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18 April 2017

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ambrit

To continue the analogy; one could consider 9/11 as our Reichstag Fire, and the Patriot Act as our Enabling Act, but, what will be our Night of the Long Knives? Right now, it appears as if divergent factions within the ruling elites are battling for supremacy. Will something as forceful and decisive as Rohms' death happen here? Here's hoping that the institutions themselves will act as moderating influences.

Matt

Robert Parry has this pretty much nailed down....it's the Neocons, inside and outside of government pushing their agenda.

Keith Harbaugh

Excellent analysis, PT.

I hope Colonel Lang will permit me to repost the following,
which was written just before your report above appeared,
and which I think is highly relevant to it:

For how the MSM, in particular the NYT,
is busy denying any alternative to their view on this, see
NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims
by Robert Parry, 2017-04-18
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/18/nyt-mocks-skepticism-on-syria-sarin-claims/

For an earlier NYT "Fact Check",
which offered arguments against the non-MSM narrative, see
Syria Conspiracy Theories Flourish, at Both Ends of the Spectrum
By LINDA QIU, 2017-04-11
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/us/politics/factcheck-syria-strike-conspiracy-theories.html

It seems to me it would be useful for someone to write a critical review of Qiu's "Fact Check".
Unfortunately I don't have the expertise to write such myself.

Virginia Slim

Hard to disagree with you, Tacitus. I would add but one thing, and that is the unnerving similarity of the "Russia hacked the election!" narrative to the "Stab in the back!" narrative that took root in Germany following WWI. As badly as Trump is screwing over those who voted for him, I fear something much worse will follow in his place.

The Beaver

Keith

Linda Qiu quotes Anne Barnard - what a joke?
Wonder when was the last time Barnard has set foot in Damascus- her Beirut café is the only place that she knows.

Barnard reminds me of Holly Williams from CBS who sticks to IST with a foray on the border when the Turkish army let her around

MattS

Just a few paragraphs from a 17-page paper:

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WAR-MONGERING
Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., Blackfriars, Oxford.
October 1937


“GOD,” said Voltaire's Quaker, “God, who has commanded us to love our enemies and to suffer without repining, would certainly not permit us to cross the seas, merely because murtherers, cloath'd in scarlet, and wearing caps two feet high, enlist citizens by a noise made with two little sticks on an ass's skin extended.” The ass's skin has largely given place to the broadcast bray and the journalistic bellow; the effect remains the same...

Why are we susceptible to such blatantly ridiculous propaganda?The propaganda itself, clever though it be, could never carry a country off its feet as it does unless in some way the country were conditioned to receive it. Masterly rhetoric can convince a man who is willing to be convinced either way; it may occasionally convert a man who was previously wholly convinced of the justice of the other side, but it will hardly do this as a rule, or to a whole nation. The needs of intellectual subservience have been sown long before; and the sheep are all but ready to file into the prepared pen before the first catchword is composed...

The hate propaganda falls on receptive soil. You cannot, as Aldous Huxley has remarked, “argue away the immediately experienced fact that boasting is delightful, that it is bliss to feel yourself superior to the other fellow, that ‘righteous indignation' is wildly intoxicating, and that the thrill of being one of a mob that hates another mob can be as pleasurably exciting as a prolonged orgasm. The exploited who succumb to the nationalist propaganda of the exploiters are having the time of their lives. We have asked what they get out of being involved in their masters' quarrels. In the early stages of being involved they get the equivalent of free seats at a magnificent entertainment, combining a revival meeting with championship boxing and a pornographic cinema show. At the call of King and Country, they spring to arms. Can we be surprised?”
There is in all of us an element of sadism...

The industrial revolution did more than supply a rational and well-found excuse for hate. It re-introduced slavery, on the one hand, and on the other it robbed a great part of the population of creative work. Say himself in the 19th century remarked that it was a poor thing to have to confess that one had never made more than the eighteenth part of a pin; sociologists have been saying it ever since. What is true of sub-human labour is true a fortiori of unemployment. The instincts and impulses which find their proper outlet and expression in creative work, and the building up of a life which without freedom is impossible, these impulses are forced to find an outlet elsewhere. There is a period of frustration, perhaps of enforced repression; but it cannot last for ever; sooner or later there will be an explosion, the primitive impulses will re-appear in their least civilized forms...

Versailles is a suitable peg on which to hang the further discussion of social frustration. It humiliated Germany and reduced her to an intolerable state of economic impotence; it failed to fulfil the expectations of Italy in accordance with the secret treaties; it insulted the Japanese, and succeeding years saw a prohibition of Japanese immigration and a boycotting by tariff of Japanese goods, which were in line with the spirit of the treaty. The rich powers confront the poor; and the poor suffer from a sense of having been ground down and betrayed. Collective insecurity is the inevitable result...

The responsibility which rests to-day upon the Christian is indeed a heavy one. We are called upon to help in the building of the one City of God in days when every force and tendency seems to be making for the world's dissolution and destruction. But “the greatest and first appeal the godly man can make to others for the building of Jerusalem,” as Miss Evelyn Underhill has put it, “is to their foreconscious- suggesting to them through the indirect influence of a God-saturated personality the possibility of a like contact with Reality. ” “Reconstruction of character and reorientation of attention must precede reconstruction of society . . . we must be good before we can do good; be real before we can accomplish real things.” Reality is not found in activism, but in the quiet of contemplation. 0 Contemplation, said Matthew Green-
0 Contemplation! air serene
From damps of sense and fogs of spleen-
the world has lost and must find contemplation; are we leading the way? Perhaps the work of catholic psychology in the cause of peace can be summed up most adequately in the three stages of the adventure of the discovery of God: purgation, illumination, union, in which alone is fully wrought and perfected the godward sublimation of impulse, the harnessing, in Boehme's magnificent phrase, of man's “fiery energies to the service of the light.”

Kurt Van Vlandren

We are most definitely NOT the nation/country/people we have told ourselves that we are. Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist Russia or China, all told their people they were "exceptional" and models for all other countries. Germany was "threatened" by Poland. Italy had to protect its Ethiopian interests. Russia had to provide a buffer in its "Near Abroad. Self-delusional bullshit.

kooshy

PT, This was done well, thank you

Jackrabbit

Ours is a culture of death ...
What gave it away? The toxins in Flint drinking water, or the overdose deaths, or the militarism, or vet suicides, or inner city riots, or the stolen pensions, or ... something else? (please excuse the snark)

We have a meek, accepting culture that seems to be defenseless against social parasites.

Without an external enemy we appear to have little confidence that we can remain a "great" country.
Who is "we"? This is a neocon talking point. WE need to take back our country. Check out the Pirate Party!

I am asserting that Trump has discovered a great way to quench his emotional thirst for acceptance and appreciation--drop bombs and talk tough.
I would assert that Trump is in it for the money. Oh, sure he enjoys the Presidential prestige but what he is really after is doubling his net worth (which is estimated to be only $2.5 billion).

I be thrilled if he proved me wrong. But his history and his company's current deal-making with ME interests in Qatar and Turkey says otherwise. Trump's Clinton connection also make me think that he was part of the 'con' from the start (as was Sanders). Also of note: How Trump and Obama are Exactly Alike

Fundamentally, Obama and Trump ran against the establishment and then helped rebrand it — further entrenching it.

The nature of their deception is different. Obama is lawyerly and, like jello, hard to pin to the wall. Many of his broken promises are actually violations of the spirit of what he said, not the letter. He can promise to withdraw “all combat troops” from Iraq — but doesn’t inform voters that “combat troops” in his parlance is not the same as “troops”.

Trump triangulates by being an electron. He can say X and not-X in the span of a minute. Like an electron, he can be in two places at the same time.

In both the cases of Obama and Trump, the “opposition” party put forward a ridiculous critique that pushed them to be more militaristic. [Like] Obama as a “secret Muslim” — which gave him more licence to bomb more Muslim countries.


>> Trump is, by nature, an insecure social climber (sensitive about small hands and crowd sizes). I think he really wants to join the ranks of the American royalty - that means dramatically increasing his net worth.

If you noticed discussions during the campaign about Trump's charitable contributions, you got a sense for what he is really like. Over the span of about ten years, he actually gave very little (if anything) to charity. He used his Foundation to benefit his own interests (slush fund for influencing) and pay his family.

Jack

It is amazing that all it took was some rhetoric against Assad and a few useless missiles on a remote Syrian airport to quell the hysterical "Putin's stooge" chorus.

It says less about Trump and more about the Borg. Is that all it takes for the MSM to salivate, and the neocons & R2Pers like McCain, Hillary and Pelosi to clap? Where's Sanders in all this? It seems the only folks opposed to warmongering in the USA are the alt-right and Ron & Rand Paul as well as Tulsi Gabbard.

Jackrabbit

This video should be seen by every deplorable in the world.

Thanks for posting it PT, and for your commentary.

wisedupearly

Constant cynicism is an impossible load to carry. We are facing an insane force in the neocons and the common cry is "they can't be serious". If major power centers are untrustworthy, the penalty laid on us is the constant stress of opposing arguments that are insane. Like all civilizations, America advances by reducing "costs" and here I refer to social costs. We have no permanent ruler, kings are clearly extremely costly as they own everything. We have no state religion and so avoid the costs of forced worship and orthodoxy. We had no strong "classes", structures able to constrain the free movement and advancement of people (no longer true). Now we are faced with the need to distrust the elite.
Rather than pursuing our own goals, we are forced into a continual state of cynicism towards our leaders. Most people are unable to carry the load and try to escape the stress by accepting the neocon "orthodoxy" as gospel truth.

FB Ali

"Trump has discovered a great way to quench his emotional thirst for acceptance and appreciation--drop bombs and talk tough.

Pray for our nation. We are in peril.

Undoubtedly true. And a justified plea to all Americans.

But don't forget the poor souls who bear the brunt of this emotional thirst - the people on whom the bombs drop, and whose children die. For what? To prove America is great, and so is its 'glorious' President.

fanto

Kurt v Vlandren,
it seems you forgot one people,

David J.

The fake U.S. attack on Syria is part of a negotiation tactic against North Korea. Make the other side think you are eager to fight and perhaps even a little unhinged then they will be more willing to appease you if they believe they have no choice but to deal with you.

TonyL

Sorry, it will not work with North Korea. In fact , I think it is counter productive with respect to North Korea government. They don't really need to appease anybody, because their 10,000 plus rockets are pointing at Seul. You can't bully a mad dog. It is the US and South Korea who need to appease to them, to make them complacent. In the long run, we'll find a crack.

Brunswick

Didn't work for Truman in Korea,

Didn't work for Nixon in Vietnam,

Definately didn't work for Noriega, Saddam, Quafaddi, etc.

Christopher Fay

I think that $25 bil figure could be in the ball park. One reason I believe that he doesn't release his tax returns is that we can start to get an inkling of what his net worth is. I have read in the past, but can't point to anything now, that there is a lot of foreign investment in his various real estate holdings, from Japan or Saudi Arabia for example. And another New York legend that I saw in the early 2000s was that he did the Apprentice teevee show because he needed the money. The 1988-1990 recession didn't treat him well, and the internet stock bubble popping aftermath didn't treat him well. Also this doesn't get mentioned enough, central bank policy under Greenspam and his minions was to create asset price inflation, rising real estate and stock values, which works especially for NYC real estate.

Peter AU

Somewhere on the net some time ago was a pdf of US unconventional warfare manual, or some such title. Had a quick search but could not recall specific search terms to bring it up.

A few pages in was a type of pie chart. In many countries, the middle 70-80% are indifferent and go along with the official, or MSM narrative of the day.
The 10% at the top of the chart and the 10% at the bottom of the chart are very aware.
In the US at the moment it seems that the 10% at the top are leading an agenda and punching out propaganda that the middle 80% either follows religiously or makes them confused.
The lower 10% understand exactly what is happening, as can be seen on many blogs alternate news ect, but like in nazi Germany, this 10% will most likely be eradicated before all is done and dusted.

Pundita

Matt -- When last I checked Erdogan isn't a neocon, and neither are the rulers of other foreign countries who are trying to take over Syria.

Jack -- If anything the 'Putin's stooge' chorus is growing louder. It seems Mrs Clinton and her cadre are absolutely determined to demonstrate that Putin stole the election with Trump's help. So if Trump thought some missile strikes and tough talk to Russia at the UN would get him off the hook, he misunderestimated.

YT

Yes.

The Chinks tell hoi polloi they are still "The Middle Kingdom" - a proud Nation with Traditions that had a heavy influence on their neighbors.

They broadcast 24/7 historical flicks & serials depicting white devils from the occident west insulting and shaming their forbears in many a contest of arms.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-opium-wars-the-bloody-conflicts-destroyed-imperial-china-17212

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread701452/pg1

As well as the nips raping women & young girls last century.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205870/Genocide-An-utter-lack-remorse-terrifying-new-war-Japan-China.html

Or how those sand-niggas in an archipelago murdered a great many innocents at the behest of a western govt.

http://www.workers.org/indonesia/chap2.html

Your point being?

(If one were to keep reminding oneself of festering wounds, he'd be unable to have healthy relations with Nips, white foreign devils, etc.)

YT

"Hatred, suspicion, and dislike is abroad in the world, sowing seeds already of another and more destructive war.

The French, of course, like no one but themselves.

Needless to say, they hate the Germans; they are jealous of Italians who are growing rapidly in size and power; they fear and hate the Russians, who have spread communist propaganda through their country; they are; and have always been, the enemies of the English; and they dislike us, because we are rich, prosperous, because they owe us money which we are asking them to pay.

Of course, we are paying the penalty of being too prosperous in a world impoverished by an idiot and ruinous war.

Very few people like us, and very few would be sorry to see misfortune fall upon us.

I sometimes grow impatient with America for being a damn fool sentimentalist:-our money goes for hospitals, libraries, reconstruction work over here, and we are repaid with insults and mockery.

We are accused of having entered the war to make more money, of having come in at the end to save our faces and our hides, of having sent wilson, who is pointed to as a fool and a scoundrel who made a peace that has ruined them.

Of course, poor wilson had very little to do with it: the peace that was made, and for which they are now paying, was the work of the rouges who ran their governments at the time."

- from a letter of Thomas Wolfe to his mother,

April 14 1925

(h/t to Mr. Babak Makkinejad)

Old Microbiologist

Easy to call the US bluff. We simply cannot fight 8 potential major wars. Russia and China are allied more than the US and China are. Toss in Iran and Ukraine plus whatever can be assembled in South America or Africa and the US will have to make some serious choices. China might take the opportunity to steal back Taiwan assuming that deal hasn't already been made in support of US invasion of North Korea. So, other opportunities to disrupt US foreign policy might include: Iran (or China or Russia) could supply North Korea with their super-cavitating torpedoes which the US has no defense against. North Korea has something like 70 old design and very basic diesel electric (yet still very effective) submarines and 3 nuclear torpedoes would eliminate the 3 carrier task forces. The US has opened up a can of worms here and the opportunities are presenting themselves more and more.

On the other end of things the US is woefully unprepared to deflect any attack on its homeland. The infrastructure is open to cyber attacks but perhaps worse would be the possibility for internal saboteurs. I have worked with many fine Chinese scientists and even the ones who escaped China in fear of their lives for being Christians are still extraordinarily loyal to the motherland. The same might be true for Russians and Koreans to a lesser extent (and should South America or African nations get on the hit list from the US then it boggles the imagination) but many of these immigrants now work for the US government and are in positions to do major damage if called on to do so. Would it happen? Maybe and that is enough to be scared. These were the same reasons all Japanese were herded up and put into camps during World War II. The US has a history of oppression and it will do it again if it feels justified. Should the Koreans be attacked all hell will break loose at every level. So, IMHO Trump and his managers are clearly insane.

What I keep coming back to is why we as a people waste so much effort, lives, and expense to prosecute wars that have no end game. We printed a lot of money to do all of this and have nothing except death and destruction to show for it. I feel sorry for all the men and women and their families whose children died or were maimed in "Defense of American Freedom" as the jingoists keep chanting. We lost the war in Vietnam where we fought to Keep America free. Are we any less free because we lost that war? I get sick of hearing all that BS. None of this has anything to do with American national security. If anything we are far less secure no than ever. The fact not much has been happening is more about who the terrorists really are and not how well prepared we are.

My point is we could be printing the same amount of money to provide rebuilding all decayed infrastructure, free education, free health care, retirements, paid vacations, maternity leave, whatever. At least we would have something positive to show for going $20 Trillion into debt. But instead we are on a collision course for a trainwreck. I don't see anyone other than Rand Paul or Tulsi Gabbard talking any sense these days.

wisedupearly

So many wrong assumptions about the value of face in NK you must be joking.
But to keep it simple. How can you state that our tomahawk launch into Syria was a "fake attack"? What is "fake" about 59 tomahawks?
Was the attack as "fake" as the attack on the USS Liberty?
Or as "fake" as the attack on the USS Cole?

Macgupta123

Saying that the aircraft carrier group was headed to the west Pacific while it was actually sailing to the Indian Ocean was quite something.

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