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NSC --  a sinister organization that controls the President and foreign policy, and ensures  militarization of the USA foreign policy on behave of CIA and MIC

News Neofascism Recommended Links Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate John Bolton Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Fiona Hill as Nuland 2.0 H.R. McMaster
Michael Flynn Robert O’Brien, yet another neocon in Trump administration Alexander Vindman Mike "we killed up to 200 Russians" Pompeo: a liar, a killer, a war criminal, a lobbyist for MIC Rex Tillerson Nikki "Binomo" Haley -- yet another female neocon in best Madeleine Albright style Zbigniew Brzezinski -- an influencial anti-Russian bigot who helped to create Political Islam and modern jihadists Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Disaster capitalism Predator state New American Militarism Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 American Exceptionalism Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate
Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) USA-Russia Gas War "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place  UA officials and security services  role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate  FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Diplomacy by deception Machiavellism
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Who Rules America The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Etc
 

The Rise of the American National Security State is about the militarization of U.S. foreign policy starting about midway through the 20th century, increasing during the Cold War era and, somewhat surprisingly, continuing in the post-Cold War period. Part I asserts that something called the Cold War consensus emerged quickly after the end of World War П, during the first few years of what became the Cold War. One result of the Cold War consensus was a critical piece of legislation that created the Defense Department, what became the intelligence community (beginning with the CIA) and the National Security Council (NSC) inside the executive branch — that is the presidency. From the very beginning NSC was designed  as the tool of such militarization:

Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who Is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military – OffGuardian

Recall that there was an attempted military coup d’état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.

One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows.

In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President’s principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.

In Col. Prouty’s book he states:

In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to “provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA” as an official function.

What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC’s policies.

 

The main thesis is that from the late 1940s through the entirety of the Cold War, US foreign policy increasingly militarized. Then the Cold War ended interestingly (and somewhat paradoxically), US foreign policy continued to militarize rather than return to the inward-looking nation that existed prior to World War П even after dissolution of the USSR. The question is why?

Some years ago, Charles Kegley and the late Eugene Wittkopf defined U.S. foreign policy conceptually as follows. Kegley and Wittkopf asserted that U.S. foreign policy was the goals and/or objectives that policy makers sought to achieve abroad, the values that shaped the said objectives (affected them, constrained them, etc.), and the instruments used to accomplish them. It is as good as any definition and had the virtue of simplicity.

The Kegley-Wittkopf definition, though simple, included three main concepts (think of them as indicators of the dependent variable, y). The three indicators are (1) goals or objectives (whatever word the reader prefers), (2) the values that affect those objectives over time (one may think of this as America's ethos), and (3) the instruments by which the objectives are carried out or put into motion.

Any nation-state (or other actor) has things external, events outside its borders to which it reacts and responds: invasions, economic crises, various kinds of wars, balances of power, and the like, which cause policy makers to respond. Additionally, the United States has huge foreign policy bureaucracy (or rather, competing bureaucracies) including the defense and state departments, the intelligence community (from CIA to NSA to Naval intelligence), as well as other players, such as commerce department, treasury ( read Wall Street), department of agriculture, so forth that all affect the USA foreign policy.

The foreign policy  behemoth of the United States probably implements foreign policy more often than makes it, but its influence is felt in many ways. Bureaucracy often constrains rapid or dramatic change, for instance.

 Think of these government inputs as bureaucracy conforming, largely, to the rules of bureaucracy everywhere. Bureaucracy can create an impetus for change or it can constrain foreign policy—mostly the latter.

In the United States, key members of the president's cabinet—as will be seen—secretaries of state and defense, the president's advisers for security and counterterrorism, and Joint Chiefs of Staff—regularly meet with the president to address foreign policy challenges.

The reader will soon see a set of these advisers is called the National Security Council principals and the NSC was created by something called the National Security Act of 1947, an important focus of the present study.

 Each presidential adviser has personality and management idiosyncrasies and those differences have the potential to affect U.S. foreign policy (particularly in the NSC setting but elsewhere too). These are individual inputs of U.S. foreign policy and they include, importantly, individual presidents and their idiosyncratic differences.

By contrast to individual inputs, however, each of the mentioned positions has role expectations also. The American people expect the president and secretary of defense (and others) to behave in certain ways and those roles come to shape the individual, often more than the individual shapes the office or role. In addition to role expectations by the public when a candidate becomes president and nominates cabinet and NSC advisers, several of these positions also have role expectations and role shapes the office holder as often as the office holder shapes the role. These constitute role inputs.

singe the end of the WWII the main goal of the USA foreign  policy was attaining and maining the world hegemony -- Full spectrum dominance.  While America did not start out as an empire as early as  1812 it was already militaristic and warmongering nation, always ready to start war of expansion at slightest opportunity.

Initially the USA was concerted with expanding within North American continent and has modest foreign policy ambitions that turned around laissez-faire economics, freedom of navigation (necessary for capitalism), and eventually the Monroe Doctrine (dividing the European Hemisphere from our own),

But already in the War of 1812 the USA acted as predatory state. 

The NSC consists of three main parts. The first part is the NSC principals (after 1991 called the principals committee. The principals committee includes the advisers and members articulated in the National Security Act of 1947 (president, vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, what has become the national security adviser but began as an executive secretary) and a few others, such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the head of civilian intelligence (originally the DCI but today called the Director of National Intelligence [DNI]). Presidents are allowed by statute to include others as they deem necessary. Sometimes a president will include the attorney general, director of home land defense, and others. The NSC principals committee did not fully emerge until the 1990s. Though not called the NSC principals originally. For example, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the "ExComm" or executive committee of the NSC met. The "ExComm" was essentially a meeting of the NSC principals along with some participation by others that we would today consider NSC deputies or ad hoc members (as opposed to statutory members) of the NSC. In each of the case studies in Part II, the same criteria or questions will be applied: whether the NSC (including the principals, deputies, and staff) have been used in a novel or unique way.

Most of the positions included in the NSC principals have deputies (e.g., the number two in Defense is the deputy secretary of defense) who run the day-to-day business of the department or bureaucracy. The NSC deputies committee meets more frequently than the NSC principals and tries to anticipate upcoming challenges to U.S. foreign policy. The deputies committee often will meet for preliminary discussion in order to prepare options to eventually be decided by the principals themselves.

The third and final part of the NSC is the NSC staff. NSC staffers are experts from various other executive agencies of the U.S. federal government such as Defense, State, the intelligence community (IC), Treasury, and others who are seconded to the NSC staff for limited time frames (two years or so). NSC staffers are invariably going to return to their home agency at some future point, but they often pass through the NSCs of different administrations for the sake of continuity.

It is important to note that these three entities have not always existed in the NSC. Rather, they evolved over time. Initially, the National Security Act of 1947 created a group of members and advisers who have evolved into the principals committee in modern times as well as an executive sec retary who evolved into the NSC adviser. The members were originally the president, the vice president, both secretaries of state and defense, and the NSC adviser.

The NSC adviser is actually called the special assistant to the president for national security affairs. When the position was the executive secretary of the NSC, it was a relatively weak paper pusher.

All three bureaucracies created by the National Security Act of 1947 (the NSC, department of defense, and today's intelligence community) evolved into rather autonomous from the executive branch  large bureaucracies. Given the laws of bureaucratic inertia and momentum, all three have try to hijack the foreign policy.

All three of the main creations of the National Security Act of 1947— Defense, the IC, and the NSC—have contributed in various ways to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy begun during World War П; each of the three continues to affect foreign policy today.

The NSC has become the apex of U.S. foreign policy making and the NSC is terribly understudied and underappreciated in academic and journalistic circles. Few foreign policy experts write about it or the power that has accrued to the presidency since its creation. Though the NSC was never considered a secret, and in fact Congress debated it in 1947, it has escaped proper scrutiny.


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July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013

[Feb 25, 2021] As the unofficial voice of U.S. foreign policy, Foreign Affairs turns up in some interesting places. And, after maintaining a subscription for many years, I would argue that it provides a fairly reliable chart of where the U.S. elite plan to steer the American ship of state.

Feb 25, 2021 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: February 22, 2021 at 10:49 pm GMT • 3.0 days ago

@Sirius e Council on Foreign Relations quest for a New World Order through global cooperation, ending borders of trade and immigration, and continuing America's military role: ready to intervene anywhere in the world if necessary.

https://freddonaldson.com/2020/12/08/biden-picks-kissingers-policy-stalwarts-to-direct-u-s-foreign-policy-another-vietnam/

Everyone keeps talking about the elites who rule over us -- do you want to know who they are?

[Jan 20, 2021] The differences between the two monopoly parties in the USA are entirely domestic and are nothing but the size of the crumbs given to the people who think they are free

Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

gottlieb , Jan 20 2021 20:09 utc | 59

It's an Empire with a revolving-door Emperor called a President or Prime Minister. The facts are fixed around the policy. We're obviously headed back toward a more 'can't we all get along' empire, after four years of a guy who thought he was an actual emperor, instead of a bobble-head. The differences between the two monopoly parties in the USA are entirely domestic and are nothing but the size of the crumbs given to the people who think they are free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

LittleWhiteCabbage , Jan 11 2021 15:19 utc | 128

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

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

Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boomerang effect

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

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

Information overload

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

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

Looking for a scapegoat

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

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

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

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

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

Internal targets

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

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

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

Foreign targets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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


Jen , Jan 6 2021 20:01 utc | 17

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

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

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

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

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 #3

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

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

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

Jackrabbit , Jan 6 2021 20:28 utc | 23

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

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

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

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

!!

[Jan 06, 2021] Americans Only Care About Themselves. Their Rulers Only Care About World Domination, by Caitlin Johnstone

Jan 06, 2021 | caitlinjohnstone.com

Ever since November third the American political/media class have been keeping Democrats fixated on Trump's post-election shenanigans with garment-rending urgency, now going so far as to call for yet another oxygen-sucking impeachment as he's on his way out the door while millions of Americans are struggling just to meet their basic needs.

You wouldn't know it from the dominant chatter, but Trump's impotent attempts to reverse the election results don't rank anywhere remotely near the top ten worst things this president has done while in office, which include vetoing attempts to end the world's worst mass atrocity in Yemen, escalating world-threatening cold wars with both Russia and China, murdering untold tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, pushing Iran to the brink of war by assassinating its top military commander, expanding the "war on terror" and rolling back airstrike regulations designed to protect civilians.

US political discourse hasn't reflected the fact that Trump's foreign policy has been far more atrocious than anything he's done domestically–and certainly anything he's done since November–because news media coverage does not reflect this fact. News media coverage does not reflect this fact because western news media regard imperialism and mass military slaughter as normal US presidential stuff, and do not regard brown-skinned foreigners as human.

I point this out because it's good to note, as Trump leaves office, that he spent his entire administration advancing murderous imperialist agendas which spilled very real blood from very real human beings while mainstream America barely even noticed. Their attention was drawn instead to endless narrative theater which had no impact whatsoever on the concrete actions taken by the US government's executive branch. Their gaze was kept fixated on meaningless political drama while the war machine marched on unseen.

Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world, to such an extent that you can only get them to watch a British sitcom if it's remade with American actors and they don't know that having your nation's flag flying all over your neighborhood isn't normal. The story of Kanye and Kim's divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began. This lack of interest in war and foreign policy is mighty peculiar, seeing how the people who run their country make it their primary focus.

Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design.

Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts.

The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs. Immense amounts of energy have gone into preventing the rise of an antiwar movement in the hub of the empire like the one which began shaking the earth in the sixties and seventies, with propaganda playing a leading role in this suppression. The US is far too important in the operation of the empire-like power alliance which sprawls across the earth to permit its inhabitants to interfere in its operations by using the power of their numbers to force their nation's wealth and resources to be used at home. So propaganda is used to hold their attention inside America's borders.

"The danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony," writes @RichardHanania>

In an excellent Palladium essay published last month titled "China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology", Richard Hanania argues that the example China sets as a nation rising to superpower status by relatively peaceful and lawful means is deeply threatening to the orthodoxy promoted by western imperialists. If the world in general and Americans in particular were to become more conscious of how a civilization can succeed and thrive without waging endless wars in the name of "freedom" and "democracy", they might begin calling for such an order themselves.

"While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind," Hanania concludes.

"Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong."

In other words, China's rise threatens to reverse the carefully-engineered dynamic which has Americans looking inward while their government points its attention outward. If Americans begin turning their gaze internationally and use the power of their numbers to force their government to heal and nurture their crumbling nation, it would spell the end for the imperialists. But it could also be the beginning of a peaceful and harmonious world.


CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

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

STANLEY N LAHAM / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

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

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

CAROLYN L ZAREMBA / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

ROUNDBALL SHAMAN / JANUARY 6, 2021

"Americans are famously uninterested in the rest of the world Americans only care about America while their rulers only care about the rest of the world. This is entirely by design."

In a sense, you can't blame Americans for being so shallow-visioned. From birth, Americans are taught that they belong to "The Exceptional Nation". Well, if you are Exceptional, that must mean everyone else ISN'T Exceptional. So why in the world would Americans care about those unimportant outsiders?

Add to that the fact that most people are innately selfish anyway and just naturally don't care about anyone or anything much but themselves. The World beyond USA borders is just some kind of unimportant black hole that doesn't count for anything. Or so the belief goes. Generation to generation.

And add to that fact what does any of this have to do with big shiny pickup trucks, cold beer, and American football? Those are the three dominant religions in America and have been for a long time. Why would Americans care about anything else? There's only so many hours in the day, you know?

"The nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff interfering in their affairs."

Where things seem to headed the nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who drive the US government's foreign policy cannot have the common riff raff AROUND AT ALL. Various scenarios in play for that outcome.

We need to live each day as if it is our last. Because one way or another, The Last One is getting closer. Do cattle at the stockyards realize that they are in a stockyards and their brothers and sisters go into that big building and don't seem to come out? Will we?

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

S.A. HOGAN / JANUARY 6, 2021

Dear Caitlin (with typos fixed),

I'm afraid I must take offense when you paint things with a broad brush–which is almost invariably a no-no, the stuff of which prejudice is made–and say "Americans care only about America."

While our media may encourage an ethnocentric, myopic viewpoint of the world, the cure is to A. explore the viewpoints of other countries, and B. get out there...

NEWTON FINN / JANUARY 6, 2021

"Americans fixate on America while ignoring the rest of the world not because they are genetically prone to self-obsessed navel gazing, but because their attention is being constantly and deliberately manipulated away from the stage upon which their government is perpetrating monstrous acts." Not entirely correct. Because of the basic decency of the American people, their imperial government is compelled to use its MSM mouthpiece to sell wars to them in explicitly moral terms.

First, their attention is relentlessly focused ON a specific foreign stage. Then, the leader of that foreign country is demonized as a new Hitler. Finally, the responsibility of the exceptional nation is asserted to protect the citizens of that foreign country from their demonic leader. This longstanding propaganda strategy of R2P (responsibility to protect), previously described by Caitlin and Diana (the other Johnstone), provides strong evidence that the character of the American people, as Caitlin indicates, is no worse than that of other nations.

Indeed, is it not precisely the morality and decency of American citizens which are manipulated by their government and MSM to provide sanction and support for evil deeds?

JOHN DAY / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

JWK / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

FRED GROSSO / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

KHATIKA / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

Much of what you say about America's lack of involvement with foreign affairs is correct. If you asked the average American citizen where is Yemen? You would get a blank stare...

SOLLY / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

EDWARD HACKETT / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

MR OBVIOUS / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

ZARD / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

left(ZOG)right =Divide and Conquer

STEPHEN MORRELL / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

JIMMY ROBERTS / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

Caitlin is, however, way off beam in her assessment of the "average" American, who, she believes, is only interested in American affairs, flag-waving, and TV. This pessimism simply does not correspond with reality. American cities have been ablaze with revolt for the last 2 years, in response to US police murders of innocent people, and especially black people. These mass demonstrations reflect a revolutionary state of mind amongst wide layers of American working class people, especially the youth of America who correctly see no future for themselves in capitalist America.

... ... ...

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

ROBERT L PHILLIPS / JANUARY 6, 2021

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

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

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

j'accuse

Americans I am one but do you think I have a choice? Most of the people I know. Ok to be honest, all of them, consider themselves well informed... Dissing people who live in a cultural wasteland is not a good use of time. As a great man once said: 'Forgive them father, they know not what they do.

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021

I made it clear that Americans are the victims of imperialist propaganda brainwashing. My American husband who co-wrote this article says stop being so precious about your nationality.

ANNA QUAY / JANUARY 6, 2021

As a Brit I hear you. This political ignorance is certainly not confined to America. I would go as far as to say it extends to all of the English speaking countries of the world. Oh, I would also suggest that you can throw in most of Europe, then add Asia into the mix. It is an affliction that affects humanity.

It is borne from years of being ruled by a hierarchy. We have a slave mentality and it is only individuals who are awake. Collective groups of people usually belong to some organisation and therefore by the nature of their organisation simply follow the doctrine/dogma or ideology of that organisation.

RON CAMPBELL / JANUARY 6, 2021

Once again Ms Johnstone hits it out of the park with an article that brings goosebumps to this old man. The United States government is completely corrupt and its world-wide killing sprees are way worse than anything that Mr. Hitler ever did. No morals and no ethics and no empathy are the hallmarks of its nature that need to be done away with ASAP. Thank You Ms Johnstone for you honest assessment of the United States Monster.

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE (AUTHOR) / JANUARY 6, 2021

Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump https://www.courthousenews.com/prosecution-of-kiddie-traffickers-plummeted-under-trump/

[Jan 06, 2021] U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It

Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It

Andrew Bacevich points to an interesting essay by Richard Hanania about the "threat" from China as perceived by the U.S. establishment.

China's Real Threat Is to America's Ruling Ideology

The author says that China, even as it is growing and has passed the U.S. economically, is not an enemy of the U.S. and no danger to U.S. or others' security:

While China is not blameless, one could reasonably make the argument that, from an international perspective, it has had easily the most peaceful rise to great power status of any nation of the last several hundred years.
...
Perhaps, as the McMasters of the world claim, this is all because Beijing is biding its time in hopes of world domination. Alternatively, China may be an inwardly focused civilization that, while it may have disputes with its neighbors, is not on a mission to fundamentally remake the world. While it would naturally prefer rules that favor it and resists any principles that would legitimize regime change supported from abroad, Beijing does not seek to fundamentally replace the U.N. or rewrite international law. Its strategy has mostly sought stability and growth within the rules of the system developed by Western democracies in the aftermath of the Second World War. While its current position of strength is recent, it has not yet broken from this precedent.

Nor does it, as far as is known, plan to do so.

Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth. That ideological argument was used to seek and kill various 'dictator' dragons abroad. China has proved them to be wrong. And therein lies the real danger to the U.S. establishment.

China's development over the last 40 years proves that it is not necessary to wage wars in foreign countries to be secure and to prosper. For U.S. ideologues that is a bad example that should not exist:

If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified? What will it say about the American system if the U.S. is no longer the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, having been surpassed by a country that became the dominant power in East Asia without even paying lip service to democratic ideals?

Ultimately, Americans themselves might begin asking themselves difficult questions about how well they have been served by their own system, including the sacrifices in blood and treasure they are regularly asked to make abroad.

That would be really bad as the monetary fodder in the trough the national security establishment is feasting from would suddenly be seen as an unnecessary waste. That is the real danger to the blob:

Ultimately, the danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony . Perhaps not every state is destined to become a liberal democracy, and nations with very different political systems can coexist peacefully, as many countries in East Asia do. Maybe the U.S. will not always be at the frontier of military and economic power, and the country that overtakes it may have completely different attitudes about the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens.

While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind. Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong.

What then is the U.S. establishment going to do?

The U.S. rose to global supremacy on the back of two world wars which destroyed the industrial capacities of its main competitors while the wars hardly touched its own country. Could it arrange for a comparable event, by maybe instigating a conflict between Japan and China, that would again lead to a major destruction of global production capabilities while the U.S. stays on the sidelines?

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons , as another writer proposes, may be a way to get there:

What to do [about China]? There is one way to square the circle. The Biden administration should reconsider reflexive U.S. opposition to "friendly proliferation."
...
Taiwan is in greatest need of such a weapon, but developing one would be highly destabilizing, since Beijing would be tempted to preempt the process. The alternative would be for Washington to fill Taiwan's need, with a profound impact on Sino-American relations. Proliferation would not be a good solution -- but it might be the least bad one.

No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States.
...
It is easier to know what not to do with China than what to do. Don't go to war. Don't stage a new cold war. Don't sacrifice core values and basic interests. Don't make the issue all about Washington. Don't waste money and credibility on overambitious, unsustainable attempts at containment. Don't attempt to dictate to the PRC.

But what to do? The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do. Including, perhaps, developing nuclear weapons.

I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Posted by b on January 5, 2021 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink


namulith , Jan 5 2021 19:30 utc | 1

Total madness!
Michael Droy , Jan 5 2021 19:32 utc | 2
Fortunately the Taiwanese are smart enough not to use nuclear weapons.

Seems to me that China threatens mostly Big American companies - Google Facebook etc, and therefore the US stock market valuations that depend on huge growth expectations remaining credible.

james , Jan 5 2021 19:40 utc | 3
thanks b... the idea to stop when digging a ditch for yourself is not something the usa has ever demonstrated in my memory.. it would be nice if the usa could change its approach on the world stage, but at this point i give it very low odds.. instead the usa will be forced to adjust to a different reality, much like all the innocent people in the usa left behind by a system that is broken.... the usa is becoming what it has failed to address and becoming a failed state... it seems like it is now on one of those china bullet trains to reach this failed state destination, as no other options are likely to be explored here forward...

i am presently reading a book by linda mcquaig given to me for christmas - the sport and prey of capitalists - .... essentially the capitalist template used in the usa the past 40 or more years is being pushed onto canada - privatization and allowing big finance firms like blackrock into the halls of canuck political power to decide the direction that we have to privatize our public institutions... again - we are back to the conversation that @pshycohistorian likes to focus on - public, verses private finance... these financial monoliths are dominating the landscape of the west... i don't know how we move forward and put them to rest... i suspect a financial collapse is the only way, and i am not convinced that the new system will be better then the last... the predators, although a small percentage on the planet, are especially focused on there desire for financial power and dominance.... is china headed in the same direction?? or russia?? i can't tell... as for canada, the future looks grim if one was to just read this book i refer to...

gottleb , Jan 5 2021 19:41 utc | 4
Agree 100%. We can't expect the USA to suffer its own Shock Doctrine can we? The American Fantasy of World Savior is too engrained in Establishment thought to give up its American Exceptionalist, Unitary Super Power, Plunder for Profit, in the name of FREEDOM all while doing Blankfein's God's Work without a fight.

Imagine the horror, the horror I tell you, of American Introspection at the nation's utter failure at everything it pretended at.

Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 5 2021 19:45 utc | 5
Isn't it going to be forbidden, in a couple of week, for any country to have nuclear weapons?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Prohibition_of_Nuclear_Weapons

As for China, I believe it's conclusively demonstrated the superiority of its sociopolitical model. Growing economy, growing prosperity, growing influence in the world, no wars.

Jackrabbit , Jan 5 2021 19:50 utc | 6
"... Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It [China] "

Just ideas? Or maybe they have plans that they are already implementing?

Seems like the latter to me. But then I've been saying (repeatedly) that everything changed in 2013-14 when USA realized that the Russia-China Alliance had teeth.

!!

vk , Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7
Some Chinese commenter here please help me, but, if I'm not mistaken, China has a doctrine that in the US thinktankland they call "China's Peaceful Development Doctrine". In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

So, the author from the Paladium Magazine is reinventing the wheel here, as China makes no secret of its global doctrine.

I maintain my opinion that nukes eliminate the prospect of another Kondratiev Cycle being forced on a world war. Nukes not only destroy infrastructure - it also destroy land and air themselves. It subtracts space from capitalism.

powerandpeople , Jan 5 2021 20:09 utc | 8
Funny how USA always has a geopolitical move or suggestion that invites death and destruction to two or more other countries very far from US shores.

Must be profitable.

Nuclear bombs are passe. There is no 'day after' first use.

Missiles, drones, precision muntions,advanced jamming etc are the new army, navy, and airforce rolled into one.

All that is left is peace and cooperation.

But in reference to China and Taiwan - or any other pairing, for that matter - who would benefit from it?

Putting it another way, who would no longer benefit from it?

Caliman , Jan 5 2021 20:12 utc | 9
"If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history -- or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity -- how can the American role in the world be justified?"

Good question; but note that the question itself assumes that "universal democratization" HAS in fact been the point of our imperial endeavors around the world. As can be seen from our close and personal relationships with the Gulf monarchies, the Egyptian tyrant, the SE Asia wars, and many many other examples to mention over the decades past, this is manifestly not true.

The truth is that "universal democratization" and the so-called "rules-based order" post ww2 have ever only been a narrative justifying (first) imperial anti-socialism and (now) anti-localism. The truth is that what they are deathly afraid of is losing the all-important NARRATIVE. Because, as the article points out, once the narrative of the savior nation is lost, how can the expense in lives and treasure and thereby the feeding of the Mil-Sec-Think Tan Complex) possibly be justified.

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:23 utc | 10
Given the gigantic problems facing the Outlaw US Empire that are detailed in the links I've posted today on the week-in-review thread, I'll add this interview that mostly covers its current domestic turmoil. Furthermore, given the massive skewing of economic data over the past 30 years, those sitting in DC haven't a clue as to the severity of the domestic crisis. From the interview:

"Colin Cavell: Failing to address the massive problems of unemployment and lack of jobs, failing to address the massive wealth gap between rich and poor, failing to ensure adequate healthcare to millions, failing to protect the American public during the course of the current Covid-19 pandemic, failing to address the festering racial divisions, especially with regards to the criminal justice system, and failing to instill a unified trust in the governing apparatus and ruling economic class, then, yes, Biden will preside over a collapsing economy, a divided country, and a distrustful citizenry, and thus open the door to either another term for an older Trump or some other demagogue or outright fascist to 'restore order'."

And all that's primed to worsen more before it improves any. And the international situation vastly differs from that of the Great Depression years with Fascism rising in Europe and Asia. Hudson in his talk and the Keiser's guest both mention the chasm opening economically between China and the Empire--they're heading in opposite directions as we've been discussing here for months. If the mainland got any inkling that Taiwan was going to be given nukes, it would be occupied the next day. Japan and RoK both want to be rid of their occupier which is preventing them from gaining economically by further engaging with China. And the same can be said for the EU. The bottom line is no nation shares the interests of the Outlaw US Empire excepting perhaps Poland and Ukraine--not even Occupied Palestine.

The Parasite has almost devoured its Host, and in the process has disarmed it. Those sitting in DC can't see that fact because the Parasite controls their collective brains, so we get treated to idiotic essays like the one at Foreign Policy b linked above. Obama chose to feed the Parasite in 2009 instead of having it executed. And that's why we are in deep bantha pudu today.

Stonebird , Jan 5 2021 20:26 utc | 11
I think the main problem are the two different approaches taken by the US or Chinese, which are diametrically different. The Chinese seem to use a " Cumulative " approach, while the US is based on what I call " Winnowing " as a state. Take their respective attitudes towards the poor.

First the Chinese; Cumulative , we are all in this together . If everyone has a "job" be it ever-so lowly, selling food on a street corner for example, then for the Chinese this is a "plus". The person is more or less responsible for his own well being, is not a burden on the State for handouts, and could be (potentially) taxable etc. The object being that ALL Chinese then become positive factors in the society. They are also more motivated because they have a "place" in society. The recent case of Jack Ma and an IPO is not the opposite, but he was trying to get ahead by means that would have led to more unemployment - on the back of the Chinese Government. He was not adding to the cumulative good of the country. Only his own riches. (The Chinese do have billionaires and riches - but are constrained by Corporate credit ratings as explained on a previous - very interesting - thread. Thanks to: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2021 2:08 utc | 162. The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-001)

The US. The attitude is to beat out the chaff leaving only the "kernel ". To " Winnow " the population leaving only the top. ie the poor are sidelined, they become a problem for the Government (needing support, food etc.). A net negative value to US society. (The Rich also get handouts from the Fed. as free money has become an habitude, but that is an another way of winnowing out the chaff - as others do NOT get the trillion dollar handouts) The poor have no "place" in a society that has rejected them and so are less motivated. They must fend for themselves and are expected to obey. If they do not there are always the police to enforce obedience.

"Cumulative = win-win", and "Winnowing = Only the top win".

Mike from Jersey , Jan 5 2021 20:41 utc | 12
It always gets me when the American press says that there can't be peace without "democracy" and "liberalization."

Huh ... try 20 million dead in America's wars since WW II.

And as for "democracy," living in America I would love to see some of it.

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 13
Stonebird @10--

Your "Winnowing" differs little from Zero-sum. The big problem is the Outlaw US Empire's initial storyline is greatly at odds with Zero-sum. As I've written many times at MoA, The Constitution's Preamble that's taught to all citizens says the government's purpose is to "form a more perfect Union...," and what's happening now--for several decades in reality--is the exact opposite. US politicians and business magnates from the Guilded Age knew very well that the way to keep the peace was for everyone to perceive they had a stake in the system. Neoliberalism's Zero-sum throws that rationale under the bus, which in turn has generated the current domestic turmoil. The one thing Trump failed to do was to promise to all Americans they'd have a stake in the system, which is essentially what Hitler and Mussolini told their masses. Trump intoned and shouted MAGA, but did nothing to show that he was serious about doing so. That's why he failed. And that's why the D leg of the Duopoly will also break. It's that break we must act upon when it occurs.

uncle tungsten , Jan 5 2021 20:48 utc | 14
Caliman #8

I think the oligarchic death cult that manages USAi affairs is not the slightest bit interested in "universal democratization": just scan the homeland to see that. The death cult is only interested in wealth accumulating their way. Every year they go into a demented trance screaming about the evil of taxes. Whenever a crisis emerges or a bill goes to the House they scramble to append as many 'tax relief measures' as they can.

The USAi oligarchy and their death cult regulate as many US political candidates as possible to destroy any chance of a government introducing a universal education or universal health system that will need taxes to supply it. Look at what just happened with the #forcethevote attempt to get medicare for all to commence in the USAi. It was the best opportunity in a century to implement it and the only possible advocates totally ignored the initiative.

They became the FraudSquad instead: they used the M4All advocacy to get elected and then ignored their electorate.

Something like %70+ of the people approve of this and the best advocates bowed to the oligarchy death cult and have been since the day they were elected.

So what might the oligarchs think of Chinese people with their resounding support for the Communist Party of China? They will hate them with every bone in their body, they will be furious that this country resists and denies them a chance to plunder it - yet again. The oligarchic death cult will be extremely angry that a single country presents an excellent and achievable system of government and financial management and community betterment to all the other nations on earth.

The oligarchy death cult will do anything to destroy them. And they have the perfect compliant tool in the Biden Harris Presidency.

Paul Damascene , Jan 5 2021 20:50 utc | 15
b - insightful perspectives.
But while I'd agree that China's threat to US ruling ideologies features foreign relations as the leading edge of conflict, the danger of a good alternative may be even greater as it concerns domestic policies.

If a reckoning comes for US ruling elites, the prosecution may begin with the offshoring of US jobs, broad-based prosperity, manufacturing and strategic infrastructure development. Indeed Trump's greatest threat might have been drawing a dotted line if not a solid one to the culprits.

Exhibit B becomes the Chinese model's successes in poverty eradication, general rises in broad-based prosperity, stunning growth in STEM capacities and jobs with futures and now, obviously, competence in public-health crisis management.

The next phase may be litigating the hollowing out of the MIC itself through the corruption of the national defense by a revolving door of staff officers, lobbyists, tankies, bureaucrats and legislators for-profit, for-show, for-corruption.

An additional phase, should the human race survive it, may be tribunals -- such as those of the Reign of Terror, in the event of revolution, or, in the event of war, along the lines of war-crimes tribunals under Chinese / Russian direction, once a suitable city in the smoldering ruins of the continental US equivalent to Nuremberg in German can be found.

m , Jan 5 2021 20:51 utc | 16
It's not so much the American people but the people of the "blob" themselves who increasingly question American exceptionalism. That's why they become ever more crazy and aggressive. They compensate their (unconscious) self-doubts with fanatism.
Lucci , Jan 5 2021 20:55 utc | 17
USA upcoming false flag ?
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_89502.shtml
William Gruff , Jan 5 2021 20:58 utc | 18
The empire may be considering arming and provoking its vassals near China into nuclear war, but America would never consider anything so terrible as trying to cripple China with biological weapons! That would be just crazy!

Wouldn't it?

Prof K , Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19
There are several levels of analysis here that are being muddled by theoretical ignorance.

The liberal theory says that political democracy and free markets create economic growth, responsible government, mutual gains from trade, economic interdependence, and a zone of peace, reinforced and cemented by multilateral institutions. The liberal zone of peace is threatened, though, by authoritarian regimes with state-run economies, and the former need to contain and overthrow the latter.

Realist theory starts with the state and the state-system, which is anarchic and thus produces conflicts over the balance of power. Defensive realists say that a prudent grand strategy would focus solely on territorial integrity and sovereignty, because any aggressive actions only produce balancing. Offensive realists say that hegemony is the only source of security and that great powers should go to war and wage the arms race to achieve it.

Marxists say that none of these dynamics are distant from the class relationships and competitive dynamics of capitalism and so both liberal and realist arguments turn out to be a crude apologia for imperialism -- for the class-based strategies of dominant states.

With this in mind, we can turn the US' China problem. As the article says, China poses no threat to the US state, nation and territory, so the defensive realist argument for containing China is groundless. Likewise, China's economic growth and stability in the absence of liberal democracy also undermines liberal arguments about the conditions of war and peace in the world. Finally, the balancing of China and Russia against US primacy strategies has undermined offensive realist fantasies of hegemony.

So, what is actually driving US aggression vis-a-vis China?

The only answer is that the long-term material interests of the American capitalist class are threatened by the emergence of a superior competitor, namely, China.

This is true in several respects, most of which I can't cover here.

But, China is building dense global relationships, and positioning itself as a central node of economic growth, technological prowess, social stability, manufacturing power, consumer demand, green innovation, and multilateral reliability.

The US is in deep trouble as a result. As the world becomes more China-centric, the major economic powers will stop funding US trade and government deficits. This will reduce the value of the dollar and diminish the global roles of the Treasury Dept and Federal Reserve, and of Wall Street. The US will fail to meet its debt obligations and the standard of living will plummet as debt-financed consumption winds down. The USG will face fiscal dilemmas, all of which pose serious problems: cut social programs and risk riots; cut the military and risk the empire; raise taxes and risk capital flight and economic stagnation. Given the dynamics of American domestic politics, these dilemmas will not be solved.

These are the underlying material fears of the US ruling class and they EXPLAIN the real drive to containment and war with China.

In short, Marxism is a better science of world politics than are liberalism and realism.

Hal Duell , Jan 5 2021 21:16 utc | 20
Nuclear Japan? Maybe. Nuclear South Korea? Maybe. It could be argued that both already are by virtue of the U.S. occupation of both.
Nuclear Taiwan? I don't see that happening, and any attempt to do so would offer China the perfect excuse to formally reabsorb that Chinese island.
Dork , Jan 5 2021 21:39 utc | 21
American paranoia over China (and Russia) seeking to usurp the US and take over as world hegemon is pure paranoia and projection. It's the western model of the world that considers it normal and desirable to have one country or ideology ruling the entire globe.

China has no history of using its power to force the world to accept it as sole ruler. The reason the US and the west are so paranoid about China et al is because they give themselves the "divine" right to force their ideology onto others, first with Christianity, a monotheistic religion that has converting the heathens, savages and infidels to its screed at the center of its philosophy, and then with liberalism + capitalism (now neoliberal rentier capitalism) and they, falsely, assume every country and ideology is like that.

American and western European foreign policy is a study in Psychological Projection 101. When imperialists like Porcine Pompeo and Lurch Kerry accuse other states of aggressive behavior, violating sovereignty and so forth, they are actually talking about their own country's actions.

psychohistorian , Jan 5 2021 21:49 utc | 22
In the US, now that corporations are people, and since the corporations and tools of finance are privately owned, the concept of democracy is a lie or myth if that offends you.

That is why I keep dragging the ideology discussion to the reality of public/private finance.

It comes down to risk management decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. In the West now those risk management decisions have a ROI skew which includes a profit component that does not exist in China risk management decisions.

We are in a civilization war because the West will not show well in a social system merit comparison...and the elite know this....hence the ongoing shit show to control the narrative.

rolland rouillard , Jan 5 2021 21:54 utc | 23
First off all....there is a difference between WAR and PIRACY
I did not see any bomb landing on US ground or soldier.
Second....free trade agreement is responsible for China economic succes.

Finally...bring back the production on US GROUND...that will kill China

WE are the one responsable...Stop blaming others.

steven t johnson , Jan 5 2021 22:10 utc | 24
Prof K@18 has a very optimistic scenario where China becomes the safe haven for capital and then other countries stop using the dollar as the world currency and t-bills are passed over in favor of the RMB and investors will prefer investing in Shanghai stock market because their money will be more liquid thereand something something will happen so that they (whoc?) won't finance US trade deficits. I don't understand this last, as it is entirely unclear in what sense US trade deficits are being financed. In fact, actual trade deficits aren't being financed. But then the balance of payments isn't just trade in goods, but financial services and US stock markets and yes, government treasuries are also part of that.

It is entirely unclear to me how socialist China, where as of now the ren min bi is not freely convertible, where the government has enormous influence on import and export of capital and capitalists are not only not guaranteed bailing out by the Reserve Bank but regulations are much more onerous than in the US especially with enforcement by prison sentences even for the wealthy...it is unclear to me how this China can replace the US as safe haven, at least while remaining some sort of socialist country at all, even in a NEP-is-the-road-to-socialism kind of way. Further, the US role as the safe haven was not just historically due to it's relative victory (as compared to its capitalist rivals,) in WWI and WWII, but due to its military power. The US pursues a policy of rule or ruin, and ruins selected easy targets on a regular basis (since Bush the senior at the latest,) just to keep the point vivid in everyone's minds. The dollar is not founded on US economic production/productivity but on blood. It is impossible to imagine today's China becoming a capitalist policeman guarding the gates of the bazaar and collecting backsheesh, so to speak. The Chinese capitalists would have to really take over and seriously re-organize Chinese society to do this.

This all sounds pie-in-the-sky at best, I think. Except that's prettifying the ideal, I think. I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Cyril , Jan 5 2021 22:31 utc | 25
@b

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons

The link is to an article by Doug Bandow, titled "America's Asian Allies Need Their Own Nukes". Bandow recommends "friendly nuclear proliferation".

This is how far the US has decayed: that a respected journal like Foreign Policy should publish such insanity.

And yes, it's totally insane. The US is not the only country capable of proliferation. The day after Taiwan gets nuclear weapons, so will Mexico and Hezbollah. The day after that , so will many other countries. It's impossible to foresee all the consequences of irresponsible proliferation, but one outcome is the most likely: doomsday for humanity.

Robert Browning , Jan 5 2021 22:36 utc | 26
It won't be the Muslims who destroy Israel, it will the Chinese and the Chinese will will do it without firing a shot.
blues , Jan 5 2021 22:42 utc | 27
-// Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated [by Biden] for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. //-

Politico

karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 22:57 utc | 28
Lets look at what China plans to do over the next 5 years . The article provides a very broad explanation then links to some specifics at the bottom, the item about the Yangtze River Economic Belt being most important. I found this bit of reporting highly important:

"More specifically, these days the government uses the five-year plans to reinforce and complement the market dynamic by providing regulation and guidance. That includes providing the legal and social framework, such as issuing monetary and fiscal policies, providing public goods and services, such as building high-speed rails, and correcting for market failures like pollution."

There's a vast difference in focus between China and the West--China's sharply focused on its development in ways the West isn't whatsoever, and it makes certain its citizenry knows that and everyone's working as a team--every job has its own value and is important. The best explanation I have is that China is doing while the West is watching and not doing; therefore, China continues to grow ahead of those standing watching with their jaws agape.

China outnumbers the Outlaw US Empire by more than one billion people. That's a huge team working together to advance their nation and themselves. Within the Empire, at least 30% of the labor force is idle and not even counted for unemployment purposes since they aren't actively looking for non-existent jobs while about 24% of the active labor force is unemployed. That's 54% of your human capital that's not being used at all to better themselves and their nation. Honestly, which one has the better outlook?

The enemies of the USA reside within it. Yeah, I've said that before and the evidence continues to prove I'm correct.

Leftraru , Jan 5 2021 23:05 utc | 29
All of this makes me think about the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century according to Vladimir Putin: The fall of the Soviet Union. Not because of the shrink of the Russian Empire, but for the loss of an equal to the USA in the international stage. That would make the remaining superpower to have some sort of delusional sense of destiny, as seen in Fukuyama's 'End of History'.
How the situation evolves in a timeframe of 5-10 years in the future is hard to evaluate given the many factors that will influence the outcome but IMO, the only thing that can be taken for granted is the further the USA gets weaker, the more dangerous it becomes for the future of Humanity.
My first post at MoA, keep on with the good work :)
c1ue , Jan 5 2021 23:14 utc | 30
I would add that the threat China poses isn't just ideological - it is operational.
The US derives enormous benefit from the US dollar as reserve currency; from the USD as alternative savings vehicle of choice by foreigners against their own currency; by all manner of favorable international institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
Secondly, China isn't some bare assed Middle Eastern terrorists or Central Asian mountain tribes. It has more people, it will or already has a larger economy and it is proceeding apace with technology development.
This is very different than Russia or even the Soviet Union, for example.
The West was always far bigger, wealthier and productive than the Soviet Union - this enabled all sorts of strategies like outspending on defense, buying job lots of puppet politicians in vassal states, etc.
This won't work with a China that is a bigger supplier as well as all of the other size-related advantages already noted.
Can the American oligarchs stand being 2nd fiddle in the medium term? Certainly in the long term? Would their domestic and foreign empires hold up?
karlof1 , Jan 5 2021 23:35 utc | 31
Sputnik publishes its own analysis , which relies rather heavily on Beijing-based American commentator Thomas Pauken who has his own credibility issues as readers will discover at the article's conclusion.
Dr. George W Oprisko , Jan 5 2021 23:41 utc | 32
Putin and Xi have made it very clear....

WWIII will last 20 minutes....

Russians will become martyrs... The population of the NATO countries will be fried and burnt to a crisp...

What is so difficult about understanding that???

As for Taiwan.....

Were it to begin a Nuke program, would be invested and occupied within 24 hours, while USN ships lay at the bottom of their berths. That is, sunk.

INDY

Clueless Joe , Jan 6 2021 0:04 utc | 33
"democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth"
Well, anyone with any notion of history before 1800 knows this is absolute bullshit and those aren't linked at all.
spudski , Jan 6 2021 0:17 utc | 34
Bang on, Clueless Joe @31.
nocovery , Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 35
The affairs of humans are paltry compared to the vast changes that are taking place in nature: the Sixth Mass Extinction resulting from our destruction of habitat and the stability of the climate system. As methane has begun erupting from the enormous stores in the Arctic, accelerating the forcing and ice melt, we continue on our merry way oblivious to the fate that awaits us in the near future. Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.
Paul , Jan 6 2021 0:32 utc | 36
Here is some constructive China/US analysis from Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and republished on John Menadue's Australian site:

https://johnmenadue.com/europe-and-chinas-year-end-breakthrough/


S , Jan 6 2021 0:58 utc | 37
The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do.

Unless, of course, they want to become friends with China -- this should be prevented at all costs!

S , Jan 6 2021 1:04 utc | 38
America's fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason (RT, Tom Fowdy, January 4, 2021).
Debsisdead , Jan 6 2021 1:21 utc | 39
amerika's corrupt and undemocratic system of government will bring itself undone long before it could succeed in any attempt to disrupt China's system.
The stupid two party both the same just tell different lies farce is tearing the population apart, that's not going to get better it will get much much worse. In fact I suspect the 'prez-elect' is desperately hoping that the rethugs win both senate seats in Georgia as that provides him with a way to avoid following up on his vague minutely left of center campaign promises.

He may be outta luck cos at this stage with about 25% counted the Dems have a lead in both races. Still that's mostly urban electorates and as I understand 'urban' has become amerikan code for unwhite, so if the dems are trying to fluff this contest it will be by Dems failing to turn out the rural african american vote that saves creepy joe from embarrassment. We shall see cos the state dems may not agree to that.

Anyway the lack of a shared dialog between amerikans is getting worse as we see even here at moa where some of these fools come over all hysterical about quite minor issues. You get that when it is barely possible to pull a cigarette paper between dem & rethug policies on the big stuff, so all that is left are the same deliberately selected emotive issues such as abortion & capital punishment that both parties have been encouraging the citizens to obsess over for the last 60 years.

Those fools will go into a civil war over the emotive, totally irrelevant to living in a functioning society, issues which have been beaten up & propagandised for so long, and that will be the end of the threat to the rest of the world amerika poses.

S , Jan 6 2021 1:28 utc | 40
@steven t johnson #23:
I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Ergo, we must pursue a socialist multipolar world.

rico rose , Jan 6 2021 1:33 utc | 41
An USA wich is not leader of the world is not possible. This is the central myth. Growing toward that or beeing it. But without that there is no imaginable USA. I come for myself to the conclusion, a multipolar world will cause breakup. As unit of one country it is just not agreement capable.
Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 2:56 utc | 42
In 1941, during WWII, Harry Truman wanted a brutal and prolonged conflict in order to inflict as much death and destruction in Europe as possible, declaring:

"If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible."

The US - or at least its ruling elite as expressed by one of its key leaders and subsequent president - wanted the brutal war to continue for as long as possible, so that as many Russians and Germans as possible would be killed, (with other Europeans, including Jews, as inevitable collateral casualties in that process,) so that the US could then step in at the very end to dominate war-destroyed Europe.

Following the same playbook, the US warmongering/plundering elite would love it if they could pit Russia vs. China, Europe vs Russia, India vs. China, Japan vs. China, etc. So long as Eurasia is divided instead of cooperating with itself, the US remains the hegemon. Even better if a destructive war breaks out over there, that the US would sustain from over here, and step in as the noble saviours at the last minute to plunder the spoils.

-

The threat of the example that China happens to provide is not just about preserving America's ruling ideology ("universal democratization", "democracy", "freedom", etc.,) but also about preserving US-led geopolitical hegemony and US-led plutocracy.

The US-spouted ideology is a tool for its hegemony that in turn is a tool for its plutocracy to continue to enrich itself through plunder.

Any example of a country that serves its people, let alone one that does so without foreign wars and regime change subversion, cannot be allowed by a plutocracy that sustains itself through wars, subversion, parasitism, and plunder.

That means, unfortunately, we in the West will continue to be force-fed a barrage of propaganda from our establishment media so that people can't perceive that example, (and are even made to reject it as evil,) lest they start questioning the corrupt, plutocratic system they live in.

James joseph , Jan 6 2021 3:11 utc | 43
Been thinking about what u said, rr 39..
Canada waits with baited breath... the burned out remains of empire's creche, negotiating for commerlcial union with their long traditional north-south continental neighbors. Perhaps the midwest could share in monopolizing grains ...
Or the sea coasts with the fisheries..... otherwise, i don't see it.
I think we are going to collapse to local economy, and maybe build bacl to anational economy, after some time. I don't know when.
Blues guy , Jan 6 2021 3:16 utc | 44
@ nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33:

Your Brainwashing is complete, you have swallowed the green pill and happily pay your carbon taxes and live in the fear artificially inserted into your sub/conscious having trusted proven liars and and having failed to verify things for yourself or trust your own senses. All thinking is filtered through your gree-coloured glasses.

You have swallowed wholly the manufactured-for-the-masses groupthink propaganda and espouse it from the core of your very soul, shout it from the mountaintops. Be the chickenlittle that you are and just come out and say, it will be cathartic and will feel good - THE SKY IS FALLING!

You and your ilk are fools, and are dangerously fascistic, climate fatalist totalitarians and you will not be satisfied until any and all opposing views/data/freedom of thought are outlawed.

bystander04 , Jan 6 2021 3:53 utc | 45
many comments mention "oligarchs" - and their power, nationally and internationally. I see a serious danger of the "Oligarchic Internationale" (a wordplay on the marxist 19th. century "Workers Internationale" with their slogan "Workers of the world, Unite! I say that for the very few MoA readers who are too young or not educated in history or economy, apology to the most MoA readers). The Oligarchs of the world (be it USA, China, Russia, Israel, and from wherever they may creep) are de facto already in an "Internationale" type organization - they say silently "Oligarchs of the World - Unite!" and they don't want a big war , which would upset the status quo. They will try to keep it for themselves and their offspring with very forceful means - Internationally enforced. Smaller proxi-wars may happen, but no WW 3, in my laymen's opinion.
denk , Jan 6 2021 4:24 utc | 46
In a nutshell...
Chinese survival vs gringo hegemony.

pssst,
There's this dirty little secret,
FUKUS is very safe ! ;-)
https://apjjf.org/2014/12/36/Vince-Scappatura/4178/article.html

Grieved , Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47
@39 rico rose and #41 James joseph - and others.

I've been pondering lately this one question: what is the point of even having a country if the advantages to the ordinary citizen of having a country are no longer maintained?

In the US, if we can't get the federal government to act on behalf of the people, maybe the only answer is to discard that government. In the USA, this can be done, lawfully and peacefully (although with high drama, for sure) by the States acting in agreement to dissolve the Union.

The United States acts under a certain hindrance by having two levels of government, but this is also a great treasure as well. The top layer of government can go away, and the people will still have a sovereignty-based government to live under, and to be represented by, and to engage with.

So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios .

~~

And rico rose, your point about the multi polar world is very important I think. When you say "a multipolar world will cause breakup" , I suggest that a multipolar world will better allow breakup. It's kind of the same thing, the same result from two different ends: from one end, the Demonstration Effect from the rest of the world including China showing to the US populace that there is a much better way to live, and from the US end, the general dissatisfaction growing among that populace as the federal government continues to be useless.

It could take a short decade at most, I reckon, for the rest of the world to be so impressive that US media can't hide it from the people any longer, and for US oligarchy to be so lawless and ravaging that the people simply can't take it anymore.

In a softer world that follows the example of Asia, and especially given the natural borders of North America anyway, there is no great threat from armed invasion to any of the States, even if each one were to stand alone. Many states would form new unions, but even so, the citizenry in place in each state possesses the firepower to resist any invasion, I suggest.

So if there's no defense to be provided for, all that's left is the welfare of the citizens to be provided for. And 2020 has shown dramatically that, while the federal government has abandoned that sense of provisioning, the States and their people still care passionately about this very thing.

~~

Apparently the calls for "secession" are arising again in the US, or so I've heard. It's a crude concept at the moment, and there is no right of secession. But there is every right to amend the Constitution, by a 3/4 majority of the States, and to dissolve the present Union, in order to create a "more perfect" arrangement.

Fnord13 , Jan 6 2021 4:57 utc | 48
@43 Bystander04

China has many billionaires, but I don't think they have the degree of power over the Chinese government and society implied by the term "oligarch". Jack Ma may be the richest man in China, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese government from quite effectively cutting him down to size.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7555623/jack-ma-alibaba-china-billionaire/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-launches-antitrust-investigation-tech-giant-alibaba-n1252325

VietnamVet , Jan 6 2021 5:02 utc | 49
The pandemic is the final nail into the coffin of the Western Empire. Asia and South Pacific nations functioned as they should and their public health systems are controlling the virus but must enforce quarantines on the infected world to continue their ascension.

It is now a multi-polar world. The exploitative capitalism of the West intentionally destroyed democracy and good governance to increase profits. Reality has bitten back. The remains of the former public health system are corrupt and incompetent as exemplified by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The virus basically spread unhindered in the USA and UK. The difficulty is that in times of stress human being revert to tribal beliefs. The reality of the change in power dynamics will be denied by Western decision makers. The truth is that if the West cannot control a virus, it will never address the existential crises; climate change, rising inequality and perpetual war.

Mankind will only survive if it learns how to live on a finite planet in peace.

Arch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 5:03 utc | 50

I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Nice pun.

So, in short, they've run out of ideas and decided to go full retard.

I can already see the shape of 2021 to come. It's going to be a shitshow on an interplanetary scale.

Bluedotterel , Jan 6 2021 5:18 utc | 51
Posted by: nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33

No worry, Nature will take care of itself after we humans have disposed of ourselves. I deplore our general destruction of the environment we live in and the misuse/abuse of resources, but humans are not as strong as we think we are. We may cause considerable damage to the mega fauna and flora, and severely damage ecosystems, but our current war against the planet is one we cannot win and should not even be trying to (capitalism and its God Mammon, again). Life will go on with or without us. Evolution is a fact of life, whether our religions, corporate board rooms, genetics manipulation corps or biological weapons departments understand that or not.

Adam , Jan 6 2021 6:25 utc | 52
@nocovery
Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature's revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species -- humans.

We're not an invasive species, but I broadly agree. The best thing to happen to the beautiful planet in the last million years would be the extinction of the smart pest, Homo S. Too bad I won't be around to enjoy a people free Earth.

KamMan , Jan 6 2021 6:41 utc | 53
I usually read MoA in the morning, yet today it late pm. Your article reminded me of an earlier article read this morning re USA and China Wages comparison. Here is the article pay particular attention to the graph. Pretty much sums it up in that China have an expansionist economy while the USA has (with exception to the Financial rubbish posing as assets) a contraction economy. Globalisation and Austerity from Reagan_nomics/Thatcher_nomics from the "70's have lead the west into the debt ridden marsh we are in now. Yet the lesson of an expansionist economy (which all western economies have done in the past) escapes the thinking of those who supposedly matter. Personally I think the world needs a lot more "Musk's (creating massive employment in making new tech cars and rockets plus solar) and a lot less Bezios's and Jack Maa's (Alibaba china) (Using others products and screwing them on margins to increase his wealth)
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/01/05/michael-pascoe-wages-graph-globalisation/
Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 8:51 utc | 54
karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 12


I agreee that the US is almost easier to define. Zero-sum or winnowing, both are reductive traits. ie the population gets sidelined.

However, I also think that part of "our" problem is that the comments and viewpoint, are generally all "western-centric" and not enough attention is paid to the fundamental differences in attitudes. Chinese are being "gifted" with US preoccupations to show that they are basically the same as those of the US itself. ie. The US is right-superior in its attitudes and so others STILL try to copy-steal-follow it. Something that is becoming visibly not true. Which is why my comment also mentioned the "cumulative" Chinese attitude. It being probably more important to understand why China is on the ascendant.

Note that "Democracy", "communism" or whatever, all have the same stated object of population input and therefore good for the masses. It is when their lofty ideals are no longer seen to be true, (and are not true in practice?) that the edifice cracks. (Ie, part of the USSR collapse corresponds with the rise of the Nomenklatura of only 750'000 people with the right to vote etc. It worked as long as it worked, but fell through when the mass realised they were NOT getting their part somewhere)

Sorry, Very short reply, as I have problems with internet to resolve, with a bit of luck and perseverance I may be able to continue later today.

Jams O'Donnell , Jan 6 2021 9:24 utc | 55
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Exactly right. The second largest problem in the world just now is the Government of the US. Breaking up the US would effectively get rid of the problem. Then we could deal with climate change more effectively.

The current hatred and division between red and blue, the lack of effective health services, the deterioration of infrastructure, the future demise of dollar power and thus lack of funding for the military all give me cause to hope that break up will happen. Lets all do our best to make it so.

c1ue , Jan 6 2021 9:26 utc | 56
@Canadian Cents #42
It shouldn't surprise you; Truman was closely associated with the Pendergast political machine (Kansas City mob).
His Attorney General was closely involved in serious corruption in the IRS and DOJ-Tax division.
He dropped the bomb and was a nasty person in general.
Aule , Jan 6 2021 11:57 utc | 57
Meanwhile, Assange is denied bail. Something tells me that, even if not extradite, they plan to hold him in prison indefinitely - if not American, British would do just as well.
BM , Jan 6 2021 12:41 utc | 58
Wow! When did MoA give up all rationality? The US has long since dug its own grave and long since guaranteed its unviability as a superpower. Everything from here is downward, as long as it clings to the mad idea of supremacy. And the longer it continues to deny reality the bigger and more brutal the bang when it finally collapses - or it disappears in its own nuclear conflagration.

The US produces virtually nothing, except over-priced and disfunctional weapons. Everything else that it has is stolen. It does not have the capability to reverse that trend - that horse has long since bolted and disappeared over the horizon. Unlike the US, countries like China and Russia create genuine wealth through their own productive efforts, and they have the military and economic means to ensure that the US cannot strangle them. The economic advantages of China and Russia will only increase compared to the US, and everything the US is doing to sabotage their efforts only makes them stronger and the US weaker.

Nuclear weapons to Taiwan??? Only SuperMorons could entertain the notion for more than 2 seconds (and there are plenty such supermorons at the Foreign Policy Institute, that's part of what got the US to this status in the first place). If the US gives nuclear weapons to Taiwan they will be giving nuclear weapons directly to China. China would know about it before it happens, and long before they could be operational Taiwan would cease to be Taiwan and would be a province of Mainland China. Not to see that China has that capability - and the resolution to carry it out - is sheer idiotic blindness.

Even if Taiwan could install such nuclear weapons before China takes over, where would they hide them? The stupidity of thinking a tiny one-point nation on China's borders can seriously threaten the entirety of nuclear-armed China - in alliance with Russia - defies fantasy. Doing so requires not "superior weapons" (which the US does not have anyway, that prize belongs to China's ally Russia) but superior idiocy and superior self-deception.

The US is on a bullet train to self-destruction. Stopping that train is impossible without making changes in the past that were not made - unless it gives up 100% of its ambitions to supremacy and becomes a minor self-sufficient village minding its own business. That is its only chance.

Instead of waffling about and navel-gazing over such tiresome fantasies of the US exceptionalists, MoA would do much better to concentrate on the serious issues that confront the world today - like confronting the damage wreaked on society worldwide by the hyper-unbalanced madness of covid policies; the direction of political changes in Europe; the ever continuing instability in the Middle East; signs of latent possible resurgence of society in Latin America (cf Bolivia etc); containment of the US madness; etc.

BM , Jan 6 2021 12:48 utc | 59
So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios.
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Sounds good to me! One specific form of the "village" alternative I mentioned above, in another name.

lizzie dw , Jan 6 2021 13:28 utc | 60
I have wondered how we can go to war with actual bombing and stuff like that with China because many many items that we use every day are purchased from factories in China, having been manufactured there by, it seems to me, "American" (now, of course, multinational) companies. Think apple. Or Ralph Loren. Or any item at the Dollar Store. Have you looked at the labels on your purchases? In addition, we buy all kinds of medicinal products from China. And socks. The US and China are intertwined in many ways.

I thought the MAGA theme of Pres. Trump was to lessen the immense difference in trade amounts - we buy tons of stuff from China but they do not buy that much from us - by imposing tariffs on good imported from China and demanding that "American" companies agree to manufacture in the US again. I thought, well, fat chance.

It is a problem. I am not a "better red than dead or dead than red" or whatever it is, but I cannot see the point of blowing up the world because we can't be the king of it.

Pres. Trump never struck me as a war monger although he has been surrounded by them.

BM , Jan 6 2021 13:33 utc | 61
Posted by: Prof K | Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19

Well said Prof K, you hit the nail on its head.

BM , Jan 6 2021 14:26 utc | 62
A superlative article from Alistair Crooke:

America's Epiphany Moment

The big 'domino' has fallen: Red America; and Brexit is a second. Does anyone believe that this American epiphany; this exploding of American delusions, will leave Europe untouched? Or, that other states will not observe it too, and understand from it that the past need to submit their own cultures to European moral scrutiny is over?

Christian J. Chuba , Jan 6 2021 14:44 utc | 63
We claim our enemies fear us for the same reason that we actually fear China. Experts say, Russia 'invaded' Ukraine because Putin was terrified about having an example of a free and prosperous country on their border and Russians would ask themselves, why can't we have that?'

Talk about projection.

Even so, why can't we coexist?
Most Americans don't travel, Neocons can do what they do best, just lie about other countries and say that China is a starving mess and we are #1. Who in the U.S. would know, who in the MSM would bother to find out otherwise. No set of facts would convince us otherwise.

China could voluntarily decide to go to their own graduate schools and stop going to the U.S. because it's a waste of time and money.
Neocons: 'we banned Communist Chinese students protect our valuable IP'

China could surpass our economy to the point where hovercraft is commonplace.
Neocons: 'Communist China is destroying their environment, our kerosene scooters and trucks are the best thing in the world'

The average fool in the U.S. would never know how backward we had become (or maybe are, I don't travel either)
I guess that is too passive, Neocons have to justify their paycheck.

Mao , Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64
The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the Court

Foreword by Michael J. Klarman

[...] Freedom House, which researches and advocates for democracy around the world, lowered the United States on the organization's scale of zero to 100 measuring political rights and civil liberties from ninety-four in 2010 to eighty-six in 2017. The decline in the United States' rating exceeded that of other Western democracies.

...

More than thirty years ago, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, reflecting on a wave of democratization that had swept the world beginning in the 1970s, concluded that liberal democracy had become inevitable -- the logical endpoint in the evolutionary trajectory of the modern state. However, over roughly the last fifteen years, Freedom House has recorded erosion in levels of freedom in once-strong democracies such as Hungary, India, the Philippines, Poland, and Turkey. Governments in these countries have shut down independent media, assailed and incarcerated independent journalists, packed courts and bureaucracies with their supporters, dismantled independent institutions of civil society, and vilified racial and religious minorities to distract attention from problems they cannot solve.

Many Americans cannot imagine the erosion of their own democracy. The United States has the longest-standing constitution in the world, a strong middle class, high levels of wealth and education, and deeply entrenched democratic institutions and mores. Yet the United States is not immune from world trends of declining democratization. In addition to the developments already noted, research shows that younger Americans are much less committed to democracy than their elders are. Among Americans born in the 1980s, only twenty-nine percent believe that living in a democracy is "essential," as compared with seventy-one percent of those born in the 1930s.

This Foreword examines the recent degradation of American democracy, seeks explanations for it, and canvasses the Supreme Court's contribution to it.

https://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/134-Harv.-L.-Rev.-1.pdf

Arch Bungle , Jan 6 2021 15:49 utc | 65
Posted by: Mao | Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64

The title


The Degradation of American Democracy -- And the Court

Could more honestly be written:


The Degradation of the American Illusion of Democracy -- And the Court

Unless by "American Democracy" we are referring to something defined more by its illusory nature than its reality.

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66
ANSWER TO: "vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7 ":

In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

Having studied Chinese language and history in Europe and China for years since 1972 and practiced as a teacher, interpreter and guide, I have never come accross any Mainland or Táiwan Chinese text or person who have used the expression "Celestial Ascention" in the Chinese language to describe what's been goin on the last fourty years. WHere have You picked up this belief, Herr Jan?

vk , Jan 6 2021 16:22 utc | 67
@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66

Heard it from a Brazilian scholar who once told me, a long time ago (don't even remember the exact term). Never heard it ever since.

But my point is: China's geopolitical doctrine is not secret/cryptic. You only have to know where to find it (and, preferably, know how to read Chinese). China never hid the fact it is socialist (Market Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the official name of the system) and never hid the fact that it has a geopolitical doctrine that is in accordance with its system (i.e. also a socialist geopolitical doctrine).

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68
Dear Jan ;
As for the expression "Celestial ascention" (vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7), this mai be av mistranslation of various chinese expressions for "natural rise" ('tiānrán shēngqilai' or 'qiántiān-dìngde shēngzhǎng' both meaning "coming naturally". Many other possibilities, byt the semi.religious or semi-imperial associatons of "celestial" are definitely never heard in CHina nowadays. s
c1ue , Jan 6 2021 16:40 utc | 69
@Tolled As #68
You should be aware that black has many views which are literally unique.
It is also clear that few, if any, of them are based on first hand knowledge or experience.
"Socialism with market characteristics" is something Deng brought in - it certainly was not CCP ideology before that.
Having visited China many times as a fluent speaker starting in the early '80s, the difference between the present day ideology and the past is stark.
But not to someone who has never been there and doesn't have good discernment in secondary sources to boot.
vk , Jan 6 2021 16:43 utc | 70
@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68

Maybe the Brazilian scholar was too creative.

Either way, the consecrated term in English is a surprisingly good translation ("China's Peaceful Development/Rise/Development Doctrine"), which is also colloquially called "win-win". But the doctrine is actually much more complex than that term suggests.

Gm , Jan 6 2021 17:07 utc | 71
One should google the background of that Richard Hanania person.

Supposedly he is currently a postdoc fellow at Columbia University, and alredy serves as President of some 4 letter institute/stink tank tere that was just set up in 2020[!!].

Before that he got a PhD (political sci) from UCLA (2017-2019?);

before that he got a JD from U. Chicago.

Quite the pedigree. Three top private or out-of-state high tuition schools in expensive cost of living places. Likely his education was *state-sponsored*.

But which State? CIA? Mossad? Who's paying his bills?

gm , Jan 6 2021 17:19 utc | 72
#71 was me [grrr. Cellphone auto-correct]
rico rose , Jan 6 2021 17:27 utc | 73
@47 grieved yes, I like federalism as the basic concept because it works in booth directions if needed. Towards unity but keeping the option of separation. Why not having California as member of the Paris declaration alone. It opens the door for development for problems to early to call. The negotiation process staying open for undecided parts. That is what multipolar means in the core and I guess the only hope for the USA as a nation.
Germany is similar structured. The central government is only allowed to work from own power in defence and foreign relations. For almost everything else it have to use the organs of 15 strong states. Also the source of statehood is coming from them. It is a bit covered right now by EU and covid but there are deep contradiction inside of Germany. If EU, also because of German influence a federation, fails maybe not the old country come up again. I see big chance of totally different structures.
karlof1 , Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74
Stonebird @54--

Global Times article , "US politics in reality 'more interesting than House of Cards ,' entertains Chinese amid pandemic," is absolutely fascinating and revealing--essentially, Chinese are roaring with laughter at the Emperor without clothing. This long excerpt helps explain:

"'Nobody knows more about trending on Weibo better than me,' an internet user mocked Trump via a Weibo comment, adding that 'Weibo would face huge losses after Trump steps down' since the entertainment will largely subside .

"Chinese experts said Americans or other Westerners might not understand why Chinese people are just curious about but don't admire US democracy, but instead treat it as a variety show which is much more interesting than House of Cards . In fact, Chinese people are pretty familiar with the US election and most of them can objectively observe and compare it with the Chinese national conditions.

" House of Cards is the most famous US TV series viewed in China that has helped many Chinese people learn about how US politicians struggle and vie for power. Now Chinese people might learn that the scriptwriters of this TV series have actually underestimated how much drama really occurs in US politics.

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories."

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards , Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

" House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories." [My Emphasis]

So the longstanding rule that Truth is Stranger than Fiction is again being proven true in China. Most importantly, the chaos within the Outlaw US Empire is serving as education for Chinese and other people globally showing quite graphically the absolute dysfunction of its political system.

I haven't watched House of Cards or Game of Thrones , but I did just recently watch a considerable portion of The Hunger Games . Combine reality with their stories and we'll need to adjust our evaluation of Hollywood propaganda. Add the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing capital crimes--something he'd be rewarded for doing in China--into this mix and there's no way the Neoliberal West is ever going to win Chinese hearts and minds; rather, the opposite's occurring at a rapid pace.

michael , Jan 6 2021 18:35 utc | 75
Cool.
I hope Vlad is preparing diplomatic cables that in such a case he will friendly proliferate to Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Canadian Cents , Jan 6 2021 19:27 utc | 76
c1ue @56, thanks, knew that Truman unnecessarily dropped the atomic bomb on civilians twice, but didn't know those other details about him. The point is, given the foreignpolicy.com writer that suggests "creatively" encouraging seeding "friendly proliferation" of nuclear arms to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan with the expecation that that would induce China to "react badly to," it seems that the same sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies as Truman expressed are still very much present in the US ruling foreign policy elite.

Along with the WWII example, the US induced and sustained a brutal war in Afghanistan in 1979 for its own hegemonic/plutocratic interests:

In 1979, the US began to covertly foster Wahhabi extremism in Afghanistan (another case of "friendly proliferation") to, in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, "induce" a brutal war in order to inflict on "the USSR its Vietnam war," at the casual expense of thoroughly destroying the country and society of the people of Afghanistan for decades.

Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former CIA director under George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, stated in his 1996 memoirs "From the Shadows" that American intelligence services began to aid the opposing factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment in 1979.

That confirms what Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter and also an adviser to Barack Obama, stated in a 1988 interview:

"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979."

"But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."

"That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap [..] The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war [..]"

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

There's a country run by sociopathic/psychopathic elements that has a pattern of inducing conflicts and brutally destructive wars to disrupt constructive cooperation and development.

Stonebird , Jan 6 2021 20:08 utc | 77
karlof1 | Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74

The truth is out - Hollywood only makes "tele-reality shows" with a bit of extra gloss on them for export. The Chinese have the right idea.

I should have realised that since we have been living the "Twitter era", that variety has become our spice of life, and Shakespeare's "all the worlds a stage" was just a realistic appraisal that we would become a comedy skit. I like the idea, I never did appreciate melodramas or horror films either....

PS. Biden apparently doesn't "tweet", so will we regress to "silent movies"? He can at least do some of the actions. Keystone cops anyone?

Yeah, Right , Jan 6 2021 22:04 utc | 78
So it doesn't occur to this idiot that if the USA engages in "friendly proliferation" then both Russia and China will do the same?

This is the central problem with American foreign policy "experts" - they are so shallow that they never consider that every action they propose will lead to a reaction from those that they target.

Here, consider this vapid statement: "No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States."

F**k me.

Look, dude, this is very simple: if the USA gave nukes to (say) Taiwan then China would consider that all niceties are out the window and will look to give nukes to some country on the USA's doorstep.

You know: Cuba, or Venezuela. Or both.

How smart would that "least bad solution" look then?

[Jan 06, 2021] An Aggressive China Policy Is a Recipe for More Endless Wars by Daniel Larison

Jan 06, 2021 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Posted on January 2, 2021

From The American Conservative :

Robert Farley explains why the U.S. can't end endless wars if it pursues an aggressive China policy:

The problem is straightforward: Any effort to characterize China as an existential threat to the United States necessarily implies a level of conflict that will (as it did during the Cold War) provide justification for US intervention anywhere in the world. The solution for a less interventionist foreign policy is not to play up the threat of Beijing in the hopes the US will stop intervening elsewhere, but rather to carefully rethink what constitutes a threat to US core values, and what the United States must sacrifice to meet that threat.

The open-ended wars that the US has been fighting for the last two decades were the result of exaggerating a relatively small, manageable threat (i.e., terrorist attacks) into a major global menace that required massive resources and frequent military interventions in many different countries. One can only imagine how much worse things will be if the US replaces its militarized overreaction to terrorism with a militarized overreaction to the Chinese government. A hard-line China policy not only increases the likelihood of conflict between the US and China in East Asia, but it is also likely to encourage more interference in the affairs of other countries that have close relations with China.

If a U.S.-China rivalry follows the pattern of other great power rivalries, that would involve trying to subvert client governments through proxy wars and coups and sometimes intervening directly to overthrow those clients. Policymakers would predictably claim that peripheral countries are actually vitally important and must be "defended" or pulled into our orbit. Hawkish pundits would write articles about "who lost Malawi" and explain why it was absolutely "crucial" to American security that we prop up a dictator in Uzbekistan. The US would wage wars for "credibility" and refuse to end them for the same reason.

One could argue that rivalry with China need not be global and could be confined to East and Southeast Asia, but the tendency with these sorts of policies is towards expansion. Kennan's original idea of containment was never intended to justify waging wars of choice in Asia, but it was almost immediately expanded to apply everywhere even when no real U.S. interests were at stake. A China policy that sought to "contain" China would almost certainly expand in the same way. If someone thinks there can be an intense rivalry with another major power but that it won't become heavily militarized, I refer you to the record of U.S. foreign policy for the last seventy years. All of this has happened before, but it doesn't have to keep happening.

Constant meddling and interventionism are driven by an overly expansive definition of U.S. interests, threat inflation, and a strategy of pursuing global dominance. The meddling and interventionism won't lessen if Washington identifies a different adversary to obsess over. The only things that might change will be the names of the countries that the U.S. sanctions and bombs.

If we want a more peaceful and less interventionist foreign policy, we have to challenge and reject the assumptions that lead the U.S. to interfere in conflicts that have little or nothing to do with us. The first steps in doing that involve rightly identifying what our vital interests are and accurately assessing the threats to those interests. If we do that, we will recognize that China poses much less of a threat to the U.S. than China hawks claim, and we will see that increasing hostility towards China is not in the interests of our country or the interests of our major allies.

Bureaucrat 4 days ago • edited

Shocking how so few realize that the same people on the right and left think confronting China via a zero-sum approach can be consistent with their support for reducing U.S. military and foreign interventionism. These folks preaching withdrawal from Middle East, Pivot to Asia, or "Rebalancing" crowds are active foreign interventionists by any other definition.

On that note I'm curious which sources of foreign policy information/podcast/writers out their have a sensible approach to China. I do follow some leftist anti-imperialist voices for perspective, but unfortunately they are far too forgiving of Beijing (think Grayzone or the Qiao Collective), but everyone else to the right of these avowed Marxists are even worse, parroting the same hawkish anti-China narrative as Washington's foreign policy blob.

kouroi Bureaucrat 4 days ago

From my reading of things, China is a nationalist country with a formal communist ideology and the facto regular economy, with private and state ownership, but with a relatively muscular regulatory state (not captured by the Ownership class) that ultimately has the decisive power on things. Massive problems with corruption, which is a constant through Chinese history. The corruption is so apparent because the state actually tries to do something about it, whereas in the US the corruption is legalized and formalized.

As any country, China has its problems that should not be dismissed. Also not exaggerated either. If one dreams of democracy in China, one needs to be very realistic about it. The extremely long tradition (2000 years) of a bureaucratic/meritocratic state in China, from the beginning can take the air from any democratic attempts, never mind half backed ones like the US Polity). It is not the Communist Party Rule that is necessarily the biggest problem standing in the path of a more democratic China.

Another great problem on a greater opening and relaxing of China is the US imperialist attacks. China is under greater attacks and not because of Trump. That was coming. China is developing more and more and is reaching escape velocity. Also, it has consistently refused to relinquish a greater share of its economy profits to the US Oligarchy and US pension funds that will be tanking in the foreseeable future given the gap between their outlays and their returns... In the current climate, with the US the far greater evil, I am more than willing to cheer for China and its president (2019 saw about 140,000 corruption cases in China acted upon, from confiscations, firings, imprisonment, to the occasional death sentence... Go China! What is the tally in the US? just check on the suffering of whistleblowers...)

[Jan 03, 2021] Will Biden's Administration Simply Represent a Third Obama Term

Notable quotes:
"... The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China. ..."
"... Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. ..."
Jan 03, 2021 | nationalinterest.org

Under Barack Obama, the containment of China -- the "pivot to Asia" -- took the form of what might be called trilateralism, after the old Trilateral Commission of the 1970s. According to this strategy, while balancing China militarily, the United States would create trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade blocs with rules favorable to the United States that China would be forced to beg to join in the future. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was intended as an anti-Chinese, American-dominated Pacific trade bloc, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sought to create a NATO for trade from which China would be excluded.

Obama's grand strategy collapsed even before the election of 2016. TTIP died, chiefly because of hostility from European economic interests. In the United States, the fact that the TPP treaty was little more than a wish-list of giveaways to U.S. finance and pharma interests and other special-interest lobbies made it so unpopular that both Hillary Clinton and Trump renounced it during the 2016 presidential election season.

Trump, like Obama, sought to contain China , but by unilateral rather than trilateral measures. The Trump administration emphasized reshoring strategic supply chains like that of steel in the United States, unwilling to offshore critical supplies even to allies in Asia and Europe and North America. This break with prior tradition would have been difficult to pull off even under a popular president who was a good bureaucratic operator, unlike the erratic and inconsistent Trump.

The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China.

An emphasis by the Biden administration on alliances may succeed in the case of the U.S.-Japan-Australia-India "Quad" (Quadrilateral alliance). The UK may support America's East Asian policy as well. But Germany and France, the dominant powers in Europe, view China as a vast market, not a threat, so Biden will fail if he seeks to repeat Obama's grand strategy of trilateral containment of China.

Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. In part this is a projection of domestic politics. In the demonology of the Democratic Party, Putin stands for nationalism, social conservatism, and everything that elite Democrats despise about the "deplorables" in the United States who live outside of major metro areas and vote for Republicans. The irrational hostility of America's Democratic establishment extends beyond Russia to socially-conservative democratic governments in Poland and Hungary, two countries that Biden has denounced as "totalitarian."

In the Middle East, unlike Eastern Europe, a Biden administration is likely to sacrifice left-liberal ideology to the project of maximizing American power and consolidating the U.S. military presence, with the help of autocracies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Any hint of retrenchment will be denounced by the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that lined up behind Biden, so do not expect an end to any of the forever wars under Biden. Quite the contrary.

Michael Lind is Professor of Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The American Way of Strategy. His most recent book is The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite.

[Jan 02, 2021] Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties makes Americans think they can ignore rules Russian foreign minis

Jan 02, 2021 | www.rt.com

Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties & makes Americans think they can ignore rules – Russian foreign ministry 2 Jan, 2021 15:00 Get short URL Idea of 'exceptionalism' encouraged US to quit treaties & makes Americans think they can ignore rules – Russian foreign ministry © Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry 22 Follow RT on RT

By Jonny Tickle In recent years, the US has gone crazy with its idea of 'American exceptionalism' and Washington has taught its people that the country does not need to follow any rules and can disregard international agreements, Moscow claims.

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the claim on Thursday to YouTube channel 'Izolenta live.'

"It's a nuclear power that has gone wild with the idea of its own exceptionalism, withdrawing from lots of documents, treaties, international organizations," she said.

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Zakharova also believes that Washington has "encouraged its population to think that they don't owe anybody anything" and "they should not obey anyone," up to and including international law.

However, she noted that the White House may one day decide to return to various deals sidelined in recent years, presumably referring to the incoming president, Joe Biden.

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Since the incumbent at the White House, Donald Trump, came to power in 2017, Washington has reduced its participation in international organizations. In 2018, the US withdrew from UNESCO and from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). A year later, Trump pulled his country out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and in 2020 the country left the Open Skies Treaty. Furthermore, on February 5, a fortnight after Biden is due to take office, the US will depart from the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty unless the Kremlin and the new president's team quickly come to an understanding.

Last month, at his annual press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin chided the US for pulling out of treaties that Russia is fully supportive of, noting that there could be an "arms race" if Biden doesn't agree to an extension of START.

"We heard the statement by the president-elect that it would be reasonable to extend the New START. We will wait and see what that will amount to in practical terms. The New START expires in February," Putin pointed out.

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[Jan 02, 2021] Senate Overrides Trump Veto Of Defense Bill - ZeroHedge

Jan 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Senate Overrides Trump Veto Of Defense Bill BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, JAN 01, 2021 - 15:15

Meeting for a rare New Year's Day session, the Senate voted 81-13 on Friday to override President Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Trump said "fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions."

A two-thirds majority was needed to override the veto - which would mark the first in Trump's presidency. The NDAA authorizes over $740 billion in military programs and construction, as well as 3% pay raises for US troops. It also contains a provision to rename military bases named after Confederate generals .

Trump also wanted to force a repeal of Section 203 protections for social-media companies enjoy due to their constant editorializing of user content, however lawmakers refused to include the provision.

The rare January 1st session comes as the new Congress is set to be sworn in on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 80-12 to begin an official debate on overriding the veto, proving that Congress can act with lightning speed when properly motivated.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the NDAA is crucial to national defense, and to "deter great power rivals like China and Russia." The bill "will cement our advantage on the seas, on land, in the air, in cyberspace and in space," he added.

During Trump's time in office, he has vetoed eight other bills - several of them focused on foreign policy and national security issues, according to the Wall Street Journal .

The fight over the NDAA also underscored broader tensions over national-security issues between congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump. On foreign policy and national-security issues, many Republicans have readily bucked Mr. Trump during his presidency even as they have stood by him on many other issues.

For instance, the Trump administration's recent effort to cut troop levels in Afghanistan in half , to roughly 2,500, by Jan. 15, has alarmed some Republicans. The NDAA requires the administration to submit to Congress a comprehensive assessment of the withdrawal before it can use funds to pull out troops. -WSJ

In addition to creating a commission to assess changes to bases, displays, monuments, symbols and other paraphernalia related to Confederate commanders, the bill limits the president's ability to use emergency military construction funds for other purposes . It also restricts employees or former employees from the military-industrial complex to work directly for the Chinese government or government-controlled companies.


Banned Banana 56 minutes ago

Dwight Eisenhower warned us about this 60 years ago, and we have done exactly nothing.

RasinResin 50 minutes ago

When you comb through who is doing what, you realize it's just politicians supporting monopolistic companies. Lawyers in essence, always have been, and always will be the problem. Just ask Shakespere.

Orange Man Rad 53 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

McConnell is on a suicide mission for the GOP as a political party. I'm guessing he could careless as he won't be running for reelection. I always knew he was a swamp creature that hated Trump. He never once publicly defended Trump in 4 years. I will be changing my party affiliation to Independent on January 7th. I'm waiting until then so it has maximum impact after the scumbags throw Trump under the bus. Good riddance GOP.

Right Wing-Nut 48 minutes ago

Excellent presentation on:

How Big Government Really Works

It fully explains why China Mitch is fine being Minority Leader. Follow the money!!

Obake158 40 minutes ago

Don't change your party affiliation, do what I did and go to your town hall and unregister to vote. There is absolutely no point in participating in this sham of a system. Voting for muppet A or muppet B is silly when both sides are played by the same interests. All you do by giving your consent to be ruled is create a mandate that the agent of corruption uses to lord over you. I am 100% done playing with their system and by their rules. Politicians are a verminous class of filth. They need to be purged, swapping a rat for a snake for a maggot is what voting results in. Think of a single politician that represents you and your interests and that you look up to. I haven't been able to say anything good about a politician since Ron Paul was active, they are all treason scum.

techengineer 15 minutes ago

The Republican Establishment is disgusting.. A damn disgrace.. We can't get rid of the rotten bastards without turning it over to even worse Democrats..

Bernout Sanders 43 minutes ago remove link

For those of you keep asking "but why doesn't Trump do more?" - this is your answer.

Could Trump have expanded the use of the Executive Order into clearly unconstitutional territory and hope the Supreme Court would support this? Perhaps.

When it comes to legislation, though, sadly there are less than 10 (and perhaps less than 5) Republican Senators worth a hill of beans.

I mean, look at Utah. Solidly Republican, elect the sorriest GOP Senator and carpetbagger Mittens, and even their decent Senator, Mike Lee, is militantly pro-immigration.

Until Republicans start primarying SOB RINO's like Democrats do in their caucus, there will never be any change.

AboveAverageIdiot 27 minutes ago

Senators who voted to sustain Trump's veto of defense bill:
Booker (D)
Braun (R)
Cotton (R)
Cruz (R)
Hawley (R)
Kennedy (R)
Lee (R)
Markey (D)
Merkley (D)
Paul (R)
Sanders (I)
Warren (D)
Wyden (D)

yerfej 27 minutes ago

The endless wars continue. What the phyuyk is wrong with a country that can't stop starting wars yet never has the balls to finish them? Oh its just a facade for ayssholes to line their pockets.

dustnwind 43 minutes ago

"Amazing how fast Congress can act when properly motivated..."

Yes motivated by special interests, lobbyists and perks. Someday R voters might realize that R politicians were just as involved in the voter scams to neuter(2018) and remove Trump as the democrats. Any appearances to the contrary are simply theater to retain the voter base Trump had.

vasilievich 21 minutes ago

The mood in this country seems to be poisonous. In this little county of ours, population about 220,000, the food bank is moving into larger premises. Also there will be a residence for those in need, available only to women and children.

I think it's doubtful that this sort of thing can go on without consequences, some of which may be dramatic.

I had family in Europe which lived through something similar, the result of which was a world war.

aliens is here 29 minutes ago

When comes to fudging over the people, congress wastes no time doing it.

GreatUncle 29 minutes ago

The politicians on all sides support the censorship and cancellation culture through big tech editing.

Handful of Dust 28 minutes ago

The Republicans had complete control of both houses during Trump's first two years and did ZERO for the working middle class American.

Jon_noDough 7 minutes ago

Can't give the citizens more than a pittance for Covid relief but no limits to military industrial swamp complex...

Baronneke 8 minutes ago

"National Offense Authorization Act " is a more appropriate name as the US was never attacked after ww2 so no need to Defend. The 5-6 last US presidents on the other hand are all war criminals and have attacked (including sanctions) countless countries since the end of ww2. Far over 700 Billion Dollars to the DOO. Just crazy !!

HoodRatKing 4 minutes ago (Edited)

The US is in BUSINESS, one of their top businesses is SELLING ARMS...

I can't of course discuss their other lucrative businesses in Asia & Afghanistan...

JaWS 5 minutes ago (Edited)

I understand that Cocaine Mitch will be visiting the spa in the near future.

[Nov 24, 2020] 'Manipulative BULLS--T'- Glenn Greenwald defends calling NBC a CIA mouthpiece, mocks accusation of 'endangering journalists'

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda." ..."
"... NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said. ..."
"... The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings. ..."
"... Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory" ..."
"... As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. ..."
"... The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best. ..."
"... As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research. ..."
"... Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. ..."
"... Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council. ..."
"... Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend. ..."
"... The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists... ..."
Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald torched accusations that he endangered reporters by saying NBC News spouts CIA propaganda, saying he only spoke of a well-known fact, and the effort to shame him was "manipulative bulls**t."

"Profoundly sorry for endangering the lives of NBC executives and TV personalities by spilling the extremely well-kept secret of their close working relationship with the CIA," Greenwald tweeted sarcastically on Saturday. His message showed a picture of a headline about NBC's 2018 hiring of ex-CIA chief John Brennan as an NBC and MSNBC contributor.

Greenwald's retort came in reply to reporter Sulome Anderson, who accused him of endangering journalists who work in places where any CIA affiliation is "life-threatening." Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda."

"This crosses a line," Anderson said. "Like some of his proteges, Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling his massive following that they are mouthpieces for US intelligence."

Greenwald said on Saturday that NBC has a "long-standing role" in spouting CIA propaganda, as evidenced by its hiring of Ken Dilanian, who was accused of sharing stories with the CIA press office prior to publication while working as a Los Angeles Times reporter. NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said.

"If you don't want to be known as a CIA outpost, then don't be one," Greenwald tweeted. He added that NBC hired "John Brennan, Ken Dilanian and every other operative puked up by the security state. People already know."

Anderson has written at least two opinion pieces on Lebanon for NBC in recent months. She has been critical of Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by the US government, but also has interviewed some of its fighters.

Anderson, who said she is "morally opposed" to journalists working as intelligence agents, may have good reason for her sensitivity about alleged CIA ties. Her parents were both journalists who covered Lebanon's 15-year civil war, and she said her father was kidnapped by terrorists.

"They tortured him again and again for years, calling him CIA," she said Saturday on Twitter. "'I am not a spy,' he would scream. 'I am a reporter.' It never stopped them."

Anderson acknowledged journalists being used as intelligence-agency assets, but said such cases are rare. "Time and again, American hostages – journalists and otherwise – have been falsely called spies, tortured and killed," she said. "I have been in many situations where I've had to convince the very dangerous men I am with that I am not a spy. My saving grace has always been that I am not."

Greenwald came to international fame by breaking the Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower story in 2013. He later co-founded the Intercept but quit the outlet last month after saying editors there suppressed his coverage of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.


fezzie035fezzm 19 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:52 PM

The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings.

Bush, as the new Director, stonewalled the hearings and put the lid on any information coming out, which would explain why CIA Headquarters in Langley was named after Bush. Colby is no longer among the living. Let's just say that he didn't die from "natural causes".

Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory"

JOHNCHUCKMAN fezzie035fezzm 1 hour ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:48 PM
Yes, Colby was an unusually frank man at times. He also told us about the ghastly Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, a CIA run assassination scheme of village leaders and prominent men. They killed 30 or 40 thousand people by sending in belly-crawling special forces guys to enter villages at night and cut throats.

As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. You'll find it on my site Chuckman's Words in Comments on Wordpress. Its title to search is: A REMARKABLE DULL LITTLE PHOTOGRAPH OF GEORGE H W BUSH WITH EXPLOSIVE SUGGESTIONS. Sorry, but RT doesn't like links.

Of course, Colby himself may have been assassinated. He had a very odd boating accident.

Ally Hauptmann-Gurski 20 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:14 PM
The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best.
Enorm 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:01 PM
NBC operatives don't have an opinion. They follow da money,. I feel sorry for folks glued to propaganda TV.
Oregon Observer Enorm 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:41 PM
WikiLeaks and other investigative outfits have looked at the conglomerates over the years and over half of them are CIA "assets"...
Chris Cottrell 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 08:25 PM
Are they spies? Probably not. Are they tools of the CIA even if unwittingly, yes.
Oregon Observer Chris Cottrell 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:43 PM
Most ARE spies in every sense of the term. They look for specific information that they pass onto their handler(s). It bears noting that the FBI and the 10,000 or so outfits that contract with them and NSA and DHS and the pentagon and the various state Fusion programs are as bad or worse and every stinking one if those outfits recruits reporters.
fakiho2 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:28 PM
As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research.
shadow1369 fakiho2 6 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:30 PM
Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. My response to that is good, time to have these roaches taken out.
Edward698 18 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 01:43 AM
You can bet on Glenn to tell you the truth unlike the main stream media which fed us with lots of non sense on Syria. Read his interview with "Democracy now": .... Glenn Greenwald on "Submissive" Media's Drumbeat for War and "Despicable" Anti-Muslim Scapegoating By Democracy Now! ....

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, that clip is unbelievable. It is literally one of the three most important military officials of the entire war on terror, General Flynn, who was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He's saying that the U.S. government knew that by creating a vacuum in Syria and then flooding that region with arms and money, that it was likely to result in the establishment of a caliphate by Islamic extremists in eastern Syria -- which is, of course, exactly what happened.

They knew that that was going to happen, and they proceeded to do it anyway. So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it.

Debra Edward698 14 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:37 AM
The US was not only counting on their ISIS creation to destabilize Syria in the hope of an Assad exit but also to decimate the Hezbollah. I credit the Hezbollah for saving Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, but they suffered heavy, heavy losses. "So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it."
frankfalseflag 19 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:08 AM
** "Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling. . ." ** . . Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ...
pogohere 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 10:16 PM
Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council.

According to Davis, Wisner recruited Philip Graham of the Washington Post to head the project within the media industry. Davis wrote that, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles."

Davis also writes that Allen Dulles convinced Cord Meyer, who later became Mockingbird's "principal operative," to join the CIA in 1951.

The Taliban Won the War 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:28 PM
It is true and it is an undisputed fact that all Western governments use Journalists, aid workers and so called human relief organisations as cover for espionage, undercover and dark operations. Not just that, they also use exchange teachers and students, they use priests and pastors. They use anything and anyone that can hid
Isiah Steele 8 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 11:45 AM
The Motion Picture Industry of Hollywood, too are CIA! Propagates: war and constant US Military dominated narratives.
Sergio Weigel 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that most journalists don't know, or don't wanna know, the dirty open secret that editorial lines of most outlets are indeed determined or influenced by the CIA. The trouble is their working conditions. There are far more journalists than job openings, and they already earn badly. In order to keep the job, they just play ball, and as humans are, they make themselves believe that what they were doing was just right. Cognitive dissonance, and the result is outrage and defensive anger when someone points out their hypocrisy. That is also why they avoid to even read alternative media, they don't have their noses pointed to it. In a way, we can pity them. Then again, why become a journalist these days?
shadow1369 Sergio Weigel 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:43 PM
I used to think maybe 'journalists' were simply misled, but the narrative on too many stories, from 9/11 to Iraq, from Syria to the ukraine, from the Skripals to Navalny, was so ludicrous that a five year old could see through the lies. Nope, they know full well that they are lying, and do so regardless. A great example was when some bbc l!cksp!ttle was interviewing a general about events in Syria. Somehow they got the wrong guy, or he had not been properly briefed, because his responses were factual and balanced. After trying to challenge him, the interviewer finally said 'Don't you realise this is an informatioon war'.
Debra 4 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:11 PM
This is another warning for people: Over the last two years Facebook has been advertising for viewers to join Facebook groups. Many political groups on Facebook are set up by CIA and FBI agents. Facebook is full of agents, and that is why the ones in Michigan were caught in their attempted coup against the Michigan governor...
Quick Draw 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:46 PM
Just NBC?
imnotarobot22 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:05 AM
google 'Udo Ulfkotte' ex editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine - he'll tell you about it.
Richard Burden 2 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:07 PM
Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend.

The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists...

[Nov 23, 2020] Neocon chickenhawks are back in power

Full spectrum dominance theorists are dusted off and put in key positions in new administration. Instead of punishment and jail terms Russiagaters got promotion.
Nov 23, 2020 | www.rt.com

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

Joe Biden has named Anthony Blinken – an advocate for isolating Russia, cozying up to China and intervening in Syria – as secretary of state, cementing a foreign policy built on military forays and multi-national motivations.

Biden, the nominal president-elect, announced his selection of Blinken along with other members of his foreign-policy and national-security team, which is filled with such veteran Washington insiders as John Kerry, the new climate czar and formerly secretary of state in the Obama-Biden administration.

READ MORE: Biden supporters rush to defend reported Sec-of-State pick Antony Blinken, who 'got rich off corporate consulting'

Blinken, a long-time adviser to Biden and deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama, has been hailed by fellow Democrats and globalists, such as retired General Barry McCaffrey, as an experienced bureaucrat with "global contacts and respect." Enrico Letta, dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, called Biden's choice the "right step to relaunch transatlantic ties."

He was even praised for a 2016 appearance on the Sesame Street children's television program, where he explained to the show's 'Grover' character the benefits of accepting refugees.

While some critics focused on how Blinken " got rich working for corporate clients " during President Donald Trump's term in office, the new foreign-affairs chief's neoconservative policy recommendations might be cause for greater concern. He advocated for the Iraq War and the bombings of such countries as Libya and Yemen.

ALSO ON RT.COM Michele Flournoy might be breaking a glass ceiling as Pentagon chief, but even feminists aren't buying

Blinken is still arguing for a resurgence in Washington's military intervention in Syria. He lamented in a May interview that the Obama-Biden administration hadn't done enough to prevent a "horrific situation" in Syria, and he faulted Trump for squandering what remaining leverage the US had on the Bashar Assad regime by pulling troops out of the country.

"Our leverage is vastly even less than it was, but I think we do have points of leverage to try to effectuate some more positive developments," Blinken said. For instance, US special forces in northeast Syria are located near Syrian oil fields. "The Syrian government would love to have dominion over those resources. We should not give that up for free."

Blinken also sees Biden strengthening NATO, isolating Russia politically and " confronting Mr. [President Vladimir] Putin for his aggressions."

ALSO ON RT.COM The return of the Obama 'adults' in a Joe Biden administration is likely to spell ruin for America

As for China, Blinken has said Washington needs to look for ways to cooperate with Beijing. Reinvesting in international alliances that were weakened by Trump will help the Biden administration deal with China "from a position of strength" as it pushes back against the Chinese Communist Party's human-rights abuses, he said.

[Nov 23, 2020] Administrations change but Full Spectrum Dominance Doctine and the desire to portect and emand global neoliberal empire controlled from Washinton is intact. It will eventually banrupt the country much like was the case with the British Empire

Highly recommended!
Neocons still dominate both the State Department and NSC. That's bad.
Nov 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Top Biden Advisors Flournoy & Blinken Promise More Secretive 'Permanent War' Policy - Zero Hedge

Authored by Dan Cohen via TheGrayZone.com,

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump's 'America First' foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray. "Donald Trump's brand of America First has too often led to America alone," Biden proclaimed.

He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America's reputation. While Donald Trump called for making America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again .

Joe Biden: "Tonight, the whole world is watching America. And I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example."

Among the president-elect's pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration.

"It's long past time we end the forever wars which have cost us untold blood and treasure," Biden has said.

Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will delegate that duty to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic Party and ideologues of permanent war .

Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden's thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war dating back to the Bill Clinton administration.

During the Trump era, they've cashed in through WestExec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Flournoy is Biden's leading pick for Secretary of Defense and Blinken is expected to be the president's National Security Advisor.

Biden's foxes guard the henhouse

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military's doctrine of permanent war – what it called "full spectrum dominance."

Flournoy called for "unilateral use of military power" to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ivFFZ95EQvY

This video report was originally published at Behind The Headlines . Support the independent journalism initiative here .

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD's, Flournoy remarked that "In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary's [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States."

Tony Blinken was a top advisor to then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Joe Biden, who played a key role in shoring up support among the Democrat-controlled Senate for Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Biden declared, "In my judgment, President Bush is right to be concerned about Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction."

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled "Progressive Internationalism" that called for a "smarter and better" style of permanent war . The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that "Democrats will maintain the world's most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world."

With Bush winning a second term, Flournoy advocated for more troop deployments from the sidelines.

In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to "increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."

In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.

Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the "brains" of the Pentagon. She was keenly aware that the public was wary of more quagmires. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, she crafted a new concept of warfare that would expand the permanent war state while giving the appearance of a drawdown.

Flournoy wrote that "unmanned systems hold great promise" – a reference to the CIA's drone assassination program. This was the Obama-era military doctrine of hybrid war. It called for the U.S. to be able to simultaneously wage war on numerous fronts through secret warfare, clandestine weapons transfers to proxies, drone strikes, and cyber-attacks – all buttressed with propaganda campaigns targeting the American public through the internet and corporate news media.

Architects of America's Hybrid wars

Flournoy continued to champion the endless wars that began in the Bush-era and was a key architect of Obama's disastrous troop surge in Afghanistan. As U.S. soldiers returned in body bags and insurgent attacks and suicide bombings increased some 65% from 2009 and 2010, she deceived the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming that the U.S. was beginning to turn the tide against the Taliban: "We are beginning to regain the initiative and the insurgency is beginning to lose momentum."

Even with her lie that the U.S. and Afghan government were starting to beat the Taliban back, Flournoy assured the senate that the U.S. would have to remain in Afghanistan long into the future: "We are not leaving any time soon even though the nature and the complexion of the commitment may change over time."

Ten years later – as the Afghan death toll passed 150,000 – Flournoy continued to argue against a U.S. withdrawal: "I would certainly not advocate a US or NATO departure short of a political settlement being in place."

That's the person Joe Biden has tasked with ending the forever war in Afghanistan. But in Biden's own words, he'll "bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan" implying some number of American troops will remain, and the forever war will be just that. Michele Flournoy explained that even if a political settlement were reached, the U.S. would maintain a presence.

Michele Flournoy: "If we are fortunate enough to see a political settlement reached, it doesn't mean that the US role or the international community is over. Afghanistan without outside investment is not a society that is going to survive and thrive. In no case are we going to be able to wash our hands of Afghanistan and walk away nor should we want to. This is something where we're going to have to continue to be engaged, just the form of engagement may change."

In 2011, the Obama-era doctrine of smart and sophisticated warfare was unveiled in the NATO regime-change war on Libya.

Moammar Gaddafi – the former adversary who sought warm relations with the U.S. and had given up his nuclear weapons program – was deposed and sodomized with a bayonet.

Flournoy, Hillary Clinton's State Department, and corporate media were in lockstep as they waged an elaborate propaganda campaign to deceive the U.S. public that Gadaffi's soldiers were on a Viagra-fueled rape and murder spree that demanded a U.S. intervention.

Fox News: "Susan Rice reportedly told a security council meeting that Libyan troops are being given viagra and are engaging in sexual violence."

MSNBC jumped on the propaganda bandwagon, claiming: "New reports emerge that the LIbyan dictator gave soldiers viagra-type pills to rape women who are opposed to the government."

So did CNN.

As the Libyan ambassador to the US alleged "raping, killing, mass graves," ICC Chief Prosecutor Manuel Ocampo claimed: "It's like a machete. Viagra is a tool of massive rapes."

All of this was based on a report from Al Jazeera – the media outlet owned by the Qatari monarchy that was arming extremist militias in Libya to overthrow the government.

Yet an investigation by the United Nations called the rape claims "hysteria." Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found no credible evidence of even a single rape.

Even after Libya was descended into strife and the deception of Gadaffi's forces committing rape was debunked, Michele Flournoy stood by her support for the war: "I supported the intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds. I think we were right to do it."

Tony Blinken, then Obama's deputy national security advisor, also pushed for regime change in Libya. He became Obama's point man on Syria, pushed to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" that fought alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS, and designed the red line strategy to trigger a full-on U.S. intervention. Syria, he told the public, wasn't anything like the other wars the U.S. had waging for more than a decade.

Tony Blinken: "We are doing this in a very different way than in the past. We're not sending in hundreds of thousands of American troops. We're not spending trillions of American dollars. We're being smart about this. This is a sustainable way to get at the terrorists and it's also a more effective way."

Blinken added: "This is not open-ended, this is not boots on the ground, this is not Iraq, it's not Afghanistan, it's not even Libya. The more people understand that, the more they'll understand the need for us to take this limited but effective action ."

Despite Blinken's promises that it would be a short affair, the war on Syria is now in its ninth year. An estimated half a million people have been killed as a result and the country is facing famine.

Largely thanks to the policy of using "wheat to apply pressure" – a recommendation of Flournoy and Blinken's CNAS think tank.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1141440589143126021&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Ftop-biden-advisors-flournoy-blinken-promise-more-secretive-permanent-war-policy&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

When the Trump administration launched airstrikes on Syria based on mere accusations of a chemical attack, Tony Blinken praised the bombing, claiming Assad had used the weapon of mass destruction sarin. Yet there was no evidence for this claim, something even then-secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted: "So I can not tell you that we had evidence even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used ."

While jihadist mercenaries armed with U..S-supplied weapons took over large swaths of Syria, Tony Blinken played a central role in a coup d'etat in Ukraine that saw a pro-Russia government overthrown in a U.S.-orchestrated color revolution with neo-fascist elements agitating on the ground.

At the time, he was ambivalent about sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, instead opting for economic pressure.

Tony Blinken: "We're working, as I said, to make sure that there's a cost exacted of Russia and indeed that it feels the pressure. That's what we're working on. And when it comes to military assistance, we're looking at it. The facts are these: Even if assistance were to go to Ukraine that would be very unlikely to change Russia's calculus or prevent an invasion."

Since then, fascist militias have been incorporated into Ukraine's armed forces. And Tony Blinken urged Trump to send them deadly weapons – something Obama had declined to do.

But Trump obliged.

The Third Offset

While the U.S. fueled wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Pentagon announced a major shift called the Third Offset strategy – a reference to the cold war era strategies the U.S. used to maintain its military supremacy over the Soviet Union.

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The Third Offset strategy shifted the focus from counterinsurgency and the war on terror to great power competition against China and Russia. It called for a technological revolution in warfighting capabilities, development of futuristic and autonomous weapons, swarms of undersea and airborne drones, hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, machine-enhanced soldiers, and artificial intelligence making unimaginably complex battlefield decisions at speeds incomprehensible to the human mind. All of this would be predicated on the Pentagon deepening its relationship with Silicon Valley giants that it birthed decades before: Google and Facebook.

The author of the Third Offset, former undersecretary of defense Robert Work, is a partner of Flournoy and Blinken's at WestExec Advisors. And Flournoy has been a leading proponent of this dangerous new escalation .

In June, Flournoy published a lengthy commentary laying out her strategy called " Sharpening the U.S. Military's Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration ."

She warned that the United States is losing its military technological advantage and reversing that must be the Pentagon's priority. Without it, Flournoy warned that the U.S. might not be able to defeat China in Asia: "That technological investment is still very important for the United States to be able to offset what will be quantitative advantages and home theater advantages for a country like China if we ever had to deal with a conflict in Asia, in their backyard."

While Flournoy has called for ramping up U.S. military presence and exercises with allied forces in the region, she went so far as to call for the U.S. to increase its destructive capabilities so much that it could launch a blitzkrieg style-attack that would wipe out the entire Chinese navy and all civilian merchant ships in the South China Sea . Not only a blatant war crime but a direct attack on a nuclear power that would spell the third world war.

At the same time, Biden has announced he'll take an even more aggressive and confrontational stance against Russia , a position Flournoy shares: "We need to invest to ensure that we maintain the military edge that we will need in certain critical areas like cyber and electronic warfare and precision strike, to again underwrite deterrence, to make sure Vladimir Putin does not miscalculate and think that he can cross a border into Europe or cross a border and threaten us militarily."

As for ending the forever wars, Tony Blinken says not so fast: "Large scale, open-ended deployment of large standing US forces in conflict zones with no clear strategy should end and will end under his watch . But we also need to distinguish between, for example, these endless wars with the large scale open ended deployment of US forces with, for example, discreet, small-scale sustainable operations, maybe led by special forces, to support local actors In ending the endless wars I think we have to be careful to not paint with too broad a brush stroke."

The end of forever wars?

So Biden will end the forever wars, but not really end them. Secret wars that the public doesn't even know the U.S. is involved in – those are here to stay.

In fact, leaving teams of special forces in place throughout the Middle East is part and parcel of the Pentagon's shift away from counterinsurgency and towards great power competition.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy explains that, "Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities" and the U.S. will "consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach."

As for the catastrophic war on Yemen, Biden has said he'll end U.S. support; but in 2019, Michele Flournoy argued against ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia .

Biden pledged he will rejoin the Iran deal as a starting point for new negotiations. However, Trump's withdrawal from the deal discredited the Iranian reformists who seek engagement with the west and empowered the principlists who see the JCPOA as a deal with the devil.

In Latin America, Biden will revive the so-called anti-corruption campaigns that were used as a cover to oust the popular social democrat Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

His Venezuela policy appears little different from Trump's – sanctions and regime change.

In Central America, Biden has presided over a four billion dollar package to support corrupt right-wing governments and neoliberal privatization projects, fueling destabilization and sending vulnerable masses fleeing north to the United States.

Behind their rhetoric, Biden, Flournoy, and Blinken will seek nothing less than global supremacy , escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity. That's what Joe Biden calls "decency" and "normalcy."

naughty.boy , 14 hours ago

deep state will bankrupt the USA with forever wars.

Distant_Star , 14 hours ago

Yes. As a bonus neither of these Deep State wretches has even seen a shot fired in anger. They are too "important" to be at risk.

[Nov 06, 2020] In 1940, the United States Decided To Rule the World - Antiwar.com Original

Nov 06, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

In 1940, the United States Decided To Rule the World

by David Swanson Posted on November 06, 2020

Stephen Wertheim's Tomorrow, The World examines a shift in elite U.S. foreign-policy thinking that took place in mid-1940. Why in that moment, a year and a half before the Japanese attacks on the Philippines, Hawaii, and other outposts, did it become popular in foreign-policy circles to advocate for US military domination of the globe?

In school text book mythology, the United States was full of revoltingly backward creatures called isolationists at the time of World War I and right up through December 1941, after which the rational adult internationalists took command (or we'd all be speaking German and suffering through the rigged elections of fascistic yahoos, unlike this evening).

In fact, the term "isolationist" wasn't cooked up until the mid-1930s and then only as a misleading insult to be applied to people who wished for the US government to engage with the world in any number of ways from treaties to trade that didn't include militarism. Anti-isolationism was and is a means of ridiculously pretending that "doing something" means waging war, supporting NATO, and promoting the "responsibility to protect," while anything else means "doing nothing."

There were distinctions in the 1920s between those who favored the League of Nations and World Court and those who didn't. But neither group favored coating the planet with US military bases, or extending even the most vicious conception of the Monroe Doctrine to the other hemisphere, or replacing the League of Nations with an institution that would falsely appear to establish global governance while actually facilitating US domination. Pre-1940 internationalists were, in fact, imperfect US nationalists. They, as Wertheim writes, "had the capacity to see the United States as a potential aggressor requiring restraint." Some, indeed, didn't need the word "potential" there.

What changed? There was the rise of fascism and communism. There was the notion that the League of Nations had failed. There was the serious failure of disarmament efforts. There was the belief that whatever came out of WWII would be dramatically different. In September 1939, the Council on Foreign Relations began making plans to shape the postwar (yet permawar) world. The Roosevelt White House into 1940 was planning for a postwar world that held a balance of power with the Nazis. Ideas of disarmament, at least for others, were still very much a part of the thinking. "Weapons dealer to the world" was not a title that it was ever suggested that the United States strive for.

Wertheim sees a turning point in the German conquest of France. Change came swiftly in May-June, 1940. Congress funded the creation of the world's biggest navy and instituted a draft. Contrary to popular mythology, and propaganda pushed by President Roosevelt, nobody feared a Nazi invasion of the Americas. Nor was the United States dragged kicking and screaming into its moral responsibility to wage global permawar by the atrocious domestic policies of the Nazis or any mission to rescue potential victims from Nazi genocide. Rather, US foreign policy elites feared the impact on global trade and relations of a world containing a Nazi power. Roosevelt began talking about a world in which the United States dominated only one hemisphere as imprisonment.

The United States needed to dominate the globe in order to exist in the sort of global order it wanted. And the only global order it wanted was one it dominated. Did US planners become aware of this need as they watched events in Europe? Or did they become aware of its possibility as they watched the US government build weapons and the US president acquire new imperial bases? Probably some of each. Wertheim is right to call our attention to the fact that US officials didn't talk about militarily dominating the whole globe prior to 1940, but was there ever a time they talked about dominating anything less than what they had the weapons and troops to handle? Certainly the voices had not all been monolithic, and there was always an anti-imperialist tradition, but did it ever give much back to those it had dispossessed until after WWII when airplanes and radios developed a new sort of empire (and some colonies were made states but others more or less liberated)?

The US government and its advisers didn't just discover that they could rule the world and that they needed to rule the world, but also that -- in the words of General George V. Strong, chief of the Army's War Plans Division -- Germany had demonstrated the "tremendous advantage of the offense over the defense." The proper defensive war was an aggressive war, and an acceptable goal of that was what Henry Luce called living space and Hitler called Lebensraum . US elites came to believe that only through war could they engage in proper trade and relations. One can treat this as a rational observation based on the growth of fascism, although some of the same people making the observation had fascistic tendencies, the problem with Germany seems to have existed for them only once it had invaded other nations that were not Russia, and there is little doubt that had the United States lived sustainably, locally, egalitarianly, contentedly, and with respect for all humanity, it could not have observed a need for permawar in the world around it -- much less gone on observing it for 75 years.

In early 1941, a US political scientist named Harold Vinacke asked, "When the United States has its thousands of airplanes, its mass army, properly mechanized, and its two-ocean navy, what are they to be used for?" Officials have been asking the same right up through Madeline Albright and Donald Trump, with the answer generally being found to be as self-evident as other patriotic "truths." By summertime 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill had announced the future organization of the world in the Atlantic Charter.

If hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue, there remained some virtue in US society and its conception of foreign policy at the time of WWII, because a major focus of postwar planners was how to sell global domination to the US public (and incidentally the world, and perhaps most importantly themselves) as being something other than what it was. The answer, of course, was the United Nations (along with the World Bank, etc.). Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles described the design of the United Nations thus: "what we required was a sop for the smaller states: some organization in which they could be represented and made to feel themselves participants." In Roosevelt's words before the creation of the U.N., all nations but four, in a future global organization, would merely "blow off steam."

Roosevelt also proposed that the existence of such a phony organization would allow it to declare war instead of the US Congress, meaning that a US president would be able to launch wars at will -- something like what we've seen for the past 75 years with NATO occasionally having filled in for a malfunctioning United Nations.

Roosevelt believed that the United States signed up for global policeman when it defeated Hitler. Neither Roosevelt nor Wertheim mentions that the Soviet Union did 80% of defeating Hitler, after having done about 0% of creating him.

But surely the job of world cop can be resigned, no matter how one got into it. The question now is how. The financial and bureaucratic and media and campaign-corruption interests all work against dismantling the permawar military, just as does the ideology of anti-"isolationism." But it certainly cannot hurt to be aware of the dishonesty in the ideology and of the fact that it was not always with us.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org . Swanson's books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War . He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org . He hosts Talk Nation Radio . This originally appeared at WorldBeyondWar.org .

[Nov 02, 2020] What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change-

Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change? worldblee , Oct 31 2020 17:02 utc | 1

Pepe Escobar is as pessimistic about a Harris (Biden) administration as I am. The incoming foreign policy team would be the return of the blob that waged seven wars during the Obama/Biden administration:

Taking a cue from [the Transition Integrity Project], let's game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob.

President Trump calls it "the swamp". Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier "Blob", applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine.

A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

The Democratic White House team Escobar describes (Clinton, Blinken, Rice, Flournoy) would be an assembly of well known war mongers who all argue for hawkish policies. The main 'enemies', Russia and China, would be the same as under Trump. Syria, Venezuela, Iran and others would stay on the U.S. target list. U.S. foreign policy would thereby hardly change from Trump's version but would probably be handled with more deadly competence.

But Escobar sees two potential positive developments:

In contrast, two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden's only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War, even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the "biggest threat" to the US.

I believe that Harris (Biden) will disappoint on both of those issues. The neoconservatives have already infested the Harris (Biden) camp. They will make sure that JCPOA does not come back :

Last night on an official Biden campaign webinar led by "Jewish Americans for Biden", and moderated by Ann Lewis of Democratic Majority for Israel, two prominent neocon Republicans endorsed Biden, primarily because of Trump's character posing a danger to democracy. But both neocons emphasized that Biden would be more willing to use force in the Middle East and reassured Jewish viewers that Biden will seek to depoliticize Israel support, won't necessarily return to the Iran deal and will surround himself with advisers who support Israel and believe in American military intervention.

Eric Edelman, a former diplomat and adviser to Dick Cheney, said Trump's peace plan has fostered an open political divide in the U.S. over Israel, ...

Eliot Cohen, a Bush aide and academic, echoed the fear that Israel is being politicized. ...
...
Cohen and Edelman opposed Obama's Iran deal, and both predicted that Biden will be hawkish on Iran.
...
"There will be voices" in the Biden administration that seek a return to the Iran deal, but the clock has been running for four years, and we're in a different place, he said. And "it will be hard [for Biden] not to use the leverage that the sanctions provide in part because Iran is not abiding by a lot of the limits of the nuclear agreement They're about three, maybe four months away from having enough fissile material to actually develop a nuclear weapon."

For lifting the sanctions against Iran the Harris (Biden) administration will demand much more than Iran's return to the limits of the JCPOA. Iran will reject all new demands, be they about restricting its missile force or limiting its support for Syria. The conflict will thereby continue to fester.

The other issue is arms control. While a Harris (Biden) administration may take up Putin's offer to unconditionally prolong the New-START agreement for a year it will certainly want more concessions from Russia than that country is willing to give. Currently it is Russia that has the upper hand in strategic weapons with already deployed hypersonic missiles and other new platforms. The U.S. will want to fill the new 'missile gap' and the military-industrial complex stands ready to profit from that. The New-START prolongation will eventually run out and I do not see the U.S. agreeing to new terms while Russia has a technological superiority.

Domestic policies under a democratic president will likewise see no substantial difference. As Krystal Ball remarked, here summarized from a Rolling Stone podcast:

But even with a Biden win, Ball doesn't think it will mean much for policy.

"My prediction for the Biden era is that very little actually happens," says Ball. "Democrats are very good at feigning impotence. We saw this in the SCOTUS hearings as well. They're very good for coming up with reasons why, 'oh those mean Republicans, like we want to do better healthcare and we want left wages, but oh gosh, Mitch McConnell, he's so wiley, we can't get it done.'"

'Change' was an Obama marketing slogan to sell his Republican light policies. A real change never came. The Harris (Biden) administration must be seen in similar light.

I therefore agree with the sentiment with which Escobar closes his piece :

In a nutshell, Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob with a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those seven wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember "soft coup" Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.
Posted by b at 16:45 UTC | Comments (183) I have been trying to set the expectations for my deluded Democratic, pro-tech industry, pro-security state friends and colleagues who think they are forward-thinking progressives but actually just hate Trump as emblematic of non-college educated blue collar types they prefer not to associate with. Biden himself said it, "Nothing will change," and Obama deported many more people in his first term than Trump has to pick but one issue. There will be no M4A, little change in foreign policy, no major stimulus for workers, etc. But since the face in the White House will have changed, they will convince themselves that America has changed and it was all thanks to them...

One major change I expect to see is that BLM protests will fade into the background if Harris/Biden is elected. Without the need to pressure an administration the elites want to get rid of, there won't be the funding and energy to sustain it. But America will continue on the same downward trajectory and the same divisions will still exist with no remediation in sight.


Michael , Oct 31 2020 17:18 utc | 2

Great and accurate summary! Thank you.

Given our future circumstance I've been pondering bumper stickers that will help me get pulled over by the Stasi. Two come to mind immediately:

Wars R US! Biden 2020!
and from a photo on some recent web page

Defund the Elite!

Laguerre , Oct 31 2020 17:25 utc | 3
Really, so what? You have a choice between chaotic anarchic corruption, and organised professional corruption. Is it not better to have the calm, predictable, version - at least you know what you're getting. In any case I am not sure Biden would be able to go back to launching new wars so easily. The US gives the impression of being over-stretched as it is.
ToivoS , Oct 31 2020 17:25 utc | 4
It seems clear that Biden will win. This means that the possibility of a serious military confrontation with Russia is more likely than it would be with a Trump win. In any Biden cabinet Michelle Flournoy will have a major voice. She would have likely become Hillary's Secretary of Defense. In August of 2016 Flournoy wrote a major foreign policy article advocating a 'no fly' zone over Syria. That would have meant that the US military would have been obliged to prevent the Russia airforce from operating in Syrian skies (even though, the Syrian government had invited the Russians to be there). No one really knows if Flournoy would have been given authority to carry out such insanity had Hillary won, but the consequences of such insane policy are easy to imagine.

But without much doubt, a Biden administration will have Susan Rice and Michelle Flournoy in very high policy positions. Given that Biden is rapidly descending into dementia and Kamala Harris seems utterly clueless, US government foreign policy will very likely be led by a Rice/Flournoy collaboration in the coming years. Of course, China has become a much bigger player in the last four years. Maybe those fools around Biden will be distracted by China and they avoid war with with Russia. In either case it looks like very dangerous times ahead.

NemesisCalling , Oct 31 2020 17:25 utc | 5
Trump was always for me about controlled demolition of the empire.

Putin will not tolerate another ramping up of hostilities in the MENA.

I believe, just as in 2016, open military confrontation with Russia hangs in the balance.

It is believed here and elsewhere that Russia and China are working hand in hand and lockstep to thwart the empire.

They may be trade allies but they are not bed fellows.

Russia will always do what is in its own interest and will be beyond reproach from China come a last-minute attempt for it to talk down hostilities btw Ru and U.S.A.

I hope those peddling the narrative that all is theater and a mere globalist game to keep the peons entertained are correct.

But I fear the stupidity and egoism of man far more than I do their love of money and life of luxury.

steven t johnson , Oct 31 2020 17:31 utc | 6
The JCPOA's "snap back" provisions etc. prove that Obama never intended JCPOA as a long term agreement in the first place. The issue was always how long it would suit, not how long it would take for the US to. Nor is the US going to forego it's support for a colonial assault on the Middle East, aka Israel, any more than England will give up Gibraltar.

That said, there really is a policy debate between attacking Russia first or attacking China first or simultaneously attacking both. The thing is, the conflict will continue after any election. Since the Democratic Party isn't a programmatic party but a franchise operation of Outs, there will be zero unanimity within the Democratic Party and not even a clean sweep of the national government will resolve the dispute, which will be waged with exactly the same panic-mongering, paranoid cries of treason, barely subdued hysteria at the prospect of the lower races overtaking the God-given rights of the US government to exercise imperium (right to punish, particularly with death, originally) over humanity, and so on. The same ignorant vicious halfwits who were convinced Clinton Foundation was worse than the Comintern infiltrating innocent America made assholes of themselves. They'll just do it again over Biden, but with different made up excuses.

Domestically, there will be real differences, albeit some will still consider them entirely minor. There will be less emphasis on military officers masquerading as civilian officials; more emphasis on actually having competent officials who are even confirmed by the Senate; somewhat larger infrastructure investment; somewhat less deliberate destruction of government capacity to deliver services; slightly greater emphasis on keeping money valuable by limiting government spending, with smaller increases in military spending, slightly greater taxes, and only limited support to state governments going bankrupt, bankrupt unemployment and pension funds; a few restrictions on mass evictions; no separation of families in ICE prisons; open appeals to racism will cease. There will not however be any Medicare expansion, nor will there be a radically progressive federal income tax, not even a new bankruptcy law, nor will there be even political reforms like direct popular election of the president or even reform of the judiciary. There may be a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

One note: The idea that any president will honor any deal to step down or that a president can be forced down is refuted by history thus far. All theories that Biden is scheduled to be terminated are silly. Or worse, attempts to race bait Harris (note the ones who like to call her by her first name.) The influence exercised by Obama in getting Biden the nomination shows that if Biden is in any sense a puppet, he's Obama's puppet. Fixating on Harris instead is foolish even as some sort of amateur conspiracy mongering. No matter what Obama thinks, the inauguration will sever all puppet strings.

Laguerre , Oct 31 2020 17:36 utc | 7
Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 31 2020 17:25 utc | 4

Can't say I'm convinced by all these threats of wars. They didn't do a No-Fly Zone in Syria when they could, e.g. 2013. The reason it was not done is that it was too difficult to do, and required too vast a military investment. Situation remains true today. You'll find most of Biden's prospective wars fall in the same category.

Kiza , Oct 31 2020 17:40 utc | 8
The US self-declared "progressives" are horribly dumb people, no matter their degrees and "intellectual" professions. Stupidity is the illness (weakness) of the societal immunity system. The Blob of the parasitic class is the pestilence that thrives on the immune weakness of the US society. Not happy with mine, then find a better metaphor.

I repeat myself from before, US presidents change, US policy (Mayhem Inc.) does not. Nether on Russia, Syria, Iran, Venezuela ..., nor on China. If Trump loses, I will miss only the potential duel at the OK Corral between Trump and the Blob/Swamp. If Trmp wins, I am buying popcorn.

erik , Oct 31 2020 17:51 utc | 9
Just, oh my goodness to #6. What a turgid, contradiction filled ramble
c1ue , Oct 31 2020 17:51 utc | 10
@Laguerre #7
I would argue the failure of a "no-fly" zone in Syria was more due to united UN (Russia and China) opposition plus the Russia airbase in Tartus rather than any policy changes in the US.
Jackrabbit , Oct 31 2020 17:55 utc | 11
More pearl-clutching for Trump .

It's everywhere. And matched by Democratic Party ineptitude, fake "resistance", and generally lax attitude (spurred by a false sense of security due to polling numbers that can't be relied upon).

That's why I'm predicting a Trump landslide - including winning the popular vote.

The Deep State wants a 'Glorious Leader' type that can lead the country against Russia and China.

God help us.

!!

Laguerre , Oct 31 2020 17:56 utc | 12
Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 17:51 utc | 10

Not a policy change, more that the military will have advised against it, the same problem that has always prevented an attack on Iran.

jo6pac , Oct 31 2020 17:59 utc | 13
KB has it right the demodogs will have better PR but nothing will change. The only thing I hope they do is fully throw the u.s. govt behind stopping the virus and even that will be hard do to many stupid people.

Trumpster and the swamp all he did was change the cruel animals in it and biden will change it back to the other cruel animals that were there before.

Down South , Oct 31 2020 18:00 utc | 14
It is hard to tell what will change if the Democrats win because they have flip flopped on policies so many times that you don't know what they really stand for.

Are they going to ban fracking or not?
Are they going to end the oil industry or not?
Are they going to pack the Supreme Court or not ?
Are they going to implement the Green New Deal or not ?
Are they going to encourage immigration or not ?
Are they going to tear down the Wall?
Are they going to defund the police or not?

Other than #OrangeManBad what do they actually stand for ?
Jonathan Pie lays it out quite nicely
https://youtu.be/IdnHfYbr1cQ

The one issue that is critical is that it is clear than Biden will not make it full term. His mental faculties are deteriorating rapidly. He might just make it over the goal post line but just barely.

Therefore the real question is what will Kamala Harris do?

Russia has a lead in strategic weapons that the US will not be able to catch up with. Hence the US emphasis on nuclear weapons to bridge the gap. Russia has successfully thwarted the empire on several occasions. How will the empire struck back ? (So as not to lose credibility with allies and vassals alike)

There are too many unknowns.

Down South , Oct 31 2020 18:06 utc | 15
Another look at what a Biden win may mean by Philip Giraldi.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/10/29/disappearing-america-progressives-want-a-revolution-not-just-change/

Malchik Ralf , Oct 31 2020 18:08 utc | 16
They are going to reduce government subsidies for fracking
And encourage the oil industry's ongoing retooling to other energies
They are going to expand the SCOTUS to 13 seats in keeping with the number of Circuit Courts
They are going to implement environmental legislation and policies
They will hopefully try to adopt a comprehensive policy on immigration and naturalization
They will abandon The Wall project as pointless
They will review the role of the police in dealing with situations where a social worker or a psychologist (with police escort) might better be able to handle the situation

Kamala Harris will keep an active and high profile as she is being groomed to run in 2024


ptb , Oct 31 2020 18:20 utc | 17
I agree that trajectory in foreign policy will be the same. I think a Trump administration would tend to entrench into the bureaucracy the xenophobic nationalists. This is in contrast to the neoliberal nationalists that make up the Democrat side of the foreign policy clique. In practice the latter ends up carrying water for the neocons, so the difference from the global perspective, the perspective of those on whom the bombs fall, is academic.

Domestically, however, I don't think we can say there's no significant difference. At some point far down the road, there will be a more meaningful internal political struggle in the US. Talking about when the $$ printing power runs out, so several presidential cycles from now at the very earliest, maybe many decades away.

The out-groups targeted by xenophobic nationalism will shift by then - either black or hispanic people will necessarily be included into the Republican party, and the divide may be more a matter of religion or nationality than race, but the overall idea will be the same.

No matter the details, it would be better to go into that conflict without giving the right-wingers a big head start. I think we should admit that Trump does accelerate the process. Maybe readers outside the US take some pleasure in the chaos produced by this, but for anyone actually planning to live within the US, who also objects to unrestrained nationalism, there actually is a pretty high price to pay for peeling off the mask of phony benevolence off of the de-facto imperialist foreign policy.

Down South , Oct 31 2020 18:25 utc | 18
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-30/biden-aides-see-warning-signs-in-black-latino-turnout-so-far
Mark2 , Oct 31 2020 18:29 utc | 19
'b' half the truth isn't the truth, no doubt you'l get round to the other half. It's conspicuous !
In these times focusing on what might happen if we get Biden, is biased.
What in your view might happen if we get trump ?
Given his track record.
Much more relevant I feel.
c1ue , Oct 31 2020 18:30 utc | 20
@Malchik #16
Well, kid, I will guarantee that 2/3rds of what you say will happen with a Biden win, won't happen.
I am particularly struck by your assertion that "super predator" Biden and "Lock 'em up" Harris will do anything to rein in police misbehavior. That is pure fantasy.
As for fracking: the subsidies were primarily by banksters in the form of loans and have long since ended. Nobody believes fracking is going to be a profitable business for at least a decade.
vk , Oct 31 2020 18:32 utc | 21
The only objection I have with supporting Trump's reelection from a non far-right viewpoint is that you would essentially be supporting an anti-democratic process: Trump is certainly going to lose the popular vote. Deserving or not, Biden does represent the absolute majority of adult America. By supporting Trump, you're essentially speaking in the name of the interests of a small redneck aristocracy (of circa 77,000 in size, according to the 2016 election results) in the Rust Belt and Western Pennsylvania. You are supporting white supremacy those rednecks undoubtedly support - wanting you or not.

In my opinion, it's time for the non far-right of the USA to start thinking seriously (specially if you're one of the twelve socialists in the country) in Third Party vote. Yes, you won't pick up the fruits immediately, but at least you're build up a legacy for the generations to come to try to change the landscape.

Now, of course, very little will change with Biden-Harris. But this has a good side, too: it shows the American Empire has clearly reached an exhaustion point, where the POTUS is impotent to the obstacle posed by China-Russia. Putin has already publicly stated he doesn't care who's next POTUS; China has already stated what the USA does or decides won't mean shit. Maybe the rising irrelevance of the POTUS is good in the greater scheme of things - or, at least, it gives us new, very precious, information about the core of the Empire.

Jackrabbit , Oct 31 2020 18:35 utc | 22
Is b really suggesting Trump is more peaceful than Biden?

The notion that Trump is fundamentally different than Biden or Hillary or Obama or Bush is specious. They are all on Team Deep State, which serves the monied class.

And the pretense that the Deep State is divided or partisan is equally laughable.

Strange that so many smart people fall for the shell game behind the 'Illusion of Democracy'. Is it so difficult to see the reshuffling of deck chairs and entertaining diversions that pass for "US politics"?

!!

Bemildred , Oct 31 2020 18:35 utc | 23
Biden will bring fresh blood to the Presidency, just you watch.

But seriously, things have been changing very rapidly all of my life, and accelerating as we go. I don't see that the political/managerial classes here are up to the job of managing that change, have shown any aptitude for it or understanding of it in the past either. They remain focussed on their depraved personal ambitions and demented interpersonal disputes. So no change in the midst of lots of change is what I expect, time to keep an eye out and consider ones options.

dh , Oct 31 2020 18:37 utc | 24
@14 Will they fund a task force to deliver a preliminary report on reparations?
Down South , Oct 31 2020 18:47 utc | 25
vk @ 21
By supporting Trump, you're essentially speaking in the name of the interests of a small redneck aristocracy (of circa 77,000 in size, according to the 2016 election results) in the Rust Belt and Western Pennsylvania. You are supporting white supremacy those rednecks undoubtedly support - wanting you or not.

Jesus but that is an ignorant comment. Michael Moore explained 4 years ago why Trump will win the election (2016)
https://youtu.be/vMm5HfxNXY4
div> @vk #21
You said:
The only objection I have with supporting Trump's reelection from a non far-right viewpoint is that you would essentially be supporting an anti-democratic process: Trump is certainly going to lose the popular vote.

The United States has a Constitution and was designed as a Republic.
"Democracy" as in majoritarian rule was explicitly designed against by the Founding Fathers.
Thus your criticism is utterly irrelevant. Until the Electoral College system is changed by Constitutional Amendment, or the United States of America is overthrown by a revolution, all this talk about "majoritarian demos rule" is purely partisan nonsense.
Note also that the 48 states which are "first past the post" are all disenfranchising the minority views. I 100% guarantee that a European style ranked vote system would see far more minority votes be submitted than the present systems.
Deserving or not, Biden does represent the absolute majority of adult America. By supporting Trump, you're essentially speaking in the name of the interests of a small redneck aristocracy (of circa 77,000 in size, according to the 2016 election results) in the Rust Belt and Western Pennsylvania. You are supporting white supremacy those rednecks undoubtedly support - wanting you or not.
Wow, thanks for showing your "deplorables" views. Anyone against the "right" and "proper" Democrat sellouts to pharma, tech and enviro must be rednecks. It is precisely this view that galvanized the vote against HRC in 2016.

Posted by: c1ue , Oct 31 2020 18:50 utc | 26

@vk #21
You said:
The only objection I have with supporting Trump's reelection from a non far-right viewpoint is that you would essentially be supporting an anti-democratic process: Trump is certainly going to lose the popular vote.

The United States has a Constitution and was designed as a Republic.
"Democracy" as in majoritarian rule was explicitly designed against by the Founding Fathers.
Thus your criticism is utterly irrelevant. Until the Electoral College system is changed by Constitutional Amendment, or the United States of America is overthrown by a revolution, all this talk about "majoritarian demos rule" is purely partisan nonsense.
Note also that the 48 states which are "first past the post" are all disenfranchising the minority views. I 100% guarantee that a European style ranked vote system would see far more minority votes be submitted than the present systems.
Deserving or not, Biden does represent the absolute majority of adult America. By supporting Trump, you're essentially speaking in the name of the interests of a small redneck aristocracy (of circa 77,000 in size, according to the 2016 election results) in the Rust Belt and Western Pennsylvania. You are supporting white supremacy those rednecks undoubtedly support - wanting you or not.
Wow, thanks for showing your "deplorables" views. Anyone against the "right" and "proper" Democrat sellouts to pharma, tech and enviro must be rednecks. It is precisely this view that galvanized the vote against HRC in 2016.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 18:50 utc | 26

c1ue , Oct 31 2020 18:55 utc | 27
@JackRabbit #22
You said
The notion that Trump is fundamentally different than Biden or Hillary or Obama or Bush is specious.

That's not actually true.
Biden has 47 years of track record to rely on.
HRC, ditto.
Bush is umpteenth generation Bush in government (100 years plus).
Obama was groomed through Harvard, community organization and Senate position as a servant of the oligarchy.
Trump is a billionaire and 2nd generation wealthy, but he neither shares the views of the oligarch classes - his historical behavior is clear proof of that - nor is he predictable as the other 4 are.
If presented with a neocon view - all 4 of the above would 100% agree.
Trump? 85%.
That is a difference albeit absolutely not world changing.
Hoyeru , Oct 31 2020 18:56 utc | 28
Pure BS.
Giving health care to 20 million poor Americans ain't nothing to sneeze at. Adding pre existing conditions save millions of lives. That's why the right despises Obama so much. How dare he give money to those free loaders!

lets show what the republicans have done for poor Americans besides taking more needex money from them and giving it to their rich buddies.
and No, Democrats cannot do anything if they don't control the Congress. They should have done it 2 years ago but since all they were doing was scream RUSSIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! at the top of their lungs,the people turned their backs on them.
Bullshit article.

David , Oct 31 2020 18:57 utc | 29

The Democrats are not going to end fracking. It is doomed to collapse without their help. A Wall Street Journal study revealed a remarkable fact that few Americans know; From 2000-2017 fracking companies spent $280 billion more to extract fracked oil and gas than they received in revenue. Fracking is nothing more than a massive Ponzi scheme predicated on the constant issuing of debt and stock. Fracking wells deplete quickly. There is a constant need for more expensive drilling. The remaining areas that will be fracked have less productive wells. Much of the debt fracking companies have issued is back loaded while the well's production is front loaded. There simply isn't going to be enough revenue generated to meet debt obligations. What made the scheme possible was the artificially low interest rates created by the Federal Reserve. There was a demand for yield that drove investment into debt of dubious quality. A crash is inevitable.
c1ue , Oct 31 2020 19:03 utc | 30
@Bemildred #23
You said:
Biden will bring fresh blood to the Presidency, just you watch.

I am curious why you think so.
Biden is nothing, if not a creature of habit (of obedience to his corporate masters).
Biden likely NSC: Tony Blinken. Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy NSC under Obama.
Susan "Bomber" Rice?
John Kerry?
Sally Yates? The one who signed the FISA warrants based on the Steele Dossier (based on 2 drunkard Russians in Malta mad at being fired)
Michael Bloomberg?
Jamie Dimon?
The only "fresh blood" in this group is the teenage blood they inject to try and remain young.
Elizabeth Warren, were Biden to appoint her as Treasury Secretary, *would* constitute fresh blood.
The likelihood of the Senator from MBNA appointing her to that position is zero.
I would love to be wrong in that instance, but it ain't gonna happen.
Mark2 , Oct 31 2020 19:06 utc | 31
What is trumps legacy so far ?
Let's call that -- - 'The Crimes Of Donald Trump'
Well he has legitimised cold blooded murder.
Ditto racism.
Run roughshod over national laws and conventions. -- Invading an embassy. Assange, koshogie murder, white helmit chlorine attack false flag. Funding and arming by US of Isis.
Corporate mansloughter by virus.
Interference in numerous country's internal politics.
Allowing Israel to interfer take over US politics.
The above are a few that comes to mind.

Have we done away with law and order ?

Feel free to add to my 'Crimes of Donald Trump' list.
In a word normalisation.

ToivoS , Oct 31 2020 19:08 utc | 32
Laguerre | Oct 31 2020 17:36 utc | 7

I hope you are right that the US will avoid war in Syria because they would lose. I was, on the other hand, very impressed that Flournoy was advocating that no fly zone in August of 2016. It was on the basis of her article at that time I fled the US Democratic Party. I knew it was bad before, but it suddenly became clear how Hillary would lead us int WWIII.

Jackrabbit , Oct 31 2020 19:10 utc | 33
c1ue @Oct31 18:55 #27

We've talked at moa about how policy doesn't change much between Democrat and Republican Administrations. And we've talked about the Illusion of Democracy.

That each President has a different personality as well as different priorities and challenges during their time in office doesn't indicate any fundamental difference in how we are governed.

!!

Jackrabbit , Oct 31 2020 19:13 utc | 34
Mark2 @Oct31 19:06 #31

Yes, Trump is normalizing the 'Rules Based Order' in which financial and military power dictates what should be.

!!

circumspect , Oct 31 2020 19:16 utc | 35
And Hillary Clinton wants to be Secretary of Defense in a Biden administration. Not only would the world be in trouble I could see her using the DOD internal hit teams to go after her domestic enemies. They will make 8 years of Bush junior look like a Disneyland vacation. It will be similar to the many unsolved murders of Weimar Germany.
Bemildred , Oct 31 2020 19:17 utc | 36
Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 19:03 utc | 30

That was sarcasm, I knew it was going to cause trouble, sarcasm never works on the web unless you add a /sarc tag or something, I guess I feel a bit perverse today.

But to be serious, any attempt to predict what comes next here must rely on the idea that the future will be like the past, we extrapolate in other words, from various trends that we pick out. We can expect Biden to remain who he has been in the past, politicfally he's a hack, what we know of Harris does not suggest any principles to speak of either, so I feel more like I want to pay attention to what's coming than trying to predict what they is going to do or not do. That likely depends on "contingencies" just as in the past.

jayc , Oct 31 2020 19:18 utc | 37
#23 - "I don't see that the political/managerial classes here are up to the job of managing that change, have shown any aptitude for it or understanding of it in the past either."

This is a highly relevant observation. For some time the character and intellectual scope of the political/managerial sectors in the West have been noticeably mediocre, and will likely continue as such for the foreseeable future. The necessary reforms of capitalism were vetoed decades ago, ensuring that productive energies would gradually dissipate. For the last decade all the West has had to offer the rest of humanity is neoliberal austerity, colour revolutions, and armament contracts. This is a journey towards an eventual hollowed-out self-imposed isolation, a process the political/managerial sectors are actively encouraging and supporting without realizing it at all.

Piero Colombo , Oct 31 2020 19:18 utc | 38
Interesting to see how the kayfabe vocabulary of Dim propaganda infects everyone's thought and speech. Including b's:

"'Change' was an Obama marketing slogan to sell his Republican light policies."
Republican my eye. Democrat policies, period. A party founded, maintained and run to implement the ruling class empire and war agenda, just like the Repucrats.
As if Obama was some kind of exception. Ditch this language.

Piero Colombo , Oct 31 2020 19:20 utc | 39
Hoyeru @28

"Giving health care to 20 million poor Americans ain't nothing to sneeze at".

On the contrary, it would be a very good thing, to be applauded.
But when, o when, is it ever gonna happen? We've been waiting for it too long.

dfnslblty , Oct 31 2020 19:27 utc | 40
usa is the major unknown;
China and Russia don't need to physically war - they are winning at PR around the globe.
Even tiny Cuba has greatly better creds!
usa needs to be a people who truly and consistently respect their allies.
Which comes back to usa being the major unknown.
'Cept for warmongering.
Don Bacon , Oct 31 2020 19:30 utc | 41
The blob from the swamp wants to be heard with Why Those 780 Top National Security Leaders Support Biden . .think 'Get Russia.'
"All of us who spent careers in the military were raised on the notion that you lead by example, and President Trump has been the antithesis of that in dealing with this pandemic," said Charles "Steve" Abbot, former commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and deputy Homeland Security Adviser. "Instead of taking steps that I would call 'Crisis Management 101,' President Trump shirked his duty to the nation by failing to provide the central leadership necessary to get our arms around the problem, and he continues to mislead the entire nation about this terrible threat. The result of that failure of leadership was that his administration committed an unrelenting string of missteps, and the American public has lost trust in what the president tells them."

The sixth Fleet is Europe, so "this terrible threat" must be Russia, which is the natural enemy of the DNC/AtlanticCouncil/NATO unlike Trump the 'Putin-lover.'
And more on anti-Russia, from the article:
President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton said earlier this year that Trump had repeatedly raised the issue of withdrawing the United States from NATO, and warned of "a very real risk" that Trump would actually follow through in a second term.

Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and the number three official at the State Department, put it this way: "Every modern president since Harry Truman has viewed our commitment to democratic allies around the world as sacrosanct, because for half a century those alliances have been a key source of American power." He noted that a dissolution of NATO is at the top of Russian President Vladimir Putin's wish list. "Under President Trump we have walked away from that global leadership, and, as a result, trust in the United States has plummeted even among our closest friends. That's done enormous damage."

Bemildred , Oct 31 2020 19:35 utc | 42
This is a journey towards an eventual hollowed-out self-imposed isolation, a process the political/managerial sectors are actively encouraging and supporting without realizing it at all.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 31 2020 19:18 utc | 37

I've been sort of fascinated by that for some time, back when I was young we were still smart enough to know we had to compete with the USSR, and that we therefore had to develop our human capital. And we did pretty well for a couple decades, but then after VietNam they stopped doing that and choose the present "system" instead. Thus abandoning their long-term ability to compete, the source of their power in the first place. Banana republics do not compete well. Decadent.

But you have to give credit to the Russians and the Chinese too, their achievements are impressive by any standard. Our enemies, the ones who have survived, have all proved their mettle.

pnyx , Oct 31 2020 19:50 utc | 43
Can be, can be, no expectations in Biden / Harris. Nevertheless, Tronald is definitely not the lesser evil. His foreign policy is also heading for a clash with China, and things are not going well with Russia either. The warmongering anti-Iran axis has his support, the war in Yemen continues, he won't leave Syria alone, his extremely Israel-friendly attitude increases the danger of war. Everything that is suspected of being left-wing in South America is strangled.

In addition, he has an encouraging effect on all the fascists of the world, his disastrous ecological policy, his negative influence on the treatment of the Corona crisis, his general dislike of multilateral organizations and treaties on which the weaker states of the world are compulsorily dependent. Overall, he exerts an extremely negative influence on the entire globe. He should be disposed of.

He will lose the elections, but what happens then is open.

Maureen O , Oct 31 2020 19:57 utc | 44
In 2009, Biden tried very hard to convince Obama not to surge 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan. Obama listened to the generals not his VP.
steven t johnson , Oct 31 2020 20:11 utc | 45
The claim that support for minority rule isn't purely partisan BS is yet another lie. The moral principle in countermajoritarianism like the Founders' is that democracy cannot be allowed to threaten property. Except of course property before democracy, before liberty, before humanity is a vile and disgusting tenet that shames everyone so lost to common decency. The defense that a piece of parchment, a law, makes things moral and righteous and that even opposition is somehow wrong is an offense against common sense. By that standard, the Thirteen, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were the end of freedom in America!

It's one thing to have a mind deranged by rabid hate of your perceived social superiors, but to openly uphold vulgarity is merely snobbery inverted. It is a mean and small minded vice, always, and never a virtue. The Access: Hollywood tape was proof of vulgarity but to defend it as not being proof of a crime but as a positive good is vicious. Vicious is not a synonym for "bad ass." Or if it news, then "bad ass" is a horrible insult.

And, speaking of deranged minds, Wilson was felled by a stroke and Reagan was felled by Alzheimer's, yet they did not fall from power. Quite aside from the question of how anyone could decide who is battier, Trump or Biden, Biden will never be replaced by Harris for incapacity short of a coma.

Linda Amick , Oct 31 2020 20:20 utc | 46
I agree wholeheartedly with the concluding paragraph
Oriental Voice , Oct 31 2020 20:31 utc | 47
A very cogent analysis by b. But I believe the return of the Blob may not be as ominous as feared.

The dangerous component of the Blob's collective fantasy is the confrontation against China and Russia. As late as 4, 5 years ago the prevailing sentiment among Americans, the masses and the elites alike, was one in which The Empire's might was still considered unquestionably dominant and unchallenged. There was penchant for dressing down both China and Russia, and the clumsy maneuvers of the Blob's operators (Obama/Clinton/Bolton/Rice et al) were wholeheartedly supported even if contemptuously regarded for their clumsiness. That sentiment has evaporated, especially after Chinese and Russian military parades as well as American's numerous own infrastructure project failures along with abject performances of Boeing jets and Zumwalt class destroyers. The COVID19 pandemic adds salt to injury.
There is an issue with self confidence now, up and down the hierarchy within the American society, perhaps with the lone exception of Trump's rednecks.

So, the Blob may return with a vengeance but their political capital may be rather meager. They will be all mouth and little substance, as would Trump's prospective second term.

Steve , Oct 31 2020 20:33 utc | 48
I've tuned out of thesilly circus of the US election since the day Biden became the Democratic Party flag bearer.
alaff , Oct 31 2020 20:48 utc | 49
I do not always agree with the opinion of the Saker, but in this matter I tend to support him and can only quote from one of his recent articles :

And, in truth, the biggest difference between Obama and Trump, is that Trump did not start any real wars. Yes, he did threaten a lot of countries with military attacks (itself a crime under international law), but he never actually gave the go ahead to meaningfully attack (he only tried some highly symbolic and totally ineffective strikes in Syria). I repeat – the man was one of the very few US Presidents who did not commit the crime of aggression, the highest possible crime under international law, above crimes against humanity or even genocide, because the crime of aggression "contains within itself the accumulated evil", to use the words of the chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Robert H. Jackson. I submit that just for this reason alone any decent person should choose him over Biden (who himself is just a front for "President" Harris and a puppet of the Clinton gang). Either that, or don't vote at all if your conscience does not allow you to vote for Trump. But voting Biden is unthinkable for any honest person , at least in my humble opinion.

I am surprised by people who are of the opinion that half-dead Biden, suffering from obvious dementia, is better. If only not Trump.
In 2016, Hilary, in fact, openly stated that she was going to use the so-called 'nuclear blackmail' against the Russian Federation. And there was no guarantee that this crazy old witch, having become president, would not have pressed the very button that launched nuclear missiles at Russia. Four years ago, the choice was between an insane sadistic misanthropist who could actually start a nuclear war, and a "dark horse" businessman with the illusory prospect of some improvement in relations between the two strongest nuclear powers. I do not want to drag in religion and the intervention of higher powers here, but it may not be at all accidental that Trump snatched victory from the witch. Maybe we avoided a nuclear war.

Yes, now both options are bad. But of the two evils, it is better to choose the lesser, which, of course, Trump is.


two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden's only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War , even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the "biggest threat" to the US.

What? Funny. I thought it was Obama (read Democrats) who started this new Cold War. Just to remind - It was Obama who made the decision to deploy missiles in Poland and Romania, which are a direct threat to Russia. It is Obama & Co who are responsible for the Ukrainian coup, which, in fact, became a trigger for the total deterioration of relations between Russia and the West. It was Obama who began the unprecedented expropriation of Russian diplomatic property in the U.S. and the expulsion of russian diplomats. It was under Obama that "the doping scandal" was organized against Russia. And so on and so on...
Trump just continued what Obama had started. It is strange that Pepe Escobar does not understand this.

Mark2 , Oct 31 2020 20:50 utc | 50
Off topic
Boris Johnson announces Britain will be going into its second fake total lockdown this coming Thursday.
Mark Thomason , Oct 31 2020 20:52 utc | 51
If Iran and/or Venezuela get their oil back on the market, that will cause an oil price crash that would "end fracking." It can't survive oil much under $50/barrel over a long term.

An oil price crash would also effect the larger energy market, making solar and wind less competitive, even though their direct competition is really coal rather than oil.

Huge and powerful constituencies don't care about Iran or Venezuela, but care very much about oil prices staying high. They make common cause now, and will under Biden too.

uncle tungsten , Oct 31 2020 20:53 utc | 52
Well, having given deep consideration to the question and the current advanced state of malady in the USA - I will leave it to Vic as he has summarised the position with minimum fuss - here.

Enjoy this sharp witted, all encompassing 4 minute rant from inside the asylum. I would shout the bar for all with this one.

JohnH , Oct 31 2020 20:58 utc | 53
Biden is an old man. He is a tired man, if not now, then in six months. He has already told wealthy donors that nothing will change. He has no record of leadership. He has no record of achievement, unless you count floating to the top. He will be the establishment's model 'status quo, do-nothing Democrat.

Biden will preside as a figurehead legitimizing the shenanigans of the blob, Wall Street, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and Big Oil. Heck, I doubt that he will even override many of Trump's executive orders, except for the token bone thrown to his delusional supporters.

Harris will be as much a figurehead as Biden. She is utterly unprepared. While she is likable enough, she lacks gravitas and "credibility," which, she will be convinced, can be established only by bombing a few wogs back to the Stone Age.

Both will serve as placeholders until Trump 2.0 arrives in 2024. Elites will sufficiently sabotage the economy until then to assure that Trump 2.0 with neocon values is elected in 2024.

james , Oct 31 2020 21:11 utc | 54
thanks b... i appreciate you highlighting pepe's article... i enjoyed it.. terms like "Kaganate of Nulandistan", " The Three Harpies" and etc...

i still like the dynamic between joe rogan and glenn greenwald discussion on this same topic from the link debs left yesterday -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0rcLsoIKgA&feature=youtu.be

the usa is an approaching train wreck and no amount of persuading one side or the other is going to change any of this... the world is moving on and rightfully so... no one wants to get down into this... the swamp and fake news is permanent at this point...until the whole system implodes - this is what we have in store.. vote for trump or biden - it matters not... one is a slower motion move then the other - but the end result is the same... there is no way out... sorry... on the other hand it is beautiful and sunny here where i live... life goes on outside this political circus called the usa presidential election..

lysias , Oct 31 2020 21:17 utc | 55
77,000 voters may have decided the outcome of the 2016 election, but they were not the only ones who voted for Trump. 63 million voters did.
Per/Norway , Oct 31 2020 21:20 utc | 56
Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 18:50 utc | 26
I do not agree with you on 99.8% of wordly affairs BUT this comment you wrote is pure gold!!
Even on the other side of the Atlantic ocean @ the western edge of Europe us reading types know the difference.
And it annoys me just as much as it seems to annoy you how few people know that the US of terror is a republic and NOT a democracy😂🥴
steven t johnson , Oct 31 2020 21:27 utc | 57
By the way, people who are truly interested in seeing the Democratic Party removed as an obstacle to a true people's party (no one else here wants a workers' party) the very best way to split the national party would be a clean sweep of House, Senate and Presidency followed by enough treasonous shenanigans by Trump to arouse mass resistance. (Genuinely treasonous as in subverting the republic by force, fraud and violence, not in the half witted definition of dealings with foreigners so popular around here.) Biden et al. would split the Democrats rather than enact a popular program---which would be left because the when the masses begin to move they always march left.

Also by the way, Bloomberg is continuing his bid for a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party, aping the media version of Trump's hostile takeover of the Republic (NOT A DEMOCRACY!) Party.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 31 2020 21:27 utc | 58
"Change' was an Obama marketing slogan to sell his Republican light policies. A real change never came."

I was calling Obama "Bush Lite" during his first campaign. Anyone who read his foreign policy platform would have to agree. And the *only* reason he negotiated the JCPOA was because he needed at least one foreign policy win for his eight years - and he knew it would be torn up by whoever came after him, either Clinton or Trump. But he needed it for his own narcissistic view of his "legacy".

People forget that Obama wrote the leaders of Brazil and Turkey in 2010 prior to their negotiation with Iran for a deal, listing the points of a deal he would accept. Clinton pooh-poohed the idea that those leaders could get a deal. After a marathon negotiation session, they got it. The US then dismissed the deal 24 hours later, prompting Brazil's leader to release the Obama letter to establish that Obama was a liar.

"Change You Can Believe In" - "Make America Great" - only morons believe in campaign slogans - or the people who utter them.

uncle tungsten , Oct 31 2020 21:28 utc | 59
Pardon me b !
"The other issue is arms control. While a Harris (Biden) administration may take up Putin's offer to unconditionally prolong the New-START agreement for a year it will certainly want more concessions from Russia than that country is willing to give."

Russia has made it abundantly and repetitively clear that they are not doing INCREMENTAL DEFEAT any more - there are no concessions to make - they no longer do supine acceptance of UKUSAi rights to dominate, subvert or belligerently mass arms at their advancing borders.

Why would any country concede to the incessant belligerence of the west? They must have lead in their drinking water to be that dumb!

The concession must come from the aggressor, the colour revolution fomenter, the incessant smearer and hate propagandist - the west.

A Harris/Biden Presidency lacks those attributes (perhaps lacks any attributes of goodwill) and a Trump Presidency is no different.

The narcissistic personality disorders run the USA - the asylum inmates are in charge, not the elected leaders. And the elected leaders are morons or wholly captive klutzes.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 31 2020 21:34 utc | 60
Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 31 2020 17:36 utc | 7 They didn't do a No-Fly Zone in Syria when they could, e.g. 2013. The reason it was not done is that it was too difficult to do

Obama tried *six times* to start a war with Syria. First he submitted *three* UNSC Resolutions with Chapter 7 language in them. Russia and China - burned by the US over Libya - vetoed those. Then Obama was within hours of launching an attack on Syria in August, 2013. He only stopped when he got push-back from Congress and then Putin outmaneuvered him by getting Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Then in fall, 2015, Obama was talking no-fly zone yet again. Putin again outmaneuvered him by committing Russian forces to Syria. Then sometime in 2016 - I forget the exact month - there was a news article saying Obama was having a meeting on that Friday to discuss no-fly zone yet *again*. That Tuesday or Wednesday, the Russia Ministry of Defense issued a statement that anyone attacking Syrian military assets would be shot down by Russia. On Friday, Obama pulled back and said there wouldn't be a no-fly zone.

So it was Russia, primarily, that was the reason Obama didn't not succeed *six times* trying to start a war with Syria.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 31 2020 21:36 utc | 61
Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 17:51 utc | 10

Correct (for once).

uncle tungsten , Oct 31 2020 21:41 utc | 62
Bemildred #23

"Biden will bring fresh blood to the Presidency, just you watch."

YES. thank you for the clarifying statement, as that is exactly what I expect too. Harris /Biden blood spattered globe again. Or a Trump spattered equivalent. No socialism for the USA.

gottlieb , Oct 31 2020 21:42 utc | 63
We went from snarling Cheney Wars to shiny happy Obama wars to snarling Trump wars now back to shiny happy Biden wars to... Forever War is obviously bi-partisan.

But perhaps with Great Depression 2.0 coming this Dark Winter in order to stave off civil war and/or revolution they'll throw resources to much needed infrastructure projects, diminish to a slight degree the supremacy of the for-profit healthcare industry through a laughable but better than nothing 'public option' and make some baby steps toward avoiding climate catastrophic.

The change is marginal. And probably meaningless. Hope is just another word for nothing left to lose.

vk , Oct 31 2020 21:53 utc | 64
@ Posted by: lysias | Oct 31 2020 21:17 utc | 56

Those 77,000 - purely because of location - overcame 3 million+ votes. That's the equivalent of giving those 77 thousands the right to vote 40 times each.

Are you in favor of censitary vote?

--//--

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 31 2020 18:50 utc | 26

Yes, but at the end of the day, Hilary Clinton got 3.6 million votes more than Donald Trump.

You're telling everybody you're in favor of censitary vote in opposition to one person, one vote, just because you don't want an ideological enemy of yours to win. This is still liberal - but you would have to dig to the early liberal thinkers (Locke, Tocqueville etc.) to find such reactionary and elitist opinion.

Even by liberal standards today censitary vote is already considered outdated/reactionary. Concretely, you're defending the interests of a blue collar elite of the north-midwest, who number on the dozens of thousands, in detriment to more than half the voting population. It is what it is: you can't fight against mathematics.

--//--

@ Posted by: Down South | Oct 31 2020 18:47 utc | 25

So what? Fuck Michael Moore. If Michael Moore told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? He's not the guardian of the absolute truth, he's just a random guy with an opinion.

Michael Moore can defend a mythical blue collar America how much he wants to - it doesn't change the fact this America doesn't exist anymore. America is, nowadays, the land of the petit-bourgeois, the land of the small-medium business-owners (a.k.a. zombie business-owners) , of the New York financial assets owning middle class "coastal elites", of the influencers, of Kim and Chloe Kardashian, of Starbucks, Amazon and Apple, of the billionaire tied to Wall Street. That's the true America, want it.

America will never be blue collar again. The insistence of turning America blue collar again will destroy the American Empire. They will be the Gorbachevs of the USA.

uncle tungsten , Oct 31 2020 22:11 utc | 65
Richard Steven Hack #61


Obama tried *six times* to start a war with Syria. First he submitted *three* UNSC Resolutions with Chapter 7 language in them. Russia and China - burned by the US over Libya - vetoed those. Then Obama was within hours of launching an attack on Syria in August, 2013. He only stopped when he got push-back from Congress and then Putin outmaneuvered him by getting Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Then in fall, 2015, Obama was talking no-fly zone yet again. Putin again outmaneuvered him by committing Russian forces to Syria. Then sometime in 2016 - I forget the exact month - there was a news article saying Obama was having a meeting on that Friday to discuss no-fly zone yet *again*. That Tuesday or Wednesday, the Russia Ministry of Defense issued a statement that anyone attacking Syrian military assets would be shot down by Russia. On Friday, Obama pulled back and said there wouldn't be a no-fly zone.

So it was Russia, primarily, that was the reason Obama didn't not succeed *six times* trying to start a war with Syria.

Thank you, it seems that your succinct statement should be included as an auto response macro to every laguerre post. They never stop their blathering those AI CPU's. My take is that they are a retro definition of the term interrupt .

MarkU , Oct 31 2020 22:16 utc | 66
@ Jackrabbit

I remember you as being a reasonably sane contributor but atm you have a serious case of TDS. Are you seriously trying to tell us that the last 4 years of US media foaming at the mouth about Trump (Russia-gate, Trump supporters being 'white supremacists' and egging on a race war) were all a plot to get him re-elected? I mean seriously? WTF? What the hell would they do if they wanted him removed?


Mark2 , Oct 31 2020 22:19 utc | 67
Now I know I have been very very harsh on trump and his supporters of late. Please forgive me ! It's what we call 'tough love' I do have a heart, dispite all of America's crimes against the rest of the world. I did hope that the US at the last moment would come to it's senses and turn it's back on trump. Alas ! I fear not. Really sad, I'm sorry.
But for the rest of the world including myself, we can only watch with fascination and relief as America destroys itself from within. My heart goes out to the inocent.
I fear trump supporters are in for a -- --
Pyrrhic victory (spelt correctly) I recommend googling the word.

Adolph Hitler rose to power with similar glory and power unbridled. Just as trump now !! Then what ?
Dresden!!
Think on.

_K_C_ , Oct 31 2020 22:29 utc | 68
Posted by: MarkU | Oct 31 2020 22:16 utc | 67

Why is it so hard to believe? The media needs a heel and they actually prefer Trump to remain in office. Maybe on the ground level you have a lot of regular old liberals, but the upper echelons of the media (and holding companies) are all about keeping the ratings bonanza going. Another Trump term but with Democrat control of Congress would be like manna from heaven to them. Matt Taibbi is one writer who has chronicled the phenomenon since before Trump ever got elected. Here's a more recent piece. Let me know if it's paywalled and I can copy/paste.
CNN chief has an ethical problem.

Schmoe , Oct 31 2020 22:39 utc | 69
On JCPOA, The Nation had a quote from one of Biden's foreign policy advisers to a group of Jewish campaing donors saying all sanctions on Iran will remain intact unless they return to full compliance. I agree that it will not be as simple as that given political reality, but Biden was closely involved in its negotiation and likely has some ownership of it.

I expect there to be a false flag attack by "Iran" to throw sand in the gears if re-implementation looks likely, or perhaps an Israeli attack on Lebanon. Best plausible outcome is Iran keeps its current level of cooperation, and a Biden admin looks the other way on sanctions violationsw.

jinn , Oct 31 2020 22:40 utc | 70
Are you seriously trying to tell us that the last 4 years of US media foaming at the mouth about Trump (Russia-gate, Trump supporters being 'white supremacists' and egging on a race war) were all a plot to get him re-elected? I mean seriously? What the hell would they do if they wanted him removed?
_____________________________________________
Of course it was all phony and designed to not ring true, which benefits Trump by giving him credibility with the voters.
The whole idea behind trump is the same as with Reagan he is portrayed as the outsider doing battle against the corrupt and powerful Washington swamp. Trump is Reagan on steroids. But it is all phony both Reagan and Trump are one of the powerful elites and their opposition by the left wing media is designed to give them credibility with voters.

Remember that half of the corporate controlled media loves Trump and sings his praises daily. It is only half the corporate media that is attacking Trump the other half is showing its viewers blacks that strongly support Trump and solid evidence that Russiagate is pure bullshit.

As for what the media would do if they really wanted to bring Trump down. They would attack him on real issues instead of phony ones that actually strengthen trump's credibility.

Josh , Oct 31 2020 22:45 utc | 71
What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change?
This,
https://sputniknews.com/viral/202010311080939179-ukrainian-code-biden-has-netizens-in-stitches-as-he-pledges-to-mobilise-trunalimunumaprzure/
Nice,
dave , Oct 31 2020 22:59 utc | 72
"What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change?"

The same thing it always changes, absolutely nothing except who accepts the bribes from the elite.

As long as the American people stay asleep they will continue with the "American DREAM" until they suddenly wake up inside their newly constructed corporate industrial zone. The prison industrial complex is the model society if you're an elite.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, don't get so caught up in this sham (s)election that you ruin what little freedom you have left.

S , Oct 31 2020 22:59 utc | 73
Berlin's Madame Tussauds has put Donald Trump's wax figure into a dumpster . Is this normal behavior by a museum? Is this not "an interference in the democratic processes of the United States"? Or is it okay because the Germans are doing it? (But God forbid if a Russian or an Iranian criticizes a U.S. presidential candidate publicly ahead of the election.) Have similar performances been staged against Bush, under whom the U.S. intelligence agencies manufactured claims of Saddam Hussein preparing to use weapons of mass destruction, which the U.S. "free" media printed almost in unison without any criticism, leading to an invasion that killed 650,000 Iraqis ? When a visitor beheaded Adolf Hitler's figure in 2008, the same museum had this to say :
Madame Tussauds is non-political and makes no comment or value-judgement either on the persons who are exhibited in the Museum or on what they have done during their lifetime.

I guess starting a war that resulted in deaths of 26,000,000 million Soviets -- most of them Russians -- is not nearly as bad as being a rude person who has once recommended in private grabbing women by their genitals.

S , Oct 31 2020 23:01 utc | 74
*26,000,000 Soviets
MarkU , Oct 31 2020 23:18 utc | 75
@ jinn (71) and _K_C (69)

You are clearly over-thinking this, clutching at straws to justify supporting the other side. Remember the saying "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people". Whoever wins the election is going to be faced with major unrest, the worms are clearly not going back in the can. There are easier ways to get someone re-elected.

Trump is clearly at least as toxic as any of them wrt foreign policy, however he is not a globalist and that is his major sin in their eyes.

Don Bacon , Oct 31 2020 23:19 utc | 76
@ Maureen O # 45
In 2009, Biden tried very hard to convince Obama not to surge 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan.
Perhaps he was successful? . . . Obama actually surged 70,000 troops into Afghanistan, raising Bush's 30K to 100K+. That got Mr Hope & Change the Nobel Peace Prize.
arata , Oct 31 2020 23:21 utc | 77
Posted by: alaff | Oct 31 2020 20:48 utc | 50

What is JCPOA, in reality?

We should remember there were 6 UNSC against Iran, and one of them under Chapter 7 ( the most dangerous), before JCPOA. We should keep in mind there are gang of 5 + 1( 5 in UNSC + Germany) coalition behind 6 resolutions.

From Iran's eye, Imperialism was, combination of these 5 in the club, and their collateral and vassals ( Germany, Japan, etc). The master of JCPOA, caught the opportunity to put a wedge into the body of the club, and it worked perfectly. America is mad cutting her own arteries, out side the club. Trump or Biden are not different in this regard, America needs some one to understand the depth of the wound and retreat immediately, before too much hemorrhage. And such person ( or group ) is not in horizon. Let it die by her own wounding.

Going back to JCPOA is not so simple.

uncle tungsten , Oct 31 2020 23:34 utc | 78
Down South #15

Thank you for that Philip Giraldi report. The descent into madness from the raucus sounds of the echo chamber. Where does a revolution start?

First they need to dismantle their media concentration across the spectrum of "news" including all media forms.

Second they need to send their journalists through the same cultural revolution cycle as was done in the China and other countries where people go to different work supporting the growth of their communities for a five to ten year separation from the craft of journalism. Listen to the people and sweat alongside them in their labour to survive.

Sure there is much more but the echo chamber must surely be demolished at commencement.

Jen , Oct 31 2020 23:39 utc | 79
RSH @ 61:

I believe back in August 2013 after a CW attack in East Ghouta, east of Damascus, wrongly blamed on the Syrian govt that Obama was preparing to enforce his no-fly zone threat. Then the UK parliament voted not to support such a threat, Obama hesitated and then Putin saw his opportunity and posted an opinion in the New York Times. That ultimately stopped the US from going ahead with the attack.

I'm sure British MPs have since been forced to "come to their senses".

karlof1 , Oct 31 2020 23:43 utc | 80
I linked to and commented upon Pepe's article when it was published by Asia Times a few days ago, and I don't see any reason to add to it as b echoes much of my sentiment. What I will do is link to a brief item by Chinese scholar Zhang Weiwei, professor of International Relations at Fudan University, "How China elects their political leaders" , which seems very appropriate at this moment in time:

"China has established a system of meritocracy or what can be described as 'selection plus election'. Competent leaders are selected on the basis of performance and broad support, through a vigorous process of screening, opinion surveys, internal evaluations and various types of elections. This is much in line with the Confucian tradition of meritocracy. After all, China is the first country that invented civil service examination system or the 'Keju' system....

"Indeed, the Chinese system of meritocracy today, makes it inconceivable that anyone as weak as George W. Bush or Donald Trump could ever come close to the position of the top leadership. It's not far-fetched to claim that the China model is more about leadership rather than the showmanship as it is in the West. China's meritocratic governance challenges the stereotypical dichotomy of democracy versus autocracy. From Chinese point of view, the nature of the state including its legitimacy, has to be defined by its substance, that is, good governance, competent leadership and success in meeting the people's needs."

Zhang Weiwei is the author of a very important book some may have heard about and even read, The China Wave: Rise Of A Civilizational State , of which an open preview can be read here . Also, the professor gave a talk at the German Schiller Institute related to the above book and the BRI project, which can be read here .

I've commented several times that China's political-economic system is far superior to the Parasitic Neoliberalism that's destroying the West. China's success suggests very strongly that we listen and closely observe while not taking heed of what any Western source has to say about China.

Jen , Oct 31 2020 23:43 utc | 81
Uncle T @ 79:

I'm all for sending the entire Australian news media into a cave for 5 - 10 years. Maybe in 10,000 years archaeologists investigating the cave will be wondering whether fossil remains there denote a species of human more primitive than those found in Liang Bua cave on Flores Island in Indonesia. :-)

Hagbard Celine , Oct 31 2020 23:51 utc | 82
@worldblee #1

Can you elaborate on this funding you referred to for BLM protests? What is your evidence that it was actually funding street protests? Are you referring to the national corporate BLM? If so, what does that have to do with leaderless protests in the streets?

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2020 0:09 utc | 83
Mark2 #68

Adolph Hitler rose to power with similar glory and power unbridled. Just as trump now !! Then what ?
Dresden!!
Think on.

Ahem, Think about this :

From February 13 to February 15, 1945, during the final months of World War II (1939-45), Allied forces bombed the historic city of Dresden, located in eastern Germany. The bombing was controversial because Dresden was neither important to German wartime production nor a major industrial center, and before the massive air raid of February 1945 it had not suffered a major Allied attack. By February 15, the city was a smoldering ruin and an unknown number of civilians -- estimated between 22,700 to 25,000–were dead.

Dresden and other cities held magnificent collections of human posterity. Cities of science - of intellectual excellence and endeavour within europe. Cities of humans associated with brilliant minds doing the work of human understanding and progress.

Sure Hitler's imbecile adventures ably funded by global private finance capitalism and a hatred of communism led to war that ultimately led to the vengeful destruction of great cities and great store houses and museums of this earth of mankind.

Hitler did not bomb Dresden.

Germans were proud of their science and their knowledge and storehouses and museums.

Europe shared in that pride in excellence as did many throughout the world.

The UKUSA bombed Dresden in mid February 1945. They had no need to do so as Germany was crippled, Berlin was surrounded and doomed. On April 20, Hitler's birthday, the first Russian shells fell on Berlin. What followed was a brief but brutal fight.

Those first shells falling on Berlin TWO months after the demolition of cities of science and archeology and human history. NOT cities of military significance.

I think of Vietnam

I think of Iraq

I think of Korea

I think of China

I think of Japan

Bombed by UKUSA. So lets not obsess with a dead nazi comrade, lets open our eyes to the live nazis.

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2020 0:12 utc | 84
Jen #82

++ :))

little hairy pens preserved in paperbark and beeswax perhaps

tribolij@uoregon.edu , Nov 1 2020 0:34 utc | 85
I think Biden will win this presidency, and win it fairly easily. It will become apparent early on that the Biden Administration intends not only to turn the heat up on Russia, but will continue Trump's aggression towards China. There may be a feint towards renewing JCPOA, but it will not be fulfilled, and aggression towards Iran will not abate either.

The Mighty Wurlitzer of pro-war propaganda is again spinning up in anticipation. The Atlantic and the Economist have been busy comparing Chinese Policy towards it's Muslim citizens with the Holocaust...Russia, Russia, Russia!!! which never went away is again being amped up.

But, this isn't 2016. Four years has given China and Russia time to further modernize their militaries. Iran has developed its missile and drone programs to the point that a conflict with Israel will result in mutual destruction. In 2016 USA/NATO had the military advantage, but that is now gone, and the balance shifts further by the day. I almost feel sorry for Biden, as he will be the one taking the blame when the economy collapses and America gets their asses handed to them. Hopefully it doesn't go nuclear, but I am not very optimistic.

With the NeoCon infestation capturing the Democratic Party, the media, and a big chunk of the Republican, it is only a matter of time before they get their way. Short-sided parasites as they are, this time they will kill their host. If humanity survives, a new multi-polar era may emerge.

Mark2 , Nov 1 2020 0:56 utc | 86
Uncle tungsten @ 84
Please re-read my heart felt comment. It was sincerely ment. To many here think this is just fun and speculation.
But this is real, the USA have the same misguided sense of infalalabilty now, that the German public hand then.
Did we learn nothing from world war 2 ?
Please don't belittle my urgent warning.
This is not a game. Perhaps re read my comment. Respect
_K_C_ , Nov 1 2020 1:12 utc | 87
Posted by: MarkU | Oct 31 2020 23:18 utc | 76

Naw, you're not reading me right. Did you check out the Taibbi piece? He has numerous others over the past 4 years. Also see Les Moonves and other corporate media executives' statements on Trump during that same time period. I acknowledged that the rank and file among the media class is largely woke, liberal and pro-Biden (and very anti-Trump), but they don't call the shots and you're not looking at the situation with enough attention to details. It's the little things that give it away.

Ever heard the saying "there's no such thing as bad publicity"? A brand like Trump's has been clearly demonstrated to benefit immensely from the negative coverage. The media are hated by Trump's followers and the people who watch the media hate Trump. So what does that tell you? Compare CNN and MSNBC ratings during Trump's term to Obama's. They know that hate sells and they never call Trump out for his ACTUAL bad behaviors (other than COVID and ACB, I guess) while they focus on meaningless nonsense, thus distracting the public from the bi-partisan corporate dominated graft going on and the Empire's ongoing wars and sanctions programs abroad. Very rarely if ever will you read or hear about the hundreds of thousands of people who have died due to American sanctions on Iran or Venezuela. Why is that? Because top brass at the corporate media outlets support it. They cheered when he launched the missiles at Syria.

Someone did a study or analysis on the amount of air time given to Trump versus the Democrat primary and it wasn't even close. He plays them and his supporters like a fiddle, too. SNL had him on NBC when he was running against Hillary. Some argue that this might have been due to the same mindset that Hillary's team was alleged to have had. Namely, that Trump would be the EASIEST candidate for her to beat and he had no chance, so he was harmless as a threat. I don't think it's that complicated. They know what gets ratings.

Yeah, occasionally they'll make a peep about the environment or jobs, but like the Democrats in Congress and "Intelligence" Community's Russia and Ukraine witch hunts/impeachment they intentionally ignore the types of actions that DO justify investigations and impeachments. Do you honestly think that the Democrats thought Trump would be removed from office for the bogus "whistle blower" charges they ginned up? Of course not - the Senate was never going to go along with it and it wasn't exactly secret, even over here across the pond it was obvious.

As far as him not being a globalist - he's not exactly anti-globalist when it comes to policy, but why would that matter to the corporate media? Again, it's the corporate big wigs and majority shareholders who make the calls and the reporters, editors and personalities on TV know how to toe the line without being told explicitly. Now, if you want to talk Silicon Valley and the social media giants, I'm with you - they are actively trying to help Joe Biden. But take another example - the Hunter Biden laptop story. Social media giants censored it, but it isn't like it's not being talked about non-stop by the MSM and newspapers. They just don't talk about what was IN the emails or photos, leaving some of their viewers/readers curious to go find out for themselves.

I didn't read jinn's comment in detail, but I'm definitely not trying to make points that justify voting for Biden; but I stand by my points - I'm just pointing out what's REALLY going on with all of the "negative" coverage of Donald Trump in the corporate mainstream media. At the end of the day, the corporate MSM upper brass doesn't really care who gets elected, but they also understand that having a "heel" (from the pro wrestling world) and "bad guy" to always go after on crap that's ultimately meaningless, makes it easier to sell the hate and drive ratings and subscriptions.

David , Nov 1 2020 1:12 utc | 88

You summed it up beautifully tribolij. I believe it will play out just as you described. There is no basis for optimism.
uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2020 1:19 utc | 89
Mark2 #87
Uncle tungsten @ 84
Please re-read my heart felt comment. It was sincerely ment. To many here think this is just fun and speculation.
But this is real, the USA have the same misguided sense of infalalabilty now, that the German public hand then.
Did we learn nothing from world war 2 ?
Please don't belittle my urgent warning.
This is not a game. Perhaps re read my comment. Respect

Respect and apology in return Mark2. I jumped the gun.

Yes, the sense of infallibility infuses the bloodlust of the UKUSAi.

With any luck humanity will be spared their obscene and lunatic 'reprisal mania' that has rotted their minds. I somehow doubt that.

And I share your fear.

That said though - I am ever the optimist. There are many warrior clans of past decades that have made delightful blunders and ended up on the block instead of on the grog in the opponents bars. Time will tell.

I believe it is time for the great people of South America to shake off these barnacles on the arse of humanity once and for all.

_K_C_ , Nov 1 2020 1:30 utc | 90
@MarkU, #67 -

Sorry I got a little long winded in my last reply. I think this response will make my position easier to interpret.

You asked: " What the hell would they do if they wanted him removed?"

The answer to that question is the same as the answer would be if you asked what the Democrats in Congress would (have) do(ne) if they really wanted to remove him from office. They would actually investigate and attempt to prosecute a litany of possible crimes rather than silly, simplistic accusations from a "whistleblower" that anyone with a IQ over 100 could see was not going to work.

Maybe you're right and I'm wrong, and Americans really are that stupid. It wouldn't necessarily conflict with what I've seen and heard from Democrat supporting relatives and social media contacts. A lot, if not most of them STILL believe that there was collusion between Trump and Russia. It was like my conservative friends and relatives for about a decade after the Iraq war - they were CONVINCED that we DID find WMDs and that the US media had somehow hidden it.

c1ue , Nov 1 2020 1:42 utc | 91
@vk #65
It is striking how you still refuse to acknowledge the reality of the law.
The United States is not a majoritarian democracy.
In fact, there is not one single country in the entire world that is a majoritarian democracy.
If the law were changed via the methods already written, tried and true, then I guarantee that there would be a lot more voters in the minorities of both red and blue states.
As it is, the only partisan here is your and the Democratic party's whining about how they have more popular votes, much as the talk about packing the Supreme Court, etc etc.
If ultimately the existing laws of the land are merely an impediments to anyone doing whatever they have the power to do, then there is no law.
Mark2 , Nov 1 2020 2:01 utc | 92
Uncle @ 90
Thanks for that. I feel we are in full agreement !
To perhaps clarify to those less astute than you.
My comment @ 68 points out the law of unintended consequence. The majority of Americans don't want war, riots, poverty and distruction. They want to keep there families safe.
The comparison being the same can be said for Germans prior to the war, they weren't evil as portrayed in history they simply made the same mistake the US is about to make. With the consequence of there country devistated. A dreadful mistake voting for the wrong man, whipped up by a false sense of superiority !
Don't do it.
Half of America won't tolerate it.
Free quarters of the rest of the world won't. By voting trump you vote for your own distruction.
I would rather vote for a donkey, never mind Biden.
jinn , Nov 1 2020 2:19 utc | 93
the moron wrote:

You are clearly over-thinking this, clutching at straws to justify supporting the other side.
__________________________________________
What other side???
I'm guessing you are accusing me of supporting trump but who knows maybe you think I'm supporting Biden. Either way it is stupid of you to project your "side" based logic onto others. Do you really think it is impossible to analyze without first taking a side?

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2020 2:25 utc | 94
c1ue #92
response to vk #65
As it is, the only partisan here is your and the Democratic party's whining about how they have more popular votes, much as the talk about packing the Supreme Court, etc etc.


Thank you, I liked that retort to vk. Can I distort your point that while the Demonazis delude themselves in more popular votes - the Repugnents have more of the un-popular votes. The deeply corrosive nonsense being shouted into the demonazi echo chamber is truly dangerous to the point that they will generate a standing wave resonance and collapse the entire building. Trouble is we will then have to endure an 11/11 to compete with their absurd 9/11 and - we'll never hear the end of it. :))

james , Nov 1 2020 2:26 utc | 95
mark - serious question...have you been drinking?? cheers james who thinks you need to step away from the computer keyboard!
Mark2 , Nov 1 2020 2:39 utc | 96
James
I share one bottle of wine a month. I don't do drugs, but thanks for asking.
I note you don't ask the 'right wing' to step a way'
But if the truth is hurting you. Perhaps you ought ?
Have a peaceful night.
Jackrabbit , Nov 1 2020 2:41 utc | 97
MarkU @Oct31 22:16 #67

I remember you as being a reasonably sane contributor ...

Thanks!

=
... but atm you have a serious case of TDS.

No. I'm neither for nor against Trump. I see him as a symptom of the system who has joined (possibly long ago) Team Deep State (the managers of the Empire). If it wasn't Trump, it would be some other media-savvy guy that can con the people.

=
Are you seriously trying to tell us that the last 4 years of US media foaming at the mouth about Trump (Russia-gate, Trump supporters being 'white supremacists' and egging on a race war) were all a plot to get him re-elected?

IMO Trump's economic nationalism and zenophobia were very much planned. As was the failure of the Democrats to mount any effective resistance. They pretend to hate Trump so so much but shoot themselves in the foot all the time.

Russiagate was nothing more than a new McCarthyism. That works well for the Deep State both internationally and domestically. Any dissenter is called a "knowing or unknowing" Russian asset.

Background: I've written that Trump was meant to beat Hillary. The 2016 election was a farce. Sanders and Trump were friendly with the Clintons for a very long time. Sanders was a sheepdog (not a real candidate) and Hillary threw the race to Trump. Trump is much more capable at what he does than Hillary would've been.

I mean seriously? WTF? What the hell would they do if they wanted him removed?

If the Deep State wanted him removed (but they don't) they would find a reason to invoke the 25th Amendment. They have positioned people to do this, if necessary. For example: VP Pence was a friend of McCain (who was a 'NEVER TRUMP'-er); Atty General Barr is close to the Bushes and Mueller ('NEVER TRUMP'-ers); CIA Dir. Gina Haspel is an acolyte of John Brennan (you guessed it, a 'NEVER TRUMP'-er).

=

MarkU @Oct31 23:18 #76

...he is not a globalist and that is his major sin in their eyes.

He's not anti-globalist as you seem to suggest. He's even bragged about his business dealings with Chinese, Arabs, Russians - pretty much any group with money.

Trump and the Deep State - the true Deep State, not the pretended partisan off-shoot - are EMPIRE-FIRST (and have been for decades). You can see this in what Trump has done globally. USA just wants a bigger cut of the action because they have to do the 'heavy lifting' of taking on China and Russia.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

I know that my cynical perspective must generate a lot of cognitive dissonance in many readers. But I don't see any other way to rationally explain Deep State actions and the history that has brought us to where are today.

!!

Jackrabbit , Nov 1 2020 2:59 utc | 98
MarkU

You might be interested in my comment on the Greenwald thread .

!!

vk , Nov 1 2020 3:04 utc | 99
@ Posted by: c1ue | Nov 1 2020 1:42 utc | 92

The numbers are there for everybody to see: Trump won with 3 million + votes below Hilary Clinton. That is not democracy in any sense of the word unless you go back to the more traditional forms of liberalism of the 16th-19th centuries. Those are the numbers, not my opinion.

Besides, I think you're not getting the irony of your position: the situation in the USA has gotten so degenerated that you're hanging by a thread - a thread you put on a golden pedestal and claim is the salvation of the Empire (the electoral college). Where did I see this? Oh, yes - the War of Secession of 1861-1865, when the slave states were already outnumbered 6 to 1 by the northern states. They kept their parity artificially for decades, until the whole thing suddenly burst up in the war (a war where they were crushed; no chance of victory at all).

So, the problem isn't in the system per se, but the pressure the ossification of the system is building up. When they seceded, the confederates genuinely thought they were the true inheritors of the liberal thought, the slave states being the most perfect manifestation of freedom; the same situation is building up today, albeit, obviously, on a much milder scale (there's no California gold this time, just the good ol' race to the bottom).


--//--

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 1 2020 2:25 utc | 95

I agree with you: the end of the electoral college (with it, any form of district vote) will give a chance for the conservatives (Republicans) to win back, for example, California (which has 40-46% of the popular vote). But it will also give the Democrats Texas (Dallas + Houston regions already make almost 50% of the population of the state and are Democratic bastions). It will also open the gates for third parties to flourish (avoiding a situation like Bernie Sanders, who had to affiliate to the Democrats).

Either way, it will give the American people and government a more honest, precise picture of the state of the nation. Or are you willing to live a perpetual illusion of "coastal elites vs heartland deplorables" forever (which, by the way, only fuels up secession as the only solution)?

denk , Nov 1 2020 3:34 utc | 100
The myth of HIQ whitemen....
--------------------------------------

Caitlin[for prez]johnston

Russia gate morphes seamlessly into China gate without missing a beat.

One hiq white man opines, oh so innocently

IN Russia gate, they were quoting only anon, nameless witness.
This time its different, we've real witness testifying on teevee , in Tucker [fuck China] Carlson show, no less !

The poor dear was referring to an 'ex CIA' [see, an insider, wink wink ] telling Tucker [fuck CHINA] Carlson ....

Psssst, many dem were CCP trojans !

ROFLAMO

oR that HUnter BIden buddy whatshisname again, who told Tucker [fuck China] Carlson oh so solemnly,

'Yes , I think the BIdens were compromised by the chicoms'

OMFG !
BIden is CCP'S man !

What happen if Biden get into the WH and immediately bomb Shanghai.?

Well half of gringos , the Trumpsters, would scream,

'Why isnt BIden bombing Beijing already, well BCOS we all know he's Xi's man in Washington' !

The dems, eager to clear their potus name, would implore earnestly,

'Hey BIden, you should invade Beijing RIGHT now, show them repuc we are just as tough, no, even better in showing the chicoms who's the boss around here.

What a devious brilliant way to get a bi partisan support for more wars.

BI partisan ?
That practically cover 99% of HIQ gringos.
hehehhehehhe


Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me hundreds of times.........

[Oct 26, 2020] The goal of neoliberal globalism promoted by CIA and MI6 is ending nation states to end their influence, laws and regulations, and thus try to dynamite, through sowing divide ( and in this they are helped by alleged opponent Soros and his network of franchises mastering regime change, color revolutions

Oct 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Eric , Oct 24 2020 21:10 utc | 18

... ... ...

The goal of this movement is ending nation states to end their influence, laws and regulations, and thus try to dynamite, through sowing divide ( and in this they are helped by alleged opponent Soros and his network of franchises mastering regime change, color revolutions

Blunt coups d´etat and lately "peaceful transitions of power", being both, Soros and the NRx, connected to the CIA...)countries with which make what they call "The Mosaic" of regions resulting, at the head of which there will be a corporation CEO and their stakeholders in a hierarchical autocratic order. These people think that Democracy simply does not work and thus must be finished, and that there are people ( white, of course ) who have developed a higher IQ ( at this poin

t I guess some of you have noticed this creed sound very familiar to you, from our neighbors here by the side at SST, where "james" and Pat lately love each other so much...) and must rule over the rest.

To achieve their goals, these people, as geeks from Silicon Valley, are willing to cross the human frontier to transhumanism so as to enhance their human capabilities to submit the rest...

Wondering why this topic have never been treated at MoA...nor at the Valdai Discussion Club...

The Alt-Right and the Europe of the Regions. According to Wikipedia, Steve Bannon is inspired by the theorist Curtis Yarvin ( https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilustration_oscura), who states that countries should be divided into feudal areas in the hands of corporations (Patchwork).

https://twitter.com/andrei_kononov/status/1126684073009639425

The Moldbug Variations

H.Schmatz , Oct 24 2020 23:01 utc | 28

@

[Oct 23, 2020] Hating Russia is a full time and well paid job

Neocons do not want to fight Russia, they just want to profit from Russophobia while getting nice money from the US MIC.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Mister Delicious , 7 hours ago

  1. Introduction
  2. The euphemisms
  3. Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
  4. The media
  5. A de facto violation of free speech
  6. Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
  7. The best alt-media journalists are neutered
  8. Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
  9. A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
  10. Malice towards none
  11. The problem extends to all areas of public life
  12. We need serious scholarship and analysis
  13. Low expectations from the existing alt-media
  14. A call for articles and support
  15. https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/
ebear , 6 hours ago

Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1k

John Hansen , 7 hours ago

I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.

theallseeinggod , 7 hours ago

They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.

Normal , 5 hours ago

Now the West has rules only for poor people.

Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago

Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha ha

Nayel , 5 hours ago

If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...

Arising 2.0 , 1 hour ago

Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.

ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago

Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:

Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.

Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.

(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)

foxenburg , 3 hours ago

This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6990/russia-failure-syria

Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago

We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.

Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf

[Sep 27, 2020] PODCAST- Tribute to Andre Vltchek- "West's sadistic personality disorder" by Kevin Barrett

Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

One of the most vibrantly alive people I met, André Vltchek, just died . Though he barely made it past his mid-fifties he got in a lot more living than a hundred average Americans who live to collect their pensions. Allah yarhamhu.

In honor of this great Truth Jihadi we're replaying this 2018 interview:

André Vltchek on West's sadistic personality disorder (originally broadcast May 2, 2018)

The West claims to be the "free world" -- the global leader in human rights, humanitarianism, and free expression. Globetrotting independent journalist André Vltchek , who joins us from Borneo, isn't buying it. His latest essay begins:

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.

By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.

Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.

One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the 'allowed protocol'). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far 'freedom' usually stretches.

Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.

Andre Vltchek's latest book is : The Great October Socialist Revolution: Impact on the World and Birth of Internationalism

Information on his other books and films


Luther Blisst , says: September 23, 2020 at 11:21 pm GMT

Andre taunted rightwing elites and illness – with a passion. I guess one of them caught up.

Living hard seems like a death-wish, maybe it was. Staring at darkness messes people up and he traveled again and again into the hearts of darkness across the planet because he wanted to be a modern Wilfred Burchett. He was one of the greats. My condolences to his family and friends.

Peace to Stephen Cohen too. You both will be missed.

PetrOldSack , says: September 24, 2020 at 11:00 am GMT

André Vltchek was not an intellectual heavyweight. What is fascinating about his life-story is how and who financed. That should be easy for insiders to fish out, and insiders there be.

As to my humble opinion, Chomsky was neither. From all angles, his pre-fabricated prestige, his in-group attitudes, his encrusted prestance, pettiness, pedantry, always within convention, his factoid approach, the channels of communication, the lack of any systemic approach, his "good guys bad guys" copper´ approach, did not warrant the few hours listening in on his tune and omni-presence. His numb personality, contrary to the combative Vltchek is noted as a minor.

Some "intellectuals" have half a page of original content in them over the course of a life-time (not the same as career (n´est ce pas Pinker?)), most have none. "History repeat itself", through the bull-horns of public intellectuals. They both practiced a sort of journalism that is superficial (accent on the superficial) agenda driven.

They both are within the K. B. range.

No Friend Of The Devil , says: September 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT

@Robert Konrad,

Ex-CIA John Kiriakou stated that the CIA was attempting to recruit just about anyone that they were able to starting in the sixties ranging from Hollywood actors/actresses, musicians, writers, journalists, artists, business people, just about anyone. Operation Mockingbird is still widely used even if it is no longer regerred to it as Operation Mockingbird.

brabantian , says: September 26, 2020 at 11:14 am GMT

André Vltchek (1962-2020) was the son of a Czech nuclear physicist father, and a Russian-Chinese artist-architect mother, born in Soviet-era St Petersburg (then Leningrad). He spent part of his childhood as well in the famous Czech beer city of Pilsen.

Here, an article where Vltchek talked about his roots, and his nostalgia for life under Communism in eastern Europe
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/article/134280#How-we-sold-Soviet-Union-and-Czechoslovakia-for-plastic-shopping-bags

Eulogy for André Vltchek by China expert Jeff J Brown

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EmCFRyDLDJU?feature=oembed

Adûnâi , says: Website September 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm GMT

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.

What culture is not? Every single population on Earth wants to survive, Westerners want non-Aryans to survive, but the mechanism is always the same. The Stasi, the Gestapo, the CIA, the KGB – they all breathed air, and they all tortured dissenters. Turkey was almost overthrown in 2016. The Shah of Iran was, as were Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi in Egypt and Libya. Bashar is facing quite a lot of criticism for being free – that critique comes in the form of bombs and jihadi freedom fighters. The Saudi Prince is wise for strangling and beheading Khashoggi. The USSR disintegrated after they had shut down the GULAG.

As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.

In 2012, the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in [the DPR of Korea] estimated 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated, based on testimonies of defectors from the state police bureau, which roughly equals 600–800 people incarcerated per 100,000.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

The World Prison Brief puts the United States' incarceration rate at 655 per 100,000.

Anon [790] Disclaimer , says: September 26, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT

Okay. If the West is the least free society on the planet, why the heck do all these third-world people keep trying to move there? It is plain that Vltchek's thinking flunks the real-world reality test.

The reality is, the rest of the world is worse off than the West, or people wouldn't keep trying to leave the third world for the West.

Robert Konrad , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:50 am GMT
@Anon ey want to have freedom of their stupid religious beliefs, not freedom from religion. They still don't know that freedom of religion is not worth anything if it also doesn't guarantee freedom from religion.

Thomas Jefferson tried very hard to explain this to them, but Yankee morons have never learned what Jefferson tried to teach them. (With some notable exceptions, though, who, however, have absolutely no political power.)

Vltchek is/was right: American/Western civilization [sic] (siphilization, rather) is bankrupt and inhuman. It can only offer an abundance of material goods and military weapons as if the only goals of human life were material things and warfare.

[Sep 26, 2020] The origin of Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine

Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic.

[Sep 25, 2020] Do a search on "Danchenko and Fiona Hill", the latter being one of those who testified with Marie Yovanovich and was sainted by the media.

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Sep 25 2020 17:42 utc | 6

Do a search on "Danchenko and Fiona Hill", the latter being one of those who testified with Marie Yovanovich and was sainted by the media.


karlof1 , Sep 25 2020 17:48 utc | 7

If all the energy wasted on peddling Russiagate had instead been used to push real political alternatives to Trump's programs the Democrats and their voters would likely be in a better position.

The Ds defeated that possibility when they conspired to derail Sanders and promote Clinton. As a result, Obama's legacy is Trump. But there was a Deep State faction pulling Obama's strings that's likely supporting the attempt to foment a domestic Color Revolution, yet for the life of me I can't see why as all the grifters are getting billions--unless--it's perceived that Trump's stalled their imperialist projects or stopped what they hoped to accomplish via JCPOA. In other words, we need a better motive for Russiagate than the mere disruption of Trump's administration.

Red Ryder , Sep 25 2020 18:03 utc | 8
The Nexus is Ukraine, where the DNC, Obama and others were heavily involved with corruption, money into their pockets and money laundered for campaign uses, illegally brought back into the US.

It was never Russia or Russians. It was always the Podesta-Clinton-Obama operatives and their true believers in FBI and DOJ, working with the Russophobes in NGOs and the State Dept.

The desperation as Trump became a real possible President and then an actual elected President was to cover their crimes in Ukraine and the illegal actions to spy on Trump and set up Trump campaign associates.

The difficult call now is how high up do the present investigators have cover to save the institutions of the FBI and DOJ? A real take down would go to Obama, Biden, Clapper, Comey, Brennan, Podesta, Clinton and all their lieutenants. It would collapse the CIA, State, FBI, DOJ, and all the lying experts on Russia who perjured to Congress.

c , Sep 25 2020 18:12 utc | 9
Yes, this is pretty much beating a dead horse.
profk , Sep 25 2020 18:17 utc | 10
Red Ryder gets it -- Ukraine is the specific catalyst, linked to the New Cold War against Russia and the corruption of the Democrats involved in that conflict.

There is also Flynn and his dirt on Obama's Syria/ISIS policy -- remember his Al Jazeera interview about Obama's "wilful decision" to ignore DIA reports on ISIS. Flynn knows the US and its allies had some kind of links to ISIS and Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) in Syria.

And there is also the more general concern, raised by Karlof1, about the Presidency and the empire.

karlof1 , Sep 25 2020 18:45 utc | 12
I found this barb delivered by Lavrov during his presser with Zarif I linked to on the open thread to be very curious when thought about in the context of Russiagate:

"The fact that the United States has threatened to impose sanctions on those who defy the American interpretation of the current situation serves as further proof of Washington's desire to move like a bull in a china shop, putting ultimatums to everyone and punishing everyone indiscriminately because, in my view, the incumbent US administration has lost its diplomatic skills almost for good ." [My Emphasis]

Red Ryder @8 & profk @10 connect Ukraine and the outing of the Empire's role in the creation of Daesh. Yes, it seems much is related to Russia's Phoenix-like rise and outwitting the Empire's buffoons beginning in 2013 that's generated the above behavior noted by Lavrov. If TrumpCo does get a second term, unless the entire foreign policy team is dumped and replaced, its agenda will go nowhere other than further into the hole they've dug for themselves over the past 20 years--almost every nation is now against Bush's USA as many now know who the terrorists really are and where they live.

dan of steele , Sep 25 2020 19:44 utc | 13
David G | Sep 25 2020 17:36 utc | 3

here is the link to "excluded from the published analysis"

Old and Grumpy , Sep 25 2020 19:47 utc | 14
What if the goal of 2016 election was to set up the 2020 American color revolution? If so Trump needed to win. Obama and the FBI did the groundwork here at home. There is some debate if the first Trump dossier was actually the second one to cover for the Cody Shearer one that was given to Strobe Talbot to give to Christopher Steele. Still it had the same goal as to foster doubt about the legitimacy of 2016 that is currently culminating with the gun toting, fire bombing hissy fit of the children of liberal privilege. Now if those blasted supreme righties would just show up, and the whole thing can go really hot like it did in Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, almost Syria, and any country I might be forgetting. Notice the Trump administration is parroting the left's white supremacist conspiracy. Its all really bad theater, but does anyone really care the crumbing infrastructure and the looming economic collapse when you can instead root for your team. Yes, I am guilty of the later too. Added bonus we already have a twofer of enemies (Russian and China) for yet another elitist war.
H.Schmatz , Sep 25 2020 19:54 utc | 15
I very doubt that it was "Russiagate" who make it difficult for Trump to pursue the policies he had been advocating during his election campaign...In fact, "Russiagate" has long ago been debunked and we have not seen Trump worrying a bit about the average American Joe, most flagrant during this pandemic...I doubt he would had behaved different were the "Russiagate" to have never existed..

Simply, electoral "promises" almost never are fullfilled in the already dating decades neoliberal order, both from the right or the "alleged" liberal left...

On the same grounds, we could affirm then that conspiracy theories about Obama´s birth place made it difficult for Obama to pursue the policies he had been advocating during his election campaign....

That Trump has ties to Russian oligarchs is, to my view, out of doubt for anyone following a bit some writers who use to deeply research their analyses out there like John Helmer.... That these oligarchas had anything to do, in this respect, with the Kremlin, it is doubtful, but highly likely related to business shenanigans amongst them and Trump & Co...related to illegal bribes and money laundering...

What have been largely proved is that Trump and his administration have been using big data management corporations and social networks engineering to manipulate elections and give coups eveywhere ( as the thorough research I posted at the Week in Review leaves in evidence it happened in several countries in Latin America , which leads us to suspect that they would not resist the desire to use the same methods in the US...before...and after the 2016 elections...having Bannon ad chief of campaign and then as chief of staff in 2016 so as that does not add for tranquility, with what legal methods is respected for achieving whatever goal..as the last events have clearly showed...

It was during Trump´s mandate that the war on Yemen continued towards total erradication of Yemenis, especially of Shia belief, by indiscriminate bombing and blockade of essential goods...that Qasem Soleimani was murdered without any justified reason...that NATO started a cheeky build up in Russian borders who remained still free of it...that the US withdrew from most international agreements leaving US/Russia, US/Iran, US/LatinAmerican relations at its lowest levels, by underminig any remaining trust...Trump reinstated and made even harsher sanctions against everybody who was not already a "puppet regime", including Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Russia, Iran, China, and, even looping the loop, against puppet governments in the EU...

I very doubt it was Russiagate which kept him from releasing his tax records as requested by governance transparecny, returning the ammounts of money defrauded in the "University Loans" affair, clarifying his ties to Epstein network, stopping sowing hatred and divide amongst US population, build the most world wide network of far-right extremists since post WWII around the world but especially in Europe to undermine what of "democracy" remains left, labeled and declared as "terrorists" any political party abroad who does not go along and oppose his puppet government´s corrupt policies anywhere, lit the Middle East on fire by continuously provoking Iran, Lebanon, Syria, sent his regime envoys to the EU to twist arm so that the European countries dedicate more budget to buy provedly ineffective arms from the US when the money is most needed for socio-economic and health issues in the middle of a pandemic, not to mention the requisition of health supplies´ cargos in the very Chinese tarmac which had been previously ordered and bought by European countries which needed them urgently, criminalized, and tried to label them as second cathegory citizens, a great part of US population of non-white foreign descent through whose hard work and shameful labor conditions US thrived along all these decades, well, you name it, the list would be almost for a book...or two...

To blame all this mess on "Russiagate" is, well, in the best case, underestimating the readership here...

Ma Laoshi , Sep 25 2020 19:54 utc | 16
Oh please, b: "legal jeopardy", don't make me laugh. It's been four years . The whole political part of Trump's career he's been under the tutelage of mafia consigliere Roy Cohn. Even better known, he's flown on the Lolita Express, and the FBI has a trove of videos etc from Epstein's safe (hmm, what else does the latter have in common with Roy Cohn besides the Trump connection). Bottom line, he's a deeply compromised individual who's concluded long ago, and correctly, that he's in over his head and better off just playing along. He's had no reservations appointing professional Russophobes like Fiona Hill; in fact, which of his appointees has not been a Cold Warrior besides perhaps T-Rex, who was a mere Venezuela hawk because of some old Exxon bad blood, and who was quickly ditched anyway. Even now, his own FBI director spouts RussiaGate red meat, and the Donald is doing squat about it.

What does it all matter to Trump? He doesn't have a good name to clear. He didn't run for president expecting to win, let alone to carry out this or that specific program. This Vale Tudo carnival atmosphere clearly suits him: if his opponents can make baseless accusations, so can he. If they can expect to skate beyond some meaningless fall guys, so can he. To actually uphold the law--it's just not how he rolls.

Had he mostly contented himself with playing president on TV and enjoying the perks of the office, and understood you can't just let a pandemic kill off your own voters, all would've been dandy. But, predictably, his ego got the better of him, and he just had to be the statesman who was finally going to bring China to heel. Again, merely tweeting about it could've been ignored, but by appointing an array of rabid ideologues who went to work on "decoupling", he's sided with a Deep State which will hate him regardless, against Corporate America which went into China to, you know, make money. In this way, he's made himself enemies a Republican can ill afford; combine this with his personal style (or lack of it), and just about nobody has his back any more. So the machine goes about purging this alien body from its system.

snake , Sep 25 2020 19:56 utc | 17
when do the American people get to investigate Truman, Ike, John McCain, JFK, Johnson, Bush, Obama, FBI, Trump, 9/11, CIA, invasion of Iraq, wall street, the US Treasury, the military, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and the like..?
,==He did it==> he did not do it, <=someone else did it, ==>avoids the basic problem:

America has a government that
a.) conducts wars to protect the economic interest of its favored few.
b.) uses law , to grant feudal lords wealth creating by extracting bits of wealth from Americans.
c.) conducts nearly all its affairs in classified secret..
d.) is un accountable for the money it spends.
e.) is un accountable for the genocides it conducts in foreign lands.
f.) has two crime families which divide and conquer the citizens to control all election outcomes
g.) has given to private bankers, its power to print money, control the economy, and tax the people.
h.) has not adhered to the Bill of Rights or the un amended constitution.
i.) refuses to require private media to speak only the truth.
j.) Refuses to comply with and orto enforce the 1st and 4th amendment<=papers and effects t/b secure
expand this list as you like

and

Americans have
a.) no access to the USA. <= 3 votes, insolation of state or voting district,
out 527 positions don't get it & none for the President
b.) must pay to the USA taxes and have no input as to how such taxes are collected or used,
c.) must register their presence to the USA with id numbers
d.) must obey USA laws which Americans had no say in writing, or passing.
e.) must endure foreign wars and domestic programs that serve no legitimate domestic interest.
expand this list as you like.

vk , Sep 25 2020 19:59 utc | 18
This kind of stuff have always happened in the USA.

The question to be made is this: why is this time more damaging to the social fabric of the USA?

H.Schmatz , Sep 25 2020 20:24 utc | 19
Because the US Deep State WANTED to initiate a new McCarthyism

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2020 17:37 utc | 5

You are onto something there...I do not recall whose US think tank analyse I read about US youth tending ideologically to the left...the same could be said of any youth around the world after they have been left without future prospect and past opportunities to rise through the social ladder by rampant savage neoliberal capitalism...

I said at the time that the Ukrainian experiment of 2014 was a general dressed rehearsal for a future planned authoritarian fascist rule in most of the world, especially the West, once the prospects, already known by the elites, of collapsing capitalism are obvious for the general public and cause the consequent uprising..It is in this context that the pandemic and its sudden impoverishing outcome fits, along with the "orchestrated" violent riots at various locations, to justify martial law...

Notice that "rewritting of history of WWII" in favor of fascism is a feature of any US administration since the fall of the USSR...

Past days I read that Roger Stone, former Trump advisor, if i am not wrong also implied in a corruption case, advised Trump to declare martial law after winning in Novemeber...It is in that context that all the noise we have been hearing all these past months about the riots, militias, coups, and so on fit...What we have not heard about is about hundreds of thousands of evictions, inacabable line ups for food banks, and the total socio-economic disaster more than anything willingly built by TPTB...

Recal that they "built their own reality, and when you are catching up with that reality, they build another one"...

[Sep 25, 2020] Fiona Hill still pushes "Russian Meddling" narrative

It is difficult to teach old chickenhawk a new tricks. Looks like she is a real "national security parasite" and will stay is this role till the bitter end.
"America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit." took hit because of the crisis of neoliberalism not so much because of Russia resistance to the USA neoliberal domination and unwillingness to became a vassal state a la EU states, Japan and GB.
Her hostile remark confirms grave mistake of allowing immigrants to occupy high position in the US foreign policy hierarchy. They bring with themselves "ancient hatred"
Only a blind (or a highly indoctrinated/brainwashed) person is unable to see where all these neocon policies are leading...
Notable quotes:
"... America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit ..."
"... "They lost the entire US political class ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | newschant.com

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs till 2019, says divisions are rising inside the Kremlin over the knowledge of persevering with a "dirty tricks" marketing campaign that's had combined outcomes and will now face diminishing returns.

On the one hand, Russia's 2016 affect operations succeeded past the Kremlin's wildest goals. The US-dominated, unipolar world that Putin has lengthy railed in opposition to is now not. America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit. "On that ledger, wow, yes, basically over-fulfilled the plan," mentioned Hill.

At the identical time, getting caught in the act of making an attempt to sabotage US democracy has proved pricey. "They lost the entire US political class and politicized ties so that the whole future of US-Russia relations now depends on who wins in November," she mentioned.

[Sep 25, 2020] The End Of The 'Rules Based International Order'

Notable quotes:
"... Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby ..."
"... In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." ..."
"... Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes ..."
"... Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council. ..."
"... The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. ..."
"... Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military. ..."
"... 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order. ..."
"... Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it). ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria. ..."
"... In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed. ..."
"... But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources. ..."
"... Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!" ..."
"... As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. ..."
"... Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. ..."
"... Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks ..."
"... Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'. ..."
"... Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts. ..."
"... The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence. ..."
"... Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development. ..."
"... Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok. ..."
"... Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis] ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. ..."
"... The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire. ..."
"... The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda. ..."
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
"... My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ? ..."
"... There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters. ..."
"... America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World). ..."
"... The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. ..."
"... The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive. ..."
"... quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state. ..."
"... China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014 leaving the US in a sort of limbo. ..."
"... "Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War. ..."
"... The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference. ..."
"... It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials. ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

The 'western' countries, i.e. the United States and its 'allies', love to speak of a 'rules based international order' which they say everyone should follow. That 'rules based order' is a way more vague concept than the actual rule of law:

The G7 is united by its shared values and commitment to a rules based international order. That order is being challenged by authoritarianism, serious violations of human rights, exclusion and discrimination, humanitarian and security crises, and the defiance of international law and standards.

As members of the G7, we are convinced that our societies and the world have reaped remarkable benefits from a global order based on rules and underscore that this system must have at its heart the notions of inclusion, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, diversity, and the rule of law.

That the 'rules based international order' is supposed to include vague concepts of 'democracy', 'human rights', 'fundamental freedoms', 'diversity' and more makes it easy to claim that this or that violation of the 'rules based international order' has occurred. Such violations can then be used to impose punishment in the form of sanctions or war.

That the above definition was given by a minority of a few rich nations makes it already clear that it can not be a global concept for a multilateral world. That would require a set of rules that everyone has agreed to. We already had and have such a system. It is called international law. But at the end of the cold war the 'west' began to ignore the actual international law and to replace it with its own rules which others were then supposed to follow. That hubris has come back to bite the 'west'.

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic. It also created new competition to its role due to its own behavior:

On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. ...

On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance.

Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should have believed.

The retired Indian ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar touches on the same points in an excellent series about the new Chinese-Russian alliance:

Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes:

Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council.

While the U.S. wants a vague 'rules based international order' China and Russia emphasize an international order that is based on the rule of law. Two recent comments by leaders from China and Russia underline this.

In a speech in honor of the UN's 75th anniversary China's President Xi Jinping emphasized law based multilateralism :

China firmly supports the United Nations' central role in global affairs and opposes any country acting like boss of the world, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
...
"No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others or keep advantages in development all to itself," Xi said.

Noting that the UN must stand firm for justice, Xi said that mutual respect and equality among all countries, big or small, is the foremost principle of the UN Charter.

No country should be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon or bully, Xi said. "Unilateralism is a dead end," he said.
...
International laws should not be distorted or used as a pretext to undermine other countries' legitimate rights and interests or world peace and stability, he added.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went even further by outright rejecting the 'western rules' that the 'rules based international order' implies:

Ideas that Russia and China will play by sets of Western rules under any circumstances are deeply flawed , Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with New York-based international Russian-language RTVI channel.

"I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost . These are very reputable people and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly," Lavrov noted. "However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case, just like thinking this in terms of China."

As an alliance China and Russia have all the raw materials, energy, engineering and industrial capabilities, agriculture and populations needed to be completely independent from the 'west'. They have no need nor any desire to follow dubious rules dictated by other powers. There is no way to make them do so. As M.K. Bhadrakumar concludes :

The US cannot overwhelm that alliance unless it defeats both China and Russia together, simultaneously. The alliance, meanwhile, also happens to be on the right side of history. Time works in its favour, as the decline of the US in relative comprehensive national power and global influence keeps advancing and the world gets used to the "post-American century."

---
P.S.
On a lighter note: RT , Russia's state sponsored international TV station, has recently hired Donald Trump (vid). He will soon host his own reality show on RT . The working title is reportedly: "Putin's Apprentice". The apprenticeship might give him a chance to learn how a nation that has failed can be resurrected to its former glory.

Posted by b on September 22, 2020 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink


Kali , Sep 22 2020 18:18 utc | 1

The Liberal International Order or Pax Americana are synonyms for The Rules Based Order. The plan that was followed for years was the outline given by Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Trilateral Commission in The Grand Chessboard to "contain" the ambition of Russia, China, and Iran over their interest to expand into Central Asia and the Middle East. Brzezinski changed in 2016, so did Kissinger, Brzezinski wrote that it was time to make peace and to integrate with Russia, China and Iran. But the elites had changed by then, newer people had taken over and no longer followed Brzezinski.
circumspect , Sep 22 2020 18:27 utc | 2
The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. We will own you and you will do what we say and those are the rules. Any challenge to our authority will lead to war, economic ruin or both.

Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military.

ptb , Sep 22 2020 18:37 utc | 3
'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order.
Patrick Armstrong , Sep 22 2020 18:52 utc | 4
Can't resist tooting my own horn.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/04/29/the-west-actually-lost-the-cold-war-it-turned-victory-into-defeat/
vk , Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 5
Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it).

.. .. ..

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 19:43 utc | 9
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria.

In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed.

All the liberalism is just self-congratulation about how exceptionalist it is. It is born out of narcisism and self-obsession during the "good times" of the West.

But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources.

The real face of it is hateful and snarling. And it will be fully exposed during the next 10 years, as the West goes crazy and it becomes a hungry wild animal that desperately needs to feed.

Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!"

Countries need to stay out from the wild animal and carry a big stick just in case, until it succumbs from its internal hatreds and contradictions.

gepay , Sep 22 2020 19:44 utc | 11

As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. As b. outlines. the US elites no longer follow the rule of law. This is even true within the US. The US inherited the role formerly played by the British Empire after WW2.

The national security apparatus of both the US and the Soviet Union kept the Cold War going. Notice how soon after JFK was assassinated Khrushchev was deposed. Gorbachev rightly stopped the Soviets superpower regime. As Dmitri Orlov points out - Empire hollowed out the Soviet Union and he sees it doing the same to the US.

Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. The life expectancy of Russians fell 7 years in a decade until rescued by Putin.

It can now be seen that the Nixon-Kissinger opening up to China was not to gain access to its large market potential but to gain access to hundreds of millions of cheap, disciplined, and educated workers. The elites starting in the 70s became greedier. Jet travel,electronic communication, and computers allowed the outsourcing of manufacture.

The spread of air conditioning allowed even the too hot south to be a location. First in the US as the factories began their march through the non union southern states onto Mexico. Management from the north could now live in air conditioned houses, drive air conditioned cars and work in air conditioned offices.

The 70s oil inflation led to stagnation as the unionized labor were powerful enough to get cost of living raises. With the globalization of labor union power in the US has been destroyed. As Eric X Li points out China's one party rule actually changes policies easier than the Western democracies.

So China's government hasn't joined in with the West in just creating wealth for the top 1% and debt for the real economy.

As b. pointed out, the Anglo Zionist policies created the mutual benefit partnership of Russia and China. The Chinese belt and road initiative appears to be intent on creating a large trading zone that could benefit those involved. The US is just using sanctions and the military to turn sovereign functioning countries that don't go along with it into failed states and their infrastructure turned to rubble

Roy G , Sep 22 2020 20:11 utc | 13
Now, the US is forced into puppeteering the UN in order to maintain the illusion of the 'rules based order,' even as it slides further and further away from any meaningful international cooperation:

Fortunately for the world, the United States took responsible action to stop this from happening. In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo. The world will be safer as a result.

The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.

https://www.state.gov/the-return-of-un-sanctions-on-the-islamic-republic-of-iran/

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 20:15 utc | 16
Any type of enmity btw the two countries under Trump is pure theater.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2020 20:07 utc | 10

Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.

foolisholdman , Sep 22 2020 20:22 utc | 17
Pompeo talks more or less continually about "China's bullying behaviour". To me it is wonderful that he can say this with a straight face. (Perhaps it is a result of his lessons in the CIA on "how to lie better".)All the countries that have engaged with China have benefitted from it, whether as salesmen or as recipients of aid or loans at advantageous rates. The countries that have engaged with America have mostly (All?) lost. (The fifty+ countries invaded and wrecked since WW2 or the NATO "allies" or the countries attacked with sanctions.) Either their economies were destroyed or billions upon billions of dollars were paid to the US MIC. The NATO member countries have got what from their membership? Formerly, they had "Protection" from an imaginary Soviet threat, more recently "Protection" from an equally imaginary Russian threat! Some bargain, that!
Christian J. Chuba , Sep 22 2020 20:38 utc | 18
Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'.

U.S, 'we have the right to seize cargo between any two countries transported in international waters based on U.S. federal appeals court decision even though the transaction in no way involves the U.S. We call this Freedom of Navigation and why we need to have aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and Arabian Gulf'

We are completely and totally insane.

psychohistorian , Sep 22 2020 20:41 utc | 19
Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts.

Thanks for the posting b as it gets to the core myths around the global private finance jackboot on the neck of countries in the West.

profk , Sep 22 2020 20:59 utc | 22
The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence.

Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development.

Capitalism might enrich a few, but it is the primary cause of America's relative and absolute decline.

jayc , Sep 22 2020 21:01 utc | 23
US and allied military analysts have been talking over the last year or so of the need to enter a single focus and total "wartime" posture throughout our societies, with all financial and industrial output directed to the "war". This has influenced the information/ propaganda efforts, but also the uptick in military manoeuvres around Taiwan and renewed NATO pressure directed at Russia (including the recent provocative B52 flights). Don't think Russia/China can be tricked into over-reacting, but some kind of loss-of-life military confrontation may be what the rules-based side is looking for as the population at large will probably not accept a "wartime sacrifice" regimen without such.
Kiza , Sep 22 2020 21:26 utc | 26
Very well written article.

Whilst Russia and China are creating a truly new, unique and creative alliance and a market of everything, in Australia the "authorities" are sicking their police dogs on poor grannies sitting on park benches. This image of five brainless armed state goons in a show of force over two quiet little grannies really puts things into perspective. It must be that New World Order that Soros and puppets always talked about.

Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok.

Leser , Sep 22 2020 21:42 utc | 29
Great analysis b and connecting the dots.

The post scriptum stopped the clock for me. Has our host slipped into our drink there a profound prophecy, disguised as jesting?

Many agree something big will happen (break?) soon, possibly with the elections. The other thing is the Americans' ability to change course, drop all baggage, and run off in a new, even the opposite direction with unfettered enthusiasm (and ferocity). No people has a greater capacity for almost instant renewal, once it chooses to.

I also notice that the spoof takes good aim at The Donald's peculiarities, though in a fair and human way. The proverbial Russian warmth, or a humorous invitation?

Meanwhile, I enjoy my newfound optimism in these dark times. Thanks b!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 32
Thanks b and on Anatol Lieven in the Prospect story (fairy story?)...
Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis]

Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex? This verbose Lieven tosh is littered with fancy sentences trawled from here and there but always presented to us from a narrow dimensional mind with limited analysis and seemingly zero interrogation.

again:- "then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world"...

So Lieven thinks the current behaviour of the US hegemon and its collaborator the UK is innocuous? These were the two nations that blithely squandered the "peace dividend" from the end of cold war as he describes and have led us to this time of perpetual war. A perpetual war that he does not mention, does not allude to, does not treat as an important driver behind the current global mistrust and disengagement from the USUK drive for global dominance.

Lieven is putting lipstick on his pig and screaming about losing the competition to the imagined wolf outside his prison.

Beneath contempt.

Jackrabbit , Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 33
Passer by @Sep22 19:43 #8
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world.
I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

_________________________________

Passer by @Sep22 20:15 #14

Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.
Yes. We still see the narratives like of Trump as Putin-lover despite the debunking of Russiagate and the clear evidence of Cold War tensions. The incessant propaganda reeks of desperation.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Some seem to think that the Empire is cornered.

Aha! We've got you now, you scoundrels!

LOL.

The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda.

!!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:53 utc | 36
On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.
karlof1 , Sep 22 2020 22:55 utc | 37
An excellent look into the seemingly mundane but important business of negotiating arms control agreements is offered here: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov's interview with the newspaper Kommersant, published on September 22, 2020 . Excerpt:

"For our part, we more than once described a balanced and mutually acceptable framework for future agreements in this sphere during our contacts with the American negotiators. Aware of the difficulties on the path forward in light of how widely different our approaches are, we proposed extending the New START as it was originally signed.

"We do not want any unilateral advantages, but we will not make any unilateral concessions either. A deal may be possible if the United States is ready to coordinate a new document on the basis of the balance of interests, parity and without expecting Russia to make unilateral concessions. But this will take time. We can have time to do this if the treaty is extended."

As predicted, the Outlaw US Empire makes an offer it knows will be refused so it can then blame Russia for being an unreliable negotiating partner--a trick we've all seen before.

Lavrov conducted a short interview with Sputnik mostly about Belarus and Ukraine and much of which is a rehash.

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 23:07 utc | 39
@Jackrabbit | Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 31

I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

Yes, the big question remaining is to predict what will happen and when. This is what the real deal is. And I'm sure they are working on that in the Intel agencies. It can certainly be predicted that the US and the EU will be significantly weaker in 2030 that today. Will this be enough is the question.

We now have some new information about US long term health as published by CBO. Very interesting numbers.

They predict lower population growth and lower GDP growth for the US than previously estimated, as well as higher debt rates. US federal debt is to reach 195 % of GDP by 2050 under best case scenario.

http://www.crfb.org/papers/analysis-cbos-2020-long-term-budget-outlook

Analysts also seem to agree that the Covid 19 crisis further weakened the US vis a vis China, as the Chinese economy significantly outperformed almost everyone else this year, more than expected before the crisis.

I will also mention two important recent numbers. This year:

1. China, for the first time, became the biggest trading partner for the EU, beating the US.

2. China's retail market overtook the one of the US.

kiwiklown , Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 41
Posted by: vk | Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 4 -- "....Eurasia is where most of human civilization lives, it's the "World Island" - the world island not in the military sense, but in the economic sense. Every path to human prosperity passes through Eurasia - that's why the USA can't "let it alone" in the first place, while the reverse is not true, that is, Eurasia can give to the luxury of letting the Americas alone."

Excellent observation, VK.

Even if the World Island (thanks for your formulation) trades with itself, within itself, there is sufficient mass to last a century, during which the arrogantly exceptional West might just wake up from their Century of Humiliation.

Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).

Paul , Sep 23 2020 0:02 utc | 43
Yes there are rules which are observed more by their breach than their observance: The Geneva Conventions. Just ask Julian Assange.

I find it incredible that the Anglo-Zionist captive nations can sign, ratify, incorporate into domestic law and then sign the additional protocol, making themselves high contracting parties, which requires them to report all and any breaches to Geneva, then ignore all the above commitments. One of these commitments includes educating their citizens on the basic provisions of the conventions. Again they haven't bothered, that could expose their hypocrisy to the public.

Even the bandit statelet signed but I am yet to see just one example of its application in the seventy plus years of its barbaric and bloodthirsty occupation of Palestine.

Interestingly, the conventions prohibit the occupied from signing away one iota of their territory to the occupier. So much for what Claude Pictet's Commentary to the Fourth Geneva Convention calls "alleged annexations." This book is available from the ICRC.

My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ?

It seems the New World Order has some familiar and unsurprising antecedents:

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/452693/New-world-order-pledged-to-Jews-80-years-ago

Hold on tight, hubris is always fatal:

https://asiatimes.com/2020/09/pompeo-threatens-to-light-the-fuse-in-persian-gulf/

Jen , Sep 23 2020 0:09 utc | 44
Uncle Tungsten @ 30:

Anatol Lieven comes from an educated and cultured family in Britain's upper middle class layer. His older siblings - he is the youngest of five children - include a High Court judge (Dame Natalie Lieven), a Cambridge University professor / historian (Dominic Lieven) and a psychologist / linguistics researcher (Elena Lieven). They haven't done badly for a family from the old Baltic German aristocratic elite that used to serve the Russian empire as administrators for the Livonia governorate.

The British Lievens might see themselves as gatekeepers and interpreters of what the ruling classes desire (or appear to desire) and communicate that down to us. Hence their positions in intellectual and academic occupations - no engineers, technicians or academics in the physical or biological sciences among their number.

Anatol Lieven is right though about "competition", in the sense I believe he is using it: it is "competition" for supposed global leadership and influence as only the British and Americans understand it. Life as British and American elites understand it is the annual football competition writ large; there can only be one winner and the worst position to be in is second place and every other place below it. Never mind that what Russia and China have in mind is a vision of the world with multiple and overlapping leadership roles dispersed among nations according to various criteria: this ideal is simply too much for the Anglosphere elites to understand, let alone digest and accept.

Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 0:54 utc | 47
Posted by: lizard | Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 29

if you aren't at least a little prepared for a disruption in critical supplies, and choose instead to waste time commenting on online forums, it won't matter how up to date you are on "rules based international order" vs. "international law". at that point the reality will be something like this: if you aren't holding it, you don't have it, and if you can't defend it, you won't be keeping it for long.

Got that absolutely right.

There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters.

This month is National Preparedness Month. I recommend watching the following videos from well-known "preppers" who have been warning about this stuff for years.

78 Days Will Determine the Fate of America
5 Things You Need To Do Before the U.S. Election

A playlist of 23 videos for National Preparedness Month:
30 Days of Preparedness Collaboration - 2020

And this one from The Urban Prepper, an IT guy who is exceptionally well organized and logical in his videos. I recommend subscribing to his channel. He avoids most of the excessive "doom and gloom" hype that afflicts a lot of prepper channels and is oriented more about urban survival than "backwoods bushcraft" since most people live in cities.
Prepping 101: Prepping Architecture Diagram for Gear Organization

And if you don't watch anything else, watch this one from Canadian Prepper - he's absolutely right in this one and it specifically applies to the barflies here:
What is Really Going On? Its WORSE Than You Think

Jun , Sep 23 2020 1:06 utc | 48
Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).
Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 39

============================================================================================

Thereby we have the answer to America's longest war:

https://twitter.com/danieldumbrill/status/1290456155286900737?lang=en

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 1:19 utc | 50
Oh, and this one from Canadian Prepper in which he muses about whether and why we actually *want* the SHTF situation to occur. This one would resonate with a lot of the commentary here about the social malaise and the psychological reasons for it. Maybe nothing really new for some, but definitely relevant.

Society is Collapsing: Prepare for the Next Phase

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 1:47 utc | 51
Jen #42
Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Thank you that backgrounder explains a lot. Perhaps like Englanders before him he finds Qatar, safe and rewarding PLUS mounds of finest hashish and titillating company. From my understanding it is a grotesque abuser of human rights and everyone has a price.

ak74 , Sep 23 2020 2:15 utc | 52
America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World).

The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. These crimes against humanity have been justified by Orwellian American lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "fighting terrorism," or the curious events of Sept. 11th.

This America "Rules-Based" order is one drenched in the blood of millions of people--even as it sanctimoniously disguises itself behind endless propaganda about defending liberal democracy or the rule of law.

Truly, America and its allies can take their malignant Rules-Based Disorder back to Hell, where they all belong.

Two decades of US "war on terror" responsible for displacing at least 37 million people and killing up to 12 million
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cost-s09.html?view=print

Erelis , Sep 23 2020 3:01 utc | 53
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 0:50 utc | 44

"Thus your "side note" has no "relevance" whatsoever."

You sound like some podunk UN official from a podunk country trying to impress a waitress in a NYC bar. The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 3:02 utc | 54
Jun #46

Thank you - YES that is the answer and always has been PLUS there will be no pipeline from Iran through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to China. There will be NO overland pipeline or rail route to sound the death knell to the maritime mafia.

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:33 utc | 55
Please vote for trump 2020. no president destroy America from inside like what trump did. The goal is to accelerate American empire destruction and grip in this world. What better way to put such clown along his circus in white house. he will make a mess of everything and will definitely bring America down

i hope he win 2020 and America explode into civil war and chaos. With America destroyed internally , they wont have time to invade Venezuela or Iran

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:37 utc | 56
Remember , if Biden win 2020 , American foreign policy will revert into normalcy that means seeking alliance with EU and 5 eyes in a more meaningful way , aka giving them preferential treatment on trade..

all that to box in china and russia , reenable TPP , initiate the delayed venezuela overt invasion other than covert

this is dangerous for the whole world , not that it will save US in the long run but it will increase real shooting conflict with china and russia.. So focus on trump victory in 2020 , the more controversial the win the better , lets push america into chaos

defaultcitizen , Sep 23 2020 3:41 utc | 57
I appreciate the time and thought that goes into a post like this; all without a popup ad trying to sell me ANOTHER item I just bought via Amazon, in spite of the fact that I am among the least likely to want another right now. Voice of reason crying in the wilderness and all that.

The rule The Capitalist Ogres promote as the heart of Civilization is simply the age-old Golden Rule. Those with the gold, make the rules.

j. casey , Sep 23 2020 12:28 utc | 75
In the very short-term (3 months?) what is the outcome of US/Nato seizure of ships and cargo in international water?
chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:42 utc | 79
@ptb
quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state.

as US et al can no longer fund their own unaffordable welfare promises made to their own electorates, they have to call on the rest of the world to do so (China has been effectively funding the US budget deficit since they entered the WTO.
and the EU (mainly Germany) was doing the same before China's entry into WTO)

China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014
leaving the US in a sort of limbo.

chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:47 utc | 80
PS addendum: if you've ever wondered who has been financing the GWOT since 2001; it was the Chinese.
karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 15:21 utc | 82
chris m @80--

Well, you're sorta correct; it was all those nations including China that bought Outlaw US Empire debt. China certainly knows better now and for almost a decade now it's purchases--and those of the rest of the world -- of said debt have declined to the point where a huge crisis related to the debt pyramid threatens all those aside from the 1% living within the Outlaw US Empire. The Judo involved was very instructive.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:21 utc | 85
"Trump's UN address censured" headlines Global Times article that reviews yesterday's UNGA. Domestic BigLie Media didn't like what it heard from Trump:

"Commenting on the US' performance, many Western media tended to view US as being 'isolated,' and its unilateral efforts 'widely derided....'

"Some US media outlets cannot stand Trump's accusations. A WSJ report said many Democrats blamed Trump for "isolating the US and diluting American influence in the WHO or other bodies."

It went on to say Trump's threat of withdrawal is often used as leverage to "influence partner countries, or get allies to pay more for shared defense."

"Some US media linked Trump's address to his widely blamed effort to re-impose sanctions on Iran, saying his address came as 'UN members push back against Washington,' AP reported.

"Wednesday's Washington Post article reported that the Trump administration walked on a 'lonely path' at the UN where the US attacked WHO, and embarked on the 'widely derided' effort to snap back Iran sanctions.

"A week before the UN General Assembly, US media NPR predicted that the US 'appeared to be isolated' at this year's General Assembly, saying that Trump's 'America First' agenda left him out of sync with America's traditional allies as it has a long record of pulling out of international agreements, including one meant to tackle the world's climate crisis."

So, Trump's attack on China's environmental record was beyond hypocritical and ought to be termed psychopathic prevarication. The best comment from the article well describes the Trumptroll @53:

"'Trump's smears and attacks against China were apparently aimed at campaigning for his reelection. Only his die-hard fans - those who do not care about truth but support him - will buy his words ,' Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Institute of World Development of the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times." [My Emphasis]

And isn't that really the basic issue--the truth? 75 years of lies by the Outlaw US Empire to cover it's continuous illegalities and subversion of its own fundamental law while killing and displacing tens of millions of people. Guardian of the Free World my ass! More like Guardian of the Gates of Hell.

vk , Sep 23 2020 16:40 utc | 86
More on the situation of the "rules based international order":

The Eurozone economy stopped recovering and stagnated in September (PMI)

And here's a more general picture on the state of global capitalism today:

The 90% world economy (UNCTAD report)

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:45 utc | 87
Yes, I'm biased, but anyone seeking truth and invoking the Rule of Law would find themselves at odds with the Outlaw US Empire. Today's Global Times Editorial makes the following key observations:

"Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War.

"The impulse to promote a cold war is the ultimate version of unilateralism, and shows dangerous and mistaken arrogance that the US is almighty. Everyone knows that the US is declining in its competitiveness under the rules-based international system the US itself initiated and created. It wants to build a new system more beneficial to itself, and allow the US to maintain its advantage without making any effort. This is simply impossible."

My research is pointing me to conclude the First Cold War was contrived so the Outlaw US Empire could impose privately owned finance and corporations and the political-economies connected to them upon the world lest the collective forces that were the ones to actually defeat Fascism gain control of their national governments and shape their political-economies into the public/collectively owned realm where the benefits would flow to all people instead of just the already powerful. That's also the intent of imposing a Second Cold War. Some seem to think there's no ideological divide at play, but as I've ceaselessly explained there most certainly is, thus the intense demonization of both Russia and China--the Strategic Competition also is occurring in the realm of Ideas. And the only tools available for the Outlaw US Empire to use are lies, since the truths involved would encourage any neutral nation to join the Win-Win vision of China and Russia, not the Zero-sum bankruptcy pushed by the Parasites controlling the Empire.

psychohistorian , Sep 23 2020 17:07 utc | 88
@ karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84 and forward with the links and quotes...thanks

I do like the confirmation Pepe quote, thanks

It is sad to understand that much of the US population does not have the mental clarity to see that Trump is no different than Biden when it comes to fealty to the God of Mammon. Way too many Americans think that replacing Trump with Biden will make things all better.

The end of the rules based international order/global private finance cannot end soon enough, IMO

Timothy Hagios , Sep 23 2020 17:19 utc | 90
farm ecologist @ 89

Patrick Armstrong publishes the sitreps (and other content) at https://patrickarmstrong.ca/

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 18:07 utc | 92
psychohistorian @88--

Thanks for your reply! As I discussed with the Missus last night, IMO only the people regaining control over the federal government can rescue themselves from the multiple dilemmas they face--the most pressing being the Debt Bomb and control of the monetary and fiscal systems by private entities as exemplified by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, both of which employ the Financial Parasites preying on the nation's body-politic. Undoing all the past wrongs requires both Congress and the Executive be captured by The People who can then write the laws to end the wrongs while arresting and prosecuting those responsible for the last 20+ years of massive fraud. The biggest components would be ending the Federal Reserve, Nationalizing all the fraudster banks, writing down the vast majority of debt, and disbanding NATO thus ending the overseas empire. Those are the most fundamental steps required for the USA to avoid the coming calamity brought about by the Neoliberals. I also have finally developed my thesis on where, why and how that philosophy was developed and put into motion.

profk , Sep 23 2020 18:16 utc | 94
karlof,

The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference.

The key issues for the US were:

1. it needed western european capitalist states to buy US manufactured exports. Those states had to remain capitalist and subordinate to the US, i.e. to avoid what Acheson called 'neutralism' in world politics.

2. the US wanted gradual decolonization of the British and French empires so that US firms could access markets and resources in those same territories. but the US feared revolutionary nationalism in the colonies and the potential loss of market access by the former colonial powers, which would need resources from the post-colonial world to rebuild after WW2.

The key event which cemented the 'Cold War' in Europe was the division of Germany, which Carolyn Eisenberg shows was entirely an American decision, in her important book, Drawing the Line.

The driving force of all this, though, was the economic imperatives of US capitalism. The US needed to restore and save capitalism in Western Europe and Japan, and the Cold War was the ideological framework for doing so. The Cold War ideology also allowed the US to frame its meddling in Korea, Guatemala, Iran, etc.

The late historian Gabriel Kolko wrote the best analyses of these issues. His work is much better than the New Left 'revisionist' US historians.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:01 utc | 96
profk @94--

I agree with your recap and second your appraisal of Gabriel Kolko. Eisenberg's work somehow escaped my view but will no longer thanks to your suggestion.

But I see more to it all as the First Cold War had to occur to promote the financialization of the USA's industrial Capitalism which began within the USA in 1913 and was abruptly interrupted by the various market crashes, the failure of the international payments system and subsequent massive deflation and Great Depression. A similar plan to outsource manufactures to its colonies and commonwealth and financialize its economy was began in the UK sometime after the end of the US Civil War. At the time in England, the school of Classical Political-Economists and their political allies (CPE) were attempting to rid the UK and the rest of Europe of the last vestiges of Feudalism that resided in the Rentier and Banking Classes, the former being mostly populated by Royalty and its retainers. Land Rent was the primary source of their income while it was the stated intent of the CPE to change the tax burden from individuals and businesses to that of Land Rent and other forms of Unearned Income. That movement came swiftly on the heels of the abolition of the Slave Trade which was a vast source of Royal income. Recognizing this threat to the basis of their wellbeing, the Royals needed to turn the tables but in such a manner where their manipulation was secret because of the vast popularity of the CPE's agenda. Thus began the movement to discredit the CPE and remove their ideas from discourse and later completely from the history of political-economy. And there was another problem--German Banks and their philosophy inspired by Bismarck to be totally supportive of German industry, which provided the impetus for its own colonial pursuits primarily in Africa.

Within that paragraph is my thesis for the rise of Neoliberalism, much of which Dr. Hudson documents but hasn't yet gotten to/revealed the root cause of the counter revolution against the CPE. IMO, that reactionary movement underlies far more, particularly the growing animosity between the UK and Germany from 1875 to 1914. As Eisenberg's research proves, there's much more past to be revealed that helps to resolve how we arrived at the times we now face.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:16 utc | 97
CitizenX @95--

Indeed, as Hudson and Max Keiser ask: Why pay taxes at all since the Fed can create all the credit required. I've written about the pros and cons of Secession here before which are quite similar to those existing in 1861. In Washington for example, how to deal with all the Federal property located there. Just as Ft. Sumter didn't belong to South Carolina, the many military bases there don't belong to Washington. Trying to seize it as the South Carolinians attempted in 1861 merely creates the casus belli sought by Trump. Now if you could get the vast majority of the military stationed in Washington to support your cause, your odds of resisting would greatly improve.

IMO, trying to regain public control over the Federal government would be much easier.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 21:21 utc | 98
karlof1 #85

Thank you brother karlof1, YES, the minotaur indeed but where is Theseus and Ariadne when we need them? Please don't tell me that Biden and Harris are the 'chosen ones' - that would mock the legend and prove that the gods are truly crazy :))

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 22:48 utc | 101
ooops *elicit* uncle tungsten @98--

Well, they've clearly been chosen; they're just not THE CHOSEN and IMO would never qualify.

By contrast, here's Maduro's UNGA statement , a man clearly superior in all respects to either Biden or Trump or any of their vassals.

karlof1 , Sep 24 2020 0:31 utc | 103
It seems to me that a review is required, that we need to turn back the clock to an earlier analysis whose veracity has only been boosted by subsequent events. So here from 2011: "On November 3, 2011, Alan Minsky interviewed me on KPFK's program, 'Building a Powerful Movement in the United States' in preparation for an Occupy L.A. teach-in." Here's a brief excerpt to remind people what this is all about:

"Once people realize that they're being screwed, that's a pre-revolutionary situation. It's a situation where they can get a lot of sympathy and support, precisely by not doing what The New York Times and the other papers say they should do: come up with some neat solutions. They don't have to propose a solution because right now there isn't one – without changing the system with many, many changes. So many that it's like a new Constitution. Politics as well as the economy need to be restructured. What's developing now is how to think about the economic and political problems that are bothering people. It is not radical to realize that the economy isn't working. That is the first stage to realizing that a real alternative is needed. We've been under a radical right-wing attack – and need to respond in kind. The next half-year probably will be spent trying to spell out what the best structure would be."

Billosky , Sep 24 2020 6:19 utc | 104
It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials.

Like many others, I have been slowly won over to the position that the attacks of 9-11, and especially the totally unprecedented collapses of the three WTC towers, could only have been caused by the precisely timed explosion of previously installed demolition materials containing nanothermite. But if one accepts that position the immediately subsequent question is "Who planned and carried out the attacks?" Many people have claimed it was the Mossad, others that it was the Mossad in concert with the US neocons etc., -- many of whom were Israeli/US dual citizens -- but even now, so many years after the horrific events, I can find no coherent account of how such conspirators, or any others for that matter, might actually have carried out WTC building demotions. Do any of you know of sources on the matter that have made good progress on connecting the dots and explaining what precisely happened -- the easier part -- and how exactly it was carried out, by whom, and how they have managed to get away with it for all this time?

Piotr Berman , Sep 24 2020 14:04 utc | 106
Lieven: If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.[my emphasis]

Uncle Tungsten: Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex?
-------
It is clear to me that Tungsten does not understand Lieven because Lieven does not cross all t's and dot all i's. There can be two reasons for Lieven style: (1) a British style, leaving some conclusions to the reader, it is not elegant to belabor the obvious (2) Lieven works in a pro-Western feudal state and that particular piece appeared in a neo-liberal outfit where it is already a clear outlier toward (what I see as) common sense. Neo-liberals view themselves as liberals, "tolerating a wide spectrum of opinion", but with clear limits about the frequency and content for the outliers of their tolerance.

Back to "endangering the world", how "loosing competition to China" can result in huge mayhem? I guess that Tungsten is a little dense here. The sunset of Anglo-Saxon domination can seem like the end of the world for the "members" of that domination. But a longer historical perspective can offer a much darker vision of the future. First, there is a clash of two blocks, one with superior industrial production, domination of markets of assorted goods -- both as importer and exporter, etc, the other with still superior military technology and combative spirit.

Recall (or check) the situation in east Asia ca. 1240 AD. One of the major power was Song China, after a calamitous defeat roughly 300 years later, diminished Song China succeeded in developing all kinds of practical and beautiful goods and vibrant commerce while having quite inept military. The second major power was the Mongols. You can look up the rest.

USA stresses the military types of pressures, and seeing its position slipping too far, they may resort to a series of gigantic "provocations" -- from confiscation of property by fiat, like they did to Venezuela, to piracy on open seas, no cargoes can move without their approval and tribute, from there things can escalate toward nuclear war.

More generally, western decline leads to decrease of wealth affecting the lower classes first but gradually reaching higher, enmity toward competitors, then hatred, such processes can have dire consequences.

Importantly, these are speculations, so stopping short of spelling them out is reasonable. However, give some credit to Lieven for "the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War".

Noirette , Sep 24 2020 16:24 utc | 108
On the rule-based world order. Scattered thoughts.

The article by Lieven was good in one aspect: it at least mentioned the crazy economic template aka imho 'religion' that lead to a part of this mess. For the rest, hmm. The 'rules based international order' was always pretty much a phoney scaffold, used for presentation to hide, cover up, legitimised many goings on (after WW2 I mean.)

Like a power-point extolling xyz product, with invented or 'massaged' charts and all., with tick boxes for what it positive or followed. (Fairness, Democracy, etc. etc. as 'Natural' 'Organic' etc. Total BS.)

In these kinds of discussions I am always reminded of the 'rights of the child' which in CH are taught in grade 3-5, with a boiled down text, logo type pix, etc. It is very tough on teachers, and they often only pretend to push the content. There are many immigrant children in CH and the natives know that the 'rights' are not respected and not just in 'jungles' (anarchist / animalistic hot spots) as they say. The kids go nuts - as they still more or less believe that they 'have a voice' as it called -- the parents follow the kids, lotsa troubles. OK, these are aspirations - but 'democracy' (purposely used as a calling card following advice from a well-know ad agency..) is so as well. And presenting aspirations that can't possibly be achieved in any way, when not a smiley joke about meeting God or flying to Mars, and is socially important, is not well received.

Anyway, since the invasion of Iraq (totally illegal according to any standards) leading to the biggest demos in the world ever, a loud indignant cry, which invasion the UN condoned, ppl (in my experience, in CH, F, It) no longer have a shred of belief in 'international rules'. Which of course makes them more 'nationalist' in the sense of acting in the community, close at hand, as the Intl order is a shit-scene.

Passer by , Sep 24 2020 20:06 utc | 109
Do you have sources for the last two facts, about China overtaking the US as main trading partner to Europe and as retail market?

Posted by: fx | Sep 24 2020 11:41 utc | 105

China becomes EU's top trading partner from Jan-July: Eurostat

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202009/17/WS5f63070da31024ad0ba7a2fa.html

China retail market expected to overtake US this year

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-overtake-u-world-largest-135614391.html

https://www.asiatimesfinancial.com/we-will-be-top-economy-by-year-end-china-media-outlet-says

[Sep 18, 2020] September 14, 2001- The Day America Became Israel - Antiwar.com Original

Notable quotes:
"... Apocalypse Now- ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... War on the Rocks ..."
"... An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation ..."
"... a defense industry with a country ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020

This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :

I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter

However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control

Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.

Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"

In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.

Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"

Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.

No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.

Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.

My 9/11s

There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.

Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.

I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."

Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)

Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.

So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.

Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.

Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.

The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.

Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons

Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.

From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.

See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.

Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.

Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."

Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:

Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.

In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.

In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."

After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."

It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.

Emergencies as Existences

In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).

Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."

Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.

Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.

In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.

Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.

Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.

In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.

Military Mirrors

Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.

Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.

None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.

In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."

The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.

America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.

US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.

Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:

The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.

At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."

Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."

Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent [2006] experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.

Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?

In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."

Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.

"Armies With Countries"

It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.

There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.

As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.

Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.

This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Sep 01, 2020] Are We Deliberately Trying to Provoke a Military Crisis With Russia by Ted Galen Carpenter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative. ..."
"... Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country. ..."
"... Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation. ..."
"... The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. ..."
"... I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all? ..."
"... they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. ..."
"... the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country. ..."
"... The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop. ..."
"... if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia. ..."
"... Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? ..."
"... The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe. ..."
"... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities). ..."
"... I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly. ..."
"... Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed. ..."
"... Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc. ..."
"... I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain. ..."
"... We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself. ..."
"... Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy. ..."
"... The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul. ..."
Aug 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Tensions are becoming dangerous in Syria and on Russia's back doorstep. US soldiers stand near US and Russian military vehicles in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Derik) at the border with Turkey, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A dangerous vehicle collision between U.S and Russian soldiers in Northeastern Syria on Aug. 24 highlights the fragility of the relationship and the broader test of wills between the two major powers.

According to White House reports and a Russian video that went viral this week, it appeared that as the two sides were racing down a highway in armored vehicles, the Russians sideswiped the Americans, leaving four U.S. soldiers injured. It is but the latest clash as both sides continue their patrols in the volatile area. But it speaks of bigger problems with U.S. provocations on Russia's backdoor in Eastern Europe.

A sober examination of U.S. policy toward Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union leads to two possible conclusions. One is that U.S. leaders, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been utterly tone-deaf to how Washington's actions are perceived in Moscow. The other possibility is that those leaders adopted a policy of maximum jingoistic swagger intended to intimidate Russia, even if it meant obliterating a constructive bilateral relationship and eventually risking a dangerous showdown. Washington's latest military moves, especially in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, are stoking alarming tensions.

There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative.

As if such steps were not antagonistic enough, both Bush and Obama sought to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The latter country is not only within what Russia regards as its legitimate sphere of influence, but within its core security zone. Even key European members of NATO, especially France and Germany, believed that such a move was unwise and blocked Washington's ambitions. That resistance, however, did not inhibit a Western effort to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs to help demonstrators unseat Ukraine's elected, pro-Russia president and install a new, pro-NATO government in 2014.

Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country.

However, Esper made it clear that only 6,400 would return to the United States; the other nearly 5,600 would be redeployed to other NATO members in Europe. Indeed, of the 6,400 coming back to the United States, "many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments back to Europe." Worse, of the 5,600 staying in Europe, it turns out that at least 1,000 are going to Poland's eastern border with Russia.

Another result of the redeployment will be to boost U.S. military power in the Black Sea. Esper confirmed that various units would "begin continuous rotations farther east in the Black Sea region, giving us a more enduring presence to enhance deterrence and reassure allies along NATO's southeastern flank." Moscow is certain to regard that measure as another on a growing list of Black Sea provocations by the United States.

Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation.

The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are crowding Russia; Russia is not crowding the United States. Washington's bumptious policies already have wrecked a once-promising bilateral relationship and created a needless new cold war with Moscow. If more prudent U.S. policies are not adopted soon, that cold war might well turn hot.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).


Tradcon 5 days ago • edited

I mean, I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all?

Mike P Tradcon 4 days ago

This is a very anti American article! Patriots know that where the U.S. gives political or economic ground Russia and other adversaries will fill the vacum with policies intended to destroy American peoeple. So no, it is not a bad idea to be involved in Syria and Ukraine in fact it is a very good idea.

northernobserver Mike P 4 days ago

The entire framing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood as "pro American" and those who oppose them as "anti American" is delusional.
Russia is a weak state trying to maintain its natural spheres of influence along the Curzon line. Why has the State Department/ Pentagon decided to try and roll this back? How the F to they expect Russia to react. How would America react if a foreign power tried to turn Mexico into a strategic asset. So why is it ok to make Ukraine into a Nato member? It's reckless and ultimately it is pointless. Weakening Russia further serves little strategic purpose and potentially threatens to destabilize the Balkans and mid east with Turkish adventurism. What will America do if the Turks seize Rhodes under some pretext?

Syria is another case of State Department midwits not understanding the results of their regime change. What purpose does it serve to put a Sunni extremist government in Damascus. How hateful do you have to be to subject Syria's minorities to genocide at the hands of an ISIS sympathetic government? How do you delude yourself that such a regime will serve America's interests in the long run? So you can own Iran before the election? You are trading victory today for permanent loss tomorrow. It's insane.

Aen Elle northernobserver 4 days ago
How the F to they expect Russia to react.

Just like you, they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. Also, since Turkey is a NATO member and as such an ally to the U.S. shouldn't you be cheering in good faith for Turkey and against Russia?

Bianca Aen Elle a day ago

You got that one. Because Turkey is a thorn in NATO side. It has massive economic interests in Russia, China and the rest of Asia. The "adventure" in Syria is coordinated with Russia to the last detail, while playacting tensions. US problem in Syria is not Russia or Turkey, but Russia AND Turkey.

As US is frowning at Egypt Al-Sisi , or Saudi MBS -- it is because they frown at Egypt AND Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia AND Russia.
Basically, countries nominally counted in OUR camp are frowned upon when collaborating with the ENEMY countries.
Our foreign policy is stuck in Middle East -- and cannot get unstuck. Cannot be better illustrated then Pompeo addressing Republican convention from Jerusalem.

The only way Russia can challenge encirclement is by challenging US in its home away from home -- Middle East. And creating new realities in the ground by collaborating with the countries in the region -- undermining monopoly.

And as the entire world is hurting from epidemic related economic setbacks, Russia and China are economies that are moving forward. And nobody in the Middle East can afford to ignore it.

J Villain northernobserver 4 days ago

I agree with you with the exception of Russia being weak. One day the US which has never seen any thing in advance will push Russia one time to many and find the Russian Army in Poland and Romania. That is if China doesn't take out some thing precious to the US in the mean time like a U2, aircraft carrier etc.

There are two things at play here. The first is the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country.

The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop.

PJ London J Villain a day ago

I agree with your assessment except Russia will not put troops into any country without the express request from the legitimate government. They are not going into Poland and especially not Romania (Transnistria maybe) why would they? The countries do not have any resources that Russia wants. The only reason to put troops into Belarus is to maintain a distance between Poland and the borders.

Russia needs nothing from the rest of the world except trade. Un-coerced, free trade. This drives the US corporations crazy as no one will trade with the US anymore without coercion.

PS the same goes for China with the proviso that Taiwan is part of China and needs to be reabsorbed into the mainstream. It will take +20 years but China just keeps the pressure on until there will be no viable alternative.

Bianca northernobserver a day ago

It has never meant to serve American interests. Ever. Once you put it in perspective, it makes sense.

But if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia.

The problem for never satiated Zealots is the following -- regional powers in the Middle East are hitching their wagons to Eurasian economic engine. That is definitely true of Turkey, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. The tales of Moslem Brotherhood are here to interpret something today from the iconography from the past. And to explain today what an entirely different set of leaders did -- be that few years ago or one hundred years ago. Same goes for iconography of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Communism, Socialism, authoritarianism, and other ISMS.

Those icons serve the same purpose as icons in religion or in cyber-space. You look at them, or you click -- and the story and explanation is ready made for your consumption. Time to watch actions -- not media iconography to tell us what is going on.

Tradcon Mike P 4 days ago

If we're being purely ideological here those with an overtly internationalist disposition (barring leftists) are those who want to be involved overseas, hardly ones to go on about national interest or pride. Its been a common stance associated with American Nationalism and Paleoconservatives to be anti-intervention, these people (of which I consider myself a part) can hardly be bashed for holding unpatriotic views.)

Russia has a declining population, and an economy smaller than that of Spain. Its hardly a threat and our involvement in Eastern Europe was relatively limited pre-2014 and even so the overall international balance of power hasn't shifted after Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians proved quite capable of defending their nation (though not so capable as to end retake separatist strongholds.

Alexandr Kosenkov Mike P 3 days ago

Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? What ideological foundations does Russia have after 1991? Isn't Russia's actions a guerrilla war on the communications of the self-proclaimed "Empire of Good", which is pursuing a tough offensive policy? And is it not because the Russians support a significant part of Putin's initiatives (despite a number of Putin's obvious shortcomings) precisely because they have experience of cooperation with the "Empire of Good" in the 90s: give loans, corrupt officials and deputies, put Russian firms under control big American companies, and then just give orders from the White House.
PS. I beg your pardon my google english

Bianca Mike P a day ago

Another Zealot in Patriot garb. The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe.

kouroi 4 days ago • edited

It would be interesting to read the minds of the US pilots engaged in these activities. My guess is that the cognitive dissonance energy in those heads is equivalent to the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded...

Vhailor 4 days ago

Hmmm... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities).

In a major crisis this could lead to a breaking point. What if some US adversary decides to double down and attack (directly or by proxy) US troops and the US will not be able to respond? A humiliating defeat combined with an exhausted public decidedly set against military adventures abroad could cause a rapid retrenchment and global withdrawal.

Kent Vhailor 4 days ago

I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly.

The DOD today is only about personal political position, and grubbing tax-payer dollars for self-aggrandizement. In any real war with a real adversary, we wouldn't stand a chance.

Vhailor Kent 4 days ago

I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding US military capabilities and I'm neither a US citizen or a fan of US global hegemony.

The US armed forces are made up of professionals. There are some universal advantages and disadvantages of such forces. A professional army is good at fighting wars but bad at controlling territory because of its limited size and higher costs-per-soldier. In order to control territory you need "boots on the ground" in great numbers, standing at checkpoints and patrolling the countryside. They didn't have to be trained to the level of Navy SEALS, for them it is enough if they can shoot straight and won't be scared from some fireworks and the US lacks such forces.

kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft? Provide a pathway for US citizenship for any foreigner that joins, establishing a US Foreign Legion?

And then, how you'll have enough boots on the ground to pacify Russia or China. It took more than a month to establish and secure the beach heads in Bretagne in France in 1944. How do you think you can even get those boots to land in Russia or China, when you know that the ICBMs are going to start flying towards the continental US if something like this will ever happen?

Vhailor kouroi 4 days ago

So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft?

It is no longer possible to introduce the draft in the US - even mentioning it would lead to social unrests.

Baruch Dreamstalker Vhailor 4 days ago

The idea of a soft-mandatory year of service with a military option has been floated. It generates neither unrest nor interest.

alan Vhailor 21 hours ago

Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed.

Scaathor Kent 4 days ago

In addition, those gold-plated weapon systems often do not work as advertised. Look how the multi-billion IADS of the Saudis couldn't protect their refinery complex from a cruise missile attack from Yemen. Look at the embarrassing failures of the LCS and Zumwalt ship classes, and the endless problems with the Ford CVN. The F35 is proving a ginormous boondoggle that will massively enrich LM shareholders but will do squat for US military capabilities.

kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

It will go on as long as the US is able to benefit of its present ability to print money and have the world use that money...

Baruch Dreamstalker William Toffan 15 hours ago

The alternative is an incumbent who runs against the condition of his own country as an outsider. It take an idiot to support that.

PJ London Feral Finster a day ago

He already did and the Military ignored him.
He backtracked with endless excuses and conditionals.
https://www.nbcnews.com/new...
**
Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon, "Sarah, there's a government inside the government, and I don't control it."
**
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
**
Do you really think that the adults with so much to lose would allow an idiot like Trump (or Clinton or Obama or Bush) to actually run things?

Feral Finster PJ London a day ago

And then, like the cuck he is, Trump knuckled under. "I like oil!"

Dan Greene bumbershoot 3 days ago

Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc.

I'll repeat: Focus on what Trump does, not what he says, and then total up the pro-Russia and anti-Russia actions of this administration and see what that reveals.

peter mcloughlin 4 days ago

A danger with this "new Cold War" is the assumption it will end like the first one – peacefully. If this is the thinking among policy-makers we are in a very perilous situation. History shows that fatal miscalculations contributed to the First World War, and as a consequence the second. Today there is no room for miscalculation, which will set off unstoppable escalation into a third.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

I Don't Matter 4 days ago

Russians deliberately repeatedly ram an American vehicle, but I'm sure it's all our fault. Shouldn't have worn that skirt I guess.
Before y'all armchair Putin experts say all your loving things: you have nothing to contribute unless you speak fluent Russian. I watched the video taken and published by the Russians and it was pretty clear what they were doing.

Feral Finster I Don't Matter 4 days ago

The United States is not invited in Syria or wanted. Russian troops are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate and recognized government.

Whatever happens to American troops there is deserved.

dba12123 . I Don't Matter 3 days ago • edited

Something critical is being missed entirely. The United States has invaded Syria without a mandate from the UN. Its' president has explicitly stated that it is the intention of the US to take Syria's oil. Both are violations of international law. Any hostile action taken against the illegal US presence in Syria is justifiable as self defense. While the US presence in Syria is illegal, Russia's presence is not. Russia was invited into Syria by the UN recognized Syrian government to assist it in defending against the US regime change by Al Qaeda proxy operation..

hooly 4 days ago

establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

What would happen if China or Russia established bases in the Caribbean and Latin America? Trump joked about selling Puerto Rico, what if the Chinese bought it?

L RNY 4 days ago

If the Israeli's have a problem with Russia being in Syria then Israel should deal with it. Its not our problem and Russia is not our enemy. Infact India is bringing closer relations between Russia and Japan. Which do you want? Russian antagonism because Israel doesn't want Russians in Syria or Russian partnership with India, Japan, Australia and the US dealing with China? Remember....you could spend 1000 years in the middle east and not make a dent in the animosities between peoples there...so one is a futile endeaver...while the other has great benefit.

Carlton Meyer 4 days ago

Note that Russian soldiers are in Syria at the request of its government to help fend off foreign invaders. The American troops are there illegally, with no UN or even Congressional authorization.

Also note the USA risks another Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing from the INF treaty after illegally building missile launch complexes in Romania and Poland that can hit Russia with nuclear cruise missiles.

The USA did much more than "meddle" in Ukraine. The Obama/Biden team openly organized a coup to overthrow its elected President because he didn't want to join NATO and the EU.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnW7lNABfDVk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnW7lNABfDVk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnW7lNABfDVk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Hrant Carlton Meyer 4 days ago

Is that guy in the middle of the left seated Vlad Klitschko? I great boxer no doubt, but also known for his stunning stupidity. Is he part of the new Ukrainian political elite? Poor Ukraine.

Aen Elle Hrant 4 days ago

Klichko has been the mayor of Ukrainian capital city Kiev since the victory of Euromaidan in 2014 until present day.

longlance 4 days ago

Russia has been threatened & attacked by military powers to its West, East & South for 1000 years. Russia is now lean & mean, but still standing.

Baruch Dreamstalker 4 days ago • edited

A Russian vehicle sideswipes an American vehicle, injuring two US soldiers, and that's an American provocation? An American spy plane claims to be in international waters, and you tack in a "supposedly" in that sentence? "Violating" a tacit promise, really? Russia aggression against Georgia and Crimea is OK because Sphere of Influence? This article is loaded with Blame America First crap usually associated with the Left (much to this liberal's disgust). Never expected to find it here.

Yes, the expansion of NATO east must have looked to Russia like something coming at their borders entirely too fast. I thought it was a terrible idea at the time, and wrote it off to the wheels of a fifty-year-old bureaucracy not knowing how to slow down. Your eye-straining gaze at the tea-leaves for Deeper State motives is unpersuasive, even without your odious prejudices.

kouroi Baruch Dreamstalker 4 days ago

Maybe some play of Rashomon would be in order here. That is your perspective.

Now your honor, what I have seen is that Georgia attacked first and hoped to occupy a certain area that Russian Federation was protecting, As a side comment, I have to point to an Orwellian use of the word "aggressive" and "attack". It seems that anything that the US cannot wantonly control or bomb is inherently aggressive and attacking either directly or indirectly the "rules based order".

Crimea had Russian assets that became endangered. Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when was donated in an unsanctioned manner to Ukraine. The majority Russian population in Crimea has been persecuted by the Ukrainian state since at least 1994. The Euromaidan would have exacerbated that. A referendum was carried on and just considering ethnic lines, Russians won in their desire to re-unite with the Russian Federation. There aren't many legal arguments against that referendum and that process, if one looks for them...

So the above perspectives have nothing to do with just "sphere of influence" but with direct core interests of the Russian state and its core security...

The deep state is a tool that is trying to fulfill one objective: integration of Russian economy under the control of US and its Oligarchy. Otherwise it will always be a threat. A Nationalist, democratic (but not oligarchic) and sovereign Russia will always be considered an enemy of the world hegemon...

And the provocation is the actual presence in Syria of US troops. Ramming the US military vehicle is not a provocation from Russians, it is a simple eviction notification. End of story!

Hannibal Jubal 4 days ago

Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America. That is remarkable dexterity even for this paper. I am used to them suggesting that we should leave the people of Eastern Europe to the tender mercies of the whims and wishes of a dictator in Moscow - because they are in his backyard. But to be able to switch from that incident to their regular theme is an achievement one can recognize, though not respect. The people of those countries should have a choice about who they associate, and they certainly have a right not to align with people they fear. Calling us for not respecting he rights of other people to decide their fates is right and proper. I enthusiastically support this paper when they do. But when they turn right around and castigate us for not respecting Russia's right to do it - I am flabbergasted.

Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago

"Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America."

How do you know it's an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers? It almost certainly is almost the exact opposite.

Dan Greene 3 days ago • edited

This piece spends too much time re-hashing everything Russia-US since 1990 and fails to focus on the key current issues.

The vehicle incidents in Syria are distinct from the European issue -- see below in this post -- that is generating some of the other tensions the author lists. Syria is really part of the larger Middle East issue.

His brief summary of the latest Syria mishap is inadequate to convey what actually happened.

If you actually look at the video, it does NOT appear to be the case that a Russian vehicle simply "sideswiped" a US vehicle. It appears that the US was maintaining a checkpoint on a road that in effect blocked Russian passage. Given the terrain, the Russians could of course bypass such a checkpoint, which is what they appear to have done. Then, however, other US vehicles left the checkpoint and attempted to block and turn back the Russian bypass movement, and this led to the collision. So the incident is part of a larger US policy to impede Russian operations in NE Syria.

Almost two years ago, Trump ordered US forces out of Syria, and Russia, in agreement with that plan, sent patrols to the NE to ensure that provisions of an stability agreement with Turkey and the Kurds were maintained. But then Trump was almost immediately convinced--by whom is not clear, but ultimately Israel in all probability--to do a 180 and keep US forces in NE Syria, the superficial rationale being to take control of oil, the kind of pirate operation that Trump likes. In fact, the goal of those who influence Trump is to keep Syria weak and unable to rebuild with the expectation that Assad can still be overthrown at some future point. This is the desire of Israel and its operatives in the US.

Trump's zag after the zig of planned withdrawal left the US-Russian understanding in chaos. Now both the US AND the Russians were operating in NE Syria. And over time the US has become more and more aggressive about impeding Russian operations. The Russians claim--credibly--that we are demanding that they, in moving their patrols up to the area of the Syria-Turkey border area not use the M4 highway, the main and direct route and instead follow a secondary route that circuitously follows the border. The Russians don't accept that demand. And the vehicle incidents that we are seeing are the outcome of that disagreement. The Russians are driving up Highway 4 and when they get to the US checkpoint are bypassing and then continuing up the highway. We are aggressively trying to deter them from that route choice.

Not sure why this article does not go into detail on this issue in order to clarify it.

Much of the other stuff the author is talking about here--intrusive air ops in the Black Sea, etc--is really a separate, European issue. The US is highly concerned about the economic interactions between Russia and Europe--especially the big economies of Western Europe and most especially Germany. We are worried that over time Russian-European economic integration will erode our strategic control and dominance over Europe in general.

Hence, we are making common cause with the anti-Russian elements in "the New Europe," i.e., Eastern Europe to try, in essence, to place a barrier between Russia and Western Europe, playing off Poland, the Baltics and Romania, among others, against Russia, Germany, France et al. Moving more US forces into Poland and the so-called "Black Sea Region"; impeding Nord Stream 2 and other Russian pipeline initiatives; indulging in recurrent anti-German propaganda for not maintaining a more robust anti-Russian military posture; fomenting (behind the scenes) the recent disturbances in Belarus; and promotion of the so-called "Three Seas Initiative" intended to weld Eastern and Central Europe together into a reliable tool of US policy are all part of this plan to retain US strategic control of Europe over the long term.

That's what the heightened tensions in Europe are about.

As I said, the Syria issue, part of the larger Middle East struggle, is separate from the parallel struggle for mastery in Europe.

It's all an important topic, but this article doesn't really capture the salient points.

Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago • edited

You're living in a dreamland.

And you're playing word games. Syria's oil is effectively under US control. Yes, we are deriving strategic benefit from it in that we are denying it to the Syrian government in order to further destabilize it. It's not a good policy, but the policy does benefit from denying Syria its oil.

The problem is that most of the oil is on Arab land, not Kurdish land, and the Arabs of the Northeast are now realigning themselves with Assad, so holding on to the oil is likely to get more difficult in the future.

I have no idea what you mean by "slander." Guess that means truths you find inconvenient. Sorry--not in the business of coddling the faint of heart. Trump likes the idea of taking resources which he imagines to be payment for services we have rendered--like leaving the country in a state of ruin. He talked about Iraqi oil that way too, but taking that would be much harder.

Time for you to stop dismissing every reality you don't like as unpatriotic.

dba12123 . Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago

The "Assad regime" is the UN recognized government of Syria. That is the only entity entitled to the country's resources. How is it "the property of the Syrian nation" if the Syrian government and its people no longer have access to it? To whom is the oil being sold? Who is receiving the proceeds of the oil sales?

Here are some of Trump's own words with respect to Syria's oil. "I like oil. We are keeping the oil." 4/11/2019. "The US is in Syria solely for the oil." "We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for oil." "The US military is in Syria only for oil." What part of Trump's public assertion that "We are keeping the oil" are you having difficulty in understanding? How can you say the US "did not take possession of the oil" when Trump could not have been more explicit in saying precisely the opposite? Do you not comprehend that the US presence in Syria has no mandate either from the UN or from the US Congress. Do you not understand that the US presence in Syria is illegal under international law? Do you not understand that "Keeping the oil" is a violation of international law? Your post is one of the most ridiculous I have even read.

Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 2 days ago • edited

1. It's quite clear from the video that the US had set up a checkpoint on the road at left in the video. (Indeed, we are open about the fact that we are doing so in general in NE Syria.) And it's equally clear that Russian vehicles are seen bypassing those checkpoints. The encounter between US and Russian vehicles takes place off the road. There is only one logical interpretation of what happened. What is your alternative explanation?

2. "No one reading this can believe that Eastern Europeans have genuine cause to fear Russia, or that these countries continually request more military and political involvement than we are willing to provide or that we are not inducing them to do anything or manipulating them."

First of all, there are no current indications of any Russian intent to do anything in regard to Eastern Europe. Yes, one can understand the history, which is why there is anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe, but aside perhaps from the Baltic states in their unique geographic position, there is no country that has any basis in reality to worry about Russian aggression in the present.

Of course, this does not stop the Poles from doing exactly that. And perhaps the Romanians to a much lesser extent. So yes, there is fear in a few key countries based on past history, Poland being the keystone of the whole thing, and yes, we are indeed manipulating that fear in an attempt to block/undermine any economic integration between Germany and Russia. We are also trying to use the "Three Seas Initiative" to block Chinese commercial and tech penetration of Eastern Europe--5G and their plan to rebuild the port of Trieste to service Central and NE Europe.

Do you actually believe Russia, which has lately been cutting its defense budget, is actually going to invade Europe? That really is a fantasy. The only military operations they will take are to prevent further expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Belarus. The real game today is commercial and tech competition. Putin knows it would be disastrous for Russia to start a war with NATO. Not sure why that's hard for you to see.

Your notion of the Russian threat--as it exists today--is wildly exaggerated.

Dr.Diprospan 3 days ago

Once President Putin remarked that there are forces in the United States trying to use Russia for internal political struggle. He added that we will nevertheless try not to be drawn into these confrontations.

A scene from a Hollywood action movie rises before my eyes, when two heroes of the film are fighting and a circular saw is spinning nearby, and each of the heroes is trying to shove a part of the enemy's body under this saw.

The relationship between Russian and American servicemen, I would compare with two hockey teams, when the tough behavior of the players on the ice does not mean that the players of one team would be happy with the death of the entire opposing team, say in some kind of plane crash, since the presence of a strong opponent is a necessary condition for getting a good salary.

Still, I would not completely deny the possibility of a "hot war".

Since the times of the Roman Empire, the West of Europe has been trying to take control of the territory of Europe, Eurasia, and Eurasia, in turn, dreams of mastering the technologies of the West.

The defeat of the 3rd Reich provided the Soviet Union with a breakthrough in the nuclear industry and space...

It's hard to imagine that Russia is capable of defeating NATO, but I can imagine that in the current situation, President Putin can offer China to build military bases in western Russia for a million Chinese servicemen, for 100 thousand on the Chukchi Peninsula, for 500 thousand on Sakhalin...

The extra money for renting military bases in a coronavirus crisis will not hurt anyone.

stevek9 3 days ago • edited

Of all the things about Hillary Clinton to despise, her selfish attempt to explain her loss, and to attack the President (to whom she never conceded the election!) by blaming Russia, is at the top of the list. To generate a completely unnecessary conflict with a nuclear super-power that could burn this country to ashes in minutes, out of personal vindictiveness, ... is lower than it can get.

Denmark002 3 days ago

We are totally messing with fire... we will need Europe but Russia as well to defeat the Chinese.

Dan Greene LostForWords 2 days ago • edited

I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain.

We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself.

We thought we were dealing with the main threats to our global hegemony sequentially--Russia "defeated" in the Cold War, and then on to a defeat of "militant Islam" in the Greater Middle East and finally to a showdown with China. But now, the sequencing has fallen apart, and we're trying to prosecute all three simultaneously.

We're in serious trouble.

Ram2017 LostForWords a day ago

Hizbollah arose as a defensive militia because of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is not a terrorist group even though labelled so by the US.

William H Warrick III MD a day ago

You have inverted the facts. The video evidence shows the Americans side-swiped the Russian vehicle and claimed "American soldiers had 'concussions'". A concussion requires loss of consciousness or significant changes in mental function. In football, you have your "Bell rung". You can't add 2+2 correctly. There is no evidence to support that.

Mark Thomason a day ago

No, we are just trying to outdo each other with "Putin-under-the-bed" and all-powerful-Putin causing all the world's evils.

Jamie a day ago

Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy.

Along with Dems, I also blame Putin; he bribed Hillary millions for uranium -- that doesn't lend to good relations.

alan a day ago

The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.

[Aug 31, 2020] US foreign policy elite wants Biden detests Trump because President failed to launch new NATO missions to justify its existence by George Szamuely

Notable quotes:
"... The "humanitarian intervention" in Libya having ended in debacle and war crimes (including the execution of Muammar Gaddafi) in which NATO was clearly involved, it was back to the old Cold War mission of "containment." ..."
Aug 31, 2020 | www.rt.com

US foreign policy elite wants Biden & detests Trump because President failed to launch new NATO missions to justify its existence

One reason for the extraordinary hostility of the foreign policy insiders' brigade toward President Trump is that he has not wasted his time conjuring up new missions to justify NATO's continued existence.

Instead, he has promised to withdraw 12,000 US troops from Germany and, to add insult to injury, he has demanded that NATO member states increase their financial contributions toward the upkeep of the military alliance ostensibly there to "protect" them.

This is sacrilege to a foreign policy elite that have spent the last 70 years worshipping at the altar of NATO.

"US troops aren't stationed around the world as traffic cops or welfare caseworkers -- they're restraining the expansionary aims of the world's worst regimes, chiefly China and Russia," Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., fumed.

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed alarm about the "continued erosion of confidence in our leadership within NATO, and more efforts that call into question our commitment, and more signals to the authoritarians within NATO and Russia itself that this whole institution is vulnerable."

Trump, according to Nicholas Burns, former US ambassador to NATO and current adviser to Joe Biden, has cast America's military allies primarily as a drain on the US Treasury, and he has aggressively criticized Washington's true friends in Europe -- democratic leaders such as France's President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel -- even as he treats Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, and other 'authoritarians' around the world with unusual tact.

Seventy former Republican national security officials recently issued a statement accusing Trump of having "disgraced America's global reputation and undermined our nation's moral and diplomatic influence." And -- horror of horrors! -- Trump "has called NATO 'obsolete.' "

https://platform.twitter.com

Not only has Trump failed to spell out a new mission for NATO, the one mission of sorts he has come up with -- extraction of more funds from NATO member-states -- is calculated to cause mutual recriminations within the alliance. Trump regularly boasts that he has cajoled NATO to cough up an additional $130 billion a year "and it's going to be $400 billion," he recently warned.

To the denizens of Washington's foreign policy think-tanks, pressuring NATO member states to come up with more money is a dangerous business. It could have the undesirable effect of forcing them to wonder whether devoting scarce resources to NATO -- particularly now following the Covid economic downturn -- is a sound investment.

ALSO ON RT.COM Caitlin Johnstone: The modern US war machine kills more like a python than a tiger NATO desperate to find reasons to justify its existence

It is no secret that ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO has been desperately searching for a reason to justify its existence. The alliance has expanded its membership from 16 to 30 in 20 years, while failing to put forward a convincing reason, other than inertia, for staying in business.

To be sure, there were and are threats -- cybersecurity, mass migration, human trafficking, narcotics, nuclear proliferation, international terrorism -- but it was never clear how a narrowly-focused military alliance would be able to address them unilaterally. NATO has thus been forced to engage in some vigorous head-scratching.

READ MORE Let them eat yellowcake: As Powell backs Dems, warmongers seek to regain full control of US policy, regardless of what voters want

During the 1990s, we had the "humanitarian intervention" craze. This led to the NATO bombing of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994 and 1995 and, more horrifically, to the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Neither operation achieved anything that could not have been achieved years earlier -- and without the use of force.

In 2001, NATO got in on the Global War on Terror. After 9/11 NATO, for the first time in its history, invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, declaring that the terrorist attack on the US was an attack against every NATO member.

When the United States retaliated by invading Afghanistan in October 2001, NATO was on hand to assist. In December, it established something called the International Security Assistance Force, the nebulous mission of which was to "assist the Afghan Government in exercising and extending its authority and influence across the country, paving the way for reconstruction and effective governance."

Next came Iraq. Despite the vocal opposition of France and Germany to the 2003 invasion, NATO, in no time got involved. In 2004, it established NATO Training Mission-Iraq, the aim of which was supposedly to "assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and sustainable capability that addresses the needs of the nation." One of its tasks was to train the Iraqi police. However, as WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs disclosure revealed, Iraq's finely-trained police conducted horrific torture on detainees. Neither NATO's Afghanistan nor its Iraqi mission covered itself in glory.

With the Democrats returning to power in Washington in 2009, NATO was back in the "humanitarian intervention" business. Its bombing of Libya in 2011 destroyed government, law and public order, institutions that before the intervention had ensured that the people of Libya were able to go about their daily lives free from the fear of death, not to mention the spectacle of slave markets.

The "humanitarian intervention" in Libya having ended in debacle and war crimes (including the execution of Muammar Gaddafi) in which NATO was clearly involved, it was back to the old Cold War mission of "containment."

Following the February 21, 2014, coup in Kiev and the reincorporation of Crimea into Russia, NATO's new mission was very much like its old. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promised that: "We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land. For example, air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere."

Six years on, it's clear that there simply aren't enough armed conflicts in the world to justify the continued existence, not to mention huge expense, of such a gargantuan military organization. NATO has therefore resorted to seizing on the latest fashionable social and cultural issues to prove how up-to-date it is.

ALSO ON RT.COM NATO's appalling failure in Afghanistan has fuelled a drug explosion across Europe More NATO as solution to Climate change?

For example, NATO has added "climate change" to its repertoire. NATO's 2010 Strategic Concept declared that "Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations."

One would have thought that the most effective way NATO could contribute to minimizing global warming would be to cut back on armaments, military exercises and naval and air patrols. But no, apparently the solution to "climate change" is more NATO, not less.

READ MORE Turkey will be the death of NATO – its recent clash with fellow member France off the coast of Libya is an early symptom

Then came the issue gender equality. "Achieving gender equality is our collective task. And NATO is doing its part," said Mari Skåre, the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, in 2013. In March 2016, on International Women's Day, NATO held a so-called "Barbershop Conference" on gender equality. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg took the opportunity to declare that gender equality was a frightfully important issue for the alliance because "NATO is a values-based organization and none of its fundamental values -- individual liberties, democracy, human rights and the rule of law -- work without equality .We learned in Afghanistan and in the Balkans that by integrating gender within our operations, we make a tangible difference to the lives of women and children".

Definitely a "tangible difference to the lives of women and children" : As a result of NATO's bombing campaigns in Yugoslavia and Libya, thousands of women and children lost their lives. In Libya, for example, NATO helped deliver perhaps thousands of women into the hands of ISIS.

This is how Human Rights Watch in 2017 described the record of ISIS rule in Libya:

"In the first half of 2016, fighters loyal to ISIS controlled the central coastal town of Sirte and subjected residents to a rigid interpretation of Sharia law that included public floggings, amputation of limbs, and public lynchings, often leaving the victims' corpses on display."

Trump's failure to articulate a new mission for NATO, combined with his desire to extract more and more funds from the 29 member nations, puts the military alliance in a very vulnerable position. With no new mission and no obvious threats to Europe on the horizon -- or at least none that NATO seems capable of addressing -- its member states, sooner or later, are bound to question the value of belonging to an organization, with such high membership fees and so few benefits. No wonder the foreign-policy cognoscenti are fulminating and praying for a Biden presidency.

One of the reasons the foreign policy crowd detests Trump is that he hasn't wasted his time trying to invent some "new mission" for NATO. Where Trump differs from his predecessors is that he hasn't bothered trying to invent some new reason for NATO's continued existence: Clinton had Yugoslavia, Bush Afghanistan & Iraq, Obama Libya. Trump hasn't identified any "new mission" for NATO. Maybe because there isn't one.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! Michael Chan 3 hours ago Presidentials elections in the US are a joke. The voters are given two choices: either Trump or Biden. Both are bad. They can only choose between who they think is less bad, knowing full well that they will regret their choice the minute they leave the voting booth. So, half of the voters will choose not to vote. And it seems that one of the two candidates will be happy if more than 90% of the voters choose not to vote. Reply 2 CHEVI789 Michael Chan 2 hours ago You are lead to believe you have a choice, the fact is they are the same evil that both are controlled by the same group. Reply T. Agee Kaye 4 hours ago Good article. If true, NATO will want a doozy of a conflict to make up for lost time / earnings. Reply 2 MarkG1964 4 hours ago The problem is that the Trump administration has failed everywhere. Talks with North Korea have stalled, and even President Moon in South Korea is losing patience with US policy. Sanctions and tariffs against China have failed miserably, as it's left a record number of US farmers facing bankruptcy, has not helped to reduce the US trade deficit with China, or persuaded US manufacturers to relocate back to the US. In Venezuela, every attempt to replace President Maduro with Gaido has fallen short. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria continue unabated, with no end in sight. Whether it's Biden or Trump, the US can't afford another four years of the same. Reply Jeff_P 5 hours ago The purpose of NATOs existence is to provide the US with cannon fodder for its hegemonic designs. Nothing else. Reply 1 Bob 3 hours ago the USA should let Europe defend itself. Save us taxpayers billions of dollars Reply Krieger 3 hours ago NATO = Neocon America's Terrorist Organization Reply 1 CHEVI789 2 hours ago Now tell me if america is not the tyrant and dictator of the world. I really feel sorry for the good americans who's name is tainted by the evil running their country, being the you know who. Reply shadowlady 1 hour ago Clearly the old farts in Washington DC are still stuck in the Cold War era, the US taxpayers can't continue to police the world with US military.

George Szamuely is a senior research fellow at Global Policy Institute (London) and author of Bombs for Peace: NATO's Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeSzamuely

[Aug 09, 2020] NYT as an amplifier for the mislabeled US 'Intelligence' Agencies rumor and baseless claims about foreign interferences in US elections

The first and the most important fact that there will no elections in November -- both candidates represent the same oligarchy, just slightly different factions of it.
Look like NYT is controlled by Bolton faction of CIA. They really want to overturn the results of 2020 elections and using Russia as a bogeyman is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.
Neocons understand very well that it is MIC who better their bread, so amplifying rumors the simplify getting additional budget money for intelligence agencies (which are a part of MIC) is always the most desirable goal.
Notable quotes:
"... But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr. ..."
"... The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process." ..."
"... But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections? ..."
"... But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn? ..."
"... Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence. ..."
"... Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China? ..."
"... If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them? ..."
"... Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget. ..."
"... Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
No Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says

Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.

The New York Times sensationally headlines:

Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:

Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.

When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:

For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.

After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?

The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?

As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :

The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.

But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?

Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.

Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:

The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...

and

Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?

If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?

Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.

Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.

Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

[Aug 08, 2020] -No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams-- Iran FM -

Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams": Iran FM


by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

"There's no difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook or Elliott Abrams," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet with the hashtag #BankruptUSPolicy on Friday.

"When U.S. policy concerns Iran, American officials have been biting off more than they can chew. This applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump and their successors," Mousavi added.

Indeed in perhaps one of the greatest symbols or representations of the contradictions and absurdity inherent in US foreign policy of the past few decades, and a supreme irony that can't be emphasized enough: the new US envoy to Iran who will oversee Pompeo's 'maximum pressure' campaign remains the most publicly visible face of the 1980's Iran-Contra affair .

Elliott Abrams has been named to the position after Brian Hook stepping down. This means the man who will continue to push for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Iran once himself was deeply involved in illegally selling weapons to Iran and covering it up .

Most famously, or we should say infamously, Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 following years of the Iran-Contra scandal engulfing the Reagan administration; however, he was also pardoned by outgoing president George H.W. Bush at around the same time.

"Pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992, Abrams was a pivotal figure in the foreign-policy scandal that shook the Reagan administration, lying to Congress about his knowledge of the plot to covertly sell weapons to the Khomeini government and use the proceeds to illegally fund the right-wing Contras rebel group in Nicaragua ," NY Mag reviews.

Some are noting this heightens the chances that Washington could get dragged into a war involving Israel and Iran.

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Recall too that Abrams has been Trump's point man for ousting Maduro from Venezuela, and it appears he'll remain in the post of special envoy for Venezuela as well.

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The Grayzone journalist, Anya Parampil, who has frequently reported from Venezuela, alleged this week that Abrams will "try and destroy Venezuela and Iran at the same time".

me name=

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Wild Bill Steamcock , 14 hours ago

Abrams is a disgrace. This Administration should be dying in it's own shame bringing this swine back into government.

He's a leach. He's about lining his own pockets. He can't even own a .22 single shot, yet he's shaping international policy.

This country is dead. And the fact Trump has democrat and zionist Kushner as advisor, bringing in guys like Bolton and Abrams, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster and that Ukranian pet goblin of his, in not firing Comey et. al day 1 means he's not the answer. Face it.

And to be fair, it doesn't matter anymore who is POTUS. It hasn't really mattered in quite some time. The Plan rolls along.

Kinskian , 15 hours ago

Trump is a clumsy and transparent Zionist stooge.

PT , 14 hours ago

Gotta admit, if you're going to have a Zionist stooge then you are better off having a clumsy and transparent one.

Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

Elliott Abrams is a moron. He's been running the exact same stupid coup strategy for decades, and can't conceive of a world where the enemy has worked out how to defeat that.

Venezuela was set to be US foreign policies most embarrassing failure--but maybe Iran will be worse.

Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

Let's predict what Abrams will attempt:

Running out of the US/UK embassies, Abrams will attempt to identify a potential alternative leader who is corrupt and controllable. They'll throw political support behind this false leader, and try and find enough military to support him. Then, protests in the streets, and the small faction of the military--supported by foreign forces--will attempt to establish control.

Counter: China and Russia will import anti-coup specialists. Individuals in the Iranian military will pretend to be on board claiming to have thousands at call, and when the false leader gives the call, they won't answer. All the conspirators will be caught out on the street, and have to flee to embassies for political asylum. Like what happened in Venezuela recently, and Turkey in 2016. This will allow Iran to do a purge of all the real threats (remembering that Iran has the death penalty for sedition), and give them enough justification to end diplomatic missions in the country that are being used as launch pads.

[Aug 01, 2020] This withdrawal of American troops and personnel from Germany points to the direction of European long-term decline in importance, as it seems the USA is opting for a more aggressive model against the Russian Federation. Either it believes the Russian Federation will fall soon (after Putin's death) or it is giving up Europe altogether

Aug 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jul 31 2020 18:08 utc | 16

AFRICOM confirms HQ is leaving Stuttgart, German defense minister says US withdrawal is 'regrettable'

USA's shift to the Western Pacific (Australia) is taking shape. This withdrawal of American troops and personnel from Germany points to the direction of European long-term decline in importance, as it seems the USA is opting for a more aggressive, less in-depth model against the Russian Federation. Either it believes the Russian Federation will fall soon (after Putin's death) or it is giving up Europe altogether. Both scenarios imply in Germany's (the EU) decline.

[Jul 30, 2020] Bolton is a typical crazy neocon who wants to dominate the world

Jul 30, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Pseudo D 3.0 out of 5 stars , June 24, 2020

superhawk

Ambassador John Bolton hinted that he doesn't like being called a hawk, since foreign policy labels are simplistic.

But first of all, he labeled libertarian Sen. Rand Paul an isolationist, rather than say, a non- interventionist. And after nearly 500 pages (all but the epilogue), what you will absorb is absolutely the worldview of a geopolitical hawk. He is not technically a neoconservative (like, say, Paul Wolfowitz) because the latter were more focused on nation building and spreading democracy. Bolton sees what he's promoting as defense, but it requires a constant offense.

Bolton is very bright, as Jim Baker noted decades ago, and very well-read, even endorsing his fellow Baltimorean and my teacher Steve Vicchio's book on Lincoln's faith. But his intelligence is all put into an ideological reading of situations. As Aristotle would put it, the problem is not lack of theoretical wisdom, but the deficiency in practical wisdom and prudential judgment. Certainly there are bad actors in the world, and vigilance is required. But when is aggressive action called for, and when is it better to go with diplomacy? In this book, I find few cases of such restraint. For Bolton, it seems that the goal of peace and security requires the constant threat of war and presence on every continent. All this intervention around the world requires troops, soldiers, real men and women and their lives and those of their families, requiring lots of sacrifice. At times, his theorizing seems distant from these realities on the ground.

So Bolton is critical of the "axis of adults" in the Trump administration, the "generals", but not Kelly and not much on his predecessor McMaster, much less the eccentric Flynn. So his beef is with Mattis, another fine student of history. Bolton says he went by the rules, as James Baker had said that Bush 41 was "the one who got the votes". He tried to influence Trump within the rules, while Mattis, Tillerson and Haley pursued their own foreign policy. I'm sure that Mattis was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but I would trust his prudential judgment above that of the equally bright Bolton, because of his life experience, being the one on the ground and knowing what war is like.

When Bolton was considered for secretary state right after the 2016 election, I said, well I don't care for the guy, but at least I've heard of him and we know what we're dealing with. His opponent in GOP foreign policy is the libertarian and non-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul. What does Bolton say about the big players in the Trump administration? Nikki Haley is dismissed as a lightweight who was posing for her political future. Well, that's basically what Trump, "the one that got the votes", put her there for. But it's interesting that Bolton is so anti-Haley, when she was for Rubio and the more hawkish platform.

Tillerson's successor Mike Pompeo had sort of a love-hate relationship with Bolton.

Steve Mnuchin is the epitome of the globalist establishment, along with Javanka. Jared Kushner is dismissed as no Kissinger, but when it comes to China, his soft stance is blamed on Kissinger! While Bolton didn't testify in the impeachment, Fiona Hill is mentioned only with respect in this book.

Everybody's flaw, from Bolton's point of view, is being less belligerent than Bolton. (Even in the Bush administration, the only name I can think of would be Michael Ledeen). He even defends the concept of Middle Eastern "endless wars" on the grounds that we didn't start them and can't dictate when they end. Obama was a dove, but in 2016 the GOP marked a shift, with Trump, Paul, Ben Carson and even Ted Cruz opposing the "invade every country on earth" philosophy that this book promotes. It's true that Trump is not an ideologue and thinks in terms of individual transactions. But the movement I see is a dialectic of alternating between aggression and diplomacy, or as he sees it, friendly relationship among leaders.

Bolton is a superhawk on North Korea and Iran throughout, while China and Russia are our hostile rivals. Other matters are Syria, Iraq and ISIS, Venezuela, Afghanistan and finally Ukraine, which by the end of the book I had almost forgotten. If Bolton is dovish anywhere, it's on the Saudis, the rivals with Iran in the Sunni-Shiite dispute chronicled recently in the book "Black Wave".

You can learn a lot from this book, but just keep in mind that it's filtered through the mind of a strong ideologue, so other people's faults are seen through that lens. But he has great knowledge of the details of policy. Bolton would like to be an inter-generational guru like Henry Kissinger or Dean Acheson, but both parties have turned away from the "endless wars" philosophy.

If you are looking for anti-Trump material, I don't really see the point of investing this time and intellectual effort. The more sensational parts have been reported-the exchanges involving Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, and to a lesser extent Erdogan. As most reviewers have said, it's about 100 pages too long, but Bolton is looking for a scholarly work like Kissinger's Diplomacy or World Order, and this is the one that he hopes people will read.

C Wm (Andy) Anderson

Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America

#1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER 3.0 out of 5 stars Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020 Verified Purchase Two reviewers did better at explaining why this book is not rated by me as a must-read. Linda Galella and gammyjill. Bolton laid out some truly explosive allegations but let his own ego cloud his message.

John Bolton, on some fundamental level, is a brilliant, dedicated conservative intent on improving the future of the country he and I love. THAT similarity is probably the only point we share.

I wanted to love this book, because I knew it would be jam-packed with juicy tidbits that justify me derision of the biggest failure ever to assume the office of POTUS. Instead, quite early on, I realized the reason Trump became President was the enormous ineptitude of those otherwise brilliant people who, in short, simply felt that somebody opposing those the person they despise, on principle, was better for America than the other guy or gal.

Throughout this book, Bolton reminds us of Trump's inability to focus attention on the information provided by his handlers. Yes, Trump is naive and intellectually lazy. Yes, so, too, are many of those aiding and abetting Mr. Trump. But, yes, Mr. Bolton also suffers from gross naïveté, and, is just plain foolish. His ego led him to join the Trump Administration, as he admits in "The Room Where It Happened."

Bolton's greatest error, however, was in refusing to tell the country what he chose to sell to the public through this book.

The writing is, mechanically, quite good. But, Bolton comes across as thinking he is the only person of intelligence. That becomes clear by page two, and never changes, except for his insight that he was wrong about Trump.

Unfortunately, Bolton also was wrong about Bolton.

Whoa. Hold on. Just about everyone in both political parties is no better than Bolton. A few exceptions would be Former governor John Kasick and Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Oh, and former Vice President Joe Biden, I believe. Yet, to be honest, I need to see him prove me right. I would hate to make the same mistake regarding Biden as Bolton did regarding Trump.

Americans need to take a good, hard look at how we are governed and at those whom we support.

BOTTOM LINE

Writing quality, passable. But don't expect to gain a great deal of new knowledge.

Three stars out of five.

[Jul 29, 2020] Russia and the next Presidential election in the US by The Saker

Jul 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the "Putin regime" is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the "little guy" is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the "Washington consensus" types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed "social" and "patriotic" character and they absolutely horrified the "liberal" 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a "fraud". None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030 ,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here ). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, "bumpy" years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.


JasonT , says: July 28, 2020 at 10:53 pm GMT

Good analysis.

I would add that Russia should also start opening channels of communication with various organizations in Canada, especially those in the far north. While Canada is small politically, it is vastly bigger than the U.S. in natural resources, very strategically located and right next door to Russia.

Twilight Patriot , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT

I really agree with you that the "blame Russia" and "blame China" thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.

But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that "Russian asset" would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?

... ... ...

aandrews , says: July 29, 2020 at 3:22 am GMT

" at worst, the crisis will move to a new stage . "

Highly likely.

I think Trump can win, though, if he successfully hangs the escalating Antifa/BLM mayhem around the Democrat's necks. Normal, salt-of-the-earth-type Americans won't vote for the party of Maoist mayhem. I just hope their numbers are still sufficient. So, really, the mayhem needs to worsen and get ultra-bad, and Trump needs to carefully respond with just enough law enforcement to bait the Democrats into defending the insurrectionists and their tactics and loudly condemning Trump's "fascist" response. Normal people will see the true story and in the privacy of the voting booth, not vote Democrat. And if you think the other side lost their minds after the 2016 election .

GMC , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:54 am GMT

Thanks Saker – I would have loved it, had Alaska been able to hang on to the 90s relationship with Russia. It was a perfect match, except that Russian economy { as we were told} was just tanking, and they had no money to throw into the tourist trade. Not that us Alaskans, expected much more than what our bush villages had to offer. lol But , I'm afraid this will never happen again, with the Zio freaks in charge of the US. I recall when I was flying and living in McGrath in the 90s, that a womens Russian helicopter team dropped down to refuel and I was workin on my cessna about 50 yrds away. I saw about 6+ really good looking Russian chicks come out of those choppers, and us guys were floored ! We started to communicate with them, they told us that they were re -tracing the WW II lend lease route and were headed to the lower 48. Just about the time we started getting close tho, an old Lady colonel jumped out and put the girls in place – lol . I also remember the Magadan hockey team came over to play against our University teams Anchorage and Fairbanks. My neighbor here in Kryme, was on that Russian team – small world. Ya, Russia and Alaska would be a great match today – just gotta get rid of Washington. Thanks for the memories.

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm GMT

" until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the "Washington consensus" types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government."

Putin's regime is merely a less unbearable version of the Yeltsin regime, with open loot by oligarchs replaced by less overt loot by smaller scale actors. Putin is exactly as beholden to the neoliberal capitalist system as Yeltsin. To expect Putin to change sides as this point is ludicrous.

" Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore)."

I have no idea what a "neo" Marxist is (apart from a blatant made up term to taint us by association with the neo-Nazis), but as a Marxist, which the Saker obviously is not, it's obvious to me that the Imperialist States of America has been at war with Russia since the Yeltsinite attack on the Moscow parliament in 1993, and probably from the failed patriotic coup of 1991. If we ignore the Saker's idea of a war since 2013 it's only because we know it's twenty years out of date.

Things will never improve between Amerikastan and Russia and don't need to. Amerikastan is sinking and will sink; Putin will, if he continues on the neoliberal capitalist track, sink Russia as well in the end.

RoatanBill , says: July 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT

The video link to Sahra Wagenknecht's report was the best part of this article although the article itself was spot on if one has any respect for reality.

I keep waiting for Germany to tell NATO and the US to get the hell out, but their political establishment is just as corrupt as the US's.

The amount of money the US Fed Gov steals from the population in taxes and regulation or causes loss of purchasing power by increasing debt could be much better put to use than shoveling it into the military to murder people around the globe. The entire Fed Gov will, I hope, disappear like fart gas as a result of the economic collapse in the making.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
@Emily at was just a brutal form of monopoly capitalism that is the essence of the Zionist syndicate we all are up against. Today piratized not privatized Russia is suffering a less severe form but it is estimated that half Jew Putin and his oligarch cronies control ap. 30% of the Russian economy. all of this insider theft was "codified and Legalized" by Larry Summers and the Harvard Jews. Same thing is happening in Jewmerica and moving lots faster now with the theft under cover of the fake virus. Don't forget in 08-09 the bailout for billionaires cost the regular economy trillions then too. No problem, the Jews at Black Rock picked up some great bargains as they will this time.
Stanley Dundee , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT

Per the Saker:

The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed.

I would add that Putin (a masterful statesman) tamed Russia's oligarchs. The greatest fear of America's oligarchs might well be a similar taming by a masterful American statesman. Hence the refusal to allow anyone other than corrupted mediocrities anywhere near nominal power in the US. And hence the entirely genuine hatred for Putin. He embodies their worst nightmare.

Harold Smith , says: July 29, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

"Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)"

Now that team orange clown (with the full support of congress) has done away with the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, apparently replacing it with the concept of a "winnable" nuclear war (impliedly by way of a devastating first strike), the time may come when Russia may have to either strike first or be struck first.

Also, what about the case where the empire is finally successful in starting a war against Iran, for example, and the war goes badly for the empire (i.e. Iran is inflicting some serious damage), whereupon the empire resorts to nukes. Would Russia just sit back and watch, or would Russia then realize that the monster has to be put down?

"The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed."

In a sense that's true as far as it goes, but it really doesn't explain very much. Lots of countries are unable to subdue, subvert or conquer other countries but that in itself doesn't generally lead to "hatred." The simpler and more profound explanation is that the empire does what it does because it's evil. And the evil empire is analogous to an aggressive cancer: either the cancer wins and the patient dies, or the cancer is completely eradicated and the patient survives. There is no peaceful coexistence with the evil empire just like there is no peaceful coexistence with glioblastoma. You cannot negotiate with it to find some kind of a reasonable compromise.

AnonFromTN , says: July 29, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT
@JVC

The US government and FRS seem to be hell-bent on destroying the value of the US $: when someone issues debt obligations (treasuries) and then buys them himself because there are no other takers, you cannot help smelling a rat.

The crash of the $ will hurt everyone, but some will recover faster than others. Euro and yen would be buried with the US $, but assets in less US-dependent countries that have real economies producing things other than hot air will likely fare better. Which leaves Russia, big China, South Korea, and some SE Asia countries.

Harold Smith , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:14 pm GMT
@Stanley Dundee

"And hence the entirely genuine hatred for Putin. He embodies their worst nightmare."

Evil hates a good example.

cassandra , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:27 pm GMT
@Jake t statistic for China is surprisingly better than I would have guessed. According to the CBO chart at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States ,

the US was at about the same level in 2013: "The top 10% of families held 76% of the wealth in 2013, while the bottom 50% of families held 1%. Inequality worsened from 1989 to 2013"

Indications are that the worsening has only continued since then, and with all the money being poured into the stock market by the Fed this year, 2020 is on track to be exceptionally iniquitously inequitable.

Xaxa , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:47 pm GMT

Trump 're-election' is certain. All roads are paved toward it. In fact and so far Trump is the best Neocon/Deep State's man they found. Stop pretending Saker!

Agent76 , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:50 pm GMT

June 17, 2020 America: An Empire Eating Itself

Empire has one trick – divide and conquer. When it runs out of territory, nations, and people abroad to consume, it turns inward on itself.

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/06/america-empire-eating-itself.html

Jul 3, 2020 Independence Day Under Dictatorship

The US is under rule by decree, not by rule of law. Looking at the original list of grievances the Colonists had against King George, it looks like most of them are met – and then some – by our current system of government. Can we regain our independence?


Wally , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Herald

said:
"A Trump re-election will virtually guarantee civil war, but that is still a better option than a Biden hot war against Russia. Either way though, the country is totally fucked."

– We already have a civil war.

– Either way there will be no "hot war against Russia". That's just silly.

– And there is no "Biden" there.

– The US is much, much better off with Trump, it's not even close. Especially if you value free speech, fighting violence, and at least some semblance of a market economy devoid of the 'Green New Deal' scam.

Alfred , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:35 pm GMT
@Anon

after Vietnam war, Vietnam, ally of China , keep their regime in their own hand.

The ally of North Vietnam was Russia.

China blocked the transit of Russian weapons to North Vietnam. After North Vietnam defeated the Americans, with Russian help, China invaded North Vietnam and was defeated.

marryne , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT

For Saker it is always about Russia, Russia, Russia Sure, Russia is a big world power, it used to be and it is now. It is so mostly because of its military, which draws its strength and know-how from the USSR (meaning it is not strictly Russian). However, Russia will never again be a superpower as the USSR had been. It was possible then only because of the (historically) unparalleled appeal of the communist ideology. Firstly and objectively, Russia does not have an economy necessary to support such a status. Secondly, Russia has no sufficient population which, again, is a limiting factor to its economy. Putin probably realized that although he did not realize that the Putin-inspired immigration from the former Muslim republic of the USSR will not alleviate the problem. But again, who would even want to go to today's Russia if not Asiatic muslims. It will slowly but surely make Russia not much different from the West. Muscovites, just like New Yorkers are already leaving the city, those who can afford.
And, subjectively, Russia or the Russians don't have the most important ingredient fort the superpower status – the MENTALITY. The recent (1990-2020) Russian history clearly displays that. It shows that in order to realize the centuries old dreams of the few (so called "elites") Russia as a nation and as country had put itself to the downward trajectory: As an empire it sold Alaska; as a civilization – it destroyed itself by dismantling the rest of the empire, the USSR. As an ally it abandoned and handed over the most Russophile german friend and ally E. Honecker and others to the "partners" in the west. And, as an orthodox and Slavic "brother" it betrayed and abandoned the only people that have always loved Russia – the Serbs. As an ally it behaved recklessly and treacherously. Russia will do the same again. So, hate Russia.

Ko , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:59 pm GMT

Since 2016 I've always believed Trump will be legally elected in 2020 but the DNC/Deep State will reject the result much more forcefully and violently than they've been doing since 2016. The DNC/Deep State will establish a shadow government minus the shadow. It will not be Joe Biden leading it but someone much younger, possibly Biden's VP choice – who was (will be) selected to replace Biden should Biden actually win. Hell, it may even be Hussein since he's such a treasonous pussy and easy to manipulate. The communists behind the scenes (aren't they always such cowards) currently coordinating BLM and Antifa riots all over America will again use rioting but with firearms and bombings. This must be met with a military response and the violence will be nationwide. At some point either Trump declares martial law and outright civil war ensues, or a military coup takes over with or without Trump as a figurehead and they crush the communists and leftists while right wing militias join in the hunt. The only wild-card is if race driven factionalism within lower ranks cause wide divisions and some officers break away – then the whole show is over and there will be no place safe from people with guns and bad intentions. We will be fighting over food and gasoline. At least, like in China, there will be plenty of dogs to satisfy hunger.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Wally

To Wally and Herald: How many Presidential election circuses have you guys seen. Probably a lot of them like me...

cassandra , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:16 pm GMT

Putin's difficulty is that Russia is really too important for the West to ignore.

Western elites, and not just in the US, but in the EU and the western-hemisphere in general, are facing a problem: people are beginning to notice that human values are not universal. This had been one of the main pillars for the existence and credibility of a technocratic elite, specifically for the people to trust the elites to implement some unspecified but benevolent neo-enlightenment.

Putin became truly anathema first when he rejected western neoliberal criminality because

[Hide MORE] it was destroying his country, secondly, when he thwarted amputation of Crimea by color revolution, and thirdly, when he kept calling out NATO/EU expansionism for what it was. This made conversion of Russia to the neoliberal finance and 'universal value" system even less likely than the conversion to Roman Catholicism prophesied at Fatima. Putin decided that Russia would live by its own values, thank you very much. Russia could still have been an arms-length ally, but Anglo-Zionist geopolitical extremism forced him to make cause with a clearly adversarial China, and encouraged him to circumvent the western currency system as well.

But peoples within the west were also developing this NGTOW (Nations Going Their Own Way) attitude. Hungary and Poland were already becoming thorns in the side of the EU over the "human value" immigration, and the elections of Trump and Brexit were further assertions of populist preferences. Other politicians like Wagenknecht, LePen and Salvini are nurturing this movement elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal oligarchy, by dialing up propaganda and censorship, and by using Orwellian cancel terrorism, can quell this awakening rebellion.

alwayswrite , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:18 pm GMT
@marryne elves out

Capital flight is enormous,especially through London

Ask yourself why????

Because British intelligence knows absolutely the places all this money goes to

British intelligence aren't stupid, they've played this game for centuries

Which gives them enormous leverages over the Russians,who are trapped by this age old system

Putin knows this as do all Russian oligarchs

Money rules,not silly hypersonic weapons !!!!

Which doesn't come into the sakers evaluation

Basically,the saker doesn't understand power,money power!!!

AnonFromTN , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Wally licies.
6. Dramatically improve US education, from elementary school up.
7. Reform US healthcare, with a view of making it healthcare, rather than extortion racket it is today.

There are many other things, but anyone attempting to do even half of those listed would be promptly JFK'ed by the Deep State. That is why there is no one in the US politics decent enough to even talk about real problems, not to mention attempting to do what needs to be done to save the country. Hence, I can name no names.

As things stand, even Trump is better than senile and corrupt Biden. But being better than that piece of shit is not a big achievement.

hu_anon , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:07 pm GMT
@Alfred

China allowed Soviet arms through to North Vietnam and was herself giving weapons to them. The Soviets didn't trust the Chinese though, so they preferred to transport more advanced weapons on ships rather than by train through China, to prevent the Chinese from getting a close look on these.

China attacked Vietnam for invading Cambodia, but this war exposed the weakness of the Chinese Army. Deng Xiaoping was able to push through military reforms after the debacle.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:30 pm GMT
@Ko e and destabilize western nations. These paid activists, opportunists and useful idiots could be taken care of by the local law enforcement as the constitution mandates if allowed to do so. The goal of the Zionist criminals is to create enough chaos and breakdown that people will demand that the national gov. step in with martial law. This is exactly what the Zionists want so they can get rid of the locally controlled police and implement a gestapo of thugs that are accountable only to the elite at the top.

The zionist politicians and their operatives from the mayors to the Governors on up need to be thrown out of office. That is the first step in restoring the Republic.

annamaria , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT
@alwayswrite ernative media has excellent analysts) instead of immersing in the stinky products of presstituting MSM controlled by 6 zio-corporations.

Your hysterics about Russia's alleged attempts at destabilizing the EU are particularly entertaining. For starter, 1. learn about US bases in Europe and beyond, and 2. read about the consequences of the wars of aggression (also known as Wars for Israel) in the Middle East for the EU.

If you are in search of neonazi, turn your attentions to a great project run by ziocons and neonazi in Ukraine. See Grossman, Kolomojsky, Zelinsky, Nuland-Kagan, Pyatt, Carl Gershman (NED), and the whole Kagans' clan united with Banderites What can go wrong?

[Jul 26, 2020] Steele's Primary Subsource Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Fiona Hill At Brookings

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and "participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling," as well as "mental health counseling," the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow "as a condition of his employment." The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin's doctoral dissertation -- something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

"Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher," Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011.

"He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research."

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with Hillary Clinton: He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary.

[Jul 25, 2020] Full Spectrum Dominance (FDS) will be very expensive for the US Evil Empire

Jul 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Vivekwhu , 1 hour ago

The violent US, run by greedy billionaires, has to be cut down to size before they start WW3. Full Spectrum Dominance (FDS) will be very expensive for the US Evil Empire. Did the deluded US elites really think RF and China will not respond to their quest for space dominance???

[Jul 20, 2020] The US military is defending US global hegemony, and is priced accordingly. What you think of US military spending depends on what you think of the US as a hegemon.

Jul 20, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Ebenezer Scrooge 07.19.20 at 1:13 pm

US military spending is certainly much higher than it needs to be for US defense needs. But the US military is not primarily defending the US. It is defending Asia from China, NATO from Russia, and a number of countries from Iran, not to speak of Norkland.

IOW, the US military is defending US global hegemony, and is priced accordingly. What you think of US military spending depends on what you think of the US as a hegemon.


Alan White 07.19.20 at 2:15 pm ( 21 )

Thanks John that's very helpful -- I thought those two figures would be much closer together. Reading CT is always instructive in one way or another.

James Wimberley 07.19.20 at 5:02 pm ( 22 )

Long comment on the cross-post, on the cost of the energy transition part of the GND:
https://johnquiggin.com/2020/07/18/a-trillion-here-a-trillion-there-pretty-soon-youre-talking-real-money-creation/#comment-226012

Tom 07.20.20 at 1:37 pm ( 23 )

As a share of GDP, military spending today is half of what it was in 1986. Data here:

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS?locations=US

I am not a fan of military spending – following an excellent post by John about Eisenhower's famous speech (more tanks or more hospitals), I often use it as an example opportunity cost when teaching. One can certainly claim that the budget should be lower but, as a share of overall economic resources, the budget has been cut substantially in the last 30 years.

[Jul 11, 2020] Pounding to nothing - Patrick Porter - The Critic Magazine

Jul 11, 2020 | thecritic.co.uk

Pounding to nothing

Patrick Porter reviews The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, by John Bolton ARTILLERY ROW BOOKS 4 July, 2020

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P resident Donald Trump's third National Security Advisor opens his memoir with this quote from the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo: 'Hard Pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest.' And pound for pound, that's the (nearly) 500 page memoir in a nutshell. Unremitting pounding is both the theme and the style. As John Bolton urged the White House to take a 'harder line" on Iran and North Korea, Trump's chief of staff "urged me to keep pounding away in public, which I assured him I would.' China 'pounded away during my tenure, sensing weakness at the top.' As with Bolton's mission, so too with America's statecraft, that must 'keep moving and keep firing, like a big grey battleship.'

From his infamous unsubtle moustache to his bellicosity, Bolton traffics on a self-image of straight shooter who sprints towards gunfire. He does not set out to offer a meditation on a complex inner life. This image is also slightly misleading. For all the barrage, Bolton turns out to be a more conflicted figure, especially when his supporting fire is most called upon.

The Room Where it Happened is Bolton's account of his part in the power struggles within Trump's almost medieval court, his attempt to steer the executive branch towards the right course, unmasked supremacy everywhere, and his failure and disillusion with Trump's chaotic, self-serving and showbiz-driven presidency.

The room where it happened: A White House memoir, by John Bolton

The memoir itself is a non-trivial political event. Other reviewers have assailed it for being turgid. Bolton, though, has at least done the state some service by habitually recording and recounting every meeting. This is an important record of an important eighteen months packed with the escalating brinksmanship with Iran, an impeachment inquest, the return of great power competition and a fierce struggle to control the policy levers in Washington itself. For that detail, especially when contrasted with the exhausting melodrama of the era, Bolton deserves a little credit. The Trump administration's determined effort to suppress it on the grounds of classified information suggests there is substance to Bolton's allegations of corruption and turmoil at the heart of government.

It is also, though, a work of self-vindication. Bolton's life is an adversarial one. A former attorney, he became a policy advocate and a Republican Party institution, consistently taking the hardest of lines. He was ever drawn to aggressive combatants – like Hillary Clinton, in his formative years he supported Barry Goldwater. He interned for Vice-President Spiro Agnew, the "number one hawk." As a measure of Bolton's faith that war works and that co-existence with "rogue states" is impossible, he advocated attacking a heavily (and nuclear)-armed North Korea in 2018, an adversary that lies in artillery range of Seoul and thousands of Americans as effective hostages, and offered up a best-case scenario in doing so.

Bolton brought to government a world view that was dug-in and entrenched. For Bolton, the world is hostile, and to survive America must be strong (wielding and brandishing overwhelming force) at all times. Enemy regimes cannot be bargained with or even co-existed with on anything less than maximalist terms dictated by Washington. The US never gives an inch, and must demand everything. And if those regimes do not capitulate, America must topple or destroy them: Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea, and must combat them on multiple fronts at once. In doing so, America itself must remain unfettered with an absolutely free hand, not nodding even hypocritically to law or custom or bargaining.

If Bolton's thoughts add up to anything, it is a general hostility, if not to talking, certainly to diplomacy – the art of giving coherence and shape to different instruments and activities, above all through compromise and a recognition of limits. The final straw for Bolton was Trump's cancelling an airstrike on Iran after it shot down a drone. An odd hill to die on, given the graver acts of corruption he as witness alleges, but fitting that the failure to pull the trigger for him was Trump's most shocking misdemeanour.

What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster

This worldview is as personal as it is geopolitical. Importantly for Bolton, in the end he fights alone, bravely against the herd. He fights against other courtiers, even fellow hawks, who Bolton treats with dismissive contempt – Nikki Haley, Steve Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, or James Mattis who like Bolton, champions strategic commitments and views Iran as a dangerous enemy, but is more selective about when to reach for the gun. The press is little more than an "hysterical" crowd. Allies like South Korea, who must live as neighbours with one of the regimes Bolton earmarks for execution, and who try conciliatory diplomacy occasionally, earn slight regard. Critics, opponents or those who disagree are 'lazy,' 'howling' or 'feckless.'

For a lengthy work that distils a lifetime's experience, it is remarkably thin regarding the big questions of security, power and order. The hostile world for him contains few real limits other than failures of will. He embraces every rivalry and every commitment, but explanations are few and banal. 'While foreign policy labels are unhelpful except to the intellectually lazy,' he says, 'if pressed, I like to say my policy was "pro-American".' Who is lazy, here?

The purpose of foreign policy, too, is largely absent. Armed supremacy abroad, and power-maximisation, seems to be the end in itself, regardless of what is has wrought at home. This makes his disdain for Trump's authoritarian ways especially obtuse: what does he think made possible an imperial presidency in the first place?

There's little room for principled or reasonable disagreement. What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster, in a town where horse-trading and agility matter. Unintentionally, it is a warning to anyone who seeks to be effective as well as right, and to those of us who debate these questions.

The most provocative part of the book comes at the end, and points to a man more conflicted than his self-image of the straight shooter. Bolton issues an extended, uneasy defence of his decision not to appear as a witness before the House impeachment inquiry against a president he believed to be corrupt. Having celebrated the need to "pound away" with inexhaustible energy, it turned out his ammunition was low. 'I was content to bide my time. I believed throughout, as the line in Hamilton goes, that "I am not throwing away my shot".' Drawing on a characteristic claim to certainty, 'it would have made no significant difference in the Senate outcome.' How can he know this? And even if the odds were long, was there not – for once – a compelling basis in civic virtue to be that relentless grey battleship, pounding away? He now hopes "history" will remember Trump as a one-term president. History needs willing agents.

Other reviews have honed in on Bolton's decision to delay his revelations for a book pay-day. But consider another theme – the war-hawk who is in fact torn and agonised around combat when it comes to himself. It echoes his retrospective rationale for not fighting in Vietnam, a war he supported, and (as he has recorded) the detailed efforts he made to avoid service in that tragic theatre after being drafted. It was, he decided, bound to fail given that the anti-war Democrats would undermine the cause, a justification he later sheepishly regretted.

So twice the advocate of forceful confrontation refused the call to show up, generously awarding to himself a rationale for non-intervention that relieves him of commitment. He refuses to extend that same exonerating, prudential logic to his country, when it debates whether to wade in to conflict abroad. Neither does he extend it to other Americans who think the nation, like Bolton, might be better off sometimes holding its fire, biding its time, dividing its enemies, and keeping its powder dry.

Given that Bolton failed in the end to attend the "room where it happened", his title is unwittingly ironic. In his favour, Bolton's testy defence of his absence at least suggests something. In contrast with the front cover of another forthcoming, Trump-era memoir , he retains a modest capacity for embarrassment.

[Jul 06, 2020] Bolton Changes Tune- Now Refuses To Answer 'Russian Bounties' Questions After Stoking The 'Scandal' -

Jul 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

By middle of last week we observed of the Russian bounties to kill American troops in Afghanistan story that "at this point this non-story looks to be dead by the weekend as it's already unraveled."

Indeed by Thursday and Friday, as more Congressional leaders received closed door intelligence briefings on the allegations which originated with an anonymously sourced NY Times report claiming Trump supposedly ignored the Russian op to target Americans, the very Democrat and Republican lawmakers previously hyping it as a 'major scandal' went conspicuously silent .

Recall too that John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, emerged to strongly suggest he had personal knowledge that Trump was briefed on the matter . The former national security adviser called the Trump denial of being briefed "remarkable". Well, look who is now appearing to sing a different tune. A week ago Bolton was all too wiling to voluntarily say Trump had "likely" been briefed and that was a big scandal. The whole story was indeed dead by the weekend:

NOW PLAYING

Other reports said Bolton has been telling people he had personally briefed the president :

Former national security adviser John Bolton told colleagues that he personally briefed President Donald Trump about intelligence that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops , U.S. officials told the Associated Press .

Bolton briefed Trump on the matter in March of 2019, according to the report, a year earlier than previously reported by The New York Times . The information was also included in at least one presidential Daily Brief, according to the AP, CNN and The Times . The AP earlier reported that it was also included in a second presidential Daily Brief earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O'Brien discussed the matter with Trump.

His Sunday refusal to even address the question - again after he was all too willing to speak to the issue a week ago when it was driving headlines - speaks volumes.

Via The Daily Mail

Now that even The Washington Post awkwardly walked back the substance of much of its reporting on the 'Russian bounties' story, Bolton has conveniently gone silent .


[Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
"... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
"... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
"... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
"... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
"... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
"... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
"... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
"... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

[Jul 03, 2020] Podcast- Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 9, Foreign Policy Dissent Is Patriotic by DANIEL LARISON

Bolton is just "yet another MIC puppet", who has complete vacuum in his head as for morality and decency. In other words he is a typical Washington psychopath. Like many sociopaths he is a compulsive liar, undeniable careerist and self-promoter.
Jul 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This week on Empire Has No Clothes, we spoke with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former Foreign Service Officer and author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age . Kelley Vlahos, Matt Purple and I talked about demoralization in the department, the reasons for her resignation, U.S. policy in South Sudan and Africa, and the need for greater accountability in our foreign policy. We also covered John Bolton's new book, his outdated foreign policy views, and whether anything he says can be trusted.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

[Jul 03, 2020] The Iran Obsession Has Isolated the US

So former tank repairman decided again managed to make a make a mark in world diplomacy :-).
Notable quotes:
"... Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1: ..."
"... The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation. ..."
"... Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India: ..."
"... This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo. ..."
"... The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent.

The Trump administration is more isolated than ever in its Iran obsession. The ridiculous effort to invoke the so-called "snapback" provision of the JCPOA more than two years after reneging on the agreement met with failure, just as most observers predicted months ago when it was first floated as a possibility. As I said at the time, "The administration's latest destructive ploy won't find any support on the Security Council. There is nothing "intricate" about this idea. It is a crude, heavy-handed attempt to employ the JCPOA's own provisions to destroy it." It was never going to work because all of the other parties to the agreement want nothing to do with the administration's punitive approach, and U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA meant that it forfeited any rights it had when it was still part of the deal.

Opposition from Russia and China was a given, but the striking thing about the scene at the U.N. this week was that major U.S. allies joined them in rebuking the administration's obvious bad faith maneuver:

The pointedly critical tone of the debate saw Germany accusing Washington of violating international law by withdrawing from the nuclear pact, while Berlin aligned itself with China's claim that the United States has no right to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran.

The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation.

Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India:

If you fail to act, Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000 kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome, and Warsaw in Iranian crosshairs.

This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo.

It has no need for expensive fighters, and it is not at all certain that their government would even be interested in acquiring them. Pompeo's presentation was a weak attempt to exaggerate the potential threat from a state that has very limited power projection, and he found no support because his serial fabrications about Iran have rendered everything he says to be worthless.

The same administration that wants to keep an arms embargo on Iran forever has no problem flooding the region with U.S.-made weapons and providing them to some of the worst governments in the world. It is these client states that are doing the most to destabilize other countries in the region right now. If the U.N. should be putting arms embargoes on any country, it should consider imposing them on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to limit their ability to wreak havoc on Yemen and Libya.

The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law.

[Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
Notable quotes:
"... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
"... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
"... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
"... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
"... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
"... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
"... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
"... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
"... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
"... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
"... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
"... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
"... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
"... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

"He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

"He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

"Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

"We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

"If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

2. What purpose would bounties serve?

Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

"He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

"These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

3. Why is this story being leaked now?

According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

"I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

Lavinia 6 hours ago

Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

Wally 5 hours ago

As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

If you are in the US military today, please quit.

https://www.washingtonpost....

Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

Feral Finster 4 hours ago

Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

FND 4 hours ago

There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

former-vet FND 2 hours ago

Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

Kent FND 2 hours ago

These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

"U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

maxsnafu 3 hours ago

I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

The Derp State 3 hours ago

"What if Obama...." #4,267

former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

"The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

Kent an hour ago

I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

[Jul 01, 2020] Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

Highly recommended!
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

No Friend Of The Devil , says:

Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

...They suffer from god-complexes, since they do not believe in God