A DocuDramaDrop

    Some reporters are better than others. One of the better ones, one whom I would rate among the best, recently died. I rate Robert Parry as among the best based on his decades long body of work and am not surprised to see that so many respected reporters  and pundits agree. I believe, as he did, that a good reporter, as well as every citizen who exercises his/her right to vote, should always be skeptical of anything being told by any government, especially his/her own government.

    Much of the conversation lately has been about what we should believe. Who is telling the truth and who lying and who is just putting out BS for whatever reason. I personally reject the idea that my, or anyone’s, default position should be to believe, uncritically, anything and everything that comes out of The New York Times or the Washington Post for instance, by way of the J. Edgar Hoover building or maybe even his ghost. Or, from  the CIA whose mission is to spy and lie. Or the NSA. Or  any of the other fourteen “intelligence” agencies. Or any politician of any party.

    I have been told by representatives of our government that the despicable evil genius Putin, whom no one doubts actually won his election, [and whom I do not doubt plays dirty] is only so highly admired in his own country because his propaganda machine is so affective. If only they knew! That is a strong endorsement by our government, and they should know, of propaganda as an affective tool to influence entire populations. So, here is a story reported then developed and updated and added to over years about a highly successful propaganda machine that I link to because I believe it is worth the read.  History did not begin with our most recent Presidential election. 

    How US Flooded the World with Psyops       RIP Robert Parry unless you are somehow able to continue confronting the usual suspects that certainly need having the light shined their way..


    With all the links to the NYT's that appear daily I am surprised [not really] that this one has been overlooked as the daily grind of publishing all the news that is fit to print continues.  But:

    But in recent decades, both Mr. Hall and Mr. Johnson argued, Russian and American interferences in elections have not been morally equivalent. American interventions have generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates challenge dictators or otherwise promoting democracy. Russia has more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule, they said.

    I am curious whether anyone here will endorse that statement, particularly the part which I underlined 

    Nobody here sanctioned the interference of the United States in the elections of other countries. Nobody here agrees with Russia interfering in elections in the United States. Putin and Trump can go to Hell. Anyone who argues that we should not fight Russian hacking can accompany Putin and Trump on the journey.

    Nothing in your comment has anything to do with what I wrote or what I linked to. Is that deliberate or the result of a comprehension problem? Following you off topic to respond, although maybe a bit too abstractly for you to follow, I say that anyone who casts a vote for a President, especially for a second term, is sanctioning that President's foreign policy. 


    Has there ever been a presidential candidate whose foreign policy impressed you enough to vote for him?

    Yes, there was George McGovern whose foreign policy was my primary reason for supporting him. 

    What about it appealed to you that (I assume) you haven't seen since?  I know the obvious platform, etc., but you don't strike me as someone who let that rest alone without a more in-depth analysis.  He didn't win - do you think that, in part, was why?  If so, do you believe that candidates who today espouse much the same policies are electable?

    I supported McGovern because of my opposition to the war in Vietnam. McGovern's stance against the war was a political liability but it was, IMO, the correct stand on the most important issue of the time which still is the most important issue today. War is a easier sale than peace in our culture for sure and that is why so few politicians vote for peace.  If you read the Parry article I offered up I hope you will share  your opinion. 


    His last presidential run was 45 years ago.

    Yes, it was a long time ago and that war ended leaving us alive and prosperous just like all the others have, so far, even though McGovern wasn't elected.  Pointless to even have had an opinion I guess since it didn't carry the day, but I had one and was asked about it. 

    If so, do you believe that candidates who today espouse much the same policies are electable?

    Perhaps you don't think anyone today meets your criteria.  But if someone does, who is it?  I'm asking because you seem very focused on what you don't believe - about our county and our government, as well as those who wish to lead - but you're not as clear about what you do support.  If anything.

    I thought I answered your first question up above but here goes again.  I have seen some cycles where the talk of getting out of some stupid mess gained a little traction for some candidate but the short answer is no, peace is not a winning political platform. For much of my life I found hope in the Democratic Party as a whole weighted against the Republicans but that is gone. I don't have any reasonable hope that our political leaders will turn away from aggressive militarism because our in our culture war is an easy sell. Just look at how many are getting fat selling it. I'll come back to the rest of your comment/question tomorrow. You are correct that I am most concerned with what I don't believe, or to be more exact, what I disbelieve. 


    Your reply by saying that a vote for a candidate means that you support their foreign policy. That is exactly what my response addressed. Voting for a President does NOT mean that you agree with every decision they make. I stand by my response to your post.

    I see a difference in the meanings of "sanction" and "support".

    The way elections work is that you vote for the person who represents you better than the opponent. Most people vote for the person who can get elected. The vote does not mean that you support or sanction everything that the person you voted for does.

    BTW, McGovern couldn’t get anyone of note to be his Vice Presidential candidate. The guy he picked Tom Eagleton told Conservative columnist Robert Novak that McGovern would be a disaster.


    Eagleton said McGovern would bring acid, amnesty, and abortion. Mc Govern couldn’t even pick a Vice President 


    McGovern’s convention was a farce. 

    Hey Lulu, I thought you'd be here to complain about Syria and Russia's atrocities and those guys who were supposed to be jackboot brownshirt Nazis in Kiev, along with the WWIII that was boiling over in Ukraine. Or maybe support the Kurds? How's Maduro doing? Batshit crazy enough? I suppose you're back to debate Libya yet again eh?


    I find nothing wrong with the underlined statement because it uses the qualifier generally. It does NOT say always.

    The article you pointed to by Scott Shane is what's known as an "explainer". It's the kind of thing, believe it or not, the NYTimes and Washington Post publish often, for the benefit of people who don't know their history or aren't news readers for a very long time. 

    I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn't chOose to post that because it's an insult to the intelligence of the readers here on Dagblog. They know they already know that about the U.S. And like rmrd said below Nobody here sanctioned the interference of the United States in the elections of other countries.  This is why you get such pushback, I suggest, because you constantly point to simplistic things like the Shane piece that members here already know and then make snide remarks like we must all be hawks because we are not posting these things that say the same thing over and over and over

    Who are you yelling at when you post angry stuff  about US. intervention in general on Dagblog anyhow? Seems to me you are still arguing with Richard Nixon and George Bush. You rarely refer to current news.

    What's your answer if you're not? 100% isolationism? In this day and age? Good luck. Better be building all kinds of walls

    It's not like we don't talk about similar things here, we do, just in context of current affairs.

    I get the impression that you rarely look at anything anyone else posts here because you see that it's not from your favorite ideological sites and you consider the sites we like to share news from as propaganda arms of the U.S. hegemon.

    So you drop by to lecture all us supposed hawks how dumb we are and we would just see the light if we would read Consortium News or Russia Today. 

    There I said it.

    It's not really about your views or opinions it's about how you aren't really here to analyze current news but to post ideology, an ideology which you haven't changed since 1972. And see how others react to it, and then look down on them when they not enthusiastic enough. Which says to others here: you do not have an open mind. 

    It's called splainin'

    The thrust of your many comments in this thread is to not dispute or discuss my positions or the evidence supporting them which I provide but rather to ridicule a site which I linked to and then add a few personal put-downs and an analysis of how and why my thinking is so warped. But, what I found funny was your suggesting the subject was not even appropriate as a discussion or information piece here at Dag because it isn't in context of current events. As if the subject wasn't in that context?  Is it out of context because it does not refer to something that very day in the NYT? The subject was accuracy of reporting, propaganda, and manipulation of news fed to the American public. 

    To demonstrate the correct context in which the subject could be discussed here t dag you added this link. That link goes to an NYT article, surprise, which you praise as excellent reporting. It may very well be. Then, within your comment you link to the NYT again where you see a related article that you find "exceptionally disturbing". Then you "admit" that you hadn't been paying attention to this stunning news but now the NYT has informed you. I would be surprised if you missed anything in the NYT so I assume there hadn't been much coverage there on the subject before. Nick Turse at The Intercept has been covering the buildup in Africa for months. So have other independent sites like Tomgram and Consortium and Alternet and The Nation and Truthout and more. That posting is your example of how the news of Foreign policy should be discussed here, the context spectrum should be totally within what the NYT has put out, apparently.  And, it is the only comment except an acknowledgement reply by barefooted who put up the originating article.

    I was watching a Bloggingheads tv conversation this morning between Bob Wright and Greg Gutfeld. [One Cure for Tribalism] I had seen just enough of Gutfeld on a late night fox program a couple years ago to dislike him quite a bit but after watching that I dislike him a lot less. At one point Wright made a statement about Fox News relative to other networks. In the middle of the sentence he stopped and said, "Oh wait, I just said I don't watch Fox News", and then they both laughed. There is fodder for a bit of that ironic laughter here too. 

     Through alI the back and forth you never actually said anything on point about Parry's investigative article. Either you did read it or you didn't. If you chose not to that is certainly your right but to admit it is to make clear that you do not know what you are talking about. I would bet that you did read the article though. You have shown an eagerness to spend some time talking all around the subject so, if you did read Parry’s article I’d like to ask you a question or two about it: Did it insult your intelligence like you believe that other NYT article did the people here at Dag? Did it seem to be credible reporting? Did it cover an important subject? Is it old news you have known all along?  

    I think it's a great thing to post something like a tribute to Parry in a blog here, the more posts like that the merrier. Certainly better than nobody posting anything. I would never enter into responding to something like that, not someone I followed a lot, but he had an admirable career.

    I responded on your comment where you were clearly baiting me and others about what we post in the news section, i.e., how come we didn't post Scott Shane's piece.

    Again: I am not stupid, we who like news and are members here a while are not stupid, we know you are forever stewing that some of us don't agree Russian Today and Consortium News are not worth our time, and that you conversely think some of us are wasting our time talking about western propaganda.

    Personally, I have no want or need to discuss geopolitics with you because you want my personal opinion and I don't think my personal opinion is important. I am more interested in working in a little club with others to analyze the news, whatever their ideology is. You want to try force people to debate big picture ideology within your frame, and not only that, your frame seems to be to debate it as if nothing has changed since 50 yrs. ago. I just don't want to spend my time that way, Lulu.

    I could have ignored your bait with the Scott Shane comment as if it was not there. Instead I gave you the respect of spending a lot of time responding to it. If you would prefer I not do that in the future, please let me know as I rather spend the time on analysis.

    p.s. I know your positions not just from you repeating them over a decade here on Dagblog, I know them from when they were my positions 50 yrs. ago. I've changed, the world has changed: that's the only opinion I find worthwhile sharing with you now.

    Edit to add: I enjoy it very much when you venture into exchanging thoughts on other topics like trans people and sex robots. You can be fun and I am glad you participate here. I just find your posts on your favorite passion to be a drag, sorry.

    After RT you might as well include Breitbart and Red State and a few more sites that I don't link to. You put out a hell of a lot of opinion and praise a hell of a lot of other opinions to not be interested in opinions. 

    I am more interested in working in a little club with others to analyze the news, whatever their ideology is. You want to try force people to debate big picture ideology within your frame,... 

    It is apparent that not any ideology is really open for discussion with you and in my analysis your frame of references is way too small for accurate and honest understanding. I agree to disagree with you on that subject. 

    ... as if nothing has changed since 50 yrs. ago.

    That is a recurring charge which makes no sense to me. I certainly don't think nothing has changed but how  can any situation that has developed over years be analyzed intelligently without knowing at least some of the history that created the situation?  



    If multiple people have an opinion of you, rather than questioning that opinion it might be worth figuring out why they have that opinion of you. Of course it might be mass hypnosis or some other flaw confusion, but...

    LULU - it's tough here. There are a small number of very frequent posters who lash out against those who present compelling evidence that their worldview is false. Tragically, this is an extremely common human frailty - one that explains our planet's current existential crisis.

    Would be helpful for those making assertions on any side of this to set forth the record--which interventions are they classifying under which categories, defined how?--as they see it so others can research further and judge for themselves.  I don't see much opinion on these matters, certainly not in brief newspaper op-ed pieces, that meets any sort of standard of fact-based, historical rigor for these types of claims.    

    But it would be possible to attempt a relatively rigorous analysis, defining categories and key terms.  It sounds as though Levin, mentioned in the Shane article, tried to do something somewhat along those lines.  But he only went up to 2000.   

    Would the Iraq war be viewed by Johnson and Hall as the preferable kind of intervention?  If we topple a dictator like Saddam and, at the senior decision-making level, have no basic understanding of the political dynamics (Shia/Sunni divide?  huh?) such as would be absolutely necessary to have anything like a viable plan to promote a potentially stable "democracy" (however understood), and in fact proceed in gross ignorance of those dynamics, as we did, do we/should we get brownie points for claimed good "pro-democracy" intentions?

    I think folks here know that during the Cold War the US government frequently supported or engineered the installment of authoritarian regimes, and looked the other way where not aiding human rights abuses of those regimes, over regimes it found convenient to label Communist and imply were under the thumb of and/or were agents of the Soviets.  In the course of justifying this policy, then-UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick was asserting that authoritarian regimes can always reform and become good liberal democracies like ours, whereas once a country goes over to the dark Communist side, it's curtains, and they can never "be" anything else. 

    I realize that Hall and Johnson are referring to "recent decades".  It's unclear to me whether by this they mean post-Cold War or something else. 

    And then you go vague on us. Diem vs Ho Chi Minh, the Shah vs Ayatollah, Pinochet vs Allende, Castro vs Batista, Chiang Kai-shek vs Mao, Pol Pot vs the Khmer crown prince... But then we backed a transition in Egypt to a relative disastrous Muslim Brotherhood leader. Our man in Haiti was popular but politically incompetent. Yulia Timoshenko in Ukraine seemed like a good choice, but got defeated and imprisoned. We backed Havel and Lech Walesa/glasnost and pushed De Klerk to release Mandela. Our friend in Jordan is the most moderate leader in the Mideast.

    speaking of meddling something's going on here on Ukraine what it is isn't exactly clear

    Mueller probe: London-based son-in-law of Russian businessman to plead guilty to false statements

    @ WaPo, Feb. 2

    Curiouser and curiouser...

    Palmer thinks it's a shot across the bow for those getting cute about burying records (maybe for all these high-priced attorneys thinking they got it made with rich clients - don't get too cocky, cross that line & *you* get to become a defendent.

    Considering Trump Jr or Kusher tried pushing the idea that all talks are privileged confidential anytime one's attorney is in the room, that ain't gonna fly. These lawyers take a dump like anyone else, no magic wand or get out of jail free card.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I just lost a long response. Frustrating as hell. Shorter version. When speaking of election meddling I conflated in my own mind any action in which the U.S. tried to determine or at least strongly influence another country's choice of leadership. The Monroe Doctrine said we run the western hemisphere and we will run it our way. President Carter expanded that declared right to the Middle East because of our perceived dependence on its oil. The neocons declare it for the whole world.  Justifying the resultant interferences and getting our electorate behind the various aggressions has required some lying. The lies have been effective enough for their purpose at the times they were told and usually only discovered as lies later, usually years later while at the ime when we are busy listening to the latest justifications for the contemporary aggressions.  Parry's article outlines one organized and well funded method our government has used to get us to "believe". It appears to me to be good reporting. It is worth actually reading. 

    I wish I had not misdirected my own blog post with the link in my first comment but I still intend to add further links here as time passes rather than at "In the News". But, in reference to that link, In this Fox News clip we can see James Woolsey and Laura Ingraham react when Woolsey gives the very same answer to the question that we see in the underlined sentence in the NYT article. Woolsey has been in a place to know the honest answer to the question. He gives the stock answer they want us to believe but we see the answer in a context not available in a written account where the "tell" could be edited or simply unseen. He says we only interfered for very good reason but he cannot keep a straight face and the second time he says it they both crack up. It is the "Only for very good reason" part of his answer that tickles their funny bones. I don't think anyone will miss the joke. The bit I refer to starts at the 4:35 mark. 

    Huh? Carter pushed the Shah to resign and had the best Mideast peace process going (remember Sadat?). You never fail to throw a twist in your analysis. (And Brzezinski's move in Afghanistan was to resist the Russians, not the local citizens.)

    Carter declared  the Middle East a strategically vital area with all that follows. He essentially added a geographic region that the U.S. declared hegemony over.  That's my memory. That was my point.  

    Hegemony, but he supported a radical Muslim movement because it had popularity at home, promoted peace and a land deal for Palestinians, solidified Egypt under Sadat, and pushed the Russians out of Afghanistan. What the fuck would make you happy, going out to the boatdock and pulling the trigger?

    I like and admire Carter. I think he did and continues to do good things. I think the one thing I said about him before is correct. 

    Did Carter push the Shah to resign? I don't remember that but if you say so. I thought he just gave him a safe haven to run to. before he was lynched by the populace that he had brutalized for years.

    Edited to say: Whoops, wrong place. Edited again to change typo that said reign instead of resign. Typo, not snark.

    Yes, Carter heavily pressured the Shah. He didn't remove him like we did Mossadegh, but he didn't shield him or replace him with another US-friendly figure. Which might have been a better move than 40 years of Muslim fanaticism and that Iraq-Iran war that killed a generation of men. What do you think, any regrets?

    OK, going strictly on memory here: The Iranian people heavily pressured the shah alright, so overwhelmingly that it was a relatively bloodless coup because the Shah hauled ass. the Shah came to the U.S. as a medical patient. Iran wanted him extradited so they could kill him. Carter said no. The Shah died anyway. Not the end of the story. 

    Oh please, Google it then. Don't you think there was diplomatic pressure and conversations as the protests mounted? This took place over whaat, 1 or 2 years? Or if we're going to make blanket condemnations of US policy based on the Reader's Digest/Cliff Notes shortened view of history, well, we end up with slogans and polemics.

    Question: what was Russia doing during this time? How did that affect our foreign policy decisions? Did you like Brezhnev as much as Putin?

     I was wrong in my thinking on Carter’s position. I thought that he supported giving the Shah a safe haven. Turns out that he was against letting him in which is a notch on the tally stick in Carter’s favor, IMO. But, he caved to right-wing pressure in allowing the Shaw to come here. That puts a notch on the other side. Who would have guessed that the international cocksucker, Kissinger, played a significant part in pressuring for the Shahs entry by threatening to kill an important treaty which lessened the chance of nuclear war for reasons unconnected to that treaty? Yeah, there was diplomatic pressure alright.

    Following is some cherry-picking from Wikipedia.  I am not going to try to prove that the news of the pre-internet day did not offered this fuller and no doubt more accurate picture that is now available.There is a lot of timely historical de va ju all over again in the Wikipedia article.

     During his second exile, Mohammad Reza travelled from country to country seeking what he hoped would be temporary residence. First he flew to Aswan, Egypt, where he received a warm and gracious welcome from President Anwar El-Sadat.

     The Shah suffered from gallstones that would require prompt surgery. He was offered treatment in Switzerland, but insisted on treatment in the United States. President Carter did not wish to admit Mohammad Reza to the U.S. but came under pressure from many quarters, with Henry Kissinger phoning Carter to say he would not endorse the SALT II treaty that Carter had just signed with the Soviet Union unless the former Shah was allowed into the United States, reportedly prompting Carter more than once to hang up his phone in rage in the Oval Office and shout "Fuck the Shah!".[285] As many Republicans were attacking the SALT II treaty as an American give-away to the Soviet Union, Carter was anxious to have the endorsement of a Republican elder statesman like Kissinger to fend off this criticism.

    In September 1979, a doctor sent by David Rockefeller reported to the State Department that Mohammad Reza needed to come to the United States for medical treatment,

    The State Department warned Carter not to admit the former Shah into the U.S., saying it was likely that the Iranian regime would seize the American embassy in Tehran if that occurred.[288] Milani suggested there was a possible conflict of interest on the part of Rockefeller, noting that his Chase Manhattan Bank had given Iran a $500 million loan under questionable conditions in 1978 (several lawyers had refused to endorse the loan) which placed the money in an account with Chase Manhattan, that the new Islamic republic had been making "substantial withdrawals" from its account with Chase Manhattan, and that Rockefeller wanted Mohammad Reza in the US, knowing full well it was likely to cause the Iranians to storm the U.S. embassy, which in turn would cause the U.S. government to freeze Iranian financial assets in America---such as the Iranian account at Chase Manhattan.[289]

    On 22 October 1979, President Jimmy Carter reluctantly allowed the Shah into the United States to undergo surgical treatment at the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center.

    His prolonged stay in the United States was extremely unpopular with the revolutionary movement in Iran, which still resented the United States' overthrow of Prime Minister Mosaddegh and the years of support for the Shah's rule. The Iranian government demanded his return to Iran, but he stayed in the hospital.[291]Mohammad Reza's time in New York was highly uncomfortable; he was under a heavy security detail as every day, Iranian students studying in the United States gathered outside his hospital to shout "Death to the Shah!", a chorus that Mohammad Reza heard.

    There are claims that Reza'a admission to the United States resulted in the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the kidnapping of American diplomats, military personnel, and intelligence officers, which soon became known as the Iran hostage crisis.

    Mohammad Reza's presence in the United States was viewed by the Carter administration as a stumbling block to the release of the hostages, and as Zonis noted "... he was, in effect, expelled from the country".

    He left the United States on 15 December 1979 and lived for a short time in the Isla Contadora in Panama. This caused riots by Panamanians who objected to the Shah being in their country. General Omar Torrijos, the dictator of Panama kept Mohammad Reza as a virtual prisoner at the Paitilla Medical Center, a hospital condemned by the former Shah's American doctors as "an inadequate and poorly staffed hospital", and in order to hasten his death allowed only Panamanian doctors to treat his cancer.[297] General Torrijos, a populist left-winger had only taken in Mohammad Reza under heavy American pressure, and he made no secret of his dislike of Mohammad

    However, eventually American decision-makers lost their patience, and by the time a RepublicanAdministration came to office, fears that communists were poised to overthrow the government became an all-consuming concern; these concerns were later dismissed as "paranoid" in retrospective commentary on the coup from US government officials. Shortly prior to the 1952 presidential election in the United States, the British government invited CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt Jr., to London to propose collaboration on a secret plan to force Mosaddegh from office.[98] This would be the first of three "regime change" operations led by Allen Dulles (the other two being the successful CIA-instigated 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba).

    Just as an aside, I'm surprised that you accept Wikipedia as truth when you appear to have such a low tolerance for generalized, accepted governmental history.  Wikipedia is a largely crowd sourced site; often hacked and always being updated with new "information".  It's mostly comprised of mainstream media reports from the time in question, though less legitimately considered sites are included when and where available.  Nowadays, we all seem to trust it as an encyclopedia of the modern age, though I'm not sure why.  I'm especially not sure why you do?

    And by the way, since I'm on an asides kinda thing, you and Peracles are an interesting duo.  Better than most never-ending arguments, you each present knowledgeable opinions (the constant jabs just make it fun) that force the other to dive deeper into the facts of the matter - dare I say it shows that while you may heartily disagree, there's respect. 

    Thanks. Very good point. I am aware of what you say regarding Wikipedia and no, I don't have complete faith in it. 

    You would have had lots of fun if I hadn't deleted my introductory paragraph before posting the above. Yeah, PP is both smart and clever and I do respect his store of knowledge and his skill in writing but he has developed an offensive knee-jerk attitude toward most anything I write or submit. It is demonstrated by his totally uninformative smart ass cracks about Ukraine and/or Putin when neither have anything to do with the subject at hand and which snidely mis characterize my positions on them. They are offensive slurs and as such get hard to ignore and make it difficult not to get personal and sling a little bile in return.  He more than once has gone on the attack against something I have linked to only to have it become apparent that he hasn't even read what he is harshly criticizing and only seems to be concerned that I submitted it. I used to think that I would like to have a beer with him. 

    I think I'm totally informative about Ukraine, and it's the most obvious place where your allegiances and political logic fell apart, including that Russian-patented FUD about brownshirt neonazis running Kiev, aside from clinging to Consortium and those 5 "intelligence community" morons with their little activist org based on nothing. I'm quite willing to discuss where US foreign policy breaks apart, but I also see the tough choices and the pragmatics, so I stiffen at the continual blanket criticism while crickets towards sy Putin/Assad's massacres in Syria and other global issues. I wasn't thrilled about overthrowing Qaddafi, but I also thought it was a joint operation with 5 allirs, not a cowboy move, and Qaddafi threatening civilians after massacres elsewhere in the Arab Spring didn't make the west's options too easy - and Hillary has noted that after Rwanda and Srebrnica, inaction is highly suspect. That's a much more likely source of this perceived imperialism than wanting to make some bucks off of Haiti - they know half the princes in the Gulf - they could pull in a half billion dollars in a New York second - not 15 years - if tha money was what they cared about. Look at how much Al Gore is worth, and he's not nearly as popular.

    Great piece LULU. Parry was one of the best.

    The Obama State Department's actions in Honduras and Haiti

    make the alleged Russian intervention look like a cupcake operation.

    Looks like you & Lulu can get a room.

    Already did. You have FBI access to laptop's videocam?

    A different alphabet soup gang, but still, I'm more into the rough stuff, not the cuddly cuddly. Will leave it for the romantics to review.

    Sounds like somebody watched yesterday's episode of Homeland.cheeky

    Parry's Consortium News has never had an article where it was analyzed, and then attested, that the US government told the truth.

    Consortium also has never had a piece, anywhere by anyone, on the site critical of Putin or Russia.

    Parry's piece on he  MH 17 shootdown being prime example.  He purports to reveal the Dutch and EU  part of a EU/US conspiracy to blame Russia. My comment on his leaving out facts , ignoring context from 2016.

    Like Parry, neither Lulu or Hal have had one blog criticizing Trump or even Putin.

    Since Trump is undoubtedly the most wannabe despot we have ever had in the Oval Office, and Putin a journalist killing thug, this seriously compromises any judgment that the opinions of Hal and Lulu are at all objective or sincere, or of any worth.

    Parry never saw his job as being a flag waiver for the government and I don't either. He saw his job as trying to ferret out the truth wherever it took the story and not to uncritically accept what the government with a long history of dissembling puts out as the truth.

     Consortium News was obviously critical of many actions by our government and Parry was extremely critical of the way that corporate news organizations reported the news, but to say that they never had a piece anywhere by anyone critical of Putin or Russia is just obviously,  demonstrably, wrong and that makes it stupidly wrong. 

    You link to a comment you made to me in 2016 and if anyone follows it there they can read my response which I stand by today. 

    Speaking for myself, I have criticized both Trump and Putin many times. I am confident that HSG has done so as well.  

    Your final paragraph ends a comment that is incorrect every inch of the way, except possibly your description of Trump, with an ironically wrong conclusion. 

     I don't think it is a coincidence that your evaluation of Parry's reporting goes from good to bad beginning with the start of the Obama administration. 

    I find the frequent questions regarding what I don't write about fascinating since I almost never worry about what people don't write about. I read what they do write. If it interests me or is nonsense, I might comment. When people avoid commenting on what's in front of them in while taking issue with what isn't, my first thought is that they're pissed off at but can't persuasively rebut what's been presented.

    Criticized Putin? When/where? I tried Googling it, but all I got were soft pink furry handcuffs.

    I saw Hal fretting yesterday over Hillary and Haiti some 10 years ago, but nuttin' on Trump and Puerto Rico's continued loss of power and homelessness 6 months after a devastating hurricane. Guess those Latinos/Latinas are great for beating up on Red Queens and not much else.

    Curated vision means take whatever facts fit into your exhibition and throw away what doesn't.

    Never the twain shall meet: people who have their favorite hobby horse or whipping boy or girl that consumes their every thought and then some other people are news junkies?

    Here's what I see: two very different demographics, both subject to being fooled in different ways.But one is under the illusion that they can change minds in the other group if only they repeat it often enough in a gazillion versions and permutations. Can always cram another finding on the wall?

    We don't need no eddycation - teacher, leave us kidz alone.

    It just struck me, NCD that maybe you can see that because you've read a lot ot GOP stuff. While others who read just for confirmation bias can't. 

    What got me thinking that is that I just read this, that In the view of Obama's Defense Sec. Carter, Obama and Kerry were far from hawkish on Russia, to a fault

    The War America Isn’t Fighting

    Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter tells us about his Pentagon plan to counter Russia—and why both Obama and Trump have failed to execute it.

    By Susan B. Glasser @ GlobalPolitico.com, Feb. 19

    [....] But given what we know now about the timing of the election hacking, which Obama and his top advisers were learning about over those same summer 2016 months, the Syria episode seems worth revisiting; in hindsight, it strikes me as yet another disturbing sign of how hard it was for the Obama administration to confront the accumulating pile of evidence that Russia was now a genuine adversary on the world stage. Time and again, the record is now clear, it chose not to take a more aggressive response [....]

    Real world: often not as Manichean as Consortium News, Fox News or even MSNBC would like to make it. 

    P.S. As I age, I realize how comfy it is living in the distant past, you got your good guys and bad guys all figured out and nothing's gonna change, it's no longer complicated. Just apply the same template and you are good to go. NOT.

    Song break...

    Lots above to return to later. Computer glitches and big thumbs been messin' with me today but the main thing occupying my simple mind when I had some time has been an essay I found in my morning blog roll. I could read it as just dystopian futurism and get into the pace and rhythm as the ideas flow. That said, I think the author's short bio makes attitudes expressed, for instance, significant in a different way than if it were character or plot development in a novel. It was first published in 1997.

    Major (P) Ralph Peters is assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he is responsible for future warfare. Prior to becoming a Foreign Area Officer for Eurasia, he served exclusively at the tactical level. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College and holds a master's degree in international relations. Over the past several years, his professional and personal research travels have taken Major Peters to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the countries of the Andean Ridge. He has published widely on military and international concerns. His sixth novel, Twilight of Heroes, was recently released by Avon Books. This is his eighth article for Parameters. The author wishes to acknowledge the importance to this essay of discussions with Lieutenant Colonels Gordon Thompson and Lonnie Henley, both US Army officers.

    Constant Conflict

    What the fuck, dude - you pick a Fox news commentator who full-scale supported the Iraq invasion (but you would never acknowledge Hillary's hesitations), he had a lackluster military career ( Lt. Colonel? see Steve Bannon about inflating nothing credentials. And I can show you my passport, 45 countries, proves near absolutely nothing), and then he was even denying Iraq had a civil war going on.


    In case you didn't realize it, global democracy and economy has greatly grown the last 30 years, partly due to our role as policeman. Ignoring the Mideast and the lack of development in Africa overall, it's been a resounding success, except for getting sucked into Putin's proxy wars.

    Yeah, what the fuck, dude. I posted the resume that includes a couple of Army officer collaborators on the article to demonstrate that his ideas and attitudes might represent a line of thinking in the echelons of military brass. Certainly didn’t mean any endorsement of his predictions on how we will need to fight in the near future, that future being now considering the publication date. I called it a dystopian vision. I attempted to draw attention to the attitudes expressed and fully expected anyone reading the essay to find them disturbing, not because I believe that where he spouts his ideas means they don't even need to be noticed or acknowledged.

     Yeah, I usually post something that I at least mostly support just like everyone does and maybe should have added a disclaimer, but if you read the essay did you really think that I was promoting his attitude towards the rest of the world and how we would need to act to maintain our position in it? The jerk would have us believe that militaristic domination can be maintained forever. That is a common belief apparently, you seem to hold it too. 

     I have a pile of old passports also and agree that they don't [necessarily] mean a thing but this guy went to those places studying how to carry on a war there among the local people, as his [perverted IMO] point of view sees them. That aint the way I travel and when I do it isn't the way I look at the people around me.   

    Recently, the Pentagon’s top Asia official, Randall Schriver, told senators that the Afghan war would cost this country’s taxpayers $45 billion in 2018, including $5 billion for the Afghan security forces, $13 billion for U.S. forces in that country, and $780 million in economic aid.  How the other $26 billion would be spent is unclear and, given the Pentagon’s record in these years, Schriver’s estimate could prove a low-ball figure. 


    Extra's probably going for Melania's girlfriend plus shoe butler. Royalty must be maintained.

    Greenwald and Risen Debate the Trump/Russia investigation.


    Other works which may be pertinent to this thread include those of Andrew Bacevich (America's War for the Greater Middle East more recently, among many others), Stephen Kinzer (Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, among others), and, going back further, historian Walter Karp's works.  I've read some of Bacevich's works, not yet the others.  I'm wondering if any in this thread have read any of these authors' works and have any reactions to their work.

    An issue I have with Chomsky is what feels like his tendency to assume or imply an ever-present malicious intent to US foreign policy decisions.  This comes across at times to me as a somewhat cheap populist pitch to the global crowd eager to know, from a US citizen, why the US, alone among countries, is always wrong, and always wicked.  Perhaps if he had ever worked in government his writings might reflect the reality that policy decisions often take place against a backdrop of dueling perspectives, and multiple actors with sometimes more than one simple motivation (hegemony!!).   

    I remember The American Prospect ran a cover story some years back "Between Chomsky and Cheney", to convey its idea that Democrats and the U.S. might want to adopt a foreign policy somewhere in between those two.  Might need to be a little more precise than that.

    Also Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum (fwiw, Chomsky called it "far and away the best book on the topic") and the earlier (1980) Empire as a Way of Life, by William Appleman Williams, with Bacevich writing the introduction to the reprint introduction, offer factual assertions, conclusions and arguments which of course need to be scrutinized like those offered by anyone else.   

    John Ikenberry's After Victory offers a favorable depiction of the liberal internationalist tradition in US foreign policy.  David Halberstam's War in a Time of Peace offers an account of debates over the direction of US foreign policy in the wake of the end of the Cold War, with the Vietnam legacy still playing a critical role in his view.  I found both useful. 

    Also related (I believe it is downloadable at no cost): 

    Liberalism and Big Sticks: The Politics of U.S. Interventions in Latin America, 1898-2004, John H. Coatsworth


    Thanks for the link, Dreamer. I will check it out for sure. Coming to your comment got me reading much of the other previous comments in this thread and again particularly appreciating those of you and moat.  

    I like your paragraph on Chomsky, American Dreamer, think it's the best short description of the effect of his work that I have ever seen. Have never figured out whether the effect is intentional or not. Certainly he is a brilliant man and he is a linguist, so he especially should know how his communication comes across! Still, I have learned over the years that sometimes brilliant people have these big blind spots when it comes to themselves.

    I remember a debate between Chomsky and wm Buckley that had the strange effect of making Buckley sound reasonable. The Chomsky fans ate it up, but to non-believers...

    The Hegemony thing in Chomsky is not a description of a coherent plan but a report  of an inescapable result of corporate power bending governments to their end. His insistence on assigning bad faith to every action is not a conviction about the motives of the actors but a criticism of the theater they play in.

    I think it is a conscious decision on his part to not make that distinction clear in his writings.

    His insistence on assigning bad faith to every action is not a conviction about the motives of the actors but a criticism of the theater they play in.

    But doesn't the theater tend to motivate the actors?  If nothing else, it certainly lends itself to the positioning of the stage.

    The theater does motivate the actors and restrict their movements. But I don't think Chomsky embraces the Marxist idea that the ubiquity of the system defines what everybody wants or how institutions must work.

    In Chomsky's response to the Citizens United decision, he observed the following:

    A very successful predictor of government policy over a long period is political economist Thomas Ferguson’s “investment theory of politics,” which interprets elections as occasions on which segments of private sector power coalesce to invest to control the state. The means for undermining democracy are sure to be enhanced by the Court’s dagger blow at the heart of functioning democracy.

    This Supreme Court decision was not an inevitable victory for corporate power. It could have been decided differently. We are dealing with a giant, however. It is going to take a lot of smooth stones to stop it from trampling over everything.

    It feels like a million years, but once Greenwald made a cogent point that not rich private citizens pooling money for a political documentary shouldn't be off-limits.

    Good points. Marx might be interpreted as positively fatalistic whereas Chomsky has written books with titles like Hope over Despair which seem long on despair and short on hope. Maybe if Marx were writing today he would have a similar sentiment.

    They both offer accounts which foreground the roles of both pervasive false consciousness or something like it, and the impact of social structures on societal dynamics (and on false consciousness). But Marx asserted an inevitable social class- based dynamic whereas Chomsky does not.  So in that sense Chomsky seems to perceive a greater role for individual and alternatively configured group agency.

    Even Naomi Klein understands that resistance as in "no" is not enough.  The first rule of organizing is that you can't beat something with nothing.

    Chomsky in recent years seems to have made an effort to respond to this criticism of his work by referencing his support for anarchism.  He'd probably be the first to acknowledge that fleshing out positive alternatives and offering strategic political thinking are not his thing.  He takes on a heavy load to say the least.  

    I'm getting far afield from Robert Parry.  The blog post and Parry article prompted me to think of Chomsky as another writer who saw it as his duty or calling to speak truth to and about power and let the outcome chips fall where they may. 

    They both deserve praise and should be appreciated for their willingness to challenge, with lots of digging and documentation, parochial and tribal perspectives and tendencies, regardless of whether one agrees with their analyses.  

    Donatello - David - Florença

    Didn't need any smooth  stones.

    Arguably a weakness with structural, more sociological one might say, accounts such as Chomsky' s is that a role for human agency can be so submerged as to be almost invisible. 

    That does not make such accounts intellectually wrong. But from a practical programmatic standpoint it is problematic as applicable to a conservatively designed checks and balances system of constitutional republican government such as ours.

    The anti-government Right now dominant and the anarchist-leaning left have both had the effect of delegitimizing our government.  But the Right, with enormous wealth advantages and far less severe collective action problems, has sought and gained political power, the better to further tilt the rules.  We saw with Occupy an example of a strong tendency on today's left to avoid the grubby business of developing and fighting for policy agendas and winning elections.

    I think what we saw with Occupy is a far more problematic "purity" strain than what I see coming out of what Sanders has been stoking.   Far be it from me to intercede in the Sanders hate fest that goes on here.  But Sanders, who is regularly accused of being a purity troll, is anything but when seen in this light.  He is all about pushing a legislative program and getting people elected.

    I was not involved with Sanders' northern Virginia group.  But that group adopted as its top priority recruiting and supporting candidates for the Virginia legislature this past election cycle.  They aligned with former Rep. Tom Perriello, who lost to Ralph Northam in the Dem gubernatorial primary and favors aggressively competing in red areas on progressive economic policy issues in particular. 

    My close Bernie-supporting friend was consistently in the "I'm supporting Bernie but if Hillary wins the nomination I'm doing everything I can to help Hillary in the general" camp.  And he did.  He did  hell of a lot more work for Hillary than probably 95% of the pro Hillary Bernie haters out there.

    I'm not saying Sanders is La Follette in Michael's Unreasonable Men.  But he plays a similar role.  I think those who believe progressive policy wins are going to happen without both tendencies, the LaFollette and the TR tendencies--and, it seems, the strong passions and tensions that typically go along with them--are kidding themselves.  

    The New Blacklist, Russiagate may have been aimed at Trump to start, but it's become a way of targeting all dissent.

    The Russian goal was to create division. BlackLivesMatter was used as a cover to create division. Taibbi says that people are targeting BlackLivesMatter. Who is targeting BLM who didn’t oppose the group from the beginning? I hear calls to keep Russians from attacking us again, not to stop BLM..Alicia Garza, one of the founders,of BLM, is working with organizations like Demos, and Color of Change to get out the vote.


    Who is targeting BlackLivesMatter?

    A deceptive article.

    We knew something was up with Nunes when he made his midnight run to leak House Intel interviews to Trump.

    CNN goes over-the-top with 1 Trump supporter, so guess what? RussiaGate must be fake.

    Another bullshit thread.

    And BTW, the goal of the tweets seems to be to spread chaos and exploit, not commit mind control, and its fake news and memes are supposed to get picked up and be amplified through domestic groups as real.

    Matt's a big boy - he worked in Russia in the wild years, used to write good investigativve journalism (amid various gossip sheets) - why's he acting so deliberately and misleadingly stupid?

    So Matt's big point is that Russian bot storms couldn't have happened because other issues were present. Well duh, Sherlock - it's no use trying to stir up issues where no one cares. But does Taibbi ever once address whether Hamilton 68 is relatively accurately tracking foreign meme bots? Of course not. Fake News, something's not true so nothing is true, and then he slings this net far and wide to pretend he said something intelligent. Did he actually address thise Russian indictments? Oh, he didnt, did he - somehow CNN interviewing some woman nade it all go away.

    And Hal keeps us wound up for days on Warren and purity tests, after Peter launched his " I have all the facta but you dupes of the establishment are too stupid", and here's Lulu to try to get us to chase our tails on "all news about Russia is fake and paranoid".

    Hey Lulu, what about the Russian couple found poisoned in London?

    What about the Deripaska video with a Russian minister?

    What about the Carter Page and Papodopoulos confessions, or the Rick Gates and Mike Flynn plea? Or Sam wassisname who just dominated network news the last 2 days pretending he'd defy Mueller?

    How come you can ignore all the recent relevant facts, and show up quoting an article that plays up some hype about opinion lockdown based on a single anecdote and a tweet issue that had already been rather debated and dissected weeks ago as not terribly relevant?

    What's your angle? Why always playing the dupe, missing the forest for a couple cherry-picked trees?

    The article suggests that Bernie Sanders and BlackLivesMatter are under attack because people no longer trust them because we are blaming them for the Russian attack. No evidence is presented to support that claim. Jill Stein may get some scrutiny because she was sitting at a table with Putin and Michael Flynn


    ​Stein says that it was a nonevent 


     But does Taibbi ever once address whether Hamilton 68 is relatively accurately tracking foreign meme bots? Of course not.

    He spends seven paragraphs discussing Hamilton 68, its methods, and its associates. Any organization which included Bill Kristol should have whatever they are selling looked at very closely before buying, IMO, but maybe when he is part of what you support his record of stupidity, lying, and dissembling in the project of constant war mongering should be ignored.   

     Here isa link that was also included in Taibbi's article.

    Fake News, something's not true so nothing is true, and then he slings this net far and wide to pretend he said something intelligent. Did he actually address thise Russian indictments? Oh, he didnt, did he -

    That is an ironically funny statement in a revealing way. You very commonly look for one thing in an article when you choose to attack it for whatever reason, often/usually with more spleen than information, so as to discredit everything in the article. Along with the Russian indictments that he didn't mention are an infinite number of other things he also did not mention. The things he did mention are  what an honest response would discuss. 

    Nothing in the rest of your article addresses the article at all but does, IMO, mindlessly reinforce by demonstration what Taibbi's article actually talks about.  

    He spent 7 paragraphs smearing Hamilton68 with the single concrete observation that most tweets came from in the US, a strawman since Russia doesn't want to be swamping the news from abroad - they want to stir the shit and have the domestic twitterverse take over and amplify.

    That bullshit accomplished, Taibbi then goes wild about the "Russians everywhere" feeling, without addressing whether say the twitter attack on Barcelona was effective in confusing and escalating a fragile situation.

    And yes, as part and parcel of other Russian illegal activities and types of cyberwar, yes it would be useful for Taibbi to acknowledge a single repirted thing that Russia's doing that's actually true and bad, or we might think he's like you, a Russian apologist who never ever ever has something bad to say about Putin and his cronies. Not obligatory, of course, but would help.

    (I might as well go find old responses to your previous postings to say the exact same things)


    (I might as well go find old responses to your previous postings to say the exact same things)

    I wish ypu would because right above them would be what I actually said. 

    Russians tried to influence the election full stop.

    “The goal of (Russia’s) meddling is not to help one side or the other but to get extreme opinions clashing to undermine the fabric of Western society and institutions,” Rinkēvičs said.

    As I do quite often when reading articles, especially opinion pieces and editorials, I tracked down the original source. This article is third hand spin. It's Taibbi's spin on a Salon article that it links to.

    Unwitting Russia victim badgered by CNN: To what end?

    But the Salon article isn't the original source. Taibbi doesn't link to the original source. The Salon article is spin on a CNN news segment.

    The unwitting: The Trump supporters used by Russia

    It seems like an informative news segment that explains some of the ways these Russian groups manipulated unknowing Americans. I thought it was well done. I find both the Taibbi interpretation and the Salon interpretation to be a gross distortion of the CNN source material. Check out the CNN article and video and see what you think.

    Thanks - I'd gotten there, but too sick today to follow thru watching. But your point is important - original sources get distorted like Japanese Whispers the more they're passed on.

    (One of my irritations with Peter claiming he couldn't give us a URL because only he knows how to interpret it properly, while at the same time razzing people because they supposedly don't know all the facts)

    BTW, here's more on the RussiaGate Memo Of Understanding that Taibbi for some reason doesn't reference either. Everything not fake seems forgotten.

    The New New Cold War

    In Run-Up to Vote to End Yemen War, MSNBC Remains Totally Silent. What use is having a “liberal” cable network if it remains silent on the major issues facing the left?

    Totally faulty analogy/comparison there. Comparing Breitbart and MSNBC is comparing apples and oranges. It should be Fox News coverage vs. MSNBC coverage of Yemen. If you really are interested in foreign policy, you are in the wrong place on cable TV news  in general. Ted Turner's CNN used to do it, then they nearly went out of business when FOX and MSNBC started doing the domestic political stuff, they learned they had to do it too.

    And even that mass market world is not long for this society. You care about foreign policy and war being covered in video "broadcast" form? you're gonna have to subscribe to a specialty niche channel on Hulu or something.

    You can't make most people care. Not a mass market in any society, it's not exclusive to the U.S. "All politics is local." Especially without a draft for military service. It's just the way it is.

    AA. the article mentioned Breitbart in a provocative sub-headline and then once again in the final paragraph. The article is not about comparing MSNBC to Breitbart, it is about MSNBC ignoring a very important topic. It is about what the headline says; "In Run-Up to Vote to End Yemen War, MSNBC Remains Totally Silent" The single sentence in the body of the article which mentions Breitbart is:

    It’s extra disconcerting that MSNBC is being outflanked from the left by Breitbart, which has covered efforts to end the war a dozen or so timeslikely for cynical, nativist reasons.  

    In context, the placing Breitbart to the left of MSNC is based totally on the number of times that the respective sites gave any coverage to the story. Every bit of the rest of the article is about MSNBC's almost total lack of coverage of what many consider to be an important topic and one certainly worth at least some coverage.  Fair [and I] believe that during the time that MSNBC tallied 143 segments on Stormy Daniels they could have given some tiny amount of coverage to a devastating war that depends on the U.S. and so is one that the U.S. is actually in a position to stop if they so chose.   To criticize the article as if its point was to compare MSNBC with Breitbart is to show a complete missing of the point, IMO. 

     If you really are interested in foreign policy, you are in the wrong place on cable TV news  in general.

    I don't depend on cable for anything but I believe that it is an important source of news for a great number of people and a powerful influence on their opinions.  That makes noticing what they cover, and how they cover it, worth the noticing. 

    You care about foreign policy and war being covered in video "broadcast" form? you're gonna have to subscribe to a specialty niche channel on Hulu or something.

    My link was not to a video broadcast but  sometimes I do link to one of several that I follow. Video broadcast form has some advantages over print along with some shortcomings when it comes to sharing what they offer. They take longer than reading and there is seldom a transcript that allows quoting thru copy and paste but I feel sure you would agree that there is important nuance that can be observed watching a speaker that is unavailable, or at least harder to convey in print.  Can you recommend any niche channel that you feel offers good perspective on FP?  

    You can't make most people care, Lulu. Not a mass market in any society, ... ...

    It seems pretty easy to make a hell of a lot of Democrats "care" about what the Republicans are doing and vice a versa while they can find it easy to "not care" about mistakes or cynically wrong choices that their own party of choice have made. MSNBC and Fox are the most obvious examples.  


    the perfect the enemy of the good


    Apropos of nothing, but have you read Notes on a Foreign Country, LULU (or others)?  If so, what did you think of it? I thought of you on coming across a reference to it.  

    Thanks. I read a review and tried to order it for my kindle to beguin reading as I fly home. Amazon sent the following: 

    Name deleted, this title is not available for you.

    Due to copyright restrictions, the Kindle title you're trying to purchase is not available in your country/region.

    Did you recently move to a new country/region?

    I am about to step out the door. I will get it when I get home. 

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