Ignorance is Strength by Publius Tacitus


This is must see. Not because it reveals anything new about the false narrative pushed by Donald Trump and his enablers (i.e. Mattis, Tillerson, McMaster and Haley)–i.e., that the Government of Syria used a chemical weapon against Islamic rebels last week. Nope. It is must see because it is clever and uses a bit of sophisticated humor to skewer Trump and those in the media who have cheered his lies.



You would think that after the debacle of our Iraq invasion in 2003 (based on a proven false narrative about hidden WMDs) that the American public and media would be a bit gun shy about embracing a new claim that some guy in the Middle East has done something outrageous with a supposed weapon of mass destruction. You would be wrong. The American public, for the most part, has had an emotional erection. We are aroused, just like Brian Williams, by the sight of cruise missiles ejaculating from the bowels of a US Destroyer, blazing away into the black sky and exploding somewhere. We appear to is a gullible lot with the memory of an Alzheimer's patient and cheer the White House and Pentagon claims that we have destroyed enemy planes and taken out an airfield. Yet, within 24 hours, that airfield is operational and there is no evidence produced of actual destruction. But that does not matter. Most of the public and all of the media are agog at Trump's "show of strength." That made him truly "PRESIDENTIAL." 

Looking back at the events that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, I had always wondered how a nation as advanced and educated as the Germans of the 20th Century could be so bamboozled into shedding their humanity. Now I know. We are in the process of defiling our own culture and values. Ours is a culture of death that we inflict routinely on others overseas. We need to have an enemy. Without an external enemy we appear to have little confidence that we can remain a "great" country. I am not suggesting that Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler. He's not that smart or cunning. But I am asserting that Trump has discovered a great way to quench his emotional thirst for acceptance and appreciation–drop bombs and talk tough.

Pray for our nation. We are in peril. 

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80 Responses to Ignorance is Strength by Publius Tacitus

  1. ambrit says:

    To continue the analogy; one could consider 9/11 as our Reichstag Fire, and the Patriot Act as our Enabling Act, but, what will be our Night of the Long Knives? Right now, it appears as if divergent factions within the ruling elites are battling for supremacy. Will something as forceful and decisive as Rohms’ death happen here? Here’s hoping that the institutions themselves will act as moderating influences.

  2. Matt says:

    Robert Parry has this pretty much nailed down….it’s the Neocons, inside and outside of government pushing their agenda.

  3. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Excellent analysis, PT.
    I hope Colonel Lang will permit me to repost the following,
    which was written just before your report above appeared,
    and which I think is highly relevant to it:
    For how the MSM, in particular the NYT,
    is busy denying any alternative to their view on this, see
    NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims
    by Robert Parry, 2017-04-18
    For an earlier NYT “Fact Check”,
    which offered arguments against the non-MSM narrative, see
    Syria Conspiracy Theories Flourish, at Both Ends of the Spectrum
    By LINDA QIU, 2017-04-11
    It seems to me it would be useful for someone to write a critical review of Qiu’s “Fact Check”.
    Unfortunately I don’t have the expertise to write such myself.

  4. Virginia Slim says:

    Hard to disagree with you, Tacitus. I would add but one thing, and that is the unnerving similarity of the “Russia hacked the election!” narrative to the “Stab in the back!” narrative that took root in Germany following WWI. As badly as Trump is screwing over those who voted for him, I fear something much worse will follow in his place.

  5. The Beaver says:

    Linda Qiu quotes Anne Barnard – what a joke?
    Wonder when was the last time Barnard has set foot in Damascus- her Beirut café is the only place that she knows.
    Barnard reminds me of Holly Williams from CBS who sticks to IST with a foray on the border when the Turkish army let her around

  6. MattS says:

    Just a few paragraphs from a 17-page paper:
    Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., Blackfriars, Oxford.
    October 1937
    “GOD,” said Voltaire’s Quaker, “God, who has commanded us to love our enemies and to suffer without repining, would certainly not permit us to cross the seas, merely because murtherers, cloath’d in scarlet, and wearing caps two feet high, enlist citizens by a noise made with two little sticks on an ass’s skin extended.” The ass’s skin has largely given place to the broadcast bray and the journalistic bellow; the effect remains the same…
    Why are we susceptible to such blatantly ridiculous propaganda?The propaganda itself, clever though it be, could never carry a country off its feet as it does unless in some way the country were conditioned to receive it. Masterly rhetoric can convince a man who is willing to be convinced either way; it may occasionally convert a man who was previously wholly convinced of the justice of the other side, but it will hardly do this as a rule, or to a whole nation. The needs of intellectual subservience have been sown long before; and the sheep are all but ready to file into the prepared pen before the first catchword is composed…
    The hate propaganda falls on receptive soil. You cannot, as Aldous Huxley has remarked, “argue away the immediately experienced fact that boasting is delightful, that it is bliss to feel yourself superior to the other fellow, that ‘righteous indignation’ is wildly intoxicating, and that the thrill of being one of a mob that hates another mob can be as pleasurably exciting as a prolonged orgasm. The exploited who succumb to the nationalist propaganda of the exploiters are having the time of their lives. We have asked what they get out of being involved in their masters’ quarrels. In the early stages of being involved they get the equivalent of free seats at a magnificent entertainment, combining a revival meeting with championship boxing and a pornographic cinema show. At the call of King and Country, they spring to arms. Can we be surprised?”
    There is in all of us an element of sadism…
    The industrial revolution did more than supply a rational and well-found excuse for hate. It re-introduced slavery, on the one hand, and on the other it robbed a great part of the population of creative work. Say himself in the 19th century remarked that it was a poor thing to have to confess that one had never made more than the eighteenth part of a pin; sociologists have been saying it ever since. What is true of sub-human labour is true a fortiori of unemployment. The instincts and impulses which find their proper outlet and expression in creative work, and the building up of a life which without freedom is impossible, these impulses are forced to find an outlet elsewhere. There is a period of frustration, perhaps of enforced repression; but it cannot last for ever; sooner or later there will be an explosion, the primitive impulses will re-appear in their least civilized forms…
    Versailles is a suitable peg on which to hang the further discussion of social frustration. It humiliated Germany and reduced her to an intolerable state of economic impotence; it failed to fulfil the expectations of Italy in accordance with the secret treaties; it insulted the Japanese, and succeeding years saw a prohibition of Japanese immigration and a boycotting by tariff of Japanese goods, which were in line with the spirit of the treaty. The rich powers confront the poor; and the poor suffer from a sense of having been ground down and betrayed. Collective insecurity is the inevitable result…
    The responsibility which rests to-day upon the Christian is indeed a heavy one. We are called upon to help in the building of the one City of God in days when every force and tendency seems to be making for the world’s dissolution and destruction. But “the greatest and first appeal the godly man can make to others for the building of Jerusalem,” as Miss Evelyn Underhill has put it, “is to their foreconscious- suggesting to them through the indirect influence of a God-saturated personality the possibility of a like contact with Reality. ” “Reconstruction of character and reorientation of attention must precede reconstruction of society . . . we must be good before we can do good; be real before we can accomplish real things.” Reality is not found in activism, but in the quiet of contemplation. 0 Contemplation, said Matthew Green-
    0 Contemplation! air serene
    From damps of sense and fogs of spleen-
    the world has lost and must find contemplation; are we leading the way? Perhaps the work of catholic psychology in the cause of peace can be summed up most adequately in the three stages of the adventure of the discovery of God: purgation, illumination, union, in which alone is fully wrought and perfected the godward sublimation of impulse, the harnessing, in Boehme’s magnificent phrase, of man’s “fiery energies to the service of the light.”

  7. Kurt Van Vlandren says:

    We are most definitely NOT the nation/country/people we have told ourselves that we are. Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist Russia or China, all told their people they were “exceptional” and models for all other countries. Germany was “threatened” by Poland. Italy had to protect its Ethiopian interests. Russia had to provide a buffer in its “Near Abroad. Self-delusional bullshit.

  8. kooshy says:

    PT, This was done well, thank you

  9. Jackrabbit says:

    Ours is a culture of death …
    What gave it away? The toxins in Flint drinking water, or the overdose deaths, or the militarism, or vet suicides, or inner city riots, or the stolen pensions, or … something else? (please excuse the snark)
    We have a meek, accepting culture that seems to be defenseless against social parasites.
    Without an external enemy we appear to have little confidence that we can remain a “great” country.
    Who is “we”? This is a neocon talking point. WE need to take back our country. Check out the Pirate Party!
    I am asserting that Trump has discovered a great way to quench his emotional thirst for acceptance and appreciation–drop bombs and talk tough.
    I would assert that Trump is in it for the money. Oh, sure he enjoys the Presidential prestige but what he is really after is doubling his net worth (which is estimated to be only $2.5 billion).
    I be thrilled if he proved me wrong. But his history and his company’s current deal-making with ME interests in Qatar and Turkey says otherwise. Trump’s Clinton connection also make me think that he was part of the ‘con’ from the start (as was Sanders). Also of note: How Trump and Obama are Exactly Alike

    Fundamentally, Obama and Trump ran against the establishment and then helped rebrand it — further entrenching it.
    The nature of their deception is different. Obama is lawyerly and, like jello, hard to pin to the wall. Many of his broken promises are actually violations of the spirit of what he said, not the letter. He can promise to withdraw “all combat troops” from Iraq — but doesn’t inform voters that “combat troops” in his parlance is not the same as “troops”.
    Trump triangulates by being an electron. He can say X and not-X in the span of a minute. Like an electron, he can be in two places at the same time.
    In both the cases of Obama and Trump, the “opposition” party put forward a ridiculous critique that pushed them to be more militaristic. [Like] Obama as a “secret Muslim” — which gave him more licence to bomb more Muslim countries.

    >> Trump is, by nature, an insecure social climber (sensitive about small hands and crowd sizes). I think he really wants to join the ranks of the American royalty – that means dramatically increasing his net worth.
    If you noticed discussions during the campaign about Trump’s charitable contributions, you got a sense for what he is really like. Over the span of about ten years, he actually gave very little (if anything) to charity. He used his Foundation to benefit his own interests (slush fund for influencing) and pay his family.

  10. Jack says:

    It is amazing that all it took was some rhetoric against Assad and a few useless missiles on a remote Syrian airport to quell the hysterical “Putin’s stooge” chorus.
    It says less about Trump and more about the Borg. Is that all it takes for the MSM to salivate, and the neocons & R2Pers like McCain, Hillary and Pelosi to clap? Where’s Sanders in all this? It seems the only folks opposed to warmongering in the USA are the alt-right and Ron & Rand Paul as well as Tulsi Gabbard.

  11. Jackrabbit says:

    This video should be seen by every deplorable in the world.
    Thanks for posting it PT, and for your commentary.

  12. wisedupearly says:

    Constant cynicism is an impossible load to carry. We are facing an insane force in the neocons and the common cry is “they can’t be serious”. If major power centers are untrustworthy, the penalty laid on us is the constant stress of opposing arguments that are insane. Like all civilizations, America advances by reducing “costs” and here I refer to social costs. We have no permanent ruler, kings are clearly extremely costly as they own everything. We have no state religion and so avoid the costs of forced worship and orthodoxy. We had no strong “classes”, structures able to constrain the free movement and advancement of people (no longer true). Now we are faced with the need to distrust the elite.
    Rather than pursuing our own goals, we are forced into a continual state of cynicism towards our leaders. Most people are unable to carry the load and try to escape the stress by accepting the neocon “orthodoxy” as gospel truth.

  13. FB Ali says:

    Trump has discovered a great way to quench his emotional thirst for acceptance and appreciation–drop bombs and talk tough.
    Pray for our nation. We are in peril.

    Undoubtedly true. And a justified plea to all Americans.
    But don’t forget the poor souls who bear the brunt of this emotional thirst – the people on whom the bombs drop, and whose children die. For what? To prove America is great, and so is its ‘glorious’ President.

  14. fanto says:

    Kurt v Vlandren,
    it seems you forgot one people,

  15. David J. says:

    The fake U.S. attack on Syria is part of a negotiation tactic against North Korea. Make the other side think you are eager to fight and perhaps even a little unhinged then they will be more willing to appease you if they believe they have no choice but to deal with you.

  16. TonyL says:

    Sorry, it will not work with North Korea. In fact , I think it is counter productive with respect to North Korea government. They don’t really need to appease anybody, because their 10,000 plus rockets are pointing at Seul. You can’t bully a mad dog. It is the US and South Korea who need to appease to them, to make them complacent. In the long run, we’ll find a crack.

  17. Brunswick says:

    Didn’t work for Truman in Korea,
    Didn’t work for Nixon in Vietnam,
    Definately didn’t work for Noriega, Saddam, Quafaddi, etc.

  18. Christopher Fay says:

    I think that $25 bil figure could be in the ball park. One reason I believe that he doesn’t release his tax returns is that we can start to get an inkling of what his net worth is. I have read in the past, but can’t point to anything now, that there is a lot of foreign investment in his various real estate holdings, from Japan or Saudi Arabia for example. And another New York legend that I saw in the early 2000s was that he did the Apprentice teevee show because he needed the money. The 1988-1990 recession didn’t treat him well, and the internet stock bubble popping aftermath didn’t treat him well. Also this doesn’t get mentioned enough, central bank policy under Greenspam and his minions was to create asset price inflation, rising real estate and stock values, which works especially for NYC real estate.

  19. Peter AU says:

    Somewhere on the net some time ago was a pdf of US unconventional warfare manual, or some such title. Had a quick search but could not recall specific search terms to bring it up.
    A few pages in was a type of pie chart. In many countries, the middle 70-80% are indifferent and go along with the official, or MSM narrative of the day.
    The 10% at the top of the chart and the 10% at the bottom of the chart are very aware.
    In the US at the moment it seems that the 10% at the top are leading an agenda and punching out propaganda that the middle 80% either follows religiously or makes them confused.
    The lower 10% understand exactly what is happening, as can be seen on many blogs alternate news ect, but like in nazi Germany, this 10% will most likely be eradicated before all is done and dusted.

  20. Pundita says:

    Matt — When last I checked Erdogan isn’t a neocon, and neither are the rulers of other foreign countries who are trying to take over Syria.
    Jack — If anything the ‘Putin’s stooge’ chorus is growing louder. It seems Mrs Clinton and her cadre are absolutely determined to demonstrate that Putin stole the election with Trump’s help. So if Trump thought some missile strikes and tough talk to Russia at the UN would get him off the hook, he misunderestimated.

  21. YT says:

    The Chinks tell hoi polloi they are still “The Middle Kingdom” – a proud Nation with Traditions that had a heavy influence on their neighbors.
    They broadcast 24/7 historical flicks & serials depicting white devils from the occident west insulting and shaming their forbears in many a contest of arms.
    As well as the nips raping women & young girls last century.
    Or how those sand-niggas in an archipelago murdered a great many innocents at the behest of a western govt.
    Your point being?
    (If one were to keep reminding oneself of festering wounds, he’d be unable to have healthy relations with Nips, white foreign devils, etc.)

  22. YT says:

    “Hatred, suspicion, and dislike is abroad in the world, sowing seeds already of another and more destructive war.
    The French, of course, like no one but themselves.
    Needless to say, they hate the Germans; they are jealous of Italians who are growing rapidly in size and power; they fear and hate the Russians, who have spread communist propaganda through their country; they are; and have always been, the enemies of the English; and they dislike us, because we are rich, prosperous, because they owe us money which we are asking them to pay.
    Of course, we are paying the penalty of being too prosperous in a world impoverished by an idiot and ruinous war.
    Very few people like us, and very few would be sorry to see misfortune fall upon us.
    I sometimes grow impatient with America for being a damn fool sentimentalist:-our money goes for hospitals, libraries, reconstruction work over here, and we are repaid with insults and mockery.
    We are accused of having entered the war to make more money, of having come in at the end to save our faces and our hides, of having sent wilson, who is pointed to as a fool and a scoundrel who made a peace that has ruined them.
    Of course, poor wilson had very little to do with it: the peace that was made, and for which they are now paying, was the work of the rouges who ran their governments at the time.”
    – from a letter of Thomas Wolfe to his mother,
    April 14 1925
    (h/t to Mr. Babak Makkinejad)

  23. Old Microbiologist says:

    Easy to call the US bluff. We simply cannot fight 8 potential major wars. Russia and China are allied more than the US and China are. Toss in Iran and Ukraine plus whatever can be assembled in South America or Africa and the US will have to make some serious choices. China might take the opportunity to steal back Taiwan assuming that deal hasn’t already been made in support of US invasion of North Korea. So, other opportunities to disrupt US foreign policy might include: Iran (or China or Russia) could supply North Korea with their super-cavitating torpedoes which the US has no defense against. North Korea has something like 70 old design and very basic diesel electric (yet still very effective) submarines and 3 nuclear torpedoes would eliminate the 3 carrier task forces. The US has opened up a can of worms here and the opportunities are presenting themselves more and more.
    On the other end of things the US is woefully unprepared to deflect any attack on its homeland. The infrastructure is open to cyber attacks but perhaps worse would be the possibility for internal saboteurs. I have worked with many fine Chinese scientists and even the ones who escaped China in fear of their lives for being Christians are still extraordinarily loyal to the motherland. The same might be true for Russians and Koreans to a lesser extent (and should South America or African nations get on the hit list from the US then it boggles the imagination) but many of these immigrants now work for the US government and are in positions to do major damage if called on to do so. Would it happen? Maybe and that is enough to be scared. These were the same reasons all Japanese were herded up and put into camps during World War II. The US has a history of oppression and it will do it again if it feels justified. Should the Koreans be attacked all hell will break loose at every level. So, IMHO Trump and his managers are clearly insane.
    What I keep coming back to is why we as a people waste so much effort, lives, and expense to prosecute wars that have no end game. We printed a lot of money to do all of this and have nothing except death and destruction to show for it. I feel sorry for all the men and women and their families whose children died or were maimed in “Defense of American Freedom” as the jingoists keep chanting. We lost the war in Vietnam where we fought to Keep America free. Are we any less free because we lost that war? I get sick of hearing all that BS. None of this has anything to do with American national security. If anything we are far less secure no than ever. The fact not much has been happening is more about who the terrorists really are and not how well prepared we are.
    My point is we could be printing the same amount of money to provide rebuilding all decayed infrastructure, free education, free health care, retirements, paid vacations, maternity leave, whatever. At least we would have something positive to show for going $20 Trillion into debt. But instead we are on a collision course for a trainwreck. I don’t see anyone other than Rand Paul or Tulsi Gabbard talking any sense these days.

  24. wisedupearly says:

    So many wrong assumptions about the value of face in NK you must be joking.
    But to keep it simple. How can you state that our tomahawk launch into Syria was a “fake attack”? What is “fake” about 59 tomahawks?
    Was the attack as “fake” as the attack on the USS Liberty?
    Or as “fake” as the attack on the USS Cole?

  25. Macgupta123 says:

    Saying that the aircraft carrier group was headed to the west Pacific while it was actually sailing to the Indian Ocean was quite something.

  26. LeaNder says:

    Jackrabbit, admittedly I am not too fond of the “selected con” theme? … Besides I am in a highly melancholic state of mind, for quite some time now.
    I made Husseini’s argument too, admittedly, around here. Without ever, admittedly being interested in parallel evidence collection, more surfaces. Trump and/or his adviser’s no doubt witnessed the success of the Trump campaign. Isn’t “Challenging the elites” vaguely the core? A better life? The desire for less wars, minus fighting the by now no doubt existent ISIS, both its warriors and its supporters. It offers a clear image of the enemy after all, that can be solidly rooted in the reality too.
    Besides: Is there any chance that a candidate can win without being solidly rooted in whatever type of elite support?
    But without looking it up more closely:
    …because [Obama] had given a speech years earlier against the then-impending invasion of Iraq.
    I still respect him for that. But obviously got more skeptic about his government after. As anyone else around here. Minus the treaty with Iran, that is, in my case. But I also somewhat respect him still for some matters that made him visibly vulnerable to attacks.
    Obama’s core problem was the fraction of the reality-creators, who succeeded beyond our wildest fears. However you define that camp. He would have been too late anyway. The train had left the station way too long ago.
    To what extend does this changed-outer-reality change us too?
    E.g. I stopped supporting a group working in the field of humanitarian aid, when i discovered their cooperation with Adopt a Revolution. Could I be sure that the money would only flow into “unarmed resistance”. Beyond that what would be wrong by creating structures for a civil society in Syria? Providing help for self-help?
    If I lean back and basically assume that all NGO’s cannot be trusted, then I have indeed arrived full circle in the perception of a NGO hunter in Israel. Who incidentally also targets group my above mentioned friends supported earlier. Who I also deeply disliked.

  27. tim s says:

    I don’t know where you are seeing this public erection over this missile strike. I don’t see it anywhere around me, and I’m in a pretty red area. If it is being presented through the media, either through surveys or video clips, it is likely their garden variety BS. All I know is that the majority of people have voted for the candidate who promised to end all of these wars over the past few elections. If there’s any bamboozling, it’s in the fact that people still believe that we have choice in our elections for high office.
    As far as defiling our culture, I’d argue that we have no defined culture in the USA, and haven’t for a very long time, unless you want to consider the continuous herding by deception that has been the norm for our entire lives here. How that can be defiled is beyond me.
    An analogy to Hitler is not a good one. He was actually a nationalist. What we have here with all of our past presidents are people posturing as nationalists to get the vote, and then showing either their true colors as a globalist or being coerced into hauling their water. Germany in the 20s & 30s was under the heel of the WW1 victors. We, however are the “victors” of the last major war. Germany at that time was trying to get rid of their “neocons” while we in the west are fairly well controlled by them.

  28. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Fair lament..good pencil OM. I guess for our age (at least) it has been conditioned to accept, even sometimes worship, that money is the measurer of all. OM, surely it matters who the “we” are when measuring/calculating return on investment/s.
    “…. At least we would have something positive to show for going $20 Trillion into debt.”

  29. LeaNder says:

    Kurt of Vlaanderen? Kurt of Flanders?
    sorry can’t help this:

  30. Seamus Padraig says:

    What he means by ‘fake’, I’m sure, is that the attack achieved no military objective at all; its purpose was clearly political in nature. I think we’re all in agreement on that point. As I see it, the only significant disagreement here is whether the political objective in question was domestic or foreign.

  31. Kutte says:

    … what will be our Night of the Long Knives? …
    What indeed? Events have proved one thing about Trump: The dumbest thing you can do is to underestimate him. They also proved one thing about the neocons: The dumbest thing about them is their complacency ! So wheen the sarin-fraud blows up, they might try to impeach him, but he might turn around and arrest McMaster and Comey(dian) etc. for having deceived him. Interesting times ahead.

  32. robt willmann says:

    Professor Theodore Postol appears to have a fourth article out about what now looks like (another) false flag operation in Syria about toxic gas to influence the public to support more violence against the Syrian people encouraged, assisted, or carried out by the U.S. and others. The “official” story is that Syria used an airplane(s) to drop one (or more) containers with toxic sarin gas on 4 April 2017 that killed civilians, including babies. Prof. Postol’s 13-page report is here–
    Postol uses the angle of the sun as part of his analysis. This reminds me of another patriot who was a scientist who used the angle of the sun in a different situation. Mac Cox was a retired scientist who had most likely worked at the National Reconnaissance Office. When a FLIR video that had been recorded the day of the FBI assault (possibly including elements of the military) on 19 April 1993 in Waco, Texas that resulted in many deaths and the Branch Davidian’s building being burned to the ground, the tape showed flashes of heat outside the building, which some interpreted as heat plumes from weapons being fired at the building. The FBI said that the flashes were merely sun reflections off of reflective material or glass on the ground in the area.
    Mr. Cox decided to check it out for himself, and proved that based on the position of the sun at the time of the attack on the building and the position of the airplane and the FLIR sensor at that time, it was impossible for the heat flashes on the tape to be from sun reflections. After Mr. Cox’s work appeared on his website, the FBI/government dropped its position on sun reflections. Being the detailed person he was, Mr. Cox said that although he proved that the flashes were not sun reflections, what actually caused the heat flashes on the tape was a separate question that he did not address. Because of Internet archives, some of his work is here–

  33. Fred says:

    Toxins in Flint`s drinking water killed zero.

  34. Jackrabbit says:

    So far.
    That’s part of the problem isn’t it? Actions resulting in statistical deaths are treated as a political problem. Don’t like it? Then vote in the alternative candidate that will also serve corporate interests. Rinse, repeat.
    Elite non-accountability is why Trump said that he could kill someone in Times Square and get away with it.

  35. ArianeG says:

    Do not be too hard with your fellow citizens, in France (and in Switzerland, I live in Geneva), we all too often see the same reaction to bombing: the people are asking for more. Since ancient Rome, the human has remained the same ….. unfortunately.

  36. Croesus says:

    With respect, in my opinion the analogy to Reichstag fire –> Nazis taking absolutist powers —> etc. is inapt.
    I believe the well-worn, relentlessly-repeated narrative suffers from failure to assess all of the evidence from a broader range of sources, in much the same way as the oft-repeated Syria narrative suffers.
    One example of details re the Reichstag fire that could change the assessment of how much power Hitler had, and who/what was behind that power: Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengel is the person who contacted Hitler at Goebbel’s home (iirc) to inform him of the fire.
    Putzi was a friend of Teddy Roosevelt and of FDR; they lunched together at Harvard.
    Putzi wrote in his memoirs that the “Heil” routine was borrowed from Harvard football cheers; and the swastika/flag was a minor redesign of a sports banner that appeared in Harvard sports video from that era. (I’m a quilter; When I look at film of Nazi parades, etc., the first question that pops into my head is, Who paid for all the fabric in those banners, and for the Hugo Boss uniforms? Germany was financially prostrate in Jan. 1933. Clearance sale at the local fabric shop? Here’s something interesting: In 1934 Congressman Nye caused this article from Fortune magazine to be entered into the Congressional Record: http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/tid/1900/1934/nye.pdf TEXT OF
    Putzi encouraged, assisted and financed Adolf to write Mein Kampf.
    Putzi brought Mein Kampf to the attention of FDR.
    Putzi gave Hitler shelter and support in the aftermath of the failed Beer Hall putsch.
    Putzi became a member of the Nazi party.
    Putzi later defected to USA and became an informant to the US gov.
    Before the Reichstag fire, FDR had cast the support of US government and his administration to Josef Stalin, who had already caused the deaths of several millions of Russians and Ukrainians.
    Communist films from the era when USSR still occupied E Berlin portray Hitler as a useful carry-out boy for the major financial concerns in Germany, other European states, as well as United States — the people who were actually calling the shots.
    Moreover, at the time of the Reichstag fire, Hitler / Germany was not engaged in wars, did not have military assets in numerous places around the globe, did not even have much more than the constrained force permitted by Versailles; as Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof explains in “1939: The War that had many fathers,” Germany’s neighbors had over 12 times the martial strength of Germany — contrast to USA, which spends multiples more than major states combined. Germany in 1933 was operating from a position of weakness & defensiveness, not of superpower strength and projection of power.
    What does it all mean? I don’t know. But they are facts, ineluctable facts that demand to be factored into judgments about the era and included in a full and complete history.
    I don’t think we have a complete and honest history of many WWII events (and punitive censoring of any and every attempt to reform the dogmatized narrative seems to me an indication that there are some awful truths that someone does not wish to be exposed).
    Thus, in my contrarian view, to use the Reichstag fire as an analogy to the present Syria debacle is to commit similar fallacies and lapses of critical judgment as Trump and the Borg are accused of committing in their propaganda on the situation.
    That said, and considering Mike Pompeo’s comments at his “first public speaking engagement” since his appointment as CIA director, at a CSIS event moderated by (neocon) Juan Zarate,
    I suggest that a more appropriate analogy of Trump’s Syria actions would be to the Cuba missile crisis.
    Pompeo’s remarks suggested to me that he functioned as a “Yes-man.”
    Pompeo gushed over his pride in being placed in his position, and pride in how “not just the CIA but the entire intelligence community, in short order . . . tested the hypotheses and . . . concluded that Assad did it.”
    Russia’s and Assad’s “disputation” of that conclusion were the expressions of “a man (Putin) who has no credibility . . . for whom the word veracity does not translate into English.” [er, Russian, Mr. Pompeo]
    According to one analysis of the decision-making at the time of the Cuban crisis, JFK felt himself surrounded by Yes men as he worked to resolve the threat.
    He was able to break through the ego-driven responses as well as his own impulses and act in a more statesman like fashion.
    Trump failed that test.
    I have implied that Hitler was a tool of larger powers — primarily financial and armaments interests engaged in a global geostrategic game from which USA emerged on top, by hook or by crook.
    Is Trump a similar tool? Does he know it? I think he does.
    Finally, I don’t think the Borg can be unraveled and exposed and defanged until the entire history of “the Reichstag fire” and all its precedents and consequences are thoroughly and honestly brought to light, damn the cries of Holocaust denial. This is our history and our patria,O mia patria, si bella et perduta . . . (If you love your country, Step Forward.)
    ONE MORE final finally — Maurizio Viroli is my guide to the study of Machiavelli. He shares his time between USA (Univ. of Texas at Austin) and Italy, where he is active in teaching on civic engagement. He wrote on the Berlusconi years a book titled “The Liberty of Servants”
    “Challenging our most cherished notions about liberty, Viroli argues that even if a power like Berlusconi’s has been established in the most legitimate manner and people are not denied their basic rights, the mere existence of such power makes those subject to it unfree. Most Italians, following the lead of their elites, lack the minimal moral qualities of free people, such as respect for the Constitution, the willingness to obey laws, and the readiness to discharge civic duties. As Viroli demonstrates, they exhibit instead the characteristics of servility, including flattery, blind devotion to powerful men, an inclination to lie, obsession with appearances, imitation, buffoonery, acquiescence, and docility. Accompanying these traits is a marked arrogance that is apparent among not only politicians but also ordinary citizens.”

  37. fanto says:

    YT, no, the chosen people are were not included in the Kurt v. V.’ piece. By the way, the German poet, R.M. v. Rilke said something like that – apparently fitting the different kinds of best people or best religions – “du bist nicht naeher an Gott, wir sind ihm alle weit..”
    (you are not nearer the Lord, for him we are all far away)

  38. wisedupearly says:

    Our “reasons” for conducting the tomahawk attack? Your claim that it was done “merely” for political reasons puts me in a rather violent frame of mind. There will be payback for this piece of theatrical stupidity and our troops are the ones most likely to suffer.
    You walk into a bar with girlfriend, pick some weedy dude and sucker punch him to impress your girl. This is smart? Imagine you are the weedy dude. Absolutely no thoughts of payback?
    Oh, BTW, the girlfriend just split, the other patrons loathe you, and your wallet was lifted so the bar tab is a problem.

  39. YT says:

    Too ‘complicated’ these thoughts for chinks (who worship only mammon or authority).
    Such ‘feelings’ as described by said poet only apt for dreamers of “multiculturalist” pax britannia or pax americana (whose acts abroad are anything but ‘pax’).
    Besides, said ‘chosen people’ you referred to are themselves deplorable by their ostracizing of own dark-skinned ‘brethren’ or those other ethnics from the Dark Continent…

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    These are the common characteristics of ancient peoples everywhere; they could not survive those past millenia in any other way.
    Italy, specifically, was a better place before the fall of the Berlin Wall; when all the East European unwashed and unwashable riff-Raff drifted into their country.

  41. YT says:

    re: blind devotion to powerful men
    ‘Twas Honoré de Balzac who quipped:”Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.”
    Sadly, to date, hoi polloi who worship mammon are still servile only to cretins with vast hoards.

  42. Ingolf says:

    I’m not American and feel slightly uncomfortable jumping into a conversation that feels kind of raw and personal.
    Still, FWIW, I wonder if comparisons to the Reichstag fire are any more useful than those to Chamberlain and Munich. Don’t dramatic analogies of this kind, with known catastrophic outcomes, run the danger of locking our thinking into rigid patterns rather than staying open to unfolding reality?
    Germany, in the years leading up to Hitler, had lost a disastrous war, suffered under an ignominious, highly controversial and impossibly punitive treaty, teetered on the edge of civil war, had its middle-class mostly wiped out by hyperinflation, endured continual weak and vacillating governments and then plunged into depression. It was primed for Hitler, or someone like him.
    Is the US also “in peril”? Seen from the outside, I think it probably is but is it in any meaningful way comparable to Germany in the 30s?
    As for “culture of death”, outside of (arguably) the adherents of the “war party”, does that phrase reasonably describe the US? Perhaps “tim s” is closer to the truth: “All I know is that the majority of people have voted for the candidate who promised to end all of these wars over the past few elections.” Again, from the outside, the “culture” of the US (to the extent that term is even meaningful) seems more like one of deeply embedded, almost blind self-perception as the exceptional nation, combined with a disinterest verging on carelessness about what that might actually mean in practice. That self perception may in parts be loosening its grip, but what remains nevertheless still gives the powers that be an awful lot of rope to play with.
    One of the big questions, to my mind, is whether there’s any real plan behind their (mostly) chaotic efforts in recent decades. Here, I’m with the Colonel in believing there’s far more stupidity involved than clever malice. Lots of competing factions, for sure, lots of greed, ambition, even zealotry, but well thought out grand plans? I don’t think so.

  43. Marko says:

    That’s really good , thanks for posting it. Almost a century later , and we haven’t learned a damn thing.
    ” Very few people like us, and very few would be sorry to see misfortune fall upon us. ”
    I’m certainly not one of the “very few ” , and I’m us.

  44. Marko says:

    It sounds like that pdf would mesh well with this :

  45. Marko says:

    While in broad agreement with your point , I think there are still some specific examples of stark cultural defiling that present themselves now and then.
    A recent case I found heartbreaking : Warmongering propagandist Brian Williams taking a dump on the grave of songwriter Leonard Cohen.

  46. johnf says:

    I thought the video above was far too smartass to be effective.
    It cracked through all the reasons to doubt Assad’s use of sarin gas at such a rate that only people who already understand all the arguments would be able to follow it. Newcomers – the people we want to convert – would be completely baffled by it.

  47. TonyL says:

    What an idiot that Brian Williams is! he obviously did not understand any thing Leonard Cohen said in the song that he quoted.

  48. YT says:

    No worries.
    I’ve no wish to see misfortune befall US citizens – many of whom mostly I’ve had pleasant encounters with even in my backwater neck-o’-the-woods (unlike other xenophobic white trash economic refugees from other hemispheres that have the temerity to view us Asiatics with disdain even tho their spouses are also Asiatic).
    Dude, I feel for y’all in the Nort Americas…
    People who’ve never experienced or gone thru the worst in life – all manner of trial & tribulation – can never hope to understand or have Empathy for those others in far-flung lands.
    Whatever the sins of US foreign policy or military misadventure, its citizens do not deserve such miseries…

  49. LeaNder says:

    Croesus, you miss the main importance of the Reichstag Fire, put another way it’s misuse. And that story tells a lot more about Hitler and his supporters and their intention. More then you learn if you throw Putzi or a couple of industrialists, financial elites, noble supporters, or one or the other White Russians into the larger mix. Hanfstaengel no doubt lived at the center of the Nazi movement in Munich after WWI. Became an early party member, was involved with the Beer House Putsch.
    Germany in 1933 was operating from a position of weakness & defensiveness, not of superpower strength and projection of power.
    But to deal with and move Germany beyond the “Schach” = shame,disgrace, ignominy, humilation of Verseilles was very, very much on their mind. Why do you think they built the “Reichsautobahn” network at a time not so many Germans owned cars?

  50. LeaNder says:

    Germany at that time was trying to get rid of their “neocons” while we in the west are fairly well controlled by them.
    I feel a bit uncomfortable with this. Germany did not have an equivalent to the “neocons” at that point in time. The vast majority of Jews, if that’s what’s on your mind, were no Zionists either. …
    One could argue what-if’s in this context. What if, Zionism hadn’t existed? But that’s a moot mental exercise. Their texts after all these years are no doubt highly irritating. But more then other European nationalist texts from the 19th to the early 20th century? Never seriously compared them, but I somewhat doubt.

  51. tim s says:

    re: Again, from the outside, the “culture” of the US (to the extent that term is even meaningful) seems more like one of deeply embedded, almost blind self-perception as the exceptional nation, combined with a disinterest verging on carelessness about what that might actually mean in practice
    Looking from the outside, one can primarily see the propaganda that is pushed onto the US citizens, and this propaganda has pushed this exceptionalism to the limits. One cannot see into the hearts and minds from outside. This propaganda is not nearly as effective as it used to be, say before 2001, but even then the mask was coming off. I’d say today that there is a lame minority who still feel exceptional, and a growing minority who are seeing the light. Still another large percentage FEEL the reality is very different and are no longer perceptive to this RAH RAH exceptionalism. Of course, this makes the propagandists double down to the point of self-parody in a disturbing manner.
    The election of Trump is a good indicator of the hearts and minds, although not at face value. I still don’t think a significant percentage took the man seriously, but saw him as a wrench to throw into the works of a system that was going to be our destruction. Not even a golden wrench, but the only option, however improbable, that may possibly knock the Borg off balance just enough….
    No matter what, at least now the Borg has to deal with the hand their dealt, and having him as their face for the next four years will do them no good in the long run.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Balzac was writing about per-industrial societies. Analogous saying exists in Persian:
    “Whosoever has his gold and silver increased,
    Thief has been himself or his father.”

  53. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “…but well thought out grand plans? I don’t think so.”
    The Fortress West has, from 1991 to the present, expanded East against the Russian Federation, has eliminated Yugoslavia, destroyed has the Ba’athist Iraq, has destroyed Libya, has tried to eviscerate the state & social cohesion of Iran, and through intermediaries has helped fan the flames of civil and proxy war in Syria.
    Fortress West was stopped in Korea when it became clear that Seoul would be destroyed if it bombed North Korea and in Iran when it became clear that it needed to invade Iran and did not have enough soldiers to do so and in Ukraine when the Russians finally sufficiently provoked to intervene and to protect their interests.
    And you claim all of this was without any design?
    I cannot credit that.
    I also cannot take seriously this idea of “Culture of Death” etc.; Fortress West is used to domination and considers itself morally upright, and rich enough and powerful enough to do what it pleases. This is an alliance wide phenomenon.
    This Spaniard fellow was haranguing me recently about how bad Iran was; socially regressive…etc. and “no rights for gays”. And how religious government was bad. Or this Italian fellow who had traveled in Iran and was opposed to Iran because she was not a “Democracy” (like Italy is a paragon of Clean Republicanism).
    That Iran was a sovereign state and her actions and policies were not dictated to her from Brussels or Washington DC did not occur to either of them. They very much preferred Mexico; yes, that decaying drug-run state, where a bimbo throws a fit and 42 students are murdered as a result, is superior to Iran – I suppose because the women there are not forced to wear hijab.
    In my opinion, Western Fortress is suffering from a severe case of Hubris and needs to seriously consider the possibility that it no longer has all the answers to people whose religion and culture it neither understands nor respects.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Forgot to add:
    “Sasoons” were not Iraqi Jews; they were Persian Jews, “Sasoon” was the local dialect of “Sassan” – after the Sassnaid Dynasty.

  55. tim s says:

    Equivalencies over time and space are not going to be all that clean. It is difficult to work through the story as written by the victors, but from what I can tell from the sources I’ve read/seen, the main purpose was to remove the “Neocons” from positions of influence in the government/civil_service and the media, in which their influence was considered corrosive to the German national character. I think that if you consider the similarities in situation of our current Neocons and Neoliberals with their (huge) influence over our foreign policy and fiscal policy respectively, some would see equivalencies.
    Here in the US, the general population has been trying to vote out those Neo’s for several elections now, with resounding failure up to this point. With our electoral system being ineffective/captured, it sets the stage for uglier attempts at relief.
    I don’t have the “vast majority” in mind. There are many who distinguish between the common citizens and the Neo’s.

  56. LeaNder says:

    “Schach” this should be Schmach.
    I am with Ingolf below. I do not find these comparisons helpful. Digging out the parallel sub-layers possibly leading people to the association–whatzit called again in the English/American context appropriately again?– beyond surfaces. Might be an interesting intellectual exercise. …
    But as German I was also quite fascinated admittedly to what extend 9/11 as a parallel to the Reichstag’s Fire was on people’s minds.
    But yes, Machiavelli hasn’t been called the bible of politicians for nothing. 😉

  57. YT says:

    This prepper challenges the dystopian scenario in the link you’ve posted.

  58. LeaNder says:

    “Looking from the outside, one can primarily see the propaganda that is pushed onto the US citizens”
    Not true. … But that is also a more complex subject.
    Concerning Babak’s response below, on fast scan, what I once called, forget what number I gave it, Babak’s 5% of irrationality: it surely is tempting to assume that neocons had a deeper layer below their Clean Break plan concerning the ME.
    Randomly: From a more subjective basis, meaning reverting to babbling me. Yes, the Balkan war felt like some type of Zeitenwende. A turning point. In hindsight, it seemed to start with the American political hero and not so impressive actor: Reagan. I was reminded of it in a statement by Condi Rice over here burned into my brain. Not verbatim, but since “burned” I guess, it should be pretty close:
    After 1989 everyone wondered, who would be our new enemies. Then 9/11 happened and everyone knew.

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Europeans are also dismally propagandized; largely by themselves.
    It is not possible to carry out a rational and dispassionate discourse with very many of them since they already have all the answers.
    Even such an innocuous idea as a Zero Sum Game cause some of them to get into a fit of rage.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Is it it irrational to point out the Fortress West’s combined economic and financial war against Iran; largely devised and carried out by the Europeans due to their deeper understanding of economic connections (at the time) between Iran and EU?
    In what manner was that war different from such per-Modern military practices (before cannons were invented) of surrounding an enemy city and trying to starve it into submission?
    I have a question for you: “Why does EU so irrationally hate Iran?”

  61. LeaNder says:

    Could you give me your sources, Tim?

  62. LeaNder says:

    OM, concerning your second paragraph.
    I am a bit wondering about your circling in on the possibly foreign inner enemies. Wondering how it could be related to your earlier pre-election fears, that felt like pro-Trump-side fears. If I didn’t misread, you felt his deserved success could be stolen by election hacking.
    In any case the two possible “Fifth Columns”, whoever you had in mind, not Russia it felt, don’t quite converge on my–admittedly limited mind.

  63. tim s says:

    I’m not good at keeping track of all my sources, but I am reading now TELL THE TRUTH & SHAME THE DEVIL by Menuhin which touches upon topics such as this.

  64. tim s says:

    I would imagine that the propaganda for both European and American markets springs from the same root – globalists.

  65. FB Ali says:

    tim s,
    Not a reply. Just trying to see if I can correct the mess made by the italics you put in and forgot to close off.
    A request: if you don’t know how to properly use italics/bold etc, please don’t try! You just screw up the succeeding text for anyone who wants to read the blog – and, believe me, a lot of people do!

  66. Ingolf says:

    “I’d say today that there is a lame minority who still feel exceptional, and a growing minority who are seeing the light. Still another large percentage FEEL the reality is very different and are no longer perceptive to this RAH RAH exceptionalism.”
    That may well be right. By “deeply embedded, almost blind self perception as the exceptional nation” I meant to convey that this was the default American position. As you say, recent events must have shaken that conviction for many, while some in response would double down.

  67. Ingolf says:

    There’s a difference between “without any design” and not having “well thought out grand plans”.
    Certainly there are designs at work in what the US has done in recent decades. I was simply suggesting much of it has been reactive, careless, and (as you noted) born of a profound sense of hubris.

  68. Ingolf says:

    Trying to close off the italics one more time.
    Cross fingers . . .

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I must have, per my usual, the last word on this:
    The distinction you make is one without merit, Fortress West has expanded and its enemies are dead.
    Fortress West is not US, EU (and I suppose now UK) are part and parcel of it.

  70. LeaNder says:

    Hmm? Ok, I see:
    Helpful of course to have the devil/satan/mephistopheles that neatly defined. I suppose? Would put him safely outside ourselves, maybe?
    The passage below was a lot on my mind as juvenile. But admittedly even after, I never really grasped to the extend I would like to, what could be good versus evil in every single human being, including me. Beyond metaphysics, that is.
    Too lazy to translate it myself. … Maybe it’s the repetition of “right” that doesn’t exist in the original. Verse of course forces compromise beyond language barriers.
    Mephistopheles I am the Spirit that denies!
    And rightly too; for all that doth begin
    Should rightly to destruction run;
    ‘Twere better then that nothing were begun.
    Thus everything that you call Sin,
    Destruction – in a word, as Evil represent-
    That is my own, real element.

  71. tim s says:

    I regret causing this formatting issue, if that is the case. I’ve used boolean operators before without issue. I didn’t forget to close them.
    However, please correct me if I was wrong in how I tried to do so. I used the “” before my text and “” after the text I wanted italicized.

  72. tim s says:

    This post at 9:03 didn’t appear correctly. In between both dual quotation marks is supposed to be the “less-than i greater-than”

  73. FB Ali says:

    I’m no expert, but, as far as I know, HTML tags operate thus:
    To start italics etc type in < > with i within. To end italicized text type at this point /i , inside the brackets.
    The same goes for bold or underlined text, except that one uses b or ul within the < >.
    For more on all this see: http://tinyurl.com/lnrd7r9

  74. Ingolf says:

    Fair enough, but you’ll have to respond one more time in order to have the last word.
    The US (and its “allies”) have indeed expanded but principally by taking on fresh liabilities. As for its (their?) enemies being dead . . . really? Seems to me they’re very much alive, and getting stronger by the day.
    And its friends, well, my guess is their sense of conviction, unlike that of America’s appointed enemies, is definitely not growing stronger.

  75. optimax says:

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH is a true statement if incomplete. Keeping the masses ignorant allows the elite free reign to enslave them.
    The same with WAR IS PEACE. Foreign wars rally the masses around the elite and allow them to squash dissent.

  76. LeaNder says:

    Babak, no harm meant. Seriously. What feels like irrationality to me, beyond your Makkadinejad theses, must not necessarily be. It may have to do–I am more intuitive then rigidly empirical around here–with your more emotional side in comments. Usually you seem more controlled by reason in your judgements.
    “I have a question for you: ‘Why does EU so irrationally hate Iran?'”
    I have not the least qualifications to speak for the European part of “Fortress West”. Personally I do not hate either Iran or Iranians, people living there or expats over here or elsewhere collectively. I also have a limited amount of influence on European foreign policy, to the extend there ever was a unique foreign policy.
    We agreed to disagree on Ahmadinejad, remember? I may have been completely mistaken in my judgement. He felt too much of the Janus face of another ME player from my no doubt limited grasp.
    While I would agree, that some things in his UN speech were justified complaints, Iranians no doubt have a lot to complain, the larger semi-coherent narrative irritiated me.
    I am aware that not many agreed with me at the time on Mondoweiss. I sure did agree with them concerning a deep dislike of the war drums against Iran, on the other hand.

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