Democrats Back Massive Pentagon Budget For War and Repression
"...Senate Democrats joined Republicans this week to approve a massive expansion of the US military as demanded by President Donald Trump. Congressional action on the near record Pentagon budget is taking place behind a veil of silence, with no public discussion and virtually no media coverage.
The so-called 'John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2019', which passed the Senate 85-10 Monday after having been approved by the House of Representatives in May, allocates $716 billion for the Defense Department, an increase of $82 billion.
The increase alone is larger than the total budget of the Department of Education, approximately $70 b. It is also larger than the annual military budget of Russia (61 billion). The increase in the Pentagon's spending between 2017 and 2019, $165 billion, is larger than the entire defense budget of China.
Just over one third of the Pentagon's annual budget, or $265 billion, could end world hunger, according to figures from the Stockholm Peace Institute. Another third, or $239 billion, would provide primary and early secondary education for the entire world population.
Instead these vast sums are squandered on building and deploying the tools of mass murder..."
Indeed, Eisenhower's warning was quite prescient, although even he had no idea how bad it would become.
The Pentagon Failed Its Audit Amid a $21 Trillion Scandal (yes, trillions) - Lee Camp
"That's right - trillion with a T - an amount of money you can't possibly come to terms with, so stop trying. Anyway the $21 trillion includes $6.5 trillion unaccounted for at the Pentagon in 2015 ALONE..."
Matt Taibbi's latest column is about how Trump's plan to do something good by withdrawing forces from Syria may be his undoing, since the war party, Democrats and Republicans, are aghast at the danger this poses to the profits of arms manufacturers. His conclusion:
I suspect what’s going on is a reshift in US military focus. Also what’s earily missing is that I seam to be the only babbler that is aware that Trump also announced at the same time the US is pulling troops out of Afghanistan? I’ll give it a couple more days before I start ripping in a little for my own amusement.
But back to the reshifting of military focus. I suspect or at the very least will speculate that the US is going to follow the successful Russian Chinese India model of concentrating more on development as opposed to deployment.
Both Leading Candidates To Replace Mattis are Maximum War Hawks
"Both leading candidates to replace 'Mad Dog' Mattis as Secretary of Defense: Tom Cotton and Jack Keane - are even bigger war hawks..."
In Deleted Tweet, US Nuclear Command Declares Itself 'Ready' to 'Drop Something'
"On New Year's Eve, the US Strategic Command, which oversees the United States' nuclear arsenal posted a tweet declaring its readiness to 'drop something much, much bigger' than the 'big ball' at Times Square in New York. The implication of the tweet is that the US military is not only quite ready to kill people with a nuclear weapon for a third time but quite eager."
The 'neighbours' again...
And Justin Trudeau does whatever he can to be a good neighbour to the US!
No he did not announce the US was pulling out of Afghanistan. That might be the only reason you are alone in this "awareness."
Trump may do so in the future. He hates being there since the US cannot "win..."
Trump has signalled (without much consultaiton) that he wants to draw down troops by half perhaps and eventually leave. So what? The American position is always that they want to leave. It is not a plan to do so.
It is very unclear what the US will do and if there will be an attempted withdrawal, actual withdrawal, pretend withdrawal for political purpose, withdrawal to prepare for a focus on simply bombing or what.
Lots of speculation in the incoherent statements of Trump and no clarity.
Nice to know that you have so much confidence in yourself that you think everyone else here is wrong though.
CrossTalk Bullhorns: Star Wars 2.0
"Buckle up and brace for impact, Trump introduces Star Wars 2.0..."
Dismantling the Doomsday Machines
"A Doomsday Machine uncannily like the one described in Dr Strangelove exists right now. Because the US and Russia are the only nations with Doomsday Machines to date we shall restrict this discussion to them..."
Third time? Someone's mathematically challenged. :(
(1) Hiroshima, (2)Nagasaki and (3)...?
Bloody Loss For US: 'We Can't Beat the Taliban' - NATO General
"The grotesque reason for continuing US presence in Afghanistan - millions of dollars in 'blood' money. Activist, author and journalist David Swanson argues that the real enemy is 'the institution of war."
The US can beat the Taliban easily but it would contravine the Laws of Armed Conflict and a number of the Geneva conventions.
Part of the US problem is defining, or lack there of, what defines victory.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the first two times...the next would be the third. Nobody's mathematically challenged on this but YOU, Noops
Could Noops be referencing the atmospheric tests that apparently caused cancer? I am not sure but perhaps some clarification can come on this?
EXCLUSIVE: "The US Department of Defense produces more hazardous waste than the five biggest US-based chemical companies combined and is the biggest contributor to global pollutiousn in the world."
"5,000 Troops To Colombia" To Quell Venezuela Crisis? John Bolton Flashes Notepad Contents At Briefing
During a Monday White House press briefing national security adviser John Bolton was photographed carrying a notepad — presumably as he was fresh out of a national security meeting — and one of the things which appears to be handwritten on the pad is "5,000 troops to Colombia".
The contents of the notepad were spotted almost immediately by multiple journalists online after an NBC news release featuring the AP photo was published. More precisely the full contents appear to read:
Ya that’s possible and fits in with Iran sending some kind of military to Venezuela.
US Production of New Nuke Warhead Increases Risk of Nuclear War - Russian FM
"The country's top diplomat reminded journalists that Moscow voiced its concern last year that the production of small capacity nuclear weapons 'lowers the threshold of nuclear weapons use, and, of course, boosts the risk of a nuclear conflict. Apparently these plans were put into practice,' Lavrov said. 'Certainly, it won't contribute to global security..."
US To Prepare Pullout of INF Treaty
Host Manila Chan and former Pentagon official Michael Maloof discuss.
One Step Closer to Nuclear Oblivion: US Sabotages INF Treaty
"...Washington will suspend its participation in the treaty within 180 days, and Moscow has responded with an identical measure. With hysteria surrounding Russia (Russiagate) and the impossibility of Putin engaging in dialogue following the sabotaging of relations between Moscow and Washington, it is almost impossible that a fruitful dialogue can be created to seal a new agreement in the remaining 180 days. This however is not even the basic objective of the Trump administration..."
I know it's the WaPo, so it can't possibly be true, but this article does quote Putin directly as considering this treaty unfair to Russia, apparently with good reason. So perhaps he wanted Trump to cancel it.
A treaty protects the world from nuclear attack the same way a restraining order protects someone.
'America First' Means Nuclear Superiority
"Implicit in the strategy is a resumption of the US' elusive chase for nuclear superiority - through an expensive arms race in which Trump thinks Russia lacks the financial resources to compete with the US and China can be overwhelmed in military technology..."
Hence the western citizen must be relentlessly propagandized with Russo-Sino paranoia so as to manufacture their consent for the pocket-picking necessary.
The Army's Next Generation Rifle Will Be The iPhone of Lethality, Officials Say
"The army isn't on the hunt for any old rifle..."
Pentagon's 1st AI Strategy Vows to Keep Pace With Russia & China, Wants Help From Tech
"The Pentagon has issued its first AI strategy, where it pleads with tech giants to help boost military capabilities 'to reduce risk to fielded forces and generate military advantage.' In 2017 a group of experts teamed up to issue a chilly warning to countries all over the globe, calling to 'stand against weaponizing AI."
As Russiagate Fades, War Hawks Unsatisfied
"Former naval intelligence officer John Jordan joins Rick Sanchez to discuss [UK Defense Secretary] Williamson's comments as well as remarks made by Admiral John Michael Richardson, commander of the US Navy that the US may need to 'push first' against Russia and China..." @11:00
Of course this is Trumpist messaging.
Trump likes to proclaim that there was no collusion found implying that the thing has concluded and nothing was found -- constantly. It is more shocking that anyone is falling for this.
You don't have to believe that there is anything there to see how ridiculous it is to keep running with this "no collusion was found" with respect to an investigation that is not complete and the main facts and conclusions are not public.
There is not any conclusion about what has been found that does not have the qualification -- "that is public - so far." It is an ongoing investigation. The investigators are not going to release conclusions as a result of a question. The answer to the question is there proof of conclusion will always be "no" until the investigator chooses to annouce something (if something is ever found).
The real bottom line that nobody wants to face is that there is still nothing public either way -- and that this is normal for an investigation that is ongoing. Those who say that collusion with the President has been proven are not telling the truth any more than those who say it has not. There is a lot of smoke since conspiracy allegations exist, but the conspirators are as yet unknown to the public, even if known to Mueller.
The real trouble here is that people on all sides including here, are announcing speculation about a secret investigation as if they actually know something.
Those making declarations of "no collusion" keep playing fast and loose with the facts as they try to extend the "no-collusion found" statement which is true with respect to a particular part or release of information to the entire investigation as if that is a conclusion. It is getting tiresome.
Speculate away -- it is fair to speculate on both sides as neither has actually been ruled out despite massive volumes of propaganda.
Sean, when you say "of course this is Trumpist messaging", do you mean by that it shouldn't be posted on Babble? Or just that babblers should disregard it because it's similar/the same as things Trump says?
Regarding "no collusion", the part I keep getting stuck on reading these threads here is what exactly is the sort of collusion that could be found that would, for you or other babblers hoping for impeachment:
a. be a valid reason to remove trump from office/imprison him legally and in keeping with American legal norms and customs regarding presidential priviledges and powers, and
b. be acceptable to enough Americans to have it actually come to pass
I don't see real estate deals or hush money to porn stars as being in line with either of the above criteria.
And the central assumed theme of the investigation, collusion with a foreign power to influence the American election, is hopelessly vague. Where does collusion begin? How is it defined? Is it spending 2 million on facebook ads, or $20? I can't see what could possibly be found that would both result in Trump impeachment and a postive, progressive precedent for future investigations of future presidents. I don't know what you are hoping Mueller finds.
A response to something is not a call that it be censored. It is to provide context -- just like every other responding post.
This also has nothing to do with any prefered outcome.
It is a statement that those saying nothing was found or that soemthign was found are speaking conclusively about something that is not public and that is not finished.
New York city, Sep. 11, 2001 for starters.
Tulsi Gabbard Presents Bill To Stop Trump From Pulling Out of INF Treaty
"Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a bill to Congress which would prevent president Donald Trump from withdrawing the US from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Speaking at a press conference on Friday morning, Gabbard said that Trump's decision to pull out of the 1988 treaty was 'reckless' and was 'exacerbating a new Cold War' with Russia and could spark another arms race.
She said rather than scrapping the treaty, the US should be working to expand it and bring in other countries including China. The bill is co-sponsored by three of Gabbard's House colleagues including freshman congresswoman Rep Ilhan Omar..."
US Missile Treaty Withdrawal Sparks Global Nuclear Arms Race
"...In response to American plans to make Europe into a firing range for nuclear missiles, Russia is threatening to turn America's Eastern Seabord into a high-stakes skirmish line, in which submarines, ships and aircraft armed with nuclear missiles jostle for position just a few hundred miles from one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world.
And this will be just one theater of the multipolar nuclear dystopia imagined by the Trump White House, with a similar standoff going on every day in the seas off the Chinese coast. To make matters worse, all of this will play out not with today's ballistic missiles but with hypersonic missiles traveling at 25 times the speed of sound, with a 'decision window' of just to or three minutes..."
Warsaw Conference’s War with Iran Agenda, Met with Low Level Delegations from European Allies
SHARMINI PERIES: Now, Vijay, it’s a serious conference with foreign ministers at the table, and they’re openly talking about a war with Iran. How real is this possibility?
VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, let’s look at who came to the conference I think this is important. You know, the United States sent the top level people, Mike Pence, the vice president; Pompeo came, the secretary of state. He even brought Rudy Giuliani to speak outside the conference, essentially to an Iranian terrorist group, where he, much more than people inside the conference, declared war against Iran.
But meanwhile, the Germans didn’t send any high level people. The French didn’t send high level people. And the European Union didn’t send any high level people. This is very important, Sharmini, because these are the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal. In other words, they knew that after the United States had walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, they knew that this year’s conference in Warsaw was going to be comical, was going to be filled with threats of war; essentially the opposite of diplomacy, which is why these countries stayed away.
And I think the United States should see this as a great embarrassment, that its vice president, its secretary of state, went to a conference where the counterparts to then–in other words, heads of governments, of France, Germany, of the European Union; foreign ministers, Federica Mogherini, really, people like that essentially snubbed them, and left the United States with its Gulf Arab friends, with the Israelis, to talk in the kind of cesspool way about war. You know, they don’t have any alliances which are willing to give them a fig leaf in Iran. The Europeans are not going to kind of come in and make adult the war against Iran. They are very opposed to it. The Europeans, in terms of Iran, will do everything to prevent conflict.
Of course, the situation is different, Sharmini, vis a vis Venezuela, where the Europeans seem as eager the United States, or perhaps lackadaisically as eager as the United States, to have some sort of military confrontation in Venezuela. Certainly with Iran they know that they are absolutely reliant on oil sales. They don’t want a war. It was clear in Warsaw that the real–a party that was, in a sense, humiliated was not Iran, but it was the United States government led by Donald Trump.
SPEAKER: President Trump has said he’s open to meeting one day with your president, the Iranian president, potentially to renegotiate the Iran deal.
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF: Why should we negotiate a deal which we spent not just a couple of hours meeting, but 13 years to negotiate? And we negotiated with the United States? Why should we trust President Trump, that he would abide by his own signature? We’re talking about a country that has withdrawn from every known treaty, from INF, from UNESCO, from Council on Human Rights, from NAFTA. From whatever, you name it, they’ve withdrawn from it.
VIJAY PRASHAD: I think it’s important for Americans and others to know that Mr. Zarif, the foreign minister, is an extraordinarily smart man. He did a Ph.D. at the University of Denver on self defense in international law and diplomacy. This is a man who knows what he’s doing. So when he makes that kind of statement, he’s essentially saying to the Europeans that look, you and us–that is, the Europeans and the Iranians, and the United Nations are quite happy with this deal, which was ratified by the United Nations. We want to hold by it. You want to hold by it–that is, the Europeans. You don’t want to break this deal. This is something that the United States is doing by itself as a party to the deal. It has walked away. I think this is a very clever strategy because he knows that the Europeans and the United States are divided. And he’s going to essentially sit on this divide, and he’s not try to bring them together in any way; he’s not trying to ruffle any feathers. You know, it’s important for people to know that it was Mr. Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, who went to the Warsaw conference and attacked the Europeans. You know, he essentially accused them of letting the United States down.
This is, of course, one way to make allies and friends of the Europeans on this issue. So Zarif is playing a very key role here in making sure the Europeans know that he’s going to abide by international law. And I really think that on this issue for the United States, for the Gulf Arabs, and for Israel, it’s going to be very difficult to move towards a situation of war. Zarif also said in that interview that a war would be suicide. And again, Sharmini, the parallel with Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is quite interesting, because Maduro last week said that the war against Venezuela would be a replay of the U.S. war on Vietnam, another suicidal war. I think that these people are quite aware that there’s going to be a lot of threats thrown around. There would be a lot of psychological warfare happening. Economic warfare. But I think they know that the United States might have the capacity to do one or two aerial bombing runs against Iran or Caracas, but they know that the United States doesn’t have the appetite to be in the middle of four or five theatres at the same time, still embroiled in Afghanistan, caught up in the Sahel region of Africa, still not fully pulled out of Iraq. And I think the appetite for a war in Iran and in Venezuela is very low.
US War, American Enemy - President Putin's Federal Assembly Speech Introduces the 12-Minute Red Line
"...Some of these missiles can reach Moscow in just 10-12 minutes,' Putin said. 'This is a very serious threat to us. In this case, we will be forced, I would like to emphasise this, we will be forced to respond with mirror or asymmetric actions
Could have put this elsewhere but decided instead to put it here since gun violence has long been 'as American as apple pie' deployed inside and outside the country in uniform or out.
On Contact: Origins of USA's Gun Rights (and vid)
"In the US right wing groups such as the NRA interpet the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as permitting any individual to own weapons. In this week's episode we talk to historian Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz on her new book 'Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.' She argues that the amendment has more to do with white supremacy and the subjugation of Indigenous peoples, African Americans and immigrants, than the individual right to bear arms."
I've posted this link before, but it's worth posting again. Thom Hartmann: The Second Amendment Was Ratified to Preserve Slavery. Here's the opening paragraph.
Please share the drugs you are on.
The law is still interpreted that way to. White militias have the right to open carry assault rifles to demos, not so much the Black Panthers.
The interview @37 is well worth watching.
Doomsday Redux: The Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolling Off the Nuclear Assembly Line
America's latest nuke. This is the weapon that could make the previously 'unthinkable' thinkable...
Ya that is scary shit NDPP. I’ve heard of these type of small nukes being used against groups of naval vessels groups of tanks and other military hardware grouped together.
They are tactical weapons as opposed to being used to say just a city, a civilian target like Hiroshima.
Countdown to 'Full Spectrum Dominance'
"As the US expands its space operations - the fourth dimension of warfare - the race towards 'full spectrum dominance' quickens..."
New US military budget coming up shortly, both parties seem to agree:
"Last week, reports emerged that Trump, while touting overall spending cuts “higher than any administration in history,” was planning to ask for a $750 billion defense budget — a $34 billion increase over last year’s request. This will put an end to years of what’s known as budget “parity,” or the idea that defense and non-defense funding should rise and fall together.
Last year, the Department of Defense failed to pass its first-ever audit. For this and other reasons, one would think that this would be a good time for Democrats to band together and prevent a raise in military spending, or even fight for cuts until the Pentagon can get its books in order.
That doesn’t seem to be in the works.
According to a Hill source, the Democrats are targeting a counter-offer above the $716 billion budget Trump asked for in 2018. In other words, the Democrats want to lower Trump’s number, but still give the Pentagon a raise.
“Even the opening number is going to be really high,” says the source.
Trump’s budget request represents a 5-percent increase overall. Budget analysts have said they expect the final number to be between last year’s $716 billion figure and $733 billion, the likely final number also quoted to Rolling Stone. A $733 billion defense budget number would represent a 2.4-percent increase, or about half of what Trump wants.
Should the Democrats approve a $733 billion budget — remember, Trump’s $716 billion budget passed 85-10 in the Senate last year — it would break a record for the second consecutive year."
NSA Whistleblower: Government Collecting Everything You Do (and vid)
"I talked to former Technical Director of the NSA, Bill Binney, about the continued mass surveillance of [North] Americans and the US empire's slide into totalitarianism.."
See also the CIA's 'Vault 7' - published by the much-hated Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
The Demise of the 'Western' System
"A US-made fighter jet that is claimed to evade radar, finally evades radar..."
Tone is everything kropotkin. I could think of a hundred different ways that you could have expressed yourself without resorting to ad hominem, however subtle it was.
It was more than just a coincidence that they called the demolition area in New York 'Ground Zero'.
If you have some spare time, please peruse the following work that I did on this subject.
Hedges: Reckoning With Failure in the War on Terror
"How America's National Security State fueled the rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Donald Trump. "
Pentagon's Endless War Brings Endless Pollution
The. Pentagon. Is. By. Far. The. World's. Largest. Polluter...
Is there a war on terror thread? I think we need one. I am hesitant to start one because I am terrible at finding existing threads, even my own.