The Isthmus of Panama was attractive to the growing American empire. A canal across these 37 miles would be hugely profitable, improve American commerce, and speed military movements. One problem was that Panama was a province of Columbia since 1821 that demanded a large share of the profits a canal would generate. The solution was to send US Marines to invade Panama and steal it! This fact does not appear in official history, which pretends that Panamanians declared independence from Colombia in 1903 then gave the land to the United States.
The New York Times reports on the resignation of Brian Hook, who will be replaced by none other than Elliott Abrams:
Mr. Hook will be succeeded by Elliott Abrams, a conservative foreign policy veteran and Iran hard-liner who is currently the State Department’s special representative for Venezuela.
As the administration’s special envoy, Hook had no success in gaining support from other governments for the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. His brief stint as a negotiator with our European allies yielded nothing, and when he was trying to negotiate with them Trump famously had no idea who he was. He mostly served as one of the administration’s leading propagandists. He was responsible for lies about Yemen, cringe-inducing video messages, promoting the administration’s weird fixation with Cyrus the Great, and embarrassing historical revisionism about the 1953 coup. When he wasn’t trying to bribe ships’ captains to steal Iranian cargo, he was insulting our intelligence with phony claims of wanting to normalize relations with Tehran. Last year he came under fire from the State Department’s Inspector General for his role in the mistreatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was the target of political retaliation at the department on account of her support for the JCPOA and at least partly because of her Iranian heritage. Hook is described in the Times‘ report as a “survivor,” but they neglect to mention that the reason he has survived so long in the Trump administration is his cowardice.
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the coverage of Hook·s resignation is that it is framed as somehow undermining the chances of diplomacy with Iran.
Washington, D.C. – BringOurTroopsHome.US, a national right-of-center group of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, in a letter Wednesday urged Republican Congressional candidates to disavow any endorsement or contributions from Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., because of Cheney’s obstruction of President Donald Trump’s attempts to withdraw the U.S. from involvement in nearly two-decade old wars in the Middle East.
“I am writing you with a warning and a plea,” former Idaho Army National Guard Sgt. Dan McKnight wrote GOP candidates. “Your campaign for Congress may be approached by or may already have been endorsed by Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject any such endorsement. And if you have already received such backing, I urge that you immediately and publicly renounce it and return any funds she may have sent you.”
McKnight also urged GOP candidates, if elected, “to oppose the election of Rep. Cheney to any position of leadership in the Republican caucus. …Her retention of a leadership spot in Congress is an insult to America’s veterans and all who value their 2nd Amendment rights.”
McKnight said Cheney’s opposition to withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other foreign civil wars “put her at odds with the overwhelming majority of Americans, a huge majority of Republicans, and with President Trump.”
Today, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima, should be a day for quiet introspection. I recall a summer morning following the U.S. 2003 "Shock and Awe" invasion of Iraq when the segment of the Chicago River flowing past the headquarters of the world’s second largest defense contractor, Boeing, turned the rich, red color of blood.At the water’s edge, Chicago activists, long accustomed to the river being dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day turned the river red to symbolize the bloodshed caused by Boeing products. On the bridge outside of Boeing’s entrance, activists held placards urging Boeing to stop making weapons.
This summer, orders for Boeing’s commercial jets have cratered during the pandemic, but the company’s revenue from weapon-making contracts remains steady. David Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, recently expressed confidence the US government will support defense industries no matter who occupies the Oval Office. Both presidential candidates appear "globally oriented," he said, "and interested in the defense of our country."
Investors should ask how Boeing’s contract to deliver 1,000 SLAM- ER weapons (Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia "defends" the United States.
Seventy five years ago this week, the world witnessed a cataclysm that was to change the nature of war forever: The atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and worse – while the Japanese argued among themselves about whether and how to surrender – a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later on August 9th. Now there was no other rational choice, and the Japanese gave up.
If anything good ever came out of a war, it was the generous peace. The US helped in the reconstruction of the defeated nations. As a teenage student in London, I remember visiting Germany a dozen years after the war ended. Major centers had been flattened by the bombing. In Hamburg, one would see a few residential buildings and then ruins as far as the eye could see as if a massive earthquake had hit. A never ending horror across all major cities and a shortage of labor. So the Turks came … and stayed. Welcome then, not so much now.
The Germans were humble – a humility that would gradually diminish with the country’s resurgence as one observed over succeeding decades. Cleanliness and order are part of the national psyche, particularly the latter. Everything in order – Alles in ordnung. It even applies on a personal level as someone might ask exactly that if you appear disturbed. It then means, "Everything okay?"
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice is rumored to be near the top of Joe Biden’s short list for vice presidential candidates. A new letter attacking Rice’s “poor judgment” is being widely circulated among delegates to the Democratic National Convention, calling Biden’s inner circle of foreign policy advisors a “horror show” with track records supporting “disastrous” U.S. military interventions. The letter hasalready received more than 275 signatures from delegates, almost all of whom had been pledged to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
The letter highlights Biden’s long-time chief aide on foreign affairs Antony Blinken as well as several other prominent former members of the Obama Administration who would likely hold cabinet-level appointments in a Biden administration, HuffPost reports. Blinken co-founded a company called WestExec Advisors, that aided a Pentagon effort to enhance drone warfare.
The presumptive Democratic nominee is relying on former Obama aides and Libya war cheerleaders Samantha Power and Jake Sullivan, as well as a bevy of other military-industrial complex beneficiaries, including former Defense Department official Michèle Flournoy, who worked several years for the Boston Consulting Group, while the firm accrued multi-million dollar contracts with the military, and Avril Haines, a former CIA deputy director reviled on the left for her role in making redactions to a report on President George W. Bush’s use of torture and her assistance in President Barack Obama’s extra judicial drone strikes.