Monday, July 17, 2017

With New DC Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons


By Glenn Greenwald - July 17, 2017 at 05:17PM

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One of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president.

A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of this alliance. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”

It is, in fact, the ultimate union of mainstream Democratic foreign policy officials and the world’s most militant, and militaristic, neocons. The group is led by two longtime Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.

The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief of staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for foreign and national security affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council.

Fly’s neocon pedigree is impressive indeed. During the Obama years, he wrote dozens of articles for the Weekly Standard — some co-authored with Bill Kristol himself — attacking Obama for insufficient belligerence toward Iran and terrorists generally, pronouncing Obama “increasingly ill suited to the world he faces as president” by virtue of his supposed refusal to use military force frequently enough (Obama bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries during his time in office, including an average of 72 bombs dropped per day in 2016 alone).

The Democrats’ new partner Jamie Fly spent 2010 working in tandem with Bill Kristol urging military action — i.e., aggressive war — against Iran. In a 2010 Weekly Standard article co-written with Kristol, Fly argued that “the key to changing [Iran’s thinking about its nuclear program] is a serious debate about the military option,” adding: “It’s time for Congress to seriously explore an Authorization of Military Force to halt Iran’s nuclear program.”

Fly then went around the D.C. think tank circuit, under the guise of advocating “debate,” espousing the need to use military force against Iran, spouting standing neocon innuendo such as “we need to be wary of the Obama administration’s intentions” toward Iran. He mocked Obama officials, and Bush officials before them, for their “obsession with diplomatic options” to resolve tensions with Iran short of war. The Kristol/Fly duo returned in 2012 to more explicitly argue: “Isn’t it time for the president to ask Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iran’s nuclear program?”

Beyond working as Rubio’s foreign policy adviser, Fly was the executive director of “the Foreign Policy Initiative,” a group founded by Kristol along with two other leading neocons, Robert Kagan and Dan Senor, who was previously the chief spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. That group is devoted to standard neocon agitprop, demanding “a renewed commitment to American leadership” on the ground that “the United States remains the world’s indispensable nation.” In sum, as Vox’s Dylan Matthews put it during the 2016 campaign, “If you want a foreign policy adviser with strong ties to the neocon world, it’s hard to do better than Fly.”

When it comes to this new group, the alliance of Democrats with the most extreme neocon elements is visible beyond the group’s staff leadership. Its board of advisers is composed of both leading Democratic foreign policy experts, along with the nation’s most extremist neocons.

Thus, alongside Jake Sullivan (national security adviser to Joe Biden and the Clinton campaign), Mike Morrell (Obama’s acting CIA director) and Mike McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia) sit leading neocons such as Mike Chertoff (Bush’s homeland security secretary), Mike Rogers (the far-right, supremely hawkish former congressman who now hosts a right-wing radio show); and Bill Kristol himself.

In sum — just as was true of the first Cold War, when neocons made their home among the Cold Warriors of the Democratic Party — on the key foreign policy controversies, there is now little to no daylight between leading Democratic Party foreign policy gurus and the Bush-era neocons who had wallowed in disgrace following the debacle of Iraq and the broader abuses of the war on terror. That’s why they are able so comfortably to unify this way in support of common foreign policy objectives and beliefs.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unhinged Neocon War Propagandist Uses the “N” Word on Television


By Thomas DiLorenzo - July 12, 2017 at 01:35PM

Retired U.S. Army Colonel (a.k.a. military/industrial/spying complex employee) Ralph Peters, who has been a “special guest” on FOX News for years advocating new wars with, well, just about every other country in the world, said Tucker Carlson was like a Nazi sympathizer because Carlson opposes starting World War III with Russia.  (Carlson has teenaged sons, and is a little worried about the prospect of a World War III).

Carlson pointed out that Peters was one of the bloodthirsty neocon war propagadists who claimed that the invasion of Iraq would make the Middle East “safer and more peaceful” and who also pushed the lie about “weapons of mass destruction.”



Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ambassador Nikki Haley vs. President Trump


By Daniel McAdams - July 09, 2017 at 04:41PM

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Donald Trump came to the White House with a reputation as a top notch businessman. He built an international real estate empire and is worth billions. He then went into reality television, where his signature line as he dismissed incompetent potential employees was, "you're fired!"

On Friday, President Trump held a long-awaited face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The meeting was scheduled to be a brief, 30 minute meet and greet, but turned into a two-plus hour substantive session producing a ceasefire agreement for parts of Syria and a plan to continue working together in the future. After the extended session, which was cordial by all accounts, President Trump said the meeting was "tremendous."

President Trump indicated that the issue of Russian interference in the US elections came up in conversation and that Putin vehemently denied it. It obviously was not a make or break issue in the conversation. President Trump's latest statement on the issue is that "we don't know for sure" who was behind any meddling.

Later on Friday, President Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said of the Syria agreement that, "I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”

On Sunday, President Trump Tweeted in praise of the Syria ceasefire agreement, adding that, “now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

It suddenly appeared that the current reprise of a vintage 1950s US/Soviet face-off in relations had turned the corner back to sanity. Perhaps we will be pulling back from the edge of WWIII with thermonuclear weapons!

Then President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations, the notorious neocon Nikki Haley, showed up on the weekend talk shows.

To CNN's Dana Bash, she directly contradicted her boss, Donald Trump, and undermined his official position regarding Russian involvement in the US election.

Said Ambassador Haley of Trump's meeting with Putin:
One, he wanted to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes, we know you did it, cut it out. And I think President Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it. This is Russia trying to save face. And they can’t. They can’t. Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections.

As The Hill correctly pointed out, "Haley’s description runs counter to the versions offered by Secretary of State Rex TillersonRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trump himself."

But Hurricane Haley was not finished. She poured ice water on President Trump's agreement with President Putin to work together on cyber-security, telling CNN, "[w]e can’t trust Russia, and we won’t ever trust Russia. But you keep those that you don’t trust closer so that you can always keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”

It is absolutely clear that hyper-neocon Nikki Haley has gone rogue and is actively undermining the foreign policy of her boss and President, Donald Trump. From her embarrassing, foaming-at-the-mouth tirades in the UN Security Council to this latest bizarre effort to sabotage President Trump's first attempt to fulfill his campaign pledge to find a way to get along better with Russia, President Trump's own Ambassador has become the biggest enemy of his foreign policy.

Surely the President -- who as an enormously successful businessman has hired and fired thousands -- can see the damage she is doing to his Administration by actively undermining his foreign policy. 

President Trump needs to reprise his signature television line. He needs to pick up the phone, ask for Nikki, and shout "you're FIRED!" into the telephone.



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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Insanity's Door


By Robert Wenzel - July 06, 2017 at 05:40PM

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Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, upped the ante in Washington’s rhetorical war with North Korea and its backers, warning Wednesday that Washington is prepared to halt trade with countries that do business with North Korea, and possibly use force if diplomacy fails to curtail Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, reports Foreign Policy.

But China, North Korea’s largest trading partner, and Russia hit back, voicing stern opposition to new international sanctions, and pressing the United States to resolve the crisis through renewed diplomatic talks. The exchange raised the prospect that Washington’s diplomatic gambit could end with a Chinese and Russian veto, painting Washington into a diplomatic corner with limited economic and diplomatic options, FP continued.

Speaking at an emergency session of the Security Council, Haley said that North Korea’s first successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and other recent tests “are closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” to the nuclear standoff in east Asia.

The latest, longest-range test “requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response,” she said. The United States, she said, would introduce a resolution in the coming days to raise international pressure on North Korea.

“The world is on notice,” she told the 15-nation council. “If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.” The United States, she said, is “prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but prefer not to go in that direction.”

Haley said that she had spoken with President Donald Trump before the U.N. meeting about the possibility of imposing new trade restrictions on North Korea and its business partners.

“There are countries that are allowing — even encouraging — trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” she said. “Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That’s not going to happen.”

She did not explicitly threaten to impose trade restrictions on China, but she noted that Beijing is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea’s trade. Russia has also reportedly been stepping up its trade relations with North Korea.

Yes, quite the strategy, attempt to muscle North Korea by isolating it even more or alternatively cut off trade with China and Russia.

“Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China,” she said. “We will work with China…But we will not repeat the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day.”

There is much more sanity from China and Russia.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, echoed Washington’s concerns about North Korea’s missile launch, calling it “a flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions that flaunts the “will of the international community.

But he broke sharply with the U.S. on the response, saying that China is “firmly opposed to chaos and conflict on the peninsula. Military means must not be an option in this regard.”

A senior Russian diplomat, Vladimir Safronkov, used the meeting to promote a Russian-Chinese diplomatic initiative that would require as a first step that North Korea suspend its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests, while the United States and its regional allies halt large scale military exercises in the region. They also called on the U.S. and South Korea to halt the deployment of a missile defense system, known as THAAD, that they say threatens the strategic balance in the region.

“Any attempts to justify a military solution are inadmissible,” Safronkov said. “Any attempts to economically strangle North Korea are equally unacceptable….All must acknowledge that sanctions will not resolve the issue.”

In response, Haley took the floor to call on Safronkov to carefully consider its vote on the U.S. resolution.

“If you want to be a friend of North Korea, veto it,” she said. “But if you see this for what it is, which is North Korea showing its muscle, then you need to stand strong and vote with the international community to strengthen sanctions on North Korea. And if you chose not to we will go our own path.”

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Empire-Speak


By Jacob G. Hornberger - June 28, 2017 at 08:55AM

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One of the most fascinating aspects of living under imperialism is the lexicon that this philosophy brings into existence. It’s called Empire-Speak. Given the complexity of this specialized language, it usually takes people years of education and training to master it.

One of the finest examples of Empire-Speak appeared last week in a Washington Post op-ed by Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who often appears as a commentator on Fox News. Krauthammer penned an op-ed entitled “The Great Muslim Civil War – and Us” that is an absolute masterpiece of Empire-Speak.

Comparing what is happening in the Middle East to Europe 1945, Krauthammer describes the “great Muslim civil war” that has enveloped the Middle East, which he writes, is “approaching its post-Islamic phase.” ISIS is about to be defeated on the battlefield, he writes, and the parties are now maneuvering, as they did after World War II, to “determine postwar boundaries and spheres of influence.” Once ISIS loses its hold on Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, “the caliphate dies.”

So does that mean that the Pentagon and the CIA can finally declare victory in the Middle East and come home after more than 25 years of warfare in the Middle East? Does that mean that there can now be a ticker-tape parade in New York City honoring the victorious American forces?

Are you kidding? As Krauthammer points out, all that has gone before is just “the end of the beginning.” Things are just getting started. After all, as Krauthammer points out, “At stake is consolidation of the Shite Crescent.”

Who would have known? I’ll bet that 99 percent of Americans haven’t even heard of the “Shite Crescent” or that it’s being consolidated. Thank goodness we have Krauthammer and other people well-versed in Empire-Speak to tell us about it.

According to Krauthammer, the world is witnessing a gigantic battle between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

Leading the Shiite side is Iran. Combined with Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Hezbollah (“which Krauthammer labels the “tip of the Iranian spear”), this is the so-called “Shiite Crescent.” According to Krauthammer, it poses a “nightmare for the entire Sunni Middle East.”

On the opposing side of this gigantic battle are the Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States. Needless to say, this is considered the good side of the war.

As I was reading through his op-ed, I kept hoping that Krauthammer would not omit one of my favorite terms in Empire-Speak: “the hegemon.” Isn’t that a great term? Whenever I hear an imperialist refer to the danger of the rise of a “regional hegemon,” I think of Transformers or Godzilla.

Krauthammer didn’t disappoint. He states that Syria is “the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony.” Moreover, Russia — yes, that Russia! — Krauthammer labeled “the outside hegemon.” OMG! Scary, right? Maybe even scarier than rise of communism and the Soviet Union, the two official enemies of the Cold War era.

What’s really going on here?

Krauthammer is simply preparing the American people for what lies ahead — more interventionism, more imperialism, more militarism, and more death and destruction at the hands of the US Empire. And, of course, more official enemies as old official enemies are defeated or disappeared.

You see, I bet you thought that once ISIS was defeated, the troops could finally be brought home and revel in their glorious victory. Sort of like “Mission Accomplished” after the US invasion of Iraq.

Not so. Undoubtedly expressing the mindset of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the US national-security establishment, Krauthammer is telling us that unfortunately we cannot rest. We must continue to soldier on, presumably until the Shiite Crescent is defeated and the world is no longer facing the possibility of a rise of a “regional hegemon.” And don’t even think for a moment that once that is accomplished, the war will finally be over. It will simply spell the beginning of the end of the beginning.

As I stated soon after the 9/11 attacks, the “war on terrorism” is going to be just like the war on drugs, where every drug lord they kill or capture is soon replaced by dozens more.

The real problem is that the US Empire keeps running out of official enemies. If we go back to the maneuvering after World War II to which Krauthammer refers, we see US officials converting their World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, to a new official enemy, one that necessitated, they said, the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

As we all know, for the next 45 years the Cold War was a bonanza for the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex.” Ever-increasing budgets and powers. The best part, for them, was that it was never supposed to end. The Cold War was supposed to go on forever because communism and the Soviet Union were supposed to go on forever.

But life can be cruel. In 1989, the Soviet Union suddenly and unexpectedly dismantled itself, declared socialism a bankrupt philosophy, and unilaterally declared an end to the Cold War, thereby depriving the US Empire of its big official Cold War enemy.

No problem. A new official enemy was soon announced: Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq and former partner of the US Empire (just like Stalin had been). Throughout the 1990s, Americans obsessed over Saddam Hussein and how he was coming to get us and the rest of the world with his WMDs.

To oust Saddam from power, the Pentagon and the CIA began wreaking death and destruction in Iraq, including 11 years of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

That led to terrorist blowback and a new official enemy: “terrorism,” which ultimately enabled US officials to invade Iraq and oust their official enemy, Saddam Hussein, from power, and install a new regime in Iraq, a Shiite Muslim regime.

Over time, the “terrorists” have morphed into “the Muslims,” which are now viewed as the new official enemy.

Which brings us back to Krauthammer’s op-ed. If the Muslims are the new official enemy, how is that the United States is on the side of the Sunnis in what Krauthammer describes as a giant Muslim civil war that is now supposedly taking place? Aren’t Sunnis Muslims too?

Hmmm. So does this mean that we are no longer supposed to focus on Muslims in general or even “radical Muslims” or “extreme Muslims” but instead on “Shiite Muslims” as the new official enemy?

Oh, another thing Krauthammer doesn’t make clear: If we are now battling the Shiite Muslims, why did the US government use its invasion and occupation of Iraq to install a Shiite regime there? And why is it that US troops have been killing and dying for some 14 years to preserve the existence of that Shiite regime? Why are they still doing so? Were Americans wrong to thank the troops for their service in Iraq by bringing into existence a regime that is now part of the “Shiite Crescent,” which, according to Krauthammer, is now facing us on the field of battle?

Boy, imperialism sure is hard to learn and comprehend. Just like Empire-Speak.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Neocon Anne Applebaum: Give Me Money to Fight 'Russian Disinformation'!


By Daniel McAdams - May 08, 2017 at 06:09AM

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Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

There is no doubt that Applebaum is a true believer that Putin wants to destroy our democratic institutions, but there is also a more pedestrian way to understand her endless obsession: it pays well to hype up big threats. In fact, according to a mandatory Polish government disclosure (her husband was Polish defense and foreign minister before being forced out in disgrace after an eavesdropping scandal), Applebaum has made out like a bandit for a humble journalist and think-tanker.

As I wrote when her scandal broke:
Interestingly, Applebaum demands transparency for everyone else while rejecting it for herself. A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013. No explanation was given for this massive influx of cash, though several ventures in which she has a part are tied to CIA and National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated organizations. Could Applebaum be one of those well-paid propagandists about whom she complains so violently?
Applebaum's latest Washington Post column is about...you guessed it: the danger of Russian disinformation! Here is a synopsis of Applebaum's latest Cold War 2.0 propaganda piece from this weekend:

1) The mainstream media has taken a beating. The old business model is no longer working. There are too many new sources of information available, which makes it harder for people to judge the accuracy of what they read.

My comment: Indeed, the US mainstream media no longer controls what we see, read, and think. Applebaum cannot stand that there are websites challenging the central neoconservative foreign policy paradigm. She hates organizations like the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (she even blocked us on Twitter!).

She longs for the days when you could only pick up a Washington Post or a New York Times and had no chance of discovering opposing opinions.

In other words, Anne Applebaum misses the Soviet-style monochrome media that she pretends to despise so much.

2) As a result of mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post losing their monopoly over shaping foreign policy opinion, as she writes: "authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives." 

My comment: Applebaum is saying here that it's all our fault that the Russians are coming because as soon as the Internet and alternative news and analysis sites offered a point of view different from Applebaum's neocons, we played into the hands of the Russians by ignoring the Washington Post and turning to alternatives. If we had only kept our faith in the neocon worldview, the Russians would not be set to take us over.

3) This new Cold War is even worse than the old Cold War! Unlike back then, in the new Cold War, as Applebaum writes, "Russia does not seek to promote itself, but rather to undermine the institutions of the West, often using discordant messages."

My comment: Anne Applebaum offers no evidence or even clues to back her claim. But what she is saying is that by allowing voices to be heard that run counter to the Washington Post and neocon foreign policy paradigm, Russian-funded outlets like RT are seeking to sow "confusion" among Western listeners and viewers. Applebaum does not want us to be "confused" by messages that run counter to the neocon view of a US empire fighting endless wars against manufactured enemies. We would be far less "confused" if we would all just read Anne Applebaum and stop questioning the neocons!

4) Don't worry, this effort to sow confusion is being countered.

Applebaum writes:
Some countries are waking up to this, especially those that have been hardest hit. The invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Ukraine in 2014 was preceded by a highly effective propaganda blitz that fomented confusion in Russian-speaking areas and blinded both Ukrainians and Westerners to what was really going on. In response, Ukrainian organizations such as StopFake began to expose and ridicule Russian propaganda.
My comment: She does not explain exactly what that "propaganda blitz" looked like. Was it the release of the tape of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland plotting the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Kiev? Well, according to Applebaum, at least the noble, independent NGOs are spontaneously springing up across Europe to counter this Russian propaganda blitz!

Except for one problem: The "StopFake" organization that she praises is not a grassroots Ukrainian organization as she would have us believe. In fact it's a George Soros astroturf organization, funded by his International Renaissance Foundation. In other words, "StopFake" is fake.

5) In fact, when it comes to funding, Anne Applebaum knows which side of her bread is buttered. As the Washington Post notes in the article's byline: "Anne Applebaum, a Post columnist, and Edward Lucas, a senior editor at the Economist, are this week launching a counter-disinformation initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis, where they are, respectively, senior vice president and senior adjunct fellow."

My comment: Who funds the (Washington, D.C.-based) Center for European Policy Analysis? The United States Department of Defense and a handful of US defense contractors!

From their own website:
Recent donors to CEPA include:

Bell Helicopter
Boeing
Chevron Corporation
FireEye
Lockheed Martin Corporation
New Vista Partners
Raytheon Company
Sikorsky Aircraft
Textron Systems
The East Tennessee Foundation
The Hirsch Family Foundation
The Hungarian Initiatives Foundation
The International Visegrad Fund
The Poses Family Foundation
The Smith Richardson Foundation
U.S. Department of Defense
There are one or two surprises on the above list. The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has been quite cautious about following the neocon line that any resistance to massive refugee inflows from the Middle East are signs of unforgivable xenophobia and that Russia and Putin must be resisted at all costs. In fact, Orban's opposition in Hungary is furious that he is not following the Russia-bashing neocon line. So why is the Hungarian government-funded Hungarian Initiatives Foundation backing Anne Applebaum's neocon initiative to demonize Russia? Good question. Maybe Fidesz supporters will want to ask their government why their tax money is going to such a worthless, anti-Fidesz cause.

6) And again on funding, we come to the crux of Anne Applebaum's problem: the US government does not spend nearly enough money creating its own propaganda to counter what she claims is Russian propaganda. They are outspending us and outmaneuvering us!

She writes:
There is no modern equivalent to the U.S. Information Agency, an organization dedicated to coping with Soviet propaganda and disinformation during the Cold War. Although there has been some extra funding for U.S.-backed foreign broadcasters such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty , they cannot provide a complete response.
My comment: But that's not really true, is it? The idea that the US government is pinching propaganda pennies while the Russians are going in for the whole fake news hog is not backed up by those pernicious little things called facts. In fact, the Russian government spent around $300 million on RT in 2016. Compare that with the US propaganda arm, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose 2017 budget runs to $777.8 million dollars, or more than two and a half that of RT. And Congress just gave the green light to another $100 million to "counter Russian influence" in its stop-gap omnibus budget. We are out-spending them three-to-one. So why are we still "losing"?

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for Russian "propaganda," like everything else in that vast cornucopia now thankfully available for our consumption, we should read all we can while keeping our wits about us. There is no one authoritative, unbiased source of information. That we do know. But we also know that we are far more able to think for ourselves now that the neocon gatekeepers like Anne Applebaum have been defeated in the marketplace of ideas.

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