Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

From the Quiet Mutiny

by Oui Sun Aug 6th, 2017 at 02:31:46 PM EST

[Cross-posted from Booman Tribune]

Fighting Communism in SE Asia - the years of the Ugly American, Rand Corp., domino theory, Robert McNamara, Westmoreland, president Johnson and the Pentagon Papers with whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. The treacherous acts of the 1968 Paris Talks with rising star Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. Tricky Dick faced impeachment over the cover-up and collusion to obstruct justice after the Watergate break-in. A lesson people in power can live a dishonorable life until death with impunity. Henry Kissinger the bag of dirt, still has influence in U.S. foreign policy with both Republicans and the leadership of Democrats: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is that the Hope for young people living their ideals? Henry Kissinger still this week hit the radio air waves in Holland in an interview with Jan Arend Boekenstein talking about The Idealist. In my volunteer work on the weekends I live my ideals ... with teeners and get plenty of appreciation for what I do. I'm a blessed person and nothing will change that in the short term.

'Pentagon Papers' Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg Explains Why We Go To War

In de aftermath of FBI's Hoover, the Kennedy assassination, the Tonkin Gulf incident, the tragic year of the TET offensive, lies, indoctrination, "patriotism", the downfall of U.S. democracy through the murders/assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I lived through those years and it formed me, gave me insight and I was a critical thinker in 1965 and have remained so.

John Pilger - The Quiet Mutiny - World in Action (1970)

    "The war isn't over, but it is ending. It is ending not because of the Paris talks or the demonstrations at home. It is ending because the largest and wealthiest and most powerful organisation on Earth, the American Army, is being challenged from within, from the very cellars of its pyramid, from the most forgotten, the most brutalised and certainly the bravest of its members. The war is ending because the grunt is taking no more bullshit."

Continued below the fold ...

YouTube link to film - John Pilger - The Quiet Mutiny

 « click for more info
Vietnam War photo's - civilians

John Pilger today, fact is I have to read this stuff on the European Tribune today as Booman commenters on Booman front page stories are blinded by hate, frustrated from defeat, consumed by fake news, alternate facts and barricaded from conversation and movement of free thought by measures fitting the age of McCarthyism and downrating comments I had come to believe was beholden to the Orange Satan. Somehow the Booman Tribune has become a murky pond eating its own. I will survive as I have done though the decades and live by my ideals. In my closely knit community in real life I am quite fortunate and was able to share personal experience on line in the community of Booman Tribune. That's all gone, love has been filtered out for hate. It's a choice I can't turn around.

On the Beach 2017 by John Pilger

    The US submarine captain says, "We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
    He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

    The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The northern hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people". He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

H/T Cat @ET  

To leave a turd as your comment on my diary on Booman Tribune is way below decency. Apparently it's symptomatic for what America has become. Fortunately there are still a dozen or so commenters with whom I have discourse on and off line. It's still worthwhile, but I'll split my precious time between the pond and ET.

Some of us have grown up, gained wisdom and won't be deceived by the bullshit of the Pentagon, the Intelligence Community with its billions of dark money, that shiny hill of Washington DC with the corruption and oligarchy and the U.S. media with its "patriotism" which has eroded to a shell of fascism and propaganda.

Further reading, my recent diaries on topic ...

Exploiting Fear: The Psychology of War
During Yeltsin Era, UK and US Stripped Assets Off Russia
Media In IC's Bidding and All Out War vs. POTUS

... and two most recent about oligarchy:

Ukrainian influence: DNC, CrowdStrike, Clinton, Chalupa sisters and its aftermath

Biden's Ukrainian Oligarchs and Corruption
Ukraine-Russia Proxy War and the U.S. Election.

Sorry Oui, but I have no idea what this diary is directed against:
fact is I have to read this stuff at the EuroTrib today as yr commenters on the fp stories are blinded by hate, frustrated from defeat, consumed by fake news, alternate facts and barricaded from conversation and movement of free thought by measures fitting the age of McCarthyism and downrating comments I had come to believe was beholden to the Orange Satan

What comments and what downratings are you referring to? On Eurotrib? I cannot find any comments by you that have been downrated here.

You say "A lesson people in power can live an honorable life until death with impunity." should that not read dishonorable?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 01:08:42 PM EST
According to the User Guide I should be able to Edit the diary. This button doesn't show up unfortunately.

Before posting I do check and recheck the diary content. There is always something you miss and want to edit later.

First of all. by opening there should be a remark:

[Cross-posted from Booman Tribune]

This should clarify a lot. I posted the diary because of its message, the views of John Pilger on American foreign policy.

The sentence in your blockquote should be corrected.

... yr commenters on the fp stories

For clarity, this should be:

... BT commenters on the fp stories

No, the downrating from a handful of bloggers at BT has been a scourge for months now. I can post my diaries, however every comment I make to a front-page story gets hit by one or more of these trolls to detriment of open discussion at BT. It appears to be an aftereffect of HRC losing the presidential election. If you don't express your hatred for Putin, you are considered no good. Writing on foreign policy from Europe makes you suspect for that reason by itself.

Just as is written in ET's User Guide, the ratings should follow ETiquette. At Booman Tribune, there used to be a similar community atmosphere. This has been polluted to the extreme by a few.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 06:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will try to find out why you can't edit your diary. It should be an option available to you.

In the meantime I will edit as you indicate.

Yes, some Dems badly need a scapegoat to blame Hillary's defeat on, and Putin is ideal because Neo-cons always need a hate/fear figure to justify their wars of choice. Neo-cons seem to have captured the Dem party, even some who consider themselves progressives.

They would be better advised to analyse why Trump was even competitive in the race - chiefly their complete and arrogant ignorance of their rural base.

Trump is an unbelievably awful President, but his attempts at developing a relationship with Putin, however hamfisted, are one of the few positive things about him.

It may just be a case of two plutocrats understanding each other and planing the rape of resources on the planet, but it is better than starting a cold or nuclear war.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 08:31:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they weren't getting enough traction with blaming it all on us "Bernie Bros" (which includes my three daughters and loads of other women who had no use for Clintstone and her endless DLC triangulation) and had to find another scapegoat.  Because the DNC plan is infallible, and the party must stay the course.
by rifek on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 01:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think there is a doubling down on that strategy right now. I see a discussion on how the party left are racist because they oppose candidates of the party right that are less than lily white. And the thing is, as far as I can see, the party left had hardly begun opposing those candidates, so it's a preemptive attack.

And if I am right so far, the question is why? They can hardly consider it a successful strategy in 2016, so starting out with it for 2020 isn't doing their candidates any favours. Unless they fear the party left winning the primary in 2020?

by fjallstrom on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 05:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A PASOKified party always views suppressing the left as more important than winning elections.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 06:50:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask the French PS...
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 07:54:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They doubled down after the convention last year.  This is redoubling.  Or more accurately, betting the farm on Gluepot to win in the stakes race at Belmont.
by rifek on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 12:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were allies and shared a lot of common views on politics. They shared the term 'Third Way'. The Democratic Party's Neo-Liberal wing seems to me to be very similar in function and modus operandi to the Blairite faction in Labour. The same basic factor is in play in both cases: the desire to continue financing their campaigns with donations from the very wealthy. Most of the elected representatives are incapable of any real alternative. They either are repelled by the idea of directly addressing to the socio-economic interests of their potential base or they are afraid to do so out of fear they can't raise the funds to be competitive if they offend the wealthy. Bernie Sanders' greatest accomplishment was to show that one can be competitive relying almost totally on money from supporters via small contribution if one has a message and delivery vehicle that resonates with a large portion of the population.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 02:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest front page story by Martin:

Leaving Everything Here to Float

Takng a rest from the maelstrom of dirty politics in Washington DC and the Deep State meddling in democracy.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 07:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not worth wading into this, but this is ET so it can at least be civil.

It seems possible and likely that elements of the Russian government sent some financial support to the Trump campaign during the primaries, and maybe later. Individuals in the Trump campaign (which, it should be remembered was considered a long-shot to win the primary and a long-shot to win the general) seem to have embraced the potential of such an alliance - whether they actually accepted money knowing who it was from has yet to be proven, but it seems likely. It is not like they had not dealt with shady Russians before. It may be possible that these individuals were freelancing - that is the problem with staffing your campaign with incompetent scam-artist scumbags.

It may be possible that the Russians had something to do with the whole hacking incident, though that is less clear.

Were either of these the thing that pushed Trump over the edge, in either the primaries or the general? I think not. Trump won the primaries because he was able to show that his empty-suit Republican opponents could not take a verbal punch, and because he discovered that the winning Republican message in 2016 was white nationalism before anyone else. He won the general due to some combination of white nationalism, an anti-establishment mood, the ugly racist hangover of Obama Derangement Syndrome, and Clinton's lackluster campaign. Russian influence had next to nothing to do with this.

Is the reaction by some in the online leftist commentariat to the Trump/Russia connection extreme? Yes. Yes it is. Then again, the Internet. Also, if it turns out that this is an effective weapon to use against the Republicans, than by all means use it.

That said, America can and should do something to express its displeasure with Russian meddling in the election. Yes, it's hypocritical to object when the US continues to interfere with other countries, but whatever - hypocrisy is the soul food of politics. The best thing it could do is to heal the current political divide in the body politic so that white nationalist grifter scumbags can't lie their way into the presidency. That would cut down on the room for foreign intervention quite a bit. Unfortunately, it's also kind of hard.  

Is the sanctions bill a reasonable and proportional response? No, of course not. What would a reasonable and proportional response be? I really don't know. My guess would be a few sternly worded letters, a backroom agreement between intelligence agencies, and a comprehensive push to put America's political and electoral infrastructure in a place where foreign intervention is not worth the time and money it would take to be effective.

A general rapproachment with Russia would be a really good idea, generally speaking, but there are a number of large geopolitical issues that would need to be resolved for this to happen, and its complicated. Building a more positive relationship with Russia would require coming to terms on Syria and the Middle East, figuring out a reasonable settlement to the ongoing Ukraine dispute, and resolving the tensions (real or imagined) in the Baltics. Good luck finding solutions to these problems that can make both Russia and America's allies happy. Sometimes wars are ginned up to keep defense contractors happy, and sometimes they come about because two sides have incompatible geopolitical ambitions.

by Zwackus on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 01:14:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good overview of the complexities, I would need a diary to give an answer to all your queries.

In the past few years I have touched on all of those topics and will keep doing so.

Just to put the issue of the Atlantic Council, NATO aggression, Old Europe and Rumsfeld into some kind of perspective, I came across a well written article here at European Tribune.

Food for thought!  :-)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 08:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which article are you referring to?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 10:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent overview, with which I agree wholeheartedly.

Two subsidiary points:

  1. Given that Trumps margin of victory in a few swing states was very small, it is possible to argue that any Russian interference, however limited in effect, could have been sufficient to push him over the edge. That would, of course be to ignore other, much bigger factors.

  2. If the "Russian interference and collusion" issue serves to help divide the Republican party and weaken Trump, preventing them enacting much of their agenda, then it may have some utility regardless of what degree of collusion is ultimately proven. However the problem is that this is almost the sole issue that establishment Democrats are addressing and this is preventing a deeper analysis and re-organisation to address other factors contributing to Trumps win.  It must also not be forgotten that Republican's won both Houses of Congress, often taking seats in area not won by Trump. Democrats therefore have much deeper structural issues to address.

In fairness to Booman he has been at the forefront of attempts to craft a political strategy which can attract parts of the disaffected Trump/Republican base without compromising core Democratic values: Chiefly a emphasis on the importance of re-enacting anti-trust laws to prevent global commercial monopolies crushing all local enterprise. I don't think that that strategy, on it's own, will be sufficient to swing political momentum back to Democrats, but perhaps it can in combination with the sheer incompetence of the Trump/Republican regime and the disasters it has not yet visited on the American people.

Chief among these are to impending debt crises where a failure to raise the debt ceiling, leading to a default, could crash to US economy to the point where most Republicans, of all stripes, become unelectable. A miss-calculation leading to a serious war in Korea would be another possibility. Attempting to impose sanctions on European firms trading with Russia could also set up a very damaging US/EU confrontation.

But that would be to rely on Republican's losing the election for you. First the Democrats need to address their own divisions between the Clinton and Sanders wings of the party. As both Principals are unlikely to run again due to advancing years, that task may fall to a new generation of leaders. In the meantime, Booman is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.  I think he should run for Office. He supported Hillary as the more likely to win the general election, but wasn't overly invested in her. His time may now come.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 10:37:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very little to add here:
For one I don't think using the Russian story to hinder the R's plan is good strategy. It leaves their deeply unpopular and murderous policy unchallenged while simultanously increasing the risk of thermonuclear war. Talk about Medicare for all instead.
Secondly even if the maximum claim is true and Vladimir Putin hacked into the DNC accounts himself while Trump sat in his lap I still wouldn't care all that much. The end result is identical to a whistleblower leaking the papers to Assange and I would not object to that at any level. Maybe if your office mail getting leaked costs you elections the problem is with your office mail?
by generic on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 12:09:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I largely agree. It's something to keep around for when it seems to get traction, namely when you can show up particular individuals as willing to "sell out their country" for a few dollars in the bank. It is not, by any means, worth making the main issue in the election, or even a second-tier issue in the election. There are too many other better issues to focus on.
by Zwackus on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 12:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a month after the succesful coup d'état in Kiev by McCain, Pyatt and the likes of Nuland's CIA front.

Taken from an excellent diary at European Tribune published a few years back ...

It's just an excerpt of the last 10% at the end of the article which was also posted at dKos.

Can US Fracked Gas Save Europe? by Man-from-Middletown on March 18, 2014

There is a low, but rising, rumble. GOP House Speaker John Boehner let loose the argument that all the US needs to do to free Europe from dependence on Russian gas imports is to export fracked gas.

Cue the talking heads parroting the meme that the Obama administration is aiding and abetting our once, and again, Soviet Russian nemesis by keeping all that sweet fracked gas trapped in North America.  Just one problem.  Even a cursory examination of the facts reveals that the scenario envisioned by Boehner et al, the US replacing EU imports of Russian gas, isn't even a remote possibility.  Let's lay out the facts of the case.

Not only were fertilizer imports increasing, new suppliers began to emerge with the end of the Cold War, as USDA statistics show.

 « click for more info »

At the moment, Trinidad is our largest supplier of ammonia, however this is likely to change.  Starting in the 1990s, Trinidad discovered that it could operate a profitable fertilizer industry capitalizing on its plentiful, and cheap, natural gas.  This is set to change, as gas production is predicted to peak in 2021. Meaning that fertilizer production is likely to shift to where natural gas is cheapest and most plentiful: Russia/Ukraine.

In short, in seeking to cut European dependence on Russian gas, we may end up increasing out own dependence on Russian fertilizer imports.  I've tried to lay out here why this whole idea that the US will become a major gas exporter is implausible. What I hope that this final section on fertilizer imports does is establish that even if possible, exporting fracked American gas is unwise, because it will help fuel other sorts of dependence. In the long term, we need to invest in efforts to economically produce hydrogen from water, not natural gas. But in the short term, this is what we've got.  And efforts to ramp up natural gas exports to Europe are going to fuel increases in US fertilizer imports from the very country that we are trying to isolate economically. All so that a few companies which have been imprudent in their development of new fracked gas wells can be rescued from the bubble they've blown by raising US gas prices.  Ultimately, this is the scam that's being played out here, and it's one that even a basic glance at the facts of the matter reveals.

Oui's recent diary about Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings ...

Biden's Ukrainian Oligarchs and Corruption

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 11:41:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That said, America can and should do something to express its displeasure with Russian meddling in the election. Yes, it's hypocritical to object when the US continues to interfere with other countries, but whatever - hypocrisy is the soul food of politics.

About meddling in Russian elections, from Taibbi:

Taibbi: What Does Russiagate Look Like to Russians?

For one, long before the DNC hack, we meddled in their elections. This was especially annoying to Russians because we were ostensibly teaching them the virtues of democracy at the time. We even made a Hollywood movie on the topic (Spinning Boris, starring Jeff Goldblum and Anthony LaPaglia!).

After Boris Yeltsin won re-election in 1996, Time magazine ran a gloating cover story - YANKS TO THE RESCUE! - about three American advisers sent to help the pickling autocrat Yeltsin devise campaign strategy. Picture Putin sending envoys to work out of the White House to help coordinate Trump's re-election campaign, and you can imagine how this played in Russia.

Former Yeltsin administration chief Sergei Filatov denied that the three advisers did anything of value for Yeltsin. But even if Filatov is right, American interference throughout the Nineties was extensive.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 06:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Oui, I tweaked the settings, I think you should be able to edit your diary now.
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:51:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes indeed - thank you!  :-)

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 10:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One problem with this is that many people here are not all that intereted in Booman  - If they were, they'd be over there anyway. Some exceptions to this rule cound be made for publications that have an excessive impact on the general public. But even then, moderation should be used. As Nate Robinson said in a recent issue (not online, you'll have to subscribe to get it)
There are (thank God) more things in heaven and earth than the New York Times,
and our energies must be diverted away from loathing it. "You cannot sit
around all day just being annoyed by  the New York Times," as our mother" said
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 03:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a rule, I'd really much prefer if you'd deal with your issues with BT on BT, not on ET.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 11:46:10 AM EST

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