American Disfigurement

Americans are disfigured, because America is disfigured.

It’s very hard to know these days who is a friend and who is sadly made unrecognizable as a human being. Watch this video:

Watch this journalism showing a close look at the people we are trying to destroy by arming and paying a terrorist army to destroy them.

Try to become human again. We’ve become disfigured as human beings, by our country’s policies, which disfigure our country as they disfigure the world, and us.

I quote, below in full, a Facebook post from New York Times reporter, Richard Perez-Pena, with my comments inline.

First though, a disfiguring remark by a Facebook friend:

“Beware of Donald Trump. Witlessly or willfully, he’s doing the Kremlin’s bidding. Anyone who enables him — on his payroll or in the press, by sucking up or by silence, out of good will or cowardice — is Vladimir Putin’s useful idiot. This is a national emergency, and treating it like normal is criminally negligent of our duty to American democracy.”

These are the sounds of darkness, a dark age.

We’re supposed to vilify Putin, but in every case in which I’m expected to vilify, I agree with Putin and the accusations are unfounded. This has been my position for years, since long before Trump was a candidate, since long before the election cycle. It so happens that I believe our war against Syria is wrong. I have believed this, and written about it, since 2011 when we started our war against Syria. And before that our war against Libya (2011), and before that our war against Iraq (2003). I do not follow along with the demonization of Saddam Hussein, or Muammmar Gaddafi, or Bashar Al-Assad. No. Rather, I view the demonization as a key part of a propaganda campaign justifying illegal American wars of aggression. In the first case we did this with our own army (both uniformed military, and our privatized army which outnumbered the uniformed service). For our Libya and Syria wars we’ve switched tactics to hiring mercenaries, a proxy army that we pay and arm. ISIS and Al Qaeda are our proxy army in Libya and Syria. We conduct a heinous war of aggression, a sustained and systematic crime against humanity, against the Syrian state and the Syrian people, and we use a terrorist army as our proxy, to stand in our place, to act for us, on our command, and on our dime. We are disfigured, hideously.

I oppose these wars, and I think the policy apparatus that produces these war policies, operates in error. It is the duty of American citizens to speak out against these policies. That duty doesn’t change and is not invalidated because any other foreign country happens to agree that the policies are in error.

To say otherwise is just twisted logic in the extreme, much like the policies themselves, twisted, disfigured.

I agree with Tulsi Gabbard who just introduced her “Stop Arming Terrorists” bill. That’s what we need. When we stop arming terrorists, Syria will be at peace and will rebuild. We don’t need what Clinton promised which was to escalate by bombing the Syrian army and providing air cover for our Al Qaeda terrorists. That’s what Clinton promised, AND even at the cost of direct war with Russia. This has to stop. We don’t need the electoral college to install Clinton. We don’t need to destroy Syria and go to war with Russia. In fact, we don’t need war with Russia, again a second time.

In 2014, the US fomented a coup in Ukraine. I found this to be, at the time, problematic to say the least. It’s more accurate in my opinion to describe US action in Ukraine as insane beyond all measure. It goes beyond any of the crazy belligerence that Kubrick dreamed up in Dr. Strangelove in 1964. That was just one lone lunatic. Today we have an entire policy establishment and American political culture that in February 2014, defacto expanded NATO (US Military) control east all the way to the Black Sea through Sevastopol. This is a US claim for space that has been integral to Russia since before the United States existed.

And Russia will not accept that. Rightly so, because there is no rational foundation for such a claim. America’s claim, for NATO control in Crimea and Sevastopol, is equivalent to Russia making a claim, after staging a coup d’etat in Virginia, for all of the area surrounding Norfolk, Virginia. Totally absurd, insane, and not even thinkable. And yet, American policy makers not only think it, but implement it.


There is no conceivable scenario in which Russia, no matter who leads it, will accept handing over Crimea to NATO.

We screwed this up, totally. Before our Victoria Nuland coup in 2014, Ukraine, since its formation in 1991 by treaty with Russia at the end of the Soviet Union, was independent and whole. The formation of independent Ukraine, included a long term Russian lease on Russia’s naval base at Sevastopol, for which Russia paid Ukraine annually. This had been the case and would have remained the case.

The coup d’etat that ejected the Ukrainian president from office in February 2014 was fomented by the US State Department. There is plenty of evidence for that. But even if that’s not true (it is true), the effect was a NATO expansion into Ukraine. NATO expansion was part of the agreement that the new government implemented on day 1, an EU/NATO agreement which had been rejected by the pre-coup elected government. Also on day 1, the new coup government announced its intent to dismiss the long term lease (25 years) that had just been renewed with Russia for lease of the Russian naval base at Sevastopol.

Sevastopol is a strategic position that Russia has held for hundreds of years. That’s not by any means the whole story though because it doesn’t account for the profound significance of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia, historically, culturally, militarily, strategically. I’m not well enough equipped with insight to do justice to these factors. But for anyone interested, the literature is rich. Knowledge is ready at hand.

No Russian government would accept the loss of this arrangement for Sevastopol/Crimea. It was premised on good relations with Ukraine, respecting centuries of shared culture, shared language, intermarriage, shared history. This, the US attempted to overturn in 2014, in an act of political and historical arrogance and ignorance. America, in the 21st century, is like a chess player that imagines only one move at a time (his own). That works great when you have no serious opponent, but it works for shit when you do.

Furthermore, there is the rest of Ukraine. Let’s put Crimea aside now because it is Russian again, and will be Russian. That’s not going to change, short of a nuclear war in which a “winner” remains to claim it from Russia. There is also the reality that the eastern Ukrainians (along with Crimea) are ethnically, culturally, and linguistically Russian and there is absolutely no way they are going to accept being ruled by the people we put in power In Kiev in 2014. There are many reasons for that, all running through the ugliest aspects of WWII. The only solution for this is the solution outlined in Minsk II. Minsk outlines the political settlement.

These are my opinions. Do they make me pro-Russian? Anti-American? Certainly not. On the contrary, when US policy making is disfigured, it is my duty as an American to say so. It’s un-American to presume that any American policy is good for America, or engendered by American values. These 21st century American war policies, are not founded on American values. Rather, these policies are unfounded, wrong, and morally catastrophic.

I comment now on a Facebook post by NYT reporter, Richard Perez-Pena. I quote his post of December 13th in full below with my remarks inline.

Richard Perez-Pena
December 13 at 7:44am ·

In case anyone wonders whether Putin stood to gain by a Trump victory:

Uhm. Wait a minute. Already the first line is disfigured. To whom does Perez-Pena refer? It’s a straw man. There is no one wondering whether Putin stood to gain by a Trump victory. Informed observers have heard what Russia has consistently said, clearly, for years: Russia prefers and seeks partnership with the US, and stable international relations. Russia seeks our partnership, not our hostility.

November, 2013 on NBC, Trump praised Putin and said he had a relationship with the Russian president, a claim he would disavow later, during the campaign. The interviewer, Thomas Roberts, asked, “Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, a conversational relationship, or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?” “I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we are doing here today,” Trump replied. “He’s done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he’s representing.”

^^We’re expected to hyperventilate over this? Of course Russia is interested in American presidential candidates, particularly when one of them promises more war — more cluster bombs for Kiev for use on ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, and more arms delivered to ISIS and Al Qaeda in America’s relentless regime change war against Syria — while the other candidate finds these policies flawed and destructive.

May 17, 2014 at the National Press Club, Trump said that he had spoken “directly and indirectly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.” This was two months after Russia annexed Crimea and began a proxy war in eastern Ukraine, supporting Russian separatists. Trump would say later, during the campaign, that he had never had any contact with Putin.

^^And what is wrong with speaking to the President of Russia? What exactly is the problem? Why would important political figures, candidates, not speak to leaders of other countries? Absent the Russia demonization narrative, there is no reason. The only thing here, is Russia demonization, and the implication that one is not supposed to speak with those who are demonized. Further disfigurement follows. The idea that Russian action in Ukraine and Crimea is autonomous and not the inevitable reaction to preceding American actions, is simply a joke, and it makes the joke-teller, a joke. No serious scholar, or reader, citizen, or journalist would write the paragraph above.

June 17, 2015 on Fox News, Trump praised Putin, saying, “He’s got a tremendous popularity in Russia. They love what he’s doing, they love what he represents.” He said the U.S. should be friendlier and more cooperative toward Russia – a position he would repeat many times during the campaign – and added, “I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin.”

^^Again, what problem is identified here, absent the Russia demonization narrative? You have to ignorant of Russia history of the 1990’s to fail to recognize the accomplishments that Putin brought to Russia, saving Russia from total collapse. The Russian people are grateful to Putin, for good reason.

Oct. 11, 2015 on CBS News, Trump praised Putin’s bombing campaign in Syria, which the West had protested. Russia said the bombing was aimed solely at terrorists, but Western officials said it also targeted other opponents of the Assad regime, and was to blame for many civilian deaths. “If he wants to be bombing ISIS, let him bomb them.”

^^America’s war against Syria, against Syria’s army, against Syria’s government, against Syria’s leader, is a heinous crime against humanity, a violation of Principle VI (a), of the Nuremberg Principles. US policy is a hideous violent crime of mass murder, and we do it by proxy, by arming and funding Al Qaeda and ISIS. There is no justification whatsoever for American policy. It must come to an end immediately. Trump is right. Russia is right. Assad is right. The Syrian army is right. The Syrian people are right. Tulsi Gabbard is right: 

Nov. 10, 2015, in a Republican debate, Trump said of Putin, “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stable-mates. We did well that night.” In fact, he and Putin were on separate, unrelated segments of the show, recorded separately and several thousand miles apart, and he later said they had never met.

^^My goodness. Takes your breath away.

Dec. 10, 2015, Michael Flynn, a former American general who would become a top advisor to Trump, participated in a gala for RT (formerly Russia Today) the Putin-controlled television news network, sitting near Putin and doing a lengthy Q&A session for the audience.

^^”Putin-controlled television network”. How about this instead: Russia is a country. It exists. It operates a media network, much like Germany operates Deutche Welle, Britain operates the BBC, Sweden operates SVT, and so on, the US: NPR, PBS… Would there be a problem with an American official appearing on BBC, DW, SVT? No. Once again, absent the Russia demonization narrative, there’s nothing to say here. Except, this: Russian media, generally, is high quality. You should watch more of it. Here’s Flynn, on RT, interviewed by Sophie Shevardnadze (yes, related). For those old enough to remember Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, Sophie is his grand daughter. She is an outstanding journalist and interviewer and has an excellent talk show on RT, “Sophia and Co”. I highly recommend it. Here she is interviewing Michael Flynn: 

Dec. 17, 2015, Putin said of Trump, “There is no doubt that he is a very bright and talented man.” Trump’s response, in a statement: “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” Trump would later, repeatedly, say incorrectly that Putin had called him “a genius.”

^^Putin called him “colorful”. Scandal! Heaven help us.

Dec. 18, 2015 on MSNBC, when host Joe Scarborough noted that Putin is also “a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries,” Trump defended Putin, and compared him favorably to President Obama. “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said. When Scarborough pressed, Trump said, “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe.”

^^Putin doesn’t kill journalists. This is the Russia demonization narrative, unfounded, evidence-free.

Dec. 20 on ABC, when George Stephanopolous raised the same concerns, Trump said: “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? … Yeah, sure, there are allegations. I’ve read those allegations over the years, but nobody’s proven that he’s killed anybody as far as I’m concerned.” In fact, Western intelligence services and news organizations have cited strong evidence that Putin’s regime has carried out political assassinations. Over a 15-year period, 34 journalists whose work criticized the Russian government or its allies were murdered, compared to 3 journalists killed in the United States because of their work.

^^This does not accurately portray the state of Russian journalism, nor does it cite any evidence that Russia murders journalists.

Early 2016, as Flynn, the former general, became an advisor to Trump, he was also a semi-regular commentator on RT, the Russian state-controlled channel that has been criticized as a propaganda tool for Putin. Flynn argued that the U.S. should be friendlier and more cooperative toward Russia. This is one of the elements that Politico would cite in May, in calling Trump “The Kremlin’s Candidate.”

^^What is the obsession with demonizing state-funded media? Are there any legitimate reasons not to be friendly with Russia? Uh. No. Speaking of “propaganda tools”…

March 21, 2016 in a Washington Post interview, Trump gave the names of five people advising him on foreign policy – four relatively prominent, and Carter Page, a little-known investment fund manager who does business in Russia and has ties to the Russian regime.

^^And so, no one is supposed to do any business in Russia? Is that the idea? What am I supposed to understand from this? Russia is a large country and has oil reserves in excess of Saudi Arabia’s. Every western oil company has been making deals in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it is their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to do so. Why would oil companies not make deals for Russian oil? I don’t get it. Countries have business relations with each other. This is normal as it should be. What’s not normal, is going about the world demonizing every second country and calling everything a “regime” and carrying out regime change policy in a state of perpetual global war.

In that same interview, Trump said the U.S. might need to reduce its involvement in NATO, the alliance created to keep Russia in check, adding, “NATO is costing us a fortune.” National security experts warned that such a stance could embolden Putin to be more aggressive.

^^Aggressive? Russian aggression? Right. So, the Soviet Union closed up shop in 1991, devolved enormous territories into new and independent nation states, including Ukraine, Kazakstan and others, completely disbanded the Warsaw Pact military alliance, and vacated the entirety of Eastern Europe, returning all Russian troops home to Russia. That’s Russian aggression? Not by any rational non-psychotic evaluation of reality. Rather though what we have enjoyed for decades now is an insane representation of reality, through the lens of the New York Times, “propaganda tool” par excellence!

March 28, 2016, the Trump campaign hired as a strategist Paul Manafort, who had worked for the corrupt, pro-Putin regime of the former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, and had also worked for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian business tycoon close to Putin.

^^Come on! Goodness. American public relations people, political campaign advisors, sell their wares worldwide, including in Russia. So what?

May 19, 2016, Manafort became chairman and chief strategist of the Trump campaign.


June 14, 2016, private security experts said Russian security services hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computers.

^^Countries do espionage against each other, all the time. The US is the best at it. For serious coverage of what this means, what can be verified and what can’t, what is known and not known, there is plenty of good journalism on this, though not at the New York Times. Start with Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept

July 8, 2016, Carter Page, the Trump foreign policy advisor, gave a speech in Moscow criticizing U.S. policy toward Russia, and criticizing the sanctions against Russia, which had damaged his investments.

^^Americans are not allowed to have investments? Americans are not allowed to speak in opposition to sanctions policies? What is the rational basis for our sanctions against Russia? That in response to our NATO putsch into Ukraine they reacted by reuniting with Crimea? The blame there, is ours entirely! No one forced us, to force NATO into Ukraine. We did that all by ourselves, and everything that followed in Ukraine follows from that directly. Sanctions, by the way, are an act of war. So also is a NATO claim for space that claims for NATO territory that has been integral to Russia for hundreds of years and is of profound significance to Russia. Serious analysis can only conclude that since that insane American action in 2014 we should have nothing but sincere gratitude for Putin’s measured reaction and principled restraint. If the tables were turned, and the US endured this kind of provocation from Russia, can we imagine the result?

Mid-July, 2016, as Republican delegates drafted the party’s platform, Trump campaign staffers intervened to eliminate language in favor of providing weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression. Otherwise, the Trump staffers were largely passive observers to the drafting. Manafort later denied that the Trump campaign had anything to do with the changes, despite accounts to the contrary from those who were present.

^^Thank goodness indeed. on what basis would we increase the militarization of a political conflict in Ukraine? The resolution is clear: Minsk II, a step by step process for bringing the conflict to an end. Again, this is a conflict that is entirely the fault of the United States. It is our actions that fomented a coup d’etat in Kiev. Evidence for this is abundant, and not hidden. One need only look. The Minsk Agreement is the answer, not arms transfers, not an escalation of the war that we started, not cluster bombs killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. In this paragraph above, The New York Times continues its war mongering.

July 18, 2016, Michael Flynn, the former general with a pro-Russian take on American policy, had a speaking role at the Republican Convention, and joined in chants of “Lock her up.”

^^Hillary Clinton is very pro-war. She makes George Bush look like a pacifist Quaker.

July 21, 2016 in a New York Times interview, Trump said that unless NATO countries, Japan and other allies increased military spending, he would be willing to back away from longstanding commitments to defend them. If they did not shoulder more defense costs, “Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, `Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’ ” Again, security experts warned that he could be encouraging Russian aggression.

^^There is no Russian aggression. There is only Russian reaction, and very restrained reaction, to relentless NATO expansion and aggression. NATO has been transformed into a perpetual war crimes generator, a regime-change machine burning down the entire middle east, uselessly militarizing eastern europe, and making insane claims for space that cannot be supported by any rational argument.

July 24, 2016, after e-mails damaging to the Democrats, obtained through the hack of DNC computers, were released, cyber-security experts said the evidence was stronger than ever that Russian security services were responsible.

^^Perez-Pena’s post is getting repetitive, and yet it undermines itself. I thought the experts were certain before. Here they say the evidence is strong than ever, and yet no evidence is provided. Well, there was some purported evidence, but this has been debunked and it’s a joke.

July 26, 2016, National security officials said, on background, that they had “high confidence” that the Russian intelligence services carried out the DNC hack.


July 27, 2016, at a press conference, Trump expressed doubt – one time among many – that Russia was responsible for the DNC hack, though he cited no evidence. “It’s probably not, nobody knows who it is,” he said. He suggested that if Russia were responsible, it would be the fault of the Obama administration, because “it shows how little respect they have for our country.”

^^So there is a problem with expressing doubt about this, about the anonymous intelligence sources who make allegations without evidence?

At that same press conference, Trump appeared to invite the Putin regime to hack into Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail, and locate the e-mails she deleted. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

^^Tone deaf much? Trump made a joke. And it worked. Timing was great. Funny.

And also at that same press conference, Trump said he might recognize Russian annexation of Crimea, and ease economic sanctions imposed as punishment for the annexation.

^^We should recognize it. Absolutely. The Crimean people overwhelmingly want that. There is no way in hell that ethnic Russians in Crimea, or in Eastern Ukraine, are going to accept being governed by the people we put in power in Kiev. The reasons for that are profound and inseparable from the ugliest aspects of WWII. Furthermore, we have to recognize, again, the fact that Russia would not have annexed Crimea if the US had not implemented its coup in Kiev in 2014. The fault is ours. And nothing will change this now. We should be more careful in the future.

July 31, 2016 on ABC, Trump said of Putin, “He’s not going into Ukraine, O.K., just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right?” When host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that Putin had already gone into Ukraine, annexing Crimea and taking part in the war in eastern Ukraine, Trump said, “O.K., well, he’s there in a certain way.”

^^It was stupid to misread this at the time, and it’s stupid to repeat it now. Russia, and Germany and France, have agreed (Minsk II) to American control of western Ukraine. This is enough. Crimea is not coming back, but we can have NATO in Western Ukraine, and Kiev, with Eastern Ukraine remaining integral to Ukraine with powers devolved and federalized.

Aug. 14 2016, The New York Times reported that Ukrainian investigators had found a ledger indicating millions of dollars in undisclosed and possibly illegal payments to Manafort by the pro-Putin party that was previously in power. Manafort denied receiving such payments.

^^Repetitive again. Manafort was already listed above, in this list. He was an American political consultant for hire. Nothing illegal about that. Not even unusual.

Aug. 15 2016, Flynn, defending his appearances on RT, the network controlled by the Russian government, told the Washington Post that it was no different from CNN.

^^This is listed again? Oh, I see, the list is chronological. The charge remains stupid though. Flynn could appear every day on RT. The charge would remain stupid, every time.

Aug. 17, 2016, Trump began to receive briefings from U.S. intelligence services, and had Flynn sit in on them. It was later reported that Flynn still had foreign clients at the time, and that he was disruptive in the briefings, disputing some of the intelligence being presented to Trump.

^^Awwww. Oh my goodness. Flynn didn’t remain quiet, and he disputed intelligence? Gasp! The horror!

Aug. 19, 2016, Manafort quit the Trump campaign after the report of Ukrainian payments to him.

^^The power of propaganda.

/Sept. 8, 2016, on NBC, Trump said of Putin, “he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”

^^Say it ain’t so.

Sept. 8, 2016, Trump gave an interview to RT, on a show hosted by Larry King, and said he doubted Russia’s involvement in the DNC hacking. Trump’s campaign said he thought the interview was for a podcast, and did not know that it would be broadcast on a Russian state-owned channel. King, who had been hosting RT programs for more than three years, said Trump’s explanation “stretches it a little.” He said he did not know what his producers said to Trump, “except he was doing my TV show.”

^^This is a non-story. There is nothing nefarious about RT, nor about Russia. Again, absent the Russia demonization narrative, there is nothing here.

Oct. 7, 2016, the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security publicly accused Russia of perpetrating the DNC hack. Trump would continue to dispute that, still not citing any evidence.

^^It remains in dispute. For good reason.

Oct. 31, 2016, news broke on Slate that cyber-security experts had found that traffic on a Trump Organization e-mail server consisted almost entirely of contacts with computers at Alfa Bank, a Russian bank controlled by friends of Putin’s. After reporters began asking questions about it, the electronic communication ceased. The Trump campaign said the server had not been in use since 2010, and that Trump had no business dealings in Russia, an assertion Trump had also made. Alfa Bank said it had no business with Trump, and did not know of any computer traffic between the organizations.

^^You’ve got to be kidding? You continue to report this on December 13th, after this “story” has been totally debunked? Good lord

Nov. 10, 2016, officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that during the campaign, the ministry had been in touch with the Trump campaign. “There were contacts,” said Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage … quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.” The Trump campaign denied that there had been any such contact.

^^A non-story.

Nov. 17, 2016, Trump selected Flynn as his national security advisor, despite concerns raised about his promoting baseless conspiracy theories, his anti-Islam comments, and his work advising foreign clients.

^^There is a distinction between “anti-Islam” and anti-ISIS, anti-Al Qaeda, anti-fundamentalist jihadist. Flynn is the latter. The New York Times is on the wrong side of that distinction. The NYT is a constant champion of regime change war against secular muslim nation states (Iraq, Libya, Syria). That is anti-Islam. Burning down half the Middle East, is anti-Islam. Enabling, arming, funding, and tasking Islamic jihadists to destroy secular muslim nation states, as is American policy this century, that is anti-islam. Supporting jihad against muslim nation states, Iraq, Libya, Syria, results in the growth of this:  Flynn opposes these regime change policies, and the enabling of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Dec. 9, 2016, news broke that C.I.A. officials concluded that Russia’s motives in the DNC hack included defeating Clinton and getting Trump elected. The F.B.I. agreed on Russian culpability, but was not convinced about motive. Trump and his aides continued to deny Russian involvement, though some Republicans in Congress said the evidence for it was compelling, and called for an investigation. The Trump camp’s position appeared to be based not on any assessment of the evidence – again, they cited none – but on concerns about the legitimacy of his victory being undermined, and perhaps on Michael Flynn’s disdain for the C.I.A.

^^Lots of hysteria. No evidence. Continued Russia demonization narrative. “The Trump camp’s position appeared to be based not on any assessment of the evidence – again, they cited none –”

Wow! What a zinger! Hilarious. “Show us the non evidence!” Whooo. That’s a howler! So there’s no evidence presented by the CIA, but the Trump response to the non-evidence cites no evidence! Wow! Stellar work there by the NYT.

Dec. 13, 2016, Trump selected for secretary of state Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, who is close to Putin and to Igor Sechin, the Putin ally who heads the Russian state oil company, Rosneft. Putin had awarded Tillerson Russia’s “Order of Friendship.” Tillerson opposed the sanctions against Russia over aggression against Ukraine – sanctions that blocked a major deal Exxon Mobil had made with Russia and Rosneft for Arctic oil exploration.

^^An excellent choice. There is no Russian aggression in Ukraine. What there is, is American aggression in Ukraine, and a very measured and principled Russian response. And there is no other conceivable Russian response. There is no conceivable scenario in which Russia, under any circumstances, would surrender Crimea to NATO. Suggesting that it would, and putting into play action demanding it, as we did in 2014, is pure crazy. That’s General Jack D. Ripper territory:

Furthermore (“further” is not necessary by any reasonable measure), listen to discussion by Stephen F. Cohen about Tillerson:

Dec. 15, 2016, U.S. and foreign intelligence officials said on background that Putin was personally involved in the effort to sway the American election. The Kremlin called the story “nonsense.”

^^It is nonsense.

Dec. 15, 2016 Trump tweeted falsely, asking why Dems “only complain after Hillary lost” of Russian regime interference in election. In fact, it had been widely reported and discussed since spring, came up in a Trump-Clinton debate, was confirmed by U.S. intelligence officials in July, and was stated publicly by U.S. intelligence agencies on Oct. 7.

^^So what?

Dec. 16, 2016 news broke that the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence now share CIA’s assessment that Russia was trying to elect Trump.

^^No, that’s not accurate. The Director of the CIA released an internal memo to his employees (at the CIA). It said:

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.”

“Strong consensus on scope, nature, and intent” is not the language of evidence. Rather, it’s the language of narrative, the narrative of war, the narrative of demonization. It’s the language of continued regime change war all over the middle east, of continued militarization of all of Europe, and continued NATO expansion without limit.

This is not a world without limits. It’s time to recognize limits, again. It’s time to recognize that other countries exist. It’s time to move away from our policy of universal regime change. It’s time to recognize again what it means to have normal relations with other countries. It’s time to see the world in a normal way, not disfigured. It’s time to abandon the idea that we can conduct military aggression the world over, and cover ourselves with the false narrative that we destroy countries to protect them. The cover story, that our wars of aggression are humanitarian endeavors, this is disfiguring.

America is disfigured. It is disfiguring in deed and word, and in being so, it is disfiguring us, and the world.

PS: listen to Stephen F. Cohen:

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