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Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No 4. The impending disaster.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Author’s note: The arrival of a blatant liar, one who has taken it to unprecedented levels, as the 45th President of the United States necessitates close and regular scrutiny.

When uttering the words “Donald Trump” we in Australia are apt to cringe for we see a sick, deluded man of no redeeming features. He is a crash through politician with a ubiquitous mouth. One full of racial hatred, bile and misogyny. A deluded, pathetic liar unsuitable for the highest office in the land, if not the world. He is a creature who sees complex problems and impregnates them with populism and implausible black and white solutions.

We ask ourselves how naïve the American people are. Or was it just absent-mindedness that they chose an ignoramus as their President? However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, more likely perhaps, in their own unique way, electing him was a form of protest that went dramatically wrong.

We sit before our televisions and watch his antics and ponder at the gullibility of the American people and say, “only in America”.

Or to quote Ross Gittens:

“They voted for him because, in their anger with the business and political establishment, they wanted to give the system a kick up the bum. The less he sounded like a proper politician, the more they thought him the man for that job.”

I just over two weeks the abomination that is called Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What can we expect from this moronic individual?

Well therein lays the problem. We have never seen a man of his grandiloquent nature elected before. However, we do know a lot about him though. “He has history” as we Australians say. He is certainly self-opinionated and believes in American exceptionalism. He is all the things aforementioned and more.

My American friend Ben Williamson posted this on Facebook a few days ago:

“Congratulations! You elected Donald Trump! Now let me tell you what you’ve won.

You whined and whined that Hillary, as a PRIVATE CITIZEN, was paid money to do a job, giving speeches to Goldman Sachs. Congratulations! You win the guy who actually HIRED Hillary to give those speeches to handle ALL our money.

You bitched and moaned about how Hillary doesn’t care about the environment. Congratulations! You win an EPA head owned by big oil who wants to abolish the Clean Air and Water Act.

You constantly complained that you have to actually PAY to go to college. Congratulations! You win a woman who hates public education and thinks ALL schools should be private Christian schools. Hey, at least you won’t have any student loans! No college will accept you since your parents couldn’t even afford a primary education for you.

Congratulations! With your protest vote, you win all the things you swore you hated, and everyone else lost.”

Here are a couple more to add to this growing list.

“What? People working full-time don’t earn enough to make ends meet?  No problem!  I’ll appoint to head the Labor Department a Fast Food CEO who has lost multiple lawsuits for abusing his employees, and who thinks the minimum wage and overtime laws should be abolished.”

“What? People around the world don’t trust the fossil fuel industry? No problem! I’ll just appoint as our head diplomat the CEO of the most corrupt fossil fuel company on the planet!”

He is correct of course. In selecting his Cabinet, Trump has been fastidious in selecting those from the far-right, like-minded extremely wealthy people, capitalists in every way and totality in denial of the science of climate change. The 17 appointees to his Cabinet so far have more wealth between them than the poorest 43 million Americans.

But what is it that occupies the minds of men and women of the conservative right that they need be so malevolent in their thinking? That sledgehammer thinking will win every argument. What is it in the backgrounds of these people that causes their narcissism, their inability to accommodate difference or equality?

It is by far the wealthiest group ever selected for Cabinet. Their backgrounds suggest a sort of fundamentalist worship of money that will make America great again.

An observation.

“Never in the history of the world have the rich and the privileged been so openly brazen.”

When he proclaimed victory in the glittering ballroom of the Hilton Hotel Trump promised to be a President for all Americans. His actions thus far suggest otherwise. If you look back at his election campaign which was mired in bigotry and xenophobia you would have to ask how that is at all possible.

He has been what he is all his life. An elitist snob. It is difficult to imagine at almost 71 he can turn into a concerned empathetic individual with one swipe of a gilded comb through golden locks.

Here are two views of a Trump administration.

Firstly a Facebook friend Russell Green:

“As much as I have rejoiced in the ending of 2016, which was truly an ANNUS HORRIBILIS on just about every front possible. But 2017 fills me with ABSOLUTE DREAD. First and possibly the most important is that in less than 3 weeks Donald Trump becomes the President of The United States.

An unthinkable thought 12 months ago. Over the past 18 months of campaigning there has been NOTHING about TRUMP that is remotely Presidential. But as bad as he is, it is nothing compared to the disaster that will be his government and cabinet.

The only “silver lining” I can take out of this is the 4 years of Trump should see the end of the NEO-CON revolution for the next 100 years, but the damage that will be done to the planet as a whole that might just be unrecoverable, is too high a price to pay!”

And this again from Ross Gittens: 

“Sorry, I lean more to the view that history is a product of pre-existing trajectory, random developments and the interaction of powerful political and social institutions.

They say that in the race of life, you should always back Self-interest because at least you know it’s trying. I’d also put a couple of bob on Inertia.”

As for me. Well I think that despite his closeness to the world of politics over the years he is going to find, as Obama did, that power is not absolute. Because he is not really a Republican.  He will spend a lot of time in argument with the party. He has an outrageous to do list and a lot of the items are at odds with GOP policy. He will face a hostile congress.

He will also want some tangible benefit from the spoils of office.

On Climate Change he will perhaps find that the world has passed him by and the big money is in pursuit of the new economy. Conflict of interest will be a major problem for him and it may even bring him down. Fact is his business interests extend into so many areas of American business that he will be unable to avoid the regularity of media scrutiny.

Together with scandal both personal and presidential he is going to be in for a rough time.

But in the end, as in Australia, the status quo, until a political messiah comes along, will win the day. But I’m tipping a government of the likes the world have ever seen or is likely to see again.

It’s called ‘GOVERNENCE BY TWEET’. Yes, if it wasn’t so bloody serious it would be funny. It’s Trump’s America now.

Or unless he starts some silly bloody war.

My thought for the day.

“I never judge people but I do form my own opinions of course.”

The ‘Trump Report’ will appear regularly in ‘Day to Day Politics’.

 

 

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184 comments

  1. jagman48

    One other point to ponder. He belives vaccinations cause autism so he is against vaccination. And apparently 1 in 3 of his supporters feel the same. A dad but true fact.

  2. Kaye Lee

    re Trump and autism, he tweeted

    “So many people who have children with autism have thanked me—amazing response. They know far better than fudged up reports!”

    Heaven help us!

  3. Glenn K

    John, with your opening paragraph i thought for sure you were writing about Tony Abbott. For once we showed the Americans we can do it first, so they then went one step further ….

  4. Kronomex

    The US is about to go from being a democracy (in name only) to the world’s first “Tweetocracy” thanks to shit house cunning rat that takes over in a couple of weeks.

  5. corvus boreus

    Glenn K,
    I disagree. I think we Aussies are playing our usual role as a delayed echo of US trends.
    Howard was our version of Ronnie Reagan, with a dash of Bush mark 1 thrown in.
    Abbott was our attempt to imitate the utter idiocy of Dubya.
    As for which dodgy tycoon Straya will pick as our home-grown Trump, my first guess would be Packer for PM in 2013.

  6. michael lacey

    There is a moment when ordinary people began to figure out for the past 30 years huge amounts of money have been generated in the general economy as we know from economists Thomas Picketty and others most of this has gone to a tiny fraction of the population. So a huge amount of growth and hardly anyone has benefited. We do not have to go far to see this! Walk into neighbourhoods that have quick cash agencies, pawn shops, broken down fix your mobile phone shops, dollar stores!

    There is a macroeconomic one unpinning this as well; after we decided to target full employment for 30 years we decided to target inflation for 30 years. We have created a world where you can dump 15 trillion Euros or dollars for example into the global money supply, through QE and other programs and there is no inflation anywhere.

    We have levered our banking system, billed it out and dumped it onto the public purse and said we have to cut that terrible debt.

    This has resulted in creditor debtor standoffs all around the world! Creditor debtor standoffs take different forms. For the left you see resistance through new left parties; the right it takes the form of the National Front and for Trump which is a weird coalition of sexist, racist, anti-immigrant; but if look at the states that really fell hard the rust belts IT’S ECONOMIC! Now if you recognise that simple fact that it is economic you can put Trump in there with Brexit, or Jeremy Corbyn and you can put him in with all the rest that is happening!

    Look at 2015 Wall Street bonuses not regular compensations bonuses seven years after they were bailed out with the public purse totalled 28.4 billion dollars. Total compensation paid to every single person in America on a minimum wage is 14 billion dollars! If we do not highlight the real reasons for Trump we will keep making the same stupid mistakes!!

  7. helvityni

    Glenn K, you are right, we don’t need to go to America or anywhere else to learn about cruelty, it’s here well and truly…it’s home-grown.

  8. LOVO

    Corvus, if one follows your thinking, we might end up with Prime Minister Rinehart 😮

  9. Rob

    I hope that this trump bashing blows up in your face…..Do you really want the world to continue under the shit that has been running the place into the ground to be a third world country and islamic ruled at that. Your are so blind to what is happening all over the world. I really cant beleive the shit running out of your mouths and the crap you write

  10. mark delmege

    Your opener is quite a start. Especially after the last Pres did such a wonderful job on the lie front and dont mention the killings and destruction either. Actually the start is almost enough to make me stop reading any further. But then I get to the third para – and talk of naivety. Puck me how naive are some people who thought the last pres was any sort of a measure to judge him. Let me just say if Trump destroys less countries than the last Pres and drone kills half the number of civilians he will do the world a favour and if he can do all that without creating another flood of refugees into Europe while wrecking the political fabric in a whole continent he will have gone one better. And then I remember it was the author who put up that shallow ignorant diatribe the other day as (in support of) the lame duck Pres was making a fool of himself dishonestly accusing the same country of hacking the most recent election – which he did as a partisan act of political bastardry.
    Actually its this sort of rubbish that will lower the tone of this site. I’d much prefer to read something with intelligence, a little nuance something enlightening – anything but this partisan rubbish. But I doubt the author would understand.

  11. Kaye Lee

    The last two posts are very typical of Trump supporters – a whole heap of abuse and not one ounce of substance. Same as Trump.

    “its this sort of rubbish that will lower the tone of this site.”

    mark, I think people on this site have a great deal more regard for John Lord than for the unsubstantiated abuse you love to dish out. Your opinion is your own – do not ascribe it to this site!

  12. Roswell

    Damn good post, John. I’m hearing from my friends and relatives in America that many people who were ecstatic over the Trump victory are now losing their grins because of the team he is building around him. Trump gave them hope, his appointments might undo it all.

  13. Roswell

    Ah, it’s mark again. Seems to think the post is about Obama.

  14. Kaye Lee

    For mark, everything is about Obama and Clinton who are the devil incarnate in his opinion. Putin, Assad and Trump are his type of guy.

    Wouldn’t matter what the topic of the article was – it will turn into a US bashing exercise liberally sprinkled with Russian propaganda because apparently they have greater press freedom so give us the real truth. (Rolls eyes).

    We ignore Obama’s attempts to introduce climate change action, universal health care, and gun laws. We ignore that eight years after President Obama’s inauguration, stock markets are at record highs; the unemployment rate, at 4.6%, is the lowest it has been in a decade; and house prices have risen 23%, recovering from their biggest crash in living memory. Trump’s our fixit man. He’ll build a fence and save us all.

  15. helvityni

    I wish we had a man like Obama as our PM, an intelligent man who has managed to improve lives of many Americans against all odds, a man who understands what life is for coloured people, and he even has a sense of humour..a good human being with a lovely family.

    I’d be happy to send Mal and all his mates/helpers to USA and fly Obama to Oz…

  16. mark delmege

    Did john ever call out the Democrat President for his business appointments, his wars, his lies?
    No we got hagiography instead. And thats the rub.

    Does it matter that one branch of the establishment – is taking over from another? Under normal circumstances I would say ‘not much at all’. But I’d argue the American system is so broken it will require acts of desperation, bravery and an iron will to right the course (whatever that is). Appreciating the problems is only the start. By any reasonable standard Obama added to them. Can Trump fix it? I doubt it and I expect many in his divided party will team up with the bankers and war merchants from the Democrats to make sure he can’t.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Actually its this sort of rubbish that will lower the tone of this site.

    What a ridiculous statement.

    Should we repeatedly publish pro Putin, pro Russia, anti Obama/Clinton/America articles for your benefit? We do publish those at times, as you know. Sean, for example, writes some very good articles and whilst I don’t always agree with all of them I respect his right to his opinion and this site is more than happy to give him a platform.

    The other 99% of our articles are for the other 99% of our readers. They are possibly of the opinion that the 1% might lower the tone of this site. You do not, however, see them rushing to Sean’s articles ‘demanding’ he write different articles. Neither do you see them saying to Sean that he writes “partisan rubbish”.

    This site is for a lot of people, Mark. Over five thousand people come here every day, yet you’re one of the few who keeps telling us to do away with what they come here to see. That’s quite odd.

  18. mark delmege

    Well Michael if you want numbers you could run porn. But seriously if you are happy to run self serving partisan tripe and maintain the illusion that over the past 30 years there has been any real difference between the two ruling parties in the USofA – be my guest and run more stories like this.
    On the other hand you could raise the bar and attempt to educate your readers in the ways of the world. Articles that spell out the good and bad, prospects and problems. You know – stuff that feeds ones intellect rather than basely confirming ones hate.

  19. johnlord2013

    Did I miss something. Who is mark delmege?

  20. DavidBruce

    From the articles and comments, I am beginning to wonder if the AIMN organization has been taken over by the MSM?

    The MSM refuses to cover so many crises, I can see why CNN was called the Clinton News Network. Nothing in politics happens by accident. If it happens, it was planned, funded, organized, directed and controlled. For example, it was no coincidence that deputy Sheriff John Howard had a ringside seat for the 9/11 horrors!

    Trump is no angel, but he is smart enough to realize the USA is heading for GFC II, with potential catastrophic consequences. Hillary’s plan was to forestall the GFC II by initiating a first strike nuclear attack against Russia. That would certainly attract the attention of the American people!

    These are not my assessments alone, Most authors, who have some knowledge of the economic and financial mismanagement we see world wide, have reached the same conclusion.

    Under the previous administrations in USA we have had 9/11, the Gulf Oil Spill, Fukushima disaster, Egypt, Ukraine, Benghazi, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and many more I have overlooked! Not the sort of report card one needs to enter the Pearly Gates?

  21. michael lacey

    Mark Delmege made some fair enough comments. The last administration was abysmal under Obama! Don’t know what Trump will do but he has already upset Walmart the outlet for the Peoples Republic of China and has also given them notice!

  22. Kaye Lee

    “Hillary’s plan was to forestall the GFC II by initiating a first strike nuclear attack against Russia.”

    FFS! You know this, how?

    “Under the previous administrations in USA we have had 9/11, the Gulf Oil Spill, Fukushima disaster, Egypt, Ukraine, Benghazi, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and many more I have overlooked! ”

    Obama was good but I doubt he caused the tidal wave.

    And you say WE lose credibility?

    The great thing about this site is it calls out bs from ALL sides.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Mark, the authors are free to write about whatever they want to. If one wants to write about Trump, good. If one wants to write about Howard, good. If one wants to write about climate change, good. If one ever wants to write about Obama, that’s good too. If one even wants to write about sausage meat, well that’s good too.

    I don’t think any of the writers here thinks any of the US administrations are squeaky clean. They just don’t have the inclination to write about it. There are more topical subjects that hold this site’s interest.

    I was watching a game of football on the big screen at the local club. Adelaide Crows were playing Collingwood. Because I was hoping that Adelaide lost, the people around me assumed I was a Collingwood supporter, which I definitely am not. I just hate Adelaide. I believe that you assume things in the same way. Because most people wanted to see Trump lose the election I have the impression that you think they’re all Clinton lovers. Some might be, but if you bothered to listen to what people have writing here you’d discover that many of them don’t like Clinton at all. Personally, I wanted neither Trump or Clinton. I liked Sanders.

  24. Matters Not

    Gee DavidBruce ‘knows’ lots of things. Try this for size:

    Nothing in politics happens by accident. If it happens, it was planned, funded, organized, directed and controlled. For example, it was no coincidence that deputy Sheriff John Howard had a ringside seat for the 9/11 horrors!

    Amazing! And hilarious!

    MT, where do you find them?

  25. Kim Southwood

    John, I look forward to your ongoing reports on Trump. They promise to be much more entertaining than the mainstream news reports. The emotive vitriol of your detractors (which is a bit scary at times) at least helps me better understand the kind of people who voted for him.

  26. mark delmege

    this might help you understand why a democrat wasn’t elected (language warning)

  27. Kaye Lee

    mark, I think you will find people are a lot more worried about who WAS elected than who wasn’t.

  28. LOVO

    David Bruce, please write an article for the AIMN….your hilarious. Comedy such as yours makes me LOL. 😂

  29. Roswell

    I’m really looking forward to the article about sausage meat. I’m betting Rossleigh will do it.

  30. Roswell

    “mark, I think you’ll find people are a lot more worried about who WAS elected rather than who wasn’t”.

    If we applied mark’s reasoning to Australian politics he’d want all The AIMN’s articles to be about Bill Shorten.

  31. mark delmege

    asinine

  32. Michael Taylor

    No idea where they are coming from, MN. They’re starting to bug me though.

  33. Roswell

    I’m bugged too.

  34. Maria Horzela

    You must be watching to much of CNN,no wonder that Australians are called” the sheep on valium”.No evidence,no research and luck of critical thinking leads to dangerous assumptions. Go to Infowars Alex Jones,Drudge Report,Stefan Molyneux.,John Paul Watson(f..ck The Young Turks-they nothing but turkish old yuks).And you John are going to have a permanent eeg on your face. I shared similar opinion about Tramp till june 2016 and then I researched !HE IS A FABULOUS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Michael Taylor

    Alex Jones! You’re kidding, right? Alex Jones was the bloke who said that Obama had Joan Rivers killed because she found out that Michelle Obama was really a man.

    It’s there for the whole world to see on YouTube.

    Sorry, but I prefer John Lord over Alex Jones.

  36. Kaye Lee

    “No evidence,no research and luck of critical thinking leads to dangerous assumptions. Go to Infowars ”

    That’s the weirdo who said that the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings were a hoax involving child actors.

    This is really getting ridiculous. Nearly as bad as the Pickering invasion….actually even more insidious.

  37. John Lord

    I have been out most of the day and this afternoon went to see the movie La La Land. I swear I saw some familiar names in the credits.

    Incidentally the movie was a two star.

  38. Michael Taylor

    Too ridiculous, Kaye. I think it’s time to stop them, me thinks.

  39. MichaelW

    I think mark and the other trolls here would feel more at home at the Murdoch press. Bolt, Akerman, Divine, etc. would love their comments they could blog away all day long, post as many untruths as the journalists(?)

  40. LOVO

    Shut them down, indeed Migs…..but, somewhat in their defence, they are a wonderfully entertaining and educational bunch. 😅 They show us.. much!!!
    One thing I have learnt in this life ; ‘ya gots to be smart enough to know how dumb ya are’……it would seem that some commentators don’t know…

  41. Roswell

    LOVO, you’re being too kind to them.

  42. mark delmege

    MichaelW You might come to understand one day that US Presidents – despite the rhetoric – are agents for the 1 %. They differ only in the factions of capital that serve as their base. With Obama it was global capital and the military security state.
    I am neither a troll nor a right winger. I am reacting to years of Johns failure to criticise Obama’s policies and his vulgar attack on Trump. I am not a Trump fan but I do appreciate that his presidency will be different to Obama; and that the factions who supported Obama are antagonistic in some respects to those who support Trump.

  43. Michael Taylor

    Mark, for once and for all . . . People. Don’t. Care.

    I’m sure there are other sites that do care. Might I suggest that you pay them a visit? And when John wants to write about Obama, he will. Too bad if you don’t like his subject matters. I really am getting sick and tired of you having a go at our authors for not writing about what you want them to write about.

    I’m running out of patience, and judging by the multitude of comments where many also note that they are sick of your ‘attacks’, I’m not alone.

  44. Michael Taylor

    Goodbye, mark. Your abusive comment has been deleted. You are now blocked from commenting on this site.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Infowars article by the editor at large Paul Watson…..

    ” In reality, women were told they could sleep around in their 20’s. When they hit 30 and their biological value plummets, they wonder why no good men are interested anymore.

    This has led to the rise of neomasculinity – men reclaiming and re-asserting their masculinity, rejecting toxic women who have been brainwashed by cultural marxism, and working to fix the incredible harm that 3rd wave feminism has wrought on gender relations.”

    Oh yeah, my kind of site….NOT!!!

    It truly is scary how easily these charlatans have attracted an audience who slavishly regurgitate their vile rubbish. Lizard people are coming to get you!

  46. jagman48

    You know fellow readers that I do not have the way with big words and seldom post. I only post if I feel I can contribute in some way.

    The I read the contributions of others such as Mark Delmege and I wonder if he/they should be a bit like me. I honestly believe Obama was a great President and admire his sheer guts pushing through Obamacare. He will be replaced in a few week by a ginger buffoon

  47. Sean Stinson

    jagman48 I am one who should probably take your advice, but having made my way to the bottom of this comment thread it seems like wasted energy not to say something. i’ll try and be brief.

    Obamacare was written by pharmaceutical companies, for pharmaceutical companies. Trump in his naivety wants to negotiate a ‘better deal’, that’s all. Pretty consistent with his campaign rhetoric. This I believe was the main order of business during Obama and Trump’s Nov 10 (?) meeting to discuss the ‘transition’, after which Trump quietly announced he wouldn’t be repealing Obamacare, and Obama promised not to try to push through the TPP in the lame duck session. A reasonable trade off.

    I think a lot of liberals (i use the world in the classical sense) are starting to wake up to the fraud of the last 8 years, the charismatic black senator who came from nowhere promising hope and change and then proceeded to bail out wall street, rewarding the banksters who crashed the global economy, repeal habeus corpus, prosecute more whistle blowers under the espionage act than any president before him, bomb 7 countries, sign record arms deals with Israel and Saudi Arabia, authorise drone strikes on civilians, overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and lead us to the brink of hot war with a nuclear superpower, to name just a few of his achievements. Progressive? not so much.

    The two party model of politics really is a fantastic deception. There really isn’t much to choose between the two flavours of fascism currently on offer. The GOP will gut what is left of the social safety net, the Dems would have almost certainly taken us to war with Russia to save Wall St. It looks like the Donald intends to do a Nixon in China where Russia is concerned, cutting Putin some slack, maybe some concessions re trade with Europe, while increasing belligerence toward China, in this way try to drive a wedge between the two contries. Good luck with that! Meanwhile Obama is acting, as one pundit put it, like an evicted tenant determined to trash the place before he moves out.

    We’re basically watching the fall of Rome in real time. There are factions at war within the establishment tearing it apart, meanwhile the rest of the world is realigning itself away from Anglo-American influence. Turkey, Belarus, the Philippines, France will leave NATO and the EU next year if Le Pen is elected – one might call it a tectonic shift. Personally I take a long view of history and always keep maps handy. Oh and keep an eye on Cyprus in the next 2 weeks – Obama will try to gift it to Erdogan as a bribe to keep Turkey on side.

    It’s sad that when I make these observations I am labelled alt-right or an Alex Jones supporter. This is a prime example of the partisan politics Mark mentioned. I think it comes down to an unwillingness by the left to haven the spotlight turned on itself. This can be very disheartening and at times depressing, especially when comment threads devolve into petty name calling. (I’ve spent many days wondering why I even bother writing.) Suffice it to say that genuine progressive politics needs to rise above this partisan bs and take a wider view of things. Any meaningful evaluation of Obama vs Trump must be seen through the prism of Capitalism, Imperialism, and Colonialism.

  48. harshmind

    Trump:
    Narcissist for whom the truth is an irrelevance unless it upsets him (small fingers!). Misogynist. Racist. Not above inviting, by innuendo, the gun lobby to assassinate his opponent should she win. No subtlety. No class. Will sell his supporters down the river and drag the rest of us into the gutter. Miracle if he survives four years. Then it’s Pence 🙁

  49. Kaye Lee

    Trump had no intention of becoming POTUS. His own sons admitted it was a brand recognition exercise. So having by accident got himself elected (apparently with the help of Putin), Donald seems to be setting things up to maximise profit for his friends. I think he will get bored/annoyed with the work load very quickly and very much doubt he will bother hanging around for four years.

    “Donald Trump’s selection of Michael Flynn as national security adviser caused concern last month when it was revealed that Flynn represented a business with ties to the Turkish government while getting classified briefings during the campaign. He promised to sever those ties before Inauguration Day.

    But Flynn has other potential conflicts. Just last week, he was re-elected to a paid position on the board of a surveillance drone company with Department of Defence contracts, federal filings show. And while taking part in the classified briefings for Trump last August, he revamped his consulting company – Flynn Intel Group, or FIG – by adding one senior executive whose firm does extensive cybersecurity work for government agencies and another who was soliciting defence department aviation contracts.

    Public records, government contracts and documents posted online by Flynn and his partners show that they have vied in recent months for federal contracts to supply overseas military bases, fly diplomats in and out of conflict zones, and provide cybersecurity and technology for defence and intelligence agencies.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/web-of-deals-compromises-donald-trumps-national-security-adviser-michael-flynn-20161216-gtd64b.html

    I don’t think these guys have ever heard of conflict of interest. They are having a field day already.

  50. Sean Stinson

    So having by accident got himself elected (apparently with the help of Putin)

    How exactly?

    “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections…There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time…So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whinning” – Barack Obama, October 2016

  51. Kaye Lee

    JAN 5 2017, DNI Chief Clapper Takes Swipe at Trump, Assange as He Defends Russia Hack Intel

    DNI Chief Clapper said Russia had “clearly assumed an even more aggressive cyber posture by increasing cyber espionage operations, leaking data stolen from these operations, and targeting political infrastructures systems.”

    In his opening statement, Sen.Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the committee’s ranking Democrat, said Russian hacking is typically tough to detect, but this attack had a very easily identifiable signature. He suggested Putin wanted the U.S. to know about the hacking while preserving plausible deniability.

    Clapper said he didn’t want to answer because it touched on sources and methods in the classified hacking report. The report will also include a motivation for Putin’s actions, Clapper told lawmakers.

    The high-stakes Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing came after president-elect Donald Trump continued to cast doubt Wednesday on intelligence findings that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails. It also comes on a day in which lawmakers were being briefed on the breadth and depth of Russian interference in the American election and on the eve of Trump’s own in-depth briefing on the matter.

    “Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation. There is no national security interest more vital to the United States of America than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference,”McCain said in his opening statement. “That is why Congress must set partisanship aside, follow the facts, and work together to devise comprehensive solutions to deter, defend against, and, when necessary, respond to foreign cyberattacks.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sen-mccain-russia-s-election-meddling-unprecedented-attack-n700981

    Do you at least agree that there were crazy stories spread about Clinton and Obama that were patently false? This one for example…

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/fox-business-deceptively-edits-obama-interview-to-falsely-claim-he-told-illegal-immigrants-to-vote/

    And these…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/debunk-fake-news-election-day.html?_r=0

  52. Sean Stinson

    The Russians did it!!!!

    Bollocks.

    Sorry, if you buy this you will buy anything.

    As for the NY Times debunking fake news, did you read my last article? 90 percent of the American media is owned by six corporations — General Electric, News Corp., Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. NYT along with WaPo have INVENTED yellow journalism. They have ZERO credibility so far as unbiased reportage is concerned.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Your information is old for starters Sean. GE sold out years ago.

    And why should I think you know more about whether the Russians hacked information and spread disinformation than the people who can actually view the evidence?

    Your absolute certainty is not believable as you have no more access to that information than I do.

  54. Kyran

    Back in mid December, there was an article on the ABC by Lucia Osborne Crowley which tended to cast doubt on any possibility that trump will be the president for anything other than his and his family’s business interests. Just a few of the suggested conflicts of interest suggest that America will once again grate.
    “Trump’s international business conflicts aren’t limited to our own geopolitical neighbourhood. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the others:

    Trump is a part-owner of a building in Manhattan that carries a $950 million debt, some of which is owed to a large government-owned bank in China.
    The president-elect has made up to $10m to date from Trump Towers Istanbul. Also involved in this huge development is one of Turkey’s biggest oil and media moguls, a company that has used its media platform to vocally support the repressive regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    A large development in the ex-Soviet nation of Georgia, which had been put on hold in 2013, was reopened soon after Trump’s election. It has been suggested that the Georgian government, implicated as it is in the consequences of the US-Russian relationship, may have supported the project in order to influence Trump’s foreign policy in the region.
    During his presidential run, Trump opened eight new companies in Saudi Arabia. On the campaign trail in August, he said: “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
    Construction of a Trump office building in Buenos Aires is being held up due to an issue with the granting of a permit. The subject of the granting of the permit was reportedly discussed during the President-elect’s first phone call with his Argentinian leader Mauricio Macri.”

    The rest of the article is well worth a read.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/opinion-donald-trump-conflicts-of-interest/8095842

    Many of the appointments made by trump post 14/12 serve as little more than corroboration for the content of the vast majority of the article.
    Whilst it is noted that your article, Mr Lord, was concerned with the impending trump’ing of America, it can’t help but be noticed that many comments seem to discuss his predecessor and his predecessor’s track record. There is a caveat that applies to any such comparison, which does not appear to have been commented on so far. Obama faced two houses of parliament in which his opponents not only had the majority but had stated, clearly and unequivocally, that they would use their majorities to oppose everything his administration put up.
    Everything.
    The only likely constraint trump will have is his own party as they again appear to have a majority in both houses.
    Mr Stinson at 9.40 raised obamacare, which is a subject I find hard to grasp. For several reasons. As I understand it, they don’t have a universal health care scheme as we do (or used to) in Australia. They have a health insurance scheme. If the redraft “was written by pharmaceutical companies, for pharmaceutical companies”, I would hazard a guess that it was co-authored by their insurance industry, who stood to loose billions in the initial drafts due to restricting the insurers access to ‘non-disclosure’ and ‘pre-existing conditions’ waivers they had previously used without apology to enhance their profits.
    The foregoing isn’t intended to justify one administration over another. It is merely intended to provide a context that appears to be missing from many observations.
    Grateful, as always, Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  55. Kaye Lee

    I don’t know what the Russian involvement, if any, was. Nor do you. But I doubt they would be going so public and taking punitive action with no evidence.

    But there were many sources for bs info which Trump supporters seem to accept without question.

    When asked why his fake news stories go viral so often, Horner replied: “Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    In response to a question about his impact on Trump’s campaign specifically, Horner confessed, “I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything.” Noting that even Trump’s campaign manager shared one of his fake stories about paid protesters, Horner admitted, “I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”

    So why would he write such a story, knowing it’s completely fake? “I just wanted to make fun of that insane belief, but it took off,” Horner said. “They actually believed it.” And he feels bad about that: “I thought they’d fact-check it, and it’d make them look worse. I mean that’s how this always works: Someone posts something I write, then they find out it’s false, then they look like idiots. But Trump supporters — they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he’s in the White House.”

    http://au.complex.com/life/2016/11/fake-news-writer-says-he-helped-trump-win-election

  56. Sean Stinson

    Why do I know better than you know? It seems we’ve arrived at an epistemological crisis. In the absence of a priori knowledge we must proceed to a posteriori, that is, deduction of probable causes based on known facts.

    Could start with questioning the credibility of the source I guess. NY Times, WaPo and the intelligence community more generally, well these are the guys who gave us Saddam’s WMD and so so many more LIES used to start WARS.

    Alas my appeal to skepticism carries no more weight than your appeal to authority.

    You could question what motivation the intelligence community might have for spreading lies, and you would not have to go very far down that track.

    I could write an extended argument, even a convincing one, about why the intelligence community are shit scared of a Trump presidency, how a new power faction is threatening to derail the old war party’s agenda to contain Russia, Iran and China, where the new flashpoints are likely to arise etc, but it would be rhetorical, and you will keep coming back to the same question you always ask – what makes your information better than mine – so there is no point.

  57. Roswell

    “Why do I know better than you know?”

    Because, Sean, you’re not listening to people when they say “they don’t know”.

    I’ve sat back and watched people ask questions while adding that maybe the answers will never be known, and what’s your response? You get frustrated with them because they don’t see things the way you do.

    Let’s be honest. You come across as though you know everything.

  58. Kaye Lee

    “Alas my appeal to skepticism carries no more weight than your appeal to authority.”

    What appeal to authority? I make no such appeal. I said I doubt they would go this public and take aggressively punitive action in the absence of fairly convincing evidence. That is an appeal to common sense. Sadly, your justifiable skepticism is very one-eyed.

    “You could question what motivation the intelligence community might have for spreading lies”

    Of course. I am under no illusions that only one side uses misinformation – WMD the obvious example. But do you ever question that Russia might have a motive to spread lies? That they might have a motive in getting Trump elected? If I was Putin I would certainly prefer an incompetent in the White House who has no idea about government – a man who is so easily manipulated he thinks vaccinations cause autism.

    It isn’t just the intelligence community who are shit scared of a Trump presidency. Any sane person should be.

  59. Kaye Lee

    I just heard an interview with an Australian – didn’t catch his name – who said it is extraordinary for the intelligence agency to go this public and if they say they have incontrovertible proof that Russia interfered in the election both through hacking and misinformation, then you can be assured they do.

    He too could be wrong of course but I tend to agree it would be foolhardy to go public without proof.

  60. Robert G. Shaw

    Sean,

    “I could write an extended argument, even a convincing one, about how a new power faction is threatening to derail the old war party’s agenda to contain Russia, Iran and China….”

    I encourage you to write it, and if it’s at all good then we should have a wonderful conversation in front of us.

    By the way, I just read your AIM bio, (hardly screams ‘serious’ does it?) and noticed you’re a music man.
    I found this gem the other day, tucked between Joy Division and Gram Parsons, cleaned my stylus, and turned my old Technics amp up to 7. It cost me the unheard of sum of $30 back then.

    https://www.discogs.com/Iggy-And-The-Stooges-She-Creatures-Of-Hollywood-Hills/release/1945662

    Yes, I’ve got the pink vinyl.
    How I’ve missed those scratches, hisses, and bumps!

  61. Robert G. Shaw

    @Sean,
    I didn’t really weant to go there, but what the hell!

    You criticise Kaye Lee for what you call her “appeal to authority”.
    That’s a misguided critique. There are numerous “authorities out there. Her “appeal” no more illegitimate than yours. And if it’s a choice exclusivley between the propaganda of the Russians (via their own outlets and the Western agents or clients) and the propaganda of the Western media, well, that’s not really a choice at all, is it?

    “Appeals to authority” in todays media rich connected world of on the ground reporters, bloggers, citizen journalists and witnesses, is to my mind a little of a dead end. I say follow the leads that can accrue the greatest number of reptuable sources. Certainly not perfect, but certainly better than the strict ideological bias of West OR East.

  62. Sean Stinson

    “I don’t know what the Russian involvement, if any, was. Nor do you. But I doubt they would be going so public and taking punitive action with no evidence.”

    W. M. D.

  63. Sean Stinson

    Am I being accused of peddling Russian or pro Russian propaganda here? Because if that’s the case, I might as well show myself out.

  64. Jexpat

    John:

    Clintonites like your Alabama buddy Ben Williamson are themsleves the reason why Democrats have lost election after election- on every level, federal, state and local over the past 25 years.

    The two exceptions: 2006 and 2008 saw progressive victories across the board because they were sidelined, allowing the constituencies that the right wing of the party repeatedly backhands, backstabs and gratuitously insults (thinking that will somehow increase turnout) to come together and actually nationalise campaigns against the Republican and its agenda.

    Of course, people like that will NEVER step back and look themselves in the mirror- and attempt to assess their mistakes, much less ever take responsibility for them- or hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their own behavior.

    It’s always someone else’s fault- as in millions of voters their campaigns failed to persuade… or scary Russians… the worst deed of which is the unproven possibility that they disclosed dishonesty and corruption and the DNC and the Clinton camp… or _______ (pick ’em).

    As Digby once pointed out (ostensibly about Republicans) the attitude is: “conservatism (Clintonism) cannot fail. It can only be failed.”

  65. paulwalter

    Sean, ignore them.

    They have been shown up to be complacent and lazy and to have squandered their riches, including tech superiority, to a greedy internal yet alien oligarchy that has captured and robbed what we think of as the US of its capacity to function.

    The Russian stuff may or may not be true, but if true, it is only someone else doing to it what it has done. to everyone else.

    The US ruling classes have egg on their face for their profligacy and the sort tof denialism that shows up in the attitude toward climate change, say, as well as foreign policy myopia and internal dumbing down and now must institute a McCarthy type Star Chamber to produce a scapegoat (Assange) and deflect attention away from their own incompetence and smugness; ignorance and arrogance, that has created the problem for them.

  66. Kaye Lee

    “Am I being accused of peddling Russian or pro Russian propaganda here?”

    Why do you keep asking that? I am not sure how to make myself clear. I do not understand why your scepticism only extends to what the US does. I agree with much of what you say about the US, well some of it anyway, but I have never heard similar criticism, or questioning of motives, or even any doubt, about Putin or Assad. I don’t think you are a Russian spy, much as you seem fixated on wanting to think I do – but I wonder why the spotlight never gets shone elsewhere. No doubts even?

  67. paulwalter

    Kaye Lee. I believe Sean Stinson has the better argument, taking into account the forgotten factor of how the New Oligarchy operates in actuality rather than appearance.

  68. Sean Stinson

    In a nutshell, because I am an anti-imperialist leftist. If I were an anti-communist conservative I guess i would be critiquing Russia. (and yes I know Russia has not been communist since 1989)

    Seriously Kaye, I have answered your question a dozen times. As regards the Syria conflict, Russia, Syria and Iran are on the RIGHT side of international law, whereas the US, UK, France, Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, NATO are conducting an ILLEGAL invasion of a sovereign state for the purpose of regime change. CASE CLOSED.

  69. Kaye Lee

    Ok. So you are not interested in anything wrong done by anyone except the US. Fair enough. Now tell me how you know with such certainty that Russia did not try to influence the election.

  70. paulwalter

    Thing is, we had a fine example yesterday on the ABC about a supposed impending gas shortage here in Australia, which has as amuch natural gas as anywhere in the world (as Lenore Taylor pointe dout alittle why back we collect about a billion a year in royalties paid in by the like Philips Conocao and chevron) again abot 30 billion a year paid to qatar a plac with a similar output..

    The likes of FTAs, including such parallel nonsenses as the “International Reserve Price” for gas ensure we are bled by the conglomerates system who have also avoided paying tax back home in the USA,GB etc and because of their grip on the US political system, the US, like ourselves faces engineered social infrastructure “crises” of the Centrelink scandal type while people have the real reasons for social problems obscured, as financialised capital arms then continues the internal casino war within its oligarchic factions at the expense of everyone else.

    If Putin has hamstrung America, it is because the US has no leadership and the only power that operates has been to do with disenfranchising and robbing the citizenry. But if Putin were any real threat to the Oligarchy, he would be chopped down soon enough also.

    Very little has changed since Cicero wrote his eye opening Ciliclan Letters 2,000years ago.

  71. Sean Stinson

    KL

    What is Russia actually accused of? Does anyone know? Seems to be a deliberate equivocation on the term ‘hacking’. Did they “hack” the election, if so how? Since voting machines are not connected to the internet this would be difficult. Did they hack the DNC and gain access to HRCs emails, then give them to WikiLeaks? WL say no, Craig Murray says no, and claims to know the source. Has WL released any false or misleading information in the past? Do they have any reason to lie?

    Why did HRC lose the election. Could it be she was just a lousy candidate? Possibly because the white working class remember NAFTA? Was it because the Democrats have treated their voters with contempt for 8 years? Because Obama promised hope and change but delivered more of the same?

    Did any of this leaked information from the DNC servers result in HRC losing the election? If so was it the revelation of the way in which Sanders was thrown under the bus by the DNC? Or the revelations that the Clinton Foundation was a front to accept pay to play bribes from the Saudis? Or that the US has been knowingly supplying arms to ISIS for the last 5 years?

    How, exactly, is Russia supposed to have influenced the outcome of the election?

  72. Sean Stinson

    to your other question, i heard this today, which is a bastardisation something Marx said. Capital has no motherland (Marx actually said the proletariat has no motherland.)

    I am not strictly interested in the US, but rather the ideology of neoliberalism which threatens our world. It just so happens this ideology seems to have its nexus in US corporations.

    The globalists who would control the earth resources while bathing in the blood of the poor could just as easily run the show from Washington as Berlin.

    I say again, I am not anti-american. I am anti imperialist.

  73. Kaye Lee

    There is no suggestion that there was any interference in vote tallies. You must admit, the timing of that last lot of emails was very fishy. You also must be aware of the fake news stories that circulated about Clinton.

    Clapper said lawmakers will be briefed on the Russian hacking report next week and an unclassified version is tentatively scheduled to be released shortly after that so we shall wait and see.

    As for Assange, do you really think he tells the truth about his sources? He may not even know the original source. He sure as hell isn’t going to reveal where he got it from now is he.

    Craig Murray said “We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? ”

    So that kind of blows his reasoning because that is exactly what has happened.

    Can I ask you this – do you think Russia engages in misinformation?

  74. paulwalter

    No, Kaye Lee. On this issue least you are just not listening, not reading and understanding what others are saying.

    You’ve then got lost in a forest of irrelevance, bogged down in one aspect out of context to the whole and not relevant to the real issue.

    We are talking about apples and you keep talking about oranges.

  75. Roswell

    Paulwalter, I think you made a typo. You typed ‘Kaye Lee’ instead of ‘Sean Stinson’.

  76. Matters Not

    Tended to be of the view that the Russian interference in the US election was a ‘bridge too far’, yet we witnessed the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (and others) advancing that very argument – while knowing full well that the President elect was of a different view. Seems to me that highly valued reputations established over long periods of time are now on the line here. Thus for many intelligence ‘gurus’ there’s so much to lose if they can’t demonstrate that ‘interference’ – convincing evidence and all that.

    As I said at the outset, claims of the Russian interference seemed like a ‘beat up’ big time. Now not so sure. So many big time players with so much to lose if they can’t win the day. While I wait with interest, I am appalled that the ‘effective’ arbiter will be Donald Trump – a twit of the first order.

  77. Kaye Lee

    paulwalter, you may be talking about fruit – I am talking about Sean’s absolute certainty that Russia did not in any way try to influence the American election.

    “The Russians did it!!!!

    Bollocks.

    Sorry, if you buy this you will buy anything.”

    I want to know how he can be so certain.

  78. Jexpat

    Matters Not:

    James Clapper is on the record as a repeated liar who’s also committed perjury.

    See, e.g. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-11-17/lawmakers-resume-calls-for-james-clapper-perjury-charges

    Huge majority wants Clapper prosecuted for perjury
    New polls show Americans in various states want the director of national intelligence held to account for lying.

    Of course, like most insider criminals during the Bush and Obama administrations: he’s gotten away with his crimes- with profits intact, even as others not so well connected have been prosecuted and dumped into what amount to 21st Century dungeons.

  79. paulwalter

    Ok, so don’t take it seriously.
    I’m off.

  80. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    Perhaps you can describe for us what you think “the Russians did.”

    I’ve always taken you to be a reasonably objective, evidence based individual, who’s keen on doing her homework- and not given to over the top arguments, so I reckon it’s a fair and productive question to ask.

  81. Matters Not

    Jexpat – thanks for the links. (Now ducks head and runs away. Personal ignorance on clear display.)

    BTW, what are the ‘profits intact’?

  82. Kaye Lee

    I have already stated what I think.

    1. The timing of those 30,000 emails seemed obviously deliberate and I do not get why the FBI made the announcement before they looked at them. It made a BIG difference in the polls.

    2. There were batshit crazy stories flying around about the Pope endorsing Trump, Clinton paying protesters, Obama telling ‘illegals’ to vote, ‘FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apartment in murder-suicide’, etc.

    3. For the intelligence dudes to go so public and for Obama to take such punitive action, they should have some fairly good evidence (let me say WMD before you do) – we should hear more soon.

    4. Whilst I agree the US engages in misinformation, I will not accept that Russia doesn’t.

    5. How can Sean be so certain all the time?

    6. If I was Putin I would want a no-experience, easily manipulated cretin in the White House

  83. paulwalter

    Now a glimpse at what REALLY is in store in a US where all houses the Supreme Court and the Presidency belong to the hard right.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/paul-ryan-defund-planned-parenthood_us_586eb540e4b02b5f8587f296

    Just the srart.

    Not done by the Russians. Not done by the Chinese. Not done by Muslims. Not done by Hippies. Done by the fascists who now run the place because the Democrats wouldn’t do ethical politics in the first place, eg defend Habeas Corpus, rein the big banks in, ease up on neoliberalist theft, etc, etc, etc.

    The Russians played the US game in the US way in the end, as did Wikileaks, because they were given no other option.

    Who destroyed the US?

    Its own short sighted and greedy oligarchs and its own pig headed, brainwashed citizenry.

    No way back.

    “Don’t it always seem to go
    that you dont miss what you’ve got
    till its gone” -Joni Mitchell.

  84. Kaye Lee

    “The Russians played the US game in the US way in the end, as did Wikileaks, because they were given no other option.”

    So am I to understand from that that you think the Russians did try to influence the election?

  85. Jexpat

    Key Lee:

    1. The FBI director James Comey (a Bush administration Republican appointed in early 2013 by president Obama) has nothing to do with the Russians- nor is it likely that it had much to do with the results of “the polls” -which had been off by astonishing margins all year. 22% in Michigan, for example, during the Democratic primary. 22% -think about that for moment… and inexplicably more than than that in Oregon, a closed primary state, where only registered Democrats can vote. IIRC, that was a 24% swing against Clinton in favor of Sanders on election day in May. Wow. Think maybe actual voters were trying to tell us something that pre-election pollsters ‘didn’t know?’

    2. The “batshit crazy stories” mostly eminated from indiviuals attempting to make money through clicks on various ad driven media;

    3. Matt Taibbi back at you: Something About This Russia Story Stinks

    4. Not sure why you think that’s relevant: much less proof of anything. Basically, it’s Claude Rains (Captain Renault) in Casablanca: “Round up the usual suspects.”

    5. Strawmen aren’t becoming to you.

    So we’re left at #3. Which still doesn’t reach the matter of what you think the Russians did?

  86. Kaye Lee

    Jexpat,

    I looked at your links. You want to dismiss what Clapper says because people who were polled back in 2013 didn’t like their call records being kept? You must want to crucify Brandis then.

    1. You completely ignored the point. The timing was fishy.

    2. Yes I can accept that up to a point.

    3. Rolling Stone offers no evidence whatsoever and would not have access to any evidence. Let’s wait to hear from the people who say they do.

    4. That is not only relevant, it is the whole f*cking point!

    5. I don’t know what the hell you mean.

    6. So you agree Putin would prefer Trump, giving us at least motivation?

    So We are left with the point that you, Sean and I CANNOT say with certainty what has gone on!

  87. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee: oops:

    Missed pt. 6 at the time of the writing.

    I’m not Putin, so I don’t know what he’d want- but my take is that he’s a cunning, ruthless and quite rational leader, who plays a long game. A chess player who acts in his and what he considers the best interests of his nation.

    Generally speaking, people like that seek to weaken and demoralise their opponents, while consolidating their own positions.

  88. Jexpat

    OK: my above comment “is awaiting moderation” ..whatever that means. It’s not showing up.

    So we’ll have to get back to the tête-à-tête tomorrow, Kay Lee.

    Suffice to say, I found the surrebuttal unpersuasive.

  89. Roswell

    Can anyone remember what Trump asked the Russians to do, during a rare press conference mid 2016?

    I can.

    He asked Russia to interfere with the election.

    I’m with Kaye Lee. She said we may never know (though I’m convinced some of you will sign an affidavit that she categorically said they did, such is the extent of your reading skills).

    Trump put the suspicion in everybody’s mind and now the Democrats are capitalising on it, putting their own suspicion in everybody’s mind.

    Trump sticking up for Putin has seen him caught between a rock and a hard place.

    And did I mention that he said the election was rigged?

    No wonder we have a storm circling.

  90. Roswell

    Jexpat, I’m one of the moderators so I just had a look for your comment. I couldn’t see it anywhere.

    Though I notice that you have two different gravatars. That’s rather odd. Is somebody else posing as you perhaps?

  91. Kaye Lee

    I found and released the comment from moderation. Dunno why it was there….I thought I saw a youtube link with it but maybe I am going mad. Links can cause probs.

    Oh wait…it is a youtube link. But I am too tired to watch right now.

    A demain.

  92. Roswell

    But it might have been worth watching, Kaye Lee. It might have been about Obama’s plan to saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge in half.

  93. Robert G. Shaw

    @Sean,
    to my mind your bias is as prominent as your seemingly innocent question is laughable.

    The only question here is this: do you see the Russians as imperial in their domestic or geopolitical concerns, and in their military and economic interests?

  94. Ricardo29

    See Sean, its a difference in emphasis, and selectivity. You list all those nasties you attribute to Obama when many are just a result of the military industrial juggernaut, supported by repub dominated congress, rolling on its way while others see Obamacare, the unemployment improvement and social benefits. Agreed the drones are shit, and yes they have grown on Obama’s watch, but he isn’t controlling them. The US Military is an out-of-control entity beyond the ability of even a so-called Commander-in-Chief to restrain. If i controlled this site I might let you continue to write but support Mark being turfed.

  95. Deanna Jones

    I appreciate this site very much and have a great deal of respect for the contributors. I also always enjoy Sean’s posts and I like the different perspectives that he and other newer contributors bring to The AIMN. I don’t see the need for the argy bargy.

  96. Sean Stinson

    @ Ricardo

    You might let me continue to write might you? How very gracious of you.

    @ Robert, no, I don’t see Russia as an imperialist power at all. Not in this stage of its development. (capitalist Russia is barely 25 years young)

    “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.” – attributed to Putin, somewhere/when

    I tend to agree with Jexpats description of Putin above. A good chess player, certainly a man who loves his country.

    The threat as I see it is from the powers who have sought to control the “heartland”, ie Eurasian plate for centuries. Napoleon tried once. Germany twice, the last time heavily backed by US industry and finance, in a war which cost more than 26 million Russia lives.

    60% of the earths resources are on one continent. The Empire of global capital desperately wants these resources for itself – needs them if it is to achieve world domination. Hence the containment strategy, applying pressure in an arc from the Korean Peninsula to Ukraine – as I said before, it helps to keep a map handy.

    The West is losing its grip on power. This is inevitable. Most of this it has brought on itself through the overreach of filthy, greedy neoliberalism, selling out its own labour markets, hollowing out its industrial economies, destroying the social welfare net etc. But part of it is just down to geography. Forget India, China-Russia-Iran are the future now, and economic cooperation — as opposed to hegemonic dominance — is the way forward.

    btw which question did you find laughable

  97. Kaye Lee

    Sean, you often speak of Clinton’s connection with Qatar – did you realise that Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) along with commodities trader Glencore signed a deal to buy 19.5% stake – a massive slice of the pie – in state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft in December? The privatisation deal, worth $11.3 billion, is the largest in Russia’s history.

  98. Sean Stinson

    Not really on my radar, tho sounds like a move to stabilise the oil market? Might also explain Russia’s strategic withdrawal from Syria.

  99. Michael Taylor

    Ricardo, Sean is an AIMN author, and while we all might not agree with everything he writes (which many don’t, myself included) his posts are always welcome here.

  100. Michael Taylor

    Saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge in half! Roswell, I’m sure there’s at least one conspiracy theorist somewhere who might actually believe that.

  101. helvityni

    Michael, these days you just never know what’s going to happen…

    I never thought it possible that Trump would be America’s President, the week before the election day I was comforting my American friend, who was seriously worried it might happen as according to him even educated folks were taken in by him…

    And there I was telling him, don’t be such a wuss; I had to apologise to him…he KNEW his country men better….

  102. Kaye Lee

    I felt the same about Abbott. I thought both he and Trump were unelectable. But I look at some of the lunatics in politics and I have become numb. It’s madness.

  103. Robert G. Shaw

    Sean,
    “China-Russia-Iran are the future now, and economic cooperation — as opposed to hegemonic dominance — is the way forward.”

    I’m very surprised by your description. I really don’t see the nexus you describe as being any different to those connections made between the US and its “partners”.
    Perhaps you could articulate the prime differences.

    Regarding neoliberalism: do you see the Russian economic and social policies of the past 25/30 years as neoliberal in any way?

    Regarding imperialism: I’m of the view that Russia has been historically an imperialist country. I believe little has changed over these past near 3 decades, and the most immediate and pressing example being its involvement in Syria.

    I’m in no way suggesting that the scale of imperialism (to the US) is comparable; make no mistake, do not conflate my questioning of your thesis, or interrogating the legitimacy of your claims, with a pro-US position. It is not. My argument is that to grasp some sort of tentative reality one needs to critique both sides. To suggest that only the US are guilty of either imperialism, war mongering, propaganda, client support, and terror, is to me dangerously naive. Again Syria would be an excellent case study for that.

    The question I found laughable was you asking whether you were perceived as a Russian propagandist. I think that your bias is unmistakable, your intellectual certainty a little too presumptuous, and your impatience with legitimate questions – like the ones we exchanged over Syria – very telling.

    Aside from that, I think your articles provocative, passionate, and well worth the price of admission.
    I think you should write the essay you suggested earlier.

  104. Sean Stinson

    I see today’s Russia more as classical liberal than neoliberal. – in much the same way that Yanukovych was liberal, but not liberal enough for the US – the new Kiev regime is “neoliberal”.

    Historically of course Russia was one of the great empires, but its period under communism needs its own evaluation. Don’t want to get bogged down here discussing Trotsky vs Lenin or globalist vs nationalist socialism – a discussion for another time.

    As for Russia’s actions in Syria, suffice it to say had O’bomber had his way there would have been a no fly zone à la Libya, which would have resulted in massive ethnic cleansing of Druze, Christians, Alawites, and of course Shia as well as moderate Sunni Muslims, and the whole country would have been handed to Islamist extremists on a platter. You only need to look at Iraq and Libya to see what happens when US regime change operations are let run their course. Now it seems Russia is in the process of limited strategic withdrawal, so we can be cautiously optimistic.

    Was Russia protecting its own interests? No doubt, as I have argued previously. But as for the moral right and wrong of it all, yes I am absolutely one sided on this question, and I make no apologies for this.

  105. Sean Stinson

    Sorry, I failed to address your first point,

    The prime difference? As obvious as the nose on your face – these countries occupy the land the globalists want.

    I guess you could argue that China is being expansionist by flexing its muscle in the… ehem.. South China Sea. I mean, how dare they.

    Seriously tho, Russia, China, Iran are not the countries with 800 military bases around the world. They don’t have an army stationed on the Mexican or Canadian border, do they?

    HUGE difference there.

  106. Sean Stinson

    “May the arrogant Americans realise that the United States of America is perhaps just a shooting star in the ample sky of history.” Global Times (China)

  107. Kaye Lee

    I am rather concerned about the very close ties between Julian Assange and RT.

  108. Sean Stinson

    KL I can confirm that Assange is also an agent of the Kremlin. We have daily briefings.

  109. Kaye Lee

    Jesus you are like a dog with a bone Sean. Sorry but I don’t see you as that important on the world stage.

    “RT’s editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT, according to Russian and Western media,” the report states.

    “Russian media subsequently announced that RT had become ‘the only Russian media company’ to partner with WikiLeaks and had received access to ‘new leaks of secret information.’ RT routinely gives Assange sympathetic coverage and provides him a platform to denounce the United States,” the report said.

    Russia Today also gave Assange his own show, “The Julian Assange Show” — also known as “World Tomorrow” — in 2012.

    Over the summer, when WikiLeaks was releasing daily batches of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s inbox, many journalists noted that Russia Today and Sputnik — another state-run Russian news agency — frequently shared the leaked documents on Twitter before WikiLeaks did.

    Sean, do you think there is any chance that the Russians are using Wikileaks?

    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/6/14179240/wikileaks-russia-ties

  110. paulwalter

    Nailed it again, Sean.

  111. Jexpat

    Oops strike that-

  112. paulwalter

    This far into the thread, I start to suspect something ulterior in Kaye Lee’s responses to Sean Stimson’s points, I can understand them, so others must be capable of that. Therefore the refusals are deliberate and something else must be involved, a bit like with Richard di Natale trying to dumb down the Greens…”Mainstreaming” (via McCarthyism,here?) as John Passant terms it.

  113. Roswell

    I don’t trust this Assange bloke. I find it rather odd that he released his emails so close to the election. Does anybody know how long he’d been sitting on them?

  114. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee wrote:

    1. You completely ignored the point. The timing was fishy.

    I ignored nothing. Unless you’re asserting that the Republican FBI Director was a “Russians agent” -like Jill Stein and countless others with insufficient fealty to the Clinton camp. Bottom line there of course is that the Democratic establishment backed a candidate that they knew was under federal investigation, and could possibly be indicted. The risk of something like this was clear and articulated by many (including yours truly) at the outset of the Democratic primary

    2. Yes I can accept that up to a point.

    3. Rolling Stone offers no evidence whatsoever and would not have access to any evidence. Let’s wait to hear from the people who say they do.

    Matt Tabbi’s discussion wan’t cited to provide “evidence” -because there isn’t any. And there isn’t any now, other than bare assertions from agencies with agendas, each f which has a long and demostrable history of dishonesty. Even outright perjury.

    If I were to put my trial lawyer hat on, and argue in court: Your honor, these people (at the NSA, CIA, and FBI) say that the defendant is guilty- and so, he is: QED, how do you think the judge would respond? I’d be summarily dismissed, possibly sanctioned for bringing the case, and if I persisted, likely held in contempt of court. Especially if opposing counsel notes that the witnesses I produce have themselves long criminal records and reputations for dishonety and untrustwworthiness.

    Oh, and btw: the new “report” touted by the likes of the Washington Post (another serially lying organisation)? Nothing new: still no evidence.

    4. That is not only relevant, it is the whole f*cking point!

    No, the fact that Russia and the US engage in espionage is irrelevant to the case at hand. Worse still, it’s an attempt at what’s known as “propensity evidence” -the usual suspects, which jurists know leads to false convictions (which is why it’s usually inadmissable).

    5. I don’t know what the hell you mean.

    I’m not Sean. His arguments aren’t my arguments, so don’t conflate them (doing so is called setting up and attacking the strawman).

    6. So you agree Putin would prefer Trump, giving us at least motivation?

    To the extent that it weaken an opponent (or avoids -or delays war with an opponent in relative economic decline stategically overextended, and whose key military advantage air superiority and CCC capabilities will largely be neutralised over the next decade, that would be the rational disposition I’d take.

    btw: you STILL haven’t haven’t stated: what you think the Russians did?

  115. paulwalter

    I’d trust Assange before I’d trust you, Roswell.

  116. Jexpat

    Roswell wrote:

    “I don’t trust this Assange bloke. I find it rather odd that he released his emails so close to the election. Does anybody know how long he’d been sitting on them?

    Not sure which emails you’re referring to, but the Podesta emails confirming corruption at the DNC (some of it quite juvenile, such as Donna Brisile being caught out giving Clinton a question in advance of a debate, while witholding it from Sanders) and confirming that Clinton was saying one set of things privately to big money corporate donors- and another to the public (ala Romney in 2012) came out in July of 2016, over three months before the election.

    Ironically, much of this would have long since have blown over and been buried by the November 8 election, had the Clinton campaign and its legions of media surrogates not gone the full McCarthy, day in and day out, for weeks on end.

  117. Roswell

    paulwalter, if only you knew what I did for a living you’d feel rather stupid about making that snide comment.

    Jexpat, I never said anything about the contents of the emails. For your info I was quite disgusted about what the Democrats tried to do during the Primaries to block out Bernie Sanders.

    I’m off for a few hours, during which time I’ll have a chuckle over Paul’s ignorance.

  118. Sean Stinson

    Odd that Assange was the hero of the left when he was releasing secrets about the Bush administration…

  119. Jexpat

    Roswell: the contents were largely contemporaneous to the leak, meaning that Assange “wasn’t holding onto them” for very long. Several weeks, at most. Which is probably about how long it would take to review and authenticate them.

  120. Kaye Lee

    Assange’s history shows that he is not an impartial arbiter when it comes to Russia and the United States.

    He used the WikiLeaks Twitter account to attack the 2016 Panama Papers leaks, which disclosed a $2 billion overseas account of Vladimir Putin’s. Assange labeled the leak a US-sponsored plot to undermine Putin and Russia. I find that very odd.

    Assange could have been fed the leaks by a third party. It would be inconvenient for him to admit that the evidence shows Russia gave him the documents – direct collaboration between WikiLeaks and an authoritarian power may not go over well with his fans. It also would embarrass said authoritarian state, perhaps WikiLeaks’ most reliable partner on the world stage, for Assange to contradict its public line.

  121. Kaye Lee

    Assange is neither a hero or a villain – he is a conduit – but in this case, I believe he either willingly or unwittingly (doubtful) is being used – perhaps it is consensual.

    The Russian state-owned press promotes Assange and gives him a public platform. It is more than possible that they also feed him information at convenient times, probably through third parties for everyone’s deniablilty sakes.

  122. paulwalter

    So ends today ‘s “HUOC/Joe Mcarthy” interrogation of Julian Assange.

  123. Kaye Lee

    paulwalter, I find your accusations….weird? What ulterior motive could I have in order to achieve what?

    You guys are so absolutely certain you know the complete truth about everything. That is what really gets me. I know nothing for certain. Neither do you.

    jexpat,

    “btw: you STILL haven’t haven’t stated: what you think the Russians did?”

    That’s not the way I work jexpat and you can’t bully me into saying things I don’t mean. I look at the evidence that is available to us. I ask questions. That is all. I leave it to you lot to proclaim your certainties. It must be wonderful to be that trusting, that certain you are being told the truth.

  124. Sean Stinson

    There is a world of difference between the panama papers and wikileaks. The former were brought to you by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who coordinated the ‘leaks’ with select representatives of the mainstream press after sitting on the documents for over a year and then selectively releasing them.

    And I really hate to mention it because I’ll probably never hear the end of it, but the ICIJ is funded by USAID and Open Society Foundations. See my previous article for more on these.

  125. Kaye Lee

    That is incorrect Sean.

    The newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung had obtained the 11.5 million documents; realizing that to analyze the data was beyond its own capacities, it enlisted the help of the I.C.I.J., which worked for a year through 107 media organizations in 80 countries before breaking the story. That’s a shitload of people to get on board for a lie if that is what you are implying.

    The leak came from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – our PM was forced to confirm the stuff about him was accurate.

    I find it amazing that you automatically think USAID and Open Society funding is corrupt, that the ICIJ is corrupt, but RT paying Assange is legit – no interference or collaboration or manipulation there.

  126. Sean Stinson

    I know, amazing isn’t it?

  127. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    I’m just asking what you think the Russians did, because there are myriad accusations being thrown around by corporate media and rusted on Clinton surrogates and supporters. And also, unfortunately, by formerly reliable and once widely considered as progressive, independent sites in the US. Including Crooks & Liars which, if I’m not mistaken, one of the authors here has occasionally written for.

    Without knowing what you think that “the Russians did,” it’s impossible for us to have an intelligent and informed discussion about the matter. (e.g. an impressive percentage of people think Russians ‘hacked'” the voting machines).

    Regarding “the evidence” there isn’t any beyond vacant proclamations (which means, there isn’t any ‘certainty’ or even any balance of probablitiies one way or another -which is what Matt Taibbi was on about). Unless of course, you’re prepared to accept such things on faith …out of some ‘sympathy for the Clintons or conversly, revulsion for Trump or some other group think process.

    FWIW: My take: heaps of it are eerily following the old lawyer’s adage: “If you can’t pound the facts, pound the law. If you can’t pound the law, pound the table.

  128. Roswell

    “Odd that Assange was the hero of the left when he was releasing secrets about the Bush administration…”

    Sean, was that aimed at me? If it was or it wasn’t, in my case it’s an exception. He’s never been my hero.

    If it was aimed at me, where is your evidence?

  129. Kaye Lee

    “Without knowing what you think that “the Russians did,” it’s impossible for us to have an intelligent and informed discussion about the matter. ”

    It is impossible to have an intelligent discussion with people who think they know what the Russians did or didn’t do.

    “Regarding “the evidence” there isn’t any”

    Gee the people looking at the evidence disagree with you.

    “Unless of course, you’re prepared to accept such things on faith”

    You seem to have accepted on faith that the intelligence agencies are lying about the proof.

  130. Kaye Lee

    “Wikileaks has drawn criticism for for its absence of whistleblowing on or criticism of Russia, and for criticizing the Panama Papers’ expose of Russian businesses and individuals with offshore bank accounts.”

    Assange leaks what is fed to him but jumps to the defence of his bankrollers.

  131. Roswell

    Thank you, Kaye Lee, you just answered a question for me.

    I was about to ask if anyone knew if Assange was also as dedicated to ‘exposing the truth’ on other governments? Russia? Or even Nigeria, Japan, China? Or why not Nauru while we’re at it?

  132. helvityni

    Assange has never been my hero either, I sensed something fishy or is it slimy about him…
    If he was squeaky clean why didn’t he go back to Sweden…confidently..?

  133. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    He fears he would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges if he leaves the embassy.

  134. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    What evidence might that be?

    Since- to use your own words, “you’re so certain” perhaps you might elaborate.

    As to this ridiculous statement: “You seem to have accepted on faith that the intelligence agencies are lying about the proof.”

    I’ve said no such thing. I’ve simply noted that people and agencies that you (yes, you) and others seem take on faith (for whatever reason) have long and documented histories of dishonesty and untruthworthiness. On the record.

    Therefore, I’m not inclined to believe their assertions without -how might we say? Objective evidence. Forensic evidence. As no member of any jury should.

    btw: We’re still ‘in the dark’ about what you think “the Russians did.”

  135. Kaye Lee

    Where did I ever say I was certain of anything. And surely you must agree that the intelligence agencies have access to more information than you or me???

    And you can keep trying to bully me into dancing to your tune but you picked the wrong girl sunshine. Better men than you have tried and failed. Speak your own words. Don’t dictate mine.

  136. nurses1968

    helvityni

    EXTRADITING ASSANGE

    The US government has made clear its intention to prosecute Julian Assange and others, regardless of nationality or physical location. Reports on the investigation into WikiLeaks indicates that the government intends to apply a novel and expansive interpretation of its Espionage Act.

    If Julian Assange goes to Sweden without safeguards, he will be at risk of being transited from there to the United States. While in the United Kingdom, the same risks apply. This is the reason he sought asylum. It is also the reason he was granted asylum.

    “The Government of Ecuador believes that these arguments lend support to the fears of Julian Assange, and it believes that he may become a victim of political persecution, as a result of his dedicated defence of freedom of expression and freedom of press as well as his repudiation of the abuses of power in certain countries, and that these facts suggest that Mr. Assange could at any moment find himself in a situation likely to endanger life, safety or personal integrity.”

    https://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html

  137. Kaye Lee

    Have a look at this site which is just by “an American citizen who is tired of corruption in our government.”

    They say “The Wikileaks drops have given us transparency and insight into the incredibly unethical and un-American dealings in politics and the mainstream media”

    And then have a look at what they consider the 100 most important revelations by Wikileaks.

    http://www.mostdamagingwikileaks.com/

    I have to say I bailed early. Perhaps you will understand why.

    nurses,

    “his repudiation of the abuses of power in certain countries”

    Which countries would they be?

  138. Sean Stinson

    Russia did not “hack the election”, because there is no sense in which to “hack the election” has any meaning.

    Is Russia accused of interfering with the vote tally? No. Furthermore, recounts actually had votes going trump’s way.

    If Russia hacked the DNC servers and fed information to WikiLeaks, WHICH IT DID NOT, as confirmed by WL, Paul Murray, William Binney and NUMEROUS OTHER HIGH LEVEL SOURCES, and the information revealed that the DNC rigged the primary for Bernie and that the Clinton foundation took bribes, that the Saudis were the mains sponsors of ISIS (like we needed to know), and evidence of other malfeasance which may have caused the electorate to lose faith in the democratic party, THEN WHOSE FAULT IS THAT?

    Is Assange to be blamed for EXPOSING THE TRUTH?

  139. Roswell

    Sean, I’d still like to know, was that aimed at me?

    A “yes” or “no” answer will suffice.

  140. Sean Stinson

    “I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. And Obama was behind me at Harvard Law School. Brzezinski has been Obama’s mentor and foreign policy guru since his student days at Columbia. Zbig ran Obama’s 2008 campaign on foreign affairs and defense, and stacked the White House with his protégés. It is the Brzezinski Policy that we are now seeing culminate against Russia. This is Zbig’s last two weeks to start a war with Russia. He is going for broke. Hence all the anti-Russian warmongering we are seeing everywhere today. It is just as bad as the anti-Iraq warmongering before Bush Jr. invaded Iraq in 2003.” – Professor Francis Boyle.

  141. Kaye Lee

    I agree “Hack the election” makes no sense. Did I say that at any stage?

    “If Russia hacked the DNC servers and fed information to WikiLeaks, WHICH IT DID NOT,”

    Of course whichever source you are reading is absolutely certain of that. They are absolutely certain that the Russians didn’t use an intermediary to pass on their hacked emails. Because the news sources you are reading always tell the truth…as opposed to other news sources or the people who are actually looking at the evidence.

    I am sure there would have been a lot of consternation about the popularity of Sanders and strategies used to counter it. Isn’t that what all campaigns do?

    Could you please pass on the proof that “the Saudis were the mains sponsors of ISIS”. I am not saying it is wrong but I didn’t realise there was proof. And as I have asked a thousand times, how does that make you feel about Russia selling them billions of dollars worth of arms?

    The reason I don’t trust Assange is that he very much presents only one side of the story – the side he is fed by other people. That makes him vulnerable to manipulation. He is not an investigator – as I said before, he is a conduit for whoever chooses to feed him info.

    “This is Zbig’s last two weeks to start a war with Russia”

    Oh puhlease…can we please give up this ridiculous scaremongering that nuclear war is imminent.

    To quote Obama, “We must remember that Republicans and Democrats are on the same team. Putin is not on that team.”

  142. Michael Taylor

    If people are fearful that nuclear war is imminent then maybe they weren’t around during the Cuban missile crisis. Now that was fear. Some of us ‘older’ people will remember it. Perhaps that’s why we’re not shaking in our boots now.

    World War 3 has also been imminent on more times than I care to count. The first I can recall is after the Russian invasion of what is now known as the Czech Republic. (I haven’t said the “Cuban missile crisis” was the first time because we didn’t think there would be a war – we thought instead there would be complete annihilation). The storming of the US Embassy in Iran in the late 1970s had us all on edge too, and many were certain that the election of Ronnie ‘Raygun’ would see things escalate. (There was a joke I heard in the army: what’s white and glows in the dark? Iran, after Ronnie wins the election).

    Another thing I remember was our fear in the 1960s that Indonesia was going to invade Australia. We were truly afraid. Truly. Afraid.

    What I find odd now, is that so many people are saying that the election of Trump has saved us from WW3. These same people are convinced that Clinton was itching to start it. Is that a guess? Do any of you have access to information that confirms it? Was it in a Wikileaks email? Do you worry that the US relationship with China could detiorate under Trump? That might not work out too well.

    Hide under your beds if you want to. I’m not.

  143. Michael Taylor

    A question: Did Putin want Trump to win because he considered Trump might diminish the risk of war, or because he thought that Trump might diminish America?

  144. Kaye Lee

    Well according to well-informed sources, the Port Arthur massacre was an Israeli operation to fool us into giving up our guns hence making us vulnerable….so anything is possible. When I was little, Bob Santamaria was good at keeping men scared and women in their places.

    I think your last question is outstanding Michael.

  145. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    I guess you didn’t browse the document?
    about page 2 it was in a statement issued by the Government of Ecuador

  146. Jexpat

    Micheal:

    It could be both. Or neither.

    And, in any event, the very phrasing of the either/or proposition is conclusory.

    Much as we see from Liberal and National party advocates when they’re out pimping.

  147. Robert G. Shaw

    Sean, thanks for your responses.

    We have agreed to disagree on the Syria question. My single question remains though: do you really believe that Russia only arrived because of Syria’s invitation?
    As I mentioned once before I don’t believe for a moment that Russia would have allowed Syria to fall (to the majority Sunni’s, that being another part of the Russia/Iran equation, and a question for another time).
    This is a strategy that pre-dates ideology in a way. Everyone that can do it, will do it, and is doing it.
    Russia is in the thrall of a classic US style consolidation – a gathering and celebration of friends, a settling of diplomatic boundaries, a new more favourable terms of economic treaties and weapons sales, an introduction of new friends to old friends, a shifting of bums on seats, who sits where, and who wasn’t invited, increased prestige at home, a sizeable ripple of nationalism to keep the peasants hearts warm, a greater love between government and mega monopolies, and the powerful exercise of capital.

    “Was Russia protecting its own interests? No doubt, as I have argued previously.”

    Yes, you indeed may have. I just haven’t seen it.

    “The prime difference? As obvious as the nose on your face – these countries occupy the land the globalists want.”

    Oh, you mean the land NOW within the grip of a Russian geopolitical and economic hegemony?
    That land?
    Of course.

    They won, and to the victor go the spoils.
    But to suggest that there are not 2 players in this game is to not understand the nature of that game.

    Speaking of the game, may I labour the chess metaphor a little more?

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten the brilliant though treacherous Russian move – knight to King 4 in ’39. Or the sublime mate, Queen to Bishop 3 of ’45, which saw them peel off half of Europe with the promise of ‘national self determination’.

    I still laugh at the innocent earnestness of the term. Don’t you?

    Your complaint now of the US inspired checkmate of ’89 reeks to me of sour grapes. You can’t take the pieces home now Sean. You can’t scatter the board now with a petulant arm and sulk at the “unfairness” of it all. After all, you were quite happy with the game after ’45, and you made damn sure that those pesky impertinent little pawns; Czechoslovakia ’48 and ’68, and Hungary ’56, knew their place as ‘self determining buffers’. The Brezhnev Doctrine should have obliterated any remaining doubts as to the range and scope of that players intentions. Should have been obliterated I say, though doubts still, perversely, lingered.

    The game was there to be played Sean, and played it was.

    Talk now of ’800 bases’, and missiles in ‘Mexico or Canada’ strike me a particularly juvenile, the insistent and desperate rhetoric of someone with less pieces on the board.

    Fear not Sean, your time will come.
    Again.

    But I was asking a slightly different question: how are the objectives of one bloc, US & allies, different from those of another bloc, Russia & allies? The objectives are the same therefore I see them as identical. You apparently not. I wonder what differences you can see that appear to escape me.

    To the victor go the spoils Sean. Congratulations to the Russians for outmaneuvering a moribund US.
    Let the pipeline discussions begin!
    Let the old empire rebuild begin in earnest!
    Watch out Caucasus, here they come…..
    🙂

    It was this piece, perhaps you’ve seen it?, that I found persuasive and that went on to inform several of my current thoughts.

    If you haven’t read it, then I suggest a cup of tea, a favourite armchair, and a quiet hour or so.

    https://s92d78bb733e1903e.jimcontent.com/download/version/1395239060/module/7159141876/name/RevCom%2321_WEB.pdf

    Start at page 5

    Russia as Great Imperialist Power

    M. Probsting.

    A Postscript: This talk of Russian hacking really has to stop. Until we see something all is babble.

  148. Kaye Lee

    The only reason the hacking is important (and I agree it isn’t really) is that they apparently wanted to install Trump and I can understand why. That is worth watching.

  149. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee wrote:

    I agree “Hack the election” makes no sense. Did I say that at any stage?

    I didn’t know what you were thinking, which is why I asked the question, earnestly (several times) so that we might narrow down an area of informed discussion. That said- the vast majority of the media (including all too many of who we might have formerly thought to be progressive individuals and sources have gone off the deep end, repeatedly). Call me School Marm, but I can’t and won’t countenance what’s been going on- for many reasons, but one that might be dearer to some partisans hearts is: because it’s been destroying their own causes.

    btw: We could have a very interesting discussion about the integrity of voting systems, and legal barriers to audits and accountability both in US states AND in Australian states, per the 2012 local government elections in NSW.

  150. Kaye Lee

    I answered you, earnestly (several times) but I have found that listening isn’t the strong suit of some people here. They would prefer to tell me what I think.

  151. paulwalter

    It’s ok, Jexpat.

    I can’t understand what she’s on about either.

  152. Kaye Lee

    That is patently obvious. You could always ask me if I said something you don’t understand….or you can just talk to the other guy – maybe he can explain me to you.

  153. Jexpat

    Kaye Lee:

    Let’s try again: In your view, is “what the Russians did” limited to some role in the disclosure of Podesta’s emails?

    If so, we can move on and discuss the ethics and propriety of that, assuming for the sake of argument that they did.

  154. Roswell

    “I can’t understand what she’s on about either”.

    I can, but it takes a certain skill that so many here lack. A good place to start would be to read what Kaye Lee’s saying instead of the words that others are trying to put in her mouth.

  155. Robert G. Shaw

    “I answered you, earnestly (several times) but I have found that listening isn’t the strong suit of some people here. They would prefer to tell me what I think”

    I do hope that Miriam, Jennifer, Kim, Corvus, and who ever else drunkenly stumbled on the rudiments of comprehension on the ‘Blame’ thread are here to read that glorious line.

    Sweet, indifferent irony, you’re never far away, are you?

    Jexpat,

    Still nothing.

    https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

    https://www.wired.com/2017/01/feds-damning-report-russian-election-hack-wont-convince-skeptics/

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-putin-and-the-big-hack

    We could be here a while.

    Got a copy of “War and Peace” on hand?

  156. Sean Stinson

    Robert I suspect you are just being a smart arse now, and a rude one at that. Accusing me of knocking over the chess pieces and sulking off — if that is what you’re saying — is what i i find juvenile. fwiw I’ve never defended Brezhnev, or Kruschchev, both sellouts, although I’ve written about the US influence in stoking the wars in Hungary and Czechoslovakia through propaganda, which happened.

    Your argument seems to be that two can play at any game, and both sides are equal. I take a very different view of history. When I mentioned control of resources I was not talking about conquered territories or the spoils of war in Asia Minor – i was talking about Russia itself – or more generally the “world island” as described by Halford MacKinder, the interlinked contintents of Europe and Asia which contain some 70%?? of the worlds population and 60% of its natural resources and are currently occupied by regional powers like Russia, China, Iran etc. Conquering empires have sought to control this land since Napoleon (and earlier, but for our purposes the last 300 years will suffice) Britain tried to do it by sea, Germany tried twice, the second time with the support of massive US finance. The point about US military bases IS important, so far as seeing who is projecting power today. Hint: Its not Russia and China.

    Anyway i’m just repeating myself now – which doesn’t matter, you don’t read my arguments anyway, you just insert your own.

  157. Sean Stinson

    Michael, would love to address your comment since you’ve actually brought some new material to the discussion.

    Yes, a no fly zone in Syria was imminent under HRC, which would have led to DIRECT conflict with Russia. Its in her pre election speeches where she promised a more muscular foreign policy, in the debates if you look closely, in her speeches to Goldman Sachs courtesy of wikileaks…

    https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/in-secret-goldman-sachs-speech-hillary-clinton-admitted-no-fly-zone-would-kill-a-lot-of-syrians/

    This could still happen if Obama manages to sabotage Trump’s presidency in his last 2 weeks.

    I don’t see any changes in the long game under Trump, but a change of short term strategy looks to be on the cards – So far as I can tell he’s trying to do what Nixon did in China. Cut a deal with Russia, make some concessions re Europe, and pear it away from China – US policy toward China will be more belligerent than ever, expect a trade war – does not bode well for Australia either way.

    As per my previous comment, US foreign policy has ALWAYS been about prevention of a coalition between Russia and China, and a unified Arab world. Trump understands the long game, he’s just approaching it differently.

    As I’ve argued in my last few articles, the US has been a virtual one party state for at least the last 16 years, if not 35. Call it the John McCain Party, the party of old white men. or the party of the ‘radical centre’, as Tariq Ali might say. Obama expanded neoliberalism, allowing the banks to be bailed out by taxpayers, continued and expanded the War on Terror, with many Bush advisors assuming positions in his cabinet.

    Trump is a maverick, determined to sweep the floor of this lot and bring in his own gang of handpicked billionaire thieves. His logic is simple, and beautifully naive. The Middle East is a quagmire. It’s costing us billions. We should get out of there and let Russia clean up our mess.

    It’s a complete reset, which many in power don’t want to see happen. On the other hand, not everyone is happy with the status quo. HRC did some VERY dodgy things which put intelligence assets lives at risk by exposing their identities. Some of those intelligence assets lost their lives because of her mishandling of classified information. (Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years for lesser crimes.) Needless to say there are many within the intelligence community who would not trust HRC as their commander in chief – plenty of potential sources for the leaks, and plenty who would like to see a reset in US foreign policy — I’d like to know who Trump has in his corner to have been allowed to get this far.

    As for the drums of war, this just in:

    “Ships began unloading U.S. tanks, self-propelled howitzers and hundreds of other fighting vehicles Friday in the northern German port of Bremerhaven, to be moved into Eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s deterrence against possible Russian aggression.

    Some 3,500 troops from the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, will join up with the equipment, which includes 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, over the next two weeks.

    “to bolster NATO’s deterrence against possible Russian aggression.”

    Yeah, right.

  158. Sean Stinson

    “A question: Did Putin want Trump to win because he considered Trump might diminish the risk of war, or because he thought that Trump might diminish America?”

    My guess, both.

  159. Sean Stinson

    “Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States,”

    “Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities.”

    “They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.”–Julian Assange, interview with La Repubblica quoted in the Guardian

  160. Sean Stinson

    “The only reason the hacking is important (and I agree it isn’t really) is that they apparently wanted to install Trump and I can understand why. That is worth watching.”

    Who is THEY?

    The Russians? Seth Rich, the disgruntled Berniebot? Or members of the intelligence community who in all likelihood DID leak the intel?

  161. Kaye Lee

    “His logic is simple, and beautifully naive. The Middle East is a quagmire. It’s costing us billions. We should get out of there and let Russia clean up our mess.”

    Donald Trump would deploy up to 30,000 American soldiers in the Middle East to defeat the Islamic State, he said at Thursday night’s debate.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/03/trump-iraq-syria-220608

    He vowed to grow the size of the U.S. Army to 540,000 active duty soldiers, up from about 475,000 today. That could add about $30 billion to the federal government, Mark Cancian, a defense analyst for the Center For Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg.

    Trump also said he will bring the U.S. Navy’s ship total to 350, compared with the Navy’s standing goal of restoring its fleet to 308 vessels. He wants to upgrade the Navy’s cruisers and acquire modern destroyers to counter missile threats from Iran, North Korea and other nations. He also wants to give the U.S. Air Force 1,200 fighter aircraft, up from 1,113.

    Trump said the U.S. won’t be prepared to face international threats unless it increases its military budget. The U.S. devoted more than $600 billion to defense spending last year. Trump has said he will pay for his bigger military budget by passing on the bill to nations where the U.S. has military bases, including Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/will-donald-trump-trigger-world-war-3-republican-wants-more-ships-troops-military-2443915

    PS Sean, in that sentence “they” did refer to the allegations against the Russians as I thought context would have made obvious, though perhaps not. And I very seriously doubt that members of the intelligence community wanted Trump elected.

  162. Sean Stinson

    You may very seriously doubt it, I do not, for the reasons I’ve stated above.

    And yes, Trump’s long term approach to foreign policy is not divergent, as I said in my comments above. His short term strategy is to cooperate with Russia in order to isolate China. Hence also Trumps militarism toward Iran – the US needs to isolate China’s oil supplies before attacking it.

    Same game, different strategy.

  163. Kaye Lee

    Or he might not have a clue what he is talking about and just says anything that comes off the top of his head.

    Or he might be being advised by people with personal skin in the game like his chosen national security adviser who has real conflicts of interest.

    On December 14, two Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, sent a letter to the nation’s top intelligence officials arguing that Flynn’s ongoing ownership of his consulting company “creates the potential for pressure, coercion, and exploitation by foreign agents.”

    The letter said FIG is now run by Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., who was removed from the Trump transition team earlier this month after spreading false internet conspiracies that led to a shooting at a Washington pizzeria.

    Flynn made a paid speech for RT, a news agency run by the Russian government, sat at a table with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2015 dinner celebrating RT’s anniversary, shared internet conspiracies on social media, and last February tweeted that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”

    In 2014, he founded his company with Bijan Kian, a prominent Iranian-American banker who served on the board of the Export-Import Bank, was a senior fellow at the US Naval Postgraduate School and a member of the White House Business Council.

    Federal ethics rules say that executive-branch employees who are in partnerships must avoid potential conflicts with businesses owned by fellow partners. Kian is a principal at Global Capital Markets, a mergers and acquisitions firm that has brokered deals involving an assortment of military contractors, and chairman and chief executive officer of GreenZone Systems, a technology company that sells secure communications chips and computers designed for military and intelligence agencies.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/web-of-deals-compromises-donald-trumps-national-security-adviser-michael-flynn-20161216-gtd64b.html

  164. Sean Stinson

    How is this any different to the Clinton Foundation, or Tony Blair’s oil interests, or Dick Cheney’s $40bn Iraq bonanza?

    Same game. Forest, trees.

    I’m trying to analyse the big picture, and points of DIFFERENCE with the new administration which might be the cause for all the furore. I’ve made some points but you choose to not to engage with them. I think it may be time for me to leave this discussion – its just frustrating.

  165. Roswell

    Four security agencies – the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and one other – have all briefed the President-elect with confirmation that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the US election. The evidence was compelling enough for Trump to accept it. He maintains, however, that their attempts did not influence the result.

    He could be right. We’ll never know. We’ll never know unless questionnaires are sent to the 50 million people who voted for Trump, and they were honest with their responses. That’s never going to happen, so I’ll maintain that we will never, ever know.

    Surely you will now accept that Russia did at least try. Though it’s my guess that you’ll respond with “nah, they lied to Trump”.

    No, they wouldn’t lie to him. They may without information if it’s in the national security. (Always a worry given Trump’s passion for being a big mouth). There are over a dozen security levels above the POTUS so they possibly didn’t tell him everything. But they told him enough.

  166. Robert G. Shaw

    Sean,
    A “smartarse”, “rude”?!
    This is very crux of the argument as far as I’m concerned. It may not be your crux, that’s very clear from your refusal to address the specific issues I’ve put to you. The expression of my rebuttal may very well have been facetious, it’s import however deadly serious and I am willing to pursue the argument to the end. That’s how consequential I see these issues.

    You are absolutely correct to view my position as two equal ideologies fighting it out for control of people’s, land, resources, and anything else they can get their blood stained hands on. You want to quibble about tonal degrees of the colour “red”. By all means, measure and quantify the dead. You’ll certainly find a winner. That doesn’t excuse the Other, though does it? The dialectic of History needs two to turn Sean.
    Two.
    There’s no other possible algorithm.

    If I don’t read your arguments it’s because you don’t present them as specific outlines to specific questions. That’s not a conversation, that’s a monologue.

  167. Robert G. Shaw

    I was going to let this go, but thought better of it.

    “although I’ve written about the US influence in stoking the wars in Hungary and Czechoslovakia through propaganda, which happened.”

    Could you please link a post to this, my curiosity greatly piqued.

    It’s quite interesting how one set of ‘propaganda’, like the one you’re about to present me on Hungary and Czechoslovakia, can be offered as legitimate and proofed, whilst another set, like this Trump/hack question, based on nothing more substantial than a child’s game of Chinese whispers, can be discarded as rubbish.

    Bias is a strange beast.
    Best to get in and dispense the quick and merciful kill, before it’s too late.

  168. Roswell

    My memory on this is foggy, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but my foggy memory tells me that a ‘puppet’ government in Czechoslovakia ‘opened’ the doors to the Russian invasion. To suggest that it was a fire stoked by the US, joins the growing list of conspiracy theories here that l just can’t buy.

  169. Roswell

    My inspiration to Google the answer is zero. It’s not as amusing.

  170. Roswell

    Sean, I apologise if it’s not the Russian invasion you were referring to.

  171. paulwalter

    Funny, Roswell’s comment about the intelligence agencies in harmony about Russian cyber hacking. In a rush at the mo, but saw a good point on FB last night whereby this was compared to the synchronous inteliigence agency confirmation of weapons of mass destruction nonsenses of the early 2000.

    Look, no one doubts the Russians have had a dabble- as Gen. Michael Hayden says, they ALL do it. But unless there is a smoking gun linking it all to Trump that can stand up in a Court of Law and see the Trump fascists ditched, it is fruitless. In fact it has a negative in drawing attention to US hypocrisy, since it seems to position itself as some sort of repository of virtue compared to other nations.

    My point earlier was to do with context. The reasons the US seems to have lost it superiority and what has brought this to come to pass, some thing that I thought was at back of Sean Stinson’s thinking also; also why no one seemed much aware of it till AFTER the election.

    In the end I remain convinced that America needs to look at ITSELF (as it also should have done after 9/11), rather than embarking on the usual wild goose chase for exogenous factors.

    For a start, let’s wonder who was asleep at the wheel in detecting alleged Russian interference in the first place?

  172. Roswell

    Paul, I’ve not said that I thought Trump was behind it. I did say, however, that his request (during a press conference) that Russia interfere would raise suspicion.

  173. Kaye Lee

    “I’ve made some points but you choose to not to engage with them.”

    That’s not true Sean. I have read what you have written and responded to it. IMO your frustration comes from people questioning your appraisal of things. You talk confidently about Trump’s strategy like he has one. I have seen no signs of that.

  174. nurses1968

    So the Director of National Intelligence has released a lengthy document with imput from all American spook organisations and they found “the Russians did it” more to the point “Vladimir did it” well, sort of, maybe, possibly

    Hah, and the fairies and pixies danced hand in hand at the bottom of the White House gardens

    Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber
    Incident Attribution
    “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” is a declassif
    ied version of a highly classified assessment that has been provided to the President and to recipients approved by the President.

    6 January 2017
    https://www.scribd.com/document/335885536/ICA-2017-01#from_embed

  175. Kaye Lee

    nurses1968,

    How on earth can you say with such certainty that all of the intelligence agencies are lying? Even Trump has accepted it was Russia – he has seen the proof unlike us.

    President-elect Donald Trump accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia engaged in cyber attacks during the U.S. presidential election and may take action in response, his incoming chief of staff said on Sunday.

    “He accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia, so that’s not the issue,” Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-cyber-idUSKBN14S0O6

    It is also becoming increasingly apparent that Wikileaks is not an unbiased player. They have a close connection with the state-owned Russia Today.

  176. nurses1968

    I guess from past history as there never has been much they were truthful about.
    Don’t get me wrong as I am an equal opportunity accuser as I don’t think the Russian spy crowd would tell the truth if it bit them, or Australias spooks or AFP.
    They are there to provide the best “proof” requested by their Masters.
    The truth? do you think the plebs are ever considered in that?

    As I said, I don’t trust any and if you want to defend Trump and the Western versions and ignore the alternative view that’s up to you

  177. Roswell

    ” … or Australia’s spooks or AFP … They are there to provide the best ‘proof’ requested by their masters”.

    Sorry to disappoint you, nurses1968, but you don’t know much about this.

  178. nurses1968

    Roswell
    I admit that but don’t ever see them doing anything other than that of their masters request
    Maybe you could enlighten us on the way the Aussie spook agencies and the AFP stand and defend the rights of ordinary Australians?
    Wilkie showed us on Iraq, the Terrorist on every corner scenario, now we have with the AFP the ‘ring of steel” checking citizens IDs in Melbourne, a part of the Centrelink abuses of alleged “overclaimers,” sending drug mules to their death in Indonesia, the hatchet job on Slipper and Thomson and the overlooking of any LNP abuses etc .
    Now you can convince me differently?

  179. Roswell

    Nurses, of course you don’t see it. You appear to be confusing national security with police work.

  180. Kaye Lee

    One thing I find ironic in all of this…

    “Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to US officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.

    US officials said the captured messages, whose existence has not previously been disclosed, added to the confidence level at the CIA and other agencies that Putin’s goals went beyond seeking to undermine confidence in America’s election machinery and ultimately were aimed at tilting a fiercely contested presidential race toward a candidate seen as more in-line with Moscow’s foreign policy goals.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/senior-russian-officials-celebrating-donald-trump-win-captured-on-us-intercepts-20170105-gtmv5p.html

    They are outraged at the Russians having hacked emails. One of their pieces of proof is their “intercepted communications”.

    Fess up kids. You ALL hack emails and phone calls.

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