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Relentless militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite

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War . . . the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy

By Chris Hedges
Online Journal Guest Writer

It is impossible to understand the current wave of the US militarism without understanding neoliberalism and, especially, Neoconservatism -- the dominant force in the US foreign policy since Reagan.

From Wikipedia

Militarism - Wikipedia

Militarism is the belief or the desire of a fascist government or a people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests; examples of militarist states include North Korea, the United States of America, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as most Imperial states, such as the Roman Empire.[1]

It may also imply the glorification of the military and of the ideals of a professional military class and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state"[2] (see also: stratocracy and military junta).

Militarism has been a significant element of the imperialist or expansionist ideologies of several nations throughout history.

Jingoism - Wikipedia

Jingoism is nationalism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] Jingoism also refers to a country's advocacy for the use of threats or actual force, as opposed to peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism.

June 17, 2005  | DemocracyRising.US

The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with words of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war.

The vanquished know the essence of war—death. They grasp that war is necrophilia. They see that war is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. They know how war fosters alienation, leads inevitably to nihilism, and is a turning away from the sanctity and preservation of life. All other narratives about war too easily fall prey to the allure and seductiveness of violence, as well as the attraction of the godlike power that comes with the license to kill with impunity.

But the words of the vanquished come later, sometimes long after the war, when grown men and women unpack the suffering they endured as children, what it was like to see their mother or father killed or taken away, or what it was like to lose their homes, their community, their security, and be discarded as human refuse. But by then few listen. The truth about war comes out, but usually too late. We are assured by the war-makers that these stories have no bearing on the glorious violent enterprise the nation is about to inaugurate. And, lapping up the myth of war and its sense of empowerment, we prefer not to look.

We see the war in Iraq only through the distorted lens of the occupiers. The embedded reporters, dependent on the military for food and transportation as well as security, have a natural and understandable tendency, one I have myself felt, to protect those who are protecting them. They are not allowed to report outside of the unit and are, in effect, captives. They have no relationships with the occupied, essential to all balanced reporting of conflicts, but only with the Marines and soldiers who drive through desolate mud-walled towns and pump grenades and machine-gun bullets into houses, leaving scores of nameless dead and wounded in their wake. The reporters admire and laud these fighters for their physical courage. They feel protected as well by the jet fighters and heavy artillery and throaty rattle of machine guns. And the reporting, even among those who struggle to keep some distance, usually descends into a shameful cheerleading.

There is no more candor in Iraq or Afghanistan than there was in Vietnam, but in the age of live satellite feeds the military has perfected the appearance of candor. What we are fed is the myth of war. For the myth of war, the myth of glory and honor sells newspapers and boosts ratings, real war reporting does not. Ask the grieving parents of Pat Tillman. Nearly every embedded war correspondent sees his or her mission as sustaining civilian and army morale. This is what passes for coverage on FOX, MSNBC or CNN. In wartime, as Senator Hiram Johnson reminded us in 1917, "truth is the first casualty."

All our knowledge of the war in Iraq has to be viewed as lacking the sweep and depth that will come one day, perhaps years from now, when a small Iraqi boy or girl reaches adulthood and unfolds for us the sad and tragic story of the invasion and bloody occupation of their nation.

I have spent most of my adult life in war. I began two decades ago covering wars in Central America, where I spent five years, then the Middle East, where I spent seven, and the Balkans where I covered the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. My life has been marred, let me say deformed, by the organized industrial violence that year after year was an intimate part of my existence. I have watched young men bleed to death on lonely Central American dirt roads and cobblestone squares in Sarajevo. I have looked into the eyes of mothers, kneeling over the lifeless and mutilated bodies of their children. I have stood in warehouses with rows of corpses, including children, and breathed death into my lungs. I carry within me the ghosts of those I worked with, my comrades, now gone.

I have felt the attraction of violence. I know its seductiveness, excitement and the powerful addictive narcotic it can become. The young soldiers, trained well enough to be disciplined but encouraged to maintain their naive adolescent belief in invulnerability, have in wartime more power at their fingertips than they will ever have again. They catapult from being minimum wage employees at places like Burger King, facing a life of dead-end jobs with little hope of health insurance and adequate benefits, to being part of, in the words of the Marines, "the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth." The disparity between what they were and what they have become is breathtaking and intoxicating. This intoxication is only heightened in wartime when all taboos are broken. Murder goes unpunished and often rewarded. The thrill of destruction fills their days with wild adrenaline highs, strange grotesque landscapes that are hallucinogenic, all accompanied by a sense of purpose and comradeship, overpowers the alienation many left behind. They become accustomed to killing, carrying out acts of slaughter with no more forethought than they take to relieve themselves. And the abuses committed against the helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo are not aberrations but the real face of war. In wartime all human beings become objects, objects either to gratify or destroy or both. And almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.

"Force," Simon Weil wrote, "is as pitiless to the man who possess it, or thinks he does, as it is to his victim. The second it crushes; the first it intoxicates."

This myth, the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy. We shun introspection and self-criticism. We ignore truth, to embrace the strange, disquieting certitude and hubris offered by the radical Christian Right. These radical Christians draw almost exclusively from the book of Revelation, the only time in the Gospels where Jesus sanctions violence, peddling a vision of Christ as the head of a great and murderous army of heavenly avengers. They rarely speak about Christ's message of love, forgiveness and compassion. They relish the cataclysmic destruction that will befall unbelievers, including those such as myself, whom they dismiss as "nominal Christians." They divide the world between good and evil, between those anointed to act as agents of God and those who act as agents of Satan. The cult of masculinity and esthetic of violence pervades their ideology. Feminism and homosexuality are forces, believers are told, that have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian Right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Anti-Christ, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. The language is one not only of exclusion, hatred and fear, but a call for apocalyptic violence, in short the language of war.

As the war grinds forward, as we sink into a morass of our own creation, as our press and political opposition, and yes even our great research universities, remain complacent and passive, as we refuse to confront the forces that have crippled us outside our gates and are working to cripple us within, the ideology of the Christian Right, so intertwined with intolerance and force, will become the way we speak not only to others but among ourselves.

In war, we always deform ourselves, our essence. We give up individual conscience—maybe even consciousness—for contagion of the crowd, the rush of patriotism, the belief that we must stand together as nation in moments of extremity. To make a moral choice, to defy war's enticement, to find moral courage, can be self-destructive.

The attacks on the World Trade Center illustrate that those who oppose us, rather than coming from another moral universe, have been schooled well in modern warfare. The dramatic explosions, the fireballs, the victims plummeting to their deaths, the collapse of the towers in Manhattan, were straight out of Hollywood. Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide bombers learn that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language we have taught them. They understand that the use of indiscriminate violence against innocents is a way to make a statement. We leave the same calling cards. We delivered such incendiary messages in Vietnam, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who in the summer of 1965 defined the bombing raids that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians north of Saigon as a means of communication to the Communist regime in Hanoi.

The most powerful anti-war testaments, of war and what war does to us, are those that eschew images of combat. It is the suffering of the veteran whose body and mind are changed forever because he or she served a nation that sacrificed them, the suffering of families and children caught up in the unforgiving maw of war, which begin to tell the story of war. But we are not allowed to see dead bodies, at least of our own soldiers, nor do we see the wounds that forever mark a life, the wounds that leave faces and bodies horribly disfigured by burns or shrapnel. We never watch the agony of the dying. War is made palatable. It is sanitized. We are allowed to taste war's perverse thrill, but spared from seeing war's consequences. The wounded and the dead are swiftly carted offstage. And for this I blame the press, which willingly hides from us the effects of bullets, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, which sat at the feet of those who lied to make this war possible and dutifully reported these lies and called it journalism.

War is always about this betrayal. It is about the betrayal of the young by the old, idealists by cynics and finally soldiers by politicians. Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, however, are crumpled up and thrown away. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they bring is too painful for us to hear. We prefer the myth of war, the myth of glory, honor, patriotism and heroism, words that in the terror and brutality of combat are empty, meaningless and obscene.

We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront the lies and hubris told to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them.

Chris Hedges has been a war reporter for 15 years most recently for the New York Times. He is author of "What Every person Should Know About War," a book that offers a critical lesson in the dangerous realities of war. He's also author of "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning."

War as a natural state of the USA since 1945


"...These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended. "
"...One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant. "
"...Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster. "
"...Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed. "

[Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

Professor Basevich

 

The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

This phenomenon of  New American Militarism was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is a former colonel of the US army). Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of:

 Professor Bacevich shows that neocons dominate the US foreign policy regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US in the only country uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts.

Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

Thesis

The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

Introduction: Slow Learner

The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

This book aspires to

  1. trace the history of the Washington rules;
  2. show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
  3. explain how itis perpetuated;
  4. show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
  5. re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

 The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The 

Except from Macmillan

Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

.... ... ...

Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

... ... ...

Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

... ... ...

Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naive as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.

In their article ‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?" Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy outlined important reasons  of the inevitability of the dominance of chicken hawks and jingoistic foreign policy in the USA political establishment:

June 22, 2015 | fpif.org

U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

Acknowledging New Realities

So what is it about the world that requires a change in our outlook? A few observations come to mind.

First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East — and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia — distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action. That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.

Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There’s no short-term solution — especially by force — to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.

Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into “friend” and “foe” according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.

Fourth, while the United States remains a great economic power, economic and political influence is shifting and giving rise to national and regional centers no longer controlled by U.S.-dominated global financial structures. Away from Washington, London, and Berlin, alternative centers of economic power are taking hold in Beijing, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Brasilia. Independent formations and alliances are springing up: organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (representing 2.8 billion people); the Union of South American Nations; the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur; and others.

Beyond the problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles. Democracy itself has become virtually dysfunctional.

Short Memories and Persistent Delusions

But instead of letting these changing circumstances and our repeated military failures give us pause, our government continues to act as if the United States has the power to dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.

The responsibility of those who set us on this course fades into background. Indeed, in light of the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East, leading presidential candidates are tapping neoconservatives like John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz — who still think the answer to any foreign policy quandary is military power — for advice. Our leaders seem to forget that following this lot’s advice was exactly what caused the meltdown in the first place. War still excites them, risks and consequences be damned.

While the Obama administration has sought, with limited success, to end the major wars it inherited, our government makes wide use of killer drones in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and has put troops back into Iraq to confront the religious fanaticism and brutality of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) — itself a direct consequence of the last U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reluctant to find common ground in the fight against ISIS with designated “foes” like Iran and Syria, Washington clings to allies like Saudi Arabia, whose leaders are fueling the crisis of religious fanaticism and internecine barbarity. Elsewhere, the U.S. also continues to give massive support to the Israeli government, despite its expanding occupation of the West Bank and its horrific recurring assaults on Gaza.

A “war first” policy in places like Iran and Syria is being strongly pushed by neoconservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. Though it’s attempted to distance itself from the neocons, the Obama administration adds to tensions with planned military realignments like the “Asia pivot” aimed at building up U.S. military forces in Asia to confront China. It’s also taken a more aggressive position than even other NATO partners in fostering a new cold war with Russia.

We seem to have missed the point: There is no such thing as an “American Century.” International order cannot be enforced by a superpower alone. But never mind centuries — if we don’t learn to take our common interests more seriously than those that divide nations and breed the chronic danger of war, there may well be no tomorrows.

Unexceptionalism

There’s a powerful ideological delusion that any movement seeking to change U.S. foreign policy must confront: that U.S. culture is superior to anything else on the planet. Generally going by the name of “American exceptionalism,” it’s the deeply held belief that American politics (and medicine, technology, education, and so on) are better than those in other countries. Implicit in the belief is an evangelical urge to impose American ways of doing things on the rest of the world.

Americans, for instance, believe they have the best education system in the world, when in fact they’ve dropped from 1st place to 14th place in the number of college graduates. We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population, while falling to 17th place in international education ratings. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the average American pays more than twice as much for his or her education than those in the rest of the world.

Health care is an equally compelling example. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems in 2000, the United States was ranked 37th. In a more recent Institute of Medicine report in 2013, the U.S. was ranked the lowest among 17 developed nations studied.

The old anti-war slogan, “It will be a good day when schools get all the money they need and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier” is as appropriate today as it was in the 1960s. We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education. The result is that Americans are no longer among the most educated in the world.

But challenging the “exceptionalism” myth courts the danger of being labeled “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” two powerful ideological sanctions that can effectively silence critical or questioning voices.

The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others.

The United States did not simply support Kosovo’s independence, for example. It bombed Serbia into de facto acceptance. When the U.S. decided to remove the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi from power, it just did so. No other country is capable of projecting that kind of force in regions thousands of miles from its borders.

The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending. It has hundreds of overseas bases, ranging from huge sprawling affairs like Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo and unsinkable aircraft carriers around the islands of Okinawa, Wake, Diego Garcia, and Guam to tiny bases called “lily pads” of pre-positioned military supplies. The late political scientist Chalmers Johnson estimated that the U.S. has some 800 bases worldwide, about the same as the British Empire had at its height in 1895.

The United States has long relied on a military arrow in its diplomatic quiver, and Americans have been at war almost continuously since the end of World War II. Some of these wars were major undertakings: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya. Some were quick “smash and grabs” like Panama and Grenada. Others are “shadow wars” waged by Special Forces, armed drones, and local proxies. If one defines the term “war” as the application of organized violence, the U.S. has engaged in close to 80 wars since 1945.

The Home Front

The coin of empire comes dear, as the old expression goes.

According Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the final butcher bill for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars — including the long-term health problems of veterans — will cost U.S. taxpayers around $6 trillion. One can add to that the over $1 trillion the U.S. spends each year on defense-related items. The “official” defense budget of some half a trillion dollars doesn’t include such items as nuclear weapons, veterans’ benefits or retirement, the CIA and Homeland Security, nor the billions a year in interest we’ll be paying on the debt from the Afghan-Iraq wars. By 2013 the U.S. had already paid out $316 billion in interest.

The domestic collateral damage from that set of priorities is numbing.

We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs.

As military expenditures dwarf funding for deteriorating social programs, they drive economic inequality. The poor and working millions are left further and further behind. Meanwhile the chronic problems highlighted at Ferguson, and reflected nationwide, are a horrific reminder of how deeply racism — the unequal economic and social divide and systemic abuse of black and Latino youth — continues to plague our homeland.

The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised.

Bombs and Business

President Calvin Coolidge was said to have remarked that “the business of America is business.” Unsurprisingly, U.S. corporate interests play a major role in American foreign policy.

Out of the top 10 international arms producers, eight are American. The arms industry spends millions lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and it defends its turf with an efficiency and vigor that its products don’t always emulate on the battlefield. The F-35 fighter-bomber, for example — the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — will cost $1.5 trillion and doesn’t work. It’s over budget, dangerous to fly, and riddled with defects. And yet few lawmakers dare challenge the powerful corporations who have shoved this lemon down our throats.

Corporate interests are woven into the fabric of long-term U.S. strategic interests and goals. Both combine to try to control energy supplies, command strategic choke points through which oil and gas supplies transit, and ensure access to markets.

Many of these goals can be achieved with standard diplomacy or economic pressure, but the U.S. always reserves the right to use military force. The 1979 “Carter Doctrine” — a document that mirrors the 1823 Monroe Doctrine about American interests in Latin America — put that strategy in blunt terms vis-à-vis the Middle East:

 “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

It’s no less true in East Asia. The U.S. will certainly engage in peaceful economic competition with China. But if push comes to shove, the Third, Fifth, and Seventh fleets will back up the interests of Washington and its allies — Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.

Trying to change the course of American foreign policy is not only essential for reducing international tensions. It’s critically important to shift the enormous wealth we expend in war and weapons toward alleviating growing inequality and social crises at home.

As long as competition for markets and accumulation of capital characterize modern society, nations will vie for spheres of influence, and antagonistic interests will be a fundamental feature of international relations. Chauvinist reaction to incursions real or imagined — and the impulse to respond by military means — is characteristic to some degree of every significant nation-state. Yet the more that some governments, including our own, become subordinate to oligarchic control, the greater is the peril.

Finding the Common Interest

These, however, are not the only factors that will shape the future.

There is nothing inevitable that rules out a significant change of direction, even if the demise or transformation of a capitalistic system of greed and exploitation is not at hand. The potential for change, especially in U.S. foreign policy, resides in how social movements here and abroad respond to the undeniable reality of: 1) the chronic failure, massive costs, and danger inherent in “American Century” exceptionalism; and 2) the urgency of international efforts to respond to climate change.

There is, as well, the necessity to respond to health and natural disasters aggravated by poverty, to rising messianic violence, and above all, to prevent a descent into war. This includes not only the danger of a clash between the major nuclear powers, but between regional powers. A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, for example, would affect the whole world.

Without underestimating the self-interest of forces that thrive on gambling with the future of humanity, historic experience and current reality elevate a powerful common interest in peace and survival. The need to change course is not something that can be recognized on only one side of an ideological divide. Nor does that recognition depend on national, ethnic, or religious identity. Rather, it demands acknowledging the enormous cost of plunging ahead as everything falls apart around us.

After the latest U.S. midterm elections, the political outlook is certainly bleak. But experience shows that elections, important as they are, are not necessarily indicators of when and how significant change can come about in matters of policy. On issues of civil rights and social equality, advances have occurred because a dedicated and persistent minority movement helped change public opinion in a way the political establishment could not defy.

The Vietnam War, for example, came to an end, despite the stubbornness of Democratic and Republican administrations, when a stalemate on the battlefield and growing international and domestic opposition could no longer be denied. Significant changes can come about even as the basic character of society is retained. Massive resistance and rejection of colonialism caused the British Empire and other colonial powers to adjust to a new reality after World War II. McCarthyism was eventually defeated in the United States. President Nixon was forced to resign. The use of landmines and cluster bombs has been greatly restricted because of the opposition of a small band of activists whose initial efforts were labeled “quixotic.”

There are diverse and growing political currents in our country that see the folly and danger of the course we’re on. Many Republicans, Democrats, independents, and libertarians — and much of the public — are beginning to say “enough” to war and military intervention all over the globe, and the folly of basing foreign policy on dividing countries into “friend or foe.”

This is not to be Pollyannaish about anti-war sentiment, or how quickly people can be stampeded into supporting the use of force. In early 2014, some 57 percent of Americans agreed that “over-reliance on military force creates more hatred leading to increased terrorism.” Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it.

It will always be necessary in each new crisis to counter those who mislead and browbeat the public into acceptance of another military intervention. But in spite of the current hysterics about ISIS, disillusionment in war as an answer is probably greater now among Americans and worldwide than it has ever been. That sentiment may prove strong enough to produce a shift away from perpetual war, a shift toward some modesty and common-sense realism in U.S. foreign policy.

Making Space for the Unexpected

Given that there is a need for a new approach, how can American foreign policy be changed?

Foremost, there is the need for a real debate on the thrust of a U.S. foreign policy that chooses negotiation, diplomacy, and international cooperation over the use of force.

However, as we approach another presidential election, there is as yet no strong voice among the candidates to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Fear and questionable political calculation keep even most progressive politicians from daring to dissent as the crisis of foreign policy lurches further into perpetual militarism and war. That silence of political acquiescence has to be broken.

Nor is it a matter of concern only on the left. There are many Americans — right, left, or neither — who sense the futility of the course we’re on. These voices have to be represented or the election process will be even more of a sham than we’ve recently experienced.

One can’t predict just what initiatives may take hold, but the recent U.S.-China climate agreement suggests that necessity can override significant obstacles. That accord is an important step forward, although a limited bilateral pact cannot substitute for an essential international climate treaty. There is a glimmer of hope also in the U.S.-Russian joint action that removed chemical weapons from Syria, and in negotiations with Iran, which continue despite fierce opposition from U.S. hawks and the Israeli government. More recently, there is Obama’s bold move — long overdue — to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Despite shifts in political fortunes, the unexpected can happen if there is a need and strong enough pressure to create an opportunity.

We do not claim to have ready-made solutions to the worsening crisis in international relations. We are certain that there is much we’ve missed or underestimated. But if readers agree that U.S. foreign policy has a national and global impact, and that it is not carried out in the interests of the majority of the world’s people, including our own, then we ask you to join this conversation.

If we are to expand the ability of the people to influence foreign policy, we need to defend democracy, and encourage dissent and alternative ideas. The threats to the world and to ourselves are so great that finding common ground trumps any particular interest. We also know that we won’t all agree with each other, and we believe that is as it should be. There are multiple paths to the future. No coalition around changing foreign policy will be successful if it tells people to conform to any one pattern of political action.

So how does the call for changing course translate to something politically viable, and how do we consider the problem of power?

The power to make significant changes in policy ranges from the persistence of peace activists to the potential influence of the general public. In some circumstances, it becomes possible — as well as necessary — to make significant changes in the power structure itself.

Greece comes to mind. Greek left organizations came together to form Syriza, the political party that was successfully elected to power on a platform of ending austerity. Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos Party — now the number-two party in the country — came out of massive demonstrations in 2011 and was organized from the grassroots up. We do not argue one approach over the over, but the experiences in both countries demonstrate that there are multiple paths to generating change.

Certainly progressives and leftists grapple with the problems of power. But progress on issues, particularly in matters like war and peace and climate change, shouldn’t be conceived of as dependent on first achieving general solutions to the problems of society, however desirable.

... ... ...

Conn Hallinan is a journalist and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. His writings appear online at Dispatches From the Edge. Leon Wofsy is a retired biology professor and long-time political activist. His comments on current affairs appear online at Leon’s OpEd.


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[May 21, 2018] Stop Kicking Sand in Kim's Face by Eric Margolis

May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com
It's got to be either one of the stupidest acts that I can recall or a very wicked plan by Washington neocons to sabotage Korean peace talks. How else to describe the decision by Big Brother USA and junior sidekick South Korea to stage major air force exercises on North Korea's border. The prickly North Koreans had a fit, of course, as always when the US flexes its muscles on their borders. Continuing South and North Korean peace talks scheduled this week were cancelled by the furious North Koreans. The much ballyhooed Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un is now threatened with cancellation or delay. Who can blame the North Koreans for blowing their tops? As Trump administration mouthpieces were gabbing about peace and light, the US Air Force was getting ready to fly B-52 heavy bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters around North Korea's borders and missile-armed subs lurked at sea. This provocation was the first of two major spring military exercises planned by the US and its reluctant South Korean satrap. In case North Korea failed to get the message, the second exercise is code-named 'Maximum Thunder.' And this right after Trump and his neocon minions reneged on the sensible nuclear treaty with Iran. In a policy one could call 'eat sand and die,' Trump demanded that Iran not only give up any and all nuclear capacity (Iran has no nukes), but also junk its non-nuclear armed medium range missiles, stop backing the Palestinians, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, roll over and be good, don't do anything to upset Israel, and pull out of Syria. In short, a total surrender policy leading to future regime change. Hardly an encouragement for North Korea. North Korea was right on target when it accused arch-neocon John Bolton of trying to sabotage the peace deal. In 2005-2006, Bolton served as the Bush administration's ambassador to the UN. He established a tradition for the post of being anti-Muslim, pro-Israel and anti-Russian, a policy continued to this day by the current US UN rep, loud-mouthed neocon Nikki Haley. In the 2005-2006 period, after years of negotiations, the US and North Korea were close to a nuclear/peace deal. Enter John Bolton. He succeeded in sabotaging the US-North Korea deal. Why? Because Bolton, as an arch neocon, was fanatically pro-Israel and feared that North Korea might provide nuclear technology to Israel's foes. As usual with the neocons, Israel's interests came before those of the United States. Trump's newly named Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, is also an ardent neocon. Last week, Bolton went onto US TV and actually suggested North Korea might follow the course set by Libya, of all places. Libya's then ruler, Muammar Kadaffi, bought some nuclear equipment from Pakistan so he could hand it over to the US as a gesture of cooperation after the Bush administration invaded Iraq. The handover was done with much fanfare, then the US, France and Britain attacked Libya and overthrew Kadaffi. The hapless Libyan leader was eventually murdered by French agents. Is this what Bolton has in mind for North Korea? The Northerners certainly seemed to think so. Some wondered if Bolton and perhaps Pompeo were trying to sabotage the North Korea deal. Or were at least being incredibly obtuse and belligerent. Was Trump involved in this intrigue? Hard to tell. But he can't be happy. His minions and bootlickers are promoting Trump for the Nobel Prize – rather ahead of events. Or was the US military rattling its sabers and trying to protect its huge investments in North Asia? The Pentagon takes a dim view of the proposed Korean nuclear accords. The burst of sweetness and light coming from Pyongyang just sounds too good to be true. Veteran Korea observers, this writer included, find it hard to believe Kim Jong-un will give up his nuclear weapons, particularly after seeing Trump's deceit in dealing with Iran and Kadaffi's murder. Speaking of de-nuclearization, why does North Korea not demand that the US get rid of its nuclear weapons based in South Korea, Okinawa, Guam and with the 7 th Fleet? Many are targeted on North Korea. US nuclear weapons are based on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Others are secretly based in Japan. Why not demand the US pull out all its 28,500 troops in South Korea and some 2,000 military technicians at air bases? Conclusively halt those spring and fall military maneuvers that raise the threat of war. End the trade embargo of North Korea that amounts to high level economic warfare. Establish normal diplomatic relations. Pyongyang has not even begun to raise these issues. Smiles and hugs are premature.

epnngg , May 18, 2018 at 10:57 pm GMT

The US Empire has no desire for diplomacy and realistic concessions on both sides when it comes to North Korea. The US will attempt to have its way and its way only with NK. The great tragedy is, as long as the US remains entrenched on the Korean peninsula, North and South Korea cannot make the peace process work that is so long overdue their peoples.
melpeexxx , May 18, 2018 at 11:16 pm GMT
Military industries are imbedded into major economies. North Korea and Iran keeps war profits churning. Same old story.
Chris Mallory , May 19, 2018 at 12:58 am GMT
Can you imagine the squealing from the "conservatives" if North Korea and Mexico ran some military exercises in the Gulf of Mexico?

Iran sent a destroyer and a couple of supply ships into the Atlantic and I thought the "conservatives" were gonna have aneurysms.

Anonymous [989] Disclaimer , May 19, 2018 at 5:28 am GMT
Who is really in control? The US seems like a country at war with itself. One minute, one decision, another minute, the opposite decision. Trump himself started out with promise but now follows the Jewish agenda to the letter.

Could it be that the US power structure is completely split along the lines of MAGA vs. Zionists and everything the rest of the world experiences is secondary?

My advice to Kim – keep the nukes, and try to eat less.

jilles dykstra , May 19, 2018 at 7:03 am GMT
USA stupidities have long consequences.
The British, experienced in ruling an empire, did not want outside interference in the Korean civil war.
The list of USA stupidities is long, Philippines, Japan, China, South America, Iraq, Iran, Libia, Syria, two world wars.
Peter Lowe, The Origins of the Korean War, London, 1986
Barbara W. Tuchman, 'Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911- 45', New York, 1970, 1985
William L. Neumann, 'America encounters Japan, From Perry to MacArthur', 1963, 1965, New York
Charles Callan Tansill, 'Amerika geht in den Krieg', Stuttgart 1939 (America goes to War, 1938)
Charles A. Beard, 'President Roosevelt and the coming of the war 1941, A study in appearances and realities', New Haven, 1948
Roy Mottahedeh, 'The Mantle of the Prophet, Religion and Politics in Iran', Oxford, 1985, 2000
Barbara Hinckley Sheldon Goldman, American Politics and Government, Glenview Ill.,1990
Alan Friedman, 'Spider's Web, Bush, Saddam, Thatcher and the Decade of Deceit', London, 1993
There are more books I could mention, but this seems enough.
The USA's problem, as I see it, that, until now, foreign policy could be determined by internal political reasons.
Trump's problem, making clear that this is over.
Jake , May 19, 2018 at 11:22 am GMT
Eric Margolis is one of the 2 or 3 best 'mainstream' published columnists in the country. He nails the nearly innumerable problems with Neocons about as well as can be done.
jacques sheete , May 19, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT

As Trump administration mouthpieces were gabbing about peace and light, the US Air Force was getting ready to fly B-52 heavy bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters around North Korea's borders and missile-armed subs lurked at sea.

Yet it's them Eye-rainianz what's da threat to whirled peas.

Hey Eric, perhaps instead of "gabbing," you really meant "gabbling?"

US foreign policy: Say one thing, do the opposite, piss on yer own citizens, blame it all on someone else, and laugh all the way to the bank.

Anonymous [426] Disclaimer , May 19, 2018 at 11:52 am GMT
The sad fact is the American troops and nukes are staying in S. Korea to use as a cudgel against China. The tension, rhetoric and sanctions will continue; though, unless Trump and his war cabinet are criminally insane, no war will ensue that allows Kim's forces to get in a punch. Needless American and S. Korean losses wouldn't play well in the media, especially in an election year. Pre-emptive genocide on a vast scale (implying a nuclear attack), however, is always possible from the Americans and their "free world" vassals wouldn't dare to criticise it, nor would the compliant American media. Not when we've been brainwashed to believe that American cities are N. Korean targets. Once an American military infestation occurs in a country it cannot be extirpated without killing the host, and the parasite is too deeply embedded in S. Korean tissue to be driven out or just walk away.
macilrae , May 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
John Bolton does indeed present a quite ferocious image and I am sure the only thing that held him back from a military career was the possibility that, one day, he might have to fight.
Greg Bacon , Website May 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
There's one nation that will benefit from the NK deal, as they have been playing footsies with the N. Koreans for some time. That nation is Israel.

Trump the Schlump: Iran Nuclear Deal Is Bad; North Korean Nuclear Deal Is Good

The only country that stands to benefit from this disjointed and hypocritical U.S. nuclear proliferation policy is Israel. It was the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, aided and abetted by Israel's wealthy American Jewish billionaire troika of political influence peddlers – Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, and Bernard Marcus – who, in the end, convinced Trump to trash the JCPOA. Trump's two new additions to his national security and foreign policy team, Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, have long advocated blowing up the JCPOA, charging that Iran has been violating the deal. Nothing is further from the truth, as demonstrated by conclusive reports on Iran's nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Israel's own Mossad intelligence service, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency..

Israel's clandestine links with North Korea date back to the operations of the Israel Corporation, which controlled Israel Aircraft Industries and Zim Israel Navigation Shipping Company. Eisenberg was the first Israeli to establish trading links with the People's Republic of China, which eventually extended to North Korea and Khmer Rouge-controlled Cambodia. Eisenberg's chief exports to China and North Korea were weapons. In the latter part of his life, Eisenberg was found more often in Beijing, where he died in 1997, than in Tel Aviv. As with Israel's covert oil business with Iran, Eisenberg's weapons sales to China and North Korea were handled by a shell corporation in Panama called United Development, Inc.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/05/17/trump-schlump-iran-nuclear-deal-bad-north-korean-nuclear-deal-good.html

Wow, imagine that, our foreign policy being run by neoCONs and Zionists in service to Apartheid Israel.

Those that know 9/11 was an Israeli masterminded False Flag will recall ZIM as the Israeli shipping outfit that broke their WTC lease–costing them over 50k–several weeks before 9/11 and got the hell out of Dodge, as if they knew something bad was going to happen.

Gosh, what would the USA do without our good friend and ally Israel always stabbing us in the back?

Johnny Smoggins , May 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
Margolis seems like a pretty worldly, well connected guy. He should send the video of Ghaddafi being sodomized with a sharpened stick to Kim as a reminder of what can happen to him if he gives up his nuclear deterrent.
Harold Smith , May 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
"North Korea was right on target when it accused arch-neocon John Bolton of trying to sabotage the peace deal. "

Bolton is merely the stalking horse in this particular scam. (It is for this kind of role that Bolton was picked in the first place). Apparently we're to infer that orange clown really, really, really, really, really, really, really wants some kind of a peace deal with North Korea, just like he really, really, really, really, really, really, really wants better relations with Russia for example alas there's always a fly in the imperial ointment.

In reality of course there was never any chance of a peace deal with North Korea, just like there was never any chance of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, or a withdrawal from Syria, or cooperation with Russia (on anything), or a real investigation into 9/11, etc. Instead what we get is affectatious posturing by actors on a stage; "government" by diabolical jewish-supremacist-inspired dialectics.

Che Guava , May 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@padre

Err, Saudi Arabia?

and for no concessions and a ridiculously slavish subordination of the U.S.A., Israel?

[May 20, 2018] Making sense of Russian political ambiguities by The Saker

Looks like Putin does not see alternative to neoliberalism... Also he need to provide for Russia a time to get from knees it was put by yeltzin regime. Russia is still very week economically in comparison with the alliance of US and EU. It does not have China advantage of hosting manufacturing of many high tech products.
Notable quotes:
"... to me this does strongly suggest that Putin is on the retreat, that he has made a major mistake and that the Empire has scored a major victory. ..."
May 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Meh. I am personally unconvinced. How can Putin say that he wants serious reforms while keeping the exact same type of people in command? If indeed the Medvedev government did such a great job, then why is there any need for such major reforms? If Putin's power base is indeed, as I believe it to be, in the people, then why is he trying to appease the financial elites by catering to their interests and agenda? Most crucially, how can Russia free herself from the financial and economic grip of the Empire when the Empire's 5 th column agents are (re-)appointed to key positions? And in all of Russia was there really nobody more qualified than Mutko or Kudrin to appoint to these positions?

Of course, there always this "Putin knows something you don't" but I have always had a problem with that kind of logic which is essentially an open-ended universal cop-out. I hope that I am wrong, but to me this does strongly suggest that Putin is on the retreat, that he has made a major mistake and that the Empire has scored a major victory. And I will gladly admit that I have yet to hear an explanation which would explain this, never mind offer one of my own.

On the external front, has Russia caved in to Israeli pressure? Ruslan Ostashko offers a very good analysis of why this is hardly the case: (I don't necessarily agree with his every conclusion, but he does make a very good case:

Yes, Netanyahu *did* with his repeated strikes on Syria, thumb his nose at Putin (that famous Israeli chutzpah at work for you!), and yes, Putin wining and dining Netanyahu was a painful sight and a PR-disaster. But on substance, did Israel get Russia to "betray Iran"? No, and not because the Russians are so heroically principled, but because Israel really has nothing to offer Russia. All Israel has is a powerful pro-Israel lobby inside Russia, that is true. But the more they use that lobby the more visible it becomes, the more questions at least Eurasian Sovereignists will ask.

The Israelis sure don't want to give the impression that the run Russia the way they run the US, and Netanyahu's reception in the Kremlin recently has already raised a lot of eyebrows and the impression that Putin caved in to the demands of this arrogant bastard are not helping Putin, to put it mildly. A lot of Russian analysts (Viktor Baranets, Maksim Shevchenko, Leonid Ivashev) wonder what kind of arguments Netanyahu used with Putin, and the list of possibilities is an outright uninspiring one.

Part five – another truism: there is a difference between excellent, good, average, bad and terrible

Even if the situation in Russia has changed for the worse, this is hardly a reason to engage in the usual "Putin sold out" hysteria or to declare that "Russia caved in". Even when things are bad, there is still a huge difference between bad and worse. As of right now, Putin is not only the best possible person to be the President of Russia, Russia also continues to be the objective leader of the resistance to the Empire. Again, the black-and-white "Hollywood" type of mindset entirely misses the dynamic nature of what is going on. For example, it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension.

For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin's personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition.

Much will depend on how the Russian economy will perform. If, courtesy of Trump's megalomaniacal policies towards Iran and the EU, Russia's economy receives a massive injection of funds (via high energy prices), then things will probably stabilize. But if the European leaders meekly cave in and join the sanctions against Iran and if the US succeeds in imposing even further sanctions on Russia, then the Medvedev government will face a serious crisis and the revival of the Russian economy promised by Putin will end up in an embarrassing failure and things could also go from bad to even worse.

... ... ...

For Hezbollah, Iran or Russia to defeat Israel, the US or the entire Empire, there is no need to plant a flag on the enemy's main symbolic building like what Soviet soldiers did in Germany. All they need to do to win is simply to survive because the other's sides survival is predicated upon their elimination, it's really that simple. Israel cannot claim victory as long as Hezbollah exists, the US cannot claim world Hegemony if Iran openly defies it, and the AngloZionist Empire cannot clain world hegemony over the our planet as long as the Russian civilizational realm openly challenges it. So while all the talk about the Iranians wanting to " wipe Israel off the map " is just a typical ziomedia invention, it is true that by their very existence Hezbollah, Iran and Russia do represent an existential threat to Israel, the US and the Empire .

This is the biggest and the fatal weakness of the AngloZionist Empire: its survival depends on the colonization or destruction of every other country out there. Every independent country, whether big and powerful, or small and weak, represents an unacceptable challenge to the hegemony of the "indispensable nation" and the "chosen people", which now try to rule over us all. This might well be the ultimate example of Hegelian dialectics at work in geopolitics: an Empire whose power generates it's own demise. Many empires have come and gone in history, but the globalized world we live in, this dialectical contradiction is tremendously potentialized by the finite conditions in which empires have to operate.

... ... ...

Right now Putin still has a lot of "credibility capital" left in spite of his recent mistakes. However, Putin recent decisions have raised a lot of unpleasant questions which must be answered and will so in time. In the meantime, as they say in the US, " hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and settle for anything in the middle ". The Scripture also warns us not to make idols of leaders: " Trust not in princes, nor in the children of men, in whom there is no safety " (Ps 145:3 LXX). The worldly evil we are fighting, today in the shape of the AngloZionist Empire, is but a manifestation of a much deeper, spiritual evil: " For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places " (Eph. 6:12). The young men and women from the Shia movement Amal got it right when they chose the name "Party of God" for their movement when they created Hezbollah in 1985. And Iran was right when it became an Islamic Republic: if we want to defeat the Empire we need to always let spiritual matters and moral crieria remain above any of our "pragmatic" worldly political considerations or national/ethnic loyalties: that is how we can defeat those who place a dollar value on absolutely everything they see in their narrow materialistic worldview.


Robert Magill , May 17, 2018 at 9:54 am GMT

A truly amazing article and the most amazing thing of all is the total lack of even one paragraph of the existence of China. This article could have been written, word for word, by a defender of the Empire and the China omission would have been identical.

The Key player on the world scene manages to wear the clock of invisibility like the Shadow of old time radio and movies. Quite a feat!
robertmagill.wordpress.com

m___ , May 17, 2018 at 10:12 am GMT

Second, each process carries within itself the seeds of its own contradiction. This is what makes processes dynamic.

"what makes processes dynamic", could it be "more then just linear"? Referring to changes of direction regardless of interaction(group dynamics) with other processes. Example: the Roman Empire process, growing then imploding?

Discard as pendantic in case.

Randal , May 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT

Even the Pantsir which was recently destroyed by the Israelis (with the usual pro-Israeli PR campaign) was not even on combat alert: the unit was not even camouflaged and its crew was standing around and smoking. The Israelis are masters at making this look all very impressive and heroic, but in military terms, this is nonsense: they clearly hit a unit which was not even part of the action (whatever that "action" was).

Not sure how an AD unit can be "not part of the action" anywhere in any meaningful sense in the midst of an ongoing surge of strikes within a strategic campaign of air attacks such as Israel is waging against Syria.

Without knowing the context (how long had it been stationary and out of ammo/action, as it reportedly was at the time of the strike, and what was the context for the Israelis getting a missile through to it when it should have been covered by other operational defences), it's hard to know how much its loss should be put down to Syrian fault, and how much to Israeli/US technical competence or just to the vagaries of war.

But it certainly doesn't look good and that's of course why the Israelis are so keen to publicise it.

As for the Saker piece, as usual lots of good points and some not so good, but that's about all one can expect on such complex topics. Imo he's rather over-stating the case in excusing the Russian failure to halt the ongoing Israeli assault on Syria. Yes, Russia has no formal alliance with Syria or Iran committing it to defend them (and by the way these are attacks on Syria not just Iran, though occasionally they hit Iranian forces within Syria and allied with Syria – the claims of targeting just Iranian forces are Israeli propaganda to create a seeming pretext good enough for the pro-Israeli media in the US sphere). But to say there is no moral onus on Russia whatsoever to do so is simply overstating it – Iranians, Syrians and Russians are fighting side by side in Syria and that in itself creates some moral pressure not to stand by and watch your allies get butchered with impunity when you can do something about it.

But from a purely pragmatic point of view, failing to halt the Israeli attacks is damaging to Russia, on at least two counts. First, it unavoidably creates a perception of weakness and/or betrayal, and of unreliability and two-facedness. In a more concrete sense, though, the simple fact is that Iranian, Syrian and Russian interests are in fact fundamentally aligned in Syria and diametrically opposed to the Israeli objective, on the core issue, which is the survival and stabilisation of the Syrian state. Israeli impunity and the level of attacks it is now carrying out are incompatible with the goal of stabilising Syria, and will have to be stopped at some time if that goal is to be achieved.

If the Russian government thinks that by appeasing the Israelis it can somehow hope that they might be persuaded to slow down or halt the attacks, perhaps if the Iranians pull out, then the Russian government is profoundly naïve. Claims that the strikes are motivated by Iranian presence are pretexts, not reasons. If that pretext goes, another will be found. The Israeli goal remains to destroy the Syrian state, destroy Hezbollah and destroy Iran as a regional rival. Israel does not need to do these things – claims that it is under serious threat are outright propaganda lies. It wants to do them, in order to gain in regional power over its rivals and increase further its impunity to continue and escalate its ongoing settler colonisation programs enabled by the US.

Those objectives are important enough that it isn't going to halt in pursuing them as a favour to Russia, no matter how meek and submissive the Russian government acts, but they are not important enough for Israel to face open conflict with a major power for them. Israel does these things because it can. When it is forcefully told that it can no longer do them, it will stop doing them.

One can certainly argue (and I have done so in the past) that the time isn't right for Russia to put a halt to Israeli attempts to destabilise the Syria government, though that argument grows increasingly threadbare. One cannot argue credibly, I think, that it will not be necessary to do so at some point soon.

ohmy , May 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm GMT
This is a very good interpretation of the recent events which have confused us all. Personally I think any and, all deals Putin has made with the Western Zionists have a short shelf life as, there seems to be no contract the West will honor short of complete capitulation.

Patience is a good thing here and,, Putin knows in the end Russia is the prize. So, I believe right now he is smart to play short ball with Washington and, Tel Aviv. There's a level of immaturity in guys like Netanyahu and, Trump. Let me just say, they have their egos to protect.
Saker, what do you know about AI as it relates to Tyler, anything? Is this a topic which can excite from you an article or, two?

Mega SCI dump , May 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm GMT
"the "New Russia" (as I like to call it) is not based on anything other than a Constitution written mostly by US advisors"

That's a bit harsh. Judging by what the Russian command structure has been seen to say and do, they are evidently based on rights and rule of law, not on the perverted US model but on black-letter customary and conventional international law. Russia dominates US performance in terms of human rights,

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

They took over from France as the world's most articulate advocate of rule of law, and did it better. In Syria they stressed pacific resolution of disputes, notably by brokering Syrian chemical weapons disarmament through OPCW. They also press-ganged a military staff committee and enforced UN Charter Article 47 at gunpoint, using all the megatonnage needed. Now they're the world's policeman, and they're not USA-style asshole cops. They're taking the role of international civil servants in the UN Charter's sense. That may be one reason why they're not consistently kicking US ass, as we would wish: Peace is the law. Friendly relations – it's the law, A/RES/25/2625.

Not that they're perfect examples of rights or law – the indicators show that in the specific respect of invitations to special procedures, they're about as bad as the USA, and that's pretty bad. And your point about double standards on Israeli impunity is very important. But their opposition to the West is not general, but meticulously grounded in law. Recall that they justified even a vital interest, Crimean accession, in terms of the Kosovo precedent set out by the ICJ.

Per/Norway , May 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Randal

the pantsir was being reloaded.. no rockets in the tubes, maybe that is how it was not part of the action;)
weapons without ammo cant do their intended operations as far as i know,,

Randal , May 17, 2018 at 8:56 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

Being out of ammo doesn't mean being "not part of the action". It means you should be either be being reloaded or getting under cover to reload, or be covered by other systems, or both.

Were the autocannons out of ammo as well? If it was running low on ammo shortly before, why wasn't it already on the move towards cover, since the S1 can reportedly fire on the move? If it was under such rapid and sustained attack that its ammo was exhausted in a saturation attack (and that of its covering systems as well, bearing in mind it was reportedly located at a major airbase), and it had no time to move or be reloaded before it was hit, then it absolutely was not "not part of the action".

I take no joy in pointing it out, but this was a clear defeat for the Syrian AD systems, however you explain it. It's not the end of the world – losses are inevitable in combat. Lessons can be learned. But it can't be airily dismissed as "not part of the action".

Malcolm Tucker , Website May 17, 2018 at 10:11 pm GMT
What "cancellation" of which promise to supply the S-300?? There never was any promise to do so to start with. There were only certain questions asked by the JMSM in certain time before the long-planned visit of Netanyahu on May, 9. The Russian generals had to give some sort of replies. An ambiguous ones. But the JMSM of course made a conclusion that Russia indeed is planning the sale. Fast-forward to 9th of May, Bibi comes/Bibi leaves, and the same JMSM would ask the new questions. To which Moscow obviously had to voice a denial. As a result – Bibi is a hero at home, while Putin was made look weak. http://www.ancreport.com/report/the-phantom-s-300/
Erebus , May 18, 2018 at 2:12 am GMT
@Randal

The photos I've seen indicate that the system (if really the same one) had indeed fired off its missiles and was ready to move as its hydraulic stabilizers had been retracted, and its radar panel folded. If the crew left the system uncamouflaged and were "standing around smoking", that can suggest a number of different possibilities. It may indicate a breakdown in discipline, but they may have been awaiting orders, or even had a mechanical breakdown en route to a new location. Likely a combination. Who knows?

So, maybe not "part of the action" in the sense that it was actively targeting/firing at incoming missiles, but definitely "part of the action" in the sense that it had been obviously doing just that moments before. If its missiles and auto-cannon had seen some successes, it may even be seen to have "won" rather than been part of a "clear defeat".

In any case, it seems that surprisingly little damage was done. The system was hit in the front cab area and looked eminently repairable in the photos.

The SAA has seen some discipline problems in the field, and since a number of the the general staff defected early in the war, a disjointed command & control system. Under Russian tutelage, they're vastly better today than they were 2 years ago, but perhaps not quite there yet. If the reports from late 2015 are to be believed, the Russians were very frustrated with how the SAA operated, and basically had to impose discipline by threatening, and then actually leaving.
My guess is that that's a large part of why the Russians are reluctant to provide potent weapons such as the S300. The political implications of using them can outweigh their military utility, and so must remain under strict control. If somebody starts shooting down US or IL jets at stand-off distances, things can get uncomfortably complex very quickly. The Russians don't need that to worry about along with everything else.

byrresheim , May 18, 2018 at 3:50 am GMT
Russia and Russians will have to come to terms with the fact they are disliked in large parts of Eastern Europe, with the possible exception of Serbia.

There are reasons for this, whether just or unjust.

The reaction to comment #1 which might be seen as sarcastic seems a case in point.

I am certain that unfortunate accidents like the coup in Ukraine might in the future be avoided by a bit more self-awareness and awareness of massive prejudices inherited from an often less than glorious past.

One has to see, however, that in the Ukrainian case, like in the Georgian case before, Russia acted swiftly and decisively to reach a position which might be considered better than the status quo ante before the Free West™ started its sheganigans. So perhaps the awareness exists and the contingency planning is in place?

That is why I still have more than a little hope for Syria and by extension christendom in Syria and Lebanon. All to often it is forgotten that these wars in Arabia are also wars against the christion minorities in Arabia.

Ronald Thomas West , Website May 19, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
Well, this guy save me the trouble of commenting:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/the-saker-isnt-just-wrong-hes-irrelevant-putins-an-excellent-warrior/

Miro23 , May 19, 2018 at 7:57 am GMT
@Randal

The Israeli goal remains to destroy the Syrian state, destroy Hezbollah and destroy Iran as a regional rival. Israel does not need to do these things – claims that it is under serious threat are outright propaganda lies. It wants to do them, in order to gain in regional power over its rivals and increase further its impunity to continue and escalate its ongoing settler colonization programs enabled by the US.

In fact it seems to go further. Planned Greater Israel expands territorially to include Jordan, Lebanon, most of Syria, western Iraq (oil producing regions), all the Gulf States, all northern Saudi Arabia (oil producing regions) and the Sinai and other parts of Egypt.

It's the Israeli Imperial dream of becoming a World Power and also controlling the world's oil supply, somewhat analogous to Hitler's dream of a German World Empire based on colonization of the East and a Greater Germany extending to the Urals.

Both are/were racist-Imperialist projects with the difference that the Germans tried to realize the dream using their own military (insufficient) while the Israelis are trying to do it using US forces.

How long the US plays along (or rather is intimidated into playing along) with this one sided project is an open question – and there's clearly the issue of how Israel is going to win these wars without troops on the ground. At least Hitler had most of his army in Russia and detailed plans for post-war ethnic German settlement.

The Americans aren't going to fight more large scale ground wars in the Middle East and Israeli/US proxy forces have failed – so that leaves the destruction of the Middle East from the air – which doesn't really further the Greater Israel project. Political control on the ground stays the same – generating even greater anti-Israeli/anti-American sentiment (if that is possible).

Russia correctly opts to keep clear of this mess, and there is only negative blowback for Israel and the United States – actually serving to isolate internally destabilize these countries.

Erebus , May 20, 2018 at 1:08 am GMT
@Randal

At the moment the Russians look either two-faced or weak (and perhaps they are both) in the face of Israel. That's not a look Russia can afford to have come to be their characterising feature, in the long run.

Yes, from certain perspectives it does indeed look like that, but I doubt many of us here are very aware of the calculi being used at the state level, and especially of Russia's. "Losing face" may be the equivalent of sacrificing a pawn.

There are some complex processes underway, involving a bewildering number of moving parts. "Russiagate" is imploding in the US at an accelerating rate, heading for a constitutional crisis. The 2 Koreas are cooking up a scheme between them (w/ support) to end the US' domination of the W. Pacific. More critical than all, in my view, is Trump's abrogation of the JCPOA. This has put the US on a trajectory at odds with its allies, and played directly into the hands of its adversaries. As evidence of the latter, Merkel and Putin have met 2x in May, and Germany's new foreign minister has also visited with Lavrov. It may well be the geo-political tipping point.

Remembering Obama's & Kerry's words at the the time the JCPOA was agreed
Obama in Aug '15:
"Instead of strengthening our position as some have suggested, Congress's rejection would almost certainly result in multilateral sanctions unraveling We'd have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system trigger(ing) severe disruptions in our own economy and, by the way, rais(ing) questions internationally about the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency. "
John Kerry, a few days later:
"If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, 'you're going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,' that is a recipe, very quickly, for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world. "

With the EU now agreeing to transact with Iran in EURs, Obama's & Kerry's words look to have been much more than hyperbole, "Losing face", in these circumstances may be nothing more than what you do as you play rope-a-dope while the big guy punches himself out.

We shall see what happens after the World Cup.

I think that's colouring current events more than we give it credit for. It's an opportune time for rogue nations to play games and throw tantrums, but I think a new set of rules will be introduced after the show is over.

Avery , May 20, 2018 at 4:23 am GMT
@Anon

{Maybe it would have been better if the Germans had defeated and occupied Russia and killed all the commies.}

Maybe it would have been much better for Nazis to have occupied whatever putrid swamp you are from and killed off pond scum like you.

Nazis invaded Soviet Union in order to exterminate the Slavic peoples, the supposed Untermenschen , take their fast, fertile lands, and populate them with the alleged "Master Race".

Except they turned out to be somewhat less than "Master", because those Untermenschen chased the pitiful remainders of the Nazi invaders all the way back to Berlin, and those Untermenschen Red Army soldiers pissed on the ashes of the supposed "Master Race" leader.

(Hitler's bloviations about Bolsheviks and all that was just a convenient excuse and to snow his military who might be less than enthusiastic about murdering civilians of SU.)

btw: it is not too late for youse and your buddies to put on your uniforms, polish up your jack-boots, grab your weapons .and invade Russia. Who know maybe youse will get lucky and will get a gift wrapped Sarmat express -delivered right to your address.

[May 20, 2018] The Russian-German Relationship Is in Free Fall

May 20, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

[May 20, 2018] Far from "the intelligence community" believing any such thing, it was eventually admitted that a handful of picked individuals from three agencies (of the 16) had cautiously expressed that "belief" with the proviso that they acknowledged that they knew of no supporting evidence.

May 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Tom Welsh , May 17, 2018 at 9:46 am GMT

"John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections)".

Except that:

1. The paper's assertion was untrue (and known by the authors to be untrue). Far from "the intelligence community" believing any such thing, it was eventually admitted that a handful of picked individuals from three agencies (of the 16) had cautiously expressed that "belief" – with the proviso that they acknowledged that they knew of no supporting evidence. Presumably a handful of picked (and anonymous) individuals would be highly susceptible to bribery, blackmail, or a combination of the two.

2. The sentence quoted does not make it clear that, whereas the US government routinely manages and controls other countries' political affairs (it goes a very long way further than "tinkering") the alleged Russian "tinkering" was on a tiny scale, and had nothing to do with the Russian government.

Curmudgeon , May 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh

An assertion is less than an allegation. Both have some factual basis, however little that factual basis may be.
A belief is less than an assertion. A belief is based on faith. A factual basis is not necessary.
In other words, the document was a leap of faith.

[May 20, 2018] Palestine urges Arab allies to recall envoys in Washington

May 17, 2018 | www.dailysabah.com
A picture taken on May 16, 2018 shows a general view of the meeting of the permanent delegates of Arab League during extra-ordinary emergency session held at the League's headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP Photo) Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki suggested on Thursday that Arab countries should recall their ambassadors to the United States in response to Washington moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

"There is no harm in Arab states collectively recalling their ambassadors in Washington to their capitals for consultations," Maliki said in live televised remarks at the Arab League in Cairo.

The United States opened its new Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday in a controversial move to the holy city from Tel Aviv that has brought wide condemnation. Israeli soldiers killed more than 60 Palestinians who protested in the Gaza Strip while the embassy opened.

Turkey was the first country to withdraw its ambassador to Washington after the Israeli bloodshed, which came on the same day the embassy move took place. Turkish envoy Serdar Kılıç arrived back in Ankara on Wednesday afternoon.

Maliki also said members of the Arab League, whose foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Thursday for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the issue, should summon U.S. ambassadors "to remind them of the Arab rejection of the U.S. embassy's transfer to Jerusalem."

He said Arab states had agreed at previous summit meetings that they would cut ties with any country that moves its embassy to Jerusalem.

Lebanon's delegation said its foreign ministry had sent a letter to the International Criminal Court demanding it "undertake measures" to hold to account those responsible for the killings of Palestinians. It did not specify what those measures should be.

It was unclear what the response would be to Maliki's suggestion. Several Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong ties with the administration of President Donald Trump.

[May 20, 2018] US sanctions entities linked to Lebanon's Hezbollah

May 17, 2018 | www.dailysabah.com

The United States sought to further choke off funding sources for Iranian-backed Hezbollah on Thursday, sanctioning one of its financiers and its representative to Iran, as well as five entities based in Europe, West Africa and the Middle East.

It imposed sanctions on Hezbollah's financier, Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi, and its representative to Iran, Abdallah Safi Al-Din, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The department said it had also blacklisted Belgian energy services conglomerate Global Trading Group; Gambia-based petroleum and petroleum products company Euro African Group; and Lebanon-based Africa Middle East Investment Holding, Premier Investment Group SAL Offshore and import-export group Car Escort Services.

"The savage and depraved acts of one of Hezbollah's most prominent financiers cannot be tolerated," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"This administration will expose and disrupt Hezbollah and Iranian terror networks at every turn, including those with ties to the Central Bank of Iran," he said.

The sanctions are among a slew of new and additional ones aimed at Iran and Hezbollah since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last week.

In one of the biggest moves aimed at tightening the noose on Iran's overseas operations and its elite revolutionary guards, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Iran's central bank governor, Valiollah Seif, earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the United States, backed by Gulf States, imposed additional sanctions on Hezbollah's top two leaders, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem

[May 20, 2018] Will Trump's Pyrrhic Victory End with America's Role As Global Bully by Philip M. GIRALDI

Notable quotes:
"... Iran's hopes that Europe will develop a spine and will reject the American overtures, joined by China and Russia, is perhaps too optimistic as banks will be reluctant to lend money for Iranian projects and foreign companies will be unlikely to risk entering into anything but very short-term contracts with the Iranian government for much needed infrastructure improvement. ..."
"... Even though it was Israel and Saudi Arabia that were driving the rejection of the Iran deal, it was the United states that had the economic, military and political muscle to take the steps necessary to disrupt an international agreement that had other major signatories and the endorsement of the UN Security Council. ..."
"... The alternative view is quite different, asserting that Washington's blow against Iran will ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for Donald Trump as the blatant interference in what was a universally accepted largely successful treaty in which Iran was fully compliant will produce a global backlash against American interests. US military power and economic might give it considerable leverage to protect itself against any number of adversaries, but its huge and ultimately unsustainable budget deficits and debt make it potentially vulnerable. It is therefore likely that the first counterstrokes against Trump's vision of America First will be to accelerate steps directed against the use of the US dollar as the world's principal reserve currency. ..."
May 20, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

I am in Iran speaking at a conference on the future of the Middle East. The timing for the meeting is particularly appropriate due to the recent American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which limited the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for suspension of sanctions. Initial discussions with Iranians revealed that they are less pessimistic about the development than are the Americans and Europeans present, believing as they do that the situation can somehow be reversed either by Congressional refusal to endorse the Trump decision or by rejection of the demands being made by the White House that all parties who were also signatories to the agreement (Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) should also withdraw or themselves face secondary sanctions.

The Iranians concede that the move by President Donald Trump will bring with it additional economic suffering and will also likely upset the delicate political balancing act prevailing in their country, with President Hassan Rouhani being blamed by conservatives for having entered into the agreement in the first place. It was an agreement regarding which the president had expended considerable political equity, and he has also been accused of exaggerating its benefits, having claimed some months ago that all sanctions had been lifted, which was not the case. The stagnant state of Iran's economy has produced considerable unrest in recent months and it is anticipated that more will be on the way as the economy continues to decline.

Iran's hopes that Europe will develop a spine and will reject the American overtures, joined by China and Russia, is perhaps too optimistic as banks will be reluctant to lend money for Iranian projects and foreign companies will be unlikely to risk entering into anything but very short-term contracts with the Iranian government for much needed infrastructure improvement.

The major debate taking place is over where one goes from here. There are two distinct schools of thought, one of which basically asks whether continuation of what is essentially a unipolar world, supported by US power, in which the United States continues to be able to assert its vision of world global good order. This has been defined by Washington as a mixture of expansion of liberal democracy plus more-or-less free trade.

Even though it was Israel and Saudi Arabia that were driving the rejection of the Iran deal, it was the United states that had the economic, military and political muscle to take the steps necessary to disrupt an international agreement that had other major signatories and the endorsement of the UN Security Council.

The alternative view is quite different, asserting that Washington's blow against Iran will ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for Donald Trump as the blatant interference in what was a universally accepted largely successful treaty in which Iran was fully compliant will produce a global backlash against American interests. US military power and economic might give it considerable leverage to protect itself against any number of adversaries, but its huge and ultimately unsustainable budget deficits and debt make it potentially vulnerable. It is therefore likely that the first counterstrokes against Trump's vision of America First will be to accelerate steps directed against the use of the US dollar as the world's principal reserve currency.

There have already been moves in that direction, but they have succeeded in going only so far before being marginalized. This time they might stick because there is a large and growing consensus that America has finally gone too far in its role as global bully. One keen observer opines that the shift to a multipolar polity has now become inevitable due to American insensitivity and political blindness. The economic shifts that will, by some judgements, sink the US economy in five to ten years and lead to the rise of competing economic centers in countries like Russia and Brazil. It will be the beginning of an era in which Washington no longer will have either the resources or the will to attempt to maintain some form of global hegemony.

No surprisingly, the participants at the multinational conference I am attending would welcome the day when an interventionist "leader of the free world" America ceases to be. Many Americans would also welcome it, though without the economic disruption.

[May 19, 2018] Trump Doesn't Have North Korea 'Cornered' by Daniel Larison

May 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

The larger problem with Thiessen's "analysis" is that it fails to grasp that North Korea's government won't accept the "offer" Trump is making because accepting it means giving up the one thing that does more to guarantee the regime's security than any promise that the U.S. could ever make. Trump talked about giving Kim "very strong protections" if he agreed to get rid of the nuclear weapons, but there are no protections that the U.S. could offer that would be any stronger than the ones he currently possesses. Kim is coming to the summit as the leader of a nuclear-weapons state conducting talks at the highest level with the global superpower, and he isn't going to agree to give up that status in exchange for obviously worthless promises from Donald Trump. The more that the Trump administration and its boosters delude themselves into thinking that they have North Korea on the defensive, the worse the summit will go for the U.S. and its allies.


SF Bay May 18, 2018 at 11:14 pm

" The more that the Trump administration and its boosters delude themselves into thinking that they have North Korea on the defensive, the worse the summit will go for the U.S. and its allies."

This summit can really only go one way. Trump, ever the fool, will swagger in, offer nothing, bluster, and in the end be handed his hat. I don't think there's anyway to spin this as anything other than the poop storm that it is. No Nobel is Trump's future. Sad.

b. , says: May 19, 2018 at 10:50 am
"giving up the one thing that does more to guarantee the regime's security than any promise that the U.S. could ever make"

It could be argued at this point that nuclear proliferation in a world of unipolar aggression might well be stabilizing not only whichever regimes the US decides to destabilize on a given day, but also the international order and even peace. Certainly, China's modest arsenal of minimum means of reprisal and Russia's outsized arsenal matching US folly warhead for warhead and warhead for interceptor demonstrate that US impunitivism is not even deterred by that. But Iraq was attacked precisely because Bush and his cronies were certain Saddam had no effective WMD deterrent – no nukes, everything else a desirable post-hoc justification.

Trump has the EU "cornered", and only fools will believe that this is to the benefit of the world, or even the US – unless the EU finally recognizes the magnitude of its "ally" problem, and their captive populations elect politicians that, for good or ill, will break with the US.

Trump has zero leverage over Iran and North Korea, not only because he is already committed to acts of aggression including all-out economical warfare and soon naval blockade, but also because both nations – and their backers in China and Russia – have long realized that any possible "appeasement" on their part will have as much impact on US conduct as EU "consultations" or South Korean "coordination" – now with a US theater commander as "ambassador". The Moon government has relegated itself to the bleachers as the welfare of South Korea is at stake because, just like the EU3, it does not dare question the unilateral "alliance" it has acquiesced to over decades.

We live in the age of a nation unhinged. But Guatemala, Paraguay and Romania are following from ahead, demonstrating that the US might be acting unilaterally, but not alone, and this "coalition of the unseemly eager" is, in terms of outcomes, no different from posturing collaborators in Germany, France and the UK, or the hapless hostages in South Korea.

Surely, Thiessen and Trump have the world outnumbered and surrounded. What could possibly go wrong, with leaders of such sparkling brilliance in charge?

b. , says: May 19, 2018 at 10:54 am
The most pathetic display here is the establishment biparty published opinion applauding Trump for pursuing the purest expression of Godfather Diplomacy, turned into farce. America's sickening fascination with and glorification of organized crime and racketeering aside – prosperity gospel wins – it is quite obvious that we cannot make "offers they cannot refuse" by putting a horse's ass on a pillow.
A. G. Phillbin , says: May 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm
@b.

America's sickening fascination with and glorification of organized crime and racketeering aside – prosperity gospel wins – it is quite obvious that we cannot make "offers they cannot refuse" by putting a horse's ass on a pillow.

Actually b., that was a horse's head on a pillow in "The Godfather." Were you thinking of Trump or Bolton when you wrote that?

Blimbax , says: May 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm
Speaking of horses, John Bolton is the south end of a north-bound horse.

[May 18, 2018] Foreign Policy Insiders try to Scuttle Trump-Kim Nukes Deal by Mike Whitney

With so little and so controversial information it is impossible even to judge what is true and wht is not in NK-US confrontation.
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

The biggest obstacle Donald Trump is going to face in his upcoming negotiations with Kim Jong-un, is not Kim's unwillingness to abandon his nuclear weapons program, but resistance from powerful elements in the foreign policy establishment who will do everything they can to scuttle the agreement. We've already seen an example of this just this week when US nuclear bombers were included in the US-Korea joint military drills that are currently underway in the south. The B-52′s were clearly added to the massive "Max Thunder" exercises to provoke the DPRK leadership, increase tensions, and convince Kim that it was pointless to trust Washington. The move was bitterly criticized in North Korea's state media which summed up the situation like this:

"At a time when the DPRK-U.S. summit is approaching, the U.S. has launched the largest ever drill involving B-52 strategic nuclear bomber, F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and other nuclear strategic assets. This is an extremely provocative and ill-boding act going against the trend for peace and security on the Korean peninsula .The extremely adventurous 2018 Max Thunder joint air combat exercises are aimed at precision strike on key strategic objects of the DPRK and the seizure of the air control together with the U.S ."

The North's assessment is entirely correct. The drills are a simulation of a preemptive attack on North Korea that would annihilate the military, level Pyongyang and "decapitate" the leadership. They are a deliberate provocation designed to poison the atmosphere prior to the June 12 summit in Singapore. They're also a clear violation of the Panmunjom Declaration which affirms the mutual commitment of the North and South "to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict." (Panmunjom Declaration)

What we'd like to know is whether Trump was consulted about the drills? Did he give the go-ahead? Was it his decision to tweak Kim's nose after Kim had just made a number of conciliatory gestures including the total banning of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles tests, the returning of three US prisoners to US custody, and meeting with leaders in the south in order to end hostilities and normalize relations? Is Trump responsible for this diplomatic disaster?

Of course not. Trump's objectives are completely clear. He wants to win the Nobel Prize and he wants to be recognized as a foreign policy genius, both of which are within his grasp if he persuades Kim to ditch his nukes. Trump does not want to provoke Kim who, so far, has acted in good faith. He wants to cut a deal with him. The exercises represent the interests of some other constituency, some deeper faction within the national security state who have a stake in the outcome of future negotiations. They want the talks to fail so they can preserve the status quo. They want a divided Korea that "languishes in a permanent state of colonial dependency". That works just fine for them, which is why the military drills were not postponed or cancelled. It's also why John Bolton has been making incendiary comments about the "Libya model", and why the media has been fueling public pessimism while misrepresenting US position. According to many media reports, the North will be expected to 'totally decommission its nuclear weapons, missiles and biochemical weapons' without any immediate compensation.

That's not the deal. That's never been the deal. No one on the North Korean side ever said that Washington was going to get something for nothing. And it's not going to happen either. Kim is looking for a tradeoff, a decommissioning of his nuclear weapons in exchange for basic security guarantees. That's the deal.

So who's spreading all these false rumors and what is their objective? Here's more from North Korea's state media:

"The U.S. is miscalculating the magnanimity of the DPRK as signs of weakness and trying to embellish and advertise as if these are the product of its sanctions and pressure.

The U.S. is trumpeting as if it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon nukes. But we have never had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic construction and will not make such a deal in future .

If the Trump administration takes an approach to the DPRK-U.S. summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations, it will receive a deserved response from us. However, if the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit." (End of statement)

The North doesn't want Washington's money or its economic inducements. The North wants assurances that the US will not attack it in the future. That's it. That's what Kim wants. He wants an end to the hostilities so he can move ahead with a regional economic-integration plan that will draw the two Koreas closer together, end the North's isolation, strengthen the North's economy, and pave the way for prosperity. In other words, Kim is offering to give up his nuclear weapons to (essentially) get Washington off its back and out of its hair.

None of this has anything to do with Trump's absurd "maximum pressure" campaign, which had no impact on Kim's decision at all. The North is not motivated by Trump's hysterical threats of "total destruction", but by a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to emerge from its long-term seclusion and become an active participant in an ambitious economic integration plan that will link North and South Korea to the rest of Asia via massive infrastructure and energy projects. The only catch to this proposal, is that the DPRK must abandon its nuclear weapons program and agree to resolve its issues with Seoul. In other words, Kim's eagerness to denuclearize is not an attempt to placate Washington, but an effort to meet the minimal requirements of his economic partners in Beijing, Moscow and Seoul.

The United States is not central to the critical economic-political developments on the peninsula, in fact, the region is making a concerted effort to sever its ties with Washington by creating a giant free trade zone that will connect the region through " large trilateral infrastructural and energy projects," to Japan, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe. Check this out from the Kremlin website:

"The Korean Government has recently created the Northern Economic Cooperation Committee This has completed the creation of a management system that will make Korea the leader in the development of the Far East. The Committee is tasked with strengthening economic cooperation with Northeast Asian and Eurasian countries. In the future, cooperation between the Committee and Russia's Far Eastern Federal District and the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East will play a key role in the development of the Far East.

Next year, we will create a Korean-Russian Regional Cooperation Forum. It should bolster contacts between regional governments in Korea and the Russian Far East. Cooperation channels between regional economic communities and small and medium-sized businesses will greatly expand contacts between people and promote practical cooperation ..

The North Korean nuclear and missile ambitions are the biggest threat to the development of the huge potential of the Korean Peninsula and the Russian Far East. This is why we have come to the conclusion that this problem must be settled as soon as possible." (Kremlin website)

See what's going on? Kim has been asked to choose between prosperity or nukes, and he has wisely chosen prosperity. He has decided to participate in a common economic space that allows commerce to flourish without the bulk of the profits to be siphoned off by the voracious western corporations. Is it any wonder why powerful members of the foreign policy establishment want to torpedo the plan?

The integration plan is not some pie-in-the-sky apparition, but a broad and detailed economic blueprint for regional development; power plants, highways, high-speed rail, and pipeline corridors. It's the whole nine yards. Here's more from The South China Morning Post:

"President Moon Jae-in gave the North's leader Kim Jong-un a USB drive containing a "New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula" at the fortified border village of Panmunjom on April 27. The initiative included three economic belts – one connecting the west coast of the peninsula to China, making the region a centre of logistics; one connecting the east coast to Russia for energy cooperation and one on the current border to promote tourism.

"The new economic map includes railway links between the two Koreas and China's northeast stretching all the way to Europe ."

"The plan would have a huge impact on China's northeastern region as it would transform the region as a centre of logistics in East Asia, which could function as a driving force for the rapid economic growth of the region .A railway connection would bring a myriad of investments from overseas and would help the economy take off."

Yet observers added that the initiatives were dependent on Kim accepting Seoul's definition of denuclearisation – namely the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of the North's nuclear programme." (The South China Morning Post)

Kim must denuclearize in order to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, which is why he is eager to make hefty concessions to Trump while getting very little in return. Think about it: Trump gets the nukes and the Nobel Prize while Kim gets a lousy piece of paper with Washington's guarantees for security. That's a great deal for Trump but not a very good deal for Kim. Even so, Kim is prepared to cooperate in order to meet his obligations and move forward with an economic plan that will strengthen his economy and improve the lives of his people. He's making the right choice.

Some of Trump's deep state opponents probably think that they can derail Kim's plans by sabotaging the June 12th Summit. But that's not entirely true. Kim does not need to reach an agreement with Trump, he merely has to convince his main trading partner, Beijing, that he's made a sincere effort that was rejected by an unreasonable and tyrannical Washington. If Kim proves that he's willing to go the extra mile for peace– by offering to decommission his nuclear arsenal– then Beijing is going to reward his behavior by easing the sanctions and restoring the DPRK's economic lifeline. Bottom line: Kim is going to win one way or another.

In my opinion, the cat-n-mouse game Kim is playing with Trump is a bit of a ruse because, in truth, Kim is going to have to give up his nukes whether he makes a deal with Trump or not. As we said earlier, Moscow, Beijing and Seoul have all made denuclearization a basic requirement for participation in their economic integration plan, so it's a done deal. Kim is going to have to abandon his nuclear weapons. The fact is, Russia and China don't want the smaller, surrounding nations to have nukes any more than the US wants Mexico, Canada or Cuba to have them. It dramatically impacts regional security.

Finally, it wouldn't surprise me if Washington's deep state powerbrokers are more concerned about the proposed regional free trade zone, then they are about the North's nuclear weapons. In order for the US to be a major player in the most populous and prosperous region in the world, it must implement its "pivot to Asia" strategy that controls China's explosive growth and prevents the emergence of an economic or military rival. The so called "Putin Plan" for vast economic integration is a direct threat to Washington's dream of maintaining its dominant position in the global economy. If successfully implemented, the Putin Plan will greatly accelerate the pace of imperial decline.

So far, I don't see any indication that Washington knows how to deal with this threat. ← Did Trump Scrap the Nuke's Deal to Pay ... Category: Foreign Policy Tags: China , Donald Trump , North Korea Recently from Author

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Carlton Meyer , Website May 18, 2018 at 4:17 am GMT

North Korea has been trying to cut a peace deal for decades, but our Deep State blocks all such efforts. I documented the wasteful and aggressive efforts of US Army generals to thwart peace in a series of articles. This was the latest:

http://www.g2mil.com/casey.htm

Taxpayers are shocked to read what's been going on this past decade to stop peace and profit from warmongering!

Monty Ahwazi , May 18, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT
The MIC will be under tremendous amount of pressure from the American people if it didn't create phony and perceived enemies by propaganda! The MIC knows that if it didn't do that the military budget will erode over time meaning less money in the MIC pockets!
renfro , May 18, 2018 at 5:35 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Very informative and disgusting.
Thanks.

MEFOBILLS , May 18, 2018 at 5:47 am GMT
So far, I don't see any indication that Washington knows how to deal with this threat.

America pivots away from Atlantacist doctrine.

America turns away from finance capitalism (state sponsored usury) and resurrects the "American System" of Peshine Smith and Henry Clay. The American System is internal growth using Industrial Capitalism, where Treasury Money (not corporate bank credit) channels into the commons and industry.

In other words, America resurrects Constitutional Money and Industry. This type of economy was at the birth of the U.S., especially in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania colonies.

America can make all it needs internally, it doesn't need Atlantacist "ship-borne" movement of minerals and goods. America is a continental country like Russia with everything it needs.

Island countries like U.K. need "Atlantacist" doctrine to control the world. BIZWOG (Britain and Israel World Government) is the core of Atlantacism, not the U.S.

Oligarchs in America who benefit from the Atlantacist system will have to be ejected by force. A good parasite makes its host think said parasite is beneficial.

jilles dykstra , May 18, 2018 at 6:16 am GMT
I suppose Kim understand quite well that giving away his atomic bombs and missiles is the beginning of his end like Saddam and Ghadaffi.
In the good old days deposed dictators went to their south of France mansions and died in their beds.
The USA changed this custom.
This change does have repercussions.
A USA at crossroads, dominating the world or not, causes much uncertainty in the world.
Anon [178] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT
The same kind of thing happened back during the Cuban Missile Crisis: elements of the government attempted to provoke the Soviets into attacking American reconnaissance aircraft so they'd have an excuse to fire back and invade.

Bolton's comments about "Libya" were a transparent attempt to scuttle the deal. He knew that the N. Korean leadership had watched the tapes of Qaddafi being killed; N. Korea directly stated that Libya was the reason for them developing nukes, so Bolton knew how the comments would be taken. He was hoping to sneak them by unnoticed. Meanwhile, neocons like William Krystal say "we need to be willing to walk away from negotiations." That's what they are hoping for.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 8:06 am GMT
Interesting.

I think the author might be saying that Kim might cut out Trump from all de-nuke talks and instead go around him.

In this case, Kim would ignore Trump and the US altogether and turn his nukes over to China. China and Russia would give security guarantees to N Korea which is worth a million times more than a US guarantee and China and Russia have a clear incentive to back it up.

Meanwhile the US and especially Trump would look bad. Trump would be viewed as having a Nobel prize within his grasp but bungling it at the goal line while letting China and Russia steal his thunder.

The US, if they tried any funny business, would look really bad. What could they do amyway?

Ironically, it could actually be Kim that gets the Nobel prize instead. Lol if it goes down that way.

animalogic , May 18, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
Great article.
As per usual, msm misrepresents reality of Nth Korea's reaction to military drills: no mention of the added full compliment of strategic air force. Failure to properly explain the meaning of "Libyia solution". No wonder the Nth questions the competence & good faith of the Sth.
I believe its time for China-Russia etc to come out of the shadows: how can the Nth agree to discarding its nuclear shield without security guarantees from its friends ? That the US can't be trusted with its enemies -- OR its friends is obvious to all but the self-interested & the fanatic.
jacques sheete , May 18, 2018 at 10:15 am GMT
Here, no doubt is the problem as the rulers of the USA see it.

[Kim] wants an end to the hostilities so he can move ahead with a regional economic-integration plan that will draw the two Koreas closer together, end the North's isolation, strengthen the North's economy, and pave the way for prosperity.

None of that must be allowed to happen unless it's under the authority of our jealous commercial and political G-ds. It's essentially the big reason for all US involvement in foreign wars since 1898 if not earlier. Probably the big reason for the Lincoln's War of Northern Bankers Against Southern Planters as well.

What was needed to make the world safe for peace, [the old liberals] argued, was to implement economic freedom, free trade and goodwill among the nations, and popular government. I want to stress the importance of both of these requirements: free trade at home and in international relations, and democracy. The fateful error of our age has consisted in the fact that it dropped the first of these requirements, namely free trade, and emphasized only the second one, political democracy. In doing so, people ignored the fact that democracy cannot be permanently maintained when free enterprise, free trade, and economic freedom do not exist.

-Ludwig von Mises, Economic Causes of War

https://www.mises.org/profile/ludwig-von-mises

I would also add that people ignored the fact that peace cannot be permanently maintained when free enterprise, free trade, and economic freedom do not exist and I believe that's the point Mises was making. Neither can peace be maintained when we allow ignorant crackpots to pilot the ship, and that's what "we've" been doing since the institution of the so called "democratic republic."

Also, I'm not a huge fan of democracy, especially for a large state, and there should be no large states especially world government. All states claim a monopoly on force and all inevitably lead to political and economic slavery. They are not compatible with either freedom or peace.

jacques sheete , May 18, 2018 at 10:20 am GMT
Oops, I should have read further before posting my comment, above.

Mike already made the point and is spot on, here

He has decided to participate in a common economic space that allows commerce to flourish without the bulk of the profits to be siphoned off by the voracious western corporations. Is it any wonder why powerful members of the foreign policy establishment want to torpedo the plan?

jacques sheete , May 18, 2018 at 10:41 am GMT
@Anon

The same kind of thing happened back during the Cuban Missile Crisis: elements of the government attempted to provoke the Soviets into attacking American reconnaissance aircraft so they'd have an excuse to fire back and invade.

True, and there is a pattern.

" this entire myth, so prevalent then and even now about Hitler, and about the Japanese, is a tissue of fallacies from beginning to end. Every plank in this nightmare evidence is either completely untrue or not entirely the truth.

If people should learn this intellectual fraud about Hitler's Germany, then they will begin to ask questions, and searching questions "

Murray Rothbard, Revisionism for Our Time
Mr. Rothbard was an American Jew and an historian of the very highest caliber.

http://mises.org/daily/2592

Nowadays we can add Saddam, Qadaffi, Kim, Putin, and others to the list.

Renoman , May 18, 2018 at 10:43 am GMT
America is simply evil. Evil evil evil.
The Alarmist , May 18, 2018 at 11:07 am GMT

"So far, I don't see any indication that Washington knows how to deal with this threat."

Sure they do: They plan to act like the proverbial chess-playing pigeon, wings-a-flapping, knocking down all the pieces, and shitting all over the board.

They will keep emphasizing the grave threat the Norks pose to the American people, they will ratchet up sanctions on the nations that "prop up" the Nork regime by trade (though they will continue to be lenient to South Korea as long as it buys US arms), they will start locking those other nations out of SWIFT, etc., and ultimately they will strike to decapitate the Norks, even if they have to go it alone. They are banking on the belief that the Chinese and South Koreans will stand down in the face of all of our awesomeness.

Cold N. Holefield , Website May 18, 2018 at 11:59 am GMT
It's not the Libya Plan , it's the Chile Plan . Trump promises Kim he can be Dictator for Life , like Putin and Trump if he has his druthers and Xi too, if he promises to drop his Nuke Program .

This is where the world is headed. The Post Carbon World is to be divvied up into Fiefdoms run by Oligarch Tyrants and they all belong to the Consortium known as The Worldwide Oligarch Network . A Confederacy of Oligarchic Fiefdoms .

In otherwords, a giant Global Plantation of sorts.

Here's yah julip, Massa Hawkins, all minty & frosty, jus like you like it!!

Get accustomed to saying that or something akin to it because it's coming to a theater near you in the not-too-distant future.

Cold N. Holefield , Website May 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm GMT

See what's going on? Kim has been asked to choose between prosperity or nukes, and he has wisely chosen prosperity. He has decided to participate in a common economic space that allows commerce to flourish without the bulk of the profits to be siphoned off by the voracious western corporations. Is it any wonder why powerful members of the foreign policy establishment want to torpedo the plan?

Stop with this nonsense. Yes, you're correct, Kim doesn't want that prosperity siphoned off by Western Corporations . Why? Because he and his cronies will be doing the siphoning, thank you very much. Let's not paint this tyrant as a Goody Two Shoes , because he's not.

Fyi, my criticism of Kim doesn't mean I agree with threatening North Korea or that I agree with how the Western Foreign Policy Establishment has treated North Korea historically. What it means is, there are no Good Guys in this equation. They're ALL Bad Guys .

Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy

Sean , May 18, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/Trump-backs-off-China-tariff-threat-as-China-pumps-money-into-a-Trump-family-project_168320640

The biggest obstacle Donald Trump is going to face in his upcoming negotiations with Kim Jong-un, is not Kim's unwillingness to abandon his nuclear weapons program, but resistance from powerful elements in the foreign policy establishment of China who will use Trump's desire for a foriegn policy success to weaken the trade agreement so China can continue deindustrialising Ameraica and the rest of the West .

Kim put Trump in the land of the promised, then went back on his word to get Trump to concede on trade, and of course Trump is doing just that. The deep state will sell out the long term interests of their country in the name of security consideration. Politicians want to get that foreign policy coup, which the North Koreans are perennially dangling. They Koreans will never give up the nukes that China effectively gave them unless the Chinese order them to, and that will only happen isTrump completely sells out the US on trade. The US would not dare attack North Korea and risk Chinese military intervention AGAIN. China is holding all the cards unless Trump just refuses to play diplomatic dupe to decepticon Korea (north and south for South Korea also wants access to the Western market) . Korean diplomacy basically consists of giving America false hope. The best thing is would be to leave North Koreato stew in their own juice, and impose tariffs on China, Japan and South Korea too. They are all aggressor states.

How courteous is the Japanese;
He always says, "Excuse it, please."
He climbs into his neighbor's garden,
And smiles, and says, "I beg your pardon";
He bows and grins a friendly grin,
And calls his hungry family in;
He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
"So sorry, this my garden now."

Ogden Nash,The Japanese (1938)

DESERT FOX , May 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm GMT
Trump is a puppet of the Zionists who are the controllers of every facet of the U.S. gov and these warmongers want the America people kept in a world of continual hysteria and war to further the Zionist goal of a NWO.

The zionist warmongers created the wars in the mideast by Israels attack on 911 and blaming it on the muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq and thus started the bombing and invasion of these countries and then the zionists included Syria and followed their plan of regime change in 7 countries , all for the greater Israeli goal and their NWO goal.

If anyone doubts that Israel and their zionist dual citizens control the U.S. gov , just remember they did 911 and got away with it.

EliteCommInc. , May 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
Assuming all of this isn't merely "drama queening" for the nobel prize gambit. And I have my suspicions that it is.

An article that posits as major contention a Nobel peace prize for this president is not going to taken seriously by me.

As for the joint exercises -- and the President's ignorance, that's a very hard sell. No sale at all. At this juncture that President Moon Jae-in did not put a halt of a postponement on the matter leaves his decision making in doubt. Certainly there are those in S. Korea and the US who prefer to maintain the status quo. But neither President Trump nor President Moon get to cry foul play by their subordinates on this question.

A nobel peace prize -- good grief.

bob sykes , May 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

This would work if the Russians and Chinese made their security guarantees visible by putting some token ground forces in the DMZ.

EliteCommInc. , May 18, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
The US has shrifted North Korea before on the question of disarmament.

This all smells like Kabuki theater of sorts. My subordinates made me do it in this case does not wok for me. -- laugh. Given the lean on the use of force, I suspect that the admin wanted to make a show of force to the point and if I buy any this -- it backfired.

Z-man , May 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm GMT
Yeah the Deep State. Isn't it ridiculous, even Trumps own advisers are sidetracking him. Trump and the Chinese president should make a grand bargain . Denuclearize Korea, help them unify make a 100 mile wide demilitarized zone against the Chinese border and reduce and keep US forces well south of the current DMZ or get them out completely. Let the Koreans, mostly the South pay, for the unification.
Seamus Padraig , May 18, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
@Anon

N. Korea directly stated that Libya was the reason for them developing nukes, so Bolton knew how the comments would be taken.

Really? But didn't the Norks proliferate back in the mid-1990s, years before Khaddaffi cut his disarmament deal with Washington?

Seamus Padraig , May 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT

Think about it: Trump gets the nukes and the Nobel Prize while Kim gets a lousy piece of paper with Washington's guarantees for security. That's a great deal for Trump but not a very good deal for Kim.

I'm sure there's something missing from your formula, Mike. In order for this deal to make sense from a N. Korean perspective, they would have to have been extended security guarantees by China, Russia, or perhaps both. Washington's promises aren't worth jack. Go ask Iran. Hell, go ask Libya.

Otherwise, spot on!

anon [217] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
Bolton is doing his job, being the neocon mouthpiece. His bosses figured out that in order for NK to denuke, the US might have to demilitarize in S.Korea altogether, while China will reap the benefit of modernizing NK. Neocons need to constraint China as much as possible. They do not accept a multi-polar world.

Trump again shows himself as the weak minded fool controlled by neocons. He is blaming China for this fall out, instead of his own generals for staging the unnecessary military exercises and John Bolton for his maniacal zeal to create trouble the world over.

Mike P , May 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm GMT
@Sean

China who will use Trump's desire for a foreign policy success to weaken the trade agreement so China can continue deindustrialising Ameraica and the rest of the West.

Any kind of trade agreement can be reneged upon at any time; so, extorting concessions on trade cannot be a long-term strategy. China isn't "deindustrialising Ameraica and the rest of the West" – the West is doing it all to itself; and it doesn't really affect all Western countries: the industry in South Korea, Germany, and Taiwan is humming along just fine. Within Europe for example the common currency has done much more damage in this regard than the Chinese.

It is clear that China doesn't see trade with the U.S. as the foundation of future prosperity, but instead focuses on trade with everyone else , particularly in Eurasia and Africa; kind of like a reverse Monroe doctrine. As part of that strategy, they want to push the U.S. out of Korea, and they are probably quite prepared to cut their losses if the Americans choose to respond by severing financial and trade relations. It is very clear that the U.S. are unable and unwilling to engage in honest dealings with anyone anyway.

Mike P , May 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm GMT
@bob sykes

This would work if the Russians and Chinese made their security guarantees visible by putting some token ground forces in the DMZ.

The U.S. MIC would be in raptures if that happened. Overnight, the military budget would double again.

Mike P , May 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

In order for this deal to make sense from a N. Korean perspective, they would have to have been extended security guarantees by China, Russia, or perhaps both. Washington's promises aren't worth jack.

Precisely, and they likely already have obtained those guarantees (whatever they may be worth). The North Koreans (in coordination with China and Russia) are trying to trade their nukes for a complete U.S. withdrawal from South Korea.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT
@Cold N. Holefield

So what. Better his countrymen profit than the guy holding a gun to your head.

Name me a country that doesn't practice cronyism. You cant. So your objection is a moot point.

c matt , May 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
convince Kim that it was pointless to trust Washington.

Because Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, and just about everything else the US has done was not enough. If anyone is stupid enough to trust Washington, they deserve what's coming to them.

c matt , May 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
basic security guarantees

Hahahahahaha – used toilet paper would be more valuable than the paper any US "basic security guarantee" was written on.

anonymous [478] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
It's possible that Kim's own military might force him to pull out of this de-nuke proposal. They'd be giving up their one major deterrent in return for promises of riches which may never be delivered. Their fears of being double-crossed are grounded in reality. Also, a Korea that's unified may not be desired by other countries. It might become too much of a regional power and want to ease the US out. The calculation may be that it's best to continue to see it divided and at loggerheads with each other. What's good for the Koreans may not be considered good for other interested parties.
AnonFromTN , May 18, 2018 at 2:50 pm GMT
The biggest obstacle Trump will face is non-trustworthiness of the US. One agreement with the NK was already reached more than 10 years ago, and the US pulled out of it under Bush Jr. Now the US pulled out of the Iran deal. Basically, the US consistently demonstrates that it is useless to come to any agreements with it, as it cannot be trusted to abide by them. That's yet another example that no enemy did as much damage to the US as its own governments (all of them).
jacques sheete , May 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm GMT
@Cold N. Holefield

They're ALL Bad Guys.

Yup.

Ol' Ben commented to the effect that scum floats to the top in politics and bad government. He should have added that "bad government" is a redundancy, since all of them are all bad too.

jack daniels , May 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm GMT
The best guarantee of security, of course, is to have a nuclear deterrent. A US promise not to attack would be a poor substitute. America's main concern is that NK not sell arms to Iran or Syria, thereby menacing Israel. If Kim formally agrees to that, maybe we can make a deal. It's largely up to China, since we don't want to fight them in order to get rid of Kim.

Bolton's role may well be to scare Kim. He's pretty scary.

jack daniels , May 18, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Sean

In general the bad guys are telling Trump to bargain away the MAGA agenda in return for traditional Republican goals, e.g. tax cuts for the rich and anything that is good for Israel, such as an NK that can't sell WMD to Iran. Since Trump is all too willing to go along. The RINOs and the Big Donors always win because money talks louder than votes, or that's the way professional politicians insist on looking at it.

YourBunnyWrote , May 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm GMT
Zerohedge is reporting the B-52s have been withdrawn from the exercise.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-18/us-scrapped-b-52-military-drill-south-korea-after-kim-jong-un-complained

mike k , May 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm GMT
Beautifully done Mike W! Your writing is so clear and compact. The question remains as to how far the US will go to stop the peace and prosperity process from unfolding in Korea? Are the neocons crazy enough to attack N. Korea? We can only stay tuned
Sean , May 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm GMT
@Mike P

Any kind of trade agreement can be reneged upon at any time; so, extorting concessions on trade cannot be a long-term strategy.

North Korea has been using its on/off nuke program to trick the US into concessions for decades now. Trump is just the latest.

https://moneyweek.com/kim-jong-un-north-korea-wavers-over-nuclear-talks/

"Welcome, President Trump, to the infuriating, indecipherable game of North Korean nuclear diplomacy," says CNN's Stephen Collinson. An "unexpected series of threats" has "threatened to nix next month's planned summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un". Kim lashed out at US-South Korea military drills, cancelled a high-level meeting with South Korean officials, and warned that there was "little point" in the US summit if the White House was going to require its nuclear arsenal to be dismantled "up front".

Korean diplomacy is underrated As Mearshimer says, following the treaty of "Kang-wah (February 1876), which opened three Korean ports to Japan . Neither Japan nor Russia was able to gain the upper hand in Korea, mainly because Korean policymakers skillfully played the two great powers off against each other ". Eventually the Russia-Japan war resulted and you could make an argument that WW1 (and even 2) stemmed from the Russian deterrent being removed from the international equation in 1905.

China proved to the US it would not stand for North Korea being crushed, and the US would not dare test that again. In 2000, China openly threatened the US mainland with a nuclear strike in any war over Taiwan declaring independence.

China isn't "deindustrialising Ameraica and the rest of the West" – the West is doing it all to itself; and it doesn't really affect all Western countries: the industry in South Korea, Germany, and Taiwan

China is deindustrialising the West , and Germany is deindustrialsing Europe while being deindustrialize itself by China . The only difference is that the process started later in Germany and there is more resistance. The EU single market is a barrier to non EU trade and is about creating a Germany dominated area. the capital goods China uses are bought from Germany in a great many cases.

South Korea, Taiwan and Japan are happy to have the North Korean nuke menace ,

https://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/

North Korean nuclear distraction has long had unwelcome ramifications way beyond military policy. Repeatedly since the Clinton era, it has cramped Washington's style on international trade, for instance. And trade, of course, is absolutely central to the new administration's program.

It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

Moreover at times of tension, Pentagon officials inevitably take charge. As the East Asians have gleefully realized for generations, the Pentagon is a remarkably soft touch on trade, and in return for the merest hortatory support for its military objectives will pull the rug from under the most carefully conceived plans drawn up elsewhere in Washington to get East Asia to open up.,/b>

The business class of the West love the returns they get in China, they are not going to switch to investing in the West, but rather will wait out the era of Trump, whereupon the investing in China will resume apace. It won't be possible to slow the growth of China down and so America will be eclipsed. The military won't be much use then, because China will have bigger and better toys.

Per/Norway , May 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

informative, thnx:)

EliteCommInc. , May 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm GMT
Thee is a logical hole in the article that I was going to leave alone -- but as yet no one else noted it, I will.

The article pushes some press for a nobel peace prize *that really bugs me -- I voted and have defended this president, even being called a moral reprobate and utterly unchristian in doing so.

Despite the press for this so called prize. The author never states what the president contributed to the peace process the than the president's contend of "massive pressure." But in this the article athe cleanly indicates no such pressure had any effect. If the pressure failed, I am unclear why thee is any talk at all about nobel awards.

This president has done one monumental shift in our North Korean policy -- open and direct talks including both heads of state and staff. While long over due and laudable -- one of the jobs of the white house is manage policy to our advantage that taps down on the use of force. It doesn't take a genius IQ to figure out direct talks is a key step in that process. And as such requires no special recognition. I took a look at why President Roosevelt received a novel peace prize -- and if that is the model neither Presidents on the this or the previous administration should be so honored.

If they have removed the bombers, it's a double fault. The response should have been.

We conducted these exercises routinely as preparation for the unfortunate worst case scenario. And while we are disappointed our routine has been misinterpreted -- It is our intention to proceed forward in peace negotiations.

deception fo deception's sake is a foul practice.

Sean , May 18, 2018 at 5:21 pm GMT
@jack daniels

North Korea's sudden nuclear and ICBM twin leap is a function of how useful China finds it to have Trump asking them for help. North Korea does nothing on its own account.

The smart money wants to be in China that is where the big returns are, so business is waiting out Trump. Subordinating the well being of the nation's population to profit is called economic rationality. The alternative is called fascism. Trump does not have the popular support to go against economic rationality.

AnonFromTN , May 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm GMT
@Sean

Toys don't win wars, people do. In Afghanistan, the US and NATO troops with all their fancy toys are scared to stick their noses out of the bases, whereas Taliban with medieval mindset and automatic rifles roam the country freely.

Mike P , May 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm GMT

China is deindustrialising the West The business class of the West love the returns they get in China, they are not going to switch to investing in the West

So whose fault is it – China's, or the Western capitalists? Pick one.

Germany is deindustrialsing Europe while being deindustrialized itself by China. The EU single market is a barrier to non EU trade and is about creating a Germany dominated area. the capital goods China uses are bought from Germany in a great many cases.

The EU common market as such wasn't a problem; as long as each European country had its own currency that was allowed to float, the trade imbalance problem was mitigated. It was the Euro, which was foisted on Germany by the French as a price for their consent to German reunification, that caused the trade imbalances within Europe to explode.

But with or without the Euro, Germany's manufacturing sector will survive and thrive. China's labour cost advantage over Germany will vanish, just like Japan's did. Just wait and see.

republic , May 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Anon

Bolton's remarks sound like an updated version of the Melian dialogue
When Athens gave Melos an ultimatum during the Peloponnesian War.

Sean , May 18, 2018 at 6:44 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Cannon fodder wins wars. The first born tend to be cleverer and less likely to fight because they get and inherit the best of everything (including first place in the womb).. There are a lot of big families in Afghanistan. Many young men of the burgeoning population are second sons and are thus reckless. The Taliban roam and die freely, but there are a lot of them growing up and stepping into the place of the dead,.

JVC , May 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
the Trump/Kim meeting was not instituted by the USG. China, Russia, and SK have all been in negotiation with Kim, and they all realize that the USG word is essentially worthless. I suspect Kim has agreed with his neighbors to de-nuclearize in return for some robust security agreements along with the opening of trade in the region. The U.S. will need to think hard and long about doing anything to disrupt what is essentially a regional policy shift. I think Trump has been invited along on the ride just to stroke his and the USG's sense of self importance. The world is changing, and the future lies in the east. Unfortunately, too many of those behind the curtain controlling USG foreign policy are too blinded by their arrogance and hubris to realize that, and instead of welcoming a peaceful multi-centered world, will continue on their chosen path of aggression, demands and sanctions until we become the isolated one.
EliteCommInc. , May 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm GMT
@JVC

Since President Moon Jae-in has been working in this matte with North Korea for more than twenty yeas, I find it hard to believe he intends to allow an opportunity to slip by based on training routine exercises.

Sean , May 18, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Mike P

China's, or the Western capitalists?

Trump was elected to punish both, so a lot of Americans apparently blame both.

The EU common market as such wasn't a problem; as long as each European country had its own currency that was allowed to float, the trade imbalance problem was mitigated.

At the cost of throwing people out a job, which only worked when people knew things would eventually get better. Things are not going to get better for the lower orders of West, they are good and getting better for the financial elite and China.

But with or without the Euro, Germany's manufacturing sector will survive and thrive. China's labour cost advantage over Germany will vanish, just like Japan's did. Just wait and see .

China is 10 times larger than Japan, hence the economies of scale are probably going to become more salient than labour costs (there is a new factory complex in China making laptops that has a bigger workforce than the British Army). German business are going to do well out of China's rise. American business have no objection to China making everything and America being supreme in financial services. Unfortunately the country would become weaker than China while a substantial part of the population became increasingly disgusted with their lot in life (in real terms worse of than their parents). The majority ethnic population and state institutions must object to a policy that creates ever increasing numbers of unemployed and ignores state power for the profit of a minority. Therefore the people (there a lot of them) and the deep state are diverging from the business community–increasingly seen as an fifth column with interest in destroying the country as a nation-state. But nation states are a thing with emergent properties not found in their parts. Hence untrammeled capitalism with money sloshing around the world wrecking states and the people who make up nations is a fundamentally unstable system that leads to ethnic nationalism and militarism. The deep nation-state is nothing you can put your finger on. but at bay it will turn on the business elite and try to wrest control from them.

Art , May 18, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Anon

Meanwhile, neocons like William Krystal say "we need to be willing to walk away from negotiations." That's what they are hoping for.

Sorry but the Jew's trash talking days are over. There is NO there there!

The Jew is losing his power. Truth is starting to gain strength. The world's attitude is turning away from Jew coercion, through their control of the US government.

Jew power is a function of US government power. And US power is losing out, all around the world.

Trump's overbearing, tuff talking sing-song, is losing its steam. Bolton's big mouth has complicated the NKorea nuke deal. He illustrates to the world, the dishonesty of the US foreign policy under Jew control.

The Israeli embassy deal was a total embarrassment. Innocent blood was flowing as Jarrad and Ivanka were speaking their hollow words. Gaza innocence won the day.

Europe is fighting to preserve the Iran nuke deal. They are passing laws to protect their businesses from US sanctions. China and Russia are stepping up with deals to counter Trump's Jew favoring sanctions.

Jew led America is getting no respect.

Think Peace -- Do No Harm -- Maintain Hope -- Art

AnonFromTN , May 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@JVC

The world does not revolve around the US any more. The US elites still did not realize that – they degenerated too much after 1991. However, some of the US vassals are even more deluded than the US elites. Grown up Europeans (like Germany, France, and even the UK) are learning, judging by their refusal to follow the US lead on the Iranian deal, which is totally illegal from the point of view of the international law (when there was one, before it was repeatedly trampled by the US). But the pathetic inconsequential poodles, like Poland, Ukraine, and Baltic vaudeville states, refuse to learn. More fools them.

Anonymous [400] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 10:06 pm GMT
@Sean

China is deindustrialising the West , and Germany is deindustrialsing Europe while being deindustrialize itself by China . The only difference is that the process started later in Germany and there is more resistance. The EU single market is a barrier to non EU trade and is about creating a Germany dominated area. the capital goods China uses are bought from Germany in a great many cases.

How is China deindustrializing Germany if the EU is a barrier to non EU trade? You don't see many US, Japanese, or Chinese goods in Europe.

Realist , May 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm GMT

Trump's objectives are completely clear. He wants to win the Nobel Prize and he wants to be recognized as a foreign policy genius

Trumps chances of being recognized as any kind of genius by intelligent people are slim and none.

That's not the deal. That's never been the deal. No one on the North Korean side ever said that Washington was going to get something for nothing. And it's not going to happen either. Kim is looking for a tradeoff, a decommissioning of his nuclear weapons in exchange for basic security guarantees. That's the deal.

If Kim has any intelligence at all he will demand full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula (South Korea has had US nuclear weapons stationed there for decades) and removal of all US military personnel and material.
US guarantees are worthless.

Anonymous [400] Disclaimer , May 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm GMT
@Sean

North Korea's demands are pretty clear: a formal end to the Korean War and a peace treaty with the US, and the removal of the US military from the Korean peninsula.

These demands are supported by China and many South Koreans. They're opposed by Japan and some South Korean conservatives. I don't think your notion that China, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan are all aligned on the North Korea issue is true.

If the US wanted to satisfy most of the parties here, and satisfy the isolationists and anti-foreign policy adventurers that supported Trump, then obviously the US would agree to North Korea's demands. This would also, by the way, satisfy Russia. You would only upset Japan and some South Korean hardliners.

So why doesn't the US make a deal that agrees to NK's demands, satisfies most of the parties involved and many Trump supporters and Americans? Clearly Trump, being an astute negotiator and businessman with an instinct for what people like and is popular, is inclined towards such a deal. Obviously what's holding the US back from such a deal are American foreign policy hawks and the deep state, who want to maintain the US military presence globally.

Rabbit , May 18, 2018 at 10:43 pm GMT
Kim's laughing his ass off. Americans are so stoopid. What makes anyone think NK will go out of it's way to get along with the US? Why would they? Kim's doing just fine and he has Trump as jester to amuse him. I'm sure he's enjoying the hell out of this.
Trump's fans really thought he had the Nobel sewed up. That's really funny. What's funnier is they think he's helping them.
All of these morons ripe for milking. I should have become a preacher and had an easy, rich life.
EliteCommInc. , May 18, 2018 at 11:24 pm GMT
"If the US wanted to satisfy most of the parties here, and satisfy the isolationists and anti-foreign policy adventurers that supported Trump, then obviously the US would agree to North Korea's demands. This would also, by the way, satisfy Russia. You would only upset Japan and some South Korean hardliners."

As someone who supports this admin and the agenda that was advanced during the campaign, you description is fa afield from why I voted. I am not an isolationist, though the county could use some minding its own affairs for a time. Nor was my vote premised on being anti-foreign policy. In fact, I have never head of anyone being anti-foreign policy. A policy less reliant on the use of force as its main thrust was and is the issue.
,

ohmy , May 19, 2018 at 12:10 am GMT
@MEFOBILLS

How to get the banksters out of their position. It seems they have printed enough cash to buy everyone. Top to bottom.

[May 18, 2018] A Trump Doctrine for Singapore and Beyond by Pat Buchanan

Trump acts as a bully. That might work in some cases, but probably not in NK case...
Notable quotes:
"... North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Shanghai, may be inhibiting. ..."
"... If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton's demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back. The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled. But Pyongyang had other objections.

Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a "Libyan model" for the North's disarmament, referring to Moammar Gadhafi's surrender of all his weapons of mass destruction in 2004. The U.S. was invited into Libya to pick them up and cart them off, whereupon sanctions were lifted.

As Libya was subsequently attacked by NATO and Gadhafi lynched, North Korea denounced Bolton and all this talk of the "Libyan model" of unilateral disarmament.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Shanghai, may be inhibiting.

What was predictable and predicted has come to pass.

If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton's demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves.

At Singapore, both sides will have demands, and both will have to offer concessions, if there is to be a deal.

What does Kim Jong Un want?

An end to U.S. and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, U.S. recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of U.S. bases and troops.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea's borders to trade and travel.

As for his nuclear weapons and the facilities to produce them, these are Kim's crown jewels. These brought him to the attention of the world and the Americans to the table. These are why President Trump is flying 10,000 miles to meet and talk with him.

And, unlike Gadhafi, Kim is not going to give them up.

Assuming the summit comes off June 12, this is the reality Trump will face in Singapore: a North Korea willing to halt the testing of nukes and ICBMs and to engage diplomatically and economically.

As for having Americans come into his country, pick up his nuclear weapons, remove them and begin intrusive inspections to ensure he has neither nuclear bombs nor the means to produce, deliver or hide them, that would be tantamount to a surrender by Kim.

Trump is not going to get that. And if he adopts a Bolton policy of "all or nothing," he is likely to get nothing at all.

Yet, thanks to Trump's threats and refusal to accept a "frozen conflict" on the Korean peninsula, the makings of a real deal are present, if Trump does not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

For there is nothing North Korea is likely to demand that cannot be granted, as long as the security of South Korea is assured to the degree that it can be assured, while living alongside a nuclear-armed North.

Hence, when Kim cavils or balks in Singapore, as he almost surely will, at any demand for a pre-emptive surrender of his nuclear arsenal, Trump should have a fallback position.

If we cannot have everything we want, what can we live with?

Moreover, while we are running a risk today, an intransigent North Korea that walks out would be running a risk as well.

ORDER IT NOW

A collapse in talks between Kim and the United States and Kim and South Korea would raise the possibility that he and his Chinese patrons could face an East Asia Cold War where South Korea and Japan also have acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

In the last analysis, the United States should be willing to accept both the concessions to the North that the South is willing to make and the risks from the North that the South is willing to take.

For, ultimately, they are the one who are going to have to live on the same peninsula with Kim and his nukes.

Trump ran on a foreign policy that may fairly be described as a Trump Doctrine: In the post-post-Cold War era, the United States will start looking out for America first.

This does not mean isolationism or the abandonment of our allies. It does mean a review and reassessment of all the guarantees we have issued to go to war on behalf of other countries, and the eventual transfer of responsibility for the defense of our friends over to our friends.

In the future, the U.S. will stop futilely imploring allies to do more for their own defense and will begin telling them that their defense is primarily their own responsibility. Our allies must cease to be our dependents.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

[May 16, 2018] Time changes: Professor Shephen Cohen became more popular among readers of unz.com

May 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Dan Hayes , May 15, 2018 at 5:28 am GMT

n that Cohen tries to stay clear of anything outside his expertise, Russian history and geopolitics. Several times I've heard him fondly reminisce about being raised in Kentucky. So he may not be a complete Upper West Side liberal.

[May 16, 2018] Anthrax scare as a way to enrich private contractors

May 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

ChuckOrloski , May 15, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT

@Mr. Anon

Writing objectively, Mr. Anon noted: "Being a pizza deliveryman is probably more dangerous than most every military MOS."

Hi Mr. Anon,

Thanks for your satiric-service including recognition of often brave pizza deliverymen!

I have a true work experience to share.

In late-Autumn, 2001, as a dual-Business Manager & Emergency Spill Response Supervisor for Pa. E.M.A. Haz-Mat Certified Teem Environmental, Inc., one afternoon, the excitable company-owner called a mandatory meeting for all personnel.

Addressing supervisors & (very skilled) Field Technicians, the rather timid owner ordered, "Starting today & through the weekend, TEEM is contracted to perform potential sarin gas terror attack responses within NYC subways & tunnels! So everybody better keep their pagers on when you go home & be immediately prepared to respond to sarin gas attacks!"

A dear friend & late-coworker, Warren Hill, became uncomfortable with the assignment and sensibly spoke up, "Uh, what the fuck? Do we get extra military pay for dealing with the crazy Taliban while we ain't armed with nothin' but V.O.C. & Hnu meters, Personal Protection Equipment?"

Unused to having to deal with reasonable employee-challenges, the TEEM owner lost it, screamed, What's wrong with you, Warren?!! Can't you read the advertisement painted on our E.R.V., "TEEM Environmental responds to all incidents involving US D.O.T. Hazardous Materials! Get on the ball, would 'ya, Warren!"

Upon reflection, I stuck neck-out, came to Warren's aid, and opined, "But the Haz-Mat customers who have signed our company 'Emergency Spill Response Agreements' are not known to pose secondary-life threatening hazards after initial accidental discharges happened."

"Bah , Just keep your pager on, Chuck!" replied our civilian Commander Stassi.

P.S.: For anyone interested, attached below is my "wordy" 2015 article that delivers an example of how civilian private-company employees fought in the War Against (White Powder) Anthrax terror threats.

Cases where the "perp(S)" never caught, an open case, and to this day, I suppose either Federal or State governments cut lots-of-checks, payable to private Emergency Spill Response companie$, for their services.

https://www.countercurrents.org/orloski250415.htm

[May 16, 2018] Trump's Family Applauds Zionist Massacre Of Palestinians In Gaza

Notable quotes:
"... Jared's insanely dishonest and triumphalist Victory Speech/ Gloatfest was entirely predictable ..."
May 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Augustin L , May 14, 2018 3:27:56 PM | 4

The illiterate orange Chump was a known front goy of the jewish mafia in New York for years. It's not surprising that he's dancing to Sheldon Adelsons tune and acquiescing to zionist commands. In a few months deplorable goyims will probably have to bleed in the Persian gulf for the chosen ones. Made your bed, now lie in it...
Ian , May 14, 2018 3:36:58 PM | 5
Brave of South Africa. Color revolution anyone?

It's apparent to me that Kushner & Ivanka is being groomed for the Imperial Throne post-2024, or 2020 if Trump loses the midterms. IMO, the Two-State solution is no longer a viable option as long the US and UK continues to exists, which they will in the foreseeable future. The only viable solution is a one state solution where the Palestinians are given full rights.

Eve Human , May 14, 2018 3:43:20 PM | 6
We all knew that Kushner is a hyper-Zionist. However, what bothers me is how many other people are incapable of seeing the immorality of such an attitude.
WorldBLee , May 14, 2018 3:57:56 PM | 11
The attitude of the Israelis vis a vis Palestinians is strikingly similar to that of the Ukrainians vs. East Ukrainians or Russians: Kill them all, for they are not human beings.
Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Israel and US
https://sputniknews.com/news/201805141064453871-turkey-recalls-us-israeli-ambassadors/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 , May 14, 2018 4:29:02 PM | 20

Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Israel and US
https://sputniknews.com/news/201805141064453871-turkey-recalls-us-israeli-ambassadors/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 14, 2018 4:29:02 PM | 20 div

Babyl-on , May 14, 2018 4:47:23 PM | 23
It has been unimaginable to me that I would see this much damage to the US led Empire in my lifetime. The damage to the US on every level is astonishing from this move and the reneging on the JCPOA. People are suffering, but people suffer under any scenario. The US has killed people every single day for the past 73+ years and it is time they stopped. The more damage Trump does the better.
Don Bacon , May 14, 2018 4:49:06 PM | 25
from Hurriyet, Turkey
US has lost its status as mediator in Middle East peace process with embassy move: Erdoğan
The U.S. has lost its status as a potential mediator in the Middle East peace process with its decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 14.
"[The U.S. decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] is unfortunate. We cannot help but feel like we are living through the dark times prior to World War II," Erdoğan said at an event at the Chatham House think tank in London.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also said on May 14 that Washington "shares responsibility" with Israel for the "massacre" along the Gaza border that left at least 37 Palestinians dead as a result of Israeli fire.
" The U.S. administration is just as responsible as the Israeli government for this massacre ," Bozdağ wrote on Twitter, saying the incidents were caused by "unjust and unlawful decisions" as the United States moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . here
Bart Hansen , May 14, 2018 5:07:14 PM | 30
12 - This works for me - https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/
karlof1 , May 14, 2018 5:07:21 PM | 31
I seldom have issues getting onto Murray's site with IE8. Murray's two entries for today point out the choice of terms Big Lie media use to continue its Big Lie: "If you look through the Google search of News this time for "clashes" [instead of massacre], you discover that the western and Israeli media peculiarly have precisely the same preference for this entirely inappropriate word. That, again, is fascinating." Concluding his first entry, Craig intones this important point: "In order to help redress the terrible agony of the Palestinians, we must first effect a change in our own system of elite exploitation of the people at home . [My Emphasis] His second entry deals with how the group "Labour Friends of Israel" is no more than a stenographer for Big Lie Zionist propaganda, demanding that Labour immediately cut its ties to this obviously racist, demented, genocidal organization.
karlof1 , May 14, 2018 5:19:42 PM | 35
Garrie provides a small collection of recent tweets and statements by Erdogan and Turkish government, which is following me in calling Zionists acts Genocide. The Turks have vowed to send aid to Gaza; but in light of recent history, they'll need to send their entire Navy and provide it with 100% air cover. Erdogan should never have entered into a rapprochement with the Zionists or their scheme along with the Outlaw US Empire to overthrow Assad.
Circe , May 14, 2018 5:57:43 PM | 44
Trump's family applauds massacre? What about coward Trump appearing on a giant screen like Big Brother in 1984???

I hardly see Trump's name equated with this depravity in Jerusalem and Gaza in any post. Don't be afraid to speak it: TRUMP IS A ZIONIST. The fish rots from the head (of the family)! Trump has become the mangod of Zionism. He's a blowhard sleaze who slept his way and bragged about his exploits while others had to send their children to war. He's everything dumb Americans deserve and Zionists dreamed of.

He's bullying and threatening European companies not to do business with Iran as he'll bully and threaten Palestinians to sign on to a grand swindle. He'll squeeze them dry to get his deal and cares less they're already impoverished. He's exactly what Zionists wanted for President. Trump is stomping on the last hope for justice Palestinians are bravely keeping alive. What a tawdry, disgraceful bargain and means to an end some Trump supporters here bought into, and now the usual periodic lip service on Israel's acts; such blatant hypocrisy. Arrgh.

jsb , May 14, 2018 6:14:21 PM | 51
Statement on the atrocities committed by IDS by Jeremy Corbyn:

https://twitter.com/thepileus/status/996106107528667136


Yasser Fathi, freelance photographer From Gaza who took this iconic photo, was shot today in the stomach while wearing a bulletproof PRESS vest covering #Gaza. This is how Israeli forces are responding to press and photographers at #GreatMarchReturn protesting #USEmbassyJerusalem

https://twitter.com/jvplive/status/996056822866833409

These tweets sums up today's massacre:
https://twitter.com/STUD6699/status/996150544782807043
https://twitter.com/nesifdn/status/996150428843814913
https://twitter.com/aamiraltaf71/status/996150306160263169
https://twitter.com/gsemprunmdg/status/996151197064204289


Dublin mayor urges Eurovision boycott as Israel commits another massacre

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/dublin-mayor-urges-eurovision-boycott-israel-commits-another-massacre

dan , May 14, 2018 6:17:54 PM | 52
Ian@5 and Augustin L@9
I don't have a link, but its on record that the reason S. Africa abstained from voting in the UN Libya debacle was because Mbheki had been threatened with color revolution if he voted against it. Word has it that the warning came directly from Hillary. Also, one of these unmentionable (in this case Danish) banks predictions for 2018 was color revolution in S. Africa.

I am not sure that Cyril Ramaphosa is it, or even, for that matter, that he is in charge. It would seem so for now, but wait. The ANC still has a lot of depth. If he starts to move away from China, that will be a dead giveaway.
I am always fascinated by how all over the world, politicians make it to their posts by proclaiming change of whatever sorts, and once they "get into power" they start behaving. Mandela was no different. The only remnant of the Freedom Charter is a monument somewhere in Soweto...
I liked Zuma, warts and all. But the glaringly obvious truth is that it makes almost fuckall difference who is president here, on the larger scale of things. They all seem to be subservient to forces much greater than themselves, and end up looking and behaving like spokespeople for the elite, while "championing" socialist causes that rarely come to fruition.
However, this whole diplomatic slap for Israel gives me cause to believe that the ANC roots still have plenty sway. God knows somebody needed to say something, and I think S. Africa holds good sway with the rest of Southern Africa. But I don't doubt for a second that our punishment will be slow and painful.

Daniel , May 14, 2018 6:22:12 PM | 53
pessimist @ 33

This US "Embassy" is really just a few offices in a long-existing US Consulate building. The US hasn't even picked a location for the planned real Embassy building.

But yeah, one can bet that every signal of every sort coming from any foreigners in Israel can be precisely monitored and recorded. In fact, through Unit 8200 and Operation Talpiot, the Israeli Secret Intelligence Services likely have their digital fingers in every bit of internet-capable equipment everywhere on earth.

Can you say "kill switch?" I think that may be one of the reasons Israel (really the supra-national bankster cabal) get to do whatever they want, wherever they want.

Add in the "Samson Option" of nuclear weapons ready to take out capital cities globally and good old fashioned Roy Cohn blackmail evidence and much of the news of the world comes into focus.

Hoarsewhisperer , May 14, 2018 6:41:33 PM | 57
Jared's insanely dishonest and triumphalist Victory Speech/ Gloatfest was entirely predictable from the instant Trump announced the (illegal & offensively stupid) relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He knew exactly what he was doing because he knows that if you give Zionists an inch, they'll take a mile.

Now the whole world knows and can see what Trump wanted everyone to know and see. i.e. The bloodthirsty "Israelis" are completely, utterly insane. Trump gave them enough rope to hang themselves and they almost killed each other in the scramble to be first to shove their heads in the noose. It's a bit worse for "Israel" than Trump could have imagined because he couldn't have known that "The most moral army in the world" would in the middle of a Slaughter and Maim-fest when the time came to gloat about their 'victory' in Jerusalem.

psychohistorian , May 14, 2018 8:52:12 PM | 78
Has anyone here pointed out how absent discussion of this situation is at the UN?

There was no meeting of the Security Council after last weeks Israel attack and I have not heard of any....anyone else. It confirms my opinion of the bought circus that the UN has unfortunately been corrupted to.

Geo-political conversation now consists of expelling ambassadors. The last I heard there were two....any others with human morals?

And some call this civilization.

psychohistorian , May 14, 2018 8:52:12 PM | 78 George Lane , May 14, 2018 8:58:18 PM | 79
@78, psychohistorian, yes certainly, and of course also it seems after the nausea-inducing Nikki Haley vetoed the declaration condemning yet another concerted brutal massacre of Palestinaians after the first week of the protests, the UN has been totally silent. As you say another example of the "international community" being a euphemism for "US-led hegemonic opinion".
imo , May 14, 2018 9:12:59 PM | 83
How does it go? ... "not a cigarette paper's thickness between government and business" ... as usual.

Perhaps in current context it's hardly a cigarette paper between 'crooked Hillary' and 'crooked Trump'?

china-contributing-500-million-trump-linked-project-indonesia

Daniel , May 14, 2018 9:51:38 PM | 88
Jackrabbit @ 82

I've come to much the same conclusion as you. I guess one could have called me a "never HRCer" during the primaries and into the election. I saw her as "more of the same" in what was clearly becoming what I call "The Election of Rejection." But even more so, I saw her as the most dangerous candidate in my lifetime with her threats against Russia (in addition to a long and bloody record, claiming that hacking is an act of war worthy of a military response, and calls to "obliterate" Iran terrified me).

At least Trump made some (often contradictory) claims to work with Russia and end "regime change" wars. But about the time of the Conventions, I started to look more deeply into Trump's history, and realized that he was clearly wholly beholden to the supra-national bankster cabal that Circe refers to as "the Rothschilds."

Dan and I (honest, not the same person) have posted links to this video(not the URL)

The creator was a Trump supporter, who didn't start to see through the facade until after the election. He's gotten a lot of grief from "fans" who are still Trumpsters, but though I don't share much of his ideology, I greatly admire his integrity for following the facts where they lead.

Please take a half hour to watch it. If you want more published evidence, I can provide a great deal.

Jackrabbit , May 14, 2018 10:14:21 PM | 95
Circe

Every candidate sucks up to AIPAC.

Hillary wouldn't have been any different. The problem isn't any particular candidate/President, it's the system itself.

See Ian @93.

Jackrabbit , May 14, 2018 10:28:22 PM | 96 OJS , May 14, 2018 10:35:17 PM | 97

" ..."The War Prayer" was written in 1905, and is believed to be a response to both the Spanish–American War and the subsequent Philippine–American War.[1] It was left unpublished by Mark Twain at his death in April 1910, largely due to pressure from his family, who feared that the story would be considered sacrilegious.....

The War Prayer. by Mark Twain

Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it --

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

Circe , May 14, 2018 10:53:39 PM | 98
@88

bankster cabal that Circe refers to as "the Rothschilds.

I never made such a statement. Now that's not to say that I don't firmly believe that certain forces mostly Zionist helped to push Trump over the edge because Trump was even more aligned with the Zionist agenda than Hillary, regarding Iran and Jerusalem, and more vulnerable to blackmail and bribery. Although, I also agree with Jackrabbit on this: Hillary wouldn't have been any different. The problem isn't any particular candidate/President, it's the system itself. and Ian 93. The system is rigged by Zionists. Unfortunately, Americans either don't care or they're too stupid to see it.

A whole lot of their treasure (human and taxes) is spent on Zionism's geopolitical agenda. To add insult to that injury, Trump cut taxes permanently for the wealthiest Americans; so who's left to pay for the close to a trillion investment in the military?

Robert Snefjella , May 14, 2018 11:00:07 PM | 101
How do we write this, boss?

From Aljazeera: "Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States following the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces...."

The Hill: "Turkey is recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel following the official inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, CNN and other news outlets reported."

Fox news: "...while violence and deadly protests erupt Gaza...."; "The Turkish government has recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel for 'consultations,' ."

Times of Israel: "Turkey on Monday recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States in protest of the Israeli military's deadly response to riots...."

Sputnik News: "In response to Israel's ongoing violent suppression of Palestinian protesters in Gaza,Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recalled his ."

Israel National News: "Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States for consultations because of the violence in Gaza ."

jsb , May 14, 2018 11:19:54 PM | 102
Let's add some context to this ongoing struggle:

Rocks in sling shots
VS
an Air Force, Navy, Army (of worthless coward terrorists), tank and mortar shelling, live hollow-point bullets that MAXIMIZE victim's injuries when they enter the flesh and tumble around before exiting with a massive area of impact when compared to its entry point, "tear-gas" (one that induces bloody eyes, virulent vommiting, extreme panic due to gasping for air as a consequence, living in the world's largest outdoor prison, and being subject to constant home raids and brutal torture, incarceration -- for just the simplest infractions, non-stop physical and psychological intimidation...and most of this going on for 70+ existence of this psychopathic-led and followed (for the most part, it seems as there is little objection heard from these chosen wannabes) devotees to a lunatic cult of death-worshippers and practitioners.

Beg your pardon?....When will Israel finally pay for its genocide against humanity?!?!

Better yet when will humanity awaken from its trance to finally hold this Iraeli regime accountable for its CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY??? When will Israel be made to pay for reparations in its crimes and blatant slaughter of unarmed peoples who want their human rights respected and their properties given back?

Not anytime soon, I suspect, as the world at large is largely silent, distracted, and impervious to what is REALLY happening in this Israeli genocide!

What's next will the disgusting IDF terrorists resort to executing babies in incubators...despicable excuse for and an excrement to humanity these "people" are!

Circe , May 14, 2018 11:26:07 PM | 103
@99

I have to repeat what you wrote:

Now the whole world knows and can see what Trump wanted everyone to know and see. i.e. The bloodthirsty "Israelis" are completely, utterly insane. Trump gave them enough rope to hang themselves and they almost killed each other in the scramble to be first to shove their heads in the noose.

He just handed them Jerusalem and compared himself to Truman in how momentous an act on behalf of Zionism's advancement this is! There is no ulterior interpretation possible. And no not every opinion is valid. You rightly singled out A P's comment regarding Hillary as being nonsense. So forgive me, but this comment was just too outrageously false to let it slide.

Bianca , May 14, 2018 11:26:13 PM | 104
Turkey also recalled its Ambassador from Israel AND from the USA. With the indication that it is US that is enabler, and has lost every pretense of being a mediator in the conflict.

I have a feeling that something is afoot. There will be an attempt to take Gaza away from Israel, the question is only who would be actors. Gaza can be taken away from Israel, as it has borders with Israel, and no Israeli authority on the ground. Israel controls illegally its maritime border. So, if anyone wants to address the problem assymetrically, this may be the way. Then find a way to reconstruct, redevelop Gaza. But for this, Israel will have to be put in its place, and the situation not worth US ratcheting up the drumbeat of additional war.

Grieved , May 14, 2018 11:48:56 PM | 107
As to the dead and wounded of Gaza

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."

― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

~~

As to the way of the world

Guernica

~~

And all of this is true and even so I do not despair. Life is bigger than all this death. Find your own way to this answer .

Jackrabbit , May 15, 2018 12:57:00 AM | 111
Daniel

The video is not about an international conspiracy but it comes close. As I noted, there may well be such a conspiracy. Trump's family and business connections make for interesting reading.

Emails that Hillary released include correspondence with the Rothschilds. Why is that not mentioned? Wikileaks has them.

Presidents are a lightening rod for criticism and many of Trump's fans will have an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to harsh criticism that is leveled at him. It seems to me that it would be more effective to show that the election was a farce. We've all been had.

psychohistorian , May 15, 2018 2:15:43 AM | 114
So I have found a China Net reference to an upcoming meeting of the UN Security Council but they wanted Flash player and I don't do Flash player so don't know more

The 1st link I am providing from ChinaNet has this caption below it
"
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R, Front) and U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka (L, Front) attend the inauguration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, on May 14, 2018. The inauguration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem started on Monday afternoon, as Israeli and U.S. officials gathered in the city amidst deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip. (Xinhua/JINI)
"
The 2nd link I am providing from ChinaNet has this caption below it
"
U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner speaks during the inauguration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, on May 14, 2018. The inauguration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem started on Monday afternoon, as Israeli and U.S. officials gathered in the city amidst deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip. (Xinhua/JINI)
"

John Gilberts , May 15, 2018 2:30:01 AM | 115
I wish to also state that as compares the settler-state of Israel to the settler-state of Canada, Canada has achieved what Israel can only drool and dream of. 'Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian that has not been absorbed into the body politic of Canada and there is no more 'Indian question', that is the whole purpose of our legislation.' - Indian Affairs Canada
Zanon , May 15, 2018 2:32:37 AM | 116
Jackrabbit
Circe's attacks on Trump have always been over-the-top but when criticism of Zionist influence devolves into claims of his being a Rothschild puppet then he has gone too far. This is a small step from anti-jewish, 'Protocol of Zion' hysteria which could discredit MoA as anti-semetic.

Why not stop criticism against Israel too? That is also antisemitic? Stop this nonsense claims.

michaelj72 , May 15, 2018 3:28:01 AM | 117
there is no end to their madness or their crimes


https://news.antiwar.com/2018/05/14/top-israeli-mp-army-has-enough-bullets-for-everyone-in-gaza/

Top Israeli MP: Army Has Enough Bullets for Everyone in Gaza
Strategic Affairs Minister calls Gazans 'Nazis,' says deaths don't mean anything


.....Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as "Nazis," saying that there were no demonstrations, just "Nazi anger." He later added that the number killed doesn't mean anything because they're just Nazis anyhow.

Likud MP Avi Dichter, the chair of the defense committee, went on to dismiss concerns in an interview of his own. Dichter insisted that protests in Gaza pose no danger, because "the IDF has enough bullets for anyone," and open-fire regulations to shoot people allowing the military to deal with it....

Perimtr , May 15, 2018 4:13:05 AM | 118 Yeah, Right , May 15, 2018 4:35:05 AM | 119
Interesting news that the Palestinians have decided to refer the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank to the International Criminal Court for prosecution as a war crime.

I know that the PLO has previously threatened to refer Israel to the ICC, but usually the threats have to do with allegations of unlawful killings during one of the IDF's many, many instances of "mowing the lawn". And, of course, in every instance the Palestinians have stepped away under US pressure.

But they really should persevere in this case, not just because the illegality of Israeli settlements is such an open-and-shut case, but also because once the court does rule that this is a war crime (and, again, no int'l court could possibly find otherwise) then the guilty persons are.... well.... every single Israeli gov't minister from June 1967 to the present day.

Each and every one of them are complicit in this crime. From top to bottom, from mewling left to far, far right.

All of 'em, because if they were a gov't minister then they voted to support the committing of this ongoing war crime.

I think the PLO should see this through. Lodge the complaint, and neither back down nor allow the Prosecutor to wriggle off the hook.

Coz' the Israeli leadership past and present are damn well guilty of a war crime. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Them.


somebody , May 15, 2018 5:45:07 AM | 123
Posted by: oldenyoung | May 14, 2018 6:24:59 PM | 54

That is the (European descent) Israeli stupid propaganda that Palestinians can be compared to Red Indians and Israel is a " settler " country like the US.

You must have built walls around you and be blind to what is going on to believe that. Or you live in the US countryside and don't notice much of the world anyway.

Palestinians sometimes called Arab Israeli are some 50 percent of "Greater Israel" and people with the same language and culture inhabit all the countries surrounding the "settler state". These people some Israelis pretend to colonize invented script, law, algebra, they also knew that the world was not flat. They also know how to remember history.

To try to impose a European "settler" narrative in an environment like this is an exercise in futility.

Israel has become a pet project of US billionaires and evangelicals.

Part of the new Gaza tragedy is not covered: Trump cut the funding for Gaza

Palestinians trying to storm the border are acting in desperation.
Trump will offer the Palestinians some type of deal after this. Same strategy he attempts with Iran.


john , May 15, 2018 6:35:01 AM | 127
Trump's Family Applauds Zionist Massacre Of Palestinians In Gaza

indeed, the optics are fucking creepy as hell. dig a little and they get even creepier . in my waking dream of billowing black smoke and blood draining head shots, I christen the blond dryad, the poster girl for Levantine murder, Lady Gaza.

somebody , May 15, 2018 8:06:18 AM | 129
Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 15, 2018 7:24:30 AM | 128

Probably in Hebrew. You can count on English speaking media in countries with their own languages to be government propaganda of some sort.

That does not mean they cannot be revealing to read, it is always interesting to read what propaganda thinks it is supposed to do. It is very likely far from any truth though.

Israel at this stage has short term tactics but no long term strategy.

This here is Newsweeks assessment :

srael celebrates its 70th birthday in May with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yet the country is grappling with an existential crisis -- one that doesn't involve Iranian nukes or Palestinian protests. Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves, trying to build their lives elsewhere, mostly in the United States. Many of these young Israelis are moving to big cities, and yet, even in these often expensive places, they see more opportunities to advance.

The available data is telling, analysts say. Between 2006 and 2016, more than 87,000 Israelis became U.S. citizens or legalized permanent residents, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That's up from 66,000 between 1995 and 2005. These figures take into account only those who took the legal route (many Israelis, analysts say, arrive on temporary tourist, student or work visas, then stay). And in addition to the Israelis now living stateside, according to the country's Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, hundreds of thousands have moved to Europe, Canada and elsewhere.
...
The country's brain drain isn't new. For years, many of its most talented scholars and researchers moved to the U.S., where the salaries are far higher and there are more jobs at top-tier universities. One report by Dan Ben-David, an economist at Tel Aviv University, found that the emigration rate of Israeli researchers was the highest in the Western world. Recently, however, the exodus has expanded to include average young people, many of whom say there's simply no future in Israel.


somebody , May 15, 2018 8:39:47 AM | 130
There is a good discussion on what is going on in the Middle East militarily and strategically here .

Also read the comments section.

And finally

Saudi statement on US embassy

The Saudi Arabian government on Tuesday said it opposed the US decision to relocate its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"The kingdom rejects the American administration's decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem," the council of ministers said in a state carried by state-run Saudi Press Agency.

"This step represents a significant prejudice against the rights of the Palestinian people which have been guaranteed by international resolutions," it said.

So either Kushner did not have Saudi buy-in or things have become too toxic for Saudi Arabia.

And this here from oilprice.com

US sanctions threaten the Petro Dollar

fastfreddy , May 15, 2018 10:02:39 AM | 133
In this modern era, it should be very difficult to impose and maintain an expanding (religious, ethnic) apartheid state without anyone noticing. Worse, is that it has the full backing and support of the USA and most of its citizenry.
Don Bacon , May 15, 2018 10:22:43 AM | 134
@aaaa 133
Wait, there are still Trumptards here?

Any event, such as the current one, which upsets the "world order" which includes the US as the world hegemon, in this matter including control over Israel/Palestine, is a good thing. The alternative is continued US financial and military control of the world, which is a bad thing. Omelettes can't be made w/o breaking eggs.

People are dying for their countries in many places, that's how history is made, unfortunately. In this case it hopefully will include some local MENA initiatives to take some responsibility for the continuing and worsening situation in Palestine. We've already seen signs from Turkey and perhaps there will be more.

The US reign over Palestine has been a disaster and change is needed, and if the current sacrifices contribute to meaningful change, it's a good thing.

[May 16, 2018] Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea by James Petras

Questionable but interesting. "Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again." Trump really believe like a typical bully. In case of tough resistance he folds and appologize. Otherwise he tries to press opooneent into complete submission.
Notable quotes:
"... The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. ..."
"... Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy. ..."
"... Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah. ..."
"... Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch. ..."
"... Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. ..."
"... Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program. ..."
"... Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so. ..."
"... China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security. ..."
"... "Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof. ..."
May 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Introduction

For some time, critics of President Trump's policies have attributed them to a mental disorder; uncontrolled manic-depression, narcissus bullying and other pathologies. The question of Trump's mental health raises a deeper question: why do his pathologies take a specific political direction? Moreover, Trump's decisions have a political history and background, and follow from a logic and belief in the reason and logic of imperial power.

We will examine the reason why Trump has embraced three strategic decisions which have world-historic consequences, namely: Trump's reneging the nuclear accord with Iran ;Trump's declaration of a trade war with China; and Trump's meeting with North Korea.

In brief we will explore the political reasons for his decisions; what he expects to gain; and what is his game plan if he fails to secure his expected outcome and his adversaries take reprisals.

Trump's Strategic Framework

The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. In other words, Trump's politics of force only recognizes counter-force: limitations in Trump's policies will only result when tangible economic and military losses and costs in US lives would undermine US imperial rule.

Reasons Why Trump Broke the Peace Accord with Iran

Trump broke the accord with Iran because the original agreement was based on retaining US sanctions against Iran; the total dismantling of its nuclear program and calling into question Iran's limited role on behalf of possible allies in the Middle East.

Iran's one-sided concessions; trading military defense for market opportunities encouraged Trump to believe that he could intimidate Iran militarily by closing all its markets.

Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy.

Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah.

The second reason for Trump's policy is to strengthen Israel's military power in the Middle East. The Trump regime is deeply influenced by the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US, dubbed 'the Lobby'.

Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch.

Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. Trump's submission to Zionist power reinforces and even dictates his decision to break the peace accord with Iran and his willingness to pressure. France, Germany, the UK and Russia to sacrifice billion-dollar trade agreements with Iran and to pursue a policy of pressuring Teheran to accept part of Trump's agenda of unilateral disarmament and isolation. Trump believes he can force the EU multi-nationals to disobey their governments and abide by sanctions.

Reasons for Trump's Trade War with China

Prior to Trump's presidency, especially under President Obama, the US launched a trade war and 'military pivot' to China. Obama proposed the Trans-Pacific Pact to exclude China and directed an air and naval armada to the South China Sea. Obama established a high-powered surveillance system in South Korea and supported war exercises on North Korea's border. Trump's policy deepened and radicalized Obama's policies.

Trump extended Obama's bellicose policy toward North Korea, demanding the de-nuclearization of its defense program. President Kim of North Korea and President Moon of South Korea reached an agreement to open negotiations toward a peace accord ending nearly 60 years of hostility.

However, President Trump joined the conversation on the presumption that North Korea's peace overtures were due to his threats of war and intimidation. He insisted that any peace settlement and end of economic sanctions would only be achieved by unilateral nuclear disarmament, the maintenance of US forces on the peninsula and supervision by US approved inspectors.

Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program.

Trump slapped a trade tariff on over $100 billion dollars of Chinese exports in order to reduce its trade imbalance by $200 billion over two years. He demanded China unilaterally end industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations) and China's compliance monitored quarterly by the US. Trump demanded that China not retaliate with tariffs or restrictions or face bigger sanctions. Trump threatened to respond to any reciprocal tariff by Beijing, with greater tariffs, and restrictions on Chinese goods and services.

Trump's goals seek to convert North Korea into a military satellite encroaching on China's northern border; and a trade war that drives China into an economic crisis. Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

Trump believes a successful trade war will lead to a successful military war. Trump believes that a submissive China, based on its isolation from the 'dynamic' US market, will enhance Washington's quest for uncontested world domination.

Trump's Ten Erroneous Thesis

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed! Breaking the nuclear agreement and imposing harsh sanctions has isolated Trump from his European and Asian allies. His military intervention will inflame a regional war that would destroy the Saudi oil fields. He will force Iran to pursue a nuclear shield against US-Israeli aggression and lead to a prolonged, costly and ultimately losing war.

Trump's policies will unify all Iranians, liberals and nationalist, and undermine US collaborators. The entire Muslim world will unify forces and carry the conflict throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Tel Aviv's bombing [of Iran] will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

Oil prices will skyrocket, financial markets will collapse, industries will go bankrupt.

Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction.

Trump's trade war with China will lead to the disruption of the supply chain which sustains the US economy and especially the 500 US multi-nationals who depend on the Chinese economy for exports to the US. China will increase domestic consumption, diversify its markets and trading partners and reinforce its military alliance with Russia. China has greater resilience and capacity to overcome short-term disruption and regain its dominant role as a global economic power house.

Wall Street will suffer a catastrophic financial collapse and send the US into a world depression.

Trump's negotiations with North Korea will go nowhere as long as he demands unilateral nuclear disarmament, US military control over the peninsula and political isolation from China.

Kim will insist on the end of sanctions, and a mutual defense treaty with China. Kim will offer to end nuclear testing but not nuclear weapons. After Trump's reneged on the Iran deal, Kim will recognize that agreements with the US are not trustworthy.

Conclusion

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice. But his assumptions about the consequences of his policy are deeply flawed. There is no basis to think his sanctions will topple the Iranian regime; that Israel will survive unscathed from a war with Iran: that an oil war will not undermine the US economy; that Europe will allow its companies to be frozen out of the Iran market.

Trump's trade war with China is dead in the water. He cannot find alternative production sites for US multi-nationals. He cannot freeze China out of the world market, since they have links with five continents. Trump cannot dominate North Korea and force it to sacrifice its sovereignty on the basis of empty economic promises to lift sanctions. Trump is heading for defeats on all counts. But he may take the American people into the nuclear abyss in the process.

Epilogue

Are Trump's threats of war part of a strategy of bluff and bombast designed to intimidate, in order to secure political advantages? Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so.

Nixon unlike Trump was not led by the nose by Israel. Nixon unlike Trump was not led by pro-nuclear war advisers. Nixon in contrast to Trump opened the US to trade with China and signed nuclear reduction agreements with Russia. Nixon successfully promoted peaceful co-existence.

Trump is a master of defeats.


Realist , May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am GMT

Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea

The Deep State told him to.

Gordo , May 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT

industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations)

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

Realist , May 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed!

Trump has no agenda of his own.

Per/Norway , May 15, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
"Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction."

indeed they will, and sadly it well deserved after the last 20yrs off US terrorism.
the US hubris will soon meet karma, and we all know karma is a bitch..

Biff , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT

Tel Aviv's bombing will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

?Who is going to do this bombing, and counter attacking?

Mark James , May 16, 2018 at 5:58 am GMT

Trump cannot dominate North Korea

You didn't have to be genius to see this coming. In fact, NK played Trump as expected. Anything else would have been gross negligence by their diplomatic negotiators. Getting Trump to speculate about a prospective Nobel (for himself) for bringing nuclear peace to the Pacific was baiting the hook nicely.

The US is now dealing from a position of weakness. Let's see what NK can extract in terms of keeping their weapons and gaining economic assistance in return for getting the meetings back on track.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT
This theory is the opposite of what I suppose is the right explanation, the explanation also given by prof Laslo Maracs, UVA Amsterdam, that Trump and his rich friends understand that the USA can to longer control the world, conquering the rest of the world totally out of the question.

The end of the British empire began before 1914, when the twe fleet standard had to lowered to one fleet.

Obama had to do something similar, the USA capability of fighting two wars at the time was lowered to one and half. What half a war accomplishes we see in Syria.

In the thirties the British, some of them, knew quite well they could no longer defend their empire, at the time this meant controlling the Meditarranean and the Far East. Lawrence R. Pratt, 'East of Malta, West of Suez', London, 1975

The British guarantees to Poland and countries bordering on the Med lighted the fuse to the powder keg that had been standing for a long time. Churchill won, the British thought, and some of them think it still, WWII. But shortly after WWII some British understood 'we won the war, but lost the peace'.

I still have the idea that Trump has no intention of losing the peace, but time will tell.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
@Per/Norway

I suppose Trump just is buying time against Deep State and Netanyahu. The fool Netanyahu is happy with having got Jerusalem, he does not see the cost in increased hatred among Muslims, and Israel having won the Eurovision Song Festival.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice.

Just as Wilson and FDR's, and their successor's regime change efforts were. At least they're consistent! Damn them all.

Franklin Ryckaert , May 16, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again. However, behind the facade of all his bravado hides a puppet of the Jewish Power Structure, which is even more dangerous than Trump himself. "Make Zion Great Again" would be a more apposite slogan.
The Alarmist , May 16, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
Wall Street collapsing will not cause a world depression, but will reflect the very real depression that will arise from huge disruptions to the US supply chain and energy costs and the knock-on effect that will have on the global economy.

A strike on Iran won't by itself be enough to cripple the US economy, but the loss of a single aircraft carrier might be enough of a pull on a thread that unravels the magical mantle of military force that currently holds the empire together and keeps the vassal-states in line to cause things to go pear-shaped quickly.

Proud_Srbin , May 16, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
Nobody can accuse Donald of not being obedient executioner of tasks given by his Masters.
You don't have to be dark skinned to reside in Masters quarters, orange haired and white is ok too..
Kirt , May 16, 2018 at 10:59 am GMT
Overall a good analysis, but as far as his support of Israel is concerned, his family connections with the most ultra-Zionist factions should not be overlooked.
Escher , May 16, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT

Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

On what basis does the author say that? Trump is smart enough to know that China is growing as an economic and military power, not declining. A fairly poorly (and likely hastily) written article.

Mike P , May 16, 2018 at 11:53 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Buying time to do what? How do you think that time will work in his favour?

DESERT FOX , May 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT
Trump is under the control of Zionists just as is the U.S. gov with Zionist dual citizens in control of every facet and has been since 1913 when the Zionists created the FED and the IRS.

Trump is like the Roman emperor Caligula and is a Trojan Horse for the Zionist agenda of a NWO and is continuing the tradition of the U.S. gov breaking its word about everything, just ask the native American Indians.

JoaoAlfaiate , May 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
You haven't convinced me he isn't a psychopath.
Quartermaster , May 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing. The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified. Our "allies" in Europe and Asia knew that and their reaction has not been nearly as negative as the author of this column has claimed.
Joe Hide , May 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm GMT
I continue to admire President Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi of China. WHY? .because RESULTS matter more than opinions on internet websites, T.V., or in printed publications.

N. Korea has stopped performing ICBM or nuke tests, a less extremist regime change "coup" took place in Saudi Arabia, financing/ weapons flows / intelligence to Syrian terrorists has dried up with resulting collapse of ISIS, Iran is threatening to release the names of European & American politicians who previously made millions / billions off the Iran nuke deal if it is dropped, Harvey Weinstein, Allison Mack, and "Weiner" were untouchable before Trump, the list just goes on and continues to get bigger.

A major reason for admiration of Putin is that the Mainstream Media (MSM) can't stop demonizing him. So of course I'm logically led to believe that he is mostly a good guy since the MSM has proven itself repeatedly to distort the Truth. Putin also largely ended the oligarchs power, doubled Russian citizens income, used an tiny Russian military in Syria to gradually reverse ISIS expansion there, improved Russia's internal manufacturing, agricultural, mining, and technological research/ development, intellectually crushed international debate opponents repeated using only logic and facts (You should watch the videos!), built / rebuilt over 10 thousand churches, has patriotic Muslims (Crimea) fighting for Russia in Syria, etc. etc.

Xi of China has pretty impressive creditials but this post is overly long anyway. RESULTS COUNT MORE THAN WORDS!

TT , May 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Gordo

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

• Agree: CalDre

I like your frankness. Every countries is into this at different degree, with ZUS the apex. But been leading in most tech area currently & lazy to produce any useful things, ZUS is very unhappy that their esponage net result is negative, hence the continuous whining.

When tide reverse with China leading in most tech, ZUS will complaint about complex patent system as been flawed in exploitating & suppressing of weaker country innovation, juz as it did for WTO & Globalization now.

Of course any moronic comments about only China is espionaging US IPR & rise purely due to US FDI & Tech transfer will resonate CalDre into high chime.

padre , May 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm GMT
Well, he is not meeting with North Korea either, since Kim didn't chicken out, and is not that stupid as to offer his head on the plate! Bolton made sure of that.
TT , May 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT
Hastily written article cobbled by bits of public info here & there without deep analysis.

1. Today NK declared they have indefinitely terminate all high level exchange with SK. If Trumps insisted on another Libya & Iraq defank & ending model advocate by Bolton, meeting with Trumps will be cancelled. Trumps needs the Korea peace credit to get his Nobel Prize, so as to booster his coming Nov election win. Kim has baited Trumps to put him in tight corner now, hence WH still insisting to go ahead prepare for the meeting.

If venue does changed to Beijing from Trumps' choice of Spore (Kim's cargo plane can't fly his limousine so far, also a risk of him as Spore is US vassal), we will see Kim has K.O. Trumps in another round. Kim will get to keep its nuke weapon until USM remove its Korea present, clear all sanctions, with UNSC guaranteed its safety. If Trumps has the meeting cancelled, then China can roll out its own play book as unchallenged leader in solving Korea crisis. Either way, Trumps will lost influence to China.

2. Trade war with China has exposed ZUS deep weakness in its brinkmanship when china retaliated with no compromise. Four most senior trade & treasury secs scrambled 10,000 miles to Beijing to seek detente, but return empty handed in 2 days with their ridiculous demands in hubris. Still China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security.

Btw, this author has wrongly written about the $100B trade tariff, its only $50B so far. Another additional $100B is only a empty threat ZUS dare not release to avoid China retaliation.

3. JCPOA cancelling is godsend move. First, EU with Germany & France having huge investments in Iran is crying loud that they have to be free from been ZUS vassal. If they caved in to ZUS sanction threat, then EU bosses – Macron & Merkel will face revolt from Europe business sector. China & Russia will be happy to pick up whatever investments in fire sales.

If EU decided to rebel & chart its own destiny with a little spine, then ZUS has lost its tight clutch over EU. EU has juz announced to trade Iran oil in Euro, hasten de-dollarization. The geopolitical game is changing tide. In either way of EU decision, China & Russia win.

Now Iran will continue to enjoy free trades with everyone except ZUS that it dislike most, & win moral high ground in international standing by keeping to JCPOA.

ZUS has juz ordered Trumps to shoot its own foot. It pay the high price of losing every credibility in international agreement, forced EU into seeking independency, have EU trade in Euro, with Iran, China & Russia all smiling.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Yes, but there is much more to your observation..

Of course, but I just wanted to make a point not write a book or even a PhD thesis. thanks for the supplementary material though. Your comments about oil are spot on as you know. The wars were about smashing some real competition.

Herald , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Please try and be serious, that sort of nonsense just won't do.

Vidi , May 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Somebody has to shovel the BS occasionally, to keep the smell down here. I guess it's my turn today, sigh.

The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing.

Then the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many of the major European countries must also be lying when they say that Iran is fully complying with the JCPOA.

The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified.

The United Nations Security Council endorsed the JCPOA; see UNSC resolution 2231. According to the UN treaty, UNSC resolutions are automatically the law of the land, even in the USA -- no Senate ratification needed.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Iran lied about what they were doing.

Citation, please.

Have you ever made a comment that was other than your mere and clearly biased opinion? Try it sometime; it would be interesting to see what evidence you provide to support such transparently erroneous ideas.

dkshaw , May 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Anyone who destroys a carrier is sure to face a nuclear attack, and nuclear war will ensue.

niteranger , May 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm GMT
Trump's only strategy is to do what Israel orders him to do. The Neocon Jews and their friends including the Jew In Chief of the White House Jared Kushner are running the show. You can easily see this in ... Niki Haley's presentation before the UN including walking out before the Palestinian Rep had a chance to speak.

Trump is up to his arms in shady deals with Jewish financiers of his properties and they will get what they want from him politically. It's Israel against the world and the US is nothing more than their war whore. More people will die for this strategy that comes from formerly Tel Aviv and now from the Magic Jewish Capital called Jerusalem.

renfro , May 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
Stars -- They're Just Like Us: Celebs outraged over Gaza are speaking out
US Politics Mondoweiss Editors on May 16, 2018

http://mondoweiss.net/

Some other examples:

New York City's Hip Hop station Hot 97's morning show, "Ebro in the Morning," dedicated an entire segment to yesterday's demonstration in Gaza where the two blasted Israel and President Donald Trump http://pic.twitter.com/43XIqhKFWZ

-- Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 15, 2018
Hadid posted screen shots of Al Jazeera's coverage alongside an image of the Nakba with text written by a relative, "Almost One Million Palestinians were violently forced out of their country and never allowed back to Palestine. The Hadid family was amongst them and they fled in fear to Syria where they became refugees."

Why are these important? Because they have millions of followers on social media .because their audience and followers are the coming voter and leadership force .for better or worse ..and for Israel its the 'worse'. Gigi Hadid for instance has 9 million followers on twitter.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:52 am GMT

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

This true. BUT ..'if' any criminal wrong doing by Trump before he was president is revealed in the course of the Russia investigation he can be indicted for that after he is out of office. IN ADDITION ..'if' any criminal wrong doing is revealed in Trump's businesses then any persons involved in it within his businesses including his sons or daughter can be indicted. And now, as they have no presidential protection.

imo .this is what Trump is most afraid of ..some criminal business like money laundering being exposed. not that Mueller will find Russian election collusion.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
Rex Tillerson just majorly trolled Donald Trump

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/tillerson-trump-truth/

"Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof.
..

Why is this important? Because the graduating class of VMI selects its speakers so that tells you where the minds of the elite military schools are on Trumpism.

[May 15, 2018] Bureaucrats Versus Artists by W. Patrick Lang

Notable quotes:
"... In fact, "Intelligence" is simply another word for "information" and in ages gone by the term was used in that way by authorities like Clausewitz or Jomini. ..."
"... Like any labor of scholarship involving the study of human beings by human beings, the work is nearly always conducted with incomplete and ambiguous information as a basis for the analysis. ..."
May 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

"Were we right or were we wrong?" This was Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) George Tenet's central question in his 2004 talk to the faculty and students of his alma mater, Georgetown University. What he was talking about, of course, was the critical political issue of whether or not the Intelligence Community (IC) of which he was the titular head "got it right" in telling the American people and their government that Iraq was a clear danger to the United States, as opposed to being a threat to regional states, and if that danger was substantial enough to serve as a justifiable basis for war, invasion and occupation. In Tenet's address there was much of self-protection and an implicit warning that neither he nor the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) would accept to be "scapegoated" in a search for the roots of misadventure in Iraq. His words establish a claim to blamelessness for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community in the decisions leading up to the Iraq campaign and a related claim to have done as well as could fairly have been expected. In other words, he wished to be thought innocent in this matter. Is that reasonable? Is it fair to expect American citizens and officials to believe that the Intelligence Community did its work well in helping the government of the United States to make sound decisions about Iraq? This is an important question, because if they did not, then why were their judgments so flawed in spite of the incredible amounts of taxpayer money lavished on the agencies of the IC? Why should so much money have been lavished on these agencies if they could do no better?

In spite of the importance of this question, impatience with the performance of the intelligence people ought to be somewhat dependent on the outcome of a national debate as to what should be expected of the process labeled "intelligence." Reporters sometimes ask rhetorically if decisions should really be made on the basis of intelligence. At first hearing questions like this seem to be both naïve and nonsensical since it is obvious that information is the stuff that decisions must be founded on. Nevertheless, decipherment of these statements leads to an understanding that those who say things like this think that "intelligence" is a form of thinking both esoteric and obscure, a dark art, separate and distinct from the normal way of knowing things and subject to acceptance or rejection by special rules of perception. In other words, they think that it is something like astrology, to be judged by its own "rules."

In fact, "Intelligence" is simply another word for "information" and in ages gone by the term was used in that way by authorities like Clausewitz or Jomini. There is nothing mystical or mysterious about the process by which information or "intelligence" is collected, collated, analyzed and disseminated. "Intelligence" is scholarship conducted in the service of the state. The great bulk of the information used as data in this scholarship comes out of the huge archival files of the major agencies supplemented by daily "feedings" of; diplomatic chit-chat, aerial and satellite reconnaissance, intercepts of communications and hopefully the products of espionage (clandestine HUMINT). Like any labor of scholarship involving the study of human beings by human beings, the work is nearly always conducted with incomplete and ambiguous information as a basis for the analysis.

This natural phenomenon is aggravated by the desire of the studied group to hide something, usually, that which is under study. When George Tenet said before his Georgetown audience that "We never get things altogether right in the Intelligence business, nor altogether wrong," he was correct but his statement was irrelevant to a discussion of the utility of the intelligence process since the quality of the analytic product depends on many variables, among them; good information and the quality of the minds brought to bear on the imperfect information. It is both trite and a truism that "intelligence is an art and not a science." What this means is that human beings may succeed or they may fail in making judgments based on less than complete data and that the skill, intelligence and experience of those involved is the most important factor in determining the outcome. To say that "Intelligence" is a flawed process is simply meaningless in a discussion of the effectiveness of the state in making decisions. If the "Intelligence Community" as it now exists were abolished, some other group would have to assume the burden of performing the same functions for the benefit of the state. What would they be called? Perhaps it might be, "The Agency for Special Planning?"

The issue of the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing Intelligence Community is a separate but linked question from that of knowing whether or not the elected or appointed officials of the Bush Administration may have intruded themselves inappropriately into the deliberations of the Intelligence Community in a way that led to distortions in the estimates of Iraq's significance that were presented to the president and the Congress. It is widely believed now that this occurred but that is not the subject of this essay.

The question under examination here is simple. Premise: "The Intelligence Community produced poor quality intelligence on Iraq." Therefore, one asks – Are there imbedded structural defects in the present United States Intelligence Community that contributed either directly or indirectly to the production of estimates that were unsound and which failed the nation? And, moreover, are there characteristics in the present intelligence community of the United States which now prevent and will prevent it from "reforming" itself? It is clear that the inability of the Intelligence Community to forecast or estimate Iraq's true condition was a major failure. Why did this happen, and how can the defects in the "community" be repaired? What "limits" are there in the psychology and structure of the government that may prevent "repair" of the system?

ORDER IT NOW

The author's conclusion after a working lifetime of studying the flaws in the system from within the community and from the evidence of continuing contacts with old colleagues and new friends in the intelligence agencies is that there are a multitude of problems in the intelligence forces of the United states and that most of them have grown up over a very long time, are now "built into" the system and are unlikely to be resolved without outside intervention by the Congress of the United States. It is impossible to consider them all but a few of the most important are so intractable as to be worth discussing here:

-Leadership. There is a natural tendency in the general public to believe that the upper levels of the Intelligence Community are filled with learned, avuncular and sensitive people somehow reminiscent of "George Smiley," the wonderful British spy and spymaster whose presence fills the earlier novels of John Le Carre. The character, "Smiley" is wise, sadly pessimistic, a profound student of mankind and devoted to his "people." He has a deeply empathic nature, is widely read, speaks several languages and is so dedicated to his craft and its ethic that he fears nothing and will take any risk either to protect his own "people" or to "launch" operations that, if they fail may destroy him. What a marvelous conception this man is!

There are people like that in the leadership of US Intelligence. There are a few, but there once were many more and they are fewer all the time. In fact, the "system" works in such a way that people like "Smiley" are feared and distrusted by the bureaucratic politicians who really run the intelligence agencies. What are really to be found in the upper echelons of the "community" are either people who early in their government service became specialized in the generalized management of organizations (often after early substantive analytic work) or others who were "staff " of some kind, (budgetary planners, lawyers. liaison staff, etc.) The Directors of the various agencies are naturally attracted to such people because they are focused on the administrative functions of the agencies and the protection of their ultimate superior, the Director. This makes them a kind of "insurance policy " for the directors of the agencies.

The old veterans of the intelligence trade often make a distinction between "real intelligence officers" and "managers." "Real intelligence officers" are those who are known to be qualified and capable of the difficult work of analysis and field collection of information and who are known to have the moral character required to stand up to the pressure that is present in every political administration to make the "reality" presented by the "Intelligence Community" conform to the " reality" envisioned by the policy of the administration in power. The "managers" are essentially courtiers grouped about the throne of whichever baron of the Intelligence Community they may serve. The "managers" functions center on liaison with the other barons, lobbying the Congress for money and "protection" of the boss (the Director of their agency). Such people as the "managers" are easily recognized by the directors of the agencies as very valuable to their career survival in the stylized "dance" conducted around Washington by the various parts of the United States Government but they are not well suited to leading "real intelligence officers" to feats of brilliant analysis or imaginative collection operations because they are always in a "defensive crouch" fearing that the "real intelligence officers" will cause trouble for them or "the boss" through disagreement with the "picture" desired by the administration of the day or in Hu