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Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
and Alliance of Transnational Elites

Neoliberalism is inseparable from imperialism and globalization

Who Rules America > Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism

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Fifth Column of Globalization Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries US Department of Imperial Expansion Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources American imperialism: the attempt to secure global hegemony
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Introduction

All U.S. schoolchildren should be taught, as part of their basic civics education, by conscientious elementary, middle school and high school teachers, that they live in an imperialist country. The term itself ought to be popularized. This is what politicians like Obama actually refer to, elliptically, when they call the U.S. “exceptional.

Gary Leupp, The U.S. Versus ISIS

Looks like the USA successfully managed to recreate Imperial Rome on a new level, neoliberalism level. See Empires Then and Now - PaulCraig

The idea financial imperialism is simple. Instead of old-fashion military occupation of the country, take over the countries in crisis, if necessary remove their democratically elected governments from power by claiming that election are falsified and/or official are corrupted, and/or the government is authoritarian (unlike the puppets they want to install). They use the installed puppets to mandate austerity, burden the country with debt  and facilitate condition under which most of which will be stolen and repatriated to the West.

But neoliberals take this old idea to a new level -- the crisis can be manufactured. The scheme looks like the following (see IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement discussion of Greece for more information):

After installation of a puppet government, it is relatively easy to use Fifth column based government to protect foreign financial interests. Now you can recoup the costs and enjoy the profits. Much cheaper and more humane then bombing the country and killing a couple of hundred thousand people to achieve the same goals (Iraq variant) or by arming and training  jihadists (using Saudi and Gulf monarchies money) and tribal elements to depose the government (Libya and Syria variants) who kill as much, if nor more. 

A classic recent examples were Yeltsin's government in Russia, Yushchenko regime in Ukraine,  Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk duo in Ukraine and sequence of neoliberal governments in Greece. 

In other words neoliberalism is inseparable from imperialism and globalization (Neoliberalism A Critical Reader Alfredo Saad-Filho, Deborah Johnston, p. 2)

In the conventional (or mainstream) discourse, imperialism is either absent or, more recently, proudly presented as the ‘AmericanBurden': to civilize the world and bring to all the benediction of the Holy Trinity, the green-faced Lord Dollar and its deputies and occasional rivals. Holy Euro and Saint Yen. New converts win a refurbished international airport, one brand-new branch of McDonald’s, two luxury hotels, 3,000 NGOs and one US military base.

This offer cannot be refused - or else.2 In turn, globalisation is generally presented as an inescapable, inexorable and benevolent process leading to greater competition, welfare improvements and the spread of democracy around the world. In reality, however, the so-called process of globalisation - to the extent that it actually exists (see Saad-Rlho 2003) - is merely the international face of neoliberalism: a world-wide strategy of accumulation and social discipline that doubles up as tin imperialist project, spearheaded by the alliance between the US ruling class and locally dominant capitalist coalitions.

This ambitious power project centered on neoliberalism at home and imperial globalism abroad is implemented by diverse social and economic political alliances in each country, but the interests of local finance and the US ruling class, itself dominated by finance, are normally hegemonic.

...the United States, the United Kingdom and east and south-east Asia respectively, neoliberalism is a particular organisation of capitalism, which has evolved to protect capital(ism) and to reduce the power of labour. This is achieved by means of social, economic and political transformations imposed by internal forces as well as external pressure. The internal forces include the coalition between financial interests, leading industrialists, traders and exporters, media barons, big landowners, local political chieftains, the top echelons of the civil service and the military, and their intellectual and political proxies. These groups are closely connected with ‘global’ ideologies emanating from the centre, and they tend to adapt swiftly to the demands beamed from the metropolis. Their efforts have led to a significant worldwide shift in powerrelations away from the majority. Corporate power has increased, while finance hits acquired unrivalled influence, and the political spectrum has shifted towards the right. Left parties and mass organisations have imploded, while trade unions have been muzzled or disabled by unemployment. Forms of external pressure have included the diffusion of Western culture and ideology, foreign support for state and civil society institutions peddling neolibcral values, the shameless use of foreign aid, debt relief and balance of payments support to promote the neoliberal programme, and diplomatic pressure, political unrest and military intervention when necessary.

...the ruling economic and political forces in the European Union have instrumentalised the process of integration to ensure the hegemony of neoliberalism. This account is complemented by the segmentation of Eastern Europe into countries that are being drawn into a Western European-style neoliberalism and others that are following Russia’s business oligarchy model.

In sum, neoliberalism is everywhere both the outcome and the arena of social conflicts. It sets the political and economic agenda, limits the possible outcomes, biases expectations, and imposes urgent tasks on those challenging its assumptions, methods and consequences.

In the meantime, neoliberal theory has not remained static. In order to deal with the most powerful criticisms leveled against neoliberalism, that it has increased poverty and social dislocation around the world, neoliberal theory has attempted to present the ogre in a more favorable light. In spite of the substantial resources invested in this ideologically inspired make-over, these amendments have remained unconvincing, not least because the heart of the neoliberal project has remained unchanged. This is discussed in Chapter 15 for poverty and distribution, while Chapter 21 unpicks the agenda of the ‘Third Way', viewed by many as ‘neoliberalism with a human face’.

Neoliberalism offered a finance-friendly solution to the problems of capital accumulation at the end of a relatively long cycle of prosperity. Chapters 1. 22 and 30 show that neoliberalism imposed discipline upon a restless working class through contractionary fiscal and monetary policies and wide-ranging initiatives to curtail social rights, under the guise of anti-inflation and productivity-enhancing measures. Neoliberalism also rationalised the transfer of state capacity to allocate resources inter-temporally (the balance between investment and consumption) and inter-sectorally (the distribution of investment, employment and output) towards an increasingly internationally integrated (and US-led) financial sector. In doing so, neoliberalism facilitated a gigantic transfer of resources to the local rich and the United States, as is shown by Chapters 11 and 15.

The “elephant in the room” is peak oil (plato oil to be more correct) and the plato of food production. Without "cheap oil" extraction growing, it is more difficult to sustain both  population growth and rising standard of living simultaneously. It became the situation of iether/or.

So the future it does not look pretty. As soon as "cheap oil"  escape the current plato,  Western financial system gets into trouble: private banks based fractional reserve banking requires economy expansion for survival.  Essentially they add positive feedback loop to the economy, greatly increasing the instability.  That connection was discovered by Hyman Minsky. Minsky explored a form of instability that is embedded in neoliberal/financialized economies resulting from the use of fiat currency and fractional reserve banking. he argued that such an economy automatically generates bubbles, bursting of which result in periodic deep economic crisis. Which are not an exception, but a feature of neoliberal capitalism (aka "supercapitalism", or "casino capitalism).  

When Minsky crisis hits  some, less important, banks will implode and strategically important need to be saved by government at a great expense for taxpayers. The western elite is well aware of this possibility and will steal, loot and pillage as fast as they can to prolong the agony...  Neoliberal expansion and conversion of other countries into debt slaves thus serves as a substitute for economic growth.

What actually is devalued in austerity programs imposed on indebted nations via currency depreciation is the price of local labor (along with standard of living of the most population). So austerity programs caused a huge drop in the standard of living of population. For example after EuroMaydan color revolution the standard of living in Ukraine dropped to the level of the most poor countries of Africa  (less then $2 a day for the majority of population).

This is a pretty instructive example.   It qlso cur domestic consumption of fuels and minerals, consumer goods, and food.  As wages are sticky and it is difficult to reduced them directly (via high unemployment, leading to falling wages). But the currency depreciation can do the same trick even more effectively. For example since February 22 coup d'état, grivna, the Ukrainian currency depreciated from 8 to 28 grivna to dollar, or approximately 350%.

This is how war of creditors against debtor countries turns into a class war. But to impose such neoliberal reforms, foreign pressure is necessary to bypass domestic, democratically elected Parliaments. Not every country’s voters can be expected to be as passive in acting against their own interests as those of Latvia and Ireland. The financial capital objective is to bypass parliament by demanding a “consensus” (facilitated by a huge foreign debt) to put foreign creditors first, above the national economy. This is the essence of the status of debt slave country. Civil war it a perfect tool to accelerate this process. 

Buying natural monopolies in transportation, communications, and the land from the public domain for pennies on the dollar now can be called "rescue package", not the road to debt peonage and a financial neo-feudalism that is a grim reality of "debt slave" countries, where populations are indentured laborers of international capital. Let me state it very simply : "the borrower [debtor] is SERVANT to the lender" ( Wikipedia ):

An indentured servant or indentured laborer is an employee (indenturee) within a system of unfree labor who is bound by a signed or forced contract (indenture) to work for a particular employer for a fixed time. The contract often lets the employer sell the labor of an indenturee to a third party. Indenturees usually enter into an indenture for a specific payment or other benefit, or to meet a legal obligation, such as debt bondage.

The whole point of creating debt is to gain control of and rule over such countries.  Prof. Hudson's article Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011) illustrates this point admirably.

At the same time then comes to bailing out bankers who overplayed with derivatives, all rules are ignored – in order to serve the “higher justice” of saving banks and their high-finance counterparties from taking a loss. This is quite a contrast compared to IMF policy toward labor and “taxpayers.” The class war is back in business – with a vengeance, and bankers are the winners this time around.

Classic, textbook example of neocolonialism was rape of Russia in 1991-1999. See Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia

Henry C K Liu Views

One of the most interesting analysis of this new phenomena was provided by Henry C K Liu in his series of articles SUPER CAPITALISM, SUPER IMPERIALISM


PART 1: A Structural Link

Robert B Reich, former US Secretary of Labor and resident neo-liberal in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997, wrote in the September 14, 2007 edition of The Wall Street Journal an opinion piece, "CEOs Deserve Their Pay", as part of an orchestrated campaign to promote his new book: Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (Afred A Knopf).

Reich is a former Harvard professor and the former Maurice B Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is currently a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California (Berkley) and a regular liberal gadfly in the unabashed supply-side Larry Kudlow TV show that celebrates the merits of capitalism.

Reich's Supercapitalism brings to mind Michael Hudson's Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972-2003). While Reich, a liberal turned neo-liberal, sees "supercapitalism" as the natural evolution of insatiable shareholder appetite for gain, a polite euphemism for greed, that cannot or should not be reined in by regulation, Hudson, a Marxist heterodox economist, sees "super imperialism" as the structural outcome of post-World War II superpower geopolitics, with state interests overwhelming free market forces, making regulation irrelevant. While Hudson is critical of "super imperialism" and thinks that it should be resisted by the weaker trading partners of the US, Reich gives the impression of being ambivalent about the inevitability, if not the benignity, of "supercapitalism".

The structural link between capitalism and imperialism was first observed by John Atkinson Hobson (1858-1940), an English economist, who wrote in 1902 an insightful analysis of the economic basis of imperialism. Hobson provided a humanist critique of neoclassical economics, rejecting exclusively materialistic definitions of value. With Albert Frederick Mummery (1855-1895), the great British mountaineer who was killed in 1895 by an avalanche while reconnoitering Nanga Parbat, an 8,000-meter Himalayan peak, Hobson wrote The Physiology of Industry (1889), which argued that an industrial economy requires government intervention to maintain stability, and developed the theory of over-saving that was given a glowing tribute by John Maynard Keynes three decades later.

The need for governmental intervention to stabilize an expanding national industrial economy was the rationale for political imperialism. On the other side of the coin, protectionism was a governmental counter-intervention on the part of weak trading partners for resisting imperialist expansion of the dominant power. Historically, the processes of globalization have always been the result of active state policy and action, as opposed to the mere passive surrender of state sovereignty to market forces. Market forces cannot operate in a vacuum. They are governed by man-made rules. Globalized markets require the acceptance by local authorities of established rules of the dominant economy. Currency monopoly of course is the most fundamental trade restraint by one single dominant government.

Adam Smith published Wealth of Nations in 1776, the year of US independence. By the time the constitution was framed 11 years later, the US founding fathers were deeply influenced by Smith's ideas, which constituted a reasoned abhorrence of trade monopoly and government policy in restricting trade. What Smith abhorred most was a policy known as mercantilism, which was practiced by all the major powers of the time. It is necessary to bear in mind that Smith's notion of the limitation of government action was exclusively related to mercantilist issues of trade restraint. Smith never advocated government tolerance of trade restraint, whether by big business monopolies or by other governments in the name of open markets.

A central aim of mercantilism was to ensure that a nation's exports remained higher in value than its imports, the surplus in that era being paid only in specie money (gold-backed as opposed to fiat money). This trade surplus in gold permitted the surplus country, such as England, to invest in more factories at home to manufacture more for export, thus bringing home more gold. The importing regions, such as the American colonies, not only found the gold reserves backing their currency depleted, causing free-fall devaluation (not unlike that faced today by many emerging-economy currencies), but also wanting in surplus capital for building factories to produce for domestic consumption and export. So despite plentiful iron ore in America, only pig iron was exported to England in return for English finished iron goods. The situation was similar to today's oil producing countries where despite plentiful crude oil, refined petrochemical products such as gasoline and heating oil have to be imported.

In 1795, when the newly independent Americans began finally to wake up to their disadvantaged trade relationship and began to raise European (mostly French and Dutch) capital to start a manufacturing industry, England decreed the Iron Act, forbidding the manufacture of iron goods in its American colonies, which caused great dissatisfaction among the prospering colonials.

Smith favored an opposite government policy toward promoting domestic economic production and free foreign trade for the weaker traders, a policy that came to be known as "laissez faire" (because the English, having nothing to do with such heretical ideas, refuse to give it an English name). Laissez faire, notwithstanding its literal meaning of "leave alone", meant nothing of the sort. It meant an activist government policy to counteract mercantilism. Neo-liberal free-market economists are just bad historians, among their other defective characteristics, when they propagandize "laissez faire" as no government interference in trade affairs.

Friedrich List, in his National System of Political Economy (1841), asserts that political economy as espoused in England, far from being a valid science universally, was merely British national opinion, suited only to English historical conditions. List's institutional school of economics asserts that the doctrine of free trade was devised to keep England rich and powerful at the expense of its trading partners and it must be fought with protective tariffs and other protective devices of economic nationalism by the weaker countries.

Henry Clay's "American system" was a national system of political economy. US neo-imperialism in the post WWII period disingenuously promotes neo-liberal free-trade against governmental protectionism to keep the US rich and powerful at the expense of its trading partners. Before the October Revolution of 1917, many national liberation movements in European colonies and semi-colonies around the world were influenced by List's economic nationalism. The 1911 Nationalist Revolution in China, led by Sun Yat-sen, was heavily influenced by Lincoln's political ideas - government of the people, by the people and for the people - and the economic nationalism of List, until after the October Revolution when Sun realized that the Soviet model was the correct path to national revival.

Hobson's magnum opus, Imperialism, (1902), argues that imperialistic expansion is driven not by state hubris, known in US history as "manifest destiny", but by an innate quest for new markets and investment opportunities overseas for excess capital formed by over-saving at home for the benefit of the home state. Over-saving during the industrial age came from Richardo's theory of the iron law of wages, according to which wages were kept perpetually at subsistence levels as a result of uneven market power between capital and labor. Today, job outsourcing that returns as low-price imports contributes to the iron law of wages in the US domestic economy. (See my article Organization of Labor Exporting Countries [OLEC]).

Hobson's analysis of the phenology (study of life cycles) of capitalism was drawn upon by Lenin to formulate a theory of imperialism as an advanced stage of capitalism:

"Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capitalism is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed." (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1916, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Chapter 7).

Lenin was also influenced by Rosa Luxemberg, who three year earlier had written her major work, The Accumulation of Capital: A Contribution to an Economic Explanation of Imperialism (Die Akkumulation des Kapitals: Ein Beitrag zur ökonomischen Erklärung des Imperialismus), 1913). Luxemberg, together with Karl Liebknecht a founding leader of the Spartacist League (Spartakusbund), a radical Marxist revolutionary movement that later renamed itself the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, or KPD), was murdered on January 15, 1919 by members of the Freikorps, rightwing militarists who were the forerunners of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) led by Ernst Rohm.

The congenital association between capitalism and imperialism requires practically all truly anti-imperialist movements the world over to be also anti-capitalist. To this day, most nationalist capitalists in emerging economies are unwitting neo-compradors for super imperialism. Neo-liberalism, in its attempts to break down all national boundaries to facilitate global trade denominated in fiat dollars, is the ideology of super imperialism.

Hudson, the American heterodox economist, historian of ancient economies and post-WW II international balance-of-payments specialist, advanced in his 1972 book the notion of 20th century super imperialism. Hudson updated Hobson's idea of 19th century imperialism of state industrial policy seeking new markets to invest home-grown excess capital. To Hudson, super imperialism is a state financial strategy to export debt denominated in the state's fiat currency as capital to the new financial colonies to finance the global expansion of a superpower empire.

No necessity, or even intention, was entertained by the superpower of ever having to pay off these paper debts after the US dollar was taken off gold in 1971.

Monetary Imperialism and Dollar Hegemony

Super imperialism transformed into monetary imperialism after the 1973 Middle East oil crisis with the creation of the petrodollar and two decades later emerged as dollar hegemony through financial globalization after 1993. As described in my 2002 AToL article, Dollar hegemony has to go, a geopolitical phenomenon emerged after the 1973 oil crisis in which the US dollar, a fiat currency since 1971, continues to serve as the primary reserve currency for  international trade because oil continues to be denominated in fiat dollars as a result of superpower geopolitics, leading to dollar hegemony in 1993 with the globalization of deregulated financial markets.

Three causal developments allowed dollar hegemony to emerge over a span of two decades after 1973 and finally take hold in 1993. US fiscal deficits from overseas spending since the 1950s caused a massive drain in US gold holdings, forcing the US in 1971 to abandon the 1945 Bretton Woods regime of fixed exchange rate based on a gold-backed dollar. Under that international financial architecture, cross-border flow of funds was not considered necessary or desirable for promoting international trade or domestic development. The collapse of the 1945 Bretton Woods regime in 1971 was the initial development toward dollar hegemony.

The second development was the denomination of oil in dollars after the 1973 Middle East oil crisis. The emergence of petrodollars was the price the US, still only one of two contending superpowers in 1973, extracted from defenseless oil-producing nations for allowing them to nationalize the Western-owned oil industry on their soil. As long as oil transactions are denominated in fiat dollars, the US essentially controls all the oil in the world financially regardless of specific ownership, reducing all oil producing nations to the status of commodity agents of dollar hegemony.

The third development was the global deregulation of financial markets after the Cold War, making cross-border flow of funds routine, and a general relaxation of capital and foreign exchange control by most governments involved in international trade. This neo-liberal trade regime brought into existence a foreign exchange market in which free-floating exchange rates made computerized speculative attacks on weak currencies a regular occurrence. These three developments permitted the emergence of dollar hegemony after 1994 and helped the US win the Cold War with financial power derived from fiat money.

Dollar hegemony advanced super imperialism one stage further from the financial to the monetary front. Industrial imperialism sought to achieve a trade surplus by exporting manufactured good to the colonies for gold to fund investment for more productive plants at home. Super imperialism sought to extract real wealth from the colonies by paying for it with fiat dollars to sustain a balance of payments out of an imbalance in the exchange of commodities. Monetary imperialism under dollar hegemony exports debt denominated in fiat dollars through a permissive trade deficit with the new colonies, only to re-import the debt back to the US as capital account surplus to finance the US debt bubble.

The circular recycling of dollar-denominated debt was made operative by the dollar, a fiat currency that only the US can print at will, continuing as the world's prime reserve currency for international trade and finance, backed by US geopolitical superpower. Dollars are accepted universally because oil is denominated in dollars and everyone needs oil and thus needs dollars to buy oil. Any nation that seeks to denominate key commodities, such as oil, in currencies other than the dollar will soon find itself invaded by the sole superpower. Thus the war on Iraq is not about oil, as former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan suggested recently. It is about keeping oil denominated in dollars to protect dollar hegemony. The difference is subtle but of essential importance.

Since 1993, central banks of all trading nations around the world, with the exception of the US Federal Reserve, have been forced to hold more dollar reserves than they otherwise need to ward off the potential of sudden speculative attacks on their currencies in unregulated global financial markets. Thus "dollar hegemony" prevents the exporting nations, such as the Asian Tigers, from spending domestically the dollars they earn from the US trade deficit and forces them to fund the US capital account surplus, shipping real wealth to the US in exchange for the privilege of financing further growth of the US debt economy.

Not only do these exporting nations have to compete by keeping their domestic wages down and by prostituting their environment, the dollars that they earn cannot be spent at home without causing a monetary crisis in their own currencies because the dollars they earn have to be exchanged into local currencies before they can be spent domestically, causing an excessive rise in their domestic money supply which in turn causes domestic inflation-pushed bubbles. While the trade-surplus nations are forced to lend their export earnings back to the US, these same nations are starved for capital, as global capital denominated in dollars will only invest in their export sectors to earn more dollars. The domestic sector with local currency earnings remains of little interest to global capital denominated in dollars. As a result, domestic development stagnates for lack of capital.

Dollar hegemony permits the US to transform itself from a competitor in world markets to earn hard money, to a fiat-money-making monopoly with fiat dollars that only it can print at will. Every other trading nation has to exchange low-wage goods for dollars that the US alone can print freely and that can be spent only in the dollar economy without monetary penalty.

The victimization of Japan and China

Japan is a classic victim of monetary imperialism. In 1990, as a result of Japanese export prowess, the Industrial Bank of Japan was the largest bank in the world, with a market capitalization of $57 billion. The top nine of the 10 largest banks then were all Japanese, trailed by Canadian Alliance in 10th place. No US bank made the top-10 list. By 2001, the effects of dollar hegemony have pushed Citigroup into first place with a market capitalization of $260 billion. Seven of the top 10 largest financial institutions in the world in 2001 were US-based, with descending ranking in market capitalization: Citigroup ($260 billion), AIG ($209 billion), HSBC (British-$110 billion), Berkshire Hathaway ($100 billion), Bank of America ($99 billion), Fanny Mae ($80 billion), Wells Fargo ($74 billion), JP Morgan Chase ($72 billion), RBS (British-$70 billion) and UBS (Swiss-$67 billion). No Japanese bank survived on the list.

China is a neoclassic case of dollar hegemony victimization even though its domestic financial markets are still not open and the yuan is still not freely convertible. With over $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves earned at a previously lower fixed exchange rate of 8.2 to a dollar set in 1985, now growing at the rate of $1 billion a day at a narrow-range floating exchange rate of around 7.5 since July 2005, China cannot spend much of it dollar holdings on domestic development without domestic inflation caused by excessive expansion of its yuan money supply. The Chinese economy is overheating because the bulk of its surplus revenue is in dollars from exports that cannot be spent inside China without monetary penalty. Chinese wages are too low to absorb sudden expansion of yuan money supply to develop the domestic economy. And with over $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, equal to its annual GDP, China cannot even divest from the dollar without having the market effect of a falling dollar moving against its remaining holdings.

The People's Bank of China announced on July 20, 2005 that effective immediately the yuan exchange rate would go up by 2.1% to 8.11 yuan to the US dollar and that China would drop the dollar peg to its currency. In its place, China would move to a "managed float" of the yuan, pegging the currency's exchange value to an undisclosed basket of currencies linked to its global trade. In an effort to limit the amount of volatility, China would not allow the currency to fluctuate by more than 0.3% in any one trading day. Linking the yuan to a basket of currencies means China's currency is relatively free from market forces acting on the dollar, shifting to market forces acting on a basket of currencies of China's key trading partners. The basket is composed of the euro, yen and other Asian currencies as well as the dollar. Though the precise composition of the basket was not disclosed, it can nevertheless be deduced by China's trade volume with key trading partners and by mathematical calculation from the set-daily exchange rate.

Thus China is trapped in a trade regime operating on an international monetary architecture in which it must continue to export real wealth in the form of underpaid labor and polluted environment in exchange for dollars that it must reinvest in the US. Ironically, the recent rise of anti-trade sentiment in US domestic politics offers China a convenient, opportune escape from dollar hegemony to reduce its dependence on export to concentrate on domestic development. Chinese domestic special interest groups in the export sector would otherwise oppose any policy to slow the growth in export if not for the rise of US protectionism which causes shot-term pain for China but long-term benefit in China's need to restructure its economy toward domestic development. Further trade surplus denominated in dollar is of no advantage to China.

Emerging markets are new colonies of monetary imperialism

Even as the domestic US economy declined after the onset of globalization in the early 1990s, US dominance in global finance has continued to this day on account of dollar hegemony. It should not be surprising that the nation that can print at will the world's reserve currency for international trade should come up on top in deregulated global financial markets. The so-called emerging markets around the world are the new colonies of monetary imperialism in a global neo-liberal trading regime operating under dollar hegemony geopolitically dominated by the US as the world's sole remaining superpower.

Denial of corporate social responsibility

In Supercapitalism, Reich identifies corporate social responsibility as a diversion from economic efficiency and an un-capitalistic illusion. Of course the late Milton Friedman had asserted that the only social responsibility of corporations is to maximize profit, rather than to generate economic well-being and balanced growth through fair profits. There is ample evidence to suggest that a single-minded quest for maximizing global corporate profit can lead to domestic economic decline in even the world's sole remaining superpower. The US public is encouraged to blame such decline on the misbehaving trading partners of the US rather than US trade policy that permits US transnational corporation to exploit workers in all trading nations, including those in the US. It is a policy that devalues work by over-rewarding financial manipulation.

Yet to Reich, the US corporate income tax is regressive and inequitable and should be abolished so that after-tax corporate profit can be even further enhanced. This pro-profit position is at odds with even rising US Republican sentiment against transnational corporations and their global trade strategies. Reich also thinks the concept of corporate criminal liability is based on an "anthropomorphic fallacy" that ends up hurting innocent people. Reich sees as inevitable an evolutionary path towards an allegedly perfect new world of a super-energetic capitalism responding to the dictate of all-powerful consumer preference through market democracy.

Reich argues that corporations cannot be expected to be more "socially responsible" than their shareholders or even their consumers, and he implies that consumer preference and behavior are the proper and effective police forces that supersede the need for market regulation. He sees corporations, while viewed by law as "legal persons", as merely value-neutral institutional respondents of consumer preferences in global markets. Reich claims that corporate policies, strategies and behavior in market capitalism are effectively governed by consumer preferences and need no regulation by government. This is essentially the ideology of neo-liberalism.

Yet US transnational corporations derive profit from global operations serving global consumers to maximize return on global capital. These transnational corporations will seek to shift production to where labor is cheapest and environmental standards are lowest and to market their products where prices are highest and consumer purchasing power the strongest. Often, these corporations find it more profitable to sell products they themselves do not make, controlling only design and marketing, leaving the dirty side of manufacturing to others with underdeveloped market power. This means if the US wants a trade surplus under the current terms of trade, it must lower it wages. The decoupling of consumers from producers weakens the conventional effects of market pressure on corporate social responsibility. Transnational corporations have no home community loyalty. Consumers generally do not care about sweat shop conditions overseas while overseas workers do not care about product safety on goods they produce but cannot afford to buy. Products may be made in China, but they are not made by China, but by US transnational corporations which are responsible for the quality and safety of their products.

Further, it is well recognized that corporations routinely and effectively manipulate consumer preference and market acceptance often through if not false, at least misleading advertising, not for the benefit of consumers, but to maximize return on faceless capital raised from global capital markets. The subliminal emphasis by the corporate culture on addictive acquisition of material things, coupled with a structural deprivation of adequate income to satisfy the manipulated desires, has made consumers less satisfied than in previous times of less material abundance. Corporations have been allowed to imbed consumption-urging messages into every aspect of modern life. The result is a disposable culture with packaged waste, an obesity crisis for all age groups, skyrocketing consumer debt, the privatization of public utilities that demand the same fee for basic services from rich and poor alike, causing a sharp disparity in affordability. It is a phenomenon described by Karl Marx as "Fetishism of Commodities".

Marx's concept of Fetishism of Commodities

Marx wrote in Das Kapital:[1]

The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labor is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labor. This is the reason why the products of labor become commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses … The existence of the things qua commodities, and the value relation between the products of labor which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. It is a definite social relation between men that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world, the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men's hands. This I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labor, as soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities. This Fetishism of Commodities has its origin … in the peculiar social character of the labor that produces them.
Marx asserts that "the mystical character of commodities does not originate in their use-value" (Section 1, p 71). Market value is derived from social relations, not from use-value which is a material phenomenon. Thus Marx critiques the Marginal Utility Theory by pointing out that market value is affected by social relationships. For example, the marginal utility of door locks is a function of the burglary rate in a neighborhood which in turn is a function of the unemployment rate. Unregulated free markets are a regime of uninhibited price gouging by monopolies and cartels.

Thus the nature of money cannot be adequately explained even in terms of the material-technical properties of gold, but only in terms of the factors behind man's desire and need for gold. Similarly, it is not possible to fully understand the price of capital from the technical nature of the means of production, but only from the social institution of private ownership and the terms of exchange imposed by uneven market power. Market capitalism is a social institution based on the fetishism of commodities.

Democracy threatened by the corporate state

While Reich is on target in warning about the danger to democracy posed by the corporate state, and in claiming that only people can be citizens, and only citizens should participate in democratic decision making, he misses the point that transnational corporations have transcended national boundaries. Yet in each community that these transnational corporations operate, they have the congenital incentive, the financial means and the legal mandate to manipulate the fetishism of commodities even in distant lands.

Moreover, representative democracy as practiced in the US is increasingly manipulated by corporate lobbying funded from high-profit-driven corporate financial resources derived from foreign sources controlled by management. Corporate governance is notoriously abusive of minority shareholder rights on the part of management. Notwithstanding Reich's rationalization of excessive CEO compensation, CEOs as a class are the most vocal proponents of corporate statehood. Modern corporations are securely insulated from any serious threats from consumer revolt. Inter-corporate competition presents only superficial and trivial choices for consumers. Motorists have never been offered any real choice on gasoline by oil companies or alternatives on the gasoline-guzzling internal combustion engine by car-makers.

High pay for CEOs

Reich asserts in his Wall Street Journal piece that modern CEOs in finance capitalism nowadays deserve their high pay because they have to be superstars, unlike their bureaucrat-like predecessors during industrial capitalism. Notwithstanding that one would expect a former labor secretary to argue that workers deserve higher pay, the challenge to corporate leadership in market capitalism has always been and will always remain management's ruthless pursuit of market leadership power, a euphemism for monopoly, by skirting the rule of law and regulations, framing legislative regimes through political lobbying, pushing down wages and worker benefits, increasing productivity by downsizing in an expanding market and manipulating consumer attitude through advertising. At the end of the day, the bottom line for corporate profit is a factor of lowering wage and benefit levels.

Reich seems to have forgotten that the captains of industry of 19th century free-wheeling capitalism were all superstars who evoked public admiration by manipulating the awed public into accepting the Horatio Alger myth of success through hard work, honesty and fairness. The derogatory term "robber barons" was first coined by protest pamphlets circulated by victimized Kansas farmers against ruthless railroad tycoons during the Great Depression.

The manipulation of the public will by moneyed interests is the most problematic vulnerability of US economic and political democracy. In an era when class warfare has taken on new sophistication, the accusation of resorting to class warfare argument is widely used to silence legitimate socio-economic protests. The US media is essentially owned by the moneyed interests. The decline of unionism in the US has been largely the result of anti-labor propaganda campaigns funded by corporations and government policies influenced by corporate lobbyists. The infiltration of organized crime was exploited to fan public anti-union sentiments while widespread corporate white collar crimes were dismissed as mere anomalies. (See Capitalism's bad apples: It's the barrel that's rotten)

Superman capitalism

As promoted by his permissive opinion piece, a more apt title for Reich's new book would be Superman Capitalism, in praise of the super-heroic qualities of successful corporate CEOs who deserve superstar pay. This view goes beyond even fascist superman ideology. The compensation of corporate CEOs in Nazi Germany never reached such obscene levels as those in US corporate land today.

Reich argues that CEOs deserve their super-high compensation, which has increased 600% in two decades, because corporate profits have also risen 600% in the same period. The former secretary of labor did not point out that wages rose only 30% in the same period. The profit/wage disparity is a growing cancer in the US-dominated global economy, causing over-production resulting from stagnant demand caused by inadequate wages. A true spokesman for labor would point out that enlightened modern management recognizes that the performance of a corporation is the sum total of effective team work between management and labor.

System analysis has long shown that collective effort on the part of the entire work force is indispensable to success in any complex organism. Further, a healthy consumer market depends on a balance between corporate earnings and worker earnings. Reich's point would be valid if US wages had risen by the same multiple as CEO pay and corporate profit, but he apparently thought that it would be poor etiquette to raise embarrassing issues as a guest writer in an innately anti-labor journal of Wall Street. Even then, unless real growth also rose 600% in two decades, the rise in corporate earning may be just an inflation bubble.

An introduction to economic populism

To be fair, Reich did address the income gap issue eight months earlier in another article, "An Introduction to Economic Populism" in the Jan-Feb, 2007 issue of The American Prospect, a magazine that bills itself as devoted to "liberal ideas". In that article, Reich relates a "philosophical" discussion he had with fellow neo-liberal cabinet member Robert Rubin, then treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, on two "simple questions".

The first question was: Suppose a proposed policy will increase the incomes of some people without decreasing the incomes of any others. Of course Reich must know that it is a question of welfare economics long ago answered by the "pareto optimum", which asserts that resources are optimally distributed when an individual cannot move into a better position without putting someone else into a worse position. In an unjust society, the pareto optimum will perpetuate injustice in the name of optimum resource allocation. "Should it be implemented? Bob and I agreed it should," writes Reich. Not exactly an earth-shaking liberal position. Rather, it is a classic neo-liberal posture.

And the second question: But suppose the people whose incomes will rise are already wealthier than everyone else. Although no one will lose ground, inequality will widen. Should it still be implemented? "I won't tell you where he and I came out on that second question," writes Reich without explaining why. He allows that "we agreed that people who don't share in such gains feel relatively poorer. Widening inequality also further tips the balance of political power in favor of the wealthy."

Of course, clear thinking would have left the second question mute because it would have invalidated the first question, as the real income of those whose nominal income has not fallen has indeed fallen relative to those whose nominal income has risen. In a macro monetary sense, it is not possible to raise the nominal income of some without lowering the real income of others. All incomes must rise together proportionally or inequality in after-inflation real income will increase.

Inequality only a new worry?

But for the sake of argument, let's go along with Reich's parable on welfare economics and financial equality. That conversation occurred a decade ago. Reich says in his January 2007 article that "inequality is far more worrisome now", as if it had not been or that the policies he and his colleagues in the Clinton administration, as evidenced by their answer to their own first question, did not cause the now "more worrisome" inequality. "The incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans have increased about 2% in real terms since then, while that of the top 1% has increased over 50%," Reich wrote in the matter of fact tone of an innocent bystander.

It is surprising that a former labor secretary would err even on the record on worker income. The US Internal Revenue Service reports that while incomes have been rising since 2002, the average income in 2005 was $55,238, nearly 1% less than in 2000 after adjusting for inflation. Hourly wage costs (including mandatory welfare contributions and benefits) grew more slowly than hourly productivity from 1993 to late 1997, the years of Reich's tenure as labor secretary. Corporate profit rose until 1997 before declining, meaning what should have gone to workers from productivity improvements went instead to corporate profits. And corporate profit declined after 1997 because of the Asian financial crisis, which reduced offshore income for all transnational companies, while domestic purchasing power remained weak because of sub-par worker income growth.

The break in trends in wages occurred when the unemployment rate sank to 5%, below the 6% threshold of NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) as job creation was robust from 1993 onwards. The "reserve army of labor" in the war against inflation disappeared after the 1997 Asian crisis when the Federal Reserve injected liquidity into the US banking system to launch the debt bubble. According to NAIRU, when more than 94% of the labor force is employed, the war on wage-pushed inflation will be on the defensive. Yet while US inflation was held down by low-price imports from low-wage economies, US domestic wages fell behind productivity growth from 1993 onward. US wages could have risen without inflationary effects but did not because of the threat of further outsourcing of US jobs overseas. This caused corporate profit to rise at the expense of labor income during the low-inflation debt bubble years.

Income inequality in the US today has reached extremes not seen since the 1920s, but the trend started three decades earlier. More than $1 trillion a year in relative income is now being shifted annually from roughly 90,000,000 middle and working class families to the wealthiest households and corporations via corporate profits earned from low-wage workers overseas. This is why nearly 60% of Republicans polled support more taxes on the rich.

Carter the granddaddy of deregulation

The policies and practices responsible for today's widening income gap date back to the 1977-1981 period of the Carter administration which is justly known as the administration of deregulation. Carter's deregulation was done in the name of populism but the results were largely anti-populist. Starting with Carter, policies and practices by both corporations and government underwent a fundamental shift to restructure the US economy with an overhaul of job markets. This was achieved through widespread de-unionization, breakup of industry-wide collective bargaining which enabled management to exploit a new international division of labor at the expense of domestic workers.

The frontal assault on worker collective bargaining power was accompanied by a realigning of the progressive federal tax structure to cut taxes on the rich, a brutal neo-liberal global free-trade offensive by transnational corporations and anti-labor government trade policies. The cost shifting of health care and pension plans from corporations to workers was condoned by government policy. A wave of government-assisted compression of wages and overtime pay narrowed the wage gap between the lowest and highest paid workers (which will occur when lower-paid workers receive a relatively larger wage increase than the higher-paid workers with all workers receiving lower pay increases than managers). There was a recurring diversion of inflation-driven social security fund surpluses to the US fiscal budget to offset recurring inflation-adjusted federal deficits. This was accompanied by wholesale anti-trust deregulation and privatization of public sectors; and most egregious of all, financial market deregulation.

Carter deregulated the US oil industry four years after the 1973 oil crisis in the name of national security. His Democratic challenger, Senator Ted Kennedy, advocated outright nationalization. The Carter administration also deregulated the airlines, favoring profitable hub traffic at the expense of traffic to smaller cities. Air fares fell but service fell further. Delays became routine, frequently tripling door-to-door travel time. What consumers save in airfare, they pay dearly in time lost in delay and in in-flight discomfort. The Carter administration also deregulated trucking, which caused the Teamsters Union to support Ronald Reagan in exchange for a promise to delay trucking deregulation.

Railroads were also deregulated by Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 which eased regulations on rates, line abandonment, and mergers to allow the industry to compete with truck and barge transportation that had caused a financial and physical deterioration of the national rail network railroads. Four years later, Congress followed up with the Staggers Rail Act of 1980 which provided the railroads with greater pricing freedom, streamlined merger timetables, expedited the line abandonment process, and allowed confidential contracts with shippers. Although railroads, like other modes of transportation, must purchase and maintain their own rolling stock and locomotives, they must also, unlike competing modes, construct and maintain their own roadbed, tracks, terminals, and related facilities. Highway construction and maintenance are paid for by gasoline taxes. In the regulated environment, recovering these fixed costs hindered profitability for the rail industry.

After deregulation, the railroads sought to enhance their financial situation and improve their operational efficiency with a mix of strategies to reduce cost and maximize profit, rather than providing needed service to passengers around the nation. These strategies included network rationalization by shedding unprofitable capacity, raising equipment and operational efficiencies by new work rules that reduced safety margins and union power, using differential pricing to favor big shippers, and pursuing consolidation, reducing the number of rail companies from 65 to 5 today. The consequence was a significant increase of market power for the merged rail companies, decreasing transportation options for consumers and increasing rates for remote, less dense areas.

In the agricultural sector, rail network rationalization has forced shippers to truck their bulk commodity products greater distances to mainline elevators, resulting in greater pressure on and damage to rural road systems. For inter-modal shippers, profit-based network rationalization has meant reduced access - physically and economically - to Container on Flat Car (COFC) and Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC) facilities and services. Rail deregulation, as is true with most transportation and communication deregulation, produces sector sub-optimization with dubious benefits for the national economy by distorting distributional balance, causing congestion and inefficient use of land, network and lines.

Carter's Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) approach to radio and television regulation began in the mid-1970s as a search for relatively minor "regulatory underbrush" that could be cleared away for more efficient and cost-effective administration of the important rules that would remain. Congress largely went along with this updating trend, and initiated a few deregulatory moves of its own to make regulation more effective and responsive to contemporary conditions.

Reagan's anti-government fixation

The Reagan administration under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Mark Fowler in 1981 shifted deregulation to a fundamental and ideologically-driven reappraisal of regulations away from long-held principles central to national broadcasting policy appropriate for a democratic society. The result was removal of many longstanding rules to permit an overall reduction in FCC oversight of station ownership concentration and network operations. Congress grew increasingly wary of the pace of deregulation, however, and began to slow the pace of FCC deregulation by the late 1980s.

Specific deregulatory moves included (a) extending television licenses to five years from three in 1981; (b) expanding the number of television stations any single entity could own from seven in 1981 to 12 in 1985, with further changes in 1995; (c) abolishing guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming in 1985; (d) elimination of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987; (e) dropping, in 1985, FCC license guidelines for how much advertising could be carried; (f) leaving technical standards increasingly in the hands of licensees rather than FCC mandates; and (g) deregulation of television's competition, especially cable which went through several regulatory changes in the decade after 1983.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act eliminated the 40-station ownership cap on radio stations. Since then, the radio industry has experienced unprecedented consolidation. In June 2003, the FCC voted to overhaul limits on media ownership. Despite having held only one hearing on the complex issue of media consolidation over a 20-month review period, the FCC, in a party-line vote, voted 3-2 to overhaul limits on media concentration. The rule would (1) increase the aggregate television ownership cap to enable one company to own stations reaching 45% of our nation's homes (from 35%), (2) lift the ban on newspaper-television cross-ownership, and (3) allow a single company to own three television stations in large media markets and two in medium ones. In the largest markets, the rule would allow a single company to own up to three television stations, eight radio stations, the cable television system, cable television stations, and a daily newspaper. A wide range of public-interest groups filed an appeal with the Third Circuit, which stayed the effective date of the new rules.

According to a BIA Financial Network report released in July 2006, a total of 88 television stations had been sold in the first six months of 2006, generating a transaction value of $15.7 billion. In 2005, the same period saw the sale of just 21 stations at a value of $244 million, with total year transactions of $2.86 billion.

Congress passed a law in 2004 that forbids any network to own a group of stations that reaches more than 39% of the national television audience. That is lower than the 45% limit set in 2003, but more than the original cap of 35% set in 1996 under the Clinton administration - leading public interest groups to argue that the proposed limits lead to a stifling of local voices.

Newspaper-television cross-ownership remains a contentious issue. Currently prohibited, it refers to the "common ownership of a full-service broadcast station and a daily newspaper when the broadcast station's area of coverage (or "contour") encompasses the newspaper's city of publication".

Capping of local radio and television ownership is another issue. While the original rule prohibited it, currently a company can own at least one television and one radio station in a market. In larger markets, "a single entity may own additional radio stations depending on the number of other independently owned media outlets in the market".

Most broadcasters and newspaper publishers are lobbying to ease or end restrictions on cross-ownership; they say it has to be the future of the news business. It allows newsgathering costs to be spread across platforms, and delivers multiple revenue streams in turn. Their argument is also tied to a rapidly changing media consumption market, and to the diversity of opinions available to the consumer with the rise of the Internet and other digital platforms.

The arguments against relaxing media ownership regulations are put forth by consumer unions and other interest groups on the ground that consolidation in any form inevitably leads to a lack of diversity of opinion. Cross-ownership limits the choices for consumers, inhibits localism and gives excessive media power to one entity.

Professional and workers' guilds of the communication industry (the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV and Radio Artists among others) would like the FCC to keep in mind the independent voice, and want a quarter of all prime-time programming to come from independent producers. The Children's Media Policy Coalition suggested that the FCC limit local broadcasters to a single license per market, so that there is enough original programming for children. Other interest groups like the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters are worried about what impact the rules might have on station ownership by minorities.

Deregulatory proponents see station licensees not as "public trustees" of the public airwaves requiring the provision of a wide variety of services to many different listening groups. Instead, broadcasting has been increasingly seen as just another business operating in a commercial marketplace which did not need its management decisions questioned by government overseers, even though they are granted permission to use public airways. Opponents argue that deregulation violates a key mandate of the Communications Act of 1934 which requires licensees to operate in the public interest. Deregulation allows broadcasters to seek profits with little public service programming.

Clinton and telecommunications deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of US telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and leading to media consolidation. It was approved by Congress on January 3, 1996 and signed into law on February 8, 1996 by President Clinton, a Democrat whom some have labeled as the best president the Republicans ever had. The act claimed to foster competition, but instead it continued the historic industry consolidation begun by Reagan, whose actions reduced the number of major media companies from around 50 in 1983 to 10 in 1996 and 6 in 2005.

Regulation Q

The Carter administration increased the power of the Federal Reserve through the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980 which was a necessary first step in ending the New Deal restrictions placed upon financial institutions, such as Regulation Q put in place by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and other restrictions on banks and financial institutions. The populist Regulation Q imposed limits and ceilings on bank and savings-and-loan (S&L) interest rates to provide funds for low-risk home mortgages. But with financial market deregulation, Regulation Q created incentives for US banks to do business outside the reach of US law, launching finance globalization. London came to dominate this offshore dollar business.

The populist Regulation Q, which regulated for several decades limits and ceilings on bank and S&L interest to serve the home mortgage sector, was phased out completely in March 1986. Banks were allowed to pay interest on checking account - the NOW accounts - to lure depositors back from the money markets. The traditional interest-rate advantage of the S&Ls was removed, to provide a "level playing field", forcing them to take the same risks as commercial banks to survive. Congress also lifted restrictions on S&Ls' commercial lending, which promptly got the whole industry into trouble that would soon required an unprecedented government bailout of depositors, with tax money. But the developers who made billions from easy credit were allowed to keep their profits. State usury laws were unilaterally suspended by an act of Congress in a flagrant intrusion on state rights. Carter, the well-intentioned populist, left a legacy of anti-populist policies. To this day, Greenspan continues to argue disingenuously that subprime mortgages helped the poor toward home ownership, instead of generating obscene profit for the debt securitization industry.

The party of Lincoln taken over by corporate interests

During the Reagan administration, corporate lobbying and electoral strategies allowed the corporate elite to wrest control of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, from conservative populists. In the late 1980s, supply-side economics was promoted to allow corporate interests to dominate US politics at the expense of labor by arguing that the only way labor can prosper is to let capital achieve high returns, notwithstanding the contradiction that high returns on capital must come from low wages.

New legislation and laws, executive orders, federal government rule-making, federal agency decisions, and think-tank propaganda, etc, subsequently followed the new political landscape, assisting the implementation of new corporate policies and practices emerging from corporate headquarters rather than from the shop floor. Economists and analysts who challenged this voodoo theory were largely shut out of the media. Workers by the million were persuaded to abandon their institutional collective defender to fend for themselves individually in the name of freedom. It was a freedom to see their job security eroded and wages and benefits fall with no recourse.

Note
1. Das Kapital, Volume One, Part I: Commodities and Money, Chapter One: Commodities, Section I.

Next: PART 2: Global war on labor

Henry C K Liu is chairman of a New York-based private investment group. His website is at http://www.henryckliu.com.

Copyright 2007, Henry C K Liu

Super Imperialism - New Edition: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance [Paperback]

William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Hudson is a Wall Street economist who used to work at the Chase Manhattan Bank.

In Part One, he describes the rise of the American empire.

Part Two describes its institutions: the US-controlled World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, which all benefit the USA. The US has the sole veto power in all three.

Part Three describes what Herman Kahn called `the greatest rip-off ever achieved', the way the US's ruling class levies us all to pay for its aggressive wars, just as the Roman Empire levied tribute to pay for its constant wars. Similarly Britain, Germany and Japan all pay for the US's military bases in their countries.

In 1945, as in 1918, Britain led Europe's capitulation to the USA's debt demands. The British ruling class chose dependency on the US ruling class. The USA insisted that Britain ended the sterling bloc, accepted IMF controls, did not impose exchange controls, and did not devalue. As Hudson writes, "The Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great Power."

The 1945-51 Labour government's huge spending on unnecessary imperial, counter-revolutionary wars robbed our industry of investment. This excessive military spending meant that we had constantly to borrow from the IMF, increasing our dependence on the USA. Now Britain is the USA's Trojan horse in Europe, against Britain's interests.

Hudson immodestly claims that his analysis supersedes Lenin. He says that the US national government's interests, not the private interests of the capitalist class, drive the system. He claims that the US government subordinates `the interests of its national bourgeoisie to the autonomous interests of the national government'. But is the US government really independent of the capitalist class? How `autonomous' are these interests?...

Joshua Malle (Seattle, WA USA)

Difficult and rewarding, Hudson is the real deal, May 24, 2006

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This review is from: Super Imperialism - New Edition: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominanc (Paperback)

Super-Imperialism is better viewed as a radical alternative to common undergraduate textbooks such as Joan Edelman Spero's, "The Politics of International Economic Relations" than as an update to the theories of Lenin or Hobson. (His background and prose style are similar to Spero's and his book covers similar ground.)

It has three sections, each which could have been a separate book.

The 2003 Edition has a new introduction and two new chapters at the end. The rest of the book has occasional new material, but does not appear to have been extensively re-written.

It's a difficult and rewarding book. The difficulty lies partly in the subject matter itself, partly in Hudson's convoluted prose and partly in the numerous typographical errors that mar the 2003 Pluto Press edition.

The book is rewarding because it's honest. Readers educated in the U.S. will initially regard Hudson's account with some skepticism. We can't help it; We've been systematically miseducated by pro-U.S. polemics presented in an "objective" tone.

In contrast Hudson is a strident critic of the U.S. management of the global economy. But so is any reasonably objective person who is apprized of the facts. I much prefer an author who honestly tells you the real story as he understands it to one who conceals the awful truth behind an ostensibly impartial facade. But a "revisionist" has to work twice as hard to make his case, and that is why the book contains the detailed explication of what reviewer Myers calls the "intricacies of events and negotiations that gave rise to the present order."

I think an open-minded reader will be won over by Hudson's thoughtful use of contemporaneous sources (e.g. government publications and articles in the business press) and also biographical sources to illuminate how key decision makers understood the alternatives, and their motives for pursuing the policies that they did when forging the post-war economic order. As he places these choices in context it quickly becomes evident that the motives on the U.S. side have been consistently aggressive and that U.S. policy makers have all along viewed multilateral economic institutions as instruments of national policy--to the world's detriment.

Hudson also has a keen sense of the painfully narrow horizon of human foresight. The historical sections sometimes read like a conspiracy theory in which the conspirators are not very smart. E.g., Franklin Roosevelt's stubborn insistence that World War I debts be repaid prolonged the Great Depression; When J. M. Keynes was negotiating Bretton Woods for the newly elected Labour government, he got them a terrible deal; The U.S. transition to "super-imperialism" which is the main story of the book (chapters 11 through 14) was originally an unintended consequence of the huge budget and trade deficits caused by the Vietnam War.

If you are interested in "globalization" this book is an important piece of the puzzle, but it really only covers up through 1973, and it spends more time on the relationship between the U.S. and Europe than on "North-South" relations. Having said that, Ch. 8 "The Imperialism of U.S. Foreign Aid" is very good, esp. how foreign aid benefits the U.S. balance of payments and the harmful effects of U.S. agricultural exports. China is hardly mentioned.

If you are an economics student and you sense that they aren't telling you the whole story, or just a thoughtful citizen who wants to sharpen your conceptual tools for understanding and resisting the strategies of U.S. imperialism, this book is for you.

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Salty Saltillo (from the road, USA)

An awkward argument with moments of brilliance, November 3, 2004

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Hudson's historical argument in this book is both brilliant and sometimes a bit rough.

Hudson has always had a great talent for interpreting and sketching out for weaker minds like us what the US government's abandonment of the gold-standard really means. When Hudson came forward with his thesis in the mid 1970's, his thesis was outrageous among orthodox economists: to suggest that the US should be worried about the long-term consequences of running balance of payments deficits year after year, decade after decade was crazy leftist nonsense in the 1970s. As long as people continue to need the US markets more than the US needs any other one country's markets (and people still have faith in the good credit of the US government) there is no reason US could not run balance of payment deficits forever, according to the conventional wisdom.

What amazes me is that now, after having done exactly what Hudson warned the US government not to do in the 1970s, many otherwise relatively orthodox economists are beginning to worry about this. Hudson may be on the more "sky-is-falling" end of things, but his analysis was right on the nail in 1972 and is still there today: worst case scenario - massive recession and massive devaluation of the dollar (by massive I mean, unprecedented). Former US Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin was quoted in March 16, 2006 WSJ as saying that "The probabilities are extremely high that if we don't address these imbalances, then at some point, and it could be years down the road, we'll pay a very big price." We are in a limbo world where no one really knows how this problem is going to play out, but Hudson should be credited for being one of the first, and longest-running, advocates for addressing this problem. Too bad it has taken so many decades for people to recognize what he has been telling us all along about balance of payments deficits.

The rest of the argument Hudson makes in this book is a bit tough to follow, though. Essentially, Hudson attempts to show how the US has, during this century but especially since WWII, systematically sought to manipulate all of the great economic institution-building opportunities following WWII to advance the interests of the US over other countries. Coming off the gold standard and running up a balance of payments deficit was just one of many ways in which this occurred. The US largely succeeded. The GATT (now WTO), World Bank, IMF, all bear American "fingerprints".

I agree that the mega-institutions of the contemporary world economic and political machine are largely the unilateral creation of the US, imposed on the other great nations at a time when the other nations were particularly vulnerable to US force of will and not particular inclined to be heterodox visionaries. I also agree that the US in general has probably used as much leverage as it could in negotiating all of the defining institutions in which it had any hand in constructing.

And yet, how could it have been any different? National governments pursue their self-interest and the interest of their citizens, often at the expense of other national governments and their citizens. The nation-state system is set up to work that way. But is the problem really one of US bad behavior, as Hudson suggests? Isn't the problem really structural? In the nation-state world, wherein the world is divided up into pseudo-autonomous political monopolies, each individually endowed with particular strengths and weaknesses, and all pitted against each other in a laissez-faire system where the only things that keep nation-states from raping and killing each other to oblivion are, good faith and the fact that the balance of power among the nation-states is enough to keep each monopoly contained in its behavior towards the other monopolies, what sort of behavior could we have expected from the US, a nation-state that, at a series of pivotal moments in 20th century history, found itself with "golden opportunities" to take advantage of other nations' weaknesses and advance its own power? Would the French, or the Brits, or the Japanese, or the Italians, or the Germans, or the Russians have behaved any different if they found themselves holding all the cards in 1945 instead of the US?

My point is, the facts Hudson lays out are correct -- there clearly is a problem in the way in which our current world order has been put together and the US is at the middle of that problem. The conclusions Hudson draws from those facts do not go deep enough in understanding what those facts mean, however.

It isn't that the Americans behave or behaved "bad" by the standard of good behavior implicit in the nation-state system, it is that the nation-state system itself to a certain extent reflects 19th century laissez-faire values of autonomy and individuality that pit nation-states against each other in a world where each is out to improve its lot through trade and, when possible and tolerable, violence.

The system itself breaks down when one player becomes too powerful. To blame the US for the systemic problem of massive power imbalances between nation states is simply pushing any hope for correction in the wrong direction.

Samuel Brittan: The wrong kind of Third Way

FT.com / Columnists / Samuel Brittan - The wrong kind of Third Way: When a book entitled Supercapitalism: the Battle for Democracy in an Age of Big Business (Icon Books) landed on my desk I took it for just another of the many anti-capitalist diatribes so beloved by publishers. Its author was Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labour who parted company from the Clinton administration on the grounds that it was not interventionist enough. But I was glad I persevered. For it turned out to be one of the most interesting books on political economy to appear for a long time.

During the postwar decades up to the early 1970s, the Bretton Woods system of semi-fixed exchange rates worked, after a fashion; and countries seemed able to combine full employment with low inflation and historically rapid growth and diminishing income differences. Reich calls them a "not quite golden age". It was "not quite" because of the treatment of women and minorities and the prevailing conformist and authoritarian atmosphere.

It has been succeeded by what Reich calls supercapitalism, in which the cult of the bottom line has replaced the cosy oligopolies of postwar decades, once-dominant companies shrink or disappear, new ones spring up overnight and the financial sector is (or was until recently) in the driving seat. He rightly dismisses many of the popular scapegoats – or heroes – of the process. The changeover began well before Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher could influence anything. Free-market economists have been preaching essentially the same message since the 18th century. It is extremely unlikely that there has been a radical change in the psychology or morality of business operators. His own candidate is the technologies that have empowered consumers and investors to get ever better deals.

Unfortunately, many of these same consumers have lost in their capacity as citizens. He cites the failure of the political process even to attempt to correct the increasing skewness of US income distribution. In later pronouncements he has attributed the subprime loan disaster in part to the failure of supercapitalism to raise the incomes of the mass of wage earners who have been impelled to resort to borrowing as a substitute. Moreover, Congress has performed abysmally in correcting market failures in environmental and other areas. He has a non-partisan explanation: the staggering increase in business lobbying expenditures affecting Democrats as well as Republicans, as a result of which the political process, far from correcting the distortions of unbridled capitalism, has made them worse.

But for me the novel point of the book is his utter dismissal of the prevailing idea of appealing to the "social responsibility" of business to improve matters. This is a notion that particularly appeals to soft centre politicians such as David Cameron's Conservatives in Britain as a new kind of Third Way. Reich argues that it is the job of the democratic political process by laws, taxes and other interventions to harmonise the pursuit of money-making with the public good. "The job of the businessman is to make profits." He is completely unabashed by the charge that he sounds like Milton Friedman and indeed quotes the late Chicago professor approvingly several times. He argues that the so-called stakeholders who insist on being consulted before legislation is drafted are increasingly companies whose interests might be affected. One result is the "corruption of knowledge". We should beware of claims that a company is doing something for the public good. Corporate executives may donate some of their shareholders' money to a genuinely good cause or forbear from polluting the atmosphere to forestall a greater legal or fiscal burden. But in that case such actions are likely to be limited and temporary, "extending only insofar as the conditions that made such voluntary action pay off continue".

Similarly we should beware of a politician who blames a company for doing something that is legal. Such words are all too often a cover "for taking no action to change the rules of the game". Above all, "corporations are not people. They are legal fictions, nothing more than bundles of contractual agreements ... A company cannot know right from wrong ... Only people know right from wrong and only people act." One example of the "anthropomorphic fallacy" is when companies are held criminally liable for the misdeeds of their executives. Not only are the genuinely guilty let off too lightly but many innocent people get hurt. For instance, "the vast majority of Andersen employees had nothing to do with Enron but lost their jobs nonetheless".

I have two reservations. One is that I cannot share Reich's confidence that a revived and effective "democracy" would be a cure-all. You only have to see where democratic pressures are driving US energy policy. Second, there is a danger that the Friedman-Reich position could inadvertently give sustenance to the "I was only doing my job" defence for evil actions. You do not have to hold shares in a company selling arms to Saudi Arabia, or work for it. But do not deceive yourself that such individual gestures can be a substitute for a change in policy.

Supercapitalism The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert B. Reich

Amazon.com

The Balance of Capitalism and Democracy, September 17, 2007

By Izaak VanGaalen (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (Hardcover)

According to Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, there was a time when capitalism and democracy where almost perfectly balanced. This was the period of 1945 to 1975, which he calls the "Not Quite Golden Age." During this period there was a three-way social contract among big business, big labor, and big government. Each made sure that they as well as the other two received a fair share of the pie. Unions recieved their wages and benefits, business their profits, and regulatory agencies had their power. It was also a time when the gap between the rich and the poor was the narrowest in our history. It was not quite the golden age because women and minorities were still second class citizens, but at least there was hope.

Fast forward to 2007, capitalism is thriving and democracy is sputtering. Why has capitlism become supercapitalism and democracy become enfeebled? Reich explains that it was a combination of things: deregulation, globe spanning computer networks, better transportation, etc. The changes were mainly a result of technological breakthroughs; unlike many leftists, he is not conspiratorial thinker. The winner of this great transformation was the consumer/investor and the loser was the citizen/wage earner. The consumer has more choices than ever before and at reasonable prices. The investor has unprecedented opportunities to make profits. The citzen, however, is not doing well. The average citizen does not have much voice - other than voting - in the body politic. And on the wage earner has been stagnating for many years. The most salient illustration of this trend is Walmart. Walmart delivers the goods at low prices, but the trade-off is low wages for their employees. We justify this dilemma, as Reich nicely puts it, because "The awkward truth is that most of us are of two minds."

As a left-leaning author, Reich makes some startling pronouncements. One, stop treating corporations as human beings. They are neither moral or immoral, they are merely "bundles of contracts." I couldn't agree more. Stop expecting corporations to be socially responsible, see them for what they are: profit-seeking organizations. Any socially responsible action is a ruse to bolster the bottom line anyway. Don't even encourage them to be socially responsible because it will wrongly lead us to believe that they are solving problems when they are not. Corporations play by the rules that they are given and it is up to citizens and their elected representatives to change the rules.

This is no easy task in the age of supercapitalism. There are currently 38,000 registered lobbyists in Washington DC in a virtual arms race of spending with each other to buy favors from our so-called representatives. The only way citizens can compete with this is not by hiring more lobbyists but advocating through new media outlets such as the internet and cable tv. This, according to Reich, is currently to most effective way to make government more responsive.

The question that remains, after reading this book, is will consumers be willing to sacrifice their low prices to achieve their goals as citizens. If the answer is yes, we can possibly rebalance the equation between democracy and capitalism; if not, we are left to the not so tender mercies of supercapitalism.

Robert Reich makes a compelling argument that supercapitalism has robbed democracy of much of its power. Supercapitalism by the definition presented in the book is simple--the consumer is king and prices ALWAYS go down. What Reich looks at is the cost of low prices to companies, society, the individual and its impact on the workings of democracy. So how is democracy compromised? Reich also points out that the rise of different lobbying groups, the cost of politics and globalization as contributing to this process. This isn't a surprise. It has just become more pronounced with time.

It's not due to some large conspiracy or any hidden political agenda as much as it is driven by consumption. Ultimately Reich argues that it robs the common citizen of any control over democracy. It's not surprising that this is a highly charged issue because the economics of what benefits society (or "the common good" as Reich calls it)often gets tangled up in the web of politics. Reich also points out that the cost of supercompetitiveness, constantly falling prices is a loss to the economic and social health of America. Reich points out that everyone wants to get the lowest price possible but he also suggests that we must balance that with our desire to have decent wages and benefits. He also points out that the move towards regulation was initiated by government and that corporations went along because it kept out competition and guaranteed a top and bottom for prices allowing companies to get a profit without fear of cutting prices so low that it would put them out of business.

I should point out that this is an oversimplification of Reich's points but it does capture some of the concepts. He also makes some suggestions that would help keep the free market afloat without undermining democracy and allowing consumers to still benefit from competitive pricing. Since this is economics we are discussing politics is mixed in and might color whether or not you agree with his points.

Reich's style is breezy for a book that looks at economics, democracy and the erosion of wages, benefits. Reich comes across as fair balanced and thoughtful even as he sells his take on what is undermining American society. Ultimately it's a worthwhile book to read simply because it opens up dialogue on the social cost of constantly lowering prices and how it impacts those who live next door to us

Aftershock The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich

Amazon.com

Every middle class American should read this book. Many observations about income disparities have been written up lately but Reich pulls the important points together in a powerful and accessible way.

Reich's main thesis is that the current transition the US economy is under is misunderstood. Many of the policy elite (Geithner, Volcker) have repeated the familiar claim that Americans are living beyond their means. Personally I don't discount that completely but Reich's insight goes much deeper and rings truer:

"The problem was not that American spent beyond their means but that their means had not kept up with what the larger economy could and should have been able to provide them."

"We cannot have a sustained recovery until we address it. ... Until this transformation is made, our economy will continue to experience phantom recoveries and speculative bubbles, each more distressing than the one before."

Anyone looking at the unemployment data since WWII has to wonder why the unemployment component of the last three recessions is so prolonged. Instead of a sharp trend up, there are long slopes of delayed returns to peak employment. (Google "calculated risk blog" and look at Dec. 2010 articles.) I believe Reich has demonstrated the main culprit this. To be clear, he is not describing the detailed mechanics of what triggered the Great Recession. (Nouriel Roubini has a good book that I would recommend for more on the financial fraud, leverage and credit risks involved - Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance. ) But Reich is taking a long term view and exposes a dysfunctional trait of the US economy that no one can afford to ignore. It is this weakness that will delay the current recovery and continue to create greater risks in the future.

Reich draws the parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession, particularly the imbalance of wealth concentrated in fewer hands and middle class workers with less income to convert into consumer demand. One of the fascinating devices he found to do this was the writings of Marriner Eccles (Fed chair between '34 to '48):

"As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth - not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced - to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

Reich also shares a couple of powerful and disturbing graphs that show how the middle class has been squeezed and also how since the late 70s, hourly wages have not only not kept up with the rise in productivity but have remained essentially flat.

Another driving theme Reich presents is the "basic bargain" and he evokes Henry Ford, the man that took mass production to new heights and paid his workers well:

"[Henry] Ford understood the basic economic bargain that lay at the heart of a modern, highly productive economy. Workers are also consumers. Their earnings are continuously recycled to buy the goods and services other workers produce. But if earnings are inadequate and this basic bargain is broken, an economy produces more goods and services than its people are capable of purchasing."

I was concerned early in the book that Reich would leave out some of the important complexities of the topic but he covered related finances, politics and even consumer/voter psychology in a succinct yet informative way. His summary of changes to the labor market in the last 30+ years was very good.

His ideas for correcting this were interesting if perhaps difficult to implement politically. My take away however was that this is a strong indicator of how bad he thinks the situation really is. Many Americans may be yearning to return to "normal". Reich is the first to thoroughly convince me that it is not going to happen.

This is a very quick read of 144 pages and is well worth the time.

Finance is a form of imperial warfare

As Michael Hudson aptly noted in Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011)

Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now 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.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. 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 strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and "the miracle of compound interest" that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist, is coming out in May's 2009 edition of The Atlantic with a fascinating, highly provocative piece, on the collusion between the US' "financial oligarchy" and the US government and how its persistence will contribute to prolonging the economic crisis. Here is the summary (hat tip to Global Conditions):

One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you (…)

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don't want to hear.(…)

No, the real concern of the fund's senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. (…)

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason-the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit-and, most of the time, genteel-oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders (…)

Many IMF programs "go off track" (a euphemism) precisely because the government can't stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program "goes back on track" once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern-and thus win or lose-under the IMF-supported plan. (…)

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (…).

(…) elite business interests-financiers, in the case of the U.S.-played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better-in a "buck stops somewhere else" sort of way-on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for "safety and soundness" were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies-lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership-had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector's profits-such as Brooksley Born's now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998-were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

(…) the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital-a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. (…)

One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup's executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson's predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true (…).

By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists-at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy's favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused (…)

Throughout the crisis, the government has taken extreme care not to upset the interests of the financial institutions, or to question the basic outlines of the system that got us here. In September 2008, Henry Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, with no strings attached and no judicial review of his purchase decisions. Many observers suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks' hands-indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything. Perhaps because there was no way to make such a blatant subsidy politically acceptable, that plan was shelved.

Instead, the money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves. As the crisis has deepened and financial institutions have needed more help, the government has gotten more and more creative in figuring out ways to provide banks with subsidies that are too complex for the general public to understand (…)

The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary (…)

In some ways, of course, the government has already taken control of the banking system. It has essentially guaranteed the liabilities of the biggest banks, and it is their only plausible source of capital today.

Ideally, big banks should be sold in medium-size pieces, divided regionally or by type of business. Where this proves impractical-since we'll want to sell the banks quickly-they could be sold whole, but with the requirement of being broken up within a short time. Banks that remain in private hands should also be subject to size limitations.

This may seem like a crude and arbitrary step, but it is the best way to limit the power of individual institutions in a sector that is essential to the economy as a whole. Of course, some people will complain about the "efficiency costs" of a more fragmented banking system, and these costs are real. But so are the costs when a bank that is too big to fail-a financial weapon of mass self-destruction-explodes. Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.

To ensure systematic bank breakup, and to prevent the eventual reemergence of dangerous behemoths, we also need to overhaul our antitrust legislation (…)

Caps on executive compensation, while redolent of populism, might help restore the political balance of power and deter the emergence of a new oligarchy. (…)

(…) Over time, though, the largest part may involve more transparency and competition, which would bring financial-industry fees down. To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine".

The nature of financial oligarchy is such that the government's capacity to take control of an entire financial system, and to clean, slice it up and re-privatize it impartially is almost non-existent. Instead we have growing, potentially corrupt, collusion between financial elites and government officials which is hall mark of corporatism in this more modern form on neoliberalism.

The Great Deception

In 1998 Mark Curtis wrote The Great Deception: Anglo-American Power and World Order, a work whose stated goal was to shed light on various myths of Anglo-American power in the post-Cold War era.

Curtis attempts to demonstrate how the United Kingdom remained a key partner of the United States' effort to enforce their hegemony in the world. He analyzes what he refers to as a special relationship between the two countries and concludes that quite serious consequences exist for both states.

Trade for life

Trade for Life: Making Trade Work for Poor People is a work published in 2001. It is a strong critique of the function of international organizations, especially the World Trade Organization (WTO). Curtis analyzes the decisions taken by the WTO in developing states and concludes that these decisions were seldom without bias against the poor countries; he claims that certain of these decisions, notably certain structural adjustments, caused their intended benefactors more harm than good. Further, Curtis regrets that some rules are lacking when their need is called for, noting the relative lack of regulation checking the growth of power of multinational companies. A partner of Christian Aid in Zimbabwe has said that "the manner in which the WTO functions, is like placing an adult against a child in a boxing ring, like Manchester United against a local Zimbabwean team.

The WTO judges all countries on the same level, while they are not the same. The WTO must help create a situation where countries are more equal." This is a quotation that Mark Curtis recycles throughout his book.

Curtis concludes by saying that market forces can be used in a different, more egalitarian, manner than the one currently employed by the WTO. He believes that it could benefit developing nations if this goal was pursued.

His book was edited by ChristianAid while Mark Curtis was "Policy and Politics" Director and is freely available.

Web of Deceit

In 2003 Mark Curtis published Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World. This book has been his most successful to date. It offers a new academic approach to the role of the United Kingdom in the post 1945 world until the current the War on Terrorism. It further criticizes the foreign policy of Tony Blair. Curtis, defending the idea that Britain is a rogue state, describes various relations the United Kingdom undertook with repressive regimes and how he thinks these actions made the world less just.

Moreover, the book analyzes various recent actions of the British Army in the world, describing not only what he characterizes as the immorality of the War in Iraq, but also of the War in Afghanistan, and the Kosovo War. Curtis denounces equally strongly Britain's alliances with states he categorizes as repressive, such as Israel, Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, he details and criticizes the non-intervention of Britain in the Rwandan Genocide.

Curtis draws most of his research from recently declassified documents by the British secret service. He notably claims to demonstrate the role and complicity of the British in the massacre of millions of Indonesians in 1965, the toppling of the governments of Iran and British Guyana, and what he describes as repressive colonial policies in the former colonies of Kenya, Oman, and Malaysia.

Unpeople

In 2004, Mark Curtis published Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses. This book followed a similar line of thought begun in Web of Deceit. Unpeople is based on various declassified documents from the British secret service.

Among the declassified secret service reports, Curtis asserts that the United Kingdom had given aid to Saddam Hussein in 1963 in order that he rised to power in Iraq; he further posits that the Western Powers, notably the UK, performed various arms deals with the Iraqi government while the Iraqi government was involved in the brutal aggression against the Kurdish community. Curtis asserts that these documents further indict the British government in their role played in the Vietnam War, the coup d'État against Idi Amin in 1971, the coup d'État against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, and coups in Indonesia and Guyana.

Mark Curtis estimates that approximately ten million deaths throughout the world since 1945 have been caused by the United Kingdom's foreign policy.

Alliance of transnational elites

From Amazon review of Blowback The Costs and Consequences of American Empire Chalmers Johnson

But Johnson is relying on the idea that "America" is a unitary entity, so that the hollowing out of industry hurts "America", not specific social groups within the country. In reality, US foreign policymakers work to advance the interests not of "America", but of those same business elites that have benefited from turning Asia into the world's sweatshop and undermining the unions that built their strength on American industry. American economic imperialism is not a failed conspiracy against the people of Asia, but an alliance between American elites and their Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese counterparts - against the potential power of the working majority in all those countries.

But it's more complex than that, too, since the US seeks to prevent the emergence of an independent military challenge (especially China, but also Japan) to its Asia hegemony while seeking to expand the power of American commercial interests in the region, even as it tries to keep Asian elites happy enough with the status quo to prevent their rebellion against it.

In other words, the US system in Asia is more complicated than Johnson conveys, and defending America's mythical "national interests" will never address its fundamental injustices.

While Johnson seems to have abundant sympathy for the people of Asia, his nationalist framework prevents his from proposing the only real challenge to American hegemony: a popular anti-imperialist movement that crosses the barriers of nation-states.

Imperialism 101 by Micjael Parenti

Imperialism 101 By Michael Parenti

By Michael Parenti

24 June, 2011
Michaelparenti.org

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

Across the Entire Globe

By "imperialism" I mean the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.The earliest victims of Western European imperialism were other Europeans. Some 800 years ago, Ireland became the first colony of what later became known as the British empire. A part of Ireland still remains under British occupation. Other early Caucasian victims included the Eastern Europeans. The people Charlemagne worked to death in his mines in the early part of the ninth century were Slavs. So frequent and prolonged was the enslavement of Eastern Europeans that "Slav" became synonymous with servitude. Indeed, the word "slave" derives from "Slav." Eastern Europe was an early source of capital accumulation, having become wholly dependent upon Western manufactures by the seventeenth century.

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps.

The preponderant thrust of the European, North American, and Japanese imperial powers has been directed against Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By the nineteenth century, they saw the Third World as not only a source of raw materials and slaves but a market for manufactured goods. By the twentieth century, the industrial nations were exporting not only goods but capital, in the form of machinery, technology, investments, and loans. To say that we have entered the stage of capital export and investment is not to imply that the plunder of natural resources has ceased. If anything, the despoliation has accelerated.

Of the various notions about imperialism circulating today in the United States, the dominant view is that it does not exist. Imperialism is not recognized as a legitimate concept, certainly not in regard to the United States. One may speak of "Soviet imperialism" or "nineteenth-century British imperialism" but not of U.S. imperialism. A graduate student in political science at most universities in this country would not be granted the opportunity to research U.S. imperialism, on the grounds that such an undertaking would not be scholarly. While many people throughout the world charge the United States with being an imperialist power, in this country persons who talk of U.S. imperialism are usually judged to be mouthing ideological blather.

The Dynamic of Capital Expansion

Imperialism is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory. Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it systematically accumulates capital through the organized exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, transforming and dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, integrating their financial and productive structures into an international system of capital accumulation.A central imperative of capitalism is expansion. Investors will not put their money into business ventures unless they can extract more than they invest. Increased earnings come only with a growth in the enterprise. The capitalist ceaselessly searches for ways of making more money in order to make still more money. One must always invest to realize profits, gathering as much strength as possible in the face of competing forces and unpredictable markets.

Given its expansionist nature, capitalism has little inclination to stay home. Almost 150 years ago, Marx and Engels described a bourgeoisie that "chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. . . . It creates a world after its own image." The expansionists destroy whole societies. Self-sufficient peoples are forcibly transformed into disfranchised wage workers. Indigenous communities and folk cultures are replaced by mass-market, mass-media, consumer societies. Cooperative lands are supplanted by agribusiness factory farms, villages by desolate shanty towns, autonomous regions by centralized autocracies.

Consider one of a thousand such instances. A few years ago the Los Angeles Times carried a special report on the rainforests of Borneo in the South Pacific. By their own testimony, the people there lived contented lives. They hunted, fished, and raised food in their jungle orchards and groves. But their entire way of life was ruthlessly wiped out by a few giant companies that destroyed the rainforest in order to harvest the hardwood for quick profits. Their lands were turned into ecological disaster areas and they themselves were transformed into disfranchised shantytown dwellers, forced to work for subsistence wages-when fortunate enough to find employment.

North American and European corporations have acquired control of more than three-fourths of the known mineral resources of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But the pursuit of natural resources is not the only reason for capitalist overseas expansion. There is the additional need to cut production costs and maximize profits by investing in countries with cheaper labor markets. U.S. corporate foreign investment grew 84 percent from 1985 to 1990, the most dramatic increase being in cheap-labor countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Singapore.

Because of low wages, low taxes, nonexistent work benefits, weak labor unions, and nonexistent occupational and environmental protections, U.S. corporate profit rates in the Third World are 50 percent greater than in developed countries. Citibank, one of the largest U.S. firms, earns about 75 percent of its profits from overseas operations. While profit margins at home sometimes have had a sluggish growth, earnings abroad have continued to rise dramatically, fostering the development of what has become known as the multinational or transnational corporation. Today some four hundred transnational companies control about 80 percent of the capital assets of the global free market and are extending their grasp into the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Transnationals have developed a global production line. General Motors has factories that produce cars, trucks and a wide range of auto components in Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and a dozen other countries. Such "multiple sourcing" enables GM to ride out strikes in one country by stepping up production in another, playing workers of various nations against each other in order to discourage wage and benefit demands and undermine labor union strategies.

Not Necessary, Just Compelling

Some writers question whether imperialism is a necessary condition for capitalism, pointing out that most Western capital is invested in Western nations, not in the Third World. If corporations lost all their Third World investments, they argue, many of them could still survive on their European and North American markets. In response, one should note that capitalism might be able to survive without imperialism-but it shows no inclination to do so. It manifests no desire to discard its enormously profitable Third World enterprises. Imperialism may not be a necessary condition for investor survival but it seems to be an inherent tendency and a natural outgrowth of advanced capitalism. Imperial relations may not be the only way to pursue profits, but they are the most lucrative way.Whether imperialism is necessary for capitalism is really not the question. Many things that are not absolutely necessary are still highly desirable, therefore strongly preferred and vigorously pursued. Overseas investors find the Third World's cheap labor, vital natural resources, and various other highly profitable conditions to be compellingly attractive. Superprofits may not be necessary for capitalism's survival but survival is not all that capitalists are interested in. Superprofits are strongly preferred to more modest earnings. That there may be no necessity between capitalism and imperialism does not mean there is no compelling linkage.

The same is true of other social dynamics. For instance, wealth does not necessarily have to lead to luxurious living. A higher portion of an owning class's riches could be used for investment rather personal consumption. The very wealthy could survive on more modest sums but that is not how most of them prefer to live. Throughout history, wealthy classes generally have shown a preference for getting the best of everything. After all, the whole purpose of getting rich off other people's labor is to live well, avoiding all forms of thankless toil and drudgery, enjoying superior opportunities for lavish life-styles, medical care, education, travel, recreation, security, leisure, and opportunities for power and prestige. While none of these things are really "necessary," they are fervently clung to by those who possess them-as witnessed by the violent measures endorsed by advantaged classes whenever they feel the threat of an equalizing or leveling democratic force.

Myths of Underdevelopment

The impoverished lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are known to us as the "Third World," to distinguish them from the "First World" of industrialized Europe and North America and the now largely defunct "Second World" of communist states. Third World poverty, called "underdevelopment," is treated by most Western observers as an original historic condition. We are asked to believe that it always existed, that poor countries are poor because their lands have always been infertile or their people unproductive. In fact, the lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have long produced great treasures of foods, minerals and other natural resources. That is why the Europeans went through all the trouble to steal and plunder them. One does not go to poor places for self-enrichment. The Third World is rich. Only its people are poor-and it is because of the pillage they have endured.

The process of expropriating the natural resources of the Third World began centuries ago and continues to this day. First, the colonizers extracted gold, silver, furs, silks, and spices, then flax, hemp, timber, molasses, sugar, rum, rubber, tobacco, calico, cocoa, coffee, cotton, copper, coal, palm oil, tin, iron, ivory, ebony, and later on, oil, zinc, manganese, mercury, platinum, cobalt, bauxite, aluminum, and uranium. Not to be overlooked is that most hellish of all expropriations: the abduction of millions of human beings into slave labor.

Through the centuries of colonization, many self-serving imperialist theories have been spun. I was taught in school that people in tropical lands are slothful and do not work as hard as we denizens of the temperate zone. In fact, the inhabitants of warm climates have performed remarkably productive feats, building magnificent civilizations well before Europe emerged from the Dark Ages. And today they often work long, hard hours for meager sums. Yet the early stereotype of the "lazy native" is still with us. In every capitalist society, the poor-both domestic and overseas-regularly are blamed for their own condition.

We hear that Third World peoples are culturally retarded in their attitudes, customs, and technical abilities. It is a convenient notion embraced by those who want to depict Western investments as a rescue operation designed to help backward peoples help themselves. This myth of "cultural backwardness" goes back to ancient times, when conquerors used it to justify enslaving indigenous peoples. It was used by European colonizers over the last five centuries for the same purpose.

What cultural supremacy could by claimed by the Europeans of yore? From the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries Europe was "ahead" in a variety of things, such as the number of hangings, murders, and other violent crimes; instances of venereal disease, smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, plagues, and other bodily afflictions; social inequality and poverty (both urban and rural); mistreatment of women and children; and frequency of famines, slavery, prostitution, piracy, religious massacres, and inquisitional torture. Those who claim the West has been the most advanced civilization should keep such "achievements" in mind.

More seriously, we might note that Europe enjoyed a telling advantage in navigation and armaments. Muskets and cannon, Gatling guns and gunboats, and today missiles, helicopter gunships, and fighter bombers have been the deciding factors when West meets East and North meets South. Superior firepower, not superior culture, has brought the Europeans and Euro-North Americans to positions of supremacy that today are still maintained by force, though not by force alone.

It was said that colonized peoples were biologically backward and less evolved than their colonizers. Their "savagery" and "lower" level of cultural evolution were emblematic of their inferior genetic evolution. But were they culturally inferior? In many parts of what is now considered the Third World, people developed impressive skills in architecture, horticulture, crafts, hunting, fishing, midwifery, medicine, and other such things. Their social customs were often far more gracious and humane and less autocratic and repressive than anything found in Europe at that time. Of course we must not romanticize these indigenous societies, some of which had a number of cruel and unusual practices of their own. But generally, their peoples enjoyed healthier, happier lives, with more leisure time, than did most of Europe's inhabitants.

Other theories enjoy wide currency. We hear that Third World poverty is due to overpopulation, too many people having too many children to feed. Actually, over the last several centuries, many Third World lands have been less densely populated than certain parts of Europe. India has fewer people per acre-but more poverty-than Holland, Wales, England, Japan, Italy, and a few other industrial countries. Furthermore, it is the industrialized nations of the First World, not the poor ones of the Third, that devour some 80 percent of the world's resources and pose the greatest threat to the planet's ecology.

This is not to deny that overpopulation is a real problem for the planet's ecosphere. Limiting population growth in all nations would help the global environment but it would not solve the problems of the poor-because overpopulation in itself is not the cause of poverty but one of its effects. The poor tend to have large families because children are a source of family labor and income and a support during old age.

Frances Moore Lappe and Rachel Schurman found that of seventy Third World countries, there were six-China, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chile, Burma, and Cuba-and the state of Kerala in India that had managed to lower their birth rates by one third. They enjoyed neither dramatic industrial expansion nor high per capita incomes nor extensive family planning programs. The factors they had in common were public education and health care, a reduction of economic inequality, improvements in women's rights, food subsidies, and in some cases land reform. In other words, fertility rates were lowered not by capitalist investments and economic growth as such but by socio-economic betterment, even of a modest scale, accompanied by the emergence of women's rights.

Artificially Converted to Poverty

What is called "underdevelopment" is a set of social relations that has been forcefully imposed on countries. With the advent of the Western colonizers, the peoples of the Third World were actually set back in their development sometimes for centuries. British imperialism in India provides an instructive example. In 1810, India was exporting more textiles to England than England was exporting to India. By 1830, the trade flow was reversed. The British had put up prohibitive tariff barriers to shut out Indian finished goods and were dumping their commodities in India, a practice backed by British gunboats and military force. Within a matter of years, the great textile centers of Dacca and Madras were turned into ghost towns. The Indians were sent back to the land to raise the cotton used in British textile factories. In effect, India was reduced to being a cow milked by British financiers. By 1850, India's debt had grown to 53 million pounds. From 1850 to 1900, its per capita income dropped by almost two-thirds. The value of the raw materials and commodities the Indians were obliged to send to Britain during most of the nineteenth century amounted yearly to more than the total income of the sixty million Indian agricultural and industrial workers. The massive poverty we associate with India was not that country's original historical condition. British imperialism did two things: first, it ended India's development, then it forcibly underdeveloped that country.

Similar bleeding processes occurred throughout the Third World. The enormous wealth extracted should remind us that there originally were few really poor nations. Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Bolivia, Zaire, Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines were and sometimes still are rich in resources. Some lands have been so thoroughly plundered as to be desolate in all respects. However, most of the Third World is not "underdeveloped" but overexploited. Western colonization and investments have created a lower rather than a higher living standard.

Referring to what the English colonizers did to the Irish, Frederick Engels wrote in 1856: "How often have the Irish started out to achieve something, and every time they have been crushed politically and industrially. By consistent oppression they have been artificially converted into an utterly impoverished nation." So with most of the Third World. The Mayan Indians in Guatemala had a more nutritious and varied diet and better conditions of health in the early 16th century before the Europeans arrived than they have today. They had more craftspeople, architects, artisans, and horticulturists than today. What is called underdevelopment is not an original historical condition but a product of imperialism's superexploitation. Underdevelopment is itself a development.

Imperialism has created what I have termed "maldevelopment": modern office buildings and luxury hotels in the capital city instead of housing for the poor, cosmetic surgery clinics for the affluent instead of hospitals for workers, cash export crops for agribusiness instead of food for local markets, highways that go from the mines and latifundios to the refineries and ports instead of roads in the back country for those who might hope to see a doctor or a teacher.

Wealth is transferred from Third World peoples to the economic elites of Europe and North America (and more recently Japan) by direct plunder, by the expropriation of natural resources, the imposition of ruinous taxes and land rents, the payment of poverty wages, and the forced importation of finished goods at highly inflated prices. The colonized country is denied the freedom of trade and the opportunity to develop its own natural resources, markets, and industrial capacity. Self-sustenance and self-employment gives way to wage labor. From 1970 to 1980, the number of wage workers in the Third World grew from 72 million to 120 million, and the rate is accelerating.

Hundreds of millions of Third World peoples now live in destitution in remote villages and congested urban slums, suffering hunger, disease, and illiteracy, often because the land they once tilled is now controlled by agribusiness firms who use it for mining or for commercial export crops such as coffee, sugar, and beef, instead of growing beans, rice, and corn for home consumption. A study of twenty of the poorest countries, compiled from official statistics, found that the number of people living in what is called "absolute poverty" or rockbottom destitution, the poorest of the poor, is rising 70,000 a day and should reach 1.5 billion by the year 2000 (San Francisco Examiner, June 8, 1994).

Imperialism forces millions of children around the world to live nightmarish lives, their mental and physical health severely damaged by endless exploitation. A documentary film on the Discovery Channel (April 24, 1994) reported that in countries like Russia, Thailand, and the Philippines, large numbers of minors are sold into prostitution to help their desperate families survive. In countries like Mexico, India, Colombia, and Egypt, children are dragooned into health-shattering, dawn-to-dusk labor on farms and in factories and mines for pennies an hour, with no opportunity for play, schooling, or medical care.

In India, 55 million children are pressed into the work force. Tens of thousands labor in glass factories in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. In one plant, four-year-olds toil from 5 o'clock in the morning until the dead of night, inhaling fumes and contracting emphysema, tuberculosis, and other respiratory diseases. In the Philippines and Malaysia corporations have lobbied to drop age restrictions for labor recruitment. The pursuit of profit becomes a pursuit of evil.

Development Theory

When we say a country is "underdeveloped," we are implying that it is backward and retarded in some way, that its people have shown little capacity to achieve and evolve. The negative connotations of "underdeveloped" has caused the United Nations, the Wall Street Journal, and parties of various political persuasion to refer to Third World countries as "developing" nations, a term somewhat less insulting than "underdeveloped" but equally misleading. I prefer to use "Third World" because "developing" seems to be just a euphemistic way of saying "underdeveloped but belatedly starting to do something about it." It still implies that poverty was an original historic condition and not something imposed by the imperialists. It also falsely suggests that these countries are developing when actually their economic conditions are usually worsening.The dominant theory of the last half century, enunciated repeatedly by writers like Barbara Ward and W. W. Rostow and afforded wide currency in the United States and other parts of the Western world, maintains that it is up to the rich nations of the North to help uplift the "backward" nations of the South, bringing them technology and teaching them proper work habits. This is an updated version of "the White man's burden," a favorite imperialist fantasy.

According to the development scenario, with the introduction of Western investments, the backward economic sectors of the poor nations will release their workers, who then will find more productive employment in the modern sector at higher wages. As capital accumulates, business will reinvest its profits, thus creating still more products, jobs, buying power, and markets. Eventually a more prosperous economy evolves.

This "development theory" or "modernization theory," as it is sometimes called, bears little relation to reality. What has emerged in the Third World is an intensely exploitive form of dependent capitalism. Economic conditions have worsened drastically with the growth of transnational corporate investment. The problem is not poor lands or unproductive populations but foreign exploitation and class inequality. Investors go into a country not to uplift it but to enrich themselves.

People in these countries do not need to be taught how to farm. They need the land and the implements to farm. They do not need to be taught how to fish. They need the boats and the nets and access to shore frontage, bays, and oceans. They need industrial plants to cease dumping toxic effusions into the waters. They do not need to be convinced that they should use hygienic standards. They do not need a Peace Corps Volunteer to tell them to boil their water, especially when they cannot afford fuel or have no access to firewood. They need the conditions that will allow them to have clean drinking water and clean clothes and homes. They do not need advice about balanced diets from North Americans. They usually know what foods best serve their nutritional requirements. They need to be given back their land and labor so that they might work for themselves and grow food for their own consumption.

The legacy of imperial domination is not only misery and strife, but an economic structure dominated by a network of international corporations which themselves are beholden to parent companies based in North America, Europe and Japan. If there is any harmonization or integration, it occurs among the global investor classes, not among the indigenous economies of these countries. Third World economies remain fragmented and unintegrated both between each other and within themselves, both in the flow of capital and goods and in technology and organization. In sum, what we have is a world economy that has little to do with the economic needs of the world's people.

Neoimperialism: Skimming the Cream

Sometimes imperial domination is explained as arising from an innate desire for domination and expansion, a "territorial imperative." In fact, territorial imperialism is no longer the prevailing mode. Compared to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the European powers carved up the world among themselves, today there is almost no colonial dominion left. Colonel Blimp is dead and buried, replaced by men in business suits. Rather than being directly colonized by the imperial power, the weaker countries have been granted the trappings of sovereignty-while Western finance capital retains control of the lion's share of their profitable resources. This relationship has gone under various names: "informal empire," "colonialism without colonies," "neocolonialism," and "neoimperialism. "U.S. political and business leaders were among the earliest practitioners of this new kind of empire, most notably in Cuba at the beginning of the twentieth century. Having forcibly wrested the island from Spain in the war of 1898, they eventually gave Cuba its formal independence. The Cubans now had their own government, constitution, flag, currency, and security force. But major foreign policy decisions remained in U.S. hands as did the island's wealth, including its sugar, tobacco, and tourist industries, and major imports and exports.

Historically U.S. capitalist interests have been less interested in acquiring more colonies than in acquiring more wealth, preferring to make off with the treasure of other nations without bothering to own and administer the nations themselves. Under neoimperialism, the flag stays home, while the dollar goes everywhere - frequently assisted by the sword.

After World War II, European powers like Britain and France adopted a strategy of neoimperialism. Left financially depleted by years of warfare, and facing intensified popular resistance from within the Third World itself, they reluctantly decided that indirect economic hegemony was less costly and politically more expedient than outright colonial rule. They discovered that the removal of a conspicuously intrusive colonial rule made it more difficult for nationalist elements within the previously colonized countries to mobilize anti-imperialist sentiments.

Though the newly established government might be far from completely independent, it usually enjoyed more legitimacy in the eyes of its populace than a colonial administration controlled by the imperial power. Furthermore, under neoimperialism the native government takes up the costs of administering the country while the imperialist interests are free to concentrate on accumulating capital-which is all they really want to do.

After years of colonialism, the Third World country finds it extremely difficult to extricate itself from the unequal relationship with its former colonizer and impossible to depart from the global capitalist sphere. Those countries that try to make a break are subjected to punishing economic and military treatment by one or another major power, nowadays usually the United States.

The leaders of the new nations may voice revolutionary slogans, yet they find themselves locked into the global capitalist orbit, cooperating perforce with the First World nations for investment, trade, and aid. So we witnessed the curious phenomenon of leaders of newly independent Third World nations denouncing imperialism as the source of their countries' ills, while dissidents in these countries denounced these same leaders as collaborators of imperialism.

In many instances a comprador class emerged or was installed as a first condition for independence. A comprador class is one that cooperates in turning its own country into a client state for foreign interests. A client state is one that is open to investments on terms that are decidedly favorable to the foreign investors. In a client state, corporate investors enjoy direct subsidies and land grants, access to raw materials and cheap labor, light or nonexistent taxes, few effective labor unions, no minimum wage or child labor or occupational safety laws, and no consumer or environmental protections to speak of. The protective laws that do exist go largely unenforced.

In all, the Third World is something of a capitalist paradise, offering life as it was in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, with a rate of profit vastly higher than what might be earned today in a country with strong economic regulations. The comprador class is well recompensed for its cooperation. Its leaders enjoy opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the U.S. government. Stability is assured with the establishment of security forces, armed and trained by the United States in the latest technologies of terror and repression. Still, neoimperialism carries risks. The achievement of de jure independence eventually fosters expectations of de facto independence. The forms of self rule incite a desire for the fruits of self rule. Sometimes a national leader emerges who is a patriot and reformer rather than a comprador collaborator. Therefore, the changeover from colonialism to neocolonialism is not without risks for the imperialists and represents a net gain for popular forces in the world.

Chapter 1 of Against Empire by Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. http://www.michaelparenti.org/


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[Oct 23, 2019] Neoconservatism Is An Omnicidal Death Cult, And It Must Be Stopped by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Neocons are lobbyists for MIC, the it is MIC that is the center of this this cult. People like Kriston, Kagan and Max Boot are just well paid prostituttes on MIC, which includes intelligence agencies as a very important part -- the bridge to Wall Street so to speak.
Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Neoconservatism is a psychopathic death cult whose relentless hyper-hawkishness is a greater threat to the survival of our species than anything else in the world right now. These people are traitors to humanity, and their ideology needs to be purged from the face of the earth forever. I'm not advocating violence of any kind here, but let's stop pretending that this is okay. Let's start calling these people the murderous psychopaths that they are whenever they rear their evil heads and stop respecting and legitimizing them. There should be a massive, massive social stigma around what these people do, so we need to create one. They should be marginalized, not leading us. ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | medium.com

Glenn Greenwald has just published a very important article in The Intercept that I would have everyone in America read if I could. Titled "With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons", Greenwald's excellent piece details the frustratingly under-reported way that the leaders of the neoconservative death cult have been realigning with the Democratic party.

This pivot back to the party of neoconservatism's origin is one of the most significant political events of the new millennium, but aside from a handful of sharp political analysts like Greenwald it's been going largely undiscussed. This is weird, and we need to start talking about it. A lot. Their willful alignment with neoconservatism should be the very first thing anyone ever talks about when discussing the Democratic party.

When you hear someone complaining that the Democratic party has no platform besides being anti-Trump, your response should be, "Yeah it does. Their platform is the omnicidal death cult of neoconservatism."

It's absolutely insane that neoconservatism is still a thing, let alone still a thing that mainstream America tends to regard as a perfectly legitimate set of opinions for a human being to have. As what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts rightly calls "the most dangerous ideology that has ever existed," neoconservatism has used its nonpartisan bloodlust to work with the Democratic party for the purpose of escalating tensions with Russia on multiple fronts, bringing our species to the brink of what could very well end up being a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies.

This is not okay. Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives. Check out leading neoconservative Bill Kristol's response to the aforementioned Intercept article:

... ... ...

Okay, leaving aside the fact that this bloodthirsty psychopath is saying neocons "won" a Cold War that neocons have deliberately reignited by fanning the flames of the Russia hysteria and pushing for more escalations , how insane is it that we live in a society where a public figure can just be like, "Yeah, I'm a neocon, I advocate for using military aggression to maintain US hegemony and I think it's great," and have that be okay? These people kill children. Neoconservatism means piles upon piles of child corpses. It means devoting the resources of a nation that won't even provide its citizens with a real healthcare system to widespread warfare and all the death, destruction, chaos, terrorism, rape and suffering that necessarily comes with war. The only way that you can possibly regard neoconservatism as just one more set of political opinions is if you completely compartmentalize away from the reality of everything that it is.

This should not happen. The tensions with Russia that these monsters have worked so hard to escalate could blow up at any moment; there are too many moving parts, too many things that could go wrong. The last Cold War brought our species within a hair's breadth of total annihilation due to our inability to foresee all possible complications which can arise from such a contest, and these depraved death cultists are trying to drag us back into another one. Nothing is worth that. Nothing is worth risking the life of every organism on earth, but they're risking it all for geopolitical influence.

... ... ...

I've had a very interesting last 24 hours. My article about Senator John McCain (which I titled "Please Just Fucking Die Already" because the title I really wanted to use seemed a bit crass) has received an amount of attention that I'm not accustomed to, from CNN to USA Today to the Washington Post . I watched Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar talking about me on The View . They called me a "Bernie Sanders person." It was a trip. Apparently some very low-level Republican with a few hundred Twitter followers went and retweeted my article with an approving caption, and that sort of thing is worthy of coast-to-coast mainstream coverage in today's America.

This has of course brought in a deluge of angry comments, mostly from people whose social media pages are full of Russiagate nonsense , showing where McCain's current support base comes from. Some call him a war hero, some talk about him like he's a perfectly fine politician, some defend him as just a normal person whose politics I happen to disagree with.

This is insane. This man has actively and enthusiastically pushed for every single act of military aggression that America has engaged in, and some that it hasn't , throughout his entire career. He makes Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton look like a dove. When you look at John McCain, the very first thing you see should not be a former presidential candidate, a former POW or an Arizona Senator; the first thing you see should be the piles of human corpses that he has helped to create. This is not a normal kind of person, and I still do sincerely hope that he dies of natural causes before he can do any more harm.

Can we change this about ourselves, please? None of us should have to live in a world where pushing for more bombing campaigns at every opportunity is an acceptable agenda for a public figure to have. Neoconservatism is a psychopathic death cult whose relentless hyper-hawkishness is a greater threat to the survival of our species than anything else in the world right now. These people are traitors to humanity, and their ideology needs to be purged from the face of the earth forever. I'm not advocating violence of any kind here, but let's stop pretending that this is okay. Let's start calling these people the murderous psychopaths that they are whenever they rear their evil heads and stop respecting and legitimizing them. There should be a massive, massive social stigma around what these people do, so we need to create one. They should be marginalized, not leading us.

-- -- --

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[Oct 23, 2019] Zelenskii in Free Fall

I do not think that Ukraine demand are all that bad if other conditions such as grating the region special status and the level of autonomy similar to Crimea in the past are fulfilled. With Russian language restored in status as a regional language. Plus total unconditional amnesty. All three are prerequisite for successful reintegration and in those condition t make sense: (1) the LNR/DNR dissolve themselves, (2) that they have to leave the Ruble zone and switch back to the Grivna, (3) that the local military forces have to be disbanded and, finally, (4) that Kiev wants the total control of the LDNR/Russian border. But also should be a strict prohibition of any member of paramilitary battalions to enter the autonomous region under the penalty to prison sentence for several years to prevent revenge killings.
The problems with Ukrainian economy are structural and the absence of economic detente with Russia alone can be undoing of Zelensky government. Further accumulation of IMF credits is the only way forward. Add to this almost total breakdown of economic ties with Russia because of EuroMaydan and subsequent Western Ukraine nationalist coup d'état, and you have Catch 22 situation for him. Add to the pressure from the USA and the impression is the there is no way of this situation . BTW Poroshenko despite all his rhetoric somehow managed to preserve his chocolate factory in Russia ;-)
Oct 22, 2019 | astutenews.com
...First, Trump, Macron and Merkel apparently told Zelenskii that he had to sign the so-called Steinmeier formula, which basically spells out the sequence of confidence-building and de-escalation measures foreseen by the Minsk Agreements. Now, you would be excused for thinking that this is a no-brainer. After all, the Minsk Agreements were ratified by the UNSC (which makes them mandatory, no "if" or "buts" about this!) and it was Poroshenko who agreed to the Steinmeier formula.

Heck, in 2016 he sure did not have a problem with it, but in 2019 he now calls the self-same formula a Russian invention and that there is no such thing as a Steinmeier formula, see for yourself (in Ukrainian only):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VN4OEP1QOmo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

So what is the big deal?

The problem of the "non-existing Nazis"

Zelenskii's problem can be summed up in a simple sentence: the non-existing Nazis. Well, at least in the past all the Neo-Nazis cum Jew-haters were constantly trying to convince us that there are no Nazis in the Ukraine; apparently, my use of the term Ukronazi really set them off. Then came the election in which an absolute majority of Ukrainians rejected Poroshenko's drive for war and voted for Zelenskii. If the Ukrainian people voted en masse to elect an anti-war/pro-peace Jew, surely the Ukronazis were just a small minority of fringe individuals, right?

Wrong! Very very wrong!

And if those who were whitewashing the Ukrainian Nazis (obviously to obfuscate their real ideology and power) had paid closer attention they would have seen signs of real Nazi power all over this election.

First, there was the remarkable change in tone in Zelenskii's rhetoric. Just like so many politicians (including Trump!), he radically changed his tune and clearly tried to say one thing when speaking to the general Ukrainian public and quite another when meeting with the Nazis or nationalist exiles in the USA.

You could say that there is a "Nazi deep state" in the Ukraine which, just like the other deep states out there, can weather any elected president and quickly reassert its control over whomever the people elected.

You don't believe me when I say that he actually hosted the Ukronazis "fringe minority"? Fine, see for yourself:

In the photo above, Zelenskii is sitting with your typical gang of Ukronazi skinheads, including members of the infamous Azov death-squad, and he is trying really hard to charm them while they, very publicly, have threatened him with a new Maidan.

And this is not an isolated case or a fluke.

Zelenskii's prime minister went to a concert for an openly Nazi "Scream" music group called Sekira Peruna and thanked the crowd of veterans of the "anti terrorist operation" (i.e. thugs from the Ukronazi deathsquads) for being there and for saving the Ukraine. I did not find any English language translation of the typical lyrics of Sekira Peruna, but I assure you that they contain all the obligatory nonsense which the Nazi ideology is built upon (see here for a very good article with more details on this event and the Nazis involved).

Check out what their concert posters look like (shown here on the right) or, even better, check out the website of this group: http://sokyraperuna.com/

'Nuff said, I think.

So what is going on here?

Basically, exactly what I predicted as soon as Zelenskii was elected in my article " Zelenskii's dilemma " in which I wrote: (emphasis added)

The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is not a democracy, but a plutocracy combined with an ochlocracy . The oligarchs are still there, as are the neo-Nazis mobs and death squads. And that creates an immense problem for Zelenskii: this new Rada might well represent the views of a majority of the Ukrainian people, but the real power in the country is not concentrated in the Rada at all: it is in the streets ( ) The people of the Ukraine desperately want peace. For the time being, the Rada reflects this overwhelmingly important fact. I say "for the time being" because what will happen next is that the various forces and individuals who currently support Zelenskii have done so just to gain power. They do not, however, have a common ideological platform or even a common program. As soon as things go south (which they will inevitably do) many (most?) of these folks will turn against Zelenskii and side with whoever can muster the biggest crowds and mete out the most violence. Now that he got elected, Zelenskii quasi-instantly switched to the exact same rhetoric as what got Poroshenko so severely defeated. Why? Because Zelenskiii is afraid that the neo-Nazi mobs and death squads will be unleashed against him at the very first opportunity. In fact, the neo-Nazis have already begun promising a new Maidan. The truth is that Zelenskii has to choose between acting on the will of the people and face the wrath of the neo-Nazis or do the will of the neo-Nazis and face the wrath of the people : tertium non datur! So far, Zelenskii has apparently decided that talking is all he is going to do simply because his triumphant electoral victories have landed him in the middle of an immense minefield, and any steps he takes from now on could cost him very dearly . Right now, in the short term, the neo-Nazi mobs represent a much bigger danger to Zelenskii than the (disorganized, demoralized and generally apathetic) people. But this will inevitably change as the economic and political situation gets worse .

We see exactly that scenario unfolding before our eyes. Zelenskii took not one, but three very real, if small, steps. First, he ordered a pullback of some regular Ukrainian armed forces from a few important segments of the line of contact, then he agreed to a relatively minor prisoner exchange and, finally, he ordered the Ukrainian delegation to sign the Steinmeier formula. The prisoner exchange went okay for both sides. The Ukronazis soon categorically rejected any withdrawal and they publicly promised to immediately re-occupy any village vacated by the regular army and they rejected what they call the "Russian" or "Putin" formula. So far there were a few attempts to block the thugs of the Azov battalion, but after a few minor clashes, the Azov people passed the police line. And now, the Nazi organized mass protests in 300 Ukrainian cities. I could post lots of videos here, but that would take a lot of space. If you want to get a feel for what took place today, go to YouTube and copy-paste the following search query "протесты в украине" into the search bar, and then use the filter option and chose "this week": you will easily get many hours of video and you don't even need to understand a word of Ukrainian to immediately get it.

There is another very important factor which you will almost never see on these videos or on any public statements and that is that there are a number of civil and even criminal cases currently being brought to trial in the Ukraine against a host of officials of the ancient régime including even against Poroshenko (11-14 separate investigations just for him already!) These men (Poroshenko, Parubii, Turchinov, etc.) now have absolutely no choice but to try to overthrow Zelenskii.

Just like the US Dems need a coup against Trump (in the form of an impeachment or something else) because the Clinton-Biden gang now risks real, hard, jail time, so do the former Ukronazi leaders now need a coup against Zelenskii or they go to jail.

Initially, it appeared that Trump had given Poroshenko some personal security guarantees, but everybody knows how much the US President's security "guarantees" are worth (just ask the Kurds!). So Poroshenko did not flee the country. It now appears that some of the people behind Zelenskii (aka Kolomoiskii) are out to get the "Poroshenko clan & Associates" – Poroshenko has to either topple Zelenskii or run away abroad. There are also rumors that the US "deep state" (as opposed to the Trump Administration) is now putting pressure on Zelenskii to stop these investigations. Thus, the current battle between Trump and the Neocons and their "deep state" has now spilled over into the Ukraine and it appears that various US interest groups are now creating local Ukrainian surrogates whom they will use in their struggle against each other.

Furthermore, a real possibility opened up now that all sorts of previously buried issues will be investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutors including:

  1. An official and true investigation to find out who opened fired on the police and demonstrators during the Euromaidan
  2. MH-17
  3. Ukronazi atrocities in the Donbass
  4. Human rights violations in the Ukraine (where over 1000 political prisoners are still being held) starting with innumerable cases of horrible torture of detainees (in secret torture camps, à la CIA, including an especially infamous one in Mariupol).
  5. Poroshenko's role in the "Crimea Bridge provocation"
  6. All the many murders of journalists and opponents to the Nazis beginning with the murder of Oles Buzina
  7. A quasi infinite list of war profiteering, corruption, fraud, etc. etc. etc.

Simply put: there is no way that the Ukronazis will just stand by and let those investigations proceed. And while it is true that numerically the Ukronazis are a small minority in the Ukraine, there is plenty enough of them to terrify Zelenskii and his handlers, especially considering that they are 1) well armed 2) many have frontline combat experience and 3) that they are willing not only to engage in "regular" violence, but also to commit atrocities and engage in terrorism (they did plenty of both in the Donbass).

Zelenskii does have a number of things going for him: first, the mandate of the people (though his popularity is already down from 73% to 66% – which is still very big), his legal prerogatives as the President and Commander in Chief and the support of Kolomoiskii's strong network of international connections, especially in Israel.

But that is all rather theoretical so far.

All Zelenskii has done, besides hosting the skinheads in his office, was to make a 14 hour long interview with a group of reporters. Yes, fourteen hours. Alas, all he achieved was to show that he is a much better actor than politician. In fact, most experts seem to agree that in his role as President Zelenskii is a total failure who speaks a lot, says a lot of silly things when he does, and seems to be absolutely unable to take any real action.

At the time of writing (Wed 16th) the leader of the Ukronazis has given Zelenskii 10 days to yield to all the demands of the opposition. If not, he has promised to trigger a new Maidan and bring millions of people to the streets.

Yup. The "tiny" "fringe" and otherwise "non-existing" Nazis have now given Zelenskii an ultimatum.

Zelenskii is in free fall: Trump, Macron and Merkel are demanding that he abide by the decisions of the UNSC, the Minsk Agreements and the Steinmeier formula. The Russians have clearly indicated that unless tangible and real progress is made in the implementation of this formula, there will be nothing else to discuss. The Ukraine is basically bankrupt and desperately needs both Novorussian coal and Russian gas . Furthermore, only a removal of the self-defeating barriers and boycotts imposed by the former regime against any trade or even communications with Russia could begin to kick-start the economy of what is now clearly a failed state.

Yet the Nazis will oppose any and all such measures, with violence if needed. As for Zelenskii, he appears to be in a no win situation: no matter what he does next, things will only get worse. Thus the most likely outcome of all these processes will be, in the short term, further futile attempts by Zelenskii to appease the Nazis (thereby alienating the general population), in the middle term a violent confrontation, followed in the long term by (the probably inevitable) break-up of the Ukraine into separately much more viable parts.

UPDATE : I just heard that the Ukraine is now demanding that 1) the LNR/DNR dissolve themselves, 2) that they have to leave the Ruble zone and switch back to the Hrivna, 3) that the local military forces have to be disbanded and, finally, 4) that Kiev wants the total control of the LDNR/Russian border.

Well, good luck with that, folks! I hope they are not holding their breath (they aren't – they are just trying to find a pretext to renege on their legal and political obligations )


By The Saker
Source: The Unz Review

[Oct 20, 2019] Impeachment as election gambit. Schiff fraud is exposed, but it does not matter: who cares so long as Trump slowly roasts in the court of public opinion

Notable quotes:
"... Just to remind you: the charge against Trump is that he tried to expose a massive rip off of the people of Ukraine, made practical thanks to the US replacing an elected President with a bunch of neo-nazis in uniforms, for political advantage. ..."
"... And that is to put aside the obvious point that nothing could be more advantageous to any Presidential candidate than to have to run against Joe Biden, supported by Hillary Clinton. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Oct 20 2019 15:31 utc | 16

"Will he be convicted in the Senate? Who cares so long as he slowly roasts in the court of public opinion."

Do you not see how unlikely it is that a story which demonstrates the utter corruption, personally, of Joe Biden and, institutionally, of the Obama regime will, as it unwinds, turn the people against Trump?

Just to remind you: the charge against Trump is that he tried to expose a massive rip off of the people of Ukraine, made practical thanks to the US replacing an elected President with a bunch of neo-nazis in uniforms, for political advantage.

And that is to put aside the obvious point that nothing could be more advantageous to any Presidential candidate than to have to run against Joe Biden, supported by Hillary Clinton.

... ... ...

[Oct 20, 2019] Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americ

Notable quotes:
"... "Over 18 years, the United States has spent $4.9 trillion on wars, with only more intractable violence in the Middle East and beyond to show for it," she added. "That's nearly the $300 billion per year over the current system that is estimated to cover Medicare for All (though estimates vary)." ..."
"... cancellation of current plans to develop more nuclear weapons, saving $20 billion a total nuclear weapons ban, saving $43 billion ending military partnerships with private contractors, saving $364 billion production cuts for the F-35 -- a military plane with 900 performance deficiencies, according to the Government Accountability Office -- saving $17.7 billion a shift of $33 billion per year, currently used to provide medical care to veterans, servicemembers, and their families, to Medicare for All's annual budget. ..."
"... "The public rejects the predominant, fear-based framing and policies; instead, they want to see a revamped, demilitarized American foreign policy focused on international cooperation, human rights, and peacebuilding," wrote Data for Progress. ..."
Oct 18, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. For those of you who have friends and colleagues who would go on tilt if you tried educating them about MMT, a simpler approach to persuade them that Medicare for All is affordable is to sell them on another worthy goal, cutting the military-surveillance state down to size.

Even then, I still encourage you to set them up for a later conversation about MMT: "Even if you accept the idea that taxes pay for spending, which actually isn't true for the Federal government, we can still get the money for Medicare for All by ."

Note also that the Pentagon has various black budgets, an "official" one and covert ones.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

The Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday shared the results of extensive research into how the $750 billion U.S. military budget could be significantly slashed, freeing up annual funding to cover the cost of Medicare for All -- calling into question the notion that the program needs to create any tax burden whatsoever for working families.

Lindsay Koshgarian, director of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), took aim in a New York Times op-ed at a "chorus of scolds" from both sides of the aisle who say that raising middle class taxes is the only way to pay for Medicare for All. The pervasive claim was a primary focus of Tuesday night's debate, while Medicare for All proponents Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) attempted to focus on the dire need for a universal healthcare program.

At the Democratic presidential primary debate on CNN Tuesday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was criticized by some opponents for saying that "costs will go down for hardworking, middle-class families" under Medicare for All, without using the word "taxes." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the other hand, clearly stated that taxes may go up for some middle class families but pointed out that the increase would be more than offset by the fact that they'll no longer have to pay monthly premiums, deductibles, and other medical costs.

"All these ambitious policies of course will come with a hefty price tag," wrote Koshgarian. "Proposals to fund Medicare for All have focused on raising taxes. But what if we could imagine another way entirely?"

"Over 18 years, the United States has spent $4.9 trillion on wars, with only more intractable violence in the Middle East and beyond to show for it," she added. "That's nearly the $300 billion per year over the current system that is estimated to cover Medicare for All (though estimates vary)."

"While we can't un-spend that $4.9 trillion," Koshgarian continued, "imagine if we could make different choices for the next 20 years."

Koshgarian outlined a multitude of areas in which the U.S. government could shift more than $300 billion per year, currently used for military spending, to pay for a government-run healthcare program. Closing just half of U.S. military bases, for example, would immediately free up $90 billion.

"What are we doing with that base in Aruba, anyway?" Koshgarian asked.

Other areas where IPS identified savings include:

"This item takes us well past our goal of saving $300 billion," Koshgarian wrote of the last item.

As Koshgarian published her op-ed in the Times , progressive think tank Data for Progress released its own report showing that a majority of Americans support a "progressive foreign policy" far less focused on decades-long on-the-ground wars, establishing military bases around the world, drone strikes, and arms sales.

"The public rejects the predominant, fear-based framing and policies; instead, they want to see a revamped, demilitarized American foreign policy focused on international cooperation, human rights, and peacebuilding," wrote Data for Progress.

"Voters want to see U.S. funding go to domestic needs such as healthcare, or to other national security tools like diplomacy, instead of to the Pentagon and more endless war," according to the report.

Polling more than 1,000 ppl with YouGov, Data for Progress found that 73 percent of Democratic primary voters ranked numerous issues -- including economic challenges and the climate -- as more important to them than national security and military funding.

Progressive national security proposals proved popular with respondents, including closing Guantanamo Bay, ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and leveraging military aid to Israel to force it to adopt better human rights policies toward Palestinians.

"There is a clear appetite for progressive reforms to U.S. foreign policy," wrote Data for Progress.

In her op-ed, Koshgarian acknowledged that remaking the U.S. military as a truly "defense-based institution, rather than a war machine and A.T.M. for private contractors, will require major changes."

But, she wrote, "that's no excuse for continuing to spend hundreds of billions in ways that make our world more dangerous and deny us the ability to seriously invest in things like jobs, healthcare, education, and all that makes our lives better."


inode_buddha , October 18, 2019 at 4:39 am

I would love to see it, but I strongly doubt this would happen in my lifetime. The Pentagon budget seems to be one of those political "third rail" issues like Social Security.

Many people are so paranoid that I think it constitutes a mass hysteria; others are propagandized into 24×7 jingoism. I'm not talking concepts here, I deal with pro-military people almost daily. Its the glorifying and fetishizing of the military that bothers me.

Most if not all pro-military types are also deeply conservative; bring up *any* social program and they will wonder how to pay for it.

Kurt Sperry , October 18, 2019 at 7:26 am

I don't know, how many "third rail" type taboos has Trump danced on and become more popular because he did? I think the average voter would be *extremely* receptive to a well-crafted message promoting the redirection of resources away from forever foreign wars and bases to concrete material benefits for Americans. I don't even think it'd be a hard sell, once the pearls had been gathered up.

Michael , October 18, 2019 at 7:59 am

It was done before starting in 1990.
Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act.

An amazing process.

dcrane , October 18, 2019 at 5:13 am

What's so maddening about this question is the fact that we know that the military budget is probably much more than 750 billion per year, but we can never know how much more, because the government is expressly allowed to hide and even fake spending totals.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/secret-government-spending-779959/

GF , October 18, 2019 at 11:37 am

Here is an example of unbridled government spending and it is happening right this minute on wall street. It seems the military budget is chump change compared to this:
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/feds-balance-sheet-spikes-by-253-billion-now-topping-4-trillion/

Sound of the Suburbs , October 18, 2019 at 5:42 am

Why do we worry about money more than anything else?
All money is easy; it comes out of nothing and is just numbers typed in at a keyboard.

Zimbabwe found it all too easy to create so much money they caused hyper-inflation.

Alan Greenspan tells Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants and there is no need to save for pensions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNCZHAQnfGU

What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money, and this is where real wealth lies.

Governments can create all the money they want, but if they create too much you will get inflation, or hyper-inflation if they type in too many zero's when creating money.

Money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it can buy.

Banks create money from loans and that's easy too, just type the numbers in.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

They can dash wildly into the latest fad, like the dot.com boom, and finance it with money they create out of nothing.

What could possibly go wrong?

Bankers do need to ensure the vast majority of that money gets paid back, and this is where they keep falling flat on their faces.

Banking requires prudent lending, that is all there is to it.

If someone can't repay a loan, they need to repossess that asset and sell it to recoup that money. If they use bank loans to inflate asset prices they get into a world of trouble when those asset prices collapse.

"It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.

When this little lot lost almost all its value overnight, the Western banking system became insolvent. Wall Street can turn a normal asset price bubble into something that will take out the global economy using leverage.

Bankers create money out of nothing and the monetary system requires that nearly all that money they loaned out gets paid back.

Bank credit is a claim on future prosperity, and when you realise all that debt can't be paid back, a financial black hole opens up, as it did in 2008.

When governments create too much money you tend to see it in consumer price inflation.
When banks create too much money you tend to see it in asset price inflation.

We see inflation in asset prices as good and consumer price inflation as bad.

The asset price boom will crash the economy, but no one realises while it's happening.

Sound of the Suburbs , October 18, 2019 at 5:43 am

Asset price inflation.
Financial assets are limited in supply.
Pour more money in and the price goes up.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

1929 – Inflating the US stock market with debt (margin lending)
2008 – Inflating the US real estate market with debt (mortgage lending)

Bankers inflating asset prices with the money they create from loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

They believed in the markets and neoclassical economics in the 1920s and after 1929 they had to reassess everything. They had placed their faith in the markets and this had proved to be a catastrophic mistake.

This is why they stopped using the markets to judge the performance of the economy and came up with the GDP measure instead.

In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.

The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.

Inflated asset prices aren't real wealth, and this can disappear almost over-night, as it did in 1929 and 2008.

Real wealth creation involves real work, producing new goods and services in the economy.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 10:03 am

Banking requires prudent lending, that is all there is to it. Sound of the Suburbs

100% private banks with 100% voluntary depositors means we (the general public) wouldn't have to give a flip if banks lent prudently or not since we would have an additional but risk-free payment system consisting of debit/checking accounts for all who want one at the Central Bank (or Treasury) itself.

Moreover without government privileges and without captive depositors and unable to hold the economy hostage via a SINGLE payment system that must work through them, you can rest assured that banks WOULD lend prudently or go under, like they should, if they don't.

So what is required is 100% private banks with 100% voluntary depositors and that situation has NEVER before existed in history so it cannot be said to have failed.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 10:31 am

When governments create too much money you tend to see it in consumer price inflation. Sound of the Suburbs

Because the DEMAND for fiat is suppressed in that only depository institutions may use it in the private sector.

Fix that injustice and eliminate all other privileges for banks and then government should be able to create much MORE fiat for the general welfare since banks would be much LESS able to create deposits for the private welfare of themselves and for the so-called "worthy" of what is, currently, the public's credit but for private gain.

Grayce , October 18, 2019 at 11:07 am

if they [governments] create too much you will get inflation
Is this true, or is it an economist's assumption? Here's the other thought:
Capitalism embraces borrowing for investment. Real estate development is an example. Borrowing involves an assumption of paying back more than was borrowed, but at a future date. When that future date arrives, it is in the borrower's best interest if the face value dollars are wroth less in spending power that the face value of the loan. You stated that, but the link to inflation is fuzzy.
Bank credit is a claim on future prosperity
Rather than the government's causality, and a nebulous prosperity, it may be the borrower's CFO who then decides to raise consumer prices to keep up with expenses. The borrowed dollars came from a banker-created asset, but the inflation is tied to a direct result similar to the so-called "wage-price spiral." In this case, the "interest-price spiral" that is not visibly tied to the supply of money.

Susan the other` , October 18, 2019 at 1:23 pm

I've got a new disconnect. I understand and appreciate how MMT works. It is the only way, imo, for a sovereign country to pay for the social costs of a good society. And, of course, the government does not charge itself interest, does not expect to be "paid back" at all. The tradeoff for the government is the betterment of society. So if your neighbor loans you $500 and you tell him you'll pay him back as soon as your check comes in and with some interest that seems fair bec. you're dealing with two private budgets. But when a licensed bank loans you money for a new house under the terms that you pay it back over 30 years with interests that amounts to triple the original cost of the house – then you are not dealing as one private person to another. You are then dealing with usury. Made legal by the private financial industry. This private industry does not use its own money – it uses the government's money by a computer click. And the government then lets it profiteer on this tiny transaction of apples and oranges to the degree that over time the money "earned" by the private bank accumulates and topples the steady state of the economy. At that point there's no place left to invest that "private" profit and the whole financial system goes haywire in a panic not to "lose" money. Money that should never have been given to them in the first place. It's an oxymoron – demanding that money be paid back with interest when it's not your money in the first place and you do nothing to stabilize your profligate profiteering. Nothing. Just a thought.

Synoia , October 18, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Zimbabwe found it all too easy to create so much money they caused hyper-inflation.

Yes, after destroying their Ag Industry, and having no Ag products to export, because Mugabe and his party assumed all the white farmers just sat around drinking beer while the dark farm workers did all the work.

After Mugabe took the land, there was no collateral for the farmers to get loans for the next planting season.

Who knew that managing the farm was so much work? /s

John k , October 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Inflation in Zimbabwe first came from shortages, especially food, as things looted rhe country of 4x and mismanaged the economy, like farm price controls under cost of production.
Historically shortages cause high inflation.

Burns , October 18, 2019 at 6:45 am

"In her op-ed, Koshgarian acknowledged that remaking the U.S. military as a truly 'defense-based institution, rather than a war machine and A.T.M. for private contractors, will require major changes.'"

Interesting. Beyond cost cutting, what exactly would it take to remake the military into a true defense-based institution ? How would assets be deployed? What weapons systems would be prioritized and ultimately receive funding? What doctrines would need to change to flip from an offensive mindset to a defensive mindset? What alliances would we maintain and what alliances would we discard?

I see that the article offers some examples, but I think crafting a progressive foreign policy would entail answering these kinds of more fundamental military questions. Cost cutting is a laudable goal but it strikes me that there's much more to it if real transformation is desired.

Lord Koos , October 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm

aybe ask Russia – their military policy is based on defensive posture rather than offensive.

Arnold , October 18, 2019 at 7:09 am

As a civil servant working for the Department of Defense, I can tell you that this would be a difficult shift in priorities for Congress to accept. It all comes down to the defense industry political donations they receive year after year, and the jobs the defense industry provides their constituents (no matter how meager or sub-optimal). Since defense spending is basically this nation's sole industrial policy, I think that finding employment for displaced workers (whether defense civil servants or contractors) is the biggest hurdle to address; a green new deal would solve the problem. We'd also need political campaign reform to force Congress off of the teet of defense industry political contributions.

Phacops , October 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

Finding employment for displaced defense civil servants or contractors? We've done that before . . . we tell them to train for the jobs of the future as we did for manufacturing workers and leave it at that. The same goes for the parasites working in health insurance companies, pharmacy benefit management and healtcare administration when M4A becomes a reality.

I have no sympathy for those people nor care for their well being as they deliberately, and with malice aforethought, make life meaner for us all.

John Wright , October 18, 2019 at 9:27 am

I remember when the defense/aerospace industry collapsed in Southern California in the early 1970's as the Vietnam war was winding down.

Tech jobs were scarce.

The political sphere is well aware of potential job loss due to defense cutbacks.

I have mentioned before, the relatively liberal CA Senator Barbara Boxer fought to preserve Mare Island Naval Shipyard, in Vallejo, CA, when it was slated to be shut down in the 1990's.

One could suggest that Vallejo has not fully recovered.

It is a tragedy of immense proportions, as I believe a future historian will remark that the USA, a nation that in its 200 + year history had only one large deadly war on its soil (the internal Civil War), re-titled its WWII "War Department" as "Defense Department" and then consumed tremendous resources in its purported defense for the next 70+ years.

A recent discussion with someone, that I regard as a "Northern California Liberal", about Trump's pullout of Syria further re-enforced that the resistance to ANY change in the MIC in the USA is formidable.

He was sure that Trump would be deservedly impeached because he was pulling out of Syria and abandoning our allies, the Kurds.

And he is old enough to remember Vietnam.

The USA news media and entertainment industries (big sports/Hollywood) are fully on board with the righteous USA "war is good" meme.

Given how the USA economy has restructured much employment and lifelihoods in costly sectors (finance, education, medicine, military) it is difficult for me to see how there would be political will to downsize the military to any extent as "good paying" jobs of politically powerful people would be lost.

Many of the manufacturing jobs have been moved overseas.

It is far easier to "kick the can down the road".

Off The Street , October 18, 2019 at 11:21 am

There is some hope for policy redirection in the Administration's recent Turkey-Syria-Kurd action. If there really is a shift away from foreign nation building and away from endless wars over endless enmities, then that could lead to redirection and reduction of military budgets. Watching the defenders of those engagements fall all over themselves recently has reconfirmed my notion that they are not acting in the best interests of their constituents. Meanwhile, the sun rose today.

xformbykr , October 18, 2019 at 7:38 am

The current defense spending and growth of national debt
more or less "prove" the validity of MMT. This has supported the channeling of resources and energy into military activity (and profits for enterprizes). Something similar is happening with healthcare; maybe it's inelastic
demand. (The similar something is ever-increasing costs.)
Healthcare at the moment seems to be outside of
the scope of current uses of MMT. But there are major
cost-control issues with it nonethess.
In what direction will things head if healthcare is
swept under the government MMT umbrella in the form of medicare for all? Will the government negotiate prices
with providers (hospitals, staff, pharma)? Certainly military procurement is no leading light.

Steve Ruis , October 18, 2019 at 8:17 am

While cutting the bloated Pentagon's budget is a very good idea, why is no one talking about the fringe benefit that is employer provided healthcare? I do believe a sizable fraction of folks on private insurance (maybe 40%?) get their health coverage through a fringe benefit from their employer. If that coverage is no longer necessary under universal coverage, it seems contractually that the money spent on the fringe benefit should go to the employees. That money is enough to pay for their insurance under universal coverage, so the employer pays it to the employee, the government taxes part of that to pay for the universal healthcare and everyone is better off. The employee, due to savings in the system, ends up with more money in pocket. The employer is out from under the ever increasing costs of the fringe benefit (plus can now claim to be paying higher salaries), and, well, the insurance companies are left behind to pick up "expanded coverage" for those wanting to pay for it.

This and "defense" spending cuts could pay for the whole system easily, no?

NotTimothyGeithner , October 18, 2019 at 8:57 am

The relative value of small business based jobs would increase with a functional health care system. There would be an outflow of employees from jobs with healthcare benefits.

With single payer, looking for a less stressful job becomes an alternative. Big employers know this.

rd , October 18, 2019 at 5:35 pm

It also means people may retire earlier if they don't need their employer-provided health insurance.

Health insurance becomes a minor consideration in selecting which employer to work for.

Companies and state/local governments that provide health care coverage in retirement should see their liabilities for that plummet as healthcare costs drop and public insurance improves.

inode_buddha , October 18, 2019 at 10:11 am

What contract? Unless you're in a union you don't have one.

HotFlash , October 18, 2019 at 11:36 am

Medicare for all makes self-employment, gig employment, and starting/running a small business much less terrifying.

Grayce , October 18, 2019 at 12:14 pm

COULD employers give the surplus to employees?
Technically, yes.
WOULD employers give the surplus to employees?
Not in this age of activist stockholders seeking new sources of "revenue." Everywhere. Benefits are simply a "cost." Human Resources is a "cost center." Defined benefits that averaged out the risk among many have segued to defined contribution that is no more than a tax-abated savings account. Risk has monetary value, but risk invisibly is shifting more and more to the individual.

Jeffersonian , October 18, 2019 at 8:37 am

After the last Democratic debate, it is safe say anti-war Progressivism is dead. Everyone was frothing at the mouth to prove how much they care for the Kurds, and our nation's honor, and that we should stay in the ME. Except Tulsi, but her response fell flat with the audience, and judging by my Left friends/family on Facebook, fell flat with them too. Having the same position as Trump is a death sentence. My faith in my fellow citizens is at quite a low ebb.

Grayce , October 18, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Cheer up. No matter what you used to think of Lindsay Graham, he is setting the pace for a representative to think for him/herself. Commentators reported surprise that he was "formerly in Trump's corner." Think about how easily we accept that the future is secured by a majority in either house. The outrageous president is inspiring elected Republicans to analyze issues (imagine!). Even if it is cold and calculated to influence their own voters, let's begin to applaud and encourage those who seem to think for them/ourselves.

Carl , October 18, 2019 at 8:45 am

We don't suffer from a lack of ideas in this area; no, we lack the ability (political will) to accomplish it. Thus, another exercise in mental masturbation.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 11:17 am

we lack the ability (political will) to accomplish it. Carl

A Citizen's Dividend would be the camel's nose under the tent since the less wasted by government, the more that could be distributed to citizens to counter price deflation.

And it's only justice that all fiat creation, beyond that created for government to spend for the general welfare, be in the form of an equal Citizen's Dividend.

Carl , October 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm

Give me a shout if that ever happens. I'll be over in Europe enjoying low cost, high quality healthcare and not going bankrupt to pay for it.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 1:55 pm

Funny you should mention Europe since an equal Citizen's Dividend for all Euro zone citizens would be a way to eliminate austerity that even Germany might not object to since Germans would receive it too.

Carl , October 18, 2019 at 6:44 pm

For example, Italy gives the unemployed 500 euros per month and tries to find them any sort of job. I think you're a little behind. But by all means, keep tilting at windmills.

Amfortas the hippie , October 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm

i was just thinking about that this am while finishing my fence like in alaska.
i figger that after 40+ years of declining or stagnant wages, a majority of us are owed some frelling back-pay.
but "dividend" works just as well.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm

a majority of us are owed some frelling back-pay. Amfortas the hippie

The Citizen's Dividend would vary as required to counter price deflation but during the period when the banks are progressively de-privileged, it would have to be quite high to provide for the conversion of bank deposits to fiat deposits at the Central Bank – with the banks, by necessity, having to borrow the needed fiat from citizens.

notabanktoadie , October 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm

[addendum]

Or sell their assets to citizens at a discount.

In other words, a Citizen's Dividend PLUS de-privileging the banks can easily be a means to re-distribute wealth.

Carl , October 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm

Oh please, in what universe is this going to actually happen? You sound like you're running for office.

rd , October 18, 2019 at 10:08 am

Its still the wrong set of arguments. The problem in the US is not that Medicare-for-All would require new taxes that need funding. The problem is that the US spends twice per capita on healthcare what the average OECD country spends. The US spends more public tax money on healthcare per capita than Canada does, and Canada insures the entire population.

We can pay for our entire military budget as it exists if we simply drop our per capita healthcare spending to less than what Switzerland pays. Name one other thing that costs more in the US than in Switzerland.

Americans simply cannot comprehend how exorbitantly expensive and unequal the US healthcare system is compared to the rest of the developed world.

Mike , October 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm

While I gladly accept the results of these surveys, I question the reasons they seem to have garnered from the public. To most citizens, lower taxes mean much more than non-aggresive foreign policy and peaceful diplomacy. If the question was phrased in such a way that respondents were replying to the lower cost AND the concomitant peace-oriented habits that should (would?) come from it, then it is an issue whether they agreed with both statements. Further, this reorientation of spending would have to be bully-pulpited quite strongly to educate the US as to its long-term benefits since most of us have been prepped to be anxious about foreign nations and the paranoia of saving us from the evil dictator "X". Oh, yes, peace should come, but compare the Syria brou-ha-ha to what would descend upon us when peace broke out. The elites won't disappear.

Adam Eran , October 18, 2019 at 5:18 pm

Bizarre. The question is: How can we afford something that's half as expensive as what we're already paying? I wouldn't expect that level of insanity from someone in a straitjacket yet it's a commonplace in these discussions.

Even worse: the argument that government is financially constrained. It's not "tax & spend," it can't be. Where would taxpayers get dollars to pay those taxes if government didn't spend them first?

So it must be "spend first & then ask for some back in taxes." This is how reality works. And what do we call the dollar financial assets left in the economy, not retrieved by taxes? a) The dollar financial assets of the citizens, i.e. their savings or (same thing) b) National 'Debt'

National 'Debt' is completely unlike household debt. It's like bank debt. If you have a bank account, that's your asset, but to the bank, it's a liability. It's the money they owe you. It's their debt.

Now imagine a mob of depositors marching down to the bank to demand it reduce the size of its debt (i.e. make their accounts smaller) Crazy? Yes, but that's the austerian line of talk.

Finally, the inflationistas: "If you just print money, you'll have [gasp][hyper-]inflation!" This is the finest quality bullshit, and people spout it practically without prompting. The truth: The Fed extended $16 – $29 trillion in credit to cure the frauds of the financial sector in 2007-8. I defy anyone to find a measurement of inflation that says there was any then.

Was there central-bank-run-amok inflation in the classical cases (Weimar, Zimbabwe). Nope. Not even there. Yes they did print lots of Deutchmarks and Zimbabwe currency, but only after a shortage of good occurred that actually caused the inflation. Just printing money, especially if there's spare capacity, does not cause inflation. You need a bidding war for some commodity that's become scarce (like oil in the '70s). So Weimar had the burden of war reparations, a balance of payments problem, and when they delayed sending some telephone poles to France, the French military shut down the German equivalent of Ohio (the Ruhr). Shortages led to the hyperinflation. Similarly, the Rhodesian colonists left Zimbabwe, which had previously fed itself, and food shortages led to the hyperinflation.

The Cato study of 56 hyperinflationary episodes in human history also validates the above. In *no* case did a central bank "run amok" and print too much to kick off the hyperinflation. Always the cost push of a shortage of goods drove it.

Carl , October 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Nicely said.

RubyDog , October 18, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Gosh, it's all so simple. We just need to take on the military industrial complex, the medical industrial complex, and our corrupt political system all at the same time.

TG , October 19, 2019 at 12:04 am

Researchers Detail How Slashing the Social Security and Medicare Budgets Could Pay for More Pointless Wars While Creating the Progressive Wall Street Bailouts Americans Want.

[Oct 20, 2019] USA corporations, can not and will not survive without WARS. Complete USA "economy" is a WAR machine

Oct 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

onebornfree , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Proud_Srbin Proud_Srbin says: "USA corporation, can not and will not survive without WARS. Complete USA "economy" is a WAR machine,"

As Randolph Bourne observed: "War is the health of the state". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_Bourne

But its not just the US that is a war machine. Bourne's statement equally applies to _all_ states everywhere, past present and future.

If any state appears to not be making war on other countries at any particular time, its only because it is too busy making war on its own citizens [ eg taxes, drug laws, weapons/gun laws, religion laws, speech laws, environmental laws etc.etc. etc.], and has not yet created enough fake money via its central bank to enable it to debt-fund consistent overseas aggressions against others.

Regards, onebornfree

DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm GMT
@onebornfree The Report From Iron Mountain says it all, the ZUS is to fight perpetual wars for the zionist agenda of a zionist NWO.

This report came out in the 1960's and can be googled.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 1:54 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen

What will they do when the U.S. decouples from the Middle East completely?

Believing the U.S. will "completely decouple" from the Middle East is akin to believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Moon Landings.
https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2Fc8YC8htf5YQg0%2Fgiphy.gif&f=1&nofb=1

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger My hypothesis is that the man, narcissistic as he is, has reached the end of his tether. "

This is a truth ,eternal truth ,it applies to ironically both to a person and to a country . Just keep on giving and some more.

melpol , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
Wars by the US will never end because arms manufactures own Trump. Almost one half of the US budget goes for the security of the state, domestic and abroad. New weapon development would come to a halt if the US was not threatened. Fake news about China and Russia planning to attack the US keeps the arms industry humming. Over a million national security workers and their families would be devastated if Trump stopped fighting fake wars. God bless imagined threat of wars.
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

The goal all along was not to "take" Syria so much as to destroy it and leave it in fragments acting in the service of Israel.

Just so.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read

This has strengthened the possibility of the revival of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS). There are around 10,000 such ISIS fighters currently lodged in prisons run by the SDF.

And with this, "the war on terror" is guaranteed to go on, and on, and on..

Subhead Corrigendum , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
Let's see what CIA actually does

https://armswatch.com/

There ya go.

Anonymous [835] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Sean started to click the Troll button
decided Sean #36 not worth the calories
DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read AL CIADA aka ISIS is a creation of the CIA and the MOSSAD and MI6.
Prof Watson , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT
Trump is Bibi's Shabbos goy.
Agent76 , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:43 pm GMT
September 20, 2019 The Imperial Debris of War

Just in case you hadn't heard the good news, the last man from the president's foreign policy "team" still standing, Trump whisperer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, recently left National Security Advisor John Bolton in the dust.

https://original.antiwar.com/stephanie_savell/2019/09/19/the-imperial-debris-of-war/

June 27, 2018 Harvard Research Scholar Explains How America Created Al-Qaeda & The ISIS Terror Group

It's truly amazing how much the consciousness of the planet has changed within the past 5 years alone, and it's not just happening within one topic, but in several different areas ranging from health to geopolitics and everything in-between.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49733.htm

Rev. Spooner , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen Trade wars, sanctions, embargoes are economic warfare. I'm not going to elaborate as teaching Kindergarten is not my forte.
Longfisher , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
Oh, what a tangled web we leave when the CIA first seeks to deceive.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
What Trump wants to do and what he can do are two very different things. The MIC/Zionist rot in DC is way too deep and entrenched for any one man to tackle.

Trump could make all his Schiffty problems go away by bombing Iran. Overnight, the man would be lauded as the president we need and that aging hack Pelosi would suddenly drop that phony impeachment hearing.

Trump is finding out that when making foreign policy, the safest route to take is to first ask, "Is this good for Israel?"

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:26 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger Agree.

And look what it has revealed the Dems, the Zios, the msm and Trump's Repubs all screaming how the US should stay in Syria

I have no love for Trump BUT .his Syria move has shown us how far into the Trump Derangement throes the Dems are.

It reveals as nothing else he has done so far that we have a government OF THE PARTIES, BY THE PARTIES , FOR THE PARTIES ..not for the people.

I hope people concentrate on that reveal.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I have always contended that the best way to use Trump is to support his ego. Let's inundate him with praise for withdrawing from the Kurdish/Turkish quagmire. Sure, he hasn't vacated Syria yet, however, he has no choice but to vacate or be evacuated. His ego will opt for the former

I think you are spot on there also.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Exactly, with thousands of ISIS,ISIL(American/Israeli proxy forces)types now being freed due to Turkey's incursions into Syria, these "rebels" will be free to re-group and fight another day. Hence the need for American forces to STAY deployed in the Area. This is nothing more than a distraction move by Trump, which will result in the opposite "intended" actions of American forces being withdrawn from Syria. This will also guarantee the "need" for a strong Soviet presence in Syria.

America/Israel/Russia have always wanted the partitioning of Syria, the only point of contention between America/Israel and Russia was whether Assad was to be forced from power or would be allowed to remain President as a puppet of Putin and the Russians. Syria was to never remain a sovereign nation.

Priss Factor , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/P0EwGEZKWvA?feature=oembed

Syrian Exposes Media Lies About Syria Withdrawal

The US still hasn't acknowledged the Armenian Massacre by the Turks. Why should it care about Kurds. US is the nation that said killing 500,000 kids in Iraq was worth it.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:52 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Syria, Iraq, Libya are now less of a threat to Israel than ever before so that is a kind of peace.

Not really. All are still standing and not under US control. Iraq now leans even more toward Iran and Syria toward Russia ..and that outcome in these countries has made Israel's goal of destroying Iran much harder and less likely .
The curtailment of the Kurds, Israel's long time friends and proxy , is another blow to Israel's plot.

It appears to me that Putin's idea is to force everyone back into their own countries and borders .he may have shared that plan with Trump and that may have resulted in turning Turkey loose to do that job.

Bragadocious , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@WJ Right. But as Giraldi always points out, Trump almost attacked Venezuela. He said mean words and rattled sabres! As opposed to Obama, who said no mean words ('cause he upheld the "dignity of the office") but sent the fighter jets into Libya and turned that country from a stable, secular regime into a human trafficking warzone. And also got an ambassador killed. Here are some of Giraldi's gems from April 2011:

Libya is a humanitarian mission

it [the invasion] has no clearly stated objective except to protect Libyan civilians

it is now clear that the rebels do not have any military organization to speak of and Gaddafi has the whip hand

Nice analysis there, Mr. CIA lifer and Obama lickspittle. I can only assume Giraldi was part of the crack CIA team of Sovietologists who were utterly blindsided when the Soviet Union broke up. It's amazing how much slack he's given around here for his anti-Israel stuff. It's like Teflon for him.

DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Agree, and the ZUS has killed millions in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria, for their zionist masters, the only lives the ZUS cares about is zionists.
Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke The only question you failed to address is what was the true motives of Putin's intervention into the whole mess. A few good points:

As in Ukraine, Putin will stay in Syria until it no longer suits him. He has no long-term strategic goals beyond creating chaos and weakening the alliances of the free world wherever possible. This allows him to play the big man on the international stage, an essential element of his domestic appeal. 24/7 propaganda and Soviet nostalgia have turned Putin's invasion into a domestic hit in Russia. In contrast, Russians have no interest in Syria or Assad, but who cares what they want? Unlike the leaders of Europe, the U.S., and other democratic countries, Putin doesn't have to worry about how popular his foreign adventures are at home. There are no checks and balances in the Russian government, no free media to criticize him, and no popularity polls that matter more than ranks of well-armed riot police.

https://www.newsweek.com/kasparov-putins-goal-syria-chaos-380620

ben sampson , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:21 pm GMT
Licks for Giraldi: Giraldi has been careless but not where he lists Trumps lies about ending 'silly' wars. from what Trump has actually done compared to what he says about ending America's wars he is a liar of clear and complete proportions
Sean , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm GMT
@renfro Turkey's invasion of Syria has been condemned by the United States, the European Union, Israel , Iran and some Arab states.
Sean , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:26 pm GMT
@Anonymous

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10104926/turkey-invasion-of-syria-migrants-europe-fears/

TURKEY'S hardline leader has threatened to send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if it brands his military offensive in Syria an invasion.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to open the gates to "millions" of Syrians over criticism of his deadly attacks on Kurdish targets.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm GMT
@Bragadocious Why no link? Are you misquoting?
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read You're quoting the Zionist anti-Russian Kasparov? LOLOL.
SafeNow , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT
"the military the only real source of pride the only thing Americans feel they excel at"

An insightful point. Politicians support the military and its deployments for economic reasons, but the support of the public might derive from "what else is there?" Examples of institutional and private-sector failure abound in the news over recent years, and every day. The Boeing Max. The hotel collapse. 250,000 deaths per year from medical negligence. Power shutoffs. Useless college. The dive boat. A relaxed performance standard. The demise of meritocracy and rationality. During Katrina, every agency except the Coast Guard went into gridlock. There are remaining islands of expertise, but the unraveling is contagious.

Sean , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm GMT
@Bragadocious International human rights is not a suicide pact.
Anonymous [867] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:41 pm GMT
@Bragadocious

– [Giraldi] bashes Trump for his pre-Presidential life but never delved into Obama's pre-political life, which involved bathhouses and mounds of coke.

At least Obama served in the military. He was a corpse-man.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Sean lol ..So What?
Phibbs , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:08 pm GMT
The dirty, filthy hand of the Jew is all over America's Mideast policy. Israel backs ISIS in Syria with weapons. The Israeli-Occupied Government in Washington D.C. has even protected ISIS in Syria at times. The Jew-owned media gives no credit to Iran and Russia for defeating Jew and American-supported terrorists inside Syria. Now the Jew-owned government is aching for war with Iran, which is not a threat to Gentile America.
A123 , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm GMT
@WorkingClass

The goal was to topple Assad. Remember Obama? Assad must go? Assad and the Assad regime are still there. The losers are the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Replacing Assad was an Globalist goal, heavily pushed by Erdogan. We also remember the failed presidency of Barak Hussein that never represented the citizens of the U.S. So it would be more precise to say that:
-- George Soros, Erdogan, Obama, Wahhabism, and the Globalists are losing.
-- Putin, Trump, Assad, and Populism are winning.

The real test will be Putin getting all other foreign troops & proxies to leave. The Globalist agenda is to keep the fight between Iran (Shia) and Turkey (Sunni) going, when they both leave combatants in Syria. Hopefully, Putin will be able to fully rout the Globalists and move out both Turkish and Iranian agitators.

PEACE

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read Maybe you don't know who the author of that article is .Garry Kasparov

Kasparov might be great at chess but in Russia he was big fail as a politician .couldn't get any votes on his campaign to make Russia like America. He went into a self-imposed exile in the West. claiming Putin ruined his political campaigning.
Now everything Putin does infuses all Kasparov's punditry

Kasparow's love for Bolton should clue you to what he is about.

Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) · Twitter
As I said about Bolton entering the Trump admin nearly 3 years ago, you may not agree with his views as much as I generally do, but he puts US interests first, not Trump's. Can't say same about Pompeo & the rest.
31 mins ago

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:23 pm GMT
The short story on Syria, Turkey, USAISRAEL, Russia –

Turkey-Syria offensive: Russia vows to prevent clashes with Assad forces
BBC

Takeaways

THEN .

"When the US decided to equip and train Syrian Kurds, as well as some Arabs, to fight IS, they were aware of a potential problem, that their would-be Kurdish allies were regarded as terrorists by their Nato ally, Turkey. Washington turned a blind eye to a problem that could be kicked into the future. Now the future is here, and it has blown up."

NOW .

"On Sunday the Kurds announced a deal with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, agreeing that its troops could advance into the zone that had not been controlled by Damascus since 2012, right up to the border with Turkey. That is a big victory for the regime. The troops moved quickly out of bases they maintained in the north-east. Assad loyalists dug out regime flags.
It was a disastrous day for American Middle East policy. The alliance with the Kurds, and the security guarantee safeguarding their self-governing slice of Syria, gave the Americans a stake in the war's endgame. It was also a way of pushing against the backers of the Assad regime: Russia and Iran. The departure of the Americans, and the advance of the Syrian army, are victories for them too.
European governments, rattled in the way that happens when the problems of the Middle East come knocking at their doors, are calling on Turkey to stop the offensive. Some Nato members can see a nightmare scenario unfolding, with Syria, backed by Russian power, potentially facing off against Turkey, a fellow Nato member. The Russians say they are in regular contact with Turkey. But in a fluid, violent theatre of war. the chances for misperception, mistakes and escalation are always present.

Perhaps what has happened in the last week simplifies the endgame of the Syrian war. Two major players, the Americans and the Kurds, look to be out of the picture. And President Assad, along with his allies from Russia and Iran, continue to solidify their victory in Syria's catastrophic war."

WHAT IS BEING LEFT OUT OF THE CURRENT COMBING THRU THE ASHES OF THE SYRIAN WAR IS THE FACT SAUDI STARTED THE WHOLE FUCKING SYRIAN WAR.

Anyone who doesnt know that can ask me how.

Rurik , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:23 pm GMT

The discussion, if one might even call it that, regarding the apparent President Donald Trump decision to withdraw at least some American soldiers from Syria has predictably developed along partisan, ideologically fueled lines.

Not too sure where this partisan line is, Dr. G.

It looks like they're screeching from both sides of the isle.

https://www.deseret.com/2019/10/7/20903288/president-donald-trump-syria-isis-turkey-kurds-pelosi-mcconnell-romney-islamic-state

Both powerful Republican Liz Cheney and Hillary called the pull out "sickening".

While Republican Senator Rand Paul applauds the decision, Tulsi Gabbard condemns it.

As for 'ideological', we all know that ideologically, the vast majority of all congress-critters (99+%) from both sides of the isle, are motivated by the ideology of doing "what's good for the Jew$"

NATO agreement stipulates that if an alliance member is threatened, other members must support it in its defense. Turkey has not made that claim, but it is completely plausible that it should do so .

Are you joking, Dr. G?

Hasn't Turkey been engaged in waging an aggressive war on Syria these last few years?

Wouldn't Turkey demanding military aid from NATO, (for a "threat" from the Kurds or Syria), amount to the US demanding NATO aid for a "threat" from Iran?

IOW, it's Turkey that has been the murderous aggressor, and the Kurds and Syrians their victims. Not to mention that Turkey's military could make mince-meat out of the Kurdish "threat" in a New York minute.

So it seems to me that the only thing holding Turkey back, is orders from the ZUSA and Russia. Russia is certainly a large part of this equation, IMHO.

did not understand the Turkish mindset regarding the Kurdish threat, which they regard as existential.

'Existential'?

Would a limited autonomy Kurdish state on Turkey's southern border, perhaps incorporating a small swath of Turkey, be the end of Turkey's existence?

When Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the world demanded that Germany sacrifice some of its territory as recompense for its aggressive military imperialism.

If I were in a position to do so, I'd hand Syria a slice of Israel's and Saudi Arabia's and Turkey's territory – as a punishment for their depraved attacks on an innocent and unthreatening Syria.

Definitely the Hatay province, which arguably belongs to Syria anyways.

I'm sure Turkey would call that an existential! calamity, but I'd tell them 'karma's a bitch'.

Finally, there is one other important issue that should be observed. Donald Trump's actual record on ending useless wars is not consistent with his actions. He has sent more soldiers to no good purpose in support of America's longest war in Afghanistan, has special ops forces in numerous countries in Asia and Africa, has threatened regime change in Venezuela, continues to support Saudi Arabia and Israel's bloody attacks on their neighbors and has exited to from treaties and agreements with Russia and Iran that made armed conflict less likely. And he has five thousand American soldiers sitting as hostages in Iraq, a country that the United States basically destroyed as a cohesive political entity and which is now experiencing a wave of rioting that has reportedly killed hundreds. Trump is also assassinating more foreigners using drones based mostly on profile targeting than all of his predecessors. These are not the actions of a president who seriously wants to end wars

I remain you most loyal fan, Dr. G. But I confess this sounds to me like you think the situation above started on the day of Trump's inauguration.

He inherited those things by the former ZUS regimes.

He has tried over and over again to disengage, only to be dragged back by the screeching from the members of his own party. Not to mention the ((media)).

There are a lot of reasons to condemn the actions of Trump. The Golan Heights, for instance. But it seem glaringly obvious to me at least, that Trump is not ideologically committed to Eternal Wars.

As you put it, he threatened regime change in Venezuela.

He wanted to have talks with the Taliban, (and the whole deepstate and their ((media)) screeched)

He "continues to support Saudi Arabia" but as Pat Buchannan points out.. "The Saudis got the message when the U.S., in response to a missile and drone strike from Iran or Iranian-backed militias, which shut down half of Riyadh's oil production, did nothing.

Said Washington, this is between Saudi Arabia and Iran."

And he has five thousand American soldiers sitting as hostages in Iraq, a country that the United States basically destroyed as a cohesive political entity and which is now experiencing a wave of rioting that has reportedly killed hundreds

You really do make it sound like all that is his fault.

I love your work Dr. G. And consider you one of the very best, most honorable and most courageous writers out there.

But I confess, (like so many others!), it seems like to me that you have an irrational, personal hatred for Donald Trump that colors your perspective.

IMHO.

I didn't have time to write this response well, have to go. Hope it's not too off base..

Art , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:27 pm GMT
@animalogic More information on Trump & drone attacks would be useful & welcome.

There is a gigantic problem in America. It makes us dysfunctional. Certain news cannot get to the American people.

Everyone in the know gets it – do not go to the NY Times with anti-Israel news. Do NOT buck the AIPAC agenda – period. The darkest element of the ADL will be at your door within minutes. The US government will soon follow.

It is obvious – when it comes to Jew matters, US government employees fear for their jobs, if not their lives. Same for the MSM.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Bragadocious The Soviet Union never broke up, it just re-branded itself.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dssXAoQou1A?feature=oembed

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:33 pm GMT
@anon See post #88
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
US President Donald Trump has lambasted American broadcaster ABC News for airing a video from Knob Creek Gun Range in the town of West Point, Kentucky, claiming that the network used footage from the facility to depict a Turkish attack on Kurdish civilians in northern Syria. Trump called the mistake "a big scandal" and "a real disgrace".

"A big scandal at @ABC News. They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria. A real disgrace", the president wrote on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

AMN news

Sean , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@renfro The Crimean Peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation in February–March 2014. Despite all the protests about Crimea, the Donbass invasion using asymmetric tactics with Putin out outright denying responsability, Ukraine is a vital interest for Putin, and he would have been willing to confront America and Nato there because it is his home ground and advantage. But Russia is powerful enough to; Putin only went into Syria after Obama decided not to overthrow Assad. No one particularly cares about Syria and neither do they care about the Kurds (despite them having as good a case as the Palestinians to be given a state) and that is why jumped up Turkey can get away with invading Syria and attacking Kurds, just like they INVADED Cyprus.

This whole thing is probably a a storm in a teacup, but if Turkey gets into trouble they know, because they were already told very clearly over Cyprus, that if they play Lone Ranger, Nato does not have their back. Doing something Israel is not happy about and Turkey threatening to get their own nuclear weapons because Israel has them is not very good diplomacy from Turkey's point of view. It is begining to experience delusions of its own importance.

Art , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:41 pm GMT
@renfro It appears to me that Putin's idea is to force everyone back into their own countries and borders .he may have shared that plan with Trump and that may have resulted in turning Turkey loose to do that job.

Here is a very good video – Putin being interviewed. They asked him hard questions. He came across as being very rational.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qxPepA-Jwr8?feature=oembed

Maybe between Trump and Putin things can work out in Syria?

paranoid goy , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen People! The internet is there for you to verify/debunk any statement you question. Running a website is a lot of work, why don't you guys collect the information you demand from Mr. Unz, and share with us?
Or are you looking at others to supply you with ready-made opinions?
Bragadocious , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:44 pm GMT
@anon Yeah, I'm misquoting, you utter imbecile.
Bragadocious , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
Ok.

Maybe you should explain how that comment's relevant to anything.

Proud_Srbin , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:51 pm GMT
@onebornfree Thanks for the link about Mr.Bourne and you correct about his statement applying to ALL states.
They are more like progressive, merciful and humanitarian slave owners.
Be free
anonymous [299] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT
@renfro

WHAT IS BEING LEFT OUT OF THE CURRENT COMBING THRU THE ASHES OF THE SYRIAN WAR IS THE FACT SAUDI STARTED THE WHOLE FUCKING SYRIAN WAR.

How?

Did Hillary become an honorary member of the Saudi royal family, or just prostitute the US State Dept to make sure the guns were delivered on time?

anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm GMT
I wonder why the "high IQ" westerners have never deemed it fit to study their undeniable mass psychopathy.

If they were indeed as smart as claimed, they would begin to admit it, and given the claim to their innate highly civilised humanitarian inclinations *cough* , they would come to the conclusion that this world needs less of their cursed kind.

Since that is not going to happen, I guess nature has its way

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sperm-count-dropping-in-western-world/

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm GMT
@renfro How?
c matt , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Bragadocious Obama's pre-political life

To be fair, I don't know if Obama ever HAD a pre-political life. He seems to be a creation ex publicae.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Rev. Spooner The point he makes is extremely vague. No specificity. None. Yet 10's of thousands are dead. Ok, how about some evidence.
Why don't you go back to kindergarten, Rev?
renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:13 pm GMT
@Sean

It is begining to experience delusions of its own importance.

I would say Israel is beginning to experience the fallacy of its own importance.

What you clearly don't get is that ..kowtowing to the US as the ME superpower and enforcer is declining.

The rules are out the window, the ways of wars have changed, alliances are temporary, power is fluid, hyenas can eat elephants .

Israel will not be able to navigate this.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:13 pm GMT
@paranoid goy He makes a claim. Where is the journalistic integrity to back it up?
9/11 Inside job , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm GMT
@SafeNow The support of the public for the military derives from constant and pervasive propaganda particularly through movies and TV shows , David Sirota calls it the "Military Entertainment
Complex".
Zero Hedge : " Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon , CIA & NSA ".
steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:29 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read I was making a rhetorical point. I don't think the U.S. can decouple from the Middle East.
I do, however, think that Trump wants value for blood and treasure.

Long-term, America simply lacks the financial strength to continue to project power. The MIC costs the U.S. a tremendous amount of money. Budget to the MIC will continue to be slashed over time. The Deep State in the U.S. will contract simply due to financial realities.
Israel will be less and less of a priority.
The next financial crisis is already beginning. The U.S. has a massive debt ratio relative to the Money Supply. It is now 5:1. Good luck with that. It will be needed.

Z-man , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
@Whitewolf Yes, lack of talent and totall inane radical left wing proposals whiped up by the AOC wing and swallowed by all the candidates 'hook, line and stinker '.
Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm GMT
@OscarWildeLoveChild After JFK's assassination, every successive president is/was shown a film clip of JFK's head exploding from an angle nobody's ever seen.

It doesn't matter what party they're from; they'll tow TPTB's line. All of them.

US Foreign Policy = Occupied Palestine Foreign Policy.

That's all that's wrong with US foreign policies in a nutshell.

Curmudgeon , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Bragadocious Whether he or his father served is irrelevant. Carter was in the Naval Academy, Reagan and Bush 43 were in the reserves. Clinton had none and neither did Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, or Wilson.
What is telling, is the "alleged bone spurs", and "Trump's surname was changed from the original German Drumpf".
An allegation is an unproven accusation. What Giraldi is stating, is that Trump's physician falsified records. You think old man Trump sent Donnie for a megadollar military academy education so he could avoid the military?
As for Drumpf, I was acquainted with a couple of Schmidts who became Smith, a Bryjolfson who became Byron, a Pachkowski who became Berry and, no one says Roosevelt's name was changed from Rosenfeld. The snide commentary doesn't help.
I have said all along, that there is a lot not to like about Trump, but let's keep it in the realm of reality. Whether he wants to end the stupid wars or not, he will never be allowed to, as long as Giraldi's old employer is in business and making up non-existent bullshit "threats to American interests", whatever they are.
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Sean "Doing something Israel is not happy about and Turkey threatening to get their own nuclear weapons because Israel has them is not very good diplomacy from Turkey's point of view"

Israel is known to puff and bluff . It is grandiose polemic or rabid canine barking. It was not exposed by the west . But the west now knows it ,thanks to Hizbullah

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
It is difficult to understand nato secretary Stultemberg , it must be his thick swedish accent . I suppose he does not like turkish music

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YnR0VqDkjuA?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/t5isjGfHa4E?feature=oembed

Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT
@anon Getting women to work had nothing to do with their 'liberation.'

Even though my mom had her own [private] school, my dad's salary was enough to provide for all 5 of us, go on annual holidays abroad and put three kids through college, loan-free.

To TPTB, it's better to tax 2 people instead of 1.

To them it's just a number game, like the 'Torches of Freedom' gambit, all spiel, smoke and mirrors, to fool us gullible idiots into believing we do have a say

We should really start to use our guns and rifles to free the country and rid it of the rot that's smothering it.

Oh, look, another Cartra$$hian selfie butt shot on Instagram!!!!!!

Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read The Easter Bunny isn't real?

Dang!

I thought the youngster was raped by Epstain.

Hence his egg-shaped penis .

barr , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT
It's very old habit.Very much ingrained . It is also generational . Increasingly and suddenly religious also as the feckless toothless Evangelicals are rooting for 1 second fame .

But here is a short chronology–

1 Plans for mayhem in Syria have been on the imperial table since the 1950s (Operation Straggle).

2 US general Wesley Clark gave the game away years ago when he revealed US intentions in the Middle East after 9/11: seven countries were to be invaded

3 Seymour Hersh gave the game away too in his 2007 New Yorker article: "The Redirection". In this piece he revealed how the US were hooking up once again with the Saudi/Sunni fundamentalists in and around Syria.
4 France's ex-foreign minister Roland Dumas also gave the game away when he revealed that the British State (a definite CIA asset) was preparing for a war on Syria two years before the start of the Syrian Holocaust in 2011.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/31/homage-to-syria-a/

"This operation [in Syria]," said the former French foreign minister Roland Dumas in June, "goes way back. It was prepared, pre-conceived and planned."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/11/the-biggest-lie/

As we recently learned from former French Foreign Minister Dumas, it was also about that time, that actors in the United Kingdom began planning the subversion of Syria with the help of "rebels"' (Christof Lehmann, Interview with Route Magazine)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/12/my-moneys-on-putin/

Between 2006 to 2010, the US spent 12 million dollars in order to support and instigate demonstrations and propaganda against the Syrian government. 6,3 million dollars was funneled to the Movement for Justice and Development, a Syrian dissident organization based in London. The Movement operated the Barada satellite channel

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/17/the-dirty-politics-behind-the-syrian-conflict/

Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read Quote: "America/Israel/Russia have always wanted the partitioning of Syria "

Reply: Kindly allow me to correct your statement.

"America/Israel have always wanted the partitioning of Syria "

Russia has a wet entrance into the Med via Syria.

Perhaps you've dozed off a bit over the past few years, but Russia has been destroying and killing the FUKZUIS 'war' machine goons in Syria [aka the takfiri terrorist].

They're assisting in getting the country back [on its feet] as a whole again.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:30 pm GMT
@anon I'll keep it short. You can find the beginnings back in the 2012 coverage.

In 2012 Saudi sent Saudi Prince Bandar to Syria to be in charge of helping Syrian rebels bring down Assad, an ally of Riyadh's biggest regional rival Iran.
They were originally created, set up and armed and financed by Saudi.
The Saudis were then joined by Israel and Qatari and finally by the US under Obama.

A new twist appeared in the Saudi rebels war with Assad when ISI appeared and joined the fight.
This scared Saudi shitless as they thought this ISI version of ALQ might be a threat to them and lead to an invasion of Saudi as ALQ always saw it as a' westernerized' Saudi.
Everyone doubled down on both fighting Assad and fighting ISI ..which was a FUBAR if there ever was one.

Then enter the proxies, the Kurds, the PPK terrorist group all fighting for their own agendas within and under cover of the original war on Assad.

What could possibility go wrong in all this? LOL

Then enter Russia. Which gave some pause to the US in how far they wanted to go to throw Assad out for Saudi and Israel and open a gateway to get Iran.
So now we are headed to the ending of the Saud and others Syrian adventure which is probably best expressed by the fable of the fox and his shadow.

"A fox arose in the morning and saw his large shadow cast in the morning sun and said " I will have a camel for lunch today'. The fox hunted all day for the camel without success. As he paused in the afternoon setting sun he saw his shadow was much smaller and said "A mouse will do after all."

Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:44 pm GMT
@anonymous Quote: " sperm-count-dropping-in-western-world.."

Reply: Yet here you are

anonymous [299] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:48 pm GMT
@Daniel Rich

In 1992, Alexandra Zapruder began to collect diaries written by children during the Holocaust. These diaries speak eloquently of both hope and despair.

[Alexandra said:] "Anne Frank's diary was the first diary that was published. And her voice was so powerful that it captured the voices of all the children and all the people who had been killed. That's the way it's framed. And that by reading her diary and sort of taking her into our hearts, we could redeem her life. . . ." [US Holocaust Memorial Museum https://www.ushmm.org/confront-antisemitism/antisemitism-podcast/alexandra-zapruder ]

Alexandra Zapruder is the author of Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film.
Her grandfather was Abraham Zapruder, who took a twenty-six second home movie of President John F. Kennedy's assassination[1] -- now known as the Zapruder film.( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Zapruder ]

Jon Baptist , says: October 15, 2019 at 8:51 pm GMT
Here is another article found at American Herald Tribune where Phil Giraldi also often has articles posted.

The US Isn't Serious about Leaving Syria at All -David Macilwain
https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/3575-the-us-isnt-serious.html

From a strategic point of view it is very noteworthy to observe that Kurdish troops are fully positioned east of the Euphrates River. The Kurds are allies of Israel and a vital proxy implemented to fracture Syria along the lines envisioned for Greater Israel (Oded Yinon Plan).

It is perceived that Russia is an ally of Syria. However, Putin has not prevented Kurdish troops from establishing themselves firmly within Syrian territory.

Israel along with their diaspora will never relent until their abomination of "Eretz Yisrael" is achieved. It's not an accident that the ISIS flag is marked "All Jew."

9/11 Inside job , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:03 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke Washingtonsblog : " Balkanizing the Middle East – The real goal of America and Israel : shatter Iraq and Syria into many small pieces "
Thomas Harrington : " One of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet "
Sanchez : " Plan B is to Balkanize Israel is endorsing its plan B for Syria just when its enemies are making it clear that its plan A (Assad must go) is not happening anytime soon ."
Voltara , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT
The US watching while Syria and Turkey start shooting at each other is something new. For decades the US has run towards conflict in the region
renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT
Former AIPAC officials launch political action committee to direct funds to pro-Israel candidates
https://www.jweekly.com/2019/03/19/former-aipac-officials-launch-political-action-committee-to-direct-funds-to-pro-israel-candidates/

Pro-Israel America launched Tuesday endorsing 27 candidates -- 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans. All have long histories of working with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to advance the brand of pro-Israel legislation it favors. Its endorsements on its website praise the named lawmakers for their actions favoring the legislative agenda closely identified with the lobby: funding for Israel's defense, sanctions on Iran and its regional proxies, and bills that seek to counter the boycott Israel movement.

They include Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chris Coons, D-Del.; Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the minority leader; Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that committee's ranking Republican.

here are all of them listed .make sure you don't vote for one:

https://proisraelamerica.org/endorsements-2020/

anon [123] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT
@barr Blaming Saudi or Turkey or UAE has possibly some validity but as far as far the effect of the independent move by any of them is concerned , it has less than zero effect on Syria on its own.

It is like a hypothetical scenario where Florida and Alabama are independent countries . Rest of America is splintered into 50 different states and Canada is trying to get rid of Cuban regime for 50 years and only in last 5 years Florida and Alabama have joined the scheme under dubious circumstances of pressure bribery and blackmail.

Art , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
Isn't "regime change wars" a mealy-mouthed term? Isn't it time to call a spade a spade?

Why are we using that benign term, for something so destructive of America's future?

Que bono – who benefits from these wars – isn't it just one small but powerful segment of America – AIPAC.

Isn't it time to call these wars by the honest truthful term – "AIPAC Wars?"

These wars and crushing national sanctions against others, all come from AIPAC.

Our elected congressmen and senators are almost all AIPAC such-ups. Let's put it in their face with a factual term.

AIPAC Wars

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke Israel was more powerful and also more favorite of the west across ideological drive until 2003
It is not a normal country . Somewhere that guilt and remorse of stealing and killing have left a mark on its psyche . It doesn't know how to settle and be normal

It doesn't know the meaning of the power, advantage or gain . The paranoia drives to more dangerous world of fear and insecurity . It can't rest . Even if it is left alone, he talks to itself and bangs it head against wall . Recent election is the manifestation of more madness . It's begging jaunt to Russia and screaming through US media show how badly weakened the country is.

The countries that bow to Israel – UK, USA, Egypt, Saudi are finding themselves also badly weakened ,

A seed was planted in 2006 in Lebanon . That tree is growing taller and establishing roots , Israel will be a shrub hiding in the shadow of that tree in a few years time.
Soviet and Russia were both almost destroyed by Jews . Now they look for the Russian shadow to hide .

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm GMT
@Anon You don't say!
Sean , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT
@renfro A pack of lions can bring down an adult elephant at night when they have the advantage, but they are careful not to choose a really big strong one. Russia is fighting in the Ukraine its traditional heartland and what H. Mackinder called the Heartland of the World Island. A victory in Syria that only came because Obama chose to not crush Assad with a couple of days of air raids is hardly evidence of the Empire falling.

The real meaning of Trump is the facing of the threat from China, and if the neocons want to play games in the Middle East so what? There is a fight coming with China and it is a match for the West led by giant Bull Elephant America, Backward ME shitholes all together could not take down America in a thousand years.

Republic , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger It is very nice to see a video from RT in Arabic showing the very rapid evacuation of a US base in Syria:

Hope to see many more in the future

anon [414] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT
And what were the Kurds in Iraq called?
Didn't Saddam use some type of gas on them and that's why we were siding with them? Who told about the incubator babies, maybe some other terrorist group?
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT
@renfro Mmmm, okay, you must have meant something like 'organized shooting' when you said, "SAUDI STARTED THE WHOLE FUCKING SYRIAN WAR." Sorry I bit on false advertising.

As you see from 'barr' at #119 above, your starting point is months, years, even decades too late. For a fact (I've met some of the Syrians who met with Robert Ford in Damascus, now here and still lobbying for regime-change), the US was meddling, encouraging, prompting the anti-Assadists well before the 2011 demonstrations.

EliteCommInc. , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT
laughing.

We shall see.

jsinton , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:07 pm GMT
It's their back yard, let them figure out where the property line goes. Just get out. Don't argue with that.
Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Daniel Rich Putin is not the nice guy we have been told he is. He is in Syria for a reason, and that is not simply because he wants Syria returned to al-Assad. Syria is only one cog in the wheel. World wide Communism marches on, if you hadn't noticed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=4sKxkY0Tz5s
Z-man , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Anon Stoltenberg-Globalist tool and a moron.
Sick of Orcs , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:26 pm GMT
Trump confuses tweeting with taking action. How many times has he mentioned 'birthright citizenship' and then done nothing about it?

A: Every time.

Commentator Mike , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:43 pm GMT

rapid evacuation of a US base in Syria

LOL. My favourite rapid US evacuation was the CIA flying off the roof of the Saigon Embassy while the Viet Kong were busting in through the door and running up the stairs.

A123 , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:44 pm GMT
@Art

who benefits from these wars – isn't it just one small but powerful segment of America – AIPAC. Isn't it time to call these wars by the honest truthful term – "AIPAC Wars?"

Except the main beneficiary of these wars is George Soros and his anti-Semitic Globalist movement.

Soros intentionally orchestrated the ultra-weak, time limited JCPOA treaty to create a nuclear arms race among Iran, SA, Turkey, and possibly other MENA nations. That way he and his buddies with MIC investments could profit by selling weapons to all sides.

So let's put in everyone's face with a factual term

SOROS Wars

PEACE

HEREDOT , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:52 pm GMT
@Z-man Stoltenberg jewish whore is a bastard.
A123 , says: October 15, 2019 at 10:52 pm GMT
@Sick of Orcs

Trump confuses tweeting with taking action. How many times has he mentioned 'birthright citizenship' and then done nothing about it?

A: Every time.

If Trump drives too hard, too early and the case arrives at the Supreme Court while it is split 5-4 in favor of 'birthright citizenship' Is that a win? Or, a loss?

There is a huge difference between 'failed action' and 'successful action'.

Given the proven hostility of the deep state establishment, it makes a great deal of sense to lay groundwork now (via tweets), but only launch the correct constitutional action once the courts are prepared to support it.

PEACE

ChuckOrloski , says: October 15, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
With class, Philip Giraldi amused me by his article's mere title, "Trump wants to end the "Stupid Wars?"

Oh yea! Thanks, Phil , & please continue with offering dashes of intelligent, dissident, & unflappable humor. Haha. For example, "Trump's surname was changed from the original German Drumpf and if there were any Drumpfs at Normandy, they were undoubtedly on the German side."

(Zigh) The insatiable global tag team, M.I.C. and The Land of Bilk & Money , want "Big Time" and more stupidly unnecessary & immoral wars. (Zigh) One sure path to a 2nd term for President Bonespur is for him to get off the "low energy" Turkey/Syria skirmish, & get on with real war against Iran , for Israel.

Thanks, Phil! Fyi, I think Senator Lindsey Graham wants to get Bolton back in The Blue & White House, and sanction Camp Mar a Lago.

P.S.: For all commenters assembled here, linked below is Stephen Colbert's satiric covering of President Drumpf's having followed Israel's yonder (fallen) , and establishing a US Space Force Command! To that, Colbert quipped, "Trump can not join it because of his galactic bonespur."

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 11:23 pm GMT
@anon Well would you like to go baaaaaccccckkkk all the way to the failed US CIA coup attempt in Syria in 1957 ?

If so, do it yourself .I don't feel like typing out a whole history book just for you to jerk off on about how bad the US is..

Robjil , says: October 15, 2019 at 11:26 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Seven Nations to Destroy for the nine eleven false flag. Wesley Clark mentioned the seven – Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran.

Seven Nations to Destroy for Yahweh's Israel – Deut. 7:1-2 – Tanakh/OT.

Iraq 2003 invaded Purim – shattered in pieces

Libya 2011 invaded Purim – shattered in pieces

How four other nations on the list that were destroyed.

Somalia –

Since 2006 it has been a mess with Israel/US Al-Qaeda running the show.

Bizarre article about US/Israel terrorists "worried" about the environment.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4310799/al-shabab-plastic-ban-somalia-al-qaeda/

Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabab has reportedly announced a ban on the use of single-use plastic bags in territories under its control.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization, which has been blamed for thousands of deaths since its inception in 2006, dubbed plastic a "serious threat to the well-being of both humans and animals," the BBC reported, citing Al-Shabab's radio station Radio Andalus.

It even mentions that Osama Bin Laden, the puppet of Israel/US, was "worried" about the environment too. It makes one wonder if this Climate Change thing and Imperialism terror are connected.

Bin Laden wrote that Americans needed to save Obama from corporate and other nefarious influences to empower him to "save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny."

He added that the world would be better off fighting climate change than waging what he claimed was a war against Islam.

Sudan

Divided in two in 2011. Israel/US is pushing for more divisions.

https://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64102

Asked about his demand for protection during his meeting with Putin, al-Bashir said we wanted to highlight "the big U.S. pressure and conspiracy" on Sudan in Darfur crisis and the huge pressure exerted on his government to separate the South Sudan.

"Now we have information that the American quest is to divide the Sudan into five countries If we do not find protection and security. America took the world leadership and devastated the Arab world. (See) what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in Iraq, what happened in Syria, what happened in Yemen and what happened in Sudan," said al-Bashir.

Lebanon

Invaded by Israel in the summer of 2006. It made a mess out of Lebanon. Israel had a lot of trouble fighting off Hezbollah. This is the reason that Israel fears going into Lebanon again. After this adventure, Golems like US and its friends are the go to for Israel's war adventures.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180712-remembering-israels-2006-war-on-lebanon/

Initially, both Israel and Hezbollah claimed victory in the war, with Nasrallah declaring that Hezbollah had achieved a "divine, historic and strategic victory". Some international observers saw the fact that Hezbollah had survived the Israeli assault, despite the asymmetrical power balance, as a PR victory for the group. According to Reuters, the Lebanese government estimated direct war damage at $2.8 billion, and lost output and income for 2006 at $2.2 billion. The economy also shrank five per cent, with tourism effectively halted.

Six of the seven were messed up, destroyed. It leaves only Iran left. Iran is in the "news" everyday for this reason.

anonymous [403] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 11:31 pm GMT
Trump is flawed, ok then, but we had Clinton as the alternative. She would have been ten times worse so what choice did the American people have? He's rolling up the Obama-Clinton project in Syria which was a huge atrocity. Can you imagine the bloodbath that would have ensued had the US backed jihadi cannon fodder actually succeeded in overthrowing Assad? It's not a one man show and Trump has to go along with much of what has been taking place. Much of this has been imposed upon the American people as well as on Trump.
The brave Turks have been fighting a thirty year war against the "terrorist" Kurdish PKK. Why so long? Maybe the Turks oppress them? There has to be a reason the Kurds have been resisting for so long. But yet the mighty Turks are going to defeat the Kurds of Syria even as they can't defeat the ones living in their own country? Perhaps they'll take on the inferior Syrian army at the same time. After all, they're a big NATO ally with lots of weapons to dump on lightly armed foes. Reality is they haven't fought anyone in a hundred years so who knows how well they'd do.
Quit calling Afghanistan a "war". It's an occupation with anti-guerilla operations going on. Apparently they don't like being occupied so they fight on.
Trump's name is Trump, not Drumpf. Or do we now refer to people by the family name used a hundred years ago, or why not five hundred years ago?
Mark Hunter , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT
Excerpt from
"Trump Mistake: Allowing Turkish Invasion of Northern Syria"
by Joel Skousen (there is no direct link to it but it is/was on his website World Affairs Brief ):

This week in a telephone conversation with Turkish dictator Recep Erdogan he [President Trump] assented to Erdogan's demand from over a year ago to let them enter Turkey and establish a buffer zone where Turkey can resettle the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees that have burdened Turkey since the beginning of the US-created terror attacks on Syria. But as part of that strategy, and without emphasizing that to Trump, Erdogan intends to drive out or destroy the Syrian Kurds which occupy northern Syria. Erdogan calls them terrorists because the US-backed YPG Kurds are affiliated with the homegrown Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which represents about 20% of the Turkish population, and which has been fighting for independence from Turkey. So while the Turkish Foreign Minister plays lip service to Syrian sovereignty, Turkey has already begun the invasion and occupation of northern Syria. While Trump claims he is fulfilling a campaign promise to remove troops from Syria, this isn't really a pullout at all since only two observation posts in the path of the Turkish invasion are pulling out. There are thousands of other US troops elsewhere in Syria protecting US-backed terrorist rebels.

Daniel Rich , says: October 15, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read H.E. Mr. Putin has clearly stated it's up to the Syrian population to choose who leads them, not him.

Tartus has a port Russia needs and uses.

Khmeimim Air Base is also needed and used by the Russian AF.

These are military strategic assets and used to counter balance the FUKZUS 'war' machine's bases dotted around the ME region. Of course, those you don't mention.

The Red Menace.

I get it.

ploni almoni , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:05 am GMT
No president actually controls the government, least of all Trump. The Deep State controls the government. Trump is a an interloper. Why does one have to remind the author of this elementary fact? The threat to destroy the economy of Turkey was made by Stephen Israel Mnuchin. Trump had to make noises as if it was his "decision" when in fact he had nothing to do with it. What Trump wants to do, and what he can do, are entirely different things. And anyone who has anything to do with Americans knows what happened to all the previous allies. Mnuchin has clued in those Turks who may have had illusions.
Art , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:08 am GMT
@A123 Except the main beneficiary of these wars is George Soros and his anti-Semitic Globalist movement.

Gee -- never heard of ASPAC?????

anon [123] Disclaimer , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:13 am GMT
@renfro very bad US is indeed . It continues to sabotage ,cast evil eye,try to strangle ,and continue to punish Cuba . That long history is really long punctuated by half hearted Obama attempt .
Once empire decided a project,it becomes , NASA , Present Danger , PNAC or NED . The project goes on losing the aim . The project goes on because the vested interest ,employees,pensioner,glory seeking men, arm merchant, politicians and expatriate find means to rake up profit and launder dishonest living into honest lifestyle . Name is changed when it suits the project . Aim is not lost. It becomes the final destination . It never stops energegizing the dishonest, looter,profit seekers, and opportunists . Often the brains that gather under the flag are not that intelligent or ideologically certain.
Money and corruption drive them.
Zumbuddi , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:31 am GMT
@Johnny Walker Read Later
Counterinsurgency , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:49 am GMT
@Agent76

It's truly amazing how much the consciousness of the planet has changed within the past 5 years alone, and it's not just happening within one topic, but in several different areas ranging from health to geopolitics and everything in-between.

Going broke happens slowly at first, then quickly. The Western cities are going broke, as are those in the Third World. Nothing else changes peoples minds like having their basic income reduced or eliminated.

All the promises (including self-governmement and freedom and equality) have turned out to be lies, smoke. Computers, which were supposed to be a seamless adjunct to human existence, a source of education and information, and a liberation from the bad parts of part of reality, have turned into (poor but cheap) entertainment, gossip, a drug substitute, and a propaganda source. The result is shock and horror, sometimes followed by violent psychosis [1] (e.g. antifa).

Once again, I recommend "Marat/Sade"

(1967). It gives you a feel for what a revolution is like once the revolution gets going. Note the movie's final scene, which almost breaks the "fourth wall" convention. It was made during our last revolution, and the director wanted to record the spirit of what he had seen.

Counterinsurgency

Counterinusurgency

1] https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/what-is-psychosis

nsa , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT
@Phibbs "jew and Amelikan supported terrorists inside Syria"
They call them Joohadis for a reason.
ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:53 am GMT
@Art I like it, very catchy, original, Art said: "AIPAC Wars."

Oh yea, Art, thanks, and a "spade is a spade" when one manages to get the hell out of the AIPAC shade.

Unfortunately tonight, millions of process estranged Amerikan Democrat & GOP voters are now "beamed up" to an AIPAC-approved strange & hostile telescreen's DebateLand.

(Zigh) Across aisle, including a possible Beaming Bloomberg entry, , "winnable" 2020 presidential nomination contestants shall pick & choose, finagle & sell, an either/or USrael foreign policy posture, as regrettably follows:
1.) The Zio-Democrat War to end the deplorable Trump's stupid call to end all Amerika's endless Wars just for the paltry good of gradually achieving Greater Israel's unending endgame. or,
2.) The Zio-GOP's War to end all Democrat Party hopefuls' stupid call to end all US endless wars just because a lefty AIPAC-Branch put an Israel Labor Party "bug in their ear" about having lowly dead-ender 'Merikan workers fucking pay for it.

Thanks again, Art, and "Good night America."*

* Phil Giraldi inhabits Sinatra's City That Never Sleeps.

Counterinsurgency , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:57 am GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen

The next financial crisis is already beginning. The U.S. has a massive debt ratio relative to the Money Supply. It is now 5:1. Good luck with that. It will be needed.

Agree.

And the financial debt must be augmented by degradation of physical infrastructure (especially in cities and city support infrastructure) and the degradation of human capital by importation of low IQ populations and effective destruction of education. And the capital misallocation that continues today.

The world will be surprised at what happens when the US power projection ends, as global trade will end with it.

Counterinsurgency

Counterinsurgency , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:07 am GMT
@anonymous

The brave Turks have been fighting a thirty year war against the "terrorist" Kurdish PKK. Why so long? Maybe the Turks oppress them? There has to be a reason the Kurds have been resisting for so long.

Turkish birth rate low (lower in cities than in hinterlands), Kurdish birth rate high. Kurds replace Turks in a few decades. Kurds don't follow Turkish cultural norms, nor Turks follow Kurdish. Kurds don't want to wait a few decades, want power _now_ (c.f. Black Power and Whiteness in USA). Kurds use destructive commando raides ("terrorism") to get power now. Turks don't like that, respond with same.

Long term: demography wins barring very large change.

Please correct parts of this that are wrong. I'm not following this conflict closely.

Counterinsurgency

geokat62 , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:16 am GMT
Latest TruNews godcast, E. Michael Jones: The Deception Facing the Church by Christian Zionism

YT Description:

Today on TruNews, Dr. E. Michael Jones joins us to talk about the influence of modern Christian Zionism upon the American Church, and how that has led to a dramatic radicalization of US foreign policy in favor of one nation, Israel.

Prof. Jones takes the deluded xian Zionists to task, calling them "useful idiots." My favourite passage starts @ 18:58:

.. which means you got a lot of Christians who don't understand the gospel. Because there are plenty of Christians out there who are Christian Zionists. It's a simple fact of life. I think it can be traced to Jewish influence in our culture Jewish influence over the publishing industry, for example. How did the Scofield Bible end up being published by Oxford University Press? Because it's a great scholarly work? No! Because of people like Mr. Untermeyer pulled strings. This is the way this happened. It's the biggest issue facing American politics, right now. The role that Zionism is playing right now, in corrupting the government of the United States, in diverting American resources into a quagmire in the Middle East, which doesn't serve the interests of the American people at all and is all done in the name of Israel.

DESERT FOX , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:50 am GMT
@geokat62 Watched trunews.com tonight and agree with Dr. Jones.
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:51 am GMT
@renfro LOL. You're the one with the hard-on to dump it all on the Saudis, IN ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry to call your bluff, NOT.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:07 am GMT
@Counterinsurgency I'm kind of having a mental barrier with this now.
There is a guy in Vancouver who predicted the 2008 financial crisis, Jensen I believe (he wrote to the Bank of Canada and a list of people in 2006). He argues that the fundamentals are even worse now due to the failure to finance these foreign adventures and other factors (expenditures on domestic expenses not matching tax income, etc.).

I haven't even taken the time to consider the knock on effects. Mentally, I've been more focused on having to sit through the screaming match that is going to occur over who is to blame and the lying that will go on with respect to needing to move to a sound money system but having bankers et al try to argue for a rollover into a new currency. It is going to be ugly, I can feel it. It will provide an opportunity for some serious structural change and constitutional amendments. A whole host of reforms are open when you have a debt induced currency collapse. I just know it could be really ugly and I've been dreading thinking through how this will play out. I keep thinking that I never expected to live in a time like this; I think back to being a teenager during the Reagan years and, despite the Cold War-nuclear war scenario hanging over our heads, it seemed a much more optimistic time.
I am not optimistic. I'm very worried.

IllyaK , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT
Chump will do as is his wont: fold like the numbskull Jew-controlled POS assclown he is.
geokat62 , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:15 am GMT ivan , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
@Robjil Somalia under a failing Siad Barre regime was going to the dogs with various warlords cannibalising each other. Then the Americans were told in the flush of victory in the Gulf in 1991, that they should just kick the door in to save the dumb Muslims. It is not the fault of the late senior Bush that Somalia is compounded of that specimen of humanity that emerges like clockwork when African tribalism is married to Islamic fanaticism (but is there any other kind?) . The Americans were minding their own business, but were told that it was the humanitarian thing (and furthermore quite cheap to boot) to do at little cost to themselves to save Muslim chillun'.

Afghanistan was no better : The idiot, the younger George Bush instead of bombing the the hell out of Al-Queda and leaving was instead misled by mystagogues of various hues, including his own self into sinking lives and treasure in a vain attempt to civilise the Afghans.

The truth is the further you keep away from Muslims, the better it is for your health and sanity, notwithstanding the parallel machinations of various neocohens, for Islam is a pernicious religion that breeds insanity, intolerance and bloodshed all by itself.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:29 am GMT
E. Michael Jones: a very wise man. He believes in free speech and is hated by Jews who, of course, label him an 'anti-semite'. I would argue they are 'truth averse' fanatical maniacs.
He makes a good case that 'Christian Zionism' is a heresy. I don't believe he uses that term BUT I do.
It's just another bubbling that is bursting.
What will they do besides scream and throw tantrums? Is it time for another false flag 911 type event?
What the media never really exposed was how Syria, and every Middle East country that has been attacked by the DeepStateZio monster, has seen the oldest Christian communities on the planet under attack. Strange pattern. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism, initiated by the British alliance with the Wahabi's and the Saud Family and furthered by the CIA/Mossad in Afghanistan, has corresponded with the destruction and diasporas of the world's oldest Christian communites.
Somehow, Europe has ended up with a bunch of Muslims when these Christians would have fit into their societies much better.
I think that none of this just 'happened'. I strongly suspect that if we were to kick over some rocks we would find the usual suspects: the Khazar/Black Nobility Alliance.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:29 am GMT
@renfro How?????????????????????????????????????????
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I do think it was Mc Cain.
Concerning historically lazy Saudis I am entirely confident that they were only taking care of payroll.
( I am not entirely confident but there is a possibility that CIA did channel some profits from Afghanistan poppy fields for this noble cause.
Daniel Rich , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:26 am GMT
@Counterinsurgency Quote: "The world will be surprised at what happens when the US power projection ends, as global trade will end with it."

Reply: Given the vast sums of money set aside to implement China's 1 belt 1 road project, [IMO] the global dollar trade will turn into a trickle over time, but the global trade will not nosedive along with it.

Too much a stake for the multinationals [not necessary a good thing, but alas].

Stan , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
@Sean Hasbarats are repugnant.
Wally , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:54 am GMT
@Bragadocious Has Giraldi ever stated which current candidate is his preference vs. Trump?

I thought not.

Trump over the alternatives any day.

Justsaying , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:59 am GMT

Damascus had supported U.S. intelligence operations after 9/11 and it was Washington that soured the relationship beginning with the Syria Accountability Act of 2003, which later was followed by the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act of 2015, both of which were, at least to a certain extent, driven by the interests of Israel.

It's very challenging to come up with any foreign policy initiatives that do not serve Zionist Israel's interests, first and foremost. Israeli interests have defined American foreign policy objectives in the ME for much of the post-WWII era. Not at Israel's behest, but on Israel's instructions and demands via pro-Zionist lobbies and the infestation of the Administration with Israel First officials, Israeli citizens and spies. Add to that the Israel First MSM.

anon [123] Disclaimer , says: October 16, 2019 at 4:04 am GMT
@ivan Is it methamphetamine instead of regular fentanyl ? Anyway, this logic and perverted emotion make sense to you. Unfortunately it will reinforce your decision to switch . Business will sure be coming back from China to rural America.
renfro , says: October 16, 2019 at 4:23 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

Concerning historically lazy Saudis I am entirely confident that they were only taking care of payroll.

The Saudis were just the money ..there were no Saudi fighters in Syria.

Robert Whatever , says: October 16, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
I voted for Trump. But maybe the people who said Trump has no core values were right all along?
Sick of Orcs , says: October 16, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
@A123 I respectfully disagree on this particular matter. There is no US law bestowing birthright citizenship. All that would change is recognition of what the law really says.

Trump waiting to win another 4 (still a gamble) AND for RBG's animatronics to fizzle out AND for her replacement to not be another skunk like Roberts is foolish.

There is no underwater 38th-dimensional quantum chess being played here, and we still have no wall.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 16, 2019 at 6:32 am GMT
Oops, I posted this under another writer. (Small wonder I got no answer.) Since then, someone else remarked that at the end of WWI this land (northern Syria) was taken from Turkey. So this is a long grievance, with deep sense of entitlement.

Rurik wrote, " .the Americans (Obama regime), created ISIS- with the intention that they use Libya's stolen arms caches to hack and slaughter their way across Syria "

Yes, and that's why I'm skeptical of dumping of Erdogan. How eager was he for this conflict? Did the Obama CIA promise him N. Syria for his complicity? Doubtless assuring that Assad would fall quickly! Or maybe they dangled EU membership, if he joined the team.


Maybe Phil can enlighten us:

We know that Robert Ford, US Embassador to Syria, was meeting privately with Syrian "civil society" activists before the 2011 demonstrations.
-- Was Erdogan/Turkey also involved in infiltrating, inflaming those anti-Assad elements?
-- How did Turkey involvement begin?
-- Was the CIA actively involved in Syria before the fall of Libya?

Thanks.

EliteCommInc. , says: October 16, 2019 at 7:04 am GMT
"I voted for Trump. But maybe the people who said Trump has no core values were right all along?"

There was no question that the president was going to be a situational leader.

jsigur , says: October 16, 2019 at 8:07 am GMT
C'mon guys.
Using prior military service as some sort of litmus test to the right to critique involvement and opinion sharing today plays to an audience mentality that encourages blind patriotism.
There really are no necessary wars these days as they are all being fought for the banker elite which holds no loyalty to country though it plays on ppl's ignorance to use such loyalties for propaganda purposes.
There is no justification for US troops to be all over the world as a banker mercenary force and this site acknowledges 911 was an Israeli- internationalist false flag which removes all justifications for the meddling in Israeli neighbor's internal affairs.
Tolerating this to get air time with magazines that lie for power is encouraging this negative behavior for personal advantage in a country and world striving to control the most minute areas of our lives.
Going along to get along only brings the eternal boot down of the forehead forever@!

The fact that none of these bickering forces are targeting Israel who always was the catalyst for the divisions there, is a huge clue that we and Israel are the problem causers primarily. Of course we need false flags to excite the population to support the fake war on terror within the US and Europe (as well as justify the reverse colonialism going on). Jews for hundreds of years have counted on stupid goyim to do the fighting but now that Israel is a supposed stand alone nation, that should be harder to accomplish but apparently total corporate media control keeps the truth hidden from 85% of the public.

Counterinsurgency , says: October 16, 2019 at 9:10 am GMT
@Daniel Rich

Reply: Given the vast sums of money set aside to implement China's 1 belt 1 road project, [IMO] the global dollar trade will turn into a trickle over time, but the global trade will not nosedive along with it.

I actually hadn't thought of that. Now that you point it out, of course the dollar trade will decrease. Negative interest rates are, in a way, saying that nobody wants US Dollars anymore, and trades that are not in US Dollars are being actively sought. The decrease will happen a bit before the USN becomes ineffective. And that will be hard on the multi-nationals, but I can't say I have much sympathy. They were firmly behind the move of Western manufacturing to East Asia – what did they think would happen?
But I do disagree over the assertion that global trade will remain about as it is.
The New Silk Road. Interesting topic.

Well, first of all it's a reasonable thing for the PRC to do. Historically, the Silk Road has paid off for China, at least in terms of precious metals, and being dependent on a single transportation mode for one's raw materials is strategically undesirable. It's a good move. It's also an attempt to realize McKinder's proposed making the World Island into a unified state[1].

But a couple of points:

a) New Silk Road is much more expensive than sea transport [2]. If sea lanes are cut off, China's raw materials costs increase by several times.
b) New Silk Road recapitulates the interaction of European empires of the 1800s through 1900s with ethnicities along the Silk Road. The Europeans were resented and eventually ejected. The Chinese are having similar problems.
China has loaned money to various nations which have then spent that money on immediate consumption and are attempting to repudiate the debt. The Chinese (who have no compunctions about debt repudiation through currency devaluation) are apparently taking over completion of the Silk Road facilities for which the natives can no longer pay (having spent the money on other things). Local rulers are saying that this makes the Chinese foreign invaders (on a very low level so far). Just like the Europeans.
Chinese society also does not mix well with either Islamic or African tribal society, yet the Silk Road crosses both cultural territories.
So far as I know, the Chinese takeover of the Panama Canal since the US evacuation has gone well. Last I heard, a few years back, Panama had started teaching Chinese in its public schools. Chinese operations in South and Meso America are increasing, however, and I know little about how they are going.

The nice thing about policed sea lanes is that shippers don't have to worry much about the natives. Piracy is and has been a problem, but so far not a serious one. New Silk Road goes overland, and that has (historically) always led to security problems with the locals, whoever the locals may be.

So: Let's suppose that the USN were to become ineffective. Only the part of the Silk Road guarded by the Russian Federation would remain secure. The rest would be subject to local raids and extortion from the local government. Note that raw materials costs would increase drastically for everybody (because of less shipping), so local governments and bandits would have motives for confiscating goods.

This would be especially the case in Africa, which is largely dependent on food imports. That conflict could become severe, as China is increasingly dependent on Africa for raw materials (as is the rest of the world).

In other words, sole reliance on the New Silk Road (should that ever be necessary) would be expensive in terms of shipping and in terms of security / warfare costs. China's bellicose policy is, IMHO, counterproductive. China should be positioning itself to police the sea lanes cooperatively but reluctantly with a declining USN, gradually assuming the mantle of worldwide protection of the sea lanes that China needs so badly. Current efforts to be able to interdict the sea lanes are not in the PRC's interest, as the PRC needs these sea lanes open. It's sort of like developing a hyperbomb to make the Sun go nova. Under what circumstances would you use such a device? Under what circumstances would China want to cease shipping by sea?

So, what's likely to happen? The USN will decline because it needs recapitalization due to age and a changing threat, and the US is instead devoting its income to debt repayment and immediate social stability expenditures. The PRC, which has never been a naval power, will still attempt to keep global trade alive. When that fails, the PRC will trade more with the Russian Federation It will also take what sea and land it has, make an expeditionary force out of it, and deploy it in some trading zones (possibly in countries that have resources China needs) rather than see its population starve and itself overthrown. That's the standard response from any H. Sap. political organization. Things will get very messy.

And please remember that I'm like the weatherman: I report, I don't cause.

Counterinsurgency

1] http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/geography/mackinders-heartland-theory-explained/42542

2] http://www.economicsdiscussion.net/articles/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-water-transport/2185

Sean , says: October 16, 2019 at 9:49 am GMT
@Stan Israel is a shitty little country but its treatment of the Palestinians is side issue for the West, just as the way the Kurds are treated is unfortunate but hardly our responsibility. A confrontation with burgeoning China beckons, and America needs to be united. Going off on tangents to play Santa to peoples who lost the geopolitical game and are without a state would weaken the West,
geokat62 , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm GMT
Israel: "It doesn't feel like my country anymore."

My favourite comment:

"Israelis need to learn be multicultural. Ask Barbara Spectre."

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm GMT
@Daniel Rich What part of BOTH the US and Russia are only there to serve their own interest don't people understand. My only point is Russia is not there out of the goodness of their hearts. People who claim Russia is fighting the globalist juggernaut and is only in Syria to "fight ISIS/ISL" and to make Syria "safe for Democracy" aren't seeing the big picture. Russia is working hand in hand with China to make sure America is reduced to a second rate global power. Assad has become nothing more than Putin's puppet on a string. Syria will need money for re-construction, thanks to Russia destroying much of their infrastructure, that money more than likely will come from China(China's version of "Economic Hit Men"). All the while, lurking in the back ground, that little shit stain known as Israel.

This report will present the reality of Russia's Syrian campaign. Russia launched air strikes on hospitals, water treatment plants, and mosques. Russia used cluster bombs. Russia almost exclusively targeted non-ISIS targets. These are the truths that Russia will not admit, and the truths that must be understood when negotiating with Russia as a potential partner.

https://publications.atlanticcouncil.org/distract-deceive-destroy/

It's all about the "Belt and Road Initiative". There are no good guy's in this mess, and the real losers in this conflict are the citizens of Syria. Russia is a main partner in "Globalization".

One of the main problems of the People's Republic is to connect the "Belt" with the "Road". For China it is crucial to be able to bypass the choke points represented by the straits that separate the South China Sea from the Indian Ocean (Malacca, Sunda and Lombok) that, being controlled by the US, prevent the Chinese maritime power to fully develop. A first important asset in this sense is represented by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which connects by land Eastern China to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan, in turn connected to the String of Pearls.

Why Syria?

In this perspective, Syria becomes a crucial junction within the BRI: a possible development of its transport and port infrastructures, properly connected with each other and with the Belt and Road Initiative, would allow China a further maritime outlet for its land trade and a formidable trade post in the Mediterranean. A further advantage is represented by the increased quantity of goods that China could deliver into the Mediterranean, overcoming the further bottleneck of the Suez Canal.

Syria also has at least two important factors that represent opportunities to be exploited by Beijing: the country's urgent need to obtain funds to be allocated to reconstruction and development and the simultaneous disengagement of the United States from the Middle East, an empty space not filled by the EU. Syria is therefore an extremely interested and receptive partner to the proposals of the Chinese government, which finds itself at the same time freed from any diplomatic controversy that could slow down its action.

http://mediterraneanaffairs.com/bri-china-syria-reconstruction/

A123 , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Sick of Orcs

we still have no wall.

We have wall building taking place. (1). However, Trump can only do so much rearranging within congressional appropriations.

Please, correctly lay the blame on Pelosi and Schumer. They are the ones who refuse to find national security.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/04/defense-secretary-mark-esper-oks-diversion-of-3-6b-in-military-construction-funds-to-border-wall/

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:07 pm GMT
@Counterinsurgency Many good points made in your comments.
A123 , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm GMT
@Art

Gee -- never heard of ASPAC?????

Gee -- Never heard of George Soros?

He and his cronies out spend AIPAC by at least 100:1. Why don't you care about the anti-Semitic Globalists' massive cash outlays?

PEACE

Abdul Alhazred , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger A very good analysis!

Here is a speech concerning what is the hardest thing he has to do as President!

and some other reactions of import

https://larouchepac.com/20191014/president-trump-kicks-over-chessboard-british-geopolitics

https://larouchepac.com/20191015/historical-sea-change-has-been-launched-president-trump

And the way forward to world peace .the Syria Template!

https://larouchepac.com/20191016/syria-template

Europe Nationalist , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Counterinsurgency Chinese seem very naive in their willingness to deal with and trust black Africans and other third worlders to honour deals and not be corrupt, etc. I suspect it will all turn sour for them eventually.
Rurik , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@Abdul Alhazred Thank you for that video. I've never been so proud of a U.S. president in my life, as I was watching that video. He may have been cynically pandering to people like me, but I don't care. Even if he was pandering, he said what he said.

More on Trump by Shamir's recent article:

What is much worse for Israel, is Trump's intent to leave the region. There is a good chance you haven't seen relevant tweets of the President, for the MSM doomed to surround it by the wall of silence. That is what the President said while ordering withdrawal:

"Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East. The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending! The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE!"

Just for this recognition "GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY" and for this promise "The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!" Trump deserves to be re-elected and remembered as the most courageous and independent US President since Richard Nixon.

His efforts on withdrawing from the Middle East remind of Nixon's hard struggle to leave Vietnam and to make peace with Russia and China. If he succeeds in this endeavour, he will be rewarded by the American people in 2020..

http://www.unz.com/ishamir/cautious-optimism-on-turks-and-kurds/

If he succeeds, then he sure will have my support!

One of the main instigators of the Syrian imbroglio – Saudi Arabia – had been beaten in Yemen and is no longer eager for battle; ditto Qatar and UAE. Europe is less keen on removing "bloody dictators" than it was. CIA, Jewish Lobby and Clintonite Democrats would keep Syria boiling, but mercifully they are not in full command in Washington. .

Thank God.

Peace.

Sick of Orcs , says: October 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm GMT
@A123 What is allegedly being built is the same worthless fence. The wall prototypes couldn't legally be used per a clause in one of the terrible spending bills hastily signed by "Master Negotiator" Trump.

Better than cacklin' cankles? Yes, but so is my last bowel movement.

Even if we got a real wall, Orangemeister wants legal gimmegrants in record numbers. We just can't effing win.

Don't you think Trump was a tad premature in announcing "Only I can fix," to all these problems?

A123 , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm GMT
@Europe Nationalist

Chinese seem very naive in their willingness to deal with and trust black Africans and other third worlders to honour deals and not be corrupt, etc. I suspect it will all turn sour for them eventually.

Every high value PRC project in Africa seems to come with as suspiciously large number of military age, ethnic Han Chinese staff.

The PRC colonization effort is informed by the lessons of former Euro colonies. They have built-in measures to make them very hard to displace. And, should they eventually be forced out, the locals will get nothing but destroyed and poisoned lands.

Republic , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm GMT
@geokat62 Know more News with Adam News covers the Christian Zionist story. He is still on you tube.
Jones was banned from that platform recently. He can still be heard on bitchute as well as his own website, Culturewars.com
Rurik , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@anon

the Americans (Obama regime), created ISIS- with the intention that they use Libya's stolen arms caches to hack and slaughter their way across Syria "

Yes, and that's why I'm skeptical of dumping of Erdogan. How eager was he for this conflict? Did the Obama CIA promise him N. Syria for his complicity? Doubtless assuring that Assad would fall quickly! Or maybe they dangled EU membership, if he joined the team.

I have a metric that I use.

If a person or action is in anyway aligned with Israel, then that person or action is suspect, at best.

Insofar as Erdogan has been aligned with Israel and its interests and agendas (the destruction and carving up of Syria)- is the degree to which he has been a malefactor on the world's stage.

/

Vs. the degree to which he's opposed to Israel's nefarious agendas;

– he's demonstrated actual statesmanship.

So that's my metric. That's why generally I don't have to pour over the minutia of every action or issue with a fine tooth comb, rather I just ask, 'is this person or action aligned with Israel's agenda.. (genocide, theft, murder, hegemony, strife ), and the question always seems to answer itself!

Just consider the Obama regime. When I approved of what Obama was doing- peace with Iran- it was when he was in Israel's crosshairs.

When I disapproved of Obama's treasons, it was when his actions were perfectly aligned with Israel – destruction of Libya, destruction of Syria and so forth.

It really is a near perfect, if not perfect metric.

When Trump is betraying America and Americans, is when he's serving Israel – open borders, drones, sanctions on Iran and Russia and others..

When he's acting like an actual American president, in the service of this nation, is when he's in direct opposition to Israel's agenda – ending the Eternal Wars, making videos about dead American soldiers, firing Bolton, talking about nationalism at the UN..

I'm really sort of waiting for this test to ever fail, it's been so reliably perfect for so long.

So if you want to know if Erdogan is acting in good faith, just check to see if what he's doing pleases Israel, and you'll know all you need to know!

Is a Kurdish state a good thing?

Well, what does the 'metric' say?

Is Turkey's incursion into Syria a good thing?

Here, a mouthpiece of Zion posits 'no'.

The Turkish government is no longer interested in helping Syrians liberate themselves from Assad's murderous regime.

https://www.cfr.org/blog/turkeys-incursion-syria-making-things-better-or-worse

which indicates that it is a good thing!

We can't all be savvy to every nuanced action taken all over the globe. There are regional exigencies that we simply can't know about.

Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in places like Ukraine, or Syria?

But with my metric, so far, I've had a 100% success rate in determining the good actors and actions, from the bad.

ploni almoni , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm GMT
@ivan It is quite obvious that it is you and your meshpukha who are not civilized John of the Apocalypse.
ploni almoni , says: October 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@A123 It takes one to know one.
Abdul Alhazred , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Rurik Thanks!

The video is very powerful, and this video linked in this link features Trump's speaking with attendant images of the families of the soldiers and what they have to go through .because of the lies of the warmongers.

Yes Peace!

https://www.infowars.com/watch-the-most-powerful-and-tear-jerking-words-ever-spoken-by-trump/

ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Rurik As Commander in Chief tRump wanted to kill Syria President Basher Assad for having gassed his own people & having to be restrained by his Generals, Amerikans now see another side to their president which Rurik observed on video & gushed: "I've never been so proud of a U.S. president in my life, as I was watching that video. He may have been cynically pandering to people like me, but I don't care. Even if he was pandering, he said what he said Thank God. Peace."

Am sincerely glad you're "happy," Rurik, that Trumpstein moved to shed some of his Adelson/Netantahu skin implants. Nonetheless, & I don't want to be a GOP Likud-Party pooper, but am sticking with Philip Giraldi's advisory to, "Let's see what he actually does."

At any rate, linked below (& fyr in ), is Brother Nathanael's latest video. In order to stave off our nation's descent into Greater Sodom & Gomorrah, it's understandable to me how Bro Nat prefers "The Chosen One" to continue as ZUS president over his uber-liberal & decadent Zio-Democrat opponents.

Thanks Rurik, and enjoy the good times of tRump's proclamation of an end to endless wars for Greater Israel while it lasts!

https://www.bitchute.com/video/55BgQc7QrSD4/

SolontoCroesus , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@Sean

"Israel is a shitty little country but its treatment of the Palestinians is side issue for the West . . . A confrontation with burgeoning China beckons"

Israel's overall shiftiness IS not at all a "side issue" to USA, it is at the heart of US FP dysfunction.

According to the video below, Israel is firmly on board and participating in China's rise.

h/t Johnny Walker Read @138

vyshibala , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
The wonderful context is, it's not up to Trump. It's not up to the US government. The world will squeeze the CIA regime out of Syria. Russian doctrine of coercion to peace works equally well on degenerate great powers, with the minor filip of face-saving subterfuge for routed US functionaries.

Lindsay Graham gets to shake his tiny fist ineffectually at a sneering NATO ally instead of shaking his tiny fist ineffectually at a nuclear power with overwhelming hypersonic nonballistic missile capability. Much safer.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 16, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
@Wally The only way to change this cast of filthy charACTORs we have running this country is to have a "NONE OF THE ABOVE" box located prominently at the bottom of every ballot. One I would take the time and effort needed to check.
jack daniels , says: October 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger Trump's problem is that he has very little support for his MAGA agenda in his own party. People like Lindsey Graham who support him here and there will not hesitate to turn on him if he takes positions that offend Sheldon Adelson. Trump's none-too-sophisticated, none-too-affluent base is opposed by the media, academe, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the FBI and CIA, and the Rainbow Coalition assemblage of minority voices. Even Fox News (apart from Tucker) opposes Trump's agenda even as it defends Trump against spurious charges of colluding with the Russians. For example, Hannity regularly charges the Democrats with being in league with Putin, in effect conceding that the Russians are evil enemies. Yet Trump's MAGA proposal was detente and friendly cooperation with (now-Christian) Russia.

At the end of the day, the 4D Chess view seems more right than wrong. While Trump's commitment to the right is both shallow and wavery, in the present setting he cannot do more than hold the enemy at bay and wait for reinforcements to show up. That means it's up to US, his supporters, to find ways to weigh in on his side. As the fascists used to say, a bundle of sticks can be strong even if the individual sticks are weak.

jack daniels , says: October 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
@Sean My question to you is: a confrontation between who or what and China? To the extent that America collapses into a post-Christian, post-European congeries of plutocrats and their commercial interests, such a confrontation has no clear shape. The evolving character of American society has been put on the table by the Trump/populist revolution, and the role of Jews in our cultural evolution is part of that even if it is taboo to discuss it. The issue over the Palestinians is the only way to challenge the successful assumption of moral carte blanche by the secular Jewish community, which Jewish thought leaders have parlayed into an effective assault on freedom of speech and assembly (particularly in Europe but also here), and a campaign to stigmatize whiteness, Christianity, and the nuclear family.

Conclusion: The issue of Palestine is a proxy for the larger issue of whether secular Judaism deserves its current status as moral hegemon. It is the only way to raise this issue that is not instantly dismissed as neo-Nazism.

ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus SolontoCroesus wrote: "Israel's overall shiftiness IS not at all a "side issue" to USA, it is at the heart of US FP dysfunction.
According to the video below, Israel is firmly on board and participating in China's rise."

To All commenters,

Above, when SolontoCroesus speaks, I listen & learn.

When President Bonespur speaks, it pains to listen, & I can potentially become deceived.

Will likely get friendly fire from Rurik, but I truly wish he reads your comment & astutely watches the very informative linked Talpiot video. Hurts when I see good men (like him) gush while listening to "The Chosen One's" tear jerking words.

Thanks for your patriotic servus, S2C!

P.S.: Behind D.C.'s Blue & White House curtain, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin licks his choppers in anticipation of effectual ZUS sanctions, & the Chinese communist government's finally granting Goldman Sachs Group permission to do "untethered" investment business" in the mainland; the largest consumer market on the planet.

Colin Wright , says: Website October 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm GMT
@Sean 'Israel is a shitty little country but its treatment of the Palestinians is side issue for the West, just as the way the Kurds are treated is unfortunate but hardly our responsibility. A confrontation with burgeoning China beckons, and America needs to be united. Going off on tangents to play Santa to peoples who lost the geopolitical game and are without a state would weaken the West,'

As usual you've being dishonest. You agree Israel is a 'shitty little country' -- but manage to insinuate we should continue to support it.

After all, we don't have to spend a penny to 'play Santa' to the Palestinians (as if we had nothing to do with their expulsion.). It's the Israelis we subsidize and protect, not the Palestinians.

In fact, we can help the Palestinians and save money too! Yank Israel off our tit and we get to have our cake and eat it too. The Palestinians get their home back, and we save billions every year. All we have to do is to stop funding their tormentors,

Colin Wright , says: Website October 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm GMT
@Rurik 'I have a metric that I use.

If a person or action is in anyway aligned with Israel, then that person or action is suspect, at best.'

It is always wrong to support Israel.

In 2008, I voted for McCain instead of Obama. I told myself they'd both be equally supportive of Israel, but I knew deep down inside that was a lie.

I voted for McCain because he wasn't black. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I allowed some other consideration to seduce me into supporting Israel -- however trivially and as it turned out ineffectually.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Counterinsurgency A quick history of Marquis de Sade for those who are unaware of the history of this perverted demon.
https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/10/the-marquis-de-sade-a-philosophical-godfather-of-the-new-underworld-order/
Tel LIE vised 911 evangeLIED , says: October 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm GMT
If you establish 911 was a fraud then subsequent war on terror is a fraud. The West will exhaust themselves waging war against Islam and the Muslims despite killing millions of people. They will dig their own graves and cast themselves in hell fire for eternal damnation for subscribing to Santa Claus lies and Jesus died for their evils by supporting the money changer's ideology for greater Israel project to usher in their Anti-Christ as their Messiah. Anti-Christ Dajjal will take them for a ride to hell. He will play them "By way of Deception" just as they are playing the rest of the world "By way of Deception wage wars." So how many of us are willing to sell our souls in exchange for the worldly gains and pay a penalty for eternal damnation?
Rurik , says: October 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
@ChuckOrloski

when SolontoCroesus speaks, I listen & learn.

A prudent policy.

gush while listening to "The Chosen One's" tear jerking words.

"I've never been so proud of a U.S. president in my life, as I was watching that video. "

Gushing?

Perhaps, I suppose, depending on your definition.

But when's the last time you heard a Z.U.S. president speak of the war dead with compassion and pathos? Hell, when's the last time you heard them speak of these tragic victims of American f0lly (treason and war crimes), and their families- at all?

He was saying 'enough of this madness!'

And from what I understand, American troops are indeed vacating Syrian bases.

BTW, leaving for a few days, so keep up the good fight, Brother Chuck!

Rurik , says: October 16, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

In 2008, I voted for McCain instead of Obama. I told myself they'd both be equally supportive of Israel, but I knew deep down inside that was a lie.

That's a very honest act of self-reflection, Colin.

I voted for Ron Paul, (If I recall, I wrote in his name).

I would have preferred the racist commie to the war mongering scumbag, but only because by then I understood the nature of McCain all too well.

How bad could a racist commie be, after all, since there still are the other branches of Gov.

Turns out very bad indeed.

Still tho, not as bad as McCain would have been. Just as Trump, (TDS* notwithstanding), is a thousand times better than the war hag would have been.

* Trump Derangement Syndrome

ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Wally Wally likes to cheap shot P.G., haha, and once again futilely asked him: "Has Giraldi ever stated which current candidate is his preference vs. Trump?"

Get on the ball, wailing Wall! (zzZigh) Likely, even some knowledgeable CODAH associates will inform that YOU'LL get what Supremacist Jews give you.

Haha. The Zionized D.N.C. is presently fretting over which Jewish Lobby-approved presidential 2020 candidate they should give to their "base" voters. Haha. Liberal tribe chieftains are confident that even Mayor Pete Buttigieg will make incumbent, Trumpstein, Tweet-out "endless" sweat on election night.

Nonetheless, had Amerika a real choice, , Ron Paul would be my #1 "anti-Chosen One" alternative. Refer to his article below, wailing Wall?

Yours truly, in "ownership," ( Igh)

Charles J. Orloski, Jr.
West Scranton, Pa.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/october/14/washington-is-wrong-once-again-kurds-join-assad-to-defend-syria/

Selah, uh , can Amerikans audit The Fed instead of having to go to bed with an abusive Talpiot Red?

Z-man , says: October 16, 2019 at 10:39 pm GMT
@jack daniels

Yet Trump's MAGA proposal was detente and friendly cooperation with (now-Christian) Russia.

That's why the NeoCohens hate Putin so much, for re-establishing Russian Christian Orthodoxy as the 'national' religion. Trump, on the other hand, admires Putin for his nationalism and wants white Christian Russia to be friends with nominally Christian America. Unfortunately he must bow down to the Satanic anti Christ power brokers, the Cabal, that keeps him in power and checks his nationalist leanings. Hopefully he will overcome this in a second term but I've been saying that about presidents for years!

flashlight joe , says: October 16, 2019 at 10:52 pm GMT
@Anon Very interesting video. I will begin researching the stories in it and making my judgement. Thanks for sharing.
SolontoCroesus , says: October 16, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@ChuckOrloski Thanks ChuckOrloski.
Undeserved, tho -- I was just being a shepherd guiding the flock to other people's good work, a practice I learned from your comment style.
ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Rurik Hey Brother Rurik!

I don't want to be in the business of educating you on un-American actions undertaken by "Z.U.S. presidents." You really know better, but since Jacques Sheete, peace be upon him, is M.I.A., I will now do my best.

No doubt, Trumpstein is different. Please pause momentarily and consider how he very recently wanted to sell/provide nuclear weapons systems to Saudi Arabia. Fyi, and lucky for the entire Middle East's general population, Trump's lack of "compassion" was overuled by those higher in the ZUS's Blue & White House Lowerarchy. (Note: He ain't "The Decider," he is the ever useful & divisive Zion Tweet-Chord)

So given the U.R. Moderator sword is not activated, linked down below, is a joint radio show, hosted by Dr. David Duke & Ryan Dawson. Ideally, this action will take the job of trying to educate YOU from off my shoulders, Rurik. No reading needed, & just carefully listen!

Fyi, Dr. Duke and Mr. Dawson will provide the means by which an anti-Zionist & patriotic American can resist the evil sway dished-out daily by our "Homeland's" Zionist Corporate Media. These largely demonized gentlemen/scholars explain how Zionized Republicans & Democrats are curiously "on the same page" when it comes to humanely protecting the Kurds.

But when it comes to supporting & defending The Land of Bilk & Money, they unite. Yippie! On other hand, and when it comes to actually helping the restless & sorry lot of dumb goyim working Amerikans, they fight like , er, "Tom and Jerry." (Zigh) Why Trumpstein even moved to kill the underachieving & oft unaffordable "Affordable Care Act," a.k.a., Obamacare.

Enjoy your time off, my Brother Rurik, and I suggest, at minimum, partial evacuation from the dug-in Jewish Corporate Media "bases."

https://davidduke.com/friday191011/

ChuckOrloski , says: October 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm GMT
@Rurik More homework, Rurik!

Linked below is what appears to be VT's "honest reflection" upon our current ZUS president's "senility." Again, a good rest to you!

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/10/16/trumps-senile-moment-of-the-day-kurds-now-worse-than-isis/

Colin Wright , says: Website October 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm GMT
@Rurik 'That's a very honest act of self-reflection, Colin.

I voted for Ron Paul, (If I recall, I wrote in his name).

I would have preferred the racist commie to the war mongering scumbag, but only because by then I understood the nature of McCain all too well '

Now you're reminding me of 2012. Of course, I was going to vote for Obama over Israel's man-in-the-White House-to-be. An unpleasant choice, but there it was

So my wife and I were down in Alameda at a winery. Somewhat incongruously, the server was right-wing, and started praising Romney. I stayed tactful, as I didn't want to kill my buzz, but my wife -- who is easily influenced -- came out of there going 'Romney number one. Yeah -- I'm going to vote for him!'

In an unusual display of wisdom, I bit my tongue. We'll see how this plays out

You need to understand my wife comes from a poor background. If you want to meet 'the working poor,' go see her relatives.

So the very next day, Romney comes out with his '49%' remark. It was classic.

Counterinsurgency , says: October 17, 2019 at 12:52 am GMT
@Johnny Walker Read Right. This happens every so often. I am not recommending de Sade or any of his works.

I'm recommending the movie:
"The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade ", play 1963, movie 1967 [1]. The movie has very little to do with the writings of the original Marquis de Sade [2], but it does do a good job of showing the spirit of revolutions.

de Sade had a good reputation with the revolutionaries. He was elected a delegate to the French National Convention, but fell during the Reign of Terror [3]. He really did direct publicly presented plays at Charenton starting in 1803, but was eventually arrested and denied paper and pen in 1809. Died 1815, and several large manuscripts were subsequently burned by his son, who apparently thought that de Sade had done quite enough harm already.

Insofar as tje video has anything to do with the real de Sade, it is that the director (fictional de Sade) manages to stage a small revolution himself in the final scene, _after_ demonstrating that the audience is little more sane than de Sade is ("15 glorious years" scene). As in the link given by Read [4], de Sade acts as the philosophical godfather of revolution and revolt as an end in itself.

Counterinsurgency

1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marat/Sade
XXXhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJc4I6pivqg

2] https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/10/the-marquis-de-sade-a-philosophical-godfather-of-the-new-underworld-order/

3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquis_de_Sade

4] https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/10/the-marquis-de-sade-a-philosophical-godfather-of-the-new-underworld-order/

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 17, 2019 at 12:55 am GMT

The really pathetic attempt by ABC to pass off Kentucky gun range footage as a Syrian conflict zone is a good example of the consequences of Congress' horrible 2013 decision (that you may not have heard of) to totally legalize domestic propaganda. @_whitneywebb

In the age of legal, weaponized propaganda directed against the American people, false narratives have become so commonplace in the mainstream media that they have essentially become normalized, leading to the era of "fake news" and "alternative facts."

Lifting of US Propaganda Ban Gives New Meaning to Old Song
https://www.mintpressnews.com/planting-stories-in-the-press-lifting-of-us-propaganda-ban-gives-new-meaning-to-old-song/237493/

ChuckOrloski , says: October 17, 2019 at 1:00 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus Dear SolontoCroesus,

A point, re; Non-Zionized Rules of Engagement.

The bad and ugly shepherds persistently hit vulnerable & trusting Unzers with their "best shot." For one example, the currently M.I.A. commenter, Maven Sam Shama.

Subsequently, I see no valid reason why intelligent & good men -- like you! -- should not give their "best shot" and attempt to support & rescue lost sheeple who regularly appear here.*

* Some lost sheep simply like it that way, and therefore, bad shepherds, for one example, the featherweight commenter "Sean," get lots of practice at misguiding the flock.

Ciao, S2C. Continue to be unflappable.

Counterinsurgency , says: October 17, 2019 at 1:18 am GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen Right, what to do is the question now that everybody has been taken by surprise.

I'd say that the advice "get out of debt, get out of the major cities" is fairly good, and fairly obvious, and has been so for some time. As to income, I just don't know. You might try linking up to some group (non-Left) that seems to be cohesive and has _some_ plan of action that isn't too weird. Under stress, cohesive groups can survive better than individuals.

You might also remember the rule of thumb that prophets can predict either what or when, but not both. It's obvious that the US in general and cities in particular are in severe decline, but _when_ the current system will cast off much of the population it now supports is simply not known. Abandon it too soon and you end up extremely poor, so a sharp break is extremely risky. I'd say that retiring debt, hardening your house against home invasion, and finding some group as above, would be about all that would be justified right now. If your neighborhood is deteriorating, it might be a good idea to go to another one that isn't, since the deterioration is unlikely to reverse itself. If you're in with an ethnic group that doesn't like your ethnic group, it might be a good idea to displace, if only to avoid the unpleasantness.

Wish I could say something better, but that's it.

Counterinsurgency

Counterinsurgency , says: October 17, 2019 at 1:32 am GMT
@jack daniels The current US system / world order will end within the next decade no matter what Trump does. Trump is trying to shut it down with minimal casualties and replace it with something viable, which is a good thing to do, but if Trump were to vanish tomorrow the current US system / world order would still end within the next decade, maybe two decades if things went very badly wrong.
Trump has the wind at his back, he's trying to do things that would do themselves (although not as well) and that's why the appearance of 4D Chess. But, as you point out, Trump leads a very small force of government officials, and would lose without the strength given by his supporters. Continued support, in word and in deed, should reduce casualties (to include Trump and his family) during the current transition.

Counterinsurgency

J. O. , says: October 17, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT
BILLIONS FOR WARS

MEANWHILE, Millions Hungry and Food Insecure in the US

"According to the US Department of Agriculture in 2018, food insecurity affects 37 million Americans, including over 11 million children -- the numbers likely way understated."

"Around 40 million Americans experience hunger annually."

"At least 15 million US households endure food insecurity."

"Hunger is caused by poverty and inadequate financial resources, a nationwide problem."

"Around 45 million Americans rely on food stamps, an eroding program providing inadequate help."

"1 in 6 American children may not know where their next meal is coming from."

"22 million children in America rely on the free or reduced-price lunch they receive at school, but as many as 3 million children still aren't getting the breakfast they need."

FROM Stephen Lendman:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/millions-hungry-food-insecure-us/5692168

DOES THE ABOVE CORRESPOND TO THE "MAKE AMERICA GREAT GAIN"????

WHY THE BILLIONS IN WEAPONS AND RESSOURCES FOR WARS?

INFURIATING! DEFINITELY NOT A GREAT NATION.

USAID SHOULD REMAIN HERE: FOR THE 40 MILLION AMERICANS EXPERIENCING HUNGER

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: October 17, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
@Rurik I applaud the sentiment too.
I'm hearing rumours that Trump has put a thousand troops into Saudi Arabia and claimed they are paying for it.
Is it now America's lot to be not just Israel's but SA's mercenaries?
2020 can't come fast enough. I'd love to see a Trump super majority and some serious reform.
It's pretty clear the Evangelical Zionist's are Israelis' b@tches.
America, it seems, must not only reclaim itself but also it's religion. EV is a heresy and the leaders are on their knees f@llating Israel. It is disgusting to watch.
Daniel Rich , says: October 17, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@Counterinsurgency Thank you for you lengthily and thorough reply.

Yes, I agree, having trucks and trains go overland and via various countries comes with the risk of conflicts erupting between 2 or more states participating in Chinese projects. China burnt itself badly in Libya, where Hillary " We Came, We Saw, He Died! Haw, haw, haw " Rotham Clingon ran amok.

China is actively setting up routes via the attic as well, so I think China carefully weighs all its options, but doing business comes with certain risks, those are unavoidable.

When I was in Africa [The Gambia and there about], I noticed a lot of Chinese merchandise being sold all over the place. I heard stories of some Chinese being attacked and/or murdered elsewhere in Africa, but haven't dealt with any Chinese businessman myself or heard their stories in person.

Having been on that vast continent doesn't make me an expert whatsoever, but I see Africa become a huge anchor around the world's neck. Can't use a single brush to paint entire nations, I know, but what I saw didn't look good.

side note : I didn't live in a hotel with armed guards, I lived in a compound with Africans, so it's not that I have no up close experience. Furthermore, I was always treated with kindness, respect and warmth.

[Oct 20, 2019] How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion.. NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area. ..."
"... Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials. ..."
"... Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind. ..."
"... A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion? ..."
"... As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. ..."
"... The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones. ..."
"... Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US. ..."
"... We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay. ..."
"... Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Dan Hayes says: October 4, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT • 100 Words @Ron Unz Proprietor Ron,

Thanks for your sharing you views about Prof Cohen, a most interesting and principled man.

Only after reading the article did I realize that the UR (that's you) also provided the Batchelor Show podcast. Thanks.

I've been listening to these broadcasts over their entirety, now going on for six or so years. What's always struck me is Cohen's level-headeness and equanimity. I've also detected affection for Kentucky, his native state. Not something to be expected from a Princeton / NYU academic nor an Upper West Side resident.

And once again expressing appreciation for the UR!


sally , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT

How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion.. NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area.

Behind NATO lies the reason for Bexit, the Yellow Jackets, the unrest in Iraq and Egypt, Yemen etc.

Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials.
Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind.

I think [private use of public force for private gain] is what Trump meant when Trump said to impeach Trump for investigating the Ukraine matter amounts to Treason.. but it is the exactly the activity type that Hallmarks CIA instigated regime change.

A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion?

Beckow , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT

The key question is what is the gain in separating Ukraine from Russia, adding it to NATO, and turning Russia and Ukraine into enemies. And what are the most likely results, e.g. can it ever work without risking a catastrophic event?

There are the usual empire-building and weapons business reasons, but those should function within a rational framework. As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. And an increase in tensions in the region with inevitable impact on the business there. So what exactly is the gain and for whom?

eah , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:55 am GMT
The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass.

Which exemplifies the stupidity and arrogance of the American military/industrial/political Establishment -- none of that had anything to do with US national security (least of all antagonizing Russia) -- how fucking hypocritical is it to presume the Monroe Doctrine, and then try to get the Ukraine into NATO? -- none of it would have been of any benefit whatsoever to the average American.

Roberto Masioni , says: October 4, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
According to a recent govt study, only 12% of Americans can read above a 9th grade level. This effectively mean (((whoever))) controls the MSM controls the world. NOTHING will change for the better while the (((enemy))) owns our money supply.
Pamela , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
There was NO "annexation" of Crimea by Russia. Crimea WAS annexed, but by Ukraine.
Russia and Crimea re-unified. Crimea has been part of Russia for long than America has existed – since it was taken from the Ottoman Empire over 350 yrs ago. The vast majority of the people identify as Russian, and speak only Russian.

To annex, the verb, means to use armed force to seize sovereign territory and put it under the control of the invading forces government. Pretty much as the early Americans did to Northern Mexico, Hawaii, etc. Russia used no force, the Governors of Crimea applied for re-unification with Russia, Russia advised a referendum, which was held, and with a 96% turnout, 97% voted for re-unification. This was done formally and legally, conforming with all the international mandates.

It is very damaging for anyone to say that Russia "annexed" Crimea, because when people read, quickly moving past the world, they subliminally match the word to their held perception of the concept and move on. Thus they match the word "annex" to their conception of the use of Armed Force against a resistant population, without checking.

All Cohen is doing here is reinforcing the pushed, lying Empire narrative, that Russia invaded and used force, when the exact opposite is true!!

follyofwar , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer One wonders if Mr. Putin, as he puts his head on the pillow at night, fancies that he should have rolled the Russian tanks into Kiev, right after the 2014 US-financed coup of Ukraine's elected president, which was accomplished while he was pre-occupied with the Sochi Olympics, and been done with it. He had every justification to do so, but perhaps feared Western blowback. Well, the blowback happened anyway, so maybe Putin was too cautious.

The new Trump Admin threw him under the bus when it installed the idiot Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, whose first words were that Russia must give Crimea back. With its only major warm water port located at Sevastopol, that wasn't about to happen, and the US Deep State knew it.

Given how he has been so unfairly treated by the media, and never given a chance to enact his Russian agenda, anyone who thinks that Trump was 'selected' by the deep state has rocks for brains. The other night, on Rick Sanchez's RT America show, former US diplomat, and frequent guest Jim Jatras said that he would not be too surprised if 20 GOP Senators flipped and voted to convict Trump if the House votes to impeach.

The deep state can't abide four more years of the bombastic, Twitter-obsessed Trump, hence this Special Ops Ukraine false flag, designed to fool a majority of the people. The smooth talking, more warlike Pence is one of them. The night of the long knives is approaching.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm GMT
The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones.

The "logic" of the Dem party is remarkable. Dems don't even deny that Biden is corrupt, that he blatantly abused the office of Vice-President for personal gain. What's more, he was dumb enough to boast about it publicly. Therefore, let's impeach Trump.

These people don't give a hoot about the interests of the US as a country, or even as an Empire. Their insatiable greed for money and power blinds them to everything. By rights, those who orchestrated totally fake Russiagate and now push for impeachment, when Russiagate flopped miserably, should be hanged on lampposts for high treason. Unfortunately, justice won't be served. So, we have to be satisfied with an almost assured prospect of this impeachment thing to flop, just like Russiagate before it. But in the process incalculable damage will be done to our country and its institutions.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Pamela In fact, several Western sources reluctantly confirmed the results of Crimean referendum of 2014:
German polling company GFK
http://www.gfk.com/ua/Documents/Presentations/GFK_report_FreeCrimea.pdf
Gallup
http://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2014/06/Ukraine-slide-deck.pdf

Those who support the separation of Kosovo from Serbia without Serbian consent cannot argue against separation of Crimea from Ukraine without the consent of Kiev regime.

On the other hand, those who believe that post-WWII borders are sacrosanct have to acknowledge that Crimea belongs to Russia (illegally even by loose Soviet standards transferred to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1956), Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Soviet Union should be restored, and Germany should be re-divided.

Alden , says: October 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT
At least now I know why Ukraine is so essential to American national security. It's so even more of my and my families' taxes can pay for a massive expansion of Nato, which means American military bases in Ukraine. Greenland to the borders of China.

We're encircling the earth, like those old cartoons about bankers.

chris , says: October 4, 2019 at 9:11 pm GMT
@Ron Unz I had to stop listening after the 10th min. where the good professor (without any push-back from the interviewer) says:

Victor Yanukovich was overthrown by a street coup . at that moment, the United States and not only the United States but the Western European Governments had to make a decision would they acknowledge the overthrow of Yannukovic as having been legitimate, and therefore accept whatever government emerged, and that was a fateful moment within 24hours, the governments, including the government of president Obama endorsed what was essentially a coup d'etat against Yanukovich.

Has the good Professor so quickly forgotten about Victoria Nuland distributing cookies with John McCain in the Maidan as the coup was still unfolding? Her claim at the think tank in DC where she discusses having spent $30million (if I remember correctly) for foisting the Ukraine coup ?

Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US.

These are not simple omissions but willful acts of misleading of fools. The good professor's little discussed career as a resource for the secret services has reemerged after seemingly having been left out in the cold during the 1st attempted coup against Trump.

No, the real story is more than just a little NATO expansion as the professor does suggest, but more directly, the attempted coup that the US is still trying to stage in Russia itself, in order to regain control of Russia's vast energy resources which Putin forced the oligarchs to disgorge. The US desperately wants to achieve this in order to be able to ultimately also control China's access to those resources as well.

In the way that Iraq was supposed to be a staging post for an attack on Iran, Ukraine is the staging post for an attack on Russia.

The great Russian expert stirred miles very clear of even hinting at such scenarios, even though anyone who's thought about US world policies will easily arrive at this logical conclusion.

Anonymous [855] • Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
What about the theft of Ukraine's farmland and the enserfing of its rural population? Isn't this theft and enserfing of Ukrainians at least one major reason the US government got involved, overseeing the transfer of this land into the hands of the transnational banking crime syndicate? The Ukraine, with its rich, black soil, used to be called the breadbasket of Europe.

Consider the fanatical intervention on the part of Victoria Nuland and the Kagans under the guise of working for the State Dept to facilitate the theft. In a similar fashion, according to Wayne Madsen, the State Dept. has a Dept of Foreign Asset Management, or some similar name, that exists to protect the Chabad stranglehold on the world diamond trade, and, according to Madsen, the language spoken and posters around the offices are in Hebrew, which as a practical matter might as well be the case at the State Dept itself.

According to an article a few years ago at Oakland Institute, George Rohr's NCH Capital, which latter organization has funded over 100 Chabad Houses on US campuses, owns over 1 million acres of Ukraine farmland. Other ownership interests of similarly vast tracts of Ukraine farmland show a similar pattern of predation. At one point, it was suggested that the Yinon Plan should be understood to include the Ukraine as the newly acquired breadbasket of Eretz Israel. It may also be worth pointing out that now kosher Ivy League schools' endowments are among the worst pillagers of native farmland and enserfers of the indigenous populations they claim to protect.

AnonFromTN , says: October 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Mikhail Well, if we really go into it, things become complicated. What Khmelnitsky united with Russia was maybe 1/6th or 1/8th of current Ukraine. Huge (4-5 times greater) areas in the North and West were added by Russian Tsars, almost as great areas in the South and East taken by Tsars from Turkey and affiliated Crimean Khanate were added by Lenin, a big chunk in the West was added by Stalin, and then in 1956 moron Khrushchev "gifted" Crimea (which he had no right to do even by Soviet law). So, about 4/6th of "Ukraine" is Southern Russia, 1/6th is Eastern Poland, some chunks are Hungary and Romania, and the remaining little stub is Ukraine proper.
AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@anon American view always was: "yes, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch". That historically applied to many obnoxious regimes, now fully applies to Ukraine. In that Dems and Reps always were essentially identical, revealing that they are two different puppets run by the same puppet master.

Trump is hardly very intelligent, but he has some street smarts that degenerate elites have lost. Hence their hatred of him. It is particularly galling for the elites that Trump won in 2016, and has every chance of winning again in 2020 (unless they decide to murder him, like JFK; but that would be a real giveaway, even the dumbest sheeple would smell the rat).

Skeptikal , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm GMT
@follyofwar The only reason I can imagine that Putin/Russia would want to "take over" Ukraine and have this political problem child back in the family might be because of Ukraine's black soil.

But it is probably not worth the aggravation.

Russia is building up its agricultural sector via major greenhouse installations and other innovations.

Beckow , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT
@AP Well, you are a true simpleton who repeats shallow conventional views. You don't ever seem to think deeper about what you write, e.g. if Yanukovitch could beat anyone in a 1-on-1 election than he obviously wasn't that unpopular and that makes Maidan illegal by any standard. You say he could beat Tiahnybok, who was one of the leaders of Maidan, how was then Maidan democratic? Or you don't care for democracy if people vote against your preferences?

Trade with Russia is way down and it is not coming back. That is my point – there was definitely a way to do this better. It wasn't a choice of 'one or the other' – actually EU was under the impression that Ukraine would help open up the Russian market. Your either-or wasn't the plan, so did Kiev lie to EU? No wonder Ukraine has a snowball chance in hell of joining EU.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Skeptikal Russia moved to the first place in the world in wheat exports, while greatly increasing its production of meat, fowl, and fish. Those who supplied these commodities lost Russian market for good. In fact, with sanctions, food in Russia got a lot better, and food in Moscow got immeasurably better: now it's local staff instead of crap shipped from half-a-world away. Funny thing is, Russian production of really good fancy cheeses has soared (partially with the help of French and Italian producers who moved in to avoid any stupid sanctions).

So, there is no reason for Russia to take Ukraine on any conditions, especially considering Ukraine's exorbitant external debt. If one calculates European demand for transplantation kidneys and prostitutes, two of the most successful Ukrainian exports, Ukraine will pay off its debt – never. Besides, the majority of Russians learned to despise Ukraine due to its subservient vassalage to the US (confirmed yet again by the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ze), so the emotional factor is also virtually gone. Now the EU and the US face the standard rule of retail: you broke it, you own it. That infuriates Americans and EU bureaucrats more than anything.

annamaria , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Sergey Krieger "Demography statistic won't support fairy tales by solzhenicin and his kind."

-- What's your point? Your post reads like an attempt at saying that Kaganovitch was white like snow and that it does not matter what crimes were committed in the Soviet Union because of the "demography statistic" and because you, Sergey Krieger, are a grander person next to Solzhenitsyn and "his kind." By the way, had not A. I. S. returned to Russia, away from the coziness of western life?

S.K.: "You should start research onto mass dying of population after 1991 and subsequent and ongoing demographic catastroph in Russia under current not as "brutal " as soviet regime."

-- If you wish: "The Rape of Russia: Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives, September 21, 1999:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/Harvard_mafia/testimony_of_anne_williamson_before_the_house_banking_committee.shtml

"Economic rape of post-USSR economic space was by design not by accident:"
http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#Economic_rape_of_post_USSR_economic_space_was_by_design_not_by_accident

"MI6 role in economic rape of Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet republics:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#MI6_role_

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm GMT
@AP Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) and lots of other laws. And that's not the worst part of it. But it already happened, there is no going back for Ukraine. It's a "yes or no" thing, you can't be a little bit pregnant. We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide. Some say this project was doomed from the start. I think Ukraine had a chance and blew it.
AP , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) a

Illegal revolution (are there any legal ones? – was American one legal?) rather than coup. Violations of Constitution began under Yanukovich.

We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide.

LOL. Were you the one comparing it to Somalia?

Here is "dead" Ukraine:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DDWAobR8U0c?start=3017&feature=oembed

What a nightmare.

Compare Ukraine 2019 to Ukraine 2013 (before revolution):

GDP per capita PPP:

$9233 (2018) vs. $8648 (2013)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=UA-AM-GE-MN-AL&name_desc=false

GDP per capita nominal:

$3110 (2018) vs. $3160 (2013)

Given 3% growth in 2019, it will be higher.

Forex reserves:

$20 billion end of 2013, $23 billion currently

Debt to GDP ratio:

40% in 2013, 61% in 2018. Okay, this is worse. But it is a decline from 2016 when it was 81%.

Compare Ukraine's current 61% to Greece's 150%.

Military: from ~15,000 usable troops to 200,000.

Overall, not exactly a "suicide."

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@AnonFromTN I usually refrain from labelling off-cycle changes in government as revolutions or coups – it clearly depends on one's views and can't be determined.

In general, when violence or military is involved, it is more likely it was a coup. If a country has a reasonably open election process, violently overthrowing the current government would also seem like a coup, since it is unnecessary. Ukraine had both violence and a coming election that was democratic. If Yanukovitch would prevent or manipulate the elections, one could make a case that at that point – after the election – the population could stage a ' revolution '.

AP is a simpleton who repeats badly thought out slogans and desperately tries to save some face for the Maidan fiasco – so we will not change his mind, his mind is done with changes, it is all about avoiding regrets even if it means living in a lie. One can almost feel sorry for him, if he wasn't so obnoxious.

Ukraine has destroyed its own future gradually after 1991, all the elites there failed, Yanukovitch was just the last in a long line of failures, the guy before him (Yushenko?) left office with a 5% approval. Why wasn't there a revolution against him? Maidan put a cherry on that rotting cake – a desperate scream of pain by people who had lost all hope and so blindly fell for cheap promises by the new-old hustlers.

We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay.

Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that.

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@AP You intentionally omitted the second part of what I wrote: 'a reasonably democratic elections', neither 18th century American colonies, nor Russia in 1917 or Romania in 1989, had them. Ukraine in 2014 did.

So all your belly-aching is for nothing. The talk about 'subverting' and doing a preventive 'revolution' on Maidan to prevent 'subversion' has a very Stalinist ring to it. If you start revolutionary violence because you claim to anticipate that something bad might happen, well, the sky is the limit and you have no rules.

You are desperately trying to justify a stupid and unworkable act. As we watch the unfolding disaster and millions leaving Ukraine, this "Maidan was great!!!" mantra will sound even more silly. But enjoy it, it is not Somalia, wow, I guess as long as a country is not Somalia it is ok. Ukraine is by far the poorest large country in Europe. How is that a success?

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Beckow True believers are called that because they willfully ignore facts and logic. AP is a true believer Ukie. Ukie faith is their main undoing. Unfortunately, they are ruining the country with their insane dreams. But that cannot be helped now. The position of a large fraction of Ukrainian population is best described by a cruel American saying: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN You are right, it can't be helped. Another saying is that it takes two to lie: one who lies, and one to lie to. The receiver of lies is also responsible.

What happened in Ukraine was: Nuland&Co. went to Ukraine and lied to them about ' EU, 'Marshall plan', aid, 'you will be Western ', etc,,,'. Maidanistas swallowed it because they wanted to believe – it is easy to lie to desperate people. Making promises is very easy. US soft power is all based on making promises.

What Nuland&Co. really wanted was to create a deep Ukraine-Russia hostility and to grab Crimea, so they could get Russian Navy out and move Nato in. It didn't work very well, all we have is useless hostility, and a dysfunctional state. But as long as they serve espresso in Lviv, AP will scream that it was all worth it, 'no Somalia', it is 'all normal', almost as good as 2013 . Right.

Robjil , says: October 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
Ukraine is an overseas US territory.

It is not a foreign nation at all.

Trump dealt with one of our overseas territories.

Nuland said that US invested 5 billion dollars to get Ukraine.

She got Ukraine without balls that is Crimea. Russia took back the balls.

US cried, cried a Crimea river about this. They are still crying over this.

DESERT FOX , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Robjil Agree, and like Israel the Ukraine will be a welfare drain on the America taxpayers as long as Israel and the Ukraine exist.
Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm GMT
@AP I don't disagree with what you said, but my point was different:

lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians

Without the unnecessary hostility and the break in business relations with Russia the living standards in Ukraine would be higher. That, I think, noone would dispute. One can trace that directly to the so-far failed attempt to get Ukraine into Nato and Russia out of its Crimea bases. There has been a high cost for that policy, so it is appropriate to ask: why? did the authors of that policy think it through?

Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@AP I don't give a flying f k about Yanukovitch and your projections about what 'would be growth' under him. He was history by 2014 in any case.

One simple point that you don't seem to grasp: it was Yanuk who negotiated the association treaty with EU that inevitably meant Ukraine in Nato and Russia bases out of Crimea (after a decent interval). For anyone to call Yanuk a 'pro-Russian' is idiotic – what we see today are the results of Yanukovitch's policies. By the way, the first custom restrictions on Ukraine's exports to Russia happened in summer 2013 under Y.

If you still think that Yanukovitch was in spite of all of that somehow a 'Russian puppet', you must have a very low opinion of Kremlin skills in puppetry. He was not, he was fully onboard with the EU-Nato-Crimea policy – he implemented it until he got outflanked by even more radical forces on Maidan.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
@Beckow Well, exactly like all Ukrainian presidents before and after him, Yanuk was a thief. He might have been a more intelligent and/or more cautious thief that Porky, but a thief he was.

Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilled milk: history has no subjunctive mood. Ukraine has dug a hole for itself, and it still keeps digging, albeit slower, after a clown in whole socks replaced a clown in socks with holes. By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

There is no turning back. Regardless of Ukrainian policies, many things it used to sell Russia won't be bought any more: Russia developed its own shipbuilding (subcontracted some to South Korea), is making its own helicopter and ship engines, all stages of space rockets, etc. Russia won't return any military or high-tech production to Ukraine, ever. What's more, most Russians are now disgusted with Ukraine, which would impede improving relations even if Ukraine gets a sane government (which is extremely unlikely in the next 5 years).

Ukraine's situation is best described by Russian black humor saying: "what we fought for has befallen us". End of story.

Sergey Krieger , says: October 6, 2019 at 4:15 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev How many millions? It is same story. Ukraine claims more and more millions dead from so called Hilodomor when in Russia liberals have been screaming about 100 million deaths in russia from bolsheviks. Both are fairy tales. Now you better answer what is current population of ukraine. The last soviet time 1992 level was 52 million. I doubt you got even 40 million now. Under soviet power both ukraine and russia population were steadily growing. Now, under whose music you are dancing along with those in Russia that share your views when die off very real one is going right under your nose.
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:03 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

Have you noticed that the Republicans, while seeming to defend Trump, never challenge the specious assertion that delaying arms to Ukraine was a threat to US security? At first I thought this was oversight. Silly me. Keeping the New Cold War smoldering is more important to those hawks.

Tulsi Gabbard flipping to support the impeachment enquiry was especially disappointing. I'm guessing she was under lots of pressure, because she can't possibly believe that arming the Ukies is good for our security. If I could get to one of her events, I'd ask her direct, what's up with that. Obama didn't give them arms at all, even made some remarks about not inflaming the situation. (A small token, after his people managed the coup, spent 8 years demonizing Putin, and presided over origins of Russiagate to make Trump's [stated] goal of better relations impossible.)

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The ukrops are pureblooded nazis

Not really. Ukies are wonnabe Nazis, but they fall way short of their ideal. The original German Nazis were organized, capable, brave, sober, and mostly honest. Ukie scum is disorganized, ham-handed, cowardly, drunk (or under drugs), and corrupt to the core. They are heroes only against unarmed civilians, good only for theft, torture, and rape. When it comes to the real fight with armed opponents, they run away under various pretexts or surrender. Nazis should sue these impostors for defamation.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AP

So uprising by American colonists was a coup?

How about what happened in Russia in 1917?

Or Romania when Communism fell?

Talk about false equivalencies.

Yanukovych signed an internationally brokered power sharing agreement with his main rivals, who then violated it. Yanukovych up to that point was the democratically elected president of Ukraine.

Since his being violently overthrown, people have been unjustly jailed, beaten and killed for politically motivated reasons having to do with a stated opposition to the Euromaidan.

Yanukovych refrained from using from using considerably greater force, when compared to others if put in the same situation, against a mob element that included property damage and the deaths of law enforcement personnel.

In the technical legal sense, there was a legit basis to jail the likes of Tymoshenko. If I correctly recall Yushchenko offered testimony against Tymoshenko. Rather laughable that Poroshenko appointed the non-lawyer Lutsenko into a key legal position.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Beckow The undemocratic aspect involving Yanukovych's overthrow included the disproportionate number of Svoboda members appointed to key cabinet positions. At the time, Svoboda was on record for favoring the dissolution of Crimea's autonomous status
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:17 am GMT
@AP Grest comment #159 by Beckow. Really, I'm more concerned with the coup against POTUS that's happening right now, since before he took office. The Ukraine is pivotal, from the Kiev putschists collaborating with the DNC, to the CIA [pretend] whistleblowers who now subvert Trump's investigation of those crimes.

Tragic and pitiful, the Ukrainians jumped from a rock to a hard place. Used and abandoned by the Clinton-Soros gang, they appeal to the next abusive Sugar-Daddy. Isn't this FRANCE 24 report fairly objective?

Revisited: Five years on, what has Ukraine's Maidan Revolution achieved?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RtUrPKK73rE?feature=oembed

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:24 am GMT
@AP This from BBC is less current. (That magnificent bridge -the one the Ukies tried to sabotage- is now in operation, of course.) I'm just trying to use sources that might not trigger you.

Crimea: Three years after annexation – BBC News

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 3:55 am GMT
@AP Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
@AP "Whenever people ask me how to figure out the truth about Ukraine, I always recommend they watch the film Ukraine on Fire by director @lopatonok and executive produced by @TheOliverStone. The sequel Revealing Ukraine will be out soon proud to be in it."
– Lee Sranahan (Follow @stranahan for Ukrainegate in depth.)
" .what has really changed in the life of Ukrainians?"

REVEALING UKRAINE OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER #1 (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Nj_bdtO0SI0

Robjil , says: October 15, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
@Malacaay Baltics, Ukrainians and Poles were part of the Polish Kingdom from 1025-1569 and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1764.

This probably explains their differences with Russia.

Russia had this area in the Russian Empire from 1764-1917. Russia called this area the Pale of Settlement. Why? This Polish Kingdom since 1025 welcomed 25000 Jews in, who later grew to millions by the 19th century. They are the Ashkenazis who are all over the world these days. The name Pale was for Ashkenazis to stay in that area and not immigrate to the rest of Russia.

The reasoning for this was not religious prejudice but the way the Ashkenazis treated the peasants of the Pale. It was to protect the Russian peasants. This did not help after 1917. A huge invasion of Ashkenazis descended all over Russia to take up positions all over the Soviet Union.

Ukraine US is like the Pale again. It has a Jewish President and a Jewish Prime Minister.

Ukraine and Poland were both controlled by Tartars too. Ukraine longer than Russia. Russia ended the Tartar rule of Crimea in 1783. The Crimean Tartars lived off raiding Ukraine, Poland, and parts of Russia for Slav slaves. Russia ended this Slav slave trade in 1783.

[Oct 20, 2019] Reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable Syrian and Turkish demands is now Putin's problem. If he can work this out, he ought to get the Nobel Prize by Patrick J. Buchanan

Looks like our stable genius" pushed Putin against Erdogan and sided with Erdogan in the process.
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has seven NATO allies on the Med -- Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece and Turkey, and two on the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria. We have U.S. forces and bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Djibouti. Russia has no such panoply of bases in the Middle East or Persian Gulf. ..."
"... There is first President Erdogan, who is demanding a 20-mile deep strip of Syrian borderland to keep the Syrian Kurds from uniting with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Erdogan wants the corridor to extend 280 miles, from Manbij, east of the Euphrates, all across Syria, to Iraq. ..."
"... Then there is Bashar Assad, victorious in his horrific eight-year civil war, who is unlikely to cede 5,000 square miles of Syrian territory to a permanent occupation by Turkish troops. ..."
"... The Syria of which Putin is now supposedly king contains Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, Iranians, Kurds, Turks on its northern border and Israelis on its Golan Heights. Five hundred thousand Syrians are dead from the civil war. Half the pre-war population has been uprooted, and millions are in exile in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe. ..."
"... Our foreign policy elites have used Trump's decision to bash him and parade their Churchillian credentials. But those same elites appear to lack the confidence to rally the nation to vote for a war to defend what they contend are vital American interests and defining American values. ..."
"... Endless demonization of Putin by the elitist press is pure idiocy. Putin's aim is no different from any decent leader. Do the best for your countrymen and countrywomen; yet without harming others. ..."
"... The answer lies in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Sadly, today's USA revenue to large extent dependent on militaristic revenue; even though most of that revenue ends up in the coffers of the MIC, supported by the media that is sustained by the MIC. Yet, I still believe that with a bit of pain Americans can turn around this horrid situation. ..."
"... The war in Syria and the growth of ISIS was entirely the result of actions by the Obama administration - and it is an outrage that no one in a position of power, not even Donald Trump, has called the Democrats out on this. ..."
"... Oh yeah, Name you seem to have forgotten Obama authorizing CIA training the moderate rebels (AKA Al qaida or moderate head choppers). By the way we handed the ME at least to Iran when Bush invaded Iraq under the false pretenses. Saintly Obama wanted to look forward but not backward on the false pretenses and he in turn engaged on the same BS as Bush. When history is written in a few years all this will come out. ..."
"... ISIS formed in the chaos that was the Iraq War, neat how you guys never accept blame for anything. ..."
"... The people who are obsessed w/staying in Syria, just for the sake of denying Russia a 'victory', at admitting that they just want to be a spoiler. They want to keep Syria partitioned into two weak states and not allow it to reform into a single state and heal. ..."
"... Our imperialists must have misread Tacitus, because it seems they aspire to making peaceful deserts. ..."
"... Putin is trusted in the middle east (and in most of the rest of the world) because he is an intelligent, consistent and respected world leader. Now compare this to the clown show of US politicians (Republican and Democrat). ..."
"... No serious person can say that US politicians are better than Putin, which is also the reason Putin is so demonized by the US political elite. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"Russia Assumes Mantle of Supreme Power Broker in the Middle East," proclaimed Britain's Telegraph .

The article began:

"Russia's status as the undisputed power-broker in the Middle East was cemented as Vladimir Putin continued a triumphant tour of capitals traditionally allied to the U.S."

"Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate" was the title of yet another Telegraph column. "Putin Seizes on Trump's Syria Retreat to Cement Middle East Role," declared the Financial Times .

The U.S. press parroted the British: Putin is now the new master of the Mideast. And woe is us.

Before concluding that Trump's pullout of the last 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria is America's Dunkirk, some reflection is needed.

Yes, Putin has played his hand skillfully. Diplomatically, as the Brits say, the Russian president is "punching above his weight."

He gets on with everyone. He is welcomed in Iran by the Ayatollah, meets regularly with Bibi Netanyahu, is a cherished ally of Syria's Bashar Assad, and this week was being hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and the royal rulers of the UAE. October 2019 has been a triumphal month.

Yet, consider what Putin has inherited and what his capabilities are for playing power broker of the Middle East.

He has a single naval base on the Med, Tartus, in Syria, which dates to the 1970s, and a new air base, Khmeimim, also in Syria.

The U.S. has seven NATO allies on the Med -- Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece and Turkey, and two on the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria. We have U.S. forces and bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Djibouti. Russia has no such panoply of bases in the Middle East or Persian Gulf.

We have the world's largest economy. Russia's economy is smaller than Italy's, and not a tenth the size of ours.

And now that we are out of Syria's civil war and the Kurds have cut their deal with Damascus, consider what we have just dumped into Vladimir Putin's lap. He is now the man in the middle between Turkey and Syria.

He must bring together dictators who detest each other. There is first President Erdogan, who is demanding a 20-mile deep strip of Syrian borderland to keep the Syrian Kurds from uniting with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Erdogan wants the corridor to extend 280 miles, from Manbij, east of the Euphrates, all across Syria, to Iraq.

Then there is Bashar Assad, victorious in his horrific eight-year civil war, who is unlikely to cede 5,000 square miles of Syrian territory to a permanent occupation by Turkish troops.

Reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable Syrian and Turkish demands is now Putin's problem. If he can work this out, he ought to get the Nobel Prize.

"Putin is the New King of Syria," ran the op-ed headline in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

The Syria of which Putin is now supposedly king contains Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, Iranians, Kurds, Turks on its northern border and Israelis on its Golan Heights. Five hundred thousand Syrians are dead from the civil war. Half the pre-war population has been uprooted, and millions are in exile in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe.

If Putin wants to be king of this, and it is OK with Assad, how does that imperil the United States of America, 6,000 miles away?

Wednesday, two-thirds of the House Republicans joined Nancy Pelosi's Democrats to denounce Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and dissolve our alliance with the Kurds. And Republican rage over the sudden abandonment of the Kurds is understandable.

But how long does the GOP believe we should keep troops in Syria and control the northeastern quadrant of that country? If the Syrian army sought to push us out, under what authority would we wage war against a Syrian army inside Syria?

And if the Turks are determined to secure their border, should we wage war on that NATO ally to stop them? Would U.S. planes fly out of Turkey's Incirlik air base to attack Turkish soldiers fighting in Syria?

If Congress believes we have interests in Syria so vital we should be willing to go to war for them -- against Syria, Turkey, Russia or Iran -- why does Congress not declare those interests and authorize war to secure them?

Our foreign policy elites have used Trump's decision to bash him and parade their Churchillian credentials. But those same elites appear to lack the confidence to rally the nation to vote for a war to defend what they contend are vital American interests and defining American values.

If Putin is king of Syria, it is because he was willing to pay the price in blood and treasure to keep his Russia's toehold on the Med and save his ally Bashar Assad, who would have gone under without him.

Who dares wins. Now let's see how Putin likes his prize.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.


Sydney 2 days ago

Endless demonization of Putin by the elitist press is pure idiocy. Putin's aim is no different from any decent leader. Do the best for your countrymen and countrywomen; yet without harming others. At a recent interview with Arabic media a UAE journalist tried to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in favor of Saudi Kingdom by challenging Putin to condemn Iran for alleged attacks on Saudi oil installations by Iran.

To which Putin skillfully replied: "Russia will never be friends 'with one country against another' in the Middle East". Nor would Putin condemn Iran unless he was presented with clear evidence - not just accusations - of Iran's guilt. Point in case: Putin does it better than others; sure, but why is that bad?

Oh of course envy and fear of one being exposed for inept leadership. Time long overdue to shake hands with Putin and Russia.
https://www.rt.com/russia/o...

Doug Wallis 2 days ago
I haven't a concern for Russia in the middle east.
  1. Russia is doing the US the biggest unasked favor proving where our friends and allies loyalties in the middle east lay by forcing them to make choices in the face of shifting alliances that they wouldn't reveal if the US continued its presence.
  2. Russia is depopulating and it has choke points with China, with Central Asia, with the middle east and Europe. Russia will eventually not have the population to defend all these choke points and will eventually withdraw and focus on its own national security. At that time, I think its possible to see Russia shift its relationship in eastern Europe while distancing itself from Chinese expansionism that might one day want its old north pacific territories back (like what is today Vladivostok and Sakhalin).
Sydney Doug Wallis 2 days ago
Depopulating? Where did you get that from? Population decrease in Russia stopped. By the latest stats it is just about breaking even (death rates = birth rates). Moreover, population is growing albeit very slowly. Sorry but Russkies won't die out like extinct species. As far as its own national security; well, the old notion of "Russia is, more or less, a giant gas station pretending to be a real country." is as dead as Senator McCain, who pretended to know something about Russia; alas he was sadly and dangerously uninformed.
https://www.forbes.com/site...
Sid Finster Doug Wallis 2 days ago • edited
1. Trump has no plan or strategy in the Middle East.
2. Russia is not depopulating, nor has it been doing so for some time now.
Fayez Abedaziz 2 days ago
Let me get this straight:
  1. The US has troops and a base or more in Syria? I don't see any Syrian army bases in the US...
  2. And, the US is telling/demanding where the Syrian army come and goes in...Syria? What the hell is wrong with this picture? You know!?
  3. Oh, now hypocrite neo-con enabler Pelosi and some of the freaky other politicians are concerned with human lives in Syria? Ha ha

But...not about the lives of children dying in Yemen and Afghanistan and Gaza? How come? And, the US is telling Turkey what it had better do with it's border?
Also, friends and enemies o' mine,just which entity, nation and group is not a US ally?

Ally? What does that mean? As if the American people know the hell that words means anymore and as if there's even a meaning to that. And the American people do not watch the news, read magazines (news) as they did before. They don't know what is going on in the world, they gave up.

People under 50 automatically tune world news out, thanks mostly to the phonies at CNN and the major, basically neo-con supporting networks confusing the public, purposely so that they don't see the misery that is in the nations of the MId-East thanks to US invasions and bombings. Just look at cnn-they spend all day talking about what Trump or some politician said, no coverage of battles overseas, unless it benefits the continuing spinning of the news for intervention and so on.

The US won't get a grip and stop threatening nation after nation (while Russia does not) and so, people all over the world are thinking, you now what, look at how dumb Americans are that they allow people from Obama, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, Graham and more to conduct foreign policy that makes enemies for America daily. And don't forget Cheney and that group, too from before. These people are actually an insult to America.

Compare how the leaders of Russia and America talk and conduct themselves.

Russia has Lavrov, the gentleman diplomat, the US has Pompeo and the likes of Bolton and Kushner, the Israeli lobbyist and the Presidents son in law.

How does a so-called Republic allow the President to have his daughter and Kushner, her husband, to be security/foreign policy advisers. You're really losing it, America.

Sydney Fayez Abedaziz 2 days ago
Well argued and reasoned.
Mercerville 2 days ago
"But those same elites appear to lack the confidence to rally the nation to vote for a war to defend what they contend are vital American interests and defining American values."

No, they don't lack "confidence". They've got all the confidence in the world. What they lack is competence, integrity, and credibility with the American people and the rest of the world. They have dragged America through the mud in the Middle East for nearly two decades. They transformed the once proud American military and diplomatic corps into a customer service operation for Israel and Saudi Arabia.

We don't need more lectures and directives about "our interests" and "Western values" that always turn out to be Israeli and Saudi Arabian interests and values. We need new foreign policy elites, free of the current elite's miserable record of failure, corruption, and subordination to foreign interests. Above all, we need to get out of the Mideast swamps that the younger Bush and Obama pushed us into, bring our troops back to America, start defending America and American interests again.

Sydney Mercerville a day ago
How simple and true what U've said. Sounds like a sound position and logical too. So why is this not happening? The answer lies in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Sadly, today's USA revenue to large extent dependent on militaristic revenue; even though most of that revenue ends up in the coffers of the MIC, supported by the media that is sustained by the MIC. Yet, I still believe that with a bit of pain Americans can turn around this horrid situation.
Emmet Sweeney 2 days ago
The war in Syria and the growth of ISIS was entirely the result of actions by the Obama administration - and it is an outrage that no one in a position of power, not even Donald Trump, has called the Democrats out on this.
Name Emmet Sweeney 2 days ago
Which action was that and how is Trump withdrawal any different form said action, except for handing Russia and Iran the influence in the ME
Mrm Penumathy Name a day ago
Oh yeah, Name you seem to have forgotten Obama authorizing CIA training the moderate rebels (AKA Al qaida or moderate head choppers). By the way we handed the ME at least to Iran when Bush invaded Iraq under the false pretenses. Saintly Obama wanted to look forward but not backward on the false pretenses and he in turn engaged on the same BS as Bush. When history is written in a few years all this will come out.
Zoran Aleksic Name a day ago
Absolutely. Handing the ME to the Russians, when we all know it belongs to the US by some divine appointment.
=marco01= Emmet Sweeney a day ago
ISIS formed in the chaos that was the Iraq War, neat how you guys never accept blame for anything.
chris chuba 2 days ago
The people who are obsessed w/staying in Syria, just for the sake of denying Russia a 'victory', at admitting that they just want to be a spoiler. They want to keep Syria partitioned into two weak states and not allow it to reform into a single state and heal.

Trump is indeed our Dorian Gray, he is just outwardly reflecting our narcissism, 'if we don't get to do it then no one else can'.

tweets21 2 days ago
Obvious Pat we have no consistent foreign policy in the region since we inherited the mantle from the Brit Empire post WW 2. Oil and Israel were a marketable justification for our wars and changing partners ( regime change ), for a long time. Now neither is relevant. We have all the fossil fuels we need, and Israel is all powerful.. Long term I doubt the Russians will make a difference, in the Muslim quest to resurrect the Ottoman Empire. We have lost too many of our sons and daughters. get out.
LostForWords 2 days ago
Trump is a genius. At the moment, Syria is a poisoned chalice to anyone accepting responsibility for it. Russia is only there because they cannot get a naval base in any other Mediterranean country.

When, or if peace is achieved in Syria, it will be the US that swoops in to market the brands the Arabs love. The Syrians won't be buying Russian products.

NoNonsensingPlease LostForWords a day ago
Name an American brand the "Arabs love": Toyota, Lexis, Rollex, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung, iPhone (made in China)? Which one(s). While their infrastructure and basic technology are and will continue to be Russian.
Sceptical Gorilla 2 days ago
Our imperialists must have misread Tacitus, because it seems they aspire to making peaceful deserts.
NotYouNotSure 2 days ago
Putin is trusted in the middle east (and in most of the rest of the world) because he is an intelligent, consistent and respected world leader. Now compare this to the clown show of US politicians (Republican and Democrat).

No serious person can say that US politicians are better than Putin, which is also the reason Putin is so demonized by the US political elite.

Trump=Obama 2 days ago • edited
The Middle East is home to oil, terrorism, access points for maritime transportation (The Red Sea, The Bosphorus, Suez Canal, Persian Gulf). It is strategically important. It was a mistake for Obama to leave Iraq before there was a stable situation and it is a mistake for Trump to leave before there is a stable situation.

To say, "Just let them all fight it out" is foolhardy and likely just a rationalization for your mistake to support the narcissistic fool in the White House.

Zoran Aleksic 2 days ago
" Who dares wins. Now let’s see how Putin likes his prize. " With a smirk on my face, I look forward to seeing you fail.
John Sobieski 2 days ago
I don't think Putin is going to be unhappy about it. The various powers of the ME will now go to him for favors, and he will get favors in return. I doubt US interests will be among them.
cdugga 2 days ago
Putin said, I've got your no fly zone right here. After Russian deployment of the SA400's, america had no choice but to begin withdrawal.

And kind of missing from Buchanan's list of putin friends, is erdogan himself.

So, it will be interesting to see what happens now. Putin holds all the cards and is in the best position of anybody on the planet to broker a deal between assad and erdogan. Part of that deal will likely be very bad for those who threw their lot in with the US.

Turkey is not a small country and has an enormous military. Buchanan himself said that we should stay out of Syria and let the Turks deal with ISIS.

But they were too smart for that, and had their own coup to worry about. I have always thought that the US should have brokered a homeland for the kurds. It would have been hard, but now it is impossible.

Turkey is now a client state of Russia much more than a member of NATO. At least in appearance. They now buy SA400's and SU-57's from mother russia.

Who supplies and maintains your best weapon systems indicates who your real allies are. What has the US lost? I would say we lost anybody across the globe that we ever hoped would ally with us against the new sino-russian superpower. Russia has unlimited space and resources. China has unlimited people and no limits on its technical growth and markets. The US? We are the biggest debtor third world nation that has ever existed. But hey, we have the most stable genius as our president, and the sky is the limit for what he will accomplish other than permanent tax cuts for corporations. Right? The right again.

Except for 2 wrongs, they wouldn't even exist. Can faith overcome inconvenient truth? Real faith probably could by accepting inconvenient truth. But real faith is mostly dead. It was replaced with tax free religiosity and assault weaponry sponsored by corporate fascist government. I watched it happen. And his story is being rewritten in days or weeks instead of years and decades.

bt a day ago
It's not often that I would agree with Pat B. Essentially never.

But on this point, yes. If Putin wants the Middle East, by all means proceed.

That region has been messing up our politics for literally my whole life - It is most decidedly not a Promised Land for the United States. Let the Saudis and the Iranians and the Russians and the Turks fight it out. It should be lovely. The Israelis call sell weapons to all of them.

Amadeus Mozart a day ago
Thank you for this small bit of obvious wisdom, Mr. Buchanan. Your insights are very common sensical here, and thus, most valuable. Too bad they will mostly fall on the deaf ears of our moronic "Elites".
Cascade Joe a day ago
I believe Obama said that Putin would be overwhelmed in Syria. However, Putin has overseen an excellent strategy of picking an area of insurgents, militarily pounding them, then offering them free passage to a safe area (Idlib). After doing this across Syria, he and Assad now have all of the jihadist groups in one place where they can pound them senseless or just sit back and wait for them to start shooting each other.

Trump did not screw up the Kurds' clearing of ISIS above the Euphrates. Now he has given Putin and Assad the results of that. I expect the PA team will stabilize that area in short order.

So, Idlib and NW Syria will be a cauldron for a while. Now Al Tanf is the only insurgent holdout. Be interesting to see how that unfolds.

MPC 17 hours ago
Lest Trumpland forget, there is a reason we got involved in the region. Jihadists can and will use neglect to later come after us.

Putin shows us how its done. 3 billion or so, find good Muslims (anyone other than Sunni islamists) and help them blow up, conquer, and occasionally repress the bad Muslims.

We spent several TRILLION ourselves and thousands of American lives for nothing. We never had a single achievable objective in any of these conflicts.

Donald is a moron for selling out the Kurds, who it cost nothing to back, to Turkey but the DC elites made this inevitable by refusing to cut a deal with Assad for the Kurds. He's been the only realistic option for a long time now.

[Oct 19, 2019] The Democratic Party Should Suspend Hillary Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... I suspect that Gabbard has very little chance of beating Trump because he is also campaigning - quite successfully - against 'endless wars', and Gabbard is too radical for most Americans. ..."
"... This sparks some interesting questions, such as, exactly who are party members, and how do they become members? The actual structure and functioning of political parties in the US is seldom discussed, and I wonder why that is. "Opaque" seems to be a good description ..."
"... The primary voting system is a huge financial subsidy to the two officially approved parties, which are, of course, merely two branches of the Business Party. ..."
"... Good for Tulsi. I love the way she punches. She not only decked Clinton in one, but she got a lot of other important points across at the same time. ..."
"... Whenever she tries to curve her stance close to the establishment, she comes off as someone who is running for Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense; as someone with her eyes on a high status job in the establishement. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton can't be thrown out of the Dem party because she in a sense IS the Dem party as it stands now, a long way from its roots. The Dem party now has been fully integrated into the bureaucracy, the intelligence services and the corporate media similar to how Tony Blair in the UK took the Labour Party to be deeply embedded in the UK establishment. ..."
"... Hillary is still around because she literally owns the Democrat party. Follow the funding: in 2016, almost all of it flowed through HRC. Not just the presidential, but the state and significant part of the local. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hillary Clinton has gone mad :

Hillary Clinton appeared to suggest that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the "favorite of the Russians" to win the 2020 presidential election and is being groomed by Moscow to run as a third-party candidate against the eventual Democratic nominee.
...
The Russians already have their "eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," she said, in an apparent reference to Gabbard.

"She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far," Clinton told David Plouffe, the podcast's host and the campaign manager for former President Obama's 2008 campaign.

"And that's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she's also a Russian asset," Clinton added, referring to the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate.

The responses were appropriate:

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard - 22:20 UTC · Oct 18, 2019
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a ...
... concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know -- it was always you, through your proxies and ...
... powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.

It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.

The Streisand effect of Clinton's shoddy remark will help Tulsi Gabbard with regards to name recognition. It will increase her poll results. With Joe Biden faltering and Elizabeth Warren increasingly exposed as a phony Clinton copy, Bernie Sanders could become the Democrats leading candidate. Then the “favorite of the Russians” smear will be applied to him.

Clinton should be suspended from the Democratic Party for damaging it's chances to regain the White House. But the Democratic establishment would rather sabotage the election than to let one of the more progressive candidates take the lead.

Voters do not like such internal squabble and shenanigans. The phony Ukrainegate 'impeachment inquiry' is already a gift for Trump. Messing with the candidate field on top of that will inevitably end with another Trump presidency.


Brendan , Oct 19 2019 14:14 utc | 6

and Suspend her from what? a lamp post? That's a little bit harsh.

Hillary is actually doing something constructive for the first time in her career - by giving a boost to Tulsi Gabbard who is the only candidate who challenges the military industrial complex, which has probably caused more death and destruction than anyone else in history.

I suspect that Gabbard has very little chance of beating Trump because he is also campaigning - quite successfully - against 'endless wars', and Gabbard is too radical for most Americans.

But none of the other Democratic candidates stand a chance of beating Trump either. The two front-runners are medically unfit for any important challenging job - Biden (senility) and Sanders (recent heart attack/stroke?).

librul , Oct 19 2019 14:29 utc | 9

Tulsi is urging Hillary to "enter the race" !! Hillary is foaming at the mouth with desire to enter the 2020 race. Is Tulsi working for Hillary?

Behind the scenes it was decided to make HunterBidenGate the pretext for a Trump impeachment. This, it was thought, would damage Trump AND Biden and make way for the resurrection of Hillary Clinton. There were so many other pretexts available but they chose this one.

Gambits everywhere !

Trailer Trash , Oct 19 2019 14:42 utc | 11
"Clinton should be suspended from the Democratic Party"

This sparks some interesting questions, such as, exactly who are party members, and how do they become members? The actual structure and functioning of political parties in the US is seldom discussed, and I wonder why that is. "Opaque" seems to be a good description. Even a quick review of the Wikipedia entry reveals little.

As best I can tell, a person is a party member by checking the box on the voter registration form. The few times I have registered, I did not check a box for any party. It is none of the state's business who I associate with or vote for.

It is also not the state's business to supervise and fund the selection of party candidates. But that is what happens in the US. The primary voting system is a huge financial subsidy to the two officially approved parties, which are, of course, merely two branches of the Business Party.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 19 2019 14:48 utc | 13
The Clinton delusional ranting probably needs to be looked at in the light of this.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/18/tulsi-nails-national-tv-us-regime-change-wars/

"It didn't come much clearer nor more explicit than when Gabbard fired up the Democratic TV debate this week. It was billed as the biggest televised presidential debate ever, and the Hawaii Representative told some prime-time home-truths to the nation:

"Donald Trump has blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011 along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheer-leading this regime-change war."

The 38-year-old military veteran went on to denounce how the US has sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists for its objective of overthrowing the government in Damascus."

paul , Oct 19 2019 14:58 utc | 16
Good for Tulsi. I love the way she punches. She not only decked Clinton in one, but she got a lot of other important points across at the same time. The way she tries to finesse her stances on Iran, India and Israel is disturbing though.

Whenever she tries to curve her stance close to the establishment, she comes off as someone who is running for Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense; as someone with her eyes on a high status job in the establishement.

When she's forthright, punches hard and says the things that many people are thinking but few dare say - as she did in her statement on Syria, but didn't in her statement on Iran - she comes off as the first real candidate for President that I've seen in my lifetime (I don't count the likes of Dennis Kucinich, who never seemed to actually want to win).

If Tulsi is serious about doing the world good, this is the path she needs to take. Speak the truths no one else is willing to say; punch hard; stick with it. Yeah and be willing to die for it. If they can't stop you, which I don't think they can, they'll come gunning for you...

Don Bacon , Oct 19 2019 15:04 utc | 17
Finally, at last, foreign affairs (i.e wars) has made it into a presidential campaign, and by a veteran, with veterans currently being sanctified in the U.S. The women (Tulsi, Jill and Hillary) are getting down and dirty, too, which is always a good thing and a feature of politics in time past, as in the Truman era. President Harry Truman: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you cannot handle the pressure, you should not remain in a position where you have to deal with it."

Let's hope that they get into the details of Hillary's failures, including Libya, Somalia, and especially Syria. Let's get it on! In the last election she never was forced to answer for her specific failures. Now's the time.

Ludwig , Oct 19 2019 15:19 utc | 20
Hillary Clinton can't be thrown out of the Dem party because she in a sense IS the Dem party as it stands now, a long way from its roots. The Dem party now has been fully integrated into the bureaucracy, the intelligence services and the corporate media similar to how Tony Blair in the UK took the Labour Party to be deeply embedded in the UK establishment.

What Trump has successfully done from the right that Sanders/Gabbard (like Corbyn in the UK) are struggling to do from the left is to attack the establishment that's in a permanent state of warfare abroad and at home against its "enemies" and unfettered capitalism at home For a brief moment it was hoped by progressives that Obama - who defeated the faces of the establishment, Clinton and McCain in 2008 - would really fight the establishment but he ended up becoming more of a celebrity politician like Trudeau who talked a good game but was unable to effect real change on the ground which of course led to a large number or African Americans not voting in 2016 and a lot of white blue collar Obama 2008 voters going for Trump.

The corporate media which has been totally corrupted and infiltrated by intelligence agencies - quote openly versus covertly as in the past - is going to make every effort to shut down not just Gabbard but Sanders and ensure that Warren - a wannabe feel-gooder like Obama - be completely neutered to effect real change.

c1ue , Oct 19 2019 16:08 utc | 30
Hillary is still around because she literally owns the Democrat party. Follow the funding: in 2016, almost all of it flowed through HRC. Not just the presidential, but the state and significant part of the local.

[Oct 19, 2019] Time to Extricate From Ukraine by Doug Bandow

Oct 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists, passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.

Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances, Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation, since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.

Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would certainly be better than endless conflict.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

EliteCommInc.2 days ago

I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't.

I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique. And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot. How the civil unrest spun out of control the second in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement.

https://washingtonsblog.com...

https://thewashingtonstanda...

It is a deeply held belief that democracy is a system that by definition a generally acceptable path forward. That belief is false as democracy is still comprised of human beings. And democracy in their hands is no "cure all". It can be a turbulent and jerky bureaucratic maze process that pleases no one and works over time.

The US didn't accomplish it without violence until after more than 130 years, when the native populations were finally subdued. And as for a system that embodied equal treatment to similar circumstance -- we are still at it. But a violent revolution every ten years certainly isn't the most effective road to take.
-----------------

Why we insistent on restarting the cold war is unclear to me save that it served to create a kind of strategic global clarity Though what that means would troublesome because Russia's ole would now be as a developing democratic state as opposed to a communist monolith. And that means unfettered from her satellites and empowered by more capital markets her role as adversary would be more adroit. As time after time, Ores Putin has appeared the premier diplomat for peace and stability in situations in which the US was engaged or encouraging violence.(the Ukraine). I certainly don't think that our relations with Russia or China are a to be kumbaya love fests, there is still global competition and there's no reason to pretend it would be without tensions. But seriously, as a democratic/capital market player -- there really was no way to contain Russia.
----------------------

Given what we experienced during 2007 --- corruption comes in a mryiad of guises.

kouroi EliteCommInc.2 days ago
All so very true. The crux of the matter is the word competition. US doesn't like that, as a monopolist entity (the world would be hegemonic power). So you get Cold War 2.0 in overdrive now. Just think Great Britain, Russia, and Germany, at the end of 19th century beginning of 20th. All three monarchies, with cousins in power, with more or less parliamentarian structures in place, competing for a place under sun. And UK fretting that will loose its place...

[Oct 19, 2019] Peace-Expert George W Bush Says Isolationism Is Dangerous To Peace by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... For those who don't speak fluent neoconservative, "isolationist" here means taking even one small step in any direction other than continued military expansionism into every square inch of planet Earth, and "We are becoming isolationist" here means "We have hundreds of military bases circling the globe, our annual military budget is steadily climbing toward the trillion-dollar mark, and we are engaged in countless undeclared wars and regime change interventions all around the world." ..."
"... a war criminal with a blood-soaked legacy of mass murder, torture and military expansionism telling Trump that he is endangering peace with his "isolationism" ..."
"... Nobody actually believes that US foreign policy is under any threat of anything remotely resembling isolationism. The real purpose of this buzzword is to normalize the forever war and drag the Overton window so far in the direction of ghoulish hawkishness that the opposite of "war" is no longer "peace", but "isolationism". By pulling this neat little trick, the propagandists of the political/media class have successfully made endless war seem like a perfectly normal thing to be happening and any small attempt to scale it back look weird and freakish, when the truth is the exact opposite. War is weird, freakish and horrific, and peace is of course normal. This is the only healthy way to see things. ..."
Oct 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Humanity was treated to an important lecture on peace at a recent event for the NIR School of the Heart by none other than Ellen Degeneres BFF and world-renowned peace expert George W Bush.

"I don't think the Iranians believe a peaceful Middle East is in their national interest," said the former president according to The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin, whose brief Twitter thread on the subject appears to be the only record of Bush's speech anywhere online.

"An isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world," Bush said during the speech in what according to Rogin was a shot at the sitting president.

"We are becoming isolationist and that's dangerous for the sake of peace."

For those who don't speak fluent neoconservative, "isolationist" here means taking even one small step in any direction other than continued military expansionism into every square inch of planet Earth, and "We are becoming isolationist" here means "We have hundreds of military bases circling the globe, our annual military budget is steadily climbing toward the trillion-dollar mark, and we are engaged in countless undeclared wars and regime change interventions all around the world."

It is unclear why Bush is choosing to present himself as a more peaceful president than Trump given that by this point in his first term Bush had launched not one but two full-scale ground invasion wars whose effects continue to ravage the Middle East to this very day, especially given the way both presidents appear to be in furious agreement on foreign policy matters like Iran. But here we are.

From a certain point of view it's hard to say which is stranger:

(A) a war criminal with a blood-soaked legacy of mass murder, torture and military expansionism telling Trump that he is endangering peace with his "isolationism", or

(B) the claim that Trump is "isolationist" at all.

As we've discussed previously , Trump's so-called isolationism has thus far consisted of killing tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions in an attempt to effect regime change in the most oil-rich nation on earth , advancing a regime change operation in Iran via starvation sanctions , CIA covert ops , and reckless military escalations , continuing to facilitate the Saudi-led slaughter in Yemen and to sell arms to Saudi Arabia , inflating the already insanely bloated US military budget to enable more worldwide military expansionism , greatly increasing the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians in airstrikes for which he has reduced military accountability , and of course advancing many, many new cold war escalations against the nuclear superpower Russia.

But these bogus warnings about a dangerous, nonexistent threat of isolationism are nothing new for Dubya. In his farewell address to the nation , Bush said the following:

"In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led."

As we discussed recently , use of the pro-war buzzword "isolationism" has been re-emerging from its post-Bush hibernation as a popular one-word debunk of any opposition to continued US military expansionism in all directions, and it is deceitful in at least three distinct ways. Firstly, the way it is used consistently conflates isolationism with non-interventionism, which are two wildly different things . Secondly, none of the mainstream political figures who are consistently tarred with the "isolationist" pejorative are isolationists by any stretch of the imagination, or even proper non-interventionists; they all support many interventionist positions which actual non-interventionists object to. Thirdly, calling someone who opposes endless warmongering an "isolationist" makes as much sense as calling someone who opposes rape a man-hating prude; opposing an intrinsically evil act is not the same as withdrawing from the world.

Nobody actually believes that US foreign policy is under any threat of anything remotely resembling isolationism. The real purpose of this buzzword is to normalize the forever war and drag the Overton window so far in the direction of ghoulish hawkishness that the opposite of "war" is no longer "peace", but "isolationism". By pulling this neat little trick, the propagandists of the political/media class have successfully made endless war seem like a perfectly normal thing to be happening and any small attempt to scale it back look weird and freakish, when the truth is the exact opposite. War is weird, freakish and horrific, and peace is of course normal. This is the only healthy way to see things.

It would actually be great if George W Bush could shut the fuck up forever, ideally in a locked cell following a public war tribunal. Failing that, at the very least people should stop looking at him as a cuddly wuddly teddy bear with whom it's fun to share a sporting arena suite or a piece of hard candy or to hang award medals on for his treatment of veterans. This mass murdering monster has been growing more and more popular with Democrats lately just because he offers mild criticisms of Trump sometimes, as have war pigs like Bill Kristol and Max Boot and even John Bolton for the same reason, and it needs to stop. And in the name of a million dead Iraqis, please don't start consulting this man on matters of peace.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following me on Steemit , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Oct 19, 2019] USA corporations, can not and will not survive without WARS. Complete USA "economy" is a WAR machine

Oct 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

onebornfree , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Proud_Srbin Proud_Srbin says: "USA corporation, can not and will not survive without WARS. Complete USA "economy" is a WAR machine,"

As Randolph Bourne observed: "War is the health of the state". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_Bourne

But its not just the US that is a war machine. Bourne's statement equally applies to _all_ states everywhere, past present and future.

If any state appears to not be making war on other countries at any particular time, its only because it is too busy making war on its own citizens [ eg taxes, drug laws, weapons/gun laws, religion laws, speech laws, environmental laws etc.etc. etc.], and has not yet created enough fake money via its central bank to enable it to debt-fund consistent overseas aggressions against others.

Regards, onebornfree

DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm GMT
@onebornfree The Report From Iron Mountain says it all, the ZUS is to fight perpetual wars for the zionist agenda of a zionist NWO.

This report came out in the 1960's and can be googled.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 1:54 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen

What will they do when the U.S. decouples from the Middle East completely?

Believing the U.S. will "completely decouple" from the Middle East is akin to believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Moon Landings.
https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2Fc8YC8htf5YQg0%2Fgiphy.gif&f=1&nofb=1

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger My hypothesis is that the man, narcissistic as he is, has reached the end of his tether. "

This is a truth ,eternal truth ,it applies to ironically both to a person and to a country . Just keep on giving and some more.

melpol , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
Wars by the US will never end because arms manufactures own Trump. Almost one half of the US budget goes for the security of the state, domestic and abroad. New weapon development would come to a halt if the US was not threatened. Fake news about China and Russia planning to attack the US keeps the arms industry humming. Over a million national security workers and their families would be devastated if Trump stopped fighting fake wars. God bless imagined threat of wars.
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

The goal all along was not to "take" Syria so much as to destroy it and leave it in fragments acting in the service of Israel.

Just so.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read

This has strengthened the possibility of the revival of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS). There are around 10,000 such ISIS fighters currently lodged in prisons run by the SDF.

And with this, "the war on terror" is guaranteed to go on, and on, and on..

Subhead Corrigendum , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
Let's see what CIA actually does

https://armswatch.com/

There ya go.

Anonymous [835] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Sean started to click the Troll button
decided Sean #36 not worth the calories
Greg S. , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@WJ The machinations people are making on this topic are truly stunning when it's clear Trump is doing the right thing. Today are reports that US positions and bases in N. Syria have been turn keyed over the Assad and Russian forces. Trump IS Protecting the Kurds, just not with American blood, as he promised.

The one thing Turkey has always wanted is a broken Syria so it can gobble up the remnants. Past US (and many current) leaders and Democrats were complicit in this by funneling cash and weapons to Syrian opposition, which directly led to the rise of Isis and deaths of thousands – can you say evil?

I have hope that Trumps current actions will bring an end to thus war for good – Turkey was OK to beat up on some kurds but war with Russia is something else.

anon [299] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
@OscarWildeLoveChild imho Jewish power keeps Trump on a perpetual short leash (Schiff is this month's designee to 'walk the dog') until Iran is wrecked.

[edit: renfro commented on Giraldi's earlier thread reminding readers that Israel has a major interest in the Kurds, their territory, which is oil rich. Remember the proposals to divide Iraq into three ]

Warren -- BDS is one thing, but her agenda to tax >$50million -- that's the part people hear & cheer: Hooray! Soak the rich!
The next thing she says is, "Use the money to pay for universal child care, universal kindergarten, increase pay for child care workers."

This gets cheers from millennials struggling to keep two people employed and kids cared for.

But think about how drastically anti-family those proposals are.

TOTALLY turn over the care of our children to the loving embrace of the federal government aka the Frankfurt school

mumbo meets jumbo --
https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CITE_006_0049–pathologies-of-authority-some-aspects-of.htm

The combined synthesis of social theory and psychoanalysis thus allows resituating on new bases the Marxist optimism according to which the working class, due to its position in the relations of production, is disposed to adopt a point of view scientifically based on reality as well as promote legitimate forms of action.

Knowledge of the forms of the becoming-adult of humanity conceived by Freud, in the form of a theory of passage through different stages that must result in an assumed genital sexuality, leads to the recognition of a working class that is believed to be less encumbered by typically bourgeois prejudices and perversities.

DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read AL CIADA aka ISIS is a creation of the CIA and the MOSSAD and MI6.
Prof Watson , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT
Trump is Bibi's Shabbos goy.
Agent76 , says: October 15, 2019 at 3:43 pm GMT
September 20, 2019 The Imperial Debris of War

Just in case you hadn't heard the good news, the last man from the president's foreign policy "team" still standing, Trump whisperer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, recently left National Security Advisor John Bolton in the dust.

https://original.antiwar.com/stephanie_savell/2019/09/19/the-imperial-debris-of-war/

June 27, 2018 Harvard Research Scholar Explains How America Created Al-Qaeda & The ISIS Terror Group

It's truly amazing how much the consciousness of the planet has changed within the past 5 years alone, and it's not just happening within one topic, but in several different areas ranging from health to geopolitics and everything in-between.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49733.htm

Liza , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:11 pm GMT
@eah Yes, indeed. He is a loose cannon. Don't those people who are still kissing the hem of Trump's garments remember all that stuff he said during his campaign? Sure, we all know that politicians lie in order to get elected – but nothing on this level. Like the Scorpion and Frog poem, or at least his version of it (the Snake).
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:15 pm GMT
@Agent76 It's truly amazing how much the consciousness of the planet has changed within the past 5 years alone .

So is this optimism on your part?

Rev. Spooner , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen Trade wars, sanctions, embargoes are economic warfare.
I'm not going to elaborate as teaching Kindergarten is not my forte.
Longfisher , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
Oh, what a tangled web we leave when the CIA first seeks to deceive.
WorkingClass , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke The goal was to topple Assad. Remember Obama? Assad must go? Assad and the Assad regime are still there. Where is Saddam Hussein? Where is Muammar Gaddafi? After seven years of war in Syria the victors are Syria, Iran and Russia. The losers are the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The real losers of course are the dead and the maimed. The widows and orphans. And the millions who have been displaced and have become refugees. All are victims of Imperial aggression. And the real winners of course are the war profiteers who have grown fatter and fatter since 9/11.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
What Trump wants to do and what he can do are two very different things. The MIC/Zionist rot in DC is way too deep and entrenched for any one man to tackle.

Trump could make all his Schiffty problems go away by bombing Iran. Overnight, the man would be lauded as the president we need and that aging hack Pelosi would suddenly drop that phony impeachment hearing.

Trump is finding out that when making foreign policy, the safest route to take is to first ask, "Is this good for Israel?"

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:26 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger Agree.

And look what it has revealed the Dems, the Zios, the msm and Trump's Repubs all screaming how the US should stay in Syria

I have no love for Trump BUT .his Syria move has shown us how far into the Trump Derangement throes the Dems are.

It reveals as nothing else he has done so far that we have a government OF THE PARTIES, BY THE PARTIES , FOR THE PARTIES ..not for the people.

I hope people concentrate on that reveal.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I have always contended that the best way to use Trump is to support his ego. Let's inundate him with praise for withdrawing from the Kurdish/Turkish quagmire. Sure, he hasn't vacated Syria yet, however, he has no choice but to vacate or be evacuated. His ego will opt for the former

I think you are spot on there also.

Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Exactly, with thousands of ISIS,ISIL(American/Israeli proxy forces)types now being freed due to Turkey's incursions into Syria, these "rebels" will be free to re-group and fight another day. Hence the need for American forces to STAY deployed in the Area. This is nothing more than a distraction move by Trump, which will result in the opposite "intended" actions of American forces being withdrawn from Syria. This will also guarantee the "need" for a strong Soviet presence in Syria.

America/Israel/Russia have always wanted the partitioning of Syria, the only point of contention between America/Israel and Russia was whether Assad was to be forced from power or would be allowed to remain President as a puppet of Putin and the Russians. Syria was to never remain a sovereign nation.

Priss Factor , says: Website October 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/P0EwGEZKWvA?feature=oembed

Syrian Exposes Media Lies About Syria Withdrawal

The US still hasn't acknowledged the Armenian Massacre by the Turks. Why should it care about Kurds. US is the nation that said killing 500,000 kids in Iraq was worth it.

renfro , says: October 15, 2019 at 4:52 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Syria, Iraq, Libya are now less of a threat to Israel than ever before so that is a kind of peace.

Not really. All are still standing and not under US control. Iraq now leans even more toward Iran and Syria toward Russia ..and that outcome in these countries has made Israel's goal of destroying Iran much harder and less likely .
The curtailment of the Kurds, Israel's long time friends and proxy , is another blow to Israel's plot.

It appears to me that Putin's idea is to force everyone back into their own countries and borders .he may have shared that plan with Trump and that may have resulted in turning Turkey loose to do that job.

Bragadocious , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@WJ Right. But as Giraldi always points out, Trump almost attacked Venezuela. He said mean words and rattled sabres! As opposed to Obama, who said no mean words ('cause he upheld the "dignity of the office") but sent the fighter jets into Libya and turned that country from a stable, secular regime into a human trafficking warzone. And also got an ambassador killed. Here are some of Giraldi's gems from April 2011:

Libya is a humanitarian mission

it [the invasion] has no clearly stated objective except to protect Libyan civilians

it is now clear that the rebels do not have any military organization to speak of and Gaddafi has the whip hand

Nice analysis there, Mr. CIA lifer and Obama lickspittle. I can only assume Giraldi was part of the crack CIA team of Sovietologists who were utterly blindsided when the Soviet Union broke up. It's amazing how much slack he's given around here for his anti-Israel stuff. It's like Teflon for him.

DESERT FOX , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Agree, and the ZUS has killed millions in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria, for their zionist masters, the only lives the ZUS cares about is zionists.
Johnny Walker Read , says: October 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke The only question you failed to address is what was the true motives of Putin's intervention into the whole mess. A few good points:

As in Ukraine, Putin will stay in Syria until it no longer suits him. He has no long-term strategic goals beyond creating chaos and weakening the alliances of the free world wherever possible. This allows him to play the big man on the international stage, an essential element of his domestic appeal. 24/7 propaganda and Soviet nostalgia have turned Putin's invasion into a domestic hit in Russia. In contrast, Russians have