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Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda


Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

Norman Solomon

Throughout the day before the summit in Helsinki, the lead story on the New York Times home page stayed the same: “Just by Meeting With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead.” The Sunday headline was in harmony with the tone of U.S. news coverage overall. As for media commentary, the Washington Post was in the dominant groove as it editorialized that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is “an implacably hostile foreign adversary.”


But how else is Rachel et al supposed to explain Hillary’s defeat if ya make nice with Russia? And what about all those nervous investors who’ve been riding that defense stocks gravy train of guaranteed profits and dividends for - how long now?


I don’t have a problem with Russia. I have a problem with their current leadership–just as I don’t hate America, but I detest the policies and behaviors of the man who, with the assistance of Russian leaders and oligarchs, now occupies our nation’s highest office. Unfortunately, the names of countries are often headline shorthand for the men (more rarely, the women) who run their governments. That’s a bandwidth problem, not easy to fix.


Summits no longer reflect the meaning of the word.

Perhaps, “Sewers” says what the participants intend, better.


“For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” As the US has projected it’s military threat around the globe, it forces at least attempts by other countries to counter-balance it, Russia especially.

Imagine Americans’ reaction to a Russian military presence in Mexico or Canada. Imagine if Russia had unilaterally exited the anti-ballistic missile treaty.

I’m not an apologist for Russia. They meddled in the US election. No doubt. Perhaps now America will change the way elections are done and financed and get rid of Citizens United.

America prefers its meddling from Americans only (Sheldon Adelson, Koch Bros., e.g.).

In any case, “It’s better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.” - Winston Churchill. I think America could use a better representative than the Game-Show-Celebrity-In-Chief to be doing it’s jawboning.


Ray McGovern calls it the Military Industrial Intelligence Congressional Media Complex (I may have left something out). It’s all pretty intertwined and it’s all about the profit.
Hey Yunzer, before it is too late, you should read The Doomsday Machine by Daniel Ellsberg. It will dispel any argument you are about to make about evil Putin, bloody Assad, etc. Everybody else who reads CD should too. It’s about the last wake up call we’re going to get. I’d send a copy to Rachel Maddow but she is too busy watching her Raytheon stock rise (snark) as well as her ratings(no snark there).



Of course we need to have meetings with Russia. But also, the Trump needs to acknowledge that we are under attack from Russia through computers and to defend his own country. The time for mincing words about Trump helping Russia undermine US democracy, whether he is doing it independently or under Russian control, should be over.


A barrage of neo McCarthyite propaganda the intent of which is to discredit the Summit before it begins is a disgrace. And most originates from “liberal” sources. Disgraceful. Ray McGovern and others provide a welcome refresher of past events here:


Letter from Ray McGovern And William Binney to Trump.



Wish I could give you 100 up-votes for this. Thanks for The Doomsday Machine recommendation, which I already have on my list of books to buy, and will do so soon.


Sorry His Story, we must have been typing at the same time.

How do you post a page without the giant picture loading?



Yes, within a minute of each other. To post without a giant picture, close out the Show Preview.







Do you think that people like you defend Us democracy? Do you defend any politicians or interests that undermine our democracy? Could you, with a straight face, call your party internally democratic? Are other countries that the state determined were “allies” or ours, do they interfere in our democracy (often out in the open) far more than Russia? Think really hard.


VLikewise. The fact that Trump is beholden to Putin for his election and is counting on his help in 2018 and 2020 does not mean that I hate Russia. On the contrary, I am very familiar with Russian literature and history, and speak enough Russian to appreciate the people. After the collapse of the USSR, I believe that the US made a major error in pushing NATO membership right up to the Russian border. At the same time, the West did little to help Russia move into democracy and western capitalists and collaborated with the looting of the country by the new Oligarch class. And our military industrial class continued to build up weapons that threatened Russia long after the Soviet system was gone. We missed a great opportunity to welcome a new Russia into both NATO and the EU and are paying the price. The Russian government is now turning the tables by taking advantage of the enormous weakness of the US which has produced a totally corrupt and very malleable ruler in the person of Trump.


Actually McGovern was reiterating the warning by Eisenhower as he left office.


Hyping war and conflict and turning other nation states into “enemies” is good for business. Stocks in companies jump as threats of war and more war go up. The same investors that have their money in McDonnel Douglas have investments in MSNBC. When Rachel Maddow speaks she is basically promoting those stocks.

The Investor class can not make near as great a ROI when Government taxes that are collected are distributed among the population via Social Program spending. They want it spent on ARMS so all those monies go back into their pockets.

It is all about profits. It is all about the one percent making those profits. It has nothing to do with Democracy, or defending “freedom and liberty” or ensuring “Americans do not have to speak Russian”.


You know how weak our democracy is? Our democracy is so weak that the absolutely small peanuts that have been uncovered to this point could possibly undermine it. Our democracy is so weak that we have to treat these types of arguments seriously. I mean, who in their right mind would say that Russia has done a fraction as much as Israel has done as far as actual policies chosen within our system, what our politicians do and say, or who wins elections? Saudi Arabia? Remember the 9/11 report, and what we did to protect the Saudis? Know about their role in spreading their right wing and fanatical worldview, or how much they lobby and their role in business front groups? Mexico, China? Articles came out recently about Chinese interests working to get right wing Republicans elected, some state owned enterprises have joined business front groups too. Most of what they do is out in the open. Do you have any idea about what would be uncovered if a similar probe was conducted on Israel alone? The entire system would be brought down. And how about Wall Street, big oil, insurance companies, big pharma? Would any rational person say that what we have seen with Russia to this point comes close to, say, Wall Street undermining our democracy? And how many people that talk about Russia endlessly are in the pocket of Wall Street and other corporate interests that actually do undermine our democracy? How do you think the rest of the world treats these types of conversations, knowing our record of overthrowing democracies, interfering in the workings of other countries, etc.? Realize, that the IMF and the World Bank have often been part of us interfering in the inner workings of other countries, so it isn’t just what the CIA or the NED does in this or that country. People realize this entire thing as being absurd, an obvious propaganda campaign (which the DNC essentially announced shortly after the election), which Chomsky has noted. Maybe something will come out to justify these types of arguments (doubtful, but possible), but based on what we know now, it is just absurd. If we had a healthy democracy, then what we know right now in regards to Russia had as much of an impact on the outcome of our election in 2016 as a Tweet from the Situation, or maybe Kayne West. Many people, including someone in this thread, argued that Clinton was a tough and tested candidate. She had been through so much, she had faced down the right wing propaganda machine, and she was ready to fight on. Fast forward a half a year later, after she lost to the most unpopular candidate in history, and these same silly ass people were claiming that Clinton lost because of a fucking Russian troll farm. A good portion of the country looks at this, looks at the political system focusing so much on this (or an FBI agent’s tweets, or Benghazi) and they can see how little they really focus on the biggest problems facing us. The system often is a key driver in making things much worse, and it simply doesn’t care. Similar shows happened in Brazil recently against leaders of the Worker’s Party, and Correa in Ecuador is being targeted by a corrupt judicial system there too, for absurd reasons too.

I have no doubt that Trump has business interests in Russia. I am sure that he owes them something, and I am sure many in power in Russia preferred him to Clinton. Part of that was her being so insanely hawkish and surrounding herself with Kissinger, Kagan, Nuland, Bootz, and the like. But I also have no doubt that he has similar ties to Israel, as does his son and law. Some Israeli right wingers with actual power probably preferred him as well. He has open business ties to the Saudis, they just gave his daughter a bunch of money, I think to assist her work on empowering women (LOL!).

Trump is horrible and there is tons that can be used to attack him, more than anything, good, popular and progressive policy alternatives. But Schumer and Pelosi will not support policies that undermine their donors, and they are working hard to fight against the left in their own party, so…Russia, Putin, boo!


^ win