"It is rare that we praise Donald Trump, but meeting with both Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin was the right thing to do. If our goal is to build peace, then calm talks, rather than threats and military escalation, are always the better path to take."
CodePink Statement, June 17, 2018. (Emphasis in the original.)
Thus read CodePink’s remarkable and courageous statement in the wake of the Helsinki Summit. To link the word "praise" with President Trump is to invite ostracism in progressive circles – even when nuclear Armageddon is the issue. But CodePink succumbed neither to Trump Derangement Syndrome nor to the related disorder Russophobia.
Continue reading “John Walsh says Progressive Democrats Hate Trump More Than War or Nuclear Disaster”
On Saturday afternoon, May 19, at 2pm, a Tribute to Robert Parry, Founder and Editor of Consortium News will be held at Berkeley Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar St. in Berkeley, CA. Open to the public. Tickets at Brownpapertickets.com or at the door ($10, $15, $20 – sliding scale).
It is no exaggeration to say that Bob Parry who died last January at the age of 68 was an exemplar of journalistic independence and integrity, and a very talented one. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) had this to say of him:
Journalism lost one of its most valuable investigators when Robert Parry died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, at the age of 68. He was the first reporter to reveal Oliver North’s operation in the White House basement (AP, 6/10/1985), and the co-author of the first report on Contra drug-smuggling (AP, 12/21/1985). He did some of the most important work investigating the 1980 Reagan campaign’s efforts to delay the return of US hostages held in Iran, a scandal known as the October Surprise.
Continue reading “Tribute to Journalistic Giant, Robert Parry, Founder of Consortium News, May 19, Berkeley”
"Public Troubled by Deep State" is the headline that the Monmouth University Polling Institute tags to its recent poll.
Polling about the term "Deep State" is problematical, because as the polling report says: "Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term "Deep State;" another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term."
So the careful pollsters at Monmouth defined the term as follows for their interviewees: "The term Deep State refers to the possible existence of a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy." Then they asked whether such a group exists.
Monmouth reports the results as follows: "Nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. This includes 27% who say it definitely exists and 47% who say it probably exists. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist (16% probably not and 5% definitely not)."
Furthermore, these opinions do not follow a partisan divide. The report continues: "Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group, although Republicans (31%) and independents (33%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (19%) to say that the Deep State definitely exists."
Continue reading “American Public Troubled by ‘Deep State’”
The East Bay Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Chapter #162 (which includes Oakland and Berkeley) has passed the following resolution in support of the Kim-Trump meeting:
Veterans for Peace 162 Supports Direct Talks between USA and North Korea
Veterans for Peace East Bay Chapter 162 strongly supports direct talks between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It is time to end the state of war between the US and North Korea. The prospect of a US attack on North Korea leading to North Korean nuclear retaliation is horrendous. We are appalled at the negative attitude towards these direct talks between North Korea and the US now evident in much of mainstream media. We wish to remind everyone that it was “the experts” who led us into previous disastrous foreign policy actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Direct talks and negotiations toward peace on the Korean Peninsula will be a positive step for all of humanity.
“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.
~ From Tom Lehrer’s ballad of Wernher von Braun
From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning is the enlightening memoir by Paul Johnstone, a man who worked in the "department" that decided where "they" would come down. Johnstone labored there during WWII and then from 1949 to 1969, the initial period of the Cold War and the period covered by this book. On August 29, 1949, the USSR caught the world flat-footed when it set off its first nuclear bomb. Thus began the years when frightened children scrambled under their desks by day and were tormented with mushroom cloud nightmares by night. The U.S. and the USSR stood on The Brink over the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Crisis when The Wall went up. Those years were the initial period of nuclear standoff called MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).
What Johnstone saw as he went about his duties horrified him – and it should also horrify us. For it is the thesis of the Afterword, by the author’s daughter, the prominent political commentator Diana Johnstone, that after the demise of the Soviet Union, the US moved quickly from "MAD to Madness." Madness refers to plans for a knockout nuclear first strike on Russia, aided and abetted by the latest missile defense boondoggle. That was a favorite fantasy of the generals in the post-WWII era. Whether we now live in another era of Madness, when a disabling first strike again dances in the heads of the Elite, or once again in an era of MAD is an open question in my mind. But Paul Johnstone’s memoir is a work of great importance in either case.
Continue reading “The Fog of Cold War”
When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of "hacking the election" on December 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin’s response was to issue an invitation to American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.
Then came the shock from President Elect Trump, in the form of a tweet (what else) heard round the world that read:
"Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!"
And to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump "pinned" the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of "pinning" for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, December 30.
Continue reading “Let All Opposed to War Praise Trump’s ‘Treasonous’ Tweet”