2016-11-10 05:23:34 UTC
1) The neocons are sneaking into the Trump administration as far
as foreign policy or "national security" is concerned;
2) Putin may be prematurely celebrating Trump's election.
The source of the problem is James Woolsey who advocates the
"use of US airpower to tilt the balance of power in Syria against
Bashar al-Assad, using the example of the policy pursued against
Serbia in the 1990s",
"in complete contradiction to recent remarks made by Trump, who said
it was a `big mistake' to bomb the Serbs."
I don't think Woolsey, as an original PNAC signatory, should have a
direct role in advising Trump on national security matters. Getting
into a confrontation with Putin will not be in the interest of our
It seems that Dennis Kucinich is right about the need to protest
against military escalation in Syria as soon as the election is over -
instead of waiting until inauguration.
But if Trump does have Woolsey as his national security advisor, then
New York Times shouldn't have worried.
1) Arch Neocon advising Trump on "national security" matters
2016-10-15 Ex-CIA director, now top Trump adviser, speaks to FRANCE 24
James Woolsey, who served as CIA director under Bill Clinton, is now a
senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He
spoke to FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman about how he thinks Trump should
deal with Russia and Syria if elected.
Donald Trump's senior adviser told FRANCE 24 that the Republican
presidential candidate is not cosying up to Russian President Vladimir
Putin but is trying to distance himself from the failed Obama
administration policy vis-a-vis Moscow. He denied allegations that
Russia is trying to disrupt the presidential race to favour Trump,
dismissing them as mere "campaign talk".
The former CIA chief urged the use of US airpower to tilt the balance
of power in Syria against Bashar al-Assad, using the example of the
policy pursued against Serbia in the 1990s - this in complete
contradiction to recent remarks made by Trump, who said it was a "big
mistake" to bomb the Serbs.
James Woolsey blasted Hillary Clinton for the controversial use of her
private email server and argued that Edward Snowden, the American
whistleblower now in Russia, shouldn't be pardoned by the Obama
administration and instead should be tried for treason and sentenced
Finally, he steadfastly refused to comment on the allegations of
sexual assault against candidate Trump.
2) Kucinich urges peace movement over Syria
Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War? Look at
War is first and foremost a profitable racket.
By Dennis Kucinich October 25, 2016
Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly
flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring
themselves "think tanks", and raising money from external interests,
including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance
policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people.
As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16
years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to
advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid
of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the
Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost
track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a
missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a
target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket.
How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city's so called
bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya,
and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora's box
to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall
for military contractors. DC's think "tanks" should rightly be
included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering
places for refugees from academia.
According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the
bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show
less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal"
hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama
administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through
The think tankers fell in line with the Iraq invasion. Not being in
the tank, I did my own analysis of the call for war in October of
2002, based on readily accessible information, and easily concluded
that there was no justification for war. I distributed it widely in
Congress and led 125 Democrats in voting against the Iraq war
resolution. There was no money to be made from a conclusion that war
was uncalled for, so, against millions protesting in the United States
and worldwide, our government launched into an abyss, with a lot of
armchair generals waving combat pennants. The marching band and
chowder society of DC think tanks learned nothing from the Iraq and
The only winners were arms dealers, oil companies, and jihadists.
Immediately after the fall of Libya, the black flag of Al Qaeda was
raised over a municipal building in Benghazi, Gadhafi's murder was
soon to follow, with Secretary Clinton quipping with a laugh, "We
came, we saw, he died". President Obama apparently learned from this
misadventure, but not the Washington policy establishment, which is
spoiling for more war.
The self-identified liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) is now
calling for Syria to be bombed, and estimates America's current
military adventures will be tidied up by 2025, a tardy twist on
"mission accomplished". CAP, according to a report in The Nation, has
received funding from war contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who
make the bombers that CAP wants to rain hellfire on Syria.
The Brookings Institute has taken tens of millions from foreign
governments, notably Qatar, a key player in the military campaign to
oust Assad. Retired four-star Marine general John Allen is now a
Brookings senior fellow. Charles Lister is a senior fellow at the
Middle East Institute, which has received funding from Saudi Arabia,
the major financial force providing billions in arms to upend Assad
and install a Sunni caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria.
Foreign-government money is driving our foreign policy.
As the drumbeat for an expanded war gets louder, Allen and Lister
jointly signed an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Post, calling for an
attack on Syria. The Brookings Institute, in a report to Congress,
admitted it received $250,000 from the US Central Command, Centcom,
where General Allen shared leadership duties with General David
Petraeus. Pentagon money to think tanks that endorse war? This is
academic integrity, DC-style.
And why is Central Command, as well as the Food and Drug
Administration, the US Department of transportation, and the US
Department of Health and Human Services giving money to Brookings?
Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously told Colin
Powell, "What's the point of having this superb military you're always
talking about if we can't use it", predictably says of this current
moment, "We do think there needs to be more American action." A
former Bush administration top adviser is also calling for the United
States to launch a cruise missile attack on Syria.
The American people are fed up with war, but a concerted effort is
being made through fearmongering, propaganda, and lies to prepare our
country for a dangerous confrontation, with Russia in Syria.
The demonization of Russia is a calculated plan to resurrect a raison
d'etre for stone-cold warriors trying to escape from the dustbin of
history by evoking the specter of Russian world domination.
It's infectious. Earlier this year the BBC broadcast a fictional show
that contemplated WWIII, beginning with a Russian invasion of Latvia
(where 26 percent of the population is ethnic Russian and 34 percent
of Latvians speak Russian at home).
The imaginary WWIII scenario conjures Russia's targeting London for a
nuclear strike. No wonder that by the summer of 2016 a poll showed
two-thirds of UK citizens approved the new British PM's launching a
nuclear strike in retaliation. So much for learning the lessons
detailed in the Chilcot report.
As this year's presidential election comes to a conclusion, the
Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus
that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly
more dangerous place.
The DC think tanks provide cover for the political establishment, a
political safety net, with a fictive analytical framework providing a
moral rationale for intervention, capitol casuistry. I'm fed up with
the DC policy elite who cash in on war while presenting themselves as
experts, at the cost of other people's lives, our national fortune,
and the sacred honor of our country.
Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought
to be accompanied by a list of the think tank's sponsors and donors
and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report's authors.
It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy
establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures
and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political
class and sleepwalkers with press passes.
It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes
progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to
organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as
an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think
tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the
Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders
who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White
House, must face visible opposition.
Cara Marianna says: October 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm
Thank you for this excellent commentary. Anyone writing for The Nation
who is guilty of sugarcoating Hillary Clinton should read this and
feel ashamed. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have donated millions to the
Clinton Foundation - paying for influence, however much democrats want
to pretend otherwise. Disgusting.
Robert Andrews says: October 26, 2016 at 11:25 am
I want to lay out two points. First, being an Ohioan, I have always
liked Dennis Kucinich and have followed his work, starting way back
when he was mayor of Cleveland. A politician with a spine who fights
for the greater good is always refreshing to see. You wrote a great
The second point I wanted to lay out is how some people have commented
on how building a military is good for the economy. When an economy is
in a depression, the government needs to step in and generate
jobs. Generally, governments choose either infrastructure or military
to generate jobs. After the great depression, FDR was building massive
amounts of infrastructure, while the Nazis were focusing in on the
military. How unfortunate it is for us to be the leader on the planet
with building military. Waste not, want not.
Jim Boydston says: October 26, 2016 at 11:16 am
The emphasis of this article is absolutely correct. Kucinich is one of
the few antiestablishment politicians to have served in recent
The only point left out of this, in my opinion, is that the best
avenue to accomplishment is to virulently oppose the duopoly; we need
to deny votes to both the Republicans and Democrats. We need to be
intolerant of "politics as usual," and demand integrity and true
accountability from our elected leaders. This is the only way we can
peacefully get our government back.
Joshua Spaulding says: October 28, 2016 at 10:16 pm
The problem with our politics is the Partisan Primary system.
As Lessig quotes, Boss Tweed's famous line "I don't care who does the
electing, so long as I get to do the nominating."
Our nomination process is rigged toward people who have a lot of money
or who (like Trump) can gain coverage by exploiting the media by
exchanging celebrity status for ad revenue
Or like the DNC which has used a number of dirty tricks from smear
campaigns to denying voter registries to limiting debates to control
opposition airtime (a tactic that would have beat Obama if used in
The best way to fix it is change the way we elect presidents: Many
countries and several states have a Top-2 runoff system where primary
election is a general election between all candidates and the second
election is a runoff between the two highest-voted in the first round.
This way, political parties and their associated press outlets hold
little power over who gets nominated. There's no spoilers in the
runoff election - it's just a head to head match.
It gets even better if you can vote for as many candidates as you
approve of during the primary. This way the two candidates that make
it to the general election are not the public's least favorites, but
their most favorites.