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Tulsi Gabbard’s screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement

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Jonathan Tasini, former Sanders surrogate, slammed Gabbard for normalizing Trump’s bigotry and racism.

Neoconservative Bill Kristol at first had a hopeful reading of the meeting: “Tulsi Gabbard for VA?”

Then when reports came out he reversed course and had a similar take to the Times. Not very happy.

He added, “Because listening to the drumbeats of peace has worked out so well in Syria.”

Robert Parry, the former AP reporter and realist, had a hopeful reading of the meeting, at Consortium News.

By inviting in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat hostile to “regime change” wars, President-elect Trump may be signaling a major break with Republican neocon orthodoxy and a big shake-up of the U.S. foreign policy establishment

Parry revisited Gabbard’s antiwar rise:

She starred in one of the strongest political ads of the campaign, a message to Hawaiians, called “The Cost of War.”

“Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War,” Gabbard says. “He understands the cost of war, that that cost is continued when our veterans come home. Bernie Sanders will defend our country and take the trillions of dollars that are spent on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars and invest it here at home.”

In the ad, Gabbard threw down the gauntlet to the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, by accusing them of wasting trillions of dollars “on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars.” Her comments mesh closely with Trump’s own perspective…

Parry said that Hillary Clinton might well have appointed Victoria Nuland as Secretary of State, Nuland whose husband Robert Kagan was one of the neoconservatives who flocked to Clinton. And he reads even Trump’s Mike Flynn national security adviser nod as a hopeful departure from a policy of drone attacks.

Taking on this Saudi-Israel nexus has long been regarded as political suicide, given Israel’s extraordinary lobbying power and Saudi Arabia’s exceptional wealth. But Trump may be assembling a team that is “crazy” enough to take on that mission.

So, while the fight over the future of U.S. foreign policy is far from over – the neocons will surely flex their muscles at the major think tanks, on the op-ed pages and inside the halls of Congress – the Trump transition is showing some creativity in assembling a national security team that may go in a very different direction.

Here is more on Gabbard’s track record, from NBC:

Gabbard abruptly resigned her spot as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, accusing party leaders of rigging the presidential primary process for its eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton…

Tim Vandeveer, a Sanders supporter elected this year as chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, defended Gabbard’s decision [to meet with Trump].

“Given the reality that we’re facing now with President-elect Trump, and an administration that we’ve already seen is going to lean heavily on neoconservatives who are going to rattle the sabers of war, I think it’s a good idea for Democrats to engage and stand up for our values

She’s also a surfer, who is proud of her Polynesian heritage. From her twitter feed:

Tulsi Gabbard, from her twitter feed

Tulsi Gabbard, from her twitter feed


CNN reported that Gabbard was under consideration for Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. The NYT said she was under consideration for Ambassador to the U.N.

Gabbard dismissed the speculation:

I did not meet with President-elect Trump seeking a job, nor did he offer me one.


Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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76 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on November 24, 2016, 1:11 pm

    Gabbard talks sense on Syria, Trump has also spoken of helping Russia get rid of the Wahhabi and other Jihadi head choppers. Just common sense really. However if the Neocons get their way in Syria [regime change] then not only would the UN Charter 2[4] have been thrown out, it would mean confronting not only Syria but Russia, Iran and possibly China in a nuclear standoff. Of course both Israel and Saudi Arabia also want regime change in Syria, Israel because it covets the Golan Heights, Saudi Arabia because it wants to be the Hegemon [Sunni] in the region. Syria is an important member of the so called ‘arc of extremism’ or, as I prefer, ‘arc of resistance’. [who would not want to resist Israel/Saudi Arabia]. There are only two choices in Syria 1/ Support the legitimate secular Government of Assad or 2/ Support the Jihadis who regard anyone not like them as worthy of death.

    • Bandolero on November 24, 2016, 1:51 pm


      Yes, Tulsi Gabbard talks sense. A year ago as I saw her on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and I was completely shocked. I hadn’t imagined that such a sensible person could appear in any major US media. She looks like a little nice girlie, but she spoke like a major of the US armed forces – and with lot’s of courage. Here’s that video:

      • annie on November 24, 2016, 2:04 pm

        i was really impressed too, watched a whole bunch of videos of her and started following her on twitter — about a year ago or more. but just last night someone contacted me thru dm/twitter and alerted me to her alignment/support to modi and the BJP, which is disturbing.

      • Bandolero on November 24, 2016, 5:29 pm


        What’s wrong with Modi? I know as Modi came to power neocons and the Israel lobby were very happy. But as he made India to become part of SCO and keep India friendly with Iran instead of making India a US controlled “counter weight” to China, neocons and the Israel lobby were very unhappy.

      • Maghlawatan on November 24, 2016, 6:34 pm

        Five years ago this week, across the Indian state of Gujarat, the stormtroopers of the Hindu right, decked in saffron sashes and armed with swords, tridents, sledgehammers and liquid gas cylinders, launched a pogrom against the local Muslim population. They looted and torched Muslim-owned businesses, assaulted and murdered Muslims, and gang-raped and mutilated Muslim women. By the time the violence spluttered to a halt, about 2,500 Muslims had been killed and about 200,000 driven from their homes
        The pogrom was distinguished not only by its ferocity and sadism (foetuses were ripped from the bellies of pregnant women, old men bludgeoned to death) but also by its meticulous advance planning. The leaders used mobile phones to coordinate the movement of an army of thousands through densely populated areas, targeting Muslim properties with the aid of computerised lists and electoral rolls provided by state agencies.
        Much of the violence unfolded with the full collaboration of the police. In some cases, police fired at Muslims seeking to flee the mobs. When asked to help a group of girls being raped on the roof of a building, police officers demurred, explaining: “They have been given 24 hours to kill you.” Subsequent investigations confirmed that police knew in advance of the pogrom and had been instructed not to interfere with it.
        Indian and global human rights organisations have singled out Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi, of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), as the principal culprit. As a result of his alleged complicity in mass murder, he was denied a visa to the US and cannot visit Britain for fear of arrest.
        Yet Modi remains chief minister and has become not only the BJP’s most popular figurehead, but also a poster boy for big business, foreign and domestic. Gujarat, which contains 5% of India’s population, now boasts 18% of its investment and 21% of its exports.

      • Sibiriak on November 24, 2016, 6:56 pm

        Bandolero: What’s wrong with Modi?

        The fusion of extreme Hindu nationalism and hard-line neoliberalism isn’t entirely ideal.

      • Bandolero on November 24, 2016, 9:08 pm


        “As a result of his alleged complicity in mass murder, he was denied a visa to the US and cannot visit Britain for fear of arrest.”

        … alleged … I think, that’s the key word in that Guardian article. It may be true, or may be not true. As my trust for politicized NGOs and mass media is close to zero, I don’t give much on what they allege. I remember reading other accounts of the Gujarat events 2002, too, which gave a more nuanced picture than what I read in western media.

        Anyway, what strikes me is that Indian people in the election prefered Modi to the continued rule of the “moderate liberal left” INC which has I think quite similar problems as the US Clintonist Democrats. And so, has Modi so far ruled so bad? I don’t think so, and he even stood up against the WTO pushing through an Indian exception for food subsidies: Modi said to the WTO he cannot risk that markets fail to provide food for his more than a billion people, most of them poor. He sounded like a communist on the very left in front of the WTO. The WTO was angry, but Modi stood tall and he got his exception for India food production. Modi neatly works with Russia and BRICS, too. He at least shows that tries to improve relations with Pakistan and China, though that’s really not easy. So, has Modi ruled badly so far? I don’t think so. And a better government hadn’t been in the cards under the INC. Also, I don’t think it’s bad that there are changes of those people holding power from time to time, quite the opposite.

      • echinococcus on November 25, 2016, 3:15 pm

        All correct, Maghla Watan, but totally unrelated to international relations and international law.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 12:42 pm

        Bandolero I lived in India for a while and read the local media . Modi left his wife about 30 years to join a hardcore Hindu outfit called the Sangh. They were linked to the BJP who generated political momentum by destroying the Babri mosque in 92 in ayodhya which is the Indian equivalent of Jerusalem. Modi is a dangerous mother fucker.A train full of Sangh people was burnt mysteriously and his goons started a pogrom. A Congress MP was hacked to death. The police stood by and did nothing. Some of the videoS of the time show him inciting murder. Very Jim Crow style. And Hindus love him cos hé keeps uppity Muslim n****rs in their place.

        You have to understand the status of Muslims in India. They were abandoned by their leaders in 1947 when Pakistan was founded. They are miserable. And when communal violence starts they get killed.

        786 is a lucky number that Bombay taxi drivers often paint on the side of their taxis . In 92 post Ayodhya when Hindu gangs were looking for blood it was used to identify victims

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 4:40 pm

        Nobody is saying the opposite: Modi sure is a frightful genocidal motherlover.

        That being stipulated, what does this have to do with the price of eggs? Of the eggs, that is, that get broken about the chance to calm international aggression and to avoid starting new wars, among which a very probable WWIII? Once more, there is no direct correlation between international relationships and a particular country’s being ruled by a despot or a madman etc…

      • Keith on November 27, 2016, 6:38 pm

        ANNIE- “…alerted me to her alignment/support to modi and the BJP, which is disturbing.”

        Yes, it would be disturbing enough based upon Gujarat alone, however, the recent demonetization of India will be disastrous for the Indian 99%. The elimination of 500 and 1000 rupee bills may sound like getting rid of big denominations until you realize that at 68 rupee per dollar, we are talking $7 and $14 equivalents. I quote and link an article below which puts this in perspective.

        “On November 8 the shock to the financial system was administered by Mr. Modi by demonetising 500 and 1000 rupee notes. India is an overwhelmingly paper currency country: some 90% of the transactions are done with cash. India’s cash-to-GDP ratio is 12% More than half of Indians still don’t have a bank account and some 300 million have no government identification. The two scrapped denominations – 500 and 1,000 rupees – account for more than 86% of the value of cash in circulation.

        By this diktat the government effectively neutralized around 86 percent of the currency in India. The staggering implication for the informal sector in the Indian economy which employs close to 94% of the labour force was disastrous. The daily wage earners, farmers, small traders and small businessmen were left helpless clutching the dud 500 and 1000 rupee notes in their hands.” (Sridhar Chakravarthi Raman)

      • RoHa on November 27, 2016, 11:18 pm

        Not to worry, Keith. Modi is cooking up another war with Pakistan, so that’ll distract from the currency cock-up for a while. Or longer, if it goes nuclear.

  2. Bandolero on November 24, 2016, 1:28 pm

    I would find it very good if there were Democrats in the Congress, especially the Senate, who would work positively with Trump on issues like peace and dressing down Wall Street so that Trump won’t be hostage to neocons like MCain & Graham in the Congress, but got majorities to govern against the neocons.

    That is not to say that I think Trump shouldn’t be criticised for all his bigotry and so on, but if Trump-Sanders cooperation would make it possible to break the neocon & Wall Street chokehold it could be a very good thing anyway.

    • Maghlawatan on November 24, 2016, 6:37 pm

      If Trump could see some way to link that to Ivanka’s jewerly sales it might fly. but on the other hand he migh be distracted by a piece of ass (other than Ivanka’s , bien sur) before he had finished thinking about it and the opportunity would be lost forever. The ADD presidency is going to be a hell of a ride.

    • JWalters on November 25, 2016, 7:39 pm

      “issues like peace and dressing down Wall Street”

      I agree completely. These two are THE main issues. AND there’s plenty of evidence that Wall Street & Subsidiaries have been preferring the profits of war over peace. (And the profits of climate catastrophe.)

  3. ritzl on November 24, 2016, 4:05 pm

    “Sparks anger” among the neocons and neolibs. Regular folk are really tired of the perpetual war bulloney.

  4. pabelmont on November 24, 2016, 8:58 pm

    It comes hard for me to “want” Assad to prevail, after how cruelly he put down the early attempts at rebellion. But we know what happened to Yugoslavia after the boss Tito disappeared and to Iraq after the USA deposed Saddam Hussein. seems sometimes a dictator may be better for the people than a war to replace him with (?) what, a USA-puppet? Neoliberalism? Gag. And so I opposed Clinton. Othersd elected Trump.

    Good for Gabbard. Speaking, as we all should do, truth to power. I wonder why Trump listened.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on November 25, 2016, 10:17 pm

      There is a reason nations like Syria are torn by civil war, and those like Saudi Arabia and Jordan are not. Syria is not an ally of the US, so it gets set upon by CIA backed rebels, while Jordan’s King and the Saudi King maintain their authoritarian rule over their respective nations, with no price. The only reason for that initial success of the rebellion was Western intelligence backing it. The Syrian rebellion was for the most part, not organic. If the US really wanted to end authoritarian rule in Saudi Arabia, you would see quite the rebellion in Saudi Arabia, and you wouldn’t even need much CIA help, just an end to the protection racket for SA.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 1:05 am

        Syria is linked to the Sunni problem in the Shaam/mesopotamia. The failure in Iraq left a fundi Shia government in the country and they ran death squads. The Sunni minority was excluded from power . This was the great disaster of US Policy in Iraq.

        Syria is actually majority Sunni but for recent historical reasons is led by an Alawi sect The Alawis are basically Shia and they have the same paranoia and contempt for goys as the neighbours down the coast . It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put the Zionists and the Alawis together in a single state.

        They would get on like a forest on fire.

        Between Syria and Iraq you have maybe 20 m Sunnis with no political representation.

        ISIS is a joke but the Sunni grievance that drives it is not.
        The Zionists pushed for war in Iraq

        If at some future point an Iraqi team took out the Zionist leadership in the Kirya and the Knesset it would be richly deserved,

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 7:05 am


        I think this sectarian narrative for Iraq and Syria pushed by Saudi Arabia, the Israel lobby and the mass media is mostly nonsense. The opposite is true: many Sunni communities are intoxinated with a vile hatred on everything and everybody which comes from the Petro-Dollar-financed spread of wahhabi ideology emanating from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

        In Iraq people adhering to this vile ideology of wahhabism regularly put car bombs in crowded places – especially Shia places, but also Sunni places who don’t subscribe to wahhabism, with the fake justification that Sunni minority is allegdly excluded from power. But the opposite is true: influential Shia clerics like Moqtada Al Sadr publicly constantly advocate for bringing Sunnis into the national government and work hard to get this done but the Saudi-Turkish backed minority Sunni tribes rejected power sharing, instead saying they will conquer Bagdad and take all power in Iraq by force.

        In Sunni-majority Syria in the government are mostly Sunnis – with the exception of Bashar Al Assad, who has a Sunni wife, but is himself a Alawite. But the defense minister, the foreign minister, the head of the government, and many more are Sunni. And in the last presidential elections people could have chosen a Sunni president, but they chose Assad, while the US/Saudi/Turkish-backed wahhabi insurgency doesn’t want any power sharing, but simply conquer all power by force. And they justify a campaign of terror and false flag terror by falsely claiming to be a suppressed Sunni majority.

        That the wahhabi claims of fighting for a suppressed Sunni minority or majority is all false, is easy to see when one looks into other contries. In other contries, like Nigeria, Libya, Somalia or Pakistan, there are no Shia to speak off to “suppress” any Sunni, but still the wahhabi types run huge campaigns of terror against the population and tiny powerless minorities like Christians, Shia and Sufi. Here the real vile nature of Wahhabism is easy to see because there justification is just “cleaning the lands from the dirty minorities to make it more pure.”

        And that’s what’s really going on, adherents of a vile medieval Saudi ideology are on rampage. Did the Iraqi Yezids “suppress” in any time or in any way any Sunnis? No they didn’t, and the Yezids were a quite powerless minority. But the ISIS wahhabi types still killed them and enslaved their women with the “justification” they were “infidels” and so they deserve it. That’s the reality going on from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Caucasus, Egypt, Libya, Mali and Nigeria, from Syria and Iraq to Yemen and Somalia. Adherents of the medieval sectarian idelogy of Wahhabism are on a rampage, supported by Saudi Arabia, Katar and the Israel lobby, who try to mask this very bloody rampage as being driven by an alleged suppression of Sunnis whereever they can.

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 10:04 am


        Thanks for summarizing what should long have been obvious to all. One observation to be added for the sake of completeness: the US-fed Daesh and its US-fed An-nusra, etc. dissidents make such a big show of exterminating all sorts of Muslim and Christian infidels wherever they get, and promising genocide should they make contact… with one big exception. They never touch Zionism or Zionists, or even mention Jews. They seem very happy to accept Zionist help with their healthcare, to be touched by infidel hands in Zionist hospitals, to receive infidel Unc’Sam’s help through Zionist proxy and they never utter a bad word for the Jews (not that one should, really, but it strikes one as a bit out of character.)

        It almost looks as if the Zionists, godless or not, were the real People of the Book to these most intolerant of all heretic hunters. Strange.

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 11:42 am


        I think you are misreading the adherents of the wahhabi ideology. They just hate everything except themselves.

        From what I have seen most adherents of wahhabism are openly and even vulgarly anti-semitic, and they do make absolutely no distinction between jews and zionists.

        But I agree with your observation that they rarely attack Israel or Israeli interests. In south-west Syria quite the opposite is true: the wahhabi types of jihadists are in a rather open alliance with Israel. So what do they say why don’t they attack Israel? From what I heard most say the “time is not right” for doing that. First they need to cleanse all the muslim umma from impurity, and then they can go further. In a more practical note, I also heard them saying they have “no funding” and “no big player support” for going after “the jews” occupying the core muslim land of Filistin – so they simply can’t do it.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 12:53 pm

        Bandolero the Saudis push wahhabi filth but you do not get traction on a war without compelling local grievances. The US fucked up the status quo in Iraq. Syria has been stagnating for years. Iraq used to be an educated country. Syria used to punch way higher. Both countries are hopelessly corrupt . If the Russians force an Alawi peace in Syria and ISIS is defeated in Iraq there will be another iteration of Sunni nihilism. Throw climate change into the mix and it becomes existential.

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 2:07 pm


        “Saudis push wahhabi filth but you do not get traction on a war without compelling local grievances.”

        I don’t believe that. I believe the petro-dollars of the Saduis get traction everywhere spreading wahhabism where there are Sunnis.

        Where there are grievances, like, say economic hardship due to political differences with Israel and the US empire, draughts due to climate change or a quadrupling poplation the Wahhabis try to exploit that. But where there are no such problems they invent problems of their own making and get traction anyway. Just have a look to the “Islamischer Zentralrat der Schweiz.” If there are sectarian grievances the Wahhabis exploit them, if there are none, they go on killing sprees anyway, saying they purify the land, just look at Pakistan.

        But I agree with you that when there is peace in Syria and Iraq there will be another iteration of Sunni nihilism – like you call it, or sectarian frustration, like I would call it. This time, however, I think it’s likely to turn against the Wahhabi masters who are responsible for the unsuccessful sectarian carnage they created, and I’m not sure the Saudi-wahhabi regime will survive that. But that fills me with hope for Palestine because the Saudi regime is Israel’s most important Arab ally.

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 2:10 pm


        Just one thing to add: Filistin is still not seen as core Muslim land by the pious Brethren. After all, they only got religion in the last 30 years or so, too cosmopolitan and mixed; too Lebanon-like.
        I have an inkling that this kind of thing proves that the management of the Wahhabi varmint, I mean both Daesh and An-Nusra, is totally mercenary, not ideological. Same goes for a substantial portion of their personnel, too, no matter the occasional show of distaste for the Americans.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 6:12 pm

        Bandolero I went to Syria in 2002. I went to Hama where Assad the elder put down a rebellion in the 80s. It was brutal. The city centre was razed.

        On a bus back to Damascus there was a video on. It was puerile and all the passengers were laughing. Syria lost its way a long time ago. The elite are kleptocrats. And it’s a caste system. The Alawis control all the important posts. The same people in charge for years. How long has Shabaana whatshername been spokeswoman? Or is she foreign minister?

        Sunnism is all over the place now when it can be so easily discombobulated by the Wahhabi parasite. The Sauds are vile.

        Syria reminded me of Egypt. Going nowhere. Part of it is due to its place in the regional power structure and the wider capitalism. But it could be doing a lot better.

        And that was before the war.

        I think Zionism and the imposition of such a violent bird into the local nest was a disaster for the Levant. Anthony Shadid RIP was a journalist who wrote a book about Marjayoun in Lebanon. It looked like it had a great future in 1920. And then the implications of the Balfour declaration came rolling in.

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 7:38 pm


        I don’t disagree with you if you are saying that Syria had a lot of problems, including sectarian tensions. I also do agree with you that a lot has to be done to improve that. However I strongly disagree with you that the Assads – or how you seem to call the Syrian presidency, the Allawite regime – are worse than that, what is billed as “the opposition.” Part of my preference is that I think Basher Al Assad has proven to be a hero of the axis of resistance, but besides that I also believe he is the best choice Syria can find now for internal politics for the presidency.

        So what I do think what must be done regarding Syria is make a deal or deals for peace with the political opposition whereever possible, with the government giving concessions regarding most of what all oppositions could agree on, then defeat terrorism, meaning Al Qaida and all others who want no peace without their undemocratic grabbing of full power what so ever, and then hold democratic elections for the parliaments and the presidency, inviting all and everyone, terrorist or not, to participate active and passive. Whomever the voters put in charge then shall rule.

        And, as I am decided as I wrote above, I may add that I think Bashar Al Assad, if he centends, will win those elections big time and those who claim to be opposition will come out very weak. But if Syrian voters would prove my opinion wrong, I would agree those shall rule – so whomever the Syrian people voted for shall rule. I understand it’s difficult to think people like the Kurdish PYD/YPG/SDF and “Sunni” fighters favoured by Erdogan agree on anything, but to live peacefully in one country, which is both their home country, they must do that. In other regions problems are similar, say for example with Druze people and the figthers preferred by Saudi Arabia and Israel. And as far as such a political solution doesn’t happen, I think the Syrian army must fight terrorism, meaning those who don’t want no peace whatsoever.

        You say “it (apperently Syria) could be doing a lot better.”

        Would you please by so kind to explain how and who has to be doing what to make it happen?

  5. Citizen on November 25, 2016, 9:19 am

    “Good for Gabbard.
    Ditto, she gives me hope.

    “Speaking, as we all should do, truth to power. I wonder why Trump listened.”
    He may actually agree with her a la his campaign stance, so it’s good she went there so he didn’t have to deflect the malignant interventionist neocons & neoliberals, or at least questioned them by himself.

  6. Elizabeth Block on November 25, 2016, 9:21 am

    Good for Gabbard. And I have a lot of respect for David Bromwich’s opinions.
    Regime change: Have we ever succeeded in changing a regime for the better? Though when people ask me if I want to see Israel destroyed, I say no, I only want to see regime change.

    • Jon66 on November 25, 2016, 6:47 pm

      “Have we ever succeeded in changing a regime for the better? -See more at:

      I guess that would depend upon your view of the regime changes in Italy, Germany, and Japan in 1945 as well as the breakup of the Soviet Union.

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 10:13 am

        Sure, Jon66, absolutely. There’s never been any difference between the aggressor in a worldwide war, as opposed to sovereign nations illegally and viciously attacked by an imperialist aggressor. None at all.
        As for Italy, it allied itself with us before the end of the war.
        As for the Soviet Union, you seem to really like the utter chaos and destruction we created upon its fall and the worldwide wave of fascism and aggression that we are promoting accross the world as the only major imperial power.
        Of course! It’s all so incredibly profitable for the Zionist entity. What can be negative in disaster?

      • Jon66 on November 26, 2016, 12:25 pm

        Have you spoken with people who lived during Soviet times and after the fall in Poland, East Germany, Latvia, etc? I don’t know any who yearn for a return of Soviet times. I have spoken with some elderly Russians who do bemoan the change, but it’s a minority. Do you think the people living in Soviet dominated areas were better off under that regime?

        Italy allied itself with us after we forced a regime change by invading the mainland.

        The question asked was straightforward and my answer was as well. I gave several examples where I believe that the regime change we pushed for was beneficial to both ourselves and the majority of those in the countries. Do you disagree with these examples?

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 12:51 pm

        Like a good little Zionist or imperialist soldier, you happily pretend to confuse international order with internal affairs, or rather your own tendentious interpretation of the latter. Of course the US-engineered fall of the Soviets has been an unmitigated disaster for the world by leaving all before a single major imperial power, totally obliterating the margin within which different liberation movements could exist.
        Your question did definitely equate Nazi Germany and US imperialism with its victims. No surprise you are a deadly enemy of the Palestinian people.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 1:02 pm

        Jon most of the people who lost in the post Soviet transition drank themselves to death in the 90s. Life expectanxy collapsed. Same process underway now in flyover bluecollar USA btw. Ukrainian girls didn’t grow up to become prostitutes in Vienna and Stuttgart under communism.

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 1:29 pm


        As I live in Berlin you may believe me that I have spoken with many, many people who lived in Eastern Germany in Soviet times – and also quite some people who lived in the USSR, but for the sake of argument, let’s stay in Germany for now.

        What I can say it’s that was that regime change was good became a complex question for many people. I would confidently say that many would reject your argument as a false dichotomy. Really many people in Eastern Germany wanted some really serious change in their incrusted Soviet-socialist dictatorship, but today many of those people regret they ended up with what they see as kind of a US-neoliberal dictatorship. Many I know say they wanted a better economy, more products in the shops and cleaner air, but not the kind of elbow society and predator regime they ended up with.

        In the East of Germany the rejection of the US-led world order and US-style FRG capitalist system today is much stronger than in the West. And in elections the transatlantic parties combined get hardly their 50% together to govern in East Germany on the local and regional level.

        Believe it or not, given the current state of affairs, there are quite many people in Eastern Germany who have kind of nostalgia for the GDR. It’s even kind of hip for youngsters, with bars in GDR style, food, stores, furnitures etc, and there is a German word for it: Ostalgie. Sure, not a majority, but it’s quite popular here in Berlin.

      • Jon66 on November 26, 2016, 1:36 pm


        The question asked was, “Have we ever succeeded in changing a regime for the better?”

        I think the answer is a resounding yes and I have given some examples. Do you disagree with these examples? It’s a straightforward question and I have given a straightforward answer.

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 2:26 pm

        I suppose we’re in for another interminable round of pill-pulling. Count me out. No interest.

      • Jon66 on November 26, 2016, 2:32 pm


        Thanks for the input. It’s a dichotomy because it’s based upon the question of whether or not the US has achieved a change for the better. The question was not if it it resulted in a perfect regime, but whether or not the new regime was better than the old. Do you think most Germans think that the end of the Soviet empire was a net positive for them?

      • annie on November 26, 2016, 7:02 pm

        I guess that would depend upon your view of the regime changes in Italy, Germany, and Japan in 1945 as well as the breakup of the Soviet Union.

        i guess that would depend on your view of state sponsored terrorist attacks, the blowing up civilians, assassinating leaders, thwart the electoral process. etc etc.

      • Bandolero on November 26, 2016, 8:47 pm


        You said “It’s a dichotomy because it’s based upon the question of whether or not the US has achieved a change for the better.”

        I agree with you, that this is the important question. And the answer in Eastern Germany is more and more “no.” What I hear more and more is the opinion that when we did this in 1989 we thought we would end up better off, but in fact life got worse. And that’s on the left and on the right, old and young.

        It wasn’t always that way since 1989, earlier there was a clear majority in the East for “the western way” but it changed a lot since. Who is currently the majority is difficult to say since that depends how you ask in a poll.

        But for a hint here a fact, where that public opinion currently goes: three of five Eastern German regional presidents have publicly come out to be against sanctions on Russia despite that there is huge western elite pressure for the opposite position. From what I hear I think a clear majority of people in East Germany seems to be against sanctions on Russia. And many of those are quite the same ones who say in hindsight that under Soviet rule life was better than under US rule, only their number grew a lot.

        At the same time ever more western German – and western Berlin – people seem to be fine with having annexed the GDR. So see, what I said before, your simple question whether the regime change in Eastern Germany 1990 was good in the view of the people is quite complex to answer from a Berlin point of view.

        I wouldn’t wonder if next year the Russia friendly parties strong in Eastern Germany, especially the AfD, but also The Left, get majorities in Eastern Germany while the classical transatlantic parties SPD and CDU/CSU continue to rule due to their western dominance.

  7. Vera Gottlieb on November 25, 2016, 11:02 am

    All those so in favour of war should be the first ones to be sent to fight at the front lines.

    • Eric on November 25, 2016, 5:24 pm

      Along with their sons. That would reduce militaristic fervour to approximately zero.

  8. HarryLaw on November 25, 2016, 11:29 am

    Elizabeth Block, here is a list of US regime changes since the second world war..
    Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)

    China 1949 to early 1960s
    Albania 1949-53
    East Germany 1950s
    Iran 1953 *
    Guatemala 1954 *
    Costa Rica mid-1950s
    Syria 1956-7
    Egypt 1957
    Indonesia 1957-8
    British Guiana 1953-64 *
    Iraq 1963 *
    North Vietnam 1945-73
    Cambodia 1955-70 *
    Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
    Ecuador 1960-63 *
    Congo 1960 *
    France 1965
    Brazil 1962-64 *
    Dominican Republic 1963 *
    Cuba 1959 to present
    Bolivia 1964 *
    Indonesia 1965 *
    Ghana 1966 *
    Chile 1964-73 *
    Greece 1967 *
    Costa Rica 1970-71
    Bolivia 1971 *
    Australia 1973-75 *
    Angola 1975, 1980s
    Zaire 1975
    Portugal 1974-76 *
    Jamaica 1976-80 *
    Seychelles 1979-81
    Chad 1981-82 *
    Grenada 1983 *
    South Yemen 1982-84
    Suriname 1982-84
    Fiji 1987 *
    Libya 1980s
    Nicaragua 1981-90 *
    Panama 1989 *
    Bulgaria 1990 *
    Albania 1991 *
    Iraq 1991
    Afghanistan 1980s *
    Somalia 1993
    Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
    Ecuador 2000 *
    Afghanistan 2001 *
    Venezuela 2002 *
    Iraq 2003 *
    Haiti 2004 *
    Somalia 2007 to present
    Honduras 2009
    Libya 2011 *
    Syria 2012
    Ukraine 2014 *

    Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

    A: Because there’s no American embassy there.
    And that was only since the end of the 2nd World War.
    The US government are involved up to their necks in Syrian regime change, the only reason it will not succeed is because Russia wants International law to apply and for the Syrian people alone to decide Syria’s future, not the “democrats” of Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

  9. traintosiberia on November 25, 2016, 5:39 pm

    About today’s self-righteous antiwar types, one can say (to turn Tacitus on his head): “They make a wasteland, and they call it peace.”

    Is there anything new in it? Is Kristol good for the rest of human being ? Isn’t he always an imminent danger to thr peace,prosperity and justice?

  10. JWalters on November 25, 2016, 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the roundup of reactions. Tulsi’s analysis is a welcome addition to the discussion. Seems it’s helping to clarify and sort the other analyses.

    Another excellent article by Robert Parry on this topic is The Neocons — Masters of Chaos

    Also worthwhile, What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis

  11. JoeSmack on November 25, 2016, 7:41 pm

    Why doesn’t the article mention Gabbard’s close ties to Hindu fascists and to AIPAC?

    • echinococcus on November 25, 2016, 8:55 pm

      One would guess because that’s expected, considering the known part of Trump’s stated intentions: close ties to AIPAC (close meaning incestuous), close ties to anti-middle-eastern people racism (under cover of selective opposition to Islam), priority to eliminating Da’esh, calming the waters re Russia and avoiding otherwise wars of aggression.
      The Trump attitude (even the little and very unsure we know) is nothing to write home about.
      Gabbard checks with all of that, no matters other discrepancies.

    • Kay24 on November 26, 2016, 10:29 am

      It is obvious that some Hindus in India and some Jews in Israel HATE Muslims, and it is their common goal to get rid of many as possible. Apparently Israel supplies weapons to India, and some may be used against the Muslims.

      Narendra Modi’s “wonderful” record on the slaughter of innocent Muslims.

  12. rhkroell on November 25, 2016, 8:24 pm

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the U.S. Congress. As a U.S. Army National Guard combat veteran, she’s seen the cost of American adventurism in the Middle East up close, so she is staunchly anti-war. She quotes Mahatma Gandhi routinely. She’s a hard-core environmentalist and defender of the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. She is a voice for women’s rights, minorities, the marginalized and the dispossessed. She is a close ally of Bernie Sanders. She openly opposed Hillary Clinton and spoke out in favor of including 3rd-party candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential debates (and got smacked down for it by the DNC). You can’t ask for more than that from a U.S. Congresswomen. I think it is best for Americans to stay out of Indian politics. We can’t pick leaders for the Indian people and don’t know all of her reasons for maintaining a dialogue with Narendra Modi and/or the BJP, please!

  13. Atlantaiconoclast on November 25, 2016, 10:22 pm

    Who here thinks that maybe now the Democrats will begin to expose the neocons that currently slither in bases of power in Wash DC? The victory of Trump could indeed revive the anti War spirit that went into a coma once Obama was elected and the cruel hoax won that damn Nobel Peace Prize.

    • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 1:00 am


      No grounds for optimism here. What you say may have applied if the Dims were not the war party, trying every trick in the book and using the Neocons as a vanguard to provoke Russia into a possible WWIII and continuing to totally destroy of all the Middle East on behalf of their Zionist masters. If Trump had not made noises about being peaceful with Russia, refraining from warlike adventures and trying to make a net profit, repeating what we heard from isolationists all along our history. Then, yes, yours would have been a plausible scenario.

      But now, it’s hard to see the Dim leadership letting go of their alliance with the Neocons and playing the peace doves right away. We’ve been living again in interesting times for some 15-16 years now; a few months to wait and see what gives won’t be wasted.

    • rhkroell on November 26, 2016, 1:08 am

      Anything is possible, Atlantaiconoclast, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Maghlawatan on November 26, 2016, 1:23 pm

        Nothing will change absent a popular movement based on what most voters want. Well paid jobs, affordable healthcare, quality education, peace and a stable climate No more mass incarceration or plutocracy.

        But that has to come into being.

    • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 9:40 am

      Yeah, what we sorely needed to pontificate against a credible opponent of the war of aggression in Syria was yet another guy hellbent on the utter destruction of Syria, on the way to completing the New Amerionist Century. Not for nothing are the chief original Neocons out of the same Trotskyst stable inhabited by Louie.

    • Keith on November 26, 2016, 11:18 am

      LPROYECT- “”

      At last, at last, you have written something I find interesting. In Gabbard’s defense, since Israel supports the Islamist proxy war against Syria, she obviously is not being influenced by her support for Israel. You, on the other hand, are a case study in ossified Marxists who have evolved into a symbiotic relationship to empire whenever a Democrat is the one making war. Getting back to Gabbard, one always needs to exercise caution when dealing with a retired career imperial stormtrooper. And Modi? I read enough Arundhati Roy to know that he is a brutal Hindu Fascist. For those who defend Modi, I link to a 5 minute video about him by Arundhati Roy which makes the point.

      • annie on November 26, 2016, 12:28 pm

        wow, Arundhati Roy doesn’t mince words. amazing presentation. it was something similar of this nature i read about him earlier which turned my stomach.

      • echinococcus on November 26, 2016, 7:41 pm

        Except that what is in discussion is the possibility of averting more and more intensive war in the ME and that of improved cooperation with Russia (including BRICS, hence Modi talk.) Internal Indian problems don’t necessarily reflect there. Indian and Russian collaboration with the Zionist entity may be much more relevant.

    • Mooser on November 27, 2016, 12:49 pm

      “Iproyect” I am ashamed of you! Recommending a David Duke article!

      I don’t care what David Duke says, (and I admit to being a rabid admirer of the pedal extremities), but I refuse to worship a golden calf. No matter how shapely.

    • Keith on November 27, 2016, 5:46 pm

      LPROYECT- “”

      Ah Louis, linking David Duke? Would it be safe to assume that he, like you, is an unrepentant Marxist? Unlike you, I am unfamiliar with the website, however, based upon your linked article by Patrick Slattery, it would seem that at least in this one area they are talking sense. Below I quote the first paragraph, then comment below that.

      “On Monday Donald Trump met with Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She has been mentioned as a possible Secretary of State, or even Secretary of Defense (she is an Iraq War combat veteran and Major in the Hawaii National Guard). It’s not just that she would be preferable in these jobs to John Bolton, Rudi Giuliani, or Mitt Romney, but is probably the very best candidate from the ranks of the Washington establishment.” (Dr. Patrick Slattery)

      Putting aside the question of how Gabbard compares to others in the “ranks of the Washington establishment,” I agree that she would be preferable to Messrs. Bolton, Guiliani or Romney. Do you disagree? Would you like to see John Bolton as Secretary of State? Like you, he favors violent and illegal imperial regime change in Syria. Birds of a feather flock together, kiddo.

      • lproyect on November 27, 2016, 6:48 pm

        Keith, it really wants me to puke my guts out when I see people making a stink about “violent and imperial regime change in Syria” as Russian jets have bombed every last hospital in East Aleppo to rubble. I really sometimes wonder how people who hang out here can get so aroused about Gaza being bombed and then turn around and spout IDF type rhetoric about the need to root out terrorists in Syria. I can’t imagine that you have ever belong to a socialist group or fought some injustice. Like most people who comment here, your primary activity seems to be writing pro-Assad or pro-Putin comments. I don’t think that will make the world a better place.

      • Keith on November 27, 2016, 7:44 pm

        LPROYECT- “Like most people who comment here, your primary activity seems to be writing pro-Assad or pro-Putin comments.”

        Have you considered applying for a job at the State Department office of propaganda? Since when does opposing empire and imperial destabilization make me pro-Assad or pro-Putin? Compared to the imperial Islamists, however, Assad looks pretty good, particularly seeing as how the entire Middle East is such a mess precisely because of Western imperialism. None of this would be happening without this brutal intervention which you shamelessly support. Uncle Sam is the primary culprit not Assad. And you are a propagandist for empire, making common cause with the likes of Bolton, Nuland and Negroponte.

        LPROYECT- “Keith, it really wants me to puke my guts out when I see people making a stink about “violent and imperial regime change in Syria” as Russian jets have bombed every last hospital in East Aleppo to rubble.”

        You have very selective guts. Apparently, your guts are unaffected by these Islamist terrorists operating American heavy armor and artillery. And how many hospitals would have been destroyed had there been no intervention? The bottom line, Louis, is that you are an unrepentant imperialist in Marxist drag. Although you didn’t answer my question directly, it appears that you would look with favor upon John Bolton as Secretary of State. As for this ongoing nonsense about bombing “last hospitals,” I provide a link to a review of the ongoing stories claiming that the last hospital in East Allepo was destroyed. Again. And again. And again….

        How Many “Last Hospitals” Russia-led Airstrikes Destroyed in Aleppo?

  14. andrew r on November 28, 2016, 2:21 am

    Compared to the imperial Islamists, however, Assad looks pretty good

    Those who haven’t been in a coma the last 5 years will notice the US only started conducting airstrikes in Syria in Sept. of 2014 and only against ISIS and JAN, not Assad’s forces.

    Where that fits in an imperialist-backed Islamist regime change is a mystery.

    Uncle Sam is the primary culprit not Assad.

    This isn’t a chicken-and-egg question. Syria faces a jihadist threat because Assad’s repression backfired and lost him control of the country, not the other way around.

    As I said before, if Assad didn’t start the conflict himself, he’d still be an incompetent for allowing such a level of infiltration into Syria.

    • echinococcus on November 28, 2016, 8:38 am

      Those who have not been in a coma know that we the US started the war against Syria, using some internal agitation (demonstrations) as a pretext. US allies, by the way, are the US for all practical purposes. We are directly responsible for all damage from the moment we turned a demonstration by Syrians into armed confrontation involving our agents. This is a war of aggression, not a “civil war”.

      • andrew r on November 28, 2016, 4:19 pm

        This would make Bashar al-Assad the first head of state in recorded history to lose most of his country to foreign infiltrators without a conventional military invasion, and to boot, while possessing an airforce which said infiltrators do not. Does that sound right?

      • Keith on November 28, 2016, 5:40 pm

        ANDREW R- “Does that sound right?”

        No, your misrepresentation of reality does not sound right. What you are calling an “infiltration” would be more accurately described as an invasion by a proxy army of terrorist mercenaries. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of hybrid war? Suffice to say that an extremely well armed fighting force of Islamists supported by the full might of empire and its allies could overwhelm a weak Third World country like Syria. Without Russian intervention, Syria would have been overrun. Once Syria was destroyed like Iraq and Libya, support could be withdrawn from these mercenaries who would likely fade away without fuel and ammunition for their US tanks and artillery. Ever since Reagan’s use of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, the empire has utilized Islamist mercenaries to wreck havoc on states resisting imperial domination, including using Islamists in the former Yugoslavia.

      • andrew r on November 28, 2016, 10:09 pm

        Let’s try something productive. Tell me if anything in this article is evidence of a foreign-backed jihadist invasion of Syria. I’d say it illustrates how the govt. started the violence, not to mention those taking up arms against the govt. were solidly Syrian.

        “Until now, the opposition against Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators, though authorities have claimed, without offering solid proof, that it was being led by armed gangs and propelled by foreign conspiracies. Activists said residents of the towns of Talbiseh and Rastan, which have been under attack since Sunday in central Homs province, decided to fight back with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, and at least four civilians were killed. (…)

        “”The protests began peacefully but the practices of security forces that humiliated the people eventually led to the use of arms,” he said. He said it was common for Syrians to have light weapons such as rifles in their homes, adding that in recent years weapons have been smuggled in from neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq. (…)

        “Monday’s accounts were the first credible reports of serious resistance by residents taking up arms. It is not clear how widespread such resistance might be elsewhere, though there have been some reports of civilians fighting back in the town of Talkalakh near the border with Lebanon and the government and several rights group say more than 150 soldiers and policemen have been killed since the unrest began. (…)

        “The Local Coordination Committees in Syria said Assad’s fighters hit Tabliseh with artillery early Monday and that snipers were deployed on the roofs of mosques. Syrian troops, backed by tanks, have been conducting operations in Tabliseh, Rastan and the nearby town of Teir Maaleh since Sunday.”

      • Bandolero on November 29, 2016, 12:27 am

        andrew r

        No. The historical CIA Operation Cyclone against Afghanistan was quite similar to the current CIA program Timber Sycamore.

        And it had similar devastating effects – which last until his very day.

      • Bandolero on November 29, 2016, 1:29 pm

        andrew r

        No, that khaleejtimes AP article is just proof that the mass media, the UN and associated western NGOs did spread lot’s of fake news regarding Syria and Libya, just like they did it regarding Iraqi WMDs, babies throwns out of incubators and so on. Probably nothing is true in that report except that foreign-backed terrorists killed four Syrian soldiers. I personally debunked dozens, if not hundreds, of such baseless hasbara news reports targeting Syria.

        Such PSYOPs are a typical element of 4th generation warfare, the main method used by the US-led coalition to attack Syria.

      • Bandolero on November 29, 2016, 2:00 pm

        andrew r

        For the sake of better argument, let’s just examine the first half sentence of the AP fake news from 31.5.2011:

        “Until now, the opposition against Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators”

        It’s clearly a lie. For example on April 10, 2011, what AP describes as “peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators” killed 10 military personnel in an ambush in Banyias. Find a short report in that here:

        Years later, the terrorists even celebrated the anniversary of that murderous ambush.

        Some other incidents of these 4th generation warfare tactics are a bit harder to prove, like terrorists massacering peaceful demonstrators in false flag terror attacks with the intention to blame the government, but since I have now proven that the AP report you cite already starts with a big lie, the onus is now on you to prove that anything in that AP fake news is true. And, be aware, citing even more fake news is not a proof.

      • Keith on November 29, 2016, 2:01 pm

        ANDREW R- “Tell me if anything in this article is evidence of a foreign-backed jihadist invasion of Syria.”

        Are you serious? It is well understood that within the empire the imperial media faithfully follows the imperial narrative, hence, the target of destabilization/regime change will be demonized. It would be inconceivable for any significant part of the mainstream media to report that the US/NATO/Saudi Arabia/Turkey/et al where engaged in yet another intervention to reshape the Middle East per the stated goals of the neocon warmongers who drove that policy.

        In evaluating the news, one must look for patterns which are consistent with known reality. For example, is the US the head of a transnational empire? What exactly do empires do? Why does the US have up to 1000 military bases around the globe? Does the US have a history of intervention? Was the neocon plan to destabilize Syria and six other countries just locker room talk,etc? The historical reality of imperial machinations in the Middle East combined with stated objectives combined with observed patterns of current behavior can only be explained by Syria being an imperial intervention akin to Libya before it. Hence, I believe the reports of deadly violence from the anti-Assad forces right from the get-go. Anyone who seriously claims that the NATO trained and supplied terrorists in American made tanks are a consequence of Assad cracking down on peaceful protesters is either out of touch with reality or intentionally spewing propaganda.

        For those willing to accept responsibility for the empire’s deplorable behavior toward the people of the Third World, I link to a short video of John Pilger discussing the West’s long history of divide and rule in the Middle East.

    • Keith on November 28, 2016, 5:23 pm

      ANDREW R- “Those who haven’t been in a coma the last 5 years will notice the US only started conducting airstrikes in Syria in Sept. of 2014 and only against ISIS and JAN, not Assad’s forces.”

      Those of us who are not propagandists for empire are fully aware of the full extent of imperial interventions and destabilizations in the Middle East for many years. The latest phase began under the George W. Bush administration and continues today. The current phase consists of Islamist mercenaries armed, trained, and logistically supported by the various NATO countries and other Middle East Gulf monarchies. This is a modern army equipped with US battle tanks and artillery which receives massive support from the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, etc. I provide two quotes and links.

      “…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan….” (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).

      “The plain truth is that Syria is the victim of a long-planned Joint Criminal Enterprise to destroy the last independent secular Arab nationalist state in the Middle East, following the destruction of Iraq in 2003. While attributed to government repression of “peaceful protests” in 2011, the armed uprising had been planned for years and was supported by outside powers: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States and France, among others. The French motives remain mysterious, unless linked to those of Israel, which sees the destruction of Syria as a means to weaken its archrival in the region, Iran. Saudi Arabia has similar intentions to weaken Iran, but with religious motives. Turkey, the former imperial power in the region, has territorial and political ambitions of its own. Carving up Syria can satisfy all of them” (Diana Johnstone)

  15. QLineOrientalist on January 24, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Tulsi really turns you on so much that you overlook her Christian Zionism.
    Do yourselves a favor. Google Tulsi Christian Zionist and see what comes up.
    Like this.
    Note what she says about the Iran deal.
    You Israel conspiracy theorists are soooooooooooooooo woke!

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