News Items – 03.09.17

As you can tell, there are a lot of embedded tweets in today’s post. Viewing this blog, understand that how busy I am is positively correlated with the number of embedded tweets in the corresponding blogpost (they both go up and down at the same time).


The Ways to Destroy Democracy: A new biography of Hitler reminds us that there is more than one way to destroy a democracy,” by Richard Evans — Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge; President of Wolfson College; and Provost of Gresham College.


How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze,” by Hans Kristenson[1], Theodore Postol[2], and Matthew McKinzie[3].

[1] director of the Federation of American Scientists Nuclear Information Project; former Special Advisor to the Danish Ministry of Defense and the US National Resource Defense Council; and former Senior Researcher with the Nuclear Information Unit of Greenpeace International.

[2] professor of science, technology and national security policy at MIT; former scientific adviser to the US Chief of Naval Operations; and recipient of the Leo Szilard Prize from the American Physical Society, Hilliard Roderick Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

[3] director of the Nuclear Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council and former postdoctoral associate at Cornell University.

Here’s an excerpt that which should give perspective towards how we should act in the realm of nuclear weapons. It’s a quote from Vladimir Putin:

No matter what we said to our American partners [to curb the production of weaponry], they refused to cooperate with us, they rejected our offers, and continue to do their own thing. … They rejected everything we had to offer. … the Iranian threat does not exist, but missile defense systems are continuing to be positioned… That means we were right when we said that they are lying to us. Their reasons were not genuine, in reference to the ‘Iranian nuclear threat.’ Your people [the populations of the Western alliance] … do not feel a sense of the impending danger—this is what worries me. A missile defense system is one element of the whole system of offensive military potential. It works as part of a whole that includes offensive missile launchers. One complex blocks, the other launches high precision weapons, the third blocks a potential nuclear strike, and the fourth sends out its own nuclear weapon in response. This is all designed to be part of one system. I don’t know how this is all going to end. What I do know is that we will need to defend ourselves.”

Remember that the US first unilaterally withdrew in 2001 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), which was the cornerstone of US-Russian nuclear stockpile reduction agreements. Here’s an excerpt of a 2001 NYT article on it entitled, “Bush Pulls Out of ABM Treaty; Putin Calls Move a Mistake“: “Mr. Putin, while saying that the decision was not unexpected, repeated in a nationwide television address Russia’s oft-stated position that the treaty is a cornerstone of world security. He said the decision to withdraw was ‘an erroneous one.’

And while on the subject, here’s an op-ed in the NYT by Putin in 2013: “A Plea for Caution From Russia.” Here’s how the US “liberal” base (the conservative base is even crazier than this) takes this, via Washington Post, 2014: “Hillary Clinton says Putin’s actions are like ‘what Hitler did back in the ’30s’.” Meanwhile, the reality-based community understands the NATO encirclement of Russia, two missed opportunities for joint security with Russia by both Putin and Gorbachev, NATO generals’ war-posturing meant to undermine even the US president’s hesitance to start WWIII, and the unmistakable hypocrisy of US national security state claims about Russia.


About Those Islamist Sleeper Cells in South America…” by Greg Grandin — professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at New York University and former UN special consultant during the Guatemala Truth Commission. (LOL: “Latin America must have the sleepiest of sleeper cells.”)


William Blum:

The United States and the ‘Russian Devil’: 1917-2017

Democrats and Trump Bid Up Militarism

The Anti-Empire Report #149 – March 7th, 2017


Stephen Cohen — professor emeritus of Russian history and studies at Princeton University and New York University:

The ‘Fog of Suspicion’ and of Worsening Cold War

All Washington blames Putin & calls for investigations of Russian villainy


Bruce Schneier — fellow at Harvard University; board member of The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Me at the RSA Conference on the Internet of Things

Jumping Air Gaps with Blinking Lights and Drones


Asking Foolish Questions About Serious Issues,” by Richard Falk — Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice and Professor Emeritus of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University; former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine; former professor at the Universities of Harvard and Ohio State; and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


A Tale of Two Cities,” by Paul Robinson — professor of Russian and military history at the University of Ottawa.


Masha Gessen via the New York Review of Books.

Russia: The Conspiracy Trap

Russia, Trump & Flawed Intelligence


Glenn Greenwald:

Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump


The Intercept:

Wikileaks Dump Shows CIA Could Turn Smart TVs into Listening Devices

GOP Lawmaker Shaping Obamacare Repeal to Address Delighted Insurance Lobbyists

Rep. Jason Chaffetz Is Wrong. A $700 iPhone Can’t Cover Your Health Insurance.


Catholicism has done more harm to Australia than Islam. Where’s the outrage?” by Kristina Keneally — University of Sydney’s Director of Gender Inclusion.


The Socialist Origins of International Women’s Day,” by Cintia Frencia — assistant professor of contemporary history at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina.


Australia’s Refugee Policy Is A Crime Against Humanity,” by Rebecca Hamilton — assistant professor of law of at American University.


Trump Doesn’t Realize These Are Wars We Cannot Win,” by Rebecca Gordon — professor of political philosophy at the University of San Francisco.


The Media’s Addiction to False Equivalencies Has Left Them Vulnerable to Trump,” by Eric Alterman –Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at the City University of New York.


Trump Versus the Media: How to Cover a Hostile President,” by Nic Dawes — Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Executive Director for Media.


The shocking reality for a generation of Syrian children,” by Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post.


Why Does the US Continue to Arm Terrorists in Syria?,” by James Carden — former US State Department Advisor to the US-Russia Presidential Commission.


George Washington University’s National Security Archive blog, Unredacted: “Police Body Camera Footage from Tucson Immigration March Raises Questions, Sunshine Week 2017, and More: FRINFORMSUM 3/2/2017


Washington’s Blog: “The Ever-Growing List of Admitted False Flag Attacks


Pepe Escobar at Asia Times:

Go post-West, young man

Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump

Letter from Tehran: Trump ‘the bazaari’


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting: “George W. Bush Now on Right Side of Press Corps’s Nostalgia Machine


The future of ‘fake news’?: A misleading map of ‘refugee crime’ in Germany distorts reality in a slick and sophisticated way,” by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists.


Georgetown University’s The Bridge Initiative: “What Do Terrorists and the Trump Administration Have In Common?


Contacts with Russian Embassy,” by Jack Matlock — former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union; former US State Department Director of Soviet Affairs; and former National Security Council special assistant to the president for Soviet affairs.


Lawsuit: World Bank arm aided firm that hired ‘death squads’” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


Democracy Now: daily shows for 3/7 & 3/8. Headlines:

Germany: Trial Begins for Right-Wing Group Who Attacked Refugee Homes

New Wave of Bomb Threats Hit Jewish Centers in NY, WI, IL & FL

Afghanistan: Dozens Killed in ISIS Attack on Military Hospital in Kabul


Dennis Kucinich: “Our Political Economy Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality


Daniele Ganser — professor of history and future energy systems at St. Gallen’s University, Switzerland; former professor of conflict analysis at Basel University, Switzerland; and former Swiss Foreign Ministry expert on civil peace and human rights promotion:

TED: War and Peace in the 21st century — the stories in our minds

NATO’s Secret Armies – Operation GLADIO


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