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The Crazy SOB Actually Did it!

Started by indianasmith, February 23, 2022, 11:16:30 PM

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Earlier, I mentioned the Pentagon Papers and even Assange, and it appears that both points were lost to most. I can only guess that many are too young to recognize the first and too busy referring to "Orange Man/Pooty/Winnie the Pooh" that they forgot who really pulls the strings.

But FWIW, Dan Ellsberg, who revealed documents that would eventually become part of the Pentagon Papers and break the pro-Vietnam neocon back was recently asked about that and Assange, and even Manning, and this is what he had to say (left with no commentary):

He supports neither the neocons of the U.S. nor Putin, but he also has some additional points about the military industrial complex and Ukraine:

and some more points about the same as published by The Nation:

Quote"If the Pentagon Papers of Afghanistan come out, you could change place names and officials' names," he says. "It wouldn't make any difference. Same story. And we were lied into a war with Iraq. And Trump could have gotten us into a war with Iran. If you look at Obama in Libya, he wasn't even willing to use the War Powers Act to inform Congress. It was just war from the air. We're seeing near-zero curiosity in the American public as to how many Afghans have been killed in this war in the last 20 years. Not an estimate, no hearings. How about Iraq? There are estimates about 10 to 20 times that of the government estimates. The American people don't care."

The older he gets, the more Ellsberg sees himself as being on a moral mission to open eyes kept deliberately shut by those who would prefer to avoid having to deal with the crises of our times. To get them to see the perils of nuclear war. The perils of militarism. And, most recently, the perils of climate change.

QuoteEllsberg was adamant that this was a brutal and unjustified war of aggression launched by Putin. But he was incredulous at the notion, too often accepted as a given by commentators, that no superpower since the end of World War II has committed such heinous atrocities. "I'm 91," he says. "So, I'm burdened by an awful lot of historical analogies in my lifetime, many of which I participated in: the buildup of nuclear weapons, and the Vietnam War, which were moral catastrophes. Putin is a bad guy, very clearly. His aggression is murderous and as illegitimate as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan." He pauses. "Or the US invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Or Hitler's invasion of Poland. Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam by the US—we haven't reached that level remotely yet [in Ukraine.]"

Ellsberg specifically mentioned the use of phosphorous bombs, which burn through to the bone, by the United States and its allies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and napalm used against civilians in Vietnam. Then, going back to World War II and the all-out effort to defeat fascism, he spoke of allied bombing raids that deliberately created firestorms in Dresden and Hamburg—killing tens of thousands of civilians in single nights in the two German cities—as well as a raid against Berlin, in February 1945, which failed to generate a firestorm but still killed roughly 25,000 people. He detailed the bombing of 64 cities in Japan before the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that cumulatively killed roughly 900,000 people—including up to 120,000 who died in Tokyo in a firestorm created by saturation bombing.


A helpful article outlining Abelow's points:

with one notable implication:

QuoteAbelow notes the contradiction in two stated objectives of US support for Ukraine: first, that of enabling Ukraine to mount a robust defense – a humanitarian intervention; second, and emphasized in repeated bulletins from President Joe Biden's administration, the intent to "cripple" Russia not only in the current conflict but in any future (unspecified) military adventurism. 

This, far from offering protection to Ukraine, guarantees that the war will drag on, with ever greater levels of death and destruction.

This lends credence to the point first raised by Sachs in this thread, and then emphasized by many others, including Ellsberg, about the military industrial complex, arms sales, and letting proxy wars like those in Ukraine be used as a test beds for newly developed armaments.


Some remarkable essays that claim that it's all Putin's fault:

"What Caused the Ukraine War?"

QuoteIn Ukraine, there is no question that Putin lit the match when he ordered Russian troops to invade on February 24. Like the leaders of the great powers in 1914, he probably believed that it would be a short, sharp war with a quick victory, somewhat like the Soviet Union's takeover of Budapest in 1956 or Prague in 1968. Airborne troops would capture the airport and advancing tanks would seize Kyiv, removing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and installing a puppet government.

"Russia's War in Ukraine: Insights from RAND"

QuoteRussia's nuclear saber-rattling has shifted the stakes of the war in Ukraine. But enabling Russia's blackmail doesn't prevent the catastrophic costs of nuclear escalation. It merely shifts those costs away from Russia and into the future, inviting other nuclear states to pull the same move for their conquests.

Both illustrate the incredibly neocon blinkered view of reality: unlike Russia, the U.S. has never and will never install puppet regimes, and even with the largest military in the world and over 700 military bases and installations, can never engage in the sort of saber-rattling that its barbaric enemies employ.


Some more points that most don't know about the current event. From 2014:

QuoteYou see, the Russians have already experienced what it is like to comply with US economic edicts. That was tried during the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union when experts from Harvard University descended on Moscow with "shock therapy" for the post-communist society. What happened was that a handful of well-connected thieves plundered the nation's resources, making themselves into billionaire oligarchs while President Boris Yeltsin stayed drunk much of the time and many average Russians faced starvation.

A key reason why Putin and his autocratic style have such a strong political base is that he took on some of the oligarchs and restructured the economy to improve the lives of many Russians. The neocons may think that they can oust Putin through a combination of economic pain and information warfare but there is a deep understanding among many Russians what a repeat of the Yeltsin years would mean.

The irony, then, is that Putin came to power because of failed economic policies based on U.S. advice. Here's the definition of the term:

QuoteIn economics, shock therapy is a group of policies intended to be implemented simultaneously in order to liberalize the economy, including liberalization of all prices, privatization, trade liberalization, and stabilization via tight monetary policies and fiscal policies. In the case of post-Communist states, it was implemented in order to transition from a command economy to a market economy.

Does it remind you of something I mentioned earlier? That's right, neoliberalism!

Here's the TL-DR: Russia was suffering badly because it tried to come up with a planned economy and thus avoid excesses and waste seen in the West. The problem is that Russians, like many other people, think irrationally as consumers: they buy things not because they need them but because they're faddish, they buy things they don't need, they throw away things and then buy new ones, etc.

Here's the fun part: one of those Harvard experts was Jeffrey Sachs! Remember him?

So they try to liberalize the Russian economy, thinking that it will increase production and income. Instead, a few Russians became rich--the oligarchs--and then took over, making matters worse.

It turns out that this isn't an isolated case. Through the IMF-WB, the U.S. tried the same stunt in many other countries, like the Philippines, and not surprisingly it didn't succeed. Instead, the rich took over, and the poor remained poor.

Here's the difference: in the case of Russia, the oligarchs supported Putin, a former KGB officer, thinking that they could use him to operate a government that favored them. Instead, Putin screwed them and took over. With an authoritarian regime, he reformed the Russian economy, making it grow per capita four times faster than countries like Ukraine.

Obviously, the U.S. didn't like that because neoliberalism allowed them and other foreigners to exploit weaker countries, and they failed to impose that in Russia.

Here's another fun part: the same opposite of neoliberalism, i.e., combinations of authoritarianism, economic planning, export orientation, mercantilism, and so on, is what propelled Japan and other Asian countries to industrialization, as well as countries like China and Vietnam. That's why as the decades went by, they too started answering back at the U.S. and the EU.

So, how's that connected to this issue? The only way to ensure the spread of neoliberalism is neoconservatism, or the use of force and covert means to weaken or even attack other countries in order for regime change to take place. Since the U.S. couldn't do that to Russia, then it did that to Ukraine: duly elected pro-Russian politicians were ousted through a revolution and then replaced by pro-U.S. politicians. That would allow Ukraine to become part of the U.S. orbit of dominance and thus tighten its grip on Russia.

This also explains why for many years the U.S. kept insisting that Russia is evil and wants to form its own empire, and it was making similar claims about China, Iran, and many others, even though ironically it dependent on them for trade as part of a global economy. In short, they're all SOBs, and the U.S. is the "good guy."

The problem is that one of those SOBs became "crazy" and fought back, attacking a brother nation, but going no further than places where Russians live. Neocons ignore that, and instead continue the "good guy-bad guy" routine by arguing that Russians are not only barbaric but also weak.

So, now, Europeans, who have always been fearful of war but are considered "descended from Venus" by Americans who "come from Mars," (as one article put it) are having difficulty maintaining sanctions on Russia. Many countries are avoiding it entirely, preferring to stay neutral. The U.S. is taking on even more debt, sending money to what is likely a very corrupt Ukrainian government, while more of its people face homelessness.


What's almost never mentioned is the implication that not only does Russia gain nothing from this invasion except stopping NATO expansion, but that the U.S. economy is essentially dependent on war to continue growing:

QuoteAndrew Bacevich:     Well I think, first of all, I think I, like almost everybody else who was an observer of US foreign policy, of US national security policy, was caught by surprise that the Cold War ended. I think the reigning assumption had come to be that the Cold War would go on forever, that it was a permanent part of our world. And when it ended – Again, me caught completely by surprise – I think I vaguely thought, vaguely, that the United States would now become once more a normal nation in some respects, going back to what we had been prior to World War II. Meaning minding our own business, having a modest, in terms of size and cost, a modest military establishment, refraining from meddling and intervening in others' affairs. That was my expectation, which, of course, was immediately demolished because the end of the Cold War actually triggered a new bout of American military interventionism that really has spanned several decades now.


Andrew Bacevich:      Yeah, Chris, I don't think I myself would use terms like baited and provoked. I see it more as the United States specifically, and the West more broadly treating Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union with utter disdain and contempt that in Washington, there seemed to be no reason in particular why we should take Russia's national security concerns seriously. Again, if we reflect on the mood of the moment, history having ended with one superpower remaining, we thought we could get away with anything. And of course, to some extent we did, at least for a decade or so, before 9/11 occurred and brought those naive expectations crashing down.

I think this is the gist:

The U.S. economy started slowing down during the early 1960s. At the same time, it argued that it was threatened by the Iron Curtain and the "domino theory": the belief that countries will fall to Communism, and that the U.S. had to stop that.

By the early 1970s, trade deficits became chronic because other countries were manufacturing more and taking over. At the same time, real wages were peaking.

By the early 1980s, the U.S. began to take on more debt in order to maintain its economy. The debt was used for consumer spending, in order to make its people people. At the same time, it funded the military, which continued to grow.

By the early 1990s, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. had no competitor militarily, but several countries that began to take over starting in the early 1970s were now growing stronger economically. Eventually, not just China but even Russia joined the fray.

From seeing a Communist threat, the U.S. now saw an economic threat. But since that didn't look right, they had to recreate a black-and-white world where the U.S. is good and everyone else is either with it or, as Bush would put it, "with the terrorists." Hence, it created the storyline that other countries are tyrannies and that only U.S.-style democracy is good. And it pushed that through a combination of regime change, financial aid with strings attached, and military expansionism. Which is what happened to Ukraine.

The problem is that that didn't stop those countries that became stronger economically from continuing to grow. The U.S. managed to manipulate some, like the Philippines and Ukraine, a few in the Middle East, and some in Latin America, but failed with the rest. More are now becoming part of forty emerging markets that are answering back.

Given that, what might happen in the future? Might this statement be considered: if all you have is a hammer, then everything else will look like a nail?

And what's that hammer?


the "late capitalism" thing is dragging your analysis down. Most of what you see around the world was invented and / or developed here. How come the USSR didn't invent the iphone in the 70's? how come cuba doesn't make blockbuster action movies?

War is a massive detriment to our economy. Its the public sector using the gains of the private sector, not any kind of basis for our wealth in itself.

There is no socialism. So called socialist countries like Venezuela and cuba make their money from oil and tourism respectively. fueling modern cars developed via market competition and serving as luxury resorts for winners in the markets respectively.


So, the Russians just got their weapons dealer back....

My right wing friends believe that'll be a game changer, but not clear on how.....

So, anybody think the presence of Viktor Bout will have any effect on this war?
"Science Fiction & Nostalgia have become the same thing!" - T Bone Burnett
The world runs off money, even for those with a warped sense of what the world is.


The winter should really be biting out there about now causing the battlefield tempo to really slow down. I think this war will be decided when the campaigning season starts again in earnest (assuming nothing unexpected happens that changes the game). Putin put a lot of effort into the build-up to this invasion, years just preparing the ground for it, seeding fake reasons to start it and so forth. I cannot see him choosing it to end it while he is on the losing side. Will Russia be able to use this relative break (if it happens) to rearm and prepare for a new wave of attacks, or will the Ukrainian forces be able to resume their advances? The last time I checked, Russia had lost about half the territory they had managed to take at the start of this whole thing.

Whatever happens, Putin is going to need more than the lies he has used so far to pull out a win.
I'll show you ruin
I'll show you heartbreak
I'll show you lonely
A sorrow in darkness

Morpheus, the unwoke.

Quote from: LilCerberus on December 10, 2022, 02:05:03 PM
So, the Russians just got their weapons dealer back....

My right wing friends believe that'll be a game changer, but not clear on how.....

So, anybody think the presence of Viktor Bout will have any effect on this war?


He's been in prison for years,he was replaced a long time ago. The people in business now aren't just going to step down so he can come back. He's not really an issue now.
They will come back, come back again, As long as the red earth rolls. He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think he would squander souls?" ― Ruyard Kipling

We all come from the goddess and to her we shall return, like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean.


Quote from: Alex on December 10, 2022, 04:10:08 PM

Whatever happens, Putin is going to need more than the lies he has used so far to pull out a win.

Let him think it's Brittney Griner.   :lookingup:  Meanwhile the civilians are in the cold.   :bluesad:  :hatred:
If you want to view paradise . . . simply look around and view it!


Quote from: lester1/2jr on December 10, 2022, 12:22:51 AM
the "late capitalism" thing is dragging your analysis down. Most of what you see around the world was invented and / or developed here. How come the USSR didn't invent the iphone in the 70's? how come cuba doesn't make blockbuster action movies?

War is a massive detriment to our economy. Its the public sector using the gains of the private sector, not any kind of basis for our wealth in itself.

There is no socialism. So called socialist countries like Venezuela and cuba make their money from oil and tourism respectively. fueling modern cars developed via market competition and serving as luxury resorts for winners in the markets respectively.

I wasn't referring to late capitalism.


Trading a basketball player for a weapons dealer. Meanwhile, many Americans are still incarcarated for minor marijuana offenses, and the marine is left in Russia. That's just brilliant.

What new idea will these geniuses come up with next? I know,

"Biden Calls For $50 Billion To Help Ukraine Track Down Notorious Russian Arms Dealer"

I know, I know. How would Triump the Comic Dog put it? "I kid, I kid!"


From last April,

"'Regime Libertarians' Go Neocon On Ukraine – OpEd"

QuoteIt seems like only yesterday, but it was in fact 19 years ago almost to the day. Nasty little Canadian neocon David Frum scribbled the infamous cover story for the National Review titled "Unpatriotic Conservatives." It was a catchy title and its purpose was to read all non-"regime" conservatives out of the conservative movement.


Frum and his neocon buddies had a problem at the time: Conservative opposition to non-defensive wars went back decades – at least to Sen. Robert ("Mr. Conservative") Taft, who foresaw the nightmare we are now facing in east Europe and eloquently argued against the US joining NATO at all back in 1949. Even in 2003, prominent conservative intellectuals and a broad grassroots of Americans were still steeped in the advice of John Quincy Adams that we must not go abroad seeking monsters to slay.

Wait a minute: so long before Kennan warned about using NATO for onerous purposes, Mr. Conservative himself was warning about the opposite of isolationism? And that's the same isolationism that the country wanted before WW2? Fascinating, Captain Kirk.

Some additional points:

The idea that Russia/China/Iran/your ice cream flavor of the month is evil, that the U.S. must intervene in many parts of the world to make sure that they don't outwit the U.S. they don't deprive us of our "freedoms" turns out to be based on "CIA talking points."

There's no need for "moral clarity" as the major talking point of neoconspeak is exceptionalism: they are evil and thus hate us because "we are good and free." Just make sure never to raise the need to send in "our troops."


"US Empire Views Ukrainians And Russians As Lab Rats For Weapons Testing"

QuoteA surprisingly frank article by The New York Times titled "Western Allies Look to Ukraine as a Testing Ground for Weapons" describes how the imperial war machine is capitalising on the US proxy war to test its weapons for future use.

"Ukraine has become a testing ground for state-of-the-art weapons and information systems, and new ways to use them, that Western political officials and military commanders predict could shape warfare for generations to come," write's NYT's Lara Jakes.

What's also beguiling is that the article was retitled, "For Western Weapons, the Ukraine War Is a Beta Test."

Oooo, like a video game.


ralfy- the point is your anaylsis is based on governments running their country's economy and they don't. you are essentially projecting socialism's failures onto capitalism.

The government didn't train Lebron James to be a great basketball player. South Korea's government didn't invent K Pop or Korean Bbq.

You are putting the cart before the horse.

Chinese people pulled themselves out of poverty only after the government stopped impeding them.

IN a healthy country the people don't need their government for much at all. it has a natural role in areas where it is convenient like defense but even that is debatable