Friday, October 21, 2016


Re Russia's hacking and election meddling: "The United States has released none of its evidence, so it is unclear if the conclusion was based on an educated guess about Kremlin operations, an “implant” in Russian networks, or a human spy or communications intercept." So, no evidence presented yet it is now a virtual "fact" in all news commentary and a major theme of the Clinton campaign. They now say she has a 93% chance of winning the election so does the Left still have to act like shills for her? She is going to be a reckless pro military confrontation president and now, not after the election, is the time to beef up the peace movement and denounce all this Bushite style propaganda: we have seen this all before with Tonkin Bay, pending "Communist" take over in Dominican Republic, WMD in Iraq, pending civilian massacres in Libya, and how many other lies and excuses to attack other countries to spread American power. We can see it coming. Are we just going to ignore it and hope it goes away? We have to begin denouncing Russophobia now, just as we do Islamophobia, not wait while the Pentagon and the war party consolidates its control over Clinton and the new administration even before it takes office. If the Left doesn't denounce war mongering and aggression, not just in words and abstract theory and slogans, but in the streets who will?

The Hawk on Russia Policy? Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton made it abundantly clear Wednesday night that if she defeats Donald J. Trump next month she will enter the White House with the most contentious relationship with Russia of any president in more than three decades, and with a visceral, personal animus toward Vladimir V. Putin, its leader.“We haven’t seen a you-can’t-trust-these-guys tone like this since the days of Ronald Reagan,” said Stephen Sestanovich, who served in President Bill Clinton’s State Department and is the author of “Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama.” “But even that was more a systemic criticism of the Soviet Union. This is focused on Putin himself.”
In a reversal of political roles, Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, is the one portraying Mr. Putin as America’s newest archenemy, whose underlings hack into her Brooklyn campaign headquarters, bomb Syrian civilians and threaten Ukraine and NATO allies in Europe. For a woman who presented a big red “reset” button to her Russian counterpart in March 2009 (with the word incorrectly translated into Russian), the change in tone was more striking than ever in her debate with Donald J. Trump.
She, and the Obama White House, insist they were on the right course until Mr. Putin decided he had more to gain from reviving Cold War tensions than from a quarter-century effort to integrate with the West. Now, much of the Democratic foreign policy establishment has become as hawkish as Mrs. Clinton on the subject of Russia, a view that seems almost certain to outlast the campaign.
Privately, some of her longtime advisers are already thinking about what mix of sanctions, diplomatic isolation and international condemnation they might put together if they take office to deal with Mr. Putin and the fragile economic state he runs, an update of the “containment” strategy that George F. Kennan formulated for President Harry S. Truman in 1947.
Equally surprising is the Republican reversal of tone. Only four years ago, it was the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who was warning of the dangers of a revanchist Russia and President Obama who said “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” noting that “the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Most of the Republican Party remains firmly distrustful of Russia. But not Mr. Trump, its standard-bearer.“If the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad,” he said Wednesday, uttering not a word about Mr. Putin’s land grabs. Instead, he urged viewers to “take a look at the ‘Start Up’ they signed,” apparently confusing the lingo of Silicon Valley with New START, the 2010 arms control treaty. The problem, he said, is that Russia is outbuilding the United States’ nuclear arsenal — it is not, at least so far, because of the treaty’s limits. The debate then devolved into an argument over which candidate was Putin’s puppet.

Time after time, Mr. Trump has insisted, as he did during Wednesday’s debate, that the United States has “no idea” who was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s aides. “Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way,” he argued, from Syria to the development of new missiles. For days, hacked emails from the Gmail account of John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, have embarrassed her campaign, and on Thursday, emails from an account Mr. Obama had during his 2008 transition surfaced for the first time. No one knows if the hacking campaign is winding down or whether the revelations so far are simply a prelude to something bigger between now and Election Day.

Mr. Obama is considering retaliation that, according to several senior officials, could include attacks inside Russia that could expose corruption among the leadership and embarrass Mr. Putin. It is not clear whether Mr. Obama will choose that route, even after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a threat last weekend that Mr. Putin could get some of his own medicine.
But it is clear that if Mrs. Clinton wins, she will enter the White House with a very personal grudge against Mr. Putin. He, in turn, has long harbored a grudge against her for her statements in 2011 calling into question the validity of a Russian parliamentary election.

It is possible, Mr. Sestanovich warned, that Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration are seeing Mr. Putin’s direct hand in too many events. He questioned how the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., would know for certain that the Kremlin leadership was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of Mr. Podesta and Colin L. Powell, one of Mrs. Clinton’s predecessors as secretary of state. The United States has released none of its evidence, so it is unclear if the conclusion was based on an educated guess about Kremlin operations, an “implant” in Russian networks, or a human spy or communications intercept.

But it is clear, Mr. Sestanovich said, that Mr. Putin is using this moment of leadership transition to press for any advantage, with methods such as using information warfare techniques on American soil, intimidating Ukraine, and running major military exercises on the border with Norway.

Not surprisingly, some Democrats on the left find all this a bit unnerving. “That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign,” Stephen F. Cohen, a professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton, told CNN in an interview over the summer. “And they really need to stop.”
In fact, many in the Democratic Party have spent decades invested in bringing Moscow into the Western fold, dating to the days when President Bill Clinton first met with Boris Yeltsin, then the Russian president, and began the process of expanding the Group of 7 industrialized countries to the Group of 8. They also began the long process of bringing Russia into the World Trade Organization, an effort to wrap the country in Western-created rules. The nuclear arsenals on both sides shrank by more than 80 percent, to 1,550 deployed warheads on each side under New START, which Mr. Obama negotiated in his first year in office.
The treaty remains in effect. But there are arguments over new weapons, and a major program to dispose of military stockpiles of plutonium was halted this month by Mr. Putin, citing the deterioration of relations with the United States.
And it is Mr. Trump who says he can reverse all that, with good negotiations, if he is president.

“I think I could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration,” he said in an interview with Michael Savage, the talk show host, this week. “I think it would be wonderful.”

Monday, October 17, 2016

HRC, Covert Action, and Democracy: Comments on NYT Article

This article clearly shows that the ruling class really hates it when its secret plans become public and the American people learn about what they are doing. Since it is impossible to have a real democracy without a fully informed and educated people HRC's attitude towards reporters and her penchant for secrecy shows that she is at heart an autocrat who prefers to keep us in the dark about her plans and what she would really be up to once elected. In her "secret" talks she admits that a no-fly zone would wreak carnage among civilians because we would have to bomb civilians in the process of taking out anti-aircraft positions yet she thinks it might be worth it (publicly she is horrified over Russia bombing civilians in order to take out jihadist occupation forces in Aleppo). Think of the "it's worth it" comment of her husband's secretary of state Albright when told our actions in Iraq killed 500,000 children. The Left should have no illusions about HRC, the fake democracy of political illiterates bred in this country, or the vileness of US imperialism and its militarized foreign policy. The election is rigged! It's rigged so that whoever wins it will be a servant of the monopoly capitalist ruling class and that the workers and the 90% will get scraps to try and keep them quite. With all that said, we are still stuck with HRC because, although it's hard to believe, with all her faults there is actually a worse alternative looming in the darkness -- the orange monstrosity whose name need not be mentioned -- HRC's campaign has the unintended consequence of raising people's democratic expectations and involving millions of young people with still unspoiled idealism who will be the future activists fighting for the progressive and eventually socialist agenda which alone can make this the country that truly embraces the Novus ordo seclorum dreamed of by the most enlightened of our founding fathers and mothers.
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Who Will Win? Latest Polls Senate Forecast Get the Podcast Primary Results
Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows
By DAVID E. SANGER OCT. 16, 2016
Hillary Clinton longs for the days when Americans knew how to execute a covert
action abroad and not spill the details to reporters.
Addressing a Goldman Sachs event in 2013, in one of the speeches that WikiLeaks published on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton gave a tough-minded, realpolitik answer to the question of how to handle a problem like Syria. If the best chance of success was to act secretly inside that country, she made clear, she had no problem doing that.
She went on to say — as her audience already knew because of revelations in the news media — that as secretary of state she had advocated secretly arming the Syrian opposition and moving forcefully to counter the Russians, who at that point were supporting President Bashar al-Assad but had not yet fully entered the conflict.
“My view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene,” she said in answer to a question from Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which paid Mrs. Clinton about $225,000 a speech to give what felt like an insider’s view of the making of American foreign policy,
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Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows - The New York Times 10/17/16, 4:27 PM
months after she left office.
But she quickly acknowledged that “we used to be much better at this than we are now.”
“Now, you know, everybody can’t help themselves,” she added, and officials go out to “tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: ‘Look what we’re doing, and I want credit for it.’”
The three hacked speeches from 2013 that WikiLeaks published, most likely with Russian government assistance, help explain how Mrs. Clinton approaches some of the world’s knottiest problems. They are a reminder of the cold-eyed way she often assesses her most vexing opponents when the television cameras are not on.
By the time she left office that year, she had met and assessed two of the three world leaders who were determined most prominently to challenge the United States: President Xi Jinping of China, whom she clearly admires; President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whom she clearly detests (and who has returned the sentiment this election); and Kim Jong-un of North Korea, whose determination to build a nuclear weapon and missiles that could “reach Hawaii and the West Coast, theoretically” poses a risk “we cannot abide,” she said.
At moments in the speeches, Mrs. Clinton was cleareyed about how difficult it would be to execute some of the actions she advocated, including a no-fly zone over parts of Syria.
“To have a no-fly zone, you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas,” she said. “So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
Her assessment of the risk came before she was formally running for president. But two years later, in a television interview in October 2015, she Page 2 of 4
Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows - The New York Times 10/17/16, 4:27 PM
sounded willing to take that risk. “I personally would be advocating now for a no- fly zone and humanitarian corridors to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees,” she said.
Her successor as secretary of state, John Kerry, tried last month to open those humanitarian corridors, but the effort collapsed in a dispute with Russia. A push to get it restarted during a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Saturday between Mr. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, also failed.
In the talks at Goldman Sachs, Mrs. Clinton was often more analytic than prescriptive, describing her perceptions of individual leaders and the domestic politics and foreign threats they face. In that regard, her approach is quite different from that of Donald J. Trump.
In two interviews on foreign policy with The New York Times, one in March and another in July, Mr. Trump moved directly to his plans of action: bombing the Islamic State and taking oil, for example, or withdrawing troops from Europe and Asia if allies do not pay their share. While Mr. Trump often talks in terms of striking deals, Mrs. Clinton talks in the more traditional terms of alliance-building.
When she became secretary in 2009, she posed a question about China to an Australian leader: “How do you deal toughly with your banker?” In the Goldman transcript, she suggested that she had answered her own question when sparring with the Chinese over its claims in the South China Sea.
“I made the point at one point in the argument that, you know, you can call it whatever you want to call it,” she said. “You don’t have a claim to all of it. I said, by that argument, you know, the United States should claim all of the Pacific. We liberated it, we defended it. We have as much claim to all of the Pacific. And we could call it the American Sea, and it could go from the West Coast of California all the way to the Philippines.”
“And, you know, my counterpart sat up very straight and goes, ‘Well, you can’t do that.’” Page 3 of 4
Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows - The New York Times 10/17/16, 4:27 PM
Mrs. Clinton segued into an evaluation of Mr. Xi, the Chinese leader, who she noted had consolidated power in a way his predecessor never did, but had quickly traveled to places like Russia and Africa to assuage “doubts about Chinese practices.”
“So he’s someone who you at least have the impression is a more worldly, somewhat more experienced politician,” she said.
Mr. Xi has since become more aggressive in the South China Sea, and it is unclear how forcefully Mrs. Clinton, if she became president, would confront him over his claims. She acknowledged at one point that the administration had gotten distracted from its “pivot” to Asia.
In North Korea, the situation has worsened much more drastically. She summarized the Chinese message to the North Koreans this way: “We don’t care if you occasionally shoot off a missile. That’s good. That upsets the Americans and causes them heartburn, but you can’t keep going down a path that is unpredictable.”
That, of course, is exactly the path they have gone down.
Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the First Draft newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2016, on page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Hacked Transcript Shows.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Ridiculous New York Times Article Contra Putin!

The NYT is getting more and more ridiculous and jingoistic -- here is the reason Putin is a problem: "Mr. Putin has reveled in his new role as the great disrupter of American plans around the globe." The President of Russia's main role isn't looking out for Russia but disrupting "American plans around the globe." We do have plans for the globe: it's our globe after all: we feel towards it the same way the Romans felt about Mare Nostrum ('our sea' i.e., the Mediterranian). This whole "news" article is based on MIND READING -- what Putin "relishes," what he is "content with," what "his goals are," what "encourages him," etc. So far we have only objective behavior to really go by, not all this mind reading and what we see is how he reacts to American global plans: We want to overthrow the Syrian government and he says "Nyet." We supported the overthrow of the elected goverment of Ukraine and want that country run by an anti-Russian faction we support; he says 'Nyet!" We want to militarize eastern Europe and build up NATO's offensive abilities ; he says "Nyet!" We want to relace Russian influence and economic relations in the former parts of the old USSR and get them to join our anti-Russian coalition; he says "Nyet!" We want to isolate the Palestinians and get the UN to be totally pro-Israel; he says "Nyet!" We want the UN to support our continuing economic blockade of Cuba; he says "Nyet!" We want Russia to keep its nose out of our business and global plans and take a backseat to our leadership; he says "Nyet!" It is pretty obvious that Putin is a dangerous and ruthless dictator and threat to the FREE WORLD (AKA the U.S. and its satellites and puppets).