Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Glenn Greenwald wrote:One of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current President.

A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of this alliance. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”



It is, in fact, the ultimate union of mainstream Democratic foreign policy officials and the world’s most militant, and militaristic, neocons. The group is led by two long-time Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.

The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign-policy advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Chief of Staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for Foreign and National Security Affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council.

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Fly’s neocons pedigree is impressive indeed. During the Obama years, he wrote dozens of articlesfor the Weekly Standard – some co-authored with Bill Kristol himself – attacking Obama for insufficient belligerence toward Iran and terrorists generally, pronouncing Obama “increasingly ill suited to the world he faces as president” by virtue of his supposed refusal to use military force frequently enough (Obama bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries during his time in office, including an average of 72 bombs dropped per day in 2016 alone).

The Democrats’ new partner, Jamie Fly, spent 2010 working in tandem with Bill Kristolurging military action – i.e. aggressive war – against Iran. In a 2010 Weekly Standard article co-written with Kristol, Fly argued that “the key to changing [Iran’s thinking about its nuclear program] is a serious debate about the military option,” adding: “it’s time for Congress to seriously explore an Authorization of Military Force to halt Iran’s nuclear program.”

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Fly then went around the D.C. think tank circuit, under the guise of advocating “debate,” espousing the need to use military force against Iran, spouting standing neocon innuendo such as “we need to be wary of the Obama administration’s intentions” toward Iran. He mocked Obama officials, and Bush officials before them, for their “obsession with diplomatic options” to resolve tensions with Iran short of war. The Kristol/Fly duo returned in 2012 to more explicitly argue: “isn’t it time for the president to ask Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iran’s nuclear program?”

Beyond working as Rubio’s foreign policy adviser, Fly was the Executive Director of “the Foreign Policy Initiative,” a group founded by Kristol along with two other leading neocons, Robert Kagan and Dan Senor, who was previously the chief spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. That group is devoted to standard neocon agitprop, demanding “a renewed commitment to American leadership” on the ground that “the United States remains the world’s indispensable nation.” In sum, as Vox’s Dylan Matthews put it during the 2016 campaign, “If you want a foreign policy adviser with strong ties to the neocon world, it’s hard to do better than Fly.”

When it comes to this new group, the alliance of Democrats with the most extreme neocon elements is visible beyond the group’s staff leadership. Its Board of Advisers is composed of both leading Democratic foreign policy experts, along with the nation’s most extremist neocons.

Thus, alongside Jake Sullivan (national security adviser to Joe Biden and the Clinton campaign), Mike Morrell (Obama’s acting CIA Director) and Mike McFaul (Obama’s Ambassador to Russia) sits leading neocons such as Mike Chertoff (Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary), Mike Rogers (the far-right, supremely hawkish former Congressman who now hosts a right-wing radio show); and Bill Kristol himself.

In sum – just as was true of the first Cold War, when neocons made their home among the Cold Warriors of the Democratic Party – on the key foreign policy controversies, there is now little to no daylight between leading Democratic Party foreign policy gurus and the Bush-era neocons who had wallowed in disgrace following the debacle of Iraq and the broader abuses of the War on Terror. That’s why they are able so comfortably to unify this way in support of common foreign policy objectives and beliefs.

Democrats often justify this union as a mere marriage of convenience: a pragmatic, temporary alliance necessitated by the narrow goal of stopping Trump. But for many reasons, that is an obvious pretext, unpersuasive in the extreme. This Democrat/neocon reunion has been developing long before anyone believed Donald Trump could ascend to power, and this alliance extends to common perspectives, goals and policies that have little to do with the current President.

It is true that neocons were among the earliest and most vocal GOP opponents of Trump. That was because they viewed him as an ideological threat to their orthodoxies (such as when he advocated for U.S. “neutrality” on the Israel/Palestine conflict and railed against the wisdom of the wars in Iraq and Libya), but they were also worried that his uncouth, offensive personality would embarrass the U.S. and thus weaken the “soft power” needed for imperial hegemony. Even if Trump could be brought into line on neocon orthodoxy – as has largely happened – his ineptitude and instability posed a threat to their agenda.

But Democrats and neocons share far more than revulsion toward Trump; particularly once Hillary Clinton became the party’s standard-bearer, they share the same fundamental beliefs about the U.S. role in the world and how to assert U.S. power. In other words, this alliance is explained by far more than antipathy to Trump.

ndeed, the likelihood of a neocon/Democrat reunion long predates Trump. Back in the Summer of 2014 – almost a year before Trump announced his intent to run for President – long-time neocon-watcher Jacob Heilbrunn, writing in the New York Times, predicted that “the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.”

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Noting the Democratic Party’s decades-long embrace of the Cold War belligerence that neocons loves most – from Truman and JFK to LBJ and Scoop Jackson – Heilbrunn documented the prominent neocons who, throughout Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, were heaping praise on her and moving to align with her. Heilbrunn explained the natural ideological affinity between neocons and establishment Democrats: “And the thing is, these neocons have a point,” he wrote. “Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.”

One finds evidence of this alliance long before the emergence of Trump. Victoria Nuland, for instance, served as one of Dick Cheney’s top foreign policy advisers during the Bush years. Married to one of the most influential neocons, Robert Kagan, Nuland then seamlessly shifted into the Obama State Department and then became a top foreign policy adviser to the Clinton campaign.

As anti-war sentiment grew among some GOP precincts – as evidenced by the success of the Ron Paul candidacies of 2008 and 2012, and then Trump’s early posturing as an opponent of U.S. interventions – neocons started to conclude that their agenda, which never changed, would be better advanced by realignment back into the Democratic Party. Writing in the Nation in early 2016, Matt Duss detailed how the neocon mentality was losing traction within the GOP, and predicted:

Yet another possibility is that the neocons will start to migrate back to the Democratic Party, which they exited in the 1970s in response to Vietnam-inspired anti-interventionism. That’s what earned their faction the “neo” prefix in the first place. As Nation contributor James Carden recently observed, there are signs that prominent neocons have started gravitating toward Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But the question is, Now that the neocons has been revealed as having no real grassroots to deliver, and that their actual constituency consists almost entirely of a handful of donors subsidizing a few dozen think tankers, journalists, and letterheads, why would Democrats want them back?

The answer to that question – “why would Democrats want them back?” – is clear: because, as this new group demonstrates, Democrats find large amounts of common cause with neocons when it comes to foreign policy.

The neocons may be migrating back to the Democratic Party and into the open embrace of its establishment, but their homecoming will not be a seamless affair: Duss, for instance, is now the top foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders. After spending little energy on foreign affairs as a candidate, Sanders’ hiring of Duss is a sign that he sees a rejection of interventionism as ascendant with the populist element of the party.

He will have allies there from whatever is left of the faction within the Obama administration which willingly took so much heat from the foreign policy establishment for its insufficient aggression toward Russia or other perceived enemies; Sen. Chris Murphy, for instance, has been vocal in his opposition to arming the Saudis as they savage Yemen. But now that hawkish rhetoric and belligerent policies have subsumed the Democrats, it remains to be seen how much of that anti-interventionism survives.

For many years – long before the 2016 election – one of the leading neocon planks was that Russia and Putin pose a major threat to the west, and Obama was far too weak and deferential to stand up to this threat. From the start of the Obama presidency, the Weekly Standard warned that Obama failed to understand, and refused to confront, the dangers posed by Moscow. From Ukraine to Syria,neocons constantly attacked Obama for letting Putin walk all over him.

That Obama was weak on Russia, and failing to stand up to Putin, was a major attack theme for the most hawkish GOP Senators such as Rubio and John McCain. Writing in National Review in 2015,Rubio warned that Putin was acting aggressively in multiple theaters, but “as the evidence of failure grows, President Obama still can’t seem to understand Vladimir Putin’s goals.” Rubio insisted that Obama (and Clinton’s) failure to confront Putin was endangering the west:

In sum, we need to replace a policy of weakness with a policy of strength. We need to restore American leadership and make clear to our adversaries that they will pay a significant price for aggression. President Obama’s policies of retreat and retrenchment are making the world a more dangerous place. The Obama–Clinton Russia policy has already undermined European security. We can’t let Putin wreak even more havoc in the Middle East.

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In 2015, Obama met with Putin at the U.N. General Assembly, and leading Republicans excoriated him for doing so. Obama “has in fact strengthened Putin’s hand,” said Rubio. McCain issued a statement denouncing Obama for meeting with the Russian tyrant, accusing him of failing to stand up to Putin across the world:

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That Putin was a grave threat, and Obama was too weak in the face of it, was also a primary theme of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign:

Obama allows Russia & Iran more influence in Syria & Iraq. Not good for US, Israel, or our moderate Muslim partners http://t.co/nAb2mhqpUG

— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 27, 2015

And even back in 2012, Mitt Romney repeatedly accused Obama of being insufficiently tough on Putin, prompting the now-infamous mockery by Obama and Democrats generally of Romney’s Russiaphobia, which they ridiculed as an ancient relic of the Cold War. Indeed, before Trump’s emergence, the hard-core pro-GOP neocons planned to run against Hillary Clinton by tying her to the Kremlin and warning that her victory would empower Moscow:

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Even through the 2016 election, McCain and Rubio repeatedly attacked Obama for failing to take Russian hacking seriously enough and for failing to retaliate. And for years before that, Russia was a primary obsession for neocons, from the time it went to war with Georgia (at the time headed by a neocon-loved President) and even prior to that.

Thus, when it came time for Democrats to elevate Putin and Russia into a major theme of the 2016 campaign, and now that their hawkishness toward Moscow is their go-to weapon for attacking Trump, neocons have become their natural ideological allies.

The song Democrats are now singing about Russia and Putin is one the neocons wrote many years ago, and all of the accompanying rhetorical tactics – accusing those who seek better relations with Moscow of being Putin’s stooges, unpatriotic, of suspect loyalties, etc. – are the ones that have defined the neocons smear campaigns for decades.

The union of Democrats and neocons is far more than a temporary marriage of convenience designed to bring down a common enemy. As this new policy group illustrates, the union is grounded in widespread ideological agreement on a broad array of foreign policy debates: from Israel to Syria to the Gulf States to Ukraine to Russia. And the narrow differences that exist between the two groups – on the wisdom of the Iran Deal, the nobility of the Iraq War, the justifiability of torture – are more relics of past debates than current, live controversies. These two groups have found common cause because, with rare and limited exception, they share common policy beliefs and foreign policy mentalities.

The implications of this reunion are profound and long-term. Neocons have done far more damage to the U.S., and the world, than any other single group – by a good margin. They were the architects of the invasion of Iraq and the lies that accompanied it, the worldwide torture regime instituted after 9/11, and the general political climate that equated dissent with treason.

With the full-scale discrediting and collapse of the Bush presidency, these war-loving neocons found themselves marginalized, without any constituency in either party. They were radioactive, confined to speaking at extremist conferences and working with fringe organizations.

All of that has changed, thanks to the eagerness of Democrats to embrace them, form alliances with them, and thus rehabilitate their reputations and resurrect their power and influence. That leading Democratic Party foreign policy officials are willing to form new Beltway advocacy groups in collaboration with Bill Kristol, Mike Rogers, and Mike Chertoff, join arms with those who caused the invasion of Iraq and tried to launch a bombing campaign against Tehran, has repercussions that will easily survive the Trump presidency.

Perhaps the most notable fact about the current posture of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party is that one of their favorite, most beloved, and most cited pundits is the same neocon who wrote George W. Bush’s oppressive, bullying and deceitful speeches in 2002 and 2003 about Iraq and the War on Terror, and who has churned out some of the most hateful,inflammatory rhetoric over the last decade about Palestinians, immigrants, and Muslims. That Bush propagandist, David Frum, is regularly feted on MSNBC’s liberal programs, has been hired by the Atlantic (where he writes warnings about authoritarianism even though he’s only qualified to write manuals for its implementation), and is treated like a wise and honored statesman by leading Democratic Party organs.

We actually had a great event at @CAPAction with @davidfrum @joanwalsh and Ruy Teixeira on it in Feb. https://t.co/Scc5Dum0BW

One sees this same dynamic repeated with many other of the world’s most militaristic, war-loving neocons. Particularly after his recent argument with Tucker Carlson over Russia, Democrats have practically canonized Max Boot, who has literally cheered for every possible war over the two past decades and, in 2013, wrote a column entitled “No Need to Repent for Support of Iraq War.” It is now common to see Democratic pundits and office-holders even favorably citing and praising Bill Kristol himself.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with discrete agreement on a particular issue with someone of a different party or ideology; that’s to be encouraged. But what’s going on here goes far, far beyond that.

What we see instead are leading Democratic foreign policy experts joining hands with the world’s worst neocons to form new, broad-based policy advocacy groups to re-shape U.S. foreign policy toward a more hostile, belligerent and hawkish posture. We see not isolated agreement with neocons in opposition to Trump or on single-issue debates, but a full-scale embrace of them that is rehabilitating their standing, empowering their worst elements, and reintegrating them back into the Democratic Party power structure.

If Bill Kristol and Mike Chertoff can now sit on Boards with top Clinton and Obama policy advisers, as they’re doing, that is reflective of much more than a marriage of convenience to stop an authoritarian, reckless President. It demonstrates widespread agreement on a broast range of issues and, more significantly, the return of neocons to full-scale D.C. respectability, riding all the way on the backs of eager, grateful establishment Democrats.


What a timely article (for me :D ) since I just completed the trilogy documentary which is all about this (trailer here) how neocons are still pulling the strings as far as foreign policy is concerned and how they wanted fellow neocon Hillary to win the last election.
#14824502
This is why the Democrats can never be seen as an effective force for reform or change. They are, like the Republicans, a glorified sports team looking to win more than to advance any kind of effective policy that will change a damned thing.

The Democrats have been eagerly gobbling up the middle ground for decades; and the middle has been increasingly rightwing as the Republicans have been moving further and further to the right. The fact that the Eisenhowers became Democrats; and now the NeoCons are too, merely shows what everybody should have already known—party politics are party politics.

The fulcrum here is that the left in the United States not only does not vote tactically, it picked up some ultra-leftist infection from the hippies with the idea that you can simply ignore things and they will go away because of your state of mind or something.

The right never conceded that. They were out there organizing and fighting the Civil Rights Act and any number of things—and in effect, the GOP changed to a Southern Strategy to follow the active portion of the electorate (effectively finishing the inevitable desecration of the corpse of Lincoln in doing so). The Democrats cravenly followed the centre by yelling, "me too!" As they elected an evangelical Christian from the South (predictably hated by evangelical Christians from the South as they are not really worried about Christ in reality); and then Southerners in the form of the Clintons smashing labour unions, getting tough on crime, and any number of other Republican talking-points.

The left did not revolt, but simply continued to refuse to anchor the political ground in the US and the centre continued its march right—the KKK leading a congo-line with the local GOP behind it, hips held by the national GOP, now the Neo-Cons and the Democrats locking hands-to-hips there as they continue marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.*

*With respects to Clarence Darrow
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Interesting article and idea.
I have a question.
Why does Russia have to be an "enemy"?
Because from where I'm standing, this whole "Bad Putin, Bad Russia" thing is...an old and weathered security blanket kept to keep the aged and addled, warm and comfy. And it's also becoming increasingly dangerous in today's world. The west needs Russia. We need their military strength.

So the Dumbocrats form a loose alliance with the very people they professed to despise only a decade ago. The holy neo-cons. As far as I'm concerned, the bloody neo-cons should be feared allot more than Putin and Russia.

Did someone Russian try to damage Hillary-Billary's run for the White House?
Sure. So fuckin' what?
A. History shows that the USA has done the same...and worse.
B. Hillary and her tunnel-visioned, "glass ceiling" crowd, fucked Bernie Sanders, got caught, and finally convinced the American public that she could not be trusted. Her loss rests on that as far as I'm concerned.
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^



Another article, similar to the OP:

Neil Clark wrote:Neocons Have Been Destroying Sovereign Nations for 20 Years
A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social services.

An independent foreign policy with friendship and good commercial ties with Russia, support for Palestine and African and Arab unity - and historical backing for anti-imperialist movements.

Social progress in a number of areas, including women’s emancipation.

The above accurately describes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Syrian Arab Republic. Three countries in three different continents, which had so much in common.

All three had governments which described themselves as socialist. All three pursued a foreign policy independent of Washington and NATO. And all three were targeted for regime change/destruction by the US and its allies using remarkably similar methods.

The first step of the imperial predators was the imposition of draconian economic sanctions used to cripple their economies, weaken their governments (always referred to as ‘a/the regime’) and create political unrest. From 1992-95, and again in 1998, Yugoslavia was hit by the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a European state. The sanctions even involved an EU ban on the state-owned passenger airliner JAT

Libya was under US sanctions from the 1980s until 2004, and then again in 2011, the year the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was bombed back to the Stone Age.

Syria has been sanctioned by the US since 2004 with a significant increase in the severity of the measures in 2011 when the regime change op moved into top gear.

The second step was the backing of armed militias/terrorist proxies to destabilise the countries and help overthrow these "regimes". The strategy was relatively simple. Terrorist attacks and the killing of state officials and soldiers would provoke a military response from ‘the regime, whose leader would then be condemned for ‘killing his own people’ (or in the case of Milosevic, other ethnic groups), and used to ramp up the case for a ‘humanitarian intervention' by the US and its allies.

In Yugoslavia, the US-proxy force was the Kosovan Liberation Army, who were given training and logistical support by the West.

In Libya, groups linked to al-Qaeda, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were provided assistance, with NATO effectively acting as al-Qaeda’s air force

In Syria, there was massive support for anti-government Islamist fighters, euphemistically labelled 'moderate rebels.' It didn’t matter to the ‘regime changers’ that weapons supplied to ‘moderate rebels’ ended up in the hands of groups like ISIS. On the contrary, a declassified secret US intelligence report from 2012 showed that the Western powers welcomed the possible establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria, seeing it as a means of isolating ‘the Syrian regime’.

The third step carried out at the same time as one and two involved the relentless demonisation of the leadership of the target states. This involved the leaders being regularly compared to Hitler, and accused of carrying out or planning genocide and multiple war crimes.

Milosevic - President of Yugoslavia - was labelled a ‘dictator’ even though he was the democratically-elected leader of a country in which over 20 political parties freely operated.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was portrayed as an unstable foaming at the mouth lunatic, about to launch a massacre in Benghazi, even though he had governed his country since the end of the Swinging Sixties.

Syria’s Assad did take over in an authoritarian one-party system, but was given zero credit for introducing a new constitution which ended the Ba’ath Party’s monopoly of political power. Instead all the deaths in the Syrian conflict were blamed on him, even those of the thousands of Syrian soldiers killed by Western/GCC-armed and funded ‘rebels’.

The fourth step in the imperial strategy was the deployment of gatekeepers - or ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’ - to smear or defame anyone who dared to come to the defence of the target states, or who said that they should be left alone.

The pro-war, finance-capital-friendly, faux-left was at the forefront of the media campaigns against the countries concerned. This was to give the regime change/destruction project a 'progressive’ veneer, and to persuade or intimidate genuine ’old school’ leftists not to challenge the dominant narrative.

To place them beyond the pale, Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria were all labelled ’fascist,’ even though their leadership was socialist and their economies were run on socialistic lines. Meanwhile, genuine fascists, like anti-government factions in Ukraine (2013-14), received enthusiastic support from NATO.

The fifth step was direct US/NATO-led military intervention against 'the regime' triggered by alleged atrocities/planned atrocities of the target state. At this stage, the US works particularly hard to sabotage any peaceful solution to the conflicts they and their regional allies have ignited. At the Rambouillet conference in March 1999, for example, the Yugoslav authorities, who had agreed to an international peace-keeping force in Kosovo, were presented with an ultimatum that they could not possibly accept. Lord Gilbert, a UK defence minister at the time, later admitted "the terms put to Milosevic (which included NATO forces having freedom of movement throughout his country) were absolutely intolerable … it was quite deliberate."

In 2011, the casus belli was that ‘the mad dog’ Gaddafi was about to massacre civilians in Benghazi. We needed a ‘humanitarian intervention’ to stop this, we were repeatedly told. Five years later, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report held that "the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence."

In 2013, the reason given for direct military intervention in Syria was an alleged chemical weapons attack by 'Assad's forces' in Ghouta. But this time, the UK Parliament voted against military action and the planned ‘intervention’ was thwarted, much to the great frustration of the war-hungry neocons. They still keep trying though.

The recent claims of The White House, that they had evidence that the Syrian government was planning a chemical weapons attack, and that if such an attack took place it would be blamed on Assad, shows that the Empire hasn’t given up on Stage Five for Syria just yet.

Stage Six of the project involves the US continuing to sabotage moves towards a negotiated peace once the bombing started. This happened during the bombing of Yugoslavia and the NATO assault on Libya. A favoured tactic used to prevent a peaceful resolution is to get the leader of the target state indicted for war crimes. Milosevic was indicted at the height of the bombing in 1999, Gaddafi in 2011.

Stage Seven is ‘Mission Accomplished’. It’s when the target country has been ‘regime-changed’ and either broken up or transformed into a failed state with strategically important areas/resources under US/Western control. Yugoslavia was dismantled and its socially-owned economy privatised. Montenegro, the great prize on the Adriatic, recently joined NATO.

Libya, hailed in the Daily Telegraph as a top cruise ship destination in 2010, is now a lawless playground for jihadists and a place where cruise ships dare not dock. This country, which provided free education and health care for all its citizens under Gaddafi, has recently seen the return of slave markets.

Syria, though thankfully not at Stage Seven, has still been knocked back almost forty years. The UNDP reported: "Despite having achieved or being well under way to achieving major Millennium Development Goals targets (poverty reduction, primary education, and gender parity in secondary education, decrease in infant mortality rates and increasing access to improved sanitation) as of 2011, it is estimated that after the first four years of crisis Syria has dropped from 113th to 174th out of 187 countries ranked in the Human Development Index."



Of course, it’s not just three countries which have been wrecked by the Empire of Chaos. There are similarities too with what’s happened to Afghanistan and Iraq. In the late 1970s, the US started to back Islamist rebels to destabilise and topple the left-wing, pro-Moscow government in Kabul.

Afghanistan has been in turmoil ever since, with the US and its allies launching an invasion of the country in 2001 to topple a Taliban 'regime' which grew out of the ’rebel’ movement which the US had backed.

Iraq was hit with devastating, genocidal sanctions, which were maintained under US/UK pressure even after it had disarmed. Then it was invaded on the deceitful pretext that its leader, Saddam Hussein, still possessed WMDs.

The truth of what has been happening is too shocking and too terrible ever to be admitted in the Western mainstream media. Namely, that since the demise of the Soviet Union, the US and its allies have been picking off independent, resource-rich, strategically important countries one by one.

The point is not that these countries were perfect and that there wasn’t political repression taking place in some of them at various times, but that they were earmarked for destruction solely for standing in the way of the imperialists. The propagandists for the US-led wars of recent years want us to regard the conflicts as ‘stand alones’ and to regard the ‘problem' as being the ‘mad dog’ leadership of the countries which were attacked.

But in fact, the aggressions against Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the threatening of Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela are all parts of the same war. Anyone who hasn’t been locked in a wardrobe these past twenty years, or whose salary is not paid directly, or indirectly, by the Empire of Chaos, can surely see now where the ‘problem’ really lies.

The ‘New Hitlers’ - Milosevic, Hussein and Gaddafi - who we were told were the ‘biggest threats’ to world peace, are dead and buried. But guess what? The killing goes on.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/n ... rs/ri20366
#14824691
This is why the Democrats can never be seen as an effective force for reform or change. They are, like the Republicans, a glorified sports team looking to win more than to advance any kind of effective policy that will change a damned thing.

The Democrats have been eagerly gobbling up the middle ground for decades; and the middle has been increasingly rightwing as the Republicans have been moving further and further to the right. The fact that the Eisenhowers became Democrats; and now the NeoCons are too, merely shows what everybody should have already known—party politics are party politics.

The fulcrum here is that the left in the United States not only does not vote tactically, it picked up some ultra-leftist infection from the hippies with the idea that you can simply ignore things and they will go away because of your state of mind or something.

The right never conceded that. They were out there organizing and fighting the Civil Rights Act and any number of things—and in effect, the GOP changed to a Southern Strategy to follow the active portion of the electorate (effectively finishing the inevitable desecration of the corpse of Lincoln in doing so). The Democrats cravenly followed the centre by yelling, "me too!" As they elected an evangelical Christian from the South (predictably hated by evangelical Christians from the South as they are not really worried about Christ in reality); and then Southerners in the form of the Clintons smashing labour unions, getting tough on crime, and any number of other Republican talking-points.

The left did not revolt, but simply continued to refuse to anchor the political ground in the US and the centre continued its march right—the KKK leading a congo-line with the local GOP behind it, hips held by the national GOP, now the Neo-Cons and the Democrats locking hands-to-hips there as they continue marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.*

*With respects to Clarence Darrow


Well, the parties exist to have their candidates win. Much like how corporations exist to make a profit. That's simply what they are for. I agree that rightward swings are generally because lot's of the american left not only refuse to vote in the general elections but more importantly don't vote in primaries. The party will only ever try to make leftists win if leftists get their candidates in.

Not in presidential primaries either, those are the least important for actually shifting a parties attitude towards certain sections of the voter base. You have to start showing up for local primaries where even a small group of people coming in can decide who wins. As it stands now the people getting elected in local primaries are the sort of people with more right wing attitudes. The party then has to build it's strategy around winning with those right wing candidates.

It will do you no good to run a party strategy of universal healthcare if all your candidates for the state races and congress wont support it. Take my local congress woman, I live in an extremely liberal district and yet the candidate ended up being a "new democrat" because nobody bothered to actually look up the local candidates and decide who to vote for. There were other far more left wing candidates who failed spectacularly in an extremely liberal district with lots of college students. She doesn't support universal healthcare, the other candidates did, but she won.

It is my immense frustration that people want to morally judge the parties for being soulless organizations. It's not some dude deciding that they are moving right again this year, it's determined by the types of candidates they have.

I should also add that the people who work in the party usually come from the people who work these campaigns, which means that if you have more right wing candidates you have more right wing party operatives.

The democratic party doesn't decide what it's politics are, the primary voters do.

Tl;Dr if you wish the democrats wouldn't accept neocon politicians you should vote in the primaries for someone who isn't a neocon.
#14824699
The Democrats can not win locally because they declared war on local communities. This was their fatal mistake. Using National laws to force local communities to adhere to their agenda. They should have pursued their agenda locally and been patient.
I know I am repeating my same old mantra, but no one else seems to recognize this. :?:

Edit: The liberal media really enjoyed the boycotts and lawsuits against local communities, but yet liberals never suspected these local communities may resent this? :?:
#14824708
No, he lost fair and square. He lost by more in places with higher turnout and he never broke into African american voters. He also did worse in closed primaries where you have to be registered as a democrat to vote in the primaries (a meaningless thing to put on your registration or change). I had friends who supported him who absolutely refused to sully themselves by registering as a democrat, but they hoped he would win. He lost badly in Florida 60-30.

I strongly believe that if he had come out the gate speaking to african american and hispanic interests, he could have won. However he made the mistake of believing that your average primary voting minority would see him talking about economic inequality and believe he was speaking to their interests. It may be true that he was, but if the voter doesn't realize the intersection of economic inequality and race then they wont vote for you.

I think a better candidate, like Elizabeth Warren, can do better in the next primary and even win by learning the lesson.

However, like I said, the presidential primary is actually the least important because it draws the most attention and thus the most turnout in primaries. Which dilutes the power of the section of the left who would deign to vote in the primaries. Voting in more local primaries, especially in non-presidential primary years, does a lot more to change the party from the ground up. Changing the party from the ground up is much more effective and longer lasting than doing it from the top down by only effecting the presidential primary halfheartedly for one year.

Voting in the general is a lot less important ultimately, I could entirely respect someone who carefully votes in the primaries but doesn't like the candidate in the general and doesn't vote for them. Or they only vote for a few positions on the ballot and leave the others blank. Unfortunatnly to many have a weird all or nothing approach to elections where they only care enough about the presidential primary to vote in it or research their choice and if they don't get who they want the don't vote for anything at all.

The Democrats can not win locally because they declared war on local communities. This was their fatal mistake. Using National laws to force local communities to adhere to their agenda. They should have pursued their agenda locally and been patient.
I know I am repeating my same old mantra, but no one else seems to recognize this

Edit: The liberal media really enjoyed the boycotts and lawsuits against local communities, but yet liberals never suspected these local communities may resent this?


The democratic party is the party of cities, which are local. The republicans are the party of rural areas, which are also local. It's less that any party has betrayed local politics than it is that the cities and rural areas are at war. Republicans have gleefully stripped city governments of the power to choice their own local laws across the country. Cities have less protection from it than the states do from the federal government.

Since most people live in cities the democrats are actually the party that wants to give most people more power in their local government not republicans.
#14824729
Why you think I'd want to convince liberals who I don't care about, since they're regularly full-of-shit useful-idiots, is beyond me.

Anyway, back on topic: I think it's time to hang the neocons. Or at a minimum, stop them in their tracks.
#14824730
Grrrr... It won't let me call up posters.

The problem with your argument is you are taking the view of a few cities and make a general statement that it applies to all cities. Indianapolis, for instance certainly did not appreciate the attacks on their city.
#14824732
It's really impossible to say for sure if the DNC "stole the nominee".
However they did get caught trying, and when the news went public, I'd strongly suspect allot of Dumbocratic-inclined voters, finally felt they just could not continue to support such crap. Et voila...instant Donny-Boy.

I'm not a big fan of The Donald. I think he's crass and should never be allowed to speak in public.
However I do agree with some of his positions.
Like I agree that immigration of Muslim/Arab "refugees" needs to be stopped at this point in time.
I also still don't understand why TODAY, Russia needs to be an "enemy"?
#14824733
One Degree wrote:I know I am repeating my same old mantra, but no one else seems to recognize this.


Because it falls into the same logical fallacy all such arguments use, going back to the Confederates, the Orangemen, and most forms of colonial imperialism. Which is to say, "a local community," doesn't have any particular meaning.

Should an Islamic neighborhood outside of London ban English as a language and put Sharia law into effect? Most would say no, though don't bat an eye at the Orangemen demanding the same within sight of Britain.

To use an American example, there will be people that say civil rights after slavery should be a local issue. Fine. What if I kill everyone that opposes me in my apartment building and take the survivors as my slaves? Can I weep about my bravely and call the cops coming to stop me aggressors into my sovereign nation?

And this is really the whole problem with Israel and Palestine as well. Both sides can justifiably say that their local communities just need to express themselves. They can agree on that, but what that means is completely arbitrary. If there are a thousand Palestinians living among a million Israelis, do they get to dictate terms?

What about if there's a thousand people in an Israeli settlement surrounded by a million Palestinians? The Palestinians would argue—in something the US even justifies though hardly lifts a finger to deal with—that the military coming in and throwing out a local community to replace it with a different local community doesn't necessarily mean that the second local community now gets to do whatever it wants.

In short, simply saying, "Local communities should work it out," isn't saying anything. And not acknowledging something that doesn't do anything is easier than anything else.

mikema63 wrote:if you wish the democrats wouldn't accept neocon politicians you should vote in the primaries for someone who isn't a neocon.


Or don't vote for the Democrats at all. Even if we are to assume that the Democrats are something other than an electoral machine (which it obviously is); it could never be reformed until it was chasing the votes that it wanted.

Should there suddenly be a big threat from some socialist group, the Democrats would only bother chasing them so far as they were not losing people in the centre. So it would have to be a giant uprising of votes for the socialists that even spoiled some elections. Only then would the Democratic electoral machine start lurching to the left.

This is the crises that they're having. It's why with 2018 midterms looming, Democrats are divided on their core message

PBS wrote:Some want to rally behind calls to impeach the Republican president as new evidence indicates possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. Democratic leaders are reluctant to pursue that approach as it only energizes the GOP base. Others want Democrats to focus on the GOP’s plans to strip health insurance from millions of Americans. And still others say those arguments can be fashioned into a simplified brand.


This is essentially the argument: the former want to team up with Neo-Cons and Republican hawks; the latter want to team up with moderate Republican governors. Not listed here is a demand for universal healthcare, building a space fleet, infrastructure, strengthening union protection, getting women equal pay, giving jobs and jobs training to the population as a whole, or emptying prisons of non-violent offenders. That would be a platform that would mean something—just like, even when they were out in the wilderness, the GOP very firmly said it was going to repeal Obamacare and lower taxes on corporations, etc, etc, etc.

The Democrats don't want any of those things. Sure they're more open to it than the Republicans, but whenever they have the chance the lick the paws that feed them from big insurance companies and private prisons just as cravenly as Republicans.

And why not? They are just as guilty as the Republicans in unconstitutionally murdering leftists and ripping apart leftist organizations for two centuries.
#14824736
This Russia hysteria is getting on my nerves. When did your average boneheaded liberal become a cheerleader for imperialism? America and its cronies overthrew democratically elected leaders like Mossadegh, Arbenz Allende and tried to overthrow Chavez but a bunch of Russians somehow managed to subvert the most powerful country in the world. :lol:
#14824739
Ter wrote:Let me throw in the following (long) article, it highlights quite accurately in my opinion what is going on in local communities. It is well written, and the New Yorker is not an ultra right rag.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/ ... al-america


Thanks, it does offer some interesting insights.

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