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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Tulsi Gabbard’

Get Russian – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 6, 2020

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/05/01/get-russian/

Dissent is Russian, or haven’t you heard?

Dissent is Russian.

Peace activism is Russian.

Exposing war crimes is Russian.

Inconveniencing Democrats is Russian.

Tara Reade? Russian.

Julian Assange? Russian.

Jill Stein? Russian.

Tulsi Gabbard? Russian.

Russia? You bet your sweet ass that’s Russian.

Conspiracy theories are Russian.

Alternative media are Russian.

It’s Russian to ask questions.

It’s Russian to reveal objective facts.

It’s Russian to tell the truth.

Truth is Russian in an empire of lies.

If truth is Russian, I don’t want to be Australian.

If truth is Russian, you can call me Svetlana.

If truth is Russian, then I will ascend to the clouds

by climbing a Tolstoy novel,

kicking my feet out in front of me

with my bum low to the ground

balancing a bottle of vodka atop a fur hat

whilst shouting “Stallone was the bad guy in Rocky IV

until my voice is hoarse.

If truth is Russian, then let’s all get Russian.

Get as Russian as possible.

Get aggressively Russian.

Get offensively Russian.

Get Russianly Russian.

Get so Russian it hurts.

Get so Russian they write Palmer Report articles about you.

Get so Russian that Rachel Maddow spits your name like it’s poison.

Get so Russian that Putin calls you and says tone it down.

Get so Russian that Khabib Nurmagomedov has nightmares about fighting you.

Camus said “The only way to deal with an unfree world

is to become so absolutely Russian

that your very existence is an act of rebellion,”

or something like that.

So get Russian, baby.

Fold your arms and get low on the dance floor.

Get low, shorty,

get low, low, low.

Get low,

get low,

and get Russian.

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Can Bernie and Tulsi Survive Hillary’s ‘Urge’ to Save the DNC? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2020

This is Bernie’s last kick at the can. He’s already gotten the gold watch from the DNC in 2016, living the high life only a high member of the Politburo can.

Gabbard has burned all the bridges within the DNC she can, almost gleefully. That makes her a person of integrity, of authenticity, in a U.S. political wasteland of charlatans, reality show hucksters and outright thieves.

The quicker she climbs out of the basement in Pelosi’s House, the better off she’ll be.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/02/01/can-bernie-and-tulsi-survive-hillarys-urge-to-save-the-dnc/

Tom Luongo

For months now I’ve been convinced that Hillary Clinton will be entering the fray that is the Democratic Party primary season. The affair to date has been a nothing short of high comedy.

Recent events have me more convinced than ever that she will be returning, like some zombie whose head we forgot to cut off, to haunt voters one more time this fall.

After the beginning of an obvious (and planned) PR campaign last week with the release of a big campaign ad documentary on Netflix and a big splash in the Hollywood Reporter Hillary finally stopped being coy. And she announced this week that she now ‘has the urge’ to run again against Donald Trump.

Save us, please, from Hillary’s urges…. Shudder.

And she did so making sure that everyone knew what she thought of the real front-runner for the nomination, Bernie Sanders.

As various anointed ones have dropped out of the race – Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Robert O’Rourke – others have faltered despite huge ad spends while the media and pollsters do their level best to convince us all that Joe Biden’s a serious candidate to take on Donald Trump this fall.

In fact, the only reason Biden is still in the race is to make the impeachment theater going on right now seem relevant and cogent. But, like Biden himself, it is neither.

Then again neither is Hillary, but never underestimate this woman’s narcissistic solipsism.

If you look back on the race to date it’s clear that most of the people running are there to try and distract voters away from the two candidates that resonate most with voters, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

Yes, Gabbard is polling low but if you look at poll numbers versus money spent and/or raised to this point, she’s clearly got cache and the ability to build a real following. And as the field shrinks those distractions become irrelevant. Her poll numbers are rising the more the field winnows.

Neither of them is acceptable in any way to the DNC. They are outsiders within their party. I’m no fan of Bernie Sanders. In fact, I think he’s a terrible candidate — because, you know, commie! — but that’s not the point of this article.

Bernie is surging in the early states and panic is setting in with the DNC. And they must have a plan to stop him from running away with the nomination otherwise we could have two outsiders headlining this fall’s reality show.

And that plan starts with the impeachment and potential removal of Donald Trump.

The impeachment is a distraction for Trump but it is a real problem for the Senators running for the Democratic nomination. They have to spend all day listening to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler lie while they could be out campaigning and raising money.

This hurts Bernie the most because Bernie is the one who will get zero help from the DNC’s big donors. None of them are behind him and with good reason. He’s hostile to most of them (and most of us as well, but that’s a different article).

Of the people running for President as Democrats the only person less acceptable to Wall St. than Elizabeth Warren is Bernie Sanders. Warren’s entire campaign has been designed to push Bernie farther left by out-lefting him at every turn. Bernie says 70% top marginal tax rate, Warren says 77%. Bernie wants debt restructuring? Warren says forgive all student loan debt.

Her job is to make Bernie as unacceptable to mainstream U.S. voters as possible. Unfortunately, that makes Bernie more and more acceptable to a lot of people voting in the Democratic primaries. And this Catch-22 is beginning to show up in the polls for Iowa and New Hampshire.

Then there’s the serious money behind Pete Buttigieg trying to create slightly gayer version of Barack Obama. Again, he’s just another distraction to suck support away from Sanders and keep the field relatively close and the odds of an uncommitted primary season high.

Because the goal is to get to a brokered convention this summer. So, the impeachment was slowed down to hurt Sanders, Warren and Amy Klobuchar and help give Biden the bump he needs to get some momentum coming into Iowa.

It’s not working.

But I also don’t think it’s going to matter. If you keep watching the headlines the attack dogs are out in full to discredit and hurt Sanders. They know he’s a real force to be reckoned with. And worse, his attack dog, Gabbard, has been muzzled by keeping her off the debate stage so she can’t take anyone else out, like she roasted that pig Kamala Harris last summer.

But I truly feel the DNC is looking to steal the nomination again from Sanders. And the impeachment of Trump continues to somehow, against all odds, get worse for him, even though his party is supposed to be in charge of the proceedings.

I told everyone back in September when Nancy Pelosi announced she was going through with the impeachment process that this was all about getting rid of Trump. But it was in October when Hillary went after Tulsi Gabbard that  Gabbard’s response was beyond epic and I wrote about it then.

Gabbard throws down the gauntlet here outing Hillary as the mastermind behind the DNC strategy of allowing the current crop of future losers to fall all over themselves to alienate as many centrist voters as possible.

This paves the way for Hillary to swoop in on her broom, pointed hat in hand, and declare herself the savior of the Democratic Party’s chances to defeat Donald Trump next November.

So, Hillary’s running, the DNC is trying to stop Bernie and Tulsi Gabbard is still an also-ran in New Hampshire and Iowa, polling between 5% and 7%. So what?

Well, I feel at this point it’s been game-planned by Gabbard and Sanders that they know what’s coming. I felt the endorsement from Joe Rogan of Sanders was timed to distract from Hillary’s attack on Bernie in that Hollywood Reporter piece.

Rogan is far more influential than the dead tree media Hillary’s publicist works with. And her attack dogs were out in full to attack Rogan and smear Sanders with their typical guilt-by-association nonsense.

I don’t tweet much folks, but this one gets to the truth of what’s going on in the murk and slime of Democratic Party politics.

Sanders and Gabbard know the DNC is out to destroy him. And the question then becomes what’s next?

What do they do to combat this? Gabbard is not running for re-election in Hawaii. She says she’s committed to running for President. I don’t think she’s getting the nomination and, frankly, I don’t think she is either.

She just filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Hillary for the smears Hillary threw around I linked to above. She puts financial pressure on Hillary knowing that the Clintons couldn’t drum up support and dollars last year during their expensive speaking tour no one went to.

Gabbard denies any kind of third party run, getting the Ron Paul treatment from the media. But, she’s a very acceptable person to a lot of disaffected Trump voters like myself. She speaks to them and can help carry Bernie as his running mate if he somehow makes it through the convention to be the Democratic nominee.

So, yes, Gabbard isn’t running for re-election because she’s running as Sanders’ Vice-Presidential candidate.

And it may not be for the Democratic party in the end. That’s the part you have to factor in here.

Game-planning this out, these two are running a real insurgency within the DNC to either get the nomination or split off and run as Independents. This is Bernie’s last kick at the can. He’s already gotten the gold watch from the DNC in 2016, living the high life only a high member of the Politburo can.

Gabbard has burned all the bridges within the DNC she can, almost gleefully. That makes her a person of integrity, of authenticity, in a U.S. political wasteland of charlatans, reality show hucksters and outright thieves.

The quicker she climbs out of the basement in Pelosi’s House, the better off she’ll be.

I don’t put it past either of these people to think that preventing Hillary from regaining control of the Democrats and spoiling her return is the best outcome for America, even if it re-elects Donald Trump.

But, if Trump is removed to make way for Hillary, then the Race to 270 electoral votes becomes a non-binary affair.

© 2010 – 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

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Keeping It Unreal | The Blog of Author Donald Jeffries The American Love Affair With War

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2020

H.L. Mencken defined it perfectly nearly a century ago when he said, “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

https://donaldjeffries.wordpress.com/

 

Donald Trump’s recent assassination of Iranian Maj. General Qassem Soleimani was not an exceptional act of madness by a deranged president. It was instead the continuation of a long, unfortunate American tradition. Military aggressiveness has been a feature of U.S. foreign policy for a very long time.

As I detail in my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, Americans love to portray themselves as the “greatest,” the “good guys” in each of their nearly continuous foreign skirmishes. While it certainly appears to any disinterested observer that we are the initiator in most, if not all, of these conflicts, the official mantra is that we are never at fault. We are only defending ourselves, even if the opponent is smaller and weaker to a laughable degree, as it usually is.

Abraham Lincoln set so many horrific precedents, and his manipulation of events that resulted in the South technically firing the first shot at Fort Sumter, paved the way for false flags like “Remember the Maine” in 1898, the sinking of the Lusitania  which “forced” us to enter World War I, the “sneak” attack on Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which is now universally acknowledged to have never happened, the “weapons of mass destruction” lie under Dubya Bush, and many other less obvious ones.

Each time one of these false flags occurred, or stories demonizing the latest flavor of the month in some far-flung land appeared in our state-run media, the overwhelming majority of the American people swallowed the propaganda. H.L. Mencken defined it perfectly nearly a century ago when he said, “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

In just the past few decades, this “endless series of hobgoblins” has included Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi,  Slobodan Milosevic, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-un, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and now Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was that rarity; a bogeyman who literally came out of nowhere to be suddenly categorized as one of the world’s most dangerous characters. Who had even heard of him before he was assassinated by our forces? And how did he cause the “hundreds” of deaths of Americans which are now routinely attributed to him? Hundreds of Americans were killed in Iran by this guy? Are there even hundreds of Americans in Iran presently?

And, like all modern bogeymen, Soleimani has been described as a “bully.” Alex Jones, now a pathetic shell of what he once was, declared that we couldn’t keep letting Iran “push us around.” Exactly how has Iran ever “pushed us around?” And how do you describe an officer with a military that is only a fraction of ours, in size and power, as a “bully?” That is like Mike Tyson assaulting a kindergartner, claiming they “started it,” and thereafter castigating him as a “bully.”

We definitely “started it” with Iran with the 1953 overthrow of their democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh…

Our founders never intended for America to have a standing army. They certainly never envisioned a monstrosity like the military industrial complex and its nefarious intelligence agencies. But the public doesn’t seem to mind. Give them the pomp of a good flyover or cannon blast. Watch them tear up at staged reunions between soldiers and their young children. They used to call it bread and circuses.

There are no voices for peace with a large public platform, unless you count Tulsi Gabbard, who has her own questionable baggage. But there are millions willing to beat the war drums when ordered to do so. Mark Twain, who said so many memorable things, noted that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” So perhaps it does serve a constructive purpose, although Americans still seem woefully ignorant about geography (and pretty much everything else).

Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, is still quoted widely by our sociopathic leaders in business and government. John F. Kennedy’s timeless 1963 commencement address at American University, where he advocated for peace as no other American president ever has, was probably the final nail in his coffin, on the other hand.

John Quincy Adams spoke for virtually every American leader during the revolutionary era when he said, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Our leaders have constructed a foreign policy that does nothing else.

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Progressive journalist: MSNBC doesn’t try to hide ‘contempt’ towards Gabbard | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2019

“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially,” Tracey told Hill.TV.

Follow the money (Soros)

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472056-progressive-journalist-msnbc-doesnt-try-to-hide-contempt-towards-gabbard

Progressive journalist Michael Tracey claimed Tuesday that MSNBC is has dropped all pretenses for their “contempt” towards Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The political news contributor said the left-leaning network has treated her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unfairly, but he argued that with Gabbard it, “crosses a certain threshold.”

“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially,” Tracey told Hill.TV.

“There’s nobody who can really offer any kind countervailing view because it’s just not economically advantageous for them at this point,” he added.

MSNBC didn’t immediately return Hill.TV’s request for comment.

Tracey pointed to a fiery exchange between Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during last week’s 2020 primary debate as a prime example.

During the debate, Harris accused Gabbard of being a conservative media darling and consistently going on Fox News to bash President Obama during his tenure.

“I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who, during the Obama administration, spent four years full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris said.

Gabbard dismissed the criticism, calling it “ridiculous.”

The California senator also hit Gabbard over her meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who U.S. officials have accused of being a war criminal. Harris concluded her attack by saying that Democrats need a candidate who can take on President Trump as well as “bring the party and the nation together.”

The back-and-forth came after Gabbard criticized the Democratic Party of fashioning outdated foreign policies “represented “by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy.”

“Our Democratic Party unfortunately is not the party that is of, by and for the people. It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy, by the military industrial complex and other greedy, corporate interests,” she said.

Leading up to the fifth Democratic debate, Gabbard engaged in a weeks-long feud with Clinton after the former Democratic presidential nominee said the Hawaii lawmaker was “the favorite of the Russians.”

—Tess Bonn

news_presstitutes

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Fact Check: Tulsi Gabbard is Correct, American Veterans Want the Endless Wars to End

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2019

Anti-war, pro-peace Gabbard is the most disparaged Dem candidate.

Obviously a Russian asset.

She wouldn’t be well liked in Republican circles either.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/20/fact-check-tulsi-gabbard-is-correct-american-veterans-want-the-endless-wars-to-end/

by John Binder

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said during the fifth Democrat presidential primary debate that American veterans are “calling for an end” to the “regime change wars” that have persisted with support from the Washington, DC, national security establishment.

“I’m running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, takes it out of their hands, and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country,” Gabbard said.

“A party that actually hears the voices of Americans who are struggling … and puts it in the hands of veterans and fellow Americans who are calling for an end to this … policy doctrine of regime change wars, overthrowing dictators in other countries, needlessly sending my brothers and sisters in uniform into harm’s way to fight in wars that actually undermine our national security and cost us thousands of American lives,” Gabbard continued.

The most recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that Gabbard is correct in saying that American veterans who risked their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are increasingly opposing foreign interventionism.

About 64 percent of veterans say the Iraq War is “not worth fighting,” along with 62 percent of all American adults who agree. Only 33 percent of veterans say the Iraq War is worth fighting.

Likewise, nearly 60 percent of veterans and all American adults say the Afghanistan War was not worth the fight. Less than 40 percent say the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was worth fighting.

Former President George W. Bush led the U.S. into war in Afghanistan and Iraq with more than 4,500 Americans dying in Iraq — including more than 3,500 killed in combat — and up to 205,000 Iraqi citizens dying in the war since March 2003. In total, Bush’s post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and intervention in Pakistan have resulted in the deaths of between 480,000 and 507,000 people — including nearly 7,000 American soldiers who had deployed to the regions.

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The Small But Brave Cadre of Conservative Anti-War Republicans – The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2019

424 are pro-war, pro-interventionism, anti-peace.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-brave-cadre-of-conservative-anti-war-republicans/

They didn’t put their finger to the political wind when it came to Syria and Yemen.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks to reporters, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A comparative case study has demonstrated that only one political party has a principled (albeit small) contingent of legislators who care more about ending U.S. intervention overseas than partisan positioning.

In February, the House of Representatives voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 37, which directed “the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” This, along with its complementary senate vote, was the first congressional invocation of the War Powers Act in the law’s history.

Then last month, the House voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 77, a resolution condemning “the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.” This vote was in opposition to President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Syrian-Turkish border.

 

Neither U.S. involvement in the Syrian Civil War, nor U.S. material support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen have been authorized by Congress, making them illegal American wars. The Trump administration opposed both resolutions, and stopping House Joint Resolution 37 was only the second veto of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Out of the House’s 435 members, only 11 voted to end both the war in Yemen and to draw down in Syria. They are Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, and Bill Posey of Florida.

Notice anything? They’re all Republicans. But that shouldn’t surprise you.

“There is a long and honorable tradition within the Republican Party of anti-interventionism, of nationalism, what’s sometimes called isolationism, which technically isn’t a friendly or accurate term,” explains historian Jeff Taylor, who chairs the Department of Political Science at Dordt University.

“Back to the Progressive Era, even before the rise of the modern conservative movement, you had an anti-establishment; I would call it a populist-nationalist movement within the Republican Party,” Taylor says. “Back then [it was] led by men such as Robert La Follette in the U.S. senate, and there were others . . . Hiram Johnson of California and William Borah of Idaho.”

“This was a tradition that had eloquent individuals who had fiercely held beliefs, and some of them had positions of power.”

Another example in this lineage is Ohio Senator Robert Taft who opposed U.S. entry into the NATO alliance and called the Korean War unconstitutional. Taft, son of the former president and a three-time national candidate in his own right, was so associated with the GOP and its Midwestern base that he was known as “Mr. Republican.”

In the modern era, this same spirit imbued the presidential campaigns of both Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul—the former in his fight against the Gulf War and George H.W. Bush’s aspirations towards a New World Order, and the latter in his opposition to the War on Terror and its resultant overseas regime changes.

Today, there is an 11-person cadre of Republican congressmen willing to put constitutional devotion, fiscal sanity, and ethical antipathy to feckless wars above political expediency…

Massie is correct. No Democrat voted to continue intervention in Yemen, and simultaneously no Democrat voted to defend withdrawing from northern Syria. Every member automatically took the inverse view of the Trump administration. Democratic opposition to war is partisan, not principled.

Hawaii representative and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of the Yemen resolution in February and did not vote on House Joint Resolution 77 regarding Syria. Her office did not return a request for comment to explain her absence. Gabbard has since introduced her own Syria withdrawal resolution.

Republican-turned-Independent representative from Michigan Justin Amash voted “Present” on both resolutions. Amash’s haughty attitude stems from his contention that such resolutions present a “false choice.” This did not prevent the congressman from calling President Trump a “fraud” for vetoing the same Yemen resolution he refused to support.

Both Republican voters and the broader peace movement ought to be proud that there is a resolute core of House members continuing the non-interventionist legacy of the Old Right. In the words of the late Justin Raimondo, it’s incumbent upon us to continue “reconstructing a conservative philosophy centered around liberty and the authentic American character, rather than a lust for power and an addiction to war.”

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The Armistice We Need: Time for Vets To Reclaim Veterans’ Day – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2019

Armistice Day!

In the 101 years since the Armistice took effect, on the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, the US military has been at war somewhere – even by conservative measures – all but eleven of those years.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/11/10/the-armistice-we-need-time-for-vets-to-reclaim-veterans-day/

It wasn’t supposed to be this way; wasn’t meant to be celebrated as such – as Veterans’ Day, that is. When the guns fell silent after more than four years of slaughter in the Great War – which consumed at least 9 million soldiers’ lives – in a widely celebrated, long-awaited armistice, veterans, and even many leaders, swore off war once and for all. Sure lots of the Wilsonian rhetoric of war “to end all wars,” was probably always hyperbolic and politically opportunistic. Nonetheless, it’s remarkable how many veterans and victims of that war truly believed it, were even dedicated to ensure this was so.

Thus, until the Second World War shattered those expectations, and governments around the world then waged near endless wars in the half century afterwards, the Americans, and other peoples celebrated the anniversary of the Great Wars’ end as Armistice Day. By it’s very nature, it was, then, imbued with meaning, with hopes, dreams, demands for a more peaceful future. Here in the U.S. those sentiments are long gone. Their morbid obituary America’s 19+ years of hopeless wars since 9/11. What we’re left with is a rebranded shell of a holiday: Veterans’ Day.

In the 101 years since the Armistice took effect, on the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, the US military has been at war somewhere – even by conservative measures – all but eleven of those years. That pesky number eleven, how it haunts us still. Most Americans may find that statistic shocking, or, in some cases, might simply reject it. And why not? Much of the citizenry learned the nation’s history, taught (at increasingly paltry levels) in public schools. Too often they’re trained to reflexively view the US as a once flawed, but ultimately great – exceptional, even – country. Those pugnacious stats can’t be accurate, many assume, because after all, America isn’t an empire, isn’t a warlike nation. Even in this so-called modern age, such thinking is shockingly pervasive.

Of course, as I’ve sought to demonstrate in my 38-volume history series at Truthdig, the discomfiting reality is that America was founded as a once, always, and (it seems) future empire. Warfare has been and remains endemic in the national experiment from the first. Lots of Native Americans, Mexicans, and slaves had to die or be displaced to reach the dream of “from sea to shining sea.” Then, in the century and score since the frontier “closed,” a whole lot of (mostly) brown folks had to be killed, colonized, exploited, and repressed by U.S.-backed dictators in order to secure the resources, markets, and global hegemony thought necessary for what’s come to be known as “The American Way of Life.”

To be sure, those who summarily reject this rather basic – and demonstrable – analysis, probably take no exception to Veterans’ Day as currently constructed. If one truly believes the myth that US troopers only fight – as the official Marine Corps hymn asserts – “for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean,” then there’s nothing wrong with simply thanking a brave vet this November 11. On the other hand, if one does accept that war has been a regular fact of American life, but sees that as inevitable – a product of human nature – then the current holiday seems just fine, as well. However, I, in solidarity with the “Lost Generation,” of American and British veterans of a century past – Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Graves, and Sassoon – spurn both absurd fairy tales and fatalistic cynicism.

Conflict may, indeed, be one aspect of the human condition. Yet in a world of organized societies, and living in our ostensible democracy, there is actually nothing inevitable about America fighting foreign wars. It may seem that way, of course, and there are sensible reasons why it does. The post-World War II entrenchment of the powerful nexus of senior military and defense industry leaders – later abetted by congressional apathy and a corporate media – the military-industrial complex, undoubtedly presents a formidable foe. Nevertheless, people power, grassroots activism, and substantial changes in voting patterns (for third parties or truly transformation insurgents within existing parties) can be, at their best, up to the considerable challenge.

It won’t be easy, of course. The odds are stacked in the favor of elite interests which seek to protect both the power and wealth generated in the current national security state structure. Yet one need only observe the vehemence and alarmism of the Hillary Clinton-New York Times alliance’s unsubstantiated attacks on Tulsi Gabbard’s character and patriotism. The very hysteria of it, especially directed at such a long shot candidate, stank of fear – pure, unadulterated fear for the interventionist status quo. Tulsi’s service and continued donning of the army uniform didn’t, and won’t, save her. Here is proof positive of that which some of us always suspected: all the compulsory, over the top, adulation of veterans – encouraged by national security leaders, of course – is ultimately so much humbug, a sham, a charade.

Certainly many private citizens mean well, might be sincere in their thanks, but even the best among them are being had; victims of a very old scheme. That is the re-appropriation of public holidays for political ends, to protect powerful interests. The whole Armistice/Veterans’ Day transition is perhaps the most potent, and overt, example. After ditching the draft, thereby disconnecting service from citizenship, next sucking all the hope, idealism, and meaning out of the original Armistice Day, and then repackaging the holiday as a simple, reflexive exercise in vapid “thanks,” the national security state cleverly narrows the space for dissent. It amounts to a tactical employment of language as power – in a rather Orwellian vein – to covertly undermine opposition.

Although, much to the chagrin of my mainstream liberal colleagues, I don’t fully subscribe to the notion that Trump (while quite dangerous) is a wholly unique aberration, I’m quite certain these times of ours are momentous and potentially catastrophic. A century and year after the Great War Armistice, with the US military killing, dying, and bankrupting the nation in a couple dozen wars, and with the growing power of successive imperial presidents reaching its logical endpoint of foreign policy dictatorship, America simply can’t afford to celebrate another anodyne Veterans’ Day. Not this time, not this year. With that, I conclude with two specific pleas for two very different groups.

First, what’s needed instead is a vast, collective public pause this 11th of November; an occasion to think, really think on, and critically analyze the cost-benefit calculus of the forever wars. The moment demands a reappraisal of what it truly means to honor veterans, new methods that might include citizen engagement in foreign affairs, demands that their representatives adhere to, and act on, the prudent maxim that soldiers ought only be deployed for actual national defense. In such a transformative context, some might conclude that properly honoring veterans has less to do with yellow ribbons, stadium-sized flags, and the ubiquitous airing of patriotic war movies on TBS, than with an insistence on policies that help create fewer of them. That’s my plea to the civilian citizenry.

Next, I turn to my own tribe: active servicemen and combat veterans. This gets tricky. After all, our community is not a social, cultural, or political monolith, and far be it from me to even pretend to speak for the lot. Rather, I simply wish to encourage, perhaps persuade, my brothers and sisters in arms. If the scores of texts I receive, and hundreds of social media messages of support that come my way from veterans and active soldiers be any measure, then it seems many of you are dubious, skeptical, even downright opposed to these nearly two decade old wars.

For example, upon publication of my last article on the inauspicious futures awaiting a new crop of West Point graduates this spring, I received more than a dozen – often quite emotional – notes from former students. These young, motivated lieutenants ought to be, traditionally speaking, the most guns ho of all. Instead, each and every one expressed varying degrees of uncertainty, doubt, and even dissent about the wars they’re fighting or will fight. For the empirically minded, check out the quite profound recent polls indicating that nearly two-thirds of post-9/11 veterans think the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, were “not worth fighting.” Suffice it to say, I find all of that rather remarkable.

An enormous amount has been asked of our generation of veterans. You, we, know that it’s our skin in the game; that our tiny clan will be asked to bear all the burdens. That’s an enormous weight, a sacrifice. But with it comes power. See, decades worth of polls which demonstrate that the US military (sadly) is the only remaining public institution the populace trusts. Which is why the dissenting voices of veterans or – more riskily – serving soldiers, if combined and widespread, possess enormous potential to put a dent in the forever wars.

Remember that soldiers’ and officers’ oaths are to the Constitution, not to an imperial, unchecked presidency – whether led by a “coarse” Trump or “polite” Obama – but to a governing document that demands that the People, through their representative in Congress, sanction the inevitable, horrendous bloodletting that it is war. That hasn’t happened, not for decades really. These are not normal times: perpetual war has gathered an inertia all its own whilst the three pillars off the US government – Congress, Courts, Executive – have failed the people; have either enabled or turned a blind eye to perpetual war. So, my last plea is to the powerful veterans of America: help lead the citizenry to end these toxic wars. It might just be the last, and best, service you lend your country.

Help Reclaim Armistice Day: Support Antiwar.com

“War is the health of the state.” ~ Randolph Bourne (1918)

I’ve sure found a home here at Antiwar.com! It’s not simply that they provide me a platform to write and dissent, also because the site is a uniquely broad, cross-sectional, and welcome intellectual gathering place for like-minded antiwar champions. See, it’s about ideology and consistency. Antiwar.com was against endless war before it was cool, before the 9/11 attacks even.

It is fitting, indeed, this 11th of November, to recall that this ever-more-vital non-profit, small donor-reliant organization, is associated with an institute named for the prescient, if tragic, anti-World War I activist, Randolph Bourne. Bourne courageously opposed an unnecessary, exceptionally bloody absurdity of that war – which might aptly be labeled collective national suicide – and as such would find America’s current holiday remembrance, Veterans’ Day, absolutely abhorrent.

Combat veterans and antiwar activists alike emerged, in wake of the armistice ending the slaughter, deeply imbued with the hope – determination even – that theirs be the last war. Armistice Day, as the holiday was long known, was about so much more than vacuous “thanks” for veterans. That day was sacred to those who fought it, and those who opposed it, alike – inherently steeped, as it was, with a rather political meaning, the expectantly realized dream of a more peaceful world.

Tragically, war instead proved endemic, especially for post-World War II America. Pervasive war has since morphed into perpetual war. We live in a world subsumed in the crisis of U.S. wars that take on an inertia all their own. This much I’m certain of: in such times, Americans must reclaim Armistice Day’s original dream, and antiwar.com, uniquely, has – in symbol and action – championed that very cause for a quarter of a century.

Be seeing you

Christmas Truce of 1914 Celebrates 100 Years

Christmas Truce – The war machine made sure it never happened again.

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The Incredible Shrinking Overton Window – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2019

They get people debating how internet censorship should take place and whom should be censored, rather than whether any internet censorship should occur.

They get people debating how and to what extent government surveillance should occur, not whether the government has any business spying on its citizens.

They get people debating how subservient and compliant someone needs to be in order to not get shot by a police officer, rather than whether a police officer should be shooting people for those reasons at all.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/04/the-incredible-shrinking-overton-window/

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
~ Noam Chomsky

The plutocrat-owned narrative managers of the political/media class work constantly to shrink the Overton window, the spectrum of debate that is considered socially acceptable. They do this by framing more and more debates in terms of how the oligarchic empire should be sustained and supported, steering them away from debates about whether that empire should be permitted to exist at all.

They get people debating whether there should be some moderate changes made or no meaningful changes at all, rather than the massive, sweeping changes we all know need to be made to the entire system.

They get people debating whether they should elect a crook in a red hat or a crook in a blue hat, rather than whether or not they should be forced to elect crooks.

They get people debating violations of government secrecy laws, not whether the government has any business keeping those secrets from its citizenry in the first place.

They get people debating how internet censorship should take place and whom should be censored, rather than whether any internet censorship should occur.

They get people debating how and to what extent government surveillance should occur, not whether the government has any business spying on its citizens.

They get people debating how subservient and compliant someone needs to be in order to not get shot by a police officer, rather than whether a police officer should be shooting people for those reasons at all.

They get people debating whether or not a group of protesters are sufficiently polite, rather than debating the thing those protesters are demonstrating against.

They get people debating about whether this thing or that thing is a “conspiracy theory”, rather than discussing the known fact that powerful people conspire.

They get people debating whether Tulsi Gabbard is a dangerous lunatic, a Russian asset, a Republican asset gearing up for a third party run, or just a harmless Democratic Party crackpot, rather than discussing the fact that her foreign policy would have been considered perfectly normal prior to 9/11.

They get people debating whether Bernie Sanders is electable or too radical, rather than discussing what it says about the status quo that his extremely modest proposals which every other major country already implements are treated as something outlandish in the United States.

They get people debating whether Jeremy Corbyn has done enough to address the Labour antisemitism crisis, rather than whether that “crisis” ever existed at all outside of the imaginations of establishment smear merchants.

They get people debating whether Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren would win against Trump, rather than whether either of those establishment lackeys is a worthy nominee.

They get people debating whether politicians should have corporate sponsors, rather than whether corporations should be allowed to interfere in the electoral process at all.

They get people debating if the US should be pursuing regime change in Iran or Syria, rather than whether the US has any business overthrowing the governments of sovereign nations to begin with.

They get people debating how many US troops should be in Syria, rather than whether that illegal invasion and occupation was ever legitimate in the first place.

They get people debating whether to kill people slowly by sanctions or kill them quickly with bombs, rather than whether they should be killed at all.

They get people debating whether or not some other country’s leader is an evil dictator, rather than whether it’s any of your business.

They get people debating the extent to which Russia and Trump were involved in the Democratic Party’s 2016 email leaks, rather than the contents of those leaks.

They get people debating what the response should be to Russian interference in the election, rather than whether that interference took place at all, and whether it would really matter if it did.

They get people debating how much government support the poor should be allowed to have, rather than whether the rich should be allowed to keep what they’ve stolen from the poor.

They get people debating what kind of taxes billionaires should have to pay, rather than whether it makes sense for billionaires to exist at all.

They get people impotently debating the bad things other countries do, rather than the bad things their own country does which they can actually do something about.

They get people debating what should be done to prevent the rise of China, rather than whether a multipolar world might be beneficial.

They get people debating whether western cold war escalations against the Russian Federation are sufficient, rather than whether they want the horrors of the cold war to be resurrected in the first place.

They get people debating what extent cannabis should be decriminalized, rather than whether the government should be allowed to lock anyone up for deciding to put any substance whatsoever in their own body.

They get people debating whether or not US troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan, rather than whether or not there should be any US troops outside of the US.

They get people debating whether or not Julian Assange is “a real journalist”, rather than whether or not they should set legal precedents that necessarily criminalize acts of journalism.

They get people debating the subtle details of bail protocol, political asylum, embassy cat hygiene and leaking rather than whether it should ever be legal to imprison a publisher for exposing government war crimes.

They get people debating what the punishment should be for whistleblowers, not what the punishment should be for those they blow the whistle on.

They get people debating whether Fox or MSNBC is the real “fake news”, rather than whether the entirety of mainstream media is oligarchic propaganda.

They get people debating about how the things everyone is freaking out over Trump doing were previously done by Obama, rather than discussing why all US presidents do the same evil things regardless of their parties or campaign platforms.

They get people debating what should be done with money, not whether the concept of money itself is in need of a complete overhaul.

They get people debating what should be done with government, not whether the concept of government itself is in need of a complete overhaul.

They get people debating whether the status quo should be reinforced or revised, rather than whether it should be flushed down the toilet where it belongs.

They get people angrily debating things they can’t change, rather than constructively working on the things that they can.

They get people shoving against each other in opposite directions, while they swiftly build a cage around us all.

___________________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Demonization of Dissent

Posted by M. C. on October 30, 2019

https://outline.com/6HAsmM

James Carden

The war of words between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and current 2020 presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard has been, in some respects, clarifying. Clinton’s insinuation that Russia is “grooming” the Hawaiian Democrat for a third-party run in order to influence the outcome of next year’s election, instead of provoking a “have you no shame?” response from the establishment media, was gleefully repeated by such establishment fixtures as the journalist Jonathan Alter and the scholar Norman Ornstein. In other words, McCarthyism has gone mainstream.

To get to the root of what is going on here, the spat between the Clinton camp and the upstart, anti-interventionist Gabbard must be placed within the broader context of the past several years during which, under the influence of Russiagate, the Democratic Party and the establishment media have taken the lead in calling for a new Cold War. Only then can Clinton’s accusation be seen for what it is, part of a long campaign of vilification and demonization against critics of the establishment consensus on Russia going back at least to late 2013, if not earlier.

Express doubts about the establishment’s preferred policy toward Russia, and you will find yourself not only in the crosshairs of the liberal mainstream media but, even more worryingly, on the radar of the intelligence community—just ask a minor Trump campaign functionary like George Papadopoulos…

Over the last several years, high government officials have attempted to paint discourse and policy proposals with which they disagree as proof of disloyalty, if not worse.

One need only look to March 2017, when, on the floor of the US Senate, the senior senator from Arizona, John McCain, accused Kentucky Republican Rand Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin.” The accusation came amid an effort by Paul to have an actual debate (as opposed to a voice vote) over whether Montenegro should join NATO. Said McCain to Paul, “If there is objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin.”

Still more alarming, several months later, in December 2017, a little-noticed amicus curiae brief sent by former high-ranking US intelligence officials asserted that Russia uses “political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen” to subvert the American political process.

Russia’s intermediaries, said the brief cosigned by, among others, former CIA director John Brennan, may include “the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives.”

And this is precisely what Clinton has now accused Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of color, a combat vet, and a major in the Army National Guard, of being: an accomplice in Russia’s malign campaign to influence the 2020 election. What we are now seeing is nothing less than a joint effort by the former secretary of state and her allies in the media (which very much include certain former high-ranking members of the US intelligence community) to vilify those like Gabbard who vocally oppose a new Cold War with Russia…

the silence with which this development has been greeted by many of the erstwhile guardians of political dissent on the left has been nothing short of deafening.

Be seeing you

Hillary Clinton's Hatred For Tulsi Gabbard Summed Up By ...

 

 

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Agents of Empire | Liberty Blitzkrieg

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

In other words, Tulsi demolished Kamala Harris and put an end to her primary chances by simply telling the truth about her on national television. This is how powerful the truth can be when somebody’s actually willing to stand up and say it. It’s why the agents of empire — in charge of virtually all major institutions — go out of their way to ensure the American public is exposed to as little truth as possible. It’s also why they lie and scream “Russia” instead of debating the actual issues.

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2019/10/22/agents-of-empire/

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

– Arundhati Roy

Last week, Hillary Clinton called Tulsi Gabbard (and Jill Stein) Russian assets on a podcast. More specifically:

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians,” said Clinton, apparently referring to Rep. Gabbard, who’s been accused of receiving support from Russian bots and the Russian news media. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.” She added: “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset—I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

Tulsi subsequently responded to this slanderous accusation with a series of devastating blows.

Her tweets set off a firestorm, and even if you’re as disillusioned by presidential politics as myself, you couldn’t help but cheer wildly that someone with a major political platform finally stated without any hint of fear or hesitation exactly what so many Americans across the ideological spectrum feel.

Of course, this has far wider implications than a high profile feud between these two. The “let’s blame Russia for Hillary’s loss” epidemic of calculated stupidity driven by Ellen-Democrats and their mouthpieces across corporate mass media began immediately after the election. I know about it on a personal level because this website was an early target of the neoliberal-led new McCarthyism courtesy of a ridiculous and libelous smear in the Washington Post over Thanksgiving weekend 2016 (see: Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Websites).

This is when it became clear it wasn’t just political operatives pushing fake news about Russian influence, but that “respected” mass media would be leading the charge for them. The rest is pretty much history. MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, etc have been spewing outlandish Russiagate nonsense for three years straight, and despite the complete failure of special counsel Robert Mueller to find any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, these agents of empire refuse to stop. The whole charade seems more akin to an intelligence operation than journalism, which shouldn’t be surprising given the proliferation of former intelligence agents throughout mass media in the Trump era.

Here’s a small sampling via Politico’s 2018 article: The Spies Who Came in to the TV Studio

Former CIA Director John Brennan (2013-17) is the latest superspook to be reborn as a TV newsie. He just cashed in at NBC News as a “senior national security and intelligence analyst” and served his first expert views on last Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press. The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN, which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity. Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV’s grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC; and Fran Townsend, homeland security adviser under Bush, at CBS News. CNN’s bulging roster also includes former FBI agent Asha Rangappa; former FBI agent James Gagliano; Obama’s former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken; former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers; senior adviser to the National Security Council during the Obama administration Samantha Vinograd; retired CIA operations officer Steven L. Hall; and Philip Mudd, also retired from the CIA.

Americans like to sneer at more transparently unfree societies around the world, but when you think about the disturbing implications of former spooks delivering news to the public, one can’t help but conclude that mass media in 2019 looks like a gigantic propaganda campaign targeting U.S. citizens. Moreover, as can be seen by the recent attacks by Clinton and her allies in the media on Gabbard, they aren’t easing up.

Which brings us to the crux of the issue. Why are they doing this? Why is Clinton, with zero evidence whatsoever, falsely calling a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, a veteran with two tours in Iraq, and someone polling at only 2% in the Democratic primary a “Russian asset.” Why are they so afraid of Tulsi Gabbard?

It’s partly personal. Tulsi was one of only a handful of congressional Democrats to set aside fears of the Clintons and their mafia-like network to endorse Bernie Sanders early in 2016. In fact, she stepped down from her position as vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee to do so. This is the sort of thing a petty narcissist like Hillary Clinton could never forgive, but it goes further.

Tulsi’s mere presence on stage during recent debates has proven devastating for the Ellen Degeneres wing of the Democratic party. She effectively ended neoliberal darling Kamala Harris’ chances by simply telling the truth about her horrible record, something no one else in the race had the guts to do.

In other words, Tulsi demolished Kamala Harris and put an end to her primary chances by simply telling the truth about her on national television. This is how powerful the truth can be when somebody’s actually willing to stand up and say it. It’s why the agents of empire — in charge of virtually all major institutions — go out of their way to ensure the American public is exposed to as little truth as possible. It’s also why they lie and scream “Russia” instead of debating the actual issues.

But this goes well beyond Tulsi Gabbard. Empire requires constant meddling abroad as well as periodic regime change wars to ensure compliant puppets are firmly in control of any country with any geopolitical significance…

Ultimately, if you give up your capacity for reason, for free-thought and for the courage to say what you think about issues of national significance, you’ve lost everything. This is what these manipulators want you to do. They want you to shut-up, to listen to the “experts” who destroy everything they touch, and to be a compliant subject as opposed to an active, empowered citizen. The answer to such a tactic is to be more bold, more informed and more ethical. They fear truth and empowered individuals more than anything else. Stand up tall and speak your mind. Pandering to bullies never works.

Be seeing you

obey

 

 

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