The Empire Strikes Back

by Brad Benson

Then Defense Intelligence Agency director U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on “Worldwide Threats” in Washington February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

On the surface, the resignation of General Michael Flynn is being sold as a cut-and-dried case of the General getting ahead of his skis by calling the Russian Ambassador to discuss the lifting of sanctions. This was ostensibly then complicated by the General not being honest about his discussions, when queried about it by Vice President Mike Pence. However, as is always the case in these types of affairs, the real story will go untold and General Flynn’s “resignation” will have ramifications far beyond these first headlines.

In reality, the General’s early fall is a signal that the Deep State is not about to permit rapprochement with Russia. This is because any moves to defuse the New Cold War could threaten to undercut Obama’s $1 Trillion, 30 year nuclear arms rearmament program, which has been quietly moving forward for several years.

Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is the military’s counterpart to the CIA, was originally fired by Obama for an intelligence assessment, which disputed information that Obama was being fed by the CIA. In retrospect, this report was rather prescient, since it noted that an infant ISIS was a much bigger threat than Obama was being told, while further advising that it was a mistake for the CIA to be supplying them with arms in their ill-fated effort to bring down Assad in Syria.

This put Flynn in direct conflict with then CIA Director, John Brennan, then Director of National Intelligence, John Clapper, and a whole cadre of Neo-Con Interventionists inside Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Flynn’s timing was also bad, since the War Hawks had only recently overthrown Gaddafi and, in the ecstasy of their “success”, no one, especially Obama, wanted to be told that rain clouds were already gathering over their parade.

When General Flynn reemerged as an advisor to Trump during the campaign, there was no immediate concern within the Deep State, since Trump was not seen as a serious factor. However, as Trump began to talk about rapprochement with Putin’s Russia on the campaign trail, Flynn was identified as one of the driving forces behind this idea and, as a result, the Clinton Campaign opened up a new front to denigrate him as a racist nut-case. This may very well have been true, but it does not, as a consequence, make him wrong in regard to his recognition of the necessity to defuse the New Cold War with Russia.

Flynn’s early departure is a big victory for the Deep State Thugs who are heavily invested in the New Cold War. It is most certainly also a signal to Trump that he can be removed, since MSM talking heads are already spinning stories about the fired DOJ Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, having previously warned the White House that tapped phone calls, between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador, might make the General subject to “blackmail” by the Russians.

Indeed, not-so-subtle threats of impeachment are already being floated, with nuances of the famous question, “What did the President know and when did he know it?” One Neo-Con Flim-flam man has already gone so far as to refer to the “Russian Stench” and demanded to know what is behind this “Russian connection”, which, if any one gave it any real thought, was essentially a move toward peace.

However, this was apparently just the warm up act for the big guns, since the next up was Thomas Friedman, the influential NY Times op-ed writer, who helped the Bush and Obama Administrations to lie us into several wars. Adopting a stern demeanor, while staring directly into the camera, Friedman demands no less than a full investigation into Trump’s associations with these pesky Russkies, who “undermined our election”, ominously concluding that this was an “event as significant as Pearl Harbor”.

Meanwhile, early rumblings from Moscow are noting that this could be bad news for future relations with the US and could ultimately lead to a deterioration of relations. This is a nice way of saying that they know that our Deep State is undermining the move toward rapprochement, while also sending a subtle message to Trump that they hope he’s not falling for it. Sadly, it may already be too late.

This is the first move to set up Trump for impeachment, with Mike Pence, a Neo-Con, sitting in the catbird seat. Those that celebrate the demise of Flynn and hope for the early fall of Trump should be careful in regard to their wishes. The ultimate result intended in all of this is that there will be no rapprochement with Russia and that the New Cold War might eventually develop into a hot one.

The Empire has struck back. Whether one likes Trump or not, no one should be distracted by the “Russian Connection” Sideshow. This is about the future of a major rearmament program and the Deep State has subtly enlisted the support of the Trump haters on the left to create the conditions for Trump’s early removal.

With many Neo-Cons on the right also poised to feed on the carcass of a guy they couldn’t stop in the primaries, the American People better wake up. This is not a question of left or right. It may very well be a question of survival.


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Feb 19, 2017 3:17 PM
Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Feb 21, 2017 11:39 PM
Reply to  vierotchka

I had read that article. Don’t be so sure.

Feb 22, 2017 12:20 AM
Reply to  Brad Benson

As my friend George Eliason put it so well (so it is also the desire of bringing Russia under the USA’s domination so as to literally steal Russia’s natural resources):
Asked why Russia was so dangerous, Rahul Shrivastava, Ambassador of India to Venezuela gave this answer.
The size of Russia is bigger than that of Pluto. If Siberia were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. Russia stretches about 10000 km east to west, which is almost three times the diameter of the moon, one-and-a-half times the diameter of mars and just 2000 kms short of earth’s diameter.
Russia’s total natural resources are valued at USD 75 trillion.
Russia has the largest reserves and is the largest exporter of natural gas. It has the second largest coal reserves, the eighth largest oil reserves and is the largest exporter of oil in the world.
Russia is a leading producer of copper, fluorspar, iron ore, lime, gold, magnesium compound and metals, mica, cobalt, aluminum, asbestos, arsenic, cadmium, coal, cement, boron, bauxite, vanadium, titanium sponge, tin, tungsten, potash, sulfur, silicon, rhenium, steel, pig iron, nickel, palladium, phosphate, petroleum, nitrogen, peat and oil shale.
Russia has 40% of world’s gold reserves.
20% of the global production of industrial grade diamonds and 25% of global gemstone production come from Russia.
11% of the global aluminum market is controlled by just one Russian company, Rusal.
Russia has more than a fifth of the world’s forests. About one-fifth of the timber in the entire world is present in the forests of Siberia.
If you laid the oil and gas pipelines of Russia around the equator, it would encircle earth 6 times.
Only one lake of Russia, Lake Baikal has 20 percent of entire fresh water in the world.
Russia has 4 of the 10 largest rivers in the world.
Russia’s top 20 billionaires have a combined wealth of about USD 250 billion, which is more than the GDP of 150 individual countries in the world.
Russian inventions include transformer, helicopter, video-tape recorder, synthetic rubber, grain harvester, electrical telegraph, arc welding, radiator, powdered milk and thousands of other things without which life would be very different today.
Russia has the largest number of nuclear weapons in the world. Russia’s RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) has ten independently targetable nuclear warheads, which can reenter earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds at around 5 miles a second.
Russia has the largest atomic bomb – Tsar Bomb, which was detonated way back in 1961.
In 2013, Russia was the largest arms exporter in the world. It occupies second place now.
Russia is Not dangerous. It is FORMIDABLE.

Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Feb 22, 2017 1:25 AM
Reply to  vierotchka

The people have always wanted peace. Russia is a great country and Lavrov was correct at the G-20. I’m for an end to all this Russia bashing nonsense.
Also, I hope there was nothing in my article that gave the wrong impression.

Feb 22, 2017 2:05 AM
Reply to  Brad Benson

I don’t think anything in your excellent article gave me any wrong impression. 🙂

Feb 19, 2017 9:59 AM

For the very latest in fake news stories…. step this way to The Daily Telegraph’s Exclusive Sunday Scoop:
Russia’s election day plot to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro and overthrow its government
The story presents an astounding made-up screed of nonsense, alleging (without sources, of course) that Russia connived the election-day assassination of Montegrin leader Milo Djukanovic – “to prevent the country joining NATO”.
Story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/18/russias-deadly-plot-overthrow-montenegros-government-assassinating/
Montenegro is a country somewhat short of even 1 million population – 620,000 at the last census. But the thought of it falling under Moscow’s malign influence is enough to spoil the Sunday Lunch of retired colonels in the Tory shires….

Feb 19, 2017 11:52 AM
Reply to  Seraskier

I read this story while still in bed this morning, on my tablet – and decided I must be hallucinating, and when back to sleep. However, by 2pm Moscow Time the updated story has acquired wings… but no sources. There is a lame claim that it stems from “UK Government Sources” on the story now – but no details as to what those sources might be.
This all moves the notion of “fake news” on from journalism into an international incident. The Russian media here in Moscow are bristling with indignation at the accusations – not to mention the sloppiness with which these accusations have been presented. Is the British Government now “conducting policy by leak”? Will the UK government now step forward to confirm or deny the source?
With the Munich Conference in the process of breaking up, the major names are presumably scattered in different airport lounges around Europe….

Feb 18, 2017 10:16 PM

Are you all quite sure that a quiet call to tell the naughty boys and girls to desist is effective control strategy with hard core right wing supremacist nutcases (which includes plenty of democrats too)?
For those seeking to promote war, a little bit of targeted violence in the heart of their own circle is usually the first diplomatic foray. No one wants an extrajudicial execution of 10,000 Establishment psychopaths, but if it is that or 100 million Russians nuked, then it is acceptable collateral damage.
Until America and Americans understand that, their nation is a danger to the world, not a leader in the world…..

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Feb 19, 2017 2:25 AM
Reply to  rtj1211

For some strange reason, Rtj, your eloquence always reminds of something Martin Niemöller wrote, because it kinda mirrors or captures the spirit of your admonitions if admittedly more obliquely:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I’m assuming, of course, that Niemöller also intended, along with the literal meaning, a somewhat figurative if equally symbolic form of “speaking out.” Because how ‘effective’ against violence and murder can words really be, eh? Which, oddly enough, seems to be exactly your point.

Feb 18, 2017 4:14 PM

It’s way too early to form firm conclusions about the direction Trump will take. Is he finished already, after only a month? Whatever happened to the famed ‘honeymoon period’? Trump’ in a difficult position, he’s surrounded by enemies in the imperial capitol and his supporters are few and far between, a mere handful of people. It’s fascinating that the ‘deplorables’ don’t seem to matter anymore to the media. Their job was to vote and then shut up. All of those journalists who suddenly realized that ‘something was happening’ in the vast middle of America and went out to interview the ‘deplorables’ in their abandoned towns, seem to have lost all interest in them now, isn’t that strange?
Trump says a lot of stuff that’s true, but, unsayable according to the consensus. Like the two-state ‘solution’ is dead. That the media is mostly awful and biased against him and the Amercan people. That the United States does bad stuff and isn’t so innocent. Of course he makes a lot of mistakes, because he’s actually had a life outside politics and isn’t a professional politician schooled for years in the art of lying with style and grace. His biggest mistake though was probably underestimating how rotten to the core the entire system is, how fundamentally and structurally undemocratic.
He’s in a precarious position. The entire establishment is lined up against him and especially the questions he’s attempted to raise, like why exactly are we in conflict with Russia? Is going to war with Russia such a great idea? Just daring to ask those kind of questions is enough to get one assassinated or destroyed in some other way. He must be remarkably brave or reckless to believe one can do that kind of thing without consequences.
What’s depressing and frightening is that the left, the liberals, the progressives are leading the attacks on Trump. It’s bizarre. They seem angrier at Trump for talking about talking with the Russians, than they are about Clinton wanting to go to war with Russia. The left are now allied with the right against Trump and are being ‘played’ in the most obvious fashion, yet their conceit and arrogance blinds them to this… fact. With the liberals and left ready for war, the only hope now is the nationalist right. Hopefully le Penn will win in France and Merkel will be ousted. It’s bizarre. Our closest hope of avoiding war with Russia is now the nationalist right, as the left/liberals have abandoned their anti-war stance almost completely.

Feb 18, 2017 1:24 PM

p.s. Just read 21Century and this article – the next US “war-in-waiting”: BY 21WIRE http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/16/fake-news-fail-venezuelan-government-finally-orders-shutdown-of-cnn-for-bogus-and-misleading-reports/
If Maduro can do it, perhaps Trump can after all.

Feb 18, 2017 12:28 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
The US Clinton war neocons will not allow peace with Russia and will continue to cajole the European countries towards US self serving policies. Where the US is concerned, the only “spheres of influence” they will allow are their own and hang the consequences for those they will end up killing. It was true under Prescott Bush the Nazi collaborator and is still true to the Clinton Clique today who are engineering the Trump and Russia bashing, which eventually will lead to war. US and NATO aggression is proving to be the world’s worst War Crime Collaboration in the last Century.

Feb 18, 2017 8:46 AM

”This is about the future of a major rearmament program and the Deep State has subtly enlisted the support of the Trump haters on the left to create the conditions for Trump’s early removal.”
Not so subtle, more like blatant. Right on cue, the centre-left, liberal coalition and the identity warriors. collapses giving its unstinting support to the war party. Nothing new here, it is as old as social democracy itself. In many advanced capitalist countries and in a whole number within imperialism’s periphery, Social Democratic parties are a more-or-less fixed part of the bourgeois regime. Particularly within Western Europe, parties affiliated to the “Socialist International” either form the government or act as the loyal parliamentary opposition. Parties such as the German SPD or the British Labour Party have played on one or other of those roles continuously since the establishment of post–1945 imperialist order. In Spain the bourgeoisie breathe life into the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party) to maintain democratic capitalist rule after the end of the Francoist regime. Similar attempts were, and are being, made in the former Soviet empire.
Unwavering vassals of the US imperial juggernaut (NATO) an organization which goes around the world looking for trouble anywhere but the north Atlantic, these parties, LP, PSOE, PASOK, PS, SPD, should now be regarded as being part of the problem.
Their abandonment of the working class and promotion of identity politics and a neoliberal global order has resulted in the extraordinary spectacle of someone like Marine Le Pen voicing opposition to austerity, quitting the EU and NATO and an anti-austerity programme, which is what the left should have been doing. Culturally, ideologically, strategically, and politically, social-democracy and liberal-left has been integrated into the structures and institutions of declining capitalism. An abject betrayal.

Feb 17, 2017 11:48 PM

it’s wrong to gloat, I know, but I’m rather enjoying this – watching the Intelligence Community (IC); the #FakeNews M$M; the Judicial branch and the “well oiled machine” of the Trump Executive branch – tear up the Constitution and rip asunder any last shred of American political respectability or credibility. F_ck the Founding Fathers; so long to ‘Manifest Destiny’; the carcass of American Exceptionalism is stripped of meat – and there is a foetid miasma in the air. I’d like to think that the toxic product that is Western Liberal democracy is now totally unexportable – but I know better than that. Likewise, it is too early to pronounce the death of the Empire. Yet.
If the goal is to demonise Russia, wake up boys – they are playing the elder statesman to your infantile counterfeit paradise Kindergarten squabbles. If we do enter a multipolar world, the Russian Alliance looks, well, more grown up.
So how will the ‘Orange Jesus’ respond? If ‘sources’ are correct, the word is that Bannon’s billionaire buddy Stephen Feinberg, is to seek the skeletons in the IC closet. Not smart. With Flynn gone, it was bad enough having a mere seven year Navy vet Bannon lording over the big egos of the careerist Intel Directors and time served Generals on the NSC. Bringing in a civilian with zero credibility is akin to rubbing their noses in the stench of their own self importance.
Making it all about Russia may not prove so smart either, it could prove to be a double edged sword. While the Deep State line up the likes of Paul Manafort, or anyone who can link Trump to Russia – they’ve left their Queen unguarded and exposed to the same charge. I know (long time Trump ally) Roger Stone has not forgotten Uranium One – how Queen Hillary sold 20% of a vital American strategic asset to the Russians – nor how her Knaves (the Podestas) benefited (allegedly.)
The game is on – if Trump wants to drain the swamp, instead of floating face down in it – he’s going to have to take down their Queen. Has he got the b_lls to #LockHerUp?
If he has – please, please let him or Mike Flynn re-tweet her “what goes around, COMETS around” – let’s see if the super-b_tch is still laughing then. (Maybe she can get a job in Dominos if she ever gets out?)

Feb 18, 2017 6:07 AM
Reply to  BigB

The Clintons are clients of the deep state. Not directors.

Feb 18, 2017 11:23 AM
Reply to  jag37777

For sure, and Trump is a puppet too – but inasmuch as this plays out through the mainstream, I was using the mainstream idioms to have some fun. Inasmuch as this remains in the Roveian pseudo-reality of American politics, and no one dies in their internecine faux turf wars – I’ll continue to enjoy the bread and circuses entertainment. Credit where credit is due, they’ve done more in the last month to discredit the system than any concerted activism could achieve in a lifetime.
If Trump has read his Sun Tzu he can still make headway: his core vote is being consolidated (advertently or inadvertently); and, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, leaking the Flynn transcript is a major felony that has been ignored – so bring it on, let’s have an open season on tit-for-tat political assassinations – it’s win win for us.
BTW, Wikileaks may be preparing to weigh in with its forthcoming CIA 7th Vault dump series – whatever that is.
So I disagree with those who think Trump has folded, not just yet anyway – I think there will be plenty more plays and plenty of game time remaining. Given that Trump has at least some of the Masters of the Universe behind him, he could even come out ahead? Indeed, that could be the end-game and we are being treated to a mass distracting shadow play headfake that’s about to go “nuclear” – (BTW, if the CIA where planning the hit on Trump, ‘retired analysts’ wouldn’t be advertising the fact on CNN! )
Whatever the denouement, I’m going to enjoy it while I can (which may not be long) – with plenty of popcorn.

Feb 17, 2017 10:57 PM

Some rather forthright comments by Dennis Kucinich on the matter recently. This rot has been only festering and getting worse since they murdered JFK, Malcolm, MLK and RFK in a period of 5 years when I was a kid. If allowed to continue pursuing the “full spectrum dominance” they seek, these same forces will likely leave us with something very closely resembling an uninhabitable post-nuclear planet.

Empire Of Stupid
Empire Of Stupid
Feb 17, 2017 6:26 PM

As I’ve been saying for a while, the war between Trump and the Deep State is over, and Trump lost. As Paul Craig Roberts says here:
Scroll down for Trump’s full statement.

Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Feb 18, 2017 10:30 AM

I like Dr. Roberts and read his stuff regularly, but his assessment is premature. The Civil War within every Federal Agency, and especially inside the intel agencies, is not over. Trump has a younger generation of analysts that are chomping at the bit to help get their previous bosses out the door–not just because they want their jobs, but also because they are tired of seeing their work being pushed aside in favor of political considerations.
Unfortunately, although Trump has lopped off several appendages of the beast, there is actually no head, since the Deep State is maintained by a residual level of Neo-Con Hacks that continue to function, with or without top level political management. Although the Brennan’s and Clappers are gone, three are many former political appointees who are embedded in the ‘Federal Executive Service’ Employees and, having illegally obtained Civil Service Status, they cannot be easily fired.
Trump’s next job will be to identify these slimeballs and at least sideline them. They cannot be allowed to remain “in the loop” for any major new initiatives and there are alternative ways to ensure these things (e.g., task force assignments, extended travel). That still won’t solve the problem entirely, since the Brennan’s, Clapper’s, Obama’s and Clinton’s are not going anywhere and will be on the Sunday Interview Shows every weekend to carp to an always receptive MSM.
I don’t know about Paul Craig Roberts, but I’m not giving up. The lives of my grandchildren depend on it.
At the link below, Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer appears with Martha MacCallum on Faux News and explains the problem regarding political appointees that become embedded in the CIA. Here he explains that they are the ones that set up Flynn and notes that they have to be found and removed.

Empire Of Stupid
Empire Of Stupid
Feb 18, 2017 2:16 PM
Reply to  Brad Benson

It’s over. Nothing that threatens Obama’s ongoing trillion-dollar nuclear revamp will be permitted.

Feb 18, 2017 4:34 PM
Reply to  Brad Benson

Is that the same Tony Shaffer who was controlling, sorry, surveilling Mohammed Atta and his two cells prior to 9/11? I’m not sure I trust the fellow, I think he may still present a clear and able danger! Three terrabytes of ‘surveillance’ my ______!

Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Feb 21, 2017 11:51 PM
Reply to  BigB

Might be. I’m not fond of any of these Waffen SS Goons on Faux News either, but having been a Fed in DC myself, he’s explaining something we all know and something that I addressed to some extent in the article above.
Do you have a link on the Atta stuff?

Feb 18, 2017 12:56 PM

Roberts is being somewhat premature. Trump is fighting to keep his head above water while consolidating his support and may well have to make some sacrifices(who can always be re-instated at some later date)just to keep himself in office until he can pull the rug out from under the detractors. I am no fan of Trump, but if he is to succeed, he must be more savvy in the way he portrays his personna – it worked in getting him elected but it will be his downfall if he doesn’t tone it down. The British M$M are whipping up a frenzy of popular opinion without any understanding by them, that if Clinton had won, the first ICBM’s might well be falling on EU cities by now. The pseudo left is represented by Jeremy Corbyn who still reiterates the establishment lies about Assad in order not to get shredded by the powerful and corrupt M$M. Never under estimate the power of persuasive lies in galvanizing the masses down a path toward their own destruction like lemmings jumping off a cliff. The US will not be the only country shredding what little was left of their own constitution, the UK(as always)is right on their heels in this matter.
“This is not a question of left or right. It may very well be a question of survival.” It cannot easily be put as a question of right or wrong either. Therein lies the problem. I never understood why Obama was allowed into the country – I would have been happy to throw the proverbial “squashed tomatoes” at him(still in their tin) had I the opportunity and many Brits did not want him here, but the hysteria being developed against Trump is truly something to behold. If Trump can’t keep his bigoted trap shut and pronounce some conciliatory statements – whether they are his real intent or not, – he really won’t survive the machinations of the “deep state”.
Unless we can bring down the persuasive and corrupt M$M, the battle that is being waged against Trump will eventually succeed to the detriment of all.

Feb 18, 2017 1:58 PM
Reply to  mohandeer

Excellent comment. On British constitutional matters: we’ve got Tony Blair to galvanize the Remoaners to ignore the democratic referendum. Apparently we are too stupid to think for ourselves, but with his superior wisdom we’ll get it right next time. Divide and rule, such a simple tactic.
As for the M$M, they are a symptom, not the cause of the concentration of excess capital – but it’s certainly somewhere to start.

John D. Flanagan
John D. Flanagan
Feb 17, 2017 6:07 PM

Excellent analysis and sober warning. Thanks.