Category Archives: History

He Said That? 11/23/17

Better put SLL down as a Russia sympathizer, because tonight’s quotes come from RT and Vladimir Putin. Something we read in a Facebook post compelled us to post these, as if we had no control over ourselves. We got the same feeling just before we voted for Trump. Is it Russian mind control? From  “‘USA is a great nation, but leave us alone!’ 11 quotes that show how Vladimir Putin sees world,” rt.com, 11/23/17:

Populist, pragmatist, authoritarian, cunning tactician – years after he rose to the top of Russian politics Western observers still wonder about Vladimir Putin’s true motivations. In fact, behind the Kremlin’s decision-making is a set of consistently expressed beliefs.

On the United States

“The USA is a great power. Probably the only superpower in existence today. We accept that and we are ready to work together with them. 

What we don’t need is for them to get involved in our affairs, tell us how to live our lives, and prevent Europe from building a relationship with us.”

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 2016

On allegations of Russia’s foreign meddling

“There is constant US propaganda, and direct funding of US NGOs… Is that not interference, which continues year in, year out? Take a globe, spin it, and randomly put your finger on any spot – I can guarantee that there are American interests and meddling there.
What do the Americans want? For everyone to just bow their heads in deference? We have our own opinion and we express it openly. It is not some form of undercover sabotage.”
Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, June 2017
On Europe
“Does it benefit European states to simply service Washington’s foreign and even domestic policy aims? I am not sure. Is this the purpose of serious politics, and is this the role countries take on if they desire to call themselves great powers?”
Russia Calling! Investment Forum, October 2016

On Catalonia’s independence crisis

“At one time, the EU welcomed the collapse of a whole range of states in Europe, not bothering to hide their glee. Why did they need to so thoughtlessly – for the sake of short-term interests and to please ‘Big Brother’ in Washington – unconditionally support the secession of Kosovo, provoking similar processes on the continent and beyond?”
Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On NATO

“There is no more Soviet Union, no Eastern Bloc. In my view, NATO needs an external enemy to justify its existence, so there is a constant search for one, and provocations to create adversaries where there are none.
…Today it is an instrument of American foreign policy. There are no partners in it, only vassals.”
Oliver Stone interview, June 2017

On the Middle East

“There has been an attempt to reformat the region, to impose an outside model on it, either through regime change, or outright use of force. Instead of fighting extremism, instead of imitating such a fight, some of our peers want chaos to become a permanent state of affairs.”
Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On North Korea

“Of course we condemn North Korea’s nuclear tests and comply with all UN Security Council resolutions without exception.
But to solve this problem you must use dialog, not by trying to corner North Korea with military threats, and not resort to name-calling and public exchanges of insults. Whether you like the regime in Pyongyang or hate it, you have to recognize that DPRK is a sovereign state.”
Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine

“What happened in Kiev is an armed and unconstitutional seizure of power – a coup. No one is arguing with that.
The question is – why did it need to be done like that? Viktor Yanukovich had already given up his power, and had no chance of re-election. Why plunge the country into chaos? As a demonstration of power? This was a stupid decision and had the reverse effect. I believe it was these actions that destabilized the situation in the east of the country.”
Media briefing in Novo Ogarevo, March 2014

On the government in Kiev

“The interests of the Russian and the Ukrainian peoples are the same. What isn’t the same is the aims of the Ukrainian government and elites.

…They have only one good left to export for international consumption – Russophobia. And the politics of division between the two countries. Some in the West believe that these two states should never be allies, and so Ukraine has been successful exporting that idea.”
Hamburg G20 Summit, June 2017

On Russia’s political system

“Monarchy was a legacy passed down from the Empire to Soviet times, even though the plaque on the building changed. Only at the beginning of the 1990s, events came to pass which laid the foundation for a new stage of Russian development.

 Certainly, you cannot imagine that we can instantaneously get the same government model, the same structures, as in the United States, in Germany, in France. Society, just as every living organism, has to develop stage-by-stage, organically. That’s the normal development process.”
Oliver Stone interview, June 2017

On Russia’s role in the world

“Russia is a country with a thousand-year history and has almost always enjoyed the privilege of a sovereign foreign policy.

 We are not going to betray this tradition today. At the same time, we are well aware of how the world has changed and we have a realistic understanding of our own opportunities and potential. We would like to interact with responsible and independent partners with whom we could work together in constructing a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all.”
Munich speech, February 2007
Advertisements

The End of the Age of Benevolence, by Francis Marion

The money passage: “The irony in the dilemma which the West now faces is that our demise, the continual erosion of a democratic, intellectual meritocracy, is by and large spurred on by the very people that our system was created to protect.” From Francis Marion of Canadiangunblog.com, via theburningplatform.com:

The history of democracy, Marxism and feminism is the history of the snake, which, being hungry for more, stalks its own tail and consumes itself. 

Some evenings I sit on the sofa in the family room with my teenage daughter and watch a TV program with her. I leave the choice of the show to her, it matters little to me, and when she finds something she likes she sits next to me, puts her head on my shoulder, and snuggles up for the hour it takes to watch whatever it is she’s chosen.

It’s our time.

Occasionally we’ll sneak in another twenty or thirty minutes to the objection of her mother but I like my time with her so I put up with the raised eyebrows and the, “She’s got school tomorrow,” scoldings. It’s important to me that she knows I love her, that I want to spend time with her and that she feels safe when she is with me. Someday, when she is a grown woman I want her to find a man that will take care of her and protect her like I do. I expect no less from a suitor and neither should she.

There will be women who read this who will object to my stance. They will say, “She doesn’t need a man to feel safe or validated or content,” but I would disagree. When she gets older she’ll need a good man, not just any man, and that’s as true today as much as it was ten years, twenty years, fifty years, one hundred years and even one thousand years ago. And it will become even more so as time goes on.

Indeed, we have reached peak denial in our civilization and whether we like it or not reality is about to make a come back.

To continue reading: The End of the Age of Benevolence

Thanksgiving for JFK, by Edward Curtin

Today is the 54th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It is impossible to understand the 20th century without understanding the real story of JFK’s murder. Edward Curtin mentions James W. Douglass’s book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. I’m currently reading it and it’s living up to it’s title. Curtin also mentions The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. I’ve read that one, and it’s an outstanding examination of Allen Dulles, an understanding of whom is also essential for understanding the 20th century. From Edward Curtin at lewrockwell.com:

If he had lived, President John F. Kennedy would have been 100 years old this year.  At Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, his family would be raising a glass in his honor.

But as we all know, he was murdered in Dallas, Texas on this date – November 22nd – in 1963.  A true war hero twice over, he risked his life to save his men in World War II, and then, after a radical turn toward peace-making in the last year of his life, he died in his own country at the hands of his domestic enemies as a soldier in a non-violent struggle for peace and reconciliation for all people across the world.

But we can still celebrate, mourn, and offer thanksgiving for his courageous witness.  When we gather tomorrow to give thanks, we should remember today – the profound significance of the date – and the absent presence of a man whose death, dark and bloody as it was, is a sign of hope in these dark times. For if John Kennedy had not had the spiritual conscience to secretly carry-on a back channel letter correspondence with Nikita Khrushchev, facilitated by Pope John XXIII, we very well might not be here, having been incinerated in a nuclear holocaust.

Hope?  Not because he was assassinated, but why he was assassinated.

While there is much media focus on the release of more of the JFK files, they are beside the point.  They were withheld all these years to dribble out the clock on an endless pseudo-debate about who killed President Kennedy.  We know who killed him: the national security state, led by the CIA, killed him, not Lee Harvey Oswald.  It was a coup d’état purposely conducted in plain sight to send a message that every president since has heeded: Your job is to make war and threaten nuclear annihilation for the Deep State elites.  Follow orders or else.  They have followed.

If you find my assertion about the CIA audacious and absurd, first read James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, a book widely regarded as the best book on the assassination and its meaning.  Read it very closely and slowly.  Check all his sources, read his endnotes, and analyze his logic.  Approach his meticulous research as if you agreed with Gandhi’s saying that truth is God and God is truth. Try to refute Douglass. You will be stymied. Then read David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government for further clarification. You will come away from these two books profoundly shaken to your core.  Be a truth-seeker, if you are not one already.

To continue reading: Thanksgiving for JFK

Putin/Assad Meeting Cements the End of U.S. Dominance in the Middle East, by Tom Luongo

Vladimir Putin is quietly garnering the power in the Middle East that the US’s endless interventionism in the region was unable to secure, and which in fact has worked against its aims. Tom Luongo is right when he says it’s worth the time to review Vladimir Putin’s speech to the UN on Sept. 28, 2015 (speech linked in article). From Luongo at tomluongo.me:

I’m not a terribly religious man.  But, I’d like to believe there is a special corner in Hell reserved for those that fomented the Syrian Civil War.

From its beginnings in Libya with gun-funneling through the U.S. embassy in Benghazi to yesterday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, this entire affair will be remembered as one of the most cynical and abusive periods of history.

The Syrian ‘Civil War’ was meant to be the crowning achievement of U.S./Israeli/Saudi policy in the Middle East, the apotheosis of neoconservatism.

Had it succeeded it would have transformed the world into a living hell governed by the likes of Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Angela Merkel and the U.S./U.K. banking cartel.

Syria was to be the wedge that blew open not only the Middle East but Central Asia as well.  It would stop the resurgence of Russia as a world power, subjugate Europe to an endless nightmare of forced cultural assimilation and completed bankrupting the United States to bring it in line with the a failing European integration project.

Supranational treaties like the TPP, TTIP and the Paris Accord were designed to create a superstructure that would supplant national sovereignty without any input from the people who were most affected by it.

Putin’s Turning Point

With Vladimir Putin’s pivotal speech at the United Nations on September 28th, 2015, opposition to this vision was expressed in the most forceful, and frankly, humanist terms one could imagine.  I’m going to remind you of the most important passage as it relates to Syria.

In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one’s service in order to achieve one’s own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.

To those who do so, I would like to say — dear sirs, no doubt you are dealing with rough and cruel people, but they’re in no way primitive or silly. They are just as clever as you are, and you never know who is manipulating whom. And the recent data on arms transferred to this most moderate opposition is the best proof of it.

We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted, but fire hazardous (ph). This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions, especially given that Islamic State camps train militants from many countries, including the European countries.

In truth, the whole speech is worth revisiting.  It is a stark reminder that Putin, normally very reserved in his words, laid all of his cards on the table and directly accused the United States of declaring war on the world.

To continue reading:

Did the US Allow ISIS to Escape to Keep the Fighting Going? by Philip Giraldi

This is not a preposterous question if you understand the true aim of US foreign policy: enrich the US military-industrial-intelligence complex. From Philip Giraldi at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Americans have been living in a country that has not known peace since 9/11, when President George W. Bush and his posse of neoconservatives delivered the message to the world that “you are either with us or against us.” The threat was coupled with flurry of hastily conceived legislation that opened the door to the unconstitutional “war on terror” carried out at the whim of the Chief Executive, a conflict which was from the start conceived of as a global military engagement without end.

Bush and his handlers might not have realized it at the time but they were initiating a completely new type of warfare. To be sure, there would be fighting on the ground worldwide against an ideologically driven enemy somewhat reminiscent of communism, but there would also be included “regime change” of governments in countries that were not completely on board with the direction coming out of Washington. Instead of invading and occupying a country in the old-fashioned way, so the thinking went, far better to just knock off the top levels and let the natives sort things out while acting under direction from the pros in Washington.

Even though “regime change” in Iraq and Afghanistan did not work out very well, Bush saw himself as a triumphant war leader with his vainglorious “Mission Accomplished,” and he later dubbed himself the “decider.” He insisted that his reelection in 2004 when running against a weak John Kerry was a validation of his policies by the American people, but one has to wonder how many voters really understood that they were signing on for perpetual war that would of necessity also diminish their most cherished liberties.

To continue reading: Did the US Allow ISIS to Escape to Keep the Fighting Going?

100 billion reasons to have non-reportable assets, by Simon Black

Just because you’re not a Saudi Arabian oil potentate, don’t think a government may not one day ask for a share of your assets. In which case, it makes some sense to have assets the government doesn’t know about. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

In early March 1938 in a dusty corner of the Arabian desert, Max Steineke finally had the breakthrough he was hoping for.

Steineke was the chief geologist for the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), a venture owned by what we know today as Chevron.

And he hadn’t had a lot of success despite years of effort.

Steinke was convinced that massive oil reserves were beneath the sands. He just couldn’t find any.

His prized oil well, what was called Dammam #7, had been riddled with mishaps, accidents, and delays, and it was costing the company a LOT of money.

Steinke was about to be shut down when, finally, on March 4, the well started gushing. And Saudi Arabia was never the same.

Today oil constitutes more than half of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and more than 90% of government revenue… and it is the reason why Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s richest nations as measured by per-capita GDP.

But all that success also comes with risk: what happens when the wells run dry? Or when the oil price falls?

That’s what they’re dealing with now.

Saudi Arabia has been in and out of recession over the past few years due to the steep decline in oil prices. And the government is desperate to raise revenue.

Last year the Saudi government announced “Vision 2030,” a long-term plan to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on oil revenue.

The plan includes developments like a new beach resort on the Red Sea where women will be allowed to wear bikinis. This is pretty forward thinking, folks.

The government also announced that it will sell a portion of the national oil company, Saudi Aramco, through an IPO on a major stock exchange– a move they believe will generate $100 billion for the government.

But none of these options fixes the short-term problem. Saudi Arabia needs cash. Now.

So over the past few weeks they’ve found their source: theft.

To continue reading: 100 billion reasons to have non-reportable assets

 

Lyndon Johnson’s Terrible Legacy, by Patrick Barron

LBJ easily gets a spot in the 5 worst US presidents. From Patrick Barron at mises.org:

Recently my wife and I spent a morning at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The damage done by this big bully is incalculable. His library reminds us of the start of the blizzard of government expansion during Johnson’s presidential term, which lasted from the Kennedy assassination in October 1963 to his decision not to run for a full second term in 1968, which usually is attributed to his failure to end the war in Vietnam.

Johnson was an admirer of FDR and was determined to revive and complete what he believed should have been integral parts to FDR’s New Deal. Johnson called his program The Great Society. As if ignorance of the consequences of this socialist expansion of domestic control by government was not enough, LBJ expanded the war in Vietnam, promising America both Guns and Butter. Even today we live with this expansion of government domestic programs and seemingly never-ending wars as the modern Welfare/Warfare state.

The Johnson Treatment

I called Johnson a big bully in the paragraph above. I believe my assessment is justified by what actually is celebrated at his presidential library. The displays proudly explain and document “the Johnson touch” in print, photograph, and actual recorded telephone interviews. Johnson was a big man who towered over most people. He had a habit of getting very close to someone, leaning over at the waist, and forcing his partner in conversation to bend over backwards to avoid an uncomfortable encounter with LBJ’s face. There is a large picture of Johnson giving Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas this “Johnson Treatment”, literally face-to-face. Fortas, who was a long time LBJ supporter, appears to be taking the “Treatment” in good humor, but it is easy to see how it would be almost impossible to keep one’s dignity with the president of the United States performing this obviously uncomfortable act.

treatment.PNG

To continue reading: Lyndon Johnson’s Terrible Legacy