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Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
and Alliance of Transnational Elites

Neoliberalism is inseparable from imperialism and globalization

Who Rules America > Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism

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Debt enslavement Greece debt enslavement Ukraine debt enslavement Provisional government as an instrument for Ukraine's debt enslavement "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Looting pays dividends to empire
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Fifth Column of Globalization Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries US Department of Imperial Expansion Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources American imperialism: the attempt to secure global hegemony
Victoria Nuland’s ‘Ukraine-gate’ Color revolutions Compradors NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions EuroMaidan The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan horse of neoliberalism Narcissism as Key American Value
Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Machiavellism Right to protect Big Uncle is Watching You Industrial Espionage
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Introduction

All U.S. schoolchildren should be taught, as part of their basic civics education, by conscientious elementary, middle school and high school teachers, that they live in an imperialist country. The term itself ought to be popularized. This is what politicians like Obama actually refer to, elliptically, when they call the U.S. “exceptional.

Gary Leupp, The U.S. Versus ISIS

Looks like the USA successfully managed to recreate Imperial Rome on a new level, neoliberalism level. See Empires Then and Now - PaulCraig

The idea financial imperialism is simple. Instead of old-fashion military occupation of the country, take over the countries in crisis, if necessary remove their democratically elected governments from power by claiming that election are falsified and the government is authoritarian (unlike the puppets they want to install), and use extraordinary powers to mandate austerity, burden them with debt most of which will be stolen and repatriated to the West. But neoliberals take this old idea to a new level -- the crisis can be manufactured. The scheme looks like the following (see IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement discussion of Greece for more information):

After installation of a puppet government, it is relatively easy to use Fifth column based government to protect foreign financial interest. Now you can recoup the costs and enjoy the profits. Much cheaper and more humane then bombing the country and killing a couple of hundred thousand people to achieve the same goals (Iraq variant).

A classic recent examples were Yeltsin's government in Russia, Yushchenko regime in Ukraine,  Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk duo in Ukraine and sequence of neoliberal governments in Greece. 

In other words neoliberalism is inseparable from imperialism and globalization (Neoliberalism A Critical Reader Alfredo Saad-Filho, Deborah Johnston, p. 2)

In the conventional (or mainstream) discourse,imperialism is either absent or, more recently, proudly presented as the ‘AmericanBurden': to civilise the world and bring to all the benediction of the Holy Trinity, the green-faced Lord Dollar and its deputies and occasional rivals. Holy Euro and Saint Yen. New converts win a refurbished international airport, one brand-new branch of McDonald’s, two luxury hotels, 3,000 NGOs and one US military base.

This offer cannot be refused - or else.2 In turn, globalisation is generally presented as an inescapable, inexorable and benevolent process leading to greater competition, welfare improvements and the spread of democracy around the world. In reality, however, the so-called process of globalisation - to the extent that it actually exists (see Saad-Rlho 2003) - is merely the international face of neoliberalism: a world-wide strategy of accumulation and social discipline that doubles up as tin imperial-ist project, spearheaded by the alliance between the US ruling class and locally dominant capitalist coalitions. This ambitious power project centred on neoliberalism at home and imperial globalism abroad is implemented by diverse social and economic political alliances in each country, but the interests of local finance and the US ruling class, itself dominated by finance, are normally hegemonic.

...the United States, the United Kingdom and east and south-east Asia respectively, neoliberalism is a particular organisation of capitalism, which has evolved to protect capital(ism) and to reduce the power of labour. This is achieved by means of social, economic and political transformations imposed by internal forces as well as external pressure. The internal forces include the coalition between financial interests, leading industrialists, traders and exporters, media barons, big landowners, local political chieftains, the
top echelons of the civil service and the military, and their intellectual and political proxies. These groups are closely connected with ‘global’ ideologies emanating from the centre, and they tend to adapt swiftly to the demands beamed from the metropolis. Their efforts have led to a significant worldwide shift in powerrelations away from the majority. Corporate power has increased, while finance hits acquired unrivalled influence, and the political spectrum has shifted towards the right. Left parties and mass organisations have imploded, while trade unions have been muzzled or disabled by unemployment. Forms of external pressure have included the diffusion of Western culture and ideology, foreign support for state and civil society institutions peddling neolibcral values, the shameless use of foreign aid, debt relief and balance of payments support to promote the neoliberal programme, and diplomatic pressure, political unrest and military intervention when necessary.

...the ruling economic and political forces in the European Union have instrumentalised the process of integration to ensure the hegemony of neoliberalism. This account is complemented by the segmentation of Eastern Europe into countries that are being drawn into a Western European-style neoliberalism and others that are following Russia’s business oligarchy model. In sum, neoliberalism is everywhere both the outcome and the arena of social conflicts. It sets the political and economic agenoa. limits the possibie outcomes, biases expectations, and imposes urgent tasks on those challenging its assumptions, methods and consequences.

In the meantime, neoliberal theory has not remained static. In order to deal with the most powerful criticisms leveled against neoliberalism, that it has increased poverty and social dislocation around the world, neoliberal theory has attempted to present the ogre in a more favorable light. In spite of the substantial resources invested in this ideologically inspired make-over, these amendments have remained unconvincing, not least because the heart of the neoliberal project has remained unchanged. This is discussed in Chapter 15 for poverty and distribution, while Chapter 21 unpicks the agenda of the ‘Third Way', viewed by many as ‘neoliberalism with a human face’.

Neoliberalism offered a finance-friendly solution to the problems of capital accumulation at the end of a relatively long cycle of prosperity. Chapters 1. 22 and 30 show that neoliberalism imposed discipline upon a restless working class through contractionary fiscal and monetary policies and wide-ranging initiatives to curtail social rights, under the guise of anti-inflation and productivity-enhancing measures. Neoliberalism also rationalised the transfer of state capacity to allocate resources inter-temporally (the balance between investment and consumption) and inter-sectorally (the distribution of investment, employment and output) towards an increasingly internationally integrated (and US-led) financial sector. In doing so, neoliberalism facilitated a gigantic transfer of resources to the local rich and the United States, as is shown by Chapters 11 and 15.

The “elephant in the room” is peak oil (plato oil to be more correct) and the plato of food production. Without "cheap oil" extraction growing, it is more difficult to sustain both  population growth and rising standard of living simultaneously. It became the situation of iether/or, So the future it does not look pretty. As soon as "cheap oil" is close to the the plato,  financial system gets into trouble: private banks based fractional reserve banking requires economy expansion for survival.  And they add positive feedback loop to the economy, greatly increasing the instability. So some, less important, banks will implode and strategically important need to be saved by government at a great expense for taxpayers. The western elite is well aware of this possibility and will steal, loot and pillage as fast as they can to prolong the agony...  Neoliberal expansion and conversion of other countries into debt slaves can serve as a substitute for growth.

What actually is devalued in austerity programs imposed on indebted nations via currency depreciation is the price of local labor (along with standard of living of the most population). So austerity programs caused a huge drop in the standard of living of population. Drop of standard of living of Ukraine to the level of the most poor countries of Africa  (less then $2 a day for the majority of population) is pretty instructive here.   That is the main domestic cost, as long as there as there is a common world price for fuels and minerals, consumer goods, food and even credit. As wages are sticky and it is difficult to reduced then directly (via high unemployment, leading to falling wages), currency depreciation can do the same trick even more effectively. for example since February 22 coup d'état, grivna, the Ukrainian currency depreciated from 8 to 24 grivna to dollar or approximately 300%.

This is how war of creditors against debtor countries turns into a class war. But to impose such neoliberal reforms, foreign pressure is necessary to bypass domestic, democratically elected Parliaments. Not every country’s voters can be expected to be as passive in acting against their own interests as those of Latvia and Ireland. The financial capital objective is to bypass parliament by demanding a “consensus” to put foreign creditors first, above the national economy.

Buying natural monopolies in transportation, communications, and the land from the public domain for pennies on the dollar is called "rescue package", not the road to debt peonage and a financial neo-feudalism that looms as a grim reality. Let me state it very simply : "the borrower [debtor] is SERVANT to the lender".

"the borrower [debtor] is SERVANT to the lender".

The whole point of creating debtors is to gain control of and rule over them. Prof. Hudson's article Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011) illustrates this admirably.

At the same time then comes to bailing out bankers who overplayed with derivatives, rules are ignored – in order to serve the “higher justice” of saving banks and their high-finance counterparties from taking a loss. This is quite a contrast compared to IMF policy toward labor and “taxpayers.” The class war is back in business – with a vengeance, and bankers are the winners this time around.

Classic, textbook example of neocolonialism was rape of Russia in 1991-1999. See Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia

Henry C K Liu Views

One of the most interesting analysis of this new phenomena was provided by Henry C K Liu in his series of articles SUPER CAPITALISM, SUPER IMPERIALISM


PART 1: A Structural Link

Robert B Reich, former US Secretary of Labor and resident neo-liberal in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997, wrote in the September 14, 2007 edition of The Wall Street Journal an opinion piece, "CEOs Deserve Their Pay", as part of an orchestrated campaign to promote his new book: Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (Afred A Knopf).

Reich is a former Harvard professor and the former Maurice B Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is currently a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California (Berkley) and a regular liberal gadfly in the unabashed supply-side Larry Kudlow TV show that celebrates the merits of capitalism.

Reich's Supercapitalism brings to mind Michael Hudson's Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972-2003). While Reich, a liberal turned neo-liberal, sees "supercapitalism" as the natural evolution of insatiable shareholder appetite for gain, a polite euphemism for greed, that cannot or should not be reined in by regulation, Hudson, a Marxist heterodox economist, sees "super imperialism" as the structural outcome of post-World War II superpower geopolitics, with state interests overwhelming free market forces, making regulation irrelevant. While Hudson is critical of "super imperialism" and thinks that it should be resisted by the weaker trading partners of the US, Reich gives the impression of being ambivalent about the inevitability, if not the benignity, of "supercapitalism".

The structural link between capitalism and imperialism was first observed by John Atkinson Hobson (1858-1940), an English economist, who wrote in 1902 an insightful analysis of the economic basis of imperialism. Hobson provided a humanist critique of neoclassical economics, rejecting exclusively materialistic definitions of value. With Albert Frederick Mummery (1855-1895), the great British mountaineer who was killed in 1895 by an avalanche while reconnoitering Nanga Parbat, an 8,000-meter Himalayan peak, Hobson wrote The Physiology of Industry (1889), which argued that an industrial economy requires government intervention to maintain stability, and developed the theory of over-saving that was given a glowing tribute by John Maynard Keynes three decades later.

The need for governmental intervention to stabilize an expanding national industrial economy was the rationale for political imperialism. On the other side of the coin, protectionism was a governmental counter-intervention on the part of weak trading partners for resisting imperialist expansion of the dominant power. Historically, the processes of globalization have always been the result of active state policy and action, as opposed to the mere passive surrender of state sovereignty to market forces. Market forces cannot operate in a vacuum. They are governed by man-made rules. Globalized markets require the acceptance by local authorities of established rules of the dominant economy. Currency monopoly of course is the most fundamental trade restraint by one single dominant government.

Adam Smith published Wealth of Nations in 1776, the year of US independence. By the time the constitution was framed 11 years later, the US founding fathers were deeply influenced by Smith's ideas, which constituted a reasoned abhorrence of trade monopoly and government policy in restricting trade. What Smith abhorred most was a policy known as mercantilism, which was practiced by all the major powers of the time. It is necessary to bear in mind that Smith's notion of the limitation of government action was exclusively related to mercantilist issues of trade restraint. Smith never advocated government tolerance of trade restraint, whether by big business monopolies or by other governments in the name of open markets.

A central aim of mercantilism was to ensure that a nation's exports remained higher in value than its imports, the surplus in that era being paid only in specie money (gold-backed as opposed to fiat money). This trade surplus in gold permitted the surplus country, such as England, to invest in more factories at home to manufacture more for export, thus bringing home more gold. The importing regions, such as the American colonies, not only found the gold reserves backing their currency depleted, causing free-fall devaluation (not unlike that faced today by many emerging-economy currencies), but also wanting in surplus capital for building factories to produce for domestic consumption and export. So despite plentiful iron ore in America, only pig iron was exported to England in return for English finished iron goods. The situation was similar to today's oil producing countries where despite plentiful crude oil, refined petrochemical products such as gasoline and heating oil have to be imported.

In 1795, when the newly independent Americans began finally to wake up to their disadvantaged trade relationship and began to raise European (mostly French and Dutch) capital to start a manufacturing industry, England decreed the Iron Act, forbidding the manufacture of iron goods in its American colonies, which caused great dissatisfaction among the prospering colonials.

Smith favored an opposite government policy toward promoting domestic economic production and free foreign trade for the weaker traders, a policy that came to be known as "laissez faire" (because the English, having nothing to do with such heretical ideas, refuse to give it an English name). Laissez faire, notwithstanding its literal meaning of "leave alone", meant nothing of the sort. It meant an activist government policy to counteract mercantilism. Neo-liberal free-market economists are just bad historians, among their other defective characteristics, when they propagandize "laissez faire" as no government interference in trade affairs.

Friedrich List, in his National System of Political Economy (1841), asserts that political economy as espoused in England, far from being a valid science universally, was merely British national opinion, suited only to English historical conditions. List's institutional school of economics asserts that the doctrine of free trade was devised to keep England rich and powerful at the expense of its trading partners and it must be fought with protective tariffs and other protective devices of economic nationalism by the weaker countries.

Henry Clay's "American system" was a national system of political economy. US neo-imperialism in the post WWII period disingenuously promotes neo-liberal free-trade against governmental protectionism to keep the US rich and powerful at the expense of its trading partners. Before the October Revolution of 1917, many national liberation movements in European colonies and semi-colonies around the world were influenced by List's economic nationalism. The 1911 Nationalist Revolution in China, led by Sun Yat-sen, was heavily influenced by Lincoln's political ideas - government of the people, by the people and for the people - and the economic nationalism of List, until after the October Revolution when Sun realized that the Soviet model was the correct path to national revival.

Hobson's magnum opus, Imperialism, (1902), argues that imperialistic expansion is driven not by state hubris, known in US history as "manifest destiny", but by an innate quest for new markets and investment opportunities overseas for excess capital formed by over-saving at home for the benefit of the home state. Over-saving during the industrial age came from Richardo's theory of the iron law of wages, according to which wages were kept perpetually at subsistence levels as a result of uneven market power between capital and labor. Today, job outsourcing that returns as low-price imports contributes to the iron law of wages in the US domestic economy. (See my article Organization of Labor Exporting Countries [OLEC]).

Hobson's analysis of the phenology (study of life cycles) of capitalism was drawn upon by Lenin to formulate a theory of imperialism as an advanced stage of capitalism: "Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capitalism is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed." (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1916, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Chapter 7).

Lenin was also influenced by Rosa Luxemberg, who three year earlier had written her major work, The Accumulation of Capital: A Contribution to an Economic Explanation of Imperialism (Die Akkumulation des Kapitals: Ein Beitrag zur ökonomischen Erklärung des Imperialismus), 1913). Luxemberg, together with Karl Liebknecht a founding leader of the Spartacist League (Spartakusbund), a radical Marxist revolutionary movement that later renamed itself the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, or KPD), was murdered on January 15, 1919 by members of the Freikorps, rightwing militarists who were the forerunners of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) led by Ernst Rohm.

The congenital association between capitalism and imperialism requires practically all truly anti-imperialist movements the world over to be also anti-capitalist. To this day, most nationalist capitalists in emerging economies are unwitting neo-compradors for super imperialism. Neo-liberalism, in its attempts to break down all national boundaries to facilitate global trade denominated in fiat dollars, is the ideology of super imperialism.

Hudson, the American heterodox economist, historian of ancient economies and post-WW II international balance-of-payments specialist, advanced in his 1972 book the notion of 20th century super imperialism. Hudson updated Hobson's idea of 19th century imperialism of state industrial policy seeking new markets to invest home-grown excess capital. To Hudson, super imperialism is a state financial strategy to export debt denominated in the state's fiat currency as capital to the new financial colonies to finance the global expansion of a superpower empire. No necessity, or even intention, was entertained by the superpower of ever having to pay off these paper debts after the US dollar was taken off gold in 1971.

Monetary Imperialism and Dollar Hegemony

Super imperialism transformed into monetary imperialism after the 1973 Middle East oil crisis with the creation of the petrodollar and two decades later emerged as dollar hegemony through financial globalization after 1993. As described in my 2002 AToL article, Dollar hegemony has to go, a geopolitical phenomenon emerged after the 1973 oil crisis in which the US dollar, a fiat currency since 1971, continues to serve as the primary reserve currency for  international trade because oil continues to be denominated in fiat dollars as a result of superpower geopolitics, leading to dollar hegemony in 1993 with the globalization of deregulated financial markets.

Three causal developments allowed dollar hegemony to emerge over a span of two decades after 1973 and finally take hold in 1993. US fiscal deficits from overseas spending since the 1950s caused a massive drain in US gold holdings, forcing the US in 1971 to abandon the 1945 Bretton Woods regime of fixed exchange rate based on a gold-backed dollar. Under that international financial architecture, cross-border flow of funds was not considered necessary or desirable for promoting international trade or domestic development. The collapse of the 1945 Bretton Woods regime in 1971 was the initial development toward dollar hegemony.

The second development was the denomination of oil in dollars after the 1973 Middle East oil crisis. The emergence of petrodollars was the price the US, still only one of two contending superpowers in 1973, extracted from defenseless oil-producing nations for allowing them to nationalize the Western-owned oil industry on their soil. As long as oil transactions are denominated in fiat dollars, the US essentially controls all the oil in the world financially regardless of specific ownership, reducing all oil producing nations to the status of commodity agents of dollar hegemony.

The third development was the global deregulation of financial markets after the Cold War, making cross-border flow of funds routine, and a general relaxation of capital and foreign exchange control by most governments involved in international trade. This neo-liberal trade regime brought into existence a foreign exchange market in which free-floating exchange rates made computerized speculative attacks on weak currencies a regular occurrence. These three developments permitted the emergence of dollar hegemony after 1994 and helped the US win the Cold War with financial power derived from fiat money.

Dollar hegemony advanced super imperialism one stage further from the financial to the monetary front. Industrial imperialism sought to achieve a trade surplus by exporting manufactured good to the colonies for gold to fund investment for more productive plants at home. Super imperialism sought to extract real wealth from the colonies by paying for it with fiat dollars to sustain a balance of payments out of an imbalance in the exchange of commodities. Monetary imperialism under dollar hegemony exports debt denominated in fiat dollars through a permissive trade deficit with the new colonies, only to re-import the debt back to the US as capital account surplus to finance the US debt bubble.

The circular recycling of dollar-denominated debt was made operative by the dollar, a fiat currency that only the US can print at will, continuing as the world's prime reserve currency for international trade and finance, backed by US geopolitical superpower. Dollars are accepted universally because oil is denominated in dollars and everyone needs oil and thus needs dollars to buy oil. Any nation that seeks to denominate key commodities, such as oil, in currencies other than the dollar will soon find itself invaded by the sole superpower. Thus the war on Iraq is not about oil, as former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan suggested recently. It is about keeping oil denominated in dollars to protect dollar hegemony. The difference is subtle but of essential importance.

Since 1993, central banks of all trading nations around the world, with the exception of the US Federal Reserve, have been forced to hold more dollar reserves than they otherwise need to ward off the potential of sudden speculative attacks on their currencies in unregulated global financial markets. Thus "dollar hegemony" prevents the exporting nations, such as the Asian Tigers, from spending domestically the dollars they earn from the US trade deficit and forces them to fund the US capital account surplus, shipping real wealth to the US in exchange for the privilege of financing further growth of the US debt economy.

Not only do these exporting nations have to compete by keeping their domestic wages down and by prostituting their environment, the dollars that they earn cannot be spent at home without causing a monetary crisis in their own currencies because the dollars they earn have to be exchanged into local currencies before they can be spent domestically, causing an excessive rise in their domestic money supply which in turn causes domestic inflation-pushed bubbles. While the trade-surplus nations are forced to lend their export earnings back to the US, these same nations are starved for capital, as global capital denominated in dollars will only invest in their export sectors to earn more dollars. The domestic sector with local currency earnings remains of little interest to global capital denominated in dollars. As a result, domestic development stagnates for lack of capital.

Dollar hegemony permits the US to transform itself from a competitor in world markets to earn hard money, to a fiat-money-making monopoly with fiat dollars that only it can print at will. Every other trading nation has to exchange low-wage goods for dollars that the US alone can print freely and that can be spent only in the dollar economy without monetary penalty.

The victimization of Japan and China

Japan is a classic victim of monetary imperialism. In 1990, as a result of Japanese export prowess, the Industrial Bank of Japan was the largest bank in the world, with a market capitalization of $57 billion. The top nine of the 10 largest banks then were all Japanese, trailed by Canadian Alliance in 10th place. No US bank made the top-10 list. By 2001, the effects of dollar hegemony have pushed Citigroup into first place with a market capitalization of $260 billion. Seven of the top 10 largest financial institutions in the world in 2001 were US-based, with descending ranking in market capitalization: Citigroup ($260 billion), AIG ($209 billion), HSBC (British-$110 billion), Berkshire Hathaway ($100 billion), Bank of America ($99 billion), Fanny Mae ($80 billion), Wells Fargo ($74 billion), JP Morgan Chase ($72 billion), RBS (British-$70 billion) and UBS (Swiss-$67 billion). No Japanese bank survived on the list.

China is a neoclassic case of dollar hegemony victimization even though its domestic financial markets are still not open and the yuan is still not freely convertible. With over $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves earned at a previously lower fixed exchange rate of 8.2 to a dollar set in 1985, now growing at the rate of $1 billion a day at a narrow-range floating exchange rate of around 7.5 since July 2005, China cannot spend much of it dollar holdings on domestic development without domestic inflation caused by excessive expansion of its yuan money supply. The Chinese economy is overheating because the bulk of its surplus revenue is in dollars from exports that cannot be spent inside China without monetary penalty. Chinese wages are too low to absorb sudden expansion of yuan money supply to develop the domestic economy. And with over $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, equal to its annual GDP, China cannot even divest from the dollar without having the market effect of a falling dollar moving against its remaining holdings.

The People's Bank of China announced on July 20, 2005 that effective immediately the yuan exchange rate would go up by 2.1% to 8.11 yuan to the US dollar and that China would drop the dollar peg to its currency. In its place, China would move to a "managed float" of the yuan, pegging the currency's exchange value to an undisclosed basket of currencies linked to its global trade. In an effort to limit the amount of volatility, China would not allow the currency to fluctuate by more than 0.3% in any one trading day. Linking the yuan to a basket of currencies means China's currency is relatively free from market forces acting on the dollar, shifting to market forces acting on a basket of currencies of China's key trading partners. The basket is composed of the euro, yen and other Asian currencies as well as the dollar. Though the precise composition of the basket was not disclosed, it can nevertheless be deduced by China's trade volume with key trading partners and by mathematical calculation from the set-daily exchange rate.

Thus China is trapped in a trade regime operating on an international monetary architecture in which it must continue to export real wealth in the form of underpaid labor and polluted environment in exchange for dollars that it must reinvest in the US. Ironically, the recent rise of anti-trade sentiment in US domestic politics offers China a convenient, opportune escape from dollar hegemony to reduce its dependence on export to concentrate on domestic development. Chinese domestic special interest groups in the export sector would otherwise oppose any policy to slow the growth in export if not for the rise of US protectionism which causes shot-term pain for China but long-term benefit in China's need to restructure its economy toward domestic development. Further trade surplus denominated in dollar is of no advantage to China.

Emerging markets are new colonies of monetary imperialism

Even as the domestic US economy declined after the onset of globalization in the early 1990s, US dominance in global finance has continued to this day on account of dollar hegemony. It should not be surprising that the nation that can print at will the world's reserve currency for international trade should come up on top in deregulated global financial markets. The so-called emerging markets around the world are the new colonies of monetary imperialism in a global neo-liberal trading regime operating under dollar hegemony geopolitically dominated by the US as the world's sole remaining superpower.

Denial of corporate social responsibility

In Supercapitalism, Reich identifies corporate social responsibility as a diversion from economic efficiency and an un-capitalistic illusion. Of course the late Milton Friedman had asserted that the only social responsibility of corporations is to maximize profit, rather than to generate economic well-being and balanced growth through fair profits. There is ample evidence to suggest that a single-minded quest for maximizing global corporate profit can lead to domestic economic decline in even the world's sole remaining superpower. The US public is encouraged to blame such decline on the misbehaving trading partners of the US rather than US trade policy that permits US transnational corporation to exploit workers in all trading nations, including those in the US. It is a policy that devalues work by over-rewarding financial manipulation.

Yet to Reich, the US corporate income tax is regressive and inequitable and should be abolished so that after-tax corporate profit can be even further enhanced. This pro-profit position is at odds with even rising US Republican sentiment against transnational corporations and their global trade strategies. Reich also thinks the concept of corporate criminal liability is based on an "anthropomorphic fallacy" that ends up hurting innocent people. Reich sees as inevitable an evolutionary path towards an allegedly perfect new world of a super-energetic capitalism responding to the dictate of all-powerful consumer preference through market democracy.

Reich argues that corporations cannot be expected to be more "socially responsible" than their shareholders or even their consumers, and he implies that consumer preference and behavior are the proper and effective police forces that supersede the need for market regulation. He sees corporations, while viewed by law as "legal persons", as merely value-neutral institutional respondents of consumer preferences in global markets. Reich claims that corporate policies, strategies and behavior in market capitalism are effectively governed by consumer preferences and need no regulation by government. This is essentially the ideology of neo-liberalism.

Yet US transnational corporations derive profit from global operations serving global consumers to maximize return on global capital. These transnational corporations will seek to shift production to where labor is cheapest and environmental standards are lowest and to market their products where prices are highest and consumer purchasing power the strongest. Often, these corporations find it more profitable to sell products they themselves do not make, controlling only design and marketing, leaving the dirty side of manufacturing to others with underdeveloped market power. This means if the US wants a trade surplus under the current terms of trade, it must lower it wages. The decoupling of consumers from producers weakens the conventional effects of market pressure on corporate social responsibility. Transnational corporations have no home community loyalty. Consumers generally do not care about sweat shop conditions overseas while overseas workers do not care about product safety on goods they produce but cannot afford to buy. Products may be made in China, but they are not made by China, but by US transnational corporations which are responsible for the quality and safety of their products.

Further, it is well recognized that corporations routinely and effectively manipulate consumer preference and market acceptance often through if not false, at least misleading advertising, not for the benefit of consumers, but to maximize return on faceless capital raised from global capital markets. The subliminal emphasis by the corporate culture on addictive acquisition of material things, coupled with a structural deprivation of adequate income to satisfy the manipulated desires, has made consumers less satisfied than in previous times of less material abundance. Corporations have been allowed to imbed consumption-urging messages into every aspect of modern life. The result is a disposable culture with packaged waste, an obesity crisis for all age groups, skyrocketing consumer debt, the privatization of public utilities that demand the same fee for basic services from rich and poor alike, causing a sharp disparity in affordability. It is a phenomenon described by Karl Marx as "Fetishism of Commodities".

Marx's concept of Fetishism of Commodities

Marx wrote in Das Kapital:[1]

The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labor is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labor. This is the reason why the products of labor become commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses … The existence of the things qua commodities, and the value relation between the products of labor which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. It is a definite social relation between men that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world, the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men's hands. This I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labor, as soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities. This Fetishism of Commodities has its origin … in the peculiar social character of the labor that produces them.
Marx asserts that "the mystical character of commodities does not originate in their use-value" (Section 1, p 71). Market value is derived from social relations, not from use-value which is a material phenomenon. Thus Marx critiques the Marginal Utility Theory by pointing out that market value is affected by social relationships. For example, the marginal utility of door locks is a function of the burglary rate in a neighborhood which in turn is a function of the unemployment rate. Unregulated free markets are a regime of uninhibited price gouging by monopolies and cartels.

Thus the nature of money cannot be adequately explained even in terms of the material-technical properties of gold, but only in terms of the factors behind man's desire and need for gold. Similarly, it is not possible to fully understand the price of capital from the technical nature of the means of production, but only from the social institution of private ownership and the terms of exchange imposed by uneven market power. Market capitalism is a social institution based on the fetishism of commodities.

Democracy threatened by the corporate state

While Reich is on target in warning about the danger to democracy posed by the corporate state, and in claiming that only people can be citizens, and only citizens should participate in democratic decision making, he misses the point that transnational corporations have transcended national boundaries. Yet in each community that these transnational corporations operate, they have the congenital incentive, the financial means and the legal mandate to manipulate the fetishism of commodities even in distant lands.

Moreover, representative democracy as practiced in the US is increasingly manipulated by corporate lobbying funded from high-profit-driven corporate financial resources derived from foreign sources controlled by management. Corporate governance is notoriously abusive of minority shareholder rights on the part of management. Notwithstanding Reich's rationalization of excessive CEO compensation, CEOs as a class are the most vocal proponents of corporate statehood. Modern corporations are securely insulated from any serious threats from consumer revolt. Inter-corporate competition presents only superficial and trivial choices for consumers. Motorists have never been offered any real choice on gasoline by oil companies or alternatives on the gasoline-guzzling internal combustion engine by car-makers.

High pay for CEOs

Reich asserts in his Wall Street Journal piece that modern CEOs in finance capitalism nowadays deserve their high pay because they have to be superstars, unlike their bureaucrat-like predecessors during industrial capitalism. Notwithstanding that one would expect a former labor secretary to argue that workers deserve higher pay, the challenge to corporate leadership in market capitalism has always been and will always remain management's ruthless pursuit of market leadership power, a euphemism for monopoly, by skirting the rule of law and regulations, framing legislative regimes through political lobbying, pushing down wages and worker benefits, increasing productivity by downsizing in an expanding market and manipulating consumer attitude through advertising. At the end of the day, the bottom line for corporate profit is a factor of lowering wage and benefit levels.

Reich seems to have forgotten that the captains of industry of 19th century free-wheeling capitalism were all superstars who evoked public admiration by manipulating the awed public into accepting the Horatio Alger myth of success through hard work, honesty and fairness. The derogatory term "robber barons" was first coined by protest pamphlets circulated by victimized Kansas farmers against ruthless railroad tycoons during the Great Depression.

The manipulation of the public will by moneyed interests is the most problematic vulnerability of US economic and political democracy. In an era when class warfare has taken on new sophistication, the accusation of resorting to class warfare argument is widely used to silence legitimate socio-economic protests. The US media is essentially owned by the moneyed interests. The decline of unionism in the US has been largely the result of anti-labor propaganda campaigns funded by corporations and government policies influenced by corporate lobbyists. The infiltration of organized crime was exploited to fan public anti-union sentiments while widespread corporate white collar crimes were dismissed as mere anomalies. (See Capitalism's bad apples: It's the barrel that's rotten)

Superman capitalism

As promoted by his permissive opinion piece, a more apt title for Reich's new book would be Superman Capitalism, in praise of the super-heroic qualities of successful corporate CEOs who deserve superstar pay. This view goes beyond even fascist superman ideology. The compensation of corporate CEOs in Nazi Germany never reached such obscene levels as those in US corporate land today.

Reich argues that CEOs deserve their super-high compensation, which has increased 600% in two decades, because corporate profits have also risen 600% in the same period. The former secretary of labor did not point out that wages rose only 30% in the same period. The profit/wage disparity is a growing cancer in the US-dominated global economy, causing over-production resulting from stagnant demand caused by inadequate wages. A true spokesman for labor would point out that enlightened modern management recognizes that the performance of a corporation is the sum total of effective team work between management and labor.

System analysis has long shown that collective effort on the part of the entire work force is indispensable to success in any complex organism. Further, a healthy consumer market depends on a balance between corporate earnings and worker earnings. Reich's point would be valid if US wages had risen by the same multiple as CEO pay and corporate profit, but he apparently thought that it would be poor etiquette to raise embarrassing issues as a guest writer in an innately anti-labor journal of Wall Street. Even then, unless real growth also rose 600% in two decades, the rise in corporate earning may be just an inflation bubble.

An introduction to economic populism

To be fair, Reich did address the income gap issue eight months earlier in another article, "An Introduction to Economic Populism" in the Jan-Feb, 2007 issue of The American Prospect, a magazine that bills itself as devoted to "liberal ideas". In that article, Reich relates a "philosophical" discussion he had with fellow neo-liberal cabinet member Robert Rubin, then treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, on two "simple questions".

The first question was: Suppose a proposed policy will increase the incomes of some people without decreasing the incomes of any others. Of course Reich must know that it is a question of welfare economics long ago answered by the "pareto optimum", which asserts that resources are optimally distributed when an individual cannot move into a better position without putting someone else into a worse position. In an unjust society, the pareto optimum will perpetuate injustice in the name of optimum resource allocation. "Should it be implemented? Bob and I agreed it should," writes Reich. Not exactly an earth-shaking liberal position. Rather, it is a classic neo-liberal posture.

And the second question: But suppose the people whose incomes will rise are already wealthier than everyone else. Although no one will lose ground, inequality will widen. Should it still be implemented? "I won't tell you where he and I came out on that second question," writes Reich without explaining why. He allows that "we agreed that people who don't share in such gains feel relatively poorer. Widening inequality also further tips the balance of political power in favor of the wealthy."

Of course, clear thinking would have left the second question mute because it would have invalidated the first question, as the real income of those whose nominal income has not fallen has indeed fallen relative to those whose nominal income has risen. In a macro monetary sense, it is not possible to raise the nominal income of some without lowering the real income of others. All incomes must rise together proportionally or inequality in after-inflation real income will increase.

Inequality only a new worry?

But for the sake of argument, let's go along with Reich's parable on welfare economics and financial equality. That conversation occurred a decade ago. Reich says in his January 2007 article that "inequality is far more worrisome now", as if it had not been or that the policies he and his colleagues in the Clinton administration, as evidenced by their answer to their own first question, did not cause the now "more worrisome" inequality. "The incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans have increased about 2% in real terms since then, while that of the top 1% has increased over 50%," Reich wrote in the matter of fact tone of an innocent bystander.

It is surprising that a former labor secretary would err even on the record on worker income. The US Internal Revenue Service reports that while incomes have been rising since 2002, the average income in 2005 was $55,238, nearly 1% less than in 2000 after adjusting for inflation. Hourly wage costs (including mandatory welfare contributions and benefits) grew more slowly than hourly productivity from 1993 to late 1997, the years of Reich's tenure as labor secretary. Corporate profit rose until 1997 before declining, meaning what should have gone to workers from productivity improvements went instead to corporate profits. And corporate profit declined after 1997 because of the Asian financial crisis, which reduced offshore income for all transnational companies, while domestic purchasing power remained weak because of sub-par worker income growth.

The break in trends in wages occurred when the unemployment rate sank to 5%, below the 6% threshold of NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) as job creation was robust from 1993 onwards. The "reserve army of labor" in the war against inflation disappeared after the 1997 Asian crisis when the Federal Reserve injected liquidity into the US banking system to launch the debt bubble. According to NAIRU, when more than 94% of the labor force is employed, the war on wage-pushed inflation will be on the defensive. Yet while US inflation was held down by low-price imports from low-wage economies, US domestic wages fell behind productivity growth from 1993 onward. US wages could have risen without inflationary effects but did not because of the threat of further outsourcing of US jobs overseas. This caused corporate profit to rise at the expense of labor income during the low-inflation debt bubble years.

Income inequality in the US today has reached extremes not seen since the 1920s, but the trend started three decades earlier. More than $1 trillion a year in relative income is now being shifted annually from roughly 90,000,000 middle and working class families to the wealthiest households and corporations via corporate profits earned from low-wage workers overseas. This is why nearly 60% of Republicans polled support more taxes on the rich.

Carter the granddaddy of deregulation

The policies and practices responsible for today's widening income gap date back to the 1977-1981 period of the Carter administration which is justly known as the administration of deregulation. Carter's deregulation was done in the name of populism but the results were largely anti-populist. Starting with Carter, policies and practices by both corporations and government underwent a fundamental shift to restructure the US economy with an overhaul of job markets. This was achieved through widespread de-unionization, breakup of industry-wide collective bargaining which enabled management to exploit a new international division of labor at the expense of domestic workers.

The frontal assault on worker collective bargaining power was accompanied by a realigning of the progressive federal tax structure to cut taxes on the rich, a brutal neo-liberal global free-trade offensive by transnational corporations and anti-labor government trade policies. The cost shifting of health care and pension plans from corporations to workers was condoned by government policy. A wave of government-assisted compression of wages and overtime pay narrowed the wage gap between the lowest and highest paid workers (which will occur when lower-paid workers receive a relatively larger wage increase than the higher-paid workers with all workers receiving lower pay increases than managers). There was a recurring diversion of inflation-driven social security fund surpluses to the US fiscal budget to offset recurring inflation-adjusted federal deficits. This was accompanied by wholesale anti-trust deregulation and privatization of public sectors; and most egregious of all, financial market deregulation.

Carter deregulated the US oil industry four years after the 1973 oil crisis in the name of national security. His Democratic challenger, Senator Ted Kennedy, advocated outright nationalization. The Carter administration also deregulated the airlines, favoring profitable hub traffic at the expense of traffic to smaller cities. Air fares fell but service fell further. Delays became routine, frequently tripling door-to-door travel time. What consumers save in airfare, they pay dearly in time lost in delay and in in-flight discomfort. The Carter administration also deregulated trucking, which caused the Teamsters Union to support Ronald Reagan in exchange for a promise to delay trucking deregulation.

Railroads were also deregulated by Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 which eased regulations on rates, line abandonment, and mergers to allow the industry to compete with truck and barge transportation that had caused a financial and physical deterioration of the national rail network railroads. Four years later, Congress followed up with the Staggers Rail Act of 1980 which provided the railroads with greater pricing freedom, streamlined merger timetables, expedited the line abandonment process, and allowed confidential contracts with shippers. Although railroads, like other modes of transportation, must purchase and maintain their own rolling stock and locomotives, they must also, unlike competing modes, construct and maintain their own roadbed, tracks, terminals, and related facilities. Highway construction and maintenance are paid for by gasoline taxes. In the regulated environment, recovering these fixed costs hindered profitability for the rail industry.

After deregulation, the railroads sought to enhance their financial situation and improve their operational efficiency with a mix of strategies to reduce cost and maximize profit, rather than providing needed service to passengers around the nation. These strategies included network rationalization by shedding unprofitable capacity, raising equipment and operational efficiencies by new work rules that reduced safety margins and union power, using differential pricing to favor big shippers, and pursuing consolidation, reducing the number of rail companies from 65 to 5 today. The consequence was a significant increase of market power for the merged rail companies, decreasing transportation options for consumers and increasing rates for remote, less dense areas.

In the agricultural sector, rail network rationalization has forced shippers to truck their bulk commodity products greater distances to mainline elevators, resulting in greater pressure on and damage to rural road systems. For inter-modal shippers, profit-based network rationalization has meant reduced access - physically and economically - to Container on Flat Car (COFC) and Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC) facilities and services. Rail deregulation, as is true with most transportation and communication deregulation, produces sector sub-optimization with dubious benefits for the national economy by distorting distributional balance, causing congestion and inefficient use of land, network and lines.

Carter's Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) approach to radio and television regulation began in the mid-1970s as a search for relatively minor "regulatory underbrush" that could be cleared away for more efficient and cost-effective administration of the important rules that would remain. Congress largely went along with this updating trend, and initiated a few deregulatory moves of its own to make regulation more effective and responsive to contemporary conditions.

Reagan's anti-government fixation

The Reagan administration under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Mark Fowler in 1981 shifted deregulation to a fundamental and ideologically-driven reappraisal of regulations away from long-held principles central to national broadcasting policy appropriate for a democratic society. The result was removal of many longstanding rules to permit an overall reduction in FCC oversight of station ownership concentration and network operations. Congress grew increasingly wary of the pace of deregulation, however, and began to slow the pace of FCC deregulation by the late 1980s.

Specific deregulatory moves included (a) extending television licenses to five years from three in 1981; (b) expanding the number of television stations any single entity could own from seven in 1981 to 12 in 1985, with further changes in 1995; (c) abolishing guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming in 1985; (d) elimination of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987; (e) dropping, in 1985, FCC license guidelines for how much advertising could be carried; (f) leaving technical standards increasingly in the hands of licensees rather than FCC mandates; and (g) deregulation of television's competition, especially cable which went through several regulatory changes in the decade after 1983.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act eliminated the 40-station ownership cap on radio stations. Since then, the radio industry has experienced unprecedented consolidation. In June 2003, the FCC voted to overhaul limits on media ownership. Despite having held only one hearing on the complex issue of media consolidation over a 20-month review period, the FCC, in a party-line vote, voted 3-2 to overhaul limits on media concentration. The rule would (1) increase the aggregate television ownership cap to enable one company to own stations reaching 45% of our nation's homes (from 35%), (2) lift the ban on newspaper-television cross-ownership, and (3) allow a single company to own three television stations in large media markets and two in medium ones. In the largest markets, the rule would allow a single company to own up to three television stations, eight radio stations, the cable television system, cable television stations, and a daily newspaper. A wide range of public-interest groups filed an appeal with the Third Circuit, which stayed the effective date of the new rules.

According to a BIA Financial Network report released in July 2006, a total of 88 television stations had been sold in the first six months of 2006, generating a transaction value of $15.7 billion. In 2005, the same period saw the sale of just 21 stations at a value of $244 million, with total year transactions of $2.86 billion.

Congress passed a law in 2004 that forbids any network to own a group of stations that reaches more than 39% of the national television audience. That is lower than the 45% limit set in 2003, but more than the original cap of 35% set in 1996 under the Clinton administration - leading public interest groups to argue that the proposed limits lead to a stifling of local voices.

Newspaper-television cross-ownership remains a contentious issue. Currently prohibited, it refers to the "common ownership of a full-service broadcast station and a daily newspaper when the broadcast station's area of coverage (or "contour") encompasses the newspaper's city of publication".

Capping of local radio and television ownership is another issue. While the original rule prohibited it, currently a company can own at least one television and one radio station in a market. In larger markets, "a single entity may own additional radio stations depending on the number of other independently owned media outlets in the market".

Most broadcasters and newspaper publishers are lobbying to ease or end restrictions on cross-ownership; they say it has to be the future of the news business. It allows newsgathering costs to be spread across platforms, and delivers multiple revenue streams in turn. Their argument is also tied to a rapidly changing media consumption market, and to the diversity of opinions available to the consumer with the rise of the Internet and other digital platforms.

The arguments against relaxing media ownership regulations are put forth by consumer unions and other interest groups on the ground that consolidation in any form inevitably leads to a lack of diversity of opinion. Cross-ownership limits the choices for consumers, inhibits localism and gives excessive media power to one entity.

Professional and workers' guilds of the communication industry (the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV and Radio Artists among others) would like the FCC to keep in mind the independent voice, and want a quarter of all prime-time programming to come from independent producers. The Children's Media Policy Coalition suggested that the FCC limit local broadcasters to a single license per market, so that there is enough original programming for children. Other interest groups like the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters are worried about what impact the rules might have on station ownership by minorities.

Deregulatory proponents see station licensees not as "public trustees" of the public airwaves requiring the provision of a wide variety of services to many different listening groups. Instead, broadcasting has been increasingly seen as just another business operating in a commercial marketplace which did not need its management decisions questioned by government overseers, even though they are granted permission to use public airways. Opponents argue that deregulation violates a key mandate of the Communications Act of 1934 which requires licensees to operate in the public interest. Deregulation allows broadcasters to seek profits with little public service programming.

Clinton and telecommunications deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of US telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and leading to media consolidation. It was approved by Congress on January 3, 1996 and signed into law on February 8, 1996 by President Clinton, a Democrat whom some have labeled as the best president the Republicans ever had. The act claimed to foster competition, but instead it continued the historic industry consolidation begun by Reagan, whose actions reduced the number of major media companies from around 50 in 1983 to 10 in 1996 and 6 in 2005.

Regulation Q

The Carter administration increased the power of the Federal Reserve through the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980 which was a necessary first step in ending the New Deal restrictions placed upon financial institutions, such as Regulation Q put in place by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and other restrictions on banks and financial institutions. The populist Regulation Q imposed limits and ceilings on bank and savings-and-loan (S&L) interest rates to provide funds for low-risk home mortgages. But with financial market deregulation, Regulation Q created incentives for US banks to do business outside the reach of US law, launching finance globalization. London came to dominate this offshore dollar business.

The populist Regulation Q, which regulated for several decades limits and ceilings on bank and S&L interest to serve the home mortgage sector, was phased out completely in March 1986. Banks were allowed to pay interest on checking account - the NOW accounts - to lure depositors back from the money markets. The traditional interest-rate advantage of the S&Ls was removed, to provide a "level playing field", forcing them to take the same risks as commercial banks to survive. Congress also lifted restrictions on S&Ls' commercial lending, which promptly got the whole industry into trouble that would soon required an unprecedented government bailout of depositors, with tax money. But the developers who made billions from easy credit were allowed to keep their profits. State usury laws were unilaterally suspended by an act of Congress in a flagrant intrusion on state rights. Carter, the well-intentioned populist, left a legacy of anti-populist policies. To this day, Greenspan continues to argue disingenuously that subprime mortgages helped the poor toward home ownership, instead of generating obscene profit for the debt securitization industry.

The party of Lincoln taken over by corporate interests

During the Reagan administration, corporate lobbying and electoral strategies allowed the corporate elite to wrest control of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, from conservative populists. In the late 1980s, supply-side economics was promoted to allow corporate interests to dominate US politics at the expense of labor by arguing that the only way labor can prosper is to let capital achieve high returns, notwithstanding the contradiction that high returns on capital must come from low wages.

New legislation and laws, executive orders, federal government rule-making, federal agency decisions, and think-tank propaganda, etc, subsequently followed the new political landscape, assisting the implementation of new corporate policies and practices emerging from corporate headquarters rather than from the shop floor. Economists and analysts who challenged this voodoo theory were largely shut out of the media. Workers by the million were persuaded to abandon their institutional collective defender to fend for themselves individually in the name of freedom. It was a freedom to see their job security eroded and wages and benefits fall with no recourse.

Note
1. Das Kapital, Volume One, Part I: Commodities and Money, Chapter One: Commodities, Section I.

Next: PART 2: Global war on labor

Henry C K Liu is chairman of a New York-based private investment group. His website is at http://www.henryckliu.com.

Copyright 2007, Henry C K Liu

Super Imperialism - New Edition: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance [Paperback]

William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Hudson is a Wall Street economist who used to work at the Chase Manhattan Bank.

In Part One, he describes the rise of the American empire.

Part Two describes its institutions: the US-controlled World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, which all benefit the USA. The US has the sole veto power in all three.

Part Three describes what Herman Kahn called `the greatest rip-off ever achieved', the way the US's ruling class levies us all to pay for its aggressive wars, just as the Roman Empire levied tribute to pay for its constant wars. Similarly Britain, Germany and Japan all pay for the US's military bases in their countries.

In 1945, as in 1918, Britain led Europe's capitulation to the USA's debt demands. The British ruling class chose dependency on the US ruling class. The USA insisted that Britain ended the sterling bloc, accepted IMF controls, did not impose exchange controls, and did not devalue. As Hudson writes, "The Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great Power."

The 1945-51 Labour government's huge spending on unnecessary imperial, counter-revolutionary wars robbed our industry of investment. This excessive military spending meant that we had constantly to borrow from the IMF, increasing our dependence on the USA. Now Britain is the USA's Trojan horse in Europe, against Britain's interests.

Hudson immodestly claims that his analysis supersedes Lenin. He says that the US national government's interests, not the private interests of the capitalist class, drive the system. He claims that the US government subordinates `the interests of its national bourgeoisie to the autonomous interests of the national government'. But is the US government really independent of the capitalist class? How `autonomous' are these interests?...

Joshua Malle (Seattle, WA USA)

Difficult and rewarding, Hudson is the real deal, May 24, 2006

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This review is from: Super Imperialism - New Edition: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominanc (Paperback)

Super-Imperialism is better viewed as a radical alternative to common undergraduate textbooks such as Joan Edelman Spero's, "The Politics of International Economic Relations" than as an update to the theories of Lenin or Hobson. (His background and prose style are similar to Spero's and his book covers similar ground.)

It has three sections, each which could have been a separate book.

The 2003 Edition has a new introduction and two new chapters at the end. The rest of the book has occasional new material, but does not appear to have been extensively re-written.

It's a difficult and rewarding book. The difficulty lies partly in the subject matter itself, partly in Hudson's convoluted prose and partly in the numerous typographical errors that mar the 2003 Pluto Press edition.

The book is rewarding because it's honest. Readers educated in the U.S. will initially regard Hudson's account with some skepticism. We can't help it; We've been systematically miseducated by pro-U.S. polemics presented in an "objective" tone.

In contrast Hudson is a strident critic of the U.S. management of the global economy. But so is any reasonably objective person who is apprized of the facts. I much prefer an author who honestly tells you the real story as he understands it to one who conceals the awful truth behind an ostensibly impartial facade. But a "revisionist" has to work twice as hard to make his case, and that is why the book contains the detailed explication of what reviewer Myers calls the "intricacies of events and negotiations that gave rise to the present order."

I think an open-minded reader will be won over by Hudson's thoughtful use of contemporaneous sources (e.g. government publications and articles in the business press) and also biographical sources to illuminate how key decision makers understood the alternatives, and their motives for pursuing the policies that they did when forging the post-war economic order. As he places these choices in context it quickly becomes evident that the motives on the U.S. side have been consistently aggressive and that U.S. policy makers have all along viewed multilateral economic institutions as instruments of national policy--to the world's detriment.

Hudson also has a keen sense of the painfully narrow horizon of human foresight. The historical sections sometimes read like a conspiracy theory in which the conspirators are not very smart. E.g., Franklin Roosevelt's stubborn insistence that World War I debts be repaid prolonged the Great Depression; When J. M. Keynes was negotiating Bretton Woods for the newly elected Labour government, he got them a terrible deal; The U.S. transition to "super-imperialism" which is the main story of the book (chapters 11 through 14) was originally an unintended consequence of the huge budget and trade deficits caused by the Vietnam War.

If you are interested in "globalization" this book is an important piece of the puzzle, but it really only covers up through 1973, and it spends more time on the relationship between the U.S. and Europe than on "North-South" relations. Having said that, Ch. 8 "The Imperialism of U.S. Foreign Aid" is very good, esp. how foreign aid benefits the U.S. balance of payments and the harmful effects of U.S. agricultural exports. China is hardly mentioned.

If you are an economics student and you sense that they aren't telling you the whole story, or just a thoughtful citizen who wants to sharpen your conceptual tools for understanding and resisting the strategies of U.S. imperialism, this book is for you.

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Salty Saltillo (from the road, USA)

An awkward argument with moments of brilliance, November 3, 2004

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Hudson's historical argument in this book is both brilliant and sometimes a bit rough.

Hudson has always had a great talent for interpreting and sketching out for weaker minds like us what the US government's abandonment of the gold-standard really means. When Hudson came forward with his thesis in the mid 1970's, his thesis was outrageous among orthodox economists: to suggest that the US should be worried about the long-term consequences of running balance of payments deficits year after year, decade after decade was crazy leftist nonsense in the 1970s. As long as people continue to need the US markets more than the US needs any other one country's markets (and people still have faith in the good credit of the US government) there is no reason US could not run balance of payment deficits forever, according to the conventional wisdom.

What amazes me is that now, after having done exactly what Hudson warned the US government not to do in the 1970s, many otherwise relatively orthodox economists are beginning to worry about this. Hudson may be on the more "sky-is-falling" end of things, but his analysis was right on the nail in 1972 and is still there today: worst case scenario - massive recession and massive devaluation of the dollar (by massive I mean, unprecedented). Former US Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin was quoted in March 16, 2006 WSJ as saying that "The probabilities are extremely high that if we don't address these imbalances, then at some point, and it could be years down the road, we'll pay a very big price." We are in a limbo world where no one really knows how this problem is going to play out, but Hudson should be credited for being one of the first, and longest-running, advocates for addressing this problem. Too bad it has taken so many decades for people to recognize what he has been telling us all along about balance of payments deficits.

The rest of the argument Hudson makes in this book is a bit tough to follow, though. Essentially, Hudson attempts to show how the US has, during this century but especially since WWII, systematically sought to manipulate all of the great economic institution-building opportunities following WWII to advance the interests of the US over other countries. Coming off the gold standard and running up a balance of payments deficit was just one of many ways in which this occurred. The US largely succeeded. The GATT (now WTO), World Bank, IMF, all bear American "fingerprints".

I agree that the mega-institutions of the contemporary world economic and political machine are largely the unilateral creation of the US, imposed on the other great nations at a time when the other nations were particularly vulnerable to US force of will and not particular inclined to be heterodox visionaries. I also agree that the US in general has probably used as much leverage as it could in negotiating all of the defining institutions in which it had any hand in constructing.

And yet, how could it have been any different? National governments pursue their self-interest and the interest of their citizens, often at the expense of other national governments and their citizens. The nation-state system is set up to work that way. But is the problem really one of US bad behavior, as Hudson suggests? Isn't the problem really structural? In the nation-state world, wherein the world is divided up into pseudo-autonomous political monopolies, each individually endowed with particular strengths and weaknesses, and all pitted against each other in a laissez-faire system where the only things that keep nation-states from raping and killing each other to oblivion are, good faith and the fact that the balance of power among the nation-states is enough to keep each monopoly contained in its behavior towards the other monopolies, what sort of behavior could we have expected from the US, a nation-state that, at a series of pivotal moments in 20th century history, found itself with "golden opportunities" to take advantage of other nations' weaknesses and advance its own power? Would the French, or the Brits, or the Japanese, or the Italians, or the Germans, or the Russians have behaved any different if they found themselves holding all the cards in 1945 instead of the US?

My point is, the facts Hudson lays out are correct -- there clearly is a problem in the way in which our current world order has been put together and the US is at the middle of that problem. The conclusions Hudson draws from those facts do not go deep enough in understanding what those facts mean, however.

It isn't that the Americans behave or behaved "bad" by the standard of good behavior implicit in the nation-state system, it is that the nation-state system itself to a certain extent reflects 19th century laissez-faire values of autonomy and individuality that pit nation-states against each other in a world where each is out to improve its lot through trade and, when possible and tolerable, violence.

The system itself breaks down when one player becomes too powerful. To blame the US for the systemic problem of massive power imbalances between nation states is simply pushing any hope for correction in the wrong direction.

Samuel Brittan: The wrong kind of Third Way

FT.com / Columnists / Samuel Brittan - The wrong kind of Third Way: When a book entitled Supercapitalism: the Battle for Democracy in an Age of Big Business (Icon Books) landed on my desk I took it for just another of the many anti-capitalist diatribes so beloved by publishers. Its author was Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labour who parted company from the Clinton administration on the grounds that it was not interventionist enough. But I was glad I persevered. For it turned out to be one of the most interesting books on political economy to appear for a long time.

During the postwar decades up to the early 1970s, the Bretton Woods system of semi-fixed exchange rates worked, after a fashion; and countries seemed able to combine full employment with low inflation and historically rapid growth and diminishing income differences. Reich calls them a "not quite golden age". It was "not quite" because of the treatment of women and minorities and the prevailing conformist and authoritarian atmosphere.

It has been succeeded by what Reich calls supercapitalism, in which the cult of the bottom line has replaced the cosy oligopolies of postwar decades, once-dominant companies shrink or disappear, new ones spring up overnight and the financial sector is (or was until recently) in the driving seat. He rightly dismisses many of the popular scapegoats – or heroes – of the process. The changeover began well before Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher could influence anything. Free-market economists have been preaching essentially the same message since the 18th century. It is extremely unlikely that there has been a radical change in the psychology or morality of business operators. His own candidate is the technologies that have empowered consumers and investors to get ever better deals.

Unfortunately, many of these same consumers have lost in their capacity as citizens. He cites the failure of the political process even to attempt to correct the increasing skewness of US income distribution. In later pronouncements he has attributed the subprime loan disaster in part to the failure of supercapitalism to raise the incomes of the mass of wage earners who have been impelled to resort to borrowing as a substitute. Moreover, Congress has performed abysmally in correcting market failures in environmental and other areas. He has a non-partisan explanation: the staggering increase in business lobbying expenditures affecting Democrats as well as Republicans, as a result of which the political process, far from correcting the distortions of unbridled capitalism, has made them worse.

But for me the novel point of the book is his utter dismissal of the prevailing idea of appealing to the "social responsibility" of business to improve matters. This is a notion that particularly appeals to soft centre politicians such as David Cameron's Conservatives in Britain as a new kind of Third Way. Reich argues that it is the job of the democratic political process by laws, taxes and other interventions to harmonise the pursuit of money-making with the public good. "The job of the businessman is to make profits." He is completely unabashed by the charge that he sounds like Milton Friedman and indeed quotes the late Chicago professor approvingly several times. He argues that the so-called stakeholders who insist on being consulted before legislation is drafted are increasingly companies whose interests might be affected. One result is the "corruption of knowledge". We should beware of claims that a company is doing something for the public good. Corporate executives may donate some of their shareholders' money to a genuinely good cause or forbear from polluting the atmosphere to forestall a greater legal or fiscal burden. But in that case such actions are likely to be limited and temporary, "extending only insofar as the conditions that made such voluntary action pay off continue".

Similarly we should beware of a politician who blames a company for doing something that is legal. Such words are all too often a cover "for taking no action to change the rules of the game". Above all, "corporations are not people. They are legal fictions, nothing more than bundles of contractual agreements ... A company cannot know right from wrong ... Only people know right from wrong and only people act." One example of the "anthropomorphic fallacy" is when companies are held criminally liable for the misdeeds of their executives. Not only are the genuinely guilty let off too lightly but many innocent people get hurt. For instance, "the vast majority of Andersen employees had nothing to do with Enron but lost their jobs nonetheless".

I have two reservations. One is that I cannot share Reich's confidence that a revived and effective "democracy" would be a cure-all. You only have to see where democratic pressures are driving US energy policy. Second, there is a danger that the Friedman-Reich position could inadvertently give sustenance to the "I was only doing my job" defence for evil actions. You do not have to hold shares in a company selling arms to Saudi Arabia, or work for it. But do not deceive yourself that such individual gestures can be a substitute for a change in policy.

Supercapitalism The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert B. Reich

Amazon.com

The Balance of Capitalism and Democracy, September 17, 2007

By Izaak VanGaalen (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (Hardcover)

According to Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, there was a time when capitalism and democracy where almost perfectly balanced. This was the period of 1945 to 1975, which he calls the "Not Quite Golden Age." During this period there was a three-way social contract among big business, big labor, and big government. Each made sure that they as well as the other two received a fair share of the pie. Unions recieved their wages and benefits, business their profits, and regulatory agencies had their power. It was also a time when the gap between the rich and the poor was the narrowest in our history. It was not quite the golden age because women and minorities were still second class citizens, but at least there was hope.

Fast forward to 2007, capitalism is thriving and democracy is sputtering. Why has capitlism become supercapitalism and democracy become enfeebled? Reich explains that it was a combination of things: deregulation, globe spanning computer networks, better transportation, etc. The changes were mainly a result of technological breakthroughs; unlike many leftists, he is not conspiratorial thinker. The winner of this great transformation was the consumer/investor and the loser was the citizen/wage earner. The consumer has more choices than ever before and at reasonable prices. The investor has unprecedented opportunities to make profits. The citzen, however, is not doing well. The average citizen does not have much voice - other than voting - in the body politic. And on the wage earner has been stagnating for many years. The most salient illustration of this trend is Walmart. Walmart delivers the goods at low prices, but the trade-off is low wages for their employees. We justify this dilemma, as Reich nicely puts it, because "The awkward truth is that most of us are of two minds."

As a left-leaning author, Reich makes some startling pronouncements. One, stop treating corporations as human beings. They are neither moral or immoral, they are merely "bundles of contracts." I couldn't agree more. Stop expecting corporations to be socially responsible, see them for what they are: profit-seeking organizations. Any socially responsible action is a ruse to bolster the bottom line anyway. Don't even encourage them to be socially responsible because it will wrongly lead us to believe that they are solving problems when they are not. Corporations play by the rules that they are given and it is up to citizens and their elected representatives to change the rules.

This is no easy task in the age of supercapitalism. There are currently 38,000 registered lobbyists in Washington DC in a virtual arms race of spending with each other to buy favors from our so-called representatives. The only way citizens can compete with this is not by hiring more lobbyists but advocating through new media outlets such as the internet and cable tv. This, according to Reich, is currently to most effective way to make government more responsive.

The question that remains, after reading this book, is will consumers be willing to sacrifice their low prices to achieve their goals as citizens. If the answer is yes, we can possibly rebalance the equation between democracy and capitalism; if not, we are left to the not so tender mercies of supercapitalism.

Robert Reich makes a compelling argument that supercapitalism has robbed democracy of much of its power. Supercapitalism by the definition presented in the book is simple--the consumer is king and prices ALWAYS go down. What Reich looks at is the cost of low prices to companies, society, the individual and its impact on the workings of democracy. So how is democracy compromised? Reich also points out that the rise of different lobbying groups, the cost of politics and globalization as contributing to this process. This isn't a surprise. It has just become more pronounced with time.

It's not due to some large conspiracy or any hidden political agenda as much as it is driven by consumption. Ultimately Reich argues that it robs the common citizen of any control over democracy. It's not surprising that this is a highly charged issue because the economics of what benefits society (or "the common good" as Reich calls it)often gets tangled up in the web of politics. Reich also points out that the cost of supercompetitiveness, constantly falling prices is a loss to the economic and social health of America. Reich points out that everyone wants to get the lowest price possible but he also suggests that we must balance that with our desire to have decent wages and benefits. He also points out that the move towards regulation was initiated by government and that corporations went along because it kept out competition and guaranteed a top and bottom for prices allowing companies to get a profit without fear of cutting prices so low that it would put them out of business.

I should point out that this is an oversimplification of Reich's points but it does capture some of the concepts. He also makes some suggestions that would help keep the free market afloat without undermining democracy and allowing consumers to still benefit from competitive pricing. Since this is economics we are discussing politics is mixed in and might color whether or not you agree with his points.

Reich's style is breezy for a book that looks at economics, democracy and the erosion of wages, benefits. Reich comes across as fair balanced and thoughtful even as he sells his take on what is undermining American society. Ultimately it's a worthwhile book to read simply because it opens up dialogue on the social cost of constantly lowering prices and how it impacts those who live next door to us

Aftershock The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich

Amazon.com

Every middle class American should read this book. Many observations about income disparities have been written up lately but Reich pulls the important points together in a powerful and accessible way.

Reich's main thesis is that the current transition the US economy is under is misunderstood. Many of the policy elite (Geithner, Volcker) have repeated the familiar claim that Americans are living beyond their means. Personally I don't discount that completely but Reich's insight goes much deeper and rings truer:

"The problem was not that American spent beyond their means but that their means had not kept up with what the larger economy could and should have been able to provide them."

"We cannot have a sustained recovery until we address it. ... Until this transformation is made, our economy will continue to experience phantom recoveries and speculative bubbles, each more distressing than the one before."

Anyone looking at the unemployment data since WWII has to wonder why the unemployment component of the last three recessions is so prolonged. Instead of a sharp trend up, there are long slopes of delayed returns to peak employment. (Google "calculated risk blog" and look at Dec. 2010 articles.) I believe Reich has demonstrated the main culprit this. To be clear, he is not describing the detailed mechanics of what triggered the Great Recession. (Nouriel Roubini has a good book that I would recommend for more on the financial fraud, leverage and credit risks involved - Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance. ) But Reich is taking a long term view and exposes a dysfunctional trait of the US economy that no one can afford to ignore. It is this weakness that will delay the current recovery and continue to create greater risks in the future.

Reich draws the parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession, particularly the imbalance of wealth concentrated in fewer hands and middle class workers with less income to convert into consumer demand. One of the fascinating devices he found to do this was the writings of Marriner Eccles (Fed chair between '34 to '48):

"As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth - not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced - to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

Reich also shares a couple of powerful and disturbing graphs that show how the middle class has been squeezed and also how since the late 70s, hourly wages have not only not kept up with the rise in productivity but have remained essentially flat.

Another driving theme Reich presents is the "basic bargain" and he evokes Henry Ford, the man that took mass production to new heights and paid his workers well:

"[Henry] Ford understood the basic economic bargain that lay at the heart of a modern, highly productive economy. Workers are also consumers. Their earnings are continuously recycled to buy the goods and services other workers produce. But if earnings are inadequate and this basic bargain is broken, an economy produces more goods and services than its people are capable of purchasing."

I was concerned early in the book that Reich would leave out some of the important complexities of the topic but he covered related finances, politics and even consumer/voter psychology in a succinct yet informative way. His summary of changes to the labor market in the last 30+ years was very good.

His ideas for correcting this were interesting if perhaps difficult to implement politically. My take away however was that this is a strong indicator of how bad he thinks the situation really is. Many Americans may be yearning to return to "normal". Reich is the first to thoroughly convince me that it is not going to happen.

This is a very quick read of 144 pages and is well worth the time.

Finance is a form of imperial warfare

As Michael Hudson aptly noted in Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011)

Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now 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.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. 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 strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and "the miracle of compound interest" that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist, is coming out in May's 2009 edition of The Atlantic with a fascinating, highly provocative piece, on the collusion between the US' "financial oligarchy" and the US government and how its persistence will contribute to prolonging the economic crisis. Here is the summary (hat tip to Global Conditions):

One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you (…)

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don't want to hear.(…)

No, the real concern of the fund's senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. (…)

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason-the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit-and, most of the time, genteel-oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders (…)

Many IMF programs "go off track" (a euphemism) precisely because the government can't stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program "goes back on track" once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern-and thus win or lose-under the IMF-supported plan. (…)

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (…).

(…) elite business interests-financiers, in the case of the U.S.-played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better-in a "buck stops somewhere else" sort of way-on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for "safety and soundness" were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies-lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership-had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector's profits-such as Brooksley Born's now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998-were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

(…) the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital-a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. (…)

One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup's executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson's predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true (…).

By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists-at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy's favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused (…)

Throughout the crisis, the government has taken extreme care not to upset the interests of the financial institutions, or to question the basic outlines of the system that got us here. In September 2008, Henry Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, with no strings attached and no judicial review of his purchase decisions. Many observers suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks' hands-indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything. Perhaps because there was no way to make such a blatant subsidy politically acceptable, that plan was shelved.

Instead, the money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves. As the crisis has deepened and financial institutions have needed more help, the government has gotten more and more creative in figuring out ways to provide banks with subsidies that are too complex for the general public to understand (…)

The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary (…)

In some ways, of course, the government has already taken control of the banking system. It has essentially guaranteed the liabilities of the biggest banks, and it is their only plausible source of capital today.

Ideally, big banks should be sold in medium-size pieces, divided regionally or by type of business. Where this proves impractical-since we'll want to sell the banks quickly-they could be sold whole, but with the requirement of being broken up within a short time. Banks that remain in private hands should also be subject to size limitations.

This may seem like a crude and arbitrary step, but it is the best way to limit the power of individual institutions in a sector that is essential to the economy as a whole. Of course, some people will complain about the "efficiency costs" of a more fragmented banking system, and these costs are real. But so are the costs when a bank that is too big to fail-a financial weapon of mass self-destruction-explodes. Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.

To ensure systematic bank breakup, and to prevent the eventual reemergence of dangerous behemoths, we also need to overhaul our antitrust legislation (…)

Caps on executive compensation, while redolent of populism, might help restore the political balance of power and deter the emergence of a new oligarchy. (…)

(…) Over time, though, the largest part may involve more transparency and competition, which would bring financial-industry fees down. To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine".

The nature of financial oligarchy is such that the government's capacity to take control of an entire financial system, and to clean, slice it up and re-privatize it impartially is almost non-existent. Instead we have growing, potentially corrupt, collusion between financial elites and government officials which is hall mark of corporatism in this more modern form on neoliberalism.

The Great Deception

In 1998 Mark Curtis wrote The Great Deception: Anglo-American Power and World Order, a work whose stated goal was to shed light on various myths of Anglo-American power in the post-Cold War era.

Curtis attempts to demonstrate how the United Kingdom remained a key partner of the United States' effort to enforce their hegemony in the world. He analyzes what he refers to as a special relationship between the two countries and concludes that quite serious consequences exist for both states.

Trade for life

Trade for Life: Making Trade Work for Poor People is a work published in 2001. It is a strong critique of the function of international organizations, especially the World Trade Organization (WTO). Curtis analyzes the decisions taken by the WTO in developing states and concludes that these decisions were seldom without bias against the poor countries; he claims that certain of these decisions, notably certain structural adjustments, caused their intended benefactors more harm than good. Further, Curtis regrets that some rules are lacking when their need is called for, noting the relative lack of regulation checking the growth of power of multinational companies. A partner of Christian Aid in Zimbabwe has said that "the manner in which the WTO functions, is like placing an adult against a child in a boxing ring, like Manchester United against a local Zimbabwean team.

The WTO judges all countries on the same level, while they are not the same. The WTO must help create a situation where countries are more equal." This is a quotation that Mark Curtis recycles throughout his book.

Curtis concludes by saying that market forces can be used in a different, more egalitarian, manner than the one currently employed by the WTO. He believes that it could benefit developing nations if this goal was pursued.

His book was edited by ChristianAid while Mark Curtis was "Policy and Politics" Director and is freely available.

Web of Deceit

In 2003 Mark Curtis published Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World. This book has been his most successful to date. It offers a new academic approach to the role of the United Kingdom in the post 1945 world until the current the War on Terrorism. It further criticizes the foreign policy of Tony Blair. Curtis, defending the idea that Britain is a rogue state, describes various relations the United Kingdom undertook with repressive regimes and how he thinks these actions made the world less just.

Moreover, the book analyzes various recent actions of the British Army in the world, describing not only what he characterizes as the immorality of the War in Iraq, but also of the War in Afghanistan, and the Kosovo War. Curtis denounces equally strongly Britain's alliances with states he categorizes as repressive, such as Israel, Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, he details and criticizes the non-intervention of Britain in the Rwandan Genocide.

Curtis draws most of his research from recently declassified documents by the British secret service. He notably claims to demonstrate the role and complicity of the British in the massacre of millions of Indonesians in 1965, the toppling of the governments of Iran and British Guyana, and what he describes as repressive colonial policies in the former colonies of Kenya, Oman, and Malaysia.

Unpeople

In 2004, Mark Curtis published Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses. This book followed a similar line of thought begun in Web of Deceit. Unpeople is based on various declassified documents from the British secret service.

Among the declassified secret service reports, Curtis asserts that the United Kingdom had given aid to Saddam Hussein in 1963 in order that he rised to power in Iraq; he further posits that the Western Powers, notably the UK, performed various arms deals with the Iraqi government while the Iraqi government was involved in the brutal aggression against the Kurdish community. Curtis asserts that these documents further indict the British government in their role played in the Vietnam War, the coup d'État against Idi Amin in 1971, the coup d'État against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, and coups in Indonesia and Guyana.

Mark Curtis estimates that approximately ten million deaths throughout the world since 1945 have been caused by the United Kingdom's foreign policy.

Alliance of transnational elites

From Amazon review of Blowback The Costs and Consequences of American Empire Chalmers Johnson

But Johnson is relying on the idea that "America" is a unitary entity, so that the hollowing out of industry hurts "America", not specific social groups within the country. In reality, US foreign policymakers work to advance the interests not of "America", but of those same business elites that have benefited from turning Asia into the world's sweatshop and undermining the unions that built their strength on American industry. American economic imperialism is not a failed conspiracy against the people of Asia, but an alliance between American elites and their Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese counterparts - against the potential power of the working majority in all those countries.

But it's more complex than that, too, since the US seeks to prevent the emergence of an independent military challenge (especially China, but also Japan) to its Asia hegemony while seeking to expand the power of American commercial interests in the region, even as it tries to keep Asian elites happy enough with the status quo to prevent their rebellion against it.

In other words, the US system in Asia is more complicated than Johnson conveys, and defending America's mythical "national interests" will never address its fundamental injustices.

While Johnson seems to have abundant sympathy for the people of Asia, his nationalist framework prevents his from proposing the only real challenge to American hegemony: a popular anti-imperialist movement that crosses the barriers of nation-states.

Imperialism 101 by Micjael Parenti

Imperialism 101 By Michael Parenti

By Michael Parenti

24 June, 2011
Michaelparenti.org

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

Across the Entire Globe

By "imperialism" I mean the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.The earliest victims of Western European imperialism were other Europeans. Some 800 years ago, Ireland became the first colony of what later became known as the British empire. A part of Ireland still remains under British occupation. Other early Caucasian victims included the Eastern Europeans. The people Charlemagne worked to death in his mines in the early part of the ninth century were Slavs. So frequent and prolonged was the enslavement of Eastern Europeans that "Slav" became synonymous with servitude. Indeed, the word "slave" derives from "Slav." Eastern Europe was an early source of capital accumulation, having become wholly dependent upon Western manufactures by the seventeenth century.

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps.

The preponderant thrust of the European, North American, and Japanese imperial powers has been directed against Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By the nineteenth century, they saw the Third World as not only a source of raw materials and slaves but a market for manufactured goods. By the twentieth century, the industrial nations were exporting not only goods but capital, in the form of machinery, technology, investments, and loans. To say that we have entered the stage of capital export and investment is not to imply that the plunder of natural resources has ceased. If anything, the despoliation has accelerated.

Of the various notions about imperialism circulating today in the United States, the dominant view is that it does not exist. Imperialism is not recognized as a legitimate concept, certainly not in regard to the United States. One may speak of "Soviet imperialism" or "nineteenth-century British imperialism" but not of U.S. imperialism. A graduate student in political science at most universities in this country would not be granted the opportunity to research U.S. imperialism, on the grounds that such an undertaking would not be scholarly. While many people throughout the world charge the United States with being an imperialist power, in this country persons who talk of U.S. imperialism are usually judged to be mouthing ideological blather.

The Dynamic of Capital Expansion

Imperialism is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory. Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it systematically accumulates capital through the organized exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, transforming and dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, integrating their financial and productive structures into an international system of capital accumulation.A central imperative of capitalism is expansion. Investors will not put their money into business ventures unless they can extract more than they invest. Increased earnings come only with a growth in the enterprise. The capitalist ceaselessly searches for ways of making more money in order to make still more money. One must always invest to realize profits, gathering as much strength as possible in the face of competing forces and unpredictable markets.

Given its expansionist nature, capitalism has little inclination to stay home. Almost 150 years ago, Marx and Engels described a bourgeoisie that "chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. . . . It creates a world after its own image." The expansionists destroy whole societies. Self-sufficient peoples are forcibly transformed into disfranchised wage workers. Indigenous communities and folk cultures are replaced by mass-market, mass-media, consumer societies. Cooperative lands are supplanted by agribusiness factory farms, villages by desolate shanty towns, autonomous regions by centralized autocracies.

Consider one of a thousand such instances. A few years ago the Los Angeles Times carried a special report on the rainforests of Borneo in the South Pacific. By their own testimony, the people there lived contented lives. They hunted, fished, and raised food in their jungle orchards and groves. But their entire way of life was ruthlessly wiped out by a few giant companies that destroyed the rainforest in order to harvest the hardwood for quick profits. Their lands were turned into ecological disaster areas and they themselves were transformed into disfranchised shantytown dwellers, forced to work for subsistence wages-when fortunate enough to find employment.

North American and European corporations have acquired control of more than three-fourths of the known mineral resources of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But the pursuit of natural resources is not the only reason for capitalist overseas expansion. There is the additional need to cut production costs and maximize profits by investing in countries with cheaper labor markets. U.S. corporate foreign investment grew 84 percent from 1985 to 1990, the most dramatic increase being in cheap-labor countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Singapore.

Because of low wages, low taxes, nonexistent work benefits, weak labor unions, and nonexistent occupational and environmental protections, U.S. corporate profit rates in the Third World are 50 percent greater than in developed countries. Citibank, one of the largest U.S. firms, earns about 75 percent of its profits from overseas operations. While profit margins at home sometimes have had a sluggish growth, earnings abroad have continued to rise dramatically, fostering the development of what has become known as the multinational or transnational corporation. Today some four hundred transnational companies control about 80 percent of the capital assets of the global free market and are extending their grasp into the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Transnationals have developed a global production line. General Motors has factories that produce cars, trucks and a wide range of auto components in Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and a dozen other countries. Such "multiple sourcing" enables GM to ride out strikes in one country by stepping up production in another, playing workers of various nations against each other in order to discourage wage and benefit demands and undermine labor union strategies.

Not Necessary, Just Compelling

Some writers question whether imperialism is a necessary condition for capitalism, pointing out that most Western capital is invested in Western nations, not in the Third World. If corporations lost all their Third World investments, they argue, many of them could still survive on their European and North American markets. In response, one should note that capitalism might be able to survive without imperialism-but it shows no inclination to do so. It manifests no desire to discard its enormously profitable Third World enterprises. Imperialism may not be a necessary condition for investor survival but it seems to be an inherent tendency and a natural outgrowth of advanced capitalism. Imperial relations may not be the only way to pursue profits, but they are the most lucrative way.Whether imperialism is necessary for capitalism is really not the question. Many things that are not absolutely necessary are still highly desirable, therefore strongly preferred and vigorously pursued. Overseas investors find the Third World's cheap labor, vital natural resources, and various other highly profitable conditions to be compellingly attractive. Superprofits may not be necessary for capitalism's survival but survival is not all that capitalists are interested in. Superprofits are strongly preferred to more modest earnings. That there may be no necessity between capitalism and imperialism does not mean there is no compelling linkage.

The same is true of other social dynamics. For instance, wealth does not necessarily have to lead to luxurious living. A higher portion of an owning class's riches could be used for investment rather personal consumption. The very wealthy could survive on more modest sums but that is not how most of them prefer to live. Throughout history, wealthy classes generally have shown a preference for getting the best of everything. After all, the whole purpose of getting rich off other people's labor is to live well, avoiding all forms of thankless toil and drudgery, enjoying superior opportunities for lavish life-styles, medical care, education, travel, recreation, security, leisure, and opportunities for power and prestige. While none of these things are really "necessary," they are fervently clung to by those who possess them-as witnessed by the violent measures endorsed by advantaged classes whenever they feel the threat of an equalizing or leveling democratic force.

Myths of Underdevelopment

The impoverished lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are known to us as the "Third World," to distinguish them from the "First World" of industrialized Europe and North America and the now largely defunct "Second World" of communist states. Third World poverty, called "underdevelopment," is treated by most Western observers as an original historic condition. We are asked to believe that it always existed, that poor countries are poor because their lands have always been infertile or their people unproductive. In fact, the lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have long produced great treasures of foods, minerals and other natural resources. That is why the Europeans went through all the trouble to steal and plunder them. One does not go to poor places for self-enrichment. The Third World is rich. Only its people are poor-and it is because of the pillage they have endured.

The process of expropriating the natural resources of the Third World began centuries ago and continues to this day. First, the colonizers extracted gold, silver, furs, silks, and spices, then flax, hemp, timber, molasses, sugar, rum, rubber, tobacco, calico, cocoa, coffee, cotton, copper, coal, palm oil, tin, iron, ivory, ebony, and later on, oil, zinc, manganese, mercury, platinum, cobalt, bauxite, aluminum, and uranium. Not to be overlooked is that most hellish of all expropriations: the abduction of millions of human beings into slave labor.

Through the centuries of colonization, many self-serving imperialist theories have been spun. I was taught in school that people in tropical lands are slothful and do not work as hard as we denizens of the temperate zone. In fact, the inhabitants of warm climates have performed remarkably productive feats, building magnificent civilizations well before Europe emerged from the Dark Ages. And today they often work long, hard hours for meager sums. Yet the early stereotype of the "lazy native" is still with us. In every capitalist society, the poor-both domestic and overseas-regularly are blamed for their own condition.

We hear that Third World peoples are culturally retarded in their attitudes, customs, and technical abilities. It is a convenient notion embraced by those who want to depict Western investments as a rescue operation designed to help backward peoples help themselves. This myth of "cultural backwardness" goes back to ancient times, when conquerors used it to justify enslaving indigenous peoples. It was used by European colonizers over the last five centuries for the same purpose.

What cultural supremacy could by claimed by the Europeans of yore? From the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries Europe was "ahead" in a variety of things, such as the number of hangings, murders, and other violent crimes; instances of venereal disease, smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, plagues, and other bodily afflictions; social inequality and poverty (both urban and rural); mistreatment of women and children; and frequency of famines, slavery, prostitution, piracy, religious massacres, and inquisitional torture. Those who claim the West has been the most advanced civilization should keep such "achievements" in mind.

More seriously, we might note that Europe enjoyed a telling advantage in navigation and armaments. Muskets and cannon, Gatling guns and gunboats, and today missiles, helicopter gunships, and fighter bombers have been the deciding factors when West meets East and North meets South. Superior firepower, not superior culture, has brought the Europeans and Euro-North Americans to positions of supremacy that today are still maintained by force, though not by force alone.

It was said that colonized peoples were biologically backward and less evolved than their colonizers. Their "savagery" and "lower" level of cultural evolution were emblematic of their inferior genetic evolution. But were they culturally inferior? In many parts of what is now considered the Third World, people developed impressive skills in architecture, horticulture, crafts, hunting, fishing, midwifery, medicine, and other such things. Their social customs were often far more gracious and humane and less autocratic and repressive than anything found in Europe at that time. Of course we must not romanticize these indigenous societies, some of which had a number of cruel and unusual practices of their own. But generally, their peoples enjoyed healthier, happier lives, with more leisure time, than did most of Europe's inhabitants.

Other theories enjoy wide currency. We hear that Third World poverty is due to overpopulation, too many people having too many children to feed. Actually, over the last several centuries, many Third World lands have been less densely populated than certain parts of Europe. India has fewer people per acre-but more poverty-than Holland, Wales, England, Japan, Italy, and a few other industrial countries. Furthermore, it is the industrialized nations of the First World, not the poor ones of the Third, that devour some 80 percent of the world's resources and pose the greatest threat to the planet's ecology.

This is not to deny that overpopulation is a real problem for the planet's ecosphere. Limiting population growth in all nations would help the global environment but it would not solve the problems of the poor-because overpopulation in itself is not the cause of poverty but one of its effects. The poor tend to have large families because children are a source of family labor and income and a support during old age.

Frances Moore Lappe and Rachel Schurman found that of seventy Third World countries, there were six-China, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chile, Burma, and Cuba-and the state of Kerala in India that had managed to lower their birth rates by one third. They enjoyed neither dramatic industrial expansion nor high per capita incomes nor extensive family planning programs. The factors they had in common were public education and health care, a reduction of economic inequality, improvements in women's rights, food subsidies, and in some cases land reform. In other words, fertility rates were lowered not by capitalist investments and economic growth as such but by socio-economic betterment, even of a modest scale, accompanied by the emergence of women's rights.

Artificially Converted to Poverty

What is called "underdevelopment" is a set of social relations that has been forcefully imposed on countries. With the advent of the Western colonizers, the peoples of the Third World were actually set back in their development sometimes for centuries. British imperialism in India provides an instructive example. In 1810, India was exporting more textiles to England than England was exporting to India. By 1830, the trade flow was reversed. The British had put up prohibitive tariff barriers to shut out Indian finished goods and were dumping their commodities in India, a practice backed by British gunboats and military force. Within a matter of years, the great textile centers of Dacca and Madras were turned into ghost towns. The Indians were sent back to the land to raise the cotton used in British textile factories. In effect, India was reduced to being a cow milked by British financiers. By 1850, India's debt had grown to 53 million pounds. From 1850 to 1900, its per capita income dropped by almost two-thirds. The value of the raw materials and commodities the Indians were obliged to send to Britain during most of the nineteenth century amounted yearly to more than the total income of the sixty million Indian agricultural and industrial workers. The massive poverty we associate with India was not that country's original historical condition. British imperialism did two things: first, it ended India's development, then it forcibly underdeveloped that country.

Similar bleeding processes occurred throughout the Third World. The enormous wealth extracted should remind us that there originally were few really poor nations. Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Bolivia, Zaire, Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines were and sometimes still are rich in resources. Some lands have been so thoroughly plundered as to be desolate in all respects. However, most of the Third World is not "underdeveloped" but overexploited. Western colonization and investments have created a lower rather than a higher living standard.

Referring to what the English colonizers did to the Irish, Frederick Engels wrote in 1856: "How often have the Irish started out to achieve something, and every time they have been crushed politically and industrially. By consistent oppression they have been artificially converted into an utterly impoverished nation." So with most of the Third World. The Mayan Indians in Guatemala had a more nutritious and varied diet and better conditions of health in the early 16th century before the Europeans arrived than they have today. They had more craftspeople, architects, artisans, and horticulturists than today. What is called underdevelopment is not an original historical condition but a product of imperialism's superexploitation. Underdevelopment is itself a development.

Imperialism has created what I have termed "maldevelopment": modern office buildings and luxury hotels in the capital city instead of housing for the poor, cosmetic surgery clinics for the affluent instead of hospitals for workers, cash export crops for agribusiness instead of food for local markets, highways that go from the mines and latifundios to the refineries and ports instead of roads in the back country for those who might hope to see a doctor or a teacher.

Wealth is transferred from Third World peoples to the economic elites of Europe and North America (and more recently Japan) by direct plunder, by the expropriation of natural resources, the imposition of ruinous taxes and land rents, the payment of poverty wages, and the forced importation of finished goods at highly inflated prices. The colonized country is denied the freedom of trade and the opportunity to develop its own natural resources, markets, and industrial capacity. Self-sustenance and self-employment gives way to wage labor. From 1970 to 1980, the number of wage workers in the Third World grew from 72 million to 120 million, and the rate is accelerating.

Hundreds of millions of Third World peoples now live in destitution in remote villages and congested urban slums, suffering hunger, disease, and illiteracy, often because the land they once tilled is now controlled by agribusiness firms who use it for mining or for commercial export crops such as coffee, sugar, and beef, instead of growing beans, rice, and corn for home consumption. A study of twenty of the poorest countries, compiled from official statistics, found that the number of people living in what is called "absolute poverty" or rockbottom destitution, the poorest of the poor, is rising 70,000 a day and should reach 1.5 billion by the year 2000 (San Francisco Examiner, June 8, 1994).

Imperialism forces millions of children around the world to live nightmarish lives, their mental and physical health severely damaged by endless exploitation. A documentary film on the Discovery Channel (April 24, 1994) reported that in countries like Russia, Thailand, and the Philippines, large numbers of minors are sold into prostitution to help their desperate families survive. In countries like Mexico, India, Colombia, and Egypt, children are dragooned into health-shattering, dawn-to-dusk labor on farms and in factories and mines for pennies an hour, with no opportunity for play, schooling, or medical care.

In India, 55 million children are pressed into the work force. Tens of thousands labor in glass factories in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. In one plant, four-year-olds toil from 5 o'clock in the morning until the dead of night, inhaling fumes and contracting emphysema, tuberculosis, and other respiratory diseases. In the Philippines and Malaysia corporations have lobbied to drop age restrictions for labor recruitment. The pursuit of profit becomes a pursuit of evil.

Development Theory

When we say a country is "underdeveloped," we are implying that it is backward and retarded in some way, that its people have shown little capacity to achieve and evolve. The negative connotations of "underdeveloped" has caused the United Nations, the Wall Street Journal, and parties of various political persuasion to refer to Third World countries as "developing" nations, a term somewhat less insulting than "underdeveloped" but equally misleading. I prefer to use "Third World" because "developing" seems to be just a euphemistic way of saying "underdeveloped but belatedly starting to do something about it." It still implies that poverty was an original historic condition and not something imposed by the imperialists. It also falsely suggests that these countries are developing when actually their economic conditions are usually worsening.The dominant theory of the last half century, enunciated repeatedly by writers like Barbara Ward and W. W. Rostow and afforded wide currency in the United States and other parts of the Western world, maintains that it is up to the rich nations of the North to help uplift the "backward" nations of the South, bringing them technology and teaching them proper work habits. This is an updated version of "the White man's burden," a favorite imperialist fantasy.

According to the development scenario, with the introduction of Western investments, the backward economic sectors of the poor nations will release their workers, who then will find more productive employment in the modern sector at higher wages. As capital accumulates, business will reinvest its profits, thus creating still more products, jobs, buying power, and markets. Eventually a more prosperous economy evolves.

This "development theory" or "modernization theory," as it is sometimes called, bears little relation to reality. What has emerged in the Third World is an intensely exploitive form of dependent capitalism. Economic conditions have worsened drastically with the growth of transnational corporate investment. The problem is not poor lands or unproductive populations but foreign exploitation and class inequality. Investors go into a country not to uplift it but to enrich themselves.

People in these countries do not need to be taught how to farm. They need the land and the implements to farm. They do not need to be taught how to fish. They need the boats and the nets and access to shore frontage, bays, and oceans. They need industrial plants to cease dumping toxic effusions into the waters. They do not need to be convinced that they should use hygienic standards. They do not need a Peace Corps Volunteer to tell them to boil their water, especially when they cannot afford fuel or have no access to firewood. They need the conditions that will allow them to have clean drinking water and clean clothes and homes. They do not need advice about balanced diets from North Americans. They usually know what foods best serve their nutritional requirements. They need to be given back their land and labor so that they might work for themselves and grow food for their own consumption.

The legacy of imperial domination is not only misery and strife, but an economic structure dominated by a network of international corporations which themselves are beholden to parent companies based in North America, Europe and Japan. If there is any harmonization or integration, it occurs among the global investor classes, not among the indigenous economies of these countries. Third World economies remain fragmented and unintegrated both between each other and within themselves, both in the flow of capital and goods and in technology and organization. In sum, what we have is a world economy that has little to do with the economic needs of the world's people.

Neoimperialism: Skimming the Cream

Sometimes imperial domination is explained as arising from an innate desire for domination and expansion, a "territorial imperative." In fact, territorial imperialism is no longer the prevailing mode. Compared to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the European powers carved up the world among themselves, today there is almost no colonial dominion left. Colonel Blimp is dead and buried, replaced by men in business suits. Rather than being directly colonized by the imperial power, the weaker countries have been granted the trappings of sovereignty-while Western finance capital retains control of the lion's share of their profitable resources. This relationship has gone under various names: "informal empire," "colonialism without colonies," "neocolonialism," and "neoimperialism. "U.S. political and business leaders were among the earliest practitioners of this new kind of empire, most notably in Cuba at the beginning of the twentieth century. Having forcibly wrested the island from Spain in the war of 1898, they eventually gave Cuba its formal independence. The Cubans now had their own government, constitution, flag, currency, and security force. But major foreign policy decisions remained in U.S. hands as did the island's wealth, including its sugar, tobacco, and tourist industries, and major imports and exports.

Historically U.S. capitalist interests have been less interested in acquiring more colonies than in acquiring more wealth, preferring to make off with the treasure of other nations without bothering to own and administer the nations themselves. Under neoimperialism, the flag stays home, while the dollar goes everywhere - frequently assisted by the sword.

After World War II, European powers like Britain and France adopted a strategy of neoimperialism. Left financially depleted by years of warfare, and facing intensified popular resistance from within the Third World itself, they reluctantly decided that indirect economic hegemony was less costly and politically more expedient than outright colonial rule. They discovered that the removal of a conspicuously intrusive colonial rule made it more difficult for nationalist elements within the previously colonized countries to mobilize anti-imperialist sentiments.

Though the newly established government might be far from completely independent, it usually enjoyed more legitimacy in the eyes of its populace than a colonial administration controlled by the imperial power. Furthermore, under neoimperialism the native government takes up the costs of administering the country while the imperialist interests are free to concentrate on accumulating capital-which is all they really want to do.

After years of colonialism, the Third World country finds it extremely difficult to extricate itself from the unequal relationship with its former colonizer and impossible to depart from the global capitalist sphere. Those countries that try to make a break are subjected to punishing economic and military treatment by one or another major power, nowadays usually the United States.

The leaders of the new nations may voice revolutionary slogans, yet they find themselves locked into the global capitalist orbit, cooperating perforce with the First World nations for investment, trade, and aid. So we witnessed the curious phenomenon of leaders of newly independent Third World nations denouncing imperialism as the source of their countries' ills, while dissidents in these countries denounced these same leaders as collaborators of imperialism.

In many instances a comprador class emerged or was installed as a first condition for independence. A comprador class is one that cooperates in turning its own country into a client state for foreign interests. A client state is one that is open to investments on terms that are decidedly favorable to the foreign investors. In a client state, corporate investors enjoy direct subsidies and land grants, access to raw materials and cheap labor, light or nonexistent taxes, few effective labor unions, no minimum wage or child labor or occupational safety laws, and no consumer or environmental protections to speak of. The protective laws that do exist go largely unenforced.

In all, the Third World is something of a capitalist paradise, offering life as it was in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, with a rate of profit vastly higher than what might be earned today in a country with strong economic regulations. The comprador class is well recompensed for its cooperation. Its leaders enjoy opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the U.S. government. Stability is assured with the establishment of security forces, armed and trained by the United States in the latest technologies of terror and repression. Still, neoimperialism carries risks. The achievement of de jure independence eventually fosters expectations of de facto independence. The forms of self rule incite a desire for the fruits of self rule. Sometimes a national leader emerges who is a patriot and reformer rather than a comprador collaborator. Therefore, the changeover from colonialism to neocolonialism is not without risks for the imperialists and represents a net gain for popular forces in the world.

Chapter 1 of Against Empire by Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. http://www.michaelparenti.org/


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[Jun 19, 2018] Counterdrug Programs Come With Increased Drug Production - Where Does The Money Go

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket. ..."
"... b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else. ..."
"... I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution. ..."
"... I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank. ..."
"... John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." ..."
"... Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner. ..."
"... Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there. ..."
"... I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014. ..."
"... This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet. ..."
"... And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia. ..."
"... Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Jun 18, 2018 1:30:38 PM | 2

thanks b... the speculation has always been in my mind anyway - that the money is controlled by the cia... covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes...
LXV , Jun 18, 2018 1:47:36 PM | 3
b wrote: "I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing."

Define 'sound evidence, b... For some, it's a kilo of stash; for others (like myself), it's suffice with the testimony of (suicided) insiders, like Gary Webb (RIP).

ben , Jun 18, 2018 2:06:01 PM | 4
james @ 2 said:" covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes..."

Yes, and what they don't spend on "projects", goes to their minions and sycophants..

ken , Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5
The Taliban curtailed the poppy growing without any problem. Shortly after the US invasion under the guise of capturing OBL. Almost 18 years later, long after the death of OBL (in reality and in US military BS) the poppy production has increased exponentially. There are Pics of US military personnel walking through poppy fields.
Other than drug production there is no need for the US to be in Afghanistan except maybe to use it as a launching platform to attack Iran. Drugs are an excellent source for funding black ops.

Not only is the US allowing the production, considering how easy it would be for them to kill the crops, and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West.

librul , Jun 18, 2018 3:16:16 PM | 11

b says the efforts appear counterproductive. Here is why:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/afghanistan-the-making-of-a-narco-state-20141204#

If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can't really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It's not that there's a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don't pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

In this light, U.S. counternarcotics programs, which have cost nearly $8 billion to date, and the Afghan state-building project in general, are perversely part of the explanation for the growing government involvement in the drug trade. Even the newly rebuilt Afghan Air Force has been investigated by the U.S. military for alleged trafficking. In many places, the surge had the effect of wresting opium revenue from the Taliban and handing it to government officials. For example, in Helmand's Garmsir District, which sits on key trafficking routes between the rest of the province and Baramcha, a big Marine offensive in 2011 finally pushed out the Taliban and handed the district back to the Afghan government. The result? The police began taking a cut from those drug routes. "There are families, as in Mafia-style, that have the trade carved up between them, and when some outsider tries to get in on it, they serve him up as a success for drug interdiction," one Western official who worked in Garmsir told me.

I just luv-ed this next paragraph. Glad I wasn't sipping Coca Cola
while I read it. Would have chortled cola out my nose!

Here is government BS-speak at it's vacuous best (enjoy):

The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. "The U.S. interagency is developing an updated counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan," says Jen Psaki, the State Department's spokeswoman. "These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in opium harvests."
Chris G , Jun 18, 2018 4:04:03 PM | 14
Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket.
WorldBLee , Jun 18, 2018 4:08:12 PM | 15
b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else.
Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:32:10 PM | 17
I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution.

I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank.

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:37:37 PM | 18
John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
karlof1 , Jun 18, 2018 5:29:48 PM | 20
Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner.

The CIA is the planet's #1 Terrorist Organization, and it has all 3 types of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's often hard to determine which poses a greater threat to humanity: The CIA or its parent the Outlaw US Empire. If humanity's to have any chance at a viable future, both the CIA and its Imperial parent must be destroyed for their many crimes.

Ornot , Jun 18, 2018 5:49:10 PM | 21
Seymore Hersh first (to my knowledge) first looked at CIA drug links when people exited buildings not using the stairs.
https://www.nytimes.com/1975/07/10/archives/family-plans-to-sue-cia-over-suicide-in-drug-test-family-planning.html

That CIA was experimenting with narcotics as a tool seemed to have metasticised into something else during the Air America years, which in turn seems to have morphed via Barry Seal (& Gary Webb's investigation)and the Cocaine Coyboys onward into Silk Airways (famed by weapons to Syria scandal) -
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/cockburn-white.html

https://www.globalresearch.ca/oliver-north-worked-with-cocaine-traffickers-to-arm-terrorists-now-hell-be-president-of-the-national-rifle-association-nra/5640431
Whatever the post WWII period there seems to be a airline moving illicit product(s) across borders and a rouge militia force hook up. While powder is not as convertable as say Bitcoin, it leaves no paper trail.

Good luck with the research - its a long dark deep rabbit hole, leading to many fingers in many pies.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/
https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2009/03/investigative-reporter-seymour-hersh-describes-executive-assassination-ring

Eugene , Jun 18, 2018 6:36:02 PM | 23
Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there.

Addicts were given small sums to deposit in the banks, by the thousands, which didn't draw attention. A lot of the money was sent to the U.S. to buy "American Muscle Cars", which were then shipped back to the E.U. and resold again.

Pakistan was also a transit country where the "Labs" were first set up to process the opium to heroin. How time fly's when having fun. Addiction to "drugs" isn't the only addiction nor the addicts involved either. Only one leaf in the book of the minds of those who believe they are doing the right thing.

Jen , Jun 18, 2018 6:54:58 PM | 26
I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014.

Also a big portion of the counternarcotics dosh must be going to teams of people digging up and burning opium and also to teams of people planting new opium seeds in the areas where the first lot of opium was eradicated later on. Similar to stories people used to hear about what supposedly happened during the 1930s Great Depression, when teams of people were employed to dig ditches and then other teams of people were employed to fill up the ditches which would be dug up again at a later time.

This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet.

frances , Jun 18, 2018 7:06:21 PM | 28
reply to:
".. and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West."
Posted by: ken | Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5

And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia.

oldenyoung , Jun 18, 2018 7:08:31 PM | 29
The level of US "counter-narcotic" investment seems to be about right to support the GROWTH of the narcotics industry...not the otherway around...its black and its dirty

regards

OY

Mark2 , Jun 18, 2018 7:14:33 PM | 30
Every comment on this post is like a fine champagne of reality. how do people get by with out wanting to know the truth. keep the comments coming I need more! Brilliant links. The doors of perception just opened for me. Who the hell runs our TVs stations that they can turn a blind I to this lot.
-------
I to find great strength in music, to find the truth. For me it is reggae any group in society that has sufferd what we discuss on this site for 300 years, but have survived got stronger and put it to music, I feel needs listening to!!!
Daniel Bruno , Jun 18, 2018 7:51:32 PM | 32
The "War on Drugs" was conceived to put black people in jail en masse as Jim Crow came to an end. Nixon's aides admitted this. Read "The New Jim Crow" for the full story. Marijuana laws were first introduced in the early 20th century as a tool to arrest and deport Mexicans from the American southwest. Google it.

The bullshit "War on Drugs" is as phony as the bullshit "War on Terror" in the wake of 3 skyscrapers that were demolished and collapsed at freefall speed.

The real money is to be made in the bullshit wars spawned by these 2 hoaxes that boggle the mind in their scope.

Basically, these two cornerstones of American domestic and foreign policy are frauds of biblical proportions.

An empire built on these foundations will come crashing down as fast as WTC 7 on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

0use4msm , Jun 18, 2018 8:35:04 PM | 33
"O my, cocaine" is an anagram of "CIA economy".

Various Contra-cocaine type operations of un/controlled shipments of drugs existed in the early 1990s, some of which existed in order to arm Bosnia (local fighters and foreign mujahideen), thereby undermining the UN's arms embargo of former Yugoslav states.

Between 1988 and 1992, 22 tons of cocaine was brought into the US via Venezuela by a team consisting of Mark McFarlin (head of the CIA's counter-narcotics center), Jim Campbell (the CIA's chief of station in Venezuela) and General Guillén (head of the Venezuelan National Guard in the pre-Chavez era).
Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990

At roughly the same time Albanian mobsters had built a heroin smuggling network for the purpose of illegally supplying arms to the Bosnian mujahideen.
Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe

In the summer of 1991, Dutch drug lord Klaas Bruinsma, who had connections with members of the Dutch elite (corporate and royal), the Colombian Cali cartel and the Yugoslav mafia, was assassinated by either former cop Martin Hoogland (possibly working for intelligence), or the Yugoslav mobster Branco Marianovic. In that same summer, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 713 (the Yugoslav arms embargo), and soon after elements within Dutch customs and police, in cooperation with Bruinsma's business heirs/infiltrators, started the controlled shipment of large amounts of cocaine (estimated 25,000 kilo) and hashish (estimated 500,000 kilo) under the name "Operation Delta". The customs officials involved in Operation Delta were most likely protected by their boss Fred Teeven, later rewarded by given the job of State Secretary for Security and Justice. Mabel Wisse-Smit, daughter of a top banker (possibly drug money launderer) and future sister-in-law of the current Dutch king, was first the lover of drug lord Bruinsma (until his assassination, possibly she was sent to spy on him) and then the lover of Wall St. banker Mohamed Sacirbey (Bosnia's ambassador to UN in 1992, Bosnia's foreign minister in 1995). Wisse-Smit (later a George Soros protégé) co-founded the Dutch charity foundation War Child, which was used as a cover for arms lobbying during the Bosnia war, and she is reported by Bosnian media to have been involved in a specific arms deal with Egypt.

Red Ryder , Jun 18, 2018 8:41:17 PM | 34
Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts.
Curtis , Jun 18, 2018 9:44:25 PM | 36
It's good to know so many are well informed on this. I've read Rupert/Webb's stuff and have Dark Alliance. There's a good movie/documentary out there about Webb but I can't recall the name right now. Levine wrote about his undercover work in South American being thwarted by the CIA. And Bo Gritz was trying to set up a deal where the US would buy up Khun Sa's opium before it could be distributed but the USG wasn't interested. The amazing thing about the Afghan ramp up in supply was seeing pictures of US soldiers patrolling in the middle of poppy fields. Meanwhile at home, congress takes bribes (lobbying efforts) to help protect the legal drug pushers from prosecution by the DEA shoving millions of pills across the country. A friend's term for this kind of thing is "racket science."
Lozion , Jun 18, 2018 9:56:06 PM | 37
@36 "Kill the messenger" with Jeremy Renner..
Pft , Jun 18, 2018 9:59:20 PM | 38
Red Ryder@34

Yeah, his updated edition is a must read. They do not handle the money directly, they let the guerillas/rebels/revolutionaries handle that as a reward and provide protection from legal authorities and access to markets using various agencies and mafia at both ends of the supply-distribution chain. The dollars from the drugs pay for the weapons and support. The profits go into nameless offshore Eurodollar accounts which then flow into London and Wall Street as eurodollar loans in many multiples of the deposits (not to be confused with the euro) to speculate in various markets and drive up asset prices. When the Taliban shut down opium production we had the Dot.com crash (coincidence?). 100 billion a year can generate 1 trillion in dollars for speculators, and that was sorely missed (along with Clinton running a surplus instead of a deficit)

There is so much evidence that in many places where they were or are engaged that drug flows in the region increased and production increased in those areas known for growing the stuff. Like any organization only those with a need to know have an idea and the majority are clean and without information

psychohistorian , Jun 18, 2018 10:11:18 PM | 39
While we are discussing history of the War on Drugs another example of a major consumer organization (at the time of print) being turned into a vacuous shell....

Licit and Illicit Drugs is a 1972 book on recreational drug use by medical writer Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports.

The WIkipedia summary
"
The book describes the effects and risks of psychoactive drugs which were common in contemporary use for recreational and nonmedical purposes.[2] The New York Times paraphrased some major arguments from the book, saying "'Drug-free' treatment of heroin addiction almost never works", "Nicotine can be as tough to beat as heroin", and "Good or bad, marijuana is here to stay. The billions spent to fight it are wasted dollars."[3] The book identifies marijuana as the most popular drug after tobacco, alcohol, and nicotine.[4] A reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association summarized it by saying that "Brecher holds that the division of drugs into licit and illicit categories is medically irrational and rooted mainly in historical and sociological factors."[5]
"

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 10:52:53 PM | 40
karlof1. Amazing that you knew Mike. And yes, the willful ignorance is horribly frustrating.

The way I see it, almost all "Westerners" are willfully ignorant. We all must know that the only way we live to the "standards" we do is because of the plunder of both our colonial past and neoliberal present. But most choose to look aside.

For those who haven't seen it, please spend 17 minutes to see Mallence Bart-Williams give an incredible talk.

Alogon , Jun 19, 2018 12:58:19 AM | 41
I have nothing to add to this except to say great article b and excellent comments from posters.

[Jun 19, 2018] U.S. Humiliates South Korea, Threatens North Korea, by David William Pear - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany? ..."
"... According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

David William Pear January 17, 2018 2,800 Words 115 Comments Reply

Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace . It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the North Koreans unless they have the "US behind them". Humiliating, that is like saying that Moon's "button" is not as big as Kim's. The metaphor is exactly how the Washington elite see South Korea: as Washington's obedient eunuch. The official went on to say, "If South Koreans are viewed as running off the leash, it will exacerbate tension within the alliance". Running off the leash! Now more humiliation, is South Korea a US poodle? Instead President Moon Jae-in is showing that he has teeth, and that South Koreans want their country back from US humiliating domination.

During the talks it was agreed for North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics in February. The two countries will even march together under a common flag, and future talks between the two are planned to reduce tension. Trump continues to bluster, while the two Koreas have " engaged in the most substantive direct talks in years". Neocons such as John Bolton are outraged that North Korea has proven once again that it is willing to come to the negotiation table. Bolton says it is a dirty trick and that North Korea is "taking advantage of a weak South Korean government", adding more insulting humiliation. To Washington, South Korea talking peace is weak, running off the leash and going it alone without its US master. The North using the peace option is seen as a provocation and propaganda that Washington will not tolerate. In retaliation the US sent more nukes to Guam, and put the state of Hawaii on a full alert that a " ballistic missile was inbound ". The nukes outbound to Guam are real; the ones inbound to Hawaii were fake, just like the ability of the billion dollar THAADS to shoot them down. Too conveniently the Hawaii false alarm comes just as the US and its vassals are readying for what the US plots to be a show of solidarity and unity on killer sanctions against North Korea. The US wants its chorus to perform the tragedy of telling North Korea to obey or watch 500,000 of their children die. As Madeleine Albright said about Iraq's 500,000 dead children from US sanctions, " the price is worth it ". The US does not think the price of diplomacy is worth it though.

The US continues to block efforts at diplomacy, and express its contempt for South Korea's elected President Moon Jae-in. He was elected on a peace platform by the South Korean people. Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison. Peace is not anything that Washington's plutocrats want to hear, although the South Korean people like the sound of it, and elected Moon their president by a wide margin. The self-interests in Washington preferred the corrupt warmonger Park. She carried the US's tune with perfect pitch, even ( allegedly ) conspired to assassinate the North's Kim Jong-Un. The message of the humiliation from US apparatchiks is that if Moon does not change his tune the US will try to undermine South Korea's democracy with a regime change project might be in his future. The US habitually meddles in other's elections, and wants to keep tensions high on the Korean peninsula, keep the South Koreans in line, make North Korea a boogeyman, frighten the American people, station 30,000 US troops in South Korea with wartime operational control, buy more multi-billion dollar THAADS from Lockheed Martin, and divide the Korean people. Even at the risks of a nuclear war, which the US proposes making easier .

The establishment nearly went to war with North Korea in 1994 until Bill Clinton negotiated peace. The neocons in Washington and the mainstream media keep saying that North Korea refused to come to the negotiating table. Clinton's decision to use diplomacy instead of threats proved the warmongers wrong again. It was the US all along that refused to talk, preferring belligerence and threats just as it does now. Once Clinton showed a willingness to bargain, then a nuclear deal was struck. The deal was called the Agreed Framework . What North Korea wanted then for it to suspend its nuclear program was for the US to halt the massive military exercises on North Korea's border, a non-aggression guarantee, compensation for abandoning its needed electric producing nuclear reactors, and relations with the US. Now the situation with North Korea is back to where it was in 1994. George W. Bush reversed the path of peace when he came into the White House. In 2001 he tore up the Agreed Framework, put North Korea on the Axis of Evil list in 2002, invaded Iraq in 2003, and hanged Saddam Hussein in 2006. Very predictably North Korea resumed its nuclear program for self-defense against a paranoid and unpredictable USA that sees enemies to attack under every bed.

Bush scrapped the Agreed Framework, and told then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung that future talks with North Korea were dead. Kim Dae-jung had come to visit Bush shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policies of peace with North Korea. Instead of welcoming President Kim and his peace efforts, Bush humiliated him by shockingly calling North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il a dwarf. North Korea predictably withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and resumed work on its nuclear program. A month later Bush called out North Korea to pay particular attention to Libya as an example of how a country is welcomed into the international community when it unilaterally gives up its nuclear defense program. North Korea paid attention and it was listening when Muammar Gaddafi said in a 2008 speech that " one of these days America may hang us like they did Saddam ". In 2011 Gaddafi met a brutal death at the hands of US proxies; he was anally raped with a bayonet and left to rot on public display in a meat locker. Before Gaddafi's corpse was even cold a hysterically glowing Hillary Clinton cackled " we came, we saw, he died", hahaha ". Now fast forward to 2018 and the US is threatening war against North Korea again.

The US has been abusing Korea since 1871 when it first invaded it with an expeditionary force of Marines to forcibly open trade. Korea just wanted to be left alone, but the US forced Korea to sign an exclusive trade treaty in 1882 at the point of a gun. In exchange for that unequal trade agreement the US promised Korea protection. In 1910 the US proved that its promise was worthless. Instead of protection, President Theodore Roosevelt stabbed Korea in the back by conspiring with Japan. Roosevelt had enthusiastically supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan pre-emptively attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in a sneak attack. Teddy congratulated Japan for their brilliance in 1941 his nephew Franklin would call a Japanese sneak attack "a day of infamy". After Japan and Russia ground down to a bloody stalemate, Japan secretly appealed to Teddy to open negotiations. Roosevelt acted as a (dis)honest broker in negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Japan won the spoils of the war. Roosevelt had a secret deal that Japan could have Korea and the US would take the Philippines. In 1945 the US deceived Korea again. Instead of liberating Korea from the Japanese occupation, the US occupied Korea for 3 more years until 1948 and then blocked its independence. The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

In order to understand North Korea, one must start with the "anticolonial and anti-imperial state growing out of a half-century of Japanese colonial rule and a half-century of continuous confrontation with a hegemonic United States", as Bruce Cumings writes in his book North Korea: Another Country . In order to understand South Korea one should take a similar approach. The Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910 was greeted with cheers from the USA. Teddy Roosevelt encouraged Japan to have its own Japanese Monroe Doctrine for Northeast Asia. The Japanese were harsh rulers, and Koreans remember colonial times as a national humiliation. Under the Japanese the Korean economy grew rapidly, but Koreans will rightly argue that little of it helped the average Korean. Like the Korean "comfort women" sex slaves during World War Two, Koreans were forced to obey their Japanese masters. Some Koreans complied reluctantly, some willingly and some enthusiastically. Many, but not all of the enthusiastic collaborators came from the landed aristocratic class of Koreans known as the yangban . Other collaborators were traitors that saw advancing their economic and social status by collaborating. After the division of Korea in 1945 many of the yangban class and collaborators fled to the South where they felt safe with the US occupation army, and for good reasons. The North was redistributing the yangban's vast landholdings. Many of the yangban and collaborators were safer in the US occupied south. Some went on to achieve leadership in business and government in South Korea. For instance, the future South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee (from 1963 until his assassination in 1979) had collaborated with the Japanese as a lieutenant in the Japanese army in Manchuria fighting against the Korean resistance fighters.

Korea has a long history of thousands of years. It united as one people in the 7 th century and remained so until after World War Two. The US had started planning for the occupation of Korea six months after Pearl Harbor, according to Bruce Cumings. The day after Japan surrendered a future Secretary of State Dean Rusk drew a line at the 38 th Parallel where the US proposed that Korea be divided, and the Russian allies agreed. Thousands of Koreans protested in the streets. They were told that a trusteeship was temporary until elections. Instead the US feared that the people would elect a communist government, and so they rigged a fraudulent election for a separate government in the South. The United Nations rubber stamped it. As in the South, the North then held separate elections for the Supreme People's Assembly which then elected Kim Il Sung, a famous anti-Japanese guerilla resistance leader since 1932. The US and South Korean propaganda portray that North Korea was a puppet and satellite project of the Soviet Union. This is probably the US projecting its own imperial intentions. Cummings says that no evidence exists that the Soviets had any long-term designs on Korea. They withdrew all of their military from North Korea in 1948.

North Korea has experience with US brutality. During the Korean War the US bombed Korea for 3 years, wiped out 20% of its population and destroyed every city, village and vital structure. President Truman threatened to bomb them with the atomic bomb, and General Douglas MacArthur planned to use 30 nuclear bombs which were shipped to a US base in Okinawa. Truman fired MacArthur not because MacArthur wanted to use nukes, but because Truman wanted someone more loyal he could trust with them. Truman preauthorized MacArthur's replacement General Matthew Ridgeway to use the nuclear bombs at his discretion. The US public is oblivious to US recklessness with nuclear bombs and is passive about what is done in their name. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) is called the Forgotten War because the US public has amnesia. Whatever propaganda they do remember is a flawed version of history put out by the US government. Oblivious, passive and amnesia are why all US wars of aggression are quickly forgotten as the US moves on to the next one.

After the US military occupation of South Korea from 1945 to 1948, South Korea was ruled by US backed repressive dictators until the first democratic election in 1993. The first despot that the US installed was Syngman Rhee in 1948. Rhee was a practically unknown in Korea because he had lived in the USA from 1912 until 1945, when he was flown back to Korea by the US military. The US pumped billions of dollars into South Korea to make it a showplace of US-style capitalism during the Cold War, but South Korea did not develop under either democracy or a free market, according to Ha-Joon Chang, the author of Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism .

For many decades North Korea outpaced South Korea in economic development and in their standard of living until the 1970's. With the 1991 demise of its most important trading partner the Soviet Union, North Korea fell on very hard economic times. Then it suffered two floods and a drought in the 1990′s that resulted in famines. On top of that the US has imposed killer economic sanctions. So now US propaganda constantly reinforces the belief that North Korea is an economic failure that cannot even feed its own people. While the US touts that South Korea is an economic miracle of democracy, capitalism and free markets. Little is ever mentioned about the economic collapse of South Korea in 1997, which the US had to rescue with a financial bailout package that reached $90 Billion. The package included IMF loans that came with humiliating conditionalities of austerity. The minister of finance Lim Chang Yuel went on TV, humiliated and begging for the South Korean people's forgiveness.

Despite all the propaganda otherwise, North Korea is not only willing to sit down at the table with the US, but it has long been proposing negotiations to a deaf USA ear. What North Korea says it wants today are the same things that were negotiated with Clinton in the Agreed Framework: security, compensation, and economic relations with the US. There is nothing unreasonable that North Korea is asking for, and that is probably why the US refuses to negotiate. It does not want peace for its own insane naked imperialism reasons. Instead the US wants continued hostilities; otherwise if it wanted peace it would welcome diplomacy.

It is the US that is unpredictable. One day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the US is willing to hold unconditional talks with North Korea. Then he says the US won't . Trump says that he will destroy North Korea with fire and fury, and then he says he would " absolutely talk to North Korea's Kim on the phone". It is the US that is paranoid and finding enemies everywhere: Cuba, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and Russia to name just a few. The US enemies list has nothing to do with democracy, freedom and human rights. If it did the US would not be friends, allies, and benefactors to brutal kingdoms, monarchies, dictators, fascists and human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Haiti, and Ukraine, for example. US foreign policy is based on hegemony, empire, power, corporate interests, corruption and self-interests of the high and mighty, not democracy and human rights.

Who is paranoid? Compare how much of a threat the US is compared to North Korea. Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) was a civil war and authoritative historians such as I. F. Stone, Bruce Cumings, and David Halberstam agree that the South was responsible for instigating it too. Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16 th century. The US has attacked at least 32 countries just since WW2. North Korea has a defense budget of only $7.5 billion , compared to the US $1 Trillion. North Korea has developed nuclear weapons because the US has been threatening it with nuclear destruction since 1950, introduced nuclear weapons into South Korea in 1957 in violation of the armistice agreement and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US keeps practicing regime change decapitation invasions and nuclear attacks against North Korea. North Korea has an estimated arsenal of 20 nuke bombs that are not a threat to the US's 15,000 nuclear arsenal. Instead the US is an asymmetrical and existential threat to North Korea and every other non-compliant small country. North Korea has nuclear weapons because it does not want to humiliate itself by being a US poodle. When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?

References:

"North Korea: Another Country", by Bruce Cumings.

"The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia," by James Bradley.

"Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture", by Boye Lafayette De Mente

(Republished from The Greanville Post by permission of author or representative)


Singh , January 19, 2018 at 12:33 am GMT

USA also culturally & spiritually enslaved many South Koreans।।
KA , January 19, 2018 at 3:49 am GMT
and the war that America forgot come back as peace and American can't handle it . Do they still ask themselves that question "Why do they hate us" ?
Nexus321 , January 19, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT
@KA

United Sh-thole of America. The people in Washington are degenerates. They want to murder millions of Koreans and tens of thousands of their own people.

Renoman , January 19, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. Not much more needs to be said.
sid18 , January 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm GMT
South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore always have been usa poodles
reiner Tor , January 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
This article is too easy on the Norks, who are no angels themselves. It's quite unlikely that the South started the war, when the South didn't have adequate weaponry or effective armed forces, unlike the North. North Korea has done some horrible things in the past, most recently the (likely) sinking of a South Korean vessel.

But overall, yes, in the current situation the US could easily avoid war, but doesn't want to.

nsa , January 20, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
Absolutely zero chance of JUSA attacking Korea for the obvious reason that there is nothing in it for the jooies. Why would the clever conniving jooies waste their satrap's military assets on Korea when they could be used to further the main jooie goal of destroying the ME and Iran? Think about it ..
sarz , January 20, 2018 at 6:30 am GMT
Could be that the Trump administration is playing a game of hyper-aggression that always goes 'wrong', uniting everyone against the empire and bringing America down in the least bad of hard landings from its imperial role. Trump's kind words vis-a-vis Kim might have served as an assurance that Kim could trust his channel. That purpose having been served, Trump was back in hyper-aggressive mode with his "I'd" versus "I" explanation.

Trump's statements regarding Jerusalem, Iran and Pakistan/Afghanistan all follow the same pattern.

We do have President Moon's statement, cited by a seemingly clueless Patrick Buchanan, that he is nonetheless grateful to Trump for bringing the North Koreans to the table. Trump's overtly bad behavior makes it easier for Kim to move against the entrenched forces on his own side.

Just a possibility. But it fits Trump's personality, if you go by indications over the decades rather than the last two years.

Biff , January 20, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT
The sex slave trade out of South Korea to America is massive, and forgotten too.
Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:43 am GMT
@reiner Tor

So what? America is not an angel either. Doesn't give America the right to interfere. I'm glad other countries have the balls to give America a bloody nose. Never has there been such a dishonest and immoral country.

Where are you from Europe lol?

Hope your not expecting your obedience to pay off someday.

ThatDamnGood , January 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
"When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?"

The hippie paradigm, if the people have awareness, they will care and change things

I think you underestimate the % of people who don't care and those understand, better them than me. Trump was quoted as saying about the next Korean war, better Seoul nuked than us or something to that effect. Do Trump supporters mind what he said that the USA should take the oil at the very least with regards to Iraq?

Da Wei , January 20, 2018 at 9:56 am GMT
@Nexus321

Nexus321, please, a little respect for our own country. We are the United States of America. Do not curse the family. Now, we are, all of us, disappointed with misdeeds done in our name. But, we are Americans and we can fix this.

We should not judge the essence of ourselves as a nation by what some wayward politician whores do. Check their motives and see on whose behalf they are working. It ain't ours. If what they do keeps the war game alive, ask who benefits. Where does the buck lead? There lies the snake. Curse that. Bad deeds done in our government's name shame us all, but that shame should make us citizens mature and determined, not adolescent and whiny. I repeat, do not curse the family.

We are a good country founded on solid, moral principles. Act like a white man, Nexus321. Let's take this country back and delouse it.

padre , January 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I don't know, what were you trying to say? That North Korea should be nuked, since they are "no angels"? no matter what your personal opinion of them is, the fact, that they didn't attack anybody is still true!

The Alarmist , January 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
@Renoman

"Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody."

North Korea inarguably invaded the South. The arguable point might be whether or not it was provoked and therefore a response.

I haven't read the histories the author cites, but I am aware of the history and the case that can be made, and it is generally consonant with the gist of this article. The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany?

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
@ThatDamnGood

Absolutely. There are suburbs coast to coast that depend on weapons manufacturing and all things defense. They'll stick to the script. I'm disappointed the author didn't embellish the truth of the Korean war – the way the US went after civilians like the Nazis and used biological agents. Empire has a lot of secrets about fightin' communism they still hide.

bluedog , January 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT
@Da Wei

Screw the "family" mafia for the family is just as corrupt as the leaders you curse, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we killed in Asia, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we kill in the Mid-East or anywhere else for that matter,and what the country was founded on has no bearing to what it is today, corrupt to the core, immoral degenerate with a fascist type government which the "family" is just as guilty of as its leaders .

TonyVodvarka , January 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. As Iraq was told that it was acceptable to the USA if it reunified with Kuwait in 1993, so North Korea was suckered into attempting to reunify their country. Those thirty atomic bombs were not intended for Korea which had already been utterly destroyed by conventional weapons, they were meant for China. McArthur sacrificed a Marine division by sending it without support to the border of China and predictably brought that country into the war; he then demanded the nuclear bombing of China. Truman didn't go along and MacArthur was soon replaced. A fine article from Mr. Pear.
Anon Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
Lots of good stuff but too sympathetic to North Korea which is ruled by a truly vile regime. North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism. Also, 'Kim Il Sung' was not the real Kim Il Sung. His real name was Kim Sung Ju and he appropriated the name of a guerrilla fighter. And his cult of personality was obnoxious.

Bak Jung-Hi worked for the Japanese, but collaboration is par for the course when resistance is futile. Resistance became futile under Japanese who were only defeated by great powers. Sukarno collaborated with Japanese too. And Kim collaborated with the Soviets. North Korea redistributed land to the peasants but then state collectivized the land, and the peasants became slaves of the state. The fact that Red China and communist Vietnam turned to market economics is proof that capitalism works better than communism. Communism is like City Hall running all the economy of a big city. Who wants that?

anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
The US has been threatening to use nukes against the DPRK during and since the war. Is it any wonder that they decided to nuke up themselves as a deterrent? They're not going to give up their nuclear deterrent under the bombast of threats of annihilation but are more likely to dig in and expand it. This doesn't seem to be particularly complex or difficult to understand. Where does the US think it can go from here, what does it think it could realistically do to them? It might be a good first step to stop the bluffing. Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation?
Avery , January 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT
@anonymous

{ Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation}

The confrontation is not 'inflicted ' as such: it was and is carefully planned. This is not the first time South Korea has tried to approach North Korea: US previously also threatened SK leaders, and forced them to back off. US needs maximum tension on the Korean peninsula to have an excuse to keepa large contingent of armed forces in the region. If South and North Korean make peace, US will be asked to leave SK. Next might be Japan. Then US is completely cut out of the region.

So in desperation, US will do anything, possibly even instigating a military clash, to stay in SK and Japan. Last thing US MIC wants anywhere in the world is peace: it's bad for business.

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
What we need are more psyops like the recent drill in Hawaii. More fear and loathing so empire can create a virtual camp x-ray with live updates from Facebook and twitter to coddle the sheep. It's a shame North Korea can't buy Democracy to keep it from Dying in Darkness. But how dare Russia try to use our twitter weapon that we use on Americans that the Russians want to use on Americans too.

Pussy hat controlled resistance, doom porn and fake antiwar will continue to play an important part of the lives of the American porn consumer. In the name of security the CIA may give us the race war, or hatred of the wealthy or the ol' immigrant rat trap. The possibilities are endless but the dictatorship is making itself clear with endless promotion of scarcity through their scribes in social media.

Post on social media everyday – what you think matters!

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm GMT
To make matters much more confusing, we have hypocritical stealth DOD contractors like Code Pink play up fake resistance to the threat of war. Barging into meetings as if the whores on Capitol Hill are calling the shots is an uniquely insidious form of stunt based propaganda. The motive for groups like Code Pink is to have a group that part of the press can immediately call "far left, unpatrioric" endearing them to at least half the sheep who are convinced they are the real McCoy of antiwar dynamite.

Code Pink first crushes any questions about whether Democracy even exists in the USA. "Look at us, we are right here where it matters isn't the country wonderful"

Then the absolute suffocation of anyone who dares question empires' gun running operations outside of state approved stunt idiocy and clown show electoral politics.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 7:13 pm GMT
Dying North Koreans Prove US Sanctions are Working. https://www.rt.com/usa/416354-tillerson-un-sanctions-north-korea/
Hapalong Cassidy , January 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm GMT
It must be especially galling and humiliating to be dominated by a country that on average is 10 points lower in IQ (per the Lynn study).
reiner Tor , January 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

He managed to achieve Madeleine Albright level depravity after less than a year in office. Sad!

Alden , January 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Biff

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans? I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

EliteCommInc. , January 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

The US has had sanctions on N. Korea for more than forty years. During that period, more than one S, Korean government has entertained re-unification. The reason we might challenge that reunion if because should we actually have to go to war at some point with China, a friendly Korea with China would be a problem.

But what is driving unification at least when I visited was the population.

But the choice by Pres Trump to entertain conversation -- is a wise choice.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
@Alden

So? Most of the propaganda put out during the Cold War by the Soviet Union turned out to be more accurate and closer to the truth than propaganda put out by the United States government though the US State Department. For instance, Russia's version (at the time) as of what transpired immediately prior to and after Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in 1959 (?) turned out to be much more accurate than the US's version which was essentially a pack of lies.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

Brief history of the Francis Gary Powers fiasco. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/u2-incident

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Joe Hide

No idea what you're talking about with 'the Truth'. This article is highly accurate, it seems to me: it's description of endless and ongoing US atrocities is absolutely true, as is the author's statement that never has such a rotten, lying government existed, a government that perpetually provokes any and all countries on earth, that hates peace, that destroys any attempts at decency. I have only read IF Stone, cited here, 'The Hidden History of the Korean War' or something similar. It is a staggering book. Essentially the war was a military exercise, a chance for troops to see action, test out new machines and weaponry. Most importantly, my interpretation here, it presented a vast theater for psy ops and 'country building' ie utter destruction. These kinds of great experiments are a Brit and by extension US govt specialty. This is really thinking big, thinking long term. Cut countries in two after first murdering millions and utterly destroying literally everything–in this case, for example, Seoul was literally first evacuated then set on fire by US troops, just kinda for fun. It's the kind of really big thinking going on now too (and in all the intervening years), eg with the utter destruction of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Britain (a misnomer–it is really England but wants others to share the burden. I mean, the Welsh??) did this to Ireland four centuries ago, to India more recently, to mention nothing of Africa and others.

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Then there's a whole range of wild attacks and accusations going all the way back to 1871(!).' It's called history, not an American specialty. But rather important to understanding the present and future. Your whole post is very ignorant.

Seraphim , January 20, 2018 at 11:36 pm GMT
@sid18

You forgot Australia. The poodle who wants to play the pit bull.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:35 am GMT
@The Alarmist

It was the same in VietNam–we installed a dictator (Diem) who had lived mostly in the US, and reneged on the national elections that had been agreed on as a part of the peace agreement after the French defeat.

After JFK tried and lost, nothing has been able to stop the Military bla bla bla complex that actually rules this country.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:41 am GMT
@Vinteuil

If South Korea officially requested this, would the US refuse?

Of course the USG would refuse such a request -- it thinks it is master of the world. The greatest hindrance to world peace since WWII is the monster on the Potomac.

Erebus , January 21, 2018 at 1:07 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I do have to side with you this time.

Michael Kenny's comment ignores the fact that the rocket motors could have been airshipped from the Dnipro factory directly to DPRK, or even shipped by sea.
Maybe they came via China. The bottom line is we don't know when or how they got there.

What we do know is that Rocket Man's displays of prowess have brought things to a head in one of the Empire's critical nodes. The background for this crisis is ROK's desire to participate in China's BRI. The chaebols are drooling over the opportunities, but DPRK isolates them in the southern end of the Korean peninsula. Hence, Putin & Moon's joint announcement in Vladivostok of the "9 Bridges" initiative bringing DPRK into the Eurasian fold.

It would appear DPRK likes the idea, and the suddenness of the thaw in North – South relations is an indication that big wheels are turning behind the scenes. The US' recent statements indicate it finally dawned on them as well, and that they are, in their typically knee-jerk fashion, actively trying to torpedo further peaceful developments.

If ROK loosens its tethers to the US sufficiently to gain direct land access to the rest of Eurasia, Japan's Keiretsu will not allow themselves to be sidelined. Abe & Putin have met 17 times, perhaps as a result of the pressures Abe is already feeling from them.

The US' absurd statements, the patently silly "Vancouver Summit", the flip-flopping, all indicate that the US and its Imperial satraps have no idea what to do in the face of Rocket Man's exposure of their irrelevance in the N.W. Pacific.

Vinteuil , January 21, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT
@JVC

So let them, officially, invite us to leave. My bet – and certainly my hope – is that we'd bow out, more or less gracefully. And if we refused – well, that would certainly clarify things.

NJ Transit Commuter , January 21, 2018 at 1:20 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

1. A Korean Peninsula allied with the US. This would put US troops on the Chinese border. No one should want this. Too easy for a border incident to escalate into a war between the two most powerful countries and economies on the planet.

2. A non-aligned Korean Peninsula. No way this would happen. Without US support the entire peninsula would become a Chinese satellite. Japan fought two wars because it saw Chinese / Russian control of Korea as an existential threat. Japan would get nukes if this happened and the entire NW Pacific would be greatly destabilized.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US. What everyone needs to figure out is how to make N. Korea more like East Germany, and less like Stalinist Russia at its worse.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 1:27 am GMT
@Anon

"North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism." -- Anon

Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China.

China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically.

I'm sure this will please the anti-USA crowd gathering here around this article by Pear -- as they always do to show support for any Leftist revisionist supporter of the "USA==Evil" dogma.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 2:48 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China."

No, Little Rocket Man is a self-centered spoiled brat who puts himself above all else. He was raised as a spoiled princeling and acts like it.

"China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically."

No, China always regarded Korea as a separate kingdom and left it alone as long as Korea paid tribute. It was Japan that tried to swallow Korea twice, not China.
The only time Korea became part of Han Empire was when China itself was conquered by foreigners. Mongols conquered China and Korea. Later, Manchus, using Mongol archers, also conquered China and Korea. It was not China conquering Korea but non-Chinese conquering both.
Even so, the Manchus regarded Korea as a separate kingdom in the end.

Tibet is a different because of its small population. It's a huge area and had less than a million people when it came under Han hegemony. Same with the Turkic Northwest. It's like US could easily swallow Alaska and sparsely populated SW territories but didn't try to take Mexico proper.

In a way, Mongols really changed China and Russia. If not for Mongols, Russia might be much smaller and China too. Both Russia and China were conservative powers. Russian expansion was paradoxically defensive as, lacking sufficient natural barriers, Russia could only survive as an empire. Even so, Russians might not have been interested in East Siberia and North Asia if not for concerns of invasions from the East. Pacifying Siberia and North Asia became a priority because of the memory of threat from the East. Also, the Mongols proved that the vast area could be traversed if the people had the will to do so.

And if not for Mongols, Current China might be much smaller. Han China used to be much smaller and was restricted to the East Coast. Chinese were very conservative and not very adventurous, exploratory, and/or invasive. Instead of trying to conquer northern territories, China just built walls to keep the barbarians out. And Chinese had little interest in areas outside Han areas.

So, for most of Chinese history, their civilization was mostly along the east coast.

The massive expansion of Chinese borders happened under Mongols who were adventurous and expansive. Mongols not only invaded China but went far beyond.
Later, the Manchus, using Mongol archers and warriors, expanded much further into the West, regions that the Han Chinese mostly neglected. These semi-barbarian warlords had the aggressive zeal that the conservative Han Chinese lacked.

Thus, it was Manchu-Mongol ambitions that expanded the size of China, and when the Manchus and Mongols were either expelled from or dissolved into Han China, their conquests became absorbed into China. Mongolia would be part of China too if not for Soviets. Like Tibet, Mongolia is huge and sparsely populated. Easier for Chinese to control. Also, both Mongols and Tibetans are less developed than Koreans who are more adept at imitation.

Likewise, Byzantine Greeks had an empire they inherited from the Romans.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 3:03 am GMT
@reiner Tor

"Highly unlikely. He called himself Kim Il Sung already when people who have met the original Kim Il Sung were still around. Such change of identity is not impossible, but not too easy either."

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

Kim was so unknown in Korea that Soviets initially had trouble installing him as leader. Most people saw him as Soviet stooge, which was what he was.
So, as in the South, the domestic patriots had to be repressed or executed, and a cult of personality had to be built up around Kim that became more and more ridiculous.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

That said, I don't see how his 'invasion' of South was a bad thing. How can a Korean invade Korea? The north/south divide was artificially imposed by great powers on a nation. As idiotic as both Kim and Rhee were, there was nothing wrong in their dream of reuniting the nation. The great wrong was in the (1) division of Korea itself (2) installing puppet rulers in both artificially created entities.

Suppose China and Russia divided Israel into north and south. Would it be wrong if either Israel, north or south, tried to reunify the nation? If north Israel entered south Israel to unify the nation once again, would that be 'invasion'?

Kim's Stalinism and personality cult would have been bad for Korea, but I don't see anything wrong with his desire to unify his nation. And in that, Rhee had every right to want to unify the nation.

Where Rhee and Kim were idiotic was in blaming one another instead of blaming the great powers that divided their nation. But how could either blame his sponsor? If not for USSR, Kim would not have been installed as leader of north. If not for US, Rhee would not have been shoehorned in as leader of south. They gained power as dogs to foreign masters.

If they really had sense, both would have stepped down as leader(as both were installed by empires) and graciously allowed for unification and new leadership chosen by the people than by foreign powers. But both had petty egos, and Kim wanted to be ruler of all Korea, and Rhee wanted to be ruler of all Korea. Neither blamed the great powers but just one another.

If Israel were divided by great powers, I think Jews would have enough sense to come together and act in unison. After all, Israel itself was created by the coming together of all kinds of Jews: capitalist, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, secular, religious. Jews may be neurotic and crazy, but they have enough sense of world affairs and the nature of power.

But Koreans are a stupid people. Divide them and set them against each other like dogs, and they are like two pitbulls. A culture of slavish servitude and emotions-over-reason made them act like dogs than sensible humans.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:47 am GMT
@daniel le mouche

When the british empire ended, I think a lot of borders were drawn to create ever lasting problems/conflicts. Israel was also it's creation with american backing of course.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:56 am GMT

When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door

I doubt the masses will ever awake from the constant propaganda. I mean, all major information outlet is controlled. and besides, the smart ones also believe it is necessary to keep their way of life.

ask any american if their way of life will end, everything will become 100% more expensive, they can no longer take vacations, work twice as hard for the same pay or less, they will instantly think nothing of the current wars

very, very very few people are selfless humanists.

I am just scare of the fact if usa attacks NK unilaterally in the near future, china will get involved = WW3 + maybe nuclear war.

Carroll Price , January 21, 2018 at 3:59 am GMT
@JVC

The United States uses the economic sanctions as a substitute for diplomacy.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 4:40 am GMT
@Anonymous

I read similar drooling nonsense to what you just wrote all over the internet: "Look, first off, I don't support the guy but this is obvious lefty slander".

Ok. You don't support the guy but you need to qualify that non-support by saying he's being impuded. In other words you support the guy, warning of the coming leftists

– Anonymous

What am I supposed to asy? "I feel your pain" or what? I mean you have to read "similar drooling nonsense all over the internet" so what?

First off, it's not that I don't support Pear, but I actually condemn him as a Leftist revisionist. And then there's no' but', there's an 'and' it's obvious lefty drool. BTW, my "non-support" for Pear is unqualified, as is my disrespect for you,, Anonymous. Are yoo actually Pear writing under that pseudonym?

reiner Tor , January 21, 2018 at 11:15 am GMT
@Anon

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

He was made into such a legend by North Korean propaganda after Kim became the leader. He was the most daring Korean guerrilla commander, but that's not saying very much, because he couldn't do much against the Japanese.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was. He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills. Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

"Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was."

He was shrewd, not original. But then, he was surrounded by second-raters and hacks, not men of talent.

"He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills."

No, purges were quite common in Stalinist systems. Stalin, Mao, Tito, and the rest all purged 'bad elements'. Nothing original about that.
And it's not so much that he got rid of pro-China-elements and pro-Soviet-elements as he balanced them out. If not for the Korean War, he would have leaned to the USSR. But China played such a huge role in the war that it gave him an opportunity to lean to China as well. so, he played on both USSR and China for aid. Now, where he was skillful was maintaining this balance even after the Sino-Soviet rift.

"Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader."

It turned out to be pretty easy because he did it and then his son did it too. It was easy because North Korea under Kim was more about the dynasty than ideology. People were raised to worship Kim, not to think ideologically. And Kim surrounded himself with yes-men and hacks. If there was overt opposition, it was easily dealt with. The gulag.

Kim was a stupid bumpkin who got to leader because Stalin saw him as pliable and obedient.

anon Disclaimer , January 22, 2018 at 5:01 am GMT
@AndrewR

Excellent point. Their only other neighbors are China and Russia.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:05 am GMT
@David William Pear

Just a few corrections:

The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

Most SKoreans do not know, either. And those who do and talk about it probably risk imprisonment for treason.

Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison.

She is the daughter.

Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16th century.

Korea was invaded by Japan in the 16th century. It's difficult to pinpoint when Korea invaded anyone. We'd have to go back to a time prior to their nominal unification at least in the 7th century.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

It's the 21st century. There's no curse of geography. It's a global village. Trade is global. Communication is global. Cultural exchange is global. It has a combined population of 70M. SKorea is technologically/economically advanced. Its biggest threat is its own lethargy/apathy.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US.

No, that's only in the best interest of the US and Japan.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:27 am GMT
@Alden

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans?

Sounds familiar. That's what Japan says about WWII sex slaves.

I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

The subtext being that SKorea turned itself into a brothel? US forces, war and starvation had nothing to do with women selling their bodies to survive?

hopsing , February 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
I agree. As much as I hate to admit as much, and also being a veteran, the USA government is rotten to the core. Manipulation and coercion all across the board. Hard to escape the feeling we will pay for these misdeeds somewhere along the way. Cosmic Justice demands as much. Neither nation nor person can continue on in such manner indefinitely. USA is the agitator. If the Koreans could just tell Uncle Sam (er . Sap) to pack his bags and get out of Dodge, they would be on their way to a much better future. nx
Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:29 am GMT
@Singh

You're just going along with this article and making up shit. That's not something Americans did. Your people are the ones who are mentally and spiritually enslaved by the British till this day. Your people are so engrained with wanting to be White, even after your motherland was invaded, occupied, murdered by the British, that your people bleach their skin and praise, put a whites on a pedestal, and strive to be like their oppressors.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:50 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The reason why the United States doesn't want the two Koreas to reunify, is because if they reunite, the United States loses its revenue. South Korea pays to have American soldiers stationed in their country. The U.S. sells it's weapons to South Korea, out of fear mongering. The longer the U.S. can keep the two Koreas separated, the more they can make money off of the fear of war. War creates revenue for the United States. That's why we keep going at it with the Middle East. It's always the U.S. going to war with others, usually, over false pretenses. Let's not forget, how we lied about weapons of mass destruction to go to war with Iraq. Fear mongering, allows the U.S. government to sell weapons to not only South Korea, but to other countries in Asia. That's why.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:09 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

Korea, is actually blessed by geography. They're not in Europe & part of the E.U. So they're not forced to have migrants by the millions in their country against their will, with open borders. They're not located where the U.S. is, where Latinos invade their country by the thousands. They're not where Japan is, to get butt raped by mother nature and thank goodness, they're not located where china is. I visited china. It was horrid. Korea's ecosystem is rich, diverse & unique because it's a peninsula. China, never controlled Korea. If anything, Korea fought against china, defeating them many times throughout history. They did this before America existed. Koreans are clever people who have a strong military and several decades of stockpiled weapons on hand, along with new ones. They don't need American soldiers in Korea after reunification, to protect them. Japan, is afraid Korea will reunify, because that means Korea will be even stronger. The same goes for china. A stronger one unified Korea, is a threat to other Asian countries.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

You've worked for "Samsung." Lol. and I'm the King of England. China, has the highest suicide rate per capita. 22.24 for every 100,000. That makes them the country with the highest suicide rate in the world. Japan is close behind.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Anon

By the way, japan, has the lowest birth rate in Asia. They're not reproducing enough male japanese babies to replace the old, sickly, & dying in the work place. Japan, is screwed. Again, deflecting other's short comings on to Korea.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:44 pm GMT
@Anon

It's actually the Middle East, Dubai, that is the plastic surgery capital of the world. They get the most rhinoplasties. Plastic surgeons go there months out of the year, to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. Then it's the United States & the UK close behind. Plastic surgery is on the rise in ethnic chinese countries, like taiwan, hong kong, & singapore, china, japan, & in southeast asian countries, like philippines, thailand, veitnam, and indonesia, more than ever. As of 2017, these asian countries get the most procedures done & they compete with each other in who does it the most percentage wise. No one wants to admit their race of people get plastic surgeries, so they deflect, finger point to others, especially to better looking people as an excuse as to why others are far more attractive than their ugly selves. (I'm pointing at you.) Asians do it out of jealousy. They can't stand seeing a Korean get compliments. Whites get the most plastic surgeries in the West, but asians don't finger point at them, unless they're discriminated by Whites, because asians think Koreans are far better looking than Whites. I'll have to remind you that if Korea, in which this is all true, have a technologically advanced country, are an advanced people, who excel in intelligence, inventions, sports, have a booming economy, are talented, have the most popular genres of music in the world and one of the most addictive forms of entertainment, (K pop) and Korean dramas, movies, have the most amazing style unlike other races & nationalities, both men and women have the best complexions, their skincare products are the most popular in the world, that do what they say, have two electrictronic companies in which one has completely dominated the globe, a successful car manufacturing industry, Korean foods & alcohol, that all races love, an amazing rich history unlike any other, which draws people in to want to learn more about Koreans, the first in asia to always break records and make history, before any other asian country, the most popular race in asia, and the best looking in asia and in my opinion, better looking than any other race of people other than some Whites. So with all these great attributes Korea has, there's no reason to think and hate on them or to think they're less in any way, unless one is a jealous person or a whole jealous race of people who only hate online, because they themselves, don't have any of these attributes the Koreans have, hence, making them haters like you, whether you're asian or not.

[Jun 18, 2018] The next year the strategic position of Ukraine might get worse

Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Beckow , June 16, 2018 at 12:24 am GMT

If Kiev wants to attack Donbas they better hurry. After World Cup, and definitely next year when the pipelines bypassing Ukraine will be ready, Ukraine's strategic situation will get worse. We are in a transition phase: sh..t happened in 2013-15 that is impossible to undo, but there were fortunately constraints on all sides that prevented a meltdown. In a year or two most of those constraints will be gone.

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid – there are forces in Europe, in all countries, who want a confrontation with Russia. Any event, real or fake, will be used to escalate. West cannot lose this one without another fight. And if they sit on their hands, they will eventually lose with a disillusioned Ukraine and slowly disintegrating EU. Populist energy needs to be re-directed eastward, and for that a more aggressive policy is required. This is not pessimism, there simply is no way for EU elite to climb down. How could UK make up with Russia without looking like complete idiots? Or Macron and Merkel? The hostility is at this point inherent in the situation – what started out as a badly thought-out attempt to get some quick goodies (bases in Crimea, Nato expansion, sell weapons) has evolved into a real death spiral.

We are one Franz Ferdinand moment away from a catastrophe. Let's enjoy the games while we still can. Trump knows this, so he is trying desperately to organize a summit or send some messages of conciliation. But he is powerless and it might be too late for that. Hubris never dissipates, it requires a disaster and an elite turnover to cure hubris.

Mattheus , June 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
Saker is once again completely wrong. His theories fall short to explain lots of real events. He got hooked on his "Anglo-Zionist" theory and "one Hegemon", which is far from explaining the reality on the ground. There is no one single hegemon, but two powerful interest groups in the west. One of the power centers is dominated by the Rothschilds from the City of London and the other ruled by the Rockerfellers which is based in the US.
The powers described above are sometimes working in collusion but sometimes work against each other (They were in collusion during the Soviet Afghan war for instance). Currently, we don't see a collusion but a war being waged in between these two groups. I think it is highly self evident, so much so that it is happening almost all in the open. In the modern history we haven't witnessed such a openly fought war ever before (between these two powers). All is at stake and the war in between these two is vicious. Thus you can explain Trump's attitude towards EU, everlasting character assasination of Trump by certain opposing circles in the US, high level resignations, the state of confusion of Nato and much more. If this theory is right (and I think it is much more viable than any other theory that I came across in the Alt-Med), this makes Russia firmly embedded into one of the camps. Unfortunately, the position that Russia took makes him not a sovereign power but on contrary puts him into a subservient role. The late actions of Russia, especially in Syria, is quite telling. I know people who admire Russia get quite frustrated when they hear such a scenario and outcome, but this is possibly the only way Putin believes that Russia can survive. Thus it explains his latest house clean-up of Euroasian integrists. Even worse, if you believe in this scenario, it brings Russia and China against each other especially in the long run. This scenario also put a full stop to the idealist Euroasian multi-polar world order.
Here is the link to an older video in Russian with English subtitles. The guy's name is Andrei Fursov and he has some interesting things to say regarding this subject. This interview was just before Obama was elected but is still quite relevent. His newer videos seems to have lost steam, possibly because he is working for some state connected Russian institutions and think-thanks and thus I think he is somewhat restricted. After all it is again the famous "Game Theory", isn't it?
byrresheim , June 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
As long as the Author keeps talking about Ukronazis, we know that he is not at all prepared to see any problems on the Russian side at all.

Which serves devalue his argument, even if there are a lot of valid points otherwise.

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@Philip Owen

I don't think you realize that armies need supplies. To break into Donbas cities would be hard enough, but to re-supply them would be impossible. Civilians would mostly evacuate, so there would be little to 'hide in'. Kiev cannot win militarily as long as Russia opposes it. Russia can always blast their bases from air, or with missiles. Don't kid yourself, if Russia has the will, they will prevail.

Since you mentioned 2014, there was a perfect opportunity for Maidanistas to avoid this. All they had to do was to be friendly and accommodating to its Russian minority. Offer them autonomy, re-assure them, promise that trade and ties with Russia would continue. Kiev did the exact opposite, an extremely bad tactic. US kept on telling them to cool it, that one doesn't win by attacking before ready. But in Kiev emotions prevailed, and so we are where we are.

Sooner or later a more accommodating government in Kiev will try the 'let bygones be bygones' tactic on Russia. If we are lucky enough to make it that far.

[Jun 17, 2018] Is Anti-War Fever Building in the US by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. ..."
"... You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved. ..."
"... Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow. ..."
"... Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted. ..."
"... The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread. ..."
"... The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. ..."
"... It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses. ..."
"... The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen. ..."
"... *sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange. ..."
"... I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists. ..."
"... It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak. ..."
"... The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with. ..."
"... I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry". ..."
"... How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria? ..."
"... How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands? ..."
"... I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing. ..."
"... I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric. ..."
"... You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc. ..."
"... The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. ..."
"... Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are. ..."
"... A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. ..."
"... America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values." ..."
"... The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?) ..."
"... Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without. ..."
"... Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement. ..."
"... I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? ..."
"... "Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Is anti-war fever building in the U.S.? One would not think so given all the signs -- apparent public apathy toward multiple military involvements, happy compliance with "security" at the increasingly painful airport, lack of protests and so on.

Yet there are two signs I'd like to put forward as indicating a growing willingness to forgo foreign "entanglements" (undeclared wars), springing either from a weariness with them, a nascent abhorrence of them, or a desire to focus U.S. dollars on U.S. domestic solutions, like the hugely popular Medicare for All . (Click to see just how popular Medicare for All, called "Medicare Buy-In" at the link, is across party lines.)

The first sign is Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in America and by far its most popular senator, making statements like these in the speech linked and discussed in the video at the top of this piece. For example, at 9:00 in the clip, Sanders says (emphasis his):

SANDERS: In other words, what we have seen in time and time again, disasters occur when administrations, Democrat and Republican, mislead Congress and the American people. And when Congress fails to do its constitutional job in terms of asking the questions of whether or not we should be in a war. And I think we need to ask that very hard question today.

And here is the point that I hope the American people are asking themselves. Is the war on terror, a perpetual, never-ending war, necessary to keep us safe?

I personally believe we have become far too comfortable with the United States engaging in military interventions all over the world. We have now been in Afghanistan for 17 years. We have been in Iraq for 15 years. We are occupying a portion of Syria, and this administration has indicated that it may broaden that mission even more.

We are waging a secretive drone war in at least five countries. Our forces, right now, as we speak, are supporting a Saudi-led war in Yemen which has killed thousands of civilians and has created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet today.

Talk like this is anathema in our militarized state, comments usually relegated to the fringes of public discourse. For Sanders to say this (and similarly anathemic remarks elsewhere in the speech) certainly denotes a shift, especially since Sanders during the campaign was not considered strong on foreign policy, especially progressive (non-orthodox) foreign policy.

As Jimmy Dore said in reply to the last sentence quoted above, "It's not Syria? Can you [say] "stop the butcher" is the worst? No. Turns out what we're doing is the 'worst humanitarian crisis in the world today,' committing siege warfare in Yemen, which is a war crime. And we're doing it, with Saudi Arabia."

Sanders also says we're "fighting terror" in 76 countries. Let that sink in, as Sanders wishes it to -- we're engaged in military conflict in 76 countries, almost a third of the nations in the world. I'm not sure many in the lay public appreciate the importance, or the likely consequences, of that surprising fact. (For one example of those consequences, consider that foreign wars often come home .)

Elsewhere in the video Dore asks, "Do you see Chuck Shumer saying our wars have had 'dire consequences'?" Sanders, it seems to me, is launching a toe-to-toe battle with what right-wingers have lately been calling the American "deep state" and I've been calling the security establishment.

The second sign comes from Donald Trump during the campaign. This isn't just Sanders going out on a limb -- taking a flier, as it were -- on a deeply unpopular position. Consider how often Donald Trump, the campaign version, made similar statements:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/H4ThZcq1oJQ

He also famously said this about NATO and its mission:

What I'm saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is -- is obsolete and it's extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO.

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?

I recently noted how different the outcomes are when the public indicates policy preferences with their votes versus polling data. DC politicians of both parties ignore polling with impunity. Votes, on the other hand, especially in party primaries, can force change -- witness the Trump nomination and the Sanders (stolen) near-nomination.

In some ways, small but not insignificant, the 2016 election was a test of the anti-war waters, with Trump asking questions about the need and mission of NATO, for example, that haven't been asked in over a generation, and Clinton, the proud choice of the neocon left and right, in strong disagreement .

It's too much or too early to say that Trump's public pullback from U.S. hegemony helped his election, though that's entirely possible. But it's certainly true that his anti-Forever War sentiments did not hurt him in any noticeable way.

I'll go further: If Sanders runs in 2020 and adds anti-war messaging to his program, we'll certainly see the title question tested.


Rob P , June 16, 2018 at 12:56 am

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

Bernie had better watch his back then. Make sure no one associated with him has any contact with any Russians or Iranians or whatever.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2018 at 8:42 am

The "security establishment/Blob" no coubt has already filled its supply chain with anti-Bernie Bernays-caliber ordnance, ready to deploy. I don't doubt that there are plenty of James Earl Rays out there, happy to be the ones who will "rid the Blob of this troublesome politician." Just remember that Bernie has a summer house, and his wife was president of a failed college, and he's a GD Socialist, for Jeebus' sake!

Any stick to beat a dog

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

There's far less than six degrees of separation between any one person and someone who is Russian or Chinese or Iranian or whatever. Even two degrees of separation is enough for a headline these days.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:56 am

Districts with military casualties correlate to Trump votes. I'd would be nice to see Sanders do a Town Hall on the empire, in six months or so when this speech has time to sink in, in one such district.

hemeantwell , June 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

Yes. Sanders is going to have to pull off a communicative high wire act bridging relatively acceptable criticism of "unnecessary and expensive foreign entanglements" to hinting at the idea that the US citizens have to understand the expansive pressures that flow from capitalism and the MIC. I've appreciated the regular links here to American Conservative and Unz articles. They are valuable reminders that some on the Right aren't in complete denial, at least about the MIC.

One scenario would see a revival of the terms of discussion that briefly saw daylight in at least the late 1940s, when state planners openly linked a "defensive" military posture with a need for markets. It would at least get the cards out on the table and assist in clarifying how world politics isn't just a matter of great and secondary powers inevitably pushing each other around. The idea of Realpolitik is a fundamental and fatal ground of reification.

johnnygl , June 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

Presidential ambitions aside, it would be a good idea to pressure trump's crew that are plotting to attack Iran. Plus, any chance to push back against the awful Dem leadership is also a positive. We need to see more grassroots pushback against that leadership. Sanders is the best around at generating that grassroots pushback.

Pookah Harvey , June 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Bernie makes many salient points on the Military Industrial Complex in a floor speech concerning the Defense Dept. budget bill. I especially like the part where he is trying to add an amendment that would limit the compensation of CEOs of defense contractors to no more than the Secretary of Defense ($205,000). This speech will not make him any friends among the military corporate contractors. (26 min.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psWHpTJ26lk

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Exactly. NATO is a suicide pact. It's absurd.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

We are in the world's most favorable geopolitical position. We have the Atlantic to the east, the Pacific to the West, Canada to the North, and Mexico to the South. We have enough nukes to blow up the world many times over. I don't know why we don't don't treat the entire imperial enterprise as a sunk cost and get out, starting with the Middle East (and by get out, I mean cut off all funding, too).

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Strangely, I think we're in a "Trump Peace". Yes, there are still brushfire wars raging, but this just happened:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44507090

The Taliban announced the three-day halt to hostilities earlier this month, days after a unilateral ceasefire lasting until Wednesday was ordered by the government.

It is the Taliban's first ceasefire since the government they ran was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion.

I don't know if it's Trump or it's just coincidence. But peace has broken out in Korea for hte first time in decades, and now peace has broken out in Afghanistan for the first time in decades.

I'm just happy it's happening.

Richard , June 16, 2018 at 2:59 am

You should take a look at The Threat by Andrew Cockburn. Fairly exhaustive detail about how Russian military might was inflated, in the 70s and 80s, in virtually every possible way. From badly coordinated civil defense, to the complete inreadiness of its airforce, to the caste system pervading the army that had reduced morale to almost nothing, the overall picture is pretty stunning, compared to the magnitude of the threat that was presented to the US public.

It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. Nor do they now, spending less than a tenth on their military than the US. The 80 billion dollar incease in the US military budget this year was more than the entire Russian military budget. Meanwhile,our own bases encompass the globe, and we wage war and threaten genocide wherever we choose.

The facts are abundantly clear, that our own military represents by far the greatest threat to human life on this planet.

I want to tell you, that you and I and everyone in this damned country, we are not just the most lied to people in the world. We're arguably the most lied to people in history, at least if you consider the number and frequency of lies. It's a wonder we get anything right at all! I encourage you to read more, and read more widely, and to start at a position of distrust, with any foreign policy reporting that isn't based on first hand knowledge.

I am heartened by the position Bernie is taking, even as I disagree with him on the Russia hysteria and wonder at some of his qualifications like "blunder" to describe out and out imperialism. We need to start somewhere, and why not start with "let the people and the people's representatives decide when we use our military"?

Ashburn , June 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

I know many progressives on the left have questioned Bernie's foreign policy positions and for not going far enough in opposing our imperial wars. Personally, I think Bernie knows exactly how stupid, immoral, illegal, and costly our wars are, especially as it "crowds out spending" on his favored domestic policies. Bernie is also smart enough to know how he would be attacked by our right-wing corporate media and the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex if he were too outspoken. So, he tempers his statements, not just because his domestic agenda is most important to him, but also because he knows attacking our militarized foreign policy will not play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to. Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote, only to expand our wars across the Middle East and Africa (after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize), Bernie is holding his cards closer to the vest.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

> play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to

I think the working class in the flyover states is ready to hear that the endless war needs to end. It's tricky message to convey, because "Are you saying my child died in vain?" But Trump saying Iraq was a strategic blunder went over very well, and military casualties correlate with Trump votes . I think Sanders (or his as-yet-unknown successor) must deliver that message, but it's going to be tricky, if only because it will smash an enormous number of rice bowls in the national security and political classes (which overlap). Maybe we could move all the uniform-worshippers to an island, give them a few billion dollars, and let them play war games among themselves. Cheap at twice the price.

UPDATE I would bet "addiction" would work as a trope in the flyover states; "the war machine is a needle in America's arm" is the concept. Especially because veterans are prone to opioid addiction . Again, the rhetoric would be tricky to avoid blaming victims or "hating the troops," but I think there's good messaging to be found here. (People do horrid things when trapped in addictive systems. That's why they seek cure )

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Sanders needs to protect the people who are part of the 95% who work for the military industrial complex. He does this not by raising welfare (which Americans find humiliating), not by only giving extensive retraining benefits, (which in an opportunity starved country like America, will only lead to work stints at an Amazon Warehouse) but by repurposing the capitol and retraining the working people to issues that must be addressed for the future, such as energy sustainability or infrastructure that can resist increasingly severe climate chaos. Furthermore, he must announce and do both simultaneously, probably via an MMT program and raising Taxes on rhe elite 2% and via transaction taxes on all capitol outflow from the USA.

Stopping the war machine, but putting people out of work, will never be acceptable to those who work for the war machine or the friends and family of those people.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 5:52 pm

You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved.

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Bonus Army were within living memory of WWII leaders. The new global aristocracy has lost all history and doesn't perceive the inevitable consequences of inequality. My personal opinion was that for Marshall and Truman one of the reasons for the use of atomic weapons on Japan was that they did not want millions of combat tested soldiers traveling across the USA by train with the ultimate destination a number of deadly invasions of the Japanese Islands. Each worse than Okinawa. They were afraid of what the soldiers would do. This is also the reason why these Vets got a generous GI Bill.

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm

You reminded me of Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. She protesteted at the GWB TX compound if you recall and remains an activist to this day. I can't speak for her but it seems to me like she understands that her son should not have died to further this ugly, pointless war.

http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com

I can't begin to understand the pain of losing a child, spouse, parent, etc., but I can wrap my head around it enough that I don't want anyone to experience it. And I have no doubt that facing the true causes of the war would make the pain worse. But every time I hear this nonsense about how some poor kid "didn't die in vain" in VietRaq, I want to scream "yes they did! Now what are we going to do to stop it from happening again???".

The tropes of "supporting the troops", yellow ribbons, "they are protecting us", etc. just keeps the propaganda ballon inflated. Here is how I support the troops: I'm against war.

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

This reminds me of Forest Gump where some well meaning hippies call Forest Gump a baby killer. The peace activists must refrain from blaming and shaming soldiers as a group; specfic criminals (such as those who committed crimes at my lai) should investigated, shamed and punished, the whistleblowers should be greatly honoured, and soldiers ad a group should be respected and not blamed for going to war, as indeed many do not know the truth for why the war was fought. On the other hand, politicians, lobby groups, and venal media and intelligence agencies should be exorciated for the lies that they believe or spread, as indeed it should be their business to try to discern the truth.

Hence it was very admirable when members of the Mossad leaked out facts that Iran was not pursuing development of the Nuclear bomb, even while Netanyahoo was pursuing a media blitz to justify greater economic and ultimately military aggression against Iran

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Who is "blaming and shaming" anyone? I'm saying that I agree with this mother who lost her child that we should be extremely skeptical about the motivation for war of any kind. And the lack of skepticism (expressed or not) impedes any real movement away from war without end.
The Sheehans are real people who lost a son and brother. Forest Gump is just some character from a dumb movie. Good grief.

a different chris , June 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

Think Heretic was fleshing out your thoughts, not disagreeing?

ChrisPacific , June 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

I think that you can respect the sacrifice and commitment of people who sign up to fight for their country while still criticizing the uses that leaders have chosen to put them to. In fact I think that makes the message stronger: the willingness of our friends, family, children etc. to sign up to fight and die for America places a duty and obligation on our leaders to ensure they are deployed wisely and for the betterment of America and the world. Those leaders – the ones we elected – have failed in that trust, and continue to fail. Our military friends and family haven't let us down – we've let them down, by not holding our government accountable. It's time we changed that!

John Wright , June 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

You wrote:

> Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote.

Obama was not in the US Senate at the time to vote.

From https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/obamas-war-stance-revisited/

"The rally featured a pointed anti-war speech from Obama, then a fairly anonymous state lawmaker, who deemed the impending Iraq engagement 'a dumb war.'"

The political entertainer Obama gave a number of speeches advocating transparency in government, advocating for financial reform and even mentioned "we tortured some folks" decrying torture.

Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow.

Obama's Illinois anti-war speech served him well, as he could milk this "anti-war" stance for years while running military actions as President.

Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted.

Bernie Sanders actually DID vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq

Montanamaven , June 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Obama was not in the Senate until 2005. He could not vote against the Iraq war. He gave a speech in Chicago prior to the war.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Sadly, there is no contemporaneous transcript* or recording . I remember the 2008 controversy vividly, because the Obama campaign released a campaign ad that purported to be Obama delivering the Chicago 2002 speech, but it quickly emerged that he had re-recorded it for the campaign (see the link).

This site purports to have a 2002 transcript, but the Wayback machines says the material was first posted in 2007 . So.

Adding, I can't even find a contemporaneous link to Obama's "dumb war" formulation , though with Google's crapification, who knows.

oh , June 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

I think we're more than being lied to. The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

You can tell a lot about a country's intent by the design of the army they assemble. Here is a deep technical description about the new army the Russians are putting together. Hint: it is not designed to attack.

"The decision to create a tank army (armoured corps in Western terminology) is an indication that Russia really does fear attack from the west and is preparing to defend itself against it. In short, Russia has finally come to the conclusion that NATO's aggression means it has to prepare for a big war."

Interesting technical take on the whole thing. Worth a read.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/russia-prepares-for-a-big-war-the-significance-of-a-tank-army.html#more

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

That is a very good link, both parts one and two.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

The preventive for tank warfare isn't more tanks, it's effective anti-tank weapons, preferably at the foot soldier level.

Those exist; even Hezbollah has them. The disadvantage is that they're relatively cheap, compared to tanks, and much more defensive.

Plenue , June 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Well, Russia could probably triumph over the austerity-racked countries of the EU, with the possible exception of France. But it wouldn't be able to hold much for long if it had to occupy anything. And it would take a mauling in the process, a mauling that would be prohibitively expensive to repair. The modern Russian military simply isn't organized in a fashion that is conducive to large scale conquest. It has exactly one fully integrated, combined arms unit suitable for full-scale armored warfrare, the 1st Guards Tank Army, which was reactivated in 2014.

The nightmare visions of armor pouring through the Fulda Gap were basically always delusional. In 2018 they're downright laughable.

Kk , June 16, 2018 at 2:21 am

If the economic crisis of 2007 was the modern Depression then we are about due for a really big war.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 3:48 am

I don't think that the US can stop at this point. As an example, the one time the people were asked if they wanted to bomb Syria the answer was a definite 'no' so the next time they never even bothered asking them. There is far too much money, power and prestige at stake too consider stopping.

The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.

America is more likely to get single-payer health than for the US armed forces to pull back as any suggestion of the later brings charges of being 'unpatriotic'. At least with single-payer health you only get charged with being a 'socialist'. Know a good place to start? The US Special Operations Command has about 70,000 people in it and they want more. The US would be better served by cutting this force in half and giving their jobs back to regular formations.

These are the people that want constant deployments in more and more countries hence cutting them back would be a good idea. I expect things to go along until one day the US armed forces will be sent into a war where they will take casualties not seen since the bad days on 'Nam. Then there will be the devil to pay and him out to lunch.

Pespi , June 16, 2018 at 4:18 am

It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses.

The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

*sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 5:37 am

One issue I have right now with 'anti-War' is that to be 'anti' is one thing, but to make serious arguments you have to be able to present arguments about what you are actually 'for'. For example, if the US were to suddenly withdraw from the eastern Pacific, the effect could be highly destabilising and could actually increase the chance of war. These are questions that need to be answered.

Just to take one example of I think a positive idea – there is research here which argues that the 'optimum' nuclear deterrent is less than 100 warheads. This is of course a difficult argument to put into political play, but its important I think to put the militarists on the back foot in order to make arguments for withdrawal from empire and peace mainstream.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

So who is calling for a sudden withdrawal?

Nice strawperson there.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 9:35 am

It would be OK so long as it was not premature.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

I would bet that most people think that being anti-war encompasses the following:

-being for peace
-being for stability
-being for more social spending instead of military spending
-being for fewer civilians being killed
-being for fewer military deaths

Is that enough to meet your ridiculous threshold for 'serious arguments?'

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

you're being cavalier. PK makes a great point, and your vague and oyerly broad "fors" remind me of many arguments regarding the 2016 election. The democrat side (Brock and CTR et al) couldn't say what they were for outside of abstract bernaysian generalities. If you want to convince people (and I have this difficulty, as do I'm sure most of the readers here, trying to get dems off of the russia russia russia putins bitch train)

You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters, and just shut up sometimes when certain people are just not going to listen, but if you can get that one cogent, not hysterical argument into the minds of the people you want to convince, then you have a chance to stem the tide. Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

> You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters . Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

That's a cogent argument. I don't mean to imply in my comments that "getting out" will be easy. ("You must do it, Catullus, you must do it. You must do it whether it can be done or not.")

We might begin by renaming the "Department of Defense" to the "Department of War," just to be truthful, and then ask ourselves what kind of wars we want to fight. And I think most people would be very willing to cross anything that looked like Iraq off the list, followed (it is to be hoped) with a willingness to rethink self-licking ice cream cones as our industrial policy. In a way, the project would have the same feel as my hobbyhorse, gutting the administrative layers of the universities as not central to mission.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Thanks tegnost. I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists.

The problem as I see it with policies 'against' something is that you end up a little like Five Star in Italy – having gotten into power on opposing everything bad about Italy, they are now facing a 'now what' moment, and are seemingly clueless about what to do. As usual, the right makes the running.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Yes, exactly, It is not enough to be against something. As HRC found out

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Well, there is this.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/grassroots-anti-war-movement-gaining-traction

Maybe some on this site need to jump in and tell those people to get those white papers out ASAP.

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm

The war-mongers will always find "serious arguments" for why we musn't end the American empire. Their arguments will be nuanced and filled with details that would take the average citizen months, if not years, to verify and analyze. When the best minds in the American empire can fail to forsee the fall of the Soviet Union or the response to their coup on Chavez, why should we put credence in their "serious" analyses?

Meanwhile, the case against war is a simple and easily verifiable. "My son is dead." "My friend came home a broken person." etc. Telling poor Americans that their family members need to keep dying because allowing them to come home would, maybe, make war more likely in a country they've only seen on a map is an argument not likely to find much traction. It is also, in my mind, ethically vapid -- an argument that presses for a guaranteed evil as a means of avoiding a possible evil.

Trying to forsee the outcome of major (or even minor) changes to a system as complex as the American empire is a sucker's game. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely a sucker themselves. In situations of such complexity, the only way forward is the ontological one. All teleology is sheer fantasy. We should act, therefore, not on the basis of what we think will happen as a result of our actions, but rather on the basis of what the just thing to do is. You can't base your actions on ends (as in "the ends justify the means") because the situation is so complex that there is no way to credibly predict the ends that any action might lead to.

IMHO, the ethical policy is to bring 'em home. All of 'em. Let them protect our country, as they've sworn to do. Let us put them to work rebuilding our infrastructure, assisting those who need it, and making the country better than it is, rather than filling it up with more walking wounded from our endless imperial adventuring.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Did the Soviet withdrawal destabilize eastern Europe? I think this is pseudo-strategizing.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm

It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak.

The question is how to restore the West's middle class. Without a middle class; revolts, religious and ethnic wars will inevitable break out all over. The unrest right now is due to democracy not being compatible with globalization.

Edward , June 16, 2018 at 7:53 am

It was not just Bush who told lies to justify an invasion of Iraq. Members of Congress and the press did as well. Sen. Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee then, would only allow pro-war people to testify to his committee. At the time a lobbyist told me that the leadership of the Democratic party had decided to promote this war. They felt this would remove this issue from the next election, which would then focus on economic issues that would play to their strength.

Carolinian , June 16, 2018 at 9:40 am

Thanks for this. Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs. Perhaps Sanders now realizes that the balance in USG priorities needs to be restored and he is making an economic, and not just humanitarian argument.

As for Trump, it's just possible he meant what he said about NATO and all the rest. If one believes his real priorities are his family and business it's hard to see what he gets out of perpetual war. That's more Obama and Hillary's bag.

Which doesn't make the above true. But we should at least entertain the possibility that it could be true.

Newton Finn , June 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

As one who could never bring himself to vote for Trump (or for Clinton, for that matter), let me make a counter-intuitive prediction. If Trump allows the MIC to goad him into starting a new war with Iran, he will lose if he decides to run again.

If, on the other hand, he starts no new war against Iran or any other country that does not threaten us militarily, then he will be re-elected should he decide to go for another term.

The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

They do it for the money, pretty much everyone in congress is a millionaire, including the ones who were not millionaires when they got elected hmmmmmm .

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with.

I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry".

https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/06/politics/clinton-intelligence-surge-nsa-data/index.html

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

> Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs

Since Federal taxes don't fund Federal spending, the connection between gutting the MIC and more money for health care is not direct.

However, if you think in terms of real resources , the effect is as you say. (The same reasoning applies to finance, where enormous salaries sucked in the best talent that might otherwise have been put to non-parasitical purposes.)

John k , June 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Mt is not yet sellable to the public, will take years. Best story is that foreign wars strip resources from local spending and jobs, which is also what most pols seem to think. Bills should be presented as less for mil and mor for infra. Starve mic

juliania , June 16, 2018 at 11:13 am

You don't have to go back to the last campaign to see anti-war rhetoric as a strategy. Trump is already, in his meeting with Kim, starting the ball rolling. (Moon of Alabama.com has a good recent post on the subject). Sorry Bernie, you are late to the party, too late. Reminds me a bit of 1968. Nixon got in promising to end that war (which he didn't.) But it is good to see anti-war stuff going mainstream at last. May it bear fruit this time around!

And yes, Gaius Publius, anti-war statements Trump made during his first campaign DID make a huge difference. They won him the presidency, in my opinion.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 11:49 am

How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria?

How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands?

Is setting us on a potential course for war with Iran further evidence of your "dovish" Trump?

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing.

I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc.

I was also receptive to the idea that Trump might be less hawkish than HRC (although I did not vote for him) but have now been thoroughly disabused of that notion.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Provide a link to the recent statement.

I believe you, just always looking for more ammunition to demolish "we're fighting ISIS" arguments.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

SW Syria does not have Kurds active, so these are Sunni jihadi-lites. They are however not HTS, which we re-branded from Al-Nusra and had been classified as an Al Qaeda affiliate at one time. Of course we are framing it as a de-escalation zone; others call it a jihadi base.

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/US-says-will-take-firm-measures-against-Syria-violations-near-Israel-border-560057

Susan the other , June 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. The war in Syria is to secure our preferred pipeline feeding the EU. Our entrenched position surrounding Iran is no accident – we are an existential threat to Iran and intend to remain that way. If China discovered a giant oil field under its western desert we'd be there too. One rationale for all this control freakery is that we think we can maintain our "capitalist" economy, our silly pretenses about a free market, etc. But Karma is the real truth-teller here: Free markets do not work. So it follows logically that privatization also does not work. And to continue, at some point, forced capitalism fails. Markets fail. Profit seeking could be the thing that brings it all down. It's a strangely comforting thought because it leaves us with a clear vision of what not to do anymore. Unfortunately, people are not angels. If we attempt to invoke the ghost of John Foster Dulles and not engage in little wars but just sell arms to every tin pot dictator it will be worse chaos than it is now. And worse still, chaos in a time of environmental devastation. The only good option is the Mr. Scrooge option. Instead of arms and WMD and fascist control for the sake of preventing uprisings, we should skip the fascist control part and directly mainline the resources to make civilization thrive. Since that's definitely not capitalism, we'll have to think up a new ism.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm

> sell arms to every tin pot dictator

Yes, let's devote enormous real resources to fabricating bespoke military aircraft that catch fire on the runway. Meanwhile, we don't have any machine shops anymore .

Summer , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Yes, there is more anti-war sentiment. And will they or won't they (Congress) continue to legislate away their ability to authorize war/use of force?

I say they continue to absolve themselves of the responsibility. Bounding their own hads behind their backs, smirking at the concept of peace.

And it puts people more in taxation without representation territory.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm

I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

Will the road to the White House in 2020 be journeyed through another vehicle?

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

> I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

That is an excellent point. (I don't think it's just CIA, though; it's CIA and military personnel generally.* That's why I voted against ranked Jared Golden low, because Golden (like Seth Moulton in MA) fits that template, which is vile.

UPDATE * "Professional authoritarians," we might call them. That would fit all this neatly into Thomas Frank's framework.

flora , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

People ask if capitalism and democracy are compatible, and I think they are, at least I don't see any inherent reason why they would not be compatible.

Another question: Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarism

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Ancient Athens was on some level democratic, and the populist party typically favored war and expansion. E.g.Pericles and the peloponesian war come to mind. By contrast, the aristocratic parties were generally less in favor of military adventurism.

However, a constitutional republic is not compatible with empire.

Therein lies the problem.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:57 pm

The link between populism and war featured prominently in "Electing to fight. Why emerging democracies go to war" This is a fairly obscure book (one review in Amazon), but – by a wide margin – the best book I have ever read about politics or political science. The last 100 pages are cliff notes versions of the politics underlying the start of many wars; the first 150 pages are a really dense read.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Thanks.

Alejandro , June 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm

A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. Noting that "militarism" depends on public funding, where should the power to influence this funding be? Neo-cons, dominated by militarists, and neo-liberals, dominated by de-regulated banksters, may not be the same but certainly seem like symbionts in the context of 326MM people.

Bernard , June 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values."

the Ugly American is what American Values signify, and mostly always have. America is the most destabilizing force i ever read of or heard of. Americans have just taken the Nazi theme of One People, One Land and One Leader on a Global scope. and it ain't good. Either do as America tells you, or we will bring American Democracy to your country.

Maybe there's hope, as Caitlyn Johnstone implies in her last essay, i sure doubt it, though, as long as America/the Empire continues to destabilize not just the Pacific but everywhere else in the world. Why does anything think the South/Central Americans come to America. The American Empire has screwed up the Western Hemisphere so badly, these "refugees hope to escape from the American made Plantations the Western Hemisphere has been carved into. These immigrants are just part of the blowback from the American Way.

also makes me wonder if the Europeans don't understand why there are refugees coming through Greece and via boats, primarily to Italy. dont they see it's America's Wars in MENA that are causing this "invasion." gosh, what a black and white cause and effect. Germany needs workers due to the low birth rate. so, open the doors to the chaos America has made in the Middle East, and voila, cheap labor and departure from an America made hell in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, the whole "New American Century" Project the Neocons have us in and paying for.

Doesn't the average European see how American and Apartheid Israeli support for forces like the Taliban, Al Queda, Wahabbism, and the ongoing media censored Yemeni/Palestinian Holocaust, wars of profit, i.e. created the refugess that are streaming into Europe. Maybe the Europeans are also stymied by the Rich who keep the wars going and the Media who profit off the death of the "deplorables" who no longer "matter."

i know in America most Americans are ignorant due to total control of the Media and the "narrative" that controls what can be said. Americans have no shame when it comes to getting what they want, politically. no enough blowback. no sense of connection between here and there or anywhere outside the Media Narrative.

as a bumper sticker from long ago said, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." The Empire will not give up until it can't go on.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

No most people with influence don't see how the system that gives them influence also is sending waves of refugees.

Bruce Walker , June 17, 2018 at 7:36 am

Every American should have to read your post twice a day, until maybe they get it. The best post I have read in ages, Thumbs Up Bernard.

grayslady , June 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for calling attention to this. I noticed the same thing immediately, and I gave the remainder of the article less credence because of it. A true leftie knows the difference between Improved Medicare for All and a Medicare buy-in program.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

To me, making the argument that one must be 'for' something is simply a way to dismiss whatever the 'anti' side represents, whether or not PK meant to be dismissive.

And it reminds me of the efforts to impede and dismiss the anti-war or occupy-type movement outright – "what, you people don't have any policies (and nothing for us to analyze to death and criticize??) !!!! How dare you speak up about something!!! Go away until you go to Harvard and produce a few papers. Until then, your silly notions mean nothing to us!!" and the underlying elitism of the concept.

So, that is what I am reminded of, again, whether or not PK meant it that way.

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm

you spoke up with a thought provoking comment, you want to make the next occupy movement succeed. Make a good argument is all.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

(Before reading the comments) "If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?"

Sadly, I think the answer is no, mainly because Americans do not vote based on foreign policy unless it "comes home," eg in the form of body bags – a lot of them. The "wasted money" argument, which brings it home, might be the most effective; that's a pitfall of MMT. Of course, as a practical matter there's a POLITICAL choice between guns and butter, whether or not the economics is valid.

In those remarks, Sanders is filling in the gaping hole in his resume. It may be an indication that he plans to run in 2020.

Finally: I question whether the 2016 nomination was actually "stolen." Certainly there was a good deal of cheating by the party, but I'm not convinced it was decisive (there's no way to be sure). The actual votes ran about 47% for Sanders, and that's including Oregon and California. I think that reflects the actual nature of the Democratic Party.

The reason is that its membership has been falling, if not plummeting, at the same time that its policies have become more and more right-wing. Affiliation, which is a poll result, is down near 30%; I suspect registrations have fallen, too, but I haven't seen numbers. Given the variations in state law, registrations aren't very indicative. All that means that the remaining party members are a remnant that has been selected for conservatism. The primary vote reflects that. (This doesn't change the argument that the Dems knowingly chose their weaker candidate; it just means that the voters did, too.)

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Observations : Trump, scandals, security state

The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?)

Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. However this faction is doing a great job of re-enacting the framework used to deny/disrupt/disable during the Clinton administration: scandals and selective corruption investigations. This serves a purpose: to martyr the Prez with the constituents who *should* be holding the Prez accountable on lack of follow through and betrayal of promises made on the camapign trail.

Trump voters can't make him hold himaccountable; they are too busy feeling he has been victimized -- and many Trump voters are victims, so the identification is real.

Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without.

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Sorry for the typos, jumping cursor! It occurs to me that what I have described is a recipe for info-ops or how to hijack a 'democracy.'

Jeremy Grimm , June 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement.

I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? Are those interests growing anxious at enriching their share of the pie by shoving aside the budget gluttons feasting on war? Are any of those interests whose long-term, and often short-term interests are damaged by endless wars and their ongoing deconstruction of American Empire finally growing weary of how those wars undermine the American Empire? War may be a racket but the burning of bridges and collapse of Empire isn't a racket I would hope even the most clueless of our masters will continue to tolerate. Have the MIC and SIC assumed power?

WorkerPleb , June 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm

"Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance.

Massinissa , June 17, 2018 at 3:18 am

The media already said that 40 years ago about the Hippies. Some things don't really change.

[Jun 17, 2018] Can the EU become a partner for Russia by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... comprador elite ..."
"... The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak. ..."
"... They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ..."
"... either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

First, there is no "EU", at least not in political terms . More crucially, there is no "EU foreign policy". Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the "EU" does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy. The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called "EU" has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump. At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects "more equal than others" (say, the UK versus Greece). Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the US, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called "EU leader" or "EU heavyweight" – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty. The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe. The undeniable fact is that the so-called "EU foreign policy" has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO. And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% US . Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke. Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the US for a long list of critical capabilities and " force multipliers ": command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc. Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the US. The reason? The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam. Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white and blue as it gets. Forget about the "Eurocorps" or any other so-called "European armies" – it's all hot air, like Trudeau's recent outburst at Trump. In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss. And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist. Do you really think that anybody will let that happen? I sure don't! And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion , hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border . And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America .

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia . They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman . A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia. Or the British with their "Brexit". The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a "Russian interference" in case the election results don't turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it. Best examples: the UK and Merkel. But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British "highly likely" and in the name of "solidarity", they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy. There is no way they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes : states whose only policy is to serve the US against Russia. These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of "most faithful and willing loyal servant of the US". The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the "fiercely patriotic Poles" who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars ). True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the US. So don't expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it ).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be "paid by the Kremlin" and representing Russian interests. The best example is France and how it treated the National Front. I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a "national security state" because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force . Why? Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about "Russia being an aggressor" which "does not comply with the Mink Agreements", North Stream is going ahead! Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions. Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have. This is why for years now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated , by the way. We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said "nope!". To the extend that there is a "EU position" (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe. So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say "no". By the way, for all the Trump's statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia .

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this . Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn't!). Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip. Just think of mob "families" who can even have "wars" against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe . There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN). I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose. The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen. Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and "dobrobat" death squads) and maybe Putin's recent not-so-veiled threat about " grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood " will have the needed effect. But what will happen even if this attack does not take place? The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state. Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe. It is becoming pretty clear that the US is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones. Right now, the US and the "good terrorists" have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving "bad terrorists" into "good ones". This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower. Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) "good terrorists" to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians. And why not? It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again? At the very least, it would give the US another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don't matter here). And make no mistake, a US "victory" in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek's excellent article on this topic here ). And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked. As I wrote already many times, this is far from over . Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other ) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye. And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line ("solidarity", remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum. However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all, but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here ). Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the "isolation" of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with. So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal "economic block" in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion :

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission. Vladimir Putin put it best when he said " They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ".

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states. There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria. Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable. Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need. In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent. Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc. These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia. Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that " either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia ".

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign. If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple. Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called " the Europe of fatherlands ". Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall. Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia. Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe. A prosperous Europe " from the Atlantic to the Urals " is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy: they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire. This is why pushing the issue of "true sovereignty" (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire. This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.


peterAUS , June 17, 2018 at 12:54 am GMT

The usual Saker, but, there are a couple of not bad snippets:

The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.

They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense".

As for this:

If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.

can't wait

Mattheus , June 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
Saker is once again completely wrong. His theories fall short to explain lots of real events. He got hooked on his "Anglo-Zionist" theory and "one Hegemon", which is far from explaining the reality on the ground. There is no one single hegemon, but two powerful interest groups in the west. One of the power centers is dominated by the Rothschilds from the City of London and the other ruled by the Rockerfellers which is based in the US.
The powers described above are sometimes working in collusion but sometimes work against each other (They were in collusion during the Soviet Afghan war for instance). Currently, we don't see a collusion but a war being waged in between these two groups. I think it is highly self evident, so much so that it is happening almost all in the open. In the modern history we haven't witnessed such a openly fought war ever before (between these two powers). All is at stake and the war in between these two is vicious. Thus you can explain Trump's attitude towards EU, everlasting character assasination of Trump by certain opposing circles in the US, high level resignations, the state of confusion of Nato and much more. If this theory is right (and I think it is much more viable than any other theory that I came across in the Alt-Med), this makes Russia firmly embedded into one of the camps. Unfortunately, the position that Russia took makes him not a sovereign power but on contrary puts him into a subservient role. The late actions of Russia, especially in Syria, is quite telling. I know people who admire Russia get quite frustrated when they hear such a scenario and outcome, but this is possibly the only way Putin believes that Russia can survive. Thus it explains his latest house clean-up of Euroasian integrists. Even worse, if you believe in this scenario, it brings Russia and China against each other especially in the long run. This scenario also put a full stop to the idealist Euroasian multi-polar world order.
Here is the link to an older video in Russian with English subtitles. The guy's name is Andrei Fursov and he has some interesting things to say regarding this subject. This interview was just before Obama was elected but is still quite relevent. His newer videos seems to have lost steam, possibly because he is working for some state connected Russian institutions and think-thanks and thus I think he is somewhat restricted. After all it is again the famous "Game Theory", isn't it?
renfro , June 17, 2018 at 5:34 am GMT
@Beckow

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid

Bullshit. try to keep up with whats actually happening.

U.S. Is Trying to Kill Major Gas Deal Between Russia and Germany By Tom O'Connor On 5/18/18 at 2:41 PM (http://www.newsweek.com/us-trying-kill-major-gas-deal-between-russia-germany-934603

The U.S. has warned both Russia and Germany against pursuing a planned gas pipeline that would run between the two countries, threatening to impose sanctions and claiming the project would threaten the security of its European allies.

Construction has recently begun for the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned pipeline that would extend from Russia along an existing pipeline through the Baltic Sea into northeastern Germany. Once finished, Nord Stream 2 would reportedly double the amount of gas that Russia could provide Europe. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk told reporters in Berlin Thursday that the project could bolster Russia's "malign influence" in the region and that Washington was "exerting as much persuasive power" as it could to stop it, according to the Associated Press.

Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions | Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/9b9bbd3c-44a5-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fdApr 20, 2018 – A Europe-wide diplomatic push is under way to persuade the Trump administration to ease US sanctions targeting Russia, as fears mount that

JR , June 17, 2018 at 7:55 am GMT
EU clueless?

http://www.imi-online.de/2015/06/26/expansion-assoziation-konfrontation/

Yes, the EU is immoral , imperialistic megalomaniac but definitely not clueless.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/war-in-ukraine-a-result-of-misunderstandings-between-europe-and-russia-a-1004706.html

Kiza , June 17, 2018 at 8:18 am GMT
@Beckow

Excellent comment as usual Beckow, I could have typed the same. In fact, I have been commenting online since 1992 that neither EU, nor most European states can be friends of Russia. This was based on how those treated Yugoslavia/Serbia during the recent Balkan wars that the same entities helped initiate. Because Serbia is Russia without nuclear weapons. Russia would have gotten exactly the same treatment (Barbarossa 2) as Yugoslavia if it did not have them. Nobody expected Russia to recover so quickly from Yeltsin and even develop the world leading stand-off weapons on a budget. This is the only reason that Barbarossa 2 will never happen. But they cannot stop hoping for a US-lead miracle.

Yet, the economic interest is there and if China and Russia manage to economically integrate Europe and Asia, then the Euro-doggies will stop yapping and biting at the Russian heels and will fall in line. What else could one expect from such pathetic shameless trash? Give the One-Road another 15 years and watch this unfurle.

Finally, although I believed that Ukronazis would attack Novorussians, I now think that Ukraine may have run out of suicidal dumb maniacs. It is much cheaper to make noise and beat your Galician chest then to engage the enemy protected by Russia. Ukraine is, unfortunately, already a total economic basket case, plus all One-Road plans circumvent it (as MH17 should have, due to instability). Will there ever be a better example than Ukraine of the benevolent influence of the Anglo-Zionist on a country?

The Anglo-Zionists versus OneRoad.
For more information disregard the dumb title and watch this Pepe Escobar interview: http://thesaker.is/interview-of-pepe-escobar-the-world-is-waiting-for-the-apocalypse-if-there-is-a-conflict-between-america-and-russia/
I watched his other interviews and it is interesting how Pepe is not so open when interviewed by the Westerners.

m___ , June 17, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT
@mikkkkas

Dramatic shift in analysis of Saker,

As yours truly, we noticed the drastic shift as to pointing to supranational guidance of international political events. As for his mention, blaming Trump and Netanyahu to be suppreme leaders and deciders, we see them rather as spokespersons, blowing and hissing publicly the script of what Saker calls the Anglo-Jewish maffia, the only subgroup that sorted for quality, not quantity in strategy(global evidently and necessarily) and membership for in-group only benefit. Elitist, subjectively better organized than any entity other, territorially mostly independent in case of emergency, and moral conviction based on historical Judaist values, strategies and tactics. Play all sides and stay invisible.

Below the prudent lines of Saker quoted.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission.

As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand(Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global, and Russian nationalism, or international expansion based on Russian nationalism are just a political tool to rally bulk humanity. Very similar to the palm oil, corn syrup and digital porn obese consumerism of the West promotion. At most bickering and infighting can be done by visible actors as Putin, Trump, Xi(affected indirectly), but there must be a scenario, and war cannot be anything more then policing.

To be noticed, that it pleads for Saker's intellectualism to correct and even reverse, after due analysis his opinions unlike a Tom Engelhardt(at that qualitative rather inferior). No "to big to fail" here. Let's wait and see, how Saker's intuition can take him into quantitative analysis of what moves beyond and against nationalist and EU, US, Russia, China dialectics. The old adagio of the information age: networks, was historically present in International Jewry. One can be a policeman, be a thief, but foremost one is a Jew.

Honest writing of Saker.

How good are these supranational, corporatacracy(another commenter), "globally organized elites" groups with better cohesion? To our definite impression, not good enough, though way above the bulk of humanity and most of the middle class media comprehension. Two singular dramas of our age, that will decide the twenty-first century. Better and not good enough. Only to be arrested by bringing in AI, eugenetics, rebranding goals and focus. It is in itself a pocket drama repeated over and over that analysis is mostly litterary, never relies on the best of information, is fragmented. Even today indexing big data lumps could solve this partly. Alternative media in the first place apply the same archaic methods while better tools are available. That said unz.com is above the fray in focussing and searching methods. It should spark some hidden outliers glued into the bulk of the deplorables by individual fate.

War-ing and economics, the epistomology of politics, the focus of daily news, should be seen as consequences, not prime causes of attention. In the end they impose toxicity, migrations, excess population densities, excess total human numbers. The goal itself of humanity should be reasserted as quality of life for all standing and future humans. Then strategy and tactics derive from there. Why? Well the same supra national elites, the only ones that can take on the essentials tend to forget they are frogging in the same tub, that nature probably using more disruptive method will take care of the human plage if not.

jilles dykstra , June 17, 2018 at 9:56 am GMT
@Quartermaster

The CIA seems to have spent five billion $ in Ukraine.
Who wants to incorporate Ukraine in the west therefore is not clear, the USA, NATO or EU, or all of them ?
In any case, many in Europe see Putin just as an honest gas supplier.
Trump's gas is much more expensive.

Heros , June 17, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT

The usual Saker

Definitely. He stays well within the Judeo-Overton window. He is kosher, so to speak. Sure, like Alex Jones, he will make the occasional slap at Israel or Zionism, but he will not verge outside of the window's "Nazi Germany was the ultimate evil" or the holy 6 million martyrs. I also have never read any of his work where he delves into 9/11, and what it means about everything that has happened since.

You have three "not bad snippets" that I don't really agree with:

The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.

It is not that they don't give a damn, it is that they take their orders from a higher source. Euro-serfs see the coerced passage of Lisbon and Maastricht, the ongoing 3rd world invasion, the restriction of free speech, the increasing criminality, the ECB destruction and removal of elected officials in Greece and Italy. They know it is a sham, they just don't understand why, because they are constantly being lied to. Saker is not helping here.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.

Saker is not willing to tell us exactly who this entity is. He is not going to take us outside of the Judeo-Overton window.

They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense

With this dog whistle he is treading on thin ice. Sure, "their problems" could describe past crimes like Maidan that may be catching up with them, but it could also cover such things as Gaza, the Liberty, the King David Hotel, or even the targeting of Nagasaki in 1945. As usual though, he won't confront the serpent.

Jake , June 17, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT
"At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects "more equal than others" (say, the UK versus Greece)."

That nails it as well as it can be done, though I'd say that some states are far more equal than others and add Germany to the UK in that category.

Jake , June 17, 2018 at 11:57 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Yes, but also while allowing Germany to dominate the EU in every way, especially economically to the detriment of other EU states.

Miro23 , June 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT

The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the "fiercely patriotic Poles" who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).

Talking about individual EU countries, the Poles need to realize that they're no longer dealing with Imperial Russia or the Soviet Union, and try exploring avenues for productive co-operation with Russia. It's working with "historic enemy" Germany, so why not with "historic enemy" Russia?

There are plenty of opportunities, with the first one surely being shutting down US bases on Polish territory and getting US missiles out of Poland. The current USA and the UK are under UZA management which is clearly hostile to everything modern Poland stands for.

bj , June 17, 2018 at 2:39 pm GMT
@Heros

"targeting of Nagasaki in 1945″ ..

"For targeting purposes, the bombing crew used St. Mary's Urakami Cathedral, the largest Christian church in East Asia. At 11:02 a.m., on Aug. 9, 1945, when the bomb was dropped over the cathedral, Nagasaki was the most Christian city in Japan."

https://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/09/the-very-un-christian-nagasaki-bomb/

annamaria , June 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Hey, Quartermaster, why don't you tell us more about the amazing progress achieved by Ukraine after the Kagans-sponsored revolution of 2014? For instance, you could tell us (proudly?) about the rise of neo-Nazi power in Ukraine and about certain Kolomojsky, the Ukrainian/Israeli thug, and his financing of the Azov battalion.
The EU countries put people in prison for questioning the tight official narrative/numbers of holocaust biz.

The same AngloZionist "elites" are content with the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine by the local neo-Nazis: http://www.stalkerzone.org/banderists-came-ukraine-march-center-odessa/

"Antisemitic Hate Crimes Thrive in Ukraine:" https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/04/21/antisemitic-hate-crimes-thrive-in-ukraine/
"Symbols of the 1st Galician SS Division are not considered to be Nazi symbols in Ukraine:" http://eu.eot.su/2017/05/20/symbols-of-the-1st-galician-ss-division-are-not-considered-to-be-nazi-symbols-in-ukraine/
"The roots of fascism in Ukraine: From Nazi collaboration to Maidan:" http://liberationschool.org/the-roots-of-fascism-in-ukraine/

annamaria , June 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
@byrresheim

What is wrong with using the word "Ukronazis?" How would you name the happy warriors beholden to the memory of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician)?

http://liberationschool.org/the-roots-of-fascism-in-ukraine/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/stepan-bandera-nationalist-euromaidan-right-sector/

"The newly formed Ukrainian state will work closely with the National-Socialist Greater Germany, under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler which is forming a new order in Europe and the world and is helping the Ukrainian People to free itself from Moscovite occupation.
The Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army which has been formed on the Ukrainian lands, will continue to fight with the Allied German Army against Moscovite occupation for a sovereign and united State and a new order in the whole world.

Long live the Ukrainian Sovereign United Ukraine! Long live the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists! Long live the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian people – STEPAN BANDERA" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Ukrainian_State_Act

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
@renfro

We are talking apples and oranges. EU wants cheap, reliable energy from Russia and to export to Russia as much as possible without interference from US. That is pure business. But the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia, some because they are fed by the security-military-academic spending, some because they 'studied' and were politically formed in US or UK. Some because that's just the way they are.

There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonising Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid.

There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on.

After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again. My advise to Russia would be to mind its own business and not try to sacrifice for the others or to help them. It has always backfired because the cultural milieu in Europe is naturally resentful of Russia and the east in general. Business doesn't change that.

[Jun 17, 2018] Ukraine as reflection of USA. When masters fall out their men get the clout by Mark Kravets

Dec 26, 2017 | medium.com

So-called Ukrainian 'maidans' have bored the world community to death. And the public has been taking the protests currently under way in Kiev for no more than traditional autumn and winter open-air parties, similar to the Parisian 'fire shows'. Meanwhile, much more significant confrontation has been taking place in Kiev, alongside with the circus of ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili. An inner conflict between two anticorruption and power-wielding departments of the country is long overdue. In their relations with the media, both representatives of those organizations and members of various Verkhovna Rada fractions have been describing specific processes that are taking place in Ukraine as 'Makhnovshchina' or a war of all against all, literally speaking.

After returning from the international anti-corruption forum organized by the U.S. State Department, Nazar Holodnitsky, head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) of Ukraine, stated in an interview to TSN , the Ukrainian TV channel, that a standoff of law enforcement agencies may escalate into a war harmful to entire Ukraine. Thus, a conflict between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO) has evolved into a hybrid war with interrogations involving physical and mental pressure and mutual accusations of all sorts of evils. Delegates of both sides have simultaneously visited their U.S. sponsors and come back comforted with just another assurance of '1000% support'.

Such confrontation of the government institutions raises eyebrows, I must say. State Department has publicly been sympathized with both the corruption fighters and the General Prosecutor's Office upon condition of the settlement of conflict by legal means and punishment of officials guilty of criminal charges. Meanwhile, the FBI has also been drawn in this undeclared war. In June 2016, the FBI and NABU adopted the Memorandum of Understanding, which allows the FBI to assist NABU and SAP in the matter of investigations and implementation of anti-corruption actions. The Bureau's special agents and analysts have been working in NABU on a temporary rotational basis.

The mere presence of the FBI suggests an idea about another U.S. security service which has been standing invisibly by in Ukraine, since it gained independence. This is the CIA, a classic rival of the FBI. The very secret visit in 2014 of the former Central Intelligence Agency chief John O. Brennan preceded the beginning of active hostilities in Ukraine. The CIA stood behind the appointment of the recent Kiev government. It had also protected the acting president of the country from rivals, up to a certain time. For instance, they conduced to the resignation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former rather ambitious Prime Minister of Ukraine who was in conflict with Petro Poroshenko and running for his post.

That helps explain the real cause of furious intransigence of NABU and the General Prosecutor's Office throwing wild accusations at each other. They have virtually been used by power-wielding structures and political forces of another state for a showdown. A never-ending internal fighting in the American national security environment has become the talk of the town being eventually accreted with new dirty wash. It seems that it has become more acute, with the passing of time.

For example, the FBI dealt a hard blow to the CIA bringing 12-count charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, false statements, and other against Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate, Richard Gates. His other partner, Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager was involved as well. Manafort was renowned for his associations with the CIA and for consulting the Party of Regions which was led by Victor Yanukovych. It became clear who was he FBI's source of such detailed and valuable data after the statements by Artem Sytnyk , Director of NABU and Serhiy Leshchenko , a Ukrainian MP.

Nevertheless, the CIA won at this stage of confrontation, because Trump came to power. Even support to the current President of the USA prior to the elections wasn't of much assistance to the FBI Director Comey.

History has witnessed a number of episodes when Ukraine was a stage for showdown by political forces from other countries. It never ended peacefully. As far back as in the XVII century Ukrainian territory had become a theatre of operations owing to the bloody strife between Polish hetmans (high military commanders in the Army of the Kingdom of Poland) of Ukrainian and Cossack origin. As a result, lands of the Zaporizhian Host voluntarily pledged allegiance to Russia.

During World War II the Ukrainian people suffered much harder. At that time the Third Reich was intensely seeking for ways to weaken the USSR, even before it invaded Poland in 1939. It was decided to use the ancient divide-and rule tactics proven by Julius Caesar, involving gradual tearing away of territories with malcontent population. Ukraine was considered the most prospective area for fomenting disaffection.

However, there also was both ideological and political discord among the highest ranks of the Third Reich. Thus, Alfred Rosenberg, the main ideologue of Nazism, along with admiral Wilhelm Canaris (who was accused of 'spiritual instigation' of a plot against Hitler) were planning the establishment of Ukrainian buffer state controlled by the Third Reich. Using such promises they managed to recruit Andriy Melnyk, a central figure in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), and notorious Stepan Bandera who, just like Mr. Yatsenyuk, was striving to lead the government in independent Ukrainian state. If the second one kept clinging to his aims all the time, Melnyk was good at matching to desires of his sponsors from Hitler's surrounding. When Himmler and Koch didn't recognize Rosenberg's ideas and wanted to weaken his power in the National Socialist Worker's Party, Melnyk was quick to assure them of his willingness to cooperate on any terms, especially when they let him know that Fuhrer didn't like the idea of a Ukrainian buffer state.

It is a paradox that those relations that had developed both within various branches of OUN-UPA and the Third Reich senior ranks coordinating them were similar to the recent situation in Ukraine. Ukrainian nationalist leaders were used not only for German purposes, but also for elimination of competitors in power. For instance, Rosenberg, after all, had to abandon his point of view. Many of his influential followers resigned just like chief Comey did to the delight of chief Pompeo, this May. Although NABU, the organization most thoroughly maintaining a steady U.S. course prepared for Ukraine, has been successfully continuing investigations, digging into Poroshenko who fell into disfavor for his poor record. And here you are, Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a close acquaintance of the U.S. president's national security advisor McMaster and Secretary of Defense Mattis has indirectly supported Saakashvili's demonstration. In September, Saakashvili hanged out happily with contenders of the recent president in future election Valentyn Nalyvaichenko and Andriy Sadoviy, in Lviv. Now a big friend of Senator McCain Yulia Timoshenko and a number of Verkhovna Rada MPs endorse him.

This mess of warring parties seems to be disordered and extremely headachy. The situation has been much worse for the number of competing forces and foreign organizations standing behind them in Ukraine was much greater during the Third Reich and it continues to be so at present. The recent Ukrainian bellum omnium contra omnes has been a reflection of competitive battle between various security and governmental agencies in the USA.

A single distinct and unequivocal fact is that being a neighbour of such a huge state as Russia, Ukraine was always suffering from those who wish to weaken that influential country. Over and over again throughout Ukrainian history the country was exploited, with nationalist sentiments artificially ignited and false promises made. Even 'humane' Rosenberg's scheme ascribed Ukraine the role of a mere supplier of raw materials and a buffer state between Germany and Eastern Slavic countries without any right to independence.

As such, the USA regards Ukraine as an administered territory which is useful for strategic and economic aims. They skillfully manipulate Kiev government with carrot and stick. Undesirable Ukrainian political puppet might be branded as corrupt and replaced by more manageable nominee, at any time. There is always a possibility to initiate another blood shedding Maidan with oppressions and civil war, in case of urgency. Today's Ukraine is no freer than it was in 1941, during the invasion of Nazi Germany. Melnyks, banderas, hetmans skoropadskies have been replaced by new 'heroes', who never changed their essence. For evanescent promises and artificially inflated ambitions they've been tearing the country apart without mercy either to each other, or their countrymen. Meanwhile, the world community has been watching with approval the beacon of democracy vigorously setting things to order in 'dark and ignorant' Ukraine. Each of them thinking, 'Better them than me.'

[Jun 17, 2018] In the German parliament Merkel and her supporters battle to continue their anti German policy against the CSU even in the CDU (Merkel's party) there are courageous people who that remind Merkel by whom she is paid, and to who she has obligations.

Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , June 17, 2018 at 11:16 am GMT

http://www.achgut.com/artikel/wir_truemmerfrauen_nach_dem_merkelsturz

Im Bundestag kämpfen Merkel und ihre Treuesten derweil darum, ihre Anti-Deutschland-Politik unter anderem gegen die CSU durchzusetzen -- sogar in der CDU gibt es erste Mutige, die sich daran erinnern, wer sie bezahlt und wem sie eigentlich verpflichtet sind.

Rough translation:

" In the German parliament Merkel and her supporters battle to continue their anti German policy against the CSU -- even in the CDU (Merkel's party) there are courageous people who that remind Merkel by whom she is paid, and to who she has obligations. "

There are German rumours that Merkel will fall this week.

Historians from time to time write how curious it is that apparently unrelated events in different parts of the world change history.

I wonder if the Trump election with the realisation, long overdue, in Germany, that the migrants are a burden in stead of a contribution to the economy, may combine to Merkel's fall,in her wake maybe the implosion of the EU, and the end of the euro.

It was Merkel who prevented Greece leaving the euro.

[Jun 15, 2018] Putin, Donbass, emigration of Ukranians to Russia and US neocons foreign policy

An interesting point about refugees and emigration of Ukrainians to Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... Donbass is a civil conflict involving some Russian support for the rebels, who're overwhelmingly from the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR. These individuals have a realistic basis to oppose the Kiev based regimes that came after the overthrow of a democratically elected Ukrainian president. ..."
"... During the American Revolution, most of the pro-British fighters were said to be colonists already based in America. Furthermore, the American revolutionaries received significant support from France. With these factors in mind, the Donbass rebels don't seem less legit than the American revolutionaries. ..."
"... Some Kiev regime elements positively reference the 1995 Croat ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs (known as Operation Storm) as a solution for ending the rebel position in Donbass. Russia doesn't seek a massive refugee problem in Donbass and some other parts of the former Ukrainian SSR. As is, a sizeable number of Ukrainian residents have fled to Russia. ..."
"... Putin isn't anti-US in the manner claimed by Peters. Moreover, Peters is clearly more anti-Russian (in a narrow minded way at that) than what can be reasonably said of how Putin views the US. Putin's obvious differences with neocons, neolibs and flat out Russia haters isn't by default anti-US. He was the first foreign leader to console the US following 9/11. The Russian president has been consistently on record for favoring better US-Russian ties (even inquiring about Russia joining NATO at one point), thereby explaining why he has appeared to have preferred Trump over Clinton. ..."
"... the Russians (by and large) prefer predictability. As a general rule this is otherwise true. However, Clinton's neocon/neolib stated views on Russia have been to the point where many Russians felt willing to take a chance with Trump, whose campaign included a comparatively more sympathetic take of their country. At the same time, a good number of Russians questioned whether Trump would maintain that stance. ..."
Jun 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

Mikhail , Website June 14, 2018 at 10:28 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer

Peters has been hardcore anti-Russian and anti-Serb. His views are quite collapsible. Regarding one of his mass media appearances

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/07/17/dnc-kiev-regime-collusion-isnt-americas-best-interests.html

Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, received well deserved praise for taking to task the permeating anti-Russian biases. The highlight of Carlson's exchanges was his encounter with Ralph Peters, who for years has spouted grossly inaccurate propaganda against Russia. Antiwar.com and Russia Insider, are among the counter-establishment English language venues commenting on the Carlson-Peters discussion. The US foreign policy establishment realist leaning National Interest carried a lengthy piece on Carlson's challenge to the neocon/neolib foreign policy perceptions. For the record, more can and should be said in reply to Peter's comments.

Peters falsely claims that Russia hasn't made a concerted effort in confronting ISIS. In one of his more accurate moments, CNN's Wolf Blitzer said that the ISIS claimed shoot down of a Russian civilian airliner over Egypt, was in response to Russia's war against ISIS. You've to be either a liar or clueless to not recognize why Russia has actively opposed ISIS. The latter sees Russia as an enemy, while having a good number of individuals with roots in Russia and some other parts of the former USSR.

Peters' characterization of Russia targeting civilian areas is disingenuous. Over the years, the matter of collateral damage is something periodically brought up in response to those killed by US and Israeli military actions.

Peters offers no proof to his suspect claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin kills journalists. There're numerous anti-Putin advocates alive and well in Russia. That country does have a violence problem. Recall what the US was like in the 1960s thru early 1970′s. For that matter, Bernie Sanders isn't blamed for the pro-Sanders person who attempted to kill Republican lawmakers.

Given the situations concerning Kosovo and northern Cyprus, Peters is being a flat out hypocrite regarding Crimea. Donbass is a civil conflict involving some Russian support for the rebels, who're overwhelmingly from the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR. These individuals have a realistic basis to oppose the Kiev based regimes that came after the overthrow of a democratically elected Ukrainian president.

During the American Revolution, most of the pro-British fighters were said to be colonists already based in America. Furthermore, the American revolutionaries received significant support from France. With these factors in mind, the Donbass rebels don't seem less legit than the American revolutionaries.

Some Kiev regime elements positively reference the 1995 Croat ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs (known as Operation Storm) as a solution for ending the rebel position in Donbass. Russia doesn't seek a massive refugee problem in Donbass and some other parts of the former Ukrainian SSR. As is, a sizeable number of Ukrainian residents have fled to Russia.

Putin isn't anti-US in the manner claimed by Peters. Moreover, Peters is clearly more anti-Russian (in a narrow minded way at that) than what can be reasonably said of how Putin views the US. Putin's obvious differences with neocons, neolibs and flat out Russia haters isn't by default anti-US. He was the first foreign leader to console the US following 9/11. The Russian president has been consistently on record for favoring better US-Russian ties (even inquiring about Russia joining NATO at one point), thereby explaining why he has appeared to have preferred Trump over Clinton.

Some (including Trump) disagree with that view, which includes the notion that the Russians (by and large) prefer predictability. As a general rule this is otherwise true. However, Clinton's neocon/neolib stated views on Russia have been to the point where many Russians felt willing to take a chance with Trump, whose campaign included a comparatively more sympathetic take of their country. At the same time, a good number of Russians questioned whether Trump would maintain that stance.

Steve in Greensboro , June 14, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
@Rurik

I suppose many of us saw the Tucker with Max Boot. Boot seemed unhinged, really emotionally overwrought by Tucker raising commonsensical challenges to his neocon orthodoxy. Sad, angry man.

[Jun 14, 2018] Abuse of sanctions

Jun 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

As I pointed out in my last comment on the previous Korea thread, only the UNSC sanctions are legal--Outlaw US Empire sanctions have no legal force outside its borders and can be freely ignored. It's entirely possible Russia will use its position as UNSC President this month to introduce a resolution canceling or greatly scaling back UNSC sanctions.

That almost the entire Imperial Establishment has given the Finger to the entire affair isn't being ignored by the rest of the world, the EU in particular.

Although short, the Global Times link I provided has useful information as does the Black Agenda Report item I linked to in my comment previous to my last on that thread.

I very much approve of b's linking what was just accomplished with the NPT and hope other writers pick it up and help further broadcast his very important point.

As for 100% denuclearization of Korea, lots of nuclear power plants will need to be replaced and decommissioned, and that will likely take several decades to attain.

One can hope that an historical movement's begun to finally decolonize those nations occupied by the Outlaw US Empire upon WW2's end. Admittedly, the Asian nations will find such a process much easier than those in Europe. I doubt I'll live to see it, but somehow I can't find any reason for Germany to continue being occupied in 2045, a full century after the end of WW2. But if Germany is to become free, it cannot afford any more Merkels.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14, 2018 3:28:49 PM | 4

[Jun 13, 2018] The Roots of Argentina's Surprise Crisis

The root is neoliberal government that came to power in 2015
Notable quotes:
"... Why is any of this still "surprising" ..."
"... Economist Ha Joon Chang popularized the term "ladder kicking" to describe the way in which most developed countries used tariffs and trade restrictions to ascent to the top but are all for "free trade" now. ..."
"... Once again, so long as "Original Sin" is a reality, there is little hope. Keynes' BANCOR was the idea to begin to fix this, but short of some other global currency initiative, we're left to the International Finance Vultures as the primary arbiters of what's possible. ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Synoia , June 13, 2018 at 10:25 am

Early measures included the removal of exchange-rate and capital controls

How does a county manage what it does not control?

ChrisAtRU , June 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Exactly see Trilemma .

Scott1 , June 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Thanks for the link. I will be spending some time thinking of what Argentina would best employ as best practices from where it is.
Would they be best off if they stopped issuing such high paying bonds? Should they pay them all off and stop with it. It does appear to me that issuing bond after bond is one of the single most dangerous things you can do.
It would appear to me to be a superior practice to sell what you produce for the best price you can get on the open markets and dictate the value of your currency.
I'll have to do some more study here.
Again, thanks for the link.

Lorenzo , June 13, 2018 at 6:31 pm

You're uttering the discourse of the most recalcitrant neo-liberal cum austerity-fundamentalists around.

The US doesn't tax soybean exports. Argentina needs to maximize its exports to earn foreign exchange.'

it's misleading to say the least to draw a comparison between how the US handles soybean exports and Argentina does it. They're around a quarter of the latter's exports, barely a hundredth of the latter's.

The US will never have forex issues, Argentina does have them, and they are very serious. You make it as if simply exporting commodities will fill the country's economy with USD, while in truth those dollars will be neatly parked in tax heavens. Eliminating tax and controls over Argentina's biggest exports -agricultural commodities- is in practice as if these commodities were produced not in this country but in some foreign territory over which only the very few who hold most of the land are sovereign. Which is what the current administration has been doing for the past two years.

You also make it as if the current situation where the value of the peso is given over completely to whatever short-term speculators feel like doing with it whenever LEBACs are due is more desirable than the capital controls imposed by the previous government. These prevented the hurtful rapid rise we're seeing in the exchange rate and reduced the negative consequences of the fiscal deficit thus allowing significant investment in and expansion of the real economy.

Addressing the fiscal deficit through increased value added and income tax is something that clearly benefits the owner over the working class and depresses private consumption. I can only sarcastically wonder who would want such a thing.

I don't feel the need or the duty to defend the previous government, but victimization of the Sociedad Rural is something I just lack the words to condemn strongly enough

ChrisAtRU , June 13, 2018 at 9:15 pm

NP. You're welcome. See my comment below. Unfortunately, the only way to win this game is not to play (by the vulture established rules).

Mickey Hickey , June 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Argentina is probably the most self sufficient country on earth. It has everything, fertile land that produces an abundance of wheat, barley, oats, rye, wine grapes. As well as oil, gas. uranium, silver, gold, lead, copper, zinc. Foreigners are well aware of the wealth in Argentina and are more than willing to lend to Argentinian governments and companies. This is why Cristina Kirchner refused to give in to the US vulture funds as it dissuaded foreigners from believing that reckless lending would always be rewarded. Macri ponied up, restarting the old familiar economic doom cycle. As always its the old dog for the long road and the pup for the puddle. Macri is now in a place that he chose, the puddle. As long as foreig lenders remain reckless Argentina will remain mired in the mud, well short of its potential. I was last there in 2008 when the country was booming. When I heard of Macri's plan to pay the vulture funds I knew they were headed for disaster. This is just the beginning.

JTMcPhee , June 13, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Those "foreign lenders" can't be called "reckless." Some, maybe most among them always seem to profit from the looting, whether by "bailouts" or "backstops" from governments like the US that for "geopolitical reasons" facilitate that lending, or by extortion after the first-round lenders (who know the risks, of course -- they are big boys and girls after all) have been forestalled.

Call them "wreckers," maybe. Like early denizens of the Florida Keys, and other places, who set fires or put up lamps that resembled lighthouses to lure passing ships onto the sands and rocks where their cargoes and the valuables of their drowned passengers and crews could be stripped.

Wayne Harris , June 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm

"so-called vulture funds"?

ChrisAtRU , June 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm

"so-called" Laughable

ChrisAtRU , June 13, 2018 at 6:37 pm

Why is any of this still "surprising" to anyone?! Most countries in the world (non G7/G8) are forced to go into foreign debt in order to pursue their "development" initiatives. They are told they can export themselves out of trouble but the "free trade" (more like unfair trade!) mantra puts them at a distinct disadvantage – "unequal exchange" was the term Marx used for it.

Economist Ha Joon Chang popularized the term "ladder kicking" to describe the way in which most developed countries used tariffs and trade restrictions to ascent to the top but are all for "free trade" now.

Once again, so long as "Original Sin" is a reality, there is little hope. Keynes' BANCOR was the idea to begin to fix this, but short of some other global currency initiative, we're left to the International Finance Vultures as the primary arbiters of what's possible.

[Jun 13, 2018] Note on Us strategy

Notable quotes:
"... Erster General-Quartiermeister ..."
"... The US strategy is based on two core principles: (1) Maintain – extend hegemony over whole world. (Resources, military etc etc) (2) Act as Israel's Golom. ..."
"... Of course this (very abbreviated) view of US "strategy" is open to the criticisms that it's both dumb & evil. As if US establishment cares. Compared to cost of traditional "war" it's pretty cheap ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

In truth, infinite war is a strategic abomination, an admission of professional military bankruptcy. Erster General-Quartiermeister Ludendorff might have endorsed the term, but Ludendorff was a military fanatic.

Check that. Infinite war is a strategic abomination except for arms merchants, so-called defense contractors, and the " emergency men " (and women) devoted to climbing the greasy pole of what we choose to call the national security establishment. In other words, candor obliges us to acknowledge that, in some quarters, infinite war is a pure positive, carrying with it a promise of yet more profits, promotions, and opportunities to come. War keeps the gravy train rolling. And, of course, that's part of the problem.

Who should we hold accountable for this abomination? Not the generals, in my view. If they come across as a dutiful yet unimaginative lot, remember that a lifetime of military service rarely nurtures imagination or creativity. And let us at least credit our generals with this: in their efforts to liberate or democratize or pacify or dominate the Greater Middle East they have tried every military tactic and technique imaginable. Short of nuclear annihilation, they've played just about every card in the Pentagon's deck -- without coming up with a winning hand. So they come and go at regular intervals, each new commander promising success and departing after a couple years to make way for someone else to give it a try.

... ... ...

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: "Enough! Stop this madness!" Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation's gratitude and the support of the electorate.

Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity. No doubt Saudi and Israeli leaders will cheer, Europeans who remember their Great War will scratch their heads in wonder, and the Chinese will laugh themselves silly. Meanwhile, issues of genuinely strategic importance -- climate change offers one obvious example -- will continue to be treated like an afterthought. As for the gravy train, it will roll on.


Anon [323] Disclaimer , June 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm GMT

"The United States of Amnesia."

That's actually a universal condition.

unseated , June 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

1. WW1 had total casualties (civilian and military) of around 40M. WW2 had total casualties of 60M. So yes WW2 was more deadly but "pales in comparison" is hardly justified, especially relative to population.

2. Marshal Foch, 28 June, 1919: "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years."
WW1 inevitably led to WW2.

c matt , June 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT
"Enough! Stop this madness!"

The only politician with a modest national stage to have said that (and meant it) in the last 50 years was Ron Paul, who was booed and mocked as crazy. Trump made noises in that direction, but almost as soon as the last words of his oath echoed off into the brisk January afternoon, he seemed to change his tune. Whether he never meant it, or decided to avoid the JFK treatment, who knows.

No, as I believe Will Rogers said, democracy is that form of government where the people get what they want, good and hard.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , June 8, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
@c matt

Yes.

I supported Ron Paul in 2012. But after his candidacy was crookedly subverted by the Establishment (cf., Trump's) I vowed never to vote again for anyone that I believe unworthy of the power wielded through the public office. I haven't voted since, and don't expect to until the Empire collapses.

Carlton Meyer , Website June 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
Kirk Douglas starred in a great film about fighting in World War I: "Paths of Glory." I highly recommend the film for its accuracy, best described in Wiki by the reaction of governments:

Controversy

On its release, the film's anti-military tone was subject to criticism and censorship.

In France, both active and retired personnel from the French military vehemently criticized the film -- and its portrayal of the French Army -- after it was released in Belgium. The French government placed enormous pressure on United Artists, (the European distributor) to not release the film in France. The film was eventually shown in France in 1975 when social attitudes had changed.[17]

In Germany, the film was withdrawn from the Berlin Film Festival to avoid straining relations with France;[18] it was not shown for two years until after its release.

In Spain, Spain's right-wing government of Francisco Franco objected to the film. It was first shown in 1986, 11 years after Franco's death.

In Switzerland, the film was censored, at the request of the Swiss Army, until 1970.[18]

At American bases in Europe, the American military banned it from being shown.[18]

Mike P , June 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm GMT

No, it's not the generals who have let us down, but the politicians to whom they supposedly report and from whom they nominally take their orders.

I'd say both. The generals have greatly assisted in stringing along the trusting public, always promising that victory is just around the corner, provided the public supports this or that final effort. Petraeus in particular willingly played his part in misleading the public about both Iraq and Afghanistan. His career would be a great case study for illuminating what is wrong with the U.S. today.

As to the apparent failure of the Afghanistan war – one must be careful to separate stated goals from real ones. What kind of "lasting success" can the U.S. possibly hope for there? If they managed to defeat the Taliban, pacify the country, install a puppet regime to govern it, and then leave, what would that achieve? The puppet regime would find itself surrounded by powers antagonistic to the U.S., and the puppets would either cooperate with them or be overthrown in no time. The U.S. are not interested in winning and leaving – they want to continue disrupting the peaceful integration of East, West, and South Asia. Afghanistan is ideally placed for this purpose, and so the U.S. are quite content with dragging out that war, as a pretext for their continued presence in the region.

TG , June 8, 2018 at 7:44 pm GMT
An interesting and thoughtful piece.

I would disagree on one point though: "Today, Washington need not even bother to propagandize the public into supporting its war. By and large, members of the public are indifferent to its very existence."

This is an error. A majority of the American public think that wasting trillions of dollars on endless pointless foreign wars is a stupid idea, and they think that we would be better off spending that money on ourselves. It's just that we don't live in a democracy, and the corporate press constantly ignores the issue. But just because the press doesn't mention something, doesn't mean that it does not exist.

So during the last presidential election Donald Trump echoed this view, why are we throwing away all this money on stupid wars when we need that money at home? For this he was attacked as a fascist and "literally Hitler" (really! It's jaw-dropping when you think about it). Despite massive propaganda attacking Trump, and a personal style that could charitably be called a jackass, Trump won the election in large part because indeed most American don't like the status quo.

After the election, Trump started to deliver on his promises – and he was quickly beaten down, his pragmatist nationalist advisors purged and replaced with defense-industry chickenhawks, and now we are back to the old status quo. The public be damned.

No, the American people are not being propagandized into supporting these wars. They are simply being ignored.

Left Gatekeeper Dispatch , June 8, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
When are you going to stop insulting our intelligence with this Boy's State civics crap? You're calling on political leaders to stop war, like they don't remember what CIA did to JFK, RFK, Daschle, or Leahy. Or Paul Wellstone.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/tribute-to-the-last-honorable-us-senator-the-story-of-paul-wellstones-suspected-assassination-2/5643200

Your national command structure, CIA, has impunity for universal jurisdiction crime. They can kill or torture anyone they want and get away with it. That is what put them in charge. CIA kills anybody who gets in their way. You fail to comprehend Lenin's lesson: first destroy the regime, then you can refrain from use of force. Until you're ready to take on CIA, your bold phrases are silent and odorless farts of feckless self-absorption. Sack up and imprison CIA SIS or GTFO.

James Kabala , June 9, 2018 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Since Spain was smart enough to stay out of both World Wars (as was Switzerland, of course), I wonder what Franco was thinking when he banned the film. Anyway, the final scene may be the best final scene in the history of movies.

exiled off mainstreet , June 10, 2018 at 1:15 am GMT
This writer, a retired military officer whose son died in service to the yankee imperium seems to have as good a grasp as any if not a better grasp than any about the nature of the yankee system of permanent war.
smellyoilandgas , June 13, 2018 at 4:48 am GMT
@TG

While I agree the slave-American is ignored, I think the elected, salaried members of the elected government are also ignored.. The persons in charge are Pharaohs and massively powerful global in scope corporations.
Abe Lincoln, McKinnley, Kennedy discovered that fact in their fate.

Organized Zionism was copted by the London bankers and their corporations 1897, since then a string of events have emerged.. that like a Submarine, seeking a far off target, it must divert to avoid being discovered, but soon, Red October returns to its intended path. here the path is to take the oil from the Arabs.. and the people driving that submarine are extremely wealthy Pharaohs and very well known major corporations.

I suggest to quit talking about the nation states and their leaders as if either could beat their way out of a wet paper sack. instead starting talking about the corporations and Pharaohs because they are global.

Mr. Anon , June 13, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT
The yawning silence accompanying the centennial of the Great War is baffling to me. It was the pivotal event of the 20th century. It was the beginning of the unmanning, the demoralization of Western Civilization. It was the calamity that created the World we inhabit today.

I've heard nary a peep about it in the U.S. over the last four years. It's as if it were as remote in people's consciousness as the Punic Wars.

MarkinPNW , June 13, 2018 at 5:49 am GMT
The World Wars (I and II) can be seen as an increasingly desperate attempt of a fading British Empire to hold on to and maintain its power and hegemony, with the material, human, and moral cost of the wars actually accelerating the empire's demise.

Likewise, the current endless "War on Terra" can be seen as an increasingly desperate attempt of a fading American Empire to hold on to and maintain its power and hegemony, again with the material, human, and moral cost of this war actually accelerating its demise.

But in the meantime, in both examples, the Bankers and the MIC just keep reaping their profits, even at the expense of the empires they purportedly support and defend.

animalogic , June 13, 2018 at 8:14 am GMT
@Mike P

Good points Mike P.

Author says: "strategy has ceased to exist".

In a traditional sense the author is right. Strategy is the attainment of political goals, within existing constraints. (diplomatic, political, resources etc)
"Goals" traditionally means "victories". (WWI is a great example of the sometimes dubious idea of victory)
Has the US ceased to have a strategy ? No. (Their strategy is myopic & self destructive – ie it's not a "good" strategy)

The US strategy is based on two core principles: (1) Maintain – extend hegemony over whole world. (Resources, military etc etc) (2) Act as Israel's Golom. Afghanistan, at (relatively) minimal cost, US controls key land mass (& with possible future access to fantastic resources). Threaten, mess up Russian – Chinese ambitions in this area. Iraq: Israeli enemy, strategic location, resource extraction. Syria: Israeli enemy, strategic location, key location for resource transfer to markets (EU esp). Deny Russia an ally. Libya: who cares ? Gaddafi was a pain in the arse. Iran: Israeli enemy, fantastic resources, hate them regardless.

Of course this (very abbreviated) view of US "strategy" is open to the criticisms that it's both dumb & evil. As if US establishment cares. Compared to cost of traditional "war" it's pretty cheap ( which is funny, because it's such a yummy gravy train for the 1% sorry, actually, forgot the FIRST core principle of US strategy: enrich all the "right" people)

Tom Welsh , June 13, 2018 at 10:05 am GMT
'There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one–on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful–as usual–will shout for the war. The pulpit will– warily and cautiously–object–at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity.

Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers–as earlier– but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation–pulpit and all– will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception'.

- Satan, in Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger" (1908)

annamaria , June 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

European politicians, the war on terror, and the triumph of Bankers United: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/12/europe-brainwashed-normalize-relations-russia/
"Europe has not had an independent existence for 75 years. European countries do not know what it means to be a sovereign state. Without Washington European politicians feel lost, so they are likely to stick with Washington .

Russian hopes to unite with the West in a war against terrorism overlook that terrorism is the West's weapon for destabilizing independent countries that do not accept a unipolar world."

The world is ripe for barter exchange. Screw the money changers.

[Jun 13, 2018] Sanction Trump not Bourbon

Highly recommended!
The term "national neoliberalism" should probably be adopted as the most succinct term for Trump economic policy
Notable quotes:
"... To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the U.S. corporate state is a two-headed beast. Sure, President Trump and the Republican Party are currently handing over public lands to oil and gas companies, eliminating net neutrality, introducing pro-corporate tax legislation, kowtowing to the military industrial complex, defunding the welfare state, and attempting to privatize education and deregulate finance. ..."
"... But let's not forget our recent Democratic presidents, for example, who are also guilty of empowering and enriching big business and disempowering and impoverishing ordinary Americans. ..."
"... In war the moral is to the material as 3 is to one, said Bonaparte. The neoliberal world order according the Bretton Woods and Washington cannot raise and apply enough material [bombings, drones, aircraft carrier intimidation THAAD in Korea are the ante] without destroying itself and in its throes the world. ..."
"... The U.S. trade deficit in goods, without services, was $810 billion. The United States exported $1.551 trillion in goods. It imported $2.361 trillion. The USA imports more than they export to: China, Japan, Canada, Germany and Mexico. USA top 5 Trade deficits: China $375 billion, Mexico $71, Japan $69, Germany $65, and Canada 18 billion. ..."
Jun 10, 2018 | angrybearblog.com
likbez, June 10, 2018 2:26 am

Trump behavior at Canadian G7 meeting was boorish, but it is logical and is consistent which his previous stance on globalization: he rejects neoliberal globalization.

Sasha Breger Bush proposed the term "national neoliberalism" to depict the transition from "classic neoliberalism" which has been started with the election of Trump.

I think the term really catches the essence of the election of Trump. and should probably be adopted as a succinct description of Trump economic policy.

The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen.

Nor does he intend to maintain the United States' extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network. In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world).

I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.

See https://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/24/trump-and-national-neoliberalism

He elaborated on this in his more recent article ( http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2018/0118breger-bush.html )

But if we take seriously the idea that Trump is a consequence of the disintegration of American democracy rather than the cause of it, this "blame game" becomes especially problematic.

Partisan bickering, with one party constantly pointing to the other as responsible for the country's ills, covers up the fact that Democrats and Republicans alike have presided over the consolidation of corporate power in the United States.

To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the U.S. corporate state is a two-headed beast. Sure, President Trump and the Republican Party are currently handing over public lands to oil and gas companies, eliminating net neutrality, introducing pro-corporate tax legislation, kowtowing to the military industrial complex, defunding the welfare state, and attempting to privatize education and deregulate finance.

But let's not forget our recent Democratic presidents, for example, who are also guilty of empowering and enriching big business and disempowering and impoverishing ordinary Americans.

JackD, June 10, 2018 9:58 am

@Likbez: "Sure, President Trump, etc" is your important sentence. It is the immediate need. First things, first.

ilsm, June 10, 2018 3:12 pm

In war the moral is to the material as 3 is to one, said Bonaparte. The neoliberal world order according the Bretton Woods and Washington cannot raise and apply enough material [bombings, drones, aircraft carrier intimidation THAAD in Korea are the ante] without destroying itself and in its throes the world.

Trump is not tearing apart NATO anyone not earning money is a PNAC think tanks knows NATO has become an aggression against Russia with similar intent as Hitler.

Grabbing Sevastopol and aiding Russians in territory occupied by Kyiv are [bold] defensive moves. The threat of Chinese islands in the South China Sea is the US Navy super carriers intimidations has no career raiding Hainan.

rps, June 10, 2018 7:42 pm

I was curious if Yglesias is a Canadian since his editorial sided with the G7 leaders stance against Trump's fair-trade often labelled as 'protectionism' of USA industries. He's a New Yorker as I pondered what's his stake in this political tirade against Trump's pro-America versus anti-globalist policies?

It appears that the media has glided over the fact Trump had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated, ""You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy free." Protectionist Canadian PM Trudeau howled at a press conference after Trump had left on his way to Singapore. Why? Is it because Trudeau is committed to the welfare of Canadians and their industries? How dare the president of the USA- in turn, advocate for citizenry and country as does his G7 counterparts for their countries.

The U.S. trade deficit in goods, without services, was $810 billion. The United States exported $1.551 trillion in goods. It imported $2.361 trillion. The USA imports more than they export to: China, Japan, Canada, Germany and Mexico. USA top 5 Trade deficits: China $375 billion, Mexico $71, Japan $69, Germany $65, and Canada 18 billion.

More fun & facts:

US citizens and their jobs were swindled with cheaper foreign goods flooding American businesses and stores as good manufacturing jobs headed overseas. Jobs that created the middle class and all their earned benefits and standard of living decreased/disappeared quickly with NAFTA and the WTO.

Concisely, trade deficits destroyed the middle class, the working class, blue collar, and in turn, increased poverty and homelessness. Destroyed small town anywhere in the USA with manufacturing and jobs fleeing overseas in search of cheap labor. Go travel across the USA and see the boarded up towns, walk the streets of Flint Michigan, Detroit, Martinsville Virginia, Gary Indiana, Freeport Il, etc. Throw a dart at a USA map and you'll hit a town devastated by 'free' to lose your job trade. In 2014, 2.3 million job losses due to trade with China. Job losses in the millions have been slowly replaced with 'service' jobs and/or $8.00 an hour part-time no benefits workers as the new norm.

Remember when Walmart's original slogan was "Buy American"? Sam Walton before he died, was big on "Buy American," and it appeared in signs in the stores and on TV ads. His heirs quickly changed it to "Buy Chinese" destroying the american dream and small town USA.

Yet Yglesias' preference is all for the unbalanced trade with our G7 frenemies and punishing a president who chooses fair trade practices to ensure US jobs for American citizens. Makes me wonder who or what Yglesias truly advocates for, the NWO or the country of origin on his passport?

"What we must do is this: revise our tariff on the basis of a reciprocal exchange of goods, allowing other Nations to buy and to pay for our goods by sending us such of their goods as will not seriously throw any of our industries out of balance Such objectives as these three, restoring farmers' buying power, relief to the small banks and home-owners and a reconstructed tariff policy, are only a part of ten or a dozen vital factors. But they seem to be beyond the concern of a national administration which can think in terms only of the top of the social and economic structure. It has sought temporary relief from the top down rather than permanent relief from the bottom up. It has totally failed to plan ahead in a comprehensive way. It has waited until something has cracked and then at the last moment has sought to prevent total collapse.

It is high time to get back to fundamentals. It is high time to admit with courage that we are in the midst of an emergency at least equal to that of war. Let us mobilize to meet it." "The Forgotten Man" speech, 1937. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Since Clinton signed NAFTA in 1994 and the WTO, American jobs and industry left our shores seeking the lowest common denominator- cheap slave labor. To paraphrase FDR into the late 20th and early 21st century, "Clinton and his successors concern of their national administrations thought in terms only of the top of the social and economic structure. It has sought temporary relief from the top down rather than permanent relief from the bottom up.It has totally failed to plan ahead in a comprehensive way."

Bruce Webb, June 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Nothing personally Rps, but you do not get Triffin Dilemma and global reserve currency. Please no more NAFTA obsession when no jobs left with that deal and exports excelerated. The global reserve currency and booming financial markets create a surplus in services over goods. It also creates the need for a goods deficit to stabilize the financial system. You cannot wave a wand and cure something that cannot be cured. You need a major depression to rebalance and drive capital from america.

Bruce Webb, June 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Likbez, Neoliberalism IS American. Trump is pro-East Asia

[Jun 13, 2018] The Nationalism Versus Globalism Battles Yet to Come

Notable quotes:
"... By the way, the US provides 22% of NATO funding, a formula which is based on population. Thus, if the European members increased their contributions to NATO, the US contribution would also rise! ..."
"... Donald Trump will remain exasperated because he is fighting the good fight but not really understanding who his adversary's are. ..."
"... Foreign countries aren't taking advantage of the USA. American industrialists are taking advantage of the USA. Why does Apple make its iPhones in China? Why does Ford build so many of its SUVs in Mexico? Not because of the decisions those countries have made. It's because of the decisions American industrial leaders have made. ..."
"... The USA has a trade surplus with Canada. Trump lied about that. ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Credit: Andrew Cline/Shutterstock

At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as "the piggy bank that everybody is robbing."

After he left Quebec, his director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Peter Navarro, added a few parting words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One."

In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank: "Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades [while] the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade?"

To understand what drives Trump, and explains his exasperation and anger, these remarks are a good place to begin.

Our elites see America as an "indispensable nation," the premiere world power whose ordained duty it is to defend democracy, stand up to dictators and aggressors, and uphold a liberal world order.

They see U.S. wealth and power as splendid tools that fate has given them to shape the future of the planet.

Trump sees America as a nation being milked by allies who free-ride on our defense efforts as they engage in trade practices that enrich their own peoples at America's expense.

Where our elites live to play masters of the universe, Trump sees a world laughing behind America's back, while allies exploit our magnanimity and idealism for their own national ends.

The numbers are impossible to refute and hard to explain.

Last year, the EU had a $151 billion trade surplus with the U.S. China ran a $376 billion trade surplus with the U.S., the largest in history. The world sold us $796 billion more in goods than we sold to the world.

A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world's goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down.

We are emulating our British cousins of the 19th century.

Trump understands that this situation is not sustainable. His strength is that the people are still with him on putting America first.

Yet he faces some serious obstacles.

What is his strategy for turning a $796 billion trade deficit into a surplus? Is he prepared to impose the tariffs and import restrictions that would be required to turn America from the greatest trade-deficit nation in history to a trade-surplus nation, as we were up until the mid-1970s?

Americans are indeed carrying the lion's share of the load of the defense of the West, and of fighting the terrorists and radical Islamists of the Middle East, and of protecting South Korea and Japan.

But if our NATO and Asian allies refuse to make the increases in defense he demands, is Trump really willing to cancel our treaty commitments, walk away from our war guarantees, and let these nations face Russia and China on their own? Could he cut that umbilical cord?

Ike's secretary of state John Foster Dulles spoke of conducting an "agonizing reappraisal" of U.S. commitments to defend NATO allies if they did not contribute more money and troops.

Dulles died in 1959, and that reappraisal, threatened 60 years ago, never happened. Indeed, when the Cold War ended, our NATO allies cut defense spending again. Yet we are still subsidizing NATO in Europe and have taken on even more allies since the Soviet Empire fell.

If Europe refuses to invest the money in defense that Trump demands, or accept the tariffs America needs to reduce and erase its trade deficits, what does he do? Is he prepared to shut U.S. bases and pull U.S. troops out of the Baltic republics, Poland, and Germany, and let the Europeans face Vladimir Putin and Russia themselves?

This is not an academic question. For the crunch that was inevitable when Trump was elected seems at hand.

Trump promised to negotiate with Putin and improve relations with Russia. He promised to force our NATO allies to undertake more of their own defense. He pledged to get out and stay out of Mideast wars and begin to slash the trade deficits that we have run with the world.

That's what America voted for.

Now, after 500 days, he faces formidable opposition to these defining goals of his campaign, even within his own party.

Putin remains a pariah on Capitol Hill. Our allies are rejecting the tariffs Trump has imposed and threatening retaliation. Free-trade Republicans reject tariffs that might raise the cost of the items U.S. companies make abroad and then ships back to the United States.

The decisive battles between Trumpian nationalism and globalism remain ahead of us. Trump's critical tests have yet to come.

And our exasperated president senses this.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Bradley June 12, 2018 at 6:10 am

America spends 3 times as much on defense as its allies because it is addicted to military spending. The solution is not to pressure other countries to acquire the same addiction. The solution is for America cut its own military spending.

This is just another example of America trying to "export" its domestic issues. Quit blaming foreigners and deal with your issues.

Joe the Plutocrat , says: June 12, 2018 at 6:58 am
"A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world's goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down. We are emulating our British cousins of the 19th century." never imagined I'd say this, but you are absolutely correct. of course you neglect to acknowledge, Trump himself is an "elite" and a "globalist". the fact his "game" is real estate, as opposed to governance is more of a semantic distinction than ideological. debt-fueled consumerism drives real estate just as it drives globalism. this is nothing new. add to this the pathological narcissism and the ability to leverage moral bankruptcy as he has the tax codes and bankruptcy laws, and voila, just another globalist in populist clothing. as I have maintained all along, he is not so much anti-establishment as he is an establishment of one – he simply thrives in a different type of swamp and favors a smaller oligarchy/plutocracy. and of course, there is the big news out of Singapore/Korea, but again, much of the 'spin' or upside cited in a denuclearized Korean peninsula involves the opportunity for North Korea to join the globalists at the globalists' table. one can only wonder if there will be Ivanka's handbags will be made in Panmunjom, and if Kim Jong Un will stay at the Trump hotel in DC? either way, you are correct he is the candidate the American people, and the globalists "elected".
JonF , says: June 12, 2018 at 8:35 am
One problem with Trump's rant: the US enjoys a small trade surplus with Canada.

Would someone please get this president some hard facts and drill him on them for however long it takes top get them fixed in his mind before he goes off half-cocked with any more nonsense?

Michael Kenny , says: June 12, 2018 at 10:36 am
As always, Mr Buchanan sets out his personal agenda and then claims that Trump promised to implement it if elected. The more Trump backs away from globalised free trade (if that's what he's really doing), the more that suits the EU. The "core value" of the EU is a large internal market protected by a high tariff wall. Globalization was rammed down an unwilling EU's throat by the US in the Reagan years and only the British elite ever really believed in it. As for NATO, nobody now believes that the US will honor its commitments, no matter how much Europe pays, so logically, the European members are concentrating their additional expenditure on an independent European defense system, which, needless to say, the US is trying to obstruct.

By the way, the US provides 22% of NATO funding, a formula which is based on population. Thus, if the European members increased their contributions to NATO, the US contribution would also rise!

Kent , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:17 am
Donald Trump will remain exasperated because he is fighting the good fight but not really understanding who his adversary's are.

Foreign countries aren't taking advantage of the USA. American industrialists are taking advantage of the USA. Why does Apple make its iPhones in China? Why does Ford build so many of its SUVs in Mexico? Not because of the decisions those countries have made. It's because of the decisions American industrial leaders have made.

Secondly, there is absolutely no threat to NATO from Russia or Putin. Europe could slash its already meager defense budget with only beneficial consequences. The same with Japan and S. Korea. None of these countries need US military help. There are no real military threats to these countries. US military spending has never been about defending other countries. It is about enriching the shareholders of American military contractors.

So here is the real world: The United States has established a "liberal rules-based global order" that allows wealthy American and European commercial interests to benefit mightily from trade, and property and resource control in foreign countries. And this order is maintained by US military power. That is why the US is "the one indispensable nation". We are the nation that is allowed to break the order, to be the bully, in order for the rules-based order to even exist. That's why we are beating up on countries that try to live outside of this order like Iran, NK, Venezuela, Russia and everyone else who don't fall in line.

So Donald Trump is fighting against the power elite of the United States, he just doesn't understand that. He is fighting against the most powerful people in the world, people who are well represented by both political parties. He can win this fight if he lets the average American on to this reality. And then leads them properly to a better, more balanced world. But I suspect that he would be assassinated if he tried.

bacon , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:26 am
In re NATO and other oversea DOD spending, the old saying "who pays, says" has a corollary. Who wants to say has to pay. The US, since WWII, has wanted, insisted, on being in charge of everything we touch. This costs a lot, not to mention it often doesn't work the way we want. It would be easy enough to stop spending all this money. The Pentagon and the military-industrial complex would have a conniption and those whose defense bills we've been paying would complain to high heaven, but Trump seems intent on trashing all those alliances anyway and also on spending more money on defense than even the Pentagon thinks they need.
GregR , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:31 am
Trade deficits don't work the way you think they work. In todays economy the traditional measures of deficits don't actually tell us much about what is going on.

Do you know what China does with that $350b trade surplus? A huge percentage of it is rolled back immediately into US Treasury bonds because we are the only issuer of credit in sufficient amounts and of suitable stability for them to buy. All of that deficit spending Trump and the Republicans in congress passed last year is being financed by the very trade imbalance that Trump is trying to eliminate.

But trade imbalances really don't tell us much about the flow of money. Most of the imbalance is created by US companies that have built factories in China to sell goods back to the US, then repatriate money back to the US in the form of dividends or stock buy backs (which are not counted in the trade balance at all).

At best trade balances tell us very little meaningful about what is really going on, but can be wildly deceptive. At worst they are an easy tool, for demogogs who have zero understanding of what is going on, to inflame other uninformed people to justify trade wars.

One Guy , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
Interesting the things that Buchanan ignores (on purpose?). The USA has a trade surplus with Canada. Trump lied about that. There's nothing wrong with the USA spending less money to defend other countries. Trump doesn't have to insult our allies to do that.
Jim Houghton , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm
"Trump understands that this situation is not sustainable."

You give him more credit than he deserves. What he does understand is that while we're being the world's piggy bank, the American taxpayer is being the Military-Industrial Complex's piggy-bank and that's just fine with him. As it is with most members of Congress.

John S , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm
" our NATO allies cut defense spending again. Yet we are still subsidizing NATO in Europe "

Mr. Buchanan, like Trump, does not understand how NATO is funded. All NATO members have been paying their dues. In fact, many pay a greater proportion relative to GDP per capita than the U.S. does. Defense budgets are a different matter entirely.

Sam Bufalini , says: June 12, 2018 at 2:14 pm
Remind me again, who just raised the U.S. deficit by more than a $1 trillion over the next 10 years?
S , says: June 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm
This entire article seems to reduce complex issues into simple arithmetic. Economics and job creation is about much more than balance of payments both the author and the US president don't seem to realise this. Very shallow article.
Sean , says: June 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm
America has a trade surplus with Canada, but seems determined to rub it in.

Some background. As the glaciers retreated south at the end of the ice age, they scraped away Canada's topsoil and deposited it in America. Rural Canada has little arable areas; it's beef and dairy by necessity. Costs are high and there are ten Americans to every Canadian hence the subsidy. America subsidizes it's agriculture $55 billion annually.

Mia , says: June 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm
Great, if we're upset about having to protect our allies in the Pacific, let's change the Japanese constitution to allow them to have a real military again to defend themselves and give the South Koreans nukes to balance out the power situation between them and the Norks/ Chinese. (Why is it so little is ever said about China being a nuclear power?) This whole fantasy of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is so naive it's laughable. If nukes exist, there will never be any permanent guarantee of anything, and other countries will just keep getting the bomb without our permission, like Pakistan and China. The genie is out of the bottle, so time to be brutally realistic about what we face and what can be done. We can whine all we want to about how it's not our responsibility, but then we expect other countries to be hobbled and still somehow face enemy powers.
LouisM , says: June 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Lets take a look at the growing list of nations shifting to the right (nationalism and populism) -The Czech, Slovak and Slovenia Republics Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, the US.

Nations shifting this year to the right (nationalism and populism) -Austria, Bavaria and Italy

Nations leaning to the right and leaning toward joining the VISEGRAD -Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Greece

AS YOU CAN SEE THE PILLARS OF MARXIST / SOCIALIST / COMMUNIST OPEN BORDERS EUROPE/EU ARE BEING TAKEN DOWN. THE FIGHT WILL BE WITH FRANCE, GERMANY, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, BRITAIN, SWEDEN AND THE UNELECTED EU SUPERSTATE. RIGHT NOW THE FIGHT IS WITH THE POOR SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS BUT EVENTUALLY IT WILL REACH A TIPPING POINT WHERE IT BECOMES AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT BUT ITS ONLY AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT FOR THE LEFT AS THE EU REACHES THE TIPPING POINT AND THE POWER SHIFTS TO THE RIGHT.

[Jun 13, 2018] Leaving the past behind ... by TTG

Notable quotes:
"... Yes your last paragraph explains the neocon hysteria, their bitterness tastes sweet. ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bolton must be "turning and burning." Good! Will Kim survive this at home? We will see. Will the North Koreans actually follow through on this? We will see. Will the US follow through on this? We will see. Who will be the poor bastard who will be the first McDonald's manager in Pyongyang? Will he end his days in the Gulag? What will Nancy Pelosi say about this? Where was Kim's dishy sister during the Singapore expedition? She is the head of propaganda in NOKO. pl

TTG , 20 hours ago

I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this summit. No one is talking war in Korea anymore. So Trump gave away future military exercises on the Peninsula and characterized them as provocative. So what? In exchange we have a North Korea feeling a little less threatened. The idea of a denuclearized Peninsula could lead to a minimal or even nonexistent US presence along with a complete dismantling of the North's nuclear weapons program. That would be grand. There will be a lot of fault found in this summit and its outcome, but I don't care. This was a bold and courageous move on Trump's part. Some may think it was a courage born out of ignorance, but it was also born out of a willingness to try something new, a willingness to deal with KJU as a partner. This is refreshing. Trump done good and the world is better today than it was a few short months ago.

Perhaps Trump can apply this same reasoning to other military deployments and exercises. Recognize their potential provocativeness and withdraw. Withdraw from Syria. Withdraw from Europe. Apply the same type of conciliatory engagement to Iran, Cuba and others that he showed to North Korea. Now that would be a legacy.

Eric Newhill -> TTG , 9 hours ago
TTG,

Trump is blowing holes in old paradigms. The concepts he's applying aren't particularly genius; rather just sensible, but he's the only one who seems to be able think outside the box enough to even consider making a try for a new way. I'm sure that a lot of prep work went into this historic meeting; lots of wheeling and dealing. However, the simple yet elegant, idea behind it all is that it's better for all parties to be friends than enemies. Trump has transcended all the moralizing that holds back others (e.g."But North Korea has gulags!"). He realizes that redemption of bad actors is possible through friendship and prosperity. An adversarial relationship fixes nothing unless an actual existential war is waged and one winner emerges from the carnage- and war is costly. This kind of acting on cost/benefit analysis is one reason why some of us voted for a businessman as opposed to a career pol. Glad you are able to give credit where it's due.

TTG -> Eric Newhill , 6 hours ago
Eric Newhill,

Now if Trump can just blow holes in the old paradigms concerning Iran and Cuba. Now would be the time to do it. Obama was doing that in the case of Iran and Cuba and the neocons and Republicans gave him holy hell for daring to question those old paradigms. If Trump could get over supporting anything Obama supported, I believe he could carry these policies of reconciliation to fruition despite the opposition. He's like the honey badger. He just don't give a f#ck. And that's just what the situation calls for.

TTG -> TTG , 6 hours ago
The ultimate paradigm that needs holes blown into it is Israel's parasitic relationship with the US. I've said it before. The sooner Trump realizes our policies regarding Israel are a cost center, the better off we will all be.
Eric Newhill -> TTG , 5 hours ago
TTG,

IMO, he'll get there. First he needs to build momentum and trust. He has to prove himself to the world. NoKo is a great place to start. The neocons and borg are less invested in certain outcomes there - therefore the probability of sabotage is lower. Trump has to deal with both the external powers as well as the internal (I think the internal are the bigger barriers to success). I don't think he really gives a flying f###k about how Kushner or his daughter feel about Israel. He tossed Israel and the US rightwing a bone w/ the embassy move. That's as much as they'll get from here on out if they get too pushy. Despite some Islamic quarters making big noise about it, I don't see them actually doing anything more than protesting and getting shot for it. We've annihilated Iraqi uniformed forces twice in recent history. That serves as an object lesson to the rest of the countries in the region. So a cost free bone toss by Trump as far as he is concerned.

Rob -> TTG , 15 hours ago
Yes your last paragraph explains the neocon hysteria, their bitterness tastes sweet.
LeMoore00 -> TTG , 8 hours ago
Hello TTG,

I agree largely with your post, however I just cannot see how it can lead to further withdrawals, simply because it kind of implies the US is there for the benefit of others and not for themselves. They could pull out of Europe now. Pretty sure everyone knows Russia is not going to invade Europe, right?

But yes, Trump has shown good faith, and lets hope NK reciprocate. I think they will. The idea that Kim wants his country in its current state is just ignorant.

Pat Lang Mod -> LeMoore00 , 7 hours ago
Explain to me how the presence of US forces in Europe or Syria benefits the US.
LeMoore00 -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
I'd say the same reason why the US has bases all over the world. Please excuse my ignorance, I am just a lay man with a keen interest. Why have bases in Japan? Or indeed anywhere? Hegemony, no? Why not pull out years ago? Genuine questions. The US seems to want to check EU growth - why would they pull out their military presence there? Or, say, Japan? There are no "allies", just overlapping interests, right?
Babak Makkinejad -> LeMoore00 , 6 hours ago
Since Commodore Perry's mission to Japan in 1853, what has US gained except war and unemployment in her interactions with Japan? Would it not have been a superior policy to leave Japan alone to wallow in her brutal feudalism and delay or prevent the unleashing of that brutality on the rest of East Asia?
LeMoore00 -> Babak Makkinejad , an hour ago
Yes.

One could say the same about all empires I guess. The pursuit of power and domination seems to cloud all judgment. So, in your opinion, should the US have any bases outside of the US? I am from the UK, so there are still bases lingering from our own days of rule. They really just kept as forward operating positions, right? For example, the UK base in Cyprus used for ME operations.

Pat Lang Mod -> LeMoore00 , an hour ago
The two Cyprus bases are just springboards for adventurism. IMO we should abandon NATO as a vestige of the Cold War an leave you Europeans to your own devices. Korea? We should leave as soon as Trump can arrange it. Australia? Why are we there? So that we can meddle in Asia? Where else? I can't think of anywhere we should stay off our own territory.
Pat Lang Mod -> LeMoore00 , 6 hours ago
LeMoore00 "Hegemony" as a goal or reward has no value except to the collective ego of the Borg. If there was some economic value derived from these commitments and deployments there would be some basis for your remark but there is not.
LeMoore00 -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Agree. But the"benefit" part of my comment was from the perspective of said Borg, not the people. So I think we're in agreement here.
Pat Lang Mod -> LeMoore00 , 5 hours ago
And the benefit is a psychological benefit.
LeMoore00 -> Pat Lang , 5 hours ago
So is Trump genuinely trying to extricate the US from these situations? There is a view amongst the commentariat that perhaps he is trying to alienate allies in order for them to begin cutting lossening ties with the US, causing the very isolation Trump made a significant part of his campaign. Thoughts?
Babak Makkinejad -> TTG , 19 hours ago
North Korea will not denuclearize...

US bid for Caesarism, in the absence of a new Peace to replace that of Yalta, will only make nuclear war more probable, in my opinion.

Yes, Trump might have reduced tensions on the Korean Peninsula but the fundamental insecurity of North and South Korea remains.

Who will guarantee the continued existence of the North Korean state?

Rob -> Babak Makkinejad , 9 hours ago
South Korea is strong and rich enough to look after the North. The complicated matter of how reunification will occur will be for them to work out between them. The nuclear issue is really the easy part.
Babak Makkinejad -> Rob , 6 hours ago
Seeing is believing.

We have seen this show 5 times already.

The necessary framework for nuclear disarmament or re-unification is a Global Peace - a la Peace of Yalta - is lacking; in my opinion.

We have entered a period of Warring States - waiting, I suppose, for the Shi, Hwang Ti moment - but until such time a multipolar world does not make itself conducive to such strategic settlements - certainly not with NATO still existing.

When one considers the fact that Arms Control is dead, NPT is dead, Peace of Yalta is dead, JCPOA is dead then one cannot rightly expect a strategic settlement on the Korean Peninsula between US and DPRK.

Jaime -> Babak Makkinejad , 4 hours ago
No doubt, for what can the NK leadership conclude when they have seen a consistent foreign policy -be Republican or Democrat- of destroying any nation whose policies are seen as a threat by the US? There is no basis of trust.
Michael -> TTG , 19 hours ago
Thanks TTG,
I fully approve and share this happiness

(ex Charles Michael according to disqus)

FB , a day ago
Today the world has seen a historic day...

Trump deserves huge credit for the way he handled himself with a man who has been demonized by our propaganda ministry media and the deep state criminals who have been trying to pull a regime change in Washington since January 2017...

I have to admit I gave up on Trump quite a while ago...today changes everything...

Is it surreal that President Trump is the most moderate and sensible voice not only in the room but in the entire country...?

This is what the people voted for...and this is what 'presidential' looks like...Trump is headed for the history books in a very very large way...

I have to believe that he is consolidating control of the machinery of state...I was actually first surprised by Pompeo's breakthrough and surprise visit to DPRK...and even Bolton has turned out not to be the spoiler I had feared...

What in the world is going on here...?

Did the universe just turn upside down...?

All of the questions Col Lang asks are relevant, but just the huge success that this day has become overshadows everything for now...

What next...will Putin and Trump finally get together and really start putting the screws to the enemies of mankind that are besetting both men...?

Let us dare to hope...

sbnat1ve -> FB , a day ago
Which enemies of mankind would that be? Climate change, famine, water scarcity? THAT would be miraculous!
Babak Makkinejad -> FB , 18 hours ago
Great day for North Korean diplomacy.
JohnA -> FB , 11 hours ago
Gregory Copley is interviewed by John Batchelor in these two episodes explaining the whole thing in geopolitical terms:

How will Trump strategically transform North Korea and North Asia?

https://audioboom.com/posts...

What do Tokyo and Moscow want strategically from the Trump taming of Kim?

https://audioboom.com/posts...

Very enlightening. Very hopeful.

sbnat1ve , a day ago
This seems to be the meat of the summit from the George Stephanopoulos interview:

G: Did you talk about pulling troops out? U.S. troops out of South Korea.

T: We didn't discuss that, no. But we're not gonna play the war games. You know, I wanted to stop the war games, I thought they were very provocative. But I also think they're very expensive. We're running the country properly, I think they're very, very expensive. To do it, we have to fly planes in from Guam -- that's six and a half hours away. Big bombers and everything else, I said, 'Who's paying for this?' I mean, who pays, in order to practice.

Apparently the South Koreans were caught by surprise (again).

I'm assuming canceling war games once in a while is fine....but what happens to readiness if they are cancelled over a long time and how important (and specific to a North Korean context) are these games? Experts...please weigh in? How long would it take North Korea to take over South Korea with conventional troops and weapons?

Makoshark -> sbnat1ve , a day ago
Kim invading SK, its 600,000 effectives (3mln reserves), 30,000 US servicemen & nukes & Carrier strike group, on the eve of a diplomatic breakthrough that could end up with engraving his name in gold throughout history...

Sounds a bit like Assad gassing his civilians right on the brink of a strategic victory. But on a devastating, enormous, monumental scale.

sbnat1ve -> Makoshark , a day ago
I wasn't thinking he would do it right away...and he sure would wait til Trump had pulled those expensive troops out of there.
SurfaceBook -> sbnat1ve , 16 hours ago
i dont know if you aware that south korean military is estimated 5x stronger compared to NK , and it is a folly to compare the 1950 SK and NK in term of combat strength , readiness and whatnot
Pat Lang Mod -> SurfaceBook , 10 hours ago
Yes, I know that. The small US ground force are just hostages to insure a US nuclear response to successful invasion.
william mcdonald , 9 hours ago
I can't help but think that events like this might have occurred earlier in his term if not for this Russian collusion thing.
Sid Finster -> william mcdonald , 6 hours ago
That is precisely why the Deep State has pushed Russiagate so hard.

It delegitimizes Trump and restricts his freedom of action to do things neocons don't like.

Pat Lang Mod -> Sid Finster , 6 hours ago
It SEEKS to delegitimize Trump.
TTG -> william mcdonald , 6 hours ago
william mcdonald,

The key condition that triggered this series of events was NK's development of a nuclear weapon and delivery capability. That put KJU in a position to make conciliatory moves towards SK and the rest followed. However, Trump's disposition to try something

TTG -> william mcdonald , 6 hours ago
william mcdonald,

The key condition that triggered this series of events was NK's development of a nuclear weapon and delivery capability. That put KJU in a position to make conciliatory moves towards SK and the rest followed. However, Trump's disposition to try something new was also instrumental... and fortuitous.

Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 5 hours ago
It is inherent in his character, not fortuitous.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 4 hours ago
pl,

I meant it's fortuitous for us. I agree it's inherent in his character. That's why i think it's entirely possible he and/or his organization conspired with Russians to circumvent election laws and norms to gain some kind of advantage in the election. He would feel no inhibition to trying something new. It's inherent in his character.

Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 4 hours ago
Thus fsr you have no proof whatever that he "conspired" with the Russians.
Valissa Rauhallinen , 17 hours ago
Hurray for peace-making!

Here's a fascinating tidbit on the Trump Teams PR efforts...
White House Created Production Video to Assist Singapore Summit Talks With North Korea . https://theconservativetree...
Details are surfacing of a video put together by the White House to assist in diplomacy messaging toward Kim Jong-un and the team of North Korea negotiators. According to reports, toward the end of the talks between President Trump and Kim Jong-un the video was shared in both Korean and English languages to the audience of both teams. The video was also shared with the international media audience prior to President Trump's remarks at the press conference
------------------------

The 4 min video is very well done, and as one commenter pointed out is a great example of positive propaganda.

You can also watch it at YouTube

Play Hide
ex-PFC Chuck , a day ago
As for
Bolton must be "turning and burning."


Perhaps his hiring as NSC chief was a case of "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Or as LBJ put it, "Have them inside the tent pi**ing out."

Babak Makkinejad , a day ago
This is the 5-th time we have seen this show.
The Beaver , a day ago
Colonel

Kim's sister was in Singapore. She is the one who handed him all the documents to be signed , after bringing him the pen which has been dusted and verified by a NOKO agent.

Pat Lang Mod -> The Beaver , a day ago
Good I am looking forward to seeing more of her. She would clean up beautifully.
David Lewis , a day ago
Seems like Trump echoed what I assume is a N Korean view..no nukes anywhere around the Korean peninsula which, I'd imagine, in the view, would include S. Korea and Japan and perhaps...and in return POTUS gets to build some resorts on N Korean beaches...I hope I'm wrong but that seemed the between the lines message

No more war games with S. Korea??? as added inducement for Kim..to sign an agreement that didn't expand beyond previous agreements with respect to nukes?

Pat Lang Mod -> David Lewis , a day ago
"and in return POTUS gets to build some resorts on N Korean beaches." If this is not irony you may actually be too stupid for SST. that would put you in an elite group.
David Lewis -> Pat Lang , a day ago
This is the age of Trump...today's irony is tomorrow's reality..http:// www.businessinsider.com/tru... .
Eric Newhill -> David Lewis , 9 hours ago
A lot of people totally miss that Trump jokes around quite a bit.
FB -> Pat Lang , a day ago
LOL...
Bill Herschel , a day ago
If you want some insight into DT's or Kim's personalities, look at the list of people Sammy "The Bull" Gravano murdered. DT and Kim are both criminals who have risen to the "top" through criminality. This current claptrap is DT trying to bring out the base for the midterms. How are things in Yemen these days?
Fred -> Bill Herschel , a day ago
I'm pretty certain that zero of Trump's supporters live in Yemen. How about the Obama replacement 2020 candidate; are they going to run on liberating Yemen? I'm sure that will pull the democratic base out to vote.
Pat Lang Mod -> Bill Herschel , a day ago
I didn't know you were a Democrat. Something new every day. Yemen?

[Jun 13, 2018] If Only We'd Listened To Ike... - Inside The Deep State

Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Kevin Paul,

Many Trump supporters, and even some on the left, like to talk about the "Deep State" secretly having complete control of our government, thus rendering our elected leaders to be nothing more than meaningless figureheads. Let's investigate.

Long before the term 'Deep State' became popular, the term "Military Industrial Complex" was coined by President Dwight Eisenhower.

He gave his now famous Military Industrial Complex (MIC) speech on Jan 17, 1961.

During his ominous farewell, Ike mentioned that the US was only just past the halfway point of the century and we had already seen 4 major wars. He then went on to talk about how the MIC was now a major sector of the economy. Eisenhower then went on to warn Americans about the "undue influence" the MIC has on our government. He warned that the MIC has massive lobbying power and the ability to press for unnecessary wars and armaments we would not really need, all just to funnel money to their coffers.

Jump to Ike's warning about the "unwarranted influence... by the Military-Industrial Complex" at 8:41

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OyBNmecVtdU

His warning though proven correct, was sadly not heeded. Within a few years JFK was assassinated shortly after giving his "Secret government speech" warning the American people about "secret governments and secret organizations that sought to have undue control of the government.

JFK was in his grave for less than 9-months before Gulf of Tonkin incident which was a series of outlandish lies about a fictitious attack on a US naval ship that never happened, which caused the US to enter the Vietnam war.

President Johnson lied his way into a war with North Vietnam and within less than a year would joke that "maybe the attack never happened". By the time the war ended in 1973, Johnson's bundle of lies had killed 2.45 million people.

The MIC however, saw the Vietnam war as a great victory and a template for the future success to their objectives. Ever since the Vietnam War, the MIC has urged the government to enter into as many ambiguous and unwinnable wars as possible, since unwinnable wars are also never-ending. Never-ending wars equate to never-ending revenue streams for the war industry.

Eisenhower warned us about the concept of one particular industry taking control of our government, but sadly his predictions fell of deaf ears.

Since Eisenhower's time several other over "Industrial Complexes" have followed the MIC example and taken control of our government to suit their needs as well. Their objective is to buy out politicians in order to control the purse strings of Congress and they have been highly successful.

The list of these ÏC industries includes, but is not limited to the companies below:

1. The Drug Industrial Complex. (DIC)

The prescription drug industry has massive control of our government and our health care system. A recent Mayo Clinic study concluded that 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug.

The most tragic example is opioids, though similar arguments can also be made in reference to the anti-depressant epidemic, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

The sicker America is, the better it is for the DIC.

The drug lobby is 8x larger than the gun lobby and is indirectly responsible for the deaths of between 59.000 and 65,000 people in 2016 alone, but if we dig deeper, that number could easily be 2 or 3 times higher, Since deaths related to opioids from infection related to opioid related infections are extremely common Anti-depressants are being prescribed 400% more than they were in the 1990's. They are commonly prescribed to adolescent women and we live up to the name "Prozac Nation" when we realize that 1 in 5 women between the ages of 40 and 59 are taking antidepressants. The list of other prescription medicines to enhance the DIC revenue streams is extensive.

There are two primary industrial complex rules when it comes to prescription drug centric treatment:

Firstly, no curing is allowed, ever. Treatment of conditions with temporary benefits is allowed, but healing is not permissible, since it interrupts revenue streams.

And second, any and all "natural" or homeopathic treatment whether it be related to diet, supplements vitamins, anti-oxidants or physical exercise/meditation should all be relegated to "quackery." Doctors who do not adhere to the prescription drug method of treating patients should also be referred to as adherents to "quackery" and should be reprimanded, fined and in extreme cases have their medical licenses revoked.

2. Real Estate Industrial Complex. (RIC)

Goal: Keep housing prices rising as much as possible, year after year after year.

How this is implemented: Endorse the borrowing of money to entice people into buying excessively large homes in order to promote the "dream" of home ownership. Once people buy into this scheme, they are then saddled with massive home taxes to their city and the burden of the taxes utilities that go along with owning an excessively large home. Stigmatize anyone who is over the age of 25 and lives in the same domicile as a parent or grandparent.

Make sure all media channels repeat over and over incessantly that high real estate prices are "signs of a great economy," while ignoring the crippling effect high home prices have on working class families who can barely pay their mortgage.

3. College Industrial Complex (CIC)

The average tuition in 1971-1972 was $1832.00 and now it is officially over $31,000.00.

There are over 60 colleges and universities where the tuition has already exceeded $60,000.00 per/year.

A college education used to be something that people saved and paid cash for, but now there has been a cultural shift where students are expected to take out loans that are often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a college degree.
Why is this all so expensive? When we look at our universities and colleges, we see an obsession with elaborate new buildings and sports stadiums, more than actual learning.

There are several emerging/innovative ideas to make a college education better, faster and far more affordable. Such concepts probably won't take hold until the inevitable collapse of the entire educational system takes place.

4. Health Insurance Industrial Complex (HIC)

Much of the US healthcare system is now governed by the "Healthcare Affordability Act" passed by the Obama administration in 2010.

The HIC proved how powerful they were when Congress was not allowed to read the legislation before voting for it, publicly displaying that the HIC who wrote the bill behind closed doors is more powerful than Congress itself.

What transparent public committees were behind this important legislation?

In reality, there was no transparency at all, this is stated clear as day by Healthcare Affordability Act primary architect Jonathan Gruber stated: "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage, Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass."

The Speaker of the House at the time was Nancy Pelosi, who famously said from the leadership podium as House Speaker: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.'

Our elected officials were not allowed to read the most important legislation of the past 30 years before voting for or against it. There is no greater testimony to the level of dysfunction in Congress than the Healthcare Affordability Act, formed by secret committees and then not allowing Congress to read it before voting.

* * *

Let's think back to 1961 when Eisenhower warned us about what would become the Vietnam War. The American people's ignoring his warning caused arms manufacturers and big business to assume nearly complete control of US government.

If we had listened to Ike, millions of people would not have died in the wars of the last 57 years and we would have trillions of dollars less in debt. Perhaps we still have time to heed his warning before our entire country collapses under the weight of corruption, crippling debt and never-ending wars, let's hope so.

* * *

Kevin Paul is the founder of Alternativemediahub.com, which refers to itself as "The megaphone of independent journalism." Born in MA, he came within 2% of winning the R party nomination to oppose Ted Kennedy in 2006 and holds degrees in business and political science.

[Jun 12, 2018] Jared Kushner didn't disclose his business ties with George Soros, Peter Thiel, and Goldman Sachs, or that he owes $1 billion in loans, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Jun 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

JelloBeyonce -> gwar5 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:24

I guess the "Deep State" is deeper than the White House is reporting.....

Jared Kushner didn't disclose his business ties with George Soros, Peter Thiel, and Goldman Sachs, or that he owes $1 billion in loans, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The top White House adviser and son-in-law of Trump failed to identify his part ownership of Cadre, a real-estate startup he founded, which links him to the Goldman Sachs Group and the mega-investors George Soros and Peter Thiel, sources told The Journal.

Oldguy05 -> JelloBeyonce Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:45 Permalink

Vampire Squid. Tentacles everywhere.

[Jun 10, 2018] Some display a weird obsession with colonialism. In reality everyone's self-serving; the form changes but at the end of the day, that's nature. And evidently the West, whatever foibles it has, should at least make an effort to survive

Jun 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

GammaRay , June 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm GMT

@Daniel Chieh

There is no universal, global brotherhood of "nationalist, right-wing, anti-SJW" values as you seem to be trying to imply. The western far-right/alt-right is entirely self-serving and their appeals to some kind of global nationalistic ideology is basically just a thin facade that they promote in order to help generate support for their own self-serving agenda. The only reason that the western far-right wants to reach out for allies right now is because they are on the ropes and in a position of weakness; if the western far-right was instead in a position of strength then they would not hesitate to put their boot on your neck. You are quite naive if you don't think otherwise.

As an long time observer of the western far-right; its very clear that at the end of the day, it is not principles that they care about, it is only themselves. That in itself would be fine if they were upfront about it, however the problem is that they insist on being very deceptive about their true motives. As I have said in this post, and so many others; why is it that the far-right wants to postulate about "rights" and "fairness" when it comes to the preservation of the white race, but then when it comes to any other ethnic group on earth that has been negatively impacted by western colonialism the far-right just tells them to go fuck themselves? This tells you all you need to know about how the far-right really feels about its so called vaunted principles regarding racial/cultural preservation. They believe in it for themselves yes, but will be more than willing to compromise this belief when it comes to any others. You are missing the forest for the trees if you insist on adhering to notions of abstract jointly-held values at the expense of basic strategic interests; this is something I guarantee you is not lost on the western far-right.

You also assume that SJWism is going to spread to east asia and negatively affect the culture there in the same way that it has in the west. Is this or is this not the primary motivation why you seek an alliance with the western far-right? Have I understood your motive correctly? Going on the assumption that this is actually your motive; then why haven't you taken into account the fact that culturally and genetically speaking, east asians simply think differently than whites do? There is no reason to believe that SJWism is going to run as rampantly in east asia as it has in the west. It will gain a foothold that is for sure, but it won't gain the same kind of traction that it has in the west. Ideologies cannot completely change the essential natures of people, if this was the case then the alt-right (based on racial determinism) would not exist in the first place. Anyways this is a moot point; if the west fully declines then it would be unable to export its leftist ideals anyways, so I don't see what you're mad about.

Once again, to reiterate my original point. It is absurd for POC to assume that the western far-right in any way, shape or form represents their interests or at the very least is a neutral entity towards them. It is true that POC is a clumsy, extremely general term, but in this context it functions perfectly. The western far-right worldview is basically encapsulated as "whites vs all others"; therefore within this context, a pan non-white concept like POC is useful for working within such a stark, extremist ideological framework. What is playing out in the west right now is basically the west struggling with its own past actions; highly conscientious POC need to sit on the sidelines, shutup and let this play out on its own. There is no need to take sides here, the west made its own bed, let it sleep in it, this has nothing to do with POC.

GammaRay , June 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Most of us are against both 'invite the world' and 'invade the world'.

Im an old hand on the internet far-right/alt-right scene; what you said is generally true except with a major caveat. The alt-right is against invading the world only when it doesn't result in any net gain for the west. The alt-right doesn't actually have a principled stance against colonization/invading other countries; rather they are only against invading other countries when it inconveniences them, but when it happens to benefit them, they are fully supportive of all kinds of invasions. This is probably one of the things that disgusts me most about the alt-right is how they lack any kind of true, consistent moral foundation but like to act as if they do.

Its not really a useful argument to ask if something is really a grassroots thing or not. You could apply that same line of reasoning to anything to the extent where it could obscure the true reality of an event. Is globalization due to the actions of a jewish ruling class? Perhaps. But many on the alt-right still blame jews in general because they understand that there is something in jewish culture that is sympathetic to the globalization project overall. The same thing applies to western colonization as well. Regardless of what the western ruling class chose to do, there was an eager, sympathetic and compliant population which enabled western colonization to happen. If the population was not enthusiastic about the colonization project then the broad and thorough scale of european colonization would have been impossible otherwise.

The very act of colonizing and expansion is something that speaks to the very soul of western man. Most on the far-right fully agree with this sentiment btw and this is something that you see them say over and over. Simply trying to deflect all the blame on the ruling class and absolve the people actually carrying out actions is pretty disingenuous. The reality is, both the ruling class and its subjects are both equally culpable for european colonization. More importantly, I want to add that while colonialism may not have originated as a grassroots movement, it certainly had (and continues to have) grassroots support (especially among the far-right). Which is something that is equally important to consider (and equally damning as well)

Daniel Chieh , June 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm GMT
@GammaRay

You have a weird obsession with colonialism. Everyone's self-serving; the form changes but at the end of the day, that's nature.

You're just as self-serving, except that you've apparently have a global image of "POC" being united for some reason. And evidently the West, which for whatever foibles it has, shouldn't at least make an effort to survive?

God, that's stupid.

Misanthropy is the true answer.

GammaRay , June 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Lol, you couldn't address any of my points, that's why you just throw everything out and take potshots at me.

The modern world, and nearly everything that unz.com is about ultimately goes back to colonialism. You could equally say that the writers on unz.com have a weird obsession with immigration/globalization. Likewise, I could equally say that you have some weird obsession with leftism. You see how flawed your logic is?

No, im not being self-serving here. I know that my usage of the term POC triggered your anti-left/anti-SJW sensibilities, but you're reading too much into the usage of a word. The term POC was used because it was appropriate for the context (as I explained in my reply to you and you conveniently ignored), not because I have an extreme left political orientation.

Once again, to reiterate my original point. It is absurd for POC to assume that the western far-right in any way, shape or form represents their interests or at the very least is a neutral entity towards them. It is true that POC is a clumsy, extremely general term, but in this context it functions perfectly. The western far-right worldview is basically encapsulated as "whites vs all others"; therefore within this context, a pan non-white concept like POC is useful for working within such a stark, extremist ideological framework. What is playing out in the west right now is basically the west struggling with its own past actions; highly conscientious POC need to sit on the sidelines, shutup and let this play out on its own. There is no need to take sides here, the west made its own bed, let it sleep in it, this has nothing to do with POC.

As for the west trying to make some effort to survive; I had never claimed that it should not. In fact I never made any argument to that effect in any of my comments on this article. In fact, I want you to prove me wrong . Since you seem so sure of your position, quote and paste where I clearly made an argument to the effect of the west should just give up and stop trying to survive. I'll be waiting.

You need to work on your reading comprehension. Clearly I have been making the argument that POC (I hope you get triggered by this) need to stop trying to prop up the west by rubbing shoulders with the alt-right and should instead sit back and watch things play out. This is not their fight. Making this argument is completely different than what you were trying to imply I was saying.

God, that's stupid

Daniel Chieh , June 9, 2018 at 5:08 pm GMT
@GammaRay

As I've said before, I give as much effort to a reply as I think a person deserves. Obviously you're not one of them, in no small part because of your insane fetish with "colonialism" – which I barely could care for.

Indeed, colonialism can be plenty helpful for improving the condition of a population objectively, which is surprising given that its goal is traditionally extractive but when the native elite is so incompetent or even more extractive of their population, then it is a net benefit to the population.

Not that I really care; I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with conquest. At the end of the day, competition is the means to determine which values and memes of humanity survive and by removing violence completely as a method, it leads to warping of the population.

I'm descended from mandarins; I have a pretty clear line of family history as far back as the Yuan. We've done beautiful things – marvelous terraced farms, canals that remain to this day, and a slew of impressive artwork. We've done terrible things – kept generations of illiterate serfs and bondsmen. "European colonialism" may hurt us, but the Cultural Revolution did a lot more damage and almost wiped us out. And we've invaded Vietnam, and I don't regret it: Annam, the peaceful south. Had the Ming held it, had it remained Chinese, its hard to argue that it would not be wealthier and more beautiful than it is now.

So no, I don't feel anything in common with your so-called POC. And your rants about colonialism only irritate me further. There are many terrible things in life and the world. And often, they are also beautiful and glorious things.

GammaRay , June 9, 2018 at 8:41 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

LOL. This is hilarious, keep backtracking. You obviously care because you bothered to reply in the first place. Tellingly, you were unable to address the most cogent points in the argument that I brought up against you in my previous replies and instead prefer to dissemble about something that has nothing to do with the original point of discussion. Don't think I didn't notice the (clumsy) sleight of hand. You try to act as if you're above replying to me but really the problem is that you're unable to argue against the points that I made. Its really that simple. If you were able to disprove my arguments then you would already be doing that instead of talking in circles about it.

Ethically speaking, colonialism is wrong. Doesnt matter who does it, white black or yellow. That being said, I understand the dark parts of human nature and why colonialism happens. Time and time again, I have clearly stated how the crux of my argument is the hypocrisy of the far-right when it comes to the topic of colonialism, not so much the act of colonialism itself. That's it. And I couldn't make my point any clearer. The onus falls on you, and not on I to correctly perceive this point. My problem is not that the west colonized the world (shit happens), my problem is that the far right wants to celebrate and condone colonialism (hence celebrate the historical destruction of other races and cultures) while simultaneously wanting to complain about their own racial displacement and cultural destruction (ironically brought about by globalization which in turn was brought about through western colonialism in the first place). The far-right has a major ideological consistency here which it is either blind to, or willfully ignores. I'm sorry but the western far-right can't have its cake and eat it too. It needs to clearly decide how they feel about the ethics of colonization and then take a principled and consistent stance on it.

Regardless, both in the comments for this post, and for the entirety of my posting history, my stance regarding colonization has been the same. It is you that has misunderstood it due to your faulty reading comprehension, and anybody who doubts my words is perfectly free to read my prior comments in this thread as well as look through my comment history as well. Therefore, the thrust of your reply completely misses the mark. I suspect however that your misunderstanding was intentional considering how clearly I made my point regarding colonialism in all of my posts. Regardless, why should anyone take what you have to say seriously when you have already demonstrated a clear tendency for poor reading comprehension or willful misperception? Don't forget about this:

You're just as self-serving, except that you've apparently have a global image of "POC" being united for some reason. And evidently the West, which for whatever foibles it has, shouldn't at least make an effort to survive?

God, that's stupid.

As for the west trying to make some effort to survive; I had never claimed that it should not. In fact I never made any argument to that effect in any of my comments on this article. In fact, I want you to prove me wrong . Since you seem so sure of your position, quote and paste where I clearly made an argument to the effect of the west should just give up and stop trying to survive. I'll be waiting.

I'm still waiting for you to clearly provide proof of your assertion that I implied the west should just give up; which in fact I never wrote anything to the effect of that, but in your rush to debunk me, you obviously missed that. The alt-right always prides itself on relying strictly on the facts, so please live up to this ethos. Everything I wrote is an open book, either prove your assertions or admit that you can't.

So no, I don't feel anything in common with your so-called POC. And your rants about colonialism only irritate me further. There are many terrible things in life and the world. And often, they are also beautiful and glorious things.

Nor do you have to feel anything in common with so-called POC. Do you think I care what you feel? You vastly overestimate your own importance. Remember, it was you who went out of you way to start up this dialogue with me, not I . I'm glad that my "rants" regarding colonialism irritate you. That being said, if they irritate you so much, instead of responding to them, please ignore them from now on. You are aware that you are not obligated to reply to anything I write, right?

GammaRay , June 9, 2018 at 8:41 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

True! There are many terrible things in life and the world, and also there are many glorious and beautiful things as well. I think it is beautiful that the west has lived at the expense of others for so long, and now we are reaching a point where everything that the west has done is now catching up with it in unexpected ways. It turns out the the universe has a sense of humor afterall. What goes up, must come down. This applies to all races and all civilizations. As humans, we must seek to live in harmony with each other, and not simply exploit and kill one another. There is beauty in seeking to rise above such primitive impulses, and if possible acting with understanding and compassion towards our fellow man. That is truly the meaning of "being civilized".

Truly I do not harbor ill-will against the west because it is western, rather I harbor ill-will towards the west because of its past actions and present attitudes. This is why I specifically target the far-right (because of their present attitudes about the west's past actions), as opposed to attacking all western people. I especially have a soft-spot for westerners that are able to genuinely feel remorse about the past. I strongly believe in the concept of forgiveness and letting things go, provided that the sentiment is genuine and mutual. Actually on that topic; even indifference is an acceptable emotion. I think its stupid to morally hold westerners to past events when even they are indifferent about their own racial/cultural future. I only stick it to the far-right because they automatically incur higher moral/ethical standards for themselves to meet when they want to start talking about the importance of having moral rights for racial/cultural survival.

That being said, the west has a tremendous amount of momentum from its past actions gathered against it; so it doesn't really matter how I feel, the west will still have to deal with everything that is happening to it and what is going to happen to it in the future. Nothing you say or do will impact this in any way, so you might as well enjoy the ride instead of complaining that I am pointing out inconvenient truths which harm your delicate sensibilities. Ironically those who complain most about fragile SJW snowflakes are those who get triggered the easiest themselves

In fact, looking at your history, you are a rare breed: you are a genuine, unironic anti-white crusader. You actually think there is something uniquely evil about "white people" and talk without any sense of contradiction that you have "extensive experience of white people."

The mind boggles.

It was a mistake to give you any time at all.

This is actually a lie what you have written. For your convenience, and for the convenience of anybody reading, I have provided the quote of what I had originally written which you are referring to:

GammaRay says:
April 29, 2018 at 7:04 pm GMT • 200 Words
@Wizard of Oz

This is an interesting question and definitely worth looking into. That being said, I do not buy into the reasoning that an exploding british population is the only or even major reason behind colonization. From learning about european culture, and understanding the general weltanschauung of white people, as well as from having extensive social experience with them; it is clearly evident to me that there is a strong extraversive, expansive component that exists in the white collective consciousness which under certain circumstances strongly compels them to colonize, displace and replace much more so than other races would do so under similar circumstances. What alt-righters/WN would call "ambition" and "drive", others might prefer to recognize it as "greed". Regardless of the semantic trivialities; it is clear that there is a strong internal drive within westerners that causes them to vigorously pursue both the physical and cultural colonization of "the other". This is not a negative or positive judgment though; it is merely intended to be understood as an objective observation.

What I had written clearly strives to be dispassionate and objective as opposed to the maniacal and frothing at the mouth anti-white diatribe that you are attempting to make it out to be.

Im sorry but the truth of the matter is that HBD is probably real; racial differences probably exist on a genetic level which influence the behavior and temperaments of different races and ethnic groups. The fact that whites are more likely to be domineering and have a tendency for colonizing "the other" does not make them evil; it is an impulse that can be channeled in both positive and negative ways. That being said, just because I bring up this inconvenient fact doesn't automatically make me racist or "anti-white". I am merely trying to work within a framework of reality, we have both multiple centuries of history to draw inferences from, as well as interpersonal anecdotal observations of white behavior both in real life as well as on the internet in spaces such as these. I don't think its very controversial that I am making observations based on noticing patterns. I mean, is noticing patterns illegal or something undesirable?

[Jun 09, 2018] Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say. ..."
"... The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack. ..."
"... "No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.] ..."
"... "Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since . ..."
"... "More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi." ..."
"... The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ] ..."
"... Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers. ..."
"... The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. ..."
"... I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply." ..."
"... There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths. ..."
"... Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another ..."
"... (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed. ..."
"... Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden. ..."
"... Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again. ..."
"... Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham. ..."
"... Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams. ..."
"... Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." ..."
"... For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy. ..."
"... Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known. ..."
"... There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings. ..."
"... Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH- ..."
"... Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face? ..."
"... If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars. ..."
"... My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody? ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .

"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'

"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun

The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.


ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

anon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."

CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

Examples:

The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.

The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another

https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.

Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/

Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Mbob-

I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.

willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."

Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

An earlier time line.

March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.

It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

Specific points.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Steven Halper?

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"

Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

strgr-tgther:

Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

As fo