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Trump's Reich?

Are Republicans and the Pentagon laying the groundwork for a true police state? You gotta wonder.
Trump-ism has become synonymous with a lot of things. Racism. Intolerance. Sexism. Lying as an art form. But the most scary component to me is the similarity of his regime to the ideological aspects of Hitler's 3rd Reich.
His infamous imitation of a disabled reporters palsied shaking body sent out one of the most disturbing signals to the public: that disabilities and the people suffering from them are to be dismissed with labels like "spastic" "retard" and "crazy". It's OK to bully and make fun of the weakest and most vulnerable among us according to the Book of Trump. You could almost write it off as some temporary deviation from reality we'll have to go through but we'll be OK on the other side. Problem is, this is exactly the way the Third Reich really kicked off. With a campaign of Euthanasia to put "these poor suffering miscreants out of their pain and misery" by KILLING THEM. The old and infirm and especially the autistic (of ANY age), the incurable diseased, those born deformed, were all snuffed in hospitals staffed by the greatest scientific and medical minds in the world. You weren't even considered a doctor in the USA if you hadn't studied in Germany, home of the planet's greatest medical schools and hospitals. And the doctors and their nurses all went along with the program, so convinced they were by Hitler that the Master Race needed to cleanse the earth of anything and anyone that might genetically or biologically taint the sacred gene pool of Aryan purity and superiority. They froze folks alive and cooked them alive. They infected kids with diseases and infections and basically did all the unethical things they always really wanted to do but were constrained by human decency. But that was all gone after Adolf arrived on the scene. And their nurses went right along with it, hugging deformed or autistic infants as they stuck a poison filled syringe into it's little pink arm. After a short while it was just a quick hop and a jump to the public acceptance of extermination camps for the "genetically inferior". Gays, Gypsies, and Jews were the easiest to demonize at first. Accused of refusing to assimilate, they were soon convicted of being "sub-human" and trying to infect the pure Motherland blood with their very existence. It's not like there was any free press to counteract all this evil garbage. Long gone. It was as if everything was FOX News and that's IT. Everything was the worship and adoration of Adolf Hitler. The ultimate personality cult of modern history. The Trump phenomena is very similar. His followers don't care if he's really evil down deep inside. They want a "strong man" to tame an unruly world they can't really control anymore. Xenophobes like Sean Hannity fan the flames constantly about how non whites are wrecking our beloved Fred McMurray/Beaver Cleaver Homeland. Is there a more Germanic/Nazi phrase than referring to the USA as the "Homeland"? They've been softening us up since 911 to accept the 3rd Reich similarities as being normal. "Total Information Awareness" was Cheney and Bush's slogan following those attacks. Is there a more "Big Brother" Orwellian term than THAT? Trump's war on pre-existing conditions not qualifying for Medicare assistance is Euthanasia on a whole new level. But if you can't have that life-saving operation they'll be glad to help you with legal ASSISTED SUICIDE. Medicare pays for that. Trump will destroy our economy and like in Germany the dollar will become almost worthless. Then to stop the rioting and demonstrations that will surely follow, he'll institute his version of The Final Solution to "Democracy". Mark my words.

Donald Trump Could Be The Military-Industrial Complex's Worst Nightmare 13.Jul.2018 01:32

William Greider

The Republican front-runner is against nation building. Imagine that.

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Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, December 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)
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Let's admit it. As political provocateur, Donald Trump has a dizzy kind of genius. He feints to the right, then he spins to the left. Either way, the hot subject for political chatter becomes Donald Trump.

This week, while people everywhere were fretting over his violent talk, the candidate came to Washington and dropped a peace bomb on the neocon editorial writers at The Washington Post and the war lobby. Trump wants to get the United States out of fighting other people's wars. He thinks maybe NATO has outlived its usefulness. He asks why Americans are still paying for South Korea's national defense. Or Germany's or Saudi Arabia's.

"I do think it's a different world today and I don't think we should be nation-building anymore," Trump said. "I think it's proven not to work. And we have a different country than we did then. You know we have $19 trillion in debt. We're sitting probably on a bubble, and, you know, it's a bubble that if it breaks is going to be very nasty. And I just think we have to rebuild our country."

Will anybody give him an amen? Yes, lots of folks. People who read The Nation (myself included) have been saying something similar for a long time. So have libertarian Republicans on the right. But this sort of thinking is mega-heresy among the political establishment of both parties. The foreign-policy operators consider themselves in charge of the "indispensable nation."

This new Trump talk is definitely career-threatening for the military-industrial complex. It was particularly playful of Trump to choose The Washington Post as the place to drop his bomb; after all, it's the Post that has made itself such a righteous preacher for endless war-making.

The Donald, usually bellicose in style and substance, is singing, "Give peace a chance." What does his detour portend for national policy? We can't know for sure, since Trump also has a tendency to casually contradict himself before different audiences. Later on the same day, he addressed AIPAC's convention and sounded like a warrior for Zion. He got thunderous applause after making the ritual promises that candidates from both parties always make at AIPAC meetings.

But Trump has, in his usual unvarnished manner, kicked open the door to an important and fundamental foreign-policy debate. It is far more profound than the disputes we usually hear between hawks and doves. He's proposing a radical standard for testing US policy abroad, both in war and peace: Is it actually in America's interest? Or has US global strategy become a dangerous hangover from the glory years, when Washington armed and organized nations for the Cold War?

Whatever happened in past decades, Trump insists that this US ambition always to be in charge is now actively damaging our country, wasting scarce treasure and drawing us into other people's conflicts. The Post opinionators must have choked on his words.

"I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they'd be blown up," Trump told the editors. "And we'd build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild it three times. And yet we can't build a school in Brooklyn.... at what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I'll be very cognizant of that but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially in the inner cities."

Trump has thus shrewdly articulated what ought to be a vital subject for debate in 2016. Instead, I suspect, he will be inundated with lordly rebukes by the policy elites. And the editorial writers will explain how half-baked and dangerous his ideas are to the future of mankind.

We can imagine the labels they'll haul out from history: Protectionist. Nationalist. Isolationist. America Firster. His challenging proposition reminds me of my childhood, because I grew up in idyllic small-town Ohio, where those skeptical views of "foreign entanglements" defined the Republican Party (there weren't many Democrats in my home town, and they mostly kept quiet).

As teenagers, we grew up as Robert A. Taft Republicans and deeply suspicious of the "Eastern Establishment," who looked down on us as Midwestern bumpkins. The decisive election was 1952, when Taft lost the GOP nomination to a genuine national hero, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. We were heartbroken. In the Midwest we lived in the middle of a great big country and could reasonably feel that we should stay out of other people's troubles. The Cold War pretty much destroyed that common sense.

Ike's victory ratified America's commitment to developing a new world order of global alliances and foreign military deployments. That order seemed like the right thing to do 60 years ago, but now it falls to an outsider named Trump to demand fundamental reconsideration.

I suspect most Americans would agree with Trump's tough questions, but are not sure of the answers (neither, perhaps, is he). Plus, in these insecure times, people do not wish to sound unpatriotic. In my hometown, we quickly fell in love with Eisenhower the moderate Republican, who resisted the party's hard right (who thought Ike was a commie).

At the end of his second presidential term, Eisenhower, the general who won World War II in Europe, was warning us about the dangers of something he called the "military-industrial complex." I wonder what he would tell us today.


Donald Trump's Unique Human Decency On Iraq 13.Jul.2018 01:36

John V. Walsh

From a humanitarian standpoint, the content of Trump's condemnation of the war is outstanding. In fact, to grieve over the lives of Americans but not the people of Iraq is a form of racism. Trump is virtually unique among major politicians in taking this stand on the lives of innocents the US has attacked. He should be praised for it.

As election day approaches, it is time to ignore the noise of the moment and think clearly about the crucial issues facing us, none of which is more important than war or peace. The War on Iraq has been a touchstone for these issues over the last 14 years.

On Iraq, Clinton and her operatives have sought to avoid at all costs an accurate comparison of her position over the last 14 years to Trump's. "What did Trump say?" has been buried by the Clintonites and company. "When did he say it?" has been slyly substituted for it. The time line has been used to equate the positions of Hillary the most notorious of hawks with that of Trump.

Let us have a look at Trump's words as well as the dates they were uttered. And compare them to Hillary's:

____________


 http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/10/donald-trumps-unique-human-decency-on-iraq/

Donald Trump's Unique Human Decency on Iraq

"What did he say?" not merely "When did he say it?"

by John V. Walsh / October 15th, 2016

What was the purpose of this whole thing (the war on Iraq)? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who've been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing. (Emphasis, JW)

Donald Trump on Iraq War, August, 2004  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a37230/donald-trump-esquire-cover-story-august-2004/ , reiterated verbatim, August, 2016  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a37230/donald-trump-esquire-cover-story-august-2004/ , reiterated verbatim, August, 2016  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a37230/donald-trump-esquire-cover-story-august-2004/ , reiterated verbatim, August, 2016  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a37230/donald-trump-esquire-cover-story-august-2004/ , reiterated verbatim, August, 2016  link to heavy.com

Obviously I have thought about that a lot in the months since (her October 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution). No, I don't regret giving the President authority.

Hillary Clinton on Iraq War, April, 2004  http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/21/iraq.hillary/ .

As election day approaches, it is time to ignore the noise of the moment and think clearly about the crucial issues facing us, none of which is more important than war or peace. The War on Iraq has been a touchstone for these issues over the last 14 years.

On Iraq, Clinton and her operatives link to www.buzzfeed.com have sought to avoid at all costs an accurate comparison of her position over the last 14 years to Trump's. "What did Trump say?" has been buried by the Clintonites and company. "When did he say it?" has been slyly substituted for it. The time line has been used to equate the positions of Hillary the most notorious of hawks with that of Trump.1

Let us have a look at Trump's words as well as the dates they were uttered. And compare them to Hillary's:

2002.

Trump utters four words of wavering assent in September but no animated support.

Hillary votes for war "with conviction" in long speech in October.

First come Trump's famous four words "Yeah, I guess so." These are the four words that Trump uttered link to soundcloud.com on September 11, 2002, a month before the Senate vote on the War, when Howard Stern asked out of the blue whether Trump favored invading Iraq2 These four words can be regarded as a half-hearted, off the cuff assent to the war, but they hardly amount to a well-considered position let alone a policy statement.3

The next month in October, 2002, then Senator Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the War on Iraq "with conviction" and emerged as an enthusiastic proponent of the war. She retained that "conviction" without wavering until January, 2008, at least, when Obama threatened her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination by presenting himself, falsely, as a peace candidate.4

2004.

Trump makes a passionate, humane denunciation of the war, now unchanged for 12 years.

Clinton sticks to her vote for war.

Now we come to 2004 and Trump's first clearly articulated position on the war to appear in print. This was the inspiring statement and it has been buried in the timeline. It was published in Esquire in August of 2004, and, though not long, it is rarely quoted in full. Here it is:

Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we're in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the country? C'mon. Two minutes after we leave, there's going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he'll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn't have.

What was the purpose of this whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who've been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing.(Emphasis, JW)

Trump calls attention to the death and injuries inflicted on Americans, as have other politicians who have criticized the war. But then he goes on to lament the deaths of innocent Iraqis as well. No other major political figure, so far as this writer knows, has expressed such sentiments. They stand in stark contrast, for example, to those of Madeleine Albright, who famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 children, due to Clinton era sanctions of the 1990s, were "worth it."

Thus, from a humanitarian standpoint, the content of Trump's condemnation of the war is outstanding. In fact, to grieve over the lives of Americans but not the people of Iraq is a form of racism. Trump is virtually unique among major politicians in taking this stand on the lives of innocents the US has attacked. He should be praised for it.

Let us now look at one example of how this statement of Trump's has been handled in the "progressive" media, in an article in Mother Jones by Tim Murphy entitled, "What did Donald Trump Say on the Iraq War and When Did He Say it," by Tim Murphy. When Murphy gets to the Esquire article above, he quotes only the first of the two paragraphs and leaves out the second, which refers to the needless loss of life. And therefore it leaves out the impressive section, which I have italicized above, bemoaning the loss of Iraqi lives! Do you think that is honest, dear reader? Or would you call it a lie of omission?

What about Trump's consistency? The statement above remains Trump's position; he quoted every word of it, word for word, in his foreign policy address of August, 2016. Thus he has stood by his position for 12 years.5

In 2004, Clinton stuck to her vote on the Iraq war. She said to Larry King on April 20: "Obviously I have thought about that a lot in the months since (her October 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution). No, I don't regret giving the President authority."

2007.

Trump adds one new feature to his critique: The war was not a mistake but based on lies by Bush.

Clinton remains solidly committed to her Iraq War vote.

In 2007 Trump added one more component in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. The added component is that the war was based on lies - not mistakes, not faulty intelligence but lies. Again no major political figure has said this, certainly not Hillary Clinton.

In the interview Trump says: "Look, everything in Washington has been a lie. Weapons of mass destruction was a total lie. It was a way of attacking Iraq, which he (George W. Bush) thought was going to be easy and it turned out to be the exact opposite of easy. ... Everything is a lie. It's all a big lie." Here again Trump has remained consistent. In one primary debate he confronted Jeb Bush with the fact that his brother lied us into Iraq.

What was Hillary's position in 2007? She remained committed to her 2002 vote, despite the call of many antiwar Democrats to apologize and admit it was a mistake. To an audience in Dover, New Hampshire, in February, she said defiantly: "If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from." She could afford to be defiant. She was the front runner for the Democratic nomination at that point. Little did she know that Obama would be a serious contender.

2008.

Trump's position is unchanged.

Hillary lies about the reason for her Iraq War vote.

By 2008 Obama was endangering Hillary's bid for the presidency by presenting himself in the Democratic primary as the antiwar candidate - falsely as we can now see. In the second Democratic presidential debate, Hillary claimed she voted for the war with the understanding that Bush would wait for UN inspectors to finish their job of searching for weapons of mass destruction. But as Carl Bernstein and others have pointed out, she voted against the Levin amendment, which would have imposed precisely that restriction on Bush. In other words, she lied.

We could go on and try to pierce the fog of words in the present election to wriggle out of her strong advocacy for the criminal adventure in Iraq. But her deeds as Secretary of State speak much louder than any words she and her advisors might engineer.

More than anyone else she was responsible for the illegal bombing and regime change operation that overthrew Gaddafi and plunged Libya into a failed state riddled with Islamic extremists. She is still pursuing the same policy of regime change or destruction in countries of the Middle East and North Africa that have defied the US. Her advocacy of a no-fly zone in Syria right now is more of the same - and it assures war with Russia according to General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and possibly nuclear war. She remains virulently hawkish - irredeemably so one might say.

Is the impression conveyed by Clinton and her apologists that there is no difference between Trump and Clinton on the Iraq War correct? It is not. And it tells us that there will be an enormous difference between a Trump and a Clinton presidency. Since that difference involves the very question of human survival, what does that say about our responsibility come November 8?

1. For example, a fund raising appeal from Code Pink recently popped into my inbox with this line: "Both candidates supported the Iraq War at its inception, though both have now walked back that support." Clearly the implication is that the two candidates have the same stance on Iraq. A vague timeline is trotted out but not a word about the content of what the candidates said. [↩]
2. To be complete there were actually thirteen words, "Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly." [↩]
3. Trump also claims that he had frequent verbal fights with his friend Sean Hannity over the period leading up to the war with Hannity pro and Trump con. Hannity backs him up on that, but in fairness that is not evidence because it is not in the public domain. Memory can be tricky in these situations especially when a friend seeks support. So we simply cannot make a judgment about that. [↩]
4. To be complete, there was another Trump statement in 2003, although it is quite ambiguous and directed more at tactics than policy. In January, 2003, Trump in an interview with Neil Cavuto, before the commencement of "Shock and Awe" in March, made some comments on the War. This time there was no endorsement of the War - not even an off the cuff endorsement. Instead there was confusion, and the discussion revolved around tactics of war. Trump said, "Well, he (Bush) has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps (he) shouldn't be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know." No endorsement, no outspoken opposition. (The brief interview can be found here  http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/in-2002-donald-trump-said-he-supported-invading-iraq-on-the?utm_term=.xuynekLV6#.pmoDmgj8L and Trump's summary of it in his August, 2016, foreign policy address  http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/in-2002-donald-trump-said-he-supported-invading-iraq-on-the?utm_term=.xuynekLV6#.pmoDmgj8L and Trump's summary of it in his August, 2016, foreign policy address  http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/in-2002-donald-trump-said-he-supported-invading-iraq-on-the?utm_term=.xuynekLV6#.pmoDmgj8L and Trump's summary of it in his August, 2016, foreign policy address  http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/in-2002-donald-trump-said-he-supported-invading-iraq-on-the?utm_term=.xuynekLV6#.pmoDmgj8L and Trump's summary of it in his August, 2016, foreign policy address  link to heavy.com ).
5. Was Trump's stand on Iraq opportunist? Trump took his position on Iraq long before he was in politics. He entered the presidential race as a candidate for the Republican nomination, not the Democratic one. At the time he entered the race, the GOP was the reliable party of war, dominated by the neocons. His position on Iraq could hardly have helped him with that crowd. So let us not call Trump's position opportunist, designed to get votes. As he became a more serious contender, the neocons left the GOP to join the Democrats and support Hillary.


Trump: "What? You Think We're So Innocent?" 13.Jul.2018 01:37

Paul Atwood

June 20, 2018

"What? You Think We're So Innocent?"

by Paul Atwood

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Photo by Dan Scavino Jr. | CC BY 2.0
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Channel surfing the corporate media's alleged "news" broadcasts the other day I took note of a startling admission from Trump being interviewed about his meeting with Kim Jong-un. Assuming I'd also see it on the other channels I didn't pay attention to which network was televising at that moment. I mention this oversight because Trump's words were astoundingly honest coming from the mouth of any elite overseer of the empire let alone the current oligarch in-chief... and they were immediately disappeared from all outlets including the one which committed the transgression. I wish I took note of which network it was. In response to media questions about his failure to address the dismal human rights record of North Korea Trump in his inimitable manner said "What, you think we're so innocent?"

I don't know what residual naivete on my part allowed me to think for the moment that the corporate Ministry of Truth would willingly broadcast the maximum leader's words about our own nation's crimes against humanity but there it was. Not for long though. Such an admission of our own guilt in human affairs was an egregious infraction on the part of editors. Big Brother was not happy! Trump was quoted on this subject again and again on all networks but now his quotes were limited to statements that "... a lot of countries ... have similar records." Any hint of our own murderous actions was verboten. The real fake news was back on track.

I've encountered a number of folk who question why Trump would meet with such a blatant perpetrator of human rights crimes, usually citing Kim's murder of "hundreds of thousands" of his own people and North Korean "failure" to live up to agreements. When I press them many know little if anything about the realities of recent events in their lives. Their dearth of actual facts (as opposed to "alternative facts") is not offset by strongly held opinions.

Leaving aside the grave probability that any intensification of the threats made by all sides in Korea until recently could have led to the deaths of many millions, the cold hard fact is that the United States has directly killed millions of Koreans in far greater numbers than any of the Kims. Somehow that fact never makes it on to the palmtop. Engaging with the facts of current crises does not require a Ph.D. only a willingness to think more deeply and honestly... yes a hard bargain but widespread willful ignorance is spiraling us into dreadfully dangerous territory.

The Korean War was a blatant attempt by the U.S. to appropriate Japan's colony as its beachhead on the mainland of East Asia. From 1910 to 1945 Japan enslaved much of Korea's population and employed many native Koreans to help them do so. This resulted in an armed resistance to Tokyo's crimes led by communist insurgents just as was the case in many countries during that period. If the majority of Koreans could have voted for a government on the day Japan surrendered they would have elected Kim Il-Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong-Un, just as a similar event would have occurred in Vietnam around the same time in 1945. The reasons are elementary. Both Kim and Ho Chi Minh had led their respective peoples' defiance of foreign occupation. The U.S. would soon exact a terrible toll for their intransigence.

The new Central Intelligence Agency understood the majority appeal of the communists and so moved to prevent any form of independence for Korea (and aided the French to reoccupy their colonies in Indochina). Ironically the presumed source of communist threat, our WWII ally the Soviet Union, accepted the division. Had it not today's crisis would undoubtedly not exist. It was the Red Army, not the American, that defeated Japanese armies in mainland Asia and the Russkies could easily have occupied all of Korea. Of course the original propaganda claimed that the division of Korea into American and Soviet zones was temporary until such time as national elections could be held but because voters across Korea would have chosen a largely communist government Washington went out of its way to prevent that outcome and maintained the partition of the tiny peninsula. In the south the U.S. fostered a regime that even the general in charge of American occupying troops said was "Nazi-like" and it was comprised of the very Koreans who had collaborated with Japan in the exploitation of their fellows. When southerners rebelled against the newly imposed foreign occupation the newly armed American collaborators conducted numerous massacres and slaughtered tens of thousands. Then a rigged election installed Washington's pre-approved candidate.

Realizing that reunification was not going to be allowed on Korean terms the northerners decided to settle the issue by "invading" their own country. Since this occurred at the height of anti-communist hysteria in the U.S. and at the very moment when the Truman Administration was trying to get Congress to fund the permanent war economy, the outbreak of civil war in Korea provided an invaluable windfall for the wilting marriage between the state and the weapons industries that lacked a profitable war to wage. "Thank God Korea came along!" exclaimed Secretary of State Dean Acheson as the national legislature immediately tripled the war... um defense... budget. Three years of war followed with at least four million Korean deaths and the near use of nuclear weapons, though this threat was really directed at China since northern Korea was within the first year reduced to ravaged wasteland. China entered the war when General Douglas MacArthur exceeded his mandate to restore the status quo ante bellum and crossed into North Korea seeking to crush it once and for all. Since this profoundly threatened China's own recent revolution Chinese troops soon entered the war in force.

Because the danger of nuclear escalation presaged a Third World War an armistice was hastily convened that continues to this day, meaning that the U.S., both Koreas, and China are still technically in a state of war. One of the basic provisions of the armistice signed in 1953 held that the U.S. would introduce no new weapons into the south still occupied by American troops. In 1958 the armistice was violated when the U.S. introduced short-range nuclear missiles. Few are aware of that fact and no permitted talking head ever mentions it to my knowledge.

The corporate media resounds with accusations of North Korea's breaches of various agreements over the past 60 years but the U.S. has broken the truce most egregiously time and again. The 1994 "agreed framework" under Clinton gets much attention now. This proposal was framed to prevent North Korea's nuclear power program from being able to produce plutonium and therefore potential nukes in return for U.S promises to provide two light-water reactors that could not produce plutonium, supply the north with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel per year, lift economic sanctions, and work toward a formal peace treaty. North Korea would abandon its missile program and not reprocess uranium while each side would provide "formal assurances" not to employ nuclear weapons.

The chief negotiator for Clinton, Robert Gallucci, stated that American failure to meet its commitments would result in collapse of the agreement. State Department officials emphasized that the north was living up to its agreements and U.S. inspectors agreed. Yet, by 2000 the U.S. had failed to deliver the light -water reactors and the fuel. Then the new Bush Administration declared that North Korea was part of the "axis of evil" and stepped up threatening "war games" with South Korean forces along the border. Bush's United Nations ambassador, John Bolton, said that he had found the "hammer"... to "shatter" the agreed framework.

The result? North Korea immediately withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and began a full-scale program to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them, clearly goaded by the destruction they and the world witnessed that both Bush and Obama unleashed upon on Iraq and Libya, among other small and all but defenseless countries.

The Korean War is never depicted for American broadcast viewers as it really was but always recounted as a communist threat to the "free world" and a just response to the totalitarian aggression of brutal thugs in Pyongyang. This is a political cartoon that, like "coverage" of so many critical issues, grossly oversimplifies and distorts complex realities. Tragically the vast majority of American citizens accept these caricatures. Even those who proclaim higher education rarely look below these surfaces in order to comprehend our increasingly dangerous world despite the fact that in the tech age many sources of significant and genuine information and logical analysis exist for those who are willing to breach orthodox status quo boundaries.

Finally, to return to Trump's doubts of our innocence. He is the first president of whom I am aware even to broach the unmentionable much less admit publicly that we are hardly exceptional. All empires declare themselves the bearers of higher civilization even as their criminalities in the name of key ideals and "values" proliferate. The catalogue is extensive, too widespread to enumerate fully but here is a brief compendium.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, American allies, dictatorships both, are now desolating Yemen. Their missiles are purchased here in the U.S. largely from Raytheon and have reduced what was already the poorest country in the world to all but absolute immiseration. In nearby Iraq civilians are still dying as a result of the U.S. invasion in 2003 in the name of democracy, over a million thus far. In the 1970 and 80s Washington intervened in Central America and the Caribbean where popular insurgencies had overthrown dictators backed for generations by Washington with the result of hundreds of thousands dead. In 1973 the CIA facilitated a coup in Chile against the elected government of Salvador Allende leading to widespread executions, tortures and disappearances.

The 1960s witnessed the crimes in Southeast Asia. The Pentagon admits to killing 2 million in Vietnam; Hanoi says four million. In Laos and Cambodia another 2-3 million lost their lives under bombing more intensive than in WWII. And let us not forget Indonesia where just as the Vietnam War was broadening CIA operations enabled the dictator Suharto to overthrow that nation's elected government and round-up and execute at least one million "enemies of the state." As noted the war in Korea from 1950-1953 killed 4 million with more to follow. The South Korean dictatorship set up by the U.S. which ruled until the 1980s killed at least as many southerners as those now numbered and blamed on the northern regime.

In the early 1950s the CIA overthrew the elected government of Iran in order to replace it with the despotism of the Shah who quickly agreed to shove British oil aside to make way for American companies and expensive American weapons which he would need as the duly anointed "policeman of the Gulf." The Pentagon trained his secret police, the SAVAK, in the methods of terrorizing and brutalizing those who objected to the new dictatorship. The ensuing repression of all dissent led ultimately to the Shah's overthrow and the new Islamic regime condemned Washington as evil incarnate, a proposition that with subsequent armed interventions and overthrows of governments throughout the Muslim world would soon result in Islamic "terror."

I could go on but the atrocities we Americans have actually committed, we the "not so innocent" after all... take it from the Donald... could ever be said to amount to waging terror across this wide world. Of course not! We are not like that.


hahaha 13.Jul.2018 15:20

rAT

yeah- Trump is so "anti-war" he's giving the lion's share of American tax dollars to the military to build even more nuclear weapons while berating our allies for not building up their own armies to war-time strength. At least Obama put out the vibe that the world had to co-exist to prevent annihilation. Trump is the epitome of fear and loathing- trying to arm the world to the brink of catastrophe. Ever wonder what China and Russia REALLY think about all of this military madness? How long will the world's other superpowers tolerate our insane rush to push the atomic clock to Midnight? Oh- I forgot- Evangelicals and other haters of life on Earth welcome the Apocalypse with open arms. After all, that means God is coming to whisk them all off to Valhalla and away from this sinful world of human misery. It's hard to fight that sort of mindset. Nice job of snowballing us with all those words but all the cleverness and excess verbiage still can't hide the fact that we elected an evil man to lead the "Free World". It's getting less free every day since he arrived on the world stage. Those who defend him and the GOP will soon realize just how big an asshole he can be.

Greider 13.Jul.2018 15:26

rAT

Bill Greider is a joke.

Lennon 13.Jul.2018 15:28

rAT

Trump singing "Give Peace a Chance" is the dumbest thing I could ever imagine. Not to mention repulsive. Can I puke now?

"Greider is a joke" / "hahaha" / "Those who defend [Trump]" 13.Jul.2018 16:01

_

yeah rAT we can see you actually viewed (perhaps didn't *read* but whatevs) the articles

Bitter pill?


"snowballing us with all those words but all the cleverness and excess verbiage"
Minus the word 'cleverness', ^that is you to a T, rAT.

"Greider is a joke" Ad hominem.
Trump was never liked by the Military-Industrial Complex. 2016, they wanted Hillary. Documented, overwhelmingly (e.g. all the BillyClinton-Bu$h Neocons who were "I'm With Her" 2016).
He is in favor of "rebuilding" the U.S. military but not in ways the MIC has envisioned since the 1990 collapse of Soviet Union (and particularly since the illegal Gulf Invasions and 9/11).


"Give Peace a Chance" Yes, rAT you: are a Puke.
( nobody has claimed "Trump's a peacnik" except, pathos-sarcastically, you and obviously, as a billionaire he supports Status Quo in so many elite business ventures including parts of MIC...)
John V. Walsh's article clearly documents the differences, between Neocon Hillary and Trump over many years.

Consistency of Trump's own remarks on Iraq is proven. Even more recently:

Trump: Iraq Invasion "Worst Decision In The History Of Our Country" 13.Jul.2018 16:02

TDS

Trump: Iraq Invasion "Worst Decision In The History Of Our Country" West Columbia, SC 6/25

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzP_L43G5dA

From Trump rally at Airport High School gymnasium in West Columbia, South Carolina on June 25th 2018.

Note his remark:
"But count the lives [lost] on both sides. Millions of lives. You don't hear that millions of lives."


starts around 53:00 into speech

---
"... We have seven trillion dollars invested in the Middle East what do we have? What do we have? Other than death, and destruction what do we have? What a decision that was, to go in. I believe it was the worst decision in the history of our country; and the way we got out was horrible, if you look at Iraq. The way we got out was horrible. Truly one of the worst decisions ever made in this country. Were it for seven trillion dollars and thousands of lives but count the lives on both sides, folks. Millions of lives, in my opinion. Millions. You don't hear that millions of lives."
---


Trump Isn't The Problem, He's The Manifestation Of America's Id 13.Jul.2018 16:13

William Boardman

June 26th, 2018

---
Paul Krugman, professor of international trade and economics at Princeton University
---

The speed of America's moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we've gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages.
Paul Krugman, New York Times column, June 21, 2018

Economist Paul Krugman is a smart Princeton professor who won a Nobel Prize, and most of what he says in this column is heartfelt, decent, and humane. His argument is relatively simple: since there is no present immigration crisis, there is no basis - practical, moral - no decent basis whatsoever for the current government's inhumane, illegal, brutal treatment of immigrants and their children. In an apparently deliberate exercise of hatred and bigotry, the Trump administration is committing crimes against humanity.

That's all quite true, quite obvious, and millions of people already recognize the government's mindless cruelty for what it is - mindless cruelty that stimulates the mindlessly cruel base of Trump supporters from the cabinet on down.

But the way Krugman opens his column is mind-bogglingly delusional at best, dishonestly partisan at worst. Yes, "America's moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking," but not because of its speed. America's moral descent has been with us from the beginning. America's beginning was a struggle to ascend from the accepted moral order rooted in slave-holding authoritarianism, where inequality was God-given and women and children were property. The big difference between now and then is that then the angry white men making a revolution had enlightened ideals that were in conflict with the darker angels of their nature. The core dynamic of American history has always been the struggle between those who want to realize American ideals and those who don't. The record is decidedly mixed, but the big victories mostly belong to the exploiters and killers. Trump is clearly in that line of descent.

Krugman asks us to believe that, in January 2017, America was "a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This is just a fantasy. These are words from the Declaration of Independence and have no weight in law that defines the nation. The preamble to the Constitution sets our national goals as a more perfect Union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, the common defence, general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty. In January 2017, our common defence was secure, except in the paranoid rantings of demagogues. Every other aspiration of the Constitution was in a shambles of long duration.

As he rose to the Presidency, Donald Trump was not so much a unique persona in triumph as he was the cobbled-together excrescence of more than 40 years of collective struggle by right-wing operatives trying to build their own fantasy of America, which Trump now embodies, perhaps imperfectly in the eyes of the idealist right. But he's their Frankenstein creation and the rabble loves him, contradictory sewn-together bits and all.

Trumpenstein was a long time in the making, but one could see the first bits taking shape at least as early as Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign. The racist veins were pulsing clearly at the kick-off in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in quiet celebration of the lynching of the three civil rights workers, Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner, who went unmentioned. The racism of the right has only grown with race-based drug laws, race-populated prisons, race-based poverty, police executions, and on and on. The Clintons were shameful accomplices. No president since Reagan has dialed back American racism. Obama spoke eloquently about race, but that didn't keep Republicans from racializing politics, much to the glee of the Tea Party, and Obama never pushed back effectively, instead becoming the deporter-in-chief after blessing the military coup in Honduras that later fed the immigration wave fleeing oppression and murder.

Yes, we are now officially "a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages." We are also a nation that took years to notice our official brutality to immigrants, especially asylum seekers, and most especially those seeking asylum from brutal dictatorships we nurture and support. American brutality on the border is hardly a serious departure from American brutality in Iraq or Vietnam or Korea or in nations of Native Americans where we took children and put them in cages we called Christian schools.

Krugman surely knows all this and more, so why won't he see it or say it? It's as if he's drunk the kool-aid of American Exceptionalism and must deny anything not pre-blessed by our cultural cult. Republicans were rabid to impeach Clinton for lying about a blow-job, Democrats couldn't even impeach Bush for lying us into war (a war we've yet to escape). Obama couldn't even close Guantanamo, but he refused to prosecute the torturers, and now one of them runs the CIA. It's taken America years of bipartisan betrayal to get where we are now, but how can we change if we can't even say clearly and directly who we are and how we got this way?

Krugman is wholly justified in any moral outrage he may feel about the Trump administration, but he is not justified, morally or intellectually, in making Trump a scapegoat embodying longstanding American evils long promoted by the right with little opposition. Trump is a mirror for the country, and if the country doesn't like what it sees, the country needs to change.


Cutting everything but the military 16.Jul.2018 12:15

Marc Batko

Cutting everything but the military is a sign of arrogance and know-it-all-ism, a contempt for democracy, separation of powers, checks, and balances and the will of the people. The country falls apart from the inside, from its inner contradictions, greed, selfishness and short-term fixation.

Trump represents the running-amok phase, the pathological narcissist encourages the replacement of the constitutional state with the security state. Only owners of capital seem to have enforceable rights. Hope comes from critical and independent media, from outside the box of sycophant corporate representatives and corrupt hypocrites (e.g. Gingrich, Ryan, McConnell).

The attack on the poor, disabled, migrants, seniors, children and students is combined with contempt and demonizing of compromise, concessions, negotiations, and countermeasures. Disdain for history, self-criticism, the social contract, foreign leaders, sharing, the UN and modern challenges are signs of the Hitlerian nightmare of scapegoating, idolizing the soldier, double standards, and one-dimensional corporate or profit worship. Are we headed to the 11th century?

more at www.truth-out.org, www.commondreams.org, www.onthecommons.org, www.freembtranslations.net, www.grin.com, www.therealnews.com and www.citizen.org

Marc Batko ( "Hitlerian nightmare" / "11th century" ) 16.Jul.2018 14:13

_

Do you live in the United States, Marc?

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2018/02/435506.shtml

this is the 21st century, and DT isn't "Hitler"