Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,"  ~Michael Ledeen  (an early 1990s speech.[27])

News Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism New American Militarism Super Imperialism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA America and the Neoliberal Imperial Project American Exceptionalism
The Grand Chessboard Wolfowitz Doctrine "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism US Department of Imperial Expansion Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Looting pays dividends to empire
Technological imperialism War and Venture Capitalism Predator state Civil war in Ukraine Media domination strategy Transnational Corporations never let a good crisis go to waste  
Republics warlike and unscrupulous Empires Then and Now - PaulCraig Disaster capitalism The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Humor Etc

Note: Partially based on Wikipedia article American imperialism (which avoids discussion neoliberalism as the "imperial method used for the building modern US empire).


Introduction

The "American Exceptionalism" is geo-political trap the USA now experiencing. This is a unique brand of nationalism and after September 2001 thee jaws of American imperialism: intelligence agencies, military and financial oligarchy are too tight for the country to leave this (potentially self-destructing) path. So it looks like the USA will continues its international power projection and unique financial imperialism in foreseeable future no matter what are internal costs. Leon Trotsky saying is fully applicable to the current decline of the American imperialism, the process started in 2008   "We will leave, but we will slam the door so hard the world will shudder," Trump presidency is clearly start of slamming the door.

Leopard can't change its spots. The same is true for the USA. It is metropolis for a large "neoliberal" empire governed from Washington and to some extent form London as the second most important financial center of the empire.  It is attached to neoliberalism and death of neoliberalism means the death of this empire.  The USA dominance is maintained mostly not by  force of arms but by installing and cultivating comprador elites ("regime change/color revolutions)  and financial mechanism, due to the role of dominant role of the USA Treasury, USA banks and two controlled by the USA international financial institutions (IMF and the World Bank)  in the world financial system. This mechanism involves in many cases converting and then keeping the country in the status of a debt  slave (to IMF or both IMF and private banks; Greece and Ukraine are notable examples)

Probably in a hundred years or so there will be discussion about whether the USA imperialism was totally harmful or at least somewhat beneficial for the vassal nations. Like discussion about Roman empire and British empire.

American imperialism is the economic/financial (as well as  military and cultural) dominance of the United States over other countries. It is based on neoliberalism, so it more properly can be called "neo-imperialism"

Neoliberalism and associated with it a new type of empire (the USA neoliberal empire)  was not an accident, it was a development that while started in the USA took roots in many countries, including such diverse as  Chile (Pinochet), GB (Thatcher), China (Deng Xiaoping was a neoliberal reformer),  Russia (Yeltsin gang), and many other countries. Since the late 1970s, a shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance has been adopted as mean to escape diminishing return on capital.  The oil crisis of the 1970s was probably another factor in the decision of the elite (and it was decision, a conscious choice, not an accident) to switch to neoliberal policies. 

"American empire" consists of vassal states and colonies. Vassal state that have some degree of independence is essentially a codename for NATO. All other states are colonies. An international financial elite (Davos crowd) which BTW consider the USA and NATO as a enforcer, a tool for getting what they want, much like Bolsheviks considered Soviet Russia to be such a tool. The last thing they are concerned is the well-being of American people.

During its history which starts around 70th (with the first major success the Pinochet's coup de etat in Chile, which was supported by the USA), neoliberalism undergone several stages of development:

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with) and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with)  and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

Also the neoliberal Pax Americana and the neoliberal version of global capitalism are increasingly contested by China, with the help of India, Russia, and Brazil (Carl Schmitt’s War on Liberalism The National Interest )

In different ways, Xi Jinping’s China, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Narendra Modi’s India represent an alternative economic model, in which free markets and state capitalism are blended under strong executive rule.

In other words 2008 signified the "end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end" of Washington Consensus, if we use Churchill's words. But in now way it means that period of neoliberal revolutions came ot the end. Inertia and the level of technological and cultural dominance of the USA and its allies (G7) is such that even after bankruptcy as an ideology, neoliberalism continues to its world expansion and claims new victims among "resource nationalists" or simply "not neoliberal enough" regimes. After 2008 Libya, Syria and Ukraine were successfully "regime changed". I think Ukraine, which was a neoliberal state even before EuroMaidan is a special case and much of EuroMaidan events were connected with the desire to "put Russia in place" by Washington (and its European poodles) as well as century old Germany desire to expand its market and dominance into Ukraine.   

If we assume that Marxism as a political philosophy was dead around 1960-1970 when it became evident that working class does not represent the new dominant class able to take power and govern in a new social system as well as the fact that Communist Party political dominance is unable to secure higher standard of living for people then advanced capitalist societies,  and never will, and that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  is applicable to the USSR even more, not less that to any Western country. Still it took 20 years for the USSR to collapse after the USA elite bought part of The USSR nomenclature and organized a quite coup installing puppet neoliberal Yeltsin regime (sold as a "victory of democracy" to lemmings by Western propaganda machine). Using neoliberal advisors from Harvard (aka "Harvard mafia") it instituted "shock therapy" which instantly pushed 90% of population of the  xUSSR region into object poverty very and also enriched beyond imagination few multinationals who were will full support of Yeltsin regime to steal assets and natural resources for pennies on dollar (using Russian fifth column as an intermediary). Essentially looting of the USSR area was one of key factors which ensured recovery and quick growth of the USA economy in late 90th which was interrupted only by the dot-com crysy of 2000.

I would assume that neoliberalism is probably twice more resilient the communism, so 50-60 years since it became clear that the economic doctrine of neoliberalism is a pseudoscientific joke and its political doctrine is an eclectic mix masking financial slavery masked with the smokescreen of propaganda about "entrepreneur class" and "shareholder value"  the first sign of decay might be a reasonable estimate ot its eventual lifetime.  Much depends on the dynamics of the price of oil, as globalization and thus forces of neoliberalism are inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons. High prices or relative scarcity that affects transcontinental trade might damage neoliberalism and undermine the fifth column that support it in.

Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth", and neoliberalism financial scheme based on cheap credit. It might implode in the environment of slow, or close to zero growth.

That means that consistent price of oil, say, over 120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  entered the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is the largest consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and increase the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion. Or at least making it more difficult. The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require some cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

It is possible to lower the oil price, as happened at the end of 2014, but the question is how long this period will last. 

At this point ideology of neoliberalism as an ideology is completely discredited and its fake nature is evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is more dangerous, large part of middle class. It still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So only postulates of neoliberalism, especially as for free market absolutization, started to be questioned.  And partically revised (increased financial regulation is one example). This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring US and other International organization, unless it if convenient to them. But as Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas (Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine are recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country).

Still, unfortunately, Libya, Syria  and Ukraine, were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka white revolution") failed, events in Libya and Ukraine prove the neoliberalism sill can launch and win offensives (aka color revolutions). At the cost of plunging the country into economic and political chaos including civil war.  

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. The problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the obedient US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.  Now the US oligarchy has found itself in USSR nomenklatura shoes and eventually might be called to answer for their global actions which similar to Opium Wars of the British can be called Dollar Wars.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy, especially in developing countries,  and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact.

Standard of living was rising slowly and after 2008 mostly stopped to rise and started to detiorate reflecting higher energy prices and the level on indebtness of many countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc).   So the key promise of neoliberalism that "trickle down" from super rich will be enough to sustain better standard of living for all proved to be a confidence game.

It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (in other words as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

So far no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, as strong as G7 block with the USA as the head of the block. Like in 20th failure of neoliberalism led to rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing a far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franko regime in Spain.  The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating markets that was completely discredited by the crisis of 2008. Actually it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation that remembered this lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

Latin America, once paragon of a neoliberal revolution (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, etc), is now dominated by left-wing governments elected on explicitly anti-neoliberal platforms. Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is viable too. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

Nonetheless, that "neoliberalism in name only" is still a powerful global "brand" which the U.S. seeks to maintain at all costs for macro geopolitical reasons (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

Hegemony of the USA and its allies

The USA was and probably will remain the center of neoliberalism and firmly established as most important and the most powerful promoter of the doctrine (in some case, like with Serbia, Iraq and Libya, on the tips of bayonets).

After the dissolution of the USSR the US elite felt that "everything is permitted" and essentially started to pursue global Roman style imperial policy. The USA military forces are active over most of the globe: about 226 countries have US military troops, 63 of which host American bases, while only 46 countries in the world have no US military presence. This is a projection of military power that makes the Roman, British, and Soviet empires pale in comparison. In his 1919 essay, "The Sociology of Imperialisms," Joseph Schumpeter wrote of Rome during its years of greatest expansion.

There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest-why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted.

The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing-space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.*

As G. John Ikenberry, professor of geopolitics at Georgetown University noted in Foreign Affairs:

The new grand strategy [initiated by the Bush administration]…. begins with a fundamental commitment to maintaining a unipolar world in which the United States has no peer competitor. No coalition of great powers without the United States will be allowed to achieve hegemony. Bush made this point the centerpiece of American security policy in his West Point commencement address in June: "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenges-thereby making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace."

…The United States grew faster than the other major states during the decade [of the 1990s], it reduced military spending more slowly, and it dominated investment in the technological advancement of its forces. Today, however, the new goal is to make these advantages permanent-a fait accompli that will prompt other states to not even try to catch up. Some thinkers have described the strategy as "breakout," in which the United States moves so quickly to develop technological advantages (in robotics, lasers, satellites, precision munitions, etc.) that no state or coalition could ever challenge it as global leader, protector and enforcer ("America's Imperial Ambition," Foreign Affairs, October 2002).

Perhaps one of extreme expressions of this neo-Roman imperial policy became that book by The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is how Brzezinski views the (supposedly sovereign) nations of Central Asia (sited from Amazon review by "A Customer" Jan 3, 2002 as pawns in a greater game for geopolitical domination:

The quote "... the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (The Grand Chessboard p.40) is probably the most revealing. Just ponder the meaning of these statements in a post-9-11 world:

To most Americans the people of the world and other nations are just that -- people, just like us, with a right to self-determination. To Brzezinski, they are merely pawns on a chessboard. At the same time, despite the fact that the analogy are not perfect, Rome fell, Napoleon fell, Hitler fell, USSR fell. Countries with too aggressive foreign policy ultimately self-destruct, because they over-extend their own countries resources to the point when people wellbeing drops to the levels of some colonies. The USA have over million people with the security clearance. So in a way it is becoming a copy-cat of the USSR. And while the US military is busy fighting for oil interests all around the world, those wars were launched by borrowing money and it's unclear who will pay the bills.

Neoliberalism beginning as ideology start was pretty modest. It was never considered a "right" ideology, ideology for which people are ready to fight and die. It was just an "ideology of convenience", an eclectic mix of mutually incompatible and incoherent mosaic of various ideologies (including some ideas of Trotskyism and national socialism) that served as useful tool to counter communist ideology. This is the tress of Friedman pretty weak opus "Capitalism and Freedom" -- which can be considered to be close analog of Communist Manifesto for neoliberalism. It also was useful for fighting some Keynesian excesses. Only later it become favorite ideology of financial oligarchy.

So in fight against "Godless communism" which does not respect private property and used "all-powerful" state, it idealized private property ownership, the role of "free" (as in free shooting) market and stressed the necessity to control the size of the government. As a tools to fight communist ideology those were reasonably effective tools. But at some point this deeply flawed, but useful for the specific purpose framework went out of control and became the cult of the deified markets and explicitly stated the necessary of diminishing the role of the state to minimum to ensure the high level of inequality the new neoliberal elite strived for (note not optimizing for a given historical conditions and technology available, but unconditionally diminishing to the point of elimination). Reagan famous phase "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." is a perfect example of how to "Throw out the baby with the bath water". But the meaning is more sinister: it meant "throw out of the water middle class".

That happened when financial oligarchy understood that a tool created for fighting communism is perfectly suitable for fighting elements of "New Deal". And it proved to be pretty effective in dismantling of set of regulations of financial sector that were the cornerstone of "New Deal". That was a very smooth ride "deregulatory" ride until 2008. But after 2008 the USA (citadel of neoliberalism) faces the set of problems that at least on the surface look similar to the problem that USSR faced before its disintegration, although the USA still have much more favorable conditions overall and disintegration is not among the current threats. Among them:

Still there are important difference with Marxism: despite extremely flawed to the point of being anti-scientific neoliberal ideology is still supported by higher standard of living of population in selected Western countries (G7). If also can rely on five important factors:

  1. Military dominance of the USA and NATO. There are very few countries in the globe without explicit or implicit USA military presence.
  2. Financial dominance of USA and its allies. The role of dollar as world currency and the role of USA controlled global financial institutions such as World Bank and IMF
  3. Technological dominance of USA and G7. Continuing brain drain from "Third world" and xUSSR countries to G7 countries.
  4. Cultural dominance of the USA (although this is gradually diminishing as after 2008 countries started of assert their cultural independence more vigorously).
  5. Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

Military dominance of USA and NATO

The American society and the U.S. armaments industry today are different then it was when Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech (Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation) famously warned Americans to beware the "military-industrial complex." See also The Farewell Address 50 Years Later. The major opponent, the USSR left the world scene, being defeated in the cold war. That means that currently the USA enjoy world military dominance that reminds the dominance of Roman Empire.

The USA now is the world's greatest producer and exporter of arms on the planet. It spends more on armed forces than all other nations combined -- while going deeply into debt to do so.

The USA also stations over 500,000 troops, spies, contractors, dependents, etc. on more than 737 bases around the world in 130 countries (even this is not a complete count) at a cost of near 100 billions a year. The 2008 Pentagon inventory includes 190,000 troops in 46 nations and territories, and 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. In just Japan, the USA have 99,295 people who are either members of US forces or are closely connected to US. The only purpose is to provide control over as many nations as possible.

Funny but among other thing the Pentagon also maintain 234 golf courses around the world, 70 Lear Jet airplanes for generals and admirals, and a ski resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Military dominance of the USA and NATO were demonstrated during Yugoslavia bombing and then invasion of Iraq. It's clear the Yugoslavia bombing would be out of question if the USSR existed.

Neoliberalism and militarism

Under neoliberalism, markets are now fused with the logic of expansion and militarization is the most logical was of securing expansion, improving global positions, and the ordering of social relations in a way favorable to the transnational elite.

Under neoliberal regime the United States is not only obsessed with militarism, which is shaping foreign policy , but wars have become real extension of the politics, the force that penetrates almost every aspect of daily life. Support of wars became a perverted version of patriotism.

As Henry A. Giroux noted in his interview to Truth-out (Violence is Deeply Rooted in American Culture), paradoxically in the country of "advanced democracy" schools and social services are increasingly modeled after prisons. Four decades of neoliberal policies have given way to an economic Darwinism that promotes a politics of cruelty.

Police forces are militarized. Popular culture endlessly celebrating the spectacle of violence. The Darwinian logic of war and violence have become addictive, a socially constructed need. State violence has become an organizing principle of society that has become the key mediating force that now holds everyday life together. State violence is now amplified in the rise of the punishing state which works to support corporate interests and suppress all forms of dissent aimed at making corporate power accountable. Violence as a mode of discipline is now enacted in spheres that have traditionally been created to counter it. Airports, schools, public services, and a host of other public spheres are now defined through a militarized language of "fight with terrorism", the language of discipline, regulation, control, and order. Human relations and behaviors are dehumanized making it easier to legitimate a culture of cruelty and politics of disposability that are central organizing principles of casino capitalism.

The national news became a video game, a source of entertainment where a story gains prominence by virtue of the notion that if it bleeds it leads. Education has been turned into a quest for private satisfactions and is no longer viewed as a public good, thus cutting itself off from teaching students about public values, the public good and engaged citizenship. What has emerged in the United States is a civil and political order structured around the criminalization of social problems and everyday life. This governing-through-crime model produces a highly authoritarian and mechanistic approach to addressing social problems that often focuses on the poor and minorities, promotes highly repressive policies, and places emphasis on personal security, rather than considering the larger complex of social and structural forces that fuels violence in the first place.

The key reference on the topic is the book The New American Militarism (2005) by Andrew Bacevich. Here is one Amazon review:

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies.

" We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form.

It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

Financial dominance

With dollar role as the primary world reserve currency the USA still rides on its "Exorbitant privilege". But there are countervailing forces that diminish dollar importance, such a euro. Financial dominance under neoliberalism became the primary tool of ensuring the control over the nations. See Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism

US and Western banks dominate the globe with New York and London as two world financial centers.

Things little changed after 2008 despite the fact that the US economy in entered a deep debt crisis, which is amplified by the level of destruction of real economy by offshoring and outsourcing achieved under the umbrella of neoliberalism during previous four decades. While the USA remains the sole super power its imperial problems now reached such a level that they may start to affect the foreign policy. Troubles of organizing an invasion in Syria are probably symptomatic. It proved to be more difficult undertaking that similar invasion of Iraq a decade earlier.

Economic troubles have important side effect: the ideological dominance, achieved by the USA during 1989 till 2008 is now under attack. There are a lot of skeptic and in a way neoliberalism goes the way of Marxism with the major difference that there were probably some sincere followers of Marxism at least during the first 30 years of its development.

Centrality of transnational financial flows (including emerging countries debt) and financial oligarchy in neoliberal regime

Since the late 1970s, there was a radical shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance with the rapid growth since then of the share of financial profits in total corporate profits. Also reflective of this process of "financialisation of the Economy" was the explosive growth of private debt as a proportion of gross domestic product, and the piling of layers upon layers of claims with the existence of instruments like options, futures, swaps, and the like, and financial entities like hedge funds and structured investment vehicles.

With financialisation, the financial masturbation -- speculation directed on making money within the financial system, bypassing the route of commodity production, increasingly became the name of the game. Using Marxist terminology the general formula for capital accumulation, M-C-M', in which commodities are central to the generation of profits, was replaced by M-M', in which money simply begets more money with no relation to production.

This is related to the reason which brought on the financialization of the economy in the forefront: beginning with the sharp recession of 1974-75, the US economy entered a period of slow economic growth, high unemployment/underemployment and excess capacity. That happened after around 25 years of spectacular ascent following the second world war. So financialisation was thought a s a remedy to this "permanent stagnation" regime. And for a while it performed this function well, although it was done by "eating the host".

Finance under any neoliberalism-bound regime can be best understood as a form of warfare, and financial complex (typically large Western banks as locals are not permitted, unless specially protected by remnants of the nation state) as an extension of military-industrial complex. Like in military conquest, its aim is to gain control for occupying country of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute putting the country in debt and using dominance of dollar as world reserve currency. This involves dictating laws to vassal countries (imposing Washington consensus, see below) and interfering in social as well as economic planning using foreign debt and the necessity to service the foreign loans as a form of Gosplan.

The main advantage of neoliberalism in comparison with the similar practice of the past is the conquest is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight. Actually following s successful attack of neoliberalism and conquest of the country by neoliberal elite Russian economy was devastated more then during WWII, when Hitler armies reached banks of Volga river and occupies half of the country.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states alone, but by a cosmopolitan financial class and international financial institutions such as World bank and IMF with full support of major western banks serving as agencies of western governments. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.

Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial "Trojan horse" strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance profits via privatization and protect finance capital from the population to allow "the miracle of compound interest" to siphon most of the revenue out of the country. Some tiny share of this revenue is paid to compradors within the national elite. In good years such tactic keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow. This "paradise for rentiers" last until they eat into the core and cause deindustrialization and severe debt crisis. Eventually they do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Technological dominance

The globalist bloc of Western countries led by the USA achieved hegemony in the end of the twentieth century because it managed to become the center of technological progress and due to this acquired a commanding influence over industrial production and social life around the world, including the ability to provide rewards and impose sanctions. One or the reason of technical backwardness of the USSR just before the dissolution were technical sanctions imposed by the West via COCOM. As most of global corporations belong to G7 this lead to "natural" technological hegemony of this block. As Thatcher used to say "There is no alternatives", although she meant there is no alternatives to neoliberalism, not to Western technology from G7 nations. Only recently Asian countries started to challenge this status quo in some areas.

Global corporation managed to create a situation in which the same goods are used in most countries of the globe. Western brand names dominate. American and European airliners, Japanese, American and German cars, Korean and American smartphones, Chinese and American PCs, etc.

China became world factory and produces lion share of goods sold under Western brands.

Dominance in Internet and global communications

The debate about the USA dominance in internet and global communications reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL. The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower.

The USA has capabilities of intercepting of lion share of global internet traffic and with allies tries to intercept all the diplomatic communication during major conferences and trade talk in direct violation of Vienna protocols. Latin American countries were one of the recent victims of this activity during trade talks with the USA. There were reports about snooping on UN personnel communications in NYC.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don't currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here's why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the "Two to Three Hop" scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol)."

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

That includes industrial espionage:

EntropyNow:

Or industrial espionage?

Absolutely. See EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT report dated 11 July 2001 (Note it was before the 9/11 attack in the US).

7. Compatibility of an 'ECHELON' type communications interception system with Union law

7.1. Preliminary considerations
7.2. Compatibility of an intelligence system with Union law

7.2.1. Compatibility with EC law
7.2.2. Compatibility with other EU law

7.3. The question of compatibility in the event of misuse of the system for industrial espionage
7.4. Conclusion

EntropyNow -> StrawBear

The fact that they snoop on us all constantly, that's the problem. I agree that the indiscriminate surveillance is a problem. However, with such vast powers in the hands of private contractors, without robust legal oversight, it is wide open to abuse and interpretation. I believe we need to pull the plug and start again, with robust, independent, legal oversight, which respects fundamental international human rights laws In the US, the NDAA is a law which gives the government the right to indefinitely detain US citizens, without due process, without a trial, if they are suspected to be associated with 'terrorists'. Now define 'terrorism'?

Section 1021b is particularly worrying, concerning "substantial support." It is wide open to interpretation and abuse, which could criminalize dissent and even investigative journalism. See Guardian's excellent article by Naomi Wolf, 17 May 2012::

As Judge Forrest pointed out:

"An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so. In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more."

In an excellent episode of Breaking the Set Feb 7 2013 Tangerine Bolen (Founder and Director, Revolutiontruth) stated that 'Occupy London' was designated a 'terrorist group" officially. There are independent journalists and civil liberty activists being targeted by private cyber security firms, which are contractors for the DOD, they are being harassed and intimidated, threatening free speech and liberty for everyone, everywhere. As Naomi Wolf concludes:

"This darkness is so dangerous not least because a new Department of Homeland Security document trove, released in response to a FOIA request filed by Michael Moore and the National Lawyers' Guild, proves in exhaustive detail that the DHS and its "fusion centers" coordinated with local police (as I argued here, to initial disbelief), the violent crackdown against Occupy last fall.

You have to put these pieces of evidence together: the government cannot be trusted with powers to detain indefinitely any US citizen – even though Obama promised he would not misuse these powers – because the United States government is already coordinating a surveillance and policing war against its citizens, designed to suppress their peaceful assembly and criticism of its corporate allies."

MadShelley

It seems to me that potential terrorist threats come in two sorts: the highly organised and funded groups that could commit catastrophic destruction, and the local schmucks that are really just old-fashioned losers-with-a-grudge adopting an empowering ideology.

The first group would be immensely cautious with their communications, and fall outside this sort of surveillance. The second group, if Boston and Woolwich are any evidence, are not effectively detected by these measures.

It appears very clear to me that this is runaway state power, predictably and transparently deflected with cries of "terrorism". And, perhaps most worrying, that definition of terrorism is now as wide as the state requires. Anything that embarrasses or exposes the evils of our states, including rendition, torture, and all manner of appalling injustice, is classified as a matter of 'national security', which must not be exposed lest it aid the enemy.

I know Orwell's name gets tossed around too much... but Jesus! I really hope we're not bovine enough to walk serenely into this future.

General_Hercules

...The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower and moral authority for the rest of the time humanity has in this world.

All this muck is hurting bad. Obama is having a tough time from all sides. All the moralists think he is a villain doing everything he promised to change. All the secret society members think he is a clown who has spilled out every secret that was painstakingly put together over decades....

Cultural dominance

The temples of neoliberalism are malls and airports ;-). And they are build all over the glone is a very similar fashion. A drunk person accidentally transfered from New Jersey to, say Kiev and put in one of mjor malls can never tell the difference :-).

English became the major international language. Both language of technology and commerce. Much like Latin was before.

In developing countries goods are sold at considerable premium (up to 100%) but generally everything that can be bought in the USA now can be bought say in Kiev. Of course affordability is drastically different, but for elite itis not a problem. That create another opportunity for the top 1% to enjoy very similar, "internationalized" lifestyle all over the globe.

Hollywood films dominate world cinemas. American computer games dominate gaming space. In a way the USA culturally is present in any country. It was amazing how quickly remnants of communist ideology were wipes out in the xUSSR countries (Globalization, ethnic conflict and nationalism Daniele Conversi - Academia.edu):

Contrary to the globalists or ideologues of globalization (Steger 2005), both Marxists and liberals have highlighted the ' pyramidal ' structure underlying globalization. This metaphor applies well to cultural dissemination.

An elite of corporate, media, and governmental agencies sits at the pyramid' s top level, small regional intermediary elites sit immediately below, while the overwhelming majority of humans are pushed well down towards the pyramid' s bottom. In the realm of ' global culture ' , this looks like a master-servant relationship with much of the world at the boot-licking end. Whether such a relationship really exists, or is even practical, this metaphorical dramatization can nevertheless help to understand collective self-perceptions. The consequences in the area of ethnic conflict are significant. Such a hierarchical structure makes it impossible for global exchanges to turn into egalitarian relationships based on evenly balanced inter-cultural communication and dialogue.

On the contrary, cultural globalization is not reflected in a genuine increase of inter-personal, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural contacts. As I shall argue, in most public areas ' cultural globalization ' really means the unreciprocated, one-way flow of consumerist items from the US media and leisure machine to the rest of the world.

This top-down distribution ensures that a few individuals and groups, nearly all in the USA, firmly establish the patterns of behaviour and taste to be followed by the rest of mankind. Is this congruent with the view that there is a form of ' global centralization ' in cultural-legal matters leaning towards Washington, DC? As for a supposed ' global culture ', the symbolic capital would ideally be located in Hollywood, rather than Washington.

In fact, the term ' Hollywoodization ' insinuates a media-enforced hierarchical structure with immediate symbolic resonance. It also offers a more cultural, perhaps less sociological, focus than the Weberian concept of bureaucratic ' McDonaldization ' (Ritzer 1996).

Competing terminologies include ' Disneyfication ' / ' Disneyization ' , with its stress on extreme predictability and the infantilization of leisure (Bryman 2004), 'Walmarting ' as the streamlining of the retail sector (Fishman 2005, Morrow 2004), or earlier Cold War terms like ' Coca-Colonization ' (Wagnleitner 1994). We previously saw how the term ' McGuggenization ' has been used to indicate art-related cultural franchising and other forms of Americanization in the Basque Country (McNeill 2000).

All these equally refer to socio-economic trends originated in the USA and are hence forms of Americanization. However, ' Hollywoodization ' has broader implications for ethnic relations and nationalist conflicts.

In practice, Hollywood-inspired simplifications have become the daily staple for millions of peoples around the world in their leisure time. In the area of ethnicity, ' Hollywoodization ' has been elevated to the only known reality and the unique source of information about the outside world for increasing numbers of people, not only in the USA. Thus, the world is more likely to get its stereotypes of the Brits from US movies like The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan than via British productions.Similarly, most of the world is likely to see Scotland through the lenses of US-made Braveheart , as the larger public can barely afford any access to Scottish cultural productions.

This monopoly of global stereotyping and ethnic imagery has serious implicationsf or the spread and continuation of ethnic conflict.

The tools of primary socialization were once under firm control of the family, either nuclear or extended. They were subsequently assumed by the state in the industrialization ' phase ' , notably with post-1789 mass militarization and compulsory schooling (Conversi2007, 2008).

Under neo-liberal globalization, primary socialization has been seized by unaccountable cash-driven corporations and media tycoons. This has further reduced the space of inter-generational transmission and family interaction. If a community can no longer socialize its children according to its culture and traditions, then the very bases of local, regional, and national continuity are all visibly at stake. This threat to a group's survival is often seized upon by patriots and ethno-nationalists, whose political programs are founded on providing a new sense of social cohesion and security – even if the targets are often hapless and unprotected minorities.

That is partly how nationalism and xenophobia have expanded in tandem with globalization. Ethno-nationalism not only persisted through change, but is perceived by many as a response to the growth of globalization, providing a prêt-à-porter hope for national resistance and resilience. By depending on Hollywood as unique conveyor of ' globalization ', inter-ethnic interaction is inevitably undermined. In some instances, international communication has practically evaporated.

... ... ...

I have described, and subsequently dismissed, the profit-oriented ideology that globalization, intended as Mcdonaldization and Hollywoodization, can contribute to better international understanding. On the contrary, it has ushered in a process of planetary cultural and environmental destruction, while hampering inter-ethnic communication and fostering human conflict. The notion of cultural security, so central to international relations and peaceful coexistence, has undergone unprecedented challenges.

...Insofar as cultural globalization is understood as uni-dimensional import of standardized cultural icons, symbols, practices, values, and legal systems from the United States, it can simply be re-described as Americanization (rather than Westernization in the broad sense), or ' globalization by Americanization ' (Hilger 2008). This is of central importance for the study of ethnic conflict.

In fact, the outcome is scarce hybridization, amalgamation, and metissage . Rather than providing an inter-cultural bridge, this unilateral drive has often eroded the basis for mutual understanding, impeding inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and international interaction. Given the current vertical, pyramidal structure of the ' cultural world order ' , the opportunity of distinctive groups to communicate directly and appreciate each other's traditions has decreased, except in the virtual area of long-distance communication. For an increasing number of individuals, an American mass consumer culture remains the only window on the world. Hence, to know and appreciate one ' s neighbours has become an ever-arduous task. To recapitulate my point, wherever cultural globalization appears as synonymous with Americanization, it engenders conflicts on a variety of levels.

Because the process is one-way and unidirectional, the result is unlikely to be a fusion between cultures or, evenless, the blending of ethnic groups. Contrary to the globalist utopia, the imposition of more and more American icons means less and less possibility for direct inter-ethnic encounter and communication among nations. Together with the collapse of state legitimacy, this substantially contributes to the spread of ethnic conflict and nationalism.

Incorporation of "globalist" parts of national élites as second class citizens of the transnational ruling class

Another aspect of cultural power of neoliberalism is that it accepts national elites (on some, less favorable then "primary" elites conditions) as a part of a new transnational elite, which serves as the dominant class. By class, following classic Marxism we mean a group of people who share a common relationship to the process of social production and reproduction, positioned in the society relationally on the basis of social power.

The struggle between descendant national fractions of dominant groups and ascendant transnational fractions has often been the backdrop to surface political dynamics and ideological processes in the late 20th century. These two fractions have been vying for control of local state apparatuses since the 1970s.

Trans national fractions of local elites swept to power in countries around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. They have captured the "commanding heights" of state policymaking: key ministries and bureaucracies in the policymaking apparatus - especially Central Banks, finance and foreign ministries - as key government branches that link countries to the global economy.

They have used national state apparatuses to advance globalization and to pursue sweeping economic restructuring and the dismantling of the old nation-state–based Keynesian welfare and developmentalist projects.

They have sought worldwide market liberalization (following the neoliberal model), and projects of economic integration such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the European Union. They have promoted a supra-national infrastructure of the global economy, such as the World Trade Organization, as we discuss below.

In this new, transnational social system transnational corporations are intermixed with nation-states which they have special privileges. And the state itself now serves not the people of the country (which historically were upper classes) but primarily service the interests of the transnational corporations (and, by extension, narrow strata of "comprador" elite, much like aristocracy of the past). It is now extension and projection of corporate power ("What is good for GE is good for America"). Both the transactional elite (and first of all financial oligarchy) and transnational corporation enjoy tremendous privileges under such a regime (corporate socialism, or socialism for the rich). Like Bolshevik state was formally dictatorship of proletariat but in reality was dictatorship of the elite of an ideological sect called Communist Party (so called nomenklatura), transformed nation-states like the USA, GB, France, Russia, etc now to various degrees look like dictatorships of transnational elite (transnational bourgeoisie like Marxist would say ;-) while formally remaining sovereign democratic republics. Like with Communist Parties in various countries that does not excuse antagonism or even open hostilities.

That does not eliminates completely the elites competition and for example the EU elite put a knife in the back of the US elite by adopting the euro as completing with the dollar currency (so much about transatlantic solidarity), but still internalization of elites is a new and important process that is more viable that neoliberal ideology as such. Also for any state national elite is not completely homogeneous. While that is a significant part of it that favor globalization (comprador elite or lumpen elite) there is also another part which prefer national development and is at least semi-hostile to globalism. Still the comprador part of the elite represents a very important phenomenon, a real fifth column of globalization, the part that makes globalization successful. It plays the role of Trojan horse within nation states and the name "fifth column" in this sense is a very apt name. This subversive role of comprador elite was clearly visible and well documented in Russian unsuccessful "white revolution" of 2011-2012: the US supported and financed project of "regime change" in Russia. It is also clearly visible although less well documented in other "color revolutions" such as Georgian, Serbian, and Ukrainian color revolutions. comrade Trotsky would probably turn in his coffin if he saw what neoliberal ideologies made with his theory of permanent revolution ;-).

Propaganda victory of neoliberalism over Marxism and New Deal capitalism

As professor David Harvey noted in his A Brief History of Neoliberalism neoliberal propaganda has succeeded in fixating the public on a peculiar definition of "freedom" that has served as a smoke screen to conceal a project of speeding upper class wealth accumulation. In practice, the neoliberal state assumes a protective role for large and especially international corporations ("socialism for multinationals") while it sheds as much responsibility for the citizenry as possible.

The key component of neoliberal propaganda (like was the case with Marxism) was an economic theory. Like Marxism it has three components

For more information see

Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

There is no question that neoliberalism emerged as another major world civic religion. It has its saints, sacred books, moral (or more correctly in this case amoral) postulates and the idea of heaven and hell.

Neoliberalism shares several fundamental properties with high demand religious cults. Like all fundamentalist cults, neoliberalism reduces a complex world to a set of simplistic dogmas (See Washington Consensus). All of society is viewed through the prism of an economic lens. Economic growth, measured by GDP, is the ultimate good. The market is the only and simultaneously the perfect mechanism to achieve this goal. Neoliberalism obsession with materialism have become normalized to the degree that it is hard to imagine what American society would look like in the absence of these structural and ideological features of the new and militant economic Darwinism that now holds sway over the American public. The mantra is well known: government is now the problem, society is a fiction, sovereignty is market-driven, deregulation and commodification are the way to a bright future, and the profit is the only viable measure of the good life and advanced society. Public values are a liability, if not a pathology. Democratic commitments, social relations, and public spheres are disposables, much like the expanding population of the unemployed and dispossessed. Any revolt is the threat to the neoliberal regime of truth and should be dealt with unrestrained cruelty. The market functions best with minimal or no interference from government or civil society and those who don't agree will be taken by police to the proper reeducation camps. All governments with possible exception of the US government should be minimized to allow unrestricted dominance of global corporations. The genius of neoliberalism as a cult, was its ability to cloak the US pretences of world hegemony in an aura of scientific and historical inevitability. Which again makes it very similar and in a way superior to Marxism as a cult. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the supreme, heaven sent validation of Margaret Thatcher's claim that there was no alternative. There is only one blessed road to prosperity and peace and outside it there is no salvation, nor remission from sins.

The great economic historian Karl Polanyi observed, "The idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia." And neoliberalism was a stunning utopia of economic determinism, one even more ambitious than that of Marx.

With all the big questions thus settled, history appeared to be at an end. There was one and only one route to prosperity and peace. All that was required was to make sure the model was correctly applied and all would be well. We all settled into our assigned roles. Capitalists retreated to the role of technocrats, eschewing risk themselves while shifting and spreading it throughout society. The rest of us were relegated to the roles not of citizens, but of consumers. Using our homes as ATMs, we filled our lives with Chinese-made goods, oblivious to the looming environmental and social costs of a runaway, unregulated consumer-driven society. Only a marginalized few questioned the basic economic structure. It was the era of homo economicus, humans in service to the economy.

Now that perfect machinery lies in pieces all around us and the global economic free fall shows no signs of ending any time soon. The fundamental reasons underlying the collapse aren't all that difficult to discern. Central to the whole neoliberal project was the drive to rationalize all aspects of human society. Relentless efforts to cut costs and increase efficiency drove down the living standards of the vast majority, while the diminution of government and other non-commercial institutions led to increasing concentration of wealth at the very top of society. As high paying jobs in the industrial and technical sectors moved from developed countries to low wage export-based economies in the developing world, capacity soon outstripped demand and profits in the real economy began to sag. Not content with declining earnings, wealthy elites began to search for investments offering higher returns. If these couldn't be found in the real economy, they could certainly be created in the exploding financial sector.

Once consigned to the unglamorous world of matching those with capital to invest with those with enterprises seeking to grow, finance became the powerful new engine of economic growth. No longer stodgy, bankers and brokers became sexy and glamorous. Exotic new financial instruments, called derivatives, traded on everything from commodities to weather.

This speculative frenzy was supported by a central bank only too happy to keep credit extremely cheap. Debt exploded among consumers, businesses and government alike. Creating new debt became the source of even more exotic investment vehicles, often bearing only the most tenuous of connections to underlying assets of real value, with unwieldy names such as "collateralized debt obligations" and "credit default swaps."

All the debt and the shuffling of fictional wealth hid the underlying rot of the real economy. It was a house of cards just waiting for the slight breeze that would send it all crashing down. And a collapse in housing prices in 2008 laid bare the economic contradictions.

The fundamental contradiction underlying much that confronts us in the age of crises is an economic and social system requiring infinite growth within the confines of a finite planet. Any vision seeking to replace neoliberalism must take this contradiction into account and resolve it. The overriding market failure of our time has nothing to do with housing. It's the failure to place any value on that which is truly most essential to our survival: clean air and water, adequate natural resources for the present and future generations, and a climate suitable for human civilization.

No such new vision is currently in sight. That this leaves everyone, neoliberals and their foes alike, in a state of uncertainty and doubt is hardly surprising. The seeming triumph of neoliberalism was so complete that it managed to inculcate itself in the psyches even of those who opposed it.

We find ourselves unsure of terrain we thought we knew well, sensing that one era has ended but unsure as to what comes next. We might do well to embrace that doubt and understand its power to free us. Our doubt allows us to ask meaningful questions again and questioning implies the possibility of real choice. Removing the intellectual straitjacket of neoliberal orthodoxy opens up the space necessary to reconsider the purpose of an economy and its proper role in a decent human society and to revisit the old debate over equity versus efficiency. It calls into question the assumption most central to homo economicus; that all humans act only to maximize their own interests.

It seems clear that the world emerging over the coming decades will look quite different from the one we now inhabit. Of necessity it will evolve in ways we can't fully understand just yet. Old battle lines, such as the ones between capitalism and socialism, will likely fade away. Both of those models arose in a world of abundant and cheap fossil fuels and within the confines a planet with a seemingly endless capacity to absorb the wastes of our conspicuous consumption. New battle lines are already beginning to take shape.

The Revolution is Upon Us The Age of Crisis and the End of Homo Economicus Logos

I think that like is the case with Marxism, the staying power of neoliberalism is that propose the religion picture of world with its "creation history", saints, and way of salvation. In a way it plays the role similar to the role of Catholicism in middle ages (aka Dark Ages). The greed of catholic clergy in Middle ages (trade in indulgencies) is a match of the greed of neoliberals( with financial derivates replacing indulgencies ;-). It is equally hostile to any attempts to analyze it, with the minor difference that heretics that question the sanctity of free market are not burned at the stake, but ostracized. It support "new Crusades" with the same mechanism of "indulgences" for small countries that participate.

The level of hypocrisy is another shared trait. The great irony is that the USA, the world's leading proponent of neoliberalism (with the US President as a Pope of this new religion), systematically is breaking the rules when it find it necessary or convenient. With high deficit spending and massive subsidizing of defense spending and financial sector, the United States has generally use a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. And with the amount of political appointee/lobbyists shuttling back and forth between business and government, Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" looks more and more like a crushing fist of corporatist thugs. It involves dogmatic belief that the society is better off when ruled by a group of wealthy financiers and oligarchs, than by a group of professional government bureaucrats and politicians with some participation of trade unions.

The USA also dominates the cultural scene:

The United States' position as the leading maker of global culture has been basically unchallenged for the last century or so, especially in the Western world. Yet the economic power of the Western world is waning even as new nations, with new models of economic and social life, are rising. Might one -- or several -- of these nations like China, India or Brazil become new centers of global culture?

I believe that the answer to this question for the foreseeable future is "no." While the U.S.'s cultural prominence is partially related to its political, military and economic power, such power is not the only cause of America's global cultural hegemony. Rather, the U.S. offers a unique convergence of several factors, including economic opportunity, political freedom and an immigrant culture that served as a test bed for new cultural products.

Let me offer a brief account of the rise of the American film industry to suggest the way political, economic and immigrant forces shaped American cultural hegemony. In the U.S., the film industry started as commercial enterprise largely independent of state control. Movies had to adapt to market conditions to earn profit for their producers. In order to achieve this goal, American movies needed to appeal to a diverse population made up of both native-born and immigrant citizens.

As a consequence, filmmakers had to make movies that could appeal to international audiences simply to meet domestic demand. This fact helped the American film industry become globally preeminent well before the U.S. became a superpower. In other words, while U.S. military and economic power strengthened the position of the U.S. movie industry as globally dominant, that position was not dependent on U.S. military and economic power. Instead, American producers had a competitive advantage in global markets that was later cemented in place by the U.S. post-war economic and military hegemony in the West.

After the dissolution of the USSR, the USA became natural center of the "neoliberal religion" a dominant force in the new world order (the world's only superpower). And they used their newly acquired status against states which were not "friendly enough" very similar to Catholicism with its Crusades, launching a series of invasions and color revolutions against "nonbelievers" in a globalist neoliberal model. The level of plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR looks like a direct replay of Crusades with the siege of Constantinople as primary example (despite stated goals, Crusades were by-and-large a monetary enterprise of the time with fig leaf of spread of Catholicism attached). This period of neoliberal crusades still continued in 2013, sometimes using various proxy to achieve "the regime change" by military means.

As we already refereed to neoliberalism as a cult an interesting question is whether neoliberalism can be viewed new "civic religion". The answer is unconditional yes, and I think that like Marxism before it should be considered to be yet another civic religion. It has it's set of holy books, Supreme being to worship, path to salvation and set of Apostils. Like communism before it propose humanity grand purpose and destiny.

Approliving:

Theistic and civic religions are also similar in that they both offer visions of humanity's grand purpose and destiny.

There are also significant differences between theistic religions and civil religions. Theistic religions explicitly rely on claims of divine authority for their validity, while civil religions rely on reason and the interpretation of commonly-accepted historical knowledge. Followers of theistic religions stress the importance of faith in times of adversity, while followers of civil religions tend to have a more pragmatic attitude when reality casts doubt on their beliefs.

Civil religions are more like big social experiments than actual religions because their central claims are much more falsifiable, and their followers show evidence of holding this perception (e.g. references to "the American experiment"; the voluntary abandonment of Communism throughout Eurasia when it became clear that it wasn't working).

Communism bears so much resemblance to Christianity because, as you mentioned last week, the Western imagination was thoroughly in the grip of Christianity when Communism emerged. Communism is similar to Christianity out of practical necessity: had it not been based on the Christian template, Communism probably would have been too intellectually alien to its Western audience to have ever taken off. Luckily for the founders of Communism, they were also subjected to this Christian cultural conditioning.

With all this in mind, and given that religion is evolving phenomenon, I think that civil religion is actually a distinct species of intellectual organism which has (at least in part) evolved out of religion.

Like Marxism, neoliberalism is first and foremost a quasi religious political doctrine. But while Marxism is aimed at liberation of workers , a political doctrine neoliberalism is aimed at restoring the power of capital. Neoliberalism originated in the rich countries of Anglo-Saxon world (GB and USA) so along with open despise of poor, it always has a distinct flavor of despise for peripheral countries. In global politics, neoliberalism preoccupies itself with the promotion of four basic issues:

As such, neoliberalism, in its crudest form, is crystallized in the Ten Commandments of the 1989 Washington Consensus (policy of debt slavery set for the world by the US via international financial institutions). While pushing the democracy as a smoke screen, they implicitly postulate hegemony of the financial elite (which is a part of "economic elite" that neoliberalism defines as a hegemonic class). Financialization of the economy also serves as a powerful method of redistribution of wealth, so neoliberalism generally lead to deterioration of standard of living for lower quintile of the population and in some countries (like Russia in 1991-2000) for the majority of the population. This is done largely via credit system and in this sense neoliberalism represents "reinters paradise". Neoliberal globalization was built on the foundation of US hegemony, conceived as the projection of the hegemony of the US capital and dollar as the dominant reserve currency. As such it is critically dependent of the power and stability of the US and the financial, economic, political and military supremacy of the US in every region. For this purpose the USA maintains over 500 military bases (737 by some counts) and over 2.5 million of military personnel.

But there are also important differences. Unlike most religions, neoliberalism is highly criminogenic (i.e., having the quality of causing or fostering crime). It is more criminogenic in countries with lower standard of living and in such countries it often lead to conversion of a "normal", but poor state into a kleptocratic state (Yeltsin's Russia is a good example) with the requisite mass poverty (Global Anomie, Dysnomie and Economic Crime Hidden Consequences of Neoliberalism and Globalization in Russia and Around the World). Unfortunately architects of this transformation (Harvard Mafia in case of Russia) usually avoid punishment for their crimes. Corruption of the US regulators which happened under neoliberal regime starting from Reagan is also pretty well covered theme.

While economic crisis of 2008 led to a crisis of neoliberalism, this is not necessary a terminal crisis. The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, but internal contradictions became much deeper and the regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Neoliberalism as an intellectual product is practically dead. After the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. But its zombie phase supported by several states (the USA, GB, Germany), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation might continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite increasing chance of facing discontent of population and bursts of social violence.

Cornerstone of neoliberal regime, the economic power of the USA is now under threat from the rise of Asia. This is one reason of mutation of neoliberalism into aggressive neoconservative imperialism that we witness in the USA.

While intellectually neoliberalism was bankrupt from the beginning, after 2008 believing it in is possible only by ignoring the results of deregulation in the USA and other countries. In other words the mythology of self-regulating "free market" became a "damaged goods". In this sense, any sensible person should now hold neoliberal sect in contempt. But reality is different and it still enjoy the support of the part of population which can't see through the smoke screen. With the strong support of financial oligarchy neoliberalism will continue to exists in zombie state for quite a while, although I hope this will not last as long as dominance of Catholicism during European Dark Ages ;-). Still the US is yet to see its Luther. As was noted about a different, older sect: "Men are blind to prefer an absurd and sanguinary creed, supported by executioners and surrounded by fiery faggots, a creed which can only be approved by those to whom it gives power and riches".

Like communism in the USSR it is a state supported religion: Neoliberalism enjoys support of western governments and first of all the US government. Even when the US society entered deep crisis in 2008 and fabric of the society was torn by neoliberal policies it did not lose government support.

US was an imperial nation driven by annexation of territories from the very beginning

The USA has a history of "plain vanilla" (British style) imperialism, based on annexation and occupation of territories since the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the eventual annexation of California and other western territories via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden purchase. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century (Empire - Wikipedia):

The term "American Empire" refers to the United States' cultural ideologies and foreign policy strategies. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century, but it can also be applied to the United States' world standing before the rise of nationalism in the 20th century. The United States is not traditionally recognized as an empire, in part because the U.S. adopted a different political system from those that previous empires had used. Despite these systematic differences, the political objectives and strategies of the United States government have been quite similar to those of previous empires. Krishna Kumar explores this idea that the distinct principles of nationalism and imperialism may, in fact, result in one common practice.

In "Nation-states as empires, empires as nation-states: two principles, one practice?" she argues that the pursuit of nationalism can often coincide with the pursuit of imperialism in terms of strategy and decision making. Throughout the 19th century, the United States government attempted to expand their territory by any means necessary. Regardless of the supposed motivation for this constant expansion, all of these land acquisitions were carried out by imperialistic means. This was done by financial means in some cases, and by military force in others. Most notably, the Louisiana Purchase (1803), the Texas Annexation (1845), and the Mexican Cession (1848) highlight the imperialistic goals of the United States during this "modern period" of imperialism.

The U.S. government has stopped pursuing additional territories since the mid 20th century. However, some scholars still consider U.S. foreign policy strategies to be imperialistic. This idea is explored in the "contemporary usage" section.

... ... ...

Stuart Creighton Miller posits that the public's sense of innocence about Realpolitik (cf. American Exceptionalism) impairs popular recognition of US imperial conduct since it governed other countries via surrogates. These surrogates were domestically-weak, right-wing governments that would collapse without US support.[30] Former President G.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said: "We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic; we never have been."[31] This statement directly contradicts Thomas Jefferson who, in the 1780s while awaiting the fall of the Spanish empire, said: "...till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece".[32][33][34] In turn, historian Sidney Lens argues that from its inception, the US has used every means available to dominate other nations.[35] Other historian Max Ostrovsky argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US' role in the world but finds that hegemony is likely to be an intermediate stage between states system and empire.[36]

... ... ...

In his book review of Empire (2000) by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Mehmet Akif Okur posits that since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, the international relations determining the world's balance of power (political, economic, military) have been altered. These alterations include the intellectual (political science) trends that perceive the contemporary world's order via the re-territorrialisation of political space, the re-emergence of classical imperialist practices (the "inside" vs. "outside" duality, cf. the Other), the deliberate weakening of international organisations, the restructured international economy, economic nationalism, the expanded arming of most countries, the proliferation of nuclear weapon capabilities and the politics of identity emphasizing a state's subjective perception of its place in the world, as a nation and as a civilisation. These changes constitute the "Age of Nation Empires"; as imperial usage, nation-empire denotes the return of geopolitical power from global power blocs to regional power blocs (i.e., centered upon a "regional power" state [China, Russia, U.S., et al.]) and regional multi-state power alliances (i.e., Europe, Latin America, South East Asia). Nation-empire regionalism claims sovereignty over their respective (regional) political (social, economic, ideologic), cultural, and military spheres.[43]

Annexation was the crucial instrument in the expansion of the USA after it won independence. The United States Congress' ability to annex a foreign territory is explained in a report from the Congressional Committee on Foreign Relations,

"If, in the judgment of Congress, such a measure is supported by a safe and wise policy, or is based upon a natural duty that we owe to the people of Hawaii, or is necessary for our national development and security, that is enough to justify annexation, with the consent of the recognized government of the country to be annexed."

Even prior to annexing a territory, the American government usually held tremendous political power in those territories through the various legislations passed in the late 1800s. The Platt Amendment was utilized to prevent Cuba from entering into any agreements with foreign nations, and also granted the Americans the right to build naval stations on their soil.[39] Executive officials in the American government began to determine themselves the supreme authority in matters regarding the recognition or restriction of [39]

When asked on April 28, 2003, on al-Jazeera whether the United States was "empire building," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replied "We don't seek empires, we're not imperialistic. We never have been."[40] And this denial is typical for "Empire of Lies" as some researchers call the USA. Historian Donald W. Meinig says the imperial behavior by the United States dates at least to the Louisiana Purchase, which he describes as an "imperial acquisition-imperial in the sense of the aggressive encroachment of one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of that people to alien rule." The U.S. policies towards the Native Americans he said were "designed to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires."[41]

Writers and academics of the early 20th century, like Charles A. Beard, discussed American policy as being driven by self-interested expansionism going back as far as the writing of the Constitution. Some politicians today do not agree. Pat Buchanan claims that the modern United States' drive to empire is "far removed from what the Founding Fathers had intended the young Republic to become."[42]

Andrew Bacevich who is a an influencial writer about the US empite with his book American empite (2002) argues that the U.S. did not fundamentally change its foreign policy after the Cold War, and remains focused on an effort to expand its control across the world.[43] As the surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. could focus its assets in new directions, the future being "up for grabs" according to former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz in 1991.[44]

In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to "manufacture opinion" as the process has long been described in other countries.[45]

Thorton wrote that "[…]imperialism is more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against."[46] Political theorist Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US's role in the world;[47] political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a "balanced and nuanced analysis is not aided...by the use of the phrase 'empire' to describe United States hegemony, since 'empire' obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth.".[48] Emmanuel Todd assumes that USA cannot hold for long the status of mondial hegemonic power due to limited resources. Instead, USA is going to become just one of the major regional powers along with European Union, China, Russia, etc.[49]

International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S. power is more and more based on "soft power", which comes from cultural hegemony rather than raw military or economic force.[69] This includes such factors as the widespread desire to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema. Mass immigration into America may justify this theory, but it is hard to know for sure whether the United States would still maintain its prestige without its military and economic superiority.

Military and cultural imperialism are interdependent. American Edward Said, one of the founders of post-colonial theory, said that,

[…], so influential has been the discourse insisting on American specialness, altruism and opportunity, that imperialism in the United States as a word or ideology has turned up only rarely and recently in accounts of the United States culture, politics and history. But the connection between imperial politics and culture in North America, and in particular in the United States, is astonishingly direct.[51]

International relations scholar David Rothkopf disagrees and argues that cultural imperialism is the innocent result of globalization, which allows access to numerous U.S. and Western ideas and products that many non-U.S. and non-Western consumers across the world voluntarily choose to consume.[52] Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.[53]

Nationalism is the main process through which the government is able to shape public opinion. Propaganda in the media is strategically placed in order to promote a common attitude among the people. Louis A. Perez Jr. provides an example of propaganda used during the war of 1898,

"We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming now!"[39]

Chip Pitts argues similarly that enduring U.S. bases in Iraq suggest a vision of "Iraq as a colony".[ While territories such as Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico remain under U.S. control, the U.S. allowed many of its overseas territories or occupations to gain independence after World War II. Examples include the Philippines (1946), the Panama canal zone (1979), Palau (1981), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986) and the Marshall Islands (1986). Most of them still have U.S. bases within their territories. In the case of Okinawa, which came under U.S. administration after the Battle of Okinawa during the Second World War, this happened despite local popular opinion.[56] As of 2003, the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.[57]

How America built its empire

How America built its empire The real history of American foreign policy that the media won't tell you - Salon.com

When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence -- I'm not sure you use this word exactly -- indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.

I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.

The other day I wrote Perry Anderson, the subject of the following interview, to ask what he thought of the foreign policy debates, such as they are, among our presidential aspirants. Logical question: Anderson, a prominent scholar and intellectual for decades, has just published "American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers," a superbly lucid account of U.S policy's historical roots and the people who shape policy in our time.

"Current candidates' f/p talk leaves me speechless," came Anderson's terse reply.

Perfectly defensible. Most of what these people have to say-and I do not exclude the Democratic candidates-is nothing more than a decadent, late-exceptionalist rendering of a policy tradition that, as Anderson's book reminds readers, once had a coherent rationale even as it has so often led to incoherent, irrational conduct abroad.

Born in London in 1938-during the Munich crisis, as he points out-Anderson has been a presence on the trans-Atlantic intellectual scene since he took the editor's chair at the then-struggling New Left Review in 1962, when he was all of 24. Eight years later NLR launched Verso, a book imprint as singular (and as singularly influential) as the journal.

Anderson has headed both at various intervals for years. His own books range widely. My favorites are "Zone of Engagement" (1992) and "Spectrum" (2005), which collect essays on an amazing range of 20th century thinkers. To them I now add the new foreign policy book, which I count indispensable to anyone serious about the topic.

I met Anderson, who has taught comparative political and intellectual history at UCLA since 1989, at his home in Santa Monica this past summer. Over a fulsome afternoon's conversation in his admirably spartan study, he impressed me again and as readers will see for themselves, but the counterarguments are generously given and always rewarding.

The transcript that follows is the first of two parts and includes a few questions posed via email after we met. It is otherwise only lightly edited. Part 2 will appear next week.

"American Foreign Policy and its Thinkers" is well timed, given the unusual prominence foreign policy now assumes in the American political conversation. How would you describe your approach? What distinguishes the book from so many others? How should one read it? What's the project?

The book tries to do two things. One is to cover the history of American foreign policy, from around 1900 to the present, tracing the gradual construction of a global empire. This first really came into view as a prospect during the Second World War and is today a reality across all five continents, as a glance at the skein of its military bases makes clear. The Cold War was a central episode within this trajectory, but the book doesn't treat just the U.S. record vis-á-vis the USSR or China. It tries to deal equally with American relations with the Europe and Japan, and also with the Third World, treated not as a homogenous entity but as four or five zones that required different policy combinations.

The second part of the book is a survey of American grand strategy-that is, the different ways leading counselors of state interpret the current position of the United States on the world stage and their recommendations for what Washington should do about it.

The "big think" set, in other words-Kissinger, of course, Brzezinski, Walter Russell Mead, Robert Kagan. And then people such as Francis Fukuyama, whom I consider a ridiculous figure but whose thinking you judged worth some scrutiny. How did you choose these?

From the range of in-and-outers-thinkers moving between government and the academy or think-tanks-who have sought to guide U.S. foreign policy since 2000, with some intellectual originality. Kissinger isn't among these. His ideas belong to a previous epoch, his later offerings are boilerplate. Fukuyama, who sensed what the effects of office on thought could be, and got out of state service quite early, is a mind of a different order. The figures selected cover the span of options within what has always been a bipartisan establishment.

You make a distinction between American exceptionalism, which is much in the air, and American universalism, which few of us understand as a separate matter. The first holds America to be singular (exceptional), and the second that the world is destined to follow us, that the trails we've blazed are the future of humanity. You call this a "potentially unstable compound." Could you elaborate on this distinction, and explain why you think it's unstable?

It's unstable because the first can exist without the second. There is, of course, a famous ideological linkage between the two in the religious idea, specific to the United States, of Providence-that is, divine Providence. In your own book "Time No Longer" you cite an astounding expression of this notion: "However one comes to the debate, there can be little question that the hand of Providence has been on a nation which finds a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Roosevelt when it needs him." That pronouncement was delivered in the mid-1990s-not by some television preacher, but by Seymour Martin Lipset: chairs at Harvard and Stanford, president of both the American Sociological and the American Political Science Associations, a one-time social democrat.

What is the force of this idea? A belief that God has singled out America as a chosen nation for exceptional blessings, a notion which then easily becomes a conviction of its mission to bring the benefits of the Lord to the world. President after president, from Truman through to Kennedy, the younger Bush to Obama, reiterate the same tropes: "God has given us this, God has given us that," and with the unique freedom and prosperity he has conferred on us comes a universal calling to spread these benefits to the rest of the world. What is the title of the most ambitious contemporary account of the underlying structures of American foreign policy? "Special Providence," by Walter Russell Mead. Year of publication: 2001.

But while a messianic universalism follows easily from providential exceptionalism, it is not an ineluctable consequence of it. You mount a powerful attack on the idea of exceptionalism in "Time No Longer," but-we may differ on this-if we ask what is the more dangerous element in the unstable compound of the nation's image of itself, I would say exceptionalism is the less dangerous. That may seem paradoxical. But historically the idea of exceptionalism allowed for an alternative, more modest deduction: that the country was different from all others, and so should not be meddling with them-the argument of Washington's Farewell Address [in 1796].

A century later, this position became known as isolationism, and as the American empire took shape, it was all but invariably castigated as narrow-minded, short-sighted and selfish. But it could often be connected with a sense that the republic was in danger at home, with domestic ills that needed to be addressed, which vast ambitions abroad would only compound. Mead terms this strand in American sensibility Jeffersonian, which isn't an accurate description of Jefferson's own empire-building outlook, but he otherwise captures it quite well.

We don't ordinarily apply the term "exceptionalist" in the same breath to America and to Japan, though if there is any nation that claims to be completely unique, it is Japan. But the claim produced a drastic isolationism as a national impulse, both in the Tokugawa period [1603-1868, a period of severely enforced seclusion] and after the war. Does that support the point you're making?

Exactly. Historically, exceptionalism could generate a self-limiting, self-enclosing logic as well as the gigantic expansionist vanities of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and the "Free World" [narrative]. In the American case, the two strands of exceptionalism and universalism remained distinct, respectively as isolationist and interventionist impulses, sometimes converging but often diverging, down to the Second World War. Then they fused. The thinker who wrote best about this was Franz Schurmann, whose " Logic of World Power" came out during the Vietnam War. He argued that each had a distinct political-regional base: the social constituency for isolationism was small business and farming communities in the Midwest, for interventionism it was the banking and manufacturing elites of the East Coast, with often sharp conflicts between the two up through the end of thirties. But in the course of the Second World War they came together in a synthesis he attributed-somewhat prematurely-to FDR, and they have remained essentially interwoven ever since. The emblematic figure of this change was [Arthur H.] Vandenberg, the Republican Senator from Michigan [1928-51], who remained an isolationist critic of interventionism even for a time after Pearl Harbor, but by the end of the war had become a pillar of the new imperial consensus.

Mainstream debate today seems to have constructed two very stark alternatives: There is either engagement or isolation. In this construction, engagement means military engagement; if we are not going to be militarily engaged we are isolationists. I find that absolutely wrong. There are multiple ways of being engaged with the world that have nothing to do with military assertion.

True, but engagement in that usage doesn't mean just military engagement, but power projection more generally. One of the thinkers I discuss toward the end of my book is Robert Art, a lucid theorist of military power and its political importance to America, who argues for what he calls selective-expressly, not universal-engagement. What is unusual about him is that in seeking to discriminate among engagements the U.S. should and should not select, he starts considering in a serious, non-dismissive way what would typically be construed as isolationist alternatives, even if ending with a fairly conventional position.

How far do you view the contemporary American crisis-if you accept that we are living through one-as, at least in part, one of consciousness? As an American, I tend to think that no significant departure from where find ourselves today can be achieved until we alter our deepest notions of ourselves and our place among others. I pose this question with some trepidation, since a change in consciousness is a generational project, if not more. Our leadership is not remotely close even to thinking about this. I'm suggesting a psychological dimension to our predicament, and you may think I put too much weight on that.

You ask at the outset whether I accept that Americans are living through a crisis. My reply would be: not anything like the order of crisis that would bring about the sort of change in consciousness for which you might hope. You describe that as a generational project, and there, yes, one can say that among the youngest cohorts of the U.S. population, the ideologies of the status quo are less deeply embedded, and in certain layers even greatly weakened. That is an important change, but it's generational, rather than society-wide, and it's not irreversible.

At the level of the great majority, including, naturally, the upper middle class, the image you use to describe the purpose of your last book applies: you write that it aims "to sound the tense strings wound between the pegs of myth and history during the hundred years and a few that I take to be the American century. It is this high, piercing tone that Americans now have a chance to render, hear, and recognize all at once. We have neither sounded nor heard it yet." That's all too true, unfortunately. The most one can say is that, among a newer generation, the strings are fraying a bit.

I tend to distinguish between strong nations and the merely powerful, the former being supple and responsive to events, the later being brittle and unstable. Is this a useful way to judge America in the early 21st century-monumentally powerful but of dubious strength? If so, doesn't it imply some change in the American cast of mind, as the difference between the two sinks in?

That depends on the degree of instability you sense in the country. In general, a major change in consciousness occurs when there is a major alteration in material conditions of life. For example, if a deep economic depression or dire ecological disaster strikes a society, all bets are off. Then, suddenly, thoughts and actions that were previously inconceivable become possible and natural. That isn't the situation so far in America.

Can you discuss the new accord with Iran in this context? I don't see any question it's other than a breakthrough, a new direction. What do you think were the forces propelling the Obama administration to pursue this pact? And let's set aside the desire for a "legacy" every president cultivates late in his time.

The agreement with Iran is an American victory but not a departure in U.S. foreign policy. Economic pressure on Iran dates back to Carter's time, when the U.S. froze the country's overseas assets after the ousting of the Shah, and the full range of ongoing U.S. sanctions was imposed by the Clinton administration in 1996. The Bush administration escalated the pressure by securing U.N. generalization of sanctions in 2006, and the Obama administration has harvested the effect.

Over the past decade, the objective has always been the same: to protect Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region without risking an Israeli blitz on Iran to preserve it-that might set off too great a wave of popular anger in the Middle East. It was always likely, as I point out in "American Policy and its Thinkers," that the clerical regime in Tehran would buckle under a sustained blockade, if that was the price of its survival. The agreement includes a time-out clause to save its face, but the reality is an Iranian surrender.

You can see how little it means any alteration in imperial operations in the region by looking at what the Obama administration is doing in Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia's wholesale destruction of civilian life there in the interest of thwarting imaginary Iranian schemes.

This next question vexes many people, me included. On the one hand, the drives underlying the American imperium are material: the expansion of capital and the projection of power by its political representatives. The American mythologies are shrouds around these. On the other hand, the issue of security has a long history among Americans. It is authentically an obsession independent of capital-American paranoia dates back at least to the 18th century. I don't take these two accountings to be mutually exclusive, but I'd be interested to know how you reconcile these different threads in American foreign policy.

Yes, there has been a longstanding-you could say aboriginal-obsession with security in the United States. This can be traced as an independent strand running through the history of American dealings with the outside world. What happened, of course, from the Cold War through to the "war on terror" was a ruthless instrumentalization of this anxiety for purposes of expansion rather than defense. At the start of the Cold War you had the National Security Act and the creation of the National Security Council, and today we have the National Security Agency. Security became a euphemistic cloak for aggrandizement.

The United States occupies the better part of a continent separated by two immense oceans, which nobody in modern history has had any serious chance of invading, unlike any other major state in the world, all of which have contiguous land-borders with rival powers, or are separated from them only by narrow seas. The U.S. is protected by a unique geographical privilege. But if its expansion overseas cannot be attributed to imperatives of security, what has driven it?

A gifted and important group of historians, the Wisconsin school [which included the late William Appleman Williams, among others], has argued that the secret of American expansion has from the beginning lain in the quest by native capital for continuously larger markets, which first produced pressure on the internal frontier and the march across the continent to the Pacific, and when the West Coast was reached, a drive beyond into Asia and Latin America, and ultimately the rest of the world, under the ideology of the Open Door.

A couple of good scholars, Melvyn Leffler and Wilson Miscamble, one a liberal and the other a conservative, have identified my position with this tradition, taxing me with a belief that American foreign policy is essentially just an outgrowth of American business. This is a mistake. My argument is rather that because of the enormous size and self-sufficiency of the American economy, the material power at the disposal of the American state exceeded anything that American capital could directly make use of or require.

If you look at the First World War, you can see this very clearly. East Coast bankers and munitions manufacturers did well out of supplying the Entente powers, but there was no meaningful economic rationale for American entry into the war itself. The U.S. could tip the scales in favor of the British and French variants of imperialism against the German and Austrian variants without much cost to itself, but also much to gain.

The same gap between the reach of American business and the power of the American state explains the later hegemony of the United States within the advanced capitalist world after the Second World War. Standard histories wax lyrical in admiration of the disinterested U.S. generosity that revived Germany and Japan with the Marshall and Dodge Plans [reconstruction programs after 1945], and it is indeed the case that policies crafted at the State and Defense Departments did not coincide with the desiderata of the Commerce Department. The key requirement was to rebuild these former enemies as stable capitalist bulwarks against communism, even if this meant there could be no simple Open Door into them for U.S. capital.

For strategic political reasons, the Japanese were allowed to re-create a highly protected economy, and American capital was by and large barred entry. The priority was to defend the general integrity of capitalism as a global system against the threat of socialism, not particular returns to U.S. business. The importance of those were never, of course, ignored. But they had to bide their time. Today's Trans-Pacific Partnership will finally pry open Japanese financial, retail and other markets that have remained closed for so long.

I'd like to turn to the origins of the Cold War, since I believe we are never going to get anywhere until these are honestly confronted. You give a forceful account of Stalin's reasons for avoiding confrontation after 1945 and Washington's reasons for not doing so. But should we attribute the outbreak of the Cold War to the U.S. without too much in the way of qualification?

We can look at the onset of the Cold War on two levels. One is that of punctual events. There, you are certainly right to pick out the ideological starting gun as Truman's speech on Greece in 1947, designed the "scare hell" out of voters to win acceptance for military aid to the Greek monarchy. In policy terms, however, the critical act that set the stage for confrontation with Moscow was the flat American refusal to allow any serious reparations for the staggering level of destruction Russia suffered from the German attack on it. The most developed third of the country was laid waste, its industry and its cities wrecked, while Americans suffered not a fly on the wrist at home-basking, on the contrary, in a massive economic boom. There was no issue Stalin spoke more insistently about than reparations in negotiations among the Allies. But once the fighting was over, the U.S. reneged on wartime promises and vetoed reparations from the larger part of Germany-far the richest and most developed, and occupied by the West-because it did not want to strengthen the Soviet Union and did want to rebuild the Ruhr as an industrial base under Western control, with a view to creating what would subsequently become the Federal Republic.

Can you put Hiroshima and Nagasaki into this context?

Prior to this came Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. He did so, of course, to shorten the war, and partly also because the Pentagon wanted to test its new weapons. But there was a further reason for the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was urgent to secure a Japanese surrender before the Red Army could get close to the country, for fear that Moscow might insist on a Soviet presence in the occupation of Japan. The U.S. was determined not to let the Russians in, as they could not stop them from doing in Germany. So if we look just at events, you can say the starting points were the use of atomic bombs in Japan and the refusal of reparations in Germany. In that sense, those who argue that the Cold War was an American initiative-the Swedish historian Anders Stephanson, who has written most deeply about this, calls it an American project-are justified in doing so.

So these are your "punctual events."

Exactly. On the hand, if we look at the structural origins of the Cold War, they don't lie in these punctual events, but in the radical incompatibility between American capitalism and Soviet communism as forms of economy, society and polity. Revisionist historians have pointed out quite properly that Stalin was defensive in outlook after the war, determined to erect a protective glacis in Eastern Europe against any repetition of the Nazi invasion of Russia, but otherwise acutely conscious of Soviet weakness and superior Western strength.

All of that is true, but at the same time Stalin remained a communist who firmly believed that the ultimate mission of the world's working class was to overthrow capitalism, everywhere. His immediate stance was defensive, but in the much longer run his expectation was offensive. In that sense, U.S. policies toward the USSR were not needlessly aggressive, as revisionists maintain, but perfectly rational. The two systems were mortal antagonists.

Let's move to the topic of social democracy. I did a lot of my learning in developing countries and have a sense that Washington's true Cold War enemy was social democracy as it spread through Western Europe and all the newly independent nations. What's your view of this?

Strong disagreement, so far as Europe is concerned. If you look at the whole period from 1945 through to the present, you could argue that, on the contrary, European social democracy was Washington's best friend in the region. NATO was the brainchild not of the Pentagon but of Ernest Bevin, the social-democratic foreign secretary in Britain. Attlee, his prime minister, then split his own government by cutting the health service to fund rearmament for the American war in Korea. In France, the most ruthless crackdown on labor unrest after the war came from Jules Moch, the Socialist interior minister.

Think, too, of the Norwegian social democrat who Washington put in charge of the U.N. as its first secretary general, Trygve Lie, an odious collaborator with McCarthyism inside the United Nations. This was the period in which Irving Brown of the A.F.L., working closely with local social democrats, was installed in Europe by the C.I.A. with funds to divide and corrupt trade unions everywhere. He was still active in plotting against Allende [the Chilean social democratic president] in the '70s. As to more recent years, who was Bush's most ardent European ally in the war on Iraq? Not any conservative politician, but British social democrat Blair.

There were exceptions to this dismal record, but few and far between. Not by accident, they generally came from neutral countries that stayed out of the Cold War. In Sweden, Olaf Palme was a courageous opponent of the American war in Vietnam, detested by the U.S. for that reason. In Austria, Bruno Kreisky took an independent line on the Middle East, refusing to fall in with Western support for Israel-itself governed in those years by another social democratic party-and so was scarcely less disliked by the U.S.

But the dominant pattern has always been craven submission to Washington.

Well, I was thinking more of figures like Mossadeq, Arbenz and Allende-maybe the Sandinistas, too.

Their fate is certainly relevant, but there you are talking of a different political phenomenon-nationalism in the Third World, typically though not invariably of the left. You could add Lumumba in the Congo, Goulart in Brazil, Bosch in the Dominican Republic and others to the list. Not all were figures of the left, but from the Cold War onward the U.S. regarded nearly all serious attempts at nationalization of local resources as a threat to capital and worked to subvert or overthrow those who undertook them. A good part of my book is devoted to this front of imperial operations.

I've often wondered what the fate of Cuba would have been if Castro had been properly received in Washington in 1960. Could he have become something like a social democrat?

Excluded, if only because of the side of the Cuban Revolution that distinguished it from both the Chinese Revolution and from the outcome of Russian Revolution after Lenin, which was genuine internationalism. It had to be internationalist because it was a small island close to the United States, not a huge country far away, so it needed revolutionary solidarity within Latin America, which it couldn't hope for as long the continent was populated by assorted clients of the United States, most of them dictators. So even if, counterfactually, Eisenhower or Kennedy had rolled out a tactical red carpet for Fidel, there would have still have been insurmountable conflict over all these Latin American regimes propped up by the United States. The Cubans would have never said, if you put up with us, you can do what you want anywhere. Think of the fact they sent troops [in 1975] even to Angola-where they had no regional connection at all-to save it from a U.S.-backed invasion by South Africa.

Do you see any inflections in the development of American foreign policy over this period?

There is an underlying continuity in the long arc of the U.S. imperium that extends from FDR to Obama. But one can distinguish successive phases in this arc. You have the period that runs from Truman to Kennedy, the high Cold War. Then comes Nixon, the only American president with an original mind in foreign policy. He was intelligent because he was so cynical. He wasn't taken in or mystified by the enormous amount of rhetoric surrounding the lofty U.S. mission in the world. He was therefore more ruthless, but also genuinely innovative in a whole series of ways, the most important of which was to capitalize on the Sino-Soviet split.

The next phase runs from Carter through Reagan to the elder Bush, which sees a reversion to the earlier forms of foreign policy during the Cold War. The fourth phase, of humanitarian intervention, from Clinton through the younger Bush to Obama.

I once thought Carter was an exception in this line, but have since been persuaded to think again.

If you're interested in Carter, there's a good chapter on him in the huge "Cambridge History of the Cold War" by a scholar sympathetic to Carter, which captures the ambiguities and contradictions of his presidency quite well. He did, of course, talk a lot about human rights at the beginning of his tenure, and appointed Patricia Derian, who genuinely believed in them but was quite powerless, to an assistant position in the State Department. But one has to remember that at the outset he appointed Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser, on whom he relied throughout his presidency.

Brzezinski was in many ways brighter than Kissinger, in later years an overrated showman not particularly interesting as a thinker. Brzezinski's cold, brittle mind was a good deal sharper. He was also as much, if not more, of a hawk than Kissinger had been. His masterstroke was funding religious and tribal resistance to the Communist regime in Afghanistan well before any Soviet troops were there, with the clear-cut and entirely successful aim of making the country the Vietnam of the USSR. There followed the Carter Doctrine, which put the U.S. into the military emplacements in the Gulf, where it remains today, while the president was toasting the Shah as a close personal friend and pillar of human rights. To top it off, with Brzezinski at his elbow again, Carter patronized and protected Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, keeping them at the U.N. as the legitimate government of Cambodia, as part of the deal with China for its attack on Vietnam.

In the Middle East, the peace treaty between Sadat and Begin is generally credited to Carter. Its precondition, however, was the double rescue of Israel and of Egypt by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1973 war, which put both countries into the palm of the American hand. What was the regional upshot? Sadat ditched the Palestinians and became a well-funded U.S. client, Begin secured an ally on Israel's southern flank and the Egyptians got the tyranny of Sadat, Mubarak and now Sisi for the next 40 years. Yet to this day Carter gushes over Sadat, a torturer whose memory is loathed by his people, as a wonderful human being. What is nevertheless true is that with all his weaknesses-and worse-Carter was a contradictory figure, who, once he was ousted from office, behaved more decently than any other ex-president in recent memory. Today, he's almost a pariah because of what he says on Israel. One can respect him for that.

Turning to Europe for a moment, I often feel disappointed-I don't think I'm alone in this-at the hesitancy of the Europeans to act on what seems to be their underlying impatience with American primacy. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

Impatience isn't the right word. The reality is rather its opposite. Europe has become ever more patient-a better word would be submissive-with the United States. After 1945, Western Europe was far weaker in relation to America than the E.U. today, which is larger than the U.S. in both GDP and population. But think of three European politicians-in France, Germany and England-in the first 15 years after the war. You had a great statesman in De Gaulle; a very strong, if much more limited leader in Adenauer, and a weak ruler in Eden. But the striking thing is all three were quite prepared to defy the United States in a way that no subsequent politician in Europe has ever done.

Eden launched the Suez expedition against Nasser [in late 1956] without informing Washington - the Americans were livid, Eisenhower beside himself, fearing that it would stoke popular anti-imperialism across Africa and Asia. So the U.S. brought the expedition to an abrupt halt by triggering a run on sterling, and Eden fell. But there was an aftermath. The French premier at the time was Guy Mollet, the Socialist who was an accomplice of Eden in the attack on Egypt, with, himself, a terrible record in Algeria. When the idea of a Common Market came up shortly after the Suez debacle, though he was personally favorable to it, he faced a lot of opposition in France - as there was, too, in Germany. Adenauer, who was quite willing to make commercial concessions to France to smooth the path for the undertaking, gave Mollet a political reason for the Common Market. Look what happened when you fought at Suez, he told him. None of our countries is strong enough to resist the U.S. on its own. Let's pool our resources and then we can do so.

Adenauer was loyal enough to the West, and a staunch anticommunist, but Germany, not America, was what counted for him. As for De Gaulle, he famously pulled France out of the military command of NATO, and defied America with éclat virtually throughout.

Since then, there has been nobody like this. If we ask why, I think the answer is that all these people were formed before the First and Second World Wars broke out, in a period in which major European states had as much weight as the United States on the international checkerboard, if not more. They were not brought up in a world where American hegemony was taken for granted. All of them were involved in the two World Wars, and in the Second De Gaulle had good reason to be distrustful of the U.S., since Roosevelt was long pro-Vichy and wanted to oust him as leader of the Free French.

We could add, incidentally, a couple of later politicians, who fought in the second conflict. One was the English Tory prime minister, Edward Heath, the only postwar ruler of Britain who never made the trip to simper on the White House lawn, receiving an audience and paying tribute, that would become a virtual ceremony of investiture for any new ruler around the world. The other was Helmut Schmidt, a veteran of Operation Barbarossa [the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941] who scarcely concealed his disdain for Carter. These were latecomers from the past. Their successors have grown up under U.S. paramountcy and take it for granted. This is America's world. It is second nature for them to defer to it.

You describe a generational difference in sensibility. But what about the EU?

If the generational declension is one big change, another is what has become of the European Union itself. On paper, it's much more powerful than any of the individual countries. But so far as any coherent foreign policy is concerned, it's institutionally paralyzed by the number of states that make it up-originally six, now 28-and the labyrinthine nature of their dealings with each other. None of them has any complete autonomy of initiative. A staggering amount of time is wasted in endless summits behind closed doors, agendas prepared by bureaucrats, tremulous fear of any public disagreement. No serious international statecraft can emerge from this.

During the countdown to the war in Iraq, there were large street demonstrations in not a few countries, which Dominique Strauss-Kahn-no less-described as a European Declaration of Independence. Schröder [Gerhard, the German chancellor from 1998-2005] announced that Germany could not accept the war, and Chirac [Jacques, the French president, 1995-2007] blocked a U.N. resolution endorsing it. Were these bold acts of independence? Far from it. The French envoy in Washington told Bush in advance: You already have one U.N. resolution saying Saddam must comply with inspections, which is suitably vague. Don't embarrass us by trying to get another resolution that is more specific, which we'll have to oppose. Just use that one and go in. No sooner, indeed, was the attack launched than Chirac opened French skies to U.S. operations against Iraq. Can you imagine De Gaulle meekly helping a war he had said he opposed? As for Schröder, it was soon revealed that German intelligence agents in Baghdad had signaled ground targets for "Shock and Awe." These were politicians who knew the war was very unpopular in domestic opinion, and so made a show of opposing it while actually collaborating. Their independence was a comedy.

That was a dozen years ago. What's the position today?

Edward Snowden's break with the illegalities of Obama's government revealed that it was not only spying on European as well as American citizens en masse, but tapping the phones and communications of Merkel, Hollande and other pillars of Atlantic solidarity. How have these leaders reacted? With an embarrassed smile, before the next warm embrace with the Leader of the Free World. Has one single European government dreamt of offering asylum to Snowden? Not one. Under Merkel, indeed, it now emerges that German intelligence itself was illegally spying on Germans at the behest of the U.S., and passing on the information it gathered to the CIA. There are no consequences to such revelations, except to those who reveal them. The level of abjection passes belief.

Let's put the Ukraine crisis in this context. It is, after all, what prompted me to raise the question of European passivity in the trans-Atlantic relationship. Here, it seems to me, the Europeans are furious with Washington for encouraging Kiev toward a patently dangerous confrontation with Russia. Animosity has been evident since Vicky Nuland's infamous "'F'the E.U." remark just before the coup last year. And now we see Merkel and Hollande more or less pushing the U.S. aside in favor of a negotiated settlement-or "seem to see," in any case. What's your view here?

Why should Washington object to European attempts to reach a stand-off in the Ukraine, so long as sanctions in Russia remain in place? Berlin and Paris are not going to defy it. Any real settlement is for the time being out of reach, but if one were materialize, they would be convenient sherpas for it. The E.U. as such hardly matters: Its reaction to Nuland's dismissal [of them] was to turn the other cheek.

Patrick Smith is Salon's foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else's Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

More Patrick L. Smith.

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire Sam Gindin, Leo Panitch

Amazon.com

Hans G. Despain on October 7, 2012

Powerful Political Economy

Panitch and Gindin argue that market economies have never existed independent of nation states. The state was necessary for the genesis of capitalism, and the state was, and still is, necessary for its historical development and continuous reproduction. Nonetheless, Panitch and Gindin argue there is significant autonomy, or historical "differentiation," between the economy and the nation state. There are economic structural tendencies manifest from the logic of capital and the functioning of the market-system. At the same time nation states can affect these structural tendencies in remarkable ways.

In this sense, there has never been "separation" between capitalist reproduction/development and the state, but there is "differentiation" which has radically significant effects. There is a symbiotic relationship between the state and capitalistic reproduction/development.

This is a book of economic history. But is also a book of economic theory. The economic history is rich and interesting, aimed at explaining the historical emergence of global financial capitalism. While the history Panitch and Gindin offer is rich and interesting, the theory is still richer and even more intriguing.

Their history is primarily aimed, (1) at explaining the emergence of the "informal American empire" (what makes this empire "informal" is the hegemony is accomplished primarily through economic strategy, policy, and diplomacy; and less through military might and political coercion) and (2) demonstrating the historical shifting relationship (from decade to decade since the World War I) between workers, business, finance, and the state.

Their theoretical concern is threefold;

  1. (1) offer a theoretical explanation of the crisis of 2007-8;
  2. (2) offer guidance toward the direction the future the "informal American empire" has for guiding the economies of world; and
  3. (3) to understand the "informal American empire" as a set of beliefs, doctrine, and ideology of how to organize modern societies (workers, business, finance and the state) and the global order (both political [e.g. UN, NATO, etc.] and economical [World Bank, IMF, WTO) for the (ideological) common good.

Although Panitch and Gindin accept that capitalistic development is uneven and unstable, it is crucial to their thesis that each crisis is unique depending upon the particular relationships and alliances forged between workers, business, finance, and the state. In this sense, the crisis of 2007-8 is necessarily unique and the solutions or economic fiscal policies necessary for recovery necessarily different from previous crises.

The highlights of their economic global history include that there have been four! major historical global crises, the long depression in the 1870, the Great depression of 1930, the Great recession of 1970s, and the Great financial crisis of 2007-09.

According to Pantich and Gindin, the 1970s is an economic watershed moment which separates "two Golden ages" of American capitalism.

It may be quite strange to many readers to call 1983 - 2007 a Golden Age. But in fact when looking at the economic data of the period it was quite literally a Golden Age, with millions of Americans and Global financiers and business leaders becoming impressively wealthy. Moreover, the levels of production (GDP) and productivity during the second Golden Age generally outperform the levels of production and productivity during the first Golden Age. Nonetheless the distribution of this wealth is radically narrow and concentrated within primarily finance, while political power concentrated toward "free-trade" orientated states, and away from workers and industrial production. Moreover, Pantich and Gindin maintain that workers are generally weaker during the second Golden Age, finance is strengthen and trumps over production processes, which is more or less conventional wisdom of this period of modern history. Less conventional is their thesis that the state, in particular the American domestic fiscal state and global "informal American empire," greatly strengthened post-1973-83 crisis.

It is not clear the direction the post-2007-09 crisis will take the global economy and American capitalism. What is clear is that the symbiotic relationship between workers, business, finance, and the state, and the global order (U.S. Treasury, IMF, World Bank, WTO, UN) is once again shifting. Pantich and Gindin's book offers to the reader a far

Jeb Sprague on November 8, 2014

Fascinating & important book, yet suffers from nation-state centrism & ignores novel social dynamics of Global Capitalism era

Panitch and Gindin's epic and fascinating book has the goal of tracing what the authors describe as the central role of the informal "American empire" and U.S. capital in the formation of the contemporary global capitalist system. I published a review in the journal Critical Sociology (Vol. 40, No. 5. P. 803-807) earlier this year that expands further on the importance of this work but I also have some criticisms, of which I paste some of below:

Whereas the authors emphasize the role of longstanding national and international dynamics, they overlook the numerous studies that have shown how novel transnational dynamics have come about even as historic residue remains (see for example Harris, 2013; Murray G, 2012; Robinson, 2003, 2004, 2014). Other than briefly denying the usefulness of the idea, the authors say little about the good deal of work on transnational class relations, for example in regards to the different fractions of the transnational capitalist class (as detailed in the works of Baker, 2011; Robinson, 2003, 2008; Harris, 2008; Sklair, 2001; Carrol, 2011; Murray J, 2013). Panitch and Gindin argue that theories of a TCC (transnational capitalist class) lead us to overlook uneven development between "nation-states" and the "economic competition between various centers of accumulation" (p. 11).... Yet while capital tends to concentrate in particular built up spaces, this corresponds, as a number of studies have shown, less and less to the strict restrictions of national space. Functionally integrated circuits of production and finance, and other networks, for example, have come to cut through various geographic scales (including national space) (Dicken, 20112; Robinson, 2010). Whereas local, national, regional, and international dynamics remain legion and substantial, many decisive economic, social, and political processes have become transnationally oriented....

The role of the state and its different policies is a clear focus of Panitch and Gindin's book. At times the authors do refer to the role of state elites, but often the authors can reify the state, describing the state as if it acts on its own and of its own accord. We need here to understand more clearly the class nature of the state, how specific social groups operate through state apparatuses as a site of struggle. Rather than individuals of the capitalist class serving directly in the state, it is governing political groups that normally do this. As relatively autonomous these political groups and state elites maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate, even as they overwhelmingly operate in the "collective" interests of capital. This relative autonomy is conditioned by a number of dynamics, such as prevailing socioeconomic conditions, the balance and struggle of social forces, and the position or character of the state. In those instances where Panitch and Gindin do write about state elites and political groups, these groups are presented as essentially the traditional nation-state governing elite who often operate in the interests of domestic capitalists. While these groups may fight among themselves or wrestle with domestic classes to carry out policies that are internationally geared, these political elites, as Panitch and Gindin describe them, do not veer far from the mold of their nation-state predecessors. The authors never recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place, through which state apparatuses, most importantly the U.S., are being utilized to reproduce conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation.

The authors pass over quickly some theories of the state that they disagree with, giving a straw person description of a "supranational global state" (p. 11) and citing an article by Philip McMichael (2001) that similarly misexplained ideas on the emergent transnationalization of state apparatuses and rise of transnationally oriented technocrats and elites who operate through state apparatuses (as discussed by Jayasuriya, 1999, 2005; Liodakis, 2010; Robinson, 2004, 2012; Sprague, 2012). I would argue for example that transnationally oriented state elites and technocrats believe that to develop they must insert their national states and institutions into global circuits of accumulation. They need access to capital, and capital is in the hands of the TCC. However, state elites must still appeal to their home audiences. They still interact with a variety of social groups and social classes, some more transnationally oriented and others with a more national orientation. Because of this, even as ties between state elites and TCC fractions deepen, national rhetoric and national state policies occur that are in apparent contradiction with TCC interests. In this way, political leaders attempt to maintain national political legitimacy while deepening practices of a global nature. However, as these state elites become entangled with and dependent upon processes of global capital accumulation they increasingly transition from taking part in national or international processes to transnational processes.

In regards to law, Panitch and Gindin argue that "Americanized internationalized law" has supplanted local international investment laws in much of the world. Here the authors obscure how transnational legal frameworks have come about through coalitions and the support of various interests and social forces. The mere adoption of laws for instance (even when heavily influenced by U.S. state elites) does not explain how they are implemented or modified. Nor does it explain the different interests behind these changes.

The authors emphasize the role of the "informal U.S. empire," with globalization "imbricated in the American empire," a system "under continuing US leadership," with the country maintaining its "imperial responsibilities for the reproduction of global capitalism" (p. 330). Yet they never clearly explain what is global capitalism, globalization, or the difference between the international and the transnational. This is because their conceptions of class, capital, and the state don't help us to understand the fundamental changes taking place. While they provide an extensive and critical historical overview in pointing out the leading role of the U.S. state and its policies in reproducing today's "system of class power and inequality" (p. 330), they don't recognize how this has occurred through fundamentally new dynamics of the global epoch.

While the authors help us to better understand the key role of the U.S. government and its policies during the late twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, they do so through an outdated theoretical scope that never gets at the deep changes occurring. Rather than the U.S. nation-state empire and those operating through it creating conditions beneficial for closely aligned internationally active domestic capitalists, more and more we can see how transnationally oriented elites operating through the most powerful national state apparatus (headquartered in Washington) are promoting conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation and in the interests of TCC fractions.

While this book is well worth your time reading, for getting a deeper understanding of contemporary political economy I suggest Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity clearer picture of what is at stake and who are the main institutional actors in the historical drama and capitalistic tragedy we call modern human history.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2003

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

[Jan 19, 2021] Neoliberal Democrats are part of the problem not the part of the solution

Jan 19, 2021 | twitter.com

No, I am not excited for the inauguration of a man who: Wrote the crime and bankruptcy bills, voted for the Iraq War, took more money from Wall Street than Trump, and told a room of rich donors that "nothing will fundamentally change." Democrats are part of the problem too.

[Jan 19, 2021] I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

banallwars 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 04:32 PM

What a lie. The bombs being dropped from the U.S. made jets the Saudi pilots fly over Yemen killing civilians leaves blood all over his hands not to mention shaking the hand of the Saudi that murdered a journalist before selling him weapons to kill Yemen's civilians.
Waryaa Moxamad 48 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 05:36 PM
1) False flag chemical attack on Syria. 2) killing Soleimani in a sovereign country he was invited to 3) Guaido 4) Bolivia. 5) continuing the wars predecessors started.

Who is being fooled that U.S. presidency has any say in America's imperialism?

Debra***** Waryaa Moxamad 40 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 05:46 PM
Who really pushed for General Soleimani to be killed and has the most personal and intense vendetta against Soleimani? Mike Pompeo. Trump did not give the Pentagon and CIA all the wars they wanted, especially in Syria. Now the Pentagon and the CIA have their puppet, Corrupt Biden, who will do what they command him to do. I would expect in one year to see another massive war. Where? Syria. The US mothers will cry when their sons come home in coffins. The Hez in Lebanon will not back down, and they will enter Syria again. Trump did not want young American boys coming back in coffins!!!!!!!

[Jan 19, 2021] Few sights in Washington are more familiar than an intellectual urging "total war" from the safety of the keyboard

Highly recommended!
In a way neocon jingoism serve as a smoke scree to sitrct "depolables" from the decline of the standard of living under neoliberalism.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

Orthodoxy of the Elites - by Jackson Lears - The New York Review of Books

By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.

Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, Editor in Chief of Raritan, and the author of ­Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (January 2021)

[Jan 19, 2021] Biden's Nominee for CIA Director by John Kiriakou

Jan 19, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

January 11, 2021 Save

If there must be a CIA, I feel better with Bill Burns being in charge of it.

William Burns in 2014 as U.S. deputy secretary of state. (State Department)

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

P resident-elect Joe Biden has finally named a new CIA director, one of the final senior-level appointees for his new administration. Much to the surprise of many of us who follow these things, he named senior diplomat Williams Burns to the position. Burns is one of the most highly-respected senior U.S. diplomats of the past three decades. He has ably served presidents of both parties and is known as both a reformer and as a supporter of human rights.

Burns is currently the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an important Washington-based international affairs think tank. He served as deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama and was ambassador to Russia under President George W. Bush and ambassador to Jordan under President Bill Clinton. He was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the Iran Nuclear Deal and spent much of his career focused on the Middle East Peace Process. Burns joined the Foreign Service in 1982.

Please Contribute to Consortium
News ' Winter Fund Drive

When he made the announcement of Burns' appointment, Biden said,

"Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the word stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure. He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect. The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director."

The message from Biden is clear: The CIA will not be led by a political hack like Mike Pompeo, a CIA insider like John Brennan, or someone associated with the CIA's crimes of torture, secret prisons, or international renditions like Gina Haspel. Instead, the organization will be led by someone with experience engaging across a negotiating table with America's enemies, someone experienced in solving problems, rather than creating new ones, someone who has dedicated much of his career to promoting peace, rather than to creating war.

Rank & File Response

The question, though, is what will be the response from the CIA's rank-and-file to Burns' appointment? I can tell you from my 15 years of experience at the CIA that there will be two reactions. At the working level, analysts, operators, and others will continue their same level of work no matter who the director is. Most working level officers don't even care who the director is. It doesn't matter to them. They never encounter the director and policies made at that top level generally don't impact them on a day-to-day basis.

At the senior levels, the leadership levels, CIA officers will be of two minds. Some will welcome Burns and his professionalism. They'll welcome a director who doesn't attract adverse press because of a past history of committing war crimes or crimes against humanity. (Even if they supported those crimes when they were being committed, press attention is always unwelcome.) They'll welcome a director who didn't head secret prisons overseas. They'll welcome a director who wasn't in charge of Guantanamo. They'll welcome a director who wasn't in charge of maintaining a secret "kill list."

Others will resent Burns, though, as they resented an earlier outsider, Admiral Stansfield Turner. Turner had been appointed by President Jimmy Carter to "clean up" the CIA. Turner then fired fully a third of the CIA's operations officers, some just months away from qualifying for retirement. He was universally reviled after that, and he never regained the trust of agency personnel.

That's not Burns' style. He's not a military officer who demands fealty. He's a diplomat, a negotiator. The CIA has to be cleaned up. Its policies have to be reformed. If there must be a CIA, I feel better with Bill Burns being in charge of it. At the very least, we should give him enough time to at least get started.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.


bobLich , January 12, 2021 at 09:29

Some paragraphs found in this article.

hXXps://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/01/12/brns-j12.html?pk_campaign=newsletter&pk_kwd=wsws

As a top-level State Department official through the administrations of Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, Burns is implicated in virtually every crime of US imperialism over the past three decades, including the war in Iraq, the US-NATO attack on Libya, the military coup that drowned the Egyptian Revolution in blood, and the US intervention in Syria.

After such a career, as the saying goes, Burns knows where all the bodies are buried. Now he is assigned to head an agency that is probably responsible for more killing, torture and mass suffering than any other on the planet: the CIA.

A preview of what to expect from a Burns-led CIA was given during an interview with National Public Radio's Mary Louise Kelly on "US Global Leadership" held June 19, 2019 at the Truman Center for National Policy in Washington, DC. In the extended conversation, Burns defended the US and NATO-led coup in Libya which ended with the grisly murder of Muammar Gaddafi, followed by an ongoing civil war, the torture and killing of refugees and the return of slave-markets.

"It was right to act in Libya in the way that we did," Burns said. While the US government might have "got some assumptions wrong," he expressed no regrets, saying that he still thought Obama's "decision to act was unavoidable."

Anne , January 12, 2021 at 14:15

I would agree with your estimation some one, anyone who can think, believe, say etc that what we did in Iraq, Libya (I don't doubt Serbia), Syria is "rightful" has a heinously distorted mind (pretty much everyone in DC, in the MICIMATT) And Biden has revealed himself – again – as a subject of the corporate-capitalist-imperialist plutocratic ruling elites (and one with his hand forever stuck out)

Mikhail , January 12, 2021 at 22:31

In addition:

see: rt.com/usa/512136-biden-cia-director-william-burns-russia/

Scott Ritter and Melvin Goodman seem to agree with John:

See: rt.com/op-ed/512276-biden-burns-cia-chief/

See: counterpunch.org/2021/01/12/burns-at-the-cia/

[Jan 19, 2021] Galloway- Looking forward to Joe Biden's first 100 days, it's impossible to believe he'll actually be in charge by George Galloway

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

George Galloway George Galloway

was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway

19 Jan, 2021 18:23 It's hard not to wonder if Joe Biden will even last his first 100 days in office... but those arguing his mind isn't sound enough shouldn't expect a swift exit, because since when was that a disqualifier?

... ... ...

The madness of Donald Trump had nothing on his Republican predecessor and fellow-impeachee Richard Nixon. So disturbing were the last days of Tricky Dicky, it came as a relief to America and the world when he resigned – even though it was famously said his successor Gerald Ford couldn't chew gum and walk in a straight line at the same time. Bovine he may have been, but a mad-cow he wasn't.

The Raging Bull Donald J Trump – grotesque, bizarre, unbelievable – had the misfortune to go quite mad in the age of cable news and social media. His narcissistic predilections always bordered on personality disorder. But his natural braggadocio stormed him to victory in 2016 in a backlash against the super-smooth professorial presidency of Barack Obama, with Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton riding shotgun.

Under Obama, the Clintonite deindustrialisation of America became almost complete . China was presented with America's lunch. And in no less than nine conflicts across the globe Obama was 'nation-building' in other people's countries while his own country was falling apart. But a dark storm was gathering

If only the Democrats had not started out by trying to steal Trump's election in a flurry of pussy-hats and fake Russiagate hoaxes. If only they hadn't striven might and main to railroad the Electoral College into betraying their mandate and – in the case of Nancy Pelosi – make a thinly disguised call for "uprisings throughout the country." If only they hadn't spent countless millions and two whole years of a four year-term with the Mueller Inquiry and the cockamaney theorem that the man who confronted Russia from Ukraine and the Baltics through the wrecked INF and Open Skies treaties to the killing fields of the Levant was, in fact, an agent of Vladimir Putin. If only, if only

ALSO ON RT.COM President Biden now you've got rid of that ghastly Mr Trump, it's time the US and UK rekindled our 'special relationship'

As it happened, the descent into madness of Trump was complete by the end. The coronavirus he derided at first, before predicting it would disappear in the warm weather of spring, before pondering whether bleach up the bahookie might not be an option as a cure. The Tammany Hall skullduggery of election day, practiced over a century in places like New York, rolled out across the country. The political suicide of only half-making a revolution on January 6 dug his own grave. Nobody ever beat a candidate who polled over 75 million votes before. But Sleepy Joe Biden did.

And he did it hardly ever leaving his basement home studio, where he painfully struggled to read an autocue even with an earpiece shrieking the words to him. When he did speak, it was often gibberish that would have made Ronald Reagan blush. He oftentimes plainly didn't know where he was, what office he was running for, which woman was his sister and which was his wife.

When Boris Yeltsin was rattling down, the world endlessly amused itself at the sight of Russia on its back, legs akimbo with thieves picking its pocket. With Joe Biden, though, the political class and its media echo-chamber merely look the other way.

Despite Democratic Party control of all levels of Federal power, it seems unlikely we are about to witness an FDR or a JFK barnstorming 100 days. It seems fair to wonder if Sleepy Joe will even see out a hundred days in office. It is, however, certain that if he is in office he will not be in power. Because power has already passed to the cavernous uncertainty of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Mark Conley 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:44 PM

Thanks for reminding the world that the president of the USA including his puppet elected office bearers has absolutely no power whatsoever. Well said. Thus you have answered your own observation at the end. The future is indeed dark and uncertain with the only certainty that nothing good can be expected from any USA government. Thus the onus is on the peaceful majority to do what is necessary.
Atilla863 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:15 PM
One thing is certain in the new leadership - the debt will go on growing, perhaps reaching 40+ T dollars before the next elections. While this trend continues - the Chinese will be laughing all the way running to their banks as their economy records fortune after fortune proportional only inversely to the rate at which America recedes into superpower sunset.
JJ_Rousseau 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:18 PM
I'm surprised at George Galloway's comments, as he is a former MP in British politics. Kamala in charge? Don't make me laugh. The cabal is in charge, as they have been since Woodrow Wilson. Before actually, as Garfield was assassinated for shedding light on the banker machinations. Garfield knew that control of the nation's money was control of the nation. The coup of America is complete. The POTUS is only the spokesman for the cabal, nothing else
5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:08 PM
An election stolen is a stolen election.
KarlthePoet 5th Eye 13 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:43 PM
Biden will be much easier to control and manipulate by the Jewish Banking Cartel, which ultimately controls the US government and Wall Street. Trump was too unpredictable and would have made it difficult for them to achieve their historical hope. "The Jews energetically reject the idea of fusion with other nationalities and cling firmly to their historical hope of World Empire." - Dr. Max Mandelstamm ***We should always listen to the doctors.
Skeptic076 5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:13 PM
Not stolen.....50 states certified, 60 plus courts found nothing fraudulent, and the electoral votes were confirmed by the House and Senate, with the Senate led by Pence. So, as the world knows and anyone who knows election laws, the election was one of the most legitimate ever held in the US.
KarlthePoet 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PM
The Jewish Banking Cartel is ultimately in control of the US government and Wall Street. They've been in control for decades. Now they've obviously teamed up with the Jewish Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google in order to gain even more control. Controlling the money, money system, and the minds of the masses has been their goal. Two Jewish controlled companies control over $9Trillion of American's wealth. (BlackRock Inc. & Goldman Sachs) They've finally achieved their goal. The cartel is now in control of a country that is completely out of control. Karma!
Daffyduck011 KarlthePoet 38 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:18 PM
Ashkenasty banking cartel.
JJ_Rousseau KarlthePoet 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:29 PM
It's not only the banking cabal, it's the media (which the same gang own, of course). This cannot happen without a complicit media. This is a very old strategy
Blackace180 7 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:49 PM
He'll be impeached multiple times, along with his family. Removed and jailed. People need a reminder of just how messed up Obama/Biden was and it is coming. The caravans are already on the way and gas has jumped 55 cents a gallon since the election, for no reason other than it is Biden. People will run the nutcracker right out of office, hopefully before the country collapses from his nutcracker policies.
White Elk 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:45 PM
The press-elected.
Xilla White Elk 33 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:23 PM
How did the press elect him?
Franc 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:28 PM
Xilla/Herrbifi, you're not welcome here. We all know what your goals are, and we all know you're just here to make a pointless mess.
5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:18 PM
An Italian bureaucrat once said, "Everything is changed, so that it remains the same." It will be exactly like that under Biden to legitimate his regime.
The_Chosenites 51 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PM
Since both Trump and Biden are proud zionists, the only thing I am certain of is Israel and the Jewish community have won another election and we'll see many jewish politicians elevated to positions of power in the Biden administration. Biden best do what's best for Israel if he knows whats good for him and his health.
KarlthePoet The_Chosenites 16 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:40 PM
Maybe when Kamala becomes President she can get advice from her Jewish husband, who is a lawyer. What a coincidence.
Enki14 9 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:48 PM
That Henry Kissinger, long time shadow government puppet endorsed demented biden is a clue as to what might happen as they know in 2 years the masses will reinstate conservatives and in 4 years another trumpster. We may see sweeping changes, with some huge blowback.
The_Chosenites Enki14 4 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:53 PM
Kissinger has had a bed in the oval office for many a President, he must have been installed by the Chosennites to stay in office forever. Presidents come and go, but Kissinger remains to pull the strings. Goldman Sach's et al rule the roost.
Daniel Fernald 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:42 PM
Biden's 100 days are interesting. It's exactly 100 days from January 20 to May 1, which is the communist May Day.
Skeptic076 Daniel Fernald 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:44 PM
Used to be the American May Day as well, you know? Interesting if you research why it is not anymore.
Michael Knight 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:46 PM
Impossible to believe he'll be in charge????? That's probably because he won't be!

RCBreakenridge Mike Freeman 1 hour ago
19 Jan, 2021 02:28 PM
Mike, seriously? What echo chamber are you living in? How can you look at Biden and not understand that he's little more than a life-size cardboard cutout of the man that used to be Obama's puppet? He'll be in office as long as they can continue to stand him up for photo ops and he continues to do exactly what he is told. As soon as either of those conditions falter, Nancy and friends will roll out the 25th amendment, show him the door and lead KH to the presidents chair. But make no mistake, the only choices Sleepy Joe will be making are to do as he is told.

[Jan 19, 2021] Trump was a desperate "Murica must have the biggest dick" imperialist massively triggered by the US decline and trying to save the US Empire. Like a rabid dog that is wounded, he attacked anything that moves, including those who helped him get into power.

Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Jan 19 2021 21:57 utc | 36

Posted by: teri | Jan 19 2021 21:31 utc | 33

>>Today, the Trump administration filed an appeal against the UK decision not to extradite Assange. I must imagine that means that Trump has no intention of pardoning Assange.

Trump was a desperate "Murica must have the biggest dick" imperialist massively triggered by the US decline and trying to save the US Empire. Like a rabid dog that is wounded, he attacked anything that moves, including those who helped him get into power.

Anyone who thought that he will help the likes of Russia or Assange does not understand the psychology of elite US WASPs.

These people thought that they and the US should rule the world and that they are the cream of the cream. Anything denying them that would lead to crazed reactions, hysteria, rabid animalistic behavior, and snarling and gnashing of teeth at anything that moves.

Simply put, their decline caused them to go rabid. A rabid dog attacks anything that moves, whether friendly or not. Unfortunately for the likes of Russia and Assange.

[Jan 19, 2021] Which US President Was Worse -- Obama, Or Trump by Eric Zuesse

Dec 26, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

On December 17th, Gallup headlined "Biden Inherits a Battered U.S. Image Abroad" .

The Pew surveys have found the same thing: In almost all countries surveyed, other than Poland, public approval of America's leadership plunged when Trump replaced Obama, and that low approval stayed down throughout Trump's Presidency.

However, also on December 17th, the great investigative journalist David Sirota headlined at his "The Daily Poster" blog, "End The Austerity Loop" , and he documented that President Obama's response to George W. Bush's policies that had crashed the U.S. economy (and actually the entire world's economy) had actually been to institute a bailout of the megabanks ( "broker-dealers" ), and -- as soon as it was passed by Congress -- Obama's Administration refused to help the people who had been evicted from their homes as a result of what Wall Street had done . Obama said instead that all of the federal money had already been spent and he wouldn't authorize increasing the federal debt even more than he already had authorized in order to bail out Wall Street.

Of course, Congress was also culpable in all of these Robin-Hood-in-reverse policies ( protecting Wall Street while abandoning Main Street ), but the ultimate leadership was at the top, and it was a policy of sheer hypocrisy. Trump has merely been hypocritical in a different way, and espousing a different set of excuses for his failures.

The article in the Spring 2011 Review of Banking & Financial Law , by Tae Yeon Kim, "Pay It Back (TARP Developments)" , described the situation as follows:

The purpose of Title XIII ("Pay it Back Act") of the DoddFrank Act, according to Senator Michael Bennett, was to "rebuild the credibility of our financial system, save taxpayers billions of dollars, and finally move to end the TARP"12 by "prevent[ing] further government spending, recaptur[ing] taxpayers' investment in financial institutions, and ensur[ing] that repaid funds are used for deficit reduction."13 Under Title XIII, TARP funding authorized under the EESA was reduced from $700 billion to $475 billion.14 Also, no additional TARP funds can be spent on any program initiated after June 25, 2010; any money repaid to the TARP fund must be used for deficit reduction only.15 Title XIII amends the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The Treasury must allocate the sale of obligations and securities, as well as fees paid by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Home Loan Banks to the General Fund of the Treasury ("General Fund").16 The funds must be "dedicated for the sole purpose of deficit reduction" and "prohibited from use as an offset for other spending increases or revenue reductions."17 Similarly, TARP funds provided to a state under ARRA and rejected by the Governor or by the State legislature, or funds withdrawn or recaptured by the head of an executive agency not obligated by a State or local government, will be rescinded and deposited in the General Fund.18 Once in the General Fund, the money will be "dedicated for the sole purpose of deficit reduction" and "prohibited from use as an offset for other spending increases or revenue reductions."19 Section 1306 further provides that discretionary ARRA appropriations that have not been obligated as of December 31, 2010 shall also be rescinded and deposited in the General Fund for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.

On 18 February 2011, National Public Radio headlined "TARP Watchdog Says Foreclosure Plan Is Failing" and reported that

Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the massive federal bank bailout program, or TARP, is stepping down from his post in March. He says the Obama administration's program to prevent foreclosures is broken, and that many of the people it's supposed to be helping are now "in a far worse place than they would have been had this program not existed."

The megabanks had gotten their federal help, but foreclosures and boarded-up windows and storefronts were appearing everywhere and were lowering the surrounding property-values, so that both lower and middle-class real estate were getting progressively worse and more run-down. The TARP Bailout Program saved the megabanks but not their victims; and here is why, as explained even by a conservative, pro-corporate, source:

The Problem With the TARP Program for Homeowners

Why didn't more people take advantage of the HAMP and HARP programs? This would have pumped billions into the economy and helped millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure.

The problem was the banks. They cherry-picked applicants and refused to consider those with lower equity. Banks were too wary of risk to allow the programs to work.

These were the same banks, who just a few years before, were giving out loans to anyone because they were making money on the investments that were created from the loans.

There was no risk to the banks, as all these loans were guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac . Banks didn't want to be bothered with the paperwork involved with homeowners who had mortgage insurance .

On 25 July 2016, a mortgage-industry website headlined "Obama administration presents a look at life after HAMP" and acknowledged "that there's more work to be done." (That was putting it mildly.)

The Obama Administration did nothing whatsoever to reduce those foreclosures . In fact, there was even less prosecution of financial and other white-collar crimes than there had been under Bush .

The admirers of President Trump are equally deceived -- no less deceived than the admirers of Obama had been. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" and did none of that .

In foreign policies, Trump continued Obama's wars (including aggressive sanctions), such as against Syria, and against Russia, and against Iraq, and intensified Obama's war against China and against Iran and against Venezuela -- all of these being against countries that had never threatened to invade the U.S., and so all of them were (and are ) actually wars of aggression, not of defense.

Americans are profoundly deceived to accept such people as leaders, instead of to reject them as liars and as traitors.

Most Americans -- and many people throughout the world -- prefer one or the other of those two American Presidents on the basis only of political prejudices, but the actual differences between Obama and Trump were more stylistic than substantive .

President Trump, at the end of his Presidency, is polling, among the American public, both as one of the worst Presidents ever and as one of the best Presidents ever , and this is a reflection of the astoundingly sharp partisan divide now between Democrats and Republicans. Pathetically few Americans recognize that both of the two Parties represent only the billionaires -- not the American people . This pervasive miscomprehension, by the public, results because the billionaires control not only the Government, they also control the press -- they shape the population's perceptions, so as to make this aristocracy (America's billionaires) acceptable to the public, directing the public's rage to be against the opposite Party, instead of against the billionaires themselves , who actually control the country .

Consequently, Democratic Party voters think that that Party is their Party, and Republican Party voters think that that Party is their Party. However, in reality, both Parties are controlled by America's hundreds of billionaires -- not by the Party's voters. Obama represented the Democratic Party's billionaires, and Trump represented the Republican Party's billionaires (other than the ones who, in 2020, disliked Trump so much that they donated instead to the Biden campaign or to one of its PACs). This is a Government of the people, by the billionaires, and for the billionaires. It's no democracy , whatsoever, and the U.S. Constitution has been covered-over, by the U.S. aristocracy's Supreme Court's rulings, to become, by now, merely a parchment document, which 'means' whatever the (majority of) the U.S. aristocracy's Supreme Court say that it means. Although those jurists are paid by the public, they don't represent America's Founders, and they don't represent the American people. They represent -- and protect the interests of -- America's billionaires. They were chosen because that is what they had been doing before they had been chosen. If they hadn't been doing this, they wouldn't have been chosen. That's today's American reality.

[Jan 19, 2021] President Biden's Corruption Already Pervades His Administration -- Strategic Culture

Notable quotes:
"... "A month after the election, Biden's nominations make clear that the president-elect is most focused on trying to fulfill his ..."
"... to donors that nothing fundamentally changes. And yet, that tacit admission may have stunned those who keep hearing from liberal and progressive groups in Washington that, in fact, the left has been notching monumental victories in Biden's cabinet appointments ..."
"... What little organized left political infrastructure exists in Washington is largely valorizing or publicly defending swamp creatures who at minimum deserve a loyal opposition. The ..."
"... being done by a small handful of under-resourced groups to mount a real opposition is getting trampled by a culture of obsequiousness. This culture of acquiescence gives swamp creatures a free pass ..."
"... Despite Tanden's ..."
"... push for Social Security cuts ..."
"... , Beltway liberal groups whose mission is to defend Social Security ..."
"... . Despite Tanden having her organization ..."
"... rake in cash ..."
"... from Wall Street, Amazon, billionaires and ( ..."
"... ) foreign governments, a Ralph Nader-founded, all-purpose consumer advocacy group ..."
"... CAP as "one of our key partners in the fight to tax corporations and the rich, rein in monopoly power, tackle government corruption, and much more." Despite Tanden ..."
"... a union at CAP, ..."
"... union leaders ..."
"... in Washington lauded her. ..."
"... American Prospect ..."
"... "a President Biden would be in the business of confronting Mr. Putin for his aggressions, not embracing him. Not trashing NATO, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Ukraine, Georgia, the Western Balkans ..."
"... "a President Putin would be in the business of confronting Mr. Biden for his aggressions (in Syria, or elsewhere), not embracing them. Not trashing the Warsaw Pact, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Canada, Mexico, and other nations that are near the U.S. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Bernard Schwartz, ..."
"... a former Vice Chairman and top investor in Lockheed Martin ..."
"... (which is by far the largest seller to the U.S. Government, and also the largest seller to most of America's allied Governments), is one of Joe Biden's top donors. CNN headlined, on October 24th, ..."
"... "Biden allies intensify push for super PAC after lackluster fundraising quarter" ..."
"... , and reported that, "Bernard Schwartz, a private investor and donor to the former vice president's campaign, said he spoke with Biden within the last two weeks and encouraged him to do just that." It's not for nothing that throughout Biden's long Senate career, he has voted in favor of every U.S. invasion that has been placed before the U.S. Senate. ..."
Jan 19, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

President Biden's Corruption Already Pervades His Administration Eric Zuesse December 8, 2020 © Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

That didn't take long. He's not even in office, and he has already surrounded himself, as the incoming President, with individuals who derive their wealth from (and will be serving) America's top defense contractors and Wall Street. The likelihood that these Government officials will be biting the hands that feed them is approximately zero. Great investigative journalists have already exposed how corrupt they are. For that to be the case so early (even before taking office) is remarkable, and only a summary of those reports will be provided here, with links to them, all of which reports are themselves linking to the incriminating evidence, so that everything can easily be tracked back to the documentation by the reader here, even before there are any 'Special Prosecutors' (as if those were serving anyone other than the opposite Party's political campaigns, and, ultimately, the opposite Party's billionaires).

First up, is the independent investigative team of David Sirota and Andrew Perez. On December 4th, they bannered "The Beltway Left Is Normalizing Corruption And Corporatism" , and reported that "A month after the election, Biden's nominations make clear that the president-elect is most focused on trying to fulfill his promise to donors that nothing fundamentally changes. And yet, that tacit admission may have stunned those who keep hearing from liberal and progressive groups in Washington that, in fact, the left has been notching monumental victories in Biden's cabinet appointments ."

Liberal (that's to say Democratic Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Democratic politicians, and conservative (that's to say Republican Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Republican politicians; and, so, the public today are getting corrupt leaders whichever side they vote for. No mainstream 'news' media report what independent investigative journalists such as Sirota and Perez report. Authentically good journalists use as sources -- and link to in their articles -- neither Democratic nor Republican allegations, but instead are on the margins, outside of the major media, and so rely on whistleblowers and other trustworthy outsiders, not on people who are somebody's paid PR flacks, individuals who are being paid to deceive. As Sirota and Perez state: " What little organized left political infrastructure exists in Washington is largely valorizing or publicly defending swamp creatures who at minimum deserve a loyal opposition. The good work being done by a small handful of under-resourced groups to mount a real opposition is getting trampled by a culture of obsequiousness. This culture of acquiescence gives swamp creatures a free pass ." It's all some sort of mega-corporate propaganda -- 100% billionaire-supported on the conservative side, 100% billionaire-supported also on the liberal side, and 0% billionaire-supported for anything that is authentically progressive (not dependent, at all, upon the aristocracy).

That independent reporting team focused on Biden's having chosen an economic team which will start his Administration already offering to congressional Republicans an initial Democratic Party negotiating position that accepts Republicans' basic proposals to cut middle class Social Security and health care benefits in order for the Government to be able to continue expanding the military budgets and purchases from the billionaire-controlled firms, such as Northrop Grumman -- firms whose entire sales (or close to it) are to the U.S. Government and to the governments (U.S. 'allies') that constitute these firms' secondary markets. (In other words: those budget-cuts aren't going to be an issue between the two Parties and used by Biden's team as a bargaining chip to moderate the Republicans' position that favors more for 'defense' and less for the poor, but are actually accepted by both Parties, even before the new Administration will take office.) Obviously, anything that both sides to a negotiation accept at the very start of a negotiation will be included in the final product from that negotiation; and this means that during a Biden Presidency there will be reductions in middle-class Social security and health care benefits in order to continue, at the present level -- if not to increase yet further -- Government spending on the products and services of such firms as Lockheed Martin and the Rand Corporation (firms that control their market by controlling their Government, which is their main or entire market).

Sirota and Perez focus especially upon one example: Neera Tanden, whom Biden chose on November 30th to be the White House Budget Director, and who therefore will set the priorities which determine how much federal money the President will be trying to get the Congress to allocate to what recipients:

Despite Tanden's push for Social Security cuts , Beltway liberal groups whose mission is to defend Social Security lauded her think tank . Despite Tanden having her organization rake in cash from Wall Street, Amazon, billionaires and ( previously ) foreign governments, a Ralph Nader-founded, all-purpose consumer advocacy group praised CAP as "one of our key partners in the fight to tax corporations and the rich, rein in monopoly power, tackle government corruption, and much more." Despite Tanden busting a union at CAP, two national union leaders in Washington lauded her.

Next up: One of the rare honest non-profits in the field of journalism is the Project on Government Oversight, POGO, which refuses to accept donations from "anyone who stands to benefit financially from our work," and which states in its unique "Donation Acceptance Policy" that, "POGO reviews all contributions exceeding $100 in order to maintain this standard." In other words: they refuse to be corrupt. Virtually all public-policy or think-tank nonprofits are profoundly corrupt, but POGO is the most determined exception to that general rule.

On 20 November 2020, POGO headlined "Should Michèle Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?" and their terrific investigative team of Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey delivered a scorching portrayal of Flournoy as irredeemably corrupt -- it ought to be read by everybody. It's essential reading throughout, and its links to the evidence are to the very best sources. So, I won't summarize it, because all Americans need to know what it reports, and to be able to verify, on their own (by clicking onto any link in it that interests them), any allegation that the given reader has any question about. However, I shall point out here the sheer hypocrisy of the following which that article quotes Flournoy as asserting: "It will be imperative for the next secretary to appoint a team of senior officials who meet the following criteria: deep expertise and competence in their areas of responsibility; proven leadership in empowering teams, listening to diverse views, making tough decisions, and delivering results." (Of course, that assertion presumes the given 'expert' to be not only authentically expert but also honest and trustworthy, authentically representing the public's interest and no special interests whatsoever -- not at all corrupt -- which is certainly a false allegation in her own case.) She had urged the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and had participated in planning and overseeing both the war against Syria, and the coup that destroyed Ukraine (and none of those countries had ever invaded, or even threatened to invade, the United States); and, so, for her to brag about her "delivering results" is not merely hypocritical, it is downright evil, because she is obviously proud, there, of her vicious, outright voracious, record.

Her business-partner, Tony Blinken, has already received Biden's approval to become his Secretary of State, and the first really good investigative journalist that American Prospect magazine has had, Jonathan Guyer, headlined on November 23rd, "What You Need to Know About Tony Blinken" , and what Guyer reports is just what any well informed reader would expect to see for a business partner of Flournoy's.

Guyer's report closes by making passing reference to a CBS 'news' puff-piece for Blinken. In that CBS puff-piece , Blinken says, "a President Biden would be in the business of confronting Mr. Putin for his aggressions, not embracing him. Not trashing NATO, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Ukraine, Georgia, the Western Balkans ." What would Americans think if Russia were to have retained its Warsaw Pact, and "a President Putin would be in the business of confronting Mr. Biden for his aggressions (in Syria, or elsewhere), not embracing them. Not trashing the Warsaw Pact, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Canada, Mexico, and other nations that are near the U.S. "? Guyer pointedly noted that "The [CBS News] podcast was sponsored by a major weapons maker. 'At Lockheed Martin, your mission is ours,' read an announcer." Tony Blinken's mission is theirs. These people get the money both coming and going -- on both sides of the "revolving door." Today's American Government is for sale to the highest bidders, on any policy, domestic or foreign. 'Government service' is just a sabbatical to boost their value to the firms that will be paying them the vast majority of their lifetime 'earnings'. This is the reality that mainstream U.S.-and-allied 'news' media refuse to publish (or, especially , to make clear). Only an electorate which is ignorant of this reality can accept such a government.

Back on 26 January 2020, I had headlined "Joe Biden Is as Corrupt as They Come" and documented the reality of this, but America's mainstream media were hiding that fact so as to decrease the likelihood that the only Democratic Party Presidential candidate whom no billionaire supported , Bernie Sanders, might win the nomination. Perhaps now that it's too late, even those 'news' organizations (such as CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times , Washington Post , PBS, and NPR) will start reporting the fact of Biden's corruptness. Where billionaires control all of the mainstream media, there is no democracy -- it's not even possible , in such a country

As far back as 25 October 2019, I had headlined "Biden Backer -- Former Lockheed Leader -- Convinces Joe Biden to Sell-Out" , and reported that

Bernard Schwartz, a former Vice Chairman and top investor in Lockheed Martin (which is by far the largest seller to the U.S. Government, and also the largest seller to most of America's allied Governments), is one of Joe Biden's top donors. CNN headlined, on October 24th, "Biden allies intensify push for super PAC after lackluster fundraising quarter" , and reported that, "Bernard Schwartz, a private investor and donor to the former vice president's campaign, said he spoke with Biden within the last two weeks and encouraged him to do just that." It's not for nothing that throughout Biden's long Senate career, he has voted in favor of every U.S. invasion that has been placed before the U.S. Senate.

Near the end of the Democratic Party's primaries, on 16 March 2020, CNBC headlined "Megadonors pull plug on plan for anti-Sanders super PAC as Biden racks up wins" , and reported that Bernard Schwartz had become persuaded by other billionaires that, by this time, "Biden could handle Sanders on his own." They had done their job; they would therefore control the U.S. Government regardless of which Party's nominee would head it.

Biden -- like Trump, and like Obama and Bush and Clinton before him -- doesn't represent the American people. He represents his mega-donors. And he is staffing his Administration accordingly. He repays favors: he delivers the services that they buy from him. This is today's America. And that is the way it functions.

[Jan 19, 2021] US expands sanctions against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, targeting ships Russian firms working on vital pan-European projec

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

46 Follow RT on RT Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his "parting gift" to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.

The specialist ship concerned, named, 'Fortuna,' and oil tanker 'Maksim Gorky', as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of Washington's economic war on Moscow. The same legislation had been previously used by the US to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.

Russian energy giant Gazprom warned its investors earlier on Tuesday that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if more US restrictions are introduced.

ALSO ON RT.COM Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift'

However, Moscow has assured its partners that it intends to complete the project despite "harsh pressure on the part of Washington," according to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Reacting to the new package of sanctions on Tuesday, Peskov called them "unlawful."

Meanwhile, the EU said it is in no rush to join the Washington-led sanction war on Nord Stream 2. EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc is not going to resist the construction of the project.

"Because we're talking about a private project, we can't hamper the operations of those companies if the German government agrees to it," Borrell said Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany with aim of providing cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the construction has been delayed due to strong opposition from Washington.

ALSO ON RT.COM One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media

The US, which is hoping to sell its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe, has hit the project with several rounds of sanctions over scarcely credible claims that it could undermine European energy security. Critics say the real intent is to force EU members to buy from American companies.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

46 Follow RT on RT Trends:

Fatback33 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM

The group that owns Washington makes the foreign policy. That policy is not for the benefit of the people.
DukeLeo Fatback33 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:06 PM
That is correct. The private banks and corporations in the US are very upset about Nord Stream - 2, as they want Europe to buy US gas at double price. Washington thus introduces additional political gangsterism in the shape of new unilateral sanctions which have no merit in international law.
noremedy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:22 AM
Is the U.S. so stupid that they do not realize that they are isolating themselves? Russia has developed SPFS, China CIPS, together with Iran, China and Russia are further developing a payment transfer system. Once in place and functioning this system will replace the western SWIFT system for international payment transfers. It will be the death knell for the US dollar. 327 million Americans are no match for the rest of the billions of the world's population. The next decade will see the total debasement of the US monetary system and the fall from power of the decaying and crumbling in every way U.S.A.
Hanonymouse noremedy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:37 PM
They don't care. They have the most advanced military in the world. Might makes right, even today.
Shelbouy 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:25 PM
Russia currently supplies over 50% of the natural gas consumed by The EU. Germany and Italy are the largest importers of Russian natural gas. What is the issue of sanctions stemming from and why are the Americans doing this? A no brainer question I suppose. It's to make more money than the other supplier, and exert political pressure and demand obedience from its lackey. Germany.
David R. Evans Shelbouy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
Russia and Iran challenge perpetual US wars for Israel's Oded Yinon Plan. Washington is Israel-controlled territory.
Jewel Gyn 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:34 AM
Sanctions work both ways. With the outgoing Trump administration desperately laying mines for Biden, we await how sleepy Joe is going to mend strayed ties with EU.
Count_Cash 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM
The US mafia state continues with the same practices. The dog is barking but the caravan is going. The counter productiveness of sanctions always shows through in the end! I am sure with active efforts of Germany and Russia against US mafia oppression that a blowback will be felt by the US over time!
Dachaguy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
This is an act of war against Germany. NATO should respond and act against the aggressor, America.
xyz47 Dachaguy 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:20 PM
NATO is run by the US...
lovethy Dachaguy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:04 PM
NATO has no separate existence. It's the USA's arm of aggression, suppression and domination. Germany after WWII is an occupied country of USA. Thousand of armed personnel stationed in Germany enforcing that occupation.
Chaz Dadkhah 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:19 PM
Further proof that Trump is no friend of Russia and is in a rush to punish them while he still has power. If it was the swamp telling him to do that, like his supporters suggest, then they would have waited till their man Biden came in to power in less than 24 hours to do it. Wake up!
Mac Kio 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:34 PM
USA hates fair competition. USA ignores all WTO rules.
Russkiy09 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:33 PM
By whining and not completing in the face of US, Russia is losing credibility. They should not have delayed to mobilize the pipe laying vessel and other equipment for one whole year. They should have mobilized in three months and finished by now. Same happens when Jewtin does not shoot down Zio air force bombing Syria everyday. But best option should have been to tell European vassals that "if you can, take our gas. But we will charge the highest amount and sell as much as we want, exclude Russophobic Baltic countries and Poland and neo-vassal Ukraine. Pay us not in your ponzi paper money but real goods and services or precious metals or other commodities or our own currency Ruble." I so wish I could be the President of Russia. Russians deserve to be as wealthy as the Swiss or SIngapore etc., not what they are getting. Their leaders should stand up for their interest. And stop empowering the greedy merchantalist Chinese and brotherhood Erdogan.
BlackIntel 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:27 PM
America i captured by private interest; this project threatens American private companies hence the government is forced to protect capitalism. This is illegal
Ohhho 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:15 PM
That project was a mistake from the start: Russia should distance itself from the Evil empire, EU included! Stop wasting time and resources on trying to please the haters and keeping them more competitive with cheaper Russian natural gas: focus on real partners and potential allies elsewhere!
butterfly123 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
I have said it before that part of the problem is at the door of the policy-makers and politicians in Russia. Pipeline project didn't spring up in the minds of politicians in Russia one morning, presumably. There should have been foresight, detailed planning, and opportunity creation for firms in Russia to acquire the skill-set and resources to advance this project. Not doing so has come to bite Russia hard and painful. Lessons learnt I hope Mr President!
jakro 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:37 AM
Good news. The swamp is getting deeper and bigger.
hermaflorissen 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:49 AM
Trump finally severed my expectations for the past 4 years. He should indeed perish.
ariadnatheo 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PM
That is one Trump measure that will not be overturned by the Senile One. They will need to amplify the RussiaRussiaRussia barking and scratching to divert attention from their dealings with China
Neville52 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:01 PM
Its time the other nations of the world turned their backs on the US. Its too risky if you are an international corporation to suddenly have large portions of your income cancelled due to some crazy politician in the US
5th Eye 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:03 PM
From empire to the collapse of empire, US follows UK to the letters. Soon it will be irrelevant. The only thing that remains for UK is the language. Probably hotdog for the US.
VonnDuff1 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PM
The USA Congress and its corrupt foreign policy dictates work to the detriment of Europe and Russia, while providing no tangible benefits to US states or citizens. So globalist demands wrapped in the stars & stripes, should be laughed at, by all freedom loving nations.

[Jan 17, 2021] The pot calling the kettle black: Liz Cheney forgot about Bush II administration crimes

Liz Cheney who probably got her position due to her father might well overplayed her hand.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

MhOOMan 5 hours ago remove link

Below is a list of which House Republicans voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday.

[Jan 17, 2021] "79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward

Highly recommended!
In the reality the USA is not falling apart. It is neoliberalism that is falling apart and this is just how common people feel during the collapse of neliberalism.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com

OneHorseGuy 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:17 PM

"79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward.
RTaccount 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:22 PM
There will be no peace, no unity, and no prosperity. And there shouldn't be.
TheFishh RTaccount 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:38 PM
The US regimes past and present have worn out their bag of tricks. A magician is a con-man. And the only way they can entertain and spellbind the crowd with their routines is if everyone just ignores the sleight of hand. But people are starting to call the US out for the tricks it is pulling, and that's where the magician's career ends.
SJMan333 23 hours ago 16 Jan, 2021 01:02 AM
America as a whole is now reaping the fruits of its decades of exceptionalism complex. Through its propaganda machine, Americans as individuals and collectively as a society, have been brainwashed into believing that laws, rules and basic human decency do not apply to themselves. These are only sweetened poisons for them to shove down the throats of other lesser countries, especially those in Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia ((bluntly put, non-white countries)) when it suited America's global resource thievery and daylight wealth grabbing. Habitualized into bullying every other countries with no resistance, Americans are now showing their ugly faces on each other. The same exceptionalism delusion "the laws apply to you, not me'' is driving every American (except the colored Americans probably) to blame all the ills of the country on everyone else except himself. Nancy Pelosi advocated total lock-down but treated herself to a total grooming in a hair saloon is just one example. For the sins it has committed over the decades, I guess the time is right for USA to have a dose of its own medicine. Except in this case, America never thought it necessary to develop an antidote.

[Jan 17, 2021] 'America is back'- Biden fills State Department slots with more Obama vets, including Ukraine 'coup plotter' Victoria Nuland

Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com

'America is back': Biden fills State Department slots with more Obama vets, including Ukraine 'coup plotter' Victoria Nuland 16 Jan, 2021 22:18 Get short URL 'America is back': Biden fills State Department slots with more Obama vets, including Ukraine 'coup plotter' Victoria Nuland Victoria Nuland is shown greeting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2015. © Reuters / Mikhail Palinchak 9 Follow RT on RT President-elect Joe Biden is getting the old interventionist-foreign-policy team back together, including Ukraine coup engineer Victoria Nuland, signaling a hardline Russia stance as he fills out top posts in the State Department.

"These leaders are trusted at home and respected around the world, and their nominations signal that America is back and ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said on Saturday in a statement announcing his picks to fill top positions under his nominee for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.

ALSO ON RT.COM Biden signals US return to full-on globalism and foreign meddling by picking interventionist Anthony Blinken as secretary of state

Like Blinken, the five latest State Department picks are veterans of the Obama-Biden administration. Nuland , a neoconservative who was named undersecretary for political affairs, goes all the way back to former President Ronald Reagan's administration and was a foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Other new re-hires include: Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary of state, who led the Obama-Biden administration's negotiating team on peace talks with Iran; Brian McKeon, deputy secretary for management and resources, who was a national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden; Bonnie Jenkins, undersecretary for arms control and international security, who previously coordinated nonproliferation programs; and Uzra Zeha, undersecretary for civilian security, who formerly was charge d'affaires at the US Embassy in Paris.

READ MORE US foreign aid agencies paid for Kiev street violence - ex-US agent Scott Rickard US foreign aid agencies paid for Kiev street violence - ex-US agent Scott Rickard

After four years of President Donald Trump's 'America First' policy, including efforts to wind down foreign interventions and broker peace deals, Biden's declaration of "America is back" portends a sharp contrast in foreign policy. He said his latest nominees will "use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America's global and moral leadership."

Nuland, who studied Russian literature at Brown University, wrote last summer in Foreign Affairs of how "a confident America should deal with Russia " with a more "activist" policy, including "speaking directly to the Russian people about the benefits of working together and the price they have paid for (President Vladimir) Putin's hard turn away from liberalism." She added, "Washington and its allies have forgotten the statecraft that won the Cold War and continued to yield results for many years after."

Nuland perhaps was using such "statecraft" when, as assistant secretary of state in December 2013, she handed out cookies to protesters at Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti square who were demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich. An audiotape leaked in February 2014 showed that her involvement in the uprising went well beyond cookies, as she spoke with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt about plotting to replace Yanukovich with Washington's chosen opposition leader, Arseny Yatseniuk, and about involving the UN to "f**k the EU" by pushing through a US-preferred Ukraine policy.

ALSO ON RT.COM Nuland's biscuits again: Maidan midwife's plan for US policy on Russia is dumb, delusional and dangerous

Ironically, Nuland's appointment comes just as politicians in Washington fret over this month's storming of the US Capitol by pro-Trump protesters, which some called a coup attempt.

"I knew it wasn't a real coup because Victoria Nuland wasn't handing out cookies," Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow said of the Capitol assault. "She'll be back overthrowing governments in the Biden administration, so it remains a valid standard."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1348047492227756034&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F512763-biden-appoints-nuland-sherman%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

In light of Nuland's hawkish history, 25 anti-war groups have jointly called for the Senate to reject confirmation of her nomination as undersecretary for political affairs.

"Victoria Nuland is returning to the State Department," one commenter wrote on Twitter. "The United States is returning to the former Soviet republics with great strides. A fierce struggle with Russia begins."


[Jan 15, 2021] Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Victoria Nuland- -

Notable quotes:
"... By Medea Benjamin. cofounder of ..."
"... CODEPINK for Peace ..."
"... , and author of several books, including ..."
"... Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran ..."
"... . @medeabenjamin; Nicolas J. S. Davies, an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of ..."
"... Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq ..."
"... . @NicolasJSDavies; and Marcy Winograd of Progressive Democrats of America served as a 2020 Democratic delegate for Bernie Sanders,and is Coordinator of ..."
"... CODEPINK CONGRESS ..."
"... . @MarcyWinograd ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Victoria Nuland? Posted on January 15, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Biden's nominees have skewed towards the awful, particularly on the foreign policy front. But his plan to install Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland at State is a standout. For those of you new to this site and not familiar with Nuland's sorry history, this post gives an overview of her role in fomenting the coup in Ukraine and in putting relations with Russia on a Cold War footing. The authors encourage readers to call their Senators and urge them to vote against her nomination.

And before you get unduly excited by Biden nominating Gary Gensler to the SEC, I would much rather have seem Gensler at Treasury. Gensler demonstrated at the CFTC that he's effective and dedicated to combatting abuses by Big Finance. However, his best shot at making the SEC feared and respected again is to appoint a tough head of enforcement, so keep an eye out for that pick.

The problem that Gensler will have at the SEC is that it is the only Federal financial services industry regulator that is subject to Congressional appropriations, rather that living off its fees and fines (the SEC collects far more than Congress allows it). And Democrats, like Joe Lieberman, then the Senator from Hedgistan, have been if anything more aggressive than Republicans in threatening the SEC and in keeping it budget-starved.

I had said to Lambert that if Biden wanted to be Machiavellian, the way to pretend to reward Elizabeth Warren while actually sandbagging her would be to make her SEC chair. Let's hope that isn't his logic for appointing Gensler.

By Medea Benjamin. cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace , and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran . @medeabenjamin; Nicolas J. S. Davies, an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . @NicolasJSDavies; and Marcy Winograd of Progressive Democrats of America served as a 2020 Democratic delegate for Bernie Sanders,and is Coordinator of CODEPINK CONGRESS . @MarcyWinograd

Photo Credit: thetruthseeker.co.uk Nuland and Pyatt planning regime change in Kiev

Who is Victoria Nuland? Most Americans have never heard of her because the U.S. corporate media's foreign policy coverage is a wasteland. Most Americans have no idea that President-elect Biden's pick for Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs is stuck in the quicksand of 1950s U.S.-Russia Cold War politics and dreams of continued NATO expansion, an arms race on steroids and further encirclement of Russia.

Nor do they know that from 2003-2005, during the hostile U.S. military occupation of Iraq, Nuland was a foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney, the Darth Vader of the Bush administration.

You can bet, however, that the people of Ukraine have heard of neocon Nuland. Many have even heard the leaked four-minute audio of her saying "Fuck the EU" during a 2014 phone call with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.

During the infamous call on which Nuland and Pyatt plotted to replace the elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, Nuland expressed her not-so-diplomatic disgust with the European Union for grooming former heavyweight boxer and austerity champ Vitali Klitschko instead of U.S. puppet and NATO booklicker Artseniy Yatseniuk to replace Russia-friendly Yanukovych.

The "Fuck the EU" call went viral, as an embarrassed State Department, never denying the call's authenticity, blamed the Russians for tapping the phone, much as the NSA has tapped the phones of European allies.

Despite outrage from German Chancellor Angela Markel, no one fired Nuland, but her potty mouth upstaged the more serious story: the U.S. plot to overthrow Ukraine's elected government and America's responsibility for a civil war that has killed at least 13,000 people and left Ukraine the poorest country in Europe.

In the process, Nuland, her husband Robert Kagan, the co-founder of The Project for a New American Century , and their neocon cronies succeeded in sending U.S.-Russian relations into a dangerous downward spiral from which they have yet to recover.

Nuland accomplished this from a relatively junior position as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. How much more trouble could she stir up as the #3 official at Biden's State Department? We'll find out soon enough, if the Senate confirms her nomination.

Joe Biden should have learned from Obama's mistakes that appointments like this matter. In his first term , Obama allowed his hawkish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and military and CIA leaders held over from the Bush administration to ensure that endless war trumped his message of hope and change.

Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, ended up presiding over indefinite detentions without charges or trials at Guantanamo Bay; an escalation of drone strikes that killed innocent civilians; a deepening of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan; a self-reinforcing cycle of terrorism and counterterrorism; and disastrous new wars in Libya and Syria .

With Clinton out and new personnel in top spots in his second term, Obama began to take charge of his own foreign policy. He started working directly with Russia's President Putin to resolve crises in Syria and other hotspots. Putin helped avert an escalation of the war in Syria in September 2013 by negotiating the removal and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, and helped Obama negotiate an interim agreement with Iran that led to the JCPOA nuclear deal.

But the neocons were apoplectic that they failed to convince Obama to order a massive bombing campaign and escalate his covert, proxy war in Syria and at the receding prospect of a war with Iran. Fearing their control of U.S. foreign policy was slipping, the neocons launched a campaign to brand Obama as "weak" on foreign policy and remind him of their power.

With editorial help from Nuland, her husband Robert Kagan penned a 2014 New Republic article entitled "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire," proclaiming that "there is no democratic superpower waiting in the wings to save the world if this democratic superpower falters." Kagan called for an even more aggressive foreign policy to exorcise American fears of a multipolar world it can no longer dominate.

Obama invited Kagan to a private lunch at the White House, and the neocons' muscle-flexing pressured him to scale back his diplomacy with Russia, even as he quietly pushed ahead on Iran.

The neocons' coup de grace against Obama's better angels was Nuland's 2014 coup in debt-ridden Ukraine, a valuable imperial possession for its wealth of natural gas and a strategic candidate for NATO membership right on Russia's border.

When Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych spurned a U.S.-backed trade agreement with the European Union in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia, the State Department threw a tantrum.

Hell hath no fury like a superpower scorned.

The EU trade agreement was to open Ukraine's economy to imports from the EU, but without a reciprocal opening of EU markets to Ukraine, it was a lopsided deal Yanukovich could not accept. The deal was approved by the post-coup government, and has only added to Ukraine's economic woes.

The muscle for Nuland's $5 billion coup was Oleh Tyahnybok's neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and the shadowy new Right Sector militia. During her leaked phone call, Nuland referred to Tyahnybok as one of the "big three" opposition leaders on the outside who could help the U.S.-backed Prime Minister Yatsenyuk on the inside. This is the same Tyanhnybok who once delivered a speec h applauding Ukrainians for fighting Jews and "other scum" during World War II.

After protests in Kiev's Euromaidan square turned into battles with police in February 2014, Yanukovych and the Western-backed opposition signed an agreement brokered by France, Germany and Poland to form a national unity government and hold new elections by the end of the year.

But that was not good enough for the neo-Nazis and extreme right-wing forces the U.S. had helped to unleash. A violent mob led by the Right Sector militia marched on and invaded the parliament building , a scene no longer difficult for Americans to imagine. Yanukovych and his members of parliament fled for their lives.

Facing the loss of its most vital strategic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, Russia accepted the overwhelming result (a 97% majority, with an 83% turnout) of a referendum in which Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which it had been a part of from 1783 to 1954.

The majority Russian-speaking provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine unilaterally declared independence from Ukraine, triggering a bloody civil war between U.S.- and Russian-backed forces that still rages in 2021.

U.S.-Russian relations have never recovered, even as U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals still pose the greatest single threat to our existence. Whatever Americans believe about the civil war in Ukraine and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, we must not allow the neocons and the military-industrial complex they serve to deter Biden from conducting vital diplomacy with Russia to steer us off our suicidal path toward nuclear war.

Nuland and the neocons, however, remain committed to an ever-more debilitating and dangerous Cold War with Russia and China to justify a militarist foreign policy and record Pentagon budgets. In a July 2020 Foreign Affairs article entitled "Pinning Down Putin," Nuland absurdly claimed that Russia presents a greater threat to "the liberal world" than the U.S.S.R. posed during the old Cold War.

Nuland's narrative rests on an utterly mythical, ahistorical narrative of Russian aggression and U.S. good intentions. She pretends that Russia's military budget, which is one-tenth of America's, is evidence of "Russian confrontation and militarization" and calls on the U.S. and its allies to counter Russia by "maintaining robust defense budgets, continuing to modernize U.S. and allied nuclear weapons systems, and deploying new conventional missiles and missile defenses to protect against Russia's new weapons systems "

Nuland also wants to confront Russia with an aggressive NATO. Since her days as U.S. Ambassador to NATO during President George W. Bush's second term, she has been a supporter of NATO's expansion all the way up to Russia's border. She calls for "permanent bases along NATO's eastern border." We have pored over a map of Europe, but we can't find a country called NATO with any borders at all. Nuland sees Russia's commitment to defending itself after successive 20th century Western invasions as an intolerable obstacle to NATO's expansionist ambitions.

Nuland's militaristic worldview represents exactly the folly the U.S. has been pursuing since the 1990s under the influence of the neocons and "liberal interventionists," which has resulted in a systematic underinvestment in the American people while escalating tensions with Russia, China, Iran and other countries.

As Obama learned too late, the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time can, with a shove in the wrong direction, unleash years of intractable violence, chaos and international discord. Victoria Nuland would be a ticking time-bomb in Biden's State Department, waiting to sabotage his better angels much as she undermined Obama's second-term diplomacy.

So let's do Biden and the world a favor. Join World Beyond War , CODEPINK and dozens of other organizations opposing neocon Nuland's confirmation as a threat to peace and diplomacy. Call 202-224-3121 and tell your Senator to oppose Nuland's installation at the State Department.


John A , January 15, 2021 at 7:44 am

Nuland has also been declared persona non grata by Russia, so she would not be able to go with Biden, were he to visit Moscow. Russian foreign minister Lavrov, actually refused to shake her hand when she attended a US-Russia meeting with Kerry. She is poison to any attempt to peaceful relationships.

Susan the other , January 15, 2021 at 11:28 am

Yes, I remember that meeting clearly. Can't cite the network, but it covered her closely – body language only. I wonder where Biden stood on that act of diplomacy given his own corruption, and also what John Kerry's thinking is about now. John Kerry's stepson was in cahoots with Hunter Biden. It looked like Kerry brought her along for some rehabilitation and Lavrov was having none of it. Instead he went directly to the delegation from Ukraine and they stood in a circle all with their backs turned to Vicky who had no choice but to wander over to the coffee table and pretend she wasn't totally uncomfortable. Totally excluded. How can she recover from that?

The Rev Kev , January 15, 2021 at 9:10 am

If there is one thing that Russia hates it is fascists and that is because of the enormous damage caused by them in WW2. We call those invaders Nazis but the Russians seem to call them fascists. I sometimes wonder if it is part of their mother's milk this hatred. For people like Nuland to help topple the government of a large, bordering country like the Ukraine and install people that were literally fascists was too much for the Russians. These were fascist of a very low order that had the old 1930s routines down pat, including the torchlight parades. And there was Nuland, handing out cookies to the rioters, many of whom had been trained in rioting tactics in Poland and were being paid about $100 a day by the US if I recall correctly. Of course Nuland was not alone as there was also a Representative from the EU also handing out cookies. The only equivalent that comes to mind is a violent revolution in Canada using professional rioters and having diplomatic representatives from the Russian Federation and China handing out donuts to the rioter. I wonder what Washington would say about a stunt like that.

lyman alpha blob , January 15, 2021 at 9:32 am

Nuland is a disgusting human being. Since she is a right winger, regardless of what party may be listed on her voter ID, I don't think Bettridge's law applies here at all.

So glad all these 'woke' people put good old Uncle Joe back in office. Wonder how many realized they were supporting people being burned alive by actual Nazis in doing so?

From an actual journalist, Robert Parry – https://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/10/burning-ukraines-protesters-alive/

clarky90 , January 15, 2021 at 3:46 pm

So the USA now has literally placed, "literal fascists" in power?

Literally ..

Mark Gisleson , January 15, 2021 at 10:26 am

More war is not the answer to any of the problems facing us.

Carolinian , January 15, 2021 at 11:35 am

Thanks for this. Our "learned nothing/forgot nothing" Bourbon restoration will be led by one of the dimmer Bourbons who couldn't even set up a good grift in Ukraine without boasting about it and then angrily denying it. Should the press finally, improbably turn on him it should make for some fun news conferences. But perhaps he'll merely be moving to the White House basement from his Delaware basement.

Encephalitis Lethargica , January 15, 2021 at 12:47 pm

CFTC's budgets are also set through congressional authorization and appropriations. Yes, the CFPB is not subject to Congressional appropriations, but for good reasons. However, all financial regulation can be overturned by the Congressional Review Act.

As for the article, citation needed. Sort of a laundry heap of questionable material. Make no mistake, the Russo-Ukrainian War is a real war. Uniformed Russian armored infantry of 331st regiment of the 98th Svirsk airborne division dropped into Ukraine territory on 24 August 2014. From 25 to 27 August, Russian troops in civilian clothing, backed up by an armored column [not in disguise] took Novoazovsk. This is about Russia not being able to station 25,000 troops in Crimea as they had under Yanukovych. US troop levels in Europe have been at their lowest for the last 20 years. The US would like to [nay, needs to] keep it that way. However, the erosion of territorial integrity is a touchy subject in Europe given the lasting peace of the post-war period in a place where the wars have a pre-fix like "Hundred Years".

President Arseniy Yatsenyuk is of Jewish origin so the claims of coordination with Nazi sympathizers is dubious. Not even going to get the boycotted unconstitutional Crimean referendum.

As for WW III, Obama's defense department made it a priority to recover all the MANPADS, such as the Chinese-made FN-6 [via Qatar], Russian-made Strela-2's and Igla-S's [via Libya] from the FSA without so much as a thank you from the Russian Air Force. [Turkey, on the other hand, armed the FSA with Stinger's.] It should be noted that the Syrian conflict's death toll, in just four years, surpassed the 19-year death toll in all the Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq war theatres combined.

Think about this way: who needs NATO and the EU more to maintain his power structure, Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin. Isn't it clear Americans don't care, and American business does not look to compete in Russian anytime soon. The geography is wrong. But Putin must find a way to engender ethnicities who do not like the Russian Empire, who had been cleansed by Stalin. One way is to sell energy below cost to the republics and buy in back from political allies in the form of electricity. Something upon which the EU frowns. [Personally, I did not care for the way Putin early on systematically and indiscriminately starved Chechen civilians for years. It was cruel on a level unseen outside of the Rwandan genocide. More importantly, it was the Russian Federation abdicating its authority by not providing for its own citizens and not letting NGO's fill the calorie gap. I'd like to think had Putin's admin not been so wobbly the first few years, he might've let the Red Cross feed the children.]

John Steinbach , January 15, 2021 at 4:35 pm

There is overwhelming documentation of Yatsenuk's collaboration with Svboda & other fascist organizations in forming the coup government. For example: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/analysis-u-s-cozies-kiev-government-including-far-right-n66061

Russia was never going to permit a US orchestrated coup in Ukraine without resistance. The idea that Putin needs NATO more than Biden does seems unreasonable.

steelyman , January 15, 2021 at 11:02 pm

Talking about "citations", perhaps you could supply the readership of this site with some credible citations and links for a few of the far fetched claims you're making here. Most of this comment reads like pro-Ukrainian propaganda.

Matthew G. Saroff , January 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm

I heard about Gary Gensler, Samantha Power, and Victoria Nuland, and I immediately thought, "The good, the bad, and the ugly."

Gensler surprised everyone when he was at the CFTC by doing his job, and doing it well, and his running the SEC is a good thing.

Samantha Power is an aggressive war monger, and in her position at USAID, she will likely have her fingers in regime change pie, since USAID is part of the deep state regime change apparatus..

Nuland is just a pro-Nazi nut though.

Jack Parsons , January 15, 2021 at 9:39 pm

About NATO and the Ukraine war:

I've long suspected that NATO has existed since 1991 to allow the US/EU axis to control Middle-Eastern and African resources. For example, the Rammstein military hospital is where every Gulf War soldier was airlifted for major treatment and convalescence.

Also, there is a huge international trade in opium. It's grown in Afpak and shipped out in every direction. I suspect that a fair amount of that flows through Ukraine and Crimea. If you look at a topo map of Crimea, there's a lot of seashore that could be good "smuggler's coves". Following this line of argument, Russia grabbing it from Ukraine was a gimme to Russia's gangsters. This, as well as the "Pipeline Wars", gives Russia a strong reason to encircle Ukraine.

[Jan 14, 2021] A central rule of a color revolution is to avoid an "orderly transition". The new regime must have a revolutionary mandate instead of a democratic one. Only then can it operate outside the constitution and outside the law.

Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Jan 13 2021 23:08 utc | 51

How to Un-Trump Four Years of Trump?

A central rule of a color revolution is to avoid an "orderly transition". The new regime must have a revolutionary mandate instead of a democratic one. Only then can it operate outside the constitution and outside the law.

The plan here is to declare not only Trump illegitimate but his whole administration illegitimate. The new regime can then undo all of Trump's executive decisions. There is no need to "stuff" the Supreme Court with extra judges. Simply declare Trump's appointments null and void.

[Jan 14, 2021] Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are enemies because they do not open their economies to be under the control of the West or where the West can get a greater share of profits

Jan 14, 2021 | www.theamericanconservative.com

kouroi 7 days ago

What deterrent has Mr. Bandow on his mind for Europeans? One that goes against the NPT? The type that Iran has been pummeled economically for the past 20 years? And for which North Korea has been practically cordoned and now lives in quasi-autarchy? I have read this type of idiocy that encouraged S. Korea and Japan to acquire nuclear weapons. How is this supposed to work and be explained to the world at large? Oh, we need to all acquire nuclear weapons now because...? But we'll continue to sanction Iran and N Korea for the same things because...?

I guess that is the corollary of 20 years of repeating the mantra "rules based international order". Mr. Bandow, in terms of nuclear proliferation (which the US presently breaches by bringing its nukes on the territory of other states, plus other shenanigans done in conjunction with Japan concerning plutonium), it is the NPT that is the rule... Stick with it, and don't pretend that it doesn't apply to you and your allies.

Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are enemies because they do not open their economies to be under the control of the West or where the West can get a greater share of profits (most for the elites and some for the battered pension plans that were for years betting on 7% return on investment). Therefore military is another instrument to open that oyster up. All the rest is BS created to have people marshalling under the flag...

Theo 7 days ago

Interesting article. As Trump has once proposed. The US leave NATO and withdraw their troops from Europe and take their nukes with them. That would lead to disbanding NATO . Many Germans would be glad. The transatlanticists in the German government don't represent the majority of the German people. Germany could have her own nukes. Trump was all for it. I have never understood the agression against Russia. If a country doesn't intend to invade and conquer another country a blown up military isn't necessary in my opinion. To deter other countries from attacking a country needs a few nukes and it's safe. Isn't it? North Korea is the best example. Libya, Syria and Iraq who gave up their nuclear weapons program were all invaded and destroyed. But NATO being disbanded remains wishful thinking. The MIC needs the proceeds.

Joe Black 7 days ago

The US presence in NATO and Europe has been detrimental to Europe for atleast 10 years possibly 20 or longer. It has allowed European nations to indulge in follies that prudent, self aware nations responsible for their own defense and their own future would take very seriously and both national interests and security/defense interests. Lets take a few examples of Europes follies:
1) France wants all EU nations to federal their militaries into a continental military. Federalize means that individual EU nations would lose sovereignty over their militaries. It also means that the most powerful nations in the EU (ie France and Germany) would have overwhelming influence/control over Brussels decisions regarding its continental armies just as France and Britain have overwhelming control over regulation, immigration, trade, finance, etc.
2) European nations do not consider open borders and uncontrolled migration as continental - domestic security issues. Brussels-Germany-France-Sweden overwhelmingly support open borders and mass immigration plus they use Brussels to bully less powerful poorer nations to accept immigrants without any compensation, as well as threatening to take EU voting rights from countries like Hungary or Poland.
3) In another issue concerning open borders and mass immigration, Brussels-Germany-France-Sweden completely ignore terrorist acts, car bombings, infiltration of radical islam, infiltration of radical subversive anarchistic individuals and groups, honor killings, human trafficking/child brides, knifings, grooming gangs, assaults, violent crime, murder, etc.
4) Europe follows the US in still engaging Russia as a cold war enemy.
5) Europe has gone full fledged gender neutral / gender equal society. Everyone believes in equality of opportunity but with Equality of Opportunity comes Equality of Responsibilities. If men must serve in the military then so much women or there is no Gender Equality. Furthermore, radical subversive leftist belief is that men must be made weaker and less masculine to make women appear stronger. Sorry but you cannot defend a continent on Feminist-Cultural Marxist Theory.
6) Europe has allowed its birthrate to fall drastically below replacement (2.1). In many European countries their birth replacement rate is close to 1.0, 1.2, 1.5 etc. Europe cannot defend itself if it has no people to staff a military.
I will not judge Europe. Europe must plan for its own future but many EU nations and NATO members think they can indulge in any utopian theory because the US will come to save them from the responsibilities of their ill conceived societal experiments. The US should be an invisible partner and force every nation to take responsibility for how much sovereignty they are willing to relinquish to Brussels and take responsibility for their nations culture, its progeny, its defense and its national interest.

MPC 7 days ago • edited

In the end it all comes down to China. If the Europeans are not willing to move towards cutting off China, and were I in Europe's position I'm not sure if I would be, NATO is worthless to the US. You really would be better off thinking more about security integration with Latin America or an alliance with a remilitarized Japan.

Europe's day as the prime concern for the US has passed and rather than dinking around in some Latvian forest we need to be practicing naval exercises in the Western Pacific.

Fayez Abedaziz 7 days ago

This criminal organization should be disbanded and it's leader, the U.S., should be dragged into world courts and tried for continuing crimes against humanity.
Nothing good ever came from these creeps, the Europeans and the American ones across the world, unless y'all think world 1 and the other fun one, 2 and...oh, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other places these mobsters caused so much misery and death are cool.
Meanwhile, Russia and China laugh.
I'm laughing with 'em.

Paco 2 days ago


celebrating the return of the consensus that Americans must forever pay for the continent's defense.

Wrong, Americans must forever pay for occupying foreing lands. Go home, and take with you those traitor burecrats that sigh with relief to the fact of being occupied, then you might be able to take care of your people and spend your ridiculous "defense" budget to renew your degraded infrastructure.

[Jan 14, 2021] Trump as populist

Is there anything more pathetic than competition between two political mafias hiding as some sort of disagreement over principle?
Notable quotes:
"... Absolutely his instinct to rebalance the economic relationship with China was correct. But he's too stupid to do it in a way that actually benefits or improves the US long term. Every once in a while with him there was hint of a good instinct but he never followed through because his base instincts always win out. ..."
"... The cries of censorship are asinine. Real censorship of diverging opinions was accomplished decades ago. Banning Donald trump from twitter isn't censorship. They didn't ban the POTUS account (they did delete tweets when he tried to use it), they banned his personal account because he's an asshole who broke the rules. Republicans have been telling me about the sanctity of property my whole life. Now they change their minds? ..."
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Lex , Jan 13 2021 23:25 utc | 55

It's all just farts in a jar. The trajectory was set decades ago and the political oligarchy and gerontocracy aren't going to let go of that trajectory. Trump was only a "populist" insofar as it was a means for him to be popular. In reality, he's a dishonest, craven asshole. If he was a populist he would have responded to Covid way differently. What he is, however, is a nationalist. Those are dangerous because they don't think clearly.

Absolutely his instinct to rebalance the economic relationship with China was correct. But he's too stupid to do it in a way that actually benefits or improves the US long term. Every once in a while with him there was hint of a good instinct but he never followed through because his base instincts always win out.

The cries of censorship are asinine. Real censorship of diverging opinions was accomplished decades ago. Banning Donald trump from twitter isn't censorship. They didn't ban the POTUS account (they did delete tweets when he tried to use it), they banned his personal account because he's an asshole who broke the rules. Republicans have been telling me about the sanctity of property my whole life. Now they change their minds?

The empire is in terminal decline. Trump doesn't change it. Biden doesn't change it. Who controls Congress doesn't change it. Because all of them are beholden to the declining empire and/or they believe in America's myths (they are nationalists). A failed color revolution run by people who don't want to accept an election result just says real loud that the empire is falling.

[Jan 13, 2021] Biden has surrounded himself with dual allegiance appointees in the critical security agencies so that he cannot achieve peace or make progress with any of his (foolishly) perceived enemy nations. He will find it almost impossible to negotiate in any meaningful way with Iran or China or Russia or Iraq

Jan 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 12 2021 20:43 utc | 20

The apartheid settler gang is beneath contempt. It blocks supply of vaccines for covid to the Palestinian people and blockades their trade and freedom of travel and navigation. Like the USA they have totally filled up with hubris and lost their way in the world.

Biden has surrounded himself with dual allegiance appointees in the critical security agencies so that he cannot achieve peace or make progress with any of his (foolishly) perceived enemy nations. He will find it almost impossible to negotiate in any meaningful way with Iran or China or Russia or Iraq or Syria or pretty much any other nation that is invaded by his armies or sanctioned by his idiot decisions or threatened by Israel's belligerence.

The tensions have been incredibly heightened in many nations due to the coronavirus transmission within their populations and the persistent suspicion that it has a USA origin. Any USAi pretense of negotiating in good faith in these circumstances is virtually impossible. All the more so when reactionaries lead both Israel and USA.

Biden is right when he says nothing will change. His ally in the middle east, Israel, has an arsenal of formidable power sufficient to command an uncomfortable peace in any circumstance. Yet it has no integrity to clinch a deal with anybody such is the universal distrust of their intentions. Time and again this illegal settler state has mauled every neighbor in a most grievous way. Every week they attack Syria with missiles! The aggrieved neighbors will not forget or forgive the treachery. That is just how it is.

There are no statesmen in the USA or Israel with the nous or capacity to find a way out.


fyi , Jan 12 2021 21:48 utc | 29

Mr. karlof1

US is still digging herself in the religious war against Islam.

She cannot offer anything to Iranians any longer - Mr. Trump's war against Iran had eviscerated whatever US or EU had to offer to Iran.

US cannot even end the war in Palestine; she does not have that power.

fyi , Jan 12 2021 21:49 utc | 30
Mr. steven t johnson

Israelis are not Western, they are Eastern European and Middle Easterners for the most part.

They lack the culture of Western Europe.

[Jan 13, 2021] I believe due to strategic failure of maximum pressure to subdue Iran and more importantly due to US' own strategic necessity to keep China and Russia away from ME, US and EU will want to decouple or even prevent Iran from a mutual strategic necessity or alliance with China or and Russia it might be possible US will adopt a new posture toward Iran.

Jan 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kooshy , Jan 12 2021 20:23 utc | 18

Few observations on Biden, Iran and the nuclear deal.
I don't know if US will or will not return to implement it's obligations under the UNSC 2231, nor I know if US Jewish lobby will allow that. But for sure Iran will not renegotiate for new terms or a new deal on nuclear program secondly under no circumstances Iran will negotiate (with anyone) her conventional military capabilities or her policies and alliances toward her allies in the region since these are real matter of national security for Iran. But also there are signs from Biden that should be considered. Firstly almost all Biden's national security team are diplomats with experience negotiating with Iran that could be a signal on policy change, secondly I believe due to strategic failure of maximum pressure to subdue Iran and more importantly due to US' own strategic necessity to keep China and Russia away from ME, US and EU will want to decouple or even prevent Iran from a mutual strategic necessity or alliance with China or and Russia for that reason IMO it might be possible US will adopt a new posture toward Iran. I also believe Iran's foreign policy in ME is basically based on her long term interests and security with her regional alliances, multipolarity, and stability in her region, therefore any proposal by US or EU to agitate this policy will be rejected or not adopted by Iran.


uncle tungsten , Jan 12 2021 20:43 utc | 20

The apartheid settler gang is beneath contempt. It blocks supply of vaccines for covid to the Palestinian people and blockades their trade and freedom of travel and navigation. Like the USA they have totally filled up with hubris and lost their way in the world.

Biden has surrounded himself with dual allegiance appointees in the critical security agencies so that he cannot achieve peace or make progress with any of his (foolishly) perceived enemy nations. He will find it almost impossible to negotiate in any meaningful way with Iran or China or Russia or Iraq or Syria or pretty much any other nation that is invaded by his armies or sanctioned by his idiot decisions or threatened by Israel's belligerence.

The tensions have been incredibly heightened in many nations due to the coronavirus transmission within their populations and the persistent suspicion that it has a USA origin. Any USAi pretense of negotiating in good faith in these circumstances is virtually impossible. All the more so when reactionaries lead both Israel and USA.

Biden is right when he says nothing will change. His ally in the middle east, Israel, has an arsenal of formidable power sufficient to command an uncomfortable peace in any circumstance. Yet it has no integrity to clinch a deal with anybody such is the universal distrust of their intentions. Time and again this illegal settler state has mauled every neighbor in a most grievous way. Every week they attack Syria with missiles! The aggrieved neighbors will not forget or forgive the treachery. That is just how it is.

There are no statesmen in the USA or Israel with the nous or capacity to find a way out.

groucho , Jan 12 2021 20:45 utc | 21

Did I hear someone say something about "the tail wagging the dog" ?

Dr. George W Oprisko , Jan 13 2021 0:30 utc | 50

A new JCPOA will obviously have to eliminate all sanctions. But that might not be enough. Iran might want compensation for the economic damage done, compensation from the UK, France, and Germany as well as the US. Moreover, Iran will want to keep its now much larger stockpile of low-enriched uranium. It might want an even larger stockpile, and the right to enrich to 20%, which it is now doing. A breeder reactor and a plutonium stockpile would be nice, too.

But there are even other demands that might be made: reduction or removal of US/NATO/Israeli forces in the Gulf; reduction or elimination of Israeli nuclear weapons.

That train left the station.

In the past 5 years Iran re-configured it's economy into an autarcic fully industrialized, food secure, and diversified economy. It now earns more from the sale of manufactures and foods than from petroleum. It now manufactures AfraMax tankers, general cargo vessels, and naval vessels. It manufactures cars and trucks, and railroad rolling stock. It built hydro and irrigation schemes. It launches satellites into orbit.

Iran is now pressing ahead with the Arak heavy water reactor.

Khameni just banned import of NATO vaccines, and ordered the country to be vaccinated with Iran's own vaccine.

Khameni and the hard liners will not permit Iran to rejoin or to negotiate any agreements with the "Great Satan". Their line will be the US must show itself to be agreement capable by rejoining the JCPOA and removing any and all sanctions while paying damages too.

Iran will increase the amount of assistance given the Houthis. Trump's declaration of the Houthis as terrorists, benefits the resistance by solidifying their adherence to it. The Houthis must now "go for broke" or surrender. They will not surrender.

The harsh reality is Biden/Harris will be occupied at home suppressing the MAGA crowd. Since this group is 74 million strong, and mostly white, in a country trying to make them second class citizens, will be quite a challenge that. The jury is still out on that one.

Then there is the not so small matter of US oil production dropping like a stone from 12 mmBbl/day to 7 by July with further drops in the following 12 months. This coupled with and likely due to bankruptcies of a large number of producers going forward.

Will be an interesting year.

INDY

[Jan 11, 2021] William Burns is Biden's new CIA Director nomination with with State Dept career and DC Thinktank experience.

Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

imo , Jan 11 2021 14:17 utc | 119

William Burns is Biden's new CIA Director nomination with with State Dept career and DC Thinktank experience.

Might have better constructive peer-peer dialogue potential with Russian Foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Now whence little Gina 'Abu Ghraib stinker' Haspel?

But, what about global opium and heroine supplies? Gulp, ...!

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/11/politics/william-burns-cia-director-nomination/index.html

[Jan 11, 2021] Clinton broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. ..."
"... Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. ..."
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is

Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:42 am EST/EDT

"So when was this golden age? Under Reagan? Well, this is when the dismantling of the inner core of the empire began."

Beg to differ. Reagan understood how to administer the US empire. He knew the risks of overstretching it. He made the promise to the Soviets not to encroach on their sphere of influence. He defended the high interest rates which strengthened the USD and which kept the banking sector in check.

All of that went to hell with Bill Clinton:
He broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.

Bill Clinton basically turned the empire into a rapacious and uncontrollable animal. (Funny how noone here is talking about imprisoning him )

There is a silver lining to Bill C's blood-soaked administration. It was while he was in power, that the Russians finally awoke from their 1990s stupor. They began to understand the mortal danger they were facing, and they patriotically chose Putin to lead them in 1999.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:05 am EST/EDT

– Reagan was a disgusting Russophobe and Serbophobe who proclaimed 10th April (the founding of the Independent State of Croatia) a national holiday in California as governor. Not surprising given that his was the most RC government ever – he also colluded with the Polish anti-Christ to destroy the USSR. In the process he encouraged the German Nazis (see visit to Bitburg) who then destroyed Yugoslavia.

– He brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust that was prevented by a vigilant Russian officer (in 1983?).

– He turbo-charged the power of corporations and decimated social structures and the rights of the working class (the Americans are paying for this now).

This is not to say that the scumbag Clinton was good – after all he was trained at Georgetown – that seminary for American murderers.

Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:33 am EST/EDT

Thanks for this Ken. Good to know who Reagan really was!

To get back to your point about the "dismantling of the empire" Reagan, for all his personal awfulness and recklessness (and subversiveness) was still more restrained than Clinton. Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. I guess it's personal, after what he did to us.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:07 am EST/EDT

Oh, I have nothing but hatred and contempt for that criminal, trust me.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:49 am EST/EDT

Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. Never again!

[Jan 11, 2021] "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.

Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

LittleWhiteCabbage , Jan 11 2021 15:19 utc | 128

@84:
As sometimes said: don't sweat the small stuff.
This "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.
Empire's useful idiots were let loose to trash the hapless city, fired up by the Western propaganda machinery.
Now Beijing is putting the stock on those pompous minions with the National Security Law, and their foreign masters can't do nuffin' except squeal human rights and apply some nuisance sanctions.
The West fails because it looks at China through ideological lenses and sees Communists, who can fall back on 5000 years of statecraft to push back at interlopers.
Beijing's moves can be likened to two classic strategies.
1. Zhuge Liang fools the enemy to fire all their arrows at straw men, which become ammunition against them.
2. The Empty City strategy. Invaders take over an ostensibly abandoned city, only to be trapped inside.
Global Times is cantankerous and sometimes risible, but even a broken clock is right, twice a day.
So when it says that crossing Beijing's red line on the Taiwan issue is not in the island's best interests, the incoming BiMala administration should take note.

[Jan 10, 2021] Top adviser signals Biden would keep troops in Syria as leverage

Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Jan 10 2021 23:21 utc | 64

Posted by: Circe | Jan 10 2021 23:07 utc | 61

There you go

Top adviser signals Biden would keep troops in Syria as leverage

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/05/biden-blinken-syria-oil-obama-red-line-kurds-assad.html#ixzz6jBp9f4aY


Joe Biden hits the president over Syria troop withdrawal in Iowa speech

https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2019/10/16/joe-biden-donald-trump-syria-troop-withdrawal-turkey-kurds-foreign-policy-iowa-caucuses-2020/4002281002/

Biden Says Would Keep Small U.S. Troops Presence In Afghanistan, Iraq

https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/biden-says-would-keep-small-u-s-troops-presence-in-afghanistan-iraq-/30833114.html

[Jan 09, 2021] The American Empire has fallen, though Washington may not know it yet -- RT Op-ed

Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com

The American Empire has fallen, though Washington may not know it yet Nebojsa Malic Nebojsa Malic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic 9 Jan, 2021 11:58 Get short URL The American Empire has fallen, though Washington may not know it yet The sun sets on the US Capitol (FILE PHOTO) - and on the American Empire. © REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan 359 Follow RT on RT Wanting to turn back the clock and restore the American Empire to what it was before Donald Trump's presidency is a fool's errand. It's already a thing of the past – and the storming of the US Capitol was just the last straw.

Don't take my word for it, though. "If the post-American era has a start date, it is almost certainly today," argued none other than the head of the Council on Foreign Relations – the foremost think tank advocating for the Empire in Washington – after Wednesday's storming of the Capitol by several hundred Trump supporters protesting the certification of the election for Biden.

"No one in the world is likely to see, respect, fear, or depend on us in the same way again," lamented CFR president Richard Haas.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346920408386129922&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F511963-american-empire-capitol-resistance%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Sure enough, as Haas was saying this the NATO secretary-general tweeted about the "shocking scenes" in Washington and demanded that Joe Biden's election "must be respected." British and French leaders followed suit , as did the Organization of American States. Turkey "expressed concern." Canada and India chimed in.

Even Venezuela got into the act, condemning "acts of violence" in Washington and "political polarization" in the US, while expressing hope that Americans "can blaze a new path toward stability and social justice."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346941567374774275&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F511963-american-empire-capitol-resistance%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Keep in mind that the US has refused to recognize Venezuela's elected president or parliament, attempting for the past two years to install an unelected 'interim president' instead and call it democracy. While the Trump administration has led this effort, the Democrats – now poised to have absolute power in the US – have been fully on board.

Likewise, the only time the Republican establishment and the Democrat 'Resistance' banded together in near-unison was to override Trump's veto of the NDAA military funding bill, which contained a provision that would block him or any future president from withdrawing troops from overseas endless wars without prior congressional approval. The commitment to the Empire runs deep in the Washington 'swamp', as Trump used to call it.

"We are seeing images that I never imagined we would see in this country – in some other capital yes, but not here," said Haas.

ALSO ON RT.COM Do you realize now what you have done? US gets the kind of 'democracy' it championed overseas

This unwitting admission of 'American exceptionalism' basically says it's fine for US-backed activists to storm parliaments in "regimes" that Washington dislikes and wants to change, but when Americans rebel against their own government they believe is acting illegitimately, that's beyond the pale.

While what happened Wednesday was not actually a "color revolution," the visuals were certainly similar enough for the world to take notice. It would be wrong, however, to blame the Capitol "insurrection" for the demise of the American Empire, when it was merely the last domino to fall.

Again, don't take my word for it – here's Ishan Tharoor, a columnist for the notoriously pro-establishment Washington Post, declaring on Thursday that for "many abroad," the vision of the US as a shining city on a hill with global moral influence and authority "has already died a thousand deaths."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1347289344281890820&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F511963-american-empire-capitol-resistance%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

For some of these people, Tharoor argued, this narrative was "always an illusion to obscure the Washington-engineered coups and client military regimes." Indeed.

Democrats and their neocon allies have spent the past four years blaming Trump's 'America First' policy, lamenting that he was acting unilaterally, antagonizing "allies" and creating a "leadership vacuum" in the world. Those are the talking points of the incoming administration as well.

Except they've clearly forgotten the events of January 2020, when Trump ordered the drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. There were no protests from US "allies" – or should we say vassals? Instead, they fell in line with amazing alacrity.

ALSO ON RT.COM Exposing empire: How Soleimani's killing put paid to myths the US told itself and others

Trump actually embraced the American Empire, he simply dispensed with the polite fictions it had used to dress up as something else over the years.

Ironically, it was the mobilization of the entire US political establishment to get rid of Trump – starting with 'Russiagate' and the impeachment circus over the phone call to Ukraine, with nationwide riots about "racial justice" and the politically weaponized coronavirus lockdowns along the way – that did the lion's share of exploding the myths that maintained US hegemony, both at home and abroad.

Remember the 'Deep State' that was supposedly a Trumpian conspiracy theory? Yet its existence was confirmed in the impeachment hearings, a former CIA director openly praised it, and the eventual revelations of a FBI plot to frame General Flynn removed any vestiges of doubt.

The mainstream media's war on Trump, later joined by social media platforms – censorship of the legitimate and accurate Hunter Biden laptop story just before the election being just the most egregious example – also played out for the world to see. In the end, they banned Trump from every social media platform while he was still in office, even as he said he would leave peacefully.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'Turning point in the battle for control': Edward Snowden, others warn of consequences to Trump's Facebook ban

Basically, the entire US establishment was so consumed by the desire to burn Trump at the proverbial stake, they chopped up the scaffolding that held up the Empire to use as firewood.

In a speech recently, Joe Biden vowed to "rebuild, reclaim America's place in the world" as a country that will "champion liberty and democracy once more." That's a daunting task, on par with putting the genie back into the bottle, un-spilling milk, or putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Ironically, the only thing that could repair American prestige in the world might be to patch up the American Republic, almost broken by the four years of 'Resistance' to Trump. But as that would entail some self-awareness and soul-searching, it remains, shall we say, highly unlikely.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Jan 09, 2021] Is this the beginning of the end of the American Empire- - caucus99percent

Jan 09, 2021 | caucus99percent.com

The United States has by far the largest military in the world, but Vietnam proved that sometimes that's not enough. An empire needs other nations submit or at least cooperate.
That becomes difficult when you're extremely unpopular . That's where America is today.

In 20 of the 29 countries and areas that Gallup has results for so far in 2020, approval ratings of U.S. leadership are at new lows or they tie the previous lows.

Median approval across the 29 countries and areas stood at 18% in 2020, down from 22% for this same group in 2017. On its face, this decline is not good news for the next U.S. administration, but even worse news is the number of allies on the list of countries where approval dropped to historic lows: Ireland (20%), the United Kingdom (15%), Denmark (14%), Switzerland (10%), Germany (6%) and Iceland (5%).

This doesn't necessarily mean anything to the American Empire if the leadership of those nations are still in our pockets. However it does create a window of opportunity to get out from under our thumb.
Judging by what happened this week, that appears to be exactly what's going on.
First there was the judge in the UK ruling against extraditing Assange .

More importantly, there's the developments with the Nord Stream pipeline .

In Germany, the Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation approved by the parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will take risks of the U.S. sanctions against contractors of Nord Stream 2 as Deutsche Welle reported.

The foundation will deal with the purchase of equipment and construction materials to carve out other contractors from the possible U.S. sanctions.

This is a big deal because it allows Russia access to hard currency, and ensures their ability to withstand our sanctions. While at the same time it weakens the right-wing governments in Poland and Ukraine. The American Empire loses its leverage in Eastern Europe.
This isn't the first time Europe stood up to US sanctions. Europe created Instex a few years ago to avoid sanctions on Iran. However they were never truly serious about using it.
This time it appears Europe is serious, it's not just a symbolic act.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hg-XE9wgXjc

But the big surprise was when the EU decided to part ways with our Venezuela policy .

The European Union has dropped its recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president after he lost his position as head of its parliament.

Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign affairs chief, referred to him in his latest statement as one of the "political and civil society actors striving to bring back democracy to Venezuela", after controversial incumbent Nicolás Maduro took control of the Venezuelan National Assembly at last December's disputed elections.

But the European Commission explained that it was a decision taken collectively by EU governments.

This isn't exactly a bold brave stand. It's more like a reluctant admission of reality.
But what it does do is it opens the door to diplomacy with the actual government of Venezuela.
The reality is that the members of the Coalition For A Coup have been quietly slipping out the backdoor for months.

However, the press statement issued by the US State Department and GAC is notable because of the dwindling number of ally countries that are now "committed to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela." What used to be a long list of more than 50 nations is now down to just 19

As for Guaido, it's just embarrassing that the governments of the world continue to recognize him as anything but a grifter , fraud , and imperialist puppet .

I'm starting to think the government of Venezuela might actually survive. It's hard to say because the American media lies so much about the situation there. Remember about six years ago the right-wing media said Venezuelans were eating rats and zoo animals? If that was true they'd all be dead by now.

Going forward we could be looking at virtually the entire continent of South America (except for Brazil) shifting to the left and outside the reach of the American Empire.
Next month the Ecuador election in which the Socialist candidate is leading in the polls.
The following month Peru gets their chance to elect someone good.
And later in the year it's Chile's turn , where a communist mayor is leading in the polls.

[Jan 09, 2021] American exceptionalism hurt by violent Capitol debacle, expect Biden to push aggressive foreign policy in bid to repair damage by Fyodor Lukyanov

Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com

Fyodor Lukyanov , the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club How could something like this happen in Washington? It was assumed that, despite all its social and political problems that have worsened in recent years, America was different and far more robust than we are now seeing. A habit of being special

The rule of thumb was, 'there is America and there are others'. With the others, shortcomings are natural and to be expected, even if many of them are well-established democracies. But America is a different story, because by default, the US is a role model that was supposed to remain the democratic icon forever.

Exceptionalism is foundational for America's political culture. This type of self-identification was the cornerstone on which the nation and society were built a couple of hundred years ago. That's how Americans are raised. And you will run into this phenomenon everywhere.

When asking his supporters gathered by the Capitol building to go home, President Donald Trump said, "You are special." People from the more liberal political camp have even deeper convictions about the US being exceptional and therefore under an obligation to bring light into the world, as they see it.

That's why everybody is shocked – how could this have happened? The reaction was followed by a wave of explanations as to why the clashes near and inside the Capitol building only looked like similar events in other countries, but in reality, they were something entirely different. Here is a comment from the CNN website, "Sure there are superficial similarities... but what's happening in America is uniquely American. It is that country's monster."

Such restlessness is understandable. If we look at exceptionalism in the context of the world order that we've had in recent decades, we see that after the end of the Cold War, the US has held the unique position of the sole global hegemon. No other power in world history has ever reached this level of dominance.

Besides massive military and economic resources, America's exceptionalism has also been relying on the idea that this nation sets the tone for the global worldview. This authorized America to certify systems of government in other countries and exert influence in situations that it believed required certain adjustments. As we all know, this influence took different forms, including direct military intervention.

We are not going to list the pros and cons of such a world order in this article. What's important is that one of the key aspects of this order is the belief in the infallibility of the global leader. That's why American commentators and experts are so worried about the Capitol Building events and Trump's presidency in general hurting the international status of the US.

Boomerang effect

Generally speaking, post-election turmoil is not a rare occurrence. After all, the US itself has encouraged the new political tradition that has emerged in the 21st century. In recent times, in certain places, election campaigns haven't ended after the votes were counted and the winner is announced. Instead, Washington often encouraged the losing side to at least try to challenge the results by taking to the streets. Indeed, resistance was part of the US Declaration of Independence after all.

Western capitals consistently emphasized the legitimacy of such actions in situations when people believed that their votes had been 'stolen'. Washington was usually the lead voice in these declarations. Granted, this mostly applied to immature democracies with unstable institutions, but where are all those unshakable, solid democratic countries today? The world is experiencing so much instability that nobody is exempt from major shocks and crises.

Information overload

There is another reason why traditional institutions are losing their footing. They were effective in a solidified informational environment. The sources of information were either controlled or perceived as trustworthy by the majority.

Today there are problems with both. Technological advances boost transparency, but they also create multiple realities and countless opportunities for manipulation. Institutions must be above reproach if they are to survive in the new conditions. It would be wrong to say that they are all crumbling. They are, however, experiencing tremendous pressure, and we can't expect them to be perfect.

Looking for a scapegoat

The US is not better or worse at facing the new challenges. Or, rather, it is better in some areas and worse in others. This would all be very normal if America's exceptionalism didn't always need affirmation.

Situations in which the US appears to be just like any other country, albeit with some unique characteristics, are a shock to the system. In order to stay special, America looks where to place the blame. Ideally, the guilty party should be someone acting in the interests of an outside power, someone un-American.

This mechanism is not unknown to Russians from the experience in our country – for a long time now, Russian elites have been keen to blame outsiders for their own failures. But America's motivation today is even stronger; there is more passion, because simply covering up the failures is no longer enough – America wants to prove that it is still perfect.

Russia says American system 'archaic' & not up to 'modern democratic standards' after rioters raid Washington's Capitol building

Democrats are taking back the American political landscape. For the next two years (until the 2022 mid-term elections), they will have all the power – in the White House and Congress. Trump's supporters have seriously scared the ruling class, and the Capitol building debacle during the last days of his presidency has created a perfect pretext for cleaning house. Big Tech companies are at their disposal (so far).

Internal targets

Target number one is Trump himself. They want to make an example out of him, so that others wouldn't dare challenge the sanctity of the political establishment. But Trump will not be enough, something must be done about his numerous supporters. The awkward finale of his presidency opens the door for labeling his fans as enemies of the republic and democracy.

The Democrats will do everything within their power to demoralize their earnest opponents. This won't be hard, since the Republican Party itself is a hot mess right now. Trump has alienated almost all his supporters from the party leadership, but he is still popular among regular voters.

Demonstrative restoration of order and democratic fundamentals will also be used to reclaim the role model status. The reasoning is clear – we successfully neutralized the terrible external and internal threats to our democracy, so now we have regained the right to show the world how one should deal with the enemies of said democracy. The 'summit of democracies' idea proposed by Joseph Biden is starting to look like an emergency meeting for closing the ranks in a fight against enemies of progress.

Foreign targets

And this brings us back to the foreign policy issue, because it's not difficult to predict who will be enemy number one. Putin as an almighty puppeteer of all undemocratic forces in the world (including Trump) has been part of the rhetoric for a few years now. Hillary Clinton said it when giving a campaign speech in Nevada in August 2016, and Nancy Pelosi echoed the sentiment after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building. Of course, China is a close second on the enemy list created by the Democratic leadership, but there are some economic restraints there.

America's inevitable strife to reclaim its exceptionalism will clash with the current tendencies in global development. All aspects of international affairs, from economy to security, to ideology and ethics, are diversifying. Attempts to divide the world along the old democracy vs. autocracy lines, i.e. go back to the agenda prevalent at the end of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century, are doomed, because this is not the way the world is structured now.

But attempts will be made nevertheless, and we can't rule out some aggressive 'democracy promotion'. Even if it's just to prove that the embarrassing Trump episode was nothing more than an unfortunate accident. This, by the way, could become a short-term unifying factor for the diverse members of the Democratic Party, some of whom represent the old generation, while others are energetic young proponents of left-wing politics.

We can conclude that the world will not really benefit from the new presidency, even if respected foreign policy professionals return to the White House now that Trump is leaving. It might stabilize America's frenzy in international affairs that we are all used to by now, but a new wave of ideology will neutralize the potential advantage (if it even existed, which is debatable).

America's resolve to prove to the world that it's not like others will encounter the large-scale 'material resistance', which will make a dangerous situation even worse. At least with Trump we knew that he didn't like wars, and he didn't start any new ones. Biden's credit history is very different.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Jan 07, 2021] As Pelosi said about similar protests in Hong Kong: "It is a beautiful sight to behold."

From comments: "The lady martyr, a 14 year air force veteran will be a rallying cry to bring down the corrupt swamp. As Pepe says, the deplorables will become the ungovernables. The real red necks from the intermountain west were not represented. They will be there next time and angry."
Notable quotes:
"... Since the global private finance elite can't start a global war they have to resort to manufactured civil warfare to keep the masses under control and brainwashed against the private finance TINA. ..."
"... The election was stolen. The fraud was blatant, in your face. The election process, the only peaceful means for a transfer of power according to the wishes of the electorate is seen as fatally undermined by a significant portion of the electorate. ..."
Jan 07, 2021 | www.speaker.gov

psychohistorian | Jan 7 2021 5:59 utc | 2

Here's what Steve Bannon's MAGA war-room had to say on today's events..."...What people need to understand is that there's a growing sense among the Deplorables that they've been betrayed not only by their political leaders, but the very institutions that were designed theoretically to protect their liberties."

Who by the way knew that members of Congress have gas masks under their seats ?

Tear gas was deployed in the Capitol rotunda, so the order came down for lawmakers to ready gas masks that are stored under their seats. Allred helped some his colleagues take out their masks as Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Marine Corps veteran, provided instruction.

"When you put your mask on, breathe slowly or you'll hyperventilate," Gallego said, according to Allred.

There surely is a lot of hyperventilating right now. Trump is accused of inciting violence.

It doesn't read like that . In fact Trump spoke out against violence and called on the people to leave peacefully only to get censored by the blue tick monopoly:

If this was the nakedcapitalism web site I would have no question about what the TINA referenced (private finance) but in this posting I am not so sure that is so clear.

How can America have an epiphany moment about the mythological left/right when top/bottom is the reality that TINA should be all about?

Since the global private finance elite can't start a global war they have to resort to manufactured civil warfare to keep the masses under control and brainwashed against the private finance TINA.

A shit show civil war to keep focus off the real TINA of global private finance......and b wants to call that style.....

Down South | Jan 7 2021 6:36 utc | 8

The election was stolen. The fraud was blatant, in your face. The election process, the only peaceful means for a transfer of power according to the wishes of the electorate is seen as fatally undermined by a significant portion of the electorate.

SCOTUS washed their hands of it.

So if their votes don't count and the highest court in the land won't remedy the situation then the only alternative is either dissolve the union or a radical overhaul of the union. Personally I don't think the latter will ever happen.

The only question is will the dissolution of the union be peaceful or violent!

gm | Jan 7 2021 6:52 utc | 13

Full text of Trumps speech at Jan 6 2021 DC Save America rally:

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-speech-save-america-rally-transcript-january-6

[~75 min long speech--no added color commentary or spin]

I'm sure video of his full speech can also be found with a little searching on internet.

[Jan 07, 2021] Victoria 'F--k the EU' Nuland to make a comeback in Biden's cabinet media -- RT USA News

Jan 07, 2021 | www.rt.com

Home USA News Victoria 'F**k the EU' Nuland to make a comeback in Biden's cabinet – media 6 Jan, 2021 13:28 / Updated 15 hours ago Get short URL Victoria 'F**k the EU' Nuland to make a comeback in Biden's cabinet – media FILE PHOTO. Victoria Nuland during her visit in Kiev, Ukraine. ©Serg Glovny / Global Look Press 81 Follow RT on RT Joe Biden has reportedly tapped Victoria Nuland, a devoted Russia hawk with a disdain for EU members and a suspected Russiagate peddler, to take the third-highest job in his State Department.

Nuland will be nominated for the position of under secretary of state for political affairs, the US media said on Tuesday with Politico being the first to drop the scoop. It's the highest-ranking post in the department after the secretary and deputy secretary. During the Obama administration, Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, and was a key official in formulating and implementing his Russia policies. She also served as US envoy to the UN under George W. Bush and advised Vice President Dick Cheney on foreign policy.

The news that the vocal Russia hawk was returning to the White House was understandably met with loud cheering by the fans of Pax American on both sides of the Atlantic. Critics were dismayed and somewhat horrified, considering her record.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346491717550272513&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F511687-nuland-tapped-biden-administration%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346750192884842497&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F511687-nuland-tapped-biden-administration%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Arguably the most publicly known episode of Nuland's Obama tenure came in 2014, when a tape of her conversation with then-ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked. It happened shortly after Ukraine's democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a wave of street protests culminating in an armed coup, which happened with much encouragement from Washington.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346504009813778434&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F511687-nuland-tapped-biden-administration%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Nuland and Pyatt were discussing who among the coup leaders should be in the upcoming Ukrainian government, which indicated that Washington played a much bigger role in the crisis than it publicly admitted. The infamous " F**k the EU" remark came as Nuland expressed frustration with European nations, who were reluctant to lend legitimacy to the benefactors of the events, and said UN officials could be called in to help "glue this thing" instead.

The EU's skepticism at the time could have been due to the fact that President Yanukovich was expelled under a threat of violence just hours after Germany and Poland helped seal a power sharing agreement between him and the opposition leaders, serving as guarantors of the deal. Her return as a senior diplomatic official is likely to get on a few people's nerves in Europe, which is ironic considering how the Biden administration is supposed to rebuild alliances damaged by the Trump presidency.

ALSO ON RT.COM Biden 'should pick OBAMA as AG,' paving the way for him to later ascend to Supreme Court, former White House lawyer says

While flying private in the world of academia and think tanks during the Trump years, Nuland maintained her confrontational attitude to anyone challenging US dominance. Her recipe for dealing with Russia, as outlined in Foreign Policy magazine last summer, is more sophisticated weapons, permanent NATO bases on the Russian border (which will require abolishing a key Russia-NATO agreement) and deniable cyber operations against Moscow.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346703206013935620&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F511687-nuland-tapped-biden-administration%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Nuland also played a peculiar part in US domestic affairs, possibly having a hand in the promotion of the notorious Steele dossier. The collection of opposition research and rumors was used by the FBI to justify surveillance of the Trump campaign and fueled the endless flood of claims that the incumbent president was somehow a Russian stooge.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346546653403222020&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F511687-nuland-tapped-biden-administration%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

An FBI memo released last year revealed that Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson "and others were talking to Victoria Nuland at the US State Department" about the file. The firm looked into Donald Trump for the Hillary Clinton campaign and retained retired British intelligence agent Christopher Steele for the job.

In multiple interviews, Nuland insisted that her role with the dossier was very limited because it dealt with domestic politics. "[Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, 'This is not in our purview,'" she told CBS News in 2018, adding that she advised him to go to the FBI. Some skeptics believe her role in launching the Steele dossier may have been much more significant.

ALSO ON RT.COM Ex-CIA congressman says disputing election results helps America's enemies STEAL ELECTIONS – just what the CIA always did!

Nuland is one of many Obama-era officials tapped by Biden to serve again with him at the helm. In addition to her, the latest reported batch includes Wendy Sherman, the former under secretary of state for political affairs, Jon Finer, who had various roles under Obama, and Amanda Sloat, ex-deputy assistant secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean affairs.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

[Jan 06, 2021] The whole point of US and Western MSM obsession with demonizing Russia is to divert public attention away from the crisis of neoliberalism at home

Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 18:43 utc | 3

Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the Russian émigrés mafia that had relocated to the US in south Queens in New York City. A major difference!


Jen , Jan 6 2021 20:01 utc | 17

Of course the whole point of US and Western MSM obsession with demonising Russia and China, and castigating those like Trump (for not going far enough to oppose either one or the other nation, or both), is to divert public attention away from govt failings at home and to push the public into supporting regime change against both Russia and China.

B's post should be read as a companion piece to his previous post on China as an existential threat to the US, as an example of a nation that achieved stability, peace and enough prosperity for most of its people by pursuing an alternate political and economic ideology in the space of 40 years. An ideology that moreover challenges the ideology that the West has followed for the past 500 years, and the assumptions on which that ideology is based. Despite Western attempts to destabilise, break up and impoverish Russia in the 1990s, in order to steal its energy and mineral resources, that nation managed to bounce back to some level of stability and economic security. In addition Russia and China signed a friendship treaty in 2001 and are committing to a closer political ans economic relationship.

All this serves to marginalise the Anglosphere nations and to deny the US, the UK and their elites the opportunity to plunder these nations and their allies for their natural resources.

uncle tungsten , Jan 6 2021 20:25 utc | 21

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 #3

Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the russian emigrée mafia that had relocatet to the US in south Quens in New York City. A maijor difference!

Exactly that, thank you. The mafia that manages the D party are of Mediterranean roots and are totally pi$$ed of with the Russians.

Enough of this polite avoidance of the reality of the USAi gangland - it is a mafia state. The D 'reformist' squad just blew their best chance to start the reformation. They will be neutered well before another chance arises.

Jackrabbit , Jan 6 2021 20:28 utc | 23

Trump appeased . . . NOT is only half the story.

AFAICT Russiagate's neo-McCarthyism and Trump's supposed friendliness toward Putin was a set up prior to Trump negotiations with Putin at Helsinki.

"I'm your only friend ... and your last best hope ..." is a powerful pitch - especially when it is accompanied by generous offers of aid and support. And perhaps it would've worked if it had come years before.

So now we have a new Cold War - with both Russia and China.

!!

[Jan 06, 2021] Biden Taps Architect of 2014 Ukraine Coup for State Department by Dave DeCamp

Notable quotes:
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
Jan 06, 2021 | news.antiwar.com

Victoria Nuland, wife of neoconservative Robert Kagan, is expected be nominated for under secretary of state for political affairs

According to a report from Politico , Joe Biden's transition team is expected to nominate Victoria Nuland to be the under secretary of state for political affairs for the incoming administration's State Department.

Nuland, who is married to neoconservative Robert Kagan, is known for her role in orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine while she was the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs in the Obama administration.

A recording of a phone call between Nuland and then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked and released on YouTube on February 4th, 2014 . In the call, Nuland and Pyatt discussed who should replace the government of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced to step down on February 22nd, 2014.

The US-backed coup sparked the war in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and led to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Both regions have a majority ethnic-Russian population who rejected the nationalist, anti-Russian post-coup government that even had neo-Nazis in its midst .

In a 2020 column for Foreign Affairs titled, "Pinning Down Putin," Nuland said Russian President Vladimir Putin "seized" on the 2014 coup and other "democratic struggles" to "fuel the perception at home of Russian interests under siege by external enemies." She also cited the war in the Donbas and annexation of Crimea as examples of Russian aggression, as most in Washington do.

Currently, Nuland is a fellow at the Brookings Institution and works for the Albright Stonebridge Group. She is also a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy , a US-taxpayer funded nonprofit that funds "pro-democracy" movements across the world.

Nuland worked in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2008 as the US ambassador to NATO. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the spokesperson for Barack Obama's State Department, and from 2013 to 2017, Nuland was the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs.

Politico also reported that the Biden administration is tapping Wendy Sherman to work directly under Secretary of State-designee Anthony Blinken. Sherman worked in the Obama administration's State Department and played a crucial role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

[Jan 06, 2021] Americans Only Care About America. Their Rulers Only Care About World Domination, by Caitlin Johnstone Ever since November third the American political/media class have been keeping Democrats fixated on Trump's post-election shenanigans with garment-rending urgency, now going so far as to Ever since November third the American political/media class have been keeping Democrats fixated on Trump's post-election shenanigans with garment-rending urgency, now going so far as to call for yet another oxygen-sucking impeachment < as he's on his way out the door while millions of Americans are struggling just to meet their basic needs. You wouldn't know it from the dominant chatter, but Trump's impotent attempts to reverse the election results don't rank anywhere remotely near the top ten worst things this president has done while in office, You wouldn't know it from the dominant chatter, but Trump's impotent attempts to reverse the election results don't rank anywhere remotely near the top ten worst things this president has done while in office, You wouldn't know it from the dominant chatter, but Trump's impotent attempts to reverse the election results don't rank anywhere remotely near the top ten worst things this president has done while in office, which include < vetoing attempts to end the world's worst mass atrocity in Yemen, escalating world-threatening cold wars with both Russia and China, murdering untold tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, pushing Iran to the brink of war by assassinating its top military commander, expanding the "war on terror" and rolling back airstrike regulations designed to protect civilians. US political discourse hasn't reflected the fact that Trump's foreign policy has been far more atrocious than anything he's done domestically–and certainly anything he's done since November–because news media coverage does not reflect this fact. News media coverage does not reflect this fact because western news media regard imperialism and mass military slaughter as normal US presidential stuff, and do not regard brown-skinned foreigners as human. I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration US political discourse hasn't reflected the fact that Trump's foreign policy has been far more atrocious than anything he's done domestically–and certainly anything he's done since November–because news media coverage does not reflect this fact. News media coverage does not reflect this fact because western news media regard imperialism and mass military slaughter as normal US presidential stuff, and do not regard brown-skinned foreigners as human. I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration US political discourse hasn't reflected the fact that Trump's foreign policy has been far more atrocious than anything he's done domestically–and certainly anything he's done since November–because news media coverage does not reflect this fact. News media coverage does not reflect this fact because western news media regard imperialism and mass military slaughter as normal US presidential stuff, and do not regard brown-skinned foreigners as human. I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration advancing murderous imperialist agendas by the US government's executive branch. Their gaze was kept fixated on meaningless political drama while the war machine marched on unseen.
SAINT @saint BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via BREAKING: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are getting a divorce. (via @ nypost <) 4,673 6:26 PM - Jan 5, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy
1,514 people are talking about this
Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world, to such an extent that you can only get them to watch a British sitcom if it's remade with American actors and they don't know that having your nation's flag flying all over your neighborhood isn't normal. The story of Kanye and Kim's divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began. This lack of interest in war and foreign policy is mighty peculiar, seeing how the people who run their country make it their primary focus. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world, to such an extent that you can only get them to watch a British sitcom if it's remade with American actors and they don't know that having your nation's flag flying all over your neighborhood isn't normal. The story of Kanye and Kim's divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began. This lack of interest in war and foreign policy is mighty peculiar, seeing how the people who run their country make it their primary focus. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world, to such an extent that you can only get them to watch a British sitcom if it's remade with American actors and they don't know that having your nation's flag flying all over your neighborhood isn't normal. The story of Kanye and Kim's divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began. This lack of interest in war and foreign policy is mighty peculiar, seeing how the people who run their country make it their primary focus. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world, to such an extent that you can only get them to watch a British sitcom if it's remade with American actors and they don't know that having your nation's flag flying all over your neighborhood isn't normal. The story of Kanye and Kim's divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began. This lack of interest in war and foreign policy is mighty peculiar, seeing how the people who run their country make it their primary focus. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders. The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders.
Stephen Wertheim @stephenwertheim "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes "The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes @ RichardHanania <: https:// palladiummag.com/2020/12/14/chi nas-real-threat-is-to-americas-ruling-ideology/ China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com America's China hawks paint the country as an economic, geopolitical, and military danger. In reality, China is less a threat to America itself than it is to the legitimacy of U.S. ruling ideology. palladiummag.com palladiummag.com 71 2:06 PM - Jan 1, 2021 Twitter Ads info and privacy
37 people are talking about this
In an excellent In an excellent In an excellent In an excellent Palladium essay published last month titled " China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology ", Richard Hanania argues that the example China sets as a nation rising to superpower status by relatively peaceful and lawful means is deeply threatening to the orthodoxy promoted by western imperialists. If the world in general and Americans in particular were to become more conscious of how a civilization can succeed and thrive without waging endless wars in the name of "freedom" and "democracy", they might begin calling for such an order themselves. "While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind," Hanania concludes. "Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong." In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world. _____________________ "While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind," Hanania concludes. "Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong." In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world. _____________________ "While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind," Hanania concludes. "Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong." In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world. _____________________ In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world. _____________________ In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world. _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon! Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon! Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon! Tags AMERICA AMERICANS CHINA IMPERIALISM POLITICS USA WAR Share

The Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn't Justice
Jan 06, 2021 | caitlinjohnstone.com
Latest Comments

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

It is an erroneous generalization to say "Americans only care about America". Which Americans? If you are talking about the ruling class of the United States, even they don't care much about America, only their bank accounts and their stock portfolios. Witness their indifference to the thousands of deaths from Covid-19 through a lack of lockdowns, testing and contact tracing. Witness their demanding that schools and factories remain open, probably to kill as many of the working class as possible while these wealthy goniffs drink champagne on their private islands.

I am born and reared in the United States, and I hate the government of my country of birth. I have hated them since the 1960s. I am an internationalist. Nationalism is a 19th century idea that is past its prime. Ultra nationalism is fascism. All Americans do not support fascism. Many of us are Marxists.

And when you use the term "American", you should be clear that you mean the United States, and not Canada, Mexico, Panama, Brazil or Ecuador, among others.

STANLEY N LAHAM / JANUARY 6, 2021

When Vladimir Putin said that the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of post WWII was the dissolution of the USSR, he was right on the button. What unraveled next was story of unparalleled greed and hubris in the United States in believing the world was its spoils for winning the Cold War.

From Eastern Europe to Asia and South America it went on a rampage like an elephant in a tea house making and breaking governments, bombing and dismembering viable states, creating chaos in order to come in and establishing its new Pax Americana. From Yugoslavia to Libya to Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Honduras etc, it either promoted downright Coup d'États or mercilessly bombed destroying people and infrastructure to achieve its agenda unopposed by a weak Russia and a Warsaw Pact that had gone to its grave. And in so doing caused the greatest mass migration of refugees to Europe the likes of which the world had never seen since WWII.

Yet all this was conceived and effectuated not in secret rooms but openly declared as official policy. In the mid nineties a new political doctrine that would guide policy was announced in the form of "Project for a New American Century" which is nothing less than Manifest Destiny on steroids and on a global scale. This was soon followed by its military doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" over all countries of the earth. Well when the drunk Boris Yeltsin realized belatedly what was afoot, he literally ceded control of the Russian Federation to Putin in 2000 who went about repairing the social, economic and military disaster his country had become,

Starting in Syria in 2014, Vladimir Putin started challenging the American Empire that can no longer project the military supremacy it enjoyed for nearly two decades and this has enraged its planners. The demonizing of Russia is for having stopped dead in its tract the military supremacy of the US and the demonizing of China for having stopped its economic one and challenging the supremacy of the dollar.

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

Putin was quite right. The only brake on the brazen greed for power of the United States was the huge land mass of the Soviet Union. That brake was removed when the Stalinist Gorbachev waved the white hankie and surrendered. The rest is nightmare.

CAROL JACKSON / JANUARY 6, 2021

Make trade not war. Make friends not enemies. Make love not hate.

ROUNDBALL SHAMAN / JANUARY 6, 2021

"Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design."
.
In a sense, you can't blame Americans for being so shallow-visioned. From birth, Americans are taught that they belong to "The Exceptional Nation". Well, if you are Exceptional, that must mean everyone else ISN'T Exceptional. So why in the world would Americans care about those unimportant outsiders?
.
Add to that the fact that most people are innately selfish anyway and just naturally don't care about anyone or anything much but themselves. The World beyond USA borders is just some kind of unimportant black hole that doesn't count for anything. Or so the belief goes. Generation to generation.
.
And add to that fact what does any of this have to do with big shiny pickup trucks, cold beer, and American football? Those are the three dominant religions in America and have been for a long time. Why would Americans care about anything else? There's only so many hours in the day, you know?
.
"The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs."
.
Where things seem to headed the nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff AROUND AT ALL. Various scenarios in play for that outcome.
.
We need to live each day as if it is our last. Because one way or another, The Last One is getting closer. Do cattle at the stockyards realize that they are in a stockyards and their brothers and sisters go into that big building and don't seem to come out? Will we?

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

You have completely summed up the central points of American thinking. Don't wear a mask or social distance because that interferes with my right to be an idiot.

We get the best government money can buy. When will we stop electing celebrities and old white men? Someday there will be a book called "The Decline and Fall of America". I hope someone is around to read it.

S.A. HOGAN / JANUARY 6, 2021

Dear Caitlin (with typos fixed),

I'm afraid I must take offense when you paint things with a broad brush–which is almost invariably a no-no, the stuff of which prejudice is made–and say "Americans care only about America." While our media may encourage an ethnocentric, myopic viewpoint of the world, the cure is to A. explore the viewpoints of other countries, and B. get out there -- both of which I've done, spending > 11 years in Third World or developing countries, an experience that has been equal parts broadening and humbling. I consider myself first and foremost a child of God, secondly a child of the world–including LOVING such Brit shows as Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Downton Abbey–and only thirdly a child of America.

A word about China: While I refuse to demonize the Chinese as the MSM conditions Americans to do, I also refuse to hold them up as some benevolent, humanitarian ideal. China is THE most blatant economic colonizer in the world, AEB their widespread and systematic exploitation of Africa. Talk to some Africans and see how many of them like the Chinese!

Sincerely,

horror/thriller author S.A. Hogan

S.A. HOGAN / JANUARY 6, 2021

Dear Caitlin,

I'm afraid I must take offense when you paint things with a broad brush–which is almost invariably a no-no, the stuff of which prejudice is made–and say "Americans care only about America." While our media may encourage an ethnocentric, myopic viewpoint of the world, the cure is to A. explore the viewpoints of other countries, and B. get out there -- both of which I've done, spending > 11 years in Third World or developing countries, an experience that has been equal parts broadening and humbling. I consider myself first and foremost a child of God, secondly a child of the world–including LOVING such Brit shows as Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Downtown Abbey–and only thirdly an American.

A word about China: While I refuse to demonize the Chinese as the MSM conditions Americans to do, I also refuse to hold them up as some benevolent, humanitarian ideal. China is THE most blatant economic colonizer in the world, AEB their widespread and systematic exploitation of Africa. Talk to some Africans and see how many of them like the Chinese!

Sincerely,

horror/thriller author S.A. Hogan

NEWTON FINN / JANUARY 6, 2021

"Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts." Not entirely correct. Because of the basic decency of the American people, their imperial government is compelled to use its MSM mouthpiece to sell wars to them in explicitly moral terms. First, their attention is relentlessly focused ON a specific foreign stage. Then, the leader of that foreign country is demonized as a new Hitler. Finally, the responsibility of the exceptional nation is asserted to protect the citizens of that foreign country from their demonic leader. This longstanding propaganda strategy of R2P (responsibility to protect), previously described by Caitlin and Diana (the other Johnstone), provides strong evidence that the character of the American people, as Caitlin indicates, is no worse than that of other nations. Indeed, is it not precisely the morality and decency of American citizens which are manipulated by their government and MSM to provide sanction and support for evil deeds?

PAP-A-LAP / JANUARY 6, 2021

Looks to me like a bad case of Great Wall Envy – and the relentless pursuit of the equally anachronistic foreign policy of Attila the Hun. I'll start to feel better when we get a history major as Secretary of State. Hey, a guy can always dream.

JOHN DAY / JANUARY 6, 2021

America got shot with an animal tranquilizer dart in November 1963.
I'm praying for her to wake up and stand.

JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021

As is always the case, governments being the ideal environment for psychopaths, they eventually are saturated with them. The longer they are around, and the more resources they have, the worse they get. America is peaking, I wonder what nation takes their place?

HERB WEBER / JANUARY 6, 2021

Excellent, Caitlin!

FRED GROSSO / JANUARY 6, 2021

Good discussion Caitlin. I only add that America could never do the things you suggest it needs to do with Trump and his goons in charge. With the Democrats we have a slim chance. I did not support Clinton in 2016 as I saw her a a hawk, and I found Biden to be a weak choice, but at least one we could work with, just barely. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021

The one and only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that one or the other, depending on the circumstance, prefers to drive the handcart to hell we are riding on a little slower, or faster if you prefer. The destination remains the same. They both use the same gang of armed goons to enforce their insanity.

PAP-A-LAP / JANUARY 6, 2021

That doesn't appear to be a difference to me – just fighting over the wheel that they've already pulled off the steering column, with all four feet still standing on the gas pedal.

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

Again, this "America" to which you refer. Which America? North or South or Central America? Canada or Mexico? And pardon me, but I am a citizen of the United States and we are not all one lump of ignorant xenophobic brainwashed yahoos. I support the Socialist Equality Party and have not voted for a mainstream party since 1992. We are Marxists. We are internationalists. Marx said "Workers of the WORLD" unite, not "Workers of Cleveland" or "Workers of Bogota" or "Workers of Tierra del Fuego".

WRINKLE / JANUARY 6, 2021

Coming back by plane in the 1960s to the US from France and nearing Idlewild Airport a young American sailor shouted out to to rest of the passengers, 'Back to the real world!'

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

Ignorance knows no bounds.

WRINKLE / JANUARY 6, 2021

Perhaps America polices the world so China doesn't have to. If America didn't, in their fashion, China wouldn't bother either and would let the 'turbulent' spots just rip. They only police their own 'trouble' spots like H. K. and Sinjiang and next Taiwan perhaps.

HERB WEBER / JANUARY 6, 2021

Excuse me, in which "turbulent" spots isn't the turbulence due to US action?

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

Hear, hear.

KHATIKA / JANUARY 6, 2021

How could things be any worse than the US coming in and bomb you back to the stone age killing millions. Let people take care of their own problems or at least have them solved regionally. The number one problem today is people determined on telling others how to live their lives.

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

Much of what you say about America's lack of involvement with foreign affairs is correct. If you asked the average American citizen where is Yemen? You would get a blank stare. But ask them about some Hollywood celebrity or sports figure and you'll get a long reply. There are many reasons for this, but I would start with our school systems that don't teach much in the way of geography, but plenty to do with sports.

When it comes to your comments about China, you are overlooking some very disturbing trends. The repression of the Chinese people is best exemplified by the sheer number of cameras watching the public at all times and the use of artificial intelligence to pick out people the government feels are a threat. This technology can and will be used around the world as more governments become increasingly totalitarian.

BTW, there are a large number of Americans, myself included, that enjoy watching British programs and have no need to have the actors replaced by American actors. I watch on our Public Television network and I thoroughly enjoy the programs. Especially the mystery stories, as I find them to be more thoughtful and less action-oriented than American mysteries.

I would like to see you address the issue of Australia's exporting of large quantities of coal to China. It seems that money has a great deal of power in your country as well as in mine.

SOLLY / JANUARY 6, 2021

No need for a long essay on the subject. Americans are violent, egotistic, egoistic, ignorant and greedy.

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

In many cases you are correct, but I think that analysis applies more to our governing class than to the man in the street. The average American is consumed with earning a living and watching TV. They have little knowledge of the world at large nor do they have any interest in learning about the greater world.

Many of your criticisms could be directed to people around the world. We Americans don't have a corner on your listed qualities but we are certainly in the top 10 of those that share our worst qualities.

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

Ahem! Not all of us, pal. How many Americans (and which American country are you thinking of?) do you actually know? I am a citizen of the United States and I am none of the things on your list, nor are the majority of people I call friends. I have also many friends in other countries around the world. I am sure that violent, egotistic, ignorant, and greedy people can be found all over the world. See Brexit, for instance.

MR OBVIOUS / JANUARY 6, 2021

We are a empire in decline riding on power and might derived from the WW2 victory and addicted to a system that is totally inadequate for the present. Like any dying behemoth do not get close as the thrashing around is extremely dangerous. We will change if modern civilization is so fortunate to survive.

ZARD / JANUARY 6, 2021

'A nation with a collective, room-temp IQ'
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" ~ H.L. Mencken

left(ZOG)right =Divide and Conquer

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

Of course, Mencken was a cynical old bugger, but he obviously had reached the exasperation point when he said it.

LLOYD / JANUARY 6, 2021

Thought provoking as usual, if somewhat off base on various items as perceived from a different biases and experience directed perspective. I must wonder which way the wind blows across various identity assumptions witnessed in progression through original article and various response comments in order to develop and ultimately reach the far shores of some often somewhat exotic islands of opinion.. Conclusion, madness in humans is directly proportional to the degree of logic they attempt to apply when trying to explain illogical realities. Pinball comes to mind, yes, shiny silver balls of steel beating rapidly between bells and rubber thumper bumpers working for that bonus "pop"!

GLOW / JANUARY 6, 2021

Caitlin,
I agree with most of what you said. You just missed one part. That is, mainstream America doesn't hate just brown-skinned foreigners, it also hates brown-skinned Americans. This country was founded on genocide and slavery of brown-skinned people, both foreign and domestic. That foundation is still there, informing all kinds of government and corporate (actually, the same thing) actions, both foreign and domestic.

You recognize that we here in the US are distracted by propaganda, but I don't think you realize just how extensive and hermetically sealed the propaganda bubble really is. Pretty much the only mention of the military in the MSM is someone thanking them for their "service" or tear-jerking commercials featuring happy, healthy, intact soldiers coming home to happy, healthy, intact, and overjoyed families. Genocide, torture, and destruction of people in foreign countries have never been my idea of service. Any mention of what the happy soldiers were coming home from is strictly forbidden unless it is to say what a great thing they were doing there.

If you get your information about the world from the MSM in this country, you might hardly be aware that other countries exist except when the oligarchs want to incite fear, hatred, contempt, or pity depending on their agenda for the country in question.

Despite all of this, some of us are aware, but trying to change the minds of the MSM brain-washed is nearly impossible. Believe me, I have tried. They just get angry. I have even had a former friend tell me that I need to stop reading and stop thinking and go along with everyone else. Further, with all of the covidian nonsense going on now, people are so terrified that they'll drop dead if they set foot outside their front door without a full hazmat suit and respirator that they are thinking even less clearly than normal, exacerbated by hypoxia and hypercapnia induced by face coverings. This is just a new and even more effective way to keep the propaganda bubble sealed. Next, they'll have to worry about whether their whole family will be hauled off to an internment camp if someone gets the sniffles. This is not an exaggeration:
https://te.legra.ph/Draconian-NY-Police-State-Assembly-Bill-Indefinite-Detainment-of-Disease-Carriers -- Global-Research-01-05
This happened in Canada but could be happening in New York very soon:
https://twitter.com/ezralevant/status/1345409909932888064?s=09
People living in existential terror don't have time to worry about the atrocities their government is committing outside of their sphere of experience. The oligarchs are counting on that.

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

The country was NOT founded on genocide, idiot. You have obviously been brainwashed by the 1619 Project, a mass of unbridled historical falsification.

STEPHEN MORRELL / JANUARY 6, 2021

Here is one of the most insightful recent conversations on the rise of China and the decline of the US empire which will never reach the mainstream, between Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar:

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

JIMMY ROBERTS / JANUARY 6, 2021

I think Caitlin's post on the current state of American society was a Curate's egg : good in parts only. She is absolutely correct to draw attention to US capitalism's desire to impose its dominion over the entire world by ANY means, including war, if necessary.

Trump has confined himself to launching trade wars against US capitalism's rivals – Russia, China, and the EU trading bloc. But the US military has kept up its murderous blood-letting in the Middle East and in Yemen, where the prize is control over the region's oil and gas reserves.

Caitlin is, however, way off beam in her assessment of the "average" American, who, she believes, is only interested in American affairs, flag-waving, and TV. This pessimism simply does not correspond with reality. American cities have been ablaze with revolt for the last 2 years, in response to US police murders of innocent people, and especially black people. These mass demonstrations reflect a revolutionary state of mind amongst wide layers of American working class people, especially the youth of America who correctly see no future for themselves in capitalist America. What these mass revolts lack is POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, ORGANISATION, AND DISCIPLINE, in the form of a Revolutionary Socialist Party. This is the key unresolved task, not only in the US, but all over the world, which has also seen mass demonstrations in support of their American brothers and sisters.

Caitlin is also seriously misguided in regarding Stalinist China as a "role model" for the world's working class. It most certainly is not. This corrupt, totalitarian military/police dictatorship is built upon cheap labour, and close collaboration with international capital in ruthlessly exploiting the Chinese working class. Chinese capital is, of course, now spread around the world, exploiting the working classes of the world too.

The so-called Chinese "Communist" Party is an ugly charade. The country is run by billionaires, who draw the red cloak of "Communism" over their rotten corruption, unaccountable powers, and rigid, bureaucratic control over all aspects of Chinese society. The "model" for this regime, and its completely degenerate and corrupt leaders, is Stalin's Soviet Union from 1924 – 1953, when the psychopath, mass murderer, and tyrant expired, to the relief of the bulk of the Soviet people, groaning under his military/police dictatorship.

A Stalinist China is most definitely not to be admired, or emulated. I can assure Caitlin that she would not be allowed to run her platform in Beijing. On the contrary, she would probably be put in jail for "deviationism," which is Stalinist doublespeak for refusing to repeat, parrot fashion, every word that emanates from the mouths of the Chinese billionaire, fake "Communist" leaders. Did she not learn anything from the Tianamen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989?

The Chinese masses face the same political task as their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world, namely, building a Revolutionary Socialist Party to usher in a genuine Socialist society, free of capitalists, Stalinists, and fatcat bureaucrats, who are living like Kings in a country where the vast majority of Chinese people, especially those in the countryside, live an impoverished, hand-to-mouth existence.

Only world Socialist Revolution, along the lines laid out by the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917, led by Lenin and Trotsky, can save the world from all the horrors of modern capitalism, and its inexorable drift towards a third, and final, nuclear World War.

ROBERT L PHILLIPS / JANUARY 6, 2021

I very much agree with most of what the author states, but I agree that holding China and it's authoritarian regime up as anything to emulate is wrong. But that nation is indeed racing past the United States in many technological areas.

I tend to agree with her assessment of 'most Americans,' however, as the vast majority could not pass a basic current events quiz, don't know who Julian Assange is, and readily welcome ever stricter controls over the populace due to their fears of – anything and everything, including CV19.

Not all, but the majority.

RUSST / JANUARY 6, 2021

Thank you Caitlin for an excellent article spelling out the way it really is with the most disruptive force on the planet – the US!

KEITH HAYES (K-DOG) / JANUARY 6, 2021

j'accuse

Americans I am one but do you think I have a choice? Most of the people I know. Ok to be honest, all of them, consider themselves well informed. That perhaps only 1 in 1000 of us even know about the Ask Noway Landslide last week is not our fault. Ok maybe the other 999 could be like me and find such things out but it is hard work to be informed in America. Lets just say I found out about it on a fluke Ok? The fact is our media does not report news. It entertains and sells stuff and calls itself news because the word attracts eyeballs. Americans have no ideal about the development of European infrastructure and how far Americans have been left behind. But is that our fault? Nobody told us.

You spend a lot of time bashing Americans like it was our fault we are ignorant. Fact is serious social pressure keeps us ignorant. Do you also blame slaves for their servitude? And besides what about nerds like me who ARE YOUR FANS. And also happen to be AMERICAN.

Some of us here want to have our fellows to grow a civic conscience. It is an idle wish since all we can do is compete and consume as that is our indoctrination from birth.

You should be more sensitive. I know you have conservative assholes who don't think and only care about appearances and looking good where you live too. Imagine if there were 10 times as many and you have to endure their stupidity every damn day. How would you like it? Walk in our shoes. Do you think we like this shit?

Dissing people who live in a cultural wasteland is not a good use of time. As a great man once said:

'Forgive them father, they know not what they do.

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021

I made it clear that Americans are the victims of imperialist propaganda brainwashing. My American husband who co-wrote this article says stop being so precious about your nationality.

ANNA QUAY / JANUARY 6, 2021

As a Brit I hear you. This political ignorance is certainly not confined to America. I would go as far as to say it extends to all of the English speaking countries of the world. Oh, I would also suggest that you can throw in most of Europe, then add Asia into the mix. It is an affliction that affects humanity. It is borne from years of being ruled by a hierarchy. We have a slave mentality and it is only individuals who are awake. Collective groups of people usually belong to some organisation and therefore by the nature of their organisation simply follow the doctrine/dogma or ideology of that organisation.

JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021

The very smallest and most abused minority is the individual. Collectivism has secured the power to assault them at every opportunity. Which is curious, since "not like us" is the very foundation of racism, war, and an abundant other evils.

RON CAMPBELL / JANUARY 6, 2021

Once again Ms Johnstone hits it out of the park with an article that brings goosebumps to this old man. The United States government is completely corrupt and its world-wide killing sprees are way worse than anything that Mr. Hitler ever did. No morals and no ethics and no empathy are the hallmarks of its nature that need to be done away with ASAP. Thank You Ms Johnstone for you honest assessment of the United States Monster.

EVELYN / JANUARY 6, 2021

Hate DJT all you want, but what he did to significantly reduce human trafficking will never be forgotten by those of us who cared and paid attention to the victims. Watch for a sharp human trafficking increase in during the Biden/Obama/ Harris/Buttigege Administration.

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021

Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump
https://www.courthousenews.com/prosecution-of-kiddie-traffickers-plummeted-under-trump/

JUPITER / JANUARY 6, 2021

Does this mean Kanye West can devote more time to his upcoming presidential campaign

KHATIKA / JANUARY 6, 2021

After biden steps down he is slotted as kamala harris running mate.

[Jan 06, 2021] U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It

Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It

Andrew Bacevich points to an interesting essay by Richard Hanania about the "threat" from China as perceived by the U.S. establishment.

China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology

The author says that China, even as it is growing and has passed the U.S. economically, is not an enemy of the U.S. and no danger to U.S. or others' security:

While China is not blameless, one could reasonably make the argument that, from an international perspective, it has had easily the most peaceful rise to great power status of any nation of the last several hundred years.
...
Perhaps, as the McMasters of the world claim, this is all because Beijing is biding its time in hopes of world domination. Alternatively, China may be an inwardly focused civilization that, while it may have disputes with its neighbors, is not on a mission to fundamentally remake the world. While it would naturally prefer rules that favor it and resists any principles that would legitimize regime change supported from abroad, Beijing does not seek to fundamentally replace the U.N. or rewrite international law. Its strategy has mostly sought stability and growth within the rules of the system developed by Western democracies in the aftermath of the Second World War. While its current position of strength is recent, it has not yet broken from this precedent.

Nor does it, as far as is known, plan to do so.

Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth. That ideological argument was used to seek and kill various 'dictator' dragons abroad. China has proved them to be wrong. And therein lies the real danger to the U.S. establishment.

China's development over the last 40 years proves that it is not necessary to wage wars in foreign countries to be secure and to prosper. For U.S. ideologues that is a bad example that should not exist:

If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified? What will it say about the American system if the U.S. is no longer the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, having been surpassed by a country that became the dominant power in East Asia without even paying lip service to democratic ideals?

Ultimately, Americans themselves might begin asking themselves difficult questions about how well they have been served by their own system, including the sacrifices in blood and treasure they are regularly asked to make abroad.

That would be really bad as the monetary fodder in the trough the national security establishment is feasting from would suddenly be seen as an unnecessary waste. That is the real danger to the blob:

Ultimately, the danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony . Perhaps not every state is destined to become a liberal democracy, and nations with very different political systems can coexist peacefully, as many countries in East Asia do. Maybe the U.S. will not always be at the frontier of military and economic power, and the country that overtakes it may have completely different attitudes about the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens.

While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind. Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong.

What then is the U.S. establishment going to do?

The U.S. rose to global supremacy on the back of two world wars which destroyed the industrial capacities of its main competitors while the wars hardly touched its own country. Could it arrange for a comparable event, by maybe instigating a conflict between Japan and China, that would again lead to a major destruction of global production capabilities while the U.S. stays on the sidelines?

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons , as another writer proposes, may be a way to get there:

What to do [about China]? There is one way to square the circle. The Biden administration should reconsider reflexive U.S. opposition to "friendly proliferation."
...
Taiwan is in greatest need of such a weapon, but developing one would be highly destabilizing, since Beijing would be tempted to preempt the process. The alternative would be for Washington to fill Taiwan's need, with a profound impact on Sino-American relations. Proliferation would not be a good solution -- but it might be the least bad one.

No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States.
...
It is easier to know what not to do with China than what to do. Don't go to war. Don't stage a new cold war. Don't sacrifice core values and basic interests. Don't make the issue all about Washington. Don't waste money and credibility on overambitious, unsustainable attempts at containment. Don't attempt to dictate to the PRC.

But what to do? The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do. Including, perhaps, developing nuclear weapons.

I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Posted by b on January 5, 2021 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink


namulith , Jan 5 2021 19:30 utc | 1

Total madness!
Michael Droy , Jan 5 2021 19:32 utc | 2
Fortunately the Taiwanese are smart enough not to use nuclear weapons.

Seems to me that China threatens mostly Big American companies - Google Facebook etc, and therefore the US stock market valuations that depend on huge growth expectations remaining credible.

james , Jan 5 2021 19:40 utc | 3
thanks b... the idea to stop when digging a ditch for yourself is not something the usa has ever demonstrated in my memory.. it would be nice if the usa could change its approach on the world stage, but at this point i give it very low odds.. instead the usa will be forced to adjust to a different reality, much like all the innocent people in the usa left behind by a system that is broken.... the usa is becoming what it has failed to address and becoming a failed state... it seems like it is now on one of those china bullet trains to reach this failed state destination, as no other options are likely to be explored here forward...

i am presently reading a book by linda mcquaig given to me for christmas - the sport and prey of capitalists - .... essentially the capitalist template used in the usa the past 40 or more years is being pushed onto canada - privatization and allowing big finance firms like blackrock into the halls of canuck political power to decide the direction that we have to privatize our public institutions... again - we are back to the conversation that @pshycohistorian likes to focus on - public, verses private finance... these financial monoliths are dominating the landscape of the west... i don't know how we move forward and put them to rest... i suspect a financial collapse is the only way, and i am not convinced that the new system will be better then the last... the predators, although a small percentage on the planet, are especially focused on there desire for financial power and dominance.... is china headed in the same direction?? or russia?? i can't tell... as for canada, the future looks grim if one was to just read this book i refer to...

gottleb , Jan 5 2021 19:41 utc | 4
Agree 100%. We can't expect the USA to suffer its own Shock Doctrine can we? The American Fantasy of World Savior is too engrained in Establishment thought to give up its American Exceptionalist, Unitary Super Power, Plunder for Profit, in the name of FREEDOM all while doing Blankfein's God's Work without a fight.

Imagine the horror, the horror I tell you, of American Introspection at the nation's utter failure at everything it pretended at.

Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 5 2021 19:45 utc | 5
Isn't it going to be forbidden, in a couple of week, for any country to have nuclear weapons?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Prohibition_of_Nuclear_Weapons

As for China, I believe it's conclusively demonstrated the superiority of its sociopolitical model. Growing economy, growing prosperity, growing influence in the world, no wars.

Jackrabbit , Jan 5 2021 19:50 utc | 6
"... Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It [China] "

Just ideas? Or maybe they have plans that they are already implementing?

Seems like the latter to me. But then I've been saying (repeatedly) that everything changed in 2013-14 when USA realized that the Russia-China Alliance had teeth.

!!

vk , Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7
Some Chinese commenter here please help me, but, if I'm not mistaken, China has a doctrine that in the US thinktankland they call "China's Peaceful Development Doctrine". In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

So, the author from the Paladium Magazine is reinventing the wheel here, as China makes no secret of its global doctrine.

I maintain my opinion that nukes eliminate the prospect of another Kondratiev Cycle being forced on a world war. Nukes not only destroy infrastructure - it also destroy land and air themselves. It subtracts space from capitalism.

powerandpeople , Jan 5 2021 20:09 utc | 8
Funny how USA always has a geopolitical move or suggestion that invites death and destruction to two or more other countries very far from US shores.

Must be profitable.

Nuclear bombs are passe. There is no 'day after' first use.

Missiles, drones, precision muntions,advanced jamming etc are the new army, navy, and airforce rolled into one.

All that is left is peace and cooperation.

But in reference to China and Taiwan - or any other pairing, for that matter - who would benefit from it?

Putting it another way, who would no longer benefit from it?

Caliman , Jan 5 2021 20:12 utc | 9
"If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified?"

Good question; but note that the question itself assumes that "universal democratization" HAS in fact been the point of our imperial endeavors around the world. As can be seen from our close and personal relationships with the Gulf monarchies, the Egyptian tyrant, the SE Asia wars, and many many other examples to mention over the decades past, this is manifestly not true.

The truth is that "universal democratization" and the so-called "rules-based order" post ww2 have ever only been a narrative justifying (first) imperial anti-socialism and (now) anti-localism. The truth is that what they are deathly afraid of is losing the all-important NARRATIVE. Because, as the article points out, once the narrative of the savior nation is lost, how can the expense in lives and treasure and thereby the feeding of the Mil-Sec-Think Tan Complex) possibly be justified.

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:23 utc | 10
Given the gigantic problems facing the Outlaw US Empire that are detailed in the links I've posted today on the week-in-review thread, I'll add this interview that mostly covers its current domestic turmoil. Furthermore, given the massive skewing of economic data over the past 30 years, those sitting in DC haven't a clue as to the severity of the domestic crisis. From the interview:

"Colin Cavell: Failing to address the massive problems of unemployment and lack of jobs, failing to address the massive wealth gap between rich and poor, failing to ensure adequate healthcare to millions, failing to protect the American public during the course of the current Covid-19 pandemic, failing to address the festering racial divisions, especially with regards to the criminal justice system, and failing to instill a unified trust in the governing apparatus and ruling economic class, then, yes, Biden will preside over a collapsing economy, a divided country, and a distrustful citizenry, and thus open the door to either another term for an older Trump or some other demagogue or outright fascist to 'restore order'."

And all that's primed to worsen more before it improves any. And the international situation vastly differs from that of the Great Depression years with Fascism rising in Europe and Asia. Hudson in his talk and the Keiser's guest both mention the chasm opening economically between China and the Empire--they're heading in opposite directions as we've been discussing here for months. If the mainland got any inkling that Taiwan was going to be given nukes, it would be occupied the next day. Japan and RoK both want to be rid of their occupier which is preventing them from gaining economically by further engaging with China. And the same can be said for the EU. The bottom line is no nation shares the interests of the Outlaw US Empire excepting perhaps Poland and Ukraine--not even Occupied Palestine.

The Parasite has almost devoured its Host, and in the process has disarmed it. Those sitting in DC can't see that fact because the Parasite controls their collective brains, so we get treated to idiotic essays like the one at Foreign Policy b linked above. Obama chose to feed the Parasite in 2009 instead of having it executed. And that's why we are in deep bantha pudu today.

Stonebird , Jan 5 2021 20:26 utc | 11
I think the main problem are the two different approaches taken by the US or Chinese, which are diametrically different. The Chinese seem to use a " Cumulative " approach, while the US is based on what I call " Winnowing " as a state. Take their respective attitudes towards the poor.

First the Chinese; Cumulative , we are all in this together . If everyone has a "job" be it ever-so lowly, selling food on a street corner for example, then for the Chinese this is a "plus". The person is more or less responsible for his own well being, is not a burden on the State for handouts, and could be (potentially) taxable etc. The object being that ALL Chinese then become positive factors in the society. They are also more motivated because they have a "place" in society. The recent case of Jack Ma and an IPO is not the opposite, but he was trying to get ahead by means that would have led to more unemployment - on the back of the Chinese Government. He was not adding to the cumulative good of the country. Only his own riches. (The Chinese do have billionaires and riches - but are constrained by Corporate credit ratings as explained on a previous - very interesting - thread. Thanks to: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2021 2:08 utc | 162. The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-001)

The US. The attitude is to beat out the chaff leaving only the "kernel ". To " Winnow " the population leaving only the top. ie the poor are sidelined, they become a problem for the Government (needing support, food etc.). A net negative value to US society. (The Rich also get handouts from the Fed. as free money has become an habitude, but that is an another way of winnowing out the chaff - as others do NOT get the trillion dollar handouts) The poor have no "place" in a society that has rejected them and so are less motivated. They must fend for themselves and are expected to obey. If they do not there are always the police to enforce obedience.

"Cumulative = win-win", and "Winnowing = Only the top win".

Mike from Jersey , Jan 5 2021 20:41 utc | 12
It always gets me when the American press says that there can't be peace without "democracy" and "liberalization."

Huh ... try 20 million dead in America's wars since WW II.

And as for "democracy," living in America I would love to see some of it.

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 13
Stonebird @10--

Your "Winnowing" differs little from Zero-sum. The big problem is the Outlaw US Empire's initial storyline is greatly at odds with Zero-sum. As I've written many times at MoA, The Constitution's Preamble that's taught to all citizens says the government's purpose is to "form a more perfect Union...," and what's happening now--for several decades in reality--is the exact opposite. US politicians and business magnates from the Guilded Age knew very well that the way to keep the peace was for everyone to perceive they had a stake in the system. Neoliberalism's Zero-sum throws that rationale under the bus, which in turn has generated the current domestic turmoil. The one thing Trump failed to do was to promise to all Americans they'd have a stake in the system, which is essentially what Hitler and Mussolini told their masses. Trump intoned and shouted MAGA, but did nothing to show that he was serious about doing so. That's why he failed. And that's why the D leg of the Duopoly will also break. It's that break we must act upon when it occurs.

uncle tungsten , Jan 5 2021 20:48 utc | 14
Caliman #8

I think the oligarchic death cult that manages USAi affairs is not the slightest bit interested in "universal democratization": just scan the homeland to see that. The death cult is only interested in wealth accumulating their way. Every year they go into a demented trance screaming about the evil of taxes. Whenever a crisis emerges or a bill goes to the House they scramble to append as many 'tax relief measures' as they can.

The USAi oligarchy and their death cult regulate as many US political candidates as possible to destroy any chance of a government introducing a universal education or universal health system that will need taxes to supply it. Look at what just happened with the #forcethevote attempt to get medicare for all to commence in the USAi. It was the best opportunity in a century to implement it and the only possible advocates totally ignored the initiative.

They became the FraudSquad instead: they used the M4All advocacy to get elected and then ignored their electorate.

Something like %70+ of the people approve of this and the best advocates bowed to the oligarchy death cult and have been since the day they were elected.

So what might the oligarchs think of Chinese people with their resounding support for the Communist Party of China? They will hate them with every bone in their body, they will be furious that this country resists and denies them a chance to plunder it - yet again. The oligarchic death cult will be extremely angry that a single country presents an excellent and achievable system of government and financial management and community betterment to all the other nations on earth.

The oligarchy death cult will do anything to destroy them. And they have the perfect compliant tool in the Biden Harris Presidency.

Paul Damascene , Jan 5 2021 20:50 utc | 15
b - insightful perspectives.
But while I'd agree that China's threat to US ruling ideologies features foreign relations as the leading edge of conflict, the danger of a good alternative may be even greater as it concerns domestic policies.

If a reckoning comes for US ruling elites, the prosecution may begin with the offshoring of US jobs, broad-based prosperity, manufacturing and strategic infrastructure development. Indeed Trump's greatest threat might have been drawing a dotted line if not a solid one to the culprits.

Exhibit B becomes the Chinese model's successes in poverty eradication, general rises in broad-based prosperity, stunning growth in STEM capacities and jobs with futures and now, obviously, competence in public-health crisis management.

The next phase may be litigating the hollowing out of the MIC itself through the corruption of the national defense by a revolving door of staff officers, lobbyists, tankies, bureaucrats and legislators for-profit, for-show, for-corruption.

An additional phase, should the human race survive it, may be tribunals -- such as those of the Reign of Terror, in the event of revolution, or, in the event of war, along the lines of war-crimes tribunals under Chinese / Russian direction, once a suitable city in the smoldering ruins of the continental US equivalent to Nuremberg in German can be found.

m , Jan 5 2021 20:51 utc | 16
It's not so much the American people but the people of the "blob" themselves who increasingly question American exceptionalism. That's why they become ever more crazy and aggressive. They compensate their (unconscious) self-doubts with fanatism.
Lucci , Jan 5 2021 20:55 utc | 17
USA upcoming false flag ?
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_89502.shtml
William Gruff , Jan 5 2021 20:58 utc | 18
The empire may be considering arming and provoking its vassals near China into nuclear war, but America would never consider anything so terrible as trying to cripple China with biological weapons! That would be just crazy!

Wouldn't it?

Prof K , Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19
There are several levels of analysis here that are being muddled by theoretical ignorance.

The liberal theory says that political democracy and free markets create economic growth, responsible government, mutual gains from trade, economic interdependence, and a zone of peace, reinforced and cemented by multilateral institutions. The liberal zone of peace is threatened, though, by authoritarian regimes with state-run economies, and the former need to contain and overthrow the latter.

Realist theory starts with the state and the state-system, which is anarchic and thus produces conflicts over the balance of power. Defensive realists say that a prudent grand strategy would focus solely on territorial integrity and sovereignty, because any aggressive actions only produce balancing. Offensive realists say that hegemony is the only source of security and that great powers should go to war and wage the arms race to achieve it.

Marxists say that none of these dynamics are distant from the class relationships and competitive dynamics of capitalism and so both liberal and realist arguments turn out to be a crude apologia for imperialism -- for the class-based strategies of dominant states.

With this in mind, we can turn the US' China problem. As the article says, China poses no threat to the US state, nation and territory, so the defensive realist argument for containing China is groundless. Likewise, China's economic growth and stability in the absence of liberal democracy also undermines liberal arguments about the conditions of war and peace in the world. Finally, the balancing of China and Russia against US primacy strategies has undermined offensive realist fantasies of hegemony.

So, what is actually driving US aggression vis-a-vis China?

The only answer is that the long-term material interests of the American capitalist class are threatened by the emergence of a superior competitor, namely, China.

This is true in several respects, most of which I can't cover here.

But, China is building dense global relationships, and positioning itself as a central node of economic growth, technological prowess, social stability, manufacturing power, consumer demand, green innovation, and multilateral reliability.

The US is in deep trouble as a result. As the world becomes more China-centric, the major economic powers will stop funding US trade and government deficits. This will reduce the value of the dollar and diminish the global roles of the Treasury Dept and Federal Reserve, and of Wall Street. The US will fail to meet its debt obligations and the standard of living will plummet as debt-financed consumption winds down. The USG will face fiscal dilemmas, all of which pose serious problems: cut social programs and risk riots; cut the military and risk the empire; raise taxes and risk capital flight and economic stagnation. Given the dynamics of American domestic politics, these dilemmas will not be solved.

These are the underlying material fears of the US ruling class and they EXPLAIN the real drive to containment and war with China.

In short, Marxism is a better science of world politics than are liberalism and realism.

Hal Duell , Jan 5 2021 21:16 utc | 20
Nuclear Japan? Maybe. Nuclear South Korea? Maybe. It could be argued that both already are by virtue of the U.S. occupation of both.
Nuclear Taiwan? I don't see that happening, and any attempt to do so would offer China the perfect excuse to formally reabsorb that Chinese island.
Dork , Jan 5 2021 21:39 utc | 21
American paranoia over China (and Russia) seeking to usurp the US and take over as world hegemon is pure paranoia and projection. It's the western model of the world that considers it normal and desirable to have one country or ideology ruling the entire globe.

China has no history of using its power to force the world to accept it as sole ruler. The reason the US and the west are so paranoid about China et al is because they give themselves the "divine" right to force their ideology onto others, first with Christianity, a monotheistic religion that has converting the heathens, savages and infidels to its screed at the center of its philosophy, and then with liberalism + capitalism (now neoliberal rentier capitalism) and they, falsely, assume every country and ideology is like that.

American and western European foreign policy is a study in Psychological Projection 101. When imperialists like Porcine Pompeo and Lurch Kerry accuse other states of aggressive behavior, violating sovereignty and so forth, they are actually talking about their own country's actions.

psychohistorian , Jan 5 2021 21:49 utc | 22
In the US, now that corporations are people, and since the corporations and tools of finance are privately owned, the concept of democracy is a lie or myth if that offends you.

That is why I keep dragging the ideology discussion to the reality of public/private finance.

It comes down to risk management decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. In the West now those risk management decisions have a ROI skew which includes a profit component that does not exist in China risk management decisions.

We are in a civilization war because the West will not show well in a social system merit comparison...and the elite know this....hence the ongoing shit show to control the narrative.

rolland rouillard , Jan 5 2021 21:54 utc | 23
First off all....there is a difference between WAR and PIRACY
I did not see any bomb landing on US ground or soldier.
Second....free trade agreement is responsible for China economic succes.

Finally...bring back the production on US GROUND...that will kill China

WE are the one responsable...Stop blaming others.

steven t johnson , Jan 5 2021 22:10 utc | 24
Prof K@18 has a very optimistic scenario where China becomes the safe haven for capital and then other countries stop using the dollar as the world currency and t-bills are passed over in favor of the RMB and investors will prefer investing in Shanghai stock market because their money will be more liquid thereand something something will happen so that they (whoc?) won't finance US trade deficits. I don't understand this last, as it is entirely unclear in what sense US trade deficits are being financed. In fact, actual trade deficits aren't being financed. But then the balance of payments isn't just trade in goods, but financial services and US stock markets and yes, government treasuries are also part of that.

It is entirely unclear to me how socialist China, where as of now the ren min bi is not freely convertible, where the government has enormous influence on import and export of capital and capitalists are not only not guaranteed bailing out by the Reserve Bank but regulations are much more onerous than in the US especially with enforcement by prison sentences even for the wealthy...it is unclear to me how this China can replace the US as safe haven, at least while remaining some sort of socialist country at all, even in a NEP-is-the-road-to-socialism kind of way. Further, the US role as the safe haven was not just historically due to it's relative victory (as compared to its capitalist rivals,) in WWI and WWII, but due to its military power. The US pursues a policy of rule or ruin, and ruins selected easy targets on a regular basis (since Bush the senior at the latest,) just to keep the point vivid in everyone's minds. The dollar is not founded on US economic production/productivity but on blood. It is impossible to imagine today's China becoming a capitalist policeman guarding the gates of the bazaar and collecting backsheesh, so to speak. The Chinese capitalists would have to really take over and seriously re-organize Chinese society to do this.

This all sounds pie-in-the-sky at best, I think. Except that's prettifying the ideal, I think. I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Cyril , Jan 5 2021 22:31 utc | 25
@b

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons

The link is to an article by Doug Bandow, titled "America's Asian Allies Need Their Own Nukes". Bandow recommends "friendly nuclear proliferation".

This is how far the US has decayed: that a respected journal like Foreign Policy should publish such insanity.

And yes, it's totally insane. The US is not the only country capable of proliferation. The day after Taiwan gets nuclear weapons, so will Mexico and Hezbollah. The day after that , so will many other countries. It's impossible to foresee all the consequences of irresponsible proliferation, but one outcome is the most likely: doomsday for humanity.

Robert Browning , Jan 5 2021 22:36 utc | 26
It won't be the Muslims who destroy Israel, it will the Chinese and the Chinese will will do it without firing a shot.
blues , Jan 5 2021 22:42 utc | 27
-// Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated [by Biden] for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. //-

Politico

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 22:57 utc | 28
Lets look at what China plans to do over the next 5 years . The article provides a very broad explanation then links to some specifics at the bottom, the item about the Yangtze River Economic Belt being most important. I found this bit of reporting highly important:

"More specifically, these days the government uses the five-year plans to reinforce and complement the market dynamic by providing regulation and guidance. That includes providing the legal and social framework, such as issuing monetary and fiscal policies, providing public goods and services, such as building high-speed rails, and correcting for market failures like pollution."

There's a vast difference in focus between China and the West--China's sharply focused on its development in ways the West isn't whatsoever, and it makes certain its citizenry knows that and everyone's working as a team--every job has its own value and is important. The best explanation I have is that China is doing while the West is watching and not doing; therefore, China continues to grow ahead of those standing watching with their jaws agape.

China outnumbers the Outlaw US Empire by more than one billion people. That's a huge team working together to advance their nation and themselves. Within the Empire, at least 30% of the labor force is idle and not even counted for unemployment purposes since they aren't actively looking for non-existent jobs while about 24% of the active labor force is unemployed. That's 54% of your human capital that's not being used at all to better themselves and their nation. Honestly, which one has the better outlook?

The enemies of the USA reside within it. Yeah, I've said that before and the evidence continues to prove I'm correct.

Leftraru , Jan 5 2021 23:05 utc | 29
All of this makes me think about the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century according to Vladimir Putin: The fall of the Soviet Union. Not because of the shrink of the Russian Empire, but for the loss of an equal to the USA in the international stage. That would make the remaining superpower to have some sort of delusional sense of destiny, as seen in Fukuyama's 'End of History'.
How the situation evolves in a timeframe of 5-10 years in the future is hard to evaluate given the many factors that will influence the outcome but IMO, the only thing that can be taken for granted is the further the USA gets weaker, the more dangerous it becomes for the future of Humanity.
My first post at MoA, keep on with the good work :)
c1ue , Jan 5 2021 23:14 utc | 30
I would add that the threat China poses isn't just ideological - it is operational.
The US derives enormous benefit from the US dollar as reserve currency; from the USD as alternative savings vehicle of choice by foreigners against their own currency; by all manner of favorable international institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
Secondly, China isn't some bare assed Middle Eastern terrorists or Central Asian mountain tribes. It has more people, it will or already has a larger economy and it is proceeding apace with technology development.
This is very different than Russia or even the Soviet Union, for example.
The West was always far bigger, wealthier and productive than the Soviet Union - this enabled all sorts of strategies like outspending on defense, buying job lots of puppet politicians in vassal states, etc.
This won't work with a China that is a bigger supplier as well as all of the other size-related advantages already noted.
Can the American oligarchs stand being 2nd fiddle in the medium term? Certainly in the long term? Would their domestic and foreign empires hold up?
karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 23:35 utc | 31
Sputnik publishes its own analysis , which relies rather heavily on Beijing-based American commentator Thomas Pauken who has his own credibility issues as readers will discover at the article's conclusion.
Dr. George W Oprisko , Jan 5 2021 23:41 utc | 32
Putin and Xi have made it very clear....

WWIII will last 20 minutes....

Russians will become martyrs... The population of the NATO countries will be fried and burnt to a crisp...

What is so difficult about understanding that???

As for Taiwan.....

Were it to begin a Nuke program, would be invested and occupied within 24 hours, while USN ships lay at the bottom of their berths. That is, sunk.

INDY

Clueless Joe , Jan 6 2021 0:04 utc | 33
"democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth"
Well, anyone with any notion of history before 1800 knows this is absolute bullshit and those aren't linked at all.
spudski , Jan 6 2021 0:17 utc | 34
Bang on, Clueless Joe @31.
nocovery , Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 35
The affairs of humans are paltry compared to the vast changes that are taking place in nature: the Sixth Mass Extinction resulting from our destruction of habitat and the stability of the climate system. As methane has begun erupting from the enormous stores in the Arctic, accelerating the forcing and ice melt, we continue on our merry way oblivious to the fate that awaits us in the near future. Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.
Paul , Jan 6 2021 0:32 utc | 36
Here is some constructive China/US analysis from Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and republished on John Menadue's Australian site:

https://johnmenadue.com/europe-and-chinas-year-end-breakthrough/


S , Jan 6 2021 0:58 utc | 37
The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do.

Unless, of course, they want to become friends with China -- this should be prevented at all costs!

S , Jan 6 2021 1:04 utc | 38
America's fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason (RT, Tom Fowdy, January 4, 2021).
Debsisdead , Jan 6 2021 1:21 utc | 39
amerika's corrupt and undemocratic system of government will bring itself undone long before it could succeed in any attempt to disrupt China's system.
The stupid two party both the same just tell different lies farce is tearing the population apart, that's not going to get better it will get much much worse. In fact I suspect the 'prez-elect' is desperately hoping that the rethugs win both senate seats in Georgia as that provides him with a way to avoid following up on his vague minutely left of center campaign promises.

He may be outta luck cos at this stage with about 25% counted the Dems have a lead in both races. Still that's mostly urban electorates and as I understand 'urban' has become amerikan code for unwhite, so if the dems are trying to fluff this contest it will be by Dems failing to turn out the rural african american vote that saves creepy joe from embarrassment. We shall see cos the state dems may not agree to that.

Anyway the lack of a shared dialog between amerikans is getting worse as we see even here at moa where some of these fools come over all hysterical about quite minor issues. You get that when it is barely possible to pull a cigarette paper between dem & rethug policies on the big stuff, so all that is left are the same deliberately selected emotive issues such as abortion & capital punishment that both parties have been encouraging the citizens to obsess over for the last 60 years.

Those fools will go into a civil war over the emotive, totally irrelevant to living in a functioning society, issues which have been beaten up & propagandised for so long, and that will be the end of the threat to the rest of the world amerika poses.

S , Jan 6 2021 1:28 utc | 40
@steven t johnson #23:
I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Ergo, we must pursue a socialist multipolar world.

rico rose , Jan 6 2021 1:33 utc | 41
An USA wich is not leader of the world is not possible. This is the central myth. Growing toward that or beeing it. But without that there is no imaginable USA. I come for myself to the conclusion, a multipolar world will cause breakup. As unit of one country it is just not agreement capable.
Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 2:56 utc | 42
In 1941, during WWII, Harry Truman wanted a brutal and prolonged conflict in order to inflict as much death and destruction in Europe as possible, declaring:

"If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible."

The US - or at least its ruling elite as expressed by one of its key leaders and subsequent president - wanted the brutal war to continue for as long as possible, so that as many Russians and Germans as possible would be killed, (with other Europeans, including Jews, as inevitable collateral casualties in that process,) so that the US could then step in at the very end to dominate war-destroyed Europe.

Following the same playbook, the US warmongering/plundering elite would love it if they could pit Russia vs. China, Europe vs Russia, India vs. China, Japan vs. China, etc. So long as Eurasia is divided instead of cooperating with itself, the US remains the hegemon. Even better if a destructive war breaks out over there, that the US would sustain from over here, and step in as the noble saviours at the last minute to plunder the spoils.

-

The threat of the example that China happens to provide is not just about preserving America's ruling ideology ("universal democratization", "democracy", "freedom", etc.,) but also about preserving US-led geopolitical hegemony and US-led plutocracy.

The US-spouted ideology is a tool for its hegemony that in turn is a tool for its plutocracy to continue to enrich itself through plunder.

Any example of a country that serves its people, let alone one that does so without foreign wars and regime change subversion, cannot be allowed by a plutocracy that sustains itself through wars, subversion, parasitism, and plunder.

That means, unfortunately, we in the West will continue to be force-fed a barrage of propaganda from our establishment media so that people can't perceive that example, (and are even made to reject it as evil,) lest they start questioning the corrupt, plutocratic system they live in.

James joseph , Jan 6 2021 3:11 utc | 43
Been thinking about what u said, rr 39..
Canada waits with baited breath... the burned out remains of empire's creche, negotiating for commerlcial union with their long traditional north-south continental neighbors. Perhaps the midwest could share in monopolizing grains ...
Or the sea coasts with the fisheries..... otherwise, i don't see it.
I think we are going to collapse to local economy, and maybe build bacl to anational economy, after some time. I don't know when.
Blues guy , Jan 6 2021 3:16 utc | 44
@ nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33:

Your Brainwashing is complete, you have swallowed the green pill and happily pay your carbon taxes and live in the fear artificially inserted into your sub/conscious having trusted proven liars and and having failed to verify things for yourself or trust your own senses. All thinking is filtered through your gree-coloured glasses.

You have swallowed wholly the manufactured-for-the-masses groupthink propaganda and espouse it from the core of your very soul, shout it from the mountaintops. Be the chickenlittle that you are and just come out and say, it will be cathartic and will feel good - THE SKY IS FALLING!

You and your ilk are fools, and are dangerously fascistic, climate fatalist totalitarians and you will not be satisfied until any and all opposing views/data/freedom of thought are outlawed.

bystander04 , Jan 6 2021 3:53 utc | 45
many comments mention "oligarchs" - and their power, nationally and internationally. I see a serious danger of the "Oligarchic Internationale" (a wordplay on the marxist 19th. century "Workers Internationale" with their slogan "Workers of the world, Unite! I say that for the very few MoA readers who are too young or not educated in history or economy, apology to the most MoA readers). The Oligarchs of the world (be it USA, China, Russia, Israel, and from wherever they may creep) are de facto already in an "Internationale" type organization - they say silently "Oligarchs of the World - Unite!" and they don't want a big war , which would upset the status quo. They will try to keep it for themselves and their offspring with very forceful means - Internationally enforced. Smaller proxi-wars may happen, but no WW 3, in my laymen's opinion.
denk , Jan 6 2021 4:24 utc | 46
In a nutshell...
Chinese survival vs gringo hegemony.

pssst,
There's this dirty little secret,
FUKUS is very safe ! ;-)
https://apjjf.org/2014/12/36/Vince-Scappatura/4178/article.html

Grieved , Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47
@39 rico rose and #41 James joseph - and others.

I've been pondering lately this one question: what is the point of even having a country if the advantages to the ordinary citizen of having a country are no longer maintained?

In the US, if we can't get the federal government to act on behalf of the people, maybe the only answer is to discard that government. In the USA, this can be done, lawfully and peacefully (although with high drama, for sure) by the States acting in agreement to dissolve the Union.

The United States acts under a certain hindrance by having two levels of government, but this is also a great treasure as well. The top layer of government can go away, and the people will still have a sovereignty-based government to live under, and to be represented by, and to engage with.

So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios .

~~

And rico rose, your point about the multi polar world is very important I think. When you say "a multipolar world will cause breakup" , I suggest that a multipolar world will better allow breakup. It's kind of the same thing, the same result from two different ends: from one end, the Demonstration Effect from the rest of the world including China showing to the US populace that there is a much better way to live, and from the US end, the general dissatisfaction growing among that populace as the federal government continues to be useless.

It could take a short decade at most, I reckon, for the rest of the world to be so impressive that US media can't hide it from the people any longer, and for US oligarchy to be so lawless and ravaging that the people simply can't take it anymore.

In a softer world that follows the example of Asia, and especially given the natural borders of North America anyway, there is no great threat from armed invasion to any of the States, even if each one were to stand alone. Many states would form new unions, but even so, the citizenry in place in each state possesses the firepower to resist any invasion, I suggest.

So if there's no defense to be provided for, all that's left is the welfare of the citizens to be provided for. And 2020 has shown dramatically that, while the federal government has abandoned that sense of provisioning, the States and their people still care passionately about this very thing.

~~

Apparently the calls for "secession" are arising again in the US, or so I've heard. It's a crude concept at the moment, and there is no right of secession. But there is every right to amend the Constitution, by a 3/4 majority of the States, and to dissolve the present Union, in order to create a "more perfect" arrangement.

Fnord13 , Jan 6 2021 4:57 utc | 48
@43 Bystander04

China has many billionaires, but I don't think they have the degree of power over the Chinese government and society implied by the term "oligarch". Jack Ma may be the richest man in China, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese government from quite effectively cutting him down to size.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7555623/jack-ma-alibaba-china-billionaire/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-launches-antitrust-investigation-tech-giant-alibaba-n1252325

VietnamVet , Jan 6 2021 5:02 utc | 49
The pandemic is the final nail into the coffin of the Western Empire. Asia and South Pacific nations functioned as they should and their public health systems are controlling the virus but must enforce quarantines on the infected world to continue their ascension.

It is now a multi-polar world. The exploitative capitalism of the West intentionally destroyed democracy and good governance to increase profits. Reality has bitten back. The remains of the former public health system are corrupt and incompetent as exemplified by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The virus basically spread unhindered in the USA and UK. The difficulty is that in times of stress human being revert to tribal beliefs. The reality of the change in power dynamics will be denied by Western decision makers. The truth is that if the West cannot control a virus, it will never address the existential crises; climate change, rising inequality and perpetual war.

Mankind will only survive if it learns how to live on a finite planet in peace.

Arch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 5:03 utc | 50

I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Nice pun.

So, in short, they've run out of ideas and decided to go full retard.

I can already see the shape of 2021 to come. It's going to be a shitshow on an interplanetary scale.

Bluedotterel , Jan 6 2021 5:18 utc | 51
Posted by: nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33

No worry, Nature will take care of itself after we humans have disposed of ourselves. I deplore our general destruction of the environment we live in and the misuse/abuse of resources, but humans are not as strong as we think we are. We may cause considerable damage to the mega fauna and flora, and severely damage ecosystems, but our current war against the planet is one we cannot win and should not even be trying to (capitalism and its God Mammon, again). Life will go on with or without us. Evolution is a fact of life, whether our religions, corporate board rooms, genetics manipulation corps or biological weapons departments understand that or not.

Adam , Jan 6 2021 6:25 utc | 52
@nocovery
Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.

We're not an invasive species, but I broadly agree. The best thing to happen to the beautiful planet in the last million years would be the extinction of the smart pest, Homo S. Too bad I won't be around to enjoy a people free Earth.

KamMan , Jan 6 2021 6:41 utc | 53
I usually read MoA in the morning, yet today it late pm. Your article reminded me of an earlier article read this morning re USA and China Wages comparison. Here is the article pay particular attention to the graph. Pretty much sums it up in that China have an expansionist economy while the USA has (with exception to the Financial rubbish posing as assets) a contraction economy. Globalisation and Austerity from Reagan_nomics/Thatcher_nomics from the "70's have lead the west into the debt ridden marsh we are in now. Yet the lesson of an expansionist economy (which all western economies have done in the past) escapes the thinking of those who supposedly matter. Personally I think the world needs a lot more "Musk's (creating massive employment in making new tech cars and rockets plus solar) and a lot less Bezios's and Jack Maa's (Alibaba china) (Using others products and screwing them on margins to increase his wealth)
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/01/05/michael-pascoe-wages-graph-globalisation/
Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 8:51 utc | 54
karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 12


I agreee that the US is almost easier to define. Zero-sum or winnowing, both are reductive traits. ie the population gets sidelined.

However, I also think that part of "our" problem is that the comments and viewpoint, are generally all "western-centric" and not enough attention is paid to the fundamental differences in attitudes. Chinese are being "gifted" with US preoccupations to show that they are basically the same as those of the US itself. ie. The US is right-superior in its attitudes and so others STILL try to copy-steal-follow it. Something that is becoming visibly not true. Which is why my comment also mentioned the "cumulative" Chinese attitude. It being probably more important to understand why China is on the ascendant.

Note that "Democracy", "communism" or whatever, all have the same stated object of population input and therefore good for the masses. It is when their lofty ideals are no longer seen to be true, (and are not true in practice?) that the edifice cracks. (Ie, part of the USSR collapse corresponds with the rise of the Nomenklatura of only 750'000 people with the right to vote etc. It worked as long as it worked, but fell through when the mass realised they were NOT getting their part somewhere)

Sorry, Very short reply, as I have problems with internet to resolve, with a bit of luck and perseverance I may be able to continue later today.

Jams O'Donnell , Jan 6 2021 9:24 utc | 55
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Exactly right. The second largest problem in the world just now is the Government of the US. Breaking up the US would effectively get rid of the problem. Then we could deal with climate change more effectively.

The current hatred and division between red and blue, the lack of effective health services, the deterioration of infrastructure, the future demise of dollar power and thus lack of funding for the military all give me cause to hope that break up will happen. Lets all do our best to make it so.

c1ue , Jan 6 2021 9:26 utc | 56
@Canadian Cents #42
It shouldn't surprise you; Truman was closely associated with the Pendergast political machine (Kansas City mob).
His Attorney General was closely involved in serious corruption in the IRS and DOJ-Tax division.
He dropped the bomb and was a nasty person in general.
Aule , Jan 6 2021 11:57 utc | 57
Meanwhile, Assange is denied bail. Something tells me that, even if not extradite, they plan to hold him in prison indefinitely - if not American, British would do just as well.
BM , Jan 6 2021 12:41 utc | 58
Wow! When did MoA give up all rationality? The US has long since dug its own grave and long since guaranteed its unviability as a superpower. Everything from here is downward, as long as it clings to the mad idea of supremacy. And the longer it continues to deny reality the bigger and more brutal the bang when it finally collapses - or it disappears in its own nuclear conflagration.

The US produces virtually nothing, except over-priced and disfunctional weapons. Everything else that it has is stolen. It does not have the capability to reverse that trend - that horse has long since bolted and disappeared over the horizon. Unlike the US, countries like China and Russia create genuine wealth through their own productive efforts, and they have the military and economic means to ensure that the US cannot strangle them. The economic advantages of China and Russia will only increase compared to the US, and everything the US is doing to sabotage their efforts only makes them stronger and the US weaker.

Nuclear weapons to Taiwan??? Only SuperMorons could entertain the notion for more than 2 seconds (and there are plenty such supermorons at the Foreign Policy Institute, that's part of what got the US to this status in the first place). If the US gives nuclear weapons to Taiwan they will be giving nuclear weapons directly to China. China would know about it before it happens, and long before they could be operational Taiwan would cease to be Taiwan and would be a province of Mainland China. Not to see that China has that capability - and the resolution to carry it out - is sheer idiotic blindness.

Even if Taiwan could install such nuclear weapons before China takes over, where would they hide them? The stupidity of thinking a tiny one-point nation on China's borders can seriously threaten the entirety of nuclear-armed China - in alliance with Russia - defies fantasy. Doing so requires not "superior weapons" (which the US does not have anyway, that prize belongs to China's ally Russia) but superior idiocy and superior self-deception.

The US is on a bullet train to self-destruction. Stopping that train is impossible without making changes in the past that were not made - unless it gives up 100% of its ambitions to supremacy and becomes a minor self-sufficient village minding its own business. That is its only chance.

Instead of waffling about and navel-gazing over such tiresome fantasies of the US exceptionalists, MoA would do much better to concentrate on the serious issues that confront the world today - like confronting the damage wreaked on society worldwide by the hyper-unbalanced madness of covid policies; the direction of political changes in Europe; the ever continuing instability in the Middle East; signs of latent possible resurgence of society in Latin America (cf Bolivia etc); containment of the US madness; etc.

BM , Jan 6 2021 12:48 utc | 59
So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios.
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Sounds good to me! One specific form of the "village" alternative I mentioned above, in another name.

lizzie dw , Jan 6 2021 13:28 utc | 60
I have wondered how we can go to war with actual bombing and stuff like that with China because many many items that we use every day are purchased from factories in China, having been manufactured there by, it seems to me, "American" (now, of course, multinational) companies. Think apple. Or Ralph Loren. Or any item at the Dollar Store. Have you looked at the labels on your purchases? In addition, we buy all kinds of medicinal products from China. And socks. The US and China are intertwined in many ways.

I thought the MAGA theme of Pres. Trump was to lessen the immense difference in trade amounts - we buy tons of stuff from China but they do not buy that much from us - by imposing tariffs on good imported from China and demanding that "American" companies agree to manufacture in the US again. I thought, well, fat chance.

It is a problem. I am not a "better red than dead or dead than red" or whatever it is, but I cannot see the point of blowing up the world because we can't be the king of it.

Pres. Trump never struck me as a war monger although he has been surrounded by them.

BM , Jan 6 2021 13:33 utc | 61
Posted by: Prof K | Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19

Well said Prof K, you hit the nail on its head.

BM , Jan 6 2021 14:26 utc | 62
A superlative article from Alistair Crooke:

America's Epiphany Moment

The big 'domino' has fallen: Red America; and Brexit is a second. Does anyone believe that this American epiphany; this exploding of American delusions, will leave Europe untouched? Or, that other states will not observe it too, and understand from it that the past need to submit their own cultures to European moral scrutiny is over?

Christian J. Chuba , Jan 6 2021 14:44 utc | 63
We claim our enemies fear us for the same reason that we actually fear China. Experts say, Russia 'invaded' Ukraine because Putin was terrified about having an example of a free and prosperous country on their border and Russians would ask themselves, why can't we have that?'

Talk about projection.

Even so, why can't we coexist?
Most Americans don't travel, Neocons can do what they do best, just lie about other countries and say that China is a starving mess and we are #1. Who in the U.S. would know, who in the MSM would bother to find out otherwise. No set of facts would convince us otherwise.

China could voluntarily decide to go to their own graduate schools and stop going to the U.S. because it's a waste of time and money.
Neocons: 'we banned Communist Chinese students protect our valuable IP'

China could surpass our economy to the point where hovercraft is commonplace.
Neocons: 'Communist China is destroying their environment, our kerosene scooters and trucks are the best thing in the world'

The average fool in the U.S. would never know how backward we had become (or maybe are, I don't travel either)
I guess that is too passive, Neocons have to justify their paycheck.

Mao , Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64
The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the Court

Foreword by Michael J. Klarman

[...] Freedom House, which researches and advocates for democracy around the world, lowered the United States on the organization's scale of zero to 100 measuring political rights and civil liberties from ninety-four in 2010 to eighty-six in 2017. The decline in the United States' rating exceeded that of other Western democracies.

...

More than thirty years ago, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, reflecting on a wave of democratization that had swept the world beginning in the 1970s, concluded that liberal democracy had become inevitable -- the logical endpoint in the evolutionary trajectory of the modern state. However, over roughly the last fifteen years, Freedom House has recorded erosion in levels of freedom in once-strong democracies such as Hungary, India, the Philippines, Poland, and Turkey. Governments in these countries have shut down independent media, assailed and incarcerated independent journalists, packed courts and bureaucracies with their supporters, dismantled independent institutions of civil society, and vilified racial and religious minorities to distract attention from problems they cannot solve.

Many Americans cannot imagine the erosion of their own democracy. The United States has the longest-standing constitution in the world, a strong middle class, high levels of wealth and education, and deeply entrenched democratic institutions and mores. Yet the United States is not immune from world trends of declining democratization. In addition to the developments already noted, research shows that younger Americans are much less committed to democracy than their elders are. Among Americans born in the 1980s, only twenty-nine percent believe that living in a democracy is "essential," as compared with seventy-one percent of those born in the 1930s.

This Foreword examines the recent degradation of American democracy, seeks explanations for it, and canvasses the Supreme Court's contribution to it.

https://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/134-Harv.-L.-Rev.-1.pdf

Arch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 15:49 utc | 65
Posted by: Mao | Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64

The title


The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the Court

Could more honestly be written:


The Degradation of the American Illusion of Democracy -- And the Court

Unless by "American Democracy" we are referring to something defined more by its illusory nature than its reality.

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66
ANSWER TO: "vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7 ":

In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

Having studied Chinese language and history in Europe and China for years since 1972 and practiced as a teacher, interpreter and guide, I have never come accross any Mainland or Táiwan Chinese text or person who have used the expression "Celestial Ascention" in the Chinese language to describe what's been goin on the last fourty years. WHere have You picked up this belief, Herr Jan?

vk , Jan 6 2021 16:22 utc | 67
@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66

Heard it from a Brazilian scholar who once told me, a long time ago (don't even remember the exact term). Never heard it ever since.

But my point is: China's geopolitical doctrine is not secret/cryptic. You only have to know where to find it (and, preferably, know how to read Chinese). China never hid the fact it is socialist (Market Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the official name of the system) and never hid the fact that it has a geopolitical doctrine that is in accordance with its system (i.e. also a socialist geopolitical doctrine).

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68
Dear Jan ;
As for the expression "Celestial ascention" (vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7), this mai be av mistranslation of various chinese expressions for "natural rise" ('tiānrán shēngqilai' or 'qiántiān-dìngde shēngzhǎng' both meaning "coming naturally". Many other possibilities, byt the semi.religious or semi-imperial associatons of "celestial" are definitely never heard in CHina nowadays. s
c1ue , Jan 6 2021 16:40 utc | 69
@Tolled As #68
You should be aware that black has many views which are literally unique.
It is also clear that few, if any, of them are based on first hand knowledge or experience.
"Socialism with market characteristics" is something Deng brought in - it certainly was not CCP ideology before that.
Having visited China many times as a fluent speaker starting in the early '80s, the difference between the present day ideology and the past is stark.
But not to someone who has never been there and doesn't have good discernment in secondary sources to boot.
vk , Jan 6 2021 16:43 utc | 70
@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68

Maybe the Brazilian scholar was too creative.

Either way, the consecrated term in English is a surprisingly good translation ("China's Peaceful Development/Rise/Development Doctrine"), which is also colloquially called "win-win". But the doctrine is actually much more complex than that term suggests.

Gm , Jan 6 2021 17:07 utc | 71
One should google the background of that Richard Hanania person.

Supposedly he is currently a postdoc fellow at Columbia University, and alredy serves as President of some 4 letter institute/stink tank tere that was just set up in 2020[!!].

Before that he got a PhD (political sci) from UCLA (2017-2019?);

before that he got a JD from U. Chicago.

Quite the pedigree. Three top private or out-of-state high tuition schools in expensive cost of living places. Likely his education was *state-sponsored*.

But which State? CIA? Mossad? Who's paying his bills?

gm , Jan 6 2021 17:19 utc | 72
#71 was me [grrr. Cellphone auto-correct]
rico rose , Jan 6 2021 17:27 utc | 73
@47 grieved yes, I like federalism as the basic concept because it works in booth directions if needed. Towards unity but keeping the option of separation. Why not having California as member of the Paris declaration alone. It opens the door for development for problems to early to call. The negotiation process staying open for undecided parts. That is what multipolar means in the core and I guess the only hope for the USA as a nation.
Germany is similar structured. The central government is only allowed to work from own power in defence and foreign relations. For almost everything else it have to use the organs of 15 strong states. Also the source of statehood is coming from them. It is a bit covered right now by EU and covid but there are deep contradiction inside of Germany. If EU, also because of German influence a federation, fails maybe not the old country come up again. I see big chance of totally different structures.
karlof1 , Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74
Stonebird @54--

Global Times article , "US politics in reality 'more interesting than House of Cards ,' entertains Chinese amid pandemic," is absolutely fascinating and revealing--essentially, Chinese are roaring with laughter at the Emperor without clothing. This long excerpt helps explain:

"'Nobody knows more about trending on Weibo better than me,' an internet user mocked Trump via a Weibo comment, adding that 'Weibo would face huge losses after Trump steps down' since the entertainment will largely subside .

"Chinese experts said Americans or other Westerners might not understand why Chinese people are just curious about but don't admire US democracy, but instead treat it as a variety show which is much more interesting than House of Cards . In fact, Chinese people are pretty familiar with the US election and most of them can objectively observe and compare it with the Chinese national conditions.

" House of Cards is the most famous US TV series viewed in China that has helped many Chinese people learn about how US politicians struggle and vie for power. Now Chinese people might learn that the scriptwriters of this TV series have actually underestimated how much drama really occurs in US politics.

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories."

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories." [My Emphasis]

So the longstanding rule that Truth is Stranger than Fiction is again being proven true in China. Most importantly, the chaos within the Outlaw US Empire is serving as education for Chinese and other people globally showing quite graphically the absolute dysfunction of its political system.

I haven't watched House of Cards or Game of Thrones , but I did just recently watch a considerable portion of The Hunger Games . Combine reality with their stories and we'll need to adjust our evaluation of Hollywood propaganda. Add the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing capital crimes--something he'd be rewarded for doing in China--into this mix and there's no way the Neoliberal West is ever going to win Chinese hearts and minds; rather, the opposite's occurring at a rapid pace.

michael , Jan 6 2021 18:35 utc | 75
Cool.
I hope Vlad is preparing diplomatic cables that in such a case he will friendly proliferate to Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 19:27 utc | 76
c1ue @56, thanks, knew that Truman unnecessarily dropped the atomic bomb on civilians twice, but didn't know those other details about him. The point is, given the foreignpolicy.com writer that suggests "creatively" encouraging seeding "friendly proliferation" of nuclear arms to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan with the expecation that that would induce China to "react badly to," it seems that the same sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies as Truman expressed are still very much present in the US ruling foreign policy elite.

Along with the WWII example, the US induced and sustained a brutal war in Afghanistan in 1979 for its own hegemonic/plutocratic interests:

In 1979, the US began to covertly foster Wahhabi extremism in Afghanistan (another case of "friendly proliferation") to, in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, "induce" a brutal war in order to inflict on "the USSR its Vietnam war," at the casual expense of thoroughly destroying the country and society of the people of Afghanistan for decades.

Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former CIA director under George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, stated in his 1996 memoirs "From the Shadows" that American intelligence services began to aid the opposing factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment in 1979.

That confirms what Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter and also an adviser to Barack Obama, stated in a 1988 interview:

"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979."

"But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."

"That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap [..] The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war [..]"

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

There's a country run by sociopathic/psychopathic elements that has a pattern of inducing conflicts and brutally destructive wars to disrupt constructive cooperation and development.

Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 20:08 utc | 77
karlof1 | Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74

The truth is out - Hollywood only makes "tele-reality shows" with a bit of extra gloss on them for export. The Chinese have the right idea.

I should have realised that since we have been living the "Twitter era", that variety has become our spice of life, and Shakespeare's "all the worlds a stage" was just a realistic appraisal that we would become a comedy skit. I like the idea, I never did appreciate melodramas or horror films either....

PS. Biden apparently doesn't "tweet", so will we regress to "silent movies"? He can at least do some of the actions. Keystone cops anyone?

Yeah, Right , Jan 6 2021 22:04 utc | 78
So it doesn't occur to this idiot that if the USA engages in "friendly proliferation" then both Russia and China will do the same?

This is the central problem with American foreign policy "experts" - they are so shallow that they never consider that every action they propose will lead to a reaction from those that they target.

Here, consider this vapid statement: "No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States."

F**k me.

Look, dude, this is very simple: if the USA gave nukes to (say) Taiwan then China would consider that all niceties are out the window and will look to give nukes to some country on the USA's doorstep.

You know: Cuba, or Venezuela. Or both.

How smart would that "least bad solution" look then?

[Jan 06, 2021] Biden Taps Victoria -F-ck The EU- Nuland For Key National Security Post

Why the protégé of Cheney Nuland? Why now? Did Biden completely succumbs to Alzheimer? Does Biden administration strive to be as dysfunctional, neocon-dominated and destructive as Obama administration?
Jan 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Politico reports Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden is tapping former senior Obama administration foreign affairs officials to serve in his cabinet.

Most notably among them is neocon Victoria Nuland, who has just been tapped as Biden's state department undersecretary for political affairs .

Victoria Nuland greets then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, via AP.

Writes Politico : "Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. Nuland also previously served in the Obama administration, as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs."

Recall that in this capacity she ran point for Obama's regime change "democracy promotion" efforts in Ukraine . In 2014 leaked audio clip posted to YouTube caused deep embarrassment for the State Department amid accusations the US was coordinating coup efforts using the ongoing "Maidan Revolution" to oust then President Viktor Yanukovych.

In that leaked phone call Nuland told US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt "F*ck the EU" - for which she was later forced to apologize. Here's some of the audio for a little trip down memory lane.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/L2XNN0Yt6D8

She had also been instrumental in her prior postings at the State Department in Obama's disastrous Libya intervention . After the Obama administration she's been part of various think tanks, including the hawkish Brookings Institution, where she's been a fierce critic of Trump's supposed "appeasement" of Putin. She's also argued for deeper military intervention in Syria .

Politico in its description of the incoming Obama-era officials underscores they are hawks on Russia :

Nuland and [Wendy] Sherman, who entered academia and the think tank world after leaving the Obama administration, have been outspoken critics of President Donald Trump's foreign policy -- particularly his appeasement of Russian President Vladimir Putin .

On the National Security Council, former State Department official Jon Finer will be named deputy national security adviser, the people said, reporting up to incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Finer, a former journalist, joined the Obama White House as a fellow in 2009 and served in various roles throughout Obama's tenure, including as a foreign policy speechwriter for Biden and a senior adviser to then-deputy national security adviser Blinken. Finer had been working in political risk and public policy at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which was co-founded by Blinken's father, since leaving government in 2017.

The key NSC role of senior director for European Affairs will go to Amanda Sloat, a Brookings Institution fellow ...

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=830

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346499680310603777&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fbiden-taps-victoria-fck-eu-nuland-key-national-security-post&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

And then there's this...

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346531883149123589&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fbiden-taps-victoria-fck-eu-nuland-key-national-security-post&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

As is the unfortunate norm in the Washington beltway, the Liberal hawks under Obama simply went to who's who of neocon think tanks like Brookings, and have now been called back in revolving door fashion for pretty much a return to Obama era foreign policy (and its disasters ).

[Jan 06, 2021] You could not make this up...

Jan 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


10 play_arrow


Democrycy 7 hours ago

You could not make this up...

BREAKING: Biden to nominate Victoria Nuland as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1346542671339409408

russian_troll_farm 7 hours ago

F the EU Nuland

buff24seven 6 hours ago

the same Victoria Nuland that said Obama State Dept. informed FBI of reporting from Steele dossier. wow you cant make this stuff up.

ThePub'Lick_Hare 5 hours ago

Not the "Cookie Monster" surely!

Mentaliusanything 1 hour ago

You wait for Hillary to be called up... and the Gangs all here.

What Idiot said there is no Honor amongst thieves

[Jan 06, 2021] An Aggressive China Policy Is a Recipe for More Endless Wars by Daniel Larison

Jan 06, 2021 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Posted on January 2, 2021

From The American Conservative :

Robert Farley explains why the U.S. can't end endless wars if it pursues an aggressive China policy:

The problem is straightforward: Any effort to characterize China as an existential threat to the United States necessarily implies a level of conflict that will (as it did during the Cold War) provide justification for US intervention anywhere in the world. The solution for a less interventionist foreign policy is not to play up the threat of Beijing in the hopes the US will stop intervening elsewhere, but rather to carefully rethink what constitutes a threat to US core values, and what the United States must sacrifice to meet that threat.

The open-ended wars that the US has been fighting for the last two decades were the result of exaggerating a relatively small, manageable threat (i.e., terrorist attacks) into a major global menace that required massive resources and frequent military interventions in many different countries. One can only imagine how much worse things will be if the US replaces its militarized overreaction to terrorism with a militarized overreaction to the Chinese government. A hard-line China policy not only increases the likelihood of conflict between the US and China in East Asia, but it is also likely to encourage more interference in the affairs of other countries that have close relations with China.

If a U.S.-China rivalry follows the pattern of other great power rivalries, that would involve trying to subvert client governments through proxy wars and coups and sometimes intervening directly to overthrow those clients. Policymakers would predictably claim that peripheral countries are actually vitally important and must be "defended" or pulled into our orbit. Hawkish pundits would write articles about "who lost Malawi" and explain why it was absolutely "crucial" to American security that we prop up a dictator in Uzbekistan. The US would wage wars for "credibility" and refuse to end them for the same reason.

One could argue that rivalry with China need not be global and could be confined to East and Southeast Asia, but the tendency with these sorts of policies is towards expansion. Kennan's original idea of containment was never intended to justify waging wars of choice in Asia, but it was almost immediately expanded to apply everywhere even when no real U.S. interests were at stake. A China policy that sought to "contain" China would almost certainly expand in the same way. If someone thinks there can be an intense rivalry with another major power but that it won't become heavily militarized, I refer you to the record of U.S. foreign policy for the last seventy years. All of this has happened before, but it doesn't have to keep happening.

Constant meddling and interventionism are driven by an overly expansive definition of U.S. interests, threat inflation, and a strategy of pursuing global dominance. The meddling and interventionism won't lessen if Washington identifies a different adversary to obsess over. The only things that might change will be the names of the countries that the U.S. sanctions and bombs.

If we want a more peaceful and less interventionist foreign policy, we have to challenge and reject the assumptions that lead the U.S. to interfere in conflicts that have little or nothing to do with us. The first steps in doing that involve rightly identifying what our vital interests are and accurately assessing the threats to those interests. If we do that, we will recognize that China poses much less of a threat to the U.S. than China hawks claim, and we will see that increasing hostility towards China is not in the interests of our country or the interests of our major allies.

Bureaucrat 4 days ago • edited

Shocking how so few realize that the same people on the right and left think confronting China via a zero-sum approach can be consistent with their support for reducing U.S. military and foreign interventionism. These folks preaching withdrawal from Middle East, Pivot to Asia, or "Rebalancing" crowds are active foreign interventionists by any other definition.

On that note I'm curious which sources of foreign policy information/podcast/writers out their have a sensible approach to China. I do follow some leftist anti-imperialist voices for perspective, but unfortunately they are far too forgiving of Beijing (think Grayzone or the Qiao Collective), but everyone else to the right of these avowed Marxists are even worse, parroting the same hawkish anti-China narrative as Washington's foreign policy blob.

kouroi Bureaucrat 4 days ago

From my reading of things, China is a nationalist country with a formal communist ideology and the facto regular economy, with private and state ownership, but with a relatively muscular regulatory state (not captured by the Ownership class) that ultimately has the decisive power on things. Massive problems with corruption, which is a constant through Chinese history. The corruption is so apparent because the state actually tries to do something about it, whereas in the US the corruption is legalized and formalized.

As any country, China has its problems that should not be dismissed. Also not exaggerated either. If one dreams of democracy in China, one needs to be very realistic about it. The extremely long tradition (2000 years) of a bureaucratic/meritocratic state in China, from the beginning can take the air from any democratic attempts, never mind half backed ones like the US Polity). It is not the Communist Party Rule that is necessarily the biggest problem standing in the path of a more democratic China.

Another great problem on a greater opening and relaxing of China is the US imperialist attacks. China is under greater attacks and not because of Trump. That was coming. China is developing more and more and is reaching escape velocity. Also, it has consistently refused to relinquish a greater share of its economy profits to the US Oligarchy and US pension funds that will be tanking in the foreseeable future given the gap between their outlays and their returns... In the current climate, with the US the far greater evil, I am more than willing to cheer for China and its president (2019 saw about 140,000 corruption cases in China acted upon, from confiscations, firings, imprisonment, to the occasional death sentence... Go China! What is the tally in the US? just check on the suffering of whistleblowers...)

[Jan 04, 2021] For friends of globalist faction of neoliberal oligarchy everything, for enemies the law

Jan 04, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Obama Official Ben Rhodes Admits Biden Camp is Already Working With Foreign Leaders: Exactly What Flynn Did" [ Glenn Greenwald ]. "Any doubts about how customary it is for such calls to be made by transition officials were unintentionally obliterated on Monday night by former Obama national security official Ben Rhodes, who is almost certain to occupy a high-level national security position in a Biden administration. Speaking on MSNBC -- of course -- Rhodes, while amicably chatting with former Bush/Cheney Communications Director turned-beloved-by-liberals-MSNBC-host Nicolle Wallace, admitted in passing that ' foreign leaders are already having phone calls with Joe Biden talking about the agenda they're going to pursue January 20 ,' all to ensure 'as seamless a transition as possible,' adding: 'the center of political gravity in this country and the world is shifting to Joe Biden.'" • Presumably the FBI should be interrogating Rhodes about his guilty knowledge. Anyhoo, I'm so old I remember when IOKIYAR was current in the blogosphere: "It's OK If You're A Republican." But now IOKIIOG: "It's OK If It's Our Guy."


Billpreston , November 10, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Logan Act? What Logan Act?

Obama Security Adviser Admits Biden Is Already Talking With Foreign Leaders; A Breach Of The Logan Act

zagonostra , November 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

>David Sirota – "That was enough to barely defeat Trump.."

I'm getting confused, was Trump officially defeated. If not why are all these folks making these kinds of statements without any qualifications, none, zip. He could have said "most likely" or some other qualifier. Am I missing something here? Let the legal process of contesting the election play out for Pete's sake.

ex-PFC Chuck , November 10, 2020 at 7:42 pm

In the words of the late, great Yogi Berra, "It ain't over til it's over."
https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/fore/

[Jan 03, 2021] Will Biden's Administration Simply Represent a Third Obama Term

Notable quotes:
"... The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China. ..."
"... Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. ..."
Jan 03, 2021 | nationalinterest.org

Under Barack Obama, the containment of China -- the "pivot to Asia" -- took the form of what might be called trilateralism, after the old Trilateral Commission of the 1970s. According to this strategy, while balancing China militarily, the United States would create trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade blocs with rules favorable to the United States that China would be forced to beg to join in the future. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was intended as an anti-Chinese, American-dominated Pacific trade bloc, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sought to create a NATO for trade from which China would be excluded.

Obama's grand strategy collapsed even before the election of 2016. TTIP died, chiefly because of hostility from European economic interests. In the United States, the fact that the TPP treaty was little more than a wish-list of giveaways to U.S. finance and pharma interests and other special-interest lobbies made it so unpopular that both Hillary Clinton and Trump renounced it during the 2016 presidential election season.

Trump, like Obama, sought to contain China , but by unilateral rather than trilateral measures. The Trump administration emphasized reshoring strategic supply chains like that of steel in the United States, unwilling to offshore critical supplies even to allies in Asia and Europe and North America. This break with prior tradition would have been difficult to pull off even under a popular president who was a good bureaucratic operator, unlike the erratic and inconsistent Trump.

The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China.

An emphasis by the Biden administration on alliances may succeed in the case of the U.S.-Japan-Australia-India "Quad" (Quadrilateral alliance). The UK may support America's East Asian policy as well. But Germany and France, the dominant powers in Europe, view China as a vast market, not a threat, so Biden will fail if he seeks to repeat Obama's grand strategy of trilateral containment of China.

Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. In part this is a projection of domestic politics. In the demonology of the Democratic Party, Putin stands for nationalism, social conservatism, and everything that elite Democrats despise about the "deplorables" in the United States who live outside of major metro areas and vote for Republicans. The irrational hostility of America's Democratic establishment extends beyond Russia to socially-conservative democratic governments in Poland and Hungary, two countries that Biden has denounced as "totalitarian."

In the Middle East, unlike Eastern Europe, a Biden administration is likely to sacrifice left-liberal ideology to the project of maximizing American power and consolidating the U.S. military presence, with the help of autocracies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Any hint of retrenchment will be denounced by the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that lined up behind Biden, so do not expect an end to any of the forever wars under Biden. Quite the contrary.

Michael Lind is Professor of Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The American Way of Strategy. His most recent book is The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite.

[Jan 02, 2021] Russiagate has dual purpose: depose Trumpvia color revolution and to initiate a new McCarthyism. Both goals were evnetually achieved

So neoliberals managed to take revenge for their 2016 fiasco...
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 10 2020 16:52 utc | 14

Norwegian @ May10 14:22
Russiagate has been an obvious coup attempt from the beginning

jinn @ May 10 15:20

That is not at all obvious... you have to be extremely gullible to believe any of it is real.

IMO Russiagate was about initiating a new McCarthyism.

And Trump's Deep State selection was about re-igniting nationalism in response to the Russia-China alliance which was recognized as a threat to the Empire in 2013-2014 with Russia's blocking of US action in Syria and Ukraine.

I've been saying this for years.

!!

jinn , May 10 2020 16:54 utc | 15
There was nothing mysterious about "Russiagate." It was a transparently false narrative designed, by the most incompetent election campaign team in history, to excuse their shocking inability to defeat one of the weakest and most discredited Presidential candidates there has ever been.
_________________________________________________

Yeah that is what we are asked to believe, but the problem is how did this incompetent election campaign keep the ball in the air for more than 2 years?

They did not invent the Flynn lied to FBI story and they did not invent the Trump obstructed justice stories. And they did not create any of the silly stories about contacts with Russians. There is no doubt the Hillary supporters sat on the sidelines and cheered all the nonsense that was unfolding in the Russiagate narrative but the storyline that they were cheering for was all created by Trump and his lackeys.


[Jan 02, 2021] Tulsi Gabbard slams COVID relief bill as a 'slap in the face' to Americans - YouTube

Jan 02, 2021 | www.youtube.com



liveltoob
, 6 days ago

She voted against the bill because she's smart and she actually reads things

Joseph Klimchock , 6 days ago

Congress has failed the American people again and again. They do almost nothing, we might actually be better if they did NOTHING!!!!!

Shawn Cornell , 1 week ago

One of the few dems that talks sensibly. That's why the communist dems kept changing the rules to keep her out of the debates.

EAZY-E Zero , 5 days ago

Respectfully, Tulsi Gabbard could have been a better candidate than Joe Biden. That's just my opinion.

Jn Stonbely , 3 days ago

Bravo Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for putting it to the "Demagogue" Party for their deviousness, lies, and clearly ; anti-American behavior !


Kai Chinn
, 6 days ago

I like Tulsi, she actually has a head on her shoulders and actually cares about the American People! Aaaaand, she is not hard on the eyes either! :)

boonarga , 6 days ago

Gabbard represents what Democrats were before they became evil.


chiefordnance
, 4 hours ago

As a Republican Tulsi was the only Democrat I was rooting for, the Democrats destroyed her because she wasn't part of their agenda.


Brian Hariprashad
, 2 days ago

She embodies what a true good democrat is idk what's up with the rest of the party, she has my vote


What Is Your Worldview? - Creation or Evolutionism?
, 6 days ago

In a world of [neo]liberalism, it is the VICTIM that gets punished, not the criminals.

[Jan 02, 2021] PATRICK LAWRENCE- Trump's Foreign Policy Explained Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... International Herald Tribune ..."
"... Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jan 02, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

rump the New Yorker was a stranger in a strange land, having nothing of the sensibility of the insular, self-serving swamp-dwellers in Washington and no grasp whatsoever of the power of the Deep State, whose ire he quickly aroused. Trump was a terrible statesman, too seat-of-the-pants, but what was to him dealmaking was at bottom diplomacy, an activity Washington has little time for.

Why did Trump surround himself with people who opposed him and not infrequently sabotaged those few foreign policy ideas one can approve of -- constructive ties with Russia, an end to wasteful wars, peace in Northeast Asia, sending "obsolete" NATO into the history books? What were H.R. McMaster, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and numerous others like them but of lesser visibility doing in his administration?

I am asked this not infrequently. My reply is simple: It is not at all clear Trump appointed these people and at least as likely they were imposed upon him by the Deep State, the permanent state, the administrative state -- whatever term makes one comfortable. Let us not forget, Trump knew nobody in Washington and had a lot of swivel chairs to fill.

We must add to this Trump's personal shortcomings. He is by all appearances shallow of mind, poorly read (to put it generously), of weak moral and ethical character, and overly concerned with appearances.

Put these various factors together and you get none other than the Trump administration's nearly illegible record on the foreign policy side.

Trump is to be credited with sticking to his guns on the big stuff: He held out for a new-détente with Russia, getting the troops out of the Middle East and Afghanistan, making a banner-headline deal with the North Koreans. He was scuttled in all cases.

Complicating the tableau, the prideful Trump time and again covered his impotence by publicly approving of what those around him did to subvert his purposes. A year ago, the record shows, Pompeo and Mark Esper (then the defense secretary) concocted plans to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader, flew to Mar–a–Lago, and presented Trump with a fait accompli -- whereupon Trump acquiesced as the administration and the press pretended it was White House policy all along.

Now We Come to Iran

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly's General Debate, Sept. 25, 2019. (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

Pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord a year into his administration was among the most destructive moves Trump made during his four years in office. It was afterward that the shamefully inhumane "maximum pressure" campaign against Iranians was set in motion.

Trump's intention, however miscalculated, was the dealmaker's: He expected to force Tehran back to the mahogany table to get a new nuclear deal. As secretary of state, Pompeo's was to cultivate a coup or provoke a war. It was cross-purposes from then on, notably since Pompeo sabotaged the proposed encounter between Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN GA.

Now we have some context for the recent spate of Iranophobic posturing and the new military deployments in the Persian Gulf. We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents.

Trump the dealmaker a year ago now contemplates an attack on Natanz on the pretext Iran is not holding to the terms of an accord he abandoned two years ago? The only way to make sense of this is to conclude that there is no sense to be made of it.

Who ordered the B–52 sorties and the Nimitz patrols? This question promises a revealing answer. It is very highly doubtful Trump had anything to do with this, very highly likely Pompeo and his allies in hawkery got it done and told the president about it afterward.

Trump is out in a few weeks. The self-perpetuating bureaucracy that made a mess of his administration -- or a bigger mess than it may have been anyway -- will remain. It will now serve a president who is consonant with its purposes. And the eyes of most people who support him will remain wide shut.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century . Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Ed Rickert , December 31, 2020 at 10:06

A first rate analysis of the inconsistent and inchoate policies of Trump as well as an acute assessment of his psychology, notably his weakness when challenged. Equal cogent is Lawrence's trepidation and concern over the policies and potential actions of the administration that is to replacement Trump. Thank you for your thoughtful work.

Pierre Guerlain , December 31, 2020 at 06:51

I would just like to have a linkto the sources for Pompeo hoodwinking Trump for the assassination of Soleimani.

Linda , December 30, 2020 at 18:42

Thank you, Patrick, for this very clear article summarizing Trump's clumsy attempts at making peace with other countries (a campaign offering to voters) and the Deep State's thwarting of those attempts. My friends and I intuitively knew the people taking roles around the Trump presidency were put there by the "system". Trump had been made into a pariah by the Press, his own Republican Party, and shrieks for 'Resistance' by Hillary Democrats in the millions across the country even before he was inaugurated. There was no 'respectable' person in Washington DC who would dare help Trump make his way in that new, strange land. Remember one of the Resistanace calls to the front? . "Become ungovernable!!!!" Tantrums, not negotiations, have become the norm

So long, any semblance of Washington DC respectability. It was nice to think you were there at one time.

Jerry Alatalo , December 30, 2020 at 16:52

Dear readers and supporters of Consortium News around the Earth,

Please pass the following important message along to the genuine war criminals United States President Donald Trump and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

"Do the right & moral thing for once in your hideous, miserable & pathetic lives, – and free genuine peacemaker Julian Assange."

***

Please consider making the (1st ever in history) establishment of genuine Peace on Earth the absolute overwhelming #1 New Year's Resolution worldwide for 2021. The quality of life for future generations depends on the good actions of this generation.. Thank you.

Peace.

Patrick Lawrence , December 30, 2020 at 14:32

I thank these commentators, a couple of whom read these pieces regularly, and all others who've taken the time this year gone by to put down their thoughts. I read them always and almost always learn things from them. Blessings to all and wishes for a superb new year! -- Patrick.

Lee C Ng , December 30, 2020 at 14:02

I agree 100% with the writer. Example; if Bolton, probably pushed into the administration by the Deep State, didn't sabotage Trump's talks with the N. Koreans in Vietnam, we might've had a peaceful settlement on the Korean peninsular by now. And it's no surprise that Trump on several occasions prevented the success of US-China trade talks – it was more than likely he was forced to do so. Trump wasn't a politician, much less a statesman. But he wasn't an orgre either, despite the hostility of the corporate press towards him (and I'm no fan of Trump).

Biden will represent better the real forces behind all US administrations – the forces responsible for the over 200 wars/military interventions in its 242 years of Independence.

Jeff Harrison , December 30, 2020 at 00:19

Thank you, Patrick, you have made some sense out of a nonsensical situation. "We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents." What is it that the Brits call their Deep State? It's something like the civil service but it's actually called something else.

You called Donnie Murdo a deal maker. Donnie Murdo is a New York hustler. His "negotiation" style only works when his interlocutor must make a deal with him. If his interlocutor can walk away, he will and Donnie Murdo will go bankrupt. The real problem is that the US doesn't need a deal maker – we have people for that. The Prezzy & CEO is frequently called that, the chief executive officer. But that's an administrative title. He is also frequently called the commander in chief but that really only applies if we are at war which we should be at as little as possible. What the prezzy really is supposed to be is a leader. If Donnie Murdo were, in fact, a leader, John Bolton would have been taking a commercial flight back to the US after his little stunt in Vietnam. But he didn't. So the question isn't what could Donnie Murdo do in the next three weeks, it's what can Donnie Murdo's henchmen do in the next three weeks?

Casper , December 29, 2020 at 18:19

One of the other personal things about Donald Trump, was that he had no skill nor experience in leading and manipulating a bureaucracy. He had basically directed a family business and his personal publicity machine. To the extent that Trump hotels had thousands of employees, Trump hired managers to do that. It would appear that the Trump family business largely concentrated on making of new deals for new hotels.

Thus, Donald Trump arrived in Washington completely unprepared to be the leader of a bureaucracy and completely unskilled at being able to get it to do what he wanted it do do.

I'm not a Joe Biden fan, but he's been in Washington since the 1970's. He's seen the bureaucracy from the Senate point of view for 40 years, then got at least a view of what it was like to try to direct it from watching as Veep. I still suspect the real power lies with the military command, and has since the 1950's, but this administration is going to come in with at least some skills in terms of trying to get a government to do what it wants.

PEG , December 29, 2020 at 17:46

Perfect article – and epitaph on Trump's foreign policy record.

Anne , December 29, 2020 at 14:00

Indeed, Patrick, they (the eyes of most of the electorate) will remain shut, eyelids deftly closed Only other peoples commit barbaric, heinous war crimes, invade other cultures completely without cause, bomb other peoples to death, devastation, loss of livelihood, home water supply We, the perfecto (along with one other group now ensconced – illegally, but apparently western acceptably – in the ME) people do what we do because, well, we are perfecto and thus when we commit these barbarisms, they aren't such. And are, it would seem, totally ignorable. Wake me in the morning style .

Truly, the vast majority of those – whatever their skin hue, ethnic background – who voted for the B-H duo are comfortably off, consider themselves oh so bloody "liberal" (do they really know what that means, in fact? Or don't they care?), so to the left of Attila the Hun (which obviously doesn't mean much, Left wise) .and what the MICMATT does to other people in other societies matters not flying F .After all, aren't they usually of "swarthy" skin hue and likely not western and of that offshoot religion of the one gawd, the third go around?

The west (US, UK, FR, GY etc ) really and truly need to develop a Conscience, a real morality, humanity but I fear that that is all too late

[Jan 02, 2021] Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties makes Americans think they can ignore rules Russian foreign minis

Jan 02, 2021 | www.rt.com

Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties & makes Americans think they can ignore rules – Russian foreign ministry 2 Jan, 2021 15:00 Get short URL Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties & makes Americans think they can ignore rules – Russian foreign ministry © Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry 22 Follow RT on RT

By Jonny Tickle In recent years, the US has gone crazy with its idea of 'American exceptionalism' and Washington has taught its people that the country does not need to follow any rules and can disregard international agreements, Moscow claims.

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the claim on Thursday to YouTube channel 'Izolenta live.'

"It's a nuclear power that has gone wild with the idea of its own exceptionalism, withdrawing from lots of documents, treaties, international organizations," she said.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empire

Zakharova also believes that Washington has "encouraged its population to think that they don't owe anybody anything" and "they should not obey anyone," up to and including international law.

However, she noted that the White House may one day decide to return to various deals sidelined in recent years, presumably referring to the incoming president, Joe Biden.

READ MORE When in Russia Get yourself a dose of Sputnik V, Foreign Ministry tells US envoy who asked Santa for VACCINE When in Russia Get yourself a dose of Sputnik V, Foreign Ministry tells US envoy who asked Santa for VACCINE

Since the incumbent at the White House, Donald Trump, came to power in 2017, Washington has reduced its participation in international organizations. In 2018, the US withdrew from UNESCO and from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). A year later, Trump pulled his country out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and in 2020 the country left the Open Skies Treaty. Furthermore, on February 5, a fortnight after Biden is due to take office, the US will depart from the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty unless the Kremlin and the new president's team quickly come to an understanding.

Last month, at his annual press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin chided the US for pulling out of treaties that Russia is fully supportive of, noting that there could be an "arms race" if Biden doesn't agree to an extension of START.

"We heard the statement by the president-elect that it would be reasonable to extend the New START. We will wait and see what that will amount to in practical terms. The New START expires in February," Putin pointed out.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

[Jan 02, 2021] Senate Overrides Trump Veto Of Defense Bill - ZeroHedge

Jan 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Senate Overrides Trump Veto Of Defense Bill BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, JAN 01, 2021 - 15:15

Meeting for a rare New Year's Day session, the Senate voted 81-13 on Friday to override President Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Trump said "fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions."

A two-thirds majority was needed to override the veto - which would mark the first in Trump's presidency. The NDAA authorizes over $740 billion in military programs and construction, as well as 3% pay raises for US troops. It also contains a provision to rename military bases named after Confederate generals .

Trump also wanted to force a repeal of Section 203 protections for social-media companies enjoy due to their constant editorializing of user content, however lawmakers refused to include the provision.

The rare January 1st session comes as the new Congress is set to be sworn in on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 80-12 to begin an official debate on overriding the veto, proving that Congress can act with lightning speed when properly motivated.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the NDAA is crucial to national defense, and to "deter great power rivals like China and Russia." The bill "will cement our advantage on the seas, on land, in the air, in cyberspace and in space," he added.

During Trump's time in office, he has vetoed eight other bills - several of them focused on foreign policy and national security issues, according to the Wall Street Journal .

The fight over the NDAA also underscored broader tensions over national-security issues between congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump. On foreign policy and national-security issues, many Republicans have readily bucked Mr. Trump during his presidency even as they have stood by him on many other issues.

For instance, the Trump administration's recent effort to cut troop levels in Afghanistan in half , to roughly 2,500, by Jan. 15, has alarmed some Republicans. The NDAA requires the administration to submit to Congress a comprehensive assessment of the withdrawal before it can use funds to pull out troops. -WSJ

In addition to creating a commission to assess changes to bases, displays, monuments, symbols and other paraphernalia related to Confederate commanders, the bill limits the president's ability to use emergency military construction funds for other purposes . It also restricts employees or former employees from the military-industrial complex to work directly for the Chinese government or government-controlled companies.


Banned Banana 56 minutes ago

Dwight Eisenhower warned us about this 60 years ago, and we have done exactly nothing.

RasinResin 50 minutes ago

When you comb through who is doing what, you realize it's just politicians supporting monopolistic companies. Lawyers in essence, always have been, and always will be the problem. Just ask Shakespere.

Orange Man Rad 53 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

McConnell is on a suicide mission for the GOP as a political party. I'm guessing he could careless as he won't be running for reelection. I always knew he was a swamp creature that hated Trump. He never once publicly defended Trump in 4 years. I will be changing my party affiliation to Independent on January 7th. I'm waiting until then so it has maximum impact after the scumbags throw Trump under the bus. Good riddance GOP.

Right Wing-Nut 48 minutes ago

Excellent presentation on:

How Big Government Really Works

It fully explains why China Mitch is fine being Minority Leader. Follow the money!!

Obake158 40 minutes ago

Don't change your party affiliation, do what I did and go to your town hall and unregister to vote. There is absolutely no point in participating in this sham of a system. Voting for muppet A or muppet B is silly when both sides are played by the same interests. All you do by giving your consent to be ruled is create a mandate that the agent of corruption uses to lord over you. I am 100% done playing with their system and by their rules. Politicians are a verminous class of filth. They need to be purged, swapping a rat for a snake for a maggot is what voting results in. Think of a single politician that represents you and your interests and that you look up to. I haven't been able to say anything good about a politician since Ron Paul was active, they are all treason scum.

techengineer 15 minutes ago

The Republican Establishment is disgusting.. A damn disgrace.. We can't get rid of the rotten bastards without turning it over to even worse Democrats..

Bernout Sanders 43 minutes ago remove link

For those of you keep asking "but why doesn't Trump do more?" - this is your answer.

Could Trump have expanded the use of the Executive Order into clearly unconstitutional territory and hope the Supreme Court would support this? Perhaps.

When it comes to legislation, though, sadly there are less than 10 (and perhaps less than 5) Republican Senators worth a hill of beans.

I mean, look at Utah. Solidly Republican, elect the sorriest GOP Senator and carpetbagger Mittens, and even their decent Senator, Mike Lee, is militantly pro-immigration.

Until Republicans start primarying SOB RINO's like Democrats do in their caucus, there will never be any change.

AboveAverageIdiot 27 minutes ago

Senators who voted to sustain Trump's veto of defense bill:
Booker (D)
Braun (R)
Cotton (R)
Cruz (R)
Hawley (R)
Kennedy (R)
Lee (R)
Markey (D)
Merkley (D)
Paul (R)
Sanders (I)
Warren (D)
Wyden (D)

yerfej 27 minutes ago

The endless wars continue. What the phyuyk is wrong with a country that can't stop starting wars yet never has the balls to finish them? Oh its just a facade for ayssholes to line their pockets.

dustnwind 43 minutes ago

"Amazing how fast Congress can act when properly motivated..."

Yes motivated by special interests, lobbyists and perks. Someday R voters might realize that R politicians were just as involved in the voter scams to neuter(2018) and remove Trump as the democrats. Any appearances to the contrary are simply theater to retain the voter base Trump had.

vasilievich 21 minutes ago

The mood in this country seems to be poisonous. In this little county of ours, population about 220,000, the food bank is moving into larger premises. Also there will be a residence for those in need, available only to women and children.

I think it's doubtful that this sort of thing can go on without consequences, some of which may be dramatic.

I had family in Europe which lived through something similar, the result of which was a world war.

aliens is here 29 minutes ago

When comes to fudging over the people, congress wastes no time doing it.

GreatUncle 29 minutes ago

The politicians on all sides support the censorship and cancellation culture through big tech editing.

Handful of Dust 28 minutes ago

The Republicans had complete control of both houses during Trump's first two years and did ZERO for the working middle class American.

Jon_noDough 7 minutes ago

Can't give the citizens more than a pittance for Covid relief but no limits to military industrial swamp complex...

Baronneke 8 minutes ago

"National Offense Authorization Act " is a more appropriate name as the US was never attacked after ww2 so no need to Defend. The 5-6 last US presidents on the other hand are all war criminals and have attacked (including sanctions) countless countries since the end of ww2. Far over 700 Billion Dollars to the DOO. Just crazy !!

HoodRatKing 4 minutes ago (Edited)

The US is in BUSINESS, one of their top businesses is SELLING ARMS...

I can't of course discuss their other lucrative businesses in Asia & Afghanistan...

JaWS 5 minutes ago (Edited)

I understand that Cocaine Mitch will be visiting the spa in the near future.

[Jan 01, 2021] JOHN KIRIAKOU- The Dark Past of Biden's Nominee for National Intelligence Director Consortiumnews

Jan 01, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

F ormer acting CIA Director Mike Morell, who has disingenuously argued for years that he had nothing to do with the agency's torture program, but who continued to defend it, has taken himself out of the running to be President-elect Joe Biden's new CIA director.

The decision is a victory for the peace group Code Pink, which spearheaded the Stop Morell movement, and it's a great thing for all Americans. Now, though, we have to turn our attention to Biden's nominee to be director of national intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines.

Haines is certainly qualified on paper to lead the Intelligence Community. A longtime Biden aide, she has the president-elect's confidence. But that's not good enough. Haines is exactly the kind of person who shouldn't be in a position of authority in intelligence. She is the kind of neoliberal intelligence apologist whom so many of us have opposed for so many years. Don't just take my word for it, though. Look at her record .

Haines first began working for Biden when she served as deputy general counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was its chairman. When Biden became vice president in 2009, Haines moved to the State Department, where she was the assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs. After only a year, she moved to the White House, where she became deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs, the National Security Council's chief attorney.

Avril Haines, at center facing, with President Barack Obama at right, and other aides, July 13, 2015. (White House Flickr, Pete Souza)

That's quite a position. What it means was that her job was to legally justify President Barack Obama's decisions on such intelligence issues as drone strikes and whether to release the CIA Torture Report. She served there under CIA Director John Brennan. Obama apparently liked the job she did for him because in 2013, he named Haines deputy director of the CIA (DD/CIA).

Haines was the first woman to be named DD/CIA, and she served again under Brennan, who proved time and again that he was no fan of congressional oversight . Haines's attitude was similar to Brennan's: The CIA was going to do what it was going to do, and she would make no apologies for it. Contribute to Consortium
News' Winter Fund Drive

There were three controversial areas where Haines made a name for herself and for which she should have to answer in a confirmation hearing: The CIA's refusal to release the Senate Torture Report and the decision to hack into the Senate Intelligence Committee's computer system; the CIA's decision to not punish those officers who carried out the hack and who killed and tortured prisoners beyond even what the Justice Department said was permissible; and the government's drone program, in which hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians were killed.

Drone "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military)

Haines' Torture Cover-Up

You may recall that in December 2014, the Democratic staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a heavily redacted version of the executive summary of the committee's torture report, the result of years of investigation using primary-source CIA documents. The executive summary was about 525 pages long, just a fraction of the nearly 6,000-page complete report. And the release of the 525 pages was the result of protracted negotiations between the committee and the CIA.

In the end, the public heard a few details of what the CIA's prisoners underwent at secret prisons around the world. But the full story was never made public. It likely never will be. And that's thanks to Avril Haines.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2010. (Steve Jurvetson, Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier that year, then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein took to the Senate floor in a very unusual display and accused CIA Director Brennan of spying on her committee's staff members. Specifically, Feinstein said that CIA officers had hacked into the Senate's computers to see what it was that committee investigators were focusing on.

The hacking was unprecedented, and Feinstein referred it to the Justice Department for prosecution. Attorney General Eric Holder, however, chose not to pursue the case. Brennan took responsibility for ordering the hacking and he made no apologies for it. But his top aide, his assistant, his legal adviser through the episode was Avril Haines. She has never explained her decisions in support of the hack.

Furthermore, it was Haines who overruled the CIA's inspector general and who decided not to punish those CIA officers who hacked into the committee's computers, or those CIA officers who had gone over and above what the Justice Department had authorized in its "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" program, killing and maiming prisoners.

In the end, not only were no CIA officers punished, but the leaders and most prominent officers in the torture program were promoted, in some cases into some of the most sought-after positions in the CIA. I know this to be true. I worked for them.

Haines and Drones

One area in which Haines has not received a great deal of media coverage has been her role in the drone program . When Haines was the National Security Council's top lawyer, Brennan was the keeper of the so-called kill list. It was Haines who took phone calls in the middle of the night asking her for legal authority -- permission -- to launch missile attacks from drones. She has never answered for her actions.

Now is the time for Americans to put down their collective foot on Biden's national security appointees. Morell was utterly inappropriate for a senior position in the Biden national security apparatus. Haines is, too. She has, very simply, committed crimes against humanity. I'm under no illusions that Biden is a progressive or that he will differ greatly from previous Democratic presidents on national security.

But I do believe that wrong is wrong. Avril Haines is exactly the kind of person we don't want running the Intelligence Community. This is the moment for opponents of her nomination to lobby senators on the Intelligence Committee. There's still time to defeat her.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.



Cadogan Parry
, December 30, 2020 at 21:51

The Intercept (26-June-2020) reported Haines' consulting for controversial data-mining firm Palantir. Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel is also an investor in Carbyne, co-owned by the late Jeffery Epstein and members of the Israeli political and intelligence establishment. Ties between Palantir and Carbyne were cemented when it opened a center in Israel in 2013. Hamutal Meridor, Palantir Israel's current head, served as senior director of Verint, with deep ties to Unit 8200. Verint was previously implicated in being one of two companies hired by the NSA to put a backdoor into US telecommunication systems and popular applications, ensuring it's immediate access.

Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman , December 29, 2020 at 21:21

I urge all who have read this article to watch "Silenced", a James Spione film about John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack -- whistleblowers who paid a very high price for their honesty and integrity (hXXp://silencedfilm.com). Mr. Kiriakou gave up a lucrative job and almost two years with his family for sharing the truth. His voice needs to be heard now . Avril Haines' record of ignoring tremendous human rights violations makes it clear that she should not hold a position of power in the intelligence community of the upcoming administration.

Anonymot , December 29, 2020 at 19:31

Mr. Biden is a male clone of Mrs. Clinton who is a mouthpiece for the CIA/MIC/WallSt. She is still the person who controls the Democrat National Committee (DNC) via Tom Perez and they control and advise old Joe. Joe is merely the puppet at the end of the inner organization's strings. They are all yes-men/women in the service of the shadow's mindset.

We will have another Obama puppet show.

After 4 years of the unique societal insanity ward that destroyed a maximum of the little remaining democracy, including the directorship and key personnel of every Washington bureau, there is little improvement to expect under the Biden Harris clone team. In the stupid intelligence area that Trump damaged even more deeply than is publicly known, Brennan and Clapper are back as Biden advisors.

Once again, the eagles have died, replaced by beagles sniffing out more war, more oil, and more empire.

[Jan 01, 2021] Our aggressive and violent ally. An updated repost. Part 2 of 2 by JOHN MENADUE

Dec 29, 2020 | johnmenadue.com

Declining empires never decline gracefully. And neither will the US empire – addicted as it is to a belief in its 'exceptionalism' and its grounding in aggression both at home and abroad. Add to the mix that 70 million people voted for Donald Trump and 70% of Republican supporters believe that the election was stolen by the Democrats. A sick country! Joe Biden will smooth a few rough edges but won't do much more.

Yesterday I discussed US 'exceptionalism' and that the US is almost always at war. Today I discuss the US domestic sickness- a failing democracy, inequality, racism and violence.

It is a myth that democracies like America will behave internationally at a higher level of morality. Countries act in their own interests as they perceive them. We need to discount the noble ideas espoused by Americans on how they run their own country on the domestic front and look instead at how they consistently treat other countries. Consider how the Kurds are being treated. They led the fight against ISIS but are now largely abandoned by the US and other 'allies'. The scrapping of the alliance with them is made the more dishonourable by the US/Saudi alliance with the resulting tragedy in Yemen.

The US claims about how well they run their own country are challenged on so many fronts. Alongside great wealth and privilege, 43 million US citizens live in poverty, they have a massive prison population with its indelible racist connotations, guns are ubiquitous and they refuse to address the issue. Violence is as American as cherry pie. It is embedded in US behaviour both at home and abroad.

The founding documents of the US inspire Americans and many people throughout the world. "The land of the free and the home of the brave" still has a clarion call. Unfortunately, those core values have often been denied to others. For example, when the Philippines sought US support it was invaded instead. Ho Chi Minh wanted US support for independence but Vietnam was invaded.

Like many democracies, including our own, money and vested interests are corrupting public life. As some have described it, 'Democracy' in the US has been replaced by 'Donocracy', with practically no restrictions on funding of elections and political lobbying for decades. House of Representatives electorates are gerrymandered and poor and minority group voters are often excluded from the rolls. The powerful Jewish lobby, supported by fundamentalist Christians, has run US policy off the rails on Israel and the Middle East. The powerful private health insurance industry has mired the US in the most expensive and inefficient health services in the world

The US has slipped to number 21 as a 'flawed democracy' in the Economist's Intelligence 2016 Democracy Index. (NZ was ranked 4 and Australia 10). It noted that 'public confidence in government has slumped to historic lows in the US.' Trump is pushing the US into becoming a failed state. His executive power is largely unchecked by a crippled Congress. The Supreme Court is stacked

Many democracies are in trouble. US democracy is in more trouble than most. With over 40% of Americans still prepared to vote for Donald Trump it tells us a great deal about the pervasive sickness.

But our risky dependence on the US cannot be avoided or excused by laying problems at the door of Donald Trump alone. Malcolm Fraser warned us about a dangerous ally long before Donald Trump came on the scene. US obsession with war and with overthrowing or undermining foreign governments goes back over a century. So does domestic gun violence,inequality and racism.

Donald Trump excesses are not likely to significantly move American policies from what has become the norm over two centuries.

Hugh White has pointed out, the US has in effect now given up looking after anyone but itself – "America first" – which makes it very dangerous for a country to be joined at the hip with the US, with or without Donald Trump. It could, of course, be argued that Trump is just being honest and saying what US presidents have always done, looking after their own interests even if they refuse to admit it.

A major voice in articulating American extremism and the American Imperium is Fox News and Rupert Murdoch who exert their influence not just in America but also in the UK and Australia. Fox News supported the invasion of Iraq and is mindless of the terrible consequences. Rupert Murdoch applauded the invasion of Iraq because it would reduce oil prices. Fox and News Corp are leading sceptics on climate change which threatens our planet. News Corp underpins American imperialist intentions. The New York Times tells us that outside the White House, Rupert Murdoch is Trump's chief adviser. God help us!

In the past as in the Vietnam war, the good sense of the American people turned the tide. It is now a moot point whether the US can turn the tide again. The sickness is now more entrenched by Fox News and other moneyed extremists.

But it is not just the destructive role of News Corp in the US, UK and Australia. Our media, including the ABC and even SBS, is so derivative. Our media seems to regard Australia as an island parked off New York. We are saturated with news, views, entertainment and sit-coms from the US. It is so pervasive and extensive, we don't recognize it for its very nature. The last thing a fish recognizes is water. We really do have a 'white man' media'. We see it most obviously today in its paranoia over China.

One outcome of the declining comparative US economic power is that the US will ask its allies to do more. We saw the influence of US budgetary pressures in its launch of the pivot to the Pacific. It was designed in part to help the US extricate itself from the Middle East, but also to reduce defence expenses in the budget.

Despite continual wars, often unsuccessful, the overthrow or subversion of foreign governments and declining US economic influence, US hegemony and domination of Australian thinking continues. Despite all the evidence, why do we continue in denial?

One reason is that as a small, isolated and white community in Asia we have historically sought an outside protector, first the UK and when that failed, the US.

We are often told that we have shared values and common institutions first with the UK and now with the US. But counties will always act first in their own interests as Australian farmers are finding as a result of Trump's dealing with China.

We continue to seek security from our region through a US protector rather than, as Paul Keating put it, security within our own region. Our long-term future depends on relations in our region and not reliance on a dangerous and distant ally.

Another reason why we are in denial about the American Imperium, is, as I have described, the saturation of our media with US news, views and entertainment. We do not have an independent media. Whatever the US media says about tax cuts for the wealthy, defence or climate change it inevitably gets a good run in our derivative media.

A further reason for the continuing US hegemony in Australian attitudes is the seduction of Australian opinion leaders over decades who have benefitted from American largesse and support – in the media, politics, bureaucracy, business, trade unions, universities and think-tanks. Thousands of influential Australians have been co-opted by US money and support in travel, 'dialogues', study centres and think tanks. That is real 'foreign influence'.

China is a beginner in this soft power game.

How long will Australian denial of US policies continue? When will some of us stand up? Are our political leaders right in their assessment that any questioning of the threats posed by our interpretation of the benefits and obligations of the US alliance will lose them an election?

In so far as China is any sort of distant threat it would be much less so if we were not so subservient to the US. The great risk of war with China is if we continue to act as a proxy for the US.

What will we do if the US decides to follow the advice of some of its senior generals and use tactical nuclear weapons in North Korea? Their use would engage the US/Australian facilities in Central Australia a fact that would not escape the notice of China

There is also a great risk that we could be drawn into a US-led attack on China without our knowledge or agreement.

We are a nation in denial that we are 'joined at the hip' to a dangerous ,erratic and risky ally. Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The greatest military risk we run is being led by the nose into a US war with China.

Our record is clear. We have allowed ourselves to be drawn into the futile wars of the UK and the US time and time again. We are used to acting at the direction of our imperial masters. We have become culturally addicted to being told what to think and do. We have forfeited our strategic autonomy while parroting on about our sovereignty

print
John Menadue
Website

John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

Continued

Recommended Links

Google matched content

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles

[Jan 19, 2021] Few sights in Washington are more familiar than an intellectual urging "total war" from the safety of the keyboard Published on Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

[Jan 17, 2021] "79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward Published on Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com

[Dec 30, 2020] The Unaccountable Nation by Danny Sjursen Published on Mar 16, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

[Dec 17, 2020] The deep state just cannot get over losing Russia to Putin and nationalism after they had turned it into their playground in the 1990s. They are hot to trot to take out Russia and make it bend the knee, whatever the risks are. Published on Dec 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Dec 13, 2020] The most unfortunate aspect of these large scale disruption and regime change operations exploit actual grievances and truly indigenous civil society reform movements, thereby compromising even the most authentic efforts by the people Published on Dec 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Nov 25, 2020] A complete schism from reality by Caitlin Johnstone Published on Nov 25, 2020 | caitlinjohnstone.com

[Nov 25, 2020] Bidens's "Cruise missile liberals" will bring "democracy builking" back to the homeland. That should scare most of US people, if we judge by thier results in Ukrain, Syria and Libya Published on Nov 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Nov 24, 2020] 'Manipulative BULLS--T'- Glenn Greenwald defends calling NBC a CIA mouthpiece, mocks accusation of 'endangering journalists' Published on Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

[Nov 23, 2020] Administrations change but Full Spectrum Dominance Doctine and the desire to portect and emand global neoliberal empire controlled from Washinton is intact. It will eventually banrupt the country much like was the case with the British Empire Published on Nov 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

[Nov 18, 2020] When any Washington Swamp creature talks about "threats to US national security" in reality they are talking about threats to the USA global hegemony Published on Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Nov 18, 2020] A short summary of Trump achivements: Good -- a cut of State department regime change budget; Bad -- extra 149 billion to MIC via Pentagon budget Published on Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Nov 06, 2020] Did the Iraq War Cause the Great Recession?' Published on Apr 07, 2013 | marknesop.wordpress.com

[Oct 26, 2020] Politicians books as a subtle form of corruption Published on Oct 26, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed Published on Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

[Oct 21, 2020] This Is Not A Russian Hoax 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials' Published on Oct 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

[Oct 19, 2020] The Emails Are Russian- Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence by Caitlin Johnstone Published on Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

[Oct 19, 2020] New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks Published on Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Oct 01, 2020] Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations cost him -- but he never gave up by Lev Golinkin Published on Oct 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com

[Sep 30, 2020] Opinion - I Ran the C.I.A. Now I m Endorsing Hillary Clinton by Michael J. Morell Published on Aug 05, 2016 |