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|"Fascism: Any program for setting up a centralized
autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising
regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship, and
forcible suppression of opposition."
|"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior
marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or
victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which
a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in
uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites , abandons
democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical
or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
- Robert Paxton
You can view neofascism as fixed state ( fixed social system), or as a trend to more extreme forms of nationalism under neoliberalism. I view it more like a trend, with the revival of far right nationalism as a reaction on excesses of neoliberalization and destruction of the civil society under neoliberalism with its cult of globalization. Kind of neoliberal globalization blowback.
The root of the rise of neofascism (and far right nationalism, which is close but not identical, especially in the social program part, see below) is the impoverishment of working (both blue and lower strata of white collar) and lower middle class under neoliberalism. So this is a reaction on crisis of neoliberalism (which started in 2008 and so far did not end producing "permanent stagnation") , extreme inequality, and the threat from neoliberal globalization to the existence of nation-states. In other words, neoliberalism is a powerful enabler of neofascism and far right nationalism.
Simplifying neofascism means classic fascism with the following major features removed/modified:
To elaborate on that neofascism rejects or revise several postulates of fascism:
It is a derivative of corporatism (control of the state by financial oligarchy and large industrialists) and political power still belongs to capitalists but the preference is given to "national" capitalists and banks instead of transnational. In the USA the main part of the neoliberal elite (or more correctly several different parts of the neoliberal elite) that support the current shift to neofascism and far right nationalism are "imperial servants" and what Eisenhower defined as "military-industrial complex." The latter includes politicized intelligences agencies (the "Deep state" in a narrow sense of this word). In this sense Russiagate is a sign of the shift to neofascism in the USA.
At the same time neofascism has large number of common elements with fascism. Among them:
It is important to understand that neofascism inherits all major elements of fascism foreign policy. It is interesting to compare definition of neofascism with the definition of Neoconservatism. The latter, according to Wikipedia was defined by prominent neocons Robert Kagan as:
In 2008, Kagan wrote an article titled "Neocon Nation: Neoconservatism, c. 1776" for World Affairs, describing the main components of American Neoconservatism as a belief in the rectitude of applying US moralism to the world stage, support for the US to act alone, the promotion of American-style liberty and democracy in other countries, the belief in American hegemony, the confidence in US military power, and a distrust of international institutions. According to Kagan, his foreign-policy views are "deeply rooted in American history and widely shared by Americans".
As we can see. in foreign policy Neoconservatism and neofascism are almost identical. I would say that the idea of Neoconservatism was to take fascist foreign policy and recreate it as a separate political supremacist movement using Trotskyism with its idea of "World revolution" as the common glue.
In this sense the victory of the USA after WWII quickly backfires as element of neofascism quickly emerged within the country, starting with creation of powerful intelligence agencies (CIA and FBI) and then McCarthyism hysteria (which BTW lasted a decade) , leading to establishing the regime which prominent political scientist Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism". The existence of a powerful intelligence agencies (or network of such agencies -- the Deep state in a narrow sense) is a litmus test here. As soon a Truman created CIA the slide toward neofascism became inevitable. The dominance of intelligence agencies and assuming them political functions is an important indication of the slide toward neofascism. In a way the role if intelligence agencies in the society is a litmus test for neofascism. Intelligence agencies very soon aqure prominent political role (JFK assassination happened just after 15 years of existence of CIA) as well as assume an important role of crushing the political dissent (FBI under Edgar Hoover).
In 2016 the US intelligence agencies (mainly CIA and FBI) definitely attempted to become "kingmakers" in the national election (although previously CIA also played crucial role in Carter defeat, as well as Nixon impeachment; not this not the first case). After the fail to prevent Trump from being elected they launched a color revolution against him. Other measures are taken against politicians who devote too much from the accepted "Party line" in best traditions of blackmail by Gestapo, STASI and NKVD. Assassinations in case the politician who is classified as "hopeless" is another.
In this sense no society with powerful intelligence agencies (be it CIA, MI6, FSB, Mossad, etc) can not be properly called democracy as it has h has important element of neofascism imbedded in the particular society. From the moment of their creation the process of politization and the loss of civil control over intelligence services is an inevitable process, which is difficult to control, although some countries fared better in this respect then the other. As soon as politization reach critical state the tail starts waging the dog: such agencies very quickly assume purely political function (such as "kingmakers") and start behaving like the Praetorian Guard in Rome.
Intelligences agencies also play prominent role in brainwashing the population, as they often covertly control substantial part of the national press and the major part of foreign correspondents corps. Former CIA Director William Casey quote "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" (I think the quote has two levels: level one is about foreign events coverage in the USA; the level two is about CIA attempt to deceive Soviet intelligence which like the US intelligence relied for 80% of their data on public sources ). in proper historical context this can be viewed as a refined statement about importance of creation of national myth under neofascism and the level of distortion of foreign events coverage which is the hallmark of any fascist or neofascist regime. It can be attributed to any the major fascist propagandas machine official, such as Goebbels.
Elimination of political figures using trump up changes of foreign conspiracy is the most obvious sign of politicized intelligence agencies. This essentially makes political dissent a dangerous activity because they are framed as stooges (or worse agents ) of the foreign state. This is the key feature of all fascists and neofascist states (as well as Bolsheviks regime -- look at Stalin "Show Trials") . While McCarthyism period was a specific for the US decade, similar periods can be observed in other nations too.
And now McCarthyism was re-ignited on new level with the framework of Russiagate. In this sense the current color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) can be interpreted as a sign of a new stage of sliding of the USA toward neofascism. Please note the that in this case intelligence agencies clearly assumed important political role. As Patrick Martin noted (Inside The FBI's 'Police State' Operation Against Trump, Jan 23, 2019, Off-guardian.org)
The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment.
By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD.
The agency also investigated four of Trump's campaign aides over possible ties to Russia, and even made use of the notorious Steele dossier, consisting of anti-Trump gossip collated from Russian sources by a former British intelligence agent on the payroll of the Democratic Party.
After Trump fired Comey, according to the Times , "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence."
The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."
Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news.
But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."
The third defining feature is rampant militarism and open disregard of all international norms ("might makes right" mentality). That include the pipe dream of "full spectrum dominance" which is the USA neoliberal elite goal since 1991 -- the year of the collapse of the USSR. The USA under Trump administration actually pursued openly disregard international law. Please note that all Presidents since Clinton pursued this policy. Only the degree of violation of international norms varied between those presidencies. all four "post-Soviet" (Clinton, Bush, and Obama and Trump) launched aggressive wars under false pretences (with Bush and Obama -- multiple wars; Trump so far only color revolution in Venezuela with Iran as a possible next step)
One interesting nuance that distinguishes the recent mutation of neofascism in the USA from all previous versions is that political mobilization of masses are discouraged under neoliberalism. "Go shopping" was famous Bush II recommendation to US citizens after the 9/11, while he pushed Patriot act which essentially make intelligence agencies key political actors in the USA, the role which they played both in Third Reich and Stalin regime. In this sense it is important to understand that the use of the term "fascism" by neoliberal propaganda more often then not constitute projection and neoliberalism always carry within itself strong elements of neofascism, and they became even stronger when neoliberalism entered an ideological crisis in 2008.
In a sense the notorious female warmonger and former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton Madeleine Albright (of Yugoslav bombing face and her remark about Iraq children) with her book Fascism A Warning screaming the certain Central European states are sliding toward neofascism is a classic example The pot calling the kettle black. The same is true about primitive (and corrupt) neocon warmonger like Max Boot (chickenhawk who cheerleadered Iraq invasion; see The Iraq War cheerleaders who are still around 15 years later) who claim that Putin is a fascist dictator. Putin probably can be called authoritarian ruler, but he is a neoliberal. If he can be called "fascist dictator" then both Nobel price winner Barack Obama (with his past connections to CIA via his mother family and wars of aggression in Libya and Syria) and Trump with his "humanitarian bombings" of Syria, clear authoritarian tendencies, nepotism and pandering to the oligarchy (Trump tax cuts) are fascist dictators two. In this sense it is important to abstract from neoliberal/neocon propaganda of the USA MSM in order better understand this complex and interesting issue. Aggressive militaristic posture, cult of militarism in the society, are classic features of fascism and neofascism.
And only very naive person can deny the fact that cult of militarism in the USA is an official state policy. Whether of not neocons can be called neofascists is an interesting and so far unresolved question. But the fact that their foreign policy is identical to neofascist policies is undisputable.
By Nuremberg principles all US officials who participated in unleashing Iraq war are war criminals
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
- (a) Crimes against peace:
- (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
- (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
- (b) War crimes:
- Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
- (c) Crimes against humanity:
- Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.
Still the rise of far right nationalism movement in Europe is an important political factor of modern times. And many ask question: Is this the neofascism or not? I view it more like the reaction to neoliberalism that neofascism some elements of neofascism: both are variations of corporatism. But at the same time fascism in many of its elements is identical to the reaction of any society on grave threat. And neoliberal globalization represents such a threat. Which makes reaction of some Eastern European states look similar to neofascism, but each incarnation of neofascism has important differences and neofascism movements that emerged after 2008 differ from classic fascism movements of 1930th in many key elements.
Again, as used in the USA neoliberal MSM the terms "fascism" or "neofascism" more often then not constitutes projection. Despicable warmongers, especially female neocon Madeleine Albright exploits those terms as a powerful propaganda cliché ( Everything Madeleine Albright Doesn’t Like is Fascism ). In the review of her book Guillaume Durocher noted:
Opponents of American imperialism will observe that Albright's list of quasi-Fascist states corresponds quite closely with those who have opposed U.S. foreign policies in recent decades. There is barely a word about America's authoritarian allies Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
... ... ...
Strikingly, the word "Netanyahu" does not appear in the book's Index at all. The existence of a democratic ethno-nationalist state goes against her whole narrative. For what it's worth, I suspect most people in European nationalist parties and in the Alt-Right would be happy to preserve democracy if they could have their own Netanyahus, with the establishment of Western ethnostates dedicated to their own people, with the explicit goal of preserving or restoring ethnic European demographic supermajorities.
This selectivity will encourage the impression that the State Department's talk of "human rights" has less to do with upholding universal moral principles than with demonizing the United States' geopolitical opponents du jour . The American Establishment does not bully China as much as Russia, despite being obviously more authoritarian. I suspect this is because China is already too big to bully, while Russia can still be pushed around and serve as a useful bogeyman (always useful to the Military-Industrial Complex, the National Security State, and for all the Establishmentarians who need a scapegoat for the rise of populism). On that note, I suspect most diplomatic conflicts today have less to do with "realist" international power dynamics than with the utility of foreign enemies for governments domestically.
... ... ...
In a dictatorship, the elimination of political and ideological pluralism means that the country can enjoy political stability. This, by the way, is crucial in multiethnic countries such as Yugoslavia or Iraq, for which the fall of the dictatorship and democratization led to atrocious ethno-religious civil war. As Lee Kuan Yew , my favorite antidote to the political childishness that prevails in the West today, said concerning his multiracial state of Singapore: "We had to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, or religious extremists. If you don't do that the country would be in ruins today!" Few things have been as murderous as the promotion of "democracy" in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, a policy which, not coincidentally, has destroyed several geopolitical opponents of Israel.
In any case it is important to understand that corporatism is a very resilient political system, which can take many forms. With some being if fierce conflict with each other. Both "classic neoliberalism" and "national neoliberalism" are flavors of the same political system -- corporatism. One promotes globalism including using the force of arms for opening countries to transnational corporations and financial institutions, the other rejects it and promote strengthening of national borders and wars on weaker nations as the way of solving internal problems.
The USA is the example of the country which set a precedent for Deep State type of corporatism structure: Tweed's system was the corrupt mafia-style organization with the level of cohesion so strong that it lasted for decades (Tammny Hall's political patronage "machine" thrived from 1850's to the 1930's.) It was described as:
It's hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed's system ... The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization [organized crime].
All forms of fascism (aka "national socialism") are forms of corporatism and as such are based on the merger of government and corporations. From classic fascism modern form borrowed the role of intelligence agencies. But, in a sense we can view intelligence agencies as powerful corporations with the majority stakes on government and minor stake of Wall-Street (especially, in case of CIA) and add them to the list of corporations, as they operate semi-independently from the government and often have goals which does not correlate (and sometimes are opposite) with the goals of executive branch especially in foreign policy.
They form the core of so called Deep State and position themselves of a new praetorian guard that makes of breaks presidential candidates at will. The suppression of Hillary Clinton "emailgate" investigation, surveillance over Trump campaign and launching by intelligence services color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) after Presidential election of 2016 in the USA are just most prominent illustration of this trend. Derailing Sanders by suppressing emailgate definitely position them as kingmakers Here we are talking about CIA, FBI and the State Department. The role of NSA is not that clear and is somewhat controversial, due to Admiral Mike Rogers warning to Trump (The Last Refuge, Mar 3, 2017).
Fascism combines nationalism, militarism and revival/rebirth of nation fantasies in a unique but very eclectic and self-contradicting framework. It simply lacks a coherent theoretical/ideological core: oscillating between elitism and populism, between anti-capitalist and anti-socialist themes, and between ethnic and cultural nationalism. In all cases fascist movements (and often modern neofascist movements) offers an alternative to liberal and neoliberal ideology and social practice, making the nationalism as the core of the resistance to neoliberal globalization.
And the objective causes of fascism "renaissance" that we observe have less to do with "revival" fantasies of ‘rebirth’ of the society in crisis, than with the failure of neoliberalism as the ideology of modern "market economies." In a way fascism is a revolutionary ‘third way’ ideology, combining elements of conservatism and socialism, anti-materialist revision of Marxism which reflects synthesis of right wing nationalism (some researchers consider fascism as the most extreme form of nationalism) and trade unionism (syndicalism). The key fascist myth of unity and national identity oppose both capitalism and socialism. It also has specific flavor due to the fantasy of ‘national rebirth’ ("Make America Great Again" is the variation on the same theme).
In this sense the events after WWII proved that the merger of government and corporate power was not accidental and proved to have a staying power. Germany, Italy and Spain, each with its own national idiosyncrasies were simply pioneers in this direction. There are strong objections of using the term "fascism" due to its historical baggage (and first of the connection to all the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in WWII), but the ideology of neofascism now experience strong Renaissance in most European countries, the USA and GB.
Critics claim that the term lost any precision and in many respects become a catchall for any kind of totalitarianism and far right policies. But this is not completely true. What is true is that ideas of national socialism recently mutated in more modern forms of "inverted totalitarism" and national security state.
There are distinct new elements in those new political structures, which were absent in the classic fascist states. Some prominent element of classic fascist state such using violence to suppress opposition are now lost relevance. Moreover the dominance of "military industrial complex" is viewed by many as a new form of fascism, which was the essence of warning of President Eisenhower.
Other critics claim that the term became useless because it lacks strict definition. I disagree with this position. Despite clear deficiency the term "neofascism capture important class of social reaction again neoliberalism in various countries and as such a legitimate political/sociological term. It does have more or less "well structured" definition which allows to distinguish it from "classic fascism" on one side and "neoliberalism" on the other. Wikipedia defines the term stressing the neofascism possesses significant elements of fascist ideology, and defining what are those significant elements as:
Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism, anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-anarchism, and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.
You can see the Wikipedia authors experience difficulties with the definition. That's why they included the phases "usually" and "where relevant." So in their opinion three trait are more important then the other:
Classic fascism (as implemented in Germany by NSDAP and in Italy by Mussolini) can be viewed as a variant of ultra-nationalism which aspires to bring the renewal of a nation deeply in crisis and advocates the replacement of the corrupt liberal democracy with (supposedly temporary) authoritarian dictatorship under a strong leader with extraordinary powers (like in army).
At the same time "classic fascism" it was closely linked to the post WWI realities, especially for Germany. In many ways, Classic Fascism strongly correlates with the mental state of nation which is attacked by strong enemy, the enemy which has supporters inside the country.
But it is more then that. The distinct feature of fascism is its strong aversion to the excessive financialization of economy and banking, which fascist consider evil (in a way prosecution of Jews under Fascism was closely connected with their role in banking, not only as a repression against the ethnic group the refuses to assimilate). And this feature of national socialism now is instrumental in its revival, as financialization was the essence of neoliberalism. Which can be consider as the rule of financial oligarchy -- the same class of people against which original German fascist tried to fight, while masking it with the particular national identity, due to historical for Europe overrepresentation of Jew in financial industry.
Unlike Trotskyism and neoliberalism, fascism is always nationalistic, so attempt to equate neoliberalism and fascism is the attempt to ignore the core difference between them. That's why neofascism is on the rise due to the crisis of neoliberal globalization. It is true though, that neoliberalism carry elements of neofascism and represent a rich subtract on which neofascism can grow, because like situation after the WWI it creates mass of disenfranchised workers and small entrepreneurs, who are deprived of chances to be the valuable members of society
As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
Both have the elements of Nietzschean Ubermench philosophy imbedded in hem
If one looks at NSDAP program of 1920, one can clearly see the requisite elements of fascist social movements. Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party:
The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
In addition Classic Fascism typically promotes militarism and territorial or economic expansion as the way to deal with internal problems. In this sense it is indistinguishable from neoliberalism (and both have common roots in Trotskyism). Both consider violence including foreign wars a useful political tool. With neoliberalism openly advocating Trotskyite-type of "Permanent revolution" in countries the refuse to switch this social system.
Another important feature of fascism that distinguishes it from neoliberalism is that this ideology has strong suspicion the liberal democracy is just a tool for the dictate of financial oligarchy, which has all the money to buy politicians. In this sense neofascism starts when the party/movement that adhere to the fascism social program renounce violence and accepts parliamentary democracy as the "necessary evil", still striving to get to power using the election mechanisms and use for suppression of financial oligarchy, especially international investment banks and speculators like Soros. But instead of military coup d'état they accept the goal of winning the election within the constrains imposed by this model in Western states (although tremendous growth of political power of intelligence agencies, which really became "kingmakers:, and which in the core can be considered as new type of proto-fascist political parties, put important corrections into this consideration; in a way they stand in the direct opposition to the parliamentary system, like classic fascism)
In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality. It remains a viable right wing program for setting up a highly centralized regime with militaristic, nationalistic policies (especially external expansion, for example in the form of neoliberal empire expansion), merge of industrial and financial corporations with the government, total population control, rigid control of MSM by intelligence agencies, and "extra-judicial" methods of suppression of opposition, including McCarthyism witch hunts and "Russiagate"
In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality.
Neofascism essentially relax the same postulates of "classic fascism" making it more socially acceptable, but preserving the core resentment against financialization of the economy (but no longer associates it with the particular ethnic group) as well as immigration, viewing foreigners as a group which "steals" jobs and wealth from the core demographic group of the particular country.
Unlike "classic fascism", neofascism does not directly oppose to parliamentary democracy and is ready to work within parliamentary system to get to power. It does not advocate violence against political opponents as the primary means of suppressing the opposition, although it does not shut from using it when necessary or expedient.
At the same time modern technology polished the ways of suppression any opposition by other means (see Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism ) so this difference is pretty superficial -- the level of spying on the population in any modern Western state is comparable with the level that existed in Germany under the rule of NSDAP.
The strongest common link is rampant militarism and exaggeration of external threat to the nation well-being (for example, the threat from Islamic terrorism), which makes it surprisingly close to the ideology of National Security State and not that different from neoliberalism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.
Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.
In other words while classic fascism now is almost extinct, there are multiple and more viable mutations of far right nationalism (which experience renaissance due to impoverishment of population caused by neoliberal austerity) that are called by generic name of neofascism. And it proved to be highly adaptable ideology with higher survivability potential than classic Bolshevism. In almost all European countries and in the USA nationalist movements are on the rise and far right parties often enjoy success in elections. They come to power in several European states such as Poland, Ukraine, and several Baltic republics.
The most distinct feature of this set of political movements is obsessive preoccupation with militarism, community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood (Nation under attack meme) and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and the idea of national rejuvenation (as reflected in "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) slogan, although it originated in the Paleoconservatism movement which is not connected to fascist ideology of any kind).
After all, the concept of national rejuvenation after a deep economic/political crisis historically was one of the key reasons classic fascist regimes of the last century came to power. Both Mussolini and then Hitler espoused citizens’ duty to recover their respective nations ancient strength and glory from the situation of deep decline after the defeat in the WWI and reparations imposed. Both fought with valor in WWI.
The key question for particular country is:
"Do the country has an organized, committed nationalistic (please note that "exceptionalism" is a form of nationalism) militants, in alliance with traditional elites, who are ready to use extra-judicial methods (not necessary violence) with minimal legal restrains for internal cleansing of the society and external expansion?".
Without far right nationalists organized in military fashion as was the case in Ukraine it is difficult to classify a movement which adheres to those ideas and is as a fascist movement. But it can well be neofascist. The readiness to go to extra-legal means is the key distinction between neofascism (and any far right nationalism) and regular nationalism (which essentially adhere to "law and order" paradigm).
Both "Regular" nationalism, "national neoliberalism" followers (Trumpism) and economic nationalists still are adhering to the existing legal framework and fights for their ideas on election booth. Fascists cross this boundary (and that's why they often are called far-right). They despise traditional dual law enforcement (one for elite and one for common people) and oligarchic democracy (the democracy for only top 1% or less of population) and think that authoritarian model is preferable to the existing level of corruption in legal system as well as harsh punishment for transgression (not understanding that while the existing "far from being perfect" legal system might be eliminated, both injustice in the form of preferential treatment of the elite (which essentially is above the law) and corruption will remain; just the composition of the elite changes)
Another important distinction is presence of elements of social democratic requirements, requirements for social justice in their program: neofascists movements typically are more pro-middle class and, at least partially, pro working class then far right movements. One litmus test is the level of animosity toward financial oligarchy and "unearned" income. This is the key distinction of neofascism and "national neoliberalism" (Trumpism). Unlike neoliberals, which hare many trials with fascism and neofascism they view sovereignty of the nation as an "ultimate good" that need to be preserved and defended.
They are also anti-elite, and anti multinational corporations and transnational organizations like NAFTA or WTO. And especially against transnational financial oligarchy (in Nazism that degenerated into anti-Semitism as the percentage of Jews among top levels of financial oligarchy was always very high, but it is not necessary for a fascist movement to be anti-Semitic per se; other nationalities can serve as scapegoats).
Like classic economics, a typical neofascist movement distinguished between "earned" and "unearned" income and consider the later a sign of parasitism and decadence of the society. NSDAP program of 1920 explicitly stated
"Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery."
Without this point we can talk only about for-right nationalism or in case of "economic nationalism" and "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without globalization as to a certain extent professed by Trump administration).
The idea of Lebensraum - Wikipedia is inherent of fascist movements but typically is absent or is suppressed of neo-fascism movements: .
The German concept of Lebensraum (German pronunciation: [ˈleːbənsˌʁaʊm] "living space") comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.
And as far as external expansion goes, neoliberalism can definitely viewed as a form of neofascism ("Permanent War for Permanent Peace"), so there is a strong connection between neoliberalism and neofascism in foreign policy area and for this reason neoconservatism should probably be viewed as a modern flavor of neofascism. See Professor Andrew Bacevich excellent book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
But, in reality it is not, even if it is used as a synonym of "far right nationalism", because most modern far right nationalism movement borrow key ideas of the three classic fascist regimes -- Mussolini in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Fracoism (falangism) in Spain. New is often well forgotten old. As Robert O. Paxton noted in his essay "The Five Stages of Fascism":
We cannot give up in the face of these difficulties. A real phenomenon exists. Indeed, fascism is the most original political novelty of the twentieth century, no less. ... If we cannot examine fascism synthetically, we risk being unable to understand this century, or the next.
We must have a word, and for lack of a better one, we must employ the word that Mussolini borrowed from the vocabulary of the Italian Left in 1919, before his movement had assumed its mature form. Obliged to use the term fascism, we ought to use it well.
Similarly there is a right for existence of the term neofascism, which is general denotes more aggressive and violent forms of far right nationalism, but at the same time expressing interests of lower middle and working class and having strong anti financial oligarchy sentiments (for example, distinguishing between earned and unearned income (rent)). This is a set of trends and far right political movements now observable in many countries which experienced neoliberal austerity, especially in Europe.
Like fascism and neoliberalism, in no way neofascism is a coherent ideology. It is often self-contradicting and contains mutually exclusive elements. That are several sometimes conflicting types of neofascism in modern societies:
Neofascism ideology is pretty fuzzy and flexible (remember that allies of Nazi Germany in WWII were Japanese, which were as far from Arian ethno type as we can get; while Nazi were adamantly anti-Slav, which represents very similar to Arian ethnic type).
All-in-all it represents a popular and rising in importance on the political scene post–World War II ideology, which proved to be more enduring and popular then the communist ideology. It well coexists with neoliberalism (and can be completely merged with it as in Chile under Pinochet). While "excesses" of classical fascism are rejected it still has the key elements of "national socialism" in the form of "socialism for 1%", if you wish.
There are multiple similar terms, such as military-industrial complex (neoconservatives can be viewed as lobbyists of military industrial complex, and as such neofascist at least in foreign policy strategy and goals), predator state, national security state, etc which essentially describe the same phenomenon, stressing different aspects of it.
While still adhering to the core postulates of fascism, neofascism is very flexible and thus more difficult to define precisely. It relies on achievement of modern technologies and first of all new possibility of surveillance. Neofascism replace physical suppression of internal opposition with MSM control (the situation which already is fully achieved in neoliberal societies). Opposition is simply pushed out of mainstream media into alternative media and ignored, but not physically suppressed.
Along with computers and communication technologies, other technological achievement plays in neofascism favor as well. for example war against weaker opponents now can be conducted with much less casualties and most via technological supremacy on the battlefield.
Similar the idea of racial/ethnic purity can be replaced by cultural "belonging", by rejection of speakers of alternative languages (and culture) in particular country. It can be Spanish in the USA, or Russian in Ukraine.
Neo-fascism also deploy more sophisticated forms of identity politics, than classic fascism. And it less oriented on open violence. Neo-fascists often reject ethnic-based identity policies replacing "ethnic nationalism" with the "cultural nationalism" based solely on the language and culture identifies.
Similar, the idea of one party rule system present in classic fascism can be replaced with two party system, producing the same effect and allowing to preserve parliamentary democracy, while achieving basically the same goals as one party system as both party candidates are selected by non-elected party functionaries, be it the "Deep state" in the form o intelligence agencies control of elections, or the "party elite", or some mixture of the two.
Mass authoritarian, far right party can now be replaced by personnel of intelligence agencies which serve the same purpose with intelligence agencies brass becoming political leaders of the movement, much like Nazi bonzes in the past.
Look how close to basic tenets of neofascism (if we assume that Arian nation is limited to financial, government and corporate oligarchy) is what James K Galbraith called the predator state (from the review by Thomas I Palley of the book in Asia Times Online, Aug 22, 2008):
Economist Jamie K Galbraith's recent book  describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a "predator state". Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an "American corporate" predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.
Kleptocratic predator states, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Sese Seko Mobutu's Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.
It is important to understand the social origins of the American corporate predator state because understanding is a necessary part of developing responses for caging the predators and replacing them with another, better, order. Those origins clearly trace back to the military-industrial complex that president Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final televised address to the nation on January 17, 1961.
That complex has captured politics and corrupted the business of government, including of course the conduct of national security policy. The fact that it has wrapped itself with the flag makes it impossible to confront without being charged as unpatriotic. Worst yet, its enormous enduring profitability has provided a model for imitation by other industrial complexes like Big Pharma and Big Oil.
The political success of these predators is clearly linked to money's role in politics. Money gives the power to buy the political process, and that power is defended by a gospel of free speech that takes no account of the fact that out-shouting someone is qualitatively equivalent to silencing them. Economics also comes to money's defense with its absurd myth of a market for ideas in which participants compete on a level playing field and truth is effortlessly sorted from error.
The American worship of business and businessmen, which Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt, 1922) wrote about long ago, also plays a role. This worship privileges business over thought and other activities, and is behind the dismissive sneer "if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" As a result, Americans are all too willing to hand over their government to business predators. Today, it is in Goldman Sachs we trust.
Another feature of business worship is a tendency to conflate profit with free markets. That means the distinction between fair competition (which is good) and fat profits (which are bad) is lost, thereby providing cover for predators.
Lastly, there is the legacy of the Cold War which contributed to economic dumbing-down and suppression of awareness of class and class conflict. This suppression was seen as necessary for blunting the dangerous appeal of Soviet communism, but a consequence was to create blindness to the predators in our midst.
All of this reveals a deep deficit in America's social and economic understanding (some deficits really do matter). And as long as this deficit remains, the predators will have a starting-gate advantage in the game of political persuasion.
Yet, how to close the deficit and insert another understanding is an enormous challenge. There are deep institutional obstructions in the academy, the media, and the Democratic Party. Moreover, raising these issues may create unsettling cognitive dissonance that pushes voters into denial and a closer embrace of the predators.
In effect, there is a paradox to be solved. Lasting progressive political victory requires transforming understanding, but the immediate political incentives are aligned to discourage engagement with such a project.
Note: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K Galbraith, Free Press, 2008.
Thomas I Palley is the founder of the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project.
Fascism is not a uniform doctrine. From the very beginning there were different flavors of it. In this sense attempt to distill key features of such regimes are difficult and non-rewarding task because fascism was always a national not universal (like Marxism) phenomenon. Such attempts as Arendt's leave much to be desired. Even within a single country there can be several competing version of fascism. They can be even hostile to such an extent that the supporters of one of fascism movement strive to completely destroy the supporters of the other.
Since 30-ies of XX century, there were four "classic" flavors of fascism: Italian fascism, Nazism, and Spanish Francoism(falangism) and (mostly Latin American) "induced fascism" régimes. All "classic" versions rely on mass political movement of the "middle class" making a claim to political power -- to the detriment of the traditional elites and "working classes". They were mildly hostile to monopolies and, sometimes, to financial oligarchy. For example, Nazi decried "unearned income" -- rentier capitalism. All those regimes were revolutionary in a sense that they accepted violence as the legitimate political tool in the struggle to get to power.
But even within them there are multiple and significant differences both in social base and proclaimed goals:
Mussolini started his political career as socialist and at one time was the editor of Avanti While associated with socialism, Mussolini's writings after 1913 indicated that he had abandoned Marxism and egalitarianism in favor of Nietzsche's übermensch concept and anti-egalitarianism. After being ousted by the Italian Socialist Party for his support of Italian intervention in 1914, Mussolini made a radical transformation, ending his support for class conflict and joining in support of revolutionary nationalism transcending class lines. Mussolini got his start in politics with the help of a £100 weekly wage (the equivalent of £6000 as of 2009) from the British security service MI5, to keep anti-war protestors at home and to publish pro-war propaganda.
After coming to power after "March on Rome" (27 and 28 October 1922),
Mussolini start removing most of the political opposition using secret police
and by outlawing labor strikes. Power was consolidated by converting
Italian state into one party dictatorship through a series of laws. Mussolini
enjoyed a wide support in the military and among the industrial and agrarian
elites. Mussolini was also supported by Catholic church. He later initiated
an aggressive expansion (limited to Mediterranean region); But all in all Italian
fascism (many of who were former socialists, including Mussolini himself) were
not hell bent on racial purity. They simply viewed their "revolution" as a preventive
act - to prevent the "bolshevisation" of Italy; In the merger of the state and
the party the state was probably more dominant then the party. Nazism
based was the urban "middle class" and first of all small business owners; it
has strong redistributive component and strives to rebuild the German state
as a hierarchical technocratic military industrial complex (country as a giant
military factory); it was supported by a large part of industrialists, by German
military brass. It at least partially rejected religion replacing it with a
specific flavor of "pan-German" mysticism, and the drive for racial purity;
its goal was a rapid modernization of the country after the crushing defeat
in WWI. It put the state in the subordination of the party, while like Bolshevism
by-and-large merging the Party and the state.
In its racial categorization, Nazism viewed what it called the Aryan race as the master race of the world—a race that was superior to all other races. It viewed Aryans as being in racial conflict with a mixed race people, the Jews, whom Nazis identified as a dangerous enemy of the Aryans. It also viewed a number of other peoples as dangerous to the well-being of the Aryan race. In order to preserve the perceived racial purity of the Aryan race, a set of race laws were introduced in 1935 which came to be known as the Nuremberg Laws. At first these laws only prevented sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Jews, but were later extended to the "Gypsies, Negroes, and their bastard offspring", who were described by the Nazis as people of "alien blood".
Like Italian fascism Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of class struggle, but supported the idea of "class struggle between nations", and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations. The Nazi Party had many working-class supporters and members, but its strongest appeal was to the middle class, especially small business owners. The financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s also led to their strong support of Nazism. The Nazi Party Programme of 1920 guaranteed freedom for all religious denominations not hostile to the State and endorsed Positive Christianity to combat “the Jewish-materialist spirit” (read Marxism). The Nazis were initially highly hostile to Catholics. In 1933, extensive Nazi violence occurred against Catholics due to their association with the Centre Party and their opposition to the Nazi regime's sterilization laws. At the same time in propaganda, the Nazis used elements of Germany's Catholic history, in particular the German Catholic Teutonic Knights and their campaigns in Eastern Europe. The Nazis identified them as "sentinels" in the East against "Slavic chaos".
While Nazis benefitted from the first post-Depression economic upswing, their public works projects, job-procurement program, and subsidized home repair program reduced unemployment by as much as 40% in one year, a development which tempered the unfavorable psychological climate caused by the earlier economic crisis and encouraged Germans to support the regime. march in step with the regime. The Nazis also promised "progressive" social policies like a national labor service, state-provided health care, guaranteed pensions, and an agrarian settlement program.
The Nazis sought to gain support of workers by declaring May Day, a day celebrated by organized labor, to be a paid holiday and held celebrations on 1 May 1933 to honor German workers. Nazi were strongly against "non earned" income and financial sector in general which they considered to be parasitic.
The Nazis argued that capitalism damages nations due to international
finance, the economic dominance of big business, and Jewish influences.
Nazi propaganda posters in working class districts emphasized anti-capitalism,
such as one that said: "The maintenance of a rotten industrial system has nothing
to do with nationalism. I can love Germany and hate capitalism. Adolf Hitler,
both in public and in private, expressed disdain for capitalism, arguing that
it holds nations ransom in the interests of a parasitic cosmopolitan rentier
class. He opposed free market capitalism's profit-seeking impulses and
desired an economy in which community interests would be protected. Hitler told
a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation of the
Jews." On other occasion he said to Benito Mussolini that capitalism had "run
its course". Hitler also said that the business bourgeoisie "know nothing except
their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them." Hitler was personally
disgusted with the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the
Weimar Republic, who he referred to as "cowardly shits". A number of other
Nazis held even more strong revolutionary socialist and anti-capitalist beliefs,
most prominently Ernst Röhm, the leader of the Sturmabteilung. Another radical
Nazi, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had stressed the socialist character
of Nazism, and claimed in his diary in the 1920s that if he were to pick between
Bolshevism and capitalism, he said "in final analysis", "it would be better
for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism."
Because "induced" fascism was highly depended on a "democratic metropolis" it is often observed in varying degrees of "democratic decorum": there was a Parliament, multiparty system and periodic "elections". Of course, it was to a greater or lesser extent a sham (in Paraguay during the Stroessner the question of "cohabitation" of fascism with parliamentary democracy was solved simply and elegantly: in the country has a military regime, except for one day - election day).
In order to facilitate the creation of regimes "induced fascism" in third world countries the army, police and intelligence services have turned into some kind of fascist parties without the parties themselves and Nazi ideology became part of indoctrination in those organizations. In hindsight, after the military coup in Chile, it became clear that the diehard fascists in the Chilean army were much father to the right then the "civilian" fascist organizations in Chile. Same thing became clear in hindsight in relation to the Brazilian police and military counterintelligence.
"Induced" fascism represent a bridge between parliamentary democracies and the right-wing authoritarian (aka totalitarism) regimes, movements and doctrines, "blurring" the concept of fascism and making it "more acceptable" to liberals. So, the regime of Somoza in Nicaragua planted by the USA, ideologically was close to European fascism, and even helped the Uruguayan fascists to prepare their coup - and at the same time acted as a strategic US ally in the region and was formally at war with the "Axis powers".
In Europe, the first case of "induced" fascism was a post-war pro-British regime in Greece, where after the liberation of the country from German troops the civil war started. The British labor party denounced Churchill for his support in Greece "monarchist fascists" and "Nazi collaborators", but when they came in 1945 to power, themselves supported by the same "monarch-fascist" and "Nazi collaborators".
The political views of the "new right" coincided with the views of practitioners of neoliberalism in the era of Reaganomics and Thatcherism. Not by chance the Pinochet regime (a classic example of "induced, puppet fascism") is characterized as "Militant Thatcherism". Even the fundamental views publicly expressed by Thatcher and Pinochet, were often identical (e.g., he and the other refused to recognize the existence of society - which was, in fact, merely a repetition of the doctrine of Italian fascism). What parties and movements, connecting the idea of "new right" has achieved in recent years greater success in elections in Western Europe: the national front of Le Pen in France, the party of P. Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the freedom Party. Haider in Austria, etc. (revealing, incidentally, that the Freedom Party is included in the Liberal international!).
Other cases pre-war neofascism was monarchist far right regimes developed in countries of Eastern Europe. Rapid inclusion of these parties and regimes in the orbit of Italian and German influences have masked their identity, on the one hand, and did not allow them to develop into independent phenomenon.
There can me multiple fascism movements in the same country. In France before the war all three classic brand of fascism were well represented: French version of the Italian fascism ("francism", etc.), the French version of Nazism (French people's party, etc.), the French version of francoism ("capulary") and, finally, the original aristocratic elitist fascism "action française", close to the monarchist-fascism. Sometimes the supporters of the different flavors of fascism fight with each other. In Austria supporters of Italian fascism came to power in February 1934, but in July, the Nazis organized a putsch and killed Chancellor E. Dollfuss, and ended the fight by smashing austrofascism and initiating the Anschluss. In Hungary, the supporters of Italian fascism - hungarista led by Admiral Horthy was overthrown in 1944 by the Hungarian Nazis movement headed by Salashi. In Romania, the confrontation between supporters of Italian fascism and Nazism - "seleniumselenium", "jeleznovodask", Antonescu and Horia SIMA - has resulted in mutual mass terror .
After World war II the Western ruling elite has never repeated his pre-war mistakes and understood that fascism is a tricky bet in the fight against social revolution. So it was relegated as a tool for countries "About which we do not care" They understood that such a movement as "classical" fascism or other extremist movements of "middle class" easily get out of control. All post-war fascist regimes relied on mass movements. Such movements were outlawed in most Western countries.
As neofascism has a lot of common features with far right nationalism it is very difficult to say when one ends and another starts. Those terms can be used as synonyms, but I would suggest that neofascism is a specific flavor of far right nationalism that has anti-financial oligarchy bent. It is a more "socialist" version of far right nationalism and always was.
So far right nationalism a more generic term then neofascism: all neofascists are far right nationalists, but the reverse is not true.
Neofascism is more narrow concept that emphasizes/defines more features of the movement then far right nationalism. Typically neofascism movements are a more radical, more anti-democratic, more statist than an "average" far right nationalism movements. And their flavor of militaristic bent includes the idea of expanding the "living space"/empire for the particular nation (or country) by promoting rampant militarism (which also serves as a tool to "unify" the nation and suppress dissent). Like for example neoconservatives in the USA. Also neofascism has a certain flavor of "victimhood" which far right nationalism does not necessary possesses.
What is clear that there is a much larger political space for far right nationalist movements then for neofascist movements in modern societies. The backlash against neoliberal globalization now mainly take the form of far right nationalism, but not necessarily neo-fascism: many such far right movement are completely devoid of the hostility to financial oligarchy and unearned income.
So it's given that far right movements and their more specific case -- neofascism -- have many common features, many similarities:
A perception is manufactured that opposition to the power elite is tantamount
to an attack on religion.
But there are some minor differences.
Like communists, classic fascists promote violence as a legitimate political tool, but this is less true about neofascist. Classic fascism, Payne says, requires "a philosophical valuing of violence, of Sorelian violence. [Fascists believe] that violence is really good for you, that it's the sort of thing that makes you a vital, alive, dedicated person, that it creates commitment. Fascism makes violence not just a political strategy, but also a philosophical principle. For fascists "war is the health of the nation". That's mentality is unique to fascism. This feature is reduced and subdued in neofascism, but still is present.
Classic fascism also has some anti-clerical bent and typically promotes a specific secular, "political religion" in which the nation is considered a real, living, and yet sacred thing to be revered and protected, instead of traditional religion. This goes well beyond typical far right nationalism views on religion. Far right nationalists more commonly promote an existing religion (Vox). But those two trends can happily co-exists.
The idea of rejuvenation of the nation also is typical for both. But look more closely at the way Trump talks about rejuvenating America:
- "I will build the finest and most modern veterans hospitals in the world."
- "This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world."
- "Our highspeed Internet access is only 16th best in the world … The World Economic Forum ranks the US infrastructure as only the 12th best in the world."
These statements are much closer to the "I want my soccer team to win" version of patriotism — and much more concerned with the qualities of Donald Trump as the leader, than America the nation.
Neoliberal MSM brainwash people running a campaign hypertrophied dehumanization of Untermensch. Essentially this campaign is directed toward conditioning people to view "lower classes" as a category of cattle, much like in slavery. This tendency of "blaming poor" is definitely a defining trend of modern day US neoliberalism. And that's as close to fascism as one can get.
Socialism in national socialism exists only for Ubermensch. And for them (and for them only) it does contain almost all major socialist elements. This is undeniable if we analyze the NSDAP Party program announced by Hitler on February 20, 1920. It is also important to remember that some fascists leaders, such as Benito Mussolini, previously were prominent figures in the social-democratic movement (Wikipedia)
The National Socialist Programme (aka the 25-point Programme and the 25-point Plan) was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP) but on the same day of the announced party program it was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), headed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 in front of around 2000 people in the Munich Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who, having explicitly supported Hitler, had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation.
... ... ...
- We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
- We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
- We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
- Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
- Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
- The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
- We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
- Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
- All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
- The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
- Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
- In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
- We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
- We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
- We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
- We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
- We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
- We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
- We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
- The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
- The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
- We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
- We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race; b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language; c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
- We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.
- For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.
Neoliberalism demonstrate the resurgence of classic fascism tendencies with the sharp division between upper class (Ubermensch) and lower class, "inferior people" (Untermensch) and the associated cult of violence. Although in new slightly more moderate form, but with the same set of core ideas and principles.
In neofascism unrestricted violence, terror against "inferior people" is subdued. As the criteria nationality is often (but not completely) replaced with culture and especially the national language (language nationalism) and is directed almost exclusively to foreigners, immigrants and national minorities who continue to use "wrong" language because it is their mother tongue (for example, Russians in case of Far Right Forces in Ukraine).
In neoliberalism nationality is replaced by "creative abilities", which are understood as the ability of capital accumulation and self-enrichment. In cultural variant of neofascism the language and culture replace the race as a defining point of "belonging", and the key distinction between "Arian race" and Untermensch. Replacement of nationality with the cultural identity makes it closer to ultra-right republicanism as exists in the USA. It is also clearly visible in Ukrainian far right movement:
But all-in-all neofascism remains just a mutation of classic fascist ideology (yuricareport.com):
Call it Pseudo Fascism. Or, if you like, Fascism Lite. Happy-Face Fascism. Postmodern Fascism. But there is little doubt anymore why the shape of the "conservative movement” in the 21st century is so familiar and disturbing: Its architecture, its entire structure, has morphed into a not-so-faint hologram of 20th-century fascism.
...Unlike the genuine article, it presents itself under a normative, rather than a revolutionary, guise; and rather than openly exulting in violence, it pays lip service to law and order. Moreover, even in the areas where it resembles real fascism, the similarities are often more familial than exact. It is, in essence, less virulent and less violent, and thus more likely to gain broad acceptance within a longtime stable democratic system like that of the United States.
It is important to understand that neofascism inherited the major traits of fascism connected with creating a scapegoat nationality or anti-immigration sentiments, often induced by actual misbehavior of immigrants (such a rapes, beating of people by criminal gangs, etc) or large influx of immigrant from other nation in economic crisis (Immigrants in Europe, Russia, to lesser extent in other "countries of immigrants" such as USA, Australia, Canada, etc). At certain stages it can actually "return to the roots" and adopt violence as the key form of dealing with the opponents (see EuroMaidan )
The key element of any flavor of fascist ideology is rejection of liberalism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy (and implicitly to the rule of law). It is the cult of "strong hand" the makes it similar to authoritarism. While officially neofascists parties no longer endorses violence as a chief means to silence the opposition, they often resort to it as a temporary mean to achieve their goals, and, especially, to come to power.
Allegations that a group is neofascist are typically hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.
neofascism can be viewed as one of the forms of the "revolt of the elite", a mutation of corporatism that invariably emerges during acute economic crises and related loss of profitability of many businesses. While cannon fodder of neofascism are small business owners, the puppeteers always are large business owners and, especially, financial oligarchy and oligarchy connected to military-industrial complex. For the latter neofascism is an ideal regime.
That's why right now proto-fascist and neofascist groups and sentiments are on the rise in many countries including, but not limited USA, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Norway. In many cases neofascist parties such as Ukrainian Svoboda get enough votes to be represented in national parliaments (algemeiner.com/2013/05/24):
In Ukraine, the noisiest anti-Semitic group is the Svoboda ( "Freedom”) party. Established in 1991 as the "Social-National Party of Ukraine” under the SS-era symbol of the Wolfsangel. In 2004, with new leader Oleh Tyahnybok, the party renamed itself and adopted innocuous symbols.
That, however, didn’t change the Nazi characteristic of the party. Tyahnybok himself has stated on several occasions that the "Moscow-Jewish mafia” is running Ukraine. Other prominent party members have often used the derogatory, anti Jewish slur ”zhid”, including against Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, suggesting she was not a "real” Ukrainian because of her Jewish heritage.
Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division. (To Svoboda’s vocal displeasure, Poland’s parliament recently introduced a resolution condemning the OUN and the UPA for wartime massacres of Polish civilians.)
Here is another telling video:
Skinheads is also a prominent phenomenon which is typical for many European countries. They are definitely part of neofascism movement. This rage is directed toward immigrants. Torch processions borrowed from classic fascism now became common in many countries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20929755)
7 January 2013 Last updated at 01:38 ET Help
A sudden rise in popularity of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, has caused concern both inside and outside the country.
Svoboda, which means "freedom" in Ukrainian, is allied with European far-right parties. But many observers warn that its views are extremist.
David Stern reports from Kiev.
Also popular are typical for classic fascism physical violence such as street fights with opponents. A new element is that now it can happen during football matches like recently in Poland:
Removed by Youtube
While neofascism is anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, unlike classic fascism which openly declared itself as such, they deployed as thick smoke screen of propaganda to present itself in completely different light. The destruction of meaning by creating "empty phrases" combining opposite ideas has, as we have seen, become a prominent strategy deployed by the conservative movement.]
Another key element of neofascism is "vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people." It often covered with a fig leaf of "fight against terrorism". DW.DE 09.01.2014
Like classic fascism neofascism remains rabidly anti-socialist. Actually socialists and communists, let's not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and "liquidated" by the Nazi regime.
Early on during the first term of the Bush presidency many progressives characterized Bush's statements and actions as "neofascist". It is also true that Bush II has some neofascist baggage, as Bush family did has some ties with fascist regimes in the past and the U.S. government found that Bush's grandfather had illegally aided the Nazis during the 30's. It's true that regime of Bush II has some neofascist leanings. It definitely introduced into public discourse and tried to implement in practice several elements of neofascist ideology. Some of them with some interesting innovations. For example, unlike classic fascism instead of mass mobilization Bush government preferred political passivity as prescribed by Inverted Totalitarism doctrine ("go shopping" was his famous recommendation after 9/11).
But full development of neofascist ideas and forming a popular party is impossible without acute economic distress
or political crisis (like the one in Ukraine) and a real economic crisis arrived only at the end of Bush Presidency (2008). So paradoxically the major implementer of Bush neofascist ideas and first of all the idea of total surveillance was the regime of Barack Obama. With a tea-party being a close proxy of radical neofascist parties in Eastern Europe. There is distinct racial element in it. Nobody will try to disprove the claim that it has mainly white middle class composition. And like European radical parties of neofascist orientation it endorses violence to achieve its goals. See Tea Party and right wing rage
But even if we assume that 9/11 was a false flag operation that is reminiscent of Reichstag Fire generally the USA neofascist elements were innovatively mixed with the ideas from the theoretical model called Inverted Totalitarism. Direct violence toward opponents never materialized. Just the pre-existing process of the conversion of the USA into National Security State dramatically increased. Now we know more about the new role assigned to NSA during this period.
American exeptionalism ideas promoted by Bush administration clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. The unique feature here is that they were integrated into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime. So it's more like "top 1% uber alles" then "The USA uber alles" ;-).
It should be stressed that some of ideas inherent in neofascist doctrine are integral part of European culture. As Paxton describes them (Robert O. Paxton, "The Five Stages of Fascism," The Journal of Modern History 70 (March 1998): pp. 3-5.) in the following way:
...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
- The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
- The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
- Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan [neoliberalism.
- Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
- An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
- Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
- The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.
Paxton's list makes easier to identify typical "passions" which are at play in proto-fascist environment, particularly during the debate over the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it (Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):
1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.
In 2002, Laurence W. Britt's Fascism Anyone? analyzed seven fascist regimes in order to find the common features that constitute "generic fascism". He selected the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, Papadopoulos's Greece, Pinochet's Chile, and Suharto's Indonesia. He found 14 common characteristics (reprinted below, with 6 additions by Umberto Eco) and concluded:
"Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not."
We think "maybe not." It's just a matter of degree. There is an ongoing transformation of the US in this particular direction.
It is difficult to tell when far right nationalistic group get brown color. Litmus text is the creation of paramilitary group (death squads, stormtroopers, etc) for repression of opponents and adoption of terror as a legitimate methods of struggle for power. Those paramilitary group exists outside law, the key interpreter of which became the party not the counts. Another telling sign is the creation of concentration camps.
Here are six more characteristics found in Umberto Eco's "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt," from New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15.
Both Eastern and Western Europe are experiencing a new and important cultural and political development: the appearance of a new breed, new generation, of far right, extremist movements. These are some indications of the emergence of a new, emerging political forces in Europe which emerged as a reaction to neoliberalism with its dominance of globalized banking. That lead to paradoxical situation when many of Le Pen's votes come from former Red strongholds. In other word like in 20th and 30th the working class is, for very understandable reasons, is turning to nationalism as an antidote to casino capitalism enforced by the USA. So the USA neoliberal empire is the main precondition for resurgence As Slavoj Žižek noted:
The Ukrainian nationalist right is one instance of what is going on today from the Balkans to Scandinavia, from the US to Israel, from central Africa to India: ethnic and religious passions are exploding, and Enlightenment values receding.
These passions have always been there, lurking; what’s new is the outright shamelessness of their display.
... ... ...
One of the signs of this regression is a request often heard on the new European right for a more "balanced" view of the two "extremisms", the right and the left. We are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme left (communism) the same way that Europe after the second world war treated the extreme right (the defeated fascists)
But in reality there is no balance here: the equation of fascism and communism secretly privileges fascism. Thus the right are heard to argue that fascism copied communism: before becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist; Hitler, too, was a National Socialist; concentration camps and genocidal violence were features of the Soviet Union a decade before Nazis resorted to them; the annihilation of the Jews has a clear precedent in the annihilation of the class enemy, etc.
The point of these arguments is to assert that a moderate fascism was a justified response to the communist threat (a point made long ago by Ernst Nolte in his defence of Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism). In Slovenia, the right is advocating the rehabilitation of the anti-communist Home Guard which fought the partisans during the second world war: they made the difficult choice to collaborate with the Nazis in order to thwart the much greater evil of communism.
Among other condition that favor resurgence of such groups we can name such features of neoliberal regimes, what now dominate the continent as demographic pressures from immigrant labor, social dislocation due to dismantling of social security state, and economic pressures inherent in "dog eat dog" capitalism and outsourcing to lower wage countries advocated by neoliberalism. In many ways neoliberalism represents a perfect environment for nurturing neofascist movements.
Those pressures are very similar to pressures which used to exist in 20th and 30th of the last century. As before they stimulate the formation of a new generation of far right movements whose motives and characteristics while somewhat differ from the right wing groups of the early twentieth century what came to power in Italy, Germany and Spain are still driven by the same resentment of middle class and "Lumpenbourgeoisie". They use the same ideas of dominance of particular ethnic group. scapegoat in form of another ethnic group, glorification of state, using violence against opponents, limitations on civil rights in the name of giving the state more power to protect the populace from "destructive elements" within the society and external aggressors. Fall of "fist generation" fascist regimes did not destroy the movement which acquired strong roots in neoliberal societies across the globe.
They are different from classic far right nationalist of the past that the criteria of belonging is no longer ethnicity per se (although some elements, for example anti-Semitism and Russophobia, of this remained) but "cultural affiliation" and first of all the language. In other words they are not fascists, they are neofascists. But in Ukraine they are not only alive, they are particularly well. Ukraine is the first European state where element of neofascist Party were included in the government after putsch of February 22.
All that means that the huge rise of Ukrainian far right forces is not a unique and isolated phenomenon. Far right organizations that first crystallized around football ultras and skinheads are European-wide phenomenon. See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG-2HdFdvkY
This process also includes Russia although level of suppression of nationalism and especially neofascism in Russia is probably one of the highest among European countries.
And it goes without saying that all major EU counties experience dramatic rise of far right forces too. That includes Germany, France, Sweden as well as usual suspects Hungary, Poland and Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). The whole story of the EU since the Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Euro was about neoliberal conversion similar to the USA conversion. And this conversion destroyed standards of living of lower middle class, especially small merchants, across southern Europe. Now the Southern Europe have had enough and are going to send nationalists to the European Parliament (The Guardian, May 14, 2014):
This new wave of nationalism is different then the previous wave which arose in the beginning of XX century and which led to establishment of "classic" fascist regimes. It can be called "cultural nationalism" where not ethnicity, but cultural identity was put in the center of the nationalistic doctrine.
In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.
For "cultural nationalism" a common identity is based more on acceptance for the language and the culture than on the racial solidarity (although it dies not exclude xenophobia). Due to the power of the USA and general alliance with the West, fewer of this movements and parties are openly anti-Semitic and if they are anti-Semitic then the stress is on refusal of Jews to accept the national culture, the charge similar to the change of "country less cosmopolitans" trials in the USSR in late 40th of the last century.
Ukrainian fascists love the Russia-hammering NATO, but detest the Russia-accommodating and supra-nationalistic EU.
And they aren’t alone. Fascism — and anti-EU sentiment — pervade parts of Europe that never felt Stalin’s wrath. In the last elections for the European Parliament, "eurosceptics” and xenophobic ultra-nationalists scored significant gains, led by Marine Le Pen, whose National Front took 25% of the French seats.
A lot of it has to do with the equivocal track record of globalized neo-liberal capitalism in the last decade. We’re all Pikettyists now, and it seems that among the most important outcomes of neo-liberalism are income inequality and oligarchs.
It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.
Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the current system to secure and expand their wealth and power; liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear to be recipes for national impotence. Transnational free markets in capital and goods breed local austerity, unemployment, and poverty. Democratic governments seem to follow the free market playbook, get into problems they can’t handle, and surrender their sovereignty to committees of Euro-financiers.
Fascism, with its exaltation of the particular, the emotional, and the undemocratic provides an impregnable ideological and political bulwark against these outside forces.
Fascism has become an important element in the politics of resistance: a force that obstructs imposition of the norms of globalization, and an ideology that justifies the protection of local interests against the demands of liberal democracy, transnational capital, and property and minority rights.
Maybe it’s neo-liberalism, not fascism, that is facing a crisis of legitimacy and acceptance.
So the idea that fascism can be treated as a delusional artifact of the 20th century and the challenge of fascism to the neo-liberal order can be ignored is, itself, wishful thinking.
... ... ...
For some, resentment will, inevitably, congeal around nationalism and the perception that fascist resistance, defiantly militant, uncompromising, and irrational, racial and undemocratic, exclusionary and brutal, is the best instrument to achieve local identity and agency—power– in an ever bigger, more dangerous, and less responsive continental order.
New nationalist movements and far right groups widely use Internet and have well established Web presence including such social sited as Facebook and Google++. They also establish cross-border links with similar parties. For example Ukrainian far-right group have links not only with Germany far right (which is natural for them), but paradoxically also with Polish far-right with which they theoretically should be bitter enemies and sometimes even with Russian neo-liberals (several of them visited EuroMaidan in "support missions") and far-right groups (despite the fact that Russian culture and by extension people are official cultural enemy of Ukrainian nationalism)
The story of 20th and 30th repeats again. Far right groups are nurtured by both government and part of the big business as the most adequate response to the challenging and poorly controlled political situation at home. That happened, for example, in Ukraine under Yanukovich who essentially nurtured his own demise. As Helena Smith reported about Greece (The Observer, [Jun 09, 2014):
It has been a bad week for democracy in Athens. All around this great Greek city, the politics of hate now lurk. On Friday I got a taste of it in the tiny Italian-style cafe I frequent off Syntagma Square.
It arrived in the form of two middle-aged men, both supporters of the neofascist Golden Dawn – and, by their own account, the holders of university degrees, well-travelled and well-informed. Over espressos, they began to engage in an animated discussion about all that is wrong with Greece.
The first, a self-described businessman decked out in designer suit, brogues and silk tie, blamed the country's economic collapse on malfeasance, corruption and uncontrolled immigration. "The only way to teach our filthy politicians is to bring in Golden Dawn," he trilled, his eyes locked in a fierce glare. "These gentlemen are patriots, proud Greek nationalists, and they know how to deal with the scum, the foreigners who never pay taxes, who steal our jobs, who have taken over our streets."
What makes Ukrainian experience more interesting is the Ukrainian far right forces are classic case of forces brought to the front stage and openly supported by the neoliberal government. They were covertly supported by all Ukrainian governments, but, especially, by pro-US "democratic" Yushchenko regime, since 1991 as a way to create "Ukrainian national identity". This is when they got open state support and Yushchenko even dared to bestow the title of hero of Ukraine to the leader of Ukrainian nationalists in WWII Stepan Bandera, who is guilty of serious crimes such an ethnic cleansing against Polish citizens and Jews.
Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology.
But paradoxically it was not Yushchenko, but Yanukovich regime and his financial and logistical support which essentially launch Svoboda into mainstream. As CounterPunch noted (The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism):
Ukrainian nationalists turned largely toward fascism, specifically toward a concept of "integral nationalism” that, in the absence of an acceptable national government, manifested itself in a national will residing in the spirit of its adherents, not expressed by the state or restrained by its laws, but embodied by a charismatic leader and exercised through his organization, whose legitimacy supersedes that of the state and whose commitment to violence makes it a law unto itself.
That leader, at least for many Ukrainians of the fascist persuasion, was Stepan Bandera. The organization, his OUN-B faction.
This state of affairs persists in today’s successor to the OUN-B, Pravy Sektor, with its fascist trappings, leader cult, and paramilitary arm. The "mainstreaming” of the second major fascist grouping, Svoboda, looks more like a strategic repackaging in order to strive for greater electoral success by hiding its fascist antecedents.
So, unfortunately for apologists for the current Kyiv regime, the correct description of these two groups is not "nationalist” or "ultranationalist”; it is "fascist”.
Fatally, the Ukrainian government has turned to fascist nationalism and heroes in order to forge a post-Soviet, essentially Ukrainian, identity for the post-1991 state
Paradoxically, part of Ukrainian far right groups, at least superficially, are pro-EU. It is less paradoxical then it sounds is we assume that the cultural affinity is the key to the new nationalism. Ukrainian nationalists cultural identity is based on strong, fanatic rejection of all things Russian demonstrating a perfect example of Narcissism of small differences -- the tendency to exaggerate the dissimilarities of those who resemble us in an effort to buttress our own self-regard...
An excellent discussion of why this is the case and why they are nurtured by the US government was provided in the article Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist Insurrection from The Polemicist blog (March 19, 2014). I recommend to read this excellent analysis in full, but here is a (large) relevant quote:
To pretend that the ex-post-facto parliamentary maneuvers that ratified the result of this insurrection actually confer some kind of retroactive constitutional legitimacy on it is ludicrous. As Nicolai Petro points out, these actions were taken by "a Parliament that rules without any representation from the majority party – since most of the deputies of the east and the south of the country are afraid to set foot in Parliament… [and] all across the country, headquarters of parties are being sacked by their opponents,” by a parliament that outlawed the only effective remaining opposition party (the Communists) and that "consolidate[ed] the powers of the speaker of the Parliament and the acting president in a single individual, giving him greater powers than allowed under any Ukrainian constitution,” in a context where "Vigilante militias routinely attack and disperse public gatherings they disapprove of.”25 Please, let’s recognize these parliamentary acts as what they are – the ratification of an insurrection, in defiance of the extant constitutional order. Call them the first steps in a new, post-insurrection constitutional order if you want, but recognize the radical break they represent.
And why not call this what it is? Isn’t that what revolutionary change is all about – a radical break with the old order? To reprise what I said in a previous post on Egypt: An electoral process can be a thin facade of democracy and, effectively, a tool of disempowerment, justifying militant extra-electoral politics, or even insurrection. A serious revolutionary conjuncture, a real break into a new social order, usually involves both. It’s an unapologetic, forceful, seizure of power that seeks to be definitive and irreversible. (Of course, not every insurrection is a revolution, or even a step forward, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.)
As someone who accepts the revolutionary socialist argument, I do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se. And guess what? All the self-proclaimed liberal, conservative, moderate, non-violent, constitutional, parliamentary democratic thinkers, politicians and commentators who are proudly and loudly supporting what happened in Ukraine also do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se – they just don’t want to admit it. Like me, they will support an insurrection, depending on what it’s about. Unlike me, they will pretend it wasn’t really an insurrection at all, just another, maybe somewhat "messy,” but fundamentally non-violent, constitutionally-authorized transition within the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. And that’s because, as the man said: We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.
It’s quite amusing, until it gets sickening, to watch American leaders—who cling to the notion that a thin, corrupt, disempowering electoral process legitimizes them — embrace the forceful overthrow of a democratically-elected leader in a functioning parliamentary democracy while insisting they are doing no such thing.
Let’s recognize that virtually nobody really supports or opposes what happened in Ukraine, or anywhere else, because it was an insurrection, but because of what kind of insurrection it was – what it’s explicit and implicit socio-political objective was, what different kind of society and polity it was moving toward creating. And let’s recognize that the US would denounce, and help to crush, any insurrection, no matter how popular or righteous the cause, in which leftist forces played anything close to the prominent fighting role that right-wing, neofascist forced played in this one. If revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists had been the vanguard of the Maidan, Yanukovych would have been America’s "democratic” hero.
As for "democracy” (along with "nonviolent,” one of the most dishonestly abused words in the American political vocabulary), it certainly does not just mean having an election. It means power to the people. Neither Ukrainian oligarchs, nor the EU-IMF neo-liberal "technocrats,” nor the American government, nor NATO, want that. They have too much to lose.
It was a right-wing, imperialist insurrection, powered by fascist groups and permeated with fascist ideology.
The overthrow of Yanukovych was an insurrection accomplished by a political movement that was driven by popular socio-economic discontent and thoroughly imbued by "ultranationalist”—i.e., neofascist—ideology.
It was decidedly not a revolution, in the strong sense of the word. A revolutionary insurrection marks the beginning of a change in the social order. This movement did not, will not, and, given its foundations, could not, establish a popular government that will create anything like more widespread prosperity and deeper democracy, let alone a new social order.
It was a regime change, fuelled by popular discontent, powered by neofascist militants, and surreptitiously managed by American intelligence diplomats, with Ukrainian oligarchs maneuvering for ultimate control behind the scenes—factions that have different, sometimes internally contradictory, agendas. It will create a government that will be controlled by and benefit some Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of others, that will benefit European and American capitalism at the (acknowledged, indeed promised!) cost of austerity and immiseration for Ukrainian working people, and that will benefit American and NATO plans for an ever-tightening military encirclement of Russia at the expense of possible war and perpetual tension for Ukraine.
The only possibility for a more serious, "revolutionary” break from neo-liberal standards of oligarchic-imperial rule in the near future would come from the neofascist groups, who indeed imagine themselves to have a radically different agenda. But guess what? Faced with any popular uprising against its policies, from the right or the left, the new neo-liberal, Euro-facing, Russia-hating, America-loving, Ukrainian government, and its international supporters, will trot out the bourgeois democratic principles that its leaders, of course, never really contravened, and insist, Berkut (by any other name) and all: We won’t permit that in our democratic, European capital, no matter how righteous the cause.
Is there anybody who honestly doubts any of this?
Brendan O’Neill makes the point quite nicely:
For what we have in Ukraine is not revolution, but regime change …As for the word ‘revolution’ … its deployment in Ukraine takes its bastardisation to a new low: there has of course been no replacement of one social order by another in Ukraine, or even the installment of a people’s government; instead various long-established parties in parliament, some of which are deeply unpopular among certain constituencies in Ukraine, are forming an interim government. Revolutionary? Hardly.
The Western debate and coverage … has certainly made externally generated regime change seem revolutionary, and the Western-assisted anti-democratic removal of an elected leader seem like an act of people’s democracy. It has exposed a severe dearth of independent critical thinking among the Western commentariat. …
The truth of what has happened in Ukraine is this: the EU and Washington have effectively brought about regime change, replacing an elected pro-Russian regime with an unelected, still-being-formed new government that is more amenable to the institutions of the West.26
Regarding the "fascism” question, Max Blumenthal’s Alternet piece, and Per Anders Rudling’s detailed scholarly study are indispensable sources. Rudling understates considerably, when he says: "The far-right tradition is particularly strong in western Ukraine.” The fascist currents in the Kiev movement are undeniable. They are represented in the parliament by the Svoboda (Freedom) Party (originally called the Social National Party). In December, 2012, the European Parliament condemned Svoboda for its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views,” and urged other Ukrainian parties "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.”27
As Blumenthal notes, Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, defines his mission as freeing his country from the "Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” His deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn founded a think tank named after a historical figure he admires greatly: The Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. Svoboda’s – and, unfortunately, much of western Ukraine’s – "nationalism” is embodied in the revered figure of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian (OUN), which helped to form a Ukrainian division of the Waffen SS to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. From 1942-1944, Yaroslav Stetsko, the "Prime Minister” of ONU-B (Bandera’s wing), who supported "bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine,” oversaw the killing of "more than 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews” in western Ukraine. Banderists in Lvov circulated a pamphlet telling the city’s Jews: "We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet.”28
After the war, Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) continued its fascist campaign for "a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe,” engaging in a futile armed struggle against the Soviet Union, until KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Nothing "neo” about this Nazi.
Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology. He "tasked a set of nationalistically minded historians” into "disseminating a sanitized, edifyingly patriotic version of the history of the ‘Ukrainian national liberation movement,’ the leaders of which were presented in iconographic form as heroic and saintly ﬁgures, martyrs of the nation.”
Thus, in 2010, against the protestation of the European Parliament—which he accused of having a "historical complex” — Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title of "Hero of Ukraine."29 As Rudling notes: "There was little protest from intellectuals who identify themselves as liberals.” It was the government of big, bad Yanukovych that later annulled the award.
And thus, still satisfied by their political research, Svoboda led a 15,000-person march in honor of Bandera in Kiev on January 1st of this year, with chants of "Ukraine above all” and "Bandera, come and bring order!” 30
Now, as a result of the insurrection, Svoboda, which won about 10% of the vote in the last election, has effectively muscled the much larger (34% of the last vote) Party of the Regions out of parliament, and seeks nationally to outlaw it and the Communist Party (13% of the vote), whose leader’s house was burned down. With the help of its Right Sector allies, these parties have already been banned in a number of regions. Svoboda now holds "key leadership positions in the parliament and law enforcement, four ministerial portfolios in the new government [including Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister] and several appointed governorships.” Svoboda’s co-founder, Andriy Parubiy, is head of the National Security & Defense Council of the new, democratic, government of Ukraine.31
So, fourteen months after denouncing Svoboda for its "racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” European governments are gushing over the new "democracy” in Ukraine over which Svoboda presides. And, as the BBC reports: "Inside the columned central hall of Kiev's city council, an activist base of operations, hung a giant banner with a Celtic cross, a symbol of ‘white power,’ and an American confederate flag….and an immense portrait of Stepan Bandera.”32Keep in mind, too, Rudling’s point that the whole Banderist "national liberation” narrative "was well received in western Ukraine but was received coldly or met open hostility in the eastern and southern parts of the country.”
As Svoboda represents fascism in the parliament, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) represented fascism in the maidan, and continues to do so with its intimidating tactics in the streets and administrative offices of Kiev and the regions, as well as from its new positions in government. Right Sector is a confederation of far-right groups such as Patriots of Ukraine, the Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Stepan Bandera’s Trident, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Their favorite ensign is the wolfsangel--a favorite, too, of the Waffen SS--which was on display all over the maidan:
As Ukrainian journalist Oleg Shynkarenko points out, Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh defines the group's creed thusly: "We are against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, but we support traditional morals and family values, against the cult of profit and depravity.” Right Sector’s websites rail against the "liberal homodictatorship” of modern Western society.33 Blumenthal points out that Right Sector is: "linked to a constellation of international neofascist parties,” and "through the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN), Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on ‘a great European Reconquest’.” In some ways, the neofascist right does want power to the people—just the morally and ethnically pure people.
BBC did a decent report on the "Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine.” Again, maybe not so "neo.” The reporter, Gabriel Gatehouse, interviews Svoboda and Right Sector militants, meets a group called C14 (apparently an armed wing of Svoboda) under a portrait of Lenin in the Communist Party headquarters they had taken over, and shows two Svoboda MPs displaying "14” and "88” tokens. These numbers, which are often displayed in combination, and which appeared in graffiti throughout the maidan, have special fascist significance: "14” stands for from the Fourteen Words coined by an American white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” (there’s an alternate version, about "the White Aryan woman”); "88” represents a double of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, HH, for Heil Hitler. [I cannot make this stuff up.]
Yes, it depends what you’re fighting for.
My favorite is this 2½-minute tidbit from a young Right Sector gentleman, explaining the group’s, and his, affinity for "National Socialist themes,” and assuring his interviewer that they want a society that’s just "a little bit like” that "under Hitler”:
The leader of the Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is now the deputy head of the National Security Council, and is running for President, of Ukraine’s new, democratic, government.
You might also take a look at this video, where Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko roughs up a local prosecutor to show him who’s the boss now, and threatens to have him lynched: "Shut the fuck up, you bitch! Your fucking time is over… If you think I am goodie because I’ve come without my rifle, you are gravely mistaken. I’ve come with a pistol. There are a few choice videos of Muzychko, who is also identified as a member of the "Wiking" unit of the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), another post-Banderist right-wing paramilitary group.
So there’s no question that fascists were part of the insurrection, and there is no question that they were crucial to its success. As Oleg Shynkarenko insists, the scenes of fighting resistance and advance were led by Right Sector and allied groups:[I]t was the far right that first started to talk back to Yanukovych in his own language. They were the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades. They were amongst those who burned two military troop carriers that attacked the barricades on February 18. The Euromaidan won thanks to the resoluteness of people who were ready to fight rather than to negotiate in parliament when any negotiation became pointless.Nicolai Petro agrees, and points out the political ramifications:I ascribe a much greater role to the Right Sector…the spearhead of the revolution. … [T]he actual coup was accomplished thanks to the armed intervention of extreme nationalists, led by the Right Sector. And the fact that they were so instrumental in accomplishing this change of power has put them in the driver’s seat. From now on, whatever political decisions are arrived at will really be at the sufferance of the Right Sector.Let’s be clear, also, that these neofascist groups not only fought and defeated Yanokovych’s police, they attacked and drove away any political group from the left that tried to establish a presence in the maidan. The fascists made sure they controlled the radical politics of the square. Sascha, a member of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, recounts in an interview published in mid-February:A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.34And Mira, of the same group, adds:One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!...Early on a Stalinist tent was attacked by Nazis. One was sent to the hospital. Another student spoke out against fascism and he was attacked.Pravy Sektor got too much attention after the first violence, the media gave them popularity and they started to think they’re cool guys. Pravy existed before but now it’s growing and attracting a lot of new people.Ilya Budraitskis, a Russian Socialist who came to the maidan in January, tells us how the "ultranationalists” brutalized and evicted everyone from leftish Europhiles to anarchists:Another part of the left repetitively tried to join the movement, even after they were repetitively kicked out of it. Some of the "euro-enthusiastic” leftists came to Maidan in November with red (instead of blue) flag of the EU, with banners for free healthcare and education, and with feminist slogans. They were brutally attacked by Nazis. Then there was an episode when the far-right attacked the tent of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine near the Maidan. A man on the stage said that there were some "provocateurs” and said that "men know what to do”; as a result, a mob of Nazis has broken ribs of the trade union activists, tore their tent with knives and stolen their property. The victims hadn’t been doing anything "leftist” per se, but they were members of the left movement, known to their political adversaries, and that was enough….[T]here is also another group of people who are often confused with the radical left. …who call themselves anarchists but actually have a very conservative political agenda full of machismo and xenophobia. After the protests have begun, they shifted to the right dramatically; they reached truce with the nazi groups and showered Molotov cocktails at the police together. Eventually, they parted ways with left movement finally.A week ago they, together with some actual leftists who wanted to "act”, decided to form an "anarchist sotnia [defense unit]” in the Maidan self-defence. In order to do that, they were prepared to give an oath to [Svoboda leader] Andriy Parubiy. But when they formed their ranks to do this, they were met by approximately 150 Svoboda fighters with baseball bats and axes. The fascists accused them of being racially impure and politically irrelevant and forced them out of Maidan.35So much for Professor Snyder’s agora.
Of course, the great majority of the people in the square are not fascists, but, for all the reasons of history and ideology discussed above, a lot of people in western Ukraine are susceptible to their charms. As Denis, from Kiev Autonomous Workers Union says: "[I]n the long run the rightist political hegemony is being reinforced,” because "That’s what happens when you don’t have a developed left movement and your liberals are too corrupt and ugly!” Here’s how he describes the rightward political momentum on the maidan:[Far right] ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). ... Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy. … But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media.The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, "economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists … [whose] political programme had always included critique of the EU’s "liberal fascism”. … The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through…[P]eople are new to politics, they just "know” they are rightists and nationalists. And therefore they trust the more politically experienced leaders to express their views and formulate their programme for them. It just so happens that those leaders are nationalists or even Nazis. And they shift the centre of the political discourse even further to the right.But, first of all, their ideas are welcome among the apolitical crowd; second of all, they are very well organized, and also people love their "radicalism”. An average Ukrainian worker hates the police and the government but he will never fight them openly and risk his comfort. So he or she welcomes a "vanguard” which is ready to fight on their behalf; especially if that vanguard shares "good” patriotic values….And since the basic "common sense” had long ago been established on the nationalist fundamental assumptions, the radicalization goes only further in that direction.36As we all know, fascists don’t have to be a majority to determine outcomes, and their power to do so can increase very quickly under favorable conditions. Perhaps the most telling, and disturbing remark of the leftists cited in these interviews was this, from Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a couple of weeks before the head of Right Sector became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council: "If Pravy [Right Sector] has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.”
Oh, yes they are. Consider the stunning turn of events we have just witnessed: "the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power” in a European country for the first time since WWII, greeted with a stunning non-chalance—nay, embraced as an exemplar of democracy—by the Western liberal democracies. University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski specifies: "The paramilitary right sector has de facto power at least in some Western Ukrainian regions,” and "The far right in Ukraine has now achieved the level of representation and influence that is unparalleled in Europe.”37
Then imagine, please, Professor Katchanovski’s last sentence with "left” substituted for "right,” and consider how unthinkable it is that any American government would be so welcoming of such a "democratic” outcome. The United States and its allied liberal democracies are, in other words, willing to accommodate very hard swings to the right in order to secure and/or extend the neo-liberal capitalist, and US/NATO imperialist, order, but will abide not an inch of movement toward resistance from the left—no matter how righteous or democratic the cause.
Intelligence agencies represent now a distinct and powerful political force with employees of those agencies as a surrogate of the authoritarian party that brought to power such leaders as Mussolini. And top brass as the leadership of the this quasi-party. In a way the tremendous growth of intelligences agencies creates state within the state and makes possible neofascism without mass political party. Professor Stephen Cohen aptly noted this newfound role of intelligence agencies in determining the results of the USA elections as well as the USA foreign policy in his article in Nation (US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions)
Oct 17, 2018
Inconvenient thoughts on Cold War and other news. Intelligence agencies,
Nikki Haley, sanctions, and public opinion. 1. National intelligence agencies have long played major roles, often not entirely visible, in international politics. They are doing so again today, as is evident in several countries, from Russiagate in the United States and the murky Skripal assassination attempt in the UK to the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) or were " rogue " operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them.
There have been plenty of purely criminal and commercial " rogue " operations by intelligence agents in history, but also " rogue " ones that were purposefully political. We know, for example, that both Soviet and US intelligence agencies - or groups of agents - tried to disrupt the Eisenhower-Khrushchev détente of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that some intelligence players tried to stop Khrushchev's formal recognition of West Germany, also in the early 1960s.
It is reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the attacks on Skripal and Khashoggi were " rogue " operations undertaken by political opponents of the leaders' policies at home or abroad, with the help of one or another intelligence agency or agents. Motive is a - perhaps the - crucial question. Why would Putin order such an operation in the UK at the very moment when his government had undertaken a major Western public-relations campaign in connection with the upcoming World Cup championship in Russia? And why would MbS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader?
Growth of censorship ad the level of control of MSM are another two signs of growing influence of intelligence agencies in political life of many countries and first of all the USA (Article Globalist Traitors Seek to Delete History--Who Are the Real Fascists OpEdNews )
We're living in a moment where we are seeing people adopting what used to be denounced as fascist policies--the shutting down of free speech, the destruction of opposition voices--and the people who are doing it are arguing that the president is a supporter of fascism. It is Orwellian...
... ... ...
Through the Foreign Intelligence Court (FISC), and a reciprocal intelligence-sharing partnership among the nations of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. called the "Five Eyes," the Obama administration manufactured, altered and misrepresented various pieces of evidence in an attempt to justify conducting surveillance on certain individual Americans. The Obama administration--in conjunction with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and, yes, the CIA--employed the same process that is used to spy on foreigners deemed to be severe terror threats to America against American citizens... specifically, in this case, political opponents vying against the Clinton-Obama globalist cabal.
Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline. [...]
A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 9:48:02 AM | link
The Steele dossier is british, Orbis intelligence = british, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = british, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = british, the list goes on and on.
You'd think someone might have noticed something of a trend by now.
Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:07:57 AM | linkThey just don't bother anymore, the level of double black psy-ops and gaslighting is a mine feild of disinformation. That's what you get when Washington - Obama, gives the green light to propagandizing their people. It's escalated, like we haven't noticed, under Trump despite his pathetic attempts at assuring folks it's fake news.Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:20:02 AM | linkThe UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. I watched about 10 minutes of a documentary about Easter Island, as an example, and it was revisionist to the nth degree. Just absolute rubbish incinuating that white European travellers destroyed the Island. This is what British kids are now being marinated in, "He who controls the past"
Feb 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org
No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.
Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer?
J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.
And Hoover's interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.
Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.
It was Hoover's secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.
One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.
Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was "no such thing as the Mafia" in public statements.
Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).
As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book , 'JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State', Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn't be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, "Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career". Enough said.
JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.
However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.
As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that "Tricky Dicky" engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.
Nixon's scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.
But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.
These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of "Deep State" intrusion as "conspiracy theory", is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media's own compromised complicity.
Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.
Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.
Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.
The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.
Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.
So too are claims that American democracy is being "influenced" by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!
The real "influence campaigns" corrupting American democracy are those of the "All-American" agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.
US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.
We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
willie , Apr 16, 2019 6:29:03 PM | link
This sheds a whole new light on the death of those two poor little hamsters, or was it guinea pigs, said to be starved while the police was investigating the premises of Skripal.
With Haspel around they might have succombed to her nasty ways of torturing.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bart Hansen , Apr 16, 2019 6:41:05 PM | link
Concerning who is pulling the strings, please forgive a repost of an interview with one who knows. On 31 May 2017 Putin gave an interview with Le Figaro where he said:
"I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration."
A long list of people with briefcases so far ends with Gina.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Apr 16, 2019 4:41:41 PM | link
"If Trump were not in on the schemes he would just fire his underlings!"
This sentiment indicates a failure to understand the power dynamics at play here. Haspel is not the "underling" . Trump is the underling. Sure, being that he is also an oligarch makes Trump's role in the show complicated, but Presidents are installed in order to serve the oligarchy, and the CIA are top level strategists/enforcers for the oligarchy.
In the real organization chart for the empire the CIA is above the President. This has been the case in the US since Kennedy.
Trump cannot fire Haspel or Pompeo. They can fire him, though, and with a sniper's bullet if they want.
Unfortunately for the oligarchy, that would cause additional complications at a time when they have lots of tricky and inexplicably unstable (for them) operations ongoing, which is why they are just steering Trump around instead of replacing him. And Trump is willfully cooperating, even if they are not filling him in on the plans.
Trump will not fire Haspel. He can't. He's just an actor playing a role in a show, and Haspel is one of the producers/writers of that show. If she doesn't put firing in the script then Trump cannot say those lines. I doubt he really wants to anyway.
Mar 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Before Gina became the Chief of Staff for Rodriguez, what role did she play in the waterboarding of two AQ operatives in Thailand? It appears that she was at least witting of what was going on. Did she have the authority to decide what measures to apply to the two? Did she make such decisions?
Those are facts still to be determined. I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. But there are others who I respect that are adamant in opposing her nomination. The only thing I know for sure is that her nomination will be a bloody and divisive political battle. If it comes down to embracing waterboarding as an appropriate method to use on suspected terrorists, then a majority of Americans are supportive of that practice and will cheer the appointment of Haspel.
That fact is a very sad and disturbing commentary on what America is or has become. Tolerating torture and excusing such an activity in the name of national security is the same justification that Stalin and Castro employed to punish dissidents. It is true that one man's terrorist is another woman's freedom fighter.
Let me be clear about my position. If Gina was in fact the Chief of Base and oversaw the application of the waterboarding and other inhuman treatment then she lacks the moral authority to head the CIA. Unfortunately, the United States has a long history of overlooking human rights violations and war crimes.
Students of WW II will recall that US military intelligence recruited and protect Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, as an asset after the war. He murdered Jews and sent others to Auschwitz. He should have been hung. Instead, we turned a blind eye and gave him a paycheck.
Cee , 18 March 2018 at 12:55 PMPT,steve , 18 March 2018 at 01:11 PM
I've read that she enjoyed torture and mocked a prisoner who was drooling by accused him of faking it. I never knew anything about her sexual orientation but now I have to consider if she's so cruel because she hates men.
No to her confirmation.IIRC, Haspel was the chief of staff to whom Rodriguez refers. That does not sound like a bit player. Would you say that Kelly is a bit player in the Trump admin? As you say, we should know the facts, but so far it looks like she both participated in torture and in its cover-up.tv , 18 March 2018 at 01:11 PM
SteveIs waterboarding "torture?" It does not draw blood nor leave any physical damage. Psychological damage? These ARE admitted terrorists.BillWade , 18 March 2018 at 01:20 PMWith all the crap going on at the FBI, the last thing we need now is a divisive candidate for any top level government position (torture advocacy is divisive for many of us).Publius Tacitus -> tv... , 18 March 2018 at 01:23 PM
A woman, a lesbian, who cares as long as they are a capable and decent law-abiding individual.Yes, waterboarding is torture. We considered it so egregious that we prosecuted Japanese military officers after WWII for using it on POWs.Apenultimate said in reply to turcopolier ... , 18 March 2018 at 01:26 PM
And where do you get "admitted" terrorists from? In America, even with suspected terrorists, there is the principle of innocent until proven guilty. At least we once believed in that standard.And I very much respect you for your position on this (it is this American's view as well).Laura , 18 March 2018 at 01:42 PM
What amazes me (and yet doesn't) is the example of Rodriguez's supposed introspection "How bad could this be?" Really?!? That just strikes me as not having any feel for the media, US citizenry, or even common sense, and just reinforces the feeling that those at the upper echelons are completely out of touch or alternatively are just lying/posturing to present themselves in a better light.PT -- Thank you. Much to consider in these times. I come down on the "no torture and waterboarding is torture" side of the debate but am also just eager for some competence and professional experience in key positions.Kooshy , 18 March 2018 at 01:42 PM
That these positions may be mutually exclusive says a great deal about our current situation. Again, thank you, for your opinions and information.A torturer is a torturer, no matter how one try to glaze it, or sugar coat it. If one is against torture, or the fancy name for it EIT, one should come out and say it like it is. This lady is accused of torturing captives ( enemy combatant) that can't and will not go away unless she come clean.
At the end of the day that don't matter, since as a policy, and base on your own statement, this country's government will prosecut and punish for liking of torture but not torture and tortures. And, furthermore, is not even willing to do away with it, per it's elected president. Trying to show a clean, moral, democracy on the hilltop image, is a BS and a joke.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 5:33:36 PM | link
Trump is like a voodoo doll into which every sh**bag sticks pins. Firstly, it is irrelevant whether he was a swamp creature before election or was coopted into it after.
Secondly, Trump was transparently chosen to be the "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before.
Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap.
This is where we are now, Assange was the most prominent member of the real opposition to the regime, where they try to confuse with plenty of faux opposition. Therefore, the Assange's head had to be chopped off publicly and his slowly rotting corpse will now be on display through "courts of justice" for the next couple of years as a warning to the consumers of alternative media. Go back to reading the approved "journalism" or ... To understand better one just needs to read/re-read Solzhenitsyn.
The other major ongoing life-extension activity, overlapping with repression, is the confiscation of guns from the last remaining armed Western population (lots of leftist oxen pulling that cart). Having too many guns amongst the population is bad for resolving personal conflicts peacefully, but it is even worse for the abusive, exploitative regime. Thus, taking the guns away is doing the right thing for a totally wrong reason.
It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new.
Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline?
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Return of the Just April 14, 2019 at 10:46 amYou're right. I see people like Robert Kagan's opinions being respectfully asked on foreign affairs, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams being hired to direct our foreign policy.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm
The incompetent, the corrupt, the treacherous -- not just walking free, but with reputations intact, fat bank balances, and flourishing careers. Now they're angling for war with Iran.
It's preposterous and sickening. And it can't be allowed to stand, so you can't just stand off and say you're "wrecked". Keep fighting, as you're doing. I will fight it until I can't fight anymore.Fact-bedeviled JohnT: “McCain was a problem for this nation? Sweet Jesus! There quite simply is no rational adult on the planet who buys that nonsense.”Joe Dokes , says: April 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm
McCain had close ties to the military-industrial complex. He was a backer of post-Cold War NATO. He was a neoconservative darling. He never heard of a dictator that he didn’t want to depose with boots on the ground, with the possible exception of various Saudi dictators (the oil-weaponry-torture nexus). He promoted pseudo-accountability of government in campaign finance but blocked accountability for the Pentagon and State Department when he co-chaired the United States Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs with John Kerry.
And, perhaps partly because of the head trauma and/or emotional wounds he suffered at the hands of Chinese-backed Commies, it’s plausible to think he was regarded by the willy-nilly plotters of the deep state as a manipulable, and thus useful, conduit of domestic subversion via the bogus Steele dossier.
Unfortunately, the episode that most defines McCain’s life is the very last one–his being a pawn of M-16 in the the deep state’s years-long attempt to derail the presidency of Donald Trump.Measuring success means determining goals. The goals of most wars is to enrich the people in charge. So, by this metric, the war was a success. The rest of it is just props and propaganda.Andrew Stergiou , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:11 am“Pyrrhic Victory” look it up the Roman Empire Won but lost if the US is invaded and the government does not defend it I would like to start my own defense: But the knee jerk politics that stirs America’s cannon fodder citizens is a painful reminder of a history of jingoist lies where at times some left and right agree at least for a short moment before the rich and powerful push their weight to have their way.Peter Smith , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:13 am
If All politics is relative Right wingers are the the left of what? Nuclear destruction? or Slavery?My goodness! I am also a veteran, but of the Vietnam war, and my father was a career officer from 1939-1961 as a paratrooper first, and later as an intelligence officer. He argued vigorously against our Vietnam involvement, and was cashiered for his intellectual honesty. A combat veteran’s views are meaningless when the political winds are blowing.Fayez Abedaziz , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:25 am
Simply put, we have killed thousands of our kids in service of the colonial empires left to us by the British and the French after WWII. More practice at incompetent strategies and tactics does not make us more competent–it merely extends the blunders and pain; viz the French for two CENTURIES against the Britsh during the battles over Normandy while the Planagenet kings worked to hold their viking-won inheritance.
At least then, kings risked their own lives. Generals fight because the LIKE it…a lot. Prior failures are only practice to the, regardless of the cost in lives of the kids we tried to raise well, and who were slaughtered for no gain.
We don’t need the empire, and we certainly shouldn’t fight for the corrupt businessmen who have profited from the never-ending conflicts. Let’s spend those trillions at home, so long as we also police our government to keep both Democrat and Republican politicians from feathering their own nests. Term limits and prosecutions will help us, but only if we are vigilant. Wars distract our attention while corruption is rampant at home.Thanks, I appreciate this article.kingdomofgodflag.info , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:19 am
I’ll make two points, my own opinion:
it’s the same story as Vietnam, the bull about how the politicians or anti-war demonstrators tied the military ‘hand,’ blah, blah.
Nonsense. Invading a nation and slaughtering people in their towns, houses…gee…what’s wrong with that, eh?
The average American has a primitive mind when it comes to such matters.
Second point I have, is that both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, Hillary and Trump should be dragged to a world court, given a fair trial and locked up for life with hard labor… oh, and Cheney too,for all those families, in half a dozen nations, especially the children overseas that suffered/died from these creeps.
And, the families of dead or maimed American troops should be apologized to and compensation paid by several million dollars to each.
The people I named above make me sick, because I have feelings and a conscience. Can you dig?Though there is a worldly justification for killing to obtain or maintain freedoms, there is no Christian justification for it. Which suggests that Christians who die while doing it, die in vain.Mark Thomason , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:43 am
America’s wars are prosecuted by a military that includes Christians. They seldom question the killing their country orders them to do, as though the will of the government is that of the will of God. Is that a safe assumption for them to make? German Christian soldiers made that assumption regarding their government in 1939. Who was there to tell them otherwise? The Church failed, including the chaplains. (The Southern Baptist Convention declared the invasion of Iraq a just war in 2003.) These wars need to be assessed by Just War criteria. Christian soldiers need to know when to exercise selective conscientious objection, for it is better to go to prison than to kill without God’s approval. If Just War theory is irrelevant, the default response is Christian Pacifism.“has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished.”Stephen J. , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:51 am
The one guy who did tell us has just been arrested for doing exactly that.
The arrest is cheered by those who fantasize about Russiagate, but it is expressly FOR telling us about these things.“Iraq Wrecked” a lot of innocent people. Millions are dead, cities reduced to rubble, homes and businesses destroyed and it was all a damned lie. And the perpetrators are Free.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:53 am
Now there is sectarian violence too, where once there was a semblance of harmony amongst various denominations. See article link below.
“Are The Christians Slaughtered in The Middle East Victims of the Actions of Western War Criminals and Their Terrorist Supporting NATO ‘Allies’”?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/are-christians-slaughtered-in-middle.htmlWe are a globalist open borders and mass immigration nation. We stand for nothing. To serve in this nation’s military is very stupid. You aren’t defending anything. You are just a tool of globalism. Again, we don’t secure our borders. That’s a very big give away to what’s going on.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:57 amIf our nation’s military really was an American military concerned with our security we would have secured our border after 9/11, reduced all immigration, deported ALL muslims, and that’s it. Just secure the borders and expel Muslims! That’s all we needed to do.Kouros , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Instead we killed so many people and imported many many more Muslims! And we call this compassion. Its insane.Maybe if Talibans get back in power they will destroy the opium. You know, like they did when they were first in power…. It seems that wherever Americans get involved, drugs follow…JohnT , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm“Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In Eisenhower’s televised farewell address January 17, 1961.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Rational thought would lead one to believe such words from a fellow with his credentials would have had a useful effect. But it didn’t. In point of fact, in the likes of Eric Prince and his supporters the notion of war as a profit center is quite literally a family affair.The military-industrial complex couldn’t accomplish this all by its lonesome self. The deep state was doing its thing. The two things overlap but aren’t the same. The deep state is not only or mainly about business profits, but about power. Power in the world means empire, which requires a military-industrial complex but is not reducible to it.
We now have a rare opportunity to unveil the workings of the deep state, but it will require a special counsel, and a lengthy written report, on the doings in the 2016 election of the FBI (Comey, Strzok, et. al.), and collaterally the CIA and DIA (Brennan and Clapper). Also the British government (M-16), John McCain, and maybe Bush and Obama judges on the FISA courts.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.
In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration's plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies -- part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
"We'll match their numbers," Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."
The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.
The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration's increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration's stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia's already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.
London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.
To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.
Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.
Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.
The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.
They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill . No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)
If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.
The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.
Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.
The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.
Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 08:37 AM | Permalink
Russ , Apr 16, 2019 9:02:41 AM | linkI don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.Jerry , Apr 16, 2019 9:14:30 AM | link
I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.manny , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:16 AM | link
The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.
One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. directorSally Snyder , Apr 16, 2019 9:35:40 AM | link
After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity.. In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...
Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:40:06 AM | link
It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.bBM , Apr 16, 2019 9:42:46 AM | link
Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?
There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.
They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.
Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.Mataman , Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM | linkHopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]
Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).the pair , Apr 16, 2019 10:08:18 AM | linkanother example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.
even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".
my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.
Twiki , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:11 AM | linkThe consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned. https://www.onaquietday.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DocSaysNoNerveAgentInSalisbury.jpgbjd , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:51 AM | linkJackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 10:59:48 AM | link" the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, "
There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else. The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function. The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA. Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.Babyl-on , Apr 16, 2019 11:04:28 AM | link
Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her. Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eisenhower's term in office.Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:16:08 AM | link
Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.
How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.
Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.
What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.
But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.
Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis. Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:lysias , Apr 16, 2019 12:00:59 PM | linkAnd Trump himself was close to the Clintons.
- VP Pence: John McCain's buddy
- Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)
- Wm Barr: close with Mueller
- Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIAHaspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.Jose Garcia , Apr 16, 2019 12:08:01 PM | linkWhat can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, "Make America Great Again." How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I'm sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 12:24:11 PM | linklysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacyjuliania , Apr 16, 2019 12:28:54 PM | link
I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.Ross , Apr 16, 2019 12:41:17 PM | link
Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'
"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 12:49:37 PM | linkWhat a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.jayc , Apr 16, 2019 1:00:38 PM | link
b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.
Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | linkThe story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AMPiotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".
In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:11 PM | linkYes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen. Just outrageous in its execution. On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.Noirette , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:44 PM | link
Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May. Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.
Here's some interesting background:
- https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/john-chuckman-comment-the-skripal-affair-dramatically-returns-with-supposed-surveillance-photos-of-the-assassins-just-one-very-serious-problem-with-a-pair-of-the-photos-they-appear-to-be-frauds/Macron was (afaik?) the only EU 'leader' who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:semiconscious , Apr 16, 2019 1:31:34 PM | link
.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...
I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.
Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.
Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.
Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.
Theresa May's speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:
.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..
Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.@25 & @26:karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 1:53:44 PM | link
imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.james , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:20 PM | linkafter integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..c1ue , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | link
what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...
so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??
my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme. The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.Michael Droy , Apr 16, 2019 2:12:37 PM | link
Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area. The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.
The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!bjd , Apr 16, 2019 2:25:23 PM | link
I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain. It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.
Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.fastfreddy , Apr 16, 2019 2:48:31 PM | linkHaspel will not be fired.Russ , Apr 16, 2019 3:02:51 PM | link@c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32snake , Apr 16, 2019 3:29:24 PM | link
"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."
The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.
Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.
This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/04/15/593529/Ecuadoran-president-sold-off-Assangeto-America-Ron-PaulJohn Anthony La Pietra , Apr 16, 2019 3:47:03 PM | link
I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?
It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). ..
The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air.
Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/quotes?ref_=m_tt_trv_qu
Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?
Joe Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 5:22 am GMTTo understand how such total control is done, one has to look at the role of banking serfdom, led by the FED and the central bankers, and media brainwash, run by Hollywood and mainstream media.
In terms of banking, here is a great explanation, including The City of London that owns UK:
Prof. Werner brilliantly explains how the banking system and financial sector really work.
The workings of the monetary system have been a mystery throughout globalisation, which is why we have had so many financial crises.
The central banks were charged with bringing financial stability, but they didn't understand it either, so they didn't stand a chance.
The BIS is just as bad and Richard Werner points out the Basel regulations are based on the assumption that banks are financial intermediaries, but they are not.
This is RT, but this is the most concise explanation available on YouTube.
Professor Werner, DPhil (Oxon) has been Professor of International Banking at the University of Southampton for a decade.
The central banks even know banks are not financial intermediaries.
The central banks know a bit, but obviously not enough.
Financial stability is a lot easier than it looks when you know what you are doing.
Richard Werner was in Japan in the 1980s when it went from a very stable economy and turned into a debt fuelled monster. He worked out what happened and had all the clues necessary to point him in the right direction.
The three types of bank lending:
1) Into business and industry – gives a good return in GDP and doesn't lead to inflation
2) To consumers – leads to consumer price inflation
3) Into real estate and financial speculation – leads to asset price inflation and gives a poor return in GDP and shows up in the graph of debt-to-GDP
Bank credit has been used for all the wrong things during globalisation and the bankers have just been inflating asset prices, not creating real wealth as measured by GDP and this has caused nearly all the financial crises.
1929 and 2008 stick out like sore thumbs when you know where to look, but the FED didn't.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
jacques sheete , says: April 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm GMT@ThommCarroll Price , says: April 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm GMT
i) If gentiles are so smart, why are Jews, whom gentiles outnumber 40:1 across the combined Western World, able to control everything?
If you're so smart, then what makes you think it has much to do with smarts? Violence may trump intelligence in the likely event you haven't figured that out.@ThommIlyana_Rozumova , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm GMT
If gentiles are so smart, why are Jews, whom gentiles outnumber 40:1 across the combined Western World, able to control everything?
It's the Benjamins baby.@jacques sheete Please do not try to teach dishonest person about honesty. Dishonest person know about honesty. He only did figure out that being dishonest is more rewarding than being honest.Justsaying , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT@Thomm Posing a question without giving it a thought first will backfire. The same question could be asked of Whites in the Western world: if they are so smart, why are >99% of them totally controlled by <1%? It is that <1% that is the dog wagged by the Zio-tail.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Paul Damascene , Apr 14, 2019 10:19:30 AM | link
You ask a question about European political class's perception and defence of European interests that is as perplexing here as it is in regard to Libya and Syria, to name just these. There was at least some coherent defence of international law and principle during Bush II's lead up to the Iraq war, but Europe's defence of law and Europe's common interests seem to have ceased at some point since then.
pretzelattack , Apr 14, 2019 10:31:57 AM | linkso many poodles, but there can only be one alpha poodle and that's the uk so far.Babyl-on , Apr 14, 2019 10:43:53 AM | link"Why are they playing this game?"
Because, like the US European government is a tool of the Global Power Elite, it is nothing more than pantomime. The West is fully owned and operated by the global elite.
In books going back to C Wright Mills' The Power Elite in 1956 to SUPERCLASS by David Rothkopf, and GIANTS: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips clearly outline just how powerful the Global Elites really are.
In SUPERCLASS we learn that this class of people actually own and control the three largest Western religions and many of the secondary ones - they all preach obedience to authority as paramount. They also own the drugs trade around the world. 95% of the world supply of opium comes out of Afghanistan under the watchful eye of the Elite through use of the US military.
There is one and only one Western empire - that of the Global Elites.
85% of the valuable assets in the world are controlled by the Global Elites.
There is no offsetting force against them, there simply does not exist today a force capable of challenging their ownership of the world.
And just as an aside to any historians out there, Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-first Century shows how a critical mass of capital was had formed 500 years ago and has grown consistently at a rate greater than the general economy ever sense. He showed that before, during and after the French Revolution and later the US "revolution" the core capital of the west made profits. These revolutions, like government today, were pantomimes whilew the real power profited from the slaughter. The Elite prosper from war that is why there has been continual war and slaughter on their behalf sinse August 6, 1945. The nuclear weapons belong to them.
Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT@Carlton Meyer 'This gang is so powerful "
-- The gang is also very stupid. From Halper-the-spy and his incompetent handler Brennan to the obnoxious zionists of Ledeen kind they, the members of the "gang", show incompetence and the self-endangering and stupid amorality.
By destroying whatever decent has been in the western civilization so far, and by spreading the rot around, the gangsters have been destroying their children's & grandchildren's future.
Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com
Si1ver1ock says: April 13, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
It's interesting the Media has brought back the Sweden rape charge, but they are avoiding this rape story like the pest.
annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT"Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books "annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm GMT
-- The presstituting crowd of stenographers (MSM) and the zionized X-tian war profiteers have made everything in their power (inadvertently) to ensure that Assange is and will be a towering figure of our time.
Even in distress, Assange has been fighting for truth and dignity; the ongoing show of lawlessness exposes the rot. The moral and creative midgets constituting the core of MSM and the satanic deciders are upset. Good!
The idiotic Senior District "Judge" Emma Arbuthnot (a wife and beneficiary of a mega-war profiteer Lord Arbuthnot -- Arbuthnot served as Chairman of the Defence Select Committee from 2005 to 2014) and the no less idiotic District "Judge" Michael Snow have entered the history books as well. As scoundrels: http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1555064882.html
Snow does his best to bring the Judiciary into disrepute by playing to the gallery. He comments on the extradition in the same vein in a totally unprofessional manner. He is of course in a long line of disreputable members of the judiciary Snow's place in history is now secured – he chose to abuse the defendant rather than perform his role which was really quite straightforward. He is the narcissist and guilty of self interest not Julian Assange.@Si1ver1ock For every pronouncement against Assange by the US/UK government and judiciary, there should be an immediate question about the leniency shown towards the pedophiles and rapists in the UK (see Savile and the sudden "disappearance" of files re the high-placed pedophiles) and the story of Lolita Island and Lolita Express in the US.annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
Theresa May as the protector of pedophiles and rapists in the UK: https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/
One of the hurdles in investigating the claims is the Official Secrets Act, which prevents the disclosure of state secrets and "sensitive" information. "It is clear there are a lot of people who could provide a lot of information to support ongoing criminal investigations But they are not doing so because of the Official Secrets Act. They are fearful of not only breaking the law but the potential effect on their pension. This is absolutely crucial if we are to get some of these ex-officers coming forward and to get prosecutions of some of the former MPs." He has asked Home Secretary Theresa May to lift the restrictions, allowing former officials to speak up about what they know about the case, but so far there is no indication that this has been done.
The protection of the high-placed pedophiles and rapists in the US:
In the Epstein case, as well, there are numerous questions surrounding the possibility of high-level cover up. In recent weeks it has emerged that Epstein struck a remarkable secret deal with the US Attorney's Office that barred more than 500 pages of documents detailing negotiations of the deal and a staggering 13,000 documents from the investigation into Epstein's activities that were shelved as a result of the bargain.
Let the scoundrels talk about Assange to see how the concocted fraud is backfired.
Mrs. Clinton in particular should have been more circumspect:
It has since been revealed that Epstein had 21 different phone numbers for contacting his friend Bill Clinton, who, court records allege, "frequently flew" on Epstein's private jet between 2002 and 2005.@Ronald Thomas West And why are you spreading the MSM disinformation on the Unz forum? -- Just to satisfy your desire to litter the forum?annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm GMT
Read and learn: https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/
Also, perhaps you need to ponder why you are not treated the same way as the courageous, talented, principled, and dignified Assange is treated. Perhaps, something is missing in your character.@Art Theresa May has been the main protector of the high-placed British pedophiles
"Theresa May and the 'missing' child sex abuse files" https://www.reknr.com/uk/theresa-may-and-the-missing-child-sex-abuse-files/
"British PM Blocks Elite Pedophile Enquiry On Grounds Of 'National Security'" https://newspunch.com/british-pm-blocks-pedophile-enquiry/
The documents are thought to shed light on the years of ongoing pedophilia and child abuse within Westminster and contained names of "several" high-level politicians in the UK and US who are connected to an elite pedophile ring.
The followup: "Theresa May accused of cover-up over child abuse inquiry concerns," https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-child-abuse-inquiry-cover-up-concerns-dame-lowell-goddard-stories-a7369976.html
"England: Land of Royals, Tea and Horrific Pedophilia Coverups" http://time.com/2974381/england-land-of-royals-tea-and-horrific-pedophilia-coverups/
In the case of the Westminster "pedophile ring," the mounting sentiment that Britain's establishment serves its own interests and conceals its wrongdoing may be well founded. Until recently only seven police officers were working on Operation Fernbridge; Scotland Yard announced today the figure is now 22.
By fraudulently accusing Assange, Theresa May reminds the world about her role in the protection of the wealthy and influential Westminster pedophiles (the real rapists).
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Iris , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT@The Alarmist
Not to mention more than a few paedo-grooming ring members who are still awaiting deportation
How convenient these immigrants are when a good smokescreen is needed.
And how about a paedophile UK Prime Minister never investigated ?
"Sir Edward Heath WAS a paedophile, says police chief: Astonishing claim is made that the former PM is guilty of vile crimes 'covered up by the Establishment'"
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Agent76 says: April 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm GMT
April 2, 2019 The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times. The Killing of the Kennedys and Today's New Cold War
'We're all puppets,' the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment." – Lisa Pease, quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan
March 19, 2017 The CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers
Whitney's new book, "Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers," explores how the CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War to produce subtly anti-communist material.
During the interview, Scheer and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the Paris Review).
Mar 30, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Unlike invasive weeds, however, modem Governments - the more effective of them - have managed to develop offensive systems that have destroyed nearly all of the traditional, reformative feedback loops that were used to keep the more outrageous negaciprocal Governments in check in the past.
For example, the very purpose of the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution - expressed quite specifically by its framers as the People’s God-given right to bear arms - was to allow “the People” to revolt against tyranny. The American Revolution itself wasn’t an act of repulsing a foreign power. It was a war by the British colonies against the very Government which was legally entitled to lay claim to its territory.
There is absolutely nothing about the American Revolution, celebrated every year in the U.S. with the Day of Independence (July 4), which could not be compared to U.S. citizens rising up today and dethroning the crime syndicate that currently resides in Washington D.C.1
Will such an occurrence ever happen?
It will never occur . . . regardless of which new, demonic, uncharted levels of Extreme Negaprocity the U.S. descends into. Quite apart from the stunning successes of the U.S. Government’s relentless gullibility tests, there is the issue of a complete disparity in both defensive and offensive capability between the Government and the governed, between the privileged and the non 1%.
In earlier times a Government didn’t think in terms of superior military technology. It thought about advantages in terms of “numbers” or resources. For many hundreds of years, European Governments had able fighters; so did the people. Governments had military hardware; spears, shields, horses, bows, arrows, and other low-tech weaponry. So did the people. Governments were far more worried about inciting citizen unrest.
Washington has the luxury of not caring whatsoever about this. Today the disparity between the tools that a people can use to protect itself against an excessively tyrannical Government and the tools that a Government can use to quell even mild dissension have never been greater.
Chapter 3: It Is the Nature Of Governments, As Creatures Of Extreme Negaprocity, To Create And Nurture Systems Of "Intermediaryism"' That Extend And Preserve Their Negaciprocal Activities
When Jerry Mander wrote The Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television in 1975, his first argument was that television was creating an "intermediary" world where people were divorced from their own experience of reality.2 Having been near the pinnacle of the television advertising business for years, he could see, first-hand, how television allowed vested interests to create realities that distorted, subverted, and misdirected not only people's own personal interests, but how it disconnected them from any meaningful interaction with the natural world around them.
He was able to see how television was being used to program people in insidious ways. Television, however, is only one artifact of intermediary subversion that saturates the landscape of modern life. The arguments that Mander made could well be applied to a host of
technological gadgets and devices...
... ... ....
as i proceeded into aduitnood, i was sucked into a dcvolutionary whirlwind of college life, military service, business, the creation of three manufacturing companies, two failed marriages, two stints in U.S. federal prison related to my work as an herbalist, and then the realization that I could never safely return to the country of my birth - no matter what I said or did - and that 1 must live out the remainder of my days in exile.
There is no place left for me in this world.
With more than seven billion people currently living on the planet, it would be absurd to suggest that we have seen the complete collapse of human habitat. It’s a work in progress. (You always see the greatest population bloom just before overshoot and die-out. Ask any evolutionary biologist.)
What we have now is only the complete collapse of suitable habitat for fully functioning human beings who are spiritually aware. I am, as author Kurt Vonnegut concluded in his final work, “a Man Without a Country,” who has unwittingly found himself in the “Lunatic Asylum of the Universe.”1 And I suspect that many of the people who will choose to read this book feel the same way. Nonetheless, it is yet a better exile that we seek. Once
again, if the fundamental principle of life as expressed in the Chinese I Ching is true - that “when situations proceed beyond their extremes, they alternate to their opposites,”4 then our journey home can only be filled with light, love, and an inexpressible joy that we cannot - even now - imagine. No one may know the timing, but our way must be clear, our minds calm, and our spirits aware. For "only the bright and the gentle can overcome
the dark and unyielding.”5
Author, lecturer and herbalist Greg Caton joins me to discuss the psychopathy of government and the pure evil that is the deep state.
Please consider supporting SGT Report on Patreon with a monthly contribution: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5104183
Follow My Logic , 1 week agoVictoria O'Shea , 1 week ago
It wasn't Colby, but William Casey. "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1981 – 1987.Metal Warrior , 1 week ago
32:54 ..."I'm an elitist and you're stupid which gives me a right to rule over you".... ... I'm paraphrasing here Darwin's theory of evolution goes against the laws of thermodynamics in that you cannot create order out of chaos, chaos creates chaos. This man is brilliant I'm getting his book!Cindy WH-Witter , 1 week ago
Here in Portugal people almost beat me when i talk about this things, i feel alone, nobody see the Deep state pulling the strings throught the Eurpean Union, i'm hiting my my to the wall everyday seeing some shiit hapening in this country
Another book now on my reading list! And I buy the books. I still love the feel of them in my hands. 😊
Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kadath , Apr 11, 2019 9:56:58 AM | link
oh, I quite agree that the UK government is deliberately torpedoing Brexit through a deliberate campaign of profound incompetence in the hopes that this will allow them to prevent Brexit without outraging the voting public. However, my assertion is that the US & UK elites while think this campaign is oh so clever and will allow them to subvert the will of the people, they are in fact showing their true incompetence by choosing this method of Publicly campaigning on one policy to get elected, then deliberately and obviously sabotaging it.
in civics 101 we are taught that the advantage of a Democracy is that an "informed populous, making informed decisions will enact informed policies that accurately represent the will of the people (and hopefully be the best policies overall). of course, we all know in reality that the political & economic (and now the technical elites) have always despised the whole concept of Democracy because it restricts their power. Their current vision for subverting the will of the people is through total information control or the "control of the narrative" as they call it. But at the end of the day all this really means is a massive domestic propaganda campaign aimed at the seething masses of plebeians aimed that tricking the masses into voting as the elite require. However, a Democracy is still a Democracy so deliberately mis-informing the populous into voting for policies that are bad for the people, but good for the elite will create a dispirited, apathetic population that isn't politically invested in the government.
Now people might say "see the elites succeeded, they crushed the democratic will, got their policies enacted and successfully replaced Democracy with Oligarchism while the sheep did nothing". But this is actually where the elites (Political, Economic and Technical) show their utter incompetency in understanding statecraft and governance.
The greatest danger to any state is NOT foreign invasion or even a rebellion by the peasants. Rather it is internal conflict between the elites within the society. When civics 101 teachers say that "informed populous, making informed decisions will enact informed policies that accurately represent the will of the people", what they really mean (without being able to forthrightly state) is that through the mandate of the vote the populous will resolve specific conflicts between the elites and that the legitimacy resolution of the dispute is intrinsically & inseparably tied to the legitimacy of the vote.
If the elites sabotage the legitimacy of the vote by propagandized the masses so that they can't make informed decisions or become to apathetic to vote, then the entire process by which Western Elites resolve internal conflicts in irrevocably tainted and delegitimized, what will happen next time the elites have an major internal dispute? The losing side will simply see the failure of their political position as the result of them not being corrupt and dishonest enough to beat the other side so they will response by trying to subvert the other side's policies through even more corrupt and dishonest actions.
Hilary vs Trump is a good example of where the US (and the west in general) is heading, there's scarcely a hair's difference between the policies these two advocated and the terrible consequences that the commoners will be subjected to regardless of who ended up winning the presidency. However, that hair's difference, while having no real impact of the massive majority of the world's population, it still meant tens of BILLIONS of dollars going to one group of elites vs another group of elites.
Everyday, throughout the world, people are killed over essentially trivial amounts of money ($20 drug deals gone bad, $10,000 life insurance schemes), does anyone really think that in a conflict over billions of dollars, Western elites will behave any differently than a street corner drug dealer. Bear in mind, that we have overwhelming evidence that the Iraq War, the Libyan war and the Syrian "civil" war were about Western interest's desire to loot these countries natural resource (and the Western tax payer to boot!).
Linking this back to Assange, he campaigned against the Western Elites control of the narrative and for that "crime" they will destroy him whatever the cost to the Empire's prestige, reputation, trust and self-worth. But as I said, their too greedy to see the bigger picture and how their actions against truth, justice, and democracy will place the dagger in the hand that slits their own throats. What group (the public at large, the military, a subgroup of the elite, etc...) specifically does the deed is irrelevant, without a legitimate way to resolve the inevitable internal conflicts between the elites, the end result is clear, societal collapse.
Apr 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Via Disobedient Media
On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions. These three entities have been linked to various kinds of corruption including sanctions evasion for Iran, money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, provision of banking services to backers of Islamic terror organizations and controversial donations to the Clinton Foundation.
The financial ties between Bolton and these institutions highlight serious ethical concerns about his suitability for the position of National Security Advisor.
I. Victor Pinchuk Foundation
John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so.
The Victor Pinchuk Foundation was blasted in 2016 over their donation of $10 to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation between 1994 and 2005. The donations lead to accusations of influence peddling after it emerged that Victor Pinchuk had been invited to Hillary Clinton's home during the final year of her tenure as Secretary of State.
Even more damning was Victor Pinchuk's participation in activities that constituted evasions of sanctions levied against Iran by the American government. A 2015 exposé by Newsweek highlighted the fact that Pinchuk owned Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors. A now-removed statement on Interpipe's website showed that they were doing business in Iran despite US sanctions aimed to prevent this kind of activity.
Why John Bolton, a notorious war hawk who has called for a hardline approach to Iran, would take money from an entity who was evading sanctions against the country is not clear. It does however, raise serious questions about whether or not Bolton should be employed by Donald Trump, who made attacks on the Clinton Foundation's questionable donations a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign.
II. HSBC Group
British bank HSBC paid Bolton $46,500 in June and August 2017 to speak at two gatherings of hedge fund managers and investors.
HSBC is notorious for its extensive ties to criminal and terror organizations for whom it has provided illegal financial services. Clients that HSBC have laundered money for include Colombian drug traffickers and Mexican cartels who have terrorized the country and recently raised murder rates to the highest levels in Mexico's history . They have also offered banking services to Chinese individuals who sourced chemicals and other materials used by cartels to produce methamphetamine and heroin that is then sold in the United States. China's Triads have helped open financial markets in Asia to cartels seeking to launder their profits derived from the drug trade.
In 2012, HSBC was blasted by the US Senate for for allowing money from Russian and Latin American criminal networks as well as Middle Eastern terror groups to enter the US. The banking group ultimately agreed to pay a $1.9 billion fine for this misconduct as well as their involvement in processing sanctions-prohibited transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.
Some of the terror groups assisted by HSBC include the notorious Al Qaeda. During the 2012 scrutiny of HSBC, outlets such as Le Monde , Business Insider and the New York Times revealed that HSBC had maintained ties to Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank. Al Rajhi Bank was one of Osama Bin Ladin's "Golden Chain" of Al Qaeda's most important financiers. Even though HSBC's own internal compliance offices asked for the bank to terminate their relationship with Al Rajhi Bank, it continued until 2010.
More recently in 2018, reports have claimed that HSBC was used for illicit transactions between Iran and Chinese technology conglomerate Huawei. The US is currently seeking to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou after bringing charges against Huawei related to sanctions evasion and theft of intellectual property. The company has been described as a "backdoor" for elements of the Chinese government by certain US authorities.
Bolton's decision to accept money from HSBC given their well-known reputation is deeply hypocritical. HSBC's connection to terror organizations such as Al Qaeda in particular is damning for Bolton due to the fact that he formerly served as the chairman of the Gatestone Institute , a New York-based advocacy group that purports to oppose terrorism. These financial ties are absolutely improper for an individual acting as National Security Advisor.
III. Deutsche Bank
John Bolton accepted $72,000 from German Deutsche Bank to speak at an event in May 2017.
Deutsche Bank has for decades engaged in questionable behavior. During World War II, they provided financial services to the Nazi Gestapo and financed construction of the infamous Auschwitz as well as an adjacent plant for chemical company IG Farben.
Like HSBC, Deutsche Bank has provided illicit services to international criminal organizations. In 2014 court filings showed that Deutsche Bank, Citi and Bank of America had all acted as channels for drug money sent to Colombian security currency brokerages suspected of acting on behalf of traffickers. In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $630 million fine after working with a Danish bank in Estonia to launder over $10 billion through London and Moscow on behalf of Russian entities. The UK's financial regulatory watchdog has said that Deutsche Bank is failing to prevent its accounts from being used to launder money, circumvent sanctions and finance terrorism. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank's headquarters was raided by German authorities as part of an investigation sparked by 2016 revelations in the "Panama Papers" leak from Panama's Mossack Fonseca.
Two weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Bush administration signed an executive order linking a company owned by German national Mamoun Darkazanli to Al Qaeda. In 1995, Darkazanli co-signed the opening of a Deutsche Bank account for Mamdouh Mahmud Salim. Salim was identified by the CIA as the chief of bin Laden's computer operations and weapons procurement. He was ultimately arrested in Munich, extradited to the United States and charged with participation in the 1998 US embassy bombings.
In 2017, the Office of the New York State Comptroller opened an investigation into accounts that Deutsche Bank was operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is defined by both the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. It is ironic that Bolton, who is a past recipient of the "Guardian of Zion Award" would accept money from an entity who provided services to Palestinian groups that Israel considers to be terror related.
IV. Clinton-esque Financial Ties Unbecoming To Trump Administration
Bolton's engagement in paid speeches, in some cases with well-known donors to the Clinton Foundation, paints the Trump administration in a very bad light. Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton during his 2016 Presidential campaign for speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs that were labeled by her detractors as "pay to play" behavior. John Bolton's acceptance of money from similar entities, especially the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, are exactly the same kind of activity and are an embarrassment for a President who claims to be against corruption.
More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable.
It is embarrassing enough that Donald Trump hired Bolton in the first place. The next best remedy is to let him go as soon as possible.
Apr 08, 2019 | www.wsws.org
Habakkuk on cockroaches and the New York Times"Dan, Thanks for the reference, which I will follow up. Unfortunately, although Bongino has produced a lot of extremely valuable material, a lot of it is buried in the 'postcasts', searching through which is harder than with printed materials. It would greatly help if there were transcripts, but of course those cost money.
I am still trying to fit the exploding mass of information which has been coming out into a coherent timeline. Part of the problem is that there is so much appearing in so many different places. In addition to trying to think through the implications of the information in this post and the subsequent exchanges of comments, I have been trying to make sense of evidence coming out about the British end of the conspiracy.
An important development here has been rather well covered by Chuck Ross, in a recent ‘Daily Caller’ piece headlined ‘Cambridge Academic Reflects On Interactions With 'Spygate’ Figure’ and one on ‘Fox’ by Catherine Herridge and Cyd Upson, entitled ‘Russian academic linked to Flynn denies being spy, says her past contact was “used” to smear him.’ However, the evidence involved has ramifications which they cannot be expected to understand, as yet at least.
(See https://dailycaller.com/201... ; https://www.foxnews.com/pol... .)
At issue is the attempt to use the – apparently casual – encounter between Lieutenant-General Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova at a dinner in Cambridge (U.K.) in February 2016 to smear him by, among other things, portraying her as some kind of ‘Mata Hari’ figure.
Among interesting dates, it appears that Stefan Halper was already trying to reach out to Lokhova in January-February 2016 – a lot earlier than his approaches to Papadopoulo s and Page. This was done through Professor Christopher Andrew, co-convenor with Halper and the former MI6 had Sir Richard Dearlove of the ‘Cambridge Intelligence Seminar.’
This suggests that this was not simply a case Halper acting on his own. It also I think brings us back to the central importance of Flynn’s visit to Moscow in December 2015.
Meanwhile, Lokhova has set up a blog on which she has posted a some interesting relevant material, with perhaps more to come. It is very well worth a look.(See https://www.russiagate.co.uk .)
Of particular interest, to my mind, is the full text of her – unpublished – May 2017 interview with the ‘New York Times.’ This points us back to is the fact – of which Lokhova shows no signs of awareness – that the idea that the Western powers and the Russians might have a common interest in fighting jihadist terrorism has been absolute anathema to many key figures on both sides of the Atlantic, with Dearlove certainly among them.
Some of Lokhova’s comments on ‘twitter’ are extremely entertaining. An example, with which I have much sympathy:
‘AN APOLOGY: Yesterday, I compared @nytimes journalists, who smeared @GenFlynn and accused me of being a Russian spy, to cockroaches. In good conscience, I must apologize to the cockroaches for the distress caused to them for being compared to @nytimes #Russiagate hoaxers. Sorry!’
(See https://twitter.com/RealSLo... .)
Meanwhile, another interesting recent ‘tweet’ comes from Eliot Higgins, of ‘Bellingcat’ fame. He is known to some skeptics as ‘the couch potato’ – perhaps he should be rechristened ‘king cockroach.’ It reads:
‘Looking forward to gettin g things rolling with the Open Information Partnership, with @bellingcat, @MDI_UK, @DFRLab, and @This_Is_Zinc https://www.openinformation...’
(See https://twitter.com/EliotHi... )
There is an interesting ‘backstory’ to this. The announcement of an FCO-supported ‘Open Information Partnership of European Non-Governmental Organisations, charities, academics, think-tanks and journalists’, supposedly to counter ‘disinformation’ from Russia, came in a written answer from the Minister of State, Sir Alan Duncan, on 3 April.
(See https://www.theyworkforyou.... )
In turn this followed the latest in a series of releases of material either leaked or hacked from the organisations calling themselves ‘Institute for Statecraft’ and ‘Integrity Initiative’ by the group calling themselves ‘Anonymous’ on 25 March.
(See https://www.cyberguerrilla .... )
The centerpiece of this is a proposal submitted to the FCO in August last year by what seems to be essentially the same consortium whose existence as a government contractor has now been made public. The ‘Institute for Statecraft’ has vanished, and one consortium member, ‘Aktis Strategy’, has gone into liquidation. But other key members are the same.
A central underlying premise is that if anyone has any doubts as to whether the ‘White Helmets’ are a benevolent humanitarian organisation, or the Russians were responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals or the shooting down of MH17, the only possible explanation is that their minds have been poisoned by disinformation.
An interesting paragraph reads as follows:
‘An expanded research component could generate better understanding of the drivers (psychological, sociopolitical, cultural and environmental) of those who are susceptible to disinformation. This will allow us to map vulnerable audiences, and build scenario planning models to test the efficiency of different activities to build resilience of those populations over time.’
They have not yet got to the point of recommending psychiatic treatment for ‘dissidents’, but these are still early days. The ‘Sovietisation’ of Western life proceeds apace.
In fact, what is at issue an ambitious project to co-ordinate and strengthen a very large number of organisations in different countries which are committed to a relentlessly Russophobic line on everything. (The possibility that it might not be very bright to push Russia into the arms of China, the obviously rising power, does not seem to have occurred to these people – perhaps they need less ons from Sir Halford Mackinder, or indeed Niccolò Machiavelli, on ‘statecraft.’)
Study of the proposal hacked/leaked by ‘Anonymous’ bring out both the ‘boondoggle’ element – there is a lot of state funding available for people happy to play these games – and also the strong transatlantic links.
A particularly significant presence, here, is the ‘DFRLab’. This is the ‘Digital Forensic Research Lab’ at the ‘Atlantic Council’, where Eliot Higgins is a ‘nonresident senior fellow.’ The same organisation has a ‘Cyber Statecraft Initiative’ where Dmitri Alperovitch is a ‘nonresident senior fellow.’
It cannot be repeated often enough that it is difficult to see any conceivable excuse for the FBI to fail to secure access to the DNC servers. One would normally moreover expect that, on an issue of this sensitivity, they would have the ‘digital forensics’ done by their own people.
There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation.
To rely on a contractor linked to the notoriously Russophobic ‘Atlantic Council’ is even more preposterous.
The clear close integration of other cyber people from the ‘Atlantic Council’ into Orwellian ‘information operations’ sponsored by the British Government simply puts these facts into sharp relief.
There has to be a strong possible ‘prima facie’ case that anyone in authority prepared to accept the ‘digital forensics’ from ‘CrowdStrike’ is complicit in the conspiracy against the constitution, and/or the conspiracy to cover-up that conspiracy. This certainly goes for Comey, and I think it also goes for Mueller."
chris chuba , a day agoOT but related, just watched a former naval Intelligence officer, now working for the Hoover Institute interviewed on FOX about the Rooshins in Venezuela. Said, the 100 Russians are there to protect Maduro because he cannot trust his own army. Maduro's days are numbered because he is toxically unpopular.Karl Kolchak -> chris chuba , a day ago
Got me thinking, our Intelligence services are good at psy-ops and keeping our gullible MSM in line but God help us if we ever actually needed real Intelligence about a country. I remember about a month ago how all of these 'Think Tank Guys' were predicting how the only people loyal to Maduro were a few of his crony Generals, that the rank and file military hated him and there were going to be mass defections.
It didn't happen and we are all just supposed to forget that.
[not a socialist, don't have any love for Maduro, I just know that I will never learn anything of about Venezuela from these think tank dudes, we are just getting groomed]Venezuela isn't about "socialism," or even Maduro--it's about the oil. They have the largest proven reserves in the world, though much of it is non-conventional and would need a ton of investment to exploit. But it's their oil, not ours, and we have no right to meddle in their internal affairs.Jack -> Karl Kolchak , 15 hours agoVenezuela is neither about socialism nor oil in my opinion. It is everything to do with the neocons. And Trump buying into their hegemonic dreams. Notice the resurrection of Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame as the man spearheading this in a triumvirate with Bolton & Pompeo. IMO, a perfect foil for Putin & Xi to embroil the US in another regime change quagmire that further weakens the US.Mad_Max22 , 17 hours ago"There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation.Jack , 15 hours ago
To rely on a contractor linked to the notoriously Russophobic 'Atlantic Council' is even more preposterous."
True; and true. It is also true that the Clinton e-mail investigation was faux, a limp caricature of what an investigation would look like when it is designed to uncover the truth. Allowing a subject's law firm to review the subject's e-mails from when she was in government for relevancy is beyond preposterous. An investigation conducted in the normal way by apolitical Agents in a field office would not walk away from a trove of evidence empty handed.
The inter-relatedness and overlapping of DoJ, CIA, and FBI personnel assigned to the Clinton e-mail case, the Russophobic nightmare of a 'case' targeting Carter Page, and by extension, the Trump presidential campaign, and yes, the Mueller political op, all reek of political bias and ineptitude followed by more political bias; and then culmination in a scorched earth investigation more characteristic of something the STASI might have undertaken than American justice.
Early morning raids, gag orders, solitary confinements, show indictments that will never see adjudication in a court room - truly unbelievable.Davidjohn fletcher , a day ago
In your opinion was this surveillance, criminal & counter-intelligence investigation as well as information operations against Trump centrally orchestrated or was it more reactive & decentralized?
There are so many facets. Fusion GPS & Nellie Ohr with her previous CIA connection. Her husband Bruce at the DOJ stovepiping the dossier to the FBI. Brennan and his EC. Clapper and his intelligence assessment. Halper, Mifsud, Steele along with Hannigan and the MI6 + GCHQ connection. Downer and the Aussies. FISA warrants on Page & Papadopolous. The whole Strzok & Page texting. Comey, Lynch & the Hillary exoneration. McCabe. Then all the Russians. And the media leaks to generate hysteria.VietnamVet , 12 hours ago
I'd recommend for reading Alexei Yurchak's "Everything Was Forever, Until It was No More: The Last Soviet Generation." Its about a class of apparatchiks and bureaucrats and hangers on who spoke this arcane, abstract dogmatic language that anyone normal had long since given up trying to understand. It had long ceased to have any relevance or attachment to the lives lived by ordinary, increasingly suffering people, who started talking to each other in practical and direct language.
And yet the chatterati continued to chatter and invent ludicrously unreal worlds and analyses of the actual world they lived in until... bang... it was no more.
I'd skip the first few chapters which are full of impenetrable marxist jargon.The Russian collusion investigation was based solely on the dodgy Steele Dossier that was discredited here from the get-go. This was a product of British Intelligence Community. The intent was to keep and then to get Donald Trump out of the White House. It failed but they did succeed in turning him into a neo-lib-con fellow traveler.
There are clear parallels between the end stages of the Soviet Union and the American Empire. My take since the Iraq Invasion is that they are insane. The ruling elite is detached from reality, incompetent and arrogant. Sooner or later someone with their facilities still intact will lead a middle-class revolt against the global plutocracy to restore democracy and reverse the rising inequality. We were lucky that the fall of the Soviet Union did not lead to a nuclear war. The next time a nuclear armed Empire crashes we may not be so fortunate.
Apr 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
c1ue , Apr 9, 2019 2:31:57 PM | link
Part of the problem may be that the American oligarchy is now believing its own bullshit, or put another way, has descended into decadence.
The United States has morphed stories many times - from a land of opportunity via theft from Natives/occupying new land, to jobs and growth opportunities via the Industrial Revolution, to economic prosperity through rebuilding other nations torn apart by war.
Under these lenses - particularly the last one - the Ukraine, Libya, Syria and other "freedom and nation building" exercises make sense.
The problem is that it is still unclear that the other major nations are willing to get themselves into another major war with each other - from which the US can sell into, both during and after.
Another way to look at it is the Dr. Michael Hudson model: that any economy which permits interest bearing debt to, by natural law, greatly exceed organic economic capability to repay and is thus doomed to cataclysm - the increase of the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) from 12% in the 80s to well over 40%, maybe 50% or 60% today, would be a good indicator.
Under the Dr. Michael Hudson model - the "western" tradition is the abolishing of the debt jubilee, replaced by the Roman looting of foreign lands model.
Note that the debt jubilee model can still work: a 100% or 150% inflation over a 1-3 year period would do it, accompanied and followed by policies which restrain FIRE going forward. However, the unwillingness of the oligarchy to accept/understand/implement is very clear.
Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , April 06, 2019 at 12:56 PMhttp://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/the-independent-fed-isn-t-quite-what-it-is-cracked-up-to-be
April 6, 2019
The "Independent" Federal Reserve Isn't Quite What It Is Cracked Up to Be
By Dean Baker
Neil Irwin had a New York Times article * warning readers of the potential harm if the Federal Reserve loses its independence. The basis for the warning is that Donald Trump seems prepared to nominate Steven Moore and Herman Cain to the Fed, two individuals with no obvious qualifications for the job, other than their loyalty to Donald Trump. While Irwin is right to warn about filling the Fed with people with no understanding of economics, it is wrong to imagine that we have in general been well-served by the Fed in recent decades or that it is necessarily independent in the way we would want.
The examples Irwin gives are telling. Irwin comments:
"The United States' role as the global reserve currency -- which results in persistently low interest rates and little fear of capital flight -- is built in significant part on the credibility the Fed has accumulated over decades.
"During the global financial crisis and its aftermath, for example, the Fed could feel comfortable pursuing efforts to stimulate the United States economy without a loss of faith in the dollar and Treasury bonds by global investors. The dollar actually rose against other currencies even as the economy was in free fall in late 2008, and the Fed deployed trillions of dollars in unconventional programs to try to stop the crisis."
First, the dollar is a global reserve currency, it is not the only global reserve currency. Central banks also use euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, and even Swiss francs as reserve currencies. This point is important because we do not seriously risk the dollar not be accepted as a reserve currency. It is possible to imagine scenarios where its predominance fades, as other currencies become more widely used. This would not be in any way catastrophic for the United States.
On the issue of the dollar rising in the wake of the financial collapse in 2008, this was actually bad news for the U.S. economy. After the plunge in demand from residential construction and consumption following the collapse of the housing bubble, net exports was one of the few sources of demand that could potentially boost the U.S. economy. The rise in the dollar severely limited growth in this component.
The other example given is when Nixon pressured then Fed Chair Arthur Burns to keep interest rates low to help his re-election in 1972. This was supposed to have worsened the subsequent inflation and then severe recessions in the 1970s and early 1980s. The economic damage of that era was mostly due to a huge jump in world oil prices at a time when the U.S. economy was heavily dependent on oil.
While Nixon's interference with the Fed may have had some negative effect, it is worth noting that the economies of other wealthy countries did not perform notably better than the U.S. through this decade. It would be wrong to imply that the problems of the 1970s were to any important extent due to Burns keeping interest rates lower than he might have otherwise at the start of the decade.
It is also worth noting that the Fed has been very close to the financial sector. The twelve regional bank presidents who sit on the open market committee that sets monetary policy are largely appointed by the banks in the region. (When she was Fed chair, Janet Yellen attempted to make the appointment process more open.) This has led to a Fed that is far more concerned about keeping down inflation (a concern of bankers) than the full employment portion of its mandate.
Arguably, Fed policy has led unemployment to be higher than necessary over much of the last four decades. This has prevented millions of workers from having jobs and lowered wages for tens of millions more. The people who were hurt most are those who are disadvantaged in the labor market, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and people with less education.
Insofar as the Fed's "independence" has meant close ties to the financial industry, it has not been good news for most people in this country.
Apr 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html<img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> Has Privatization Benefitted the Public? Posted on April 7, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield Jerri-Lynn here. Another succinct post by Jomo Kwame Sundaram that makes clear the "benefits" of privatization are not evenly distributed, and in fact, typically, "many are even worse off" when the government chooses to transfer ownership of the family silver.
Note that SOE is the acronym for state owned enterprise.
For those interested in the topic, see also another short post by the same author from last September, debunking other arguments to promote the privatization fairy, Revisiting Privatization's Claims .
By Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. Originally published at Inter Press Service
In most cases of privatization, some outcomes benefit some, which serves to legitimize the change. Nevertheless, overall net welfare improvements are the exception, not the rule.
Never is everyone better off. Rather, some are better off, while others are not, and typically, many are even worse off. The partial gains are typically high, or even negated by overall costs, which may be diffuse, and less directly felt by losers.
Privatized Monopoly Powers
Since many SOEs are public monopolies, privatization has typically transformed them into private monopolies. In turn, abuse of such market monopoly power enables more rents and corporate profits.
As corporate profits are the private sector's yardstick of success, privatized monopolies are likely to abuse their market power to maximize rents for themselves. Thus, privatization tends to burden the public, e.g., if charges are raised.
In most cases, privatization has not closed the governments' fiscal deficits, and may even worsen budgetary problems. Privatization may worsen the fiscal situation due to loss of revenue from privatized SOEs, or tax evasion by the new privatized entity.
Options for cross-subsidization, e.g., to broaden coverage are reduced as the government is usually left with unprofitable activities while the potentially profitable is acquired by the private sector. Thus, governments are often forced to cut essential public services.
In most cases, profitable SOEs were privatized as prospective private owners are driven to maximize profits. Fiscal deficits have often been exacerbated as new private owners use creative accounting to avoid tax, secure tax credits and subsidies, and maximize retained earnings.
Meanwhile, governments lose vital revenue sources due to privatization if SOEs are profitable, and are often obliged to subsidize privatized monopolies to ensure the poor and underserved still have access to the privatized utilities or services.
Privatization Burdens Many
Privatization burdens the public when charges or fees are not reduced, or when the services provided are significantly reduced. Thus, privatization often burdens the public in different ways, depending on how market power is exercised or abused.
Often, instead of trying to provide a public good to all, many are excluded because it is not considered commercially viable or economic to serve them. Consequently, privatization may worsen overall enterprise performance. 'Value for money' may go down despite ostensible improvements used to justify higher user charges.
SOEs are widely presumed to be more likely to be inefficient. The most profitable and potentially profitable are typically the first and most likely to be privatized. This leaves the rest of the public sector even less profitable, and thus considered more inefficient, in turn justifying further privatizations.
It is often argued that privatization is needed as the government is inherently inefficient and does not know how to run enterprises well. Incredibly, the government is expected to subsidize privatized SOEs, which are presumed to be more efficient, in order to fulfil its obligations to the citizenry.
Such obligations may not involve direct payments or transfers, but rather, lucrative concessions to the privatized SOE. Thus, they may well make far more from these additional concessions than the actual cost of fulfilling government obligations.
Thus, privatization of profitable enterprises or segments not only perpetuates exclusion of the deserving, but also worsens overall public sector performance now encumbered with remaining unprofitable obligations.
One consequence is poorer public sector performance, contributing to what appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To make matters worse, the public sector is then stuck with financing the unprofitable, thus seemingly supporting to the privatization prophecy.
Benefits Accrue to Relatively Few
Privatization typically enriches the politically connected few who secure lucrative rents by sacrificing the national or public interest for private profit, even when privatization may not seem to benefit them.
Privatization in many developing and transition economies has primarily enriched these few as the public interest is sacrificed to such powerful private business interests. This has, in turn, exacerbated corruption, patronage and other related problems.
For example, following Russian voucher privatization and other Western recommended reforms, for which there was a limited domestic constituency then, within three years (1992-1994), the Russian economy had collapsed by half, and adult male life expectancy fell by six years. It was the greatest such recorded catastrophe in the last six millennia of recorded human history.
Soon, a couple of dozen young Russian oligarchs had taken over the commanding heights of the Russian economy; many then monetized their gains and invested abroad, migrating to follow their new wealth. Much of this was celebrated by the Western media as economic progress.
diptherio , April 7, 2019 at 9:11 am
SOE must stand for "state owned enterprise."
Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author , April 7, 2019 at 9:30 am
Yes it does. I've now added a sentence to my introduction to make that clear. I noticed the omission when I was uploading the post, but wasn't sure whether readers would be confused.
Thanks for your comment.
caloba , April 7, 2019 at 10:45 am
As a rule of thumb, I'd say that any privatisations that require the introduction of convoluted pseudo-market structures or vast new regulatory bureaucracies or which derive most of their ongoing income from the public sector are likely to be contrary to the long-term public interest. In the UK, unfortunately, all these ships sailed a long time ago
DJG , April 7, 2019 at 11:15 am
After the recent Chicago municipal elections, I wrote up some notes on the reasons for the discontent. This article by Sundaram explains exactly how these schemes work. Further, you can apply his criteria of subsidies for the rich, skimming, and disinheriting the middle class and poor to all of the following instances in Chicago.
If I may–some for instances of how Sundaram's observations turn up in U.S. cities:
Chicago is the proving grounds for thirty or so years of the Democrats' surrender to neoliberalism and austerity politics. Let us not forget, brethren and sistren, that Rahm is the Spawn of Bill + Hill as well as dear friend and advisor of Obama. So there is the work of Daley to undo and the work of the Clintonians to undo. It will take more than one term for Lightfoot.
–Parking meters and enforcement have been privatized, starving the city of funds and, more importantly, of its police power.
–Taxes have been privatized in TIFs, where money goes and is never heard from again.
–There have been attempts to privatize the park system in the form of the Lucas museum and the current Obama Theme Park imbroglio, involving some fifty acres of park land.
–The school system has been looted and privatized. The Democrats are big fans of charter schools (right, "Beto"), seeing them as ways to skim money off the middle class and the poor.
–Fare collection on public transit has been privatized using a system so deliberately rudimentary and so deliberately corrupt that it cannot tell you at point of service how much you have paid as fare.
–Boeing was enticed to Chicago with tax breaks. Yes, that Boeing, the one that now deliberately puts bad software in your airplane.
–Property tax assessment has been an opaque system and source of skimming for lawyers.
–Zoning: Eddie Burke, pond scum, is just the top layer of pollution.
–And as we have made our descent, all of these economic dogmata have been enforced by petty harassment of the citizenry (endless tickets) and an ever-brutal police force.
And yet: The current Republican Party also supports all of these policies, so let's not pretend that a bunch of Mitch McConnell lookalikes are headed to Chicago to reform it.
California is no better , April 7, 2019 at 5:16 pm
Providing professional services i.e. architecture, engineering, etc. for a public entity, local or federal, does not yield unreasonable profits. Typically, the public agencies have their own staff to monitor and cost control a project. The professional services provided to private developers yields far more profit- oftentimes twice the profits associated with public agency work. Most professional services companies will transition their work to the public agencies during a recession.
At any rate, especially in Illinois, privatizing the work to avoid pension liabilities is no longer a choice. Michael Madigan pension promises will require the public to maintain a public service budget with no staff to fill potholes. Essentially, these are the no work jobs made popular by the Soprano crew twenty years ago.
Discussion of the downside of the privatization of public services is merely an oscillation from discussing the weather, the Bears or any other kitchen table discussion – nothing more than pleasant small talk to pass the time.
Privatization, at any cost, is no longer a choice. We have abused the pension system and now the public must pay for private companies to provide the most basic services.
stan6565 , April 7, 2019 at 6:36 pm
The question is, what can one do to help arrest this wholesale theft of public resources and their expropriation into the hands of well connected. " Public", as in, it is the working public over the last 100 or 200 years that created (or paid for), the electricity grid, or public schools, or entire armed or police forces
I keep thinking that perhaps an Act could or should be introduced here in UK (same for the States, i suppose), which should ensure that all politicians that enable any type of privatisation of public resources or PFI arrangement (yes that old chesnut), should be made personally responsible for the results therof.
And any losses to the public accidentally or "accidentally" occasioned by such commandeering over public resources, to be treated like deliberate misappropriation by the said public officials.
With the financial and custodial penalties as may be appropriate.
Anybody out there with similar thoughts or should i really try harder and give up on drugs?
eg , April 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm
Michael Hudson, to his immense credit, explains the pernicious effects of privatization of common goods repeatedly throughout his work, and demonstrates that it has been with us at least as long as the ancient practice of land alienation and rural usury.
Natural monopolies ought to be nationalised, full stop.
Grizziz , April 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm
I support public ownership of natural monopolies, however it would be helpful if these pieces contained data, case studies or footnoted entries providing some empirical evidence of the author's thesis.
Thuto , April 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm
This article comes at a time when the clarion call for privatizing Eskom, SA's electricity utility, is hitting deafening levels. To the private sector, efficiency = maximizing profits by making the "bloated" enterprise lean (aka cutting the workforce) and quite literally mean (aka cutting services to "unprofitable" segments of the market, iow, the poor and vulnerable). When profits soar because the holy grail of efficiency is achieved, the mainstream business press brings out the champagne and toasts this "success" as proof that the previously "moribund" (they always exaggerate the state of things) monopolistic monolith has been given a new lease on life by privatizing it and the template is set for rescuing other "ailing" SOEs.
The drawbacks are never laid out as cleary as they are in this article and the plight of those worst affected, whether laid-off workers or those whose services have been cut, never makes it into the headlines.
PhilB , April 7, 2019 at 2:53 pm
And then there is prison privatization where the burden of operation and maintaining the institution should clearly be on the public so as to be constant reminder of the burden, among others reasons. The motivations by private prison operators to reduce services and costs out of site of the pesky prying eyes of the public are manifold.
RepubAnon , April 7, 2019 at 7:54 pm
Privatization is a great way to avoid having user fees wasted by providing services, and instead put to better use funding the re-election campaigns of politicians supporting privatization. Plus, it provides much-needed consulting fees for former politicians as well as job-creating 7-figure salaries for the CEOs,
(/snark, if you couldn't tell)
On a side note, the Dilbert comic strip is written about private industry ,
Iapetus , April 7, 2019 at 3:39 pm
There was a rudimentary plan put forward last June that recommended some pretty substantial privatizations of U.S. government assets and services which include:
-Privatizing the US Post Office ( through an Initial Public Offering or outright sale to a private entity ).
-Sell off U.S. government owned electricity transmission lines ( U.S. government owns 14% of this nations power transmission lines through TVA, Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration ).
-Spin-off the Federal Aviation Administrations air traffic control operations into a private nonprofit entity.
-Spin-off the Department of Transportations operations of the Saint Lawrence Seaways Locks and Channels into a private non-profit entity.
-End the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then regulate a new system of private guarantors for their MBS securities.
Not sure if these are still being considered.
Tom Stone , April 7, 2019 at 3:54 pm
There's no way I could ask that question with a straight face.
Jack Parsons , April 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm
At heart, the problem with privatization is that marketing to a government-employed purchaser or "purchase influencer" is ridiculously cheap, due to their poor accountability strictures.
This is abetted by the Katamari Damacy process (self-accretionary tendency) of money and power.
The Rev Kev , April 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm
In Oz the electricity grids were privatized as they would be cheaper that way – or so people were told. Instead, the cost of electricity has risen sharply over the years to the point that it is effecting elections on both the State and Federal level as the price hikes are so controversial. A problem is that those companies have to pay back the loans used to buy the public electricity grids and as well, the senior management award themselves sky-high wages because they are totally worth it. These are factors that were never present when it was publicly owned. And just to put the boot in, those very same companies have been 'gold-plating' the electricity grid for their gain-
Meanwhile, whatever money the governments made selling their electricity companies has been long spent on white elephants or buying themselves re-elections by giving out goodies to voters.
Procopius , April 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm
buying themselves re-elections by giving out goodies to voters.
I don't reside in the states, so I don't see much of the detail of daily life. What are these "goodies" of which you speak? In what I am able to read on the internet, people aren't being given goodies any more. At least the old-time politicians handed out jobs, and turkeys at Christmas. The current crop do hand out jobs to their kids and immediate family, but not so much to anyone else.
Apr 05, 2019 | www.commondreams.orgdescribed as "probably the most dishonest argument in the entire Medicare for All debate."
"People who love their employer-based insurance do not get to hold on to it in our current system. Instead, they lose that insurance constantly, all the time. It is a complete nightmare."
-- Matt Bruenig, People's Policy Project
In an interview with the Washington Post , the Democratic leader said she is "agnostic" on Medicare for All and claimed, "A lot of people love having their employer-based insurance and the Affordable Care Act gave them better benefits."
Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People's Policy Project, argued in a blog post that Pelosi's statement "implies that, under our current health insurance system, people who like their employer-based insurance can hold on to it."
"This then is contrasted with a Medicare for All transition where people will lose their employer-based insurance as part of being shifted over to an excellent government plan," Bruenig wrote. "But the truth is that people who love their employer-based insurance do not get to hold on to it in our current system. Instead, they lose that insurance constantly, all the time, over and over again. It is a complete nightmare."
To illustrate his point, Bruenig highlighted a University of Michigan study showing that among Michiganders "who had employer-sponsored insurance in 2014, only 72 percent were continuously enrolled in that insurance for the next 12 months.
"This means that 28 percent of people on an employer plan were not on that same plan one year later," Bruenig noted.
"Critics of Medicare for All are right to point out that losing your insurance sucks," Bruenig concluded. "But the only way to stop that from happening to people is to create a seamless system where people do not constantly churn on and off of insurance. Medicare for All offers that. Our current system offers the exact opposite. If you like losing your insurance all the time, then our current healthcare system is the right one for you."
All On Medicare -- a pro-Medicare for All Twitter account -- slammed Pelosi's remarks, accusing the Democratic leader of parroting insurance industry talking points:
The Speaker's alternative to the Medicare for All legislation co-sponsored by over 100 members of her caucus is a bill to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which she introduced last week .
"We all share the value of healthcare for all Americans -- quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans," Pelosi told the Post . "What is the path to that? I think it's the Affordable Care Act, and if that leads to Medicare for All, that may be the path."
The nation's largest nurses union was among those who expressed disagreement with the Speaker's incrementalist approach.
In a statement last week, National Nurses United president Zenei Cortez, RN, said Pelosi's plan would "only put a Band-Aid on a broken healthcare system."
"National Nurses United, along with our allies, will continue to build the grassroots movement for genuine healthcare justice and push to pass Medicare for All," Cortez concluded.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
"Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as European. That's why Russia proposes moving towards the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a community referred to by Russian experts as 'the Union of Europe' which will strengthen Russia's potential in its economic pivot toward the 'New Asia.'" Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, February 2012
The allegations of 'Russian meddling' only make sense if they're put into a broader geopolitical context. Once we realize that Washington is implementing an aggressive "containment" strategy to militarily encircle Russia and China in order to spread its tentacles across Central Asian, then we begin to understand that Russia is not the perpetrator of the hostilities and propaganda, but the victim. The Russia hacking allegations are part of a larger asymmetrical-information war that has been joined by the entire Washington political establishment. The objective is to methodically weaken an emerging rival while reinforcing US global hegemony.
Try to imagine for a minute, that the hacking claims were not part of a sinister plan by Vladimir Putin "to sow discord and division" in the United States, but were conjured up to create an external threat that would justify an aggressive response from Washington. That's what Russiagate is really all about.
US policymakers and their allies in the military and Intelligence agencies, know that relations with Russia are bound to get increasingly confrontational, mainly because Washington is determined to pursue its ambitious "pivot" to Asia plan. This new regional strategy focuses on "strengthening bilateral security alliances, expanding trade and investment, and forging a broad-based military presence." In short, the US is determined to maintain its global supremacy by establishing military outposts across Eurasia, continuing to tighten the noose around Russia and China, and reinforcing its position as the dominant player in the most populous and prosperous region in the world. The plan was first presented in its skeletal form by the architect of Washington's plan to rule the world, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Here's how Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor summed it up in his 1997 magnum opus, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives:
"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia (p.30) .. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. . About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." ("The Grand Chessboard:American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives", Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, page 31, 1997)
14 years after those words were written, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took up the banner of imperial expansion and demanded a dramatic shift in US foreign policy that would focus primarily on increasing America's military footprint in Asia. It was Clinton who first coined the term "pivot" in a speech she delivered in 2010 titled "America's Pacific Century". Here's an excerpt from the speech:
"As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment -- diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise -- in the Asia-Pacific region
Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology ..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia and our investment opportunities in Asia's dynamic markets."
("America's Pacific Century", Secretary of State Hillary Clinton", Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)
The pivot strategy is not some trifling rehash of the 19th century "Great Game" promoted by think-tank fantasists and conspiracy theorists. It is Washington's premier foreign policy doctrine, a 'rebalancing' theory that focuses on increasing US military and diplomatic presence across the Asian landmass. Naturally, NATO's ominous troop movements on Russia's western flank and Washington's provocative naval operations in the South China Sea have sent up red flags in Moscow and Beijing. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao summed it up like this:
"The United States has strengthened its military deployments in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthened the US-Japan military alliance, strengthened strategic cooperation with India, improved relations with Vietnam, inveigled Pakistan, established a pro-American government in Afghanistan, increased arms sales to Taiwan, and so on. They have extended outposts and placed pressure points on us from the east, south, and west."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been equally critical of Washington's erratic behavior. NATO's eastward expansion has convinced Putin that the US will continue to be a disruptive force on the continent for the foreseeable future. Both leaders worry that Washington's relentless provocations will lead to an unexpected clash that will end in war.
Even so, the political class has fully embraced the pivot strategy as a last-gasp attempt to roll back the clock to the post war era when the world's industrial centers were in ruins and America was the only game in town. Now the center of gravity has shifted from west to east, leaving Washington with just two options: Allow the emerging giants in Asia to connect their high-speed rail and gas pipelines to Europe creating the world's biggest free trade zone, or try to overturn the applecart by bullying allies and threatening rivals, by implementing sanctions that slow growth and send currencies plunging, and by arming jihadist proxies to fuel ethnic hatred and foment political unrest. Clearly, the choice has already been made. Uncle Sam has decided to fight til the bitter end.
Washington has many ways of dealing with its enemies, but none of these strategies have dampened the growth of its competitors in the east. China is poised to overtake the US as the world's biggest economy sometime in the next 2 decades while Russia's intervention in Syria has rolled back Washington's plan to topple Bashar al Assad and consolidate its grip on the resource-rich Middle East. That plan has now collapsed forcing US policymakers to scrap the War on Terror altogether and switch to a "great power competition" which acknowledges that the US can no longer unilaterally impose its will wherever it goes. Challenges to America's dominance are emerging everywhere particularly in the region where the US hopes to reign supreme, Asia.
This is why the entire national security state now stands foursquare behind the improbable pivot plan. It's a desperate "Hail Mary" attempt to preserve the decaying unipolar world order.
What does that mean in practical terms?
It means that the White House (the National Security Strategy) the Pentagon (National Defense Strategy) and the Intelligence Community (The Worldwide Threat Assessment) have all drawn up their own respective analyses of the biggest threats the US currently faces. Naturally, Russia is at the very top of those lists. Russia has derailed Washington's proxy war in Syria, frustrated US attempts to establish itself across Central Asia, and strengthened ties with the EU hoping to "create a harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok." (Putin)
Keep in mind, the US does not feel threatened by the possibility of a Russian attack, but by Russia's ability to thwart Washington's grandiose imperial ambitions in Asia.
As we noted, the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a statutorily mandated document produced by the White House that explains how the President intends to implement his national security vision. Not surprisingly, the document's main focus is Russia and China. Here's an excerpt:
"China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence." (Neither Russia nor China are attempting to erode American security and prosperity." They are merely growing their economies and expanding their markets. If US corporations reinvested their capital into factories, employee training and R and D instead of stock buybacks and executive compensation, then they would be better able to complete globally.)
Here's more: "Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world." (This is a case of the 'pot calling the kettle black.')
"Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data." (The western media behemoth is the biggest disinformation bullhorn the world has ever seen. RT and Sputnik don't hold a candle to the ginormous MSM 'Wurlitzer' that controls the cable news stations, the newspapers and most of the print media. The Mueller Report proves beyond a doubt that the politically-motivated nonsense one reads in the media is neither reliably sourced nor trustworthy.)
The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community is even more explicit in its attacks on Russia. Check it out:
"Threats to US national security will expand and diversify in the coming year, driven in part by China and Russia as they respectively compete more intensely with the United States and its traditional allies and partners . We assess that Moscow will continue pursuing a range of objectives to expand its reach, including undermining the US-led liberal international order, dividing Western political and security institutions, demonstrating Russia's ability to shape global issues, and bolstering Putin's domestic legitimacy.
We assess that Moscow has heightened confidence, based on its success in helping restore the Asad regime's territorial control in Syria, ·Russia seeks to boost its military presence and political influence in the Mediterranean and Red Seas mediate conflicts, including engaging in the Middle East Peace Process and Afghanistan reconciliation .
Russia will continue pressing Central Asia's leaders to support Russian-led economic and security initiatives and reduce engagement with Washington. Russia and China are likely to intensify efforts to build influence in Europe at the expense of US interests " ("The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community", USG )
Notice how the Intelligence Community summary does not suggest that Russia poses an imminent military threat to the US, only that Russia has restored order in Syria, strengthened ties with China, emerged as an "honest broker" among countries in the Middle East, and used the free market system to improve relations with its trading partners and grow its economy. The IC appears to find fault with Russia because it is using the system the US created to better advantage than the US. This is entirely understandable given Putin's determination to draw Europe and Asia closer together through a region-wide economic integration plan. Here's Putin:
"We must consider more extensive cooperation in the energy sphere, up to and including the formation of a common European energy complex. The Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea and the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea are important steps in that direction. These projects have the support of many governments and involve major European energy companies. Once the pipelines start operating at full capacity, Europe will have a reliable and flexible gas-supply system that does not depend on the political whims of any nation. This will strengthen the continent's energy security not only in form but in substance. This is particularly relevant in the light of the decision of some European states to reduce or renounce nuclear energy."
The gas pipelines and high-speed rail are the arteries that will bind the continents together and strengthen the new EU-Asia superstate. This is Washington's greatest nightmare, a massive, thriving free trade zone beyond its reach and not subject to its rules. In 2012, Hillary Clinton acknowledged this new threat and promised to do everything in her power to destroy it. Check out this excerpt:
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described efforts to promote greater economic integration in Eurasia as "a move to re-Sovietize the region." . "We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it," she said at an international conference in Dublin on December 6, 2012, Radio Free Europe."
"Slow down or prevent it"?
Why? Because EU-Asia growth and prosperity will put pressure on US debt markets, US corporate interests, US (ballooning) national debt, and the US Dollar? Is that why Hillary is so committed to sabotaging Putin's economic integration plan?
Indeed, it is. Washington wants to block progress and prosperity in the east in order to extend the lifespan of a doddering and thoroughly-bankrupt state that is presently $22 trillion in the red but continues to write checks on an overdrawn account.
But Russia shouldn't be blamed for Washington's profligate behavior, that's not Putin's fault. Moscow is merely using the free market system more effectively that the US.
Now consider the Pentagon's 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) which reiterates many of the same themes as the other two documents.
"Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order -- creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security."
(Naturally, the "security environment" is going to be more challenging when 'regime change' is the cornerstone of one's foreign policy. Of course, the NDS glosses over that sad fact. Here's more:)
"Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors ..(Baloney. Russia has been a force for stability in Syria and Ukraine. If Obama had his way, Syria would have wound up like Iraq, a hellish wastelands occupied by foreign mercenaries. Is that how the Pentagon measures success?) Here's more:
"China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model
"China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system .
"China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security." ( National Defense Strategy of the United States of America )
Get the picture? China and Russia, China and Russia, China and Russia. Bad, bad, bad.
Why? Because they are successfully implementing their own development model which is NOT programed to favor US financial institutions and corporations. That's the whole thing in a nutshell. The only reason Russia and China are a threat to the "rules-based system", is because Washington insists on being the only one who makes the rules. That's why foreign leaders are no longer falling in line, because it's not a fair system.
These assessments represent the prevailing opinion of senior-level policymakers across the spectrum. (The White House, the Pentagon and the Intelligence Community) The USG is unanimous in its judgement that a harsher more combative approach is needed to deal with Russia and China. Foreign policy elites want to put the nation on the path to more confrontation, more conflict and more war. At the same time, none of these three documents suggest that Russia has any intention of launching an attack on the United States. The greatest concern is the effect that emerging competitors will have on Washington's provocative plan for military and economic expansion, the threat that Russia and China pose to America's tenuous grip on global power. It is that fear that drives US foreign policy.
And this is broader context into which we must fit the Russia investigation. The reason the Russia hacking furor has been allowed to flourish and spread despite the obvious lack of any supporting evidence, is because the vilifying of Russia segues perfectly with the geopolitical interests of elites in the government. The USG now works collaboratively with the media to influence public attitudes on issues that are important to the powerful foreign policy establishment. The ostensible goal of these psychological operations (PSYOP) is to selectively use information on "audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals."
The USG now sees the minds of ordinary Americans as a legitimate target for their influence campaigns. They regard attitudes and perceptions as "the cognitive domain of the
Beckow , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:02 am GMTThe emerging Euro-Asian power block is very heterogeneous. Russia, China, and the smaller affiliated players like Central Asia, Iran, Syria, Turkey don't agree on almost anything. They have different cultures, religions, economies, demographic profiles, even writing systems. The most rational strategy to prevent the Euro-Asian block from consolidating would be to get them to fight each other. Alternatively, find the weakest link and attack it in an area where its reluctant allies don't share its interests.anon  Disclaimer , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:07 am GMT
Exactly the opposite has happened in the last 5-10 years: US has seemingly worked overtime to get China-Russia alliance of the ground. They used to distrust each other, today, after Ukraine, South China See, etc they have become close allies. Same with Iran and Syria: instead of letting them stew in their own internal problems – mostly religious and having a nepotistic elite – US has managed to turn the fight into an external geo-political struggle, literally invited Russia to join in, and ended up losing.
Bush turned Iraq from a fanatically anti-Iran bastion to a reliable ally of Iran and started an un-winnable land war in Afghanistan (incredible!). Obama turned Libya, the richest and most stable African country that threatened no-one and kept African migrants far away, into a chaotic hellhole where slave trade flourishes and millions of Sub-Saharan Africans can use it to move on to Europe.
Then Obama tried to coup-de-etat Erdogan in Turkey, and – even worse – failed miserably. This gang can't shoot straight – whatever they put in their position papers is meaningless drivel because they are too stupid to think. They have no patience to wait for the right time to move, no ability to manage on the ground allies, and an aversion to casualties that makes winning a war impossible. Today Trump threatens Germany over its energy security (pipelines), further antagonises Turkey and Erdogan, watches helplessly as EU becomes the next UN (lame and irrelevant), and bets everything on a few small allies like Saudi Arabia and Izrael that are of almost no use in Euro-Asia.
A guy who says about the Russia-gate collusion fiasco that ' maybe I had bad information ' is no master of the universe. And he run the joint under Obama. Complaining about Russia saying bad stuff about you – or ' information warfare ' – is a pathetic sign of weakness. Maybe the testosterone levels have dropped more than we have been told.the russophobia is just drama to keep the MIC spending at $700+ billion per yearKrollchem , says: April 4, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
there is no way to justify that level of spending and pretend they don't have $25 billion one time to actually help solve the real problem for the U.S."The USG now sees the minds of ordinary Americans as a legitimate target for their influence campaigns. They regard attitudes and perceptions as "the cognitive domain of the battlespace" which they must exploit in order to build public support for their vastly unpopular wars and interventions. "JR , says: April 4, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT
Here is a short guide on how to detect subversion of the mind by the media and their handlers by a former military intelligence officer.
If one recognizes that Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy & Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997)" in replacing "Lebensraum" with "control over Eurasia", "Tausendjähriges Reich" with "American Primacy" and providing our 'elite' with an "realist" and "amoral" excuse to act completely and consistently immoral one has to recognize too that this "Grand Chessboard" is an amalgamation of 'Mein Kampf' and 'Il Principe".Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
Reluctant to use that Hitler comparison one ought to read the Introduction of the "Grand Chessboard" in which Brzezinki himself proudly refers to both Hitler and Stalin sharing his ideas about control over Eurasia as a prerequisite for that "American Primacy".
Recognizing this however one can't escape the conclusion that this "Grand Chessboard" with its consistent 'amoral realist imperatives' is serving up inherently immoral 'imperatives' as inescapable options dressed up in academic language and with absolutely abhorrent arrogance.
Stating that Brennan's Russophobia is somehow a degeneration of Brzezinki's "Grand Chessboard" is completely overlooking how difficult it would be to outdo Brzezinki's own total moral degeneration.
One has to recognize that by now the only bipartisan aspect of US policy can be found in sharing these despicable and immoral 'imperatives' to maintain that "American Primacy" at all cost (of course to the rest of the world)."The allegations of 'Russian meddling' only make sense if they're put into a broader geopolitical context. Once we realize that Washington is implementing an aggressive "containment" strategy to militarily encircle Russia and China in order to spread its tentacles across Central Asian, then we begin to understand that Russia is not the perpetrator of the hostilities and propaganda, but the victim. The Russia hacking allegations are part of a larger asymmetrical-information war that has been joined by the entire Washington political establishment. The objective is to methodically weaken an emerging rival while reinforcing US global hegemony."Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm GMT
I would suggest that the initials 'US' in the final sentence be changed to: Anglo-Zionist Empire."Now the center of gravity has shifted from west to east, leaving Washington with just two options: Allow the emerging giants in Asia to connect their high-speed rail and gas pipelines to Europe creating the world's biggest free trade zone, or try to overturn the applecart by bullying allies and threatening rivals, by implementing sanctions that slow growth and send currencies plunging, and by arming jihadist proxies to fuel ethnic hatred and foment political unrest. Clearly, the choice has already been made. Uncle Sam has decided to fight til the bitter end."Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT
Just like the Brit Empire – of which the Yank Empire is merely Part 2, the part where it becomes obvious that it is the Anglo-Zionist Empire, which, like a band of screeching Pharisees standing on the walls of Jerusalem hurling curses at the Romans they inform that Jehovah will soon wipe out all Romans to save His Chosen Race, would choose utter destruction for all over any common sense backing down to prevent mass slaughter.Nothing harmed US more than Brzezinski's ideology. US did build up far east with their investments, while neglecting their own backyard. US should have build up rather North and South America and make it the envy of the world. Neglecting particularly South America now created Desperate south American people, who have no jobs and no future and these people are now invading US.Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT@BeckowAndrei Martyanov , says: Website April 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
A guy who says about the Russia-gate collusion fiasco that 'maybe I had bad information' is no master of the universe. And he run the joint under Obama. Complaining about Russia saying bad stuff about you – or 'information warfare' – is a pathetic sign of weakness. Maybe the testosterone levels have dropped more than we have been told.
Testosterone plus steady, unrelenting decline and corruption of American "elites" most of who have no background in any fields related to actual effective governance especially in national security (military) and diplomatic fields. Zbig's book is also nothing more than doctrine-mongering based on complete lack of understanding of Russian history.@JRAgent76 , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
Reluctant to use that Hitler comparison one ought to read the Introduction of the "Grand Chessboard" in which Brzezinki himself proudly refers to both Hitler and Stalin sharing his ideas about control over Eurasia as a prerequisite for that "American Primacy".
Zbig was a political "scientist" (which is not a science) by education, fact aggravated by his Russophobia, and thus inability to grasp fundamentals of military power and warfare–a defining characteristic of American "elites". He, obviously, missed on the military-technological development of 1970s through 1990s, to arrive to the inevitable conclusion that classic "geopolitics" doesn't apply anymore. Today we all can observe how it doesn't apply and is made obsolete.(Jan.1998) US history – "How Jimmy Carter I Started the Mujahideen" – Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor 1977-1981flashlight joe , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:55 pm GMT
"Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter.
Zbigniew Brzezinski Taliban Pakistan Afghanistan pep talk 1979
In 1979 Carters National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski went into Pakistans border regions with Afghanistan to give a little pep talk to some prospective majehadeen (Holy Warriors). In a 1997 interview for CNN's Cold War Series, Brzezinski hinted about the Carter Administration's proactive Afghanistan policy before the Soviet invasion in 1979, that he had conceived.@Jake @JakeJake , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm GMT
"Just like the Brit Empire – of which the Yank Empire is merely Part 2,"
I call it the Western British Empire.@DESERT FOX Why was it that the Brit Empire kept acting throughout the later 18th, the 19th and early 20th centuries to harm Russia, even when it technically was allied with Russia? Why the Crimean War, for example?mike k , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
Why, for example, was Brit secret service all over the assassination of Rasputin and tied in multiple ways to most non-Marxist revolutionary groups?This entire article fleshes out one central truth – capitalism as practiced by the US Government inevitably involves war by any and all means, seeking total domination of every human being on the planet, foriegn or native to the US Hegemon. It seeks total rule of the rich and powerful over everyone else.Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT@anon Like the Ukranians, the 'Balts' virtually always are controlled by somebody else. When Russia does not control the Baltic states, they are controlled by either Poles or Germans. Russians know what that means: the Baltic states are then used as weapons to attack Russia.
The region is much calmer when Russia controls the Baltic states, and that is before taking into consideration how the Polish-Lithuanian Empire turned its Jews lose to terrorize all Orthodox Christians and how Germanic states later used Lutheranism as a force in the Baltics to ignite war with Russia and, under the queer Frederick the Great also used Jewish bankers to finance wars against Russia.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
Wally , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT@JR ssaid:
If one recognizes that Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy & Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997)" in replacing "Lebensraum" with "control over Eurasia", "Tausendjähriges Reich" with "American Primacy" and providing our 'elite' with an "realist" and "amoral" excuse to act completely and consistently immoral one has to recognize too that this "Grand Chessboard" is an amalgamation of 'Mein Kampf' and 'Il Principe".
Except that Germany did not send Germans into the conquered territories during WWII, though they wanted to do so.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com
Still another noted that Fascism is often linked to people who are part of a distinct ethnic or racial group, who are under economic stress, and who feel that they are being denied rewards to which they are entitled. "It's not so much what people have." she said, "but what they think they should have -- and what they fear." Fear is why Fascism's emotional reach can extend to all levels of society. No political movement can flourish without popular support, but Fascism is as dependent on the wealthy and powerful as it is on the man or woman in the street -- on those who have much to lose and those who have nothing at all.
This insight made us think that Fascism should perhaps be viewed less as a political ideology than as a means for seizing and holding power. For example, Italy in the 1920s included self-described Fascists of the left (who advocated a dictatorship of the dispossessed), of the right (who argued for an authoritarian corporatist state), and of the center (who sought a return to absolute monarchy). The German National Socialist Party (the
Nazis) originally came together ar ound a list of demands that ca- tered to anti-Semites, anti-immigrants, and anti-capitalists but also advocated for higher old-age pensions, more educational op- portunities for the poor, an end to child labor, and improved ma- ternal health care. The Nazis were racists and, in their own minds, reformers at the same time.
If Fascism concerns itself less with specific policies than with finding a pathway to power, what about the tactics of lead- ership? My students remarked that the Fascist chiefs we remem- ber best were charismatic. Through one method or another, each established an emotional link to the crowd and, like the central figure in a cult, brought deep and often ugly feelings to the sur- face. This is how the tentacles of Fascism spread inside a democ- racy. Unlike a monarchy or a military dictatorship imposed on society from above. Fascism draws energy from men and women who are upset because of a lost war, a lost job, a memory of hu- miliation, or a sense that their country is in steep decline. The more painful the grounds for resentment, the easier it is for a Fascist leader to gam followers by dangling the prospect of re- newal or by vowing to take back what has been stolen.
Like the mobilizers of more benign movements, these secular evangelists exploit the near-universal human desire to be part of a meaningful quest. The more gifted among them have an apti- tude for spectacle -- for orchestrating mass gatherings complete with martial music, incendiary rhetoric, loud cheers, and arm-
lifting salutes. To loyalists, they offer the prize of membership in a club from which others, often the objects of ridicule, are kept out. To build fervor, Fascists tend to be aggressive, militaristic, and -- when circumstances allow -- expansionist. To secure the future, they turn schools into seminaries for true believers, striv- ing to produce "new men" and "new women" who will obey without question or pause. And, as one of my students observed, "a Fascist who launches his career by being voted into office will have a claim to legitimacy that others do not."
After climbing into a position of power, what comes next: How does a Fascist consolidate authority? Here several students piped up: "By controlling information." Added another, "And that's one reason we have so much cause to worry today." Most of us have thought of the technological revolution primarily as a means for people from different walks of life to connect with one another, trade ideas, and develop a keener understanding of why men and women act as they do -- in other words, to sharpen our perceptions of truth. That's still the case, but now we are not so sure. There is a troubling "Big Brother" angle because of the mountain of personal data being uploaded into social media. If an advertiser can use that information to home in on a consumer because of his or her individual interests, what's to stop a Fascist government from doing the same? "Suppose I go to a demonstra- tion like the Women's March," said a student, "and post a photo
on social media. My name gets added to a list and that list can end up anywhere. How do we protect ourselves against that?"
Even more disturbing is the ability shown by rogue regimes and their agents to spread lies on phony websites and Facebook. Further, technology has made it possible for extremist organiza- tions to construct echo chambers of support for conspiracy theo- ries, false narratives, and ignorant views on religion and race. This is the first rule of deception: repeated often enough, almost any statement, story, or smear can start to sound plausible. The Internet should be an ally of freedom and a gateway to knowledge; in some cases, it is neither.
Historian Robert Paxton begins one of his books by assert- ing: "Fascism was the major political innovation of the twentieth century, and the source of much of its pain." Over the years, he and other scholars have developed lists of the many moving parts that Fascism entails. Toward the end of our discussion, my class sought to articulate a comparable list.
Fascism, most of the students agreed, is an extreme form of authoritarian rule. Citizens are required to do exactly what lead- ers say they must do, nothing more, nothing less. The doctrine is linked to rabid nationalism. It also turns the traditional social contract upside down. Instead of citizens giving power to the state in exchange for the protection of their rights, power begins with the leader, and the people have no rights. Under Fascism,
the mission of citizens is to serve; the government's job is to rule.
When one talks about this subject, confusion often arises about the difference between Fascism and such related concepts as totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, tyranny, autocracy, and so on. As an academic, I might be tempted to wander into that thicket, but as a former diplomat, I am primarily concerned with actions, not labels. To my mind, a Fascist is someone who identifies strongly with and claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use whatever means are necessary -- including violence -- to achieve his or her goals. In that conception, a Fascist will likely be a tyrant, but a tyrant need not be a Fascist.
Often the difference can be seen in who is trusted with the guns. In seventeenth-century Europe, when Catholic aristocrats did battle with Protestant aristocrats, they fought over scripture but agreed not to distribute weapons to their peasants, thinking it safer to wage war with mercenary armies. Modern dictators also tend to be wary of their citizens, which is why they create royal guards and other elite security units to ensure their personal safe- ty. A Fascist, however, expects the crowd to have his back. Where kings try to settle people down, Fascists stir them up so that when the fighting begins, their foot soldiers have the will and the firepower to strike first.
petarsimic , October 21, 2018Madeleine Albright on million Iraqis dead: "We think the price is worth It"<img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> P. Bierre , June 11, 2018
Hypocrisy at its worst from a lady who advocated hawkish foreign policy which included the most sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam, when, in 1998, Clinton began almost daily attacks on Iraq in the so-called no-fly zones, and made so-called regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy.
In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeleine Albright, who at the time was Clinton's U.N. ambassador. Correspondent Leslie Stahl said to Albright, in connection with the Clinton administration presiding over the most devastating regime of sanctions in history that the U.N. estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children. , "We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and, you know, is the price worth it?"
Madeleine Albright replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it.Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it?Anat Hadad , January 19, 2019
While I found much of the story-telling in "Fascism" engaging, I come away expecting much more of one of our nation's pre-eminent senior diplomats . In a nutshell, she has devoted a whole volume to describing the ascent of intolerant fascism and its many faces, but punted on the question "How should we thwart fascism going forward?"
Even that question leaves me a bit unsatisfied, since it is couched in double-negative syntax. The thing there is an appetite for, among the readers of this book who are looking for more than hand-wringing about neofascism, is a unifying title or phrase which captures in single-positive syntax that which Albright prefers over fascism. What would that be? And, how do we pursue it, nurture it, spread it and secure it going forward? What is it?
I think Albright would perhaps be willing to rally around "Good Government" as the theme her book skirts tangentially from the dark periphery of fascistic government. "Virtuous Government"? "Effective Government"? "Responsive Government"?
People concerned about neofascism want to know what we should be doing right now to avoid getting sidetracked into a dark alley of future history comparable to the Nazi brown shirt or Mussolini black shirt epochs. Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it? Or, is this just another hand-wringing exercise, a la "you'll know it when you see it", with a proactive superficiality stuck at the level of pejorative labelling of current styles of government and national leaders? If all you can say is what you don't want, then the challenge of threading the political future of the US is left unruddered. To make an analogy to driving a car, if you don't know your destination, and only can get navigational prompts such as "don't turn here" or "don't go down that street", then what are the chances of arriving at a purposive destination?
The other part of this book I find off-putting is that Albright, though having served as Secretary of State, never talks about the heavy burden of responsibility that falls on a head of state. She doesn't seem to empathize at all with the challenge of top leadership. Her perspective is that of the detached critic. For instance, in discussing President Duterte of the Philippines, she fails to paint the dire situation under which he rose to national leadership responsibility: Islamic separatists having violently taken over the entire city of Marawi, nor the ubiquitous spread of drug cartel power to the level where control over law enforcement was already ceded to the gangs in many places...entire islands and city neighborhoods run by mafia organizations. It's easy to sit back and criticize Duterte's unleashing of vigilante justice -- What was Mrs. Albright's better alternative to regain ground from vicious, well-armed criminal organizations? The distancing from leadership responsibility makes Albright's treatment of the Philippines twin crises of gang-rule and Islamist revolutionaries seem like so much academic navel-gazing....OK for an undergrad course at Georgetown maybe, but unworthy of someone who served in a position of high responsibility. Duterte is liked in the Philippines. What he did snapped back the power of the cartels, and returned a deserved sense of security to average Philippinos (at least those not involved with narcotics). Is that not good government, given the horrendous circumstances Duterte came up to deal with? What lack of responsibility in former Philippine leadership allowed things to get so out of control? Is it possible that Democrats and liberals are afraid to be tough, when toughness is what is needed? I'd much rather read an account from an average Philippino about the positive impacts of the vigilante campaign, than listen of Madame Secretary sermonizing out of context about Duterte. OK, he's not your idea of a nice guy. Would you rather sit back, prattle on about the rule of law and due process while Islamic terrorists wrest control over where you live? Would you prefer the leadership of a drug cartel boss to Duterte?
My critique is offered in a constructive manner. I would certainly encourage Albright (or anyone!) to write a book in a positive voice about what it's going to take to have good national government in the US going forward, and to help spread such abundance globally. I would define "good" as the capability to make consistently good policy decisions, ones that continue to look good in hindsight, 10, 20 or 30 years later. What does that take?
I would submit that the essential "preserving democracy" process component is having a population that is adequately prepared for collaborative problem-solving. Some understanding of history is helpful, but it's simply not enough. Much more essential is for every young person to experience team problem-solving, in both its cooperative and competitive aspects. Every young person needs to experience a team leadership role, and to appreciate what it takes from leaders to forge constructive design from competing ideas and champions. Only after serving as a referee will a young person understand the limits to "passion" that individual contributors should bring to the party. Only after moderating and herding cats will a young person know how to interact productively with leaders and other contributors. Much of the skill is counter-instinctual. It's knowing how to express ideas...how to field criticism....how to nudge people along in the desired direction...and how to avoid ad-hominem attacks, exaggerations, accusations and speculative grievances. It's learning how to manage conflict productively toward excellence. Way too few of our young people are learning these skills, and way too few of our journalists know how to play a constructive role in managing communications toward successful complex problem-solving. Albright's claim that a journalist's job is primarily to "hold leaders accountable" really betrays an absolving of responsibility for the media as a partner in good government -- it doesn't say whether the media are active players on the problem-solving team (which they have to be for success), or mere spectators with no responsibility for the outcome. If the latter, then journalism becomes an irritant, picking at the scabs over and over, but without any forward progress. When the media takes up a stance as an "opponent" of leadership, you end up with poor problem-solving results....the system is fighting itself instead of making forward progress.
"Fascism" doesn't do nearly enough to promote the teaching of practical civics 101 skills, not just to the kids going into public administration, but to everyone. For, it is in the norms of civility, their ability to be practiced, and their defense against excesses, that fascism (e.g., Antifa) is kept at bay.
Everyone in a democracy has to know the basics:
• when entering a disagreement, don't personalize it
• never demonize an opponent
• keep a focus on the goal of agreement and moving forward
• never tell another person what they think, but ask (non-rhetorically) what they think then be prepared to listen and absorb
• do not speak untruths or exaggerate to make an argument
• do not speculate grievance
• understand truth gathering as a process; detect when certainty is being bluffed; question sources
• recognize impasse and unproductive argumentation and STOP IT
• know how to introduce a referee or moderator to regain productive collaboration
• avoid ad hominem attacks
• don't take things personally that wrankle you;
• give the benefit of the doubt in an ambiguous situation
• don't jump to conclusions
• don't reward theatrical manipulation
These basics of collaborative problem-solving are the guts of a "liberal democracy" that can face down the most complex challenges and dilemmas.
I gave the book 3 stars for the great story-telling, and Albright has been part of a great story of late 20th century history. If she would have told us how to prevent fascism going forward, and how to roll it back in "hard case" countries like North Korea and Sudan, I would have given her a 5. I'm not that interested in picking apart the failure cases of history...they teach mostly negative exemplars. Much rather I would like to read about positive exemplars of great national government -- "great" defined by popular acclaim, by the actual ones governed. Where are we seeing that today? Canada? Australia? Interestingly, both of these positive exemplars have strict immigration policies.
Is it possible that Albright is just unable, by virtue of her narrow escape from Communist Czechoslovakia and acceptance in NYC as a transplant, to see that an optimum immigration policy in the US, something like Canada's or Australia's, is not the looming face of fascism, but rather a move to keep it safely in its corner in coming decades? At least, she admits to her being biased by her life story.
That suggests her views on refugees and illegal immigrants as deserving of unlimited rights to migrate into the US might be the kind of cloaked extremism that she is warning us about."Fascism is not an exception to humanity, but part of it."Matthew T , May 29, 2018
Albright's book is a comprehensive look at recent history regarding the rise and fall of fascist leaders; as well as detailing leaders in nations that are starting to mimic fascist ideals. Instead of a neat definition, she uses examples to bolster her thesis of what are essential aspects of fascism. Albright dedicates each section of the book to a leader or regime that enforces fascist values and conveys this to the reader through historical events and exposition while also peppering in details of her time as Secretary of State. The climax (and 'warning'), comes at the end, where Albright applies what she has been discussing to the current state of affairs in the US and abroad.
Overall, I would characterize this as an enjoyable and relatively easy read. I think the biggest strength of this book is how Albright uses history, previous examples of leaders and regimes, to demonstrate what fascism looks like and contributing factors on a national and individual level. I appreciated that she lets these examples speak for themselves of the dangers and subtleties of a fascist society, which made the book more fascinating and less of a textbook. Her brief descriptions of her time as Secretary of State were intriguing and made me more interested in her first book, 'Madame Secretary'. The book does seem a bit slow as it is not until the end that Albright blatantly reveals the relevance of all of the history relayed in the first couple hundred pages. The last few chapters are dedicated to the reveal: the Trump administration and how it has affected global politics. Although, she never outright calls Trump a fascist, instead letting the reader decide based on his decisions and what you have read in the book leading up to this point, her stance is quite clear by the end. I was surprised at what I shared politically with Albright, mainly in immigration and a belief of empathy and understanding for others. However, I got a slight sense of anti-secularism in the form of a disdain for those who do not subscribe to an Abrahamic religion and she seemed to hint at this being partly an opening to fascism.
I also could have done without the both-sides-ism she would occasionally push, which seems to be a tactic used to encourage people to 'unite against Trump'. These are small annoyances I had with the book, my main critique is the view Albright takes on democracy. If anything, the book should have been called "Democracy: the Answer" because that is the most consistent stance Albright takes throughout. She seems to overlook many of the atrocities the US and other nations have committed in the name of democracy and the negative consequences of capitalism, instead, justifying negative actions with the excuse of 'it is for democracy and everyone wants that' and criticizing those who criticize capitalism.
She does not do a good job of conveying the difference between a communist country like Russia and a socialist country like those found in Scandinavia and seems okay with the idea of the reader lumping them all together in a poor light. That being said, I would still recommend this book for anyone's TBR as the message is essential for today, that the current world of political affairs is, at least somewhat, teetering on a precipice and we are in need of as many strong leaders as possible who are willing to uphold democratic ideals on the world stage and mindful constituents who will vote them in.An easy read, but incredibly ignorant and one eyed in far too many instancesAvid reader , December 20, 2018
The book is very well written, easy to read, and follows a pretty standard formula making it accessible to the average reader. However, it suffers immensely from, what I suspect are, deeply ingrained political biases from the author.
Whilst I don't dispute the criteria the author applies in defining fascism, or the targets she cites as examples, the first bias creeps in here when one realises the examples chosen are traditional easy targets for the US (with the exception of Turkey). The same criteria would define a country like Singapore perfectly as fascist, yet the country (or Malaysia) does not receive a mention in the book.
Further, it grossly glosses over what Ms. Albright terms facist traits from the US governments of the past. If the author is to be believed, the CIA is holier than thou, never intervened anywhere or did anything that wasn't with the best interests of democracy at heart, and American foreign policy has always existed to build friendships and help out their buddies. To someone ingrained in this rhetoric for years I am sure this is an easy pill to swallow, but to the rest of the world it makes a number of assertions in the book come across as incredibly naive. out of 5 stars Trite and opaqueBiast much? Still a good start into the problem&amp;amp;amp;lt;img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/0e64e0cb-01e4-4e58-bcae-bba690344095._CR0,0.0,333,333_SX48_.jpg"&amp;amp;amp;gt; NJ , February 3, 2019
We went with my husband to the presentation of this book at UPenn with Albright before it came out and Madeleine's spunk, wit and just glorious brightness almost blinded me. This is a 2.5 star book, because 81 year old author does not really tell you all there is to tell when she opens up on a subject in any particular chapter, especially if it concerns current US interest.
Lets start from the beginning of the book. What really stood out, the missing 3rd Germany ally, Japan and its emperor. Hirohito (1901-1989) was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He took over at a time of rising democratic sentiment, but his country soon turned toward ultra-nationalism and militarism. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, forcing US to enter the war in 1941. Hirohito was never indicted as a war criminal! does he deserve at least a chapter in her book?
Oh and by the way, did author mention anything about sanctions against Germany for invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland? Up until the Pearl Harbor USA and Germany still traded, although in March 1939, FDR slapped a 25% tariff on all German goods. Like Trump is doing right now to some of US trading partners.
Next monster that deserves a chapter on Genocide in cosmic proportions post WW2 is communist leader of China Mao Zedung. Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants compares to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the total worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.
We learn that Argentina has given sanctuary to Nazi war criminals, but she forgets to mention that 88 Nazi scientists arrived in the United States in 1945 and were promptly put to work. For example, Wernher von Braun was the brains behind the V-2 rocket program, but had intimate knowledge of what was going on in the concentration camps. Von Braun himself hand-picked people from horrific places, including Buchenwald concentration camp. Tsk-Tsk Madeline.
What else? Oh, lets just say that like Madelaine Albright my husband is Jewish and lost extensive family to Holocoust. Ukrainian nationalists executed his great grandfather on gistapo orders, his great grandmother disappeared in concentration camp, grandfather was conscripted in june 1940 and decommissioned september 1945 and went through war as infantryman through 3 fronts earning several medals. his grandmother, an ukrainian born jew was a doctor in a military hospital in Saint Petersburg survived famine and saved several children during blockade. So unlike Maideline who was raised as a Roman Catholic, my husband grew up in a quiet jewish family in that territory that Stalin grabbed from Poland in 1939, in a polish turn ukrainian city called Lvov(Lemberg). His family also had to ask for an asylum, only they had to escape their home in Ukraine in 1991. He was told then "You are a nice little Zid (Jew), we will kill you last" If you think things in ukraine changed, think again, few weeks ago in Kiev Roma gypsies were killed and injured during pogroms, and nobody despite witnesses went to jail. Also during demonstrations openly on the streets C14 unit is waving swastikas and Heils. Why is is not mentioned anywhere in the book? is is because Hunter Biden sits on the board of one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies called Burisma since May 14, 2014, and Ukraine has an estimated 127.9 trillion cubic feet of unproved technically recoverable shale gas resources? ( according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).1 The most promising shale reserves appear to be in the Carpathian Foreland Basin (also called the Lviv-Volyn Basin), which extends across Western Ukraine from Poland into Romania, and the Dnieper-Donets Basin in the East (which borders Russia).
Wow, i bet you did not know that. how ugly are politics, even this book that could have been so much greater if the author told the whole ugly story. And how scary that there are countries where you can go and openly be fascist.Interesting...yes. Useful...hmmmGderf , February 15, 2019
To me, Fascism fails for the single reason that no two fascist leaders are alike. Learning about one or a few, in a highly cursory fashion like in this book or in great detail, is unlikely to provide one with any answers on how to prevent the rise of another or fend against some such. And, as much as we are witnessing the rise of numerous democratic or quasi-democratic "strongmen" around the world in global politics, it is difficult to brand any of them as fascist in the orthodox sense.
As the author writes at the outset, it is difficult to separate a fascist from a tyrant or a dictator. A fascist is a majoritarian who rouses a large group under some national, racial or similar flag with rallying cries demanding suppression or exculcation of those excluded from this group. A typical fascist leader loves her yes-men and hates those who disagree: she does not mind using violence to suppress dissidents. A fascist has no qualms using propaganda to popularize the agreeable "facts" and theories while debunking the inconvenient as lies. What is not discussed explicitly in the book are perhaps some positive traits that separate fascists from other types of tyrants: fascists are rarely lazy, stupid or prone to doing things for only personal gains. They differ from the benevolent dictators for their record of using heavy oppression against their dissidents. Fascists, like all dictators, change rules to suit themselves, take control of state organizations to exercise total control and use "our class is the greatest" and "kick others" to fuel their programs.
Despite such a detailed list, each fascist is different from each other. There is little that even Ms Albright's fascists - from Mussolini and Hitler to Stalin to the Kims to Chavez or Erdogan - have in common. In fact, most of the opponents of some of these dictators/leaders would calll them by many other choice words but not fascists. The circumstances that gave rise to these leaders were highly different and so were their rules, methods and achievements.
The point, once again, is that none of the strongmen leaders around the world could be easily categorized as fascists. Or even if they do, assigning them with such a tag and learning about some other such leaders is unlikely to help. The history discussed in the book is interesting but disjointed, perfunctory and simplistic. Ms Albright's selection is also debatable.
Strong leaders who suppress those they deem as opponents have wreaked immense harms and are a threat to all civil societies. They come in more shades and colours than terms we have in our vocabulary (dictators, tyrants, fascists, despots, autocrats etc). A study of such tyrant is needed for anyone with an interest in history, politics, or societal well-being. Despite Ms Albright's phenomenal knowledge, experience, credentials, personal history and intentions, this book is perhaps not the best place to objectively learn much about the risks from the type of things some current leaders are doing or deeming as right.Wrong warning
Each time I get concerned about Trump's rhetoric or past actions I read idiotic opinions, like those of our second worst ever Secretary of State, and come to appreciate him more. Pejorative terms like fascism or populism have no place in a rational policy discussion. Both are blatant attempts to apply a pejorative to any disagreeing opinion. More than half of the book is fluffed with background of Albright, Hitler and Mussolini. Wikipedia is more informative. The rest has snippets of more modern dictators, many of whom are either socialists or attained power through a reaction to failed socialism, as did Hitler. She squirms mightily to liken Trump to Hitler. It's much easier to see that Sanders is like Maduro. The USA is following a path more like Venezuela than Germany.
Her history misses that Mussolini was a socialist before he was a fascist, and Nazism in Germany was a reaction to Wiemar socialism. The danger of fascism in the US is far greater from the left than from the right. America is far left of where the USSR ever was. Remember than Marx observed that Russia was not ready for a proletarian revolution. The USA with ready made capitalism for reform fits Marx's pattern much better. Progressives deny that Sanders and Warren are socialists. If not they are what Lenin called "useful idiots."
Albright says that she is proud of the speech where she called the USA the 'Indispensable Nation.' She should be ashamed. Obama followed in his inaugural address, saying that we are "the indispensable nation, responsible for world security." That turned into a policy of human rights interventions leading to open ended wars (Syria, Yemen), nations in chaos (Libya), and distrust of the USA (Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, NK). Trump now has to make nice with dictators to allay their fears that we are out to replace them.
She admires the good intentions of human rights intervention, ignoring the results. She says Obama had some success without citing a single instance. He has apologized for Libya, but needs many more apologies. She says Obama foreign policy has had some success, with no mention of a single instance. Like many progressives, she confuses good intentions with performance. Democracy spreading by well intentioned humanitarian intervention has resulted in a succession of open ended war or anarchy.
The shorter histories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Venezuela are much more informative, although more a warning against socialism than right wing fascism. Viktor Orban in Hungary is another reaction to socialism.
Albright ends the book with a forlorn hope that we need a Lincoln or Mandela, exactly what our two party dictatorship will not generate as it yields ever worse and worse candidates for our democracy to vote upon, even as our great society utopia generates ever more power for weak presidents to spend our money and continue wrong headed foreign policy.
The greatest danger to the USA is not fascism, but of excessively poor leadership continuing our slow slide to the bottom.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Apr 4, 2019 12:11:22 PM | link
The posting ended with
"But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences."
I believe that the current GLOBAL elites do understand exactly what they are doing and the potential consequences to the ongoing existence of private finance.
The war that is being waged is an attempt to keep private finance in charge of our world and they are losing I am pleased to report
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
Sean says: April 4, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT 300 Words I am not aware that anyone has ever considered Syria a crucial centre of world power, and while Ukraine was once thought of that way back in the days of Halford Makinder, I am afraid now they are both worthless.
I think you should distinguish between the deep state and the elite. The former are primarily concerned with US primacy. The elite are economic internationalists and focused on profit. Carter instituted a decades long policy mandating officials to help trade with China under the influence of Brzezinski's Russophobia.
They fundamentally miscalculated the ability of China to rapidly rival the West in productive capacity. Now the Western economies are dependant on a Keynesian and financially frail China going all out for future growth. The elite are in no position to lower the boom on China, and I think that is the last thing they intend.
China is a milch cow for the global capitalists, they are dependant on China succeeding.
Everyone is in favour of free trade if they think they will be successful in it, so the Chinese enthusiasm is no evidence of altruism or the absence of a venal elite in their country. Free trade allocating reward based on merit will benefit the American elite through their Chinese investments, but it does not sound like good news for the American worker.
If there is pressure for something to stop China it will not just be coming from the rust belt. The deep state plus the working class versus the financial elite is already ongoing; a struggle to control American policy as the wealth generated by China is reaped by Western financial elites and America falls to the status of second rate power.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
Digital Samizdat , says: April 4, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT@Andrei Martyanov All true. And one more point: compared with China, how much of the present-day US economy is even real – i.e., results in the production of actual goods that people might want, as opposed to dodgy financial/insurance transactions which may add a lot of dollar value to GDP, but don't create anything real that enhances the quality of life for the masses?
Economist used to have a joke: every time you break your leg, you increase GDP. First, you gotta pay the hospital (transaction), then you gotta pay your doctor (another transaction), then you gotta pay for your case (yet another transaction). All those transactions make it look like 'wealth' is being created, because they are–numerically, at least–increasing per capita GDP. But still: wouldn't you and the country actually be better off if you hadn't broken your leg in the first place?
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
MEFOBILLS , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm GMT
China, emerged as an "honest broker" among countries in the Middle East, and used the free market system to improve relations with its trading partners and grow its economy. The IC appears to find fault with Russia because it is using the system the US created to better advantage than the US.
Industrial Capitalism is the system China and Russia are running on. America briefly had this system from 1868 to 1912; it was called the American System of Economy (Henry Clay/Peshine Smith).
This type of economy uses state credit (from Treasury not banks) and injects it into industry. Industry then grows, and people's welfare is increased through improved productivity.
Finance Capitalism came out of London and hopped to America, especially post WW2. At the same time Atlantacism and Rim theory hopped. America still runs under this BIZWOG (Britain Israel World Government) matrix. This matrix depends on finance capitalism.
Finance Capitalism is the placing of EXISTING ASSETS onto a private bank ledger, to then hypothecate said assets into new bank credit. For example, a ships bill of lading may be used to create new bank credit, or existing homes are put on double entry ledger to make housing bubbles.
The closer analogs to China and Russian economy are American System of Economy, not the current American BIZWOG finance capital. The historical analogs would also be Canada 1938-1974, when Canada had a sovereign economy. Canada post 1974 was converted to finance capitalism and now are debt laden and suffering like the rest of the west.
Kaiser's Germany used industrial capitalism then Japan's Manchurian Railroad Engineers copied it for Japan. Mussolini in Italy copied parts of it, and NSDAP in Germany resurrected Frederick List and the Kaiser's methods.
Finance Capital out of wall street funded the Bolsheviks in what amounted to a looting operation of Russia. It is any wonder that finance capitalism found succor with communism since they are both pyramid schemes?
Rim Theory, Atlantacism, Finance Capitalism, and Brzezinsky's chessboard are part of the same thing, an excuse matrix for gobbling up the world into one double entry private bank ledger, to then benefit a special (((usury))) finance class of plutocrats.
The "markets" that China and Russia operate on are those of industrial capitalism, using state credit. China has four large state banks, and they often cancel debt instruments (housed in the state bank) to then effectively put debt free money into their economy. Russia injects gold into their Central Bank Reserves, to then emit Rubles. Both China and Russia inject into industry, their farm sectors, and other sectors to get a desired output to help their people, not put them into debt servitude.
The BIZWOG matrix will collapse, it is anti-logos and hence against the natural order. It is on the wrong side of history.
Apr 03, 2019 | www.commondreams.org
Imagine this situation: Your country has had a military setback in a war that was supposed to be over after a few months of "shock and awe." Because of that war, it has lost the goodwill and prestige of much of the international community.
The national debt has grown to staggering size. Citizens complain bitterly about the government, especially the legislative branch, for being a bunch of do-nothings working solely for themselves or for special interest groups. In fact, the political scene has pretty much lost its center -- moderates are attacked by all sides as the political discourse becomes a clamor of increasingly extreme positions.
It seems there are election campaigns going on all the time, and they are increasingly vicious. The politicians just want to argue about moral issues -- sexuality, decadent art, the crumbling family and the like -- while pragmatic matters of governance seem neglected.
Sound familiar? That society was Germany of the 1920s -- the ill-fated Weimar Republic. But it also describes more and more the political climate in America today.
Germans were worried about the future of their country. They suffered from all sorts of terror, as assassinations, coup attempts and crime pulled their society apart. The left blamed the right; the right blamed the left, and the political center simply dried up.
To get themselves out of the mess, Germans might have demanded government that carefully mended fences with its allies and enemies; one that judiciously hammered out compromises among the various political parties and sought the middle path.
But we know that didn't happen. In Germany of the 1920s, as now in 21st-century America, appeals to reason and prudence were no way to get votes in times of crisis. Much more effective were appeals to the anger and fear of the German people. A politician could attract more votes by criticizing the government than by praising it, and a vicious negative campaign was usually more effective than a clean one. One of the problems of democracy is that voters aren't always rational, and appeals like these could be very effective.
As usually happens in times of distress, the Germans became a people for whom resolve was valued more highly than prudence, daring more than caution, and righteousness more than discretion. In many ways, they were a people not so different from today's Americans.
What was needed, the Germans thought, was a strong leader -- someone who would put an end to politics as usual; most of all, someone who could unite all the divisions in Germany and dispel the clamor. They found that leader in Adolf Hitler, and for a time, most Germans were glad they did.
Of course, America is not 1920s Germany, and we are certainly not on the verge of a fascist state. But neither have we experienced the deep crises the Germans faced. The setbacks of the Iraq/Afghan war are a far cry from the devastating loss of the First World War; we are not considered the scourge of the international community, and we don't need wheelbarrows full of money to buy a loaf of bread. But even in these relatively secure times, we have shown an alarming willingness to choose headstrong leadership over thoughtful leadership, to value security over liberty; to accept compromises to constitutional principles, and to defy the opinion of the rest of the world.
How would we react if things got worse? If we were to lose the war in Iraq, leaving a fundamentalist regime in place; if we endured several more major terrorist attacks; if the economy collapsed; if fuel prices reached $7 per gallon -- would we cling even more fiercely to our democratic ideals? Or would we instead demand greater surveillance, more secret prisons, more arrests for "conspiracies" that amount to little more than daydreams, and more quashing of dissent?
Our history suggests the latter. We Americans have had our flights from democracy -- the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, the Red Scare and the McCarthy era, Watergate -- but we have always pulled back from the brink and returned to normal.
The time is coming for us to pull back from the brink again. This must happen before the government gets so strong that it can completely demonize opposition, gain complete control of the media, and develop dossiers on all its citizens. By then it will be too late, and we'll have ourselves to blame.
Brian E. Fogarty, a sociology professor at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, is the author of " War, Peace, and the Social Order ."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comOriginally from: Forget 'Creepy' - Biden Has A Major Ukraine Problem Joe Biden appears to have made a major tactical error last year when he bragged to an audience of foreign policy experts how he threatened to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy if their top prosecutor, General Viktor Shokin, wasn't immediately fired, according to The Hill 's John Solomon.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill
"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.
" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.
Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden's account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day . Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine's parliament obliged by ending Shokin's tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. - The Hill
And why would Biden want the "son of a bitch" fired?
In what must be an amazing coincidence, the prosecutor was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm - which Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of directors.
The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member.
U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill
The Hill 's Solomon reviewed the general prosecutor's file for the Burisma probe - which he reports shows Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.
And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill:
Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role. They noted that:
- Hunter Biden's appointment to the board was widely reported in American media;
- The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden's work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor's case against Burisma;
- Great Britain took very public action against Burisma while Joe Biden was working with that government on Ukraine issues;
- Biden's office was quoted, on the record, acknowledging Hunter Biden's role in Burisma in a New York Times article about the general prosecutor's Burisma case that appeared four months before Biden forced the firing of Shokin. The vice president's office suggested in that article that Hunter Biden was a lawyer free to pursue his own private business deals.
President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 , after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine's Crimea territory.
Key questions for 'ol Joe:
Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden's firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?
Read the rest of Solomon's report here .
Chupacabra-322 , 58 minutes ago linkSon of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link
Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse.
Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now!
Amazing that all 3 of them are still alive and that "Song Bird" McCain (#4) was allowed to die from his brain cancer instead of joining them or being dismembered and put on display when he made these visit(s) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfsTcJCKDE ) along with General Vallely (#5)!!!
Taras Bulba , 1 hour ago
At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified.
CarifonianSeven, 2 hours ago
Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff.
Pernicious Gold Phallusy, 1 hour ago
Joe cheated his way through undergrad and law school. He would be unable to understand any of that.
whittler, 1 hour ago
What? You mean folks will finally care about little Hunter hiring Azov neo-Nazi fighters (oops! security I mean) to protect his fracking site just north of the 'troubles' in the eastern Ukraine? I'm sure they were working for free and that no Biden money was ever used to payoff (oops again! I mean pay the wages of) a bunch of Nazis (dang it again, I mean neo-Nazis, it sounds so much warmer and fuzzier when you add 'neo').
Creepy Joe and all D's agree, 'Nazi' = bad, neo-Nazi = warm, fuzzy and good; heck, they even like to kill Russians Russians Russians!!!
Cracker 16 , 1 hour ago
Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,
So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.
If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.
That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.
After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).
Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.
The jig, as they say, is up.
But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?
... ... ...
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zachary Smith , Apr 1, 2019 5:14:39 PM | 93 ">link
@ bevin #90But that doesn't bother Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and their mob. They think quarter by quarter. Immediate gratification is the name of their game. They know that "in the long run we are all dead". And they don't care what happens then.
Your viewpoint is the same as that of Jonathon Cook. He says "Russiagate" was a faction fight between two groups of the Power Elites.
One wanted to keep 'putting the lipstick on the pig' which is predatory Capitalism, and the other wants to let it all hang out and rape the planet NOW.
Just as there was a clueless "liberal" cheering group for Mueller, the Looters have a fan club among the "right". Both sets of the applauding groups are just puppets. And of course neither has recognized their true role in the unfolding dramas.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Apr 1, 2019 1:27:52 PM | link
Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average CitizensWhen the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | linkHere is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OTZachary Smith , Mar 30, 2019 10:07:37 PM | link
Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won
The take away quote
" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.
Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."
As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense@ psychohistorian #43
Thanks for the Taibbi link. I hadn't seen it, and found him to be in good form. I do think he ought to have spoken more about how bad Trump's Primary opponents were.
Most of those reporters were going to slant their stories the way their bosses wanted. Their jobs are just too nice to do otherwise. Getting Trump as Hillary's opponent had to have been a goal for the majority of them. He was the patsy who would become squished roadkill in the treads of The Most Experienced Presidential Candidate In History. More on that for people with strong stomachs:
What Hillary Clinton's Fans Love About Her 11/03/2016
Sample:Hillary Clinton is a knowledgeable, well-prepared, reasonable, experienced, even-tempered, hardworking candidate, while her opponent is a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who has been proven again and again to be a liar on matters big and small. There is no objective basis on which to equate Hillary Clinton to her opponent.The author had it half right. Turns out the voters knew quite a bit about Trump, and still preferred him to the Butcher of Libya.
Mar 22, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia.
Recently, Trump announced another big alliance with the vulture billionaire, Paul Singer, who, initially, was supposedly against him. It looks like the Trump big show continues.
The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration.
As Greg Palast told to Thom Hartmann:
Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico.
Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury.
He is against what Obama created, which is a system under Dodd–Frank, called 'living wills', where if a bank starts going bankrupt, they don't call the US treasury for bail-out. These banks go out of business and they are broken up so we don't have to pay for the bail-out. Singer wants to restore the system of bailouts because that's where he makes his money.
The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention.
Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'.
They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away.
Take a taste of Paul Singer from Wikipedia :
His political activities include funding the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and he has written against raising taxes for the 1% and aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. Singer is active in Republican Party politics and collectively, Singer and others affiliated with Elliott Management are "the top source of contributions" to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
A number of sources have branded him a "vulture capitalist", largely on account of his role at EMC, which has been called a vulture fund. Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, ]- through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. Singer's business model of purchasing distressed debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism, while Singer and EMC defend their model as "a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market's rules."
In 1996, Elliott bought defaulted Peruvian debt for $11.4 million. Elliott won a $58 million judgment when the ruling was overturned in 2000, and Peru had to repay the sum in full under the pari passu rule. When former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori was attempting to flee the country due to facing legal proceedings over human rights abuses and corruption, Singer ordered the confiscation of his jet and offered to let him leave the country in exchange for the $58 million payment from the treasury, an offer which Fujimori accepted. A subsequent 2002 investigation by the Government of Peru into the incident and subsequent congressional report, uncovered instances of corruption since Elliott was not legally authorized to purchase the Peruvian debt from Swiss Bank Corporation without the prior approval of the Peruvian government, and thus the purchase had occurred in breach of contract. At the same time, Elliott's representative, Jaime Pinto, had been formerly employed by the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance and had contact with senior officials. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Peruvian government paid Elliott $56 million to settle the case.
After Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2002, the Elliott-owned company NML Capital Limited refused to accept the Argentine offer to pay less than 30 cents per dollar of debt. With a face value of $630 million, the bonds were reportedly bought by NML for $48 million, with Elliott assessing the bonds as worth $2.3 billion with accrued interest. Elliott sued Argentina for the debt's value, and the lower UK courts found that Argentina had state immunity. Elliott successfully appealed the case to the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that Elliott had the right to attempt to seize Argentine property in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, before 2011, US courts ruled against allowing creditors to seize Argentine state assets in the United States. On October 2, 2012 Singer arranged for a Ghanaian Court order to detain the Argentine naval training vessel ARA Libertad in a Ghanaian port, with the vessel to be used as collateral in an effort to force Argentina to pay the debt. Refusing to pay, Argentina shortly thereafter regained control of the ship after its seizure was deemed illegal by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Alleging the incident lost Tema Harbour $7.6 million in lost revenue and unpaid docking fees, Ghana in 2012 was reportedly considering legal action against NML for the amount.
His firm... is so influential that fear of its tactics helped shape the current 2012 Greek debt restructuring." Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, Peru-through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. In 2004, then first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Osborn Krueger denounced the strategy, alleging that it has "undermined the entire structure of sovereign finance."
we wrote that " Trump's rhetoric is concentrated around a racist delirium. He avoids to take direct position on social matters, issues about inequality, etc. Of course he does, he is a billionaire! Trump will follow the pro-establishment agenda of protecting Wall Street and big businesses. And here is the fundamental difference with Bernie Sanders. Bernie says no more war and he means it. He says more taxes for the super-rich and he means it. Free healthcare and education for all the Americans, and he means it. In case that Bernie manage to beat Hillary, the establishment will definitely turn to Trump who will be supported by all means until the US presidency. "
Yet, we would never expect that Trump would verify us, that fast.
Mar 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.orgAn article published in the Israeli news blog +972 on 19 November 2018 posed the question: Why does the right keep winning elections in Israel? The answer offered was "because Israelis are right wing." Simple enough, and apparently, quite true. The article estimates that over half of Israeli Jews think of themselves as "right wing." Self-defined centrists are about 25 percent, and those Israeli Jews who still cling to "leftist" ideals are now only about 15 percent of the population. The remainder are non-committal.
This movement to the right is often blamed on the Palestinians, but that is largely an evasion. As the story goes, it was the Second Intifada (occurring from late 2000 to early 2005) that so scared a majority of Israeli Jews that it " led to a migration of left-wingers to the political center [and] centrists [to the] right, causing the percentage of Jewish right-wingers to drift upward over the decade." While the "migration to the right" has certainly taken place, it is better understood as follows: under Palestinian pressure for democratic reforms and justice, along with corresponding resistance to oppression, Israeli Jews who could not face the prospect of real democracy had nowhere politically to go than to the right -- what should properly be described as the racist right. And, so they went. From this point on there was no more obfuscation -- Israeli "security" is now clearly a stand-in phrase for the maintenance of Israeli Jewish domination over non-Jews.
Enter the Fascists
The present shifting about on Israel's political landscape prior to its April 2019 elections confirms this basically rightwing racist scene. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that Israel is "the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people ." A minority of Israeli Jews might denounce such racism, but Israel's recently adopted nationality law states that the right of national self-determination in Israel is "unique to the Jewish people." And whether the "left" acknowledges the fact or not, this law is in perfect sync with Zionist ideology.
It should be noted that the prime minister's personal preference is not for "the Jewish people" as a whole. Indeed, in his eyes, if you are an anti-Zionist Jew you are an anti-Semitic Jew -- whatever that might mean. The prime minister is more comfortable with Jews of the fascist, racist right, with whom he has so much in common. This is the kind of Jew he has politically allied with. What in the world is a fascist Jew? Well, in this case, it is someone who uses violent methods to realize the logical consequences of Zionism -- if Israel is a "Jewish state," then non-Jews must go. How they ultimately go has been left an open-ended question, though Israel is engaged in a continuous effort to destroy Palestinian infrastructure . Fascist Jews advocate expulsion of all Palestinians and sometimes engage in direct violence -- akin to classic pogroms -- in an effort to fulfill this goal.
You might shake your head in wonderment at the notion of Jewish fascists, but they have always been an important element in Zionist history. You can trace their activity from Vladimir Jabotinsky and his notion of an "iron wall" (1923) that would force the Palestinians to acquiesce in Zionist domination, right up to Meir Kahane, an advocate of expulsion , and his Kach Party (1971-1990). It is Kahane's followers who now are political partners of Netanyahu.The "migration" of Israeli Jews to the right has narrowed the gap between the majority of "ordinary" citizens and the fascists. So, back into favor come the Kahanists.
What is an Israeli Centrist?
Nor should we look for anti-racist activism among the 25 percent who see themselves as centrists. Presently, those who seek to capture the centrist vote are Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Gantz is former chief-of-staff and a man who is being sued for war crimes. He is leader of the Israeli Resilience Party (Hosen Israel). That party has allied with Yair Lapid, a former TV celebrity, and his There is a future Party (Yesh Atid).
Both of these politicians call themselves "new centrists" and concentrate their platforms on "socio-economic issues such as the cost of living." However, when it comes to the Palestinians, neither of them are interested in a democratic Israel that would afford non-Jews equal rights -- nothing particularly "new" here for "centrists." Gantz is the classic military maven so prevalent in Israeli politics. Here is his view of where "resilience" should take Israel relative to the Palestinians: "The Jordan Valley will remain our eastern security border," Gantz declared. "We will maintain security in the entire Land of Israel we will not allow the millions of Palestinians living beyond the separation fence to endanger our security and our identity as a Jewish state." For someone who is campaigning on the theme that, under its present government, " Israel has lost its way ," Gantz's intentions in this regard are remarkably similar to those of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Yair Lapid's position on the Palestinians is little different from that of Gantz. He says that "we need to separate from the Palestinians," as if Israeli Jews haven't been doing just that for the past 71 years. He goes on to demand that all issues of security have to "stay in Israel's hands," there is no such thing as a "right of return," and Jerusalem will not be divided into two capitals.
On the Palestinian issue -- the one that now divides Israel from increasing numbers of citizens in the democratic world -- there is little difference between the Israeli rightists and the centrists except that the latter do not publicly talk about the forceful expulsion.
That approximately 85 percent of Israeli Jews should end up unwilling to grant equal rights to the 20 percent of Palestinians who are their segregated neighbors; that they should support, or at best not act against the relentless, vicious process of illegal settlement in the Occupied Territories; and finally that they should react to Palestinian resistance to Zionist oppression by "migrating" to the right, is both tragic and predictable.
It must be realized that any country that allows racism to rule its public sphere cannot pass itself off as a democracy. It is simply a contradiction. The Zionist experiment looking toward a democratic Jewish state might have gone differently if it had been tried somewhere devoid of a non-Jewish population (like the moon), but then, in the end, the Zionists became obsessed with Palestine, fell in with the colonial mentality still prevalent during the first half of the twentieth century, and have never progressed beyond it.
To this point, I beg the reader's patience as I repeat an argument I have made more than once in past analyses: It is impossible to create a state exclusively for one people (call them people A) in a territory already populated by another people (call them people B) without the eventual adoption of racist policies by A and eventual resistance on the part of B. Under such circumstances, for A, there can be no real security, nor can there be anything like a healthy national culture.
Indeed, unless a majority of Israeli Jews are willing to go the route of South Africa and renounce their program of discriminatory dominion over millions of non-Jews, they have nowhere else to go but head-first into the hell that is the racist right. With 85 percent sharing, or at least acquiescing, in the views of Netanyahu, Gantz, and Lapid, the chances for redemption do not look good. In fact, it is probably the case that the "light unto the nations" has long since gone out.
Mar 21, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com
Dee 3 hours ago
"President typically take pains to ensure the Pentagon is being run by Senate confirmed official" .Presidents typically don't put incompetent people in cabinet positions or give his kids top security level clearances when they have no need and no experience that requires one...well, no one has accused trump of being presidential or typical - ever
Dianna 4 hours ago
The swamp is now the " Trump Cesspool."
Nonconservative 3 hours ago
Hey deplorables....hows that swamp draining going?...ANYWORD on that great big beautiful health plan with lower premiums and keeping my own doctor?....what about infrastructure?...any idea when the roads in every city will be driveable again...or did we spend all the money from the US govt. paying Trump to stay at his own hotels?........hello?......hello deplorables?......anybody home????
Pierre Escargot 1 hour ago>
Pentagon to probe if Shanahan used office to help Boeing. Why not? Robert Mueller's and James Comey turned government service into self-service.
I wrote in 2010 at SST on the characteristics and dangers associated with narcissistic leadership. "Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou chronicles the rise and fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley healthcare startup founded and run by Elizabeth Holmes, a card carrying narcissist if ever I saw one.
This book, in my opinion, paints such a detailed and comprehensive picture of the way these creatures operate that I thought it worthwhile to bring it to the attention of SST members who may doubt my warnings of the dangers of allowing such folk near the levers of power in business and, worse, Government.
I read this book over two nights and it unfortunately brought back my own experiences of working for a narcissist to the point of causing sleeplessness and indigestion.
Under the direction of the charismatic Holmes, Theranos burned through some $900 million in investors funds before being found out in 2015. Their blood testing business was a sham that endangered patients. The company's key business strengths were the "reality distortion field" Elizabeth Holmes projected over investors and directors and the twin weapons of secrecy and fear they wielded over their employees.
Disbelievers my argue that start up companies sometimes require desperate measures to stay afloat and that you cannot make an omelette, etc. etc. However the pattern of behavior at Theranos was ingrained and consistent - "an orchestrated litany of lies" as a judge has said in another matter.
If you wish to perhaps be a little forearmed against the day that you perhaps must engage with one of these creatures it would be well to understand the cautionary tale of Theranos. https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Blood-Secrets-Silicon-Startup/dp/152473165X https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/05/walrus-on-narcissistic-leaders-.html
jnewman , 3 hours agoThis is a similar personality type with a different set of risks. These people are common in finance and medicine: https://www.theatlantic.com...Godfree Roberts , 8 hours agoIn the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout, "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow–but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."
My study of Chinese government revealed an important truth -- one that explains much about that country's rapid rise: they find our amateur, promise-driven, personality-based governance repulsive. They would no more vote for amateur politicians than for amateur brain surgeons. To them charm, good looks, quick wits and rhetorical skill signify shallowness, instability and glibness. Altruistic politicians have been fundamental to Chinese governance for two millennia.
Their political stars have always been experienced, scholarly, altruistic problem-solvers chosen on merit after decades of testing.
In 1000 AD, during our Dark Ages, with just one scholar-official for every eight thousand citizens, China was harmonious, technologically advanced and prosperous. Emperors and dynasties came and went while loyal, disciplined–often courageous–civil servants lived far from family, serving in remote regions under terrible conditions.
Confucius' moral meritocracy and the rigors of the job discouraged sociopaths and officials integrity, efficiency and entrepreneurial energy made China the most advanced civilization on earth.
So highly do the Chinese esteem their best politicians that they deified one whose legacy, a water diversion project, has repaid its capital investment every twenty-four hours for 2,270 years. Millions visit his shrine, which is built overlooking his masterpiece, every year to offer incense and sincere thanks.
The altruistic tradition is remembered in a Singapore Government White Paper, "The concept of government by honorable men who have a duty to do right for the people and who have their trust and respect fits us better than the Western idea that government power should be as limited as possible."
And would-be members of China's Communist Party take an oath to "Bear the people's difficulties before the people and enjoy their fruits of their labors after the people". They often fail, obviously, but at least they've got something to shoot for–and a standard that the other 1.3 billion non-members can hold them to.
 The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout Ph.D.
 The Doctrine of the Mean
Mar 18, 2015 | Russia Insider
Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy... European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
The avalanche of commentary since the Ukrainian crisis erupted a year ago has overshadowed any reflections on the immense forgone benefits (technically speaking, the "opportunity cost") of what might have been if Washington had been working for peace and stability instead of war and chaos.
Imagine the following: After the unraveling of the Communist bloc, Europe, in partnership with the US, had forged a new security system in which Russia was treated as a valued and equal partner – one whose interests were respected. Russia, decimated by a century of wars and Communist imperialism, would doubtless have eagerly reciprocated in kind. Most countries of the former Soviet Union would have then proceeded to build a new Eurasian structure of which Russia would have served as the natural umbrella, given its long-standing interaction with the region's diverse nations and cultures.
Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire).
The rising Far Eastern economic powerhouse, with the world's most populous country, China, at its centre, would have linked up with the world's largest economy (the EU). An enormous Eurasian production and financial bloc would have been created – one that drew primarily on secure supplies of Russian energy and other natural resources. Untold investment opportunities would have opened up in Siberia and Russia's Far East as well as in Central Asia. Hundreds of millions of people in Eurasia and elsewhere would have been lifted out of poverty. And, not least, the EU would have been refashioned as an integral part of the dynamic trans-Eurasian economy (rather than as a German-centred empire, as appears to be the case today), thereby making a major contribution to overcoming the ongoing global economic depression.
All of this was not to be, however. Why not? First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way?
European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule".
Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine.
And in what is eerily reminiscent of Stalinist "bloc discipline", the EU/NATO nomenclature was ordered to implement the absurd strategy of severing the Russian economy from the EU. For their part, the cowering Eurocrats willingly obliged by imposing sanctions on Russia that, perversely, have had a negative impact on their own economies (but, let it be stressed, not that of the US). No questions raised and no public debate on the wisdom of such a strategy permitted.
Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all.
This abuse and humiliation of Europe is unparalleled. The continent that gave the world the wonders of the Antiquity, modern democracy, the industrial revolution and what is arguably the greatest tradition of philosophy, fine arts and classical music is being bullied by its oversized offspring. Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. War and extermination camps are etched into the European DNA. America "knows" about them only from afar – and, not least, from the Hollywood entertainment industry.
Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. The so-called European "leaders" are colluding with them in plunging Europe into the abyss and thereby risking nuclear confrontation.
America, too, is a loser
But this is not just a tragedy for Europe and Eurasia. We are also witnessing the wilful misrule of America and, by default, of the entire West. Indeed, Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy. The "democracy-promoters" running Washington's foreign-policy apparatus apparently do not understand that America has nothing to lose and a lot to gain from the Eurasian economic project: the rising tide of global economic welfare would lift everyone's boats, including its own. Why should it matter to Washington if the rising tide comes from other quarters beyond its control?
Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. If it continues to support such forces against Russia, united Europe will lose not only its backbone but its very soul. The moral consequences of this loss will be enormous and could lead to the precipitous erosion of Western democracy.
The 'autocrats' want to work with the West, not against it
US and EU leaders believe that the Russian and Chinese "autocrats" are out to destroy the West because the latter hate freedom (as George W. Bush might have put it). And hence, they argue, the autocrats must be stopped in their tracks. The simple truth is that Western leaders are too blinkered to understand that far from desiring to destroy the West, Russia and China want it to prosper so that they can work with it to everyone's benefit. Having enjoyed a privileged position over several centuries and having attained unprecedented prosperity in recent decades, the West simply cannot understand that the rest of humanity has no interest in fomenting the "clash of civilizations" but rather craves peace and stability so that it can finally improve its economic lot.
Perhaps, however, all is not yet lost. It is still possible that reason – and economic forces – will prevail and force the West to correct the errors of its ways. What we need, perhaps, more than ever is the ability to step out of the box, question our fundamental assumptions (not least about Russia and China) and find the courage to change policies that have proved disastrous. After all, critical thought, dispassionate analysis and the ability to be open to new ideas is what made the West so successful in the past. If we are to thrive once again in the future, we must resurrect these most valuable and unsurpassed assets.
Vlad Sobell teaches political economy in Prague and Berlin Europeans Look On as US Sows Discord on the Continent Wed, Nov 2
What I cannot understand is the naive belief that elected politicians would act in the interests of those whom they represent. Under what other circumstances do we see human beings act with disinterested altruism? So why would a bunch of people who have been ruthlessly selected for selfishness, arrogance, and callousness - a bunch of carefully chosen psychopaths, if you will - behave in that way?
'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'.
- Paul Craig Roberts
"Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy".
Not only it's foreign policy but it's domestic policy as well. Let's call it for what it really is. The Wall Street/Corporate policy which is the driving force behind behind everything the US does
"We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
"When we're done with the U.S. it will shrivel up and blow away." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
The welfare or future of the American people are not part of the equation.
Mar 16, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com
Ignored says: 03/16/2019 at 12:42 am
Iron Mike Asked:
"If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate."
Energy is the economy, The economy cannot function without energy. Thus its logical that a decline in energy supply will reduce the economy. The only way for this not to apply is if there are efficiency gains that offset the decline. But at this point the majority of cost effective efficiency gains are already in place. At this point gains become increasing expensive with much smaller gains (law of diminishing returns). Major infrastructure changes like modernizing rail lines take many decades to implement and also require lots of capital. Real capital needed will be difficult to obtain do to population demographics (ie boomers dependent on massive unfunded entitlement & pensions).
Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019).
My guess is that global economy will wipe saw in the future as demographics, resource depletion (including Oil) and Debt all merge into another crisis. Gov't will act with more cheap and easy credit (since there is no alterative TINA) as well as QE\Asset buying to avoid a global depression. This creating a wipesaw effect that has already been happening since 2000 with Boom Bust cycles. This current cycle has lasted longer because the Major central banks kept interest rates low, When The Fed started QT and raising rate it ended up triggering a major stock market correction In Dec 2018. I believe at this point the Fed will no longer seek any further credit tightening that will trip the economy back into recession. However its likely they the global economy will fall into another recession as consumers & business even without further credit tighting by CB (Central Banks) Because they've been loading up on cheap debt, which will eventually run into issues servicing their debt. For instance there are about 7M auto loans in delinquency in March of 2019. Stock valuations are largely driven by stock buybacks, which is funded by debt. I presume companies are close to debt limit which is likely going to prevent them from purchase more stock back.
Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. I think once all of remaining independent Oil Exports are seized that is when the major powers start fighting each other. However is possible that some of the proxy nations (Pakastan\India),(Israel\Iran), etc trigger direct war between the US, China, and Russia at any time.
Notice that the US is now withdrawing from all its major arms treaties, and the US\China\Russia are now locked into a Arms race. Nuclear powers are now rebuilding their nuclear capacity (more Nukes) and modernizing their deployment systems (Hypersonic, Very large MIRV ICBMS, Undersea drones, Subs, Bombers, etc.
My guess is that nations like the US & China will duke it out before collapsing into the next Venezuela. If my assessment is correct, The current state of Venezuela will look like the garden of Eden compared to the aftermath of a full scale nuclear war.
Currently the Doomsday clock (2019) is tied with 1953 at 2 minutes:
1953 was the height of the cold war. I presume soon the Doomsday clock will be reduced to less than 2 Minutes later this year, due to recent events in the past few weeks.
"the world's nuclear nations proceeded with programs of "nuclear modernization" that are all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons."
" The current international security situation -- what we call the "new abnormal" -- has extended over two years now. It's a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War, a state that features an unpredictable and shifting landscape of simmering disputes that multiply the chances for major military conflict to erupt."
Oct 09, 2016 | nypost.comJudge gives deadline for arguments relating to unsealing Jeffrey Epstein documents Documents related to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may be unsealed Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's deal with feds was illegal: judge Northam has only himself to blame In 2005, the world was introduced to reclusive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, friend to princes and an American president, a power broker with the darkest of secrets: He was also a pedophile, accused of recruiting dozens of underage girls into a sex-slave network, buying their silence and moving along, although he has been convicted of only one count of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Visitors to his private Caribbean island, known as "Orgy Island," have included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Stephen Hawking.
According to a 2011 court filing by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, she saw Clinton and Prince Andrew on the island but never saw the former president do anything improper. Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was a minor, a charge Buckingham Palace denies.
"Epstein lives less than one mile away from me in Palm Beach," author James Patterson tells The Post. In the 11 years since Epstein was investigated and charged by the Palm Beach police department, ultimately copping a plea and serving 13 months on one charge of soliciting prostitution from a 14-year-old girl, Patterson has remained obsessed with the case.
"He's a fascinating character to read about," Patterson says. "What is he thinking? Who is he?"
Patterson's new book, "Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal That Undid Him, and All the Justice That Money Can Buy," is an attempt to answer such questions. Co-authored with John Connolly and Tim Malloy, the book contains detailed police interviews with girls who alleged sexual abuse by Epstein and others in his circle. Giuffre alleged that Epstein's ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell, abused her. Ghislaine Maxwell has denied allegations of enabling abuse.
Epstein has spent the bulk of his adult life cultivating relationships with the world's most powerful men. Flight logs show that from 2001 to 2003, Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's private plane, dubbed "The Lolita Express" by the press, 26 times. After Epstein's arrest in July 2006, federal tax records show Epstein donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation that year.
Epstein was also a regular visitor to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, and the two were friends. According to the Daily Mail, Trump was a frequent dinner guest at Epstein's home, which was often full of barely dressed models. In 2003, New York magazine reported that Trump also attended a dinner party at Epstein's honoring Bill Clinton.
Last year, The Guardian reported that Epstein's "little black book" contained contact numbers for A-listers including Tony Blair, Naomi Campbell, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg and Richard Branson.
In a 2006 court filing, Palm Beach police noted that a search of Epstein's home uncovered two hidden cameras. The Mirror reported that in 2015, a 6-year-old civil lawsuit filed by "Jane Doe No. 3," believed to be the now-married Giuffre, alleged that Epstein wired his mansion with hidden cameras, secretly recording orgies involving his prominent friends and underage girls. The ultimate purpose: blackmail, according to court papers.