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Thread: The American "progressive" as Neocon handmaiden

  1. #11

    Default WorldHow the Liberalization of the Left Led to the Rise of the Far-Right

    The title's guff, as the article itself reveals: the Left wasn't "liberalized," it was Americanized, primarily by covert means. And the US elite wouldn't recognize liberalism if it kicked them in the knackers.

    How the Liberalization of the Left Led to the Rise of the Far-Right

    The 2008 financial crash, brought about largely by the greed and recklessness of very wealthy bankers, ought have been a great opportunity for the political left. But instead, as popular opposition to elite-friendly globalization grew, it was the right, and the far-right in particular, which gained ground in countries across the Western hemisphere.

    In their brilliant new book, The Rise of the Right, three leading criminologists, Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and James Treadwell, set out to explain the rise of right-wing nationalism in England.

    Although the book mainly concerns itself with English society and politics, there's lessons to be learnt for readers in the US and in the rest of Europe too. In fact, I'd go as far to say that if the Western left don't pay heed to what Winlow et al have to say, then it could be curtains forever.

    The situation really is that serious.

    'The Capitalist Horizon'

    The basic problem identified by the authors, is that the left, which once put the everyday concerns of working-class people at the very head of its program, has become liberalized. As neo-liberalism became hegemonic, the main parties of the left and their representatives turned their attention away from economic reform and instead begun fighting culture wars. Public ownership and a commitment to genuine egalitarianism was out — identity politics was in. The talk was of "toleration" and not of "exploitation."

    "The left lost interest in the traditional field of political economy, and instead opened up new theaters of conflict on the field of culture. Generally speaking, the left accepted the capitalist horizon," Winlow et al explain.

    Political life in Britain became sterile as Labour and the Conservatives converged to promote a pro-capitalist, economically and socially liberal agenda. The working-class were excluded from this new, City of London-approved consensus.

    In the 2001 general election, faced with a choice between Tweedledum Tony Blair and Tweedledee William Hague, just 59% of people bothered voting. Compare that level of engagement to 1950, when turnout was 83.9%. But back then, the working-class was properly represented.

    The authors of The Rise of the Right stress that while "middle-class liberal domination of working-class thought and politics is nothing new" — just think of the role the Fabians played in early Labour Party history — things have got a whole lot worse in the post social-democratic era.

    Demonization of Socialism

    Former carpenter Eric Heffer, who died in 1991, is cited as "one of the last honest and confrontational working-class heavyweights in the Labour Party." The authors mention how the CIA played their part too in destroying the genuine socialist left — as chronicled by H. Wilford's book, The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune? which is referenced in chapter three:

    "Central to this was the abandonment of class and the turn to language, cultural identity and social movements… The American liberal-progressivist habit of demonizing socialism by placing it in the same breath as fascism was imported into Europe to provide more attractive and subtle support to the conservative right's demonization program."

    The CIA got exactly what they wanted.

    In the era of hegemonic neo-liberalism, anyone who dares to challenge the liberal-left from a socialist perspective, can expect to be denounced by Establishment gatekeepers as a "Stalinist" or even "far-right." Even advocating a return to the much fairer economic policies of 1945-79 is regarded as beyond the pale.

    'Liberal' Media

    Back to the 70s? When the gap between the rich and poor in Britain was at its lowest in history, and the country still had a manufacturing base — why, you must be insane! The acceptable parameters of debate have become hopelessly narrowed, with "liberal" media playing a key role in keeping alternative solutions, which would benefit the majority, "off-limits."

    "The right-liberal and left-liberal media can be distinguished by their approaches to issues such as welfare, multiculturalism and taxation, but when faced with even the remotest chance of the return of anything like real left politics, they become one voice," the authors declare.

    Is it any wonder therefore, that with their voices ignored by those who once claimed to represent them, the British working-class has looked for other options?
    The second half of The Rise of the Right includes interviews with working-class men and women who support far-right political groups like the English Defence League (EDL). Here's Steppy, who is 39, on why he doesn't vote Labour:

    Far-Right Rising

    "Those posh white people… They've taken over the Labour party. They're taking over everywhere. And look what they're doing. First thing they get their mates top jobs. And then their mates get jobs for their mates. Your feminists are cut from the same cloth. They talk about democracy, but there's no democracy. Not in this country…"

    Anti-Muslim prejudice was widespread among the interviewees.

    Muslims have become a scapegoat for the anger, frustration and alienation that many supporters of the EDL and other far-right groups feel.

    But the big problem, as the authors show, has been the rapacious economic system we live under, which is inimical to the best interests of the majority. It's neo-liberalism that has destroyed entire working-class communities and the spirit of solidarity that once existed. It's neo-liberalism that has created so much loneliness and anxiety.

    Tony, like many interviewees, looks back nostalgically to the Britain of forty years ago:

    "Things were better then.. For people like me it was better. We had a right laugh at school and well, everything just seemed to work. There was jobs then. Everyone worked. People stuck together."

    Going Back to Square One

    Instead of listening to working-class people like Tony, too many political representatives of the "left" prefer to take their cue from "liberal" middle-class media columnists, and focus on issues which said media columnists believe are of the most pressing concern. This has to stop if the rise of the far-right is to be checked.

    In chapter eight of their book, the authors argue that the left "must begin from the beginning again":

    "For us the left today needs to be returned to the working class. It is the working-class that must win the fight for social and economic justice. Middle-class liberals cannot and will not win it on their behalf."

    The authors say that leftists need to acknowledge that what they call "hippy counter-culturalism" was a "colossal error" and then begin to undo some of the damage it caused.

    Culture should not be abandoned, but "put back in its sub-dominant place." Economic reform, and in particular ending the dictatorship of finance capital must be the priority. A publicly-owned national investment bank, the re-nationalization of key industries, and the return of jobs — proper, meaningful, well-paid, full-time contracted jobs to areas turned into wastelands has to be right at the top of Labour's agenda.

    The rise of the far-right is not inevitable, neither is it irreversible. But the left is doomed unless it campaigns on bread-and-butter working-class issues and makes a clean break with elite-friendly neo-liberalism. If Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hasn't ordered a copy of The Rise of the Right yet, then I recommend he does so very quickly.
    *The Rise of the Right, English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics — Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and James Treadwell, published by Policy Press.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  2. #12

    Default How The Left Killed The Anti-War Movement

    The hypocrisy of the American left.

    Once the home of the anti-war movement, under Barack Obama the Left advocated a continuation of war and mass murder by using the political expediency of humanitarian interventionism. In this episode of The Geopolitical report, we unpack how establishment Democrats have continued the wars begun by President George W. Bush and expanded them into Syria and Yemen through illegal proxy wars and an ongoing and intensified drone campaign across the Middle East. Now that Donald Trump is president and the wars continue, the antiwar movement will emerge from the shadows and reveal its hypocritical political coloration.
    Source

    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  3. #13

    Default Listen Liberals: Russia Is Not Our Enemy

    Listen Liberals: Russia Is Not Our Enemy

    Dan Kovalik

    02/15/2017

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b0fa149f9ac0c8

    I must say that I am simply baffled by what appears to be the prevailing view in this country, and especially among liberals, that Russia is somehow a threat to the United States.

    In truth, one of the only redeeming qualities of a Trump presidency that I saw was the possibility that his administration would repair ties with Russia and work with that country in trying to solve issues of mutual concern, particularly in the Middle East. Yet, that is one goal of the new White House which the establishment, both in Washington and in the media, seem hell-bent on preventing. Indeed, I agree with the assessment of a number of commentators, including Dennis Kucinich who is breaking ranks with fellow liberals over this issue, that the U.S. intelligence community’s successful attempt to remove Mike Flynn as National Security Adviser was motivated by the desire to keep the new Cold War going.

    While I certainly understand it is in the interest of the military-industrial complex, again as Kucinich explains, to continue to vilify Russia in order to justify our already-bloated military spending, I am a bit taken aback at how eager most liberals are to embrace and even stoke this demonization.

    Given the poor historical knowledge of most Americans, a little refresher on past and current affairs is in order.

    Russia was our ally in WWII in defeating the Nazis. And, contrary to what most Americans are taught, it was Russia that truly won that war in Europe, having lost over 20 million people to the war and having been responsible for 80 percent of the Allies’ Nazi kills.

    In addition, while many of us might not like the messenger, Donald Trump was correct when, asked about Putin being a killer, he suggested that the U.S. has been less than innocent in this respect. Indeed, though many were horrified by such a moment of candor by a U.S. President, Trump was engaging in gross understatement.

    Let me be so bold as to say that, certainly since 1960 and up to the present time, the U.S. has been much more brutal and blood-thirsty than Russia. It is not even a close call here. For example, as Noam Chomsky (no lover of the USSR is he) has explained:

    It is not seriously in question, as John Coatsworth writes in the recently published Cambridge University History of the Cold War, that from 1960 to “the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those in the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.” Among the executed were many religious martyrs, and there were mass slaughters as well, consistently supported or initiated by Washington.
    Chomsky goes on to detail the millions killed by the U.S. in Indochina during its shameful war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and Reagan’s support of apartheid South Africa’s rampage through Southern Africa which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million people.

    And, what about today? While many are up in arms about Russia’s annexation of the Crimea (though this was done with the approval of the majority of Crimeans who are happy to be returned to Russia) as well as Russia’s intervention in the war in Syria, these actions pale in comparison to the U.S.’s own intervention in Syria, its recent destruction of Libya, its destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, its continued support for the Saudi rape of Yemen and the U.S.’s support for the pillaging of The Democratic Republic of the Congo which has cost the lives of around 6 million innocents.

    It is these U.S. wars, along with the U.S.’s over 800 military bases in more than 70 countries (Russia has bases in only one country (Syria) outside the former Soviet Union) which has led to the U.S. rightly being viewed in a poll of people in 65 countries as by far the greatest threat to world peace.

    Meanwhile, at the U.S.’s urging, and despite its promises to Russia in return for the Soviet Union relinquishing any hold over Eastern Europe, NATO now has troops up to the Russian border and the U.S. has just sold extended-range missiles to Poland which will surely be pointed at Russia. Russia is not similarly postured along the U.S.’s boundaries, and it is unthinkable that it ever would be.

    In other words, it is Russia which should be afraid of us, and not the other way around. And, President Trump’s expressed desire to stop antagonizing Russia and to work with it in defeating ISIS in places like Syria should be welcomed as eminently reasonable and indeed necessary to avoid a possible nuclear confrontation. This should also be welcome by an American public whose resources have been drained by the greatest military-spending spree by far on the planet.

    Certainly, liberals, who at least once stood for peace and for greater social spending, should be in the lead in cheering such overtures instead of drumming up anti-Russian hatred which can only lead to more war and more impoverishment of our society.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  4. #14

    Default Why Do "Progressives" Like War?

    Why Do "Progressives" Like War?

    Fleeing to Canada is no longer an option

    PHILIP GIRALDI • FEBRUARY 21, 2017

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-do-p...ives-like-war/

    Liberals are supposed to be antiwar, right? I went to college in the 1960s, when students nationwide were rising up in opposition to the Vietnam War. I was a Young Republican back then and supported the war through sheer ignorance and dislike of the sanctimoniousness of the protesters, some of whom were surely making their way to Canada to live in exile on daddy’s money while I was on a bus going to Fort Leonard Wood for basic combat training. I can’t even claim that I had some grudging respect for the antiwar crowd because I didn’t, but I did believe that at least some of them who were not being motivated by being personally afraid of getting hurt were actually sincere in their opposition to the awful things that were happening in Southeast Asia.

    As I look around now, however, I see something quite different. The lefties I knew in college are now part of the Establishment and generally speaking are retired limousine liberals. And they now call themselves progressives, of course, because it sounds more educated and sends a better message, implying as it does that troglodytic conservatives are anti-progress. But they also have done a flip on the issue of war and peace. In its most recent incarnation some of this might be attributed to a desperate desire to relate to the Hillary Clinton campaign with its bellicosity towards Russia, Syria and Iran, but I suspect that the inclination to identify enemies goes much deeper than that, back as far as the Bill Clinton Administration with its sanctions on Iraq and the Balkan adventure, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the creation of a terror-narco state in the heart of Europe. And more recently we have seen the Obama meddling in Libya, Yemen and Syria in so called humanitarian interventions which have turned out to be largely fraudulent. Yes, under the Obama Dems it was “responsibility to protect time” (r2p) and all the world trembled as the drones were let loose.

    Last Friday I started to read an op-ed in The Washington Post by David Ignatius that blew me away. It began “President Trump confronts complicated problems as the investigation widens into Russia’s attack on our political system.” It then proceeded to lay out the case for an “aggressive Russia” in the terms that have been repeated ad nauseam in the mainstream media. And it was, of course, lacking in any evidence, as if the opinions of coopted journalists and the highly politicized senior officials in the intelligence community should be regarded as sacrosanct. These are, not coincidentally, the same people who have reportedly recently been working together to undercut the White House by leaking and then reporting highly sensitive transcripts of phone calls with Russian officials.

    Ignatius is well plugged into the national security community and inclined to be hawkish but he is also a typical Post politically correct progressive on most issues. So here was your typical liberal asserting something in a dangerous fashion that has not been demonstrated and might be completely untrue. Russia is attacking “our political system!” And The Post is not alone in accepting that Russia is trying to subvert and ultimately overthrow our republic. Reporting from The New York Times and on television news makes the same assumption whenever they discuss Russia, leading to what some critics have described as mounting American ‘hysteria’ relating to anything coming out of Moscow.

    Rachel Maddow is another favorite of mine when it comes to talking real humanitarian feel good stuff out one side of her mouth while beating the drum for war from the other side. In a bravura performance on January 26th she roundly chastised Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Rachel, who freaked out completely when Donald Trump was elected, is now keen to demonstrate that Trump has been corrupted by Russia and is now controlled out of the Kremlin. She described Trump’s lord and master Putin as an “intense little man” who murders his opponents before going into the whole “Trump stole the election with the aid of Moscow” saga, supporting sanctions on Russia and multiple investigations to get to the bottom of “Putin’s attacks on our democracy.” Per Maddow, Russia is the heart of darkness and, by way of Trump, has succeeded in exercising control over key elements in the new administration.

    Unfortunately, people in the media like Ignatius and Maddow are not alone. Their willingness to sell a specific political line that carries with it a risk of nuclear war as fact, even when they know it is not, has been part of the fear-mongering engaged in by Democratic Party loyalists and many others on the left. Their intention is to “get Trump” whatever it takes, which opens the door to some truly dangerous maneuvering that could have awful consequences if the drumbeat and military buildup against Russia continues, leading Putin to decide that his country is being threatened and backed into a corner. Moscow has indicated that it would not hesitate use nuclear weapons if it is being confronted militarily and facing defeat.

    The current wave of Russophobia is much more dangerous than the random depiction of foreigners in negative terms that has long bedeviled a certain type of American know-nothing politics. Apart from the progressive antipathy towards Putin personally, there is a virulent strain of anti-Russian sentiment among some self-styled conservatives in congress, best exemplified by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Graham has recently said “2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress.”

    It is my belief that many in the National Security State have convinced themselves that Russia is indeed a major threat against the United States and not because it is a nuclear armed power that can strike the U.S. That appreciation, should, if anything constitute a good reason to work hard to maintain cordial relations rather than not, but it is seemingly ignored by everyone but Donald Trump.

    No, the new brand of Russophobia derives from the belief that Moscow is “interfering” in places like Syria and Ukraine. Plus, it is a friend of Iran. That perception derives from the consensus view among liberals and conservatives alike that the U.S. sphere of influence encompasses the entire globe as well as the particularly progressive conceit that Washington should serve to “protect” anyone threatened at any time by anyone else, which provides a convenient pretext for military interventions that are euphemistically described as “peace missions.”

    There might be a certain cynicism in many who hate Russia as having a powerful enemy also keeps the cash flowing from the treasuring into the pockets of the beneficiaries of the military industrial congressional complex, but my real fear is that, having been brainwashed for the past ten years, many government officials are actually sincere in their loathing of Moscow and all its works. Recent opinion polls suggest that that kind of thinking is popular among Americans, but it actually makes no sense. Though involvement by Moscow in the Middle East and Eastern Europe is undeniable, calling it a threat against U.S. vital interests is more than a bit of a stretch as Russia’s actual ability to make trouble is limited. It has exactly one overseas military facility, in Syria, while the U.S. has more than 800, and its economy and military budget are tiny compared to that of the United States. In fact, it is Washington that is most guilty of intervening globally and destabilizing entire regions, not Moscow, and when Donald Trump said in an interview that when it came to killing the U.S. was not so innocent it was a gross understatement.

    Ironically, pursuing a reset with Russia is one of the things that Trump actually gets right but the new left won’t give him a break because they reflexively hate him for not embracing the usual progressive bromides that they believe are supposed to go with being antiwar. Other Moscow trashing comes from the John McCain camp which demonizes Russia because warmongers always need an enemy and McCain has never found a war he couldn’t support. It would be a tragedy for the United States if both the left and enough of the right were to join forces to limit Trump’s options on dealing with Moscow, thereby enabling an escalating conflict that could have tragic consequences for all parties.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  5. #15

    Default Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Secret Agent of Vladimir Putin?

    Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Secret Agent of Vladimir Putin?

    by JOHN STEPPLING

    MARCH 6, 2017

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/...ladimir-putin/

    “Take notice, That England is not a a Free People, till the Poor that have no Land, have a free allowance to dig and labour the Commons, and so live as Comfortably as the Landlords that live in their Inclosures.”

    – Gerrard Winstanley, 1652

    “Since the beginning, the US presidents (all of European stock, of course), had been promoting slavery, extermination campaigns against the native population of North America, barbaric wars of aggression against Mexico, and other Latin American countries, the Philippines, etc. Has anything changed now? I highly doubt it. Donald Trump is horrendous, but he is also honest. Both Presidents Clinton and Obama were great speakers, but unrepentant mass murderers.”

    – Andre Vltchek

    “The solutions put forth by imperialism are the quintessence of simplicity…When they speak of the problems of population and birth, they are in no way moved by concepts related to the interests of the family or of society…Just when science and technology are making incredible advances in all fields, they resort to technology to suppress revolutions and ask the help of science to prevent population growth. In short, the peoples are not to make revolutions, and women are not to give birth. This sums up the philosophy of imperialism.”

    – Fidel Castro

    The strange sight of liberal America participating in a neo-McCarthyite assault on Trump appointees, not on the grounds of their inherent racism and stupidity, but because they have contacts with Russia, is among the more surreal spectacles of modern political history. At what point did Russia become the official enemy of the U.S.? Wasn’t it just yesterday that Bush Jr looked into Putin’s eyes and declared him a honorable man? The truth is, of course, that Russia never stopped being the enemy. The internalized ethos of the cold war, the anti communist hysteria of post WW2 has always been there. The resentful flinty heart of America tolerates no disobedience. No country exhibiting the slightest autonomy is allowed to escape punishment and censure. The shining light on the hill symbolism is one that demands nobody else dare to exhibit anything that resembles their own leadership role globally.

    The current animus toward Putin can be traced back to several clear sources, though, as Justin Raimondo points out…

    “When Putin came to power one of the first things he did was go after the infamous oligarchs who had backed – and manipulated – his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. Under the drunken Yeltsin, these “entrepreneurs” had used the State apparatus to “privatize” (i.e. loot) what had previously been the State-owned economy, gobbling up entire sectors at unbelievably cheap prices. Putin moved to disassemble what was a competing power center, and the result was the flight of the oligarchs to the West.”

    And he adds the Israeli lobby (AIPAC et al) and the influence, however mediated these days, of Saudi Arabia. Both have a vested interest in keeping up a Russophobic slant to government policy and rhetoric. Israel long wanted Assad gone. Russia was getting in the way. Now there is also the rather obvious uses that blaming Russia serves for the DNC and its various funding sources. The fact that the Democratic Party snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by running a wildly hated and corrupt candidate in Hillary Clinton, needs an explanation. And that explanation is Putin and Russia. The idea that somehow Trump is a Putin puppet and that the Russian state has manipulated a national election, is itself stunningly contradictory. It suggests a degree of power and cunning for Putin and Russia that is at odds with the America is the great-and-good-and-powerful symbolism. As a desperate reflex excuse for losing what was supposed to be a cake-walk for Hillary, it is sort of understandable. But what isn’t understandable is how so many otherwise seemingly rational people buy into this fantasy.

    And the result of this new Russophobic hysteria is to create a precedent for the CIA and even more shady and shadowy forces to unseat an elected President. I mean common cause is being made with the worst actors in American politics. And, more, to sanction a public interrogation of whoever they deem hostile to their interests. This is the useful idiot meme on steroids. It is the white liberal class ASKING for totalitarian government.

    The empowering of the deep state, those unelected and unregulated organizations and individuals that desire nothing so much as a totally authoritarian surveillance state from the pages of Orwell or Huxley, is a far worse consequence than any damage the Donald and his minions might wreak. Of course the collapse of the Democratic Party is not entirely the result of Hillary’s bungled campaign, but of thirty or forty years of inexorable rightward lurch. An utter abandonment of the working class, and more, an indifference, publicly, to the consequences of that abandonment. The tragic comedy of the DNC’s close support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deserves an entire volume all by itself. A country where women can’t drive, where apostates and homosexuals are beheaded, and where economic inequality is of a magnitude perhaps unequalled in history, remains a close ally of the U.S. Most of the 9-11 highjackers were Saudis, assuming one accepts the official story, and its hardly a secret that the Saudi royal family funds extreme Wahabbi ideology throughout the Arab world. And, the Saudis remain the single largest purchaser of U.S. weapons. Weapons currently employed in the destruction of the tiny impoverished nation of Yemen. A destruction that U.S. actively helped plan and orchestrate.

    Gareth Porter wrote of the intelligence communities attacks…

    “A former U.S. intelligence official with decades of experience dealing with the CIA as well other intelligence agencies, who insisted on anonymity because he still has dealings with U.S. government agencies, told this writer that he had never heard of the intelligence agencies making public unverified information on a U.S. citizen.

    “The CIA has never played such a open political role,” he said.

    The CIA has often tilted its intelligence assessment related to a potential adversary in the direction desired by the White House or the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but this is the first time that such a slanted report impinges not only on domestic politics but is directed at the President himself.”

    The take down of Trump’s National Security Advisor appointee Michael Flynn was nakedly partisan. And in the middle of this was vice president Mike Pence, late of Columbus Ohio and Hanover College. A former talk show host (billed as Rush Limbaugh on decaf) Pence is a devout Christian who believes in intelligent design and the literal word of the Bible. He disbelieves climate change and desires the privatizing of social security — which puts him in line with Hillary Clinton, actually. But the point is that Pence is a deeply repressed rube, a visibly uptight uncomfortable looking man who favors that televangelist look in his personal grooming. And it was Pence who felt exposed by Flynn’s inept handling of whole scandal.

    Porter again…

    “Many people who oppose Trump for other valid reasons have seized on the shaky Russian accusations because they represent the best possibility for ousting Trump from power. But ignoring the motives and the dishonesty behind the campaign of leaks has far-reaching political implications. Not only does it help to establish a precedent for U.S. intelligence agencies to intervene in domestic politics, as happens in authoritarian regimes all over the world, it also strengthens the hand of the military and intelligence bureaucracies who are determined to maintain the New Cold War with Russia.”

    The new cold war is, in a sense, more than just a cold war. The ruthless coup in Ukraine, courtesy of Clinton and her enforcer Victoria Nuland helped put in play a neo nazi party with exterminationist tendencies, not to mention an affection for Hitler. And there continues to be savage fighting from these U.S. proxies. The targeting of Assad was another anti Russian ploy (among other things). But for most Americans, woefully ignorant of history and geography, and mostly shockingly incurious overall, they’re education stems primarily from TV and film. And Hollywood endlessly produces narratives of CIA and military virtue. And of course police heroism. Take for example the new spin off Blacklist: Redemption, in which in episode two our friendly illegal and covert black ops travel to Turkmenistan, or maybe it was Kazakhstan, who knows, but either way this country is portrayed as a nation of bearded thugs, stupid, comically inept and ignorant, and yet the very premise of such clandestine interference in a sovereign nation is never questioned. Dozens are killed, but hey, they have beards and represent that great ‘other’ that America sees as disposable, much as most of white America sees the poor, especially black and brown poor, as disposable. The anti Russian theme is simply the latest installment in the great genocidal founding principles of this slave owning nation. When D.H. Lawrence famously described America thus…

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”

    he was writing the epitaph of this bloated and fascistic nation, and this over a hundred years ago. Nobody in all this Putin-is-evil rhetoric ever questions why the U.S. has close to 900 military bases around the world. A good many of them surrounding Russia and China, both. I have read on social media a nearly endless commentary on how whatever its shortcomings, the U.S. still represents something positive and how no matter what, *we* are better than Russia. Or China. Or Iran. The xenophobia of the average American, and this includes the educated classes, is breathtaking. None of the people I have read who demand *you* write your congressperson to demand Jeff Sessions be removed had ever gone on social media to demand a stop to U.S. wars, to humanitarian intervention, or even to a reduction in defense spending. None, that I can remember, ever demanded an end to the militarized police occupation of black neighborhoods, or the illegal CIA destabilizing activities of foreign countries. No demand for the U.S. to stop doing exactly what they claim Russia has done. How is this possible one might ask? How does the public so selectively organize their outrage? The answer is that most Americans are deceptively nationalistic and prejudiced. They are also profoundly provincial and ignorant of other cultures, other histories and cultures. Whatever crimes Trump may eventually engage in, if he survives, will not be of any degree worse than what Obama or Bush or Clinton committed. The ascension of Trump to the Presidency came on the back of a liberal class that had rejected the underclass. These liberals have irrational anger that included deep seated racist feelings and a regressive, if often private, hatred of the poor and of foreigners in general. This is projected outward onto those they blame for Trump. A nation of immigrants is now a nation where those immigrants long ago lost touch with their own histories. This is mostly white America, of course. And white America loves to congratulate itself on its tolerance and democratic principles. The master narrative of liberal white America is one that has been distilled down to the most basic tropes of superiority and privilege. The deplorables …the flyover state populace…those angry left behind working class americans are seen as inferior. They are made fun of, constantly, by the educated classes. And the alignment of liberal white America with the CIA and a McCarthyist sensibility is not in the least surprising. For liberals are not tolerant. They are bigoted and close minded and arrogant. They are blind to their own privilege in ways that make one’s head spin. Trump won for two reasons that are interwined. One is the anger of the forgotten working class. And yes, that class are often racist and bigoted. But most are not, not really. And second, and more importantly, by the liberals who uncritically accepted a serial liar and criminal as their candidate. And while many who supported the illusion that was Bernie turned in anger to vote AGAINST Hillary, or just didn’t bother to vote, the educated gatekeepers of American culture (sic) were the ones really responsible. Eight years of war crimes and destruction of civil liberties was IGNORED. It is still ignored. Trump is the result. He is the unvarnished face of America, accept that or not.

    I am a new father at an advanced age. We had twin boys this last month, born premature, but doing well — and here in Norway the amazing care they received, that WE received, was totally free. I cannot imagine how someone like me, an artist, would have been able to have these boys in the U.S. I don’t know how the working class manages, honestly. And its partly why I left the U.S. a decade back. The struggles for basic things such as having children pose nearly impossible obstacles in this village on the hill with the shining light. A guard tower searchlight. Anyone without health insurance, meaning several million people, face insurmountable obstacles. Or rent, those who don’t own homes, those who must pay an ever steeper price to just live — to just have a roof over their head — are besieged with anxiety and worry and often despair. No wonder anti depressants are taken by one in four americans. Those who can afford them anyway. Or they turn to illegal drugs and alcohol. The worry for most Americans is lacerating and depletes the basic energy that sustains life. Overweight, angry, resentful and depressed. That is America. Addicted to mindless entertainments that repeat a litany of lies and deceit, this is a nation whose theoretically best and brightest are a disdainful, condescending, and insolent class blind to not just their own privilege but blind to their own nativism and lack of sophistication. America is the most judgmental country on earth. The class that demands WE reject Jefferson (Im guessing not named for Thomas) Sessions, that little nasty mean spirited bigot demand it for all the wrong reasons. They demand it because he ‘has ties to a foreign power’ as someone wrote recently on facebook. Trump isnt one of them. Obama was. Both Clintons are. The culture produced by this class is ugly and narcissistic. It is puerile and fatuous and reflective of their own self adoration. Trump is a crude and uneducated man, but he was also a wildly popular reality TV star. That was OK, that was his place, a bit of entertainment to be condescended to, an organ grinders monkey. But the presidency, well, that is for Ivy league grads, for those who wont embarrass *America*. I mean look at the rehabilitation of Bush Jr. Even he is better suited for the job, despite that little faux pax with Iraq. At least he came from *real* wealth, the right kind of wealth, the right University — so OK, he almost flunked out, but whatever. The deep state doesn’t want The Donald. Honestly, Im not sure why, but they don’t. And they are teaching him to heel. Sit, roll over, piddle yourself, and we might let you stay. If not, well, see what happened to that chump Flynn. Or worse, those lesser humans like Qadaffi…son of a Bedouin sheep herder, or Saddam, the CIA enforcer contracted to rid his country of commies and other undesirables. Or Aristide, a slum priest. Or Milosevic. Or now Assad. And here we return to Russia. Putin has the audacity to help Assad when he knows *we* don’t want that. What a monster. Russia still has the fucking cojones to suggest they won WW2!!! No, Tom Hanks did that. Don’t you watch PBS? For christ sake, Russia, a country that was fun to make fun of during the cold war. All those crappy suits the politburo wore. All those lousy cars and bad refrigerators. Har har. What you don’t hear is that people had paid vacations. They could go sailing for free and didn’t worry about rent or doctors bills. Rehab Bush and demonize Castro even after death. Ask the average African who he loves…Bush or Obama or Castro. Who fought FOR independence and who fought against it. Who called Mandela a terrorist. Not Russia. The Soviet Union fought against colonialism and with independence movements. The U.S. fought against it. I could go on. But this is not news. It takes only a few minutes internet research to verify all of this. Unless you only read Western news outlets. The U.S. will tell you the 20th century was the *American Century*. There it is again, self congratulation. We are the best and a force for good. No, really!!

    The ruling families of Venezuela called Chavez the little black monkey. Those were the families (and still are) that the U.S. and its organs of chaos, the various NGOs and front groups support. They support those who saw Chavez as an ape. They aided a failed coup against Chavez. The U.S. supported Mobutu and Pinochet, The Shah, and Papa Doc. This isn’t part of that official *American Century*. Neither was the U.S.S.R. defeating fascism.

    I thought about the Diggers this week. The movement led by Gerrard Winstanley in the 17th century. There were no commons left. People roamed the countryside homeless, foraging for food. The ruling gentry didn’t care. The Levellers and Diggers (True Levellers) by virtue of their desire for fairness and justice also included an early environmental program, a concern for the land that provided them with life. Today, I think it useful to remember Winstanley. The idea of equality is central to all other issues. Nobody deserves more. Nobody should do with less. Nature is not a commodity. The U.S. has done much worse and more often than any country they criticize. This is why its important to reject those complaints that demand purity. Every great man or woman is now the subject of take down kitsch biographies. Its a cottage industry. Mao didn’t brush his teeth. Brecht plagerized. Aristide was insecure and uneducated and wore cheap shoes. I’m only half joking. The overwhelming bully of the planet is the USA. Full stop. It is so overwhelmingly so that to even bring up the offenses of those they seek to brutalize is bad politics. All that matters is that this pathological war machine, this imperialist drive for global hegemony be stopped. You defend the weak, the vulnerable. Another full stop. You attack the comfortable and complacent. The End.

    Daniel Johnson writing of Winstanley and the Diggers…

    “The Digger experiments and the ideas of Winstanley are also relevant in their call for self-organization among the working classes, and for emphasizing the intelligence and dignity of commoners often portrayed by elites as needing guidance and discipline. Liberation, as Winstanley frequently claimed in his Digger writings, would only come when working people throughout the world (not just in revolutionary England) withdrew their labor from market society, and set up a social system in which exploitation and poverty no longer existed. “
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  6. Default

    Looks like the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign never happened. All liberals voted for Hillary, if you believe the "low grade kitty litter" (thanks Tracy!) posted above.

    Highly popular pro-Obama turned virulently anti-Obama blogs like Firedoglake never happened, apparently.

    Putin and Obama negotiating the removal of weapons of mass destruction from Syria and Iran never happened, either.

    The opening to Cuba never happened.

    What the liberal-haters don't realize is that even if Hillary had won there would have been left-wing protests in the streets.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post
    Looks like the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign never happened. All liberals voted for Hillary, if you believe the "low grade kitty litter" (thanks Tracy!) posted above.

    Highly popular pro-Obama turned virulently anti-Obama blogs like Firedoglake never happened, apparently.

    Putin and Obama negotiating the removal of weapons of mass destruction from Syria and Iran never happened, either.

    The opening to Cuba never happened.

    What the liberal-haters don't realize is that even if Hillary had won there would have been left-wing protests in the streets.
    I forgot the Occupy movement!

    So did the kitty-litterist progressive haters on this thread...

  8. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post
    Looks like the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign never happened. All liberals voted for Hillary, if you believe the "low grade kitty litter" (thanks Tracy!) posted above.

    Highly popular pro-Obama turned virulently anti-Obama blogs like Firedoglake never happened, apparently.

    Putin and Obama negotiating the removal of weapons of mass destruction from Syria and Iran never happened, either.

    The opening to Cuba never happened.

    What the liberal-haters don't realize is that even if Hillary had won there would have been left-wing protests in the streets.
    Really spontaneous or Soros-spontaneous?
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  9. #19

    Default Crisis of American Liberalism - Patrick Henningsen Interviews Caleb Maupin

    Crisis of American Liberalism - Patrick Henningsen Interviews Caleb Maupin

    Published on Mar 5, 2017

    Caleb Maupin is interviewed by Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century News Wire: http://21stcenturywire.com

    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  10. #20

    Default When Nothing "Left" Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right

    When Nothing "Left" Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right

    Moon of Alabama

    12 March 2017

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/03....html#comments

    Some of the people around the U.S. Democrats finally start to get the message of the 2016 election. An editor at Salon writes a slightly satirical critic of the Democratic Party under the headline: How the DudeBros ruined everything: A totally clear-headed guide to political reality . The core sentence:

    When “the left” endlessly debates which core issues or constituencies must be sacrificed for political gain, as if economic justice for the poor and the working class could be separated from social justice for women and people of color and the LGBT community and immigrants and people with disabilities, it is no longer functioning as the left.
    When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that.

    Many nominally social-democratic parties in Europe are on the same downward trajectory as the Democrats in the U.S. for the very same reason. Their real policies are center right. Their marketing policies hiding the real ones are to care for this or that minority interest or problem the majority of the people has no reason to care about. Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants. (Even parts of the German "Die Linke" party are infected with such nonsense.)

    The people with real economic problems, those who have reason to fear the future, have no one in the traditional political spectrum that even pretends to care about them. Those are the voters now streaming to the far right. (They will again get screwed. The far right has an economic agenda that is totally hostile to them. But it at least promises to do something about their fears.) Where else should they go?

    The U.S. Democrats are currently applauding the former United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara. The position is a political appointed one. Whoever is appointed serves "at the pleasure of the President". It is completely normal that people in such positions get replaced when the presidency changes from one party to the other. The justice department asked Bharara to "voluntary resign". He rejected that, he was fired.

    Oh what a brave man! Applause!

    The dude served as United States attorney during the mortgage scams and financial crash. Wall Street was part of his beat. How many of the involved banksters did he prosecute? Well, exactly zero. What a hero! How many votes did the Democrats lose because they did not go after the criminals ruling Wall Street?

    Bharara is one reason the Democrats lost the election. Oh yes, he is part of a minority and that makes him a favorite with the pseudo left Democrats. But he did nothing while millions got robbed. How can one expect to get votes when one compliments such persons?

    But the top reader comments to the New York Times report on the issue are full of voices who laud Bharara for his meaning- and useless "resistance" to Trump.

    Those are the "voices of the people" the political functionaries of the Democratic Party want to read and hear. Likely the only ones. But those are the voices of people (if real at all and not marketing sock-puppets) who are themselves a tiny, well pampered minority. Not the people one needs to win elections.

    Unless they change their political program (not just its marketing) and unless they go back to consistently argue for the people in the lower third of the economic scale the Democrats in the U.S. and the Social-Democrats in Europe will continue to lose voters. The far right will, for lack of political alternative, be the party that picks up their votes.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

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