The Democrat's Resistance strikes again

Bipartisan thirst for more war: 75% of Congress calls on Trump to boost intervention in Syria, to ‘pressure’ Iran and Russia

While the Donald Trump administration is threatening two new wars on Iran and Venezuela, a substantial majority of the US Congress is clamoring for more immediate action.

Nearly 400 Congress members from both chambers — roughly 75 percent of all federal US lawmakers — have signed an open letter calling on President Trump to escalate the war in Syria, in the name of countering Iran, Russia, and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Top Democratic Party leaders have joined hawkish Republicans in a bipartisan demand that the far-right president “address threats in Syria” and “demonstrate American leadership in resolving the prolonged conflict.”

They hope to do this through more US intervention, implementing a three-pronged “Syria strategy”: one, “augment our support” for Israel and maintain its “qualitative military edge”; two, “increase pressure on Iran and Russia”; and, three, “increase pressure on Hezbollah.”

While the letter stops short of openly requesting more American troops inside Syria, it clearly states that the US should take more aggressive actions. It also expressly calls on the Trump White House to punish Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah with crippling sanctions.

Among the signatories are 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker. (The full list is here (PDF file).)

The letter was notably not signed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Tulsi Gabbard, both 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who are running left-wing, anti-war campaigns.

The Congressional call does not even feign concern for the humanitarian situation of Syrians, or make any pretense of supporting the “Syrian people.” Rather, it is entirely framed within a chauvinistic perspective of expanding American power, protecting Israel, and weakening “US adversaries.”

The letter fearmongers about the presence of Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah in Syria, all of which are fighting in alliance with Syria’s internationally recognized government, which sits at the United Nations, and which has requested their support.

The bipartisan document claims that the “region has also been destabilized by Iranian regime’s threatening behavior,” adding that “Russia’s destabilizing role only complements that of Iran,” and that “Hezbollah now poses a more potent threat to Israel as well.

The letter goes on to express “deep concern” about “pockets of ungoverned space [that] have allowed terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates, to keep parts of Syria in their stranglehold.”

Umm about those terrorists groups that congress is so concerned about:

Left unacknowledged in the congressional letter is the way that US intervention in Syria in fact fueled the spread of these extremist groups. The multi-billion-dollar arm-and-equip program — the largest since the CIA’s covert war in Afghanistan in the 1980s — funneled weapons to ISIS and Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, the biggest affiliate of the Salafi-jihadist group since 9/11.

Trump threatened Russia, Syria and Turkey last year when they decided that they'd had enough of our protecting our terrorists and were going to wipe them out.

Whenever the terrorists feel too threatened they plan a false flag chemical weapons attack and FUKUS comes to their rescue. The White Helmets did another one last week, but so far FUKUS hasn't responded. Hey ever wonder why there are so many terrorists in Idleb? It might be because they got safe passage from other cities in Syria and got to leave with their family members and lots of them ended up there. Yep. And the ones who get hurt and need medical treatment can get it from our dear friend Israel. I guess they think it's a way to pay them back for selling Syria's oil to them. The oil shipments that got free passage to Turkey during Obama's tenure. Oh well. Syria wasn't allowed access to it so someone should have been able to. Right?

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Pricknick's picture

how voting for a democrat will be better for this nation.
Nothing will change the bipartisanship of the duopoly.
Thanks again snoop.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@Pricknick

Every time the democrats have the majority the republicans are able to block their legislation, but when the democrats are the minority they can't block sh*t. Of course this is nonsense because we know that there are many procedures that both parties can use to block it.

This Resistance by democrats since Trump was elected is phony. Democrats have voted to let Trump have more power to spy on us which was one of the first bills passed after the election when democrats were afraid that he would loose the nukes just because he could. Then came banking deregulation, .... and ending with the obscenely bloated military budget.

When Trump wanted to meet with Kim, Vlad and pulling the troops out of Syria they were in an uproar. Many democrats including Schumer, DiFi and most of the blue dawgs have been voting for Trump's right wing judges. They could have made it more difficult for Kavanaugh to be confirmed, but didn't. Oh yeah. The democrats voted for many of Trump's cabinet picks and were totally silent when republicans were rolling back most of Obama's last minute legislation during the first 200 days.
Now this. But what is most of the country focusing on? Trump's behavior and his tweets. I'm sure that I left out quite a lot of issues that they have agreed with the republicans on.

But then people don't go to watch the Harlem Globetrotters and expect the Washington Generals to win now do they?

Smile

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg The part where our political system is controlled by the rich and we don't have a fucking say in what happens? The part where both parties work in concert, like a good cop/bad cop routine, to enact the wishes of their controllers, the rich? The part where it doesn't matter who is president and that whoever they allow to be president is there because they were allowed?
And especially the part about how we don't live in a democracy, we live in an oligarchy/plutocracy?

That's all I can think of to say. This isn't surprising, I guess the most surprising thing is it was only 75%, usually bills or actions written by AIPAC are voted on almost unanimously. I think some decided not to sign to protect their political vulnerabilities, like running for prez, or reelection and not wanting the "resistance progressives" to get too pissed at them.

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Big Al's picture

@Big Al information relative to whether it is possible to "reform" the democratic party. Keeping in mind that Eugene Debs said the same thing about the party and the duopoly in 1904. Same with Smedley Butler. Perhaps what reform actually means to each person is the key. We've been trained to accept this democratic party vs republican party paradigm, and that it's democracy, and so most people accept the limitations without really thinking about the possibilities. Most people give up, don't want to get involved or can't, so it's up to a certain percentage to keep it all going with the hope THEY can make it better, that now it could be different, the young people you know, they're different than we were. The times, they are a changing.

But hell, it's the same old story, same old song and dance.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Take it down and not show people here what congress is doing? Post it on daily kos instead? People outside this site read the essays here and maybe they don't know about this. I didn't know that congress was pushing Trump to get more aggressive towards Syria, Russia and Iran until I read this. I didn't know that Syrian Christians were being killed. Did you know that people called congress when Obama did his red line threat and he backed down?

I do know that there isn't any difference between the parties and I'm not trying to change the Democratic Party from the inside. I don't know how many times I have to tell you that I don't vote because the game is rigged in my opinion. I know what Debs said as well as Butler as I've posted on them numerous times. You aren't saying anything that I don't know, but I still thought this was something people would be interested in.

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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg you're not taking it the way I meant it. I was just making conversation, if we were sitting in front of each other at the time you would have totally understood from my inflection and the way I said it. I think maybe the way I started my comment sounded different from what I intended. Absolutely no offense intended. It's why I've limited my time here which evidently I need to work on. I'm just getting too old for this shit. Thank you for writing this essay, it was one I thought I could comment on, but I think this might be the final point I need. I now think it's impossible for those against the duopoly to discuss the issue with those still involved with it. Peace.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Trump has fired lots of his cabinet and it's one way for him to get around congress. Bolton probably wouldn't have been able to be confirmed if he had to go through regular channels and he isn't the only one who Trump has done that with.

As tensions rise, moneyed interests pushing for hard line against Iran

There may be more than genuine concern behind such aggressive stances towards Iran. Dozens of government officials, from Congress to the White House, have received financial support from an expansive network of interest groups, political action committees, foreign lobbyists and wealthy donors pushing for the hardest line possible against Iran.

Bolton’s PAC and super PAC serve as the central financial mechanism of the wide-ranging influence network. Founded by Bolton in 2013, these groups quickly began to attract prominent megadonors who shared his aggressive view of foreign policy and his apprehension towards Iran. Over a five-year period up until when Bolton took office in 2018, the groups raked in more than $24 million in contributions, the vast majority of which came from a handful of large backers aligned against the Obama administration’s efforts to seek a diplomatic solution with Iran.

Chief among Bolton’s backers is Robert Mercer, the reclusive billionaire who was Donald Trump’s top donor in the 2016 presidential election. Over the course of the 2014, 2016, and 2018 election cycles, Mercer donated $5 million to The John Bolton Super PAC, a quarter of the super PAC’s lifetime receipts and one-sixth of Bolton’s combined contributions from both groups. OpenSecrets previously reported that Mercer was a primary funder of a secretive nonprofit that targeted swing voters with three disturbing anti-Muslim videos during the 2016 election.

Another prominent supporter is Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and ardent critic of nuclear diplomacy with Iran. Marcus donated $530,000 to Bolton’s super PAC over its lifetime. Marcus has publicly scoffed at the prospect of conducting diplomacy with Iran, saying in a 2015 interview with Fox Business, “When you do business with the devil, you’re in deep trouble, and I think Iran is the devil.”

He also notably donated $3.5 million to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington think tank that has decried the Iran nuclear deal and submitted a memo to the Trump White House in 2017 outlining ways to stoke domestic unrest in Iran with the ultimate goal of regime change. The FDD’s suspected close ties with the Trump administration were further confirmed when Bolton selected a senior adviser at the organization to be his assistant in January 2019.

Bolton’s connections to hardliners don’t end with the committees. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, the top individual political contributors for the 2018 midterms and major Trump donors, personally lobbied the president to select Bolton as deputy secretary of state. While this effort ultimately failed, Bolton eventually joined the administration as national security advisor- that move came after Sheldon Adelson supported publicity campaigns against Trump’s first national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, that claimed McMaster was anti-Israeli in an effort to open the position for Bolton. Adelson is also a prominent supporter of major anti-Iranian lobbying groups, having donated more than $1.04 million to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee since 2007 and $1.5 million to the FDD between 2008 and 2011.

Bolton has long been a member of MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq) which used to be a terrorist organization until Hillary took it off the terrorist watch list for who knows why. I'm guessing that they donated to her foundation like lots of other foreign governments and people did during her tenure which in a sane country would have had some repercussions.

Why do so many people need to have PACs if they aren't in congress or any role in the government? This is just one more way for the rich to get away from paying taxes and get a say in what the government does. Churches also don't have to pay taxes and are bound from being involved with the government and yet we know that they too pay for lobbyists to get their agendas passed.

This is the biggest reason I no longer vote. No matter who gets elected to government they only answer to their donors and they have no concerns about what happens to us or the people who live in countries that they set their eyes on. As long as congress accepts money so they can get relected our wants don't matter to them.

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

in bolton's super-pac. thank you, and thank open secrets. i was gonna save this to weave with a few other pieces of news, but this tells another part of the conflicting, sometimes cooperating 'deep states', but it works on this thread quite well:

The Corporate Media and the “Resistance” to Peace’, Danny Haiphong, BAR.com, May 22, 2019 (just an overview):

"The “Resistance” to peace being waged by the capitalist class and the corporate media is the greatest threat faced by humanity today.

“The corporate media has shaped the consciousness and behavior of the masses with clear directives from the U.S. military apparatus.”

For the lords of capital, the Trump administration is insufficiently hawkish. Trump can send an aircraft carrier strike force to the Persian Gulf to intimidate Iran amid the ongoing evisceration of the Iran nuclear deal. He can attempt a coup and impose crippling sanctions on the democratically elected government of Venezuela and intensify sanctions against Venezuela's strongest ally, Cuba. Yet none of this satisfies the thirst for carnage that resides in the “Deep State” and the military industrial complex. Peace is the primary threat to the U.S. empire’s profit-driven objectives. Under Trump, the ruling class believes that there is too much of it.

The New York Times is the mouthpiece of the War Party.”

The corporate media is an integral part of the War Party, which is led by the Democratic Party and many of its former neocon adversaries. The New York Times is the mouthpiece of the War Party. It pollutes the minds of its readers yet brands itself as an objective and credible source of journalism. David Sanger and Edward Wong's article is filled with coded messages to the Trump administration that its inability to wage war correctly against the DPRK, Venezuela, and Iran is an embarrassment to the war apparatus. Sanger and Wong lament that "Mr. Trump’s problems with all three countries reveal a common pattern: taking an aggressive, maximalist position without a clear plan to carry it through, followed by a fundamental lack of consensus in the administration about whether the United States should be more interventionist or less."

The New York Times prefers that "maximalist" positions are carried through to their logical conclusion. That conclusion is the destabilization of the DPRK, Iran, and Venezuela. The New York Times prefers regime change over all else and wants to rid the planet of any sovereign nation that refuses to give up its self-determination and respect for international law. Sanger and Wong believe that the U.S. is international law. Trump defies U.S. global supremacy because he fails to provide “real world solutions” toward the goal of destroying Iran, Venezuela, and the DPRK. Indeed, as the corporate tools of empire point out, the DPRK is launching ballistic missiles, Iran is once again a “potential” threat to develop a nuclear weapon, and Venezuela is still governed by Nicolas Maduro. The New York Times points out these “failures” not to urge Trump to advocate for peace but rather to urge him to wage war more effectively.

“The New York Times prefers regime change over all else and wants to rid the planet of any sovereign nation that refuses to give up its self-determination.”

oh, fiddlesticks, i'll paste in a bit more:

"Malcolm X warned that the media conditions us to hate the oppressed and love those doing the oppressing. The reality of present-day U.S. imperialism is in fact much worse than Malcolm’s historic warning. It isn’t just that corporate media such as The New York Times demonize the people of Venezuela, Iran, and the DPRK while valorizing U.S. objectives around the world. We aren’t merely being told to love the oppressor. The corporate media has shaped the consciousness and behavior of the masses with clear directives from the U.S. military apparatus.

This has been an enduring theme of the Trump administration. Sanger and Wong cite former officials such as Jeffery Prescott, a proud member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former adviser to Obama’s national security team, to argue that Trump is indeed less effective than Obama when it comes to war. Prescott is a think-tank mogul who has made a career championing the precise means from which the U.S. should assert global dominance. Think-tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations are concerned that Trump’s empty threats weaken the U.S.’ standing in the world, anger European allies, and lead to the administration being forced into temporary détentes with “rogue” nations such as the DPRK."

i did go dig out the n y slimes op-ed, but it's behind a paywall for me:

Defender of World Order or Trump Mouthpiece? Pompeo Is Tested by North Korea, Iran and U.S. Allies’, nytimes.com. Feb. 25, 2019

myself, i've long seen the NYT as the mouthpiece for the CIA and other intel agencies, but i guess both work.

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travelerxxx's picture

@Big Al

I now think it's impossible for those against the duopoly to discuss the issue with those still involved with it.

I dunno, Big Al... I for one look forward to reading what you have to say. In my opinion, and no doubt those of others, your voice is needed. Yes, I'm sure it's maddening to try to punch through the duopoly bubble, but you do manage to do it just the same. Perhaps you don't see any minds being changed, but a lot of people are reading what you write. I would offer that your words go further than you might imagine.

The needed changes are too slow for any of us here, and many of us are aware that time may not be on our side.

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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg no, I've always disagreed with that rationale as to why Obama backed down. But there ya go.

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@snoopydawg Even if you write in or something.

Because if you don't vote, and candidates know you don't vote, they don't even bother with you. At least if you vote, you can try to demand something from your representatives. (I know - they are usually not responsive).

Not voting puts non-voters in the weakest position possible.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah with this. And last I checked, there is always the write-in option if no one excites you in the 2 major parties, the Greens, the Libertarians, the Independents, etc etc. At least your voice would be heard as to a specific candidate/party. By not speaking up in not voting, it's entirely unclear why you are doing so, and reps will not know if you are just an indifferent, ignorant, uninformed or deeply cynical type -- all non voters by their silence get lumped together in a very diverse group of non participants.

I understand where the cynicism comes from, but overall non-voting probably doesn't help to improve things.

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snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

and to expand Medicaid. Both passed with overwhelming votes and then the legislature and the Mormon church over rode both of those and made them pretty much useless. That the church was allowed to sit in the chamber and help write the bill it wanted tells me how much my vote counted. As I said, voting doesn't matter is just my opinion, but I look at what happens here where even if the church wasn't writing the bills, it's telling people what to do every Sunday.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Alligator Ed's picture

@snoopydawg even though the outcome was. Seeing that there is dissent, even in theocratic Utah, must be encouraging to those who likewise dissent. People must speak out if any change is ever to be expected.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Alligator Ed

Sorry but I don't see the difference. If people voted for something and it passed, but then the legislature changed the outcome that's pretty much the same as nullifying people's votes.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@snoopydawg publicizing the fact that there is dissent sends a message to would-be dissenters that there are others out there like them. How else do grassroots movements begin?

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@snoopydawg But I can't think of any other way to make them ignore us less than they do already than to not be a registered voter.

I can't believe I have to word it that way - TPB will ignore us less than they already do. Is that even possible?

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dfarrah

SnappleBC's picture

@dfarrah

I don't expect them to win. Near as I can tell, the "party" is totally dysfunctional. But I CAN park my vote there and who knows... maybe that'll be useful some day.

I'm not terribly optimistic about that. I've pretty much concluded that the US just needs to go ahead and crash 'n burn. But I see a "parked" vote as slightly more useful than a lost one.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

snoopydawg's picture

Of course congress can't spend any money on Americans. But they sure can find some to support their terrorists who are terrorizing Syrians who have to live side by side with them. Plus we need to give money to the White Helmets who work side by side with the terrorists. Oh wait..many of them are terrorists.

The article linked in this tweet made my blood boil. Our leaders don't give a rat's ass about anyone who happens to live on our oil. Woman and children in Syrian refugee camps have to sell themselves for sex or worse. This is what our government is paying for.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Netanyahu Prepares for New Election Amid Deadlock With Lieberman

The prime minister says he will convene all party heads in 'last-ditch effort' to stave off new election. Likud says the ultra-Orthodox have accepted the prime minister's proposal and that the ball is in Lieberman's court

Bibi won the last election but can't form a government without Lieberman's help.

Bibi's primary argument for continuing his Premiership relies on his relationship with Trump and his ability to sway Congress to backstop Israel's security interests.

Our brave and noble Congresscritters are more than willing to help Bibi out in this 'last ditch effort' to save his hide by showing the Israeli electorate just how swayable they can be.

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Peace Sells

snoopydawg's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

As usual though Israel is not using their own troops to fight in the wars that are for their benefit.

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wendy davis's picture

your grayzone piece had noted that bernie and tulsi hadn't signed the letter as they're both running as anti-war candidates. when wsws had featured the letter a week (maybe more?) ago, they hadn't noted that factoid. bernie now may be running as anti-war, but wooot! not so much as far as his votes and tweets. iirc, i'd had to go find the pdf w/ signatories, even while noting it wasn't likely that i'd recognize many names.

as it turned out, i hadn't, but two things of note: they were just notes as members of congress (non-specific as to house or senate), and no party affiliations were specified. ad yes, i do get tulsi IS the anti-war candidate, but i'll vote green if hawkins secures the nomination.

another fun thing was when ajuma baraka on twitter had noted a new piece he had up, subtweets were begging him to vote bernie/tulsi. (why do the sexists always imagine Him as prrez if they love her so much, anyway?) but he of course is on howie hawkins steering committee. ; )

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis ranges from wishful to naïve thinking, and tries to justify continued support for some dem party politicians even though the dem party clearly supports US imperialism and the quest for world hegemony. After all, Gabbard called her own self a war hawk when it comes to the fake war of terror, and as you say, she's got a list of votes for imperialism and militarism. And we know about Sanders.

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@Big Al I understand progressives' anti-WOT position. It has mostly been a huge waste of lives and resources, at times a cover for mere US regime-change ventures, and so a Big Lie.

I wish TG would flesh out this angle and present it more prominently, as she really doesn't intend to support the deceptive and costly undertakings of the dubious program started under the GWB admin. What she intends, as I read her website and listen to her interviews, is a more specific and narrowly focused and legitimate war on IS/AQ and their many offshoots, which our last 3 presidents have used as a cover for other illegitimate ends.

When you look under War on Terror on her campaign website, you also find the extraordinary suggestion that the US and Russia join together in such war against IS/AQ. It's a very smart and bold idea, not original of course, and also one which puts her alone among the 23 candidates for president in seeking to work cooperatively with the Russians. Politically courageous position. I will go look up where Bernie stands on this, but doubt very much he mentions US-Russia cooperation in the anti-terror realm.

I greatly applaud her for this latter stance, but concede she needs to do more work on smarter and more accurate messaging re the entire WOT issue, as it's still badly misunderstood by the Dem left, who misperceive her as a war hawk.

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Big Al's picture

@wokkamile so if there's any misperception from the dem left (which is not me), then she certainly needs to explain. She also needs to explain why she's a member of the CFR which I haven't seen her do yet.
She's also on record claiming Russia seized and annexed Crimea, has voted numerous times for illegal imperialist sanctions against North Korea, Iran, and Russia, and has waffled on the use of torture. Her suggestion of Russia to join in the fight against ISIS is an example of how she uses the same false narratives and lies to prop up the illegal war OF terror which is totally based on lies. She was also against the Iran deal, but more importantly she sticks to the lies that the US has any right whatsoever to force Iran to not have nuclear weapons.
I could go on but it won't matter to her supporters just like it didn't matter to Obama's supporters back in 2007/8. The Obama who won the Nobel peace prize for being "antiwar" then went on to become one of the planet's top war criminals. In fact, the last two presidents have campaigned on being "antiwar" and we've seen how that works out. Gabbard would no doubt continue that trend.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/01/yes-tulsi-gabbard-iran-deal-war-hawk

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@Big Al TG supported the Iran deal, and if elected would bring the US back into the agreement. She is also against the recent Trump admin bellicose attitudes and has stated Iran poses no threat to our nat'l security and that war with Iran would be a disaster to all concerned.

On "war hawk" on terror, and not war hawk generally, as she is firmly against our many regime-change wars recently, this is misunderstood, as you display in your posts. She could be doing a better job of more clearly and precisely messaging her positions, as I noted above, as her broad statements can easily be misunderstood and misused.

As to the US and Russia, the fact I noted above about her calling for a US-Russia joint venture against ISIS and AQ is a huge deal, clearly separating her from the rest of the Dem pack and probably with every member of Congress. That is political courage.

On the rest, generally she is evolving on some FP and DP issues, as with LGBT issues. I will give her that. I am not interested in what her positions were when she started out in public life in her 20s or when she was in high school. For purists and the impossible to please types, these are easy opportunities to score cheap points. I see a youngish person who has done a lot of learning and adjusting in recent years and who continues to improve and impress. One of the only profiles in courage we have in public office in this dreadful era of cowardice and indifference.

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Big Al's picture

@wokkamile article explains. But actually, my point was the only truthful answer from any politician regarding the Iran "deal" is that the US and company have no right to demand Iran not pursue nuclear weapons, and certainly no right to sanction Iran because of the suspicion that they are or might be, as Gabbard has voted for (same with North Korea), especially unless said countries, including Israel, pledge to give up their nuclear weapons and programs.
She's certainly not come close to that and as I said, which indicates to me her imperialist bonafides (like Bernie), she adheres to the false narrative and lies that the Iran deal is legitimate, legal and necessary.
The same goes for the war OF terror, which again illustrates her imperialist ideology. And for those saying her war of terror adherence is a weak spot, the war OF terror is one of the most insidious lies ever concocted by those that rule us. I think it's more than a weak spot. As for being a purist about the US ruling class quest to rule the planet, so be it. I'm not a democrat anyway, consider the democratic party the opposition in the class war, and wouldn't vote for a democratic party politician if they paid me.

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@Big Al Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is a violation of that treaty for Iran to produce nuclear arms. Of course, it could withdraw from the treaty in which case it would be like Israel, except the U.S. would continue to find it's efforts to develop nuclear weapons unacceptable.

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Big Al's picture

@FuturePassed and Iran should never have agreed to the need for a separate deal. They did with the expectations they could get out from under the illegal sanctions, but that was a mistake. And Iran has always made it clear they are not interested in developing nuclear weapons.

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SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

But I do like her anti-war stance... it mirrors my own as near as I can tell. You can absolutely bet I too am a war hawk.... as soon as someone shows me an actual threat to US safety or sovereignty. The last of those was WW2 insofar as I know but hey, if it should come up again then I will absolutely be in favor of war. Like TG, all these non-defense wars are off my menu.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Big Al's picture

@SnappleBC Antiwar is a way to let those who support "good" wars off the hook, which is exactly what is being done with Gabbard and to some extent Sanders. Those that are anti-imperialist understand there is never a justifiable reason for war.

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@Big Al for wars of imperialism. How about wars purely in self-defense?

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Big Al's picture

@wokkamile Big Al for nothing and I'm no pacifist. I've been the first to defend friends in fights numerous times, I'm rarely challenged personally, and I am a Vietnam Era Vet. I'm a competitor. But from what I've learned, particularly over the last 15 years, all wars are based on ruling class desires and beefs that mean nothing to the rest of us and could be avoided without the lust for power and greed of the ruling class'. They are not for our freedom and they are not to defend us from enemies. That includes WWII, which is the only war anyone can try to point to because of Hitler, but the true history tells a different story.
So I don't believe there are wars for self defense, particularly now. Like who is going to attack us? It's a ridiculous notion that's been planted in our heads since we were old enough to cite the pledge of allegiance.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

That includes WWII, which is the only war anyone can try to point to because of Hitler, but the true history tells a different story.

There were many people here who were supporting Hitler and helping him by financing and arming him and his merry band of psychotic killers. How much did FDR know about the things that Ford, Carnegie and others were doing? Why were brutal sanctions put on Japan knowing that it would cause them to retaliate?

Just like 9/11 WWII needed a Pearl Harbor to get people's permission to join the war. I don't know much about WWI!, but from what I've read it too was an optional war for us. The only real war was the revolution and civil ones. In my humble opinion of course. None of the wars since then were for the protection of this country.

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5 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg
in response to the much more brutal death and destruction Japan was inflicting on the people of China.

FDR believed the US needed to intervene against Nazi Germany. If Germany had not obliged by declaring war on the US it's entirely possible that congress and the American people would have insisted on devoting all of our energies to a war with Japan. The result would have been a substantial reduction in war aid to Britain.

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2 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

I suspect you are better educated than myself on these topics. Do you think WW2 was an actual war of self-defense? Has the US ever legitimately defended?

It seems to me that if there are aggressors (which the US surely demonstrates that there are), then there be defenders. I would prefer to have the capability to defend myself.

Am I missing something here?

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2 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Big Al's picture

@SnappleBC at the (true) history behind WWI, then trace the happenings to WWII and consider all the actors involved, like the US bankers that bankrolled Hitler and all the corporations and banks, like with Prescott Bush, who capitalized on Hitler's advances, all of it basically a continuation of what happened before and during WWI which was no doubt a manufactured war, you can see that even WWII was manufactured by the powers for their ultimate agenda and goals. If not for the quest for power and the greed by those we elect and those that control them, WWII could have been totally avoided. The same thing could happen now with the wrong moves regarding Iran.

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5 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

I'm happy to provisionally accept your assessment enough to rethink things while I dig a bit on WW1 & 2. I'm already aware of SOME of what you're referencing but my knowledge is skin deep. So then the implication is that it is and always has been just wars between the elite and the rest of us dumb farmers and bricklayers get sucked into them.

I will point out, though, that some defense capability still seems important. Even if we hanged our own elite, we would soon develop new ones who'd be just as bad and/or all those other elites would be happy to take advantage of our weakness. Although honestly, nowadays it seems like a handful of nukes should serve that purpose in its entirety. If you're not trying to project force then you certainly don't need hundreds of bases and planes and boats and whatnot.

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3 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

Myth: War is inevitable - NoNato

If anyone else is curious about how inevitable war is this is a good jumping off point IMO. They make some interesting observations like,

War is not ubiquitous. Nothing resembling current forms of war existed centuries or even decades ago. War, which has existed in almost completely different forms, has been mostly absent throughout human history and prehistory. While it is very popular to remark that there has always been a war somewhere on earth, there has always been the absence of war a great many somewheres on earth. Societies and even modern nations have gone decades and centuries without war. Anthropologists debate whether anything even resembling war was found in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies, in which humans evolved for most of our evolution.

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2 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

snoopydawg's picture

@SnappleBC

I especially don't think it would have been as bad as it was if Hitler hadn't gotten so much help from people here.

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3 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

that miz gabbard needs to flesh out her positions on the WoT, but i'm a bit baffled at her position as to the US and Russia needing to cooperate on vanquishing IS/AQ. for one thing, the US is funding and aiding the 'moderate al qaeda groups, the free syrian army and the discusting head chopper psyop, the white helmets. second, russia is actually at war with ISIS in syria in what the MSM pretends to believe is a civil war against assad.

now big al brings up other things that i often forget, and good on him.

@gulf gal: i do realize that tulsi against is regime change, and has come out strongly against the war in iran (and good on her).the US and britain have been involved in regime change since the CIA and MI6 deposed mossagegh of iran in 1953, but i guess that was after the end of WWII that effectively redrew the map of the world, causing untold horrors in nations.

but for myself, and myself only, if a candidate first criminalizes the head of a duly elected government (not a 'stolen election') (like corrupt maduro's VZ 'he murders how own citizens,) then calls for no regime change, 'end the sanctions!') as with silicon valley ro khanna's as she and the other signatories did in their 'Letter to SOS Pompeo', it just doesn't count as even close to 'anti-regime change', but more reasons to R2P VZ. and as i say: just for me.

but i'm one of those dreaded purists, as i'm utterly anti-imperialist, anti-war, anti-capitalist, and eco-socialist, including being convinced that capitalist solutions to climate chaos is absurd. the US and UK green new deals plus extinction rebellion are exactly that.

and it's hard to know how to express this next part without pissing people purple, but i'll give it a go.

this thread, really, began with the 400-strog bicameral/duopolistic letter for more war, as in: support for more theoretical war. but on my recent diaries on the war on palestinians (which yes, included bernie's 'evolving position) only a scant few commented. same for my new piece on the mossad/US war on iran (and i did think my satire was funny, lol).

my Intercept diary was essentially the site's war on whisleblowers (and burning three of them, two in prison, a third facing 50 years), and their support for the white helmets, *and* the many reports (read: lies) they did in aid of a putsch against assad, and it was sadly too long, and over people's heads, etc.

snoopy's diary on the '17 new charges of espionage charges against assange' was great, and had gleaned 60 comments. but when i'd added a link to and interview w/ one of his attorneys, jennifer robinson, not one soul responded. so as i'd noted, i'f finally posted it as a stand-alone post. three people commented, two of whom i reckon hadn't even watched or read what she had to say.

now all i'm fumbling to try to convey is that if too often we care more about anti-war in theory, the war on assange and other whistleblowers in theory, but not the news of what's actually afoot in those regards.

and yes, i've checked wikileaks on twitter again this a.m., and there is indeed a surge in newspapers finally getting that it's a war on speech and a free press. meanwhile, the US will present its case for extreme rendition on june 12, the swedish prosecutor on june 6. to late to matter?

hope i haven't offended anyone with my clumsiness.

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5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

my pay grade," but, regarding the so-called "White Helmets"--Bernie has met with them, and Gabbard has said she'd be willing to do so. (See below.)

POLITICS
05/05/2017

Syria's White Helmets Court Bernie Sanders And Other New Friends

Progressive lawmakers want to show that it's possible to be anti-intervention without buying conspiracy theories and ignoring the war's brutality.

Last Tuesday, two representatives of the group, officially known as Syria Civil Defense, met with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Through the course of the trip, White Helmets members had their first encounters with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a progressive favorite, and a raft of other lawmakers who have not previously engaged with them, like moderate GOP Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana.

. . . And that view might be becoming more widespread. Last week, Gabbard’s office confirmed to HuffPost that the congresswoman would be willing to meet with the group, too.

Truthfully, don't know much about them, or, US involvement in Syria. Just passing along this info, since I've seen more than a few liberals object to the organization. (The reason is pretty much lost on me, since I'm not familiar with them, or their activities.)

BTW, thanks for keeping up with/writing about Assange. What a travesty! Some days, I can't believe what this country has become.

My best to Mr WD. Hope you Guys have nice weather, and enjoy what's left of the long holiday weekend!

Blue

“In every moment, a choice exists.

We can cling to the past, or embrace the inevitability of change, and allow a brighter future to unfold before us. Such an uncertain future may call for even more uncertain allies. Either way, a new day is coming, whether we like it or not. The question is-- will you control it, or, will it control you?”
~~Fictitious Character Klaus Mikaelson

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4 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal timeline re your cite from 2 yrs ago, about the time Tulsi and Ro Khanna said they were willing to talk with the group, Tulsi introduced legislation in the House -- the Stop Funding Terrorists Act -- which would have effectively defunded the WH from any US support, which they were and are getting and as reports began to come out about their associating with terrorist elements in Syria.

Your cite is now out of date and misleading. Tulsi is not a White Helmets backer.

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wokkamile

according to gabbard.house.gov,

Rep Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Stop Arming Terrorists
December 8, 2016

Press Release - Washington DC

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today.

The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.

The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KY-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the U.S. Peace Council.

And, IMO, (HuffPo) saying that Gabbard would meet with them, isn't quite the same as saying that she supports the WH organization. I took their claim quite literally--that she expressed a willingness to meet with them. Period. (Not that she necessarily supported them.)

At any rate, the date of the introduction of the Bill is obviously prior to the HuffPo piece dated May 2017. So, guess you'll need to take it up with Gabbard's Office and/or HuffPo, if you disagree with the timeline, or their claim.

FWIW, I have no dog in this fight--in regard to the 2020 Dem Party Presidential candidates. Demexited in 2004 after the Dem Party Establishment scr*wed over Howard Dean; since then, have only voted for Independents and/or third party candidates.

PleasantryMollie

“In every moment, a choice exists.

We can cling to the past, or embrace the inevitability of change, and allow a brighter future to unfold before us. Such an uncertain future may call for even more uncertain allies. Either way, a new day is coming, whether we like it or not. The question is-- will you control it, or, will it control you?”
~~Fictitious Character Klaus Mikaelson

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3 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal gotten considerably into the weeds re the WHelmets issue, have you managed to learn a little more about them, as you claimed you didn't know much about them before, and why "more than a few liberals" object to them and the US funding them?

It's also good to see that you concede that offering to meet with them does not constitute an endorsement of them. That point wasn't quite clear in your initial comments.

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1 user has voted.
wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

well for miz gabbard, and yes, good on her for that bill (with caveat), which reads:

This bill prohibits the use of federal agency funds to provide covered assistance to: (1) Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or any individual or group that is affiliated with, associated with, cooperating with, or adherents to such groups; or (2) the government of any country that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) determines has, within the most recent 12 months, provided covered assistance to such a group or individual.

on edit: an the ODNI has already declared the iranian national guard a terr;ist organization.

now the bolded is the caveat. while cruising around to my favorite site and twit accounts (dagnabbit) i came across a 2015 video of tulsi on msnbc in which she'd declared her zionist streak: hamas is a terrorist organization, 'we know' they launch their missiles from schools and hospitals and that's why the idf has killed a thousand civilians, russia shot down MH17, on and on. but to say 'that's old news'...well, i doubt she's changed much on that sort of rhetoric.

but seriously, i don't mind who anyone votes for or champions, as long as you know who they are, guess who they will be, warts and all. peace to you and all of her supporters; yes, she may be the best of the D lot as many of you say.

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3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

even though it is from 2017. earlier, when said to be backed into a corner in interviews, tulsi had said yes, 'assad gassed his people', but no regime change', which is why when i'd introduced the suppressed opcw report on douma, i'd said that i hope tulsi has acknowledged this report. so even before this, well, i can't say, but this is beautiful and illustrative history:

'Syria's White Helmets Court Bernie Sanders And Other New Friends
Progressive lawmakers want to show that it's possible to be anti-intervention without buying conspiracy theories and ignoring the war's brutality’
, By Akbar Shahid Ahmed, HuffPost US

“As we try to come up with a plan to end the devastating war in Syria, it’s very important to hear from those who are experiencing it firsthand,” Sanders told HuffPost. “The death and destruction taking place in Syria, and the brutality of the Assad regime is almost beyond belief. I was honored to meet with these incredibly brave volunteers, ordinary men and women, who risk their lives to help their fellow citizens.”
Khanna praised the group of first responders, too, noting that it serves civilians targeted by both sides of the six-year conflict.
But Khanna’s interactions with the group also highlighted the way conspiracy theories, misrepresentations and general wariness of the war have made serious talk about it in the U.S. increasingly difficult.

The congressman faced a social media backlash after tweeting and posting on Facebook about his meeting, with commenters accusing him of cheering American intervention and of supporting a group that Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia and others falsely portray as a terrorist front.

Khanna deleted the tweet and changed his language on Facebook. After HuffPost reported on the kerfuffle, he said he regretted that decision and slammed conspiracy theory talk about the White Helmets."

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1 user has voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

best to you and mr. blue, too. ack, we're doin' well enuff for who it's for, as they say around here. freaking snowing again this a.m., 32 degrees brrrrr here in SW colorado. you might get a laugh out of this though. my 2-ft long old crone hair is purdy wimpy by now, so every now and again i go to the extreme hassle of pasting some henna root powder guck on it to coat it, make the strands more durable. finally took the time yesterday, and used some new light brown stuff (my hair's dirty blonde). washed it out later, and oh my: i'm a carrot top, look like a freakin' clown. and i hate clowns!

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

your weather. Biggrin Not sure 'why,' but, even though I (mostly) grew up on the Gulf Coast/Bay, absolutely can't tolerate extreme heat, which is what we're dealing with all week (high of 92!).

I recall that you have super long hair. Somehow, remember that it came up when you did the excellent real time wildfire reporting several years ago at FDL. My hair's considerably shorter now, only to my shoulders, and, always worn pulled up, or back. It's all I can do to deal with this length, so, my hat's off to you.

Can appreciate using natural henna power/paste. Had quite a few Henna treatments for several years (in my 20's)--for the auburn highlights. Good thing is, if what you used is like what I am familiar with, it washes out pretty quickly (unlike permanent hair coloring). In the meantime, from what I see around here, you'll probably fit in very well with many millennials--I've seen hair colors that I didn't know existed! Smile

Could be wrong, but think today may be a 'red letter' day. (Mueller's spiel) Frankly, hope that the DSD's (Deep State Dems) take the bait, and file for impeachment. If they do, I predict that it will implode on them big time. And, just maybe we can rid ourselves of corporatist Dems, and replace them with true radicals. (I know, "in my dreams.")

Gonna try to catch up on Twitter, while I give my bum finger a rest. (It doesn't hurt, but, with the bulky bandage, it takes me forever to churn out a comment, because of all the time spent correcting typos.)

Have a good day.

PleasantryBlue

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”
~~Roger Caras

“In every moment, a choice exists.

We can cling to the past, or embrace the inevitability of change, and allow a brighter future to unfold before us. Such an uncertain future may call for even more uncertain allies. Either way, a new day is coming, whether we like it or not. The question is-- will you control it, or, will it control you?”
~~Fictitious Character Klaus Mikaelson

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1 user has voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@wendy davis that going on quietly, for several years. The US has actually been militarily aiding the extremist forces seeking to oust Assad. We do it b/c we want Assad out. Ex SoS Kerry and VP Biden acknowledged this unusual situation in private talks several years back, later reported on.

Tulsi presumably is aware of that by now, perhaps not fully aware in 2017. Reports have come out only fairly recently, iirc.

In any case, she is on record supporting the proposed joint US-Russia effort to destroy these extremist elements. Actually it was Putin who first proposed it, back in 2015 at the UN. A sincere, bold offer met with silence from the Obama admin.

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2 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis She is a firmly anti-regime change war candidate. But she is not anti war period. As far as I have been able to discern, the US has only been involved in regime change wars since WW II. Still, of the whole bunch, she is far more a peacenik than the rest.

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6 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Alligator Ed's picture

@gulfgal98 No one outside of Tulsi in the national political arena has had the courage to denounce regime change wars forcefully. True, she does need to sharpen up her anti-war rhetoric to make a finer distinction between regime change and true anti-terror wars. Of course, the majority of terror wars have been instigated by the U.S. Without doubt, should the MIC stop pursuing war, this whole process would be reversed. Wishing for the MIC to stop pursuing war is about as hopeful as waiting for the unicorns to come to my backdoor.

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4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed

the US military is the largest terrorist organization on the planet, and there would BE no 'radiacal islamists' were in not for nato/US/africom/ISAF wars and occupations of foreign lands, starting with afghanistan and iraq, then traveling to libya, back to syria, and tra la la. ending all occupations might be the only answer, closing all of the 1000+ US bases. but sure, that ain't gonna be said aloud by any but the radical left. ; )

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3 users have voted.

I'm in the Big Al camp to a degree. Doesn't matter who is in office. We are given rules by which "we" play the game. As long as we stay in our boxes, we can influence just those things the game allows. We can play and find ways to gum up the works - not because we can win but because we can throw a wrench into the works from time to time, or better yet from the pov of the game's creators, we can refuse to play and save them a lot of time and money. I chose to play and gum up the works.

Our biggest problem is us. We, the big US of A "we", complain about fake news and watch it anyway. We complain about the bull shit in dkos, politico, NYT and give them clicks anyhow. We rail against Congress, and we continue to vote for the same two parties or not at all. Instead of the French being a beacon of hope that it is only Americans that are so dumb, the French prove that they are every bit as dumb as we are so maybe "we" is humans. Despite the misery the French see in the US, despite the sacrifice of the yellow vests, they demand their very own Trump.

When we take off the rose colored glasses and step off the 7th run to heaven or some other such bull shit, it is plain to see that the cruelest fact of all, for most of us if not all, is that life is a bitch and then you die. Sorry to sound so fatalist, but my glasses broke.

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2 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon