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America’s Phony War
Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland
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Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars. Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of “forever war,” this nation hasn’t for one second been mobilized. Taxes are being cut instead of raised. Wartime rationing is a faint memory from the World War II era. No one is being required to sacrifice a thing.

Now, ask yourself a simple question: What sort of war requires no sacrifice? What sort of war requires that almost no one in the country waging it take the slightest notice of it?

America’s conflicts in distant lands rumble on, even as individual attacks flash like lightning in our news feeds. “Shock and awe” campaigns in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, initially celebrated as decisive and game changing, ultimately led nowhere. Various “surges” produced much sound and fury, but missions were left decidedly unaccomplished. More recent strikes by the Trump administration against a Syrian air base or the first use of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the MOAB super-bomb, in Afghanistan flared brightly, only to fizzle even more quickly. These versions of the German blitzkrieg-style attacks of World War II have been lightning assaults that promised much but in the end delivered little. As these flashes of violence send America’s enemies of the moment (and nearby civilians) to early graves, the homeland (that’s us) slumbers. Sounds of war, if heard at all, come from TV or video screens or Hollywood films in local multiplexes.

We are, in fact, kept isolated from Washington’s wars, even as America’s warriors traverse a remarkable expanse of the globe, from the Philippines through the Greater Middle East deep into Africa. As conflicts flare and sputter, ramp up and down and up again, Americans have been placed in a form of behavioral lockdown. Little more is expected of us than to be taxpaying spectators or, when it comes to the U.S. military, starry-eyed cheerleaders. Most of the time, those conflicts are not just out of sight, but meant to be out of mind as well. Rare exceptions are moments when our government asks us to mourn U.S. service members like Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, killed in an abortive raid President Trump ordered in Yemen in early 2017 in which children also died (though that was something just about no one here even noticed). While the military has been deploying and striking on a global scale, we’ve been told from the very first moments of Washington’s self-proclaimed war on terror to go shopping or to Disney World and let the experts handle it.

We have, in short, been sidelined in what, to draw on the lexicon of World War II, might be thought of as a sitzkrieg, the German term for phony war.

A bizarre version of blitzkrieg overseas and an even stranger version of sitzkrieg at home could be said to define this peculiar American moment. These two versions exist in a curiously yin-yang relationship to each other. For how can a nation’s military be engaged in warfare at a near-global level — blitzing people across vast swaths of the globe — when its citizens are sitting on their collective duffs, demobilized and mentally disarmed? Such a schizoid state of mind can exist only when it’s in the interest of those in power. Appeals to “patriotism” (especially to revering “our” troops) and an overwhelming atmosphere of secrecy to preserve American “safety” and “security” have been remarkably effective in controlling and stifling interest in the country’s wars and their costs, long before such an interest might morph into dissent or opposition. If you want an image of just how effective this has been, recall the moment in July 2016 when small numbers of earnest war protesters quite literally had the lights turned off on them at the Democratic National Convention.

To use an expression I heard more than a few times in my years in the military, when it comes to its wars, the government treats the people like mushrooms, keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit.

The Fog of Phony War

Prussian war theorist Carl von Clausewitz famously spoke of the “fog of war,” the confusion created by and inherent uncertainty built into that complex human endeavor. As thick as that fog often is, in these years the fog of phony war has proven even thicker and more disorienting.

By its very nature, a real war of necessity, of survival, like the Civil War or World War II brings with it clarity of purpose and a demand for results. Poorly performing leaders are relieved of command when not killed outright in combat. Consider the number of mediocre Union generals Abraham Lincoln cycled through before he found Ulysses S. Grant. Consider the number of senior officers relieved during World War II by General George C. Marshall, who knew that, in a global struggle against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, subpar performances couldn’t be tolerated. In wars of necessity or survival, moreover, the people are invariably involved. In part, they may have little choice, but they also know (or at least believe they know) “why we fight” — and generally approve of it.

Admittedly, even in wars of necessity there are always those who will find ways to duck service. In the Civil War, for example, the rich could pay others to fight in their place. But typically in such wars, everyone serves in some capacity. Necessity demands it.

The definition of twenty-first-century phony war, on the other hand, is its lack of clarity, its lack of purpose, its lack of any true imperative for national survival (despite a never-ending hysteria over the “terrorist threat”). The fog it produces is especially disorienting. Americans today have little idea “why we fight” other than a vague sense of fighting them over there (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, etc.) so they won’t kill us here, to cite George W. Bush’s rationale for launching the war on terror. Meanwhile, with such a lack of national involvement and accountability, there’s no pressure for the Pentagon or the rest of the national security state to up its game; there’s no one even to point out that wherever the U.S. military has gone into battle in these years, yet more terror groups have subsequently sprouted like so many malignant weeds. Bureaucracy and mediocrity go unchallenged; massive boosts in military spending reward incompetency and the creation of a series of quagmire-like “generational” wars.

Think of it as war on a Möbius strip. More money shoveled into the Pentagon brings more chaos overseas, more imperial overreach, and undoubtedly more blowback here at home, all witnessed — or rather largely ignored — by a sitzkrieg citizenry.

Of course, for those fighting the wars, they are anything but phony. It’s just that their experience remains largely isolated from that of the rest of us, an isolation that only serves to elevate post-traumatic stress disorder rates, suicides, and the like. When today’s troops come home, they generally suffer in silence and among themselves.

America’s New (Phony) National Defense Strategy

Even phony wars need enemies. In fact, they may need them more (and more of them) than real wars do. No surprise then that the Trump administration’s recently announced National Defense Strategy (NDS) offers a laundry list of such enemies. China and Russia top it as “revisionist powers” looking to reverse America’s putative victory over Communism in the Cold War. “Rogue” powers like North Korea and Iran are singled out as especially dangerous because of their nuclear ambitions. (The United States, of course, doesn’t have a “rogue” bone in its body, even if it is now devoting at least \$1.2 trillion to building a new generation of more usable nuclear weapons.) Nor does the NDS neglect Washington’s need to hammer away at global terrorists until the end of time or to extend “full-spectrum dominance” not just to the traditional realms of combat (land, sea, and air) but also to space and cyberspace.

Amid such a plethora of enemies, only one thing is missing in America’s new defense strategy, the very thing that’s been missing all these years, that makes twenty-first-century American war so phony: any sense of national mobilization and shared sacrifice (or its opposite, antiwar resistance). If the United States truly faces all these existential threats to our democracy and our way of life, what are we doing frittering away more than \$45 billion annually in a quagmire war in Afghanistan? What are we doing spending staggering sums on exotic weaponry like the F-35 jet fighter (total projected program cost: \$1.45 trillion) when we have far more pressing national needs to deal with?

Like so much else in Washington in these years, the NDS doesn’t represent a strategy for real war, only a call for more of the same raised to a higher power. That mainly means more money for the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and related “defense” agencies, facilitating more blitz attacks on various enemies overseas. The formula — serial blitzkrieg abroad, serial sitzkrieg in the homeland — adds up to victory, but only for the military-industrial complex.

Solutions to Sitzkrieg

Of course, one solution to phony war would be to engage in real war, but for that the famed American way of life would actually have to be endangered. (By Afghans? Syrians? Iraqis? Yemenis? Really?) Congress would then have to declare war; the public would have to be mobilized, a draft undoubtedly reinstated, and taxes raised. And those would be just for starters. A clear strategy would have to be defined and losing generals demoted or dismissed.

Who could imagine such an approach when it comes to America’s forever wars? Another solution to phony war would be for the American people to actually start paying attention. The Pentagon would then have to be starved of funds. (With less money, admirals and generals might actually have to think.) All those attacks overseas that blitzed innocents and spread chaos would have to end. Here at home, the cheerleaders would have to put down the pom-poms, stop mindlessly praising the troops for their service, and pick up a few protest signs.

In point of fact, America’s all-too-real wars overseas aren’t likely to end until the phony war here at home is dispatched to oblivion.

A final thought: Americans tell pollsters that, after all these years of failed wars abroad, they continue to trust the military more than any other societal institution. Consistent with phony war, however, much of that trust is based on ignorance, on not really knowing what that military is doing overseas. So, is there a chance that, one of these days, Americans might actually begin to pay some attention to “their” wars? And if so, would those polls begin to change and how might that military, which has experienced its share of blood, sweat, and tears, respond to such a loss of societal prestige? Beware the anger of the legions.

Faith in institutions undergirds democracy. Keeping the people deliberately demobilized and in the dark about the costs and carnage of America’s wars follows a pattern of governmental lying and deceit that stretches from the Vietnam War to the Iraq Wars of 1991 and 2003, to military operations in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere today. Systemic lies and the phony war that goes with them continue to contribute to a slow-motion process of political and social disintegration that could result in a much grimmer future for this country: perhaps an authoritarian one; certainly, a more chaotic and less democratic one.

Societal degradation and democratic implosion, caused in part by endless phony war and the lies associated with it, are this country’s real existential enemies, even if you can’t find them listed in any National Defense Strategy. Indeed, the price tag for America’s wars may in the end prove not just heavy but catastrophic.

William Astore, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and history professor, is a TomDispatch regular. He blogs at Bracing Views.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. IOW, global terrorism is less of an existential threat to the American way of life and traditional values than the American response to global terrorism.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  2. I am in SHOCK!

    This is the first article I’ve ever read by a TomDispatch regular that made a lick of sense.

    But it’s better than that: it makes sense of the entire thing going on in the US just now and since 9/11.

    No skin in the game.

    I have a feeling–a premonition–though that that is about to change.

  3. dearieme says:
    @The Alarmist

    And both are less of an existential threat to the American way of life than the antics of Congress.

  4. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m not sure why the US’s actions overseas are called “wars”. They’re attacks upon weak 3rd and 4th world countries with little capability to resist. The US has never fought a peer enemy despite all it’s self-promotion. It moved in on the Germans at the last moment after they were already on the ropes, despite all the WWII movie hype. All other enemies have been carefully chosen for their vulnerability. But who actually wants a “real” war? Only an insane person wants that. These phony wars serve as an income transfer scheme siphoning tax money upward from the masses to the upper classes. Funny how that works. An actual war with a country that can defend itself and inflict real damage might have the effect of upsetting this racket they have going and they don’t want that. Of course the money spent for Afghanistan could be better put to use domestically for roads, medical research and other ways of spending our money on ourselves but apparently that’s not in the cards. What’s important is to keep the hysteria going so as to maintain the .1% in the style to which they’re entitled. The people getting killed are the expendables and of no importance.

  5. renfro says:

    ”It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

    It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

    Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!

    Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

    God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
    Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

    Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

    An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord and God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

    The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

    “I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think. “God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, and the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon your neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain on your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse on some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

    “You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard the words ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

    “Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —

    For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

    We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
    (After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

    It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said

    The War Prayer

    by Mark Twain

  6. Article is nice sensible lukewarm and gentlemanly
    I am only puzzled that obviously the lieutenant colonel never read or actually never heard about PNAC. And that is actually shocking, Because as a Professor of history that should be the first item which he should teach his pupils.

    • Replies: @Ace
  7. All this faux dissident TomDispatch left gatekeeper stuff is so utterly worthless.

    They always make sure to push whatever phony narratives, like that we was a “war of necessity” for the U.S. And then this phony “blowback” construct, which exists in order to avoid the whole question of these being synthetic events.

  8. Wally says:

    Once again, “that shitty little country” of Israel and it’s Jews First supporters, are conspicuously unmentioned.

    • Replies: @tjm
  9. Started reading, got this far,

    These versions of the German blitzkrieg-style attacks of World War, bla bla bla…

    That was a real eye roller, so began skimming.
    Noticed the boilerplate,

    Prussian war theorist Carl von Clausewitz, yap yap yap…

    Tossed in as “confirmation” of expertise and profound insight, or sumpin, and stumbled on this gem of hysterical drama queen hyperbole,

    By its very nature, a real war of necessity, of survival, like the Civil War or World War II By its very nature, a real war of necessity, of survival, like the Civil War or World War II …

    Necessity? Survival? Horseshit. I’m not into self flagellation, so I give up.

    Another phony journalism class drop out I bet. Where do they dig up these scribblers?

    • Agree: Zumbuddi
  10. The USA mistake of WWI was spilling much USA blood, the USA never ratified Versailles, FDR had great difficulty with the neutrality laws.
    As FDR’s friend Sol Bloom writes in his autobiography ‘the great accomplishment of FDR was in preparing the USA people slowly for war’.
    WWII was won by Russian blood and USA industrial production.
    Stalin’s reward for Russian blood was E Europe, including Poland.

    The Pacific War was a great problem, despite the casualty rates, Okinawa something like 7000 USA lives against 140.000 Japanese.
    The USA dropped the unconditional surrender demand for fear of a bloody war on the Japanese mainland, the fanatical Japanese military were prepared to sacrifice 20 million Japanese lives, if the Okinawa ratio is applied this would have meant nearly a million USA deaths.

    The problem with the USA’s wars is that bombing costs very few USA lives, occupation, on the other hand, is relatively costly in USA blood.
    Therefore it is tried to create regimes friendly to the USA, that use local forces for the occupation.
    The policy is a difficult one, as a USA general stated before a Senate investigation ‘sometimes one trains and arms the wrong group’.
    And thus Syria became a mess, as in fact Iraq and Libia.

    • Replies: @Respect
  11. It’s all just a money transfer. Ya have to be in the thick of things around DC, the Pentagon, the likes of Lockheed, the spooks at NSA, certain aspects of Federal Law Enforcement, the whole Alphabet Soup. The dough is a-flowing and they’re up to their hand-sewn collars in it. Their mansions, their 5 BMWs or whatever, the Rolexes, the vacations, beautiful women at home AND on the road. They intend to hand it all over to their children as their fathers handed it over to them. They are NOT giving this up. Ever.

    Get in the way, Mr. Senator or Congressman or President? Here’s what we have on YOU sir, usually a girlfriend or some depravity, they’re politicians after all. End of the day, these are the people that get richer every day by killing people. They’re very good at it. Even in Britain, the UK, even Russians aren’t safe in the quest to keep it all going. Get in the way of the cabal and their income streams in any way, they can disappear you and blame it on Putin. These are the people that kill people. Remember that, you’ll be well-served.

    • Agree: RobinG
    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @densa
  12. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    It’s another glorious day in the Fatherland, Comrade, as GOYS and girls line up to fight and die in the Pentagon’s Army for Israel!

    We should be proud to fight and die for the glory of Apartheid Israel, while watching our nation fall to pieces, since the needed money for infrastructure is being spent on protecting Israel!

    From an April 2003 Haaretz article.

    The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it’s possible.

    This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  13. wayfarer says:

    Israel’s Bogus Bullshit Wars

    Who Done It?
    9-11, Zionist Trust Fund Kids Did It!


  14. The U.S. government is the exact copy of Orwells 1984 where the wars are continual and where we are Oceania perpetually at war and the people are mind controlled by a big brother style gov that spies on everything we do and say via telescreens and our history is constantly rewritten by a controlled MSM and the skies are always cloudy via CHEMTRAILS and life is controlled by the state.

    What we have here is a Zionist controlled Zionist NWO on its way to becoming a Zionist ONE WORLD GOV. and by the way the Zionists did 911 and got away with it and did it in our face to tell us that we are truly goyim ie cattle to them and as we all know cattle in the end get slaughtered.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Iberiano
  15. I am not absolutely certain but it seems to me that glows are coming off in the fight between Trump and anti Trump forces.

  16. TG says:

    Indeed, well said.

    But: there IS sacrifice. All those trillions of dollars wasted on pointless winless foreign wars are coming out of the standard of living of the United States, one way or the other. It’s just indirect and hard to trace.

    One is reminded that Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign, suggested that we stop wasting all these trillions on stupid wars, and spend it on ourselves. For this he was excoriated as “literally Hitler.” A lot of Americans voted for him because, propaganda aside, they are not stupid and they don’t want this phony war nonsense. After the election, though, he finally caved, and now it’s back to business as usual. The elites really like their war profits and they will not shy away from playing dirty to keep them. That’s why these phony wars continue.

    Remember: IN THE LAST ELECTION THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTED AGAINST PHONY WARS. It’s just that we don’t live in a Democracy.

    But there is an alternate view. One is reminded that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were only possible because the immigration policy of the United States is increasingly open to people from unstable nations full of extremists. That attack could not have happened a decade or so earlier.

    Even if the United States had the most benevolent foreign policy imaginable, it’s a big messy world. There will always be people who hate the United States, for whatever reason. In the past these people would just stew in their own misery and kill each other. Now they can come here no questions asked. Now every extremist group in Tyrannia or Fanatistan is our concern, and we need to break up any potentially hostile organized faction anywhere in the world. So maybe – maybe – these stupid wars aren’t that stupid after all. Maybe these phony wars is just one more price for “there shall be open borders.”

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  17. The USA mistake of WWI was …

    Getting involved in it.

    Minding our own business was never a strong suit of our ruling classes, but it would have saved the world a lot of grief. However, it would have shaved the profits of the bankers and other war profiteers.

    The “war for profit group” seem to labor under the impression that it is their war, and that it shall be their material gain. That group, surely is the cause of wars…

    -Charles A. Lindbergh, Why is your country at war and what happens to you after the war, and related subjects” p77, (1917)

    Excellent book,by the way. Short and to the point. Has some really annoying errors, but overall well worth a read.

  18. @Greg Bacon

    This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert

    Similar things could be said about the World Wars.

    In fact, many did, including Anthony Sutton.

  19. RobinG says:
    @Jim Christian

    Your inclusion of Lockheed – the private, non-governmental sector – makes your description of Deep State agreeable. Great point – they are ruthless.

    Kevin Shipp gives a more detailed analysis. In more recent (longer) talks, he does include Israel Lobby, but this is long enough. 😉

    CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All To Expose The Shadow Government

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  20. @jacques sheete

    The USA economy in 1914 was in very bad shape.
    The war was great for prosperity, there was one little problem, GB and France had no money.
    So JP Morgan gave them credit.
    But again a small problem, the German U boat war was so successful that GB would have had to capitulate in November 1917.
    In order to make Germany pay the USA could not allow a GB capitulation, therefore it had to interfere militarily.
    Germany never paid, but that is another subject.

    Donald McCormick, ‘The mask of Merlin, A Critical Study of David Lloyd George’, London, 1963
    The only book that clearly states the imminent capitulation.

    Charles Callan Tansill, ‘Amerika geht in den Krieg’, Stuttgart 1939 (America goes to War, 1938)
    A great book on how the USA manoevred itself into WWI.

    Senator Nye in 1938 began the Senate investigation into why the USA waged war in 1917, alas Pearl Harbour made him realise the investigation had become pointless.
    Yet, as Harold L Ickes decribes in his published diaries, he had already found out that the Balfour Declaration was the price Britain had to pay for being saved.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  21. Respect says:
    @jilles dykstra .

    In the battle of Manchuria ( China ) , August 1945 , or ” August Storm ” , the Russians defeated the imperial japanese army , the road to Japan was open for the Red Army and the chinese . Then the yankees threw the atomic bombs to Japan to threaten the Russians ( who still did not have the atomic bomb at the time ) to not to invade Japan .

    Japan was completeley defeated , there was not any military need to throw atomic bombs on Japan . The Americans have a sad record for bombing unarmed civilians : Corea , Vietnam , Germany , Irak, Afganistan , Libia , Siria , Japan , etc…..

    • Replies: @Ace
  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    More propaganda from the CIA’s official fake anti-war and pro-military Tom’s Dispatch. The Government goes to war no matter what Americans do, that’s the first give away you live in a military dictatorship where every American city, town, suburb has some element of militarism staring the sheep right in the face but they can’t even see it.

    War consists of controlled demolitions and forced migrations agreed upon by the governments involved. Some of the smarter slaves can probably see that there is a real sort of war going on right now in the US regardless of the fake reality people like Astore will try to paint for you. He learned how to bomb people to death from airplanes before he started taking aim at hearts n’ minds to destroy any real anti-war threat.

    The American slaves will soon be watching movies to “learn” about the wonderfulness of war and killing and how American soldiers kill with love in their hearts because Trump puppet is in office.

    This means the fake war resistance needs to put in a double-plus good antiwar effort the way they did when Putsch destroyed Iraq to prevent any actual resistance. Code Pink is just one of the most important weapons. I bet you’re really confused now.

  23. Americans today have little idea “why we fight” other than a vague sense of fighting them over there (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, etc.) so they won’t kill us here, to cite George W. Bush’s rationale for launching the war on terror.

    George W. was right: we invade the world because we invite the world.

    Historically, the military’s purpose was to defend the cultural and territorial integrity of the nation-state. The US military has no such purpose, and so is deployed to defend secular democracy, a universalist gospel, and hence requiring a global military footprint.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  24. This particular Tomtard at least didn’t break down sobbing over the disastrous CLIMATE CHANGE destruction that his grandkids will face like Tom the Leftard himself does, but he’s as tedious as the rest.

    Remember that leftards can never be allies, because no matter which of your pet peeves they pretend to share, they are still leftards which makes them treacherous. A leftard will stab you in the back if you’re foolish enough to let him get behind you.

    • Replies: @Desert Fox
  25. tjm says:

    Exactly, they are behind much that ails America, yet rarely mentioned…

    Wall Street works to lines it’s Zionist pockets while giving nothing back.

    Hollywood injects filth and anti American (see: white Christian) propaganda, as does the music industry.
    You think rap music would be as violent and popular is the Jews were not pushing it they way they so. You only work in the industry if you make anti American crap. Ever hear of an anti war, or anti wall street song making the top 100 in recent memory.

    Well fare, fair housing act, education…and on and on are all controlled by Zionist Jews who push for open borders and mass migration into America, while prizing their “pure” nation of Israel.

    The examples are endless, the push for interracial marriages in America, while it is illegal in Israel.


  26. Americans are no longer allowed to see the reality of war, as some old movies showed. From my blog:

    Jun 8, 2017 – Patriotic Nonsense

    Do you become angry when you hear nonsense that our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting for our freedoms? Do you become enraged when the death of soldiers is explained by claiming they protected us? This is nothing new, as shown in this short movie clip with Korean War vet James Garner. Most blame the Generals and politicians, but he also blames the people back home for glorifying wars, thus allowing the deadly ruse to continue. He stated: “It is always the war widows who lead the Memorial Day parade” as though their husbands died by accident.

  27. @Twodees Partain

    The global warming scam and chemtrails are explained on

    • Replies: @El Dato
  28. @The Anti-Gnostic

    “Footprints in the sand” maybe you have red it.
    Global military footprints are not in the sand. They are in quicksand.

  29. @jacques sheete

    Excellent book,by the way. Short and to the point. Has some really annoying errors, but overall well worth a read.

    Are you referring to errors by the author, or printing errors due to the format? If the latter, you can read the book in its original format here:

    (for others who may not be aware, the author is not Lindbergh the pilot, but his father the Congresssman).

  30. El Dato says:
    @Desert Fox

    > chemtrails

    Does this meme still run? I thought it died when the X-Files petered out, back in the 90s?

    Mental poisoning with non-existing stuff.

    • Replies: @Desert Fox
  31. @El Dato

    If you want to learn about chemtrails aka aerosol spraying of the skies as a scam to combat global warming go to GEOENGINEERINGWATCH.ORG. The gov is spraying aerosols containing nano particles of aluminum and barium and strontium and I have seen this going on in the area where I live for going on 30 years in the sky here and all over America and Europe and other areas of the earth.

  32. densa says:
    @Jim Christian

    Back when Reagan was doing his impersonation of POTUS, the defense deficit was some measly amount and the cry went out to privatize defense because the free market could do it for less. Pretty funny in retrospect.

    They also fixed our inefficient corporations and markets, then went on to fix housing, inequality and end poverty. As if that wasn’t enough, they also fixed healthcare and banking. I’m surprised we’re still afloat. I expect a Wiley Coyote moment soon.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  33. Iberiano says:
    @Desert Fox

    What is also interesting, like 1984, is how easily the MSM can change American “memory” with various cultural cues and bandwagoning.

    Remember, among his many well practiced and rehearsed lines, in anticipation of Romney saying it, or something like it, Obama was ready with the cool-kids “hello, the 1980s are calling and they want their foreign policy back” quip….this after Romney said Russia was the greatest danger at one of their presidential debates. Not that Romney was correct–that’s irrelevant to make the point.

    It would seem, if you polled th0se same SJWs and Dems/libs, progs who supported Obama, 10 years ago, they would have agreed that (allegedly) meddling in the US Election would be kinda a big deal–especially if it were to take down their ‘girl’ (imagine if Romney had posited Russia might do such a thing in upcoming elections). Not that I or anyone with a sane mind believes Russia actually meddled, at least for Trump…but just a decade ago, it was snicker-worthy of the so-called Intelligentsia of the Left to mock anyone that claimed Russia wasn’t going away soon and was still a world power that was dangerous. Now all the sudden, that mockery is memory-holed and the Left “knew all along” the Russians were bad.

    But then, 30 years earlier, the Left thought the Russians were good, because they were still communist.
    It truly is hard to keep up with what Big Brother is demanding Normies think.

    The narrative can be changed back and forth, over and over, and normies will roll with it, even if they don’t agree with it, there’s so much “We’ve always been at war with” stuff, that they are immune to obvious political contradictions over a continuum of (short) time.

  34. The last phony war was from Sept 1939 until May 1940.
    I just saw a NATO statement that ‘Russia is more and more agressive’.
    I would not be surprised any more if all mankind died in about half a year or so from now.

  35. @Iberiano

    Propaganda can accomplish great things.
    After Stalin blockaded Berlin in 1948 it took maybe two years to convert FDR’s Uncle Joe into THE threat to the USA, and have a McCarthy driving many in the USA to suicide, or having them punished for asserted espionage by death, the Rosenbergs.
    The Manhattan scientist who understood the world, forgot his name, who gave the atomic bomb secrets for nothing to the USSR, on his own initiative, died in his bed in GB.
    He possibly prevented the atomic destruction of the USSR.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @By-tor
    , @Ace
  36. @Iberiano

    Agree, the agenda of the Zionist neocons and the globalist one world government crowd is to provoke a war with Russia using Syria and Iran as the catalyst and it looks like Trump is on board this train to hell that the Zionists are running and this will be a one way trip.

    It is the same game plan the Zionist always use, they demonize the leaders and the countries that they plan to attack and this worked every time as most Americans are too busy trying to make a living to pay attention to the hate speech that the U.S. gov is spewing out via the MSM which is a wing of the Zionist controlled U.S. gov.

    The demonization of Putin and Russia is a precursor to war and the Zionists in control of the gov believe that they can survive a nuclear war with Russia and they have deep underground bases throughout America that they can go into when this war starts. They think that they will survive and maybe they will , but what is going to be left. If you are interested in the deep underground bases that the elite have prepared for themselves via the government, type this in on an internet search, it is a fact, they exist.

    The people in control of the gov are Satanists, and care not for humanity , we are just goyim ie cattle to them, and cattle get slaughtered.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  37. @TG

    Barring any “real” internal conspiracy (as anything is possible), had immigration done the bare minimum of enforcing its mandate, 9/11 probably would have been prevented.

    Most of not all would never have been permitted in the country – no fly lists..
    They would have been picked in the US for having overstayed their VISA.

    I think that is an astute observation.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  38. @Desert Fox

    In the military conflict the first thing to consider the theater in conflict.

    1. If conflict would happen in area around Black see, my opinion is that the Russian would come out victorious.

    2. If the conflict would happen anywhere in the other place in the wold US would defeat Russia.

    3. If US would invade Russia with NATO, Russians would beat US and NATO to pulp.

    4. If there would be Nuclear War US and NATO would be destroyed 100% But about 10% Russians would survive.

    • Replies: @Desert Fox
  39. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Most of not all would never have been permitted in the country – no fly lists..
    They would have been picked in the US for having overstayed their VISA.

    Many of the perps were born in USA, others — such as the Israeli ‘art students’ and ‘moving company employees’ were, apparently, in USA with knowledge and forbearance of US government.

    I think that is an astute obtuse observation.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  40. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Russia is not the aggressor , so it is my opinion that Syria and Iran and or the Ukraine is going to be used as the catalyst and in that event Russia would win, however the Zionists are hell bent on destroying Russia, so there is a good possibility that the Zionists will launch a nuclear first strike via the U.S. and in that event there is no winner , only losers.

    The zionist elite have underground bases here in the U.S. that they feel will shield them from a nuclear war, these bases are known as DUMB, deep undergound military bases, you can look this up , it is true, this shows the insanity of the elites, what the hell do they think is going to left after a nuclear war, but they believe they can survive and win, these people are Satanists.

  41. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The real war is one of information. This is where the public’s hard work in creating their postings on social media reveals useful information that can be processed and launched back at them to persuade, undermine or influence etc. Note that most ideas are a composition of earlier carefully distributed propaganda via the media. Which was carefully designed for affect. The public nevertheless must be continuously observed or data mined for variability, change and results.

    This is the war that’s real, whether it’s a good one is open for debate but the usual suspects insist it is. The most demoralizing aspect of Tom’s Dispatch isn’t any different than similar propaganda that carefully develops the idea that resistance is useless – it is the number of people who are vulnerable to their easy reading manipulation and story telling that convinces them this is the way things are.

  42. War is a racket. All of DC is in on it, if they’re not calling for a real 9/11 investigation, they’re complicit. No one can watch the videos of WTC coming down and not know it was blown to bits with explosives. No pieces of airplane found at Pentagon or in Penn, its obvious enough for a 13 year old to figure out. They’re all traitors and belong in prison or on a rope.
    If Americans saw the real war on the MSM nightly news, the dead kids, bodies with guts and brains hanging out, these senseless wars would have ended not long after they started.. how anyone could believe that Pence or anyone else up there is a God fearing Christian is insane. They’re criminals, mass murderers, criminally insane. No other way of looking at it.
    They’ve been doing their best to get one started here at home, BLM, Antifa, police shooting incitement, school shootings, bringing in people from countries we have bombed into ruin, all the false flags, this is all “government” approved psyops, doing their best to make Americans as miserable and angry as possible. I think its gonna backfire BIG league on them though, people are waking up and seeing through the BS like never before, even the old timers are turning off the CIA brainwashing box.
    Its pretty clear for all to see the devil himself has taken over America’s “government”
    Say what you want about Trump, but he has exposed the lying media for all too see.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  43. By-tor [AKA "Jesse James"] says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Stalin didn’t blockade Berlin. It was the Americans that tried to flood east Berlin with worthess Reichsmarks just before the ‘West’ issued new Deutschmarks without consulting the USSR about it. There were massive runs on stores and goods in an attempt to leave the USSR holding the pallets of worthless Nazi currency. Everything the US-UK said was a lie back then, and they never quit.

  44. @anonymous

    While I do not dismiss the argument that the entire even could have been an inside job. Until there is more than ifs and buts I tend to accept the contention that this was an act perpetrated by men assigned the task by Osama Bin Laden.

    The reason, the CIA knew exactly who they were so early is because they had lost track of them soon after their arrival in the Philippines. They had been on “no fly lists” and were monitored as possible threats. The attacks on USS Cole(?) and the embassy bombing placed Osama Bin Laden and company on the radar list with greater intensity than previously.

    There were known fixtures in the communities in which they lived. So the VISA scenario makes sense to me. It doesn’t mean there are not other possibilities, but in my view said possibilities are missing tangible links.

    There are a lot of suspicious unanswered questions — while suspicious, hardly serves as evidence in my view.

    Given my understanding of events, had the US enforced its immigration laws, the entire cabal most likely would have collapsed. In fact, they would not have been in country.

  45. Given your extremely limited understanding of the events, do yourself a favour and study a lot more the available information surrounding the events before commenting on 9/11. It just makes you appear you to be a knuckle-dragging idiot or a Hasbara shill, which is the more likely case.

  46. Ace says:

    And we should focus on PNAC why?

  47. Ace says:
    @jacques sheete

    America’s entry into WWI was the Jewish gift to Britain for Britain’s gift of Palestine to them. Britain happened not to own Palestine at the time but hey.

  48. Ace says:

    Please. The U.S. did not bomb civilians, armed or unarmed, in Vietnam. Where do you get this garbage?

  49. Ace says:
    @jilles dykstra

    The Mississippi River was choked with dead communists for five years but still McCarthy pursued his evil “investigation.”

  50. If anyone has new and or missed evidence that supports any claim concerning those responsible, there are dozens of lawyers with open pending cases that would be delighted to have what evidence you can provide to assist them.

  51. @RobinG

    SAIC, Booze Allen (Snowden was from there, or maybe Ernst & Young), Boeing, they’re all boarded 80%-plus with Jews, they own Congress, there’s no getting rid of any of them. But in the end, their hubris and greed will destroy us all. I don’t see what the check on the power of the MIC could possibly be. They don’t even have to go to Congress for authority, a vote, for the violence they drive in our names, their children don’t serve in the military. For them, it’s all a lovely gravy.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Trump is an actor. Only confused sheep, for example, see a difference between Trump and Obama, or any of the other presidents the slave class loves so much. Trump belongs to the Ruling Class. If he didn’t, the rulers never would have selected him as president.

    Trump lied like all the other actors when he spoke to the zombies. He said he would end wars, but has ramped them up. He said he would cool it with Russia, now relations are worse than the cold war.

    The real damage that we don’t hear too much about is the domestic purge where the average zombie is going to get crushed with reduced quality of life and more slavery so that the glorious military and the wealth of the rich can expand. Notice how that’s not the issue?

  53. Good emendation in the comments. You always have to qualify Tom Dispatch gatekeeping and strip off the grade-school civics slogans that they use to pull their punches.

    First the idea that democracy is under threat. Bullshit. Democracy ended in 1949 when CIA established its impunity in municipal law. Postwar US history is the story of CIA buffing its unlimited life-and-death power with administrative red tape and bad-faith legal hackwork in the transnational space.

    With that out of the way, What is going on with these wars? Same as always. CIA rips a place apart. That’s how they top up their clandestine-crime slush fund: countries at war become entrepots for CIA arms and drug trade; CIA-installed strongmen condone CIA child trafficking for pedophile blackmail.

    When the CIA’s chaos gets out of hand, CIA blames it on some shmuks. CIA destroyed Indochina and foisted the terminal rout on the Pentagon (with their tongue-in-cheek ‘Pentagon Papers.’) CIA merged with transnational organized crime for Iran-Contra and hung Israel’s subordinate crime ring out to dry, protecting their own. Lately you see CIA blaming the Jewish State for its Syria fiasco. That’s Giraldi’s remit.

    But now, as my old boss would say, Something Is Happening. The military is not willing to hold the bag in Yemen.

    From Haaretz: ‘”Votel admitted that Centcom doesn’t know when U.S. fuel and munitions are used in Yemen.

    ‘“General Votel, does CENTCOM track the purpose of the missions it is refueling? In other words, where a U.S.-refueled aircraft is going, what targets it strikes, and the result of the mission?” Warren asked.

    ‘“Senator, we do not,” Votel replied.

    ‘The Senator followed up, citing reports that U.S. munitions have been used against civilians in Yemen, she asked, “General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”

    “No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.’

    Senator Warren hastens to shake her finger at Saudi. But this is CIA’s show. Everyone there knows it but they’re scared to say so. Otherwise CIA paramilitaries wouldn’t be on the ground there canoeing dissidents’ children and extended families.

    You want to stop all this war? You’ve got to raze CIA. Do what Germans did to the Stasi.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    , @RobinG
  54. RobinG says:
    @Jim Christian

    “I don’t see what the check on the power of the MIC could possibly be. They don’t even have to go to Congress for authority, a vote, for the violence they drive in our names….”

    That’s why the term Deep State is so appropriate.

  55. @Center for Study of the Obvious

    Or have an executive with some serious backbone willing to say\

    “Minus any threat to the US or of immediate threat to her allies, No”.

    As a fan of the CIA, and can see their value, I would prefer we avoid blowing it up. Besides there are hundreds of think tanks making contentions for interventions. Not to mention hundreds working in government with agendas.

  56. RobinG says:
    @Center for Study of the Obvious

    Senator Warren hastens to shake her finger at Saudi. But this is CIA’s show.

    Yup. And CIA is acting for Deep State.

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