes public pride in his straightforward and simplistic manner, and is deeply despised by the US elite for that reason, among others. When I mention mafias, I don’t mean the New York mob that all builders and politicians in that city must deal with, but rather a certain private and clannish criminality, where threats, blackmail and deadly force are used, and the limelight is avoided.

But enough silliness. Let’s talk about who is doing what and where, in the Trump White House, eight months into what had been a very promising presidency – for those who hate the centralized warfare welfare state circa 2016.

Last fall, I observed reports of specific neoconservatives positioning themselves for places throughout the new Trump administration. Rest assured, these emplacements were already fixed for the expected Clinton win, but late in the race, signs of neoconservative bet-hedging were seen. Woolsey was one such potential appointee. Then, radio silence.

After the election, there was a lot of exposure of Trump’s advisors, and the ever-present focus on something – anything – about Russia. I was happy to see General Flynn out regardless of the reason, but for every sacrificed appointee and advisor we found out about, it was those waiting in the wings we should have been screaming about.

Just like a cheap horror flick, the audience is advising the next hapless victim to “Look behind you!” or  “Get out now!” to no avail. The script is written.

It is interesting that National Security Advisor McMaster is credited for changing the President’s mind on Afghanistan. Was the reversal in Trump’s thinking a ploy to gain time, a nod to the fantasy that this is a winnable war? Is he now convinced that the mineral, gas, and a strategic location for strikes against all other enemies makes Afghanistan a good occupation? Or was it a deal with the CIA and the money laundering global banks to keep the opium supply stable?

McMaster conducted a devastating study of politicization of war, and was passed over for flag officer twice before finally being promoted above Colonel. He is rather a remarkable intellect, but he is perhaps human, fallible. But there’s more.

Throughout the intelligence and strategic advisory arms of the federal government, key names are popping up as new appointees, many of them awaiting new clearances.  The inner circle of Trump advisors includes not just Betsy DeVos in the education propaganda department, but DeVos’s brother Erik Prince of Blackwater, Xe and Academi fame. Now owned by Constellis, the security services firm is bigger than ever, and Erik Prince has been advising the president, although according to him, not effectively. The sure to fail “new” policy in Afghanistan is already being blamed on McMaster and the generals.  Hold that thought.

Richard Perle is reportedly ensconced in the Pentagon again, and neoconservative advisors like Paul Wolfowitz, who “might have had to vote for Hillary”, and a host of other interventionist chickenhawks may be found in the American Enterprise Institute lineup, incidentally including Erik Prince’s brother-in-law, Dick DeVos as an AEI Trustee, along with Dick Cheney and others. Wayne Madsen also wrote about the neoconservative invasion into the Trump administration back in November. The only bright side of the story, as it unfolded, was that someone or some thing in the administration was pushing back – and some dangerous advisors like General Flynn were eliminated.

But the urge to shape and control US foreign and war policies is strong in neoconservative circles. The critiques from the AEI stable of advisors and op-ed writers alone on a Presidency under constant attack from the domestic left and a generally neoconservative TV, radio and print media, can be very effective. The center and left leaning thinktanks in D.C. all embrace aggressive interventionism abroad, and advocate for it.

Meanwhile, the neoconservative war drums beat steadily, messaging each other and any who care to listen, like those infamous aspens in the letters of Scooter Libby. No one is calling out the cowards for what they are. War profiteers and globalists, they are just about back in power, and they have a long-term strategy that both enriches them and keeps them out of prison. We are not hearing enough about them, and in an age where 25 percent of the population doesn’t remember 9/11, a far smaller percentage remembers how the neoconservatives deceitfully engineered Iraq and Libya and Syria.

We might hope that the context of Trump’s Afghanistan speech contained the makings of a deal with the warfare establishment, one where clear parameters of success were outlined, and the ball will be in Trump’s court when they come back within months asking for more money, more troops, more time, and lowered expectations.

But given what we are seeing and what we all know about how policy is made, the neoconservative strategy in Washington is proceeding apace, with a B-team at the ready, including at the very top of the political food chain. It may be that we can begin the official autopsy of the Trump promise to his America First, non-interventionist, hopeful beyond hope supporters – and it is not because Mr. Trump’s instincts were wrong, but rather because he had no idea how the swamp operates and what was at stake for its reptilian inhabitants.

Am I suggesting that Trump will be taken down, and replaced by a neoconservative compliant elite government, one that will put the hammer down both at home via a militaristic surveillance state, and abroad in expanded war, leading to an America even the modern pessimists cannot imagine?  I only know what I read in the papers.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/02/neocon-creep/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/september/02/neocon-creep/ Sat, 02 Sep 2017 16:58:08 GMT
With New DC Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons Glenn Greenwald http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/with-new-dc-policy-group-dems-continue-to-rehabilitate-and-unify-with-bush-era-neocons/

One of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president.

A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of this alliance. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”

It is, in fact, the ultimate union of mainstream Democratic foreign policy officials and the world’s most militant, and militaristic, neocons. The group is led by two longtime Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.

The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief of staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for foreign and national security affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council.

Fly’s neocon pedigree is impressive indeed. During the Obama years, he wrote dozens of articles for the Weekly Standard — some co-authored with Bill Kristol himself — attacking Obama for insufficient belligerence toward Iran and terrorists generally, pronouncing Obama “increasingly ill suited to the world he faces as president” by virtue of his supposed refusal to use military force frequently enough (Obama bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries during his time in office, including an average of 72 bombs dropped per day in 2016 alone).

The Democrats’ new partner Jamie Fly spent 2010 working in tandem with Bill Kristol urging military action — i.e., aggressive war — against Iran. In a 2010 Weekly Standard article co-written with Kristol, Fly argued that “the key to changing [Iran’s thinking about its nuclear program] is a serious debate about the military option,” adding: “It’s time for Congress to seriously explore an Authorization of Military Force to halt Iran’s nuclear program.”

Fly then went around the D.C. think tank circuit, under the guise of advocating “debate,” espousing the need to use military force against Iran, spouting standing neocon innuendo such as “we need to be wary of the Obama administration’s intentions” toward Iran. He mocked Obama officials, and Bush officials before them, for their “obsession with diplomatic options” to resolve tensions with Iran short of war. The Kristol/Fly duo returned in 2012 to more explicitly argue: “Isn’t it time for the president to ask Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iran’s nuclear program?”

Beyond working as Rubio’s foreign policy adviser, Fly was the executive director of “the Foreign Policy Initiative,” a group founded by Kristol along with two other leading neocons, Robert Kagan and Dan Senor, who was previously the chief spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. That group is devoted to standard neocon agitprop, demanding “a renewed commitment to American leadership” on the ground that “the United States remains the world’s indispensable nation.” In sum, as Vox’s Dylan Matthews put it during the 2016 campaign, “If you want a foreign policy adviser with strong ties to the neocon world, it’s hard to do better than Fly.”

When it comes to this new group, the alliance of Democrats with the most extreme neocon elements is visible beyond the group’s staff leadership. Its board of advisers is composed of both leading Democratic foreign policy experts, along with the nation’s most extremist neocons.

Thus, alongside Jake Sullivan (national security adviser to Joe Biden and the Clinton campaign), Mike Morrell (Obama’s acting CIA director) and Mike McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia) sit leading neocons such as Mike Chertoff (Bush’s homeland security secretary), Mike Rogers (the far-right, supremely hawkish former congressman who now hosts a right-wing radio show); and Bill Kristol himself.

In sum — just as was true of the first Cold War, when neocons made their home among the Cold Warriors of the Democratic Party — on the key foreign policy controversies, there is now little to no daylight between leading Democratic Party foreign policy gurus and the Bush-era neocons who had wallowed in disgrace following the debacle of Iraq and the broader abuses of the war on terror. That’s why they are able so comfortably to unify this way in support of common foreign policy objectives and beliefs.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/with-new-dc-policy-group-dems-continue-to-rehabilitate-and-unify-with-bush-era-neocons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/with-new-dc-policy-group-dems-continue-to-rehabilitate-and-unify-with-bush-era-neocons/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:17:57 GMT
Unhinged Neocon War Propagandist Uses the “N” Word on Television Thomas DiLorenzo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/unhinged-neocon-war-propagandist-uses-the-n-word-on-television/ like a Nazi sympathizer because Carlson opposes starting World War III with Russia.  (Carlson has teenaged sons, and is a little worried about the prospect of a World War III).

Carlson pointed out that Peters was one of the bloodthirsty neocon war propagadists who claimed that the invasion of Iraq would make the Middle East “safer and more peaceful” and who also pushed the lie about “weapons of mass destruction.”



Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/unhinged-neocon-war-propagandist-uses-the-n-word-on-television/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/unhinged-neocon-war-propagandist-uses-the-n-word-on-television/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 17:35:08 GMT
Ambassador Nikki Haley vs. President Trump Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/ambassador-nikki-haley-vs-president-trump/

Donald Trump came to the White House with a reputation as a top notch businessman. He built an international real estate empire and is worth billions. He then went into reality television, where his signature line as he dismissed incompetent potential employees was, "you're fired!"

On Friday, President Trump held a long-awaited face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The meeting was scheduled to be a brief, 30 minute meet and greet, but turned into a two-plus hour substantive session producing a ceasefire agreement for parts of Syria and a plan to continue working together in the future. After the extended session, which was cordial by all accounts, President Trump said the meeting was "tremendous."

President Trump indicated that the issue of Russian interference in the US elections came up in conversation and that Putin vehemently denied it. It obviously was not a make or break issue in the conversation. President Trump's latest statement on the issue is that "we don't know for sure" who was behind any meddling.

Later on Friday, President Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said of the Syria agreement that, "I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”

On Sunday, President Trump Tweeted in praise of the Syria ceasefire agreement, adding that, “now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

It suddenly appeared that the current reprise of a vintage 1950s US/Soviet face-off in relations had turned the corner back to sanity. Perhaps we will be pulling back from the edge of WWIII with thermonuclear weapons!

Then President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations, the notorious neocon Nikki Haley, showed up on the weekend talk shows.

To CNN's Dana Bash, she directly contradicted her boss, Donald Trump, and undermined his official position regarding Russian involvement in the US election.

Said Ambassador Haley of Trump's meeting with Putin:
One, he wanted to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes, we know you did it, cut it out. And I think President Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it. This is Russia trying to save face. And they can’t. They can’t. Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections.

As The Hill correctly pointed out, "Haley’s description runs counter to the versions offered by Secretary of State Rex TillersonRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trump himself."

But Hurricane Haley was not finished. She poured ice water on President Trump's agreement with President Putin to work together on cyber-security, telling CNN, "[w]e can’t trust Russia, and we won’t ever trust Russia. But you keep those that you don’t trust closer so that you can always keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”

It is absolutely clear that hyper-neocon Nikki Haley has gone rogue and is actively undermining the foreign policy of her boss and President, Donald Trump. From her embarrassing, foaming-at-the-mouth tirades in the UN Security Council to this latest bizarre effort to sabotage President Trump's first attempt to fulfill his campaign pledge to find a way to get along better with Russia, President Trump's own Ambassador has become the biggest enemy of his foreign policy.

Surely the President -- who as an enormously successful businessman has hired and fired thousands -- can see the damage she is doing to his Administration by actively undermining his foreign policy. 

President Trump needs to reprise his signature television line. He needs to pick up the phone, ask for Nikki, and shout "you're FIRED!" into the telephone.

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/ambassador-nikki-haley-vs-president-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/ambassador-nikki-haley-vs-president-trump/ Sun, 09 Jul 2017 20:41:02 GMT
Knock, Knock, Knocking on Insanity's Door Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/06/knock-knock-knocking-on-insanitys-door/

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, upped the ante in Washington’s rhetorical war with North Korea and its backers, warning Wednesday that Washington is prepared to halt trade with countries that do business with North Korea, and possibly use force if diplomacy fails to curtail Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, reports Foreign Policy.

But China, North Korea’s largest trading partner, and Russia hit back, voicing stern opposition to new international sanctions, and pressing the United States to resolve the crisis through renewed diplomatic talks. The exchange raised the prospect that Washington’s diplomatic gambit could end with a Chinese and Russian veto, painting Washington into a diplomatic corner with limited economic and diplomatic options, FP continued.

Speaking at an emergency session of the Security Council, Haley said that North Korea’s first successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and other recent tests “are closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” to the nuclear standoff in east Asia.

The latest, longest-range test “requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response,” she said. The United States, she said, would introduce a resolution in the coming days to raise international pressure on North Korea.

“The world is on notice,” she told the 15-nation council. “If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.” The United States, she said, is “prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but prefer not to go in that direction.”

Haley said that she had spoken with President Donald Trump before the U.N. meeting about the possibility of imposing new trade restrictions on North Korea and its business partners.

“There are countries that are allowing — even encouraging — trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” she said. “Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That’s not going to happen.”

She did not explicitly threaten to impose trade restrictions on China, but she noted that Beijing is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea’s trade. Russia has also reportedly been stepping up its trade relations with North Korea.

Yes, quite the strategy, attempt to muscle North Korea by isolating it even more or alternatively cut off trade with China and Russia.

“Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China,” she said. “We will work with China…But we will not repeat the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day.”

There is much more sanity from China and Russia.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, echoed Washington’s concerns about North Korea’s missile launch, calling it “a flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions that flaunts the “will of the international community.

But he broke sharply with the U.S. on the response, saying that China is “firmly opposed to chaos and conflict on the peninsula. Military means must not be an option in this regard.”

A senior Russian diplomat, Vladimir Safronkov, used the meeting to promote a Russian-Chinese diplomatic initiative that would require as a first step that North Korea suspend its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests, while the United States and its regional allies halt large scale military exercises in the region. They also called on the U.S. and South Korea to halt the deployment of a missile defense system, known as THAAD, that they say threatens the strategic balance in the region.

“Any attempts to justify a military solution are inadmissible,” Safronkov said. “Any attempts to economically strangle North Korea are equally unacceptable….All must acknowledge that sanctions will not resolve the issue.”

In response, Haley took the floor to call on Safronkov to carefully consider its vote on the U.S. resolution.

“If you want to be a friend of North Korea, veto it,” she said. “But if you see this for what it is, which is North Korea showing its muscle, then you need to stand strong and vote with the international community to strengthen sanctions on North Korea. And if you chose not to we will go our own path.”

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/06/knock-knock-knocking-on-insanitys-door/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/06/knock-knock-knocking-on-insanitys-door/ Thu, 06 Jul 2017 21:40:23 GMT
Empire-Speak Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/june/28/empire-speak/

One of the most fascinating aspects of living under imperialism is the lexicon that this philosophy brings into existence. It’s called Empire-Speak. Given the complexity of this specialized language, it usually takes people years of education and training to master it.

One of the finest examples of Empire-Speak appeared last week in a Washington Post op-ed by Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who often appears as a commentator on Fox News. Krauthammer penned an op-ed entitled “The Great Muslim Civil War – and Us” that is an absolute masterpiece of Empire-Speak.

Comparing what is happening in the Middle East to Europe 1945, Krauthammer describes the “great Muslim civil war” that has enveloped the Middle East, which he writes, is “approaching its post-Islamic phase.” ISIS is about to be defeated on the battlefield, he writes, and the parties are now maneuvering, as they did after World War II, to “determine postwar boundaries and spheres of influence.” Once ISIS loses its hold on Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, “the caliphate dies.”

So does that mean that the Pentagon and the CIA can finally declare victory in the Middle East and come home after more than 25 years of warfare in the Middle East? Does that mean that there can now be a ticker-tape parade in New York City honoring the victorious American forces?

Are you kidding? As Krauthammer points out, all that has gone before is just “the end of the beginning.” Things are just getting started. After all, as Krauthammer points out, “At stake is consolidation of the Shite Crescent.”

Who would have known? I’ll bet that 99 percent of Americans haven’t even heard of the “Shite Crescent” or that it’s being consolidated. Thank goodness we have Krauthammer and other people well-versed in Empire-Speak to tell us about it.

According to Krauthammer, the world is witnessing a gigantic battle between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

Leading the Shiite side is Iran. Combined with Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Hezbollah (“which Krauthammer labels the “tip of the Iranian spear”), this is the so-called “Shiite Crescent.” According to Krauthammer, it poses a “nightmare for the entire Sunni Middle East.”

On the opposing side of this gigantic battle are the Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States. Needless to say, this is considered the good side of the war.

As I was reading through his op-ed, I kept hoping that Krauthammer would not omit one of my favorite terms in Empire-Speak: “the hegemon.” Isn’t that a great term? Whenever I hear an imperialist refer to the danger of the rise of a “regional hegemon,” I think of Transformers or Godzilla.

Krauthammer didn’t disappoint. He states that Syria is “the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony.” Moreover, Russia — yes, that Russia! — Krauthammer labeled “the outside hegemon.” OMG! Scary, right? Maybe even scarier than rise of communism and the Soviet Union, the two official enemies of the Cold War era.

What’s really going on here?

Krauthammer is simply preparing the American people for what lies ahead — more interventionism, more imperialism, more militarism, and more death and destruction at the hands of the US Empire. And, of course, more official enemies as old official enemies are defeated or disappeared.

You see, I bet you thought that once ISIS was defeated, the troops could finally be brought home and revel in their glorious victory. Sort of like “Mission Accomplished” after the US invasion of Iraq.

Not so. Undoubtedly expressing the mindset of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the US national-security establishment, Krauthammer is telling us that unfortunately we cannot rest. We must continue to soldier on, presumably until the Shiite Crescent is defeated and the world is no longer facing the possibility of a rise of a “regional hegemon.” And don’t even think for a moment that once that is accomplished, the war will finally be over. It will simply spell the beginning of the end of the beginning.

As I stated soon after the 9/11 attacks, the “war on terrorism” is going to be just like the war on drugs, where every drug lord they kill or capture is soon replaced by dozens more.

The real problem is that the US Empire keeps running out of official enemies. If we go back to the maneuvering after World War II to which Krauthammer refers, we see US officials converting their World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, to a new official enemy, one that necessitated, they said, the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

As we all know, for the next 45 years the Cold War was a bonanza for the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex.” Ever-increasing budgets and powers. The best part, for them, was that it was never supposed to end. The Cold War was supposed to go on forever because communism and the Soviet Union were supposed to go on forever.

But life can be cruel. In 1989, the Soviet Union suddenly and unexpectedly dismantled itself, declared socialism a bankrupt philosophy, and unilaterally declared an end to the Cold War, thereby depriving the US Empire of its big official Cold War enemy.

No problem. A new official enemy was soon announced: Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq and former partner of the US Empire (just like Stalin had been). Throughout the 1990s, Americans obsessed over Saddam Hussein and how he was coming to get us and the rest of the world with his WMDs.

To oust Saddam from power, the Pentagon and the CIA began wreaking death and destruction in Iraq, including 11 years of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

That led to terrorist blowback and a new official enemy: “terrorism,” which ultimately enabled US officials to invade Iraq and oust their official enemy, Saddam Hussein, from power, and install a new regime in Iraq, a Shiite Muslim regime.

Over time, the “terrorists” have morphed into “the Muslims,” which are now viewed as the new official enemy.

Which brings us back to Krauthammer’s op-ed. If the Muslims are the new official enemy, how is that the United States is on the side of the Sunnis in what Krauthammer describes as a giant Muslim civil war that is now supposedly taking place? Aren’t Sunnis Muslims too?

Hmmm. So does this mean that we are no longer supposed to focus on Muslims in general or even “radical Muslims” or “extreme Muslims” but instead on “Shiite Muslims” as the new official enemy?

Oh, another thing Krauthammer doesn’t make clear: If we are now battling the Shiite Muslims, why did the US government use its invasion and occupation of Iraq to install a Shiite regime there? And why is it that US troops have been killing and dying for some 14 years to preserve the existence of that Shiite regime? Why are they still doing so? Were Americans wrong to thank the troops for their service in Iraq by bringing into existence a regime that is now part of the “Shiite Crescent,” which, according to Krauthammer, is now facing us on the field of battle?

Boy, imperialism sure is hard to learn and comprehend. Just like Empire-Speak.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/june/28/empire-speak/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/june/28/empire-speak/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:55:53 GMT
Neocon Anne Applebaum: Give Me Money to Fight 'Russian Disinformation'! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/ undefinedundefined

Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

There is no doubt that Applebaum is a true believer that Putin wants to destroy our democratic institutions, but there is also a more pedestrian way to understand her endless obsession: it pays well to hype up big threats. In fact, according to a mandatory Polish government disclosure (her husband was Polish defense and foreign minister before being forced out in disgrace after an eavesdropping scandal), Applebaum has made out like a bandit for a humble journalist and think-tanker.

As I wrote when her scandal broke:
Interestingly, Applebaum demands transparency for everyone else while rejecting it for herself. A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013. No explanation was given for this massive influx of cash, though several ventures in which she has a part are tied to CIA and National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated organizations. Could Applebaum be one of those well-paid propagandists about whom she complains so violently?
Applebaum's latest Washington Post column is about...you guessed it: the danger of Russian disinformation! Here is a synopsis of Applebaum's latest Cold War 2.0 propaganda piece from this weekend:

1) The mainstream media has taken a beating. The old business model is no longer working. There are too many new sources of information available, which makes it harder for people to judge the accuracy of what they read.

My comment: Indeed, the US mainstream media no longer controls what we see, read, and think. Applebaum cannot stand that there are websites challenging the central neoconservative foreign policy paradigm. She hates organizations like the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (she even blocked us on Twitter!).

She longs for the days when you could only pick up a Washington Post or a New York Times and had no chance of discovering opposing opinions.

In other words, Anne Applebaum misses the Soviet-style monochrome media that she pretends to despise so much.

2) As a result of mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post losing their monopoly over shaping foreign policy opinion, as she writes: "authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives." 

My comment: Applebaum is saying here that it's all our fault that the Russians are coming because as soon as the Internet and alternative news and analysis sites offered a point of view different from Applebaum's neocons, we played into the hands of the Russians by ignoring the Washington Post and turning to alternatives. If we had only kept our faith in the neocon worldview, the Russians would not be set to take us over.

3) This new Cold War is even worse than the old Cold War! Unlike back then, in the new Cold War, as Applebaum writes, "Russia does not seek to promote itself, but rather to undermine the institutions of the West, often using discordant messages."

My comment: Anne Applebaum offers no evidence or even clues to back her claim. But what she is saying is that by allowing voices to be heard that run counter to the Washington Post and neocon foreign policy paradigm, Russian-funded outlets like RT are seeking to sow "confusion" among Western listeners and viewers. Applebaum does not want us to be "confused" by messages that run counter to the neocon view of a US empire fighting endless wars against manufactured enemies. We would be far less "confused" if we would all just read Anne Applebaum and stop questioning the neocons!

4) Don't worry, this effort to sow confusion is being countered.

Applebaum writes:
Some countries are waking up to this, especially those that have been hardest hit. The invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Ukraine in 2014 was preceded by a highly effective propaganda blitz that fomented confusion in Russian-speaking areas and blinded both Ukrainians and Westerners to what was really going on. In response, Ukrainian organizations such as StopFake began to expose and ridicule Russian propaganda.
My comment: She does not explain exactly what that "propaganda blitz" looked like. Was it the release of the tape of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland plotting the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Kiev? Well, according to Applebaum, at least the noble, independent NGOs are spontaneously springing up across Europe to counter this Russian propaganda blitz!

Except for one problem: The "StopFake" organization that she praises is not a grassroots Ukrainian organization as she would have us believe. In fact it's a George Soros astroturf organization, funded by his International Renaissance Foundation. In other words, "StopFake" is fake.

5) In fact, when it comes to funding, Anne Applebaum knows which side of her bread is buttered. As the Washington Post notes in the article's byline: "Anne Applebaum, a Post columnist, and Edward Lucas, a senior editor at the Economist, are this week launching a counter-disinformation initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis, where they are, respectively, senior vice president and senior adjunct fellow."

My comment: Who funds the (Washington, D.C.-based) Center for European Policy Analysis? The United States Department of Defense and a handful of US defense contractors!

From their own website:
Recent donors to CEPA include:

Bell Helicopter
Boeing
Chevron Corporation
FireEye
Lockheed Martin Corporation
New Vista Partners
Raytheon Company
Sikorsky Aircraft
Textron Systems
The East Tennessee Foundation
The Hirsch Family Foundation
The Hungarian Initiatives Foundation
The International Visegrad Fund
The Poses Family Foundation
The Smith Richardson Foundation
U.S. Department of Defense
There are one or two surprises on the above list. The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has been quite cautious about following the neocon line that any resistance to massive refugee inflows from the Middle East are signs of unforgivable xenophobia and that Russia and Putin must be resisted at all costs. In fact, Orban's opposition in Hungary is furious that he is not following the Russia-bashing neocon line. So why is the Hungarian government-funded Hungarian Initiatives Foundation backing Anne Applebaum's neocon initiative to demonize Russia? Good question. Maybe Fidesz supporters will want to ask their government why their tax money is going to such a worthless, anti-Fidesz cause.

6) And again on funding, we come to the crux of Anne Applebaum's problem: the US government does not spend nearly enough money creating its own propaganda to counter what she claims is Russian propaganda. They are outspending us and outmaneuvering us!

She writes:
There is no modern equivalent to the U.S. Information Agency, an organization dedicated to coping with Soviet propaganda and disinformation during the Cold War. Although there has been some extra funding for U.S.-backed foreign broadcasters such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty , they cannot provide a complete response.
My comment: But that's not really true, is it? The idea that the US government is pinching propaganda pennies while the Russians are going in for the whole fake news hog is not backed up by those pernicious little things called facts. In fact, the Russian government spent around $300 million on RT in 2016. Compare that with the US propaganda arm, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose 2017 budget runs to $777.8 million dollars, or more than two and a half that of RT. And Congress just gave the green light to another $100 million to "counter Russian influence" in its stop-gap omnibus budget. We are out-spending them three-to-one. So why are we still "losing"?

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for Russian "propaganda," like everything else in that vast cornucopia now thankfully available for our consumption, we should read all we can while keeping our wits about us. There is no one authoritative, unbiased source of information. That we do know. But we also know that we are far more able to think for ourselves now that the neocon gatekeepers like Anne Applebaum have been defeated in the marketplace of ideas.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/ Mon, 08 May 2017 10:09:14 GMT
John McCain Blasts Trump White House for Allowing Assad to Stay in Power Alex Christoforou http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/31/john-mccain-blasts-trump-white-house-for-allowing-assad-to-stay-in-power/

Now that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Assad’s fate will be decided by the Syrian people and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told reporters…“You pick and choose your battles. And when we’re looking at this it’s about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out,” neocon Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went ballistic at the prospects of Assad staying is power.

McCain is visibly upset that the countless hours invested in building his ISIS army, is now crashing down in spectacular fashion. Maybe another trip to Syria, to have coffee with Al-Baghdadi, is in order for Senators McCain and Graham.

In a statement Thursday evening, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, blasted Tillerson’s and Haley’s comments.

McCain said in a statement…
I am deeply disturbed by statements today by our Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations regarding the future of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Their suggestion that Assad can stay in power appears to be just as devoid of strategy as President Obama’s pronouncements that ‘Assad must go.'

Once again, US policy in Syria is being presented piecemeal in press statements without any definition of success, let alone a realistic plan to achieve it.
McCain's rant was furious, saying the Trump administration’s statements could negatively impact the war against ISIS by casting doubt among US allies…like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who fund and support ISIS.
Such a policy would only exacerbate the terrorist threat to our nation.

Trying to fight ISIS while pretending that we can ignore the Syrian civil war that was its genesis and fuels it to this day is a recipe for more war, more terror, more refugees, and more instability.

I hope President Trump will make clear that America will not follow this self-destructive and self-defeating path.
McCain’s partner in "many a war crime," Senator Lindsey Graham, said that such comments would be “the biggest mistake since President Obama failed to act after drawing a red line against Assad’s use of chemical weapons.”

We are sure Assad finds McCain’s panic attacks amusing, as Syria and Russia continue to obliterate the US senator’s ISIS army.

Reprinted with permission from The Duran.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/31/john-mccain-blasts-trump-white-house-for-allowing-assad-to-stay-in-power/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/31/john-mccain-blasts-trump-white-house-for-allowing-assad-to-stay-in-power/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 15:48:01 GMT
Criticizing Neoconservatives and the Deep State is Anti-Semitic? Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/13/criticizing-neoconservatives-and-the-deep-state-is-anti-semitic/

Kevin D. Williamson’s Sunday National Review editorial “Word Games” may lead readers to believe that people who criticize neoconservatives or the deep state are presenting anti-Semitic arguments or are anti-Semitic. The editorial does not conclude that all people who present such criticisms are anti-Semitic. But, a take-away for some readers will be that challenging the deep state or neoconservatives indicates a person is likely, or should be assumed to be, anti-Semitic.

People who have read Williamson’s editorial may further their education regarding neoconservatism and the deep state by looking to some of the plentiful anti-Semitism-free criticisms of neoconservatism and the deep state. In particular, they can read Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) Chairman Ron Paul’s July of 2003 United States House of Representatives floor speech “Neo-Conned” and watch Paul and RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams’ February of 2016 Ron Paul Liberty Report interview with The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government author Mike Lofgren.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/13/criticizing-neoconservatives-and-the-deep-state-is-anti-semitic/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/march/13/criticizing-neoconservatives-and-the-deep-state-is-anti-semitic/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 20:03:30 GMT
Nikki Haley Watch: Trump's Disaster UN Ambassador Loses it Over Syria Sanctions Vote http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/28/nikki-haley-watch-trumps-disaster-un-ambassador-loses-it-over-syria-sanctions-vote/

Although Russia signaled that it would veto the US/UK/France UN Security Council Resolution adding sanctions on the Syrian government over allegations that it used chemical weapons on its own people, the Resolution was brought to a vote anyway today. In the end, it was vetoed by Russia, China, and Bolivia, with three additional countries abstaining.

The Resolution and accompanying sanctions were a classic case of guilty until proven innocent, as the investigations into the alleged use of chlorine gas are ongoing and have established no definitive proof of Syrian government culpability. 

That did not stop President Trump's "Disaster Ambassador," Nikki Haley, from once again displaying her astonishing ignorance in a blistering (but groundless) attack on Russia and China for not falling in line behind the US-led sanctions effort. 

Ambassador Haley started out:
When you hear members of the Security Council speak about the use of chemical weapons, it’s pretty amazing because you have unity in the fact that we need to be concerned about chemical weapons use in Syria and elsewhere. That is why the blocking of this resolution is so troubling.
The Resolution was vetoed not because Russia and China are not concerned about chemical weapons, but rather, as the deputy Russian Ambassador to the UN said, because the investigation is flawed in its approach and politicized in its conclusions:
The problem is that the basis of expert work on Syria come from dubious information submitted by the armed opposition, international NGOs sympathetic to it, the media and so-called ‘Friends of Syria’...
This is the same approach to Syria that the Obama Administration has taken since 2013: taking the word of the rebels -- all of which according to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who was in Syria, are radical extremists -- as fact. That is how so much US weaponry sent to "moderates" in Syria ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Yet President Trump's Ambassador to the UN is ready to take the word of the radicals and terrorists over the Syrian government, which is fighting radicals and terrorists. 

Haley cluelessly went on:
Russia and China made an outrageous and indefensible choice today. They refused to hold Bashar al-Assad’s regime accountable for the use of chemical weapons.
But Assad has not been found guilty of the use of chemical weapons. It was a flawed investigation that used testimony of disreputable special interest groups to push a "regime change" agenda. 

And like the Obama Administration before it, Trump's Ambassador is going right along with the program. Including taking as gospel reports from the George Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, which has been firmly on the side of regime change in Syria. 

Investigative journalist Robert Parry reported last year that UN investigators looking into the use of chlorine gas by the Syrian government were given evidence that jihadist groups were staging false flags to blame the Syrian government. They chose to ignore the reports.

Wrote Parry:
United Nations investigators encountered evidence that alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian military were staged by jihadist rebels and their supporters, but still decided to blame the government for two incidents in which chlorine was allegedly dispersed via improvised explosives dropped by helicopters.

In both cases, the Syrian government denied that it had any aircraft in the areas at the times of the purported attacks, but the U.N. team rejected that explanation with the curious argument that Syria failed to provide flight records to corroborate the absence of any flights. Yet, if there had been no flights, there would be no flight records.

The U.N. team also dismissed out of hand the possibility that jihadist rebels who had overrun some air bases and thus had operational helicopters at their disposal might have used them as part of a staged event designed to incriminate the Damascus regime and thus justify U.S. or other outside military intervention.

Another problem with the U.N. team’s findings is that the home-made chlorine bombs had minimal military value, inflicting relatively few casualties and only a handful of deaths.

Why the Syrian government, which was under intense international pressure regarding alleged chemical weapons use and was in the process of surrendering its stockpile of such weapons, would have jerry-rigged a handful of homemade bombs and dropped them for no discernible military effect makes little sense.

But that doesn't faze Haley. Like her predecessor, Samantha Power, for Nikki Haley and her UN team any evidence contrary to the pre-determined conclusion is to be ignored.

Ambassador Haley said:
Now step back from the Security Council. The reason we all should care about this resolution is that we want to make sure no one ever thinks about using chemical weapons.
Here again we have Obama era hypocrisy on display. The US government has admitted it used deadly depleted uranium munitions in Syria thousands of times.

Unproven and illogical allegations that the Syrian government used chlorine gas on its own citizens must be punished, according to Ambassador Haley. But the self-admitted fact that the US has also used a horrible form of mass weapon -- depleted uranium -- in Syria is completely ignored.

And again, why would Assad use chlorine gas on his own people? The majority of the Syrian population support Assad, for one. Why would he want to gas them?

Also, when facing a fight for survival against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other foreign-backed extremist groups, why waste time and risk the wrath of the international community to use such an inefficient weapon as chlorine gas?

According to the big Human Rights Watch report released earlier this month, up to nine people were killed in the attacks blamed on Assad. Nine people!

Might the desperate terrorist groups, who are losing territory every day, not have the incentive to frame the Assad government by either faking a chlorine attack or making an attack and blaming it on the Syrian government? After all, even Ambassador Haley has admitted that the rebels have also used chemical weapons.

The Great Nikki Haley Train Wreck continues. And with it goes any hope that President Trump will pursue a foreign policy in any way resembling the one he promised on the campaign trail.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/28/nikki-haley-watch-trumps-disaster-un-ambassador-loses-it-over-syria-sanctions-vote/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/28/nikki-haley-watch-trumps-disaster-un-ambassador-loses-it-over-syria-sanctions-vote/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 23:10:38 GMT
Ambassador Nikki Haley is Completely Clueless http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/21/ambassador-nikki-haley-is-completely-clueless/ undefined

Just when we thought the great national embarrassment of a UN Ambassador Samantha Power was over, we are suddenly faced with a new US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who almost makes Ms. Power look like a giant in world affairs and diplomacy.

Addressing the UN Security Council Open Debate on Conflicts in Europe today, Ambassador Haley managed to get nearly every single point spectacularly wrong while mixing in the most banal of platitudes to further deaden the delivery.

Said Haley:
It can be tempting to take Europe’s peace and security for granted. Europe is a continent of strong, stable democracies. And Europe is a continent of flourishing economies that benefit from close cooperation.

But Europe faces serious challenges – most acutely, Russia’s attempts to destabilize Ukraine and infringe upon Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
How exactly is Russia attempting to destabilize Ukraine? It was Russia, after all, and not the US, which called together the opposing sides two years ago to hammer out the "Minsk II" ceasefire and reconciliation agreement. Was not that in fact a stabilizing move rather than a destabilizing move?

Haley continues:
More than three years ago, the Ukrainian people took to the streets to speak out against political oppression and corruption. These protesters demanded freedom, democracy, and respect for the rule of law, and they succeeded in creating a new Ukraine.
That is not all what happened. It was the "protestors" who started the killing. They targeted police officers to provoke a response and thus add fuel to the simmering flame of months long protests in 2014. Russian propaganda, you say? Not at all. The killers went on television to brag about it!

Here is the story of one of the cop killers, Ivan Bubenchik, as reported in Foreign Policy magazine (hardly a pro-Russia outlet) and told on camera to Ukraine's Hromadske TV station:
To create a word of mouth effect, you have to shoot two or three [police] commanders I only picked two. And after that, there was no need to kill anyone else, so I aimed at the legs.
Does Nikki Haley support killing police officers?

Another report -- this time in the BBC -- told the same story. It was Nikki Haley's peaceful protestors who started the violence by shooting at police:
The protest leaders, some of whom now hold positions of power in the new Ukraine, insist full responsibility for the shootings lies with the security forces, acting on behalf of the previous government.

But one year on, some witnesses are beginning to paint a different picture.

'I was shooting downwards at their feet,' says a man we will call Sergei, who tells me he took up position in the Kiev Conservatory, a music academy on the south-west corner of the square.

'Of course, I could have hit them in the arm or anywhere. But I didn't shoot to kill.'

Sergei says he had been a regular protester on the Maidan for more than a month, and that his shots at police on the square and on the roof of an underground shopping mall, caused them to retreat.
Does Nikki Haley believe shooting police officers is justified as long as you're demanding "respect for the rule of law"?

In fact, the overthrow of the government in Ukraine was not at all set in motion by the Ukrainian people. It was planned in Washington and executed in the streets of Kiev, where US policymakers openly urged an overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government.

It is established fact that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was on the streets of Kiev with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt meeting with the protesters, encouraging them, and handing out food. Later she was caught in a phone call with the US Ambassador plotting in detail the overthrow of the government and how to replace it with Washington's picks.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was also on the streets of Kiev during the early stages of the coup. He was actively supporting the overthrow of Ukraine's legal government. Said McCain:
We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe...
Later on CNN, McCain admitted his role in the coup, stating: 
What we're trying to do is try to bring about a peaceful transition here...
How would Senator McCain react were a Russian member of parliament appear in the midst of a Washington, D.C. riot urging "a peaceful transition here"?

Trump's Ambassador to the UN continued:
But Russia has tried to prevent the change that the Ukrainian people demanded. Russia occupied Crimea and attempted to annex this piece of Ukrainian territory – an act the United States does not recognize.
That is also demonstrably false. Russia did not "occupy" Crimea because the Russian military was already in Crimea! Russia had leased the naval base in Crimea from the Ukrainian government until 2042. The troops were already there. Russia did not attempt to annex Crimea, but rather a referendum was held in which, according to the BBC, 90 percent of the residents voted to rejoin Russia (of which they had been a part since the 18th century).

Surely this is fake news! Why would Crimeans vote to leave Ukraine and join Russia? In fact Russians make up more than 65 percent of the population of Crimea and when the US-backed coup brought to power a vehemently anti-Russian government in Kiev was it really so surprising that the people would look for the exit signs?

Haley continues:
Russia then armed, financed, and organized separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, leading to a devastating and senseless conflict that has cost more than 10,000 lives.
Again untrue. The rebellion in eastern Ukraine was fueled by the US-backed coup in Kiev. Eastern Ukraine is predominantly Russian-speaking and in some parts of the region 96 percent voted for the president ousted with US support. As one might expect, unrest follows when one's president is overthrown with assistance from an outside power. And it was the US who did the arming, financing, and organizing the unelected coup forces who took power in Kiev.

More Haley:
The scenes of destruction from the town of Avdiivka in recent weeks show the consequences of Russia’s ongoing interference in Ukraine.
Avdiivka fell under attack after the Kiev forces advanced into the no-man's land separating the opposing sides. Ukrainian deputy defense minister Pavlovaky admitted that "meter by meter, step by step, whenever possible our boys have been advancing.”

You get the point. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has no clue what is happening in eastern Ukraine and so has just dusted off the dusty old talking points of the Obama Administration.

While on the campaign trail last year, Donald Trump sharply (and correctly) criticized the Obama Administration's militaristic foreign policy. At the time Trump said:
...unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength.
He continued by calling for new people and new approaches to foreign policy:
My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. We have to look to new people.
Well, Mr. President, I am sorry to have to inform you of this, but when it comes to Ambassador Nikki Haley, you may technically have "new people" in positions but you most certainly do not have new ideas. You have failed former ambassador Samantha Power's stale, regurgitated talking points. Enough!]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/21/ambassador-nikki-haley-is-completely-clueless/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/february/21/ambassador-nikki-haley-is-completely-clueless/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:17:50 GMT
The McCain Malady Charles Goyette http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/30/the-mccain-malady/

You know you are in the presence of an emotional affect when there is not even the pretense of rationality to someone’s crazed outburst, not so much as a veneer or patina of sensibility.

But then John McCain has always been like that, hot-headed and short-fused.

Still, in his response to Trump’s executive order on refugees, McCain’s deep disturbance is plain for all to see. The Senator’s hometown newspaper headlined its account this way:“McCain calls ban good for ISIS propaganda.”

Here’s the lead:
US Senator John McCain on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump’s controversial temporary refugee ban… as ‘a confused process’ that will boost the terrorist Islamic State’s propaganda efforts.
Later on, we learn that McCain and his bombing buddy Lindsey Graham issued a statement saying that “this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruiting than improve our security.”

That’s funny. Nobody remembers McCain or Graham ever suggesting that bombing foreign people in their own countries would be “good for ISIS propaganda,” and that it just might “help terrorist recruiting.”

So to put the peculiar view into perspective: We can enter our neighbors’ homes and kill their family members without provoking them.  But if we refuse to invite them into our home, they might react negatively.

McCain has distinguished himself for his bellicosity, constantly calling for US interventions around the globe. Among the countries that McCain has demanded the US invade, bomb, or destabilize are Syria, Iraq (repeatedly), Russia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo, Nigeria, Bosnia, Iran, Georgia, Sudan, Mali, and perhaps China. McCain is so identified with a happy trigger-finger that he has become an easy target for satire. The satirical newspaperThe Daily Currant was spot on when it “reported on” McCain calling for the invasion and bombing of Belgium because of its defeat of the United States at the World Cup:
“Belgium is a rogue state whose outrageous behavior at the World Cup was a show of aggression toward the United States, for which President Obama must respond immediately with military force,” McCain told Fox News this morning. “In fact, I believe that anything less than a swift invasion and regime change in Belgium would show weakness to our enemies.”
We will all be better off when destructive psychological deficits and personal complexes, those of presidents, senators, news anchors and other public figures, can no longer play out on the world stage.

It’s a compelling reason to disempower the State.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/30/the-mccain-malady/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/30/the-mccain-malady/ Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:43:21 GMT
The La-La Land of Conservatives http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/23/the-la-la-land-of-conservatives/

One of the fascinating characteristics of conservatives is how they are able to live in an alternative universe within their own minds, one that can easily be called la-la land. A good example of this phenomenon is conservative icon Max Boot, one of America’s most ardent interventionists and promoters of the US national-security state’s domestic and foreign military empire.

Lamenting the possibility that President Trump is going to initiate a “radical reorientation of America’s foreign policy,” Boot makes a remarkable statement in an op-ed appearing in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, one that perfectly demonstrates the la la land in which he lives:
For more than 70 years, the United States has been the world’s leading champion of free trade, democracy, and international institutions, particularly in Europe and East Asia.
Is he for real? Does he really believe that?

Yes, and the reason he believes it is that he, like so many other conservatives, lives in la la land.

Consider Chile 1973. The Chileans had a democratic system, one that had been functioning well for decades. In that year, a self-proclaimed socialist-communist, Salvador Allende, got elected president. The election was legitimate and honest. Moreover, Allende won notwithstanding the millions of US taxpayer dollars that the CIA was secretly funneling to opposition candidates.

What did the US government do about Allende’s election? Well, do you want the la la vision or the real version? Let’s go with the real version.

US officials first conspired to bribe the members of the Chilean parliament in an attempt to get them to vote against Allende. (Since he had not received a majority of the votes, the election was thrown into the hands of the parliament.)

US officials then conspired to kidnap the commanding general of the Chilean armed forces. The kidnapping resulted in his assassination. Why did they kidnap and assassinate Snyder? Because he was standing in the way of a military coup that US officials were fomenting within the Chilean military establishment. US national security state officials were telling their counterparts in Chile that they had a solemn duty to ignore the will of the voters and to destroy their country’s democratic system in order to “save it” from the man who had been democratically elected president.

When the coup finally did come, after the CIA did everything it could to “make the economy scream,” US officials did everything they could to promote the unelected, dictatorial regime that took power, a regime that proceeded to incarcerate, torture, rape, assassinate, execute, or disappear tens of thousands of innocent people. In the process, US military and intelligence officials brought about the execution of two innocent Americans who had supported Allende, one of whom had acquired evidence of secret US complicity in the coup: Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi.

Augusto Pinochet’s rein of terror lasted 17 long years. To this day, there are still conservatives who extol the virtues of the Pinochet tyranny under the name of Pax Americana, a term that appears in the title of Boot’s op-ed.

It was no different in Guatemala in 1954: the intentional destruction of Guatemala’s democratic system by ousting that nation’s democratically elected president and replacing him with a brutal and corrupt military dictator. That regime-change operation, in the name of Pax Americana, resulted in a 30-year-long civil war that killed over a million Guatemalans.

Or Iran 1953: the CIA’s ouster of the democratically elected prime minister of the country and his replacement by the brutal, unelected tyranny of the Shah. That was followed by the CIA’s helping to establish and train the Savak, the tyrannical CIA-like agency that helped to maintain the Shah’s unelected hold on power for the next 26 years — until the Iranian people finally revolted against the US-installed and US-supported anti-democratic brutal tyranny of the Shah.

You see, in the la-la land of conservatives, the US fights for democracy … so long as foreigners vote the right way. As soon as they vote the wrong way, US Pax Americana kicks into play and death and destruction are wreaked against the recalcitrant nations. But all in the name of promoting democracy. That’s how la la land works.

Consider Egypt. Oh sure, democracy was fine until the Egyptian people elected the wrong person. And so, the Arab Spring had to come to a sudden end with the military coup that re-installed the Egyptian military into power, with the full support of the US government. Today, millions of dollars in US taxpayer-funded weaponry continue to be furnished the Egyptian military tyrants to help them maintain their brutal anti-democratic hold on power.

How does Boot reconcile all this with his claim that the US government is a leader for democracy? He doesn’t. That’s because he lives in la la land.

Consider Boot’s criticism against Trump for advocating protectionism and trade restrictions. At the same time he issues his criticism, Boot endorses the continuation of the US government’s economic sanctions on Russia.

How does he reconcile his purported devotion to free trade with the concept of economic sanctions? He doesn’t. Remember: He’s a conservative. He lives in la la land.

Mr. Boot, reflect on that term: free trade. The operative word is “free.” What do you think the “free” in “free trade” is all about? It means that trade is free from government control and regulation.

Such being the case, how can free trade and government-imposed economic sanctions, which punish Americans for trading with Russians, be reconciled with each other? They can’t be … except in la la land.

It’s no different with the more than 50 years of the brutal economic embargo against Cuba. It punishes Americans who wish to travel to Cuba and spend money there. How is such punishment reconcilable with the principles of free trade? It isn’t … except in la la land.

It’s no different with the economic sanctions against the Iranian people, which are really being enforced for one reason only: because the Iranian people had the audacity to oust the US-installed Shah from power. For that, they need to be punished by Pax Americana.

Amazingly, Boot implicitly defends US interventionism into World War I. I didn’t think that there was anyone left who defended that intervention. It’s goal was to make the world safe for democracy and was going to be the war to end all wars. Yet, the result of that US interventionism was the exact opposite and actually contributed to the conditions that gave rise to Adolf Hitler and World War II a short time later.

Not surprisingly, the disastrous consequences of WW I, just like those of WWII (e.g., communist control of Eastern Europe and East Germany, communist China, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the conversion of the federal government to a national security state), are all ignored in la la land.

Equally amazing, Boot fails to address what Pax Americana and the US national-security state have done to the Middle East ever since the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA unexpectedly and suddenly lost their official Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, which had been America’s World War II partner and ally.

Look at Iraq. Look at Libya. Look at Syria. Look at ISIS. Look at the European refugee crisis. All rooted in US interventionism and Pax Americana in the Middle East. In la la land, it’s best to just ignore the disastrous consequences of US empire and intervention and to just play like the bad consequences didn’t happen.

Unlike Boot, I’m not optimistic that Trump is going to follow the lead of America’s Founding Fathers and lead the country in a non-interventionist direction. But he should. La la land is no place for America.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/23/the-la-la-land-of-conservatives/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/23/the-la-la-land-of-conservatives/ Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:18:33 GMT
‘John McCain Passed Dossier to Make Trump Look Bad; Now He’s Trying to Save His Hide’ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/18/john-mccain-passed-dossier-to-make-trump-look-bad-now-he-s-trying-to-save-his-hide/

McCain had a private meeting with FBI Director James Comey to hand him a dossier on Trump in a ploy to make him look bad, claims Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute. Now McCain is attempting to disassociate himself from it, he added.

US Senator John McCain said last week's leak of an unverified report on Russia having compromising information on Donald Trump was “totally wrong” and that someone must be held responsible for it.

RT: John McCain, who passed the unverified information to the FBI himself now claims that those behind its leak must be responsible for it. What's your take on that?

Daniel McAdams: We should be clear what McCain’s role was in this. McCain is a chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, an extraordinarily powerful individual in Washington DC. I think that what happened is that McCain is caught in the center of this controversy. Now he is trying to play the innocent. “Oh, I just did my duty,” he said. “I had no way of knowing whether this was valid damning information.”

But what he did in his role as the Chairman of the Committee was he validated that information. He contacted James Comey, the director of the FBI, to have a personal and private meeting to hand him this dossier. That action in itself validates or gives the impression that the document is validated to the FBI. So I think he is caught in the trap of his own making. He was trying to be involved in a ploy to make Trump look bad. He was caught at it, and now he is trying to backtrack and save his hide.

RT: Why do you think in this case it kind of looks like McCain is even taking Trump’s side here?

DM: I don’t think he is taking Trump’s side at all because he made the point, he said this is “damning information.” He never said this is untrue, or this is not true, or this is a lie. He’s trying to have it both ways because what he wants more than anything is a new Cold War with Russia. He is furious with Trump because Trump has said over and over again that he wants to have improved relations with Russia.

McCain just today released his own new defense budget: five years – five trillion dollar defense budget; a lot of that is aimed at Russia. It is great for the American military-industrial complex, which is what keeps John McCain in office. So that is one of the reasons he does this. One of the reasons why he cannot stand Donald Trump and he could not stand to have any change in Washington’s anti-Russia policies… If anyone is hurting American democracy, it’s people like John McCain and whoever hired this person to dig up this supposed dirt to create this dirt…

They’ve created the narrative that Trump is somehow in the pay of the Russians. Even Mike Morell, the [former] acting CIA Director, said the incoming President of the United States is an “agent of Putin.” This is unprecedented. They’ve established this to de-legitimize – whatever you think about Donald Trump, this is to de-legitimize him. Most people will remember the salacious details of this dossier; they won’t remember all the finer points about how it came about, McCain’s role in it. They don’t remember this; they remember the headlines. So I would say as a propaganda ploy this will probably be very successful.

RT: Why do you think in this case it kind of looks like McCain is even taking Trump’s side here?

DM: I don’t think he is taking Trump’s side at all because he made the point, he said this is “damning information.” He never said this is untrue, or this is not true, or this is a lie. He’s trying to have it both ways because what he wants more than anything is a new Cold War with Russia. He is furious with Trump because Trump has said over and over again that he wants to have improved relations with Russia.

McCain just today released his own new defense budget: five years – five trillion dollar defense budget; a lot of that is aimed at Russia. It is great for the American military-industrial complex, which is what keeps John McCain in office. So that is one of the reasons he does this. One of the reasons why he cannot stand Donald Trump and he could not stand to have any change in Washington’s anti-Russia policies… If anyone is hurting American democracy, it’s people like John McCain and whoever hired this person to dig up this supposed dirt to create this dirt…

They’ve created the narrative that Trump is somehow in the pay of the Russians. Even Mike Morrell, the acting CIA Director, said the incoming President of the United States is an “agent of Putin.” This is unprecedented. They’ve established this to de-legitimize – whatever you think about Donald Trump, this is to de-legitimize him. Most people will remember the salacious details of this dossier; they won’t remember all the finer points about how it came about, McCain’s role in it. They don’t remember this; they remember the headlines. So I would say as a propaganda ploy this will probably be very successful.



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/18/john-mccain-passed-dossier-to-make-trump-look-bad-now-he-s-trying-to-save-his-hide/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/18/john-mccain-passed-dossier-to-make-trump-look-bad-now-he-s-trying-to-save-his-hide/ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:13:35 GMT
Did John McCain 'Launder' Dodgy Trump Intel Dossier? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/11/did-john-mccain-launder-dodgy-trump-intel-dossier/

We all know what money laundering is. When you need to hide the fact that the money in your possession comes by way of nefarious sources, you transfer it through legitimate sources and it appears clean on the other end. It's standard practice among thieves, extortionists, drug dealers, and the like.

The same practice can even be used to "clean" intelligence that comes by dubious sources, and sometimes even US Senators may involve themselves in such dark activities. Case in point US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), whose virulent opposition to Donald Trump is outmatched only by his total dedication to fomenting a new cold (or hot?) war with Russia.

While the world was caught up in the more salacious passages from a purported opposition research report on Donald Trump showing all manner of collusion with Putin's Russia -- and Russia's possession of blackmail-able kompromat on Trump -- something very interesting was revealed about the custody of the information. The "dossier" on Trump seemed to follow two chains of custody. One involved the media, which in October were given and encouraged to publish the "report" by the authors of the report (or their sponsors), purportedly a former British intelligence officer working for a private intelligence company. Only David Corn of Mother Jones bit, and his resulting story picked over the report to construct a mess of innuendo on Trump's relation to Russia that was short on any evidence.

The other chain of custody is what interests us. Remember, we have a dubious report constructed for the purpose of discrediting Donald Trump, which was first commissioned by one of his Republican primary rivals and later completed under the patronage of someone in Hillary's camp. It was created for a specific political purpose, which may have tainted its reception among more objective governmental sources had that been known. Enter John McCain. According to media reports, the dossier was handed to Sen. McCain -- again, a strong Trump opponent and proponent of conflict with Russia -- by a former UK ambassador (who presumably received it from the source, a former British intelligence officer).

Senator McCain then felt duty-bound to bring this "intelligence report" directly (and privately) to the personal attention of FBI Director James Comey. From this hand-off to Comey, the report then became part of the Intelligence Community's assessment of Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Senator McCain is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, one of the most powerful members of the US Senate. Consider the impact of being handed a strange report by some private intelligence-firm-for-hire or a media outlet versus being handed a report by one of the most powerful men in the US government. McCain's involving himself in the case gave the report a sense of legitimacy that it would not otherwise have had. Was this "laundering" intentional on his part? We do not know, but given his position on Trump and Russia that possibility must be considered.

So great was the pressure on McCain to come clean on his decision to meet privately with the FBI Director to hand over this report that he released a statement earlier today portraying himself as nothing more than a good citizen, passing information to the proper authorities for them to act on if they see fit.

Do you believe the Senator from Arizona?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/11/did-john-mccain-launder-dodgy-trump-intel-dossier/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/january/11/did-john-mccain-launder-dodgy-trump-intel-dossier/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:36:17 GMT