I’m starting to think you haven’t read Hersh’s “Redirection” article in the New Yorker, which I’ve linked you to.
(Again, not giving my perspective any genuine consideration does a grave disservice to your argument, and only signals laziness or disrespect; you don’t link to your sources and don’t read the sources I’ve linked – not a winning combination.)
And you say you’re unfamiliar with Greenwald’s work? Glenn Greenwald?! Name another journalist who has broken more significant stories in the post-9/11 era, the period defined by America’s headlong plunge into neo-fascism.
I’m fairly certain you can’t, since you don’t follow journalism or current events.
Which begs the question, what have you been reading over the last couple of decades?
Oh, that’s right, you’ve occasionally picked up copies of The Times and The Guardian, organizations that do as much “WMD” selling and Russiagating propaganda as they do actual journalism – far more, in fact, these days.
(Didn’t you read Greenwald when he was at The Guardian, breaking one groundbreaking story after another? I guess not. Nor have you read his excellent books, it seems.)
After the arrogance and disrespect you’ve exhibited, I don’t mind saying that I’m sure that you find MANY things “more credible than anything written by a journalist.” (Like the “Twilight” series, perhaps.)
Near as I can tell, you know virtually nothing about journalism… or politics… or current events.
Instead of being so certain about your opinions – based, it would seem, on not following the news – you should have a more open mind… and be willing to do a little work. We’re talking about life and death matters, here, including genocide (and the politicians who have advanced the current holocaust in the Middle East, including some of your favorite “liberals”).
In the future, you should consider giving an honest hearing to those who are polite enough to seriously engage with you, spending their time and effort trying to communicate basic, undisputed facts.
A personal entreaty: Either consider my arguments before you respond, or don’t respond. Because thus far, you’ve only degraded the conversation.
And the Wharton piece… my god! It’s sheer McCarthyism and propaganda. Yes, it offers many facts – but it leaves out far more than it offers (enormous sins of omission, eloquent of the authors’ nationalistic agenda).
Again, I ask you to consider giving a serious, scholarly read to the “Striking Lack of Empathy” piece I linked you to, re: the origins of the Syrian conflict (and don’t skip the linked articles within).
The Wharton piece is fine for the MAGA crowd and imperialist Republicans and Democrats who seek to advance U.S. hegemonic interests – but not for any self-respecting liberal. Not for anyone who actually desires information or gives a damn about human rights and the rule of law.
Because facts are facts, EAW, and the fact is, Clinton, Bush, and Obama killed millions of Muslims, the vast majority of whom were women and children. The rest of the world didn’t just make that up.
Stop doing what most Germans were doing during the previous holocaust – get that ostrich head out of the ground!
I have read most of Hersh’s interminable ramble. I didn’t get the point (my fault, no doubt) but that means that I also do not understand why you think it is such an important article. It is also not clear to me what your perspective is.
What have I been reading over the past couple of decades? Mostly books on gardening, compost, agriculture, global warming and the destruction of the planet.
Until the end of 2012, I got my information about the state of the world from our local paper, the PBS Newshour and CNN ad nauseam, When my husband died I turned off the TV, and began reading more broadly about current affairs. By most standards, I am extremely well-informed. Just not about what you care about, to the level you would like.
In one relatively short post you have implied that I cannot assess the quality of an academic paper; that I am either in the MAGA crowd or an imperialist; not a liberal; don’t care about human rights or the rule of law; and that I have my head in the sand. (Little aside here, ostriches don’t actually put their heads in the sand).
You also said (elsewhere) that Obama did the most damage of any president to the rule of law. I really can’t take seriously someone who has been asleep for the past four years.
That explains a great deal about the conversation we’ve been having.
You’d know the point of Hersh’s essential article if you’d read it carefully (that point emphasized further in the “Striking Lack of Empathy” piece I linked).
The point, since you missed it, is this: After the Iraq invasion exploded in Washington’s face and inadvertently empowered Iran, Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar (“Bandar Bush”) collaborated and decided to create a second mujaheddin army to attack Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, etc. (regional Shi’ites).
The relevant quote (Bandar to Bush): “'We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians…”
President Obama continued the “redirection” – away from direct, overt/large-scale U.S. military involvement in the region – to Obama’s famous “light footprint” approach, which involved the use of covert forces, including Salafist militants, especially al Qaeda and ISIS.
The CIA’s regime-change operation – which predates the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Syria – was called Operation Timber Sycamore, and has been widely reported.
Effectively, Obama co-opted Syria’s Arab Spring moment and hijacked it with suicide-bombing, ethnic-cleansing terrorists, plunging the country into a full-scale, several-year war.
Syrian President Assad had met with Syria’s indigenous resistance following his heavy-handed crackdown, and made major concessions: multi-party elections, term limits for the president, and more. There was peace. And then Washington and Riyadh’s proxies began blowing themselves up in crowded city squares in Damascus, targeting all non-Sunnis.
Before you know it, the Syrian people were in an Iraq-like war zone, with the U.S. pouring billions of dollars into its regime-change op.
And for the record, I implied that you CAN assess the quality of an academic paper – and encouraged you to give it a shot.
That being the case, I think you can objectively reassess the significance of the Obama presidency, which is this: Everything that Bush/Cheney did under cover of darkness – warrantless vacuum-surveillance, torture, black sites, endless detention, assassination, targeting journalists, etc. – was legalized and made permanent under President Obama.
Bush subverted the law in fascist ways. I fought him every step of the way.
And then Obama made Bush’s fascism the new normal. That’s why the most steadfast opponents of Bush/Cheney’s war on the rule of law, including Glenn Greenwald, correctly refer to Barack Obama as “Bush on steroids.”
EAW, I realize that you’re unaware of many of these facts. I also understand that I’m holding you to a pretty high standard and being pretty hard on you for not trying to meet it (because, from my perspective, you’re being rather obtuse and dismissive).
But the record is the record, and I’ve tried to share that record with you, including the following facts:
President Obama deported three-million immigrants, more than all 20th century presidents combined, ramping up ICE, caging children by the thousands (far more than Trump has), and creating the template for Trump’s brutal border policies;
President Obama revived the Global War of Terrorism and expanded it by five nations (to seven), including Syria, where his Operation Timber Sycamore would claim the lives of half a million human beings (Obama, not Assad or Putin, plunged that country into war; the record is crystal clear);
President Obama became the #1 president in U.S. history for domestic oil production, exported (uniquely dangerous) fracking around the globe, opened the Arctic to drilling, built pipelines for tar sands oil, and vetoed legal carbon limits and polluter liability at the Paris Climate Accords, rendering the agreement toothless (I thought you cared about the environment – why don’t you know these things?);
Used the Espionage Act twice as many times as all previous presidents combined, in an unprecedented effort to prosecute honest journalists and whistleblowers – putting a chill on adversarial journalism;
Supported regime-change operations in Honduras, Brazil, Syria, and Ukraine (where his administration supported the neo-Nazi Svoboda group that’s been leading post-democratic Ukraine’s military operations aimed at ethnic Russians); and
SO much more…
I want you to understand that in 2008 few people worked harder to support Barack Obama’s candidacy than myself, primary through general. I donated hundreds of hours and many a dollar to his election… only to see him resurrect and entrench the neo-fascist agenda that Bush/Cheney had driven into the ditch. Only to see him allow a Citigroup executive name his first cabinet. Only to see him bail out Wall Street on Main Street’s back, erasing the economic gains of African-American households (per the Pew Research Center, whose data shows that the post-Civil Rights Era wealth of black families was wiped out by “reverse redlining” and illegal “robo-signings” that disproportionately cheated blacks and Hispanics).
Thanks to Obama, Donald J. Trump can now assassinate anyone, anywhere, including American citizens, including children, uncharged with any crime (does the name Abdulrahman Awlaki mean anything to you?).
Thanks to Obama (whose 2012 NDAA ended Posse Comitatus, nearly as old as the Constitution itself), Donald J. Trump can now legally deploy the U.S. military against American citizens on American soil.
Thanks to Obama (whose 2016 NDAA ended the Smith-Mundt Act), Donald J. Trump can now legally propagandize the American people on American soil, using taxpayer money to do it!
I’ve been well-awake over the last quarter-century, at least, my friend. My research and writing have been praised by CODE PINK’s Medea Benjamin and VIPS’s Ray McGovern, who was the CIA briefer to four U.S. presidents before he retired.
It’s not because I’ve been dozing…
Granted, Donald Trump is a moral trainwreck and an absolutely abysmal president. But he has a long, long, long way to go before he does as much damage to the rule of law as President Obama did.
OK, I’ll bite. How did Obama damage the rule of law? Did he repeatedly violate the Constitution? Did he obstruct justice? Did he seek to undermine the free press?
Appalling as the situation there is, Syria is not the center of the world, nor the only event by which to judge a two-term president.
If you have explained how Obama violated the Constitution or obstructed justice, it was not very clear. The only message I have picked up in your screeds, and links, is that he killed millions of people in the Middle East. By virtue of precedent, that is neither un-Constitutional nor an obstruction of justice.
President Obama was obligated under U.S. and international law to prosecute torturers and war criminals. He did neither. Instead, he shielded the worst mass-murderers since the Third Reich and proceeded to normalize and continue their crimes.
(How much plainer could it be?)
Ironically, constitutional law expert, Barack Obama, put the final nails in the coffins of the First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendments (at the very least). He violated the Constitution and international law when he drone-murdered one human being after another, including American citizens, including children. And he illegally vacuumed the communications of virtually everyone on the planet… more like a global dictator than a U.S. president, if you know anything about our country’s legal traditions.
He also caged thousands of children at the border and butchered half a million Muslims in Syria (basically doing to Libya and Syria what Clinton and Bush did to Iraq).
When President Obama was done, there was no semblance of the rule of law in the U.S. or the world, and we were well on the way toward a global confrontation with Russia and China, instigated by Washington.
That’s the “America” Trump inherited. That’s the environment in which he’s operating.
Neoliberals, which are right wingers. Dont get them confused with the liberals of the pre-Clinton era.
What the Clintonistas represented was a respin of neocons. Its really a superficial thing because they were gutting safety net programs and pushing for the privatization of everything on a global scale with a trade deal. While HRC was pretending to fix healthcare, they were rigging it globally with the Marrakesh Agreement and trading away jobs in the Uruguay Round.
Obama turned out to be more dangerous than “Dubya!”
Who would have thought it possible? (Not I.) As you say, he was good looking, eloquent, and a person of color. All of those things made him a far more successful avatar of 21st-century fascism than Donald “grab 'em by the *****” Trump.
Trump, like Reagan and Bush Jr., tears the mask off of this putrescent empire. He inspires resistance, at home and abroad. He makes no speeches at the U.N., urging war, that the world’s nations feel compelled to endorse.
He’s bad for the project.
Whereas, Obama made it possible for the empire to exceed its worst crimes and retire democracy and the rule of law for good.
Trump is naked avarice. He repels most every person on the planet who knows anything about him. And that he’s a total clown, a reality TV star playing to the cameras like some pro-wrestling villain. If the Democrats weren’t so keen to fast-track his judges and support his foreign policy and tax cuts (and his energy policy), he’d be easy to defeat.
(But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen in November.)
Obama was the eminently presentable, seemingly decent and moral President – who made it possible for the most avaricious corporations and plutocrats to loot the financial system of the Western world, to the tune of trillions… and people of color, disproportionately (as usual), paid the price.
That’s what the Democrats’ bastardization of Identity Politics is worth: people of color suffer and also become targets – thanks to the hypocrisy of elites and the corruption of liberalism.
Its soon going to be obvious what they have been getting ready for us, and why. Public sector workers will be particularly impacted.
See ~https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—inst/documents/publication/wcms_193612.pdf page v (Summary) Logical page 8 re large scale trade in services.
This will turn out to be an economic disaster for working people in the US, all of us. because nonwhite Americans are employed in the public sector a great deal, they will disproprtionately be impacted.
The changes will impact all workers, eliminating the decent wages that made the US a desirable place to come, while leaving the high prices for people to pay with ncomes which may have vabished or shrunk to almost nothing as people compete for the remaining low skill jobs, high skill jobs having been outsourced in large numbers and put in the hands of the WTO to regulate.
This article ignores the truth that when you have NO relevant information, then you take what you CAN get, and wring its problematic crediblity within an inch of its life.
Meaning, that when the source is a warmonger, absolutely fixed on what WARS he’s been able to start or continue, then you include that fact in the sequence of logic that MAY allow you to draw good conclusions. And you don’t give up trying…
This article is PART OF THAT ANALYSIS, not evidence that there IS no evidence…
It just makes it harder to draw those good conclusions, not impossible.
The core point to remember, is the decreasing circle of surety involved in the account. No, I wouldn’t rely on Bolton to tell us the truth, but it IS pretty entertaining nevertheless, isn’t it?
too much has been written (or said) about the NYT but nobody should read the Guardian — nobody — because the Guardian is Bill Gates’ personal toilet the Guardian really works like a toilet: Bill Gates shits into it and Alan Rusbridger whirls what comes out of it into the fucking face of the Guardian’s readers.
and misses EAW reading the NYT is not good for your mental health… instead of worrying (yourself sick) about the agenda items of the sweatshop advocating war hawks from the NYT, instead i’d recommend you pay Playstation — but not the Xbone, Bill Gates’ console is only used by fans of the Gates foundation or pervs — then after you’ve ignored the Xbone and turned on your Playstation all worries the liberal elites induced into your head will disappear as you go on rampage in GTA ahhh i want a Playstation. robbing banks or gunning down pedestrians in GTA it just feels good. the game GTA will free you from all the bad ideas the liberal elites induced into your head… either way don’t worry about the shit that comes out of the establishment media.