"The first of what Washington promises will be back-to-back nine-month rotations in the "foreseeable future." Beginning in February, U.S. military units will spread out across Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany."...
1/6/17, "US Tanks, Equipment Arrive for NATO Exercises in Eastern Europe," Reuters, Bremerhaven, Germany, via voanews.com
(Comment: To Reuters: Is the US inaugurating a person named "Washington" on 1/20/17? Reuters says "Washington promises" many months of US taxpayer funded troops and heavy weapons across Europe and on Russian border. No one on 1/6/17 is authorized to "promise" confiscation of US taxpayer dollars for endless military actions in foreign lands after 1/20/17. US taxpayers are no longer global slaves. PS: Save the Fake News rap about Ukraine war.)
1/10/2017, "The Democrats’ Russia-Did-It Dodge," Consortium News, Norman Solomon
"To avoid facing up to why Hillary Clinton’s pro-corporatist candidacy really lost key Rust Belt states, national Democrats are finding it easier to blame Russia, a dangerous and self-defeating game, says Norman Solomon at The Hill."
"Two months after the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign — trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump's neck.
Still more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency to Trump, top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Vladimir Putin than scrutinize how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters.
Meanwhile, the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous. It could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that have thousands of nuclear weapons each.
At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday on foreign cyber threats, ranking member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, denounced “Russia’s rejection of the post-Cold War international order and aggressive actions against its neighbors,” and he condemned “a regime with values and interests so antithetical to our own.” It was the kind of oratory that would have made John Foster Dulles or Barry Goldwater proud.
Like so many other senators on the committee, Reed seemed eager for a new Cold War while accusing Russia of digital aggression. “In addition to stealing information from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign,” he said, “and cherry-picking what information it leaked to the media, the Russian government also created and spread fake news and conspiracies across the vast social media landscape.’’"...
[Ed. note: How is that different or worse than what the US media did 24/7, led by the NY Times and Washington Post, to try and tilt the election to its choice?]
(continuing): "The Russia-Did-It Conspiracy Theory
The Russian government may have hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and it may have given those emails to WikiLeaks. But that’s hardly a slam dunk.
Over the weekend, after Friday’s release of a much-ballyhooed report from the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the report underwent a cogent critique by former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry. Stripping the 25-page DNI report down to its essence, Parry pointed out that it “contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks.”
Parry added: “The DNI report amounted to a compendium of reasons to suspect that Russia was the source of the information — built largely on the argument that Russia had a motive for doing so because of its disdain for Democratic nominee Clinton and the potential for friendlier relations with Republican nominee Trump. But the case, as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof.”
While stenographic accounts of official claims have dominated coverage of the Jan. 6 report, major flaws are coming to light in mainstream media. For instance, a piece that appeared on Saturday in the New York Times, by Scott Shane, reported in its ninth paragraph: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack.”
The article reported: “Under the circumstances, many in Washington expected the agencies to make a strong public case to erase any uncertainty. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’
There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.”
But Democratic lawmakers aren’t interested in doubts or caveats. They believe the Russian hacking issue is a political winner.
Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly a convenient way to evade the sobering lessons that should have been learned from the last election about the Democratic Party’s lack of authenticity in its claims to be fighting for the interests of working people.
At the same time, enthusiasm for banging the drum against Putin is fast becoming a big part of the Democratic Party’s public identity in 2017. And — insidiously — that’s apt to give the party a long-term political stake in further demonizing the Russian government.
The reality is grim, and potentially catastrophic beyond comprehension. By pushing to further polarize with the Kremlin, congressional Democrats are increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia. By teaming up with the likes of Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to exert bipartisan pressure for escalation, Democrats could help stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions.
This approach is already underway. It is worse than irresponsible. It is madness that could lead to a nuclear holocaust."
"Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org, which has 750,000 members. He is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. [This article originally appeared as a column at The Hill, at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/313295-democrats-are-playing-with-fire-on-russia ]"
Added: As is the case with all neocons, McCain and Graham have never once been right. By their own words the Libya regime change they promoted was a massive failure. They've never even apologized.
""Ultimately, our intervention in Libya will be judged a success or failure based not on the collapse of the Kadafi regime, but on the political order that emerges in its place," the senators said."
Aug. 21, 2011, "John McCain, Lindsey Graham weigh in on Libya," LA Times, Kim Geiger
"The fall of the Kadafi regime is a victory for Libya, the Middle East and the world, said U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had been strong advocates for U.S. military intervention in the months-long conflict.
"Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Kadafi," the senators said in a statement released late Sunday night. "But we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower."
The senators said the U.S. "must lead the international community to provide the support that our Libyan friends need."
"Ultimately, our intervention in Libya will be judged a success or failure based not on the collapse of the Kadafi regime, but on the political order that emerges in its place," the senators said.
"Today marks a big step forward for the Libyan people towards freedom and democracy. As they continue on this journey, America must continue to stand with them.""
In April 2011, McCain is given hero's welcome in Benghazi, Libya, where he brags that people should visit "free" Benghazi to see how great it is thanks to his intervention (meaning US taxpayer funded bombing): "Mr McCain called on critics of intervention to tour Benghazi to see a 'powerful and hopeful example of what a free Libya can be.'" Obviously, nothing good happened in Libya, least of all in Benghazi. Neocons exist only via their access to endless US taxpayer dollars and have never been right or "heroic" about anything. They create permanent misery and suffering wherever they go. They're basically a money laundering operation. Today Libya is home to countless terrorist groups. It's also a transit route for African "refugees" flooding to Europe. How embarrassing for US taxpayers. Take a "tour" of "free" Benghazi.
4/22/2011, "'Let's get this thing over with,' says McCain as he calls for more help for rebels in Libya," Daily Mail
"A day after the U.S. said it was deploying drones in Libya, Senator John McCain called for more help for Libyan rebels so that can 'get this thing over with.'...
The former Republican presidential candidate toured the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Friday.
He received a hero's welcome on his tour as rebel forces, locked in a deadly stand-off with forces loyal to strongman Moammar Gaddafi, gained ground in central Misrata.
Mr McCain said the drones would increase NATO's capability but not enough to make up a shortfall needed to break a 'significant degree of stalemate.'...
Mr. McCain called on critics of intervention to tour Benghazi to see a 'powerful and hopeful example of what a free Libya can be.'
People waved American flags as a crowd of about 100 Libyans greeted McCain, the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee."...
More about neocons:
6/20/2014, "Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry," Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt
"The neoconservative-liberal alliance in effect re-legitimates the neoconservative world view, and makes their continued enthusiasm for U.S.-led wars look "normal.""
9/7/2015, "How Neocons Destabilized Europe" by Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com
"The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europe...started with the cavalier ambitions of American neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East and other parts of the world through “regime change.”
Instead of the promised wonders of “democracy promotion” and “human rights,” what these “anti-realists” have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing – such as that there hasn’t been enough “regime change.”"...
"(Hillary) Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations....Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger." ...
April 1, 2016, “Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libya Mess,” Robert Parry, Consortium News
"Hillary Clinton’s signature project as Secretary of State – the “regime change” in Libya – is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in (Oct. 20) 2011.
The problem that Clinton did much to create has grown more dangerous since Islamic State terrorists have gained a foothold in Sirte and begun their characteristic beheading of “infidels” as well as their plotting for terror attacks in nearby Europe.
There is also desperation among some Obama administration officials because the worsening Libyan fiasco threatens to undermine not only President Barack Obama’s legacy but Clinton’s drive for...the White House.
The continuing crisis threatens to remind...voters about Hillary Clinton’s role in sparking the chaos in 2011 when she pressured President Obama to counter a military offensive by Gaddafi against what he called Islamic terrorists operating in the east.
Though Clinton and other “liberal interventionists” around Obama insisted that the goal was simply to protect Libyans from a possible slaughter, the U.S.-backed airstrikes inside Libya quickly expanded into a “regime change” operation, slaughtering much of the Libyan army.
Clinton’s State Department email exchanges revealed that her aides saw the Libyan war as a chance to pronounce a “Clinton doctrine,” bragging about how Clinton’s clever use of “smart power” could get rid of demonized foreign leaders like Gaddafi. But the Clinton team was thwarted when President Obama seized the spotlight when Gaddafi’s government fell.
But Clinton didn’t miss a second chance to take credit on Oct. 20, 2011, after militants captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him. Appearing on a TV interview, Clinton celebrated Gaddafi’s demise with the quip, “we came; we saw; he died.”
However, with Gaddafi and his largely secular regime out of the way, Islamic militants expanded their power over the country. Some were terrorists, just as Gaddafi had warned.
One Islamic terror group attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel, an incident that Clinton called the worst moment of her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.
As the violence spread, the United States and other Western countries abandoned their embassies in Tripoli. Once prosperous with many social services, Libya descended into the category of failed state with the Islamic State taking advantage of the power vacuum to seize control of Sirte and other territory. In one grisly incident, Islamic State militants marched Coptic Christians onto a beach and beheaded them.
Yet, on the campaign trail, Clinton continues to defend her judgment in instigating the Libyan war. She claims that Gaddafi had “American blood on his hands,” although she doesn’t spell out exactly what she’s referring to. There remain serious questions about the two primary incidents blamed on Libya in which Americans died – the 1986 La Belle bombing in Berlin and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
But whatever Gaddafi’s guilt in that earlier era, he renounced terrorism during George W. Bush’s presidency and surrendered his unconventional military arsenal. He even assisted Bush’s “war on terror.” So, Gaddafi’s grisly fate has become a cautionary tale for what can happen to a leader who makes major security concessions to the United States.
The aftermath of the Clinton-instigated “regime change” in Libya also shows how little Clinton and other U.S. officials learned from the Iraq War disaster. Clinton has rejected any comparisons between her vote for the Iraq War in 2002 and her orchestration of the Libyan war in 2011, saying that “conflating” them is wrong....
Though her (past) Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, hasn’t highlighted her key role in the Libya fiasco, Clinton can expect a tougher approach from the Republicans if she wins the nomination. The problem with the Republicans, however, is that they have obsessed over the details of the Benghazi incident, spinning all sorts of conspiracy theories, missing the forest for the trees.
Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger.
Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations."
Feb. 2015: "ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians on Libyan beach brings Islamists to the doorstep of Europe:"
2/16/2015, "ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians on Libyan beach brings Islamists to the doorstep of Europe," UK Independent, Lizzie Dearden
"Former Libyan PM previously warned that they would reach Mediterranean."
"Militants in Libya had been holding the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December (2014) and January." Reuters image
"Destroyed: There were at least seven strikes in Derna in the east of the country, which has become a hotbed of Islamic extremism since dictator Libyan Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011," twitter via Mailonline
2/16/2015, "Egypt retaliates with air strikes after ISIS marches 21 Coptic Christians along a lonely Libyan beach and beheads them en masse for their faith," Mailonline, John Hall, Sara Malm
Comment: No amount of human suffering is enough for neocons who are now entrenched throughout US institutions.
"Neocons" were once just a few fringe, demented Republicans like George W. Bush and his cronies.