Bolton’s Ridiculous ‘Troika of Tyranny’ Speech | The American Conservative

November 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Andrew Bacevich appropriately ridicules John Bolton’s silly “troika of tyranny” speech from earlier this week:

Targeting the ‘triangle of terror’ might strike a chord with right wing Floridians. But when it comes to advancing the cause of national security or of human decency, its benefits will be nil.

Source: Bolton’s Ridiculous ‘Troika of Tyranny’ Speech | The American Conservative

Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS | The American Conservative

October 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Until recently the United States viewed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as a major threat to regional stability in the Middle East. Barack Obama made it a mission to roll back ISIS’s territorial and propagandistic gain, and Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to “kick ISIS’s ass.” The United States expended considerable effort, both military and political, in a campaign to defeat the terror group in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Syria.

But there is also no doubt that the bulk of the effort came from Iran, not the United States. Without Iranian involvement, ISIS would still have a formidable presence in both Iraq and Syria.

ISIS was born out of the ashes of the American invasion of Iraq. Their rise was the logical extension of a process that saw the fabric of secular Sunni society torn asunder by an American occupier unwilling to further empower a Sunni ruling elite that had been loyal to Saddam Hussein. Washington failed to understand the resentment engendered within the Sunni community when Iraq’s Shia, some of whom were beholden to Iran, came to power.

Source: Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS | The American Conservative

Is Trump Letting Al-Qaeda Sympathizers Survive in Syria? | The American Conservative

September 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

On September 13, 2018, two days after the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard addressed her colleagues from the floor of the House of Representatives. “Two days ago, President Trump and Vice President Pence delivered solemn speeches about the attacks on 9/11, talking about how much they care about the victims of Al-Qaeda’s attack on our country,” she observed. “But they are now standing up to protect the 20,000 to 40,000 al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria, and threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson backed Gabbard’s statement by noting, “More than 10,000 rebels in [Idlib] province are believed to be aligned with Al-Qaeda. So that would mean that 17 years after 9/11, America could soon find itself bombing a country to protect al-Qaeda sympathizers. Why would we do that?”

The short answer is: Russia.

Source: Is Trump Letting Al-Qaeda Sympathizers Survive in Syria? | The American Conservative

The Proxy War Over Trump’s Foreign Policy | The American Conservative

September 14, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Six years ago, Republican Senators Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham had a “crazy bastard” fight over foreign policy and civil liberties. Politico reported three years later that the entire purpose of Graham’s 2016 presidential run was to “take down Rand Paul.” In June, Jim Antle explored how “Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham battle for clout with Trump.”

This war between libertarian realist Paul and uber-hawk Graham is not new.

Source: The Proxy War Over Trump’s Foreign Policy | The American Conservative

U.S. Again Cries ‘Chemical Warfare’ in Syria | The American Conservative

September 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Author’s Update 9/12/18: The Syrian government, backed by Russian airpower and Iranian advisors, is preparing to undertake a major offensive designed to retake the province of Idlib from opposition forces. The newly appointed State Department Special Representative for Syria, Jim Jeffreys, claims that there is “Lots of evidence” that Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons, specifically chlorine gas, in support of the Idlib operation.

For its part, Russia claims to have specific intelligence that al Qaeda affiliates, working in conjunction with the White Helmet organization, is preparing to stage a chlorine gas attack designed to look like it was done by the Syrian government. The U.S. has warned that it would launch a major military strike against not only the Syrian government, but also Russian and Iranian targets in Syria, if chemical weapons were used in Idlib.

Source: U.S. Again Cries ‘Chemical Warfare’ in Syria | The American Conservative

Let’s See Who’s Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians | The American Conservative

August 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a remarkable moment in a remarkable press conference. President Donald Trump had just finished a controversial summit meeting in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and the two were talking to the media. Jeff Mason, a political affairs reporter with Reuters, stood up and asked Putin a question pulled straight out of the day’s headlines: “Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury?”

The “12 Russian officials” Mason spoke of were military intelligence officers accused of carrying out a series of cyberattacks against various American-based computer networks (including those belonging to the Democratic National Committee), the theft of emails and other data, and the release of a significant portion of this information to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The names and organizational affiliations of these 12 officers were contained in a detailed 29-page indictment prepared by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, and subsequently made public by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on July 13—a mere three days prior to the Helsinki summit.

Source: Let’s See Who’s Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians | The American Conservative

John Brennan, Melting Down and Covering Up – LewRockwell

July 23, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

It isn’t a pretty face, but one scarred from a dark past, repackaged now by the frenzy of “resistance.” Accusing Donald Trump recklessly, implying he knows more than he lets on, promising redemption: John Brennan is the face of American politics in 2018.

But before all that, Brennan lived in a hole about as far down into the deep state as one can dwell while still having eyes that work in the sunlight. He was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, helping the president decide who to kill every week, including American citizens. He spent 25 years at the CIA, and helped shape the violent policies of the post-9/11 Bush era. He was a fan of torture and extrajudicial killing to the point that a 2012 profile of him was entitled, “The Seven Deadly Sins of John Brennan.” Another writer called Brennan “the most lethal bureaucrat of all time, or at least since Henry Kissinger.” Today, however, a New York Times puff piece sweeps all that away as a “troubling inheritance.”

Source: John Brennan, Melting Down and Covering Up – LewRockwell

Let’s See Who’s Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians | The American Conservative

July 19, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

It should be noted that the indicted 12 have not violated any Russian laws. But the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty doesn’t close the door on cooperation in this matter. Rather, the treaty notes that “The Requested Party may, in its discretion, also provide legal assistance where the conduct that is the subject of the request would not constitute a crime under the laws of the Requested Party.”

It specifically precludes the process of cooperating from inferring a right “on the part of any other persons to obtain evidence, to have evidence excluded, or to impede the execution of a request.” In short, if the United States were to avail itself of the treaty’s terms, Russia would not be able to use its cooperation as a vehicle to disrupt any legal proceedings underway in the U.S.

Source: Let’s See Who’s Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians | The American Conservative

Ron and Rand Paul Call Out Foreign Policy Hysteria | The American Conservative

July 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

When Mitt Romney called Russia America’s “number one geopolitical foe” during the 2012 election campaign, Barack Obama mocked him: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Vice President Joe Biden dismissedRomney as a “Cold War holdover.” Hillary Clinton said Romney was “looking backward.” John Kerry said “Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.”

Romney’s Russia warning came at a time when Republicans were eager to exploitPresident Obama’s hot mic comments to Russian president Dmitri Medvedev where he promised “more flexibility” on missile defense issues after the election. Romney, to the delight of Republican hawks and neoconservatives, was eager to portray Obama as capitulatingweak, and dangerous. For his part, Obama, who once vowed to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations, painted Romney as outdated for disparaging diplomacy.

Source: Ron and Rand Paul Call Out Foreign Policy Hysteria | The American Conservative

Trump Needs to Put Up or Shut Up on Russian Arms Race | The American Conservative

July 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

President Trump heads to Helsinki next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a summit that has drawn the ire of his critics and faint praise from his supporters. There is no doubt that this meeting is timed to stick a thumb in the eye of Robert Mueller, Congress, and a skeptical media, all of which have genuine concerns over the role played by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

It is doubtful that Trump will raise the issue of Russian electoral interference in any meaningful way, despite bipartisan pressure to do so. The United States has already ceded Syria to Russia and the Assad government, perhaps to gain Moscow’s support for minimizing Iran’s influence in that region. And while the Ukraine crisis will undoubtedly be discussed, Russia has made it clear that its absorption of Crimea is irreversible and non-negotiable, which makes the rollback of economic sanctions a virtual non-starter. Beyond reaffirming the bon homme that exists between these two leaders, the Helsinki Summit offers few opportunities for accomplishments of substance—unless one considers arms control.

Source: Trump Needs to Put Up or Shut Up on Russian Arms Race | The American Conservative

At NATO, Trump Should Declare MAGA Doctrine of Self Defense | The American Conservative

July 12, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

At the forthcoming NATO summit, President Donald Trump should tell the other 28 other members what Congressman John Randolph of Virginia told Greek proponents of American military assistance during their war of independence against the Ottoman Empire: “Let us say to those seven millions of Greeks, ‘We defended ourselves, when we were but three millions against a Power, in comparison to which the Turk is a lamb. Go and do thou likewise.’”

In short, President Trump should tell the other NATO nations that the United States will no longer defend them from external aggression unless Congress declares war as is constitutionally required by the Declare War Clause of Article I, section 8, clause 11.

Source: At NATO, Trump Should Declare MAGA Doctrine of Self Defense | The American Conservative

American Empire Demands a Caesar | The American Conservative

June 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The United States has adorned its president with extravagance that makes Roman emperors appear frugal by comparison. And such visible signs of the deification of our president are complemented by legal doctrines that echo Richard Nixon’s once discredited claim to David Frost: “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

These extra-constitutional developments reflect the transformation of the United States from a republic, whose glory was liberty and whose rule of law was king, to an empire, whose glory is global dominion and whose president is law. The Constitution’s architects would be shocked to learn that contemporary presidents play prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to any person on the planet deemed a threat to national security on the basis of secret, untested evidence known only to the White House.

Source: American Empire Demands a Caesar | The American Conservative

Beltway Bandits, Cronyism and the DoD’s Exclusive Contracts | The American Conservative

June 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

The Pentagon’s crony capitalism, aka military procurement, never sleeps.

According to reports, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the clear frontrunner to win a sole source, 10-year, $10 billion contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) to handle all of its cloud computing.

The case for a sole provider, however, is underwhelming, with critics saying the idea of putting all of the DoD’s computing on “one cloud” is unheard of. Congress should direct the Pentagon to do the right thing, not collude with a new member of the multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex.

Source: Beltway Bandits, Cronyism and the DoD’s Exclusive Contracts | The American Conservative

Trump Will Never Get a Better Deal With Iran | The American Conservative

June 12, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In a span of a little more than five months, North Korea and the United States have gone from trading verbal insults and mobilizing for war to engaging in vibrant diplomacy. Pyongyang now appears willing to consider eliminating its nuclear weapons and bringing an end to the state of war that has existed on the Korean peninsula since 1950.

Concurrent with this seemingly stunning progress, President Donald Trump has sought to change the rules of the game vis-à-vis Iran, pulling out of a multilateral nuclear accord that everyone (including the United States) agreed Tehran was abiding by. In doing so, Trump appears to be trying to recreate the formula that’s worked so well with North Korea—impose stringent economic sanctions while threatening military action should Iran be foolish enough to reopen its nuclear program.

Source: Trump Will Never Get a Better Deal With Iran | The American Conservative

Why The American Conservative Purged Its Own Publisher, by Ron Unz – The Unz Review

May 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Some may be aware that when I originally established The Unz Review over four years ago one of my main motives was to have a convenient venue for my own writing, a situation necessitated by my removal as Publisher of The American Conservative. However, other matters intervened, and all but a few months of my time since then have been preoccupied with software development issues and politics, but now at very long last I do hope to return to that original purpose.

Source: Why The American Conservative Purged Its Own Publisher, by Ron Unz – The Unz Review

Stop Throwing Around the ‘Socialist’ Label | The American Conservative

May 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

There is a long established practice of confusing what is misleadingly called “Cultural Marxism” with socialism and Marxist economics. The two are most definitely not the same. Those who invented what the Frankfurt School in interwar Germany called Critical Theory, and that was called by its friends and later adversaries “Cultural Marxism,” were intent on a cultural revolution. Critical Theory was only secondarily about changing the economic system, which is the primary interest of socialists and which real Marxists maintained could only come about through violence. Although the Frankfurt School and its descendants favored state ownership of productive forces, they took this stand only as a means towards a cultural end. They viewed socialism as instrumental for overcoming sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. These things, which they equated with “fascism,” were their primary targets.

In today’s Western countries, however, most of the social program of the Frankfurt School seems to have been carried out, accomplished without the state controlling production. Even more strikingly, the managers of global capitalist enterprises have happily promoted the cultural left’s agenda, from homosexual marriage to mandatory transgender restrooms. And unlike the French Communist Party after the Second World War and American labor organizers of an earlier era, both of which opposed immigration because of its impact on the native workforce, our culturally radical capitalists are delighted to bring in cheap foreign labor, legal or otherwise.

Source: Stop Throwing Around the ‘Socialist’ Label | The American Conservative

The President Does Not Have Unlimited Power to Declare War | The American Conservative

May 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

The Constitution is not like a restricted railroad ticket, good for this day and train only. Neither is it deaf to changed circumstances or the force of better reasoning. Article V authorizes amendments by two thirds of the House and Senate and three fourths of the States. Twenty-seven amendments have been ratified over the course of 228 years, including the Bill of Rights, the Civil War Amendments, and a two-term limit for the presidency. But Mr. Buckley can no more repeal the Declare War Clause by shouting about its alleged unworkability than anti-gun zealots can repeal the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms by decrying the use of firearms to commit murder. Mr. Buckley’s reasoning invites every man to become a law unto himself and pick and choose which constitutional prescriptions to obey.

Source: The President Does Not Have Unlimited Power to Declare War | The American Conservative

Iran’s Secret Nukes? Scaremongering Netanyahu Strikes Again | The American Conservative

May 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The timing of Netanyahu’s presentation—a mere two weeks before Trump is scheduled to make his determination about the fate of the JCPOA—is suspect, as is the methodology used to introduce the intelligence material to the world. If this trove of documents is, in fact, what Netanyahu claims, then there are mechanisms in place via the JCPOA framework to address the legitimate concerns raised by their collective content. The Israeli government could have shared this information with any of the signatory parties to the JCPOA, who then could have requested a meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA where the issue of Iranian compliance would then be discussed. While the process involved is a cumbersome one, in the end any failure of the part of Iran to constructively engage would result in the matter being taken to the Security Council, where sanctions could be re-imposed.

Source: Iran’s Secret Nukes? Scaremongering Netanyahu Strikes Again | The American Conservative

When Military Leaders Have Reckless Disregard for the Truth | The American Conservative

April 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

To borrow from the British definition of an ambassador, United States military leaders are honest soldiers promoted in rank to champion war with reckless disregard for the truth. This practice persists despite the catastrophic waste of lives and money because the untruths are never punished. Congress needs to correct this problem forthwith.

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, exemplifies the phenomenon. As reported in The Washington Post, Dunford recently voiced optimism about defeating the Afghan Taliban in the seventeenth year of a trillion-dollar war that has multiplied safe havens for international terrorists, the opposite of the war’s original mission. While not under oath, Dunford insisted, “This is not another year of the same thing we’ve been doing for 17 years. This is a fundamentally different approach…[T]he right people at the right level with the right training [are in place]…”

Source: When Military Leaders Have Reckless Disregard for the Truth | The American Conservative

In John Bolton, Trump Gains the Swamp | The American Conservative

April 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

But that complicating fact may no longer matter since Bolton now enjoys the enthusiastic backing of President Trump. And so those who voted for Trump and those who until five minutes ago were denouncing him as a loose cannon can at least agree that Trump is a fine fellow for appointing Bolton and also for giving us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even Trump hater Rich Lowry gushed with praise over Trump’s wisdom in appointing Bolton. In a National Review editorial, Lowry bestowed on the new national security advisor the endorsement of his Never Trump publication, explaining: “All his critics call him a neocon but he’s a hard-headed realist.”

Source: In John Bolton, Trump Gains the Swamp | The American Conservative

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