Fox News and The New York Times Agree: America is Weak!

W.J. Astore

Did you know that the world’s lone surviving military superpower, the one that spends more than a trillion dollars yearly on all things military, is weak?

Fox News would have you think that. And so too would the New York Times (NYT).

Over at Fox News, the headline suggests Biden’s weakness is inviting “the next Pearl Harbor,” even as the article focuses mainly on alleged weakness vis-a-vis Russia-Ukraine and China-Taiwan. Meanwhile, my daily summary from the NYT agrees that “U.S. weakness emboldens Moscow and Beijing.” So what does the NYT suggest America should do to show strength?

With respect to Russia and Ukraine, this is the sage advice of the New York Times:

On its own, Ukraine’s military seems outmatched by Russia’s. And a full-scale U.S. military response seems doubtful, given a weariness of foreign wars that Biden and many American voters share.
But Biden still has options. The U.S. can increase its military support to Ukraine, which could make a potential invasion look bloodier and more costly for Russia. (The U.S. is pursuing a related strategy in Taiwan.)
Biden can also threaten sanctions on Russia, as he did on the call with Putin yesterday, according to Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser. “He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures,” Sullivan told reporters. If Russia does attack Ukraine, Biden said that the U.S. would react more strongly than it did to the 2014 takeover of the Crimean Peninsula.
But sanctions might not be enough to deter Putin.

In sum, here’s the tough-minded advice of the “liberal” New York Times: Sell more expensive weaponry to Ukraine (as well as Taiwan). Threaten the most violent economic warfare possible. And, since sanctions “might not be enough” to deter Russia or China, there’s more than a hint that America may need to go to war, despite “weariness” of wars allegedly shared by Biden and “many American voters.”

A show of hands here: How many Americans think it’s wise to risk nuclear war if Russia attacks Ukraine or China attacks Taiwan?

Even if the risk of nuclear war is discounted (which it shouldn’t be), how many Americans think it’s wise for the U.S. military to get involved in a land war in Asia or against Russia in Ukraine?

Maybe patient diplomacy is the answer here? After all, what does the “defense” of Ukraine or Taiwan by U.S. forces have to do with defending our country and our constitution?

America doesn’t lack toughness — it lacks smarts. Selling more weapons to Ukraine or Taiwan isn’t the answer. Nor are constant threats.

Sun Tzu taught that the best way to win is when you can achieve your objectives without even having to fight. Guile is not weakness, nor is restraint. But Fox News, joined by the New York Times, would have us think that toughness is mostly about weaponry and a willingness to wage war. Because, you know, it’s worked so well for America in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so many other places around the globe.

114 thoughts on “Fox News and The New York Times Agree: America is Weak!

  1. Since WWII, the US has invaded and bombed only poor, 3rd World Nations and couldn’t get a win in any of them Afghanistan being the latest humiliation against the Pride of American Power.
    Americans don’t see anything wrong with that picture as the Congress just gave the US Military-Industrial Complex more than ever before in in the $778,000,000,000 NDAA for 2022.
    It’s insane folly to think the US can win against almost Military-Economic peers like Russia and China.

    Despite a disagreement over some amendments in the Senate, the United States Congress is poised to pass a $778 billion military budget bill for 2022. As they have been doing year after year, our elected officials are preparing to hand the lion’s share—over 65%—of federal discretionary spending to the U.S. war machine, even as they wring their hands over spending a mere quarter of that amount on the Build Back Better Act.

    The U.S. military’s incredible record of systematic failure—most recently its final trouncing by the Taliban after twenty years of death, destruction and lies in Afghanistan—cries out for a top-to-bottom review of its dominant role in U.S. foreign policy and a radical reassessment of its proper place in Congress’s budget priorities.

    Instead, year after year, members of Congress hand over the largest share of our nation’s resources to this corrupt institution, with minimal scrutiny and no apparent fear of accountability when it comes to their own reelection. Members of Congress still see it as a “safe” political call to carelessly whip out their rubber-stamps and vote for however many hundreds of billions in funding Pentagon and arms industry lobbyists have persuaded the Armed Services Committees they should cough up.

    Let’s make no mistake about this: Congress’s choice to keep investing in a massive, ineffective and absurdly expensive war machine has nothing to do with “national security” as most people understand it, or “defense” as the dictionary defines it.

    U.S. society does face critical threats to our security, including the climate crisis, systemic racism, erosion of voting rights, gun violence, grave inequalities and the corporate hijacking of political power. But one problem we fortunately do not have is the threat of attack or invasion by a rampant global aggressor or, in fact, by any other country at all.

    Maintaining a war machine that outspends the 12 or 13 next largest militaries in the world combined actually makes us less safe, as each new administration inherits the delusion that the United States’ overwhelmingly destructive military power can, and therefore should, be used to confront any perceived challenge to U.S. interests anywhere in the world—even when there is clearly no military solution and when many of the underlying problems were caused by past misapplications of U.S. military power in the first place.

    While the international challenges we face in this century require a genuine commitment to international cooperation and diplomacy, Congress allocates only $58 billion, less than 10 percent of the Pentagon budget, to the diplomatic corps of our government: the State Department. Even worse, both Democratic and Republican administrations keep filling top diplomatic posts with officials indoctrinated and steeped in policies of war and coercion, with scant experience and meager skills in the peaceful diplomacy we so desperately need.

    This only perpetuates a failed foreign policy based on false choices between economic sanctions that UN officials have compared to medieval sieges, coups that destabilize countries and regions for decades, and wars and bombing campaigns that kill millions of people and leave cities in rubble, like Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

    The end of the Cold War was a golden opportunity for the United States to reduce its forces and military budget to match its legitimate defense needs. The American public naturally expected and hoped for a “Peace Dividend,” and even veteran Pentagon officials told the Senate Budget Committee in 1991 that military spending could safely be cut by 50% over the next ten years.

    But no such cut happened. U.S. officials instead set out to exploit the post-Cold War “Power Dividend,” a huge military imbalance in favor of the United States, by developing rationales for using military force more freely and widely around the world. During the transition to the new Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright famously asked Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

    In 1999, as Secretary of State under President Clinton, Albright got her wish, running roughshod over the UN Charter with an illegal war to carve out an independent Kosovo from the ruins of Yugoslavia.

    The UN Charter clearly prohibits the threat or use of military force except in cases of self-defense or when the UN Security Council takes military action “to maintain or restore international peace and security.” This was neither. When U.K. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Albright his government was “having trouble with our lawyers” over NATO’s illegal war plan, Albright crassly told him to “get new lawyers.”

    Twenty-two years later, Kosovo is the third-poorest country in Europe (after Moldova and post-coup Ukraine) and its independence is still not recognized by 96 countries. Hashim Thaçi, Albright’s hand-picked main ally in Kosovo and later its president, is awaiting trial in an international court at the Hague, charged with murdering at least 300 civilians under cover of NATO bombing in 1999 to extract and sell their internal organs on the international transplant market.

    Clinton and Albright’s gruesome and illegal war set the precedent for more illegal U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere, with equally devastating and horrific results. But America’s failed wars have not led Congress or successive administrations to seriously rethink the U.S. decision to rely on illegal threats and uses of military force to project U.S. power all over the world, nor have they reined in the trillions of dollars invested in these imperial ambitions.

    Instead, in the upside-down world of institutionally corrupt U.S. politics, a generation of failed and pointlessly destructive wars have had the perverse effect of normalizing even more expensive military budgets than during the Cold War, and reducing congressional debate to questions of how many more of each useless weapons system they should force U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for.

    It seems that no amount of killing, torture, mass destruction or lives ruined in the real world can shake the militaristic delusions of America’s political class, as long as the “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex” (President Eisenhower’s original wording) is reaping the benefits.

    Today, most political and media references to the Military-Industrial Complex refer only to the arms industry as a self-serving corporate interest group on a par with Wall Street, Big Pharma or the fossil fuel industry. But in his Farewell Address, Eisenhower explicitly pointed to, not just the arms industry, but the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.”

    Eisenhower was just as worried about the anti-democratic impact of the military as the arms industry. Weeks before his Farewell Address, he told his senior advisors, “God help this country when somebody sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.” His fears have been realized in every subsequent presidency.

    According to Milton Eisenhower, the president’s brother, who helped him draft his Farewell Address, Ike also wanted to talk about the “revolving door.” Early drafts of his speech referred to “a permanent, war-based industry,” with “flag and general officers retiring at an early age to take positions in the war-based industrial complex, shaping its decisions and guiding the direction of its tremendous thrust.” He wanted to warn that steps must be taken to “insure that the ‘merchants of death’ do not come to dictate national policy.”

    As Eisenhower feared, the careers of figures like Generals Austin and Mattis now span all branches of the corrupt MIC conglomerate: commanding invasion and occupation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq; then donning suits and ties to sell weapons to new generals who served under them as majors and colonels; and finally re-emerging from the same revolving door as cabinet members at the apex of American politics and government.

    So why does the Pentagon brass get a free pass, even as Americans feel increasingly conflicted about the arms industry? After all, it is the military that actually uses all these weapons to kill people and wreak havoc in other countries.

    Even as it loses war after war overseas, the U.S. military has waged a far more successful one to burnish its image in the hearts and minds of Americans and win every budget battle in Washington.

    The complicity of Congress, the third leg of the stool in Eisenhower’s original formulation, turns the annual battle of the budget into the “cakewalk” that the war in Iraq was supposed to be, with no accountability for lost wars, war crimes, civilian massacres, cost overruns or the dysfunctional military leadership that presides over it all.

    There is no congressional debate over the economic impact on America or the geopolitical consequences for the world of uncritically rubber-stamping huge investments in powerful weapons that will sooner or later be used to kill our neighbors and smash their countries, as they have for the past 22 years and far too often throughout our history.

    If the public is ever to have any impact on this dysfunctional and deadly money-go-round, we must learn to see through the fog of propaganda that masks self-serving corruption behind red, white and blue bunting, and allows the military brass to cynically exploit the public’s natural respect for brave young men and women who are ready to risk their lives to defend our country. In the Crimean War, the Russians called British troops “lions led by donkeys.” That is an accurate description of today’s U.S. military.

    Sixty years after Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, exactly as he predicted, the “weight of this combination” of corrupt generals and admirals, the profitable “merchants of death” whose goods they peddle, and the Senators and Representatives who blindly entrust them with trillions of dollars of the public’s money, constitute the full flowering of President Eisenhower’s greatest fears for our country.

    Eisenhower concluded, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals.” That clarion call echoes through the decades and should unite Americans in every form of democratic organizing and movement building, from elections to education and advocacy to mass protests, to finally reject and dispel the “unwarranted influence” of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.

    https://portside.org/2021-12-07/how-congress-loots-treasury-military-industrial-congressional-complex

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Within the 1st 100 Days of his Presidency. General-President Eisenhower gave his CROSS OF IRON SPEECH.
        It was such enlightened, idealistic, awesome Common sense spoken by a Politician just off his experience as the Supreme US General in the European theatre of War. He could spot a brown noser immediately, Military or Civilian.

        I wrote to the Chaplains of the House and Senate, suggesting they cite from Eisenhower’s Cross of Iron speech at the Beginning of his Presidency, and his warning of an unfettered Military-Industrial Complex at the end of his Presidency.
        There was no acknowledgement of my emails from the Chaplains, but I’m still getting manually generated generic replies to the same Message I sent all 100 US Senators posted earlier on Bill’s site.
        it’s like they’re just dipping their toe in the water to gauge the temperature?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Frightening! When the NYT and Fox News agree on something, you know you’re in trouble, and I mean that in all seriousness. If the only thing the politicians can agree on is shoveling more money at the military, this country is truly FUBAR.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Denise, I had the same thought with the Left and the Right being in agreement with their separate Political Agendas.

    Yesterday The Washington Post suspended me for 24 hours because in a discussion of the Ukrainian situation, I pointed out all the parts they left out in their Propaganda on behalf of the Military-Industrial Complex.

    The New York Times would not publish my comment this morning on the same Ukraine conflict. Why? I can’t deny what I see the MSM propagates Today.

    September 13, 1976, The Kansas City Times was quoting me in these brief excerpts from the report,
    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

    That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter.
    The World is waking up to see Americans may hasten “its days are numbered” part of the 1976 Vision, and waits with bated breath.
    With the benefit of 45 years hindsight, the last 5 years of Military, FBI and Intelligence “experts” on TV constantly, unanimously, demonizing Putin and Russia, the People have been prepared.

    Few will recognize “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” as the 1st 2 parts of the 3 part Writing on the Wall from Daniel 5 in the Bible.

    With that Past experience in my Curriculum Vitae, watching the unfolding events more closely than most since then, including the Paid Professionals, I see too many SINS of Historical Omission in US Reporting on the increasing tension in the evolving Russian-Ukraine-American tug of WAR leading to WWIII/Armageddon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAH! “…sins of omission in reporting…”? You’re obviously vying to be the World Understatement champion!!

      Read Biden was to have a two-hour telecon with Putin today, during which he was slated to threaten yet more sanctions against Russia. Wonder how THAT will turn out?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very impassioned and reasoned essay Ray, thank you.

    Some Realpolitik is needed in this discussion. I will keep my reply to Ukraine only.

    First: What interest does the U.S. have in Ukraine? Only the usual, which are economic, and these are not critical. There is no military necessity for the U.S. to defend Ukraine.
    There are Ukrainians in the U.S. but they are not a large sub-population, therefore the U.S. has no cultural interest in defending the Ukrainians.

    Second: Existential. Any war between NATO and Russia involves the U.S. which can turn nuclear at any time. Once the first nuclear weapon is used, even if it is a tactical battlefield weapon, the other side is given license to use nuclear weapons. One of the principles of using nuclear weapons in war is to use them first and overwhelmingly.

    Third: Logistics. The U.S. is a long way from Ukraine and the Russians control all the seaports leading to Ukraine. The Russians would blockade the Ukrainian Black Sea coast. It’s a long rail ride from the nearest NATO country ( Poland ) to eastern Ukraine. Part of the logistics is a winter war which the Russians are masters of and we are not.

    Fourth: The Ukrainians are doomed. They do not have any mountains like Afghanistan, jungles like Viet Nam, or an adjacent big buddy like North Korea did in the Korean War. I don’t include NATO because Ukraine is not a NATO member and once the shooting starts, the NATO nations will find an excuse not to get involved.

    The best the Ukrainians can do is accept the fact that they are going to be a province of Russia. The fewer Russians they kill and the more gracious they are to the annexation, the less trauma they will experience.

    My heart is for the Ukrainians because I believe that all people should be free to have their own country and to live as they please. My head says it is folly to intervene in this dispute.

    This is not weakness, rather a cold, hard look at the situation. No one is going to think the U.S. is weak because we did not come to the aid of Ukraine. Actually Putin would respect us more if we said the above to him because he is a cold, hard calculator. He knows NATO and the U.S. are bluffing in doing anything militarily in Ukraine. Economic sanctions don’t work and only harden feelings between the countries involved.
    C’est la monde.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Outstanding analysis, WJ.

      As you say, speaking in the most practical terms, the U.S. would gain nothing and potentially lose a great deal by attempting to intervene. I don’t know enough about the situation on the ground to forecast knowledgeably, but my guess is that, absent all-out war, the U.S. wouldn’t change the outcome there, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. WJSCOTT2: My heart is there, too. So, too, seemingly paradoxically, are the hearts of most Russians, including the Russian President. These latter DO NOT WANT Ukraine even as a province, not least of all because the enormous investment of resources needed to pacify a hostile population, rebuild a shattered economy (mercilessly looted by Ukrainian elites at least from the era of the Kuchma presidency) and its rickety infrastructure (including Soviet-built nuclear power plants nearing their expiration dates) and denazify the society. Rather, the aim — which I believe is now well nigh impossible — is to have a friendly, prosperous neighbor to trade with, to visit relatives and friends on both sides, and to resume the very fruitful commercial, cultural, scientific and scholarly collaboration that was the rule for much of the last centuries. All the talk about the restoration of the USSR is just bullshit: within the USSR, the Russian Federation was, by all accounts, alway the principal donor not only for the other Union republics (now on or trying to attach themselves to the EU dole) and the rest of the “Socialist International”. The Russian Federation is NOT interested in a replay. It has its own serious domestic priorities.

      Ukraine, by the way, was a special beneficiary of Russian largesse in the postwar era — Khrushchev and Brezhnev were both Ukrainians — and thus at independence, the Ukraine had notably better economic prospects than any of the Union republics, including Russia. But the old Soviet legacy was either mercilessly looted by the new Ukrainian elites or, more recently, their foreign backers or just let to rot without serious investment in maintenance, let alone modernization (road and rail networks, the main gas pipelines between Russia and Europe). Now this proud nation is on the dole to the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank, and somehow much of the monies disappear into somebody’s offshore accounts.

      I don’t know the answer, WJ. Some sort of rapprochement between the Ukraine and its northern neighbor — at the very least a restoration of commercial exchange — will be essential. It is the general Western policy — the “Ukraine project” — that stands firmly against this. For the EU (Germany in particular), I think, this was initially a matter of gaining a new market and displacing Russia, which accounted for 60-65% of Ukraine’s foreign trade and collaborated closely with Ukrainian industry in particular.

      But for the U.S., it soon became clear that the Ukraine could be used as a battering ram against the Russian Federation, to “fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian”. Why? Because under the stewardship of the current Russian President and his team, Russia has emphatically reasserted its sovereignty, brutally cut short Western attempts to gain control of her national resources, substantially raised living standards in the country and rebuilt the Russian military into the sort of formidable force that forecloses, at least for the mid-term, a American-led NATO repeat of the Hitlerite experiment. In short, the Ukraine is a great instrument. The U.S. will be loathe to have to compromise it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I found these articles informing and affirming what I already believed watching from CanaDa, what’s happening in the Goliath South of us.

    This was written by Robert Parry in 2014, just after the US orchestrated Coup d’Etat in Ukraine changing the Russian friendly government for a Neo-Nazi anti-Russian one.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2021/12/08/robert-parry-whos-telling-the-big-lie-on-ukraine/

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/12/what-putin-really-told-biden/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find the opinion of the first link, consortiumnews to be highly questionable. Here is the view from Brookings:
      https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/10/18/how-ukraine-views-russia-and-the-west/

      I respect Brookings opinion but it may be tainted like so many other supposedly ‘unbiased’ and ‘transparent’ opinions. Still it seems that it is the Russians that are instigating confrontation in Ukraine. They have already seized Crimea and have been nibbling away at eastern Ukraine since the 2014 or so. Something is powering the recent aggression by Russia, nothing happens in the political world without a reason.

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      1. Let’s discuss what you question about it? I already said it affirmed many thoughts I developed independently of the article from the many sources I read.

        I’m suspect of Brookings and the Council on foreign Relations Opinion pieces.

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        1. Re: Consortium News(‘CN’). Yes, I had read it ever since its inception, but remember being a little skeptical during the run-up to the Iraq War(crime) because virtually ALL the MSM and the ‘knowledgeable authorities’ were almost unanimous in their conviction that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat with WMDs, while CN was being more skeptical and cautious. And as it turned out in that MAJOR action, Consortium News was 99% correct and the MSM & ‘authoritative sources’ were 99% wrong. That was a BIG positive in their credibility rating, IMO, and they are one of the few sites I continue to follow and financially support.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So….I guess, short of hiring a translator and traveling through Ukraine for a couple months, including a stay in Crimea, how is one to know what’s actually going on over there and what the sentiments are?

            I wouldn’t trust Putin, but my reading leads me to believe he’s a pragmatist, so I don’t think he’d start a fight unless he was sure he’d win, but where does that leave things?

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    2. Thank you, Ray. A minor point, though. The Ianukovich government was never Russia-friendly. It was Ianukovich-friendly. Or, in other terms, it pursued a “multi-vector” foreign (and domestic) policy, trying to milk both sides, which is really characteristic of many of the old Union republics upon gaining their independence. In 2013-2014, however, he was forced by the West go make a choice. He temporized, and was overthrown. Just saying.

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  6. When I was a kid, before there were “limited campaign” board games like Stratego! and Battleship! there was RISK from Parker Brothers. This was the real thing, the goal of which was very simple: world conquest. The world was divided into regions, and between Europe and Asia was a great, blue mass: Ukraine. Being young and impressionable, I was drawn to it, had to have it. It was big – the largest region on the board – and blue and I had to have it. It took me a couple years to realize it was impossible to defend since it could be attacked from seemingly everywhere except Japan or Brazil. It’s that memory that sparked the following:
    NATO has never been tested, except in Tom Clancy’s books. Were it thrown into action against Ivan, the Commies would probably clean up by sheer weight of numbers. “Next stop, the Atlantic Ocean!”
    Unless … unless …. yes, that’s right, “tactical” thermonuclear weapons were employed. Oh, we’d hate to do it, but it would be the only way to save and avenge our courageous allies (so many of whom were ground up by Russian tank treads) and Civilization As We Know It.
    Now: take another look at who pulls the strings in NATO and the quality of US military leadership (not forgetting the Congress of Weasels) and tell me that’s an “unthinkable scenario.”
    “Finally going head to head with the Rooskies” as Maj. Kong says in “Dr. Strangelove.” Think of all the campaign ribbons to be awarded. God be praised …

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Double-Dog-Dare-You Appropriations

    “You are weak!”
    “Am not!”
    “Are, too!”
    Twerp testosterone on cue,
    Teaching grandma to suck eggs. What playground cheek.

    “Momma’s boy!”
    “That’s you!”
    “Not me!”
    “Put some pants on or we’ll see
    Why your tiny tool makes you Vlad Putin’s toy.”

    “Democrat!”
    “That’s mean!”
    “I know.
    Joe McCarthy wrote this show.
    Taught Bill Clinton and Obama where it’s at.”

    “Moving right!”
    “Me more!”
    “You less!”
    Hothouse orchids’ Storm and Stress.
    Precious peacock pugilism, not a “fight.”

    “Russians scared!”
    “U S!”
    “of A!”
    Any how or any way,
    Throw the Budget at junk weapons. Nothing spared.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2021

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Can you imagine Russia threatening us about Cuba, a place we have treated terribly (militarily and economically) for many decades, well over a century in fact. Yes, Russia did put missiles into Cuba and then wisely removed them in exchange for something positive, the removal of US Jupiter missiles from Turkey. That’s how diplomacy should work.

    And come to think of it, why aren’t we threatening China over Tibet? That would be equally ridiculous.

    There can be no war between the US, China and Russia. Obviously the only thing to do is work together and there is certainly an opportunity with global warming, yet Congress is balking on the US doing anything in that regard. Our government isn’t working except to support the MIC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re absolutely correct, Clif, that the only viable way forward is for the U.S., Russia, and China to cooperate to mitigate the effects of climate change and do everything possible to halt further global temperature increase. But yes, as you say, the U.S. government is the biggest obstacle there.

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  9. Just to be clear, what folks here are suggesting is the best path forward is to let Putin–a despotic and cruel tyrannt–invade and take control of Ukraine against its will, and not lift a finger to stop it? That’s what I’m picking up. Do I have it right? Just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.

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      1. OK, you kind of got me on a linguistic technicality. Let me rephrase. Let’s *suppose” Russia invades the Ukraine. Folks here are suggesting that in such an event, the best path forward for the U.S. is to do nothing, right?

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        1. First, given your scenario, what do you believe the U.S. should do?

          Second, if Russia does invade (and conquer/occupy?) Ukraine, the U.S. won’t “do nothing.” Biden is on record as saying strong economic sanctions would follow such an act. I imagine Russia would be both economically and diplomatically isolated. Russia could also find itself embroiled in a costly guerrilla war in Ukraine. I don’t think it will be a cakewalk for Russia, especially if it’s a general invasion to annex Ukraine.

          What I oppose is sending more weaponry to Ukraine, which U.S. taxpayers help to pay for; I also oppose sending U.S. military troops to Ukraine, risking escalation that could include nuclear war.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. OK, so I think you’re saying economic sanctions should be the extent of US involvement.

            From what I’ve observed (and I’m not an expert), sanctions don’t serve as a real deterrent to tyrants and dictators. In fact, in Putin’s case, he’ll use it to further vilify the U.S., and he’ll likely do it to great affect.

            We know that Putin wants to increase Russia’s influence and footprint. I think if do nothing to stop him from taking over Ukraine, he will feel emboldened to do it again. It feels like appeasement to me. And believe me, I’m no hawk. I just think Putin is a pretty awful human being capable of doing (and willing to do) massive harm to millions of people. I’d like to see the U.S. do more than economic sanctions in this situation. I’d like to see us build an alliance with other armed nations in Europe and build up military presence in Ukraine.

            But reasonable people can disagree.

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          2. We have an alliance with other armed nations in Europe: it’s called NATO.

            We are selling weapons to Ukraine.

            You say “build up military presence in Ukraine.” Does that mean sending U.S. troops? How many? If Russia invades and U.S. troops die, what happens then?

            Also, the U.S. military is still recovering from disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan even as it misspends billions of dollars for ineffective weaponry. Consider this article: https://spectator.org/our-military-in-decay-facing-some-hard-truths/

            I can’t imagine sending U.S. troops to Ukraine in winter to defend against a possible Russian attack. Ukraine can defend itself. And the U.S. military should focus on defending the USA.

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        2. As U. S. President (and former general) Dwight Eisenhower used to say when people tried to stampede him into doing something unnecessary and foolish: “Don’t just do something. Stand there.” I
          suggest that you take this wise admonition to heart. More “just standing there” and not “lifting fingers” or “doing something” by the United States — especially its bloated and inept military — would greatly benefit both America and the world.

          As the intelligent and competent Russian President Vladmir Putin likes to say in his measured, diplomatic fashion: “our partners and colleagues will eventually take our reasonable and genuine national interests into respectful consideration.” Something like that.

          Finally, I would not presume to speak for others who comment in this forum — and I would hesitate before calling them “folks” — but as a 74-year-old U. S. citizen and veteran of the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72) I’ve seen all the American “lifting of fingers” to “help” other countries that I ever wish to see again. The Russians and Ukrainians — in millions of cases the same people — will work out their relationship in time. And despite the hurricane of bullshit and bluster coming from the U.S. administration (all for domestic political consumption) I think that in this case, the United States and the Nefarious American Terrorist Operation (NATO) will, for all intents and purposes, do nothing, because anything they might do will only make matters worse — not the least for themselves.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. a sage, sober, and diplomatic observation, mich. thank you for speaking from an effendi’s 74-yr old perspective… i.e. yours.

            knee-jerk reactions against international leaders must be avoided, particularly on such an uber-weaponized, congested planet as ours. even leaders like putin and pol pot [we lived in cambodia for 4 years] started w/ good, perhaps even noble intentions, but they have been so successfully demonized by the corporate-controlled MSM that its dumbed-down readership has no clue what hopes each one originally brought to his citizenry. no thanks to NATO and US interferences, as well as their rabidly scathing demonizations and subreptive behaviours, putin’s and pol pot’s visions for their countries’ respective futures went horribly awry.

            the MSM and govts w/ vested interests in multiple depauperate countries unable to defend themselves are remiss in not uncovering and divulgating the history and broader, deeper narratives of these countries and their leaders. this should be done in order that we can more comprehensively understand and facilitate the art of diplomacy as a preferred 1st-line option, rather than war and its subsequent savagery, mayhem and demoralizations of both the attacking soldiers and their victims.

            wja is a treasure in his ability to raise contentious issues his readers can discuss w/out necessarily agreeing on. nor will we ever likely achieve consensus about. i suspect wja is well aware of this, yet he is propining us the gift of a venue in which to engage in reasoned discourse, sufficient to open a shuttered window or 2 for us partially blinkered blokes and blokesses who have a thirst for expanding our knowledge base… not simply wringing our feeble hands in despair. we would do well to follow RJ CORMIER’s tireless and unrelenting efforts to share what knowledge he has gained w/ the MSM, parliamentarians, congress, and the corporate power-elite.

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          2. Jeanie, when I had my Spiritual rebirth February 1, 1975, it was as powerful to me, as I IMAGINE it was for Saul on the Road To Damascus to arrest those Jews who were part of the new Jewish Sect called Christians.
            I thought the kingdom of Heaven would unfold throughout the Whole World within 3 years.
            Obviously that was only wishful thinking on my part so I learned to let go and get with God’s overarching plan.
            That’s a lifetime of Experience until the Spirit leaves our bodies to decay and return to the Earth.

            I appreciate your comment, especially since you are Atheist and against Religion.
            Naturally, I’m disappointed having sent the same Message to all 100 US Senators, November 5, 8, 15 & 16, while the majority of them acknowledged receipt with a computer generated reply, I’m still getting manually generated replies with Senate letterheads and signed, but totally generic without acknowledging the substance of the Message supplanted by the few experiences in my CV.
            When I posted the Message in Bill’s site, according to the WP Stats for my Blog, only 2 People from Bill’s site clicked on 1 link of the 3 to ‘Angels To The Rescue’ when a Black youth came out of a group of some 25 telling me he was taking my new shiny red-orange back pack, and thanks to the Angels, walked out of that scene with my back pack unmolested.

            Never knowing if there will be an effect or reply, and it’s very rare when I get one, this is what I tweeted to Anne Applebaum this morning listening to her on Fareed Zachariah GPS this morning.

            @anneapplebaum
            Too many Historical SINS of Omission in your account on GPS this am.
            East Ukraine and Crimea came AFTER the US Coup in 2014 changing the Russian friendly govt. for an anti-Russian Neo Nazi one.
            Israeli SURVEILLANCE equipment sells big.
            The link to SIGNS OF THE TIMES was part of the Message with the character limit.

            In her half-Truth Propaganda, she implied Russia and China selling SURVEILLANCE equipment was Authoritarian. She didn’t mention Israel developed and perfected the most sophisticated SURVEILLANCE equipment to know what all Palestinians say, tweet, email or text.
            Israel was instrumental in developing the MetaData collection system Edward Snowden warned the NSA installed, able to call up all the contacts and communications of anyone, including Americans, coming to their attention.

            Replies or not, I do what I do understanding this Message of the Christ Spirit,
            The Lord said, To what then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

            They are like children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not wept.

            For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and YOU say, He has a devil.
            The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and YOU say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
            But Wisdom is justified of all her children.
            The YOU of that Time was the Jewish Religious Establishment and wine biber was someone who liked their wine.

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    1. Thad, what is the result of empire? Looking at history it has proved to be temporarily a good thing for the conqueror as far as looting goes, but there is no longer a British, French, German, Roman, Persian…I could go on…empire. Look at the mess that the USSR became with all the satellites including Ukraine jumping ship. If Putin wants a weight around his neck, Ukraine is there for the taking, though in all the time it was part of the USSR fealty to Russia was only strong in the eastern part, exactly where the trouble is right now. That is where the US wants to make a stand? That’s crazy. As you admit, even economic sanctions don’t work, they only punish publics.

      Here in the US we should now be fully aware that even with wildly disproportionate military power, foreign “possessions” can’t be held against the will of the locals. Only with cooperation, as has been the case with Japan and Germany after WW2, can there be a positive outcome, a positive outcome for all.

      Suppose that Hitler and Mussolini went unopposed in their desire to build empires. Mussolini had dreams of Rome born anew, Hitler had his Third Reich. What if they had succeeded in taking over all the lands they craved? Can’t we say that the captive peoples, particularly outraged by the tactics of the Nazi’s and that would far outnumber the invaders, would resolutely resist with no end to it? In real history, a good part of the French people fought the Nazi’s even when the situation looked completely hopeless with Hitler touring captive Paris. What European country would want to try to re-establish African holdings?

      To be concise, building an empire is building trouble. Only the intrinsic love of power possessed by the super-striving people who inevitably gain power around the globe keeps the drive going. The mission of the people in every democracy should be to restrain their leaders from their power dreams, both at home and abroad. In the US we have more than enough of a job keeping Trump at bay right here at home.

      The US over the 20th century “lost” China, Vietnam and now Afghanistan. Iraq? Good god, what a nightmare that has been. Can anyone tell me how these “losses” in any way kept the US from becoming the superpower it is? The collapse of the USSR and Maoist China came from internal causes, with the support of eastern Europe only speeding the USSR to financial collapse, yet here we are itching to face off in a renewed power game, nothing learned.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Bravo Clif. It is a historical fact that when the indigenous people out number the invaders, it’s the invaders that finally have to leave or join the crowd.

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  10. All media is a psychological operation. One must understand that there is nothing independent or truthful about their telling. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street have their agendas and if you read or watch any of the media outlets in their stable, then you could become captured by their ideologies.
    We are deceived and hypnotized by some of the best marketing this world has ever known. Once one realizes whose behind the message it is not hard to let go of these creations; they are so much less than reputable, which makes their message so predictable. There’s a chart in the article below that lists the teams rosters. There’s no freedom when drinking from a poisoned pool; once you slake you’re thirst in the murky waters, you become captured under it’s spell. A spell that is extremely difficult to break.

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/blackrock-vanguard-own-big-pharma-media/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, indeed. The corporate media psyops campaign directed against the browbeaten American public continues unabated. Cutting through the crap, so to speak, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter informs us that Biden has successfully solved the Ukraine crisis he manufactured, RT.com (December 9, 2021):

      “. . . Biden’s threat to deploy additional US forces now makes sense. First and foremost – he’s not going to do it. Second, Russia is not preparing to invade Ukraine, and Biden knows it. The current crisis is being driven by Ukraine’s ongoing refusal to implement the Minsk accords when it comes to recognizing the autonomy of the Donbass region, and its continued military posturing as a mechanism of gaining NATO support for its ambition to reconquer the Donbass and Crimea.

      Russia has been insisting that the US put pressure on Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to adhere to the Minsk agreement, and that the US provide assurances that NATO would stop its eastward expansion. Any move by the US, void of an additional predicate, would be seen by both the American domestic audience, and America’s NATO allies, as a sign of weakness. However, by building up a non-existent threat (i.e., a Russian invasion of Ukraine), and then threatening to dispatch non-existent troops to eastern Europe if Russia were to invade, Biden can now take credit for being strong in the face of Russian aggression. Moreover, when Russia doesn’t invade (and it won’t, unless responding to any large-scale military provocation by Ukraine), Biden can take credit for making Putin back down [emphasis added].

      In this context, Jake Sullivan’s announcement that the Biden administration is open to broad talks with Russia about the future of European security, coupled with Biden’s announcement that the US would not come to the aid of Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, and a similar announcement by Biden that the US would not support Ukrainian membership in NATO for at least 10 years, can be spun as responsible actions taken from a position of strength, instead of the logical response to realpolitik.”

      “Problem” Conceived, “Solution” Perceived — at least in Never-Never-Land (a.k.a., Washington, D. C.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Just noticed that the courts ruled it was OK to bring the journalist, Julian Assange, back to the USA for more abuse; just because he published an account of real events. Muzzling the press, with diamond studded gold bars, to ensure predictable outcomes has dropped transparency to the mat and the referee has just swung his arms in that crossing motion signaling the knockout complete. Dignity and integrity sit weeping ringside, while the light of day kneels on the floor providing comfort to honesty, who lies passed out in cardiac arrest. But, there is no surprise from the fight fans. They always knew that boxing mirrored the media who cover the daily struggles of life; both delivering the best of managed outcomes that money can buy. Darkness hides the lost truths that keeps the public so uninformed about how the deal has gone down; as the media minions work overtime to lead us all astray. There is an immediate need for a new public WHISTLEBLOWER channel that all of humanity can tap into and find the unvarnished truth. The Corporate Media Complex is providing the cloud cover for nefarious deeds indeed. Truth, whatever it happens to be, must be allowed to exist in the light of day; otherwise no solutions will ever prove effect.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I find the ideas for the topics you bring to us so intuitive. Your timing is in tune a whole lot and to use media outlets as a foundation for this thread a day before the gavel dropped on Julian Assange isn’t surprising for me. I must admit it’s very difficult to chew on some of the fare you provide at this roadside diner. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it doesn’t nourish; because it most certainly gives one strength of character consuming the topics and responses. It’s just that some of it is so tough to chew on and swallow. Sort of like those nutritious vegetables I hated as a child; but now have learned they provide such an important function to overall health. Seeing such little support for Julian’s cause coming from the media gives one a sour sensation in their stomach. All I hear from the press is crickets; when they should be holding street vigils outside of their places of employment in support of his courageous actions. It just makes my assumptions about this “free & independent press” stronger. Which somehow makes my heart sink. But, like my mother always says, “Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you!”… so I’ll keep coming back; and hopefully one day everything will taste like the best pizza pie always. Thanks once again for giving me an opportunity to spit out some bad tastes. It’s good for the constitution.

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          2. In the case of Julian Assange, the persecution/prosecution is the point. It’s all about intimidating future Assanges. While also getting a measure of revenge, of course.

            Most of the media is owned. They say and print what the owners want them to. So it’s not “news,” it’s propaganda. Propaganda disguised as a “free” press.

            It’s not that news is “fake”; it’s that news is yet another product, another commodity, another consumable, produced to make money and to consolidate power for a few at the expense of the many.

            Assange revealed this by doing real journalism, and that simply cannot go unpunished.

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        1. Outstanding use of metaphor, UTEJACK. But I especially commend your final sentence: “Truth, whatever it happens to be, must be allowed to exist in the light of day; otherwise no solutions will ever prove effect.” It echoes the sentiments expressed in John Milton’s impassioned pamphlet, Areopagitica, urging the British Parliament (in 1644) to forgo “licensing” — i.e., censoring — of publications disapproved of by the government. One of its most famous passages admonishes — and challenges — us:

          And now the time in speciall is, by priviledge to write and speak what may help to the furder discussing of matters in agitation. The temple of Janus with his two controversal faces might now not unsignificantly be set open. And though all the windes of doctrin were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licencing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falshood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the wors, in a free and open encounter. Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.

          What a shameless betrayal, not just of Julian Assange, but of England’s best and noblest contributions to civilization and its literature.

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          1. As usual, I have to pick myself up of the floor after reading the Milton passage. You obviously are well traveled in the territories of verse. Your creativity wavelength is good for the soul and body. How you bring ideas that were present in previous literature is way cool; Milton stops my mind and I have to work hard to get the most out of what he reveals. Jeannie M.’s speech causes the same symptoms in me. But it is stimulating and once understood, it seems to anchored deep. And I’ve lived long enough for many things of the mind lose their moorings. And certain objects too.
            This one just hurts the heart on a whole. another level; because I’m not sure we will ever come to understand that we are imprisoned with Julian’s incarceration. Most choose never to recognize this.

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  11. For those bored to tears with the never-ending blather coming out of America’s “political elite” regarding Ukraine and other matters of absolute indifference to the typically self-absorbed American, Dmitry Orlov, the Russian expatriate engineer (recently repatriated) offers a comprehensive analysis of real-life on the ground in the affected regions of Eastern Europe along the Russian Federation’s western border: Who Wants Some Ukraine?” [bold font for emphasis my addition]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I maintain that the end of WWII in Europe saw the defeat of two (but not all) fascist governments (Germany and Italy, but not Franco’s Spain) while Fascism Itself (or Corporatism) simply entrenched itself ever deeper into the fetid anti-communist (i.e., anti-labor) soil of its American homeland. The U.S. Fascist Oligarchy never had a problem with Hitler and Mussolini — as fellow Fascists — only that they had the temerity to compete with America for the top position.

      Good that Caitlin Johnstone, along with a pitifully few others, recognizes Orwellian CorpGov and eloquently speaks out in opposition to it. But Gore Vidal pointed this out quite some time ago when he said: “The United States has only one political party, The Property Party, and it has two right wings.” Listening to the so-called “Democrats” and “Republicans” pretend to hate and loathe each other over trumped-up culture war issues (like immigration and abortion) sound to me like Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun berating one another for behaving in an “insufficiently barbaric” manner. As Ron Placone likes to say on the Jimmy Dore Show: “The United States doesn’t need a third political party. It needs a second one.”

      It would constitute a good beginning if Americans would stop referring to political “parties” when the term “faction” more clearly identifies the true nature of intramural Fascist squabbling in the United States.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. If I understand Russian motive regarding Ukraine, it has to do with the expansion of NATO and Ukraine desire to join. Russia has suffered devastating invasions from its west several times so maybe not surprising they feel uneasy. I don’t know if I agree NATO should disband but at least stop expanding. Or invite Russia to join, that would throw them off guard for a while.

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    1. Russia has asked to join NATO more than once since the breakup of the Soviet Union. They were given the brush off.

      Given the New York Times history when it comes to pushing for US military intervention they must be absolutely shameless to print this stuff. Tonkin Gulf “incident”, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but NATO was created to keep the USSR (and its Warsaw Pact “allies”) out of Europe. Why on Earth would you let the USSR’s current incarnation – led by a former KGB guy, and operating much the same as the original incarnation did – join a military alliance intended to keep it at bay? To beg for understanding and sympathy for Russia’s position – “devastating invasions from its west several times” – is disingenuous and a misreading of history.
        The Teutonic Knights? Can’t really count that.
        Napoleon. That was the French in 1812, by my count over 200 years ago. Time to get over it.
        In WWI & WWII it was the Germans.
        Invasions from the west on a compass, but hardly “The West” militarily & politically, though the two seem to be inseparable in Russian rhetoric.
        (I’m sure Poland feels the pain of their mistreated & misunderstood neighbors to the east.)
        The US might have pulled out of NATO with the “fall” of the USSR and the break-up of the Warsaw Pact countries. They might have sold or handed over all its military hardware on the ground to the remaining member nations who trusted the “new” Russia as little as they did the “old” regime (while in the US, dreams of a newly westernized, democratic and – yes, gawd be praised – capitalist Russia with vast markets that would play ball with us swept away everything we’d learned of them during WWII and the Cold War). But it didn’t.
        Is America weak? Its leadership – both military and political – are a joke: provincial, lacking in vision and clinging to a “we won WWII/we’re the good guys” mindset. We certainly have the weaponry and – it seems – a great many young people willing to be cannon fodder (better benefits than flipping burgers, apart from the getting killed or maimed parts). I don’t believe, however, the latter compensates for the former. Add to that the continuing societal/infrastructure deterioration “from sea to shining sea” and yeah, as we used to say back in my hometown of Calumet City, Illinois, America’s shit is pretty weak.
        (I currently live in northern Europe, where the locals – recognizing the EU’s inability to organize a game of strip poker in a Turkish brothel, let alone defend their borders – fear the US as much as Russia.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Other than Nationality and Agenda, what’s difference?
          Demonizing Putin because he was part of Russia’s Intelligence Agency, and H.W. Bush was Director of the CIA before he was President.
          Pompous Pompeo was also Director of the CIA before being Secretary of State.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Describing the KGB as an Intelligence Agency is like describing the Gestapo as a police force. Describing someone or something for what they are is not demonizing … Putin is ex-KGB. I said nothing about his rampant narcissism which would be a subjective call on my part. But he is ex-KGB. As for your referencing Bush & Pompeo … I believe that’s what’s known as deflection bordering on obfuscation, as neither figures in the conversation. Being both a Canadian and One of God’s Own doesn’t give you license to do that, here or anywhere else.

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          2. “I was CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment” Such an absurd thing to say. CIA lying, cheating & stealing is America’s glory?
            And don’t forget CIA Torture!

            US Intelligence said Saddam had WMDs and that was a lie. US Intelligence failed to foresee 9/11 and the rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan after spending $2 TRILLION on a 20 year lost cause.
            I think you’ve been brainwashed by US Propaganda.

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        2. But we do have the same outlook described in the last paragraphs of your comment

          I suggest reading this about the period of the Soviet collapse. The writer lives in Germany and he names names of those powerful Americans who partook in the gang rape of Russia.
          F. William Engdahl has been writing about energy, finance, geopolitics, and oil since the early 1980s, and his writing about Russia, a country which he travels to frequently, has been simply excellent.

          THE RAPE OF RUSSIA
          https://russia-insider.com/en/rape-russia-interview-f-william-engdahl-audio/ri23182

          I took note when the US abrogated the 1972 SALT Treaty with the Soviets in 2001. That Treaty banned anti-missile missiles. The US has deployed them in Poland and Roumania aimed at Russia. That gives the US 1st Strike capability. Putin would be derelict in his Duty as President of Russia not to question US motives and intentions?

          The US has made regime change of other governments as American as Apple pie.
          In the timeline, the US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government in 2014.
          US anti-Putin/Russia Propaganda has too many SINS of Historical Omission keeping Americans in the Dark about cause and effect.

          There was a tug of War between Russia and the IMF/EU/NATO over bailing out the failed Ukraine Economy in 2013. The Yanukovych government decided the Russians offered better bailout terms than the IMF/EU/NATO and went with Russia. Then came the regime change, installing a Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government.

          Yes, Russia has serious legitimate reasons to see the US as the aggressor/provocateur in Russia’s part of the world so far from the US

          I’m describing US actions for what they are. Is that demonizing?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Good rejoinder based on solid facts, Ray. As a matter of fact, the Russian Federation in no way “threatens” Western Europe, unless supplying it with affordable energy counts as “threatening.” Much less does Russia “threaten” the United States located oceans and continents away. I think Russia has one overseas military base, at Latakia in Syria, and there they have assisted the UN recognized government of Bashar al-Assad in defending against the head-chopping jihadi fanatics supplied and supported by the U.S., NATO, and assorted “allies and partners.” The U.S., in contrast to Russia, has somewhere between 800 and 1,000 bases spanning the entire globe.

            If the Russians and their able President Vladimir Putin — who has demonstrably learned how to administer his government — constitute a “threat” to anybody, the world could use a lot more such “threats.” And if the incompetent lunatics running the US/UK/EU constitute “help” then the world could stand a lot less of that.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. It must be interesting being Putin, dealing with the likes of Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden. Let’s face it: these four American leaders all had/have major flaws on the international stage. Probably their biggest collective weakness is a mixture of ignorance, arrogance, and a lack of any longterm vision, an inability to see the entire chessboard and thus no real ability to follow a coherent strategy.

            I have come neither to praise Putin nor to bury him. But, to change the metaphor, he has played a weak hand very well.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Since Ukraine and Taiwan are the current flash points for Armageddon/WWIII, I just received an email notice from William Engdhal of what he wrote about Ukraine in 2014. I was not aware of his Being before reading his account of the Rape of Russia in 2018.

            I’m sure all the Intelligent People involved in Civil Discourse on William’s site, if they were me posting events in my Curruculum Vitae from 1976 when The Kansas City Times published 2 articles chronicling my personal Voyage of Faith, each and every one of you would have paid much closer attention to the unfolding News reported since 1976 than most other people.
            As I was watching the 2014 unfolding events in Ukraine as it was happening, I reached generally the same opinions and outlook William writes about below.

            It was the Soviet Union in 1976, when I look into Today’s World as projected by the secular, non-religious MSM, and in the Alternate Social Media, I see it Generally unfolding in the Spirit of the letter published on September 13, 1976,
            “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

            That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter.
            The World is waking up to see Americans may hasten “its days are numbered” part of the 1976 Vision, and waits with bated breath.

            With the benefit of 45 years hindsight, the last 5 years of Military, FBI and Intelligence “experts” on TV constantly, unanimously, demonizing Putin and Russia, the People have been prepared.

            Few will recognize “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” as the 1st 2 parts of the 3 part Writing on the Wall from Daniel 5 in the Bible. The 1st 2 parts are concerned with Economics. The 3rd part is Politics!

            US EU meddling in Ukraine battle

            By F. William Engdahl 30 January, 2014

            In the heat of recent exchanges and deaths of protesters in Ukraine, many have lost sight of the insidious role key players in Washington and certain EU countries are playing.

            Their agenda seems to be to force an immediate end to the elected Yanukovich government in Kiev and lock Ukraine into the EU and, ultimately, NATO. Washington’s agenda has little to do with ‘democracy and freedom’, and a lot to do with destabilizing Putin’s Russia.

            On Sunday, January 19, the eight-week-long series of protests and demonstrations against the government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev escalated to a new level of violence. Bands of right-wing militants called Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), attacked Ukrainian police guarding government buildings and attempting to contain the protesters.

            Enter the Neo-Nazis

            Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at riot police from the top of the Dynamo Kiev football stadium in central Kiev beginning January 19. Police responded by using stun grenades and tear gas against the mobs. Vehicles were torched by the hooligans from the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor. More than 60 police were hospitalized from barrages of rocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

            The core of Pravy sektor is made of the activists of radical groups, including ‘Trizub’, ‘Patriot of Ukraine’, as well as UNA-UNSO and the ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom) ultra-right party, which won nearly 10 percent of votes at the last parliamentary election in Ukraine. They are ‘pro-EU’.

            The far-right violent radicals told Radio Free Europe, a US Government media agency tied to the CIA and State Department, that they were preparing full bloody guerrilla war against the government. Andrey Tarasenko, Pravy Sektor’s coordinator warned, “If they attack and try to carry out a bloody crackdown, I think there will be a massacre. Guerrilla warfare will begin in Ukraine.”

            Tarasenko stated that their “demands” are to oust the current government and “build a nation state” in Ukraine. What kind of nation state we must imagine. They also demand that Yanukovich step down, but, generously enough, add that they would give him and his family “24 hours to leave the country safely.”

            On their VKontakte (In Contact) social network website, the organization calls for donations of items such as slingshots, steel balls, gasoline, laser pointers, glass bottles, chains, and pyrotechnics.

            Their published manifesto is nothing short of bizarre: “All those who at this point would try to tame the revolutionary energy of the masses should be proclaimed traitors and punished in the most severe way. The time of peaceful singing and dancing at Maidan [Independence Square] is over. This is a waste of time. There can be no negotiations, no compromise with the ruling gang. We will carry high the fire of national revolution.”

            Curious is the fact that in the beginning of the protests, Pravy Sektor members were calling themselves ‘the Maidan self-defense force’. They had been designated by the main opposition leaders – Vitaly Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok – to provide security for peaceful protesters. Now they clearly have split from the peaceful protests.

            Even more bizarre is the fact that in recent days ambassadors of several EU-member states, as well as the US and Canada have gone to Maidan to meet Pravy Sektor activists and learn how ‘the headquarters of national resistance’ operates.

            Instead of unequivocally condemning the rise of violent Ukrainian nationalism, which could turn Ukraine into another Yugoslavia or Libya, the West is only threatening President Yanukovich with sanctions, while turning a blind eye to the real Pravy Sektor danger.

            Boxer Klitschko favorite of West

            The Tarasenko demands are virtually the same as ex-boxer-turned right-wing politician, Vitaly Klitschko, the pro-EU apparent favorite of Germany’s Merkel government. Klitschko has lived in Germany for the past several years.

            The nominal reason for the latest explosive protests in Ukraine was passage of a series of emergency laws to control the civil disorder by the Parliament on January 16 which, among other things, restrict the right to protest, constrain independent media, and inhibit the operation of NGOs.

            Evidence suggests that key players in the Ukraine protest movement are being steered and orchestrated by Washington-funded NGO’s like the National Endowment for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund in The United States (a Washington think-tank financed by a donation from the German Parliament), and certain key neo-conservative Bush-Cheney leftovers in senior positions at the State Department.

            Already on October 11, 2011, the German Marshall Fund hosted Vitaly Klitschko, then-WBC Heavyweight Boxing Champion just entering Ukraine’s political boxing ring, at a Washington meeting to discuss Ukraine’s European perspective.

            Again in 2012 during the October Ukraine elections The German Marshall Fund in the United States hosted a top-level group of UK, French and German journalists to visit Ukraine, where they also met Klitschko. The Marshall Fund journalists were told by the US Embassy officials in Kiev that, “Ukrainian oligarchs would like to see a strong opposition to the Party of Regions in the new parliament in order to temper the enrichment of President Yanukovich’s family.”

            That ‘strong opposition’ is today headed by three very different political parties. One which won a shocking 10 percent in the last elections and sits in parliament is Svoboda, a neo-fascist nationalist party led by Oleg Tyagnibok. Tyagnibok backed the US-financed 2004 Orange Revolution. He is openly anti-Semitic and anti-Russian, once claiming that Ukraine was ruled by a “Moscow-Jewish mafia.” The second-largest opposition party, jailed opposition figure, Yulia Tymoshenko’s ‘Fatherland’, led by Arseny Yatsenyuk, has signed an agreement to work with the neo-fascist Svoboda.

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          4. John McCain in Kiev, Ukraine in 2014 posing with the far-right Neo-Nazis, encouraging the increasingly VIOLENT protestore overthrow of the Russian friendly governments.
            The US freaked with a Propaganda blitz because Russia spent $50,000 on Social Media ads during the 2016 election.
            Another case of the US dictating to the World, Do as I say, not as I Do!

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          5. In one particularly memorable Noam Chomsky interview (“Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy’ America,” The Free Thought Project, July 20, 2017), the renowned author, linguist and cognitive scientist noted:

            “Every cabinet official was chosen to destroy anything of human significance in that part of the government. It’s so systematic that it can’t be unplanned. I doubt that Trump planned it … [since] his only ideology is ‘me’. But whoever is working on it is doing a pretty effective job, and the Democrats are cooperating—cooperating in a very striking way … Take a look at the focus in Çongress. It’s one of the few decent things Trump has been doing. So maybe members of his transition team contacted the Russians. Is that a bad thing?

            Recent ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, had a blog where he pointed out that, ‘It’s exactly what you should be doing. It’s the job of ambassadors and diplomats coming in. There are serious problems and tensions you want to talk over to see if there’s anything you can do about them. Instead of just building up force and violence.’ That’s what the democrats are focusing on, and meanwhile all these other things are going on and they’re not saying anything about them.”

            Chomsky had also emphasized that, “While everything is focusing on that, the Paul Ryan republicans, who are, in my view, the most dangerous and savage group in the country, are busy implementing programs that they have been talking quietly about for years. Very savage programs, which have very simple principles. One, be sure to offer to the rich and powerful gifts beyond the dreams of avarice, and [two], kick everyone else in the face. And it’s going on step by step right behind the [Russiagate] bluster.”

            Source: http://www.thefreethoughtproject.com/chomsky-trump-distraction-destroy/

            Like

      2. “Fox News and The New York Times Agree: America is Weak!”
        ____

        I have found only small quantities of objective information on this, and many other U.S. foreign-policy topics, in Western mainstream news-media. Every culture/nation has its own propaganda and core beliefs, true and false; though some culture/nations — usually the biggest, most powerful — are much more corrupt and brutal than the smaller, weaker ones.

        Also, I often hear and read praise heaped upon The New York Times for their supposed uncompromised integrity when it comes to humanitarianism and ethical journalism; however, did they not help create the Iraq War, through then-U.S.-VP Dick Cheney’s self-citing via a Times blog? The same Cheney who monetarily benefitted from the war via Iraqi oil fields — a war I consider to have been much more like a turkey shoot, considering the massive military might attacking the relatively weak country.

        I recall reading that The Times had essentially claimed honest-ignorance innocence on the grounds that it was its blogger’s overzealousness that was/is at fault. But is it really plausible that The Times did/does not insist upon securing the non-publishable yet accurate identity of its writers’ anonymous information sources — in this case, a devious Cheney — especially considering that Cheney himself would then use that anonymous source’s (i.e. his own) total BS about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify a declaration of war that inevitably resulted in genuine gratuitous mass suffering and slaughter? I believe that The Times may have jumped on this particular atrocity-prone bandwagon, perhaps due to the massive 9/11 blow the city took only a few years prior. There was plenty of that particularly bitter bandwagon going around in Western circles back then.

        Quite memorable was New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman’s appearance on Charlie Rose’s show (May 29, 2003), where he ranted about the war’s justification and supposed success. “… We needed to go to that part of the world; and what they needed to see [was that] American boys and girls going house to house, from Basrah to Baghdad, [and] simply saying, ‘suck on this’.”

        To me, it is like they all decided: ‘Just to be on the safe side, let’s error in favor of assaulting and invading Iraq’.

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        1. thank you for your perspicacious but quite unsettling elucubrations re. cheney and the NYT, fgsjr2015. i wonder who cheney’s mother and father were. he was clearly not parented w/ a nurturing love, unfettered but reasoned acceptance of himself and others, and sagacious, broadminded guidance.

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  13. A few years ago I emailed both the Chaplains of the House and Senate suggesting when they say their Prayers starting the Day, they should cite parts of General-President Eisenhower’s Enlightened and Idealistic CROSS OF IRON speech at the Beginning of his Presidency, and parts from his warning about a growing Military-Industrial Complex at the End of his Presidency, since the House and Senate forgot and ignore the Common Sense. No Reply from either of them.

    The Senate Chaplain spoke at Bob Dole’s Eulogy Today which moved me to post this in his FB page. It’s a little off topic, but that was an August service for Bob Dole Today. I hope some of you enjoy reading of this Experience in my Curriculum Vitae.

    Let us pray the Lord be Magnified in the Spirit with the Christian Witness and Testimony at the National Cathedral eulogizing Bob Dole Today. My Spirit rejoiced with it.

    I was unexpectedly BORN AGAIN to my great surprise and wonder, on February 1, 1975, making me 77 going on 46 years seeking God and learning the Ways of the Christ Spirit.
    As a CanaDian, that Spirit led me to a high level of visibility at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City.
    I joined with the Youth International Party camped out at The Liberty Memorial in Penn Valley Park across the street from The Crown Centre Hotel where President Ford and Vice President Rockefeller and their partisans were staying.

    There was a school bus on the grass across the street with a sound system so powerful, it reverberated against the windows of the Hotel. Waiting on the roof for my turn to speak, the words poured out extemporaneously for 90 minutes. At one point in the opening night, Vice President Rockefeller came out on a terrace with a retinue, Bob Dole among them, at eye level with me across the street.

    Recognizing him I addressed my words to him and got around to pointing out the scandal when he Governor of New York. He could give his “friends” cash “gifts” in varying amounts from $75,000 to over $100,000. Too many of his “friends” were Decision makers in Regulatory positions in government.

    I asked the Vice President if he would be kind enough to donate $200 worth of groceries since so many in the camp were penny less having hitch hiked from all over the Country. He gave me The Finger!

    You can imaging my happy surprise to discover a picture of The Finger taken from the terrace on the Internet in 2013.
    I wrote to Bob Dole 3 times over the years to ask him what he and the others took so much joy and pleasure in hearing the same words that annoyed the Vice President so much? There was no reply, so now it’s only an educated guess.

    Apart from that, I enjoyed hearing you cite the yoke of Christ.
    Before I got to Kansas City, I stayed in Venice, California a few months.
    One Day I sat on a bench with my back to the Ocean and in a booming voice that reverberated along the Boardwalk started reading from my Bible.
    In 1976 Venice Beach believed itself to be the last Bastion of Freedom in the US. Anyone can do anything as long as they did no harm to any other. It was the Secular version of Christ saying ‘be as wise as a serpent and as HARMLESS as a Dove.

    As I read, people actually covered their ears saying “you can’t do that here. Go someplace else”
    As I continued, someone came and cracked an egg on my head.
    I was stunned as it dripped down my face and shirt onto my Bible. How to react? Should I stand up and threaten them with the Fires of Hell?

    Recovering by the Grace of God stood up and said, “Have you never seen the words in this Book? Learn of me for I am meek and lowly. Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and MY Burden is Light!”
    After that, others came and ministered to me.

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  14. UTEJACK – You make an essential point when you speak of “bringing ideas” into the present that we have inherited from our past literature. As a matter of fact, we find ourselves in a dire situation where we have great need of them, having so few of comparable worth today. Leaving John Milton and his Areopagitica — if not Paradise Lost — aside for moment, when I read your comment in the context of Julian Assange’s terrible plight, I immediately thought of something Francis Bacon wrote in The Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605):

    “Martin Luther, conducted (no doubt) by a higher providence, but in discourse of reason finding what a province he had undertaken against the Bishop of Rome and the degenerate traditions of the church, and finding his own solitude being no ways aided by the opinions of his own time, was enforced to awake all antiquity and call former times to his succours to make a party against the present time, so that the ancient authors, both in divinity and in humanity, which had long time slept in libraries began generally to be read and revolved.”

    Julian Assange has vast, implacable powers arrayed against him. He seems so isolated and frail as he attempts to endure and overcome the coordinated crimes of nations determined to make an example of him that will dissuade others from digging out and publishing the simple, documented Truth of official war crimes, political malfeasance, administrative incompetence, and corruption generally. Lacking adequate supportive opinion in his own land (Australia) and mine (The United States) — not to mention Airstrip One (England) — he has great need for the rest of us to “awaken antiquity” within ourselves and our societies so that the most profound human thoughts may come to his aid and “make a party against the present time.” So, awaken, John Milton from your slumbers in our libraries. You have work to do. Give us the words today that we most need to repeat until they become a deafening chorus:

    For Books are not absolutely dead things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as that soule was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragons teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet on the other hand, unlesse warinesse be us’d, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image; but hee who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm’d and treasur’d up on purpose to a life beyond life. ‘Tis true, no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great losse; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the losse of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole Nations fare the worse. We should be wary therefore what persecution we raise against the living labours of publick men, how we spill that season’d life of man preserv’d and stor’d up in Books; since we see a kinde of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdome, and if it extend to the whole impression, a kinde of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elementall life, but strikes at that ethereall and fift essence, the breath of reason it selfe, slaies an immortality rather then a life.

    Thank you, John Milton. Like Francis Bacon, you did not lead an inconsequential life. So help us save the life and work of this good and innocent man.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. provocative mentations, mich… brainfood from you, milton, bacon, and assange, who will likely die in a US prison-of-horrors… at which point he will finally be recognized as the martyr he has long proved to be, and he will become a rallying cry for those whose eyes, ears, and mouths have been sealed shut but are now unsealed.

      PS: i urge all of wja’s readers who celebrate the xian xmas, to consider donating what you might have decided to spend on yet more consumer goods for any of your materially-bloated friends and family, on a destitute family, a soup kitchen, warm blankets for displaced refugees, books for chris hedges’ prison students in new jersey, or an orphanage, either near you or abroad… or just take your loved ones, friends and family, for a walk through the forest, w/ dinner, music, and conversation to follow.

      this was a tradition my husband and i instaurated decades ago w/ our 7 children. tho’ b/c we were living overseas in impoverished countries, our bantlings still felt guilty for being endowed w/ a privileged life compared to those around us. so they spent xmas visiting bedouin camps, refugee camps, orphanages, street kids’ lairs, helping to clean their surrounds, do laundry, wash dishes, read to them, cook and distribute special foods… still, exculpation came hard, but it made them feel better, enough to continue their efforts on weekends. please forgive me if you interpret my beseechings as self-righteous, ‘de-haut-en-bas’ fastuousness. w/ certitude, most of you already employ this way of contributing to societal outliers.

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  15. Oh, yes. And then, yesterday, this happened:

    Tail Lights in the Tunnel

    “Hickory, Dickory,” nonsense and trickery.
    Poetry? Possibly. Possibly not.

    Down in the dungeon he languishes. Julian.
    Guiltless but still left to suffer and rot.

    First comes the sentence and later the verdict, which
    stamps upon “justice” a permanent blot.

    Censoring “news” of their crimes and incompetence:
    corporate government’s media plot.

    Big Brother conjures up “Acts” which collectively
    add up to tyranny, ugly and squat.

    Stacking up “charges” to gain a conviction, the
    lawyers will argue that “winning” is aught.

    Alice’s Looking-Glass now Oceania:
    “No Law for Proles” is what English has got.

    Thus in the Empire of Darkness two lights growing
    dimmer, each now just a little red dot.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2021

    Liked by 1 person

  16. America and Americans are weak. They display all the symptoms and signs of weakness in the following categories: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.

    Physically, Americans are among the most obese in the world. The U.S. military has lowered its standards for physical fitness because they could not find enough recruits that met the old standards. Take a look at photos of World War II soldiers and now.

    Emotionally they are immature and have never grown up. Listen to all the whining now, it sounds like a bunch of 2 year olds. Very few step up and take responsibility for their actions or speech.

    Intellectually hardly needs explaining. Americans do not think, they react much like a reptile at the emotional level. Fear and anger are the ‘thinking’ tools of the average American.

    Spiritually they have nothing. The reason the Taliban won is because they had a spiritual ground and were willing to suffer and die for their cause. It is a misguided and corrupt cause but the basis for it is there. Our troops and officers were merely doing their ‘job’. How many time did we hear one of them say something like ‘I have a job to do here’? One goes to one’s job for a specified duration of time then goes home. One certainly does not want to suffer or die for one’s job.

    American and Americans are tracing the path of all decaying empires. The people have no heroes and really do not want any. They want their comfortable life and have no expectations other than getting through today. The future they are leaving their children doesn’t matter because the future is too bleak to think about.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, but of course the NYT and Fox News define “weakness” in terms of weapons and wars. To be strong by their measure is to buy more weapons, export more weapons, and express a constant willingness to go to war because we don’t want to seem “weak” vis-a-vis China or Russia.

      Conveniently, this narrative ensures massive profits for the military-industrial complex. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As for FOX and the NYT having anything resembling a real difference of opinion about American “weakness,” Lewis Carroll pretty much dispensed with that sort of nonsense:

        Tweedledum and Tweedledee
        Agreed to have a battle;
        For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
        Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

        As for the President of the United States going all-tough-and-stuff on Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine:

        When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark
        And will talk in contemptuous tones of the shark
        But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
        His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

        Possibly something to do with those Russian fleet ballistic missile submarines quietly putting to sea for deployment a few hundred miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America. …

        Whenever I hear of all the “help and assistance” that the U.S. generously provides its “allies and partners,” I think of a drunken Boris Yeltsin posing for photos with his swell-best-friend Bill Clinton in the 1990s; or Victoria Nuland and John McCain handing out cookies to neo-Nazi thugs in Kiev, Ukraine. Or, as Alice heard the tale:

        I passed by his garden, and marked with one eye
        How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
        The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
        While the Owl had the dish as his share of the treat.
        When the pie was all finished, the Owl as a boon
        Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon;
        While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
        And concluded the banquet by ——

        We can all fill in the rest . . .

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Your last sentence is a large part of the cause of all the conditions you describe about Americans. And a friend said to me two days ago that all she can focus on is getting through today. Some days, I devoutly wish I had just that immediate focus; I completely understand that attitude. Thinking beyond today is possibly the biggest stressor in our world right now.

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  17. Relevant to America’s many military weaknesses — those one can discuss on Oligarchy-owned corporate media (like FOX and the NYT) — Jimmy Dore and Max Blumenthal of the GRAYZONE posted a video segment [a partial transcript here] where they focused on endemic corruption in the military establishment itself. In support of his views, Max made reference to an article by Kelley Vlahos, entitled Our Military in Decay? Facing Some Hard Truths which I found depressingly accurate but hilarious just the same. Especially given the question mark in the article title and accompanying picture of a military officer looking baffled at what anyone familiar with the U.S. military would consider routine to the point of tedium.

    At any rate, before I could start laughing and crying at the same time, Mnemosyne’s mischievous daughter-muses (all nine of them) started giggling and whispering to me, insisting that I take dictation before they would let me do anything else with my day. So, like the typically spineless American male confronted by feminine “suggestions,” I dutifully typed up:

    Corporate Career Camouflage
    (on seeing a screenshot of Marine Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller looking shocked (“shocked!”) at lack of accountability in the upper military ranks)

    The Ordnance Absorption Technicians catch bullets,
    guard brigs, stand at embassy doors;
    speak of “overheads,” “bulkheads,” and “decks” that civilians
    call “ceilings,” and “walls,” and “floors.”

    Having signed up to kill for the ones who’ve hired sailors
    to dump them on some foreign shore
    as the shock troops for stockholders, now they start whining
    when treated like Business’s whore?

    Smedley Butler compared Al Capone to the Jarheads
    like him who directed vast crime,
    not on districts but continents. Scale matters here,
    if for dollars you’ll kill for a dime.

    Punching tickets, they fuck up and move up the ladder
    (or greasy pole if you prefer)
    kissing up, kicking down, the Marines like the Army
    And Navy and Air Force defer

    to the corporate oligarchs funding their party:
    (what “lifers” consider “careers”)
    through the door that revolves into lobbyist fortunes,
    then back into “government.” Cheers!

    As the crocodile tears pour from out of the corner
    of one eye, they pin on their chests
    more medals and ribbons while moaning “They died
    because you never met our requests.”

    Peter Parkinson wrote of incompetence filling
    the time set aside for the work,
    so with no “time’s up” scheduled, the job never ends,
    and promotions accrue to the Jerk.

    Dr Gurugé said that if once you allow them
    To “help” you they’ll just draw a line
    arbitrarily through a dispute of the moment –
    and render it adamantine.

    Chairman Mao said he only required five Bombs.
    Any more would just make rubble bounce.
    Which suggests that the Pentagram try Chinese “thinking”
    which adds up to more than an ounce.

    A wrong thing you can’t do correctly (the “right” way)
    but still some insist that they can,
    and if only we give them more time, blood, and money
    they’ll come up “This Time!” with a plan.

    They will! Honest Injun! They wouldn’t lie to us!
    (At least not too loudly or long)
    Just enough so that no one sets deadlines or measures
    the failures they think of as “strong.”

    Now we’re long overdue for Demobilization;
    Reduction in Force; Quittin’ Time!
    Number one: fire the admirals, generals — grifters —
    who’ve hung around way past their prime,

    which for those who don’t know was when nuclear weapons
    made them and their kind obsolete,
    only good for the slaughter of goat-herding peasants
    who hand us another defeat.

    So if “weakness” you wish to discuss please consider
    decay and corruption galore
    as the “strength” of America’s five-sided sinkhole
    designed to make profits from “war.”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2021

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent article about the root causes of our failed military. It is rare to find high ranking officers who still command troops directly ( Lt. Colonels ) talk about these things. This is pretty much what happens to the military in all decaying empires.
      Thanks for the link Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  18. American toughness is in the eye of the beholder. It is equal parts image (the President, Congress, and The American People) and the will/ability to back it up (policy).

    The dottering errand boy that is our current president completely blows the “image” part of the equation. At this point he reminds me of Longshank’s (Edward I’s) ineffectual son in the movie Braveheart. Ex: Biden hosting his recent “Democracy” Summit, while America is in crisis on multiple fronts. This reminds me of Longshank’s son parading through the castle as his servants holding a full length mirror so he can foppishly check his reflection along the way, while the Scot’s are wreaking havoc and planning to attack England.

    Recall the lessons we learned about Vietnam…if the VC saw an encampment that had weak leadership (as indicated by lack of discipline, disarray, etc), it went to the top of the list to attack. Our adversaries are ruthless, and they are consummate opportunists.

    Recalling another Sun Tzu quote: “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself”.
    He was Chinese, by the way.

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  19. I get a Daily ‘Portside Snapshot” as a free subscriber, and this one deserves to be reprinted here in full. I already shared it in my Twitter account and FaceBook.

    ‘Understanding and Resisting the New Cold War’
    At the heart of the Cold War is a quest for world domination under the guise of “American exceptionalism”.

    We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that if our country and our way of life are to survive we must weaponize, weaponize, weaponize… We must recognize this as Cold War messaging to be resisted, and help others do the same.

    The first thing to understand is that the Cold War is psychological war waged by the US and its allies. It is carried out on a worldwide basis and especially in the United States against the public. These operations are aimed at conditioning people to accept war preparations and war operations. They involve the joint efforts of what Ray McGovern (a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) has called the MICIMATT Complex — the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academic-Think Tank Complex.

    The Cold War aims to rationalize and justify the US government’s vast war budget, its sprawling system of more than 700 foreign military bases, and a variety of military, diplomatic, and economic operations against other nations. These other nations are assigned the role of “enemy” or “threat”, because they are attempting to follow a political and/or economic path that is different from what the US wants. Today the objects of the Cold War include China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, North Korea, as well as others.

    At the heart of the Cold War is a quest for world domination under the guise of “American exceptionalism”. We are told that the US is the “only indispensable nation,” the only legitimate model for democracy, and the best model for human rights. Nations and leaders who do not go along with this are demonized and are seen as threats to “US national security.” “US national security” in this context has nothing to do with the actual security of the people of the United States; instead, it has to do with the security of US and international corporations to operate without restrictions throughout the world. In order to resist this process, we must be able to pause when being told that some other country is “an enemy” or a “threat to our security.” We must slow down and check other sources of information. We must say to ourselves, “Where does this talk or image lead us? Let me think this through.”

    U.S. claims to be “pro-democracy” must be viewed in the light of the numerous overt and covert US military operations that have successfully overthrown democratically elected leaders attempting to pursue policies in the interests of their own people; in the light of US support for dictatorships that go along with US policies; and in the light of a US “democratic order” that is dominated and controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy individuals and corporations.

    In today’s world, in which humanity’s very existence is threatened by nuclear weapons, climate chaos, and pervasive pollution, humanity needs worldwide cooperation. We cannot afford to have enemies. On the contrary we need the nations of the world, particularly the major powers of the world, to come together as partners in survival. Humanity urgently needs the abolition of nuclear weapons, an end to conventional wars, an end to the threat of conventional wars, and a transition to the use of humanity’s spiritual and material resources for sustainability and true human security. These goals cannot be accomplished through domination. They require mutual respect among nations, respect for the principle of national sovereignty, respect for international law, and respect for the Charter of the United Nations.

    Another way of looking at our reality is to recognize that in today’s globalized world we are all interconnected such that what we do to others will eventually be done to us. This means that the Golden Rule — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — has become a practical necessity as well as a moral imperative. And the Golden rule includes not only what we do, but how we listen, and try to understand others.

    Attempting to listen to and understand supposed “enemies” is likely to raise an immediate problem. In the past people in the US who opposed war and sought peace between the US and the USSR were frequently marginalized and accused of being “communist sympathizers.” Today, such labels have been transformed into new epithets such as “Putin puppet” or “Chinese apologist.” Given the massive power and influence of the MICIMATT complex, it is understandable that advocates for peace might react defensively to such charges, and seek to prove that they aren’t “puppets” or “apologists.” The problem with this reaction is that it unintentionally gives credence to a charge that has no credence, and thus inadvertently perpetuates Cold War thinking in general. We need to be prepared to reject outright such labels and try to help others do the same.

    In our quest to understand others, fortunately there are non-corporate independent media. In regard to Russia “Johnson’s Russia List” is an invaluable free resource on the internet from The George Washington University; it includes English translations of speeches, papers, and interviews from Russian political leaders and academics. There are also Foreign Ministry websites of China and other countries. One need not take everything being said from these sources as true, but view them as providing some balance and an opportunity to give due attention to other viewpoints.

    Because peace is inextricably connected with the solutions to any and all problems that humanity is facing, the Cold War hampers any and all efforts for protection of the environment, for true democracy, for social justice, for an end to racism, for human rights, and for human security. Thus all progressive social movements will ultimately find themselves confronting Cold War messaging, and this can be the basis for a broad movement against the Cold War and for true peace.

    Finally, we should remember that as a signature to the UN Charter, the United States is bound to its principles by law. Any act of Congress that violates the UN Charter is actually illegal, and we can band together and demand that our elected officials pledge to never vote for an act that violates the UN Charter.

    E. Martin Schotz, is a retired physician living in Cummington Massachusetts, a member of the Peace Task Force of FCCPR (Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution), and a member of the No New Cold War Group of Mass Peace Action.
    https://portside.org/2021-12-11/understanding-and-resisting-new-cold-war

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate having this information, Ray.

      Just as one needn’t have admired or supported Saddam Hussein to believe he wouldn’t attack the U.S.—purely on practical grounds; the man wasn’t suicidal—so one must regard Putin in terms of what he sees as practical in terms of his and his country’s future. I can think he’s an evil person, but still judge that cooperation beats mass annihilation.

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      1. Do you have some defensible reason for considering President Putin an “evil person”? What in his personal or official conduct leads you to entertain such an opinion of him? What has he ever done to harm the people of the United States or Europe, for example? Where have you seen him handing out cookies to neo-Nazi gangs busy overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine? Oh. Pardon moi. That “goodness” belongs to Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland and John McCain. More interestingly:

        (1) Do you really think that President Putin personally caused the failed casino operator and cable-tv talk show host Donald Trump’s victory over the snake-haired Medusa, You-Know-Her, in 2016? And (2) even if you did think that, why would you not consider it a good thing, rather than an evil? For me, as one who lived through the consequences (Vietnam) of mindless red-baiting McCarthyism, to watch the “Democrats” try and pull that same scurrilous tactic on the Republicans (who invented it) reminds me of Count Dracula (in the movie Love at First Bite) sneering at the psychiatrist Jeffrey Rosenberg (who thought he could hypnotize the Count to impress his girlfriend): “Do not teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, Rosenberg. It is you who are getting sleepy.”

        Republican grandmother’s already know how to suck red-baiting eggs and do not require instruction in the art from their wannabe-Republican grandchildren (the Clintons and Obamas). But nowhere in this silly, sorry, sordid saga to I see signs of Russians — any of them — doing anything, one way or another, to direct American affairs. So perhaps Americans ought to clean up their own domestic and international messes before projecting their own Jungian shadow (as Jimmy Dore likes to say) upon others, most-specifically Vladimir Putin. The Russians, for their part, feel lucky to have him, for he has no peer in domestic Russian politics and few, if any, in international affairs. I suspect that in years to come, Russians will append the title “Great” to his name, for he has done great things for his country, whatever Americans or Europeans may say to the contrary. I say these things advisedly and, with reason, admiringly …

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        1. I hold none of the ideas you list, Michael. I base my opinion of Putin on the fact that dissidents in his orbit tend to be detained, or worse. Also, the fact that he’s ex-KGB means he’s no choirboy. I make no judgments about him relative to the U.S.

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          1. i fear we all are too quick to judge others. judgemental behaviour is one of our species’ most distinctive signatures and prevailing protocols, particularly as our judgemental parameters are exercised in the political, educational, religious, and sports spectra. other animals view and consider their options; we judge and often take our judgements beyond what is reasonable.

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        2. michael murray, you must have been a bellweather steward who guided some of us at a nexus on the backside of the asteroid belt… “republican grandmothers already know how to suck red-baiting eggs and do not require instruction in the art from their wannabe-republican grandchildren [the clintons and obamas]”… you bring matchless metaphoric language to this site.

          your impugnings and oppugnings are inimitable as well:

          “Do you have some defensible reason for considering President Putin an “evil person”? What in his personal or official conduct leads you to entertain such an opinion of him? What has he ever done to harm the people of the United States or Europe, for example?”

          poetic profundity is your stock-in-trade. as you know, the letters in ‘evil’ can be jumbled about to create ‘vile’, ‘live’, ‘levi’ [a common hebrew surname], veil, as well as a word or 2 from old english and gaelic.

          greetings from the wja blog’s self-appointed cheerleader.

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          1. DO! wja! do just that. make it a muumuu frock of lightweight cotton, flimsy enough to float about in these tropical zephyrs so i won’t collapse from heat prostration. colour? i’ll take an aquamarine one, like the colour of seawater hugging our coast.

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      2. how can one pronounce another ‘evil’ w/out having met that person, never mind coming to know him or her? many are victims of political persecution and vilification in the media b/c doing so serves a political, economic, or social agenda, even though the narratives are be-ribboned in prevarications, innuendo, and blatant, unapologetic mendacity.

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        1. Um….I’ve never met the Former Guy, but I don’t hesitate to characterize him as evil, and I make no apology for it. Ditto Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh, and a number of other thoroughly despicable individuals.

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    2. your previous post, rjcormier, the one about your immaculate conversion on the metaphoric ‘road to damascus’, was not visible beyond the 2nd paragraph; it disappeared off the page and refused to be hauled back up, so i can only comment on what needs an errata or, at least, clarification [proleptic apologies for the rest of this chatyap’s being about myself] :

      i am not an atheist. i am loathe to be categorized as part of some spiritual or non-spiritual identity group, b/c labels are misleading, too generalized, and are invariably inaccurate representations of an individual’s persona. the closest description of anyone’s referenced cynosure-ship requires multifarious nouns, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, and adjectives. the closest i can come to describing my guidepost of behavioural mechanisms is that of a spiritual, non-Xian, non-biblical, non-adherent of the OT, who engenders buddhistic, shinto-ist, upanished-reading, eclectic, nullifidian, science-oriented proclivities, commensurate w/ a tendentious recusancy of rabid religiosity and brain-benumbing, myopic, ritualistic, knee-jerk reactions to complex issues. whew! i could elaborate further, but you would become oscitant and fall dead-asleep w/ ennui… or we’d both be dead from old age before i managed to finish my tautological colloquy!

      i do admire your urgent and courageous advocacy, whatever guides you into the light, b/c your advocacy helps others to focus on the good. as the clear-eyed jesuit priest daniel berrigan so sagely exhorted: “the good draws to it the good”. berrigan was one of the most honourable, courageous persons committed to the good whom i ever had the privilege to meet.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. “These other nations are assigned the role of ‘enemy’ or ‘threat’, because they are attempting to follow a political and/or economic path that is different from what the US wants.”
      ____

      Western governances are heavily steered by corporate interests, sometimes through economic intimidation; and I’m not just talking about huge party donations come election time. To me, it’s as though the elected heads are meant to represent huge money interests over those of the working citizenry and poor. Accordingly, major political decisions will normally foremost reflect what is in the influential corporations’ best interests.

      Furthermore, Western corporate lobbyists, like those within Canada, actually write bills for our governing representatives to vote for and have implemented, supposedly to save the elected officials their own time. I believe the practice has become so systematic here that those who are aware of it (that likely includes mainstream news-media political writers) don’t bother publicly discussing it.

      Meanwhile, Canada’s Justin Trudeau Liberal government is very likely being heavily pressured by Canada’s powerful telecom giants to say Yes to Beijing, because they have already largely built Huawei 5G tech into their systems. Anyone doubting the potent persuasion of such huge business interests here should consider how high-level elected officials can become crippled by implicit/explicit threats to transfer or eliminate jobs and capital investment, thus economic stability, if corporate ‘requests’ are not accommodated. It’s a crippling that’s made even worse by a blaring news-media that’s permitted to be naturally critical of incumbent governments, especially in regards to job and capital transfers and economic weakening.

      Really, why wouldn’t foreign nations, and especially China, take advantage of this vulnerability?

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    4. we are hugely in your debt fore posting schotz’s shatteringly insightful and brilliant article rjc. it is one of the most outstanding ‘coup-de-foudre’ dialectics i’ve read from the peace community, particularly in regard to corpdom’s political and military myrmidons and their vituperations against phantom ‘enemies-of-the-state’… primarily to maintain the fear factor among US and canadian citizens well into the red zone. we will copy and divulgate schotz’s euphonic interlocutions to those on our email list for whom it would be ‘music to their ears’ as well.

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    1. Thanks for the link to the article about Tulsi Gabbard. I supported her campaign for the democratic faction’s presidential nomination in 2020, but I never liked her posing in military uniform. I felt that it undercut her anti-war credentials. On the other hand, the U.S. corporate military invests billions of dollars annually meddling in American and world politics, so their hypocritical criticism of her in this regard only make me want to puke.

      Still, until she lays off that “I’m a soldier” crap, takes off the silly camouflage outfit, and joins in a genuine second party — the U.S. has only one right-wing political party at present — I won’t support her. As the formerly-expatriate Russian engineer Dmitry Orlov points out, Ukraine and the United States have a similar, enfeebling problem: they both have inept and useless military farces (not a misspelling). Getting rid of them would help to solve a great many of the world’s pressing problems.

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    2. Tulsi is correct, but she shouldn’t have made this speech while wearing her uniform.

      Tulsi has some integrity — rare for a politician — and she’s not afraid to speak out against the military-industrial complex. She just needs to remember to wear mufti when she does so.

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  20. I would be an egotistical fool not to recognize other People write better than I can in many instances.
    With that in mind. I posted a new article to my Blog this morning posting your linked Pentagon as Pentagod, and from Portside, ‘how-congress-loots-treasury-military-industrial-congressional-complex’
    Having the same fundamental common interest it makes sense to me.

    AMERICA’S BUSINESS IS WAR

    AMERICA’S BUSINESS IS WAR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. to offer a personal perspective on a far more nugatory scale compared to warring nations, i have taught all of our bairns from birth that the path to peace and concinnity is through civility, negotiation, conversation, and compromise. however, one night to celebrate our youngest son’s 18th birthday, one of his older brothers oganized his flight to edmonton, and took him out to a local dance club that did not serve booze… no bar, no drugs, strictly dancing.

      when a girl approached maine [the older bro] to solicit a dance, 3 body-builder massifs started harassing him, then tormenting him, then pushing him around. maine tried to calmly speak to them, discuss and negotiate w/ them regarding the source of their dyspepsia. maine had no clue who these fellows were nor did the girl. neither had any issue w/ these 3 miscreants.

      maine’s attempts to be rational w/ them, to discuss using the protocols of reasonable debate, actually inflamed them, ironically beyond reason, to the point of raging, inflamed, infuriated testosterone-crazed, all-out war. 2 of them grabbed our 18-year old son when he tried to come to maine’s defence, threw him against a wall, and ‘neutralized’ him. meanwhile, the bulkiest of the 3 brutes beat maine to a bloodied pulp.

      by the time the bouncers arrived from the upstairs dance-area, maine was lying unconscious on the floor, covered in blood, his face rearranged, broken facial bones, teeth knocked out… the following morning, after regaining consciousness, he abjured his life-long devotion to pacifism. upon being released from the hospital, he signed up for a year-long membership at a fitness centre near his flat and diligently subjected his lithe body frame to the arduous journey toward massive musculature, a body-build he maintains today in his 40s.

      pacifism, negotiated discourse, comity, congeniality in his approach to others, because of that dance-club moment when he was utterly assailed, were summarily jettisoned. he was determined not to allow such a humiliating level of defeasance against his younger brother and himself again. it was his way of declaring war on brutalizing perpetrators of violence in the microcosmic circumstances surrounding his life as a lawyer and legal consultant for the BC ministry of education.

      most of maine’s other siblings remain pacifistic negotiators, but as the mother, i remain ambivalent. maine’s and kavan’s experiences that night leave me in a metaphysical and emotional dilemma. the psychological scars of my youngest son’s being ‘neutralized’ and rammed up against that wall to bear helpless witness to his older brother’s beating, turned out to be more visible and enduring than maine’s physical scarifications and debilitations. on a micro-scale, my rage remains as well.

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      1. Sad story. There are rage-filled individuals who delight in hurting others. You just hope they reap what they sow.

        Sometimes, being in the right and pursuing peace isn’t enough. This is true among individuals — and sometimes among nations.

        The thing is, America will never be “weak.” Far too often, however, we are a bully trying to prove our strength through violence — and that is its own form of weakness. Especially morally.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. warring nations are, of course, an order of magnitude more destructive than individual moments of pugnacity or gang-initiated bellicosity, most of which are perpetrated by damaged children in adult bodies. maine discovered from the dance club manager and the edmonton police who his assailant was. as preveniently expected, the man’s unmarried mother was a drug-addict, the biological father as well, and the grandmother who raised him was an uncaring alcoholic who paid scant attention to him. the other 2 functioned as the assailant’s minions.

          some armed forces are bespattered and benighted w/ these damaged children in adult bodies, particularly in the US, through no fault of their own… which i deem the primary rational for opposing the supreme court’s predilection toward abrogating roe vs. wade and free, govt-supported abortion clinics.

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      2. Having no knowledge of the circumstances, let me ask: did Maine and Kavan consider walking away and leaving the club, or did they believe that they would have been pursued and similarly set upon? Thinking about it from my confrontation-averse mindset and my fear of physical harm, I would have immediately beat feet out of there. But perhaps at that age, guys don’t believe discretion is the better part of valor!

        When I was maybe 9 or 10, the neighborhood bully followed me into a small stand of woods, and because I didn’t back down from him quickly enough, he landed a couple nasty blows. Lesson learned: avoid other people’s fists!

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  21. MAINE NAIVELY PRESUMED, as he consistently did, that he could talk reasonably and sensibly w/ these 3 fellows, especially since they were insulting the poor girl, a complete stranger, who was the initial victim of their diatribes. the blows arrived precipitously, out of a purple, perplexing, warrantless and supervenient darkness. maine’s and kavan’s sensoria did not detect the scent of danger and high risk soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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