News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Though US political class is fine with 24/7 propaganda hyping nuclear war, thousands of ordinary Americans aren’t and are adding their voices-Norman Solomon…But the anti-Trump people and the Pro-War Industry are getting great results working together-Caroline Glick

Article references alleged Russian hacking of US elections, but it turns out Russians have made no effort to “hack” US elections per FBI Director Christopher Wray on July 18, 2018 in response to Lester Holt question about Russian activity vs US elections: “We haven’t yet seen an effort to target specific election infrastructure at this time.”…The Aspen Institute, Streamed live on July 18, 2018.″ “FBI Director [Christopher Wray] describes the Bureau’s role in national security generally and cyberterrorism and counterintelligence specifically. Christopher Wray, Director, FBI. Moderator: Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News,” Join at 8 min., 54 seconds: Wray:The intelligence community’s assessment has not changed, my view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere in the last election. And that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.”…Lester Holt: Aimed at our political system? Wray: Aimed at sowing discord and divisiveness in this country. We haven’t yet seen an effort to target specific election infrastructure at this time.”… 

7/16/18,Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda, Norman Solomon, Truthdig.com 

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.” 

Contempt for diplomacy with Russia is now extreme. Mainline U.S. journalists and top Democrats often bait President Donald Trump in zero-sum terms. No doubt Hillary Clinton thought she was sending out an applause line in her tweet Sunday night: “Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?” 

A bellicose stance toward Russia has become so routine and widespread that we might not give it a second thoughtand that makes it all the more hazardous…. 

Since early 2017, the U.S. mass media have laid it on thick with the rough political equivalent of a painting technique known as chiaroscuro—“the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition,” in the words of Wikipedia. The Russiagate frenzy is largely about punching up contrasts between the United States (angelic and victimized) and Russia (sinister and victimizer)…. 

Often the biggest lies involve what remains unsaid. For instance, U.S. media rarely mention such key matters as the promise-breaking huge expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders since the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the brazen U.S. intervention in Russia’s pivotal 1996 presidential election, or the U.S. government’s 2002 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, or the more than 800 U.S. military bases overseas—in contrast to Russia’s nine. 

For human survival on this planet, an overarching truth appears in an open letter published last week by The Nation magazine: “No political advantage, real or imagined, could possibly compensate for the consequences if even a fraction of U.S. and Russian arsenals were to be utilized in a thermonuclear exchange. The tacit pretense that the worsening of U.S.-Russian relations does not worsen the odds of survival for the next generations is profoundly false.” 

The initial 26 signers of the open letter “Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security included Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, writer and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem, former UN ambassador Gov. Bill Richardson, political analyst Noam Chomsky, former covert CIA operations officer Valerie Plame, activist leader Rev. Dr. William Barber II, filmmaker Michael Moore, former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, former U.S. ambassador to the USSR Jack F. Matlock Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Alice Walker and Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, former senator Adlai Stevenson III, and former longtime House Armed Services Committee member Patricia Schroeder. (I was also one of the initial signers.) 

Since its release five days ago, the open letter has gained support from a petition already signed by 30,000 people. The petition campaign aims to amplify the call for protecting the digital infrastructure of the electoral process that is now “vulnerable to would-be hackers based anywhere” [Not according to FBI Director Christopher Wray: “We haven’t yet seen an effort to target specific election infrastructure at this time.”]—and for taking “concrete steps… to ease tensions between the nuclear superpowers.” 

We need a major shift in the U.S. approach toward Russia. Clearly the needed shift won’t be initiated by the Republican or Democratic leaders in Congress; it must come from Americans who make their voices heard. The lives—and even existence—of future generations are at stake in the relationship between Washington and Moscow. 

Many of the petition’s grassroots signers have posted comments along with their names. Here are a few of my favorites: 

*  From Nevada: “We all share the same planet! We better learn how to do it safely or face the consequences of blowing ourselves up!”
*  From New Mexico: “The earth will not survive a nuclear war. The weapons we have today are able to cause much more destruction than those of previous eras. We must find a way to common ground.”
From Massachusetts: “It is imperative that we take steps to protect the sanctity of our elections and to prevent nuclear war anywhere on the earth.”
*  From Kentucky: “Secure elections are a fundamental part of a democratic system. But this could become meaningless in the event of thermonuclear war.”
*  From California: “There is only madness and hubris in talk of belligerence toward others, especially when we have such dangerous weapons and human error has almost led to our annihilation already more than once in the past half-century.” 

Yet a wide array of media outlets, notably the “Russiagate”-obsessed network MSNBC, keeps egging on progressives to climb toward peaks of anti-Russian jingoism. The line of march is often in virtual lockstep with GOP hyper-hawks like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The incessant drumbeat is in sync with what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” 

Meanwhile, as Dr. King said, “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation.””
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Added: The problem with playing domestic politics on the international scene is that doing so has real consequences for international security and for US national interests….If there is anything to criticize about Trump’s summit with Putin it is that it came too late. It should have happened a year ago. That it happened this week speaks not to Trump’s eagerness to meet Putin but to the urgency of the hour.”… 

7/20/18, Who Is Betraying America?” Caroline Glick, realclearpolitics.com 

The problem with playing domestic politics on the international scene is that doing so has real consequences for international security and for US national interests. 

Consider, for instance, Europe’s treatment of Trump. 

Europe is economically dependent on trade with the US and strategically dependent on NATO. So why are the Europeans so open about their hatred of Trump and their rejection of his trade policies, his policy towards Iran and his insistence that they pay their fair share for their own defense? 

Why did EU Council President Donald Tusk attack Trump with such contempt and condescension in Brussels? Tusk, who chairs the meetings of EU leaders, is effectively the EU president. And the day before last week’s NATO conference he chided Trump for criticizing Europe’s low defense spending. 

“America,” he said with a voice dripping with contempt, “appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many.” 

That of course, was news to the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East that depend on America and work diligently to develop and maintain strong ties to Washington. 

Leaving aside the ridiculousness of his remarks, where did Tusk get the idea that it is reasonable to speak so scornfully to an American president? 

Where did EU’s foreign policy commissioner Federica Mogherini get the idea that it is okay for her to work urgently and openly to undermine legally constituted US sanctions against Iran for its illicit nuclear weapons program? 

The answer of course is that they got a green light to adopt openly anti-American policies from the forces in the US that have devoted their energies since Trump’s election nearly two years ago to delegitimizing his victory and his presidency. Those calling Trump a traitor empowered the Europeans to defy the US on every issue. 

Trump’s opponents’ unsubstantiated allegation that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections has constrained Trump’s ability to perform his duties. 

Consider his relations with Putin. If there is anything to criticize about Trump’s summit with Putin it is that it came too late. It should have happened a year ago. That it happened this week speaks not to Trump’s eagerness to meet Putin but to the urgency of the hour.”...
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Comment: Re: Mr. Solomon’s article, I appreciate the effort but the people running the US clearly don’t care about nuclear annihilation. To them, life isn’t worth living unless US taxpayers are silenced and formally enslaved from birth to the Endless Unwinnable War Industry. They don’t care that they may die. All they know is we must be silenced, and they can’t think of any other way to achieve that result. 




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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.