♪”Just Breathe” – Live At Austin City Limits – Pearl Jam

One of my favs.  Enjoy! 🙂

Yes I understand
That every life must end
As we sit alone
I know someday we must go
Yeah I’m a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah others they got none
Stay with me
Let’s just breathe♪
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Trump’s Demagoguery Goes Off the Rails

By Finian Cunningham

February 20, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –    It may seem oxymoronic, but President Trump is living proof that lunatics can think big. Not content with “only” threatening regime change in Venezuela, the American leader is expanding his mission to rid the Western hemisphere of socialism, with Cuba and Nicaragua next in line for US “salvation”.

In a particularly unhinged speech last weekend in Miami, Florida, Trump declared Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura a “Cuban puppet” and “failed dictator”. Trump denounced socialism with a verve that has not been heard from a US president since the depth of the Cold War more than 30 years ago.

“In Venezuela, and across the Western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn,” said Trump inferring the “Troika of Tyranny” that his national security advisor John Bolton – another lunatic – previously coined to describe Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

The Miami Herald reported Trump’s speech as a “harbinger” for regime change in the three Latin American countries.

Trump’s claim of “democracy being reborn” is a bit hard to take at a time when this president is declaring state-of-emergency powers at home to push through his faltering border wall “vanity project”. Dozens of US states are suing Trump for “presidential over-reach of executive powers”. Constitutional scholars are warning of an incipient shift to fascism under Trump.

For Trump to then proclaim he is spearheading freedom and liberty for the entire Western hemisphere is a foreboding sign that his megalomania is spectacularly out of control.

The prospects of the US military fighting a war in Venezuela, let alone Cuba and Nicaragua as well, are in the realms of impossible fantasy. But with this Commander-in-Chief the fantasy is being entertained.

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Trump in his Miami speech delivered a mafia-like ultimatum to the Venezuelan military. Either it supports the US-anointed minor opposition figure Juan Guaido who declared himself “acting president” of Venezuela almost a month ago, or the armed forces face obliteration, said Trump.

With the tone of an organized crime boss, Trump warned that Venezuela’s defense forces were “risking their lives” by supporting the “failed dictatorship” of “former” President Maduro. “If you choose this path, you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything,” added Trump.

In response, President Maduro slammed Trump for his “Nazi-like speech” and for daring to threaten his country’s military with annihilation if it does not submit.

The criminality of the occupant in the American White House is astounding. The brazen threat of aggression against another nation – as well as implicitly against Cuba and Nicaragua – is on par with the fascism of the 1930s leading up to World War II.

The flying in of US military cargo planes to Colombia and Brazil purportedly laden with food aid for Venezuela is a flagrant cover for mounting an armed incursion. In close coordination with the CIA-groomed opposition figure Juan Guaido, the US is contriving a deadline of this weekend for the aid supplies to be allowed entrance into Venezuela.

President Maduro is refusing to permit the US material into his country. Venezuela’s armed forces are resolutely in support of the government in Caracas and therefore can be counted on to block any attempt to force the US aid across the borders from Colombia and Brazil. The impasse may, however, provide pretext for US military intervention.

The impending crisis whipped up by Trump with Venezuela seems insane. The South American country may be in economic turmoil, but it is hardly a humanitarian catastrophe meriting such drama. Besides the turmoil has largely been instigated by Washington slapping sanctions and asset freezes on Venezuela’s lifeline oil economy. If the US were to lift its illegal sanctions on the country then much of the chaos would subside.

For the Trump administration to declare a minor opposition figure as the “recognized president” of Venezuela is an audacious violation of international law and norms. Shamefully, several European states have sought to legitimize Washington’s subversion in Venezuela.

Of course, subverting the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro has the all-important prize of allowing US capital to get its hands on Venezuela’s colossal oil wealth.

Another motive is to eradicate any “threat of good example” in Uncle Sam’s presumed backyard. If Venezuela can be subjugated, then the Trump administration has Nicaragua and Cuba next in its cross-hairs for regime change. There is also the benefit of suppressing any political opposition domestically within the US, with a campaign against socialism in the Western hemisphere used to smear emerging socialists at home.

Still another motive for Trump is to desperately find a patriotic purpose with which to mobilize his support base. Despite his blustering campaign promises, Trump has delivered very little to his voters over the past two years. With his 2020 re-election bid in sight, Trump’s faltering border wall project is perhaps the most embarrassing failure. Not able to deliver on his “vanity project”, Trump is casting around for an alternative cause célèbre.

“Fighting socialism” in Venezuela and elsewhere in the Western hemisphere is Trump’s next star-turn. But how absurd can it get? Trump is presenting himself as more messianic than Cold War hawks in Washington during past decades when they could at least plausibly invoke Soviet expansionism as a propaganda threat.

Trump’s lunatic demagoguery is going big – off the rails.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by SCF” –

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Here’s at least one country that hasn’t completely lost its mind

In 1965, the tiny, fledgling country of Singapore seemed like it was on the verge disaster.

It had only just split off from Malaysia due to severe racial tensions between them, and just two years had passed since independence from the United Kingdom.

Singapore started its nationhood with no natural resources, no army, and almost no infrastructure.

Unemployment was high. Invasion from Indonesia was a constant threat. GDP per capita was just $410, less than 1/10th the US per capita GDP at the time. (Per capita GDP is a common way to measure a country’s wealth.)

Yet within four decades, Singapore would surpass the United States in per capita GDP. And today, it’s the 3rd richest country in the world.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Singapore also ranks second in the world for ease of doing business, and often ranks #1 in competitiveness, safety and [lack of] corruption.

Singapore is an international success story in going from third world to first world in just one generation… it normally takes hundreds of years for a country to achieve this kind of success (if it comes at all).

How it got there is not only an example, but a warning.

Singapore understood its position in the world and exploited it.

It’s a tiny island in the middle of the Malacca Strait (where 40% of the world’s maritime trade flows).

So Singapore developed first-class maritime infrastructure and incentivized companies to move there with tax-breaks (sound familiar, Amazon?).

Today, the port of Singapore is the second busiest in the world by shipping tonnage.

Contrast that with what’s happening in America…

Recently, New York socialists took to the streets to prevent Amazon from building a headquarters in the city, which would have created 25,000 jobs and brought tens of billions of dollars to the economy.

The opposers couldn’t stand to see a profitable corporation get a tax break… even if it was a net benefit for the city (remember, big company=bad, no matter what).

But the problem is bigger than just demonizing companies.

In effort to promote local business, America is threatening a trade war with its main trading partner, China.

Singapore knew the key to success was opening up to foreign trade and investment. It invited companies from all over the world to relocate and invest there.

Singapore also kept its government small, efficient and honest.

That means limited bureaucracy in affairs that can be handled privately.

Again, the US is moving in the opposite direction…

Federal government spending as a percentage of GDP has soared over the last 40 years (from 31% to 38%).

And the proposed New Green Deal proposes to boost public spending by another 50% of GDP. Then there are the rising calls for free healthcare, free education, guaranteed jobs, etc.

It’s incredible. History is full of examples of countries who close themselves off from opportunity, wage wars, and spend far more than they earn. They go broke.

There are also examples like Singapore—countries who conservatively save, invest wisely, trade, and grow.

It’s all part of what I call the Universal Law of Prosperity: produce more than you consume. Simple.

Yet most western government are willfully ignoring this basic principle and spending themselves into insolvency.

The bad news is that you and I have no control over what any government does. Nor can we stop this giant trend of anti-growth, anti-business, anti-prosperity Socialism from taking hold.

But we can use common sense and adhere to the Universal Law of Prosperity ourselves.

Becoming wealthy and prosperous doesn’t mean you have to start the next multi-billion dollar tech company.

It means making smart, conservative decisions. Saving, investing wisely, developing skills, and being open to new, global opportunities– just like Singapore.

I would also add “avoiding huge mistakes” to that list, especially when it comes to money.

One giant mistake can wipe out a lifetime of savings. So it’s important to always think about risk when making financial decisions: What could go wrong? How much of a loss will I suffer if that happens? Am I willing to suffer that loss?

This is one of the reasons why I tend to focus on buying deeply undervalued assets: I hate taking risks.

I think it goes back to my childhood… I grew up in a lower middle class household where my parents each worked multiple jobs. Money was scarce.

And no matter how successful I become today, I’ve always maintained a deep sense of value.

That carries over to my investment decisions.

When given the choice, I’m always going to want to buy $1 worth of high quality assets for 50 cents.

And if you look hard enough, they’re out there.

I’m headed to Venezuela soon to scout out some assets selling at firesale prices.

But you don’t have to be that extreme.

It’s possible to find well-managed, profitable companies on various stock markets around the world whose shares are selling for less than the amount of cash the company has in its bank account.

That’s pretty much the definition of a high quality, deeply undervalued asset.

Granted, those deals are tough to find, so I at least want to recommend checking out our Chief Investment Strategist’s research to give you more concrete ideas.

His name is Tim Staermose, and he’s a specialist in high quality, ultra-deep value investments– profitable businesses whose share prices are often FAR below what the company’s assets are worth.

I know he’s preparing a report right now on a fantastic investment he’s recently discovered which ticks all the boxes.

We’ll share some more details this week when he wraps up.

In the meantime, you can read more on Tim’s style of investing in this free resource.

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

By Caitlin Johnstone

February 18, 2019 “Information Clearing House” -In an extremely weird article titled “Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials“, CNN reports that Facebook has suspended popular dissident media outlet In The Now and its allied pages for failing to publicly “disclose” its financial ties to a subsidiary of RT. According to CNN, such disclosures are not and have never been an actual part of Facebook’s official policy, but Facebook has made the exceptional precondition of public disclosure of financial ties in order for In The Now to return to its platform.

I say the article is extremely weird for a number of reasons. Firstly, according to In The Now CEO Anissa Naouai, CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform. Secondly, the article reports that CNN found out about Maffick’s financial ties thanks to a tip-off from the German Marshall Fund, a narrative control firm which receives funding from the US government. In The Now‘s Rania Khalek has described this tactic as “a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world.”

Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is.

Unprecedented. @CNN knew @IntheNow_tweet and other Maffick pages would be blocked on @Facebook before we did https://t.co/El21SM1WJ8

— Anissa Naouai (@AnissaNow) February 16, 2019

 

The article repeatedly mentions the fact that all the people working for In The Now “claim” to be editorially independent as opposed to being told what to report by Kremlin officials, a notion which Khalek says was met with extreme skepticism when she was interviewed for the piece by CNN. As though the possibility of an American opposing US warmongering and the political establishment which drives it without being ordered to by a rubles-dispensing FSB officer was a completely alien idea to them.

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Check out the following excerpt, for example of this bizarre attitude:

“Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, told CNN that while Russian state-backed outlets claim to be editorially independent, ‘they routinely boost Kremlin narratives, especially those which portray the West negatively.’

 

“Nimmo said the tone of Maffick’s pages is ‘broadly anti-US and anti-corporate. That’s strikingly similar to RT’s output. Maffick may technically be independent, but their tone certainly matches the broader Kremlin family.’”

This is a truly obnoxious mind virus we’re seeing the imperial narrative controllers pushing more and more aggressively into mainstream consciousness today: that anyone who opposes the beltway consensus on western interventionism is not simply an individual with a conscience who is thinking critically for themselves, but is actually “boosting the Kremlin narrative”. If you say it in an assertive and authoritative tone like Mr Nimmo does, it can sound like a perfectly reasonable position if you don’t think about it too hard. If you really look at it directly, though, what these manipulators are actually saying is “Russia opposes western interventionism, therefore anyone who opposes western interventionism is basically Russian.”

Which is of course a total non-argument. You don’t get to just say “Russia bad” for two years to get everyone riled up into a state of xenophobic hysteria and then say “That’s Russian!” at anything you don’t like. That’s not a thing. More to the point, though, there is no causal relationship between the fact that Russia opposes western interventionism and the fact that many westerners do.

As we discussed recently, there will necessarily be inadvertent agreement between Russia and westerners who oppose western interventionism, because Russia, like so many other sovereign nations, opposes western interventionism. If you discover that an American who opposes US warmongering and establishment politics is saying the same things as RT, that doesn’t mean you’ve discovered a shocking conspiracy between western dissidents and the Russian government, it means people who oppose the same things oppose the same things.

Something appears fishy with conservative columnist running smears on behalf of a “Russian troll hunter” about an open pro-Bernie subreddit before the man even announces he’s running.

Someone REALLY wants Trump to get a second term! (Thread) https://t.co/MFo6N7zuWe

— HootHootBerns #RunBernieRun🌹🐦 (@HootHootBerns) February 15, 2019

 

We’re seeing this absurd gibberish spouted over and over again by the mainstream media now. The other day the delightful pro-Sanders subreddit WayOfTheBern was smeared as a Russian operation by the Washington Times, not because the Washington Times had any evidence anywhere supporting that claim, but because the subreddit’s members are hostile to Democratic presidential hopefuls other than Sanders, and because its posts “consistently support positions that would be amenable to the Kremlin.” All this means is that the subreddit is full of people who support Bernie Sanders and oppose US government malfeasance, yet an entire article was published in a mainstream outlet treating this as something dangerous and suspicious.

If you really listen to what the CNNs and Ben Nimmos and Washington Timeses are actually trying to tell you, what they’re saying is that it’s not okay for anyone to oppose any part of the unipolar world order or the establishment which runs it. Never ever, under any circumstances. Don’t work for a media outlet that’s funded by the Russian government even though no mainstream outlets will ever platform you. Don’t even subscribe to an anti-establishment subreddit. Those things are all Russian. Listen to Big Brother instead. Big Brother will protect you from their filthy Russian lies.

“If CNN would like to hire me to present facts against destructive US wars and corporate ownership of our political system, I’ll gladly accept,” Khalek told me when asked for comment. “But the corporate media doesn’t allow antiwar voices a platform. In The Now does. I’ve worked for dozens of different outlets, from Vice to Al Jazeera to RT, and my message has always been the same: leftist, antiwar and pro justice and equality. People should be asking why US mainstream media outlets that claim to be free and independent refuse to air critical and adversarial voices like mine.”

Why indeed? Actually, if CNN is so worried about Russian media influence in America, all they’d have to do is put on a few shows featuring leftist, antiwar and pro-justice voices and that would be the end of it. They could easily out-spend RT by a massive margin, buy up all the talent like Khalek, Lee Camp and Chris Hedges, put on a sleek, high-budget show and steal RT America’s audience, killing it dead and drawing all anti-establishment energy to their material.

But they don’t. They don’t, and they never will. Because Russian media influence is not their actual target. Their actual target is leftist, antiwar and anti-establishment voices. That’s what they’re really trying to eliminate.

I did an interview with RT’s Going Underground yesterday on UK foreign policy since 1945, to broadcast Monday. Why? I’ve waited since 1989 when I was at Chatham House to be interviewed by BBC; the call has never come. So I gave my first interview to RT. (PS. I don’t love Putin).

— Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) December 7, 2018

 

So yes, Moscow will of course elevate some western voices who oppose the power establishment that is trying to undermine and subvert Russia. Those voices will not require any instruction to speak out against that establishment, since that’s what they’d be doing anyway and they’re just grateful to finally have a platform upon which to speak. And it is good that they’re getting a platform to speak. If western power structures have a problem with it, they should stop universally refusing to platform anyone who opposes the status quo that is destroying nations abroad and squeezing the life out of citizens at home.

It doesn’t take any amount of sympathy for Russia to see that the unipolar empire is toxic for humanity, and most westerners who oppose that toxicity have no particular feelings about Russia any more than they have about Turkey or the Philippines. Sometimes Russia will come in and give them a platform in the void that has been left by the mainstream outlets which are doing everything they can to silence them. So what? The alternative is all dissident voices being silenced. The fact that Russia prevents a few of them from being silenced is not the problem. The problem is that they are being silenced at all.

Caitlin’s articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out herpodcast, throwing some money into her hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying her book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppershttps://caitlinjohnstone.com

Do you agree or disagree? Post your comment here

==See Also==

How CNN Led Facebook To Censor Pages Of Russia-Backed Video Company

Russia’s RT attacks Facebook for suspending 4 viral news channels that broadcast Kremlin talking points to millennials

In case you missed it: Glenn Greenwald: Facebook Says it is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Here’s why the wealthiest city in America is screwed

Last month, Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin spent $238 million on a condo in New York City.

It was the most expensive home ever sold in the US (but only one piece of Griffin’s massive, luxury real estate portfolio).

Good for Ken… he’s incredibly wealthy and can spend his money however he wants. But most of society hates this kind of behavior.

Even if a guy has earned $10 billion through hard work and ingenuity, they don’t believe he can spend it freely… and those feelings have only been growing recently with the widening wealth gap and the rising, leftist presidential contenders.

And New York City is gunning for Griffin…

He’ll no doubt pay millions of dollars a year in real estate taxes and employ a team of people just to manage that property… and his investment firm, Citadel, has an office in NYC employing hundreds of people.

But NYC wants more, specifically for Griffin to pay more tax to fund the city’s affordable housing program.

Griffin’s purchase was the perfect backdrop for the government to bring up the “pied-a-terre tax”… the proposed tax would be up to 4% per year for people who own properties above $5 million in NYC but don’t permanently reside there.

So Griffin would be out an extra $9 million a year (on top of the 1% mansion tax New Yorkers already pay on home purchases above $1 million – mind you, $1 million in New York gets you a few hundred square feet)… and normal real estate taxes.

It’s an all-out war on the rich in New York… because the city (and state) are broke.

The city is expecting a $1 billion shortfall this year.

Never mind that NYC is already one of the most expensive and highest-taxed cities in the country (and 50% of the city’s taxes are currently paid by 1% of the population)…

Mayor Bill “brothers and sisters” de Blasio wants the rich to pay even more.

Never mind they just initiated a $2.50 “congestion tax” on taxis, so it costs over $6 just to get in a taxi… and some politician running for local office wants to double the just-increased minimum wage to $30/hour… the answer from the government’s perspective is always MORE.

Only one problem with trying to squeeze every last drop out of the wealthy…

If things get bad enough, guys like Griffin will leave.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (who faces a $2.3 billion shortfall in his state budget) recently alluded to this in a press conference…

“There is a tipping point where people say, ‘I love New York, but to spend another $300,000 in taxes? I’ll move.’”

But the rich are already flocking in droves… since 2007, New York and California lost 2.2 million residents to lower-tax states. And the pace is accelerating (one economic group expects them to lose another 800,000 residents in the next three years).

Hey, at least NYC is still the financial capital of the US… and businesses will always flock there for its top talent and global appeal…

Not so fast… the hatred toward the rich has grown so extreme that New York is telling big business to go somewhere else.

You probably remember Amazon’s nationwide search for “HQ2”… the company started a national bidding process where cities could offer incentives in return for Amazon bringing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and everything else that goes along with building a massive headquarters.

Amazon settled on New York and Virginia. Now New York wants to change the deal…

NYC politicians, including our favorite, AOC, are telling Amazon to take a hike. They don’t want the retailer to come in to the city and push up real estate prices (Amazon also said it won’t support unions). Nevermind that the majority of New Yorkers are for it.

And Amazon is seriously considering leaving. That would cost the already-broke city an estimated $27.5 billion in tax revenues over the next 25 years.

But math doesn’t come into the equation. It’s silly, ideological grandstanding that is now commonplace with the rising socialists.

And it’s more harmful than just Amazon potentially leaving… it doesn’t send a good message for future companies considering New York as a place to do business.

So New York City needs money to plug its budget shortfall. But it’s actively chasing out the rich people that will happily pay their absurd taxes.

This is insanity.

Next door in New Jersey (which has lost two million residents between 2005-2014), the situation isn’t any better.

They’re so desperate, they want to tax RAINFALL.

If you own a building with a large, paved surface (like a driveway or parking lot), the state wants to tax you because your property is responsible for storm water runoff.

Logic doesn’t fit into the equation anymore. It’s simply desperate, broke governments clawing for pennies and angry idealists who want to eat the rich.

And this trend is only going to get worse. You can expect more socialist rhetoric, more proposals to creatively tax the evil rich and more outright damnation of success over the next two years (and potentially longer depending on who takes the presidency).

The smart people have already started voting with their feet, moving to lower-tax states.

I did the same when I moved to Puerto Rico. I don’t think there’s anywhere better for a productive person who wants to enjoy the fruits of their labor (with Act 20 and Act 22, you can legally reduce your corporate taxes to 4%, and your capital gains and dividend taxes to 0%).

All while living on the beach.

Remember, Puerto Rico had to hit rock bottom before implementing these incentives. I’d guess New York won’t be far behind… but I doubt they’ll make things friendlier for productive people.

Is Tulsi Gabbard for Real? America Is Ready for a Genuine Peace Candidate

By Philip Giraldi

February 16, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – The lineup of Democrats who have already declared themselves as candidates for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020 is remarkable, if only for the fact that so many wannabes have thrown their hats in the ring so early in the process. In terms of electability, however, one might well call the seekers after the highest office in the land the nine dwarfs. Four of the would-be candidates – Marianne Williamson a writer, Andrew Yang an entrepreneur, Julian Castro a former Obama official, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman John Delaney – have no national profiles at all and few among the Democratic Party rank-and-file would be able to detail who they are, where they come from and what their positions on key issues might be.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a national following but she also has considerable baggage. The recent revelation that she falsely described herself as “American Indian” back in 1986 for purposes of career advancement, which comes on top of similar reports of more of the same as well as other resume-enhancements that surfaced when she first became involved in national politics, prompted Donald Trump to refer to her as “Pocahontas.” Warren, who is largely progressive on social and domestic issues, has been confronted numerous times regarding her views on Israel/Palestine and beyond declaring that she favors a “two state solution” has been somewhat reticent. She should be described as pro-Israel for the usual reasons and is not reliably anti-war. She comes across as a rather more liberal version of Hillary Clinton.

And then there is New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, being touted as the “new Obama,” presumably because he is both black and progressive. His record as Mayor of Newark New Jersey, which launched his career on the national stage, has both high and low points and it has to be questioned if America is ready for another smooth-talking black politician whose actual record of accomplishments is on the thin side. One unfortunately recalls the devious Obama’s totally bogus Nobel Peace Prize and his Tuesday morning meetings with John Brennan to work on the list of Americans who were to be assassinated.

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Booker has carefully cultivated the Jewish community in his political career, to include a close relationship with the stomach-churning “America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach, but has recently become more independent of those ties, supporting the Obama deal with Iran and voting against anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in the Senate. On the negative side, the New York Times likes Booker, which means that he will turn most other Americans off. He is also 49 years old and unmarried, which apparently bothers some in the punditry.

California Senator Kamala Harris is a formidable entrant into the crowded field due to her resume, nominally progressive on most issues, but with a work history that has attracted critics concerned by her hard-line law-and-order enforcement policies when she was District Attorney General for San Francisco and Attorney General for California. She has also spoken at AIPAC, is anti-BDS, and is considered to be reliably pro-Israel, which would rule her out for some, though she might be appealing to middle of the road Democrats like the Clintons and Nancy Pelosi who have increasingly become war advocates. She will have a tough time convincing the antiwar crowd that she is worth supporting and there are reports that she will likely split the black women’s vote even though she is black herself, perhaps linked to her affair with California powerbroker Willie Brown when she was 29 and Brown was 61. Brown was married, though separated, to a black woman at the time. Harris is taking heat because she clearly used the relationship to advance her career while also acquiring several patronage sinecures on state commissions that netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most interesting candidate is undoubtedly Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a fourth term Congresswoman from Hawaii, where she was born and raised. She is also the real deal on national security, having been-there and done-it through service as an officer with the Hawaiian National Guard on a combat deployment in Iraq. Though in Congress full time, she still performs her Guard duty.

Tulsi’s own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged “focus on the issue of war and peace” to “end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.” She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War.

Not afraid of challenging establishment politics, she called for an end to the “illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government,” also observing that “the war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria – which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world.” She then backed up her words with action by secretly arranging for a personal trip to Damascus in 2017 to meet with President Bashar al-Assad, saying it was important to meet adversaries “if you are serious about pursuing peace.” She made her own assessment of the situation in Syria and now favors pulling US troops out of the country as well as ending American interventions for “regime change” in the region.

In 2015, Gabbard supported President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran and more recently has criticized President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal. Last May, she criticized Israel for shooting “unarmed protesters” in Gaza, but one presumes that, like nearly all American politicians, she also has to make sure that she does not have the Israel Lobby on her back. Gabbard has spoken at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which has defended Israel’s settlement enterprise; has backed legislation that slashes funding to the Palestinians; and has cultivated ties with Boteach as well as with major GOP donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. She also attended the controversial address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, which many progressive Democrats boycotted.

Nevertheless, Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders’ antiwar candidacy in 2016 and appears to be completely onboard and fearless in promoting her antiwar sentiments. Yes, Americans have heard much of the same before, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years.

What Tulsi Gabbard is accomplishing might be measured by the enemies that are already gathering and are out to get her. Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept describes how NBC news published a widely distributed story on February 1st, claiming that “experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.”

But the expert cited by NBC turned out to be a firm New Knowledge, which was exposed by no less than The New York Times for falsifying Russian troll accounts for the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to suggest that the Kremlin was interfering in that election. According to Greenwald, the group ultimately behind this attack on Gabbard is The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), which sponsors a tool called Hamilton 68, a news “intelligence net checker” that claims to track Russian efforts to disseminate disinformation. The ASD website advises that “Securing Democracy is a Global Necessity.”

ASD was set up in 2017 by the usual neocon crowd with funding from The Atlanticist and anti-Russian German Marshall Fund. It is loaded with a full complement of Zionists and interventionists/globalists, to include Michael Chertoff, Michael McFaul, Michael Morell, Kori Schake and Bill Kristol. It claims, innocently, to be a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group that seeks to identify and counter efforts by Russia to undermine democracies in the United States and Europe but it is actually itself a major source of disinformation.

For the moment, Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the “real thing,” a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform. It might just resonate with the majority of American who have grown tired of perpetual warfare to “spread democracy” and other related frauds perpetrated by the band of oligarchs and traitors that run the United States. We the people can always hope.

Philip Giraldi is Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. A former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. 

This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation ” –

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==See Also==

Tucker Carlson vs. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Meeting Assad

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Understanding Why Iranians Bash the U.S. Government

By Jacob G. Hornberger

February 16, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   Two days ago, the New York Times carried an article by Times’ journalist Thomas Erdbrink entitled, “For Iran, a Grand Occasion to Bash the U.S.,” which was about Iran’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of its revolution in 1979. The article included the following sentence, “And like some evil doppelgänger, the United States was omnipresent, despite having broken all ties with Iran in 1981.”

Unfortunately, Erdbrink failed to point out two things: One, it is understandable why the Iranian people bash the U.S. government, and, two, while the U.S. government may have broken diplomatic ties with Iran, it has nonetheless continued to use economic sanctions to target the Iranian people with impoverishment and death as a way of hopefully effecting another regime change within the country.

First things first though. When the Times refers to “bashing the U.S.,” it makes a common mistake by conflating the U.S. government and our nation. Actually, they are two separate and distinct entities, a phenomenon best reflected by the Bill of Rights, which expressly protects the citizenry (i.e., our country) from the U.S. government.

The distinction is important because the Iranian people love Americans. They just hate the U.S. government. And when one considers what the U.S. government has done to Iranians and continues to do to Iranians, which, unfortunately, many Americans don’t like to think about, it is not difficult to understand the deep enmity that Iranians have toward the U.S. government.

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In 1953, the CIA, which is one of three principal parts of the national-security branch of the federal government, secretly initiated a regime-change coup in Iran, one that not only ousted from power the democratically elected prime minister of the country, Mohammed Mossadegh, but also destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy. That’s ironic, of course, given that U.S. officials are always reminding people how enamored they are with “democracy.”

Why did the CIA initiate this regime-change operation? Because the U.S. national-security establishment was convinced that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world, a conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia. (Yes, that Russia!)

What did that supposed worldwide conspiracy have to do with Mossadegh? The CIA was convinced that Mossadegh was leaning left because he had nationalized British oil interests, which, needless to say, had not sat well with British oil companies. Therefore, the CIA concluded, Mossadegh could conceivably be a secret agent for this supposed worldwide communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia.

Upon ousting Mossadegh from power, the CIA made the Shah of Iran its supreme dictator in Iran. He turned out to be one of the most cruel and brutal tyrants in the world, with the full support of the CIA and the rest of the U.S. national-security establishment. In fact, the CIA helped organize and train the Shah’s tyrannical enforcement agency, the SAVAK, which was a combination Gestapo, KGB, Pentagon, NSA, and CIA.

For the next 25 years, the Shah and the CIA-trained and CIA-supported SAVAK ruled Iran with a brutal and oppressive iron fist. Indefinite detention, brutal torture, kangaroo trials, and executions were hallmarks of the Shah’s regime. Of course, from the standpoint of the U.S. government, the Shah was a kind and friendly ruler, one who was a loyal partner and ally of the U.S. government. From the standpoint of U.S. officials, the Shah and his SAVAK were just displaying the “law and order” mentality within the country that characterized all U.S.-supported foreign dictators.

In 1979, the Iranian people had had enough of the Shah’s, the SAVAK’s, and the CIA’s brutal tyranny and oppression. That’s when they decided to revolt, violently. If their revolution had failed, there would have been a horrific backlash involving mass arrests, incarceration, torture, kangaroo trials, and executions at the hands of the Shah and his CIA-trained and CIA-supported SAVAK.

But the revolution succeeded, much to the chagrin of U.S. officials, who have never forgiven the Iranian people for ousting the CIA’s man from power. Unfortunately, however, the Iranian people were unable to restore the democratic experiment that the CIA had destroyed some 26 years before. Iranians ended up with another brutal dictatorship, this one a religious theocracy.

Ever since the Iranian revolution, U.S. officials have never ceased their efforts to effect another regime change in Iran, one that would bring another pro-U.S. dictator into power, one who would be permitted to wield totalitarian power over the Iranian people in return for loyal support of the U.S. Empire in foreign affairs.

That’s what the U.S. sanctions against Iran are all about. The sanctions target the Iranian people with impoverishment, suffering, and even death in the hopes that they will initiate a violent revolution against their government or, alternatively, in the hope of bringing a collapse of the Iranian government, or, alternatively, in the hope of inciting a pro-U.S. coup within the regime, or, alternatively, in the hope of provoking a regime-change war between Iran and the United States.

The Iranian people are obviously the pawns in this process. Like with other U.S. regime-change operations (e.g., Iraq, Chile, Guatemala, Libya, Afghanistan, etc.), no amount of death, suffering, and impoverishment among the Iranian people is considered too high. When asked in 1996 whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children (yes, children!) from the U.S. sanctions were worth U.S. regime-change efforts in Iraq, the response of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright reflects the current mindset towards the massive suffering and death of the Iranian people from U.S. sanctions: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Is it any surprise why Iranians are bashing the U.S. government and President Trump as Iranians celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ouster of the cruel and brutal tyrant that the CIA installed and trained in their country?

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics.

This article was originally published by Future of Freedom Foundation” –

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==See Also==

 

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.