American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism

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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).


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…

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)."

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:


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."


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.


...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 -

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.


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 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 -

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

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

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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[Jun 22, 2018] Close All the Military Bases by Michael J. Ard

Jun 22, 2018 |

Anthropologist David Vine spent several years visiting and investigating U.S military bases abroad. To put it mildly, he disapproves of what he found. In his sweeping critique, Base Nation , Vine concludes that Washington's extensive network of foreign bases -- he claims there are about 800 of them -- causes friction with erstwhile American allies, costs way too much money, underwrites dictatorships, pollutes the environment, and morally compromises the country. Far from providing an important strategic deterrent, the bases actually undermine our security. To remedy this immense travesty, Vine calls for Washington to bring the troops back home.

If nothing else, Base Nation is a timely book. The issue of our expensive foreign commitments has taken center stage in this presidential election. Vine probably finds it ironic that most of the criticism is coming from Donald Trump.

Our extensive foreign-base network is probably an issue that we can't ignore for long. Today, there seems more urgency to look at these long-term base commitments and examine what we are really getting out of them. So, for raising the issue, I say, "Thank you for your service, Mr. Vine."

But it is a shame that Base Nation , which could have made a strong contribution to this debate, ends up making a heavy-handed and somewhat unreliable case against and the U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy in general. His sweeping indictments detract from the importance of his initial focus, our overextended base network.

There are some positives. Vine stands on firm ground when he details how inefficient the base system often is. In fact, this is an issue that the federal government has been addressing, albeit slowly and haltingly. Budget realities are solving the problem; many bases are being shuttered and their functions consolidated into others. Vine thinks that overseas bases cost us at least $71 billion a year; maybe closer to $100-200 billion. In one of the more persuasive sections of the book, he explains how he made these calculations, which follow to some extent an important 2013 study from the RAND Corporation. That it is difficult coming up with any precise figures on overseas base spending suggests that we probably need to take a harder look at how taxpayer money is being used.

Likewise, Vine raises valid criticisms about how many bases were constructed by either displacing native populations, as the British did for our benefit at the Indian Ocean atoll Diego Garcia, or by marginalizing the locals, as we allegedly have done at Okinawa in Japan. He highlights the environmental damage done by U.S. military ordnance, although I think it unfair that he ignores the more scrupulous attendance to the environment that we find in today's armed forces. And Vine is right that having many young and bored men based far from home probably doesn't elevate the morals of the local, host population.

But Vine simply fails to persuade in other parts of his critique. His fundamental distrust of the military leads him to accept unquestioningly every dubious charge against it. He also tends to be less than discriminating in some of his sourcing and characterization of events. These problems undermine the overall credibility of his reporting.

Part of the problem with Base Nation is definitional. Vine's definition of a base -- "any place, facility or installation used regularly for military purposes, of any kind" -- is far too broad. Even temporary assignments with host governments get defined as "bases." This leads him to estimate that there are at minimum 686 bases, with 800 being "a good estimate." Why the need to inflate the numbers?

Vine's foreign-base maps, though compelling to look at, appear a bit suspect in light of his expanded definition. What's that big star in Greenland? That's Thule Air Station, a Danish base, where we have about 100 personnel. And the other one in Ascension Island? That's a small satellite-monitoring station, run by the British. What's that dot in Cairo? Oh, it's a medical-research facility. These are hardly the footprints of overweening imperialism.

Likewise, he identifies many bases in Africa. To debunk the official position that we have one permanent base there -- in Djibouti, rented from the French -- plus a few drone sites, Vine relies on dodgy research from Nick Turse, a noted anti-military critic who thinks that the Pentagon runs a hidden African empire.

Along similar lines, Vine believes the U.S. maintains an extensive, secret base system in Latin America. We have one permanent base in the region, Cuba's Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). Once all the al-Qaeda prisoners are gone, GTMO's main function will return to fleet training and disaster response for the Caribbean. In addition, we have one arrangement in Soto Cano Air Field in Honduras, which hosts a squadron of helicopters engaged in counternarcotic operations. How does this base destabilize Central America, as Vine suggests? You got me.

Soto Cano is featured in one of the more tendentious chapters, which reveals Vine's method. In discussing the base, he strongly suggests the U.S. military there conspired with the Honduran Army during the "coup" against President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. He quotes a local activist insisting the U.S. was behind the coup, and then leaves it at that. In fact, the U.S. government firmly opposed removing the anti-American Zelaya, slapped sanctions on Honduras, and negotiated for months to have Zelaya brought back into Honduras. Suggesting the U.S. military backed the coup is, well, baseless.

Many of Vine's scattershot charges are of a similar nature. He accuses the U.S. Navy of being in bed with the mob in Naples because, allegedly, it rents housing from landlords who may have mob connections. He blames the military for the red-light districts around foreign bases, like in South Korea, as if it directly created them. In another context, he claims, based on one professor's opinion, that the U.S. Naval Academy fosters a rampant rape culture, and so on.

Toward the end of the book, Vine challenges those who believe the bases are providing valuable deterrence to "prove it." I'm not sure I can prove it to his satisfaction, but regarding Korean-peninsula security, some experts point to our strong presence there as deterring both sides from overreacting. And regarding Iraq, it seems evident that leaving without any U.S. military presence destabilized the country. Many of our operations with foreign militaries in Africa, Latin America, and southeast Asia have a strong humanitarian focus. It is disconcerting that he dedicates no space to these important, stabilizing missions that are often enabled by our forward base deployment.

But Vine never demonstrates his main point: that the bases themselves are destabilizing. The countries with our largest base presence -- Germany, Italy, South Korea, and Japan -- are all prosperous, peaceful democracies. As for the local protests at our foreign military bases that occasionally happen, these seem no more problematic than what occurs, certainly more often, at our many embassies abroad. Should we withdraw our diplomatic missions too?

As for bases destabilizing the developing world, Vine overplays the U.S.-imperialism angle and fails to appreciate how much control even a weaker government has over its own sovereignty. Little Honduras could kick us out of Soto Cano tomorrow; we have an agreement that could end at any time. Ecuador refused to renew our lease at Manta Air Base in 2008; we left without much fuss. The Philippines in 1992 changed its constitution to prohibit foreign bases, forcing us to leave Subic Bay. Now Manila, feeling threatened by China over the South China Sea island disputes, is inviting us back. The Filipinos mustn't feel our presence too destabilizing.

Given Vine's criticism of our large base footprint, you would think he'd approve of the Pentagon's recent plans on lowering its profile with its "lily pad" strategy -- bilaterally negotiated, pre-staged locations that might enable a future deployment. Surely this approach would alleviate the problems of the large, permanent bases Vine so painstakingly sights? But, somewhat illogically, he objects to this "light footprint" approach as a new sign of encroaching imperialism, not of gradual U.S. realignment and withdrawal.

Even if he doesn't make a strong case in Base Nation , in the long run, Vine probably will get his wish. It is hard to imagine that an extensive military base network in Europe and East Asia, the outcome of our victory in World War II and justified by Cold War strategy, will still make sense a few decades down the road. Changes are already in the wind. A new strategy for U.S. foreign policy and military power projection will doubtless be shaped largely by budget exigencies and shifts in our allies' regional security priorities.

Michael J. Ard, a former naval officer and U.S. government analyst, works in the security field and lectures on international security at Rice University.

Fran Macadam July 15, 2016 at 9:20 am

Our critic seems to have some serious cognitive dissonance going on in his avoidance of recognizing the imperial project that undergirds circling the world with U.S. military power projection.
Rossbach , says: July 15, 2016 at 9:57 am
Fran Macadam is right. The bases and the problems they create are incidental to the policy that engendered. Our nation went from a policy of intermittent imperialism after 1898 to one of permanent imperialism after 1941.

Unless we ditch the empire and return to our correct status as an independent republic, we will suffer the fate of all previous empires.

An Agrarian , says: July 15, 2016 at 10:29 am
If we grant that our global commitments are burdensome, why not take the argument in a reasonable direction. As we remember from the days of BRAC, closing bases is like pulling eye teeth, so let's focus on narrowing this argument down to what may be feasible: End NATO, remove our unwelcome forces from the Middle East, and shutter the bases where we're not wanted (e.g. AFRICOM, Okinawa) and where leases are due to expire. We need to walk our projection back from the borders of China & Russia. Even a minimal plan of this sort would require a decade to accomplish. Ultimately we need a master, strategic foreign policy vision that walks back our global projection this debate goes nowhere without that. Unfortunately neither GOP or Democrat parties offer this vision. No need to wring our hands over a "Close All the Bases" debate until we're back to Constitutional governance and foreign policy, and are rid of the military-industrial complex. And the odds of that are ?
LouisM , says: July 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm
Our Founding Fathers never wanted or would have allowed foreign military bases. Thomas Jefferson was adamantly opposed to building a navy but John Adams built a navy and Jefferson used it to stop muslim barbarians from enslaving the crews of US merchant ships.

I cannot fathom why the US needs basis throughout the world. Id much rather have a strong Philipines, Japan and Taiwan for us to partner with than vassal states that spend nothing for their own defense and put the entire burden the their alliance on the US. How many shades is that from colonialism or parasitism? Not that far in my book.

Europe is a fine example of parasitism. Today Europe expects its protector to be the US, it has shifted all its resources to social programs and as a result it cannot even defend its borders from unarmed migrants much less from a hostile aggressor.

So what is the strategy to contain Russia and China by being in Central Asia, to contain Europe by constraining it with NATO, to constrain Asia via China, Japan, Philipines, Vietnam, etc.

Im not a fan. The US is spending so much money maintaining these military alliances and using US money and jobs to bribe compliance that our nation is going bankrupt and our infrastructure is 3rd world. If these truly are competitor nations the wiser approach would be to have a strong 1st world infrastructure, a strong economy, strong education and employment and expansion into Mexico, Central America and South America. Nowhere else in the world is a nation capable of dominating an entire continent from aggressor competing nations. Nowhere else in the world is a nation capable of dominating an entire portion of the globe. Instead of growing North, Central and South America we are constraining the rest of the globe. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible but one can only shake a bottle of champagne for so long and expect the bottle to constrain the carbonation. Eventually the cork will pop and the declining debtor power will be brought down to size with years of animous for holding others back.

JWJ , says: July 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm
" causes friction with erstwhile American allies, costs way too much money, underwrites dictatorships, pollutes the environment, and morally compromises the country."

Nowhere in this article is there mention of what I would hope to be the primary purpose of a forward base.
Does it truly help the US military defend the US (and I would include projections of power that deter bad actors)?
If yes, then sod off to the wanker David Vine

Commenter Man , says: July 15, 2016 at 11:13 pm
This is a jobs and profits program all around. So there will be plenty of opposition to reducing the bases.
Fran Macadam , says: July 16, 2016 at 8:14 am
Our elites run roughshod over other peoples, and the American people can't constrain them either. At least we know who the "real" Americans are. L'etat, it is them.
bacon , says: July 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm
It shouldn't be a surprise that others piggyback on our defense spending. Why would they not? From our point of view, who pays, says, and since we insist on saying wherever we can, we've got to pay.

I have frequently wondered how costs of this sort of thing are calculated. Do the taxes military families pay get deducted from the cost? Given at least some of them would be unemployed in today's economy, do benefits they would have get deducted? Does the money they spend in local economies in the US when not deployed get factored in some way? What about the taxes the corporations which provide goods and services to the military pay, and that their employees pay? It would seem almost impossible to arrive at an accurate cost figure.

Guest , says: July 18, 2016 at 12:39 am
"Does it truly help the US military defend the US (and I would include projections of power that deter bad actors)?
If yes, then sod off to the wanker David Vine"

Using that logic, you wouldn't mind Russia or China setting up a military base in Mexico or Cuba to deter the US (a proven 'bad actor') right??

[Jun 22, 2018] Obama cyber chief confirms 'stand down' order against Russian cyberattacks

Looks like Fox and Free Beacon are part of the Deep state as they repeat the Deep State memo that DNC was hacked, not that information was leaked by an insider and then false flag was performed by intelligence agencies to attribute it to Russia.
Jun 22, 2018 |

Former Obama administration National Security Council cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel confirmed on Wednesday that a "stand down" order was given to counter Russian cyberattacks during the 2016 election.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, asked Daniel about a passage in the book Russian Roluette. The passage was about a staffer from Daniel's team, Daniel Prieto, retelling the time that Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice told Daniel and his team to halt their efforts and to "stand down" in countering Russia's cyberattacks.

Daniel was quoted saying to his team that they had to stop working on options to counter the Russian attack: "We've been told to stand down." Prieto is quoted as being "incredulous and in disbelief" and asking, "Why the hell are we standing down?"

"That is an accurate rendering of the conversation at the staff meeting but the larger context is something that we can discuss in the classified session," Daniel said. "But I can say there were many concerns about how many people were involved in the development of the options so the decision at that point was to neck down the number of people that were involved in our ongoing response options. It's not accurate to say all activities ceased at that point. "

Daniel and his team were tasked in developing options to Russia's cyberattacks on the United States. Russian hacked the Democratic National Committee servers in 2015 and into voter registration systems of several U.S. states in 2016.

[Jun 21, 2018] Britain In Panic As Trump-Putin Summit Looms : all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper. ..."
"... I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence. ..."
"... As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. ..."
Jun 21, 2018 |

Authored by Alexander Mercouris via,

Britain alarmed as John Bolton travels to Moscow to prepare summit...

Days after I discussed rumours of an imminent Trump-Putin summit , seeming confirmation that such a summit is indeed in the works has been provided with the Kremlin's confirmation that President Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is travelling to Moscow next week apparently to discuss preparations for the summit.

The Kremlin's confirmation of John Bolton's visit was given today by President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov

As far as we know, such a visit is going to take place. This is all we can say for now.

Further suggestions that some sort of easing of tensions between Washington and Moscow may be in the works has been provided by confirmation that a group of US Republican Senators will shortly be visiting Moscow.

It seems that a combination of the collapse in the credibility of the Russiagate collusion allegations – which I suspect no Republican member of the House or Senate any longer believes – unease in the US at Russia's breakthrough in hypersonic weapons technology (recently discussed by Alex Christoforou and myself in this video ), and the failure of the recent sanctions the US Treasury announced against Rusal, has concentrated minds in Washington, and is giving President Trump the political space he needs to push for the easing of tensions with Russia which he is known to have long favoured.

One important European capital cannot conceal its dismay.

In a recent article for Consortium News I discussed the obsessive quality of the British establishment's paranoia about Russia , and not surprisingly in light of it an article has appeared today in The Times of London which made clear the British government's alarm as the prospect of a Trump-Putin summit looms.

As is often the way with articles in The Times of London, this article has now been "updated" beyond recognition. However it still contains comments like these

Mr Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G8 this month, wrecking Mrs May's efforts to further isolate Mr Putin after the Salisbury poisonings. Mr Trump then linked US funding of Nato to the trade dispute with the EU, singling out Germany for special criticism.

The prospect of a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Putin appalls British officials. "It's unclear if this meeting is after or before Nato and the UK visit," a Whitehall official said. "Obviously after would be better for us. It adds another dynamic to an already colourful week." .

A senior western diplomatic source said that a Trump-Putin meeting before the Nato summit would cause "dismay and alarm", adding: "It would be a highly negative thing to do."

Nato is due to discuss an escalation of measures to deter Russian aggression. "Everyone is perturbed by what is going on and is fearing for the future of the alliance," a Whitehall source said.

I will here express my view that the Russiagate scandal was at least in part an attempt by some people in Britain to prevent a rapprochement between the US and Russia once it became clear that achieving such a rapprochement was a policy priority for Donald Trump.

In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper.

I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence.

As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow.

A summit meeting between the US and Russian Presidents inaugurated an improvement in relations between the US and Russia is exactly the opposite outcome which some people in London want.

That however looks to be what they are facing.

[Jun 21, 2018] Neocons, Zionists and Evangelicals

Jun 21, 2018 |

Peter AU 1 | Jun 21, 2018 10:00:27 PM | 33

Bible clutchers. Last time I looked AIPAC in the US consisted of roughly half Israeli's or Jews and half protestant evangelicals. A few years back I read the stats on the religion of US voters by percentage. I think that showed close to 25% of US voters evangelicals.

While looking for those stats to provide a link, I ran onto this WP article on the Trump election and ecumenicals. According to the article, 20% of US voters are evangelicals. That is a huge zionist voting block and the majority voted for Trump.

[Jun 21, 2018] Mad Dog Mattis, the destroyer of Raqqa, frets about losing moral authority by Finian Cunningham

Notable quotes:
"... "shake and bake" ..."
"... For Mattis to lament during a speech at a naval college last week that America's moral authority is being eroded by Putin is a symptom of the delusional official thinking infesting Washington. ..."
"... Mattis told his audience: "Putin aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America's moral authority." He added that the Russian leader's "actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals." ..."
"... It is classic "in denial" ..."
"... "What a powerful delusion Mattis and Western leaders like him are encumbered with," ..."
"... "The US undercuts and compromises its own avowed beliefs and ideals because it has lost any moral integrity that it might have feasibly pretended to have due to decades of its own criminal foreign conduct." ..."
"... "America's so-called moral authority is the free pass it gives itself to topple democracy in Ukraine, replacing it with neo-Nazis; it has turned economically prosperous Libya into a wasteland, after murdering its leader Muammar Gaddafi; it funds and openly sponsors the MKO terror group in Iran for regime change in Tehran; and it is neck deep in fueling the Saudi coalition's genocidal war in Yemen." ..."
"... Despite this litany of criminality committed by the US with the acquiescence of European allies, Washington, says Martin, "preaches a bizarre doctrine of 'exceptionalism' and somehow arrogates a moral right to dominate the world. This is the fruit of the diseased minds of sociopaths." ..."
Jun 20, 2018 |

Jun 20, 2018, RT Op-ed The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

It's parallel universe time when US Pentagon chief James 'Mad Dog' Mattis complains that America's "moral authority" is being undermined by others – specifically Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This is the ex-Marine general who gained his ruthless reputation from when illegally occupying US troops razed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in the 2004-2005 using "shake and bake" bombardment of inhabitants with banned white phosphorus incendiaries.

A repeat of those war crimes happened again last year under Mattis' watch as Pentagon chief when US warplanes obliterated the Syrian city of Raqqa, killing thousands of civilians. Even the pro-US Human Rights Watch abhorred the repeated use of white phosphorus during that campaign to "liberate" Raqqa, supposedly from jihadists.

These are but two examples from dense archives of US war crimes committed over several decades, from its illegal intervention in Syria to Libya, from Iraq to Vietnam, back to the Korean War in the early 1950s when American carpet bombing killed millions of innocent civilians.

For Mattis to lament during a speech at a naval college last week that America's moral authority is being eroded by Putin is a symptom of the delusional official thinking infesting Washington.

According to Mattis, the problem of America's diminishing global reputation has nothing to do with US misconduct – even though the evidence is replete to prove that systematic misconduct. No, the problem, according to him, is that Russia's Putin is somehow sneakily undermining Washington's moral authority.

Mattis told his audience: "Putin aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America's moral authority." He added that the Russian leader's "actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals."

The US Secretary of Defense doesn't elaborate on how he thinks Russia is achieving this dastardly plot to demean America. It is simply asserted as fact. This has been a theme recycled over and over by officials in Washington and Brussels, other Western government leaders and of course NATO and its affiliated think-tanks. All of which has been dutifully peddled by Western news media.

It is classic "in denial" thinking. The general loss of legitimacy and authority by Western governments is supposedly nothing to do with their own inherent failures and transgressions, from bankrupt austerity economics, to deteriorating social conditions, to illegal US-led wars and the repercussions of blowback terrorism and mass migration of refugees.

Oh no. What the ruling elites are trying to do is shift the blame from their own culpability on to others, principally Russia. American political analyst Randy Martin says that Mattis' latest remarks show a form of collective delusion among Western political establishments and their aligned mainstream news media.

"What a powerful delusion Mattis and Western leaders like him are encumbered with," says Martin. "The US undercuts and compromises its own avowed beliefs and ideals because it has lost any moral integrity that it might have feasibly pretended to have due to decades of its own criminal foreign conduct."

Read more This is America: Outrage at Trump is phony, US leaders have praised dictators for decades

The analyst added: "America's so-called moral authority is the free pass it gives itself to topple democracy in Ukraine, replacing it with neo-Nazis; it has turned economically prosperous Libya into a wasteland, after murdering its leader Muammar Gaddafi; it funds and openly sponsors the MKO terror group in Iran for regime change in Tehran; and it is neck deep in fueling the Saudi coalition's genocidal war in Yemen."

Despite this litany of criminality committed by the US with the acquiescence of European allies, Washington, says Martin, "preaches a bizarre doctrine of 'exceptionalism' and somehow arrogates a moral right to dominate the world. This is the fruit of the diseased minds of sociopaths."

This week, three headline-making issues speak volumes about America's declining moral authority.

... ... ...

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Jun 20, 2018] Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse by C.J. Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at or . ..."
Jun 20, 2018 |

I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of waiting for the Hitlerian nightmare that the corporate media promised us was coming back in 2016. Frankly, I'm beginning to suspect that all their apocalyptic pronouncements were just parts of some elaborate cocktease. I mean, here we are, a year and half into the reign of the Trumpian Reich, and, well, where are all the concentration camps, the SS units with their death's head insignia, the Riefenstahlian parades and rallies? Trump hasn't even banned the Democratic Party, or annexed Canada, or invaded Mexico, or made anybody wear color-coded armbands. If he doesn't start Hitlering relatively soon, the oracles of the corporate media are going to have some serious explaining to do.

I don't think I'm overreacting. After all, back in 2016, The Guardian promised us an " Age of Darkness ," and the end of "civilized order" as we know it. " Globalization is dead, and white supremacy has triumphed ," one of its more hysterical pundits proclaimed. " Donald Trump is actually a fascist ," Michael Kinsley assured us in The Washington Post . Charles Blow of The New York Times warned that Trump's election was "the beginning of the end," the descent of the republic into " racial Orwellianism ," whatever that's supposed to mean. Thomas Friedman called it " a moral 911 ." Paul Krugman predicted nothing short of " a global recession with no end in sight ." Jonathan Chait, after heroically vowing not to flee the country with his terrified family, but to stay and fight to the bitter end, guaranteed us that the "monster," Trump, would " shake the republic to its foundations ."

Perhaps my seismometer is on the fritz, but I haven't detected much foundation shaking. Yes, Trump repulses me, personally. I do not like the man. I never have. I was based in New York for fifteen years, in the 1990s and early 2000s, before he became a game show host, when he was still just a shady real estate mogul with alleged ties to organized crime who occasionally appeared on Wrestlemania and just generally went about the city making a narcissistic ass of himself and plastering his gold-plated name onto everything. So I have no illusions about his character the man is an inveterate snake oil salesman with the moral compass of a Tijuana pimp. All I'm saying is, we were promised Hitler, or Mussolini at the very least, and it seems like all we're getting so far is just regular old narcissistic Donald Trump.

Of course, he could just be laying low and holding back on the Hitler stuff as part of the evil master plan personally developed by Vladimir Putin to systematically brainwash Americans (with state-of-the-art mind-control Facebook ads) into embracing all-out National Socialism and marching through the streets in full Nazi regalia singing Amerika Über Alles at which point Trump will rip off his mask, reveal his true Hitlerian face, Steve Bannon will suddenly reappear in the turret of an M1 Abrams tank at the head of a division of rebel infantry flying giant Confederate flags as they hideously rumble down Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Putin-Nazi Holocaust will begin.

Or maybe the extremely serious, Pulitzer Prize-winning political pundit David Leonhardt is onto something. In a prominent op-ed in The New York Times , he wonders if Putin's "secret plan" is for Trump to destroy "the Atlantic alliance" by arriving late for the G7 meeting and "picking fights over artificial issues," not to mention insulting the Canadian prime minister, which, it doesn't get much more hair-raising than that. OK, I know you're probably thinking that sounds like the hopelessly paranoid jabber of some conspiracy theorist nut on YouTube, but we're talking The New York Times here, folks, and a bona fide "respectable pundit" who wrote a whole 15,000-word ebook and has been interviewed by Stephen Colbert, among his many other distinguished accomplishments.

Examined in the context of other blatantly loony theories the corporate media are currently attempting to ram down our throats, Leonhardt's theory kind of makes sense. The Guardian , another very serious newspaper, in addition to covering the repercussions of its coverage of Corbyn's Nazi Death Cult , is hot on the trail of the soon-to-be-infamous Putin-Banks-Brexit Connection . According to "documents seen by The Observer ," a Guardian sister publication, Arron Banks, a "Brexit bankroller," allegedly had brunch with the Russian ambassador three times , instead of just once, as he had claimed. He was also allegedly offered a piece of some shady gold deal in exchange for the number of someone on Trump transition team, which for some reason it was otherwise impossible to obtain. Or whatever. It doesn't really matter what happened. The point is, Putin orchestrated the Brexit, presumably as part of his secret plan to destabilize the Atlantic alliance, and then blackmailed Trump into running for president with that "pee-tape" the Democrats paid a former British spook to allege exists .

Paul Krugman of The New York Times concurs. In his latest extremely serious piece of totally respectable grown-up opinionating , he once again calls Trump "a quisling" (he's developed a fondness for this term, which goes over well with New York Times readers) and reiterates that Trump is "a de facto foreign agent" and that "America as we know it is finished." Tragically, according to Krugman, the FBI, CIA, and other Guardians of Western Democracy are utterly powerless to deal with this quisling, and his evil puppet master, Putin, because it turns out the entire Republican Party is "hopelessly, irredeemably corrupt." Yes, it appears the only chance we have to save the world from Trumpzilla, and imminent Putin-Nazi Holocaust, is to elect a buttload of Democrats to office, and eventually an Obama-like Democratic President, so they can launch an all-out thermonuclear war against Russia and North Korea that'll teach these Putin-Nazis to screw around with our trade agreements!

Oh, and also, we need to cancel the Brexit, and do away with all these "populist" movements that Putin has fomented all over Europe. For example, according to billionaire George Soros , the refugee-hating League in Italy is likely another Putin-backed front, part of his scheme to "dominate the West." One can only assume that the AfD, the FPÖ, Rassemblement National, and every other extreme-Right party exploiting people's rage and fear in Europe are parts of Putin's grand conspiracy (except, of course, for the Ukrainian Nazis the Western alliance put into power ). Soros, like billionaire Bruce Wayne before him, tired of waiting for the West to strike back, is taking matters into his own hands. Not only has he been tirelessly laboring to prevent Donald Trump from " destroying the world ," now he's financing "Best for Britain," a campaign to de-brainwash the British people, who, obviously, only voted for Brexit because they'd been brainwashed by the Putin-Nazis.

I could go on and on with this. Have you heard the the one about the Putin-Nazis conspiring with the NRA ? How about the one where Emmanuel Macron, in order to protect the French from "fake news," and division-sowing Putin-Nazi memes, wants the authority to censor the Internet ? Or have you read the column in which David Brooks, without a detectable trace of irony , laments the passing of international relationships "based on friendship, shared values, loyalty, and affection" seriously, he used the word "affection" in reference to the Western alliance, one of the most ruthless, mass-murdering empires in the history of ruthless, mass-murdering empires ? Oh,yeah, and I almost forgot MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is reporting that the North Korea summit was also orchestrated by Putin !

I'm not sure how much more bizarre things can get. This level of bull goose loony paranoia, media-generated mass hysteria, and mindless conformity would be hysterically funny if it weren't so fucking horrifying in terms of what it says about millions of Westerners, who are apparently prepared to believe almost anything the authorities tell them, no matter how nuts. That famous Voltaire quote comes to mind "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities," he wrote. Another, more disturbing way of looking at it is, people willing to believe absurdities, to switch off their critical thinking faculties in order to conform to an official narrative as blatantly ridiculous as the Putin-Nazi narrative, are people who have already surrendered their autonomy, who have traded it for the comfort of the herd. Such people cannot be reasoned with, because there isn't really anyone in there. There is only whatever mindless jabber got injected into their brain that day, the dutiful repetition of which guarantees they remain a "normal" person (who believes what other normal persons believe), and not some sort of "radical" or "extremist."

These people are the people who worry me these "normal" people who, completely calmly, as if what they are saying wasn't batshit crazy, explain how Trump is just like Hitler, and how Putin is trying to take over the world. I sit there and listen and smile at these people, some of whom are friends and colleagues, people who I genuinely like, and who genuinely like me in return, but who, under the right set of circumstances, would stand by and watch me marched into prison, or worse, and not utter a word in protest.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at or .

c matt , June 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities

Like "We must destroy Iraq/Libya/Lebanon/Syria/Iran/Yemen so we can save it."

Biff , June 17, 2018 at 3:18 am GMT

These people are the people who worry me these "normal" people who, completely calmly, as if what they are saying wasn't batshit crazy, explain how Trump is just like Hitler, and how Putin is trying to take over the world. I sit there and listen and smile at these people, some of whom are friends and colleagues, people who I genuinely like, and who genuinely like me in return, but who, under the right set of circumstances, would stand by and watch me marched into prison, or worse, and not utter a word in protest.

I've got the same friends. Liberal Putin haters. Dupes, and suckers.

anon [997] Disclaimer , June 17, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
I refuse to be friends with people stupid enough to believe the media propaganda. Did I mention I don't have any friends?
ick phlegm , June 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
It's true that some of this is a matter of loony cultish shibboleths imposed to enforce conformity. But there's more to it. This hysterical vilification of Trump is rational and purposive. The system depends on everybody blaming the other party for what CIA does to you. CIA has impunity and an illegal state of emergency based on secret law. They can kill anybody they want and get away with it, including the presidential puppet ruler, ask JFK, oh wait, you can't, he's dead. That absolute sovereignty means CIA's in charge, the buck stops there. So it's crucial to keep the public's attention and emotional energy fixed on the puppet.

Russia does pose a threat, but it's not what we're told. Tying the demonized political enemy to Russia is CIA's way of disguising the real threat Russia poses. Russia is the world's most effective advocate for black-letter rule of law, including human rights law that would destroy the CIA police state. The CIA regime's fulla-shitness is obvious to everyone in the world except the American public.

Russia complies with international law. The USA does not. The largest bloc Russia leads is not the SCO or the BRICS, it's the G-192, the rule-of-law advocates in UNCTAD, UNESCO, and the General Assembly. People are now discussing Uniting for Peace as a means to counter US abuse of veto impunity in the UNSC. Uniting for Peace was originally devised in response to Soviet obstruction, so the tables have turned in a striking way. The free world is ~USA, and they're going from strength to strength under the Russian nuclear umbrella. They're going to break down the Iron Curtain and let us out.

manorchurch , June 18, 2018 at 4:11 am GMT

the man is an inveterate snake oil salesman with the moral compass of a Tijuana pimp

You mean, a typical politician? I see it more as a salesman of golf-club memberships and the moral compass of a network news anchor.

Renoman , June 18, 2018 at 9:08 am GMT
Vlad Putin is the leader of the free World, most popular leader in the World, his people like what he's doing and that would be delivering them a better life while minding his own business internationally. Again I ask "what has Russia ever done to the USA"?
The left is sinking fast these days, most people aren't interested in being over run with immigrants or watching the faggots make fools of themselves or having the State in their business all the time. Time to pave the roads, give us decent schools and Hospitals, put the junkies into leaky boats and send them out to Sea and make sure everyone gets fed. That's what we want, fuck that war shit, nobody wants that. America is nothing but a Thug Nation, at least Trump is something different, anything would be better than the status quo down there.
Never mind, they'll be broke soon and the World will be wrecked for ten years, worth it I say.
annamaria , June 18, 2018 at 10:29 am GMT

In their feverish desire to be correct in the eyes of their paymasters, the ever-opportunistic Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the ever-opportunistic "psychologist" David Brooks, and the "progressively" profiteering Rachel Maddow of MSNBC have crossed all barriers of decent behavior. They are the product of Rovian creation of reality , when facts -- the documented facts -- have no weight anymore.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities," indeed.

Meanwhile, in Syria, "Drivers Behind the War on Syria and the Impoverishment of Us All:"
"We know that the Western narratives about the war on Syria are entirely false, so what are some of the real reasons that are driving this overseas holocaust, and who is benefiting from it?
To be blunt, Western policymakers seek to destroy secular democracy in Syria, along with its socially uplifting political economy, with a view to installing a compliant fascist Wahhabi government. The end result is chaos, the enrichment of the transnational "oligarchs" and the impoverishment of Syria.
In doing this, the policymakers are also impoverishing the vast majority of people in Western countries1, destroying nation-state sovereignties, and endeavouring to create a totalitarian World Order.
International financial institutions see local banking as a threat. Consequently, in Aleppo, Syria, terrorists destroyed local banking institutions."
– Same as in Libya. The banking cabal had led the US/EU coalition of war criminals to murder hundreds of thousands of people in order to destroy Libyan banking system and to satisfy Israel's aspirations for Ertez Israel:

annamaria , June 18, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT

"America's Collusion With Neo-Nazis," by Stephen F. Cohen: ttps://
"– That the pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa shortly later in 2014 reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War II has been all but deleted from the American mainstream narrative even though it remains a painful and revelatory experience for many Ukrainians.
-- That the Azov Battalion of some 3,000 well-armed fighters, which has played a major combat role in the Ukrainian civil war and now is an official component of Kiev's armed forces, is avowedly "partially" pro-Nazi, as evidenced by its regalia, slogans, and programmatic statements, and well-documented as such by several international monitoring organizations. [The Azov Battalion was financed by a Jewish oligarch Kolomojsky]. (
" -- That stormtroop-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other "impure" citizens are widespread throughout Kiev-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s. And that the police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neo-fascist acts or to prosecute them. On the contrary, Kiev has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more."
– None of the 52 main Jewish American organizations raised their voices to condemn the revival of neo-Nazism (banderism) in Ukraine. Is this because of the ethnicity of the State Dept. organizers of the putsch, Nuland-Kagan and Pyatt? Or is it because of the zionists' visceral hatred towards Russia that has been protecting the sovereign state of Syria from the supremacist Israeli thugs?

Chris Bridges , June 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm GMT
I loved this article! Funny as hell! I do not have quite the negative view of Trump – I do think he has matured some from his playboy days and clearly is serious about doing some good things – but the author's depiction of the posturing buffoons of the media is spot on. Hitler indeed! Ha ha!
Wally Streeter , June 18, 2018 at 12:26 pm GMT
When Hillary started ranting about Trump being "Putin's Puppet", I wondered "Where did that come from?". I decided that she probably had a pot of evil warming on the stove and needed a scapegoat to go along with it. Later events haven't proven me wrong.
nickels , June 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm GMT
I just discovered the brilliant Shadia Drury, one of the best resources on the Neocon and Straussian concept of the 'Noble Lie', and the enemy (previously War On Terror, now Russia Threat) to unite the nihilism of liberal society and prevent it from disintegrating.
joe webb , June 18, 2018 at 4:09 pm GMT
trump derangement syndrome here with Hopkins. Trump was a showman, like thousands of others.

He also enjoyed celebrity , again, only this time, like millions of others.

He likes women, especially in a state of undress. Who doesn't? Women as much as men, like to look at pictures of naked ladies, maybe more than men.

Maybe the whole article by Hopkins is a joke.

What I do not fully understand, and Hopkins does not help is how lunatic-hatred on the part of liberals has become so powerful.

I talked some race, as in global North and global South and natural selection, to a liberal gal the other day, and she thought it made sense. But she still hates Trump.

Or take the current moral Outrage over baby Mexicans at the border. None of it makes any sense, especially inasmuch as Mom and Pop can just keep family together by going home, which is not an option for the average burglary suspect, etc. here at home.

Trump has become the default target for every aggrieved world-hating liberal sap. The world must be changed! I demand it!

It may have something to do also with the perception that maybe they picked the wrong team, and that various career choices may have been wrong, in terms of jobs/career and so on. Given the armies of professional liberals wearing badges of Equality but scrambling for Privilege, Trump's laughter at their expense must drive them nuts.

And/or, the SJW types of youngsters (like I was at the time of Vietnam Slaughters) Trump is the Absolute Negation of everything they dream about the Perfect World, and their own badges of Revolutionary Correctness/Rectitude which they desperately seek to pin on their chests/breasts.
( curiously, many young women bare their breasts in protest about something or other. More sexual politics, I guess, especially if they have nice tits.)

I am you and you are me and we are all together. Milan Kundera has a great image in one of his novels about the Revolution in Hungary (?), the communist Revolution that is: A circle dance of young pioneer dancers spiraling up into the sky, like the Ascent of Christians to heaven. He admitted that he was of that delusion at the time. Hope morphed into Belief.

The Delusions of Race Equality are also at hand. And even though Trump declares himself politically correct on that score, the Trump Deranged syndrome SJW children and their parents, deny that Trump is a fellow true-believer. Trump is a Racist! really, and so on.

After a half-century of blatant failure of Blacks to improve the Content of Their Character, never mind getting grades good enough to get into college without privileged access, quotas, etc. older liberals, at least, smell Failure. Disillusion dreams dying hard contributes to the hatreds afoot.

The kids vote for Bernie, but the parents are also disillusioned about socialism, yet the kids luv Bernie and even now blame Billary, etc. for Trump. Who can blame the kids what with the economy punishing their generation like we have not seen for generations

(The ten year cycle of recessions is about to recycle another recession, if history means anything in this regard. Trump is not out of trouble and his standard issue GOP economics is not going to save him if a recession roars in. Wages are still super low, etc, etc and will plummet in another recession, never mind Mexicans.)

So, the desperation of adult liberals is two-fold, or three-fold. Socialism failed. Racial Equality has failed. They know it but cannot admit it to one-another. Trump has won, a repudiation of Everything they Luv.

Hatred simmers in the melting-pot, acrid fumes enter the Body Politic. Liberals stagger while genuine conservatives have adjusted over the last couple decades to the stench of liberalism, all the while buying guns and waiting for the Tipping Point.

Maybe this begins to account for the hatreds swirling out there. I have not even mentioned the hatreds of Blacks who are the most aware of their Failure, and register it for example in their admiration of Elijah Muhammed, Reveredn Wright, and of course, the Obama Zip.

Trump is just the Beginning as the American and European peasantry grab their pitchforks and head for Brussels and D.C.

Joe Webb

nickels , June 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm GMT
On origins of the Russia Threat: just more 'perpetual war' to rescue society from the inherent nihilism of liberalism:

This is made clear in Strauss's exchange with Kojève (reprinted in Strauss's On Tyranny), and in his commentary on Schmitt's The Concept of the Political (reprinted in Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue). Kojève lamented the animalisation of man and Schmitt worried about the trivialisation of life. All three of them were convinced that liberal economics would turn life into entertainment and destroy politics; all three understood politics as a conflict between mutually hostile groups willing to fight each other to the death. In short, they all thought that man's humanity depended on his willingness to rush naked into battle and headlong to his death. Only perpetual war can overturn the modern project, with its emphasis on self-preservation and "creature comforts." Life can be politicised once more, and man's humanity can be restored.
This terrifying vision fits perfectly well with the desire for honour and glory that the neo-conservative gentlemen covet. It also fits very well with the religious sensibilities of gentlemen. The combination of religion and nationalism is the elixir that Strauss advocates as the way to turn natural, relaxed, hedonistic men into devout nationalists willing to fight and die for their God and country.

anon [107] Disclaimer , June 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm GMT

You're right, Drury did give good insight into Strauss & his impact. Whoever compiled these clips, from Drury on Strauss to the Wolfowitz interview just after 9/11, made all the right connections.

And the chain of attitudes and actions can be examined in both directions, backward, to Strauss's expectations of Jew-power in Weimar -- he expected Jews to be the elite overseers of the "vulgar masses" who resented being resented by said vulgar masses.

Anon [280] Disclaimer , June 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
It's projection. They fantasize about doing the same things they falsely imagine Trump will do to them, but to their enemies. They are dangerous. The internet has also allowed the masses to see just how utterly incompetent the Ruling Class is. Neopotism, networking, and geography got them their positions, not talent or erudition.

"These people are the people who worry me these "normal" people who, completely calmly, as if what they are saying wasn't batshit crazy, explain how Trump is just like Hitler, and how Putin is trying to take over the world. I sit there and listen and smile at these people, some of whom are friends and colleagues, people who I genuinely like, and who genuinely like me in return, but who, under the right set of circumstances, would stand by and watch me marched into prison, or worse, and not utter a word in protest."

They can never be allowed to come to power. Ever. Their hysteria over Trump has let the mask slip too much. They have been revealed. It is no different than if Hitler had announced the Holocaust before taking office. At that point, it would have been morally correct to deny him regardless of the vote. We may very well have to consider this in 2020. Do you really want to hand your fate over to these people? They have made their psychotic feelings plain. On top of that, they are incompetent buffoons.

annamaria , June 20, 2018 at 6:04 pm GMT

Meanwhile, the anonymous "nazi-hunters" at have produced another anti-First Amendment battle cry, this time again a professor at Columbia University, who dared to speak the truth about The Lobby:

The "nazi-hunters" at should visit the Nuland-liberated Ukraine, where the activities of the US Zionists (specifically, Nuland-Kagan and Pyatt) have brought about a revival of neo-Nazism (banderism) and the consequent rise in real anti-semitism -- not the one invented by the Jewish vigilantes at

If the "nazi-hunters" from are serious about the memory of the WWII, they should better start investigating the pro-Nazi activities of the Kagans' clan first and foremost (see the "liberated" Ukraine) and then proceed with investigating the Israeli citizen Kolomojsky, who was the main financier of the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

" the Azov Battalion of some 3,000 well-armed fighters is avowedly pro-Nazi, as evidenced by its regalia, slogans, and programmatic statements, and well-documented as such by several international monitoring organizations."

[Jun 20, 2018] Never underestimate what a man will do to keep a good-paying job.

Jun 20, 2018 |

dr kill , June 20, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT


Never underestimate what a man will do to keep a good-paying job.

[Jun 19, 2018] U.S. Humiliates South Korea, Threatens North Korea, by David William Pear - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany? ..."
"... According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 |

David William Pear January 17, 2018 2,800 Words 115 Comments Reply

Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace . It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the North Koreans unless they have the "US behind them". Humiliating, that is like saying that Moon's "button" is not as big as Kim's. The metaphor is exactly how the Washington elite see South Korea: as Washington's obedient eunuch. The official went on to say, "If South Koreans are viewed as running off the leash, it will exacerbate tension within the alliance". Running off the leash! Now more humiliation, is South Korea a US poodle? Instead President Moon Jae-in is showing that he has teeth, and that South Koreans want their country back from US humiliating domination.

During the talks it was agreed for North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics in February. The two countries will even march together under a common flag, and future talks between the two are planned to reduce tension. Trump continues to bluster, while the two Koreas have " engaged in the most substantive direct talks in years". Neocons such as John Bolton are outraged that North Korea has proven once again that it is willing to come to the negotiation table. Bolton says it is a dirty trick and that North Korea is "taking advantage of a weak South Korean government", adding more insulting humiliation. To Washington, South Korea talking peace is weak, running off the leash and going it alone without its US master. The North using the peace option is seen as a provocation and propaganda that Washington will not tolerate. In retaliation the US sent more nukes to Guam, and put the state of Hawaii on a full alert that a " ballistic missile was inbound ". The nukes outbound to Guam are real; the ones inbound to Hawaii were fake, just like the ability of the billion dollar THAADS to shoot them down. Too conveniently the Hawaii false alarm comes just as the US and its vassals are readying for what the US plots to be a show of solidarity and unity on killer sanctions against North Korea. The US wants its chorus to perform the tragedy of telling North Korea to obey or watch 500,000 of their children die. As Madeleine Albright said about Iraq's 500,000 dead children from US sanctions, " the price is worth it ". The US does not think the price of diplomacy is worth it though.

The US continues to block efforts at diplomacy, and express its contempt for South Korea's elected President Moon Jae-in. He was elected on a peace platform by the South Korean people. Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison. Peace is not anything that Washington's plutocrats want to hear, although the South Korean people like the sound of it, and elected Moon their president by a wide margin. The self-interests in Washington preferred the corrupt warmonger Park. She carried the US's tune with perfect pitch, even ( allegedly ) conspired to assassinate the North's Kim Jong-Un. The message of the humiliation from US apparatchiks is that if Moon does not change his tune the US will try to undermine South Korea's democracy with a regime change project might be in his future. The US habitually meddles in other's elections, and wants to keep tensions high on the Korean peninsula, keep the South Koreans in line, make North Korea a boogeyman, frighten the American people, station 30,000 US troops in South Korea with wartime operational control, buy more multi-billion dollar THAADS from Lockheed Martin, and divide the Korean people. Even at the risks of a nuclear war, which the US proposes making easier .

The establishment nearly went to war with North Korea in 1994 until Bill Clinton negotiated peace. The neocons in Washington and the mainstream media keep saying that North Korea refused to come to the negotiating table. Clinton's decision to use diplomacy instead of threats proved the warmongers wrong again. It was the US all along that refused to talk, preferring belligerence and threats just as it does now. Once Clinton showed a willingness to bargain, then a nuclear deal was struck. The deal was called the Agreed Framework . What North Korea wanted then for it to suspend its nuclear program was for the US to halt the massive military exercises on North Korea's border, a non-aggression guarantee, compensation for abandoning its needed electric producing nuclear reactors, and relations with the US. Now the situation with North Korea is back to where it was in 1994. George W. Bush reversed the path of peace when he came into the White House. In 2001 he tore up the Agreed Framework, put North Korea on the Axis of Evil list in 2002, invaded Iraq in 2003, and hanged Saddam Hussein in 2006. Very predictably North Korea resumed its nuclear program for self-defense against a paranoid and unpredictable USA that sees enemies to attack under every bed.

Bush scrapped the Agreed Framework, and told then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung that future talks with North Korea were dead. Kim Dae-jung had come to visit Bush shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policies of peace with North Korea. Instead of welcoming President Kim and his peace efforts, Bush humiliated him by shockingly calling North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il a dwarf. North Korea predictably withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and resumed work on its nuclear program. A month later Bush called out North Korea to pay particular attention to Libya as an example of how a country is welcomed into the international community when it unilaterally gives up its nuclear defense program. North Korea paid attention and it was listening when Muammar Gaddafi said in a 2008 speech that " one of these days America may hang us like they did Saddam ". In 2011 Gaddafi met a brutal death at the hands of US proxies; he was anally raped with a bayonet and left to rot on public display in a meat locker. Before Gaddafi's corpse was even cold a hysterically glowing Hillary Clinton cackled " we came, we saw, he died", hahaha ". Now fast forward to 2018 and the US is threatening war against North Korea again.

The US has been abusing Korea since 1871 when it first invaded it with an expeditionary force of Marines to forcibly open trade. Korea just wanted to be left alone, but the US forced Korea to sign an exclusive trade treaty in 1882 at the point of a gun. In exchange for that unequal trade agreement the US promised Korea protection. In 1910 the US proved that its promise was worthless. Instead of protection, President Theodore Roosevelt stabbed Korea in the back by conspiring with Japan. Roosevelt had enthusiastically supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan pre-emptively attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in a sneak attack. Teddy congratulated Japan for their brilliance in 1941 his nephew Franklin would call a Japanese sneak attack "a day of infamy". After Japan and Russia ground down to a bloody stalemate, Japan secretly appealed to Teddy to open negotiations. Roosevelt acted as a (dis)honest broker in negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Japan won the spoils of the war. Roosevelt had a secret deal that Japan could have Korea and the US would take the Philippines. In 1945 the US deceived Korea again. Instead of liberating Korea from the Japanese occupation, the US occupied Korea for 3 more years until 1948 and then blocked its independence. The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

In order to understand North Korea, one must start with the "anticolonial and anti-imperial state growing out of a half-century of Japanese colonial rule and a half-century of continuous confrontation with a hegemonic United States", as Bruce Cumings writes in his book North Korea: Another Country . In order to understand South Korea one should take a similar approach. The Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910 was greeted with cheers from the USA. Teddy Roosevelt encouraged Japan to have its own Japanese Monroe Doctrine for Northeast Asia. The Japanese were harsh rulers, and Koreans remember colonial times as a national humiliation. Under the Japanese the Korean economy grew rapidly, but Koreans will rightly argue that little of it helped the average Korean. Like the Korean "comfort women" sex slaves during World War Two, Koreans were forced to obey their Japanese masters. Some Koreans complied reluctantly, some willingly and some enthusiastically. Many, but not all of the enthusiastic collaborators came from the landed aristocratic class of Koreans known as the yangban . Other collaborators were traitors that saw advancing their economic and social status by collaborating. After the division of Korea in 1945 many of the yangban class and collaborators fled to the South where they felt safe with the US occupation army, and for good reasons. The North was redistributing the yangban's vast landholdings. Many of the yangban and collaborators were safer in the US occupied south. Some went on to achieve leadership in business and government in South Korea. For instance, the future South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee (from 1963 until his assassination in 1979) had collaborated with the Japanese as a lieutenant in the Japanese army in Manchuria fighting against the Korean resistance fighters.

Korea has a long history of thousands of years. It united as one people in the 7 th century and remained so until after World War Two. The US had started planning for the occupation of Korea six months after Pearl Harbor, according to Bruce Cumings. The day after Japan surrendered a future Secretary of State Dean Rusk drew a line at the 38 th Parallel where the US proposed that Korea be divided, and the Russian allies agreed. Thousands of Koreans protested in the streets. They were told that a trusteeship was temporary until elections. Instead the US feared that the people would elect a communist government, and so they rigged a fraudulent election for a separate government in the South. The United Nations rubber stamped it. As in the South, the North then held separate elections for the Supreme People's Assembly which then elected Kim Il Sung, a famous anti-Japanese guerilla resistance leader since 1932. The US and South Korean propaganda portray that North Korea was a puppet and satellite project of the Soviet Union. This is probably the US projecting its own imperial intentions. Cummings says that no evidence exists that the Soviets had any long-term designs on Korea. They withdrew all of their military from North Korea in 1948.

North Korea has experience with US brutality. During the Korean War the US bombed Korea for 3 years, wiped out 20% of its population and destroyed every city, village and vital structure. President Truman threatened to bomb them with the atomic bomb, and General Douglas MacArthur planned to use 30 nuclear bombs which were shipped to a US base in Okinawa. Truman fired MacArthur not because MacArthur wanted to use nukes, but because Truman wanted someone more loyal he could trust with them. Truman preauthorized MacArthur's replacement General Matthew Ridgeway to use the nuclear bombs at his discretion. The US public is oblivious to US recklessness with nuclear bombs and is passive about what is done in their name. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) is called the Forgotten War because the US public has amnesia. Whatever propaganda they do remember is a flawed version of history put out by the US government. Oblivious, passive and amnesia are why all US wars of aggression are quickly forgotten as the US moves on to the next one.

After the US military occupation of South Korea from 1945 to 1948, South Korea was ruled by US backed repressive dictators until the first democratic election in 1993. The first despot that the US installed was Syngman Rhee in 1948. Rhee was a practically unknown in Korea because he had lived in the USA from 1912 until 1945, when he was flown back to Korea by the US military. The US pumped billions of dollars into South Korea to make it a showplace of US-style capitalism during the Cold War, but South Korea did not develop under either democracy or a free market, according to Ha-Joon Chang, the author of Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism .

For many decades North Korea outpaced South Korea in economic development and in their standard of living until the 1970's. With the 1991 demise of its most important trading partner the Soviet Union, North Korea fell on very hard economic times. Then it suffered two floods and a drought in the 1990′s that resulted in famines. On top of that the US has imposed killer economic sanctions. So now US propaganda constantly reinforces the belief that North Korea is an economic failure that cannot even feed its own people. While the US touts that South Korea is an economic miracle of democracy, capitalism and free markets. Little is ever mentioned about the economic collapse of South Korea in 1997, which the US had to rescue with a financial bailout package that reached $90 Billion. The package included IMF loans that came with humiliating conditionalities of austerity. The minister of finance Lim Chang Yuel went on TV, humiliated and begging for the South Korean people's forgiveness.

Despite all the propaganda otherwise, North Korea is not only willing to sit down at the table with the US, but it has long been proposing negotiations to a deaf USA ear. What North Korea says it wants today are the same things that were negotiated with Clinton in the Agreed Framework: security, compensation, and economic relations with the US. There is nothing unreasonable that North Korea is asking for, and that is probably why the US refuses to negotiate. It does not want peace for its own insane naked imperialism reasons. Instead the US wants continued hostilities; otherwise if it wanted peace it would welcome diplomacy.

It is the US that is unpredictable. One day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the US is willing to hold unconditional talks with North Korea. Then he says the US won't . Trump says that he will destroy North Korea with fire and fury, and then he says he would " absolutely talk to North Korea's Kim on the phone". It is the US that is paranoid and finding enemies everywhere: Cuba, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and Russia to name just a few. The US enemies list has nothing to do with democracy, freedom and human rights. If it did the US would not be friends, allies, and benefactors to brutal kingdoms, monarchies, dictators, fascists and human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Haiti, and Ukraine, for example. US foreign policy is based on hegemony, empire, power, corporate interests, corruption and self-interests of the high and mighty, not democracy and human rights.

Who is paranoid? Compare how much of a threat the US is compared to North Korea. Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) was a civil war and authoritative historians such as I. F. Stone, Bruce Cumings, and David Halberstam agree that the South was responsible for instigating it too. Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16 th century. The US has attacked at least 32 countries just since WW2. North Korea has a defense budget of only $7.5 billion , compared to the US $1 Trillion. North Korea has developed nuclear weapons because the US has been threatening it with nuclear destruction since 1950, introduced nuclear weapons into South Korea in 1957 in violation of the armistice agreement and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US keeps practicing regime change decapitation invasions and nuclear attacks against North Korea. North Korea has an estimated arsenal of 20 nuke bombs that are not a threat to the US's 15,000 nuclear arsenal. Instead the US is an asymmetrical and existential threat to North Korea and every other non-compliant small country. North Korea has nuclear weapons because it does not want to humiliate itself by being a US poodle. When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?


"North Korea: Another Country", by Bruce Cumings.

"The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia," by James Bradley.

"Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture", by Boye Lafayette De Mente

(Republished from The Greanville Post by permission of author or representative)

Singh , January 19, 2018 at 12:33 am GMT

USA also culturally & spiritually enslaved many South Koreans।।
KA , January 19, 2018 at 3:49 am GMT
and the war that America forgot come back as peace and American can't handle it . Do they still ask themselves that question "Why do they hate us" ?
Nexus321 , January 19, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT

United Sh-thole of America. The people in Washington are degenerates. They want to murder millions of Koreans and tens of thousands of their own people.

Renoman , January 19, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. Not much more needs to be said.
sid18 , January 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm GMT
South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore always have been usa poodles
reiner Tor , January 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
This article is too easy on the Norks, who are no angels themselves. It's quite unlikely that the South started the war, when the South didn't have adequate weaponry or effective armed forces, unlike the North. North Korea has done some horrible things in the past, most recently the (likely) sinking of a South Korean vessel.

But overall, yes, in the current situation the US could easily avoid war, but doesn't want to.

nsa , January 20, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
Absolutely zero chance of JUSA attacking Korea for the obvious reason that there is nothing in it for the jooies. Why would the clever conniving jooies waste their satrap's military assets on Korea when they could be used to further the main jooie goal of destroying the ME and Iran? Think about it ..
sarz , January 20, 2018 at 6:30 am GMT
Could be that the Trump administration is playing a game of hyper-aggression that always goes 'wrong', uniting everyone against the empire and bringing America down in the least bad of hard landings from its imperial role. Trump's kind words vis-a-vis Kim might have served as an assurance that Kim could trust his channel. That purpose having been served, Trump was back in hyper-aggressive mode with his "I'd" versus "I" explanation.

Trump's statements regarding Jerusalem, Iran and Pakistan/Afghanistan all follow the same pattern.

We do have President Moon's statement, cited by a seemingly clueless Patrick Buchanan, that he is nonetheless grateful to Trump for bringing the North Koreans to the table. Trump's overtly bad behavior makes it easier for Kim to move against the entrenched forces on his own side.

Just a possibility. But it fits Trump's personality, if you go by indications over the decades rather than the last two years.

Biff , January 20, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT
The sex slave trade out of South Korea to America is massive, and forgotten too.
Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:43 am GMT
@reiner Tor

So what? America is not an angel either. Doesn't give America the right to interfere. I'm glad other countries have the balls to give America a bloody nose. Never has there been such a dishonest and immoral country.

Where are you from Europe lol?

Hope your not expecting your obedience to pay off someday.

ThatDamnGood , January 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
"When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?"

The hippie paradigm, if the people have awareness, they will care and change things

I think you underestimate the % of people who don't care and those understand, better them than me. Trump was quoted as saying about the next Korean war, better Seoul nuked than us or something to that effect. Do Trump supporters mind what he said that the USA should take the oil at the very least with regards to Iraq?

Da Wei , January 20, 2018 at 9:56 am GMT

Nexus321, please, a little respect for our own country. We are the United States of America. Do not curse the family. Now, we are, all of us, disappointed with misdeeds done in our name. But, we are Americans and we can fix this.

We should not judge the essence of ourselves as a nation by what some wayward politician whores do. Check their motives and see on whose behalf they are working. It ain't ours. If what they do keeps the war game alive, ask who benefits. Where does the buck lead? There lies the snake. Curse that. Bad deeds done in our government's name shame us all, but that shame should make us citizens mature and determined, not adolescent and whiny. I repeat, do not curse the family.

We are a good country founded on solid, moral principles. Act like a white man, Nexus321. Let's take this country back and delouse it.

padre , January 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I don't know, what were you trying to say? That North Korea should be nuked, since they are "no angels"? no matter what your personal opinion of them is, the fact, that they didn't attack anybody is still true!

The Alarmist , January 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT

"Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody."

North Korea inarguably invaded the South. The arguable point might be whether or not it was provoked and therefore a response.

I haven't read the histories the author cites, but I am aware of the history and the case that can be made, and it is generally consonant with the gist of this article. The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany?

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT

Absolutely. There are suburbs coast to coast that depend on weapons manufacturing and all things defense. They'll stick to the script. I'm disappointed the author didn't embellish the truth of the Korean war – the way the US went after civilians like the Nazis and used biological agents. Empire has a lot of secrets about fightin' communism they still hide.

bluedog , January 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT
@Da Wei

Screw the "family" mafia for the family is just as corrupt as the leaders you curse, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we killed in Asia, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we kill in the Mid-East or anywhere else for that matter,and what the country was founded on has no bearing to what it is today, corrupt to the core, immoral degenerate with a fascist type government which the "family" is just as guilty of as its leaders .

TonyVodvarka , January 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. As Iraq was told that it was acceptable to the USA if it reunified with Kuwait in 1993, so North Korea was suckered into attempting to reunify their country. Those thirty atomic bombs were not intended for Korea which had already been utterly destroyed by conventional weapons, they were meant for China. McArthur sacrificed a Marine division by sending it without support to the border of China and predictably brought that country into the war; he then demanded the nuclear bombing of China. Truman didn't go along and MacArthur was soon replaced. A fine article from Mr. Pear.
Anon Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
Lots of good stuff but too sympathetic to North Korea which is ruled by a truly vile regime. North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism. Also, 'Kim Il Sung' was not the real Kim Il Sung. His real name was Kim Sung Ju and he appropriated the name of a guerrilla fighter. And his cult of personality was obnoxious.

Bak Jung-Hi worked for the Japanese, but collaboration is par for the course when resistance is futile. Resistance became futile under Japanese who were only defeated by great powers. Sukarno collaborated with Japanese too. And Kim collaborated with the Soviets. North Korea redistributed land to the peasants but then state collectivized the land, and the peasants became slaves of the state. The fact that Red China and communist Vietnam turned to market economics is proof that capitalism works better than communism. Communism is like City Hall running all the economy of a big city. Who wants that?

anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
The US has been threatening to use nukes against the DPRK during and since the war. Is it any wonder that they decided to nuke up themselves as a deterrent? They're not going to give up their nuclear deterrent under the bombast of threats of annihilation but are more likely to dig in and expand it. This doesn't seem to be particularly complex or difficult to understand. Where does the US think it can go from here, what does it think it could realistically do to them? It might be a good first step to stop the bluffing. Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation?
Avery , January 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT

{ Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation}

The confrontation is not 'inflicted ' as such: it was and is carefully planned. This is not the first time South Korea has tried to approach North Korea: US previously also threatened SK leaders, and forced them to back off. US needs maximum tension on the Korean peninsula to have an excuse to keepa large contingent of armed forces in the region. If South and North Korean make peace, US will be asked to leave SK. Next might be Japan. Then US is completely cut out of the region.

So in desperation, US will do anything, possibly even instigating a military clash, to stay in SK and Japan. Last thing US MIC wants anywhere in the world is peace: it's bad for business.

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
What we need are more psyops like the recent drill in Hawaii. More fear and loathing so empire can create a virtual camp x-ray with live updates from Facebook and twitter to coddle the sheep. It's a shame North Korea can't buy Democracy to keep it from Dying in Darkness. But how dare Russia try to use our twitter weapon that we use on Americans that the Russians want to use on Americans too.

Pussy hat controlled resistance, doom porn and fake antiwar will continue to play an important part of the lives of the American porn consumer. In the name of security the CIA may give us the race war, or hatred of the wealthy or the ol' immigrant rat trap. The possibilities are endless but the dictatorship is making itself clear with endless promotion of scarcity through their scribes in social media.

Post on social media everyday – what you think matters!

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm GMT
To make matters much more confusing, we have hypocritical stealth DOD contractors like Code Pink play up fake resistance to the threat of war. Barging into meetings as if the whores on Capitol Hill are calling the shots is an uniquely insidious form of stunt based propaganda. The motive for groups like Code Pink is to have a group that part of the press can immediately call "far left, unpatrioric" endearing them to at least half the sheep who are convinced they are the real McCoy of antiwar dynamite.

Code Pink first crushes any questions about whether Democracy even exists in the USA. "Look at us, we are right here where it matters isn't the country wonderful"

Then the absolute suffocation of anyone who dares question empires' gun running operations outside of state approved stunt idiocy and clown show electoral politics.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 7:13 pm GMT
Dying North Koreans Prove US Sanctions are Working.
Hapalong Cassidy , January 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm GMT
It must be especially galling and humiliating to be dominated by a country that on average is 10 points lower in IQ (per the Lynn study).
reiner Tor , January 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

He managed to achieve Madeleine Albright level depravity after less than a year in office. Sad!

Alden , January 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm GMT

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans? I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

EliteCommInc. , January 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

The US has had sanctions on N. Korea for more than forty years. During that period, more than one S, Korean government has entertained re-unification. The reason we might challenge that reunion if because should we actually have to go to war at some point with China, a friendly Korea with China would be a problem.

But what is driving unification at least when I visited was the population.

But the choice by Pres Trump to entertain conversation -- is a wise choice.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT

So? Most of the propaganda put out during the Cold War by the Soviet Union turned out to be more accurate and closer to the truth than propaganda put out by the United States government though the US State Department. For instance, Russia's version (at the time) as of what transpired immediately prior to and after Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in 1959 (?) turned out to be much more accurate than the US's version which was essentially a pack of lies.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

Brief history of the Francis Gary Powers fiasco.

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Joe Hide

No idea what you're talking about with 'the Truth'. This article is highly accurate, it seems to me: it's description of endless and ongoing US atrocities is absolutely true, as is the author's statement that never has such a rotten, lying government existed, a government that perpetually provokes any and all countries on earth, that hates peace, that destroys any attempts at decency. I have only read IF Stone, cited here, 'The Hidden History of the Korean War' or something similar. It is a staggering book. Essentially the war was a military exercise, a chance for troops to see action, test out new machines and weaponry. Most importantly, my interpretation here, it presented a vast theater for psy ops and 'country building' ie utter destruction. These kinds of great experiments are a Brit and by extension US govt specialty. This is really thinking big, thinking long term. Cut countries in two after first murdering millions and utterly destroying literally everything–in this case, for example, Seoul was literally first evacuated then set on fire by US troops, just kinda for fun. It's the kind of really big thinking going on now too (and in all the intervening years), eg with the utter destruction of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Britain (a misnomer–it is really England but wants others to share the burden. I mean, the Welsh??) did this to Ireland four centuries ago, to India more recently, to mention nothing of Africa and others.

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Then there's a whole range of wild attacks and accusations going all the way back to 1871(!).' It's called history, not an American specialty. But rather important to understanding the present and future. Your whole post is very ignorant.

Seraphim , January 20, 2018 at 11:36 pm GMT

You forgot Australia. The poodle who wants to play the pit bull.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:35 am GMT
@The Alarmist

It was the same in VietNam–we installed a dictator (Diem) who had lived mostly in the US, and reneged on the national elections that had been agreed on as a part of the peace agreement after the French defeat.

After JFK tried and lost, nothing has been able to stop the Military bla bla bla complex that actually rules this country.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:41 am GMT

If South Korea officially requested this, would the US refuse?

Of course the USG would refuse such a request -- it thinks it is master of the world. The greatest hindrance to world peace since WWII is the monster on the Potomac.

Erebus , January 21, 2018 at 1:07 am GMT

I do have to side with you this time.

Michael Kenny's comment ignores the fact that the rocket motors could have been airshipped from the Dnipro factory directly to DPRK, or even shipped by sea.
Maybe they came via China. The bottom line is we don't know when or how they got there.

What we do know is that Rocket Man's displays of prowess have brought things to a head in one of the Empire's critical nodes. The background for this crisis is ROK's desire to participate in China's BRI. The chaebols are drooling over the opportunities, but DPRK isolates them in the southern end of the Korean peninsula. Hence, Putin & Moon's joint announcement in Vladivostok of the "9 Bridges" initiative bringing DPRK into the Eurasian fold.

It would appear DPRK likes the idea, and the suddenness of the thaw in North – South relations is an indication that big wheels are turning behind the scenes. The US' recent statements indicate it finally dawned on them as well, and that they are, in their typically knee-jerk fashion, actively trying to torpedo further peaceful developments.

If ROK loosens its tethers to the US sufficiently to gain direct land access to the rest of Eurasia, Japan's Keiretsu will not allow themselves to be sidelined. Abe & Putin have met 17 times, perhaps as a result of the pressures Abe is already feeling from them.

The US' absurd statements, the patently silly "Vancouver Summit", the flip-flopping, all indicate that the US and its Imperial satraps have no idea what to do in the face of Rocket Man's exposure of their irrelevance in the N.W. Pacific.

Vinteuil , January 21, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT

So let them, officially, invite us to leave. My bet – and certainly my hope – is that we'd bow out, more or less gracefully. And if we refused – well, that would certainly clarify things.

NJ Transit Commuter , January 21, 2018 at 1:20 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

1. A Korean Peninsula allied with the US. This would put US troops on the Chinese border. No one should want this. Too easy for a border incident to escalate into a war between the two most powerful countries and economies on the planet.

2. A non-aligned Korean Peninsula. No way this would happen. Without US support the entire peninsula would become a Chinese satellite. Japan fought two wars because it saw Chinese / Russian control of Korea as an existential threat. Japan would get nukes if this happened and the entire NW Pacific would be greatly destabilized.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US. What everyone needs to figure out is how to make N. Korea more like East Germany, and less like Stalinist Russia at its worse.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 1:27 am GMT

"North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism." -- Anon

Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China.

China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically.

I'm sure this will please the anti-USA crowd gathering here around this article by Pear -- as they always do to show support for any Leftist revisionist supporter of the "USA==Evil" dogma.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 2:48 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China."

No, Little Rocket Man is a self-centered spoiled brat who puts himself above all else. He was raised as a spoiled princeling and acts like it.

"China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically."

No, China always regarded Korea as a separate kingdom and left it alone as long as Korea paid tribute. It was Japan that tried to swallow Korea twice, not China.
The only time Korea became part of Han Empire was when China itself was conquered by foreigners. Mongols conquered China and Korea. Later, Manchus, using Mongol archers, also conquered China and Korea. It was not China conquering Korea but non-Chinese conquering both.
Even so, the Manchus regarded Korea as a separate kingdom in the end.

Tibet is a different because of its small population. It's a huge area and had less than a million people when it came under Han hegemony. Same with the Turkic Northwest. It's like US could easily swallow Alaska and sparsely populated SW territories but didn't try to take Mexico proper.

In a way, Mongols really changed China and Russia. If not for Mongols, Russia might be much smaller and China too. Both Russia and China were conservative powers. Russian expansion was paradoxically defensive as, lacking sufficient natural barriers, Russia could only survive as an empire. Even so, Russians might not have been interested in East Siberia and North Asia if not for concerns of invasions from the East. Pacifying Siberia and North Asia became a priority because of the memory of threat from the East. Also, the Mongols proved that the vast area could be traversed if the people had the will to do so.

And if not for Mongols, Current China might be much smaller. Han China used to be much smaller and was restricted to the East Coast. Chinese were very conservative and not very adventurous, exploratory, and/or invasive. Instead of trying to conquer northern territories, China just built walls to keep the barbarians out. And Chinese had little interest in areas outside Han areas.

So, for most of Chinese history, their civilization was mostly along the east coast.

The massive expansion of Chinese borders happened under Mongols who were adventurous and expansive. Mongols not only invaded China but went far beyond.
Later, the Manchus, using Mongol archers and warriors, expanded much further into the West, regions that the Han Chinese mostly neglected. These semi-barbarian warlords had the aggressive zeal that the conservative Han Chinese lacked.

Thus, it was Manchu-Mongol ambitions that expanded the size of China, and when the Manchus and Mongols were either expelled from or dissolved into Han China, their conquests became absorbed into China. Mongolia would be part of China too if not for Soviets. Like Tibet, Mongolia is huge and sparsely populated. Easier for Chinese to control. Also, both Mongols and Tibetans are less developed than Koreans who are more adept at imitation.

Likewise, Byzantine Greeks had an empire they inherited from the Romans.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 3:03 am GMT
@reiner Tor

"Highly unlikely. He called himself Kim Il Sung already when people who have met the original Kim Il Sung were still around. Such change of identity is not impossible, but not too easy either."

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

Kim was so unknown in Korea that Soviets initially had trouble installing him as leader. Most people saw him as Soviet stooge, which was what he was.
So, as in the South, the domestic patriots had to be repressed or executed, and a cult of personality had to be built up around Kim that became more and more ridiculous.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

That said, I don't see how his 'invasion' of South was a bad thing. How can a Korean invade Korea? The north/south divide was artificially imposed by great powers on a nation. As idiotic as both Kim and Rhee were, there was nothing wrong in their dream of reuniting the nation. The great wrong was in the (1) division of Korea itself (2) installing puppet rulers in both artificially created entities.

Suppose China and Russia divided Israel into north and south. Would it be wrong if either Israel, north or south, tried to reunify the nation? If north Israel entered south Israel to unify the nation once again, would that be 'invasion'?

Kim's Stalinism and personality cult would have been bad for Korea, but I don't see anything wrong with his desire to unify his nation. And in that, Rhee had every right to want to unify the nation.

Where Rhee and Kim were idiotic was in blaming one another instead of blaming the great powers that divided their nation. But how could either blame his sponsor? If not for USSR, Kim would not have been installed as leader of north. If not for US, Rhee would not have been shoehorned in as leader of south. They gained power as dogs to foreign masters.

If they really had sense, both would have stepped down as leader(as both were installed by empires) and graciously allowed for unification and new leadership chosen by the people than by foreign powers. But both had petty egos, and Kim wanted to be ruler of all Korea, and Rhee wanted to be ruler of all Korea. Neither blamed the great powers but just one another.

If Israel were divided by great powers, I think Jews would have enough sense to come together and act in unison. After all, Israel itself was created by the coming together of all kinds of Jews: capitalist, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, secular, religious. Jews may be neurotic and crazy, but they have enough sense of world affairs and the nature of power.

But Koreans are a stupid people. Divide them and set them against each other like dogs, and they are like two pitbulls. A culture of slavish servitude and emotions-over-reason made them act like dogs than sensible humans.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:47 am GMT
@daniel le mouche

When the british empire ended, I think a lot of borders were drawn to create ever lasting problems/conflicts. Israel was also it's creation with american backing of course.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:56 am GMT

When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door

I doubt the masses will ever awake from the constant propaganda. I mean, all major information outlet is controlled. and besides, the smart ones also believe it is necessary to keep their way of life.

ask any american if their way of life will end, everything will become 100% more expensive, they can no longer take vacations, work twice as hard for the same pay or less, they will instantly think nothing of the current wars

very, very very few people are selfless humanists.

I am just scare of the fact if usa attacks NK unilaterally in the near future, china will get involved = WW3 + maybe nuclear war.

Carroll Price , January 21, 2018 at 3:59 am GMT

The United States uses the economic sanctions as a substitute for diplomacy.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 4:40 am GMT

I read similar drooling nonsense to what you just wrote all over the internet: "Look, first off, I don't support the guy but this is obvious lefty slander".

Ok. You don't support the guy but you need to qualify that non-support by saying he's being impuded. In other words you support the guy, warning of the coming leftists

– Anonymous

What am I supposed to asy? "I feel your pain" or what? I mean you have to read "similar drooling nonsense all over the internet" so what?

First off, it's not that I don't support Pear, but I actually condemn him as a Leftist revisionist. And then there's no' but', there's an 'and' it's obvious lefty drool. BTW, my "non-support" for Pear is unqualified, as is my disrespect for you,, Anonymous. Are yoo actually Pear writing under that pseudonym?

reiner Tor , January 21, 2018 at 11:15 am GMT

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

He was made into such a legend by North Korean propaganda after Kim became the leader. He was the most daring Korean guerrilla commander, but that's not saying very much, because he couldn't do much against the Japanese.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was. He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills. Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

"Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was."

He was shrewd, not original. But then, he was surrounded by second-raters and hacks, not men of talent.

"He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills."

No, purges were quite common in Stalinist systems. Stalin, Mao, Tito, and the rest all purged 'bad elements'. Nothing original about that.
And it's not so much that he got rid of pro-China-elements and pro-Soviet-elements as he balanced them out. If not for the Korean War, he would have leaned to the USSR. But China played such a huge role in the war that it gave him an opportunity to lean to China as well. so, he played on both USSR and China for aid. Now, where he was skillful was maintaining this balance even after the Sino-Soviet rift.

"Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader."

It turned out to be pretty easy because he did it and then his son did it too. It was easy because North Korea under Kim was more about the dynasty than ideology. People were raised to worship Kim, not to think ideologically. And Kim surrounded himself with yes-men and hacks. If there was overt opposition, it was easily dealt with. The gulag.

Kim was a stupid bumpkin who got to leader because Stalin saw him as pliable and obedient.

anon Disclaimer , January 22, 2018 at 5:01 am GMT

Excellent point. Their only other neighbors are China and Russia.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:05 am GMT
@David William Pear

Just a few corrections:

The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

Most SKoreans do not know, either. And those who do and talk about it probably risk imprisonment for treason.

Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison.

She is the daughter.

Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16th century.

Korea was invaded by Japan in the 16th century. It's difficult to pinpoint when Korea invaded anyone. We'd have to go back to a time prior to their nominal unification at least in the 7th century.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

It's the 21st century. There's no curse of geography. It's a global village. Trade is global. Communication is global. Cultural exchange is global. It has a combined population of 70M. SKorea is technologically/economically advanced. Its biggest threat is its own lethargy/apathy.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US.

No, that's only in the best interest of the US and Japan.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:27 am GMT

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans?

Sounds familiar. That's what Japan says about WWII sex slaves.

I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

The subtext being that SKorea turned itself into a brothel? US forces, war and starvation had nothing to do with women selling their bodies to survive?

hopsing , February 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
I agree. As much as I hate to admit as much, and also being a veteran, the USA government is rotten to the core. Manipulation and coercion all across the board. Hard to escape the feeling we will pay for these misdeeds somewhere along the way. Cosmic Justice demands as much. Neither nation nor person can continue on in such manner indefinitely. USA is the agitator. If the Koreans could just tell Uncle Sam (er . Sap) to pack his bags and get out of Dodge, they would be on their way to a much better future. nx
Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:29 am GMT

You're just going along with this article and making up shit. That's not something Americans did. Your people are the ones who are mentally and spiritually enslaved by the British till this day. Your people are so engrained with wanting to be White, even after your motherland was invaded, occupied, murdered by the British, that your people bleach their skin and praise, put a whites on a pedestal, and strive to be like their oppressors.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:50 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The reason why the United States doesn't want the two Koreas to reunify, is because if they reunite, the United States loses its revenue. South Korea pays to have American soldiers stationed in their country. The U.S. sells it's weapons to South Korea, out of fear mongering. The longer the U.S. can keep the two Koreas separated, the more they can make money off of the fear of war. War creates revenue for the United States. That's why we keep going at it with the Middle East. It's always the U.S. going to war with others, usually, over false pretenses. Let's not forget, how we lied about weapons of mass destruction to go to war with Iraq. Fear mongering, allows the U.S. government to sell weapons to not only South Korea, but to other countries in Asia. That's why.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:09 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

Korea, is actually blessed by geography. They're not in Europe & part of the E.U. So they're not forced to have migrants by the millions in their country against their will, with open borders. They're not located where the U.S. is, where Latinos invade their country by the thousands. They're not where Japan is, to get butt raped by mother nature and thank goodness, they're not located where china is. I visited china. It was horrid. Korea's ecosystem is rich, diverse & unique because it's a peninsula. China, never controlled Korea. If anything, Korea fought against china, defeating them many times throughout history. They did this before America existed. Koreans are clever people who have a strong military and several decades of stockpiled weapons on hand, along with new ones. They don't need American soldiers in Korea after reunification, to protect them. Japan, is afraid Korea will reunify, because that means Korea will be even stronger. The same goes for china. A stronger one unified Korea, is a threat to other Asian countries.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

You've worked for "Samsung." Lol. and I'm the King of England. China, has the highest suicide rate per capita. 22.24 for every 100,000. That makes them the country with the highest suicide rate in the world. Japan is close behind.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT

By the way, japan, has the lowest birth rate in Asia. They're not reproducing enough male japanese babies to replace the old, sickly, & dying in the work place. Japan, is screwed. Again, deflecting other's short comings on to Korea.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:44 pm GMT

It's actually the Middle East, Dubai, that is the plastic surgery capital of the world. They get the most rhinoplasties. Plastic surgeons go there months out of the year, to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. Then it's the United States & the UK close behind. Plastic surgery is on the rise in ethnic chinese countries, like taiwan, hong kong, & singapore, china, japan, & in southeast asian countries, like philippines, thailand, veitnam, and indonesia, more than ever. As of 2017, these asian countries get the most procedures done & they compete with each other in who does it the most percentage wise. No one wants to admit their race of people get plastic surgeries, so they deflect, finger point to others, especially to better looking people as an excuse as to why others are far more attractive than their ugly selves. (I'm pointing at you.) Asians do it out of jealousy. They can't stand seeing a Korean get compliments. Whites get the most plastic surgeries in the West, but asians don't finger point at them, unless they're discriminated by Whites, because asians think Koreans are far better looking than Whites. I'll have to remind you that if Korea, in which this is all true, have a technologically advanced country, are an advanced people, who excel in intelligence, inventions, sports, have a booming economy, are talented, have the most popular genres of music in the world and one of the most addictive forms of entertainment, (K pop) and Korean dramas, movies, have the most amazing style unlike other races & nationalities, both men and women have the best complexions, their skincare products are the most popular in the world, that do what they say, have two electrictronic companies in which one has completely dominated the globe, a successful car manufacturing industry, Korean foods & alcohol, that all races love, an amazing rich history unlike any other, which draws people in to want to learn more about Koreans, the first in asia to always break records and make history, before any other asian country, the most popular race in asia, and the best looking in asia and in my opinion, better looking than any other race of people other than some Whites. So with all these great attributes Korea has, there's no reason to think and hate on them or to think they're less in any way, unless one is a jealous person or a whole jealous race of people who only hate online, because they themselves, don't have any of these attributes the Koreans have, hence, making them haters like you, whether you're asian or not.

[Jun 19, 2018] Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats. ..."
"... Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior. ..."
"... Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. ..."
"... And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left." ..."
"... There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists. ..."
"... In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work. ..."
"... The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. ..."
"... And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't. ..."
"... Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty. ..."
"... Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 |

I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that will succeed the institutionally exhausted post-World War 2 financial and political arrangements that more-or-less established U.S. hegemony over the "free world." The Bretton Woods agreement and the founding of the United Nations institutionalized the spread of liberal democracy and free trade, creating a new, post war international order under the firm control of the United States with the American dollar as the benchmark currency. Trump is now rejecting what has become an increasingly dominant global world order in favor of returning to a nineteenth century style nationalism that has become popular as countries struggle to retain their cultural and political identifies. Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats.

Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior.

Inevitably, I have other friends who follow foreign policy closely that have various interpretations of the Trump phenomenon. One sees the respectful meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea as a bit of brilliant statesmanship, potentially breaking a sixty-five year logjam and possibly opening the door to further discussions that might well avert a nuclear war. And the week also brought a Trump welcome suggestion that Russia should be asked to rejoin the G-7 group of major industrialized democracies, which also has to be seen as a positive step. There has also been talk of a Russia-U.S. summit similar to that with North Korea to iron out differences, an initiative that was first suggested by Trump and then agreed to by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There will inevitably be powerful resistance to such an arrangement coming primarily from the U.S. media and from Congress, but Donald Trump seems to fancy the prospect and it just might take place.

One good friend even puts a positive spin on Trump's insulting behavior towards America's traditional allies at the recent G-7 meeting in Canada. She observes that Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. And the military costs exacerbate some genuine serious trade imbalances that damage the U.S. economy. If Trumpism prevails, G-7 will become a forum for discussions of trade and economic relations and will become less a club of nations aligned military against Russia and, eventually, China. As she put it, changing its constituency would be a triumph of "mercantilism" over "imperialism." The now pointless NATO alliance might well find itself without much support if the members actually have to fully fund it proportionate to their GDPs and could easily fade away, which would be a blessing for everyone.

My objection to nearly all the arguments being made in favor or opposed to what occurred in Singapore last week is that the summit is being seen out of context, as is the outreach to Russia at G-7. Those who are in some cases violently opposed to the outcome of the talks with North Korea are, to be sure, sufferers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, where they hate anything he does and spin their responses to cast him in the most negative terms possible. Some others who choose to see daylight in spite of the essential emptiness of the "agreement" are perhaps being overly optimistic while likewise ignoring what else is going on.

And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richar