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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).
The "American Exceptionalism" is geo-political trap the USA now experiencing. This is a unique brand of nationalism and after September 2001 thee jaws of American imperialism: intelligence agencies, military and financial oligarchy are too tight for the country to leave this (potentially self-destructing) path. So it looks like the USA will continues its international power projection and unique financial imperialism in foreseeable future no matter what are internal costs. Leon Trotsky saying is fully applicable to the current decline of the American imperialism, the process started in 2008 "We will leave, but we will slam the door so hard the world will shudder," Trump presidency is clearly start of slamming the door.
Leopard can't change its spots. The same is true for the USA. It is metropolis for a large "neoliberal" empire governed from Washington and to some extent form London as the second most important financial center of the empire. It is attached to neoliberalism and death of neoliberalism means the death of this empire. The USA dominance is maintained mostly not by force of arms but by installing and cultivating comprador elites ("regime change/color revolutions) and financial mechanism, due to the role of dominant role of the USA Treasury, USA banks and two controlled by the USA international financial institutions (IMF and the World Bank) in the world financial system. This mechanism involves in many cases converting and then keeping the country in the status of a debt slave (to IMF or both IMF and private banks; Greece and Ukraine are notable examples)
Probably in a hundred years or so there will be discussion about whether the USA imperialism was totally harmful or at least somewhat beneficial for the vassal nations. Like discussion about Roman empire and British 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 key here is that market economies have never existed independent of nation states. Neoliberalism is characterized by flow of the capital to the USA and other major western countries, rather than spreading the wealth from the wealthy center to the poorer periphery. By putting in debt a growing proportion of "third world" nations (and that includes some first world countries like Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain) a new finance based mechanism of dominance ( "debt slavery") emerged. Countries are forced to accumulate debt in external currency (euro or dollars) and that alone ensures the necessary level of political dependence on the USA and other major Western countries. "Dollarized" countries became political satellites, vassals of the USA (a classic example here is Yeltsin's Russia), with weakened "privatized" economy (which amounted to sell of assets to foreigners on pennies for a dollar). All of them were forced into debt slavery via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its sister institution, the World Bank.
As professor Hudson noted (Financial Capitalism v. Industrial Capitalism, 1998):
These institutions are imposing the same creditor-oriented monetarism that wrecked the world economy in the 1920s, triggering the Great Depression. Instead of helping the world’s poorer debtor economies develop, the IMF and World Bank programs ‘underdevelop’ them, polarizing their economies between a wealthy top layer and poverty for the vast majority. Turned into a U.S. Cold War arm under the stewardship of Robert McNamara, the World Bank has become a powerful arm of the new global class war, most notoriously Russia and East Asia.
The upshot has been to leave the world’s poorer economies even deeper in debt, and so financially strapped that they are obliged to sell off to international financial institutions whatever assets remain in their public domain. While wealth and incomes have polarized as a result of the active intervention of the World Bank and IMF on behalf of the ruling kleptocracies throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia, the physical environments of these debtor economies have been devastated by the ecological consequences of the World Bank’s raw-materials export programs. Pandemics have broken out as public health programs have been dismantled as domestic budgets have been stripped to service the mounting foreign debt. This has impaired the ability of governments to contain new diseases and undertake ameliorative social spending.
It was the attack on Serbia (March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999) that helped many countries to realize that neoliberalism is a road to nowhere and the USA went too far in its "sole superpower" role. During the campaign, 2,300 air attacks were carried out on 995 facilities around Serbia and 1,150 fighter jets fired nearly 420,000 missiles to the total weight of 22,000 tons. NATO fired 1,300 cruise missiles, dropped 37,000 cluster bombs which killed around 200 individuals and caused injuries to several hundred more people. The forces also used banned depleted uranium ammunition. Later the same scenario was repeated in Iraq with substantially larger amount of victims (over one million in total, by some estimates; much more if we count subsequent civil war).
Backlash for neoliberalism in Russia stated almost immediately after attack on Yugoslavia.
Later Putin explicitly positioned Russia as the the country that rejects the role of the USA as the
center of neoliberal empire, while at the same time not rejecting neoliberalism per se (which is
a weak point of "Putinism" as an ideology).
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.
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.
As G. John Ikenberry, professor of geopolitics at Georgetown University noted in Foreign Affairs:
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.*
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
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.
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.
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.
The debate about the USA dominance in internet and global communications reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL. The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower.
The USA has capabilities of intercepting of lion share of global internet traffic and with allies tries to intercept all the diplomatic communication during major conferences and trade talk in direct violation of Vienna protocols. Latin American countries were one of the recent victims of this activity during trade talks with the USA. There were reports about snooping on UN personnel communications in NYC.
Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):
Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...
We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.
We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don't currently have, they will very soon…
These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...
They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.
Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?
Here's why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.
Remember the "Two to Three Hop" scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…
The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm
We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…
"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.
"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol)."
There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...
Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...
Pretty good bet they win...
That includes industrial espionage:
EntropyNow:Absolutely. See EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT report dated 11 July 2001 (Note it was before the 9/11 attack in the US).
Or industrial espionage?
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
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....
The temples of neoliberalism are malls and airports ;-). And they are build all over the glone is a very similar fashion. A drunk person accidentally transfered from New Jersey to, say Kiev and put in one of mjor malls can never tell the difference :-).
English became the major international language. Both language of technology and commerce. Much like Latin was before.
In developing countries goods are sold at considerable premium (up to 100%) but generally everything that can be bought in the USA now can be bought say in Kiev. Of course affordability is drastically different, but for elite itis not a problem. That create another opportunity for the top 1% to enjoy very similar, "internationalized" lifestyle all over the globe.
Hollywood films dominate world cinemas. American computer games dominate gaming space. In a way the USA culturally is present in any country. It was amazing how quickly remnants of communist ideology were wipes out in the xUSSR countries (Globalization, ethnic conflict and nationalism Daniele Conversi - Academia.edu):
Contrary to the globalists or ideologues of globalization (Steger 2005), both Marxists and liberals have highlighted the ' pyramidal ' structure underlying globalization. This metaphor applies well to cultural dissemination.
An elite of corporate, media, and governmental agencies sits at the pyramid' s top level, small regional intermediary elites sit immediately below, while the overwhelming majority of humans are pushed well down towards the pyramid' s bottom. In the realm of ' global culture ' , this looks like a master-servant relationship with much of the world at the boot-licking end. Whether such a relationship really exists, or is even practical, this metaphorical dramatization can nevertheless help to understand collective self-perceptions. The consequences in the area of ethnic conﬂict are signiﬁcant. Such a hierarchical structure makes it impossible for global exchanges to turn into egalitarian relationships based on evenly balanced inter-cultural communication and dialogue.
On the contrary, cultural globalization is not reﬂected in a genuine increase of inter-personal, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural contacts. As I shall argue, in most public areas ' cultural globalization ' really means the unreciprocated, one-way ﬂow of consumerist items from the US media and leisure machine to the rest of the world.
This top-down distribution ensures that a few individuals and groups, nearly all in the USA, ﬁrmly establish the patterns of behaviour and taste to be followed by the rest of mankind. Is this congruent with the view that there is a form of ' global centralization ' in cultural-legal matters leaning towards Washington, DC? As for a supposed ' global culture ', the symbolic capital would ideally be located in Hollywood, rather than Washington.
In fact, the term ' Hollywoodization ' insinuates a media-enforced hierarchical structure with immediate symbolic resonance. It also offers a more cultural, perhaps less sociological, focus than the Weberian concept of bureaucratic ' McDonaldization ' (Ritzer 1996).
Competing terminologies include ' Disneyﬁcation ' / ' Disneyization ' , with its stress on extreme predictability and the infantilization of leisure (Bryman 2004), 'Walmarting ' as the streamlining of the retail sector (Fishman 2005, Morrow 2004), or earlier Cold War terms like ' Coca-Colonization ' (Wagnleitner 1994). We previously saw how the term ' McGuggenization ' has been used to indicate art-related cultural franchising and other forms of Americanization in the Basque Country (McNeill 2000).
All these equally refer to socio-economic trends originated in the USA and are hence forms of Americanization. However, ' Hollywoodization ' has broader implications for ethnic relations and nationalist conﬂicts.
In practice, Hollywood-inspired simpliﬁcations have become the daily staple for millions of peoples around the world in their leisure time. In the area of ethnicity, ' Hollywoodization ' has been elevated to the only known reality and the unique source of information about the outside world for increasing numbers of people, not only in the USA. Thus, the world is more likely to get its stereotypes of the Brits from US movies like The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan than via British productions.Similarly, most of the world is likely to see Scotland through the lenses of US-made Braveheart , as the larger public can barely afford any access to Scottish cultural productions.
This monopoly of global stereotyping and ethnic imagery has serious implicationsf or the spread and continuation of ethnic conﬂict.The tools of primary socialization were once under ﬁrm control of the family, either nuclear or extended. They were subsequently assumed by the state in the industrialization ' phase ' , notably with post-1789 mass militarization and compulsory schooling (Conversi2007, 2008).
Under neo-liberal globalization, primary socialization has been seized by unaccountable cash-driven corporations and media tycoons. This has further reduced the space of inter-generational transmission and family interaction. If a community can no longer socialize its children according to its culture and traditions, then the very bases of local, regional, and national continuity are all visibly at stake. This threat to a group's survival is often seized upon by patriots and ethno-nationalists, whose political programs are founded on providing a new sense of social cohesion and security – even if the targets are often hapless and unprotected minorities.
That is partly how nationalism and xenophobia have expanded in tandem with globalization. Ethno-nationalism not only persisted through change, but is perceived by many as a response to the growth of globalization, providing a prêt-à-porter hope for national resistance and resilience. By depending on Hollywood as unique conveyor of ' globalization ', inter-ethnic interaction is inevitably undermined. In some instances, international communication has practically evaporated.
... ... ...
I have described, and subsequently dismissed, the proﬁt-oriented ideology that globalization, intended as Mcdonaldization and Hollywoodization, can contribute to better international understanding. On the contrary, it has ushered in a process of planetary cultural and environmental destruction, while hampering inter-ethnic communication and fostering human conﬂict. The notion of cultural security, so central to international relations and peaceful coexistence, has undergone unprecedented challenges.
...Insofar as cultural globalization is understood as uni-dimensional import of standardized cultural icons, symbols, practices, values, and legal systems from the United States, it can simply be re-described as Americanization (rather than Westernization in the broad sense), or ' globalization by Americanization ' (Hilger 2008). This is of central importance for the study of ethnic conﬂict.
In fact, the outcome is scarce hybridization, amalgamation, and metissage . Rather than providing an inter-cultural bridge, this unilateral drive has often eroded the basis for mutual understanding, impeding inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and international interaction. Given the current vertical, pyramidal structure of the ' cultural world order ' , the opportunity of distinctive groups to communicate directly and appreciate each other's traditions has decreased, except in the virtual area of long-distance communication. For an increasing number of individuals, an American mass consumer culture remains the only window on the world. Hence, to know and appreciate one ' s neighbours has become an ever-arduous task. To recapitulate my point, wherever cultural globalization appears as synonymous with Americanization, it engenders conﬂicts on a variety of levels.
Because the process is one-way and unidirectional, the result is unlikely to be a fusion between cultures or, evenless, the blending of ethnic groups. Contrary to the globalist utopia, the imposition of more and more American icons means less and less possibility for direct inter-ethnic encounter and communication among nations. Together with the collapse of state legitimacy, this substantially contributes to the spread of ethnic conﬂict and nationalism.
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 ;-).
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
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.
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):
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,
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.
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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. 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." 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". In turn, historian Sidney Lens argues that from its inception, the US has used every means available to dominate other nations. 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.
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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.
"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. Executive officials in the American government began to determine themselves the supreme authority in matters regarding the recognition or restriction of 
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." 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."
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."
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. 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.
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.
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." Political theorist Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US's role in the world; political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a "balanced and nuanced analysis is not aided...by the use of the phrase 'empire' to describe United States hegemony, since 'empire' obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth.". 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.
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. 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.
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. Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.
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!"
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. As of 2003, the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.
How America built its empire The real history of American foreign policy that the media won't tell you - Salon.com
When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence -- I'm not sure you use this word exactly -- indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.
I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.
The other day I wrote Perry Anderson, the subject of the following interview, to ask what he thought of the foreign policy debates, such as they are, among our presidential aspirants. Logical question: Anderson, a prominent scholar and intellectual for decades, has just published "American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers," a superbly lucid account of U.S policy's historical roots and the people who shape policy in our time."Current candidates' f/p talk leaves me speechless," came Anderson's terse reply.
Perfectly defensible. Most of what these people have to say-and I do not exclude the Democratic candidates-is nothing more than a decadent, late-exceptionalist rendering of a policy tradition that, as Anderson's book reminds readers, once had a coherent rationale even as it has so often led to incoherent, irrational conduct abroad.
Born in London in 1938-during the Munich crisis, as he points out-Anderson has been a presence on the trans-Atlantic intellectual scene since he took the editor's chair at the then-struggling New Left Review in 1962, when he was all of 24. Eight years later NLR launched Verso, a book imprint as singular (and as singularly influential) as the journal.
Anderson has headed both at various intervals for years. His own books range widely. My favorites are "Zone of Engagement" (1992) and "Spectrum" (2005), which collect essays on an amazing range of 20th century thinkers. To them I now add the new foreign policy book, which I count indispensable to anyone serious about the topic.
I met Anderson, who has taught comparative political and intellectual history at UCLA since 1989, at his home in Santa Monica this past summer. Over a fulsome afternoon's conversation in his admirably spartan study, he impressed me again and as readers will see for themselves, but the counterarguments are generously given and always rewarding.
The transcript that follows is the first of two parts and includes a few questions posed via email after we met. It is otherwise only lightly edited. Part 2 will appear next week.
"American Foreign Policy and its Thinkers" is well timed, given the unusual prominence foreign policy now assumes in the American political conversation. How would you describe your approach? What distinguishes the book from so many others? How should one read it? What's the project?
The book tries to do two things. One is to cover the history of American foreign policy, from around 1900 to the present, tracing the gradual construction of a global empire. This first really came into view as a prospect during the Second World War and is today a reality across all five continents, as a glance at the skein of its military bases makes clear. The Cold War was a central episode within this trajectory, but the book doesn't treat just the U.S. record vis-á-vis the USSR or China. It tries to deal equally with American relations with the Europe and Japan, and also with the Third World, treated not as a homogenous entity but as four or five zones that required different policy combinations.
The second part of the book is a survey of American grand strategy-that is, the different ways leading counselors of state interpret the current position of the United States on the world stage and their recommendations for what Washington should do about it.
The "big think" set, in other words-Kissinger, of course, Brzezinski, Walter Russell Mead, Robert Kagan. And then people such as Francis Fukuyama, whom I consider a ridiculous figure but whose thinking you judged worth some scrutiny. How did you choose these?
From the range of in-and-outers-thinkers moving between government and the academy or think-tanks-who have sought to guide U.S. foreign policy since 2000, with some intellectual originality. Kissinger isn't among these. His ideas belong to a previous epoch, his later offerings are boilerplate. Fukuyama, who sensed what the effects of office on thought could be, and got out of state service quite early, is a mind of a different order. The figures selected cover the span of options within what has always been a bipartisan establishment.
You make a distinction between American exceptionalism, which is much in the air, and American universalism, which few of us understand as a separate matter. The first holds America to be singular (exceptional), and the second that the world is destined to follow us, that the trails we've blazed are the future of humanity. You call this a "potentially unstable compound." Could you elaborate on this distinction, and explain why you think it's unstable?
It's unstable because the first can exist without the second. There is, of course, a famous ideological linkage between the two in the religious idea, specific to the United States, of Providence-that is, divine Providence. In your own book "Time No Longer" you cite an astounding expression of this notion: "However one comes to the debate, there can be little question that the hand of Providence has been on a nation which finds a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Roosevelt when it needs him." That pronouncement was delivered in the mid-1990s-not by some television preacher, but by Seymour Martin Lipset: chairs at Harvard and Stanford, president of both the American Sociological and the American Political Science Associations, a one-time social democrat.
What is the force of this idea? A belief that God has singled out America as a chosen nation for exceptional blessings, a notion which then easily becomes a conviction of its mission to bring the benefits of the Lord to the world. President after president, from Truman through to Kennedy, the younger Bush to Obama, reiterate the same tropes: "God has given us this, God has given us that," and with the unique freedom and prosperity he has conferred on us comes a universal calling to spread these benefits to the rest of the world. What is the title of the most ambitious contemporary account of the underlying structures of American foreign policy? "Special Providence," by Walter Russell Mead. Year of publication: 2001.
But while a messianic universalism follows easily from providential exceptionalism, it is not an ineluctable consequence of it. You mount a powerful attack on the idea of exceptionalism in "Time No Longer," but-we may differ on this-if we ask what is the more dangerous element in the unstable compound of the nation's image of itself, I would say exceptionalism is the less dangerous. That may seem paradoxical. But historically the idea of exceptionalism allowed for an alternative, more modest deduction: that the country was different from all others, and so should not be meddling with them-the argument of Washington's Farewell Address [in 1796].
A century later, this position became known as isolationism, and as the American empire took shape, it was all but invariably castigated as narrow-minded, short-sighted and selfish. But it could often be connected with a sense that the republic was in danger at home, with domestic ills that needed to be addressed, which vast ambitions abroad would only compound. Mead terms this strand in American sensibility Jeffersonian, which isn't an accurate description of Jefferson's own empire-building outlook, but he otherwise captures it quite well.
We don't ordinarily apply the term "exceptionalist" in the same breath to America and to Japan, though if there is any nation that claims to be completely unique, it is Japan. But the claim produced a drastic isolationism as a national impulse, both in the Tokugawa period [1603-1868, a period of severely enforced seclusion] and after the war. Does that support the point you're making?
Exactly. Historically, exceptionalism could generate a self-limiting, self-enclosing logic as well as the gigantic expansionist vanities of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and the "Free World" [narrative]. In the American case, the two strands of exceptionalism and universalism remained distinct, respectively as isolationist and interventionist impulses, sometimes converging but often diverging, down to the Second World War. Then they fused. The thinker who wrote best about this was Franz Schurmann, whose " Logic of World Power" came out during the Vietnam War. He argued that each had a distinct political-regional base: the social constituency for isolationism was small business and farming communities in the Midwest, for interventionism it was the banking and manufacturing elites of the East Coast, with often sharp conflicts between the two up through the end of thirties. But in the course of the Second World War they came together in a synthesis he attributed-somewhat prematurely-to FDR, and they have remained essentially interwoven ever since. The emblematic figure of this change was [Arthur H.] Vandenberg, the Republican Senator from Michigan [1928-51], who remained an isolationist critic of interventionism even for a time after Pearl Harbor, but by the end of the war had become a pillar of the new imperial consensus.
Mainstream debate today seems to have constructed two very stark alternatives: There is either engagement or isolation. In this construction, engagement means military engagement; if we are not going to be militarily engaged we are isolationists. I find that absolutely wrong. There are multiple ways of being engaged with the world that have nothing to do with military assertion.
True, but engagement in that usage doesn't mean just military engagement, but power projection more generally. One of the thinkers I discuss toward the end of my book is Robert Art, a lucid theorist of military power and its political importance to America, who argues for what he calls selective-expressly, not universal-engagement. What is unusual about him is that in seeking to discriminate among engagements the U.S. should and should not select, he starts considering in a serious, non-dismissive way what would typically be construed as isolationist alternatives, even if ending with a fairly conventional position.
How far do you view the contemporary American crisis-if you accept that we are living through one-as, at least in part, one of consciousness? As an American, I tend to think that no significant departure from where find ourselves today can be achieved until we alter our deepest notions of ourselves and our place among others. I pose this question with some trepidation, since a change in consciousness is a generational project, if not more. Our leadership is not remotely close even to thinking about this. I'm suggesting a psychological dimension to our predicament, and you may think I put too much weight on that.
You ask at the outset whether I accept that Americans are living through a crisis. My reply would be: not anything like the order of crisis that would bring about the sort of change in consciousness for which you might hope. You describe that as a generational project, and there, yes, one can say that among the youngest cohorts of the U.S. population, the ideologies of the status quo are less deeply embedded, and in certain layers even greatly weakened. That is an important change, but it's generational, rather than society-wide, and it's not irreversible.
At the level of the great majority, including, naturally, the upper middle class, the image you use to describe the purpose of your last book applies: you write that it aims "to sound the tense strings wound between the pegs of myth and history during the hundred years and a few that I take to be the American century. It is this high, piercing tone that Americans now have a chance to render, hear, and recognize all at once. We have neither sounded nor heard it yet." That's all too true, unfortunately. The most one can say is that, among a newer generation, the strings are fraying a bit.
I tend to distinguish between strong nations and the merely powerful, the former being supple and responsive to events, the later being brittle and unstable. Is this a useful way to judge America in the early 21st century-monumentally powerful but of dubious strength? If so, doesn't it imply some change in the American cast of mind, as the difference between the two sinks in?
That depends on the degree of instability you sense in the country. In general, a major change in consciousness occurs when there is a major alteration in material conditions of life. For example, if a deep economic depression or dire ecological disaster strikes a society, all bets are off. Then, suddenly, thoughts and actions that were previously inconceivable become possible and natural. That isn't the situation so far in America.
Can you discuss the new accord with Iran in this context? I don't see any question it's other than a breakthrough, a new direction. What do you think were the forces propelling the Obama administration to pursue this pact? And let's set aside the desire for a "legacy" every president cultivates late in his time.
The agreement with Iran is an American victory but not a departure in U.S. foreign policy. Economic pressure on Iran dates back to Carter's time, when the U.S. froze the country's overseas assets after the ousting of the Shah, and the full range of ongoing U.S. sanctions was imposed by the Clinton administration in 1996. The Bush administration escalated the pressure by securing U.N. generalization of sanctions in 2006, and the Obama administration has harvested the effect.
Over the past decade, the objective has always been the same: to protect Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region without risking an Israeli blitz on Iran to preserve it-that might set off too great a wave of popular anger in the Middle East. It was always likely, as I point out in "American Policy and its Thinkers," that the clerical regime in Tehran would buckle under a sustained blockade, if that was the price of its survival. The agreement includes a time-out clause to save its face, but the reality is an Iranian surrender.
You can see how little it means any alteration in imperial operations in the region by looking at what the Obama administration is doing in Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia's wholesale destruction of civilian life there in the interest of thwarting imaginary Iranian schemes.
This next question vexes many people, me included. On the one hand, the drives underlying the American imperium are material: the expansion of capital and the projection of power by its political representatives. The American mythologies are shrouds around these. On the other hand, the issue of security has a long history among Americans. It is authentically an obsession independent of capital-American paranoia dates back at least to the 18th century. I don't take these two accountings to be mutually exclusive, but I'd be interested to know how you reconcile these different threads in American foreign policy.
Yes, there has been a longstanding-you could say aboriginal-obsession with security in the United States. This can be traced as an independent strand running through the history of American dealings with the outside world. What happened, of course, from the Cold War through to the "war on terror" was a ruthless instrumentalization of this anxiety for purposes of expansion rather than defense. At the start of the Cold War you had the National Security Act and the creation of the National Security Council, and today we have the National Security Agency. Security became a euphemistic cloak for aggrandizement.
The United States occupies the better part of a continent separated by two immense oceans, which nobody in modern history has had any serious chance of invading, unlike any other major state in the world, all of which have contiguous land-borders with rival powers, or are separated from them only by narrow seas. The U.S. is protected by a unique geographical privilege. But if its expansion overseas cannot be attributed to imperatives of security, what has driven it?
A gifted and important group of historians, the Wisconsin school [which included the late William Appleman Williams, among others], has argued that the secret of American expansion has from the beginning lain in the quest by native capital for continuously larger markets, which first produced pressure on the internal frontier and the march across the continent to the Pacific, and when the West Coast was reached, a drive beyond into Asia and Latin America, and ultimately the rest of the world, under the ideology of the Open Door.
A couple of good scholars, Melvyn Leffler and Wilson Miscamble, one a liberal and the other a conservative, have identified my position with this tradition, taxing me with a belief that American foreign policy is essentially just an outgrowth of American business. This is a mistake. My argument is rather that because of the enormous size and self-sufficiency of the American economy, the material power at the disposal of the American state exceeded anything that American capital could directly make use of or require.
If you look at the First World War, you can see this very clearly. East Coast bankers and munitions manufacturers did well out of supplying the Entente powers, but there was no meaningful economic rationale for American entry into the war itself. The U.S. could tip the scales in favor of the British and French variants of imperialism against the German and Austrian variants without much cost to itself, but also much to gain.
The same gap between the reach of American business and the power of the American state explains the later hegemony of the United States within the advanced capitalist world after the Second World War. Standard histories wax lyrical in admiration of the disinterested U.S. generosity that revived Germany and Japan with the Marshall and Dodge Plans [reconstruction programs after 1945], and it is indeed the case that policies crafted at the State and Defense Departments did not coincide with the desiderata of the Commerce Department. The key requirement was to rebuild these former enemies as stable capitalist bulwarks against communism, even if this meant there could be no simple Open Door into them for U.S. capital.
For strategic political reasons, the Japanese were allowed to re-create a highly protected economy, and American capital was by and large barred entry. The priority was to defend the general integrity of capitalism as a global system against the threat of socialism, not particular returns to U.S. business. The importance of those were never, of course, ignored. But they had to bide their time. Today's Trans-Pacific Partnership will finally pry open Japanese financial, retail and other markets that have remained closed for so long.
I'd like to turn to the origins of the Cold War, since I believe we are never going to get anywhere until these are honestly confronted. You give a forceful account of Stalin's reasons for avoiding confrontation after 1945 and Washington's reasons for not doing so. But should we attribute the outbreak of the Cold War to the U.S. without too much in the way of qualification?
We can look at the onset of the Cold War on two levels. One is that of punctual events. There, you are certainly right to pick out the ideological starting gun as Truman's speech on Greece in 1947, designed the "scare hell" out of voters to win acceptance for military aid to the Greek monarchy. In policy terms, however, the critical act that set the stage for confrontation with Moscow was the flat American refusal to allow any serious reparations for the staggering level of destruction Russia suffered from the German attack on it. The most developed third of the country was laid waste, its industry and its cities wrecked, while Americans suffered not a fly on the wrist at home-basking, on the contrary, in a massive economic boom. There was no issue Stalin spoke more insistently about than reparations in negotiations among the Allies. But once the fighting was over, the U.S. reneged on wartime promises and vetoed reparations from the larger part of Germany-far the richest and most developed, and occupied by the West-because it did not want to strengthen the Soviet Union and did want to rebuild the Ruhr as an industrial base under Western control, with a view to creating what would subsequently become the Federal Republic.
Can you put Hiroshima and Nagasaki into this context?
Prior to this came Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. He did so, of course, to shorten the war, and partly also because the Pentagon wanted to test its new weapons. But there was a further reason for the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was urgent to secure a Japanese surrender before the Red Army could get close to the country, for fear that Moscow might insist on a Soviet presence in the occupation of Japan. The U.S. was determined not to let the Russians in, as they could not stop them from doing in Germany. So if we look just at events, you can say the starting points were the use of atomic bombs in Japan and the refusal of reparations in Germany. In that sense, those who argue that the Cold War was an American initiative-the Swedish historian Anders Stephanson, who has written most deeply about this, calls it an American project-are justified in doing so.
So these are your "punctual events."
Exactly. On the hand, if we look at the structural origins of the Cold War, they don't lie in these punctual events, but in the radical incompatibility between American capitalism and Soviet communism as forms of economy, society and polity. Revisionist historians have pointed out quite properly that Stalin was defensive in outlook after the war, determined to erect a protective glacis in Eastern Europe against any repetition of the Nazi invasion of Russia, but otherwise acutely conscious of Soviet weakness and superior Western strength.
All of that is true, but at the same time Stalin remained a communist who firmly believed that the ultimate mission of the world's working class was to overthrow capitalism, everywhere. His immediate stance was defensive, but in the much longer run his expectation was offensive. In that sense, U.S. policies toward the USSR were not needlessly aggressive, as revisionists maintain, but perfectly rational. The two systems were mortal antagonists.
Let's move to the topic of social democracy. I did a lot of my learning in developing countries and have a sense that Washington's true Cold War enemy was social democracy as it spread through Western Europe and all the newly independent nations. What's your view of this?
Strong disagreement, so far as Europe is concerned. If you look at the whole period from 1945 through to the present, you could argue that, on the contrary, European social democracy was Washington's best friend in the region. NATO was the brainchild not of the Pentagon but of Ernest Bevin, the social-democratic foreign secretary in Britain. Attlee, his prime minister, then split his own government by cutting the health service to fund rearmament for the American war in Korea. In France, the most ruthless crackdown on labor unrest after the war came from Jules Moch, the Socialist interior minister.
Think, too, of the Norwegian social democrat who Washington put in charge of the U.N. as its first secretary general, Trygve Lie, an odious collaborator with McCarthyism inside the United Nations. This was the period in which Irving Brown of the A.F.L., working closely with local social democrats, was installed in Europe by the C.I.A. with funds to divide and corrupt trade unions everywhere. He was still active in plotting against Allende [the Chilean social democratic president] in the '70s. As to more recent years, who was Bush's most ardent European ally in the war on Iraq? Not any conservative politician, but British social democrat Blair.
There were exceptions to this dismal record, but few and far between. Not by accident, they generally came from neutral countries that stayed out of the Cold War. In Sweden, Olaf Palme was a courageous opponent of the American war in Vietnam, detested by the U.S. for that reason. In Austria, Bruno Kreisky took an independent line on the Middle East, refusing to fall in with Western support for Israel-itself governed in those years by another social democratic party-and so was scarcely less disliked by the U.S.
But the dominant pattern has always been craven submission to Washington.
Well, I was thinking more of figures like Mossadeq, Arbenz and Allende-maybe the Sandinistas, too.
Their fate is certainly relevant, but there you are talking of a different political phenomenon-nationalism in the Third World, typically though not invariably of the left. You could add Lumumba in the Congo, Goulart in Brazil, Bosch in the Dominican Republic and others to the list. Not all were figures of the left, but from the Cold War onward the U.S. regarded nearly all serious attempts at nationalization of local resources as a threat to capital and worked to subvert or overthrow those who undertook them. A good part of my book is devoted to this front of imperial operations.
I've often wondered what the fate of Cuba would have been if Castro had been properly received in Washington in 1960. Could he have become something like a social democrat?
Excluded, if only because of the side of the Cuban Revolution that distinguished it from both the Chinese Revolution and from the outcome of Russian Revolution after Lenin, which was genuine internationalism. It had to be internationalist because it was a small island close to the United States, not a huge country far away, so it needed revolutionary solidarity within Latin America, which it couldn't hope for as long the continent was populated by assorted clients of the United States, most of them dictators. So even if, counterfactually, Eisenhower or Kennedy had rolled out a tactical red carpet for Fidel, there would have still have been insurmountable conflict over all these Latin American regimes propped up by the United States. The Cubans would have never said, if you put up with us, you can do what you want anywhere. Think of the fact they sent troops [in 1975] even to Angola-where they had no regional connection at all-to save it from a U.S.-backed invasion by South Africa.
Do you see any inflections in the development of American foreign policy over this period?
There is an underlying continuity in the long arc of the U.S. imperium that extends from FDR to Obama. But one can distinguish successive phases in this arc. You have the period that runs from Truman to Kennedy, the high Cold War. Then comes Nixon, the only American president with an original mind in foreign policy. He was intelligent because he was so cynical. He wasn't taken in or mystified by the enormous amount of rhetoric surrounding the lofty U.S. mission in the world. He was therefore more ruthless, but also genuinely innovative in a whole series of ways, the most important of which was to capitalize on the Sino-Soviet split.
The next phase runs from Carter through Reagan to the elder Bush, which sees a reversion to the earlier forms of foreign policy during the Cold War. The fourth phase, of humanitarian intervention, from Clinton through the younger Bush to Obama.
I once thought Carter was an exception in this line, but have since been persuaded to think again.
If you're interested in Carter, there's a good chapter on him in the huge "Cambridge History of the Cold War" by a scholar sympathetic to Carter, which captures the ambiguities and contradictions of his presidency quite well. He did, of course, talk a lot about human rights at the beginning of his tenure, and appointed Patricia Derian, who genuinely believed in them but was quite powerless, to an assistant position in the State Department. But one has to remember that at the outset he appointed Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser, on whom he relied throughout his presidency.
Brzezinski was in many ways brighter than Kissinger, in later years an overrated showman not particularly interesting as a thinker. Brzezinski's cold, brittle mind was a good deal sharper. He was also as much, if not more, of a hawk than Kissinger had been. His masterstroke was funding religious and tribal resistance to the Communist regime in Afghanistan well before any Soviet troops were there, with the clear-cut and entirely successful aim of making the country the Vietnam of the USSR. There followed the Carter Doctrine, which put the U.S. into the military emplacements in the Gulf, where it remains today, while the president was toasting the Shah as a close personal friend and pillar of human rights. To top it off, with Brzezinski at his elbow again, Carter patronized and protected Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, keeping them at the U.N. as the legitimate government of Cambodia, as part of the deal with China for its attack on Vietnam.
In the Middle East, the peace treaty between Sadat and Begin is generally credited to Carter. Its precondition, however, was the double rescue of Israel and of Egypt by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1973 war, which put both countries into the palm of the American hand. What was the regional upshot? Sadat ditched the Palestinians and became a well-funded U.S. client, Begin secured an ally on Israel's southern flank and the Egyptians got the tyranny of Sadat, Mubarak and now Sisi for the next 40 years. Yet to this day Carter gushes over Sadat, a torturer whose memory is loathed by his people, as a wonderful human being. What is nevertheless true is that with all his weaknesses-and worse-Carter was a contradictory figure, who, once he was ousted from office, behaved more decently than any other ex-president in recent memory. Today, he's almost a pariah because of what he says on Israel. One can respect him for that.
Turning to Europe for a moment, I often feel disappointed-I don't think I'm alone in this-at the hesitancy of the Europeans to act on what seems to be their underlying impatience with American primacy. Is this an unrealistic expectation?
Impatience isn't the right word. The reality is rather its opposite. Europe has become ever more patient-a better word would be submissive-with the United States. After 1945, Western Europe was far weaker in relation to America than the E.U. today, which is larger than the U.S. in both GDP and population. But think of three European politicians-in France, Germany and England-in the first 15 years after the war. You had a great statesman in De Gaulle; a very strong, if much more limited leader in Adenauer, and a weak ruler in Eden. But the striking thing is all three were quite prepared to defy the United States in a way that no subsequent politician in Europe has ever done.
Eden launched the Suez expedition against Nasser [in late 1956] without informing Washington - the Americans were livid, Eisenhower beside himself, fearing that it would stoke popular anti-imperialism across Africa and Asia. So the U.S. brought the expedition to an abrupt halt by triggering a run on sterling, and Eden fell. But there was an aftermath. The French premier at the time was Guy Mollet, the Socialist who was an accomplice of Eden in the attack on Egypt, with, himself, a terrible record in Algeria. When the idea of a Common Market came up shortly after the Suez debacle, though he was personally favorable to it, he faced a lot of opposition in France - as there was, too, in Germany. Adenauer, who was quite willing to make commercial concessions to France to smooth the path for the undertaking, gave Mollet a political reason for the Common Market. Look what happened when you fought at Suez, he told him. None of our countries is strong enough to resist the U.S. on its own. Let's pool our resources and then we can do so.
Adenauer was loyal enough to the West, and a staunch anticommunist, but Germany, not America, was what counted for him. As for De Gaulle, he famously pulled France out of the military command of NATO, and defied America with éclat virtually throughout.
Since then, there has been nobody like this. If we ask why, I think the answer is that all these people were formed before the First and Second World Wars broke out, in a period in which major European states had as much weight as the United States on the international checkerboard, if not more. They were not brought up in a world where American hegemony was taken for granted. All of them were involved in the two World Wars, and in the Second De Gaulle had good reason to be distrustful of the U.S., since Roosevelt was long pro-Vichy and wanted to oust him as leader of the Free French.
We could add, incidentally, a couple of later politicians, who fought in the second conflict. One was the English Tory prime minister, Edward Heath, the only postwar ruler of Britain who never made the trip to simper on the White House lawn, receiving an audience and paying tribute, that would become a virtual ceremony of investiture for any new ruler around the world. The other was Helmut Schmidt, a veteran of Operation Barbarossa [the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941] who scarcely concealed his disdain for Carter. These were latecomers from the past. Their successors have grown up under U.S. paramountcy and take it for granted. This is America's world. It is second nature for them to defer to it.
You describe a generational difference in sensibility. But what about the EU?
If the generational declension is one big change, another is what has become of the European Union itself. On paper, it's much more powerful than any of the individual countries. But so far as any coherent foreign policy is concerned, it's institutionally paralyzed by the number of states that make it up-originally six, now 28-and the labyrinthine nature of their dealings with each other. None of them has any complete autonomy of initiative. A staggering amount of time is wasted in endless summits behind closed doors, agendas prepared by bureaucrats, tremulous fear of any public disagreement. No serious international statecraft can emerge from this.
During the countdown to the war in Iraq, there were large street demonstrations in not a few countries, which Dominique Strauss-Kahn-no less-described as a European Declaration of Independence. Schröder [Gerhard, the German chancellor from 1998-2005] announced that Germany could not accept the war, and Chirac [Jacques, the French president, 1995-2007] blocked a U.N. resolution endorsing it. Were these bold acts of independence? Far from it. The French envoy in Washington told Bush in advance: You already have one U.N. resolution saying Saddam must comply with inspections, which is suitably vague. Don't embarrass us by trying to get another resolution that is more specific, which we'll have to oppose. Just use that one and go in. No sooner, indeed, was the attack launched than Chirac opened French skies to U.S. operations against Iraq. Can you imagine De Gaulle meekly helping a war he had said he opposed? As for Schröder, it was soon revealed that German intelligence agents in Baghdad had signaled ground targets for "Shock and Awe." These were politicians who knew the war was very unpopular in domestic opinion, and so made a show of opposing it while actually collaborating. Their independence was a comedy.
That was a dozen years ago. What's the position today?
Edward Snowden's break with the illegalities of Obama's government revealed that it was not only spying on European as well as American citizens en masse, but tapping the phones and communications of Merkel, Hollande and other pillars of Atlantic solidarity. How have these leaders reacted? With an embarrassed smile, before the next warm embrace with the Leader of the Free World. Has one single European government dreamt of offering asylum to Snowden? Not one. Under Merkel, indeed, it now emerges that German intelligence itself was illegally spying on Germans at the behest of the U.S., and passing on the information it gathered to the CIA. There are no consequences to such revelations, except to those who reveal them. The level of abjection passes belief.
Let's put the Ukraine crisis in this context. It is, after all, what prompted me to raise the question of European passivity in the trans-Atlantic relationship. Here, it seems to me, the Europeans are furious with Washington for encouraging Kiev toward a patently dangerous confrontation with Russia. Animosity has been evident since Vicky Nuland's infamous "'F'the E.U." remark just before the coup last year. And now we see Merkel and Hollande more or less pushing the U.S. aside in favor of a negotiated settlement-or "seem to see," in any case. What's your view here?
Why should Washington object to European attempts to reach a stand-off in the Ukraine, so long as sanctions in Russia remain in place? Berlin and Paris are not going to defy it. Any real settlement is for the time being out of reach, but if one were materialize, they would be convenient sherpas for it. The E.U. as such hardly matters: Its reaction to Nuland's dismissal [of them] was to turn the other cheek.
Patrick Smith is Salon's foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else's Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.
More Patrick L. Smith.
The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire 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) offer a theoretical explanation of the crisis of 2007-8;
- (2) offer guidance toward the direction the future the "informal American empire" has for guiding the economies of world; and
- (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.
- The first Golden Age is from 1947 - 1973;
- the Great recession and various political crises ensue (1973 - 1983), there is a reconfiguration of both the organization of society (workers, business, finance, and state; along with the role of the IMF, World Bank, and global trade); then
- the second Golden Age from 1983 - 2007.
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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Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
gm , Oct 22 2020 19:00 utc | 9
@Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 6
Re: "...Thus, six years ago, in 2014, we spoke about this issue when we discussed the theme The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli."
Putin said this virtually in the same breath directly after his previous paragraph you excerpted where he speaks of the serious ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
What that says to me is that he is hinting with his trademark subtlety that he thinks the CV pandemic may not be a naturally arising event. In other words, a plandemic.
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 19:12 utc | 12
Yes, that's the ongoing rhetorical battle between the Collectivist nations who uphold the sanctity of International Law and the Neoliberal Nations controlled by Financial Parasites that can't survive under a functional International Law System. That distinction is constantly becoming clearer particularly to those residing within the Neoliberal nations as they watch their lives being destroyed. IMO, we're on the cusp of entering the most critical decade of this century which will determine humanity's condition when 2101 is reached.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Mister Delicious , 7 hours agoebear , 6 hours ago
- The euphemisms
- Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
- The media
- A de facto violation of free speech
- Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
- The best alt-media journalists are neutered
- Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
- A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
- Malice towards none
- The problem extends to all areas of public life
- We need serious scholarship and analysis
- Low expectations from the existing alt-media
- A call for articles and support
- https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/John Hansen , 7 hours ago
Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1ktheallseeinggod , 7 hours ago
I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.Normal , 5 hours ago
They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago
Now the West has rules only for poor people.Nayel , 5 hours ago
Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha haArising 2.0 , 1 hour ago
If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago
Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.foxenburg , 3 hours ago
Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:
Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.
Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.
(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago
This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...
We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.
Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
rotorhead1871 , 5 hours agoSnaffew , 7 hours ago
..they have always been the reason for the industrial-military complex....but now, who needs them.....we got china to point the finger at. so having 2 useful idiot countries...will keep the weapons boys going for quite some time....
...he boogeyman has never been Russia, it resides right here in the US under the guise of government, military, mainstream media, propaganda and sanctions, sanctions, sanctions against anyone that rightfully takes our slice of entitled pie because they built a far better and far cheaper mousetrap.
Oh the horrors of claiming to be a democracy and a capitalist nation when you just can't seem to play by the rules. **** America---we have let the elites take us down the road to ruins. We are as much at fault as they are for believing their nonsensical bs the whole while all the evidence was smoking right in front of our face. Who's more stupid...them or us? I'd tell everyone to take a good long look in the mirror if you are looking for an answer to that question---
Oct 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgkiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 9:05 utc | 7
The Russians ( Putin / Lavrov) say ever so politely that the US is not agreement-capable.
I add that the US ( politicians, Wall Streeters, MSM, think tanks ) are:
- not truth-capable;
- not ethics-capable;
- not shame-capable;
- not honour-capable.
What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul? He turns into a ghoul without a soul, says I, a devil without human-ness! How dare they call us deplorables when they are the despicables?
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com
On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .
"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.
Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.
Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."
In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.
Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.
Playing Corporate Favorites
Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.
Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.
Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.
"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.
The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.
Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.Subscribe to the Politics email. From Washington to the campaign trail, get the latest politics news.
When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .
"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."
In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.
The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.
Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."
The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.
"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."
With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.
Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.
Checking The Receipts
The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.
Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)
Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.
One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.
For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.
And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.
Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.
"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.
Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.
In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com"This Is Not A Russian Hoax": 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials'
by Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 08:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Hours before Politico reported the existence of a letter signed by '50 former senior intelligence officials' who say the Hunter Biden laptop scandal "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation" - providing "no new evidence," while they remain "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case," Tucker Carlson obliterated their (literal) conspiracy theory .
According to the Fox News host, he's seen 'nonpublic information that proves it was Hunter's laptop ,' adding " No one but Hunter could've known about or replicated this information ."
" This is not a Russian hoax. We are not speculating ."
TUCKER: "This afternoon, we received nonpublic information that proves it was Hunter's laptop. No one but Hunter could've known about or replicated this information. This is not a Russian hoax. We are not speculating." pic.twitter.com/cl2ktdmdVc-- August Takala (@AugustTakala) October 17, 2020
Meanwhile, the Delaware computer repair shop owner who believes Hunter dropped off three MacBook Pros for data recovery has a signed work order bearing Hunter's signature . When compared to the signature on a document in his paternity suit, while one looks more formal than the other, they are a match.
Going back to the '50 former senior intelligence officials' and their latest Russia fixation, one has to wonder - do they think Putin was able to compromise Biden's former business associate , Bevan Cooney, who gave investigative journalist Peter Schweizer his gmail password - revealing that Hunter and his partners were engaged in an influence-peddling operation for rich Chinese who wanted access to the Obama administration?
Did Putin further hack Joe Biden in 2011 to make him take a meeting with a Chinese delegation with ties to the CCP - arranged by Hunter's group, two years they secured a massive investment of Chinese money?
The implications boggle the mind.
Here's the clarifying sentences from the '50 former senior intelligence officials' that exposes the utter farce of it all:
While the letter's signatories presented no new evidence , they said their national security experience had made them "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case" and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin's hand at work.
"If we are right," they added, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this."
It would appear these former intel officials are not aware of the current intel official views, confirmed by DNI Ratcliffe yesterday that:
"Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign."
And then there's the fact that no one from the Biden campaign has yet to deny any of the 'facts' in the emails. lay_arrow jin187 , 2 hours agoRoacheforque , 7 hours ago
Totally ridiculous. This ******** beating around the bush for both sides pisses me off. Dump all the laptop contents on Wikileaks if it's real. Let the people sort it out. If you say it's not real, prove it. If Biden wants me to believe it's not real, then stand behind a podium, and say clear as day into a pile of cameras that's it's all a forgery, and that you've done nothing wrong.
Instead we have Giuliani swearing he has a smoking gun, but as far as I can tell he's just pointing his finger underneath his shirt. Biden on the other hand, keep using weasel words to imply it's fake, but never denies it outright. It's almost like he's trying to hedge his bet that no one will manage to prove it's real before he gets into office, and makes it disappear.East Indian , 4 hours ago
To play the "Russian Card" yet again should be beyond embarrassing. An insult to the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 80. And so it's harmful to the left wingnut derangeables. Like Assad's chemical weapons and Saddam's WMDs, it is now code for pure ********. Not even code, just more like a signal.
A signal that say's "guilty as charged - we got nothin' but lies and BS over here".Kayman , 4 hours ago
An insult to the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 80.
They know their supporters wont find this insulting.Antedeluvian , 2 hours ago
538 ? North Korea has better propaganda.
Don't forget to go all in, like you did with Hillary.4DegreesOfSeparation , 6 hours ago
Unfortunately, some very bright people are sucked into the conspiracy theory. I know one. Very bright lawyer. She says, "I still think there is substantive evidence of Russian collusion." I can point to a sky criss-crossed with chemtrails (when you see these "contrails" crossing at the same altitude, this is one sure clue these are not from regular passenger jet traffic) and she refuses to look up. She KNOWS I am an idiot (a PhD scientist idiot at that) because I get news and analysis on the web from sites that just want to sell me tee shirts and coffee mugs (well, she is partly right there!) whereas she gets her news from MSNBC, a venerable and trustworthy news source.DescendantofthePatriots , 7 hours ago
More Than 50 Former Intel Officials Say Hunter Biden Smear Smells Like Russia
"If we are right," the group wrote in a letter, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote."strych10 , 8 hours ago
That ****, James Clapper, signed his name at the top of this list.
Known liar, saboteur, and sneak.
The cognitive dissonance in our country is astounding. The fact that they would take these people's opinion over hard fact is astounding.
No wonder why we're sliding down the steep, slippery slope.Someone Else , 9 hours ago
So... let me get this straight.
50, that's 10 times five, fifty former intelligence officials are going with a convoluted narrative about a ludicrously complicated Russian Intelligence disinformation campaign involving planted laptops and at least half a dozen patsies when the two words "crack cocaine" explain the entire thing?
I'm not sure what's more terrifying; That these people think everyone else is dumb enough to believe this or that they're actually retired intelligence officials .
Who the actual **** is running this ****show? The bastard child of Barney Fife and Inspector Clouseau?
Seriously, "Pink Panther Disinformation Operation" is more believable at this point.moneybots , 8 hours ago
This needs to get out, because a FAVORITE method of the Deep State, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) is to parade some sort of a stupid letter with a bunch of signature hoping to look impressive but that really don't mean a damn thing.
Notre Dame graduates against the Supreme Court nominee, Intelligence agents alleging collusion, former State Department operatives against Trump. Its grandstanding that has been overdone.otschelnik , 8 hours ago
The letter by 50 former intelligence officials is itself, disinformation.enough of this , 8 hours ago
Remember when Weiner's attorney turned over Huma's home laptop to SDNY/FBI with all of Shillary's emails, and the FBI sat on it for a month and then Comey deep sixed them without even looking at them?
So now the FBI subpeona'd Hunter's laptop and burried it? Deja vu all over again.Cobra Commander , 7 hours ago
The FBI and DOJ constantly hide behind self-serving excuses to refuse the release of documents and, when forced to do so, they release heavily redacted files. They offer up the usual pretexts to fend off public disclosure such as: the information you seek cannot be disclosed because it involves an ongoing investigation, or the information you seek involves national security, or our methods and sources will be jeopardized if the information you seek is divulged to the public. But it seems the ones who would be most harmed by public disclosure are the corrupt FBI and DOJ officials themselvesThe Fonz...before shark jump , 5 hours ago
A short 4 years ago the FBI and CIA were all concerned about "Kompromat" the Ruskies might have on Candidate Trump; concerned enough to spy on his campaign and open a counter-intelligence operation.
There are troves of Kompromat material, actual emails and video, on Joe, Hunter, and the whole Biden family; not made-up DNC-funded dossiers claiming a Russian consulate in Miami.
Now when it's Candidate Biden, everyone be all like, "Meh."
Cobra!Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 7 hours ago
we gotta listen to the 50 former intelligence agents...you know the ones that had lone superpower status in the early 90s and then pissed it all away with 9/11 and infinity wars in middle east hahahahah ok buddy lol... histories D students....
Signed by James Clapper and John Brennan;
You mean, the 2 Bozos who under the threat of perjury said there was NO evidence of Russian Collusion and the Trump campaign................. and 2 hours later called Trump 'Putin's puppet' on CNN.............
Oct 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 4:41 pmJEN October 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm
We all like to have our worldview affirmed by a corroborating voice, even if that, too, is an opinion. This, for me, was like lying back in a hot bath.
I have said as far back as I can remember, during Pompeo's tenure as Giant Blasphemous Cream Puff of State, that the damage he was doing to the relationship between America and her allies was significant and perhaps irreparable. The article, if accurate, reveals a China which is quite a bit like Russia in its official treatment of minorities – subordinate ethnicities are recognized as distinct societies if their population meets a reasonable threshold, and where an ethnic population is regionally dominant, an autonomous government is established to facilitate local governance by people of the same ethnic background.
I was not aware that during the term of China's one-child policy – a dreadful time which led to the abortion or other more-horrible disposals of unwanted baby girls – mothers among ethnic minorities were permitted two or even three children.
The article is obviously written in defense of China, but the authors seem to have substantiated their claims satisfactorily where such material is offered. Unsubstantiated opinion is often a close match with those offered by commenters on this forum.PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm
George Koo linked to a Youtube video of Mike Pompeous and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a press conference in Dubrovnik. Watch how Plenkovic deals with Pompeosity!
I swear I saw the Pompous One deflate considerably after Plenkovic's speech about China's BRI initiative. Good thing the wind was up and active otherwise the smell would have been horrific and everyone would have been knocked unconscious.
Mike Pompeo, otherwise known as the international man of catastrophe,
You knew it was going to be good from the first sentence.
Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,
Fight it all you want, but there's nothing you can do. "The emails are Russian" is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.
Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Post publication of Hunter Biden's emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden's emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation.
This is happening. It's following the same formula all the other fact-free Russia hysteria narratives have followed. The same media tour by pundits and political operatives saying with no evidence but very assertive voices that Russia is most certainly behind this occurrence and we should all be very upset about it.
"To me, this is just classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work," Russiagate founder and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is heard assuring CNN's audience .
"Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda," begins and eight-part thread by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who claims the emails are "Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda."
"It's not really surprising at all, this was always the play, but still kind of head-spinning to watch all the players from 2016 run exactly the same hack-leak-smear op in 2020. Even with everyone knowing exactly what's happening this time," tweets MSNBC's Chris Hayes.
"How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 -- you are doubling down," Democratic Party think tanker Neera Tanden tweeted in admonishment of journalists who dare to report on or ask questions about the emails.
Virtually the entirety of the Democratic Party-aligned political/media class has streamlined this narrative of Russian influence into the American consciousness with very little inertia, despite the fact that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden has disputed the authenticity of the emails and despite a complete absence of evidence for Russian involvement in their publication.
This is surely the first time, at least in recent memory, that we have ever seen such a broad consensus within the mass media that it is the civic duty of news reporters to try and influence the outcome of a presidential general election by withholding negative news coverage for one candidate. There was a lot of fascinated hatred for Trump in 2016, but people still reported on Hillary Clinton's various scandals and didn't attack one another for doing so. In 2020 that has changed, and mainstream news reporters have now largely coalesced along the doctrine that they must avoid any reporting which might be detrimental to the Biden campaign.
"Dem Party hacks (and many of their media allies) genuinely believe it's immoral to report on or even discuss stories that reflect poorly on Biden. In reality, it's the responsibility of journalists to ignore their vapid whining and ask about newsworthy stories, even about Biden," tweeted The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently.
"You don't even have to think the Hunter Biden materials constitute some kind of earth-shattering story to be absolutely repulsed at the authoritarian propaganda offensive being waged to discredit them -- primarily by journalists who behave like compliant little trained robots ," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.
Last month The Spectator 's Stephen L Miller described how the consensus formed among the mainstream press since Clinton's 2016 loss that it is their moral duty to be uncritical of Trump's opponent.
"For almost four years now, journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the 'but her emails' dilemma," Miller writes. "Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids' table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump's foibles. It's an error no journalist wants to repeat."
So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.
Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.
But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.
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Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Richard Steven Hack , Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanksEsper's speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor.
First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to "an era of great power competition." CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing.
They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.
It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
steven t johnson , Oct 18 2020 10:52 utc | 112
Not sure who this Andrei Martyanov is, but underlying all the comments is the proposition that Putin-managed capitalism works great, will work great forever, will not have a crisis ever and will make Russia totally independent in all ways. Stated so forthrightly, no doubt it sounds too stupid to admit to. Nonetheless this is the claim. I say capitalist restoration did not improve the Russian economy in the way implied by Martyanov. Putin is still a Yeltsinite, even if he is sober enough to pass for competent.
Smith , Oct 18 2020 11:44 utc | 113To be fair, Russia was never given a time to grow. It was sanctioned, sanctioned and sanctioned.michael , Oct 18 2020 11:47 utc | 114
China did have a sweet time from the 80s to 10s where they serve as the world factory.@vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 12:01 utc | 115
I take the opposite view: Looking from today, Russia is lucky that the USSR collapsed in 1991. It shed its debt, its currency passed through hyperinflation, and their economy collapsed and rebuilt. The US and most Western countries still have that coming for them, and soon.
Plus beyond that the strict Communist/Marxist atheism over 70+ years lead to a rebirth of Christian values in Russia, their biggest advantage in this cultural war. And they practice science, not scientism.
Note: Russia and China are more capitalist than the US, for quite some time now. (12+ years)@110 Abe as far as I understand it, the economic argument goes like this: take the number of rubles generated/spent/whatever in Russian economic activity, then use the current conversion rate to convert that into an "equivalent" amount of US dollars.vk , Oct 18 2020 14:56 utc | 116
Then see what you can buy with that many US dollars.
If you went shopping in the USA, the answer would be that this many US dollars doesn't buy you much, ergo, Russian economic activity is pathetically low.
An example: the Russian government might budget xxx (fill in the figure) rubles to buy new T-90 tanks. In Washington they would convert that into US dollars, and then declare that this is chicken-feed. Hardly enough to buy less than 10 Abrams tanks.
Only the Russians aren't buying Abrams tanks from the USA, and are not spending dollars. They are buying T-90 tanks, and for the amount of rubles spent they'll get 50 tanks.
Every metric the US analyst are using tells them that the USA is vastly, vastly outspending the Russians on military equipment, to the point where it is obvious that the Russian military must be destitute and decrepit.
But if they every took the time to look they'll see 50 brand-spanking new T-90 main battle tanks. Weapons that their assumptions say that the Russians can't afford, and would wonder "Huh? Where'd they come from?"
If they ever looked, which is doubtful.@ Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 18 2020 4:11 utc | 96pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:11 utc | 117
I agree that comparing Russia's economy with the likes of Italy and Spain is ridiculous, but it's not that simple. Capitalism is not what is appears to be.
If a (capitalist) nation wants to get something from another (capitalist) nation, it needs to export something. There's no free lunch in international trade: if you want to import, you have to export or issue sovereign debt bonds (treasury bonds).
In this scenario, either Russia produces everything it needs in its own territory or it will have to export in order to import the technology it needs to do whatever it needs to do. Remember: the Russian Federation is a capitalist nation-state, it has to follow the laws of motion of capitalism, which take precedence over whatever Putin wants. To ignore that economic laws exist is to deny any kind of theory of collapse; nation-states would then be eternal, natural entities with no entropy.
Even if Russia produces everything it needs in its own territory, it is still capitalist. It would need, in order to "substitute imports", to super-exploit its own labor force (working class) in order to extract surpluses for its industrialization efforts. That's what the USSR did during Stalin.
If Russia is doing the imports substitution in the classical way (the way Latin America did during the liberal dictatorships of the 1950s-1980s), then it is trying to sell commodities to industrialized countries in order to import technology and machinery necessary to industrialize its own territory. That is probably the case here.
Assuming this more probable case, then I'm sorry to tell you it won't work. It may work in the short or even medium term, but it will ultimately fail in the long term. The thing is that, in a system of capitalist exchange between an agrarian and an industrial nation-state, the industrial nation-state will always have the advantage (i.e. have a trade surplus). That's because of Marx's labor theory of value: industrialized commodities ("manufactured goods") have more intrinsic value than agrarian/raw material commodities - just think about how many kilos of bananas Brazil would have to export to the USA in order to import one single unit of an iPhone 12, to use an contemporary example. As a social result, industrialized countries have a higher organic composition of capital (OCC) than agrarian countries, as they need more value to just keep themselves afloat (as a metaphor: it's more expensive to keep a big mansion than a little flat in a stationary state). Value (wealth) then tends to flow from lower OCC to the higher OCC, this is the material base that divides the First and Third World countries until today.
To make things even worse, raw materials/agricultural products have an inelastic demand, which means their prices fall when production rises, and their prices rise when production falls, relative to overall demand. You will pay whatever the water company will charge you for the cubic meter of water - but you won't consume more or less water because of its price, hence the term "inelastic": demand tends to be more or less constant on a macroeconomic level. The same problem suffers the commodity exporter nations: there will come a stage where their exports' overall value will collapse vis-a-vis the machinery and technology they need to import.
As a result, the commodity exporter nations will have to get more debt overseas, by issuing more T-bonds, just to keep the trade balance afloat. What was the quest for progress becomes a vicious battle for mere survival. A debt crisis is brewed.
And that's exactly what happened to the Latin American countries in the 1980s-1990s: their debt exploded and they were put to their knees by the USA (the country that issues the universal fiat currency). The USA then charged their debt, which triggered a wave of privatizations of everything those countries had built over decades. This is what will happen to Russia if it falls for the lure of imports substitution.
That's why I urge the Russians to review their concepts and try to get back to the Soviet times. It doesn't need to be exactly how it was before: you can make the due reforms and adopt a more or less Chinese model of socialism. That's the only way out, if the Russian people doesn't want to be enslaved by the liberals (capitalists).looks like the fbi is still in bed with the cia on russiagate, they are now pivoting to investigating the laptop as a russian intelligence operation.pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:14 utc | 118@vk from what i'm reading (stephen cohen: soviet fates and lost alternatives) the chinese adopted something like bukharin's nep policies, which stalin did his best to wipe out in the ussr. i've got some problems with cohen's last book, "war with russia?" but he has a lot of good information on the history of the ussr.pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:17 utc | 119russia is not "lucky" that it went through a massive collapse following idiotic u.s. austerity policies in the 90's. it is still recovering from that.vk , Oct 18 2020 15:42 utc | 120@ Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 18 2020 15:14 utc | 118pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:59 utc | 121
On the surface, yes: the comparison between Reform and Opening Up and NEP are irresistible. But it is not precise: the only merit it has is in the fact that it is fairer than simply classifying Deng Xiaoping's reforms as neoliberalism (Trotskysts, Austrian School) or capitalism (liberals).
The key here is the difference of the nature of the Chinese peasant class and the Russian peasant class. The Chinese peasant class, besides suffering a lot (millions of dead by famine) in the hands of a liberal government for decades (Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Government) (while the Russian equivalent - the "February Revolution" - only lasted a few months, engulfed by their insistence on continuing with the meat-grinder of WWI), had a different historical subtract.
Chinese late feudalism was much more developed, much more manufactured-centered than Russian late feudalism. As a result, the Chinese peasant was much more proletarian-minded than the feudal Russian peasant. Also, the Chinese didn't have the kulak problem (peasant petite-bourgeoisie) - instead, they had regional warlords who self-destructed during the chaotic republican period (1911-1949). When the warlords were gone, what was left was a much more proletarian-minded, egalitarian-minded, small peasantry. This peasantry didn't bother to migrate to the cities to work in the industry or to start their own factories in the countryside itself. That's why Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening Up was successful - not because of his genius, but because he was backed up by a capable people.
The Chinese peasantry, for example, didn't hoard or directed their grain surplus to exports in order to starve the proletariat to death in the cities - they sold it to the Chinese market. The Chinese peasantry also trusted their central government (CCP) and saw itself as part of the project - in complete opposition to the feudal-minded Russian kulak, who saw his piece of land as essentially an independent and self-sufficient cell/ecosystem.
That's why the Reform and Opening Up was successful (it survives until the present times) and the NEP soon failed - following the good harvest of 1924, came the awful harvest of 1926, which triggered a shit show where the peasantry hoarded the grain and almost starved the USSR to extinction, and which led to Stalin's ascension and the dekulakization process (forced collectivization).@vk thanks for your detailed and thorough response, i will keep it in mind as i read.pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 16:11 utc | 122i should add that i know little about the actual history of communism, but capitalism is revealing itself as a monstrous failure, and not all the propaganda in the world is succeeding at covering that up.Abe , Oct 18 2020 16:32 utc | 123Yeah, Right @ 115vk , Oct 18 2020 17:43 utc | 124
I know how economic reasoning comes to that conclusion, but IRL comparing such different countries only by GDP metric is insane and beyond stupid.
Eg. Russia has GDP similar to California!
Yes, in US centric GDP metrics that favors and cheats US itself (surprise!).
But. One of those countries sent man in space, produces everything, has vast resources and is self sufficient nuclear superpower.
Other one cant even feed and provider water to its population without outside help.
GDP means nothing when sh*t hits the fan. What will "richer" country do if it goes to war with "poorer"? Throw money at them while they launch nukes at it?@ Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 18 2020 16:11 utc | 122Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 19:57 utc | 125
There certainly are similarities between the NEP and the Reform and Opening Up. It's very possible Deng Xiaoping took Lenin as inspiration.
Forgot to mention the Scissors Crisis, which erupted in 1923, and triggered the NEP. That crisis is one more evidence that shows manufactured products are inherently more valuable than raw materials/agrarian products.@Eric.Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 20:00 utc | 126The facts are that even in 2020 Russia does not have anything close to gas turbines that can replace Siemens
Before posting anything--learn your facts. You, obviously, have issues with accessing them.
Again, for products of Western "education" basic logic and ability for a basic extrapolation seem beyond the grasp: there are no issues for Russia to produce anything, other than time and some money. Country which produces best hi-tech weapons in the world, dominates world's nuclear energy market (this is not your iPhone "hi tech") and has a full enclosed cycle for aerospace industry, among many other things, will have little trouble in substituting pretty much anything. I remember a bunch of morons, who pass for "analysts", from either WSJ or WaPo declaring 6 years ago that sanctions will deny Russia access to Western extraction technologies. Sure, for a country whose space program alone will crush whole economies of UK or Germany should they ever try to recreate it, will have "problems" producing compressor or drill equipment with the level of Russia's metallurgy and material science. Generally speaking, West's present pathetic state is a direct result of utter incompetence across the board in a number of key fields of human activity and your post, most likely based on some BS by Western media, is a good demonstration of this state of the affairs.@Jasonsteven t johnson , Oct 18 2020 20:05 utc | 127
Per immigration policy, you can easily find a a truck load of resources, especially on the web-sites of Russian diplomatic missions (Embassies, Consulates etc.), easily available. Per cats--Russian love for cats is boundless and intense. You may say that Russia is a cat-obsessed country;)vk@120 posits a mystical cultural difference in Russian and Chinese peasants, which unfortunately has pretty much the same content as the hypothesis of a racial difference. That the morally superior race is supposed to be Chinese doesn't really help. As often, some strange assertions of facts that aren't so accompany such bizarre thinking. The rich peasants in China (what would be kulaks in Russian history,) were notorious for moneylending. As ever, the inevitable arrears ended in the moneylender's family taking the land. Collectivization came early in China, well along the way by 1956. And a key aspect of it was the struggle against the Chinese equivalent of the kulak class. As for the insistence that private farming is superior, the growth of inequality in land drove millions, a hundred million or more, into the cities. Without residence permits this floating proletariat was effectively superexploited by the new capitalist elements, as Deng meant them to do. Nor did the warlords discredit themselves, not as a group. If anything the young warlord who forced Chiang to reject active war against the Communists, in order to fight the Japanese invaders, was the one who kept the GMD (KMT in Wade-Giles,) from discrediting itself. [Xian incident] And what warlords had to do with the Chinese rich peasantry *after* the Revolution is a complete mystery.Eric , Oct 18 2020 20:53 utc | 128
Socially, the deliberate uneven development promoted by Deng and his successors, is eroding the social fabric of the larger countryside. This, in addition to the neocolonial concessions, the growing links to the Chinese bourgeoisie of the diaspora suggest that as Dengists may go even back/forward to a new form of warlordism. The thing about comparing Bukharism/NEP to Dengism/the "Opening" is that Bukharin's program failed spectacularly. But modern China is not next door to Nazi Germany. Even more to the point, Stalin's victory over Hitler has provided a kind of moral shield for China, even under Deng, inspiring fear of losing a general war. If Bukharin had beaten Stalin, we can be as sure as any hypothetical can be, the USSR would have been defeated, not victorious. In modern China, the Bukharin won. There is an excellent chance the national government of today's China will be defeated.@125 Andrei MartyanovAndrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 21:16 utc | 129
That article describes a 110 MW turbine that has now finally been put into production (while Siemens, General Electric etc. produce utility-class gas turbines up to about 600 MW, with far higher efficiency and most likely reliability). The article further describes 40 GW of thermal electrical production to be "modernized" until 2031 (11 years from now), and apparently a microscopic 2 GW of new capacity from "domestic and localized" 65 MW turbines to be commissioned 2026-2028. (I don't understand Russian so I had to rely on Yandex's machine translation.) That's admittedly some kind of progress, but is simply not going to cut it. Nowhere close.
Imagine if China set the ambition to build its own semiconductors and its own turbofans for its stealth fighters sometime around 2040. Imagine if China was still producing a third of the amount of electricity of the United States instead of about double, etc., and considered this to be adequate. It would be akin to abandoning its ambitions for technological and industrial independence from the West, and that is exactly what Russia is doing in the realm of gas turbines. There is apparently no capability and no seriousness going into translating Russia's world-class research and science into actual large-scale, modern industrial production, and everything points to this continuing, while you can blather on all you want about people with "Western education" simply not getting anything.@EricGrieved , Oct 18 2020 21:16 utc | 130That's admittedly some kind of progress, but is simply not going to cut it. Nowhere close.
That's admittedly you switching on "I am dense" mode and trying to up the ante with 600 MW, which are a unique product, while you somehow miss the point that 110 MWt MGT-110 of fully Russian production has completed a full cycle of industrial tests and operations (an equivalent of military IOC--Initial Operational Capability) and is in a serial production. But instead of studying the issue (even if through Yandex translate) with Siemens which when learning about MGT-110 offered Russia 100% localization with technology transfer, Russians declined, you go into generalizations without having even minimal set of facts and situational awareness. In fact 110 MWt turbines are most in demand product for a variety of applications. Get acquainted with this.
I am not going to waste my time explaining to you (you will play dense again) what IOC means and how it relates to serial production, I am sure you will find a bunch of unrealted "argumentation".Imagine if China
I don't need to imagine anything, as well as draw irrelevant parallels with China.There is apparently no capability and no seriousness going into translating Russia's world-class research and science into actual large-scale, modern industrial production, and everything points to this continuing, while you can blather on all you want about people with "Western education" simply not getting anything.
This is exactly what I am talking about. Hollow declarations by people who can not even develop basic factual base.@125 Andrei Martyanovvk , Oct 18 2020 21:31 utc | 131
It's great to see you here with your excellent facts and perspectives on Russia. I'm sorry you have to deal with people whose minds are too small to grasp the immense scale of Russia - scale in physical size, civilizational depth and importance to the balance of power in the world.
Russia alone stopped the creeping gray hegemony from the west that had looked like it would just ooze over the whole world and suffocate it in bullshit and tribute payments. And then China joined in the fun. The world has a future now, when a decade ago this didn't seem possible, at least from my view in the US. Geopolitically, Russia gave us this future, and China has come to show us how much fun it's going to be.
Many thanks to you and your people.@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 18 2020 20:05 utc | 127Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 23:03 utc | 132
There's no mysticism here because we know how the kulaks emerged in Russia: they were the result of the catastrophic capitalist reforms of the 1860s, which completely warped the old feudal relations of the Russian Empire.
The reforms of the 1860s were catastrophic for two reasons:
1) it freed the peasants slowly. The State serfs - the last who gained their freedom - were left with no land. A complex partition system of the land, based on each administrative region, created a distorted division of land, where very few peasants got huge chunks of land (the future kulaks) and most received almost nothing (as Lenin demonstrated, see his first book of his Complete Works, below the rate of subsistence);
2) it tried to preserve the old feudal privileges and powers of the absolutist monarchy.
As a result, the Russian Empire had a bizarre economic system, a mixed economy with the worst of the two words: the inequality and absolute misery of capitalism and the backwardness and lack of social mobility of feudalism.
But yes, you're right when you state Mao's era was not an economic failure. His early era really saw an attempt by the CCP to make an alliance with the "national bourgeoisie", and this alliance was indeed a failure. This certainly led to a more radical approach by the CCP, still in the Mao era (collectivization). Life quality in China greatly increased after 1949, until the recession of the Great Leap Forward (which was not a famine, but threw back some socioeconomic indicators temporarily back to the WWII era). When the Great Leap Forward was abandoned, China continued to improve afterwards.
All of this doesn't change the fact that China's "NEP" was a success, while the original NEP wasn't. Of course, there are many factors that explain this, but it is wrong to call late Qing China as even similar to the late Romanov Russia.
I'm not saying Stalin's reform were a failure. Without them, they wouldn't be able to quickly import the Fordist (Taylorist) method they needed to industrialize. The USSR became a superpower in just 19 years - a world record. The first Five-Year Plan was a huge morale boost and success for the Soviet people - specially because it happened at the same time as the capitalist meltdown of 1929.
@ Posted by: Eric | Oct 18 2020 20:53 utc | 128
The thing with semiconductors (and other very advanced technologies) is that it is an industry that only makes sense for a given nation to dominate if they're going to mass produce it. That usually means said production must be export oriented, which means competing against already well-established competitors.
China doesn't want to drain the State's coffers to fund an industry that won't at least pay for itself. It has to change the wheels with the car moving. That's why it is still negotiating the Huawei contracts in the West first, why it still is trying to keep the Taiwanese product flowing first, only to then gradually start the heavy investment needed to dominate the semiconductor technology and production process.
They learned with the Soviets in this sense. When computers became a thing in the West, the USSR immediately poured resources to build them. They were able to dominate the main frame technology, and they were successfully implemented in their economy. Then came the personal computers, and, this time, the Soviets weren't able to make it integrate in their economy. The problem wasn't that the Soviets didn't know how to build a personal computer (they did), but that every new technology is born for a reason, and only makes sense in a given social context. You can't just blindly copy your enemy's technology and hope for the best.@Grievedkarlof1 , Oct 18 2020 23:52 utc | 133The world has a future now, when a decade ago this didn't seem possible, at least from my view in the US. Geopolitically, Russia gave us this future, and China has come to show us how much fun it's going to be. Many thanks to you and your people.
Thank you for your kind words. As my personal experience (my third book is coming out soon)shows--explaining economic reality to people who have been "educated" (that is confused, ripped off for huge tuition and given worthless piece of paper with MBA or some "economics" Bachelor of "Science" on it) in Western pseudo-economic "theory" that this "global" "rules-based order" is over, is pretty much an exercise in futility. And if a catastrophe of Boeing is any indication (I will omit here NATO's military-industrial complex)--dividends, stocks and "capitalization" is a figment of imagination of people who never left their office and infantile state of development and swallowed BS economic narrative hook, line and sinker without even trying to look out of the window. They still buy this BS of US having "largest GDP in the world" (in reality it is much smaller than that of China), the de-industrialization of the United States is catastrophic (they never bothered to look at 2018 Inter-agency Report to POTUS specifically about that)and its industrial base is shrinking with a lighting speed, same goes to Germany which for now retains some residual industrial capability and competences but:
This is before COVID-19, after it Germany's economy shrank worst among Western nations, worse even than the US. It is a long story, but as Michael Hudson stated not for once in his books and interviews, what is "taught" as economics in the West is basically a pseudo-science. Well, it is. Or, as same Hudson stated earlier this year:"The gunboats don't appear in your economics textbooks. I bet your price theory didn't have gun boats in them, or the crime sector. And probably they didn't have debt in it either." And then they wonder in Germany (or EU)how come that EU structures are filled with pedophiles, "Green" fanatics and multiculturalists. Well, because Germany (and EU) are occupied territories who made their choice. And this is just the start. What many do not understand here is that overwhelming majority of Russians do not want to deal with Europe and calls for new Iron Curtain are louder and louder and the process has started. Of course, there is a lot of both contempt and schadenfreude on Russian part. As Napoleon stated, the nation which doesn't want to feed own army, will feed someone else's. Very true. Modern West worked hard for it, let it "enjoy" now.Andrei Martyanov @132 & elsewhere--Smith , Oct 19 2020 0:01 utc | 134
It's good to see you commenting here as barflies seem more inclined to listen to you than me. Did you watch Russian documentary on The Wall , which I learned about from Lavrov's meeting with those doing business within Russia on 5 Oct? I asked The Saker if his translation team would take on the task of providing English subtitles or a voice over but never got a reply one way or the other. IMO, for Russia to avoid the West's fate it must change its banking and financial system from the private to the public realm as Hudson advocates most recently in this podcast . As for Mr. Lavrov, he surprised the radio station interviewers by citing Semyon Slepakov's song "America Doesn't Like Us," of which barfly Paco thankfully provided a translation of the lyrics.С наилучшими пожеланиями крепкого здоровья и долгих лет жизни!So I don't get it, who won that engagement, Andrei or Eric?Eric , Oct 19 2020 0:18 utc | 135
Can Russia produce that turbo thingie or not?@132 Andrei MartyanovDigby , Oct 19 2020 0:28 utc | 136
I think you an Grieved misunderstand somewhat where I am coming from here. Michael Hudson would be (and has been) the first to describe how Russia's elites (and to a large extent it seems also the people) bought into a bogus neoliberal ideology teaching that somehow Russia needs to earn the money it needs to build its own economy in the form of foreign currency through export revenues. Apparently these economists and politicians in Russia never bothered to look how Western economies actually operate (as opposed to what they preach to countries they want to destroy), or for that matter how China has developed its economy (in all of these countries, the necessary credit is created on a keyboard.) The export revenues that Russia earns in the form of dollars and euros are sold to the central bank for the roubles that Russia's government needs to function. Bizarrely, this creates just as much inflation as it would if the central bank had just created the roubles without "backing" foreign currency. In fact, there is more inflation created, because in times of high oil prices, corresponding amounts of roubles are suddenly thrown into a domestic market that is underdeveloped, for example in its infrastructure and its food processing. There are reasons why China can expand its money supply by much greater proportions each year and still suffer far less inflation than Russia.
Unlike China, Russia had already attained much of the technological expertise for the equipment that it later decided it was unable to produce inside the country. A good example of this are the turboexpanders whose design was perfected (though the basic idea was a bit older) by Pyotr Kapisa in the 1930's in the USSR. This same technology went into the turbopumps of the rocket engines in the Energia boosters. These engines are still to this day, 30 years after the Soviet collapse, imported by the United States. As these rocket engines including the turbopumps are still produced in Russia, the know-how to manufacture was obviously not lost.
I read just the other day that as part of its import substitution program, Russia is considering to produce the turboexpanders for processing natural gas (separating methane from ethane) inside the country. Russia, with the world's largest natural gas reserves and production, and as I described already possessing the expertise to produce the turboexpanders needed for cryogenic separation, chose to hand over possibly billions of dollars to the West to import this machinery over the years, only to be helpless when the West introduced technological sanctions against its oil and gas sector. Very likely, in a couple of years we will receive the announcement that the drive to produce them domestically has been abandoned, after it was realized that their production will require new factories and new machinery, which do not fall out of the sky in Russia as they apparently do in the West and in China. Putin will announce that great business awaits whichever Western investor ready to provide the funds. (Spoiler: They won't! The West is not very interested in investing into building up Russia's industrial capabilities, preferring instead to loot its natural resources and to suck out its skilled worked and scientists.)
While Russia sits and waits for higher oil prices or foreign dollar credit on the one hand, and with unemployed skilled labor and rotting industrial infrastructure on the other hand, China spends the equivalent of trillions of dollars (in yuan, obviously) into fixed capital (not least infrastructure) each year. The funds for this are all created by keystrokes by the PBOC and provide employment for the domestic workforce. You don't have to ponder long on which model has been hugely successful, and which has been an unmitigated disaster.
I can't find the exact figures right now, but Russia produces something like 300,000 STEM graduates every year, more than the United States. (I may very well have read this originally on your blog, by the way.) Many of them will still be forced to emigrate to find gainful employment, even 20 years after the 1990's ended and Putin became President. These graduates remain even in post-Soviet times of a very high quality, and undergraduate students in Russia are trained at a higher level in mathematics and physics than in particular Americans are even as post-graduates. By refusing to invest in its own scientific infrastructure and industry the way China has done and does, Russia gives away all the education and training that were provided to these students, especially to the same Western countries that are seeking to destroy Russia. This is completely unforgivable.
I should add that I myself study physics in Germany. I have great appreciation for the Russian methods of teaching mathematics and physics, as many do here. I have learned, preferentially, mathematical analysis from Zorich, mechanics, electrodynamics etc. from Landau-Lifschitz, much about Fourier series from Tolstov, and so on, and have very often been awestruck and inspired in a mystical fashion by these works. I am not somehow unaware of the unparalleled quality (in particular after the destruction of Germany in WWII) of the USSR's and Russia's math/physics education or unfamiliar with the achievements of the USSR in science and engineering. It's precisely because I am familar with them that it frustrates me immensely how Russia's potential is needlessly wasted.james , Oct 19 2020 1:01 utc | 137What many do not understand here is that overwhelming majority of Russians do not want to deal with Europe and calls for new Iron Curtain are louder and louder and the process has started. Of course, there is a lot of both contempt and schadenfreude on Russian part.Andrei (132), do you have a link to an opinion poll that supports this? Thanks in advance.@ Digby | Oct 19 2020 0:28 utc | 136.. if you haven't already listened to the lavrov interview that b linked to in his main post - it is a question and answer thing - you would benefit from doing so and it would help answer you question some too.. see b's post at this spot -"In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations" and hit that linkDigby , Oct 19 2020 2:17 utc | 138@ james (137)james , Oct 19 2020 3:37 utc | 139
Well, I looked into the interview. While it is informative in its own right (at some point it briefly touches on Russo-Japanese relations), and some of the interviewers do show some concerns, I'm still not sure how it helps answer my question (maybe I missed something?). My initial impression was that Mr. Martyanov was referring to Russian civilians - not just radio interviewers.
Thanks anyway for the heads up.@ 138 digby... my impression was the radio interviewers questions were a reflection of the general sentiment of the public.. i could be wrong, but it seems to me they have completely given up on the west based on what they ask and say in their questions to lavrov...
on another note, you might enjoy engaging andrei more directly on his website which i will share here...
Oct 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations? by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/18/2020 - 15:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Andrea Widburg via AmericanThinker.com,
The moment the New York Post reported on some of the sleazy, corrupt details contained on Hunter Biden's hard drive, Twitter and Facebook, the social media giants most closely connected to the way Americans exchange political information, went into overdrive to suppress the information and protect Joe Biden. In the case of Facebook, though, perhaps one of those protectors was, in fact, protecting herself.
The person currently in charge of Facebook's election integrity program is Anna Makanju . That name probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but it should mean a lot – and in a comforting way -- to Joe Biden.
Before ending up at Facebook, Makanju was a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is an ostensibly non-partisan think tank that deals with international affairs. In fact, it's a decidedly partisan organization.
In 2009, James L. Jones, the Atlantic Council's chairman left the organization to be President Obama's National Security Advisor. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Shinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Chuck Hagel, and Brent Scowcroft also were all affiliated with the Atlantic Council before they ended up in the Obama administration.
The Atlantic Council has received massive amounts of foreign funding over the years. Here's one that should interest everyone: Burisma Holdings donated $300,000 dollars to the Atlantic Council, over the course of three consecutive years, beginning in 2016. The information below may explain why it began paying that money to the Council.
Not only was the Atlantic Council sending people into the Obama-Biden administration, but it was also serving as an outside advisor. And that gets us back to Anna Makanju, the person heading Facebook's misleadingly titled "election integrity program."
Makanju also worked at the Atlantic Council. The following is the relevant part of Makanju's professional bio from her page at the Atlantic Council (emphasis mine):
Anna Makanju is a nonresident senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative. She is a public policy and legal expert working at Facebook, where she leads efforts to ensure election integrity on the platform. Previously, she was the special policy adviser for Europe and Eurasia to former US Vice President Joe Biden , senior policy adviser to Ambassador Samantha Power at the United States Mission to the United Nations, director for Russia at the National Security Council, and the chief of staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and worked as a consultant to a leading company focused on space technologies.
Makanju was a player in the faux Ukraine impeachment. Early in December 2019, when the Democrats were gearing up for the impeachment, Glenn Kessler mentioned her in an article assuring Washington Post readers that, contrary to the Trump administration's claims, there was nothing corrupt about Biden's dealings with Ukraine. He made the point then that Biden now raises as a defense: Biden didn't pressure Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect Burisma; he did it because Shokin wasn't doing his job when it came to investigating corruption.
Kessler writes that, on the same day in February 2016 that then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that Shokin had offered his resignation, Biden spoke to both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The White House version is that Biden gave both men pep talks about reforming the government and fighting corruption. And that's where Makanju comes in:
Anna Makanju, Biden's senior policy adviser for Ukraine at the time, also listened to the calls and said release of the transcripts would only strengthen Biden's case that he acted properly. She helped Biden prepare for the conversations and said they operated at a high level, with Biden using language such as Poroshenko's government being "nation builders for a transformation of Ukraine."
A reference to a private company such as Burisma would be "too fine a level of granularity" for a call between Biden and the president of another country, Makanju told The Fact Checker. Instead, she said, the conversation focused on reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund, methods to tackle corruption and military assistance. An investigation of "Burisma was just not significant enough" to mention, she said.
Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that Burisma started paying the Atlantic Council a lot of money in 2016, right when Makanju was advising Biden regarding getting rid of Shokin.
In other words, there's a really good chance that Sundance was correct when he wrote at The Conservative Treehouse :NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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That's right folks, the Facebook executive currently blocking all of the negative evidence of Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt activity in Ukraine is the same person who was coordinating the corrupt activity between the Biden family payoffs and Ukraine.
You just cannot make this stuff up folks.
The incestuous networking between Democrats in the White House, Congress, the Deep State, the media, and Big Tech never ends. That's why the American people wanted and still want Trump, the true outsider, to head the government. They know that Democrats have turned American politics into one giant Augean Stable and that Trump is the Hercules who (we hope) can clean it out.
Oct 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Over the last years the U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure on Russia. They seem to believe that they can compel Russia to follow their diktat. They can't. But the illusion that Russia will finally snap, if only a few more sanctions ar applied or a few more houses in Russia's neighborhood are set on fire, never goes away.
As Gilbert Doctorow describes the situation:The fires burning at Russia's borders in the Caucasus are an add-on to the disorder and conflict on its Western border in neighboring Belarus, where fuel is poured on daily by pyromaniacs at the head of the European Union acting surely in concert with Washington.
Yesterday we learned of the decision of the European Council to impose sanctions on President Lukashenko, a nearly unprecedented action when directed against the head of state of a sovereign nation.
It is easy enough to see that the real intent of the sanctions is to put pressure on the Kremlin, which is Lukashenko's guarantor in power, to compound the several other measures being implemented simultaneously in the hope that Putin and his entourage will finally crack and submit to American global hegemony as Europe did long ago.
The anti-Russia full tilt ahead policy outlined above is going on against a background of the U.S. presidential electoral campaigns. The Democrats continue to try to depict Donald Trump as "Putin's puppy," as if the President has been kindly to his fellow autocrat while in office. Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump's presidency has been one of never ending ratcheting up of military, informational, economic and other pressures in the hope that Vladimir Putin or his entourage would crack. Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers , the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child's play.
The U.S. arms industry lobby, in form of the Atlantic Council, confirms the 'western' strategy Doctorow describes. It calls for 'ramping up on Russia' with even more sanctions:Key to raising the costs to Russia is a more proactive transatlantic strategy for sanctions against the Russian economy and Putin's power base, together with other steps to reduce Russian energy leverage and export revenue. A new NATO Russia policy should be pursued in tandem with the European Union (EU), which sets European sanctions policy and faces the same threats from Russian cyberattacks and disinformation. At a minimum, EU sanctions resulting from hostilities in Ukraine should be extended, like the Crimea sanctions, for one year rather than every six months. Better yet, allies and EU members should tighten sanctions further and extend them on an indefinite basis until Russia ends its aggression and takes concrete steps toward de-escalation.
It also wants Europe to pay for weapons in the Ukraine and Georgia:A more dynamic NATO strategy for Russia should go hand in hand with a more proactive policy toward Ukraine and Georgia in the framework of an enhanced Black Sea strategy. The goal should be to boost both partners' deterrence capacity and reduce Moscow's ability to undermine their sovereignty even as NATO membership remains on the back burner for the time being.
As part of this expanded effort, European allies should do more to bolster Ukraine and Georgia's ground, air, and naval capabilities, complementing the United States' and Canada's efforts that began in 2014.
The purpose of the whole campaign against Russia, explains the Atlantic Council author, is to subordinate it to U.S. demands:Relations between the West and Moscow had begun to deteriorate even before Russia's watershed invasion of Ukraine, driven principally by Moscow's fear of the encroachment of Western values and their potential to undermine the Putin regime. With the possibility of a further sixteen years of Putin's rule, most experts believe relations are likely to remain confrontational for years to come. They argue that the best the United States and its allies can do is manage this competition and discourage aggressive actions from Moscow. However, by pushing back against Russia more forcefully in the near and medium term, allies are more likely to eventually convince Moscow to return to compliance with the rules of the liberal international order and to mutually beneficial cooperation as envisaged under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.
The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy.
But as Doctorow said above, Putin and his advisors stay calm and ignore such trash despite all the hostility expressed against them.
One of Putin's close advisors is of course Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations he recently touched on many of the issues Doctorow also mentions. With regards to U.S. strategy towards Russia Lavrov diagnoses :Sergey Lavrov : [...] You mentioned in one of your previous questions that no matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.
Question : Their national security strategy states that they will do so.
Sergey Lavrov : Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.
Question : You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?
Sergey Lavrov : It's the other way round. I can use the language I'm not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance , and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I'm convinced that we must abide by international law.
Russia does not accept the fidgety 'rules of the liberal international order'. Russia sticks to the law which is, in my view, a much stronger position. Yes, international law often gets broken. But as Lavrov said elsewhere , one does not abandon traffic rules only because of road accidents.
Russia stays calm, no matter what outrageous nonsense the U.S. and EU come up with. It can do that because it knows that it not only has moral superiority by sticking to the law but it also has the capability to win a fight. At one point the interviewer even jokes about that :Question : As we say, if you don't listen to Lavrov, you will listen to [Defense Minister] Shoigu.
Sergey Lavrov : I did see a T-shirt with that on it. Yes, it's about that.
Yes, it's about that. Russia is militarily secure and the 'west' knows that. It is one reason for the anti-Russian frenzy. Russia does not need to bother with the unprecedented hostility coming from Brussels and Washington. It can ignore it while taking care of its interests.
As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?
Posted by b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC | Permalink
james , Oct 17 2020 16:45 utc | 1thanks b.... that lavrov interview that karlof1 linked to previously is worth its weight in gold...Michael Droy , Oct 17 2020 16:52 utc | 2
it gives a clear understanding of how russia sees what is happening here on the world stage... as you note cheap talk from the atlantic council 'rules of the liberal international order' is no substitute for 'international law' which is what russia stands on.... as for the usa campaign to tar russia and claim trump is putins puppet.. apparently this stupidity really sells in the usa.. in fact, i have a close friend here in canada from the usa with family in the usa has bought this hook, line and sinker as well.. and he is ordinarily a bright guy!
as for the endpoint - the usa and the people of the usa don't mind themselves about endpoints... it is all about being in the moment, living a hollywood fantasy off the ongoing party of wall st... the thought this circus will end, is not something many of them contemplate.. that is what it looks like to me.. maga, lol...Belarus - this is happenstance, not long term planning. Like Venezuela - indeed neither original Presidential candidate nor his wife had a Wikipedia entry a week or so before being announced as candidate (much like Guaido 2 weeks before Trump "made" him President.Down South , Oct 17 2020 16:56 utc | 3
Yes the Western media make the most of it, and yes there are many in place in and besides the media whose job it is to maximise any noise. But little is happening in Belarus. Sanctioning is all anyone can do now. (Sanctions = punishment therefore proof of guilt without trial or evidence).
US pressure is based on the Dem vs Rep "I am tougher on Russia than you" game spurred on by the MIC.
European pressure is based on the Euro Defence force concept and a low key but real desire to rid itself of Nato. So again we have Nato saying "without US/us Europe would be soft on Russia" and Europe saying we are tough on Russia whatever.
Meanwhile China takes over the real world.What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?bjd , Oct 17 2020 17:01 utc | 4
It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game over!
They don't want an actual war. They just ratchet up the tensions to keep Europe subdued and obedient and Russia off balance and thereby prevent any rapprochement between the two.
Putin has repeatedly stated he wants a Lisbon to Vladivostok free trade area.
The Anglo-Americans will never permit that. That Europe is committed to a course that is against their own best interest shows just how subservient they are to the Anglo-Americans.
I think it was the first head of NATO that said the purpose of the organization is to "keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in"
Absolutely nothing has changed since then.There is no endpoint. Those who argue for it, the Western think-tank industry and security and intelligence industry, are recipients of huge sums of money. It is bread and butter for large numbers of people. And the acceptance of the conclusions and advice of the immense stacks of papers thus produced mean money towards the defense industry and the cyber warfare industry. In the end, all this is driven by elites' fear of their own populations. Sowing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) makes these populations docile. Rinse and repeat.Passer by , Oct 17 2020 17:05 utc | 5
Seeji , Oct 17 2020 17:15 utc | 6>>As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is.
The reason was probably the new Russian Constitution, which is basically a declaration of independence from the West. This has caused serious triggerings in western elites, although their reaction took some time to crystalise due to the Covid Pandemic.
>>What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?
The endpoint is - EU and NATO move into Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia.
A puppet government of someone like Navalny is installed Russia. That government further gives up Crimea, Kaliningrad and Northen Caucasus. In the long run, a soft partition of Russia into 3 parts follows (as per the Grand Chessboard 1997).
The possibility for that happening is overall negative, as the West is on a long term decline, that is, it will be weaker in 2030, and even weaker in 2040 or 2050.
OECD economies were 66 % of the world economy in 2010 but that share is estimated to drop to 38 % of the world economy in 2050 (with further drops after that).
The strong hatred and hostility coming from the US and the EU are due to the understanding that they don't have much time, and they must act now, or tomorrow it will be too late.Apt cover picture!Abe , Oct 17 2020 17:18 utc | 7Well, the hostility in "western" "elite" (rulers) towards Russia is on much more primal level than money and power IMO. It is pure racial hatred combined with Übermensch God complex. Main controllers in modern "west" are US, Israel and Germany.Seeji , Oct 17 2020 17:19 utc | 8
Years ago Barack Obama gave speech to West Point graduates, proclaiming US moral and racial superiority (because they mix'n's*it) over whole world, Goebbels would be proud. Germany has long history of hating all those Slavs, and Israel... Lets not go there with how they threat those inferior brown people.@ Down South #3Bemildred , Oct 17 2020 17:24 utc | 9
Yes. And it was so depressing that Germany played the Navalny Novichok hoax recently borrowed from the Perfidious Albion!They forsee not having to admit they are incompetent yet.Chris Cosmos , Oct 17 2020 17:26 utc | 10gottlieb , Oct 17 2020 17:31 utc | 11"What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"
Of course that end-point is money for military contractors and power for the FP elite in government and think-tanks which also means money. Yes, there are true-believers who see a mighty struggle between "good" (the USA) an "evil" (Russia/China) but they are incompetent. As for the American people they will believe whatever the NY Times says since they are militantly ignorant of history, geography, foreign affairs in general, and, above all, political science.
The problem as I see it is Europe generally, and Germany in particular. Why do they follow Washington diktats?Well let's see, the USA is $30 trillion in debt and counting, faces an upcoming economic depression to rival the 'great' one, with a citizenry on the brink of civil war and a political system that makes a 'banana republic' look like ancient Greece. Desperate is as desperate does.vk , Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12Anne , Oct 17 2020 17:37 utc | 13As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?
For a very simple reason: there's no other option. Capitalism can only work in one way. There's a limit to how much capitalism can reform within itself without self-destructing.
The West is also suffering from the "Whale in a Swimming Pool" dilemma: it has grown so hegemonic, so big and so gloated that its strategic options have narrowed sharply. It has not much more room for maneuver left, its bluffs become less and less effective. As a result, its strategies have become increasingly linear, extremely predictable. The "whale in a pool dilemma" is not a problem when your inner workings (domestic economy) is flourishing; but it becomes one when the economy begins to stagnate and, ultimately, decline (albeit slowly).
On a side note, it's incredible how History is non-linear, full of surprises. The Russian Federation is inferior to the Soviet Union in every aspect imaginable. Except for one factor: it now has an ascendant China on its side in a time where the West is declining. (Historical) context is everything.
The USA is lucky the USSR collapsed in 1991. If it managed to somehow survive for mere 17 years more, it would catch the 2008 capitalist meltdown and have an opportunity to gain the upper hand over capitalism (plus have a strong China on its side). Socialism/communism wouldn't have been demoralized the way it was in the 1990s, opening a huge flank for revolutions in the Western Hemisphere (specially Latin America). NATO would be much weaker. Since the USSR was closed to capitalism, the USA wouldn't be able to enforce as crippling economic sanctions on China and the USSR. The USSR would be able to "reform and open up" in a much safer environment (by copying China, instead of Yeltsin's neoliberalism), thus gaining the opportunity to make a Perestroika that could actually work.
But it didn't happen. Well, what can I say? It looks like the USA imported the Irish and imported their luck, too.Abe @7 - I would agree and have raised somewhere (old age?) that part of what we are seeing in this latest western-NATO cooked up charade re Navalny is, in part at least, a deep historical supremacist loathing of the Slavs an in general and the Russians in particular by the haute bourgeois Germans. This loathing was made blatantly manifest during WWII, of course, but it didn't die out because that generation and more likely their children remain with us. Ditto the generational Anglo-American hatred of Russians (yes, for the UK, and their haute bourgeoisie, it has deeper historical roots than the 20thC) and the USSR even more...karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14
The pressure on Russia is enormous and I would enlarge on the economic sanctions aspect (siege warfare): Belarus, Armenia-Azerbaijan (Erdogan once again playing his role for the US/NATO - in this business, Iran is also a target), Kyrgyzstan - all on or very close to Russia's borders and thus dividing and draining (intention) Russia's focus and $$$$ (the Brzezinski game) in order to open it up to the western corporate-capitalist bloodsuckers. And I suspect that as the US (and UK) economies drain away, so these border country "revolts," "protests" etc. will grow...
Russia really needs to join with China in full comity. Bugger the west - they do not respect the rights of either country to their own culture, societal structures, mores, perspectives...nor apparently even those countries' rights to their own coastal waters, air space...
One wonders how the USA would react to Chinese and/or Russian warships in the Gulf or traversing (lengthwise) the Atlantic or Pacific????It appears Lavrov's saying we'll just ignore the EU and its major components for awhile got quick results as Germany's FM just announced "Nord Stream 2 will be completed" ; but he also said this:winston2 , Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 17
"Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis]
Now isn't that the interesting bit of news!! The greatest fracking nation on the planet needs to import heavy oil (likely Iranian, unlikely Venezuelan) from its #1 adversary. As for the end game, I've written many times what I see as the goal and don't see any need to add more."The Russians are coming' is a long standing fear built the American psyche almost from the very start. Russian colonization of the California Territory outnumbered the US population. The Monroe Doctrine was all about that,not S.America at all. The Brits ruled S.America by mercantile means until WWI cut the sea lanes, then and only then did it fall into the sphere of Yankee control.Rob , Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 18
Then there is Alaska. The Sewards Folly documents are almost certainly fakes, the verified Russian copy says a 100year LEASE,not a sale. The National Archives refuses examination by any but its own experts. Unless they are forgeries and they know it there can be no real reason for their stance. There is much more background to the antipathy than many are aware.@bjd (4) You nailed it, my friend. Cold wars are immensely profitable for certain sectors of the economy and the parasites who run them. The supreme imperative is always to have enemies--really big, bad, dangerous enemies--whether real or imagined. I will be voting for Biden, but I don't have much hope for positive change in American foreign policy. Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. will continue to be vilified as nations to be feared and hated.Dao Gen , Oct 17 2020 18:05 utc | 19The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies.Ike , Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21
One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home.
After several color revolutions succeeded, the Russiagate/Spygate op was carried out in the US, with British assistance. This op has been largely successful, though there has been limited resistance against its whole fake edifice as well as with the logic of Cold War2.0. Nevertheless, Spygate has shocked many tens of millions of Dems into a stupor, while millions more are dazed and manipulated by the Chinese bogeyman being manufactured by Trump. The most dangerous result of the martial law lite mentality caused by Spygate and its MSM purveyors is the growing support for censorship of free speech coming mostly from the Dems, such as Schiff and Warner. The danger inherent in this trend became very clear when FaceBook and Twitter engaged in massive and unprecedented arbitrary censorship of the New York Post and of various Trump-related accounts. This is the kind of thing you do during Stage 1 of a coup. Surely it was at least in part an experiment to see how various power points in the US would respond. Even though Twitter ended the censorship later, it was probably a successful experiment designed to gauge reactions and areas of resistance. In November, there could be further, more serious experiments/ops. If so, the current expansionist movements being made and planned by the US and NATO may well be integral parts of a new non-democratic model of "American-style democracy" -- not constitution-based but "rules-based."
Posted by: Dao Gen |"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"Bemildred , Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 22
I think the answer is clear. The US economy is collapsing and likewise those wedded to the US dollar system. The USA spent 90% more than it received last year. They are desperate to have access to Russia's largely untapped resources and it doesn't want any competition for its position as world hegemon. Thus Russia and China are in the crosshairs.
Fortunately the corruption in the USA has resulted in a weaker military capability over time and they are reduced to behaving in clandestine and terroristic ways to try and achieve this. The turmoil enveloping the USA is scape goated on Trump and Covid19 but is ultimately due to their faltering economy and a big helping of financial corruption. Talk about your chickens coming home to roostPosted by: Ike | Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21Paco , Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 23
Talk about your chickens coming home to roost."
Sounds like thunder, all those chickens. I appeared to me that whomever is in charge here, they started pulling all the levers they could lay a hand on a couple weeks back in terms of stirring up trouble. Throwing sand in the eyes of ones enemy.
At the time, I thought it was just Trump and his followers freaking out, now I think it's the NatSec people, who have finally seen the truth of their situation. As one can see in the Atlantic Council piece B posted, they are still trying to keep the old narrative patched together too.Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 18:34 utc | 25
Politfiction, or what could have happened if is an entertaining but futile exercise. Everybody agrees, there was no need for the USSR to dissolve, it was like a big jackpot for an amazed rival that rushed to declare himself the winner. The price has been high, on both sides of the fence but of course with a lot more victims and destruction on the other side of the fallen wall. Gorbachov a tragic figure and Yelstyn a sinister one, in spite of his being a clown, a tragic one at that, bombing his parliament and laughing at the world together with the degenerate Clinton, the 90's were somber indeed. The west paid its price, a self declared victory that did not bring any benefit, the peace dividend never was, to the contrary, military budgets never stopped growing year after year. The end of history was proclaimed, no need to match or better the rival ideology, there is none, so proles you better stop complaining, or else and that's where we are.Just to repeat the obvious, for the US actually to go to war is out of the question these days -- the US public would not tolerate the casualties. Therefore other methods have to be found to achieve the same objectives -- the maintenance of an eternal enemy in 1984 style, to keep up military budgets and world hegemony, neither of which are the elite ready to abandon. Economic sanctions have been the weapon of choice in the age of Trump, but there isn't really any other. Sometimes they are better aimed and sometimes not.steven t johnson , Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26
In any case I am not sure I agree that the EU is really submissive to the US in this respect. They don't want to offend the US, and some leaders have genuinely swallowed the Kool-Aid, but others haven't, and the continuation of Nordstream 2 is where they haven't.Doctorow wrote "Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump's presidency..."Steve , Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 27
The Senate is more important for foreign affairs and has been Republican for Trump's entire term. The House was also Republican for half of Trump's term. Lastly the "staff" is not really able to run things in the presence of a minimally competent administrator, at the head of the State Department, acting under leadership of a competent, energetic president. There is no sign Doctorow is particularly intelligent or insightful.
I have long ago lost track of where the bar's consensus on Turkey is, whether the failing US means Erdogan must become the follower of the skilled, brave and indefatigable Putin...or whether his sultanship is suicidally persisting in thinking Russia cannot actually deliver anything his sultanship really needs and wants. At any rate it is entirely unclear what "international law" Lavrov thinks supports Russia.
As to the China Russia "alliance," the difficulty is that Putin has so very little to offer.I can hazard a guess to answer your final question. I think corruption is probably the main reason. Those involved in this are mostly interested in self-enrichment through the gullibility of their societies. I don't think the stenographers and the hot-heads neo liberals pushing for a show-down with Russia are intent on committing suicide by igniting a hot war with Russia, but they hope that Moscow could be intimidated and surrender eventually. As you rightly said, it is a pipe dream of course, but they get paid heavily for the hot air they emit.Norwegian , Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 28@James2 | Oct 17 2020 18:29 utc | 24dh-mtl , Oct 17 2020 18:46 utc | 29The west insulted the people's intelligence!!!But unfortunately, the people didn't notice that.'As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?'
The endpoint is quite clear: 'Global Governance, by Global Institutions under control of the 'Globalists' (i.e. the Davos crowd).' For this, the 'Globalists' must subdue Russia.
Russia is not only blocking the 'Globalist's' plans in its own right, but, since 2013, it has been protecting other nations from falling prey to 'Globalist' colonization (Syria, Eastern Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela, Libya, Belarus, etc.). And Russia is the lynch-pin to enable the 'Globalists' to corner China.
In addition, together with China, Russia is offering the world an alternative to 'Globalism', a 'Multi-Polar World Order' that is much more attractive than becoming a 'Globalist' vassal.
For the 'Globalists' time has become critical. They are facing revolts in their home countries (Trump, Brexit, Gilets-Jaunes, etc.). The main source of their geo-political power, (since they can no longer challenge Russia and China militarily) the U.S. dollar, is on the verge of collapse as the World's reserve currency. And the economic growth of China means that China has become the most important trading partner for most of the World's nations.
The window of opportunity for the 'Globalists' to create their 'Global Governance' system may have already closed. But, as usual, the losers of any war are usually the last to know. The desperation with which the 'Globalists' are fighting their last battles, against Trump, against Russia, against Brexit, is testimony to the fact that for the 'Globalists' losing this war means their extinction as a ruling elite.
james | Oct 17 2020 18:55 utc | 30@ steven t johnson | Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26..
c'mon steve.... what is the usa offering turkey here?? they could give a rats ass about turkey, or any other country in the middle east, excluding their 24/7 darling israel... the usa presence on the world stage is meant to sabotage any and all who don't bow down to the exceptional nations philosophy of 'might makes right'... the obvious benefits of russia-china synergy are apparent to both countries and they continue to capitalize on this, in spite of what you read in the usa msm.. russia as a lot to offer china... the fact that the nation apparently masquerading as a gas station has so much to offer is also the reason that all the pillage of the 90's hasn't turned out the way the harvard boys had envisioned... that you can't see the vast wealth and value of russia has nothing to do with the reality on the ground... keep the blinders on, lol...
Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:09 utc | 31The EU's attitude to the US is much like its attitude to Britain and Brexit. They don't want to split with the US, because, after all, there might be war, and NATO would be needed, but it's becoming increasingly less likely. In the same way, they would have preferred to stay in good relations with Britain, until Britain insisted on a hostile Brexit. Basic interests come first, and that will also be the case in the future with the US.Abe , Oct 17 2020 19:11 utc | 32Anne @ 13joey_n , Oct 17 2020 19:36 utc | 34
Russia and China are already de-facto alliance. Militarily they cooperate at every level and will soon extend shared anti ballistic shield over China too. It is clear to any outside enemy (except for most retarded ones) that nuclear attack on one will be treated as attack on both of them. Not having formal alliance is somewhat an advantage (eg. limited attack on one of them by enemy that can be easily handled will not complicate situation) as it controls escalation. Lack of escalation control led to WW1 so...
Apart for military, Russia is one of rare fully self sufficient countries in the world. Having vast natural resources and territory, knowledge and industrial capacity to built EVERYTHING they need, they can afford to be sanctioned by whole world and close borders completely if needed. Having 100% secure land borders with China and already huge (and increasing) trade, including oil & gas, only make Russia's self sufficiency even more stable. It also strategically benefits China, as its main weakness is lack of those same resources Russia has in abundance and is willing to share.
So, if sh*t hits the fan, and Russia and China say f*ck it and close borders to rest of the world (even though China trade profits wouldn't be happy), both countries form self sufficient symbiosis that can carry on for centuries.
Which brings me to all those little fires US is starting in Russia's neighborhood. They don't matter. Unlike USSR, Russia's mission is self preservation only, not changing whole world into communist utopia (even though @VK here repeatedly fails to acknowledge it). And survive it will. All it needs is to wait few generations.
Unlike Russia, collective west is going down the drain. Soon enough, all those Slav hating in Bundestag, UK parlament and elsewhere will have more urgent problem of Islamic head choppers that became majority in their countries, while US will have problem to recruit enough men,women and "others" from pool of rainbow colored too-fat and unfit, godless faggot from broken family snowflakes.@Down South (3)Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:37 utc | 35
At least someone still understands. For what it's worth, Lurk and I briefly discussed in the Brexit thread about England doing all it could to prevent comity between continental powers (e.g. Russia and Germany before the first world war).
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/10/its-a-hard-brexits-a-gonna-fall.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef026be41afef7200d#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef026be41afef7200dAs China has been mentioned, I think it is worth saying that although I have full confidence that Putin will maintain his usual good sense in international conflicts, I have more doubts about the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy. I don't see why. They have great economic success; they should be more relaxed, but they aren't. The first signs came with their attitude towards the Muslims in China. One, the concentration camps in Xinjiang - in that case the Uyghur jihadists in Syria must have provoked anxiety in Beijing. But also increasing pressure on the Hui Muslims in central China (who are native Han) to become more "national". Some years ago they weren't bothered. Now they are.Andrei Martyanov , Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36
This suggests that the question of Taiwan could blow up, apart from HongKong. They are less tolerant in Beijing.@Down SouthLaguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:49 utc | 37It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game over!
It is a tired and false concept. There cannot be a "triangle" which includes Germany, due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status. Moreover, Russians do not view Europe as a viable part of Russia's future--the cultural gap is gigantic and continues to grow--the only place of Europe in general, and Germany in particular, in Russian plans is that of a market for Russia's hydrocarbons and other exports. A rather successful program of export-substitution in Russia in the last 6 years dropped technological importance of Germany for Russia dramatically. In some fields, such as high-power turbines made Germany irrelevant, as Siemens learned the hard way recently.CitizenX , Oct 17 2020 19:54 utc | 38
Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status.
Difficult to believe.Stonebird , Oct 17 2020 20:01 utc | 40
@b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC"U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure...
The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy."
Outstanding assessment and thank you for addressing it.
As I've said numerous times -- Fuck the US Empire and it's minion bitches. Jesse Ventura commented this past week that EVERY US Incumbent politician should be voted out of office this election. 99% of them are scum.
Every politician, corporate CEO Banker and Media whore, Judge, CIA filth should have a pitchfork held to their throat and be tried for treason and war crimes. MIC/Pentagon should be destroyed. Majority of Americans are propagandized dumbfucks. Sounds a bit like an American Cultural Revolution is exactly the medicine.
There will come a day for reckoning and true justice, hopefully it is sooner than later. There should be no mercy. For those committing their treasonous crimes, they know better but have chosen poorly, they should be broken.
Russia, Putin and Lavrov have remained the adults in the room while the Empire Brats tantrum themselves.
Anyone else notice that the Anti-Russia rhetoric increased after Snowden was trapped in Russia?
... ... ..."Alas, repent, the endpoint is near...."David , Oct 17 2020 20:07 utc | 41
I agree with Ike and others who think the US money situation is the problem. But I also think that the underlying endpoint is hyperinflation, not just the loss of the dollars' "reserve status." Hyperinflation is when so much "money" has been produced that it no longer has any value and the Central Bank cannot control what comes next.
There is a point at which people want to get rid of dollars and panic buy or "invest" in assets, or anything solid or simply anything (Gold, land etc. bread) At which time the money they want to get rid of looses value continuously, as others don't want it either. A Rush for the exits happens.
Who has the MOST money - the Rich and the sovereign Nations? (Althought the latter may also be in the same situation as the US.) Russia has more or less got rid of all it's US holdings. The Chinese must be alarmed by the thought of the Fed issuing ONLY new-digicoins, and then the US simply refusing to pay debts to the Chinese at some future point. They might want out now. Not so much dumping everything but a steady reduction of US denominated "assets" or reserves.
Most of this becomes self-sustaining panic, as happened in the Weimar Rep. What can be considered "assets" to grab? ie Russia, minerals and it's Gold, China and its Gold. Then the choice might be to invest in the US military and use it while there is a residue of belief in the Dollar.
The only thing about a panic exit is that it happens very quickly. About a month or two between when the first bright sparks try to get out and when everyone else tries to grab part of a rapidly restricted choice of things to buy with an unending pile of "empty" dollars.
Buy wheelbarrows.Germany should've been conquered by the Soviet Union entirely as it was won with Soviet, largely Russian, blood. Germany is increasingly irrelevant to Russia's needs now as Martyanov points out above. Germany's existence today should be that of a Russian oblast, same with Eastern Ukraine from Kharkiv to Mariupol and Belarus.juliania , Oct 17 2020 20:08 utc | 42
Ask yourself what Germany produces that Russia can't produce for itself with import substitution schemes or similar schemes within a 10 year period. Russia's GDP by PPP is the size of Germany's already and depending on how it deals with the impact of COVID, may continue an upward year-on-year growth trend (People's Republic of China is the only major economy forecast to expand in fiscal quarter this year). The fact of the matter is that Russia's population is much larger, its industrial base, at least in heavy industry, is nearly self sufficient (not much light industry to speak of) and Germany depends on Russian oil and gas to keep its lights on. Russia can carry on without Germany just fine. There may be a noticeable impact now if Russia were cornered into doing that, but it's nothing that can't be overcome in short order.Thank you, b, and before reading comments, I will give my take on your last question:m , Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?
The whole 'rules based order' became very clear when the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, was being debated,and what happened then is what many have noted, the 'rules' were all to advantage the US. So, you might say that was the beginning of the end for the oligarchy. And the partnership reformed after it had taken out that problem, to be fair to all participants. All the oligarchy can do is keep on keeping on until it can't. This is really about survival for that class of individuals who intend to keep on being in charge here in the US and wherever its tentacles have reached. The only endpoint they see is their continuance. And I suppose their fear is that it is simply not possible for that to be the case.
Hopefully there will just come a point where, as in Plato's Republic, the dialogue simply moves on. There, it begins in the home of the ancient one, Cephalus, with a polite discussion, and the old man says his piece, to which Socrates responds:"What you say is very fine indeed, Cephalus...but as to this very thing, justice, shall we so simply assert that it is the truth and giving back what a man has taken from another, or is to do these very things sometimes just and sometimes unjust? Take this case as an example of what I mean: everyone would surely say that if a man takes weapons from a friend when the latter is of sound mind, and the friend demands them back when he is mad, one shouldn't give back such things, and the man who gives them back would not be just, and moreover, one should not be willing to tell someone in this state the whole truth."[Allan Bloom translation]
"What you say is right," he said.
In the dialogue, the old man leaves to 'look after the sacrifices', handing down the argument to his heir, Polymarchus. To me, Socrates has adroitly caused this to come about in much the fashion that Lavrov answers his press questioners in the link b provides. That is, he has done so with diplomacy, and a lesson to his younger companions which perhaps Cephalus is no longer able to understand. Quod erat demonstrandum.Spent much of your money for weapons, brag with your military and wonder why you are perceived as a thread ...Josh , Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 47https://tass.com/world/1213379Down South , Oct 17 2020 20:26 utc | 48Andrei Martyanov @ 36Passer by , Oct 17 2020 20:30 utc | 50
It is a tired and false concept
Yet in your disparaging comments of Europe and Germany in particular you proceed to show how successful the Anglo-Americans have been in creating a wedge between Europe and Russia actually validating my original point.
"Keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in"
That was the whole point of the first Cold War. It is the whole point of creating a Cold War 2.0. Absolutely nothing has changed.Posted by: m | Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43norecovery , Oct 17 2020 20:45 utc | 51
By whom exactly? US & several euro puppets? Typical racist thinking that Europe and its former colonies are somehow "the world" or "the international community".
Meanwhile opinion of Russia is positive in India (1,3 billion people, more than the whole West combined) and China (1,4 billion, more than the whole West combined).
Those who don't spend for their own weapons, spend for their master's weapons (like europuppets).
Btw your master (US) spends on weapons too. What are you going to do about it?@ laguerre -- This interview with Pepe Escobar by Moderate Rebels will answer some of your questions regarding China's treatment of Muslim minorities.Down South , Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 55
https://soundcloud.com/moderaterebels/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-us-hybrid-war-on-china-with-pepe-escobarjoey_n @ 34vk , Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56
As was rightly pointed out in that discussion, British foreign policy towards Europe was to ensure that no single power was to be allowed to achieve hegemony over Europe. The famous "balance of power"
The Cold War with Russia is merely a British and US continuation of that exact same policy.@ Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36Down South , Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57
If the Russian Federation really has an ongoing imports substitution program, then this explains everything. Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.
A Russia that also exports high-value commodities (manufactured commodities) is a direct threat to Germany, as it competes with it directly in the international market. That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe, as Merkel once said: Europe must not become China's peninsula. China is Germany's main competitor, as it is also a big manufacturing exporter.https://youtu.be/ZVYqB0uTKlEDigby , Oct 17 2020 21:24 utc | 58
Watch in full. UK policy towards Europe in a nutshell@ David (41)H.Schmatz , Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60
If I recall correctly, after WWII Stalin wanted a united, independent and Russia-friendly Germany, and even rejected the Morgenthau Plan.
Eventually the Allied zones of occupation became West Germany, and the Soviet occupation zone became East Germany.@Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 21:46 utc | 61
But...it is not China currently main market for German exports...and Turkey second? In detriment of the EU....Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57Smith , Oct 17 2020 22:04 utc | 63
Old stuff. It's why Britain is losing today. They haven't kept up.Unlike China, Russia lacks the weight of population and reliance on the globalist capitalist system to throw around, China will not shut itself up for Russia when it can trade with EU & Turkey instead.kemerd , Oct 17 2020 22:08 utc | 64
Russia is increasingly put into weak position, where Russian troops are sent to do the dying, while the Chinese business whoop in afterwards to get all the juicy business deals. In other words, Russia does the dying while China enriches itself.
Russia only hope is that it becomes friendly with the EU, otherwise, it is going to be crushed between two superpowers, the EU and China.I think the point of the sanctions and all the pressure on Russia is an appeal to Russian elite, Just a reminder that they are isolated from the rest of the elite and hope that it would help them throw Russian nationalists from power. I think this might succeed as Putin did no really take on the new Russian capitalist class, and that will probably be his undoing.Don Bacon , Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66@vk 36c1ue , Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67
That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe
BRI in Europe - 16 countries: Austria*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine * shaky
SCMP - Aug 17, 2020: China's rail shipments to Europe set records as demand surges for Chinese goods amid coronavirus
> July saw 1,232 cargo trains travel from Chinese cities to European destinations – the most ever in a single month
> Once regarded as merely ornamental, freight service along belt and road trade routes has become increasingly important as exporters turn to railway transport. . . hereLavrov, Shoigu and Putin are calm, but the domestic economic situation is not. While I have noted before that Russia is better positioned to survive low oil prices than Saudi Arabia - it doesn't mean this is fun.norecovery , Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 68
Couple that with COVID-19 economic losses, and stresses on the domestic Russian economy are enormous.
Among other signs: after bouncing around in the 60s for some time, the ruble just hit 80 to the USD. Anecdotally, I am hearing a lot of direct personal accounts of businesses not being able to pay their people because their own customers aren't paying.
Russia has done relatively little extra to assist with COVID-19 related economic harms, so this isn't great either.@ laguerre -- The interview with Pepe Escobar deals with the whole range of issues in the hybrid war against China, but the information you're looking for Regarding the suppression and re-education of Muslim terrorists starts just past the 1-hour point.H.Schmatz , Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 69
https://soundcloud.com/moderaterebels/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-us-hybrid-war-on-china-with-pepe-escobar@Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67norecovery , Oct 17 2020 22:34 utc | 70
One would say you are describing the state of affairs in the US... Projecting?@ laguerre -- Start at 1:09:40Don Bacon , Oct 17 2020 22:36 utc | 71@ Laguerre 35winston2 , Oct 17 2020 22:38 utc | 72
the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy.
No, it's become more multi-national and sensible. Take the BRI: Launched in 2013, it was initially planned to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes between Eurasia and China, but the scope of the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative) has since extended to cover 138 countries, including 38 in sub-Saharan Africa and 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
they should be more relaxed
China has been an open target for the US, which doesn't even mention China any more (Pompeo) but dumps on the "CCP" (Chinese Communist Party). China (like Russia) has not responded in kind.
their attitude towards the Muslims in China
The US State Dept slash CIA has been fomenting terrorism in Xinjiang for years and China has had to contend with it.
the question of Taiwan could blow up
Taiwan like some other places in the world, including Hong Kong, has been another place where the US has fomented instability. This has increased recently with Taiwan "president" Tsai declaring that Taiwan (January this year, BBC interview) is a separate country, which it isn't. China is being pushed to do his Abe Lincoln thing and save the union.
They are less tolerant in Beijing
Chinese by nature are tolerant, and Beijing has been tolerant in the face of US naval fleets and bomber visits in their near seas, plus political attacks, sanctions and tariffs.66 watch what they do and have done and not what they.vk , Oct 17 2020 22:42 utc | 73
Construction started four years ago on enlarging and modernization of the railway marshaling yards in Duisburg.
The volume of Chinese freight trains arriving daily is already quite amazing and planned to increase to one every hour next month 24/7.They are not returning empty. The oil and gas pipeline corridors also had ten plus railway tracks built alongside .Germany is already at the center of the BRI expansion into Germany and it started four years ago.@ Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60Smith , Oct 17 2020 22:48 utc | 74
That's why Germany is not full anti-China.
@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66
Just because Germany doesn't want it, it doesn't mean it's not getting.
@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67
I agree. Capitalism is a dead end for Russia. It's all about when Putin dies. After he dies, it will be a coin flip for Russia: it could continue its course or it could get another Yeltsin.@ vkPatroklos , Oct 17 2020 22:54 utc | 75
Germany being against BRI is news to me. Any proof? And it is very unlikely that China will be able to fool the europeans lile the american. The EU has regulations and aren't purely about profit.
And they still have strong domestic industry.Perhaps the US only has one script in the playbook: to balkanise, disrupt and foster 5th columns until their opponent becomes a dysfunctional or failed state. Then send in the acronyms (IMF etc), establish a provisional administration under trusted local elites but commandeer resource-rich areas under direct provincial command. That's US imperialism and it won't stop until they encounter opposition effective enough to resist it. That's why they'll never forgive Putin for Syria. In the end they want to finish doing to Russia (by other means...) what the Germans began in '41; and not just Russia, but anywhere their markets are prevented from calling the shots.emersonreturn , Oct 17 2020 23:31 utc | 77thank you, @72. the chinese learned much from their century of humiliation & clearly one of the important lessons was trade both ways, rather than take their silver, sell them tea, silks & porcelain & need nothing they offered.Grieved , Oct 17 2020 23:40 utc | 78@77 emersonreturnemersonreturn , Oct 18 2020 0:02 utc | 79
That's an excellent observation, and a concept I had not encountered before. Thank you. How consciously China holds that narrative, if at all, I couldn't say.
But it's a great dynamic - kind of like keeping your enemies close. And if the German increase in reciprocal railroad trade with China is as it was stated up-thread, it would seem to be working.@78, thank you, grieved...i've long admired you. in times such as these it can be a challenge to keep sight of the positive but as china prospers & wishes her trading partners to as well, & so long as russia continues to strive toward the high road rather than descend to the barroom floor perhaps we can also learn to rise...i'm reminded of a sufi saying: 'rise in love do not fall'. may we all.Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 0:05 utc | 80Do they even think about an endpoint? Is it really on their radar?Grieved , Oct 18 2020 0:10 utc | 81
Or is this all being done because they are spoilt, and are throwing a tantrum because they aren't getting their way?
I assume that there are sober heads in the Pentagon that wargame possible "endpoints". If not sober at the beginning then sober when the results play out to their bitter end.
Or... maybe not. Post-retirement board seats are at stake, dammit! Full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!#35 Laguerrekooshy , Oct 18 2020 0:29 utc | 82
I'm truly astonished that you don't know the truth of Xinjaing - in sum, that the concentration camps are a huge lie that can be revealed as such by any satellite, and that China has developed a progressive and worthy solution to the foreign-provoked terrorism within its border.
Fortunately, Qiao Collective, a great expert source on China, has recently compiled a treasure trove of links to know the truth:
Xinjiang: A Report and Resource Compilation - Sep 21 Written By Qiao CollectiveBased on a handful of think tank reports and witness testimonies, Western governments have levied false allegations of genocide and slavery in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. A closer look makes clear that the politicization of China's anti-terrorism policies in Xinjiang is another front of the U.S.-led hybrid war on China.
This resource compilation provides a starting point for critical inquiry into the historical context and international response to China's policies in Xinjiang, providing a counter-perspective to misinformation that abounds in mainstream coverage of the autonomous region.Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36jared , Oct 18 2020 1:04 utc | 83
A good justification on Russian German transitional relation, and we hope Russia is not fooled again, by hopes. Those of us who hope for containing and reducing western dominance over the world affairs, politics and economy, hope that Russians have learned from their experience of the 90's joining G7, seat at NATO, joining western sanctions on smaller powers, etc. all those efforts were the carrots thrown at Russia to tame the bear, one would think up to Georgian war, it worked, that war perhaps woke the bear. Russians felt they are part of Europe,part of western community of privileged nations (first world) but all that was a decoy to move the NATO to Russian borders. I hope Russians once for all have learned, as long as they have a big modern military and plenty of energy resources that is not under the western (you read US) control they will never be accepted as a "western" country, Ironically, Russia is the largest European country.
As a strategist you know better than most to circumvent western power and to bring back the rule of international law, it would be impossible without having the Russian defensive political and military power (as in Syria) on the side of resistance. We just hope you are right Russia, will not be bought out again. IMO as you say, is just impossible for Germany, or even France to decouple from the US grip on europe.Seems to me its been terribly effective. Russian economy pretty weak heavily reliant on raw materials, fracturing at the periphery. China and Russia seem less than alies.jared , Oct 18 2020 1:06 utc | 84
Seems US has Germany, France by the short hairs. US had to bail them out in 2009. Europe is having some problems with solvency and cohesion - whats a bureaucrat to do? Its not really about the sovereigns, that's only for appearances.Also seems maybe Russians are growing tired of lack of progress.Don Bacon , Oct 18 2020 1:17 utc | 85@ 77c1ue , Oct 18 2020 1:19 utc | 86
The Century of Humiliation from 1842 to 1949 and the contemporary discourse around it are a driving narrative of contemporary Chinese history, foreign policy, and militarization of its surrounding regions like the South China Sea. The expansion of the Chinese navy in numbers, mission, and aggression is directly fueled by China's previous weakness and exploitation at the hands of western nations. . . . here@H.Schmatz #69Circe , Oct 18 2020 2:00 utc | 88
The US economy is definitely in trouble, but the US has spent roughly $2 trillion this year to help its economy = a bit under 10% of 2019 GDP.
The difference is structural. The US economy is a service one - and lockdowns are literally the best way to damage it.
The Russian economy is still heavily dependent on natural gas and oil sales. Despite the initial devaluation, ongoing low oil prices plus increasing competition in natural gas (for example, Azerbaijan is now selling natural gas to Italy) is hurting its economy.
Nor has Russia spent much to compensate for COVID-19 losses beyond its existing health and social safety nets - the Russian plan was $73B / 5 trillion rubles = 4.3% of 2019 GDP.I am anti-war and I am an anti-war crimes liberal (examples of war crimes: ethnic cleansing, proof of genocide, torture, collective punishment via deprivation and occupation of dispossessed land). Yet, I am also a non-interventionist except in extreme circumstances but I am against regime change for the sake of neutralizing competing powers or converting them religiously or politically.Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 2:24 utc | 90
All this implies exercising the highest integrity and blocking out all external influence and pressure if one is a true liberal, and relying solely on conscience and wisdom.
Therefore, I don't like the term liberal sullied and usurped by fake liberals, neoliberals and Zionist liberals, and I also take offense to the way liberal as a general term is denigrated in this article.@vkYeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 3:01 utc | 91
Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.
True, it was about 10 years ago. Economic reality, of course, is such that Germany already beat the record by consecutive 20 months of real economy shrinkage. In general, Germany's energy policy is suicidal and Russia is increasingly independent from imports.
A lot to be done in the future yet, of course, but as the whole comedy with high-power turbines and Siemens demonstrated, Russia can do it on her own, plus General Electric is always there, sanctions or no sanctions. It is a complicated matter, but it is Germany which increasingly becomes irrelevant for Russia as an old image of technologically-advanced Germans getting their hands on Russia's resources and ruling the world--this image is utterly obsolete, completely false and doesn't correspond to the reality "on the ground".
It is really a simple thing which many Westerners cannot wrap their brains around, that the country which has a space program which operates ISS and second fully operational global satellite navigation constellation, or which produces hypersonic weapons and whose shipbuilding dwarfs that of Germany will have relatively little troubles in developing other crucial industries and removing Western interests from those. Simple as that.@90 Very true. Every time I read someone proclaiming that the Russian economy is no bigger than Italy's, or Spain's, or ..... (fill in the blanks) I simply think to myself: "This word, I do not think it means what you think it means".Don Bacon , Oct 18 2020 3:13 utc | 92
Because it should be obvious to everyone that Italy can not produce all the things that Russia produces.
Equally, Spain can not produce all the things that Russia produces.
So if someone has measured "economy" in such a way that the numbers for Russia are the same as the number for Italy - or Spain - is simply admitting that their economic models are flawed.Map of the World's Manufacturing Output 2018BiloxiMarxKelly , Oct 18 2020 3:20 utc | 93
- China $4T
- US $2.3
- Germany $806B
- Italy $314B
- France $270B
- UK $253B
- Russia $240B . . .
herePLEASE SHARE, THANK YOU MOAKadath , Oct 18 2020 3:28 utc | 94
https://youtu.be/kr04gHbP5MQThe US and EU attempts to break Russia's independent foreign policy are just stepping stones to the eventual goal of a breakup Russia itself, never forget Albright's comments in the 90s about how Siberia shouldn't belong to Russia alone.Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 4:09 utc | 95
Ultimately, though the US and EU nation states are nothing more than tools of the globalist elite whose dream of a fully economically integrated world where the power of labour is completely crushed by the power of capital to move instantly across the planet is already falling apart. The economic elite have already pillaged all of the minor nations in the world and the two grand prizes, Russia and China are too powerful to attack directly now. unable to control their unbridled greed they've begone the process of auto-self cannibalism, destroying their own states (or killing their hosts as Michael Huddson would say) in order to completely centralize all capital within the 0.1%.
This will make them very rich, however hundreds of millions of Americans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese and Europeans will be impoverished in order to do this. When this is eventually realized by the majority of the people in these states, the economic elite will be lucky if they "just" lose everything but their lives in mass nationalization campaigns. I see very little evidence that the Russian or Chinese states would be willing to offer safe harbour for the criminal oligarchs of the West, like London has offered to criminal Oligarchs fleeing justice in Russia@92 Don Bacon Would be very interesting to know how they define "manufacturing".Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 4:11 utc | 96
I suspect very much that it includes many things that aren't actually, you know, "manufactured".@Don Bacon.Grieved , Oct 18 2020 4:16 utc | 97
Before posting here monetarist propaganda BS form Western "economic" sources learn to distinguish monetary expression of product and actual product in terms of quantity and quality.
Just to demonstrate to you: for $100,000 in a desirable place in the US you will be able to buy a roach-infested shack in a community known for meth-labs and high crime, for exactly the same money in Russia you will buy a superb brand-new house in a desirable location.
To demonstrate even more, for a price of a single Columbia-class SSBN ($8 billion+) which does not exist other than on paper yet, Russia financed and produced her 8-hulls state of the strategic missile submarines.
UK economy is dwarfed by Russia even in accordance by IMF and World Bank, in fact, it is, once one excludes still relevant RR and few other manufacturers, is down right third world economy. I am not going to post here all data from IMF, but even this can explain why you posted a BS. Anyone "counting" real economic sector in USD and Nominal GDP has to have head examined and is probably dumbed down through "economics" programs in Western madrasas, aka universities.
In related news, learn what Composite Index of National Capability (CINC) is and check energy consumption and production of Germany and Russia, just for shits and giggles.
But, of course, feel free to remain reliant on economic BS produced by Western "economists".@92 Don Bacon, @95 Yeah, RightGrieved , Oct 18 2020 4:35 utc | 98
Yes, and also it should be said that obviously these metrics aren't the correct ones to judge the power of a country among its peers.
Perhaps a better metric is for any nation to ask: Of all these countries, which one do we NOT want to punch us in the face?
This, after all, is how geopolitical stature is measured.
It's not what you produce, it's how you deploy it that matters.@97 moreJackrabbit , Oct 18 2020 4:41 utc | 99
And of course, Martyanov @96 is absolutely correct - the relative values of currencies are proved to be nothing more than the entries of bookkeepers and bankers, all "sound and fury, signifying nothing." What matters is what the home unit of currency will buy at home.
A better question is as Andrei suggests, what does it cost for Russia to produce something that works, as opposed to what it costs the US to produce something that doesn't work because of theft and cost inflation in the delivery chain?
The ultimate - MAD - question that the US should ask itself is this: How much does it cost Russia to destroy the US, compared with the cost involved for the US to destroy Russia?
The cost of living is higher in the US. The cost of doing anything is higher. But none of that means the quality of the result is greater - I certainly don't hear anyone lately saying the living is good, compared to what people pay for it.b quotes Gilbert Doctorow:Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers, the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child's play.We may yet see a Cuban missile crisis scenario but it looks more likely to be caused by arms sales to Taiwan than conflict in the Caucasus.
I also think its naive to see these as "fires burning at Russia's borders" instead of as deliberately set bear traps . Azerbaijan is in a strategic location between Russia and Iran and the conflict with Armenia comes just before Russia is about to sell advanced weapons to Iran.
Oct 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
WilliamRD • 12 hours agoekaneti WilliamRD • 2 hours ago • edited
Jacques Chirac President of France told Jr Bush if the United States finds WMDs in Iraq you put them there. The CIA and MI6 knew Iraq had no WMDs because Tariq Aziz Saddam's long time number 2 was a CIA asset. Back in the 1980s Aziz was a regular on the Washington cocktail party circuit and a frequent guest on CNNs Crossfire with Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak vs Tom Braden and Michael Kinsley. Finally Dick Armey Republican and House Majority leader was going to vote against authorizing the war in the fall of 2002. Cheney goes up to Capitol Hill pulls Armey into the Vice Presidents office in the Capitol and tells him that Iraq is close to having suitcase nukes and has very close ties to Osama bin Laden. Both lies of course.
On one occasion when Jr Bush was talking to Chirac he told him that the war on terror is Biblical prophecy. Needless to say Chirac was stunned. Yes the Republican establishment lied the country into one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in our history. Almost as bad as Woodrow Wilson taking us into World war 1 which led to the rise Bolshevik revolution and Nazi GermanyWilliamRD ekaneti • an hour ago
Vietnam was a bigger lie and worse than Iraq
Vietnam was bad for sure and had a much larger death count, but the region or the domino theory never materialized. The Middle East has been in chaos ever since our invasion and occupation of Iraq
Oct 14, 2020 | www.rt.com
The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy 30 Sep, 2020 16:19 Get short URL FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © Getty Images / Alex Wong 182 1 Follow RT on
Tom Fowdy is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.
His Holiness declining to meet the US secretary of state when he visited the Vatican on his European tour further proves that his misguided America-first chauvinism is alienating more nations than it's winning as friends.
Pompeo, everyone's favourite Cold Warrior and American chauvinist, is on a European tour . Visiting Greece, Italy, Croatia, and notably, the Vatican, the secretary of state is on a roll to win support for American security and energy interests across the region. But he wasn't welcomed by all. Attending the Holy See today, the US' 'top diplomat' found himself snubbed by the Pope as he rolled into town peddling his vitriolic anti-China agenda, and demanding the Church take on Beijing and refuse to renew a deal that gives it a say in the appointment of bishops within that country. Pope Francis wasn't too impressed and refused to meet him accordingly.
The snub is significant, because it reflects more broadly how Pompeo's highly aggressive and evangelical foreign policy agenda is being received around the world. In short, it's a shambles. Rather than respectfully and constructively engage with the interests of other countries, on his watch, the State Department does nothing but pressure other nations. And it does this while parroting the clichéd talking points of American exceptionalism, hysterical anti-Communism, and a refusal to take into account the interests and practicalities faced by its partners. The Vatican has its differences with Beijing, but how would embarking on a collision course help it or the cause of Catholics in China? It wouldn't.ALSO ON RT.COM US' failure to recognize Cuba's medical efforts during Covid is due to an innate fear of linking socialism with anything positive
Pompeo is repeatedly described by major US newspapers, the Washington Post among them, as " the worst secretary of state in American history," and it's no surprise why. Diplomacy requires the skills of understanding, prudence, compromise, calibration, and negotiation. The current man in charge of America's relations with the rest of the world has none of those in his armoury – only a one-sided diatribe about how every nation Washington holds a grudge against is evil and a threat to the world, and the US' own political system is far superior (as demonstrated by last night's presidential debate, perhaps ?). Pompeo repeatedly positions himself as speaking on behalf of other nations' people against their governments, while pushing a policy that amounts to little more than bullying.
A look at Pompeo and the State Department's Twitter feed shows it to be a unilateral, repetitive loop of the following topics: 'The Chinese Communist Party is evil and a threat to the world', 'Iran is an evil terrorist state', American values are the best', 'We stand with the people of X', and so on, ad nauseam. To describe it as hubris would be generous, and, of course, it does nothing to support the equally inadequate foreign policy of the United States in practice. This is further distorted by the unilateralist and anti-global governance politics of Donald Trump, which place emphasis only on the projection of power to force other countries into capitulating to American demands.
Against such a backdrop, it's no surprise that a toxic mixture of foreign policymaking has led to other countries not being willing to take notice of Washington. It's winning neither hearts nor minds, and it's this that has set the stage for not only the Vatican snub, but the largely fruitless outcomes of his European adventures. Pompeo's visit to Greece produced no meaningful agreements or outcomes of note , and he failed to get Athens to publicly commit to any anti-China measures or even statements. A similar non-result was achieved from his visit to the Czech Republic a month or so ago – the Czech prime minister even came out and played down Pompeo's comments , after he engaged in a spree of anti-Beijing vitriol.
So, what's at stake for the Vatican? Undoubtedly, religion is a sensitive topic in mainland China. The Chinese state sees unfettered religion as a threat to social stability, or as a potential vehicle for imperialism against the country, and thus has aimed to strongly regulate it under terms and conditions set by the state.ALSO ON RT.COM Oxford University's 'scholarly' RT hit piece has no room for the mundane reality of how the world's news organisations work
This has caused tensions with the Roman Catholic Church, which maintains a strict ecclesiastical hierarchy, answering to the Vatican and not national governments. With China being the world's most populous country, having among its vast population nine million Catholics, this means the Church has had to negotiate and compromise with the Beijing government to maintain its influence and control, and to secure the rights of its members to worship. This has resulted in a 'deal' whereby the Vatican can have a say in the appointment of its bishops in China, rather than the Church being completely subordinate to the government.
But Pompeo doesn't care about these sensitivities – he wants one thing: Cold War. He wants unbridled, unrestrained, and evangelical condemnation of China and, as noted above, is utilizing his 'diplomatic visits' to push that demand. However, building a foreign policy on preaching America First unilateralism, chauvinism, and zero compromise not surprisingly has its limitations. As a result, Pompeo is finding himself isolated and ignored in more than a few areas. Thus it was that, rather than completely squandering the Vatican's interests in diplomacy with China, Pope Francis simply refused to meet him. For someone as fanatically religious and pious as Pompeo, that's a pretty damning indictment of the incompetence within the US State Department right now.
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Oct 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org" Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies | Main | The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold " October 09, 2020 Europe And The New Sanctions On Iran
The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Iran which will make ANY trade with the country very difficult:[T]he Trump administration has decided to impose yet further sanctions on the country , this time targeting the entirety of the Iranian financial sector. These new measures carry biting secondary sanctions effects that cut off third parties' access to the U.S. financial sector if they engage with Iran's financial sector. Since the idea was first floated publicly , many have argued that sanctioning Iran's financial sector would eviscerate what humanitarian trade has survived the heavy hand of existing U.S. sanctions.
Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran:This idea appears to have first been introduced into public discourse in an Aug. 25, 2020, Wall Street Journal article by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg urging the Trump administration to "[b]uild an Iranian [s]anctions [w]all" to prevent any future Biden administration from returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear accord between Iran and the world's major powers on which President Donald Trump reneged in May 2018.
The new sanctions will stop all trade between the 'western' countries and Iran.
The Foreign Minister of Iran responded with defiance:Javad Zarif @JZarif - 17:30 UTC · Oct 8, 2020
Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine.
Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.
But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers -- who block our money -- WILL face justice.
In response Iran will continue its turn to the east. Russia, China and probably India will keep payment channels with Iran open or will make barter deals.
The Europeans, who so far have not dared to counter U.S. sanctions on Iran, are likely to be again shown as the feckless U.S. ass kissers they have always been. They will thereby lose out in a market with 85 million people that has the resources to pay for their high value products. If they stop trade of humanitarian goods with Iran they will also show that their much vaunted 'values' mean nothing.
The European Union claims that it wants to be an independent actor on the world stage. If that is to be taken seriously this would be the moment to demonstrate it.
Posted by b on October 9, 2020 at 16:37 UTC | Permalink
Thomas Minnehan , Oct 9 2020 17:11 utc | 3Unconscionable but what is new with pompass and his ghouls; treasury dept responsible for cranking up the sanctions program was formerly headed by a dual citizen woman who resigned suddenly after being exposed as an Israeli citizen-not hard to understand that sentiment in that dept has not changed.karlof1 , Oct 9 2020 17:14 utc | 4
The other aspect here is the FDD as key supporter of these severe sanctions; very virulent anti-Iranian vipers nest of ziocons with money bags from zionist oligarch funders.Ho-hum. As I wrote earlier, just the daily breaking of laws meaning business as usual. As noted, Russia has really upped the diplomatic heat on EU and France/Germany in particular, and that heat will be further merited if the response is as b predicts from their past, deplorable, behavior.james , Oct 9 2020 18:33 utc | 13
Much talk/writing recently about our current crisis being similar in many ways to those that led to WW1, but with the Outlaw US Empire taking Britain's role. I expect Iran's Iraqi proxies to escalate their attacks aimed at driving out the occupiers. IMO, we ought to contemplate the message within this Strategic Culture editorial when it comes to the hegemonic relationship between the Outlaw US Empire and the EU/NATO and the aims of both. The EU decided not to continue fighting against the completion of Nord Stream, but that IMO will be its last friendly act until it severs its relations with the Outlaw US Empire. With the Wall moved to Russia's Western borders, the Cold War will resume. That will also affect Iran.thanks b... it is interesting what a pivotal role israel plays in all of this... and why would there be concern that biden would be any different then trump in revoking the jcpoa? to my way of thinking, it is just pouring more cement and sealing the fate of the usa either way, as an empire in real decline and resorting to more of the same financial sanctions as a possible precursor to war.. frankly i can't see a war with iran, as the usa would have to contend with russia and china at this point... russia and china must surely know the game plan is exactly the same for them here as well.. as for europe, canada, australia and the other poodles - they are all hopeless on this front as i see it... lets all bow down to the great zionist plan, lol...Daniel , Oct 9 2020 18:48 utc | 14Yeah but at least Trump didn't start any new wars. /saugusto , Oct 9 2020 18:52 utc | 15
The Eurotools in Brussels are absolutely disgusting. A weaker bunch of feckless, milquetoast satraps is difficult to imagine. The EU perfectly embodies the 21st century liberal ethic: spout virtue signaling nonsense about peace, freedom, human rights and the "rules based international order" while licking the boots of Uncle Scam and the Ziofascists and going along with their war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Russia and China need to step up their game and boldly circumvent the collective punishment sanctions that are choking the life out of Iran, Syria and Venezuela. They still let the rogue states of the west get away with far too much.The Teheran men will not surrender to the yankee herds and hordes. And less so the telavivian.Paco , Oct 9 2020 18:54 utc | 17
It s easy to see that in the medium run this cruelly extended crime plays in chinese, russian and shia hands.
And they must start immediately a backlash handing hundreds of special forces and weapons opver to the Houthi hands.the Cold War will resumeStonebird , Oct 9 2020 19:20 utc | 20
The Cold War never ended.Of course there is a war on, and it has been gathering force for some time.AtaBrit , Oct 9 2020 19:28 utc | 21
Iran is but one more skirmish or battle. However, Xi and Putin are using what I call the "Papou yes". You must always say "yes" as this way you avoid direct conflict, but then you go and do exactly what you were going to do in the first place . The person who does the demanding - having had his/her demands "met" has nothing further to add and will go away. (I have seen this effective technique in action).
At the moment it appears that the aim of the subversive (military/CIA/NGO) wings of the Empire are to start as many conflicts as possible. To isolate and overextend Russia, leading to it's collapse. (As they claim to have done before.)
The "Alternative axis" is just carrying on with it's own plan to overextend and eventually let the US dissolve into its own morasss. The opposition are trying to follow their own plan without giving an opening for the US/NATO to use its numerical military advantage, by not taking the bait.
The ultimate battle is for financial control of the worlds currency, or in the case of the US, to halt the loss of it's financial power. To avoid that The next step could be the introduction of a Fed. owned controlled and issued "digi-dollar", When all outstanding "dollar assets" are re-denominated into virtual misty-money which is created exclusively by the Fed. Banks become unnecessary as the Fed becomes the only "lender" available, Congress redundant, debts no longer matter and so on. Who cares about the reserves held by China and overseas "investors" if their use or even existence can be dictated by the Fed?
They have already published a "trial balloon" about introducing a digi-dollar.
Iran? the US is throwing ALL its cards into what looks like it's final battle to preserve the dollars supremacy. Why cut ALL the Iranian financial system out of their sphere of influence? Because it (thinks) it can and by doing so cower the wavering into obeying.Thanks 'b', very well timed. I was actually heading to the open thread with this article until I saw your piece. This Asia Times article focuses on three key points:Richard Steven Hack , Oct 9 2020 20:37 utc | 31
- Iran has replaced the dollar with the Yuan as its main foreign currency
"This may become the east wind for the renminbi (yuan) and provide a new oil currency option for traders in oil-producing countries, including Iran," an editorial on qq.com said. "
- Several large banks in Iran are developing a gold encrypted digital currency called PayMon and had issued more than 1,000 crypto-currency mining licenses, which could promote the development of crude oil. Domestic traders use cryptocurrency to import goods and bypass American banks.
- The Iranian-Swiss Joint Chamber of Commerce
"Switzerland had received a special exemption from US supervisory authorities to allow the SHTA operations."
It remains to be seen how effective the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Agreement actually is. Some say it is nothing but a US propaganda stunt. Hopefully, that is not the case.Sure. Tell me again how Trump "doesn't want to start a new war." Morons.William Gruff , Oct 9 2020 20:50 utc | 32What does Iran need that they cannot get from China and Russia? The USA has cheap corn, and the EU has... what, cheese? Other than that I don't see why Iran needs to trade with the empire and its more servile vassals anyway.Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Oct 9 2020 20:55 utc | 33Strange, that ther is a jewish or Israeki ´ animosity agains Iran (or agains tthe Medtans -- as thy are all named in all Greek records(H, that theer is a jewish animosity against, that ther is a jewish anikisit agains Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reported to have liberatet the Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! ellenistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babylon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 2017Paco , Oct 9 2020 21:05 utc | 34Quite impressed with all the theories about Europe and its behavior. The answer is very simple, Europe is occupied by a foreign power, it is a colony. And all the qualifiers are quaint.davenitup , Oct 9 2020 21:09 utc | 35It's the world's loss that great cultures like the Persians have been suppressed for so long. The madness needs to end.Passer by , Oct 9 2020 21:11 utc | 36Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9 2020 20:06 utc | 23m , Oct 9 2020 21:24 utc | 37
I disagree. What did the EU did on Iran, compared to Russia and China? It stopped most trade with Iran, including the purchase of iranian oil, and it stopped all investment projects. INSTEX is a joke. Meanwhile Germany recently banned Hezbollah.
Yes, they did vote for the JCPOA in the UN. I look at actions rather than words though, and EU has imposed de facto sanctions on Iran.
Moreover, German FM Maas told Israel recently that efforts are underway to keep the Iran arms embargo. (He is also a big "Russia fan" - sarc off)
In other words, we "support" the JCPOA, but in practice with arms and trade embargoes on Iran continuing.
Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 9 2020 20:15 utc | 24
No, its not so simple, unless you claim that european russophobia started with the US and did not exist before it. Guy Mettan has a good book on it. It is a thousand years old issue, involving Catholicism, France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, and others.
Yes, the US wants to divide the EU and Russia. But the EU itself is rotten from within.
Politics are more important than the economy, German Chancellor Merkel said in relation to Russia.
"Drang nach Osten" - "Drive to the East".
Germany dreams of capturing Eastern Europe and using is as some sort of colonised labor pool similar to what Latin America is for the US.
And this is why the EU, without any prodding, eagerly took the lead in the attempt of colour revolution in Belarus, where it played far bigger role than the US.I have to disagree with your assessment._K_C_ , Oct 9 2020 21:31 utc | 38
Signing and adhearing to the JCPOA turned Europe and Iran from opponents into partners. This is a great diplomatic achievement. However, no part of the JCPOA made the two allies or obliged the European side to wage an economic war with the USA on behalf of Iran. On the contrary, the Iranians would be the first to say they are no friends of Europa. They have been complaining about "Western meddling" in their region for years. (Note that they don`t differentiate but always speak collectively of "the West").
So that`s their chance to show the world how much of a sovereign nation they are and that they can handle their problems without the "meddling" of the "despicable" Europeans. There is no obligation - neither legal nor moral - for Europe to take the side of Iran in the US-Iran conflict.
And actually it is both sides - both Iran and the USA - who are unhappy with the current European neutrality.Thanks to MoA for being one of the only honest brokers of news on Iran in the English language. As an American citizen living abroad (in EU) I have a more jaded and at the same time worried feeling about this.Perimetr , Oct 9 2020 21:32 utc | 39
Along with all the other stuff, including the current threat to close the U.S. embassy in the Iraqi "Green Zone" and the accompanying military maneuvers, which would spark war in the region, I see this hardening and expansion of sanctions as yet the next clue that the U.S. and Donald Trump's regime are looking toward re-election and a hot war with/on Iran. Rattling the cage ever more and backing Iran into the corner with brutal, all-encompassing sanctions is already an act of war, usually the first prior to bombs falling. I can also see this green lighting Israeli or joint American-Israeli strikes on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons development sites and other military and petro-state assets.
I hope I'm wrong but we've all seen this before and it never ends well. If the EU shows a spine, or more likely Russia and/or China step in directly, perhaps the long desired neocon/neolib/Zionist hot war against Iran can be avoided.I think it is very important for the US to kill another 500,000 children via sanctions, in order to demonstrate the importance of freedom and democracy and observing international law.AriusArmenian , Oct 9 2020 21:48 utc | 40While reading this post I was thinking what MoA wrote in the last two paragraphs. And also that Iran will just continue to turn to China, Russia, and others in the East.claudio , Oct 9 2020 22:17 utc | 41
It's disgusting to watch the people of the US/UK/EU go along with this. Western elites are fat, lazy, vicious, and cruel.@17 passer bywj2 , Oct 9 2020 23:28 utc | 45
(and others)"Europeans can not be helped. Ironically, it is their own rejection of their WW2 past that causes them to reject the multipolar world and sovereignty as "primitive things from the past"
plus, as you point out elsewhere, there are longer histories at play: the Crusades against the Slavs, the Moors and the Turks (and the Arabs, in fact), the invention of "western civilization" in the 19th century (Arians vs Semites, Europe vs Asia, ecc) ...
plus, there is the persisting aspiration for world domination, partly frustrated by WW1 and the upheavals of the XXth century, which transformed the UK and the whole of Europe (with Japan, Australia, etc) in a junior partner of the new US Empire
(that's the other lesson learned from WW2: no single european power could dominate the continent and the world, but they could dominate as junior partners under the new young leader of the wolf pack, the US)
plus, there are is a class war that can be better fought, by national oligarchies, within globalist rethoric and rules
plus, there are the US deep state instruments of domination over european national states
but Europeans (and Usaians) do understand the language of force, and they have - at the moment - encountered a wall in their attempts at expansion, in Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, ecc; an alternative multipolar alliance is taking shape
so they might attempt to win a nuclear war by 20 million deaths to 2 (or 200 to 20, who cares), but they might also decide to tune down their ambitions and return to reality; maybe@m (#35)Boss Tweet , Oct 9 2020 23:54 utc | 48
EU promised to uphold JCPOA. They can't because of the US and they are doing next to nothing to change that. EU isn't neutral. They are stooges. Iran is right to complain about it, the US isn't.Trump is a man of peace, he hasn't started any new wars - whatever that means, lol.kooshy , Oct 10 2020 0:00 utc | 49
As far as I know economic blocade is tantamount to war. If he wins reelection expect renewed kinetic attacks on venezuela and Iran. He's already lined up his zionist coalition with arabic satraps to launch his Iran quagmire. Trump is a deal maker, he understands the economy and will bring back manufacturing jobs to Murikkka, lol. I'm sure Boeing execs in deep trouble would love to sell plane to the Iranians but Mr. MIGA just made that impossible. Nothing to worry about, there's always the next socialist bailout for Boeing funded by taxpayers - suckers as Trump would call them. So much for winning, can't fix deplorable and stupid...
Btw b, Trump's opposition to the Iran deal has nothing to do with money or the zionist lobby. Stable genius opposed JCPOA in 2015 even before announcing his run for the presidency. It's not about the mula but all about the mollah's, lol: The Donald in his own words at a tea party event in 2015
Ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979 multiple US regimes in DC have been totally successful in making majority Iranian people everywhere in the world, understand that the US is their chronic strategic enemy for decades to come. At same time, these US regimes have equally been as successful in making American people believe Iran is their enemy.Hermius , Oct 10 2020 0:23 utc | 51
The difference between this two side's belief is, that, Iranian people by experiencing US regime' conducts have come to their belief, but the American people' belief was made by their own regime' propaganda machinery. For this reason, just like the people to people relation between the US and Russian people, Before and after the fall of USSR the relation between US and Iran in next few generations will not come to or even develop to anything substantial or meaningful. One can see this same trajectory in US Chinese relations, or US Cuban. Noticeably all these countries relation with US become terminally irreparable after their revolutions, regardless of the maturity or termination of the revolution. As much as US loves color revolutions, US hates real revolutions. The animosity no longer is just strategic it has become people to people, and the reason and blame goes to Americans since they never were ready to accept the revolutions that made nations self-servient to their interests. The bottom line truth is the US / and her poodles in europe know, ever since the revolution Iran no longer will be subservient to US interests.
This is leverage to bargain away the oil pipeline to germany. That is what is behind it. You scratch my back, the US is saying to the EU, in particular, Germany....karlof1 , Oct 10 2020 0:25 utc | 52It's an Economy based on Plunder! , so that's why sanctions here, there and everywhere!! But the real problem is we aren't participating in the Plunder!! Sometimes you gotta use extreme sarcasm to explain the truth of a situation, and that's what Max and Stacey do in their show at the link. 13 minutes of honest reporting about the fraudulent world in which we live. As for Jerome Powell, current Fed Chair, he's complicit in the ongoing criminal activity just as much as the high ranking politicos. Bastiat laid it out 180 years ago, but we're living what he described now. And that's all part of what I wrote @40 above. The moral breakdown occurred long ago but took time to perfect.joey_n , Oct 10 2020 0:34 utc | 54Patrick Armstrong did a Sitrep article last monthXingu , Oct 10 2020 0:46 utc | 55
where he cited an article on Sputnik titled "Macron: Europe 'Will Not Compromise' With Washington on Iran Sanctions"
Make of it what you will.I think it is crazy that EU allows US to manage SWIFT to the point they invent new entities to sidestep SWIFT and US sanctions (which are weak and ineffective, but that is the trajectory of their weak attempts at independence). Force SWIFT to equally service all legal transactions according to EU law, and let US cut itself off from all international financial transfers if it doesn't like using EU's SWIFT. US corps won't allow that to happen, it's just that EU refuses to call US bluff. Of course they are now praying for Biden presidency, but if they can't assert themselves it is all ultimately the same thing.dh , Oct 10 2020 1:17 utc | 58These 'foreign policy experts' think the trade war with China has been a mistake. But they think Trump is too soft on Russia and he hasn't been tough enough on NK, Iran and Venezuela.Paul , Oct 10 2020 1:34 utc | 59
https://www.yahoo.com/news/foreign-policy-experts-rebuke-trump-administration-for-policies-that-emboldened-rivals-alienated-allies-135205214.htmlIt has become a standard trick for outgoing US administrations to saddle the incoming administration with set in stone policies and judicial appointments.
"Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran."
Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration.
The danger for the world is the Trump administration may go even further than additional sanctions. So I refer to the previous post, US policy remains the same whatever bunch are the frontmen.
Theodore Herzl even tried to drag Kaiser Wilhelm11 into the Zionist spider web: https://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2008/07/theodor-herzl-first-photoshopper.html
When that attempt failed they worked on convincing the Sultan of Turkey to give them someone else's homeland. The Zionist Zealot Mr Kalvariski became the administrator of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association with the aim of establishing a jewish suprematist ghetto. Following that flop the Zionists turned to the hapless British and were rewarded by Balfour with his notorious British government double cross of the Arabs. Now it's the turn of the US and assorted captive nations to uphold and support tyranny and Talmudic violence.
Crush Limbraw , Oct 10 2020 1:59 utc | 60I am SLOWLY coming to the conclusion that DaTrumpster understands DaDeepState better than any of us armchair pundits. His patient - and yes, perhaps faulty strategy - he's still standing after ALL DaCrap that's been thrown at him.Don Bacon , Oct 10 2020 2:27 utc | 61
All the 'EXPURTS' - including MoA - can only see part of DaPicture at best.
I've been as hard on DaTrumpster as anyone on DaConservative side - but I am SLOWLY coming to understand WTF just might be going on.
Point - don't be too sure of your immediate inclinations - we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!SWIFT is only a messaging system – SWIFT does not hold any funds or securities, nor does it manage client accounts. Behind most international money and security transfers is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system. SWIFT is a vast messaging network used by banks and other financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 10 2020 2:29 utc | 62Paul wrote: "Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration." Yes at least as much or more zionist. Nothing about Harris or Biden (or the DNC) says they won't be.Paul , Oct 10 2020 3:29 utc | 63
And hasn't it always been that way from one president to the the next? Was there ever one that was less zionist than the predecessor? (Maybe they're all so close this is an impossible question to answer, that too could be the case).
The sitting executive branch gives the favors right now and anyone incoming gives the favors after they win and thus each election becomes a double windfall for the lobby group?
A zionist double dip . Maybe most US voters could grasp it like that.
I can't back this up (much like my previous comment in this thread) but it's my impression. It would probably take a lot of work to make sure it's right; one would have to scrutinize so much over so many decades.@Sunny Runny Burger 60ARI , Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 64
I nominate president Eisenhower as slightly less zionist on one occasion: during the Anglo,French, Zionist Suez invasion of 1956 Eisenhower remarked after numerous UN resolutions condemning the bandit state's aggression ' Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal?'
This could be a useful quote for todays world.
Later, in 1964, Eisenhower approved his hand picked emissary's US $150 million so called Johnston Plan to steal the waters of the Jordan River and further marginalize the Palestine Arabs and surrounding Arab states.Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon. Without the JCPOA and inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities it will be impossible to prove or deny the allegations. Thus giving either the US or Israel justification it wants to conduct military strikes against Iran. The only things stopping this from happening is if the EU stays in the JCPOA..._K_C_ , Oct 10 2020 3:53 utc | 65Fully agree with ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62El Cid , Oct 10 2020 4:10 utc | 66
Exactly the aim. I said so in an earlier post. This is all part of the program to create a false justification to conduct military strikes inside Iran. At this point, I'm really surprised that the U.S. even tries to construct these narratives after Obama's Syria and Libya operations didn't even really bother, save for a few probably fake "chemical weapons" attack they alleged Assad committed. Libya I don't remember hearing anything. The embassy maybe? After the Soleimani strike and the shootdown of the U.S. drone, not to mention the alleged Iranian attacks on ARAMCO's oil facilities, I'm really quite surprised something more serious (not to minimize the awful acts of war which the sanctions definitely are) hasn't already happened. It will soon, especially if Trump gets re-elected. Wonder what all of his "no new wars" supporters will say then?
Everybody reading knows what SWIFT is. That's a nice attempt to circumscribe the overall sanctions regime and paint it as "no big deal."
Crush Limpbro - Checked out your site. You've got a long way to go before you can criticize MoA. Hope that comment draws a few clicks to keep you going, but I would caution other barflies to use a proxy; could be a honey trap to collect IP addresses.This United States imposed and Zionist inspired siege on Iran and its people will only further strengthen the political and economic bonds with Russia and China. Meanwhile, the US collapses from its internal social limitations and its abandonment of public healthcare responses to the Corvid 19 pandemic. Europe it close behind the US in this respect.ARIES , Oct 10 2020 4:17 utc | 67IRGC Commander-In-Chief: U.S. Is Incapable Of Waging War Against Iran, Its Weapons Are Outdated:Paul , Oct 10 2020 4:20 utc | 68
https://toranja-mecanica.blogspot.com/2020/10/irgc-commander-in-chief-us-is-incapable.htmlARI @62kiwiklown , Oct 10 2020 4:42 utc | 69
What exactly is this 'Justification'.. . 'to conduct military strikes against Iran' that you refer to hasbara boy? Failure to obey foreign imposed zionist diktats?
Would this 'justification' apply to the bandit state if it refused to abide by the NNPT for example?
No double standards pass the test here.Yet another proof that "Western values" and their "rules based international order" mean exactly nothing.michaelj72 , Oct 10 2020 4:50 utc | 71
In the past, the West at least kept up some pretense that it was wrong to target unarmed civilians (still, they flattened Driesden; Hiroshima; North Korea, Vietnam, Laos). Today, they do not care to be seen openly, cruelly, brutally, sadistically killing civvies. These American bastards say, "... it is not killing if the victims drop dead later, like, not right now. " Or, "... it became necessary to destroy Iran in order to save Iran."
Iran is perfectly correct to call this a crime against humanity for the West to starve a population of food and medicine. This will boomerang just as the opium-pushing in China will boomerang on the West.
Meanwhile, just as those drug-pushing English bastards earned themselves lordships and knighthoods; just as presidential bastards retire to their Martha Vineyard mansions; so the current crop of bastards in American leadership will retire to yet more mansions, leaving the next couple generations to meet Persian wrath. The American way is to "win" until they are tired of winning, no?
But in truth, in objective reality, only those who have lost their human-ness are capable of crimes against humanity.The US is cruising for a bruising in the middle east fucking with Iran like this. Not that the US hasn't deserved a good knockout punch the past 19 years since invading and destroying Afghanistan and Iraq, etc, etc. Regardless of their rhetoric, how the European rogues and rascals (France, Germany and the UK) can sleep at night is beyond me.snake , Oct 10 2020 7:00 utc | 75Yes Psychochistorian @ 1, At the nation state level, EU support for blockade terror and sanction torture (BT&ST), against reluctant nation states and non compliant individuals within those nation states, logically suggests EU nation states are not independent sovereign countries <=EU nation states exist in name only? Maybe its just like in the USA, these private monopoly powered Oligarcks (PMPO), own everything (privately owned copyrights, patents, and property) made possible by rules nation states turn into law. The citizens of those privately owned EU nation states are victims <=in condition=exploitable. Maybe PMPOs use nation states <=as profit support weapons, to be directed against <=any and all <=competition, whereever and however <=competition appears.Norwegian , Oct 10 2020 7:11 utc | 76
The hidden suspects <=capital market linked crowds through out the world..
Media is 92% owned by six private individuals, of the seven typical nation state layers of authority and power: 5 are private and two are public. Additionally, few in the international organizations have allegiance to historic cultures of the nation state governed masses. It is as if, the named nation states are <=threatened by knee breaking thugs, but maybe its not threat, its actual PMPO ownership.
If one accepts PMPO <=to be in control of all of USA and all of allied nation state, one can explain <=current BT&ST events. But private Oligarch scenarios <=raise obvious questions, why have not the PMPO challenged East eliminated <=Israel, MSM propaganda repeatedly blames or points to Israel <=to excuse the USA leaders for their BT&ST policies. Seems the PMPO are <=using the nation states, they own <=to eliminate non complying competition.
What is holding the East back? Russia and China each have sufficient oil, gas and technology to keep things functional, so why has not the competition in the East taken Israel out, if Israel is directing the USA to apply BT&ST against its competitors? Why is the white House so sure, its BT&ST policies will not end up destroying Israel? Maybe because Israel has no real interest <=in the BT&ST policy <=Israel is deceptions:fall guy? The world needs to pin the tail on the party driving USA application of BT&ST because no visible net gain to Governed Americans seems possible from BT&ST policies?
I think Passer @ 17 has hit the nail on its head. "The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself. "@ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62robin , Oct 10 2020 8:12 utc | 77Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon.
So you put that forward as a justification for attacking Iran militarily, but that means according to your logic you also have justification for attacking Israel or the US militarily. The rules are the same for all, right?Economic warfare is certainly effective. However, time is running out for these weapons as America's lock on the world economy grows weaker. With a rapidly approaching expiry date, the word out may be to use em or lose em.jscott , Oct 10 2020 9:26 utc | 79
In a zero-sum great game, it makes sense to deploy such weapons now insofar as an opponent's loss is always a gain for oneself.uncle tungsten , Oct 10 2020 9:45 utc | 81Donald Trump talked up his Iran policy in a profanity-laden tirade on Friday, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that Tehran knows the consequences of undermining the United States.
"Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice: if you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before."
Uncle Samuel is setting up a provocation for war.psychohistorian #1
What a shit show we are seeing. What is the next phase of this civilization war that is not a war because there are not enough dead bodies for some I guess?...but it sure looks like war to me.
Well for the first time in history Iran's symbolic "Red Flag" is still flying above the popular Jamkaran Mosque Holy dome. Perhaps the USA and its running dogs body count has risen in Iraq and Afghanistan? How would we know. These things are disguised from the fearless press in those countries ;)
Perhaps the dead and mangled are many but we do know that the US chief killer in Afghanistan was reduced to ashes immediately following General Shahid Qassem Suleimanis murder by the USA whilst on a diplomatic mission in Iraq.
In respect of b's observation above, the illegal occupier of Palestine is more likely tipping millions into the Harris Presidency as well as the possible Trump Presidency. I doubt either Harris or the biden bait and switch stooge would restore the JCPOA. Besides they would not be invited to sit at the table any time soon IMO. They would likely refuse to any conditions of reversing the sanctions and then carry on about all that 'unreasonable demands by a terrorist state' stuff etc etc.
No, Iran will be getting on with its future in a multilateral world where the United Nations has been reduced to pile of chicken dung by the USA while most other nations go along with global lunacy.Circe , Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87
You know what's telling about the bootlickers who hem and haw about U.S. policy with the T Administration, but never mention Trump as the real source of it even when profuse Zionist shit spills from his mouth on Limbaugh's show proving he's a Ziofascist pig?Linda Amick , Oct 10 2020 13:07 utc | 88
What's telling is that these usual suspects jumped all over ARI @64 for zeroing in on Trump's precise intentions with Iran but they gave a pass to the real HASBARIST in the room, Crush Limbraw @60, exposing himself, putting his HARD-ON FOR TRUMP on full display.
@60 we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!
Speak for yourself- you Zionist MORON!
Ahhhhhh, you can always count on the DUPLICITY of MOA'S weathervane james and friends. Me, I ain't here to win a popularity contest like weathervane; I'm here to kick ass when I witness duplicity in action. My friend here is the truth that I'll defend to the grave.
Noooo, dum-dums Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs and Russian squatters whom he pays homage to from time to time when he visits Ziolandia thanking them for choosing the stolen West Bank over Russia.
Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice. That's Trump blowhard driving the drumbeat.
Just rescue me from my self-destructive self for 4 more years, oh kings of Zion and Wall Street, and I'll give you WAR!!! all in CAPS with three exclamation points. The GREATEST war you've ever seen.When I read the Great Reset article on the World Economic Forum website it seems to me that the western Globalists, in concert align the US and EU. That accounts for the basic vassal arrangements that predominate but allow for some nonalignments on certain issues.Paco , Oct 10 2020 13:24 utc | 89Posted by: vk | Oct 10 2020 0:58 utc | 56Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:25 utc | 90
That is precisely what the Belarusian authorities announced when Tikhanovskaya left Minsk, that she was helped in her way out, but we know how the MSM acts, they stick to their own script, just like a Hollywood movie.
The Belarusians must be watching with great attention what is happening in Kirguizia, riots and complete chaos, and thinking how lucky they were to avoid the color rev that was in the menu for them, which the same methods, discredit the oncoming election, claim fraud after it, use similar symbols like the clenched fist and the heart, new flag, start transliterating family and geographical names to a mythical and spoken by a very small minority language and then nobody knows if to spell Tikhanovskaya, Tsikhanouskaya or like the politically incorrect but street wise Luka called her, Guaidikha. And that is Kirguizia, how about a shooting war in Armenia and Azerbaijan, all those conflicts were unimaginable when the USSR existed, but the empire even on his way down is insatiable.@88 Linda AmickPaco , Oct 10 2020 13:35 utc | 91
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDPIAXG_QcQNU&feature=share&playnext=1Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92
There is over a million jews of Russian origin living in Israel, 20% of the population, with deep roots in Russia, language, culture and relatives. Do not let partisanship for the Dems blind you, a true successful leader is someone that defends his country's interests while at the same time tries to have good relations with everybody else, obviously that balance is not easy to achieve in a world full of conflicting interests, but so far Putin seems to be balancing his act while not loosing sight of the main thing, Russia.Paco, strange name for a Russiabot, oh well...Jackrabbit , Oct 10 2020 13:56 utc | 93
Nice way of putting: Putin belongs to the Zionist Club.
FYI, I'm not blind. I'm one of those special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.Circe @Oct10 12:56 #87Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:03 utc | 94Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs
If Putin is so close to Zionists, then why does Russia block the Zionist regime-change in Syria? Why has Russia denied Israel and USA entreaties to allow them to bomb Iran?
Russia Warns U.S. and Israel That Iran Is Its 'Ally' and Was Right About Drone Shoot Down
!!Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:12 utc | 95
Not as strange as a mythological demigoddess that turned sailors into swain and that now enjoys to plunge into the mud with her creatures. A bot, what an easy label, it has lost any meaning.special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.expat , Oct 10 2020 14:39 utc | 96
Alaska yellow fin sole, not bad, from Bristol Bay, but the Melva -a tunafish species with more oil in its meat- I cooked for lunch, just caught, has a lot more fish oil with its rich contents of vitamin D, add sunny Mediterranean weather and that is my pill for today, trying to keep the bug at bay.Circe, why don't you do what your namesake would have done and whip yourself up some meds to calm down? You're starting to lapse into excessive use of upper case, italics, exclamation points, bolding, profanity, and of course, insults.Circe , Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97
This may help. It looks like the orange man is in fact going down, so you will soon have Joe and Kamal empowered to dismantle the evil Putin-Netanyahu-Trump axis, and put the US back on the path to truth and justice.@93 Jackrabbitptb , Oct 10 2020 14:44 utc | 98
It's called... lip service.
A bot by any other name will smell as fishy. 🤭
Just messing with you!The unilateral and illegal-under-JCPOA sanctions mean it's time for EU to either confront the extraterritorial US policy it has clearly rejected in principle, or (more likely) acknowlege that it remains in practice just a collection of 'client states'. A sad moment for me, but useful for clarity.Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:48 utc | 99Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97juliania , Oct 10 2020 15:51 utc | 100
Hard to understand but you guys are incapable of spelling the name of a once great US city, San Francisco. I heard it has changed a lot, got to see long time ago, before the digital craze.This is a brief but subtle post by b, with quiet but telling headline. Perhaps, just guessing, a new take on the post he was having difficulty with earlier? The question of the EU is an interesting one - not to be considered as virulent as the former Soviet Union, but somehow as tugged at by the components thereof...p> next page "
Sanctions on Iran? We do know what Iran is capable of; surely we have not forgotten? Indeed, by pressing these sanctions at this late date, the Trump administration surely has not forgotten either the effect sanctions had on Russia. They were postive to that country's independent survival, though the immediate effect was demonstrably harsh. So now, sanctions on Iran? One doesn't have to be a world leader to suppose similar cause, similar effect.
Ah, Paco has a wonderful meal of a beneficial fish called the Melva! Bravo, Paco; all is not lost! But you have hooked the sea-serpent as well -- take care! That one - carefully remove the hook and set it free ;)
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" Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies | Main | The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold "
Oct 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: Another Opinion Columnist Pushing War With Iran Who Doesn't Actually Exist - The American Conservative
Tradcon • a month agodragnet20 Tradcon • a month ago
Not very surprising to be honest, some people simply cannot go without regime change to the point where they have to parade people about who weren't even born in Iran and who have little to no support in the country as "dissidents" to try to guilt people into supporting intervention. Of course with that comes slander against those who warn against that, which unfortunately means TAC.Clyde Schechter dragnet20 • a month ago
Exactly--these folks are addicted to regime change like heroin. Ignoring them is one thing Trump absolutely got right during his first term.Blood Alcohol Clyde Schechter • a month ago
Trump ignored them??? Hardly. He hired John Bolton as his national security advisor, and Rudy Giuliani is his personal attorney. Both of those guys are heavily tied to this organization and advocate its line. And while he did stop short of actually invading Iran, he was on the brink of doing so recently, talked out of it only at the last minute. I'll give him credit for not going all the way with them, but he's given them far too wide a berth and much too much influence in his foreign policy if you ask me.dragnet20 Blood Alcohol • a month ago
He did not go all the way with them because he was told by the military and others, who take their jobs and missions to server the American people seriously, that his attacks on Iran - invasion was not "the table" at all - would face a humiliating defeat at the same level of what happened to his efforts to extend the weapons sanctions at the UNSC. Pompeo was sent home with his tail between his legs.Carpenter E Clyde Schechter • a month ago
The idea that Trump would have invaded if allowed doesn't pass the smell test. He spent much of the 2016 railing against regime change and foreign wars. His recent instincts on this topic have been largely correct.J Villain Tradcon • a month ago
Trump did not want more war, and wanted to end the existing wars, that much is clear. At the same time as he believes the Israeli line about Iran. But he did not want war with Iran - he knows they would mine the Strait of Hormuz shut, and the U.S. economy would go into a depression along with the world economy. No president would survive that.
But, he has had to appease top donor *Sheldon Adelson, in order to prevent a GOP revolt in the Congress. The threat was always that they'd join the Democrats in impeaching him, that Mike Pence would call for the same, and people would leave his cabinet. So he caved by sanctioning Iran and destroying the lives of millions of people. And he had to appease Israel by taking Syria's oil fields via the Marxist Kurd mercenaries, and let them burn the wheat fields. But he did not start a war, and did not want a war.Blood Alcohol J Villain • a month ago
"The list of MEK disinformation tactics"
Lets be honest here. It isn't MEK disinformation tactics it is the tactics
of the US wrapped up and packaged as MEK. Just as Falon Gong is backed
by the CIA. MEK is a bunch of backwards ass hats with terrorist
tendencies. They are not some national level intelligence agency. This
is most likely crud made up by the US intelligence agencies sold as MEK
and pushed on the American people to convince them that Iran will be
dropping nuclear weapons on their house any minute now if they can stop
eating babies long enough, so they need to push their government to go
to WAR!!!!! with Iran and kill some Muslims. The gullibility of the
American people is why there will never be a time when they are not at
war.Carpenter E J Villain • a month ago
Throw in "Saudi" Arabia and Israel, and France (the home of their leader) then you've got all of them in the same room.Carpenter E Carpenter E • a month ago
Possibly, but the MEK does have an online presence and such. But of course, it is all with Washington's money, and Washington's assistance.
For those who don't know: The MEK is a Marxist-Islamist group that initially supported the Revolution, but turned against Ayatollah Khomeini as they didn't get to share power. Because no one liked them. And Marxists were not allowed in revolutionary Iran - the MEK was chased out along with the Soviet-installed communist party in northern Iran.
The MEK have been killing Iranian police, bureaucrats and local administrators. This is their "revolution". They kill people mainly with bombs. The present Ayatollah's left arm is withered after one of their bomb attacks.
The MEK have been killing Iranian physics professors and technicians. They kill them with car bombs in traffic - a motorbike with two killers drive up to a car by a traffic stop and attach a bomb with magnets. Of course, you can wonder where they got the bombs, and money and transport. This is classic Mossad strategy. Likewise, dozens of technicians and professors in Iraq have been murdered. Israel hopes for a counter-reaction which the U.S. can exploit.
Rest assured, the political opposition in Iran hates the Marxist-Islamist MEK as much as the government does. Which Washington and Israel don't acknowledge.
The MEK was housed by Saddam Hussein in an old military base. They had to leave Iraq eventually after the overthrow of Hussein. The U.S. then shipped them to a brand new training base in Albania. Crazy as it might seem. Albania's government is of course as eager to be a paid Washington agent as the Kurds are.
Absurdly, this explicitly terrorist group has been taken off the terror list by Washington. While Iran is called "terrorist" for helping Hezbollah, who formed to fight back when Israel invaded Lebanon and massacred Shia villagers in the south with artillery, because they lived close to the Palestinian refugee camps. And then kept fighting when Israel occupied part of southern Lebanon, Shia land, as a "buffer zone" for many years.disgustoo • a month ago
The MEK killed thousands of people, including Americans. But the Lobby always gets what it wants.
The MEK was founded in 1965 by three Islamic leftists with the goal of toppling the U.S.-supported regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
In the 1970s it undertook a campaign of assassinating U.S. advisers and bombing U.S. corporations in Iran. It supported the 1979 Revolution in Iran, but in 1981 it turned its guns against the Tehran government and began a campaign of assassinations and terrorist operations that resulted in the death of thousands of Iranians, including the executions of its own supporters by government officials, soldiers, police officers, and ordinary people.
It then moved its headquarters to Iraq, made a pact with the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was fighting a ferocious war with Iran. The MEK spied on Iranian troops for Iraq, attacked Iran at the end of Iran-Iraq war with Hussein's support, and helped Hussein put down the uprisings by the Iraqi Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.
The MEK is despised by the vast majority of Iranians for what they consider to be treason committed against their homeland.
"As a matter of journalistic ethics any organization engaging in systematic dishonesty like this has provided a very good reason to blacklist them. ...This is not a matter of foreign policy differences: if you wish to see the U.S. pursue regime change in Iran, the MEK does not help make that case. Any publishers or think tanks who are aware of this dishonesty and still treat them like a legitimate opposition group should be considered part of a campaign not wholly different from the last time we were lied into a Mideast war."
If MEK does NOT help to make the case for regime change in Iran - & outside sponsored regime change is not ethical - then it would be unethical not to support them, in order to help prevent unethical regime change. Although that's probably not what horrible Hillary had in mind when, as Sec. of State in 2012, she de-listed them from the U.S. official list of terrorist organizations. But if anyone will lie "us" into a war with Iran, it will be AIPAC & innumerable other dishonest zionist organizations working on behalf of the Jewish terror state, & it's new Saudi terror state partner; both of whom look with favor on MEK as a bit partner in their joint effort to take out the government of Iran. MEK is pretty small potatoes compared to The Lobby, who are waging another campaign not wholly different from the last time they pushed us into a M.E. war to benefit lying israel.
Blood Alcohol Guest • a month agoDodo • a month ago
Why, do you "like" sock puppets"?!Schopenhauer Dodo • a month ago • edited
Don't fall into this trap.
People tell you - You are a conservative, so do I. I support XYZ thus you should also support them.
Before the 2003 Iraqi War, Many then Bush administration officials and self-anointed "conservative opinion leaders" went on TV to lie to people to support their war. Today, we still suffer the consequence but they are preaching to us other wars.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.IllinoisPatriot Schopenhauer • a month ago
In no way should the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War be excused, nor should "conservative opinion leaders" be let off the hook, but the Congress was complicit, the Senate was complicit, the military was complicit, the intelligence community was complicit, and the majority of the electorate was complicit. Nobody cared whether the reason for the war was valid, people just wanted to vent their frustrations against terrorists on an unrelated Arab country that the US had already used as a whipping boy. What could happen?
Almost twenty years later and-- surprise! surprise!-- suddenly everyone recognizes the war for the folly it was. Some people, like Dreher, seem to have genuinely changed their stance based on what happened subsequently. But we'll all see what happens the next time the war mongers-- from both sides of the aisle and from all over the country-- start rattling their sabers.Charles IllinoisPatriot • a month ago • edited
Then there are the appeasers and anti-war peace-niks that would rather surrender than fight for liberty or that (if they are willing to fight) will on risk OTHER PEOPLE's (other American) lives, thus removing the need to ever put themselves at risk of learning what actually goes in in the countries they are so sympathetic to.EliteCommInc. Charles • a month ago
"Then there are the appeasers and anti-war peace-niks that would rather surrender than fight for liberty"
Would you expound on that vis a vis current situations. Your sentence is straight out of the Vietnam era,Blood Alcohol EliteCommInc. • a month ago • edited
The complete idiocy regarding Vietnam is the anti-war rhetoric surrounding. But has laid the framework for installing fear into anyone who doesn't tow the ridiculousness of what is argued by protesters -- which in every way has nearly every argument backwards.
Since the aggressors in Vietnam were the communists of four countries, it is very safe to say that those opposed to defending an independent S. Vietnam were in fact appeasing communist aggression and that is accurate.
The nation of Vietnam has rarely known peace and the lines during the conflict generally mark the region that separated the country's territorial history. The South Vietnamese sound reason to seek defend their territorial and political independence and we had sound reason to defend the same.
It was during that era that the liberal foundations showed their true colors. And if one doubt it --- just look at the anti-Vietnam advocates -- the managers of the Iraq and Afghanistan missteps and p[perhaps even worse their willingness to destroy the lives of anyone who challenged their rational based on the very case they made -- which was unsupportable.
There are some issues which simply are not really issues,
1. the lives of black people in the country and how they were/are socialized and the consequence
2.what the civil war was really about
3.Mexican invasion of US territory to retake territory they lost to band of squatters (lousy immigration enforcement) a war that is now taking place via our failure to enforce border protection.)
4.loss of the War of 1812
5. the colonial revolution and its justificationSchopenhauer Blood Alcohol • a month ago
"Since the aggressors in Vietnam were the communists of four countries, it is very safe to say that those opposed to defending an independent S. Vietnam were in fact appeasing communist aggression and that is accurate."
It's safe to say that BS like this is not hard to come by in the right wing nutjobs' circles. No Vietnamese had/has ever attempted to attack, invade, kill and spray Agent Orange anywhere in the US. So how come they became the aggressors?!
Viet Nam became truly independent AFTER expelling the American military.Shiek Yerbooti Dodo • a month ago
When it comes to discussing Vietnam with this guy-- it's Chinatown, there's nothing you can do.Wallstreet Panic Dodo • a month ago
If you're talking about Bush I think the quote is more like this:
"fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."chris chuba • a month ago
"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again. You've got to understand the nature of the regime we're dealing with. This is a man who has delayed, denied, deceived the world." George W. Bush, September 17, 2002Fletcher chris chuba • a month ago
Bless you for writing this but you are spitting into the wind. There are too many people who want to believe this. The IRaq war analogy is apt. You have govt in exile types like MEK (remember Chalabi) who have a vested interest in lying to us. You have the hyper-pro Israel crowd and the newly accepted pro-Saudi crowd w/money to burn. I actually expect and don't begrudge foreigners for trying to get the U.S. into their fights. I resent the MSM that is simply in love with U.S. military conflicts who accuse people who oppose them of being anti-American, conspiracy theorists.
The most laughable example was CNN accepting the notion that Iran has a massive cyber presence in influencing our elections because our Intel Agencies told them so. Iran is detested by the U.S. public as we steal civilian cargo from them that would make the lives of people in other countries better. We sell the stolen goods for our benefit and call them terrorists for their trouble. To suggest that they have sway over us is laughable yet this passes for journalism.
Iran will be the next Iraq. If there is a God it will be the rock that breaks us. If not then a crime of shocking proportions.Blood Alcohol Fletcher • a month ago
I largely agree but I think there's room for optimism, the US military particular the army is largely a broken instrument, morale is not good except for the contractors, General maintenance is down in favor of expensive toys that largely do not work. For all of the bluster of this generation of sociopaths the military in general is a shadow of itself not to mention we live in times of a rising China and the reemergence Russia, neither of which would allow in on opposed attack on Iran.Fletcher Blood Alcohol • a month ago
True, but the military has also been the biggest obstacle for tRump to make his Saudi/Israeli clients happy.Blood Alcohol Fletcher • a month ago • edited
How so? Our government seems to be providing the Saudi's with with as many bombs as they need, Air Force retirees to fly in the backseatair of Saudi planes, we have slowed down on the transfer of Thermo nuclear Technology as well as I assume the the delivery systems for them true but that was likely just a temporary Flash of Conscience it'll probably never happen again for that individual but if there something I'm missing please do tell.Sorosh Nabi • a month ago
Look at it this way. Either the Saudi/UAE themselves have to deal militarily with Iran, or the US. The US military-industrial complex is for selling weapons to these client states whole-heartedly for obvious reasons. The Saudi/UAE has always expected and often demanded the US is the one to "cut the snake's head" as "king" Abdullah of the "Saudi" Arabia demanded frequently. These states know very well neither the "version" of the weaponry they buy from the West is capable of performing in a real war with a powerful enemy like Iran, nor are their personnel capable of operating them effectively. So what they say to the US is, OK we'll buy your junk, but you need to do the job. In other words, they want to fight Iran to the last AMERICAN soldier. The Pentagon wants none of that. But happy to run the cash register. I hope I made my point clear.EliteCommInc. Sorosh Nabi • a month ago
MEK have no support in Iran. If a MEK member would walk down the street there the people would tear them to shreds. When they started killing Iranians and cooperating with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war they committed political suicide.Sorosh Nabi EliteCommInc. • a month ago
You know, this really doesn't carry much weight. I am not going to dismiss the complaints of a group because the majority don't support them. That is not a case for regime change. I don't see a case for that as yet. But I don't buy this nonsense about Iran land of peace ----
They were instrumental in destabilizing any peace in Iraq and remain so. Their Islamic revolution has not passed and their ambitions are not as benign as as many including Iranians like to pretend.Blood Alcohol EliteCommInc. • a month ago • edited
What does that have to do with anything that I said? If you want to come to power you need the support of the people MEK don't have that so they will never gain power. Also MEK are responsible for the revolution in the first place, they are the ones that carried out bombing and assassinations even of Americans in Iran. They are the ones that attacked the US embassy in Iran and held Americans hostage. There is a reason they were on the US terror list until 2012. As far as Iran being the land of peace not sure where you got that from, Iran has never claimed that and infact Iran will conduct foreign policy that benefits its goals, which is true of any nation. You should try to stay on topic when you reply to somebody though.Feral Finster • a month ago
Yes, as you know the Iranians attacked, invaded and looted Iraq's oil and cultural heritage. Had in not been for the US "rescue mission" Iranian would still be there. You must be tone deaf.Gutbomb Feral Finster • a month ago
Same playbook as in the runup to the War on Iraq.IllinoisPatriot Feral Finster • a month ago
Mostly. They won't be bothering with the U.N. this time, though.john • a month ago
... or Trump's run-up to the 2016 election.....
Thump the conspiracy theories and emphasize the hard-line approach with no idea or intent to actually go through with anything should he actually win. I see reference to Q-anon and I immediately think Trumpian conspieracy.
I'll pass.CPT john • a month ago
Conservatives are easy to target, they are prepared to believe all sorts of nonsense. Qanon aside they are prepared to believe that tax cuts pay for themselves and you can lose weight on a vinegar and ice cream diet.Fletcher john • a month ago
As opposed to the people who believe that a man can become a "real woman" just by saying so, and nod approvingly when CNN shows the chyron "Mostly peaceful protests continue" over footage of burning buildings.hooly • a month ago
Really, that's pretty damn funny like you retards don't believe in a bunch of conspiracy nonsense and by the way don't put down Q is good fun to the geriatric Community on the other hand you clowns are playing footsie with actual Nazis in Ukraine while you accuse the right of being fascist that's beautiful congratulations it's going to be great in a couple years when this country has seceded from each other and all of you non-producers get to sort it out for yourselves, it's going to be magic.Iustitiae Semper Valet hooly • a month ago
Fake dissident groups. Wow! Not even the Chinese are this duplicitous. And people whine and complain about Russian and Chinese 'infiltration' and 'meddling' ??IllinoisPatriot Iustitiae Semper Valet • a month ago
Which fale dissident groups? I missed that. I am not being sarcastic. I see people who have been named as fake contributors all over the place. But I didn't see a reference to a fake dissident group.PointyTailofSatan . • a month ago
I'm still looking for the proof one way or the other of who the "good guys" are here.
Fake this, fake that I can get from Trump every time he opens his mouth about "fake news".
What I don't get from Trump (or from this article) is any references, documentation, or solid proof of any kind other than accusations and counter-accusations -- one side I'm supposed to believe because the author said so.
I'm not buying it without objective proof and trustworthy corroboration -- not just more sock-puppets.Blood Alcohol PointyTailofSatan . • a month ago • edited
I don't understand. The MEK hates the current Iranian government. Why the would the American Conservative be dissing them?Steve Blood Alcohol • a month ago
They are being dissed by many smart conservatives and others, because they have become a tool of Saudi/Israel. They practically spearheaded killing Americans during the Shah, and now they are enjoying American political and financial support. In that vein the adage, my enemy's enemy is my friend, does not apply here. But if you are a money hungry Giuliani, Kennedy, Bolton or Howard Dean being a gang of killers, Saddam Husein mercenaries, and Saudi/Israeli agents don't matter.Feral Finster PointyTailofSatan . • 19 days ago
Bravo for this comment!! loved it!Dyerville • a month ago
Anyone remember Ahmad Chalabi's "Iraqi National Congress" or whatever it was called?
Same schtick, new players, same CIA..el disgustador • a month ago
"We are especially on guard when it comes to unsolicited foreign policy commentary.""
So one would hope, but foreign meddling is rife. At least the Washington Examiner makes an effort, whereas the Washington Free Beacon functions almost openly as an Israeli organ inside the United States.chris • a month ago
Ehem...The Israelis have admitted they essentially founded, financed and thoroughly and continuously infiltrated the Palestinian revolutionary group, HAMAS to counter the PLO achieve the ongoing ethnic destruction of Palestinian land freedom and society...the MEK and their front group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran are comparable Israeli emanations whose ultimate goal is the land grab from the Nile to the Euphrates known as the Greater Israel project. This is Israeli history text book material, it is not conjecture...Read what former Israeli officials such as Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, former Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s. had to say the New York Times in that he had helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a "counterweight" to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat (who himself referred to Hamas as "a creature of Israel.") "The Israeli government gave me a budget," the retired brigadier
general confessed, "and the military government gives to the mosques." Moreover, "Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," said Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades to the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Deliberately planned, as far back as the mid-1980s, according to Cohen in an official report to his superiors playing the divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists, HAMAS was built up to become an "existential threat" fake tool of nuclear mighty Israel. In his report Cohen wrote, "I suggest focusing our efforts on finding ways to break up this monster before this reality jumps in our face," he wrote. That was the point exactly, poor victimized Israel "endowed with the right to defend itself". With Palestine now Kushnerized into oblivion, Iran is next ...Go figure...
Go figure...Billo • a month ago
propaganda is unending when isn'treal wants more war isn't it?Ram2017 Billo • a month ago
Let the Israel Jews fight and die in their own war. Iran is not our enemy, Israel is.ddearborn • a month ago • edited
Who is funding the MEK ?
Means, motive, opportunity and who benefits spells out in no uncertain terms that the entire create a justification and then go to war with Iran originates in Israel and is being sold by the Zionists and Israel's literal army of jewish/Zionist/pro-Israel agents masquerading as "lobbyists", "activists", "think tanks" "academics", the Media, Hollywood, Congress, most of the White House Staff, etc., etc., here in the US. In other words, by an Israeli controlled army in America made up of traitors, liars and criminals.... A group who collectively ALWAYS put Israel Uber Alles.
Oct 10, 2020 | www.thegatewaypundit.com
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday dropped a little October surprise said his department has Hillary Clinton's 'deleted' emails and will release them before the election.
"We're getting them out," Pompeo told Fox News Dana Perino.TheGhostOfJamesOtisJr 17 minutes ago (Edited)
Shandong Carter Heavy Industry received all email, including classified material, sent to Hillary Clinton's private server based on an Intelligence Community Investigator General (ICIG) report. The ICIG determined all Hillary Clinton email was being forwarded to " firstname.lastname@example.org ", an address possibly connected to the Chinese equipment manufacturer Shandong Carter Heavy Industry The ICIG alerted FBI agent Peter Strzok who strangely did not seem alarmed by the connection despite the fact all but four of the emails sent to Hillary Clinton's private email server were forwarded to that address, roughly 600,000 in total.( pdf , p14/105) https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019-08-14%20Staff%20memo%20to%20CEG%20RHJ%20-%20ICIG%20Interview%20Summary%20RE%20Clinton%20Server.pdf
The following is an excerpt from testimony by Frank Rucker of the ICIG, "Mr. Strzok seemed to be 'aloof and dismissive.' [Rucker] said it was as if Mr. Strzok felt dismissive of the relationship between the FBI and ICIG and he was not very warm." - ( pdf p15/105)
The FBI later determined the email address was set up by a Clinton IT staffer named Paul Combetta. The FBI dismissed the possible China connection because they found no evidence to contradict Combetta's claim he "had no connection to, and had never heard of, ' Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Machinery CO., Ltd.'''( pdf p104/105) That's an odd statement because IT staffers wouldn't normally be expected to have relationships with Chinese heavy industry. IT workers usually set up email addresses for others.
Paul Combetta is the IT staffer who used BleachBit to erase emails on Clinton's private email server.( pdf p38 ) . Perhaps this is why the FBI didn't consider it necessary to question Combetta in front of a Grand Jury .( pdf , p127 ) That this didn't demonstrated criminal intent to the FBI is beyond comprehension. Obviously this goes beyond mere bias and borders on obstruction of justice. The numerous attempts to debunk this story are almost comical when combined with other evidence, namely Peter Strzok's leaking to the press:
December 15, 2016 Peter Strzok: " Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they're kicking into overdrive. "
April 10, 2017 Peter Strzok: " I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go. "
April 22, 2017 Peter Strzok: " Article is out! Well done, Page. "
Guess where EcoHealth Alliance connected virologist Edward C Holmes did his research in China? Shandong!
https://youtu.be/bEtVOTA1ZtU?t=5034 play_arrow play_arrow deFLorable hillbilly 28 minutes ago (Edited) remove link
There is only one important matter at this time. And that is confirming ACB to the SC prior to the so-called election. All this other stuff can wait. Lose and it's all pointless anyway.
Oct 06, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org
How empire is destroying the American republic OCTOBER 5, 2020 Written by
William Smith Share Copy Print
Many American hawks fail to grasp one of the most axiomatic rules of history: when a republic becomes an empire, it is no longer a republic.
For all their concern about spreading democracy abroad, many hawks show a decidedly noticeable failure to recognize that imperial adventures weaken republican government at home. The devolution from republic to empire has a number of causes, some practical and some cultural, with most on display in our current politics.
On a practical level, the massive national security commitment necessary to maintain an empire tends to overwhelm the republican safeguards against unnecessary wars. In recent decades, for example, the national security state has gone to war in numerous countries -- Libya and Syria are only two examples -- on the basis of an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was enacted by Congress to sanction attacks on the perpetrators of 9/11.
The use of that AUMF to justify wars unrelated to 9/11 made these wars blatantly unconstitutional. Yet it is apparent that most of Congress is now a mere appendage of the national security state and no longer protects its constitutional prerogative to sanction war as this would require difficult votes as well as jeopardize the largesse bestowed by defense contractors. Madison's famous argument in Federalist #51 that, in a republic with separated powers, one branch of government would "resist encroachments of the others" becomes obviated in an empire. Empires tend to ignore republican rules.
The other practical difficulty of maintaining a republic when it aspires to empire is that the technologies created to fight wars abroad end up undermining republican government at home. In imperial Rome, the legions themselves became a threat to domestic order; in the present U.S. the domestic attacks are more subtle.
Numerous media reports indicate, for example, that an anti-Trump PAC, Defeat Disinfo, is employing retired Army General Stanley McCrystal to deploy a Defense Department-developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool to counter candidate Trump's social media posts and to create "counter-narratives" using a network of "paid influencers." The AI technology was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to counter the propaganda of terrorist groups overseas. The culture of our present officer corps seems a long way from that of General George Marshall who once remarked to Eisenhower, "I may make a thousand mistakes in this war, but none will be the result of political meddling!"
McCrystal's deployment of anti-terrorism technology to manipulate domestic political opinion during an election is surely incompatible with republican values. One would have thought that the McCrystal revelation would have generated more controversy as it comes on the heels of the astonishing abuse of another anti-terrorism tool, NSA surveillance, by FBI agents who submitted phony warrants to the FISA court in order to frame Trump campaign operatives.
As observers from both parties have noticed, military technology and tactics have bled into domestic policing with local police departments deploying armored vehicles and drones. One need not be a Trump partisan, nor a rabid libertarian, to conclude that the technologies developed to maintain the American empire are now being used to undermine our republican traditions.
Tufts law professor Michael Glennon has concluded that the national security state has in fact grown so large that the "Madisonian" branches of government -- the presidency, Congress and the courts -- are no longer in charge of national security policy. Glennon asserts that we now have a "double government" in which policy decisions are made by "a largely concealed managerial directorate, consisting of the several hundred leaders of the military, law enforcement, and the intelligence departments and agencies of our government" who "operate at an increasing remove from constitutional limits and restraints, moving the nation slowly toward autocracy." Despite his clear desire to do so, Trump's inability to extricate us from Afghanistan is confirmation that the Madisonian branches of government no longer determine policy.
The rise of a double government was captured perfectly in a Tweet by Michael McFaul, an Obama national security official, who commented that, "Trump has lost the Intelligence Community. He has lost the State Department. He has lost the military. How can he continue to serve as our Commander in Chief?" To those with an imperial outlook, the President serves at the pleasure of those who run the empire, not the voters. To Michael McFaul, the unelected members of the foreign policy establishment determine the legitimacy of elected leaders.
While legal breakdowns and the technologies of American empire are overwhelming our republican traditions, the much deeper problem is that American leaders have eschewed a constitutional culture and adopted an imperial culture.
Republican institutions cannot operate unless its leaders embody a certain temperament or "constitutional personality." They must demonstrate measured and restrained habits even with political opponents. They will seek common ground and compromise. They would, in Hamilton's words, "withstand the temporary delusion" of popular pressures and engage in "more cool and sedate reflection."
In foreign policy, this constitutional temperament would, in Washington's words, "observe good faith and justice toward all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all" and "nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded." In other words, republics have leaders of a certain quality and type, leaders who demonstrate restraint not only in domestic politics but on the world stage.
Contrast this constitutional temperament with our current crop of leaders. In domestic politics, we have fierce, vituperative and irrational partisanship. There is no spirit of compromise and no willingness to show good faith with political opponents. Our politics, as Hobbes said of the state of nature, exhibit "a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death ." In foreign policy, the imperial personality shows itself in "maximum pressure" campaigns, an "inveterate" antipathy toward Russia, and chest-thumping assertions of American exceptionalism. The constitutional personality exhibits a certain humility; the imperial personality exhibits none.
Removing the practical dangers of empire would be hard, but not impossible. Restoring congressional authority in matters of war and peace and banning the domestic use of military and intelligence technologies are both achievable goals for those wishing to restore republican values. However, the imperial culture of our national security elites flows out of a will to power that is, at root, a character flaw. Changing laws is easy compared with improving character.
William Smith Share Copy Print
Oct 06, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
Kyrgyzstan Color Revolution in Central Asia Crisis Intensifies the US' Hybrid War Containment of Russia By Andrew Korybko Global Research, October 06, 2020 Region: Asia , Russia and FSU , USA Theme: US NATO War Agenda
The sudden outbreak of Color Revolution unrest in the historically unstable Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan following recent parliamentary elections in this Russian CSTO mutual defense ally intensifies the US' Hybrid War "containment" of Russia when seen in the context of the ongoing regime change efforts in fellow ally Belarus as well as CSTO-member Armenia's dangerous efforts to provoke a Russian military intervention in support of its illegal occupation of universally recognized Azerbaijani territory.
Color Revolution In Central Asia
The historically unstable Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan [former Soviet Republic] is once again in the midst of Color Revolution unrest after this Russian CSTO mutual defense ally's latest parliamentary elections were exploited as the pretext for members of the non-systemic opposition to torch their seat of government and free former President Atambayev who was arrested last year on charges of corruption. This sudden crisis is actually the third serious one in the former Soviet space in just as many months following the ongoing regime change efforts in Belarus since August and Armenia's dangerous efforts since the end of last month to provoke a Russian military intervention in support of its illegal occupation of universally recognized Azerbaijani territory. Crucially, all three of the aforementioned countries are Russia's CSTO allies, and their respective crises (provoked to varying extents by the US) intensify the American Hybrid War "containment" of Russia.
The US' Triple Hybrid War "Containment" Of Russia
The author has written extensively about the Belarusian Color Revolution campaign and Armenia's aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh , but those who aren't familiar with his analysis of those issues can refer to the two articles hyperlinked earlier in this sentence for a quick overview. The present piece aims to inform the audience about the complex dynamics of the Kyrgyz Color Revolution crisis and the impact that it could have on the US' recent Hybrid War "containment" offensive along the western, southern, and eastern peripheries of Russia's so-called "sphere of influence". The pattern at play is that the US is trying to provoke a Russian military intervention in one, some, or all three of these Hybrid War battlefronts through the CSTO, but the Kremlin has thus far avoided the trap of these potential quagmires. Lukashenko tried do this with his ridiculous claims about a speculated Polish annexation of Grodno while Pashinyan wants to provoke Azerbaijan into attacking Armenian cities to trigger a similar intervention scenario, hence Armenia's attack on its rival's Ganja in order to bring this about.
The Kyrgyz Powder Keg
Kyrgyzstan is an altogether different powder keg, however, since it has a recent history of close to uncontrollable inter-ethnic and political violence after its last two Color Revolutions of 2005 and 2010, especially the latter. The author explained all this in detail in his April 2016 analysis of the US' history of regime change attempts in the region, which comprises one of the chapters of his 2017 ebook on " The Law Of Hybrid Warfare: Eastern Hemisphere ". He expanded upon his research in this direction in August 2019 f ollowing President Jeenbekov's arrest of former President Atambayev, his former mentor, which almost plunged the country back into a state of de-facto civil war. It was explained that "Kyrgyzstan must 'cleanse' its 'deep state' (permanent bureaucracy) simultaneously with cracking down on organized crime (which is sometimes affiliated with some 'deep state' forces)." This is the only way to combat the destabilizing clan-based nature of the country (worsened by Western NGOs and diplomatic meddling ) that's responsible for its regular unrest.
Will The Crisis From 2010 Repeat Itself?
The present situation is so dangerous though because the last round of Color Revolution unrest in 2010 sparked accusations of ethnic cleansing against the local Uzbeks that inhabit Kyrgyzstan's portion of the divided Fergana Valley. That in turn almost provoked an international conflict between both landlocked states that was thankfully averted at the last minute by Tashkent's reluctance to worsen the security situation by launching a "humanitarian intervention" in Russia's CSTO ally (one which could have also been exploited to promote the concept of "Greater Uzbekistan" over the neighboring lands inhabited by its ethnic kin considering the country's closer coordination with American strategic goals at the time). Uzbekistan has since moved closer to Russia after the passing of former President Karimov, but its basic security interests remain the same, particularly as far as ensuring the safety of its ethnic kin in neighboring states. Any repeat of the 2010 scenario could therefore return Central Asia to the brink of war unless a Russian diplomatic intervention averts it.
The Threat To Russian Interests
From the Russian perspective, Kyrgyzstan's capture by Western-backed political forces could lead to long-term security implications. The state's potential internal collapse could turn it into a regional exporter of terrorism, especially throughout the volatile Fergana Valley but also across China's neighboring region of Xinjiang if a new government decides to host Uighur terrorists. The soft security consequences are that Kyrgyzstan's Color Revolution government could reduce its commitment to the CSTO and Eurasian Union up to and including the country's potential withdrawal from these organizations if the new power structure isn't co-opted by Russian-friendly forces first. It's possible, however, that Moscow might succeed in mitigating the blow to its geopolitical interests in the scenario of a regime change in Bishkek since it had previously worked real closely with Atambayev (who's the most likely candidate to seize power, either directly or by proxy), though only if it can prevent a civil war from breaking out first. That might necessitate a CSTO intervention, however, which is risky.
As it stands, the US' Hybrid War "containment" of Russia is making progress along the western, southern, and eastern periphery of the Eurasian Great Power's "sphere of influence". Belarus is no longer as stable as it has historically been known for being, Armenia is still trying to trick Russia into going to war against Azerbaijan (and by extension Turkey), and Kyrgyzstan is once again on the verge of a collapse that could take down the rest of Central Asia in the worst-case scenario. Having shrewdly avoided the first two traps, at least for the time being, Russia is now being challenged with the most serious crisis of the three after the latest events in Kyrgyzstan. The country's clan-based nature, proliferation of Western NGOs, and Western meddling in its admittedly imperfect democracy make it extremely unstable, thus heightening the risks that any well-intended Russian military stabilization intervention via the CSTO could entail, perhaps explaining why one never happened in 2010 during more dangerous times. The Kremlin will therefore have to carefully weigh its options in Kyrgyzstan.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
This article was originally published on OneWorld .
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China's One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
One morning a couple of years ago I received an urgent email from a moderately prominent libertarian figure strongly focused on antiwar issues. He warned me that our publication had been branded a "White Supremacist website" by the Washington Post , and urged me to immediately respond, perhaps by demanding a formal retraction or even taking legal action lest we be destroyed by that totally unfair accusation.
When I looked into the matter, my own perspective was rather different. Apparently Max Boot, one of the more agitated Jewish Neocons, had written a column fiercely denouncing some recent criticism of pro-Israel policies that Philip Giraldi had published in our webzine, and the "White Supremacist" slur was merely his crude means of demonizing the author's views for those of his readers who might be less than wholeheartedly enthusiastic about Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies.
After pointing this out to my correspondent, I also noted that a good 10% or more of our writers were probably "White Nationalists," and perhaps a few of them might even arguably be labeled "White Supremacists." So although Boot's description of our website was certainly wrong, it was probably less wrong than the vast majority of his other writing, which was typically focused on American military policy and the Middle East.
Our webzine is quite unusual in its willingness to feature a smattering of writers who provide a White Nationalist perspective. Such individuals are almost totally excluded from other online publications, except for those marginalized websites devoted to their ideas, which often tend to focus on such topics and related issues to the near exclusion of anything else. However, I believe that maintaining this sort of ideological quarantine or "ghettoization" greatly diminishes the ability to understand many important aspects of our world.
Oct 03, 2020 | www.rt.com
foxenburg 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 01:48 AMAn interviewer should test this man's integrity with a simple question, such as.. "When you retire, will promise to live off your generous pension....like Eisenhower in his rocking chair....and not go to work for an arms manufacturer or think tank or any other paid position?"Rocky_Fjord 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 05:18 AMJohn boy McCain just went into apoplexy in hell.
Oct 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com
I first reached out to Stephen Cohen because I was losing my mind.
In the spring of 2014, a war broke out in my homeland of Ukraine. It was a horrific war in a bitterly divided nation, which turned eastern Ukraine into a bombed-out wasteland. But that's not how it was portrayed in America. Because millions of eastern Ukrainians were against the US-backed government, their opinions were inconvenient for the West. Washington needed a clean story about Ukraine fighting the Kremlin; as a result, US media avoided reporting about the "wrong" half of the country. Twenty-plus million people were written out of the narrative, as if they never existed.
I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was.
And so I e-mailed him, asking for guidance as I began my own writing career. Of course, there were many who clamored for Steve's time, but I had an advantage over others. Steve and I were both night owls, real night owls, the kind who have afternoon tea at three am. It was then, when the east coast was sleeping, that he became my mentor and friend.
There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto.
But one thing Steve taught me is to stick to my strengths, and truth be told, there are others who can describe his life better than I. I'll stick to what I learned during our conversations at three in the morning, which is that, above all else, Stephen F. Cohen was a man of faith.
Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient.
After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world.
The DC apparatchiks couldn't discredit Steve's credentials or track record -- he'd predicted events in Ukraine and elsewhere years before they occurred. They couldn't intimidate him -- he'd faced far worse threats, like the KGB. Instead, they set out to turn him into an America-hating, Putin-loving pariah.
This went beyond an ad hominem campaign. It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition.
I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting.
It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers.
Steve liked movies and would often end a lecture with a movie reference to drive home the thesis. When I think of him, I think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption , the line about Andy Dufresne crawling through filth and coming out clean on the other side. Steve didn't live in a movie; I can't claim he emerged unscathed. What he did was come through without bitterness or cynicism. He refused to turn away from the ugliness, but he didn't allow it to blind him to beauty. He walked with grace. And he lost neither his convictions nor his faith.
Lev Golinkin Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon's Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time (online), among other venues; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.
Pierre Guerlain says: October 1, 2020 at 12:42 pmValera Bochkarev says to Lance Haley: October 1, 2020 at 11:09 am
In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. He was a Mensch. History will bear him the historian out.Michael Batinski says: September 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Hmm, who's the apologist here ?
If the Ukraine is SO sovereign how is it I did not see any outrage in your diatribe against 'Toria, Pyatt and the rest orchestrating the Maidan putsch or the $5Billion US spent on softening up the ukraine for the regime change ?
I believe in numbers, as in the number of military bases any given country has surrounding the ones it wants to subvert, in the amount of money allocated to vilify and eventually bring down the "unwanted" regimes and the quantity and 'quality' of sanctions imposed against those regimes; and the sum of all of the above perpetrated against humanity in the past 75 or so years.
Your vapid drivel, Mr Haley, evaporates almost without a trace once seen with those parameters in mind.
Numbers don't lie.Tim Ashby says: September 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm
Let me add from the perspective of an American historian who taught for forty years in a midwestern university. From the start I depended on William Appleman Williams to keep perspective and to counter prevailing interpretive trends.
Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy.
I will always be thankful.
The smothering agitprop in America trumps even Goebbels and co. with its beautifully dressed overton window and first-amendment-free-press bullshit.
Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly.
Let's face it, we were lucky to win the editorial fight to even give him space in the Nation.
His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand.
Oct 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Getting Rid Of The Myth Of 'Isolationism'
'Isolationism' is not real, and never has been. It is an insult thrown at realists by the architects of senseless wars. (By Mike Focus/Shutterstock)
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020|
12:01 AMDANIEL LARISON
No one claims to be an isolationist, but foreign policy analysts keep imagining and fearing a "resurgence" of isolationism around every corner. This fear was on display in a recent Atlantic article by Charles Kupchan, who tries to rehabilitate the label in order to oppose the substance of a policy of nonintervention and non-entanglement. Kupchan allows that a policy of avoiding entangling alliances and staying out of European wars was important for the growth and prosperity of the United States, but then rehearses the same old and misleading story about the terrible "isolationist" interwar years that we have heard countless times before. This misrepresents the history of that period and compromises our ability to rethink our foreign policy today.
Kupchan's article is not just an exercise in beating a dead horse, since he fears that the same thing that happened between the world wars is happening again: "If the 19th century was isolationism's finest hour, the interwar era was surely its darkest and most deluded. The conditions that led to this misguided run for cover are making a comeback." Kupchan wants to borrow a little from the people he calls "isolationists" so that the U.S. will remain thoroughly ensnared in most of its global commitments.
At the same time that he warns that "U.S. statecraft has become divorced from popular will," he seems to want to keep it this way by rejecting what he calls the "isolationist temptation." If "a majority of the country favors either America First or global disengagement," as he says, the goal seems to be to ignore what the majority wants in favor of making a few tweaks to the same old strategy of U.S. primacy. Those tweaks aren't going to lessen popular support for a reduced U.S. role in the world, and they will likely make the public even more disillusioned with the remaining costs and demands of U.S. "leadership."
The key thing to remember in all this is that the U.S. has never been isolationist in its foreign relations. The thing that Kupchan calls America's "default setting" is not real. Isolationism is the pejorative term that expansionists and interventionists have used over the last century to ridicule and dismiss opposition to unnecessary wars. Isolationism as U.S. policy in the 1920s and 1930s is a myth , and the myth is deployed whenever there has been a serious challenge to the status quo in post-1945 U.S. foreign policy. Bear Braumoeller summed it up very well in his article , "The Myth of American Isolationism," this way: "the characterization of America as isolationist in the interwar period is simply wrong." We can't learn from the past if we insist on distorting it. As William Appleman Williams put it in The Tragedy of American Diplomacy , "It not only deforms the history of the decade from 1919 to 1930, but it also twists the story of American entry into World War II and warps the record of the cold war." Williams also remarked in a note that the use of the term isolationist "has thus crippled American thought about foreign policy for 50 years." Today we can say that it has done so for a century.
Our government eschewed permanent alliances for most of its history, and it refrained from taking sides in the European Great Power conflicts of the nineteenth century, but it never sought to cut itself from the world and could not have done that even if it had wished to do so. The U.S. was a commercial republic from the start, and it cultivated economic and diplomatic ties with as many states as possible. You can call the steady expansion of the U.S. across North America and into the Pacific and Caribbean "isolationism," but that just shows how misleading and inaccurate the label has always been.
Post-WWI America was a rising power and increasingly involved in the affairs of the world. Its economic and diplomatic engagement with the world increased during these years. If it wasn't involved in the way that later internationalists would have liked, that didn't make the U.S. isolationist. Braumoeller makes this point explicitly: "America was not isolationist in affairs relating to international security in Europe for the bulk of the period: in fact, it was perhaps more internationalist than it had ever been." The U.S. was behaving as a great power, but one that strove to maintain its neutrality. That was neither deluded nor disastrous, and we need to stop pretending that it was if we are ever going to be able to make the needed changes to our foreign policy today.
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Kupchan acknowledges that there has to be an "adjustment" after the last several decades of overreach, but he casts this as a way of preventing more significant retrenchment: "The paramount question is whether that adjustment takes the form of a judicious pullback or a more dangerous retreat." No one objects to the desire for a responsible reduction in U.S. commitments, but one person's "judicious pullback" will often be denounced as a "dangerous retreat" by others. Just consider how many times we have been warned about a U.S. "retreat" from the Middle East over the last 11 years. Even now, the U.S. is still taking part in multiple wars across the region, and the "retreat" we have been told has happened several times never seems to take place. Warning about the perils of an "isolationist comeback" hardly makes it more likely that these withdrawals will ever happen.
He recommends that "judicious retrenchment should entail shedding U.S. entanglements in the periphery, not in the strategic heartlands of Europe and Asia." Certainly, any reduction in unnecessary U.S. commitments is welcome, but a thorough rethinking of U.S. foreign policy has to include every region. Kupchan is right to criticize slapdash, incompetent withdrawals, but one gets the impression that he thinks there shouldn't be any withdrawals except from the Middle East. He cites "Russian and Chinese threats" as the main reasons not to pull back at all in Europe or Asia, but this seems like an uncritical endorsement of the status quo.
It is in East Asia where the U.S. might be fighting a war against a major, nuclear-armed power in the future, and it is also there where the U.S. has some of the wealthiest and most capable allies. If the U.S. can't reduce its exposure to the risk of a major war where that risk is the greatest and its allies are strongest, when will it ever be able to do that? Reducing the U.S. military presence in East Asia will make it easier to manage U.S.-Chinese tensions, and it will give allies an additional incentive to assume more responsibility for their own security.
The U.S. has far more security commitments than it can afford and far more than can possibly be justified by our own security interests. That includes, but is not limited to, our overcommitment to the Middle East. Our foreign entanglements have been allowed to grow and spread to such an extent over the last seventy-five years that modest pruning won't be good enough to put U.S. foreign policy on a sound footing that will have reliable public support. There needs to be a much more comprehensive review of all U.S. commitments to determine which ones are truly necessary for our security and which ones are not. Ruling out the bulk of those commitments as untouchable in advance is a mistake.
There is broad public support for constructive international engagement, but there is remarkably little backing for preserving U.S. hegemony in its current form. In order to have a more sustainable foreign policy, the U.S. needs to scale back its ambitions in most parts of the world, and it needs to shift more of the security burdens for different regions to the countries that have the most at stake. That should be done deliberately and carefully, but it does need to happen if we are to realign our foreign policy with protecting the vital interests of the United States. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .
Gaius Gracchus • 19 hours agoRoom_237 • 13 hours ago
Richard Hofsteder is largely responsible for this falsehood, like he is for making "populist" a by-word, as Thomas Frank points out in his new book.
I prefer the term "non-interventionist" or Washingtonian, myself. I continue to be stuck by the amazing wisdom of Washington's Farewell Address (largely written by Hamilton). It really should be our guide to this day.bournite Room_237 • 11 hours ago
The US had an active and fairly successful foreign policy in the 1920s. What hurt our foreign policy activities was the Great Depression.Disqus10021 bournite • 9 hours ago
Try a seance and tell this Augusto Cesar Sandino. Two American brothers who owned a gold mine in his country had another brother at the State Department. That's how FP was "successful." https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...RAF • 12 hours ago • edited
Europe would have been better off if the US had stayed out of WWI and let major belligerents fight it out until they reached a cease fire on their own. The US entry into the war, tipped the scales in favor of Britain and France and resulted in a very harsh peace treaty being imposed on Germany in 1919. Four years later, Germany's currency collapsed, wiping out the savings of millions of average Germans. The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 made economic conditions for people in central Europe very bad and conrtibuted to the rising popularity of the Nazi party in Germany.rayray RAF • 4 hours ago
The world is so much smaller today than it was when this country was formed and organized by the Founding Fathers. (Mothers were not allowed)
The idea of international associations and cooperation is required with today's world. When some country like China sneezes, the whole world needs a face mask!
The Age of Daniel Boone is dead. America must be fully engaged in world matters. That does not mean going into every country with our military. America needs to continue to give some leadership in world affairs. It would be suicidal to close the windows to the rest of the world.bournite • 12 hours ago
I agree. The world is interconnected, engagement is a necessity. The problem with the US FP at this point is to see every issue as an opportunity to throw around our military weight and call it "engagement". Being fully engaged in the world is a state department issue - smart and educated diplomats working the lines of communication and cooperation with every nation to build a reputation for US leadership, to foment peace, and to build prosperity. Obviously, under Trump and Pompeo this is a waste of breath.
Worth noting, a friend of mine, ex-CIA, has made an absolute fortune off of our military preoccupations. And even he said (perhaps exaggerating) that you could get rid of 90% of the traditional military with little or no loss in actual national security. Most of it is, as he said, corporate welfare and window dressing.
(Of course he then said you should spend what you've saved entirely on cyber-security)kouroi • 9 hours ago
Using the 'I' Word for War and Profit
Column by Tim Hartnett, posted on April 03, 2013
in War and Peace
Column by Tim Hartnett.
Exclusive to STR
For about a century now, Humpty-Dumpty has been the go-to man for fans of elaborate American foreign adventures. Unwelcome inquiries are put down with a one word incantation that blesses and immunizes government-funded schemes that are always cash cows for somebody. "Isolationist" means exactly what its users mean it to mean--no more and no less. Every entry on the first page of my online search for the word "isolationism" provided the same definition: "The national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries." Nobody on the furthest fringes of the political spectrum who gets ink or air time comes close calling for a plan fitting that description.
The word remains in healthy circulation despite the total absence of public figures advocating anything of the kind. Its real linguistic purpose is to obstruct examination of extra-territorial programs that don't work and often do considerable harm.
Most of us first learned of the dreaded I-beast in grade school study of WWI. Back in that good old day, the authorities had sense enough to put these naysayers in prisons after allowing hostile crowds to have at 'em for an hour or so. If the folks at The Weekly Standard, the Heritage Foundation, AEI, Fox News et al get their way, hoosegow entrepreneurs will be back in that market before too long. How could anyone oppose US entry into The Great War, anyway? It's what catapulted us to the top of the economic heap. We are probably only one good war away from reclaiming that title.
The first people to stoke lynch mobs with the "I" word claimed we were fighting a war "to make the world safe for democracy." The Irish, Indians, Algerians, Pacific Islanders, Russian peasants, Filipinos, the Congolese and millions of other Africans were not educated well enough to accept this as readily as freedom-loving Americans did. Without guys like J.P. Morgan, J.D. Rockefeller, Charles Schwab and others who hired PR men to keep the country thinking right thoughts, foreigners are often easily misled. Isolationists are as rare on Wall Street as atheists are in foxholes.
To understand the perfidious way that isolationism works, try and visualize a typical slice of American policy from say 1968. Some experts and officers in a room at the Pentagon decide a spot on the map could use a good bombing, and the order is relayed via satellite to South Vietnam. At five they leave work to fight rush hour traffic and get home in time for a smoke with Walter Cronkite. Some Navy fliers get dispatched, and once the napalm is fixed to the jets, they're airborne. Thirty-five minutes later, the right patch below them, it's bombs away and a U-turn. An undernourished five year old girl foolishly lives nearby and an eight ounce blob of gel burning at 1,800 degrees lands on her back. She is immediately screaming and burns for six minutes until an adult manages to put the incinerating child out.
Meanwhile, the flyboys are on terra firma again with beers, joints, Steppenwolf on the turntable and much lamenting of St. Louis' undeserved defeat at the hands of Detroit. The little girl's screaming still pierces the tropical air. The engineers and the chemists who designed the people-melting device are on the other side of the world asleep in their suburban beds. And the tiny thing can't stop screaming. The next day at Harvard, William Kristol is expounding on communism, the domino theory, social responsibility, moral courage and careful reading. And the 32 lb. waif is still going through an endless agony that no man of oxen strength should ever have to endure in a lifetime. Isolating on these kinds of details misses the "big picture," I've been told. Only communists, terrorists and other abominable -ists focus on this kind of inhumane minutiae.
Forty years later, John McCain was wittily singing the lyrics "bomb Iran" while doubtless a child was on fire somewhere that US ordnance had exploded. The one certain outcome of such events is a profit for weapons manufacturers. Isolationists are oddly skeptical of the many benefits anti-isolationists find in all-purpose bombing campaigns. What's always clear is that people who speak publicly about their love for humanitarian bombing expect to be paid for it.
There are a lot of things that "isolationists" just don't know, and it must be for this ignorance they are so despised by both mainstream media and Wall Street's favorite politicians. They don't know why we have 50,000 soldiers in Germany or another 30,000 in Japan. Why we paid to keep an incorrigible thug like Mubarak in business for 30 years. Why we need missiles in Eastern Europe. Why we helped every bloodthirsty, misanthropic power monger in Central America. Why we needed to help Turkey get Ocalan. Why South Ossetia's nationalistic prerogatives are our business. Why foreign governments should be pressured by our diplomats on Wall Street's behalf. Why our government takes some kind of stand in every foreign war, election, national event or internal matter of almost any kind. How we can indict one country for human rights violations while buddying up to worse offenders like Saudi Arabia regularly. Why our foreign initiatives proceed based on fantastic ideologies in contempt of facts. These are just a few of the quandaries that afflict the minds of people who aren't buying the divine right of American altruist aristocracy to fine tune the rest of the world. They aren't exactly keen on the hyper-interventionist tendencies that keep so many beltway bandits in the chips, either.
What they also don't know is why the elite media, the experts and elected officials, if they truly understand these things, can't be called upon to explain any of them to the rest of us satisfactorily. On March 20, Dana Milbank called Rand Paul an "isolationist" in his column without any explanation. In the future, he might want to right click on Microsoft Word and choose the Look up option before deploying the term.
After American involvement in Vietnam ended, many proponents of the action claimed the death toll there would have been even worse without our presence. Others go so far as to maintain that fighting in such conflicts protects US citizens' privileges, like freedom of speech, here at home. They expect us all to believe that "Isolationists," by any definition, wouldn't get away with spouting their un-American propaganda in public places, or on television if any were allowed there, but for a policy that napalms little girls.
While people smeared with the I-word persistently point out that they are merely against policies that are misguided, immoral and often murderous, their detractors insist that what they really oppose is America. In the "big picture" mindset of the interventionist, you can't have one without the other.
Beat them over the head with a stick, that might do it.
As for the entanglements in east Asia, none of the countries under direct US vassalage have major disputes with China and do not need US protection. And it is likely that without the US Korea would be on a path to reunification. The US is trying to beat everyone in line to show who's the boss... So it seems, this K guy, like all his ilk are presenting things in a very Manichean way: either primacy or "isolationism". There is so much in between these two...
Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
PATIENT OBSERVER September 28, 2020 at 4:33 amET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:11 am
This is a threat?
Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq, nine months after the US killing of an Iranian general on Iraqi soil led to protests over what Baghdad called a "violation" of its sovereignty, according to reports.
Multiple media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Sky News, reported on Sunday that US officials told their Iraqi counterparts that Washington will shut down its operations unless there is an end to rocket attacks on the embassy, which is located in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.
Sounds more like a possible victory for Iraq and its people. I suspect that there is much more to the story and the US is pre-emptively seeking a face-saving exit excuse if it were to come to that.
However, it would be extremely unlikely for the US to abandon the embassy given that it serves as the headquarters for numerous nefarious operations in Iraq and IranET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:18 am
The claim that I have read is that this is in response to the USA's assassination of General Solemani in Lebanon. More precisely the i-Ranian strategy is not per se to cause American casualties but carry out sustained attacks via proxies on American interest in i-Rack, i.e. psychological pressure, cost etc. the ultimate goal being the USA leaving i-Rack as a suitable price for the assassination.I
I've also read (Vinyard the Saker?)that the USA has so far closed some of its smaller and less defensible outposts but concentrated what remains in fewer better defended bases. The USA does not want to leave i-Rack militarily and will hang on until it is out of options. The US embassy leaving i-Rack will not be good enough for i-Ran, but maybe this is the beginning of some kind of behind the scenes bargaining, though this is hard to believe considering the US is still pushing for a gulf coalition (WAR!) against i-Ran as well as polically neutralizing any potential spoiler countries. Also the embassay was built at quite a significant cost $750 billion.* So, you are right PO, this is bluff by the big puff Plumpeo.
i-Rack has also being trying to get rid of American military presence even though they have bought F-16IQs from Washington but the latter is using the same figleaf excuse as in Syria that they are 'fighting terrorists.'
* https://www.businessinsider.com/750-million-united-states-embassy-iraq-baghdad-2013-3JRKRIDEAU September 28, 2020 at 6:47 am
$750 million. Duh!MARK CHAPMAN September 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm
$750 million. Duh
Given standard US contracting over-runs I was willg to believe "billions". The surprising thing is that it got built.
The USA will never abandon its crown jewel in Iraq, and it would make little practical difference anyway, as it lies entirely within the American 'Green Zone', and they will surely not abandon that.
"But the location of the compound is well known in Baghdad anyway, where for several years it has been marked by large construction cranes and all-night work lights easily visible from the embattled neighborhoods across the river. It is reasonable to assume that insurgents will soon sit in the privacy of rooms overlooking the site, and use cell phones or radios to adjust the rocket and mortar fire of their companions. Meanwhile, however, they seem to have held off, lobbing most of their ordnance elsewhere into the Green Zone, as if reluctant to slow the completion of such an enticing target."
The Baghdad Embassy is the USA's most-expensive embassy in the world, and it costs far more to run it each year than the cost of building it, in excess of a Billion dollars a year. What America might do, and what Iraq does fear, is send its diplomats home for awhile, and use it as an excuse to open a military operation in Iraq against what it terms Iran-aligned militias.
Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:17 amMARK CHAPMAN September 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Neuters via Antiwar.com : Putin Calls For Mutual Ban on Election Meddling With US
US intel agencies claim Russia, China, and Iran are meddling in 2020 election
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US and Russia should sign an agreement promising not to meddle in each other's elections. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-putin/putin-says-russia-and-u-s-should-agree-not-to-meddle-in-each-others-elections-idUSKCN26G1LJ
Putin proposed, "exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other's internal affairs, including electoral processes, including using information and communication technologies and high-tech methods."..
That is some excellently timed next level trolling from Pootie-McPoot-Face.
Of course the USA will never agree to such a proposal, because (a) it does not regard its meddling as 'interference' but as the bringing of the gift of freedom, (b) it stands on its absolute right of judgment as to what is a situation that requires more democracy and what is not, and (c) it probably knows at some level that Russia did not meddle in the US elections, and that it would therefore in that case be constraining its own behavior in exchange for nothing.
But then, when refused – I imagine the US will try to extract something from the offer, such as "A-HA!! So you ADMIT to meddling in our elections!! – Russia can obviously claim, "Well, we tried."
Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."
"Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.
Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.
The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.
US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.
More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.
Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .
These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.
Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."
"The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.
The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.
ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."
ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.
It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone
Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.
A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.
ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PMThe Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM
Dear Colonel agreed.
I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.
The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.
Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.
OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM
I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.
The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.
I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.
Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM
No, no, no.
There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.
There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.
It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.
That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom
(Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM
Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM
How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.
"WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.
Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.
The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.
Sep 28, 2020 | peterturchin.com
Shaun Bartone February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm
I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military.
They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers , and I think there's a high degree of cooperation for the agenda. The revolution is the cabal run by Trump/Bannon who are more extreme and ideological than any previous faction, who have no tolerance for compromise. They have an apocalyptic vision of grinding it all down to a bare minimum police state.
Sep 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
ak74 , Aug 10 2020 6:55 utc | 71
"The statement then claims:
Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."
What America is yet again conniving to do is to discredit any domestic political dissent against the fraud of "American Democracy" by connecting this dissent to those nations that are the latest targets of America's Two Minutes of Hate campaign.
This is a standard American tactic that the USA always resorts to when it fears its own citizens are starting to question the fairy tale of American "Democracy and Freedom." Thus, during the Cold War, the USA even to discredit some elements of the Civil Rights movement as being assets of the Soviet Union.
The great Orwellian hypocrisy of America's pants-wetting complaints that other countries are meddling in America's (fake) democracy is that the United States itself is guilty of regime changing, balkanizing, and colonizing scores of foreign nations dating back over a century to the USA's regime change and eventual colonization of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Bottom Line: America needs to drink a big up of Shut the F*ck Up with its pathetic Pity Party whining about foreigners trying to influence its bogus democracy.
This tired psyops is pathetic.
Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
padre , Aug 10 2020 15:12 utc | 74
We have no evidence, but don't forget, they are evil and wouldn't hesitate to do it!
Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com
One of the most vibrantly alive people I met, André Vltchek, just died . Though he barely made it past his mid-fifties he got in a lot more living than a hundred average Americans who live to collect their pensions. Allah yarhamhu.
In honor of this great Truth Jihadi we're replaying this 2018 interview:André Vltchek on West's sadistic personality disorder (originally broadcast May 2, 2018)
The West claims to be the "free world" -- the global leader in human rights, humanitarianism, and free expression. Globetrotting independent journalist André Vltchek , who joins us from Borneo, isn't buying it. His latest essay begins:
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.
By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.
Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.
One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the 'allowed protocol'). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far 'freedom' usually stretches.
Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.
Andre Vltchek's latest book is : The Great October Socialist Revolution: Impact on the World and Birth of Internationalism
Information on his other books and films
Luther Blisst , says: September 23, 2020 at 11:21 pm GMTPetrOldSack , says: September 24, 2020 at 11:00 am GMT
Andre taunted rightwing elites and illness – with a passion. I guess one of them caught up.
Living hard seems like a death-wish, maybe it was. Staring at darkness messes people up and he traveled again and again into the hearts of darkness across the planet because he wanted to be a modern Wilfred Burchett. He was one of the greats. My condolences to his family and friends.
Peace to Stephen Cohen too. You both will be missed.No Friend Of The Devil , says: September 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
André Vltchek was not an intellectual heavyweight. What is fascinating about his life-story is how and who financed. That should be easy for insiders to fish out, and insiders there be.
As to my humble opinion, Chomsky was neither. From all angles, his pre-fabricated prestige, his in-group attitudes, his encrusted prestance, pettiness, pedantry, always within convention, his factoid approach, the channels of communication, the lack of any systemic approach, his "good guys bad guys" copper´ approach, did not warrant the few hours listening in on his tune and omni-presence. His numb personality, contrary to the combative Vltchek is noted as a minor.
Some "intellectuals" have half a page of original content in them over the course of a life-time (not the same as career (n´est ce pas Pinker?)), most have none. "History repeat itself", through the bull-horns of public intellectuals. They both practiced a sort of journalism that is superficial (accent on the superficial) agenda driven.
They both are within the K. B. range.brabantian , says: September 26, 2020 at 11:14 am GMT
Ex-CIA John Kiriakou stated that the CIA was attempting to recruit just about anyone that they were able to starting in the sixties ranging from Hollywood actors/actresses, musicians, writers, journalists, artists, business people, just about anyone. Operation Mockingbird is still widely used even if it is no longer regerred to it as Operation Mockingbird.Adûnâi , says: Website September 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm GMT
André Vltchek (1962-2020) was the son of a Czech nuclear physicist father, and a Russian-Chinese artist-architect mother, born in Soviet-era St Petersburg (then Leningrad). He spent part of his childhood as well in the famous Czech beer city of Pilsen.
Here, an article where Vltchek talked about his roots, and his nostalgia for life under Communism in eastern Europe
Eulogy for André Vltchek by China expert Jeff J Brown
https://www.youtube.com/embed/EmCFRyDLDJU?feature=oembedAnon  Disclaimer , says: September 26, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.
What culture is not? Every single population on Earth wants to survive, Westerners want non-Aryans to survive, but the mechanism is always the same. The Stasi, the Gestapo, the CIA, the KGB – they all breathed air, and they all tortured dissenters. Turkey was almost overthrown in 2016. The Shah of Iran was, as were Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi in Egypt and Libya. Bashar is facing quite a lot of criticism for being free – that critique comes in the form of bombs and jihadi freedom fighters. The Saudi Prince is wise for strangling and beheading Khashoggi. The USSR disintegrated after they had shut down the GULAG.
As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.
In 2012, the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in [the DPR of Korea] estimated 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated, based on testimonies of defectors from the state police bureau, which roughly equals 600–800 people incarcerated per 100,000.
The World Prison Brief puts the United States' incarceration rate at 655 per 100,000.Robert Konrad , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:50 am GMT
Okay. If the West is the least free society on the planet, why the heck do all these third-world people keep trying to move there? It is plain that Vltchek's thinking flunks the real-world reality test.
The reality is, the rest of the world is worse off than the West, or people wouldn't keep trying to leave the third world for the West.@Anon ey want to have freedom of their stupid religious beliefs, not freedom from religion. They still don't know that freedom of religion is not worth anything if it also doesn't guarantee freedom from religion.
Thomas Jefferson tried very hard to explain this to them, but Yankee morons have never learned what Jefferson tried to teach them. (With some notable exceptions, though, who, however, have absolutely no political power.)
Vltchek is/was right: American/Western civilization [sic] (siphilization, rather) is bankrupt and inhuman. It can only offer an abundance of material goods and military weapons as if the only goals of human life were material things and warfare.
Sep 25, 2020 | newschant.com
Fiona Hill, the National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs till 2019, says divisions are rising inside the Kremlin over the knowledge of persevering with a "dirty tricks" marketing campaign that's had combined outcomes and will now face diminishing returns.
On the one hand, Russia's 2016 affect operations succeeded past the Kremlin's wildest goals. The US-dominated, unipolar world that Putin has lengthy railed in opposition to is now not. America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit. "On that ledger, wow, yes, basically over-fulfilled the plan," mentioned Hill.
At the identical time, getting caught in the act of making an attempt to sabotage US democracy has proved pricey. "They lost the entire US political class and politicized ties so that the whole future of US-Russia relations now depends on who wins in November," she mentioned.
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.htmlAshino , Sep 23 2020 9:29 utc | 68
Comment by Reader Dark Fate
Following a long line of very arrogant american imperial "negotiators", mr oblivion billingslea used standard "negotiating" techniques like
(a) accusing the other side of crimes Americans have committed first and forever, eg, extreme lying, bad faith argumentation, military aggression, foreign government security breaching, assassination and poisoning [as in american presidents and independent thinkers], and of course, electoral cheating;
(b) putting the opponent in the "negotiation process" on the defensive or back foot by stating false news allegations amplified by the media controlled by the american empire;
(c) offering nothing useful or commitable to be done by the empire, and yet "magnanimously" demanding the moon as opponents' concessions, eg, russian, iranian and chinese nuclear weapons limits, but not for nato's development and deployment, and; (d) after making impossible demands, the imperials accuse the opponents of hostility and unwillingness to "negotiate".
The russians can skillfully agree by stating that they only require the americans to reduce their nukes to 320 pieces like china, and in less than five years.
This is why it is very important for sovereign nations to read the guidebook, called the "idiot's guide on running the american empire", and developing deep and lasting solutions.
As for the other american imperial military "advantages", eg, constellation of "aggression" satellites, andrei forgot to mention that these can be shot or burned down in minutes easily by russia, china and even iran, as these stations cannot hide or run away in earth orbits.
Replenishment of weapons and military supplies after 3 months is rather doomed as the cheap, mass production and manufacturing facilities do not exist. Which must be re-created somehow but now
American lands are the targets. Much, Much Different Than WW2 !!
And of course, russia can always nuke down the USA and its vassal countries, and thus permanently ruin their economies for a decade or more, they don't know how to run defense -- this was always the fatal weakness of all bullies - if they'll have enough time to "learn it"... let's see... I doubt this.
Let's see americans try to start and conduct a nuclear war after too many spy, internet and gps satellites are shot down. Russia can even do this today using conventional explosives, and the world will be shocked how helpless the american military and economy can be made even without using russian nukes.
There are countries still immune to the numerous american imperial diseases that are already documented daily in zerohedge postings. The better countries still have lots of parents telling their kids to study and work hard so they can have better lives than their ancestors.
In oregon and california, they teach unemployable kids to burn something or somebody sometime before dinner.
CdVision • 11 hours ago
I was about to say that what now comes out of the US & Trump's mouth in particular, is Orwellian. But that credits it with too much gravitas. The true comparison is Alice in Wonderland:
"Words mean whatever I want them to mean".Reminiscence of the Future.. ( http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html)
Russia "Steals Everything" !! (Not just China, oops... ???!!!!)
And Jesus Christ was an American and was born in Kalamazoo, MI. It is a well-known fact. So Donald Trump, evidently briefed by his "utterly competent and crushingly precise aids", knows now that too! !!! LOL
Time For Daily Auto-Hypnosis, Comrades. !!!
> US President Donald Trump claims that Russia developed hypersonic weapons after allegedly stealing information from the United States.
> According to him, "Russia received this information from the Obama administration," Moscow "stole this information." Trump said that "Russia received this information and then created" the rocket, reports TASS.
> "We have such advanced weapons that President Xi, Putin and everyone else will envy us. They do not know what we have, but they know that it is something that no one has ever heard of. "
->We are the foremost and always number one. Everything is invented only by us, the rest can only either steal, or be gifted with our developments for good behavior. This situation is eternal, unchanging, everyone lags behind American Tikhalogii at least 50 years (the time frame was chosen so that even a 20-year-old would lose heart, "what's the point of trying to catch up, it won't work anyway, in my lifetime"). It was, is, and will be, this is the natural course of events.
All this is delivered in the format of the classic Sunday sermon of the American provincial Protestant church, coding the parishioners for further deeds and actions. And it worked effectively, creating in some basalt confidence "we are better because we are better", in others - "I don't mind anything for joining this radiant success, I'm ready for anything, I'll go for any hardships and crimes, if only There".
Only now it worked. In a situation where the frequency of pronouncing such mantras is more and more, emotions are invested in them too, but in fact everyone understands that this is what autohypnosis does not work.
The poor have stolen from the United States, if you look at it, literally everything. And 5G and the superweapon of the gods. Moreover, a pearl with a characteristic handwriting is not copy / paste, but move / paste, you bastards. Therefore, the United States does not even have any traces of developments left - the guys just sit in an empty room, shrug their hands, "here we have a farm of mechanical killer dolls, with the faces of Mickey Mouse overexposed, and now look - traces of bast shoes and candy wrappers from "Korkunov" only, ah-ah-ah, well, something like that, ah. "
At the same time, there are no cases of sabotage, espionage - whole projects were simply developed, developed, brought to a working product, and then the hob - and that's it, and disappeared. And this became noticeable only after years. And all the persons involved are like "wow, wow."
Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.
But due to the fact that all of the above theses are driven very tightly into the template for the perception of the world, both those who voiced these theses and the listeners are satisfied.
Because the post-American post-hegemonic world is not terrible because in some ratings another country will be higher there, and Detroit will never be rebuilt "as it was". It is scary because it is not clear how to live for people who had no support in the form of global goals, faith, philosophy of life, and all this was replaced by narcissism on the basis of "successful success is my second self".
This means that the moment when this issue has to be resolved must be delayed to the last. Leaving the whole topic on the plane "we were offended, we are offended, we were dishonest, which means we have the right to any action" is not a bad move.
It's a pity that it doesn't really affect the essence of what is happening.< >
Sep 21, 2020 | prospectmagazine.co.uk
A s the US prepares to plunge into a new cold war with China in which its chances do not look good, it's an appropriate time to examine how we went so badly wrong after "victory" in the last Cold War. Looking back 30 years from the grim perspective of 2020, it is a challenge even for those who were adults at the time to remember just how triumphant the west appeared in the wake of the collapse of Soviet communism and the break-up of the USSR itself.
Today, of the rich fruits promised by that great victory, only wretched fragments remain. The much-vaunted "peace dividend," savings from military spending, was squandered. The opportunity to use the resources freed up to spread prosperity and deal with urgent social problems was wasted, and -- even worse -- the US military budget is today higher than ever. Attempts to mitigate the apocalyptic threat of climate change have fallen far short of what the scientific consensus deems to be urgently necessary. The chance to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stabilise the Middle East was thrown away even before 9/11 and the disastrous US response. The lauded "new world order" of international harmony and co-operation -- heralded by the elder George Bush after the first Gulf War -- is a tragic joke. Britain's European dream has been destroyed, and geopolitical stability on the European continent has been lost due chiefly to new and mostly unnecessary tension with Moscow. The one previously solid-seeming achievement, the democratisation of Eastern Europe, is looking questionable, as Poland and Hungary (see Samira Shackle, p20) sink into semi-authoritarian nationalism.
Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.
One of the most malign effects of western victory in 1989-91 was to drown out or marginalise criticism of what was already a deeply flawed western social and economic model. In the competition with the USSR, it was above all the visible superiority of the western model that eventually destroyed Soviet communism from within. Today, the superiority of the western model to the Chinese model is not nearly so evident to most of the world's population; and it is on successful western domestic reform that victory in the competition with China will depend.
Western triumph and western failure were deeply intertwined. The very completeness of the western victory both obscured its nature and legitimised all the western policies of the day, including ones that had nothing to do with the victory over the USSR, and some that proved utterly disastrous.
As Alexander Zevin has written of the house journal of Anglo-American elites, the revolutions in Eastern Europe "turbocharged the neoliberal dynamic at the Economist , and seemed to stamp it with an almost providential seal." In retrospect, the magazine's 1990s covers have a tragicomic appearance, reflecting a degree of faith in the rightness and righteousness of neoliberal capitalism more appropriate to a religious cult.
These beliefs interacted to produce a dominant atmosphere of "there is no alternative," which made it impossible and often in effect forbidden to conduct a proper public debate on the merits of the big western presumptions, policies or plans of the era. As a German official told me when I expressed some doubt about the wisdom of rapid EU enlargement, "In my ministry we are not even allowed to think about that."
This was a sentiment I encountered again and again (if not often so frankly expressed) in western establishment institutions in that era: in economic journals if it was suggested that rapid privatisation in the former USSR would lead to massive corruption, social resentment and political reaction; in security circles, if anyone dared to question the logic of Nato expansion; and almost anywhere if it was pointed out that the looting of former Soviet republics was being assiduously encouraged and profited from by western banks, and regarded with benign indifference by western governments.
The atmosphere of the time is (nowadays notoriously) summed up in Francis Fukuyama's The End of History , which essentially predicted that western liberal capitalist democracy would now be the only valid and successful economic and political model for all time. In fact, what victory in the Cold War ended was not history but the study of history by western elites."The US claiming the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world was an ambition greater than that of any previous power"
A curious feature of 1990s capitalist utopian thought was that it misunderstood the essential nature of capitalism, as revealed by its real (as opposed to faith-based) history. One is tempted to say that Fukuyama should have paid more attention to Karl Marx and a famous passage in The Communist Manifesto :
"The bourgeoisie [ie capitalism] cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society All fixed, fast-frozen relations with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify the bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed "
Then again, Marx himself made exactly the same mistake in his portrayal of a permanent socialist utopia after the overthrow of capitalism. The point is that utopias, being perfect, are unchanging, whereas continuous and radical change, driven by technological development, is at the heart of capitalism -- and, according to Marx, of the whole course of human history. Of course, those who believed in a permanently successful US "Goldilocks economy" -- not too hot, and not too cold -- also managed to forget 300 years of periodic capitalist economic crises.
Though much mocked at the time, Fukuyama's vision came to dominate western thinking. This was summed up in the universally employed but absurd phrases "Getting to Denmark" (as if Russia and China were ever going to resemble Denmark) and "The path to democracy and the free market" (my italics), which became the mantra of the new and lucrative academic-bureaucratic field of "transitionology." Absurd, because the merest glance at modern history reveals multiple different "paths" to -- and away from -- democracy and capitalism, not to mention myriad routes that have veered towards one at the same time as swerving away from the other.
Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
"The US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role "
By claiming for the US the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world and denying other major powers a greater role in their regions, this strategy essentially extended the Monroe Doctrine (which effectively defined the "western hemisphere" as the US sphere of influence) to the entire planet: an ambition greater than that of any previous power. The British Empire at its height knew that it could never intervene unilaterally on the continent of Europe or in Central America. The most megalomaniac of European rulers understood that other great powers with influence in their own areas of the world would always exist.
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."
Triumphalism led US policymakers, and their transatlantic followers, to forget one cardinal truth about geopolitical and military power: that in the end it is not global and absolute, but local and relative. It is the amount of force or influence a state wants to bring to bear in a particular place and on a -particular issue, relative to the power that a rival state is willing and able to bring to bear. The truth of this has been shown repeatedly over the past generation. For all America's overwhelming superiority on paper, it has turned out that many countries have greater strength than the US in particular places: Russia in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia and Iran in Syria, China in the South China Sea, and even Pakistan in southern Afghanistan.
American over-confidence, accepted by many Europeans and many Britons especially, left the US in a severely weakened condition to conduct what should have been clear as far back as the 1990s to be the great competition of the future -- that between Washington and Beijing.
On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. Within Russia, the US threat to its national interests helped to consolidate and legitimise Putin's control. Internationally, it ensured that Russia would swallow its deep-seated fears of China and become a valuable partner of Beijing.
On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance. Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should
Throughout, the US establishment discourse (Democrat as much as Republican) has sought to legitimise American global hegemony by invoking the promotion of liberal democracy. At the same time, the supposedly intrinsic connection between economic change, democracy and peace was rationalised by cheerleaders such as the New York Times 's indefatigable Thomas Friedman, who advanced the (always absurd, and now flatly and repeatedly falsified) "Golden Arches theory of Conflict Prevention." This vulgarised version of Democratic Peace Theory pointed out that two countries with McDonald's franchises had never been to war. The humble and greasy American burger was turned into a world-historical symbol of the buoyant modern middle classes with too much to lose to countenance war.
Various equally hollow theories postulated cast-iron connections between free markets and guaranteed property rights on the one hand, and universal political rights and freedoms on the other, despite the fact that even within the west, much of political history can be characterised as the fraught and complex brokering of accommodations between these two sets of things.
And indeed, since the 1990s democracy has not advanced in the world as a whole, and belief in the US promotion of democracy has been discredited by US patronage of the authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and elsewhere. Of the predominantly Middle Eastern and South Asian students whom I teach at Georgetown University in Qatar, not one -- even among the liberals -- believes that the US is sincerely committed to spreading democracy; and, given their own regions' recent history, there is absolutely no reason why they should believe this.
The one great triumph of democratisation coupled with free market reform was -- or appeared to be -- in the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, and this success was endlessly cited as the model for political and economic reform across the globe.
But the portrayal of East European reform in the west failed to recognise the central role of local nationalism. Once again, to talk of this at the time was to find oneself in effect excluded from polite society, because to do so called into question the self-evident superiority and universal appeal of liberal reform. The overwhelming belief of western establishments was that nationalism was a superstition that was fast losing its hold on people who, given the choice, could everywhere be relied on to act like rational consumers, rather than citizens rooted in one particular land.
The more excitable technocrats imagined that nation state itself (except the US of course) was destined to wither away. This was also the picture reflected back to western observers and analysts by liberal reformers across the region, who whether or not they were genuinely convinced of this, knew what their western sponsors wanted to hear. Western economic and cultural hegemony produced a sort of mirror game, a copulation of illusions in which local informants provided false images to the west, which then reflected them back to the east, and so on.
Always the nation
Yet one did not have to travel far outside the centres of Eastern European cities to find large parts of populations outraged by the moral and cultural changes ordained by the EU, the collapse of social services, and the (western-indulged) seizure of public property by former communist elites. So why did Eastern Europeans swallow the whole western liberal package of the time? They did so precisely because of their nationalism, which persuaded them that if they did not pay the cultural and economic price of entry into the EU and Nato, they would sooner or later fall back under the dreaded hegemony of Moscow. For them, unwanted reform was the price that the nation had to pay for US protection. Not surprisingly, once membership of these institutions was secured, a powerful populist and nationalist backlash set in.
Western blindness to the power of nationalism has had several bad consequences for western policy, and the cohesion of "the west." In Eastern Europe, it would in time lead to the politically almost insane decision of the EU to try to order the local peoples, with their deeply-rooted ethnic nationalism and bitter memories of outside dictation, to accept large numbers of Muslim refugees. The backlash then became conjoined with the populist reactions in Western Europe, which led to Brexit and the sharp decline of centrist parties across the EU.
More widely, this blindness to the power of nationalism led the US grossly to underestimate the power of nationalist sentiment in Russia, China and Iran, and contributed to the US attempt to use "democratisation" as a means to overthrow their regimes. All that this has succeeded in doing is to help the regimes concerned turn nationalist sentiment against local liberals, by accusing them of being US stooges.
"A stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values"
Russian liberals in the 1990s were mostly not really US agents as such, but the collapse of Communism led some to a blind adulation of everything western and to identify unconditionally with US policies. In terms of public image, this made them look like western lackeys; in terms of policy, it led to the adoption of the economic "shock therapy" policies advocated by the west. Combined with monstrous corruption and the horribly disruptive collapse of the Soviet single market, this had a shattering effect on Russian industry and the living standards of ordinary Russians.
Many liberals gave the impression of complete indifference to the resulting immiseration of the Russian population in these years. At a meeting of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington that I attended later, former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar boasted to an applauding US audience of how he had destroyed the Russian military industrial complex. The fact that this also destroyed the livelihoods of tens of millions of Russians and Ukrainians was not mentioned.
This attitude was fed by contempt on the part of the educated classes of Moscow and St Petersburg for ordinary Russians, who were dubbed Homo Sovieticus and treated as an inferior species whose loathsome culture was preventing the liberal elites from taking their rightful place among the "civilised" nations of the west. This frame of mind was reminiscent of the traditional attitude of white elites in Latin America towards the Indio and Mestizo majorities in their countries.
I vividly remember one Russian liberal journalist state his desire to fire machine guns into crowds of elderly Russians who joined Communist demonstrations to protest about the collapse of their pensions. The response of the western journalists present was that this was perhaps a little bit excessive, but to be excused since the basic sentiment was correct.
The Russian liberals of the 1990s were crazy to reveal this contempt to the people whose votes they needed to win. So too was Hillary Clinton, with her disdain for the "basket of deplorables" in the 2016 election, much of the Remain camp in the years leading up to Brexit, and indeed the European elites in the way they rammed through the Maastricht Treaty and the euro in the 1990s.
If the post-Cold War world order was a form of US imperialism, it now looks like an empire in which rot in the over-extended periphery has spread to the core. The economic and social patterns of 1990s Russia and Ukraine have come back to haunt the west, though so far thank God in milder form. The massive looting of Russian state property and the systematic evasion of taxes by Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs was only possible with the help of western banks, which transferred the proceeds to the west and the Caribbean. This crime was euphemised in the western discourse (naturally including the Economist ) as "capital flight."
Peter Mandelson qualified his famous remark that the Blair government was "intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich" with the words "as long as they pay their taxes." The whole point, however, about the filthy Russian, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Pakistani and other money that flowed to and through London was not just that so much of it was stolen, but that it was escaping taxation, thereby harming the populations at home twice over. The infamous euphemism "light-touch regulation" was in effect a charter
In a bitter form of poetic justice, however, "light-touch regulation" paved the way for the 2008 economic crisis in the west itself, and western economic elites too (especially in the US) would also seize this opportunity to move their money into tax havens. This has done serious damage to state revenues, and to the fundamental faith of ordinary people in the west that the rich are truly subject to the same laws as them.
The indifference of Russian elites to the suffering of the Russian population has found a milder echo in the neglect of former industrial regions across Britain, Western Europe and the US that did so much to produce the votes for Brexit, for Trump and for populist nationalist parties in Europe. The catastrophic plunge in Russian male life expectancy in the 1990s has found its echo in the unprecedented decline in white working-class male life expectancy in the US.
Perhaps the greatest lesson of the period after the last Cold War is that in the end, a stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values. To say this to western economists, businessmen and financial journalists in the 1990s was to receive the kindly contempt usually accorded to religious cranks. The only value recognised was shareholder value, a currency in which the crimes of the Russian oligarchs could be excused because their stolen companies had "added value." Any concern about duty to the Russian people as a whole, or the fact that tolerance of these crimes would make it grotesque to demand honesty of policemen or civil servants, were dismissed as irrelevant sentimentality.
Bringing it all back home
We in the west are living with the consequences of a generation of such attitudes. Western financial elites have mostly not engaged in outright illegality; but then again, they usually haven't needed to, since governments have made it easy for them to abide by the letter of the law while tearing its spirit to pieces. We are belatedly recognising that, as Franklin Foer wrote in the Atlantic last year: "New York, Los Angeles and Miami have joined London as the world's most desired destinations for laundered money. This boom has enriched the American elites who have enabled it -- and it has degraded the nation's political and social mores in the process. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, [Richard] Palmer [a former CIA station chief in Moscow] had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America's own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition."
Those analysing the connection between Russia and Trump's administration have looked in the wrong place. The explanation of Trump's success is not that Putin somehow mesmerised American voters in 2016. It is that populations abandoned by their elites are liable to extreme political responses; and that societies whose economic elites have turned ethics into a joke should not be surprised if their political leaders too become scoundrels.
About this author Anatol Lieven Anatol Lieven is a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and the author among other books of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism and (with John Hulsman), Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World More by this author More by Anatol Lieven Will Qatar be reduced to a Saudi client state? July 18, 2017 Why the left needs nationalism January 3, 2017 Pakistan has survived -- now can it prosper?
Sep 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
P McGill , 3 days agoCJ Daly , 4 days ago
This is, without ANY question, one of Tucker's most important segments that he has ever done. IT IS EXTREMELY-RARE THAT """they""" ARE EXPOSED, BY-NAME, SO OPENLY AND DIRECTLY, BUT, IT HAPPENED, TONIGHT.john doe , 2 days ago
Please bring back Dr. Darren Beattie back. More info. on the color revolutions, Mr. Eisen, crew, and their relationship to mail in voting fraud and their impact on the 2020 election is needed. If Mr. Eisens methods are to be used in the 2020 election mass awareness is needed.Chuck Emmorll , 2 days ago
This is not about Trump. The endgame of the deep state is to enslave people through social division. The election is a wrestling match for entertainment.viewoftheaskew , 3 days ago (edited)
Norm Eisen's loyalty? Israel?Hapa Nice Day , 3 days ago (edited)
Norm Eisen..., "Obama's Ethics Czar" wow that's a triple oxymoron lol.Dave being , 2 days ago
Purple is the color of this revolution. Remember the outfits Bill and Hillary wore when Hillary conceded to Trump.John Singer , 1 day ago
Sounds like what's happening in Venezuela.sandra macey , 3 days ago
The deep state are plotting against the American people 24/7. Russia hoax was a coup, they will try it again.
Sheesh, he looks scared. I hope he's being well protected now. Darren is a very brave man who is trying to tell the citizens of the US that there is malice aforethought towards the President and this election. It is now not a choice between Republicans or Democrats, it is a fight between good and evil. I'm sure Trump and his team are aware of the playbook and will do everything they can to sort this, with God's help. It may get hairy, but trust the plan.
Jordan Spackman , 2 hours agoPeter Jones , 3 days ago
I have a feeling dems will "rig for red" to frame republicans for voter fraud, overlooking the overwhelming amount of voter fraud in favor of Biden Harris. Causing outrage and calls to remove the President from office and saying Biden actually won. When he really did not. Be prepared. Stay strong.
Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West."
Nick Name , 2 days ago
american people still don't know and can't understand what's happening and what their government is doing, even right now it's happening in Belarus, it happened in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong and etc. and now it's happening in your own country, wake up people and don't forget who's behind all this - a NGO founded by CIA called NED (National endowment for democracy), Soros and his NGOs and the deep state.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com
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It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.
The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.
It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.
This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.
In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.
Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.
What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."
Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "
Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."
" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.
his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.
The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax
The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.
Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.
" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.
" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."
The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.
There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.
Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.
The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.
But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.
But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.
Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.
On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."
After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!Scott Ritter
is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter
Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present
Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public
Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AMWhichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AMThe answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PMBob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PMThat is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PMBut he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AMAnother first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PMJust because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PMIt's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PMTrump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PMGood op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PMTrue, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PMSomething's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AMWhat was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PMContinuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PMBoth parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AMIs there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PMMy observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incidentneeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PMThe is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PMSo everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PMThe left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PMTrump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PMHe's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PMThe Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.
Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."
In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.
On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.
In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.
Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.
There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.
What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.
Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.
And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?
There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.
There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.
Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.
Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.
Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.
Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.
It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.
Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.
Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.
In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.
Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.
This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.
Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.
The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .
Sep 09, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
PROOF OF COLLUSION AT LAST! SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 PAULR 18 COMMENTS
Despite the secondary roles played some bit part actors in the Russiagate drama, the central figure in allegations that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to be elected as president of the United States has always been Trumps' onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. The recent US Senate report on Russian 'interference' in the 2016 presidential election thus started off its analysis with a long exposé of Manafort's comings and goings.
Simply put, the thesis is as follows: while working in Ukraine as an advisor to 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, Manafort was in effect working on behalf of the Russian state via 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian oligarchs as well as Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska (a man with 'close ties' to the Kremlin). Also suspicious was Manafort's close relationship with one Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the US Senate claims is a Russia intelligence agent. All these connections meant that while in Ukraine, Manafort was helping the Russian Federation spread its malign influence. On returning to the USA and joining the Trump campaign, he then continued to fulfill the same role.
The fundamental flaw in this thesis has always been the well-known fact that while advising Yanukovich, Manafort took anything but a 'pro-Russian' position, but instead pressed him to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU). Since gaining independence, Ukraine had avoided being sucked either into the Western or the Russian camp. But the rise of two competing geopolitical projects – the EU and the Russia-backed Eurasian Union – was making this stance increasingly impossible, and Ukraine was being put in a position where it would be forced to choose. This was because the two Unions are incompatible – one can't be in two customs unions simultaneously, when they levy different tariffs and have different rules. Association with the EU meant an end to the prospect of Ukraine joining the Eurasian Union. It was therefore a goal which was entirely incompatible with Russian interests, which required that Ukraine turn instead towards Eurasia.
Manafort's position on this matter therefore worked against Russia. Even The Guardian journalist Luke Harding had to concede this in his book Collusion , citing a former Ukrainian official Oleg Voloshin that, 'Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside [Yanunkovich's] Party of Regions was that he actually worked for the USA.'
If anyone had any doubts about this, they can now put them aside. On Monday, the news agency BNE Intellinews announced that it had received a leak of hundreds of Kilimnik's emails detailing his relationship with Manafort and Yanukovich. The story they tell is not at all what the US Senate and other proponents of the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy would have you believe. As BNE reports:
Today the Yanukovych narrative is that he was a stool pigeon for Russian President Vladimir Putin from the start, but after winning the presidency he actually worked very hard to take Ukraine into the European family. As bne IntelliNews has already reported, Manafort's flight records also show how he crisscrossed Europe in an effort to build support in Brussels for Yanukovych in the run up to the EU Vilnius summit.
On March 1, his first foreign trip as newly minted president was to the EU capital of Brussels. The leaked emails show that Manafort influenced Yanukovych's decision to visit Brussels as first stop, working in concert with his assistant Konstantin Kilimnik In a memorandum entitled 'Purpose of President Yanukovych Trip to Brussels,' Manafort argued that the decision to visit Brussels first would underscore Yanukovych's mission to "bring European values to Ukraine," and kick start negotiations on the Association Agreement.
The memorandum on the Brussels visit was the first of many from Manafort and Kilimnik to Yanukovych, in which they pushed Yanukovych to signal a clear pro-EU line and to carry out reforms to back this up.
To handle Yanukovych's off-message antics, Manafort and Kilimnik created a back channel to Yanukovych for Western politicians – in particular those known to appreciate Ukraine's geopolitical significance vis-à-vis Russia. In Europe, these were Sweden's then foreign minister Carl Bildt, Poland's then foreign minister Radosław Sikorski and European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, and in the US, Vice President Joe Biden.
"We need to launch a 'Friends of Ukraine' programme to help us use informal channels in talks on the free trade zone and modernisation of the gas transport system," Manafort and Kilimnik wrote to Yanukovych in September 2010. "Carl Bildt is the foundation of this informal group and has sufficient weight with his colleagues in questions connected to Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership. ( ) but he needs to be able to say that he has a direct channel to the President, and he knows that President Yanukovych remains committed to European integration."
Beyond this, the emails show that Manafort and Kilimnik also tried hard to arrange a meeting between Yanukovich and US President Barack Obama, and urged Yanukovich to show leniency to former Prime Minister Yuliia Timoshenko (who was imprisoned for fraud).
It is noticeable that the members of the 'back channel' Manafort and Kilimnik created to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the EU included some of the most notably Russophobic European politicians of the time, such as Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski. Moreover, nowhere in any of what they did can you find anything that could remotely be described as 'pro-Russian'. Indeed, the opposite is true. As previously noted, Ukraine's bid for an EU agreement directly challenged a key Russian interest – the expansion of the Eurasian Union to include Ukraine. Manafort and Kilimnik were therefore very much working against Russia, not for it.
The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests.
None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure!
Aug 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Tensions are becoming dangerous in Syria and on Russia's back doorstep. US soldiers stand near US and Russian military vehicles in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Derik) at the border with Turkey, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A dangerous vehicle collision between U.S and Russian soldiers in Northeastern Syria on Aug. 24 highlights the fragility of the relationship and the broader test of wills between the two major powers.
According to White House reports and a Russian video that went viral this week, it appeared that as the two sides were racing down a highway in armored vehicles, the Russians sideswiped the Americans, leaving four U.S. soldiers injured. It is but the latest clash as both sides continue their patrols in the volatile area. But it speaks of bigger problems with U.S. provocations on Russia's backdoor in Eastern Europe.
A sober examination of U.S. policy toward Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union leads to two possible conclusions. One is that U.S. leaders, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been utterly tone-deaf to how Washington's actions are perceived in Moscow. The other possibility is that those leaders adopted a policy of maximum jingoistic swagger intended to intimidate Russia, even if it meant obliterating a constructive bilateral relationship and eventually risking a dangerous showdown. Washington's latest military moves, especially in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, are stoking alarming tensions.
There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative.
As if such steps were not antagonistic enough, both Bush and Obama sought to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The latter country is not only within what Russia regards as its legitimate sphere of influence, but within its core security zone. Even key European members of NATO, especially France and Germany, believed that such a move was unwise and blocked Washington's ambitions. That resistance, however, did not inhibit a Western effort to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs to help demonstrators unseat Ukraine's elected, pro-Russia president and install a new, pro-NATO government in 2014.
Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country.
However, Esper made it clear that only 6,400 would return to the United States; the other nearly 5,600 would be redeployed to other NATO members in Europe. Indeed, of the 6,400 coming back to the United States, "many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments back to Europe." Worse, of the 5,600 staying in Europe, it turns out that at least 1,000 are going to Poland's eastern border with Russia.
Another result of the redeployment will be to boost U.S. military power in the Black Sea. Esper confirmed that various units would "begin continuous rotations farther east in the Black Sea region, giving us a more enduring presence to enhance deterrence and reassure allies along NATO's southeastern flank." Moscow is certain to regard that measure as another on a growing list of Black Sea provocations by the United States.
Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation.
The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are crowding Russia; Russia is not crowding the United States. Washington's bumptious policies already have wrecked a once-promising bilateral relationship and created a needless new cold war with Moscow. If more prudent U.S. policies are not adopted soon, that cold war might well turn hot.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).
Tradcon • 5 days ago • editedMike P Tradcon • 4 days ago
I mean, I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all?northernobserver Mike P • 4 days ago
This is a very anti American article! Patriots know that where the U.S. gives political or economic ground Russia and other adversaries will fill the vacum with policies intended to destroy American peoeple. So no, it is not a bad idea to be involved in Syria and Ukraine in fact it is a very good idea.Aen Elle northernobserver • 4 days ago
The entire framing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood as "pro American" and those who oppose them as "anti American" is delusional.
Russia is a weak state trying to maintain its natural spheres of influence along the Curzon line. Why has the State Department/ Pentagon decided to try and roll this back? How the F to they expect Russia to react. How would America react if a foreign power tried to turn Mexico into a strategic asset. So why is it ok to make Ukraine into a Nato member? It's reckless and ultimately it is pointless. Weakening Russia further serves little strategic purpose and potentially threatens to destabilize the Balkans and mid east with Turkish adventurism. What will America do if the Turks seize Rhodes under some pretext?
Syria is another case of State Department midwits not understanding the results of their regime change. What purpose does it serve to put a Sunni extremist government in Damascus. How hateful do you have to be to subject Syria's minorities to genocide at the hands of an ISIS sympathetic government? How do you delude yourself that such a regime will serve America's interests in the long run? So you can own Iran before the election? You are trading victory today for permanent loss tomorrow. It's insane.Bianca Aen Elle • a day agoHow the F to they expect Russia to react.
Just like you, they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. Also, since Turkey is a NATO member and as such an ally to the U.S. shouldn't you be cheering in good faith for Turkey and against Russia?J Villain northernobserver • 4 days ago
You got that one. Because Turkey is a thorn in NATO side. It has massive economic interests in Russia, China and the rest of Asia. The "adventure" in Syria is coordinated with Russia to the last detail, while playacting tensions. US problem in Syria is not Russia or Turkey, but Russia AND Turkey.
As US is frowning at Egypt Al-Sisi , or Saudi MBS -- it is because they frown at Egypt AND Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia AND Russia.
Basically, countries nominally counted in OUR camp are frowned upon when collaborating with the ENEMY countries.
Our foreign policy is stuck in Middle East -- and cannot get unstuck. Cannot be better illustrated then Pompeo addressing Republican convention from Jerusalem.
The only way Russia can challenge encirclement is by challenging US in its home away from home -- Middle East. And creating new realities in the ground by collaborating with the countries in the region -- undermining monopoly.
And as the entire world is hurting from epidemic related economic setbacks, Russia and China are economies that are moving forward. And nobody in the Middle East can afford to ignore it.PJ London J Villain • a day ago
I agree with you with the exception of Russia being weak. One day the US which has never seen any thing in advance will push Russia one time to many and find the Russian Army in Poland and Romania. That is if China doesn't take out some thing precious to the US in the mean time like a U2, aircraft carrier etc.
There are two things at play here. The first is the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country.
The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop.Bianca northernobserver • a day ago
I agree with your assessment except Russia will not put troops into any country without the express request from the legitimate government. They are not going into Poland and especially not Romania (Transnistria maybe) why would they? The countries do not have any resources that Russia wants. The only reason to put troops into Belarus is to maintain a distance between Poland and the borders.
Russia needs nothing from the rest of the world except trade. Un-coerced, free trade. This drives the US corporations crazy as no one will trade with the US anymore without coercion.
PS the same goes for China with the proviso that Taiwan is part of China and needs to be reabsorbed into the mainstream. It will take +20 years but China just keeps the pressure on until there will be no viable alternative.Tradcon Mike P • 4 days ago
It has never meant to serve American interests. Ever. Once you put it in perspective, it makes sense.
But if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia.
The problem for never satiated Zealots is the following -- regional powers in the Middle East are hitching their wagons to Eurasian economic engine. That is definitely true of Turkey, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. The tales of Moslem Brotherhood are here to interpret something today from the iconography from the past. And to explain today what an entirely different set of leaders did -- be that few years ago or one hundred years ago. Same goes for iconography of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Communism, Socialism, authoritarianism, and other ISMS.
Those icons serve the same purpose as icons in religion or in cyber-space. You look at them, or you click -- and the story and explanation is ready made for your consumption. Time to watch actions -- not media iconography to tell us what is going on.Alexandr Kosenkov Mike P • 3 days ago
If we're being purely ideological here those with an overtly internationalist disposition (barring leftists) are those who want to be involved overseas, hardly ones to go on about national interest or pride. Its been a common stance associated with American Nationalism and Paleoconservatives to be anti-intervention, these people (of which I consider myself a part) can hardly be bashed for holding unpatriotic views.)
Russia has a declining population, and an economy smaller than that of Spain. Its hardly a threat and our involvement in Eastern Europe was relatively limited pre-2014 and even so the overall international balance of power hasn't shifted after Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians proved quite capable of defending their nation (though not so capable as to end retake separatist strongholds.Bianca Mike P • a day ago
Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? What ideological foundations does Russia have after 1991? Isn't Russia's actions a guerrilla war on the communications of the self-proclaimed "Empire of Good", which is pursuing a tough offensive policy? And is it not because the Russians support a significant part of Putin's initiatives (despite a number of Putin's obvious shortcomings) precisely because they have experience of cooperation with the "Empire of Good" in the 90s: give loans, corrupt officials and deputies, put Russian firms under control big American companies, and then just give orders from the White House.
PS. I beg your pardon my google englishkouroi • 4 days ago • edited
Another Zealot in Patriot garb. The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe.Vhailor • 4 days ago
It would be interesting to read the minds of the US pilots engaged in these activities. My guess is that the cognitive dissonance energy in those heads is equivalent to the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded...Kent Vhailor • 4 days ago
Hmmm... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities).
In a major crisis this could lead to a breaking point. What if some US adversary decides to double down and attack (directly or by proxy) US troops and the US will not be able to respond? A humiliating defeat combined with an exhausted public decidedly set against military adventures abroad could cause a rapid retrenchment and global withdrawal.Vhailor Kent • 4 days ago
I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly.
The DOD today is only about personal political position, and grubbing tax-payer dollars for self-aggrandizement. In any real war with a real adversary, we wouldn't stand a chance.kouroi Vhailor • 4 days ago
I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding US military capabilities and I'm neither a US citizen or a fan of US global hegemony.
The US armed forces are made up of professionals. There are some universal advantages and disadvantages of such forces. A professional army is good at fighting wars but bad at controlling territory because of its limited size and higher costs-per-soldier. In order to control territory you need "boots on the ground" in great numbers, standing at checkpoints and patrolling the countryside. They didn't have to be trained to the level of Navy SEALS, for them it is enough if they can shoot straight and won't be scared from some fireworks and the US lacks such forces.Vhailor kouroi • 4 days ago
So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft? Provide a pathway for US citizenship for any foreigner that joins, establishing a US Foreign Legion?
And then, how you'll have enough boots on the ground to pacify Russia or China. It took more than a month to establish and secure the beach heads in Bretagne in France in 1944. How do you think you can even get those boots to land in Russia or China, when you know that the ICBMs are going to start flying towards the continental US if something like this will ever happen?Baruch Dreamstalker Vhailor • 4 days ago
So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft?
It is no longer possible to introduce the draft in the US - even mentioning it would lead to social unrests.alan Vhailor • 21 hours ago
The idea of a soft-mandatory year of service with a military option has been floated. It generates neither unrest nor interest.Scaathor Kent • 4 days ago
Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed.kouroi Vhailor • 4 days ago
In addition, those gold-plated weapon systems often do not work as advertised. Look how the multi-billion IADS of the Saudis couldn't protect their refinery complex from a cruise missile attack from Yemen. Look at the embarrassing failures of the LCS and Zumwalt ship classes, and the endless problems with the Ford CVN. The F35 is proving a ginormous boondoggle that will massively enrich LM shareholders but will do squat for US military capabilities.Baruch Dreamstalker William Toffan • 15 hours ago
It will go on as long as the US is able to benefit of its present ability to print money and have the world use that money...PJ London Feral Finster • a day ago
The alternative is an incumbent who runs against the condition of his own country as an outsider. It take an idiot to support that.Feral Finster PJ London • a day ago
He already did and the Military ignored him.
He backtracked with endless excuses and conditionals.
Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon, "Sarah, there's a government inside the government, and I don't control it."
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
Do you really think that the adults with so much to lose would allow an idiot like Trump (or Clinton or Obama or Bush) to actually run things?Dan Greene bumbershoot • 3 days ago
And then, like the cuck he is, Trump knuckled under. "I like oil!"peter mcloughlin • 4 days ago
Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc.
I'll repeat: Focus on what Trump does, not what he says, and then total up the pro-Russia and anti-Russia actions of this administration and see what that reveals.I Don't Matter • 4 days ago
A danger with this "new Cold War" is the assumption it will end like the first one – peacefully. If this is the thinking among policy-makers we are in a very perilous situation. History shows that fatal miscalculations contributed to the First World War, and as a consequence the second. Today there is no room for miscalculation, which will set off unstoppable escalation into a third.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...Feral Finster I Don't Matter • 4 days ago
Russians deliberately repeatedly ram an American vehicle, but I'm sure it's all our fault. Shouldn't have worn that skirt I guess.
Before y'all armchair Putin experts say all your loving things: you have nothing to contribute unless you speak fluent Russian. I watched the video taken and published by the Russians and it was pretty clear what they were doing.dba12123 . I Don't Matter • 3 days ago • edited
The United States is not invited in Syria or wanted. Russian troops are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate and recognized government.
Whatever happens to American troops there is deserved.hooly • 4 days ago
Something critical is being missed entirely. The United States has invaded Syria without a mandate from the UN. Its' president has explicitly stated that it is the intention of the US to take Syria's oil. Both are violations of international law. Any hostile action taken against the illegal US presence in Syria is justifiable as self defense. While the US presence in Syria is illegal, Russia's presence is not. Russia was invited into Syria by the UN recognized Syrian government to assist it in defending against the US regime change by Al Qaeda proxy operation..L RNY • 4 days ago
establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
What would happen if China or Russia established bases in the Caribbean and Latin America? Trump joked about selling Puerto Rico, what if the Chinese bought it?Carlton Meyer • 4 days ago
If the Israeli's have a problem with Russia being in Syria then Israel should deal with it. Its not our problem and Russia is not our enemy. Infact India is bringing closer relations between Russia and Japan. Which do you want? Russian antagonism because Israel doesn't want Russians in Syria or Russian partnership with India, Japan, Australia and the US dealing with China? Remember....you could spend 1000 years in the middle east and not make a dent in the animosities between peoples there...so one is a futile endeaver...while the other has great benefit.Hrant Carlton Meyer • 4 days ago
Note that Russian soldiers are in Syria at the request of its government to help fend off foreign invaders. The American troops are there illegally, with no UN or even Congressional authorization.
Also note the USA risks another Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing from the INF treaty after illegally building missile launch complexes in Romania and Poland that can hit Russia with nuclear cruise missiles.
The USA did much more than "meddle" in Ukraine. The Obama/Biden team openly organized a coup to overthrow its elected President because he didn't want to join NATO and the EU.
https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnW7lNABfDVk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnW7lNABfDVk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnW7lNABfDVk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeAen Elle Hrant • 4 days ago
Is that guy in the middle of the left seated Vlad Klitschko? I great boxer no doubt, but also known for his stunning stupidity. Is he part of the new Ukrainian political elite? Poor Ukraine.longlance • 4 days ago
Klichko has been the mayor of Ukrainian capital city Kiev since the victory of Euromaidan in 2014 until present day.Baruch Dreamstalker • 4 days ago • edited
Russia has been threatened & attacked by military powers to its West, East & South for 1000 years. Russia is now lean & mean, but still standing.kouroi Baruch Dreamstalker • 4 days ago
A Russian vehicle sideswipes an American vehicle, injuring two US soldiers, and that's an American provocation? An American spy plane claims to be in international waters, and you tack in a "supposedly" in that sentence? "Violating" a tacit promise, really? Russia aggression against Georgia and Crimea is OK because Sphere of Influence? This article is loaded with Blame America First crap usually associated with the Left (much to this liberal's disgust). Never expected to find it here.
Yes, the expansion of NATO east must have looked to Russia like something coming at their borders entirely too fast. I thought it was a terrible idea at the time, and wrote it off to the wheels of a fifty-year-old bureaucracy not knowing how to slow down. Your eye-straining gaze at the tea-leaves for Deeper State motives is unpersuasive, even without your odious prejudices.Hannibal Jubal • 4 days ago
Maybe some play of Rashomon would be in order here. That is your perspective.
Now your honor, what I have seen is that Georgia attacked first and hoped to occupy a certain area that Russian Federation was protecting, As a side comment, I have to point to an Orwellian use of the word "aggressive" and "attack". It seems that anything that the US cannot wantonly control or bomb is inherently aggressive and attacking either directly or indirectly the "rules based order".
Crimea had Russian assets that became endangered. Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when was donated in an unsanctioned manner to Ukraine. The majority Russian population in Crimea has been persecuted by the Ukrainian state since at least 1994. The Euromaidan would have exacerbated that. A referendum was carried on and just considering ethnic lines, Russians won in their desire to re-unite with the Russian Federation. There aren't many legal arguments against that referendum and that process, if one looks for them...
So the above perspectives have nothing to do with just "sphere of influence" but with direct core interests of the Russian state and its core security...
The deep state is a tool that is trying to fulfill one objective: integration of Russian economy under the control of US and its Oligarchy. Otherwise it will always be a threat. A Nationalist, democratic (but not oligarchic) and sovereign Russia will always be considered an enemy of the world hegemon...
And the provocation is the actual presence in Syria of US troops. Ramming the US military vehicle is not a provocation from Russians, it is a simple eviction notification. End of story!Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago
Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America. That is remarkable dexterity even for this paper. I am used to them suggesting that we should leave the people of Eastern Europe to the tender mercies of the whims and wishes of a dictator in Moscow - because they are in his backyard. But to be able to switch from that incident to their regular theme is an achievement one can recognize, though not respect. The people of those countries should have a choice about who they associate, and they certainly have a right not to align with people they fear. Calling us for not respecting he rights of other people to decide their fates is right and proper. I enthusiastically support this paper when they do. But when they turn right around and castigate us for not respecting Russia's right to do it - I am flabbergasted.Dan Greene • 3 days ago • edited
"Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America."
How do you know it's an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers? It almost certainly is almost the exact opposite.Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago • edited
This piece spends too much time re-hashing everything Russia-US since 1990 and fails to focus on the key current issues.
The vehicle incidents in Syria are distinct from the European issue -- see below in this post -- that is generating some of the other tensions the author lists. Syria is really part of the larger Middle East issue.
His brief summary of the latest Syria mishap is inadequate to convey what actually happened.
If you actually look at the video, it does NOT appear to be the case that a Russian vehicle simply "sideswiped" a US vehicle. It appears that the US was maintaining a checkpoint on a road that in effect blocked Russian passage. Given the terrain, the Russians could of course bypass such a checkpoint, which is what they appear to have done. Then, however, other US vehicles left the checkpoint and attempted to block and turn back the Russian bypass movement, and this led to the collision. So the incident is part of a larger US policy to impede Russian operations in NE Syria.
Almost two years ago, Trump ordered US forces out of Syria, and Russia, in agreement with that plan, sent patrols to the NE to ensure that provisions of an stability agreement with Turkey and the Kurds were maintained. But then Trump was almost immediately convinced--by whom is not clear, but ultimately Israel in all probability--to do a 180 and keep US forces in NE Syria, the superficial rationale being to take control of oil, the kind of pirate operation that Trump likes. In fact, the goal of those who influence Trump is to keep Syria weak and unable to rebuild with the expectation that Assad can still be overthrown at some future point. This is the desire of Israel and its operatives in the US.
Trump's zag after the zig of planned withdrawal left the US-Russian understanding in chaos. Now both the US AND the Russians were operating in NE Syria. And over time the US has become more and more aggressive about impeding Russian operations. The Russians claim--credibly--that we are demanding that they, in moving their patrols up to the area of the Syria-Turkey border area not use the M4 highway, the main and direct route and instead follow a secondary route that circuitously follows the border. The Russians don't accept that demand. And the vehicle incidents that we are seeing are the outcome of that disagreement. The Russians are driving up Highway 4 and when they get to the US checkpoint are bypassing and then continuing up the highway. We are aggressively trying to deter them from that route choice.
Not sure why this article does not go into detail on this issue in order to clarify it.
Much of the other stuff the author is talking about here--intrusive air ops in the Black Sea, etc--is really a separate, European issue. The US is highly concerned about the economic interactions between Russia and Europe--especially the big economies of Western Europe and most especially Germany. We are worried that over time Russian-European economic integration will erode our strategic control and dominance over Europe in general.
Hence, we are making common cause with the anti-Russian elements in "the New Europe," i.e., Eastern Europe to try, in essence, to place a barrier between Russia and Western Europe, playing off Poland, the Baltics and Romania, among others, against Russia, Germany, France et al. Moving more US forces into Poland and the so-called "Black Sea Region"; impeding Nord Stream 2 and other Russian pipeline initiatives; indulging in recurrent anti-German propaganda for not maintaining a more robust anti-Russian military posture; fomenting (behind the scenes) the recent disturbances in Belarus; and promotion of the so-called "Three Seas Initiative" intended to weld Eastern and Central Europe together into a reliable tool of US policy are all part of this plan to retain US strategic control of Europe over the long term.
That's what the heightened tensions in Europe are about.
As I said, the Syria issue, part of the larger Middle East struggle, is separate from the parallel struggle for mastery in Europe.
It's all an important topic, but this article doesn't really capture the salient points.dba12123 . Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago
You're living in a dreamland.
And you're playing word games. Syria's oil is effectively under US control. Yes, we are deriving strategic benefit from it in that we are denying it to the Syrian government in order to further destabilize it. It's not a good policy, but the policy does benefit from denying Syria its oil.
The problem is that most of the oil is on Arab land, not Kurdish land, and the Arabs of the Northeast are now realigning themselves with Assad, so holding on to the oil is likely to get more difficult in the future.
I have no idea what you mean by "slander." Guess that means truths you find inconvenient. Sorry--not in the business of coddling the faint of heart. Trump likes the idea of taking resources which he imagines to be payment for services we have rendered--like leaving the country in a state of ruin. He talked about Iraqi oil that way too, but taking that would be much harder.
Time for you to stop dismissing every reality you don't like as unpatriotic.Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 2 days ago • edited
The "Assad regime" is the UN recognized government of Syria. That is the only entity entitled to the country's resources. How is it "the property of the Syrian nation" if the Syrian government and its people no longer have access to it? To whom is the oil being sold? Who is receiving the proceeds of the oil sales?
Here are some of Trump's own words with respect to Syria's oil. "I like oil. We are keeping the oil." 4/11/2019. "The US is in Syria solely for the oil." "We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for oil." "The US military is in Syria only for oil." What part of Trump's public assertion that "We are keeping the oil" are you having difficulty in understanding? How can you say the US "did not take possession of the oil" when Trump could not have been more explicit in saying precisely the opposite? Do you not comprehend that the US presence in Syria has no mandate either from the UN or from the US Congress. Do you not understand that the US presence in Syria is illegal under international law? Do you not understand that "Keeping the oil" is a violation of international law? Your post is one of the most ridiculous I have even read.Dr.Diprospan • 3 days ago
1. It's quite clear from the video that the US had set up a checkpoint on the road at left in the video. (Indeed, we are open about the fact that we are doing so in general in NE Syria.) And it's equally clear that Russian vehicles are seen bypassing those checkpoints. The encounter between US and Russian vehicles takes place off the road. There is only one logical interpretation of what happened. What is your alternative explanation?
2. "No one reading this can believe that Eastern Europeans have genuine cause to fear Russia, or that these countries continually request more military and political involvement than we are willing to provide or that we are not inducing them to do anything or manipulating them."
First of all, there are no current indications of any Russian intent to do anything in regard to Eastern Europe. Yes, one can understand the history, which is why there is anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe, but aside perhaps from the Baltic states in their unique geographic position, there is no country that has any basis in reality to worry about Russian aggression in the present.
Of course, this does not stop the Poles from doing exactly that. And perhaps the Romanians to a much lesser extent. So yes, there is fear in a few key countries based on past history, Poland being the keystone of the whole thing, and yes, we are indeed manipulating that fear in an attempt to block/undermine any economic integration between Germany and Russia. We are also trying to use the "Three Seas Initiative" to block Chinese commercial and tech penetration of Eastern Europe--5G and their plan to rebuild the port of Trieste to service Central and NE Europe.
Do you actually believe Russia, which has lately been cutting its defense budget, is actually going to invade Europe? That really is a fantasy. The only military operations they will take are to prevent further expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Belarus. The real game today is commercial and tech competition. Putin knows it would be disastrous for Russia to start a war with NATO. Not sure why that's hard for you to see.
Your notion of the Russian threat--as it exists today--is wildly exaggerated.stevek9 • 3 days ago • edited
Once President Putin remarked that there are forces in the United States trying to use Russia for internal political struggle. He added that we will nevertheless try not to be drawn into these confrontations.
A scene from a Hollywood action movie rises before my eyes, when two heroes of the film are fighting and a circular saw is spinning nearby, and each of the heroes is trying to shove a part of the enemy's body under this saw.
The relationship between Russian and American servicemen, I would compare with two hockey teams, when the tough behavior of the players on the ice does not mean that the players of one team would be happy with the death of the entire opposing team, say in some kind of plane crash, since the presence of a strong opponent is a necessary condition for getting a good salary.
Still, I would not completely deny the possibility of a "hot war".
Since the times of the Roman Empire, the West of Europe has been trying to take control of the territory of Europe, Eurasia, and Eurasia, in turn, dreams of mastering the technologies of the West.
The defeat of the 3rd Reich provided the Soviet Union with a breakthrough in the nuclear industry and space...
It's hard to imagine that Russia is capable of defeating NATO, but I can imagine that in the current situation, President Putin can offer China to build military bases in western Russia for a million Chinese servicemen, for 100 thousand on the Chukchi Peninsula, for 500 thousand on Sakhalin...
The extra money for renting military bases in a coronavirus crisis will not hurt anyone.Denmark002 • 3 days ago
Of all the things about Hillary Clinton to despise, her selfish attempt to explain her loss, and to attack the President (to whom she never conceded the election!) by blaming Russia, is at the top of the list. To generate a completely unnecessary conflict with a nuclear super-power that could burn this country to ashes in minutes, out of personal vindictiveness, ... is lower than it can get.Dan Greene LostForWords • 2 days ago • edited
We are totally messing with fire... we will need Europe but Russia as well to defeat the Chinese.Ram2017 LostForWords • a day ago
I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain.
We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself.
We thought we were dealing with the main threats to our global hegemony sequentially--Russia "defeated" in the Cold War, and then on to a defeat of "militant Islam" in the Greater Middle East and finally to a showdown with China. But now, the sequencing has fallen apart, and we're trying to prosecute all three simultaneously.
We're in serious trouble.William H Warrick III MD • a day ago
Hizbollah arose as a defensive militia because of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is not a terrorist group even though labelled so by the US.Mark Thomason • a day ago
You have inverted the facts. The video evidence shows the Americans side-swiped the Russian vehicle and claimed "American soldiers had 'concussions'". A concussion requires loss of consciousness or significant changes in mental function. In football, you have your "Bell rung". You can't add 2+2 correctly. There is no evidence to support that.Jamie • a day ago
No, we are just trying to outdo each other with "Putin-under-the-bed" and all-powerful-Putin causing all the world's evils.alan • a day ago
Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy.
Along with Dems, I also blame Putin; he bribed Hillary millions for uranium -- that doesn't lend to good relations.
The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.
Aug 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
likbez , 17 August 2020 at 11:05 AMblue peacock , 17 August 2020 at 11:20 AMIMO NATO should have ended with the fall of the USSR. It now "confronts" a largely imaginary threat, concocted for the purpose of maintaining the status quo in US government expenditures for defense and supporting the imperial dreams of the neocons.
Does anyone really think Russia is going to invade the Baltics? Really?
Hear! Hear!Barbara Ann , 17 August 2020 at 11:57 AM
Isn't the western alliance for all intents & purposes already dead?
It is a shame as it could work together to counter the totalitarian CCP. But Mama Merkel it seems would rather get a few yuan from the communists and turn a blind eye to CCP authoritarianism until it becomes obvious that the CCP are ruthless and will be competing with Germany around the world for machine tools and autos by undercutting them on price and heavily subsidizing their companies until German industry is destroyed.JohnH , 17 August 2020 at 01:13 PM
I have heard of these elusive creatures called "Europeans", but have yet to meet one, so am not able to comment on their alleged "smug superiority". How many divisions do they have?james , 17 August 2020 at 01:36 PM
If anything drives the US and Europe apart, it will be trade, not security. Germany is clearly chafing under the US bit, which sacrifices European industry to US interests -- sanctions on Nordstream 2, trade with Russia, trade with Iran, and China and Huawei. The US clearly prioritizes it's own LNG , finance, technology and arms industries over European prosperity. It amazes me that it has taken Europe so long to wake up.
Biden will do nothing to change that dynamic, since he is beholden to the same interests as Trump.srw ,
nato is an anachronism much like a lot of western type institutions today..
i am predicting a trump win via the astro...