Incompetence

04.19.2017

Yet compromise and negotiation with Hitler’s Germany were impossible, because the policy objectives of National Socialism were irrational and unlimited. Expansion and aggression were built into the system and, short of accepting German domination in advance, i.e. choosing not to resist the Nazi advance, war was unavoidable, sooner rather than later. Hence the central role of ideology in the formation of policy in the 1930s: if it determined the aims of Nazi Germany, it excluded realpolitik for the other side. Those who recognized that there could be no compromise with Hitler, which was a realistic assessment of the situation, did so for entirely unpragmatic reasons. They regarded fascism as intolerable on principle and a priori, or (as in the case of Winston Churchill) they were driven by an equally a priori idea of what their country and empire ‘stood for’, and could not sacrifice. The paradox of Winston Churchill was that this great romantic, whose political judgment had been almost consistently wrong on every matter since 1914 – including the assessment of military strategy on which he prided himself – was realistic on the one question of Germany.

Conversely, the political realists of appeasement were entirely unrealistic in their assessment of the situation, even when the impossibility of a negotiated settlement with Hitler became obvious to any reasonable observer in 1938-39. This was the reason for the black tragicomedy of March-September 1939, which ended in a war nobody wanted at a time and in a place nobody wanted it (not even Germany), and which actually left Britain and France without any idea of what, as belligerents, they were supposed to do, until the blitzkrieg of 1940 swept them aside. In the face of the evidence they themselves accepted, the appeasers in Britain and France still could not bring themselves to negotiate seriously for an alliance with the USSR, without which war could neither be postponed nor won, and without which the guarantees against German attack suddenly and heedlessly scattered around Eastern Europe by Neville Chamberlain – without, incredible as it may seem, consulting or even adequately informing the USSR – were waste paper.

– Eric Hobsbawm
The Age of Extremes (1994)
p.154

 

What Russia-gate Has Wrought
April 16, 2017

For five months, there was a daily drumbeat on Russia-gate, the sprawling conspiracy theory that Russia had somehow put Donald Trump in the White House, but suddenly the “scandal” disappeared.

 

Is Our Political Class Mentally Ill?
Sadistic commentators hail death and destruction
by Justin Raimondo, April 17, 2017

 

Thomas Friedman’s Perverse Love Affair With ISIS
By Adam Johnson

 

Ann Coulter: Lassie, Come Home

 

Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest
by Thomas Knapp
April 19, 2017

If I have to choose between believing WikiLeaks or believing Mike Pompeo, I’ll believe WikiLeaks six days a week and twice on Sunday.

Over the course of more than a decade, WikiLeaks has built a sterling reputation for delivering the real goods on various governments (including Russia’s). The next document it releases which is shown to be fake will be the first. WikiLeaks has earned the trust of the public – and moreover, it has shown that it trusts the public with information about what our governments are doing in our names and with our money.

The US intelligence community, on the other hand, spies on us, lies to us about it, and expects us to pick up the check even after decades of irrefutable evidence of its dishonesty and incompetence.

 

The Great Western Economic Depression

Growing economies use more energy; shrinking economies use less energy. And if the Corrupt West wasn’t using its energy-intensive war machine so regularly, the collapse in energy demand in the Western world would have been even more pronounced. No economy with flat energy demand can pretend to be growing. No economy with its interest rates set permanently at near-zero levels can pretend to be growing. Both of those preceding statements are economic tautologies. Absolute proof. Western economies are not growing because two absolutely unequivocal economic fundamentals indicate such growth to be impossible.

Vault 7

03.18.2017

A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast

Well, of course they bugged Trump Tower. Why wouldn’t they? Trump’s big blunder du jour is that he tweeted “wiretapped,” like some hapless sap out of a 1950s I Was a Spy for the FBI movie. (I know people who still say “ice box,” too.) So he left himself — or rather poor Sean Spicer — open for a week of legalistic pettifogging by reporters acting as litigators for the Deep State’s intel corps.

Anyway, Wikileaks “Vault 7” document release earlier in the month made it clear that US intel has the ability to cover and confuse the tracks of any entity —including especially US intel itself — that ventures to penetrate any supposedly private or secure realm. And, by the way, that probably settles the matter of who “they” are. Whatever statutory restraints once existed against CIA spying on American citizens is long gone by the boards.

 

Fox’s Andrew Napolitano Stirred the Pot for Trump’s British Tempest

 

Do We Live in a Police State?
The latest WikiLeaks revelations tell us the answer is yes

by Justin Raimondo, March 10, 2017

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange would have gone down in history as the greatest enemies of government oppression of all kinds in any case, but their latest release – a comprehensive exposé of the US intelligence community’s cyberwar tools and techniques – is truly the capstone of their career. And given that this release – dubbed “Vault 7” – amounts to just one percent of the documents they intend to publish, one can only look forward to the coming days with a mixture of joyful anticipation and ominous fear.

Fear because the power of the Deep State is even more forbidding – and seemingly invincible – than anyone knew. Joyful anticipation because, for the first time, it is dawning on the most unlikely people that we are, for all intents and purposes, living in a police state.

 

The Bag Holder and His Bag
by Jim Kunstler, March 10, 2017

I think many professional observers-of-the-scene are missing something in this unspooling story: the Deep State is actually becoming more impotent and ineffectual, not omnipotent. Case in point: RussiaGate — come on, let’s finally call it that — the popular idea that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. It’s popular because it’s such a convenient excuse for the failure of a corrupt, exhausted, and brain-dead Democratic establishment. But all the exertions of the Deep State to put over this story since last summer were negated this week by two events.

 

US Marines Deploy to Raqqa, Artillery in Tow
Intend to Offer Artillery Support for Kurdish Invasion
by Jason Ditz, March 08, 2017

Details are still scant. Officials refused to confirm the size of the unit or other details, beyond them having a number of M777 howitzers, and a support unit of infantry Marines along with them, marking the first time US artillery has been deployed into Syria.

 

Obama’s Book Deal: The $60 Million Selfie
MATTHEW STEVENSON • MARCH 3, 2017 • 3,500 WORDS

The first book earned for Obama more than $10 million in royalties and established his political identity, as did The Audacity of Hope. If later, it turned that ghostwriters had a hand in turning out one or both books, would we not feel about Obama as we do about cyclist Lance Armstrong—that he had used some of “mother’s little helpers” to get to the finish line?

Lance cheated because “everyone did it” and because seven-time winners of the Tour de France earned $100 million and rode private planes to beachside manors, while less successful domestiques (support riders) ate bananas for lunch and worked during the off-season as a wrench in a bike shop.

Would Lincoln be Lincoln if it later turned out that he had spent his early years living in a split-level suburban ranch house, playing video games after school?

Would Obama be kite-surfing off Richard Branson’s private island if his first book had sounded like a downloaded term paper?

 

Why go near the book when you can just read a thousand words by Andrew Bacevich?

Debunking America’s “Good” Occupation
The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace, Susan L. Carruthers, Harvard University Press, 384 pages
By ANDREW J. BACEVICH • March 9, 2017

Marring this otherwise very fine book, however, are large numbers of careless errors. So, for example, Carruthers describes the Chicago Daily Tribune as part of the Hearst chain, which would come as news to the ghost of Col. Robert McCormick. She refers to George Marshall as secretary of war, a civilian post; during World War II, General Marshall served as army chief of staff. “Until 1945,” she writes, “officers were not permitted to vote.” That is simply not true. She identifies Woodrow Wilson as “an alumnus of the University of Virginia.” Wilson had diplomas from Princeton and Johns Hopkins, but none from UVA. She characterizes Eisenhower’s controversial agreement with French Admiral Jean Darlan, a representative of the puppet Vichy regime, as “Washington’s first retreat from ‘unconditional surrender.’” But the so-called Darlan Deal dates from November 1942; President Roosevelt did not announce the policy of unconditional surrender until the Casablanca Conference of January 1943. The USS Missouri, site of the final Japanese surrender, does not have “massive twin sixteen-inch guns.” Mighty Mo’s main battery consists of three cannons in each turret. The Marine Corps does not have “cadets.” Why the family and friends of a GI convicted of murdering two Japanese civilians would have “joined forces with the Foreign Legion to mobilize support” is, to put it mildly, unclear. Is Carruthers referring to the American Legion? Finally, and perhaps more egregiously, among American military decorations there is no such thing as a “Purple Cross.”

 

Spygate

03.08.2017

https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

Spygate: America’s Political Police vs. Donald J. Trump
Deep State’s dirty tricks revealed
by Justin Raimondo, March 08, 2017

The Left’s great Russian conspiracy theory

The Bloated Military
Donald Trump promises massive military spending increases, but he used to say military cuts didn’t go far enough.
John Stossel | March 1, 2017

America’s going broke. But the president will not touch entitlements, the biggest threat to our solvency. The $608 billion military is the next biggest.

Trump was right when he said he wanted cuts, not increases. He was right to point out that just five NATO countries meet the minimum spending they promised—two percent of GDP. Germany spends just 1.19 percent.

The American suburbs as we know them are dying

Experts told Business Insider’s Madeline Stone that the youngest generations of homebuyers tend to value efficiency more than ever before and feel that McMansions are impractical and wasteful.

IEA Doubles Forecast for New OPEC Oil by 2022 as Iraq Ramps Up

Uber’s ‘hustle-oriented’ culture becomes a black mark on employees’ resumes

“The correct answer (and what they did) was: develop an incomplete solution and beat the competitor to market,” David said. This was in keeping with one of the company’s 14 core values: “always be hustlin.'” Those who proposed taking more time to come up with a product rather than rushing to beat the competition to market were told, “that’s not the ‘Uber way.'”

A Public-Health Crisis That We Can Fix
Modern society is impossible to imagine without the automobile, yet it’s also one of the biggest destroyers of life.

10 Replicants in Search of Fame
JAMES THOMPSON • MARCH 5, 2017 • 2,700 WORDS

Guantanamo’s Last 100 Days
The Story That Never Was
KAREN GREENBERG • MARCH 2, 2017 • 2,500 WORDS

 

Israel Is a Problem

Cheerleading for Israel
Everyone’s doing it
PHILIP GIRALDI • MARCH 7, 2017 • 1,800 WORDS

I for one am tired of the perpetual whining of Alan Dershowitz and international professional Jews like Bernard-Henri Levy, who is frequently in the U.S. doing richly rewarded speaking tours on the so-called “Synagogue circuit.” And someone should wake U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley up to the fact that her job is to take care of the American people, not Israel. Quite frankly, if these folks are so much in love with Israel they should go live there and leave the rest of us as well as the U.S. Treasury alone.

If we are heading into yet another round of Israel-centric foreign policy we will be inevitably involved in new wars, starting with Iran which has always been Netanyahu’s enemy of choice. And then there is Syria, where the Israelis would prefer a continuation of chaos, presumably carried out by Washington which can pay the bills and take the casualties. As Bernard-Henri Levy has made clear and the Talmud asserts, Jewish lives are more important than those of gentiles, so it is fit and proper that Americans should fight and die to make sure that Israel might prosper.

Into the Syrian Quagmire
Trump meets complexity
by Justin Raimondo, March 06, 2017

As I’ve warned previously on several occasions, the unleashing of Kurdish nationalism by one or another foreign sponsor – in this case, the US – is bad news for the entire region. For Kurdish nationalism is a virulent phenomenon: ambitious, aggressive, and not likely to be appeased by grants of autonomy. And that ambition knows few geographical limits: Kurdish claims extend as far north as Armenia, as far east as Iran, and well into Turkey. And the Kurdish “autonomous region” in Iraq is straining at the bit to break loose from the Iraqi central government, seize control of the plentiful oil around Kirkuk, and declare independence. Who will prevent them from hooking up with the Syrian YPG and forming a unitary state that extends from the Turkish border to the suburbs of Baghdad?

If the Trump administration persists in its course, it is headed for a disaster of such proportions that will make the “ISIS crisis” look like a Sunday school picnic. Despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, they will have failed to learn the chief lesson of the past: that US intervention leads to unintended consequences. The great tragedy of all this that there is an alternative, albeit one that is being blocked by the anti-Russian hysteria the President has to contend with on the home front.