All posts filed under: United States

Helsinki Summit: Trump and Putin Respond to Mueller Indictments

Eric Zuesse In the July 16th joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the question arose of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly having engineered the theft of computer files from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Here is that part of the press conference, in a question that was addressed to both Presidents (and I boldface here the key end part of Putin’s presentation, and then I proceed to link to two articles which link to the evidence — the actual documents — that Putin is referring to in his response): REPORTER (Jeff Mason from Reuters): For President Putin if I could follow up as well. Why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election given the evidence that US Intelligence agencies have provided? Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a US Grand jury. TRUMP: …

Open Thread: Trump-Putin Summit and Mounting Hysteria

Yesterday, Trump and Putin met for a summit in Helsinki. The resulting hysteria, all throughout the mainstream media and in the minds of neocon and (self-described) “liberals” alike.

Just to be clear – it is not unusual for heads of state to meet. It is not unusual for leaders with different values or interests to discuss international politics. It’s the entire point of diplomacy.

The media at large appear to have forgotten this – giving thousands of column inches to insane ramblings employing words such as “traitor”, “treason”, “puppet” and “surrender”. Words which are rapidly losing their meaning.

How the U.S. Government Lies About Syria & Ukraine

Eric Zuesse From the moment it took power in the U.S. in 2009, the Barack Obama Administration was angling to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. And then, by the time of December of 2012, Obama’s team were relying mainly on Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch to lead the tens of thousands of the U.S.-Saudi alliance’s boots-on-the ground ‘moderate rebels’ in this overthrow-Assad war, fighters who have actually been fundamentalist Sunnis recruited from all over the world to come to Syria in order to replace the secular President of Syria, the Alawite Shiite, Assad. Propaganda in the U.S. portrays U.S. Government policy as being driven by a concern for the welfare of the Syrian people: to ‘protect their human rights’ — not to overthrow a government that refuses to cooperate with U.S. oil companies and other corporate interests in the U.S. But even with the anti-Obama Donald Trump in the White House, there has been nothing really new about any of this U.S. Government scam, any of this attempted-but-never-publicly-acknowledged conquest against the Syrian people. The U.S. Government …

America is one-dollar-one-vote, not one-person-one vote

Eric Zuesse The only comprehensive and scientific study which has ever been done of whether the U.S. is a democracy or instead a dictatorship, was published in 2014. It studied the period during 1981 through 2002, and it found that:  In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.” And this is quoting now directly from the study itself: The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” A study published two years later (in 2016) reviewed the entire relevant scientific literature and found that “responsiveness [to the American public’s preferences] seems to have declined during the late twentieth century” and might be getting worse yet than that: The picture appears to be even more ominous — that is, opinion and policy are negatively related — on highly salient issues that attract media attention.” Consequently: the more media-attention, the less that the Government’s policy will reflect the public’s preferences on the given issue. …

‘Exorbitant Privilege’ Under Siege

Frank Lee It was the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing who first coined the phrase ‘Exorbitant Privilege’ – a reference to the many advantages enjoyed by the US ownership and control of the world’s reserve currency. This was a situation dating back to the agreement reached in 1944 between the allied powers and established in Bretton Woods a town in New Hampshire; it was to become known as the Bretton Woods Agreement. During the conference key negotiators, most famously John Maynard Keynes for Britain, and Harry Dexter White chief US delegate, hammered out a blueprint for a new global and currency and trading system. Keynes was not entirely satisfied with the outcome and White mostly got his own way despite JMK’s misgivings about possible problems further down the road. But then the UK in the shape of Keynes, was also angling for a sizeable US loan in the not too distant future which circumscribed Keynes’ room for manoeuvre; and the loan of course came with strings – viz., the ending of British imperial preferential trading …

Public Barred from NDAA Senate Committee Markup

Renee Parsons It appears to have been no coincidence that when President John F. Kennedy’s spoke to the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27,1961, ten days after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, he tacitly referred to the Joint Chiefs and the CIA who had orchestrated the Cuban invasion and then lied to gain his approval for military action. In that speech, Kennedy expressed what became a quintessential JFK quote: the very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it.” On May 24th, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) met behind closed doors and approved the massive 1140 page National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA S 2987 ) of 2019 by a 25-2 vote which authorizes ‘funding and provides activities for the US military.’ At the same time, …

New Study on Rising Suicide Rates in the US Suggests Capitalism Is Quite Literally Killing Americans

by Grit Post Editorial Board, June 11, 2018 A study released late last week showed that suicide rates have risen significantly across the country. The culprit appears to be capitalism. t’s largely assumed that people who decide to kill themselves are suffering from a mental illness. Mental Health America estimates that 30 to 70 percent of Americans who end their own lives are suffering from either severe depression or bipolar disorder. However, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 54 percent of Americans who committed suicide in 27 states in 2015 had no known mental health condition. The CDC study, which examined suicide rates in all 50 states between 1999 and 2016, found that the rate of Americans taking their own lives increased by an alarming 38 to 58 percent in 12 states, 31 to 37 percent in another 12 states, and 19 percent to 30 percent in another 12 states. The CDC found that on average, suicide rates jumped by more than 30 percent for all 50 states. The only state that …

America’s Genocide in Yemen Starts Tuesday

by Eric Zuesse The Houthis in Yemen are expected to start being slaughtered en-masse on June 12th. The U.S.-Saudi-UAE plan is to destroy the Yemenese port city of Al Hudaydah, which is the only entry-way by which food reaches approximately seven million Shiites, members of the Houthi tribe, who occupy the western third of Yemen, and who had recently ruled all of Yemen. The U.S. provides the weapons and the training, and the United Arab Emirates supplies the pilots for this operation, which is financed mainly by the Saudis. The objective is to establish a joint UAE-Saudi-run government of Yemen. On Monday, June 11th, the New York Times bannered “U.N. Pulls Out of City in Yemen, Fearing Bloody Assault by Arab Coalition”. That report didn’t mention that this is America’s fundamentalist-Sunni coalition of Arab monarchies, using American weapons, in order to bomb and blockade, and now starve to death, approximately seven million Houthis, and that it’s part of a broader war in which the U.S. and Israel are allied with fundamentalist-Sunni monarchies, which are trying …

Anthony Bourdain’s State Department Smorgasbord

by Lorenzo, June 10, 2018 Anthony Bourdain’s suicide in June 2018 will cement his reputation as a progressive celebrity with a unique acumen for explaining the world to his fans. CNN’s obituary says that the most common sentiment in response to his death is “I feel like I’ve lost a friend.” You’d have to go back to the death of Steve Jobs to find a celebrity who provoked this kind of personal investment on the part of his fans. Bourdain’s reputation was built for this, because the chef could be relied on to impart a very specific view of the world, and more importantly, to not look like he was doing it. This was the most consequential part of his work—why he was hired by CNN—and it’s the part that will get discussed the least as the adulation pours in. The following was written a few months ago but it is offered today with minor changes. As of March 2018 Patrick Radden Keefe, a journalist who typically covers El Chapo and ISIS, can add to …

WATCH: Robert F. Kennedy’s Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination Speech

On April 4th 1968 Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis Tennessee. New York’s Senator Robert F Kennedy was in Indianapolis, on the campaign trail for the 1968 Presidential election, when he heard the news. Deciding to break the news to the predominantly black crowd, with only minutes to prepare and no written notes, Kennedy stood on the back of a flat-bed truck and delivered a five minute speech that would define his legacy as the perhaps the greatest POTUS America never had. TRANSCRIPT: I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of …

Why the Evidence Mueller Has for the Indicting 13 Russian Nationals is Fraudulent

It’s almost a shame that a headline like that won’t spark anything more than casual curiosity when you consider the charges Richard Mueller is looking into. The Russian company Concord Management decided to answer is charges in early May, which threw a wrench into Mueller’s strategy.

On U.S. Imperialism, Capitalism and Fascism

If you want to know the untold history of the U.S.A., then a good place to start is with the history of US imperialism in Asia from the mid-19th century until today. Not only will that reveal the history of the criminality of US foreign policy, but it will also reveal the true nature of U.S. capitalism, imperialism, fascism and U.S. wars of aggression: past, present and future.

Trump – Israel Collusion on Syria

by Renee Parsons Considering the sequence of recent events in the Middle East, it is obvious that the circumstances regarding the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord with Iran were carefully thought out in advance, as a pre-arranged strategy to pave the way for escalating Israel’s conflict with Iran and the war in Syria. In presenting their own self-serving narrative of lies and distortions that Iran is conducting a ‘secret’ nuclear weapons program, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump remain oblivious to the stunning hypocrisy of their own duplicity and stupidity; as if the rest of the world does not see through their pathological deceits. In their most recent public presentations, both pathetically flawed individuals, trapped in a Matrix of their own, continue to confuse war with peace and have no clue how to distinguish the difference. Publicly projecting one’s own evil agenda onto an ill-fated population is an old political trick to deflect attention from one’s own sins while pointing the finger elsewhere and it would come as no surprise to discover …

How Soon the Suckers Forget!

by PA Farruggio How many lies and how many innocent lives have been sent out into the ethers by men like Junior Bush and his Bush/Cheney Cabal? Too many is the answer. Yet, as with the case with the Irish singing star ( and humanitarian ) Bono, Junior Bush has been ‘ Born Again Philanthropist’. Well, good for him, but… that should not and DOES not absolve him from his war crimes. The real shame of all of this is just how short a memory do Ms. Degeneres and Mr. Bono have? I mean, come on you two Media stars, have you both forgotten what transpired beginning in October of 2002? Does this writer need to once again review the horrific damage we, and our whatever in the hell we named this NATO led coalition did to the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan? Bono, you the humanitarian, have you seen the photos of the myriad of little children with no limbs or eyes or birth defects from our depleted uranium shells? Ellen, you who call …

WATCH: former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Brutalized By Police At Haspel Confirmation

78-year old Ray McGovern, ex-CIA analyst and respected commenter was detained, thrown to the ground and handcufFed for protesting the confirmation of Gina Haspel as head of the CIA yesterday. Haspel previously headed the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program which included several forms of physical and psychological torture

DISCUSSION THREAD: what does Trump’s ditching of the Iran nuclear agreement mean?

How do we interpret Trump’s decision to junk the nuclear deal with Iran?

Gina Haspel and the Normalising of Torture

Gina Haspel is almost certainly going to be the next director of the CIA. This shouldn’t happen, but it will.

For those unfamiliar: Haspel was deputy head of the Agency under now-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. But that wasn’t her first job. She also oversaw the CIA torture programme in a secret black-site in Thailand. In 2005 she was promoted (probably because she’s really good at torturing people), and was then in charge of the CIA’s global network of torture sites.

This makes her a terrible person, but probably quite a good CIA agent.

Why the U.S. Regime Hates Vladimir Putin

by Eric Zuesse Here is Putin in extemporaneous discussion and interview (translated into English): The second of those videos shows Putin offering Russia’s billionaires the choice between being dispossessed of their companies by the Government, or else signing an agreement with the Government, promising that they will henceforth place the welfare of their workers and of the people of Russia, above their own personal welfare and wealth, and only one billionaire there, Oleg Deripaska, hesitated, at which point Putin treated him contemptuously and Deripaska promptly signed. Here is how Britain’s Express newspaper, on 7 October 2015, described that second video: It shows the 63-year-old [Putin], who has launched a blitz of more than 50 airstrikes against the terror regime [Syria’s ISIS] in recent days, directly confronting Russian oligarchs and ranting at them that they are good for nothing COCKROACHES. In the incredible footage, Putin humiliates Oleg Deripaska, one of the world’s richest men with a fortune of $6m [Deripaska’s fortune in 2009 was actually $3.5 billion], and treats him like his personal lapdog. It was …

USA: No Restitution to Syria

by Eric Zuesse On April 22nd, an anonymous U.S. “Senior Administration Official” told a press conference in Toronto, that the only possible circumstance under which the U.S. Government will agree to pay anything for the harms (bombings of infrastructure etc.) it’s doing to Syria, would be if Syria will agree to cede, to U.S. control, a portion of its land: QUESTION: When you say no reconstruction money for areas that are under Assad’s control, there is some reconstruction money that’s currently frozen or under question for areas that are not under Assad’s control? MODERATOR: That’s stabilization, which is different from reconstruction, just to clarify. “Stabilization” is the solidification of control by the U.S. Government, via its proxies (‘rebels’ trained by U.S. and financed by the Sauds) who are fighting to overthrow Syria’s Government; and the U.S. won’t pay any reconstruction unless it’s “stabilizing” that particular part of Syria. If America’s 7-year-long effort at regime-change in Syria turns out to be a total failure (grabbing no part of its territory), then the U.S. won’t pay even …

It’s All Over Now Baby Red, White and Blue

some thoughts by Phillip Farruggio Leave your stepping stones behind there, something calls for you Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you The vagabond who’s rapping at your door Is standing in the clothes that you once wore Strike another match, go start anew And it’s all over now, Baby Blue Those are lyrics from the great Bob Dylan song It’s All Over Now Baby Blue ( 1965). How appropriate they are now in Amerika 2018. We have finally become a damaged empire due to a mega variety of reasons. Foremost is the delusion of far too many of us that we a nation victimized by forces of terror outside of our influence. Well, anyone who takes the time to turn away from the narcotics of electronic gadgetry, 24 hour sports, sexual delights, addictive cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs of preference, along with mainstream media’s embedded- with- empire phony news, would see that ( sadly ) our nation is the role model for terrorism. As we float aimlessly into the narrow straights …