Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization

News Neoliberalism Recommended Links American Exceptionalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy
Two Party System as Polyarchy Slightly skeptical view on US Presidential Elections of 2016 Donald Trump      
Corporatism Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on crisis of  neoliberalism Neocons as USA neo-fascists National Security State National Socialism and Military Keysianism Media-Military-Industrial Complex
The Great Transformation Neoliberalism as secular religion, "idolatry of money" Techno-fundamentalism Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Globalization of Financial Flows Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime
Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Neoliberalism Bookshelf   Greenspan humor Etc

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy, the moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days, my friends, will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves, to our fellow men.

Recognition of that falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.

Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live."

Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

Globalization and free trade are fast becoming dirty words. That’s because they are   culprits for major  shocks—like the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States alone, median household income has been practically stagnant for about three decades, the labor market continues to be anemic, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and many have experienced a significant deterioration in living standards.

Much of the post-Brexit and primary election conventional wisdom seems to be stuck in a political narrative in which the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump_vs_deep_state in the United States are seen as symbols of the populist revolution. These symbols are combined with a nationalist tide has been sweeping not only the United Kingdom and the United States, but also many other parts of Europe, including Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, not to mention, Russia, Turkey, India and Israel.

According to this narrative, economic insecurity and cultural anxiety that reflect sociodemographic trends have given momentum to ethnonationalism and religious separatism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Rust Belt is pitted against New York City, and the Midlands against London.

All this means that the crisis of neoliberalism, which started in 2008 now obtained political dimension, when the institutions created by neoliberalism are under attacks from the disgruntled population. The power of neoliberal propaganda, the power of brainwashing and indoctrination of population via MSM, schools and universities to push forward neoliberal globalization started to evaporate.

This is about the crisis of neoliberal ideology and especially Trotskyism part of it (neoliberalism can be viewed as Trotskyism for the rich). The following integral elements of this ideology no longer work well and are starting to cause the backlash:

  1. High level of inequality as the explicit, desirable goal (which raises the productivity). "Greed is good" or "Trickle down economics" -- redistribution of wealth up will create (via higher productivity) enough scrapes for the lower classes, lifting all boats.
  2. "Neoliberal rationality" when everything is a commodity that should be traded at specific market. Human beings also are viewed as market actors with every field of activity seen as a specialized market. Every entity (public or private, person, business, state) should be governed as a firm. "Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices." People are just " human capital" who must constantly tend to their own present and future market value.
  3. Extreme financialization or converting the economy into "casino capitalism" (under neoliberalism everything is a marketable good, that is traded on explicit or implicit exchanges.)
  4. The idea of the global, USA dominated neoliberal empire and related "Permanent war for permanent peace" -- wars for enlarging global neoliberal empire via crushing non-compliant regimes either via color revolutions or via open military intervention.
  5. Downgrading ordinary people to the role of commodity and creating three classes of citizens (moochers, or Untermensch, "creative class" and top 0.1%), with the upper class (0.1% or "Masters of the Universe") being above the law like the top level of "nomenklatura" was in the USSR.
  6. "Downsizing" sovereignty of nations via international treaties like TPP, and making transnational corporations the key political players, "the deciders" as W aptly said. Who decide about the level of immigration flows, minimal wages, tariffs, and other matters that previously were prerogative of the state.

So after 36 (or more) years of dominance (which started with triumphal march of neoliberalism in early 90th) the ideology entered "zombie state". That does not make it less dangerous but its power over minds of the population started to evaporate. Far right ideologies now are filling the vacuum, as with the discreditation of socialist ideology and decimation of "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal in the USA there is no other viable alternatives.

The same happened in late 1960th with the Communist ideology. It took 20 years for the USSR to crash after that with the resulting splash of nationalism (which was the force that blow up the USSR) and far right ideologies.

It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal US elite will fare better then Soviet nomenklatura as challenges facing the USA are now far greater then challenges which the USSR faced at the time. Among them is oil depletion which might be the final nail into the coffin of neoliberalism and, specifically, the neoliberal globalization.

Advocates of the neoliberalism constantly repeat the refrain that "there is no alternative" (TINA). Brexit is a powerful demonstration that this is not true (Back to (our) Future)

A major crack has appeared in the edifice of globalization, and the neoliberal order that has dominated the world’s economy since the end of World War II is now in danger.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by any means. But poisonous weeds are just as likely as green shoots to grow up through those cracks. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Those who make constructive evolution impossible may be making destructive devolution inevitable.

We now know that Great Britain, itself an amalgam of older nations, is divided. England and Wales voted to leave Europe, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and ethnically diverse London voted to remain.

This vote was a stunning rejection of Great Britain’s political establishment. “Leave” prevailed despite opposition from all three major political parties. Prime Minister David Cameron, who will now step down, called on voters to “Remain.” So did socialist Jeremy Corbin, the most left-wing Labor leader in a generation. Barack Obama crossed the Atlantic to stand beside Cameron and offer his support.

Voters rejected all of them.

The uprising has begun. The question now is, who will lead it going forward?

Globalism’s Shadow Self

The world’s financial and political elites must now face the fact that resistance to their economic order, which has shaped the world since the Bretton Woods conference of 1944, is a major phenomenon. These elites are apparently more out of touch with the citizens of the industrialized world than at any time in modern memory.

Make no mistake: The “Leave” vote was a rejection of globalization, at least as it’s currently structured. This was a revolt of working class Britons who have seen their postwar prosperity erode around them and their social contract eviscerated by the corporate and financial oligarchy.

But it was also the sign of a darker and more sinister worldwide phenomenon: the resurgence of global nativism and xenophobia. This worldwide turn toward fear of the Other is globalization’s shadow self.

Revolt of the Powerless

That’s not to say that there wasn’t a legitimate left-wing case to be made for leaving the European Union. The “Left Leave” movement, or #Lexit, had its own advocates. “Why cling to this reactionary institution?” asked one.

But this near-victory wasn’t won with leftist arguments about resisting the global oligarchy. The left was too divided to make that case clearly or forcefully. It was largely won by stirring up bigotry against immigrants, cloaked in flimsy arguments about excessive regulation. Legitimate economic grievances were channeled into nationalist hostility.

Many “Leave” voters felt powerless, that they no longer had much of a say in their own destinies. They weren’t wrong. The European Union was largely a creation of transnational financial forces driven by a self-serving neoliberal ideology of “free” markets, privatization, and corporate economic governance.

But ,even at its worst, the EU is a symptom and not a cause. Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests.

The British people have lost more sovereignty to trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP then they could have ever surrendered to the European Union. Their democratic rights are trampled daily, not by faceless EU bureaucrats, but by the powerful financial interests that dominate their politics and their economy.

Low Information Voters

This vote won’t help the middle class. British workers will no longer be guaranteed the worker rights that come with EU membership. British corporations will be less regulated, which means more environmental damage and more mistreatment of employees and customers. They will not, in the words of William Blake, “build Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.”

Most “Leave” voters probably don’t know that, because the media failed them too. Instead of being given a balanced understanding of EU membership’s advantages and disadvantages, the British people were fed a constant diet of terror fears and trivial anti-government anecdotes meant to reinforce the notion that EU was needlessly and absurdly bureaucratic.

As Martin Fletcher explains, Boris Johnson played a key role in degrading the performance of Britain’s corporate press back in his days as a journalist. Other outlets were all to eager to mimic his anti-government and anti-Europe stereotypes. And now? It’s as if Sean Hannity’s deceptive sensationalism had made him a top presidential prospect.

Johnson and UKIP leader Nigel Farage played the same role in the Leave campaign that Donald Trump is playing in US politics. Like Trump, they have used economic fears to stoke the anti-immigrant fear and hatred that is their real stock in trade. Their slogan might just as well have been “Make England Great Again.”

The campaign’s fearmongering and hate has already claimed a victim in Jo Cox, the Labor MP who was violently martyred by a white British racist. Tellingly, her murder was not described as an act of terrorism, which it clearly was. The decision to restrict the “terrorist” label to Muslims, in Great Britain as in the United States, feeds precisely the kind of hatred that fuels movements like these.

Great Britain’s immigrant population grew by 4.5 million under EU membership. But in a just economy, that would lead to growth for the existing middle class. Britain’s immigrants didn’t wound that country’s middle class. They’re scapegoats for rising inequality and the punishing austerity of the conservative regime.

Aftershock

What happens next? Markets are already reacting, retrenching in anticipation of new trade barriers and political uncertainty.

Before the voting, estimates of a Leave vote’s effect on Britain’s economy ranged from “negative” to outright “calamitous.” The outcome will probably fall somewhere between the two.

Will the reprehensible Mr. Johnson, who pushed aggressively for Brexit, now lead his party -perhaps even his country? How much will this boost UKIP? By rejecting the EU, will Great Britain soon experience even harsher economic austerity measures than Cameron’s?

Scotland may once again pursue independence so that it can rejoin Europe. Sinn Fein is calling again for the reunification of Ireland. Suddenly anything seems possible.

There are already calls for a similar referendum in France.

British workers are likely to be worse off without EU protections, especially if the far right prevails in future elections as the result of this vote.

Trade deals will need to be negotiated between Britain and the EU, along with the terms of separation. Judging by its behavior toward Greece, Germany prefers to punish any nation impertinent enough to try guiding its own economic destiny. These negotiations won’t be pleasant.

The New Resistance

The current order is unstable. The uprising has begun. But who will lead it?

All over the world there are Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages poised to capitalize on the chaos. The US has Trump, who was quick to tie himself to the vote. Greece has Golden Dawn. Germany has the far-right, anti-immigrant AfD party. Scandinavia has the Sweden Democrat Party and the Danish People’s Party. Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, itself nationalistic and totalitarian by nature, is in danger of being outdone by the racist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party.

Hungary is already building a Trump-like wall, in fact, a barb-wired fence meant to keep Syrian refugees out of the country and Jobbik out of political power.

There is also also a growing democratic counterforce, poised to resist both the global elites and the nationalist bigots. It includes Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and the Corbin movement in Great Britain (although Corbin’s fate is unclear in the wake of this vote). In the US it has been seen in both the Occupy movement and, more recently, in the newly resurgent left inspired by Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

The global financial order is fracturing. But will it fall? It’s powerful and well organized. Even if it does, what will replace it: a more humane global order, or a world torn by nationalism and hate? Should these new progressive parties and factions form a transnational movement?

That’s the goal of economist Yanis Varoufakis, among others. Varoufakis confronted the EU’s economic leadership directly when he negotiated with them as Greece’s first Finance Minister under Syriza. They prevailed, and Varoufakis is now a private citizen.

The Greeks chose economic autonomy when they voted for Syriza. They didn’t get it. The British aren’t likely to get what they want from this vote either. No matter what happens, British citizens will still be in thrall to corporate financial forces – forces that can rewrite the rules they go along.

Greece’s fate has been a cautionary tale for the world, a powerful illustration of the need for worldwide coordinated resistance to today’s economic and political elites. We can vote. But without economic autonomy, we aren’t truly free. In the months and years to come, the people of Great Britain are likely to learn the truth: We are all Greece now.

The question is, where do we go from here?


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[Feb 13, 2019] Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As Hypocritical And Immoral

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As "Hypocritical And Immoral"

by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:15 44 SHARES

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, Huawei's critics are conjuring up threats and misusing state power to "suppress the legitimate development rights and interests of Chinese enterprises" and are "using political means to intervene in the economy."

Hua continued his slam of the US saying that "all countries should deal with relevant matters in an objective, comprehensive, rational, and correct manner, rather than fabricating excuses of all kinds for one's own pursuit of interest at the cost of others, which is quite hypocritical, immoral, and unfair."

Needless to say, Hua's comments - coming just as US trade negotiators are in Beijing with president Xi unexpectedly set to join the discussions - at a daily briefing were "some of the sharpest yet" in the growing feud over Washington's drive to convince other nations to shut Huawei out of their markets due to national security concerns, Reuters reported.

Huawei - the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and the leaders in 5G technology - insists that it is independent and poses no threat to the security of others, but has long been seen by some as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services. It's also why the United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of Huawei technology, including smart phones.

US warnings about the risks of Chinese telecom technology come as governments are choosing providers for the rollout of 5G wireless internet, where Huawei is among the global leaders.

Escalating the growing boycott of Chinese telecom, on Tuesday in Poland, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated a warning that the United States may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with Huawei. Pompeo said the U.S. had strong concerns about Huawei's motives in Europe, especially in NATO and European Union member states, as well as its business practices.

"We've made known the risks that are associated with that, risks to private information of citizens of the country, risks that comes from having that technology installed in network systems," he said.

The US has argued that under Chinese security laws companies such as Huawei or ZTE could be compelled to hand over data or access to Chinese intelligence. However, Hua responded that such concerns were based on provisions of China's national intelligence law that differ little from similar legislation in other countries.

"It is an international practice to maintain national security with legislation and to require organizations and individuals to cooperate with national intelligence work," Hua said.

And, in the angriest retort to Washington yet, Hua accused the US of creating "conspiracy theories" backed by nothing but hearsay, and that lacking solid evidence, the U . S. "keeps making up crimes and churning out various threat theories."

"We believe that this is very hypocritical, unfair and immoral," she said. All nations, Hua said, have an obligation to "abide by the market principle of free and fair competition and truly safeguard the market environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination."


CatInTheHat , 21 minutes ago link

Doesn't matter what they believe as long as the US dollar is main currency weaponize it whenever possible

US wants back door on China 5G so it can spy more on US citizens and NATO vassal countries

US hasn't caught up with China 5G and lacks innovation to do so .

Pompeo is a horses ***.

popeye , 1 hour ago link

To my knowledge Huawei has not yet been caught hacking sovereign leaders cellphones. Others have, and ....nothing.

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

"... lacking solid evidence ..." - evidence of what? That Huawei steals and copies technology? I can't be the only current or former Cisco employee here. Anyone remember watching a Huawei router boot a production IOS image? Building 8 in the first floor h/w lab? We rolled the Huawei router over from the TME lab next door? Then the lawsuit and the "settlement"? Trust no one but especially don't trust state controlled Chicoms.

BakedBeans , 5 hours ago link

Thanks, CISCO for all the NSA back doors you conveniently provided, allowing the govt to violate the 4th ammendment.

https://www.infoworld.com/article/2608141/internet-privacy/snowden--the-nsa-planted-backdoors-in-cisco-products.html

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

Hate CSCO, IBM, AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, FB and all the rest. Just don't go crazy and think that the Chicoms (ie: Huawei) are on your side.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

I don't care as much about Chinese or Russian backdoors (if they exist), I care more about NSA backdoors since I live inside their fraudulent political, economic, and judicial regime that services US elites.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The Chinese didn't steal tech, it was sold to them by US elites that made fortunes on it. I don't blame the Chinese, I blame US elites that outsourced US jobs and industry to make a buck (fortunes of bucks).

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin. A hell of a read that has some gems on how Bush's, Clinton's, and others made millions on selling tech to China along with real estate fraud, stock swindles, and running narcotics and weapons. Congress critters were involved along with the CIA, ONI, and US military. It still goes on. They love you going with the fear and hate China narratives.

AriusArmenian , 5 hours ago link

Huawei is the world's leader in 5G technology, but when US elites can't compete they play dirty.

The other problem for the US is that Huawei won't allow NSA backdoors in their equipment. Remember the Snowden revelations about Cisco router order shipments being redirected to be modified for the NSA?

Screw the US Stasi Security State.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

If you are a US citizen and live in the US and if US elites fraud that is plowing and plundering the american people continues (and nothing suggests the people will stop it) then nothing good will come from whatever elite narrative you decide to follow. US elites made a bundle on outsourcing US jobs and industry to Asia, and now they are still insiders leading the march to fear and hate China and Russia.

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin on the Iran-Contra frauds run by powerful families in the US to get a taste of what they do.

admin user , 5 hours ago link

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

I have to agree. Everything I needed to know about American perfidy, I learned from Edward Snowden.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The US elites in Congress passed the laws to outsource US jobs and industry to Asia. They were insiders that made fortunes on it. Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband are examples. Now that the pickings are getting slim and China is going its own way those same elites are beating the drum about the dangerous China (and Russia) and are rolling out Cold War v2.

So I agree with you but do not blame Asia for what was offered to them on a silver platter. But I cannot agree with blocking all products from China which would result in price inflation in the US on steroids. The cost of living (especially for the young) would drive many into poverty. The US economy would crater into depression. So what to do? There are two direction: (1) do as the US is currently doing: spend more on its military and cyber weapons and threaten, bomb, kill to get other countries to let US corporations enter and dominate, or (2) cut US military spending by 60%+ and plow money into the US infrastructure and people.

It's one or the other and US elites are going with (1) which is the worst possible direction. I had hope for Trump based on his stump speeches but the CIA and others saw it as a direct threat to their geopolitical strategy regime and they engineered a coup and Trump has folded. This is evident by his original nationalist campaign staff being replaced after the election by neocon/neolib dead-enders. It would have been easy to cooperate with Russia and China to integrate them into a world order of international agreements already in place after Cold War v1. But US elites at heart are supremacists not willing to share the world with others. There is one other big problem in the US: that its foreign policy is substantially under the control of the UK, Israel, and Saudis (that in itself a big story). I feel a lot like you do but see US elites putting all their efforts into a dead end.

[Feb 09, 2019] No trade deal can dictate our relationship with China

Feb 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , February 06, 2019 at 01:32 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-trade-deal-can-dictate-our-relationship-with-china/2019/02/04/ff5ea754-28c4-11e9-8eef-0d74f4bf0295_story.html

February 4, 2019

No trade deal can dictate our relationship with China
By Lawrence H. Summers - Washington Post

As the United States and China continue to joust over trade and technology, the U.S. policy debate contrasts two views of the primary problem.

A first view expressed often in President Trump's tweets locates the key issue in the bilateral trade deficit that the United States chronically runs with China. On this theory of the problem, a solution is relatively easy: The Chinese could rearrange their imports of soybeans, fossil fuels and other products so more of them come from the United States, while countries now supplying China could export instead to nations now importing from the United States. This is what the Chinese keep offering since it means almost no real change in their economy. Neither levels of employment, output or total trade deficits and surpluses are likely to change much in either the United States or China.

A second view, held by more serious alarmists about the U.S.-China relationship, such as U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, emphasizes problematic Chinese practices in key technological sectors. These range from theft of U.S. technologies to requirements that U.S. firms wishing to do business in China -- chiefly in the development of key technologies, such as artificial intelligence -- must form joint ventures with Chinese firms, especially those with connections to the Chinese government.

Such technological alarmists in and out of the administration hold that we can wall off U.S. technologies with sufficiently aggressive policies so China cannot steal them, or that we can pressure China to the point where it will give up government efforts at industrial leadership. Neither of these prospects is realistic.

In many ways, U.S. concerns over China and technology parallel concerns over the Soviet Union in the post-Sputnik missile gap period just before President John F. Kennedy's election in 1960. Or over Japan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was often joked that "the Cold War is over and Japan won."

When atomic weapons were our most sensitive military secret, their creation required extensive sophisticated infrastructure. Yet the United States and Russia essentially had no normal interchange, so we were able to maintain a lead of three or four years with respect to both fission and fusion weapons.

Technology for artificial intelligence in development today, however, can be operated on widely available equipment. And there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens studying in the United States or working for U.S. companies that develop such technology. Keeping U.S. knowledge out of Chinese hands for substantial lengths of time is impracticable short of a massive breaking of economic ties.

Nor is it likely for the Chinese government to halt its support of technology development. How would the United States react if other countries demanded that we close down DARPA, the Defense Department's advanced research agency, because it represented unfair competition? Or if trading partners argued that U.S. support for private clean-energy companies, such as the subsidies provided by the Obama administration, was an unfair trade practice? Much of our current information technology and communications infrastructure comes directly or indirectly out of Bell Labs, which was financed out of the profits of a government-regulated and -protected monopoly. Would the United States have responded constructively to demands from other countries to dismantle the Bell system?

A focus on resisting the Chinese economic threat will likely not only be ineffective but may also be counterproductive if it diverts private and public energy from more productive pursuits. I remember well from the early Clinton administration that the great symbol of efforts to constrain unfair Japanese practices was Kodak's case against Fuji, the Japanese photographic film company that attracted massive attention from Kodak's senior management and U.S. policymakers. Perhaps if Kodak had instead focused on the digital photography ideas its scientists had developed, it would still be a significant company.

Where we can mobilize international support, we should, of course, push China to live up to its trade obligations and seek to modify rules in the World Trade Organization where they do not cover problematic practices. But in reality, our competitive success over the next generation will depend much more on what happens in our economy and society than at any international negotiating table.

Will our national investment in applied scientific research continue to languish to the point where even the most brilliant young scientists cannot get their first research grants until they are in their 40s? Will public officials who surely know better continue to allow creationism to be taught as serious science in U.S. public schools in a century with so much progress in life sciences? Will public policy concern itself with the strength and competitiveness of U.S. information technology companies as well as with their marketing practices? Will a national effort be made to improve the dismal performance of U.S. students at every level in international comparisons of mathematical and scientific achievement?

These questions and others like them, much more than any trade negotiation, will determine how the United States competes over the next generation. The Russian and the Japanese challenges pushed us forward as a nation in very constructive ways. So can the Chinese challenge if we seize the opportunity it represents.


Lawrence Summers is a professor at and past president of Harvard University.

[Feb 02, 2019] Michael Hudson Trump s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember US Dollar Hegemony by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like the world order established after WWIII crumbed with the USSR and now it is again the law if jungles with the US as the biggest predator.
Notable quotes:
"... The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet. ..."
"... Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy ..."
"... A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest. ..."
"... For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness. ..."
"... Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II. ..."
"... Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards. ..."
"... Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." ..."
"... This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer. ..."
"... England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank." ..."
"... But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium. ..."
"... On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe ..."
"... The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945. ..."
"... By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands. ..."
"... It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either. ..."
"... But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid. ..."
"... It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. ..."
"... Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe. ..."
"... It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence. ..."
"... Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority. ..."
"... Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change. ..."
"... Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times. ..."
"... Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. ..."
"... To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles. ..."
"... Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually. ..."
"... So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change. ..."
"... Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. ..."
"... I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. ..."
"... If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing. ..."
"... In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3. ..."
"... Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble." ..."
"... He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas. ..."
"... The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run. ..."
"... Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners. ..."
"... Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap. ..."
"... On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect. ..."
"... Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o ..."
"... Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT. ..."
"... The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy. ..."
Feb 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions.

This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.

The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the "Heartland" nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.

The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.

In the Devil's Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their "Elements of Style" guidelines for Doublethink, a "democratic" country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America's enemies are theirs too.

A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.

This trajectory could be seen 50 years ago (I described it in Super Imperialism [1972] and Global Fracture [1978].) It had to happen. But nobody thought that the end would come in quite the way that is happening. History has turned into comedy, or at least irony as its dialectical path unfolds.

For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness.

The reality is that right-wing parties want to get elected, and a populist nationalism is today's road to election victory in Europe and other countries just as it was for Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump's agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire's most vital organs. But it he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use "quo bono" to assume that he is a witting agent.

After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naïve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.

Dismantling International Law and Its Courts

Any international system of control requires the rule of law. It may be a morally lawless exercise of ruthless power imposing predatory exploitation, but it is still The Law. And it needs courts to apply it (backed by police power to enforce it and punish violators).

Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards.

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.

Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." [1]

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate "Israel or other U.S. allies."

That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court's "judges and prosecutors from entering the United States." As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: "We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: "If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted."

The original inspiration of the Court – to use the Nuremburg laws that were applied against German Nazis to bring similar prosecution against any country or officials found guilty of committing war crimes – had already fallen into disuse with the failure to indict the authors of the Chilean coup, Iran-Contra or the U.S. invasion of Iraq for war crimes.

Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT

Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.

Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar "as good as gold" at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally name as paying agents.

That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they were able.

This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on "socialism," not on U.S. political attempts to "make the economy scream" (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.

England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank."

Turkey seemed to be a likely destination, prompting Bolton and Pompeo to warn it to desist from helping Venezuela, threatening sanctions against it or any other country helping Venezuela cope with its economic crisis. As for the Bank of England and other European countries, the Bloomberg report concluded: "Central bank officials in Caracas have been ordered to no longer try contacting the Bank of England. These central bankers have been told that Bank of England staffers will not respond to them."

This led to rumors that Venezuela was selling 20 tons of gold via a Russian Boeing 777 – some $840 million. The money probably would have ended up paying Russian and Chinese bondholders as well as buying food to relieve the local famine. [4] Russia denied this report, but Reuters has confirmed is that Venezuela has sold 3 tons of a planned 29 tones of gold to the United Arab Emirates, with another 15 tones are to be shipped on Friday, February 1. [5] The U.S. Senate's Batista-Cuban hardliner Rubio accused this of being "theft," as if feeding the people to alleviate the U.S.-sponsored crisis was a crime against U.S. diplomatic leverage.

If there is any country that U.S. diplomats hate more than a recalcitrant Latin American country, it is Iran. President Trump's breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.

Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.

Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. But now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.

On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe.

I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation's industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America's New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against "dependence" on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.

The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.

It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either.

Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.

It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger. This became clear last autumn at the funeral for George H. W. Bush, when the EU's diplomat found himself downgraded to the end of the list to be called to his seat. He was told that the U.S. no longer considers the EU an entity in good standing. In December, "Mike Pompeo gave a speech on Europe in Brussels -- his first, and eagerly awaited -- in which he extolled the virtues of nationalism, criticised multilateralism and the EU, and said that "international bodies" which constrain national sovereignty "must be reformed or eliminated." [5]

Most of the above events have made the news in just one day, January 31, 2019. The conjunction of U.S. moves on so many fronts, against Venezuela, Iran and Europe (not to mention China and the trade threats and moves against Huawei also erupting today) looks like this will be a year of global fracture.

It is not all President Trump's doing, of course. We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Instead of applauding democracy when foreign countries do not elect a leader approved by U.S. diplomats (whether it is Allende or Maduro), they've let the mask fall and shown themselves to be the leading New Cold War imperialists. It's now out in the open. They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, "Bastards, but they're our bastards."

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen's French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline -- something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.

Footnotes

[1] "It Can't be Fixed: Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling," January 31, 2019.

[2] Patricia Laya, Ethan Bronner and Tim Ross, "Maduro Stymied in Bid to Pull $1.2 Billion of Gold From U.K.," Bloomberg, January 25, 2019. Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe.

[3] ibid

[4] Corina Pons, Mayela Armas, "Exclusive: Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE – source," Reuters, January 31, 2019.

[5] Constanze Stelzenmüller, "America's policy on Europe takes a nationalist turn," Financial Times, January 31, 2019.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year< Jointly posted with Hudson's website


doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Yes we do. no escape? that I see

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 9:43 am

Well, if the StormTrumpers can tear down all the levers and institutions of international US dollar strength, perhaps they can also tear down all the institutions of Corporate Globalonial Forced Free Trade. That itself may BE our escape . . . if there are enough millions of Americans who have turned their regionalocal zones of habitation into economically and politically armor-plated Transition Towns, Power-Down Zones, etc. People and places like that may be able to crawl up out of the rubble and grow and defend little zones of semi-subsistence survival-economics.

If enough millions of Americans have created enough such zones, they might be able to link up with eachother to offer hope of a movement to make America in general a semi-autarchik, semi-secluded and isolated National Survival Economy . . . . much smaller than today, perhaps likelier to survive the various coming ecosystemic crash-cramdowns, and no longer interested in leading or dominating a world that we would no longer have the power to lead or dominate.

We could put an end to American Exceptionalism. We could lay this burden down. We could become American Okayness Ordinarians. Make America an okay place for ordinary Americans to live in.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I read somewhere that the Czarist Imperial Army had a saying . . . "Quantity has a Quality all its own".

... ... ...

Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Drumlin,

If Populists, I assume that's what you mean by "Storm Troopers", offer me M4A and revitalized local economies, and deliver them, they have my support and more power to them.

That's why Trump was elected, his promises, not yet delivered, were closer to that then the Democrats' promises. If the Democrats promised those things and delivered, then they would have my support.

If the Democrats run a candidate, who has a no track record of delivering such things, we stay home on election day. Trump can have it, because it won't be any worse.

I don't give a damn about "social issues." Economics, health care and avoiding WWIII are what motivates my votes, and I think more and more people are going to vote the same way.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Good point about Populist versus StormTrumper. ( And by the way, I said StormTRUMper, not StormTROOper). I wasn't thinking of the Populists. I was thinking of the neo-etc. vandals and arsonists who want us to invade Venezuela, leave the JCPOA with Iran, etc. Those are the people who will finally drive the other-country governments into creating their own parallel payment systems, etc.

And the midpoint of those efforts will leave wreckage and rubble for us to crawl up out of. But we will have a chance to crawl up out of it.

My reason for voting for Trump was mainly to stop the Evil Clinton from getting elected and to reduce the chance of near immediate thermonuclear war with Russia and to save the Assad regime in Syria from Clintonian overthrow and replacement with an Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.

Much of what will be attempted " in Trump's name" will be de-regulationism of all kinds delivered by the sorts of basic Republicans selected for the various agencies and departments by Pence and Moore and the Koch Brothers. I doubt the Populist Voters wanted the Koch-Pence agenda. But that was a risky tradeoff in return for keeping Clinton out of office.

The only Dems who would seek what you want are Sanders or maybe Gabbard or just barely Warren. The others would all be Clinton or Obama all over again.

Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

I couldn't really find any details about the new INSTEX system – have you got any good links to brush up on? I know they made an announcement yesterday but how long until the new payment system is operational?

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Here is a bit more info on it but Trump is already threatening Europe if they use it. That should cause them to respect him more:

https://www.dw.com/en/instex-europe-sets-up-transactions-channel-with-iran/a-47303580

LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

The NYT and other have coverage.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/world/europe/europe-trade-iran-nuclear-deal.amp.html

Louis Fyne , February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

arguably wouldn't it be better if for USD hegemony to be dismantled? A strong USD hurts US exports, subsidizes American consumption (by making commodities cheaper in relative terms), makes international trade (aka a 8,000-mile+ supply chain) easier.

For the sake of the environment, you want less of all three. Though obviously I don't like the idea of expensive gasoline, natural gas or tube socks either.

Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence.

Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change.

What this change would consist of, and how it would manifest, remained an open question. Would he pursue rapprochement with Russia and pull troops out of the Middle East as he claimed to want to do during his 2016 campaign, would he doggedly pursue corruption charges against Clinton and attempt to reform the FBI and CIA, or would he do both, neither, or something else entirely?

Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times.

James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. Whether or not he ever had or has a coherent plan for the havoc he has wrought, he has certainly been the agent for change many of us hoped he would be, in stark contrast to the criminal duopoly parties who continue to oppose him, where the daily no news is always bad news all the same. To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Look on some bright sides. Here is just one bright side to look on. President Trump has delayed and denied the Clinton Plan to topple Assad just long enough that Russia has been able to help Assad preserve legitimate government in most of Syria and defeat the Clinton's-choice jihadis.

That is a positive good. Unless you are pro-jihadi.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Clinton wasn't going to "benefit the greater good" either, and a very strong argument, based on her past behavior, can be made that she represented the greater threat. Given that the choice was between her and Trump, I think voters made the right decision.

Stephen Gardner , February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

Excellent article but I believe the expression is "cui bono": who benefits.

hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

Hudson's done us a service in pulling these threads together. I'd missed the threats against the ICC judges. One question: is it possible for INSTEX-like arrangements to function secretly? What is to be gained by announcing them publicly and drawing the expected attacks? Does that help sharpen conflicts, and to what end?

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Maybe they're done in secret already – who knows? The point of doing it publicly is to make a foreign-policy impact, in this case withdrawing power from the US. It's a Declaration of Independence.

whine country , February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

It certainly seems as though the 90 percent (plus) are an afterthought in this journey to who knows where? Like George C.Scott said while playing Patton, "The whole world at economic war and I'm not part of it. God will not let this happen." Looks like we're on the Brexit track (without the vote). The elite argue with themselves and we just sit and watch. It appears to me that the elite just do not have the ability to contemplate things beyond their own narrow self interest. We are all deplorables now.

a different chris , February 1, 2019 at 9:30 am

Unfortunately this

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected

Is not supported by this (or really the rest of the article). The past tense here, for example, is unwarranted:

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy.

And this

So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

Doesn't show Germany as breaking free at all, and worse it is followed by the pregnant

But then came Venezuela.

Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually.

So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

"So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change."

I'm surprised more people aren't recognizing this. I read the article waiting in vain for some evidence of "the end of our monetary imperialism" besides some 'grumbling and foot dragging' as you aptly put it. There was some glimmer of a buried lede with INTEX, created to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran ─ hardly a 'dam-breaking'. Washington is on record as being annoyed.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. World bond market flows are 10X the size of world stock market flows even though the price of the Dow and Facebook shares etc get all of the headlines.

And foreign exchange flows are 10-50X the flows of bond markets, they're currently on the order of $5 *trillion* per day. And since forex is almost completely unregulated it's quite difficult to get the data and spot reserve currency trends. Oh, and buy gold. It's the only currency that requires no counterparty and is no one's debt obligation.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm

That's not what Hudson claims in his swaggering final sentence:

"The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me."

Which is risible as not only did he fail to show anything of the kind, his opening sentence stated a completely different reality: "The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected" So if we hold him to his first declaration, his evidence is feeble, as I mentioned. As a scholar, his hyperbole is untrustworthy.

No, gold is pretty enough lying on the bosom of a lady-friend but that's about its only usefulness in the real world.

skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Always bemusing that gold bugs never talk about gold being in a bubble . yet when it goes south of its purchase price speak in tongues about ev'bal forces.

timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I don't agree, and do agree. The distinction is this:

If you fix a few of Hudson's errors, and take him as making the point that USD is losing it's hegemony, IMO he is basically correct.

Brian (another one they call) , February 1, 2019 at 9:56 am

thanks Mr. Hudson. One has to wonder what has happened when the government (for decades) has been shown to be morally and otherwise corrupt and self serving. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but the people, and precious few of them. Was it our financial and legal bankruptcy that sent us over the cliff?

Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

Great stuff!

Indeed! It is to say the least encouraging to see Dr. Hudson return so forcefully to the theme of 'monetary imperialism'. I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. You can find any number of articles on his web site that return periodically to the theme of monetary imperialism. I remember one in particular that described how the rest of the world was brought on board to help pay for its good old-fashioned military imperialism.

If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing.

Until the US returns to the path of genuine wealth creation, it is past time for the rest of the world to go its own way with its banking and financial institutions.

Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm

The use of the stick will only go so far. What's the USG going to do if they refuse?

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3.

Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

UK withholding Gold may start another Brexit? IE: funds/gold held by BOE for other countries in Africa, Asian, South America, and the "stans" with start to depart, slowly at first, perhaps for Switzerland?

Ian Perkins , February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Where is the left in all this? Pretty much the same place as Michael Hudson, I'd say. Where is the US Democratic Party in all this? Quite a different question, and quite a different answer. So far as I can see, the Democrats for years have bombed, invaded and plundered other countries 'for their own good'. Republicans do it 'for the good of America', by which the ignoramuses mean the USA. If you're on the receiving end, it doesn't make much difference.

Michael A Gualario , February 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Agreed! South America intervention and regime change, Syria ( Trump is pulling out), Iraq, Middle East meddling, all predate Trump. Bush, Clinton and Obama have nothing to do with any of this.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

" So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. "

What proof is there that the gold is still there? Chances are it's notional. All Germany, Venezuela, or the others have is an IOU – and gold cannot be printed. Incidentally, this whole discussion means that gold is still money and the gold standard still exists.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Wukchumni beat me to the suspicion that the gold isn't there.

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm

What makes you think that the gold in Fort Knox is still there? If I remember right, there was a Potemkin visit back in the 70s to assure everyone that the gold was still there but not since then. Wait, I tell a lie. There was another visit about two years ago but look who was involved in that visit-

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/after-40-years-fort-knox-opens-vault-to-civilians/466441331

And I should mention that it was in the 90s that between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were manufactured in the US under Clinton. Since then gold-coated tungsten bars have turned up in places like Germany, China, Ethiopia, the UK, etc so who is to say if those gold bars in Fort Knox are gold all the way through either. More on this at -- http://viewzone2.com/fakegoldx.html

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

A non-accountable standard. It's more obvious BS than what is going on now.

jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am

It wasn't last year that Germany brought back its Gold. It has been ongoing since 2013, after some political and popular pressure build up. They finished the transaction in 2017. According to an article in Handelblatt (but it was widely reported back then) they brought back pretty much everything they had in Paris (347t), left what they had in London (perhaps they should have done it in reverse) and took home another 300t from the NY Fed. That still leaves 1236t in NY. But half of their Gold (1710t) is now in Frankfurt. That is 50% of the Bundesbanks holdings.

They made a point in saying that every bar was checked and weighed and presented some bars in Frankfurt. I guess they didn't melt them for assaying, but I'd expect them to be smart enough to check the density.

Their reason to keep Gold in NY and London is to quickly buy USD in case of a crisis. That's pretty much a cold war plan, but that's what they do right now.

Regarding Michal Hudsons piece, I enjoyed reading through this one. He tends to write ridiculously long articles and in the last few years with less time and motivation at hand I've skipped most of his texts on NC as they just drag on.

When I'm truly fascinated I like well written, long articles but somehow he lost me at some point. But I noticed that some long original articles in US magazines, probably research for a long time by the journalist, can just drag on for ever as well I just tune out.

Susan the Other , February 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

This is making sense. I would guess that tearing up the old system is totally deliberate. It wasn't working so well for us because we had to practice too much social austerity, which we have tried to impose on the EU as well, just to stabilize "king dollar" – otherwise spread so thin it was a pending catastrophe.

Now we can get out from under being the reserve currency – the currency that maintains its value by financial manipulation and military bullying domestic deprivation. To replace this old power trip we are now going to mainline oil. The dollar will become a true petro dollar because we are going to commandeer every oil resource not already nailed down.

When we partnered with SA in Aramco and the then petro dollar the dollar was only backed by our military. If we start monopolizing oil, the actual commodity, the dollar will be an apex competitor currency without all the foreign military obligations which will allow greater competitive advantages.

No? I'm looking at PdVSA, PEMEX and the new "Energy Hub for the Eastern Mediterranean" and other places not yet made public. It looks like a power play to me, not a hapless goofball president at all.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

So sand people with sociological attachment to the OT is a compelling argument based on antiquarian preferences with authoritarian patriarchal tendencies for their non renewable resource . after I might add it was deemed a strategic concern after WWII .

Considering the broader geopolitical realities I would drain all the gold reserves to zero if it was on offer . here natives have some shiny beads for allowing us to resource extract we call this a good trade you maximize your utility as I do mine .

Hay its like not having to run C-corp compounds with western 60s – 70s esthetics and letting the locals play serf, blow back pay back, and now the installed local chiefs can own the risk and refocus the attention away from the real antagonists.

ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Indeed. Thanks so much for this. Maybe the RICS will get serious now – can no longer include Brazil with Bolsonaro. There needs to be an alternate system or systems in place, and to see US Imperialism so so blatantly and bluntly by Trump admin – "US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets" – should sound sirens on every continent and especially in the developing world. I too hope there will be fracture to the point of breakage. Countries of the world outside the US/EU/UK/Canada/Australia confraternity must now unite to provide a permanent framework outside the control of imperial interests. The be clear, this must not default to alternative forms of imperialism germinating by the likes of China.

mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

" such criticism can't begin to take in the full scope of the damage the Trump White House is inflicting on the system of global power Washington built and carefully maintained over those 70 years. Indeed, American leaders have been on top of the world for so long that they no longer remember how they got there.

Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176373/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_tweeting_while_rome_burns

Rajesh K , February 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm

I read something like this and I am like, some of these statements need to be qualified. Like: "Driving China and Russia together". Like where's the proof? Is Xi playing telephone games more often now with Putin? I look at those two and all I see are two egocentric people who might sometimes say the right things but in general do not like the share the spotlight. Let's say they get together to face America and for some reason the later gets "defeated", it's not as if they'll kumbaya together into the night.

This website often points out the difficulties in implementing new banking IT initiatives. Ok, so Europe has a new "payment system". Has it been tested thoroughly? I would expect a couple of weeks or even months of chaos if it's not been tested, and if it's thorough that probably just means that it's in use right i.e. all the kinks have been worked out. In that case the transition is already happening anyway. But then the next crisis arrives and then everyone would need their dollar swap lines again which probably needs to cleared through SWIFT or something.

Anyway, does this all mean that one day we'll wake up and a slice of bacon is 50 bucks as opposed to the usual 1 dollar?

Keith Newman , February 2, 2019 at 1:12 am

Driving Russia and China together is correct. I recall them signing a variety of economic and military agreement a few years ago. It was covered in the media. You should at least google an issue before making silly comments. You might start with the report of Russia and China signing 30 cooperation agreements three years ago. See https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/06/27/russia-china-sign-30-cooperation-agreements_606505 . There are lots and lots of others.

RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run.

Whilst the far right factions fight over the rudder the only new game in town is AOC, Sanders, Warren, et al which Trumps supporters hate with Ideological purity.

/lasse , February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners.

On a household level it fits, but there no "loser" household that in infinity can print money that the "winners" can accumulate in exchange for their resources and fruits of labor.

One wonder what are Trumps idea of US being a winner in trade (surplus)? I.e. sending away their resources and fruits of labor overseas in exchange for what? A pile of USD? That US in the first place created out of thin air. Or Chinese Yuan, Euros, Turkish liras? Also fiat-money. Or does he think US trade surplus should be paid in gold?

When the US political and economic hegemony will unravel it will come "unexpected". Trump for sure are undermining it with his megalomaniac ignorance. But not sure it's imminent.

Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap.

On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

When the delusion takes hold, it is the beginning of the end.

The British Empire will last forever
The thousand year Reich
American exceptionalism

As soon as the bankers thought they thought they were "Master of the Universe" you knew 2008 was coming. The delusion had taken hold.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:45 am

Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT.

This is the US (46.30 mins.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

The trade deficit required a large Government deficit to cover it and the US government could just create the money to cover it.

Then ideological neoliberals came in wanting balanced budgets and not realising the Government deficit covered the trade deficit.

The US has been destabilising its own economy by reducing the Government deficit. Bill Clinton didn't realize a Government surplus is an indicator a financial crisis is about to hit. The last US Government surplus occurred in 1927 – 1930, they go hand-in-hand with financial crises.

Richard Koo shows the graph central bankers use and it's the flow of funds within the economy, which sums to zero (32-34 mins.).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

It should be remembered Bill Clinton's early meeting with Rubin, where in he was informed that wages and productivity had diverged – Rubin did not blink an eye.

[Feb 02, 2019] European Companies Won t Dare Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

Notable quotes:
"... My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

European Companies "Won't Dare" Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/02/2019 - 09:55 32 SHARES

The launch of INSTEX -- "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges" -- by France, Germany, and the UK this week to allow "legitimate trade" with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFT after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal .

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current "limited humanitarian" and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU's end of the 2015 JCPOA -- something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be "expansive" -- while European companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it's "closely following" reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will "risk severe consequences" .

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: "If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran ," said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran's leaders: "I don't think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump's threat," and continued, "The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

But Iranian leadership welcomed the new mechanism as merely a small first step: "It is a first step taken by the European side... We hope it will cover all goods and items," Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

The European side also acknowledged it as a precondition to keeping the nuclear deal alive, which EU leaders sea as vital to their security and strategic interests : "We're making clear that we didn't just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we're creating a possibility to conduct business transactions," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Thursday . "This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn't begin military uranium enrichment," Maas said.

What is INSTEX?

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

This brings up the central question of whether skittish European countries will actually return to doing business with Iran, the entire purpose on which the new mechanism rests. The dilemma was summarized at the start of this week by outspoken Iran hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who told the AP "The choice is whether to do business with Iran or the United States." He warned, "I hope our European allies choose wisely."

Thus far a number of analysts and observers have remained far less optimistic than the European sponsors of INSTEX. One particular interview with geopolitical analyst and journalist Luc Rivet, cited in Russian media, outlines the likelihood for failure of the new payment vehicle : "I don't know what companies will make use of that mechanism to sell to Iran," Rivet said, noting that countries still consider it "dangerous" to be caught working with Iran.

Addressing the current restriction of INSTEX facilitating medical and pharmaceutical goods transactions, he continued:

Who produces this equipment? You think that Siemens will sell to Iran? Never, because they sell to America many other things as well And Siemens is afraid of losing the American market.

No matter if a handful of companies resume or continue business with Iran he explained that an "incredible number of companies" won't. He added: "It's much easier for Chinese and Russian companies to make deals with Iran. The Europeans are scared in an incredible way. The companies are afraid by ricochet of being in the eye of the storm with the Americans."

He concluded, "That's very dangerous for European companies," and repeated, "I don't know anybody who will dare to go with this Instex system."

And the New York Times in asking the same question -- But Will Anyone Use It? -- concludes similarly that "given that most large companies have significant business in the United States, very few -- if any -- are likely to use the trading mechanism for fear of incurring Washington's wrath."

However, the test will be whether or not a steady trickle of small companies gives way to bigger companies. The NYT report continues :

But the financial mechanism could make it easier for smaller companies with no exposure in the United States to trade with Iran and could promote trade in medicine and food, which are not subject to sanctions. European diplomats say that, in the beginning, the concentration will be on goods that are permitted by Washington, to avoid an early confrontation .

But much could also depend on just how fierce the White House reaction will be. If the past months' Trump administration rhetoric is any indicator, it will keep large companies scared and on the sidelines.


CarmenSandiego , 8 minutes ago link

This is the first step? then a independent military? Without asking money bosses in the USA?

alter , 34 minutes ago link

Europe has had double the tariffs on American cars than we had for theirs. It's time for us to quadruple the tariff on European cars, to make up for the tariff imbalance that Europe has taken advantage of for decades.

schroedingersrat , 1 hour ago link

Multinationals surely wont use it. But its great for small businesses.

Wantoknow , 1 hour ago link

Before World War II the question was, "Who will stand up to the demands of Germany?" Now the question is, "Who will stand up to the demands of the United States?" It is clear that as far as means and methods are concerned Washington flies the swastika. History has come full circle.

The following quote from J. R. R. Tolkien makes the point, "Always after a defeat and a respite," says Gandalf, "the shadow takes another shape and grows again." The irony of our times is that the shadow has moved from Germany to the US.

Consternation and craven refusal to confront the reality of our times is again in vogue. We are walking towards madness crying, "Let the other fellow fix this!"

Good Luck

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought.

Einstein101 , 1 hour ago link

"The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

So Iran is "running out of patience"? So what, what Iran will do? ...

[Jan 29, 2019] Beijing Slams Politically Motivated Huawei Indictment

Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Beijing Slams "Politically Motivated" Huawei Indictment

by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/29/2019 - 07:30 31 SHARES

Since the US successfully convinced Canada to arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the telecoms giant's founder, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other US officials have insisted that the Huawei issue is "separate" from trade talks with China. But it's becoming increasingly clear that that's not really the case, and that the Chinese certainly don't agree.

On Monday, the US filed a series of indictments against Huawei and Meng on allegations ranging from technology theft, to obstruction of justice to bank fraud, the latest step in the US's push to drive the telecoms giant and 5G leader out of Western markets - a campaign that has already yielded some success, given that New Zealand and Australia have already banned Huawei equipment and European countries including Germany and the Netherlands are considering similar steps.

But in its response to the charges, which likely foreshadow an outright ban from US markets for Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE, a spokesman in Beijing denied the charges against Huawei and blamed them on political motivations, the BBC reported. The denial from Beijing is ironic, considering that Huawei has countered accusations levied by the US that it cooperates with Chinese by insisting that it is independent from the state.

At a briefing in Beijing, government spokesperson Geng Shuang said there were "political motivations" behind US attempts to "smear and suppress certain Chinese companies."

"We urge them to treat Chinese enterprises in a fair and just way."

The spokesman added that allegations of technology theft had already been settled back in 2014 during a civil case brought by T-Mobile, which had accused Huawei engineers of stealing 'Tappy', a robot designed by the company to mimicked the movements of human fingers to test phones.

All told, the US laid out 23 charges against the company. During a press conference, FBI Director Wray said Huawei posed a dual threat against the US - both economic and national security-related.

In a statement from the company, Huawei said it was "disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today," and added that it didn't commit "any of the asserted violations" and that it "is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng."

Here's the full statement, courtesy of Bloomberg:

"Huawei is disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today. After Ms. Meng's arrest, the Company sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade secret indictment were already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim. The Company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion."

Hu Xijin, the editor of the English-language Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times insinuated that the US's crackdown on Huawei has been motivated by the inability of US companies' to compete with Huawei's 5G network technology...

me title=

...Prompting hedge fund investors and noted China bear Kyle Bass to chortle about GT's portrayal of China as a victim.

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The charges against Huawei follow a series of indictments brought by the DOJ against alleged hackers and others accused of aiding Chinese intelligence services. Meanwhile, the US is expected to formally lodge an extradition request for Meng by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Huawei's CFO "should not be a hostage" in Sino-U.S. relations, her lawyer said on Tuesday, after the United States announced criminal charges against herself and the Chinese firm just days before crunch trade talks with Beijing.

Meng's lawyer Reid Weingarten, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, pointed to "complex" Sino-U.S. relations. " Our client, Sabrina Meng, should not be a pawn or a hostage in this relationship. Ms. Meng is an ethical and honorable businesswoman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate any U.S. law, including the Iranian sanctions."

Though IP theft is one of the main allegations against Huawei, and also represents one of the biggest sticking points in the ongoing trade spat with Beijing, we imagine that this won't in any way impact the "very, very important" trade talks taking place in Washington this week.

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[Jan 29, 2019] Huawei CFO's Lawyer Accuses US Of Hostage Taking After DOJ Indictment

Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Huawei CFO's Lawyer Accuses US Of "Hostage Taking" After DOJ Indictment

by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:22 26 SHARES

With the US reportedly preparing to formally request the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou following a series of indictments against Meng and the telecoms giant that her father founded, her lawyers are stepping up their rhetoric, accusing the US of "hostage-taking" and using Meng as a political "pawn".

According to Reuters , Meng's lawyer said Tuesday that the Huawei's CFO "should not be a hostage" to Sino-US relations. The remarks come ahead of trade talks between President Trump and a coterie of his senior trade officials, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He leading a delegation on the Chinese side.

Her lawyer Reid Weingarten, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, pointed to "complex" Sino-U.S. relations. "Our client, Sabrina Meng, should not be a pawn or a hostage in this relationship. Ms. Meng is an ethical and honorable businesswoman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate any U.S. law, including the Iranian sanctions." Huawei said it had sought to discuss the charges with U.S. authorities "but the request was rejected without explanation." It said it "denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations" and "is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng." China's foreign ministry urged the United States drop the arrest warrant and end "unreasonable suppression" of Chinese companies. Spokesman Geng Shuang also said China had issued stern representations to both Canada and the United States after the U.S. formally issued its extradition request for Meng.

Now that the charges have been filed, Canadian authorities have 30 days to decide whether they will proceed with the request and refer the case to the Supreme Court in British Columbia, where a hearing will be held. The whole process could take weeks or months.

Despite US officials' insistence that the charges against Huawei are "wholly separate" and won't impact the trade talks, Reuters reported that it's almost inevitable that the US's efforts against Huawei will factor into Beijing's calculus. And given President Trump's claim that he would be willing to intervene in the case if it means striking a trade deal with China, Beijing may expect that he might make good on this promise.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Monday that the alleged criminal activity at Huawei "goes back at least 10 years and goes all the way to the top of the company." Meng has been accused of misleading banks about the relationship between Huawei and a subsidiary that sought to sell goods in Iran.

[Jan 29, 2019] US steps up offensive against China with more "hacking charges" by Mike Head

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Sections of the Chinese regime responded belligerently to the accusations. An editorial in the state-owned Global Times ..."
"... The editorial asked: "Assuming China is so powerful that it has stolen technological information for over a decade that is supposedly worth over a trillion in intellectual property, as the US has indicated, then how is it that China still lags behind the US in so many fields, from chips to electric vehicles, and even aviation engines?" ..."
Dec 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Further escalating its economic and strategic offensive to block China from ever challenging its post-World War II hegemony, the US government yesterday unveiled its fifth set of economic espionage charges against Chinese individuals since September.

As part of an internationally-coordinated operation, the US Justice Department on Thursday published indictments of two Chinese men who had allegedly accessed confidential commercial data from US government agencies and corporate computers in 12 countries for more than a decade.

The announcement represents a major intensification of the US ruling class's confrontation against China, amid a constant build-up of unsubstantiated allegations against Beijing by both the Republican and Democrat wings of Washington's political establishment.

Via salacious allegations of "hacking" on a "vast scale," every effort is being made by the ruling elite and its media mouthpieces to whip up anti-China hysteria.

The indictment's release was clearly politically timed. It was accompanied by a global campaign by the US and its allies, accusing the Chinese government of an illegal cyber theft operation to damage their economies and supplant the US as the world's "leading superpower."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen immediately issued a statement accusing China of directing "a very real threat to the economic competitiveness of companies in the United States and around the globe."

Within hours, US allies around the world put out matching statements, joined by declarations of confected alarm by their own cyber-warfare and hacking agencies.

The Washington Post called it "an unprecedented mass effort to call out China for its alleged malign acts." The coordination "represents a growing consensus that Beijing is flouting international norms in its bid to become the world's predominant economic and technological power."

The Australian government, the closest ally of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, was in the forefront. Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton explicitly accused the Chinese government and its Ministry of State Security (MSS) of being responsible for "a global campaign of cyber-enabled commercial intellectual property theft."

Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, called the Chinese cyber campaign "shocking and outrageous." Such pronouncements, quickly emblazoned in media headlines around the world, destroy any possibility of anything resembling a fair trial if the two men, named as Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, are ever detained by US agencies and brought before a court.

The charges themselves are vaguely defined. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused the men of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Zhu and Zhang acted "in association with" the MSS, as part of a hacking squad supposedly named "APT1o" or "Stone Panda," the indictment said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray called a news conference to issue another inflammatory statement against China. Pointing to the real motivations behind the indictments, he declared: "China's goal, simply put, is to replace the US as the world's leading superpower, and they're using illegal methods to get there."

Coming from the head of the US internal intelligence agency, this further indicates the kinds of discussions and planning underway within the highest echelons of the US political and military-intelligence apparatus to prepare the country, ideologically and militarily, for war against China.

Washington is determined to block President Xi Jinping's "Made in China 2025" program that aims to ensure China is globally competitive in hi-tech sectors such as robotics and chip manufacture, as well as Beijing's massive infrastructure plans, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, to link China with Europe across Eurasia.

The US ruling class regards these Chinese ambitions as existential threats because, if successful, they would undermine the strategic position of US imperialism globally, and the economic dominance of key American corporations.

Yesterday's announcement seemed timed to fuel tensions between Washington and Beijing, after the unprecedented December 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, in Canada at the request of the US.

Last weekend, US Vice President Mike Pence again accused China of "intellectual property theft." These provocations came just weeks after the US and Chinese administrations agreed to talks aimed at resolving the tariff and trade war launched by US President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration is demanding structural changes to China's state-led economic model, greater Chinese purchases of American farm and industrial products and a halt to "coercive" joint-venture licensing terms. These demands would severely undermine the "Made in China 2025" program.

Since September, US authorities have brought forward five sets of espionage allegations. In late October, the Justice Department unsealed charges against 10 alleged Chinese spies accused of conspiring to steal sensitive commercial secrets from US and European companies.

Earlier in October, the US government disclosed another unprecedented operation, designed to produce a show trial in America. It revealed that a Chinese citizen, accused of being an intelligence official, had been arrested in Belgium and extradited on charges of conspiring to commit "economic espionage" and steal trade secrets.

The extradition was announced days after the Pentagon released a 146-page document, titled "Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States," which made clear Washington is preparing for a total war effort against both China and Russia.

Trump, Pence and Wray then all declared China to be the greatest threat to America's economic and military security. Trump accused China of interfering in the US mid-term elections in a bid to remove him from office. In a speech, Pence said Beijing was directing "its bureaucrats and businesses to obtain American intellectual property -- the foundation of our economic leadership -- by any means necessary."

Whatever the truth of the spying allegations against Chinese citizens -- and that cannot be assumed -- any such operations would hardly compare with the massive global intrigue, hacking, regime-change and military operations directed by the US agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA) and its "Five Eyes" partners.

These have been exposed thoroughly by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA has developed "more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other 'weaponized' malware," allowing it to seize control of devices, including Apple iPhones, Google's Android operating system, devices running Microsoft Windows, smart TVs and possibly the control of cars and trucks.

In an attempt to broaden its offensive against China, the US government said that along with the US and its Five Eyes partners, such as Britain, Canada and Australia, the countries targeted by the alleged Chinese plot included France, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland.

Chinese hackers allegedly penetrated managed services providers (MSPs) that provide cybersecurity and information technology services to government agencies and major firms. Finance, telecommunications, consumer electronics and medical companies were among those said to be targeted, along with military and US National Aeronautics and Space Administration laboratories.

Sections of the Chinese regime responded belligerently to the accusations. An editorial in the state-owned Global Times branded them "hysterical" and a warning sign of a "comprehensive" US attack on China.

The editorial asked: "Assuming China is so powerful that it has stolen technological information for over a decade that is supposedly worth over a trillion in intellectual property, as the US has indicated, then how is it that China still lags behind the US in so many fields, from chips to electric vehicles, and even aviation engines?"

The Global Times declared that "instead of adhering to a low-profile strategy, China must face these provocations and do more to safeguard national interests."

The promotion of Chinese economic and militarist nationalism by a mouthpiece of the Beijing regime is just as reactionary as the nationalist xenophobia being stoked by the ruling elite of American imperialism and its allies. The answer to the evermore open danger of war is a unified struggle by the international working class to end the outmoded capitalist profit system and nation-state divisions and establish a socialist society.

Ron Ruggieri13 hours ago

ANY rational person would think : a nation like USA TODAY which can name a different ENEMY every other week is clearly SICK, led by sociopaths. China ? Russia, Iran, North Korea ? Venezuela ? ( all fail to live up to the high moral standards of " OUR democracy " ?)
How are any of these countries a greater threat to YOU than the local Democratic or Republican party hacks ?
If YOU think that so many people hate you , would it not make sense to ask if there is perhaps something wrong with YOU ?
Lidiya17 hours ago
Imperialism means wars, as usual, Lenin was right in his polemics against Kautsky.

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 20, 2019] This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears

Notable quotes:
"... Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity. ..."
"... I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Jan 20, 2019 6:02:29 PM | link

On Integrity Initiative Endgame:

From Consortium News

It should be pointed out that the Integrity Initiative recently claimed on Twitter that some of the documents leaked in batch #4 were not theirs and had been misrepresented as part of the organisation.

It doesn't really matter, though: all that we know, anti-socialist shills writing propaganda on behalf of II (Nimmo, Cohen, Reid-Ross) have confirmed their own roles, and the Twitter account was proven to have pushed out slanderous material on Jeremy Corbyn.

Note that "misrepresented" could have referred to the inclusion of the Corbyn slide show document which was presented at but created by the II.

This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears,

-Yellow Vests
– Jill Stein
-Jeremy Corbyn
-George Galloway
-Seuams Milne
-German Left Party
-French Left Party
-French Communist Party
-Greek Communist Party
-Podemos
-Norwegian Red Party
-Norwegian Socialist Left Party
-Swedish Left Party
-Swedish Greens
-International Anti-NATO Groups
-Greyzone Project
-Julian Assange
-MintPressNews

Via

-Infiltrating Corbyn and Sanders campaigns
-Inserting propaganda anonymously into local media including the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, The Times, the Guardian, and more
-Using social media to orchestrate hate and dismissal campaigns against those mentioned above
-Hosting events for collaboration between members
-Building online "clusters" to deploy and shape discourse in the media and elsewhere

By repeating or openly collaborating with:

-Ben Nimmo
-Oz Katergi
-Anne Applebaum
-Peter Pomerantsev
-Bellingcat
-Atlantic Council
-Carole Cadwalladr
-David Aaronovitch
-Center For A Stateless Society
-PropOrNot
-Alexander Reid-Ross
-Nick Cohen
-Michael Weiss
-Jamie Fly
-Jamie Kirchick

Directed by:

-Tory Government
-NATO
-Facebook
-German Multinationals

uncle tungsten | Jan 20, 2019 6:18:59 PM | 16

Thank you Anne Jaclard @ | 14

Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity.

I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people.

[Jan 14, 2019] The neoliberal European Union is dead, but it does not know it yet

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

At this point, deja vu mind-set returns to teach a powerful lesson. Having once witnessed a major historical reversal, one knows that historical determinism isan illusion -- opium for people on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Machiavelli insisted that surrender is a bad idea because we never know what surprises fortune may have in store for us. In Machiavelli's view, there are "good times" and "bad times" in politics, and the good ruler is not one who can fend off the "bad times" so much, as one who has accumulated enough goodwill among citizens to help him ride out those bad times.

The argument of this short book is that European Union is going through a really bad time today, torn apart by numerous crises that damage confidence in the future of the project among citizens across the continent. So the disintegration of the union is one of the most likely outcomes.

[Jan 14, 2019] Amazon.com Power Politics (Second Edition) (9780896086685) Arundhati Roy Books

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Luc REYNAERT 5.0 out of 5 stars Dissent is the only thing worth globalizing October 29, 2009 Format: Paperback

For A. Roy, a writer has the responsibility to take sides overtly.
In these violent diatribes, she tears the masks of the `missionaries to redeem the wretched' and of those preaching privatization and globalization as the one and only solution for the whole world's economic problems.

The hypocrisy of globalization
For A. Roy, globalization has nothing to do with the eradication of poverty. It will not pull the Third World out of the stagnant morass of illiteracy, religious bigotry or underdevelopment. In India, 70 % of the population still has no electricity and 30 % is still illiterate.
Globalization means crudely and cruelly `Life is Profit'. `Its realm is raw capital, its conquest emerging markets, its prayers profits, its borders limitless, its weapons nuclear.'
Privatization (of agriculture, seeds, water supply, electricity, power plants, commodities, telecommunications, knowledge) consists only in the transfer of productive public assets from the State to private interests (transnational corporations).
The globalization's economic agenda `munches through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts.' One example: by hugely subsidizing their farm industries, the rich countries put impoverished subsistence farmers in the Third World out of business and chase them into the cities.

The hypocrisy of the war against terrorism
For A. Roy, the rich countries are the real worshippers of the cult of violence. They manufacture and sell almost all the world's weapons and possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, nuclear).
At the head of ICAT (The Coalition Against Terror) stays a country which spends mind-boggling military budgets to fight a few bunches of manipulated terrorists created by the hegemon himself. It committed `the most of genocides, ethnic cleansing, and human rights violations. It sponsored, armed and financed untold numbers of dictators and supports military and economic terrorism.' Its aim is full spectrum dominance.
But, as Paul Krugman remarked, the replacement of the Cold War issue by the (manipulated) terrorism one as a justification for massive military spending was (and is) a very big failure.

Arundhati Roy's bitter and angry texts are a must read for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

C. Mclemore 4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh take on globalization June 1, 2003 Format: Paperback

Arundhati Roy bristles at being called a "writer-activist" (too much like sofa-bed, she says), but the rest of us should be grateful that the author of "The God of Small Things" is taking on the establishment, here and in India.
Part of Mrs. Roy's greatness is that she is not colored by the partisan debates that influence the dialogue on issues such as globalization in America. She is an equal-opportunity critic, taking on Clinton and Bush. Although other authors pledge no allegiance to either side of the aisle, Roy has a fresh perspective, and has a take on globalization that I haven't found in works by American authors.
This book is set up as a collection (a rather random collection) of several essays. The first essay gives a wonderful perspective of globalization (ie. the expansion of American business interests) from a foreign perspective. She examines the impact of the global economic movement on the actual people being affected by it at the lowest level. She reveals the influence of the privatization of the electric industry through the eyes of India's poorest citizens.
The second essay goes in-depth into politics in India, primarily addressing the enormous number of dams being built in the country, and the impacts (economic, environmental, social) that they will have. Mrs. Roy explicitly recounts how Enron scammed the Indian government into building new power generators, and how this will cost India hundreds of millions per year while lining the pockets of American business interests.
Critics will say that "Power Politics" is devoid of hard facts and analysis, but there can be no doubt that this book is worth a read. She may lack the economic background of Stiglitz, but her passion and style, in addition to her ability to articulate the important issues in the globalization debate in a readable manner, will be appreciated by anyone with an interest in global economic expansion.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much? by Dean Baker

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , January 07, 2019 at 02:34 PM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/if-china-is-suffering-so-much-because-of-trump-s-trade-war-why-is-its-surplus-up-so-much

January 4, 2019

If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?
By Dean Baker

Donald Trump has made his tariffs against China and other countries a big part of his agenda as president. He even went so far as to dub himself "Tariff Man" on Twitter.

The media have been quick to assume that Tariff Man is accomplishing his goals, especially with regard to China. It is standard for news articles, like this one, to assert that China's economy is suffering in large part because of Trump's tariffs.

In fact, through the first ten months of 2018 China's trade surplus * with the United States on trade in goods has been $344.5 billion. This is up 11.5 percent from its surplus in the same months last year.

The tariffs surely are having some effect, and China's surplus would almost certainly be larger if they were not in place. But it is difficult to believe that China's $13.5 trillion dollar economy (measured at exchange rate values) could be hurt all that much by somewhat slower growth in its trade surplus with the United States. (For arithmetic fans, the surplus is equal to 2.5 percent of China's GDP. We are talking about slower growth in this surplus.)

It is worth noting that we will not be getting new trade data until the government shutdown is over since the Census Bureau is one of the government agencies without funding for fiscal year 2019.

* https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 07, 2019 at 09:07 PM
'If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?'

Merchants outside of China stockpiling
Chinese-made goods (ahead of, or maybe
despite tariffs.)

It seems we've read of American firms
doing exactly that. They are probably
not alone.

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 09:23 AM
'If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?'

Merchants outside of China stockpiling
Chinese-made goods (ahead of, or maybe
despite tariffs.)

It seems we've read of American firms
doing exactly that. They are probably
not alone.

[ There has been no evident stockpiling of inventory by American firms:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mBet

January 30, 2018

Inventories to Sales Ratio, 2007-2018 ]

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:56 AM
I posted an NYT piece the other day
that described an automobile-headlight
manufacturer in Michigan who was struggling
to get LED bulbs from China, where they were
usually in plentiful supply, So, he was just
*trying* to stockpile some inventory.

(Too expensive to make in the US, he said.)

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 11:27 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/business/trump-tariffs-trade-war.html

January 6, 2019

Trump Has Promised to Bring Jobs Back. His Tariffs Threaten to Send Them Away.
By Peter S. Goodman

For EBW Electronics, the biggest hit has come through increased costs for components, including transistors, resistors and capacitors. Across the breadth of the factory, workers in blue lab coats slot these nibs of metal into circuit boards and then attach LED lights, most of these items imported from China.

These components are produced at enormous scale in China. Even with tariffs on Chinese imports, American factories have no incentive to make them, because profit margins are tiny, and the costs are vast.

"Nobody in this country wants to make these things," said Mr. Steeby, the EBW president, echoing a contention heard widely here.

The company has filed for exemptions from the tariffs, but has yet to hear back from the federal government. And EBW has encountered stiff resistance in passing on the extra costs to its customers, though it is obliged to continue delivering lights to major auto manufacturers at agreed-upon prices, or pay fines for interfering with production.

"We're the monkey in the middle," said Mr. LeBlanc, the EBW chairman.

If Mr. Trump follows through on threats to raise tariffs to 25 percent, EBW and its 230 employees could face dire circumstances.

"At 25 percent, we are not making money," Mr. Steeby said. "There's a threat that you cease to exist, or there's a threat that jobs move to Mexico."

In an era of anxiety over global competition, EBW has engaged Chinese suppliers to produce a crucial commodity -- American paychecks. Now, Mr. Trump's tariffs have put jobs at risk.

"There's no intelligence to the way this is being done," Mr. Steeby said. "The tariffs are designed to hurt China, but they are being paid by American companies."

Mr. Bill said in reply to anne... , January 09, 2019 at 04:31 PM
Of course, the Mr. Steeby, President of EBW Electronics, is without question, honest and trustworthy. Like a boy scout, he would never lie. What he said should be taken as the gospel truth, not a grain of salt.

Even when he lies.

Mr. Bill said in reply to Mr. Bill... , January 09, 2019 at 04:33 PM
Which, most likely, is always.
anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 11:31 AM
I posted an NYT piece the other day
that described an automobile-headlight
manufacturer in Michigan who was struggling
to get LED bulbs from China, where they were
usually in plentiful supply, So, he was just
*trying* to stockpile some inventory.

[ There is no indication the company is stockpiling LED bulbs, and there is no indication there is stockpiling as yet through the economy. ]

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 12:44 PM
Hmmm. Substitute 'obtain'
for 'stockpile' then.
anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 12:55 PM
Substitute 'obtain'
for 'stockpile' then.

[ No, the matter is important, and I am correct and do not care to be baited.

This is no data showing that American companies are stockpiling. American companies have long operated with minimal inventory and a change would be dramatic. ]

anne -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 02:36 PM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=luZC

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018


ttps://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=luZD

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018

(Indexed to 2007)

anne -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 02:36 PM
Correcting link:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=luZD

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018

(Indexed to 2007)

[Jan 02, 2019] Britain must surely be in the running for the Wooden Spoon award doe 2018

Notable quotes:
"... Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 31, 2018 3:36:34 PM | link

If Syria wins the award for Country of the Year 2018, I'd hate to see who gets the Wooden Spoon for 2018. There must be quite a few serious contenders for that prize!

Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment.

[Dec 27, 2018] Trump Considering Order To Ban Purchases Of Huawei, ZTE Equipment

Dec 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

After the US government elicited outrage from the Chinese due to its attempts to convince its allies to bar the use of equipment made by telecoms supplier Huawei, President Trump is apparently weighing whether to take another dramatic antagonistic step that could further complicate trade negotiations less than two weeks before a US delegation is slated to head to Beijing.

According to Reuters , the White House is reportedly considering an executive order that would ban US companies from using equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, claiming that both companies work "at the behest of the US government" and that their equipment could be used to spy on US citizens. The order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to order the Department of Commerce to prohibit the purchase of equipment from telecoms manufacturers that could threaten national security. Though it wouldn't explicitly name Huawei or ZTE, the ban would arise from Commerce's interpretation. The IEEA allows the president the authority to regulate commerce in the face of a national emergency. Back in August, Congress passed and Trump signed a bill banning the use of ZTE and Huawei equipment by the US government and government contractors. The executive order has reportedly been under consideration for eight months, since around the time that the US nearly blocked US companies from selling parts to ZTE, which sparked a mini-diplomatic crisis, which ended with a deal allowing ZTE to survive, but pay a large fine.

The feud between the US and Huawei has obviously been escalating in recent months as the US has embarked on an "extraordinary influence campaign" to convince its allies to ban equipment made by both companies, and the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada has also blossomed into a diplomatic crisis of sorts.

But the real reason issuing a ban on both companies' equipment is seen as a priority is because Huawei's lead in the race to build 5G technology is making its products more appealing to global telecoms providers. Rural telecoms providers in the US - those with fewer than 100,000 subscribers - are particularly reliant on equipment made by both companies. They've expressed concerns that a ban would require them to rip out and scrap their equipment at an immense cost.

Rural operators in the United States are among the biggest customers of Huawei and ZTE, and fear the executive order would also require them to rip out existing Chinese-made equipment without compensation. Industry officials are divided on whether the administration could legally compel operators to do that.

While the big U.S. wireless companies have cut ties with Huawei in particular, small rural carriers have relied on Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be less expensive.

The company is so central to small carriers that William Levy, vice president for sales of Huawei Tech USA, is on the board of directors of the Rural Wireless Association.

The RWA represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers. It estimates that 25 percent of its members had Huawei or ZTE equipment in their networks, it said in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month.

As Sputnik pointed out, the news of the possible ban followed questions from Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, who expressed serious concerns over the involvement of Huawei in Britain's 5G network, suggesting that Beijing sometimes acted "in a malign way." But even if it loses access to the US market, Huawei's global expansion and its leadership in the 5G space are expected to continue to bolster profits and growth. Currently, Huawei sells equipment in 170 countries.

According to a statement from the company's rotating chairman, the company's full-year sales are expected to increase 21% to $108.5 billion this year. The company has signed 26 contracts globally to supply 5G equipment for commercial use, leaving it well ahead of its US rivals.

[Dec 16, 2018] A World of Multiple Detonators of Global Wars by James Petras

So much for peace that neoliberal globalization should supposedly bring...
Notable quotes:
"... We face a world of multiple wars some leading to direct global conflagrations and others that begin as regional conflicts but quickly spread to big power confrontations. ..."
"... In our times the US is the principal power in search of world domination through force and violence. Washington has targeted top level targets, namely China, Russia, Iran; secondary objectives Afghanistan, North and Central Africa, Caucuses and Latin America ..."
"... China is the prime enemy of the US for several economic, political and military reasons: China is the second largest economy in the world; its technology has challenged US supremacy it has built global economic networks reaching across three continents. China has replaced the US in overseas markets, investments and infrastructures. ..."
"... In response the US has resorted to a closed protectionist economy at home and an aggressive military led imperial economy abroad. ..."
"... The first line of attack are Chinese exports to the US and its vassals. Secondly, is the expansion of overseas bases in Asia. Thirdly, is the promotion of separatist clients in Hong Kong, Tibet and among the Uighurs. Fourthly, is the use of sanctions to bludgeon EU and Asian allies into joining the economic war against China. China has responded by expanding its military security, expanding its economic networks and increasing economic tariffs on US exports ..."
"... The US economic war has moved to a higher level by arresting and seizing a top executive of China's foremost technological company, Huawei. ..."
"... Each of the three strategic targets of the US are central to its drive for global dominance; dominating China leads to controlling Asia; regime change in Russia facilitates the total submission of Europe; and the demise of Iran facilitates the takeover of its oil market and US influence of Islamic world. As the US escalates its aggression and provocations we face the threat of a global nuclear war or at best a world economic breakdown. ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

We face a world of multiple wars some leading to direct global conflagrations and others that begin as regional conflicts but quickly spread to big power confrontations.

We will proceed to identify 'great power' confrontations and then proceed to discuss the stages of 'proxy' wars with world war consequences.

In our times the US is the principal power in search of world domination through force and violence. Washington has targeted top level targets, namely China, Russia, Iran; secondary objectives Afghanistan, North and Central Africa, Caucuses and Latin America.

China is the prime enemy of the US for several economic, political and military reasons: China is the second largest economy in the world; its technology has challenged US supremacy it has built global economic networks reaching across three continents. China has replaced the US in overseas markets, investments and infrastructures. China has built an alternative socio-economic model which links state banks and planning to private sector priorities. On all these counts the US has fallen behind and its future prospects are declining.

In response the US has resorted to a closed protectionist economy at home and an aggressive military led imperial economy abroad. President Trump has declared a tariff war on China; and multiple separatist and propaganda war; and aerial and maritime encirclement of China's mainland

The first line of attack are Chinese exports to the US and its vassals. Secondly, is the expansion of overseas bases in Asia. Thirdly, is the promotion of separatist clients in Hong Kong, Tibet and among the Uighurs. Fourthly, is the use of sanctions to bludgeon EU and Asian allies into joining the economic war against China. China has responded by expanding its military security, expanding its economic networks and increasing economic tariffs on US exports.

The US economic war has moved to a higher level by arresting and seizing a top executive of China's foremost technological company, Huawei.

The White House has moved up the ladder of aggression from sanctions to extortion to kidnapping. Provocation, is one step up from military intimidation. The nuclear fuse has been lit.

Russia faces similar threats to its domestic economy, its overseas allies, especially China and Iran as well as the US renunciation of intermediate nuclear missile agreement

Iran faces oil sanctions, military encirclement and attacks on proxy allies including in Yemen, Syria and the Gulf region Washington relies on Saudi Arabia, Israel and paramilitary terrorist groups to apply military and economic pressure to undermine Iran's economy and to impose a 'regime change'.

Each of the three strategic targets of the US are central to its drive for global dominance; dominating China leads to controlling Asia; regime change in Russia facilitates the total submission of Europe; and the demise of Iran facilitates the takeover of its oil market and US influence of Islamic world. As the US escalates its aggression and provocations we face the threat of a global nuclear war or at best a world economic breakdown.

Wars by Proxy

The US has targeted a second tier of enemies, in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

In Latin America the US has waged economic warfare against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. More recently it has applied political and economic pressure on Bolivia. To expand its dominance Washington has relied on its vassal allies, including Brazil, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Paraguay as well as right-wing elites throughout the region

As in numerous other cases of regime change Washington relies on corrupt judges to rule against President Morales, as well as US foundation funded NGO's; dissident indigenous leaders and retired military officials. The US relies on local political proxies to further US imperial goals is to give the appearance of a 'civil war' rather than gross US intervention.

In fact, once the so-called 'dissidents' or 'rebels' establish a foot hole, they 'invite' US military advisers, secure military aid and serve as propaganda weapons against Russia, China or Iran – 'first tier' adversaries.

In recent years US proxy conflicts have been a weapon of choice in the Kosovo separatist war against Serbia; the Ukraine coup of 2014 and war against Eastern Ukraine; the Kurd take over of Northern Iraq and Syria; the US backed separatist Uighurs attack in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.

The US has established 32 military bases in Africa, to coordinate activities with local warlords and plutocrats. Their proxy wars are discarded as local conflict between 'legitimate' regimes and Islamic terrorists, tribality and tyrants.

The objective of proxy wars are threefold. They serve as 'feeders' into larger territorial wars encircling China, Russia and Iran.

Secondly, proxy wars are 'testing grounds' to measure the vulnerability and responsive capacity of the targeted strategic adversary, i.e. Russia, China and Iran.

Thirdly, the proxy wars are 'low cost' and 'low risk' attacks on strategic enemies. The lead up to a major confrontation by stealth.

Equally important 'proxy wars' serve as propaganda tools, associating strategic adversaries as 'expansionist authoritarian' enemies of 'western values'.

Conclusion

US empire builders engage in multiple types of aggression directed at imposing a unipolar world. At the center are trade wars against China; regional military conflicts with Russia and economic sanctions against Iran.

These large scale, long-term strategic weapons are complemented by proxy wars, involving regional vassal states which are designed to erode the economic bases of counting allies of anti-imperialist powers.

Hence, the US attacks China directly via tariff wars and tries to sabotage its global "Belt and Road' infrastructure projects linking China with 82 counties.

Likewise, the US attacks Russian allies in Syria via proxy wars, as it did with Iraq, Libya and the Ukraine.

Isolating strategic anti-imperial power via regional wars, sets the stage for the 'final assault' – regime change by cop or nuclear war.

However, the US quest for world domination has so far taken steps which have failed to isolate or weaken its strategic adversaries.

China moves forward with its global infrastructure programs: the trade war has had little impact in isolating it from its principal markets. Moreover, the US policy has increased China's role as a leading advocate of 'open trade' against President Trump's protectionism.

ORDER IT NOW

Likewise, the tactics of encircling and sanctioning Russia has deepened ties between Moscow and Beijing. The US has increased its nominal 'proxies' in Latin America and Africa but they all depend on trade and investments from China. This is especially true of agro-mineral exports to China.

Notwithstanding the limits of US power and its failure to topple regimes, Washington has taken moves to compensate for its failures by escalating the threats of a global war. It kidnaps Chinese economic leaders; it moves war ships off China's coast; it allies with neo-fascist elites in the Ukraine. It threatens to bomb Iran. In other words the US political leaders have embarked on adventurous policies always on the verge of igniting one, too, many nuclear fuses.

It is easy to imagine how a failed trade war can lead to a nuclear war; a regional conflict can entail a greater war.

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope!


Per/Norway , says: December 12, 2018 at 10:29 pm GMT

I disagree. The parasitic terror regime that runs washington believe they can win a nuclear war, i have no hope left for peace. They need a culling of the "useless eaters", we are stealing the food out of their poor frightened children`s mouths by existing.
Eric Zuesse wrote a decent article yesterday at the Saker blog about the US nuclear forces and its owners wet dream.
"The U.S. Government's Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion"
The actions of nato/EU/UK/ISR/KSA etc certainly supports his article, at least in my opinion.
Anon [228] Disclaimer , says: December 12, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
Useful and clear article.

The US, and the West, by instigating wars elsewhere, and selling weapons to those, destroy countries and prosperity abroad. Those living in target countries find themselves miserable, with loss of everything. It is only natural that they may try to escape a living hell by emigrating to the West.

People in the US and the West in general will not want mass immigration, and with good reason; but if you were in a war torn country or an impoverished country (as a result of western "help") you would also attempt to move away from the bombs, etc.

If the West left the rest of the world alone (in terms of their regimes and in terms of their weapons), they might prosper and no longer need to run away from their home countries.

Can we build a better world, please?!

Godfree Roberts , says: December 12, 2018 at 11:32 pm GMT
The sanctions and embargoes have failed in the past, when China was much weaker, so we can be quite confident that they will fail again, and quickly, as this timeline suggests:

September 3, 2018 : Huawei unveils Kirin 980 CPU, the world's first commercial 7nm system-on-chip (SoC) and the first to use Cortex-A76 cores, dual neural processing units, Mali G76 GPU, a 1.4 Gbps LTE modem and supports faster RAM. With 20 percent faster performance and 40 percent less power consumption compared to 10nm systems, it has twice the performance of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 and Apple's A11 while delivering noticeable battery life improvement. Its Huawei-patented modem has the world's fastest Wi-Fi and its GPS receiver taps L5 frequency to deliver 10cm. positioning.

September 5, 2018 . China's front-end fab capacity will account for 16 percent of the world's semiconductor capacity this year, increasing to 20 percent by 2020.

September 15, 2018. China controls one third of 5G patents and has twice as many installations operating as the rest of the world combined.

September 21, 2018 . China has reached global technological parity and now has twelve of the world's top fifty IC design houses (China's SMIC is fourth, Huawei's HiSilicon is seventh), and twenty-one percent of global IC design revenues. Roger Luo, TSMC.

October 2, 2018 . Chinese research makes up 18.6 percent of global STEM peer-reviewed papers, ahead of the US at 18 percent. "The fact that China's article output is now the largest is very significant. It's been predicted for a while, but there was a view this was not likely to happen until 2025," said Michael Mabe, head of STM.

October 14, 2018 . Huawei announces 7 nm Ascend 910 chipset for data centers, twice as powerful as Nvidia's v100 and the first AI IP chip series to natively provide optimal TeraOPS per watt in all scenarios. Available 2Q19.

October 7, 2018 : China becomes largest recipient of FDI in H1, attracting an estimated 70 billion U.S. dollars, according to UNCTAD.

October 8, 2018: Taiwan's Foxconn moves its major semiconductor maker and five integrated circuit design companies to Jinan, China.

October 22, 2018 . China becomes world leader in venture capital, ahead of the US and almost twice the rest of the world's $53.4 billion YTD. The Crunchbase report says the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world is undergoing a major transformation: it is now driven by China instead of the US.

peterAUS , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
Apart from that "nuclear war" from:

Isolating strategic anti-imperial power via regional wars, sets the stage for the 'final assault' – regime change by cop or nuclear war

good article.
Only idiot can believe that nuclear war can be won, IMHO. Elites aren't suicidal, oh no. On the contrary.

Can they make a mistake and cause that war, definitely.

Which brings us to the important part:

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support.

Agree, but, that's exactly the reason I disagree with:

There are reasons to hope!

No need to be pedantic, of course there is always a reason for hope.
But, I see it as so fertile ground for making The MISTAKE .

Giuseppe , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm GMT

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope!

It's when the elite war mongers' backs are up against the wall that they come up with a cleverly designed false flag attack to rally public support for war. They are more dangerous now than ever.

Splitpin , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:43 am GMT
Agree about Russia and China, however Iran needs to be viewed not as a play for oil or the Islamic crowd but driven wholly and solely by Israel. Iran is not a threat to US in any context, only Israel.
Wally , says: December 15, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT
question:
If the relatively small tariffs on Chinese goods amount to 'direct attacks on China', then what are the massive tariffs by China on US goods?
Biff , says: December 15, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
The "Chess men" behind "The Wall Street Economy" have stated a few times that the only way to remain the dominant economy is to first: convince rivals that resistance is futile, and second: to atomize any potential rival (Ghaddaffi is a clear example).

Breaking up Russia has been on the to-do list for decades, and I believe that the Chess Men have no idea what to do about containing China, and are clearly flat-footed, and desperate kidnapping a Chinese business executive.

The Wall Street Economy depended on cheap Chinese labor it's own profits, and that was Ok until .?
Until the writing on the Wall became ledgible .
The smell of genuine fear is in the air.

jilles dykstra , says: December 15, 2018 at 9:18 am GMT
" The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope! "

Is popular support needed to get a people in a war mood ?
Both Pearl Harbour and Sept 11 demonstrate, in my opinion, that it is not very difficult to create a war mood.
Yet, if another Sept 11 would do the trick, I wonder.
Sept 11 has been debated without without interruption since Sept 11.
After the 1946 USA Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour the USA government succeeded in preventing a similar discussion.
Until now the west, Deep State, NATO, EU did not succeed in provoking Russia or China.
Each time they tried something, in my opinion they did this several times, Russia showed its military superiority, at the same time taking care not to hurt public opinion in the west.

annamaria , says: December 15, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
Is not it amazing that the morally miserable US, a "power in search of world domination through force and violence," is officially governed by self-avowed pious X-tians. What kind of corruption among the high-level clergy protects the satanists Pompeo, Bush, Rice, Clinton, Obama, Blair and such from excommunication?

Russians explaining the perdition of the US deciders: https://www.rt.com/news/446533-sergey-shoigu-syria-inf/

"Washington does little to nothing to restore peace and help the devastated region to recover from the long war, while its [US] airstrikes continue to rack up civilian deaths At the same time, the US military presence at the Al-Tanf airbase and the "armed gangs" around it prevent refugees from returning home."

– Nothing new. The multi-denominational Syria has been pounded by the US-supported "moderate" terrorists (armed with US-provided arms and with UK-provided chemical weaponry) to satisfy the desires of Israel-firsters, arm-dealers and the multitude of war-profiteers that have been fattening their pockets at the US/UK taxpayers' expense.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204373.html

"Timber Sycamore" [initiated by Obama] is the most important arms trafficking operation in History. It involves at least 17 governments. The transfer of weapons, meant for jihadist organizations, is carried out by Silk Way Airlines, a Azerbaïdjan public company of cargo planes."

-- Biochemical warfare by the UK & US

https://www.rt.com/news/424047-russian-mod-syria-statement/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-23/us-history-chemical-weapons-use-complicity-war-crimes

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-five-most-deadly-chemical-weapons-war-10897

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/04/576081/Russia-Kirillov-US-Georgia-Richard-Lugar-chemical-weapons-lab

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/09/21/bombshell-secret-american-laboratory-performs-deadly-human-experiments-in-caucasus-georgia/

WHAT , says: December 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts Huawei can announce whatever, there are much more experienced adversaries(IBM, intel and ARM) who can`t beat nV in computation, and especially in integration of silicon. Guess who`s running inference and computer vision in all these car autopilots.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
I do not think there will be an atomic war .

I think we could have an economic collapse like the Soviet Union had , or like Argentina had in 2001 with the " corralito " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corralito .

Being the complex and global society that we are , it would be a disaster , it would produce hunger , misery and all types of local wars .

VirtualAnon34 , says: December 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm GMT
"Notwithstanding the limits of US power and its failure to topple regimes "

Have to agree with that statement. Seriously, wherein is this vaunted "superpower" that our American politicians always yap about? All I've seen in my lifetime is our military getting its butt kicked in Cuba, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan. What, besides insanity and hubris, makes them think they could win anything much less a war against Iran, China or Russia?

Moi , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Splitpin It's the other way around–Israel is a threat to Iran.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
@WHAT What worth what? It did not help too much to GM. GM is shutting five of its plants.
SteveK9 , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
Mostly accurate, but 'closed protectionist society' ! Hardly. It's still very difficult to buy any manufactured goods made in this country. Of course this is part of the World economic circle countries use the US Dollar for all trade. They need dollars. We can print them and receive real goods in return. This has been going around and around for decades. It may come to an end in the not-too-distant future, but it has a lot of inertia.
Bill Jones , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

–Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

A mere piker compared to the American, Bernays

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

DESERT FOX , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm GMT
The only threat to patriotic Americans is Zionism which has ruled the U.S. since it took control over the money supply and the taxes via the privately owned Zionist FED and IRS and has given America nothing to wars and economic destruction since the FED and IRS were put in place by the Zionist banking kabal in 1913 and both are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

The threat is not from China or Russia or Iran etc., the threat is from within the U.S. government which is controlled in every facet by the Zionists and dual citizens and is as foreign to the American people as if it were from MARS!

Until the American people wake up to the fact that we are slaves on a Zionist plantation and are used as pawns in the Zionist goal of a satanic Zionist NWO and abolish the FED and IRS and break the chains of slavery that the FED and IRS have place upon us, until then nothing will change and the wars and economic destruction by the Zionist kabal will continue!

Read The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed and The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman and The Protocols of Zion, to see the Zionist satanic NWO plan.

wraith67 , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm GMT
Lost me at Kurd takeover of northern Iraq/Syria. The Kurds have defacto owned those areas since 1991, and earlier. Saddam gassing the Kurds didn't accomplish anything except for making himself a target, no Arab lived in those areas, the Kurds would kill them.
Agent76 , says: December 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
Nov 28, 2018 Belt & Road Billionaire in Massive Bribery Scandal

The bribery trial of Dr. Patrick Ho, a pitchman for a Chinese energy company, lifts the lid on how the Chinese regime relies on graft to cut Belt and Road deals in its global push for economic and geopolitical dominance.

Miro23 , says: December 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT
I agree with Bob Sykes' commentary over on Instapundit:

Well, our "anti-ISIS" model in eastern Syria consists of defending ISIS against attacks by the Syrian government, allowing them to pump and export Syrian oil for their profit, arming them and allowing them to recruit new fighters. I suppose that means we should be arming the Taliban.

ISIS was created by the CIA to fight against Assad. But they slipped the leash and became the fighting force for the dissident Sunni Arabs all along the Euphrates Valley. We only began to oppose them when their rebellion reached the outskirts of Baghdad, and even then the bulk of the fighting was done by Iraq's Shias and Iran. Now we are transferring them, or many of them, into secure (for ISIS) areas of Iraq.

The three U.S. presidents, six secretaries of defense and five chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are, in fact, war criminals, in exactly the same sense that Hitler, Goebels, Goering, Himmler et al. were war criminals. Those presidents, secretaries and generals launched wars of aggression against Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Yemen not one of which threatened us in any way. They engineered coups d'état against two friendly governments, Egypt and Turkey. Now the fake American, anti-American neocons want to attack Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and even Russia and China.

Green needs to get his head out of his arse. We, the US, are the great rogue terrorist state. We are the evil empire. We are the chief source of death and destruction in the world. How many hundreds of thousands of civilians have we murdered in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia? How many cities have we bombed flat like Raqqa and Mosel. Putin is a saint compared to any US President.

Winston2 , says: December 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm GMT
Iran has always been at the center of the Great Game, the key square on the board to block
Eurasia.You must either control Afghanistan AND Pakistan or Iran.
With Pakistan now in the SCO, Iran is a US imperative.
Israels antipathy is secondary and a useful foil, not the primary motive.
Read MacKinder, the imperial power has changed, not the strategy.
Durruti , says: December 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm GMT
Open Letter to James Petras.

Your article has a glaring emptiness.

How is it possible for anyone to write an article titled:

A World of Multiple Detonators of Global Wars

without mentioning the Principal Detonator of Global Wars?? The Elephant!

The United States of America is no longer a Sovereign Nation.

The Local Political Power Elite (C. Wright Mills term), serve, are Minions, of the Zionist Jewish Financial Terrorist Initiators and Controllers of the Global New World Order.

I would express this point in stronger terms, but I have not yet finished my coffee. The "Mulitiple Detonators" Petras discusses are useless unless Triggered by the Global Controllers.

A Slight Digression: maybe:

Petras may have written his exposé this way, understanding that he might safely avoid mention of the anti-Semitic (they hate Palestinians and other Arabs – actual Semites), Zionist Land Thieves, because a clueless Anarchist would appear and complete his article for him. If that is the case, I want half of the $ Unz is paying Petras for this article.

In Conclusion: and by the number###:

1. The American Power Elite and servile Politicians in America's Knesset in Washington DC, do not go to the Bathroom, without permission from their Zionist Oligarch masters.

2. The American Gauleters, Quislings, (better known as Traitors), serve the Rothschild and other Foreign Oligarchs. Recently, only 1, of 100 'Senators' demanded that there be a discussion of the Bill to send another $35 Billion gift to the Zionist occupiers of Palestine. Poor Senator Rand Paul . How many ribs of his remain to be broken?

We the American people, have one Senator. And he has a great father.

3. Textbooks, Entertainment from Hollywood (key to all mind control), even Dictionaries, have been ruthlessly censored.

4. Our elected Zionist slaves in Congress, and all State and local governing bodies, live in fear of saying (accidentally), some truth, and ending up working at Walmart or 7-11, (if they are lucky).

5. Our young are effectively brainwashed in their schools; they have already been removed from their parents.

6. Our politicians are bribed with our own tax money (re-routed by the Zionists AIPAC, etc.).

7. The Zionist Entity has huge Financial Resources . They should be giving us 'Financial $$ Aid, not the other way around. Since NAFTA, we have entire cities & tons of infrastructure to rebuild.

Excuse me : Girlfriend thinks I should go to work.

Petras, I just fleshed out your, otherwise, promising article. You must understand – that the ethnic cleansing – genocide, against the Palestinian Nation, by the Terrorist Zionist Oligarchs, is the greatest single crime being committed on our Planet. All other crimes stem from this one.

We Americans must Restore Our Republic!

John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, M L King, Malcolm X. John Lennon; we are late, but we are coming.

God Bless!

Durruti

Durruti , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Agree with all.

Worth repeating:

The threat is not from China or Russia or Iran etc., the threat is from within the U.S. government which is controlled in every facet by the Zionists and dual citizens and is as foreign to the American people as if it were from MARS!

One comment:

Until the American people wake up to the fact that we are slaves on a Zionist plantation and are used as pawns in the Zionist goal of a satanic Zionist NWO and abolish the FED and IRS and break the chains of slavery that the FED and IRS have place upon us, until then nothing will change and the wars and economic destruction by the Zionist kabal will continue!

In order to accomplish the above , we American Citizen Patriots – must Restore Our Republic – that, with our Last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy, was destroyed by the Zionist Oligarchs and their American underling traitors, in a hail of bullets, on November 22, 1963.

jilles dykstra , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Miro23 " same sense that Hitler, Goebels, Goering, Himmler et al. were war criminals. "
Why were they war criminals ?
Because of the Neurenberg farce ?; farce according to the chairman of the USA Supreme Court in 1945:
Bruce Allen Murphy, 'The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection, The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices', New York, 1983
Churchill and Lindemann in fact murdered some two million German civilians, women, children, old men. Not a crime ?
Churchill refused the May 1941 Rudolf Hess peace proposal, not a crime ?
FDR deliberately provoked Pearl Harbour, some 2700 casualties, his pretcxt for war, not a crime ?
900.000 German hunger deaths between the 1918 cease fire and Versailles, the British food blockade, not a crime ?
Will these wild accusations ever stop ?
Reuben Kaspate , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:17 pm GMT
I am all for the mother of all wars; however, it isn't going to come anytime soon, nay, not in our lifetime but when it does appear on the next century's horizon, it would be cathartic to all concerned. Rejoice!
Charles Carroll , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX If you want to know who rules over you, ask yourself who you are not permitted to criticize.
Bill Jones , says: December 15, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra ""Will these wild accusations ever stop ?"

Nah, Don't you know that being a Holohoax victim is now genetically transmitted.

"visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

And after the forth generation, there'll be something else.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 8:17 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra They were war criminals because they lost the war. But hanging of Bock was a little bit overboard.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
Europe is realigning. England leaving Euro. French population is in upheaval. Eventually France will leave the Euro also.Most of German tourists now are going to Croatia. Italy is loosing tourists.
Italy living standard is declining. Germany is being pushed inevitably toward cooperation with Russia. Only supporter of Ukraine will remain USA. Ukraine will be only burden.
Brussels power will evaporate. NATO will remain only on paper and will cease to be reality.
.
This will be great step toward peace in the world.
Anon [118] Disclaimer , says: Website December 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm GMT
Unexpected turn of events.

http://theduran.com/the-real-reason-western-media-cia-turned-against-saudi-mbs/

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Anon Outstanding analysis,

US is treating its allies as used toilet paper.
Obviously Kashogi was sentenced to death for high treason in absence. The sentence was carried out on Saudi Arabia's territory. So in reality it is nobody's business.
All hula-buu did happen because he was a reporter working for warmongering Zionist New york times.

Socratic Truth , says: December 16, 2018 at 12:58 am GMT
@Durruti I agree with you partly, especially when it comes to the US regarding Zionism and the power of the Israel lobby to influence US foreign policy and even domestic policy.
But when it comes to Global governance, you have a somewhat narrow minded approach.
Most of the ills today that happen in the world, is driven by the NEW WORLD ORDER OF NEOLIBERAL GLOBALIZATION.
Unrelated phenomena, such as the destruction in the Middle East (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria), the destruction of Yugoslavia, the coup in Ukraine and the Greek economic catastrophe are a consequence of this NWO expansion. NWO expansion is the phasing out of national sovereignty (through economic and/or military violence) and its replacement by a kind of transnational sovereignty administered by a Transnational Elite. This is the network of the elites mainly based in the G7 countries, which control the world economic and political/ military institutions (WTO, IMF, World Bank, EU, European Central Bank, NATO, UN and so on), as well as the global media that set the agenda of the 'world community'.
The US is an important part of this since it provides the Military Means to integrate countries that do not "comply" with the NWO dictates.
The Zionists carry a lot of blame and are part of that drive for this NWO, but there are others, most of them in the US and Europe.

Here's a good link to an article if you have time, with good info about NWO & Trasnational corporations that are mainly to blame about all the worlds and misery in our world today.

THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER

http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/15-12-2014/129299-new_world_order_myths-0/

anon_4 , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:18 am GMT
@WHAT back door Intel , embedded ARM Open source Red Hat-IBM Hummm?.

I am not so sure, Mr. What. Experience may not mean much to abused IAI consumers. even if IAI catches up to the exponential fundamentals achieved by Huawei consumers might prefer back-door-free equipment and Operating Systems.

Russian times reported a few weeks ago that Russia has a quite different new processor and an OS that does not use any IAI stuff and is developing a backup Internet for Russians which it expects to expand regionally,

annamaria , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:28 am GMT
Here is lengthy repost from ZeroHedge (the comment section): https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-14/leaked-memo-touts-uk-funded-firms-ability-create-untraceable-news-sites-infowar

"What we have then, are criminal syndicates masquerading as philanthropic enterprises

Norman Dodd, director of research for the (U.S.) REECE COMMITTEE in its attempt to investigate tax exempt foundations, stated:

"The Foundation world is a coordinated, well-directed system, the purpose of which is to ensure that the wealth of our country shall be used to divorce it from the ideas which brought it into being."

The Rothschilds rule the U.S. through the foundations, the Council on foreign Relations, and the Federal Reserve System, with no serious challenges to their power. Expensive 'political campaigns' are routinely conducted, with carefully screened candidates who are pledged to the program of the WORLD ORDER. Should they deviate from the program, they would have an 'accident', be framed on a sex charge, or indicted on some financial irregularity.

Senator Moynihan stated in his book, "Loyalties", "A British friend, wise in the ways of the world, put it thus: "They are now on page 16 of the Plan." Moynihan prudently did not ask what page 17 would bring.

"Tavistock's pioneer work in behavioural science along Freudian lines of 'controlling' humans established it as the world center of FOUNDATION ideology.

[MORE]
Its network extends from the University of Sussex to the U.S. through the Standford Research Institute, Esalen, MIT, Hudson Institute, HERITAGE FOUNDATION, Centre of Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown, where State Dept personnel are trained, US Air Force Intelligence, and the Rand and Mitre corporations.

(at the time of writing, 1992) Today the Tavistock Institute operates a $6 billion a year network of foundations in the U.S., all of it funded by U.S. taxpayers' money. Ten major institutions are under its direct control, with 400 subsidiaries, and 3000 other study groups and think tanks which originate many types of programs to increase the control of the WORLD ORDER over the American people.

The personnel of the FOUNDATIONS are required to undergo indoctrination at one or more of these Tavistock controlled institutions.

A network of secret groups – the MONT PELERIN SOCIETY, TRILATERAL COMMISSION, DITCHLEY FOUNDATION, and CLUB OF ROME is the conduit for instructions to the Tavistock network.

Tavistock Institute developed the mass brain-washing techniques which were first used experimentally on AMERICAN prisoners of war in KOREA.

Its experiments in crowd control methods have been widely used on the American public, a surreptitious but nevertheless outrageous assault on human freedom by modifying individual behaviour through topical psychology.

A German refugee, Kurt Lewin, became director of Tavistock in 1932. He came to the U.S. in 1933 as a 'refugee', the first of many infiltrators, and set up the Harvard Psychology Clinic, which originated the propaganda campaign to turn the American public against Germany and involve the U.S. in WWII.

In 1938, Roosevelt executed a secret agreement with Churchill which in effect ceded U.S. sovereignty to England, because it agreed to let Special Operations Executive control U.S. policies. To implement this agreement, Roosevelt sent General Donovan to London for indoctrination before setting up the OSS (now the CIA) under the aegis of SOE-SIS. The entire OSS program, as well as the CIA has always worked on guidelines set up by the Tavistock Institute.

Tavistock Institute originated the mass civilian bombing raids [against the German people] carried out by [the ALL LIES] Roosevelt and Churchill as a clinical experiment in mass terror, keeping records of the results as they watched the "guinea pigs" reacting under "controlled laboratory conditions".

All Tavistock and American foundation techniques have a single goal – to break down the psychological strength of the individual and render him helpless to oppose the dictators of the WORLD ORDER.

Any technique which helps to break down the family unit, and family inculcated principles of religion, honor, patriotism and sexual behaviour, is used by the Tavistock scientists as weapons of crowd control.

The methods of Freudian psychotherapy induce permanent mental illness in those who undergo this treatment by destabilizing their character. The victim is then advised to 'establish new rituals of personal interactions', that is, to indulge in brief sexual encounters which actually set the participants adrift with no stable personal relationships in their lives – destroying their ability to establish or maintain a family.

Tavistock Institute has developed such power in the U.S. that no one achieves prominence in any field unless he has been trained in behavioural science at Tavistock or one of its subsidiaries. Tavistock maintains 2 schools at Frankfort, birthplace of the Rothschilds, the FRANKFURT SCHOOL, and the Sigmund Freud Institute.

The 'experiment' in compulsory racial integration in the U.S. was organized by Ronald Lippert of the OSS (forerunner of CIA) and the American Jewish Congress, and director of child training at the Commission on Community Relations.

The program was designed to break down the individual's sense of personal knowledge in his identity, his racial heritage. Through the Stanford Research Institute, Tavistock controls the National Education Association.

The Institute of Social Research at the Natl Training Lab brain washes the leading executives of business and government.

Another prominent Tavistock operation is the WHARTON SCHOOL OF FINANCE.

A single common denominator identifies the common Tavistock strategy – the use of drugs such as the infamous MK Ultra program of the CIA, directed by Dr Sidney Gottlieb, in which unsuspecting CIA officials were given LSD and their reactions studied like guinea pigs, resulting in several deaths – no one was ever indicted.

(Source of info: author Eustace Mullins "The World Order: Our Secret Rulers" 2nd ed. 1992. He dedicated his book "to American patriots and their passion for liberty". note: No copyright restrictions)

Socratic Truth , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:31 am GMT
@Agent76 Excellent video. More people need to see this to understand how corrupt the China Totalitarian state works behind the scenes along with the US as part of the Globalization NWO movement to enrich the few and impoverish the rest of the world population.

[Dec 14, 2018] Short Term Thinking Dooms U.S. Anti-China Strategy

Notable quotes:
"... The US rarely arrests senior businesspeople, US or foreign, for alleged crimes committed by their companies. Corporate managers are usually arrested for their alleged personal crimes (such as embezzlement, bribery or violence) rather than their company's alleged malfeasance. ..."
"... Meng is charged with violating US sanctions on Iran. Yet consider her arrest in the context of the large number of companies, US and non-US, that have violated US sanctions against Iran and other countries. ..."
"... The Trump administration is preparing actions this week to call out Beijing for what it says are China's continued efforts to steal American trade secrets and advanced technologies and to compromise sensitive government and corporate computers, according to U.S. officials. ..."
"... Multiple government agencies are expected to condemn China, citing a documented campaign of economic espionage and the alleged violation of a landmark 2015 pact to refrain from hacking for commercial gain ..."
"... Taken together, the announcements represent a major broadside against China over its mounting aggression against the West and its attempts to displace the United States as the world's leader in technology, officials said. ..."
"... The actions come amid mounting intelligence showing a sustained Chinese hacking effort devoted to acquiring sophisticated American technologies of all stripes. A number of agencies -- including the Justice, State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments -- have pushed for a newly aggressive U.S. response. A National Security Council committee coordinated the actions ..."
"... After three centuries of anglo-american imperialism the economic center of the world is moving back to the east . ..."
"... The U.S. is way too late to prevent this move. Its best and most profitable chance is not to challenge, but to accommodate it. That again would require to respect international laws and treaty obligations. The U.S. is not willing to do either. ..."
"... Nothing except a large scale war that results in the destruction of the industrial centers of east Asia, while keeping the U.S. and Europe save, could reverse the trend. Nuclear weapons on all sides and the principal of mutual assured destruction have made such a war unthinkable. What we are likely to see instead will be proxy conflicts in various other countries. ..."
"... The current U.S. strategy is to restrict China's access to foreign markets, advanced technologies, global banking and higher education. While that may for a moment slow down China's rise it will in the long run strengthen China even more. Instead of integrating into the world economy it will develop its own capacities and international systems. ..."
"... dh posted a link on the last thread to China banning import and sale of all iPhones in China (strange, I thought they were made in China? Must be exported and re-imported?). ..."
"... This is interesting. China hits a top US company manufacturing in China by granting an injunction in a case of one US company against another US company, in which one accuses the other of intellectual property theft. China was not expected to find in Qualcomm's favour, according to the article (perhaps in part because Apple manufactures in China therefore is a client of China, so it was expected China might favour Apple). If this decision was influenced by the arrest, the US can hardly point the finger at China! ..."
"... In my opinion, China should make these criminal actions of the US extremely painful indeed, and as quickly as possible ..."
"... With Trump's utterance, he also exposed how he/his government has abused Canada's extradition law for political purposes. Officially in this extradition procedure, the US now has 60 days to submit a complete extradition request which requires far more detail. Meng's court date is set for February. In any case, Canada's rubberstamping of extradition requests (90% are by the US) was already successfully challenged once in the Diab case with France, was criticized by Canada's Superior Court (extraditions are processed at the provincial judicial level), so Trudeau's hiding behind 'judicial process' is two-faced cowardliness. ..."
"... What's even more damning for the collective absolute stupidity of capitalist bigwigs is that I could see this coming more than 20 years ago, yet these idiots blindly charged as if short-term profits were all they wanted and would be enough to ensure their eternal dominance. ..."
"... What an empire does not control they destroy. ..."
"... The "own goal" was not outsourcing manufacturing to China but in not isolating China by bringing Russia into the Western fold. Instead, they kicked Russia while it was down via capitalist "Shock Doctrine" - hoping for total capitulation. Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain. ..."
"... Does that moron Kissinger know nothing about WW2? That Kissinger projects an inability to absorb pain onto the Russians suggests that Kissinger knows the Americans have no ability to absorb pain themselves ..."
"... Maybe now Shell executives will be arrested for crimes against humanity in Nigeria. ..."
"... After all, as you stated, these maneuvers wrt Meng are emanating from John (I am the Eggman) Bolton's office and clearly evidence his trademarked hard-boiled belligerence which of course is heartily endorsed by Trump (as an "Art of the Deal" negotiating ploy by the master debater himself) who selected The Walrus in the first place. Or second place if you count Bolton's earlier appointment by that other intellectual giant of the GOP, GW Bush. ..."
"... "Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain." Then Kissinger is a bigger fool than I thought. He's old enough to know about WWII, and previous wars as well. I mean, he did study the Napoleonic wars... ..."
"... She's not being accused of trading with Iran. She's being accused of bank fraud (providing false information to obtain a loan). ..."
"... The charges against Meng were brought by Richard P. Donoghue, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Donoghue was appointed as Interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 3, 2018, and as Attorney on May 3, 2018. ..."
"... The bottom line is that the bar for extradition from Canada is extremely low, which should worry Ms Meng. ..."
"... The historical West is still violently opposed to the objective rise of a fairer and more democratic polycentric world order. Clinging to the principles of unipolarity, Washington and some other Western capitals appear unable to constructively interact with the new global centres of economic and political influence. A wide range of restrictions are applied to the dissenters, ranging from military force and unilateral economic sanctions to demonisation and mud-slinging in the spirit of the notorious "highly likely." There are many examples of this dirty game...This has seriously debased international law. Moreover, attempts have been made to replace the notion of law with a "rules-based order" the parameters of which will be determined by a select few. ..."
"... We are especially concerned about the activities of the US administration aimed at destroying the key international agreements. These include withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, the declared intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), an open line for revising the settlement principles in the Middle East, as well as sabotaging the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the internal Ukrainian crisis. The trade wars that have been launched contrary to the WTO principles are rocking the global economic architecture, free trade and competition standards. The US establishment, blindly believing in the idea of their exceptionalism, continues to appoint rivals and adversaries, primarily among the countries that pursue an independent foreign policy. Everyone can see that Washington is a loose cannon, liable to act incongruously, including regarding Russia where any steps taken by US President Donald Trump to develop stable and normal channels of communication with Moscow on the biggest current problems are promptly blocked by those who want to continue or even strengthen the destructive approach to relations with Russia, which developed during the previous US administration. ..."
"... Overall, it looks as if the Americans and some of our other Western colleagues have forgotten the basics of diplomacy and the art of dialogue and consensus over the past 25 years. One result of this is the dangerous militarisation of the foreign policy thinking. As RIAC Director General Andrey Kortunov recently pointed out at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting, the Clausewitz formula can be changed to a mirror image, "Politics is a continuation of war by other means. ..."
"... Unfortunately, the U.S. ruling class cares more about the psychic gratification it derives from dominating the world. ..."
"... The prosecutor's case against Meng is fundamentally weak. For instance, there is no identification of a "co-conspirator", necessary to a charge of conspiracy. It does not seem to have been developed much beyond the information developed in the 2013 Reuters investigation. At least half of that relies on unnamed "former employees" and unnamed persons who claimed to have dealt with Skycom in Iran. ..."
Dec 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The United States issued an arrest warrant against the chief financial officer and heir apparent of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou. At issue is a six years old alleged violation of sanctions against Iran. Mrs. Meng was arrested in Canada. She has been set free under a stringent $10 million bail agreement . An extradition trial will follow in February or March.

It is unprecedented that an officer of a large company is personally indicted for the alleged sanction violations by a subsidiary company:

The US rarely arrests senior businesspeople, US or foreign, for alleged crimes committed by their companies. Corporate managers are usually arrested for their alleged personal crimes (such as embezzlement, bribery or violence) rather than their company's alleged malfeasance.
...
Meng is charged with violating US sanctions on Iran. Yet consider her arrest in the context of the large number of companies, US and non-US, that have violated US sanctions against Iran and other countries. In 2011, for example, JPMorgan Chase paid US$88.3 million in fines for violating US sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Yet chief executive officer Jamie Dimon wasn't grabbed off a plane and whisked into custody.

The U.S. indicted dozens of banks for violating its sanction regime. They had to pay huge fines (pdf) but none of their officers were ever touched.

We called this U.S. operation a hostage taking to blackmail China . President Trump confirmed that this is indeed the case:

U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in the U.S. Justice Department's case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

The arrest of Meng is but one part of a larger political campaign against China directed out of the office of National Security Advisor John Bolton:

The Trump administration is preparing actions this week to call out Beijing for what it says are China's continued efforts to steal American trade secrets and advanced technologies and to compromise sensitive government and corporate computers, according to U.S. officials.

Multiple government agencies are expected to condemn China, citing a documented campaign of economic espionage and the alleged violation of a landmark 2015 pact to refrain from hacking for commercial gain.

In typical propaganda style the U.S. media depict the Chinese as enemies:

Taken together, the announcements represent a major broadside against China over its mounting aggression against the West and its attempts to displace the United States as the world's leader in technology, officials said.

...

The actions come amid mounting intelligence showing a sustained Chinese hacking effort devoted to acquiring sophisticated American technologies of all stripes. A number of agencies -- including the Justice, State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments -- have pushed for a newly aggressive U.S. response. A National Security Council committee coordinated the actions.

One wonders what those "mounting aggressions" are supposed to be. Is the U.S. not constantly spying and hacking for economic or political gain?

Other reports today of alleged Chinese hacking are obviously part of the concerted anti-China campaign. As usual no evidence is presented for the vague allegations:

U.S. government investigators increasingly believe that Chinese state hackers were most likely responsible for the massive intrusion reported last month into Marriott's Starwood chain hotel reservation system, a breach that exposed the private information and travel details of as many as 500 million people, according to two people briefed on the government investigation.

These people cautioned that the investigation has not been completed, so definitive conclusions cannot be drawn. But the sweep and tactics of the hack, which took place over four years before being discovered, prompted immediate speculation that it was carried out by a national government.

The new anti-China campaign follows a similar push of anti-Russian propaganda three month ago.

China has taken first countermeasures against Canada's hostage taking on behalf of the United States. It detained Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who now works for the International Crisis Group. Beijing suggest that the ICG is operating illegally in China :

"The relevant organization has violated Chinese laws because the relevant organization is not registered in China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing Wednesday.

China sharply tightened its rules on NGOs operating in the country last year, ..

This will not be the sole Chinese measure against Canada for its role in enforcing extraterritorial U.S. sanctions.

The string of U.S. accusations and measures against China are partly to protect the market share of U.S. companies against better and cheaper Chinese products and partly geopolitical. Neither has anything to do with protecting the international rule of law.

After three centuries of anglo-american imperialism the economic center of the world is moving back to the east .


bigger

The U.S. is way too late to prevent this move. Its best and most profitable chance is not to challenge, but to accommodate it. That again would require to respect international laws and treaty obligations. The U.S. is not willing to do either.

Nothing except a large scale war that results in the destruction of the industrial centers of east Asia, while keeping the U.S. and Europe save, could reverse the trend. Nuclear weapons on all sides and the principal of mutual assured destruction have made such a war unthinkable. What we are likely to see instead will be proxy conflicts in various other countries.

The current U.S. strategy is to restrict China's access to foreign markets, advanced technologies, global banking and higher education. While that may for a moment slow down China's rise it will in the long run strengthen China even more. Instead of integrating into the world economy it will develop its own capacities and international systems.

The U.S. can temporarily hinder the telecommunication equipment provider Huawei by denying it access to U.S. designed chips. It will probably do so. But that will only incentivize Huawei to start its own chip production. With a few years delay it will be back and out-compete U.S. companies with even better and cheaper products.

It is typical for the current U.S. to seek short term advantage while disregarding the long term negative effects of its doing. It is a major reason for China's rise and its future supremacy.

Posted by b on December 12, 2018 at 07:07 AM | Permalink

Comments next page " The reason she is violating trade sanctions against Iran is because Trump suspended the Iran Nuclear treaty. How short-sighted is that?


fayez chergui , Dec 12, 2018 7:21:43 AM | link

Well, all these sanctions are pushing target countries to be self sufficient. That's wonderful. Us are pushing countries for a better production and decrease itself. Smart.
oldenyoung , Dec 12, 2018 8:03:14 AM | link
the King Liar has spoken...the boss of the mafia group U$A... The Chinese will interpret this as a kidnapping for blackmail and act accordingly...this can only get much worse...

way to go Donald...stupid is its own reward...

regards

OY

BM , Dec 12, 2018 8:42:16 AM | link
dh posted a link on the last thread to China banning import and sale of all iPhones in China (strange, I thought they were made in China? Must be exported and re-imported?). This concerns a patent dispute between US company Qualcomm and Apple, over which Qualcomm sued Apple in Chinese courts. The existence of the action in the courts must predate the Meng arrest, but the court decision to support Qualcomm could be influenced by the arrest.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/10/tech/china-iphone-ban/index.html
Posted by: dh | Dec 11, 2018 3:05:37 PM | 6

This is interesting. China hits a top US company manufacturing in China by granting an injunction in a case of one US company against another US company, in which one accuses the other of intellectual property theft. China was not expected to find in Qualcomm's favour, according to the article (perhaps in part because Apple manufactures in China therefore is a client of China, so it was expected China might favour Apple). If this decision was influenced by the arrest, the US can hardly point the finger at China!

It gets better: The Apple executive states in the article that they have stocks of all models in China and sales will not stop. How can this be, if sales are banned? Surely China can then arrest several Apple executives in China for breaking the injunction? Would depend of course on the terms of the injunction, of which the article gave no details.

In my opinion, China should make these criminal actions of the US extremely painful indeed, and as quickly as possible. One person arrested in China is not enough - it should be 10 Americans arrested for 1 Chinese, plus 5 Canadians. China should make sure the US and Canada understand that the ratio will stay constant if the US/Canada respond to the arrests in China. China should also take extremely painful action against US telecomms companies in China to compensate for the campaign against Huawei - it could include denying access to comms links, forcing US telcom communications to go through very expensive route, ceasing negotiations for investment consortia in favour of non-US companies, etc. The difficulty to navigate, of course, is the risk of inciting escalating actions against Huawei; but the Chinese will find excellent startegies I am sure.

daffyDuct , Dec 12, 2018 8:44:52 AM | link
It may be the case that the Huawei equipment is very, very secure, has much better performance. Soon, China will be the tech leader, hence the panic. I have a snippet below, but peruse the article in full on the 5G landscape.

"Huawei has been pouring money into research on 5G wireless networks and patenting key technologies. The company has hired many experts from abroad as well to decide the technical standards for the next generation of wireless communication technology.

As of early 2017, 10% of 1450 patents essential for 5G networks were in Chinese hands in which majority belongs to Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei spent around $12 Billion on R&D in 2017, which was threefold of Ericsson's spending of $4.1 Billion. This year, according to estimates, it will spend $800 million in 5G research and development alone.

The company wants to involve AI in 5G which according to them is a much more integral element of Huawei's 5G strategy. The company also plans to launch a full range of Huawei commercial equipment including wireless access networks, core networks, and devices.

Huawei has also revealed its hopes to launch smartphones ready for supporting 5G networks by 2019 and starting selling in the mid-2019. The company is also said to be working on developing a brand-new chipset for 5G services.

Huawei and Vodafone made the 5G call using non-standalone 3GPP 5G-NR standard and sub 6 GHz spectrum. The two companies built a 5G NR end-to-end test network for the trial and used 3.7GHz spectrum. They also used Huawei Radio Access Network and core network equipment to support the test with microservice-centric architecture, control plane/user plane separation, and unified access and network slicing technology.

Huawei also started manufacturing products that provide 5G services. In Mobile World Congress, Huawei launched its 5G customer-premises equipment (CPE), the world's first commercial terminal device supporting 3GPP standard for 5G. Huawei used its self-developed chipset Balong 5G01 – world's first commercial chipset supporting the 3GPP standard for 5G, with downlink speed up to 2.3 Gbps."

https://www.greyb.com/companies-working-on-5g-technology/

Josh , Dec 12, 2018 8:47:39 AM | link

With Trump's utterance, he also exposed how he/his government has abused Canada's extradition law for political purposes. Officially in this extradition procedure, the US now has 60 days to submit a complete extradition request which requires far more detail. Meng's court date is set for February. In any case, Canada's rubberstamping of extradition requests (90% are by the US) was already successfully challenged once in the Diab case with France, was criticized by Canada's Superior Court (extraditions are processed at the provincial judicial level), so Trudeau's hiding behind 'judicial process' is two-faced cowardliness.

Canada needs to amend its extradition law, become much more stringent, and arm this law against the bullying and abusive southern neighbor who prefers to lord its own laws over others than abide by any kind of international law.

Timothy Hagios , Dec 12, 2018 8:50:51 AM | link
We've been at war with Eurasia long enough. Time for Eastasia! The main question is whether Putin will remain Emmanuel Goldstein or if someone Chinese will get the honor.
bjd , Dec 12, 2018 9:02:26 AM | link
China should just dump US treasuries wholesale, and the US is done for within a week.
Russ , Dec 12, 2018 9:13:19 AM | link
Here's a counter-shot in the trade war.

China is set to introduce maximum residue limits (MRLs) of 200 parts per billion (ppb) or lower for glyphosate in all imported final food products and raw materials including grains, soybeans and other legumes before the end of 2019, according to Sustainable Pulse sources.....

It is expected that China will now import more grains from Russia, where glyphosate is not widely used as a desiccant. This also enables China to use glyphosate as a political tool in the current U.S. / China trade war, as food and raw material imports from the U.S., which often contain high levels of the weedkiller, will be put under major pressure.

https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18647-china-set-to-shock-markets-with-low-glyphosate-residue-limits-in-food-imports

That'll hit Monsanto's Roundup pretty hard. Of course China doesn't really have any problem with glyphosate - it's long been a major producer and exporter itself. So this is obviously a trade war action.

Clueless Joe , Dec 12, 2018 9:14:45 AM | link
"It is typical for the current U.S. to seek short term advantage while disregarding the long term negative effects of its doing. It is a major reason for China's rise and its future supremacy."

Well, the economic and industrial rise of China is the ultimate proof of this. Instead of making sure China would have a limited and purely internal development and would never become such a fearsome rival, Western (specially US) capitalist fools decided to outsource their production there, creating the monster they feared and fear even more nowadays.

I've never seen such a ridiculous and brilliant own goal in any World Cup. What's even more damning for the collective absolute stupidity of capitalist bigwigs is that I could see this coming more than 20 years ago, yet these idiots blindly charged as if short-term profits were all they wanted and would be enough to ensure their eternal dominance.

V , Dec 12, 2018 9:19:57 AM | link
I think it's pretty clear to China, Russia, India, and many others, that trading in dollars is a losing strategy. Thus the dollar is very fast losing its position as the world reserve currency. The EU is not using dollars for Iran's oil. India is not using dollars for its purchase of Russia's S-400.

It's not only US anti-China strategy; but the US insistence to be the hegemon; the rest of the planet will not have it, period. The US is done dictating what the rest of the planet will do/follow... Bye, bye, American pie............

Entropy Wins , Dec 12, 2018 9:29:34 AM | link
Short term thinking dooms the US economically and politically.
dh , Dec 12, 2018 9:32:41 AM | link
BM @4 I'm not sure where Qualcomm stands in relation to China. It could be a bargaining chip...excuse the pun. The Apple ban applies to the older iPhone 8 & 7 not the new Xs & Xr......but that may change. Apple is already having trouble selling phones in China and the Huawei dispute won't help.
pasha , Dec 12, 2018 9:52:18 AM | link
What is the legal basis for Meng's arrest? What Canadian law is she alleged to have violated? Or is American wish fulfillment now part of Canadian jurisprudence?
flayer , Dec 12, 2018 9:55:11 AM | link
As a non-American I've got half a mind to find a way to purchase some Iranian products and then send the US State Department an e-mail telling them to suck it.
Fernando Martinez , Dec 12, 2018 10:11:44 AM | link
What an empire does not control they destroy.
Jackrabbit , Dec 12, 2018 10:38:23 AM | link
Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 12, 2018 9:14:45 AM | 10

The "own goal" was not outsourcing manufacturing to China but in not isolating China by bringing Russia into the Western fold. Instead, they kicked Russia while it was down via capitalist "Shock Doctrine" - hoping for total capitulation. Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain.

* In his lunch interview with the Financial Times this past summer.

ralphieboy , Dec 12, 2018 10:52:25 AM | link
@pasha #14

"What is the legal basis for Meng's arrest? What Canadian law is she alleged to have violated? Or is American wish fulfillment now part of Canadian jurisprudence?"

As I understand it, the USA and Canada have an extradition agreement, and corporate fraud is also a crime in Canada.

Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 12, 2018 11:08:40 AM | link
This idiocy seems certain to increase curiosity in Huawei products by telcos worldwide. Business managers use technical experts to evaluate available technologies when contemplating upgrades to their systems. They're certainly not swayed by MSM spin doctors.

This issue could soon be overtaken by a brand new reality. China is planning to launch a worldwide free wifi internet service based on more than 100 satellites, which could be interpreted as a Commie scheme to undermine the profitability of telcos.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-30/chinese-company-to-provide-free-internet-worldwide-by-2026/10568434

Nick Baam , Dec 12, 2018 11:11:35 AM | link
Not clear exactly which officials said, "Taken together, the announcements represent a major broadside against China over its mounting aggression against the West... The actions come amid mounting intelligence showing a sustained Chinese hacking effort..." but do know it's very unusual to repeat a verb in consecutive sentences. Mantra alert! Mounting... mounting... mounting... hear the drums of war.
Ghost Ship , Dec 12, 2018 11:15:24 AM | link
he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain

Does that moron Kissinger know nothing about WW2? That Kissinger projects an inability to absorb pain onto the Russians suggests that Kissinger knows the Americans have no ability to absorb pain themselves

Edward , Dec 12, 2018 11:22:50 AM | link
Maybe now Shell executives will be arrested for crimes against humanity in Nigeria.
john , Dec 12, 2018 11:24:23 AM | link
Hoarsewhisperer says:

China is planning to launch a worldwide free wifi internet service based on more than 100 satellites, which could be interpreted as a Commie scheme to undermine the profitability of telcos

cool. digital nomadism and growing your own food will be the ticket.

Harry , Dec 12, 2018 11:26:07 AM | link
The story I heard was that it was a screw up. Mira Ricardel was fired because she pissed off Melania about airplane seats. She was fired before inter-agency coordination for the arrest but after the warrant for the arrest was issued - the warrant was issued back in August. That and the fact that Trudeau hates Trump explains this idiocy. Trudeau was left to weigh up the US request against the poor timing of the US request from the US point of view. No one from the WH got back to the Canadians to ask them to wait.

So Justin decided to go ahead to screw Trump. Fun, no?

Jackrabbit , Dec 12, 2018 11:32:48 AM | link
ralphieboy | Dec 12, 2018 10:52:25 AM | 18: corporate fraud is also a crime in Canada.

More specifically, she's accused of inducing banks to provide financing that was illegal due to US sanctions. It appears that as Huawei CFO, she certified that her company doesn't trade with Iran despite the fact that Huawei has an Iran-based subsidiary (SkyCom Tech).

donkeytale , Dec 12, 2018 11:44:22 AM | link
Is this an example of "US short term strategical thinking" or "Trump's-as-per-usual (non) thinking?"

After all, as you stated, these maneuvers wrt Meng are emanating from John (I am the Eggman) Bolton's office and clearly evidence his trademarked hard-boiled belligerence which of course is heartily endorsed by Trump (as an "Art of the Deal" negotiating ploy by the master debater himself) who selected The Walrus in the first place. Or second place if you count Bolton's earlier appointment by that other intellectual giant of the GOP, GW Bush.

Please, the US voted less for Trump to be our trade representative then even the British voted for their own ridiculous "alt-right" trade adventure wildride, AKA "Brexit."

And we now have another pretty solid election behind us illustrating even further that Trump's worldview doesn't represent most of the US. He represents only a dwindling "base" of mostly old white male reactionary racist very scared supporters whose presence within the GOP has terrified the GOP toadies into supporting most everything Trump wants because he delivers judges and tax cuts to the rich.

But again, the majourity of the toadies don't support Trump on China. He has them by their shriveled up balls is all.

Jackrabbit , Dec 12, 2018 11:52:01 AM | link
Ghost Ship | Dec 12, 2018 11:15:24 AM | 21:
That Kissinger projects an inability to absorb pain onto the Russians ...
This is a misreading. Kissinger is not projecting but explaining. Look at the Financial Times interview for more clarity. Also, they didn't fail to consider WWII. They miscalculated. And then they doubled down (as the neocons always do).
Clueless Joe , Dec 12, 2018 11:52:11 AM | link
Jackrabbit 17
"Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain." Then Kissinger is a bigger fool than I thought. He's old enough to know about WWII, and previous wars as well. I mean, he did study the Napoleonic wars...
Jackrabbit , Dec 12, 2018 11:58:35 AM | link
Clueless Joe | Dec 12, 2018 11:52:11 AM | 28

You have to remember, this was economic warfare, not military. And the USA/West were pretending to be helpful. IIRC, Yeltsin was happy for this "help" too.

Jose Garcia , Dec 12, 2018 12:21:30 PM | link
"The government and us are cut from the same cloth." Sam Giancana, former Mob boss from Chicago. Deep State, you say? No way, Jose. More like the Gambino (Democrat's) and the Genovese (Republicans). You don't need "colors" to identify yourself as a gang member. You can wear double breasted suits and have the same bad intentions as any member of the Crips, Bloods, Mafia or Mexican Cartels. The US government is one great big Tammany Hall. Nothing has changed since the days of Boss Tweed. Instead of being centered in New York, it's now in our nation's capital. Mah Rohn! Forget about it!
Fidelios Automata , Dec 12, 2018 12:22:34 PM | link
This is beyond outrageous. US law is not the law of the world. The Chinese may trade with whomever they choose.
Jackrabbit , Dec 12, 2018 12:29:14 PM | link
Fidelios Automata | Dec 12, 2018 12:22:34 PM | 31:
The Chinese may trade with whomever they choose.
She's not being accused of trading with Iran. She's being accused of bank fraud (providing false information to obtain a loan).
LittleWhiteCabbage , Dec 12, 2018 12:37:53 PM | link
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/07/sidestepping-sanctions/

According to the above article, American firms set up foreign subsidiaries to do business with sanctioned countries. So if SkyCom is an Iranian subsidiary, what can be Sabrina Meng Wanzhou's crime? Or even if SkyCom is a Hong Kong-based subsidiary? The city-state effectively maintains its own laws and financial architecture, as part of one country, two systems.

Grieved , Dec 12, 2018 12:41:16 PM | link
It's a bit OT but this thing of Russia absorbing pain - to be fair, I always thought that producing Putin at the last moment was really stretching survival to a fine thread. The neocons almost won there. The country was almost done for. It took a man whose father nursed life back into his wife when medics figured she was done for...

Russia's ultimate salvation was way too close to the edge of the cliff for my taste.

Laura Rosiln , Dec 12, 2018 1:05:05 PM | link
two things of interest: Canadian Telecoms Face $1 Billion Cost to Remove Huawei Gear, Globe & Mail Says.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-08/canadian-telecoms-face-1-billion-to-remove-huawei-tech-g-m

South Korea to get the world's first 5G commercial network in Q1, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nD-FnRSqfI

karlof1 , Dec 12, 2018 1:06:33 PM | link
Ya'll know how the Chinese finger trap works, yes? Instead of his fingers, Trump's got his whole head inside, and he's stuck real good. There're only two ways out: Trump admits China can't be beaten so its better to join them or he cuts off his head to free his body--both are essentially suicide, although the former is merely political instead of actual.
BraveNewWorld , Dec 12, 2018 1:12:55 PM | link
There is zero chance she gets deported to the US because doing so would mean a Canadian court blessing the idea that the US is the sole legal authority of every thing on planet earth. There isn't a a judge in Canada that is goin g to sign off on the idea that US law trumps Canadian law and international law in Canada.
Jared , Dec 12, 2018 1:16:27 PM | link
There is a strange ambiguous nature to the post. It seems there is a reluctance to address the issues. It has long been claimed that China has a tendency to copy or steal intellectual property. Most "I/P" is horse shit anyway - e.g. Apple and the rounded corners. Apparently there has been some actual espionage, but that is probably pretty common its just that China has used it to good advantage (if we accept that they have used it - as I do).

It is quite odd to to make such a fuss in the absence of smoking gun - maybe Mueller is in need of something to investigate?

I am baffeled by the whole Iran thing and the nations in terror of U.S. sanctions. What is this "international law" of which we speak? The implication is that because Mr Trump (Bolton) does not approve of a treaty that now Iran and RoW has violated a law and are subject to sanction by the U.S.? I find it hard to comprehend.

vk , Dec 12, 2018 1:24:04 PM | link
This first paragraph from a today's Global Times op-ed nicely summarizes the 21st Century:
For a long time in the future, the international situation will evolve around the rise of China, the decline of the US and the uncertain development level of Russia.
Anya , Dec 12, 2018 1:24:42 PM | link

No arrests among the Israelis. None. The loyalty to Israel by Israel-firsters (and their corrupting influence on the US Congress) overpowers any loyalty to the US.

But to arrest a woman because of the illegal economic sanctions against Iran (on Israelis' prodding) is fine for US "deciders"

ToivoS , Dec 12, 2018 1:38:52 PM | link
Anya | Dec 12, 2018 1:24:42 PM | 40

Thanks for assembling those links. That is a good compilation. I was vaguely aware of those stories but had forgotten most of the details. It is so true. And you didn't even get to the Jonathan Pollard betrayal!

james , Dec 12, 2018 1:48:53 PM | link
thanks b! and thanks to the many informative comments.. i encourage others to read the jeffery sachs article in b's article near the top under the word 'unprecedented"...

@23 john.. thanks.. i will take a look..

@24 harry.. thanks.. that is an interesting conjecture..

@38 jared.. larvov made some comments on the use of the term 'rule of law' which is different from 'international law'.. i can't find the article from yesterday that i read on this, but essentially he is saying the usa wants to toss international law and replace it with 'rule of law', or 'law based rules' and do away with international law, as international law is not working in the usa's favour at this point..'rule of law' or 'law based rules' is something that a country can make up as it goes along.. the usa wants to drop international law essentially.. if i find larvov's comments, i will post them...

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 2:41:01 PM | link
Here's the legal mumbo-jumbo from B.C. which includes details on the charges against Meng. The poor banks were "victim banking institutions."
The investigation by U.S. authorities has revealed a conspiracy between and among Meng and other Huawei representatives to misrepresent to numerous financial institutions. . . .The motivation for these misrepresentations stemmed from Huawei's need to move money out of countries that are subject to U.S. or E.U. sanctions--such as Iran, Syria, or Sudan--through the international banking system. At various times, both the U.S. and E.U. legal regimes have imposed sanctions that prohibit the provision of U.S. or E.U. services to Iran, such as banking services....

Because Meng and other Huawei representatives misrepresented to Financial Institution 1 and the other financial institutions about Huawei's relationship with Skycom, these victim banking institutions were induced into carrying out transactions that they otherwise would not have completed. As a result, they violated the banks' internal policies, potentially violated U.S. sanctions laws, and exposed the banks to the risk of fines and forfeiture. .

Michael Droy , Dec 12, 2018 2:49:03 PM | link
Very accurate. Yes of course the smart move would have been to welcome China into a multi-polar world, but it is too late now, and I doubt the US could ever have managed that. Trade war and probable actual war has been inevitable for some time. An alien visiting earth would want to view every event through the prism of imminent US-China war.

Right now we see a US circling of the wagons, with threats against outsiders. In particular Iran, NK and Russia are villified because the message is "look what happens if you don't come in on our side". We think the casual slanders about these countries are just vulgar Americans, but they are really calculated warnings to other countries.

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 2:49:15 PM | link

The charges against Meng were brought by Richard P. Donoghue, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Donoghue was appointed as Interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 3, 2018, and as Attorney on May 3, 2018.

Donoghue is one of five U.S. attorneys serving in a "working group" under the Justice Department's recently announced China Initiative. Launched by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the China Initiative is a broad-based strategy designed to counter Chinese economic espionage and a range of other national security threats. Donoghue has been leading an investigation of Huawei since 2016 for possible violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The Eastern District serves over eight million residents through its Criminal Division, with approximately 115 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and its Civil Division, with approximately 60 U.S.Attorneys. But what the heck, forget New Yorkers, Donoghue has bigger fish to fry.

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 3:00:54 PM | link
If one has an interest on seeing how the war-mongers visualize the US-China standoff, check out this blog where I regularly get roasted. (roasted bacon?)
xLemming , Dec 12, 2018 3:03:18 PM | link
@43 DB

Not to be confused with actual "victim banking" customers - of which there are legion. Great comments on this thread - always worth the drive...

William Bowles , Dec 12, 2018 3:26:48 PM | link
Posted by: Grieved | Dec 12, 2018 12:41:16 PM | 34

Hmmm... following the downfall of the drunkard Yeltsin (the first miscalculation of the Empire, hubris strikes again), they put their money on Medvedev, the 'Atanticist'. Bad move! Putin was the response. Nationalism bad? I don't think so, it's what enabled Stalin to win WW2 and it enabled Putin to pull the country, but as said, only just! Phew.

70 years of isolating the Soviet Union meant that they really didn't have a handle on the Western propaganda machine. In the 80s the North Koreans made the same mistake.

A slight aside: I and a bunch of other journos, activists were invited to a wonderful slap up meal held at the N.Korean UN delegation HQ in Manhattan. Food great but the video they showed horrendous! Imagine 1 1/2hrs of the Great Leader and endless displays in stadiums waving flags in unison. They then asked us what we thought of it (that was the purpose of 12 course meal). When they were told it would go down like a lead balloon, they just didn't get it. They lived in a different world, ditto the Soviets.

BTW, the video was made for US consumption.

On the other hand, Verso brought out a book (I have it somewhere) on the aesthetics of East European cityscapes during the Soviet period and lamented on the loss of individuality, following the fall of socialism and the rise of McDonaldism. How ironic. And we though (were taught) that E. European design and architecture was drab!

ex-SA , Dec 12, 2018 3:32:40 PM | link
MBA ideology, which is narrowly focused on the next quarter results, bottom line, and bonuses for executives has devastated / destroyed industrial base of the 5 eyes!
Jen , Dec 12, 2018 4:42:32 PM | link
Don Bacon @ 46:

I saw the discussion thread at that BreakingDefense.com post you linked to, and I must say you should seek help for that masochistic tendency that drives you to post there and risk being savaged by armchair generals whose idea of military strategy comes from playing wall-2-wall computer games.

I should think a better example from Ancient Greek history that we should heed, rather than Thucydides' Trap (discussions of which use very selective examples to "prove" its premise) is Athens' military expedition to Syracuse to conquer the city and all of Sicily in 415 BCE. How did that turn out for Athens?

http://www.livius.org/articles/concept/peloponnesian-war/sicilian-expedition/
http://www.livius.org/sources/content/thucydides/destruction-of-the-athenian-army/?

Godfree Roberts , Dec 12, 2018 4:54:40 PM | link

I should add that the US put China under total embargoes on food, ag equipment, finance, technology for 25 years during Maos' tenure. Yet he grew the economy by 7.25% annually, doubled the population, its life expectancy and literacy during that time.

Hodi , Dec 12, 2018 4:56:46 PM | link
BraveNewWorld@37...If there is any question whether Canadian courts will side with American laws you only need to google Qmar Khadr to answer the question.
james , Dec 12, 2018 4:59:06 PM | link
@46 don bacon.. thanks for the link.. in it admiral Davidson says "I see a fundamental divergence of values that leads to two incomparable visions of the future. I think those two incomparable visions are between China and the rules-based international order."

there is that ''rules-based international order'' quote again - which i was mentioning to @38 jared in my post @42..
what the fuck is ''rules-based international order'' supposed to mean? you mean like - ignore international law and replace it with ''rule-basd international order''??

i agree with jen... don, you must be a bit of a masochist!

RibCluck , Dec 12, 2018 5:03:48 PM | link
@ Don Bacon

I definitely second Jen's remark about BreakingDefense. Reading that post was very distressing and I can imagine they would roast you and many who follow and admire b. But, as the saying goes, it is also good to know "how the enemy" thinks. Or in this case how our gov + thinks.

farm ecologist , Dec 12, 2018 5:16:31 PM | link
@6 Josh

Canada's rubberstamping of extradition requests (90% are by the US)was already successfully challenged once in the Diab case with France

Not exactly. Diab was arrested in 2008 and, after a long series of legal proceedings (ending with the refusal of the Canadian Supreme Court to hear his appeal), finally extradited to France in 2014. The case against Diab was flimsy to nonexistent to begin with, but "good enough" to meet Canadian standards. In spite of the continued insistence by French prosecutors that they had a legitimate case, multiple judges disagreed and Diab was finally released earlier this year and allowed to return to Canada.

The bottom line is that the bar for extradition from Canada is extremely low, which should worry Ms Meng.

lysias , Dec 12, 2018 5:24:56 PM | link
The way the U.S. seems intent on punishing Australian Assange for exposing U.S. secrets exhibits the same determination to apply U.S. law to everyone all over the world.
Loz , Dec 12, 2018 5:35:37 PM | link
@52 James -
http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3413324

20 November 201815:24
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the general meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow, November 20, 2018

"The historical West is still violently opposed to the objective rise of a fairer and more democratic polycentric world order. Clinging to the principles of unipolarity, Washington and some other Western capitals appear unable to constructively interact with the new global centres of economic and political influence. A wide range of restrictions are applied to the dissenters, ranging from military force and unilateral economic sanctions to demonisation and mud-slinging in the spirit of the notorious "highly likely." There are many examples of this dirty game...This has seriously debased international law. Moreover, attempts have been made to replace the notion of law with a "rules-based order" the parameters of which will be determined by a select few.

We are especially concerned about the activities of the US administration aimed at destroying the key international agreements. These include withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, the declared intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), an open line for revising the settlement principles in the Middle East, as well as sabotaging the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the internal Ukrainian crisis. The trade wars that have been launched contrary to the WTO principles are rocking the global economic architecture, free trade and competition standards. The US establishment, blindly believing in the idea of their exceptionalism, continues to appoint rivals and adversaries, primarily among the countries that pursue an independent foreign policy. Everyone can see that Washington is a loose cannon, liable to act incongruously, including regarding Russia where any steps taken by US President Donald Trump to develop stable and normal channels of communication with Moscow on the biggest current problems are promptly blocked by those who want to continue or even strengthen the destructive approach to relations with Russia, which developed during the previous US administration.

Overall, it looks as if the Americans and some of our other Western colleagues have forgotten the basics of diplomacy and the art of dialogue and consensus over the past 25 years. One result of this is the dangerous militarisation of the foreign policy thinking. As RIAC Director General Andrey Kortunov recently pointed out at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting, the Clausewitz formula can be changed to a mirror image, "Politics is a continuation of war by other means."

Russia is a consistent supporter of the development of international life based on the principles of the UN Charter. We are a serious obstacle in the way of different destructive undertakings." etc

Lavrov is always an interesting read.

spudski , Dec 12, 2018 5:36:27 PM | link
Second Canadian detained in China, according to Freeland.
lysias , Dec 12, 2018 5:39:32 PM | link
Considering the eventual results of the Peloponnesian War for all combatants, Thucydides' Trap turned out to be a trap for everyone. They all would have been better off peacefully settling their differences. Same goes for World War One. And the same goes for a declining U.S. facing a rising China.

What the U.S. should do is to negotiate with China a deal which recognizes the status of China as a superpower in return for an economic relationship that preserves the U.S. standard of living.

Unfortunately, the U.S. ruling class cares more about the psychic gratification it derives from dominating the world.

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 6:03:18 PM | link
@ 52 james
re: "rules-based international order"
This is widely and repeatedly used by the Pentagon; I've also seen it used by the Australia government (no surprise there from a US puppet). Of course we know that it's a code-phrase for. . .let's not change the current US-dominated world disorder with its US-led wars, assassinations and torture.

Other pet phrases, taken from my blog link above:
... revisionist great powers like China and Russia
... China's state-led, market-distorting economic model
... democratic, liberal values that draws us together with our allies and differentiates us from China."

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 6:19:44 PM | link
@ 57 Loz
Russia's Lavrov is a smart guy and gets it right, as a realist, but I prefer Iran's Khamenei who always looks on the bright side.

. . .from a speech delivered on November 3, 2018, by Ayatollah Khamenei

. . . the US waged military wars and military actions,
. . .There has also been an economic war in this 40-year challenge
. . .They have waged a media war as well.
Well, there is an important truth which is sometimes not seen by some people: its dazzling clarity makes it go unnoticed. This truth is a bright and shining one, which is the fact that in this 40-year challenge, the side which has been defeated represents the US and the side which has achieved victory represents the Islamic Republic. --This is a very important truth. What is the reason behind America's defeat? The reason for their defeat was that it was they who began the attack. It was they who initiated corrupt actions. It was they who imposed sanctions, and it was they who launched a military attack, but they have not achieved their goals. --This is the reason why the US has been defeated.
And he's right, Iran has defeated the US, which is why Washington is so down on Iran. The defeats have come in Iraq, and Syria, and next in Afghanistan . . .plus in Iran itself, which has stood up to the greatest world power for forty years full of sanctions and assaults, and thereby served as a model and inspiration for other countries large and small.
jayc , Dec 12, 2018 6:46:23 PM | link
The prosecutor's case against Meng is fundamentally weak. For instance, there is no identification of a "co-conspirator", necessary to a charge of conspiracy. It does not seem to have been developed much beyond the information developed in the 2013 Reuters investigation. At least half of that relies on unnamed "former employees" and unnamed persons who claimed to have dealt with Skycom in Iran.

If these persons cannot be produced then all that evidence cannot rise above hearsay. The coincidences left to the prosecutors to suggest a shell corporation should be then overwhelmed by the perfectly legal offshore documentation, which represents common corporate practice worldwide. If the US courts still nail Huawei, the precedent could put all large businesses and business persons everywhere at criminal risk for currently accepted practices.

The exit door could be a finding by the Canadian court, tacitly ok'ed by the Americans, that the case lacks merit and Meng is freed sometime in the spring to a chorus of self-congratulatory hurrahs over "rule of law". If the intent was to damage the Huawei brand in the West, then mission already accomplished.

james , Dec 12, 2018 6:49:31 PM | link
@57 loz... thanks for finding that! that is basically it... ditto don's comments which reflect this same mindset from the exceptional nation...

@58 spudski.. thanks for the update on that.. it would seem china has been reading @4 Bm's comments!!!

james , Dec 12, 2018 6:54:41 PM | link
here is our canuck foreign affairs minister Freeland using the term as well.. "It, I think, is quite obvious that it ought to be incumbent on parties seeking an extradition from Canada, recognizing that Canada is a rule-of-law country, to ensure that any extradition request is about ensuring that justice is done, is about ensuring that the rule of law is respected and is not politicized or used for any other purpose," she said."
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/china-missing-person-questioned-1.4943591
james , Dec 12, 2018 6:55:45 PM | link
last paragraph in that link is even better - here.. ""I think in the world today, where the rule of law is under threat in some parts of the world, being a rule-of-law country is more important now than ever," Freeland said. "And what I can commit to for Canadians, and for our partners around the world, is that Canada will very faithfully follow the rule of law."
Jen , Dec 12, 2018 7:07:04 PM | link
BM @ 4:

My suggestion in the previous comments thread was noticed only by one (James) but I'm sure it still holds up well.

Huawei could undertake to pay Sabrina Meng's bail or at least her security detail when she has to leave her house. Huawei then sends the amount paid to Beijing and Beijing charges Ottawa for the amount paid ... and includes interest payment for each and every day that Ottawa declines to pay the principal.

Tit-4-tat actions against US companies, however desirable, might have unfortunate long-term consequences especially if elements in the US Deep State are expecting them and are prepared for them.

karlof1 , Dec 12, 2018 7:21:25 PM | link
Loz @57--

Thanks for reposting Lavrov's acute observations, thus revealing that Russia and China already know the what and why of the Outlaw US Empire's doings. Frankly, I was surprised nobody commented about my Monopoly Game analogy from yesterday which illustrates the situation the Outlaw US Empire finds itself in thanks to its unilateral and exceptionalisms. Indeed, for its opponents, moves made by the Outlaw US Empire can fairly well be anticipated and thus quickly countered. And thanks to the desire by most nations for multilateralism, Russia and China find receptive audiences and ready allies in their campaign to neuter the international outlaw bully.

A Must Remember: The USA has never wanted to subordinate itself to any rules other than its own that it can change whenever it suits itself. The key evidence of this is that while the Senate was ratifying the UN Charter in late July of 1945, the Executive branch was embarking on its terroristic Anti-Communist Crusade by arming and facilitating the infiltration of former Nazi SS and Gestapo agents into the Soviet-held regions of Eastern Europe thereby violating the newly negotiated international system of law and its own Constitution, and making itself THE primary International Outlaw Nation, which it proudly continues to be to this day.

donkeytale , Dec 12, 2018 7:21:36 PM | link
Don Bacon Lettuce and Tomato @ 61

Excellent post.

Brad Smith , Dec 12, 2018 7:21:46 PM | link
Great article and I would say that you are getting the political implications, the hypocrisy and the rest of it pretty much spot on.

I'll add this just for the heck of it.

This case started a while back when ZTE narked out Huawei for using third party cutouts to avoid the sanctions. The ZTE case was in England. Because Hauwei is not the legal owner of these chips or code it makes it "theft by conversion". Using banks to launder the money is bank fraud as well.

What a lot of people are missing, legally, is that this is not the same at all as violating sanctions by selling your own products. They do not own the chips or proprietary software in any legal sense. The chips and code are still owned by the parent company that developed them, China has what amounts to a licensing agreement with the parent companies. If Weng had violated the sanctions by transferring her own code and her own chips then it would be out of our jurisdiction. However, once they violated the terms and conditions of the contract they not only have committed fraud they have committed theft by conversion of a US owned product and they used US banks to launder the money. This is why she is actually being charged with fraud and not sanctions violations. I'd bet that if they go full hardball she would be charged with Bank Fraud as well. That's the one that comes with the most prison time.

In short, violating sanctions doesn't usually get you arrested because it doesn't also include theft, fraud although money laundering gets them sometimes. But of course we also know that the rest of the article is pretty much correct. She was actually arrested as part of the entire back and forth over trade and all the rest. Our government normally would not pick a top dog to do jail time, so why now and why her? 5G and access to markets are a big part but so is a real concern over the constant pirating, malware, spyware, backdoor access to the Chinese government to all the encryption they use, etc. etc.

I'm only adding my comments to remind people that the US actually does have a rock solid case against her company, so don't be at all surprised if she isn't eventually charged unless Trump does something to stop it. They were caught red handed committing fraud by using third party cut outs and lying to the banks involved as well. If the US really wants to push it they are within their legal rights under our laws to do it. She essentially stole US property and laundered the proceeds with US banks. Go ahead and try that yourself and see if you get away with it.

Transferring a product you do not own to a third party in violation of a contract is theft by conversion. It's the same as if I recorded a football game and then sold it against their wishes and then laundered the money. It's not the violation of the sanctions per se that will get her in trouble, it's transferring stolen property, fraud and money laundering that they are actually holding over her head. If they want to, they can send her away for a long time and they know it. This could get really ugly.

Ghost Ship , Dec 12, 2018 7:24:31 PM | link
Don That breakingdefence seems as broken as other neo-lib sites such as Lawyers, Guns and Money.

BTW, we are coming up for the sixtieth anniversary of the the Cuban revolutionaries kicking out the dictator Batista. Cuba, which then went on to impose massive defeats on Reagan and Thatcher by bringing down their beloved (Reagan and Thatcher's, that is) apartheid in South Africa. We are repeatedly told that it was Russian MiGs which it did but they were operated and flown by Cubans, and if Castro hadn't sent them to defeat the apartheid state in Angola, it's doubtful the conservatives in the Soviet Union would have done so. So, Cuba has been in the trenches for twenty years more than Iran and still appears to be undefeated.

Finally, the Angry Arab has an essay up at Al Akhbar about the US secret war on Communism that is worth a read. The machine translation is readable.

c1ue , Dec 12, 2018 7:30:44 PM | link
Sorry, but the readers here seem to have no clue whatsoever about Putin's past.
Putin was part of the group under the St. Petersburg mayor - it was because of this that he was put in power as Yeltsin's 2nd in command. And equally it was because of Putin's position under Yeltsin which made him acceptable to foreign powers as Russia's new head.
Medvedev has always been an Atlanticist; much like the 1% in the US, his background is global technocracy which naturally gravitates him toward the US. Having a close relative on Gazprom doesn't hurt either.
Point is, Putin didn't come out of nowhere nor was he a nobody.
That he is a very articulate and thoughtful leader - that was the only surprise.
Pft , Dec 12, 2018 7:36:17 PM | link
China just ordered a boatload or more of soybeans and says they wont let this interfere with trade talks.

Just the way Trump likes to deal. Meng will work out of her expensive Vancouver home as hostage until a trade deal is done. Then she gets released w/o extradition

Anya , Dec 12, 2018 7:37:03 PM | link
"Top Ten American War Criminals Living Freely Today:" https://rense.com/general69/tpten.htm
karlof1 , Dec 12, 2018 7:40:48 PM | link
Brad Smith @69--

How many US corporations are guilty of doing the same do ya think? As for industrial espionage, I have just one word--ECHELON.

There's an excellent reason why the Outlaw US Empire wants to change the rules of the game that it initially designed: It can no longer win using them; indeed, it can be defeated by what it emplaced. Reminds me of an old Sting hit Fortress Around Your Heart ; in fact, it's quite apt.

Pft , Dec 12, 2018 7:51:51 PM | link
From Christopher Black

http://pacificfreepress.com/2018/12/10/opinion/taking-huawei-hostage-the-canadian-angle-on-meng-arrest.html

"The pretext for her arrest is that Huawei has violated US sanctions against Iran. But the "sanctions" imposed on Iran by the US recently are illegal under international law, that is under the UN Charter that stipulates that only the Security Council can impose economic sanctions on a nation..... There is, therefore, no law that she or Huawei is violating. ....

(Trudeau stated) that this arbitrary arrest was not politically motivated ...... Article 2 of the Treaty (with the US) requires that Canada can only act on such a request if, and only if, the offence alleged is also an offence by the laws of both contracting parties. But the unilaterally imposed and illegal sanctions placed against Iran by the USA, are not punishable acts in Canada and even in the USA the "sanctions" are illegal as the are in violation of the UN Charter.

Article 4 (1) of the Treaty states:
"Extradition shall not be granted in any of the following circumstances:
(iii) When the offense in respect of which extradition is requested is of a political character, or the person whose extradition is requested proves that the extradition request has been made for the purpose of trying to punish him (or her) for an offense of the above-mentioned character.....

So, Prime Minister Trudeau cannot evade responsibility for this hostage taking, this arbitrary arrest and detention since his government had to consider the US request and consider whether it was politically motivated. ....... It was a political arrest. The rule of law in Canada has been suspended, at least in her case, and so can be in any case.

No Pasaran , Dec 12, 2018 8:08:10 PM | link
Trudeau's insinuation that extradition is a purely judicial process in Canada is simply wrong. The "International Assistance Group" in the Department of Justice works actively with the requesting state against the person sought for extradition, and this can be a hugely political process involved outright lies to the court, as the Diab case revealed. Extradition law in Canada is so politicized that even when a judge commits someone for extradition, the matter is then referred to the Minister of Justice, who has the ultimate say. All of this is to maintain Canadian political alliances at the expense of the rights of the accused. Extradition, kidnapping and extraordinary rendition are almost indistinguishable in Canada.
dh , Dec 12, 2018 8:14:16 PM | link
@75 "Canadians should be angry about their nation being led by people whose loyalty is to Washington instead of to the Canadian people whose interests they care nothing for."

So is Christopher Black suggesting Canada put Meng on a plane back to China and give Trump the finger? How would that be good for the Canadian people?

jayc , Dec 12, 2018 8:14:18 PM | link
Brad #69
She is being charged with bank fraud. That is why she is being threatened with up to 60 years in prison. But the attribution of the cut out or shell company, Skycom, with Huawei is based on anecdotal evidence which can be effectively challengd. Alleging that Meng herself knowingly conspired to make false representation is a huge stretch, and none of the evidence assembled comes close to that. Also, the sanction violation involved less than $2 million of Hewlett Packard "gear", not high-end proprietary tech.
T , Dec 12, 2018 8:16:03 PM | link
Your opinion on this? How could China win a trade war since it is relying on its large trade surplus with the US? As Trump said, trade-surplus countries suffer more in trade wars, as it is they who get hit with tariffs.

In Giant Trade War Concession, China Prepares To Replace "Made In China 2025"

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/giant-trade-war-concession-china-prepares-replace-made-china-2025

In First Major Purchase Since "Trade War Truce", China Buy 500,000 Tonnes Of US Soybeans

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/first-major-purchase-trade-war-truce-china-buy-500000-tonnes-us-soybeans

Brad Smith , Dec 12, 2018 8:17:12 PM | link
Karlof1 I agree, it's damage control at this point in time.

And yeah they have wanted "total information awareness" for a while. I think that was the term they used in the "Project for a new American Century" talking points wasn't it? They wanted to grab every bit of data produced in the entire world and store it. TOTAL information awareness. And they published that plan right out in the open for everyone to read. Then they went right ahead and built the facilities, infrastructure, hired all the people to man it and nobody did jack nothing to stop em either. (dem terrorsts might get us if we complain too much)

Why we didn't run those neo-con fools out of town on a rail is beyond me but the reality is that people will put up with damn near anything before they really demand change.

By the way which would you prefer, a phone with a backdoor by China or a backdoor by the US? Pretty lousy choice either way if you ask me. I bet if Heuwei would give our "intel" agencies the backdoor key to their devices they would be just fine with that as a "settlement".

karlof1 , Dec 12, 2018 8:20:28 PM | link
Finnian Cunningham's OP/ED serves as a complementary to b's. A taste:

"The US has increasingly been wielding its legal definitions and measures as if it is the world's judge and jury.

"In recent years, American lawmakers have created a slew of legal weapons, including the Magnitsky Act, the Global Magnitsky Act, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which give Washington the supposed power to penalize any country it deems to be in breach of its national laws.

"The arbitrariness of US "justice" has got to the febrile point where Washington is threatening all nations, including its supposed European allies, with legal punishment if they don't toe the line on its designated policy."

His conclusion:

"Washington's lawless pursuit of its nationalistic interests is turning the globe into a seething jungle of distrust and resentment. The political chaos in Washington – where even the president is accused by domestic opponents of abusing democratic norms – is fanning out to engulf the rest of the world.

"America's erstwhile claim of being the world's sheriff has taken on a macabre twist. Increasingly in the eyes of the world, it is a renegade state which absurdly justifies its criminality with lofty claims of rule of law."

IMO, the world can do very well without the English-speaking nations of the Western Hemisphere. Containing them would be far easier than Eurasia, even with bases strewn globally, for they must trade with the rest of the world to keep their current standard of living whereas the rest of the world doesn't need to reciprocate. Yes, there's a very good reason why the USA called its late 19th Century trade policy the Open Door--a policy that continues today. Trump seems to want autarky, so give it to him by calling his massive bluff. Leave Uncle Scam sitting alone at his Monopoly Board masturbating while the rest of the world plays Diplomacy and Go! Send an unmistakable message that he's the Bullying Misfit and shatter his exceptional ego. Hopefully if the correct psychological approach is used, a planet devastating war can be avoided; but the latter cannot be feared when dealing with the International Bully as it must be taught a lesson it will never forget.

dh , Dec 12, 2018 8:20:58 PM | link
@79 I'm not sure anybody will come out a clear winner....though Trump will claim victory for sure. A large order of soy beans makes a nice gesture, so would buying a few airplanes from Boeing, but the Chinese still have a few red lines they won't cross. All depends how hard Trump wants to push.
Peter AU 1 , Dec 12, 2018 8:21:29 PM | link
"Moreover, attempts have been made to replace the notion of law with a "rules-based order"

About time this was voiced publicly and Lavrov is the man to do it. It has been very noticeable over the last few years that our western or five eyes "rule of law" narrative has been replaced by "rules based order" or so called "international norms".

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 8:39:04 PM | link
@ james, in a snarky response to a warmonger at Breaking Defense, who misunderstood a previous james comment: --
. . ."thanks for yours as well.. usually the american trolls are always reminding others of how they abide by law, when in fact, it is quite the opposite..."
...a classic put-down. kudos.
karlof1 , Dec 12, 2018 8:42:08 PM | link
Brad Smitrh @80--

Thanks for your reply! I own the most fundamental of cell phones used for rudimentary texting and emergencies as I have no need for further sophistication, and I had to be talked into buying that one! So, I'd prefer to have no backdoors anywhere near my person at anytime and strive to establish that condition.

Indeed, this entire situation ought to bring governmental interference in citizen privacy to the fore so it can finally have the debate it deserves--Constitutionally, the government is in violation, it knows it, but tries to circumvent Primary Law by using the National Security canard. Should the citizen have an expectation of privacy within his/her own space or not? If not, then the entire Bill of Rights is null and void.

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 8:57:49 PM | link
@ 79 T
In Giant Trade War Concession, China Prepares To Replace "Made In China 2025"
The revised plan would play down China's bid to dominate manufacturing and be more open to participation by foreign companies, these people said.

That's what the US has been complaining about, isn't it? The American manufacturers are invited in and then have to give up all their trade secrets to be allowed to manufacture in China, until the locals take over with their newly acquired knowledge.

Regarding soybeans, China needs it to feed their hogs. Apparently Brazil didn't work out in the long term.

kooshy , Dec 12, 2018 8:58:14 PM | link
@Don, Thank you for the great brave job of posting on the out of realty redneck' site. A daily dose of reality comments should really F*s the warmonger bastard' day.
Pft , Dec 12, 2018 8:59:54 PM | link
Dh@77

I fail to see how exercising their sovereign right is giving Trump the finger, or bad for the Canadian people. However Canada has basically become the US 51st state since NAFTA and the first Gulf War, so they follow orders

The new NAFTA will push up drug prices even more so they may soon join their brothers south of the border and enjoy declining life expectancy due to unaffordable Drug prices

daffyDuct , Dec 12, 2018 9:11:26 PM | link
From ZeroHedge "Below we present some pertinent thoughts on the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from former Fed Governor Larry Lindsey and current head of the Lindsay Group."

.. Then along comes a story in the South China Morning Post about an October meeting with employees in which Meng said that there are cases where, "the external rules are clear-cut and there's no contention, but the company is totally unable to comply with in actual operations. In such cases, after a reasonable decision-making process, one may accept the risk of temporary non-compliance."

That statement is full of euphemisms, but it makes putting the corporate interest ahead of complying with the law the official position of management. Put that in the context of a four-year anti-corruption campaign by Xi and a purge of top-level tech executives who have gotten too big for their britches. In Xi's new world it may be one thing to have said that it was ok to put China's interests first, but she is putting the corporate interests ahead of China's interests.

Also note that these comments were in quotes from an internal (and closed) Huawei meeting. How did the SCMP acquire these direct quotes? The SCMP is one of the world's truly great papers, publishing candid news and commentary focused on getting to the truth in a way that is only a distant memory in American newspapers. That said, it is also like Hong Kong – one nation, two systems. If Beijing really wanted a story out, it would provide the sources and the reporters would do the rest. And if they really wanted a story spiked it probably would be spiked. Those direct quotes obviously came from Chinese authorities and the story was printed at a very inconvenient time for Meng – when she was protesting her innocence. Somebody in Beijing thinks Meng is a loose cannon.

Let's be a little conspiratorial or, more precisely, try and create a narrative that fits the facts. It arguably serves everyone's interests for Ms. Meng to be taught a lesson. It is in Bolton's and the DoJ's interest to send a message that access to power
and connections does not buy you a get out of jail free card. It is in Xi's interest, or at least in the interests of major portions of the Chinese government, to send a signal that even the extremely well-connected still have to toe the party line.

...The detention did not involve any surprises. The charges against Meng were leveled three months before her arrest. The market reaction seemed to be based on the notion that this was a last-minute surprise. As for the Chinese, Xi and Company knows where everyone is going and when. They certainly knew that Meng was traveling to Vancouver, that she had a warrant for her arrest outstanding, and that Canada extradites to the U.S. They did nothing to warn her.

... Our conspiracy theory holds that she will be released when everyone thinks the lesson has been learned. America scores a win in terms of signal value about enforcing Iran sanctions whether Meng spends two weeks, two months, or the rest of her life behind bars. Xi will have signaled what he thinks about prioritizing corporate interests over national interests and bending regulations.

... One does not have to buy this conspiracy theory in all its detail to get at the essential truth that markets need to digest. Meng's arrest is not going to affect the outcome of the trade talks. Xi (and China) have too much of a stake in this to let the antics of a close friend's naughty daughter stand in the way of him getting what he wants. And once an example is made, America also has too much to lose.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/larry-lindsey-something-about-huawei-cfo-arrest-doesnt-make-sense

dh , Dec 12, 2018 9:12:23 PM | link
@88 "I fail to see how exercising their sovereign right is giving Trump the finger..."

ReallY? Then you haven't been watching Trump. He would go ballistic. He would probably renegotiate NAFTA ....again. He could put thousands of Canadians out of work overnight if he felt like it.

Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 9:17:49 PM | link
@ 69 BS
". . .the US actually does have a rock solid case against her company,"

. . .to repeat from 43:

The investigation by U.S. authorities has revealed a conspiracy between and among Meng and other Huawei representatives to misrepresent to numerous financial institutions. . . .The motivation for these misrepresentations stemmed from Huawei's need to move money out of countries that are subject to U.S. or E.U. sanctions--such as Iran, Syria, or Sudan--through the international banking system. At various times, both the U.S. and E.U. legal regimes have imposed sanctions that prohibit the provision of U.S. or E.U. services to Iran, such as banking services....
Because Meng and other Huawei representatives misrepresented to Financial Institution 1 and the other financial institutions about Huawei's relationship with Skycom, these victim banking institutions were induced into carrying out transactions that they otherwise would not have completed. As a result, they violated the banks' internal policies, potentially violated U.S. sanctions laws, and exposed the banks to the risk of fines and forfeiture.

So if Skycom belonged to Huawei, and the banks were "induced," there were problems --
1. violation of banks' internal policies
2. potentially violated US sanctions
3. exposed banks to US punishment
But if Skycom was an independent corporation the sanctions violations would have been okay? What am I missing. And why would the US punish banks when they were knowingly duped.
Pft , Dec 12, 2018 9:21:36 PM | link
T@79

" How could China win a trade war since it is relying on its large trade surplus with the US? As Trump said, trade-surplus countries suffer more in trade wars, as it is they who get hit with tariffs."

Well, you do know tarrifs on imports are paid by the US importer and on to the consumer. China pays not a dime of US tarrifs

Now it could be hurt if US buyers could order from other countries. However, this is not an option for every import as there are production capacity, quality and price constraints. In the short term orders to China would not be affected much since there are not many good alternatives

China has some weapons of their own. US military required certain rate metals from China for weapons, China basically clothes America and of course many electronics , furniture, tools and toys come from China. Witholding or taxing these exports is a weapon they have yet to use.

Furthermore, much of the profits of US companies come from manufacturing or buying from China. Prices get marked up as much as 10 times what China receives

18% of its exports go to US. With 20% of GDP based on exports that means US is responsible for 3.6% of Chinas GDP. Tarrifs might affect 20% of exports meaning the hit on GDP would be 0.7%. With GDP growth over 6% they wont feel too much pain.

Kadath , Dec 12, 2018 9:38:57 PM | link
Re:Brad Smith @69

"hey do not own the chips or proprietary software in any legal sense. The chips and code are still owned by the parent company that developed them, China has what amounts to a licensing agreement with the parent companies. If Weng had violated the sanctions by transferring her own code and her own chips then it would be out of our jurisdiction. However, once they violated the terms and conditions of the contract they not only have committed fraud they have committed theft by conversion of a US owned product and they used US banks to launder the money. This is why she is actually being charged with fraud and not sanctions violations." -

I've heard US government make this argument in courts before and historically US courts have generally agreed with it. However, this legal argument ignores the huge practical consideration of this rule within the current international economic system (i.e. the real world). Namely, for the last 70 years (post-WW2) the US has encouraged and promoted Liberal free market world economic integration, that each country should focus on the specialization of their economies to produce a small number of goods at a low production cost and then purchase all other goods they needed from other countries that specialized in that good (i.e. internal economic self-sufficiency is bad). Generally people hear this and immediately think of how Germany specializes in mechanical engineering, Japan specializes in high-tech computer and so on. However the realty in the world today is that is specialization goes much further in that a single circuit board in a computer WILL contain transistors made in Korea, Inductors made in Japan, Capacitators made in Taiwan, Transistors made in the US and then assembled in China. At each stage of the manufacturing / assembly process costs are carefully analyzed to minimize costs based on the provider, transportation costs, etc... to produce the goods at the lowest possible cost and maximize profits. This is what people call the Global Supply chain that has for the last 30 years underpinned the entire world manufacturing economy. N(OTE: I'm not saying this is good or bad from a moral stance, merely that this is what it is and the motive for it)

What the US is doing, by asserting that US law indefinitely applies to any component (including intellectual or financial) that is made in or travels through the US and is then subsequently assembled or sold in a 3rd (or 4th or 5th or 6th....) country that is subject to US sanctions is a direct attack on the Global Supply Chain economy and is extremely dangerous to standard of living we've become accustom to in the Western world. Historically, when the US used sanctions like this against Cuba, North Korea, Iran, China and the Soviet Union, these countries were relatively much weaker than the US and not integrated into the Western World economy (nor were they well integrated with each other economically speaking), so the US was able to retard their economic development. However after more than 40 years of increasing integration the Western world (US, Canada, Mexico, Europe) is totally dependant on the Global Supply Chain, so now that the US is expanding their sanctions to everyone they are effectively sabotaging their own economy and the economies of their allies/vassals. Conversely, the US rivals (Particularity Russia, China & Iran) are become more economically integrated with each other and are already experienced with economic independence from the Western Market.

The two most likely outcomes from the US actions are 1) The non-western world becomes more integrated with each other and independent of the Western market, effectively re-dividing the world like we saw during the Cold War, only now instead of Capitalist vs Socialist, it will be Neo-Liberal Fascism vs National independence (i.e. a return to the pre-1914 concept of the state) 2) The Western World will become more divided with their economies weakened as the US asserts more direct control over their vassals, impoverishing their vassals' economies in order to consolidated wealth & power into their preferred elites who will ensure their control over their vassal countries. As the quality of life of the average citizen declines and Western countries become more politically unstable and economically stagnate, we may even see a "Prague Spring" type of event, where a Western government moves away from the US/NATO/EU alliance only to suffer a US/NATO backed invasion similar to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

dumbass , Dec 12, 2018 9:49:01 PM | link
>> Well, you do know tarrifs on imports
>> are paid by the US importer and on to
>> the consumer. China pays not a dime of
>> US tarrifs

No, I don't know that. It depends.

If China's exporters have tiny margins and the consumer can afford to pay more, then yes.

If China's exporters have big margins and fear losing market share (not necessarily to domestic American manufacturers but to other foreign manufacturers), they might choose to sell at a "lower but still profitable" price in order for the POS price to remain nearly the same and for them to retain their market share.

dumbass , Dec 12, 2018 9:54:11 PM | link
>> With GDP growth over 6% they
>> wont feel too much pain.

Pft, I agree bigly there. (And thanks for doing the math.) Despite my prior post, I doubt China cares about "maintaining market share" to ship real product to a nation that provides almost nothing but threats in payment.

dumbass , Dec 12, 2018 9:57:57 PM | link
>> we may even see a "Prague Spring" type
>> of event, where a Western government moves
>> away from the US/NATO/EU alliance only to
>> suffer a US/NATO backed invasion similar
>> to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia
>> in 1968.

As a small step in that direction, someone mentioned a few French "police" vehicles bore EU insignia.

T , Dec 12, 2018 10:01:23 PM | link
@Pft 92

"18% of its exports go to US. With 20% of GDP based on exports that means US is responsible for 3.6% of Chinas GDP. Tarrifs might affect 20% of exports meaning the hit on GDP would be 0.7%. With GDP growth over 6% they wont feel too much pain."


This 18 - 19 percent export number is not true, as in does not take into account exports to the US via Hong Kong. This is only mainland exports. But China also "exports" a lot to HK, and then these goods are exported to the rest of the world. So exports to the US are more than 18 percent.

https://tradingeconomics.com/china/exports-by-country

Second, the biggest China trade surplus is with the US. Its trade surplus with the EU or Russia is far smaller. If they lose it, they lose a lot.

As for tarrifs, they encourage companies to move away from China to other asian countries.

South-east Asia will gain from a prolonged trade war, analysts say

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/south-east-asia-will-gain-from-a-prolonged-trade-war-analysts-say

And the US is waging the trade war via other means, for example it is urging allies to drop China's IT companies. New Zealand and Japan are dropping Huawei and ZTE. EU is warning too. No doubt there will be other US allies following. So costs for China will be substantial.

Japan sets policy that will block Huawei and ZTE from public procurement as of April

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/10/business/japan-sets-policy-will-block-huawei-zte-public-procurement-april/

Europe should be wary of Huawei, EU official says

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-china-huawei/europe-should-be-wary-of-huawei-eu-tech-official-says-idUSKBN1O611X

What happens if the West and probably India block Chinese Tech companies? Costs for China will be substantial.

T , Dec 12, 2018 10:04:52 PM | link
Btw latest estimates show Chinese GDP growth dropping below 6 % after 2020. As opposed to India's nearly 8 %.
Don Bacon , Dec 12, 2018 10:23:01 PM | link
China's trillion dollar Belt & Road Initiative will change everything, so why get hung up on the past. The BRI provides China with an opportunity to use its considerable economic means to finance infrastructure projects around the world.

[Dec 13, 2018] China accused of taking 'hostages' after Meng's arrest in Vancouver Asia Times

Notable quotes:
"... "In this case, it is clear the Chinese government wants to put maximum pressure on the Canadian government," Guy Saint-Jacques, the former Canadian ambassador to Beijing , said. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland went on to criticize statements by US President Donald Trump, who said in an interview on Tuesday that he was ready to intervene in the Meng affair if it helped seal a trade deal with the world's second-largest economy. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.atimes.com

Her case has angered Beijing and shaken Canada's relations with China, which is embroiled in a trade war with Washington.

"In this case, it is clear the Chinese government wants to put maximum pressure on the Canadian government," Guy Saint-Jacques, the former Canadian ambassador to Beijing , said. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland went on to criticize statements by US President Donald Trump, who said in an interview on Tuesday that he was ready to intervene in the Meng affair if it helped seal a trade deal with the world's second-largest economy.

"Our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law," she said at a press conference.

[Dec 13, 2018] Averting World Conflict with China by Ron Unz

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... this is a clear sign that Canada no longer exists as an independent nation, but is a colony of the USA/Israeli empire. ..."
"... This story is not about an ultra-wealthy Chinese heiress enduring an odd adventure in Canada. This story is about a complete loss of Canadian sovereignty, because detaining this lady is outright insane. Canada was conquered without firing a shot! Welcome back to the royal empire run as a dictatorship. ..."
"... If only America focused its attention inward, on growth and stability, instead of transcendent American Imperialism then the world may stand a chance. ..."
"... Western positions on climate, neoliberalism, migration, in my opinion point into the same direction: critical thinking, almost gone. ..."
"... Defrauding the nation into "war of aggression" is the supreme crime one can commit against the American People. The "SUPREME CRIME"! ..."
"... Every "penny" belonging to each and every Neocon Oligarch who CONSPIRED TO DEFRAUD US INTO ILLEGAL WAR should be forfeit until the debt from those wars is paid down .. IN FULL ! ..."
"... Canada may be the obvious criminal. But on consideration, isn't it rather like the low-level thug who carries out a criminal assignment on the orders of a gang boss? And isn't it the gang boss who is the real problem for society? ..."
"... and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

As most readers know, I'm not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them.

Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer. While flying from Hong Kong to Mexico, Ms. Meng was changing planes in the Vancouver International Airport airport when she was suddenly detained by the Canadian government on an August US warrant. Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America's unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.

Although our mainstream media outlets have certainly covered this important story, including front page articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal , I doubt most American readers fully recognize the extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history. As one scholar noted, no event since America's deliberate 1999 bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade , which killed several Chinese diplomats, has so outraged both the Chinese government and its population. Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs correctly described it as "almost a US declaration of war on China's business community."

Such a reaction is hardly surprising. With annual revenue of $100 billion, Huawei ranks as the world's largest and most advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturer as well as China's most internationally successful and prestigious company. Ms. Meng is not only a longtime top executive there, but also the daughter of the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, whose enormous entrepreneurial success has established him as a Chinese national hero.

Her seizure on obscure American sanction violation charges while changing planes in a Canadian airport almost amounts to a kidnapping. One journalist asked how Americans would react if China had seized Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook for violating Chinese law especially if Sandberg were also the daughter of Steve Jobs.

Indeed, the closest analogy that comes to my mind is when Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia kidnapped the Prime Minister of Lebanon earlier this year and held him hostage. Later he more successfully did the same with hundreds of his wealthiest Saudi subjects, extorting something like $100 billion in ransom from their families before finally releasing them. Then he may have finally over-reached himself when Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, was killed and dismembered by a bone-saw at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

We should actually be a bit grateful to Prince Mohammed since without him America would clearly have the most insane government anywhere in the world. As it stands, we're merely tied for first.

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior. Perhaps such actions can still be taken against the subservient vassal states of Europe, but by most objective measures, the size of China's real economy surpassed that of the US several years ago and is now substantially larger , while also still having a far higher rate of growth. Our totally dishonest mainstream media regularly obscures this reality, but it remains true nonetheless.

Provoking a disastrous worldwide confrontation with mighty China by seizing and imprisoning one of its leading technology executives reminds me of a comment I made several years ago about America's behavior under the rule of its current political elites:

Or to apply a far harsher biological metaphor, consider a poor canine infected with the rabies virus. The virus may have no brain and its body-weight is probably less than one-millionth that of the host, but once it has seized control of the central nervous system, the animal, big brain and all, becomes a helpless puppet.

Once friendly Fido runs around foaming at the mouth, barking at the sky, and trying to bite all the other animals it can reach. Its friends and relatives are saddened by its plight but stay well clear, hoping to avoid infection before the inevitable happens, and poor Fido finally collapses dead in a heap.

Normal countries like China naturally assume that other countries like the US will also behave in normal ways, and their dumbfounded shock at Ms. Meng's seizure has surely delayed their effective response. In 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow and famously engaged in a heated "kitchen debate" with Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the relative merits of Communism and Capitalism. What would have been the American reaction if Nixon had been immediately arrested and given a ten year Gulag sentence for "anti-Soviet agitation"?

Since a natural reaction to international hostage-taking is retaliatory international hostage-taking, the newspapers have reported that top American executives have decided to forego visits to China until the crisis is resolved. These days, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, and China is also the manufacturing source of nearly all our iPhones, but Tim Cook, Mary Barra, and their higher-ranking subordinates are unlikely to visit that country in the immediate future, nor would the top executives of Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and the leading Hollywood studios be willing to risk indefinite imprisonment.

Canada had arrested Ms. Meng on American orders, and this morning's newspapers reported that a former Canadian diplomat had suddenly been detained in China , presumably as a small bargaining-chip to encourage Ms. Meng's release. But I very much doubt such measures will have much effect. Once we forgo traditional international practices and adopt the Law of the Jungle, it becomes very important to recognize the true lines of power and control, and Canada is merely acting as an American political puppet in this matter. Would threatening the puppet rather than the puppet-master be likely to have much effect?

Similarly, nearly all of America's leading technology executives are already quite hostile to the Trump Administration, and even if it were possible, seizing one of them would hardly be likely to sway our political leadership. To a lesser extent, the same thing is true about the overwhelming majority of America's top corporate leaders. They are not the individuals who call the shots in the current White House.

Indeed, is President Trump himself anything more than a higher-level puppet in this very dangerous affair? World peace and American national security interests are being sacrificed in order to harshly enforce the Israel Lobby's international sanctions campaign against Iran, and we should hardly be surprised that the National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of America's most extreme pro-Israel zealots, had personally given the green light to the arrest. Meanwhile, there are credible reports that Trump himself remained entirely unaware of these plans, and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face.

But Bolton's apparent involvement underscores the central role of his longtime patron, multi-billionaire casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose enormous financial influence within Republican political circles has been overwhelmingly focused on pro-Israel policy and hostility towards Iran, Israel's regional rival.

Although it is far from clear whether the very elderly Adelson played any direct personal role in Ms. Meng's arrest, he surely must be viewed as the central figure in fostering the political climate that produced the current situation. Perhaps he should not be described as the ultimate puppet-master behind our current clash with China, but any such political puppet-masters who do exist are certainly operating at his immediate beck and call. In very literal terms, I suspect that if Adelson placed a single phone call to the White House, the Trump Administration would order Canada to release Ms. Meng that same day.

Adelson's fortune of $33 billion ranks him as the 15th wealthiest man in America, and the bulk of his fortune is based on his ownership of extremely lucrative gambling casinos in Macau, China . In effect, the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest and whose pro-Israel minions largely control American foreign policy. I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage.

Over the years, Adelson's Chinese Macau casinos have been involved in all sorts of political bribery scandals , and I suspect it would be very easy for the Chinese government to find reasonable grounds for immediately shutting them down, at least on a temporary basis, with such an action having almost no negative repercussions to Chinese society or the bulk of the Chinese population. How could the international community possibly complain about the Chinese government shutting down some of their own local gambling casinos with a long public record of official bribery and other criminal activity? At worst, other gambling casino magnates would become reluctant to invest future sums in establishing additional Chinese casinos, hardly a desperate threat to President Xi's anti-corruption government.

I don't have a background in finance and I haven't bothered trying to guess the precise impact of a temporary shutdown of Adelson's Chinese casinos, but it wouldn't surprise me if the resulting drop in the stock price of Las Vegas Sands Corp would reduce Adelson's personal net worth were by $5-10 billion within 24 hours, surely enough to get his immediate personal attention. Meanwhile, threats of a permanent shutdown, perhaps extending to Chinese-influenced Singapore, might lead to the near-total destruction of Adelson's personal fortune, and similar measures could also be applied as well to the casinos of all the other fanatically pro-Israel American billionaires, who dominate the remainder of gambling in Chinese Macau.

The chain of political puppets responsible for Ms. Meng's sudden detention is certainly a complex and murky one. But the Chinese government already possesses the absolute power of financial life-or-death over Sheldon Adelson, the man located at the very top of that chain. If the Chinese leadership recognizes that power and takes effective steps, Ms. Meng will immediately be put on a plane back home, carrying the deepest sort of international political apology. And future attacks against Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese technology companies would not be repeated.

China actually holds a Royal Flush in this international political poker game. The only question is whether they will recognize the value of their hand. I hope they do for the sake of America and the entire world.


Carlton Meyer , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 5:36 am GMT

This is no surprise. Anyone who follows political events knows that John Bolton is insane, so no surprise that he devised this insane idea. The problem will be corrected within a week, and hopefully Bolton sent to an asylum.

However, this is a clear sign that Canada no longer exists as an independent nation, but is a colony of the USA/Israeli empire. Canada provides soldiers for this empire in Afghanistan even today, and in Latvia. Most Canadians can't find that nation on a map, but it's a tiny unimportant nation in the Baltic that NATO adsorbed as part of its plan for a new Cold War.

This story is not about an ultra-wealthy Chinese heiress enduring an odd adventure in Canada. This story is about a complete loss of Canadian sovereignty, because detaining this lady is outright insane. Canada was conquered without firing a shot! Welcome back to the royal empire run as a dictatorship.

Cloak And Dagger , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
I hope someone in China is reading this article. I would love to see Adelson and his cohorts go down in flames. This would fit right in with China's current anti-corruption foray. Xi has a reputation for hanging corrupt officials. Shutting down Adelson's casinos would be consistent with what Xi has been doing and increase his popularity, not least of all, right here in the US.
Tusk , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:43 am GMT
If only America focused its attention inward, on growth and stability, instead of transcendent American Imperialism then the world may stand a chance. The future will suffer once China's debt traps collapse and like America it begins placing military globally. America would be the one country who could work towards a Western future but this will never be the case. Better start learning Mandarin lest we end up like the Uyghurs.
Frankie P , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@Anonymous Use your brain. The Chinese elite want to use the political clout that Adelson and the other big casino Jews have with the US government. To gain lobby power from a proven expert, Shelly Adelson, they are willing to allow him to make the big bucks in Macao. They expect quid pro quo.
sarz , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:02 am GMT
Great suggestion, based on sound analysis, especially your pointing out the centrality of Zionism in Trump's foreign policy.

I wish you would blog more.

Anonymous [346] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:11 am GMT
The Chinese are pussies and will always back down. The U.S. laughed in their face after they bombed and killed them in Belgrade and got crickets from the Chinamen. China can't project much power beyond its borders. They can't punch back. The Chinese (and East Asians) are only part of the global business racket because they are efficient worker bees facilitating the global financial system. They have no real control over the global market. And if they start to think they do they'll get a quick lesson. Like they're getting with Meng, who is being treated like coolie prostitute. LMAO.
Baxter , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:44 am GMT
I always enjoy fresh writing from Mr. Unz. Clarity of thought is a fine thing to witness in language. It should be stated, America is not in any danger.the empire is and is in terminal decline. As Asia's economic might grows in leaps ad bound, so does the empire scramble to thwart losing its global grip.

As Fred Reed once pointed out, declining empires rarely go quietly. Will America's leadership gamble on a new war to prevent asia's ascendancy?
I think it's possible.

But what do I know. As my father once said, "I'm just a pawn in a game."

To his credit he had the wherewithal to see that. Alas, most Americans are asleep.

renfro , says: December 13, 2018 at 8:08 am GMT
The call for Ms. Meng's arrest had to come from the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. They enforce every thing related to sanctions, which they claim is what Meng was arrested for– sale of phones and software to Iran. But they also say they had been on her company's case since 2013 so their timing is rather suspect.

What else I don't understand is her company has research and offices in Germany, Sweden, the U.S., France, Italy, Russia, India, China and Canada ..So if what they sold or attempted to sell to Iran wasn't outright 'stolen' intellectual property from the US or even if it was why not transfer it to and or have it made in China or some country not signed onto the Iran sanctions and then sell it to Iran. I haven't boned up on exactly what kinds of phone software they were selling but I think it has something to do with being able to bypass NSA and others intercepts.

The Alarmist , says: December 13, 2018 at 8:49 am GMT
You are assuming Meng is not a sacrificial pawn in some larger game.

It would be priceless for Xi to shut down Adelson's operations in Macau for a few days or weeks, but I'm afraid Xi is very much akin to Capitain Louis Renault in Casablanca , and after walking into a Macau casino and uttering the phrase, "I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!" might admit in the next breath, "I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Jerusalem."

jilles dykstra , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:06 am GMT
Half a century or so propaganda like 'the USA policing the world' of course had effect. Not realised is that in normal circumstances police is not an autonomous force, but has to act within a legal framework. The illusion of this framework of course exists, human rights, democracy, whatever
anon [426] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:09 am GMT
She's out on bail. Agree that Bolton blindsided Trump. Trump is going to try to turn this into some sort of PR gesture when he pardons her. No way he will let this mess up his trade deal. Which is beached until she exonerated.
jilles dykstra , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:28 am GMT
@Anonymous

What is true of these stories of course cannot be known with certainty, but it is asserted that USA military technology is way behind China and Russia. Several examples exist, but of course, if these examples tell the truth, not sure. PISA comparisons of levels of education world wide show how the west is intellectually behind the east.

Western positions on climate, neoliberalism, migration, in my opinion point into the same direction: critical thinking, almost gone.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:41 am GMT
"I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage".

I very much doubt whether that is the case. As far as I know, most Chinese people are distinguished by their intelligence, thoroughness and diligence. What do the thousands of people employed by China's foreign ministry and its intelligence services do all day, if they are unaware of such important facts?

However I also doubt if China's leaders are inclined to see matters in nearly such a black and white way as many Westerners. Jewish people seem to get along very well in China and with the Chinese, which could be because both have high levels of intelligence, culture, and subtlety. As well as being interested in money and enterprise.

It's certainly an interesting situation, and I too am waiting expectantly for the other shoe to drop.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage

Yes, whatever your bias is, China is a "normal" country. In the sense of being closer to the ideal than most countries – not of being average.

You may bewail some of the "human rights" issues in China, although I believe they may be somewhat magnified for PR purposes. But when did China last attack another country without provocation and murder hundreds of thousands of its citizens, level its cities, or destroy the rule of law? (Like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya )

The Chinese seem to be law-abiding, sensible, and strongly disposed to peace. Which is something the world needs a lot more of right now.

alexander , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Dan Hayes "why hasn't anyone before thought of it.. "

" WHY HASN'T ANYONE BEFORE THOUGHT OF IT !!"

You must be kidding me.

For over three years I have been issuing comment after comment after comment .Like a crazed wolf howling in a barren forest .That the "number one" priority of the American people should be demanding the seizure of ALL the assets of Neocon oligarchic class.

Why ?

Not because they are "oligarchs." ..or some might own "casinos" but because they "deliberately" Conspired to Defraud the American People into illegal Wars of Aggression and have nearly bankrupted the nation in the process.

That's why.

And it is the worlds BEST REASON to seize the assets a thousand times better than "bribery charges." I have issued statement after statement to that affect ,on Unz Review, in the hope that at some point it might, at least subliminally, catch on.

What I have witnessed over the past six years, is a lot of intelligent, thoughtful people "correctly diagnosing" the issues which plague the nation But no one had any idea of what to do about it. I have been pointing out, that if people really want to do something about it then do whats RIGHT: Seize the assets of the defrauders.!

Of course we can. Of course we can Its the LAW! Defrauding the nation into "war of aggression" is the supreme crime one can commit against the American People. The "SUPREME CRIME"!

(If you don't think so, go ask your local Police Officer. He will tell you FLAT OUT ..it is the Worst crime "Conspiracy to Defraud into Mass Murder! .Not good ! You can even ask him if there is a statute of limitations. He will probably say something like " Yeah .When the Sun collapses!")

And they are GUILTY as charged There is no doubt , .. not anymore. We all know it and can "prove" it ! Every "penny" belonging to each and every Neocon Oligarch who CONSPIRED TO DEFRAUD US INTO ILLEGAL WAR should be forfeit until the debt from those wars is paid down .. IN FULL !

The keys to the kingdom are right there, right in front of your noses. If you want to change things ."take action" the law is on YOUR side. We don't need China to do a damn thing ..We just need the American People to rise up,"apply the law" and take back their country and its solvency.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Nonny

Canada may be the obvious criminal. But on consideration, isn't it rather like the low-level thug who carries out a criminal assignment on the orders of a gang boss? And isn't it the gang boss who is the real problem for society?

Brabantian , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
An article with the identical take as Ron Unz, including the idea that China has its key lever via Sheldon Adelson's casinos, was published on the Canadian website of Henry Makow also noting that USA political king-maker Adelson, is a major force behind the anti-Iran obsessions that partly grounded the arrest of Ms Meng, and so well-deserves consequences here...

In the Jeffrey Sachs article linked above, Sachs lists no less than 25 other companies which have been 'violating US sanctions' and admitted guilt via paying of fines, but never suffered any executive arrests, including banks including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, PayPal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Wells Fargo.

In terms of international law, the Meng case violates numerous basic legal and United Nations norms :

This is also a significant humiliation of President Trump personally, his own advisors apparently colluding to render him powerless and uninformed

The Meng case brings to mind the story of another sanctions-violating 'target' arrested at USA request, the great USA chess master and non-Zionist Jew, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008).

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Fischer impressed the world with his genius, but, like Ms Meng became criminally indicted by the USA regime, for the 'crime' of playing chess in Yugoslavia when the Serb government was under USA 'sanctions'. Harassed across the globe, Fischer was jailed in Japan in 2004-05 by embarrassed Japanese leaders, for this fake 'crime' which few people in the world thought was wrong. Fischer had been using his celebrity voice to strongly criticise the USA & Israeli governments, making him also a political target, much as Ms Meng is a political target due to her being a prominent citizen and quasi-princess of China.

The Japanese, loath to be the instrument of Fischer's USA imprisonment, finally allowed Bobby to transit to Iceland where he was given asylum and residency. Living not far from Iceland's NATO military base, Fischer became quickly and mysteriously struck with disease, and Fischer died in Reykjavik, perhaps a victim of a CIA-Mossad-Nato assassination squad.

The Chinese government, I am told, directly understands the power and role of Sheldon Adelson here, and Chinese inspectors are perhaps inside Adelson's Macau properties as you read this. Perhaps Chinese officials may show up soon in Adelson's casinos, and repeat the line of actor Claude Rains' character in the 1942 film 'Casablanca' -
"I'm shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here!"

OMG , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:24 am GMT
@renfro Seconded
LondonBob , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:32 am GMT
@renfro http://www.atimes.com/article/did-trumps-enemies-try-to-derail-a-trade-deal-with-china/

Article suggests the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence which Mr Giraldi has commented on.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-fifth-column-2/

Heros , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:47 am GMT
@sarz Great links.

What we have to realize is that just as there is no real difference between Democrats and Republicans because they are both owned by the same people, so must we realize that in reality there is little difference between the leaders of the worlds countries because they are all owned by the same central banks. This is why Nate Rothschild famously stated "give me control of a countries money supply, and I care not who makes its laws" . All the world's central banks are tied together by BIS, WB and IMF and the US marines. This is the reason Syria, Libya, NK and Venezuela have been taken down: Rothchild central bank control.

So this Huaiwei arrest almost certainly has nothing to do with the "trade war", and is with certainly a hit by one side of the Kabal against the other. Zionist Nationalists versus Chabad Lubbovitz perhaps?

Jared Kushner has been lying pretty low lately and recently was stripped of his security clearance. He was linked to Kissilev the Russian ambassador, plus he was pushing Trump to help protect MBS in SA. I would bet that he is at the center of this storm.

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:54 am GMT
I'm honestly shocked no one has stated the obvious: very, very few Americans would be likely to care if Sheryl Sandberg were arrested on dubious charges in China. I cant say I would be one of those few people.

I also should note that the crown prince of KSA is Mohammad bin Salman. Salman is his father, the king. The crown prince is Mohammad, son of (aka "bin") Salman.

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
@Nonny Lmao! Canada is a vassal state of the US. The US govt ordered Canada to arrest Meng, and Canada's govt dutifully complied.
AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage In many ways China does deviate from international norms, but of course so does the United States. As Tom Welsh pointed out, Chinese foreign policy is downright angelic compared to the US, even if you consider Tibet and Xinjiang to be illegitimately occupied territories (an argument I'm sympathetic to). Perhaps China would act as belligerently as the US does if China were the sole global superpower, but it's not, so it's fair to judge China favorably compared to the US.
Sean , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT Godfree Roberts , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage It's certainly abnormal in having a functioning democracy and the trust of 90% of its citizens.

Is there anything else that disqualifies it from normalcy?

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:21 am GMT
@Craig Nelsen Trump deserves it for hiring Bolton at all. Perhaps one might argue Trump was blackmailed into doing so but he doesn't seem to be acting like a blackmailed man.
SimplePseudonymicHandle , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm GMT
Mr. Unz, at no time since Ms. Wanzhou's arrest have I felt myself in a position to judge that this was a strategically unwise or incautious act. It might be, but apparently I'm to be contrasted from so many of your readers, and you, simply for understanding myself to have an inadequate handle on the facts to make the call. That would be true, that my handle on the facts would be inadequate, even if I didn't have personal knowledge of Huawei's suspicious practices or their scale.

I worry that you don't seem to evidence the presence of someone trusted who will go toe to toe with you as Devil's Advocate. Too often, on affairs of too great a consequence, you come across too strongly, when the data doesn't justify the confidence. A confident error is still an error and Maimonides' advice on indecision notwithstanding, a confident error is a candidate for hubris, the worst kind of error. All of this, of course, assumes you make these arguments in good faith because if not the calculus changes mightily.
Too many of your readers evidence that they interpret this event and form an opinion of it based on nothing but this higher order syllogism:

Because I distrust the US government
[or because I distrust those I believe to control the US government]
It follows that this was an unjustified act or else a dangerous strategic error

After this higher order syllogism is accepted without due critique, evidence is sought to justify it and no further consideration of the possibilities is tallied.

At minimum you need to have run a permutation where you seriously consider that : it is well know to US operatives, if not to US citizens, you, and your readers, that Huawei is actively, constantly and maliciously waging covert war on the USA. You should at least consider this possibility. If true, this act may merely be a shot across the bow that notifies China of a readiness to expose things China may not wished exposed, and might stop endangering US citizens, if it were made aware such things stand to be exposed.

If that's true, not only are you a fishing trawler captain causing distraction with a loudspeaker yelling at the captain of the destroyer that just fired the warning shot across the bow of a Chinese vessel that is likely covert PLA/N, but now you may be positioning your trawler to block the destroyer.
Do you really have enough information to know this is wise? Do you really know as much as the destroyer captain?
I will be away today, in the off chance you reply and I don't immediately answer it is because I can't.

ariadna , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm GMT
Superb, as always, Ron Unz!
For someone who says he has no background in economics you you put your finger dead center on the money nexus of this "puppet run by another puppet controlled by another puppet dangling from the strings of a still bigger puppet" chain from hell.
I wish someone would read out the entire article, may be with photos of the culprits, on Youtube with subtitles in Chinese.
Wizard of Oz , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:26 pm GMT
@Craig Nelsen Nobody is suggesting that "the order" came from Bolton or that he could indeed give any such order. True his not telling Trump about what was about to happen bears a sinister interpretation.
lavoisier , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage I think what he means by normal are countries whose leaders are interested in the well being of their nation and the people they rule. No divided or corrupted loyalties to another nation.

By this standard the United States is clearly not a normal country.

Che Guava , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
Well said, Mr. Unz.

I was finding the arrest hard to believe, too.

One angle you did not mention, Cisco (U.S. company) of course until not too many years ago had a near-monopoly on the kind of network systems Huawei is selling as number one now (actually, I did not know of Huawei's success there, thought of it as a handset maker), that may be a factor here.

There are a few Chinese or U.S. people of that descent on this site, mainly PRC-sympathetic, it would be very amusing if they were able to ignite a big discussion of your hypothetical reprisals

Ahoy , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
@ Anonymous [346] #10

For whatever is worth, if any.

During the bombing of Belgrade a missile fell on the Chinese Embassy. A local tv reporter approached a Chinese Embassy official and asked him. What are you going to do now? The answer was.

"Ask me this question forty years from now"

Strictly personal, Wow!

Durruti , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT
@Brabantian Nice comment.

Yes, poor Bobby Fischer.

The Meng case brings to mind the story of another sanctions-violating 'target' arrested at USA request, the great USA chess master and non-Zionist Jew, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008).

Fischer was another victim of Zionist controlled American imperialism. Yugoslavia, the child of Woodrow Wilson, became the victim of the Imperialist war Against Russia. Russia's brother, and ally, Yugoslavia, was destroyed by the kind democrat gang administration of Wm (that was not sex), Clinton.

Nonny , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh You complicate things by bringing up the Mafia boss. Who committed the actual crime? Who kidnapped the woman?
Anon55 , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
Excellent article, and an ingenious suggestion regarding the Adelson casinos. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a casino shutdown. Having worked in the marketing end of the casino industry myself, I can tell you the most coveted demographic lists were always the Chinese players, words like fanatical and obsessive don't even come close to describing their penchant for gambling. I could literally see casino shutdowns in China causing a national Gilet Jaune moment followed by the overthrow of the Communist Party LOL.

I would definitely welcome seeing more Ron Unz articles on current topics.

Jim Christian , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Any chance this is Democrat, Deep State types at State and Justice manufacturing this cluster-f in order to make Trump look unaware? This is a President that respects casinos. And business. If Bolton and Company pulled this from behind the scenes without Executive knowledge or authorization, is that even legal? More treason? But given the circumstances, how does all this even GET to Iran, hurt Iran at all? What was supposedly illegal was done in 2010. Are we certain bags of cash from the Chinese and Russians and Iran weren't traveling about Democrat-ruled DC back then? Grabbing this chick helps the case against Iran? I'm at a loss as to how.

And so the thought of a more local political benefit/purpose, stirring a diplomatic shit-storm on Trump's watch, something he'd have to take responsibility for. To start a near war, sort of like the Bay of Pigs. Operatives, pulling tricks, writing checks the President then has to cover, looking like an unelectable mook throughout.

I'm happy to give the AIPAC kiddies full credit, I just don't see the damage to Iran in all this. For crying out loud, we carted $500 billion cash over to Iran under Obama's watch, what, 2013 or 2014ish? I don't know how we skip over THAT, to get to trade shenanigans in 2010, also taking place under Obama's watch. What was Holder doing when he was AG after all, why no action then? If it's Israeli-driven today, why wasn't Israel pushing Holder to take action against Huawei back in 2010?

Makes no sense.

TRASH(NOT) , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage How is the USA a "normal" country in any sense of the word? It once was truly great among the nations of the world but that ship sailed looooong back.

We invade for fake "freedom", inject the poison of homo mania into nations that do not do the bidding of the homos and/or bend to the will of the chosen ones, pretend it's all for some good cause then invite the survivors to displace the founding stock of this country. You call that "normal"??

We are nothing more than a vehicle for every kind of degenerate (((loser))) with cash to use our men and women as their private mercenaries. We spread filth around the place, destroy nations and proclaim ourselves as the peace-makers with the shrill voice of a worn out street prostitute on kensingtion ave (philly).

We are like that hoe, living out the last days of her aids infested body, with a grudge on the world for something that was completely of our (((own))) making. Philly might have been the birthplace of this country but camden is where we are all headed. And looking at China, we are dysfunctional beyond repair. Of course we still have quite a few things the Chinese might want to emulate (no the SJW versions but the read deal) but looking at our other maladies, they probably won't who'll blame them?

Icy Blast , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm GMT
Gosh I hope Agent Orange gets a copy of this article. But I am afraid he is surrounded by Bolton-type traitors.
Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Anon Yes it was s Portuguese colony. Interesting that Persian traders including Jews were in Macau going back st least to 500 AD probably more.

Ron, have you sent this article to the Chinese ambassador in DC yet?

Strange that the Chinese let Adelson in. The Macau casinos have thrived for a long time. The Portuguese left valuable casinos and the Chinese let the Jews in soon after the Portuguese left.

It makes sense that foreign casino operators would want to move into Macau, but why would China let foreigners in?

Could it be that one of the largest investors in China since the mid 1970s Richard Blum husband of Dianne Feinstein has something to do with it??
She's as much the Senator representing China as a Senator representing California.

Ronnie , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
Another interesting aspect of all this is the "suicide" of Physics Professor Zhang Shoucheng at Stanford just a few hours after Meng was arrested on Dec 1. According to reliable Chinese sources and widespread reporting on social media Zhang was the conduit to China from Silicone Valley. He was richly rewarded by Chinese investment in his US companies. IMHO the Chinese understand the role of Israel and Adelson in US politics but are cautious in going this far. The Chinese are taking the light touch approach with Trump and his Adelson selected neocons. A Chinese businessman Guo WenGui with the highest connections to the Chinese elites and security services has sought political asylum in the USA. On the internet he daily speaks to the Chinese diaspora (in Mandarin) on the complex developments in Chinese official corruption. The NY Times has now started to take him seriously (good idea ) and reports that he and Steve Bannon have formed an alliance to expose Chinese government activities. You can read all this in the NY Times. Unz should translate Guo Wengui into English and publish his commentaries. In my analysis he is usually right about China and has shown remarkable predictive powers. He knows how and what the Chinese think, where the bones are buried and what comes next. He and Bannon plan to reveal the facts about the recent suicide in France of another prominent Chinese businessman Wang Jian who was Chairman of Hainan Airlines parent company.
Buzz Mohawk , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT
This article by Mr. Unz is a good example of why people should read and support the Unz Review. No one is better equipped to shed light on otherwise unmentioned interests behind mainstream news events like this one.

Kudos for making a smart suggestion that no doubt will be heard by people who could carry it out.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT
Good article, but it is only scratching the surface.
Many things would be explained if somebody would find out what is the volume of US investment in China, and what percentage of it is Jewish.
That would shed light why the rabid Jewish press in US so bestially attacking Trump, after Trump started to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.
I do not know, but I could guess that Trump reached deep into Jewish profits.
We have no choice than wait what will happen to tariffs after Trump will be replaced.
RVBlake , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Canada declared an end to participating in combat operations in Afghanistan in July 2011 and withdrew its combat forces, leaving a dwindling number of advisors to Afghan forces. The last Canadian soldier departed Afghanistan in March 2014. You are spot on regarding Bolton's certifiability.
Virgile , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
Trump has been totally phagocyted by the Neo-Cons in the foreign policy. The two pillars of the neocons foreign policy are now Saudi Arabia and Israel. Trump is benefitting from the neo-cons intelligence and their powerful financial network that he is convinced would help in his reelection.
Once he is re-elected then he may decrease his reliance on them but for the next few years the jewish lobby will prevail in Trump's foreign policy. Unless they are not able to protect Trump from falling under the democrats assaults or been eliminated from power, they are on for more wars, more troubles and more deaths. History will place Trump near Bush junior as neo-cons puppets responsible for the largest destruction of countries since WWII.
eah , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
Doesn't really address the core problem.
Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Brabantian Interesting that she was arrested in the Chinese colony of Vancouver BC. Maybe the Canadian government is asserting sovereignty over Vancouver at long last.

That must have been frightening. There she was sitting in the VIP lounge surrounded by deferential airline clerks as usual and suddenly she's under arrest.

Johnny Smoggins , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
The most disappointing thing about this whole incident, so far, is China's timidity in dealing with America.

Holding some C level former Canadian diplomat? Come on China, prove you're a serious nation, you can do much, much better.

Johnny Smoggins , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Canada has been a vassal state of the U.S. since it stopped being a vassal state of the U.K. in the 1960′s.
Sean , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:10 pm GMT

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon.

More delusional than when in 1957 the US government gave Iran a nuclear reactor and weapons grade uranium? In his latter years Khashoggi 's relative, the weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi, much later mused on what the US was trying to achieve by giving Iran vast amounts of armaments, when all it did was set off an arms race in the region. America then switched to Iraq as its cop on the beat and gave them anything they asked for, and were placatory of Saddam when he started talking crazy. This was under the US government least attentive to Israel. Yes things should be more balanced as Steven Walt suggests

Averting World Conflict with China, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review If it wants to create the conditions for a final settlement of the Palestinian problem, then America should be more even handed but it must also be very cautious about Iran. We don't know who will be in power there in the future and history shows that once those ME counties are given an inch they take a mile.

Saudi Arabia seems quite sensible, its liking for US gov bonds that even Americans think offer too low a rate of interest is easily explained as payment for US protection. Killing Khashoggi that way was a dreadful moral and foreign policy mistake from someone who is too young for the amount of authority he has been given, but the victim did not beg for death like more than a few Uygurs are doing right now. The CIA agent China rounded up with the help of it's network of double agents in the US were doubtless glad to have their interrogation terminated.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-20/vancouver-is-drowning-in-chinese-money

Some sweeteners from Adelson are likely in the Tsunami of dirty Chinese money, which are amusingly being laundered in Canadian casinos. As Walt points out the Chinese elite want bolt holes and bank accounts in north America. By the way most of the ill gotten gains are from sale of opiates such as fentanyl.

Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos

Yes that will work, especially when added to what China is already doing in targeting farmers who supported Trump, so he is definitely not going to be reelected now you have explained all this to them, and you are also opening up Harvard to their children, which can only redound to the detriment of white gentiles. Deliberate pouring of the vials of wrath or just accidentally spilling them? I am begining to wonder.

Silva , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nonny Someone commits a crime while wearing a hat, and you blame the hat? What's wrong with you?
Almost Missouri , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
Thank you, Ron, for a clear-headed and insightful article.

There are however, two tiny infelicities, which I would not want for them to distract from the article's merit.

First, I think the Saudi Arabian Prince you are referring to is Prince Mohammed bin Salman, not "Prince Salman". "Prince Mohammed" would be the abbreviated form of his name. "Bin" is of course the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew "ben" indicating paternity, rather than a middle name, so "Salman" is not his surname. "Prince Salman" would refer to the current Saudi King before he was King, rather than to the current Prince.

Second, maybe the hypothetical of China seizing Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook is not the best analogy since I, and I suspect others who are aware of her key role in empowering and enriching a deceptive and parasitical industry, would not be terribly troubled if China seized her. Indeed, we might consider it a public service. Admittedly, it is hard to find a good analogy for a prominent female executive of a US national champion company since so many of our prominent companies are predatory rather than productive and scorn their native country rather than serve it.

Anon [732] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm GMT

and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face.

The unmistakable style is there.

Bill H , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@Baxter "America is not in any danger." America is in very great danger, but only from within.

Almost half of all millenials believe that Capitalism is evil and that the Socialism should be the guiding economic principle of this nation. When you point out that it has failed for every nation in history that has tried it, notably the Soviet Union and more recently Venezuela, they retort that it is because those countries "did it wrong" and that "we will do it right." When you ask for specifics as what they "did wrong" that we will "do right" they stare at you wordlessly as if you are the one who is an idiot.

It should also be pointed out that a vast majority of Democrats think that Ocasio-Cortez is brilliant and that we need more legislators like her.

anonomy , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
What if Ms. Meng, was giving Iranian dissidents phones and other equipment to undermine the Government of Iran, starting another color revolution, that sucks in America and Israel? What if the Trump administration asked that this not be done in order to end the endless "revolutions" that have been happening and bankrupting our country and threatening Israel? What if the sanctions are benefiting Iran's government too? China was allowed to become so large at our expense when we opened up trade and moved businesses over there, but this was to keep them from being too cozy with Soviet Russia, just ask Nixon.
DESERT FOX , says: December 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
Part of the Zionist plan for a Zionist NWO was laid by David Rockefeller when he sent Kissinger to China to open up Chinas slave labor to the NWO types like Rockefeller and the Zionist controlled companies in the U.S. and part of the plan was the deindustrialization of America thus bringing down the American standard of living while raising the standard of living in China.

I will never believe the fake disagreement between the Zionist controlled U.S. and the Chinese government as long as G.M and Google and the other companies that have shut down their operations in the U.S. and opened operations in China, it is all a NWO plan to bring down we Americans to third world status and then meld all of us into a Zionist satanic NWO.

The enemy is not at the gates, the enemy is in the government and its name is Zionism and the Zionist NWO!

[Dec 13, 2018] Brexit Endgame

Notable quotes:
"... Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ambrit , December 13, 2018 at 5:27 am

Hadrian also built a wall.

Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards.

Arguably, May is one of a generation of politicos in decline. Macron, (perhaps Merkel's hope of having a posterity,) has caved. Merkel has seen the face of her political mortality recently. May has her Pyrrhic victory.

The Clintons cannot even give tickets to their road show away. In all of these examples, the replacements waiting in the wings are, to be charitable about it, underwhelming. Brexit is but the opening act of a grand, worldwide crisis of governance.

How England muddles through this will be an object lesson for us all. We had better take notes, because there will be a great testing later.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

Impeccable summing up, if I might be so bold.

While the UK has rightly been the focus, I can't help wondering what the deeper feelings are across Europe. It's very hard to gauge how much thought the rest of Europe is giving to Brexit at this stage. The average punter seems very uninterested at this point, while a growing number (from what I'm reading from other sources) just wish they'd get it over with so the rest of Europe could be allowed to get on with its own internal concerns. I suspect the rest of the EU economies most affected must be putting their 'crash-out' plans into over-drive after this week's continuing escapades.

(Re: Sinn Féin. I was wondering if there was the remotest possibility that they would cross their biggest line just to help a Tory government, and a particularly vile Tory government from their standpoint. When speaking to veteran Belfast Republican during negotiations on the GFA (Good Friday Agreement), their viewpoint was that nearly everything could be negotiated but one thing was impossible: entering into a foreign London parliament. Symbolically and practically, it was a step beyond the pale. I also noticed lately that a couple of older Sinn Féin Republicans, who had to be persuaded into the negotiation camp all those years ago, are again contemplating running for local government positions in the North.)

PlutoniumKun , December 13, 2018 at 6:53 am

Everything I've read indicates that the rest of Europe has simply given up on Brexit – they are unwilling to expend any more energy or political capital on it. The leaders have much bigger things on their plates than Brexit, and the general population have lost interest – I'm told it rarely features much in reporting on the major media. I think they'll grant an extension purely to facilitate another couple of months preparation for a crash out, and thats it.

As for Sinn Fein, I get the feeling that after been caught on the hop by Brexit, they now see a crash out as an opportunity. NI looks likely to suffer more than anywhere else if there is a no-deal – there is hardly a business there that won't be devastated. But they are caught between trying to show their soft face in the south and their hardliner face in the North, and I think they are having difficulty deciding how to play it.

Ignacio , December 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

The British circus attracts interest and there is coverage on the motions and so on treated as UK internal politics. May and the ultra-brexiteers get almost all the attention. The only options mentioned are no deal and May's agreement.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

Hiya Ignacio,

Thanks for the info. Sounds like well balanced and realistic media coverage to me.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:05 am

I was wondering about deeper EU reactions: here from London based European diplomats.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/11/whats-happened-to-you-eu27-diplomats-watch-uk-tie-itself-in-brexit-knots

" European diplomats in London watching the government's Brexit agony have conveyed a mixture of despair, and almost ghoulish fascination, at the state of British politics, with one saying it is as melodramatic as a telenovela, full of subplots, intrigue, tragedy and betrayal

Although privately many diplomats would love Brexit to be reversed, and believe it could mark a turning point against populism, there was also a wariness about the disruption of a second referendum. One ambassador suggested the French realised that European parliamentary election campaign of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, would be damaged by the sight of furious British leave campaigners claiming they had been cheated of their democratic rights by an arrogant elite who refused to listen: "What is happening in France is potentially momentous. The social fabric is under threat, and this anger could spread across the continent," the ambassador said, referring to the gilets jaunes protests ."

[Dec 09, 2018] BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Have I Got News For You @haveigotnews

BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Theresa May told to quit by Cabinet ministers if her Brexit deal falls and she fails to get better terms from EU Telegraph

No-deal Brexit: Disruption at Dover 'could last six months' BBC. I have trouble understanding why six months. The UK's customs IT system won't be ready and there's no reason to think it will be ready even then. I could see things getting less bad due to adaptations but "less bad" is not normal

The Great Brexit Breakdown Wall Street Journal. Some parts I quibble with, but generally good and includes useful historical detail.

British MP suggests threatening Ireland with food shortages over Brexit, Twitter outrage follows RT (kevin W)

It's crunch time for Labour. Empty posturing on Brexit will no longer do Guardian. Shreds the Corbyn op-ed we criticized yesterday.

[Dec 08, 2018] Neocons Sabotage Trump s Trade Talks - Huawei CFO Taken Hostage To Blackmail China

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It was Bolton who a week ago intentionally damaged U.S. relations with China. ..."
"... Meng Wanzhou is a daughter of the founder and main owner of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, and was groomed to be his successor. The company is extremely well regarded in China. It is one its jewel pieces and, with 170,000 employees and $100 billion in revenues, an important political actor. ..."
"... The arrest on December 1 happened while president Trump was negotiating with president Xi of China about trade relations. Trump did not know about the upcoming arrest but Bolton was informed of it ..."
"... It was a trap. The arrest is a public slap in the face of China and to Xi personally. It will not be left unanswered. Whatever Trump may have agreed upon with Xi is now worthless. John Bolton intentionally sabotaged the talks and the U.S. relations with China. ..."
"... Having read this in context with the comments (especially those by Denk and others) previous on this topic, I would ask if anyone can provide a time line of US clandestine negative (and sometimes fatal) actions against high level Chinese engineers and telecoms. Again, the above summary is outstanding. ..."
"... The terrifying aspect is Bolton, Pompeo - puppets both for shadow power players - have no constraints whatsoever, and obviously operate without any constraint or regard for our severely (cognitively and emotionally) challenged president ..."
"... The timing of this arrest - while Trump and Xi are dining and Sabrina Meng is on her way to the G-20 conference gives a loud message that Trump is serves at the pleasure of his neocon staff - and son in law, the latter being instrumental in the firing of Rex Tillerson, the hiring of Bolton, Pompeo and the impending firing of Gen. Kelly. ..."
"... Trump is a global front for a different approach to maintaining global hegemony but make no mistake, Trump is not fronting for you ..."
"... Arresting US business execs by China is a mistake that would be cheered by Bolton and Navarro. The provocation of arresting Meng is designed by the Trump team to provoke China to arrest US business leaders and thus destroy their direct investment into China. ..."
"... The enemy of China is not US businesses but rather the neocon dominated US govt. To impact this group, China needs to cut off their drug supply(their financing) thru no longer buying their USTs to finance and enable their massive military spending and financial aggression. ..."
"... Canada's role in this is shocking. It is all of a piece with the surrender to the USA in the Trade negotiations whereby, inter alia, Canada is not allowed to enter into Trade agreements with 'non-market' economies. The non-market formulation being code for unapproved by Uncle Sam. No doubt the Nazi Freeland is running this show. In this she is ably seconded by the 'opposition' Tories and the social fascist NDP which is as enthusiastic for war against China as it is for an attack on the Donbas. ..."
"... Those who talk about Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, Kelly, etc. direct our attention to a shell game. They are all in on the scam. How better to say it? There is one party: the war party. Trump is a member of TEAM USA. US political maestros dance to the tune of the Deep State/neolibcon. ..."
"... With respect to Foreign Policy, how much real difference is there between Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump? They have all supported MIC, Israel, and expanding the Empire - aka Job #1 ..."
"... Bolton works for Adelson probably Pompeo does too. So Trump can't fire their crazy asses any time he chooses. ..."
"... Adelson has made millions with his gambling dens. In some ways it's a bit like what the East India Company did with opium. ..."
"... I think we can assume that the arrest was not an unwelcome surprise for Trump, or he would have reversed it. He knew, and accepts it. It's total asymmetric war on China. The arrest was on December 1. Trump twitter, Dec 7 China talks are going very well! here ..."
"... Does the fact that Huawei recently passed Apple for the number 2 phone sales have anything to do with this ..."
"... CNN: A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a warrant for Meng's arrest on August 22, it was revealed at the hearing Friday here . She was arrested on December 1. Meng didn't know about this "issued warrant?" How does this 'system of laws' work, anyhow? Perhaps the warrant issue was classified secret, for US national security? ..."
"... The problem with Iran is (as was with Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, and even Syria) that a country with an independent/non-aligned foreign policy has control of a large quantity of valuable natural resources for which there is a constant and relatively insatiable demand. If they cannot be controlled they they should be destroyed so they cannot pursue their own agenda and ignore the dictates of the west. China and Russia are this problem writ large, and they have nukes and a means of delivery to all corners of the globe... ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Neocons Sabotage Trump's Trade Talks - Huawei CFO Taken Hostage To Blackmail China Willy2 , Dec 7, 2018 2:30:00 PM | link

CNN reports that White House chief of staff John Kelly is expected to resign soon . There have been similar rumors before, but this time the news may actually be true. That is bad for Trump and U.S. policies. Kerry is one a the few counterweights to national security advisor John Bolton. His replacement will likely be whoever Bolton chooses. That will move control over Trump policies further into the hands of the neo-conservatives.

It was Bolton who a week ago intentionally damaged U.S. relations with China.

The U.S. Justice Department arranged for Canada to arrest the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, over alleged U.S. sanctions violations with regards to Iran. The case is not over the sanction Trump recently imposed, but over an alleged collision with the sanction regime before the nuclear deal with Iran. The details are still unknown.

Meng Wanzhou is a daughter of the founder and main owner of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, and was groomed to be his successor. The company is extremely well regarded in China. It is one its jewel pieces and, with 170,000 employees and $100 billion in revenues, an important political actor.

The arrest on December 1 happened while president Trump was negotiating with president Xi of China about trade relations. Trump did not know about the upcoming arrest but Bolton was informed of it :

While the Justice Department did brief the White House about the impending arrest, Mr. Trump was not told about it. And the subject did not come up at the dinner with Mr. Xi. Mr. Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said on NPR that he knew about the arrest in advance, ..

Bolton surely should have informed Trump before his dinner with Xi, in which Bolton took part, but he didn't.

It was a trap. The arrest is a public slap in the face of China and to Xi personally. It will not be left unanswered. Whatever Trump may have agreed upon with Xi is now worthless. John Bolton intentionally sabotaged the talks and the U.S. relations with China.

Cont. reading: Neocons Sabotage Trump's Trade Talks - Huawei CFO Taken Hostage To Blackmail China

Posted by b at 02:00 PM | Comments (76) - I almost starting to feel sorry for D.A.A.D. Trump.
- We have seen in the last years that the US has been (deliberately) ratcheting up tensions in the Far East. And the summit between Trump & Kim Jung Un was a severe threat for that (deliberate) increase of tensions. But the US & european media have told their readers/listener/watchers that China was to blame for the increase of tensions.


Jen , Dec 7, 2018 2:34:44 PM | link

The death of Shoucheng Zhang, by falling from a building, supposedly due to depression, reminded me of an incident I had read about years ago, of another scientist's death in 1953 in vaguely similar circumstances. I had forgotten the fellow's name but I remembered the incident had something to do with the CIA and the administration of LSD so I used those two terms along with "fall" and "window" and was able to dig up the details.

In 1953, CIA researcher Frank Olson was administered LSD without his consent by researchers working in the Project MK Ultra program. Olson became severely depressed and resigned from the CIA. He was later found dead, apparently after falling out of a motel building through a window, and his death was ruled a suicide. In the 1970s, his family ordered an autopsy and the autopsy showed that Olson had died from head injury trauma before falling through the window. A CIA agent was found to have been staying at the same motel in a separate room at the time Olson died. The family sued the US government and received $750,000 in compensation and an apology from the CIA.
https://thoughtcatalog.com/jeremy-london/2018/08/mkultra-conspiracy/

One wonders if Zhang's death had been, ahem, "arranged" according to that template. The description of Zhang from the Stanford University News website's obituary that B linked to in his post does not sound like a profile of someone who suffered depression on and off.

PavewayIV , Dec 7, 2018 2:35:17 PM | link
This has to be embarrassing as hell to Trump - he should be absolutely furious with Bolton and Pompeo. And all this for violating sanctions on Iran? I feel like on crazy pills. We live in interesting times.
Richard , Dec 7, 2018 2:38:20 PM | link
So, if Bolton sabotaged Trump's efforts to do some sort of deal with China, in whose interest is Bolton working. You'd think that a trade deal with China would be good for the US. Is Bolton working against US interest.

If we accept the Globalist/Nationalist framework, then does this not mean that Bolton is helping the nationalists against US interests. And what are the implications of that.

jayc , Dec 7, 2018 2:38:29 PM | link
Trump's rapid departure from Argentina may well have been motivated by receiving the information about the arrest after the well hyped dinner. If that is the case, Bolton should have been fired on the spot. The lack of any statement about this affair from Trump is curious. There may be an element of blackmail at play here too, related to Mueller's machinations ahead of the G20. A malignancy is loose, no doubt.
abierno , Dec 7, 2018 2:52:06 PM | link
Thank you for this excellent column. Having read this in context with the comments (especially those by Denk and others) previous on this topic, I would ask if anyone can provide a time line of US clandestine negative (and sometimes fatal) actions against high level Chinese engineers and telecoms. Again, the above summary is outstanding.

The terrifying aspect is Bolton, Pompeo - puppets both for shadow power players - have no constraints whatsoever, and obviously operate without any constraint or regard for our severely (cognitively and emotionally) challenged president, as this report makes clear.

The timing of this arrest - while Trump and Xi are dining and Sabrina Meng is on her way to the G-20 conference gives a loud message that Trump is serves at the pleasure of his neocon staff - and son in law, the latter being instrumental in the firing of Rex Tillerson, the hiring of Bolton, Pompeo and the impending firing of Gen. Kelly.

psychohistorian , Dec 7, 2018 2:56:18 PM | link
I can't believe that Trump did not know about the detention of Meng Wanzhou before hand. Trump is a TV actor and he is apprenticing for a higher spot for himself and family is the elite pecking order.

While we might want to give Trump credit for being who he is, the elite that fronted him know exactly what his style and penchants are. Trump is a global front for a different approach to maintaining global hegemony but make no mistake, Trump is not fronting for you nor I

freetrade , Dec 7, 2018 3:11:30 PM | link
From the perspective of China, their most appropriate response in this complicated situation IMO, should be to accelerate their gradual reduction of USTs.

All those articles about how China will hurt itself if it gradually sells down USTs are nonsense articles placed into the media to throw off attention to what is already happening. Russia and Turkey have alrdy done it on a smaller scale, it's a no-brainer that China can do it also. Why should China finance the US govt to wage war on itself?

If China and other countries gradually stop buying USTs, actual demand will collapse and many other holders will sell or reduce likewise. Mnuchin is fantasizing when he says there will still be strong demand. Any demand will be from the US Treasury buying its own USTs, like a dog licking its own rear quarters.

Arresting US business execs by China is a mistake that would be cheered by Bolton and Navarro. The provocation of arresting Meng is designed by the Trump team to provoke China to arrest US business leaders and thus destroy their direct investment into China.

The enemy of China is not US businesses but rather the neocon dominated US govt. To impact this group, China needs to cut off their drug supply(their financing) thru no longer buying their USTs to finance and enable their massive military spending and financial aggression.

How to do that without crashing the markets n decreasing China's own assets? Sell and reduce USTs gradually. And pretend u r not doing it. Eventually the lack of buying will force the Fed to raise rates or force the US Treasury to buy its own USTs, further debasing the US dollar.

In history, all empires fall this way, they keep on printing or taking out the silver content until their currency gets debased into nothing, and nobody wants it.

dh , Dec 7, 2018 3:14:42 PM | link
Looks like Bolton wants war with China. I recall he was hired during the North Korea talks to add a bit of muscle and now Trump is stuck with him whether he likes it or not.

Re. Meng....apparently she faces fraud charges related to the Skycom affair. Of course that is just what we're told. Who knows what kind of pressure she will come under once they get her in the US.

"Meng Wanzhou -- the chief financial officer for the Chinese tech giant Huawei -- is wanted in the U.S. on allegations of fraud, a bail hearing has been told." https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bail-hearing-huawei-cfo-1.4936150

chu teh , Dec 7, 2018 3:24:15 PM | link
1959, CIA disobeyed Pres Eisenhower's ban on further overflights of USSR until after his summit meeting with Khrushchev. Then the U-2 was brought down over USSR and the live pilot captured. The US officially denied it happened.

The USSR cancelled the summit meeting.

At first, Eisenhower claimed to have no knowledge of the operation and was outraged when the truth revealed. UN Ambassador Stevenson made a vehement speech at the UN denying it happened, followed immediately with USSR producing both the plane's wreckage and its pilot.

Then USSR showed the pilot and wreckage was publicly displayed. Pilot F G Powers had safely bailed-out and was put on-trial in Moscow, convicted and then allowed to return to the US.

Mission Accomplished! by the unelected leaders of the US [who were certain their man Nixon would be the next President, followed by quick re-capture of Cuba and then war in Vietnam. Both those operations already directly involved Nixon, who was fully "in" on The Bay of Pigs and, earlier, plans for US "support" of Saigon leaders in "South" Vietnam with whom he established communications during his 1953 visit as Ike's new Vice-President.]

james , Dec 7, 2018 3:30:06 PM | link

...that data on this is more shocking then i realized.. the death of prof zhang - apparent suicide, is bizarre here..

i agree that the usa has been taken over by small minded neo cons that would try to use meng wanzhou as leverage.. the fact Bolton knew and Trump didn't.. i am not buying that, or Bolton is more manipulative then i realized.. they are all that stupid though.. i hope Canada doesn't allow this, but under the wuss Justin Trudeau, i am not holding my breath..

@ 12 dh... wanted for ignoring us sanctions on iran from 2009 to 2014... what the fuck has that to do with canada?? is canada now doing book keeping, and everything else for the usa? the usa can go fuck themselves.. if Canada wasn't a 2 bit vassal state, that is what we would tell the usa..

Uncle $cam , Dec 7, 2018 3:31:59 PM | link
Flashback Friday

Oh, and what happened to the head of interpol, Meng Hongwei recently???

A. Person , Dec 7, 2018 3:46:11 PM | link
OT, but just to a degree.

Today is Dec.7, a day in 1941 that Pres. Roosevelt aptly called "A Day of Infamy," as the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor.

We now know that the very top echelons of US government first correctly anticipated and then knew precisely when and how the attack would occur. The 3,000 (+/-) GI's who were sacrificed were considered "acceptable losses." (The 3,000 civilians who were sacrificed on 9/11 were also considered "acceptable losses.") "Infamy" is an accurate word for US .gov conduct.

(Pls, do not comment to this OT. Wait for the next open thread, if you must.)

John Gilberts , Dec 7, 2018 4:28:57 PM | link
Trudeau says he knew about the arrest in advance.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-canada-prepared-for-possible-chinese-cyber-retaliation-over-arrest-of/

Looks like Trump was out of the loop. Trudeau is mainly photo-op material only. This would have been Chrystia Freeland, the Nazi grand-daughter's file.

ashley albanese , Dec 7, 2018 5:29:38 PM | link
In Australia - endless media trumpeting the closed door to Chinese telcos from Australia and New Zealand but one has to go out of one's way to discover our neighbor Papua New GUINEA has continued using HuaHwei products albeit under U S pressure not to do so
bevin , Dec 7, 2018 5:32:00 PM | link
1/ "... the rise first of Communism and then of Islam as world forces opposing imperialism."

Has Islam, in fact, been in opposition to imperialism? For the most part, as in India/Pakistan, it has been a very useful imperialist foil against nationalism and socialism. There have been sincere and effective muslim campaigns against imperialism but equally there have been imperialist financed 'islamic' campaigns against enemies of the Empire.

2/ Canada's role in this is shocking. It is all of a piece with the surrender to the USA in the Trade negotiations whereby, inter alia, Canada is not allowed to enter into Trade agreements with 'non-market' economies. The non-market formulation being code for unapproved by Uncle Sam. No doubt the Nazi Freeland is running this show. In this she is ably seconded by the 'opposition' Tories and the social fascist NDP which is as enthusiastic for war against China as it is for an attack on the Donbas.

I used to be a member of this, once mildly socialist party. I am proud to say that I was expelled.

Rolf , Dec 7, 2018 5:38:42 PM | link
Five Eyes Against Huawei

7 DECEMBER 2018, http://www.voltairenet.org/article204264.html

Washington has asked Ottawa to arrest Meng Wanzhou and to extradite her. The motive for the war undertaken by Washington against Huawei is deep-rooted and spurious are the justifications.

The heart of the problem is that the Chinese firm uses a system of encryption that prevents the NSA from intercepting its communications. A number of governments and secret services in the non-Western world have begun to equip themselves exclusively with Huawei materials, and are doing so to protect the confidentiality of their communications.

The covers/excuses for this war are theft of intellectual property or in the alternative, trade with Iran and North Korea, and violating rules of competition by benefitting from national subsidies.

The Five Eyes is a system of electronic espionage by Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. They have begun to exclude Huawei from their auctions.

Jackrabbit , Dec 7, 2018 5:46:11 PM | link

Those who talk about Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, Kelly, etc. direct our attention to a shell game. They are all in on the scam. How better to say it? There is one party: the war party. Trump is a member of TEAM USA. US political maestros dance to the tune of the Deep State/neolibcon.

Fine distinctions between senior US govt officials make me want to tear my hair out. In US govt only whistle-blowers are white knights. Everyone else is engaging in good guy/bad guy bullshit and controlled opposition.

With respect to Foreign Policy, how much real difference is there between Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump? They have all supported MIC, Israel, and expanding the Empire - aka Job #1.

Willy2 , Dec 7, 2018 5:46:51 PM | link
- Bolton was appointed under pressure from one Sheldon Adelson, who was a (large) donor to the Trump campaign. In that regard, it was (nearly) impossible for Trump to fire Bolton.
Castellio , Dec 7, 2018 5:50:25 PM | link
Jen @2

In terms of Frank Olsen, there is a very good six part documentary series on Netflix called "Wormwood". Most important are the interviews with Olsen's son. His search for the truth took many years (too many years) and he finally uncovered the final levels of deceit. Worth the time.

dh , Dec 7, 2018 5:53:10 PM | link
@14 ".. wanted for ignoring us sanctions on iran from 2009 to 2014... what the fuck has that to do with canada?? "

Absolutely nothing james. I suspect they are using that charge, rather than getting into 5G backdoor whatever, to make the extradition process go faster. They don't want it to drag on for years.

dh , Dec 7, 2018 5:56:39 PM | link
@32 Right. Bolton works for Adelson probably Pompeo does too. So Trump can't fire their crazy asses any time he chooses.
CDWaller , Dec 7, 2018 6:18:32 PM | link
Surely it's Bolton who must go. That was an enormous betrayal. The one thing that Trump had going for him was the performance of the stock market. His neocon enemies in the form of Bolton, managed to strike two blows simultaneously; increase conflict with China and tank the market.
Daniel , Dec 7, 2018 6:32:55 PM | link
Too many posters letting Trump off the hook here. He's a brilliant 4D chess master but at the same time he's also a vulnerable naif who lets neocons, ziofascists and other hostile entities keep hijacking his administration for their own ends? Bit of a problem there. You can't have it both ways.

Occam's Razor says the Trump administration's foreign policy, possibly with Russia as an exception, is run with the full approval of Donald John Trump. He's no friend of China, remember, and Steve Bannon's plan to befriend Russia was designed to keep it from partnering with China against the United States.

It's almost 2019 and like the Obots of 2010 it's time to accept that your man is a busted flush, a fraud, an American exceptionalist through and through.

jayc , Dec 7, 2018 6:37:39 PM | link
The "fraud" charge goes back to 2009/10, and concerns an alleged misrepresentation over the relationship between a company called SkyComm and Huawei. The alleged sanction violation by SkyComm had nothing to do with Iran's nuclear or military programs, and may not have even proceeded beyond a negotiation phase. The alleged "fraud", or misrepresentation, rests on a technical interpretation of complicated interlocking corporate structures. The prosecutors and the defence will likely both be correct in their presentations, as it is a muddle, but the well has already been poisoned by the now well-publicized accusations that Huawei is a Communist trojan horse. It's very thin gruel to proceed with such a high profile arrest.
Sasha , Dec 7, 2018 8:22:10 PM | link
@Posted by: Rolf | Dec 7, 2018 5:38:42 PM | 30
The heart of the problem is that the Chinese firm uses a system of encryption that prevents the NSA from intercepting its communications. A number of governments and secret services in the non-Western world have begun to equip themselves exclusively with Huawei materials, and are doing so to protect the confidentiality of their communications.

And not only the governments and secret services, Huawei is widely popular all along EU amongst the common working class user ( which means millions and millions of users....) especially because of its advantageous price and great capabilities.... I myself own a Huawei device, my friends own Huaweis....Glad to hear that "Five Eyes" can not spy on us....I am very fidel to marks/services who do not deceive me, but after knowing this new "capability", I am thinking in keeping Huawei as my header mark....Just waiting for them to launch the laptop "Five Eyes" waterproof and I will be throwing this old one to the trash bin....

dh , Dec 7, 2018 8:58:58 PM | link
Well it seems we have to wait until Monday to see if Meng gets bail or not. That's a long time for Trump to keep his mouth shut on anything.
Glenn Brown , Dec 7, 2018 9:03:38 PM | link
@32,36
I wonder how Adelson would react to a Chinese boycott of his casinos in Macau and Singapore? A lot of his wealth has come from Chinese gamblers. Given Adelson's connections to Bolton and Trump, it would seem like an obvious pressure point.
james , Dec 7, 2018 9:29:36 PM | link
@38 lili... denk was discussing this on the open thread yesterday.. see his links @68 / 76 and etc on this page.. no one is discussing this..

@48 peter au.. it certainly appears that way.. funny thing how trump sold himself on a number of topics, but not that one.. meanwhile, i guess the loot from adelson is quite good... stick with me and you don't need any stickin russian oligarch.. what is quite amazing is how blind the average amerikkkan is to all this.. they are still stuck on the mueller investigation which has been running on empty for some time... they would never do an investigation on isreal, or zionists influence on us elections, as it is too friggin' obvious for anyone looking... better to skip that and continue to serve israel.. thus the constant fixation with iran..

james , Dec 7, 2018 9:30:59 PM | link
or russia and china, as the case may be... the top 3 evil countries, according to obama, or was that north korea.. i guess trump will have to revise it.. the usa is pathetic.. canada is not far behind..
Don Bacon , Dec 7, 2018 9:38:22 PM | link
Trump didn't know b/c the NYTimes said so?
I've got this bridge....
China's response may not be immediate, but it will come.
I'm reminded of the sudden death of Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander of the Navy's 5th Fleet, Persian Gulf, discovered inside his home in Bahrain last weekend, a "suspected suicide."
Iran always gets even.
psychohistorian , Dec 7, 2018 9:41:09 PM | link
To those of us that understand that all/most of the politicians are working for the same team, it should be easy to see the good cop/bad cop dynamic being used here.

If b thinks Trump is a good cop, as he presents him here (yes, b has written that he disagrees with all/most of what Trump does) as do other commenters that post here, I would posit that "they" are being successful in working that meme at this time.

China will not back down and now will play hardball back, but in a globalist sense I expect them to continue to take the high road as the West mires itself further in the muck of its religion of private finance.

Another commenter mentioned the strategy of China dumping its massive amount of US Treasuries. I think we are getting to that moment and the response of the US is to default on whomever is holding its debt...............

and then the war we have been in for some time turns serious.

The problem the elite have is making the public have the fervor to slaughter themselves for the purpose of continuing a society run by and only servicing the elite. I don't understand how they have managed all these centuries but here we are, a bit still in the dark ages of a thousand years ago.

dh , Dec 7, 2018 9:57:33 PM | link
@55. Very interesting idea. Adelson has made millions with his gambling dens. In some ways it's a bit like what the East India Company did with opium.
Don Bacon , Dec 7, 2018 10:14:47 PM | link
I think we can assume that the arrest was not an unwelcome surprise for Trump, or he would have reversed it. He knew, and accepts it. It's total asymmetric war on China. The arrest was on December 1. Trump twitter, Dec 7 China talks are going very well! here
Anunnaki , Dec 7, 2018 10:21:01 PM | link
Does the fact that Huawei recently passed Apple for the number 2 phone sales have anything to do with this
Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 7, 2018 10:21:55 PM | link
This is a 100% neocon clusterfuck. It is vital to the success of Trump's Drain The Swamp strategy that The Swampers be given every opportunity to put their anti-US influence on public display. At least now we know which weirdos are responsible for the US policy of "Let's do SOMETHING, even it it's stupid."

I've been scouring the 'News' and the www for evidence that China agreed to uphold US sanctions on Iran to an extent that would invite the US to punish China for disregarding US whims. No luck, so far.

What makes this story entertaining is that the US has not only surrendered its lead in Military Tech, from the Good Old Days, but Computer and Communications Tech too. You have to be pretty desperate to admit a blunder of that magnitude, albeit obliquely, as in this case.

slit , Dec 7, 2018 10:24:07 PM | link
Unlikely that few in Trump's cabinet or Senate Foreign Relations committee could even pass the physics section of a college entrance exam, and have little idea what quantum encryption even is (Chinese published on it first a couple of years ago).

That presumption alone suggests Pompeo Bolton etc are just finger puppets ... which oligarch has all those cia contracts again?

They are in well over their heads. They can't even keep up with the Russians. They will likely get stung by Chinese scorpions without even knowing what hit them!

dh , Dec 7, 2018 10:28:27 PM | link
@63 Indirectly yes. According to Jim Cramer....whose objectivity I am increasingly coming to respect....Apple will lose out because of the arrest.

"Top tech players like Apple, Micron, Intel and Qualcomm are all "worth less today than yesterday," says the "Mad Money" host."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/06/cramer-huawei-cfo-arrest-just-made-companies-like-apple-less-valuable.html

Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 7, 2018 10:52:40 PM | link
Another 'unintended consequence' of the neocon gambit to embarrass Trump by by-passing him, will be renewed interest in something Vlad said in one of Oliver Stone's Putin's Interviews.

In the context of Vlad's feelings about POTUS Trump, Vlad said words to the effect that it's too soon to say. Everyone knows that AmeriKKKa has been run by the Permanent Bureaucracy (not the POTUS). A lot of people would have been 'too busy' to watch the Putin Interviews but World Leaders, everywhere, would not have been among them. So as of December 1, 2018, that cat is well and truly out of the bag and all eyes, as usual, are on Trump. Again.

Don Bacon , Dec 7, 2018 10:54:09 PM | link
CNN: A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a warrant for Meng's arrest on August 22, it was revealed at the hearing Friday here . She was arrested on December 1. Meng didn't know about this "issued warrant?" How does this 'system of laws' work, anyhow? Perhaps the warrant issue was classified secret, for US national security?

Actually, I fear, it's a conspiracy of intel agencies, security advisors and courts to conduct domestic and foreign policy. It's a non-elected "government" which elected politicians can't touch. For those that doubt it, check out this important interview with intel whistleblowers Shipp, Binney and Kiriakou which describes Washington corruption is here . (h/t Carlton Meyer)
Politicians can't touch this secret government lest their security clearances be removed.

Don Bacon , Dec 7, 2018 11:03:36 PM | link
@70
In the two-hour interview John Kiriakou points out that the intel agencies have their favorite courts. His delayed case, resurrected by Obama, was heard by a court in eastern Virginia, which had a 98% conviction rate. They got him for a couple years in prison. General Petraeus, however, who did much worse, had his case heard in a court in western Virginia, and he got probation. It appears that the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York is good for anti-China warrants.
the pessimist , Dec 7, 2018 11:48:53 PM | link
D B@70 I read that she was aware of the warrant and avoided traveling to the USA because of it as she had been doing to ?" visit her son who was in school here"? but likely thought Canada safe. Wrong.

So China seems fearful to me - detaining the head of INTERPOL for instance and re-educating the Uyghurs en mass, plus the heavy internet censorship. But they cannot disengage from the west economically without risking social upheaval. Nor can the US afford to disengage from China for roughly the same reason (unlike Russia from whom the US gets rocket engines but little else they cannot obtain from other sources).

In a few years time (2, or perhaps 3) both Russia and China will have deployed weapons that can deter anything but a full on nuclear attack, and their military capability will continue to advance. US strategy seems to be to disrupt, slow, and sabotage both to the extent it is able using economic and political weapons and military posturing. I don't believe it can catch up and this creates extra danger - the longer it waits the greater the gap will be - economic and military. Many of the responses seem borderline hysterical to me - not a good thing.

The problem with Iran is (as was with Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, and even Syria) that a country with an independent/non-aligned foreign policy has control of a large quantity of valuable natural resources for which there is a constant and relatively insatiable demand. If they cannot be controlled they they should be destroyed so they cannot pursue their own agenda and ignore the dictates of the west. China and Russia are this problem writ large, and they have nukes and a means of delivery to all corners of the globe...

[Dec 08, 2018] White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move

This is about destruction of neoliberalism. Transnational financial elite under neoliberalism is above the law. the USA blatantly breaches this convention now. And will pay the price.
This is Onion-style humor is no it : White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move
Notable quotes:
"... The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader U.S.-China trade deal but would not necessarily damage the process. ..."
"... Meng's detention also raised concerns about potential retaliation from Beijing in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to distance himself from the arrest. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Canada on Dec. 1, the same day Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

A White House official told Reuters Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Xi and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war.

Meng's arrest during a stopover in Vancouver, announced by the Canadian authorities on Wednesday, pummeled stock markets already nervous about tensions between the world's two largest economies on fears the move could derail the planned trade talks.

The arrest was made at Washington's request as part of a U.S. investigation of an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to people familiar with the probe.

Another U.S. official told Reuters that while it was a Justice Department matter and not orchestrated in advance by the White House, the case could send a message that Washington is serious about what it sees as Beijing's violations of international trade norms.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader U.S.-China trade deal but would not necessarily damage the process.

Meng's detention also raised concerns about potential retaliation from Beijing in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to distance himself from the arrest.

"The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference ... we were advised by them with a few days' notice that this was in the works," Trudeau told reporters in Montreal in televised remarks.

[Dec 08, 2018] America's act against China borders on military aggression

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

spudski , Dec 6, 2018 12:56:44 PM | link

Michael Hudson's comment on Naked Capitalism:

December 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

I think that America's act against China borders on military aggression. The US is saying, "Don't deal with any country that we're imposing sanctions on. We want to grab Iran's oil. That's why we overthrew Mossedegh. That's why we installed the Shah and his police state. We want Saudi Arabia's money, and they told us we have to support the Sunni against Shi'ites, so our foreign policy is that of Saudi Arabia when it comes to the fate of who can and who cannot trade with Iran. China must follow our orders or we will do everything we can to stop its own development. It need only look at how we treated Iran to see what may be in store for it."
This raises the Cold Wa to a new dimension.


karlof1 , Dec 6, 2018 4:18:27 PM | link

dh @99--

Yes, guilty as charged. I expect a major challenge to the illegality of the Outlaw US Empire's attempts at Extraterritoriality which has yet to be attempted but now must be done. China has a very distinctive history regarding such treatment and will not let it pass. The Trade War will escalate and the Empire's top tier of oligarchs will lose billions.

Circe , Dec 6, 2018 4:21:24 PM | link
Blue peacock Walrus must be Boltonnnn! He just parrotted exactly the same bull about stolen property except with the caveat that it's not the reason for her arrest!!! 😉😎 It's about doing business with Iran! F.U. AMERICA!

ARREST MBS INSTEAD, DAMN YOU EFFING HYPOCRITES! I can't get over Trudeau was a pasty to this woman's arrest! THIS IS INSANE.

[Dec 08, 2018] The incident shows that the US and some other countries that follow the US didn't abide by the bottom line of international law at all. From now on, we should reduce or cancel important people's visits to the US, Canada and some other countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Notable quotes:
"... The incident shows that the US and some other countries that follow the US didn't abide by the bottom line of international law at all. From now on, we should reduce or cancel important people's visits to the US, Canada and some other countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The warning applies to not only Chinese citizens, but also citizens of any other country. ..."
"... Given the extreme risks of the political struggle in the US, Chinese scientists and technological experts in the West, particularly in the UKUSA countries (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) are advised to make some risk prevention arrangements for their own sake and the sake of their children. ..."
"... Unlike China's State-owned enterprises, Huawei is a genuine private firm. But the severe political discrimination and repulsion from the US reflect an undeniable fact - the political gap between China and the US and a few other Western nations is too wide to bridge. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 7, 2018 5:04:01 PM | link

Avoided a knee-jerk response, did some chores, read some other items, then went looking for English language Chinese reactions, like this one provided by Global Times , which said several different things to different audiences, although toward its bottom we find this:

" The incident shows that the US and some other countries that follow the US didn't abide by the bottom line of international law at all. From now on, we should reduce or cancel important people's visits to the US, Canada and some other countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The warning applies to not only Chinese citizens, but also citizens of any other country.

" Given the extreme risks of the political struggle in the US, Chinese scientists and technological experts in the West, particularly in the UKUSA countries (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) are advised to make some risk prevention arrangements for their own sake and the sake of their children. "

Global Times also published this editorial with its emphasis on the entire affair being an attack on Huawei's competitiveness, although suddenly in the middle it says this:

" Unlike China's State-owned enterprises, Huawei is a genuine private firm. But the severe political discrimination and repulsion from the US reflect an undeniable fact - the political gap between China and the US and a few other Western nations is too wide to bridge. "

A bit of a bombshell that seems to contradict what came before and after, which is an exploration of how "the political gap" can be narrowed. This line says:

"Meanwhile, China needs to ease its geopolitical and ideological tensions with the US and the West through expanding its opening-up to the world."

Unfortunately, the Outlaw US Empire has no interest in "eas[ing] its geopolitical and ideological tensions" with China, Russia or any other nation as its unelected helmsmen want everything for themselves a la Monopoly winners, thus rendering Chinese attempts at appeasement vacuous--Real Men want it all; sharing--Win-Win--is for wussies.

[Dec 08, 2018] Opinion Huawei bust reveals the real US-China trade war - Livemint

Export restrictions, and threats of restrictions, are thus probably not just about sanctions -- they're about making life harder for the main competitors of US tech companies
Dec 08, 2018 | www.livemint.com
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was mainly about tariffs, especially on items like automobiles.

But the startling arrest in Canada of a Chinese telecom company executive should wake people up to the fact that there's a second U.S.-China trade war going on -- a much more stealthy conflict, fought with weapons much subtler and more devastating than tariffs. And the prize in that other struggle is domination of the information-technology industry.

The arrested executive, Wanzhou Meng, is the chief financial officer of telecom-equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co. (and its founder's daughter). The official reason for her arrest is that Huawei is suspected of selling technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions. It's the second big Chinese tech company to be accused of breaching those sanctions -- the first was ZTE Corp. in 2017. The U.S. punished ZTE by forbidding it from buying American components -- most importantly, telecom chips made by U.S.-based Qualcomm Inc.

Those purchasing restrictions were eventually lifted after ZTE agreed to pay a fine, and it seems certain that Huawei will also eventually escape severe punishment. But these episodes highlight Chinese companies' dependence on critical U.S. technology. The U.S. still makes -- or at least, designs -- the best computer chips in the world. China assembles lots of electronics, but without those crucial inputs of U.S. technology, products made by companies such as Huawei would be of much lower-quality.

Export restrictions, and threats of restrictions, are thus probably not just about sanctions -- they're about making life harder for the main competitors of U.S. tech companies. Huawei just passed Apple Inc. to become the world's second-largest smartphone maker by market share (Samsung Electronics Co. is first). This marks a change for China, whose companies have long been stuck doing low-value assembly while companies in rich countries do the high-value design, marketing and component manufacturing. U.S. moves against Huawei and ZTE may be intended to force China to remain a cheap supplier instead of a threatening competitor.

The subtle, far-sighted nature of this approach suggests that the impetus for the high-tech trade war goes far beyond what Trump, with his focus on tariffs and old-line manufacturing industries, would think of. It seems likely that U.S. tech companies, as well as the military intelligence communities, are influencing policy here as well.

In fact, more systematic efforts to block Chinese access to U.S. components are in the works. The Export Control Reform Act, passed this summer, increased regulatory oversight of U.S. exports of "emerging" and "foundational" technologies deemed to have national-security importance. Although national security is certainly a concern, it's generally hard to separate high-tech industrial and corporate dominance from military dominance, so this too should be seen as part of the trade war.

A second weapon in the high-tech trade war is investment restrictions. The Trump administration has greatly expanded its power to block Chinese investments in U.S. technology companies, through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. CFIUS has already canceled a bunch of Chinese deals:

The goal of investment restrictions is to prevent Chinese companies from copying or stealing American ideas and technologies. Chinese companies can buy American companies and transfer their intellectual property overseas, or have their employees train their Chinese replacements. Even minority stakes can allow a Chinese investor access to industrial secrets that would otherwise be off-limits. By blocking these investors, the Trump administration hopes to preserve U.S. technological dominance, at least for a little while longer.

Notably, the European Union is also moving to restrict Chinese investments. The fact that Europe, which has opposed Trump's tariffs, is copying American investment restrictions, should be a signal that the less-publicized high-tech trade war is actually the important one.

The high-tech trade war shows that for all the hoopla over manufacturing jobs, steel, autos and tariffs, the real competition is in the tech sector. Losing the lead in the global technology race means lower profits and a disappearing military advantage. But it also means losing the powerful knowledge-industry clustering effects that have been an engine of U.S. economic growth in the post-manufacturing age. Bluntly put, the U.S. can afford to lose its lead in furniture manufacturing; it can't afford to lose its dominance in the tech sector.

The question is whether the high-tech trade war will succeed in keeping China in second place. China has long wanted to catch up in semiconductor manufacturing, but export controls will make that goal a necessity rather than an aspiration. And investment restrictions may spur China to upgrade its own homegrown research and development capacity.

In other words, in the age when China and the U.S. were economically co-dependent, China might have been content to accept lower profit margins and keep copying American technology instead of developing its own. But with the coming of the high-tech trade war, that co-dependency is coming to an end. Perhaps that was always inevitable, as China pressed forward on the technological frontier. In any case, the Trump administration's recent moves against Chinese tech -- and some similar moves by the EU -- should be seen as the first shots in a long war.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed)

[Dec 08, 2018] The trade war targets the entire Chinese high tech industry, especially the Made in China 2030 proj. Huawei in less than 30 years it has displaced CISCO as the world's no 1 network supplier, presently gunning Samsung for top spot in mobile phone preeminence

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

denk , Dec 8, 2018 12:12:43 AM | link

b

This is 'eight nations alliance' [1] mark2 no less. The military encirclement of China is in place, to be sprung if necessary. The trade war targets the entire Chinese high tech industry, especially the Made in China 2030 proj. Huawei is the crown jewel of emerging Chinese high tech, its rise is nothing less than astounding. In less than 30 years it has displaced CISCO as the world's no 1 network supplier, presently gunning Samsung for top spot in mobile phone preeminence.

It makes lots of people scare. [2]

They use false pretext to wage wars OF terror, now they use false pretext to launch a trade war, hyping up Huawei's 'security risk'. But nsa has been 'monitoring' Huawei since 2007, even hacked into its Shenzhen HQ, to look for incriminating evidence of CCP collaboration, it turned out naught. There'r absolutely No Evidence Huawei Spies on Americans, [3]

Just like the lack of evidence didn't prevent fukus attack on 'terrorist' countries, it sure doesn't stop Washington from mounting a frontal assault on Huawei. Huawei is currently shut out of the 5lies markets plus SK, JP, courtesy of Washington. The 'battle' has extended to the Pacifics isles,
where Washington/Oz joint force to arm twist Solomon isle to drop a undersea cable contract with Huawei.

They tried that again with PNG, asking them to renege on their contract with Huawei, but the PNG PM is made of sterner stuff, lecturing fukus on the importance of integrity and law, no less.

hhhhh

When the Meng kidnap news broke, my jaw dropped in amazement, ....They'r really getting really desperate now.

... ... ...


[1]

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/attachments/japanese-militaria/925359d1452969003-evolution-imperial-japan-s-war-medals-1875-1945-a-17.troops_of_the_eight_nations_alliance_1900.jpg

[2]
Huawei's U.S. competitors among those pushing for scrutiny of Chinese tech firm
It was long thought that we were the number-one economy and China just supplied cheap labor,"

Guthrie said. "Now it is clear that China has lot to offer in terms of innovation and Industrial policy and state investment, and now people are scared

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/huaweis-us-competitors-among-those-pushing-for-scrutiny-of-chinese-tech-firm/2012/10/10/b84d8d16-1256-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html?utm_term=.9a08c5b5a9bb


Watch out Cisco. Huawei's coming!

https://etherealmind.com/watch-out-cisco-huaweis-coming/

China's Huawei takes aim at Cisco with SDN programmable switch Huawei Technologies is bringing its own "software-defined networking" switch globally in a bid to raise its profile and expand in a market dominated by Cisco.
https://www.computerworld.com/article/2484793/networking/china-s-huawei-takes-aim-at-cisco-with-sdn-programmable-switch.html

[3]
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/59w49b/huawei-surveillance-no-evidence

[Dec 08, 2018] Huawei's Meng Snagged Due to US Bank Sanctions

Games in US intelligence agencies are one thing, but the fact that this arrest is a severe blow, almost knockdown for neoliberalism is another.
From comments: "Spot on with your comment. As you point out, this event will cast a dark shadow over executive travel for a long time to come, including those American executives who will now be fearful of countermeasures."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Moreover, John Bolton is the sort who'd love to collect a high profile scalp like the arrest of Meng, so it's credible that he would find a way to go ahead whether or not the China trade negotiation team was on board.

Meng has her bail hearing in Vancouver today, so we will probably learn more about the expected process and timetable.


Alex V , December 7, 2018 at 3:56 am

Wondering why US dollars would ever be involved in transactions between a Chinese supplier, a UK bank, and Iranian customers Assuming usage of correspondent banks in NYC? Would also be a reason for where the indictment was filed.

The conspiracy theorist in me says that transactions are being routed through the US not for any practical reason, or due to customer wishes, but only to expose them to US jurisdiction for potential prosecution. An alternative to SWIFT is desperately needed

A. A. , December 7, 2018 at 4:13 am

The FCPA is extremely expansive: a non U.S. company doing business in the U.S. must not do business with Iran directly or indirectly if it knows or has reason to suspect the business is related to Iran. So if they have the evidence it all looks like a slam dunk.

As to SWIFT, doesn't the U.S. have access to all SWIFT transactions, even those not touching U.S. banks? They'd certainly have the Five Eyes SWIFT data.

Plus apparently the U.S. has (or had) access to Huawei's email traffic.

Yves Smith Post author , December 7, 2018 at 5:26 am

Not correspondent banks. HSBC has a New York branch, as does pretty much every foreign bank with an international business. Dollar transactions clear though the US because no bank is going to run intraday balances with other banks without the end of day settlement ultimately being backstopped by the Fed. That means running over Fedwire.

Alex V , December 7, 2018 at 5:53 am

Ah, thanks for the technical detail on why it would be cleared through the US. The Masters of the Universe really are unwilling to take any risk unless it's socialized in some way. Still curious why they would ever let it touch US jurisdiction, but I guess the details of the case will eventually reveal that.

William Bowles , December 7, 2018 at 4:21 am

See Voltaire Net for the reasons: Huawei's unbreakable encryption:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204264.html

"The heart of the problem is that the Chinese firm uses a system of encryption that prevents the NSA from intercepting its communications. A number of governments and secret services in the non-Western world have begun to equip themselves exclusively with Huawei materials, and are doing so to protect the confidentiality of their communications."

laodan , December 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

There is also this other article on Voltaire Network " Behind the US attack on Chinese Smartphones " by Manlio Dinucci. 2018-10-05

"The struggle centred around Huawei illustrates the way in which economic and military preoccupations inter-connect. Already, many States have observed that Washington is so far unable to decode this technology. Thus, as they did in Syria, they have entirely re-equipped their Intelligence services with Huawei material, and forbid their civil servants to use any others."

Taking into account this story from Syria the following dismissal, by China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying of a report in The New York Times, could be understood differently than it was initially

"China on Thursday denounced a U.S. newspaper report that it is listening to Donald Trump's phone calls as "fake news," and suggested he exchange his iPhone for a cellphone made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei".
in AP, 2018-10-26, "China denies spying on Trump's phone, suggests he use Huawei".

The Rev Kev , December 7, 2018 at 5:08 am

So I turned on the local TV network to see how the story would be spun to find out what the official line would be. There was no mention of the fact in the story that Meng was just not the CFO of Huawei but also the daughter – the daughter – of the founder. More to the point, nearly every scene showing Meng was when she was on-stage with Putin somewhere so there is your guilt by association right there. They even used close-ups of the two together though the stage was full of people seated there.
Something else in that story that I noticed. It featured the last day of the G-20 when the American and Chinese delegation were facing each other over a conference table. On the right was Trump and a bit further down was John Bolton. Now Trump has said he had no idea that this arrest was taking place but Bolton said that he know beforehand. Does it not seem strange that Bolton would not have pulled Trump aside beforehand and said 'Hey boss, we are going to do something never done before and arrest a high-level Chinese citizen which could blow up your whole agreement. You know, just so you know.'
With this is mind, it may be fairer to say that this was more a case of 'Huawei's Meng Targeted using US Bank Sanctions'. The pity is that the US Justice Department finds no trouble with targeting a corporation nearly 7,000 miles away but just can't seem to target Wall Street which is only about 200 miles away from their headquarters. And I am afraid that I am not too impressed with that internal Huawei memo as probably most international corporations want to know where they can push the envelope. Personally I would be more interested on a memo from the Clinton Foundation listing the amounts needed to gain access the SecState and how much could be purchased for that amount. Both memos would amount to the same thing.
This is new this development. The US has targeted individuals with sanctions but for the first time they are attempting the extraterritorial rendition of a foreign citizen in connection with sanctions violations meaning extraterritorial jurisdiction which means that American laws apply all over the world. Could you imagine if this became standard practice? The chill it would put on executive travel? The possibilities of tit for tat arrests? US tech execs have already been warned on China travel. Do they really want to go there? This is nothing less that a US declaration of war on firms competing with US business interests like they have done with Russia.
I would be also wary of this massive 'coincidence' in the timing of her arrest. The US Justice Department would probably know Meng's travel schedule better that she would – Bolton with his contacts would see to that. It may be that events in her calendar were pre-arranged for her. The Justice Department has a long history of setting up people. Canada's involvement is simply another member of the Five Eyes group doing active participation. It has not escaped my notice that all the countries rejecting Huawe's 5G technology – Australia, the UK, New Zealand – are also members of the Five Eyes. Not looking good.

Yves Smith Post author , December 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

This is not a rendition. Meng's extradition is all being done by the book. She is still in Canada, and will have a bail hearing today. She will have the opportunity to contest her extradition in Canada. Assuming she loses, she then goes to the US to face charges.

And I'm not keen about the CT. A top Chinese tech company like Huawei which knows it's on America's shit list would have a very well protected Intranet. The US does not have access to Chinese telcoms to locate or steal the data of Chinese citizens. Get real.

Thuto , December 7, 2018 at 6:13 am

I'm not sure I embrace the notion of all this being done by the book as much as you Yves. After all, even charades can have the appearance of procedural compliance and the following of by the book rules, in fact, perhaps the incentive to create the appearance of following the rules is even more pronounced in a high profile case such as this. As to whether she will have a fair opportunity to defend herself, this is a watershed moment for Canada and she's is in the spotlight here and no matter which way it goes, the decision to extradite or not will have irrevocable implications on her international relations.

Yves Smith Post author , December 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

This is not a rendition. Canada isn't the UK. It's not going to bend its court processes, particularly since Chinese have become big investors in Canada and Trump has been astonishingly rude to Trudeau. And it has an independent judiciary.

Marshall Auerback , December 7, 2018 at 9:00 am

I was pretty unimpressed by Trudeau's pusillanimity. He tried to give the impression that Canada was just an innocent bystander in this whole process. Get real. If there's an extradition treaty, the US has to make a formal request to the Canadian government. The idea that the PM wasn't consulted on this is nonsensical. Justin engaging in his own version of "cakeism". Wants to stay on the good side of both Beijing and Washington, which is an impossible thing to do. Trudeau is already on Trump's sh*t list, and I'm sure Xi is taking his measure of the man as well. Probably not terribly impressed with him either.

rd , December 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

I have family and friends in Canada. Trust me, Canadians would be REALLY pissed if they thought that the Canadian judiciary was rolling over for Trump and Bolton.Trump is not making Canadian friends by running around throwing tantrums over NAFTA given that US-Canada trade is one of the most balanced trade relationships in the world with very little net trade deficit for either side.

I think this is very much being done by the book. Is there a viable law that is not, by itself, a human rights violation? Is there credible evidence that this person broke this law? Those are the basic questions that will need to be answered in a Canadian court room to have an extradition move forward.

Canadians want the big powers to have coherent rational laws and treaties related to trade etc. and then follow them. They also want to have rational, coherent international plans on addressing conflicts and have historically been very strong supporters of the UN and routinely have blue helmet troops all around the world on peace-keeping missions. Canada can do this safely because it has balanced relationships with most countries around the world. It will not do these types of arrests and extraditions on a whim because that would upset Canada's role in the world.

William Bowles , December 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Judging from what I've read, the US are claiming she committed fraud by alleging that a company, Skycom that allegedly did business with Iran was not separate from Huawei. Here's the BBC's take:

"On Friday, US prosecutors told the Supreme Court of British Columbia that Ms Meng had used a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014 .

"They said she had publicly misrepresented Skycom as being a separate company." – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46490053

Note the dates!!!! This is surely a setup!

Thuto , December 7, 2018 at 5:52 am

Spot on with your comment. As you point out, this event will cast a dark shadow over executive travel for a long time to come, including those American executives who will now be fearful of countermeasures.

rd , December 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

Sounds like a good reason for executives not to break laws

JTMcPhee , December 7, 2018 at 11:05 am

Whose laws, one might ask? The US says ITS laws rule the world. ISDS says corporate right to profit (by their accounting methods that discount externalities to zero) outweighs ALL national and local laws.

And having spent some years as a lawyer, and observing several different kinds of courts in operation, I would dare to challenge the assertion that "courts have to follow rules." Like they have done in the foreclosure mess, maybe? Like the shenanigans displayed via Chicago's "Operation Greylord" prosecutions? Or in traffic courts in small towns in Flyover Country? how about the US bankruptcy courts, where shall we say "bad decisions" are endemic? Remember Julius Hoffman? how about Kimba Woods, who sua sponte curtailed Michael Milken's jail term for his junk bond racket? Even FISA, of course?

And the assertion that Canadian judges are beyond political maneuvering runs up against a whole lot of reports and studies that cast the integrity of the Canadian bar into not insignificant doubt. Look to "corruption in canadian courts" for a nice assortment, like this one, https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jj-mccullough/canada-judicial-appointments_b_5264567.html , and this, http://www.waterwarcrimes.com/canadian-legal-and-judicial-corruption.html , for example, and other more scholarly views.

Yes, let us wait and see how this plays out, and then we can study what history's actors have done, judiciously as we must

Lynne , December 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

Good luck with that. It's almost impossible in the US never to break the law in some way. It just takes a cop or prosecutors motivated enough. I find it hard to believe it's not the same in China, let alone Russia or the UK, to name a few.

Geoff _S , December 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm

This law school lecture is 45mins long but really fun (it's got 2.5 million views). You should never talk to the police – one reason being that, as Lynne says, there are SO many possible offences, that you can never be sure you are not guilty of something .

Don't Talk to the Police!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE

RMO , December 7, 2018 at 7:58 pm

"Sounds like a good reason for executives not to break laws "

Yeah, I remember when all those HSBC executives were arrested, tried and thrown in jail. Good times The U.S. government really believes in the rule of law. Remember when the Chief Executive was sent to prison for life for committing "the supreme war crime" and shredding the U.S. Constitution?

Rules are for little people Meng isn't big enough to be unprosecutable apparently.

adrena , December 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm

Exactly. America is acting as the world's police.

And Trudeau has no spine.

Thuto , December 7, 2018 at 5:31 am

So the US DOJ, according to "people familiar with the matter", has been investigating Huawei for at least two years. My math tells me this is roughly since the signing of the deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries in 2016, a deal subsequently incorporated into international law by the UN. Now a bank that has run a laundry service for dirty money is suddenly thrust into victimhood and (with Uncle Sam's boot on its neck no doubt) is "cooperating" with the investigation? You couldn't make this more surreal if you tried.

If this isn't the final act in peeling off the rose tinted glasses from countries that still consider the US a trusted friend and loyal ally, one wonders how much more evidence they need to see it for what it really is, a duplicitous, hypocritical, tyrannical imperialist. The irony of this charade being undertaken by the department of "justice" makes this even more egregious. Expect development of an alternative system to Swift to go into overdrive after this.

W , December 7, 2018 at 9:38 am

The point isn't "Is the US acting legally/by the book in enforcing the law", it's "Why is the US legally enforcing the law in this case and not the million other cases equally deserving of enforcement?" When the law isn't enforced evenly, then the law just becomes a cover story for dishing out and withholding punishment by authorities.

lawrence j silber , December 7, 2018 at 10:16 am

Very interesting-actually mystifying. The powers that are- from their pronouncements,haven't a clue about modern money, and in that framework the benefits of the reserve currency they print. Maybe they do, but why, for what appears a minimal foreign corporate compliance offence, would we want China, Russia, and a host of others to find enough cause to continue their effort on a replacement reserve? Why are we so hell bent on militarising the dollar? Save it for really big fish. Sure, its extremely difficult under the current political framework for the world to organise and opt away from our dollar , but the stability and leadership America has offered since the end of ww11, maybe appears diminishing. Given Trump just made a deal with Xi, at the same time his vip citizen was being targeted- obviously kind of humiliating-,as well as the administration turning a blind eye to the murderous soprano fiefdom of Saudi Arabia; from any rational standpoint prioritising human rights over crooked bank compliance issues , this looks keystone cop like! Sure we only have a little info, but it still smells of hypocritical, imperialistic, one hand doesnt know what the other hand is doing idiots in charge. Mike Hudson sees nefarious purposes,maybe hes a bit hawkish, but this just seems so obtuse given the g20 hand shakes. Going to be very interesting watching China's response. Then again maybe this lady is a criminal.

makedoanmend , December 7, 2018 at 5:40 am

" the US Justice Department finds no trouble with targeting a corporation nearly 7,000 miles away but just can't seem to target Wall Street which is only about 200 miles away from their headquarters "

This.

Having power over others seems to be a standard condition of our species. How one uses or abuses power reveals the inner nature of the one(s) wielding the power. There need not be a conspiracy of the powerful, just a consensus of how power should be used so that the sum total exercises of the powerful reveal where their interests intersect. The rest of us just got get out of the way.

If one wants to know what interesting times look like, well, we have front row seats. And its in 3-D.

I must admit that President Trump is doing a better job than former President Obama in ramping up a new theatre of economic warfare across the globe. Former President Obama was rather crude, what with his drones. I'm thinking we have to update von Clausewitz's dictum: "War is the continuation of politics by other means." to something along the lines of "Economics is a continuation of war by other means."

The USA polity is certainly making it up close and personal.

timbers , December 7, 2018 at 8:13 am

Indeed. The possibilities for China to retaliate are seemingly endless though they won't have the long arm the U.S. has.

Perhaps China should respond by trying to arrest and indicting some of the Wall Street big wigs Obama never indicted. I'm sure China could come up with reasons why fraud Wall Street committed violated Chinese law and damaged China.

Of course, being an exporter to the U.S. I'm sure China would much rather this go away, than to retaliate.

lawrence j silber , December 7, 2018 at 10:35 am

Very interesting-actually mystifying. The powers that are- from their pronouncements,haven't a clue about modern money, and in that framework the benefits of the reserve currency they print. Maybe they do, but why, for what appears a minimal foreign corporate compliance offence, would we want China, Russia, and a host of others to find enough cause to continue their effort on a replacement reserve? Why are we so hell bent on militarising the dollar? Save it for really big fish. Sure, its extremely difficult under the current political framework for the world to organise and opt away from our dollar , but the stability and leadership America has offered since the end of ww11, maybe appears diminishing. Given Trump just made a deal with Xi, at the same time his vip citizen was being targeted- obviously kind of humiliating-,as well as the administration turning a blind eye to the murderous soprano fiefdom of Saudi Arabia; from any rational standpoint prioritising human rights over crooked bank compliance issues , this looks keystone cop like! Sure we only have a little info, but it still smells of hypocritical, imperialistic, one hand doesnt know what the other hand is doing idiots in charge. Mike Hudson sees nefarious purposes,maybe hes a bit hawkish, but this just seems so obtuse given the g20 hand shakes. Going to be very interesting watching China's response. Then again maybe this lady is a criminal.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 7, 2018 at 11:14 am

Why are we so hell bent? The U.S. hyper power status started in 1991. This is a generation where they knew nothing else, coming off 45 years where allies did what they were told.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grand_Chessboard

Whether its throwing around terms such as "American exceptionalism" or "indispensable nation", there is a religious fervor around the U.S. among American foreign policy elites.

Then there is imperial rot. The tenures in the U.S. Senate are longer than the Soviet Politburo. At a practical level the Bushes and Clintons (not exactly great people) have been responsible for who gets promoted in Washington and who develops marketable connections since 1986 with Reagan's alzheimers kicking in big time if not longer.

JTMcPhee , December 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

In many places in the US, if I jaywalk, I am a criminal. What corporate executive is not a criminal, given the mass of laws that apply (until said criminals can bribe the legislatures into de-criminalizing the bad behaviors)? Not to mention persuading the executive branch to not prosecute, for all kinds of "political" reasons? Ask Wells Fargo and the other Banksters how that works. Selective or non-prosecution for me, "the full weight of the law," that fraudulent notion, for thee, I guess. And none of that is in any way new.

Speaking of Chinese criminals, I would add an anecdote. I have not been able to find the episode, but one of the formerly investigative programs (20-20 or 60 Minutes, I believe) took part in a sting of a Chinese corp that sells counterfeit medicines. This was maybe 8-10 years ago. A very pretty if somewhat English-challenged young woman met with a bunch, maybe 10, men and women who she thought were buyers for distributors and Pharma corps in the US and I believe Canada. This meeting took place in a West Coast S city as I recall.

She offered that her company produced counterfeit meds using "latest technology" that from the shape and color and texture and markings of the pills and package inserts, right down to the packaging, holograms and all, could not be distinguished from the original. The products were touted as being biologically inactive and "safe." She averred that her company could deliver any quantity, from cartons to container loads, at very reasonable and attractive price.

But that is a little different case from what appears at this point (barring correction as the "case" develops) from the Huawei matter.

John k , December 7, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Not easy for another entity to take over the reserve currency.
China Germany etc want a trade surplus with us, so they must accept and store dollars. Very similarly. Many individuals want to save dollars because they don't trust their own currency. And some countries actually use dollars as their currency.
So the desire to accept or save dollars in exchange for their goods means the dollar is the reserve currency. This won't change until something else becomes more attractive to savers and mercantilists.

cbu , December 7, 2018 at 11:20 am

I agree that "done by the book" is irrelevant here. Selective enforcement is the issue. Wall Street crooks have committed greater sins yet none of them is really punished.

Anyone could have written an "internal memo" like that. Proving its authenticity is a different matter. After all, the biggest "smoking gun" I have ever seen in my life was the "evidence" of Iraqi WMD.

Another interesting aspect of the case is that as I suspected, it might be difficult to prove that Huawei sold Iran some specific American technologies that still have valid patents in effect.

Synoia , December 7, 2018 at 11:25 am

I personally know IBM and others breached the US arms control export laws by exporting Cryptography to Apartheid South Africa, and believe that Shell Oil has broken nearly all environmental laws in the Niger Delta for decades.

Where is the equity?

Eclair , December 7, 2018 at 11:43 am

Fascinating discussion, Yves and commenters.

Is this what happens when a government is sliding rapidly down the slope of loss of legitimacy?' We become acutely aware of the selective enforcement of its laws; a situation that our poor and black and brown citizens have known for decades.

We have even become aware that the laws themselves are not always enacted for the public good, but for the enrichment of certain small segments of the population.

This is not a good place to be. I mean this state of mind, not the NC site, which, as always, provides the opportunity for much thoughtful and creative discussion.

Carolinian , December 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Don't forget that the US ambassador to Germany threatened secondary sanctions against Germany if they went ahead with Nordstream2. Trump then walked that back. But as for this latest move, we know that Bolton at least was informed of the impending arrest so it's fair to say that such a sensitive action would not have happened without some form of White House approval–even if it wasn't Trump himself. It's probably not a CT therefore to say that there's more going on here than a prosecutor making a routine request. The administration hawks are firing a shot over the bow of anyone who defies them on Iran (the place "real men" go to). Given what we know about Bolton's Iran obsession it may not even have much to do with China.

And this bully boy approach to the rest of the world isn't only coming from Trump's neocons since sanctions bills are a bipartisan favorite of our Congress. Apparently being bribed on domestic matters isn't enough (unless you consider foreign policy to only be about MIC profits). Doing the bidding overseas actors and their supporters taps a whole other vein.

thepanzer , December 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Link to Moon of Alabama for "B"'s take on the situation.

Carolinian , December 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Corrected link

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/12/neocons-sabotage-trumps-trade-talks-huawei-cfo-taken-hostage-to-blackmail-china.html#more

Carolinian , December 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Just to add: B pretty much buys the hostage CT.

Todde , December 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm

The US doesn't apply the law equally.

Color me surprised

Harrold , December 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Flights that over fly US airspace are required to submit their manifests and passenger names are bounced against the National Crime Information Center databases by CBP.

I would venture that her flight overflew Alaskan airspace and that is how they found out she was on board.

[Dec 07, 2018] Huawei CFO Charged With Fraud, Deemed Flight Risk Whose Bail Couldn't Be High Enough

So the USA decided to take hostages ;-) The key rule of neoliberalism is the financial oligarchy is untouchable. This is a gangster-style move which will greatly backfire.
Now Russian financial executives would think twice about visiting UK, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. and that's money lost. Probably forever.
Dec 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Appearing in court wearing a green jumpsuit and without handcuffs, Meng reportedly looked to be in good spirits in a Vancouver courtroom where the prosecutions' case was detailed publicly for the first time. Specifically, the US alleges that Meng helped conceal the company's true relationship with a firm called Skycom, a subsidiary closely tied to its parent company as it did business with Iran.

Meng used this deception to lure banks into facilitating transactions that violated US sanctions, exposing them to possible fines. The prosecutor didn't name the banks, but US media on Thursday reported that a federal monitor at HSBC flagged a suspicious transaction involving Huawei to US authorities, according to Bloomberg. Prosecutors also argued that Meng has avoided the US since learning about its probe into possible sanctions violations committed by Huawei, and that she should be held in custody because she's a flight risk whose bail could not be set high enough. Before Friday's hearing, a publication ban prevented details about the charges facing Meng from being released. However, that ban was lifted at the beginning of her hearing. Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday while on her way to Mexico, according to reports in the Canadian Press.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada's ambassador in Beijing had briefed the Chinese foreign ministry on Meng's arrest. The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa had branded Meng's detention as a "serious violation of human rights" as senior Chinese officials debate the prospects for retaliation. Freeland said McCallum told the Chinese that Canada is simply following its laws - echoing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claim that Meng's arrest was the result of a legal process happening independent of politics.

Friday's hearing in Vancouver is just the start of a legal process that could end with Meng being extradited to stand trial in the US. Even if prosecutors believe there is little doubt as to Meng's guilt, the extradition process could take months or even years.

youshallnotkill , 39 seconds ago link

Anything involving Iran is inherently political. The US is abusing Interpol in no less brazen fashion than Russia and China when seeking the extradition of dissidents. Canada shouldn't accomodate this BS.

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Corbyn, in my opinion one of the many not too bright socialists, who are caught in their own ideological prison: worldwide socialism is globalisation, globalisation took power away from politicians, and gave it to multinationals and banks.
jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
@niceland The expression class war is often used without realising what the issue is, same with tax evasion.
The rich of course consume more, however, there is a limit to what one can consume, it takes time to squander money.
So the end of the class war may make the rich poor, but alas the poor hardly richer.

About tax evasion, some economist, do not remember his name, did not read the article attentively, analysed wealth in the world, and concluded that eight % of this wealth had originated in evading taxes.
Over what period this evasion had taken place, do not remember this economist had reached a conclusion, but anyone understands that ending tax evasion will not make all poor rich.

There is quite another aspect of class war, evading taxes, wealth inequality, that is quite worrying: the political power money can yield.
Soros is at war with Hungary, his Open University must leave Hungary.
USA MSM furious, some basic human right, or rights, have been violated, many in Brussels furious, the 226 Soros followers among them, I suppose.
But since when is it allowed, legally and/or morally, to try to change the culture of a country, in this case by a foreigner, just by pumping money into a country ?
Soros advertises himself as a philantropist, the Hungarian majority sees him as some kind of imperialist, I suppose.

Tyrion 2 , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Simon in London 90% Labour party members supported remain, as did 65% of their voters and 95% of their MPs.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

Well , I am reading " The occult renaissance church of Rome " by Michael Hoffman , Independent History and research . Coeur d`Alene , Idaho . http://www.RevisionistHistory.org
I saw about this book in this Unz web .

I used to think than the rot started with protestantism , but Hoffman says it started with catholic Renaissance in Rome itself in the XV century , the Medici , the Popes , usury

Mike P , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
This whole affair illustrates beautifully the real purpose of the sham laughingly known as "representative democracy," namely, not to "empower" the public but to deprive it of its power.

With modern means of communication, direct democracy would be technically feasible even in large countries. Nevertheless, practically all "democratic" countries continue to delegate all legislative powers to elected "representatives." These are nothing more than consenting hostages of those with the real power, who control and at the same time hide behind those "representatives." The more this becomes obvious, the lower the calibre of the people willing to be used in this manner – hence, the current crop of mental gnomes and opportunist shills in European politics.

Wizard of Oz , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
I would only shout this rambling ignoramus a beer in the pub to stop his mouth for a while. Some of his egregious errors have been noted. and Greece, anyway, is an irrelevance to the critical decisions on Brexit.

Once Article 50 was invoked the game was over. All the trump cards were on the EU side. Now we know that, even assuming Britain could muster a competent team to plan and negotiate for Brexit that all the work of proving up the case and negotiating or preparing the ground has to be done over years leading up to the triggering of Article 50. And that's assuming that recent events leave you believing that the once great Britain is fit to be a sovereign nation without adult supervision.

As it is one has to hope that Britain will not be constrained by the total humbug which says that a 51 per cent vote of those choosing to vote in that very un British thing, a referendum, is some sort of reason for not giving effect to a more up to date and better informed view.

Stebbing Heuer , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Erm Varoufakis didn't knuckle under. He resigned in protest at Tsipras' knuckling under.
anon [108] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Hypothesis: The British masses would fare better without a privatized government.

"Corbyn may prove to be real .. .. old-time Labour platform [leadership, capable to].. return [political, social and financial] control back to the hands of the UK worker".. [but the privateers will use the government itself and mass media to defeat such platforms and to suppress labor with new laws and domestic armed warfare]. Why would a member of the British masses allow [the Oligarch elite and the[ir] powerful business and foreign political interests restrain democracy and waste the victims of privately owned automation revolution? .. ..

[Corbyn's Labour platform challenges ] privatized capitalist because the PCs use the British government to keep imprisoned in propaganda and suppressed in opportunity, the masses. The privateers made wealthy by their monopolies, are using their resources to maintain rule making and enforcement control (via the government) over the masses; such privateers have looted the government, and taken by privatization a vast array of economic monopolies that once belonged to the government. If the British government survives, the Privateers (monopoly thieves) will continue to use the government to replace humanity, in favor of corporate owned Robots and super capable algorithms.

Corbyn's threat to use government to represent the masses and to suppress or reduce asymmetric power and wealth, and to provide sufficient for everyone extends to, and alerts the masses in every capitalist dominated place in the world. He (Corbyn) is a very dangerous man, so too was Jesus Christ."

There is a similar call in France, but it is not yet so well led.

Michael Kenny , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This sounds like a halfway house between hysterical panic and sour grapes. The author clearly believes that Brexit is going to fail.
T.T , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
Every working Dutch person is "owed" 50k euro from the bailout of Greece, not that Greece will ever pay this back, and not as if Greece ever really got the money as it just went straight to northern European banks to bail them out. Then we have the fiscal policy creating more money by the day to stimulate the economy, which also doesn't reach the countries or people just the banks. Then we have the flirting with East-European mobsters to pull them in the EU sphere corrupting top EU bureaucrats. Then we have all of south Europe being extremely unstable, including France, both its populations and its economy.

It's sad to see the British government doesn't see the disaster ahead, any price would be cheaper then future forced EU integration. And especially at this point, the EU is so unstable, that they can't go to war on the UK without also committing A kamikaze attack.

Brett Redmayne-Titley , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Brabantian Thank you for your comment and addition to my evaluation of Corbyn. I do agree with you that Corbyn has yet to be tested for sincerity and effectiveness as PM, but he will likely get his chance and only then will we and the Brits find out for sure. The main point I was hoping to make was that: due to the perceived threat of Labour socialist reform under Corbyn, he has been an ulterior motive in the negotiations and another reason that the EU wants PM May to get her deal passed. Yes, I too am watching Corbyn with jaundiced optimism. Thank you.

[Dec 07, 2018] An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

Che Guava , says: December 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm GMT

I agree Jilles, and with many other of the commenters.

Read enough to see that the article has many errors of fact and perception. It is bad enough to suspect *propaganda* , but Brett is clearly not at that level.

An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Yet strangely, to say anything about it only became acceptable when some numbers of the immigrants were fellow Europeans from within the EU, and most having some compatibility with existing ethnicity and previous culture.

Even people living far away notice such forced false consciousness.

As for Corbyn, he is nothing like the old left of old Labour. He tries to convey that image, it is a lie.

He may not be Blairite-Zio New Labour, and received some influence from the more heavily Marxist old Labour figures, but he is very much a creature of the post-worst-of-1968 and dirty hippy new left, Frankfurt School and all that crap, doubt that he has actually read much of it, but he has internalised it through his formal and political education.

By the way, the best translation of the name of North Korea's ruling party is 'Labour Party'. While it is a true fact, I intend nothing from it but a small laugh.

[Dec 06, 2018] Huawei CFO arrested 'Gloves are now fully off,' says Eurasia Group

Dec 06, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

The arrest of Huawei's global chief financial officer in Canada, reportedly related to a violation of U.S. sanctions, will corrode trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, risk consultancy Eurasia Group said Thursday.

"Beijing is likely to react angrily to this latest arrest of a Chinese citizen in a third country for violating U.S. law," Eurasia analysts wrote.

In fact, Global Times -- a hyper-nationalistic tabloid tied to the Chinese Communist Party -- responded to the arrest by posting on Twitter a statement about trade war escalation it attributed to an expert "close to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce."

"China should be fully prepared for an escalation in the #tradewar with the US, as the US will not ease its stance on China, and the recent arrest of the senior executive of #Huawei is a vivid example," said the statement, paired with a photo of opposing fists with Chinese and American flags superimposed upon them.

[Dec 06, 2018] Trump-Xi trade deal What Chinese state media is saying

Dec 06, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met over a dinner during the G-20 summit in Argentina after months of increasing trade tensions between the two countries. The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, while Beijing has retaliated with duties on $110 billion of U.S. goods.

The White House's latest round of tariffs on $200 billion goods was set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on Jan. 1, 2019, but Trump agreed at the G-20 meeting not to do so.

The catch is, however, that Xi and Trump must find resolution on "forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture" within 90 days, according to the White House press secretary's statement.

That gives the leaders until early March -- past Christmas, New Year's and Chinese New Year -- to find a way to keep tariffs from rising.

However, official online statements about Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's briefing on the meeting did not discuss the technology transfers or the 90-day condition.

The timeframe and details on areas of disagreement also did not appear in online reports from China's state news agency Xinhua , People's Daily -- the official Communist Party paper -- and CGTN -- the English-language version of state broadcaster CCTV.

The articles did note the U.S. and China agreed to work towards mutual benefits, and generally indicated Beijing would increase purchases of U.S. goods. The state media also said the two parties discussed North Korea denuclearization. The Chinese press also said Trump upheld a "One-China Policy" regarding Taiwan -- something not mentioned in the White House statement.

On top of that, Trump tweeted late Sunday evening that "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%."

Prior to that Twitter post, there had not been any mention of such an agreement in Chinese sources.

[Dec 06, 2018] Canada arrests Huawei CFO, who is wanted by US authorities

Dec 06, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said. Reuters was unable to determine the precise nature of the violations. Meng Wanzhou, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company's board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on Dec. 1 and a court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman said.

[Dec 06, 2018] UK spy chief raises questions over China's 5G rollout

Dec 06, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

The U.K.'s spy chief said that decisions still had to be made on China's role in building Britain's 5G network.

... ... ...

Last week, New Zealand banned Huawei from providing tech for its 5G rollout -- the third member of the Five Eyes security alliance to do so. At the time, New Zealand's government said it had identified a "significant network security risk."

Fellow members Australia and the U.S. have also excluded Chinese telecoms firms from providing 5G equipment for their domestic networks, leaving Canada and the U.K. as the only members not to rule out using the telecoms giant.

All three nations cited national security fears as the reason for excluding Chinese companies from their 5G rollouts, with Younger's Australian counterpart referring to them as "high-risk vendors."

... ... ...

Huawei and ZTE – another Chinese firm blocked from the U.S. 5G market – have repeatedly denied that their involvement in the rollouts would give China's government access to international networks. Warning to Russia China wasn't the only country raising security questions for MI6. Younger told his audience the U.K. faced many adversaries who regarded themselves as being in a state of "perpetual confrontation" with the nation -- including Russia.

"I urge Russia or any other state intent on subverting our way of life not to underestimate our determination and our capabilities, or those of our allies," he said.

"I should emphasize that even as the Russian state seeks to destabilize us, we do not seek to destabilize Russia. We do not seek an escalation. If we see a change in Russian behavior, we will respond positively. But we will be implacable in defense of our people and our vital interests."

... ... ...

[Dec 02, 2018] China and the United States have agreed to halt new tariffs as both nations engage in trade talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days

Dec 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 5 hours ago link

Update: Trump Wins

------------------------------------------------------

Reuters December 1, 2018

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - China and the United States have agreed to halt new tariffs as both nations engage in trade talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days, the White House said on Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held high-stakes talks in Argentina.

Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent on Jan. 1 as previously announced, as China agreed to buy an unspecified but "very substantial" amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products, the White House said. The White House also said China "is open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm Inc <QCOM.O> NXP <NXPI.O> deal should it again be presented."

The White House said that if agreement on trade issues including technology transfer, intellectual property, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft and agriculture have not been reached with China in 90 days that both parties agree that the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-china-declare-90-day-halt-tariffs-white-023232628--finance.html?.tsrc=notification-brknews

[Nov 27, 2018] Will Trump bring America down

Nov 27, 2018 | www.atimes.com

Why US allies are pushing back

US allies in Europe and Asia did not expect to be treated like vassal states, at least not openly. Succumbing to Trump's demands is an admission of being a lapdog.

US allies in Europe and Asia have no choice but to push back against Trump's bullying and condescending stances. They are elected by their citizens to protect the countries' sovereignty and interests, after all. Too, these leaders must save face and protect their legacies.

One of the first European leaders having the courage to defy Trump is French President Emmanuel Macron, calling for the establishment of a European Union army independent of the US to defend itself against Russia, China and possibly America itself. His proposal is supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Asian allies, particularly India, also seem to have pushed back , buying Iranian oil whether the US likes it or not.

Washington's attempt to revive the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprising itself and soulmates Australia, India and Japan may be losing support. Instead of joining with the US to contain China, India and Japan are seeking rapprochement with the Asian giant. Even "deputy sheriff" Australia is apparently having second thoughts, as one of its states is officially joining China's Belt and and Road Initiative.

In short, these three allies might finally realize that joining the US in containing China is harmful to their national interests. Fighting that nuclear power on their own soil might not be a good idea.

No country treats the US 'unfairly'

The fact of the matter is no country treats the US "unfairly" or is "eating its lunch." On the contrary, it could be argued that it is the other way around.

Having emerged as the world's strongest nation during and after World War II, US foreign policies have one goal: Shape the world to its image. That process began at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, insisting on using the US dollar as the world reserve currency and writing the trade rules. In this way, the US has accumulated a very powerful tool, printing as much money as it wants without repercussions to itself. For example, when a country wants to cash its US Treasury holdings, all America has to do is print more greenbacks.

To that end, the US is clearly "eating other countries' lunch." Indeed, a major reason the US can afford to build so many weapons is that other countries are paying for them.

US trade practices

On trade, the US in 1950 rejected the UK's proposal of forming an International Trade Organization (ITO) modeled after the International Monetary Fund and World Bank because it feared the ITO might have harmed American manufacturing. In its place, the US proposed and succeeded in forming the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) framework to negotiate tariff rates on goods.

Being the world's most powerful economy and biggest trading nation at that time, the US dominated the world trading system and wrote its rules. For example, it was the US that invented and implemented non-tariff trade barriers such as anti-dumping duties and national-security concerns to block imports. For example, the US imposed tariffs on Canadian, EU, Mexican and other countries' steel and aluminum from entering its market for security reasons.

It is laughable for the US to accuse Canada, the EU and Mexico of posing a national-security threat. They are, in fact, America's most staunch allies.

US foreign direct investment abroad

US companies bring with them ideas and technology (for which they charge exorbitant prices) when investing in a foreign market such as China and elsewhere. The capital needed to build factories is largely funded by the host country or other partners. For example, it is Taiwanese and Japanese investors that built Foxconn factories in China to assemble American electronic gadgets such as the iPad.

What's more, US companies charge huge prices for the products they make in China. According to the Asian Development Bank and other research organizations, Chinese labor, for example, receives a small percentage of the profits Apple takes in from gadgets it produces in China. This lopsided profit distribution raises the question: Who is "eating whose lunch?"

America has itself to blame

The US cannot blame China or any other country for its declining global influence and dominance – America, particularly under Donald Trump, did that to itself. Chinese President Xi Jinping, indeed, has advocated cooperation and dialogue as ways to defuse conflicts and attain a better world.

No country has ever even hinted at attacking the US; it is after all the world's most powerful nation, armed with enough conventional and nuclear weapons to blow up the world. The "threats" are exaggerated or invented by US neoconservatives and vested interests to scare Americans into supporting huge defense spending.

'Fake news' can only go so far

Using "fake news" to pressure countries into submission might work with those unable to fight back, but could be extremely costly against powers such as China and Russia. For example, Trump's escalating trade tensions with China are already adversely affecting the US economy, as seen in falling GDP growth, decreasing stock prices, a huge agricultural inventory, and rising poverty.

According to United Nations, the impoverished American population is being hit the hardest under the Trump administration. The US Federal Reserve and others are projecting significant economic decline in the foreseeable future if the trade war does not end.

One can only imagine what a nuclear war would bring.

Donald Trump is probably no less bullying than his predecessors (perhaps with the exception of George W Bush), but he is more open about it. Bush's outburst, "You are either with us or against us," earned America a bad reputation when he demanded that allies join him to invade Iraq.

Trump has bullied or offended everyone, friends and foes alike. Unless he shifts gear, he could alienate friends as well as foes, which could erode US geopolitical influence and economic growth or might even bring the country down. He cannot threaten sovereign nations without incurring huge costs to America.

[Nov 12, 2018] France The Incredible Shrinking President by Guillaume Durocher

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

I personally don't understand the French electorate on these matters. Macron in particular did not promise anything other than to deliver more of the same policies, albeit with more youth and more vigor, as a frank globalist. Who, exactly, was excited at his election but is disappointed now? People with a short attention span or susceptibility to marketing gimmicks, I assume.

It is hard to talk about the French media without getting a bit conspiratorial, at least, I speak of "structural conspiracies." Macron's unabashed, "modernizing" globalism certainly corresponds to the id of the French media-corporate elites and to top 20% of the electorate, let us say, the talented fifth. He was able to break through the old French two-party system, annihilating the Socialist Party and sidelining the conservatives. The media certainly helped in this, preferring him to either the conservative François Fillon or the civic nationalist Marine Le Pen.

However, the media have to a certain extent turned on Macron, perhaps because he believes his "complex thoughts" cannot be grasped by journalists with their admittedly limited cognitive abilities . Turn on the French radio and you'll hear stories of how the so-called "Youth With Macron," whose twenty- and thirty-somethings were invited onto all the talk shows just before Macron became a leading candidate, were actually former Socialist party hacks with no grass roots. Astroturf. I could have told you that.

Macron has made a number of what the media call "gaffes." When an old lady voiced concern about the future of her pension, he answered : "you don't have a right to complain." He has also done many things that anyone with just a little sense of decorum will be disgusted by. The 40-year-old Macron, who has a 65-year-old wife and claims not to be a homosexual, loves being photographed with sweaty black bodies.

... ... ...

So there's that. But, in terms of policies, I cannot say that the people who supported Macron have any right to complain. He is doing what he promised, that is to say, steaming full straight ahead on the globalist course with, a bit more forthrightness and, he hopes, competence than his Socialist or conservative predecessors.

Link Bookmark In truth there are no solutions. There is nothing he can do to make the elitist and gridlocked European Union more effective, nothing he can do to improve the "human capital" in the Afro-Islamic banlieues , and not much he can do to improve the economy which the French people would find acceptable. A bit more of labor flexibility here, a bit of a tax break there, oh wait deficit's too big, a tax hike in some other area too, then. Six of one, half a dozen in the other. Oh, and they've also passed more censorship legislation to fight "fake news" and "election meddling" and other pathetic excuses the media-political class across the West have come up with for their loss of control over the Narrative.

Since the European Central Bank has been printing lending hundreds of billions of euros to stimulate the Eurozone economy, France's economic performance has been decidedly mediocre, with low growth, slowly declining unemployment, and no reduction in debt (currently at 98.7% of GDP). Performance will presumably worsen if the ECB, as planned, phases out stimulus at the end of this year.

There is a rather weird situation in terms of immigration and diversity. Everyone seems to be aware of the hellscape of ethno-religious conflict which will thrive in the emerging Afro-Islamic France of the future. Just recently at the commemoration of the Battle of Verdun, an elderly French soldier asked Macron : "When will you kick out the illegal immigrants? . . . Aren't we bringing in a Trojan Horse?"

More significant was the resignation of Gérard Collomb from his position as interior minister last month to return to his old job as mayor of Lyon, which he apparently finds more interesting. Collomb is a 71-year-old Socialist politician who has apparently awakened to the problems of ethnic segregation and conflict. He said in his farewell address :

I have been in all the neighborhoods, the neighborhoods of Marseille-North to Mirail in Toulous, to the Parisian periphery, Corbeil, Aulnay, Sevran, the situation has deteriorated greatly. We cannot continue to work on towns individually, there needs to be an overarching vision to recreate social mixing. Because today we are living side by side, and I still say, me, I fear that tomorrow we will live face-to-face [i.e. across a battle lines].

It is not clear how much Collomb tried to act upon these concerns as interior minister and was frustrated. In any case, he dared to voice the same concerns to the far-right magazine Valeurs Actuelles last February. He told them: "The relations between people are very difficult, people don't want to live together" (using the term vivre-ensemble , a common diversitarian slogan). He said immigration's responsibility for this was "enormous" and agreed with the journalist that "France no longer needs immigration." Collomb then virtually predicted civil war:

Communities in France are coming into conflict more and more and it is becoming very violent . . . I would say that, within five years, the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five or six years to avoid the worst. After that . . .

It's unclear why "the next five or six years" should be so critical. From one point of view, the old France is already lost as about a third of births are non-European and in particular one fifth are Islamic . The patterns of life in much of France will therefore likely come to reflect those of Africa and the Middle-East, including random violence and religious fanaticism. Collomb seems to think "social mixing" would prevent this, but in fact, there has been plenty of social and even genetic "mixing" in Brazil and Mexico, without this preventing ethno-racial stratification and extreme levels of violence.

I'm afraid it's all more of the same in douce France , sweet France. On the current path, Macron will be a one-termer like Sarkozy and Hollande were. Then again, the next elections will be in three-and-a-half years, an eternity in democratic politics. In all likelihood, this would be the Right's election to win, with a conservative anti-immigration candidate. A few people of the mainstream Right are open to working with Le Pen's National Rally and some have even defended the Identitarians. Then again, I could even imagine Macron posing as a heroic opponent of (illegal . . .) immigration if he thought it could help get him reelected. Watch this space . . .


utu , says: November 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm GMT

How many immigrants from Africa come to Europe depends only on political will of Europeans. The demography of African has nothing to do with it. Europe has means to stop immigration legal and illegal. Macron talking about how many children are born in Africa is just another cop out.
utu , says: November 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm GMT
Armed force 'led by former MAFIA boss' causing dramatic reduction in migrants to Italy

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/844213/italy-close-migrant-shut-down-mafia-libya-Sabratha-un-election-eu-tripoli-summer-turkey

Italy passes sea rescue of 1,000 to Libya as EU nations hold informal talks on migration

https://www.thejournal.ie/migrants-italy-eu-spain-meeting-4089279-Jun2018/

FKA Max , says: Website November 9, 2018 at 8:07 pm GMT
@Dieter Kief I love Macron, too!

A few months ago I claimed that Emmanuel Macron has/holds an ""Alt Right" worldview" due to him having had interactions with an influential member of the French Protestant Huguenot minority in France: http://www.unz.com/article/collateral-damage/#comment-1955020
[...]
Macron : Germany is different from France. You are more Protestant, which results in a significant difference. Through the church, through Catholicism, French society was structured vertically, from top to bottom. I am convinced that it has remained so until today. That might sound shocking to some – and don't worry, I don't see myself as a king. But whether you like it or not, France's history is unique in Europe. Not to put too fine a point on it, France is a country of regicidal monarchists. It is a paradox: The French want to elect a king, but they would like to be able to overthrow him whenever they want. The office of president is not a normal office – that is something one should understand when one occupies it. You have to be prepared to be disparaged, insulted and mocked – that is in the French nature. And: As president, you cannot have a desire to be loved. Which is, of course, difficult because everybody wants to be loved. But in the end, that's not important. What is important is serving the country and moving it forward.

http://www.unz.com/article/the-elites-have-no-credibility-left/#comment-2042622

French army band medleys Daft Punk following Bastille Day parade

notanon , says: November 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT

Who, exactly, was excited at his election but is disappointed now? People with a short attention span or susceptibility to marketing gimmicks, I assume.

people controlled by the media

the media are the main problem

[Nov 08, 2018] Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

Gold age of the USA (say 40 years from 1946 to approximately 1986 ) were an in some way an aberration caused by WWII. As soon as Germany and Japan rebuilt themselves this era was over. And the collapse of the USSR in 1991 (or more correct Soviet nomenklatura switching sides and adopting neoliberalism) only make the decline more gradual but did not reversed it. After 200 it was clear that neoliberalism is in trouble and in 2008 it was clear that ideology of neoliberalism is dead, much like Bolshevism after 1945.
As the US ruling neoliberal elite adopted this ideology ad its flag, the USA faces the situation somewhat similar the USSR faced in 70th. It needs its "Perestroika" but with weak leader at the helm like Gorbachov it can lead to the dissolution of the state. Dismantling neoliberalism is not less dangerous then dismantling of Bolshevism. The level of brainwashing of both population and the elite (and it looks like the USA elite is brainwashed to an amazing level, probably far exceed the level of brainwashing of Soviet nomenklatura) prevents any constructive moves.
In a way, Neoliberalism probably acts as a mousetrap for the country, similar to the role of Bolshevism in the USSR. Ideology of neoliberalism is dead, so what' next. Another war to patch the internal divisions ? That's probably why Trump is so adamant about attacking Iran. Iran does not have nuclear weapons so this is in a way an ideal target. Unlike, say, Russia. And such a war can serve the same political purpose. That's why many emigrants from the USSR view the current level of divisions with the USA is a direct analog of divisions within the USSR in late 70th and 80th. Similarities are clearly visible with naked eye.
Notable quotes:
"... t is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all. ..."
"... "Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls. ..."
"... A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.' ..."
"... The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people. ..."
"... please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back ..."
"... America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work ..."
"... It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem. ..."
"... And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? ..."
"... The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class... ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/07/2018 - 23:25 13 SHARES Authored by Raja Murthy via The Asia Times,

"The only wealth you keep is wealth you have given away," said Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), last of the great Roman emperors. US President Donald Trump might know of another Italian, Mario Puzo's Don Vito Corleone, and his memorable mumble : "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Forgetting such Aurelian and godfather codes is propelling the decline and fall of the American empire.

Trump is making offers the world can refuse – by reshaping trade deals, dispensing with American sops and forcing powerful corporations to return home, the US is regaining economic wealth but relinquishing global power.

As the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (restructuring) led to the breakup of its vast territory(22 million square kilometers). Gorbachev's failed policies led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and independent countries, and the end of a superpower.

Ironically, the success of Trump's policies will hasten the demise of the American empire: the US regaining economic health but losing its insidious hold over the world.

This diminishing influence was highlighted when India and seven other countries geared up to defy Washington's re-imposition of its unilateral, illegal sanctions against Iran, starting Monday.

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station.

The law of cause and effect unavoidably delivers. The Roman Empire fell after wars of greed and orgies of consumption. A similar nemesis, the genie of Gorbachev, stalks Pennsylvania Avenue, with Trump unwittingly writing the last chapter of World War II: the epilogue of the two rival superpowers that emerged from humanity's most terrible conflict.

The maverick 45th president of the United States may succeed at being an economic messiah to his country, which has racked up a $21.6 trillion debt, but the fallout is the death of American hegemony. These are the declining days of the last empire standing.

Emperors and mafia godfathers knew that wielding great influence means making payoffs. Trump, however, is doing away with the sops, the glue that holds the American empire together, and is making offers that he considers "fair" but instead is alienating the international community– from badgering NATO and other countries to pay more for hosting the US legions (800 military bases in 80 countries) to reducing US aid.

US aid to countries fell from $50 billion in fiscal year 2016, $37 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion so far in 2018. A world less tied to American largesse and generous trade tarrifs can more easily reject the "you are with us or against us" bullying doctrine of US presidents. In the carrot and stick approach that largely passes as American foreign policy, the stick loses power as the carrot vanishes.

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather. Big payoffs needed for big influence. A presidential lesson for Don Trump

More self-respecting leaders will have less tolerance for American hypocrisy, such as sanctioning other countries for nuclear weapons while having the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet.

They will sneer more openly at the hysteria surrounding alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, pointing to Washington's violent record of global meddling. They will cite examples of American hypocrisy such as its sponsorship of coups against elected leaders in Latin America, the US Army's Project Camelot in 1964 targeting 22 countries for intervention (including Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia), its support for bloodthirsty dictators, and its destabilization of the Middle East with the destruction of Iraq and Libya.

Immigrant cannon fodder

Trump's focus on the economy reduces the likelihood of him starting wars. By ending the flood of illegal immigrants to save jobs for US citizens, he is also inadvertently reducing the manpower for illegal wars. Non-citizen immigrants comprise about 5% of the US Army. For its Iraq and Afghanistan wars, US army recruiters offered citizenship to lure illegal immigrants, mostly Latinos.

Among the first US soldiers to die in the Iraq War was 22-year old illegal immigrant Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, an orphan from the streets of Guatemala City. He sneaked across the Mexican border into the US six years before enlisting in exchange for American citizenship.

On March 21, 2003, Gutierrez was killed by friendly fire near Umm Qasr, southern Iraq. The coffin of this illegal immigrant was draped in the US flag, and he received American citizenship – posthumously.

Trump policies targeting illegal immigration simultaneously reduces the availability of cannon fodder for the illegal wars needed to maintain American hegemony.

Everything comes to an end, and so too will the last empire of our era.

The imperial American eagle flying into the sunset will see the dawn of an economically healthier US that minds its own business, and increase hopes for a more equal, happier world – thanks to the unintentional Gorbachev-2 in the White House.


PeaceForWorld , 3 minutes ago link

I am sure that many of us are OK with ending American Empire. Both US citizens and other countries don't want to fight un-necessary and un-ending wars. If Trump can do that, then he is blessed.

Condor_0000 , 23 minutes ago link

Imperialism and the State: Why McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas

By Paul D'Amato

http://www.isreview.org/issues/17/state_and_imperialism.shtml

Excerpt:

The modern nation-state was necessary as a means of creating a single, unified market that could facilitate commerce. But the state was also crucial in providing necessary infrastructure, and sometimes the pooling of capital resources, necessary for national capitalists to operate and compete effectively.

But the state as a bureaucratic institution had another, more fundamental function. Lenin, citing Engels, defined the essence of the state as "bodies of armed men, prisons, etc.," in short, an instrument for the maintenance of the rule of the exploiting minority over the exploited majority.

As capitalism burst the bounds of the nation-state, the coercive military function of the state took on a new dimension--that of protecting (and projecting) the interests of the capitalists of one country over those of another. As capitalism developed, the role of the state increased, the size of the state bureaucracy increased, and the size of its coercive apparatus increased.

Lenin was soon to refine this conception in light of the world's descent into the mass slaughter of the First World War. He argued that capitalism had reached a new stage--imperialism--the struggle between the world's "great powers" for world dominance. The central feature of imperialism was the rivarly between the great powers--whose economic competition gave way to military conflict.

Another Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, put it this way:

The forces of production which capitalism has evolved have outgrown the limits of nation and state. The national state, the present political form, is too narrow for the exploitation of these productive forces. The natural tendency of our economic system, therefore, is to seek to break through the state boundaries. The whole globe, the land and the sea, the surface as well as the interior, has become one economic workshop, the different parts of which are inseparably connected with each other. This work was accomplished by capitalism. But in accomplishing it the capitalist states were led to struggle for the subjection of the world-embracing economic system to the profit interests of the bourgeoisie of each country...

But the way the governments propose to solve this problem of imperialism is not through the intelligent, organized cooperation of all of humanity's producers, but through the exploitation of the world's economic system by the capitalist class of the victorious country; which country is by this War to be transformed from a great power into a world power.5

Golden Showers , 32 minutes ago link

See a pattern here? Raja Murthy, you sound like a pro-American Empire shill. 1964 Project Camelot has nothing to do with the current administration. Raja, you forgot to wear your satirical pants.

The idea and catchy hook of 2016 was Make America Great Again, not wasting lives and resources on the American Empire. You point out the good things. Who might have a problem with the end of the American Empire are Globalists. What is wrong with relinquishing global power and not wasting lives and money?

"The only lives you keep is lives you've given away" That does not ring true. The only lies you keep are the lies you've given away. What? You're not making any sense, dude. How much American Empire are you vested in? Does it bother you if the Empire shrinks its death grip on Asia or the rest of the world? Why don't you just say it: This is good! Hopefully Trump's policies will prevent you from getting writers' cramp and being confusing--along with the canon fodder. Or maybe you're worried about job security.

America is a super power, just like Russia. Just like England. However, whom the US carries water for might change. Hope that's ok.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 33 minutes ago link

Trump is saving the US by destroying the empire. Both the US and the world will be happier for that.

Condor_0000 , 29 minutes ago link

No he's not.

Trump is an empirial president, just like every other US president. In fact, that's what the article is describing. MAGA depends upon imperialist domination. Trump and all of US capitalism know that even if the brain-dead MAGA chumps don't.

Capitalism can't help but seek to rule the world. It is the result of pursuing capitalism's all-important growth. If it's not US capitalism, it will be Chinese capitalism, or Russian capitalism, or European capitalism that will rule the world.

The battle over global markets doesn't stop just because the US might decide not to play anymore. Capitalism means that you're either the global power who is ******* the royal **** out of everyone else, or you're the victim of being fucked up the *** by an imperialist power.

FBaggins , 25 minutes ago link

The only thing which makes the US different from the rest of the world is its super concentration of power, which in effect is a super concentration of corruption.

ebworthen , 33 minutes ago link

Quite entertaining to be living in the modern Rome.

Condor_0000 , 28 minutes ago link

It's a cross between ancient Rome and Nazi Germany. And you're right. It's fascinating.

Condor_0000 , 34 minutes ago link

Another day and another ZeroHedge indictment of American capitalism.

And how refreshing that the article compares US capitalism to gangsterism. It's a most appropriate comparison.

--------------------

Al Capone on Capitalism

It is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all.

In 1930, Cockburn, then a correspondent in America for the Times newspaper, interviewed Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, when Capone was at the height of his power. He recalls that except for 'the sub-machine gun...poking through the transom of a door behind the desk, Capone's own room was nearly indistinguishable from that of, say, a "newly arrived" Texan oil millionaire. Apart from the jowly young murderer on the far side of the desk, what took the eye were a number of large, flattish, solid silver bowls upon the desk, each filled with roses. They were nice to look at, and they had another purpose too, for Capone when agitated stood up and dipped the tips of his fingers in the water in which floated the roses.

I had been a little embarrassed as to how the interview was to be launched. Naturally the nub of all such interviews is somehow to get round to the question "What makes you tick?" but in the case of this millionaire killer the approach to this central question seemed mined with dangerous impediments. However, on the way down to the Lexington Hotel I had had the good fortune to see, I think in the Chicago Daily News , some statistics offered by an insurance company which dealt with the average expectation of life of gangsters in Chicago. I forget exactly what the average was, and also what the exact age of Capone at that time - I think he was in his early thirties. The point was, however, that in any case he was four years older than the upper limit considered by the insurance company to be the proper average expectation of life for a Chicago gangster. This seemed to offer a more or less neutral and academic line of approach, and after the ordinary greetings I asked Capone whether he had read this piece of statistics in the paper. He said that he had. I asked him whether he considered the estimate reasonably accurate. He said that he thought that the insurance companies and the newspaper boys probably knew their stuff. "In that case", I asked him, "how does it feel to be, say, four years over the age?"

He took the question quite seriously and spoke of the matter with neither more nor less excitement or agitation than a man would who, let us say, had been asked whether he, as the rear machine-gunner of a bomber, was aware of the average incidence of casualties in that occupation. He apparently assumed that sooner or later he would be shot despite the elaborate precautions which he regularly took. The idea that - as afterwards turned out to be the case - he would be arrested by the Federal authorities for income-tax evasion had not, I think, at that time so much as crossed his mind. And, after all, he said with a little bit of corn-and-ham somewhere at the back of his throat, supposing he had not gone into this racket? What would be have been doing? He would, he said, "have been selling newspapers barefoot on the street in Brooklyn".

He stood as he spoke, cooling his finger-tips in the rose bowl in front of him. He sat down again, brooding and sighing. Despite the ham-and-corn, what he said was probably true and I said so, sympathetically. A little bit too sympathetically, as immediately emerged, for as I spoke I saw him looking at me suspiciously, not to say censoriously. My remarks about the harsh way the world treats barefoot boys in Brooklyn were interrupted by an urgent angry waggle of his podgy hand.

"Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls.

"This American system of ours," he shouted, "call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." He held out his hand towards me, the fingers dripping a little, and stared at me sternly for a few seconds before reseating himself.

A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.'

LetThemEatRand , 52 minutes ago link

This article was obviously written by someone who wants to maintain the status quo.

America would be much stronger if it were not trying to be an empire. The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people.

hardmedicine , 41 minutes ago link

exactly, please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back and screw the rest of the world, America First

LetThemEatRand , 39 minutes ago link

I truly believe that "America First" is not selfish. America before it went full ****** was the beacon of freedom and success that other countries tried to emulate and that changed the world for the better.

America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work.

HopefulCynical , 26 minutes ago link

Empire is a contrivance, a vehicle for psychopathic powerlust. America was founded by people who stood adamantly opposed to this. Here's hoping Trump holds their true spirit in his heart.

If he doesn't, there's hundreds of millions of us who still do. We don't all live in America...

Posa , 15 minutes ago link

It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem.

CTacitus , 15 minutes ago link

LetThemEatRand:

America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs [sic], not to protect or favor the American people.

And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? Oligarchs...you're FULL of ****. Who exactly pools all (((their))) money, makes sure the [s]elected officials know (((who))) to not question and, instead, just bow down to them, who makes sure these (((officials))) sign pledges for absolute commitment towards Israel--or in no uncertain terms-- and know who will either sponsor them/or opposes them next time around?

JSBach1 called you a 'coward', for being EXACTLY LIKE THESE TRAITOROUS SPINELESS VERMIN who simply just step outside just 'enough' the comfort zone to APPEAR 'real'. IMHO, I concur with JSBach1 ...your're a coward indeed, when you should know better ..... shame you you indeed!

pitz , 55 minutes ago link

There is little evidence, Trump's propaganda aside (that he previously called Obama dishonest for) that the US economy is improving. If anything, the exploding budget and trade deficits indicate that the economy continues to weaken.

Posa , 12 minutes ago link

Correct. The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class...

the US can't even raise an army... even if enough young (men) were dumb enough to volunteer there just aren't enough fit, healthy and mentally acute recruits out there.

[Nov 05, 2018] Europe and America clash over Washington s economic war on Iran - World Socialist Web Site by Keith Jones

Notable quotes:
"... As of today, the US is embargoing all Iranian energy exports and freezing Iran out of the US-dominated world financial system, so as to cripple the remainder of its trade and deny it access to machinery, spare parts and even basic foodstuffs and medicine. ..."
"... In doing so, American imperialism is once again acting as a law unto itself. The sanctions are patently illegal and under international law tantamount to a declaration of war. They violate the UN Security Council-backed 2015 Iran nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
"... Those developing the SPV are acutely conscious of this and have publicly declared that it is not Iran-specific. ..."
"... The strategists of US imperialism are also aware that the SPV is a challenge to more than the Trump administration's Iran policy. Writing in Foreign Affairs ..."
"... With its drive to crash Iran's economy and further impoverish its people, the Trump administration has let loose the dogs of war. Whatever the sanctions' impact, Washington has committed its prestige and power to bringing Tehran to heel and making the rest of the world complicit in its crimes. ..."
"... The danger of another catastrophic Mideast war thus looms ever larger, while the growing antagonism between Europe and America and descent of global inter-state relations into a madhouse of one against all is setting the stage ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Washington's imposition of sweeping new sanctions on Iran -- aimed at strangling its economy and precipitating regime change in Tehran -- is roiling world geopolitics.

As of today, the US is embargoing all Iranian energy exports and freezing Iran out of the US-dominated world financial system, so as to cripple the remainder of its trade and deny it access to machinery, spare parts and even basic foodstuffs and medicine.

In doing so, American imperialism is once again acting as a law unto itself. The sanctions are patently illegal and under international law tantamount to a declaration of war. They violate the UN Security Council-backed 2015 Iran nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement that was negotiated at the behest of Washington and under its duress, including war threats.

All the other parties to the JCPOA (Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with verifying Iranian compliance, are adamant that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the accord to the letter. This includes dismantling much of its civil nuclear program and curtailing the rest.

Yet, having reneged on its support for the JCPOA, Washington is now wielding the club of secondary sanctions to compel the rest of the world into joining its illegal embargo and abetting its regime-change offensive. Companies and countries that trade with Iran or even trade with those that do will be excluded from the US market and subject to massive fines and other penalties. Similarly, banks and shipping insurers that have any dealings with companies that trade with Iran or even with other financial institutions that facilitate trade with Iran will be subject to punishing US secondary sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who like US President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran and ordered military strikes on Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria, has hailed the US sanctions as "historic." Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two other US client states, are pledging to ramp up oil production to make up for the shortfalls caused by Washington's embargoing of Iranian oil exports.

But America's economic war against Iran is not just exacerbating tensions in the Middle East. It is also roiling relations between the US and the other great powers, especially Europe.

On Friday, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Frederica Mogherini issued a statement reaffirming their support for the JCPOA and vowing to circumvent and defy the US sanctions. "It is our aim," they declared, "to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231."

They declared their commitment to preserving "financial channels with" Iran, enabling it to continue exporting oil and gas, and working with Russia, China and other countries "interested in supporting the JCPOA" to do so.

The statement emphasized the European powers' "unwavering collective resolve" to assert their right to "pursue legitimate trade" and, toward that end, to proceed with the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will enable European businesses and those of other countries, including potentially Russia and China, to conduct trade with Iran using the euro or some other non-US dollar medium of exchange, outside the US-dominated world financial system.

Friday's statement was in response to a series of menacing pronouncements from Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top administration officials earlier the same day. These fleshed out the new US sanctions and reiterated Washington's resolve to crash Iran's economy and aggressively sanction any company or country that fails to fall into line with the US sanctions.

In reply to a question about the European SPV, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said he had "no expectation" it will prove to be a conduit for "significant" trade. "But if there are transactions that have the intent of evading our sanctions, we will aggressively pursue our remedies."

Trump officials also served notice that they will sanction SWIFT, the Brussels-based network that facilitates secure inter-bank communications, and the European bankers who comprise the majority of its directors if they do not expeditiously expel all Iranian financial institutions from the network.

And in a step intended to demonstratively underscore Washington's disdain for the Europeans, the Trump administration included no EU state among the eight countries that will be granted temporary waivers on the full application of the US embargo on oil imports.

Germany, Britain, France and the EU are no less rapacious than Washington. Europe's great powers are frantically rearming, have helped spearhead NATO's war build-up against Russia. Over the past three decades they have waged numerous wars and neocolonial interventions in the Middle East and North Africa, from Afghanistan and Libya to Mali.

But they resent and fear the consequences of the Trump administration's reckless and provocative offensive against Iran. They resent it because Washington's scuttling of the nuclear deal has pulled the rug out from under European capital's plans to capture a leading position in Iran's domestic market and exploit Iranian offers of massive oil and natural gas concessions. They fear it, because the US confrontation with Iran threatens to ignite a war that would invariably set the entire Mideast ablaze, triggering a new refugee crisis, a massive spike in oil prices and, last but not least, a repartition of the region under conditions where the European powers as of yet lack the military means to independently determine the outcome.

To date, the Trump administration has taken a haughty, even cavalier, attitude to the European avowals of opposition to the US sanctions. Trump and the other Iran war-hawks like Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton who lead the administration are buoyed by the fact that numerous European businesses have voted with their feet and cut off ties with Iran, for fear of running afoul of the US sanctions.

The Financial Times reported last week that due to fear of US reprisals, no European state has agreed to house the SPV, which, according to the latest EU statements, will not even be operational until the new year.

The European difficulties and hesitations are real. But they also speak to the enormity and explosiveness of the geopolitical shifts that are now underway.

Whilst European corporate leaders, whose focus is on maximizing market share and investor profit in the next few business quarters, have bowed to the US sanctions threat, the political leaders, those charged with developing and implementing imperialist strategy, have concluded that they must push back against Washington.

This is about Iran, but also about developing the means to prevent the US using unilateral sanctions to dictate Europe's foreign policy, including potentially trying to thwart Nord Stream 2 (the pipeline project that will transport Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea and which Trump has repeatedly denounced.)

As Washington's ability to impose unilateral sanctions is bound up with the role of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency and US domination of the world banking system, the European challenge to America's sanctions weapon necessarily involves a challenge to these key elements of US global power.

The European imperialist powers are taking this road because they, like all the great powers, are locked in a frenzied struggle for markets, profits and strategic advantage under conditions of a systemic breakdown of world capitalism. Finding themselves squeezed between the rise of new powers and an America that is ever more reliant on war to counter the erosion of its economic might and that is ruthlessly pursing its own interests at the expense of foe and ostensible friend alike, the Europeans, led by German imperialism, are seeking to develop the economic and military means to assert their own predatory interests independently of, and when necessary against, the United States.

Those developing the SPV are acutely conscious of this and have publicly declared that it is not Iran-specific.

Speaking last month, only a few weeks after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker used his State of the EU address to called for measures to ensure that the euro plays a greater global role, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declared the "crisis with Iran" to be "a chance for Europe to have its own independent financial institutions, so we can trade with whomever we want." The SPV, adds French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Agnes Von der Muhl, "aims to create an economic sovereignty tool for the European Union that will protect European companies in the future from the effect of illegal extraterritorial sanctions."

The strategists of US imperialism are also aware that the SPV is a challenge to more than the Trump administration's Iran policy. Writing in Foreign Affairs last month, former Obama administration official Elizabeth Rosenberg expressed grave concerns that the Trump administration's unilateral sanctions are causing the EU to collaborate with Russia and China in defying Washington, and are inciting a European challenge to US financial dominance. Under conditions where Russia and China are already seeking to develop payments systems that bypass Western banks, and the future promises further challenges to dollar-supremacy and the US-led global financial system, "it is worrying," laments Rosenberg, "that the United States is accelerating this trend."

With its drive to crash Iran's economy and further impoverish its people, the Trump administration has let loose the dogs of war. Whatever the sanctions' impact, Washington has committed its prestige and power to bringing Tehran to heel and making the rest of the world complicit in its crimes.

The danger of another catastrophic Mideast war thus looms ever larger, while the growing antagonism between Europe and America and descent of global inter-state relations into a madhouse of one against all is setting the stage...

[Nov 01, 2018] The 2018 Globie Crashed by Joseph Joyce

Notable quotes:
"... Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World ..."
"... Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History ..."
"... Global Inequality ..."
"... Currency Power: Understanding Monetary Rivalry ..."
"... The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned–and Have Still to Learn–from the Financial Crisis ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

Each year I choose a book to be the Globalization Book of the Year, i.e., the "Globie". The prize is strictly honorific and does not come with a check. But I do like to single out books that are particularly insightful about some aspect of globalization. Previous winners are listed at the bottom.

This year's choice is Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze of Yale University . Tooze, an historian, traces the events leading up to the crisis and the subsequent ten years. He points out in the introduction that this account is different from one he may have written several years ago. At that time Barak Obama had won re-election in 2012 on the basis of a slow but steady recovery in the U.S. Europe was further behind, but the emerging markets were growing rapidly, due to the demand for their commodities from a steadily-growing China as well as capital inflows searching for higher returns than those available in the advanced economies.

But the economic recovery has brought new challenges, which have swept aside established politicians and parties. Obama was succeeded by Donald Trump, who promised to restore America to some form of past greatness. His policy agenda includes trade disputes with a broad range of countries, and he is particularly eager to impose trade tariffs on China. The current meltdown in stock prices follows a rise in interest rates normal at this stage of the business cycle but also is based on fears of the consequences of the trade measures.

Europe has its own discontents. In the United Kingdom, voters have approved leaving the European Union. The European Commission has expressed its disapproval of the Italian government's fiscal plans. Several east European governments have voiced opposition to the governance norms of the West European nations. Angela Merkel's decision to step down as head of her party leaves Europe without its most respected leader.

All these events are outcomes of the crisis, which Tooze emphasizes was a trans-Atlantic event. European banks had purchased held large amounts of U.S. mortgage-backed securities that they financed with borrowed dollars. When liquidity in the markets disappeared, the European banks faced the challenge of financing their obligations. Tooze explains how the Federal Reserve supported the European banks using swap lines with the European Central Bank and other central banks, as well as including the domestic subsidiaries of the foreign banks in their liquidity support operations in the U.S. As a result, Tooze claims:

"What happened in the fall of 2008 was not the relativization of the dollar, but the reverse, a dramatic reassertion of the pivotal role of America's central bank. Far from withering away, the Fed's response gave an entirely new dimension to the global dollar" (Tooze, p. 219)

The focused policies of U.S. policymakers stood in sharp contrast to those of their European counterparts. Ireland and Spain had to deal with their own banking crises following the collapse of their housing bubbles, and Portugal suffered from anemic growth. But Greece's sovereign debt posed the largest challenge, and exposed the fault line in the Eurozone between those who believed that such crises required a national response and those who looked for a broader European resolution. As a result, Greece lurched from one lending program to another. The IMF was treated as a junior partner by the European governments that sought to evade facing the consequences of Greek insolvency, and the Fund's reputation suffered new blows due to its involvement with the various rescue operations.The ECB only demonstrated a firm commitment to its stabilizing role in July 2012, when its President Mario Draghi announced that "Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro."

China followed another route. The government there engaged in a surge of stimulus spending combined with expansionary monetary policies. The result was continued growth that allowed the Chinese government to demonstrate its leadership capabilities at a time when the U.S. was abandoning its obligations. But the ensuing credit boom was accompanied by a rise in private (mainly corporate) lending that has left China with a total debt to GDP ratio of over 250%, a level usually followed by some form of financial collapse. Chinese officials are well aware of the domestic challenge they face at the same time as their dispute with the U.S. intensifies.

Tooze demonstrates that the crisis has let loose a range of responses that continue to play out. He ends the book by pointing to a similarity of recent events and those of 1914. He raises several questions: "How does a great moderation end? How do huge risks build up that are little understood and barely controllable? How do great tectonic shifts in the global world order unload in sudden earthquakes?" Ten years after a truly global crisis, we are still seeking answers to these questions.

Previous Globie Winners:

[Nov 01, 2018] Angela Merkel Migrates Into Retirement The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism. ..."
"... Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world. ..."
"... "We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold." ..."
"... The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult. ..."
"... Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question. ..."
"... In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Her refugee blunder changed the European continent in irreversible ways for decades to come. By Scott McConnellNovember 1, 2018

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Drop of Light/Shutterstock Whatever her accomplishments as pathbreaking female politician and respected leader of Europe's dominant economic power, Angela Merkel will go down in history for her outburst of naivete over the issue of migration into Europe during the summer of 2015.

Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism.

She had seen the vote share of her long dominant party shrink in one regional election after another. The rebuke given to her last weekend in Hesse, containing the Frankfurt region with its booming economy, where she had campaigned extensively, was the final straw. Her CDU's vote had declined 10 points since the previous election, their voters moving toward the further right (Alternative fur Deutschland or AfD). Meanwhile, the further left Greens have made dramatic gains at the expense of Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners.

Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world.

One can acknowledge that while Merkel never admitted error for her multiculti summer fling (beyond wishing she had communicated her goals better), she did manage to adjust her policies. By 2016, Germany under her watch was paying a healthy ransom to Turkey to keep would-be migrants in camps and preventing them from sailing to Greece. Merkel's departure will make the battle to succeed her one of the most watched political contests in Europe. She has turned migration into a central and quite divisive issue within the CDU and Germany, and the party may decide that it has no choice but to accommodate, in one way or another, the voters who have left them for the AfD.

Related to the issue of who should reside in Europe (objectively the current answer remains anyone who can get there) is the question of how are such questions decided. In July 2015, five years after asserting in a speech that multiculturalism has "utterly failed" in Germany (without addressing what policies should be pursued in an increasingly ethnically diverse society) and several weeks after reducing a young Arab girl to tears at a televised forum by telling her that those whose asylum claims were rejected would "have to go back" and that "politics is hard," Merkel changed course.

For those interested in psychological studies of leadership and decision making, it would be hard to imagine a richer subject. Merkel's government first announced it would no longer enforce the rule (the Dublin agreement) that required asylum claimants to be processed in the first country they passed through. Then she doubled down. The migrants fleeing the Syrian civil war, along with those who pretended to be Syrian, and then basically just anyone, could come to Germany.

"We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold."

The Angela Merkel Era is Coming to an End The Subtle Return of Germany Hegemony

Her words traveled far beyond those fleeing Syria. Within 48 hours of the "no limit" remark, The New York Times reported a sudden stirring of migrants from Nigeria. Naturally Merkel boasted in a quiet way about how her decision had revealed that Germany had put its Nazi past behind it. "The world sees Germany as a land of hope and chances," she said. "That wasn't always the case." In making this decision personally, Merkel was making it for all of Europe. It was one of the ironies of a European arrangement whose institutions were developed in part to transcend nationalism and constrain future German power that 70 years after the end of the war, the privately arrived-at decision of a German chancellor could instantly transform societies all over Europe.

The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult.

Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question.

In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. Her public approval rating plunged from 75 percent in April 2015 to 47 percent the following summer. The first electoral rebuke came in September 2016, when the brand new anti-immigration party, the Alternative fur Deutschland, beat Merkel's CDU in Pomerania.

In every election since, Merkel's party has lost further ground. Challenges to her authority from within her own party have become more pointed and powerful. But the mass migration accelerated by her decision continues, albeit at a slightly lower pace.

Angela Merkel altered not only Germany but the entire European continent, in irreversible ways, for decades to come.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Nov 01, 2018] Lame Duck Merkel Has Only Her Legacy On Her Mind

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide. ..."
"... But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here). ..."
"... Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea. ..."
"... Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party she has led for nearly two decades. Yesterday's election in Hesse, normally a CDU/SPD stronghold was abysmal for them.

She had to do something to quell the revolt brewing against her.

Merkel knew going in what the polls were showing. Unlike American and British polls, it seems the German ones are mostly accurate with pre-election polls coming close to matching the final results.

So, knowing what was coming for her and in the spirit of trying to maintain power for as long as possible Merkel has been moving away from her staunch positions on unlimited immigration and being in lock-step with the U.S. on Russia.

She's having to walk a tightrope on these two issues as the turmoil in U.S. political circles is pulling her in, effectively, opposite directions.

The globalist Davos Crowd she works for wants the destruction of European culture and individual national sovereignty ground into a paste and power consolidated under the rubric of the European Union.

They also want Russia brought to heel.

On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide.

So, if she rejects that role and the chaos U.S. policy engenders, particularly Syria, she's undermining the flow of migrants into Europe.

This is why it was so significant that she and French President Emmanuel Macron joined this weekend's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

It ended with an agreement on Syria's future that lies in direct conflict with the U.S.'s goals of the past seven years.

It was an admission that Assad has prevailed in Syria and the plan to atomize it into yet another failed state has itself failed. Merkel has traded 'Assad must go' for 'no more refugees.'

To President Trump's credit he then piggy-backed on that statement announcing that the U.S. would be pulling out of Syria very soon now. And that tells me that he is still coordinating in some way with Putin and other world leaders on the direction of his foreign policy in spite of his opposition.

But the key point from the Istanbul statement was that Syria's rebuilding be prioritized to reverse the flow of migrants so Syrians can go home. While Gilbert Doctorow is unconvinced by France's position here , I think Merkel has to be focused on assisting Putin in achieving his goal of returning Syria to Syrians.

Because, this is both a political necessity for Merkel as well as her trying to burnish her crumbling political throne to maintain power.

The question is will Germans believe and/or forgive her enough for her to stay in power through her now stated 'retirement' from politics in 2021?

I don't think so and it's obvious Davos Crowd boy-toy Macron is working overtime to salvage what he can for them as Merkel continues to face up to the political realities across Europe, which is that populism is a natural reaction to these insane policies.

Merkel's job of consolidating power under the EU is unfinished. They don't have financial integration. The Grand Army of the EU is still not a popular idea. The euro-zone is a disaster waiting to happen and its internal inconsistencies are adding fuel to an already pretty hot political fire.

On this front, EU integration, she and Macron are on the same page. Because 'domestically' from an EU perspective, Brexit still has to be dealt with and the showdown with the Italians is only just beginning.

But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here).

And Macron should stop looking in the mirror long enough to see he's standing on a quicksand made of blasting powder.

This points to the next major election for Europe, that of the European Parliament in May where all of Merkel's opposition are focused on wresting control of that body and removing Jean-Claude Juncker or his hand-picked replacement (Merkel herself?) from power.

The obvious transition for Merkel is from German Chancellor to European Commission President. She steps down as Chancellor in May after the EPP wins a majority then to take Juncker's job. I'm sure that's been the plan all along. This way she can continue the work she started without having to face the political backlash at home.

But, again, how close is Germany to snap elections if there is another migrant attack and Chemnitz-like demonstrations. You can only go to the 'Nazi' well so many times, even in Germany.

There comes a point where people will have simply had enough and their anger isn't born of being intolerant but angry at having been betrayed by political leadership which doesn't speak for them and imported crime, chaos and violence to their homes.

And the puppet German media will not be able to contain the story. The EU's speech rules will not contain people who want to speak. The clamp down on hate speech, pioneered by Merkel herself is a reaction to the growing tide against her.

And guess what? She can't stop it.

The problem is that Commies like Merkel and Soros don't believe in anything. They are vampires and nihilists as I said over the weekend suffused with a toxic view of humanity.

Oh sure, they give lip service to being inclusive and nice about it while they have control over the levers of power, the State apparatus. But, the minute they lose control of those levers, the sun goes down, the fangs come out and the bloodletting begins.

These people are vampires, sucking the life out of a society for their own ends. They are evil in a way that proves John Barth's observation that "man can do no wrong." For they never see themselves as the villain.

No. They see themselves as the savior of a fallen people. Nihilists to their very core they only believe in power. And, since power is their religion, all activities are justified in pursuit of their goals.

Their messianic view of themselves is indistinguishable to the Salafist head-chopping animals people like Hillary empowered to sow chaos and death across the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade.

Add to this Merkel herself who took Hillary's empowerment of these animals and gave them a home across Europe. At least now Merkel has the good sense to see that this has cost her nearly everything.

Even if she has little to no shame.

Hillary seems to think she can run for president again and win with the same schtick she failed with twice before. Frankly, I welcome it like I welcome the sun in the morning, safe in the knowledge that all is right with the world and she will go down in humiliating defeat yet again.

Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea.

Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia.

And Angela Merkel's legacy will be chaos.

* * *

Join my patreon because you hate chaos.

[Oct 22, 2018] There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Oct 21, 2018 11:17:43 AM | link

Noirette @ 3

Not to worry. Brexit is rather a textbook example of the political/economic dichotomy to which I speak @ 5.

There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes, true, which will consist of a similar sales effort as Trump is making to hold onto his own age-depressed plebes in flyover USArya.

"Brexit is coming! Brexit is coming! Tariffs are easy! Tariffs are easy! Hold on a bit longer, we are just trying to get it right for you little people not to suffer anymore." Lol.


dh , Oct 21, 2018 10:58:45 AM | link

@6 "Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own sovereign democratic institutions."

I see it more as a neoliberal desire to belong to some vague bigger global entity. Plus the fact that since WW2 nationalism has become equated with fascism.

Britain has never been totally part of Europe....geographically or politically.

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Oct 21, 2018 10:16:20 AM | link
@dh-mtl: True that. Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own souvereign democratic institutions. It was the national state (with its additional regional democratic institutions) that brought us democracy, not the neolibs EU. But that truth hurts, and many prefer empty slogans against the evil national state over a honest analysis.

@B: Inoreader cant find new feeds for some days, something is broken!

dh-mtl , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:55 AM | link
@2 Noirette wrote: 'England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism'.

The alternative to sovereignty is dictatorship from abroad. And a foreign dictatorship is never good for a country or its people.

You only need to look at Greece to see the results of 'dictatorship' by the EU. And Italy is currently fighting this dictatorship (see https://gefira.org/en/2018/10/19/the-european-financial-establishment-has-just-declared-war-on-italy/), in order to arrest the continuing destruction of Italy and the impoverishment of its citizens under E.U. rule.

With Brexit, the U.K. is trying to save itself before it collapses to a state similar to Greece.

The E.U., because it is essentially a financially based dictatorship, and is fatally flawed, will break apart. And, in this sense, I agree with you that the U.K. is ahead of the curve.

laserlurk , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:46 AM | link
Abandoning nuclear treaty is just a diversion to steer away eyes off Khashoggi case, latter being even more important as it wedges in the very depth of an internal US political demise.
UK barks there on Russia to steer its own downfall into spotlight of an importance on a world stage that is close to null. UK didn't even sign anything with Russia as basically nobody else did from within NATO, so one can render that INF as outdated and stale.
Will they come up with a new one that suits all or we will just let it go and slip into unilateral single polarity downfall of West? Answers are coming along real soon.

Right now US and a few vasal allies left are getting into dirty set of strategic games opposing far more skilled opponents and it will come around at a really high price. EU has lost many contracts lately in mid east due to America First, so a lots of sticks in US wheels are coming up. It is going to be a real fun watching all that and reading b. and others on MoA..

Noirette , Oct 21, 2018 8:41:29 AM | link
The UK will most likely crash out of the EU. Of course, one can't exclude that some last minute holding action, temp. solution, or reversal can be found - but I doubt it.

Northern Ireland will break away. The analysis of the vote has been very poor, and based on an 'identity politics' and slice-n-dice views. Pensioners afraid to lose their pension, deplorables, victims of austerity, lack of young voter turnout, etc.

NI and Scotland are ruled by a tri-partite scheme: 'home rule', 'devolution' - Westminster - and the EU. The two peripheral entities prefer belonging to and participating in the larger group (see also! reasons historical and of enmity etc.) which has on the whole been good for them. England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism, getting rid of the super-ordinate power, a last desperate stab at Britannia (hm?) rules the waves or at least some bloody thing like traffic on the Thames, labor law, etc. The UK had no business running that referendum - by that I mean that in the UK pol. system Parliament rules supreme, which is antithetical to the referendum approach (in any case the result is only advisory) and running it was a signal of crack-up. By now, it is clear that the UK political / Gvmt. system is not fit for handling problems in the years 2000.

Why NI and not Scotland (which might split as well ..)? From a geo-political pov, because geography bats last - yes. And also because NI is the much weaker entity. EU has stated (Idk about texts etc.): if and when a EU member conquers, annexes, brings into the fold some 'other' territory, it then in turn becomes part of the EU. Ex. If Andorra chose to join Spain it would meld into Eurolandia, with time to adjust to all the rules. Perhaps Macron would no longer be a Prince!

However, Catalonia *cannot* be allowed to split from Spain (affecting Spanish integrity and the EU) and if it did it would crash out of the EU, loosing all, so that doesn't work. Scotland is not Catalonia. NI has had a special status in many ways for a long time so it is easier to tolerate and imagine alternatives. The EU will pay for NI...

The UK is losing power rapidly and indulging in its own form of 're-trenchment' (different from the Trumpian desired one) - both are nostalgic, but the British one is more suicidal.

The only alternative interpretation I can see (suggested by John Michael Greer) is that the UK is ahead of the curve: a pre-emptive collapse (rather semi-collapse) now would put it in a better position than others 20 years or so hence. That would also include a break-up into parts.

[Oct 19, 2018] Brexit Knives Out for Theresa May (Again) Over Extending Transition Period

UK as US hand grenade tossed at EU ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road. ..."
"... Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike. ..."
"... DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock . ..."
"... Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited". ..."
"... Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative ..."
"... Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise." ..."
"... Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU) 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. ..."
"... It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road.

As we'll get to later in this post, the press has filed more detailed reports on the EU's reactions to May's "nothing new" speech at the European Council summit on Wednesday. The reactions seem to be more sober; recall the first takes were relief that nothing bad happened and at least everyone was trying to put their best foot forward. Merkel also pressed Ireland and the EU to be more flexible over the Irish border question but Marcon took issue with her position. However, they both then went to a outdoor cafe and had beers for two hours .

May's longer transition scheme vehemently criticized across Tory factions and by the DUP . Even pro-Remain Tories are opposed. The press had a field day. From the Telegraph :

Theresa May was on Thursday evening increasingly isolated over her plan to keep Britain tied to the EU for longer as she was savaged by both wings of her party and left in the cold by EU leaders

The move enraged Brexiteers who said it would cost billions, and angered members of the Cabinet who said they had not formally agreed the plan before she offered it up as a bargaining chip. Mrs May also faced a potential mutiny from Tory MPs north of the border, including David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, who said the proposal was "unacceptable" because it would delay the UK's exit from the hated Common Fisheries Policy.

From The Times, Revolt grows over Theresa May's handling of Brexit talks :

Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike.

And Politics Home, DUP reject moves to extend Brexit transition period in fresh blow for Theresa May Politics Home:

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock .

His comments came after Tory MPs on all wings of the party also rejected extending the transition period.

Former minister Nick Boles, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, told the Today programme: "I'm afraid she's losing the confidence now of colleagues of all shades of opinion – people who've been supportive of her throughout this process – they are close to despair at the state of this negotiation."

Brexiteer MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Back in July, myself and 36 colleagues signed a letter to the Prime Minister setting out our red lines – and that was one of them. It's completely ridiculous."

Scottish Tories say they would veto an extension to the Brexit transition period in support of their fisherman.

And apparently the European Council didn't take the extension idea seriously. City AM reported that European Council president Donald Tusk said it wasn't discussed after May left .

And members o