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|"American imperialism has been made plausible and attractive in part by the insistence that it is not imperialistic."
I call it a tribal phenomena. A tribe can be a religion, a nation, a gender, a race, or any group which is different from the group you identify with. It is not confined to religion.
And it seems to be an inherent trait in the human species that was one aspect of our evolution. Only when we learn that it is better to cooperate with each other rather than kill each other will we be free from this deadly disease which may, in the end, destroy us all.
sheridan44 comment in The Guardian
When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence--I'm not sure you use this word exactly--indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.
I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.
Neoliberalism is a fundament and, simultaneously philosophical justification of predator capitalism. Today the signature feature of neoliberal societies, including but not limited to the USA, G7 (especially Germany and France), and to a lesser extent Russia and China, is predation, both in respect of their own citizens as well as weaker states.
While precise definition of what can be called “predatory capitalism” is difficult we can say that in this social system the top 1% (or less) rich and connected feast on decaying infrastructure objects and factories built during previous generation for wider population and belonging to state or its agents. As well as on less well-off part of country population. With full legal impunity. Economist Jamie K Galbraith book suggests that modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism was and is first of all about the creation of a "predator state".
Neoliberal markets that are emerging throughout Latin America and xUSSR countries are characterized by little regulation, a minimal state presence, cult of money and speculation. (as opposed to more collective or communitarian visions of society). Governments are very much pro-business. Such markets, in turn, support a peculiar form of capitalism, one that we would call predatory capitalism with its own part of the elite, which we would call "predatory class".
The predatory class is just a tiny upper crust of the wealthy; and it may be opposed by many others of similar wealth. But it is the defining feature of the modern USA and other neoliberal societies. It is the neoliberal society driving force. Its agents are in full control of the government. For in a predatory regime, nothing is done for public reasons. Indeed, the ideologists of the Casino Capitalism do not recognize that “public purposes” are legitimate. Only predation is. It is a capitalism that preys on those without economic resources -- the popular sectors, noncompetitive industries, weaker countries. And it further deprives them of resources via debt slavery and policy prescriptions ( Bresser Pereira, Maravall, and Przeworski 1993). Neoliberalism has its own dynamic and tends to disproportionately reward those who already exercise some form of power (particularly economic power). The severity of the socioeconomic dislocations caused by the rapid neoliberalization of Latin America (stating with Chilean coup d'état) and strongly associated with predatory capitalism has led some to draw interesting parallels with the latter part of the nineteenth century through the 1920s ( Korzeniewicz and Smith 1997; Smith and Korzeniewicz 1996). This was the last period during which economic liberalism dominated the region.
From this perspective, the very predatory nature of capitalism makes it unlikely that it will be long lasting. Just as nineteenth-century economic liberalism led to the emergence of powerful labor movements and other actors that successfully struggled to reign in capitalism by ultimately erecting the modern welfare state. It is unclear which forces will try to give a fight for neoliberalism during the current period, but emergence of left government in many Latin American countries will work to erect new state institutions that can correct many, if not all, of predatory capitalism's most pernicious elements. Polanyi summarized the challenge that unregulated markets posed for society in the early twentieth century in a way that seems almost prophetic for Latin America in the 1990s:
"the [ nineteenth century] idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia. Such an institution could not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society. . . . Inevitably, society took measures to protect itself" ( 1944: 3).
Here is a summary of James K. Galbraith’s The Predator State book and the concept from Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought blog
James K. Galbraith’s The Predator State is undoubtedly one of the most important books on the economics of our era. Galbraith sets himself the task, not only of exposing the discredited economic orthodoxies of our generation, but also documenting the economy as it really exists, and setting an agenda for the future. It is a book that desperately needs to be listened to. And, even better than all that, it’s a fun read. Go out and buy it immediately.
That said, here is a brief, abbreviated summary of the book, to better pull out its themes and spread its message. It is of necessity less clear and less well-argued than the book itself, which you should actually read if you want to argue, but it should give the gist of things.
- The Reaganites swept into power on the arguments of economic conservatives: lower taxes, tight money, and an assault on all opponents of market forces (government, regulation, unions). Their views were tried and failed completely. They have no remaining defenders in academia and only slogans and cronies outside of it. There is no longer any vision on the right; the left should leave its defensive crouch and start proposing something new.
- Friedman and friends said that markets would lead to democracy — that “economic freedom” begets political freedom. But economic freedom isn’t what it sounds like; it’s not freedom from economic want but instead, as Friedman put it, “the freedom to choose” or, in other words, “the freedom to shop”. But control over production is as unfree as in the Soviet Union, with advertising for propaganda, R&D for planning, and Wall Street analysts for government inspectors. “Lines form, under capitalism, every day.”
- Supply-siders argued that a) saving is a public good because it leads to investment, b) America does not save enough compared to other countries, c) saving would be unleashed by lowering taxes on it, d) the resulting investment would spur an economic boom. Every piece of this is wrong: a) in an efficient market, all the benefits from investment are captured by the investor; thus investment cannot be a public good unless markets are inefficient, in which case the government should step in more, b) the correct amount of saving is a policy decision, there’s no reason to believe other countries have it right (the Soviet Union had a 40% level of saving right up to its collapse), c) rich people save most of their money anyway (it’s impossible to consume that much) and changes in interest rates dwarf changes in tax rates; furthermore, real investment is encouraged by high personal taxes, since this forces people to keep their money in corporations, d) personal saving is less than 1% of GDP; almost all investment comes from corporations or overseas.
- Milton Friedman claimed that high inflation (it was 10% in the 1970s) was just the result of printing too much money. Reagan’s Fed adopted this belief, sending the US and many foreign countries into deep recession. Eventually, the policy was completely abandoned and high inflation has not been seen since. Serious inflation isn’t caused by printing money, but by wage-price spirals — the price of oil shot up, causing rising prices to cover oil costs, causing workers to demand higher wages to pay those prices, causing prices to rise even higher, and so on. Today, most prices are set by overseas manufacturers and labor unions are so weak that workers can’t demand wage increases. Inflation is dead.
- Democrats (and some Republicans) repeatedly insist that we need to balance the budget or face fiscal collapse. But the budget is ruled by a simple equation: the total amount the government owes + the total amount the public owes = the total amount we owe to foreign countries. This is simple logic: whatever is not owed within the country must be owed to another country. But the international economy depends on other countries keeping large reserves of dollars (see 14), meaning our trade deficit must be high. As long as this is so, we must either have the government run large deficits or ask people to do so. The budget deficit was closed in the late 1990s because citizens picked up the slack with high credit card spending and home equity loans, inevitably leading to a slump. Balancing the budget is for suckers; Democrats should spend the money on public goods instead, promoting economic growth and thus raising tax revenue.
- The argument for free trade comes from Ricardo’s “comparative advantage” — a clever textbook exercise, but irrelevant to the real world since it assumes constant costs. In reality, either you produce manufactured goods, in which your costs go down as you make more, or you sell off commodities, in which case your costs go up as you make more. With the former, it takes time for local industry to build up the advantage (requiring protectionism). With the latter, you end up like Mongolia, which opened up its animal husbandry market, swelling herd sizes, turning grass into permanent desert, and killing off the entire market. With no other exports, such a country is in big trouble. Ricardo was wrong: diversification, not specialization, is the way to develop — and how every successful country has. Unfortunately, we’ve forced this broken system on most of the world. (China has escaped, letting state-supported banks fund money-losing new companies until they grow large enough to succeed as exporters. In the mean time, they dump their products on local Chinese, allowing them to have a very high standard of living at very low wages.)
- There is no trade-off between equality and efficiency. Instead, equality leads to efficiency. Denmark is one of the most equal countries in Europe, and as a result one of the wealthiest. The rest are on a continuum down to unequal and inefficient. Full employment and high wages require companies to make the most of the employees they have, increasing efficiency. Raising the minimum wage doesn’t raise unemployment, it lowers it — unemployment and inequality have risen and fallen together since 1920. Higher wages lead to more job taking and less quitting. The remaining increase in inequality was caused by stock market giveaways to dot-commers and Bush giveaways to government contractors — which is why it was limited to Silicon Valley and the Potomac, respectively.
- The US is not a free market. Of GDP, 17% is health care (where experts, not consumers decide how to spend), 16% is housing (subsidized by quasi-public mortgage firms and tax deductions), 15% is federal welfare, 14% is local welfare, 4.5% is military spending, 3% is higher education (paid for mostly by government or conspicuous philanthropy1 and consumed for status and not value). Together, 70% of US GDP is planned; it’s just that our facade of a free market makes us less efficient at planning than other countries (especially in health care).
- In the 1970s, American industry (particularly steel and cars) was being challenged and weakened by Japan. Reagan’s assault on inflation (see 4) dealt them a death blow, sending their foreign and domestic markets into deep recession, driving up the value of the dollar (making their exports more expensive than their competitors’), and raising interest rates. In the 1980s the technical staff left for Silicon Valley, and 1990s financial fraud killed off what remained. When new startup founders paid themselves exorbitant salaries from VC money other CEOs rushed to keep up, making them all wealthy enough to become a separate class. They used their new power to prey on the corporations that they ran.2
- Previously, regulation kept the predators in check — unions, NGOs, and progressive businesses pushed government standards to kill regressive competitors. But newly-wealthy predator CEOs had the Republicans take over and gut regulation. The result is the Predator State, where every new law is a corporate giveaway. Prescription drug benefits for Big Pharma; NCLB to defund and deskill schools (building support for vouchers); and Social Security reform to give workers’ paychecks to Wall Street. (Democrats have so far prevented the latter, but corporate-funded think tanks now aim to take them down from inside.) The programs allow further predation; privatizing college loans has led loan companies to bribe student loan officers. It’s not that Republican government fails at tasks like stopping Katrina; it’s that such tasks of governance are not its goal — opening up New Orleans for Halliburton contracts is.
- The great liberal economic agenda is “making markets work” — small fixes for market failures. The canonical example is job training to fight unemployment. But job training does not create new jobs, economic growth does; the tech boom was the last time we saw a real decrease in unemployment. Similarly, some Dems propose universal preschool since experiments find kids with free preschool grow up to get better-paying jobs. But those preschools did not create jobs, they just gave their students an advantage in getting them. Universal preschool would give everyone that advantage, leaving no net impact. And creating markets in unmarketable goods (health care, energy, the climate) is doomed to failure. In these industries markets will not work; planning is required.
- Planning is alleged to have been disproven by the Soviet Union’s fall. But it is unavoidable. The market, even when it does work, fails to take into account the wishes of the poor and the needs of the future, since neither can buy things today. New Orleans fell not because of a lack of foresight (it was predicted by the local paper) or technology (the Army knew how to build strong levees) but because we lacked a plan — nobody in power bothered to do anything about it. Similarly, climate change will melt Antarctica and drown New York, Boston, South Florida, Houston, the Bay Area, London, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Shanghai. Stopping it requires a plan; an enormous one ranging from elementary school classes to government-funded research centers to a WWII-level restructuring of the economy.
- Deregulation can have three effects:
- Increasing competition and lowering wages and prices,
- Speeding technological change and increasing quality,
- Creating monopolies and raising prices.
Trucking deregulation did 1, airline deregulation did 1 and 2, but telecom, banking, and energy deregulation did 3. Charles Keating donated to the government, leading VP George H. W. Bush’s task force to deregulate his industry and allow the Savings and Loan Scandal. Ken Lay was Bush’s largest contributor, leading VP Dick Cheney’s task force to deregulate his industry and allow the Enron energy scandal.
- The solution is to lower CEO pay, raise the minimum wage, and set wage standards in between. Some liberals claim trade is the problem and the solution is to set environmental and labor standards on other countries. These are unenforceable and will be ineffective (companies moving overseas already build clean factories since that’s most efficient and no significant exports are made using child or prison labor). Instead, we should set wage standards at home, like Scandinavia, forcing companies to increase productivity and pay fair wages. Wage standards should also apply to undocumented workers; illegal immigration is caused by employers who send recruiters to Mexico for compliant and low-paid workers. Applying wage standards to all will end these abusive practices.
- Any country that can pay for its imports entirely with exports can organize its internal economy (its people and resources) however it likes. Countries that do not balance their trade depend instead on global capital markets and must play by their rules. But the US is a special case: after World War II (1944) it set up the Bretton Woods system of international exchange, pegging all currencies to the dollar and backing the dollar with gold reserves. But during Vietnam’s deficits (1971), Nixon broke the system, devaluing US currency and wreaking havoc on the rest of the world. Reagan’s tight money policies (1981) caused so much instability that other countries were forced to build up reserves of US Treasury Bonds in exchange for military, economic, and export security. US bubbles and the Soviet Union’s fall make this system less secure than before, but as long as it remains the US can do whatever it likes economically. And it might as well, since economic success will strengthen the system and the policies proposed here will lead to economic success.
- Conspicuous philanthropy is like conspicuous consumption, a way for the rich to flaunt their wealth, only far more effective — you can outdo your neighbors simply by adding another zero to the check, the buildings with your name on them live on after you die, and the government gives you a tax deduction. ↩
- See the classic Thorstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class for more on predation.
The term "predator state" originated with the concept of military industrial complex. There are other similar terms such as neofascism, national security state, disaster capitalism, etc which describe the same phenomenon, stressing different aspects of it. For example, here is what Thomas Palley writes about predator state (Asia Times Online):
Economist Jamie K Galbraith's recent book  describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a "predator state". Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an "American corporate" predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.
Kleptocratic predator states, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Sese Seko Mobutu's Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.
It is important to understand the social origins of the American corporate predator state because understanding is a necessary part of developing responses for caging the predators and replacing them with another, better, order. Those origins clearly trace back to the military-industrial complex that president Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final televised address to the nation on January 17, 1961.
That complex has captured politics and corrupted the business of government, including of course the conduct of national security policy. The fact that it has wrapped itself with the flag makes it impossible to confront without being charged as unpatriotic. Worst yet, its enormous enduring profitability has provided a model for imitation by other industrial complexes like Big Pharma and Big Oil.
The political success of these predators is clearly linked to money's role in politics. Money gives the power to buy the political process, and that power is defended by a gospel of free speech that takes no account of the fact that out-shouting someone is qualitatively equivalent to silencing them. Economics also comes to money's defense with its absurd myth of a market for ideas in which participants compete on a level playing field and truth is effortlessly sorted from error.
The American worship of business and businessmen, which Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt, 1922) wrote about long ago, also plays a role. This worship privileges business over thought and other activities, and is behind the dismissive sneer "if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" As a result, Americans are all too willing to hand over their government to business predators. Today, it is in Goldman Sachs we trust.
Another feature of business worship is a tendency to conflate profit with free markets. That means the distinction between fair competition (which is good) and fat profits (which are bad) is lost, thereby providing cover for predators.
Lastly, there is the legacy of the Cold War which contributed to economic dumbing-down and suppression of awareness of class and class conflict. This suppression was seen as necessary for blunting the dangerous appeal of Soviet communism, but a consequence was to create blindness to the predators in our midst.
All of this reveals a deep deficit in America's social and economic understanding (some deficits really do matter). And as long as this deficit remains, the predators will have a starting-gate advantage in the game of political persuasion.
Yet, how to close the deficit and insert another understanding is an enormous challenge. There are deep institutional obstructions in the academy, the media, and the Democratic Party. Moreover, raising these issues may create unsettling cognitive dissonance that pushes voters into denial and a closer embrace of the predators.
In effect, there is a paradox to be solved. Lasting progressive political victory requires transforming understanding, but the immediate political incentives are aligned to discourage engagement with such a project.
Note: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K Galbraith, Free Press, 2008.
Thomas I Palley is the founder of the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project.
Skeptic view on American Exceptionalism is valuable for different reasons some of which were listed by Stephen M. Walt in his The Myth of American Exceptionalism (Foreign Policy, November 2011)
The only thing wrong with this self-congratulatory portrait of America's global role is that it is mostly a myth. Although the United States possesses certain unique qualities -- from high levels of religiosity to a political culture that privileges individual freedom -- the conduct of U.S. foreign policy has been determined primarily by its relative power and by the inherently competitive nature of international politics. By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else.
This unchallenged faith in American exceptionalism makes it harder for Americans to understand why others are less enthusiastic about U.S. dominance, often alarmed by U.S. policies, and frequently irritated by what they see as U.S. hypocrisy, whether the subject is possession of nuclear weapons, conformity with international law, or America's tendency to condemn the conduct of others while ignoring its own failings. Ironically, U.S. foreign policy would probably be more effective if Americans were less convinced of their own unique virtues and less eager to proclaim them.
What we need, in short, is a more realistic and critical assessment of America's true character and contributions. In that spirit, I offer here the Top 5 Myths about American Exceptionalism.
Myth 1: There Is Something Exceptional About American Exceptionalism.
Whenever American leaders refer to the "unique" responsibilities of the United States, they are saying that it is different from other powers and that these differences require them to take on special burdens.
Yet there is nothing unusual about such lofty declarations; indeed, those who make them are treading a well-worn path. Most great powers have considered themselves superior to their rivals and have believed that they were advancing some greater good when they imposed their preferences on others. The British thought they were bearing the "white man's burden," while French colonialists invoked la mission civilisatrice to justify their empire. Portugal, whose imperial activities were hardly distinguished, believed it was promoting a certain missão civilizadora. Even many of the officials of the former Soviet Union genuinely believed they were leading the world toward a socialist utopia despite the many cruelties that communist rule inflicted. Of course, the United States has by far the better claim to virtue than Stalin or his successors, but Obama was right to remind us that all countries prize their own particular qualities.
So when Americans proclaim they are exceptional and indispensable, they are simply the latest nation to sing a familiar old song. Among great powers, thinking you're special is the norm, not the exception.
Myth 2: The United States Behaves Better Than Other Nations Do.
Declarations of American exceptionalism rest on the belief that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation, one that loves peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law. Americans like to think their country behaves much better than other states do, and certainly better than other great powers.
If only it were true. The United States may not have been as brutal as the worst states in world history, but a dispassionate look at the historical record belies most claims about America's moral superiority.
For starters, the United States has been one of the most expansionist powers in modern history. It began as 13 small colonies clinging to the Eastern Seaboard, but eventually expanded across North America, seizing Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California from Mexico in 1846. Along the way, it eliminated most of the native population and confined the survivors to impoverished reservations. By the mid-19th century, it had pushed Britain out of the Pacific Northwest and consolidated its hegemony over the Western Hemisphere.
The United States has fought numerous wars since then -- starting several of them -- and its wartime conduct has hardly been a model of restraint. The 1899-1902 conquest of the Philippines killed some 200,000 to 400,000 Filipinos, most of them civilians, and the United States and its allies did not hesitate to dispatch some 305,000 German and 330,000 Japanese civilians through aerial bombing during World War II, mostly through deliberate campaigns against enemy cities. No wonder Gen. Curtis LeMay, who directed the bombing campaign against Japan, told an aide, "If the U.S. lost the war, we would be prosecuted as war criminals." The United States dropped more than 6 million tons of bombs during the Indochina war, including tons of napalm and lethal defoliants like Agent Orange, and it is directly responsible for the deaths of many of the roughly 1 million civilians who died in that war.
More recently, the U.S.-backed Contra war in Nicaragua killed some 30,000 Nicaraguans, a percentage of their population equivalent to 2 million dead Americans. U.S. military action has led directly or indirectly to the deaths of 250,000 Muslims over the past three decades (and that's a low-end estimate, not counting the deaths resulting from the sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s), including the more than 100,000 people who died following the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. U.S. drones and Special Forces are going after suspected terrorists in at least five countries at present and have killed an unknown number of innocent civilians in the process. Some of these actions may have been necessary to make Americans more prosperous and secure. But while Americans would undoubtedly regard such acts as indefensible if some foreign country were doing them to us, hardly any U.S. politicians have questioned these policies. Instead, Americans still wonder, "Why do they hate us?"
The United States talks a good game on human rights and international law, but it has refused to sign most human rights treaties, is not a party to the International Criminal Court, and has been all too willing to cozy up to dictators -- remember our friend Hosni Mubarak? -- with abysmal human rights records. If that were not enough, the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the George W. Bush administration's reliance on waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and preventive detention should shake America's belief that it consistently acts in a morally superior fashion. Obama's decision to retain many of these policies suggests they were not a temporary aberration.
The United States never conquered a vast overseas empire or caused millions to die through tyrannical blunders like China's Great Leap Forward or Stalin's forced collectivization. And given the vast power at its disposal for much of the past century, Washington could certainly have done much worse. But the record is clear: U.S. leaders have done what they thought they had to do when confronted by external dangers, and they paid scant attention to moral principles along the way. The idea that the United States is uniquely virtuous may be comforting to Americans; too bad it's not true.
Myth 3: America's Success Is Due to Its Special Genius.
The United States has enjoyed remarkable success, and Americans tend to portray their rise to world power as a direct result of the political foresight of the Founding Fathers, the virtues of the U.S. Constitution, the priority placed on individual liberty, and the creativity and hard work of the American people. In this narrative, the United States enjoys an exceptional global position today because it is, well, exceptional.
There is more than a grain of truth to this version of American history. It's not an accident that immigrants came to America in droves in search of economic opportunity, and the "melting pot" myth facilitated the assimilation of each wave of new Americans. America's scientific and technological achievements are fully deserving of praise and owe something to the openness and vitality of the American political order.
But America's past success is due as much to good luck as to any uniquely American virtues. The new nation was lucky that the continent was lavishly endowed with natural resources and traversed by navigable rivers. It was lucky to have been founded far from the other great powers and even luckier that the native population was less advanced and highly susceptible to European diseases. Americans were fortunate that the European great powers were at war for much of the republic's early history, which greatly facilitated its expansion across the continent, and its global primacy was ensured after the other great powers fought two devastating world wars. This account of America's rise does not deny that the United States did many things right, but it also acknowledges that America's present position owes as much to good fortune as to any special genius or "manifest destiny."
Myth 4: The United States Is Responsible for Most of the Good in the World.
Americans are fond of giving themselves credit for positive international developments. President Bill Clinton believed the United States was "indispensable to the forging of stable political relations," and the late Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington thought U.S. primacy was central "to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world." Journalist Michael Hirsh has gone even further, writing in his book At War With Ourselves that America's global role is "the greatest gift the world has received in many, many centuries, possibly all of recorded history." Scholarly works such as Tony Smith's America's Mission and G. John Ikenberry's Liberal Leviathan emphasize America's contribution to the spread of democracy and its promotion of a supposedly liberal world order. Given all the high-fives American leaders have given themselves, it is hardly surprising that most Americans see their country as an overwhelmingly positive force in world affairs.
Once again, there is something to this line of argument, just not enough to make it entirely accurate. The United States has made undeniable contributions to peace and stability in the world over the past century, including the Marshall Plan, the creation and management of the Bretton Woods system, its rhetorical support for the core principles of democracy and human rights, and its mostly stabilizing military presence in Europe and the Far East. But the belief that all good things flow from Washington's wisdom overstates the U.S. contribution by a wide margin.
For starters, though Americans watching Saving Private Ryan or Patton may conclude that the United States played the central role in vanquishing Nazi Germany, most of the fighting was in Eastern Europe and the main burden of defeating Hitler's war machine was borne by the Soviet Union. Similarly, though the Marshall Plan and NATO played important roles in Europe's post-World War II success, Europeans deserve at least as much credit for rebuilding their economies, constructing a novel economic and political union, and moving beyond four centuries of sometimes bitter rivalry. Americans also tend to think they won the Cold War all by themselves, a view that ignores the contributions of other anti-Soviet adversaries and the courageous dissidents whose resistance to communist rule produced the "velvet revolutions" of 1989.
Moreover, as Godfrey Hodgson recently noted in his sympathetic but clear-eyed book, The Myth of American Exceptionalism, the spread of liberal ideals is a global phenomenon with roots in the Enlightenment, and European philosophers and political leaders did much to advance the democratic ideal. Similarly, the abolition of slavery and the long effort to improve the status of women owe more to Britain and other democracies than to the United States, where progress in both areas trailed many other countries. Nor can the United States claim a global leadership role today on gay rights, criminal justice, or economic equality -- Europe's got those areas covered.
Finally, any honest accounting of the past half-century must acknowledge the downside of American primacy. The United States has been the major producer of greenhouse gases for most of the last hundred years and thus a principal cause of the adverse changes that are altering the global environment. The United States stood on the wrong side of the long struggle against apartheid in South Africa and backed plenty of unsavory dictatorships -- including Saddam Hussein's -- when short-term strategic interests dictated. Americans may be justly proud of their role in creating and defending Israel and in combating global anti-Semitism, but its one-sided policies have also prolonged Palestinian statelessness and sustained Israel's brutal occupation.
Bottom line: Americans take too much credit for global progress and accept too little blame for areas where U.S. policy has in fact been counterproductive. Americans are blind to their weak spots, and in ways that have real-world consequences. Remember when Pentagon planners thought U.S. troops would be greeted in Baghdad with flowers and parades? They mostly got RPGs and IEDs instead.
Myth 5: God Is on Our Side.
A crucial component of American exceptionalism is the belief that the United States has a divinely ordained mission to lead the rest of the world. Ronald Reagan told audiences that there was "some divine plan" that had placed America here, and once quoted Pope Pius XII saying, "Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind." Bush offered a similar view in 2004, saying, "We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom." The same idea was expressed, albeit less nobly, in Otto von Bismarck's alleged quip that "God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States."
Confidence is a valuable commodity for any country. But when a nation starts to think it enjoys the mandate of heaven and becomes convinced that it cannot fail or be led astray by scoundrels or incompetents, then reality is likely to deliver a swift rebuke. Ancient Athens, Napoleonic France, imperial Japan, and countless other countries have succumbed to this sort of hubris, and nearly always with catastrophic results.
Despite America's many successes, the country is hardly immune from setbacks, follies, and boneheaded blunders. If you have any doubts about that, just reflect on how a decade of ill-advised tax cuts, two costly and unsuccessful wars, and a financial meltdown driven mostly by greed and corruption have managed to squander the privileged position the United States enjoyed at the end of the 20th century. Instead of assuming that God is on their side, perhaps Americans should heed Abraham Lincoln's admonition that our greatest concern should be "whether we are on God's side."
Given the many challenges Americans now face, from persistent unemployment to the burden of winding down two deadly wars, it's unsurprising that they find the idea of their own exceptionalism comforting -- and that their aspiring political leaders have been proclaiming it with increasing fervor. Such patriotism has its benefits, but not when it leads to a basic misunderstanding of America's role in the world. This is exactly how bad decisions get made.
America has its own special qualities, as all countries do, but it is still a state embedded in a competitive global system. It is far stronger and richer than most, and its geopolitical position is remarkably favorable. These advantages give the United States a wider range of choice in its conduct of foreign affairs, but they don't ensure that its choices will be good ones. Far from being a unique state whose behavior is radically different from that of other great powers, the United States has behaved like all the rest, pursuing its own self-interest first and foremost, seeking to improve its relative position over time, and devoting relatively little blood or treasure to purely idealistic pursuits. Yet, just like past great powers, it has convinced itself that it is different, and better, than everyone else.
International politics is a contact sport, and even powerful states must compromise their political principles for the sake of security and prosperity. Nationalism is also a powerful force, and it inevitably highlights the country's virtues and sugarcoats its less savory aspects.
But if Americans want to be truly exceptional, they might start by viewing the whole idea of "American exceptionalism" with a much more skeptical eye.
The term disaster capitalism reflects the strategy of neoliberal elite to use political unrest, natural disasters and other, including manufactured, social crisis such as the result of color revolution in Serbia, Libya, Ukraine and other countries for plunder. In his article Debt and deficit as shock therapy ( Asia Times, Nov 06, 2013) Ismael Hossein-zadeh wrote:
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.
When Naomi Klein published her ground-breaking book The Shock Doctrine (2007), which compellingly demonstrated how neoliberal policy makers take advantage of overwhelming crisis times to privatize public property and carry out austerity programs, most economists and media pundits scoffed at her arguments as overstating her case. Real world economic developments have since strongly reinforced her views.
Using the unnerving 2008 financial crash, the ensuing long recession and the recurring specter of debt default, the financial oligarchy and their proxies in the governments of core capitalist countries have embarked on an unprecedented economic coup d'état against the people, the ravages of which include extensive privatization of the public sector, systematic application of neoliberal austerity economics and radical redistribution of resources from the bottom to the top. Despite the truly historical and paradigm-shifting importance of these ominous developments, their discussion remains altogether outside the discourse of mainstream economics.
The fact that neoliberal economists and politicians have been cheering these brutal assaults on social safety-net programs should not be surprising. What is regrettable, however, is the liberal/Keynesian economists' and politicians' glaring misdiagnosis of the plague of austerity economics: it is all the "right-wing" Republicans' or Tea Partiers' fault, we are told; the Obama administration and the Democratic Party establishment, including the labor bureaucracy, have no part or responsibility in the relentless drive to austerity economics and privatization of public property.
Keynesian and other liberal economists and politicians routinely blame the abandonment of the New Deal and/or Social-Democratic economics exclusively on Ronald Reagan's supply-side economics, on neoliberal ideology or on economists at the University of Chicago. Indeed, they characterize the 2008 financial collapse, the ensuing long recession and the recurring debt/budgetary turmoil on "bad" policies of "neoliberal capitalism," not on class policies of capitalism per se. 
Evidence shows, however, that
- the transition from Keynesian to neoliberal economics stems from much deeper roots or dynamics than pure ideology ;
- that neoliberal austerity policies are class, not "bad," policies ;
- that the transition started long before Reagan arrived in the White House;
- and that neoliberal austerity policies have been pursued as vigorously (though less openly and more stealthily) by the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as their Republican counterparts. 
Indeed, it could be argued that, due to his uniquely misleading status or station in the socio-political structure of the United States, and equally unique Orwellian characteristics or personality, Obama has served the interests of the powerful financial oligarchy much better or more effectively than any Republican president could do, or has done - including Ronald Reagan. By the same token, he has more skillfully hoodwinked the public and harmed their interests, both in terms of economics and individual/constitutional rights, than any of his predecessors.
Ronald Reagan did not make any bones about the fact that he championed the cause of neoliberal supply-side economics. This meant that opponents of his economic agenda knew where he stood, and could craft their own strategies accordingly.
By contrast, Obama publicly portrays himself as a liberal opponent of neoliberal austerity policies (as he frequently bemoans the escalating economic inequality and occasionally sheds crocodile tears over the plight of the unemployed and economically hard-pressed), while in practice he is a major team player in the debt "crisis" game of charade, designed as a shock therapy scheme in the escalation of austerity economics. 
No president or major policy maker before Obama ever dared to touch the hitherto untouchable (and still self-financing) Social Security and Medicare trust funds. He was the first to dare to make these bedrock social programs subject to austerity cuts, as reflected, for example, in his proposed federal budget plan for fiscal year 2014, initially released in April 2013. Commenting on this unprecedented inclusion of entitlements in the social programs to be cut, Christian Science Monitor wrote (on April 9, 2013): "President Obama's new budget proposal ... is a sign that Washington's attitude toward entitlement reform is slowly shifting, with prospects for changes to Social Security and Medicare becoming increasingly likely."
Obama has since turned that "likelihood" of undermining Social Security and Medicare into reality. He did so by taking the first steps in turning the budget crisis that led to government shutdown in the first half of October into negotiations over entitlement cuts. In an interview on the second day of the shutdown (October 3rd), he called for eliminating "unnecessary" social programs and discussing cuts in "long-term entitlement spending". 
Five days later on October 5th, Obama repeated his support for cutting Social Security and Medicare in a press conference, reassuring congressional Republicans of his willingness to agree to these cuts (as well as to cuts in corporate tax rates from 35% to 28%) if the Republicans voted to increase the government's debt limit: "If anybody doubts my sincerity about that, I've put forward proposals in my budget to reform entitlement programs for the long haul and reform our tax code in a way that would ... lower rates for corporations". 
Only then, that is, only after Obama agreed to collaborate with the Republicans on ways to cut both the entitlements and corporate tax rates, the Republican budget negotiators agreed to the higher budget ceiling and the reopening of the government. The consensus bill that ended the government shutdown extends the automatic across-the-board "sequester" cuts that began last March into the current year. This means that "the budget negotiations in the coming weeks will take as their starting point the $1 trillion in cuts over the next eight years mandated by the sequestration process". 
And so, once again, the great compromiser gave in, and gave away - all at the expense of his (unquestioning) supporters.
To prepare the public for the long-awaited attack on Social Security, Medicare and other socially vital programs, the bipartisan ruling establishment has in recent years invented a very useful hobgoblin to scare the people into submission: occasional budget/debt crises and the specter or the actual pain of government shutdown. As Sheldon Richman recently pointed out:"Wherever we look, there are hobgoblins. The latest is … DEFAULT. Oooooo.Economic policy makers in the White House and the Congress have invoked the debt/deficit hobgoblin at least three times in less than two years: the 2011 debt-ceiling panic, the 2012 "fiscal cliff" and, more recently, the 2013 debt-ceiling/government shutdown crisis - all designed to frighten the people into accepting the slashing of vital social programs. Interestingly, when Wall Street speculators needed trillions of dollars to be bailed out, or as the Fed routinely showers these gamblers with nearly interest-free money through the so-called quantitative easing, debt hobgoblins were/are nowhere to be seen!
Apparently the threats of international terror and China rising aren't enough to keep us alarmed and eager for the tether. These things do tend to wear thin with time. But good old default can be taken off the shelf every now and then. It works like a charm every time.
No, no, not default! Anything but default!". 
The outcome of the latest (2013) "debt crisis management," which led to the 16-day government shutdown (October 1-16), confirmed the view that the "crisis" was essentially bogus. Following the pattern of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 budget/debt negotiations, the bipartisan policy makers kept the phony crisis alive by simply pushing its "resolution" several months back to early 2014. In other words, they did not bury the hobgoblin; they simply shelved it for a while to be taken off when it is needed to, once again, frighten the people into accepting additional austerity cuts - including Social Security and Medicare.
The outcome of the budget "crisis" also highlighted the fact that, behind the apparent bipartisan gridlock and mutual denunciations, there is a "fundamental consensus between these parties for destroying all of the social gains won by the working class over the course of the twentieth century".  To the extent there were disagreements, they were mainly over the tone, the temp, the magnitude, the tactics, and the means, not the end. At the heart of all the (largely contrived) bipartisan bickering was how best to escalate, justify or camouflage the brutal cuts in the vitally necessary social spending.
The left/liberal supporters of Obama, who bemoan his being "pressured" or "coerced" by the Tea Party Republicans into right-wing compromises, should look past his liberal/populist posturing. Evidence shows that, contrary to Barack Obama's claims, his presidential campaigns were heavily financed by the Wall Street financial titans and their influential lobbyists. Large Wall Street contributions began pouring into his campaign only after he was thoroughly vetted by powerful Wall Street interests, through rigorous Q & A sessions by the financial oligarchy, and was deemed to be their "ideal" candidate for presidency. 
Obama's unquestioning followers should also note that, to the extent that he is being "pressured" by his political opponents into compromises/concessions, he has no one to blame but himself: while the Republican Party systematically mobilizes its social base through offshoots like Tea Partiers, Obama tends to deceive, demobilize and disarm his base of supporters. Instead of mobilizing and encouraging his much wider base of supporters (whose more numerous voices could easily drown the shrill voices of Tea Partiers) to political action, he frequently pleads with them to "be patient," and "keep hope alive."
As Andre Damon and Barry Grey have keenly observed, "There was not a single mass organization that denounced the [government] shutdown or opposed it. The trade unions are completely allied with the Obama administration and support its policies of austerity and war". 
Obama's supporters also need to open their eyes to the fact that, as I have shown in an earlier essay,  Obama harbors ideological affinities that are more in tune with Ronald Reagan than with FDR. This is clearly revealed in his book, The Audacity of Hope, where he shows his disdain for
"...those who still champion the old time religion, defending every New Deal and Great Society program from Republican encroachment, achieving ratings of 100% from the liberal interest groups. But these efforts seem exhausted…bereft of energy and new ideas needed to address the changing circumstances of globalization". 
(Her own shortcomings aside, Hillary Clinton was right when, in her bid for the White House against Obama, she pointed out that Obama's economic philosophy was inspired largely by Reagan' supply-side economics. However, because the Wall Street and/or the ruling establishment had already decided that Obama was the preferred choice for the White House, the corporate media let Clinton's comment pass without dwelling much on the reasons behind it; which could readily be examined by simply browsing through his own book.)
The repeated claim that the entitlements are the main drag on the federal budget is false - for at least three reasons. To begin with, the assertion that the large number of retiring baby-boomers is a major culprit in budgetary shortfalls is bogus because while it is true that baby-boomers are retiring in larger than usual numbers they do not come from another planet; before retiring, they also worked and contributed to the entitlement trust fund in larger than usual numbers. This means that, over time, the outflow and inflow of baby-boomers' funds into the entitlement trust fund must necessarily even each other out.
Second, even assuming that this claim is valid, the "problem" can easily be fixed (for many years to come) by simply raising the ceiling of taxable income for Social Security from the current level of $113,700 to a slightly higher level, let's say, $140,000.
Third, the bipartisan policy makers' hue and cry about the alleged budget/debt crisis is also false because if it were true, they would not shy away from facing the real culprits for the crisis: the uncontrollable and escalating health care cost, the equally uncontrollable and escalating military/war/security cost, the massive transfer of private/Wall Street debt to public debt in response to the 2008 financial crash, and the considerable drop since the early 1980s in the revenue side of the government budget, which is the result of the drastic overhaul of the taxation system in favor of the wealthy.
A major scheme of the financial oligarchy and their bagmen in the government to substitute the New Deal with neoliberal economics has (since the early 1980s) been to deliberately create budget deficits in order to justify cuts in social spending. This sinister feat has often been accomplished through a combination of tax cuts for the wealthy and spending hikes for military/wars/security programs.
David Stockman, President Reagan's budget director and one of the main architects of his supply-side tax cuts, confirmed the Reagan administration's policy of simultaneously raising military spending and cutting taxes on the wealthy in order to force cuts in non-military public spending: "My aim had always been to force down the size of the domestic welfare state to the point where it could be adequately funded with the revenues after the tax cut".  That insidious policy of intentionally creating budget deficits in order to force neoliberal austerity cuts on vital social needs has continued to this day - under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Although the bipartisan tactics of austerity cuts are subtle and obfuscating, they can be illustrated with the help of a few simple (hypothetical) numbers: first (and behind the scenes), the two sides agree on cutting non-military public spending by, let's say, $100 billion. To reach this goal, Republicans would ask for a $200 billion cut, for example.
The Obama administration/Democratic Party, pretending to represent the poor and working families, would vehemently object that this is too much ... and that all they can offer is $50 billion, again for example. Next, the Republican negotiators would come up with their own counter-offer of, let's say, $150 billion. Then come months of fake haggling and passionate speeches in defense of their positions ... until they meet eventually half way between $50 billion and $150 billion, which has been their hidden goal ($100 billion) from the beginning.
This is, of course, an overly simplified hypothetical example. But it captures, in broad outlines, the essence of the political game that the Republican and Democratic parties - increasingly both representing big finance/big business - play on the American people. All the while the duplicitous corporate media plays along with this political charade in order to confuse the public by creating the impression that there are no alternatives to austerity cuts, and that all the bipartisan public bickering over debt/budgetary issues vividly represents "democracy in action."
The atmosphere of panic and anxiety surrounding the debt/deficit negotiations is fabricated because the central claim behind the feigned crisis that "there is no money" for jobs, education, health care, Social Security, Medicare, housing, pensions and the like is a lie. Generous subsidies to major Wall Street players since the 2008 market crash has lifted financial markets to new highs, as evinced by the Dow Jones Industrial Average's new bubble above the 15000 mark.
The massive cuts in employment, wages and benefits, as well as in social spending, have resulted in an enormous transfer of economic resources from the bottom up. The wealthiest 1% of Americans now own more than 40% of the entire country's wealth; while the bottom 80% own only 7%. Likewise, the richest 1% now takes home 24% of the country's total income, compared to only 9% four decades ago. 
This means that there really is no need for the brutal austerity cuts as there really is no shortage of financial resources. The purported lack of resources is due to the fact that they are concentrated largely in the deep coffers of the financial oligarchy.
Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007) and Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser's Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). His latest book, Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the Financial Crisis: Parasitic Finance Capital, will be forthcoming from Routledge Books.
Pepe Escobar provided an interesting analysis of Libya case in Disaster capitalism swoops over Libya [Voltaire Network]:
Think of the new Libya as the latest spectacular chapter in the Disaster Capitalism series. Instead of weapons of mass destruction, we had R2P, short for "responsibility to protect". Instead of neo-conservatives, we had humanitarian imperialists.
Voltaire Network | Sâo Paulo (Brazil)
But the target is the same: regime change. And the project is the same: to completely dismantle and privatize a nation that was not integrated into turbo-capitalism; to open another (profitable) land of opportunity for turbocharged neo-liberalism. The whole thing is especially handy because it is smack in the middle of a nearly global recession.
It will take some time; Libyan oil won’t totally return to the market within 18 months. But there’s the reconstruction of everything the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombed (well, not much of what the Pentagon bombed in 2003 was reconstructed in Iraq ...).
Anyway - from oil to rebuilding - in thesis juicy business opportunities loom. France’s neo-Napoleonic Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David of Arabia Cameron believe they will be especially well positioned to profit from NATO’s victory. Yet there’s no guarantee the new Libyan bonanza will be enough to lift both former colonial powers (neo-colonials?) out of recession.
President Sarkozy in particular will milk the business opportunities for French companies for all they’re worth - part of his ambitious agenda of "strategic redeployment" of France in the Arab world. A compliant French media are gloating that this was "his" war - spinning that he decided to arm the rebels on the ground with French weaponry, in close cooperation with Qatar, including a key rebel commando unit that went by sea from Misrata to Tripoli last Saturday, at the start of "Operation Siren".
Well, he certainly saw the opening when Muammar Gaddafi’s chief of protocol defected to Paris in October 2010. That’s when the whole regime change drama started to be incubated.
Bombs for oil
As previously noted (see "Welcome to Libya’s ’democracy’", Asia Times Online, August 24) the vultures are already circling Tripoli to grab (and monopolize) the spoils. And yes - most of the action has to do with oil deals, as in this stark assertion by Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at the "rebel" Arabian Gulf Oil Company: "We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil."
These three happen to be crucial members of the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which are actually growing while the Atlanticist, NATO-bombing economies are either stuck in stagnation or recession. The top four BRICs also happen to have abstained from approving UN Security Council resolution 1973, the no-fly zone scam that metamorphosed into NATO bringing regime change from above. They saw right through it from the beginning.
To make matters worse (for them), only three days before the Pentagon’s Africom launched its first 150-plus Tomahawks over Libya, Colonel Gaddafi gave an interview to German TV stressing that if the country were attacked, all energy contracts would be transferred to Russian, Indian and Chinese companies.
So the winners in the oil bonanza are already designated: NATO members plus Arab monarchies. Among the companies involved, British Petroleum (BP), France’s Total and the Qatar national oil company. For Qatar - which dispatched jet fighters and recruiters to the front lines, trained "rebels" in exhaustive combat techniques, and is already managing oil sales in eastern Libya - the war will reveal itself to be a very wise investment decision.
Prior to the months-long crisis that is in its end game now with the rebels in the capital, Tripoli, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day. Once resumed, this could reap Tripoli’s new rulers some US$50 billion annually. Most estimates place oil reserves at 46.4 billion barrels.
The "rebels" of new Libya better not mess with China. Five months ago, China’s official policy was all ready to call for a ceasefire; if that had happened, Gaddafi would still control more than half of Libya. Yet Beijing - never a fan of violent regime change - for the moment is exercising extreme restraint.After a Libyan "rebel" official warned that Chinese oil companies could lose out after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, China urged Libya to protect its investments and said their oil trade benefited both countries.
Wen Zhongliang, the deputy head of the Ministry of Trade, willfully observed, "Libya will continue to protect the interests and rights of Chinese investors and we hope to continue investment and economic cooperation." Official statements are piling up emphasizing "mutual economic cooperation".
Last week, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice president of the dodgy Transitional National Council (TNC), told Xinhua that all deals and contracts agreed with the Gaddafi regime would be honored - but Beijing is taking no chances.
Libya supplied no more than 3% of China’s oil imports in 2010. Angola is a much more crucial supplier. But China is still Libya’s top oil customer in Asia. Moreover, China could be very helpful in the infrastructure rebuilding front, or in the technology export - no less than 75 Chinese companies with 36,000 employees were already on the ground before the outbreak of the tribal/civil war, swiftly evacuated in less than three days.
The Russians - from Gazprom to Tafnet - had billions of dollars invested in Libyan projects; Brazilian oil giant Petrobras and the construction company Odebrecht also had interests there. It’s still unclear what will happen to them. The director general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, Aram Shegunts, is extremely worried: "Our companies will lose everything because NATO will prevent them from doing business in Libya."
Italy seems to have passed the "rebel" version of "you’re either with us or without us". Energy giant ENI apparently won’t be affected, as Premier Silvio "Bunga Bunga" Berlusconi pragmatically dumped his previous very close pal Gaddafi at the start of the Africom/NATO bombing spree.
ENI’s directors are confident Libya’s oil and gas flows to southern Italy will resume before winter. And the Libyan ambassador in Italy, Hafed Gaddur, reassured Rome that all Gaddafi-era contracts will be honored. Just in case, Berlusconi will meet the TNC’s prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, this Thursday in Milan.
Bin Laden to the rescue
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu - of the famed "zero problems with our neighbors" policy - has also been gushing praise on the former "rebels" turned powers-that-be. Eyeing the post-Gaddafi business bonanza as well, Ankara - as NATO’s eastern flank - ended up helping to impose a naval blockade on the Gaddafi regime, carefully cultivated the TNC, and in July formally recognized it as the government of Libya. Business "rewards" loom.
Then there’s the crucial plot; how the House of Saud is going to profit from having been instrumental in setting up a friendly regime in Libya, possibly peppered with Salafi notables; one of the key reasons for the Saudi onslaught - which included a fabricated vote at the Arab League - was the extreme bad blood between Gaddafi and King Abdullah since the run-up towards the war on Iraq in 2002.
It’s never enough to stress the cosmic hypocrisy of an ultra-regressive absolute monarchy/medieval theocracy - which invaded Bahrain and repressed its native Shi’ites - saluting what could be construed as a pro-democracy movement in Northern Africa.
Anyway, it’s time to party. Expect the Saudi Bin Laden Group to reconstruct like mad all over Libya - eventually turning the (looted) Bab al-Aziziyah into a monster, luxury Mall of Tripolitania.
American exceptionalism should probably be more correctly called US-specific version of far right nationalism. and as any other nationalism is it is the fundament of empire building. Along with Neoliberalism it is the main force that shapes predator state behavior of the USA in foreign affairs. Like in case of Medieval Crusades which plunder Egypt, Iraq as well as plunder Constantinople and destroyed Byzantium empire it has distinct religious overtones and can be called "Democracy Crusade" and US neocons can be called "democracy crusaders".
The first deep analyses of American exceptionalism was done by Niebuhr from the religious positions in his famous book The Irony of American History. Niebuhr as a theologian considered it to be a sin that inevitably lead to the false allure of simple solutions and lack of appreciation of limits of power. In his opinion "Messianic consciousness" which constitute the core of American exceptionalism, was partially inherited form religious dogmas of early religious sects which came to colonize America.
But while its origin is different in all major manifestations it is identical to far right nationalism.
The policy which oppose exceptionalism is often called Noninterventionism
Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.
There were several important thinkers who contributed to understand of this complex phenomena:
See also neo-conservatism which is a related phenomenon. In this case the pre-eminence of the USA as the sole superpower needs to be maintained at all costs.
Recent events in Ukraine led to a disappointing conclusion: nationalists can behave as compradors: as enthusiastic servants of the US neoliberal in plunder of their own country by international banking cartel. Ukraine is one example, Serbia and Georgia are other but very similar examples of this new type of plunder...
In his brilliant foreword to Niebuhr's book Bacevich noted:
In Niebuhr's view, America's rise to power derived less from divine favor than from good fortune combines with a fierce determination to convert that good fortune in wealth and power. The good fortune cane in the form of vast landscape, rich in resources, ripe for exploitation, and apparently insulated from the bloody cockpit of [European] power politics. The determination found expression in a strategy of commercial and territorial expansionism that proved staggeringly successful, evidence not of superior virtue but of shrewdness punctuated with a considerable capacity for ruthlessness.
In describing America's rise to power Niebuhr does not shrink from using words like "hegemony" and "imperialism". His point is not to tag the United States with responsibility for all the world's evils. Rather, it is to suggest that it does not differ from other great powers as much as Americans may imagine.
...Niebuhr has little patience for those who portray the United States as acting on God's behalf. "All men are naturally inclined to obscure the morally ambiguous element in this political cause by investing it with religious sanctity," he once observed. " This is why religion is more frequently a source of confusion then of light in the political realm.". In the United States, he continued "The tendency to equate our political [goals] with our Christian convictions cause politics to generate idolatry."
In the introduction to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism:
I would add to it
The contributors to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights use Ignatieff's essay as a starting point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism -- America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example -- or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism.
The second important contribution to to the studies of American exceptionalism is Anatol Lieven. He correctly linked American exceptionalism with far right nationalism which Wikipedia defined as
Far-right politics or extreme-right politics are right-wing politics to the right of the mainstream centre right on the traditional left-right spectrum. They often involve a focus on tradition as opposed to policies and customs that are regarded as reflective of modernism. They tend to include disregard or disdain for egalitarianism, if not overt support for social inequality and social hierarchy, elements of social conservatism and opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism.
"America keeps a fine house," Anatol Lieven writes in his probably best book on the American Exceptionalism (America Right or Wrong An Anatomy of American Nationalism ) "but in its cellar there lives a demon, whose name is nationalism." In a way US neocons, who commanded key position in Bush II and Barack Obama administrations are not that different from Israeli Likud Party.
While neocons definitely played an important role in shaping the US policy immediately after 9/11, the origins of aggressive U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 also reflect controversial character of the US national identity, which according to Anatol Lieven embraces two contradictory features.
Both of those tendencies are much older then 9/11. The first aggressive, expansionist war by the US was the war of 1812. See American Loyalists, The Most Important War You Probably Know Nothing About - By James Traub Foreign Policy
The War of 1812 matters because it was America’s first war of choice. The United States did not have to declare war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, to survive as a nation and indeed President James Madison did not want to. The newly founded United States was growing westward but the “war hawks” in Congress pressed for a conflict with America’s former colonial masters in the hopes of gaining even more territory to the north. The term “hawk” was coined in the run-up to the War of 1812 and the hawks of U.S. foreign policy have been with us ever since.
The War of 1812 was America’s first neocon war. With an audacity that would become familiar, the war hawks appealed to a combination of personal pride — the British navy was forcibly conscripting Americans — and the prospect of material gain — the absorption of British Canada — wrapped up in love of country. No one said the conquest of Canada would be a “cakewalk,” but the hawks were confident the Americans would be greeted as liberators.
These two mutually-excusive impulses caused wild oscillations of the US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East and influenced the nature of U.S. support for Israel. Due to those oscillations those two contradictory impulses are undermining the U.S. foreign policy credibility in the eyes of the worlds and complicates reaching important national objectives.
Some attribute the term “American Exceptionalism” to Alexis de Tocqueville — though he never penned the phrase. In reality this term originated by German Marxists who were trying to explain weakness of worker movement in the USA. The idiom was popularized by neo-conservative pundits (aka former Trotskyites) soon after WWII.
In reality the term "American Exceptionalism is nothing but a disguised, more "politically correct" reference to America's Janus-faced nationalism. It has some mystical components like long vanished under the hill of financial oligarchy the "American dream" and its German-style refrain "God bless America". What is interesting about "God bless America" is that most founding fathers were Deists, profoundly critical of organized religions and they sought to separate personal -- what many of them described as mythologies -- from government. They were profoundly respectful of personal religious belief, but saw government as necessarily secular if freedom was to prevail. Not until the religious revivals of the 1820s through the 1860s can you find many identifying religion as a component of American exceptionalism.
As Martin Woollacott aptly noted in his review of Anatol Lieven book America, Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism ( Guardian):
He cuts through the conformist political rhetoric of America, the obfuscating special language of the "American dream", or the "American exception", which infects even foreign accounts. Even to use the word "nationalism" to describe an American phenomenon is, as he notes, not normal. Americans are not "nationalist", they are "patriotic". It is a patriotism which too often leaves no room for the patriotism of others, combining a theoretical care for all humanity with, in practice, an "indifference verging on contempt" for the interests and hopes of non-Americans. Nothing could be more distant from "the decent respect to the opinions of mankind" recommended to Americans in the early years of their independent existence
Lieven first paints a picture of an in some ways admirable American "civic nationalism", based on respect for the rule of law, constitutionality, democracy, and social (but not economic) equality, and a desire to spread these values in the world. But because this nationalism unrealistically holds that such "American" values can be exported at will, it blinds Americans to the different nature of other societies, sustaining the mistaken idea that if only particular rulers or classes can be displaced, "democracy" will prevail - a "decapitation" theory which contributed to the decision to attack Saddam. The American campaign to democratize other societies, Lieven says, harshly but fairly, "combines sloppiness of intellect and meanness of spirit". But, while in part mythic and not entirely rational, this side of American nationalism is of some value not only to the United States, but to the world as a whole.
...The result, Lieven argues, is that instead of the mature nationalism of a satisfied and dominant state, American nationalism is more akin to that of late developing and insecure states such as Wilhelmine Germany and Tsarist Russia.
"While America keeps a splendid and welcoming house," Lieven writes in his preface, "it also keeps a family of demons in its cellar.
His book supports Mark Twain quite to the effect that we are blessed with three things in this country, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and, thirdly, the common sense to practice neither one!
He also points at the very important side effect of Exceptionalism: "America's hypocrisy," (see for example Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair). An outstanding level of hypocrisy in the US foreign policy also is corroborated by other scholars, among them James Hillman in his recent book "A Terrible Love of War" in which he characterizes hypocrisy as quintessentially American (although British are strong competitors). Now after Snowden, Libya, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc we might be appear to be entering an new stage on which "The era of easy hypocrisy is over."
The regime of easy hypocrisy means that America position itself as a blessed nation created by God and (here’s the rub) therefore privileged in what actions it can take around the world and the nation that can safely ignore international norms, which are created only for suckers. It is above the international law.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
This is pretty precise definition of the idea of introduced by Nazi idea of “decisionism” in which action is seen as a value in itself. Decisionism is a defining feature of any totalitarian state. By extension if you find decisionism is rational to expect other features of such states. Umberto Eco has listed fourteen attributes along with two major features: irrationalism and decisionism. Eco has them listed as attributes 2 and 3.
The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.
3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.
Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.Fascism has an irrational element that rejects modern thought because it conflicts with traditional beliefs of the Christian religion and because fascism views communist ideology as a child of the Age of Reason and Jewish intellectuals. The Nazis were well aware that Karl Marx was a German Jew. Evolution is seen as modernist and is rejected in favor of Christian creationism. This debate is repeating itself today in American society with Christian fundamentalism attempting to gain control of state education.
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt
Very closely related to irrationalism is “decisionism” in which action is seen as a value in itself. This is an existential element in fascism that elevates action over thought. Action is a sign of unambiguous power, and thought is associated with weakness and indecision. Carl Schmitt, a Nazi Law constitutional jurist, wrote that a decision is “(an actual historical event) and not within that of a norm (an ahistoric and transcendent idea).” The a priori is overshadowed by the posteriori. Actions over abstract principles, Fact over Idea, Power over pure thought, Certainty over ambiguity are the values and ideological norms that are primary in a totalitarian state.
After fleeing Germany, Marcuse wrote in 1934 a critique of German fascist society and attempted to identify those beliefs and philosophical themes found within fascist ideology. Marcuse believed that the seeds of fascism could be found in the Capitalist Democratic Liberal State, which over time mutate as Monopoly Capitalism gain control of the State as in the case of Germany. The evolution of Capitalism is also the concealed dialectic of Fascism. Those mutated liberal democratic ideas and values are betrayed by a totalitarianism based on action and force.
Using Germany as his example of a fascist society Marcuse writes:From what social idea in Capitalistic Liberalism did this decisionism evolve? It is none other than the economic hero, the free independent entrepreneur of industrial capitalism.The idea of the charismatic, authoritarian leader is already preformed in the liberalist celebration of the gifted economic leader, the “born” executive. Negations, page 18.
And within the political sphere all relationships are oriented in turn toward the most extreme “crisis,” toward the decision about the “state of emergency,” of war and peace. The true possessor of power is defined as beyond all legality and legitimacy: “Sovereign is he who decides on the state of emergency.” (Carl Schmitt, Politische Theologie,1922).
Sovereignty is founded on the factual power to make this decision (decisionism). The basic political relationship is the “friend-enemy relationship.” Its crisis is war, which proceeds until the enemy has been physically annihilated.
There is no social relationship that does not in a crisis turn into a political relationship. Behind all economic, social, religious, and cultural relations stands total politicization. There is no sphere of private or public life, no legal or rational court of appeal that could oppose it.
Negations, page 36.
The total-authoritarian state is born out of the Liberal state and the former concept of the economic leader is transformed into a Fuhrer. We can see this mutation of the concept of the “born” executive into the leader-state (Fuhrerstaat) in George Bush’s speech and actions.
An uneducated but privileged man, George Bush, has merged the idea of the CEO with that of the State Leader. But society has also made this same concatenation of ideas. He is a president of action and seen as a “strong” president. He is doer and not a thinker and his followers are proud of this persona. His opponents are “feminine” and members of the “reality based community.” Consequently, the Bush administration has attempted to engineer the executive branch to be the strongest in American history by claiming “inherent” presidential powers. It is precisely the concept of “state of emergency” that Bush has used to grab more and more state power in the name of security.
He has instituted the hyper-surveillance of Americas with the Patriot act, which is based on the same justification Nazi Law used to empower the Fuhrer. A Bush lawyer and advisor, John Yoo, wrote, Just two weeks after the September 11 attacks, a secret memo to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales’ office concluded that President Bush had the power to deploy military force “preemptively” against any terrorist groups or countries that supported them—regardless of whether they had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers or the Pentagon. The memo, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, argues that there are effectively “no limits” on the president’s authority to wage war—a sweeping assertion of executive power that some constitutional scholars say goes considerably beyond any that had previously been articulated by the department. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6732484/site/newsweek/
Carl Schmitt, a Nazi Law constitutional jurist in Hitler’s Third Reich, wrote a similar justification of power for the State Leader using the concept of the “exception” in his work “Political Theology,” Hence, the thundering opening of his treatise: 'The sovereign is he who decides on the exception.' It is a disturbingly 'realistic' view of politics, which, in the manner of Hobbes, subordinates de jure authority to de facto power: autoritas, non veritas facit legem. (The law is made by the one who has authority (i.e. power) and not the one who possesses the truth (the legitimate sovereign).)
The problem of the exception, for the constitutional jurist Schmitt, can only be resolved within the framework of a decision (an actual historical event) and not within that of a norm (an ahistoric and transcendent idea). Moreover, the legal act which decides what constitutes an exception is 'a decision in the true sense of the word', because a general norm, an ordinary legal prescription, 'can never encompass a total exception'. If so, then, 'the decision that a real exception exists cannot be derived entirely from this norm.' The problem of the exception, in other words, demarcates the limit of the rule of law and opens up that trans-legal space, that no-man's land of existential exigency, which is bereft of legal authority and where the decision of the sovereign abrogates the anomaly of the legal void. …against the legal positivism of his times, Schmitt seems to be arguing that not law but the sovereign, not the legal text but the political will, is the supreme authority in a state. States are not legal entities but historical polities; they are engaged in a constant battle for survival where any moment of their existence may constitute an exception, it may engender a political crisis that cannot be remedied by the application of the rule of law. From the existential priority of the sovereign over the legitimacy of the norm, it would also follow that according to Schmitt, law is subservient to politics and not autonomous of it. The Sovereignty of the Political Carl Schmitt and the Nemesis of Liberalism http://www.algonet.se/~pmanzoor/CarlSchmitt.htm
When the Bush administration argues that increased presidential power is needed to fight terrorism by suspending or overriding the constitutional protections against search and seizures, they are arguing the principles of Nazi constitutional law. Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday vigorously defended the Bush administration's use of secret domestic spying and efforts to expand presidential powers, saying "it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years." Talking to reporters aboard his government plane as he flew from Islamabad, Pakistan to Muscat, Oman on an overseas mission, Cheney said a contraction in the power of the presidency since the Vietnam and Watergate era must be reversed. "I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it. And to some extent, that we have an obligation as the administration to pass on the offices we hold to our successors in as good of shape as we found them," he said.
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/12/20/D8EK28B82.htmlAgainst these ever expanding powers of the State stand the once traditional individual freedoms upheld by the Liberal Democratic State. The theologian and philosopher of the Age of Reason, Immanuel Kant wrote…Human right must be kept sacred, no matter how great the sacrifice it costs the ruling powers. One cannot go only halfway and contrive a pragmatically conditioned right….All politics, rather, must bend the knee before sacred human right…
The same idea from slightly different angle is reflected in term "Faith-based community" vs. Reality-based community ( Wikipedia )
Reality-based community is a popular term among liberal political commentators in the United States. In the fall of 2004, the phrase "proud member of the reality-based community" was first used to suggest the commentator's opinions are based more on observation than on faith, assumption, or ideology. The term has been defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from judicious study of discernible reality." Some commentators have gone as far as to suggest that there is an overarching conflict in society between the reality-based community and the "faith-based community" as a whole. It can be seen as an example of political framing.
The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Commentators who use this term generally oppose former President Bush's policies and by using this term imply that Bush's policies (and, by extension, those of the conservative movement generally) were (or are) out of touch with reality. Others use the term to draw a contrast with the perceived arrogance of the Bush Administration's unilateral policies, in accordance with the aide's quote. Its popularity has prompted some conservative commentators to use the term ironically, to accuse the left-leaning "reality-based community" of ignoring reality.
The Republican Party — and more particularly the neo-con wing of the party — is particularly susceptible to imperial outreach. This imperial mentality is well exemplified by Fox News reporting.
For example, Matt Lewis, a conservative political Pundit on MSNBC attacked Barack Obama for saying “Any world order that elevates one nation above another will fall flat.” In response Lewis stated:
“I think that goes against the idea of American exceptionalism…most Americans believe that America was gifted by God and is a blessed nation and therefore we are better.”
For any conservative the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is rather bemusing. America is not more democratic, more free, more enterprising, more tolerant, or more anything else be it Canada, New Zealand or for that matter Australia. America is just a bigger country and due to its size, human resources and industrial potential it the leading Western country and the owner of world reserve currency, after Great Britain became financially exhausted after WWII. That means that American Exceptionalism is simply a politically correct work for a combustible mixture of nationalism (with Christian messianism component similar to Crusades with "democracy" instead Jesus) and Jingoism. In a very deep sense this is a negation of the idea "all men are created equal" and as such is anti-American ;-). The motto of Imperial America is "All animals are equal but some are more equal then other".
America is a blessed nation as everybody in the country is an immigrant, the nation that at some point of time was freer and more prosperous than many others, but as a great Nazarene once said, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS
Here is one of those neon sentences. Quote,
"The pursuit of freedom, as defined in an age of consumerism, has induced a condition of dependence on imported goods, on imported oil, and on credit. The chief desire of the American people," you write, "is that nothing should disrupt their access to these goods, that oil, and that credit. The chief aim of the U.S. government is to satisfy that desire, which it does in part of through the distribution of largesse here at home, and in part through the pursuit of imperial ambitions abroad."
In other words, you're saying that our foreign policy is the result of a dependence on consumer goods and credit.
Our foreign policy is not something simply concocted by people in Washington D.C. and imposed on us. Our foreign policy is something that is concocted in Washington D.C., but it reflects the perceptions of our political elite about what we want, we the people want. And what we want, by and large - I mean, one could point to many individual exceptions - but, what we want, by and large is, we want this continuing flow of very cheap consumer goods.
We want to be able to pump gas into our cars regardless of how big they may happen to be, in order to be able to drive wherever we want to be able to drive. And we want to be able to do these things without having to think about whether or not the book's balanced at the end of the month, or the end of the fiscal year. And therefore, we want this unending line of credit.
Quite logically the imperial actions is a source of widespread Anti-Americanism. As Ian Tyrrell noted in What is American exceptionalism
It is also important to realize that there is a “negative” version of exceptionalism, i.e. that the US has been exceptionally bad, racist, violent. While this is less a part of the common myths about American history, the attempt to compensate for American exceptionalism by emphasizing unique American evils is equally distorting. We need to think more about this matter, especially when we deal with racial divisions and gender prejudice. Is the US experience a variant on wider racial and gender patterns? While social history has provided new perspectives on the role of women, African Americans, and ethnics in the making of American history, has that new history discredited or qualified ideas of American exceptionalism?
The actual term “American exceptionalism” was originally coined by German Marxists who wished to explain why the US seemed to have by-passed the rise of socialism and Marxism. (Actually the US had much class conflict, some Marxist parties and theorists, and a lively socialist movement, though the latter was not on the scale of, say, France and Germany.) But exceptionalism is much more than about class conflict.
Some historians prefer the terms “differences” or “uniqueness?” Are these suitable substitutes? Whatever the terminology, the implications of American difference/uniqueness have long been debated. Some have said the difference was temporary, and eventually the US would be like other countries. Others have argued that American “specialness” stems from its political, intellectual,
|The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume
that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only
crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to
~Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, 1963
Color revolution is the technology of changing the government, in the interest of particular country using as a pretext "export of democracy" or "fight with corruption". Such operations as mixture of open ("surface") actions and covert actions centered around the US embassy under the smoke screen cover of fighting for democracy, against corruption and other populist slogans.
In is important to understand that underneath "surface" actions of color revolution there is a well financed and strongly supported by State Detartment and the power of the USA three letter agencies covert military operation of "regime change". This operation involves local neoliberal fifth column, CIA, US embassy (and other Western embassies), set of pro-Western NGO, neoliberal press both inside the country and outside the country ("air support"), embassy cash for protestors delivered via diplomatic mail ("bombing country with dollars") and several similar technologies.
The technology of color revolutions was first developed by the USA in early 80th and first used in Phillipines(Colour revolution - Wikipedia). But events in Iran in 1953 also has distinct flavor of color revolution, so the technology is probably much older (The Coup 1953, The CIA, and The Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations )
One is struck with the healthy and vibrant Iranian democracy which existed before the coup. The nationalization of the oil industry was the result of a long democratic process -- not all Iranian politicians supported nationalization -- and was the result of legislative and congressional (in pre-coup Iran, called Mejlis) debates and discussions. One is struck with the futility and similarity -- then as in now -- of commercial and economic sanctions the Western powers imposed on the country short of actual intervention. One is also struck with the naked exercise of Western Imperialism by BP, the UK, and the US when all other non-invasive methods failed. To be clear nationalization was driven by the long history of officially- sanctioned business abuses and corrupt business practices of BP. Abrahamian goes into great, painstaking detail of these corrupt business practices and of how and in what manner BP systematically shortchanged the Iranian government of royalties due while the concessions were in effect while at the same time exploiting its natural resources.
It has nothing to do with peaceful change of power. In reality this is a new type of warfare, a covert operation with the active, cash-based financing ("bombing country with dollars ( delivered via diplomatic mail or other covert channels) " on neoliberal fifth column within the country (and such fifth column conveniently concentrates in the capital); bribing or intimidating politicians, government officials, key intellectuals , extensive PR-cover and direct participation of all staff of embassy (or several embassies like was the case with EuroMaidan), simultaneous highly coordinated work of three letter agencies, US embassy, set of NGOs, press, fifth column and squads of armed militants.
Great penetration up to dominance in local press is a very important, distinushing feature of color revolutions as a regime change operation. It is usually prepared in advance. It's role is very similar to air superiority in modern wars. It is presence of controlled media that allow to demoralize the government and neutralize power block (especially police and intelligence agencies) of the county.
Again, in its essence, color revolution represent a new military technology used by a powerful country (or a group of such countries). Typically the goal is to install a neoliberal regime. This is a new weapon of USA government and its development was a kind of new, neoliberal Manhattan project.
The concept was developer in early 80th and first successfully implemented in 80th People Power Revolution in Philippines and then in famous 1989 Velvet Revolution. They were also instrumental in the dissolution of the USSR (especially in separation of Baltic states and Ukraine from Russia)
The key idea of color revolution is far from new. It is essentially replicated and adapted to new conditions of neoliberal expansion the Trotskyites idea of permanent revolution. They just replaced the idea of "victory of communism" with the "victory of democracy" as the shining beacon that leads lemmings to the cliff. But generally there is one-to-one correspondence in strategy and tactic -- the same efforts for recruitment of students and unemployed of semi-employed youth (recently in EuroMaidan including especially football fanatics). The same idea of bribing part of intelligencia, expanded to part of government, military and politicians. Especially those who already have experience in clashes with police (in modern conditions the most important of such groups are far right nationalists and football ultras). In other words creating the canon fodder of color revolution.
It is "non-direct", highly disguised, but no less very effective form of aggression against sovereign states, which combine a huge injection of cash ("bombing country with dollars"), mass disinformation campaigns, cyber-measures, the use of special forces, sometimes disguised as local partisans, mobilization of local fifth column, intimidation of opponents through displays of strength and usage of ultra-right groups, pressure from Western government on legitimate government to avoid using direct means of suppressing the protest and other forms of intimidation including economic coercion. Sound familiar? Yes this is what Serbian revolution, Georgian revolution, Ukrainian Orange revolution and EuroMaidan were about to name just a few.
Among methods and technologies used in color revolutions the following should be noted and as you will see, reached a level certain perfection:
A very good summary of essential elements of color revolution was given in the post by Stephen Karganović Analogie mezi Jugoslávií a Ukrajinou (Russian translation is available at Сходство между Югославией и Украиной ИноСМИ - Все, что достойно перевода). Slightly edited Google translation follows:
The analogy between Yugoslavia and the Ukraine by Stephen Karganović
February 15, 2015 | Czech Free PressRussian experts analyzed in detail the similarities in the methods and strategies used by the western coalition in connection with the Ukrainian crisis that has spawned and has exacerbated into brutal civil war. The same actors used those strategies developed in the 90's create the fertile soil for a brutal civil war which resulted in the destruction of the former Yugoslavia, are The reasons for such in-depth research are legion. First of all, if your not very imaginative or too arrogant enemy repeatedly acts according to the same template, knowing it provides you with a significant strategic advantage. It allows you to some extent to predict his actions and propose effective countermeasures.
Although chutzpa of western strategists undoubtedly allow to counter their schemes more effectively, however, it is very important carefully analyze the key similarities and differences in two different situation so that you are not fighting the last war. Here are key elements of the color revolution template:
- The ethnic and religious fragmentation. The starting point of any color revolution is Identification of the usable social tensions and their systematic aggravation so that that at the end they can serve as a detonator of the planned crisis. This means mutual divide constitutive of the community, with an emphasis on what sets them apart, and at the same time reducing the weight of what they have in common.
In Yugoslavia this strategy began be carried out long before the visible signs of the crisis, forming of new ethnic identities (Muslim, Montenegrin and Macedonian) was financed and supported as well as separatist aspirations were systematically encouragement and refined in the context of the existing ones (especially among the Croats and Slovenians). The Ukrainian identity is also an artificial construction, which is defined not positively, but primarily in a hate of all Russians, as a militant negation of all Russian culture and language. In Ukraine, as before, in Yugoslavia, existing religious cleft between the Catholics and the Orthodox part of the country was also successfully used to increase, deepen and sharpen the existing animosity.
- Deceptive by promise higher standard of living and creation of various material temptations to support the politically desired behavior.
In the former Yugoslavia, where there was by the end of the 80. years of a decent standard of living, has been used in the prospects for an even better life, which would have followed the dissolution of the socialist state, as a bait to encourage separatist tendencies. Yugoslavia Catholic west was promised to increase the well-being to the level of Germany, when they decide to separate and commit to the "civilizational choice" (nearly identical phrase was used in the context of Ukraine) in favor of the integration with EU. Muslims in Bosnia and in Kosovo were promised great benefit from close connection to the rich Islamic countries. In Ukraine the EuroMaidan events were triggered by the illusion of rapid inclusion into the European union as associated ability to travel to the Western countries without visa and dramatic raise of standard of living.
The majority of the population in western and central Ukraine, who have responded positively to these fake prospects of improving their standard of living and totally failed to realize gravity of the real economic and social transition, and more importantly, didn't realize the existence of the strong "no new members" trend in the EU. As a result they were forced to act on the basis of completely unfounded assumptions.
- Control of MSM in the target countries for the purpose of influencing the perception and behavior of the masses.
The penetration of western influences in the media space in the former Yugoslavia, the pioneer of which was Soros, started immediately as soon as the political liberalization at the end of the 80th allow it. From the early 90's. years, when the conflict was the feeded mainly from abroad and did not yet became self sustained, a big part of the local media in all of the Yugoslav republics fall under the direct control of the western owners. A similar transfer of MSM into western hands occurred in Ukraine during the last two decades, where before EuroMaidan all the major MSM including TV channels were under the firm control of the controlled by the west oligarchs such as Poroshenko and kolomyski. all of them simultaneously Promoted the almost uniform and factually incorrect narrative about the benefits that would come from a political alliance EU and NATO and the EU, and total alienation from Russia.
- As in Ukraine, as in Yugoslavia, there was a certain core of the population, which proved to be resistant to brainwashing and continues to hold its own narrative. It was politically marginalized.
While those people Radically reject these false ideas, which were designed to guarantee the acceptance of the new political arrangement under the iron heel of the West. In Ukraine, it was the Russian speaking east, in Yugoslavia the Serbs.
The rejection of these groups to accept peacefully the loss of their own cultural identity and political autonomy has led in both cases to conflicts. A clear answer is required whether the armed conflict (although he was in principle predictable) also the preplanned and intended consequence of the processes that have been put into operation.
In the case of Ukraine we can be reasonably doubtful, because of the apparent intention of the new Kiev junta after regime change was to include the country to NATO and the EU under the guidance of a vassal government in Kiev and this goal does not include the political disintegration of the country. EU wanted to eat the whole peace, as a single country.
In the case of Yugoslavia, it can be argued that the conflict leading in the Serbian military defeat was clearly part of the plan. It is possible, however, that was originally expected that the campaign will be much faster and more successful. As it turned out, by the fact that the instigators of the Yugoslav crisis reviews are written by free rein to their Croatian and Muslim protecting, perhaps inadvertently, created a clear existential threat to the Serbs, who were scattered throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which greatly cemented their resistance and prolong the conflict longer than originally expected.
In addition, it could lead to further unintentional result: a serious challenge to the Yeltsin's alliance with the West (although Russia played a role of Western vassal in this case). It has come to a critical stage in the time of the Kosovo war. The result was the rise of Putin and his political vision as a response to the war.
Whether it was the original intention of the Ukraine anything (was probably only about the direction of cultural fragmentation while maintaining the overall political integrity of the country, albeit with a much more reliable western component, which would put to the untrusted east of the country into submission), it seems that failed as soon as it was when Kiev junta used brute force. As pointed out by informed analysts, power compromise between Kiev and Russian speaking east, which was possible two or three months ago [the article was written in September 2014, nb], is no longer possible because of the suffering and destruction Kiev junta has caused. The situation is evolving rapidly, while the regions that are culturally focused mainly on Russia, more and more refuse to have anything to do with Kiev, irrespective of the details of the proposed arrangement, if any. In this sense, today in Ukraine are getting a strong analogy with the spirit of the resistance, which was typical for Bosnian and Croatian Serbs during the Yugoslav conflict.
One can imagine that if the West backed junta in both of the cases from the beginning took a more subtle and a more flexible attitude towards the Serbian and the Russian population, whose political role they want to diminish, it could proceed much more effectively, and might even prevent the radicalization of the opposition. And could it be truly successful, because in both cases, it was junta not the rebels, who, at least initially, intend to resort to violence.
- The west uses the most despicable social strata and dirty methods to achieve their goals. there are a number of documents that can shed light on the diabolic pact of the West with Iran (Iran-Contra) and other usage of more or less fundamentalist Islamic actors in order to strengthen the local Muslim forces in Bosnia, which was in line with the interests of NATO and the EU and the fight for control of the whole country.
The participation of certain elements of the European far right in the war on the side of the right-center regime in Croatia was encouraged. A similar pattern can be observed in the Middle east, where the radical Islamic faction become a means to undermine the secular regimes, which were regarded as hostile to the West.
In Ukraine there was a contract with the devil clearly included some of the most egregious of the local fascist forces, literally remnants and direct ascendants of forces that collaborated with Nazi during WW2. Their task was to provide a storm troopers for seizing power, and stage the coup d'état after which the West supported oligarchs and politicians in Kiev took power consolidate pro western neoliberal government. It seems that in both in Yugoslavian the Ukrainian case the key idea was :
"Now we are going to use them for the removal of our main opponent and them we will deal with neofascists later."
The probability that monsters which the West created at some point can refuse to obey their Western masters, was not taken into consideration. The post-war spread of radical Islam in Bosnia, where it previously never existed, and the consolidation of a strong fascist groundswell in Croatia is enough proof of this effect. In terms of the Nazi-inspired movements and armed formations in Ukraine, it seems that there is no clear plan as for how to bring them back to obedience once a conflict is over and they, presumably, outlived their usefullness for the west.
Those tools, which the West amorally used to achieve their objectives, sow the Dragon teeth of the long-term instability as there is a distinct tendency of such forces to get out of control of their creators and even turn against them as happened with radical Wahhabism Islam.
For Russia, the Ukraine is a serious problems, as those Dragon teeth, which was sown opportunistically by West as a tool for interference , will bear bitter fruits. Undoubtedly, they will prevent integration of Ukraine into the "Russian world", even if we limit to most basic cooperation as understood by the current Russian politicians. In other words Ukraine lost all Russian market.
- Covert support of Western puppets, while publicly proclaiming the policy of non-interference, which in practice is demanded only from other parties.
Another important similarity lies in the fact that in the case of both the crisis of the West has initiated an embargo on the importation of weapons and logistical support to the conflicting parties, but on a regular basis is skirted in favor of their local clients. Rich evidentiary material, which was accumulated after the end of the 90. years, leaves no doubt about the fact that the Bosnian Muslim and Croatian forces in Yugoslavia were supplied by the west with a huge amount of weapons and large amount of training.
Russia is the target of the process of demonization for not only the military, but even humanitarian aid to rebel regions in Ukraine. Western patrons insist on an almost unlimited right to support their clients, as in Belgrade in the 90's years, and Moscow now have similar privileges denied. Their insistence on a "level playing field" - the cliché which was often used at the time of the Bosnian conflict, turned out not to be what was in fact: it was the naked hypocrisy.
- A significant difference: Moscow has a clearly defined political objectives. You could say that one of the main reasons for the failure of the Serbian resistance in Croatia and only partial success in Bosnia was the lack of a clear political vision of both in their own ranks, and in Belgrade, which supported them.
The Russian analysis of this experience has played an important role in ensuring that Moscow and its allies try to avoid to get into the swamp of the civil war without a clear definition of their goals and means to achieve them. No doubt that president , Putin does not want to imitate Slobodan Milosevic, who delivered a brilliant television speech, which contained a crucial insight about the machinations of his western opponents, but his timing couldn't be worse - it was delivered a few days before his overthrow.
It seems that the Balkan events led to a more sobering view on the USE and a lot of self-reflection of Russian politicians, and that has double effect. First of all, the Kosovo war and the bombing of Yugoslavia at the end of the 90. years clearly give rise to substantial upheaval that has contributed to the change of Russian leadership. As a result Vladimir Putin became Russian president and his vision now if dominant. However, the negative consequences of the tortuous policy of encouraging their protégés in Bosnia and Croatia, followed by Milosevic, have been for the Russians another huge lesson. This lies in the fact that if someone does not have a wider strategic vision and the ability to put it place, it is better to avoid such a risky and complex entanglements.
Source: vineyardsaker.blogspot.cz, translation: Charles Hyka
Taken from the www.kosovoonline.cz
The origin of the concept is Trotskyite theory of the Permanent Revolution adapted by neoliberal establishment to serve the spread of neoliberalism under disguise of spread of "democracy" instead of communism. "Domocracy" and "fight with corruption" are just smoke screens used to intelligence operation of regime change. Much like Bolsheviks attempts (not very successful) to stage socialist revolutions in Eastern Europe in 20th. Such an irony of history. Comrade Trotsky probably rolls in his grave ;-). Below is Trotsky quote:
The Bolsheviks were also implementing a new strategy – "Revolution from abroad" (Revolutsiya izvne, literally "revolution from the outside"); based around the assumption that revolutionary masses desire revolution but are unable to carry it out without help from more organized and advanced Bolsheviks.
Hence, as Leon Trotsky remarked, the revolution should be "brought on bayonets" (of the Red Army), as "through Kiev leads the straight route for uniting with Austro-Hungarian revolution, just as through Pskov and Vilnius goes the way for uniting with German revolution.
Offensive on all fronts! Offensive on the west front, offensive on the south front, offensive on the all revolutionary fronts!". The concept was developed in 1918, but officially published under such name first in 1920 (Wojennaja Mysl i Riewolucija, 3/1920, Mikhail Tukhachevsky.
While the second word in the term "color revolution" is "revolution", in fact this is a complex, multilayer intelligence operation, an externally organized and financed coup d'état.
The key features are:
The net result in case of success is friendly to the West neoliberal regime in which comprador elite that is allied with transactional corporation and exists to put their share of profits into Western banks put in power. Economic rape of the country goes in full swing with assets sold of pennies on a dollar ("disaster capitalism"). Look for example at Yeltsin and Gaidar, or, more recently, Yatsenyuk and Turchinov in Ukraine. Actually EuroMaidan can teach us a lot of valuable lessons about how color revolution is organized, financed and pushed toward victory by State Department and the US embassy.
As EuroMaidan had shown important part of this fifth column are University professors and deans of economics and several other University departments. This category of people has natural neoliberal leaning (especially in Economics departments) and as such they are easy and cheap to corrupt by grants, foreign trips, etc. In case of EuroMaidan it was they who, if not asked students to go to the street, at least encourages them by granted them "amnesty" from missing the classes. And they operated within the larger framework of staging color revolution, being just one element. The same was true in Hong Cong.
The start of color revolution means just a switch to active stage of of multifaceted intelligence operation using the US cash and assets in the country such as NGO, neoliberal journalists, corrupt officials within the government, law enforcement, etc. this is the part of the iceberg that is prepared for several years with street protest being just a tip of the iceberg, signifying switch to an active stage of coup d'état and start of active dispensing of cash to "protesters".
Those extras that show up on the streets just create a stage for public consumption. Real events of infiltration that make color revolutin possible happen on higher level and are hidden from the view. The goal is always to paralyze and neutralize both government and law enforcement by finding people who can be bought, coerced into supporting the coup d'état. And without "successes" in this direction the street protesters will never appear on the streets.
Their appearance probably always means that Nuland and her colleagues from Department of State made serious progress in creating the "color revolution infrastructure" and fifth column with the county elite. They probably are now keeping of short leash some corrupt officials both in law enforcement and government. Cash is now dispensed continuously as "the show must go on", independently of the level of enthusiasm of "protesters". In Kiev reported payments were $30 a night (200-300 hrivna). Of source some radical nationalist elements participated "for free" but a lot of extras were paid.
In other word the key precondition of color revolution is readiness of fifth column within the government to topple the current government. In case of Ukraine it was Lyovochkin and his people from Party of Regions, as well as elements within SBU and police (remnants from Yutchenko government) with strong nationalistic leanings. Also Nuland kept Yanukovich by the balls be threatening to confiscate his foreign assets.
So color revolution always has important "elite betrayal" component and that's why action of the government in suppressing protests are usually contradictory and inefficient.
While figures like Yatsenyuk and Turchinov are typical compradors, they still represent a pretty curious mixture of neoliberals (and that, by definition, means stooges of the USA) with ethnic nationalists. Such a perfect example of Doublethink (not to mix it with Doublespeak).
Doublethink is ... simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Somewhat related but almost the opposite is cognitive dissonance, where contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one's mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance — thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.
And such caricature figures of nationalists who somehow manage to be simultaneously the USA stooges and did not jump from the fifth or higher floor with the cry "Russians are coming" because of incompatibility of those notions, are pretty typical (Yatsenyuk who enhanced his university education by selling used cars full time is an interesting variation on Joe Biden theme and is completely unable to keep his tongue in the month; Turchinov is a unique mixture of former Komsomol boss responsible for Ideology, and, drums, Evangelical Pastor, and, drums, ethnic nationalist).
Nevertheless with strong US push they managed to unleash the forces of radical, far right Ukrainian nationalism and of bayonets of storm troupers of Western Ukrainian nationalistic military formations (Right Sector) to seize the power, deposing Yanukovich. Bribing of key figures in Yanukovich entourage ( especially important was Lyovochkin) which reminds bringing key figures of Iraq regime before capturing Baghdad, pressure and possibly threat of losing actives in Western banks for some oligarchs (Kolomoysky and Poroshenko) as well as corruption of Yanukovich who probably was equally afraid to lose stolen from Ukrainian people money in Western banks and to lose power also played a role.
That means that Ukrainian EuroMaidan has features of classic color revolution (support or Western MSM, role of NGO, finance flows, etc) and, simultaneously, a national-socialist revolution like Hitler coming to power in Germany (radical right as the core of the protest, xenophobia, anti-Semitism replaced by Russophobia, "Ukraine uber alles" mentality (aka Ukrainian exceptionalism ;-), etc). With those two elements co-existing and supporting each other. People who thought that (at least tactical, temporary) alliance of neoliberals and neofascists is impossible due to globalist character of neoliberalism should think again.
In a way dissolution of the USSR can be considered the first "modern" color revolution. As Anatol Lieven noted
"As I wrote in a previous book on the reasons for Russia's defeat in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996, there was a real attempt by America in the 1990s, with tremendous help from the Russian elites themselves, to turn Russia into a kind of comprador state, whose elites would be subservient to America in foreign policy and would exist to export raw materials to the West and transfer money to Western bank accounts."
The word "color" in the term is connected with one of the pretty superficial (but still historically consistent) feature of these revolutions -- the symbol of such a revolution often became a particular (probably assigned by NED ;-) color. For example, Ukrainian coup d'état of in 2004 that brought to power Victor Yushchenko is called the Orange Revolution. The "Russian color revolution" of 2011-2012 attempted before election of Putin the selected color is white, so it is often called "white revolution of 2011-2012".
Color revolutions are especially efficient instrument in "cleft countries". That includes former Western colonies were borders which were purposely made to comprise diverse ethnic and cultural groups to weaken the newly formed country (Iraq, Syria, Libya) as well as xUSSR countries with large Russian population (borders of which were created by Bolsheviks with the purpose to "dilute" part of the country that might represent a threat to their rule)
The theory of color revolutions borrows heavily from Marxist playbook, especially from writing of Trotsky. Essentially it is a plagiarism of Trotsky "permanent revolution" with neoliberalism instead of Marxism as an ideology and driving force. In this respect, in Marxist tradition, we can talk about several pre-conditions of "revolutionary situation" -- condition in the society in which color revolution became feasible, and which can be created both as result of internal development as well as external pressure or economic shock. There are several pre-conditions for success of a color revolution:
Critical level of anger often arise in those countries where there is high level of social inequality, where there is a huge gap
between rich and poor. Which neoliberalism promotes and nurture, creating preconditions for color revolution in any neoliberal country
in which regime is not too friendly with Washington (Hungary,
Hong-Cong, to take two recent examples). Unemployment
among young people which is as high as 50% in many countries pushes many of them into the ranks of opposition as we saw in Egypt.
Feeling of dead-end in their life, that all good places are occupied by "existing regime" favorites, the desire to find another path
in life in another strong motivator for youth to join protests. This fact was well understood by Bolsheviks who actively recruited
young people and students for their party paying them a stipend to became "professional revolutionaries". Now this is replicated
by neoliberals. Who probably can pay better ;-).
The USA possesses tremendous technological power as well as ideological advantage and due to this is critical force of promoting neoliberalism in the world. And it was and still is the dominant ideology within the USA since Reagan years by-and-large displacing Christianity as an official regulation.
Neoliberalism since 1980 defeated and displaced Marxism as dominant globalist ideology. In essence a color revolution is a scheme of using transnational actors within a given society as an active force to implement the US foreign policy objectives and install a new polyarchy regime ( the "regime change" component). It was first laid by Joseph Nye’s as the idea of "soft power" which called for harnessing the US's tremendous reserve of intangible resources such as culture, ideology and institutions for preserving world dominance as well as power of transnational corporations.
All in all color revolution demonstrate tremendous power and flexibility of the US foreign policy and its ability to adapt to new situation while vigorously pursuing the established goals. But the real question whether it corresponds to the US national interests. In essence the US destroyed the very concept of an open society but introduction corruption using foreign funds in the process.
They also put on the opposition label "made by CIA", which does not help. In is not accidental that that in Russia the recipients of foreign grants are now commonly called "grant eaters" and forces that support globalism (iether in the form of Euro centrism, or other) and the US foreign policy have a derogatory nickname Liberasts.
There is distinct need to have a strategy of counting such a color revolution , It is very difficult to respond to unconventional war. And first of all, you must understand that there is a war. It will not go anywhere and will not dissipate until regime change is achieved. And, as in any war, you can lose or win. In order to increase your chances of winning, it is necessary to understand the nature of the opposing problem and first of all incredible aggressiveness and ruthlessness of sponsors of such events. So the politics of appeasement which Yanukovich and Kaddafi tried, does not work.
The mechanic of staging of what is now called “Color revolutions” is a classic mechanics of destabilizing government and bringing to the power a minority elite groups with strong Western connections. In former USSR space those elite groups were sometimes (Baltic countries, Ukraine) former Nazi collaborationists. The key idea is the install a new polyarchy regime ( the "regime change" component )
After such a revolution a new, more pro-Western part of the elite comes to power and exercise often brutal monopoly power in the interests of the USA and transnational corporations. Typically privatization of the county is in the cards. Which regimes of Boris Yeltsin, Viktor Yushchenko and Mikheil Saakashvili demonstrated all too well. Also important that as 1965 CIA report about Philippines stresses that "The similarity of the parties, nevertheless encourages moderation, readiness to compromise, and lack of dogmatism in the political elite". Philippines were a key client regime in 1950th and 1960th with Clark Air Base and Subtic Naval Base to be the largest military facilities outside US mainland (Promoting polyarchy globalization ... - William I. Robinson (p. 120)). Here is one Amazon review of the book:
Brilliant exposition of US policy and the global order June 12, 2001
By Geoff Johnson
In this difficult but extremely provocative and scholarly work, William I. Robinson presents a new model for understanding US foreign policy and the emergent global society as a whole. The crux of his thesis is this: US foreign policy has changed in the last twenty years or so from open support of authoritian regimes in countries where the US has economic and/or strategic interests to a program of "democracy promotion" that strives to place minority elite groups who are responsive to the interests of the United States and transnational capital at the head of the political, economic, and civic structures of "third world" countries.
Contrary to popular opinion (and that of much of academia), the real goal of democracy promotion, or what Robinson refers to as "promoting polyarchy", is not the promotion of democracy at all, but rather the promotion of the interests of an increasingly transnational elite headed by the US who seek open markets for goods and an increase in the free flow of capital. This marks a conscious shift in foreign policy in which the US now favors "consensual domination" by democratically elected governments rather than authoritarian leaders and the type of "crony capitalism" made famous by the likes of Ferdinand Marcos and Anastacio Somoza.
The first sections of the book introduce numerous theoretical concepts (drawing heavily on the theories of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, in particular his theory of hegemony) that are crucial to the understanding of the text. I personally found these sections extremely difficult but well worth the time it takes to read certain parts several times. Robinson then goes on to document four case studies-- the Phillipines, Chile, Nicaragua, and Haiti-- each of which fleshes out his conceptual framework in much more concrete terms. The result is a disturbing picture of US foreign policy and the current direction of "globalization." I would highly recommend this to anyone with a strong interest in foreign affairs and/or the future of humanity.
Implementation of color revolution follows "disaster capitalism" game plan, as it involves using some kind of crisis like close elections in the situation of economic difficulties or decline of standard of living of population (double whammy). In this situation the standard move from the playbook of color revolution is to declare that he/she won, and that elections were stolen and call for heavy propaganda bombardment by already entrenched in the political system of the country NGOs. And you can do a lot if you inject one billon dollars into a country election process via NGOs. It is essentially converting any election system into the US election system where candidate with the most money wins.
Such an approach of making already "warm" situation "hot" reminds Marxism as Marx considered a presence of a deep economic crisis as one of the most important preconditions for the revolution (Roche,2010)
After setting up this precondition, which he believes had been met by 1848, Marx turns to a lengthy discussion of commercial crises. According to Marx, “In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out…the epidemic of over-production.”12 Effectively, the bourgeois economy produces more than it is able to consume and thereby falls into chaos and disarray. Arguably, World War I could have been considered a commercial crisis and some Bolsheviks argued that it was the final crisis of capitalism.13 However, Western and Central Europe emerged from the crisis without falling into communism and began a recovery that even the Bolsheviks recognized.14
Those real difficulties are used as a fuse to incite people anger and direct it at the "corrupt" government (which is often really inapt and corrupt, but typically a saint in comparison with the next government installed by foreign power after the color revolution).
The idea is to enhance the flames of people protest to the level when it destroys the current government of the country. And then get serious economic and political dividends by installing a puppet government. Color revolutions are extremely profitable for the sponsoring foreign power. Much more so then a direct invasion. Actually with any government the country in such a situation has no negotiating power as the society is encompassed in economic chaos, or, worse, in a civil war.
There is one exception here -- a small state that is designated as a carrier of the US interests in the region. In this case the consequences can be less bleak. Georgia is one example here. Actually there was some economic progress in Georgia after installation of puppet regime of Mikheil Saakashvili
From this point of view it can be called a variation of "divide and conquer" policy. The latter is leitmotif of in The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski. The book famous for predicting 9/11 events. Here is quote from Amazon review by R. D. Smith:
Three things in this book made my blood run ice cold. The first is the complete absence of any sense of morality in the whole discussion. I do not mean that this is an *im*moral book, it is not a moral book, it is *a*moral in that there is literally no discussion whatsoever whether what is being proposed is RIGHT or should be done. That the recommendations to grow the American Empire are valid is simply assumed, not proven or even argued. The second thing was the whole discussion on how the political center of mass was Central Eurasia (i.e. the region between Turkey and Pakistan and between Iran and Turkmenistan) and how unlikely it was that we were going to be able to have a substantial presence in the region (in the near term) unless we have SOME PERL HARBOR CLASS EVENT to accelerate the populations willingness to accept the costs. Also, This Was Bad because it would delay our needed expansion. Then, just on cue, we have the 9/11 attacks, and dang if we don't end up with a Whole Bunch of military presence all throughout the heart of Eurasia... Coincidence? Makes one wonder. As if that is not enough, the book closes with a clear and unambiguous reference to the steps needed to get us to the One World Government of the New World Order.
Typically the government that replaces the current "tyrannical" and "corrupt" government is even more tyrannical and corrupt, but at this stage all those "fighters for democracy" can't care less. Like Franklin D. Roosevelt aptly: Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch."
I would like to think about this episode in a wider context of the mechanic of staging of what can be called "Color revolutions." And if we think this way it is far from "Yawn". It is actually pretty sinister development. Color revolutions is neoliberals rehash of the playbook of communist revolutions ("Red revolutions"), but for completely different purposes. They manage to enrich the quote of Thomas Carlyle "All revolutions are conceived by idealists, implemented by fanatics, and its fruits are stolen by scoundrels." :-) . In this case it became symmetrically Machiavellian as in "...conceived by one set scoundrels, implemented by the other set of scoundrels, and its fruits are stolen by the third set of scoundrels"
The technology is now well polished and extremely powerful against any "not so pro-western" country. Especially effective in xUSSR space. As such Russia is not an exception. For it too color revolution represents a grave threat like for any other government in countries with "not enough pro-Western" policy. So I think it is unwise to underestimate its power. It already proved itself in half dozen countries. There are several films and books that document this new strategy such as
Amazon.com Bringing Down a Dictator Ivan Marovic, Srdja Popovic, Otpor!, Steve York Movies & TV
The Time of the Rebels- Youth Resistance Movements and 21st Century R…
The idea of using economic difficulties for destroying "inconvenient" regimes facing elections and overthrowing the government without overt external aggression is far from being new. Bolshevik's concept of a revolutionary situation <i>" when the lower strata does not want to live by old order and the upper strata can't maintain the old older"</i> is a century old. The new element is the method of artificially creating such a situation out of parliamentary or presidential elections. Even this is not new but can be seen as a variant of "divide and conquer" the strategy is as old as Roman Empire. Divide and rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In a way this is a modern, more sophisticated implementation of the old Roman "divide and conquer" imperial strategy:
The maxims divide et impera and divide ut regnes were utilised by the Roman ruler Caesar and the French emperor Napoleon. There is the example of Gabinius parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, reported by Flavius Josephus in Book I, 169-170 of The Wars of the Jews (De bello Judaico). Strabo also reports in Geography, 8.7.3 that the Achaean League was gradually dissolved under the Roman possession of the whole of Macedonia, owing to them not dealing with the several states in the same way, but wishing to preserve some and to destroy others.
In modern times, Traiano Boccalini cites "divide et impera" in La bilancia politica, 1,136 and 2,225 as a common principle in politics. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule. Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War (Dell'arte della guerra), that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.
Elements of this technique involve:
I see the following key ingredients of "color revolutions" in action in Russian elections:
I regularly screen Bringing Down a Dictator in my courses at Swarthmore College. This film does an excellent job of introducing students to the fundamentals of nonviolent power. Students come to understand that authoritarian regimes, while formidable, are often more fragile than we imagine. Milosevic's regime, like others, relied on a mixture of apathy, fear, and cynicism that the students of Otpor fought to dispel through humor, appeals to nationalism, and tireless public outreach. Like any large institution, Milosevic's regime depended on the loyalty of its functionaries (such as the police) and at least a veneer of public credibility. Otpor students carefully undermined both through its broad grassroots organizing, popular nonviolent resistance, and by awakening a multi-party political opposition.
Activists in each of these movements were funded and trained in tactics of political organization and nonviolent resistance by a coalition of Western pollsters and professional consultants funded by a range of Western government and non-government agencies. According to The Guardian, these include the U.S. State Department and US AID along with the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, NGO Freedom House and billionaire George Soros's Open Society Institute. The National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. Government funded foundation, has supported non-governmental democracy-building efforts in Ukraine since 1988. Writings on nonviolent struggle by Gene Sharp formed the strategic basis of the student campaigns.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Substitute "State" for "color revolution". Press also serves for coordination and maintaining the direction and unity of the movement. Operation "Occupation of the press" is supported by heavy use of well-financed NGO as the brain trust and coordinating center for the movement:
Throughout the demonstrations, Ukraine's emerging Internet usage (facilitated by news sites which began to disseminate the Kuchma tapes) was an integral part of the orange revolutionary process. It has even been suggested that the Orange Revolution was the first example of an Internet-organized mass protest.  Analysts believe that the Internet and mobile phones allowed an alternative media to flourish that was not subject to self-censorship or overt control by President Kuchma and his allies and pro-democracy activists (such as Pora!) were able to use mobile phones and the Internet to coordinate election monitoring and mass protests.
So this is in a perverted way this is Trotsky idea of "permanent revolution" implemented on industrial scale.
The tragedy for the participants of color revolutions is that they with their hands and their sacrifice install the government that makes living conditions in the country worse for people and while providing the feast for the international corporations on the ruins of the old regime. Instead of resolving economic difficulties that were exploited to depose the current regime, economic conditions typically became worse and the prosperity of citizens suffers blow after blow. In other words the typical net result of color revolution for citizens of the particular country is quite opposite of expectation. Ukraine, Serbia and Georgia can serve of a litmus test of this statement.
It is actually pretty sinister politic trick that uses false flag of "democracy" for subduing the county in question to the international financial cartel. The main playbook was taken from Bolshevik manual, or more correctly form Trotskyites (some of prominent US Trotskyites join the US establishment before the WWII and brought "new ideas" with them).
As Marxism taught it is important to create a political party that will guide the masses in their struggle against oppressing regime. New element in this Marxist playbook used by color revolutions is that the core of such a party can consist of paid activists -- mercenaries of non-violent struggle
This huge infusion of cash (which at the end of the day is much cheaper then direct military invasion) is a new element of color revolution playbook.
Bombing the country with dollar proved to be very effective. Huge infusions of cash (often delivered illegally across the border to feed selected "dissidents") can really change the game. Again, the key idea here is to create a cadre of Mercenaries of non-violent struggle (Color Revolution Counterpunch « what's left) based on those hard currency inflows:
This enlisting of paid grassroots activists to bring down socialist or economically nationalist governments in order to privatize the country state-owned assets for the benefit of U.S. corporations and investors is a new element in comparison with Bolsheviks template. There are several classes of such activists:
“In Serbia dollars have accomplished what bombs could not. After U.S.-led international sanctions were lifted with Milosevic’s ouster in 2000, the United States emerged as the largest single source of foreign direct investment. According to the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, U.S. companies have made $1 billion worth of ‘committed investments’ represented in no small part by the $580 million privatization of Nis Tobacco Factory (Phillip Morris) and a $250 million buyout of the national steel producer by U.S. Steel. Coca-Cola bought a Serbian bottled water producer in 2005 for $21 million. The list goes on.” (12)
This mechanism of creating Fifth column includes using noble slogans invented in "think tanks" funded by Western governments, but their agendas are formulated to serve strategic Western interests.
Role of Fifth column is very important.
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within. A fifth column can be a group of secret sympathizers of an enemy that are involved in sabotage within military defense lines, or a country's borders. A key tactic of the fifth column is the secret introduction of supporters into the whole fabric of the entity under attack. This clandestine infiltration is especially effective with positions concerning national policy and defense. From influential positions like these, fifth-column tactics can be effectively utilized, from stoking fears through misinformation campaigns, to traditional techniques like espionage.
Self-preservation efforts suggest limitation or outright prohibition of flow of money and creation of "professional protestors" cohort. This is difficult undertaking as higher standard of living in Western countries attract a lot of people for whom protest activity is just a springboard to emigration of favorable terms. Also the balance of economic power matters. For example the USA managed to stop Russia from adopting some restrictions of NGOs in 2006. See The Backlash against Democracy Assistance for some constructive steps used by various states.
In practice, of course, legal constraints are supplemented and reinforced by extra-legal sanctions, ranging from surveillance and harassment to expulsion of democracy assistance NGOs and even the killing of local partners. We gauge and describe the impact of such measures principally with reference to the experience of NED’s core institutes. Indeed, the prevalence and the range of legal and extra-legal measures are indicated by the experience of the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center, the NED’s labor affiliate.
“There is no region or sub-region where the Solidarity Center and its trade union partners do not encounter obstacles to implementing or improving democratic principles,” it reports. The Solidarity Center cites impediments ranging
- “from the petty and subtle to the threatening and physical,” including: denial of visas, entry and other travel restrictions (Zimbabwe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan);
- delays or denials in issuing resident permits (Nigeria);
- arbitrary investigations by intelligence service and special police forces (Bangladesh, Cambodia);
- surveillance and burglaries of union and Solidarity Center offices (Indonesia, Nigeria);
- assassinations, detention, and arrest of union members and elected leaders (Colombia, Cambodia);
- extra-legal actions to de-register democratic unions (Venezuela);
- denial of accreditation to trade union election monitoring teams (Zimbabwe);
- closure of Solidarity Center offices (Belarus, Russia);
- legislation to stop local NGOs from receiving outside funding (Zimbabwe);
- and new initiatives to punitively tax Solidarity Center and other NGO staffs (Thailand).
Nor are U.S.-based democracy assistance groups and their grantees or partners the only groups affected. The UK’s Westminster Foundation for Democracy reports that restrictive measures are resulting in “an inability of local partners to obtain licences to operate, censorship, interrogation, travel restrictions, office raids, dismissals, seizing of electronic office equipment and paper files, unreasonably rigorous bureaucratic and financial controls, and detention.”
In addition to legal constraints, many regimes seek to impede democracy assistance NGOs and related groups through unofficial means, from the creation and mobilization of pseudo-NGOs in an attempt to contest and confuse public and international opinion to the deployment of thugs or auxiliary forces—as in Cuba and Egypt—to assault, intimidate or harass activists. In Uzbekistan, for instance, a Freedom House training session was disrupted by 15 protesters who forced their way into the seminar and accused Freedom House of being Wahhabi Islamist extremists and enemies of the Uzbek state.
Egyptian NGOs are impeded by restrictive laws and the “extra-legal” actions of the Security Services, according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Civil society groups face severe restrictions under the law governing NGOs. The security services scrutinize and harass civil society activists even though the law does not accord them any such powers,” says the report. HRW cites instances of the security services rejecting NGO registrations, determining the composition of NGO boards, harassing activists, and interfering with funding.
For further details of ICNL’s distinctive and pioneering work on these issues, go to http://www.icnl.org/.
“Margins of Repression: State Limits on Nongovernmental Organization Activism,” Human Rights Watch, New York, 2005.
The issue of NGO harassment is assuming greater political salience, and not only within the world of democracy assistance organizations and civil society. The Russian government’s new measures against independent NGOs acquired diplomatic significance as senior figures from the State Department prevailed upon the Putin regime to refrain from more restrictive measures. The issue is unlikely to fade given Russia’s accession to the chair of the G8 grouping of advanced industrial democracies. Furthermore, as the Bush Administration continues to make democracy promotion a foreign policy priority, it is increasingly likely to confront resistance from autocrats and authoritarians.
At the November 2005 Forum for the Future in Bahrain, for instance, the question of NGO independence prompted Egypt to veto a final declaration and sabotage the launch of a Foundation for the Future designed to promote democratic change within the region. A draft declaration pledged delegates “to expand democratic practices, to enlarge participation in political and public life, (and) to foster the roles of civil society including NGOs.” But participants failed to agree to the draft after Cairo insisted that NGOs be “legally registered in accordance with the laws of the country.”
Egypt’s foreign minister complained that the U.S. and Europeans wanted “an open season for everybody,” a carte blanche for funding political NGOs through which “anybody can acquire anything from anybody at any time.”
The developments outlined above “are not isolated events,” observes the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, noting that “recently, over twenty countries have introduced restrictive legislation aimed at weakening civil society,” joining “scores of others with existing laws, policies, and practices that stifle the work of civil society organizations (NGOs).” The study, produced by ICNL specifically for this report, reveals that a number of countries have enacted or proposed laws that significantly restrict the activities of civil society (the appendix to this report details ICNL research covering the relevant countries, laws, and provisions). “We are witnessing a marked increase in the use of restrictions on NGO formation, operation, and financing by foreign governments,” ICNL contends. These restrictions pose serious obstacles to both foreign and domestic civil society groups’ ability to form, function effectively, and sustain themselves. Restrictive provisions are found in virtually every region of the world, but tend to be more prevalent in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.
As the ICNL notes, states with restrictive laws tend to exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
- political dissent—either internal or within a neighboring country—is considered a threat to the current regime or incumbent party;
- concerns about religious fundamentalism or, more specifically, jihadist Islam;
- a contagion or copy-cat effect of similar legislation or practices introduced across neighboring regimes;
- a purported concern about foreign influence or interference.
The rationale for the proposal and enactment of repressive measures varies with context and circumstance. Governments often propose an “official” rationalization for a proposed law that does not match the reasons perceived by the international community and local civil society groups. The threat of terrorism is increasingly invoked to justify clampdowns and to deflect international criticism. For example, the Russian government has described its new NGO law as necessary to regulate the NGO sector, counter terrorism, and stop money laundering.
In Thailand, opposition, media, and civic groups are constrained by an emergency law promulgated in July 2005 by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra purportedly to curb Islamist violence in the Muslim south. The Emergency Powers Law allows the Thai government to impose curfews, detain people without charge, and ban public gatherings. Under the guise of a crackdown on money laundering, the Uzbekistan government effectively stopped the transfer of foreign funds to all Uzbek civil society groups. A resolution of the council of ministers requires NGOs to report activities to a “bank council” before releasing funds. The banking sector is so tightly controlled that it would be impossible to make these transfers. In short, NGOs and business associations are simply not able to function legally using foreign funds.
In some cases, restrictive legislation is projected as an attempt to improve NGO governance and regulation or to curb malpractices. However, in virtually all of the cases cited, the means deployed are more restrictive than necessary to fight NGO malpractice or poor governance, and are often contrary to obligations to protect the right to free association required by the country’s constitution or under international conventions. Restrictive laws are often a continuation of long-standing patterns of repressive government tactics (e.g., Belarus, Zimbabwe).
In some cases, the recent initiatives appear to be motivated by a desire to forestall political opposition. Indeed, ICNL research indicates that governments often enact restrictive NGO legislation before elections, recognizing the critical role that civil society can play in advancing democracy. Most democracy assistance groups have experienced the following legal and extra-legal constraints: restrictions on the right to associate and freedom to form NGOs; impediments to registration and denial of legal status; restrictions on foreign funding and domestic financing; ongoing threats through use of discretionary power; restrictions on political activities; arbitrary interference in NGO internal affairs; establishment of “parallel” organizations or ersatz NGOs; and the harassment, prosecution, and deportation of civil society activists. Some of these measures may appear at first glance to be relatively benign, neutral, or legitimate attempts to regulate civil society. Some authoritarian regimes claim that not only is it appropriate to limit foreign interference in domestic politics—as most advanced democracies do—but falsely claim that their newly restrictive measures are based on legislation already in effect in established democracies. Of course, governments may legitimately seek to regulate foreign funding of domestic political actors and/or to regulate NGOs prone to malpractice or poor governance. But this is where context and intent matter.
...In Vietnam, for instance, NGOs must obtain an operating license and the Vietnamese authorities routinely intervene in NGOs’ internal affairs and governance, often insisting on the prerogative to appoint (or otherwise veto) personnel.
...Many governments closely guard the process by which NGOs can register, i.e., become a legal entity with the associated legal rights and prerogatives. Governments insist that groups, even some as small or informal as a neighborhood association, must register, allowing authorities to monitor groups’ activities. Regimes make registration difficult, impeding the ability of civil society organizations, particularly advocacy groups, to function effectively or even to exist. Tactics include making registration prohibitively expensive and/or unduly burdensome in terms of the type and amount of information required; excessive delays in making registration decisions; and requiring frequent re-registration, giving authorities the right to revisit organizations’ licenses to operate.
In Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, and Algeria, as ICNL reports, regulations governing registration are kept deliberately vague, giving considerable discretion to officials. Consequently, NGOs have difficulty registering; some are denied registration while others experience long delays or repeated requests for further information. In Azerbaijan, the registration of local NGOs has, in effect, been suspended as a result of overly discretionary implementation of registration laws. In March 2005, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed representatives of the International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, and IFES (formerly the International Foundation for Election Systems) to cease operations and leave Ethiopia within 48 hours. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the view that they were operating illegally, even though all three groups had made a good faith effort to register both through the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and through the Ministry of Justice in Addis Ababa. Tajikistan has been holding international organizations in limbo by neither refusing nor granting registration. As a consequence, groups like NDI and Freedom House are operating with local staff and cannot get visas for international personnel. All NGOs in Tajikistan’s Ferghana Valley have been put through audits and re-registration following the Andijon massacre in Kyrgyzstan. In Belarus, the government exercises considerable discretion over the registration process through a National Commission on Registration of Public Associations that advises, through a notably opaque process, the Ministry of Justice on which organizations it should allow to register. The law requires authorities to respond within one month to registration requests, says ICNL, but NGOs have waited over a year only to be denied registration without explanation. Unregistered status renders activists and organizations vulnerable to capricious and punitive actions on the part of the security services. On March 3, 2006, the Belarusian KGB arrested four election observers from an unregistered NGO associated with the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) which is funded by the National Democratic Institute.
Russia’s NGO law, even as amended following protests, requires foreign and de facto domestic NGOs to re-register with a state agency which will examine their activities before determining whether they can continue operations. The measure allows the Federal Registration Service, an agency of the Justice Ministry, to invoke threats to the “constitutional order” to justify terminating funding of certain activities. Government officials enjoy an unprecedented degree of discretion for deeming programs or projects detrimental to Russia’s national interests. Registration officials can exercise prerogatives to close the offices of any foreign NGO undertaking programs that do not have the objective of “defending the constitutional system, morals, public health, rights and lawful interest of other people, [or] guaranteeing the defense capacity and security of the state.”
Restrictions on working with “unregistered” groups in Uzbekistan In December 2003, the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) instructed the International Republican Institute to cease working with “illegal organizations,” meaning all unregistered political parties. The country’s foreign minister personally accused the International Republican Institute (IRI) of promoting a coalition of “anti-government forces that wish to overthrow the constitutional order of Uzbekistan,” and advised IRI to take the Uzbek government’s views on this seriously and “act accordingly.” Consequently, IRI postponed a scheduled seminar on “Government Mechanisms for Registration” for political activists. Selected international organizations were instructed to reapply for accreditation through the Ministry of Justice (instead of the Foreign Ministry) and to turn in current MFA accreditation cards before March 1, 2004. Under these circumstances, the U.S. Embassy recommended that IRI take a break from activity in order to assess the situation and plan for 2004. In April 2004, IRI received its official registration certificate, accompanied by a letter from the Ministry of Justice listing IRI’s alleged violations and a warning that registration would be canceled if IRI continued training activities with non-registered groups. In May 2004, the justice minister warned IRI that it was breaking the law by working with the unregistered parties Erk and Birlik. In response to the justice minister’s statement, IRI suspended initiative group training for non-registered movements. In November 2004, the Ministry of Justice, verbally and in writing, warned IRI not to have contact with or extend any kind of assistance to unregistered political movements. This warning came after IRI had hosted, at its office, individual consultations between a Ukrainian consultant and Uzbek activists seeking to run as candidates in the December 2004 Oliy Majlis election.
Restrictions on foreign funding and domestic financing
Restrictions on foreign funding of domestic civil society groups are increasingly common and government attempts to legitimize and gain support for these constraints are frequently couched in faux patriotic or xenophobic terms. In this respect, authoritarian regimes gain a “two-fer.” They impose technical restrictions on civil society groups’ ability to function while undermining them politically by suggesting that they are agents of or otherwise represent alien interests.
Russia, Venezuela, Egypt and Zimbabwe provide perhaps the most blatant and pernicious instances of this trend. “We are against overseas funding for the political activities [of NGOs] in Russia,” President Vladimir V. Putin has stated. “For some of these organizations the main objective has become to receive funds from influential foreign and domestic foundations,” he claims, insisting that “for others the aim is to serve dubious groups and commercial interests.”
In Venezuela, CIPE has noted various types of NGO harassment. “While not much of this can be attributed to specific laws (though that may yet happen),” CIPE notes, intimidation takes various forms including “harassment or the threat of it in the form of financial and tax audits” of grantees. The regime of Hugo Chavez is prosecuting civil society activists from Súmate, a voter education NGO, on charges of “conspiracy” resulting from a NED grant to promote education on electoral rights prior to the 2004 recall referendum. The regime has openly insisted that receipt of foreign funds is in itself subversive. “It is one thing to be involved in politics, and quite another to solicit support from a foreign government to intervene in internal affairs of the country,” says Luisa Ortega, a state prosecutor with Venezuela’s National Council. “There is conclusive proof in the contract with the accused for financial support from NED that shows intent to conduct politics against the current government,” stated Ortega. Article 10 of the recent criminal code reform bill specified that anyone who supplies or receives funds from abroad to conspire against the integrity of the territory of the republic or government institutions, or to destabilize social peace, may be punished with sentences of 20 to 30 years in jail. Although that provision was ultimately withdrawn from the bill, legal experts suggest that its provisions can still be interpreted to the same effect. T
...More generally, ICNL research identifies a wide range of legislative measures used to restrict foreign funding, including requirements that: NGOs must receive prior government permission to receive foreign funding (sometimes on a donation- by-donation basis, imposing further administrative burdens on thinly-stretched organizational resources); NGOs must not only register but frequently re-register with the government, and a government-controlled commission decides whether the organization will be allowed to receive foreign funding; overseas funding must be channeled through government agencies or via designated bank accounts that are easily monitored or even frozen; foreign funds are subjected to punitively high taxation; and foreign funding is restricted to a limited percentage of an NGO’s total income.
In Belarus, an August 2005 presidential edict prohibits organizations and individuals from receiving and using foreign assistance for “preparing and conducting elections and referenda; recalling deputies and members of the Council of the Republic; staging gatherings, rallies, street marches, demonstrations, picketing, or strikes; producing and distributing campaign materials; and any other forms of mass politicking among the population.” Regulations adopted in 2004 imposed reporting and approval mechanisms that ensure government control over donor funds and projects. NGOs are required to pay up to 30 percent tax on foreign aid, a stipulation that has prompted some overseas donors to reconsider the viability of financial support to Belarusian civil society.
In 2004, Belarus enacted provisions allowing the regime to close an NGO for violating laws restricting the use of foreign funds or for demonstrating in violation of a law curtailing mass meetings. In 2003, government officials dissolved 51 leading civil society groups, and in 2004 a further 20 groups were terminated. In 2004, Minsk refused renewal of registration permits for Counterpart and IREX, two U.S.-based organizations implementing U.S. government-funded programs. A December 2005 measure introduces severe penalties for activities deemed conducive to fomenting “revolution” in Belarus, notes 23 the ICNL, specifically: training people to take part in “group activities that flagrantly violate the public peace” and for financing such training would carry a jail sentence of up to six months or a prison sentence of up to two years; training people to take part in “mass riots” or its financing would carry a jail sentence of up to six months or a prison sentence of up to three years; appeals to a foreign country, a foreign or international organization to act “to the detriment of” the country’s “security, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” as well as the distribution of material containing these appeals, would carry a jail sentence of six to 36 months or a prison sentence of two to five years; and distribution of similar appeals via the media would carry a prison sentence of two to five years. A new article to the Criminal Code, titled “Discrediting the Republic of Belarus,” establishes a jail sentence of up to six months or a prison sentence of up to two years for “providing a foreign country, a foreign or international organization with patently false information about the political, economic, social, military and international situation of the Republic of Belarus, the legal position of citizens in the Republic of Belarus, and its governmental agencies.”
Restrictions on political activities
NGOs are frequently required to refrain from activities broadly defined as political, a severe if not disabling obstacle to democracy assistance groups. Even non-partisan or largely technical activities are vulnerable to malicious or willful misinterpretation, rendering activists and organizations vulnerable to potentially severe penalties.
In Kazakhstan, ICNL reports, the law prohibits “foreigners, persons without citizenship, or foreign legal entities and international organizations” from engaging in “activities that support (or make possible) the nomination and election of candidates, political parties, nomination of parties to the party list or the achieving of a specific result during elections.” Penalties for violating the prohibition include fines (for individuals and organizations) and deportation of the individuals involved.
Arbitrary interference in NGO internal affairs.
Even when civil society groups are allowed to form and secure official registration, governments continue to restrict their activities through unchecked oversight authority and interference in NGOs’ internal affairs. Failure to comply with government demands may prompt sanctions and penalties. Civil society groups are frequently impeded and harassed by bureaucratic red tape, visits by the tax inspectorate, and other below-the-radar tactics. Despite amendments to draft proposals, made after international protests and diplomatic representations, Russia’s NGO law still allows officials to utilize less public means of intimidating political opponents. The registration authority enjoys discretionary power to audit the activities and finances of noncommercial organizations, request documents, and attend meetings, including internal strategy or policy discussions.
...China offers a clear and disturbing instance of enhanced state interference and harassment of NGOs, particularly by the Ministry of State Security. Beijing’s concern about the “colored revolutions” and the potential role of civil society groups in fostering political change is well-documented. NGOs have been visited by state security representatives asking about sources of funding, specifically mentioning certain American funders, including NED, IRI, and NDI. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA), the government body responsible for registering NGOs, recently stopped processing applications for NGO registration.
...In Belarus, a law signed by the president in December 2005 provides for prison sentences for individuals who train others to participate in street protests, engage them to act against Belarusian sovereignty, or tell lies about the country. Organizing activities on the part of a suspended or closed nongovernmental organization or a foundation, or taking part in such a group carries a jail sentence of up to six months or a prison sentence of up to two years. Even prior to the new legislation, NGOs faced acute problems. Some 78 civil society groups ceased operations in Belarus in 2003 following harassment by government officials, the ICNL reports. In 2004, the government inspected and issued warnings to 800 others. The national security agencies and the Office of Public Associations questioned and searched a number of civil society groups and, in some cases, confiscated publications and print materials. Such inspections make it nearly impossible for organizations to focus on their primary activities.
...Punitive legal actions are another form of harassment, notably in Singapore. In February 2006, opposition politician Chee Soon Juan, secretary general of the Singapore Democratic Party, was bankrupted and, as a consequence, barred from contesting political office, following a punitive defamation suit brought by former prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong. Chee was barred from traveling to the World Movement for Democracy’s Istanbul assembly in May 2006 when immigration agents impounded his passport. As noted above, civil society activists who engaged in voter education prior to Venezuela’s presidential recall referendum are currently facing charges of conspiracy against the state for receiving U.S. funds. If convicted of treason, Alejandro Plaz and Maria Corina Machado face up to 16 years in jail. Civil society groups complain that the Venezuelan authorities are seeking to paint efforts to uphold the constitution as a conspiracy to undermine the government.
In Russia, NGOs associated with international democracy and human rights groups are frequently subject to harassment through inspections and criminal investigations. The field director of one democracy assistance group was detained on arrival at the airport for no apparent reason and would not have been able to re-enter Russia had the U.S. Ambassador not intervened. Later, she was effectively deported from the country after authorities refused to prolong her registration without explanation.
....Democracy assistance groups are consistent in stressing that the backlash against democracy assistance predates the color revolutions, particularly in Russia. It was in December 2002, for example, several months before Georgia’s Rose Revolution, that U.S. Peace Corps representatives were expelled from Moscow and the representative of the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center was refused re-entry into Russia, leading to the eventual closure of its office. While programs often continue in the face of repressive actions, partners and grantees nevertheless become more cautious, circumspect, and wary of adopting a high profile. In some countries, for example, NED grantees have asked program officers not to visit them for fear of drawing the attention of the authorities. In other instances, prospective program partners or grantees have suggested that while they need external assistance and are willing to work with or accept grants from democracy promotion groups, the risks are too great to do so. Yet these instances are relatively rare and practitioners.
...In the case of the closure of the Solidarity Center’s Moscow office, for example, or the expulsion of the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and IREX from Uzbekistan, democracy promotion groups are forced to relocate to adjacent territories or adopt “semi-detached” forms of engagement with grantees or partners, including provision of assistance through third parties. These measures have less impact on initiatives like the NED’s discretionary grants program that relies on direct grant aid, focusing resources on local activists and groups, and which rarely requires a local presence in the field. Democracy assistance donors are nonetheless affected by new restrictions on funding and, to some extent, disadvantaged by distance. Unlike field-based groups, including NED’s institutes, they are not usually in a position to reassure or placate suspicious local authorities by establishing relationships or providing access to programs.
...The new repressive climate in certain states has highlighted the benefits of non-governmental and civil society-based approaches. Maintaining and highlighting independence from government, such initiatives demonstrate that democracy promotion is most effectively undertaken by non-governmental organizations, particularly in regions like the Middle East and Central Asia where official U.S. support is sometimes shunned. Unlike official government agencies, often constrained by diplomatic or security considerations, democracy promotion NGOs, operating openly but largely below the radar screen, are able to avoid compromising the integrity and efficacy of programs. Groups like NED are able to engage and fund unlicensed organizations that tend to undertake cutting edge programs but cannot ordinarily access official funds.
...NED in particular has extensive experience of channeling aid and assistance to dissidents, labor unions, intellectual and civic groups, and other agencies for democratic change. For example, cross-border programs that require ample coordination and expertise are run by NGOs based in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania, which aid media and human rights groups in Belarus and farther afield in Central Asia. Similar work is undertaken by civil society groups in East and Southeast Asia.
Lenin defined a special term "revolutionary situation" (his well know saying is "A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution.") to describe the preconditions in which coup d'état against existing government has greatest chances of success (Translation from Soviet encyclopedia):
Revolutionary Situation is a political situation preceding a revolution and characterized by mass revolutionary ferment and the involvement of broad strata of the oppressed classes in active struggle against the existing system. A revolutionary situation serves as an indicator of whether sociopolitical conditions are ripe for a revolution, for the attainment of power by the progressive class.
A revolutionary situation has three basic symptoms.
- A “crisis of the upper classes,” that is, the ruling classes find it impossible to maintain their domination in unchanged form. The crisis in the policies of the ruling class creates a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes pour. For a revolution to take place, V. I. Lenin noted, “it is usually insufficient for ‘the lower classes not to want’ to live in the old way; it is also necessary that the ‘upper classes should be unable’ to live in the old way.”
- “When,” Lenin continues, “the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, p. 218). The exacerbation may result from a deterioration of the economic position of broad strata of the population, from social inequality and the deprivation of the masses, from a sharp intensification of social antagonisms, and from other conditions stemming from the contradictions in a given system (for example, the threat of war, and the offensive of reactionary forces).
- A significant rise in the level of political activity among the masses (ibid.). Militant attitudes grow swiftly, and the masses are literally obsessed with politics.
... ... ...
A revolutionary situation is marked by a growing dynamism. As it develops, it passes through a series of stages, beginning with clear signs of mass ferment and ending with a nationwide crisis that develops into a revolution. The higher the stage of the revolutionary situation, the more important is the maturity of the subjective factor—that is, the capacity and readiness of revolutionary classes to carry out pressing reforms and to overthrow the power of the ruling class—in the further development of the situation. During the period of the nationwide crisis, the role of the subjective factor becomes decisive. Not every revolutionary situation reaches the highest stage and becomes a revolution. Examples include the revolutionary situation of 1859–61 in Russia and the revolutionary situation of 1923 in Germany. If for one reason or another the progressive classes are not prepared for aggressive, organized actions, the revolutionary situation declines, the mass revolutionary excitement dies out, and the ruling class finds means of retaining power.
And this strategy of exploiting pre-existing economic difficulties and created by them "revolutionary situation" for "regime change" proved to be quite efficient due to combining forces of internal domestic opposition with Western political and financial power.
This playbook represents a grave threat for any government in countries with “not enough pro-Western” policy.
While separate elements of this scheme were known long before and have a base on Bolshevik theory of revolutions (or more correctly in its Trotskyite variant of permanent revolution, as it was Trotskyites who turned into neocons brought to western government this set of ideas; see The Transitional Program (Part 1)) the "packaged kit" of the color-coded pseudo-revolutions that swept through the former Soviet bloc (and, later, targeted other states from Lebanon to Venezuela) within the last decade remains essentially the same.
Promoting "democratic revolution" has become the surrogate for direct armed invasion - though, as in Iraq and Libya, both can work well together. The strategies these ersatz movements pursue are no different from Communist Popular Front tactics in the same region after World War Two - in fact, the Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" resembles the Czechoslovak "Communist coup" of 1948. The only difference is that in the latter case a flowering of the democratic spirit was choreographed by the USA and the whole movement has a clear anti-Russian edge with the participation of Nazi "collaborationists" from Western region of Ukraine.
Of course there is real frustration and disappointment with the government in the targeted nations, and the revolutionaries of color can find fertile fields for sowing. But the end result does not serve the people whose anger has been manipulated, but invariably the economic and "security" interests of major Western powers, principally but not exclusively the United States.
While they are neoliberal rehash of the playbook of communist revolutions (“Red revolutions”), they manage to enrich the quote of Thomas Carlyle “All revolutions are conceived by idealists, implemented by fanatics, and its fruits are stolen by scoundrels.” . In this case it became symmetrically Machiavellian as in
“…conceived by one set scoundrels, implemented by the other set of scoundrels, and its fruits are stolen by the third set of scoundrels”
"…power does its work by stealth, and the powerful
can subsequently deny that their strength was ever used at all."
Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (2005)
The idea is set of NGO like set of think tanks is very similar to Bolsheviks idea of core of professional revolutionaries in Bolshevik Party. The only difference is that neoliberal NGO and set of think tanks is financed by oligarchy, primary by financial oligarchy and key governments of neoliberal world.
Every government official in third world and "developing" country should read Gene Sharp and couple of other books and understand the mechanics used and NGO involved. The list includes
It not an accident that most of those organization were shown the door in several countries where danger of color revolutions exists. There is a good article on the subject written by Sreeram Chaulia 19 January 2006, which we will reproduce in full (Democratisation, NGOs and colour revolutions):
Samuel Huntington, summarizing the mix of primary causes for the "third wave" of democratization that began in 1974, listed a new but not decisive factor that had been absent in the preceding two waves: "Changes in the policies of external actors…a major shift in US policies toward the promotion of human rights and democracy in other countries…". American international NGOs ("Ingos") were prominent mechanisms through which this causal link between superpower foreign policy interests and regime change worked out in many transitions from authoritarian rule in the twenty-one-year-long "third wave".
This essay attempts to extend the analysis on Ingo instrumentality and democratization to the geopolitical storms popularized as "colour" or "flower" revolutions that have been sweeping the post-communist world since 1999. It sets out to assess the strength of the impact of transnational actors on recent international political events of great consequence, and explore the parasitic relationship between Ingos and a hegemonic state.
The intention is to bring the state back into a field dominated by flawed renderings of transnational activism. The principal argument is that the main and direct causes of the colour revolutions were United States foreign-policy interests (strategic expansion, energy security and the war on terrorism) as they were serviced by Ingos. Without the intervention of these US-sponsored Ingos, the political landscapes in countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan would not have been repainted in new coolers.
These three revolutions – the "rose revolution" in Georgia (November 2003-January 2004), the "orange revolution" in Ukraine (January 2005) and the "tulip revolution" in Kyrgyzstan (April 2005) – each followed a near-identical trajectory; all were spearheaded by the American democratization Ingos working at the behest of the US foreign policy establishment.
It will be argued that the comparable political convulsions of Uzbekistan (May 2005) and Azerbaijan (November 2005) did not experience "colour revolutions" due to a variation in the independent variable, US foreign-policy priorities.
The contexts of democratization
Most studies of democratization recognize the international context in which regime change occurs, but such studies never go to the extent of giving external causes prime place. The consensus is that exogenous factors "are difficult to apply in a sustained manner over the long term." In the case of the former communist bloc, some scholars regard international organizations, western economic aid and the Catholic church as "catalysts of democratization"; others claim that international human-rights norms triggered fundamental political changes leading to the demise of communism.
Transnational actors, comprising Ingos at the hub of advocacy networks, are viewed as capitalizing on opportunity structures offered by "internationalism", acting as "ideational vectors of influence", and maintaining constant criticism of vulnerable "target states" that are repressive in nature. Portrayals of advocacy networks as autonomous entities that skillfully maneuver states and international organizations for achieving their own principled ends suggest that democratization was "both a contributing cause and an effect of the expanding role of transnational civil society."
On the question of how transnational actors "penetrate" target states, which is of seminal interest for our colour-revolutions quest, constructivist theory harps on norm institutionalization in issue-areas like human rights that enable coalitions with powerful state actors who favor such norms. The manner in which American democratization Ingos penetrated Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, however, did not follow this route.
Another pathway for penetration is presented by the "boomerang pattern", wherein international contacts "amplify the demands of domestic groups, pry open space for new issues and then echo back these demands into the domestic arena. " Though campaign strategies and pressurizing tactics of Ingos do approximate to what happened before the colour revolutions in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, the origin of American INGO involvement in these states was not as straightforward as an invitation from local civil society to global civil society.
Former communist countries are characterized by weak local civil societies and embryonic homebred intermediate organizations. Nor were the dynamics of INGO intervention in these states as simple as domestic grievances being resolved by coalitions with principled external networks "motivated by values rather than by material or professional norms. " For the most apposite theoretical framework that fits the story of Ingos and colour revolutions, we must leave constructivism and turn to the revolving applications of realism in world politics.
Ingos as vehicles of strategic penetration
Realism asserts that transnational actors can punch above their weight and have disproportionate impact on world affairs only if they lobby and change the preferences, practices and policies of powerful states. The Helsinki network in Europe followed this game plan to great effect by winning over the US government to its side in the struggle against communism.
Norm-driven theorists fail to concede that superpowers have minds and agency of their own and only give in to transnational "pressures" when the issue area serves larger geo-strategic purposes. Rarely has the US promoted human rights and democracy in a region when they did not suit its grander foreign-policy objectives.
Thomas Carothers, a leading authority on US democracy promotion, has decried the instrumentalisation of democratization by recent American administrations: "The United States has close, even intimate relations with many undemocratic regimes for the sake of American security and economic interests… and struggles very imperfectly to balance its ideals with the realist imperatives it faces."
The flip side of this reality is the fact that when undemocratic regimes prove to be thorns in the flesh, the US sees great merit in their overthrow by a range of diverse methods. In the cold-war era, selectivity in democracy promotion was best reflected by Jeane Kirkpatrick’s distinction between "totalitarian" and "authoritarian" regimes, the latter being states which can be supported in the scheme of bigger US interests.
As we delve into the case studies of colour revolutions, the same "good despot-bad despot" patchiness of superpower attitudes to democratization in the post-communist world will resurface in the new context of the "war on terrorism".
Geoffrey Pridham divides geo-strategic impact over regime changes into the two dimensions of space and time. The Mediterranean had turned into an area of intense superpower rivalry in the mid-1970s due to the enhanced Soviet naval presence and instability in the middle east. Regime transitions in that hotspot, therefore, sharpened US and western interests in the outcomes.
As a corollary, at sensitive world historical moments, American inclinations to intervene in regime politics of countries tend to be greater. Early cold-war economic instability in Italy and Greece in the 1970s was one juncture where the outcome stakes were felt to be so high in Washington that it took an active interventionist role. Thirty years on, the spatial and temporal importance of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in the geo-strategic sweepstakes was ripe for colour revolutions orchestrated from outside.
Laurence Whitehead has deepened understanding of democratization as a geopolitical strategy that redistributes global power and control with the metaphor of a vaccine, not of a contagion or virus. US military and other modes of destabilizing interventions in Central America were meant to inoculate polities from contamination by Castroism and this treatment was labeled "democracy". "Two-thirds of the democracies existing in 1990 owed their origins to deliberate acts of imposition or intervention from without…It is not contiguity but the policy of a third power that explains the spread of democracy from one country to the next." The colour revolutions under our bioscope were integral to this power-politics tradition motoring dominant states in international relations.
Realist views on transnational actors as instruments of powerful states date back to debates about multinational corporations (MNCs) and their entanglement with American hegemony. Robert Gilpin was the first to explain the rise of MNCs as a function of hegemonic stability, i.e. that the leadership of a powerful political state actor is essential for the creation and maintenance of a liberal world economy in which MNCs thrive.
Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye also warned in the 1970s that "transnational relations may redistribute control from one state to another and benefit those governments at the centre of transnational networks to the disadvantage of those in the periphery." Ingos had not burst onto the global notice board during these early reviews on transnationalism. However, the usage of Ingos as foreign-policy instruments was not unknown right from the start of the cold war.
Humanitarian Ingos like the International Rescue Committee (founded in 1933 to assist anti-Nazi opponents of Hitler) and democratization Ingos like Freedom House (founded in 1941; an important component of the Marshall Plan to prevent communist takeover of western Europe) are two high-profile cases that represented US governmental interests while maintaining INGO legal status.
Inducing defectors and refugees from behind the "iron curtain" to cross over, public diplomacy, propaganda and funding of electoral candidates in foreign countries by charities and Ingos existed long before the voluntary sector attained an overtly pivotal position in the annals of US foreign policy. More recently, humanitarian (not human-rights) Ingos heavily dependent on US finances have been found to be consciously or subconsciously extending US governmental interests. As Julie Mertus writes: "It's not the NGOs driving the government’s agenda; it's the US government driving the NGO agenda."
Doctrinal developments in foreign policy kept pace with the growing potential of Ingos as valuable assets for promoting US national interests. Andrew Scott’s (1965) "informal penetration" theory tied US foreign aid, technical assistance and international organizations together as a toolkit that can be used to increase the porosity and penetrability of rival states.
Permeability of national borders was both a precondition for the emergence of transnational entities like MNCs, Ingos and international organizations, as well as the end result of increasing transnationalism with the US as metropole. Richard Cottam theorised that the Zeitgeist of world politics had changed from the ultimate recourse of "shooting warfare" to political, economic and psychological warfare. The arenas at which critical international battles took place were increasingly the domestic politics of weaker target states that are vulnerable to foreign influence and interference.
Cottam was disappointed with the "ad hoc" nature of US foreign policy and its neglect of a long-term strategic plan based on "tactical interference". The contemporary blueprint for co-opting transnational actors as active wings of foreign policy was laid by Joseph Nye’s liberal "soft power" idea that called for harnessing the US's tremendous reserve of intangible resources such as culture, ideology and institutions for preserving world dominance.
"Soft power" at the end of the cold war would be less costly and more effective to Nye because of its subtlety and seductive quality. The prohibitive costs of direct military action in modern times ensure that "other instruments such as communications, organizational and institutional skills, and manipulation of interdependence have become important instruments of power. " To manage the challenges of "transnational interdependence", Nye urges greater US investment in international institutions and regimes on issue-areas that can perpetuate the American lead in global power.
His emphasis on private actors operating across international borders as a key category that has to be managed by the hegemonic state aims at the heart of our discussion on democratization Ingos as pawns. Among practitioners of US diplomacy too, soft power's utility in furthering strategic ends has been toasted after the end of the cold war. Warren Christopher, President Clinton’s first secretary of state, proposed a strategic approach based on "new realism" to promoting democracy: "By enlisting international and regional institutions in the work, the US can leverage our own limited resources and avoid the appearance of trying to dominate others."
The democratization Gongos
The watershed that brought Ingos to the forefront of global democracy-promotion was the Reagan administration’s decision to create the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983 to roll back Soviet influence. With a stated raison d'être of "strengthening democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts", NED was conceived as a quasi-governmental foundation that funneled US government funding through Ingos like the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and Freedom House.
These Ingos in turn "targeted" authoritarian states through a plethora of programmatic activities. NED’s first president, Allen Weinstein, admitted openly that "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. " The organization was a deus ex machina in the face of scandalous Congressional investigations into the CIA's "soft side" operations to destabilize and topple unfriendly regimes that embarrassed the government in the late 1970s.
As William Blum writes: "An NGO helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. " 97% of NED's funding comes from the US state department (through USAID and before 1999, the Usia), the rest being allocations made by right-wing donors like the Bradley Foundation, the Whitehead Foundation and the Olin Foundation. Since its conception, and despite the bipartisan structure, "neoconservatives have held tight control over NED's agenda and institutional structure."
Senior figures in the George W Bush administration who are signatories to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which wears aggressive US foreign interventions on its sleeve, have officiated in NED. Notwithstanding its claims to "independence" and "nongovernmental status", the US state department and other executive agencies regularly appoint NED's programme personnel. As one 'Project Democracy' (codename for NED in the Iran-Contra scandal) advocate put it, "These 'private' agencies are really just fronts for the departments they serve; the agency may prepare a report or a research project that it then gives to the private firm to attach its letterhead to, as if it were really a private activity or initiative."
A survey of NED's partner Ingos reveals a similar pattern of public priorities forwarded by private agents. Freedom House, a neocon hub which succoured the colour revolutions, has a history of being headed and staffed by ex-CIA high-level planners and personnel.
NDI is dominated by "liberal hawks" or right-wing Democrats who find their way to prime foreign-policy slots when their party is in power. IRI comprises a herd of far-right Republican politicians and representatives of major financial, oil, and defense corporations. IFES top brass belong to conservative Republican ranks, the CIA or military intelligence. IREX, the training school for colour revolution elite protagonists, is peopled by political warfare, public diplomacy and propaganda specialists from the news media, US foreign service and the US military.
For our purpose, it is interesting to note that compared to humanitarian and development Ingos, which have often promoted US foreign-policy objectives, democratization and human-rights Ingos boast of a far greater preponderance of US government and intelligence operatives. This owes much to the fact that democratization is a sensitive political minefield with direct bearings on international relations. It is too important a foreign policy subject for the US government to hand over reins to the voluntary sector.
Armed with the luxury of a sea of democratization Gongos (governmental NGOs) and quangos (quasi-governmental NGOs), William DeMars: "The US government has a greater capacity than any other single actor in the world to keep track of them, channel them, thwart them, or ride them in a chosen direction."
Usaid's avowal that democracy can be promoted around the world without "being political" is totally fictional, because the onus of NED and its family is on altering the balance of political forces in the target country in the pretext of "civil society assistance."
Criticizing the brazen politicization of democratization Ingos, Elizabeth Cohn recommends: "Close consultation between the U.S. government and nongovernmental groups should stop. NGOs should set their own goals and not be servants of U.S. national interests, as NED is by congressional mandate."
That such relinquishment would appear foolhardy for the realists in US government goes without saying, for it is tantamount to killing the goose that lays golden eggs. To its supporters, the NED family has numerous successes to show off – interventions "to protect the integrity of elections in the Philippines, Pakistan, Taiwan, Chile, Nicaragua, Namibia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere."
Neutral assessments would rate these as electoral manipulations. Left out of the above count are victorious overthrows of democratically-elected governments in Bulgaria (1990), Albania (1992) and Haiti (late 1990s) and destabilization in Panama, Cuba and Venezuela. The next section will demonstrate that the latest feathers in NED's cap are the colour revolutions.
Ukraine’s operation orange
Ukraine epitomizes habitual American "instrumentalisation of value-based policies", thus "wrapping security goals in the language of democracy promotion and then confusing democracy promotion with the search for particular political outcomes that enhance those security goals."
Identified by the Clinton administration as a priority country for democratization and the lynchpin of US post-Soviet foreign policy, Ukraine’s importance for Nato's eastward expansion is second to none. Clinton’s special adviser on the former USSR, Richard Morningstar, confirmed during the 1997 Ukraine-Nato pact that "Ukraine’s security is a key element in the security policy of the United States. " For Zbigniew Brzezinski, the liberal hawk who influences the Democratic party’s foreign policy:"Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire ... if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources, as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state."
With the accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to Nato by 1999, Ukraine remained the last frontier, the single largest buffer on the Russia-Nato "border". The orange revolution has to be viewed in the context of a defensive Russia attempting to hold on to its sphere of influence in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and an aggressive Euro-Atlantic eastward push by the European Union and Nato.
The line-up of foreign backing for the two presidential candidates on the eve of the revolution unambiguously unravels this background tug of war. Viktor Yanukovich, the candidate of outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, received strong verbal and financial support from the Kremlin before, during and after the disputed 2004 election. In a personal meeting with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, just before the election, Yanukovich promised "that he would end Ukraine's policy of seeking membership in NATO." Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-market challenger who benefited from American diplomatic, intelligence and Ingo assistance for the orange revolution, put his eggs entirely in the EU and Nato basket.
Energy politics also figured in Washington's regime change calculus for Ukraine. In July 2004, much to the consternation of the Bush administration and Brussels, Kuchma's government reversed an earlier decision to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline to Gdansk in Poland. Had the extension occurred, it would have carried enormous Caspian oil flows to the EU, independent of Russia, and weakened Ukraine's overwhelming dependence on Russia for its energy needs.
Jettisoning a project that would have cemented Kiev's westward trajectory, Kuchma decided to open an unused pipeline that would transport oil from the Russian Urals to Odessa. The fallout on US interests was not negligible, as W Engdahl reports: "Washington policy is aimed at direct control over the oil and gas flows from the Caspian, including Turkmenistan, and to counter Russian regional influence from Georgia to Ukraine to Azerbaijan and Iran. The background issue is Washington's unspoken recognition of the looming exhaustion of the world's major sources of cheap high-quality oil, the problem of global oil depletion."
The US ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual, repeatedly beseeched Kuchma to give up the reversal, arguing that the Polish plan would be more attractive for investors and more profitable for Ukraine in the long term, particularly by attenuating Russian monopoly control and diversifying Ukraine's energy inventory. It was no coincidence that Yushchenko's government, after the orange revolution, restored status quo ante on Odessa-Brody, announcing "positive talks with Chevron, the former company of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, for the project."
The install-Yushchenko operation in Ukraine had several components. Important power-brokers like the Ukrainian army, the ministry of internal affairs, the security service and senior intelligence officials (silovki) worked against Kuchma's crackdown orders and passed critical inside information to Yushchenko's camp.
Though these Praetorians claimed to have disobeyed executive commands altruistically, there was a pro-US tilt in many vital state agencies. Their communication channel with Yushchenko's aide, Yevyen Marchuk, a Nato favourite and former defense minister who discussed the upcoming elections with US defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in August 2004, suggests a well planned coup d'état. Yushchenko's wife, Kateryna Chumachenko, a former Reagan and George H Bush administration official and émigré Ukrainian heavyweight, is alleged to have played a key backdoor part.
None of the above machinations would have mattered without the disputed election result, the amassing of people power on the streets and the engineering of democracy through civil disobedience. It is here that NED and its family of Ingos were most needed.
Having penetrated Ukraine in 1990 at the behest of the George H Bush administration with the assent of the pro-American Leonid Kravchuk, the effective leader of the republic, these Ingos had the power to finance and create the local NGO sector from scratch, controlling its agenda and direction.
The neo-liberal Pora organization, for instance, was an offshoot of the groundwork done by the "Freedom of Choice Coalition" that was put together in 1999 by the US embassy, the World Bank, NED and the Soros Foundation. On the eve of the orange revolution, NED Gongos hired American pollsters and professional consultants to mine psephological data and unite the opposition under Yushchenko's electoral coalition, months before the poll; trained thousands of local and international election monitors partisan to Yushchenko; organised exit polls in collaboration with western embassies that predicted Yushchenko’s victory; and imported "consultants" who had experience in the Serbian overthrow of Milosevic and the Georgian rose revolution.
The mass mobilization in Kiev was handpicked from Yushchenko's western Ukraine bastions and did not reflect nationwide sentiments. "A few tens of thousands in central Kiev were proclaimed to be 'the people', notwithstanding the fact that many demonstrators nursed violent and anti-democratic viewpoints", writes John Laughland. The NGO monitors, teamed up with western media outlets, deliberately exaggerated electoral fraud involving Yanukovych's party, ignoring serious violations by Yushchenko's.
US government expenditure on the orange revolution has been put at $14 million, while the overall civil-society promotion budget set by Washington for Ukraine (2003-2004) was $57.8-$65 million. The Soros Foundation and Freedom House pumped in a steady flow of funds through Ingos and local NGOs for "elections-related projects."
Massing of pro-Yushchenko crowds in Kiev’s Independence Square was a meticulous operation of “careful, secret planning by Yushchenko's inner circle over a period of years” that oversaw distribution of thousands of cameras, backup teams of therapists and psychologists, transportation, heaters, sleeping bags, gas canisters, toilets, soup kitchens, tents, TV and radio coverage, all of which needed "large sums of cash, in this case, much of it American." (Daniel Wolf.)
Local oligarchs and US-based émigré Ukrainian businesspersons also chipped in with sizeable contributions to the neo-liberal Yuschchenko. The shadowy and fungible ties between the US government and democratization Gongos leave little doubt that the latter were purveyors of large amounts of money in Ukraine that will not appear in audits or annual reports. Public acknowledgements of spending are understatements akin to official casualty figures given by governments during counterinsurgencies.
According to Congressman Ron Paul, the US allocated $60 million for financing the orange revolution "through a series of cut-out NGOs – both American and Ukrainian – in support of Yushchenko." The figure happens to be "just the tip of the iceberg". Claims that "Russia gave Yanukovich far more money than the United States (gave to Yushchenko)" rest on the myth that US government financing through the NED family "is publicly accountable and transparent."
The NED family's role in first following the Bush administration’s lead and anointing Yushchenko's outfit as the only valid manifestation of "civil society" (at the expense of non-neoliberal, anti-authoritarian parties) and then consistently bolstering it with funds and regime-toppling expertise completely blurs lines between impartial democracy promotion and meddling in Ukraine’s political process.
It tinkers with Robert Dahl’s basic dimension of democratization – contestation, i.e. the playing-field of political competition and the relative strengths of contenders. Much that was done by the Ingos in the name of democratization in Ukraine was outright biased, including voter education that is supposed to neutrally inform citizens to make free choices rather than to campaign for a particular candidate: "Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organization, Pora, to various opposition websites." (Jonathan Steele.)
The sinuous route taken by western money can be illustrated with an example. The Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (Pauci), a prominent grantee of Usaid and Freedom House, funded NGOs active in the orange revolution like the International Centre for Policy Studies, which had Yushchenko on its supervisory board. In essence, American Ingos constricted the Ukrainian political space by plumping for the interests of the neo-liberal candidate before the 2004 elections, and partook in a multi-pronged regime-change operation orchestrated in Washington.
Kyrgyzstan’s tulip implantation
Central Asia has long been in the crosshairs of great-power competition games. After the fall of communism, the George H Bush and Clinton administrations defined a set of geo-strategic goals for this heavily meddled region: "To secure an alternative source for energy, help Central Asia gain autonomy from Russia’s hegemony, block Iran’s influence, and promote political and economic freedoms."
From 1993, goals of diversifying long-term energy reserves (finding alternatives to Persian Gulf sources) and pressures from the oil and gas private sectors "began to take centre stage" in Washington's policy toward Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Pentagon pressed for increasing US military presence in the region and succeeded in securing membership for four of the five central Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan, in Nato’s Partnership for Peace in 1994.
Frequent joint military exercises and "interoperability" training in the Clinton years were expected to yield American bases in the region from which to counter Russian and Chinese hegemonic ambitions. With limited oil and natural gas reserves, Kyrgyzstan’s weak economy was heavily dependent on Russia, a vulnerability that the Clinton administration sought to counteract by deepening the US defense interests and nudging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to lend voluminous amounts of development aid to Askar Akayev's relatively democratic government.
IMF technical assistance was critical to Kyrgyzstan becoming the first state in the region to leave the Russian ruble zone. Despite the 1999 extension of the CIS collective security treaty that boosted Russian military leverage in Kyrgyzstan, kidnappings and effortless incursions into Kyrgyz territory by the fundamentalist Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) exposed chinks in the security apparatus of Akayev's "Switzerland of central Asia". As Kyrgyzstan got dragged into central Asia's Islamist tangle by geography, the narcotics trade and border conflicts, the subterranean US-Russian race for military bases came into the open, paving the road to the tulip revolution.
After 11 September 2001, the Pentagon ventured on an epic journey: "The greatest shake-up in America's overseas military deployments since the end of the second World War to position U.S. forces along an 'arc of instability' that runs through the Caribbean, Africa, the middle east, the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Asia."
The cash-strapped Akayev offered the largest American military base in the region at Manas, outside Bishkek, an installation that was not taken lightly in Moscow. China, which shares a border with Kyrgyzstan was equally alarmed and, together with Russia, steered the Shanghai Cooperation Organization toward opposing and ending US military bases in central Asia. The expectation that Manas base would "reduce Kyrgyz dependence on Russia", besides being a logistic hub for the war in Afghanistan, was belied when in 2003 President Putin negotiated with Akayev to open up a Russian airbase at Kant – thirty kilometres from the American "lily pad".
China was also reported to be engaged in secret parleys for its own base in Kyrgyzstan and for border adjustments; these kicked up a political storm against Akayev in March 2002. Russia's ministry of internal affairs, "Akayev’s new friends", helped defuse the demonstrations. Akayev’s moves to align Kyrgyzstan with China through "Silk Road diplomacy" and suppression of the Uighur guerrillas – explained mainly by his desperate need of finances to stem the tail-spinning domestic economy – upset Washington, which saw Beijing as a thorn in its strategic expansion agenda.
The American perspective on this dangerous development went as follows: "Given the 1,100-kilometer border between Kyrgyzstan and China – and Washington's already considerable foothold in nearby Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – the fall of the China-friendly government of disgraced president Askar Akayev would be no small victory for the 'containment policy'."
Prior to the Sino-Russian counteroffensive that found receptive ears in Bishkek, Akayev's progressively autocratic tendencies had not ruffled many feathers in Washington. His rigged presidential election in 2000 went largely unnoticed by the US government, even though NDI observers termed it unfair and laden with illegal subornment of the state machinery. In fact, Eric McGlinchey's study of the reasons for Akayev's slide into anti-democratic politics puts the blame squarely on US-inspired IMF doles that allowed him to "rein in political contestation and rebuild authoritarian rule."
Having cosseted Akayev for more than a decade, the volte-face done by the Bush administration before the tulip revolution was not an overnight realisation of how despotic he had become but a hard-nosed calculation that its vital interests were no longer being served. The visible consequences of Washington’s displeasure with "the news from Kant" (the opening of the Russian base) were recorded thus: "The IMF office in Bishkek has become tougher towards Kyrgyzstan. And the State Department has opened its own independent printing house – which means opposition newspapers will be back in full force." (P Escobar.)
Diplomatic sources are on record that as soon as the Kant deal fructified, Akayev was "on the American watch list" and "the U.S. began supporting all conceivable elements arrayed against him."
Democratisation of Kyrgyzstan, a footnote in American policy, suddenly acquired an aura and urgency. We should add that there was also a generic strategic rationale mooted in the Bush administration for democratization in central Asia after 11 September. Since anti-US popular feelings in the region are not as high as in other Muslim parts of the world, "the risk of democratization in the region is relatively small." Winning the hearts and minds of central Asian Muslims through democratization "will not only facilitate the process of liberalizing the economy, but also, as a by-product, increase support for the United States."
11 September opened a classic realist "window of opportunity through which an 'arc of stability' can be established in the strategically important area between the Caspian Sea and the northwestern border of China." Wildly inconsistent in application, the notion that democracy promotion can soften the Islamist challenge to pax Americana fitted well with rising discontent in Washington with Akayev's usefulness. Kyrgyzstan, with a population of barely 5 million (the fourth smallest in the region) received a sum total of $26.5 million for "democratic reform" from the state department in 2003-04, second only to the much more populous Uzbekistan. As with Ukraine, the official figures shroud a fortune.
From 2003, NED-family Ingos got into the act of securing regime change at the next parliamentary elections, turning against Akayev who had initially allowed them access to the country during the heyday of IMF and Usaid conditional lending. Even more than in Ukraine, American dominance of the local NGO sector is complete in Kyrgyzstan. P Escobar describes the monopolization of local civil society thus: "Practically everything that passes for civil society in Kyrgyzstan is financed by US foundations, or by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). At least 170 non-governmental organizations charged with development or promotion of democracy have been created or sponsored by the Americans."
The absolute control of Kyrgyz civil society by the NED family of Gongos is compounded by the donor-driven nature of "civil-society building" carried out in the region. Fiona Adamson's field research of democratization aid in Kyrgyzstan finds that: "Local NGOs receive almost 100 percent of their funds from international actors and can easily become almost 100 percent donor driven. International donors implicitly or explicitly expect local NGOs to administer programmes that do not necessarily match local needs."
Among the strategies adopted by the Ingos in the name of democratization was winning over local elites to western ideas and models, a time-tested cold-war tactic of psychological warfare. Irex organised conferences, seminars, "technical assistance" and exchange programmes with Kyrgyz elites, believing that domestic political change comes from exposure to western ideas.
That this tactic worked was evident by the trend among the Kyrgyz business and political elites to endorse a closer security and economic relationships with the US. Kurmanbek Bakiyev of the National Movement of Kyrgyzstan, the man who replaced Akayev as prime minister after the tulip revolution, was himself sent to the US on an exchange programme. Felix Kulov, the new head of security, and Omurbek Tekebayev, the new speaker of parliament after the tulip revolution, were also beneficiaries of state-department-sponsored visitors programmes.
Tekebayev disclosed what he learnt on the Washington jaunt candidly: "I found that the Americans know how to choose people, know how to make an accurate evaluation of what is happening and prognosticate the future development and political changes."
Top opposition leaders in the 2005 parliamentary elections like Roza Otunbayeva had reputations as "Washington’s favourite", though not as across-the-board as in Ukraine. They were quick to see potential in the NED's arsenal for regime change and utilised Ingo-funded projects for publishing anti-government newspapers, training youth "infected" with the democracy virus through US-financed trips to Kiev for a glimpse of the orange revolution, and mobilizing fairly large crowds in Bishkek that stormed Akayev's presidential palace and in the southern towns of Osh and Jalalabad.
Usaid "invested at least $2 million prior to the elections" for local activists to monitor government-sponsored malpractices but did not do anything to prohibit these "independent observers" from actually working for opposition candidates. The Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society (CDCS) and Civil Society Against Corruption (CSAC), key local NGO partners of the NED, worked in tandem with the anti-Akayev parties without any pretence of impartiality.
The US embassy in Bishkek, continuing the murky tradition of interventionist behaviour in crises, worked closely with Gongos like Freedom House and the Soros Foundation – supplying generators, printing presses and money to keep the protests boiling until Akayev fled. Information about where protesters should gather and what they should bring spread through state-department-funded radio and TV stations, especially in the southern region of Osh.
CDCS head, Edil Baisolov, admitted that the uprising would have been "absolutely impossible" without this coordinated American effort. On the utility of the NED Gongos to the entire exercise of the tulip revolution, Philip Shishkin noted: "To avoid provoking Russia and violating diplomatic norms, the US can't directly back opposition political parties. But it underwrites a web of influential NGOs."
It is important to note that the clan structure of Kyrgyz society, ethnic tensions with Uzbeks, and incipient Islamism in the Ferghana valley intervened on the ground to alter the revolutionary script charted in Washington. Russia too had learnt its lessons from Ukraine and cultivated some key opposition figures, making it impossible for the US to monopolize the opposition as was the case in the previous two colour revolutions.
The element of surprise, the slick media packaged proclamation of democracy’s relentless march, the legitimization by western capitals in lightning speed – all had become predictable by the time the democratization caravan reached Bishkek. The ambivalent attitude of the new order in Kyrgyzstan – in sharp contrast to the euphoric pro-western policies in Georgia and Ukraine – owes much to this variation between these two case studies.
"Good" vs "bad" authoritarians
Before drawing final lessons from this analysis, it is worth knowing why questionable elections by semi-dictatorial rulers in other post-communist states did not end up in colour revolutions. The main reason why Ilham Aliev, the heir to Heydar Aliev's autocracy in Azerbaijan, could fix the November 2005 parliamentary elections and not have to run the gauntlet from Washington's public-relations machinery and NED Gongos was his regime's loyalty to immense American (and British) energy interests in the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
This was the second time Ilham Aliev grossly manipulated an election and got away without repercussions. His succession façade in the notorious October 2003 presidential election was not only condoned in Washington but met with congratulatory messages from the Pentagon.
Uzbekistan's Stalinist strongman, Islam Karimov, brutally clamped down on a mass demonstration in Andijan against corruption and arbitrary detentions in May 2005, killing 500 and wounding 2,000, but Washington echoed the Uzbek government's claim that it was the handiwork of "Islamic terrorists".
Karimov, at the time of the tulip-revolution-inspired stirrings, had been the US's staunchest ally in the war on terrorism in central Asia, an insurance policy against democratization pressures. His pre-emptive moves before the December 2004 parliamentary elections and after the tulip revolution to expel and constrict the activities of NED-family Ingos did not meet with any criticism from the US government. Comparing Uzbekistan to the other colour revolutions, the perceptive P Escobar wrote: "The former strongmen of colour-coded 'revolutionary' Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan were monsters who had to be removed for 'freedom and democracy' to prevail. So is the dictator of Belarus. Not Karimov. He's ‘our’ dictator."
The necessary causation of regime change
These case studies have upheld the realist paradigm by showing that American-democratization Gongos are necessary, but not sufficient, causes for the colour revolutions. Unless US foreign-policymakers decide to field the full panoply of their intelligence, economic and military resources alongside the Gongos, the spectacle of yet another orchestrated colour revolution is unimaginable. Lacking strong US condemnation and proactive directions, the NED Gongos cannot manage to stage regime changes on their own in conjunction with local activists. It is the push factor from Washington that galvanises the Gongos into a war footing for regime toppling.
The orange and tulip revolutions are cases of "regime change", not "regime-type change", for they did not democratize Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. By their very nature, these episodes were replacements of anti-western elites with pro-western ones, not far-reaching changes that remodeled polities. Even a minimalist definition of democracy – free and fair elections – was not unambiguously achieved in the two cases.
So narrow was the base of these regime changes that it is a travesty to call them "revolutions", a term propagated by the US government and western media. The replacements of Kuchma by Yushchenko and of Akayev by Bakiyev are no more "revolutionary" than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which has been christened by the Bush administration as a "purple revolution". The difference in methods – Gongos and backroom intrigue in post-communist states and direct military occupation in Iraq – does not nullify the similarity of the independent variable: US strategic ambitions.
Predictions for future regime changes on the lines of the colour revolutions will need to carefully track how this independent variable evolves vis-à-vis undemocratic states in the post-Soviet space and how it shapes the concatenation of hard and soft power instruments. American strategy would also depend on domestic political peculiarities in individual states, factors that could not be fully covered in this essay due to the methodological problem of degrees of freedom.
American Gongos are highly effective in certain domestic milieus and moments and less so in others. Sabotage can suffice in some countries while full-scale military offensives may be needed in others. As Peter Gourevitch points out, purely international causation for domestic causes is "not totally convincing" except in the case of complete military occupation by a foreign power. A full range of necessary causation for regime change would have to include internal political and socio-economic variables, besides the NED brand of interposing.
Some additional information can be found at
A complex web of phony Ukrainian NGOs
UNITER stands for 'Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms' and is also known as USAID/Ukraine's Strengthening Civil Society in Ukraine (SCSU). It is administered by Pact Inc. Pact Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. that is directly funded by USAID:USAID/Ukraine awarded Pact a 5-year cooperative agreement to implement the project, effective October 1, 2008. The agreement was extended in September 2013 for an additional year. Including modifications and the 1-year extension, the total amount awarded comes to $14.3 million. As of September 30, 2013, $13.7 million had been obligated and $12.7 million had been spent.1UNITER also funds the Center UA, which was set up in 2009 by Pierre Omidyar as "a coalition of more than 50 civil society organizations that mobilizes civic participation in Ukraine and serves as the country's primary forum for government transparency and accountability." Omidyar is a French-born Iranian American entrepreneur and philanthropist, and the founder and chairman of the eBay auction site.
Oleh Rybachuk is named as the founder and chairman of Centre UA. In 2004, Rybachuk headed the staff and political campaign of the US-backed presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko in the 'Orange Revolution'. Speaking at a 2006 NATO forum, he said:"The task of political forces [in Ukraine] is to compromise on when Ukraine will sign a NATO Membership Plan [...] Ukraine's leaders must now join their efforts to launch an information campaign promoting the country's Euro-Atlantic integration, so that Ukrainians freely and consciously choose their future."Rybachuk went on to serve under Yushchenko and Tymoshenko as deputy prime minister in charge of integrating Ukraine into NATO and the European Union. With the creation of Centre UA in 2009, Rybachuk transformed himself into a "civil society activist" and began working covertly for the US government to prepare the ground for the overthrow of the established order in Ukraine through "civil unrest", which eventually included the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych.
After the election of President Yanukovych in February 2010, UNITER described how Centre UA was used to put pressure on the Yanukovych government:The New Citizen Platform was a key player in ensuring the success of the legislation. Pact, through the USAID-funded Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms (UNITER) project assists the NGO Center UA [New Citizen] since 2009. It was UNITER's contribution to create the network of prominent local and national level Ukrainian NGOs, to bring together leaders of public opinion and civil society activist.On investigating these 'NGO networks' in Ukraine it quickly becomes clear that when Victoria Nuland said that Washington has spent $5 billion on "democracy promotion" in Ukraine over the past 20 years, she wasn't lying, at least not on the numbers. But that $5billion of US taxpayers' money has not gone towards "democracy promotion" but towards the infiltration and co-opting of Ukraine's political and social life for the purpose of thwarting Russia's natural influence on, and co-operation with, its neighbor. Between 2009 and 2014, through its complex web of fake NGOs, the US government engaged in a concerted effort to radically and definitively change the course of Ukraine's political and social life for the sole purpose of attacking Russia. In hindsight, a violent coup d'etat and the imposition of US-government-selected political leaders was a part of that plan.The farce that was and is USAID funding phony 'NGOs' to work for "access to public information for journalistic work" was fully exposed recently when the Kiev government banned more than 100 Russian media outlets from Ukraine.
Henceforth, Pact helped Center UA to emerge as the main convener of the need for access to public information for journalist work. This gave important boost to the success of the New Citizen platform. It included the facilitation and creation in summer 2010 of the Stop Censorship movement that unites media professionals in defending their rights for freedom of speech and access to information. The intensive collaboration New Citizen platform and Stop Censorship movement resulted in the reinforced media attention to the legislative struggle.2
Here is one interesting take on EuroMaidan "snipergate" ( Euromaidan Anatomy of a Washington-backed coup d'etat)
US Snipers on EuroMaidan?
When he took up the post of US Ambassador to Ukraine on July 30th, 2013, Geoffrey Pyatt inherited this complex and well-established network of US-financed social activists and agitators. One of Pyatt's first tasks was to oversee the funding (about $50,000 in total) of a new television station in Ukraine, Hromadske TV. Unsurprisingly, Hromadske's first broadcast was on Nov. 22nd, 2013, the very first day of the Maidan protests. Indeed, the rallying cry for those protests was given by Mustafa Nayem, a Ukrainian journalist who founded Hromadske TV (with US taxpayers' money). Hromadske provided blanket coverage of the Maidan protest and since then has continued to receive generous funding from the US State Department and EU governments. To get an idea of the editorial line of
the US State Dept.Hromadske, last year they hosted a journalist who called for the genocide of 1.5 million residents in the Donbass.
From the beginning of the protests until Yanukovych was forced to flee the country, the Euromaidan was the place to be if you wanted to press the flesh with US politicians. Pyatt and Nuland regularly handed out cookies and 'attaboys' to the protestors and police alike, while the US government's revolutionary envoy John McCain rallied the protestors in December 2013, telling them that "America stands with you" and "Ukraine will make Europe better". As the protests became increasingly violent through January 2014, the Ukrainian Prime Minister resigned on January 28th in a failed attempt to appease the protestors. By February 18th, President Yanukovych was in negotiations to draft a 'peace deal' with three members of the opposition - Yatzenyuk, the fascist Tyahnybok, and Klitschko, along with French, German and Polish foreign ministers. These were the same three people mentioned by Nuland and Pyatt in their infamous leaked phone call where they discussed the future make-up of the post-Yanukovych government.The agreement called for a drastic reduction in Yanukovych's presidential powers, a return to the 2004 constitution, the release of Tymoshenko from prison, early elections for later in 2014, the appointment of Yatzenyuk as prime minister and Klitschko as deputy prime minister, and the dismissal of the current government.
These measures amounted to a radical change in the power structure in Ukraine and should have meant an end to the protests, since they fulfilled all of the opposition demands. After all, the leaders of the opposition who had signed the agreement were the representatives of the protestors on the streets of Kiev, right? However, as the negotiations were ongoing, someone began a shooting spree in the streets around Kiev square over the three days of February 18th-20th. At least 15 policemen and 80 protestors and civilian bystanders were shot dead by what appears to have been a team of snipers firing from the tops and windows of buildings. The agreement was signed on the 21st, but the large death toll appears to have contributed to the almost immediate scrapping of the agreement, and the announcement by what was left of the Ukrainian parliament that Yanukovych would be impeached.
The image below shows the Maidan square in the top left corner.
The yellow line shows the extent of the progress of the protestors on February 20th along Institutskaya Street as they tried to reach the central bank and the Ukrainian parliament (in red). All of the buildings surrounding Maidan square (off screen, top left), including the Ukraine hotel (in green), were occupied by protestors. The lobby of the Ukraine hotel had been turned into a makeshift triage center for the injured. The point being, everything behind and to the left and right of the protestors should have been safe territory. Ukrainian officials and protestors to this day claim that the police were responsible for the deaths. Yet the video segment below, taken from this video, shows a protestor (and the tree behind which he is hiding) being struck by a bullet from behind or from the side, most likely from the upper floors of the Ukraine hotel, as pointed out by this German news report (with English subtitles).
Throughout the day, dozens of other protestors were shot from behind, from buildings occupied by protestors, as outlined in this detailed report by Professor Ivan Katchanovski of the University of Ottawa.
The question of who was responsible for the large death toll among both protestors and policemen was brought into sharp focus by an intercepted telephone call, released on March 4th, 2014, between EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Affairs Minister Urmas Paet, who had just returned from Kiev. In the call, Paet tells Ashton:There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition. [...] all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides ... and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened.If you're wondering why you haven't heard much, or anything, about this phone call in the Western media, the reason is that it has been ignored. And as Paet says, apparently the new US/EU-installed 'interim' government in Ukraine is not too keen on investigating the allegations.
Along with the video evidence and eyewitness testimony, Paet's statement strongly suggests that within the 'Maidan' protestors, perhaps specifically the US-funded and Chechen Jihadi-linked 'Right Sector', there were individuals who were fighting on both sides of the barricades; their aim being to kill as many police and protestors as possible in an effort to turn the 'people's revolution' into a revolution of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists bent on kick-starting a 'civil war' to cleanse Ukraine of Russian influence. That agenda dovetails nicely with the broad, decades-long goal of the Anglo-American empire to neutralize Russia as a potential global power broker able to stand against US global hegemony through destabilization and proxy wars.
The expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders that was begun by the Clinton administration in 1992 was advised against by many because it would obviously provoke conflict with Russia, yet the plan went ahead anyway. Why? There are two interwoven benefits from the US point of view. The first is that expanding NATO eastwards served to physically and economically expand the US empire. The second is that provoking conflict with Russia was predicted to scare European states, especially the expanded-upon new NATO Baltic states, into believing that Russia was a threat.
NATO was designed to increase security in Europe, but it has achieved precisely the opposite today. What 'increase security in Europe' really means in Washington is 'increase of US control in Europe'. The US government has long-since understood that the best way to increase control is to increase fear, and to increase fear you need an enemy. In the case of Europe, Russia could be provoked into appearing as an enemy to Europe by threatening it through expansion of NATO, which was justified by the need to increase security in Europe. Basically, expansion of NATO to Russia's borders was designed to threaten Russia and, as a result, threaten Europe and push it further into the arms of the Empire.
Ukraine today is not just a 'failed state'. A 'failed state' is usually still in the hands of a national government. Ukraine today is fully in the hands of the US government and the IMF. That might not be such a bad thing (relatively) if it weren't for the fact that the only reason those two institutions have any interest in Ukraine is to use it as leverage in their futile attempt to thwart the inexorable strengthening of the Russian Federation.
Just take Natalie Jaresko as an example. A Chicago-born investment banker who received her Ukrainian citizenship in December 2014, she now controls Ukrainian financial policy. In the late '80s and early '90s, she just so happened to hold several positions at the US State Department before taking the position of Chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Ukraine. She also managed the USAID-financed Western NIS Enterprise Fund, which kindly provided funds for 'pro-democracy' movements in Belarus, Moldova and, predictably, Ukraine.
One year ago today, there was an option to end the Maidan protests peacefully while also meeting the protestors' demands and reforming Ukrainian politics and society in a way that would have benefited the Ukrainian people. Instead, the US empire and their proxy agents chose to unleash bloody mayhem on Ukraine. In the process, Ukraine (and therefore NATO) lost Crimea and is so to lose the rich lands of Donetsk and Lugansk. Does the US government care? Of course not. The real goal of demonizing Russia as a threat to global stability has been achieved.
All other considerations, including the slaughter of tens of thousands of ragged Ukrainian troops and at least 5,000 eastern Ukrainian citizens, are a price the psychopaths in Washington were only too willing to pay.
It is now known that the USA agencies spend around one billion in cash to facilitate the dissolution of the USSR. Here is how Prince Shcherbatov, who was active participant of the events, recollected this CIA operation:
...the Americans, the CIA spent money through its Ambassador in Russia, Robert Strauss, using his connections to bribe military: Taman and Dzershinsk airborne division, which had moved to the side of Yeltsin.
Big sums were received by the son of the Marshal Shaposhnikov, Minister of defense Grachev. Shaposhnikov now have an estate in the South of France, and a house in Switzerland.
I heard from George Bailey, my old friend, who for many years worked for the CIA that cash allocated to the USSR amounted to more than one billion dollars.
Not many people knew that in 1991 special aircraft delivered cash under the disguise of diplomatic mail to the Sheremetyevo airport. Those money were distributed in packages of ten-, twenty- an fifty dollars bills to selected government officials and military leaders.
The first meeting of the representatives of the two countries, held in Jurmala showed Americans that some of "the Soviet people" can easily “agree” to bribes. The second meeting which was attended by both military and intelligence representatives of both countries was a trial balloon for the future events.
Former participants in Chachagua conference were active participants in the coup: General Chervov helped to distribute the money among the military, one of the Directors of "Banks Trust", John Crystal helped to channel CIA money via his bank.
It turned out that if you give Soviet officials a good bribe, it is not that difficult to destroy the Soviet Union.
Everything was calculated correctly. In this case, thanks to the joint conferences, mass media, the efforts of American and Soviet representatives of different levels public opinion was shaped in the necessary direction, psychological "brainwashing" of the Soviet people was quickly accomplished and the ideas about the necessity of the introduction of democracy in the country firmly took root.
Bombing country with dollar proved to be also very efficient during Iraq and Afghanistan campaign. It allowed to buy some key figured in the government, making resistance inefficient. Cash in suitcases was used during the dissolution of the USSR very effectively to buy key "intelligencia" and government officials. The technique was polished to perfection during Serbian color revolution (The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
Regime Change Blueprint The NED At Work
Mar 08, 2014 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Another resource was the 30,000-40,000 Serbs living in Austria. Serbia had established the military draft, and the CIA had many walk-in Serbs who gave it detailed assessments of troops, list of security and police officials and other valuable information. Other Serb deserters went by ratlines to Germany where they were debriefed at Westport, a former US military base turned intelligence center. Many Serbs returned to Belgrade to continue to report.
Milosevic was constantly passing draconian new laws to root out dissidents and make war on his own students, and the CIA, having learned from the attempts by the Soviets who tried to decapitate Polish union, Solidarity, using mass arrests, the Serbian rebel students, whose outfit was called Otpor, set up a brilliant horizontal structure exactly the opposite of Milosevic’s central structure. Otpor was made up of small cells, and to escape capture, its members constantly shifted to a complicated network of safe houses. Operations were launched from these. A safe house used signals such as a raised blind or a closed window or a raised flag on a mailbox to indicate that all was well.
In addition, the CIA, through NGO’s, supplied the rebel Serbian students with thousands of cell phones, radio transmitters, and fax machines. Calls and e-mails went out through servers outside Serbia to escape Belgrade’s magpie scrutiny. Otpor was also supplied with printing equipment and supplies, and the publications and leaflets began to have an impact.
But the most urgent priority had been to establish a money conduit to fund Otpor and other Serbian defectors in place. Much of the money was cash gathered in Hungary and smuggled in suitcases over the border into Serbia., preferably U.S. dollars or German deutsche marks that were widely used in Serbia and had a higher value than the worthless Serb dinar. To avoid detection, the money trail moved constantly. Very early Otpor received money to a tune of $3 million from NED. The money was transferred to accounts outside of Serbia, mainly in Hungary and Austria. Since Milosevic had nationalized the Serb banks, a lot more money came over the Serb border in suitcases from Hungary. The NED would not know where the money was going, and would receive a receipt signed by a dissident as to how the funds were used. For example, money going to underground publications would be acknowledged by a secret code on one of the pages.
Using its covert monies, the students began to buy t-shirts, stickers, leaflets that bore its emblem of a clenched fist. Soon the clenched fist of Otpor appeared on walls, postal boxes, cars, the sides of trucks and statues. The students painted red footsteps on the ground to symbolize Milosevic’s bloody exit from parliament and passersby found thrust into their hands cardboard telescopes that described a falling star called “Slobotea.” They also used public relations techniques including polling leafleting and paid advertising. As days went on recruitment was expanded and new assets acquired and in cities like Banja Luka in northern Bosnia in Pristina in Kosovo, and in the provincial cities of Serbia, activity was mounting to a climax All the beatings of crowds, the disbanding of political parties, the fixing of the 1997 elections, the dismissal of honest Serb officials, the snubbing, the humiliating defeats, the arrogant indifference of Milosevic had been piling up, generating a pent-up violence that was going to be discharged in one shattering explosion of revolt.
The money trail expanded. Regarding the funding of certain persons or groups, the agency took pains to use false flag recruitments – acting through intermediaries to get new agents while the CIA pretended that its own agents came from other countries. Clinton did not want the opposition derided as U.S. lackeys. A participant: me, "I don’t think a lot of our assets had a sense of working for the U.S. government. It’s a grey area letting them know where their monies are coming from.” In the end, they got over $70 million.
Communications gear came next. The dissidents had to be supplied advanced CIA equipment such as Inmarsat scrambler phones to organize a command, control and intelligence, (C3I) network so they could remain underground and stay a step ahead of capture. Training for specific opposition leaders and key individuals was given U.S. assets within Serbia whose purpose was to serve as the eyes and ears for key dissident as well as to provide funds and security.
By now Otpor had developed a crisis committee to coordinate resistance that enabled networks from different regions to keep in close touch. All branches of U.S. intelligence were going to provide an early warning system for the students. The NSA and the CIA Special Collections Elements in neighboring countries had hacked into Slobodan’s key security bureaucracies and were reading Ministry of Internal Affairs' orders for police raids against the demonstrators. This intelligence was passed to the dissidents who gave advance alerts to Otpor cells which allowed them to disperse and avoid arrest. By now the student group even had a committee to deal with administrative tasks such as lining up new safe houses, cars, fake IDs. As the campaign to dethrone Milosevic went on, the money and activities grew more and more quickly with more than $30 million from the U.S. alone.
There were now seventy thousand Otpor students in 130 groups with twelve regional offices, and the Otpor leaders had been schooled in non-violent techniques designed to undermine dictatorial authority. They were using a handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation,” written by Gene Sharp. Chapters were copied and handed from cell to cell throughout the country. He: an interview that his non-violent method “is not ethical. It is not pacifism. It is based on an analysis of power in dictatorship and how to break it by withdrawing the obedience of its citizens and the key institutions of society.”
The same tactic in less overt form is used during Russian "white revolution" of 2012 and EuroMaidan 2014. Average pay for "protester" in xUSSR space is $30 a day. If we add equipment and food necessary for sustained Maidan style protest it is probably closer to $100 a day. Assuming 3000 paid professional protester (which will attract some volunteers, lumpens and simply spectators probably doubling the total doubling the amount in day hours ) that means that one day of protest costs as little as $300K a day which is nothing in comparison with the cost of direct military intervention. 30 days often is enough to topple the government so for less then 30 million you can achieve a spectacular result and "open the can" for multinationals. Here is some consideration on this account from establishment rag Foreign Policy.
The article Dollars, Not Bombs Can we bribe our way to peace in Syria? (FP, Sept 4, 2013) suggests:
How much is peace worth in Syria? If the United States attacks, cruise missiles worth tens of millions of dollars will wing their way toward the war-torn country, adding to the millions already spent on mobilization. There's no guarantee this costly exercise would quicken the end of the conflict. What's more, there's a potentially cheaper way to promote peace in Syria and anywhere else: Buy it.
The United States already spends money on foreign aid and peacekeeping that are supposed to stem conflict and encourage economic growth around the world. But we tend to avoid sending money to countries bogged down by war, since we're afraid it might be wasted. This is a big gap in our foreign policy, and to fill it, we need be more direct. We need to pay for peace explicitly.
There's a market for peace. The seller's price is how much you have to pay for it, and the buyer's price is how much you should be willing to pay. We need to know both of these numbers and ultimately try to balance them.
Why should Americans be buying? It's pretty simple. Peaceful countries are moneymakers for the United States. Most peaceful countries in the world import American goods and services, helping our economy create jobs and putting tax revenue in Washington's coffers. And the more these countries grow, the more they buy.
... ... ...
Other countries could sweeten the deal. Major economies in Europe would probably benefit from peace in Syria, too. Right now, none of them are among Syria's top trading partners, despite the European Union's policy of economic engagement in the Mediterranean region. If Europe participated, the annual peace bounty could rise to a billion dollars or more. And if the Syrian people knew that so much money awaited a peaceful and legitimate government, all sides might try harder to find a negotiated settlement.
... ... ...
The Syrian people might feel as though they were being robbed again by what has by many accounts been a thoroughly corrupt regime. But negotiating about money is much better than continuing the violence, and surely the Assads would want to haggle for their share. Ending the killing on both sides could be a condition for talks that might be worth tens of millions to them every year.
If peace bounties showed promise, there'd be no need to stop with Syria. From prison states like North Korea to countries hamstrung by civil conflict like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, peace bounties could help to tip the scales away from violence. The best part is that since the bounties would depend partly on population size, bigger bounties would free more people from war and oppression. (To be sure, they would also depend on people's incomes, which is a less attractive attribute.)
One catch here is that the World Trade Organization might see a bounty as an illegal subsidy to a country's imports. To get around the rules, the payments might have to be fixed as lump sums rather than varying annually according to import volumes. Alternatively, if all the WTO's members got together to pay the bounties, there would be no issue. In either case, such technicalities needn't stand in the way of the overall concept.
Back in the 1990s, the peace dividend created by the end of the Cold War brought the United States within a whisker of paying off its entire national debt. Today, thanks to tax cuts and ironically to a couple of new wars, that peace dividend has evaporated. But there's another one ripe for the taking -- as long as we're brave enough to put emotion on hold while we talk about cold, hard cash.
As the article by Sreeram Chaulia reproduced above had shown this technology proved to be especially effective in xUSSR space as governments in those state still remember communist dictatorship methods and are vary to resort to brutal methods of suppression of protestors common is the USA, GB as other Western countries.
It's pretty funny that Trotsky idea of permanent revolution returns to the xUSSR space in new packaging and will be directed even against neoliberal government which came to power after dissolution of the USSR when they are consider by the West no enough neo-liberal and hesitate to the wholesale the country to western banks. Or worse are resource nationalist as in Russia and Byelorussia. Expansion to this space has distinct neofascist small and essentially reminds and attempt to reestablish the Third Reich in a new neoliberal form with Western European population as a new Arian nation.
Track record of successful color revolutions in xUSSR space includes Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan. Non successful was only White revolution in Russia in 2012.
Ukrainian Orange Revolution is a classic color revolution, stages on the accusations of election fraud.
Recent unsuccessful (but pretty destabilizing) attempt to stage a color revolution was "white revolution" in Russia in 2011-2012. It produced many new and useful materials for understanding the mechanics of undermining the state using the Fifth column of Compradors & lumpenelite.
Euro Maidan of 2013 is another interesting and educational example. Here the pretext of staging color revolution of non-signing of the association EU treaty by Yanukovich government, the treaty which in present form serves well EU but does not serve Ukrainian economic interests.
I think it is unwise to underestimate the tremendous power of this new menace to the independent governments even if they are neoliberal government (as governments of Ukraine and Russia were at the time). One step in wrong direction and West might try to depose it with more agreeable sock puppets. With the dominance of neoliberalism the term compradors bourgeoisie has reentered the lexicon to denote new fifth column of globalization, trading groups and social strata in the subordinate but mutually advantageous relationships with metropolitan capital, which are ready to betray national interest for a scraps from the table of multinationals.
So any non-suicidal government should restrict the activity of Western NGO, penetration of western intelligence services into their own security services and dominance of oligarchs or western financial played in mass media (NGO actually spend large amount of money training "independent" journalist who under the disguise of critique of corruption of the current government and "freedom of the press" serve as a important part of fifth column and help to subdue the country to transnational corporations.
Export of democracy is another stated goal of color revolution. Like other goals it is fake. In reality it is mainly a pretext for converting state into vassal on Washington. In other word this is neocolonial policy. In other words as William Blum noted in his book Americas Deadliest Export Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else we can say that in fact The deadlest export of the USA is export of democracy:
In activist-author-publisher William Blum's new book, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy, he tells the story of how he got his 15 minutes of fame back in 2006. Osama bin Laden had released an audiotape, declaring:
"If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State."
Bin Laden then quoted from the Foreword of Blum's 2000 book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, in which he had mused:
"If I were... president, I could stop terrorist attacks [on us] in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize... to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America's global interventions... have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but... a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. ... That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."
... fortunately, for those who have read his books or follow his "Anti-Empire Reports" on the Web, he was not assassinated! And now he has collected his reports and essays of the last dozen years or so into a 352-page volume that will not only stand the test of time, but will help to define this disillusioned, morose, violent and unraveling Age.
... ... ...
Reading this scrupulously documented book, I lost count of the times I uttered, "unbelievable!" concerning some nefarious act committed by the US Empire in the name of freedom, democracy and fighting communism or terrorism. Reading Blum's book with an open mind, weighing the evidence, will bleach out any pride in the flag we have planted in so many corpses around the world. The book is a diuretic and emetic!
Blum's style is common sense raised to its highest level. The wonder of America's Deadliest ... is that it covers so much of the sodden, bloody ground of America's march across our post-Second-World-War world, yet tells the story with such deftness and grace-under-fire that the reader is enticed--not moralized, not disquisitionally badgered--, but enticed to consider our globe from a promontory of higher understanding.
Some of the themes Blum covers (and often eviscerates) include:
- Why they hate us;
- America means well;
- We cannot permit a successful alternative to the capitalist model to develop anywhere in the world;
- We will use whatever means necessary -- including, lies, deception, sabotage, bribery, torture and war--to achieve the above idea.
...A note "About the Author" tells us that, "He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital."
In his chapter on "Patriotism," Blum relates how, after a talk, he was asked: "Do you love America?" He responded with what we may take for his credo: "I don't love any country. I'm a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, meaningful democracy, an economy which puts people before profits."
America's Deadliest... is a book of wisdom and wit that ponders "how this world became so unbearably cruel, corrupt, unjust, and stupid?" In a pointillistic approach, sowing aphoristic seeds for thought, Blum enumerates instances of that cruelty, often with wry, pained commentary. "War can be seen as America's religion," he tells us. Reflecting on Obama's octupling Bush's number of drones used to assassinate, collaterally kill and terrorize, he affirms:
"Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left." And, he avers, "Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good." And then turns around and reminds us--lest we forget--how the mass media have invaded our lives, with memes about patriotism, democracy, God, the "good life": "Can it be imagined that an American president would openly implore America's young people to fight a foreign war to defend `capitalism'?" he wonders.
"The word itself has largely gone out of fashion. The approved references now are to the market economy, free market, free enterprise, or private enterprise."
Cynthia McKinney writes that the book is "corruscating, eye-opening, and essential." Oliver Stone calls it a "fireball of terse information."
Like Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Paul Craig Roberts, Cindy Sheehan and Bradley Manning, Blum is committed to setting the historical record straight. His book is dangerous. Steadfast, immutable "truths" one has taken for granted--often since childhood--are exposed as hollow baubles to entertain the un/mis/and dis-informed. One such Blumism recollects Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez's account of a videotape with a very undiplomatic Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and cowboy George Bush: "`We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly,'" Powell said. "`We must have a brute demonstration of power.'
Then Bush spoke: `Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! ... Stay strong! ... Kill them! ... We are going to wipe them out!'"
It is well-known that Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Iraqis, but usually left unmentioned is that those victims were in armed revolt against his regime. What would any U.S. President do if American citizens took up armed revolt against the U.S. Government? We have a clue in what took place in Waco, Texas a few years ago. There was no armed revolt, just some citizens with unregistered firearms. The U.S. government considered those armed citizens to be such a risk that the government sent in tanks and military personnel, ultimately using military personnel to set a conflagration which burned scores of women and children alive. Imagine if those people had actually been involved in revolt against the government!
The U.S. stresses "freedom and democracy" as a goal for a reconstituted Iraq. Of course some of the nations providing military support in the "coalition of the willing" are already democracies, and while their citizenry is voicing 90% disapproval of the preemptive war of aggression and conquest, the democratically-elected leadership of Britain, Australia, and Turkey adopt policies directly contrary to the loudly expressed will of their populations. So much for democracy, but proof the coercion and bribery of leadership for corporate interests is what Western-style "democracy" is usually all about.
The U.S. wants to spread democracy and freedom, but their latest attempt at nation building in Afghanistan has resulted in a puppet president Karzai (a former Chevron official) who is afraid to leave his own offices, while brutal warlords remain in control of the county. No democracy yet, while the U.S. military pussy-foots around the warlords and tries not to get in their way.
So, America bravely presses forward towards "liberating" Iraq. But don't mention it to the Kurds up north, who are dreading the recent arrival of a thousand and a half Turkish troops (with more likely to come) for the purpose of preventing the establishment of a Kurdish independent republic, or to prevent an unacceptable refugee burden. A Kurdish Democratic Republic would be too unsettling to the region for the Bush administration (or any American administration) to ever allow or promote THAT much democracy!
What really counts in Iraq is military firepower and corporate economic power. Dick Cheney, American Vice-President has been more or less totally absent from the American public's view, but only because he has basically reverted to his pre-election corporate role of lining up contracts for his old company and others to come in and mop up Iraq with billions of dollars' worth of reconstruction and infrastructure and oilfield repair contracts. Forget democracy, and bring on the corporate bureaucracy and lets get that Iraqi oil flowing to pay the American debts for liberating her! Maybe American corporations will be democratically elected or appointed to do a little "nation building" which seemed very distasteful to Bush when Clinton was President, but seems like a fine idea now.
Was it all necessary? Or was any of it necessary? Well, the U.N. was making great strides in disarming Iraq and would have done so in reasonable time frames without warfare. But Bush needed war like like a cruise missile needs propellant. His presidency didn't even take off and begin flying until 9/11 pushed his military/industrial complex ambitions onto the front burner. No wonder Bush wouldn't allow the U.S. military to shoot down any of the four hijacked planes on 9/11, even after one World Trade Center tower was struck and even though the Pentagon lies under the most heavily defended airspace in the world. The hits had to occur to get the ball rolling for the Bush agenda, and so the military was stood down that day and thousands of Americans, including Pentagon personnel had to die so the Bush agenda could come to life.
From a Bush perspective, which is limited in scope, narrowly focused and myopic as a house mouse's eyesight, the situation looks very good and very promising. Baghdad is burning. Saddam is squirming. Congressional support is firming.
But the rest of the world, and many, many Americans see the hypocrisy of pseudo-democracy. Some of us see a regime change ahead in Washington at the time of the next election. And we see war crimes trials as Perle and Rumsfeld fail to bring down the U.N. and Rumsfeld and maybe even Bush and Powell get charged with crimes against humanity.
At least, there is room for hope.
Corruption is probably the most common, the most universal and most convenient pretext for color revolutions. It's value is first of all in its universality: there is no neoliberal state, which would not be vulnerable to corruption. For example if somebody wants to organize "regime change" in the USA corruption charge would work perfectly well as there many instances of corruption of various state structures. In a way lobbyism used in the USA is nothing but institutalized corruption. The only thing needed in this case is dominance in MSM so that you can "carpet bomb" the society with those charges and rose indignation of population to the level when people will become ready for the "regime change",
Corruption is a consequence of dominance of neoliberal regime with its cult of greed. It is connected with the the decline of the moral level of population, and fiorst of the the elite to an all-time low. Young rebels in many countries are reacting to a instilled by the USA neoliberal regimes not understanding that as a result they will get the same kleptocratic regime, only more cruel and experience drastic drop of standard of living. The reason of improvising is conversion of many countries into West debt slaves can't be resolved by street protests. The extreme concentration of wealth in a few hands thanks to neoliberal policies of deregulation and union busting is a feature not an exception due to some over-corrupt overload, that should be deposed. It is an immanent feature on neoliberal regimes everywhere. But young people, with gracious financial help from some embassies and NGOs can take over the streets, parks, plazas and squares to protest against the resulting corruption, the way politicians can be bought and sold, and the impunity of the current "bad" regime. Resulting regime change will make many of them more sober, it it will be too late. The train already left the station.
It goes without saying the neoliberalism creates fertile ground for widespread corruption. And when we talk about corruption, we need to understand the cause of it is systemic. It not connected with particular criminals -- replace them and new criminals will take power and continue the same policies. I repeat, it is sharp drop of the moral level of general population and the elite under neoliberalism. And corruption in third world countries and the xUSSR area is supported by the West which serves as receiving party for all the stolen from people money. London is now full of Russian oligarch who escaped from criminal prosecution and who are now protected by GB government out of geopolitical interest of weakening of Russia as well as nice opportunity to get some stolen money in London banks. Of course Russia is in hearlines of neoliberals now, but out of opportunity to get those money is irresistible too. It is one of the way of capital accumulation for GB elite.
In a way corruption as a three-headed dragon, with one head being the USA, the second head EU (especially GB) and the third head -- corruption on other countries. Cur one head and it will re-grow soon as other heads are intact. And this situation continues for many years and serves as a powerful pipe of redistribution of wealth to the top -- the key idea of neoliberalism.
Corruption also helps demobilization of the society which is another goal of neoliberal transformation of society, as power under neoliberalism belongs to tiny "top 0.01%". Corruption and state repression have their roots in the policy regime of "neoliberalisation" and corporate plunder.yalensis, June 3, 2015 at 2:35 am
CNN has the usual agenda. “Corruption” is one of the key issues in the Gene Sharpe colour-revolution handbook. Of all the possible things that can be wrong with a given society, the Americans decided that “corruption” should be the main issue in all of these revolutions. At their Yale course in revolution, which Navalny studied, they teach how to use corruption as a battle-cry to overthrow the government.
Saakashvili is considered the very model of a pro-American colour revolutionary who comes to power spouting anti-corruption slogans. (Once in power, he did get rid of some rival mob bosses and then concentrated all the corruption in his own greedy hands!)
In conclusion, when pointing out corruption in Russian aerospace industry, CNN is probably trying, not so much to be a helpful friend to Russia (in pointing out some problems), but more likely providing fuel to the colour revolutionaries, who still have not given up hope of overthrowing Putin.
The network of corruption usually includes "the pork barrel" corruption that involves government officials. This is especially typical for xUSSR area and third world countries and is a source of significant discontent which can be played for destabilizing the government. The funny thing that color revolution leads to more corruption, not less, because again corruption (aka redistribution of wealth to the top) is the essence of neoliberalism. For example level of corruption of Yeltsin regime was simply legendary.
In Ukraine Yanukovich regime was notorious for its "pork barrel" corruption. This is exactly how initial stage of EuroMaydan was launched. And the result is more corruption, not less, which naive participants which were used start to realize only now when current dropped 50% and Ukraine was plunged into another Great Depression with tremendous drop of standard of living form 99% of population.
It's almost exhilarating, when Western MSM talk about the "pervasive corruption of the government in Ukraine:" Western versions that are pre-electoral, post-electoral, straightforward theft, and "pork-barrel" politics are just more sophisticated and simultaneously are more widespread.
Neoliberals chanted the mantra that everyone would benefit if the public sector were privatized, businesses deregulated and market mechanisms allowed to distribute wealth. But as economist David Harvey argues, from the beginning it was a doctrine that primarily benefited the wealthy, its adoption allowing the top one per cent in any neoliberal society to capture a disproportionate share of whatever wealth was generated.
Bu the model is pretty much universal (How corruption became a global problem in an age of neoliberalism )
Economist Prabhat Patnaik, speaking recently at York, said neoliberalism (corporate global rights, privatization, deregulation) leads to corruption because governments give away their national wealth "for a song," then impose an informal tax on the giveaways so they can maintain power, which sounds like what happened here: the strangest element of gasplantgate is why they paid out so much for the cancellations. But maybe the flowback would have stopped otherwise. Corruption was part of the tale in India's electoral upheaval as it was in Quebec's surprise Liberal victory. Voters despair. You can't turn them out of office fast enough to avoid returning them almost instantly.
... ... ...
You wouldn't have those CEO pig-outs absent neo-liberalism's moral model: get rich not just quick but hugely. As Kevin O'Leary loves saying, and CBC plasters on its promos: God put us here to get rich. Note it's a public broadcaster where he barks that and no one contests it. (I consider Amanda Lang's ripostes pro forma.)
Since there's no counter model (excluding, maybe, the pope) it becomes almost embarrassing not to grab for all you can get, legality be damned. The mentality seeps into areas like pro sports and the World Cup, with PED corruption, game fixing -- and trickles down to kids. There's also a sort of pre-emptive political corruption, where leaders like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have their eye on the vast returns available after they leave office, through their own foundations, etc., as long as they don't offend the corporate titans who are the donors. But none of it would thrive without the grotesque, tantalizing wealth inequalities that equate with neoliberalism.
Why anyone thought privatizing huge chunks of public wealth and letting the profit motive slither all over them would mean less corruption evades me, along with thinking Ontario's Liberals are the beginning and end of the problem. Corruption may always be with us but it comes in different forms. We're currently driving the globalization-privatization model right off a cliff.
The government in oligarchic republics like Russia or Ukraine always has a high degree of distrust from people as it is well known that it is corrupted like any government serving oligarchy. So as soon it try to move to "resource nationalism" that threatens multinationals. or try to use "balancing between two camps" path (Ukraine) it became a pretty easy target, as the discontent is present and need only to be enhanced by NGO, bombing country with dollars and other tried and true methods.
That why classic in “color revolutions” moment for challenging “power that be” is when the election results in the election of the incumbent president annoced, especially when the winning margin for the ruling party majority is slim. A very plausible claim that “old guard does not want to turn over the power voluntarily” and resorts to election fraud to maintain status quo is used. Actual fraud in not necessary, just a rumor is sufficient.
While the "revolutionaries" themselves can use any dirty tricks to win. We saw similar tactic by Bush camp in the USA in 2000 when they violate each and every rule of conduct in Florida to get Bush win by 537 votes, and still manage to enforce their illegitimate win. "Election violations" is a favorite tactic developed by Karl Rove is other Mayberry Machiavellians and now reused in color revolutions.
This method of wiping up discontent into active phase in which some square is occupied by protesters (let's call it Maidan phase) proved to be very efficient in xUSSR space.
Allegations of authorities misconduct do not need to be true. They can be completely bogus, but plausible "manufactured news". The idea is that when truth will be discovered it will be too late. They can be false flag operation by moles within the current government (the supposed role of Lyovochkin during EuroMaydan). In other words any dirty trick is permissible, as in "the end justified the means" Jesuit motto.
False flag of manufactured news operation can destabilize situation to the extent that new possibilities are opened for the initiators of this process. Also supporters of the “old regime” among local oligarchy might jump the ship, especially if promised a pack of $100 bills in return for this courtesy (remember that in most cases they are also players in country privatization schemes, owning directly or indirectly assets; and their family accounts and often families are often already living at the West) or at least bet of both horses.
Economic difficulties in addition to elections make a perfect combination.
Even legitimate, legal decisions, played hostile to Washington interests, can be skillfully played that way. In this respect Putin’s decision to be the candidate for the next president of Russia probably did served as a fuel in this particular episode. Because this does smell with the CPSU "permanent First Secretary" staff.
In this respect dual party system is much more advanced and much more suitable for the oligarchic republic (and architects can rely on rich, century old USA experience of fooling the population about the level of their participation in election and decision-making).
All this led to a paradoxical situation: Washington hegemony de legitimized any popular protest in countries where the USA is interested in "regime change". this was probably the case in Hong Cong "Umbrellas" Color Revolution of 2014
In any case using color revolutions for regime change by the USA discredited ingenious protests movements in countries like China and Russia, to the extent that now the first natural reaction is crying "color revolution, watch out the USA machinations!" even at movements that are chiefly based on real grievances.
Any modern "pro-democracy movement" now is embedded in a complex matrix of money, subterfuge, foreign influence, oligarchic clans war, propaganda, and manipulation by foreign actors. It can be easily hijacked and misused by color revolution strategists at NED and similar organizations (who are actually very good at their craft).
Here are a couple of pretty telling comments:Guest77 | Oct 5, 2014 6:52:31 PM | 84
I don't see what any personal sympathies with the protestors even matters. Sure, we all want people to be able to fight for their rights and have the government they want, but right now there is a larger priority, and that is making sure that the world maintains a multipolar political structure. The importance of a multipolar world outweighs even our desire to see vocal minorities to take to the streets, I think. (And these are vocal minorites, no doubt).
I think, as "westerners" we have to support the group that will insure the independence of the state in question. We cannot support any group that looks to the US as a model or a hope, because we here know better than anyone that this is a sham. And any group that panders to the US and it's citizens via social media has to immediately be suspect.
Sloppy always comes to crow about how much b hates America. I don't think b "hates" the USA, but he is certainly right to make the USAs aggressive moves toward hegemony the key focus of all of his posts, and right to make a stand against this issue over all others because it is truly the gravest threat the world faces today.
- if the emergence of liberal freedom in every corner of the world means it's sure evaporation from all parts very soon after (which will surely occur if the USA achieves total global domination) we cannot support this. We will only see real opportunities for peace, political expression, and true democracy only after the US is prevented from perverting these good things into instruments of its domination. But until then, the independence of foreign governments is far more important for world peace, stability, and prosperity than the rights of a few minorities to threaten their governments in Russia, China, or Iran.
guest77 | Oct 5, 2014 7:23:42 PM | 86
@84 And of course for inside "the west" the exact opposite holds true. We should support any protests, any movement that attempts to degrade the aggressive capabilities of the US Empire, because this will allow real democracy and prosperity to flourish in more places around the world.
No one can claim that countries like Russia, China, Brazil, India and Iran - where standards of living are rising and the governments have the broad support of the people - are "dictatorships".
Just like no one of any honesty should call the banker dominated oligarchy like the United States, where cash determines every election down to the lowest rungs on the political ladder - a "democracy".
Demian | Oct 6, 2014 3:14:41 AM | 100@brian #95:
Gee, you seem to follow Project pretty closely. I have no such inclination.
As I said before, all one needs to do is watch the Maidan girl video and then the Occupy central video, both of which you directed us to, to see that what is going on in Hong Kong is just another attempted color revolution.
Another link, obtained from the link guest77 gave at #89:
US State Dept Funding and Occupy Central, the Ties that Bind
This is the most through demonstration of how Occupy Central is just the US State Department being up to its usual tricks that I have seen so far. The post the Saker put up today, in which a Hong Konger explains why he does not support Occupy Central, is also worth reading.
Analogy of Hong cong event with Ukrainian EuroMaidan events run so deep that sometimes it looks like the same blueprint was used in Hong Cong as in Kiev.
I see the following key ingredients of “color revolutions” in action in Orange, Revolution, Russian White Revolution and Euro Maidan of 2013.
The society should be split with some part of nation, typical comprador olitachs and several other segments of society closely connected to multinationals, already taking anti-government positions
This was and extremely easy part in Ukraine, which along with compradors in Kiev, has Western part of the country with different religion and history, so called Catholic part of the country. This part of the country proved to be a national ally of comprador oligarchy in staging neoliberal revolution, despite the fact that they will suffer from it in equal degree as Eastern, Orthodox part of the country.
Moreover enforcing equality of homosexual marriages with traditional marriages is directly against Catholic doctrine. But gastarbeiters orientation of this region with majority of adult population working in near-by countries (Poland, Russia, Germany) as well as the fact that the region which does not have any significant industrial base helps to raise relatively cheap ($30 a day or less) and reliable "cannon fodder" for the color revolution. People were transported to Kiev by buses paid with cash supplied by oligarchs or "embassy cash". Sift work on Maydan was source of revenue for some villagers in Western Ukraine for more then six months.
Muslim fundamentalists (Muslim brotherhood in Egypt) were successfully used in Arab spring revolutions. As my understanding of those countries is very limited I can't provide any details.
The whole process is often staged around election fraud (the best conditions are if two opposing candidate get around 50% of votes, but can be used with different percentages as well). In case of election fraud it works in two main phases:
I regularly screen Bringing Down a Dictator in my courses at Swarthmore College. This film does an excellent job of introducing students to the fundamentals of nonviolent power. Students come to understand that authoritarian regimes, while formidable, are often more fragile than we imagine. Milosevic’s regime, like others, relied on a mixture of apathy, fear, and cynicism that the students of Otpor fought to dispel through humor, appeals to nationalism, and tireless public outreach. Like any large institution, Milosevic’s regime depended on the loyalty of its functionaries (such as the police) and at least a veneer of public credibility. Otpor students carefully undermined both through its broad grassroots organizing, popular nonviolent resistance, and by awakening a multi-party political opposition.
In cases other then election fraud even serve as a starting point of protest active phase requires "police brutality" provocation. For example recent Euro Maidan started as an action against non signing of treaty of association with EU (note no EU membership) without mass support. But it became real protest event when carefully planned police brutality provocation materialized. In this particular case there were fifth column even within the government. So the assumption that the government is monolithic is incorrect. It often contains elements that are ready to betray. Or such elements can be bought.
Attempt to provoke police brutality so that “public demonstrations” help to turn demonstrations no matter how they started into definitely anti-government and anti status quo. The goal is to undermining police loyalty through carefully stage campaign about police brutality. Older methods of “befriending policemen” to neutralize them no longer work. But media campaign against police brutality is very demoralizing and still words very effectively as Euro Maidan 2013 had shown. The goal is to allow “free hands” in undermining the current government. See NONVIOLENT STRUGGLE - Community Labor News
Authoritarian government has much more breezing space of dealing with the situation that democratic government, so the more democratic is the target government is, the easier for a color revolution to institute a "regime change".
As long as democracy is considered to be a “sacred cow” for the government under attack, it is essentially doomed. If Western democracy is the only legitimate form/model to which you need to progress from the current “wild”, unlawful, criminal and authoritarian state of total darkness, the Western powers are by definition the arbiters of this progress. There is no defense from this claim in you have foreign observers on the ground. This way the current government itself betray its own legitimacy by delegating it to foreign powers, who can abuse their role at will for benign or not so benign motives: without leaving hotel, the western elections observers will state about mass violation during elections, playing the role of Trojan horse of the “color revolution”. The government is caught is zugzwang as foreign observers are by definition the arbiters of the legitimacy of elections. Any move makes the situation worse.
Former colonial powers such as USA, GB, France, Germany, Holland, and Denmark are master of hypocrisy in the direction to people they want to colonize via neoliberal revolution.
The organizing force of color revolution are NGOs which are often nothing more that legalized parts of Western intelligence community. That why several countries, such as Russia, Israel, etc limited the activity of foreign NGOs. In country where this was not done, the ruling elite might soon regret this criminal negligence.
They are engaged in systematic, long term attempts to build and maintain student/youth based and heavily financed (60% in case of Ukraine) fifth column of “professional protesters”, the move that actually mirrors Bolshevik’s reliance on “professional revolutionaries”.
Students are the most suitable target as they are more easily brainwashed, are excitable, often dream about emigration to Western countries, always need money. Perfect “canon fodder” of the “color revolutions”. Creation of set of martyrs “for the course”, especially among young journalists who were arrested during protests and, even better, mistreated, is a part of this tactic. As emigration is considered as desirable future by considerable percent of young people, we have a pool from which it is easy to recruit fighters for the “democratic future” of the nation with the hope that after reaching critical mass the process become self-sustainable. And often it is. Also after being arrested and/or expelled from the university those people have nowhere to go but to became “professional color revolutionaries”. Some of then are pretty talented and can do a lot of damage. This was pre-emptive creation of a well-organized “anti-fraud front” tremendously helps to create legitimacy problem for the government as initiative is instantly lost to government opponents. The government is too bureaucratized, unprepared and is taken by surprise the strength of the response. They try to convince that election process was completely legitimate people who does not want to be convinced and just laugh at their efforts. As in any revolution loss of initiative is half of the defeat: the “democratizers” have plan, have hard currency, have hopes about their future in the West and the will to achieve their goals. In Ukraine the “anti-fraud” front has worked under the succinct slogan Pora— “It’s Time”.
Activists in each of these movements were funded and trained in tactics of political organization and nonviolent resistance by a coalition of Western pollsters and professional consultants funded by a range of Western government and non-government agencies. According to The Guardian, these include the U.S. State Department and US AID along with the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, NGO Freedom House and billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Institute. The National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. Government funded foundation, has supported non-governmental democracy-building efforts in Ukraine since 1988. Writings on nonviolent struggle by Gene Sharp formed the strategic basis of the student campaigns.
Creation of "fifth column press" under the protection of "freedom of press" slogan and full scale "take not prisoners" approach to use of press influence as the most vulnerable forth branch of government to undermine the other three. If this part works for color revolution, and press turns against the government, the government is doomed. Under the cover of “freedom of the press” systematic use of all controllable media, Internet, web sites, social media, mobile communications for spreading the “truth” about mass falsifications. As Goebbels used to say
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Substitute “State” for “color revolution”. Press also serves for coordination and maintaining the direction and unity of the movement. Heavy use of well-financed NGO as a brain trust for the movement:
Throughout the demonstrations, Ukraine’s emerging Internet usage (facilitated by news sites which began to disseminate the Kuchma tapes) was an integral part of the orange revolutionary process. It has even been suggested that the Orange Revolution was the first example of an Internet-organized mass protest.  Analysts believe that the Internet and mobile phones allowed an alternative media to flourish that was not subject to self-censorship or overt control by President Kuchma and his allies and pro-democracy activists (such as Pora!) were able to use mobile phones and the Internet to coordinate election monitoring and mass protests.
Promiscuity in building coalition and seeking allies. Nationalist and gay rights mixture is perfectly OK ;-). Any neofascist party is a best friend of Western democratizers. Muslim fundamentalists are also a valuable ally.
Anybody opposed to “brutal and dishonest current regime” is welcomed to join “anti-fraud front”. No "inconvenient questions" about agenda of particular group and they relationship to the "democracy" smokescreen are asked
Are ultra-nationalists now best friends of democracy? There was never such a good friends. Are communist now best friends of democracy? No question about it.
Oligarchs are important part of fifth column first of all because as any comprador bourgeoisie they are not an independent players. They are pretty much puppets of the West and an important force of staging color revolutions.
Their capitals, often their family and property are in the West. So they are easy target of blackmail, even if color revolution is not in their interests and they can suffer from considerable financial losses as a result (due to destruction of local industries, which is the national effect of neoliberal revolution).
Another important thing about oligarchs is that they control considerable (is some countries like Ukraine dominant) part of media space. This provides easy and bloodless media coup d'état when country MSM go against government and government simply can't make its voice heard. This was the situation during Euro Maidan 2013 in Ukraine. Actually acting Ukrainian Prime Minister directly complained about this situation in December 2013.
Here is an interesting quote from http://los-oxuenos.livejournal.com/636710.html (slightly edited Google translation):
Why Putin tyrannized officials with the necessity to close foreign accounts
Journalist Yuri Butusov on his Facebook page says that Tsenzor.Net source close to diplomatic circles,:tails of the negotiations between Newland and Akhmetov held in Kiev.
Nuland informed that in case of police enforced clearing of EuroMaidan, U.S. and EU leaders agreed on a common position - immediate sanctions against leading politicians and oligarchs close to President Yanukovich. And the list will be continually updated so as to cut off all contacts with the EU and the United States not only for those figures authorities who participated in the police initiated dispersal of protesters, but also for those who did not defend peaceful continuation of protests scenario. This is a very important addition that will not allow anyone to shirk responsibility in the leadership of the Party of Regions and its sponsors.
Akhmetov: the meeting that on Monday he was trying to keep President Yanukovych from using force against EuroMaidan, but Yanukovych refused to accept it. Nuland demanded organize a round table with the opposition and civil society from the leadership of the PR directly - even in defiance of Yanukovych. Forced dispersal of EuroMaidan should out of possible options.
Nuland promised not only sanctions - she also has clarified this threat, presenting the list of people who get together with their families will be target of the sanctions in the first place .
- Rinat Akhmetov .
- Vadim Novinsky .
- Andrei and Sergei Klyuyev.
Why them? Because Akhmetov controls 55 PR MPs and Klyuyev has a mandate from the "young team" to manage the rest of the faction.
U.S. expects that the Party of Regions faction will support all four of the opposition's demands , after which can be initiated peace talks :
- Announcement of early presidential elections.
- Early parliamentary elections.
- Tymoshenko liberation and complete recovery of her civil rights.
- Criminal cases against all members of the MUP and "Berkut" , who took part in the crackdown on "peaceful demonstrations".
Nuland categorically stated that the failure to meet those conditions will put a big question every company's operating performance and DTEK "Metinvest " which Akhmetov owns abroad. Nuland clearly noted : these companies have placed assets in Europe , the U.S. and Europe are for them the major markets, the top brass of those companies have a property abroad and Akhmetov's family are tax residents of the UK. Metinvest and DTEK has major liabilities to international investors in the form of foreign currency bonds .
Thus, not just the first time the U.S. announced an ultimatum oligarchs surrounded by Yanukovych , but this time they are described in detail, in what form and at what level these sanctions will be applied.
There are several films and books that document this new strategy. Among them I would highlight works by MacKinnon, Sharp and CANSAS ( Serbia's Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies):
America's Coup Machine Destroying Democracy Since 1953 Alternet
The New Cold War Revolutions, Rigged Elections, and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union by Mark A. MacKinnon
Gene Sharp books
- Power and Struggle (Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part 1)
- Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part Two- The Methods of Nonviolent Action
- Waging Nonviolent Struggle- 20th Century Practice And 21st Century Potential
- Sharp's Dictionary of Power and Struggle- Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts
- Gandhi As a Political Strategist- With Essays on Ethics and Politics (Extending horizons books)
- Social Power and Political Freedom (Extending horizons books)
- Civilian-Based Defense- A Post-Military Weapons System
- Making Europe Unconquerable- A Civilian-Based Deterrence and Defense System
- National Security Through Civilian-Based Defense
Serbian color revolution
- Bringing Down a Dictator(DVD) by Ivan Marovic, Srdja Popovic, Otpor!, Steve York Movies & TV The Time of the Rebels- Youth Resistance Movements and 21st Century R…
Books about Orange revolution in Ukraine
- Ukraine's Orange Revolution (9780300112900) Dr. Andrew Wilson Books
- Aspects of the Orange Revolution II: Information and Manipulation Strategies in the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential Elections (Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society 64) [Paperback]
Role of Western bankers in Bolsheviks revolution in Russia
and even religious heritage, and is enduring.
SAINT ✔ @saint BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via @ nypost <) 4,673 6:26 PM - Jan 5, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy1,514 people are talking about this
Stephen Wertheim ✔ @stephenwertheim "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes @ RichardHanania <: https:// palladiummag.com/2020/12/14/chi nas-real-threat-is-to-americas-ruling-ideology/ China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com palladiummag.com 71 2:06 PM - Jan 1, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy37 people are talking about this
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Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com
Orthodoxy of the Elites - by Jackson Lears - The New York Review of Books
By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.
Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, Editor in Chief of Raritan, and the author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (January 2021)
Jan 19, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org
President Biden's Corruption Already Pervades His Administration Eric Zuesse December 8, 2020 © Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
That didn't take long. He's not even in office, and he has already surrounded himself, as the incoming President, with individuals who derive their wealth from (and will be serving) America's top defense contractors and Wall Street. The likelihood that these Government officials will be biting the hands that feed them is approximately zero. Great investigative journalists have already exposed how corrupt they are. For that to be the case so early (even before taking office) is remarkable, and only a summary of those reports will be provided here, with links to them, all of which reports are themselves linking to the incriminating evidence, so that everything can easily be tracked back to the documentation by the reader here, even before there are any 'Special Prosecutors' (as if those were serving anyone other than the opposite Party's political campaigns, and, ultimately, the opposite Party's billionaires).
First up, is the independent investigative team of David Sirota and Andrew Perez. On December 4th, they bannered "The Beltway Left Is Normalizing Corruption And Corporatism" , and reported that "A month after the election, Biden's nominations make clear that the president-elect is most focused on trying to fulfill his promise to donors that nothing fundamentally changes. And yet, that tacit admission may have stunned those who keep hearing from liberal and progressive groups in Washington that, in fact, the left has been notching monumental victories in Biden's cabinet appointments ."
Liberal (that's to say Democratic Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Democratic politicians, and conservative (that's to say Republican Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Republican politicians; and, so, the public today are getting corrupt leaders whichever side they vote for. No mainstream 'news' media report what independent investigative journalists such as Sirota and Perez report. Authentically good journalists use as sources -- and link to in their articles -- neither Democratic nor Republican allegations, but instead are on the margins, outside of the major media, and so rely on whistleblowers and other trustworthy outsiders, not on people who are somebody's paid PR flacks, individuals who are being paid to deceive. As Sirota and Perez state: " What little organized left political infrastructure exists in Washington is largely valorizing or publicly defending swamp creatures who at minimum deserve a loyal opposition. The good work being done by a small handful of under-resourced groups to mount a real opposition is getting trampled by a culture of obsequiousness. This culture of acquiescence gives swamp creatures a free pass ." It's all some sort of mega-corporate propaganda -- 100% billionaire-supported on the conservative side, 100% billionaire-supported also on the liberal side, and 0% billionaire-supported for anything that is authentically progressive (not dependent, at all, upon the aristocracy).
That independent reporting team focused on Biden's having chosen an economic team which will start his Administration already offering to congressional Republicans an initial Democratic Party negotiating position that accepts Republicans' basic proposals to cut middle class Social Security and health care benefits in order for the Government to be able to continue expanding the military budgets and purchases from the billionaire-controlled firms, such as Northrop Grumman -- firms whose entire sales (or close to it) are to the U.S. Government and to the governments (U.S. 'allies') that constitute these firms' secondary markets. (In other words: those budget-cuts aren't going to be an issue between the two Parties and used by Biden's team as a bargaining chip to moderate the Republicans' position that favors more for 'defense' and less for the poor, but are actually accepted by both Parties, even before the new Administration will take office.) Obviously, anything that both sides to a negotiation accept at the very start of a negotiation will be included in the final product from that negotiation; and this means that during a Biden Presidency there will be reductions in middle-class Social security and health care benefits in order to continue, at the present level -- if not to increase yet further -- Government spending on the products and services of such firms as Lockheed Martin and the Rand Corporation (firms that control their market by controlling their Government, which is their main or entire market).
Sirota and Perez focus especially upon one example: Neera Tanden, whom Biden chose on November 30th to be the White House Budget Director, and who therefore will set the priorities which determine how much federal money the President will be trying to get the Congress to allocate to what recipients:
Despite Tanden's push for Social Security cuts , Beltway liberal groups whose mission is to defend Social Security lauded her think tank . Despite Tanden having her organization rake in cash from Wall Street, Amazon, billionaires and ( previously ) foreign governments, a Ralph Nader-founded, all-purpose consumer advocacy group praised CAP as "one of our key partners in the fight to tax corporations and the rich, rein in monopoly power, tackle government corruption, and much more." Despite Tanden busting a union at CAP, two national union leaders in Washington lauded her.
Next up: One of the rare honest non-profits in the field of journalism is the Project on Government Oversight, POGO, which refuses to accept donations from "anyone who stands to benefit financially from our work," and which states in its unique "Donation Acceptance Policy" that, "POGO reviews all contributions exceeding $100 in order to maintain this standard." In other words: they refuse to be corrupt. Virtually all public-policy or think-tank nonprofits are profoundly corrupt, but POGO is the most determined exception to that general rule.
On 20 November 2020, POGO headlined "Should Michèle Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?" and their terrific investigative team of Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey delivered a scorching portrayal of Flournoy as irredeemably corrupt -- it ought to be read by everybody. It's essential reading throughout, and its links to the evidence are to the very best sources. So, I won't summarize it, because all Americans need to know what it reports, and to be able to verify, on their own (by clicking onto any link in it that interests them), any allegation that the given reader has any question about. However, I shall point out here the sheer hypocrisy of the following which that article quotes Flournoy as asserting: "It will be imperative for the next secretary to appoint a team of senior officials who meet the following criteria: deep expertise and competence in their areas of responsibility; proven leadership in empowering teams, listening to diverse views, making tough decisions, and delivering results." (Of course, that assertion presumes the given 'expert' to be not only authentically expert but also honest and trustworthy, authentically representing the public's interest and no special interests whatsoever -- not at all corrupt -- which is certainly a false allegation in her own case.) She had urged the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and had participated in planning and overseeing both the war against Syria, and the coup that destroyed Ukraine (and none of those countries had ever invaded, or even threatened to invade, the United States); and, so, for her to brag about her "delivering results" is not merely hypocritical, it is downright evil, because she is obviously proud, there, of her vicious, outright voracious, record.
Her business-partner, Tony Blinken, has already received Biden's approval to become his Secretary of State, and the first really good investigative journalist that American Prospect magazine has had, Jonathan Guyer, headlined on November 23rd, "What You Need to Know About Tony Blinken" , and what Guyer reports is just what any well informed reader would expect to see for a business partner of Flournoy's.
Guyer's report closes by making passing reference to a CBS 'news' puff-piece for Blinken. In that CBS puff-piece , Blinken says, "a President Biden would be in the business of confronting Mr. Putin for his aggressions, not embracing him. Not trashing NATO, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Ukraine, Georgia, the Western Balkans ." What would Americans think if Russia were to have retained its Warsaw Pact, and "a President Putin would be in the business of confronting Mr. Biden for his aggressions (in Syria, or elsewhere), not embracing them. Not trashing the Warsaw Pact, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Canada, Mexico, and other nations that are near the U.S. "? Guyer pointedly noted that "The [CBS News] podcast was sponsored by a major weapons maker. 'At Lockheed Martin, your mission is ours,' read an announcer." Tony Blinken's mission is theirs. These people get the money both coming and going -- on both sides of the "revolving door." Today's American Government is for sale to the highest bidders, on any policy, domestic or foreign. 'Government service' is just a sabbatical to boost their value to the firms that will be paying them the vast majority of their lifetime 'earnings'. This is the reality that mainstream U.S.-and-allied 'news' media refuse to publish (or, especially , to make clear). Only an electorate which is ignorant of this reality can accept such a government.
Back on 26 January 2020, I had headlined "Joe Biden Is as Corrupt as They Come" and documented the reality of this, but America's mainstream media were hiding that fact so as to decrease the likelihood that the only Democratic Party Presidential candidate whom no billionaire supported , Bernie Sanders, might win the nomination. Perhaps now that it's too late, even those 'news' organizations (such as CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times , Washington Post , PBS, and NPR) will start reporting the fact of Biden's corruptness. Where billionaires control all of the mainstream media, there is no democracy -- it's not even possible , in such a country
As far back as 25 October 2019, I had headlined "Biden Backer -- Former Lockheed Leader -- Convinces Joe Biden to Sell-Out" , and reported that
Bernard Schwartz, a former Vice Chairman and top investor in Lockheed Martin (which is by far the largest seller to the U.S. Government, and also the largest seller to most of America's allied Governments), is one of Joe Biden's top donors. CNN headlined, on October 24th, "Biden allies intensify push for super PAC after lackluster fundraising quarter" , and reported that, "Bernard Schwartz, a private investor and donor to the former vice president's campaign, said he spoke with Biden within the last two weeks and encouraged him to do just that." It's not for nothing that throughout Biden's long Senate career, he has voted in favor of every U.S. invasion that has been placed before the U.S. Senate.
Near the end of the Democratic Party's primaries, on 16 March 2020, CNBC headlined "Megadonors pull plug on plan for anti-Sanders super PAC as Biden racks up wins" , and reported that Bernard Schwartz had become persuaded by other billionaires that, by this time, "Biden could handle Sanders on his own." They had done their job; they would therefore control the U.S. Government regardless of which Party's nominee would head it.
Biden -- like Trump, and like Obama and Bush and Clinton before him -- doesn't represent the American people. He represents his mega-donors. And he is staffing his Administration accordingly. He repays favors: he delivers the services that they buy from him. This is today's America. And that is the way it functions.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zanon , Jan 19 2021 20:26 utc | 21
The U.S. seems to have gone completely crazy these day.
Two full divisions worth of soldiers are closing off Washington DC to 'protect' a mostly virtual inauguration from a non-existing threat.
26,000 National Guard members to secure Washington for inauguration
The FBI is investigating the loyalty of those troops as if it were really in doubt.
FBI vetting troops stationed in Washington ahead of Inauguration Day
On the massive military buildup = another drift towards fascism under the democrats, they have the media, military, police on top of congress, house and president. GOP will be so weak coming years, and they have themselves to blame for being so passive past years, in fact any dissent will not be heard coming years with Biden.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.counterpunch.org
The first such hurdle was the longstanding American- exceptionalist conceit that, in the ironic title of Sinclair Lewis's dystopian 1935 novel, "It Can't Happen Here." The "it" in Lewis's title was authoritarian fascism, falsely deemed impossible in the United States during and since Lewis' time because of the supposedly strong hold here of democratic and constitutional principles and institutions. Such authoritarianism has long been falsely portrayed as beyond the pale of possibility in a nation whose media and political authorities regularly and absurdly call the "world's greatest democracy."
A third barrier was a critical ingredient of what the late left political scientist Sheldon Wolin considered to be America's distinctive authoritarian "inverted totalitarianism" – the atomized demobilization of the populace. While what Wolin called the "classical totalitarian regimes" of fascist German and Soviet Russia aimed at the constant political mobilization of the populace, "inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the populace to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the populace has given up hope that the government will ever significantly help them." The second most common response to pleas to join popular movements against Trumpism-fascism (after "I'll vote/I voted against him") in my experience was a shrugging indifference to and/or disgust with any and all politics often combined with a sense that American political life is too ugly, boring, and/or impenetrable to merit attention.
No Real Left
Eighth, the continuing and longtime absence of any sophisticated, powerful, and relevant, many-sided Left of significance in late Neoliberal America is a significant part of the tragic equation. No such movement would have met the rise of Trump and Trumpism-fascism with four years of avoidance, denial, passivity, and diversion. There are many factors in play behind this pathetic portside weakness but two that have struck this writer and activist as particularly relevant alongside excessive localism and excessive identitarianism in the last four years are (i) the crippling holds of sectarianism (an almost pathological refusal to reach across tribal-ideological and organizational lines to form a united anti-fascist front) and (ii) single-issue silo politics whereby group A cares about the climate, group B cares about reproductive rights, group C cares about a higher minimum wages, group D cares about teachers' working conditions and so on.
Paul Street's new book is The Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and Politics of Appeasement .
, Getaclue , says: January 16, 2021 at 5:58 pm GMT • 9.1 hours ago
Jan 17, 2021 | www.unz.com
HallParvey , says: January 16, 2021 at 2:46 pm GMT • 12.3 hours ago@My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle ations are either dissolved or they merge with the artificial ones, but always in subordinate roles.
Basically, instead of going out to find the radicals you attract them to you. Now you know where they all are and what they are doing. Even better, you are now in command of those very radicalized individuals who want to take you down. Sweet! If you need to thin their ranks you just hatch a fake plot to do whatever and send the ones to die into a kill zone that your military has set up somewhere. Not only do you get rid of some radicals but you build a reputation of omniscience and invulnerability around your military. Alternatively you can steer two or more of your controlled radical organizations into conflict with each other, killing more radicals and building the reputation of your opponents as being a bunch of idiots who kill their own.
@lloyd s been given "Get Out Of Jail Free Cards" for violence before and he is out of jail now – – others (fools) who followed him into the Capitol (which he is on tape inside urging them to "burn it down") have NO Bail and face decades in Prison (Buffalo Horn head guy) -- the FBI is nothing but a NWO KGB -- they "infiltrate" or set up all the "violence" we see to use it so our Rights can be stripped away as we are now seeing and have since the 911 False Flag which they also knew about, allowed, and covered up -- it is all theater to be used to destroy us for the NWO Globalist Agenda: https://national-justice.com/black-lives-matter-organizer-seen-entering-capitol-building-crowd-likely-fbi-agent-provocateurCorvinus , says: January 16, 2021 at 6:34 pm GMT • 8.5 hours ago
@GetacluePeripatetic Itch , says: January 17, 2021 at 1:48 am GMT • 1.2 hours ago
"No doubt Sullivan works for the FBI "
"it is all theater to be used to destroy us for the NWO Globalist Agenda"
So, assuming this to be true, what are you personally doing about it other than lamenting on a blog?
So you may be on to something. He may be the key witness in the Ashli case. He was certainly most seriously shocked by it.
This is Sullivan's documentary. The murder scene is real. It is extremely difficult to watch, but occurs near the end, at about 1:11. The rest is incredibly good footage. Every second person in the protest was taking pics. No one had weapons. The man who broke the window for Ashli to climb through was probably the same one who snuck down the stairs to change his clothes right after, so most probably Antifa.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
MhOOMan 5 hours ago remove link
Below is a list of which House Republicans voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday.
- Rep. John Katko (N.Y.) : "To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President."
- Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) : " There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President. "
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) : "There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection I will vote in favor of impeachment."
- Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) : "Enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach."
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) : "I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him."
- Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.) : "A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation's capital. ... I will vote yes on the articles of impeachment."
- Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.) : "With the facts at hand, I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate. The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week."
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio) : "When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President's lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment."
- Rep. Tom Rice (S.C.) : "I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable."
- Rep. David Valadao (Calif.) : "Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience. I voted to impeach President Trump. His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It's time to put country over politics."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org
© Photo: REUTERS
Although there may not be tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same.
Most Americans can probably still remember a time when U.S. companies were in business with one goal in mind – providing a product or service for profit. It was a noble idea, the bedrock of capitalism, in which everyone stood to gain in the process.
Today, the monopolistic powers now enjoyed by a handful of mighty corporations, which are no longer shy about declaring their political bent, have tempted them to wade into the deep end of the political pool with deleterious effects on democracy. Indeed, corporate power wedded to government is nothing less than fascism.
In presenting such a case, it is important to put aside the notion that fascism is a purely right-wing phenomenon, complete with a chauvinistic demagogue haranguing a frenzied crowd. The new dictator on the block is not some fanatical Fuhrer, but rather Silicon Valley, the fountainhead of technological advancement and the formidable fortress of liberal ideology. In other words, fascism is an ideology that moves fluidly along the political spectrum, although some say the ideology grew out of European progressivism.
Jonah Goldberg argued in his 2008 book, Liberal Fascism , that even before World War II "fascism was widely viewed as a progressive social movement with many liberal and left-wing adherents in Europe and the United States." Many years earlier, the late political theorist Hannah Arendt described the Nazi Party (which stands for, lest we forget, the 'National SOCIALIST German Workers' Party') as nothing more than "the breakdown of all German and European traditions, the good as well as the bad basing itself on the intoxication of destruction as an actual experience." That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the cancel culture mentality that has now gripped the 'progressive' left with an almost demonic possession.
It should be shocking to Republicans and Democrats alike that the Commander-in-Chief of the United States is banished from all of the main social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – denying him the ability to communicate with his 75 million constituents, or one half of the electorate. This is real and unprecedented violence being committed against the body politic and far more worrisome than any breach of federal property, as loathsome as such an act may be.
The Capitol building is, after all, ultimately a mere symbol of our freedoms and liberties, whereas the rights laid down in the U.S. Constitution – the First Amendment not least of all – are fragile and coming under sustained assault every single day. Why does the left refuse to show the same concern for an aging piece of parchment, arguably the greatest political document ever written, as it does for a piece of architecture? The answer to that riddle is becoming increasingly obvious.
We are living Orwell's 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what's left is only there for a chosen few.
This is absolute insanity! https://t.co/s2z8ymFsLX
-- Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021
Big Tech began its slide towards marked fascist tendencies thanks to one of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted upon the American public, known as Russiagate. One after another, Silicon Valley overlords were called before Congressional committees to explain "how and why Russian operatives were given free rein to tamper with 2016 U.S. election," in favor of the populist Donald Trump, no less.
After this made for television 'dressing down', the Big Tech executives at Google, Facebook, Twitter and others got busy reconfiguring their software algorithms in such a way that thousands of internet creators suddenly lost not only a lifetime of hard work and their sustenance, but their voice as well. This is the moment that Big Tech and the Democrats began to really march in lockstep. A new dark age of 'McCarthyism' had settled upon the nation, which gave the left unlimited powers for blocking user accounts they deemed "suspicious," which meant anyone on the right. Now, getting 'shadow banned,' demonetized and outright banned from these platforms has become the new dystopian reality for those with a conservative message to convey. And the fact that the story of 'Russian collusion' was finally exposed as a dirty little lie did nothing to loosen the corporate screws.
Incidentally, as a very large footnote to this story, Big Tech and Big Business have not dished out the same amount of medieval-style punishment to other violators of the public peace. The most obvious example comes courtesy of Black Lives Matter, the Soros-funded social-justice movement that has wreaked havoc across a broad swath of the heartland following the death of George Floyd during an arrest by a white police officer.
Both BLM and Trump supporters believe they have a very large grudge to bear. The former believes they are being unfairly targeted by police due to the color of their skin, while the latter believes they are not getting fair treatment by the mainstream media due to 'Trump Derangement Syndrome', and possibly also due in part to their skin color. But at this point the similarities between BLM and Trump voters come to a screeching halt.
Taking it as gospel that America suffers from 'systemic racism' (it doesn't, although that is not to say that pockets of racism against all colors and creeds doesn't exist), dozens of corporations jumped on the woke bandwagon to express their support for Black Lives Matter at the very same time the latter's members were looting and burning neighborhoods across the nation. Strangely, violence has never shocked the progressive left, so long as the violence supported its agenda.
Here are just some of the ways the corporate world responded to charges that America was a racist cauldron ready to blow, as reported by The Washington Post: "Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, knelt alongside employees during his visit to a Chase branch. Bank of America pledged $1 billion to fight racial inequality in America. Tech companies have invested big dollars in Black Lives Matter, the Center for Policing Equity, Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp and other entities engaged in racial justice efforts " And the list goes on and on.
Of course, private corporations are free to express their solidarity with whatever group they wish. The problem, however, is that these monopolistic monstrosities have an overwhelming tendency to pledge allegiance to liberal, progressive values, as opposed to maybe steering clear of politics altogether. Nowhere was Corporate America's political agenda more obvious than in the aftermath of the siege of the Capitol building on January 6, which led to the death of five people.
Corporate America missed a very good opportunity to keep quiet and remain neutral with regards to an issue of incredible partisan significance. Instead, it unleashed a salvo of attacks on Trump supporters, even denying them access to basic services.
Aside from the most obvious and alarming 'disappearing act,' that of POTUS being removed from the major social media platforms, were countless lesser names caught up in the 'purge.'
One such person is conservative commentator and former baseball star Curt Schilling, who says that AIG terminated his insurance policy over his "social media profile," which was sympathetic to Donald Trump, according to Summit News.
"We will be just fine, but wanted to let Americans know that @AIGinsurance canceled our insurance due to my "Social Media profile," tweeted Schilling.
"The agent told us it was a decision made by and with their PR department in conjunction with management," he added.
While all forms of 'cancel culture' (which seems to be part of a move to build American society along the lines of the Chinese 'social credit system,' which rewards those who toe the party line, and punishes those who fall out of favor) are egregious and counterintuitive to American values, perhaps the most astonishing was the cancellation of Republican Senator Josh Hawley's book deal with Simon and Shuster.
"We did not come to this decision lightly," Simon & Schuster said in a statement over Twitter. "As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat."
The so-called "threat" was a photograph of Hawley raising a fist to the crowd that had assembled outside of the Capitol building before it had breached the security perimeter. It seems that corporations may now serve as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to how Americans behave in public. Is it a crime that Hawley acknowledged a crowd of supporters who were at the time behind the gates of the Capitol building? Apparently it is.
By the way, the name of the Hawley's book? 'The Tyranny of Big Tech'. How's that for irony?
In conclusion, it would be a huge mistake for the Democrats to believe that they are safe from the same sort of corporate and government behavior that has now dramatically silenced the conservative voice across the nation. The United States has entered dangerous unchartered waters, and by all indications it would appear that the American people have inherited a 'soft' form of fascism.
Although there may not be troops and tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same: the brutal elimination of one half of the American population from all of the due protections provided by the U.S. Constitution due to an unholy alliance between corporate and government power, which is the very definition of fascism. Democrats, you may very well be next, so enjoy your victory while you still can.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 17 2021 19:03 utc | 23
@steven t johnson: "reactionary Republicans"
Since you like Hitler analogies so much, dear Steven, why don't you contemplate the 'reactionary' aspect of those Germans who resisted, in the 1930s, the 'progress' of the National-Socialist movement.
'Reactionary' simply means 'opposing the change', and the changes instituted by global finance, aided by their faithful servants, your liberal comrades, -- those changes should be opposed by all decent citizens.
And they are opposed by all decent citizens, and especially by the American working class, which is why your liberal comrades have to resort to fascist methods: goebbelsian propaganda, censorship, blacklisting, police repression.
Jan 17, 2021 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
peter moritz JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 3:53 PM
"Yale historian Timothy Snyder" In light of his opinions the appellation "historian" to this person can only be considered satire.
"The term 'fascist' is far too easily abused."
It is today used – like the term anti-semite, white supremacist, racist – to smear and or discredit anybody from the left or right one disagrees with or tries to disempower.
Jonathan Cook lays out how this works with regards to the left:
I have no problem arguing conservatives, if they actually clearly define what they mean by this term and find some points I agree with someone like Peter Hitchens:
"His view is that conservatism should embody a Burkean sense of public duty, conscience and the rule of law, which he sees as the best guarantee of liberty. Furthermore, this view holds a general hostility to hasty reforms and adventurism .
Hitchens takes a critical stance on many wars. He was opposed to the Kosovo and 2003 Iraq War, on the grounds that neither was in the interests of either Britain or the United States, and opposes the war in Afghanistan. He believes that the UK should never have joined in World War I, and is very critical of the view that World War II was "The Good War".
Mikhail JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 3:56 PMJohn Thuloe JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 6:45 PM
Synchronization. Just beforehand, Rachel Maddow propped Snyder's book on fascism.
Dmitry Babich made an excellent point about how the Biden crowd cheered the storming of the Ukrainian parliament which include some folks who qualify as fascists. In comparison, last week's DC protesting MAGA group didn't appear to be so fascist. I saw an Israeli flag among these protestors as well as some African-Americans.
A related great shot at establishment politico Ian Bremmer:Mark Sleboda @MarkSleboda1 · Jan 10 "Calling for an insurrection to overthrow the legitimate outcome of a free and fair election is crime against the nation." - Unless the nation in question is #Ukraine in 2014 or some other state & govt not aligned with US hegemony. Then calling for an insurrection is kosher.
Quote Tweet ian bremmer @ianbremmer · Jan 10
Calling for an insurrection to overthrow the legitimate outcome of a free and fair election is crime against the nation. Yes, Trump only has another week in office. But he should still be impeached and convicted.
There are plenty of poseurs, blow-hards about. To be dangerous, there must be a leadership, an apparatus, discipline, and a substantial rank and file. And most importantly, all motivated by a creed, common beliefs that weld all into a force. Nothing like that exists.
But the good news is that behind the shrill loud-mouths of the Woke censorship bullies, fake news media, liberals, Democrats, burned out 'progressives – the On Duty paid for apparatchiks. Behind them is – nothing. No Party, no organizers, no apparatus at all. No store fronts for meetings, no stand by printers, no trained marshals. No seething masses burning with righteous fury ready to hit the streets. Nothing.
Sure, people are mad. But when you're mad at everything then that power is dissipated. And when you're not united by being For something then you don't amount to a hill of beans. The liberals are afraid that when their 'lockdown pandemic racket' runs out of gas, the public will turn on them with a vengeance. And they can expect no organized part of population to defend them. For a while, folks will be united on venting their fury at those that ride high now. Wait till the wheel turns. Grigory Matyunin JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 9:51 PM
It's like the misuse of the term 'conspiracy theorist' by people like Snyder, Harding and Applebaum. Anyone who merely points to the impropriety of Nuland/McCain's actions on the Maidan is pre-emptively dismissed by them as a conspiracy theorist. Yet the notion that Russia controls Trump through a pee tape, bewitched the Brits into voting for Brexit and was the sole force behind the Catalan independence movement is now axiomatic for worshippers of received wisdom. Guest JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 12:51 AM
In the case of this Ukrainian nazi – of course they knew. They just hoped no one would notice. The reason she was given this appointment was because she is who she is. Ukraine is to be the anti-Russian state with an indoctrinated population – people like this young woman are part of that policy.
Look around the world! We have seen that the west has no problem funding and supporting all sorts of disgusting groups and individuals if it meets their objectives.
yalensis JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 7:19 AMpeter moritz JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:07 AM
Nice job, Professor! It's always good to see somebody point out these hacks egregious double standards.
I want people to start scientifically as possible defining their terms for political ideologies. Like, there is actually a legitimate use for the word "fascist". From what I understand, fascism is an actual political ideology and movement and should not be used simply as a derogatory. From what I understand, fascism does not necessarily include a racialist component, although it usually does (being based on nationalism).
Mussolini was a fascist. Hitler was a fascist too. (Nazism being a subset of the broader movement fascism?) Franco was a fascist. That Ukrainian lady you mentioned is an ideological fascist, more specifically a fucking Nazi.
Donald Trump -- is NOT a fascist. He is just a right-wing conservative, Murican-style!PaulR JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:20 AM
I have for years tried to find a concise definition of "Fascism", but only found a lot of disagreement.
Fascism is by some defined as a corporatism where the state and the industrial and financial capitalist elite have come to a complete nexus where the state protects within a framework of "ultra" nationalism those elites who in return follow and as well directly influence the policies. By this definition the USA could be called not a fascist state, but one with fascists tendencies as the nexus has been established to a great extend.
Some conservatives and libertarians find intellectual solace in pointing out that especially in Germany fascism developed as a "national socialism". A version that opposed the internationalism of the Marxist version espoused the German Communist party, and propagated an economic based antisemitism.
They are not wrong there, as socialism is not just the socialism or communism as defined by Marx, but as Marx himself pointed out in his critiques there are various kind of socialisms. ( https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm )
What they however ignore is Hitlers move under the guise of "socialism" to establish close ties with the German financial and Industrial leadership and the attempt of a "true" National Socialism came to an end with the Strasser Brothers breaking away and one being murdered in the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler destroyed any leftwing faction within the NSDAP.
Others like Paxton define define Fascism as a developmental process. This article here lays out some of the differences in interpreting the term: https://newrepublic.com/article/154042/failure-define-fascism-todayLyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 9:18 PM
Fascism is not the only ideology which lacks clear definition. Try looking at the literature on liberalism – it's a mess (with good reason – many modern day 'liberals' are entirely at odds with classical liberals, neoliberals, etc, but they're all called liberal). The best recent scholarship can come up with is the idea that liberalism is a 'family of resemblances' or even that it's just whatever people who call themselves liberal happen to say it is at any given time and place. Conservatism is similarly poorly defined.
"I have for years tried to find a concise definition of "Fascism", but only found a lot of disagreement."
There's still definition provided by G. Dimitrov:
"Fascism is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, most imperialist elements of the finance capital
Fascism is not a supra-class power and not the power of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen proletariat over finance capital. Fascism*is* the rule of finance capital itself .
This is the organization of terrorist reprisals against the working class and the revolutionary part of the peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in foreign policy is chauvinism in its crudest form, cultivating zoological hatred of other peoples."
Defenders of Google, Twitter, Amazon et al saying "they CAN do that – they are PrIVaTe CoMpaNIeS!" – ha-ha!
Grigory Matyunin JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 3:01 PM
Absolutely, Paul. Comparing the neoconservative and paleoconservative traditions, for instance, reveals extraordinary divergences in conservative intellectual thought. Your recent book presents plenty of such contradictions.
Yet the lack of definitional clarity does not mean that any particular term can be thrown around as a polemical device or a catch-all form of abuse. Fascist ideologies differ between themselves, but they do have a relatively ubiquitous common denominator in being mass movements set upon utopian mass transformation relying upon extreme violence, as per the scholarship of Roger Griffin.
It's like right-of-centre political commentators who misuse the term 'Marxist' to describe modern identity politics, notwithstanding how clearly inappropriate that label is when analyzing a movement which has little commitment to class struggle.
Equally, while we may lack a one-size-fits-all definition of any given ideology, we can usually say with some confidence what it is not. In other words, while the fascism of OUN-B may differ remarkably from the fascism of Mussolini, it is sufficiently clear that these movements lack any ideological likeness with modern Russia.
yalensis JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 3:28 PM
From what I understand, one common denominator of genuine fascist movements is a cult of a national leader (Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Bandera). However, I am not sure that this factor is REQUIRED in order to be fascist. I imagine it is theoretically possible to have a fascist nation run by a committee or collegial leadership.
And the "Leader" factor is also not definitive in and of itself, because the Stalin period in the Soviet Union was also defined by a cult of a leader; and yet the Soviet Union was definitely not fascist, it was socialist.
In this case, I would say, two different systems (capitalistic fascism and Soviet-style socialism) showed, what evolutionary biologists call "convergent" traits.
For example, in the natural world, fishes and whales both have fins and live in the water; yet these two types of animals are not related to each other genetically (except going way back). This is "convergent" evolution.
Which leads me to another thought: Perhaps ideological movements can be classified by their historical genetics rather than a static "structuralist" definition. The difference between a Darwinian vs a Linnaeus approach? I think this method is also used to categorize religions, so might be appropriate also for political ideologies.
Just musing here, but I think it's important
Lyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 8:57 PMLyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:57 PM
"Outside of a particular time period (1920s to 1940s), I don't think that the term 'fascism' has a lot of meaning. "
– Spain under Franko.
– Greece under "black colonels"
– Genuine, NATO approved fascist parties working diligently and openly in the "Western democracies" throughout the period?
Remember VICE's breathless coverage of the "Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity" that propelled certain Ostrovsky to the upper echelons of the journalism and punditry? From their linked article:
"She also addressed a photo that was circulated of her online, showing her as one of a group of four women holding a flag emblazoned with a swastika while giving a Nazi salute. She claimed the image was an ironic Halloween photo, mocking the Kremlin narrative that Ukrainian nationalists were neo-Nazis."
Mikhail JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 11:50 PMMikhail JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 12:02 AM
Later with Ostrovsky.
No surprise to see PC Bulgarian Ivan Kravtsev involved with that establishment org accepting her. At the Brit based openDemocracy venue, Kravtsev felt compelled to write an article on why China (in his opinion) is freer than Russia. Tom de Waal is a Kravstev fan.yalensis JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 7:13 AM
There're better academics posting at this threads. By academic, I'm referring to those who intellectually and knowledge wise aren't inferior to the aforementioned folks getting the accolades.james JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 12:18 AM
If she says it was just a Halloween costume, that means she is disowning or denying having Nazi views? That seems cowardly to me. I personally have more respect for Nazis who just come out and admit, "Yeah, I'm a Nazi." Of course, in that case, they would have to be willing to sacrifice the money and income from "respectable" bourgeois institutions.David JANUARY 16, 2021 AT 12:18 AM
Yale historian Timothy Snyder – more like Yale historian – propagandist Timothy Snyder.. i figured this out on my own without having to be an academic to know this, but thank you paul for this article and confirming my viewpoint
Snyder is such a fraud. His book Bloodlands is utter drivel filled with complete falsities – none of which substantiated with sources. "Yale historian" is clearly a meaningless title. But of course he gets called on for propaganda hit pieces like this or that ridiculous Agents of Chaos series on HBO.
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 14 2021 17:15 utc | 23
Hat tip to Pepe Escobar for this news. Glen Diesen has published a critical new book, Great Power Politics in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Geoeconomics of Technological Sovereignty . The initial reviews are quite tempting. A snippet from one of several:
"Diesen takes on and brings together two large phenomena, namely the revolution in technology and the change in global power relations."
My continual question: Will the Western world's morality evolve quickly enough to keep pace with technological progress? I have no worries about Eurasian morality. Rather, it's the West's loss of its 500 years of domination and what it will do to recoup that immoral position that's most troublesome.
Jan 14, 2021 | alaff84.wordpress.com
The 16th big press conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn a line. In the history of the "concentration of Russia", a thirty-year period has come to an end, characterized by successively advancing: fascination with the West, doubt in the West, and disillusionment with Western "values". Russia has entered a new period.
During the final press conference of Putin, an incident occurred that caused a lot of funny comments in Russian society and in the Russian press. BBC journalist Steven Rosenberg asked the Russian President: "Is Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the deterioration of relations with Western countries? Or is Russia all these 20 years of Putin's rule "white and fluffy"? And, in addition, as expected, [he asked] "how is it going with the investigation into the poisoning of Navalny?"
A dialogue ensued, during which the British journalist looked rather pathetic, to which everyone paid attention. But the result of this conversation, although everyone quoted it, was not appreciated by anyone. In the end [of the dialogue], it was said that Putin is responsible for the people of Russia and before the people of Russia, and that yes, we are white and fluffy, especially compared to you.
I can understand how the British journalist felt at this time. The world collapsed around him. From his point of view, such an end to the conversation was simply impossible. He was not taught this.
Recollection of the present
I know very well what I am saying. In 1993, together with another three dozen diplomats representing all post-Soviet republics (including Russia) and all post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe (then none of them were members of either NATO or the EU, although everyone already dreamed of), I was at diplomatic internship in the UK. Among other things, we were offered an educational format for communicating with the Western press, which (what a coincidence) was represented by a rather elderly lady from the BBC. She explained to us for a long time and tediously that we, as government officials, would have to listen carefully to the position of journalists and if the journalist himself (especially a Western one) became interested in some information or pointed out some political error, then the information should be provided immediately, and the error should be corrected with an apology.
She talked for about forty minutes. I waited until she was exhausted and asked: "Why?" I waited on purpose. Usually, in such cases, our Western friends simply repeat their monologue. But the journalist was already quite second-hand, she had fizzled out over the previous hour and, losing her guard, missed a hit. She answered with a question to the question: "What do you mean why?".
It was then that I explained to her that in any country, Great Britain is no exception, there are a lot of journalists from mass media. And each of them will be happy to interview a government official and receive exclusive information on his (official's) terms. And such "smart" ones as she won't even get into the waiting room. There are many ways to avoid accreditation under a plausible pretext. And after her publication is given to understand that no one will ever speak to this journalist in this country, she will simply be fired for incompetence or sent to the Papuans, from where one report is published every ten years.
This dialogue took place in the summer of 1993. I was 27 then. I think that Steven Rosenberg was then at the same (plus or minus a couple of years) age. I have long forgotten the name of the BBC lady, but I will never forget her face. She looked at me as if the gates of hell had opened behind me and the entire infernal army was about to rush at her. Rosenberg's face was half hidden by a mask, but it could not hide his confusion, further emphasized by a stampede from the press conference.
Let me stress again that I understand him well and sympathize with him. 27 years ago, when the incident I described above happened, journalists already liked to speculate about the "fourth power", but most of them themselves did not really believe in this thesis. Nevertheless, open disregard for the "rights of the press" was not comme il faut even then. Like "homophobia" about ten years later.
Since then, the young and then seasoned BBC journalist Steven Rosenberg was taught for 27 years that he was not just a "fourth power", but a representative of Western civilizers in a semi-primitive world that dreams of becoming like the West. Stephen is the bearer of civilization. Any of his statements is a priori true, and the authorities of the "wild tribes" to whom he brings civilization must justify themselves to him and immediately rush to eliminate the shortcomings he has noticed.
"Russia is disappointed with Europe's inability to defend its interests on its own"
And after all, for a long time it was so. Including in Russia. Not that the Kremlin believed in the Western "mission of good offices", but they proceeded from the fact that compromise is better than enmity and were ready to make reasonable concessions in anticipation of reciprocal steps. It cannot be said that this strategy has completely failed to justify itself. Part of the Western world, especially in the EU and especially in Germany and Italy, really strives to build equal pragmatic relations with Russia on the basis of a mutually acceptable compromise.
But the part is not the whole, and on the whole, the Western world retains its hostility towards Russia, poorly hidden by unfounded arrogance. Moreover, it is clear that despite the strengthening of the Western political circles sympathetic to our country, this trend will not be broken in the coming years. But then it will be too late. The window of opportunity will close.
Any political decision is possible and expedient within a certain time frame. If someone does not have time to meet these deadlines, then they have to implement a different version of the future. That is why not a single serious state works according to the principle of no alternative. There are always fallbacks, maybe not as good, but not disastrous, usually just less profitable. But those who are late for the joint train to the future remain at a broken trough.
2020 was the year of summing up the results in Russian-European relations. At the level of statements by politicians and press materials, at the level of visits, agreements and active events, the fading of Russia's interest in the European vector and the redirection of the dominant of its foreign policy to the Far and Middle East became noticeable.
The last warning was the autumn speeches of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which it was stated openly that Russia is disappointed with Europe's inability to defend its interests on its own and, given this factor, does not expect anything else from cooperation with the West and does not plan to unilaterally take into account the opinion and the interests of the West.
Perhaps in the UK or specifically on the BBC, being immersed in their Brexit, Lavrov was not heard. But that's their problem. Russia is not doing anything out of the blue. Before openly telling the West that "We didn't actually want to work with them" a long-term (stretching over a decade and a half) work was carried out to search for alternative markets, to import substitution of critical products imported from the West, to strengthen the army, to recreate the ocean-going fleet, gaining allies, creating military bases controlling trade routes that are critical for Russia.
The West missed this entire era of "concentration of Russia" (the expression of Chancellor Gorchakov). Already the second time the West misses (the first "concentration" in the XXI century ended in 2008). In Europe and the United States they consoled themselves with the fact that Russia is a "colossus with feet of clay", that it does not have sufficient resources even to intervene in the situation in the post-Soviet space, that "Moscow is bluffing", that the West is indispensable because it is a "civilizational choice" etc.
And suddenly, in 2020, the collective West saw that Russia's positioning towards it had changed dramatically. If earlier [the West's] claims were heard, explanations were given, Russia was trying to prove something, now Europe began to be ignored as an annoying mistress. With some countries, the Kremlin has stopped talking altogether, with some it talks, but "without respect."
"Yes, we are white and fluffy"! -- But only for ourselves. So what will you do to us?
Western journalists, especially BBC journalists, do not ask random questions at press conferences of heads of state. BBC is a state corporation, its activities are aimed at realizing the state interests of Great Britain, including collecting information using the possibilities of journalism. By asking the question "Are you white and fluffy?" -- the leading circles of the West probed the soil and were ready to hear anything in response, except what sounded: "Yes, we are white and fluffy" -- and your opinion on this issue interests us least of all.
This is the point, the end of the long-term flirtation between Russia and the West, which the West hoped to start up in an absolute moral and material gain, and suddenly sees itself in the role of "Ariadne abandoned." Given the Western vindictiveness, such public humiliation of it became possible only following the results of a decade and a half of well-coordinated, albeit invisible, work of all Russian state structures, including state-owned companies.
In 2014, the West was surprised to learn that Russia is able to ensure its food security (over the next six years, Moscow has been steadily increasing its food exports). In 2015, the West became convinced of the stability of the Russian financial system, which it never managed to break. In 2016, the West still laughed at the "cartoons" and argued that in reality Russia did not have demonstrated weapons systems, because it could never be. Since 2018, he has been forced to admit his critical lag in the military sphere. In 2017-2018 the West suddenly learned that Russia concentrates on itself the supply of liquefied gas, for which the West was a de facto monopoly, one by one introducing the corresponding terminals in the North and the Far East (which makes the fight against Nord Stream 2 and other flows senseless, since Russian gas will come to Europe by a route alternative to the Ukrainian one, if not through gas pipelines, then with the help of gas carriers). By 2020, the West learned that Russia is also able to build gas carriers on its own (as well as other ships and vessels of any class).
In parallel, international systems of cooperation between Russia and China, Iran, Turkey and Egypt were being built. If, until about 2014, Russia's priority was to ensure internal stability and security in the context of a likely break with the West, then the emphasis in domestic policy shifted to disavowing the ideological expansion of the West, and in foreign policy to building alternative trade and economic ties, securing promising markets. and partners.
All this, of course, is not as beautiful as the even ranks of the royal grenadiers, bravely breaking the enemy's resistance under a hail of grapeshot. But for the latter to become possible, many years of routine work are needed to create an independent economy capable of meeting the needs of the army and the people in any conditions, for a period of time of any length, as well as to provide the rear with reliable military-political alliances.
And only after many years of efforts of millions of people, someone alone can smile and say to the unfortunate journalist, turning over his head to the collective West: "Yes, we are white and fluffy!" -- So what will you do to us?
In the history of Russia, a thirty-year period has come to an end, characterized by successively advancing: fascination with the West, doubt in the West, and disillusionment with Western "values." The line has been drawn. Russia has entered a new period characterized by indifference towards the West and a lack of illusions about all of its current partners and allies. We leave ideals for home use, for external use we have only interests. Russia itself has built its own well-being and is going to use it itself. And whoever doesn't like it, can cry, or gnaw the earth, or bite his elbows. We are "white and fluffy", but only for ourselves.
Rostislav Ischenko, 21.12.2020 / Source .
Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com
John Regan , says: January 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm GMT • 13.9 hours ago@anarchyst hen made public utilities available for all (obviously without compensation to the owners). No more of the sad "private company" excuse, and no more billions into the pockets of criminals who hate us.
Also, make Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Pichai et al. serve serious jail time for election tampering if nothing else. Both to send out a clear warning to others, and for the simple decency to see justice served.
Of course this will not happen short of a French Revolution-style regime shift. But since (sadly) the same is equally true even for your extremely generous and modest proposal, I see no harm in dreaming a little bigger.
Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com
Peripatetic Itch , says: January 12, 2021 at 7:09 pm GMT • 9.2 hours ago@Observator the state legislatures. They mandated that election law be set by those same legislatures. They set up the whole rigmarole of the Electoral College with multiple stages of certification, and set the inauguration for March to leave enough time to sort out election controversies. All of these have of course been either eliminated, ignored or watered down enough to make the certification process simply pro forma . Apparently no one has standing to challenge anything.Joe Levantine , says: January 12, 2021 at 7:26 pm GMT • 8.9 hours ago
The founders could do little about secret societies. They were already a staple of 18th Century society and subverting everything. Right across the political spectrum.@Jake of usurping the Catholic Church's lands within England which made them fabulously rich, only to apply the same strategy to any tribe or nation to be subdued into the British Empire. This same class, by confiscating most of the lands in England, pushed the pleb into utmost poverty. Since the US government is only nominally independent from the 'city' in London, the term Anglo Zionist is the best abbreviation to a stark reality. And BTW, I do not implicate most Jews as Zionists even though many of them think wrongly that they belong to the club. Anyone remembers Joe Biden's pleading to Netanyahu ' you don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist".
Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com
Faihtful , says: January 12, 2021 at 5:28 am GMT • 22.8 hours ago
The mob never wins. It is always led by the nose by well organised agents provocateur. See Epoch time video:
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is
John Hagan on January 11, 2021 , · at 5:49 am EST/EDT
That the US deep state has been terrorising parts of the world for many years my reaction before the election was to hope that Biden would win as I believed that would be the quickest destruction of the terrorist deep state rather than with Trump where I believed it would survive some time longer. It is inconceivable that any political party can survive in the US without the backing of the 'deep state'.
Of course this makes the nuclear option more likely yet democrats are more attached to their lives than many others since the profit motive looms larger.
Secondly the US owes the pension and social security systems so much money they do not have unless they print, print and more print and hope someone will buy their bonds (over 100 trillion for the next 'x' years). That is not going to happen. That is why both political parties will not endorse medicare for all or any further social security programmes. Those with money insurance industries et al will run away to Australia that has more gold than it knows what to do with the Chinese are now trying to buy Aussie gold mines. Wonder why?
To sum up the US population will experience some of the same terrorism tacticts the deep state exported to the rest of the world while the same population will wonder why it is happening to them just like some of the middle east countries wondered the same for the last 20 years. That the deep state and the army offer pensions and heathcare will not matter if the funds are not there.
What are the options for the citizens that always believed in capitalism and Jesus and were the single moral compass for the rest of humanity? After living in a Buddist country for many years I am not so certain.
Jan 11, 2021 | www.unz.com
As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state. In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.
There is abundant evidence of a police state. One feature of a police state is controlled explanations and the suppression of dissent. We certainly have that in abundance.
Experts are not permitted forums in which to challenge the official position on Covid.
Teachers are suspended for giving offense by using gender pronouns.
Recording stars are dropped by their recording studios for attending the Trump rally. Parents ratted on by their own children are fired from their jobs for attending the Trump rally. https://www.rt.com/usa/512048-capitol-riot-employees-fired/ Antifa is free to riot, loot, intimidate and hassle, but Trump supporters are insurrectionists.
White people are racists who use hateful words and concepts, but those who demonize whites are righting wrongs.
Suppression of dissent and controlling behavior are police state characteristics. It might be less clear to some why dictating permissible use of language is police state control. Think about it this way. If your use of pronouns can be controlled, so can your use of all other words. As concepts involve words, they also can be controlled. In this way inconvenient thoughts and expressions along with accurate descriptions find their way into the Memory Hole.
With the First Amendment gone, or restricted to the demonization of targeted persons, such as "the Trump Deplorables," "white supremacists," "Southern racists," the Second Amendment can't have much life left. As guns are associated with red states, that is, with Trump supporters, outlawing guns is a way to criminalize the red half of the American population that the Establishment considers "deplorable." Those who stand on their Constitutional right will be imprisoned and become cheap prison labor for America's global corporations.
Could all this lead to a civil war or are Americans too beat down to effectively resist? That we won't know until it is put to the test.
Are there clear frontlines? Identity Politics has divided the people across the entire country. The red states are only majority red. It is tempting to see the frontiers as the red center against the blue Northeast and West coasts, but that is misleading. Georgia is a red state with a red governor and legislature, but there were enough Democrats in power locally to steal the presidential and US senate elections.
Another problem for reds is that large cities -- the distribution centers -- such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles -- are in blue hands as are ports and international airports. Effectively, this cuts reds off from outside resources.
What would the US military do? Clearly, the Joint Chiefs and the military/security complex are establishment and not anti-establishment Trumpers. With the soldiers themselves now a racial and gender mix, the soldiers would be as divided as the country. Those not with the Establishment would lack upper level support.
Where are the youth and younger adults? They are in both camps depending on their education. Many of the whites who went to university have been brainwashed against themselves, and regard white Americans as "systemic racists" or "white supremacists" and feel guilt. Those who did not go to university for the most part have experienced to their disadvantage the favoritism given to people of color and have resentment.
What about weapons? How can the reds lose when guns are a household item and blues would never dirty themselves by owning one? The answer is that unlike the War of Northern Aggression in the 1860s, today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public. Unlike in the past, it is impossible for a citizens' militia to stand against the weapons and body armor that the military has. So, unless the military splits, the reds are outgunned. Never believe that the Establishment would not release chemical and biological agents against red forces. Or for that matter nuclear weapons.
What about communications? We know for an absolute fact that the tech monopolies are aligned with the Establishment against the people. So much so that President Trump, in the process of being set-up for prosecution, has been cut off from communicating with his supporters both in social media and email.
The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington's orchestrated "Maidan Revolution," called "the Revolution of Dignity" by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.
Suppose an American civil war occurs. How is it likely to play out? Before investigating this, first consider how the Establishment could prevent it by bringing the red states to its defense. The Trump supporters are the only patriots in the American population. They tend to wear the flag on their sleeve. In contrast, blue state denizens define patriotism as acknowledging America's evils and taking retribution on those white racists/imperialists who committed the evils. In blue states, riots against the "racist system" result in defunding the police. If the Antifa and Black Lives Matter militias were sicced on the Biden regime, red state patriots might see "their country" under attack. It is possible that the "Proud Boys" would come to Biden's defense, not because they believe in Biden but because America is under attack and he is "our president." Alternatively, an Antifa attack on the Biden regime could be portrayed as an unpatriotic attack on America and be used to discourage red state opposition to the police state, just as "Insurrection" has resulted in many Trump supporters declaring their opposition to violence. In other words, it is entirely possible that the patriotism of the "Trump Deplorables" would split the red state opposition and lead to defeat.
Assuming that the Establishment is too arrogant and sure of itself or too stupid to think of this ploy, how would a civil war play out? The Establishment would do everything possible to discredit the case of the "rebels." The true rebels, of course, would be the Establishment which has overthrown the Constitutional order, but no media would make that point. Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the "rebels" as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy.
The "foreign threat" always captures the patriot's attention. We see it right now with Trump supporters falling for the disinformation that Switzerland and Italy are behind the stolen election. Previously, it was Dominion servers in Germany and Serbia that did the deed.
On whose head will the Establishment place the blame for "the War Against America"? There are three candidates: Iran, China, and Russia. Which will the Establishment choose?
To give Iran credit conveys too much power to a relatively small country over America. To blame Iran for our civil war would be belittling.
To blame China won't work, because Trump blamed China for economically undermining America and Trump supporters are generally anti-China. So accusing the red opposition with being China agents would not work.
The blame will be placed on Russia.
This is the easy one. Russia has been the black hat ever since Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in 1946. Americans are accustomed to this enemy. The Cold War reigned from the end of World War II until the Soviet Collapse in 1991. Many, including retired American generals, maintain that the Soviet collapse was faked to put us off guard for conquest.
When the Establishment decided to frame President Trump, the Establishment chose Russia as Trump's co-conspirator against American Democracy. Russiagate, orchestrated by the CIA and FBI, ensured for three years that Trump was accused in the Western media of being in cahoots with Russia. Despite the lack of any evidence, a large percentage of the American and world population was convinced that Trump was put into office by Putin somehow manipulating the vote.
The brainwashing was so successful that three years of Trump sanctions against Russia could not shake the Western peoples back into factual reality.
With Russia as the historic and orchestrated enemy, whatever happens in the United States that can be blamed elsewhere will be blamed on Russia. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have already associated "Trump's insurrection" with Russia. https://www.rt.com/russia/512071-capitol-violence-consequences-fear/
Suppose that an American civil war becomes intense. Suppose that the Establishment's propaganda against Russia becomes the reigning belief as propaganda almost always becomes, how can the Establishment not finish the insurrection threat by attacking the country responsible? The Establishment would be trapped in its own propaganda. Emotions would run away. Russia would hear threats that would have to be taken seriously.
You can bet that Biden's neocon government will be egging this on. American exceptionalism. American hegemony. Russia's fifth column, the Atlanticist Integrationists, who wish absorption into the degenerate and failing Western World, will echo the charges against Russia. This would make the situation a serious international incident with Russia as the threatened villain.
What would the Kremlin do? Would Russia's leaders accept yet another humiliation and false accusation? Or will the anger of the Russian people forever accused and never stood up for by their own government force the Kremlin into awareness that Russia could be attacked at any moment.
Even if the Kremlin is reluctant to acknowledge the threat of war, what if another of the numerous false warnings of incoming ICBMs is received. Unlike the past, is it believed this time?
The stolen election in America, the emerging American Police State, more vicious and better armed than any in the past, could result in American chaos that could be a dire threat to the Russian Federation.
What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts . The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas. Consider how easy it was for the Capitol Police to remove barriers and allow some Antifa mixed in with Trump supporters into the Capitol. This was all that was required to create a "Trump led insurrection" that terminated the presentation of evidence of electoral fraud and turned the massive rally of support for Trump into a liability. Trump now leaves the presidency as an "insurrectionist" and is set up for continued harassment and prosecution.
As I previously wrote, the stolen election and its acceptance abroad signifies the failure of Western democracy. The collapse of the Western world and its values will affect the entire world.
Joe Stalin , says: January 10, 2021 at 5:16 pm GMT • 23.4 hours agoHarry Huntington , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:02 pm GMT • 22.6 hours ago
How long did it take for the mighty USA military to restore electric utilities in the face of insurgency in Iraq?
No member of the State wants to be picked off one by one, be it military, cops, leadership or functionaries.
What has been overlooked in the debate over the combat potential of violent extremists is the diffusion of something much more rudimentary and potentially more lethal: basic infantry skills. These include coordinated small-team tactical maneuvers supported by elementary marksmanship. The diffusion of such tactics seems to be underway, and it may generate serious concerns for U.S. security policy in the future if ignored.
Imagine if fuel pipe lines to urban areas were hit, railroad tracks hit, water processing facilities hit; the vision of an easy victory over Red America would quickly come home to the city dwellers.@Joe Stalin /p>Vidi , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:13 pm GMT • 22.4 hours ago
Elections in the US are not about picking winners. They are about making voters complicit in governance by their having voted. The most recent election failed to make the Red voters "complict" because there was no transparency and everyone believes there was fraud. No election with mail in voting in the US will every work because everyone will assume fraud.
In a nation as large as the US with as much concentrated city living, logistics are a nightmare. The next time the lights go out, you may wonder. When your grocery chain runs out of meat, you may wonder. When sewers in your city keep breaking, you may wonder. Thus truly scares me.TG , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm GMT • 22.3 hours ago
today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public
True enough. However, the weapons and the ammunition don't magically appear; they need to be manufactured somewhere, and those places (and/or their suppliers) can be destroyed.Wyatt , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:48 pm GMT • 21.8 hours ago
I must disagree. There will be no "civil war" in the United States. The establishment controls the levers of power and all communications and all organized structures. There may be a bunch of disaffected citizens, but they will remain a disorganized mob. Any apparent emergent rival for power will be ruthlessly suppressed, deplatformed, villified, or co-opted. The working class has been effectively divided and will waste its energy fighting itself over crumbs ('diversity').
Disorganized mobs do not fight civil wars.
No, the fate of the United States will be the sort of chaotic autocracy we see in places like Mexico and Brazil. Verging on being a failed state, the rich will nonetheless live lives of great luxury secure in their walled estates. Meanwhile the average person will be crushed into poverty, criminal gangs will flourish, and there will be a tension between the central police and local gangs, but gangs are rarely organized enough to truly challenge centralized states, and life will muddle on. There will be little social cohesion and no real trust of central authorities, but that only matters if you want a strong and unified society. The rich will do fine.
On the other hand, the overall national power will decline, and other powers like China (which for all its flaws has not declared war on the working class, nor does it routinely excuse or celebrate incompetence in leadership) will rise and take its place both on the world stage and as the cutting edge of science and culture.@VidiNotsofast , says: January 10, 2021 at 8:03 pm GMT • 20.6 hours ago
And the people making them don't tend to want those weapons used against their friends and neighbors.Anon  Disclaimer , says: January 10, 2021 at 8:26 pm GMT • 20.2 hours ago
to me the biggest outcome of this faux coup/insurrection is the splintering of the republican party. with this schism the trump "populists" have been cleanly pared off of the party and thrown overboard and the remaining party will meekly do the bidding of the neocon deep state that now totally controls both of these sock puppet parties. we will now see both parties calling for a unification of our "indispensable nation". more than likely some false flag will provide the necessary impetus to bury the hatchet and focus us all on our new/old enemy. the only hope i see is an outside chance that so many republicans have been redpilled that the party becomes the new whigs and fades into obscurity, leaving room for new parties to rise from the ash. the dems are ripe for a schism themselves with aoc champing at the bit to kick the boomers to the curb and the bernie bros finally realizing that three card monty is a rigged game. i would love to see the destruction of both of these hopelessly corrupt parties but the deep state cthulhu has its tentacles thoroughly wrapped around our poor planet and anything emerging out of this toxic mess would most likely be even worse. the situation reminds me of voltaire's candide and his sage advice to cultivate your garden.Citizen of a Silly Country , says: January 10, 2021 at 11:17 pm GMT • 17.4 hours ago
I'd advise the young to develop a "plan B". Pick another country you find bearable amd study it. Find out what jobs are in demand there. Develop those skills in your spare time (computers, electricians, mechanics, etc.). Practice their language an hour or two per week with online resources/dvd's/books. Research their immigration laws and perhaps contact their embassy.
If it gets really awful for whites here, you may be able to take your family some place more hospitable. Hopefully none of this will be neccessary and the rhetoric will tone down. Trump personally really got under the left's skin. Don't umderestimate Hillary's supporters influence here. They were ticked off. The Obama's too. Perhaps they will calm down a notch now. Have a plan B though young whites.Dr. Robert Morgan , says: January 11, 2021 at 1:34 am GMT • 15.1 hours ago
Another insightful article by PCR. However, I must somewhat disagree on some points.
What would the US military do?
The military would support whomever pays their salary and their pensions, i.e. the Establishment. However, as Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, the U.S. military, while possessing remarkable firepower when taken on directly and openly, is quite vulnerable. The U.S. military is essentially mercenaries. Mercenaries work for pay. Mercenaries are not willing to die for a cause. You can't spend money if you're dead.
Think of the Troubles in Ireland.
The Establishment absolutely can deliver a punch to an identifiable opponent, but it can't take a punch. Low level violence directed at officers and politicians would bring them to their knees.
Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the "rebels" as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy.
I agree that they will try. However, I suspect that PCR is underestimating how little faith many whites have in the media.
The Establishment will never be more powerful than it is today. They have inherited institutions, the people to man those institutions and a generally functioning economy. Basically, they stole the keys to car that they didn't create. But the Establishment run those institutions and economy into ground. They will slowly start to show cracks.
Whites need to stay low, start forming small groups and begin preparing for the openings that will come.Harold Smith , says: January 11, 2021 at 3:45 am GMT • 12.9 hours ago
The racial right has been fantasizing about a civil war since forever, but I can't see it. Too many people have too much to lose, there's no real desire for blood, and the people are anyway too soft to initiate or withstand the violence real war would unleash upon them. Further, and in stark contrast to the SJWs and antifa, the few racially conscious whites who fantasize about this are mostly too old to make good soldiers. Also, just like the "God emperor" himself, Trumpers are some of the stupidest people on the face of the earth, largely down with their own enslavement, nauseatingly fond of "law and order", sporting "Blue Lives Matter" badges, etc. Despite being preyed upon by blacks and browns for decades now, they still refuse to become racist. Most of them are Bible thumpers who really believe that race is just skin color, that all are equal before their imaginary friend called God, and that Israel is America's greatest ally. Then too, vast numbers of whites work for the government or its many offshoots such as education, law enforcement, the military, and the defense industry. Civil war would mean they'd be revolting against themselves.
Will America become a police state? In case you haven't noticed, Americans already live in a police state, and have for decades. PCR should know this as well as anyone, as he was part of it during the Reagan years. America is an open-air prison Americans built themselves, and they rat each other out and betray each other to keep themselves ideologically in line. When someone white is doxxed and fired for having bad thoughts, who do you think does the enforcing? For the most part, it's other white people. Fake president and China asset Biden is just the new warden.tanabear , says: January 11, 2021 at 5:45 am GMT • 10.9 hours ago
As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state. In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.
In a very meaningful sense we already have a "police state." Why do we have a police state? Because our masters realize that they can't run the whole world from anything resembling a constitutional republic (as the Founders and Framers envisioned it). It's the agenda for complete world domination and control that's driving the domestic oppression. As they continue to squander everything of value on the agenda and take more risks, etc., while the corruption and rot continue to take a toll and the country crumbles, the boot will need to come down ever harder on the neck.
And please stop kidding yourself about Trump. It wasn't for the benefit of Joe and Jill Sixpack that he seized Syrian oilfields, tried to start a war with Iran, tried to overthrow the Maduro government in Venezuela, tried to stop Nord Stream 2, started a trade war with China, pulled out of all the nuclear treaties, etc. Trump wasn't just fully onboard with the agenda, he pursued it enthusiastically.
If Trump's nuclear brinkmanship and aggressive foreign policies aren't promptly reversed, the U.S. may end as a pile of nuclear ash. Comments coming out of Moscow recently seem to suggest that Russia is finally losing its patience with interminable U.S. hostility and may soon start responding more forcefully to U.S./NATO provocations (and Biden's tough talk on Russia isn't helping matters any).
Neither Russia, China nor Iran are going to surrender to the USraeli empire and start taking orders, so either the U.S. "government" must back off and accept a multipolar world or WW3 is still on the table, even by accident.Just another serf , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:04 am GMT • 10.6 hours ago
From Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.
The Civil War in Corcyra
"So savage was the progress of this revolution, and it seemed all the more so because it was one of the first which had broken out. Later, of course, practically the whole of the Hellenic world was convulsed, with rival parties in every state – democratic leaders trying to bring in the Athenians, and oligarchs trying to bring in the Spartans. In peacetime there would have been no excuse and no desire for calling them in, but in time of war, when each party could always count upon an alliance which would do harm to its opponents and at the same time strengthen its own position, it became a natural thing for anyone who wanted a change of government to call in help from outside.
So revolutions broke out in city after city, and in places where the revolutions occurred late the knowledge of what had happened previously in other places caused still new extravagances of revolutionary zeal, expressed by an elaboration in the methods of seizing power and by unheard-of atrocities in revenge. To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings . What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one's unmanly character ; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defence. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect. To plot successfully was a sign of intelligence, but it was still cleverer to see that a plot was hatching. If one attempted to provide against having to do either, one was disrupting the unity of the party and acting out of fear of the opposition. In short, it was equally praiseworthy to get one's blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong, and to denounce someone who had no intention of doing any wrong at all. Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership , since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever. These parties were not formed to enjoy the benefits of the established laws, but to acquire power by overthrowing the existing regime ; and the members of these parties felt confidence in each other not because of any fellowship in a religious communion, but because they were partners in crime. If an opponent made a reasonable speech, the party in power, so far from giving it a generous reception, took every precaution to see that it had no practical effect.
As the result of these revolutions, there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world . The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps , and each side viewed the other with suspicion. As for ending this state of affairs, no guarantee could be given that would be trusted, no oath sworn that people would fear to break; everyone had come to the conclusion that it was hopeless to expect a permanent settlement and so, instead of being able to feel confident in others, they devoted their energies to providing against being injured themselves."Zarathustra , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:24 am GMT • 10.2 hours ago
Whether civil war as we may imagine it, or something equally unappealing to our every day lives, something bad is about to happen.
I'm curious though, regarding what I do believe was unprecedented election fraud. How is it possible, after watching the Georgia State Farm arena video, that the President of the United States, with all the power that office should hold, could not force the woman identified in that video, one Ruby Freeman, to answer questions about what we saw? Ruby Freeman was never questioned as far as I can find. How is this possible? Nothing makes sense. Before we begin killing one another, can we do two things; 1. Interrogate Ruby Freeman and 2. Interrogate the killer of Ashli Babbit?shylockcracy , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:58 am GMT • 9.7 hours ago
Little bit feverish article. And I do have to say no.
Civil war can happen only after hyperinflation accompanied with lawlessness.
And that will happen only if US looses its international position.
Everything depend now on Germany.
If Germany joins China Russia camp than US as a world leader will not mean anything anymore.
China now is courting Europe intensively. Particularly is courting Germany.
Nothing is set yet.
So everybody can relax.
Biden is out of his mind. In his speech he said that he wants to increase minimum wage and reestablish unions. That could be a little help also.shylockcracy , says: January 11, 2021 at 7:17 am GMT • 9.4 hours ago
People living in the core areas of Ziocorporate globalism, like the US/EU, remain mostly oblivious about the nature of their ruling regime than those living in the direct periphery of globalist power. Take Colombia for an example, like Mexico's, all its presidents are subservient to US Ziocorporate power. Last one, a Nobel peace prize winner under whose pre-presidential stint as "Defense" minister oversaw the US-serving Colombian military's systematic massacre of tens of thousands of lower class Colombian youths who were then disguised as guerrillas to cash in rewards paid US Plan Colombia dollars, proceeded, now as president, to negotiate the disarmament of the actual guerrillas under the Obama/Biden regime's orders. Massmurder and massacres maintained an average level.
Then, in 2018, right after the Trumpet, a shamelessly pro-US regime, even for Colombian standards, took over and massacres and massmurder picked right up again, to an average of 2 or 3 per week, with exploding cocaine production even for Colombia standards as well, and extreme political polarisation, and all the while the Ziocorporate mother ship in Washington, with its Qtard and MAGA bullshit, looked the other way except to accuse Venezuela of being undemocratic and of human rights violations.
If Americans weren't so stupid and daydreaming like fucktards that they live in "muh democracy/republic" instead of the Ziocorporate conglomerate regime that rules over them, they could take a clue or two from their own regime's foreign policy, not only did Trumpet do things like transferring $400 billion in weapons to ISIS/al-Qaeda royal Salafi patrons in Ziodi Wahhabia, he doubled-down on the Obama/Biden policy of Venezuela "is a national security threat to muh democracy and freedom"; to start pondering about the kind of manipulation and radicalisation Ziocorporate agents Trump/Republicans and Biden/Democrats have in store for them. Cointelpro certainly mutates far faster than Covid-1984.
Happy New World Order and Great Reset.@catdog i-deep state" character is actually the opposite of:Miro23 , says: January 11, 2021 at 7:25 am GMT • 9.2 hours ago
"White House teams up with Google to build coronavirus screening site"
What do Qtarts and the like need to realise this simple, evident facts? That the Trumpet himself comes on national TV telling you all "I and the Democrats have been playing divide and conquer with you dumbfucks for 4 years"?
Feeling that anti-deep state MAGA magick yet?Abdul Alhazred , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:01 am GMT • 8.6 hours ago
The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington's orchestrated "Maidan Revolution," called "the Revolution of Dignity" by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.
What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts . The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas.
Their playbook "Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals" by Saul D. Alinsky, makes it clear that it's necessary to play dirty. This covers all aspects of their Regime Change projects and the current US project surely isn't any different.
It's a cocktail of lies, fabrications, subversion, threats, blackmail, false friendships – in fact any means to advance themselves.
For example: From Alinsky – "Means and Ends" His take on morality:
Rule 10) You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.
Rule 11) Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", "Of the Common Welfare, "Pursuit of Happiness" or "Bread and Peace".
So yes, this is why the most unpatriotic Patriot Act is called the Patriot Act and they operate from patriotic sounding places like the American Enterprise Institute.
If traditional America is going to get anywhere in the upcoming conflict they have to get used to playing by the same rules – difficult for them – but they have to do it. It's inevitably going to be a dirty war.Carlos22 , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:09 am GMT • 8.5 hours ago
Point of order- Russia is not the historic enemy, but the orchestrated one, rather it was the Soviet Union which is the historic enemy, as the sponsors of the destruction of Russia are behind the destruction of America.noname27 , says: Website January 11, 2021 at 8:34 am GMT • 8.1 hours ago
We are already in a police state and you can kiss goodbye to the 1st and 2nd amendment soon as free speech becomes hate speech just like they did in Europe.
So this site and many others in the alt news universe will soon be gone.
There's not going to be a civil war as the current generation of young people are too weak and distracted and have been brainwashed into hating themselves.
There's a big elephant in the room and wild card that's been missed too and that's the new covid vaccines who's long term effects on health are unknown.
Vaccines need to be studied for about 10 years before their safety can be guaranteed.
If tens / hundreds of millions are willing to be injected with a new untested genetic engineered substance that could make them disabled or kill them in 5 years to save them against something with a 99% survival rate what does that tell you about the mental state of the Population?
The US as you once knew it is finished it's just that many are still in denial or haven't realized it yet.Ilya G Poimandres , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:39 am GMT • 8.0 hours ago
I see no civil war in the USA. I see no organisation amongst the people in order to carry it out. They have no leader, they have no Hannibal, Boadicea or Adolf to rally them together for a major insurrection against The Beast Empire. Unless of course something is brewing secretly.
A French style form of resistance, as previously mentioned in these comments, also takes a lot of planning and organisational skills, and I see no inkling of that taking place amongst American patriots.
I also believe many do not realise how serious the matter is, they still, being bogged down in irrelevant party politics.
If however a large swathe of the police and US Military including officers were to desert their corrupt masters, things would look very different and a civil war could happen.TKK , says: January 11, 2021 at 9:39 am GMT • 7.0 hours ago
The civil was has been on since Crossfire Hurricane, the usurpers of the constitution simply kept it cold because they thought they could enforce their tyranny silently.
And if Trump surrenders then they would have been proven right, at least for the leadership fight.
Biden will likely launch a war because he already has his bay of pigs with his graft, and will need a moonshot for the misdirection.
I don't think they can fight half the nation (and the military will split), and Russia at the same time, so the only question is on whom the war will be launched. I still think the odds are higher that it will be a civil war, but the Russia option looms strong for sure.
The US military is the most "woke" diverse incompetent organization in America.
Remember- contractors do all the heavy lifting "in theater"- from cooking to plumbing to firefighting to IT to combat.
This knowledge is hidden from view- kept on the down low.I only know because my brother has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan for KBR for the past 15 years. I have seen him accumulate well over Half a million in cash. What does he do? He makes sure the troops have water and food. He is in logistics. For the past decade I have heard hundreds if not thousands of stories of the jaw dropping incompetence, insouciance and laziness of the American military.
Rank-and-file Americans, indeed no one, talks about this very real infrastructure that props up every dumb, overweight enlisted. About 4 contractors to every enlisted.
Most of the contractors in theater are from Eastern Europe and sub Sahara Africa. If they were given orders to release biological or chemical weapons on the American populace, as long as the huge checks were hitting their account they would do it in a heartbeat
More than the military- fear the shadow military that knows the systems, does the work .. And will do whatever it is asked as long as they are paid.
Their mother doesn't live here.
Everywhere we turn, diversity and hiring people from the "other" never works out.
*** Side note: My brother revealed that when blacks came back from their R&R after the George Floyd insanity, most of them became more aggressive and entitled. Unable to do their work because they could not stop going to report others for incidence of racism.
This includes the American black contractors and enlisted.
These are dumb young black men and women who are making $92,000 a year to move pallets around. If they were asked to stop calling in sick every day, they would run to report their supervisor for-
Many whites have lost their lucrative positions or been subject to discipline for having the audacity to ask blacks to come to work.
It's over. It's too far gone.
Jan 11, 2021 | caucus99percent.com
Originally published at Café Babylon on Oct. 6, 2014 .
When Google Met WikiLeaks
It seems even more relevant today than it did then. It's longish, so hang in there if you're able. In these post-'Capitol' social media de-platforming days, remember that (Chrome) Google algorithms suppress websites from the conservative and religious right to the 'subversive left (wsws and popular resistance, for instance). And Google bought Youtube in Oct. of 2006 for a paltry $1.65 billion.
If you haven't read it and seen the captioned photos, you'll love ' Google Is Not What It Seems' by Julian Assange, an extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, wikileaks.org
Also see Scott Ritter's 'By banning Trump and his supporters, Google and Twitter are turning the US into a facsimile of the regimes we once condemned', RT.com, Jan. 9, 2021 Two excerpts:
"Digital democracy became privatized when its primary architect, Jared Cohen, left the State Department in September 2010 to take a new position with internet giant Google as the head of 'Google Ideas' now known as 'Jigsaw'. Jigsaw is a global initiative 'think tank' intended to "spearhead initiatives to apply technology solutions to problems faced by the developing world." This was the same job Cohen was doing while at the State Department.
Cohen promoted the notion of a "digital democracy contagion" based upon his belief that the "young people in the Middle East are just a mouse click away, they're just a Facebook connection away, they're just an instant message away, they're just a text message away" from sufficiently organizing to effect regime change. Cohen and Google were heavily involved the January 2011 demonstrations in Egypt, using social networking sites to call for demonstrations and political reform; the "Egyptian contagion" version of 'digital democracy' phenomena was fueled by social networking internet sites run by Egyptian youth groups which took a very public stance opposing the Mubarak regime and calling for political reform."
On Sept. 18 , Julian Assange's new book of that name was published. The material was largely fashioned by conversations he'd had with Google's Eric Schmidt in 2011 at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, England where Assange was living under house arrest. The ostensible purpose of the requested meeting was to discuss idea for a book that Schmidt and Jared Cohen (advisor to both Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton) were going to write, and in fact did: ' The New Digital Age ' (2013). They were accompanied by the book's editor Scott Malcomson, former senior advisor for the UN and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, who eventually worked at the US State Department, plus Lisa Shields, vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, closely tied to the State Department, who was Schmidt's partner at the time. Hmmm. The plot, as they say, thickens. From the book's blurb :
'For several hours the besieged leader of the world's most famous insurgent publishing organization and the billionaire head of the world's largest information empire locked horns. The two men debated the political problems faced by society, and the technological solutions engendered by the global network -- from the Arab Spring to Bitcoin. They outlined radically opposing perspectives: for Assange, the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness. For Schmidt, emancipation is at one with US foreign policy objectives and is driven by connecting non-Western countries to American companies and markets. These differences embodied a tug-of-war over the Internet's future that has only gathered force subsequently.'
Some background that will hopefully entice you to listen to the 42-minute Telesur video (sorry, no transcript) I'll embed below; this is the short version: ' Assange claims Google is in bed with US government'WikiLeaks @wikileaks · Mar 2, 2016 Eating or being eaten? Schmidt now on Pentagon board. Hillary's people in Google and Google running her campaign http:// qz.com/520652/groundw ork-eric-schmidt-startup-working-for-hillary-clinton-campaign/ Well this diary has certainly had me glued online all afternoon.
I have not felt this kind of interest in the interconnected webs of deceit in our government since I read The Devil's Chessboard.
Thanks so much Wendy! up 10 users have voted. --
"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin
Note that in other interviews Assange names 'other private and public security agencies' as well, and names the figures showing how deep Google is into smartphones and almost every nation on the planet. 'Do not be evil'.
If your appetite hasn't been sufficiently whetted to watch the 38-minute Telesur interview, you might at a minimum read 'When Google Met WikiLeaks: Battle for a New Digital Age' by Nozomi Hayase . An excerpt or three, after reminding us that in his earlier 2012 book Cypherpunks, Assange had said that " the internet, our greatest tool for emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen ":
'Assange unveils how, contrary to Google's efforts to create a positive public image by giving away free storage, making it appear not like a corporation driven solely by profit motives, this seemingly philanthropic company is a willing participant in its own government co-optation. Indeed, he argues, Google Ideas was birthed as a brainchild of a Washington think-tank.
Assange described how "Google's bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the 'benevolent superpower.'" (p. 35). This process is so gradual and discrete that it is hardly conscious on the part of the actors. This digital mega-corporation, through getting too close to the US State Department and NSA, began to incorporate their ambitions and come to see no evil. This internalization of imperial values created what Assange called " the impenetrable banality of 'don't be evil' " (p. 35). It appears that bosses at Google genuinely think they are doing good, while they are quickly becoming part of a power structure that Assange described as a " capricious global system of secret loyalties , owed favors, and false consensus, of saying one thing in public and the opposite in private" (p. 7). Allegiance creates obedience and an unspoken alliance creates a web of self-deception through which one comes to believe one's own lies and becomes entangled in them. [snip]
' Assange pointed to how "the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps" (p. 43).
Google does not see evil in itself. By embedding with U.S. central authority, this global tech company not only fails to see the invisible fist of "American strategic and economic hegemony" that dictates the market, but moreover aspires "to adorn the hidden fist like a velvet glove" (p. 43). By advancing the force of monopoly, they subordinate civic values to economic and U.S. hegemonic interests and escape any real accountability. They no longer recognize the unmediated market that responds to people's demands, a true market that functions as a space of democratic accountability. This normalization of control leads to a subversion of law, creating a rogue state where a ripple effect of corruption is created, as individuals, companies and the state each betray their own stated principles.'
'In a sense, one might conclude that Assange's new book is in itself another leak . In publishing what one might call the "GoogleFiles", Assange conducts his usual job of publishing in the public interest with due diligence by providing the verbatim transcript and audio of the secret meeting. This time, the source of the material was Google themselves who sought out Assange for their publication.'
How wonderful it is that he's rocking Google's Very Large Boat. Hayase also writes that Cohen and Schmidt engage in their own 'statist' version of the 'good whistleblower/bad whistleblower meme we're familiar with. Pfffft.
Google used its front page to back the US government's campaign to bomb Syria: snapshot
More if you'd like it:
From HuffPo's : Julian Assange Fires Back At Eric Schmidt and Google's 'Digital Colonialism', one exchange that's significant:
' HP : What about the substance of Schmidt's defense, that Google is pretty much at war with the U.S. government and that they don't cooperate? He claims that they're working to encrypt everything so that neither the NSA nor anyone else can get in. What would you say to that?
JA : It's a duplicitous statement. It's a lawyerly statement. Eric Schmidt did not say that Google encrypts everything so that the US government can't get at them. He said quite deliberately that Google has started to encrypt exchanges of information -- and that's hardly true, but it has increased amount of encrypted exchanges. But Google has not been encrypting their storage information. Google's whole business model is predicated on Google being able to access the vast reservoir of private information collected from billions of people each day. And if Google can access it, then of course the U.S. government has the legal right to access it, and that's what's been going on.
As a result of the Snowden revelation, Google was caught out. It tried to pretend that those revelations were not valid, and when that failed, it started to engage in a public relations campaign to try and say that it wasn't happy with what the National Security Agency was doing, and was fighting against it. Now, I'm sure that many people in Google are not happy with what has been occurring. But that doesn't stop it happening, because Google's business model is to collect as much information as possible and people store it, index and turn it into predictive profiles. Similarly, at Eric Schmidt's level, Google is very closely related to the U.S. government and there's a revolving door between the State Department and Google . '
For the Pffft factor plus some history of WikiLeaks' betrayal by both Daniel Domscheit-Berg ( his Wiki ), and the Guardian, the Daily Dot's : ' When WikiLeaks cold-called Hillary Clinton',
'Within hours, Harrison's call was answered via State Department backchannels. Lisa Shields, then- Google Executive Eric Schmidt's girlfriend and vice president at the Council on Foreign Relations, reached out through one of WikiLeak's own, Joseph Farrell, to confirm it was indeed WikiLeaks calling to speak with Clinton. [snip]
'But in an act of gross negligence the Guardian newspaper -- our former partner -- had published the confidential decryption password to all 251,000 cables in a chapter heading in its book, rushed out hastily in February 2011.(1) By mid-August we discovered that a former German employee -- whom I had suspended in 2010 -- was cultivating business relationships with a variety of organizations and individuals by shopping around the location of the encrypted file, paired with the password's whereabouts in the book. At the rate the information was spreading, we estimated that within two weeks most intelligence agencies, contractors, and middlemen would have all the cables, but the public would not.'
Background on the Rassmussen story to make sure he was elected head of NATO by shutting down Roj TV: Interview: Roj TV, ECHR and Wikileaks by Naila Bozo
Students Sue Google for Monitoring Their Emails http://mashable.com/2014/03/19/students-sue-google-gmail/
Note: Easy Copying from the Café to the Café didn't go well. Everything doubled up, and not in the same order, and none of the quotation font colors hopped aboard. But it is what it is, and trying to repair it further seems Quixotic.
Jan 11, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com
We are about to participate in "The Great Experiment V. 2.0" in my opinion. This decides which of the Georges, Washington and Orwell, is right. My money is on Orwell for a reason I will tell you later.
...The checks and balances have been replaced with (Bank) checks and (Bank) balances. The richest men in the world are overseeing this experiment which is going global quicker than you can say"Google". They are enabled by the University academics who as Raymond Asquith once observed are always prepared to provide an intellectual justification for vile acts if the price is right and journalists will laud said acts to the heavens as decent, moral doings if they want a paycheck next week from their masters.
The Legislature is bought. The Executive is bought. The Supreme Court are ninnies...
... And you enabled all this yourselves. When you applauded the Patriot Act. When you cheered at the vilification of muslims, "sand niggers", "rag heads". When you justified the use of torture. When you masturbated watching targeting videos of drone strikes on Afghans. When you credulously watched fantasies on television about "Irans nuclear threat". When you listened and watched uncritically (or perhaps with secret pleasure) as the media lied to you breathlessly about the President disporting himself on a urine soaked bed with Russian hookers. Where was your sense of outrage then? Every time you deny the humanity and human rights of anyone, no matter how vile they be, you are destroying your own rights.
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is
Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:42 am EST/EDTKen Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:05 am EST/EDT
"So when was this golden age? Under Reagan? Well, this is when the dismantling of the inner core of the empire began."
Beg to differ. Reagan understood how to administer the US empire. He knew the risks of overstretching it. He made the promise to the Soviets not to encroach on their sphere of influence. He defended the high interest rates which strengthened the USD and which kept the banking sector in check.
All of that went to hell with Bill Clinton:
He broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.
Bill Clinton basically turned the empire into a rapacious and uncontrollable animal. (Funny how noone here is talking about imprisoning him )
There is a silver lining to Bill C's blood-soaked administration. It was while he was in power, that the Russians finally awoke from their 1990s stupor. They began to understand the mortal danger they were facing, and they patriotically chose Putin to lead them in 1999.Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:33 am EST/EDT
– Reagan was a disgusting Russophobe and Serbophobe who proclaimed 10th April (the founding of the Independent State of Croatia) a national holiday in California as governor. Not surprising given that his was the most RC government ever – he also colluded with the Polish anti-Christ to destroy the USSR. In the process he encouraged the German Nazis (see visit to Bitburg) who then destroyed Yugoslavia.
– He brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust that was prevented by a vigilant Russian officer (in 1983?).
– He turbo-charged the power of corporations and decimated social structures and the rights of the working class (the Americans are paying for this now).
This is not to say that the scumbag Clinton was good – after all he was trained at Georgetown – that seminary for American murderers.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:07 am EST/EDT
Thanks for this Ken. Good to know who Reagan really was!
To get back to your point about the "dismantling of the empire" Reagan, for all his personal awfulness and recklessness (and subversiveness) was still more restrained than Clinton. Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. I guess it's personal, after what he did to us.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:49 am EST/EDT
Oh, I have nothing but hatred and contempt for that criminal, trust me.
Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. Never again!
Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
LittleWhiteCabbage , Jan 11 2021 15:19 utc | 128
As sometimes said: don't sweat the small stuff.
This "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.
Empire's useful idiots were let loose to trash the hapless city, fired up by the Western propaganda machinery.
Now Beijing is putting the stock on those pompous minions with the National Security Law, and their foreign masters can't do nuffin' except squeal human rights and apply some nuisance sanctions.
The West fails because it looks at China through ideological lenses and sees Communists, who can fall back on 5000 years of statecraft to push back at interlopers.
Beijing's moves can be likened to two classic strategies.
1. Zhuge Liang fools the enemy to fire all their arrows at straw men, which become ammunition against them.
2. The Empty City strategy. Invaders take over an ostensibly abandoned city, only to be trapped inside.
Global Times is cantankerous and sometimes risible, but even a broken clock is right, twice a day.
So when it says that crossing Beijing's red line on the Taiwan issue is not in the island's best interests, the incoming BiMala administration should take note.
Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Francis , Jan 10 2021 19:21 utc | 36
Georgi Dimitrov. The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism
Comrades, fascism in power was correctly described by the Thirteenth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International as the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.
Fascism is not a form of state power "standing above both classes -- the proletariat and the bourgeoisie," as Otto Bauer, for instance, has asserted. It is not "the revolt of the petty bourgeoisie which has captured the machinery of the state," as the British Socialist Brailsford declares. No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.
Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com
Fyodor Lukyanov , the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club How could something like this happen in Washington? It was assumed that, despite all its social and political problems that have worsened in recent years, America was different and far more robust than we are now seeing. A habit of being special
The rule of thumb was, 'there is America and there are others'. With the others, shortcomings are natural and to be expected, even if many of them are well-established democracies. But America is a different story, because by default, the US is a role model that was supposed to remain the democratic icon forever.
Exceptionalism is foundational for America's political culture. This type of self-identification was the cornerstone on which the nation and society were built a couple of hundred years ago. That's how Americans are raised. And you will run into this phenomenon everywhere.
When asking his supporters gathered by the Capitol building to go home, President Donald Trump said, "You are special." People from the more liberal political camp have even deeper convictions about the US being exceptional and therefore under an obligation to bring light into the world, as they see it.
That's why everybody is shocked – how could this have happened? The reaction was followed by a wave of explanations as to why the clashes near and inside the Capitol building only looked like similar events in other countries, but in reality, they were something entirely different. Here is a comment from the CNN website, "Sure there are superficial similarities... but what's happening in America is uniquely American. It is that country's monster."
Such restlessness is understandable. If we look at exceptionalism in the context of the world order that we've had in recent decades, we see that after the end of the Cold War, the US has held the unique position of the sole global hegemon. No other power in world history has ever reached this level of dominance.
Besides massive military and economic resources, America's exceptionalism has also been relying on the idea that this nation sets the tone for the global worldview. This authorized America to certify systems of government in other countries and exert influence in situations that it believed required certain adjustments. As we all know, this influence took different forms, including direct military intervention.
We are not going to list the pros and cons of such a world order in this article. What's important is that one of the key aspects of this order is the belief in the infallibility of the global leader. That's why American commentators and experts are so worried about the Capitol Building events and Trump's presidency in general hurting the international status of the US.Boomerang effect
Generally speaking, post-election turmoil is not a rare occurrence. After all, the US itself has encouraged the new political tradition that has emerged in the 21st century. In recent times, in certain places, election campaigns haven't ended after the votes were counted and the winner is announced. Instead, Washington often encouraged the losing side to at least try to challenge the results by taking to the streets. Indeed, resistance was part of the US Declaration of Independence after all.
Western capitals consistently emphasized the legitimacy of such actions in situations when people believed that their votes had been 'stolen'. Washington was usually the lead voice in these declarations. Granted, this mostly applied to immature democracies with unstable institutions, but where are all those unshakable, solid democratic countries today? The world is experiencing so much instability that nobody is exempt from major shocks and crises.Information overload
There is another reason why traditional institutions are losing their footing. They were effective in a solidified informational environment. The sources of information were either controlled or perceived as trustworthy by the majority.
Today there are problems with both. Technological advances boost transparency, but they also create multiple realities and countless opportunities for manipulation. Institutions must be above reproach if they are to survive in the new conditions. It would be wrong to say that they are all crumbling. They are, however, experiencing tremendous pressure, and we can't expect them to be perfect.Looking for a scapegoat
The US is not better or worse at facing the new challenges. Or, rather, it is better in some areas and worse in others. This would all be very normal if America's exceptionalism didn't always need affirmation.
Situations in which the US appears to be just like any other country, albeit with some unique characteristics, are a shock to the system. In order to stay special, America looks where to place the blame. Ideally, the guilty party should be someone acting in the interests of an outside power, someone un-American.
This mechanism is not unknown to Russians from the experience in our country – for a long time now, Russian elites have been keen to blame outsiders for their own failures. But America's motivation today is even stronger; there is more passion, because simply covering up the failures is no longer enough – America wants to prove that it is still perfect.
Russia says American system 'archaic' & not up to 'modern democratic standards' after rioters raid Washington's Capitol building
Democrats are taking back the American political landscape. For the next two years (until the 2022 mid-term elections), they will have all the power – in the White House and Congress. Trump's supporters have seriously scared the ruling class, and the Capitol building debacle during the last days of his presidency has created a perfect pretext for cleaning house. Big Tech companies are at their disposal (so far).Internal targets
Target number one is Trump himself. They want to make an example out of him, so that others wouldn't dare challenge the sanctity of the political establishment. But Trump will not be enough, something must be done about his numerous supporters. The awkward finale of his presidency opens the door for labeling his fans as enemies of the republic and democracy.
The Democrats will do everything within their power to demoralize their earnest opponents. This won't be hard, since the Republican Party itself is a hot mess right now. Trump has alienated almost all his supporters from the party leadership, but he is still popular among regular voters.
Demonstrative restoration of order and democratic fundamentals will also be used to reclaim the role model status. The reasoning is clear – we successfully neutralized the terrible external and internal threats to our democracy, so now we have regained the right to show the world how one should deal with the enemies of said democracy. The 'summit of democracies' idea proposed by Joseph Biden is starting to look like an emergency meeting for closing the ranks in a fight against enemies of progress.Foreign targets
And this brings us back to the foreign policy issue, because it's not difficult to predict who will be enemy number one. Putin as an almighty puppeteer of all undemocratic forces in the world (including Trump) has been part of the rhetoric for a few years now. Hillary Clinton said it when giving a campaign speech in Nevada in August 2016, and Nancy Pelosi echoed the sentiment after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building. Of course, China is a close second on the enemy list created by the Democratic leadership, but there are some economic restraints there.
America's inevitable strife to reclaim its exceptionalism will clash with the current tendencies in global development. All aspects of international affairs, from economy to security, to ideology and ethics, are diversifying. Attempts to divide the world along the old democracy vs. autocracy lines, i.e. go back to the agenda prevalent at the end of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century, are doomed, because this is not the way the world is structured now.
But attempts will be made nevertheless, and we can't rule out some aggressive 'democracy promotion'. Even if it's just to prove that the embarrassing Trump episode was nothing more than an unfortunate accident. This, by the way, could become a short-term unifying factor for the diverse members of the Democratic Party, some of whom represent the old generation, while others are energetic young proponents of left-wing politics.
We can conclude that the world will not really benefit from the new presidency, even if respected foreign policy professionals return to the White House now that Trump is leaving. It might stabilize America's frenzy in international affairs that we are all used to by now, but a new wave of ideology will neutralize the potential advantage (if it even existed, which is debatable).
America's resolve to prove to the world that it's not like others will encounter the large-scale 'material resistance', which will make a dangerous situation even worse. At least with Trump we knew that he didn't like wars, and he didn't start any new ones. Biden's credit history is very different.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 18:43 utc | 3
Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the Russian émigrés mafia that had relocated to the US in south Queens in New York City. A major difference!
Jen , Jan 6 2021 20:01 utc | 17uncle tungsten , Jan 6 2021 20:25 utc | 21
Of course the whole point of US and Western MSM obsession with demonising Russia and China, and castigating those like Trump (for not going far enough to oppose either one or the other nation, or both), is to divert public attention away from govt failings at home and to push the public into supporting regime change against both Russia and China.
B's post should be read as a companion piece to his previous post on China as an existential threat to the US, as an example of a nation that achieved stability, peace and enough prosperity for most of its people by pursuing an alternate political and economic ideology in the space of 40 years. An ideology that moreover challenges the ideology that the West has followed for the past 500 years, and the assumptions on which that ideology is based. Despite Western attempts to destabilise, break up and impoverish Russia in the 1990s, in order to steal its energy and mineral resources, that nation managed to bounce back to some level of stability and economic security. In addition Russia and China signed a friendship treaty in 2001 and are committing to a closer political ans economic relationship.
All this serves to marginalise the Anglosphere nations and to deny the US, the UK and their elites the opportunity to plunder these nations and their allies for their natural resources.Jackrabbit , Jan 6 2021 20:28 utc | 23
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 #3Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the russian emigrée mafia that had relocatet to the US in south Quens in New York City. A maijor difference!
Exactly that, thank you. The mafia that manages the D party are of Mediterranean roots and are totally pi$$ed of with the Russians.
Enough of this polite avoidance of the reality of the USAi gangland - it is a mafia state. The D 'reformist' squad just blew their best chance to start the reformation. They will be neutered well before another chance arises.
Trump appeased . . . NOT is only half the story.
AFAICT Russiagate's neo-McCarthyism and Trump's supposed friendliness toward Putin was a set up prior to Trump negotiations with Putin at Helsinki.
"I'm your only friend ... and your last best hope ..." is a powerful pitch - especially when it is accompanied by generous offers of aid and support. And perhaps it would've worked if it had come years before.
So now we have a new Cold War - with both Russia and China.
SAINT ✔ @saint BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via @ nypost <) 4,673 6:26 PM - Jan 5, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy1,514 people are talking about this
Stephen Wertheim ✔ @stephenwertheim "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes @ RichardHanania <: https:// palladiummag.com/2020/12/14/chi nas-real-threat-is-to-americas-ruling-ideology/ China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com palladiummag.com 71 2:06 PM - Jan 1, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy37 people are talking about this
TagsAMERICA AMERICANS CHINA IMPERIALISM POLITICS USA WAR
Jan 06, 2021 | caitlinjohnstone.comLatest Comments
CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021STANLEY N LAHAM / JANUARY 6, 2021
It is an erroneous generalization to say "Americans only care about America". Which Americans? If you are talking about the ruling class of the United States, even they don't care much about America, only their bank accounts and their stock portfolios. Witness their indifference to the thousands of deaths from Covid-19 through a lack of lockdowns, testing and contact tracing. Witness their demanding that schools and factories remain open, probably to kill as many of the working class as possible while these wealthy goniffs drink champagne on their private islands.
I am born and reared in the United States, and I hate the government of my country of birth. I have hated them since the 1960s. I am an internationalist. Nationalism is a 19th century idea that is past its prime. Ultra nationalism is fascism. All Americans do not support fascism. Many of us are Marxists.
And when you use the term "American", you should be clear that you mean the United States, and not Canada, Mexico, Panama, Brazil or Ecuador, among others.CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
When Vladimir Putin said that the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of post WWII was the dissolution of the USSR, he was right on the button. What unraveled next was story of unparalleled greed and hubris in the United States in believing the world was its spoils for winning the Cold War.
From Eastern Europe to Asia and South America it went on a rampage like an elephant in a tea house making and breaking governments, bombing and dismembering viable states, creating chaos in order to come in and establishing its new Pax Americana. From Yugoslavia to Libya to Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Honduras etc, it either promoted downright Coup d'États or mercilessly bombed destroying people and infrastructure to achieve its agenda unopposed by a weak Russia and a Warsaw Pact that had gone to its grave. And in so doing caused the greatest mass migration of refugees to Europe the likes of which the world had never seen since WWII.
Yet all this was conceived and effectuated not in secret rooms but openly declared as official policy. In the mid nineties a new political doctrine that would guide policy was announced in the form of "Project for a New American Century" which is nothing less than Manifest Destiny on steroids and on a global scale. This was soon followed by its military doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" over all countries of the earth. Well when the drunk Boris Yeltsin realized belatedly what was afoot, he literally ceded control of the Russian Federation to Putin in 2000 who went about repairing the social, economic and military disaster his country had become,
Starting in Syria in 2014, Vladimir Putin started challenging the American Empire that can no longer project the military supremacy it enjoyed for nearly two decades and this has enraged its planners. The demonizing of Russia is for having stopped dead in its tract the military supremacy of the US and the demonizing of China for having stopped its economic one and challenging the supremacy of the dollar.CAROL JACKSON / JANUARY 6, 2021
Putin was quite right. The only brake on the brazen greed for power of the United States was the huge land mass of the Soviet Union. That brake was removed when the Stalinist Gorbachev waved the white hankie and surrendered. The rest is nightmare.ROUNDBALL SHAMAN / JANUARY 6, 2021
Make trade not war. Make friends not enemies. Make love not hate.EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021
"Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design."
In a sense, you can't blame Americans for being so shallow-visioned. From birth, Americans are taught that they belong to "The Exceptional Nation". Well, if you are Exceptional, that must mean everyone else ISN'T Exceptional. So why in the world would Americans care about those unimportant outsiders?
Add to that the fact that most people are innately selfish anyway and just naturally don't care about anyone or anything much but themselves. The World beyond USA borders is just some kind of unimportant black hole that doesn't count for anything. Or so the belief goes. Generation to generation.
And add to that fact what does any of this have to do with big shiny pickup trucks, cold beer, and American football? Those are the three dominant religions in America and have been for a long time. Why would Americans care about anything else? There's only so many hours in the day, you know?
"The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs."
Where things seem to headed the nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff AROUND AT ALL. Various scenarios in play for that outcome.
We need to live each day as if it is our last. Because one way or another, The Last One is getting closer. Do cattle at the stockyards realize that they are in a stockyards and their brothers and sisters go into that big building and don't seem to come out? Will we?S.A. HOGAN / JANUARY 6, 2021
You have completely summed up the central points of American thinking. Don't wear a mask or social distance because that interferes with my right to be an idiot.
We get the best government money can buy. When will we stop electing celebrities and old white men? Someday there will be a book called "The Decline and Fall of America". I hope someone is around to read it.S.A. HOGAN / JANUARY 6, 2021
Dear Caitlin (with typos fixed),
I'm afraid I must take offense when you paint things with a broad brush–which is almost invariably a no-no, the stuff of which prejudice is made–and say "Americans care only about America." While our media may encourage an ethnocentric, myopic viewpoint of the world, the cure is to A. explore the viewpoints of other countries, and B. get out there -- both of which I've done, spending > 11 years in Third World or developing countries, an experience that has been equal parts broadening and humbling. I consider myself first and foremost a child of God, secondly a child of the world–including LOVING such Brit shows as Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Downton Abbey–and only thirdly a child of America.
A word about China: While I refuse to demonize the Chinese as the MSM conditions Americans to do, I also refuse to hold them up as some benevolent, humanitarian ideal. China is THE most blatant economic colonizer in the world, AEB their widespread and systematic exploitation of Africa. Talk to some Africans and see how many of them like the Chinese!
horror/thriller author S.A. HoganNEWTON FINN / JANUARY 6, 2021
I'm afraid I must take offense when you paint things with a broad brush–which is almost invariably a no-no, the stuff of which prejudice is made–and say "Americans care only about America." While our media may encourage an ethnocentric, myopic viewpoint of the world, the cure is to A. explore the viewpoints of other countries, and B. get out there -- both of which I've done, spending > 11 years in Third World or developing countries, an experience that has been equal parts broadening and humbling. I consider myself first and foremost a child of God, secondly a child of the world–including LOVING such Brit shows as Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Downtown Abbey–and only thirdly an American.
A word about China: While I refuse to demonize the Chinese as the MSM conditions Americans to do, I also refuse to hold them up as some benevolent, humanitarian ideal. China is THE most blatant economic colonizer in the world, AEB their widespread and systematic exploitation of Africa. Talk to some Africans and see how many of them like the Chinese!
horror/thriller author S.A. HoganPAP-A-LAP / JANUARY 6, 2021
"Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts." Not entirely correct. Because of the basic decency of the American people, their imperial government is compelled to use its MSM mouthpiece to sell wars to them in explicitly moral terms. First, their attention is relentlessly focused ON a specific foreign stage. Then, the leader of that foreign country is demonized as a new Hitler. Finally, the responsibility of the exceptional nation is asserted to protect the citizens of that foreign country from their demonic leader. This longstanding propaganda strategy of R2P (responsibility to protect), previously described by Caitlin and Diana (the other Johnstone), provides strong evidence that the character of the American people, as Caitlin indicates, is no worse than that of other nations. Indeed, is it not precisely the morality and decency of American citizens which are manipulated by their government and MSM to provide sanction and support for evil deeds?JOHN DAY / JANUARY 6, 2021
Looks to me like a bad case of Great Wall Envy – and the relentless pursuit of the equally anachronistic foreign policy of Attila the Hun. I'll start to feel better when we get a history major as Secretary of State. Hey, a guy can always dream.JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021
America got shot with an animal tranquilizer dart in November 1963.
I'm praying for her to wake up and stand.HERB WEBER / JANUARY 6, 2021
As is always the case, governments being the ideal environment for psychopaths, they eventually are saturated with them. The longer they are around, and the more resources they have, the worse they get. America is peaking, I wonder what nation takes their place?FRED GROSSO / JANUARY 6, 2021
Excellent, Caitlin!JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021
Good discussion Caitlin. I only add that America could never do the things you suggest it needs to do with Trump and his goons in charge. With the Democrats we have a slim chance. I did not support Clinton in 2016 as I saw her a a hawk, and I found Biden to be a weak choice, but at least one we could work with, just barely. We have a lot of work ahead of us.PAP-A-LAP / JANUARY 6, 2021
The one and only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that one or the other, depending on the circumstance, prefers to drive the handcart to hell we are riding on a little slower, or faster if you prefer. The destination remains the same. They both use the same gang of armed goons to enforce their insanity.CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
That doesn't appear to be a difference to me – just fighting over the wheel that they've already pulled off the steering column, with all four feet still standing on the gas pedal.WRINKLE / JANUARY 6, 2021
Again, this "America" to which you refer. Which America? North or South or Central America? Canada or Mexico? And pardon me, but I am a citizen of the United States and we are not all one lump of ignorant xenophobic brainwashed yahoos. I support the Socialist Equality Party and have not voted for a mainstream party since 1992. We are Marxists. We are internationalists. Marx said "Workers of the WORLD" unite, not "Workers of Cleveland" or "Workers of Bogota" or "Workers of Tierra del Fuego".EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021
Coming back by plane in the 1960s to the US from France and nearing Idlewild Airport a young American sailor shouted out to to rest of the passengers, 'Back to the real world!'WRINKLE / JANUARY 6, 2021
Ignorance knows no bounds.HERB WEBER / JANUARY 6, 2021
Perhaps America polices the world so China doesn't have to. If America didn't, in their fashion, China wouldn't bother either and would let the 'turbulent' spots just rip. They only police their own 'trouble' spots like H. K. and Sinjiang and next Taiwan perhaps.CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
Excuse me, in which "turbulent" spots isn't the turbulence due to US action?KHATIKA / JANUARY 6, 2021
Hear, hear.EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021
How could things be any worse than the US coming in and bomb you back to the stone age killing millions. Let people take care of their own problems or at least have them solved regionally. The number one problem today is people determined on telling others how to live their lives.SOLLY / JANUARY 6, 2021
Much of what you say about America's lack of involvement with foreign affairs is correct. If you asked the average American citizen where is Yemen? You would get a blank stare. But ask them about some Hollywood celebrity or sports figure and you'll get a long reply. There are many reasons for this, but I would start with our school systems that don't teach much in the way of geography, but plenty to do with sports.
When it comes to your comments about China, you are overlooking some very disturbing trends. The repression of the Chinese people is best exemplified by the sheer number of cameras watching the public at all times and the use of artificial intelligence to pick out people the government feels are a threat. This technology can and will be used around the world as more governments become increasingly totalitarian.
BTW, there are a large number of Americans, myself included, that enjoy watching British programs and have no need to have the actors replaced by American actors. I watch on our Public Television network and I thoroughly enjoy the programs. Especially the mystery stories, as I find them to be more thoughtful and less action-oriented than American mysteries.
I would like to see you address the issue of Australia's exporting of large quantities of coal to China. It seems that money has a great deal of power in your country as well as in mine.EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021
No need for a long essay on the subject. Americans are violent, egotistic, egoistic, ignorant and greedy.CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
In many cases you are correct, but I think that analysis applies more to our governing class than to the man in the street. The average American is consumed with earning a living and watching TV. They have little knowledge of the world at large nor do they have any interest in learning about the greater world.
Many of your criticisms could be directed to people around the world. We Americans don't have a corner on your listed qualities but we are certainly in the top 10 of those that share our worst qualities.MR OBVIOUS / JANUARY 6, 2021
Ahem! Not all of us, pal. How many Americans (and which American country are you thinking of?) do you actually know? I am a citizen of the United States and I am none of the things on your list, nor are the majority of people I call friends. I have also many friends in other countries around the world. I am sure that violent, egotistic, ignorant, and greedy people can be found all over the world. See Brexit, for instance.ZARD / JANUARY 6, 2021
We are a empire in decline riding on power and might derived from the WW2 victory and addicted to a system that is totally inadequate for the present. Like any dying behemoth do not get close as the thrashing around is extremely dangerous. We will change if modern civilization is so fortunate to survive.CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
'A nation with a collective, room-temp IQ'
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" ~ H.L. Mencken
left（ZOG）right =Divide and ConquerLLOYD / JANUARY 6, 2021
Of course, Mencken was a cynical old bugger, but he obviously had reached the exasperation point when he said it.GLOW / JANUARY 6, 2021
Thought provoking as usual, if somewhat off base on various items as perceived from a different biases and experience directed perspective. I must wonder which way the wind blows across various identity assumptions witnessed in progression through original article and various response comments in order to develop and ultimately reach the far shores of some often somewhat exotic islands of opinion.. Conclusion, madness in humans is directly proportional to the degree of logic they attempt to apply when trying to explain illogical realities. Pinball comes to mind, yes, shiny silver balls of steel beating rapidly between bells and rubber thumper bumpers working for that bonus "pop"!CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021
I agree with most of what you said. You just missed one part. That is, mainstream America doesn't hate just brown-skinned foreigners, it also hates brown-skinned Americans. This country was founded on genocide and slavery of brown-skinned people, both foreign and domestic. That foundation is still there, informing all kinds of government and corporate (actually, the same thing) actions, both foreign and domestic.
You recognize that we here in the US are distracted by propaganda, but I don't think you realize just how extensive and hermetically sealed the propaganda bubble really is. Pretty much the only mention of the military in the MSM is someone thanking them for their "service" or tear-jerking commercials featuring happy, healthy, intact soldiers coming home to happy, healthy, intact, and overjoyed families. Genocide, torture, and destruction of people in foreign countries have never been my idea of service. Any mention of what the happy soldiers were coming home from is strictly forbidden unless it is to say what a great thing they were doing there.
If you get your information about the world from the MSM in this country, you might hardly be aware that other countries exist except when the oligarchs want to incite fear, hatred, contempt, or pity depending on their agenda for the country in question.
Despite all of this, some of us are aware, but trying to change the minds of the MSM brain-washed is nearly impossible. Believe me, I have tried. They just get angry. I have even had a former friend tell me that I need to stop reading and stop thinking and go along with everyone else. Further, with all of the covidian nonsense going on now, people are so terrified that they'll drop dead if they set foot outside their front door without a full hazmat suit and respirator that they are thinking even less clearly than normal, exacerbated by hypoxia and hypercapnia induced by face coverings. This is just a new and even more effective way to keep the propaganda bubble sealed. Next, they'll have to worry about whether their whole family will be hauled off to an internment camp if someone gets the sniffles. This is not an exaggeration:
https://te.legra.ph/Draconian-NY-Police-State-Assembly-Bill-Indefinite-Detainment-of-Disease-Carriers -- Global-Research-01-05
This happened in Canada but could be happening in New York very soon:
People living in existential terror don't have time to worry about the atrocities their government is committing outside of their sphere of experience. The oligarchs are counting on that.STEPHEN MORRELL / JANUARY 6, 2021
The country was NOT founded on genocide, idiot. You have obviously been brainwashed by the 1619 Project, a mass of unbridled historical falsification.JIMMY ROBERTS / JANUARY 6, 2021
Here is one of the most insightful recent conversations on the rise of China and the decline of the US empire which will never reach the mainstream, between Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/IquO_TcMZIQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentROBERT L PHILLIPS / JANUARY 6, 2021
I think Caitlin's post on the current state of American society was a Curate's egg : good in parts only. She is absolutely correct to draw attention to US capitalism's desire to impose its dominion over the entire world by ANY means, including war, if necessary.
Trump has confined himself to launching trade wars against US capitalism's rivals – Russia, China, and the EU trading bloc. But the US military has kept up its murderous blood-letting in the Middle East and in Yemen, where the prize is control over the region's oil and gas reserves.
Caitlin is, however, way off beam in her assessment of the "average" American, who, she believes, is only interested in American affairs, flag-waving, and TV. This pessimism simply does not correspond with reality. American cities have been ablaze with revolt for the last 2 years, in response to US police murders of innocent people, and especially black people. These mass demonstrations reflect a revolutionary state of mind amongst wide layers of American working class people, especially the youth of America who correctly see no future for themselves in capitalist America. What these mass revolts lack is POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, ORGANISATION, AND DISCIPLINE, in the form of a Revolutionary Socialist Party. This is the key unresolved task, not only in the US, but all over the world, which has also seen mass demonstrations in support of their American brothers and sisters.
Caitlin is also seriously misguided in regarding Stalinist China as a "role model" for the world's working class. It most certainly is not. This corrupt, totalitarian military/police dictatorship is built upon cheap labour, and close collaboration with international capital in ruthlessly exploiting the Chinese working class. Chinese capital is, of course, now spread around the world, exploiting the working classes of the world too.
The so-called Chinese "Communist" Party is an ugly charade. The country is run by billionaires, who draw the red cloak of "Communism" over their rotten corruption, unaccountable powers, and rigid, bureaucratic control over all aspects of Chinese society. The "model" for this regime, and its completely degenerate and corrupt leaders, is Stalin's Soviet Union from 1924 – 1953, when the psychopath, mass murderer, and tyrant expired, to the relief of the bulk of the Soviet people, groaning under his military/police dictatorship.
A Stalinist China is most definitely not to be admired, or emulated. I can assure Caitlin that she would not be allowed to run her platform in Beijing. On the contrary, she would probably be put in jail for "deviationism," which is Stalinist doublespeak for refusing to repeat, parrot fashion, every word that emanates from the mouths of the Chinese billionaire, fake "Communist" leaders. Did she not learn anything from the Tianamen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989?
The Chinese masses face the same political task as their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world, namely, building a Revolutionary Socialist Party to usher in a genuine Socialist society, free of capitalists, Stalinists, and fatcat bureaucrats, who are living like Kings in a country where the vast majority of Chinese people, especially those in the countryside, live an impoverished, hand-to-mouth existence.
Only world Socialist Revolution, along the lines laid out by the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917, led by Lenin and Trotsky, can save the world from all the horrors of modern capitalism, and its inexorable drift towards a third, and final, nuclear World War.RUSST / JANUARY 6, 2021
I very much agree with most of what the author states, but I agree that holding China and it's authoritarian regime up as anything to emulate is wrong. But that nation is indeed racing past the United States in many technological areas.
I tend to agree with her assessment of 'most Americans,' however, as the vast majority could not pass a basic current events quiz, don't know who Julian Assange is, and readily welcome ever stricter controls over the populace due to their fears of – anything and everything, including CV19.
Not all, but the majority.KEITH HAYES (K-DOG) / JANUARY 6, 2021
Thank you Caitlin for an excellent article spelling out the way it really is with the most disruptive force on the planet – the US!CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021
Americans I am one but do you think I have a choice? Most of the people I know. Ok to be honest, all of them, consider themselves well informed. That perhaps only 1 in 1000 of us even know about the Ask Noway Landslide last week is not our fault. Ok maybe the other 999 could be like me and find such things out but it is hard work to be informed in America. Lets just say I found out about it on a fluke Ok? The fact is our media does not report news. It entertains and sells stuff and calls itself news because the word attracts eyeballs. Americans have no ideal about the development of European infrastructure and how far Americans have been left behind. But is that our fault? Nobody told us.
You spend a lot of time bashing Americans like it was our fault we are ignorant. Fact is serious social pressure keeps us ignorant. Do you also blame slaves for their servitude? And besides what about nerds like me who ARE YOUR FANS. And also happen to be AMERICAN.
Some of us here want to have our fellows to grow a civic conscience. It is an idle wish since all we can do is compete and consume as that is our indoctrination from birth.
You should be more sensitive. I know you have conservative assholes who don't think and only care about appearances and looking good where you live too. Imagine if there were 10 times as many and you have to endure their stupidity every damn day. How would you like it? Walk in our shoes. Do you think we like this shit?
Dissing people who live in a cultural wasteland is not a good use of time. As a great man once said:
'Forgive them father, they know not what they do.ANNA QUAY / JANUARY 6, 2021
I made it clear that Americans are the victims of imperialist propaganda brainwashing. My American husband who co-wrote this article says stop being so precious about your nationality.JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021
As a Brit I hear you. This political ignorance is certainly not confined to America. I would go as far as to say it extends to all of the English speaking countries of the world. Oh, I would also suggest that you can throw in most of Europe, then add Asia into the mix. It is an affliction that affects humanity. It is borne from years of being ruled by a hierarchy. We have a slave mentality and it is only individuals who are awake. Collective groups of people usually belong to some organisation and therefore by the nature of their organisation simply follow the doctrine/dogma or ideology of that organisation.RON CAMPBELL / JANUARY 6, 2021
The very smallest and most abused minority is the individual. Collectivism has secured the power to assault them at every opportunity. Which is curious, since "not like us" is the very foundation of racism, war, and an abundant other evils.EVELYN / JANUARY 6, 2021
Once again Ms Johnstone hits it out of the park with an article that brings goosebumps to this old man. The United States government is completely corrupt and its world-wide killing sprees are way worse than anything that Mr. Hitler ever did. No morals and no ethics and no empathy are the hallmarks of its nature that need to be done away with ASAP. Thank You Ms Johnstone for you honest assessment of the United States Monster.CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021
Hate DJT all you want, but what he did to significantly reduce human trafficking will never be forgotten by those of us who cared and paid attention to the victims. Watch for a sharp human trafficking increase in during the Biden/Obama/ Harris/Buttigege Administration.JUPITER / JANUARY 6, 2021
Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump
https://www.courthousenews.com/prosecution-of-kiddie-traffickers-plummeted-under-trump/KHATIKA / JANUARY 6, 2021
Does this mean Kanye West can devote more time to his upcoming presidential campaign
After biden steps down he is slotted as kamala harris running mate.
Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It
Andrew Bacevich points to an interesting essay by Richard Hanania about the "threat" from China as perceived by the U.S. establishment.
China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology
The author says that China, even as it is growing and has passed the U.S. economically, is not an enemy of the U.S. and no danger to U.S. or others' security:While China is not blameless, one could reasonably make the argument that, from an international perspective, it has had easily the most peaceful rise to great power status of any nation of the last several hundred years.
Perhaps, as the McMasters of the world claim, this is all because Beijing is biding its time in hopes of world domination. Alternatively, China may be an inwardly focused civilization that, while it may have disputes with its neighbors, is not on a mission to fundamentally remake the world. While it would naturally prefer rules that favor it and resists any principles that would legitimize regime change supported from abroad, Beijing does not seek to fundamentally replace the U.N. or rewrite international law. Its strategy has mostly sought stability and growth within the rules of the system developed by Western democracies in the aftermath of the Second World War. While its current position of strength is recent, it has not yet broken from this precedent.
Nor does it, as far as is known, plan to do so.
Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth. That ideological argument was used to seek and kill various 'dictator' dragons abroad. China has proved them to be wrong. And therein lies the real danger to the U.S. establishment.
China's development over the last 40 years proves that it is not necessary to wage wars in foreign countries to be secure and to prosper. For U.S. ideologues that is a bad example that should not exist:If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified? What will it say about the American system if the U.S. is no longer the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, having been surpassed by a country that became the dominant power in East Asia without even paying lip service to democratic ideals?
Ultimately, Americans themselves might begin asking themselves difficult questions about how well they have been served by their own system, including the sacrifices in blood and treasure they are regularly asked to make abroad.
That would be really bad as the monetary fodder in the trough the national security establishment is feasting from would suddenly be seen as an unnecessary waste. That is the real danger to the blob:Ultimately, the danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony . Perhaps not every state is destined to become a liberal democracy, and nations with very different political systems can coexist peacefully, as many countries in East Asia do. Maybe the U.S. will not always be at the frontier of military and economic power, and the country that overtakes it may have completely different attitudes about the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens.
While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind. Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong.
What then is the U.S. establishment going to do?
The U.S. rose to global supremacy on the back of two world wars which destroyed the industrial capacities of its main competitors while the wars hardly touched its own country. Could it arrange for a comparable event, by maybe instigating a conflict between Japan and China, that would again lead to a major destruction of global production capabilities while the U.S. stays on the sidelines?
Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons , as another writer proposes, may be a way to get there:What to do [about China]? There is one way to square the circle. The Biden administration should reconsider reflexive U.S. opposition to "friendly proliferation."
Taiwan is in greatest need of such a weapon, but developing one would be highly destabilizing, since Beijing would be tempted to preempt the process. The alternative would be for Washington to fill Taiwan's need, with a profound impact on Sino-American relations. Proliferation would not be a good solution -- but it might be the least bad one.
No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States.
It is easier to know what not to do with China than what to do. Don't go to war. Don't stage a new cold war. Don't sacrifice core values and basic interests. Don't make the issue all about Washington. Don't waste money and credibility on overambitious, unsustainable attempts at containment. Don't attempt to dictate to the PRC.
But what to do? The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do. Including, perhaps, developing nuclear weapons.
I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.
Posted by b on January 5, 2021 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink
namulith , Jan 5 2021 19:30 utc | 1Total madness!Michael Droy , Jan 5 2021 19:32 utc | 2Fortunately the Taiwanese are smart enough not to use nuclear weapons.james , Jan 5 2021 19:40 utc | 3
Seems to me that China threatens mostly Big American companies - Google Facebook etc, and therefore the US stock market valuations that depend on huge growth expectations remaining credible.thanks b... the idea to stop when digging a ditch for yourself is not something the usa has ever demonstrated in my memory.. it would be nice if the usa could change its approach on the world stage, but at this point i give it very low odds.. instead the usa will be forced to adjust to a different reality, much like all the innocent people in the usa left behind by a system that is broken.... the usa is becoming what it has failed to address and becoming a failed state... it seems like it is now on one of those china bullet trains to reach this failed state destination, as no other options are likely to be explored here forward...gottleb , Jan 5 2021 19:41 utc | 4
i am presently reading a book by linda mcquaig given to me for christmas - the sport and prey of capitalists - .... essentially the capitalist template used in the usa the past 40 or more years is being pushed onto canada - privatization and allowing big finance firms like blackrock into the halls of canuck political power to decide the direction that we have to privatize our public institutions... again - we are back to the conversation that @pshycohistorian likes to focus on - public, verses private finance... these financial monoliths are dominating the landscape of the west... i don't know how we move forward and put them to rest... i suspect a financial collapse is the only way, and i am not convinced that the new system will be better then the last... the predators, although a small percentage on the planet, are especially focused on there desire for financial power and dominance.... is china headed in the same direction?? or russia?? i can't tell... as for canada, the future looks grim if one was to just read this book i refer to...Agree 100%. We can't expect the USA to suffer its own Shock Doctrine can we? The American Fantasy of World Savior is too engrained in Establishment thought to give up its American Exceptionalist, Unitary Super Power, Plunder for Profit, in the name of FREEDOM all while doing Blankfein's God's Work without a fight.Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 5 2021 19:45 utc | 5
Imagine the horror, the horror I tell you, of American Introspection at the nation's utter failure at everything it pretended at.Isn't it going to be forbidden, in a couple of week, for any country to have nuclear weapons?Jackrabbit , Jan 5 2021 19:50 utc | 6
As for China, I believe it's conclusively demonstrated the superiority of its sociopolitical model. Growing economy, growing prosperity, growing influence in the world, no wars."... Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It [China] "vk , Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7
Just ideas? Or maybe they have plans that they are already implementing?
Seems like the latter to me. But then I've been saying (repeatedly) that everything changed in 2013-14 when USA realized that the Russia-China Alliance had teeth.
!!Some Chinese commenter here please help me, but, if I'm not mistaken, China has a doctrine that in the US thinktankland they call "China's Peaceful Development Doctrine". In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).powerandpeople , Jan 5 2021 20:09 utc | 8
So, the author from the Paladium Magazine is reinventing the wheel here, as China makes no secret of its global doctrine.
I maintain my opinion that nukes eliminate the prospect of another Kondratiev Cycle being forced on a world war. Nukes not only destroy infrastructure - it also destroy land and air themselves. It subtracts space from capitalism.Funny how USA always has a geopolitical move or suggestion that invites death and destruction to two or more other countries very far from US shores.Caliman , Jan 5 2021 20:12 utc | 9
Must be profitable.
Nuclear bombs are passe. There is no 'day after' first use.
Missiles, drones, precision muntions,advanced jamming etc are the new army, navy, and airforce rolled into one.
All that is left is peace and cooperation.
But in reference to China and Taiwan - or any other pairing, for that matter - who would benefit from it?
Putting it another way, who would no longer benefit from it?"If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified?"karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:23 utc | 10
Good question; but note that the question itself assumes that "universal democratization" HAS in fact been the point of our imperial endeavors around the world. As can be seen from our close and personal relationships with the Gulf monarchies, the Egyptian tyrant, the SE Asia wars, and many many other examples to mention over the decades past, this is manifestly not true.
The truth is that "universal democratization" and the so-called "rules-based order" post ww2 have ever only been a narrative justifying (first) imperial anti-socialism and (now) anti-localism. The truth is that what they are deathly afraid of is losing the all-important NARRATIVE. Because, as the article points out, once the narrative of the savior nation is lost, how can the expense in lives and treasure and thereby the feeding of the Mil-Sec-Think Tan Complex) possibly be justified.Given the gigantic problems facing the Outlaw US Empire that are detailed in the links I've posted today on the week-in-review thread, I'll add this interview that mostly covers its current domestic turmoil. Furthermore, given the massive skewing of economic data over the past 30 years, those sitting in DC haven't a clue as to the severity of the domestic crisis. From the interview:Stonebird , Jan 5 2021 20:26 utc | 11
"Colin Cavell: Failing to address the massive problems of unemployment and lack of jobs, failing to address the massive wealth gap between rich and poor, failing to ensure adequate healthcare to millions, failing to protect the American public during the course of the current Covid-19 pandemic, failing to address the festering racial divisions, especially with regards to the criminal justice system, and failing to instill a unified trust in the governing apparatus and ruling economic class, then, yes, Biden will preside over a collapsing economy, a divided country, and a distrustful citizenry, and thus open the door to either another term for an older Trump or some other demagogue or outright fascist to 'restore order'."
And all that's primed to worsen more before it improves any. And the international situation vastly differs from that of the Great Depression years with Fascism rising in Europe and Asia. Hudson in his talk and the Keiser's guest both mention the chasm opening economically between China and the Empire--they're heading in opposite directions as we've been discussing here for months. If the mainland got any inkling that Taiwan was going to be given nukes, it would be occupied the next day. Japan and RoK both want to be rid of their occupier which is preventing them from gaining economically by further engaging with China. And the same can be said for the EU. The bottom line is no nation shares the interests of the Outlaw US Empire excepting perhaps Poland and Ukraine--not even Occupied Palestine.
The Parasite has almost devoured its Host, and in the process has disarmed it. Those sitting in DC can't see that fact because the Parasite controls their collective brains, so we get treated to idiotic essays like the one at Foreign Policy b linked above. Obama chose to feed the Parasite in 2009 instead of having it executed. And that's why we are in deep bantha pudu today.I think the main problem are the two different approaches taken by the US or Chinese, which are diametrically different. The Chinese seem to use a " Cumulative " approach, while the US is based on what I call " Winnowing " as a state. Take their respective attitudes towards the poor.Mike from Jersey , Jan 5 2021 20:41 utc | 12
First the Chinese; Cumulative , we are all in this together . If everyone has a "job" be it ever-so lowly, selling food on a street corner for example, then for the Chinese this is a "plus". The person is more or less responsible for his own well being, is not a burden on the State for handouts, and could be (potentially) taxable etc. The object being that ALL Chinese then become positive factors in the society. They are also more motivated because they have a "place" in society. The recent case of Jack Ma and an IPO is not the opposite, but he was trying to get ahead by means that would have led to more unemployment - on the back of the Chinese Government. He was not adding to the cumulative good of the country. Only his own riches. (The Chinese do have billionaires and riches - but are constrained by Corporate credit ratings as explained on a previous - very interesting - thread. Thanks to: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2021 2:08 utc | 162. The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-001)
The US. The attitude is to beat out the chaff leaving only the "kernel ". To " Winnow " the population leaving only the top. ie the poor are sidelined, they become a problem for the Government (needing support, food etc.). A net negative value to US society. (The Rich also get handouts from the Fed. as free money has become an habitude, but that is an another way of winnowing out the chaff - as others do NOT get the trillion dollar handouts) The poor have no "place" in a society that has rejected them and so are less motivated. They must fend for themselves and are expected to obey. If they do not there are always the police to enforce obedience.
"Cumulative = win-win", and "Winnowing = Only the top win".It always gets me when the American press says that there can't be peace without "democracy" and "liberalization."karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 13
Huh ... try 20 million dead in America's wars since WW II.
And as for "democracy," living in America I would love to see some of it.Stonebird @10--uncle tungsten , Jan 5 2021 20:48 utc | 14
Your "Winnowing" differs little from Zero-sum. The big problem is the Outlaw US Empire's initial storyline is greatly at odds with Zero-sum. As I've written many times at MoA, The Constitution's Preamble that's taught to all citizens says the government's purpose is to "form a more perfect Union...," and what's happening now--for several decades in reality--is the exact opposite. US politicians and business magnates from the Guilded Age knew very well that the way to keep the peace was for everyone to perceive they had a stake in the system. Neoliberalism's Zero-sum throws that rationale under the bus, which in turn has generated the current domestic turmoil. The one thing Trump failed to do was to promise to all Americans they'd have a stake in the system, which is essentially what Hitler and Mussolini told their masses. Trump intoned and shouted MAGA, but did nothing to show that he was serious about doing so. That's why he failed. And that's why the D leg of the Duopoly will also break. It's that break we must act upon when it occurs.Caliman #8Paul Damascene , Jan 5 2021 20:50 utc | 15
I think the oligarchic death cult that manages USAi affairs is not the slightest bit interested in "universal democratization": just scan the homeland to see that. The death cult is only interested in wealth accumulating their way. Every year they go into a demented trance screaming about the evil of taxes. Whenever a crisis emerges or a bill goes to the House they scramble to append as many 'tax relief measures' as they can.
The USAi oligarchy and their death cult regulate as many US political candidates as possible to destroy any chance of a government introducing a universal education or universal health system that will need taxes to supply it. Look at what just happened with the #forcethevote attempt to get medicare for all to commence in the USAi. It was the best opportunity in a century to implement it and the only possible advocates totally ignored the initiative.
They became the FraudSquad instead: they used the M4All advocacy to get elected and then ignored their electorate.
Something like %70+ of the people approve of this and the best advocates bowed to the oligarchy death cult and have been since the day they were elected.
So what might the oligarchs think of Chinese people with their resounding support for the Communist Party of China? They will hate them with every bone in their body, they will be furious that this country resists and denies them a chance to plunder it - yet again. The oligarchic death cult will be extremely angry that a single country presents an excellent and achievable system of government and financial management and community betterment to all the other nations on earth.
The oligarchy death cult will do anything to destroy them. And they have the perfect compliant tool in the Biden Harris Presidency.b - insightful perspectives.m , Jan 5 2021 20:51 utc | 16
But while I'd agree that China's threat to US ruling ideologies features foreign relations as the leading edge of conflict, the danger of a good alternative may be even greater as it concerns domestic policies.
If a reckoning comes for US ruling elites, the prosecution may begin with the offshoring of US jobs, broad-based prosperity, manufacturing and strategic infrastructure development. Indeed Trump's greatest threat might have been drawing a dotted line if not a solid one to the culprits.
Exhibit B becomes the Chinese model's successes in poverty eradication, general rises in broad-based prosperity, stunning growth in STEM capacities and jobs with futures and now, obviously, competence in public-health crisis management.
The next phase may be litigating the hollowing out of the MIC itself through the corruption of the national defense by a revolving door of staff officers, lobbyists, tankies, bureaucrats and legislators for-profit, for-show, for-corruption.
An additional phase, should the human race survive it, may be tribunals -- such as those of the Reign of Terror, in the event of revolution, or, in the event of war, along the lines of war-crimes tribunals under Chinese / Russian direction, once a suitable city in the smoldering ruins of the continental US equivalent to Nuremberg in German can be found.It's not so much the American people but the people of the "blob" themselves who increasingly question American exceptionalism. That's why they become ever more crazy and aggressive. They compensate their (unconscious) self-doubts with fanatism.Lucci , Jan 5 2021 20:55 utc | 17USA upcoming false flag ?William Gruff , Jan 5 2021 20:58 utc | 18
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_89502.shtmlThe empire may be considering arming and provoking its vassals near China into nuclear war, but America would never consider anything so terrible as trying to cripple China with biological weapons! That would be just crazy!Prof K , Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19
Wouldn't it?There are several levels of analysis here that are being muddled by theoretical ignorance.Hal Duell , Jan 5 2021 21:16 utc | 20
The liberal theory says that political democracy and free markets create economic growth, responsible government, mutual gains from trade, economic interdependence, and a zone of peace, reinforced and cemented by multilateral institutions. The liberal zone of peace is threatened, though, by authoritarian regimes with state-run economies, and the former need to contain and overthrow the latter.
Realist theory starts with the state and the state-system, which is anarchic and thus produces conflicts over the balance of power. Defensive realists say that a prudent grand strategy would focus solely on territorial integrity and sovereignty, because any aggressive actions only produce balancing. Offensive realists say that hegemony is the only source of security and that great powers should go to war and wage the arms race to achieve it.
Marxists say that none of these dynamics are distant from the class relationships and competitive dynamics of capitalism and so both liberal and realist arguments turn out to be a crude apologia for imperialism -- for the class-based strategies of dominant states.
With this in mind, we can turn the US' China problem. As the article says, China poses no threat to the US state, nation and territory, so the defensive realist argument for containing China is groundless. Likewise, China's economic growth and stability in the absence of liberal democracy also undermines liberal arguments about the conditions of war and peace in the world. Finally, the balancing of China and Russia against US primacy strategies has undermined offensive realist fantasies of hegemony.
So, what is actually driving US aggression vis-a-vis China?
The only answer is that the long-term material interests of the American capitalist class are threatened by the emergence of a superior competitor, namely, China.
This is true in several respects, most of which I can't cover here.
But, China is building dense global relationships, and positioning itself as a central node of economic growth, technological prowess, social stability, manufacturing power, consumer demand, green innovation, and multilateral reliability.
The US is in deep trouble as a result. As the world becomes more China-centric, the major economic powers will stop funding US trade and government deficits. This will reduce the value of the dollar and diminish the global roles of the Treasury Dept and Federal Reserve, and of Wall Street. The US will fail to meet its debt obligations and the standard of living will plummet as debt-financed consumption winds down. The USG will face fiscal dilemmas, all of which pose serious problems: cut social programs and risk riots; cut the military and risk the empire; raise taxes and risk capital flight and economic stagnation. Given the dynamics of American domestic politics, these dilemmas will not be solved.
These are the underlying material fears of the US ruling class and they EXPLAIN the real drive to containment and war with China.
In short, Marxism is a better science of world politics than are liberalism and realism.Nuclear Japan? Maybe. Nuclear South Korea? Maybe. It could be argued that both already are by virtue of the U.S. occupation of both.Dork , Jan 5 2021 21:39 utc | 21
Nuclear Taiwan? I don't see that happening, and any attempt to do so would offer China the perfect excuse to formally reabsorb that Chinese island.American paranoia over China (and Russia) seeking to usurp the US and take over as world hegemon is pure paranoia and projection. It's the western model of the world that considers it normal and desirable to have one country or ideology ruling the entire globe.psychohistorian , Jan 5 2021 21:49 utc | 22
China has no history of using its power to force the world to accept it as sole ruler. The reason the US and the west are so paranoid about China et al is because they give themselves the "divine" right to force their ideology onto others, first with Christianity, a monotheistic religion that has converting the heathens, savages and infidels to its screed at the center of its philosophy, and then with liberalism + capitalism (now neoliberal rentier capitalism) and they, falsely, assume every country and ideology is like that.
American and western European foreign policy is a study in Psychological Projection 101. When imperialists like Porcine Pompeo and Lurch Kerry accuse other states of aggressive behavior, violating sovereignty and so forth, they are actually talking about their own country's actions.In the US, now that corporations are people, and since the corporations and tools of finance are privately owned, the concept of democracy is a lie or myth if that offends you.rolland rouillard , Jan 5 2021 21:54 utc | 23
That is why I keep dragging the ideology discussion to the reality of public/private finance.
It comes down to risk management decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. In the West now those risk management decisions have a ROI skew which includes a profit component that does not exist in China risk management decisions.
We are in a civilization war because the West will not show well in a social system merit comparison...and the elite know this....hence the ongoing shit show to control the narrative.First off all....there is a difference between WAR and PIRACYsteven t johnson , Jan 5 2021 22:10 utc | 24
I did not see any bomb landing on US ground or soldier.
Second....free trade agreement is responsible for China economic succes.
Finally...bring back the production on US GROUND...that will kill China
WE are the one responsable...Stop blaming others.Prof K@18 has a very optimistic scenario where China becomes the safe haven for capital and then other countries stop using the dollar as the world currency and t-bills are passed over in favor of the RMB and investors will prefer investing in Shanghai stock market because their money will be more liquid thereand something something will happen so that they (whoc?) won't finance US trade deficits. I don't understand this last, as it is entirely unclear in what sense US trade deficits are being financed. In fact, actual trade deficits aren't being financed. But then the balance of payments isn't just trade in goods, but financial services and US stock markets and yes, government treasuries are also part of that.Cyril , Jan 5 2021 22:31 utc | 25
It is entirely unclear to me how socialist China, where as of now the ren min bi is not freely convertible, where the government has enormous influence on import and export of capital and capitalists are not only not guaranteed bailing out by the Reserve Bank but regulations are much more onerous than in the US especially with enforcement by prison sentences even for the wealthy...it is unclear to me how this China can replace the US as safe haven, at least while remaining some sort of socialist country at all, even in a NEP-is-the-road-to-socialism kind of way. Further, the US role as the safe haven was not just historically due to it's relative victory (as compared to its capitalist rivals,) in WWI and WWII, but due to its military power. The US pursues a policy of rule or ruin, and ruins selected easy targets on a regular basis (since Bush the senior at the latest,) just to keep the point vivid in everyone's minds. The dollar is not founded on US economic production/productivity but on blood. It is impossible to imagine today's China becoming a capitalist policeman guarding the gates of the bazaar and collecting backsheesh, so to speak. The Chinese capitalists would have to really take over and seriously re-organize Chinese society to do this.
This all sounds pie-in-the-sky at best, I think. Except that's prettifying the ideal, I think. I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.@bRobert Browning , Jan 5 2021 22:36 utc | 26
Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons
The link is to an article by Doug Bandow, titled "America's Asian Allies Need Their Own Nukes". Bandow recommends "friendly nuclear proliferation".
This is how far the US has decayed: that a respected journal like Foreign Policy should publish such insanity.
And yes, it's totally insane. The US is not the only country capable of proliferation. The day after Taiwan gets nuclear weapons, so will Mexico and Hezbollah. The day after that , so will many other countries. It's impossible to foresee all the consequences of irresponsible proliferation, but one outcome is the most likely: doomsday for humanity.It won't be the Muslims who destroy Israel, it will the Chinese and the Chinese will will do it without firing a shot.blues , Jan 5 2021 22:42 utc | 27-// Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated [by Biden] for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. //-karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 22:57 utc | 28
PoliticoLets look at what China plans to do over the next 5 years . The article provides a very broad explanation then links to some specifics at the bottom, the item about the Yangtze River Economic Belt being most important. I found this bit of reporting highly important:Leftraru , Jan 5 2021 23:05 utc | 29
"More specifically, these days the government uses the five-year plans to reinforce and complement the market dynamic by providing regulation and guidance. That includes providing the legal and social framework, such as issuing monetary and fiscal policies, providing public goods and services, such as building high-speed rails, and correcting for market failures like pollution."
There's a vast difference in focus between China and the West--China's sharply focused on its development in ways the West isn't whatsoever, and it makes certain its citizenry knows that and everyone's working as a team--every job has its own value and is important. The best explanation I have is that China is doing while the West is watching and not doing; therefore, China continues to grow ahead of those standing watching with their jaws agape.
China outnumbers the Outlaw US Empire by more than one billion people. That's a huge team working together to advance their nation and themselves. Within the Empire, at least 30% of the labor force is idle and not even counted for unemployment purposes since they aren't actively looking for non-existent jobs while about 24% of the active labor force is unemployed. That's 54% of your human capital that's not being used at all to better themselves and their nation. Honestly, which one has the better outlook?
The enemies of the USA reside within it. Yeah, I've said that before and the evidence continues to prove I'm correct.All of this makes me think about the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century according to Vladimir Putin: The fall of the Soviet Union. Not because of the shrink of the Russian Empire, but for the loss of an equal to the USA in the international stage. That would make the remaining superpower to have some sort of delusional sense of destiny, as seen in Fukuyama's 'End of History'.c1ue , Jan 5 2021 23:14 utc | 30
How the situation evolves in a timeframe of 5-10 years in the future is hard to evaluate given the many factors that will influence the outcome but IMO, the only thing that can be taken for granted is the further the USA gets weaker, the more dangerous it becomes for the future of Humanity.
My first post at MoA, keep on with the good work :)I would add that the threat China poses isn't just ideological - it is operational.karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 23:35 utc | 31
The US derives enormous benefit from the US dollar as reserve currency; from the USD as alternative savings vehicle of choice by foreigners against their own currency; by all manner of favorable international institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
Secondly, China isn't some bare assed Middle Eastern terrorists or Central Asian mountain tribes. It has more people, it will or already has a larger economy and it is proceeding apace with technology development.
This is very different than Russia or even the Soviet Union, for example.
The West was always far bigger, wealthier and productive than the Soviet Union - this enabled all sorts of strategies like outspending on defense, buying job lots of puppet politicians in vassal states, etc.
This won't work with a China that is a bigger supplier as well as all of the other size-related advantages already noted.
Can the American oligarchs stand being 2nd fiddle in the medium term? Certainly in the long term? Would their domestic and foreign empires hold up?Sputnik publishes its own analysis , which relies rather heavily on Beijing-based American commentator Thomas Pauken who has his own credibility issues as readers will discover at the article's conclusion.Dr. George W Oprisko , Jan 5 2021 23:41 utc | 32Putin and Xi have made it very clear....Clueless Joe , Jan 6 2021 0:04 utc | 33
WWIII will last 20 minutes....
Russians will become martyrs... The population of the NATO countries will be fried and burnt to a crisp...
What is so difficult about understanding that???
As for Taiwan.....
Were it to begin a Nuke program, would be invested and occupied within 24 hours, while USN ships lay at the bottom of their berths. That is, sunk.
INDY"democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth"spudski , Jan 6 2021 0:17 utc | 34
Well, anyone with any notion of history before 1800 knows this is absolute bullshit and those aren't linked at all.Bang on, Clueless Joe @31.nocovery , Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 35The affairs of humans are paltry compared to the vast changes that are taking place in nature: the Sixth Mass Extinction resulting from our destruction of habitat and the stability of the climate system. As methane has begun erupting from the enormous stores in the Arctic, accelerating the forcing and ice melt, we continue on our merry way oblivious to the fate that awaits us in the near future. Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.Paul , Jan 6 2021 0:32 utc | 36Here is some constructive China/US analysis from Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and republished on John Menadue's Australian site:S , Jan 6 2021 0:58 utc | 37
S , Jan 6 2021 1:04 utc | 38The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do.
Unless, of course, they want to become friends with China -- this should be prevented at all costs!America's fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason (RT, Tom Fowdy, January 4, 2021).Debsisdead , Jan 6 2021 1:21 utc | 39amerika's corrupt and undemocratic system of government will bring itself undone long before it could succeed in any attempt to disrupt China's system.S , Jan 6 2021 1:28 utc | 40
The stupid two party both the same just tell different lies farce is tearing the population apart, that's not going to get better it will get much much worse. In fact I suspect the 'prez-elect' is desperately hoping that the rethugs win both senate seats in Georgia as that provides him with a way to avoid following up on his vague minutely left of center campaign promises.
He may be outta luck cos at this stage with about 25% counted the Dems have a lead in both races. Still that's mostly urban electorates and as I understand 'urban' has become amerikan code for unwhite, so if the dems are trying to fluff this contest it will be by Dems failing to turn out the rural african american vote that saves creepy joe from embarrassment. We shall see cos the state dems may not agree to that.
Anyway the lack of a shared dialog between amerikans is getting worse as we see even here at moa where some of these fools come over all hysterical about quite minor issues. You get that when it is barely possible to pull a cigarette paper between dem & rethug policies on the big stuff, so all that is left are the same deliberately selected emotive issues such as abortion & capital punishment that both parties have been encouraging the citizens to obsess over for the last 60 years.
Those fools will go into a civil war over the emotive, totally irrelevant to living in a functioning society, issues which have been beaten up & propagandised for so long, and that will be the end of the threat to the rest of the world amerika poses.@steven t johnson #23:rico rose , Jan 6 2021 1:33 utc | 41I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.
Ergo, we must pursue a socialist multipolar world.An USA wich is not leader of the world is not possible. This is the central myth. Growing toward that or beeing it. But without that there is no imaginable USA. I come for myself to the conclusion, a multipolar world will cause breakup. As unit of one country it is just not agreement capable.Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 2:56 utc | 42In 1941, during WWII, Harry Truman wanted a brutal and prolonged conflict in order to inflict as much death and destruction in Europe as possible, declaring:James joseph , Jan 6 2021 3:11 utc | 43
"If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible."
The US - or at least its ruling elite as expressed by one of its key leaders and subsequent president - wanted the brutal war to continue for as long as possible, so that as many Russians and Germans as possible would be killed, (with other Europeans, including Jews, as inevitable collateral casualties in that process,) so that the US could then step in at the very end to dominate war-destroyed Europe.
Following the same playbook, the US warmongering/plundering elite would love it if they could pit Russia vs. China, Europe vs Russia, India vs. China, Japan vs. China, etc. So long as Eurasia is divided instead of cooperating with itself, the US remains the hegemon. Even better if a destructive war breaks out over there, that the US would sustain from over here, and step in as the noble saviours at the last minute to plunder the spoils.
The threat of the example that China happens to provide is not just about preserving America's ruling ideology ("universal democratization", "democracy", "freedom", etc.,) but also about preserving US-led geopolitical hegemony and US-led plutocracy.
The US-spouted ideology is a tool for its hegemony that in turn is a tool for its plutocracy to continue to enrich itself through plunder.
Any example of a country that serves its people, let alone one that does so without foreign wars and regime change subversion, cannot be allowed by a plutocracy that sustains itself through wars, subversion, parasitism, and plunder.
That means, unfortunately, we in the West will continue to be force-fed a barrage of propaganda from our establishment media so that people can't perceive that example, (and are even made to reject it as evil,) lest they start questioning the corrupt, plutocratic system they live in.Been thinking about what u said, rr 39..Blues guy , Jan 6 2021 3:16 utc | 44
Canada waits with baited breath... the burned out remains of empire's creche, negotiating for commerlcial union with their long traditional north-south continental neighbors. Perhaps the midwest could share in monopolizing grains ...
Or the sea coasts with the fisheries..... otherwise, i don't see it.
I think we are going to collapse to local economy, and maybe build bacl to anational economy, after some time. I don't know when.@ nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33:bystander04 , Jan 6 2021 3:53 utc | 45
Your Brainwashing is complete, you have swallowed the green pill and happily pay your carbon taxes and live in the fear artificially inserted into your sub/conscious having trusted proven liars and and having failed to verify things for yourself or trust your own senses. All thinking is filtered through your gree-coloured glasses.
You have swallowed wholly the manufactured-for-the-masses groupthink propaganda and espouse it from the core of your very soul, shout it from the mountaintops. Be the chickenlittle that you are and just come out and say, it will be cathartic and will feel good - THE SKY IS FALLING!
You and your ilk are fools, and are dangerously fascistic, climate fatalist totalitarians and you will not be satisfied until any and all opposing views/data/freedom of thought are outlawed.many comments mention "oligarchs" - and their power, nationally and internationally. I see a serious danger of the "Oligarchic Internationale" (a wordplay on the marxist 19th. century "Workers Internationale" with their slogan "Workers of the world, Unite! I say that for the very few MoA readers who are too young or not educated in history or economy, apology to the most MoA readers). The Oligarchs of the world (be it USA, China, Russia, Israel, and from wherever they may creep) are de facto already in an "Internationale" type organization - they say silently "Oligarchs of the World - Unite!" and they don't want a big war , which would upset the status quo. They will try to keep it for themselves and their offspring with very forceful means - Internationally enforced. Smaller proxi-wars may happen, but no WW 3, in my laymen's opinion.denk , Jan 6 2021 4:24 utc | 46
In a nutshell...Grieved , Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47
Chinese survival vs gringo hegemony.
There's this dirty little secret,
FUKUS is very safe ! ;-)
https://apjjf.org/2014/12/36/Vince-Scappatura/4178/article.html@39 rico rose and #41 James joseph - and others.Fnord13 , Jan 6 2021 4:57 utc | 48
I've been pondering lately this one question: what is the point of even having a country if the advantages to the ordinary citizen of having a country are no longer maintained?
In the US, if we can't get the federal government to act on behalf of the people, maybe the only answer is to discard that government. In the USA, this can be done, lawfully and peacefully (although with high drama, for sure) by the States acting in agreement to dissolve the Union.
The United States acts under a certain hindrance by having two levels of government, but this is also a great treasure as well. The top layer of government can go away, and the people will still have a sovereignty-based government to live under, and to be represented by, and to engage with.
So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios .
And rico rose, your point about the multi polar world is very important I think. When you say "a multipolar world will cause breakup" , I suggest that a multipolar world will better allow breakup. It's kind of the same thing, the same result from two different ends: from one end, the Demonstration Effect from the rest of the world including China showing to the US populace that there is a much better way to live, and from the US end, the general dissatisfaction growing among that populace as the federal government continues to be useless.
It could take a short decade at most, I reckon, for the rest of the world to be so impressive that US media can't hide it from the people any longer, and for US oligarchy to be so lawless and ravaging that the people simply can't take it anymore.
In a softer world that follows the example of Asia, and especially given the natural borders of North America anyway, there is no great threat from armed invasion to any of the States, even if each one were to stand alone. Many states would form new unions, but even so, the citizenry in place in each state possesses the firepower to resist any invasion, I suggest.
So if there's no defense to be provided for, all that's left is the welfare of the citizens to be provided for. And 2020 has shown dramatically that, while the federal government has abandoned that sense of provisioning, the States and their people still care passionately about this very thing.
Apparently the calls for "secession" are arising again in the US, or so I've heard. It's a crude concept at the moment, and there is no right of secession. But there is every right to amend the Constitution, by a 3/4 majority of the States, and to dissolve the present Union, in order to create a "more perfect" arrangement.@43 Bystander04VietnamVet , Jan 6 2021 5:02 utc | 49
China has many billionaires, but I don't think they have the degree of power over the Chinese government and society implied by the term "oligarch". Jack Ma may be the richest man in China, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese government from quite effectively cutting him down to size.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-launches-antitrust-investigation-tech-giant-alibaba-n1252325The pandemic is the final nail into the coffin of the Western Empire. Asia and South Pacific nations functioned as they should and their public health systems are controlling the virus but must enforce quarantines on the infected world to continue their ascension.Arch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 5:03 utc | 50
It is now a multi-polar world. The exploitative capitalism of the West intentionally destroyed democracy and good governance to increase profits. Reality has bitten back. The remains of the former public health system are corrupt and incompetent as exemplified by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The virus basically spread unhindered in the USA and UK. The difficulty is that in times of stress human being revert to tribal beliefs. The reality of the change in power dynamics will be denied by Western decision makers. The truth is that if the West cannot control a virus, it will never address the existential crises; climate change, rising inequality and perpetual war.
Mankind will only survive if it learns how to live on a finite planet in peace.Bluedotterel , Jan 6 2021 5:18 utc | 51
I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.
So, in short, they've run out of ideas and decided to go full retard.
I can already see the shape of 2021 to come. It's going to be a shitshow on an interplanetary scale.Posted by: nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33Adam , Jan 6 2021 6:25 utc | 52
No worry, Nature will take care of itself after we humans have disposed of ourselves. I deplore our general destruction of the environment we live in and the misuse/abuse of resources, but humans are not as strong as we think we are. We may cause considerable damage to the mega fauna and flora, and severely damage ecosystems, but our current war against the planet is one we cannot win and should not even be trying to (capitalism and its God Mammon, again). Life will go on with or without us. Evolution is a fact of life, whether our religions, corporate board rooms, genetics manipulation corps or biological weapons departments understand that or not.@nocoveryKamMan , Jan 6 2021 6:41 utc | 53
Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.
We're not an invasive species, but I broadly agree. The best thing to happen to the beautiful planet in the last million years would be the extinction of the smart pest, Homo S. Too bad I won't be around to enjoy a people free Earth.I usually read MoA in the morning, yet today it late pm. Your article reminded me of an earlier article read this morning re USA and China Wages comparison. Here is the article pay particular attention to the graph. Pretty much sums it up in that China have an expansionist economy while the USA has (with exception to the Financial rubbish posing as assets) a contraction economy. Globalisation and Austerity from Reagan_nomics/Thatcher_nomics from the "70's have lead the west into the debt ridden marsh we are in now. Yet the lesson of an expansionist economy (which all western economies have done in the past) escapes the thinking of those who supposedly matter. Personally I think the world needs a lot more "Musk's (creating massive employment in making new tech cars and rockets plus solar) and a lot less Bezios's and Jack Maa's (Alibaba china) (Using others products and screwing them on margins to increase his wealth)Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 8:51 utc | 54
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/01/05/michael-pascoe-wages-graph-globalisation/karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 12Jams O'Donnell , Jan 6 2021 9:24 utc | 55
I agreee that the US is almost easier to define. Zero-sum or winnowing, both are reductive traits. ie the population gets sidelined.
However, I also think that part of "our" problem is that the comments and viewpoint, are generally all "western-centric" and not enough attention is paid to the fundamental differences in attitudes. Chinese are being "gifted" with US preoccupations to show that they are basically the same as those of the US itself. ie. The US is right-superior in its attitudes and so others STILL try to copy-steal-follow it. Something that is becoming visibly not true. Which is why my comment also mentioned the "cumulative" Chinese attitude. It being probably more important to understand why China is on the ascendant.
Note that "Democracy", "communism" or whatever, all have the same stated object of population input and therefore good for the masses. It is when their lofty ideals are no longer seen to be true, (and are not true in practice?) that the edifice cracks. (Ie, part of the USSR collapse corresponds with the rise of the Nomenklatura of only 750'000 people with the right to vote etc. It worked as long as it worked, but fell through when the mass realised they were NOT getting their part somewhere)
Sorry, Very short reply, as I have problems with internet to resolve, with a bit of luck and perseverance I may be able to continue later today.Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47c1ue , Jan 6 2021 9:26 utc | 56
Exactly right. The second largest problem in the world just now is the Government of the US. Breaking up the US would effectively get rid of the problem. Then we could deal with climate change more effectively.
The current hatred and division between red and blue, the lack of effective health services, the deterioration of infrastructure, the future demise of dollar power and thus lack of funding for the military all give me cause to hope that break up will happen. Lets all do our best to make it so.@Canadian Cents #42Aule , Jan 6 2021 11:57 utc | 57
It shouldn't surprise you; Truman was closely associated with the Pendergast political machine (Kansas City mob).
His Attorney General was closely involved in serious corruption in the IRS and DOJ-Tax division.
He dropped the bomb and was a nasty person in general.Meanwhile, Assange is denied bail. Something tells me that, even if not extradite, they plan to hold him in prison indefinitely - if not American, British would do just as well.BM , Jan 6 2021 12:41 utc | 58Wow! When did MoA give up all rationality? The US has long since dug its own grave and long since guaranteed its unviability as a superpower. Everything from here is downward, as long as it clings to the mad idea of supremacy. And the longer it continues to deny reality the bigger and more brutal the bang when it finally collapses - or it disappears in its own nuclear conflagration.BM , Jan 6 2021 12:48 utc | 59
The US produces virtually nothing, except over-priced and disfunctional weapons. Everything else that it has is stolen. It does not have the capability to reverse that trend - that horse has long since bolted and disappeared over the horizon. Unlike the US, countries like China and Russia create genuine wealth through their own productive efforts, and they have the military and economic means to ensure that the US cannot strangle them. The economic advantages of China and Russia will only increase compared to the US, and everything the US is doing to sabotage their efforts only makes them stronger and the US weaker.
Nuclear weapons to Taiwan??? Only SuperMorons could entertain the notion for more than 2 seconds (and there are plenty such supermorons at the Foreign Policy Institute, that's part of what got the US to this status in the first place). If the US gives nuclear weapons to Taiwan they will be giving nuclear weapons directly to China. China would know about it before it happens, and long before they could be operational Taiwan would cease to be Taiwan and would be a province of Mainland China. Not to see that China has that capability - and the resolution to carry it out - is sheer idiotic blindness.
Even if Taiwan could install such nuclear weapons before China takes over, where would they hide them? The stupidity of thinking a tiny one-point nation on China's borders can seriously threaten the entirety of nuclear-armed China - in alliance with Russia - defies fantasy. Doing so requires not "superior weapons" (which the US does not have anyway, that prize belongs to China's ally Russia) but superior idiocy and superior self-deception.
The US is on a bullet train to self-destruction. Stopping that train is impossible without making changes in the past that were not made - unless it gives up 100% of its ambitions to supremacy and becomes a minor self-sufficient village minding its own business. That is its only chance.
Instead of waffling about and navel-gazing over such tiresome fantasies of the US exceptionalists, MoA would do much better to concentrate on the serious issues that confront the world today - like confronting the damage wreaked on society worldwide by the hyper-unbalanced madness of covid policies; the direction of political changes in Europe; the ever continuing instability in the Middle East; signs of latent possible resurgence of society in Latin America (cf Bolivia etc); containment of the US madness; etc.So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios.lizzie dw , Jan 6 2021 13:28 utc | 60
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47
Sounds good to me! One specific form of the "village" alternative I mentioned above, in another name.I have wondered how we can go to war with actual bombing and stuff like that with China because many many items that we use every day are purchased from factories in China, having been manufactured there by, it seems to me, "American" (now, of course, multinational) companies. Think apple. Or Ralph Loren. Or any item at the Dollar Store. Have you looked at the labels on your purchases? In addition, we buy all kinds of medicinal products from China. And socks. The US and China are intertwined in many ways.BM , Jan 6 2021 13:33 utc | 61
I thought the MAGA theme of Pres. Trump was to lessen the immense difference in trade amounts - we buy tons of stuff from China but they do not buy that much from us - by imposing tariffs on good imported from China and demanding that "American" companies agree to manufacture in the US again. I thought, well, fat chance.
It is a problem. I am not a "better red than dead or dead than red" or whatever it is, but I cannot see the point of blowing up the world because we can't be the king of it.
Pres. Trump never struck me as a war monger although he has been surrounded by them.Posted by: Prof K | Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19BM , Jan 6 2021 14:26 utc | 62
Well said Prof K, you hit the nail on its head.A superlative article from Alistair Crooke:Christian J. Chuba , Jan 6 2021 14:44 utc | 63
America's Epiphany Moment
The big 'domino' has fallen: Red America; and Brexit is a second. Does anyone believe that this American epiphany; this exploding of American delusions, will leave Europe untouched? Or, that other states will not observe it too, and understand from it that the past need to submit their own cultures to European moral scrutiny is over?We claim our enemies fear us for the same reason that we actually fear China. Experts say, Russia 'invaded' Ukraine because Putin was terrified about having an example of a free and prosperous country on their border and Russians would ask themselves, why can't we have that?'Mao , Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64
Talk about projection.
Even so, why can't we coexist?
Most Americans don't travel, Neocons can do what they do best, just lie about other countries and say that China is a starving mess and we are #1. Who in the U.S. would know, who in the MSM would bother to find out otherwise. No set of facts would convince us otherwise.
China could voluntarily decide to go to their own graduate schools and stop going to the U.S. because it's a waste of time and money.
Neocons: 'we banned Communist Chinese students protect our valuable IP'
China could surpass our economy to the point where hovercraft is commonplace.
Neocons: 'Communist China is destroying their environment, our kerosene scooters and trucks are the best thing in the world'
The average fool in the U.S. would never know how backward we had become (or maybe are, I don't travel either)
I guess that is too passive, Neocons have to justify their paycheck.The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the CourtArch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 15:49 utc | 65
Foreword by Michael J. Klarman
[...] Freedom House, which researches and advocates for democracy around the world, lowered the United States on the organization's scale of zero to 100 measuring political rights and civil liberties from ninety-four in 2010 to eighty-six in 2017. The decline in the United States' rating exceeded that of other Western democracies.
More than thirty years ago, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, reflecting on a wave of democratization that had swept the world beginning in the 1970s, concluded that liberal democracy had become inevitable -- the logical endpoint in the evolutionary trajectory of the modern state. However, over roughly the last fifteen years, Freedom House has recorded erosion in levels of freedom in once-strong democracies such as Hungary, India, the Philippines, Poland, and Turkey. Governments in these countries have shut down independent media, assailed and incarcerated independent journalists, packed courts and bureaucracies with their supporters, dismantled independent institutions of civil society, and vilified racial and religious minorities to distract attention from problems they cannot solve.
Many Americans cannot imagine the erosion of their own democracy. The United States has the longest-standing constitution in the world, a strong middle class, high levels of wealth and education, and deeply entrenched democratic institutions and mores. Yet the United States is not immune from world trends of declining democratization. In addition to the developments already noted, research shows that younger Americans are much less committed to democracy than their elders are. Among Americans born in the 1980s, only twenty-nine percent believe that living in a democracy is "essential," as compared with seventy-one percent of those born in the 1930s.
This Foreword examines the recent degradation of American democracy, seeks explanations for it, and canvasses the Supreme Court's contribution to it.
Posted by: Mao | Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66
The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the Court
Could more honestly be written:
The Degradation of the American Illusion of Democracy -- And the Court
Unless by "American Democracy" we are referring to something defined more by its illusory nature than its reality.ANSWER TO: "vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7 ":vk , Jan 6 2021 16:22 utc | 67
In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).
Having studied Chinese language and history in Europe and China for years since 1972 and practiced as a teacher, interpreter and guide, I have never come accross any Mainland or Táiwan Chinese text or person who have used the expression "Celestial Ascention" in the Chinese language to describe what's been goin on the last fourty years. WHere have You picked up this belief, Herr Jan?@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68
Heard it from a Brazilian scholar who once told me, a long time ago (don't even remember the exact term). Never heard it ever since.
But my point is: China's geopolitical doctrine is not secret/cryptic. You only have to know where to find it (and, preferably, know how to read Chinese). China never hid the fact it is socialist (Market Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the official name of the system) and never hid the fact that it has a geopolitical doctrine that is in accordance with its system (i.e. also a socialist geopolitical doctrine).Dear Jan ;c1ue , Jan 6 2021 16:40 utc | 69
As for the expression "Celestial ascention" (vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7), this mai be av mistranslation of various chinese expressions for "natural rise" ('tiānrán shēngqilai' or 'qiántiān-dìngde shēngzhǎng' both meaning "coming naturally". Many other possibilities, byt the semi.religious or semi-imperial associatons of "celestial" are definitely never heard in CHina nowadays. s@Tolled As #68vk , Jan 6 2021 16:43 utc | 70
You should be aware that black has many views which are literally unique.
It is also clear that few, if any, of them are based on first hand knowledge or experience.
"Socialism with market characteristics" is something Deng brought in - it certainly was not CCP ideology before that.
Having visited China many times as a fluent speaker starting in the early '80s, the difference between the present day ideology and the past is stark.
But not to someone who has never been there and doesn't have good discernment in secondary sources to boot.@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68Gm , Jan 6 2021 17:07 utc | 71
Maybe the Brazilian scholar was too creative.
Either way, the consecrated term in English is a surprisingly good translation ("China's Peaceful Development/Rise/Development Doctrine"), which is also colloquially called "win-win". But the doctrine is actually much more complex than that term suggests.One should google the background of that Richard Hanania person.gm , Jan 6 2021 17:19 utc | 72
Supposedly he is currently a postdoc fellow at Columbia University, and alredy serves as President of some 4 letter institute/stink tank tere that was just set up in 2020[!!].
Before that he got a PhD (political sci) from UCLA (2017-2019?);
before that he got a JD from U. Chicago.
Quite the pedigree. Three top private or out-of-state high tuition schools in expensive cost of living places. Likely his education was *state-sponsored*.
But which State? CIA? Mossad? Who's paying his bills?#71 was me [grrr. Cellphone auto-correct]rico rose , Jan 6 2021 17:27 utc | 73@47 grieved yes, I like federalism as the basic concept because it works in booth directions if needed. Towards unity but keeping the option of separation. Why not having California as member of the Paris declaration alone. It opens the door for development for problems to early to call. The negotiation process staying open for undecided parts. That is what multipolar means in the core and I guess the only hope for the USA as a nation.karlof1 , Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74
Germany is similar structured. The central government is only allowed to work from own power in defence and foreign relations. For almost everything else it have to use the organs of 15 strong states. Also the source of statehood is coming from them. It is a bit covered right now by EU and covid but there are deep contradiction inside of Germany. If EU, also because of German influence a federation, fails maybe not the old country come up again. I see big chance of totally different structures.Stonebird @54--michael , Jan 6 2021 18:35 utc | 75
Global Times article , "US politics in reality 'more interesting than House of Cards ,' entertains Chinese amid pandemic," is absolutely fascinating and revealing--essentially, Chinese are roaring with laughter at the Emperor without clothing. This long excerpt helps explain:
"'Nobody knows more about trending on Weibo better than me,' an internet user mocked Trump via a Weibo comment, adding that 'Weibo would face huge losses after Trump steps down' since the entertainment will largely subside .
"Chinese experts said Americans or other Westerners might not understand why Chinese people are just curious about but don't admire US democracy, but instead treat it as a variety show which is much more interesting than House of Cards . In fact, Chinese people are pretty familiar with the US election and most of them can objectively observe and compare it with the Chinese national conditions.
" House of Cards is the most famous US TV series viewed in China that has helped many Chinese people learn about how US politicians struggle and vie for power. Now Chinese people might learn that the scriptwriters of this TV series have actually underestimated how much drama really occurs in US politics.
"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.
" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories."
"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.
" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories." [My Emphasis]
So the longstanding rule that Truth is Stranger than Fiction is again being proven true in China. Most importantly, the chaos within the Outlaw US Empire is serving as education for Chinese and other people globally showing quite graphically the absolute dysfunction of its political system.
I haven't watched House of Cards or Game of Thrones , but I did just recently watch a considerable portion of The Hunger Games . Combine reality with their stories and we'll need to adjust our evaluation of Hollywood propaganda. Add the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing capital crimes--something he'd be rewarded for doing in China--into this mix and there's no way the Neoliberal West is ever going to win Chinese hearts and minds; rather, the opposite's occurring at a rapid pace.Cool.Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 19:27 utc | 76
I hope Vlad is preparing diplomatic cables that in such a case he will friendly proliferate to Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.c1ue @56, thanks, knew that Truman unnecessarily dropped the atomic bomb on civilians twice, but didn't know those other details about him. The point is, given the foreignpolicy.com writer that suggests "creatively" encouraging seeding "friendly proliferation" of nuclear arms to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan with the expecation that that would induce China to "react badly to," it seems that the same sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies as Truman expressed are still very much present in the US ruling foreign policy elite.Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 20:08 utc | 77
Along with the WWII example, the US induced and sustained a brutal war in Afghanistan in 1979 for its own hegemonic/plutocratic interests:
In 1979, the US began to covertly foster Wahhabi extremism in Afghanistan (another case of "friendly proliferation") to, in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, "induce" a brutal war in order to inflict on "the USSR its Vietnam war," at the casual expense of thoroughly destroying the country and society of the people of Afghanistan for decades.
Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former CIA director under George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, stated in his 1996 memoirs "From the Shadows" that American intelligence services began to aid the opposing factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment in 1979.
That confirms what Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter and also an adviser to Barack Obama, stated in a 1988 interview:
"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979."
"But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
"That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap [..] The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war [..]"
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998
There's a country run by sociopathic/psychopathic elements that has a pattern of inducing conflicts and brutally destructive wars to disrupt constructive cooperation and development.karlof1 | Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74Yeah, Right , Jan 6 2021 22:04 utc | 78
The truth is out - Hollywood only makes "tele-reality shows" with a bit of extra gloss on them for export. The Chinese have the right idea.
I should have realised that since we have been living the "Twitter era", that variety has become our spice of life, and Shakespeare's "all the worlds a stage" was just a realistic appraisal that we would become a comedy skit. I like the idea, I never did appreciate melodramas or horror films either....
PS. Biden apparently doesn't "tweet", so will we regress to "silent movies"? He can at least do some of the actions. Keystone cops anyone?So it doesn't occur to this idiot that if the USA engages in "friendly proliferation" then both Russia and China will do the same?
This is the central problem with American foreign policy "experts" - they are so shallow that they never consider that every action they propose will lead to a reaction from those that they target.
Here, consider this vapid statement: "No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States."
Look, dude, this is very simple: if the USA gave nukes to (say) Taiwan then China would consider that all niceties are out the window and will look to give nukes to some country on the USA's doorstep.
You know: Cuba, or Venezuela. Or both.
How smart would that "least bad solution" look then?
Bureaucrat • 4 days ago • edited
Jan 06, 2021 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Posted on January 2, 2021
From The American Conservative :
Robert Farley explains why the U.S. can't end endless wars if it pursues an aggressive China policy:
The problem is straightforward: Any effort to characterize China as an existential threat to the United States necessarily implies a level of conflict that will (as it did during the Cold War) provide justification for US intervention anywhere in the world. The solution for a less interventionist foreign policy is not to play up the threat of Beijing in the hopes the US will stop intervening elsewhere, but rather to carefully rethink what constitutes a threat to US core values, and what the United States must sacrifice to meet that threat.
The open-ended wars that the US has been fighting for the last two decades were the result of exaggerating a relatively small, manageable threat (i.e., terrorist attacks) into a major global menace that required massive resources and frequent military interventions in many different countries. One can only imagine how much worse things will be if the US replaces its militarized overreaction to terrorism with a militarized overreaction to the Chinese government. A hard-line China policy not only increases the likelihood of conflict between the US and China in East Asia, but it is also likely to encourage more interference in the affairs of other countries that have close relations with China.
If a U.S.-China rivalry follows the pattern of other great power rivalries, that would involve trying to subvert client governments through proxy wars and coups and sometimes intervening directly to overthrow those clients. Policymakers would predictably claim that peripheral countries are actually vitally important and must be "defended" or pulled into our orbit. Hawkish pundits would write articles about "who lost Malawi" and explain why it was absolutely "crucial" to American security that we prop up a dictator in Uzbekistan. The US would wage wars for "credibility" and refuse to end them for the same reason.
One could argue that rivalry with China need not be global and could be confined to East and Southeast Asia, but the tendency with these sorts of policies is towards expansion. Kennan's original idea of containment was never intended to justify waging wars of choice in Asia, but it was almost immediately expanded to apply everywhere even when no real U.S. interests were at stake. A China policy that sought to "contain" China would almost certainly expand in the same way. If someone thinks there can be an intense rivalry with another major power but that it won't become heavily militarized, I refer you to the record of U.S. foreign policy for the last seventy years. All of this has happened before, but it doesn't have to keep happening.
Constant meddling and interventionism are driven by an overly expansive definition of U.S. interests, threat inflation, and a strategy of pursuing global dominance. The meddling and interventionism won't lessen if Washington identifies a different adversary to obsess over. The only things that might change will be the names of the countries that the U.S. sanctions and bombs.
If we want a more peaceful and less interventionist foreign policy, we have to challenge and reject the assumptions that lead the U.S. to interfere in conflicts that have little or nothing to do with us. The first steps in doing that involve rightly identifying what our vital interests are and accurately assessing the threats to those interests. If we do that, we will recognize that China poses much less of a threat to the U.S. than China hawks claim, and we will see that increasing hostility towards China is not in the interests of our country or the interests of our major allies.
kouroi Bureaucrat • 4 days ago
Shocking how so few realize that the same people on the right and left think confronting China via a zero-sum approach can be consistent with their support for reducing U.S. military and foreign interventionism. These folks preaching withdrawal from Middle East, Pivot to Asia, or "Rebalancing" crowds are active foreign interventionists by any other definition.
On that note I'm curious which sources of foreign policy information/podcast/writers out their have a sensible approach to China. I do follow some leftist anti-imperialist voices for perspective, but unfortunately they are far too forgiving of Beijing (think Grayzone or the Qiao Collective), but everyone else to the right of these avowed Marxists are even worse, parroting the same hawkish anti-China narrative as Washington's foreign policy blob.
From my reading of things, China is a nationalist country with a formal communist ideology and the facto regular economy, with private and state ownership, but with a relatively muscular regulatory state (not captured by the Ownership class) that ultimately has the decisive power on things. Massive problems with corruption, which is a constant through Chinese history. The corruption is so apparent because the state actually tries to do something about it, whereas in the US the corruption is legalized and formalized.
As any country, China has its problems that should not be dismissed. Also not exaggerated either. If one dreams of democracy in China, one needs to be very realistic about it. The extremely long tradition (2000 years) of a bureaucratic/meritocratic state in China, from the beginning can take the air from any democratic attempts, never mind half backed ones like the US Polity). It is not the Communist Party Rule that is necessarily the biggest problem standing in the path of a more democratic China.
Another great problem on a greater opening and relaxing of China is the US imperialist attacks. China is under greater attacks and not because of Trump. That was coming. China is developing more and more and is reaching escape velocity. Also, it has consistently refused to relinquish a greater share of its economy profits to the US Oligarchy and US pension funds that will be tanking in the foreseeable future given the gap between their outlays and their returns... In the current climate, with the US the far greater evil, I am more than willing to cheer for China and its president (2019 saw about 140,000 corruption cases in China acted upon, from confiscations, firings, imprisonment, to the occasional death sentence... Go China! What is the tally in the US? just check on the suffering of whistleblowers...)
Jan 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
When you think of your average Antifa type ( these mug shots may be representative), does that Antifa guy or gal strike you as the kind of person who would carefully avoid getting any paint on bricks so as to spare Pelosi the inconvenience of getting the paint off the bricks?
It's entirely possible that this was an Antifa effort and the person spraying paint had some residual compassion for Pelosi. But it's also possible that this is a false flag effort. I am not offering any suggestions as to who might have raised this false flag. I note only what others have pointed out before: Something's peculiar here.ay_arrow
Soloamber 3 hours agolennysrv 2 hours ago
No doubt this was a false flag . You don't think Pelosi has security covering her yard, house, cars ?
Nobody gets that close to her house without a swat team there in a minute. So where is the video showing who did it , when , and how . This will be used to justify some full time guard house or something else .logically possible 4 hours ago
You are absolutely correct. Years ago, when John Kerry was a candidate in the Democrat primaries, I was walking near his neighborhood in Boston. Near. As in about eight blocks away. Not even close to his house. I didn't even know he was living there. I was challenged by a Secret Service agent and his backup friend (in a vehicle behind him). SS guy asked who I was, what I was doing, why I was there, etc. Spoke into a microphone beneath his overcoat. Told me that my chosen route was no longer available and that if I would be well-advised to head the other direction. The point being that nobody, not a single person, gets near Pelosi's house without a bunch of security knowing about it and stopping it.
This entire "vandalism" thing is a complete tub of BS.snblitz 6 hours ago
Instead of guessing who dun it' how about looking at the video footage from the camera on the wall, left side of the garage, the neighbors video footage too.
They don't want to show you.Ms.Creant 5 hours ago
As a person who paints houses on occasion, the perp, or should we say Agent Provocateur, used a piece of cardboard to protect the bricks.
You can even see the blow back from the paint bouncing off the cardboard.
You could even perform the test yourself and see the same results.
Maybe the whole thing is simply a photo-shop job?gruden 5 hours ago
I was joking yesterday they masked it off to prevent overspray!!!
No joke.HungryPorkChop 6 hours ago
I saw those comments. Admittedly I was skeptical at first. Then I saw that it happened right before a confirmation vote as House Speaker, then it all suddenly made sense. A false flag to distance her from the demoturd whack-jobs and appear more moderate. A very simple explanation. That old lady has a few tricks still to turn in her old age.Handful of Dust 6 hours ago remove link
Propaganda for the masses. They probably needed some "event" so they could get extra security detail as the Plan-Demic and lockdowns continue.DurdenRae 7 hours ago
...If you think Pelosi's REAL home is not guarded 24/7 by armed security and camera surviellance, you are nuts.
This is a poorly executed stunt paid for by Nervous Nancy herself.bshirley1968 6 hours ago remove link
From yesterday's comment: I know a scam when I see one. If you look carefully you will see that nothing has been broken, only the garage door has been slightly defaced (and I'm sure it's going to be easily fixed). Should this have really been antifa, then would have spray painted the bricks and broken windows at the very least, not to mention thrown in a couple of molotovs. Here we have nothing spontaneous. The whole thing has taken between 10 to 30 minutes to put in place, and we are supposed to believe that nobody from the security detail saw anything on their monitoring cameras? Was epstein's phantom there to make security cameras not working that day?Mad Muppet PREMIUM 7 hours ago
Any thinking person knows that this was nothing but a psyop.
Nobody is going to get that close to Pelosi's real house to carry out that kind of vandalism. What? You think there are no surveillance cameras that would have caught that activity? No security?
If Pelosi's property is that wide open to attack, then she isn't who we think she is.
Nice catch on the paint lines......and excellent point that something is up.Zero-Hegemon 6 hours ago
The Dems are getting ready to throw the rioters under the bus. Night of The Long Knives style.Automatic Choke PREMIUM 6 hours ago remove link
Reichstag fire style, now that they think they're getting Kameltoe in office, Antifa, etc. have become very dispensible.Kan 7 hours ago (Edited)
if you or I showed up at Nancy's with a can of spray paint, we'd be surrounded by a swat team before we finished shaking the can.alexcojones 7 hours ago (Edited)
BLM and Antifa have been directed to reduce the Equity zones that Tech Stock owners have bought into to dodge capital gains tax. These zones are now going for 1/100 their value to the tech stock investors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=C1-0XKYAZII minute 29 explains it very well. Its amazing all the riots have benefited value for Gate and Bezos.
This pelosi and company riot is a ploy to change the spot light off the 90% pork in the latest free Trillion dollar handout to my friends.
Brought to you by Dominion Software....
Imagine a world where Pelosi has only won re-election the last 5 times because of the Software.alienateit 6 hours ago
The pig's head was a nice touch, with that quart (gallon?) of blood, I mean water-based paint.
False Flag to gain some sympathy for the old witch.
Surprised "They" didn't leave a pallet of bricks too.mike6972 6 hours ago
Where is the plastic bag which contained the pigs head?
No vandal would put that back into their designer backpack.BoomChikaWowWow 6 hours ago
We live in a world of synthetic reality. Staged (fake) events like this are treated as real. Real events (Hunter Biden's laptop, rampant election fraud) are dismissed without examination. I yearn for the days when you could watch or read the news and it mostly corresponded with reality. Today's "news" would be just another form of entertainment if it were not so painful to watch.
13 play_arrowUselessEater 3 hours ago (Edited)
100% fake, and not just because of the lack of paint on the brick.
I guarantee you a pig's head would be off limits for SF anarchists. The vegans in their ranks would literally be screaming bloody murder.MASTER OF UNIVERSE 6 hours ago remove link
Its a false flag.
Everything is a lie.
Director of CIA William Casey, "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."Dadburnitpa 6 hours ago
I agree that this has all the hallmarks of a False Flag Op due to the fact that there are no spelling mistakes on Pelosi's garage door, and the brick must have been shielded to avoid overspray from the spray paint can. Assume that a professional tagger painted the display on Pelosi's garage door and was instructed not to get paint on the brick beforehand.
In addition to this federal crime scene we have the evidence at Mitch McConnel's house where the message was misspelled 'weres the money' when it should have been written by a Democrat hooligan tagger that was educated enough to spell correctly as opposed to the Republican tagger hooligan that painted McConnel's door and misspelled the message.
It's clear that Democrat tagging hooligans are educated enough not to misspell words whereas it is also clear that Republican professional tagging hooligans cannot spell correctly when professionally tagging a known Republican home.
Clearly there is indeed a conspiracy to engender sympathy for the Democrats and Nanci Pelosi whereas no mention of Mitch McConnel's damage at his house.
In addition, the fact that no real pigs blood was evident suggests that the whole display was crafted by professionals knowledgeable in terms of theatrics and theatrical displays as well as propaganda.
Can you say G. Gordon Liddey, boys & girls?JZ123 6 hours ago
Another case of GASLIGHTING. "Oh, look at what happened to poor nancy."
Pelosi pulled a Juicy smollet? Nah, I think the hatred is real for these people. The volcano will erupt this year.
Jan 03, 2021 | nationalinterest.org
Under Barack Obama, the containment of China -- the "pivot to Asia" -- took the form of what might be called trilateralism, after the old Trilateral Commission of the 1970s. According to this strategy, while balancing China militarily, the United States would create trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade blocs with rules favorable to the United States that China would be forced to beg to join in the future. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was intended as an anti-Chinese, American-dominated Pacific trade bloc, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sought to create a NATO for trade from which China would be excluded.
Obama's grand strategy collapsed even before the election of 2016. TTIP died, chiefly because of hostility from European economic interests. In the United States, the fact that the TPP treaty was little more than a wish-list of giveaways to U.S. finance and pharma interests and other special-interest lobbies made it so unpopular that both Hillary Clinton and Trump renounced it during the 2016 presidential election season.
Trump, like Obama, sought to contain China , but by unilateral rather than trilateral measures. The Trump administration emphasized reshoring strategic supply chains like that of steel in the United States, unwilling to offshore critical supplies even to allies in Asia and Europe and North America. This break with prior tradition would have been difficult to pull off even under a popular president who was a good bureaucratic operator, unlike the erratic and inconsistent Trump.
The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China.
An emphasis by the Biden administration on alliances may succeed in the case of the U.S.-Japan-Australia-India "Quad" (Quadrilateral alliance). The UK may support America's East Asian policy as well. But Germany and France, the dominant powers in Europe, view China as a vast market, not a threat, so Biden will fail if he seeks to repeat Obama's grand strategy of trilateral containment of China.
Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. In part this is a projection of domestic politics. In the demonology of the Democratic Party, Putin stands for nationalism, social conservatism, and everything that elite Democrats despise about the "deplorables" in the United States who live outside of major metro areas and vote for Republicans. The irrational hostility of America's Democratic establishment extends beyond Russia to socially-conservative democratic governments in Poland and Hungary, two countries that Biden has denounced as "totalitarian."
In the Middle East, unlike Eastern Europe, a Biden administration is likely to sacrifice left-liberal ideology to the project of maximizing American power and consolidating the U.S. military presence, with the help of autocracies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Any hint of retrenchment will be denounced by the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that lined up behind Biden, so do not expect an end to any of the forever wars under Biden. Quite the contrary.
Michael Lind is Professor of Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The American Way of Strategy. His most recent book is The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite.
Jan 02, 2021 | www.rt.com
Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties & makes Americans think they can ignore rules – Russian foreign ministry 2 Jan, 2021 15:00 Get short URL © Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry 22 Follow RT on
By Jonny Tickle In recent years, the US has gone crazy with its idea of 'American exceptionalism' and Washington has taught its people that the country does not need to follow any rules and can disregard international agreements, Moscow claims.
Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the claim on Thursday to YouTube channel 'Izolenta live.'
"It's a nuclear power that has gone wild with the idea of its own exceptionalism, withdrawing from lots of documents, treaties, international organizations," she said.ALSO ON RT.COM Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empire
Zakharova also believes that Washington has "encouraged its population to think that they don't owe anybody anything" and "they should not obey anyone," up to and including international law.
However, she noted that the White House may one day decide to return to various deals sidelined in recent years, presumably referring to the incoming president, Joe Biden.READ MORE When in Russia Get yourself a dose of Sputnik V, Foreign Ministry tells US envoy who asked Santa for VACCINE
Since the incumbent at the White House, Donald Trump, came to power in 2017, Washington has reduced its participation in international organizations. In 2018, the US withdrew from UNESCO and from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). A year later, Trump pulled his country out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and in 2020 the country left the Open Skies Treaty. Furthermore, on February 5, a fortnight after Biden is due to take office, the US will depart from the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty unless the Kremlin and the new president's team quickly come to an understanding.
Last month, at his annual press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin chided the US for pulling out of treaties that Russia is fully supportive of, noting that there could be an "arms race" if Biden doesn't agree to an extension of START.
"We heard the statement by the president-elect that it would be reasonable to extend the New START. We will wait and see what that will amount to in practical terms. The New START expires in February," Putin pointed out.
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Jan 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Senate Overrides Trump Veto Of Defense Bill BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, JAN 01, 2021 - 15:15
Meeting for a rare New Year's Day session, the Senate voted 81-13 on Friday to override President Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Trump said "fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions."
A two-thirds majority was needed to override the veto - which would mark the first in Trump's presidency. The NDAA authorizes over $740 billion in military programs and construction, as well as 3% pay raises for US troops. It also contains a provision to rename military bases named after Confederate generals .
Trump also wanted to force a repeal of Section 203 protections for social-media companies enjoy due to their constant editorializing of user content, however lawmakers refused to include the provision.
The rare January 1st session comes as the new Congress is set to be sworn in on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 80-12 to begin an official debate on overriding the veto, proving that Congress can act with lightning speed when properly motivated.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the NDAA is crucial to national defense, and to "deter great power rivals like China and Russia." The bill "will cement our advantage on the seas, on land, in the air, in cyberspace and in space," he added.
During Trump's time in office, he has vetoed eight other bills - several of them focused on foreign policy and national security issues, according to the Wall Street Journal .
The fight over the NDAA also underscored broader tensions over national-security issues between congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump. On foreign policy and national-security issues, many Republicans have readily bucked Mr. Trump during his presidency even as they have stood by him on many other issues.
For instance, the Trump administration's recent effort to cut troop levels in Afghanistan in half , to roughly 2,500, by Jan. 15, has alarmed some Republicans. The NDAA requires the administration to submit to Congress a comprehensive assessment of the withdrawal before it can use funds to pull out troops. -WSJ
In addition to creating a commission to assess changes to bases, displays, monuments, symbols and other paraphernalia related to Confederate commanders, the bill limits the president's ability to use emergency military construction funds for other purposes . It also restricts employees or former employees from the military-industrial complex to work directly for the Chinese government or government-controlled companies.
Banned Banana 56 minutes agoRasinResin 50 minutes ago
Dwight Eisenhower warned us about this 60 years ago, and we have done exactly nothing.Orange Man Rad 53 minutes ago (Edited) remove link
When you comb through who is doing what, you realize it's just politicians supporting monopolistic companies. Lawyers in essence, always have been, and always will be the problem. Just ask Shakespere.Right Wing-Nut 48 minutes ago
McConnell is on a suicide mission for the GOP as a political party. I'm guessing he could careless as he won't be running for reelection. I always knew he was a swamp creature that hated Trump. He never once publicly defended Trump in 4 years. I will be changing my party affiliation to Independent on January 7th. I'm waiting until then so it has maximum impact after the scumbags throw Trump under the bus. Good riddance GOP.Obake158 40 minutes ago
Excellent presentation on:
How Big Government Really Works
It fully explains why China Mitch is fine being Minority Leader. Follow the money!!techengineer 15 minutes ago
Don't change your party affiliation, do what I did and go to your town hall and unregister to vote. There is absolutely no point in participating in this sham of a system. Voting for muppet A or muppet B is silly when both sides are played by the same interests. All you do by giving your consent to be ruled is create a mandate that the agent of corruption uses to lord over you. I am 100% done playing with their system and by their rules. Politicians are a verminous class of filth. They need to be purged, swapping a rat for a snake for a maggot is what voting results in. Think of a single politician that represents you and your interests and that you look up to. I haven't been able to say anything good about a politician since Ron Paul was active, they are all treason scum.Bernout Sanders 43 minutes ago remove link
The Republican Establishment is disgusting.. A damn disgrace.. We can't get rid of the rotten bastards without turning it over to even worse Democrats..AboveAverageIdiot 27 minutes ago
For those of you keep asking "but why doesn't Trump do more?" - this is your answer.
Could Trump have expanded the use of the Executive Order into clearly unconstitutional territory and hope the Supreme Court would support this? Perhaps.
When it comes to legislation, though, sadly there are less than 10 (and perhaps less than 5) Republican Senators worth a hill of beans.
I mean, look at Utah. Solidly Republican, elect the sorriest GOP Senator and carpetbagger Mittens, and even their decent Senator, Mike Lee, is militantly pro-immigration.
Until Republicans start primarying SOB RINO's like Democrats do in their caucus, there will never be any change.yerfej 27 minutes ago
Senators who voted to sustain Trump's veto of defense bill:
Wyden (D)dustnwind 43 minutes ago
The endless wars continue. What the phyuyk is wrong with a country that can't stop starting wars yet never has the balls to finish them? Oh its just a facade for ayssholes to line their pockets.
"Amazing how fast Congress can act when properly motivated..."
Yes motivated by special in