American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism

News Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism New American Militarism Super Imperialism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA America and the Imperial Project American Exceptionalism
The Grand Chessboard Wolfowitz Doctrine "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism US Department of Imperial Expansion Wolfowitz Doctrine Looting pays dividends to empire
Technological imperialism War and Venture Capitalism Predator state Civil war in Ukraine Media domination strategy Transnational Corporations never let a good crisis go to waste US Department of Imperial Expansion
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Note: Partially based on Wikipedia article American imperialism (which avoids discussion neoliberalism as the "imperial method used for the building modern US empire).


Introduction

American imperialism is the economic/financial (as well as  military and cultural) dominance of the United States over other countries. It is based on neoliberalism, so it more properly can be called "neo-imperialism"

Neoliberalism and associated with it a new type of empire (the USA neoliberal empire)  was not an accident, it was a development that while started in the USA took roots in many countries, including such diverse as  Chile (Pinochet), GB (Thatcher), China (Deng Xiaoping was a neoliberal reformer),  Russia (Yeltsin gang), and many other countries. Since the late 1970s, a shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance has been adopted as mean to escape diminishing return on capital.  The oil crisis of the 1970s was probably another factor in the decision of the elite (and it was decision, a conscious choice, not an accident) to switch to neoliberal policies. 

"American empire" consists of vassal states and colonies. Vassal state that have some degree of independence is essentially a codename for NATO. All other states are colonies. An international financial elite (Davos crowd) which BTW consider the USA and NATO as a enforcer, a tool for getting what they want, much like Bolsheviks considered Soviet Russia to be such a tool. The last thing they are concerned is the well-being of American people.

During its history which starts around 70th (with the first major success the Pinochet's coup de etat in Chile, which was supported by the USA), neoliberalism undergone several stages of development:

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with) and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with)  and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

Also the neoliberal Pax Americana and the neoliberal version of global capitalism are increasingly contested by China, with the help of India, Russia, and Brazil (Carl Schmitt’s War on Liberalism The National Interest )

In different ways, Xi Jinping’s China, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Narendra Modi’s India represent an alternative economic model, in which free markets and state capitalism are blended under strong executive rule.

In other words 2008 signified the "end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end" of Washington Consensus, if we use Churchill's words. But in now way it means that period of neoliberal revolutions came ot the end. Inertia and the level of technological and cultural dominance of the USA and its allies (G7) is such that even after bankruptcy as an ideology, neoliberalism continues to its world expansion and claims new victims among "resource nationalists" or simply "not neoliberal enough" regimes. After 2008 Libya, Syria and Ukraine were successfully "regime changed". I think Ukraine, which was a neoliberal state even before EuroMaidan is a special case and much of EuroMaidan events were connected with the desire to "put Russia in place" by Washington (and its European poodles) as well as century old Germany desire to expand its market and dominance into Ukraine.   

If we assume that Marxism as a political philosophy was dead around 1960-1970 when it became evident that working class does not represent the new dominant class able to take power and govern in a new social system as well as the fact that Communist Party political dominance is unable to secure higher standard of living for people then advanced capitalist societies,  and never will, and that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  is applicable to the USSR even more, not less that to any Western country. Still it took 20 years for the USSR to collapse after the USA elite bought part of The USSR nomenclature and organized a quite coup installing puppet neoliberal Yeltsin regime (sold as a "victory of democracy" to lemmings by Western propaganda machine). Using neoliberal advisors from Harvard (aka "Harvard mafia") it instituted "shock therapy" which instantly pushed 90% of population of the  xUSSR region into object poverty very and also enriched beyond imagination few multinationals who were will full support of Yeltsin regime to steal assets and natural resources for pennies on dollar (using Russian fifth column as an intermediary). Essentially looting of the USSR area was one of key factors which ensured recovery and quick growth of the USA economy in late 90th which was interrupted only by the dot-com crysy of 2000.

I would assume that neoliberalism is probably twice more resilient the communism, so 50-60 years since it became clear that the economic doctrine of neoliberalism is a pseudoscientific joke and its political doctrine is an eclectic mix masking financial slavery masked with the smokescreen of propaganda about "entrepreneur class" and "shareholder value"  the first sign of decay might be a reasonable estimate ot its eventual lifetime.  Much depends on the dynamics of the price of oil, as globalization and thus forces of neoliberalism are inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons. High prices or relative scarcity that affects transcontinental trade might damage neoliberalism and undermine the fifth column that support it in.

Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth", and neoliberalism financial scheme based on cheap credit. It might implode in the environment of slow, or close to zero growth.

That means that consistent price of oil, say, over 120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  entered the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is the largest consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and increase the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion. Or at least making it more difficult. The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require some cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

It is possible to lower the oil price, as happened at the end of 2014, but the question is how long this period will last. 

At this point ideology of neoliberalism as an ideology is completely discredited and its fake nature is evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is more dangerous, large part of middle class. It still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So only postulates of neoliberalism, especially as for free market absolutization, started to be questioned.  And partically revised (increased financial regulation is one example). This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring US and other International organization, unless it if convenient to them. But as Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas (Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine are recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country).

Still, unfortunately, Libya, Syria  and Ukraine, were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka white revolution") failed, events in Libya and Ukraine prove the neoliberalism sill can launch and win offensives (aka color revolutions). At the cost of plunging the country into economic and political chaos including civil war.  

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. The problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the obedient US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.  Now the US oligarchy has found itself in USSR nomenklatura shoes and eventually might be called to answer for their global actions which similar to Opium Wars of the British can be called Dollar Wars.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy, especially in developing countries,  and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact.

Standard of living was rising slowly and after 2008 mostly stopped to rise and started to detiorate reflecting higher energy prices and the level on indebtness of many countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc).   So the key promise of neoliberalism that "trickle down" from super rich will be enough to sustain better standard of living for all proved to be a confidence game.

It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (in other words as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

So far no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, as strong as G7 block with the USA as the head of the block. Like in 20th failure of neoliberalism led to rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing a far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franko regime in Spain.  The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating markets that was completely discredited by the crisis of 2008. Actually it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation that remembered this lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

Latin America, once paragon of a neoliberal revolution (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, etc), is now dominated by left-wing governments elected on explicitly anti-neoliberal platforms. Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is viable too. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

Nonetheless, that "neoliberalism in name only" is still a powerful global "brand" which the U.S. seeks to maintain at all costs for macro geopolitical reasons (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

Hegemony of the USA and its allies

The USA was and probably will remain the center of neoliberalism and firmly established as most important and the most powerful promoter of the doctrine (in some case, like with Serbia, Iraq and Libya, on the tips of bayonets).

After the dissolution of the USSR the US elite felt that "everything is permitted" and essentially started to pursue global Roman style imperial policy. The USA military forces are active over most of the globe: about 226 countries have US military troops, 63 of which host American bases, while only 46 countries in the world have no US military presence. This is a projection of military power that makes the Roman, British, and Soviet empires pale in comparison. In his 1919 essay, "The Sociology of Imperialisms," Joseph Schumpeter wrote of Rome during its years of greatest expansion.

There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest-why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted.

The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing-space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.*

As G. John Ikenberry, professor of geopolitics at Georgetown University noted in Foreign Affairs:

The new grand strategy [initiated by the Bush administration]…. begins with a fundamental commitment to maintaining a unipolar world in which the United States has no peer competitor. No coalition of great powers without the United States will be allowed to achieve hegemony. Bush made this point the centerpiece of American security policy in his West Point commencement address in June: "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenges-thereby making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace."

…The United States grew faster than the other major states during the decade [of the 1990s], it reduced military spending more slowly, and it dominated investment in the technological advancement of its forces. Today, however, the new goal is to make these advantages permanent-a fait accompli that will prompt other states to not even try to catch up. Some thinkers have described the strategy as "breakout," in which the United States moves so quickly to develop technological advantages (in robotics, lasers, satellites, precision munitions, etc.) that no state or coalition could ever challenge it as global leader, protector and enforcer ("America's Imperial Ambition," Foreign Affairs, October 2002).

Perhaps one of extreme expressions of this neo-Roman imperial policy became that book by The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is how Brzezinski views the (supposedly sovereign) nations of Central Asia (sited from Amazon review by "A Customer" Jan 3, 2002 as pawns in a greater game for geopolitical domination:

The quote "... the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (The Grand Chessboard p.40) is probably the most revealing. Just ponder the meaning of these statements in a post-9-11 world:

To most Americans the people of the world and other nations are just that -- people, just like us, with a right to self-determination. To Brzezinski, they are merely pawns on a chessboard. At the same time, despite the fact that the analogy are not perfect, Rome fell, Napoleon fell, Hitler fell, USSR fell. Countries with too aggressive foreign policy ultimately self-destruct, because they over-extend their own countries resources to the point when people wellbeing drops to the levels of some colonies. The USA have over million people with the security clearance. So in a way it is becoming a copy-cat of the USSR. And while the US military is busy fighting for oil interests all around the world, those wars were launched by borrowing money and it's unclear who will pay the bills.

Neoliberalism beginning as ideology start was pretty modest. It was never considered a "right" ideology, ideology for which people are ready to fight and die. It was just an "ideology of convenience", an eclectic mix of mutually incompatible and incoherent mosaic of various ideologies (including some ideas of Trotskyism and national socialism) that served as useful tool to counter communist ideology. This is the tress of Friedman pretty weak opus "Capitalism and Freedom" -- which can be considered to be close analog of Communist Manifesto for neoliberalism. It also was useful for fighting some Keynesian excesses. Only later it become favorite ideology of financial oligarchy.

So in fight against "Godless communism" which does not respect private property and used "all-powerful" state, it idealized private property ownership, the role of "free" (as in free shooting) market and stressed the necessity to control the size of the government. As a tools to fight communist ideology those were reasonably effective tools. But at some point this deeply flawed, but useful for the specific purpose framework went out of control and became the cult of the deified markets and explicitly stated the necessary of diminishing the role of the state to minimum to ensure the high level of inequality the new neoliberal elite strived for (note not optimizing for a given historical conditions and technology available, but unconditionally diminishing to the point of elimination). Reagan famous phase "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." is a perfect example of how to "Throw out the baby with the bath water". But the meaning is more sinister: it meant "throw out of the water middle class".

That happened when financial oligarchy understood that a tool created for fighting communism is perfectly suitable for fighting elements of "New Deal". And it proved to be pretty effective in dismantling of set of regulations of financial sector that were the cornerstone of "New Deal". That was a very smooth ride "deregulatory" ride until 2008. But after 2008 the USA (citadel of neoliberalism) faces the set of problems that at least on the surface look similar to the problem that USSR faced before its disintegration, although the USA still have much more favorable conditions overall and disintegration is not among the current threats. Among them:

Still there are important difference with Marxism: despite extremely flawed to the point of being anti-scientific neoliberal ideology is still supported by higher standard of living of population in selected Western countries (G7). If also can rely on five important factors:

  1. Military dominance of the USA and NATO. There are very few countries in the globe without explicit or implicit USA military presence.
  2. Financial dominance of USA and its allies. The role of dollar as world currency and the role of USA controlled global financial institutions such as World Bank and IMF
  3. Technological dominance of USA and G7. Continuing brain drain from "Third world" and xUSSR countries to G7 countries.
  4. Cultural dominance of the USA (although this is gradually diminishing as after 2008 countries started of assert their cultural independence more vigorously).
  5. Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

Military dominance of USA and NATO

The American society and the U.S. armaments industry today are different then it was when Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech (Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation) famously warned Americans to beware the "military-industrial complex." See also The Farewell Address 50 Years Later. The major opponent, the USSR left the world scene, being defeated in the cold war. That means that currently the USA enjoy world military dominance that reminds the dominance of Roman Empire.

The USA now is the world's greatest producer and exporter of arms on the planet. It spends more on armed forces than all other nations combined -- while going deeply into debt to do so.

The USA also stations over 500,000 troops, spies, contractors, dependents, etc. on more than 737 bases around the world in 130 countries (even this is not a complete count) at a cost of near 100 billions a year. The 2008 Pentagon inventory includes 190,000 troops in 46 nations and territories, and 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. In just Japan, the USA have 99,295 people who are either members of US forces or are closely connected to US. The only purpose is to provide control over as many nations as possible.

Funny but among other thing the Pentagon also maintain 234 golf courses around the world, 70 Lear Jet airplanes for generals and admirals, and a ski resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Military dominance of the USA and NATO were demonstrated during Yugoslavia bombing and then invasion of Iraq. It's clear the Yugoslavia bombing would be out of question if the USSR existed.

Neoliberalism and militarism

Under neoliberalism, markets are now fused with the logic of expansion and militarization is the most logical was of securing expansion, improving global positions, and the ordering of social relations in a way favorable to the transnational elite.

Under neoliberal regime the United States is not only obsessed with militarism, which is shaping foreign policy , but wars have become real extension of the politics, the force that penetrates almost every aspect of daily life. Support of wars became a perverted version of patriotism.

As Henry A. Giroux noted in his interview to Truth-out (Violence is Deeply Rooted in American Culture), paradoxically in the country of "advanced democracy" schools and social services are increasingly modeled after prisons. Four decades of neoliberal policies have given way to an economic Darwinism that promotes a politics of cruelty.

Police forces are militarized. Popular culture endlessly celebrating the spectacle of violence. The Darwinian logic of war and violence have become addictive, a socially constructed need. State violence has become an organizing principle of society that has become the key mediating force that now holds everyday life together. State violence is now amplified in the rise of the punishing state which works to support corporate interests and suppress all forms of dissent aimed at making corporate power accountable. Violence as a mode of discipline is now enacted in spheres that have traditionally been created to counter it. Airports, schools, public services, and a host of other public spheres are now defined through a militarized language of "fight with terrorism", the language of discipline, regulation, control, and order. Human relations and behaviors are dehumanized making it easier to legitimate a culture of cruelty and politics of disposability that are central organizing principles of casino capitalism.

The national news became a video game, a source of entertainment where a story gains prominence by virtue of the notion that if it bleeds it leads. Education has been turned into a quest for private satisfactions and is no longer viewed as a public good, thus cutting itself off from teaching students about public values, the public good and engaged citizenship. What has emerged in the United States is a civil and political order structured around the criminalization of social problems and everyday life. This governing-through-crime model produces a highly authoritarian and mechanistic approach to addressing social problems that often focuses on the poor and minorities, promotes highly repressive policies, and places emphasis on personal security, rather than considering the larger complex of social and structural forces that fuels violence in the first place.

The key reference on the topic is the book The New American Militarism (2005) by Andrew Bacevich. Here is one Amazon review:

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies.

" We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form.

It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

Financial dominance

With dollar role as the primary world reserve currency the USA still rides on its "Exorbitant privilege". But there are countervailing forces that diminish dollar importance, such a euro. Financial dominance under neoliberalism became the primary tool of ensuring the control over the nations. See Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism

US and Western banks dominate the globe with New York and London as two world financial centers.

Things little changed after 2008 despite the fact that the US economy in entered a deep debt crisis, which is amplified by the level of destruction of real economy by offshoring and outsourcing achieved under the umbrella of neoliberalism during previous four decades. While the USA remains the sole super power its imperial problems now reached such a level that they may start to affect the foreign policy. Troubles of organizing an invasion in Syria are probably symptomatic. It proved to be more difficult undertaking that similar invasion of Iraq a decade earlier.

Economic troubles have important side effect: the ideological dominance, achieved by the USA during 1989 till 2008 is now under attack. There are a lot of skeptic and in a way neoliberalism goes the way of Marxism with the major difference that there were probably some sincere followers of Marxism at least during the first 30 years of its development.

Centrality of transnational financial flows (including emerging countries debt) and financial oligarchy in neoliberal regime

Since the late 1970s, there was a radical shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance with the rapid growth since then of the share of financial profits in total corporate profits. Also reflective of this process of "financialisation of the Economy" was the explosive growth of private debt as a proportion of gross domestic product, and the piling of layers upon layers of claims with the existence of instruments like options, futures, swaps, and the like, and financial entities like hedge funds and structured investment vehicles.

With financialisation, the financial masturbation -- speculation directed on making money within the financial system, bypassing the route of commodity production, increasingly became the name of the game. Using Marxist terminology the general formula for capital accumulation, M-C-M', in which commodities are central to the generation of profits, was replaced by M-M', in which money simply begets more money with no relation to production.

This is related to the reason which brought on the financialization of the economy in the forefront: beginning with the sharp recession of 1974-75, the US economy entered a period of slow economic growth, high unemployment/underemployment and excess capacity. That happened after around 25 years of spectacular ascent following the second world war. So financialisation was thought a s a remedy to this "permanent stagnation" regime. And for a while it performed this function well, although it was done by "eating the host".

Finance under any neoliberalism-bound regime can be best understood as a form of warfare, and financial complex (typically large Western banks as locals are not permitted, unless specially protected by remnants of the nation state) as an extension of military-industrial complex. Like in military conquest, its aim is to gain control for occupying country of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute putting the country in debt and using dominance of dollar as world reserve currency. This involves dictating laws to vassal countries (imposing Washington consensus, see below) and interfering in social as well as economic planning using foreign debt and the necessity to service the foreign loans as a form of Gosplan.

The main advantage of neoliberalism in comparison with the similar practice of the past is the conquest is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight. Actually following s successful attack of neoliberalism and conquest of the country by neoliberal elite Russian economy was devastated more then during WWII, when Hitler armies reached banks of Volga river and occupies half of the country.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states alone, but by a cosmopolitan financial class and international financial institutions such as World bank and IMF with full support of major western banks serving as agencies of western governments. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.

Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial "Trojan horse" strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance profits via privatization and protect finance capital from the population to allow "the miracle of compound interest" to siphon most of the revenue out of the country. Some tiny share of this revenue is paid to compradors within the national elite. In good years such tactic keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow. This "paradise for rentiers" last until they eat into the core and cause deindustrialization and severe debt crisis. Eventually they do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Technological dominance

The globalist bloc of Western countries led by the USA achieved hegemony in the end of the twentieth century because it managed to become the center of technological progress and due to this acquired a commanding influence over industrial production and social life around the world, including the ability to provide rewards and impose sanctions. One or the reason of technical backwardness of the USSR just before the dissolution were technical sanctions imposed by the West via COCOM. As most of global corporations belong to G7 this lead to "natural" technological hegemony of this block. As Thatcher used to say "There is no alternatives", although she meant there is no alternatives to neoliberalism, not to Western technology from G7 nations. Only recently Asian countries started to challenge this status quo in some areas.

Global corporation managed to create a situation in which the same goods are used in most countries of the globe. Western brand names dominate. American and European airliners, Japanese, American and German cars, Korean and American smartphones, Chinese and American PCs, etc.

China became world factory and produces lion share of goods sold under Western brands.

Dominance in Internet and global communications

The debate about the USA dominance in internet and global communications reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL. The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower.

The USA has capabilities of intercepting of lion share of global internet traffic and with allies tries to intercept all the diplomatic communication during major conferences and trade talk in direct violation of Vienna protocols. Latin American countries were one of the recent victims of this activity during trade talks with the USA. There were reports about snooping on UN personnel communications in NYC.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don't currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here's why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the "Two to Three Hop" scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol)."

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

That includes industrial espionage:

EntropyNow:

Or industrial espionage?

Absolutely. See EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT report dated 11 July 2001 (Note it was before the 9/11 attack in the US).

7. Compatibility of an 'ECHELON' type communications interception system with Union law

7.1. Preliminary considerations
7.2. Compatibility of an intelligence system with Union law

7.2.1. Compatibility with EC law
7.2.2. Compatibility with other EU law

7.3. The question of compatibility in the event of misuse of the system for industrial espionage
7.4. Conclusion

EntropyNow -> StrawBear

The fact that they snoop on us all constantly, that's the problem. I agree that the indiscriminate surveillance is a problem. However, with such vast powers in the hands of private contractors, without robust legal oversight, it is wide open to abuse and interpretation. I believe we need to pull the plug and start again, with robust, independent, legal oversight, which respects fundamental international human rights laws In the US, the NDAA is a law which gives the government the right to indefinitely detain US citizens, without due process, without a trial, if they are suspected to be associated with 'terrorists'. Now define 'terrorism'?

Section 1021b is particularly worrying, concerning "substantial support." It is wide open to interpretation and abuse, which could criminalize dissent and even investigative journalism. See Guardian's excellent article by Naomi Wolf, 17 May 2012::

As Judge Forrest pointed out:

"An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so. In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more."

In an excellent episode of Breaking the Set Feb 7 2013 Tangerine Bolen (Founder and Director, Revolutiontruth) stated that 'Occupy London' was designated a 'terrorist group" officially. There are independent journalists and civil liberty activists being targeted by private cyber security firms, which are contractors for the DOD, they are being harassed and intimidated, threatening free speech and liberty for everyone, everywhere. As Naomi Wolf concludes:

"This darkness is so dangerous not least because a new Department of Homeland Security document trove, released in response to a FOIA request filed by Michael Moore and the National Lawyers' Guild, proves in exhaustive detail that the DHS and its "fusion centers" coordinated with local police (as I argued here, to initial disbelief), the violent crackdown against Occupy last fall.

You have to put these pieces of evidence together: the government cannot be trusted with powers to detain indefinitely any US citizen – even though Obama promised he would not misuse these powers – because the United States government is already coordinating a surveillance and policing war against its citizens, designed to suppress their peaceful assembly and criticism of its corporate allies."

MadShelley

It seems to me that potential terrorist threats come in two sorts: the highly organised and funded groups that could commit catastrophic destruction, and the local schmucks that are really just old-fashioned losers-with-a-grudge adopting an empowering ideology.

The first group would be immensely cautious with their communications, and fall outside this sort of surveillance. The second group, if Boston and Woolwich are any evidence, are not effectively detected by these measures.

It appears very clear to me that this is runaway state power, predictably and transparently deflected with cries of "terrorism". And, perhaps most worrying, that definition of terrorism is now as wide as the state requires. Anything that embarrasses or exposes the evils of our states, including rendition, torture, and all manner of appalling injustice, is classified as a matter of 'national security', which must not be exposed lest it aid the enemy.

I know Orwell's name gets tossed around too much... but Jesus! I really hope we're not bovine enough to walk serenely into this future.

General_Hercules

...The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower and moral authority for the rest of the time humanity has in this world.

All this muck is hurting bad. Obama is having a tough time from all sides. All the moralists think he is a villain doing everything he promised to change. All the secret society members think he is a clown who has spilled out every secret that was painstakingly put together over decades....

Cultural dominance

The temples of neoliberalism are malls and airports ;-). And they are build all over the glone is a very similar fashion. A drunk person accidentally transfered from New Jersey to, say Kiev and put in one of mjor malls can never tell the difference :-).

English became the major international language. Both language of technology and commerce. Much like Latin was before.

In developing countries goods are sold at considerable premium (up to 100%) but generally everything that can be bought in the USA now can be bought say in Kiev. Of course affordability is drastically different, but for elite itis not a problem. That create another opportunity for the top 1% to enjoy very similar, "internationalized" lifestyle all over the globe.

Hollywood films dominate world cinemas. American computer games dominate gaming space. In a way the USA culturally is present in any country. It was amazing how quickly remnants of communist ideology were wipes out in the xUSSR countries (Globalization, ethnic conflict and nationalism Daniele Conversi - Academia.edu):

Contrary to the globalists or ideologues of globalization (Steger 2005), both Marxists and liberals have highlighted the ' pyramidal ' structure underlying globalization. This metaphor applies well to cultural dissemination.

An elite of corporate, media, and governmental agencies sits at the pyramid' s top level, small regional intermediary elites sit immediately below, while the overwhelming majority of humans are pushed well down towards the pyramid' s bottom. In the realm of ' global culture ' , this looks like a master-servant relationship with much of the world at the boot-licking end. Whether such a relationship really exists, or is even practical, this metaphorical dramatization can nevertheless help to understand collective self-perceptions. The consequences in the area of ethnic conflict are significant. Such a hierarchical structure makes it impossible for global exchanges to turn into egalitarian relationships based on evenly balanced inter-cultural communication and dialogue.

On the contrary, cultural globalization is not reflected in a genuine increase of inter-personal, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural contacts. As I shall argue, in most public areas ' cultural globalization ' really means the unreciprocated, one-way flow of consumerist items from the US media and leisure machine to the rest of the world.

This top-down distribution ensures that a few individuals and groups, nearly all in the USA, firmly establish the patterns of behaviour and taste to be followed by the rest of mankind. Is this congruent with the view that there is a form of ' global centralization ' in cultural-legal matters leaning towards Washington, DC? As for a supposed ' global culture ', the symbolic capital would ideally be located in Hollywood, rather than Washington.

In fact, the term ' Hollywoodization ' insinuates a media-enforced hierarchical structure with immediate symbolic resonance. It also offers a more cultural, perhaps less sociological, focus than the Weberian concept of bureaucratic ' McDonaldization ' (Ritzer 1996).

Competing terminologies include ' Disneyfication ' / ' Disneyization ' , with its stress on extreme predictability and the infantilization of leisure (Bryman 2004), 'Walmarting ' as the streamlining of the retail sector (Fishman 2005, Morrow 2004), or earlier Cold War terms like ' Coca-Colonization ' (Wagnleitner 1994). We previously saw how the term ' McGuggenization ' has been used to indicate art-related cultural franchising and other forms of Americanization in the Basque Country (McNeill 2000).

All these equally refer to socio-economic trends originated in the USA and are hence forms of Americanization. However, ' Hollywoodization ' has broader implications for ethnic relations and nationalist conflicts.

In practice, Hollywood-inspired simplifications have become the daily staple for millions of peoples around the world in their leisure time. In the area of ethnicity, ' Hollywoodization ' has been elevated to the only known reality and the unique source of information about the outside world for increasing numbers of people, not only in the USA. Thus, the world is more likely to get its stereotypes of the Brits from US movies like The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan than via British productions.Similarly, most of the world is likely to see Scotland through the lenses of US-made Braveheart , as the larger public can barely afford any access to Scottish cultural productions.

This monopoly of global stereotyping and ethnic imagery has serious implicationsf or the spread and continuation of ethnic conflict.

The tools of primary socialization were once under firm control of the family, either nuclear or extended. They were subsequently assumed by the state in the industrialization ' phase ' , notably with post-1789 mass militarization and compulsory schooling (Conversi2007, 2008).

Under neo-liberal globalization, primary socialization has been seized by unaccountable cash-driven corporations and media tycoons. This has further reduced the space of inter-generational transmission and family interaction. If a community can no longer socialize its children according to its culture and traditions, then the very bases of local, regional, and national continuity are all visibly at stake. This threat to a group's survival is often seized upon by patriots and ethno-nationalists, whose political programs are founded on providing a new sense of social cohesion and security – even if the targets are often hapless and unprotected minorities.

That is partly how nationalism and xenophobia have expanded in tandem with globalization. Ethno-nationalism not only persisted through change, but is perceived by many as a response to the growth of globalization, providing a prêt-à-porter hope for national resistance and resilience. By depending on Hollywood as unique conveyor of ' globalization ', inter-ethnic interaction is inevitably undermined. In some instances, international communication has practically evaporated.

... ... ...

I have described, and subsequently dismissed, the profit-oriented ideology that globalization, intended as Mcdonaldization and Hollywoodization, can contribute to better international understanding. On the contrary, it has ushered in a process of planetary cultural and environmental destruction, while hampering inter-ethnic communication and fostering human conflict. The notion of cultural security, so central to international relations and peaceful coexistence, has undergone unprecedented challenges.

...Insofar as cultural globalization is understood as uni-dimensional import of standardized cultural icons, symbols, practices, values, and legal systems from the United States, it can simply be re-described as Americanization (rather than Westernization in the broad sense), or ' globalization by Americanization ' (Hilger 2008). This is of central importance for the study of ethnic conflict.

In fact, the outcome is scarce hybridization, amalgamation, and metissage . Rather than providing an inter-cultural bridge, this unilateral drive has often eroded the basis for mutual understanding, impeding inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and international interaction. Given the current vertical, pyramidal structure of the ' cultural world order ' , the opportunity of distinctive groups to communicate directly and appreciate each other's traditions has decreased, except in the virtual area of long-distance communication. For an increasing number of individuals, an American mass consumer culture remains the only window on the world. Hence, to know and appreciate one ' s neighbours has become an ever-arduous task. To recapitulate my point, wherever cultural globalization appears as synonymous with Americanization, it engenders conflicts on a variety of levels.

Because the process is one-way and unidirectional, the result is unlikely to be a fusion between cultures or, evenless, the blending of ethnic groups. Contrary to the globalist utopia, the imposition of more and more American icons means less and less possibility for direct inter-ethnic encounter and communication among nations. Together with the collapse of state legitimacy, this substantially contributes to the spread of ethnic conflict and nationalism.

Incorporation of "globalist" parts of national élites as second class citizens of the transnational ruling class

Another aspect of cultural power of neoliberalism is that it accepts national elites (on some, less favorable then "primary" elites conditions) as a part of a new transnational elite, which serves as the dominant class. By class, following classic Marxism we mean a group of people who share a common relationship to the process of social production and reproduction, positioned in the society relationally on the basis of social power.

The struggle between descendant national fractions of dominant groups and ascendant transnational fractions has often been the backdrop to surface political dynamics and ideological processes in the late 20th century. These two fractions have been vying for control of local state apparatuses since the 1970s.

Trans national fractions of local elites swept to power in countries around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. They have captured the "commanding heights" of state policymaking: key ministries and bureaucracies in the policymaking apparatus - especially Central Banks, finance and foreign ministries - as key government branches that link countries to the global economy.

They have used national state apparatuses to advance globalization and to pursue sweeping economic restructuring and the dismantling of the old nation-state–based Keynesian welfare and developmentalist projects.

They have sought worldwide market liberalization (following the neoliberal model), and projects of economic integration such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the European Union. They have promoted a supra-national infrastructure of the global economy, such as the World Trade Organization, as we discuss below.

In this new, transnational social system transnational corporations are intermixed with nation-states which they have special privileges. And the state itself now serves not the people of the country (which historically were upper classes) but primarily service the interests of the transnational corporations (and, by extension, narrow strata of "comprador" elite, much like aristocracy of the past). It is now extension and projection of corporate power ("What is good for GE is good for America"). Both the transactional elite (and first of all financial oligarchy) and transnational corporation enjoy tremendous privileges under such a regime (corporate socialism, or socialism for the rich). Like Bolshevik state was formally dictatorship of proletariat but in reality was dictatorship of the elite of an ideological sect called Communist Party (so called nomenklatura), transformed nation-states like the USA, GB, France, Russia, etc now to various degrees look like dictatorships of transnational elite (transnational bourgeoisie like Marxist would say ;-) while formally remaining sovereign democratic republics. Like with Communist Parties in various countries that does not excuse antagonism or even open hostilities.

That does not eliminates completely the elites competition and for example the EU elite put a knife in the back of the US elite by adopting the euro as completing with the dollar currency (so much about transatlantic solidarity), but still internalization of elites is a new and important process that is more viable that neoliberal ideology as such. Also for any state national elite is not completely homogeneous. While that is a significant part of it that favor globalization (comprador elite or lumpen elite) there is also another part which prefer national development and is at least semi-hostile to globalism. Still the comprador part of the elite represents a very important phenomenon, a real fifth column of globalization, the part that makes globalization successful. It plays the role of Trojan horse within nation states and the name "fifth column" in this sense is a very apt name. This subversive role of comprador elite was clearly visible and well documented in Russian unsuccessful "white revolution" of 2011-2012: the US supported and financed project of "regime change" in Russia. It is also clearly visible although less well documented in other "color revolutions" such as Georgian, Serbian, and Ukrainian color revolutions. comrade Trotsky would probably turn in his coffin if he saw what neoliberal ideologies made with his theory of permanent revolution ;-).

Propaganda victory of neoliberalism over Marxism and New Deal capitalism

As professor David Harvey noted in his A Brief History of Neoliberalism neoliberal propaganda has succeeded in fixating the public on a peculiar definition of "freedom" that has served as a smoke screen to conceal a project of speeding upper class wealth accumulation. In practice, the neoliberal state assumes a protective role for large and especially international corporations ("socialism for multinationals") while it sheds as much responsibility for the citizenry as possible.

The key component of neoliberal propaganda (like was the case with Marxism) was an economic theory. Like Marxism it has three components

For more information see

Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

There is no question that neoliberalism emerged as another major world civic religion. It has its saints, sacred books, moral (or more correctly in this case amoral) postulates and the idea of heaven and hell.

Neoliberalism shares several fundamental properties with high demand religious cults. Like all fundamentalist cults, neoliberalism reduces a complex world to a set of simplistic dogmas (See Washington Consensus). All of society is viewed through the prism of an economic lens. Economic growth, measured by GDP, is the ultimate good. The market is the only and simultaneously the perfect mechanism to achieve this goal. Neoliberalism obsession with materialism have become normalized to the degree that it is hard to imagine what American society would look like in the absence of these structural and ideological features of the new and militant economic Darwinism that now holds sway over the American public. The mantra is well known: government is now the problem, society is a fiction, sovereignty is market-driven, deregulation and commodification are the way to a bright future, and the profit is the only viable measure of the good life and advanced society. Public values are a liability, if not a pathology. Democratic commitments, social relations, and public spheres are disposables, much like the expanding population of the unemployed and dispossessed. Any revolt is the threat to the neoliberal regime of truth and should be dealt with unrestrained cruelty. The market functions best with minimal or no interference from government or civil society and those who don't agree will be taken by police to the proper reeducation camps. All governments with possible exception of the US government should be minimized to allow unrestricted dominance of global corporations. The genius of neoliberalism as a cult, was its ability to cloak the US pretences of world hegemony in an aura of scientific and historical inevitability. Which again makes it very similar and in a way superior to Marxism as a cult. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the supreme, heaven sent validation of Margaret Thatcher's claim that there was no alternative. There is only one blessed road to prosperity and peace and outside it there is no salvation, nor remission from sins.

The great economic historian Karl Polanyi observed, "The idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia." And neoliberalism was a stunning utopia of economic determinism, one even more ambitious than that of Marx.

With all the big questions thus settled, history appeared to be at an end. There was one and only one route to prosperity and peace. All that was required was to make sure the model was correctly applied and all would be well. We all settled into our assigned roles. Capitalists retreated to the role of technocrats, eschewing risk themselves while shifting and spreading it throughout society. The rest of us were relegated to the roles not of citizens, but of consumers. Using our homes as ATMs, we filled our lives with Chinese-made goods, oblivious to the looming environmental and social costs of a runaway, unregulated consumer-driven society. Only a marginalized few questioned the basic economic structure. It was the era of homo economicus, humans in service to the economy.

Now that perfect machinery lies in pieces all around us and the global economic free fall shows no signs of ending any time soon. The fundamental reasons underlying the collapse aren't all that difficult to discern. Central to the whole neoliberal project was the drive to rationalize all aspects of human society. Relentless efforts to cut costs and increase efficiency drove down the living standards of the vast majority, while the diminution of government and other non-commercial institutions led to increasing concentration of wealth at the very top of society. As high paying jobs in the industrial and technical sectors moved from developed countries to low wage export-based economies in the developing world, capacity soon outstripped demand and profits in the real economy began to sag. Not content with declining earnings, wealthy elites began to search for investments offering higher returns. If these couldn't be found in the real economy, they could certainly be created in the exploding financial sector.

Once consigned to the unglamorous world of matching those with capital to invest with those with enterprises seeking to grow, finance became the powerful new engine of economic growth. No longer stodgy, bankers and brokers became sexy and glamorous. Exotic new financial instruments, called derivatives, traded on everything from commodities to weather.

This speculative frenzy was supported by a central bank only too happy to keep credit extremely cheap. Debt exploded among consumers, businesses and government alike. Creating new debt became the source of even more exotic investment vehicles, often bearing only the most tenuous of connections to underlying assets of real value, with unwieldy names such as "collateralized debt obligations" and "credit default swaps."

All the debt and the shuffling of fictional wealth hid the underlying rot of the real economy. It was a house of cards just waiting for the slight breeze that would send it all crashing down. And a collapse in housing prices in 2008 laid bare the economic contradictions.

The fundamental contradiction underlying much that confronts us in the age of crises is an economic and social system requiring infinite growth within the confines of a finite planet. Any vision seeking to replace neoliberalism must take this contradiction into account and resolve it. The overriding market failure of our time has nothing to do with housing. It's the failure to place any value on that which is truly most essential to our survival: clean air and water, adequate natural resources for the present and future generations, and a climate suitable for human civilization.

No such new vision is currently in sight. That this leaves everyone, neoliberals and their foes alike, in a state of uncertainty and doubt is hardly surprising. The seeming triumph of neoliberalism was so complete that it managed to inculcate itself in the psyches even of those who opposed it.

We find ourselves unsure of terrain we thought we knew well, sensing that one era has ended but unsure as to what comes next. We might do well to embrace that doubt and understand its power to free us. Our doubt allows us to ask meaningful questions again and questioning implies the possibility of real choice. Removing the intellectual straitjacket of neoliberal orthodoxy opens up the space necessary to reconsider the purpose of an economy and its proper role in a decent human society and to revisit the old debate over equity versus efficiency. It calls into question the assumption most central to homo economicus; that all humans act only to maximize their own interests.

It seems clear that the world emerging over the coming decades will look quite different from the one we now inhabit. Of necessity it will evolve in ways we can't fully understand just yet. Old battle lines, such as the ones between capitalism and socialism, will likely fade away. Both of those models arose in a world of abundant and cheap fossil fuels and within the confines a planet with a seemingly endless capacity to absorb the wastes of our conspicuous consumption. New battle lines are already beginning to take shape.

The Revolution is Upon Us The Age of Crisis and the End of Homo Economicus Logos

I think that like is the case with Marxism, the staying power of neoliberalism is that propose the religion picture of world with its "creation history", saints, and way of salvation. In a way it plays the role similar to the role of Catholicism in middle ages (aka Dark Ages). The greed of catholic clergy in Middle ages (trade in indulgencies) is a match of the greed of neoliberals( with financial derivates replacing indulgencies ;-). It is equally hostile to any attempts to analyze it, with the minor difference that heretics that question the sanctity of free market are not burned at the stake, but ostracized. It support "new Crusades" with the same mechanism of "indulgences" for small countries that participate.

The level of hypocrisy is another shared trait. The great irony is that the USA, the world's leading proponent of neoliberalism (with the US President as a Pope of this new religion), systematically is breaking the rules when it find it necessary or convenient. With high deficit spending and massive subsidizing of defense spending and financial sector, the United States has generally use a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. And with the amount of political appointee/lobbyists shuttling back and forth between business and government, Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" looks more and more like a crushing fist of corporatist thugs. It involves dogmatic belief that the society is better off when ruled by a group of wealthy financiers and oligarchs, than by a group of professional government bureaucrats and politicians with some participation of trade unions.

The USA also dominates the cultural scene:

The United States' position as the leading maker of global culture has been basically unchallenged for the last century or so, especially in the Western world. Yet the economic power of the Western world is waning even as new nations, with new models of economic and social life, are rising. Might one -- or several -- of these nations like China, India or Brazil become new centers of global culture?

I believe that the answer to this question for the foreseeable future is "no." While the U.S.'s cultural prominence is partially related to its political, military and economic power, such power is not the only cause of America's global cultural hegemony. Rather, the U.S. offers a unique convergence of several factors, including economic opportunity, political freedom and an immigrant culture that served as a test bed for new cultural products.

Let me offer a brief account of the rise of the American film industry to suggest the way political, economic and immigrant forces shaped American cultural hegemony. In the U.S., the film industry started as commercial enterprise largely independent of state control. Movies had to adapt to market conditions to earn profit for their producers. In order to achieve this goal, American movies needed to appeal to a diverse population made up of both native-born and immigrant citizens.

As a consequence, filmmakers had to make movies that could appeal to international audiences simply to meet domestic demand. This fact helped the American film industry become globally preeminent well before the U.S. became a superpower. In other words, while U.S. military and economic power strengthened the position of the U.S. movie industry as globally dominant, that position was not dependent on U.S. military and economic power. Instead, American producers had a competitive advantage in global markets that was later cemented in place by the U.S. post-war economic and military hegemony in the West.

After the dissolution of the USSR, the USA became natural center of the "neoliberal religion" a dominant force in the new world order (the world's only superpower). And they used their newly acquired status against states which were not "friendly enough" very similar to Catholicism with its Crusades, launching a series of invasions and color revolutions against "nonbelievers" in a globalist neoliberal model. The level of plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR looks like a direct replay of Crusades with the siege of Constantinople as primary example (despite stated goals, Crusades were by-and-large a monetary enterprise of the time with fig leaf of spread of Catholicism attached). This period of neoliberal crusades still continued in 2013, sometimes using various proxy to achieve "the regime change" by military means.

As we already refereed to neoliberalism as a cult an interesting question is whether neoliberalism can be viewed new "civic religion". The answer is unconditional yes, and I think that like Marxism before it should be considered to be yet another civic religion. It has it's set of holy books, Supreme being to worship, path to salvation and set of Apostils. Like communism before it propose humanity grand purpose and destiny.

Approliving:

Theistic and civic religions are also similar in that they both offer visions of humanity's grand purpose and destiny.

There are also significant differences between theistic religions and civil religions. Theistic religions explicitly rely on claims of divine authority for their validity, while civil religions rely on reason and the interpretation of commonly-accepted historical knowledge. Followers of theistic religions stress the importance of faith in times of adversity, while followers of civil religions tend to have a more pragmatic attitude when reality casts doubt on their beliefs.

Civil religions are more like big social experiments than actual religions because their central claims are much more falsifiable, and their followers show evidence of holding this perception (e.g. references to "the American experiment"; the voluntary abandonment of Communism throughout Eurasia when it became clear that it wasn't working).

Communism bears so much resemblance to Christianity because, as you mentioned last week, the Western imagination was thoroughly in the grip of Christianity when Communism emerged. Communism is similar to Christianity out of practical necessity: had it not been based on the Christian template, Communism probably would have been too intellectually alien to its Western audience to have ever taken off. Luckily for the founders of Communism, they were also subjected to this Christian cultural conditioning.

With all this in mind, and given that religion is evolving phenomenon, I think that civil religion is actually a distinct species of intellectual organism which has (at least in part) evolved out of religion.

Like Marxism, neoliberalism is first and foremost a quasi religious political doctrine. But while Marxism is aimed at liberation of workers , a political doctrine neoliberalism is aimed at restoring the power of capital. Neoliberalism originated in the rich countries of Anglo-Saxon world (GB and USA) so along with open despise of poor, it always has a distinct flavor of despise for peripheral countries. In global politics, neoliberalism preoccupies itself with the promotion of four basic issues:

As such, neoliberalism, in its crudest form, is crystallized in the Ten Commandments of the 1989 Washington Consensus (policy of debt slavery set for the world by the US via international financial institutions). While pushing the democracy as a smoke screen, they implicitly postulate hegemony of the financial elite (which is a part of "economic elite" that neoliberalism defines as a hegemonic class). Financialization of the economy also serves as a powerful method of redistribution of wealth, so neoliberalism generally lead to deterioration of standard of living for lower quintile of the population and in some countries (like Russia in 1991-2000) for the majority of the population. This is done largely via credit system and in this sense neoliberalism represents "reinters paradise". Neoliberal globalization was built on the foundation of US hegemony, conceived as the projection of the hegemony of the US capital and dollar as the dominant reserve currency. As such it is critically dependent of the power and stability of the US and the financial, economic, political and military supremacy of the US in every region. For this purpose the USA maintains over 500 military bases (737 by some counts) and over 2.5 million of military personnel.

But there are also important differences. Unlike most religions, neoliberalism is highly criminogenic (i.e., having the quality of causing or fostering crime). It is more criminogenic in countries with lower standard of living and in such countries it often lead to conversion of a "normal", but poor state into a kleptocratic state (Yeltsin's Russia is a good example) with the requisite mass poverty (Global Anomie, Dysnomie and Economic Crime Hidden Consequences of Neoliberalism and Globalization in Russia and Around the World). Unfortunately architects of this transformation (Harvard Mafia in case of Russia) usually avoid punishment for their crimes. Corruption of the US regulators which happened under neoliberal regime starting from Reagan is also pretty well covered theme.

While economic crisis of 2008 led to a crisis of neoliberalism, this is not necessary a terminal crisis. The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, but internal contradictions became much deeper and the regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Neoliberalism as an intellectual product is practically dead. After the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. But its zombie phase supported by several states (the USA, GB, Germany), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation might continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite increasing chance of facing discontent of population and bursts of social violence.

Cornerstone of neoliberal regime, the economic power of the USA is now under threat from the rise of Asia. This is one reason of mutation of neoliberalism into aggressive neoconservative imperialism that we witness in the USA.

While intellectually neoliberalism was bankrupt from the beginning, after 2008 believing it in is possible only by ignoring the results of deregulation in the USA and other countries. In other words the mythology of self-regulating "free market" became a "damaged goods". In this sense, any sensible person should now hold neoliberal sect in contempt. But reality is different and it still enjoy the support of the part of population which can't see through the smoke screen. With the strong support of financial oligarchy neoliberalism will continue to exists in zombie state for quite a while, although I hope this will not last as long as dominance of Catholicism during European Dark Ages ;-). Still the US is yet to see its Luther. As was noted about a different, older sect: "Men are blind to prefer an absurd and sanguinary creed, supported by executioners and surrounded by fiery faggots, a creed which can only be approved by those to whom it gives power and riches".

Like communism in the USSR it is a state supported religion: Neoliberalism enjoys support of western governments and first of all the US government. Even when the US society entered deep crisis in 2008 and fabric of the society was torn by neoliberal policies it did not lose government support.

US was an imperial nation driven by annexation of territories from the very beginning

The USA has a history of "plain vanilla" (British style) imperialism, based on annexation and occupation of territories since the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the eventual annexation of California and other western territories via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden purchase. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century (Empire - Wikipedia):

The term "American Empire" refers to the United States' cultural ideologies and foreign policy strategies. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century, but it can also be applied to the United States' world standing before the rise of nationalism in the 20th century. The United States is not traditionally recognized as an empire, in part because the U.S. adopted a different political system from those that previous empires had used. Despite these systematic differences, the political objectives and strategies of the United States government have been quite similar to those of previous empires. Krishna Kumar explores this idea that the distinct principles of nationalism and imperialism may, in fact, result in one common practice.

In "Nation-states as empires, empires as nation-states: two principles, one practice?" she argues that the pursuit of nationalism can often coincide with the pursuit of imperialism in terms of strategy and decision making. Throughout the 19th century, the United States government attempted to expand their territory by any means necessary. Regardless of the supposed motivation for this constant expansion, all of these land acquisitions were carried out by imperialistic means. This was done by financial means in some cases, and by military force in others. Most notably, the Louisiana Purchase (1803), the Texas Annexation (1845), and the Mexican Cession (1848) highlight the imperialistic goals of the United States during this "modern period" of imperialism.

The U.S. government has stopped pursuing additional territories since the mid 20th century. However, some scholars still consider U.S. foreign policy strategies to be imperialistic. This idea is explored in the "contemporary usage" section.

... ... ...

Stuart Creighton Miller posits that the public's sense of innocence about Realpolitik (cf. American Exceptionalism) impairs popular recognition of US imperial conduct since it governed other countries via surrogates. These surrogates were domestically-weak, right-wing governments that would collapse without US support.[30] Former President G.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said: "We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic; we never have been."[31] This statement directly contradicts Thomas Jefferson who, in the 1780s while awaiting the fall of the Spanish empire, said: "...till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece".[32][33][34] In turn, historian Sidney Lens argues that from its inception, the US has used every means available to dominate other nations.[35] Other historian Max Ostrovsky argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US' role in the world but finds that hegemony is likely to be an intermediate stage between states system and empire.[36]

... ... ...

In his book review of Empire (2000) by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Mehmet Akif Okur posits that since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, the international relations determining the world's balance of power (political, economic, military) have been altered. These alterations include the intellectual (political science) trends that perceive the contemporary world's order via the re-territorrialisation of political space, the re-emergence of classical imperialist practices (the "inside" vs. "outside" duality, cf. the Other), the deliberate weakening of international organisations, the restructured international economy, economic nationalism, the expanded arming of most countries, the proliferation of nuclear weapon capabilities and the politics of identity emphasizing a state's subjective perception of its place in the world, as a nation and as a civilisation. These changes constitute the "Age of Nation Empires"; as imperial usage, nation-empire denotes the return of geopolitical power from global power blocs to regional power blocs (i.e., centered upon a "regional power" state [China, Russia, U.S., et al.]) and regional multi-state power alliances (i.e., Europe, Latin America, South East Asia). Nation-empire regionalism claims sovereignty over their respective (regional) political (social, economic, ideologic), cultural, and military spheres.[43]

Annexation was the crucial instrument in the expansion of the USA after it won independence. The United States Congress' ability to annex a foreign territory is explained in a report from the Congressional Committee on Foreign Relations,

"If, in the judgment of Congress, such a measure is supported by a safe and wise policy, or is based upon a natural duty that we owe to the people of Hawaii, or is necessary for our national development and security, that is enough to justify annexation, with the consent of the recognized government of the country to be annexed."

Even prior to annexing a territory, the American government usually held tremendous political power in those territories through the various legislations passed in the late 1800s. The Platt Amendment was utilized to prevent Cuba from entering into any agreements with foreign nations, and also granted the Americans the right to build naval stations on their soil.[39] Executive officials in the American government began to determine themselves the supreme authority in matters regarding the recognition or restriction of [39]

When asked on April 28, 2003, on al-Jazeera whether the United States was "empire building," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replied "We don't seek empires, we're not imperialistic. We never have been."[40] And this denial is typical for "Empire of Lies" as some researchers call the USA. Historian Donald W. Meinig says the imperial behavior by the United States dates at least to the Louisiana Purchase, which he describes as an "imperial acquisition-imperial in the sense of the aggressive encroachment of one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of that people to alien rule." The U.S. policies towards the Native Americans he said were "designed to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires."[41]

Writers and academics of the early 20th century, like Charles A. Beard, discussed American policy as being driven by self-interested expansionism going back as far as the writing of the Constitution. Some politicians today do not agree. Pat Buchanan claims that the modern United States' drive to empire is "far removed from what the Founding Fathers had intended the young Republic to become."[42]

Andrew Bacevich who is a an influencial writer about the US empite with his book American empite (2002) argues that the U.S. did not fundamentally change its foreign policy after the Cold War, and remains focused on an effort to expand its control across the world.[43] As the surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. could focus its assets in new directions, the future being "up for grabs" according to former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz in 1991.[44]

In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to "manufacture opinion" as the process has long been described in other countries.[45]

Thorton wrote that "[…]imperialism is more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against."[46] Political theorist Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US's role in the world;[47] political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a "balanced and nuanced analysis is not aided...by the use of the phrase 'empire' to describe United States hegemony, since 'empire' obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth.".[48] Emmanuel Todd assumes that USA cannot hold for long the status of mondial hegemonic power due to limited resources. Instead, USA is going to become just one of the major regional powers along with European Union, China, Russia, etc.[49]

International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S. power is more and more based on "soft power", which comes from cultural hegemony rather than raw military or economic force.[69] This includes such factors as the widespread desire to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema. Mass immigration into America may justify this theory, but it is hard to know for sure whether the United States would still maintain its prestige without its military and economic superiority.

Military and cultural imperialism are interdependent. American Edward Said, one of the founders of post-colonial theory, said that,

[…], so influential has been the discourse insisting on American specialness, altruism and opportunity, that imperialism in the United States as a word or ideology has turned up only rarely and recently in accounts of the United States culture, politics and history. But the connection between imperial politics and culture in North America, and in particular in the United States, is astonishingly direct.[51]

International relations scholar David Rothkopf disagrees and argues that cultural imperialism is the innocent result of globalization, which allows access to numerous U.S. and Western ideas and products that many non-U.S. and non-Western consumers across the world voluntarily choose to consume.[52] Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.[53]

Nationalism is the main process through which the government is able to shape public opinion. Propaganda in the media is strategically placed in order to promote a common attitude among the people. Louis A. Perez Jr. provides an example of propaganda used during the war of 1898,

"We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming now!"[39]

Chip Pitts argues similarly that enduring U.S. bases in Iraq suggest a vision of "Iraq as a colony".[ While territories such as Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico remain under U.S. control, the U.S. allowed many of its overseas territories or occupations to gain independence after World War II. Examples include the Philippines (1946), the Panama canal zone (1979), Palau (1981), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986) and the Marshall Islands (1986). Most of them still have U.S. bases within their territories. In the case of Okinawa, which came under U.S. administration after the Battle of Okinawa during the Second World War, this happened despite local popular opinion.[56] As of 2003, the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.[57]

How America built its empire

How America built its empire The real history of American foreign policy that the media won't tell you - Salon.com

When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence -- I'm not sure you use this word exactly -- indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.

I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.

The other day I wrote Perry Anderson, the subject of the following interview, to ask what he thought of the foreign policy debates, such as they are, among our presidential aspirants. Logical question: Anderson, a prominent scholar and intellectual for decades, has just published "American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers," a superbly lucid account of U.S policy's historical roots and the people who shape policy in our time.

"Current candidates' f/p talk leaves me speechless," came Anderson's terse reply.

Perfectly defensible. Most of what these people have to say-and I do not exclude the Democratic candidates-is nothing more than a decadent, late-exceptionalist rendering of a policy tradition that, as Anderson's book reminds readers, once had a coherent rationale even as it has so often led to incoherent, irrational conduct abroad.

Born in London in 1938-during the Munich crisis, as he points out-Anderson has been a presence on the trans-Atlantic intellectual scene since he took the editor's chair at the then-struggling New Left Review in 1962, when he was all of 24. Eight years later NLR launched Verso, a book imprint as singular (and as singularly influential) as the journal.

Anderson has headed both at various intervals for years. His own books range widely. My favorites are "Zone of Engagement" (1992) and "Spectrum" (2005), which collect essays on an amazing range of 20th century thinkers. To them I now add the new foreign policy book, which I count indispensable to anyone serious about the topic.

I met Anderson, who has taught comparative political and intellectual history at UCLA since 1989, at his home in Santa Monica this past summer. Over a fulsome afternoon's conversation in his admirably spartan study, he impressed me again and as readers will see for themselves, but the counterarguments are generously given and always rewarding.

The transcript that follows is the first of two parts and includes a few questions posed via email after we met. It is otherwise only lightly edited. Part 2 will appear next week.

"American Foreign Policy and its Thinkers" is well timed, given the unusual prominence foreign policy now assumes in the American political conversation. How would you describe your approach? What distinguishes the book from so many others? How should one read it? What's the project?

The book tries to do two things. One is to cover the history of American foreign policy, from around 1900 to the present, tracing the gradual construction of a global empire. This first really came into view as a prospect during the Second World War and is today a reality across all five continents, as a glance at the skein of its military bases makes clear. The Cold War was a central episode within this trajectory, but the book doesn't treat just the U.S. record vis-á-vis the USSR or China. It tries to deal equally with American relations with the Europe and Japan, and also with the Third World, treated not as a homogenous entity but as four or five zones that required different policy combinations.

The second part of the book is a survey of American grand strategy-that is, the different ways leading counselors of state interpret the current position of the United States on the world stage and their recommendations for what Washington should do about it.

The "big think" set, in other words-Kissinger, of course, Brzezinski, Walter Russell Mead, Robert Kagan. And then people such as Francis Fukuyama, whom I consider a ridiculous figure but whose thinking you judged worth some scrutiny. How did you choose these?

From the range of in-and-outers-thinkers moving between government and the academy or think-tanks-who have sought to guide U.S. foreign policy since 2000, with some intellectual originality. Kissinger isn't among these. His ideas belong to a previous epoch, his later offerings are boilerplate. Fukuyama, who sensed what the effects of office on thought could be, and got out of state service quite early, is a mind of a different order. The figures selected cover the span of options within what has always been a bipartisan establishment.

You make a distinction between American exceptionalism, which is much in the air, and American universalism, which few of us understand as a separate matter. The first holds America to be singular (exceptional), and the second that the world is destined to follow us, that the trails we've blazed are the future of humanity. You call this a "potentially unstable compound." Could you elaborate on this distinction, and explain why you think it's unstable?

It's unstable because the first can exist without the second. There is, of course, a famous ideological linkage between the two in the religious idea, specific to the United States, of Providence-that is, divine Providence. In your own book "Time No Longer" you cite an astounding expression of this notion: "However one comes to the debate, there can be little question that the hand of Providence has been on a nation which finds a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Roosevelt when it needs him." That pronouncement was delivered in the mid-1990s-not by some television preacher, but by Seymour Martin Lipset: chairs at Harvard and Stanford, president of both the American Sociological and the American Political Science Associations, a one-time social democrat.

What is the force of this idea? A belief that God has singled out America as a chosen nation for exceptional blessings, a notion which then easily becomes a conviction of its mission to bring the benefits of the Lord to the world. President after president, from Truman through to Kennedy, the younger Bush to Obama, reiterate the same tropes: "God has given us this, God has given us that," and with the unique freedom and prosperity he has conferred on us comes a universal calling to spread these benefits to the rest of the world. What is the title of the most ambitious contemporary account of the underlying structures of American foreign policy? "Special Providence," by Walter Russell Mead. Year of publication: 2001.

But while a messianic universalism follows easily from providential exceptionalism, it is not an ineluctable consequence of it. You mount a powerful attack on the idea of exceptionalism in "Time No Longer," but-we may differ on this-if we ask what is the more dangerous element in the unstable compound of the nation's image of itself, I would say exceptionalism is the less dangerous. That may seem paradoxical. But historically the idea of exceptionalism allowed for an alternative, more modest deduction: that the country was different from all others, and so should not be meddling with them-the argument of Washington's Farewell Address [in 1796].

A century later, this position became known as isolationism, and as the American empire took shape, it was all but invariably castigated as narrow-minded, short-sighted and selfish. But it could often be connected with a sense that the republic was in danger at home, with domestic ills that needed to be addressed, which vast ambitions abroad would only compound. Mead terms this strand in American sensibility Jeffersonian, which isn't an accurate description of Jefferson's own empire-building outlook, but he otherwise captures it quite well.

We don't ordinarily apply the term "exceptionalist" in the same breath to America and to Japan, though if there is any nation that claims to be completely unique, it is Japan. But the claim produced a drastic isolationism as a national impulse, both in the Tokugawa period [1603-1868, a period of severely enforced seclusion] and after the war. Does that support the point you're making?

Exactly. Historically, exceptionalism could generate a self-limiting, self-enclosing logic as well as the gigantic expansionist vanities of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and the "Free World" [narrative]. In the American case, the two strands of exceptionalism and universalism remained distinct, respectively as isolationist and interventionist impulses, sometimes converging but often diverging, down to the Second World War. Then they fused. The thinker who wrote best about this was Franz Schurmann, whose " Logic of World Power" came out during the Vietnam War. He argued that each had a distinct political-regional base: the social constituency for isolationism was small business and farming communities in the Midwest, for interventionism it was the banking and manufacturing elites of the East Coast, with often sharp conflicts between the two up through the end of thirties. But in the course of the Second World War they came together in a synthesis he attributed-somewhat prematurely-to FDR, and they have remained essentially interwoven ever since. The emblematic figure of this change was [Arthur H.] Vandenberg, the Republican Senator from Michigan [1928-51], who remained an isolationist critic of interventionism even for a time after Pearl Harbor, but by the end of the war had become a pillar of the new imperial consensus.

Mainstream debate today seems to have constructed two very stark alternatives: There is either engagement or isolation. In this construction, engagement means military engagement; if we are not going to be militarily engaged we are isolationists. I find that absolutely wrong. There are multiple ways of being engaged with the world that have nothing to do with military assertion.

True, but engagement in that usage doesn't mean just military engagement, but power projection more generally. One of the thinkers I discuss toward the end of my book is Robert Art, a lucid theorist of military power and its political importance to America, who argues for what he calls selective-expressly, not universal-engagement. What is unusual about him is that in seeking to discriminate among engagements the U.S. should and should not select, he starts considering in a serious, non-dismissive way what would typically be construed as isolationist alternatives, even if ending with a fairly conventional position.

How far do you view the contemporary American crisis-if you accept that we are living through one-as, at least in part, one of consciousness? As an American, I tend to think that no significant departure from where find ourselves today can be achieved until we alter our deepest notions of ourselves and our place among others. I pose this question with some trepidation, since a change in consciousness is a generational project, if not more. Our leadership is not remotely close even to thinking about this. I'm suggesting a psychological dimension to our predicament, and you may think I put too much weight on that.

You ask at the outset whether I accept that Americans are living through a crisis. My reply would be: not anything like the order of crisis that would bring about the sort of change in consciousness for which you might hope. You describe that as a generational project, and there, yes, one can say that among the youngest cohorts of the U.S. population, the ideologies of the status quo are less deeply embedded, and in certain layers even greatly weakened. That is an important change, but it's generational, rather than society-wide, and it's not irreversible.

At the level of the great majority, including, naturally, the upper middle class, the image you use to describe the purpose of your last book applies: you write that it aims "to sound the tense strings wound between the pegs of myth and history during the hundred years and a few that I take to be the American century. It is this high, piercing tone that Americans now have a chance to render, hear, and recognize all at once. We have neither sounded nor heard it yet." That's all too true, unfortunately. The most one can say is that, among a newer generation, the strings are fraying a bit.

I tend to distinguish between strong nations and the merely powerful, the former being supple and responsive to events, the later being brittle and unstable. Is this a useful way to judge America in the early 21st century-monumentally powerful but of dubious strength? If so, doesn't it imply some change in the American cast of mind, as the difference between the two sinks in?

That depends on the degree of instability you sense in the country. In general, a major change in consciousness occurs when there is a major alteration in material conditions of life. For example, if a deep economic depression or dire ecological disaster strikes a society, all bets are off. Then, suddenly, thoughts and actions that were previously inconceivable become possible and natural. That isn't the situation so far in America.

Can you discuss the new accord with Iran in this context? I don't see any question it's other than a breakthrough, a new direction. What do you think were the forces propelling the Obama administration to pursue this pact? And let's set aside the desire for a "legacy" every president cultivates late in his time.

The agreement with Iran is an American victory but not a departure in U.S. foreign policy. Economic pressure on Iran dates back to Carter's time, when the U.S. froze the country's overseas assets after the ousting of the Shah, and the full range of ongoing U.S. sanctions was imposed by the Clinton administration in 1996. The Bush administration escalated the pressure by securing U.N. generalization of sanctions in 2006, and the Obama administration has harvested the effect.

Over the past decade, the objective has always been the same: to protect Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region without risking an Israeli blitz on Iran to preserve it-that might set off too great a wave of popular anger in the Middle East. It was always likely, as I point out in "American Policy and its Thinkers," that the clerical regime in Tehran would buckle under a sustained blockade, if that was the price of its survival. The agreement includes a time-out clause to save its face, but the reality is an Iranian surrender.

You can see how little it means any alteration in imperial operations in the region by looking at what the Obama administration is doing in Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia's wholesale destruction of civilian life there in the interest of thwarting imaginary Iranian schemes.

This next question vexes many people, me included. On the one hand, the drives underlying the American imperium are material: the expansion of capital and the projection of power by its political representatives. The American mythologies are shrouds around these. On the other hand, the issue of security has a long history among Americans. It is authentically an obsession independent of capital-American paranoia dates back at least to the 18th century. I don't take these two accountings to be mutually exclusive, but I'd be interested to know how you reconcile these different threads in American foreign policy.

Yes, there has been a longstanding-you could say aboriginal-obsession with security in the United States. This can be traced as an independent strand running through the history of American dealings with the outside world. What happened, of course, from the Cold War through to the "war on terror" was a ruthless instrumentalization of this anxiety for purposes of expansion rather than defense. At the start of the Cold War you had the National Security Act and the creation of the National Security Council, and today we have the National Security Agency. Security became a euphemistic cloak for aggrandizement.

The United States occupies the better part of a continent separated by two immense oceans, which nobody in modern history has had any serious chance of invading, unlike any other major state in the world, all of which have contiguous land-borders with rival powers, or are separated from them only by narrow seas. The U.S. is protected by a unique geographical privilege. But if its expansion overseas cannot be attributed to imperatives of security, what has driven it?

A gifted and important group of historians, the Wisconsin school [which included the late William Appleman Williams, among others], has argued that the secret of American expansion has from the beginning lain in the quest by native capital for continuously larger markets, which first produced pressure on the internal frontier and the march across the continent to the Pacific, and when the West Coast was reached, a drive beyond into Asia and Latin America, and ultimately the rest of the world, under the ideology of the Open Door.

A couple of good scholars, Melvyn Leffler and Wilson Miscamble, one a liberal and the other a conservative, have identified my position with this tradition, taxing me with a belief that American foreign policy is essentially just an outgrowth of American business. This is a mistake. My argument is rather that because of the enormous size and self-sufficiency of the American economy, the material power at the disposal of the American state exceeded anything that American capital could directly make use of or require.

If you look at the First World War, you can see this very clearly. East Coast bankers and munitions manufacturers did well out of supplying the Entente powers, but there was no meaningful economic rationale for American entry into the war itself. The U.S. could tip the scales in favor of the British and French variants of imperialism against the German and Austrian variants without much cost to itself, but also much to gain.

The same gap between the reach of American business and the power of the American state explains the later hegemony of the United States within the advanced capitalist world after the Second World War. Standard histories wax lyrical in admiration of the disinterested U.S. generosity that revived Germany and Japan with the Marshall and Dodge Plans [reconstruction programs after 1945], and it is indeed the case that policies crafted at the State and Defense Departments did not coincide with the desiderata of the Commerce Department. The key requirement was to rebuild these former enemies as stable capitalist bulwarks against communism, even if this meant there could be no simple Open Door into them for U.S. capital.

For strategic political reasons, the Japanese were allowed to re-create a highly protected economy, and American capital was by and large barred entry. The priority was to defend the general integrity of capitalism as a global system against the threat of socialism, not particular returns to U.S. business. The importance of those were never, of course, ignored. But they had to bide their time. Today's Trans-Pacific Partnership will finally pry open Japanese financial, retail and other markets that have remained closed for so long.

I'd like to turn to the origins of the Cold War, since I believe we are never going to get anywhere until these are honestly confronted. You give a forceful account of Stalin's reasons for avoiding confrontation after 1945 and Washington's reasons for not doing so. But should we attribute the outbreak of the Cold War to the U.S. without too much in the way of qualification?

We can look at the onset of the Cold War on two levels. One is that of punctual events. There, you are certainly right to pick out the ideological starting gun as Truman's speech on Greece in 1947, designed the "scare hell" out of voters to win acceptance for military aid to the Greek monarchy. In policy terms, however, the critical act that set the stage for confrontation with Moscow was the flat American refusal to allow any serious reparations for the staggering level of destruction Russia suffered from the German attack on it. The most developed third of the country was laid waste, its industry and its cities wrecked, while Americans suffered not a fly on the wrist at home-basking, on the contrary, in a massive economic boom. There was no issue Stalin spoke more insistently about than reparations in negotiations among the Allies. But once the fighting was over, the U.S. reneged on wartime promises and vetoed reparations from the larger part of Germany-far the richest and most developed, and occupied by the West-because it did not want to strengthen the Soviet Union and did want to rebuild the Ruhr as an industrial base under Western control, with a view to creating what would subsequently become the Federal Republic.

Can you put Hiroshima and Nagasaki into this context?

Prior to this came Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. He did so, of course, to shorten the war, and partly also because the Pentagon wanted to test its new weapons. But there was a further reason for the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was urgent to secure a Japanese surrender before the Red Army could get close to the country, for fear that Moscow might insist on a Soviet presence in the occupation of Japan. The U.S. was determined not to let the Russians in, as they could not stop them from doing in Germany. So if we look just at events, you can say the starting points were the use of atomic bombs in Japan and the refusal of reparations in Germany. In that sense, those who argue that the Cold War was an American initiative-the Swedish historian Anders Stephanson, who has written most deeply about this, calls it an American project-are justified in doing so.

So these are your "punctual events."

Exactly. On the hand, if we look at the structural origins of the Cold War, they don't lie in these punctual events, but in the radical incompatibility between American capitalism and Soviet communism as forms of economy, society and polity. Revisionist historians have pointed out quite properly that Stalin was defensive in outlook after the war, determined to erect a protective glacis in Eastern Europe against any repetition of the Nazi invasion of Russia, but otherwise acutely conscious of Soviet weakness and superior Western strength.

All of that is true, but at the same time Stalin remained a communist who firmly believed that the ultimate mission of the world's working class was to overthrow capitalism, everywhere. His immediate stance was defensive, but in the much longer run his expectation was offensive. In that sense, U.S. policies toward the USSR were not needlessly aggressive, as revisionists maintain, but perfectly rational. The two systems were mortal antagonists.

Let's move to the topic of social democracy. I did a lot of my learning in developing countries and have a sense that Washington's true Cold War enemy was social democracy as it spread through Western Europe and all the newly independent nations. What's your view of this?

Strong disagreement, so far as Europe is concerned. If you look at the whole period from 1945 through to the present, you could argue that, on the contrary, European social democracy was Washington's best friend in the region. NATO was the brainchild not of the Pentagon but of Ernest Bevin, the social-democratic foreign secretary in Britain. Attlee, his prime minister, then split his own government by cutting the health service to fund rearmament for the American war in Korea. In France, the most ruthless crackdown on labor unrest after the war came from Jules Moch, the Socialist interior minister.

Think, too, of the Norwegian social democrat who Washington put in charge of the U.N. as its first secretary general, Trygve Lie, an odious collaborator with McCarthyism inside the United Nations. This was the period in which Irving Brown of the A.F.L., working closely with local social democrats, was installed in Europe by the C.I.A. with funds to divide and corrupt trade unions everywhere. He was still active in plotting against Allende [the Chilean social democratic president] in the '70s. As to more recent years, who was Bush's most ardent European ally in the war on Iraq? Not any conservative politician, but British social democrat Blair.

There were exceptions to this dismal record, but few and far between. Not by accident, they generally came from neutral countries that stayed out of the Cold War. In Sweden, Olaf Palme was a courageous opponent of the American war in Vietnam, detested by the U.S. for that reason. In Austria, Bruno Kreisky took an independent line on the Middle East, refusing to fall in with Western support for Israel-itself governed in those years by another social democratic party-and so was scarcely less disliked by the U.S.

But the dominant pattern has always been craven submission to Washington.

Well, I was thinking more of figures like Mossadeq, Arbenz and Allende-maybe the Sandinistas, too.

Their fate is certainly relevant, but there you are talking of a different political phenomenon-nationalism in the Third World, typically though not invariably of the left. You could add Lumumba in the Congo, Goulart in Brazil, Bosch in the Dominican Republic and others to the list. Not all were figures of the left, but from the Cold War onward the U.S. regarded nearly all serious attempts at nationalization of local resources as a threat to capital and worked to subvert or overthrow those who undertook them. A good part of my book is devoted to this front of imperial operations.

I've often wondered what the fate of Cuba would have been if Castro had been properly received in Washington in 1960. Could he have become something like a social democrat?

Excluded, if only because of the side of the Cuban Revolution that distinguished it from both the Chinese Revolution and from the outcome of Russian Revolution after Lenin, which was genuine internationalism. It had to be internationalist because it was a small island close to the United States, not a huge country far away, so it needed revolutionary solidarity within Latin America, which it couldn't hope for as long the continent was populated by assorted clients of the United States, most of them dictators. So even if, counterfactually, Eisenhower or Kennedy had rolled out a tactical red carpet for Fidel, there would have still have been insurmountable conflict over all these Latin American regimes propped up by the United States. The Cubans would have never said, if you put up with us, you can do what you want anywhere. Think of the fact they sent troops [in 1975] even to Angola-where they had no regional connection at all-to save it from a U.S.-backed invasion by South Africa.

Do you see any inflections in the development of American foreign policy over this period?

There is an underlying continuity in the long arc of the U.S. imperium that extends from FDR to Obama. But one can distinguish successive phases in this arc. You have the period that runs from Truman to Kennedy, the high Cold War. Then comes Nixon, the only American president with an original mind in foreign policy. He was intelligent because he was so cynical. He wasn't taken in or mystified by the enormous amount of rhetoric surrounding the lofty U.S. mission in the world. He was therefore more ruthless, but also genuinely innovative in a whole series of ways, the most important of which was to capitalize on the Sino-Soviet split.

The next phase runs from Carter through Reagan to the elder Bush, which sees a reversion to the earlier forms of foreign policy during the Cold War. The fourth phase, of humanitarian intervention, from Clinton through the younger Bush to Obama.

I once thought Carter was an exception in this line, but have since been persuaded to think again.

If you're interested in Carter, there's a good chapter on him in the huge "Cambridge History of the Cold War" by a scholar sympathetic to Carter, which captures the ambiguities and contradictions of his presidency quite well. He did, of course, talk a lot about human rights at the beginning of his tenure, and appointed Patricia Derian, who genuinely believed in them but was quite powerless, to an assistant position in the State Department. But one has to remember that at the outset he appointed Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser, on whom he relied throughout his presidency.

Brzezinski was in many ways brighter than Kissinger, in later years an overrated showman not particularly interesting as a thinker. Brzezinski's cold, brittle mind was a good deal sharper. He was also as much, if not more, of a hawk than Kissinger had been. His masterstroke was funding religious and tribal resistance to the Communist regime in Afghanistan well before any Soviet troops were there, with the clear-cut and entirely successful aim of making the country the Vietnam of the USSR. There followed the Carter Doctrine, which put the U.S. into the military emplacements in the Gulf, where it remains today, while the president was toasting the Shah as a close personal friend and pillar of human rights. To top it off, with Brzezinski at his elbow again, Carter patronized and protected Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, keeping them at the U.N. as the legitimate government of Cambodia, as part of the deal with China for its attack on Vietnam.

In the Middle East, the peace treaty between Sadat and Begin is generally credited to Carter. Its precondition, however, was the double rescue of Israel and of Egypt by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1973 war, which put both countries into the palm of the American hand. What was the regional upshot? Sadat ditched the Palestinians and became a well-funded U.S. client, Begin secured an ally on Israel's southern flank and the Egyptians got the tyranny of Sadat, Mubarak and now Sisi for the next 40 years. Yet to this day Carter gushes over Sadat, a torturer whose memory is loathed by his people, as a wonderful human being. What is nevertheless true is that with all his weaknesses-and worse-Carter was a contradictory figure, who, once he was ousted from office, behaved more decently than any other ex-president in recent memory. Today, he's almost a pariah because of what he says on Israel. One can respect him for that.

Turning to Europe for a moment, I often feel disappointed-I don't think I'm alone in this-at the hesitancy of the Europeans to act on what seems to be their underlying impatience with American primacy. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

Impatience isn't the right word. The reality is rather its opposite. Europe has become ever more patient-a better word would be submissive-with the United States. After 1945, Western Europe was far weaker in relation to America than the E.U. today, which is larger than the U.S. in both GDP and population. But think of three European politicians-in France, Germany and England-in the first 15 years after the war. You had a great statesman in De Gaulle; a very strong, if much more limited leader in Adenauer, and a weak ruler in Eden. But the striking thing is all three were quite prepared to defy the United States in a way that no subsequent politician in Europe has ever done.

Eden launched the Suez expedition against Nasser [in late 1956] without informing Washington - the Americans were livid, Eisenhower beside himself, fearing that it would stoke popular anti-imperialism across Africa and Asia. So the U.S. brought the expedition to an abrupt halt by triggering a run on sterling, and Eden fell. But there was an aftermath. The French premier at the time was Guy Mollet, the Socialist who was an accomplice of Eden in the attack on Egypt, with, himself, a terrible record in Algeria. When the idea of a Common Market came up shortly after the Suez debacle, though he was personally favorable to it, he faced a lot of opposition in France - as there was, too, in Germany. Adenauer, who was quite willing to make commercial concessions to France to smooth the path for the undertaking, gave Mollet a political reason for the Common Market. Look what happened when you fought at Suez, he told him. None of our countries is strong enough to resist the U.S. on its own. Let's pool our resources and then we can do so.

Adenauer was loyal enough to the West, and a staunch anticommunist, but Germany, not America, was what counted for him. As for De Gaulle, he famously pulled France out of the military command of NATO, and defied America with éclat virtually throughout.

Since then, there has been nobody like this. If we ask why, I think the answer is that all these people were formed before the First and Second World Wars broke out, in a period in which major European states had as much weight as the United States on the international checkerboard, if not more. They were not brought up in a world where American hegemony was taken for granted. All of them were involved in the two World Wars, and in the Second De Gaulle had good reason to be distrustful of the U.S., since Roosevelt was long pro-Vichy and wanted to oust him as leader of the Free French.

We could add, incidentally, a couple of later politicians, who fought in the second conflict. One was the English Tory prime minister, Edward Heath, the only postwar ruler of Britain who never made the trip to simper on the White House lawn, receiving an audience and paying tribute, that would become a virtual ceremony of investiture for any new ruler around the world. The other was Helmut Schmidt, a veteran of Operation Barbarossa [the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941] who scarcely concealed his disdain for Carter. These were latecomers from the past. Their successors have grown up under U.S. paramountcy and take it for granted. This is America's world. It is second nature for them to defer to it.

You describe a generational difference in sensibility. But what about the EU?

If the generational declension is one big change, another is what has become of the European Union itself. On paper, it's much more powerful than any of the individual countries. But so far as any coherent foreign policy is concerned, it's institutionally paralyzed by the number of states that make it up-originally six, now 28-and the labyrinthine nature of their dealings with each other. None of them has any complete autonomy of initiative. A staggering amount of time is wasted in endless summits behind closed doors, agendas prepared by bureaucrats, tremulous fear of any public disagreement. No serious international statecraft can emerge from this.

During the countdown to the war in Iraq, there were large street demonstrations in not a few countries, which Dominique Strauss-Kahn-no less-described as a European Declaration of Independence. Schröder [Gerhard, the German chancellor from 1998-2005] announced that Germany could not accept the war, and Chirac [Jacques, the French president, 1995-2007] blocked a U.N. resolution endorsing it. Were these bold acts of independence? Far from it. The French envoy in Washington told Bush in advance: You already have one U.N. resolution saying Saddam must comply with inspections, which is suitably vague. Don't embarrass us by trying to get another resolution that is more specific, which we'll have to oppose. Just use that one and go in. No sooner, indeed, was the attack launched than Chirac opened French skies to U.S. operations against Iraq. Can you imagine De Gaulle meekly helping a war he had said he opposed? As for Schröder, it was soon revealed that German intelligence agents in Baghdad had signaled ground targets for "Shock and Awe." These were politicians who knew the war was very unpopular in domestic opinion, and so made a show of opposing it while actually collaborating. Their independence was a comedy.

That was a dozen years ago. What's the position today?

Edward Snowden's break with the illegalities of Obama's government revealed that it was not only spying on European as well as American citizens en masse, but tapping the phones and communications of Merkel, Hollande and other pillars of Atlantic solidarity. How have these leaders reacted? With an embarrassed smile, before the next warm embrace with the Leader of the Free World. Has one single European government dreamt of offering asylum to Snowden? Not one. Under Merkel, indeed, it now emerges that German intelligence itself was illegally spying on Germans at the behest of the U.S., and passing on the information it gathered to the CIA. There are no consequences to such revelations, except to those who reveal them. The level of abjection passes belief.

Let's put the Ukraine crisis in this context. It is, after all, what prompted me to raise the question of European passivity in the trans-Atlantic relationship. Here, it seems to me, the Europeans are furious with Washington for encouraging Kiev toward a patently dangerous confrontation with Russia. Animosity has been evident since Vicky Nuland's infamous "'F'the E.U." remark just before the coup last year. And now we see Merkel and Hollande more or less pushing the U.S. aside in favor of a negotiated settlement-or "seem to see," in any case. What's your view here?

Why should Washington object to European attempts to reach a stand-off in the Ukraine, so long as sanctions in Russia remain in place? Berlin and Paris are not going to defy it. Any real settlement is for the time being out of reach, but if one were materialize, they would be convenient sherpas for it. The E.U. as such hardly matters: Its reaction to Nuland's dismissal [of them] was to turn the other cheek.

Patrick Smith is Salon's foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else's Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

More Patrick L. Smith.

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire Sam Gindin, Leo Panitch

Amazon.com

Hans G. Despain on October 7, 2012

Powerful Political Economy

Panitch and Gindin argue that market economies have never existed independent of nation states. The state was necessary for the genesis of capitalism, and the state was, and still is, necessary for its historical development and continuous reproduction. Nonetheless, Panitch and Gindin argue there is significant autonomy, or historical "differentiation," between the economy and the nation state. There are economic structural tendencies manifest from the logic of capital and the functioning of the market-system. At the same time nation states can affect these structural tendencies in remarkable ways.

In this sense, there has never been "separation" between capitalist reproduction/development and the state, but there is "differentiation" which has radically significant effects. There is a symbiotic relationship between the state and capitalistic reproduction/development.

This is a book of economic history. But is also a book of economic theory. The economic history is rich and interesting, aimed at explaining the historical emergence of global financial capitalism. While the history Panitch and Gindin offer is rich and interesting, the theory is still richer and even more intriguing.

Their history is primarily aimed, (1) at explaining the emergence of the "informal American empire" (what makes this empire "informal" is the hegemony is accomplished primarily through economic strategy, policy, and diplomacy; and less through military might and political coercion) and (2) demonstrating the historical shifting relationship (from decade to decade since the World War I) between workers, business, finance, and the state.

Their theoretical concern is threefold;

  1. (1) offer a theoretical explanation of the crisis of 2007-8;
  2. (2) offer guidance toward the direction the future the "informal American empire" has for guiding the economies of world; and
  3. (3) to understand the "informal American empire" as a set of beliefs, doctrine, and ideology of how to organize modern societies (workers, business, finance and the state) and the global order (both political [e.g. UN, NATO, etc.] and economical [World Bank, IMF, WTO) for the (ideological) common good.

Although Panitch and Gindin accept that capitalistic development is uneven and unstable, it is crucial to their thesis that each crisis is unique depending upon the particular relationships and alliances forged between workers, business, finance, and the state. In this sense, the crisis of 2007-8 is necessarily unique and the solutions or economic fiscal policies necessary for recovery necessarily different from previous crises.

The highlights of their economic global history include that there have been four! major historical global crises, the long depression in the 1870, the Great depression of 1930, the Great recession of 1970s, and the Great financial crisis of 2007-09.

According to Pantich and Gindin, the 1970s is an economic watershed moment which separates "two Golden ages" of American capitalism.

It may be quite strange to many readers to call 1983 - 2007 a Golden Age. But in fact when looking at the economic data of the period it was quite literally a Golden Age, with millions of Americans and Global financiers and business leaders becoming impressively wealthy. Moreover, the levels of production (GDP) and productivity during the second Golden Age generally outperform the levels of production and productivity during the first Golden Age. Nonetheless the distribution of this wealth is radically narrow and concentrated within primarily finance, while political power concentrated toward "free-trade" orientated states, and away from workers and industrial production. Moreover, Pantich and Gindin maintain that workers are generally weaker during the second Golden Age, finance is strengthen and trumps over production processes, which is more or less conventional wisdom of this period of modern history. Less conventional is their thesis that the state, in particular the American domestic fiscal state and global "informal American empire," greatly strengthened post-1973-83 crisis.

It is not clear the direction the post-2007-09 crisis will take the global economy and American capitalism. What is clear is that the symbiotic relationship between workers, business, finance, and the state, and the global order (U.S. Treasury, IMF, World Bank, WTO, UN) is once again shifting. Pantich and Gindin's book offers to the reader a far

Jeb Sprague on November 8, 2014

Fascinating & important book, yet suffers from nation-state centrism & ignores novel social dynamics of Global Capitalism era

Panitch and Gindin's epic and fascinating book has the goal of tracing what the authors describe as the central role of the informal "American empire" and U.S. capital in the formation of the contemporary global capitalist system. I published a review in the journal Critical Sociology (Vol. 40, No. 5. P. 803-807) earlier this year that expands further on the importance of this work but I also have some criticisms, of which I paste some of below:

Whereas the authors emphasize the role of longstanding national and international dynamics, they overlook the numerous studies that have shown how novel transnational dynamics have come about even as historic residue remains (see for example Harris, 2013; Murray G, 2012; Robinson, 2003, 2004, 2014). Other than briefly denying the usefulness of the idea, the authors say little about the good deal of work on transnational class relations, for example in regards to the different fractions of the transnational capitalist class (as detailed in the works of Baker, 2011; Robinson, 2003, 2008; Harris, 2008; Sklair, 2001; Carrol, 2011; Murray J, 2013). Panitch and Gindin argue that theories of a TCC (transnational capitalist class) lead us to overlook uneven development between "nation-states" and the "economic competition between various centers of accumulation" (p. 11).... Yet while capital tends to concentrate in particular built up spaces, this corresponds, as a number of studies have shown, less and less to the strict restrictions of national space. Functionally integrated circuits of production and finance, and other networks, for example, have come to cut through various geographic scales (including national space) (Dicken, 20112; Robinson, 2010). Whereas local, national, regional, and international dynamics remain legion and substantial, many decisive economic, social, and political processes have become transnationally oriented....

The role of the state and its different policies is a clear focus of Panitch and Gindin's book. At times the authors do refer to the role of state elites, but often the authors can reify the state, describing the state as if it acts on its own and of its own accord. We need here to understand more clearly the class nature of the state, how specific social groups operate through state apparatuses as a site of struggle. Rather than individuals of the capitalist class serving directly in the state, it is governing political groups that normally do this. As relatively autonomous these political groups and state elites maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate, even as they overwhelmingly operate in the "collective" interests of capital. This relative autonomy is conditioned by a number of dynamics, such as prevailing socioeconomic conditions, the balance and struggle of social forces, and the position or character of the state. In those instances where Panitch and Gindin do write about state elites and political groups, these groups are presented as essentially the traditional nation-state governing elite who often operate in the interests of domestic capitalists. While these groups may fight among themselves or wrestle with domestic classes to carry out policies that are internationally geared, these political elites, as Panitch and Gindin describe them, do not veer far from the mold of their nation-state predecessors. The authors never recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place, through which state apparatuses, most importantly the U.S., are being utilized to reproduce conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation.

The authors pass over quickly some theories of the state that they disagree with, giving a straw person description of a "supranational global state" (p. 11) and citing an article by Philip McMichael (2001) that similarly misexplained ideas on the emergent transnationalization of state apparatuses and rise of transnationally oriented technocrats and elites who operate through state apparatuses (as discussed by Jayasuriya, 1999, 2005; Liodakis, 2010; Robinson, 2004, 2012; Sprague, 2012). I would argue for example that transnationally oriented state elites and technocrats believe that to develop they must insert their national states and institutions into global circuits of accumulation. They need access to capital, and capital is in the hands of the TCC. However, state elites must still appeal to their home audiences. They still interact with a variety of social groups and social classes, some more transnationally oriented and others with a more national orientation. Because of this, even as ties between state elites and TCC fractions deepen, national rhetoric and national state policies occur that are in apparent contradiction with TCC interests. In this way, political leaders attempt to maintain national political legitimacy while deepening practices of a global nature. However, as these state elites become entangled with and dependent upon processes of global capital accumulation they increasingly transition from taking part in national or international processes to transnational processes.

In regards to law, Panitch and Gindin argue that "Americanized internationalized law" has supplanted local international investment laws in much of the world. Here the authors obscure how transnational legal frameworks have come about through coalitions and the support of various interests and social forces. The mere adoption of laws for instance (even when heavily influenced by U.S. state elites) does not explain how they are implemented or modified. Nor does it explain the different interests behind these changes.

The authors emphasize the role of the "informal U.S. empire," with globalization "imbricated in the American empire," a system "under continuing US leadership," with the country maintaining its "imperial responsibilities for the reproduction of global capitalism" (p. 330). Yet they never clearly explain what is global capitalism, globalization, or the difference between the international and the transnational. This is because their conceptions of class, capital, and the state don't help us to understand the fundamental changes taking place. While they provide an extensive and critical historical overview in pointing out the leading role of the U.S. state and its policies in reproducing today's "system of class power and inequality" (p. 330), they don't recognize how this has occurred through fundamentally new dynamics of the global epoch.

While the authors help us to better understand the key role of the U.S. government and its policies during the late twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, they do so through an outdated theoretical scope that never gets at the deep changes occurring. Rather than the U.S. nation-state empire and those operating through it creating conditions beneficial for closely aligned internationally active domestic capitalists, more and more we can see how transnationally oriented elites operating through the most powerful national state apparatus (headquartered in Washington) are promoting conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation and in the interests of TCC fractions.

While this book is well worth your time reading, for getting a deeper understanding of contemporary political economy I suggest Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity clearer picture of what is at stake and who are the main institutional actors in the historical drama and capitalistic tragedy we call modern human history.


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[Aug 18, 2018] Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Aug 18, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The "mass cover" is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

[Aug 18, 2018] The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jack Thomsen , Aug 18, 2018 10:07:22 AM | 92

At last – a paterfamiliar earful by none other than James Howard Kunstler, on the state of the "Three Headed Monster" that is the Democratic Party.

This is an important tipping point, because the country is waiting for nobles of the left to lead their children from the deep dark woods.
Every day, we ask, "Where are the adults? Who will call this madness for what it is?" I'll provide the link to this masterful analysis of the "illness" – but first let me tempt readers with a brief synopsis of the "first head".

" one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented.

The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself . who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- "

This was published on his blog yesterday..... this is monumental, if only because the masks are coming off.

Read his description of the other 2 heads.... it's wonderful.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-three-headed-monster

[Aug 18, 2018] I've noticed the "Power Elite" have decided to rewrite American history in regards to the American Civil War

Aug 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , Website August 18, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT

It's nice to remind people that Lincoln was a Republican. An old blog post of mine provides a clearer explanation:

Jan 2, 2011 – The War to Reclaim Federal Property 1861-1865

I've noticed the "Power Elite" have decided to rewrite American history in regards to the American Civil War. This was known as the "War Between the States" or the "War of Secession", but was officially named the "Civil War" as a Congressional compromise some 40 years later. The Power Elite recently mobilized their media front men to proclaim that war was all about slavery. Anyone who contends it was about states rights is labeled ignorant or a racist. Symbols of the Confederacy have been targeted for destruction, claiming they are racist.

Slavery was a horrible institution, and was the prime source of friction between the states in the 1850s. Some wanted a military crusade to free the slaves, while an equal number demanded a military crusade to crush the evil Mormons in Utah. There was never strong support in Congress to ban slavery since many wealthy New Englanders profited in the textile business that relied upon cheap cotton from the South. In addition, the cherished American Constitution allowed for slavery.

Had Congress made slavery illegal and our military ordered to enforce that law, it would have been a war against slavery, and it would have lasted but a few months. However, that is not how things played out. Southern states feared that Northerners were using the federal government to dominate the nation that was conceived as a federation of states. Slavery was the key issue, but most Southerners didn't own slaves, and slavery was contentious within Southern states as many citizens opposed it. The Southern states peacefully and democratically seceded and formed the Confederate States of America (CSA), in the same way they joined the Union just two generations prior. The U.S. Congress didn't declare that illegal, nor did the Supreme Court.

Newly elected President Lincoln decided he would not tolerate the CSA, so he ordered it crushed. He assumed our military could quickly overrun the much weaker Confederate state militias, but it turned into a disastrous war. A key problem is that Lincoln refused to outlaw slavery and use that as a cause for military action, but said the effort was to preserve the union. As a result, Northerners were not enthusiastic about invading the South, while anti-slavery Southerners and the silent majority of non-slave holding Southerners felt compelled to defend their state from invasion. As his effort to "preserve the union" became a debacle, Lincoln finally evoked ending slavery as a cause with his 1863 "Emancipation Proclamation". Even that did not free the 800,000 slaves in the slave-holding states of Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia, or Delaware, which had never declared a secession.

Some say Lincoln only did this to prevent England from entering the war on the side of the CSA. England was upset by the Union sea blockade that denied its textile mills of cotton. Lincoln implemented his own form of slavery, the military draft, to fill his crusading army. The movie "Gangs of New York" addresses this issue toward the end -- the resulting anti-draft riots by New York immigrants. The great movie "Glory" shows white Union troops angry at forced service in Lincoln's crusade. Most of Lincoln's free Negro troops were slaughtered in frontal attacks during the war, and only earned half-pay.

In summary, slavery was the primary cause of conflict between the states, but the Civil War was caused by Lincoln's blundering. He failed to act decisively because he had no official standing to end slavery, yet when he did act as a dictator, he refused to promote it as an anti-slavery crusade. As a result, most Southerners fought to defend their state from invasion, not to protect slavery. The Northern industrialists made huge profits from this war, so they sainted Lincoln as one of our greatest Presidents, for suspending the U.S. Constitution and causing the most disastrous event in American history.

Biff , August 18, 2018 at 5:00 am GMT
A recent book destroyed the notion that the South is more racist than the North. Without going into too much detail(read the book, it's really good) the book reveals where the staunchest racist lie, and that is in the North – Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania.

https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Lies-Internet-About-Really/dp/0062390856

Now there are historians/people/people I know/teachers/government employees that got it in their head that a bunch of very racist union troops where willing to leave their comfortable home and very segregated cities up north, and go down south to fight and die to free the black man. A crazy fairy tale that happens to be true.

Dumbo , August 18, 2018 at 5:05 am GMT
What's funny for me is this, the "United States", consisting of states that joined together voluntarily in an union, by the same measure should have been allowed to secede any time they wished, without interference of a tyrannical central government, which should not even have that authority. Patrick Henry was right.
Anonymous [337] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 6:10 am GMT
@Logan

No one's stopping you from finding out on your own. But if you need help getting started, here are a couple relevant quotes:

Charles Adams: The South paid an undue proportion of federal revenues derived from tariffs, and these were expended by the federal government more in the North than the South: in 1840, the South paid 84% of the tariffs, rising to 87% in 1860. They paid 83% of the $13 million federal fishing bounties paid to New England fishermen, and also paid $35 million to Northern shipping interests which had a monopoly on shipping from Southern ports. The South, in effect, was paying tribute to the North.

The address of Texas Congressman Reagan on 15 January 1861 summarizes this discontent: "You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers. You are not satisfied with the vast tribute we pay you to build up your great cities, your railroads, your canals. You are not satisfied with the millions of tribute we have been paying you on account of the balance of exchange which you hold against us. You are not satisfied that we of the South are almost reduced to the condition of overseers of northern capitalists. You are not satisfied with all this; but you must wage a relentless crusade against our rights and institutions." As the London Times of 7 Nov 1861 stated: "The contest is really for empire on the side of the North and for independence on that of the South ."

Carl Pearlston: In 1860, the 15 Southern states had 8 million whites and 4½ million black slaves, compared to 19 million whites and ¼ million blacks in the North's 19 states. The vast areas of undeveloped western territory were rapidly being settled by people whose economic interests were not with the South. It found itself continually outvoted in both the Congress and Senate, especially on commercial regulations, with the prospect of an increasing majority against it. The nub of the problem was that the North wanted high tariffs on imported goods to protect its own manufactured products, while the South wanted low tariffs on imports and exports since it exported cotton and tobacco to Europe and imported manufactured goods in exchange. High tariffs in effect depressed the price for the South's agricultural exports; the South paid high prices for what it bought and got low prices for what it sold because of the federal tariff policy which the South was powerless to change. Southerners viewed themselves as being dominated by the mercantile interests of the North who profited from these high tariffs.

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Virginia had proposed a requirement for a 2/3 majority to enact laws regulating commerce and levying tariffs, which were the chief revenue of the federal government. George Mason of Virginia stated "The effect of a provision to pass commercial laws by a simple majority would be to deliver the south bound hand and foot to the eastern states". Virginia withdrew its amendment at the Convention in the interest of securing adoption of the Constitution, but ratification was with the proviso that it could be rescinded whenever the powers granted to the Union were used to oppress, and Virginia could then withdraw from the Union. True to George Mason's prediction, the high tariff of 1828 did bring the South to the verge of rebellion, leading Senator John C. Calhoun to unsuccessfully champion the concept of Nullification and the doctrine of the Concurrent Majority in 1833 to ensure that the South could have a veto power over commercial acts passed by a simple majority in Congress and the Senate.

Jeff Stryker , August 18, 2018 at 6:27 am GMT
Couple of things-

THING A-

We can argue demographic data but many white Americans were not in the United States at the time of the Civil War.

East Coast dominates and whites in the East Coast center aside from Jews tend to be Italians (Rudy, Nancy etc) and Irish-Catholics (Kennedy's) whose ancestors arrived in the late 19th or early 20th century.

So why is the Civil War important today? Because white Southerners long for some period of time when being descended from English aristocrats was relevant?

THING B

Cubans have made Miami economically relevant if only because Caribbean dictators stick their money to be safe from the next revolution and it attracts a great deal of international tourism.

Texas pumps out a great deal of oil.

Otherwise, what is the relevance of much of the South? To who, and why? That they are often poorer than the West Coast or the East Coast. That whites are poorest there? What's its relevance? GDP? Technological innovation? Standard of living?

THING C

If the South could not have Federal bailouts than what would it do? More than Northern states with massive human capitol from Wall Street brokers and businessmen and international investors and tech giants the South has .well, poverty.

The North is not a reliant on Federal money. Northern California and Manhattan could tell the Beltway to go F*(X themselves. They'd get by. But would Alabama?

THING D

The Southern border is the problem. It is not the Northern border. If anything, Canada is the one saying they don't want whites from Maine or Michigan and rigidly enforce border security.

Yet the South and Southwest allows millions of illegal immigrants through their border.

Canada sure does a good job of keeping Americans from immigrating illegally. Try to do it. I guarantee you'll be caught and end up with Canadian mounties and helicopters with infrared surrounding you.

THING E

White Southerners seem to have a huge hard-on for Jews. There are not many Jews in the South compared to Long Island or California. So why do white Southerners have this thing about Jews?

jilles dykstra , August 18, 2018 at 6:44 am GMT
Thomas L Thompson describes the task of the historian ' to make sense of the apparent jumble of unrelated facts', but I always wondered if this hindsight sense is reality or a construction.
There is a saying among historians 'a history book says more about the time it was written than about the time it describes'.
Interesting in professional history books is how historians disagree, one finds them critising colleagues in the notes.
In gymnasium I found history boring, nothing was explained, such as that the king of France never ate hot food, the time between the food leaving the kitchen and being under his nose was so long that it was cold.
I now know why.
History just becomes interesting when one knows details, alas these details dot not explain anything, sometimes very little.
A historian of a very interesting book on how technical inventions changed society writes 'an invention is a door opened on a until the closed room, but mankind never was obliged to go into the room'.
Why mankind ignored many inventions, unexplained.
Thomas L Thompson, 'The mythic past, Biblical archaeology and the myth of Israel', London 1999
Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen, ' The world of the Huns', 1973 Berkeley
Raymond Aron, ´Introduction à la philosophie de l'histoire, Essai sur les limites de l'objectivité historique', Paris 1948
Lynn White Jr., 'Medieval Technology and Social Change', Oxford 1962
Ilya G Poimandres , August 18, 2018 at 6:56 am GMT
Draws nice parallels with Ukraine's problems since the anti-constitutional coup too!
Truth , August 18, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT
Whoa

I thought Dinesh was conservative.

Reg Cæsar , August 18, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT

D'Souza omits Lincoln's repeated desire that blacks be sent back to Africa.

And Cathey omits that that alone would make Lincoln smarter, wiser, and more just than just about anyone in the South.

On the other hand, Lincoln thought Southerners and their beloved African livestock were worth waging battle to keep in the Union. That alone is proof positive that Lincoln was insane.

it was the various states that granted the Federal government certain very limited and specifically enumerated powers, reserving the vast remainder for themselves

And the fugitive slave bills, no matter how constitutional, make a total hash of this. Yeah, you can say that Africans were property, but they were not property on the north shore of the Great Lakes. Why would they be on the south?

If Southerners wanted to keep their pets on the farm, they had the technology to build a Berlin Wall along the Ohio and the Potomac, and let states to the north (not "North") make their own policies concerning chattel.

Dan Hayes , August 18, 2018 at 7:54 am GMT
@Logan

Logan:

No. It's up to you to prove the purported inaccuracies.

Anonymous [134] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
D'Souza's book sounds like more 'Dems are real rayciss' nonsense.
anonymous [340] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 7:58 am GMT
@Logan

This may be Mr. Cathey's reading of the Taussig book cited earlier in the paragraph. A linked citation to the 8th (1931) edition can be found at the end of the Wikipedia article on Taussig.

Anonymous [134] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 8:01 am GMT
@Logan

Without getting too technical, the finished goods and–especially–farm equipment that the south depended on were mostly imported in those days. Additionally, there was some fear in the south that foreign countries might retaliate with tariffs of their own on the agricultural commodities that the south exported. To be sure, I don't buy the theory that 'slavery had nothing to do with Civil War', but tariffs, no doubt, were at least a contributing factor.

Heros , August 18, 2018 at 8:50 am GMT
Just like after the failed jew inspired Weimar take over of Germany in the 1920′s, after the failed 1848 revolutions in Europe, many squealing and kvetching marxist jews fled to the US, where they quickly integrated into their "good for the jews" JP collective. The Rothschilds, the bloodline families and the illuminati had already subverted all the masonic lodges in precisely the same way they are using D'Sousa to subvert "conservatism" now, but the JP was still gathering all the reigns of power into their hands.

In fact, what Jewish Power (JP) is doing with D'Sousa is deliberately dividing any conservative resistance into the subverted "racist" alt-right and the subverted "non-racist" Neocon war machine. Of course, the militarized police forces are being set up to be deployed against the "racist" alt-right in the same way facebook, twitter and all the other JP social media corporations have shut down the free speech of that same alt-right. This is the same kind of judaic divide and conquer strategy that the tribe was using in the lead up to the war of northern aggression.

D'Sousa is clearly a non-white, and like all dot-Indian immigrants he is merely another form of trojan horse brought into our society in the same way jews opened the gates let the moors into Granada and the Turks into Constantinople. Whether he realizes it or not, he is a jew puppet brought in to destroy Christianity and European civilization and replace their true liberalism with a Frankfurt School marxist cuckoo bird egg. Dot-Indians are to become a new technocratic upper caste brought into to help jews keep the goyim slaves in line. No good will come from allowing dot-Indians to preach judaicly perverted Christian morality back onto us.

One of the little known characteristics of the War of Northern Aggression was that the majority of slave plantation owners in the south were jews , while the vast majority of Yankee bankers and slave traders were also jews. This is precisely the same kind of jewish over representation that we see in SCOTUS, Hollywood, Harvard and the "1%" today.

So it was JP and its Freemason puppets who started the War of Northern Aggression, and it was a part of a thousand year old plan described in the Talmud and the Protocols to obliterate Europeans and their culture from the face of planet earth as revenge for Titus's destruction of the Second Temple to Solomon in 70AD. There is plenty of confirmation of this in writings from places like the Frankfurt School, Saul Alinsky and Cultural Marxism. Although D'Sousa pays lip service to exposing some of these hidden agendas, he cannot see the forest because all he is willing to see is a "racist" hiding behind every tree. What a kike tool he is.

Dave McGowan wrote in his great understated and laconic style about the judaic and masonic lies surrounding the Lincoln assassination. You can read it for free online, along with his great books "Wagging the Moon Dog" and "Weird Scenes in the Canyon".

http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/lincoln/

Here is a fascinating unrolled, archived twitter feed about Lincoln and his jewish and masonic connections, with lots of interesting embedded pictures:

https://archive.is/H3aMW

"On the bottom of page three of four pages was a paragraph where the father, A.A. Springs, left to his son an enormous amount of land in the state of Alabama which is now known as Huntsville, Alabama. At first Mr. Christopher and his colleagues could not believe what their eyes, because the name of his son was "ABRAHAM LINCOLN" !

This new information added to what they had already learned about the Springs, whose real name was Springstein , was one more twist to this already enigmatic family."

WorkingClass , August 18, 2018 at 10:43 am GMT
Lincoln invaded, conquered, occupied and annexed the Confederacy. Sans federalism the Constitution was already not the Constitution. So fuck Lincoln.

But we have Hamilton. Why not Death Of A Nation?

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 11:12 am GMT
@Colin Wright

US population 1860, 31.5M. 4M slaves, so 27.5M free people, vast majority white.

Determining what "the South" was in 1860 is a little ambiguous. Slaveowning states? States that seceded?

Let's look at all slaveowning states. Total white population – 8M. Which leaves 18.5M in "the North," or free states.

Tariffs are duties charged on imported goods. They are paid at the point of entry, not by the eventual buyer, other than indirectly. Hence there was no way to charge different taxes for different sections other than, theoretically, by including or excluding certain items from tariffs or by changing rates based on the rate of purchase of such items in the difference regions.

So for the 80% claim to be accurate, the 29% of white people who lived in the South would have to purchase tariffed goods at a rate 2.8x that of white people who lived in the North. Does that seem likely to you?

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@Anonymous

The Adams quote is not evidence, it's merely the source for the claim made in this article. It's from a book published in 2000. Adams, in that book, may quite possibly provide evidence the claim is accurate. But that Adams stated something is not evidence that the statement is true.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 11:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes

Disagree. The person making a statement is the one logically required to demonstrate why the statement is accurate.

You have just provided a classic example of the "shifting the burden of proof" logical fallacy.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/222/Shifting-of-the-Burden-of-Proof

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 11:37 am GMT
@Anonymous

Thanks for the logical reply.

So the North did not used finished goods or farm equipment? The question is not whether the South paid tariffs on imported goods, it's whether the 29% of southern whites paid 80% of the tariffs, rather than the 71% of northern whites. Which would mean southern whites would have consumed finished good and farm equipment at a rate almost 3x that of northern whites. Which doesn't make a great deal of sense.

It is often claimed that the South was agricultural while the North was industrial. But of course in 1860 the North was also still primarily agricultural. Of the 18.5M northern whites, 5M or 27% were urban (defined as living in towns over 2500). Of the 8M southern whites, 1.2M or 15% were urban by this definition. (Which is probably not the best definition.)

This means that 73% of northern whites did not live in cities or even towns. As in the South, most of them were farmers. This was especially the case outside of the Northeast, where cities and industry were concentrated.

An Iowa farmer paid (indirectly) exactly the same tariff as the South Carolina planter. And, for that matter, so did the Pennsylvania mill owner or worker.

jilles dykstra , August 18, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

" In summary, slavery was the primary cause of conflict between the states, "
Weird, in a country that treated the Indians far worse than the slaves.
I spoke to an old USA lady, who was proud on her grandfather participating in smuggling run away slaves to the North.
When I talked about the Indians her reply was 'before the Indians there were others'.
I did not continue the discussion, but to this day do not understand how helping black people was good, but ethnically cleaning and killing Indians was irrelevant.

Johnnie Walker Read , August 18, 2018 at 11:48 am GMT
@Logan

Read'em and weep my little mis-informed, publicly educated man. Although truth is a bitter pill, it must be swallowed if you are ever to rise above a mind controlled sheep.

https://www.marottaonmoney.com/protective-tariffs-the-primary-cause-of-the-civil-war/

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 11:55 am GMT
@anonymous

You may very well be right. That book is 500+ pages, and while I downloaded it, I'm not really going to slog through it to find some quote that may or may not line up with the 80% number.

However, Taussig, in his discussion of the prewar tariff (Part 2 – Chapter 1), states that it was the lowest it had been in a long time and was generally along free trade lines. I don't think anybody is going to find much support in Taussig for the notion that the intolerable exploitation of the tariff was the primary cause of secession.

I've seen this 80% number tossed around for years, and have never been able to track it to its lair. The closest I've been able to come is the fact that 60% of exports were cotton, and if you add in other southern exports, you might get close to 80% of US exports being from the South.

But of course exports are not tariffs. I suspect the two have been conflated and then the statistic passed from one source to another without bothering to check if it's, you know, true.

Johnnie Walker Read , August 18, 2018 at 11:55 am GMT
@Thomm

Say's the MAGA Trumptard .Try as you might, sometimes it is impossible to stomp out ignorance from the public and the propaganda(lies) from the likes of the Neocon knee boy D'Souza.

jacques sheete , August 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm GMT

The one very significant fact that becomes clear in his latest cinematic screed is that D'Souza is ignorant of American history, and that he is an ideological and historical fabricator who seeks, in the name of defending his adopted nation, to bend and mishandle its history to fit a preconceived narrative which satisfies his Neoconservative task masters.

In my experience with American "educators," I can state with confidence that the great bulk of them fit the description of "ignorant fabricator" or worse. Much the same can be said of the products of their so called "education" including journalists and pundits.

Reader beware.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm GMT
@anonymous

The other factor cited was that majority of federal spending would be in the North.

Federal in 1860 was $78M. Let's at least note that in a country of 32M people this was an itsy-bitsy amount, nothing even remotely similar to the impact of federal spending today. It was $2.43 per person. Hard to be terribly oppressive with that kind of budget!

Hard to find numbers on what the government spent its money on and where. But 37% was Defense and 4% interest.

Much if not most of the Defense funds were spent in the West, where most troops were stationed. Which was of course neither in North nor South. A lot of Defense money at this time was also being spent on fortifications to defend ports. The South, having a much longer coastline, got a big chunk of this money, with, famously, a big project underway at Fort Sumter.

Another big chunk of spending was clearly related to the overhead of the government, as largely located in DC. Which was in the South.

One of the biggest operations of the federal government was the postal system, which is population related.

So while it's possible the majority of federal funds were spent in the North, depending on how you define the terms, I'd be very surprised indeed if more federal funds were spent in northern states than their percentage of the population.

Johnnie Walker Read , August 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm GMT
Great article by Boyd in once again exposing the massive lies about "hero" Lincoln and the true causes of the war of northern aggression. I see the trolls or mis-informed are also here in force. Just a little advice from George Carlin: "Never argue with an idiot.They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."
Logan , August 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Johnnie Walker Read

Your link reiterates the claim that protective tariffs were the primary cause of the war. But it asserts the claim. It provides very little in the way of evidence.

Amusingly, the cartoon about the Morrill Tariff is dated April 13, which was of course long after the initial secession. The Morill Tariff was passed as a result of secession, because it removed a large chunk of opponents from Congress, allowing it to pass when it had failed previously.

You simply can't use a tariff that passed after and because of secession as the cause of that secession.

You know, I've read the Declarations of Secession of every state, though it's been a while. Every one of them cites as the reasons for seceding primarily issues related to slavery. I don't recall any mention of tariffs at all, though it's possible they were cited in passing.

If excessive tariffs/taxation were the cause of secession, how exactly was the South planning to finance its new government? The South would now have the full overhead of a govenrment, formerly split with the North. It would also clearly have to finance a major expansion of Defense to guard a long and hostile border with the USA. It's likely that if the South had left the Union uncontested, its 8M whites would have wound up bearing a larger tax burden than the 27M whites of the united country bore in 1860.

Johnnie Walker Read , August 18, 2018 at 12:29 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker

Ever heard of Judah P. Benjamin. Get educated before you speak my man.

http://tomatobubble.com/id866.html

Them Guys , August 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker

THING E
White Southerners seem to have a huge hard-on for Jews. There are not many Jews in the South compared to Long Island or California. So why do white Southerners have this thing about Jews?

#1 Reason since just over 100 yrs ago is .The Cyrus Scofield-perverted interpretations KJV Bible, and the fact that about 99% of Scofield Bible evangelical Jewdeo-Christian Devotees reside within the very same 10 or so Southern States that made up the Confeds of the civil war era.

These are the who's that make up the huge vast majority of Jewdo-Zio-Christians, who basically worship, Jews & Israel, and do so regardless of what Jewry or Israel has ever done or will do that most sane folk consider to be wrong, bad, evil, unethical, and immoral. In other words, when the issue revolves around Israel or Jews Both can never, ever do such wrongs etc Period. No amount of proofs, documented and vetted facts, or anything else can change this. Only a self-wake-up, performed by each affected and delusional, warped minded individual has any chance of real success at lasting and good changes.

Just among the Southern Baptist Conference group membership, is a whopping, 25,000,000+ individual members. This is the absolute largest sized group, aprox. one half of entire amount, of such worshipers of Jewry & Israel within the entire, Jewnited Snakes of Jewmerica.

And furthermore, if not for their rabid foam at mouth worship of both entities, aka synagogue of Satan combo of Jewry+Israel, America would never be able to continue on as an, Colony of Tel Aviv Israel. There also would be massive exiting of most neocon repubs, who also worship Jewry & Israel, if not for these so totally Duped Via scam Scofield falsehood biblical interpretations, voters.

Now do you understand, HTF aka how the fuck in the world did Nikki Haley get elected as Governor in a deep south state of S. Carolina ? Or Bobby Jindal also Governor in another deep south state ? .Very easy to do, all those two Israel firster clowns needed do to get elected by mostly White Southern voters .Was to state their deep love for and never ending support for Jewry & Israel! .And an election win was in the proverbial bag, eh. Add in massive, several generations worth of, constant White Guilt effects, and the fools would likely elect Chicago's Louie Da Farakahn as Alabama Governor as long as he too did a 180 and stated avowed love and support for Jewry & Israel. Cuz, Now he beez a Changed colored folk man, and seen dat light to worship Jewry like's we does.

Them Guys , August 18, 2018 at 1:02 pm GMT
@Reg Cæsar

The first US Supreme Ct. Case about, is a slave owned as Real property, like land or homes? Was a case dealing with a run away slave, that ended up in some northern state and was being protected by those northern folks. The BLACK Man slave OWNER, of the run away black slave, is who brought that case to supreme court .and He Won his case. Supremes decided a slave was property owned by slave owner who paid $$$ for his slave, and no matter Where slave was found or protected from return to slave owner Black man, those northern protector folks Had to hand slave back over to his Black Man slave owner. So that refutes the part you wrote of .."Yeah, you can say that Africans were property, but they were not property on the north shore of the Great Lakes. Why would they be on the south? "

It is probably a good thing that the GA state, Black Woman who owned over, 300 black slaves, and was about the wealthiest $$$ Woman in the state then, didn't have her slaves run away eh? Because for her to need bring hundreds of run away slave cases all the way to us supreme ct, would have likely depleted her vast $$$ holdings down to, herself perhaps needing to work as a black slave just to eat eh.

Funny/Ironic they never taught us about Black Slave Owners back in school 50+ years ago eh? I reckon such truthful facts would cause all the anti-whitey propaganda agendas to, fast come Unglued and so awaken dumbed down white kids, they may never recover to again maintain vast white guilt feelings the Jewdeo-commie-Marxist Frankfurtist's worked so hard to develop in Whites.

Jake , August 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Logan

You believe it to be entirely inaccurate? What if it believes that you do not exist? Or that you are a pederast Cultural Marxist?

Che Guava , August 18, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Your comment is interesting and informative.

If you have not read the book, Gangs of New York , strongly recommend it.

The depiction in the movie is confused, too brief, and does not capture the scale at all. Really, it was one of the battles of the war, not just 'riots'.

Reading the account, the idea of the CSA somehow having some coordination with the anti-draft protestors would make a nice (but unlikely, due to pace, other factors) counter-factual history.

GoNY is worth reading in general, but the most surprising parts to me were that part and the final parts on the rise of Jewish organised crime in Noo Yawk.

No doubt, both topics that Scorcese was wanting to avoid.

The movie seems not near his best at all, especially after reading the book.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
@Logan

Do you want others to post the texts, with annotations, of the books to which you've now been directed? In a comment thread under an article on a website? I doubt that you would be so absurd and ungracious without pseudonymity.

At this point, it now is incumbent on you to either (i) back down or (ii) go find and share the title of a scholarly work that might validate your hunches. Then, those who care to learn the truth can dig in. A group that apparently doesn't include "Logan."

Them Guys , August 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm GMT
@Heros

Heros: Indeed, and here are a couple of famous high rated Jewish guys who fully confirm the Vast, Huge, Massive role Jews played in not only America's slave trading/owning business But also, even long prior when Jews had control of European slavery, which consisted mostly of, European White Christians that Jews sold into slavery, To Arabs After Jews stole or kidnapped said euro white Christians of course.

"Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated. This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the 'triangular trade' that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750s, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760s, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760s and early 1770s dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent."
-- Marc Raphael (Jew): "Jews and Judaism in the United States: A Documentary History"

This quoted statement is from the same book, Blood Passover, that not too long ago an UNZ Article was done about it!

"During this period, Jewish merchants, from the cities in the valley of the Rhône, Verdun, Lione, Arles and Narbonne, in addition to Aquisgrana, the capital of the empire in the times of Louis the Pious [Louis I]; and in Germany from the centres of the valley of the Rhine, from Worms, Magonza and Magdeburg; in Bavaria and Bohemia, from Regensburg and Prague – were active in the principal markets in which slaves (women, men, eunuchs) were offered for sale, by Jews, sometimes after abducting them from their houses. From Christian Europe the human merchandise was exported to the Islamic lands of Spain, in which there was a lively market. The castration of these slaves, particularly children, raised their prices, and was no doubt a lucrative and profitable practice "
-- Dr. Ariel Toaff, Chapter Eight, Blood Passover . This book was ordered taken off book shelves and destroyed. Toaff was the son of the chief rabbi of Rome and had access to synagogue writings dating back to the Middle Ages.

And it wasn't any "Nazis" or German's who did the book burnings on that expose' of Jewry eh.

"To communicate anything to a Goy about our religious relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly."
-- The Talmud: Libbre David 37

"The modern Jew is the product of the Talmud."
-- Michael Rodkinson, in preface of Babylonian Talmud, page XI.

"The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart's blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, or ceremonies we observe -- whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or merely spasmodic sentimentalists -- we follow the Talmud. It is our common law."
-- Herman Wouk, "This is My God." Wouk wrote the book and screenplay "Winds of War," popular back in the 1970's.

Well, perhaps those last few quotes explain or answer the question of, "Gee why are there so very Few good Jews it seems, huh"? Ie: 99%+ adhere to their Talmud.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

He assumed our military could quickly overrun the much weaker Confederate state militias, but it turned into a disastrous war.

Sorry, but this is flatly untrue. Lincoln was entirely aware that he did not have forces sufficient to crush the rebellion.

The entire US Army in 1860 was composed of 16,000 men and officers, almost all scattered across the West in tiny packets to defend against Indians. About 20% of them promptly left when secession and war broke out.

So by the time of Sumter, Lincoln had perhaps 14,000 men scattered across an entire continent. At this same time the state of SC alone fielded around 10,000 men, albeit mostly not nearly as well trained or armed as the Regulars.

In fact, during the very early days of the War Lincoln's primary concern was that there simply was nothing at all to stop southern troops from marching straight into DC. I've not been able to find numbers for VA militia in 1860, but given that its white population was 3x that of SC, I think it's not unreasonable to assume VA had 25,000 or more men under arms in April of 1860. That would have outnumbered the entire US Army almost 2:1, even assuming the Regulars were concentrated, which they most certainly were not.

People just don't realize how tiny the early 19th century US Army was. The organized militia of the Nauvoo Legion in the early 1840s numbered at least 2500. Compare that to the 8500 in the entire US Army. That's a single city.

RebelWriter , August 18, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
The title of the movie should have been, "Dems R Real Rayciss, Part 2; Electric Bugaloo"

I agree with pretty much everything in this article. I'm not a degreed historian (and don't play one on TV), but I have been reading and studying this conflict for more than 40 years. The perspective is always given from the wrong angle, that of the people of the North vs. the people of the South; it was not. It was the elites of the North vs. the elites of the South.

Elites of the North were industrialist, bankers, and those involved in commerce. The elites of the South were the Planters. What they were fighting over was the treasury, most specifically Mercantilist use of the treasury; i.e. spending Federal funds on roads, canals, bridges, harbors, and railroads to benefit commerce and trade. If anything approaching half of that spending had occured in the South, allowing Southern elites to profit from it, there would have been no war. As it was, almost all of it was spent north of the Mason Dixon line.

The Planter elite were THE Congressional opposition to various bills proposing the use of Federal funds for infrastructure improvement. All such projects were plagued with graft and corruption, all ran over budget and schedule. The Achilles Heel of the planters was slavery, and THAT is why slavery was attacked. The vast majority of the people of the North could hardly care less, except that they considered the practice embarrassing, like a preacher having a drunk for a brother.

There are always at least two reasons for every war; those used to motivate the common masses to fight, and the real reason, which is always and forever power, or control of resources. This war was no different. James McPherson, prof. of History Emeritus, Princeton, a man who HATES the South, investigated the reasons common soldiers fought, and discovered, to his dismay, that the men of both sides fought for almost exactly the same reasons, they just interpreted them differently. The men of both sides saw themselves as patriots; Northerners defending the Union, and Southerners defending the ideals of the Revolution.

It was a complicated war, and anytime it is painted in simple terms, it is done so for some political or ideological purpose having nothing to do with presenting a factual and honest narrative.

BUT LET ME SAY THIS AS BOLDY AS I CAN – IT DOESN'T MATTER TODAY. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE NOW. IT IS A FRACTURE POINT TO DIVIDE US AT A TIME WE SHOULD BE UNITED.

The Dems R Real Rayciss meme was introduced originally by Dinesh, and was very popular among misguided, historically ignorant Southerners, and still is among some. This meme is the very reason we got traitor Nikki Haley for governor, and houseboy Tim Scott for a senator here in SC. The gaping flaw of this meme is that it acknowledges the social, racial, and cultural arguments of the progressives, and in reponse merely says, "no, you are."

This meme irritates me like no other, because I, for one, believe the Democrats in those days were right, and the Republicans were not only wrong, but were destructive to American ideals. The United States was founded as a free and voluntary Union of States. That union was destroyed the day Lincoln called for volunteers to invade the Southern states. Lincoln and the Republicans destroyed the free union, and erected another from its ashes, the one we live with today.

The Democrats were right about States Rights (10th Amendment), slavery, the Constitution, and later they were right in confronting the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. They were right about keeping the races separated. Readers of this site, especially those iSteve readers, are aware of the consequences borne by the white race since the Democrats abandoned racial reality.

The Republicans today are not the Republicans of 1860, nor are they the polar opposite of the Democrats, though I wish they were.

Whether our ancestors were Confederate, like mine, or Union, or both, or neither if your ancestors came afterwards, is of little consequence today. We can argue points of contention about a war already fought and won in our spare time, but we do have a war going on now, one every bit as grave and consequential to the future of the United States, and we should really focus on that.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm GMT
@Them Guys

Wiki: "The first Chief Justice of the United States was John Jay; the Court's first docketed case was Van Staphorst v. Maryland (1791), and its first recorded decision was West v. Barnes (1791)."

Neither had anything to do with slavery.

Methinks you're conflating the much earlier case where a Virginia colonial court first decided that blacks could be held in permanent slavery, rather than indentured servitude with a limited term of service. Ironically, the plaintiff/owner in that case was himself a black man who had previously served a term as an indentured servant.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Jake

I stated my opinion that it is inaccurate, and requested evidence to the contrary, if it exists.

One of the more common logical fallacies is "shifting the burden of proof." The article made a claim about facts. I requested evidence that the claim is true. So you and others respond by claiming that I must disprove the claim. That's not how logic works.

Same thing applies to any such claim as that "Sherman is a pederast Cultural Marxist."

I can reply that the accusation is untrue, which of course it is. But I can't prove it to be untrue, as "proving a negative" is inherently very difficult, though not perhaps always impossible. This is the main reason our legal system requires the State to prove the guilt of the accused, not the accused to prove his innocence of the charges.

Luckily, the burden of proof is on the accuser in this case also. Feel free to provide any evidence you might have that any of these aspersions are accurate.

Logan , August 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
@anonymous

I looked up Taussig, one of those to which I was referred. Did not read the 500 page book, but did read the chapter about the prewar tariff. It does not at all line up with what is claimed. In fact, he states that the prewar, pre-secession tariff was largely free trade. I refer you to Part 2, Chapter 1 of his book.

I haven't read Adams, also cited as a reference. Possibly his book includes documentation that the claim is accurate.

But it all gets back to the "burden of proof."

Person A: The wage gap between men and women is entirely the result of sex discrimination.

Person B: Can you provide proof that your assertion is true?

Person A: I don't have to. It's up to you to prove it is false.

Okay, okay. It's not a very good analogy, as proving that other factors also play at least some role in the wage gap is not hard. But my point is that if one asserts a claim as fact, one should be prepared to back up that claim with evidence. Which does not consist of a reference to a book in which purportedly the author made the claim. That author also would be required to prove the truth of the claim.

Jake , August 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I have had such conversations a number of times with Leftists/Liberals. They never have an answer that makes sense.

My assessment is it primarily is about the Who/Whom. The best way to grasp that is to know that while so much as being white and living in a state that had legal slavery in 1860 marks you condemned, being the direct ancestor of super rich New England WASPs who made a fortune from slave trading is not to be discussed in public, much less condemned.

The Who/Whom is not about the non-whites involved but the whites doing to other whites as the end game. Pure WASPs from New England and the whites who became their closest allies by the Revolution (NY Dutch and PA Quakers and Old Germans) cannot be held accountable for slave trading (though nearly 100% of the massively profitable cross-Atlantic slave trade was by those very people). So the 'other whites' are damned as white trash.

If whites moving in and displacing Indians is The Great Sin, then all those Yankees are guilty as Hell. But if the Great Sin, the Unpardonable Sin, is owning black slaves, then the original 'mainstream media' which was owned and operated 100% by Yankee WASPs could declare that slave shipping by their people was to be forgotten and also that what happened to Indians was totally insignificant compared to the pure evil of owning a black slave in 1860.

And then they could claim that all their usurpations of government were really about saving the Union an spreading democracy.

Jews did not invent the ultra hypocrisy and self-righteous mendacity and blood-lust that IS Neo-conservatism.

rebelwriter , August 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm GMT
@Logan

Sir,

What you are demanding is information not easily acquirable on the internet, namely records of Federal Revenue, broken down geographically, and Federal spending broken down the same way. Such records exist, but I have only seen them in the footnotes of various books. Let me aid your understanding, however.

Remember reading of the American Industrial Revolution? Where did it take place? In New England, of course. And in 1860 there were counties in New England that had more manufacturing than every state in the Confederacy combined. These tariffs were protective in nature, and only placed on manufactured goods. At first they were only placed on those goods which were also produced in the US, but later nearly anything manufactured outside of the US was subject to a tax.

Who paid the tariffs? Those who purchased goods manufactured outside the US. The planters of the South paid a generally agreed upon estimate of 80% of tariffs due to simply wanting things not manufactured in the US; grand pianos, gilded mirrors, certain tiles for roofs, English buggies and carriages, French dresses, etc., etc.

The Nullification Crisis over the Morrill Tariff only happened because the South paid most of the taxes. It was the South, particularly South Carolina, which objected to the increase in tax rates. I must also point out to those unaware that John C. Calhoun supported tariffs for the common good of the United States; he was not opposed to them until this point in time, and only opposed them out of political expediency.

It's pretty clear from a casual reading of the history that the Southern states, who had no manufacturing to speak of, paid most of the tariffs, and benefitted from them the least. Whether or not you're satisfied, this is so.

The next point of contention is where the revenues were spent. Southern senators and congressmen were not without power, in fact they were the dominant power up until around 1830. The fight over slavery in the new territories was all about congressional representation, and guarding the parity which was reached in 1830. So there were some projects, mostly military forts and bases, in the South, built with federal money.

However the largest part of federal spending was infrastructure to ease transportation for commerce. Some money was spent on the nation's two largest ports of the time, Charleston and New Orleans, but much, much more was spent on canals, such as the Erie Canal, railroads, and bridges up North. Most federal infrastructure spending, by far, were those projects which aided the transportation of raw goods from the Midwest to the East Coast.

There are books which break these down in detail, but I'm not going to be your private Google and hunt them down for you. There are no historians I have read, or read of, who contest this particular point, that the South paid most of the tariffs, and that most of the money from them was spent up North.

Tigran the Great , August 18, 2018 at 2:16 pm GMT
EXCELLENT article. I love reading concise argument presented by someone who knows how to think and write. We are lost, but as the writer makes clear, the losing has been a long time in the making.
Ilyana_Rozumova , August 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

You are correct. Civil war had nothing to do with slavery. Civil war was about textile industry, and so keeping the profits in US instead giving them to England. Slavery was only flag of camouflage.

DESERT FOX , August 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm GMT
Just as in Orwells OCEANIA history is be rewritten every day by the Zionists who control the U.S. gov and just like Oceania it is rewritten to satisfy the Zionist line whatever that may happen to be at the time.

War is peace, ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery and Israel is the sacred cow.

Anonymous [410] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Thomm

Thomm is an Indian and is just defending his ethnic kin.

D'Souza poses as a conservative but he is an open borders guy and would love nothing more than to flood this country with more Indians.

The Scalpel , Website August 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
Much like what happened with the Soviet Union, when the end comes for the "United" States, secession will be the mechanism that allows it to happen. Going forward, states rights, once a nearly forgotten topic of discussion, will become increasingly debated.
rebelwriter , August 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Just a couple of points; One is that the Emancipation Proclamation specifically excluded Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Delaware (slave states which did not secede), as well as Tennessee, 7 parishes in Louisiana, and 10 counties in Virginia, all of which were currently under Federal control.

I think it's a bit naïve to lay the war at Lincoln's feet, and neglect the powers that raised him from a railroad lawyer to President. The elite of both sides were ready to fight, and I believe that by that time a war was unavoidable. All Lincoln could have done was delay the inevitable.

There was a documentary I watched not long ago on dueling in the South. One professor from Virginia held that the war was the largest, and last, duel in American history. The Southerners honor was besmirched by the claims of the North, and the press in particular, and nothing would suffice save blood be shed on the field of honor. This is something not given much attention, but it should be. The Code Duello in use at the time was written by a former governor of South Carolina, and planters would duel at the drop of a hat, and drop the hat themselves. Andrew Jackson fought 13 duels, and was not atypical of the elite of the time.

The Northern interests wanted to forever defeat their enemy, the planters, and turn the South into a colony, of sorts. They also saw a lot of money to be made selling goods to the army and navy, and the opportunity to force huge changes in the government in the expediency of war. "Never let a good crisis go to waste," is something that was not invented by Rahm Emanuel.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , August 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Logan

Sherman?

And let us know of any scholarly work that supports your "opinion," which appears to remain informed by nothing beyond itself.

Mulegino1 , August 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
Those who fought for the Union were fighting to defend the United States from Balkanization and dissolution at the hands of the predatory British and French Empires. Those who fought for the Confederacy were fighting to defend their perceived state and local rights. Chattel slavery was a secondary issue.

It is time to let this conflict rest in peace. We can attribute noble motives to both sides, provided we recognize the excesses committed- particularly those by Sherman on his march through Georgia and the Carolinas- as well as the horrendous treatment of the prisoners of war by both sides.

Stan d Mute , August 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
@anonymous

Too nuanced and truthful to ever be seen or heard, much less comprehended, by 98% of the people in this country of TV-level, willful ignorance.

I so wanted to hit the "agree" button, but my Aspie nature kicked in and so instead I FIFY.

Nothing "nuanced" about it. It galls me to no end that the evil bastard who slaughtered more Americans than any other, who shredded the Constitution of our Republic, has a gigantic monument in his honor on the National Mall and is enshrined as a hero by the public. And I have family who died on the wrong side of Lincoln's evil War of Northern Oppression.

Butchering 2.4% of the population, Lincoln was by far the most evil man in American history and one of the worst in human history.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

We will know our Nation has been saved when the hideous monument to Lincoln is turned to rubble.

rebelwriter , August 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Jake

Good points all. I refer readers to the amazing website slavenorth.com, which is still up and running, to my surprise.

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 17, 2018] Stephen F. Cohen Sanction mania versus Russia -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Notable quotes:
"... For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security. ..."
"... Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking. ..."
"... US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. ..."
"... Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities ..."
"... It could end titanium exports to the United States ..."
"... Nor have four other circumstances. ..."
"... turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. ..."
"... in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia. ..."
"... with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, ..."
"... is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . ..."
"... only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. ..."
"... to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.sott.net

For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security.

Cohen begins by putting the current bipartisan Senate campaign to impose new, "crushing" sanctions on Russia in historical context. Broadly understood, sanctions have been part of US policy toward Russia for much of the past 100 years. During the Russian civil war of 1918-20, President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to fight against the emerging Soviet government. Though the "Reds" were clearly the established government of Soviet Russia by 1921, Washington continued to deny the USSR diplomatic recognition until President Franklin D. Roosevelt established formal relations in 1933. During much of the 40-year Cold War, the United States imposed various sanctions on its superpower rival, mainly related to technological and military exports, along with periodic expulsions of diplomats and "spies" on both sides.

Congress' major political contribution was the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which denied Moscow privileged trading status with the United States, primarily because of Kremlin restrictions on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. Indicative of how mindlessly habitual US sanctions had become, Jackson-Vanik was nullified only in late 2012, long after the end of the Soviet Union and after any restrictions on Jews leaving (or returning to) Russia. Even more indicative, it was immediately replaced, in December 2012, by the Magnitsky Act, which purported to sanction individual Russian officials and "oligarchs" for "human-rights abuses." The Magnitsky Act remains law, supplemented by additional sanctions leveled against Russia as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and particularly Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Looking back over this long history, there is no evidence that any US sanctions ever significantly altered Moscow's "behavior" in ways that were intended. Or that they adversely affected Russia's ruling political or financial elites. Any pain inflicted fell on ordinary citizens, who nonetheless rallied "patriotically" around the Kremlin leadership, most recently around Russian President Vladimir Putin. Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking.

Why, then, Washington's new bout of sanction mania against Moscow, especially considering the harsh official Russian reaction expressed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who called the Senate's proposed measures "a declaration of economic war" and promised that the Kremlin would retaliate?

One explanation is an underlying, astonishing assumption recently stated by Michael McFaul , the media-ubiquitous former US ambassador to Moscow and a longtime Russia scholar: "To advance almost all of our core national security and economic interests, the US does not need Russia." Such a statement by a former or current policymaker and intellectual is perhaps unprecedented in modern times - and manifestly wrong. US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. They include avoiding nuclear war; preventing a new and more dangerous arms race; guarding against the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction; coping with international terrorists (who are in pursuit of such materials); achieving lasting peace in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; fostering prosperity and stability in Europe, of which Russia is a part; promoting better relations with the Islamic world, of which Russia is also a part; and avoiding a generation-long confrontation with a formidable new alliance that already includes Russia, China, Iran, and other non-NATO countries. If McFaul's assumption is widespread in Washington, as it seems to be, we are living in truly unwise and perilous times.

A second assumption is no less myopic and dangerous: that the Kremlin is weak and lacks countermeasures to adopt against the new sanctions being advocated in Washington. Consider, however, the following real possibilities. Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities and begin trading with friendly nations in non-dollar currencies, both of which it has already begun to do. It could restrict, otherwise undermine, or even shut down many large US corporations long doing profitable business in Russia, among them Citibank, Cisco Systems, Apple, Microsoft, PepsiCo, McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., and even Boeing. It could end titanium exports to the United States , which are vital to American civilian and military aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing. And terminate the sale of rocket engines essential for NASA and US satellite operations. The world's largest territorial country, Russia could charge US airlines higher tariffs for their regular use of its air space or ban them altogether, making them uncompetitive against other national carriers. Politically, the Kremlin could end its own sanctions on Iran and North Korea, alleviating Washington's pressure on those governments. And it could end the Russian supply transit to US troops fighting in Afghanistan used since the early 1990s.

None of this seems to have been considered by Washington's sanction zealots. Nor have four other circumstances. Sanctions against Russia's "oligarchs" actually help Putin, whom the US political-media establishment so despises and constantly indicts. For years, he has been trying to persuade many of the richest oligarchs to repatriate their offshore wealth to Russia. Few did so. Now, fearful of having their assets abroad frozen or seized by US measures, more and more are complying. Second, new sanctions limiting Moscow's ability to borrow and finance investment at home will retard the country's still meager growth rate . But the Kremlin coped after the 2014 sanctions and will do so again by turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. (Russian agricultural production, for example, has surged in recent years, now becoming a major export industry.) Third, already unhappy with existing economic sanctions against Russia, European multinational corporations - and thus Europe itself - may tilt even farther away from their capricious "transatlantic partner" in Washington, who is diminishing their vast market in the East. And fourth, waging "economic war" is one impulsive step from breaking off all diplomatic relations with Russia, this too actually being discussed by Washington zealots. Such a rupture would turn the clock back many decades, but in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia.

Finally, what reason do Washington extreme Cold Warriors themselves give for imposing new sanctions on Russia? Most of them are in the US Senate, historically a body with at least several independent-minded distinguished statesmen, but no longer, with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has demonstrated considerable wisdom in regard to US-Russian relations. Their professed reasons are various and nonsensical. Some say Russia must be sanctioned for Ukraine, but those events happened four years ago and have already been "punished." Others say for "Russia's aggression in Syria," but it was Putin's military intervention that destroyed the Islamic State's terrorist occupation of much of the country and ended its threat to take Damascus, to the benefit of America and its allies, including Europe and Israel. Still others insist the Kremlin must be sanctioned for its "nerve agent" attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK several months ago. But the British government's case against the Kremlin has virtually fallen apart, as any attentive reader of articles in David Johnson's Russia List will understand.

Ultimately, though, the new bout of sanction mania is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . In reality, there was no "attack" - no Pearl Harbor, no 9/11, no Russian parachuters descending on Washington - only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. Indeed, whatever "meddling" Russian actors did in 2016 may well have been jaywalking compared to the Clinton administration's massive, highly intrusive political and financial intervention on behalf of the failing Russian President Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign in 1996.

We are left, then, with the real reason behind the new anti-Russian sanctions effort: to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. This bizarre, also unprecedented, reality is more than a whisper. According to a New York Times "news analysis," as well as other published reports,

a "bipartisan group of senators, dismayed that Mr. Trump had not publicly confronted Mr. Putin over Russia's election meddling, released draft legislation" of new sanctions against Moscow. "Passage of such a bill would impose some of the most damaging sanctions yet."
Leave aside for now that it is not Russian "meddling" that is delegitimizing our elections but instead these fact-free allegations themselves that are doing so. (How many losing candidates in 2018 will claim their victory was snatched away by Putin?) Consider instead that for doing what every American president since Eisenhower has done - meet with the sitting Kremlin leader in order to avoid stumbling into a war between the nuclear superpowers - in effect both Trump and Putin are being condemned by the Washington establishment, including by members of Trump's own intelligence agencies.

If so, who will avert the prospect of war with Russia, a new Cuban missile-like crisis, conceivably in the Baltic region, Ukraine, or Syria? Certainly not any leading representative of the Democratic Party. Certainly not the current Russophobic "bipartisan" Senate. Certainly not the most influential media outlets, which amplify the warmongering folly almost daily. In this most existential regard, there is for now only, like it or not, President Donald Trump.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com .
Comment: As Cohen brilliantly points out - sanctions, for the US, are a dead end.

[Aug 17, 2018] Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party s Three-Headed Monster

Notable quotes:
"... The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness). ..."
"... The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. ..."
"... This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." ..."
"... The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. ..."
"... "We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. " ..."
"... And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify. ..."
"... The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide... ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party's "Three-Headed Monster"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:35 132 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence.

Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed:

The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" -- especially the leadership of the FBI -- to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness).

The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. They are apparently in deep confab with the first head and its Russia collusion storyline. Note all the current talk about Russia already meddling in the 2018 midterm election, a full-fledged pathogenic hallucination.

This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. The sane center never would have stood for this arrant recklessness. The world community is not fooled, though. More and more, they recognize the USA as a national borderline personality, capable of any monstrous act.

The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. Those differences must be abolished, and replaced with chimeras that enable a childish game of pretend, men pretending to be women and vice-versa in one way or another: LBGTQetc. Anything BUT the dreaded "cis-hetero" purgatory of men and women acting like men and women. The horror .

Its companion is the race hustle and its multicultural operating system. The objective has become transparent over the past year, with rising calls to punish white people for the supposed "privilege" of being Caucasian and pay "reparations" in one way or another to underprivileged "people of color." This comes partly from the infantile refusal to understand that life is difficult for everybody, and that the woes and sorrows of being in this world require fortitude and intelligence to get through -- with the final reward being absolutely the same for everybody.


Creative_Destruct -> Got The Wrong No Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. "

And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify.

Chad Thunderfist -> venturen Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:56 Permalink

...[MSM] owners:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contributors?id=N00000019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Sussman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Pritzker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harris_Simons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Moskovitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Rosenstein
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Daniel_Abraham

STP -> edotabin Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

I was talking to someone, who knows a lot about the 'inner workings' and we were discussing, not only the US, but Europe's situation as well.

The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide...

[Aug 17, 2018] Review Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism by Andre Vltchek, by David William Pear - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders and his "Sandernistas" rarely talked about ending US illegal wars of aggression in 2016. If liberal/progressives had insisted that Bernie take an anti-war platform and a reduction of the Empire's military-industrial-complex, then Bernie might well be in the White House now, instead of Trump. Instead most of the Sandernistas told liberal/progressives to shut up about the wars. ..."
"... They said it would be political suicide for Bernie to bring up war during a presidential campaign. Sandernistas said not to worry, because Bernie was secretly antiwar. We fell for that one with Obama, who committed more war crimes than George W. Bush. ..."
"... The Empire's "destructive suction tube" is waging all sorts of wars: military, economic and propaganda. It is waging economic terrorism against the Global South. The Empire-backed World Bank, IMF and gangster banking monopolies force austerity on the poor of the world. Those poor countries in the Global South that are under attack by the Empire's economic terrorist organizations do not get to have Bernie's socialism. Not only do I agree with Andre that we do not deserve Bernie's social programs, nor do we have funds or the energies for them. Bernie and the Sandernistas rarely spoke about rehabilitation of America's poor; it was all about the middle class. Silence is betrayal. ..."
"... The Empire always wants enemies. The public never seems to question why the most powerful military the world has ever known, supposedly has so many poor weak enemies threatening it. It is all a pretext for the Empire to extract wealth from the Global South for the benefit of oligarchs. ..."
"... The Empire never stops plotting to overthrow revolutionary leaders. Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Russia, Cuba and North Korea are under attack because they want to go their own way. There will be economic warfare, propaganda warfare, and political warfare, and when those don't work to impose conformity and compliance; there is always the military option. For the Empire "all options are always on the table", including the nuclear option. The Empire would rather see the destruction of the entire world, than to coexist with a threat to its hegemony. ..."
"... Now the cry goes out that the Russians are coming! Those like myself that lived through the Cold War are seeing history repeated. The paranoia, propaganda, lies, repression, persecution and provocations are déjà vu. The US has encircled Russia with military bases, and plays war games on its border. We are told, and we are supposed to believe that Russia is the aggressor and an expansionist threat. ..."
"... Georgia attacks South Ossetia, and we are told that Russia invaded Georgia. The US midwifes a coup against an elected government in Ukraine, but it is Russia that is blamed for destabilizing Ukraine. Crimea has a referendum to rejoin Russia, and we are told that the Russians used military force to annex Crimea. The US has criminally invaded Syria, but we are told that Russia invaded Syria, even though they are there legally. ..."
"... We are supposed to be afraid that Putin will "destroy the West's democracy" by sowing dissention, chaos and meddling in US elections. If anybody wants to destroy America's democracy, then they are several decades too late. It has already been mostly destroyed. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated, except for the 2 nd Amendment, which is enabling the worst fascistic elements in the US to heavily arm themselves. The police are militarized. The US has secret police, secret courts, and secret prisons. ..."
"... Andre has much to say on all the above issues in his book "Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism". The book is a collection of many of his great writing of the past few years. Shorter versions of his essays have been published in articles by non-Western media, such as the New Eastern Outlook (NEO) as well as Western alternative media such as The Greanville Post. ..."
"... In every direction one turns now they face a barrage of propaganda put out by the Empire. Most Americans are isolated and know very little about the rest of the world. For many people the mainstream media is their only source for information. What they get is a steady stream of propaganda that Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and Russia are evil. They believe it, just like when I was a child, I believed the US propaganda during the Cold War. Russia was both feared and ridiculed when I was growing up. I was told that communism never works, and that Russia cannot even make toilets that flush. Imagine how surprised I was when I finally went to Russia and found out that their toilets work just fine. ..."
"... In the Empire one is only valuable for what they have to sell. It is all about dollars and cents, and the logic of the market. The market determines the value of everything, including people. If it has a market price, then it has value. If not then it is worthless and of no value, according to the market. ..."
"... I do not want to undermine Andre Vltchek or David Pear, even though Andre tends to get carried away, IMHO. I'd like to correct at least one thing. Regarding Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, at the beginning the US media (including all TV channels) reported events as they were: Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Georgian troops are shelling Tskhinval, killed many Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers. Then they got their marching orders and turned the story the opposite way: Russia invaded Georgia. Their assumption was that the US public is too dumb to remember what was said the day before. The sad thing is, they were right. ..."
"... As far as Syria is concerned, the lies were there from day one. Thanks to propaganda, most Americans don't even know that Russia and Iran are in Syria legally, on the invitation of its legitimate government represented in the UN, whereas the US is there illegally by both international and US law. ..."
"... The same is true about Yemen: genocidal war by Saudis and other Gulf satrapies against Yemen was always presented as something good, whereas Yemeni resistance to foreign occupiers as something bad. The US in Yemen went the whole mile, showing its true colors for all to see: in the fight against Houthis it allied itself not only with Saudis, but even with their copycats ISIS, created and armed by the US for Saudi money. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

A lot of people are not going to like Andre's book " Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism ", I can tell you that right now. The first to hate it will be the Empire, because they fear truth-tellers more than bomb-throwers. The next who will not like Andre's book will be the smug critics who want to nitpick his every word. I am not talking about the Deep State and its Mockingbirds. I am talking about the so-called liberal/progressives; especially the ones that never get off of the "proverbial couches of spinelessness", which Andre speaks of. You have to be brave to put up with their shit. This is the time when we should be organizing and supporting each other, instead of criticizing, and letting the Empire divide us. Andre is a revolutionary writer and doer that is on a mission that is bigger than himself.

It is called "life". Look at his website "Vltchek's World in Words and Images" to see what he has been doing with his life.

As Andre says: "Obedient and cowardly masses hate those who are different". Different is an understatement to describe Andre Vitchek. You'll not find many like him in Europe or North America. You may have to go to South America, Africa, Asia, or Russia to find such uniquely honest voices.

Russia is the perfect metaphor for Andre: Russia is neither Europe nor Asia; it is both and neither. Like Russia, Andre is unique. He is neither this nor that. He is a writer, philosopher, photo journalist, pamphleteer, activist, witness and doer. He is all of those things, but above all he is a humanist and an artist. He is an optimistic pessimist. Only a hopeless optimist would say:

"One day, hopefully soon, humanism will win over dark nihilism; people will live for other people and not for some cold profits, religious dogmas and "Western values".

Western values, now that is an oxymoron if there ever was one. Andre is a pessimist that sees and writes about the anti-humanism and the soullessness of so-called Western values. He exposes it for what it is: gray, cold and without spirit.

Andre says he is a Communist in an era when being a communist is not fashionable. Most liberal/progressives are afraid to mention John Maynard Keynes, let alone Marx, Lenin and Mao.

For a while in 2016 pseudo-socialism was popular among supporters of Bernie Sanders, whom claimed to be a socialist. He promised his followers what every poll shows that most Americans want: universal healthcare, low cost higher education, better infrastructure, strong economic safety nets, and $15 dollars an hour minimum wage. Where have all these so-called socialists gone now that Bernie disillusioned them? Chasing illusionary Russian spies, it seems.

Sanders and his "Sandernistas" rarely talked about ending US illegal wars of aggression in 2016. If liberal/progressives had insisted that Bernie take an anti-war platform and a reduction of the Empire's military-industrial-complex, then Bernie might well be in the White House now, instead of Trump. Instead most of the Sandernistas told liberal/progressives to shut up about the wars.

They said it would be political suicide for Bernie to bring up war during a presidential campaign. Sandernistas said not to worry, because Bernie was secretly antiwar. We fell for that one with Obama, who committed more war crimes than George W. Bush.

Andre has the guts to say that liberal/progressives do not deserve free college, universal healthcare and all the goodies that Bernie was selling us, while also peddling the trillion dollar F-35 boondoggle. I agree with Andre, especially since Bernie sold out his loyal followers, and sheep dogged for warmongering Hillary. We do not deserve social programs at home, while the Empire is killing millions of people with all the US illegal wars of aggression. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

"A time comes when silence is betrayal -- I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube."

The Empire's "destructive suction tube" is waging all sorts of wars: military, economic and propaganda. It is waging economic terrorism against the Global South. The Empire-backed World Bank, IMF and gangster banking monopolies force austerity on the poor of the world. Those poor countries in the Global South that are under attack by the Empire's economic terrorist organizations do not get to have Bernie's socialism. Not only do I agree with Andre that we do not deserve Bernie's social programs, nor do we have funds or the energies for them. Bernie and the Sandernistas rarely spoke about rehabilitation of America's poor; it was all about the middle class. Silence is betrayal.

Whatever the Empire does in foreign lands, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost. The Empire keeps crushing countries of the Global South whose leaders want to use their country's natural resources for their own people. Anti-colonial revolutionaries like Castro, Che and Ho were personally vilified for not embracing the Empire's neocolonial model of capitalism. The Empire conspires to overthrow governments that nationalize their country's natural resources, and have social programs for the people.

The Empire always wants enemies. The public never seems to question why the most powerful military the world has ever known, supposedly has so many poor weak enemies threatening it. It is all a pretext for the Empire to extract wealth from the Global South for the benefit of oligarchs.

The Empire never stops plotting to overthrow revolutionary leaders. Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Russia, Cuba and North Korea are under attack because they want to go their own way. There will be economic warfare, propaganda warfare, and political warfare, and when those don't work to impose conformity and compliance; there is always the military option. For the Empire "all options are always on the table", including the nuclear option. The Empire would rather see the destruction of the entire world, than to coexist with a threat to its hegemony.

Now the cry goes out that the Russians are coming! Those like myself that lived through the Cold War are seeing history repeated. The paranoia, propaganda, lies, repression, persecution and provocations are déjà vu. The US has encircled Russia with military bases, and plays war games on its border. We are told, and we are supposed to believe that Russia is the aggressor and an expansionist threat.

Georgia attacks South Ossetia, and we are told that Russia invaded Georgia. The US midwifes a coup against an elected government in Ukraine, but it is Russia that is blamed for destabilizing Ukraine. Crimea has a referendum to rejoin Russia, and we are told that the Russians used military force to annex Crimea. The US has criminally invaded Syria, but we are told that Russia invaded Syria, even though they are there legally.

We are supposed to be afraid that Putin will "destroy the West's democracy" by sowing dissention, chaos and meddling in US elections. If anybody wants to destroy America's democracy, then they are several decades too late. It has already been mostly destroyed. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated, except for the 2 nd Amendment, which is enabling the worst fascistic elements in the US to heavily arm themselves. The police are militarized. The US has secret police, secret courts, and secret prisons.

Nationalism that breeds repression at home and wars abroad is running amok. The people no longer have the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Protesters are restricted to so-called free-speech zones, and they are subject to indiscriminate mass arrest. The people are told to obey the government, but it is the government that is supposed to obey the people in a democracy. Those that don't worship the flag, and praise militarism are accused of being unpatriotic.

Andre has much to say on all the above issues in his book "Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism". The book is a collection of many of his great writing of the past few years. Shorter versions of his essays have been published in articles by non-Western media, such as the New Eastern Outlook (NEO) as well as Western alternative media such as The Greanville Post.

Andre writes about the Empire's many crimes. Terrible crimes have been committed against millions of people who have done the West no harm, and were of no threat. The Empire and its vassal states punish people of the Global South for being born in countries with vast natural resources that the Empire covets. Andre gives these victims a voice and a human face.

Andre's writings are not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. He will pound the truth into you on every page, and you may not be able to put his book down, as I could not. The reader realizes that Andre is on a mission. Part of that mission is to be the conscience of the world, and to make sure that the victimized are not forgotten and that they are not alone. Andre has a great capacity for empathy. His writing, videos and documentaries cry out for the world to have empathy too. The world is empathy deficient.

Even for those that already intellectually know the truths that Andre writes about, will have that truth pound into their hearts and souls. Unfortunately, the people that are ignorant of the truth are the most likely ones not to read Andre. We all know people like that. They are our brother-in-law, neighbors, and the students and professors in our institutions of so-called higher learning. Our schools do not teach the important truths and philosophies anymore. They have just become vocational schools turning out accountants, lawyers, propagandist, stockbrokers, and super sales people to keep churning money in the economy, so that it flows up the food chain.

In every direction one turns now they face a barrage of propaganda put out by the Empire. Most Americans are isolated and know very little about the rest of the world. For many people the mainstream media is their only source for information. What they get is a steady stream of propaganda that Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and Russia are evil. They believe it, just like when I was a child, I believed the US propaganda during the Cold War. Russia was both feared and ridiculed when I was growing up. I was told that communism never works, and that Russia cannot even make toilets that flush. Imagine how surprised I was when I finally went to Russia and found out that their toilets work just fine.

When I mentioned the above story to someone who was regurgitating anti-Putin propaganda he asked me a rhetorical question:

"As for Russia, besides the toilets flushing, was there anything you wanted to buy there besides vodka and nesting dolls? Or do they have anything that you would wish that we imported (like Japanese cars or Chinese clothing or Swiss watches, etc.)?"

I know that Andre gets the stupidity of that question. In the Empire one is only valuable for what they have to sell. It is all about dollars and cents, and the logic of the market. The market determines the value of everything, including people. If it has a market price, then it has value. If not then it is worthless and of no value, according to the market.

Andre writes about things that are priceless and have great value. They are the things of life that make us human, instead of robots. There is no market for love and living a fulfilling life. It is free if one knows how to find it. Andre helps to show us the way.

Besides Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism Andre has written many other books, such as Exposing Lies of the Empire , a novel titled Aurora and many other books. Andre is a world class philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, poet, playwright, and photographer. He is a true revolutionary. He is a human being. His website is http://andrevltchek.weebly.com/ .


Lord God Almighty , August 17, 2018 at 4:47 am GMT

Excerpt from Thomas Sowell's book Intellectuals and Society:

What preferences are revealed by the actual behavior of intellectuals -- especially in their social crusades -- and how do such revealed preferences compare with their rhetoric? The professed beliefs of intellectuals center about their concern for others -- especially for the poor, for minorities, for "social justice" and for protecting endangered species and saving the environment, for example. Their rhetoric is too familiar and too pervasive to require elaboration here. The real question, however, is: What are their revealed preferences?

The phrase "unintended consequences" has become a cliché precisely because so many policies and programs intended, for example, to better the situation of the less fortunate have in fact made their situation worse, that it is no longer possible to regard good intentions as automatic harbingers of good results. Anyone whose primary concern is in improving the lot of the less fortunate would therefore, by this time, after decades of experience with negative "unintended consequences," see a need not only to invest time and efforts to turn good intentions into policies and programs, but also to invest time and efforts afterwards into trying to ferret out answers as to what the actual consequences of those policies and programs have been.

Moreover, anyone whose primary concern was improving the lot of the less fortunate would also be alert and receptive to other factors from beyond the vision of the intellectuals, when those other factors have been found empirically to have helped advance the well-being of the less fortunate, even if in ways not contemplated by the intelligentsia and even if in ways counter to the beliefs or visions of the intelligentsia.

[MORE]
In short, one of the ways to test whether expressed concerns for the well-being of the less fortunate represent primarily a concern for that well-being or a use of the less fortunate as a means to condemn society, or to seek either political or moral authority over society -- to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil -- would be to see the revealed preferences of intellectuals in terms of how much time and energy they invest in promoting their vision, as compared to how much time and energy they invest in scrutinizing (1) the actual consequences of things done in the name of that vision and (2) benefits to the less fortunate created outside that vision and even counter to that vision.

Crusaders for a "living wage" or to end "sweatshop labor" in the Third World, for example, may invest great amounts of time and energy promoting those goals but virtually none in scrutinizing the many studies done in countries around the world to discover the actual consequences of minimum wage laws in general or of "living wage" laws in particular. These consequences have included such things as higher levels of unemployment and longer periods of unemployment, especially for the least skilled and least experienced segments of the population. Whether one agrees with or disputes these studies, the crucial question here is whether one bothers to read them at all.

If the real purpose of social crusades is to make the less fortunate better off, then the actual consequences of such policies as wage control become central and require investigation, in order to avoid "unintended consequences" which have already become widely recognized in the context of many other policies. But if the real purpose of social crusades is to proclaim oneself to be on the side of the angels, then such investigations have a low priority, if any priority at all, since the goal of being on the side of the angels is accomplished when the policies have been advocated and then instituted, after which social crusaders can move on to other issues. The revealed preference of many, if not most, of the intelligentsia has been to be on the side of the angels.

The same conclusion is hard to avoid when looking at the response of intellectuals to improvements in the condition of the poor that follow policies or circumstances which offer no opportunities to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. For example, under new economic policies beginning in the 1990s, tens of millions of people in India have risen above that country's official poverty level. In China, under similar policies begun earlier, a million people a month have risen out of poverty. Surely anyone concerned with the fate of the less fortunate would want to know how this desirable development came about for such vast numbers of very poor people -- and therefore how similar improvements might be produced elsewhere in the world. But these and other dramatic increases in living standards, based ultimately on the production of more wealth, arouse little or no interest among most intellectuals.

However important for the poor, these developments offer no opportunities for the intelligentsia to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil -- and that is what their revealed preferences show repeatedly to be their real priority. Questions about what policies or conditions increase or decrease the rate of growth of output seldom arouse the interest of most intellectuals, even though such changes have done more to reduce poverty -- in both rich and poor countries -- than changes in the distribution of income have done. French writer Raymond Aron has suggested that achieving the ostensible goals of the left without using the methods favored by the left actually provokes resentments:

"In fact the European Left has a grudge against the United States mainly because the latter has succeeded by means which were not laid down in the revolutionary code. Prosperity, power, the tendency towards uniformity of economic conditions -- these results have been achieved by private initiative, by competition rather than State intervention, in other words by capitalism, which every well-brought-up intellectual has been taught to despise."

Another excerpt from Intellectuals and Society:

One of the sources of the credibility and influence of intellectuals with the vision of the anointed is that they are often seen as people promoting the interests of the less fortunate, rather than people promoting their own financial self-interest. But financial self-interests are by no means the only self-interests, nor necessarily the most dangerous self-interests. As T.S. Eliot put it:

"Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

Sollipsist , August 17, 2018 at 10:19 am GMT
Can you still really call them "revolutionaries" when the ideas and strategies are 150 years old? When every leftist for generations has been saying the same things, is it still a visionary act of courage?

I'd welcome a truly revolutionary solution. I'm not convinced it's coming from this tradition.

Michael Kenny , August 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
I've never taken Andre Vltchek seriously and Mr Pear is very obviousy a pro-Putin propagandist.
AnonFromTN , August 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
I do not want to undermine Andre Vltchek or David Pear, even though Andre tends to get carried away, IMHO. I'd like to correct at least one thing. Regarding Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, at the beginning the US media (including all TV channels) reported events as they were: Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Georgian troops are shelling Tskhinval, killed many Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers. Then they got their marching orders and turned the story the opposite way: Russia invaded Georgia. Their assumption was that the US public is too dumb to remember what was said the day before. The sad thing is, they were right.

As far as Syria is concerned, the lies were there from day one. Thanks to propaganda, most Americans don't even know that Russia and Iran are in Syria legally, on the invitation of its legitimate government represented in the UN, whereas the US is there illegally by both international and US law.

The same is true about Yemen: genocidal war by Saudis and other Gulf satrapies against Yemen was always presented as something good, whereas Yemeni resistance to foreign occupiers as something bad. The US in Yemen went the whole mile, showing its true colors for all to see: in the fight against Houthis it allied itself not only with Saudis, but even with their copycats ISIS, created and armed by the US for Saudi money.

AnonFromTN , August 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Key words: pot, kettle, black.

jilles dykstra , August 17, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
" Georgia attacks South Ossetia, " It did, with huge loans Israeli military hardware was bought, Israel was in the process of upgrading Migs in Georgia. President at the time Saaskiville now is in Ukrainian prison, or under investigation by Kiev. If he still has a nationality, I do not know.

The Georgian attack was a fiasco, there is just a tunnel between N and S Ossetia. The Georgian plan was to block the exit to the south, to prevent Russian tanks getting through. This had to be done with artillery, firing over a mountain, guided by two Israeli drones. Russia succeeded in the signals from the drones reaching a satellite, so no blocking, the tanks came to the rescue. To this day the Georgian people are paying for the loans. Israeli technology seems not first class.

AnonFromTN , August 17, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Correction: Saakashvili is not in prison, even though he richly deserves to be (just ask Ossetians: they'd love to hang him for his crimes, but can't get their hands on him, more's the pity). In fact, his Ukrainian citizenship was revoked, he is now in the Netherlands, of all places.

As to Israel, it may not be the technology issue. Israel tends to hedge its bets. They like to get their shekels anywhere they can, but certainly won't go out on a limb for something worthless and inconsequential, like Georgia.

Che Guava , August 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm GMT
Vltchek is a privileged fool and some kind of evil propagandist. Look at the places he stays, always 4- or 5-star hotels (except when he stays in a place where there are none), who pays for all of that?

Perhaps he is independently wealthy on a grand scale. Don't think so. In the immortal words of P.K. Dick in A Scanner Darkly , he is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

Che Guava , August 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

That is a very simplistic view (and implies that you have read very little of Vltchek). I stopped about two years ago, he is so full of lies, it was tiring to see them.

Have an old comment on this site (when stupid Counterpunch was still publishing his semi-deranged articles, not that Counterpunch has not gone even worse since) except that his articles are absent, a small improvement, more than made up for by the newly added other bullshit artists.

Vltchek is either super-wealthy or subsidized by somebody, it sure is not the Russian state or any of its arms.

[Aug 17, 2018] OBAMUNISM: Weaponizing government agencies to attack DemoRats political opponents

Aug 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DaiRR -> surf@jm Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:49 Permalink

DemoRats and Deep Staters are all about the enemy "Russia". To hell with them both. And to hell with Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Rice, and all the other lying, cheating promoters of OBAMUNISM: Weaponizing government agencies to attack DemoRats' political opponents like you and me. You know the fake "Russia Collusion" fraud perpetrated by the DemoRats goes all the way up to Obama.

[Aug 16, 2018] Russiagate and neo-McCarthysim are result of the newly minted Anti-Trump allience of neocons and neoliberals

Notable quotes:
"... Your comment is awaiting moderation. ..."
"... "authoritarian regimes pursue different objectives than societies with governments that are accountable to the people and respect the rule of law." ..."
"... Fortunately, our think tank alliance is in still in no position (heaven be thanked!) to impose its will. The most these hysterical complainers can do is air their grievances and misrepresent them as somehow "preserving democracy." ..."
"... This, of course, is indicative of the neocon tactic of linking whatever its advocates see fit to address to a supposed common purpose, which is saving democracy from whatever is defined as "antidemocratic." ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Q August 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Neocons and [neo]liberals have always had a lot in common. They both want:
– Globalism
– open borders
– anti-Russia, Iran
– American hegemony which means endless wars
– support for gay marriage
– anti-Nationalism hence anti-Trump
The only thing that separated them were gun control and abortion, but even those issues aren't as clearcut anymore.
Learned Foot , says: August 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm
Two sides of the same bad penny. Question is, how do we get rid of it?
Tom Cullem , says: August 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm
@Dundalk – Second all that, perfectly put.

They aren't worried about democracy: they're worried about global corporatist power, which is what "transatlantic partnerships" really translates to.

"Populism" is another name for the Great Unwashed trying to regain some control of their environment. Bloody cheek, eh?

likbez , says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 15, 2018 at 9:34 pm
@Q, August 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Neocons and [neo]liberals have always had a lot in common. They both want:

Bingo! It looks like neocons and neoliberals joined forces to fight the rise of "populism" which should probably be more properly called "the crisis of neoliberalism." To a certain extent, the current "NeverTrumplists" neo-McCarthyism campaign is the behavior of a wounded neoliberal beast (I am not sure why they have such an allergic reaction to Trump who in domestic policies is 100% neoliberal and in foreign policy is 66% neocon.)

They try to suppress dissent under the smoke screen of "commitment to democracy and core democratic principles" because, as you can guess, this is very important "at a time when the character of our societies is at stake." The character of the neoliberal society in the USA and EU to be exact.

Ironically, those "defenders of democracy" are interested in the issue of democracy even less than former Soviet nomenklatura. All they want is to kick the "classic neoliberalism" can down the road (and, as a side effect, preserve their lucrative sinecures; this is especially visible with Max Boot in his recent interviews )

As Professor Paul Gottfried noted about the recent alliance of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the neoliberal Center for American Progress (CAP):

Moreover, who are these "authoritarian" bad guys that CAP now has in its crosshairs and plans to rid the world of with its new neocon pals?

Presumably, it's the right-of-center governments in Eastern and Central Europe, as personified by favorite leftist whipping boy Viktor Orban.

Although CAP doesn't want to be especially "confrontational" in dealing with its villains, or so it claims, it also proclaims that "authoritarian regimes pursue different objectives than societies with governments that are accountable to the people and respect the rule of law."

It might be useful for CAP to tell us how exactly Hungary, Poland, and other right-of-center European governments have not been democratically elected and have disrespected their countries' legal traditions.

Fortunately, our think tank alliance is in still in no position (heaven be thanked!) to impose its will. The most these hysterical complainers can do is air their grievances and misrepresent them as somehow "preserving democracy." All AEI and CAP have done is to take a multitude of grievances -- e.g., America's failing to oppose adequately China's cyberthreats, putting up with Russia's aggression, "security threats" in general, and nuclear proliferation -- and mixed them together with standard leftist boilerplate about Orban's "illiberalism" and "sharing our values."

This, of course, is indicative of the neocon tactic of linking whatever its advocates see fit to address to a supposed common purpose, which is saving democracy from whatever is defined as "antidemocratic."

[Aug 15, 2018] Mastercard and Visa can be hit by Russian sanctions; the US financial sector can be eliminated in Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Regarding the Russian characterization of America as their "friend", I believe that Russia is simply playing with us. The US wants Russia to come across as an angry, belligerent and shoe-waving peasant. The intent is to keep alive the Cold War image of Russia as uncivilized and crass. The best response is to do exactly what they are doing. It makes the US look like the petulant bully that it is. Call it judo-politics . ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

It's time for everyone to come off Twitter – it is like writing your message on your buttocks with a black sharpie and dropping your trousers. Tweets are the kind of stupid thing you send out at the end of work after you've had a bastard of a day, and something you read or hear pushes you over the edge. People in diplomatic posts should not be allowed to use Twitter at all, and should be punished for doing so – reporters now avidly follow the Twitter feed of anyone who is anyone, and pounce on anything that has not been thought through before it can be deleted: an attempt to delete it is just the icing on the cake, an admission that you shouldn't have said it.

Time was, diplomats ran everything they said in writing in an official capacity through a review before it was released, it was parsed six ways from Sunday to see how it might be spun, twisted or misinterpreted. Diplomats speaking in a live interview were careful to remain vague and say nothing which might not have meant several different things. You did not get countries straining to get at one another because of something the minister of agriculture said. But now everybody feels they can speak for the government on Twitter. It's hard to imagine how the various countries of the world could come to be represented by their stupidest citizens.

I hope America does formally sanction the Russian finance and banking sector. They're already doing it under the radar, and going formal would give Russia an excuse to dump SWIFT and stop using it, as well as the US dollar. Mastercard and Visa would be gonzo, taillights, possibly in China as well. America sanctioning the Russian financial sector would remove its last ability to keep an eye on it easily.

Patient Observer August 10, 2018 at 3:29 am
Regarding the Russian characterization of America as their "friend", I believe that Russia is simply playing with us. The US wants Russia to come across as an angry, belligerent and shoe-waving peasant. The intent is to keep alive the Cold War image of Russia as uncivilized and crass. The best response is to do exactly what they are doing. It makes the US look like the petulant bully that it is. Call it judo-politics .
Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:42 am
It's just diplo-speak, to mark the speaker as a civilized man and not a thug. That is beginning to become a bit of a sore point – is there anyone left who actually believes that because Russian diplomats say "our American friends" or "our American colleagues", that they labour under a delusion that this is just a temporary spat and under it all they still have brotherly connections? If so, let me disabuse all those people of that notion; the Russian government and all its operatives are well aware that America is a self-declared and thus committed enemy. But saying, "the Americans, our enemies" would make for tiresome commentary in the western papers, in which ideologues would assess that this practice proved the Russians are the aggressors while westerners are just trying to work it out. Alternatively, they could lower themselves to the vernacular and instruct, "Listen up, motherfuckers".

Russia understands that America is an enemy and not a friend of any description, just as it understands the United Nations is an American-dominated body and that it is next to useless to expect the UN to back any Russian initiative. It continues to go through the motions in both cases, merely to underline who is following the rules and protocols set up by a better and more aware global civilization than currently prevails, and who is just kicking sand in the other's face and trying to get him to swing for the chin.

Moscow Exile August 13, 2018 at 12:41 am
I feel that I should add that by saying that Americans are not Russia's friends, I mean "deep-state" Americans and others of like mind.

I am sure that most American citizens just want to live their lives in peace and do not feel threatened by "Vlad" and his Evil Empire.

Not long back from the country and head off there again this afternoon for the rest of the week.

And no, I am not building my nuclear fall-out bunker there!

Patient Observer August 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Very true. Poll after poll fails to show any concern by American citizens over Russian "meddling" or Russian "assertiveness". Sure, questions can be posed such as "Should the US resist the Russian invasion of xxxxx?". Naturally, the answer would likely be yes. But when asked, without prompting, what concerns them, Russia does not register as a concern at any level. I find this remarkable as anti-Russian news is often the lead on every network evening news show. I can not recall a news broadcast for many months that did not include a Russian-bashing story. The tipping point on media credibility may have been reached

[Aug 15, 2018] Sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer says: August 12, 2018 at 6:23 pm

https://www.rt.com/business/435760-russia-response-us-sanctions/

In short:

  1. Cut off titanium metals and fabrications to the West – Boeing shutdowns as well as many other US aerospace operations;
  2. Close off air space or charge much higher tariffs to US carriers using Russian airspace. US airlines become non-competitive in many Asian and European markets;
  3. Stop exporting LNG and other energy products to the US;
  4. Raise taxes or shutdown US companies in Russia;
  5. Stop exports of the RD-180 and 181 rocket engines.

Action 1 would have a devastating impact on US aerospace manufacturing. The US has little ability to replace with domestic or foreign supplies. This action should be reserved in the event of extremely aggressive US actions such as a direct military attack on Syria;

Perhaps the sequence should be 2, 3, 5, 4, 1.

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm I propose a 6.

Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Aug 15, 2018] Countermove in Caspian see: no NATO allowed

Notable quotes:
"... It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.' ..."
"... Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox. ..."
"... Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:06 am

Apologies if somebody already posted, the legal partitioning of the Caspian Sea is finally complete and constitutes good news for Russia:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-says-deal-to-settle-status-of-caspian-sea-reached-a8486311.html

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:10 am
The other backstory being that NATO wanted to stick its nose in the Caspian Sea, but has been pushed out. Not sure exactly what the pretext was. I have a piece in VZGLIAD that explains the whole thing, but I haven't worked through it yet, will probably do a piece on my own blog in the near future. But I have a couple of other projects in the queue first.
Mark Chapman August 13, 2018 at 8:39 am
Dick Cheney, among others, was convinced that the Caspian Basin holds massive deposits of oil and gas and is strategically significant for that reason.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue46/articles/real_reasons_quotes.htm

"Central Asian resources may revert back to the control of Russia or to a Russian led alliance. This would be a nightmare situation. We had better wake up to the dangers or one day the certainties on which we base our prosperity will be certainties no more. The potential prize in oil and gas riches in the Caspian sea, valued up to $4 trillion, would give Russia both wealth and strategic dominance. The potential economic rewards of Caspian energy will draw in their train Western military forces to protect our investment if necessary."

Mortimer Zuckerman
Editor, U.S. News and World Report

"This is about America's energy security. Its also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We are trying to move these newly independent countries toward the West. We would like to see them reliant on Western commercial and political interests. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian and it's important that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

Bill Richardson
Then-U.S. Secretary Energy (1998-2000)

It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.'

Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox.

Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. A pipeline network would have carried Caspian oil and gas to Europe. Agreement among the Caspian nations was most definitely not in American interests, and if you dig you will probably find American interventions to prevent that from coming about.

[Aug 15, 2018] Russia need to preserve normalcy for its own population despite US sanctions, so overreacting might be counterproductive as some goods produced by West can't be easily replaced

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is simply trying to preserve an impression of normalcy for its own population, and trade is normal – Russia replaces those goods it cannot buy from the west with those from other markets, but completely shutting off the purchase of all western goods would subject Russians to unnecessary privations for the sake of pride. ..."
"... Russia has many arrows in its quiver. Best not to use them until needed. Big ones like turning off the gas to the EU would only makes sense if there is imminent war which is clearly not the case. In fact, it would be in Russia's best strategic interest to continue to the the main supplier of energy to the EU as it inhibits them from doing things that are potentially stupid dangerous. ..."
"... I would like to see Russian stop supply of the RD-180 and 181 as it is ultra-high tech which would be a nice reminder to the West regarding Russia's science and technology edge as well as delivering a serious blow to the US presence in space – military and civilian. Trump's "Space Force" would be DOA. ..."
"... Western sanctions have done Russia enormous good. It provided an escape from WTO restrictions and unfair trade practices. Good that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity. I suppose that Paul Craig Roberts means well but he needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture ..."
"... I agree that Russia should start cutting the United States off from things it needs from Russia – like the RD-180 and titanium – which would be expensive for the USA to get elsewhere. ..."
"... The implemented economic measures may have a seemingly abstract or sterile quality about them: banning electronic exports to Russia, rattling financial markets, stock prices falling. But the material consequence is that American officials are intending to inflict physical damage on Russian society and Russian people. ..."
"... It's economic warfare on a sliding scale to military warfare, as the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz would no doubt appreciate. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

Russia is simply trying to preserve an impression of normalcy for its own population, and trade is normal – Russia replaces those goods it cannot buy from the west with those from other markets, but completely shutting off the purchase of all western goods would subject Russians to unnecessary privations for the sake of pride.

Mr. Putin's popularity with the Russian people rests largely on their confidence that he is looking out for them, and always carefully balancing risk with reward. If Russia were run by somebody like Erdogan, the west would have succeeded in overthrowing him ages ago.

Russia is in a good position to resist sanctions, because Washington dares not impose restrictions on its trade in oil and gas. While it would be wrong to assume Russia has nothing else, these are core industries and in the other sectors where Russia is strong, the west does not buy much from it anyway except for steel and raw materials. Russia can easily replace those markets. But western brands who spent decades building up their market in Russia slowly and carefully have lost it almost overnight. And they will be a long, long time getting it back.

Jen August 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm
PCR's sources of information probably focus too much on the doings of the Central Bank of Russia and not enough on other sources of advice that the Russian government might rely on. You wonder whether PCR or his researchers are aware that the Russians and the Chinese might be mocking the US in the statements and policies they choose to make public.
Patient Observer August 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Russia has many arrows in its quiver. Best not to use them until needed. Big ones like turning off the gas to the EU would only makes sense if there is imminent war which is clearly not the case. In fact, it would be in Russia's best strategic interest to continue to the the main supplier of energy to the EU as it inhibits them from doing things that are potentially stupid dangerous.

I would like to see Russian stop supply of the RD-180 and 181 as it is ultra-high tech which would be a nice reminder to the West regarding Russia's science and technology edge as well as delivering a serious blow to the US presence in space – military and civilian. Trump's "Space Force" would be DOA.

Western sanctions have done Russia enormous good. It provided an escape from WTO restrictions and unfair trade practices. Good that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity. I suppose that Paul Craig Roberts means well but he needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:23 pm
I agree that Russia should start cutting the United States off from things it needs from Russia – like the RD-180 and titanium – which would be expensive for the USA to get elsewhere.

I also agree Russia should keep on supplying the EU with energy, for a couple of reasons. One, any interruption in the supply is just what Washington and its Atlanticist Eurobuddies are looking for so they can label Russia an unreliable partner, and start that whole alternative-sources conversation again: it's why they want to keep Ukraine in the loop – to initiate disruptions and promote uncertainty about the reliability of Russian gas.

Two, Russia has a good chance of splitting factions in Europe off from the USA, as the latter is more and more perceived to be trying to boss the European energy market so as to secure a captive customer for its own exports. The last thing Russia needs is to create the impression that Washington is saving Europe instead of dicking it around.

James lake August 12, 2018 at 7:16 am
https://www.strategic-culture.org/authors/finian-cunningham.html

US Sanctions Are Pushing Russia to War

"The new round of sanctions this week unleashed by the United States on Russia has only one meaning: the US rulers want to crush Russia's economy. By any definition, Washington is, in effect, declaring war on Russia.

The implemented economic measures may have a seemingly abstract or sterile quality about them: banning electronic exports to Russia, rattling financial markets, stock prices falling. But the material consequence is that American officials are intending to inflict physical damage on Russian society and Russian people.

It's economic warfare on a sliding scale to military warfare, as the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz would no doubt appreciate."

kirill August 12, 2018 at 10:14 am
All these articles are hysterical pap. The events after 2014 have demonstrated that Russia is immune to western sanctions and actually massively benefits from them. It has also shown that it can rapidly react to changing financial conditions as seen in the offloading of $230 billion in foreign debt in 2015. The current round of "the mother of all sanctions" trash talk from Washington is desperate and pathetic failure.

Russia has no reason or incentive for war. It is NATzO that wants to take Russia out. Russia will adjust to the new sanctions by become fully independent of any western financial or economic links. Russia has the critical economic mass to by an autarchy. But it does not need to be since it will keep on trading with most of the planet. NATzO accounts for 11% of the global population (but thinks it is 100%). The congenital retards who run NATzO are helping China to become the next premier financial power. The Yuan will replace the dollar by necessity if not by choice.

I want to see the writers of this scaremongering garbage list the actual economic impacts on Russia. Starting with the financial ones. Russia does not depend on foreign currencies. It also does not depend on foreign loans like some banana republic. The current claims by the chimps in Congress that they will bring Russia's economy to its knees are the same BS as during the post Banderite Kiev coup sanctions which Obama was sure were going to cut Russia down.

Enough already!

davidt August 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm
There is some truth in what you say but nevertheless I think you quite underestimate the threat of US sanctions. One doesn't have to be an unabashed fan of Ben Aris to accept some of the points that he makes in the following article.
http://www.intellinews.com/moscow-blog-us-declares-economic-war-on-russia-146707/?source=blogs
In any case, I am a fan of Eric Kraus and he has serious concerns- check out some of his comments here, say, for example, 7 minutes in.
kirill August 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Eric Kraus apparently thinks that Russian enterprises need to borrow dollars or euro from the west. He is dead wrong. Russia can get all the dollars and euro it needs via the exports of oil and gas, minerals, military equipment, nuclear power plants and assorted other exports over $400 billion US per year. That was the point of my post: Uncle Scumbag's sanctions on financial transactions do not cut Russia off, they cut the US and the EU off from the Russian market. We are back to 2014 and these new "mother of all sanctions" will be as useless as the previous round.

As for Japan, it is a useless comparison. Pearl Harbour was triggered by the US trying to cut Japan off from vital resources. Non financial ones. Nobody can cut Russia either from natural resources or the financing it needs. But Russia can f*ck the EU over big time by cutting off natural gas exports. As the rabid mutt in Washington tries to go for broke, Russia should keep diverting natural gas eastward. Let Uncle Scumbag save the EU with the spare LNG he doesn't have.

Patient Observer August 12, 2018 at 5:20 pm
Yes, the analogy between prewar Japan and Russia is false. It can be argued that it is exactly the opposite. Russia has the resources that the West needs and if Russia were to cut those off, the West could be induced to launch a war of desperation as Japan did. If Russia is "walking on eggs" that is why.
Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:15 pm
Russia also can borrow whatever money it needs to from China. China probably has more than enough to lend of its own, but if it does not, it is under no restrictions against borrowing from western banks, and those banks have no control over how that money is reallocated.
davidt August 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm
I commented on the Pearl Harbour episode simply to make the point that the proposed sanctions are a very aggressive move- this is clearly how the Russian government sees them, and rightly so. If these sanctions clip a percent or so of Russian GDP growth for the foreseeable future then they are very damaging for the country. Frankly, I would not be very sanguine about Russia's long term future if it were not for China, and I continue to back Kraus's opinion over Kirill's This earlier article by Aris sets the stage reasonably well- it's obvious weakness is that the role of China is not taken into account
. http://www.intellinews.com/moscow-blog-russio-delenda-est-140787/?source=blogs
A further point. No matter how creative Russia's scientists and engineers might be, it beggars belief to imagine that any country can compete technologically long term if largely isolated by the rest of the World. Again, this further emphasizes how critical China is likely to be for Russia's well being.
Patient Observer August 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Russia needs China and China needs Russia if it wants to remain a sovereign nation.

I would add that the US is in a very fragile state burdened by a stagnate economy despite massive deficit spending in addition to a crumbling global empire. Russia may simply need to ride out the storm and let nature takes it course relative to the US.

kirill August 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm
The chimps in Congress can't see past their own noses and think that borrowing and debt is what sustains the Russian economy. Their bubble of delusion has no bearing on Russian reality. They are currently engaged in "the definition of insanity is to repeat the same failed approach over and over and expect a different result". You can't cut Russia off from western banks more than once and there is obviously no cumulative impact from such sanctions.
kirill August 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm
On what basis do you estimate 1% GDP growth reduction (or contraction?) for the foreseeable future? Kraus needs to make a case and not just engage in proof by assertion. How can we have the same restrictions to banking access that were imposed in 2014 all of the sudden starting to matter now? That is just ludicrous. Cutting off access to NATzO banks in 2014 was the limit of what NATzO could do. It can't go into Russia and shut down Russian banks to prevent Russian companies from financing themselves there or from the Russian government.

Anyway, too much obscure mush and utter lack of details. These "mother of all sanctions" are a joke because the 2014 sanctions did most of the "damage".

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/russia-sanctions-us-eu-banks-sberbank-oil-gazprom

LOL.

Mark Chapman August 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm
But for how long can the rest of the world (meaning, I suppose, the United States and western Europe, which seem together to think they are The World) keep it up? Long enough to bring Russia down? I frankly doubt it. America needs trade for its corporations to flourish and expand market share, and it is not achieving that through sanctions and tariffs. The USA is not just taking on Russia; it is making enemies everywhere. The global economy is so interwoven now that it is very difficult to sanction a country to death unless you can block all its major moneymakers. And Washington can't do that (to Russia) without hurting Europe.

The present sanctions are lame and do not really do anything but get journalists excited and use up paper. The sting is in the ones set to automatically go into effect in three months, because to avoid them Russia must admit that it has a secret chemical-weapons program, agree to shut it down and allow UN inspectors into the country to verify it has been done. Perhaps Trump and his cabal gamble that Russia will cop to something it actually doesn't have, just to avoid sanctions, as Gadaffi did. But Russia will not, while the American attempt to bring more inconvenience and problems to the Russian people in an effort to use them to bludgeon the government into doing Washington's bidding is about as shitty a thing as America has ever done without involving weapons, since it offers no proof at all of its conclusions. It is simply imposing collective punishment in order to get ts own way, and would be the first to squeal if Russia did it.

Northern Star August 14, 2018 at 3:06 pm
"The global economy is so interwoven now that it is very difficult to sanction a country to death unless you can block all its major moneymakers. And Washington can't do that (to Russia) without hurting Europe."

The entire sanctions discussion in a nutshell.

Northern Star August 14, 2018 at 3:48 pm
From the Ben Aris link:

"Like the Romans, the US has built a military-industrial economy that can massively out-resource all its opponents' and so is impossible to defeat – a legacy of the rapid militarisation during WWII when it simply out produced first the Nazis and then the Soviet Union, the only other country on the planet at the time with any chance of matching the US's industrial might"

Unlike the Reich the USA industrial base wasn't hampered by round the clock bombing from the Eighth AirForce and the RAF , which also involved the diversion on billions of Reichsmarks for thousands of planes and the Luftwaffe manpower in an attempt to stop or at least mitigate the air attacks.

Likewise the USA industrial base was not hampered by having to -in a massive undertaking-uproot its core manufacturing facilities and move them thousands of kilometers to where they could be reassembled and resume production of machinery , armor and weaponry in general.

Furthermore:

These are just a couple reasons for the fall of Rome, but what is perhaps most terrifying about the fall are the corollaries to today. The Unites States of America has a Gini coefficient of .45, and 40% of the wealth is controlled by the top 1% of the population.[5] By every metric, the United States is even more divided and unfair than Rome before its fall. The effects are perfectly evident as well as there is increasing inclination from the rich to build fallout bunkers and withdraw from civilization and politics just as the roman elites did centuries before. Worsening matters is the evidence of extreme racism towards migrant workers who like slaves in Rome "take the labor from the hardworking middle class". Increasingly the middle class shrinks as social unrest and bigotry grows. It is a scary combination that, if we aren't careful, could spell the end of civilization as we know it, just like it did for the Romans centuries before.

https://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/2017/11/05/how-socialincome-inequality-and-the-fall-of-rome-is-relevant-today/
AND the five links therein.

Therefore the Aris notion that USA can simply bide its time and wait for Russia to collapse is suspect. If anything there may well be be a collapse but not Russia.

Patient Observer August 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Agree with the sentiment but the Soviet Union outproduced the US in every industrial category that mattered. Its military was much stronger than the US on land and in the air. On the sea, the US probably had the edge.

The Soviet Union fell because its ideology provided no means to deal with psychos and sociopaths. Religion, with all of its shortcomings, at least tried to address sociopathic behaviors with such terms as sin, evil, etc. When religion left the building, there was nothing left to stop the psychos and its kissing cousins, the Randites.

The West is immune from such dangers as it embraces sociopathyy. Russia, I believe, is seeking a society that can withstand such assaults without heavy handed purges which only provide temporary relief. The Orthodox Church ascendancy in modern Russia is helping to provide that moral anchor to keep socciopathy from becoming the dominant world view. I think even atheists can agree on the importance of its role in providing a stable and humane society.

[Aug 15, 2018] Russia is one of only 7 nation states to have verifiably dismantled and destroyed their chemical weapon stockpiles as ratified by the OPCW and in compliance to the CWC. After Skripal false flag they probably have a second thought.

Notable quotes:
"... What can I say – perhaps now Russia will batten down the hatches and stop all this pandering to western partners. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake August 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Breaking news here in the UK.

USA say that Russia did poison the Skripals in Salisbury.

"The US blamed the attack on Vladimir Putin and said they would be issuing fresh sanctions in response to the deadly attack.

The state department says Wednesday the sanctions will be imposed on Russia because it used a chemical weapon in violation of international law.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "The United States determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in the British town of Salisbury in March."

What can I say – perhaps now Russia will batten down the hatches and stop all this pandering to western partners.

kirill August 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm
No need to batten down the hatches. Just ignore the yapping NATzO chihuahuas. We have not even had a proper trial to determine guilt. The US leadership is not some ultimate judicial body. They can make as many political judgements as they want, but that will do Jack to Russia.

At this point all the hysterical US-driven sanctions against Russia are totally self defeating. The monkeys in Washington clearly think that Russia is a banana republic and that it needs to have access to foreign money and technology to function. They are cleared fucked in the head.

Patient Observer August 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
More on the above per RT:

It would reportedly include more drastic measures, such as downgrading diplomatic relations, banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the US and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

So, are we talking about RD-180 rocket engines and Americans traveling to the ISS on Russian rockets? Are we talking about titanium fabrications that Boeing needs for its aircraft manufacturing?

This Russian hysteria is masking something, something big. My one-track mind suggests fixated on the idea of an approaching economic collapse and subsequent imposition of martial law and/or massive levels of censorship; all to be blamed on Russia. The increasingly frenetic pace of Russian hysteria suggests a near-term sh!t-storm is on the way.

James lake August 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm
The Russian hysteria is scary as so many citizens over there believe in the Russiagate nonsense and have been manipulated to feel they have been attacked.

It means therefore that conditions have been created whereby the USA has the support to attack back.

Putin should never have gone to Helsinki as that escalated the madness.

Trump is emasculated just as obama was and has no power to do anything to block this pathway to outright confrontation

The Europeans will sit by and watch – Russia has no allies there.,

Patient Observer August 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm
Europe will stay on the porch and let the big boys duke it out. In the red corner, we have Vlad – the Terminator. In the other corner, we have Donald – the Orange Haystack. In another corner we have Bruce – the Red Dragon.

Haystack lumbers out of his corner before the bell rings, makes some nasty gestures and starts his victory dance. The Terminator stands in his corner, muscular arms folded across his chest with a wry smile across his face. The Red Dragon is closely studying Haystack with an inscrutable stare. Haystack exhausts himself and collapses mid-ring. The Terminator and Red Dragon leave the arena as the Haystack fans seek their autographs. Something like that.

Mark Chapman August 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Perhaps a boxed piano will fall from a ninth-floor balcony and crush Nauert to a rectangular pizza. I'd pay to see that.

Define 'pandering'. Can you name some concessions the United States has wrung from Russia in the last two years? I seem to recall the British investigators said there was no proof that anyone in the Russian government was involved – they simply speculated that because Novichok could only be made in a state facility, there must be state involvement. Does the USA have some evidence that the British have not seen yet? Perhaps they found it in the same place they filed their satellite photography of the Buk missile taking out MH17.

Murdock August 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm
You mean the same Russia that is one of only 7 nation states to have verifiably dismantled and destroyed their chemical weapon stockpiles as ratified by the OPCW and in compliance to the CWC? That Russia?

I can't wait for this determination to be made public along with the coinciding evidence as released by an official judiciary body wielding the requisite jurisdiction and authority under official auspices of the UN. That's what is meant by determined right? Pretty unambiguous terminology there.

This entire charade has gone so far beyond farce it's not even comical anymore, just depressing.

Mark Chapman August 9, 2018 at 3:51 pm
That's an interesting point, because a likely consequence of the continued hysterical hostility from the west will be opacity where there once was transparency; ie: if the United States wants to know something about Russian unconventional weapons programs, it will have to go to extensive and complicated labour to insert a deep-cover spy or persuade an asset that it can trust to find out the information, never knowing if it is being fed disinformation deliberately by a double agent, where once it could simply have asked and been invited to verify the truth itself. International organizations controlled by Washington will be less and less likely to have a free pass to come in and poke about as they see fit.

[Aug 15, 2018] Medvedev: if they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we'll have to respond to it accordingly economically, politically, or in any other way, if required

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile August 10, 2018 at 12:38 am

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned the US that any sanctions targeting Russian banking operations and currency trade will be treated as a declaration of economic war and retaliated against by any means necessary.
" If they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we'll have to respond to it accordingly – economically, politically, or in any other way, if required ," Medvedev said during a trip to the Kamchatka region.

" Our American friends should make no mistake about it ," he emphasized.

Source RT: Russia to treat further US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war – PM
Published time: 10 Aug, 2018 04:42
Edited time: 10 Aug, 2018 08:25

Why does that prick of a Russian PM speak about "our American friends"?

I wish Medvedev would just fuck off out of it.

FFS! They are not your friends, idiot!!!!!

James lake August 10, 2018 at 2:39 am
Why is Medvedev even discussing the areas that would cause Russia harm in public?

It is like pointing a big arrow at the banking and finance sector with "Sanction this"" written on it in big red letters

There is a time for silence. And he needs to come off twitter as well.

[Aug 15, 2018] Trump policies are all over the place first the hard-ass who will never back off, then conciliatory and talking international unity

Notable quotes:
"... Interestingly, the USA is increasingly going it alone in such actions, and the EU – remarkably, for such a spineless outfit – has actually imposed a 'blocking statute' which allegedly will protect European companies from being sanctioned by the USA, while Brussels has taken the unprecedented step of instructing European firms not to comply with demands by the White House that they cease doing business with Iran. Even more astonishing, if that were possible, EU companies who opt to pull out of business with Iranian contacts must first obtain authorization from the European Commission to do so. Without such authorization, they may be sued by EU member states, while a mechanism has been created to allow EU businesses impacted by the sanctions to sue the US administration in the national courts of member states. Who could have forecast that would happen, as recently as a year ago? ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm

I suppose few were under any apprehension that Trump would not sign the sanctions bill reimposing American sanctions on Iran. Consequently, most will be unsurprised that he did so.

http://www.intellinews.com/trump-triggers-iran-sanctions-eu-unveils-updated-blocking-statute-146376/?source=iran

Interestingly, the USA is increasingly going it alone in such actions, and the EU – remarkably, for such a spineless outfit – has actually imposed a 'blocking statute' which allegedly will protect European companies from being sanctioned by the USA, while Brussels has taken the unprecedented step of instructing European firms not to comply with demands by the White House that they cease doing business with Iran. Even more astonishing, if that were possible, EU companies who opt to pull out of business with Iranian contacts must first obtain authorization from the European Commission to do so. Without such authorization, they may be sued by EU member states, while a mechanism has been created to allow EU businesses impacted by the sanctions to sue the US administration in the national courts of member states. Who could have forecast that would happen, as recently as a year ago?

I need hardly draw attention to the unmitigated and brazen arrogance of the stated US aim: to "force the Iranians to the table for a renegotiation of their role in the Middle East". They fucking live there, for God's sake, but the intent of the sanctions is to force them to bow to American will, and accept the plans for them of a state which is more than 6,000 miles away – yet insists on its right to direct and order regional affairs to its own strategic and economic benefit.

Once upon a time, America's meddling in the Middle East could count on the support of all the major western powers. For the time being, that practice is in abeyance, as the major western allies try to bring about American failure. Goodwill toward the United States has more or less evaporated completely, and America is increasingly regarded as an enemy by former allies. I can't see any possibility of it prevailing, unless it starts a major war and drags everyone into it. I can, however, see irreparable economic damage being inflicted on the American economy.

Patient Observer August 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm
If the EU will actually protect European companies from US enforcement/retaliation and compel European companies to honor contracts with Iranian companies or government, that is big. But why would they do such?

I speculate the US plan is to take Iranian oil off the market thereby driving up crude prices. The downside is that it helps Russia (perhaps not a major concern for Trump) and hurts China but it will be a boon for US oil frackers to the point of avoiding mass default of loans and collapse of major US operations. If Nord Stream II can be stopped, US LNG may surge as well assuming gas frackers can ramp up. And when Iran capitulates (in US dreams) US companies will be granted special concessions to soak up Iranian oil revenues and the EU left of the sidelines.

So the above could be some of the reasons for the EU's stiffening. Putin is probably breaking out the popcorn.

Mark Chapman August 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm
The US has suddenly recollected that if it wants to take on China, it will actually need the support of its traditional allies, and is supposedly launching a make-up effort, especially where Europe is concerned.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/08/02/the-associated-press-us-mends-ties-with-allies-prepares-for-trade-war-with-china.html

Trump is such a boob; his policies are all over the place – first the hard-ass who will never back off, then conciliatory and talking international unity. Anyone who would willingly help that country achieve its goals needs their head examined, as it clearly will turn on its traditional friends the instant it is unhappy with the relationship. Trump brags that trade hardball is 'his thing', but that's just more of his stupid ego, and he appears to not grasp many of its implications.

American farmers understand, though, all too well. It does not take a genius to figure that a $12 Billion bailout fund suggests an assessment of a potential $12 Billion in damage to the sector, which seems like a lot of money. But as agricultural economists correctly deduce, the real damage is to long-term trade relationships, as customers repelled by America's thug tactics turn to other suppliers. I already mentioned the new prominence in Canadian supermarkets of identifying symbols to highlight Canadian products, and Canada is the biggest export market by a considerable margin for American agricultural products. Canada could not win in a trade war against the USA, but it could inflict serious damage on the agricultural sector. Much of Canada is farm country just like south of the border, and all the USA really has going for it in the way of growing-season advantage is California and Florida. Products from there which are out of season in Canada can be purchased from Mexico. Otherwise, pretty much anything you can grow in the USA, you can grow in Canada.

https://theconversation.com/american-farmers-want-trade-partners-not-handouts-an-agricultural-economist-explains-100795

[Aug 15, 2018] A concise summary of the nuclear attack on Japan

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer August 8, 2018 at 5:36 pm

A concise summary of the nuclear attack on Japan (emphasis added):

According to Kamps, US estimates of American casualties during the first month of a US invasion of mainland Japan -- before the bombs were dropped -- were approximately 50,000, not 1 million.

"And the myth became that a million American lives were saved by dropping the bombs. That was not true. The truth is, the bombs were dropped to send a message to the Soviet Union where to get off. Billions of dollars in 1945 money had been spent on that [atomic] project, and the bombs were dropped to fulfill an experiment as well , to show some return on the so-called investment. If those billions of dollars had been spent on ships, tanks and guns in the US military instead of atomic bombs, would the war have ended sooner because of that?" Kemps asked.

Another common myth is that the bombs ended World War II, Kamps said.

"But no, it was the threat of a Soviet military invasion that ended World War II . The Japanese had been firebombed by the Americans for months already, and that lends a lot more to the theory that these atomic bombings were tests, because they [the Americans] were saving some cities to use these bombs against, and they wanted to see full on what the effects were. So Hiroshima was preserved for that purpose," Kemps told Radio Sputnik.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808091067060230-expert-debunks-hiroshima-nagasaki-myths/

Ghastly and perhaps the single greatest war crime of WW II.

Also, IIRC, Japan was preparing to surrender to the Soviet Union but the nuclear attack caused them to reconsider.

[Aug 15, 2018] War Without End by C.J. Chivers

Notable quotes:
"... More than three million Americans have served in uniform in these wars. Nearly 7,000 of them have died. Tens of thousands more have been wounded. More are killed or wounded each year, in smaller numbers but often in dreary circumstances, including the fatal attack in July on Cpl. Joseph Maciel by an Afghan soldier -- a member of the very forces that the United States has underwritten, trained and equipped, and yet as a matter of necessity and practice now guards itself against. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

More than three million Americans have served in uniform in these wars. Nearly 7,000 of them have died. Tens of thousands more have been wounded. More are killed or wounded each year, in smaller numbers but often in dreary circumstances, including the fatal attack in July on Cpl. Joseph Maciel by an Afghan soldier -- a member of the very forces that the United States has underwritten, trained and equipped, and yet as a matter of necessity and practice now guards itself against.

On one matter there can be no argument: The policies that sent these men and women abroad, with their emphasis on military action and their visions of reordering nations and cultures, have not succeeded. It is beyond honest dispute that the wars did not achieve what their organizers promised, no matter the party in power or the generals in command. Astonishingly expensive, strategically incoherent, sold by a shifting slate of senior officers and politicians and editorial-page hawks, the wars have continued in varied forms and under different rationales each and every year since passenger jets struck the World Trade Center in 2001. They continue today without an end in sight, reauthorized in Pentagon budgets almost as if distant war is a presumed government action.

As the costs have grown -- whether measured by dollars spent, stature lost or blood shed -- the wars' architects and the commentators supporting them have often been ready with optimistic or airbrushed predictions, each pitched to the latest project or newly appointed general's plan. According to the bullhorns and depending on the year, America's military campaigns abroad would satisfy justice, displace tyrants, keep violence away from Western soil, spread democracy, foster development, prevent sectarian war, protect populations, reduce corruption, bolster women's rights, decrease the international heroin trade, check the influence of extreme religious ideology, create Iraqi and Afghan security forces that would be law-abiding and competent and finally build nations that might peacefully stand on their own in a global world, all while discouraging other would-be despots and terrorists.

Aside from displacing tyrants and leading to the eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, none of this turned out as pitched. Prominent successes were short-lived. New thugs rose where old thugs fell. Corruption and lawlessness remain endemic. An uncountable tally of civilians -- many times the number of those who perished in the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001 -- were killed. Others were wounded or driven from their homes, first by American action and then by violent social forces American action helped unleash.

The governments of Afghanistan and Iraq, each of which the United States spent hundreds of billions of dollars to build and support, are fragile, brutal and uncertain. The nations they struggle to rule harbor large contingents of irregular fighters and terrorists who have been hardened and made savvy, trained by the experience of fighting the American military machine. Much of the infrastructure the United States built with its citizens' treasure and its troops' labor lies abandoned. Briefly schools or outposts, many are husks, looted and desolate monuments to forgotten plans. Hundreds of thousands of weapons provided to would-be allies have vanished; an innumerable quantity are on markets or in the hands of Washington's enemies. Billions of dollars spent creating security partners also deputized pedophiles, torturers and thieves. National police or army units that the Pentagon proclaimed essential to their countries' futures have disbanded. The Islamic State has sponsored or encouraged terrorist attacks across much of the world -- exactly the species of crime the global "war on terror" was supposed to prevent.

Almost two decades after the White House cast American troops as liberators to be welcomed, large swaths of territory where the Pentagon deployed combat forces are under stubborn insurgent influence. Areas once touted as markers of counterinsurgency progress have become no-go zones, regions in which almost no Americans dare tread, save a few journalists and aid workers, or private military contractors or American military and C.I.A. teams.

... ... ...

Time eases only so much doubt. Six years after leaving the Army, Soto still spent nights awake, trying to come to terms with his Korengal tour. It was not regret or the trauma of combat that drained him. It was the memories of lost soldiers, an indelible grief blended with a fuller understanding that could feel like a curse. Often when Soto reflected upon his service, he was caught between the conflicting urges of deference and candor. He tread as if a balance might exist between respecting the sacrifice and pain of others and speaking forthrightly about the fatal misjudgments of those who managed America's wars. "I try to be respectful; I don't want to say that people died for nothing," he said. "I could never make the families who lost someone think their loved one died in vain."

Still he wondered: Was there no accountability for the senior officer class? The war was turning 17, and the services and the Pentagon seemed to have been given passes on all the failures and the drift. Even if the Taliban were to sign a peace deal tomorrow, there would be no rousing sense of victory, no parade. In Iraq, the Islamic State metastasized in the wreckage of the war to spread terror around the world. The human costs were past counting, and the whitewash was both institutional and personal, extended to one general after another, including many of the same officers whose plans and orders had either fizzled or failed to create lasting success, and yet who kept rising. Soto watched some of them as they were revered and celebrated in Washington and by members of the press, even after past plans were discredited and enemies retrenched.

... ... ...

C.J. Chivers is a writer at large for the magazine. His previous feature article, which followed the combat service and incarceration of a Marine veteran suffering from alcoholism and PTSD, led to the veteran's release from prison and won a Pulitzer Prize. This article is adapted from ''The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq,'' published by Simon & Schuster.

[Aug 15, 2018] Some suggestions about contra sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

...Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Aug 14, 2018] Book: RAND DECEPTION: The TRUTH ABOUT BILL BROWDER, the MAGNITSKY ACT, and ANTI-RUSSIAN SANCTIONS

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

RobinG , August 14, 2018 at 4:25 am GMT

Re. RUSSIAGATE: the 2nd edition of Alex Krainer's book is now available, with new title.

GRAND DECEPTION: The TRUTH ABOUT BILL BROWDER, the MAGNITSKY ACT, and ANTI-RUSSIAN SANCTIONS https://www.redpillpress.com/shop/grand-deception-bill-browder-magnitsky-act-russian-sanctions/

In 2015, Bill Browder published Red Notice – purportedly a true story about his experience in Russia between 1996 and 2005. Upon closer scrutiny however, his story doesn't add up and demonstrably fails to stand up in a court of law. Nonetheless, on the dubious strength of that story, Browder has been able to lobby the U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012 which needlessly damaged the relations between the U.S. and Russia. Where he failed in courts of law, however, his campaign of relentless demonization of Russia and of Vladimir Putin has been successful in the court of public opinion in the West. As humanity finds itself on the precipice of yet another great war, what we need are bridges of mutual understanding and constructive engagement, not demonization.

[Aug 14, 2018] Is not it ironic that the neocon and MI6 corrected Browder is a grandson of two KGB agents?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , August 14, 2018 at 1:24 am GMT

@Sean

" and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered "
What an amazing consistency in supporting the Browder/Steele line "Putin did it." Which is understandable, considering the efforts and investment made into the MSM memes. You made a very strong impression that the presstituting MSM is your main source of information.
Here are some excerpts from the honest sources.

"Poisoned Russian spy was close to Christopher Steele consultant:" http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/poisoned-russian-spy-close-steele-consultant-report-article-1.3862516
"Jonathan Winer was not only a point man for the Steele "dossier" at the State Department in 2016 (and Steele dossiers of yore), he was also a father of the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Yes, longtime Senate staffer Winer is the "old friend" Browder credits with envisioning the legislative strategy that culminated in passage of the law. (More recently, Winer is serving as Browder's bulldog-lawyer -- story here.)
"Cardin knew there were problems with Browder's story about Magnitsky's death and yet brought him into Congress to testify to secure the vote. That's suborning perjury:" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-04/magnitsky-trio-pushes-war-russia-new-sanctions

"Litvinenko's circle also included Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb, Vyacheslav Zharko, and Akhmed Zakayev, most of whom have received asylum in the U.K. In the 1990s, Boris Berezovsky worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros' International Science Foundation which was headed by Alexander Goldfarb for almost ten years. He was also involved in money laundering millions of dollars through the Bank of New York and the Republic Bank of New York which was owned by Bill Browder's now deceased partner, Edmond Safra:" https://jimmysllama.com/2018/05/07/11191/

– Is not interesting, how so many Browder's connections met an untimely death yet Browder the Scoundrel is well supported and protected by the "deciders." -- See the fate of a DOCUMENTARY about Browder, Magnitsky, and a bloody trail of the dead former employees of Browder whom he used for his very profitable if criminal enterprise.
Alexander Perepelichny" was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with highest political stakes on Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with "I do not recall" and "I do not know" on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on Nov 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London."

[Aug 14, 2018] Maybe The US congress truly believe they can decapitate Russia with very little risk or damage to NATO countries, but from publicly available data it doesn't look like that.

Notable quotes:
"... Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war? ..."
"... How will they prevent escalation if they themselves seem to slowly drink their own Kool-Aid and believe that Russia is "waging hybrid warfare" with them, and therefore that any military action against Russia counts as self-defense, moreover, that it'd be insane not to wage an actual war against Russia? ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 7:26 pm GMT

@Mitleser

Exactly. It's a bit frightening because I don't quite get what their endgame is here.

Maybe they truly believe they can decapitate Russia with very little risk or damage to NATO countries, but from publicly available data it doesn't look like that.

Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war?

How will they prevent escalation if they themselves seem to slowly drink their own Kool-Aid and believe that Russia is "waging hybrid warfare" with them, and therefore that any military action against Russia counts as self-defense, moreover, that it'd be insane not to wage an actual war against Russia?

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, with their combined nuclear arsenal accounting for 90 percent of world's total, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... Russia's economy is weak. Its GDP did not make the world's top 10, yet its military, especially its nuclear power, has sustained its status as one of the most influential nations in the world. Russia and the US have serious geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, but Trump suddenly reversed the hardline US stance and showed a low-key response to Putin. That's probably because, as Trump said, Russia is a nuclear power. ..."
"... Yet Trump's respect toward Russia is worth mentioning. Trump is a man who values strength, and he attaches great importance to military strength, especially nuclear strength. ..."
"... China is different from Russia. China has a robust economy and has many tools at its disposal, which is an advantage. Yet China's relatively weak military, especially its nuclear power, which lags behind the US, is a major strategic sore point. ..."
"... Just by looking at the US' aggressive attitude in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question, we know that China's nuclear strength is "far from sufficient." Part of the US' strategic arrogance may come from its absolute nuclear advantage. We are concerned that maybe one day, Washington will turn this arrogance into military provocation, whereby China will face very grave challenges. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm GMT

@Okechukwu

From Chinese state media: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1111711.shtml

Amid the lingering fury from the US media over US President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the White House announced Thursday that Trump invited Putin to visit Washington this fall. Trump's attitude has been firm on improving US-Russia relations. Despite staunch opposition, it is quite likely that US-Russia relations will halt its slide during Trump's presidency.

Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, with their combined nuclear arsenal accounting for 90 percent of world's total, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia. On US-Russia relations, Trump is clearheaded.

Russia's economy is weak. Its GDP did not make the world's top 10, yet its military, especially its nuclear power, has sustained its status as one of the most influential nations in the world. Russia and the US have serious geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, but Trump suddenly reversed the hardline US stance and showed a low-key response to Putin. That's probably because, as Trump said, Russia is a nuclear power.

We know US-Russia relations cannot be improved overnight because it is difficult for the two countries to make strategic compromises in Europe and the Middle East. Even if their relations improve, other frictions may emerge, causing new rifts in bilateral ties.

Yet Trump's respect toward Russia is worth mentioning. Trump is a man who values strength, and he attaches great importance to military strength, especially nuclear strength.

The US has defined China as its strategic competitor and is exerting more pressure. The trade war may be just the beginning. Tensions between the two nations may spread to other areas. We believe that during this process, the White House will continue to evaluate, including a look at China's nuclear arsenal.

China is different from Russia. China has a robust economy and has many tools at its disposal, which is an advantage. Yet China's relatively weak military, especially its nuclear power, which lags behind the US, is a major strategic sore point.

A popular view among Chinese strategists is that we need only a sufficient number of nuclear weapons. Too many nuclear weapons cost more and may trigger outside alarm, leading to strategic uncertainty. Those who hold this view believe China does not need to increase its strategic nuclear weapons and should instead focus on modernizing its nuclear weapons to secure the country's capability for a second nuclear strike. We believe this view is a serious misinterpretation of the major countries' nuclear situation.

China is no small country that needs only a few nuclear weapons to scare off an intimidator at a critical moment. China has grown into a global influence, facing greater risks and pressure than smaller countries do. We must reconsider what constitutes "sufficient" in terms of nuclear weapons.

China's nuclear weapons have to not only secure a second strike but also play the role of cornerstone in forming a strong deterrence so that outside powers dare not intimidate China militarily. Once major countries are engaged in military conflicts, each side must evaluate the determination of the other side to see the conflict through. Nuclear power is the pillar of that determination. One of the major reasons that the US used a "salami-slicing" method to push for NATO's eastward expansion but refused to engage in open conflict in Ukraine and Syria with Russia is probably because it was concerned about what Moscow might do with its huge nuclear arsenal.

Just by looking at the US' aggressive attitude in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question, we know that China's nuclear strength is "far from sufficient." Part of the US' strategic arrogance may come from its absolute nuclear advantage. We are concerned that maybe one day, Washington will turn this arrogance into military provocation, whereby China will face very grave challenges.

China must speed up its process of developing strategic nuclear power. Advanced missiles such as the Dongfeng-41 should materialize as soon as possible. Not only should we possess a strong nuclear arsenal, but we must also let the outside world know that China is determined to defend its core national interests with nuclear power.

Of course, we do not believe nuclear power development should override all the other work or its development should come at the expense of other major developmental interests. But this work must be made a top priority. We must recognize the urgent need for China to strengthen its nuclear prowess.

[Aug 14, 2018] If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors' ability to loot and conquer after the war.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

ZZZ , August 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm GMT

@neutral

If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors' ability to loot and conquer after the war. So expect Europe & China to be hit. China will in turn target Japan, India, Korea, etc. The US do not trust Canada or Mexico, so these may well become targets too. Pakistan and Israel may want to make their move at this point. Pretty soon it would become clear that no major industrial or population center should be spared. So within a couple of hours, the world's entire nuclear stockpile would be launched.

After these events, the country with the most extensive tunnel system will emerge as the new world leader.

[Aug 14, 2018] A blockade is an act of war. A much more lively August than any of us expected. The devil is never idle.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Uncoy , Aug 12, 2018 5:33:18 PM | 21

A very busy week indeed. It looks like the world is dividing into two alliances: those who will follow the dictates on Iran and Russian sanctions and those who won't. We're in the prelude to a long winter of a cold war or a very hot one, depending on how the USA chooses to enforce those sanctions. Effectively at this point the upcoming sanctions would serve as the equivalent of a blockade. A blockade is an act of war. A much more lively August than any of us expected. The devil is never idle.

Miserable fat scheming twats like Karl Rove have nothing to look forward to on vacation and so delight in poisoning everyone else's. There's a whole warren of similar rats in the Trump administration and over at Langley which is why I mention Rove. While he's not in the current administration, he's a very visceral representation of what the world is up against until we put the neocons and PNACers out of business for good.

PS. I see nhs continues to post tracking links instead of direct links @7. b, I'd really appreciate it (and the rest of the tech savvy audience here would too) if you'd ban tracking links or more positively insist on direct links. Technically speaking all of nhs's posts should be held as he's a serial offender. You can either clean his links for him (sounds like as much fun as fixing his toilet for free) or just delete the comments which contain URL shorteners (tracking links). The latter would make encourage him to clean up his act fast. You'd be surprised how quickly inconsiderate, spying, spamming types like nhs would learn how to post direct links.

[Aug 14, 2018] Russia of today is in a comparatively much weaker position overall than the USSR due to powerful fifth column

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Parbes , August 14, 2018 at 1:45 am GMT

@reiner Tor

" I don't quite get what their endgame is here .Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war?"

Most probably, because they are calculating that under various forms of psychological and economic pressure Russia will crumble from within and surrender, just like in the times of Gorbachev-Yeltsin, without having to fight a real, risk-filled war. Surrender and subjugation without firing a shot – THAT'S their imagined endgame. "Why wouldn't what worked within living memory, a mere 30 years ago, work again now in updated form?", they think – especially since the Russia of today is in a comparatively much weaker position overall than the USSR of back then and the Russian rulers and society are not really too much different psychologically from what they were back then, and are even mostly COMPOSED OF THE SAME INDIVIDUALS? Is it really surprising that they think that way, given the continued existence and thriving inside Russia of a powerful, openly seditious Fifth Column which is not seriously combatted by either the Putin government or the stupid mass of the Russian populace (who stand to lose the most, suffer terribly, and be reduced to colonized virtual serfs or exterminated if the Fifth Columnists and their foreign masters succeed in crashing Russia)?

Of course, IF this is a miscalculation (and I'm not sure that it is, given the current weak, appeasing mentality of the Russian government and population), and the psychopathic Western ruling elites don't manage to get a hold of their oversized lunatic egos and rein in their arrogant hubristic belligerence – well, then the whole situation could devolve pretty quick into a massive, WW I/WW II/Iraq/Serbia combination-type hot war scenario. Except, this time, with the real probability of stepwise escalation from conventional hostilities to Thermonuclear Holocaust.

Vidi , August 14, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia?

Russia may have struck a heavy blow already, when she dumped her holdings of U.S. treasuries. The relatively small amount ($100 to $200 billion) may not have been significant, but as a signal to the rest of the world it may have been loud. The new sanctions may be an attempt to punish Russia for that. They won't work, of course, but the noise they generate may help to obscure the import of Russia's recent action.

Si1ver1ock , August 14, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
What I don't understand is why the US thinks Russia and China will continue to sanction North Korea. It seems like the US is handing out straight razors to everybody and asking them to slit each others throats. Except for Erdogan, they all seem to be saying, "Sure why not?"

Maybe they are simply accustomed to taking orders.

[Aug 14, 2018] Why Confronting Israel is Important by Philip Giraldi

I believe Mr. Giraldi should choose his language more carefully. Perhaps instead of referring to "Jews," he should narrow this to "Jewish Likud supporters" or Jewish supremacists, or something similar
Notable quotes:
"... Jewish power ..."
"... Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

I am often asked why I have this "thing" about Israel, with friends suggesting that I would be much more respected as a pundit if I were to instead concentrate on national security and political corruption. The problem with that formulation is that the so-called "special relationship" with Israel is itself the result of terrible national security and foreign policy choices that is sustained by pervasive political and media corruption, so any honest attempt to examine the one inevitably leads to the other. Most talking heads in the media avoid that dilemma by choosing to completely ignore the dark side of Israel.

Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism. It is also the single most significant threat to genuine national security as it and its powerful domestic lobby have been major advocates for the continuation of America's interventionist warfare state. The decision to go to war on false pretenses against Iraq, largely promoted by a cabal of prominent American Jews in the Pentagon and in the media, killed 4,424 Americans as well as hundreds of thousands Iraqis and will wind up costing the American taxpayer $7 trillion dollars when all the bills are paid. That same group of mostly Jewish neocons more-or-less is now agitating to go to war with Iran using a game plan for escalation prepared by Israel which will, if anything, prove even more catastrophic.

And I can go on from there. According to the FBI, Israel runs the most aggressive spying operations against the U.S. among ostensibly "friendly" nations, frequently stealing our military technology for resale by its own arms merchants. Its notable successes in espionage have included the most devastating spy in U.S. history Jonathan Pollard, while it has also penetrated American communications systems and illegally obtained both the fuel and the triggers for its own secret nuclear weapons arsenal.

Israel cares little for American sovereignty. It's prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu have both boasted how they control the United States. In 2001, Israel was running a massive secret spying operation directed against Arabs in the U.S. Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington. There was the spectacle of the "dancing Shlomos," Israeli "movers" from a company in New Jersey who apparently had advanced knowledge of the terrorist attack and danced and celebrated as they watched the Twin Towers go down.

Jewish power , both in terms of money and of access to people and mechanisms that really matter, is what allows Israel to act with impunity, making the United States both poorer and more insecure. A well-funded massive lobbying effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals in the U.S. has worked to the detriment of actual American interests, in part by creating a permanent annual gift of billions of dollars to Israel for no other reason but that it is Israel and can get anything it wants from a servile Congress and White House without any objection from a controlled media.

Israel has also obtained carte blanche political protection from the U.S. in fora like the United Nations, which is damaging to America's reputation and its actual interests. This protection now extends to the basing of U.S. troops in Israel to serve as a tripwire, guaranteeing that Washington will become involved if Israel is ever attacked or even if Israel itself starts a war. The current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is little more than a shill for Israel while America's Ambassador in Israel David Friedman is an open supporter of Israel's illegal settlements, which the U.S. opposes, who spends much of his time defending Israeli war crimes .

And here on the home front Israel is doing damage that might be viewed as even more grave in Senator Ben Cardin's attempt to destroy First Amendment rights by making any criticism of Israel illegal. The non-violent Israel Boycott movement (BDS) has already been sanctioned in many states, the result of intensive and successful lobbying by the Israeli government and its powerful friends.

So if there is a real enemy of the United States in terms of the actual damage being inflicted by a foreign power, it is Israel. In the recent Russiagate investigations it was revealed that it was Israel, not Russia, that sought favors from Michael Flynn and the incoming Trump Administration yet Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidently not chosen to go down that road with his investigations, which should surprise no one.

Noam Chomsky, iconic progressive intellectual, has finally come around on the issue of Israel and what it means. He has always argued somewhat incoherently that Israeli misbehavior has been due to its role as a tool of American imperialism and capitalism. At age 89, he has finally figured out that it is actually all about what a parasitic Israel wants without any regard for its American host, observing on "Democracy Now" that

..take, say, the huge issue of interference in our pristine elections. Did the Russians interfere in our elections? An issue of overwhelming concern in the media. I mean, in most of the world, that's almost a joke. First of all, if you're interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president's policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015 .

Politicians are terrified of crossing the Jewish lobby by saying anything negative about Israel, which means that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always gets a pass from the American government, even when he starves civilians and bombs hospitals and schools. Netanyahu uses snipers to shoot dead scores of unarmed demonstrators and the snipers themselves joke about their kills without a peep from Washington, which styles itself the "leader of the free world."

Just recently, Israel has declared itself a Jewish State with all that implies. To be sure, Israeli Christians and Muslims were already subject to a battery of laws and regulations that empowered Jews at their expense but now it is the guiding principle that Israel will be run for the benefit of Jews and Jews alone. And it still likes to call itself a "democracy."

A recent television program illustrates just how far the subjugation of America's elected leaders by Israel has gone. British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is featured on a new show called "Who is America?" in which he uses disguises and aliases to engage politicians and other luminaries in unscripted interviews that reveal just how ignorant or mendacious they actually are. Several recent episodes remind one of a February 2013 Saturday Night Live skit on the impending confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. A Senator asks Hagel. "It is vital to Israel's security for you to go on national television and perform oral sex on a donkey Would you do THAT for Israel?" A "yes" answer was, of course, expected from Hagel. The skit was never aired after objections from the usual suspects.

Baron Cohen, who confronted several GOP notables in the guise of Colonel Erran Morad, an Israeli security specialist, provided a number of clues that his interview was a sham but none of the victims were smart enough to pick up on them. Cohen, wearing an Israeli military uniform and calling himself a colonel, clearly displayed sergeant's stripes. Hinting that he might actually be a Mossad agent, Cohen also sported a T-shirt on which the Hebrew text was printed backwards and he claimed that the Israeli spy agency's motto was "if you want to win, show some skin."

Cohen set up Dick Cheney by complimenting him on being the "the king of terrorist killers" before commenting that "my neighbor in Tel Aviv is in jail for murder, or, as we call it, enhanced tickling." Morad went on to tell Cheney that he once waterboarded his wife to check for infidelity and then convinced the former Vice President to sign a "waterboarding kit" that "already had" the signatures of Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon and Demi Lovato.

Another more spectacular sketch included a Georgia state senator Jason Spencer who was convinced to shout out the n-word as part of an alleged video being made to fight terrorism. After Cohen told Spencer that it was necessary to incite fear in homophobic jihadists, Spencer dropped his pants and underwear, before backing up with his exposed rear end while shouting "USA!" and "America!" Spencer also spoke with a phony Asian accent while simulating using a selfie-stick to secretly insert a camera phone inside a Muslim woman's burqa.

In another series of encounters, Cohen as Morad managed to convince current and ex-Republican members of Congress -- to include former Senate majority leader Trent Lott -- to endorse a fictional Israeli program to arm grade school children for self-defense.

Cohen's footage included a former Illinois congressman and talk radio host named Joe Walsh saying : "The intensive three-week 'Kinderguardian' course introduces specially selected children from 12 to 4 years old to pistols, rifles, semiautomatics and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars. In less than a month -- less than a month -- a first-grader can become a first grenade-er."

Both controversial Alabama judge Roy Moore and Walsh were fooled into meeting Cohen to attend a non-existent pro-Israel conference to accept an award for "significant contributions to the state of Israel." Representative Dana Rohrabacher, meanwhile, also was interviewed and he commented that, "Maybe having young people trained and understand how to defend themselves and their school might actually make us safer here." And Congressman Joe Wilson observed that "A 3-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a 'Hello Kitty' pencil case at it."

Cohen's performance is instructive. A man shows up in Israeli uniform, claims to be a terrorism expert or even a Mossad agent, and he gains access to powerful Americans who are willing to do anything he says. How Cohen did it says a lot about the reflexive and completely uncritical support for Israel that many American politicians -- particularly Republicans -- now embrace. This, in a nutshell, is the damage that Israel and its Lobby have done to the United States. Israel is always right for many policymakers and even palpably phony Jews like Colonel Morad are instantly perceived as smarter than the rest of us so we'd better do what they say. That kind of thinking has brought us Iraq, Libya, Syria and the possibility of something far worse with Iran.

Israel routinely interferes in American politics and corrupts our institutions without any cost to itself and that is why I write and speak frequently regarding the danger to our Republic that it poses. It is past time to change the essentially phony narrative. Israel is nothing but trouble. It has the right to defend itself and protect its interests but that should not involve the United States. One can only hope that eventually a majority of my fellow American citizens will also figure things out. It might take a while, but the ruthless way Israel openly operates with no concern for anyone but itself provides a measure of optimism that that day is surely coming.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .

Anonymous [679] Disclaimer , August 14, 2018 at 4:50 am GMT

. The decision to go to war on false pretenses against Iraq, largely promoted by a cabal of prominent American Jews in the Pentagon and in the media, killed 4,424 Americans as well as hundreds of thousands Iraqis and will wind up costing the American taxpayer $7 trillion dollars when all the bills are paid. That same group of mostly Jewish neocons more-or-less is now agitating to go to war with Iran using a game plan for escalation prepared by Israel which will, if anything, prove even more catastrophic.

Oh right, who can forget the cabal of Jews controlling the US government and military at the time of the Iraq invasion, such as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, CIA director George Tenet, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Every.Single.Time, am I right, folks?

Oh wait, they aren't Jewish? Well, I blame the Jews away. Just look at uh Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Woflowitz and journalist Bill Kristol. That sounds like an extremely powerful cabal easily capable of commanding such trivial figures as the President, CIA director, Secretary of State, et cetera, to do their bidding.

Besides, just look at how much the Iraq War benefited Israel. You see, Israel wants to pursue a strategy of destabilizing the region, so it cleverly pulled off a false flag attack on 9/11; I'm not quite sure why Mossad didn't frame one of Israel's actual enemies, like the Palestinians or Iranians, or even Saddam for that matter, as the perpetrators of the attacks, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan.

Anyway, Israel got the United States to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region and created chaos, predictably leading to a massive increase in Iranian influence in Iraq and likely enabling more Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which benefited Israel because uh chaos and destabilization.

And if you doubt that neocons totally control the US government, just look at how we're at war with Iran! Well we're not technically at war yet, a decade after neoconservatives began promoting the war .and President Obama did somehow manage to sign a nuclear deal with Iran that infuriated his neocon and Israeli puppetmasters but I'm sure that President Trump, famously beloved by Jews and neocons everywhere, will soon go to war with Iran.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT

@Ben_C

' I'm not entirely sure why you keep hanging on to this tired and false narrative that US politicians are some sort of stooges and puppets of Israel '

Maybe because they are stooges and puppets? In extreme cases, they even boast of it. When Romney was running for president, he promised he would check with Israel on any action we took in the Middle East. When Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was promoting civil war in Syria, she explained that this was necessary because Israel wished it.

It goes on, and on. If someone is considering a run for Congress, he gets a nice little packet from AIPAC. Among other things, he's asked to write an essay expressing his feelings about Israel.

If the essay isn't satisfactory, AIPAC backs his opponent.

Not surprisingly, when Netanyahu -- the premier of a tiny state on the other side of the planet -- spoke to Congress he was interrupted with standing ovations seventeen times. The display put me in mind of the sort of frenzied adulation Communist delegates used to display towards Stalin.

and the motives, of course, would be similar, even if actual death isn't in prospect. For most in Congress, displease Israel, and your political career just ended.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke

"Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it (Israel) had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington."

It's certainly difficult to explain how else Mossad came to be filming the attack.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT
I think it needs to be emphasized that it's not merely a matter of practical politics.

Israel is evil -- she brings misery to millions, actual happiness to almost no one, and engages in behavior with no defensible moral foundation at all. She has attacked every single one of her neighbors, compulsively seeks out further conflict to paper over the shortcomings in her own national identity, and treats her Palestinian subjects with a morality about like that of a nasty little boy pulling the wings off a fly.

Arguably, others are as bad. However, unlike the others, Israel could not have come into being without our support, and could not continue to exist today without our continued moral, economic, diplomatic, and military support. If we pulled the plug, Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish supremacist state within -- at most -- a decade.

We are, in fact, responsible for Israel, and hence responsible for Israel's crimes. Other people's teenaged sons may well be out there stealing cars and raping girls. This happens to be our son doing it. We're responsible.

We pursue many policies I regard as futile, short-sighted, deluded, or self-destructive. My personal list would include 'come one come all' immigration, global warming denial, maintaining a massive military establishment, condoning 'Black Lives Matter,' and probably some other things.

No doubt the reader has his own list. However, that's not the point. The point is that essentially, these policies are merely stupid rather than actually evil. It's not evil to think we should just let whoever wants come into the US. It's dumb -- but it isn't evil. In fact, I'll willingly credit people who vote for 'sanctuary cities' et al with the most laudable sentiments. I merely question their intelligence.

Israel is different. Israel is evil, and hence our support for it is as well. It is the most fundamentally wrong act we are engaged in.

There is a moral dimension to life. There is a distinction between striving to do good -- however unsuccessfully -- and willingly participating in evil.

We need to stop supporting Israel.

The Alarmist , August 14, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT

"A well-funded massive lobbying effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals in the U.S. has worked to the detriment of actual American interests, in part by creating a permanent annual gift of billions of dollars to Israel for no other reason but that it is Israel and can get anything it wants from a servile Congress and White House without any objection from a controlled media."

Kind of begs the question, why are we giving any aid to a first-world country with a GDP growth rate in the 3% to 4% rate for years (even while we were stuck below 2%) and an unemployment rate below 4%?

The Israeli economy is in better shape than the US economy; they should be giving us aid.

"Baron Cohen, who confronted several GOP notables in the guise of Colonel Erran Morad, an Israeli security specialist, provided a number of clues that his interview was a sham but none of the victims were smart enough to pick up on them."

Yes, it is truly amazing what our "Best & Brightest" will do to stay on-side. Following Mr. Giraldi's earlier post regarding the gubernatorial run of Israeli puppet Ron DeSantis and the Big Sugar connections of Adam Putnam, it would seem a Floridian's least worst choice is Bob White.

skrik , August 14, 2018 at 9:31 am GMT

Israel is nothing but trouble. It has the right to defend itself

1st part: Absolutely, indubitably correct.

2nd part: ¿Qué? Why do people say/write this? Under what corrupt arrangement does an oh, so obvious outlaw have any such right?

Consider: A gang of out-of-towners turns up at a block of flats, breaks the doors down and occupies the building, killing some erstwhile owner/occupiers and ejecting most of the rest on the way in, thereafter whooping it up big, and ignoring [obviously too feeble] orders to RoR+R*3 [= Right of Return + Revest, Reparations and Reconciliation.] Since when can such outlaws dictate anything, thumb their noses at the Law?

Property, especially here land, is alienable – but this does not mean ' subject to seizure by aliens .'

Kindly consider: "A fair exchange is no robbery." A fair exchange means willing seller, interested buyer, and a freely and fairly agreed price. No such thing exists vis-à-vis the forcible colonisation of Palestine. Some proof may be seen here [my bolding]:

By 1949, some 700,000 Palestinians had fled or been expelled from their lands and villages. Israel was now in control of some 20.5 million dunams (approx. 20,500 km²) or 78% of lands in what had been Mandatory Palestine

Land laws were passed to legalize changes to land ownership.[5]

5. Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine. Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005, p. 37.

Especially in reference to the illegitimate entity which terms itself Israel, wiki is not reliable, being, like the US Congress, Israeli-occupied territory. So it is noteworthy that they write "in control of" as opposed to 'own.' They can't ever own it due to not having purchased it, and Palestinians may not surrender it, due to the UDHR which specifies *inalienable* rights:

Article 3.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 17.
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Also, see the Washington Consensus:

10.Legal security for property rights.

Further, there is UNSC242: inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, plus only just law may earn respect, and/or be respected. A law dispossessing erstwhile legal owner/occupiers is an utter travesty.

Me; comment: Its illegitimacy is all so howlingly obvious!

Fazit: Apart from the ~6% of 'pre-Herzl Palestine' which 'invading by stealth' alien, mostly European Jews managed to purchase, the illegitimate entity does not own nor can they ever own the land/property they squat upon, which still belongs to the erstwhile owner/occupiers, specifically the 'native' pre-Nakba Palestinians [now including heirs & successors]. Then, the illegitimate entity does not declare borders for two reasons 1) any such declaration would be [probably successfully] challenged and 2) the illegitimate entity expresses the desire to expand to 'from the Nile to the Euphrates.' Q: Just how ghastly is that? A: Could hardly be worse.

Closing the loop: How can land-thieves have any 'right to defend' such improperly alienated land/property? It doesn't compute! rgds

mark green , August 14, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
Thank you, Mr. Giraldi, for another forceful rebuke of Zionist criminality and US culpability.

The supremacist kosher state is a cancer on America. Just survey the wreckage. Count the bodies. Who benefits from this?

The Zionist project is a plague on humanity. It entertains no compromise. It will stop at virtually nothing. Examine the blood-soaked damage from Soviet Russia to Germany to Palestine and beyond. It moves Washington around via remote control.

The situation has become very grave. Speech deemed 'anti-Semitic' is rapidly being criminalized worldwide.

Right wing political expression (that Jews don't like) on Twitter, Facebook and the web is being de-platformed for speech infractions that involve 'hate'. But it's only 'hate' of a certain stripe.

After all, hatred is ubiquitous in America. It cuts in every direction. So why is the focus so intense on just one spectrum of hatred?

Might it have something to do with the political preferences of those in power?

Oh maybe.

Principles be damned. Whose ox is being gored?

With that in mind, consider this: who might actually be the biggest hater of all?–and killer? (Hint: it's certainly not the powerless Alt-right 'deplorables'.)

Might it instead be the world's foremost victims?

After all, incendiary speech–even 'hate speech'–does not kill. It takes bombs, drones, tanks and missiles to accomplish that.

So where's the uproar over routine sorties which needlessly dispense death and destruction?

It's gone missing.

Incredibly, it is rough speech and acute political criticism–not failed, horrific wars–that are being criminalized. Pro-Zionist 'wars of choice' still get a pass in our corporate board rooms, TV studios, news rooms, and in most of Official Washington.

This entrenched distortion allows neocons and their underlings to jawbone and plot their next preemptive war. The Big Squeeze is on. Beware Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iran. Zionism is an 'unshakable' Washington value. So get ready.

How distant wars advance the interests of average Americans remains a mystery.

Despite this puzzle, America's MSM offers little resistance and no straightforward criticism of Zio-Washington's ceaseless war efforts on behalf of a certain 'democratic ally'. In similar fashion, the Fourth Estate has also been compromised.

It's worth remembering that, according to the UN Charter, a state-sponsored 'First Strike' against another sovereign state is the most serious war crime. This elementary moral precept however matters not–at least not when Israel is pulling the strings. Quiet, children. Listen. Obey.

What we have here is a pattern of vast serial criminality.

Zio-Washington has become Israel's war vessel. We regular folk are just along for the ride.

So don't forget to cheer for the good guys!

Incredibly, US-enabled, Israeli ruthlessness has gotten even worse under 'America First' Trump. After all, Trump needlessly tore up Obama's hard-fought peace deal with Iran.

Why would Trump make such a move? (As a candidate, he was far less hawkish).

Our weakened and despised President needs desperately to please America's foremost lobby. Trump cannot govern without their support. This peculiar situation however requires additional blood-letting on behalf of the Zionist state. Foreign wars that benefit Israel are the unwritten price that the goyim leadership in America must pay. Sorry folks!

(Are you listening, Tehran?)

Jewish power corrupts. Overwhelming Jewish power corrupts in overwhelming fashion.

skrik , August 14, 2018 at 11:21 am GMT
@Colin Wright

It's certainly difficult to explain how else Mossad came to be filming the attack

Err 'do + document?' It's certainly difficult to explain how 19 reputed Muslim/Arab hijackers could have 'control demolished' WTC7; ~2.5secs at *exactly* free-fall speed, WTCs 1&2 at almost free-fall speed [plus the outwards-ejected massive steel sections], and all mainly 'all the way down' into their own 'footprints' = all three control demolished [all for one; one for all]. Camel-f ** ckers just ain't that clever, eh? The observed fact that the US rogue-regime made no 'counteractions' vis-à-vis the so-called 'attack on America' made all 'responsibles' accessories; before [covert agencies], during [order-givers] and after ['led' by the corrupt&venal MSM+PFBCs [latter = publicly financed broadcasters]; all vile traitors.] Ho, hum; just another US/Z travesty. rgds

JessicaR , August 14, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
I read these kinds of articles with mixed reactions.

On the one hand, I believe Mr. Giraldi should choose his language more carefully. Perhaps instead of referring to "Jews," he should narrow this to "Jewish Likud supporters" or something similar.

The Jewish community as a whole is moderate, reasonable, and not especially devoted to war. It is a subset of the community–which, alas, happens to be well-funded and dedicated–that promotes war 24/7.

I believe Mr. Giraldi would appear more credible if he made this crucial distinction.

On the other hand, someone will always comment that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. are more powerful than Wolfowitz and Feith. I believe this line of attack ignores crucial facts.

1. It is these less powerful underlings that package the information that their superiors use when determining policy. One need only recall the Office of Special Plans, headed by Feith, that cherry-picked intelligence to make the case for war. Also, Wolfowitz served as Bush II's foreign policy tutor when he was a candidate.

2. It has been credibly reported, I believe by Dana Milbanks in the Washington Post, that Jewish donors provide 50% of individual donations to the Democratic party and 35% of donations made to the Republicans. This kind of money gives those hawkish elements of the Jewish community considerable power. In a system in which the vote is split almost equally between both parties, these funds are crucial to electoral success.

So, yes, the Israel lobby is extraordinarily powerful. But no, it does not represent all American Jews.

Philip Giraldi , August 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm GMT
@JessicaR

Jessica – I never say "all Jews" or even "most Jews" but to ignore that the dominance of Israel is a Jewish problem is to turn one's back on reality. It is Jewish oligarchs and organizations that push the Israeli agenda, that fund it, and that sustain it in the media and on capitol hill. I know there are a lot of liberal Jews and even some not so liberal ones that abhor what Israel is doing but are afraid to say anything lest they be called "self hating." They have to get off the fence and declare that the USA is their home and that Netanyahu's insistence that Israel is the Jewish homeland is a self-serving fraud. Until that happens, Israel will dominate America's foreign policy discussion, to our damage. Israel is a foreign country and should be treated by Washington like any other foreign country, i.e. based on US national interests.

anon [317] Disclaimer , August 14, 2018 at 12:08 pm GMT
@Ben_C

"special relationship" with Israel is itself the result of terrible national security and foreign policy" while I agree that the statement is true, if does not begin to explain the depth of Zionist control of the American Empire, nor does it look to the origin of that control.

1. Israel is the network @ Colin wright, @ anonymous in reply to Ben_C as well as

2. The well researched book entitled "The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy by John J. Mearsheimer (the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguised Service professor of Political Science and the co director of the progarm on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago) and Stephen M. Walt (the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor international Affairs at the John f. Kennedy School of government at Harvard University and past academic dean of the Kennedy School which discusses the Impact of US Foreign Policy as it relates to America's nation interest.

3. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/05/570217/US-aid-to-Israel-to-exceed-38B
38 billion is $112 per America given to Israel by the USA congress
What possible benefit can Americans get from giving a bunch of militants in the Middle East 38 million?

4. Article VI of the US Constitution readmitted back into Independent America the entire banking and corporate leaches which caused the American revolution, explained in some detail on this website just a few days ago. @ Anon[317] • Disclaimer says: August 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm GMT • 1,100 Words wherein the so called landed estates and landed Gentry were mostly British Banking and Trading and Slaving Corporations (many Jewish owners) doing business in America. Their wealth was derived from their land ownership and corporations licensed to do business in America by foreign governments. The British Aristocratic land grants mostly made to privately owned British banking, trading and slaving corporations or wealthy British and French Aristocrats allowed foreign nations to deed title to American land. These baron-landed owners, the so-called Gentry, were the very centers of the British a-human rights authority and vicious corporate and political powerhouses that controlled the American Colonies of Britain. It was the landed gentry that brought the American colonist to revolt against British rule. BUT just 12 years after the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the banker and Aristocrat favorable US constitution was imposed by a process called ratification? ( a third party regime change process that appears in the US Constitution as Article VII?). This ratification process was used to impose the very same British mostly Wealthy Crowd to not only keep their land granted lands, their personal wealth earned by inhumanity to mankind, and their educated Aristocratic global life styles in America. So the US constitution itself allowed to be installed: a government that only gave the British Baron Aristocrats voting control of America's destiny but it also terminated the Democracy (Articles of Confederation) that so much American blood had been spilt to bring about. These were the some of the forefathers forefathers to global Zionism, a part of the powerhouse support team of the Jewish banking and corporate global network, many of whom became team members in the formalized conspiracy to take control of the oil in the world and to weaponize immigration in order to take the oil from the Arabs. In 1896 (Switzerland , first Zionist Congress) the Jewish controlled organizations weaponized immigration and aimed it at the Ottoman Arab oil. Trace a failed coup attempt against the Ottoman, the Balfour Agreement, WWI, British and French control over once Ottoman Palestine, the Palin Commission, a network established military base that became Israel, immediate International recognition by the Jewish controlled nations of the world) and so on. .

I trust you might now be " entirely sure why .. the narrative that US Politicians {must be ] .. [elected, salaried] stooges and puppets of Israel " few outsiders are allowed to take a position among the 527 who control the law making powers and war making powers that the USA uses to force Americans into their wars.

Miggle , August 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMT
It seems that a large proportion of the members of the US Congress are Israeli citizens.

It is unconstitutional for a member of the Australian Parliament to be a dual citizen. This is taken to such an extent that if it's found that an MP born in New Zealand moved to Australia as a baby, that person's election becomes null and void, unless he or she was conscious of the situation and verifiably renounced NZ citizenship prior to the election. That is so even in this mad case of Australians and New Zealanders having the same head of state, the English monarch.

Why on earth can't America bring in a similar law, making it impossible for Israeli citizens to vote in its Congress, to even be there?

[Aug 14, 2018] Why Did 51 American State Department Officials 'Dissent' Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro , August 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

Yea it was suppose to be Hillary. Under her 51 US State Dept. officials demanded Obama bomb Syria.

Why Did 51 American State Department Officials 'Dissent' Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/why-did-51-american-state-department-officials-dissent-against-obama-and-call-for-bombing-syria.html

51 U.S. diplomats who still haven't grasped the negative outcomes of the disastrous wars launched since 2002, the solution is to bomb the world into America's image. In an internal dissent cable addressed to Barack Obama, seasoned diplomats have urged airstrikes on the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Chas Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, told me he found the cable "unusual" in two respects. First, it garnered a large number of signatures. Most of those who signed the cable, a State Department official told me, were "rank and file" diplomats, such as a deputy to U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and a secretary in the Near East Bureau. They had a good understanding of the current situation in the region. The second reason this cable is unusual, said Ambassador Freeman, is that the signatories "are arguing for rather than against the use of force." Over the past 40 years, diplomats have used the "dissent channel" to caution against a rush to war. Now these diplomats are asking for an intensification of war.

A former ambassador told me that many of the diplomats have great fealty to Hillary Clinton. Could they have leaked this cable to boost Clinton's narrative that she wanted a more robust attack on Damascus as early as 2012? Is this a campaign advertisement for Clinton, and a preparation for her likely Middle East policy when she takes power in 2017? Clinton certainly advocated tougher military action in Syria. She joined CIA chief David Petraeus to push for a U.S.-backed rebel army in 2012, and she argued for air strikes when there was no appetite for this in the White House.

[Aug 14, 2018] Creating problems in Ukriane is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA

Looks like the aim of US sanctions is to ratchet the hostility up with Russia to the level of a full blown cold war. Ukraine can be a victim.
Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, you'll get bogged down in Ukraine. You'll face tough choices (sanctions will get North Korea-style quickly, and even Chinese sympathy will get questionable), like should you spend your scarce resources on modern weaponry or a large security force to keep Ukraine pacified? ..."
"... Very few people in Russia would want Ukraine now. The consensus is: "good riddance". In Ukraine, on the other hand, there are people who want Russia to invade. Some are waiting for someone else to liberate them from Nazis (they apparently are not familiar with Protestant wisdom that God helps those who help themselves), some pray for a pretext to invite NATO/US (as if anyone is willing to die for them). ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

@reiner Tor


We'll need an anti-sanctions law regardless of whether or not we are going to invade.
Well, I'd say it's a precondition to invading Ukraine. If you're incapable of making such a simple law, you're sure as hell incapable of invading Ukraine. And you do need the law if you want to avoid the sanctions creating the perverse incentives inside Russia, like the biggest banks not having branches in the Crimea. Decoupling from the US dollar is no help, since US sanctions are extraterritorial, if you didn't notice, so they affect euro or even Chinese yuan denominated transactions, too.
Eastern Europeans will never mobilise. What would mass mobilisation even look like in a country like Hungary? Instead, they'll petition USA to station more of its troops in Eastern Europe. A lot more, like hundreds of thousands more.
Within living memory, Hungary had armed forces of 150,000 troops and 1,500 main battle tanks (admittedly, the majority were somewhat obsolete), with hundreds of fighter and light bomber jets (MiG-21s and Su-22s etc.), and we were the slackers in the Eastern Bloc, not spending on defense as much as other neighbors of us. Increasing defense spending to 2% of GDP is what's the plan. If you invaded and occupied the whole of Ukraine, it could easily go up to 4-5%.

Of course, the Americans might come in numbers, too. But you're delusional here:

Doing so will impose costs on the USA. Actually, this is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA: by stoking tensions in Eastern Europe.
We have no military industry to speak of. Most of our neighbors do have some, but even they are nowhere near self-sufficiency. You can guess who we'll buy our weapons from. Poland recently offered to pay for an American base on its soil. So it won't be much of a cost for the US, it might actually be quite beneficial.

Meanwhile, you'll get bogged down in Ukraine. You'll face tough choices (sanctions will get North Korea-style quickly, and even Chinese sympathy will get questionable), like should you spend your scarce resources on modern weaponry or a large security force to keep Ukraine pacified?

Mass deportations is the best part about occupying the Ukraine!
Stalin's USSR at the height of its power only deported much smaller populations. You'd need a lot of people to achieve that. But let's assume you'll manage to do that. It will, of course, create a huge backlash against Russia: popular opinion will get united against Russians. (Defense spending quickly up to 5% of GDP or higher.) The Ukrainians in our countries will of course enter the workforce and join anti-Russian ragtag militias to control the border.
Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland
So the people ethnically cleansed from their homes will rise up against NATO in support of Russia. This is a seriously dumb idea.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 7:04 pm GMT

Very few people in Russia would want Ukraine now. The consensus is: "good riddance". In Ukraine, on the other hand, there are people who want Russia to invade. Some are waiting for someone else to liberate them from Nazis (they apparently are not familiar with Protestant wisdom that God helps those who help themselves), some pray for a pretext to invite NATO/US (as if anyone is willing to die for them).

This reminds me of an old Russian joke.

An old hag sits on the bench and screams: "Help! They are raping me!"
Another one passes by and asks: "Have you gone completely mad?"
The first one answers: "Everyone is entitled to a pleasant dream!"

Cyrano , August 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Don't worry about my IQ woes – they are non-existent. I am a stable genius – just like Donald Trump. Your IQ issues are – on the other hand – very easy to fix. All you have to do is admit that you are Russian and you immediately gain 20-30 IQ points. Of course, this will come at the expense of Russia, but then again. everything you've ever done in your history came at the expense of Russia. All the Russians ever wanted was to have a brotherly nation in Ukraine. They have a brother all right, unfortunately that brother has a Down syndrome.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Okechukwu

Any Russian ruler who tries to return Crimea will be overthrown in no time. As Russia gradually disengages from the US-dominated financial system, the costs will go down. Russia has already created its own payment system similar to that of Visa and Mastercard, as well as its own money transfer system similar to SWIFT. On the other hand, if Russia fails to disengage from dollar-dominated system, the losses would be much greater than Crimea. It might even turn into a shithole, like Ukraine.

Insurance is more often a scam than not: Lehman Brothers enjoyed pretty high ratings until their crash. What's more, banks were insured against the risks of sub-prime mortgages they held. Remember what happened in 2008?

As to the future, nobody has the crystal ball. Can you tell how much a Big Mac will cost in the US five or ten years from now? $4? $40? $400? $4,000? Your guess is as good as mine. Ponzi schemes have a habit of crashing and nobody worked out a way of predicting when exactly the crash will occur.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm GMT
@DaveE

This might be in the cards. The US sanctions actually squeezed Russian comprador (5th column) oligarchs, who were always subservient to the West, sent their families there, and are siphoning off their money offshore, more than anything. If Putin uses this to expropriate their stolen riches, which he might do (98% of Russian population would be cheering; they'd cheer even more if Putin hangs those bastards, but that's unlikely), these sanctions would be yet another example of the US shooting itself in the foot. The US is getting pretty good at that lately, always screaming that it hurts afterwards.

[Aug 14, 2018] Our Despicable, Indefensible Policy in Yemen by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... So will a good Christian like Mike Pompeo reconcile these obvious falsehoods, self deception. With every letter, he will be denying the very God he professes to believe in. ..."
"... Trump and his administration are the reveal of the true nature of modern American political Christianity. This is what it always was ..."
"... But The People are not exactly conscientious objector on the issue of Yemen and the crimes committed in our name either. The Republic might rot from the head, but the rot has certainly spread far and wide. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The pathetic U.S. response to last week's massacre of students in Yemen continues :

A senior general urged Saudi officials to conduct a thorough investigation into an airstrike that killed at least 40 children in Yemen, the Pentagon said Monday, an indication of U.S. concern about allied nations' air operations against Houthi militants.

The general's request actually shows how little concern the U.S. has for how the Saudi coalition conducts its war effort. If the U.S. were concerned with how the war was being fought, our officials wouldn't be asking the perpetrators of atrocities to investigate their own crimes. It is pointless to urge the Saudis to conduct an investigation into their own war crime when we already know that they will find that they did nothing wrong. As the Post article notes later on, the coalition's investigations predictably excuse their actions:

According to Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director for Human Rights Watch, Saudi investigators had cleared coalition military officials of legal responsibility in virtually all investigations the JIAT had conducted.

The pattern of Saudi coalition conduct over the last three years is clear. Their forces commit numerous documented war crimes, and then when they "investigate" those crimes they determine that their forces are guilty of nothing. It would have been laughable to ask the Saudis to investigate themselves back in 2015, and to do the same over three years later is inexcusable. It is an invitation to whitewashing heinous, illegal acts. The U.S. will not honestly call out the coalition members for their crimes against Yemeni civilians because our government is deeply complicit in those crimes, and so we are treated to this pantomime farce where we send officers to call for investigations whose results have been predetermined even before the crimes were committed. The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it.

There needs to be an independent, international inquiry into war crimes committed by all sides in Yemen. All parties to the conflict are assuredly guilty of war crimes, and all parties should be held accountable for what they have done to Yemen's civilians. As long as the U.S. enables Saudi coalition crimes and then shields them from scrutiny, our government is implicated in both the crime and the cover-up. Congress could put a stop to this if they were willing to do their jobs and assume their proper responsibilities, but for more than three years they have shirked their duties and acquiesced in a despicable and indefensible policy in Yemen.


Other Costs August 14, 2018 at 1:34 am

"The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it."

For all that they're doing it at the order of even more disgusting civilians, this has got a be a low point in the history of the American military. The word "Yemen" on a resume or CV will make military people stink for the rest of their lives. Like "My Lai" or "Dishonorable Discharge".

Christian Chuba , says: August 14, 2018 at 7:41 am
We are getting a preview of the letters Mike Pompeo will be signing off on to Congress.

So will a good Christian like Mike Pompeo reconcile these obvious falsehoods, self deception. With every letter, he will be denying the very God he professes to believe in.

rayray , says: August 14, 2018 at 10:33 am
@Christian Chuba
Trump and his administration are the reveal of the true nature of modern American political Christianity. This is what it always was
b. , says: August 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm
"The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it."

Conduct unbecoming.

The higher the rank of the officers involving themselves in this – in following unconstitutional orders to participate in an illegal campaign of aggressive war and collective punishment – the worse it gets. It would be a heroic act for a private – or even the officer piloting a refueling tanker – to speak out against this, a general has much less of a claim to honor and acquiescence both.

If The People really supported those who serve, they would rally to every conscientious objector – even the misguided ones – because anybody who has the honor and integrity to question orders is preferable to those that pay no heed to the meaning of their oath.

But The People are not exactly conscientious objector on the issue of Yemen and the crimes committed in our name either. The Republic might rot from the head, but the rot has certainly spread far and wide.

[Aug 14, 2018] It was Neocons who pushed the USA to invade Iraa, but, as Greenspan said, the goals of USA were about oil not so much about Israeli interests in the region

Notable quotes:
"... Besides, just look at how much the Iraq War benefited Israel. You see, Israel wants to pursue a strategy of destabilizing the region, so it cleverly pulled off a false flag attack on 9/11; I'm not quite sure why Mossad didn't frame one of Israel's actual enemies, like the Palestinians or Iranians, or even Saddam for that matter, as the perpetrators of the attacks, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan. ..."
"... Anyway, Israel got the United States to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region and created chaos, predictably leading to a massive increase in Iranian influence in Iraq and likely enabling more Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which benefited Israel because uh chaos and destabilization. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [679] Disclaimer , August 14, 2018 at 4:50 am GMT

. The decision to go to war on false pretenses against Iraq, largely promoted by a cabal of prominent American Jews in the Pentagon and in the media, killed 4,424 Americans as well as hundreds of thousands Iraqis and will wind up costing the American taxpayer $7 trillion dollars when all the bills are paid. That same group of mostly Jewish neocons more-or-less is now agitating to go to war with Iran using a game plan for escalation prepared by Israel which will, if anything, prove even more catastrophic.

Oh right, who can forget the cabal of Jews controlling the US government and military at the time of the Iraq invasion, such as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, CIA director George Tenet, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Every.Single.Time, am I right, folks?

Oh wait, they aren't Jewish? Well, I blame the Jews away. Just look at uh Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Woflowitz and journalist Bill Kristol. That sounds like an extremely powerful cabal easily capable of commanding such trivial figures as the President, CIA director, Secretary of State, et cetera, to do their bidding.

Besides, just look at how much the Iraq War benefited Israel. You see, Israel wants to pursue a strategy of destabilizing the region, so it cleverly pulled off a false flag attack on 9/11; I'm not quite sure why Mossad didn't frame one of Israel's actual enemies, like the Palestinians or Iranians, or even Saddam for that matter, as the perpetrators of the attacks, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan.

Anyway, Israel got the United States to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region and created chaos, predictably leading to a massive increase in Iranian influence in Iraq and likely enabling more Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which benefited Israel because uh chaos and destabilization.

And if you doubt that neocons totally control the US government, just look at how we're at war with Iran! Well we're not technically at war yet, a decade after neoconservatives began promoting the war and President Obama did somehow manage to sign a nuclear deal with Iran that infuriated his neocon and Israeli puppetmasters but I'm sure that President Trump, famously beloved by Jews and neocons everywhere, will soon go to war with Iran.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT

@Ben_C

' I'm not entirely sure why you keep hanging on to this tired and false narrative that US politicians are some sort of stooges and puppets of Israel '

Maybe because they are stooges and puppets? In extreme cases, they even boast of it. When Romney was running for president, he promised he would check with Israel on any action we took in the Middle East. When Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was promoting civil war in Syria, she explained that this was necessary because Israel wished it.

It goes on, and on. If someone is considering a run for Congress, he gets a nice little packet from AIPAC. Among other things, he's asked to write an essay expressing his feelings about Israel.

If the essay isn't satisfactory, AIPAC backs his opponent.

Not surprisingly, when Netanyahu -- the premier of a tiny state on the other side of the planet -- spoke to Congress he was interrupted with standing ovations seventeen times. The display put me in mind of the sort of frenzied adulation Communist delegates used to display towards Stalin.

and the motives, of course, would be similar, even if actual death isn't in prospect. For most in Congress, displease Israel, and your political career just ended.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke

"Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it (Israel) had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington."

It's certainly difficult to explain how else Mossad came to be filming the attack.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT
I think it needs to be emphasized that it's not merely a matter of practical politics.

Israel is evil -- she brings misery to millions, actual happiness to almost no one, and engages in behavior with no defensible moral foundation at all. She has attacked every single one of her neighbors, compulsively seeks out further conflict to paper over the shortcomings in her own national identity, and treats her Palestinian subjects with a morality about like that of a nasty little boy pulling the wings off a fly.

Arguably, others are as bad. However, unlike the others, Israel could not have come into being without our support, and could not continue to exist today without our continued moral, economic, diplomatic, and military support. If we pulled the plug, Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish supremacist state within -- at most -- a decade.

We are, in fact, responsible for Israel, and hence responsible for Israel's crimes. Other people's teenaged sons may well be out there stealing cars and raping girls. This happens to be our son doing it. We're responsible.

We pursue many policies I regard as futile, short-sighted, deluded, or self-destructive. My personal list would include 'come one come all' immigration, global warming denial, maintaining a massive military establishment, condoning 'Black Lives Matter,' and probably some other things.

No doubt the reader has his own list. However, that's not the point. The point is that essentially, these policies are merely stupid rather than actually evil. It's not evil to think we should just let whoever wants come into the US. It's dumb -- but it isn't evil. In fact, I'll willingly credit people who vote for 'sanctuary cities' et al with the most laudable sentiments. I merely question their intelligence.

Israel is different. Israel is evil, and hence our support for it is as well. It is the most fundamentally wrong act we are engaged in.

There is a moral dimension to life. There is a distinction between striving to do good -- however unsuccessfully -- and willingly participating in evil.

We need to stop supporting Israel.

The Alarmist , August 14, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT

"A well-funded massive lobbying effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals in the U.S. has worked to the detriment of actual American interests, in part by creating a permanent annual gift of billions of dollars to Israel for no other reason but that it is Israel and can get anything it wants from a servile Congress and White House without any objection from a controlled media."

Kind of begs the question, why are we giving any aid to a first-world country with a GDP growth rate in the 3% to 4% rate for years (even while we were stuck below 2%) and an unemployment rate below 4%?

The Israeli economy is in better shape than the US economy; they should be giving us aid.

"Baron Cohen, who confronted several GOP notables in the guise of Colonel Erran Morad, an Israeli security specialist, provided a number of clues that his interview was a sham but none of the victims were smart enough to pick up on them."

Yes, it is truly amazing what our "Best & Brightest" will do to stay on-side. Following Mr. Giraldi's earlier post regarding the gubernatorial run of Israeli puppet Ron DeSantis and the Big Sugar connections of Adam Putnam, it would seem a Floridian's least worst choice is Bob White.

skrik , August 14, 2018 at 9:31 am GMT

Israel is nothing but trouble. It has the right to defend itself

1st part: Absolutely, indubitably correct.

2nd part: ¿Qué? Why do people say/write this? Under what corrupt arrangement does an oh, so obvious outlaw have any such right?

Consider: A gang of out-of-towners turns up at a block of flats, breaks the doors down and occupies the building, killing some erstwhile owner/occupiers and ejecting most of the rest on the way in, thereafter whooping it up big, and ignoring [obviously too feeble] orders to RoR+R*3 [= Right of Return + Revest, Reparations and Reconciliation.] Since when can such outlaws dictate anything, thumb their noses at the Law?

Property, especially here land, is alienable – but this does not mean ' subject to seizure by aliens .'

Kindly consider: "A fair exchange is no robbery." A fair exchange means willing seller, interested buyer, and a freely and fairly agreed price. No such thing exists vis-à-vis the forcible colonisation of Palestine. Some proof may be seen here [my bolding]:

By 1949, some 700,000 Palestinians had fled or been expelled from their lands and villages. Israel was now in control of some 20.5 million dunams (approx. 20,500 km²) or 78% of lands in what had been Mandatory Palestine

Land laws were passed to legalize changes to land ownership.[5]

5. Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine. Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005, p. 37.

Especially in reference to the illegitimate entity which terms itself Israel, wiki is not reliable, being, like the US Congress, Israeli-occupied territory. So it is noteworthy that they write "in control of" as opposed to 'own.' They can't ever own it due to not having purchased it, and Palestinians may not surrender it, due to the UDHR which specifies *inalienable* rights:

Article 3.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 17.
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Also, see the Washington Consensus:

10.Legal security for property rights.

Further, there is UNSC242: inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, plus only just law may earn respect, and/or be respected. A law dispossessing erstwhile legal owner/occupiers is an utter travesty.

Me; comment: Its illegitimacy is all so howlingly obvious!

Fazit: Apart from the ~6% of 'pre-Herzl Palestine' which 'invading by stealth' alien, mostly European Jews managed to purchase, the illegitimate entity does not own nor can they ever own the land/property they squat upon, which still belongs to the erstwhile owner/occupiers, specifically the 'native' pre-Nakba Palestinians [now including heirs & successors]. Then, the illegitimate entity does not declare borders for two reasons 1) any such declaration would be [probably successfully] challenged and 2) the illegitimate entity expresses the desire to expand to 'from the Nile to the Euphrates.' Q: Just how ghastly is that? A: Could hardly be worse.

Closing the loop: How can land-thieves have any 'right to defend' such improperly alienated land/property? It doesn't compute! rgds

mark green , August 14, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
Thank you, Mr. Giraldi, for another forceful rebuke of Zionist criminality and US culpability.

The supremacist kosher state is a cancer on America. Just survey the wreckage. Count the bodies. Who benefits from this?

The Zionist project is a plague on humanity. It entertains no compromise. It will stop at virtually nothing. Examine the blood-soaked damage from Soviet Russia to Germany to Palestine and beyond. It moves Washington around via remote control.

The situation has become very grave. Speech deemed 'anti-Semitic' is rapidly being criminalized worldwide.

Right wing political expression (that Jews don't like) on Twitter, Facebook and the web is being de-platformed for speech infractions that involve 'hate'. But it's only 'hate' of a certain stripe.

After all, hatred is ubiquitous in America. It cuts in every direction. So why is the focus so intense on just one spectrum of hatred?

Might it have something to do with the political preferences of those in power?

Oh maybe.

Principles be damned. Whose ox is being gored?

With that in mind, consider this: who might actually be the biggest hater of all?–and killer? (Hint: it's certainly not the powerless Alt-right 'deplorables'.)

Might it instead be the world's foremost victims?

After all, incendiary speech–even 'hate speech'–does not kill. It takes bombs, drones, tanks and missiles to accomplish that.

So where's the uproar over routine sorties which needlessly dispense death and destruction?

It's gone missing.

Incredibly, it is rough speech and acute political criticism–not failed, horrific wars–that are being criminalized. Pro-Zionist 'wars of choice' still get a pass in our corporate board rooms, TV studios, news rooms, and in most of Official Washington.

This entrenched distortion allows neocons and their underlings to jawbone and plot their next preemptive war. The Big Squeeze is on. Beware Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iran. Zionism is an 'unshakable' Washington value. So get ready.

How distant wars advance the interests of average Americans remains a mystery.

Despite this puzzle, America's MSM offers little resistance and no straightforward criticism of Zio-Washington's ceaseless war efforts on behalf of a certain 'democratic ally'. In similar fashion, the Fourth Estate has also been compromised.

It's worth remembering that, according to the UN Charter, a state-sponsored 'First Strike' against another sovereign state is the most serious war crime. This elementary moral precept however matters not–at least not when Israel is pulling the strings. Quiet, children. Listen. Obey.

What we have here is a pattern of vast serial criminality.

Zio-Washington has become Israel's war vessel. We regular folk are just along for the ride.

So don't forget to cheer for the good guys!

Incredibly, US-enabled, Israeli ruthlessness has gotten even worse under 'America First' Trump. After all, Trump needlessly tore up Obama's hard-fought peace deal with Iran.

Why would Trump make such a move? (As a candidate, he was far less hawkish).

Our weakened and despised President needs desperately to please America's foremost lobby. Trump cannot govern without their support. This peculiar situation however requires additional blood-letting on behalf of the Zionist state. Foreign wars that benefit Israel are the unwritten price that the goyim leadership in America must pay. Sorry folks!

(Are you listening, Tehran?)

Jewish power corrupts. Overwhelming Jewish power corrupts in overwhelming fashion.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump's Trade War with China Undermining China's Dependence on Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China. ..."
"... So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that. ..."
"... despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment. ..."
"... for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor. ..."
"... first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements. ..."
"... And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal. ..."
"... let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. ..."
"... The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system. ..."
"... So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.

Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.

MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.

So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.

MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.

Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.

And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.

Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.

PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.

There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.

MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.

PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?

MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.

And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.

PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.

MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.

And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.

And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.

PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.

MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.

MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.

PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?

MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.

PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?

MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.

PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?

MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.

PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.

MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.

MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

[Aug 14, 2018] Israel not Russia is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism.

Notable quotes:
"... Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Sean , August 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm GMT

By all means confront Israel if that is your thing, but don't pretend that there is any possibility of besting them.

Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism.

Yes. And that is why only Israel can tame American Jews.

[Aug 14, 2018] America's Lengthening Enemies List by Pat Buchanan

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

A list of America's adversaries here would contain the Taliban, the Houthis of Yemen, Bashar Assad of Syria, Erdogan's Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China -- a pretty full plate.

Are we prepared to see these confrontations through, to assure the capitulation of our adversaries? What do we do if they continue to defy us?

And if it comes to a fight, how many allies will we have in the battles and wars that follow?

Was this the foreign policy America voted for?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Aug 14, 2018] Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

skopros , August 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT

Has anybody in comments noted how far we have swung from absence of actual PROOF Russia did the Skripal "poisonings" (or even Litvenenko for that matter?!) to what seems like complete acceptance of "guilt," even as major international bodies (OPCW, etc., even Porton Down) have not been able to tie Russia/Putin to these alleged acts of terror or isolate the "novichoks" genre of nerve agent ? The Red Queen triumphs.

Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on? If the "big lie" (Lenin, BTW not Goebbels, originally) works this easily, we are indeed down the chute & over the brink. Orwell is spinning in his grave (gnashing his teeth).

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm GMT

Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on?

It was the same when the Iraq was the enemy.

[Aug 14, 2018] Litvinenko affair now looks like a dressed rehearsal of Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I'd like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. "We have proof but won't show them to you, because they are secret" attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won't be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms – we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

EugeneGur , August 13, 2018 at 7:25 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack

All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Russian actions

I am pretty sure Litvinenko wasn't particularly loved in Russia: he was a traitor, after all, and, judging by his actions, a pretty miserable human being. However, building a case on motive alone is not possible, if for no other reason than because a motive is by definition subjective. You could analyze until your face turns blue how Putin felt about Litvinenko's accusations but you'd never come to any firm conclusion, for only Putin can possibly know that.

Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I'd like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. "We have proof but won't show them to you, because they are secret" attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won't be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms – we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire.

The same patters was repeated exactly in the Skripal case. This tells you who is the "highly likely" culprit, doesn't it? These two scenarios are so much alike, the have the same author – not necessarily the same person, but definitely the same office.

[Aug 14, 2018] From the point of view of UN law the sate of Israel is an outlaw.

The term "Jews" probably should be strictly avoided. Zionists or Likudniks is a better term for Jewish Supremacists.
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

skrik , August 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm GMT

@Anonymouse

let the US give itself back to the Indians, and then ask Israel to act the same way

Give the US back to the amerindians! Give Aus back to the abos! This does not work; it's called 'moral relativism' and/or the 'tu quoque' [appeal to hypocrisy] fallacy.

Then ask Israel to act err, hello? Israel has been 'asked,' over 100 times by some counts, to 'get legal' under UN resolutions. Israel is an outlaw.

Kindly consider the I/J/Z-plex's 10 steps to utter, criminal ignominy:

  1. Herzl; coveting, expropriation (1897+)
  2. Balfour; aid Zs, no consult Ps
  3. Jabotinsky; colonise by force
  4. Ben-Gurion: "we are the attackers and the Arabs own the land" [points 1 - 4 all pre-WW2]
  5. UNGA181: "an area shall be evacuated" (invalid + no UNSC action = not law)
  6. Meir; $US50mio for arms + Plan Dalet&Co = premeditated, murdering to steal aggression
  7. When immigrants (=aliens) attack natives, it's *not* civil war but Nuremberg-class crime
  8. Z-terrorism; down to today; alien invaders' highest-tech vs. besieged & blockaded, basically unarmed natives
  9. US-support incl. UNSC vetoes; also down to 'current moment'
  10. Z-hasbarah = mostly lies, designed and deployed to deceive

More: Post-WW2, Nuremberg trials, hanging perpetrators for murdering invasions for Lebensraum predate King David Hotel bombing, Plan Dalet with outrages like the Deir Yassin massacre, etc.. Similar outrages continue to be perpetrated by the illegitimate entity, into 'the current moment.'

Lemma: At any crime-scene, there are one or more perpetrators, possibly accessories, apologists and/or 'idle' bystanders. It is incumbent upon *all* witnesses to attempt to a) restrain malefactors and where possible b) rescue victims from harm. *All* present and not in active resistance to the crime attract proportional guilt.

Addendum: Any person profiting from crime also makes him/herself an accessory, like all residents in the 'illegitimate entity,' say.

Also post WW2, we got the post-colonial era; the illegitimate entity fulfils the 'premeditated supreme international crime' criteria. RoR+R*3 NOW! QED

PS Showing 'support' for criminals adopts part guilt for those criminals' crimes via the accessory process; why would anyone in their 'right' = correct mind do that?

anarchyst , August 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
If a nuclear device is "lit off" in an American or European city, it will have Israel's fingerprints all over it. Israel is desperate to keep the American money spigot running, as well as sabotaging the Palestinian "peace process" that the world wants it to take seriously.

In fact, if a nuclear device is "lit off" anywhere in the world, it will have come from Israel's secret nuclear "stockpile".

The "power outage" in Atlanta was a convenient excuse for Israel to perform a logistical "sleight of hand", as an Israeli plane was allowed to land and take off during the "power outage" without receiving customs clearance or inspection. This is one of many Israeli companies that possesses a "special exemption" granted by the U S government that frees it from customs inspections. Just maybe another one of Israel's nukes was just being pre-positioned or nuclear triggers (tritium) were being renewed, getting ready for "the big one". As most Americans are tired of all of the foreign wars being fought for Israel's benefit, another "incident" on American soil would be enough to galvanize the American public, once again, (just like WTC 9-11) to support another war for Israel's benefit. Israel's "samson option" is a real threat to "light one off" in a European or American city, if Israel's interests are not taken seriously.

Israel refuses to abide by IAEA guidelines concerning its nukes as they are already distributed around the world. Israel would not be able to produce all of them as most of them are not in Israel, proper. No delivery systems are needed as Israel's nukes are already "in place". Look for another "false flag" operation with the blame being put on Iran or Syria. You can bet that some Iranian or Syrian passports will be found in the rubble.

Israel also threatens to detonate nuclear devices in several US cities. Talk about total INSANITY; the so-called "Samson Option" is it.

As an aside, American "foreign aid" is prohibited from being given to any country that has not signed the "Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty" or refuses to abide by "International Atomic Energy Agency" (IAEA) guidelines regarding its nuclear devices. Guess what?? Israel does not abide by EITHER and still gets the majority of American "foreign aid". This prohibition also applies to countries that do not register their "agents of a foreign government" with the U S State Department. Guess what?? Israel (again) with its "American Israel Political Action Committee" (AIPAC) still gets "foreign aid" in contravention of American law..

There are forty or so congressmen, senators and thousands of high-level policy "wonks" infecting the U S government who hold "dual citizenship" with Israel. Such dual citizenship must be strictly prohibited. Those holding dual citizenship must be required to renounce said foreign citizenship. Refusal to do so should result in immediate deportation with loss of American citizenship. Present and former holders of dual citizenship should never be allowed to serve in any American governmental capacity.

When Netanyahu addressed both houses of congress, it was sickening to see our politicians slobber all over themselves to PROVE that they were unconditional supporters of Israel just who the hell do they work for? Certainly not for the interests of the American people and the United States they should renounce their United States citizenship and be deported to Israel

Bardon Kaldian , August 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT
Giraldi is here-unlike in most of his regularly anti-Semitic texts- right about one crucial thing: American Gentile cow-towing to (real or imagined) Jewish power in the US, as illustrated by absurd Baron Cohen's episode.

However, I don't blame most of US Jews for that. Jewish ethnocentrists are to be suspect, sure, but the main question for US gentile politicians & public figures remains: why are you such suckers, anyway?

Sam Shama , August 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
Between Jessica at #23, and Anon at #45 lay two paramount pieces of instruction which Phil Giraldi ought to heed.

Ordinary Jews are no more required to register their objections over AIPAC's actions than are Christians over the actions of their top leaders including the POTUS, domestic MIC lobbies, the Gun Lobby and the Oil lobby; no more that is, beyond what each citizen expresses through her vote. Individuals may choose; to go beyond, into political activism; yet choice is the operative notion.

And no, Geokat, Power isn't listening to Phil over the sound of crickets for the simple reason that Power does not read the UR, couldn't care less if they did, as the Review quite rapidly degenerates to the station of an unrelenting hate rag frequented by dubious IQ cultists, antisemites and White Nationalism apologists.

Felicity , August 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

"Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it (Israel) had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington."

And according to Jimmy Carter Israeli intelligence had advance information of the suicide attack on the US barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed 243 US servicemen (one of whom was a member of my family). The Israelis decided to not inform US intelligence in the hope that a major attack on US personnel would precipitate a commitment of US troops and arms into the region. So much for our Israeli "ally".

JessicaR , August 14, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT
@Anonymouse

You are, of course, correct that the US committed either genocide or near-genocide (depending on your definition of the term) against Native Americans. However, NOW, in the 21st century, any Native American who is a US citizen is free to buy property in any part of America and live where he chooses. Native Americans are no longer confined to reservations. While poverty is a fact of life for many Native Americans, some tribes have profited substantially from gambling. In Florida, Seminoles may receive upward of 40,000 a year (each man, woman, and child) as their share of the gambling revenues. They can certainly afford to buy property just about anywhere.

(Note that I am not denying that much discrimination and inequality still persist and that most reservations with gambling offer very little to tribal members.)

In Israel, however, Palestinians cannot return to their home towns and buy property. They are not free to live where they choose. Many are still confined to refugee camps. Housing discrimination continues to persist for Israeli Arabs. Yes, the High Court ruled it illegal, but few remedies are in place, which means the practice continues largely unabated.

If you want to use historical analogies, I believe you should use them in full.

utu , August 14, 2018 at 4:39 pm GMT

Cohen's performance is instructive. A man shows up in Israeli uniform, claims to be a terrorism expert or even a Mossad agent, and he gains access to powerful Americans who are willing to do anything he says.

It is very telling about the human material on the right in America. Complete morons. Now think about it. It was a prank, right? But I can imagine that real negotiations with Israelis are very similar and produce similar positive outcomes for Israelis. Israelis play Americans anyway they want on all levels of federal and local administrations. They have the same attitude towards Americans as Jack Abramoff had towards his counterparts at Indian reservations. Why shouldn't they? It works.

he called his Indian clients "troglodytes" and "morons" and "monkeys," "the stupidest idiots in the land." In one particularly damning e-mail he counseled Scanlon, "The key thing to remember with all these clients is that they are annoying, but that the annoying losers are the only ones which have this kind of money and part with it so quickly . So, we have to put up with this stuff."

At best American are annoying losers who part with their money quickly.

Mr. Giraldi, why do you bother with your articles? You still have illusions that you can educate the monkeys?

Anon [270] Disclaimer , Website August 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm GMT
"special relationship"

It smacks of supremacism, doesn't it? It means the US must favor Zionist occupiers in West Bank over Palestinians, the very people who are being occupied.

It means the US must favor Israel, a nation that stole uranium from US and has 300 nukes, over Iran, a nation that passed all inspections and has no nukes.

This special relationship is a form of worship. It is never discussed rationally WHY Israel is so crucial to us. Instead, politicians and pundits gush about it with fanatical devotion, as if it's a sacred truth. Anyone who questions it even slightly is marginalized or destroyed. Some might Giraldi has been too strident, but even mild criticism of Israel or Zionism can get you banned from media or politics.

I find it odd that Jews always remind us that Old America was 'racist' because it favored Europeans over non-whites, especially in immigration and foreign policy. After all, the US often sided with European imperialists over non-white subjects of colonialism.

In New America, there is supposed to no Special Treatment for any group, but Jews and Israel get it all the time. In asylum(Save Soviet Jews), in immigration, in college admission, in foreign policy -- not just in supporting Israel at every turn but in waging Wars for Israel and hating on any nation hated by Jews, esp Russia, Iran, and Syria.

[Aug 14, 2018] An objective criticism of the Zionist enterprise now a days and its apologists resort immediately to unrestrained howls and accusations of antisemitism.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , August 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

" antisemites "

There are antisemitic rants in many places on the web, almost all of which are ignored.

But make an objective criticism of the Zionist enterprise now a days and its apologists resort immediately to unrestrained howls and accusations of antisemitism.

One ought, therefor, to understand this rhetorical device for the simple ad hominem attack that it is.

[Aug 14, 2018] Iran s Supreme Leader No War Nor Negotiations Ever With This White House

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In near simultaneous statements addressed to the Iranian public in a speech aired on state TV, the supreme leader who has the final word over all affairs in the Islamic republic, issued the directive: "I ban holding any talks with America... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks."

"America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted," state TV quoted Khamenei further.

As part of his series of tweets, some of which mocked Trump's policy in the Middle East, Khamenei published an infographic presenting his position on ratcheting tensions with the U.S.

He also slammed the idea that this was the first such offer of talks, saying that Iran has proudly resisted unfair and imbalanced U.S. offers of negotiations for decades, and even cited President Ronald Reagan's sending his national security advisor, Robert McFarlane to Tehran for failed negotiations.

Notably, he appeared to troll Trump personally as well as his cabinet in the following:

A stupid man tells the Iranian nation that 'your government spends your money on Syria'. This is while his boss-- the U.S. president-- has admitted he spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East without gaining anything in return!

The top Iranian cleric also briefly referenced Iran's domestic crisis, which has included sporadic protests and clashes with the police throughout the summer in response to a plummeting rial and inability of people to access imported goods, stating "Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside; they are internal."

He urged the country to resist sanctions and erect "prudent" ways shielding from their effects.

It will be interesting to see if Trump responds to this directly in a tweet, or if any official reaction will be forthcoming from the White House.

But in the meantime it appears the possibility of any renegotiation after Trump's official pullout of the JCPOA last May has just had to the door slammed on it.


truthseeker47 -> vvaleria692 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:41 Permalink

Of course Iranian leaders do not want to negotiate with Trump, they know they cannot walk all over him like they did with Obummer.

peddling-fiction -> truthseeker47 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

No war? Chuckle.

TBT or not TBT -> peddling-fiction Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

The mullahs are going to be quite the whiny bitches for a while. The anti-American pro Islam President Obama, Commie CIA director, for sale Sec of State, gay agenda Pentagon director and Ben Rhodes and ValJar, Rice and their ill will not be returning. Islamic socialism will be performing the economic wonders you can expect, putting a strong clamp on you their foreign subversion and domestic payrolls too. Meanwhile, they've got a middle class that hates them and views Islam as foreign dirty Arabs' inhuman sect. Good luck with that.

[Aug 14, 2018] Paradoxically it is not in best inteersts of Russia to rock the boat of international economy despite sanctions

Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

All attempt to limit their effectiveness are OK. Attempts to undermine the USA economy or dollar status as the reserve currency are not.

[Aug 14, 2018] New US Sanctions. Bring Them on and Let's See Whose Side God Is On!

Russia pays the [huge] cost of remaining a nation, a civilization and a state ~Vladimir Putin.
Putin Slams US: "The Biggest Mistake Russia Ever Made Was To Trust You"
This is a clear attempt top abuse the dominant position of the USA in the world. For Russian this is powerful blow in the torso, Will it be knockdown remains to be seen. Also as a weaker party Russia can's afford a powerful counterstrike.
Notable quotes:
"... "Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com
"Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey 14 hours ago | 2,909 85 More sanctions from the USA using the Skripal affair as an excuse without a shred of evidence, based on hype, hysteria and hearsay. Back-door economic warfare.

Surprise, surprise. The USA invokes a law from the 1990s claiming that it has to impose sanctions when a country crosses a chemical or biological line, in this case an invisible one with no proof, no law case, no due legal process, just an allegation from wonderful British intelligence that the Kremlin was involved in the Skripal case. Proof? None actually...none at all. Just a vague blanket statement along the lines of "They have done it before and they have said they will take out traitors and in the absence of any plausible alternative, they must be guilty". For Washington, after months of vacillating, stating the obvious that it is very complicated to apportion the blame when nobody knows which novichok was used, where it was produced and in the total absence of any trail linking it to the Kremlin, we get the idea that we are looking yet again at the wonderful British intelligence of the type that Colin Powell used to justify the USA's illegal and murderous act of butchery against Iraq. The type of intelligence which resembles a decade-old doctoral thesis copied and pasted from the net and sexed up by Downing Street.

And here they are again, the dynamic duo. Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas.

Drawing the time line at the beginning, let us analyze what is happening and let us see the movie developing from a distance. The political system in vogue at present is the corporatist model controlled by the $inister $ix $isters which control the policies of Washington and its chihuahuas, namely the BARFFS (Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food, Pharma/DrugS Lobbies). The BARFFS live off resources and as history has shown us when they have none themselves, they invade countries and steal them. Ask Africa, the victim of a silent Holocaust which claimed seventy million lives.

Russia for them is kosher when it is ruled by something that bends over when told to and allows foreigners to steal the country's resources. Russia for them is not kosher when someone like Putin comes along, slams his fist on the table and says loud and clear that Russian resources are for Russians, managed by Russians. What the BARFFS want is to see Russia divided up into, say, one hundred micro-states each one with a BARFFS-friendly government allowing foreigners to syphon off the vast resources of this country.

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The game starts with promises made to the then-USSR about friendly relations, about NATO not encroaching eastwards, about a new world order based on partnership. It then quickly morphs out of control with the help of the media, using buzz-words and expressions such as "collapse of the Soviet Union" (absolute nonsense, it did not collapse, it transformed from the Union to the Commonwealth as per the terms of the Third Soviet Constitution, without consulting the people, or has everyone forgotten that?). There then ensued acts of provocation in the Balkans, and then in Russia itself (Chechnya), then on Russia's frontiers.

Before Georgia in 2008 we had a spectacular example of war crimes and an illegal invasion of Iraq to test the waters, where military hardware was deployed against civilian structures, where fields of cereals were strafed by NATO aircraft to starve families, where Depleted Uranium was deployed leaving swathes of territory poisonous; beforte this we had the illegal interference in the Republic of Serbia, backing terrorists (Ushtria Çlirimtare ë Kosovës, UÇK or KLA) and the illegal act of kidnapping and subsequent manslaughter/murder of Slobodan Milosevich, who died in custody while being held illegally and without being found guilty of any of the crimes leveled against him.

With Georgia we had another act of provocation in which Georgian forces attacked Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia and were building up to do the same in Abkhazia, territories which under the Soviet Constitution had necessarily to have status referendums on which way the people wanted to go and into which Republic they should integrate. Georgia refused to hold these referendums.

And since Georgia we had Libya, a shocking act of barbarity in which NATO interfered in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, sending the country with the highest Human Development Index back into the dark ages, fragmented and crawling with terrorists. Not to mention Afghanistan, started in 2001 and ongoing, where "allied" troops are photographed guarding opium fields, where opium production has risen and where Talebaan fighters are seen escorting NATO convoys, paid, like WTF?... and not to mention Syria, in which the same side once again allied itself with terrorists as it did in Libya, terrorists which raped little girls before and after they were beheaded, which raped nuns savagely in every orifice of their bodies, which impaled little boys on stakes and which ripped the hearts out of Syrian soldiers and bit into them.

So we see what we are up against. And if all that were not enough today we have the idiotic acts of provocation in the Baltic where a handful of NATO soldiers are cavorting around like toy soldiers claiming to keep their countries safe. From what? Jupiter? Ah and yes, we have Ukraine as the latest act of provocation.

It started off well before the so-called protests in Independence Square, Kiev with subversion and organization of protesters who took to the streets in November 2013 and in late February 2014, shots were fired from the sixth floor of Hotel Ukraine on the protesters in the square below to create a "cause", the democratically elected President was ousted in an illegal coup, massacres were perpetrated against Russian-speaking Ukrainians (this story seems to have disappeared from the Western media) and Fascists shouted slogans such as "Death to Russians and Jews". As a reaction, Russian-speaking Ukrainians defended themselves in South-East Ukraine and in the absence of the due legal force in the Republic of Crimea, the Legislative Assembly, now the organism with due legal force, organized a referendum on status and over ninety per cent of the population (Russians) voted to reintegrate Russia. It's called Democracy. Maybe Washington and its chihuahuas should try it some time.

What the BARFFS wanted Russia to do was to roll over, drop its pants and say "sock it to me, babe". With another leader, that might have happened. Not with Putin. So now we have instead, economic warfare with sanctions, more sanctions and increased sanctions, trying to tie a knot around Russia's throat and tightening it, now linking Crimea to Abkhazia to South Ossetia, to state-sponsored terrorism without a shred of respect for the law and the facts. It is by now crystal clear what the West wants.

It wants to strangle the Russian economy to create unrest in Russia and create political movements against Putin. It then wants to instal a west-friendly government which will see Russia fragmented, sooner or later, into a myriad of republics, each one with their resources controlled by foreigners.

That is what the sanctions are about. Let us see whose side God is on.


Source: Pravda.ru

[Aug 14, 2018] Washington won t be winning any wars against Russia and/or China. It should stick with what it s good at, that is bombing third world countries, on behalf of its Zionist masters. On second thoughts, it shouldn t be doing that either.

Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Nicole Temple 15 hours ago ,

As shown in this article, the United States is preparing to fight a war on a frontier outside of Russia and China:

https://viableopposition.bl...

One has to wonder on how many fronts can Washington keep expanding America's military with the goal of fighting and actually winning a war before it collapses under the weight of its expenditures?

Walter Braben Nicole Temple 13 hours ago ,

Washington won't be winning any wars against Russia and/or China. It should stick with what it's good at, that is bombing third world countries, on behalf of its Zionist masters. On second thoughts, it shouldn't be doing that either.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 14, 2018] Latest Sanctions Against Russia Show Trump Not in Control of His Administration by F. Michael Maloof

It could be the Trump was already deposed as a President by Pompeo.
I never understood appointment of Haley and appointment of Bolton if we assume that Trump is not a neocon and does not want to continue previous administration policies. Haley is kind of Sikh variant of Samantha Power. Bolton is probably as bad as Wolfowitz. Pompeo also can be viewed as Hillary 2.0.
Notable quotes:
"... In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties. ..."
"... The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government. ..."
"... However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline. ..."
"... Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England. ..."
"... All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country. ..."
"... It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place. ..."
"... With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever. ..."
"... Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | russia-insider.com
Forget about running the Empire or the American state. Trump isn't even in control of his team US President Donald Trump is not in control of his own administration, as evidenced by the latest round of sanctions imposed against Russia for the alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in the UK in March.

The sanctions came the same day that US Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on a trip to Moscow that he had handed over a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin from Trump calling for better relations between the two countries. For that reason, the timing appears to be suspect, suggesting strongly that Trump has his own foreign policy while the Trump administration, comprised mainly of bureaucrats referred to as the Deep State, have their own. Right now, they appear to be in control, not President Trump, over his own administration, and it is having the adverse effect of further alienating Washington and Moscow.

The neocons, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, comprise the Trump " war cabinet " ostensibly aimed at directing a harder line toward Syria, North Korea, Iran but also Russia. Bolton, in particular, has been outspoken in calling for regime change in some of these countries. Trump not so much so. In fact, he has said just the opposite. Nevertheless, their anti-Russian flair in Washington has breathed new life into the neocons who, along with the Democrats, Deep State and much of the mainstream media, have pushed the false narrative of collusion between Russia and Trump.

This persistent anti-Russian rant and repeated sanctions which have been imposed have had the effect of leading to further threats of sanctions for questionable reasons, raising the potential prospect of suspension of diplomatic ties.

Even at the height of the Cold War, relations between the US and Russia never reached such low depths as they have now. The latest sanctions affect primarily dual-use technologies which are civilian products with potential military applications. They include gas turbine engines, electronics and integrated circuits which will now be denied. Previous sanctions going back to the Obama administration, however, already imposed bans on many of these dual-use technologies.

In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties.

Implementation of the sanctions stem from provisions of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government.

However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline.

Curiously, the British government hasn't implemented similar sanctions, although the US has. It may reflect the continued uncertainty among some British politicians and experts over the origin of the Novichok and concern with Britain's trade dependency on Russia. But since the Americans opted to implement sanctions due to existing legislation, there was apparently no objection from London even though it initially implemented sanctions by kicking out Russian diplomats from the country.

Moscow, however, vehemently denied that it was involved in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter. Novichok was created by Russian scientists during the Cold War but never used on the battlefield. Russian officials asked Britain for evidence of Russian involvement and called for a joint investigation to be conducted by the Kremlin and British governments.

The British government repeatedly turned down the offer, as did other Western members of the United Nations Security Council, the US and France, when Moscow sought such a joint investigation.

The US claimed that the information linking the poison to Russia was " classified ."

Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England.

Results from the examination confirmed the poison was a form of Novichok but – importantly – could not determine where the poison had been created or who had used it. This development created further confusion and prompted disputes among politicians.

It is known that samples of Novichok have been in the hands of many NATO countries for years after the German foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, had reportedly obtained a sample from a Russian defector in the 1990s.

The formula was later shared with Britain, the US, France, Canada and the Netherlands, where small quantities of Novichok reportedly were produced in an effort to develop countermeasures. Porton Down labs similarly had received samples to study. Czech President Milos Zeman recently admitted that his country synthesized and tested a form of Novichok. Sweden and Slovakia also have the technical capability to produce the nerve agent, according to Russian officials.

All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country.

It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place.

With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever.

The reason, however, isn't due to anything that Moscow initiated but by Trump himself who isn't in control of his own administration, and maybe never has been. Many of his campaign promises such as dropping out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iranian nuclear agreement, the threat of sanctions against any company that trades with Iran, his tariff war with US allies are in conflict with each other, leading to increased world instability. At the same time, Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise.

F. Michael Maloof is a former Pentagon security analyst.

[Aug 13, 2018] http://www.euronews.com/2018/08/13/iran-s-leader-orders-governent-not-to-talk-to-u-s

Aug 13, 2018 | www.euronews.com

Iran's leader orders government not to talk to US

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned holding any direct talks with the United States, state TV reported, rejecting an offer last month by U.S.

He said "It was my mistake to allow the government for starting The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I gave the permission for the negotiations because of the insistence of the gentlemen".

President Donald Trump for talks with no preconditions with Tehran.

"I ban holding any talks with America ... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks ... just gives empty words ... and never retreats from its goals for talks," Khamenei was quoted as saying by TV.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif told Al Jazeera that Iran will not change its policies in the Middle East because of US sanctions and threats.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 13, 2018 8:50:05 AM | 38

[Aug 13, 2018] Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Aug 13, 2018 | theduran.com

Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Ruble continues to tank under the spectre of looming American sanctions imposed on the basis of circumstantial evidence and insinuation.

Published

9 hours ago

on

August 13, 2018 By

Seraphim Hanisch 1,639 Views ,

[Aug 13, 2018] Like Iran, the Russians know the USA. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Beibdnn. , Aug 13, 2018 4:33:04 PM | 59

@spudski.

I believe Russia sees the sanctions for what they are. A crude attempt to provoke them into a hasty reaction. It is virtually certain they won't react in a childish or inconsidered way.

Paul Craig Roberts is well behind the curve when it comes to what is believed about the west in Russia politics.

A clue might be in the fact they have just reduced their $ reserves to 14 billion, down from nearly 200 4 or so years ago.

Like Iran, the Russians know the U.S.A. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

[Aug 13, 2018] New US Sanctions vs. Russia by Anatoly Karlin

Notable quotes:
"... Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. ..."
"... The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal. ..."
"... They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war. ..."
"... I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave. ..."
"... Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe. ..."
"... Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. ..."
"... Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order. ..."
"... Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning

The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department.

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis.

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides "reliable assurances" that it won't use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to "on-site inspections" by the U.N. -- conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot's ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The sanctions are directly based on H.R.3409 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 .

Section 7 covers the sanctions that are to be imposed, which consist of initial sanctions, and further sanctions to be imposed after 90 days if there is no compliance on the country's part.

Initial sanctions : Ban on foreign assistance, arms sales, denial of US credit, and exporting national security sensitive goods. (Most of this is already functionally in place with respect to Russia).

Further sanctions : Ban on multilateral bank assistance [e.g. IMF, World Bank, the EBRD, etc], ban on US bank loans, a near total export ban (except food and agricultural commodities) and import ban, downgrade or suspension of US diplomatic relations, revocation of landing rights to air carriers controlled by the government of the sanctioned country.

Reuters has a US State Department official saying that the sanctions would not apply to Aeroflot, which some commenters have qualified as backtracking. But I think that the official was merely talking of the initial sanctions.

How does Russia go about removing the sanctions? The President will need to "certify" to Congress that the country in question: (1) Has made "reliable assurances", and is not making preparations, to use chemical/biological weapons in violation of international law, or against its own citizens; (2) is willing to allow on-site inspections by UN observers to confirm the above; (3) is making restitutions to the victims of its chemical/biological weapons usage.

This would basically require Russia to admit guilt for the Skripal poisoning and subject itself to the inspections regimes that the US typically tries to force on "rogue states." In other words, it is out of the question.

Moreover, even in the theoretical possibility that this goes through, it's not like President Trump's "certification" will be worth anything amidst the Russiagate hysteria.

Another possibility to avoid the near cessation of trade between the US and Russia is to have the President "waiver" the application of individual sanctions, if he can determine and certify to Congress that doing so is necessary for the national security interests of the US; or that there has been "a fundamental change in the leadership and policies" of the sanctioned country. In either case, the President needs to provide a report to Congress explaining his detailed rationale for the waiver, and listing steps the sanctioned country is taking to satisfy the "removal of sanctions" clause.

This isn't near the end of it, though.

***

* Meduza: Russian newspaper leaks draft text of U.S. Senate's Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act

The newspaper Kommersant has published a full draft of the proposed "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act," which demands a U.S. investigation into Vladimir Putin's personal wealth and whether Russia sponsors terrorism, and would impose a ban on U.S. citizens buying Russian sovereign debt, though the U.S. Treasury publicly opposed this idea in February, warning that it would disrupt the market broadly. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the initiative's sponsors, says one of the draft legislation's goals is to impose "crushing sanctions."

[Sanctions to include:]

* Banning the banks . The draft bill proposes banning Russia's biggest state banks -- Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank -- from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

* Oil and gas . In the energy sector, the legislation would impose sanctions on investment in any projects by the Russian government or government-affiliated companies outside Russia worth more than $250 million. Businesses would also incur penalties for any participation (funding or supplying equipment or technology) in new oil projects inside Russia valued above $1 million.

* Lists and research . If the bill is submitted in its current form and adopted, the U.S. president would have 180 days to begin implementing its provisions; within 60 days of adoption, the White House would need to provide a new list of Russian individuals suspected of cyber-attacks against the United States; the Treasury Department would have 180 days to update its "Kremlin list" of Russian state officials and oligarchs; the director of national intelligence would be tasked with completing a "detailed report on the personal net worth and assets" of Vladimir Putin and his family; and the State Department would have 90 days to determine whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

* A new Sanctions Office . In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an "Office of Sanctions Coordination" within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

Here is the original Kommersant article: Комплекс мер по сдерживанию Дональда Трампа

Here is the text of the draft bill: https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/_2018d140-Menendez-Russia-Sanctions-Bill.pdf

It contains many more interesting details.

(1) The bill's sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US "democratic processes", return Crimea to the Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in East Ukraine, as well the "occupation and support of separatists" in the territories of Georgia and Moldova, and support for Bashar Assad, who continues to commit "war crimes."

(2) They note that the general drift of the document is towards a consolidation of separate anti-Russian sanctions, from the "Ukrainian" to the "cyber" ones, into a "single mechanism."

(3) Subject to a 2/3 vote in the Senate, the bill also includes a ban on financing "direct or indirect" steps, that have as their goal to support the attempts of "any US government official" to take the country out of NATO. Every 90 days, the US Secretary of State, in coordination with the Defense Minister, would be required to present a report to the relevant committees in Congress about "threats to NATO", which would include attempts to weaken US commitments to the alliance. Considering Trump's ambiguous feelings on NATO, this part is primarily aimed at Trump himself.

(4) There are calls to "pressure" Russia from interfering with UN and the OPCW attempts to investigate chemical weapons usage, as well as to "punish" Russia for producing and using chemical weapons. This directly syncs this sanctions bill to the previous one.

The report concludes that it's not yet clear how to interpret this. In the worse case, it could be a "preliminary application" for a UN campaign to exclude Russia from the Security Council; alternatively, it could just be a "pragmatic" run-up to merely invoking great sanctions, as with Iran in 1983.

***

I suppose we now also know why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

For comparison, the last time such a drawback happened (but which only lasted three weeks) was in the immediate aftermath of Crimea.

The last time Russia pulled such a large sum out of the U.S. was just after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the central bank withdrew about $115 billion from the New York Fed, Reuters reported last year, citing two former Fed officials. Most of that money was returned a few weeks later, after it became clear that the scope of initial U.S. sanctions would be narrower than the Kremlin expected, according to the news service.

But I suppose this drawdown would now be permanent, since it is increasingly evident that Iran-tier sanctions on Russia are now on the horizon.

These sanctions are either going to steadily creep in – or rush in like a tsunami if there is a Blue Wave in 90 days, or if Trump was to be removed.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output. Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

Moreover, as I have pointed out , Russia has plenty of surprising ways to hurt the US as well. For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America's SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.

Some questions we should now be asking include:

1. Precisely how far is the US prepared to go? Cutting off its own trade with Russia is one thing – penalizing foreign companies that do business with Russia is something else. As Ben Aris notes , the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market. The ideological Russiagaters need to balance their PDS/TDS against the pecuniary practicalities of catering to finance and oil & gas interests and their lobbies.

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades.


reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there's some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

The Scalpel , Website August 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go "all in" forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

I don't believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into "kinetic" warfare.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

Twit:

Maxim A. Suchkov @MSuchkov_ALM

Russia's PM @MedvedevRussiaE now: #Moscow to treat
:urther #US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war.
1:54 AM-Aug 10, 2018

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American "leadership", down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Putin and the rest of Russian leadership.

It is clear to anyone with a brain that the US "sanctions" on Russia have zero chance of changing Russia's stance on any international issues of consequence. Crimea is a good example: it will return to Ukraine the day after the Hell freezes over. On the same date Georgia gets South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and US-sponsored Islamic bandits win over Assad in Syria. Thus, The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

I agree. They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Maybe we'll see unrequited love turning into hatred.

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm GMT
Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
@LondonBob

I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

neutral , August 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
Now that it is within the realms of reasonable debate, if there were a nuclear war between the USA and Russia what targets would be hit? Would Russia hit puppet regimes such the UK, France or Poland? Would the USA hit Iran (because if they are going to hit Russia they might as well get Iran in there as well).

If say only Russian and USA were hit, how much of the nuclear fallout would affect Europe?

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm GMT
Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years. Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis . Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again.

India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
America now has a "good cop, bad cop" with Trump and Congress. Congress puts in more sanctions, but there is constraint responding too much because Trump seems friendly, and you don't want to alienate him. Trump himself doesn't care about the sanctions, because he thinks it is leverage that he can lift them later.

There was an article a few months ago that Trump is actually worse than Obama – even in Obama did not supply direct weapons to Ukraine.

I think Trump plans to remove the sanctions in the next year and improve the relations – but without any kind of timetable (his meeting with Putin is delayed already to next year).

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm GMT
OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about.

Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist "moderate" rebels in Syria came as no shock.

So perhaps it isn't the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan's case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don't buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen's religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan's. He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan's media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don't happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven't even mentioned Turkey's apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan's human rights record or "authoritarianism", which is just the pretext.

Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey's large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we're also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It's also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don't matter at all.

There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won't be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a "parallel" system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm GMT

I suppose we now also now why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

You're making the Kremlins look smarter than they actually are. They should have done this 4 years ago. What I want to know is what happened to the proceeds from the sale? CBR data shows that value of "foreign exchange" held by the CBR hasn't declined:

https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/

Did they convert the dollars into other currencies, or are they keeping it in cash on a bank account somewhere, where it could be easily "frozen"?

notanon , August 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

i don't this is just AIPAC driven – partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
Great.

Now I can't use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia. Really Making America Great Again! Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" – this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one's peers in Washington is their prime motive. They've been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

Kimppis , August 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
Anatoly, I read your Russian "Whitepill" article through Google Translate recently:

http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

"Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, "effective managers" like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft's debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable. "

So I'm clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you're kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the "best-case" scenario for Russian nationalists?

Didn't you rate Putin's "economic management" reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

You've also pointed out several times that Russia's oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's Jon Hellevig's research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective's comment above.

So shouldn't the repeat of 2014 be kind of unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia's remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

You don't believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an "acute crisis" in a few years?

I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other "reforms" and increasing spending.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm GMT
At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?
Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

If explanation is to do with Syria – it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

Mikhail , Website August 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they'd not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul's trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based: https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.

Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

What about Turkey?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Kimppis

Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's

It's up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast

But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of "après moi le déluge"?

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

Lars Porsena , August 10, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades! Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

g2k , August 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
Aeroflot had benefited from collapse of Transaero. They're getting 35 planes (all Airbus and Boeing models) from the Transaero fleet and are putting them into Aeroflot fleet this year.

With Boeing, they also had an order of Dreamliners, which they cancelled a few years ago. Although that was just because there was a downturn in long-haul flights. New Boeing 737 orders are for building up their lowcoster "Pobeda".

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That's hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called "sawing off the bough you sit on". The West is really good at that lately.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@g2k

These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

The "free market" of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.

El Dato , August 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm GMT
@g2k

Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

Russia's aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that's irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai. Will be in service around a decade from now.

German_reader , August 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It's kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran. Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia's nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win. Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange ( обменный пункт ) after hearing this statement.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:58 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

It's just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm GMT
@German_reader

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

Sun Tzu would disagree. Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul – Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don't want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

A single crash can be even fatal for an airline – crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

As a customer, I don't think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth

AND also Ukraine's, Moldova's, Georgia's, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US's moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do Ukraine, Moldova, Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

But in the circumstances ..is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Mitleser

The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia. Here is another fool, who doesn't understand currency markets:

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@Dmitry

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

It's fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

A lot of nonsense about "long overdue" get's said about pension reform but this is total BS. Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy . that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

Those approaching retirement won't suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period.. and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms

Disagree with this .the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical "reform" is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

Instead of saying "reduction in size of government sector" you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised .too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution .nothing else.

Cyrano , August 10, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT
Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers – even when it's detrimental to their own survival.

If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers – the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

Russia is not a part of the audience, it's not even a heckler. It's a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert – even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

What statements should the PM make?

Anonymous [899] Disclaimer , August 10, 2018 at 11:12 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Yes we can.

https://www.businessinsider.com/mouse-grown-from-its-mothers-skin-cells-2016-10

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109305-eggs-made-from-skin-cells-in-lab-could-herald-end-of-infertility/

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:

Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.

Anonymous [931] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 12:16 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions?

In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 12:37 am GMT
@Anonymous

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.

And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele's research had on the outcome of the WWII.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 2:01 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser's regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad's Syria, Hussain's Iraq and Gaddafi's Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel's Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel's hard-liners.

My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?

Mr. XYZ , August 11, 2018 at 2:09 am GMT
Question about the Skripal poisoning–if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
' The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. '

Now they'll have to pay the Israelis to get it for them. Does this count as aid to Israel?

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
If, without admitting guilt, Russia expressed her regret for the fact that Donald Trump won the election, would that open the door to a settlement?
Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:07 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

' Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran '

I can go along with that. Russia's a greater threat than Togo as well.

Anon [813] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 3:39 am GMT
@German_reader

I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on – it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it's their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today's Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
@Anon

New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women

https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/

Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a "significant victory" for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

"This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so," said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT
@Anonymous

scientifically correct Darwinist

Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

It's a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Guilty until proven innocent? Don't open that Pandora's box. You're gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn't mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.

Bukephalos , August 11, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

Brunson's captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor's plight under islamist thugs.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 8:45 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

Excerpt –

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

reiner Tor , August 11, 2018 at 9:05 am GMT
@anonymous coward

That's wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 9:29 am GMT
@reiner Tor

[MORE]

That's wrong

It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

(A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

anon [170] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 9:40 am GMT
Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

Just call it better than tariffs,

Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter "j2″ produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

The Scalpel , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:22 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

If it wasn't the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
@anonymous coward

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT
@Mikhail

You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis – keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

I wasn't aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn't it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn't it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book 'The Dark Lord of the Kremlin'?

APilgrim , August 11, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT
'Russia-Sanctions' are pitiful ' Double-Standards ', written by ' Frustrated Globalists '.
Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm GMT
Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?

The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country's internal affairs.

Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece's all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

The community is alleged to be a "den of spies" , with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.

Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
@utu

[MORE]

Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

* Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
* The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
* There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

What' s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about: