Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke state their intentions of writing America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives And The Global Order (2004) in "The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order": This book explores how George W. Bush's election and the fear and confusion of September 11, 2001, combined to allow a small group of radical intellectuals to seize the reins of U.S. national security policy. It shows how, at this "inflexion point" in U.S. history, an inexperienced president was persuaded to abandon his campaign pledges and the successful consensus-driven, bipartisan diplomacy that managed the lethal Soviet threat over the past half-century and adopt a neo-conservative foreign policy emphasizing military confrontation and "nation building." To date, the costs--in blood, money and credibility--have been great and the benefits few. Traditional conservatives deplore this approach. This book outlines the costs in terms of economic damage, distortion of priorities, rising anti-Americanism, encroachment on civil liberties, domestic political polarization, and reduced security. Then it sets out an alternative approach emphasizing the traditional conservative principles of containing risk, consensus diplomacy, and balance of power.
A BRIEF RESUME OF STEFAN HALPER--AN AMERICAN PATRIOT WHO DEFIED THE
According to the front-page of America Alone Stefan Halper is a Fellow of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, and a senior Fellow of the Centre of International Studies, where he directs the Donner Atlantic Studies Program. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University and doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He was a White House and State Department official during the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. For twelve years he was executive editor and host of the weekly radio program This Week From Washington and then was executive editor and host of Worldwise, a weekly TV program on foreign affairs. He has made contributions to numerous print media, including the American Spectator, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, International Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, National Interest, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard. Dr. Halper is senior editor at the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and a contributing editor at the American Spectator. He is the co-editor of Latin America: The Dynamics of Social Change.
HOW THE AMERICAN IDEAL WAS HIJACKED BY AMERICAN-ZIONISTS/NEOCONS
In "The Neo-Conservative Ascension," Halper and Clarke posit that while the terror delivered on 9/11 was a defining moment that would defining moment that would determine the course of George Bush's presidency and the nature of U.S. foreign policy going forward, for professionals in the counter-terrorism field it was simply the next step in the evolution of terrorism as an extension of politics. Global terrorism, a new species of the familiar genus, had made a dramatic and horrible entrance. Despite the fact that this point was understood by British intelligence in conversations with their American counterparts, the psychological dimensions of the event and its devastating impact on the American people--the inflection point it imposed on the bush presidency--suspended the flow of events. After emergency procedures to safeguard the country and protect its senior leaders were put in place, the response fell to the White House, where political and security considerations were combined. It was at this unique moment, as Bush sought to link the event with strategic response that the neo-conservatives [American-Zionist] through Vice president Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld moved to center court. As the days unfolded they built on both raw emotion and policy support [just as Trump does], in some quarters, for military and national security initiatives consistent with their long-held objectives. As the work crews dug through the smoldering rubble exposing scores of dead, motorists emblazoned their cars with American flags and neighbors joined together to support one another. The whole country seemed to display bravery and, at the same time, to be bracing itself for whatever might come next. The unanimous fear of and disgust with the violent attacks created an American public that was ready to support a forceful response by it leaders. When envelopes sprinkled with anthrax started arriving at media outlets and in government offices, the public fear reached a fever pitch. The U.S. public was frightened. And, as such the administration had almost carte blanche to respond as it liked.
Week In Politics: Trump's Back-And-Forth On North Korea Summit; 'Spygate' Allegations
May 25, 2018
President Trump speaks about the cancelled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a bill-signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Trump says negotiations with North Korea are back on, and that the summit he abruptly canceled Thursday might even take place on June 12 after all.
NBC and Telemundo news anchor José Díaz-Balart (@jdbalart) and Chad Pergram(@ChadPergram) of Fox News join Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson and Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the week in politics, which also included new claims from Trump about the FBI's Russia investigation.
WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH KOREA
Halper and Clarke state that perhaps the most prominent event to come out of the nexus of neoconservative activity in conjunction with like-minded conservatives within the Israeli body politic was the 1996 research paper published by the Israeli think tank the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political studies. Under the title "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," it was a policy guideline for the newly elected Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. The document argued that Netanyahu's "new set of ideas" provided an opportunity "to make a clean break" with the beleaguered Oslo process. The highlights of this break suggested that Israel "cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent." The paper berated the "land for peace" initiative and emphasized: "our claim to the land--to which we have clung for hope for 2000 year--is legitimate and noble." Netanyahu's clean break also meant reestablishing "the principle of preemption," [which it has used with the Palestinians on a regular basis--such as in Gaza Concentration Camp to protect the fence]. The study group that contributed to the report included James Colbert (a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Charles Fairbanks, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Jr., David Wurmser, and his wife Meyrav Wurmser. Perle and Feith had been close associates for some years. Feith had worked on Richard Allen's NSC team in Reagan's first administration and held a position as Middle East specialist from 1981 to 1982. During Reagan's second term, Feith served as Special Counsel to Perle when he was Assistant Secretary of Defense. As ideological compatriots, both men worked together after 1989 in What become the International Advisers, Inc., a group that sought to promote the objectives of industrial and military cooperation between Ankara and Washington? Perle and Feith again worked together as advisers to the Bosnian government in the Dayton Peace talks. A co-signatory of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) statement of principle, Feith remained among the most focused of neo-conservatives on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Also an author of the "Clean Break” document and a political ally of Perle and Feith was David Wurmser, who is among the more high-profile neoconservatives. a research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute, he become special assistant to John Bolton [Trump's Security Adviser] at the State Department in the Bush administration before moving in early September 2003 to the office of Cheney and I. Scooter Libby, [whom Trump pardoned for his treachery]. Earlier he had worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political studies in 1996.
THE BIG PAY-OFF FOR THE NEOCONS
In 2016 Matt Isaacs wrote in Mother Jones: "Sheldon Adelson Goes All In." The billions he made in Chinese casinos may decide the presidential race. But has he overplayed his hand?"
No, as it turned out, he had not overplayed his hand. Isaac writes that Ted Cruz was Miriam Adelson's choice for president. But this did not stop the other GOP hopefuls from swarming around Sheldon Adelson and his billions. Most notably in December (2015), when they all appeared onstage at his Venetian resort for a prime-time debate. Last spring, Adelson sent word that if one of Jeb bush's campaign advisers went through with plans to address a dovish Israel policy organization, it would cost bush "a lot of money." Even Donald Trump, who swore off contributions from his fellow billionaires, [including insulting the Kochs, who have not forgotten the slight [Jane Mayer's Dark Money], sent Adelson a glossy booklet of photographs from a gala where he accepted an award for boosting US-Israel relations, [going so far as to set-up marriages between his daughter and sons with Orthodox Jews]. "Sheldon," the candidate scrawled across the cover, "no one will be a bigger friend to Israel than me!" (Adelson has promised to support whoever wins the nomination.)
The billionaire's expanding power was underscored the morning after the debate, when the Review-Journal [the only newspaper that gave Trump a favorable review as a candidate] revealed that Adelson and his family were behind a shadowy holding company that had purchased the newspaper weeks earlier and kicked off a media frenzy. Adelson has promised not to meddle with editorial decisions at the Review-Journal, which by virtue of its location frequently covers his company, his industry, and his favorite politicians.
Both Trump and Adelson kept their promises--kicking off unrest in the Middle East and anti-Semitism in the rest of the world. Now the American people must brace for more war in the Middle East and with a North Korea attack in the very near future. Why? Arrogance. The Israel story is verifiable. But to believe that Pompeo would take a chance with telling Trump about the when and where of the North Korean proposed Peace Accord is pure nonsense.
A war of words has scuttled a June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seen during a news broadcast Wednesday in Seoul.
Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET
President Trump has called off a highly anticipated June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting," Trump wrote in a letter to Kim.
Trump's decision comes hours after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, in remarks carried on the country's official KCNA news service, said it would not "beg the U.S. for dialogue" and warned that it could make Washington "taste an appalling tragedy."
Choe also called Vice President Pence a "political dummy" and criticized Pence's recent suggestion that North Korea could end up like Libya if doesn't come to the bargaining table.
"As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice president," Choe said.
In late 2003, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi voluntarily dismantled the nation's nuclear weapons program. But in 2011, during the Western-backed Arab Spring demonstrations, Gadhafi was deposed and then killed by rebel forces.
In calling off the meeting, Trump said Kim had missed an opportunity, but he left the door open to renewed talks in the future.
"The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth," Trump wrote. "If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write."
Trump also returned to past form, boasting of the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
"You talk about your nuclear capabilities," Trump wrote. "But ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used."
Later, appearing at a bill signing ceremony, Trump said the U.S. military is "ready if necessary" to respond if any "foolish or reckless acts" are undertaken by North Korea. He also said U.S. sanctions will remain in place.
Trump held out the possibility that "the existing summit could take place, or a summit at a later date." He added, "Nobody should be anxious, we have to get it right."
Trump said the dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea had been good "until recently." Trump said, "I think I understand why that happened" but would not elaborate.
It appears Trump's decision to abruptly cancel the summit caught South Korea by surprise.
"We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means," said government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom. South Korean leaders called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter at midnight in Seoul.
Testifying before a Senate panel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration was "fully prepared" for the summit. "I think we're rocking. I think we're ready."
Democrats were skeptical that was the case, however. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said Trump was discovering that "the art of diplomacy is much harder than the art of the deal."
Speaking on NPR's Morning Edition, North Korea expert Joel Wit of the Stimson Center said the administration "mismanaged an important historic opportunity."
Wit said, "I think it failed in the large part because the administration has no idea how to deal with the North Koreans. It failed because the administration veered from, you know, praise of Kim Jong Un, to making threats, to talking about the Libya model, which is really something the North Koreans don't want to hear about. It's been entirely too public in this process while we should have been focused on quiet preparations."
"We can also make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now," Choe warned in her statement.
That statement was one of the factors the White House cited for Trump's decision to cancel the summit. In a background briefing with reporters, a senior administration official said Trump was briefed on the statement Wednesday night, "slept on it" and, after meeting with Pence, Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, dictated the letter to Kim on Thursday morning.
It was one of a "trail of broken promises" by North Korea, the official said.
North Korean officials also stood up a U.S. team led by deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin that had traveled to Singapore last week to work out logistics for the meeting. "They waited and they waited," the official said. "The North Koreans never showed up."
KEEPING TRUMP IN THE DARK ON ALL THINGS DIPLOMATIC
Trump, a braggart, and a narcissist, who is determined to out-do Obama's presidency (especially the Nobel Peace Prize), cannot be trusted to keep his mouth shut or his fingers off the keyboard to Twitter, as was evident when he spoke to the Russian press in private while locking out the American press. In the locked-room containing Russian diplomats and press.
Trump bragged and exposed "secrets" that Israeli Intelligence had revealed to him. This is why he was left on the outside of the Pompeo Deal preparations. And this is why there was success until the "Orange Man" in the White House and his sycophants got wind of what was happening-- sabotaged it, and presented the narrative language of North Korean guilt or "stab-in-the back" and U.S. innocence. Trump, like any Fascist strong-man, he wants war as proof of his manhood (don't forget, Obama killed bin Laden).
Trump Bars U.S. Press, but Not Russia’s, at Meeting With Russian Officials
Russia’s official news agency photographed President Trump’s meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov in the Oval Office on Wednesday. The American press was denied access.CreditAlexander Shcherbak/TASS, via Getty Images
WASHINGTON — When President Trump met with top Russian officials in the Oval Office on Wednesday, White House officials barred reporters from witnessing the moment. They apparently preferred to block coverage of the awkwardly timed visit as questions swirled about whether the president had dismissed his F.B.I. director in part to squelch the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Moscow.
But the Russians, who have a largely state-run media, brought their own press contingent in the form of an official photographer. They quickly filled the vacuum with their own pictures of the meeting with Mr. Trump, Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to the United States.
Within minutes of the meeting, the Foreign Ministry had posted photographs on Twitter of Mr. Trump and Mr. Lavrov smiling and shaking hands. The Russian embassy posted images of the president grinning and gripping hands with the ambassador. Tass, Russia’s official news agency, released more photographs of the three men laughing together in the Oval Office.
The White House released nothing.
The result was a public relations coup of sorts for Russia and Mr. Lavrov in particular, who not only received a collegial Oval Office welcome from the president, but the photographic evidence to prove it. By contrast, when Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson traveled to Moscow last month, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia kept him waiting for hours before granting him an audience at the Kremlin. Then, too, Mr. Tillerson left his American press contingent behind.
Mr. Kislyak has figured prominently in the furor surrounding the Trump team’s contacts with Moscow. It was conversations between the ambassador and Michael T. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, that ultimately led to Mr. Flynn’s ouster in February, ostensibly because he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about whether the two had discussed United States sanctions on Russia. The White House had not divulged that Mr. Kislyak was to be present at Wednesday’s meeting.
Mr. Trump’s session with Mr. Lavrov was listed on his schedule as “Closed Press,” meaning the news media would not have a chance to photograph or otherwise document the meeting. “Our official photographer and their official photographer were present — that’s it,” a White House aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity, lacking authorization to describe the ground rules.
The difference, of course, is that while official White House photographers have broad access to the president, their presence is not considered a substitute for that of independent news media, which routinely request and secure access to official presidential movements and meetings so they can obtain their own images and produce their own reports. In Russia, where the independent news media are severely limited, there is no such regular press access to government officials apart from state-controlled organizations.
On Wednesday morning, when the American press pool was assembled unexpectedly in the West Wing, reporters thought that White House officials might have reconsidered and decided to allow a glimpse of Mr. Trump’s meeting with the Russians after all. But instead, they were allowed into the Oval Office for a few moments to cover another, previously undisclosed meeting: between Mr. Trump and Henry Kissinger, the Nixon administration’s secretary of state.
Former White House officials were left to wonder about the security implications of having allowed a Russian photographer unfettered access to the American president’s office.
Colin H. Kahl, the former national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., took to Twitter to pose what he called a “deadly serious” question: “Was it a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office?”
David S. Cohen, the former deputy director of the C.I.A. during the Obama administration, responded: “No, it was not.”
Deadly serious Q: Was it a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office? https://t.co/6WA4NxHxID
We start with the latest on President Trump cancelling the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that had been set for June 12 in Singapore, following "tremendous anger and open hostility" from the North. Also, you might have noticed the sesame seed condiment tahini popping up a lot more often on supermarket shelves and in recipes lately. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins host Jeremy Hobson to explain what tahini is, and share recipes that showcase its versatile flavor. And we talk with a former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing about Trump's unorthodox diplomatic relationship with China, amid ongoing trade and tariff tensions between the two countries. That and more, in hour one of Here & Now's May 24, 2018 full broadcast. You can read and hear more at hereandnow.org, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook and Tumblr.
WHY TRUMP AND THE NEOCONS WANT WAR & THE ERADICATION OF "SOME WHO DON'T BELONG"
John Newsinger essay Wars Past and Wars to Come posits that with the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, elements within the U.S. ruling class came to believe that their country was militarily invincible. Indeed, they believed [and still do as is evident in Trump's threats toward North Korea] this new-found military superiority over any potential rival was something new in human history. So great was its technological advantage, the United States could destroy its enemies with complete impunity. A long-heralded Revolution in Military Affairs was taking place, enabling the United States to reshape the world. New smart technologies would disperse the "fog of war," making it possible for the United States to kill its enemies without their being able to strike back, and the "Vietnam Syndrome" could be overcome once and for all. The First Gulf War (FGW) was a good demonstration of U.S. military superiority, [Israel was not allowed to participate in (FGW)--but Syria and Iran is another story]. According to military historian Keith Shimko, the U.S. casualty rate in the war was so low that male soldiers were statistically safer in the Gulf War Zone than back in the States. Although he does not make the point, presumably Black American men would have been considerably safer.
NFL Requires Players To Stand For National Anthem
May 24, 2018
Houston Texans players kneel during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
But, according to the new policy, players can skip the pregame ceremonies altogether, and stay in the locker room. President Trump praised the decision, stirring up the controversy yet again.
Kevin B. Blackistone, ESPN panelist and professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He writes sports commentary for the Washington Post. (@ProfBlackistone)
From The Reading List:
NPR.org: "All NFL Players 'Shall Stand And Show Respect' For Flag And Anthem,..." — "Unveiling a new policy after months of controversy and debate over players taking a knee or otherwise making statements during the national anthem, the NFL says all of its athletes and staff 'shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem' if they're on the field.
'Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed,' the league said in its new policy.
The possibility that the NFL might issue a blanket restriction on protests during the anthem has been discussed for months, and the buzz gained new momentum this week. But the NFL Players Association says that 'The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new 'policy.''
The league's decision goes against what the NFL had told players 'about the principles, values and patriotism of our league,' the union said, adding that it will review the policy with an eye toward mounting challenges if elements of it contradict the current contract."
The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress.
The Fourteenth Amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade (1973) regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore (2000) regarding the 2000 presidential election, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) regarding same-sex marriage. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official.
The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local government officials from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without legislative authorization. This clause has also been used by the federal judiciary to make most of the Bill of Rightsapplicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy.
The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people, including all non-citizens, within its jurisdiction. This clause has been the basis for many decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups.
The second, third, and fourth sections of the amendment are seldom litigated. However, the second section's reference to "rebellion and other crime" has been invoked as a constitutional ground for felony disenfranchisement. The fourth section was held, in Perry v. United States (1935), to prohibit a current Congress from abrogating a contract of debt incurred by a prior Congress. The fifth section gives Congress the power to enforce the amendment's provisions by "appropriate legislation"; however, under City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), this power may not be used to contradict a Supreme Court decision interpreting the amendment.