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Neoconservatism

Neocons are attack dogs of neoliberalism and lobbyists for MIC:  "national security parasites".

"Being  a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester" Caitlin Johnstone

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." ~Sun Tzu

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Wolfowitz Doctrine American Exceptionalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate
New American Militarism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Demonization of Putin Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria
The Great Democratic Party Betrayal: Pro-War Democrats as Vichy Left War is Racket Predator state Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Obama: a yet another Neocon National Socialism and Military Keysianism
James Burnham -- renegade Trotskyite and American Machiavelli Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Noble Lie Neocons Credibility Scam Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nation under attack meme
Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Blob attackes Trum: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Robert Kagan Bill Kristol Samantha Power Susan Rice
Eastern European Diaspora influence on the USA foreign policy Max Boot Madeleine Albright Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate  
Media-Military-Industrial Complex National Security State / Surveillance State Senator McCain Conservatives Without Conscience  Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
Leo Strauss and the Neocons Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Krauthammer
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 PNAC  
The Deep State War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Media domination strategy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Fighting Russophobia Neo-fascism Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction

Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy,
 my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate,
and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters"
jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!"

The dopes areascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.

Comment from Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation

Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.

The ideology of Neoconservatism was explicitly formulated in Wolfowitz Doctrine which contains the key postulates of Neoconservatism in foreign policy. They can be summarized as "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge". That partially explains unprecedented level of military expenses of the USA since 1991 (after the dissolution of the USSR) when, effectively, the USA has not external enemies and those money can be used to improve well being of common people in the USA. But neoliberal elite engage in building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington and that empire needed the dominant military force to protect and  expand it .  From other  point of view that was an attempt of the US MIC to preserve its position acquired during the Cold War, if necessary by inventing or creating a new threats.  Neocons just happen perfectly suit the role of lobbyists of MIC interest in Washington  and thus were financially and politically supported by MIC.

Large part of neocons consist of so-called "elite-wannabes," often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there.

Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power.  They know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom.   We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the USA:  "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." ( Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia ):

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”[24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996.[46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."[47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period.[48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.[49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.”[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”[50]

When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region; which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts.  Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.

But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog. 

They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. Is both Republican and Democratic Party position themselves as a "War Party" they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape.  The fact that some of staunch neocons  such  as Max Boot recently defected to Democratic Party just confirm the fact that in forign policy there is only one party in the usa -- the neocon party. 

And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in concentration camps). This was not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.

Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). They also are more openly statist, then a typical neoliberal. But their neo-Trotskyites roots are mostly demonstrated in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views in this area are more aligned with the  Democratic Party than Republican Party views). 

All-in-all, we will essentially view them as lobbyists of MIC, "neoliberals with a gun".


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[Apr 09, 2021] If invading the neighbors, or any other country for that matter, is the reason for mistrust, when the US should enjoy no of it whatsoever, because there is not a single country on this planet that's invaded and destroyed more countries than the US has

Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Joe Paluka , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:19 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago

@AH14

" US military is still fairly competent "

I don't know what weed you're smoking but it has really scrambled your brains. The ability to show up on the parade grounds and go around the world showing fancy overpriced toys does not equate to fighting ability. The US hasn't faced a real army in a conventional war since Vietnam. The US is great at fighting banana republics, but if facing a real military like Russia (who believe me have all the drones that the US has and the ability to neutralize those of the enemy) would run for their safe spaces and hide.

[Apr 07, 2021] Jamie Dimon....Friend of the Little Guy....

Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Herdee 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This guy is nothing but a f * c king crook and a gangster. They just paid a fine of a BILLION dollars for manipulating the Gold Market. And they even give time for this shyster to even speak?

jamesblazen62 10 hours ago remove link

Dimon is in greed's grasp and he can't escape. He's had 2 brushes with death (cancer and emergency heart surgery). You'd think a billionaire with more money than he can ever need or want has something better to do in his life than conniving for more money and playing big corporate games of manipulation and deceit.

Evil-Edward-Hyde 50 minutes ago

J P Morgan is a crime Syndicate.

They constantly Break the Laws.

No Problem for Them,

They Just Pay The Fines.

Their secret is they make much much more money on the scam did they have to pay in fines.

FiscalBatman 1 hour ago remove link

It's amazing how out of touch these guys are. They just don't get it. Dimon will be swaying back and forth with the rest of them at this rate

The Competent Man 8 hours ago remove link

This is NOT a boom.

When was the last time houses went for above asking price, ever, with 20 million out of work?

All of this 'boom' is nothing but asset inflation.

Same reason Bitcoin is over $50K.

[Apr 07, 2021] JPMorgan's Dimon criticize the current wave of populism, failing to understand that it was caused by the crisis of neoliberalism

And also by the level of degeneration of the US neoliberal elite. Healthy elite would never resort to "Wokism" in the attempt to crush populism and deflect anger directed on banksters, tech moguls and politicians
Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Political populism, a common lament for Dimon, was also criticized.

" Americans know that something has gone terribly wrong, and they blame this country's leadership: the elite, the powerful, the decision makers - in government, in business and in civic society," he wrote.

"This is completely appropriate, for who else should take the blame?"

That fuels populism on the right and left, he said.

"But populism is not policy, and we cannot let it drive another round of poor planning and bad leadership that will simply make our country's situation worse."

The lengthy letter touched on many perennial policy bugbears like the need for "proper immigration policies" - ie making it easier for tech companies and others to hire skilled labor from abroad - while the CEO also wrote that " affordable housing remains out of reach for too many Americans."

At one point, Dimon offered a defense of the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, arguing that the Chinese yuan isn't "fully convertible" like its American counterpart, and warned of the possibility of capital controls and prohibitions against assets like gold and cyptocurrency.

But the CEO was very candid about China...

"China's leaders believe America is in decline... The Chinese see an America that is losing ground in technology, infrastructure and education – a nation torn and crippled . . . and a country unable to coordinate government policies (fiscal, monetary, industrial, regulatory) in any coherent way to accomplish national goals."

"Unfortunately," Dimon writes, "there is a lot of truth to this."

Warning of the real risks of stagflation, the banker warned

"...the United States could be perceived as a place that is inhospitable to capitalism and capitalists," and he advised readers to think about "currency diversification, country diversification, and asset class diversification."

And as SovereignMan's Simon Black notes , Dimon then lists goes on to provide a wide-ranging laundry list of problems that have been building for years in the United States– "I'll give some examples, but if I tried to address them all this letter would become a book."

He also rails against the education and healthcare systems, saying:

"Our education and health issues come together in this alarming statistic: Seventy percent of today's youth (ages 17-24) are not eligible for military service , essentially due to a lack of proper education (basic reading and writing skills) or health issues (commonly obesity or diabetes)."

Dimon goes on to explain that all of these problems "may explain why, over the last 10 years, the U.S. economy has grown cumulatively only about 18%. "

"Some think that this sounds satisfactory, but it must be put into context: In prior sharp downturns (1974, 1982 and 1990), economic growth was 40% over the ensuing 10 years."

The country ultimately needs to "move beyond our differences and self-interest and act for the greater good," Dimon said. "The good news is that this is fixable."

Of course, a strong economic rebound is good for JP Morgan, and waxing about the threat posed by Big Tech could help the CEO push for less regulation even under a Democratic Administration. Is Dimon once again just talking his book?

Read Dimon's full letter to shareholders here...

[Apr 07, 2021] The fate of Durham probe

It was pretty predictable fate after Biden victory as Biden was one of key firugres in Russiagate: U.S. Attorney John Durham resigns; led prosecution of mobsters, drug kingpins and corrupt politicians. 'A hero in the law enforcement community', FEB 26, 2021. Finally color revolution against Trump was successful.
Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Yen Cross 2 hours ago (Edited)

i want to know when the Durham probe is going to recommend indictments of the fake Russia probes, Biden laptops, IRS scandal ect...?

I demand ******* justice as a USA Citizen taxpayer!

Those scumbag assholes should be incarcerated.

Biden comes first in the Alphabet.

South China Sea 58 minutes ago

Durham retired. Did you miss that bit of news?

[Apr 04, 2021] An interesting undergraduate thesis from Munich put together a list of the adjectives and adverbs used in select articles about Obama (USA) and Putin (Russia) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine between 2000 and 2012 by Udo Ulfkotte

Notable quotes:
"... The adjectives used in the FAZ to describe Putin had overwhelmingly negative connotations, including: threatening, rough, aggressive, confrontational, anti-westem, power-political, untruthful, cool, calculated, cynical, harsh, abrasive, non-substantive (arguments) and implausible (arguments). ..."
"... The words used to describe Obama had a completely different tone: committed, fanatically welcomed, enthusiastic, conciliatory, praised, hopeful and resolute ..."
"... The former FAZ Washington correspondent Matthias Rub wrote the adulation to US President Bush cited above shortly before the Iraq War began in 2003, in violation of international law. One year later he received the Arthur F. Bums Award for a different article. The Arthur F. Bums Award is presented by Germany's Foreign Minister. So, who selects the winners today? ..."
Apr 04, 2021 | www.amazon.com

An interesting undergraduate thesis from Munich put together a list of the adjectives and adverbs used in select articles about Obama (USA) and Putin (Russia) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung between 2000 and 2012.

The words selected were ones that implied a value judgement in their description of Obama or Putin. The adjectives used in the FAZ to describe Putin had overwhelmingly negative connotations, including: threatening, rough, aggressive, confrontational, anti-westem, power-political, untruthful, cool, calculated, cynical, harsh, abrasive, non-substantive (arguments) and implausible (arguments).

The words used to describe Obama had a completely different tone: committed, fanatically welcomed, enthusiastic, conciliatory, praised, hopeful and resolute :' In plain language: The reporting in the once renowned FAZ newspaper is definitely not neutral, independent, unbiased nor objective these days. So where is this bias coming from? Does this style of reporting possibly have anything to do with the closeness that the FAZ's writers have to certain elites and powerful circles? In the following chapters, we won't only be considering the FAZ when it comes to this question. We will also look into why the mainstream media doesn't even want you to imply that they're close to the elite.

Chapter one, scene two: A few years ago, the reporter Thomas Leif painted a rather conspiratorial picture in the ARD television documentary Strippenzieher und Hinterzimmer (Puppet Masters and Back Rooms). In it, journalists, ministers and party officials appeared to all be sitting in the same boat, isolated from the common folk and getting along like gangbustcrs. Viewers got to see how politics is made in secret meetings behind the scenes. The film was about a corrupt world of cozy connections.4 What was being shown, however, wasn't a conspiracy theory.

The film was controversial, because die people being shown in it were the perpetrators. They thought that this form of corruption was completely normal. The journalists portrayed in the documentary took it as an affront when they were simply asked about these secret networks operating in the background.

... ... ...

The manipulation of the readers has been noticeable at the FAZ for many years. Dr. Heinz Loquai gave a famous speech in 2003 where he said the following about the FAZ:

We learn from the FAZ's Washington correspondents that, among other things, Bush studies the bible every day, prays regularly and bases his actions on the question, "What would Jesus do?" The president is a "paragon of modesty and close to his people." There may be "an arrogant bone or two in Bush's body," but he is "a man of love." His "portion of missionary fervor" is "softened by statesmanlike prudence," through "patient waiting," the "natural political talent's decision" has been "expressed." Although Bush may know that he is not an intellectual, he can rely on "his political instinct, his wisdom and his natural wit."

So (...) lectured, we can continue to count on the judgement and objectivity of leading German daily and weekly newspapers' America correspondents! Embedded with the allied troops, embedded in the political-media network in Washington - what's the difference? 16

The former FAZ Washington correspondent Matthias Rub wrote the adulation to US President Bush cited above shortly before the Iraq War began in 2003, in violation of international law. One year later he received the Arthur F. Bums Award for a different article. The Arthur F. Bums Award is presented by Germany's Foreign Minister. So, who selects the winners today? The jury includes, for example, the journalists Sabine Christiansen and Stefan Kornclius (Sflddeutsche Zeitung).17 Keep these names in the mind. We will come across them and their interesting connections quite often.

[Apr 03, 2021] Understanding anti-Putin PSYOPs- Preparing for war by The Saker

Apr 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

In truth, the West has a very long list of reasons for which to hate Putin and everything Russian, but I believe that there is one reason which trumps them all: the western leaders sincerely believed that they had defeated the USSR in the Cold War (even medals were made to commemorate this event) and following the collapse of the former superpower and the coming to power of a clueless, alcoholic puppet, the triumph of the West was total. At least in appearance. The reality, as always, was much more complicated.

The causes and mechanisms of the collapse of the Soviet Union are not our topic today, so I will just indicate that I believe that the USSR never "collapsed" but that it was deliberately destroyed by the CPSU apparatus which decided to break up the country in order for the Party and Nomenklatura to remain in power, not at the helm of the USSR, but at the helm of the various ex-Soviet republics. Weak leaders and ideologies which nobody really believes in do not inspire people to fight for their rulers. This is why the Russian monarchy collapsed, this is why the masonic democracy of Kerenskii collapsed and this is why the Soviet Union collapsed (this is also one of the most likely reasons for the final collapse of the US as a state).

Putin, who was not very well known in the West or, for that matter, in Russia, came to power and immediately reversed Russia's course towards the abyss. First, he dealt with the two most urgent threats, the oligarchs and the Wahabi insurrection in the Caucasus. Many Russians, including myself, were absolutely amazed at the speed and determination of his actions. As a result, Putin suddenly found himself one of the most popular leaders in Russian history. Initially, the West went into a kind of shock, then through a process reminiscent of the so-called " Kübler-Ross model " and, finally, the West settled into a russophobic frenzy not seen since the Nazi regime in Germany during WWII.

To understand why Putin is the Devil incarnate, we have to understand that the leaders of the collective West really thought that this time around, after a millennium of failures and embarrassing defeats , the West has finally "defeated" Russia which would now become a leaderless, culture-less, spiritual-less and, of course, history-less territory whose sole purpose would be to provide resources for the "Triumphant West". Not only that, but the AngloZionist leaders of the Empire executed the 9/11 false flag operation which gave them the pretext needed for the GWOT, but which completely distracted the West from its previous focus on the so-called "Russian threat" simply because by 2001 there was no Russian threat. So there was a certain logic behind these moves. And then, "suddenly" (at least for western leaders) Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia . Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria .

In this sequence, Russia committed two very different types of "crimes" (from the AngloZionist point of view, of course):

The minor crime of doing what Russia actually did and The much bigger crime of never asking the Empire for the permission to do so

The West likes to treat the rest of the planet like some kind of junior partner, with very limited autonomy and almost no real agency (the best example is what the USA did to countries like Poland or Bulgaria). If and when any such "junior" country wants to do something in its foreign policy, it absolutely has to ask for permission from its AngloZionist Big Brother. Not doing so is something akin to sedition and revolt. In the past, many countries were "punished" for daring to have an opinion or, even more so, for daring to act on it.

It would not be inaccurate to summarize it all by saying that Putin flipped his finger to the Empire and its leaders. That "crime of crimes" was what really triggered the current anti-Russian hysteria. Soon, however, the (mostly clueless) leaders of the Empire ran into an extremely frustrating problem: while the russophobic hysteria did get a lot of traction in the West, in Russia it created a very powerful blowback because of a typical Putin "judo" move: far from trying to suppress the anti-Russian propaganda of the West, the Kremlin used its power to make it widely available (in Russian!) through the Russian media (I wrote about this in some detail here and here ). The direct result of this was two fold: first, the CIA/MI6 run "opposition" began to be strongly associated with the russophobic enemies of Russia and, second, the Russian general public further rallied around Putin and his unyielding stance. In other words, calling Putin a dictator and, of course, a "new Hitler", the western PSYOPs gained some limited advantage in the western public opinion, but totally shot itself in the leg with the Russian public.

I refer to this stage as the " phase one anti-Putin strategic PSYOP ". As for the outcome of this PSYOP, I would not only say that it almost completely failed, but I think that it had the exact opposite intended effect inside Russia.

A change of course was urgently needed.

The redirection of US PSYOPs against Putin and Russia

I have to admit that I have a very low opinion of the US intelligence community, including its analysts. But even the rather dull US "Russia area specialist" eventually figured out that telling the Russian public opinion that Putin was a "dictator" or a "killer of dissidents" or a "chemical poisoner of exiles" resulted in a typically Russian mix of laughter and support for the Kremlin. Something had to be done.

So some smart ass somewhere in some basement came up with the following idea: it makes no sense to accuse Putin of things which make him popular at home, so let's come up with a new list of accusations carefully tailored to the Russian public.

Let's call this a " phase two anti-Putin PSYOP operation ".

And this is how the "Putin is in cahoots with" thing began. Specifically, these accusations were deployed by the US PSYOPs and those in its pay:

Putin is disarming Syria Putin will sell out the Donbass Putin is a puppet of Israel and, specifically, Netanyahu Putin is a corrupt traitor to the Russian national interests Putin is allowing Israel to bomb Syria (see here ) Putin is selling the Siberian riches to China and/or Putin is subjugating Russia to China Putin is corrupt, weak and even cowardly Putin was defeated by Erdogan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war

The above are the main talking points immediately endorsed and executed by the US strategic PSYOPs against Russia.

Was it effective?

Yes, to some degree. For one thing, these "anti-Russian PSYOPS reloaded" were immediately picked up by at least part of what one could call the "internal patriotic opposition" (much of it very sincerely and without any awareness of being skillfully manipulated). Even more toxic was the emergence of a rather loud neo-Communist (or, as Ruslan Ostashko often calls them "emo-Marxist") movement (I personally refer to as a sixth column ) which began an internal anti-Kremlin propaganda campaign centered on the following themes:

"All is lost" ( всепропальщики ): that is thesis which says that nothing in Russia is right, everything is either wrong or evil, the country is collapsing, so is its economy, its science, its military, etc. etc. etc. This is just a garden variety of defeatism, nothing more. "Nothing was achieved since Putin came to power": this is a weird one, since it takes an absolutely spectacular amount of mental gymnastics to not see that Putin literally saved Russia from total destruction. This stance also completely fails to explain why Putin is so hated by the Empire (if Putin did everything wrong, like, say Eltsin did, he would be adored in the West, not hated!). All the elections in Russia were stolen. Here the 5th (CIA/MI6 run) column and 6th column have to agree: according to both of them, there is absolutely no way most Russians supported Putin for so many years and there is no way they support him now. And nevermind the fact that the vast majority of polls show that Putin was, and still is, the most popular political figure in Russia.

Finally, the big SNAFU with the pension reform definitely did not help Putin's ratings, so he had to take action: he "softened" some of the worst provisions of this reform and, eventually, he successfully sidelined some of the worst Atlantic Integrationists, including Medvedev himself.

Sadly, some putatively pro-Russian websites, blogs and individuals showed their true face when they jumped on the bandwagon of this 2nd strategic PSYOP campaign, probably with the hope to either become more noticed, or get some funding, or both. Hence, all the nonsense about Russia and Israel working together or Putin "selling out" we have seen so many times recently. The worst thing here is that these websites, blogs and individuals have seriously misled and distressed some of the best real friends of Russia in the West.

None of these guys ever address a very simple question: if Putin is such a sellout, and if all is lost, why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much? In almost 1000 years of warfare (spiritual, cultural, political, economic and military) against Russia, the leaders of the West have always hated real Russian patriots and they have always loved the (alas, many) traitors to Russia. And now, they hate Putin because he is such a terrible leader?

This makes absolutely no sense.

Conclusion: is a war inevitable now?

The US/NATO don't engage in strategic PYSOPs just because they like or dislike somebody. The main purpose of such PSYOPs is to break the other side's will to resist . This was also the main objective of both (phase one and phase two) anti-Putin PSYOPs. I am happy to report that both phases of these PYSOPs failed. The danger here is that these failures have failed to convince the leaders of the Empire of the need to urgently change course and accept the "Russian reality", even if they don't like it.

Ever since "Biden" (the "collective Biden", of course, not the potted plant) Administration (illegally) seized power, what we saw was a sharp escalation of anti-Russian statements. Hence, the latest " uhu, he is a killer " -- this was no mistake by a senile mind, this was a carefully prepared declaration. Even worse, the Empire has not limited itself to just words, it also did some important "body moves" to signal its determination to seek even further confrontation with Russia:

There has been a lot of sabre-rattling coming from the West, mostly some rather ill-advsied (or even outright stupid) military maneuvers near/along the Russian border. As I have explained it a billion times, these maneuvers are self-defeating from a military point of view (the closer to the Russian border, the more dangerous for the western military force). Politically, however, they are extremely provocative and, therefore, dangerous. The vast majority of Russian analysts do not believe that the US/NATO will openly attack Russia, if only because that would be suicidal (the current military balance in Europe is strongly in Russia's favor, even without using hypersonic weapons). What many of them now fear is that "Biden" will unleash the Ukronazi forces against the Donbass, thereby "punishing" both the Ukraine and Russia (the former for its role in the US presidential campaign). I tend to agree with both of these statements.

At the end of the day, the AngloZionist Empire was always racist at its core, and that empire is still racist : for its leaders, the Ukrainian people are just cannon fodder, an irrelevant third rate nation with no agency which has outlived its utility (US analysts do understand that the US plan for the Ukraine has ended in yet another spectacular faceplant such delusional plans always end up with, even if they don't say so publicly). So why not launch these people into a suicidal war against not only the LDNR but also Russia herself? Sure, Russia will quickly and decisively win the military war, but politically it will be a PR disaster for Russia as the "democratic West" will always blame Russia, even when she clearly did not attack first (as was the case in 08.08.08, most recently).

I have already written about the absolutely disastrous situation of the Ukraine three weeks ago so I won't repeat it all here, I will just say that since that day things have gotten even much worse: suffice to say that the Ukraine has moved a lot of heavy armor to the line of contact while the regime in Kiev has now banned the import of Russian toilet paper (which tells you what the ruling gang thinks of as important and much needed measures). While it is true that the Ukraine has become a totally failed state since the Neo-Nazi coup, there is now a clear acceleration of the collapse of not only the regime or state, but of the country as a whole. Ukraine is falling apart so fast that one could start an entire website tracking only all this developing horror, not day by day, but, hour by hour. Suffice to say that "Ze" has turned out to be even worse than Poroshenko. The only thing Poroshenko did which "Ze" has not (yet!) is to start a war. Other than that, the rest of what he did (by action or inaction) can only be qualified as "more of the same, only worse".

Can a war be prevented?

I don't know. Putin gave the Ukronazis a very stern warning (" grave consequences for Ukraine's statehood as such "). I don't believe for one second that anybody in power in Kiev gives a damn about the Ukraine or the Ukrainian statehood, but they are smart enough to realize that a Russian counter-attack in defense of the LDNR and, even more so, Crimea, might include precision "counter-leadership" strikes with advanced missiles. The Ukronazi leaders would be well-advised to realize that they all have a crosshair painted on their heads. They might also think about this: what happened to every single Wahabi gang leader in Chechnya since the end of the 2nd Chechen war? (hint: they were all found and executed). Will that be enough to stop them?

Maybe. Let's hope so.

But we must now keep in mind that for the foreseeable future there are only two options left for the Ukraine: " a horrible ending or a horror without end " (Russian expression).

The best scenario for the people of the Ukraine would be a (hopefully relatively peaceful) breakup of the country into manageable parts . The worst option would definitely be a full-scale war against Russia.

Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Kiev these days, most Ukrainian politicians are firmly behind option #2, especially since that is also the only option acceptable to their overseas masters. The Ukrainians have also adopted a new military doctrine (they call it a "military security strategy of Ukraine") which declares Russia the aggressor state and military adversary of the Ukraine (see here for a machine translation of the official text).

This might be the reason why Merkel and Macron recently had a videoconference with Putin ("Ze" was not invited): Putin might be trying to convince Merkel and Macron that such a war would be a disaster for Europe. In the meantime, Russia is rapidly reinforcing her forces along the Ukrainian border, including in Crimea.

But all these measures can only deter a regime which has no agency. The outcome shall be decided in Washington DC, not Kiev. I am afraid that the traditional sense of total impunity of US political leaders will, once again, give them a sense of very little risk (for them personally or for the USA) in triggering a war in the Ukraine. The latest news on the US-Ukrainian front is the delivery by the USN of 350 tonnes of military equipment in Odessa. Not enough to be militarily significant, but more than enough to further egg on the regime in Kiev to an attack on the Donbass and/or Crimea.

In fact, I would not even put it past "Biden" to launch an attack on Iran while the world watches the Ukraine and Russia go to war. After all, the other country whose geostrategic position has been severely degraded since Russia moved her forces to Syria is Israel, the one country which all US politicians will serve faithfully and irrespective of any costs (including human costs for the USA). The Israelis have been demanding a war on Iran since at least 2007, and it would be very naive to hope that they won't eventually get their way. Last, but not least, there is the crisis which Blinken's condescending chutzpah triggered with China which, so far, has resulted in an economic war only, but which might also escalate at any moment, especially considering all the many recent anti-Chinese provocations by the US Navy.

Right now the weather in the eastern Ukraine is not conducive to offensive military operations. The snow is still melting, creating very difficult and muddy road conditions (called " rasputitsa " in Russian) which greatly inhibit the movement of forces and troops. These conditions will, however, change with the warmer season coming, at which point the Ukronazi forces will be ideally poised for an attack.

In other words, barring some major development, we might be only weeks away from a major war.


macilrae , says: April 1, 2021 at 12:29 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

We must not forget President Putin's outrageous opinion piece in the New York Times of September 11th 2013: delivered at the same time as he had the impertinence to propose the voluntary relinquishment of all chemical weapons by Syria -- thwarting the traditional wholesale bombing campaign that the "Allies" were working up to. This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.

This behaviour by Mr. Putin has never been forgotten or forgiven and it will be quite a while before the New York Times prints another oped by him.

Biff , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:04 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia. Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria.

Don't forget what Russia did the Georgia's American trained and supplied military in 2009.

Mulegino1 , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:37 am GMT • 2.7 days ago
@macilrae

This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.

Excellent observation.

To deal with contemporary western elites is, to a great extent, to deal with Satan himself. The devil- and presumably, his minions- does not mind confrontation or opposition anywhere as much as he hates being the object of derision.

"The devil the prowde spirite cannot endure to be mocked." -- St. Thomas More

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website April 1, 2021 at 2:48 am GMT • 2.7 days ago

"why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much?"

I have an explanation, but that would tend to get me labelled a "sixth columnist".

It is obvious to anyone who does not believe that Putin is the Saviour Of Russia, but just a neoliberal politician who is moderately better than Yeltsin, and whose real alternatives, not Quislings like Navalny but real alternatives, are all far more nationalist and not beholden to international capital than he is. Since the 90s are now over, and the attempt to destroy Russia has failed, how does one ensure that the country does not become even stronger and, crucially, more assertive?

One possible answer is interesting: keep demonising the man in power, *even though you know that demonising him hardens support behind him*. Especially since it hardens support behind him. As long as you keep attacking him, the Russian people support him more, making it less likely for someone who would be more nationalist and less neoliberal to take charge.

Simple enough.

Greg S. , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:22 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

I've come to think that the whole "Putin the Devil" thing is pushed so hard by the corporate-communist-left (aside: I do struggle these days with what to call them) mostly as a distraction. "Hey! Look over there! A BAD MAN!" (and pay no mind to what I'm doing over here, flooding the country with replacements, thrashing the constitution, coming up with vaccine passports and enabling a totalitarian technocracy).

In fact, it's a necessary hallmark of ALL totalitarian leftist regimes to have a huge "outside enemy" who threatens the very existence of the state and is used to distract from domestic troubles. Try to find a single totalitarian state without one.

So the U.S. has everything to gain and little to lose (Biden gov thinks anyways) by goading Ukraine into "taking back Crimea." The U.S. is committed to fight that war down the very last Ukrainian.

anon [965] Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:43 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

Slightly old news from 10 days ago.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/03/20/ukra-m20.html

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced this week that the country's National Security and Defense Council had approved a strategy that is aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula.

What could possibly go wrong?

SafeNow , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:47 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

Christopher Caldwell delivered what I thought was a good assessment of Putin in 2017, and this excellent piece by The Saker complements and updates it for me. I think Putin is even more reviled than ever by the U.S. Dems, because Putin = a national-sovereignty proponent = Trump.

I play online chess -- speedy games, and so I have a lot of experience with players from Russia and Ukraine. They tend to favor what chess players call "quiet moves." Is this a manner of thought, a philosophy, that can be extrapolated to government? (U.S. players, by contrast, tend to be more impetuous and impulsive in their chess style.)

The Caldwell essay:

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/how-to-think-about-vladimir-putin/

[Apr 02, 2021] To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

ptb , Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

@59 etc

To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.


librul , Apr 2 2021 17:44 utc | 65

@Posted by: ptb | Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

"To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone"

Did you consider the article linked to @59?

Michael Hudson quote from the article, for your consideration.
(take it or leave it)


The Americans want war. The people that Biden has appointed have an emotional hatred of Russia. I've spoken to government people who are close to the Democratic Party, and they've told me that there's a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from the fact that the Tzars were anti-Semitic and there's still the hatred about their ancestors: "Look what they did to my great-grandfather." And so they're willing to back the Nazis, back the anti-Semites in Ukraine. They're willing to back today's anti-Semites all over the world as long as they're getting back at this emotional focus on a kind of post 19th-century economy.
chu teh , Apr 2 2021 18:09 utc | 68

oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

"...And this is because Zbig [Brezinski] is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all."

Brezinski's keyboard was hacked before age 3; its output foreordained by unknown sources he mis-owned as "self". A well-oiled robot producing brilliant compositions of high-quality, effective communication promoting madness and contagious ruin of non-aristos.

AriusArmenian , Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 71

Ghost Ship: That same Nazi scum that the OSS/CIA brought into the US after WW2 was also involved in the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and probably Malcolm X.

In the last several years the CIA and other intel agencies have cemented their control of the US that is now a fascist rogue state that is marching the American people into a war with peer powers. As usual the American people will believe US elites telling them the war is started by a foreign power. Americans around me are blind as bats. And they think I'm dumb for not taking experimental mRNA vaccines.

Rob , Apr 2 2021 18:17 utc | 72

@ptb (63) "...they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them."

Correct, there will be no personal physical cost to them, as in getting maimed or killed in a war. But on the other side of the ledger, the profits that flow to the MIC are massive, and many, if not most of the neocons are in some way connected to it, either by consultancy, think-tank positions, corporate board positions, TV sinecures, etc. In other words, they are cashing in big-time on their political views and policy recommendations.

[Apr 02, 2021] The profits that flow to the MIC are massive, and many, if not most of the neocons are in some way connected to it, either by consultancy, think-tank positions, corporate board positions, TV sinecures, etc.

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rob , Apr 2 2021 18:17 utc | 72

@ptb (63) "...they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them."

Correct, there will be no personal physical cost to them, as in getting maimed or killed in a war. But on the other side of the ledger, the profits that flow to the MIC are massive, and many, if not most of the neocons are in some way connected to it, either by consultancy, think-tank positions, corporate board positions, TV sinecures, etc. In other words, they are cashing in big-time on their political views and policy recommendations.

[Apr 02, 2021] The Pending Collapse Of The -Rules-Based International Order- Is An Existential Threat To The US - ZeroHedge

Apr 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Scott Ritter via GlobalResearch.ca,

For decades, America styled itself the 'indispensable nation' that led the world & it's now seeking to sustain that role by emphasizing a new Cold War-style battle against 'authoritarianism'. But it's a dangerous fantasy.

It seems a week cannot go by without US Secretary of State Antony Blinken bringing up the specter of the 'rules-based international order' as an excuse for meddling in the affairs of another state or region.

The most recent crisis revolves around allegations that China has dispatched a fleet of more than 200 ships, part of a so-called 'maritime militia', into waters of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines. China says that these vessels are simply fishing boats seeking shelter from a storm. The Philippines has responded by dispatching military ships and aircraft to investigate. Enter Antony Blinken, stage right:

"The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of the PRC's maritime militia amassing at Whitsun Reef," Blinken tweeted . "We will always stand by our allies and stand up for the rules-based international order."

Blinken's message came a mere 18 hours after he tweeted about his meeting in Brussels with NATO.

"Our alliances were created to defend shared values," he wrote . "Renewing our commitment requires reaffirming those values and the foundation of international relations we vow to protect: a free and open rules-based order."

Our rules, our order

What this actually means, of course, is that the order is rules-based so long as it is the nation called America that sets these rules and is accepted as the world's undisputed leader.

Blinken's fervent embrace of the 'rules-based international order' puts action behind the words set forth in the recently published 'Interim National Security Strategy Guidance', a White House document which outlines President Joe Biden' s vision "for how America will engage with the world."

While the specific term 'rules-based international order' does not appear in the body of the document, the precepts it represents are spelled out in considerable detail, and conform with the five pillars of the "liberal international order" as set forth by the noted international relations scholars, Daniel Duedney and G. John Ikenberry , in their ground-breaking essay , 'The nature and sources of liberal international order', published by the Review of International Studies in 1999.

The origins of this "liberal international order" can be traced back to the end of the Second World War and the onset of a Cold War between Western liberal democracies, helmed by the United States, and the communist bloc nations, led by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The purpose of this order was simple – to maintain a balance of power between the US-led liberal democracies and their communist adversaries, and to maintain and sustain US hegemony over its liberal democratic allies. This was accomplished through five basic policy 'pillars': Security co-binding; the embrace of US hegemony; self-limitation on the part of US allies; the politicization of global economic institutions for the gain of liberal democracies; and Western "civil identity."

All five are emphasized in Biden's interim guidance, in which the president openly advocates for "a stable and open international system." It notes that "the alliances, institutions, agreements, and norms underwriting the international order the United States helped to establish are being tested."

The faltering empire's flaws and inequities

Biden also observed that the restoration of this international order "rests on a core strategic proposition: The United States must renew its enduring advantages so that we can meet today's challenges from a position of strength. We will build back better our economic foundations; reclaim our place in international institutions; lift up our values at home and speak out to defend them around the world; modernize our military capabilities, while leading first with diplomacy; and revitalize America's unmatched network of alliances and partnerships."

All five of Duedney's and Ikenberry's policy 'pillars' can be found embedded in these – and other – statements contained in the guidance.

There is a defensive tone to Biden's guidance, which notes that "rapid change and mounting crisis" have exposed "flaws and inequities" in the US-dominated international system which "have caused many around the world – including many Americans – to question its continued relevance."

Here Biden runs into the fundamental problem of trying to justify and sustain a model of economic-based global hegemony which was founded at a time when the existence of a Western liberal democratic "order" could be justified as a counter to the Soviet-led communist bloc. The Cold War ended in 1990. The 'international rules-based order' that was created at the behest of the US to prevail in this conflict continued, however. It seems that the US wasn't simply satisfied with preventing the spread of communism; its raison d'être instead transitioned from being the leader of an alliance of liberal democracies, to being the global hegemon, using the very system devised to confront communism to instead install and sustain the US as the undisputed dominant power in the world.

This trend began in the immediate aftermath of the end of the Cold War, where the US had the opportunity to pass the baton of global leadership to the United Nations, an act that would have given legitimacy to the notion of an 'international order'.

This, however, proved a bridge too far for the neo-liberal tendencies of the administration of President Bill Clinton, who continued the Cold War-era practice of using the UN as a vehicle to promote US policy prerogatives at the expense of the international 'order'. Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright helped coin the term "indispensable nation" when defining America's post-Cold War role in the world (it is notable that Blinken recently praised Albright in a tweet , noting that "her tenacity & effectiveness left the US stronger & more respected globally," and adding "she's a role model for me & so many of our diplomats." )

The arrogance and hubris contained in any notion of a single nation being "indispensable" to the global order is mind-boggling and is reflective of a disconnect with both reality and history on the part of those embracing it.

The myth of indispensability

The unsustainability of the premise of American 'indispensability' was demonstrated by both the events of September 11, 2001, and the inability of the US to deal with its aftermath. Had the US embraced and acted on President George H. W. Bush's notion of a "new world order" in the aftermath of the Cold War, it would have found itself as a vital world leader working in concert with a global community of nations to confront the scourge of Islamic fundamentalist-based terrorism. But this was not to be.

Instead, the 'indispensable nation' was exposed as a fraud, with many in the world recognizing the US not as a power worthy of emulation, but rather as the source of global angst. This rejection of America's self-anointed role as global savior extended to many Americans too, who were tired of the costs associated with serving as the world's police force.

Indeed, this exhaustion with global intervention, and the costs accrued, helped create the foundation of electoral support for Donald Trump's rejection of the "rules-based international order" in favor of a more distinct "America first" approach to global governance. What gave Trump's policy so much "punch" was the fact that not only did many American citizens reject the "rules-based international order," but so did much of the rest of the world.

Repairing the damage done by four years of Trump has become the number one priority of the Biden administration. To do this, both Biden and Blinken recognize that they simply cannot return to the policy formulations that existed before Trump took office; that ship has sailed, and trying to sell the American people and the rest of the world on what many viewed as a failed policy construct (i.e., unilateral, uncontested American hegemony) was seen as an impossible task.

Instead, the Biden administration is seeking to reinvent the original premise of the 'rules-based international order' by substituting Russian and Chinese 'authoritarianism' in place of Soviet-led communism as a threat which liberal democracies around the world willingly and enthusiastically rally around the US to confront.

"Authoritarianism is on the global march," Biden's guidance observed, "and we must join with like minded allies and partners to revitalize democracy the world over. We will work alongside fellow democracies across the globe to deter and defend against aggression from hostile adversaries. We will stand with our allies and partners to combat new threats aimed at our democracies" and which "undermine the rules and values at the heart of an open and stable international system."

Biden concluded his essay in dramatic fashion. "This moment is an inflection point," he noted. "We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future direction of our world. No nation is better positioned to navigate this future than America. Doing so requires us to embrace and reclaim our enduring advantages, and to approach the world from a position of confidence and strength. If we do this, working with our democratic partners, we will meet every challenge and outpace every challenger. Together, we can and will build back better."

No longer the world's undisputed No.1

While postulated as a statement of American strength, Biden's concluding remarks actually project not only the inherent insecurity of the US today, but also its root causes. The fact that the US needs to "reclaim our enduring advantages" implies that we lost them, and illustrates that these so-called advantages are not nearly as enduring as Biden would like to think. "Building back better" is an admission of weakness, a recognition that the notion of an 'indispensable nation' is an artificial construct; most nations no longer accept America as the world leader.

The reality is that the US is one of the most powerful nations in the world. That position, however, is no longer uncontested; China has emerged as the equal of the US in many metrics used to measure global power and influence, and superior in some. Moreover, China operates effectively in a multi-polar global reality, recognizing that the era of the American singularity is over. Russia, India, Brazil, and the European collective all represent polar realities whose existence and influence exists independent of the US.

The US, however, cannot function in such a world. While there is a growing recognition among American politicians that the post-Cold War notion of the US being the sole-remaining superpower has run its course, the only alternative these politicians can offer is the attempt to return to a bi-polar world which has the US at the head of its liberal democratic 'partners', facing off against the forces of 'authoritarianism'. This vision, however, is unrealistic, if for no other reason that the world no longer views Western liberal democracy as 'good', and authoritarianism as 'evil'.

This reality is evident to much of the rest of the world. Why, then, would US policy makers embrace a formulation doomed to fail? The answer is simple – the US, as it exists today, needs the 'rules-based international order' to remain relevant. Relevant, as used here, means globally dominant.

US politicians who operate on the national level cannot get elected on platforms that reject the 'indispensable' role of the country, even if many Americans and most of the world have. US economic dominance is in large part sustained by the very systems that underpin the 'rules-based international order' – the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. US geopolitical relevance is sustained by Cold War-era military alliances.

An unviable, unsustainable future

An American retreat from being the 'indispensable' power, and a corresponding embrace of a leadership role based upon a more collegial notion of shared authorities, would not mean the physical demise of the US – the nation would continue to exist as a sovereign entity. But it would mean an end to the psychological reality of America as we know it today – a quasi-imperial power whose relevance is founded on compelled global hegemony. This model is no longer viable. The fact that the Biden administration has chosen to define its administration through an ardent embrace of this failed system is proof positive that the survival of post-Cold War American is existentially connected to its ability to function as the world's 'indispensable nation'.

American exceptionalism is a narcotic that fuels the country's domestic politics more than global geo-political reality. The 'rules-based international order' that underpins this fantasy is unsustainable in the modern era and makes the collapse of the "exceptional" United States inevitable.

Watching the Biden administration throw its weight behind a US-dominated 'rules-based international order' is like watching the Titanic set sail; it is big, bold, and beautiful, and its fate pre-ordained.

lay_arrow

2banana 37 minutes ago remove link

We are just about to see how that is going to work out in the Ukraine.

It seems a week cannot go by without US Secretary of State Antony Blinken bringing up the specter of the 'rules-based international order' as an excuse for meddling in the affairs of another state or region.

TimeHasCome 29 minutes ago

I live near a huge military base and every night since the inauguration of Dementia Joe there has been cannon fire and mortar fire every night . This nut is going to get us in a war.

TimeHasCome 29 minutes ago

I live near a huge military base and every night since the inauguration of Dementia Joe there has been cannon fire and mortar fire every night . This nut is going to get us in a war.

kanoli 31 minutes ago

The rules-based international order requires US approval or national approval to put troops on the ground in another country. The US troops in Syria are there illegally, Mr. Blinken. Is the rules-based international order only for the other countries?

TBT or not TBT 14 minutes ago

"Syria" is a place on a map, but demonstrably is no longer a sovereign country able to manage its own territory. Dozens of factions and foreign powers operate in its former territory.

Apollo Capricornus Maximus 10 minutes ago

rules based international order = laser guided joint direct attack munitions

End Times Prophecy 25 minutes ago

The international criminals against humanity, WMD using, international mass murderer, repeated international declarations of war , international terrorists, permanently Oath of Office breaching and violating subversive, seditious, traitors and more are blathering about being a part of a rules-based international order?

Clearly these maniacs are an exceptionally extreme danger to themselves and the entire World and more.

Chain Man 3 minutes ago (Edited)

The US should have a law (lol) that no politicians can make any money other than his regular pay when coming into office plus his pay from their elected position (on going tabs on income while in Office.). Don't like it don't run !

The problem with being a leader is you have to get involved in the Nations problem most of the time, then the USA gets charged with being the problem. Leave um the hell alone if they screw with us blow um away. End the Foreign Aid and we will end their smart *** crap.

Just work with the foreign Nations we can screw these drawn out treaties

[Apr 02, 2021] Mearsheimer is an interesting cat. His whole conception of international relations seems to be that it is necessarily zero-sum, and that the general model is that of US regional hegemony, as in the Monroe Doctrine in the 19th century and the frankly neocolonial relationship that exists today

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

ptb , Apr 2 2021 21:40 utc | 104

@86 Re: John Mearsheimer

Mearsheimer is an interesting cat. His whole conception of international relations seems to be that it is necessarily zero-sum, and that the general model is that of US regional hegemony, as in the Monroe Doctrine in the 19th century and the frankly neocolonial relationship that exists today. (and he makes no attempt to dress it up as anything other than the brute power relations). His thesis is that there must be a conflict, and that the US will successfully get all of China's neighbors to join the US in opposing the rise of China. Importantly, if you go back to look at talks he gave and how they've evolved in the last 15 years, Mearsheimer included Russia in his "anti-China balancing coalition" list, up until 2013-2014. More recent talks have him leaning essentially on Japan, Australia, and India, with South Korea and ASEAN determined to avoid picking sides as Mearsheimer would have it, and most of central Asia, plus Iran and Pakistan, already on the Chinese side.

I also take issue with Mearsheimer's singular focus on the regional-hegemony model, although I think it does provide good insights into the thinking behind US policy. But in reality, there have been long stretches of history, European history in particular, where there was in fact a balance of power on the regional level, not to mention on the global level.

Besides that, with significant numbers of nuclear weapons, the historical analogies of the first half of the 20th century pretty much go out the window. No decisive war between superpowers is possible, except by accident, and in that case it will not be decisive in the way he means. It's all proxy conflict from the 1950s on. And when it comes to proxy conflict, the clear imperative for third parties, from the history of the last 70 years, is to avoid becoming a proxy battleground.

[Mar 31, 2021] Neocons and doublethink

Mar 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Mar 31 2021 22:08 utc | 30

@Michael Weddington | Mar 31 2021 21:40 utc | 28

They are true believers. Almost everyone in the US is.

I find this hard to believe. They believe they are exceptional and at the same time denounce "white supremacy"? That is some serious doublethink.

[Mar 30, 2021] Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of "al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
.
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
Prize.
.
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
.
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
.
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
dreams.
.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
.
hope
.
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
.
Thank you very much.
(Applause.)
.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
.
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/
.
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html
.
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236 ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236">https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr">https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr

Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

[Mar 28, 2021] The revolt of the public- Martin Gurri on a world without trust - Vox

Notable quotes:
"... The Revolt of the Public ..."
Mar 28, 2021 | www.vox.com

The elites have failed

We have lost faith in elites and public institutions. The problem is nothing has taken their place.

By Sean Illing @seanilling sean.illing@vox.com Updated Mar 27, 2021, 9:07am EDT Share this story
A Q sign and an American flag seen outside the US Capitol. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images
This story is part of a group of stories called Future Perfect

Finding the best ways to do good.

One of the greatest challenges facing democratic societies in the 21st century is the loss of faith in public institutions.

The internet has been a marvelous invention in lots of ways, but it has also unleashed a tsunami of misinformation and destabilized political systems across the globe. Martin Gurri, a former media analyst at the CIA and the author of the 2014 book The Revolt of the Public , was way ahead of the curve on this problem.

Gurri spent years surveying the global information landscape. Around the turn of the century, he noticed a trend: As the internet gave rise to an explosion of information, there was a concurrent spike in political instability. The reason, he surmised, was that governments lost their monopoly on information and with it their ability to control the public conversation.

One of the many consequences of this is what Gurri calls a "crisis of authority." As people were exposed to more information, their trust in major institutions -- like the government or newspapers -- began to collapse.

Gurri's book became something of a cult favorite among Silicon Valley types when it was released and its insights have only become more salient since. Indeed, I've been thinking more and more about his thesis in the aftermath of the 2020 election and the assault on the US Capitol on January 6. There are lots of reasons why the insurrection happened, but one of them is the reality that millions of Americans believed -- really believed -- that the presidential election was stolen, despite a complete lack of evidence. A Politico poll conducted shortly after the election found that 70 percent of Republicans thought the election was fraudulent.

That's what a "crisis of authority" looks like in the real world.

And it's crucial to distinguish this crisis from what's often called the "epistemic crisis" or the "post-truth" problem. If Gurri's right, the issue isn't just that truth suddenly became less important; it's that people stopped believing in the institutions charged with communicating the truth. To put it a little differently, the gatekeeping institutions lost their power to decide what passes as truth in the mind of the public.

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So where does that leave us?

I reached out to Gurri to explore the implications of his thesis. We talk about what it means for our society if millions of people reject every claim that comes from a mainstream institution, why a phenomenon like QAnon is fundamentally a "pose of rejection," and why he thinks we'll have to "reconfigure" our democratic institutions for the digital world we now inhabit.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

Sean Illing

Have elites -- politicians, corporate actors, media and cultural elites -- lost control of the world?

Martin Gurri

Yes and no. It's a wishy-washy answer, but it's a reality.

They would have completely lost control of the world if the public in revolt had a clear program or an organization or leadership. If they were more like the Bolsheviks and less like QAnon, they'd take over the Capitol building. They'd start passing laws. They would topple the regime.

But what we have is this collision between a public that is in repudiation mode and these elites who have lost control to the degree that they can't hoist these utopian promises upon us anymore because no one believes it, but they're still acting like zombie elites in zombie institutions. They still have power. They can still take us to war. They can still throw the police out there, and the police could shoot us, but they have no authority or legitimacy. They're stumbling around like zombies.

Sean Illing

You like to say that governments have lost the ability to dictate the stories a society tells about itself, mostly because the media environment is too fragmented. Why is that so significant?

Martin Gurri

When you analyze the institutions that we have inherited from the 20th century, you find that they are very top-down, like pyramids. And the legitimacy of that model absolutely depends on having a semi-monopoly over information in every domain, which they had in the 20th century. There was no internet and there was a fairly limited number of information sources for the public. So our ruling institutions had authority because they had a very valuable commodity: information.

So I was an analyst at the CIA looking around the world at open information, at the global media. And I can tell you, it was like a trickle compared to today. If a president, here or somewhere else, was giving a speech, the coverage of it was confined to major outlets or television stations. But when the tsunami of information hit around the turn of the century, the legitimacy of that model instantly went into crisis because you now had the opposite effect. You had an overabundance of information, and that created a lot of confusion and anarchy.

Sean Illing

I'm curious how you weigh the significance of material factors in this story. It's not just that there's more information, we've also seen a litany of failures in the 21st century -- from Hurricane Katrina to the forever wars to the financial crisis and on and on. Basically, a decade of institutions failing and misleading citizens, in addition to the deepening inequality, the deaths of despair, the fact that this generation of Americans is doing materially worse than previous ones.

How big a role has this backdrop of failures played in the collapse of trust?

Martin Gurri

I would say that what matters is less the material factors you mention than the public's perception of these factors. Empirically, under nearly every measure, we are better off today than in the 20th century, yet the public is much angrier and more distrustful of government institutions and the elites who manage them. That difference in perception arises directly from the radical changes in the information landscape between the last century and our own.

me title=

With few exceptions, most market democracies have recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. But the public has not recovered from the shock of watching supposed experts and politicians, the people who posed as the wise pilots of our prosperity, sound and act totally clueless while the economy burned. In the past, when the elites controlled the flow of information, the financial collapse might have been portrayed as a sort of natural disaster, a tragedy we should unify around our leadership to overcome. By 2008, that was already impossible. The networked public perceived the crisis (rightly, I think) as a failure of government and of the expert elites.

It should be a truism that material conditions matter much less than expectations. That was true during the Great Depression and it's true today. The rhetoric of the rant on the web feeds off extreme expectations -- any imperfection in the economy will be treated as a crisis and a true crisis will be seen as the Apocalypse.

Take the example of Chile. For 40 years, it had high economic growth, rising into the ranks of the wealthiest nations. During this time, Chile enjoyed a healthy democracy, in which political parties of left and right alternated in office. Everyone benefited. Yet in 2019, with many deaths and much material destruction, the Chilean public took to the streets in revolt against the established order. Its material expectations had been deeply frustrated, despite the country's economic and political successes.

Sean Illing

Just to be clear, when you talk about this "tsunami" of information in the digital age, you're not talking about more truth, right?

Martin Gurri

As Nassim Taleb pointed out, when you have a gigantic explosion of information, what's exploding is noise, not signal, so there's that.

As for truth, that's a tricky subject, because a lot of elites believe, and a lot of people believe, that truth is some kind of Platonic form. We can't see it, but we know it's there. And often we know it because the science says so.

But that's not really how truth works. Truth is essentially an act of trust, an act of faith in some authority that is telling you something that you could not possibly come to realize yourself. What's a quark ? You believe that there are quarks in the universe, probably because you've been told by people who probably know what they're talking about that there are quarks. You believe the physicists. But you've never seen a quark. I've never seen a quark. We accept this as truth because we've accepted the authority of the people who told us it's true.

Sean Illing

I'm starting to hate the phrase "post-truth" because it implies there was some period in which we lived in truth or in which truth was predominant. But that's misleading. The difference is that elite gatekeeping institutions can't place borders on the public conversation and that means they've lost the ability to determine what passes as truth, so now we're in the Wild West.

Martin Gurri

That's a very good way to put it. I would say, though, that there was a shining moment when we all had truth. They are correct about that. If truth is really a function of authority, and if in the 20th century these institutions really had authority, then we did have something like truth. But if we had the information back then that we have today, if we had all the noise that we have today, nothing would've seemed quite as true because we would've lacked faith in the institutions that tried to tell us.

Sean Illing

What does it mean for our society if an "official narrative" isn't possible? Because that's where we're at, right? Millions of people will never believe any story or account that comes from the government or a mainstream institution.

Martin Gurri

As long as our institutions remain as they are, nothing much will change. What that means is more of the same -- more instability, more turbulence, more conspiracy theories, more distrust of authorities. But there's no iron law of history that says we have to keep these institutions the way they are. Many of our institutions were built around the turn of the 20th century. They weren't that egalitarian or democratic. They were like great, big pyramids.

me title=

But we can take our constitutional framework and reconfigure it. We've done it once already, and we could do it again with the digital realm in mind, understanding the distance we once had between those in power and ordinary citizens is gone forever. It's just gone. So we need people in power who are comfortable in proximity to the public, which many of our elites are not.

Sean Illing

I do want to at least point to an apparent paradox here. As you've said, because of the internet, there are now more voices and more perspectives than ever before, and yet at the same time there's a massive "herding effect," as a result of which we have more people talking about fewer subjects. And that partly explains how you get millions of people converging on something like QAnon.

Martin Gurri

Yeah, and that's very mysterious to me. I would not have expected that outcome. I thought we were headed to ever more dispersed information islands and that that would create a fragmentation in individual beliefs. But instead, I've noticed a trend toward conformism and a crystallizing of very few topics. Some of this is just an unwillingness to say certain things because you know if you said them, the internet was going to come after you.

But I think Trump had a lot to do with it. The amount of attention he got was absolutely unprecedented. Everything was about him. People were either against him or for him, but he was always the subject. Then came the pandemic and he simply lost the capacity to absorb and manipulate attention. The pandemic just moved him completely off-kilter. He never recovered.

Sean Illing

But we're in a situation in which ideas, whether it's QAnon stuff or anything else, are getting more hollow and more viral at the same time -- and that seems really bad moving forward.

Martin Gurri

I'm not quite that pessimistic. You can find all kinds of wonderful stuff being written about practically every aspect of society today by people who are seeing things clearly and sanely. But yeah, they're surrounded by a mountain of viral crap. And yet we're in the early days of this transformation. We have no idea how this is going to play out.

There has always been a lot of viral crap going around, and there have always been people who believe crazy stuff, particularly crazy stuff that doesn't impact their immediate lives. Flat earthers still get on airplanes, right? If you're a flat earther, you're not a flat earther enough to not get in an airplane and disrupt your personal life. It's not really a belief, it's basically giving the finger to the establishment.

Sean Illing

It's a pose.

Martin Gurri

Yeah, it's a pose of rejection. QAnon is a pose of rejection. There are very many flavors of it, but what they have in common is they're saying all these ideas you have and all the facts you're cramming in my face -- it's all a prop for the powerful and I'm rejecting it.

Sean Illing

It's an important point because a lot of us treat QAnon like it's some kind of epistemological problem, but it's not really that at all. It's actually much more difficult than that. And even if we set aside QAnon, the fact that the vast majority of Republicans still believe the 2020 election was fraudulent speaks to the breadth of the problem.

Martin Gurri

Right, it's a problem of authority. When people don't trust those charged with conveying the truth, they won't accept it. And at some point, like I said, we'll have to reconfigure our democracy. Our politicians and institutions are going to have to adjust to the new world in which the public can't be walled off or controlled. Leaders can't stand at the top of pyramids anymore and talk down to people. The digital revolution flattened everything. We've got to accept that.

I really do have hope that this will happen. The boomers who grew up in the old world and can't move beyond it are going to die out, and younger people are going to take their place. That will raise other questions and challenges, of course, but there will be a changing of the guard and we should welcome it.


Millions of people rely on Future Perfect to understand the most effective ways to create a better world. We focus on what's important but not necessarily new -- things like the future of meat, artificial intelligence, morality, and threats to society, including pandemics. Financial contributions from our readers help support our journalism and enable our staff to continue to offer our articles, podcasts, and newsletters for free. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today from as little as $3 .

[Mar 28, 2021] The West is declining because the elite production system has failed. The worst type of mediocre grinders are pulling the levers of power. The plebes are revolting because immigration, taxes, inflation and the tenuous over-complication of society (fragility) has positioned a great deal of people in precarious positions.

Mar 28, 2021 | www.unz.com

alaska3636 , says: March 25, 2021 at 3:23 pm GMT • 3.0 days ago

This is a reductive argument.

The West is declining because the elite production system has failed. The worst type of mediocre grinders are pulling the levers of power. The plebes are revolting because immigration, taxes, inflation and the tenuous over-complication of society (fragility) has positioned a great deal of people in precarious positions. Might as well loot Target.

I don't agree with it. Violence is the inverse of the type of impulse control necessary for a functioning society.

But impulse control is gone from our overlords as well. So long noblesse oblige. The plebes loot Target while the gentry loots the treasury. Race blindness is a courtesy for civilized people. Ignore the social implications because the enemy has no race. They are global elites with no homes and no loyalty. They may not be sending their best but our worst are sending out the invitations.

We can't go on ignoring the class violence hollowing out the West. The elites today are actively trying to make everyone poorer. Not themselves, obviously. How is that going to induce cops out of the donut shops? The culture wars are making me a retarded Marxist. Marxist in the class conflict sense. Retarded in the spergy libertarian view that economics and politics are intertwined to create the type of society that, as Menken says, we deserve good and hard.

[Mar 28, 2021] Russia and China Are Sending Biden a Message- Don't Judge Us or Try to Change us. Those Days Are Over

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

It was the preamble to Putin's most important message in years to what he called the American "establishment, the ruling class". He said the US leadership is determined to have relations with Russia, but only "on its own terms".

Although they think that we are the same as they are, we are different people. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to defend our own interests.

And we will work with them, but in those areas in which we ourselves are interested, and on those conditions that we consider beneficial for ourselves. And they will have to reckon with it. They will have to reckon with this, despite all attempts to stop our development. Despite the sanctions, insults, they will have to reckon with this.

This is new for Putin. He has for years made the point, always politely, that Western powers need to deal with Russia on a basis of correct diplomatic protocols and mutual respect for national sovereignty, if they want to ease tensions.

But never before has he been as blunt as this, saying in effect: do not dare try to judge us or punish us for not meeting what you say are universal standards, because we are different from you. Those days are now over.


tegnost , March 27, 2021 at 11:16 am

Re Germany
I doubt the US has ever been ok with Nordstream II ..

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 3:16 pm

One domino falls on another which falls on another, etc. But one has to push the first domino over.

I hope the Germans build Nordstream II and then III and IV and as many as they like. It will prevent the US gas industry from selling any LNG to Europe. That will keep the price of NatGas in America nice and low. That will keep luring electro-grid power-makers away from coal. Hopefully it would finalistically and irreversibly exterminate the power-grid thermal-coal industry in America.

JTMcPhee , March 27, 2021 at 12:18 pm

The meme is that "Biden called Putin a killer." Looking at the video, Biden just answered "yes" to that snake Stephanopolous's opening, "So you know Vladimir Putin, do you think he's a killer?" Same thing with "Will you make Putin pay a price?"

Maybe I've just missed it, but I haven't seen any place where the Gerontocrat in Chief has emitted those gaffes heard 'round the world from his own volition, rather than in the kind of setup that ABC News put up there to spin the pedals of the Narrative Bicycle that Putin authorized meddling in the US electoral games

But there it is.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Apparently Biden was either too senile or too inherently stupid to realize what gangrenous filth the subhuman Clintonite scum Stephanopoulis is, was and always will be. And put his stupid senile foot into Stephanopoulis's clever little bear trap.

SOMK , March 27, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Europe and Germany appear to be disappointingly wishy washy over Russia, they seemed happy to play poodle and follow the lead of the UK in expelling Russian diplomats after Theresa May falsely claimed that the presence of Novichok indicated a "state actor", a standard the US with its various drone assassinations (such as of Qasem Soleimani) is never held to. I suspect German attitudes to US foreign policy are driven mostly by concerns over exports, knowing full well the US propensity to link trade with supporting their foreign policy, the US remains the sole biggest destination for German exports (from what I can tell via google at a little over 8% total exports, in and around $110 billion per annum) and in the absence of the Euro being the global reserve currency I would imagine for the time being they (and by extension Europe as a whole) will remain somewhat reluctant foreign policy poodles to the US, so long at least as the new cold war remains cold.

Equitable > Equal , March 27, 2021 at 6:38 pm

It's a bit difficult for Germany to 'Step up' when the majority of their clout is derived from their close association with the US. While they have strong backing from some of Europe, they do not have the strong backing of a number of key members since the introduction of uneven austerity measures in 2009 which means without the US, they would not be able to portray themselves as leaders

[Mar 28, 2021] GWB was not as bad as some people thought -- because through his (admittedly awful) recklessness in Iraq and elsewhere he was inexorably driving the American Empire into failure and eventual dissolution.

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pavel , March 27, 2021 at 10:36 am

Alex Cockburn (RIP) once commented that he didn't think GWB was as bad as some people thought -- because through his (admittedly awful) recklessness in Iraq and elsewhere he was inexorably driving the American Empire into failure and eventual dissolution. (My paraphrase, mind you.)

Dog, I detested GWB and remember the huge anti-war march in London that day. And had tears in my eyes at 2AM in a Tokyo hotel watching Obama being inaugurated. But St Barack if anything extended W's wars -- along with fellow warmongers Hillary and Biden, of course. Trump conversely tried to remove troops from Afghanistan only to have the Permanent War Party (Dems & Repubs) deny him the chance.

Well, as the post points out, Biden's foreign policy advisors are definitely the B Team but seem to have the hubris of the A Team. A bad combination.

As for the new Russia-China axis, I recommend Pepe Escobar's writings; he has been following this for some time.

Anyway, please excuse the rambling -- I meant to praise LowellHighlander for his final sentence. (^_^)

Keith Newman , March 27, 2021 at 2:33 pm

@Pavel
Sorry, but what does "dog" mean?

marku52 , March 27, 2021 at 2:51 pm

"God" for the non religious

LowellHighlander , March 28, 2021 at 12:17 am

Thank you, Pavel.

[Mar 28, 2021] How the U.S. is able to dictate to the rest of the world

Mar 28, 2021 | systemicdisorder.wordpress.com

Mar 3

The United States government is able to impose its will on all the world's countries. The rest of the world, even some of the strongest imperialist countries of the Global North, lie prostrate at the feet of the U.S. What is the source of this seemingly impregnable power? Which of course leads to the next question: How long can it last?

The U.S. moves against any country that dares to act on a belief that its resources should be for its own people's benefits rather than maximizing profits of multinational corporations or prioritizes the welfare of its citizens over corporate profit or simply refuses to accept dictation in how it should organize its economy. The military is frequently put to use, as are manipulation of the United Nations and the strong arms of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). But sanctions are a frequently used tool, enforced on countries, banks and corporations that have no presence in the U.S. and conduct business entirely outside the United States. The U.S. can impose its will on national governments around the world, using multilateral institutions to force governments to act in the interest of multinational capital, even when that is opposite the interests of the country itself or that country's peoples. And when a country persists in refusing to bend to U.S. demands, sanctions imposing misery on the general population are unilaterally imposed and the rest of the world is forced to observe them.

In short, the U.S. government possesses a power that no country has ever held, not even Britain at the height of its empire. And that government, regardless of which party or what personality is in the White House or in control of Congress, is ruthless in using this power to impose its will.

This power is most often wielded within an enveloping shell of propaganda that claims the U.S. is acting in the interest of "democracy" and maintaining the "rule of law" so that business can be conducted in the interest of a common good. So successful has this propaganda been that this domination is called the "Washington Consensus." Just who agreed to this "consensus" other than Washington political elites and the corporate executives and financial speculators those elites represent has never been clear. "Washington diktat" would be a more accurate name.

Much speculation among Left circles exists as to when this domination will be brought to an end, with many commentators believing that the fall of the U.S. dollar is not far off and perhaps China will become the new center of a system less imperialistic. On the Right, particularly in the financial industry, such speculation is far from unknown, although there of course the downfall of the dollar is feared. In financial circles, however, there is no illusion that the end of dollar supremacy in world economics is imminent.

There are only two possible challengers to U.S. dollar hegemony: The European Union's euro and China's renminbi. But the EU and China are very much subordinated to the dollar, and thus not in a position to counter U.S. dictates. Let's start here, and then we'll move on to the mechanics of U.S. economic hegemony over the world, which rests on the dollar being the global reserve currency and the leveraging of that status to control the world's multilateral institutions and forcing global compliance with its sanctions.

Europe "helpless" in the face of U.S. sanctions

A February 2019 paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, discussing the inability of EU countries to counteract the Trump administration's pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, flatly declared the EU "helpless" : "In trying to shield EU-based individuals and entities with commercial interests from its adverse impact, European policy-makers have recently been exposed as more or less helpless."

The legislative arm of the EU, the European Parliament, was no more bullish. In a paper published in November 2020, the Parliament wrote this about U.S. extraterritorial sanctions : "[T]his bold attempt to prescribe the conduct of EU companies and nationals without even asking for consent challenges the EU and its Member States as well as the functioning and development of transatlantic relations. The extraterritorial reach of sanctions does not only affect EU businesses but also puts into question the political independence and ultimately the sovereignty of the EU and its Member States."

No such open worries are going to be said in public by the Chinese government. But is China better prepared than the EU? Mary Hui, a Hong Kong-based business journalist, wrote in Quartz , "China is actually far more vulnerable to US sanctions than it will let on, even if the sanctions are aimed at individuals and not banks. That's because the primary system powering the world's cross-border financial transactions between banks, Swift, is dominated by the US dollar." We'll delve into this shortly. As a result of that domination, Ms. Hui wrote, "the US has outsize control over the machinery of international transactions -- or, as the Economist put it, 'America is uniquely well positioned to use financial warfare in the service of foreign policy.' "

Grand Place, Brussels (photo by Wouter Hagens)

In 2017, then U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatened China with sanctions that would cut it off from the U.S. financial system if it didn't comply with fresh United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea in 2007; he had already threatened unilateral sanctions on any country that trades with North Korea if the United Nations didn't apply sanctions on Pyongyang.

https://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.html

So neither Brussels or Beijing are in a position, at this time, to meaningfully challenge U.S. hegemony. That hegemony rests on multiple legs.

The world financial platform that the U.S. ultimately controls

The use (or, actually, abuse) of the two biggest multilateral financial institutions, the World Bank and the IMF, are well known. The U.S., as the biggest vote holder and through the rules set up for decision-making, carries a veto and thus imposes its will on any country that falls into debt and must turn to the World Bank or IMF for a loan. There also are the U.S.-controlled regional banks, such as the Asian Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, that impose U.S. dictates through the terms of their loans.

Also important as an institution, however, is a multilateral financial institution most haven't heard of: The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT. Based in Brussels, SWIFT is the primary platform used by the world's financial institutions "to securely exchange information about financial transactions, including payment instructions, among themselves." SWIFT says it is officially a member-owned cooperative with more than 11,000 member financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories.

That sounds like it is a truly global entity. Despite that description, the U.S. holds ultimate authority over it and what it does. U.S. government agencies, including the CIA, National Security Agency and Treasury Department, have access to the SWIFT transaction database. Payments in U.S. dollars can be seized by the U.S. government even when the transaction is between two entities outside the U.S. And here we have a key to understanding.

Beyond the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to acquire information is the status of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, the foundation of the world capitalist system of which SWIFT is very much a component and thus subject to dictates the same as any other financial institution. What is a reserve currency? This succinct definition offered by the Council on Foreign Relations provides the picture:

"A reserve currency is a foreign currency that a central bank or treasury holds as part of its country's formal foreign exchange reserves. Countries hold reserves for a number of reasons, including to weather economic shocks, pay for imports, service debts, and moderate the value of its own currency. Many countries cannot borrow money or pay for foreign goods in their own currencies -- since much of international trade is done in dollars -- and therefore need to hold reserves to ensure a steady supply of imports during a crisis and assure creditors that debt payments denominated in foreign currency can be made."

https://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.html

The currency mostly used is the U.S. dollar, the Council explains:

"Most countries want to hold their reserves in a currency with large and open financial markets, since they want to be sure that they can access their reserves in a moment of need. Central banks often hold currency in the form of government bonds, such as U.S. Treasuries. The U.S. Treasury market remains by far the world's largest and most liquid -- the easiest to buy into and sell out of bond market[s]."

If you use dollars, the U.S. can go after you

Everybody uses the dollar because everybody else uses it. Almost two-thirds of foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars. Here's the breakdown of the four most commonly held currencies, as of the first quarter of 2020:

That 62 percent gives the U.S. government its power to not only impose sanctions unilaterally, but to force the rest of the world to observe them, in conjunction with the use of the dollar as the primary currency in international transactions. In some industries, it is almost the only currency used. To again turn to the Council on Foreign Relations explainer:

"In addition to accounting for the bulk of global reserves, the dollar is the currency of choice for international trade. Major commodities such as oil are primarily bought and sold using U.S. dollars. Some countries, including Saudi Arabia, still peg their currencies to the dollar. Factors that contribute to the dollar's dominance include its stable value, the size of the U.S. economy, and the United States' geopolitical heft. In addition, no other country has a market for its debt akin to the United States', which totals roughly $18 trillion.

The dollar's centrality to the system of global payments also increases the power of U.S. financial sanctions. Almost all trade done in U.S. dollars, even trade among other countries, can be subject to U.S. sanctions, because they are handled by so-called correspondent banks with accounts at the Federal Reserve. By cutting off the ability to transact in dollars, the United States can make it difficult for those it blacklists to do business."

Sanctions imposed by the U.S. government are effectively extra-territorial because a non-U.S. bank that seeks to handle a transaction in U.S. dollars has to do so by clearing the transaction through a U.S. bank; a U.S. bank that cleared such a transaction would be in violation of the sanctions . The agency that monitors sanctions compliance, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), insists that any transaction using the dollar comes under U.S. law and thus blocking funds "is a territorial exercise of jurisdiction " wherever it occurs, even if no U.S. entities are involved. Even offering software as a service (or for download) from United States servers is under OFAC jurisdiction.

Two further measures of dollar dominance are that about half of all cross-border bank loans and international debt securities are denominated in U.S. currency and that 88 percent of all foreign-exchange transactions in 2019 involved the dollar on one side. That forex domination has remained largely unchanged; the figure was 87 percent in April 2003.

Dollar dominance cemented at end of World War II

The roots of the dollar as the global reserve currency go back to the creation of the Bretton Woods system in 1944 (named for the New Hampshire town where representatives of Allied and other governments met to discuss the post-war monetary system as victory in World War II drew closer). The World Bank and IMF were created here. To stabilize currencies and make it more difficult for countries to reduce the value of their currencies for competitive reasons (to boost exports), all currencies were pegged to the dollar, and the dollar in turn was convertible into gold at $35 an ounce. Thus the dollar became the center of the world financial system, which cemented U.S. dominance.

By the early 1970s, the Nixon administration believed that the Bretton Woods monetary system no longer sufficiently advantaged the United States despite its currency's centrality within the system cementing U.S. economic suzerainty. Because of the system of fixing the value of a U.S. dollar to the price of gold, any government could exchange the dollars it held in reserve for U.S. Treasury Department gold on demand.

Rising world supplies of dollars and domestic inflation depressed the value of the dollar, causing the Treasury price of gold to be artificially low and thereby making the exchange of dollars for gold at the fixed price an excellent deal for other governments. The Nixon administration refused to adjust the value of the dollar , instead in 1971 pulling the dollar from the gold standard by refusing to continue to exchange foreign-held dollars for gold on demand. Currencies would now float on markets against each other, their values set by speculators rather than by governments, making all but the strongest countries highly vulnerable to financial pressure.

The world's oil-producing states dramatically raised oil prices in 1973. The Nixon administration eliminated U.S. capital controls a year later, encouraged oil producers to park their new glut of dollars in U.S. banks and adopted policies to encourage the banks to lend those deposited dollars to the South . But perhaps "encourage" is too mild a word. The economist and strong critic of imperialism Michael Hudson once wrote , "I was informed at a White House meeting that U.S. diplomats had let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries know that they could charge as much as they wanted for their oil, but that the United States would treat it as an act of war not to keep their oil proceeds in U.S. dollar assets."

Restrictions limiting cross-border movements of capital were opposed by multi-national corporations that had moved production overseas, by speculators in the new currency-exchange markets that blossomed with the breakdown of Bretton Woods and by neoliberal ideologues, creating decisive momentum within the U.S. for the elimination of capital controls . The ultimate result of these developments was to make the dollar even more central to world trade and thus further enhance U.S. control. Needless to say, bipartisan U.S. policy ever since has been to maintain this control.

U.S. sanctions in action: The cases of Cuba and Iran

Two examples of U.S. sanctions being applied extraterritorially are those imposed on Cuba and Iran. (There are many other examples, including that of Venezuela.) In the case of Cuba, any entity that conducts business with Cuba is barred from doing business in the U.S. or with any U.S. entity; foreign businesses that are owned by U.S. companies are strictly prohibited from doing any business with Cuba. Any company that had done business in Cuba must cease all activities there if acquired by a U.S. corporation. Several companies selling life-saving medical equipment and medicines to Cuba had to cease doing so when acquired by a U.S. corporation.

Meanwhile, U.S. embassy personnel have reportedly threatened firms in countries such as Switzerland, France, Mexico and the Dominican Republic with commercial reprisals unless they canceled sales of goods to Cuba such as soap and milk. Amazingly, an American Journal of Public Health report quoted a July 1995 written communication by the U.S. Department of Commerce in which the department said those types of sales contribute to "medical terrorism" on the part of Cubans! Well, many of us when we were, say, 5 years old might have regarded soap with terror, but presumably have long gotten over that. Perhaps Commerce employees haven't.

The sanctions on Cuba have been repeatedly tightened over the years. Joy Gordon, writing in the Harvard International Law Journal in January 2016, provides a vivid picture of the difficulties thereby caused:

"The Torricelli Act [of 1992] provided that no ship could dock in the United States within 180 days of entering a Cuban port. This restriction made deliveries to Cuba commercially unfeasible for many European and Asian companies, as their vessels would normally deliver or take on shipments from the United States while they were in the Caribbean. The Torricelli Act also prohibited foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba. The Helms-Burton Act, enacted in 1996, permitted U.S. nationals to bring suit against foreign companies that were doing business in Cuba and that owned properties that had been abandoned or confiscated after the revolution. Additionally, the Helms-Burton Act prohibited third-party countries from selling goods in the United States that contained any components originating in Cuba. This significantly impacted Cuba's major exports, particularly sugar and nickel.

[T]he shipping restrictions in the Torricelli Act have increased costs in several ways, such as Cuba sometimes having to pay for ships carrying imports from Europe or elsewhere to return empty because they cannot stop at U.S. ports to pick up goods. Shipping companies have partially responded by dedicating particular ships for Cuba deliveries; but in most cases, they tend to designate old ships in poor condition, which then leads to higher maritime insurance costs."

The United Nations estimates that the cost of the embargo to Cuba has been about $130 billion.

However distasteful we find the religious fundamentalist government of Iran, U.S. sanctions, which are blunt weapons, have caused much hardship on Iranians. The same restrictions on Cuba apply to Iran. The Iranian government said in September 2020 that it has lost $150 billion since the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and that it is hampered from importing food and medicines.

The Trump administration's renewed sanctions were imposed unilaterally and against the expressed policies of all other signatories -- Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. With those governments unable to restrain Washington, businesses from around the world pulled out to avoid getting sanctioned. EU countermeasures were ineffective -- small fines didn't outweigh far larger U.S. fines, European companies are subject to U.S. sanctions and favorable judgments in European courts are unenforceable in U.S. courts.

Sascha Lohmann, author of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs paper, wrote :

"Well ahead of the deadlines set by the Trump administration and absent any enforcement action, major European and Asian companies withdrew from the otherwise lucrative Iranian market. Most not­a­bly, this included [SWIFT,] which cut off most of the more than 50 Iranian banks in early November 2018, including the Central Bank of Iran, after they again became subject to U.S. financial sanctions. [T]he exodus of EU-based companies has revealed an inconvenient truth to European policy-makers, namely that those companies are effectively regulated in Washington, D.C. [T]he secretary of the Treasury can order U.S. banks to close or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts on behalf of a foreign bank, thereby closing down access to dollarized transactions -- the 'Wall Street equivalent of the death penalty.' "

The long arm of U.S. sanctions stretches around the world

The idea that sanctions can be the "Wall Street equivalent of the death penalty" is not a figment of the imagination. Two examples of sanctions against European multinational enterprises demonstrate this.

In 2015, the French bank BNP Paribas was given a penalty of almost $9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions by processing dollar payments from Cuba, Iran and Sudan. The bank also pleaded guilty to two criminal charges. These penalties were handed down in U.S. courts and prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. The chief executive officer of the bank told the court "we deeply regret the past misconduct." The judge overseeing the case declared the bank "not only flouted U.S. foreign policy but also provided support to governments that threaten both our regional and national security," a passage highlighted in the Department's press release announcing the settlement.

Why would a French bank agree to these penalties and do so in such apologetic terms? And why would it accept the preposterous idea that Cuba represents any security threat to the U.S. or that a French bank is required to enforce U.S. foreign policy? As part of the settlement, Reuters reported , "regulators banned BNP for a year from conducting certain U.S. dollar transactions, a critical part of the bank's global business." And that gives us the clue. Had the bank not settled its case, it risked a permanent ban on access to the U.S. financial system, meaning it could not handle any deals denominated in dollars. Even the one-year ban could have triggered an exodus of clients in several major industries, including oil and gas.

Viñales Valley, Pinar del Rio province, Cuba (photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com)

This was completely an extraterritorial application of U.S. law. An International Bar Association summary of the case noted, "the transactions in question were not illegal under French or EU law. Nor did they fall foul of France's obligations under the World Trade Organization or the United Nations; no agreements between France and the US were violated. But as they were denominated in dollars, the deals ultimately had to pass through New York and thus came under its regulatory authority."

It does not take direct involvement in financial transactions to run afoul of the long arm of U.S. sanctions. A Swiss company, Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques (SITA), was forced to agree to pay $8 million to settle allegations that it provided blacklisted airlines with "software and/or services that were provided from, transited through, or originated in the United States." Among the actions punished were that SITA used software originating in the U.S. to track lost baggage and used a global lost-baggage tracing system hosted on servers in the United States. Retrieving baggage is a service most people would not consider a high crime.

Can the EU or China create an alternative?

Dropping the widespread use of the dollar and substituting one or more other currencies, and setting up alternative financial systems, would be the logical short-term path toward ending U.S. financial hegemony. The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, in a 2018 report , quoted the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, "We must increase Europe's autonomy and sovereignty in trade, economic and financial policies. It will not be easy, but we have already begun to do it." DW reported that the European Commission was developing a system parallel to SWIFT that would allow Iran to interface with European clearing systems with transactions based on the euro, but such a system never was put in place. In January 2021, as the new Biden administration took office, Iran dismissed it entirely , Bloomberg reported: "European governments have 'no idea' how to finance the conduit set up two years ago, known as Instex, and 'have not had enough courage to maintain their economic sovereignty,' the Central Bank of Iran said in comments on Twitter."

It would seem that Teheran's dismissal is warranted. The European Parliament, in its paper on U.S. sanctions being imposed extraterritorially , could only offer liberal weak-tea ideas, such as "Encourage and assist EU businesses in bringing claims in international investor-state arbitration and in US courts; Complaints against extraterritorial measures in the [World Trade Organization]." Such prescriptions are unlikely to have anyone in Washington losing sleep.

What about China? Beijing has actually created a functioning alternative to the World Bank and IMF, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank . Just on the basis of the new bank representing a bad example (from Washington's perspective), the U.S. government leaned heavily on Australia and other countries sufficiently firmly that Canberra initially declined to join the bank despite its initial interest, nor did Indonesia and South Korea, although all three did later join. There is a possibility of one-sidedness here, however, as China has by far the biggest share of the vote , 27 percent, dwarfing No. 2 India's 7 percent, giving Beijing potential veto power. And with US$74 billion in capitalization (less than the goal of $100 billion set in 2014), it can't realistically be a substitute for existing multilateral financial institutes.

China has also set up an alternative to SWIFT, the Cross-border Interbank Payment System (CIPS), a renminbi-denominated clearing and settlement system. CIPS says it has participants from 50 countries and regions, and processes US$19.4 billion per day. But that's well less than one percent of the $6 trillion SWIFT handles daily. The Bank of China, the country's central bank, is on the record of seeking an alternative to the dollar system so that it can evade any U.S. sanctions. "A good punch to the enemy will save yourself from hundreds of punches from your enemies," a 2020 Bank of China report said. "We need to get prepared in advance, mentally and practically."

The report said if Chinese banks are deprived of access to dollar settlements, China should consider ceasing the use of the U.S. dollar as the anchor currency for its foreign exchange controls.

That is easier said than done -- China holds $1.1 trillion in U.S. government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. That total is second only to Japan, and Beijing's holdings comprise 15 percent of all U.S. debt held by foreign governments. The South China Morning Post admits that China holds such large reserve assets of U.S. debt "largely due to its status as a 'safe haven' for investment during turbulent market conditions." Although Beijing seeks an erosion of dollar dominance and fears that U.S. economic instability could result in another world economic downturn, its use of the safe haven is nowhere near at an end. "While it is clear that China is keen to lessen its dependence on US government debt, experts believe that Beijing is likely to continue buying US Treasuries, as there are few risk-free low cost substitutes," the Morning Post wrote.

Coupled with the restrictions on renminbi conversion, Chinese institutions are today far from a position of challenging current global financial relations. The U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley recently predicted that the renminbi could represent five to 10 percent of foreign-exchange reserves by 2030, up from the current two percent. Although that would mean central banks around the world would increase their holdings of the Chinese currency, it would not amount to any real threat to dollar dominance.

No empire, or system, lasts forever

The bottom line question from all of the above is this: Will this U.S. dominance come to an end? Stepping back and looking at this question in a historical way tells us that the answer can only be yes, given that there has been a sequence of cities that have been the financial center. Centuries ago, the seat of a small republic such as Venice could be the leading financial center on the strength of its trading networks. Once capitalism took hold, however, the financial center was successively located within a larger federation that possessed both a strong navy and a significant fleet of merchant ships (Amsterdam); then within a sizeable and unified country with a large enough population to maintain a powerful navy and a physical presence throughout an empire (London); and finally within a continent-spanning country that can project its economic and multi-dimensional military power around the world (New York).

No empire, whatever its form, lasts forever. But knowledge of the sequence of capitalist centers tells us nothing of timing. Each successive new financial locus was embedded in successively larger powers able to operate militarily over larger areas and with more force. What then could replace the U.S.? The European Union has its effectiveness diluted by the many nationalisms within its sphere (and thus nationalism acts as a weakening agent for the EU whereas it is a strengthening agent for the U.S. and China). China's economy is yet too small and retains capital controls, and its currency, the renminbi, isn't fully convertible. U.S. Treasury bills remain the ultimate safe haven, as shown when investors poured into U.S. debt during crises such as the 2008 collapse, even when events in the U.S. are the trigger.

There are no other possible other contenders, and both the EU and China, as already discussed, are in no position to seriously challenge U.S. hegemony.

Here we have a collision of possibilities: The transcending of capitalism and transition to a new economic system or the decreasing functionality of the world capitalist system should it persist for several more decades. Given the resiliency of capitalism, and the many tools available to it (not least military power), the latter scenario can't be ruled out although it might be unlikely. Making any prediction on the lifespan of capitalism is fraught with difficulty, not least because of the many predictions of its collapse for well over a century. But capitalism as a system requires infinite growth , quite impossible on a finite planet and all the more dire given there is almost no place on Earth remaining into which it can expand .

Although we can't know what the expiration date of capitalism will be, it will almost certainly be sometime in the current century. But it won't be followed by something better without a global movement of movements working across borders with a conscious aim of bringing a better world into being. In the absence of such movements, capitalism is likely to hang on for decades to come. In that scenario, what country or bloc could replace the U.S. as the center? And would we want a new center to dictate to the rest of the world? In a world of economic democracy (what we can call socialism) where all nations and societies can develop in their own way, in harmony with the environment and without the need to expand, and with production done for human need rather than corporate profit, there would no global center or hegemon and no need for one. Capitalism, however, can't function without a center that uses financial, military and all other means to keep itself in the saddle and the rest of the world in line.

Yes, the day of U.S. dethronement will come, as will the end of capitalism . But the former is not going to happen any time soon, however much millions around the world wish that to be so, and the latter is what we should be working toward. A better world is possible; a gentler and kinder capitalism with a different center is not.

[Mar 26, 2021] Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria."

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm GMT • 2.0 days ago

@Anonymous that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.

Stavridis has been at the forefront of the mass slaughter known as the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel:

From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria." In short, this prominent racketeer is dripping with the blood of hundreds of thousands of the victims.

[Mar 26, 2021] At this point, why should Taylor lament that Mexican-American soldiers proudly display the Mexican flag? Why not, when the US flag represents nothing abroad but 'twerking', Zionist supremacism

Edited for clarity; racial slurs are removed... Paradoxically recently due to summer riots the attitude toward Zionism among the US public slightly improved, as least as far as domestic policies are concerted...
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website March 25, 2021 at 6:04 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

American Renaissance has done important work, but it is ultimately useless because it pulls its punches or willfully misses what should be the main target: Zionist Supremacist Power. Take Jared Taylor's commentary of the US military in the video below. It's pure Pat-Condell. He blames everything but will not name the power behind the mess. Shhhh about the Zionists.


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/03vYmvgpmBQi/

At this point, why should Taylor lament that Mexican-American soldiers proudly display the Mexican flag? Why not, when the US flag represents nothing abroad but 'twerking', Zionist supremacism, Wars for Israel, mindless animus toward Russia, ridiculous paranoia about China, nonstop hatred toward Iran, complete nonsense about Venezuela, BLM stupidity, and global dissemination of globo-homo ludicrousness? Americanism meant something when Anglo-Americans(and those properly Anglo-Americanized) ruled the nation with pride and confidence. Then, Americanism was based on the Great Compromise: A move toward a more merit-and-rule-based on the part of Anglo-Americans who took the land from the Indians, brought blacks in chains, and encouraged mass-immigration to develop the land. In return, non-Anglos would acknowledge the Anglo-foundation of America and try to be Good Americans. That compromise is no longer relevant because the US is now totally Zionist-supremacist, meaning the New Americanism is predicated on just about everyone and everything revolving around the question of "Is it great for Zionists?" If Zionists want it, they get it eventually. No wonder the First and Second Amendments are now hanging by a thread. Zionists don't like the Constitution now that they got total power.

Other than Zionists, Jared Taylor should be blaming his own Wasp kind. Why did they hand over power to the Zionists almost completely? That was the beginning of much of the rot since. Taylor bitches about blacks, Mexicans, and etc. not being properly patriotic in the new order, but who created the new order? Zionists spearheaded the making of New America, but Wasps just played along. If Wasps are such worthless cucks to Zionists, why should it be surprising that nonwhites would no longer respect whites? Of course, given that most nonwhites would find it odd if Zionists told them, "Americanism = Zionist Greatness", Zionists encourage the next-best-thing, which is anti-whiteness or 'scapewhiting'(scapegoat whitey for everything), as it unites all nonwhites with Zionists in the War on Whiteness. War on Whiteness or WOW is great for Zionists as it morally shames and paralyzes whites into having no pride and prestige, which translates into having no will and agency. Filled with shame and 'white guilt', whites become mired in mode of redemption, the terms of which are decided by Zionists who advise Total Support for Zion, More Wars for Israel, More Diversity, and More Globo-Homo(proxy of Zionist Power).

The source of the problem is the Zionist-White relations. When whites handed over power to Zionists, Zionists made the key decisions, and those have been premised on whatever-necessary-to-secure-Zionist-power. #1 priority for Zionists is then White Submissivism to Zionist Supremacism. If Taylor will not discuss Zionist Power, it's like complaining about the smoke without mentioning the fire. Also, does it make sense for whites to bleat about blacks, browns, yellows, and etc. when whites themselves cravenly collaborate with Zionist Power? Whites, especially the elites, don't stand for what is good for America as a whole. They suck up to Zionists and support Zionist identity & Zionism. When whites act like that, why should nonwhites be good American patriots? Whites have led the way in betraying the original Americanism. In some ways, nonwhites, such as blacks into black power and Mexican-Americans into Mexican pride, are more admirable because, at the very least, they are tribal-patriotic about their own kind. In contrast, whites have betrayed both White Power and Traditional Americanism. They are now allergic to anything white-and-positive but also utterly lack a general sense of Americanism. White 'liberals' love to virtue-signal by supporting blacks, diversity, & globo-homo, AND white 'conservatives' love to cuck-signal by waving the Israeli Flag & yapping about how Israel is "America's best, greatest, closest, and dearest ally." Both groups fail at simple generic patriotism based on rules and principles. For white 'liberals', blacks are higher than other groups, and for white 'conservatives' it's Zionists-uber-alles.

In the current order, Zionists encourage nonwhites to wave their own identitarian flag AGAINST whiteness while encouraging whites to wave the Zionist flag. In a way, one might say this Zionist strategy is foolish. After all, if nonwhites are made to be anti-white and if whiteness is made to be synonymous with support-for-Israel and praise-of-Zionists, might it not lead to nonwhites being anti-Israel and anti-Zionist as well? After all, if whiteness = love-for-Zionists whereas non-whiteness = anti-whiteness, wouldn't it lead to non-whiteness = anti-Zionistness since whiteness is so closely associated with cucking to Zionists?

Zionists bank on two factors in this strategy. They figure (1) nonwhites are too dumb to connect the dots or (2) even if nonwhites connected the dots and became more critical of Israel & Zionist Power on account of whiteness = support-for-Zion, it will draw whites even closer to Zion as white-knight-defenders of Israel against the rising tide of darkies. We see scenario 2 play out with both Mitt Romney and Jared Taylor. They hope that powerful Zionists will like them more if they stand with Zionists against the 'antisemitic' darkies.

It's like Zionists encourage Ilhan Omar to be anti-white while white conzos beat their chests as noble defenders of Zionists from 'Anti-Semites'.

[Mar 26, 2021] The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

Mar 26, 2021 | www.youtube.com

1/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

2/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

3/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

4/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

5/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

6/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

7/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

[Mar 23, 2021] Basically by creating a stealth bomber the USA waste a huge amount of money to do what ICBMs have been able to do for 60 years, and what Burevestnik can do with a lot more flexibility and stealth.

Mar 23, 2021 | www.unz.com

Tom Welsh , says: March 22, 2021 at 11:58 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

"The strategic stealth bomber will be able to deliver conventional and thermonuclear weapons to enemy targets anywhere and anytime in the world. It will be able to destroy any target, anywhere".

Once it gets there, anyway – which at presumably subsonic speed may take a long, long time.

So basically this will cost a huge amount of money to do what ICBMs have been able to do for 60 years, and what Burevestnik can do with a lot more flexibility and stealth.

Tom Welsh , says: March 22, 2021 at 12:04 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

"Afghanistan is a great base from which to invade Central Asia and threaten Russia from the south. The country has been occupied by the US for 20 years "

If Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Iran got together and supported the Taliban, they could get the Americans out of Afghanistan double quick.

I am slightly puzzled that they haven't done so long ago.

Unless they prefer to keep the Americans tied up and bleeding in Central Asia. Keep your enemies closer, etc.

[Mar 23, 2021] Starters or Main Course by Israel Shamir

Notable quotes:
"... Treasure Island ..."
Mar 23, 2021 | www.unz.com

This uncomfortable thought came to me while listening to Joe Biden talking about "soulless killer" Vladimir Putin. Smaller insults have sparked off wars. The "Footless, yellow earth-worm" slur moved Kaa the Rock Python to devour Bandar Log. Luckily, easy-going Putin replied with a smile. He said that in his childhood, kids responded with "I am rubber, you are glue; bounces off me and sticks to you"; he only wished good health for the American president and proposed to debate him online, so that Americans and Russians, as well as the whole world, could form their own opinion. Biden evaded the challenge. It's not clear he remembered who Putin is. An empty suit with a teleprompter, called him Donald Trump Jr . Biden said Putin meddled in the US elections and he will pay a price for it. Alas, Putin couldn't influence the US dead, and they swung the elections as they voted for Biden by whole cemeteries. Yes, Biden is a senile dummy that couldn't even board Air Force One without stumbling thrice the next day, but there is somebody who operates the teleprompter, and that is the problem.

The Russians were visibly furious. When US leaders drop such invective, it's like pirates passing a 'black spot' in Treasure Island . It's a signal that the foreign leader has to be deposed or killed outright. That's how they spoke of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi; both were killed and their 'rogue states' devastated. It was clearly a show of hostile intentions, not just from Biden but also from the US establishment speaking like ventriloquist through the current White House tenant.

Afghanistan is a great base from which to invade Central Asia and threaten Russia from the south. The country has been occupied by the US for 20 years, and Trump was determined to pull out the troops. Biden has already hinted that the US will renege on its agreement with the Taliban to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The withdrawal was supposed to be completed by May 2021; it will be "tough" for the United States to withdraw forces from Afghanistan in six weeks, he said. Biden has also scrapped Trump's plan to withdraw forces from Germany, and with good reason. His administration wants Germans to drop the Nord Stream II project, and it is easier to convince a country if you have forty military bases there.

Fighting against Iran never stopped. When the US isn't doing it her best friend Israel is acting. It has emerged that during the last two years, Israeli frogmen sabotaged 12 Iranian tankers, reported the Wall Street Journal . But it all backfired. On February 16, the entire Mediterranean coast of Israel was covered with sticky black mess.

... ... ...

The blow to Israel was terrible – animals, plants and fish died; for a long time it will be impossible to swim and sunbathe on the oily shores. Only now the sad truth has begun to leak out: 'the worst pollution of the century' had been done by Israelis. The first to speak about the source of the pollution was Israeli Minister of the Environment Gila Gamliel. She said the oil was released by the Iranian tanker Emerald carrying a cargo of US-sanctioned oil products to Syria. This is Iranian eco-terrorism, she said. But Gila was quickly gagged – the Israeli military censorship forbade discussion of this topic, except in the most general terms. It appears Gila Gamliel was right – up to a point. The Israeli dissident Richard Silverstein wrote about it:

It was a deliberate attack by Israel on the Iranian vessel. Israel's naval commando unit, Flotilla 13 covertly attached a mine to the Emerald . The intent was to cause minor damage that would send a message to Iran that its own attacks on Gulf shipping would bring a cost. This Times of London report written by Haaretz columnist Anshel Pfeiffer confirms my source. However, the commandos didn't realize that the Emerald was a rusty old hulk in desperately ill-repair. The Israeli mine, which was supposed to cause minor damage, actually ripped a hole so big that much of the contents of the ship's hold leaked into the Mediterranean. This is what caused the Israeli environmental disaster: Israel itself.


Phibbs , says: March 22, 2021 at 3:20 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

Biden voted for Gulf War Two. Why? Because as he admits, he is a Zionist. Zionists are traitors, terrorists and murderers. Yet Biden the terrorist accuses Putin of being a killer?

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: March 22, 2021 at 3:58 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

The illusion of a US president having any actual authority is pretty much being dispelled by this ventriloquist's dummy Biden signing whatever is placed in front of him and parroting whatever is on the teleprompter. A stupid egotist his entire life, his mental decline isn't as apparent as it might be quite yet because he's been carefully stage managed so far. They're being extremely careful not to let the cat out of the bag in letting people get a glimpse of what he's really like. And it's downhill from here.

The virus hysteria has been a test case lab in assessing what works, what doesn't, how to improve on herding and suppressing the population, etc. Insofar as dead foreign leaders goes, who really knows?

When tens of millions of dollars are available lots of people in some leader's circle might be tempted to expose the target to some form of poisoning or lethal radiation. Hugo Chavez expressed suspicion at how he and other leaders opposed to US diktat seemed to come down with cancer.

The US itself has claimed some of it's diplomats were possibly targeted by mystery rays in Cuba so the idea of something like this is not far-fetched; it's just a case of projection, accusing others of what one is guilty of.

The Real World , says: March 22, 2021 at 4:37 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
@Petermx

LOL, you don't know how many times, since his campaign and now as (fake) POTUS that Biden has reminded me of Chauncey Gardiner. It's the perfect comparison.

(But, Jobotomy Xiden will be gone soon and then the bi-racial, sociopathic Hillary 2.0 will be inaugurated. Excuse me while I go hurl.)

TKK , says: March 22, 2021 at 4:43 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

Think of the hysteria and histrionic nation wide wailing and teeth gnashing over Trump calling it "the China virus" and the dead silence when Biden calls Putin:

A soulless killer. .

I wish Putin would take revenge and pull a Soleimani on Biden & Co. but perhaps he laughs & chalks it up to the senile, demented ramblings of a clown.

Is this more theater?

To add to the insanity, the embrace and total absolution of the pathological liar, war criminal and mass torturer and murderer, George W. Bush leaves me .stunned:

Bush on Putin, 2001:

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul ; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country."

Just another serf , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:19 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

Biden is a sociopath, one of limited intelligence. But a sociopath nevertheless.

If he is instructed by his controllers to initiate a nuclear war, he will do so unhesitatingly.

I would not be surprised if both Joe and Hunter were somehow benefiting from drug traffic across the border. Actually, I expect that is largely what is behind Biden's open border policy.

It's impossible for normal people to understand sociopathic behavior. The American political class has been selected for sociopathy now for generations.

Johan , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:55 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Petermx

"Americans should write a letter of apology to Putin, apologizing for our rude and senile leader (and the degenerate lunatics that surround him) and ask for President Putin's understanding and patience. "

Not a bad idea at all. I would formulate some things differently though, the idea is that the letter should also circulate, so mind the crude tone, show that even Americans can be tactful gentle-man. Even that would impress the whole world.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:16 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

Thanatopia's attacks on Putin differ vastly from its deranged Sinophobia. Thanatopians want Putin gone, replaced by a New Yeltsin, and Russia vivisected for further pillage. But they don't want Russians dead, because this 'Free Russia' will be needed for the Great Purpose-the destruction of China.

The truly Evil campaign to entirely falsely accuse China of genocide in Xinjiang, is a call not just to war, but to genocide. A China devastated would still rise again, even if the USA and its villainous stooges succeed in breaking it up, again, as was nearly achieved in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The USA and the Western vassals promote, train and finance separatists in Xinjiang, Tibet, 'South' Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, even 'Manchuria'. Such civil discord would cause millions of deaths, but it gets worse.

The Imperial hatemongers never cease to vilify the CCP. The 'New Nazis', 'It is 1939 again, and 'appeasement' is treason', human organ harvesters etc. All lies, all the crudest projection. But the CCP is 100 million strong, and the Chinese CCP Government enjoys 95% satisfied or highly satisfied rating from the populace, according to the latest Harvard poll. So the entire population is complicit, 'Xi's willing executioners' etc, and must be punished. SARS CoV2 was obviously meant to kill millions of Chinese and devastate the economy, but the 'blowback' has been cosmic retribution, and that has only made the Western genocidists even more enraged.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:22 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
@Johan

The Western oligarchy does not do mass high kultur. Kultur is a commodity and a venue for narcissistic display and mass kultur is base, exploitative and mind-destroying, keeping the plebs permanently obtunded, morally, intellectually and spiritually. 'Feed 'em muck' as Nellie Melba recommended.

thotmonger , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:34 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Worldometer/coronavirus today: Tanzania population >60 million; CV19 cases <600. Dear Scott, that cannot be correct! (If all the brainwashing serves me right.)

RIP President Magufuli, the man who busted WHO with their fraud -- or scientific incompetence. Ha. This story could have been the lead paragraph, and no stone should be left unturned to find out if Magufuli was murdered. This especially includes death by a deadly viral infection, ala Operation Zyphr ?

Minor correction: Biden does not represent the American people. Those who think they support him are unaware of their Stockholm syndrome.

Now, let's arrest our schadenfreude about Israel's acts of sabotage spoiling their own coastline. Our fragile seas are too precious for that sort of vindictive spirit. Nevertheless, it is okay be encouraged about this colossal blunder, because it proves the controllers are really not in control at all. And they damn well know it.

Finally, forget not Shere Khan totally trumps Kaa. But as fate would have it even he loses in the end.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PpC4a6jCxSA?feature=oembed

Dumbo , says: Website March 22, 2021 at 7:41 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Unless neocons are insane, I don't think that they want to start a war with Russia and much less China. The U.S. can't even win a war against goat herders with homemade explosives. The U.S. military is more concerned about having black transgender soldiers than about being efficient.

Also, China practically owns the U.S. and Canada at this point.

This is probably just another distraction to keep people from noticing that they are (again!) being fleeced and raped.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/8-million-americans-slipped-poverty-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-new-study-n1243762

https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-italy-coronavirus-pandemic-financial-markets-milan-821336fb6b1fe6892fd178433de0fc70

Carlos22 , says: March 22, 2021 at 8:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

It now appears the Russians and Chinese are using our woke BS against us like a deflector shield.

Putin's speech of the US projecting its own psychology on others, mentioning BLM and racism plus the Chinese mentioning the US "persecution of blacks".

They inflict this woke shit on us but didn't realize it could also be used by their enemies.

Ultimate blow back for the dumb fuckers in Washington. Totally hilarious.

GomezAdddams , says: March 22, 2021 at 9:39 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
@Johan

"We came -- we saw–he died !!!!" Hillary Clinton at her finest.

onebornfree , says: Website March 22, 2021 at 9:42 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

"This two-pronged attack on Russia AND on China is not a coincidence. The Biden regime prepares for war. "

This just in: "War is the health of the state" Randolph Bourne

Alfred , says: March 22, 2021 at 10:25 am GMT • 1.6 days ago
@follyofwar class="comment-text">

I fear that Leviathan must act quickly before it loses its perch as the world's reserve currency.

Martin Armstrong's computer model says that the dollar's reserve currency status will be over by 2028. The model is usually correct.

The Reserve Status of the Dollar will End by 2028 (paywall)

[Mar 22, 2021] TRANSCRIPT- ABC News' George Stephanopoulos interviews President Joe Biden

Old neocon still is dreaming about imperial greatness and full spectrum Dominance, when the country is significantly and irreversibly crippled by neoliberalism and its accumulation by dispossession which eliminated a large swats of well paid workers and professionals. It is now the country where the Congress is now hiding from people behind barbed wall.
It is difficult to teach old dog new tricks. Intimidation of the opponent replaced diplomacy. Semi-Dementia mixed with arrogance in action. "White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would continue to look to cooperate on efforts to stem Iran's nuclear program and, more broadly, nuclear nonproliferation. But she said Biden did not regret referring to Putin as a killer and pushed back against suggestions that the rhetoric was unhelpful."
Mar 22, 2021 | abcnews.go.com

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under -- denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we -- I know him relatively well. And I-- the conversation started off, I said, "I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared."

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn't have a soul.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And -- and his response was, "We understand one another." It was-- I wasn't being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that -- that's how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, "I looked in his eyes and saw his soul."

I said, "Looked in your eyes and I don't think you have a soul." And looked back and he said, "We understand each other." Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I've dealt with an awful lot of 'em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don't expect somethin' that you're-- that -- don't expect him to-- or her to-- voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he's a killer?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he's gonna pay we'll-- you'll see shortly. I'm not gonna-- there's-- by the way, we oughta be able that ol' -- that trite expression "walk and chew gum at the same time," there're places where it's in our mutual interest to work together.

That's why I renewed the start agreement with him. That occurred while he's doin' this. But that's overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange. But that and SolarWinds as well. He's been -- they've done some mischievous things, to say the least. And so we're gonna have -- I'm not gonna announce what I'm doing, but he's gonna understand that --

[Mar 22, 2021] I don't know whether to laugh or cry ...

Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Francis , Mar 21 2021 13:19 utc | 1

I don't know whether to laugh or cry ...

Vladimir Putin issues new 'kill list' - and six of the targets live in Britain

EXCLUSIVE: The warning of a deadly post-pandemic campaign comes from same spy who alerted that Salisbury novichok victim Sergei Skripal was earmarked for assassination

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vladimir-putins-issues-new-kill-23765739

[Mar 21, 2021] Kagan's vision ans a typical neocon blideness

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 20 2021 0:11 utc | 68

emersonreturn @64--

I'm in the middle of Armstrong's essay and am at the first reference to Kagan's vision:

"What should that role be? Benevolent global hegemony. Having defeated the 'evil empire,' the United States enjoys strategic and ideological predominance. The first objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to preserve and enhance that predominance by strengthening America's security, supporting its friends, advancing its interests, and standing up for its principles around the world .'

It's absolutely clear that Kagan has no clue as to the reality of what is actually the objective of the Neoliberal Parasites running the Outlaw US Empire; for aside from "advancing its interests," the Parasites have zero motivation to do any of that as their sole ambition/goal is to vacuum up all the wealth they can and leave a shell just as they planned and failed with Russia, but have succeeded elsewhere. And as for principles, the reality is it has none, nor does it have any friends, just vassals and victims. This analogy by Armstrong's excellent:

"The U.S. is sitting on a dragon and it daren't get off or the dragon will kill it. But because it can't kill the dragon, it must sit on it forever: no escape. And dragon's eggs are hatching out all around: think how much bigger the Russian, Chinese and Iranian dragons are today than they were a quarter-century ago when Kagan & Co so confidently started PNAC; think how bigger they'll be in another....

"But the more sanctions, the stronger Russia gets: as an analogy, think of sanctions on Russia as similar to the over-use of antibiotics – Russia is becoming immune."

And tying it all up is this excellent summation:

"Has there ever been a subject on which people have been so wrong for so long as Russia? How many times have they said Putin's finished? Remember when cheese was going to bring him down? Always a terminal economic crisis. A year ago they were sure COVID would do it. A U.S. general is in Ukraine and Kiev's heavy weapons are moving east but, no, it's Putin who, for ego reasons – and his "failing" economy – wants the war. Why do they keep doing it? Well, it's easy money – Putin (did we tell you he was in the KGB?) wants to expand Russia and rule forever; therefore, he's about to invade somebody. He doesn't, no problem, our timely warning scared him off; we'll change the date and regurgitate it next year. In the meantime his despotic rule trembles because of some-triviality-of-the-moment. These pieces write themselves: the anti-Russia business is the easiest scam ever. And there's the difficulty of admitting you're wrong: how can somebody like Kagan, such a triumphantasiser back then, admit that it's all turned to dust and worse, turned to dust because they took his advice? Much better to press on – it's not as if anybody in the lügenpresse will call him out or deny him space. Finally, these people are locked in psychological projection: because they can only envisage military expansion, they assume the other guy is equally obsessed and so they must expand to counter his expansion. They suspect everybody of suspecting them. Their hostility sees hostility everywhere. Their belligerence finds belligerence. The hyperpower is forever compelled to respond to lesser powers. They look outside, see themselves and fear; in their mental universe the USA is arrogantly strong and fearfully weak at the same time."

The Walking Dead is finally becoming a metaphor for the Outlaw US Empire, its policies, and what it terms values--which aren't values but vices. But TWD was fiction and was thus capable of reforming itself. The Empire's goals and polices are essentially the same as in 1940 and even further back to 1913, and haven't changed very much, being just as illegal and immoral then as now. What's different are the "Dragons" which didn't exist in 1918 or 1944, and the Parasites have almost total control that's finally seeing domestic pushback.

Jackrabbit , Mar 20 2021 2:17 utc | 87

karlof1 @Mar20 0:11 #67

It's absolutely clear that Kagan has no clue as to the reality of what is actually the objective of the Neoliberal Parasites running the Outlaw US Empire.

Why do you give him the benefit of the doubt?

Are we really to believe that Kagan, and others like him, talk of these things for DECADES and yet aren't aware of the ramifications?

IMO it is absolutely clear that he knows the neoliberal reality as well as the neocon and neocolonial realities.

But we are supposed to avoid cynicism and be polite so as to not be thought a malcontent?

=

@karlof1 The need for more cynicism is a theme of mine (which I've written about at moa many times) so please don't respond in a knee-jerk way.

!!

[Mar 21, 2021] The preservation of the US financial hegemony is the key for the survival of the US imperialism

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 21 2021 3:19 utc | 175

@ michaelj72 | Mar 21 2021 2:46 utc | 173 who provided the Yang quote

"
"The United States uses its military force and financial hegemony to carry out long arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries,"
"

I continue to not understand why China is coy about connecting PRIVATE financial hegemony to the US when they assuredly know it is the global private finance folk that are the enemy. I don't know why they play into the meme that if the US were brought to heel then the financial hegemony would magically stop.

All Yang had to do was put the word private before financial hegemony and the message would have been much clearer and stronger message to the world struggling under the private finance jackboot, IMO

To me

rules based order = dog whistle for global private finance, property and unfettered inheritance

[Mar 21, 2021] The attempted by Blinken U.S. dimplomatic assault was a home run for the Chinese side

Blinken and Bush are as boorish and rude, perhaps even more condescending than pompeo and Trump - But it is hard to choose between the lesser of two american evils. So in just a matter of weeks, the US just antagonized both Russia and China. The US is getting very bold,
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
chet380 , Mar 19 2021 19:16 utc | 1

Secretary of State Blinken's meeting with the Chinese foreign minister in a shabby Alaskan hotel was another diplomatic train wreck :

"The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world," Blinken said.

The 'rules based order' means 'do what we say' and is of course unacceptable. Here is how the Chinese replied:

What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called "rules-based" international order.

and

I don't think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States or that the opinion of the United States could represent international public opinion, and those countries would not recognize that the rules made by a small number of people would serve as the basis for the international order.

When Yang was chided by Blinken for making a too long opening statement in response to Blinken's accusations Yang replied:

The Chinese side felt compelled to make this speech because of the tone of the U.S. side.

Well, isn't this the intention of United States, judging from what – or the way that you have made your opening remarks, that it wants to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength?

So was this carefully all planned and was it carefully orchestrated with all the preparations in place? Is that the way that you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?

Well, I think we thought too well of the United States. We thought that the U.S. side will follow the necessary diplomatic protocols. So for China it was necessary that we made our position clear.

So let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength . The U.S. side was not even qualified to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people. If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let's follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way.

And this which was apparently left out of State Departments transcript:

History will prove that if you use cutthroat competition to suppress China you will be the one to suffer in the end.

The attempted U.S. assault was a home run for the Chinese side :

Many netizens on China's social media said Chinese officials were doing a good job in Alaska, and that the U.S. side lacked sincerity.

Some even characterized the talks as a "Hongmen Banquet", referring to an event that took place 2,000 years ago where a rebel leader invited another to a feast with the intention of murdering him.

Posted by b on March 19, 2021 at 18:53 UTC | Permalink

The Chinese emphasis on most of the world rejecting a US-directed 'rules-based order' instead of honouring the UN Charter and settled international law is of supreme importance aand must be re-emphasized ad nauseum.


Jezabeel , Mar 19 2021 19:17 utc | 2

I'm glad China says what every country should have been saying for the last 40 years. The US is a liar and always has been.

Sadde , Mar 19 2021 19:22 utc | 3

What a bunch of amateurish megalomaniac idiots. It was an exhibition of a total lack of tact, self-perception, decency or any equilibrium. The Chinese's confident offensive resulted in a rapid emotional dive from a state of megalomaniac bravado to shaky self-confidence. In comparison they made even Trump look like a cultivated gentleman.

Canadian Cents , Mar 19 2021 19:28 utc | 5

To translate from Orwellian Western Newspeak to english:

'Rules-based order' means 'Our rules for you that we don't have to follow and can change anytime we like.'

'International order' means 'Western-ruled-world order.'

'International community' means the US-led Western community and vassal states. Western media spouts this all the time.

'Rules-based' is the modern day incarnation of Americans/British throwing around the phrase 'treaty', 'treaty-based' in colonial days. Different words, same con.

powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 19:37 utc | 7

USA provided a transcript of both US Govt & China Govt speakers.

I thought this a little unusual, as foreign miminstries like to publish their own transcripts so that they control the authentic translation of their words, free from the opposing parties editing or mis-translation.

"cutthroat competition" may be an arguably alternative translation of "strangle" in the China readout "those who seek to strangle China will suffer in the end."

I was waiting for the China verbatim translation to check the fidelity of the USA translation.

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/wshd_665389/t1862641.shtml
https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/wshd_665389/t1862643.shtml


But there is only an unquoted report, which is the meeting, but without quotation marks to distinguish between the authors voice and the Officials voice.

Verbatim would be better.

Maybe the USA had reciprocal concerns about the verbatim accuracy of the China transcript.

But its on video anyway, so???

dave constable , Mar 19 2021 20:22 utc | 27

My translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" has one of Dostoevski's brothers saying, "Each man creates Satan in his own image."

Blinken is Secretary of State for USA, head of the US State Department.
He mentioned in his nomination hearing, & makes allusion in this meeting with China, to a genocide in Xinjiang.
Foreign Affairs magazine article reports US State Department legal office saying they have no evidence for a genocide in Xinjiang.
Is Blinken in touch with his department?

uncle tungsten , Mar 19 2021 20:59 utc | 35

b Posted:

"The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world," Blinken said.

The 'rules based order' means 'do what we say' and is of course unacceptable. Here is how the Chinese replied:

What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called "rules-based" international order.

Say it to uncle sam. Say it every time they meet. The bankruptcy of the "rules based order" gang of five or six is a failure.

For all its apalling faults the UN and established international courts are the place to go. Suck it up uncle sam.

ak74 , Mar 19 2021 21:31 utc | 40

"The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world," Blinken said.

LOL.

You really have to wonder if the Americans believe their own bullshit about their hollowed "Rules Based International Order"?

The violent and unstable world is ALREADY here thanks to ... this very same American "Rules" Based Order.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Somalia--these are just a few of the countries America has either invaded, bombed, or supported moderate jihadi Head-Choppers against to destabilize in the past generation.

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


Perimetr , Mar 19 2021 22:55 utc | 55

Re Sadde @3 " What a bunch of amateurish megalomaniac idiots. It was an exhibition of a total lack of tact, self-perception, decency or any equilibrium. "

Seems like just the other day I was reading the same description about Pompeo lol. And yet somehow this is much worse, as we have a clearly demented, recently installed "president" who can't make it up a flight of stairs or give a press conference, who has the nuclear football following him around 24/.7.

Been nice knowing y'all.

karlof1 , Mar 20 2021 0:30 utc | 74

Here's Sputnik 's initial report on the Alaska meet. Not much reference to commerce. Here's an excerpt:

"Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who accompanied Yang to the talks, told CGTN that their side had made clear to the Americans that China takes its sovereignty very seriously and warned them not to 'underestimate China's determination to defend its territory, to defend its people, and maintain its righteous interests.'

"Washington has criticized China's security policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, where Western-backed separatist forces have created chronic unrest, as well as its longstanding claim to rule Taiwan, an autonomous island ruled by the Republic of China that lost the civil war in mainland China in 1949, when the socialist People's Republic of China was formed. The US technically recognizes Beijing's claim to be the sole legitimate representative of China, but in reality is the primary backer of the Taiwanese government. Beijing says all of these are internal matters and not of Washington's concern."

Very little's reported of the Outlaw US Empire's response. This little bit doesn't bode well:

"US State Department officials noted they did not see the Alaska summit as the beginning of a new mechanism or dialogue."

I see that as a confession that they aren't agreement capable since they can't even continue a dialogue.

[Mar 21, 2021] Populism and illusions of American exceptionalism

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

ld , Mar 19 2021 22:20 utc | 48

James @28

contrived moulded whatever the case I leave this excerpt. I feel it hits the head.

Here's what journalist Joe Bageant wrote in 2007:

Much of the ongoing battle for America's soul is about healing the souls of these Americans and rousing them from the stupefying glut of commodity and spectacle. It is about making sure that they -- and we -- refuse to accept torture as the act of "heroes" and babies deformed by depleted uranium as the "price of freedom." Caught up in the great self-referential hologram of imperial America, force-fed goods and hubris like fattened steers, working people like World Championship Wrestling and Confederate flags and flat-screen televisions and the idea of an American empire. ("American Empire! I like the sound of that!" they think to themselves, without even the slightest idea what it means historically.) "The people" doing our hardest work and fighting our wars are not altruistic and probably never were. They don't give a rat's bunghole about the world's poor or the planet or animals or anything else. Not really. "The people" like cheap gas. They like chasing post-Thanksgiving Day Christmas sales. And if fascism comes, they will like that too if the cost of gas isn't too high and Comcast comes through with a twenty-four-hour NFL channel.

That is the American hologram. That is the peculiar illusion we live within, the illusion that holds us together, makes us alike, yet tells each of us we are unique. And it will remain in force until the whole shiteree comes down around our heads. Working people do not deny reality. They create it from the depths of their perverse ignorance, even as the so-called left speaks in non sequiturs and wonders why it cannot gain any political traction. Meanwhile, for the people, it is football and NASCAR and a republic free from married queers and trigger locks on guns. That's what they voted for -- an armed and moral republic. And that's what we get when we stand by and watch the humanity get hammered out of our fellow citizens, letting them be worked cheap and farmed like a human crop for profit.

Genuine moral values have jack to do with politics. But in an obsessively religious nation, values remain the most effective smoke screen for larceny by the rich and hatred and fear by the rest. What Christians and so many quiet, ordinary Americans were voting for in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 was fear of human beings culturally unlike themselves, particularly gays and lesbians and Muslims and other non-Christians. That's why in eleven states Republicans got constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage on the ballot. In nine of them the bill passed easily. It was always about fearing and, in the worst cases, hating "the other."

Being a southerner, I have hated in my lifetime. I can remember schoolyard discussions of supposed "nigger knifing" of white boys at night and such. And like most people over fifty, it shows in my face, because by that age we have the faces we deserve. Likewise I have seen hate in others and know it when I see it. And I am seeing more of it now than ever before in my lifetime, which is saying something considering that I grew up down here during the Jim Crow era. Fanned and nurtured by neoconservative elements, the hate is every bit equal to the kind I saw in my people during those violent years. Irrational. Deeply rooted. Based on inchoate fears.

The fear is particularly prevalent in the middle and upper-middle classes here, the very ones most openly vehement about being against using the words nigger and fuck. They are what passes for educated people in a place like Winchester. You can smell their fear. Fear of losing their advantages and money. Fear there won't be enough time to grab and stash enough geet to keep themselves and their offspring in Chardonnay and farting through silk for the next fifty years.

So they keep the lie machinery and the smoke generators cranking full blast as long as possible, hoping to elect another one of their own kind to the White House -- Democratic or Republican, it doesn't matter so long as they keep the scam going. The Laurita Barrs speak in knowing, authoritative tones, and the inwardly fearful house painter and single-mom forklift driver listen and nod. Why take a chance on voting for a party that would let homos be scout masters?

(Dear Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War, chapter 2)

[Mar 21, 2021] The narrative says that Putin's mother survived the siege of Leningrad, but it doesn't go into the details

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Mar 21 2021 16:13 utc | 225

@202 Norwegian

That's a lovely little compilation about Putin and his family, thanks.

The narrative says that Putin's mother survived the siege of Leningrad, but it doesn't go into the details. You can get the story from one of the several Russian documentaries about Putin - I forget which one but I could dig for it if pressed.

Putin's father came back from the front, wounded and on crutches. He showed up just as medics were taking his wife out to whatever transport they were using to clean up the dead bodies - she was practically dead, and the witness to this says she was "washed up". Putin's father fought the medics away with his crutches and took his wife back into their home, and nursed her back to life.

Thus runs the story, and this is the woman who later gave birth to Putin, already with two brothers dead that he never knew. It sounds exaggerated when I write out the story like that, but I never disbelieved it when I heard it, and I still don't.

So this is the depth of the man who heads the Russian Federation. Personally touched by war, personally grieving for the losses of Russia, personally committed to the safety of civilians and to minimal death in general.

~~

While I'm on the subject, two other stories occur to me. One was when he first took command of Russia and addressed the war in the Caucasus - his famous episode with his military commanders in the tent, when he said they would not drink to success until they had achieved it (I paraphrase), and put his glass down untouched. To drink prematurely, he said, would be to dishonor all those who had already died in this war. First, to stop the dying.

But the story I wanted to say about that was that he also forcefully told his generals to be very careful how they conducted operations: they were entering places where civilians lived - old people, those who had fought in the Great Patriotic War, those to whom everyone present owed their lives. He was very serious about taking great care not to harm those most honorable people.

The second story is when the Berlin Wall went down, and crowds surged to invade the Stasi building, ripping its secrets into the open. They also came to the KGB building. The chief of that bureau fled, leaving by the back way. That left Putin as next in command. He went down to address the crowd. He stood in front of them and they asked who he was and he lied and said that he was "the interpreter". He said that this building was the property of the USSR. In his gun he had twelve bullets, he said, eleven for those whom he faced and the last for himself. The crowd understood that this building was not East Germany but the Soviet Union, and that this officer would defend it with his life. Whatever they thought, they turned away and left the building unmolested.

~~

I'm impressed with the character and caliber of this human being called Putin, for good reasons, I find. There's a heroic scale to him that comes from Russia itself and the experiences that Putin was born into and from. And yet he personally is a naturally modest man. He bears that heroic dimension of scale with the grace that comes from ordinariness. He loves ordinary people. He renews his own mental health from being in their company. The security state of Russia chose the best person it could find, in a last-ditch attempt to save their country. It worked.

[Mar 21, 2021] The 'takes one to know one' quote is not a direct quote from Putin, it is a claim by Biden

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurk , Mar 19 2021 19:23 utc | 4

The 'western' media reporting of the spat between Biden and Putin is typically bad.

The Guardian @guardian - 18:15 UTC · Mar 18, 2021

'Takes one to know one': Putin-Biden spat escalates over 'killer' accusation

That was not what Putin had said:

Ivan Pentchoukov @IvanPentchoukov - 16:56 UTC · Mar 19, 2021

Can't believe how many outlets are running with the same totally false translation of what Putin said.

The idiom Putin used is much closer to "the names you call others is what you should be called."

The official Kremlin transcript agrees with Ivan's formulation:

[D]ifficult, dramatic, and bloody events abound in the history of every nation and every state. But when we evaluate other people, or even other states and nations, we are always facing a mirror, we always see ourselves in the reflection, because we project our inner selves onto the other person.

You know, I remember when we were children and played in the yard, we had arguments occasionally and we used to say: whatever you call me is what you are called yourself. This is no coincidence or just a kids' saying or joke. It has a very deep psychological undercurrent. We always see ourselves in another person and think that he or she is just like us, and evaluate the other person's actions based on our own outlook on life.

There is an additional passage of interest which sets out rules for future talks that I have not seen reported in 'western' media:

I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.

We, with our national interests in mind, will promote our relations with all countries, including the United States.

The 'takes one to know one' quote is not a direct quote from Putin, it is a claim by Biden.

Here is the Daily Beast's take on it. (Yeah, I know it's a ridiculous source, but it was the first source I found that correctly attributed that quote to Biden.)

Biden recalled: "We had a long talk, he and I, when we... I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, 'I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.'"

The president also confirmed that, some years ago, he was alone with Putin in his office and he brought up the topic of Putin's lack of a human soul. "I said, 'I looked in your eyes and I don't think you have a soul,' and he looked back and said, 'We understand each other.' The most important thing of dealing with foreign leaders... is just know the other guy."


Kapusta , Mar 19 2021 19:39 utc | 8

@ 6 Posted by: Peter Moritz

The Guardian's translation of "it takes one to know one," which has been amplified by western media and social media, is absolutely incorrect. It implies that Putin is admitting that he is a 'killer,' which he absolutely does not do. Anybody that has a working knowledge of Russian will be able to translate the saying that Putin uses to mean that he is suggesting that Biden is projecting. In fact, Putin provides context for this statement by referring to US History.

tucenz , Mar 19 2021 19:48 utc | 11

Re: Peter Moritz | Mar 19 2021 19:29 utc | 6

I say bullshit. "It takes one to know one" - suggests some equivalence for the two people. That meaning is not in Kremlin transcript of Putin's words. Putin is saying "you are projecting (your own problem)".

Kapusta , Mar 19 2021 20:38 utc | 30

@ 24 Posted by: Peter Moritz

I understand that this is just semantics, but something as widespread as this has become in western media can have a big impact on perception of lazy westerners if the interpretation is incorrect. This should be obvious, regardless of the supposed "elegance" of the phrase.

"Takes one to know one" does not imply projection, it rather implies hypocrisy. Putin is not accusing Biden of hypocrisy, he is accusing Biden of projection. "Takes one to know one" gives a western audience the suggestion that Putin qualifies an admission of being a killer with an accusation that Biden is also a killer. Putin, in fact, does not do this. He only suggests that Biden is projecting and only projecting.

Norwegian , Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 32

@Kapusta 8, 29
Thank you for the explanations and clarification of what Putin actually said, and what it implies. Facts matter.

alaff , Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 33
in a shabby Alaskan hotel

Haha, nice)

Minister Lavrov today confirmed Putin's words, saying " [We] will be ready to cooperate only in those areas that are of interest to us, and only on terms that are beneficial to us ".

In my opinion, the Chinese representatives gave a good answer to the American side, although this answer will obviously not be heard.
The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about?
A sad picture. And dangerous. A madman with nuclear weapons (and chemical weapons, by the way) is not the best option for a reliable negotiating partner.

LeaNder , Mar 19 2021 21:04 utc | 37

...a few hints on Putin's comment.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2021/03/18/on-a-roll/comment-page-1/#comment-37067

Powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 21:31 utc | 41

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/65172

For Pres Putin's EXACT words.

Yes, projection.

His words about the moral attributes of the US elites - he very carefully excludes the public are MUCH more significant!

karlof1 , Mar 19 2021 23:15 utc | 61

The editors at Strategic-Culture see it this way :

"In a desperate bid to thwart the strategic partnership between Russia and Europe, Washington is resorting to ever-more frantic threats of sanctions and other disruptive measures. Biden is playing the personal insult card in a gambit for blowing up bilateral relations with Russia as a way to sabotage Nord Stream 2.

"It's a pathetic move, one that actually speaks more of America's historic enfeeblement rather than pretensions of power. Russia would do well to stay calm and let the Americans make fools of themselves."

It seems Russia's doing just that--attending to the vital business of developing its nation and peoples. Russia's geared for numerous patriotic celebrations throughout the year, and Biden's comments were made on the eve of Crimean reunification with Russia, which only served to cement Russians closer and hold Putin in even greater esteem. Talk about an Own Goal!

Outlaw US Empire Nord Stream policy is close to being the same as literally torpedoing it, making it an act of war against the EU and Russia. Somehow, I don't think Blinken understands that fundamental fact.

vetinLA , Mar 19 2021 23:37 utc | 64

"I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this."

This statement is a positive, that is the mark of a government that adheres to real values, beneficial to the growth of humanity, and not just for the enrichment of a greedy minority of it's citizens.

How utterly refreshing....

bevin , Mar 20 2021 16:58 utc | 123

The most peculiar aspect of Biden's outburst is its timing.

If there was one moment in time when it would be ill advised for even the most brass necked, cynical American exceptionalist not to restrain himself from accusing anyone of murder, it would have to be that moment in which the bulkiest object in the "Out" tray on the Presidential desk happened to be a crude coffin like box containing the butchered remains of the Washington Post journalist and long established CIA asset Adnan Khashoggi.

Now there was the victim of a killer, the Crown Prince, acting with the permission of the US government and in the spirit of the Deep State which put Joe Biden in office.

Joe was perhaps thinking of Khashoggi-a beltway denizen he must have run into in one of the cocktail parties or brothels on the circuit- when he murmured admiringly, to himself, blissfully unaware of the presence of George Stephanopolous- one of the grande horizontales of American culture- and the TV camera, "That guy, whatsisname, the one from whatsitcalled, Russia, is a killer."

Though of course he's not in Obama's league.

Boogity , Mar 20 2021 19:42 utc | 142

Putin fell into a trap. He should have not said a damn thing after Biden spouted off about him being a killer. The western MSM on both sides of the Pond are now running with the incorrect translation and narrative that Putin admitted to being a killer. The western MSM is now also claiming that Putin's wishing Biden good health means he's threatening to poison him.

Putin should have heeded Mark Twain's wise words:

"Don't wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it."

Carver , Mar 20 2021 20:09 utc | 145

The western media was captured many years ago and serves only its propaganda business model.
America is number one instigator and developer of conflict across the entire planet and is increasingly unworthy of anyones trust or respect.

Carver , Mar 20 2021 20:24 utc | 146

The US media has degenerated into a slave to the propaganda business model that it has chosen to adopt.
The US is the Number One instigator and manipulator of conflict across the planet and is unworthy of anyones trust or respect. The American way defines all that is devious and corrupt.
None of this is new. There was some disruption for a few years recently, but now that all obstacles are permanently neutered the destruction of the future for personal gain can get back into top gear once again.

Bernard F. , Mar 20 2021 22:51 utc | 155

@Boogity | Mar 20 2021 19:42 utc | 141, and others Barflies...

Putin don't wrestle with the pig.

1) as b., and thanks for his Job, all of us must go to the original and extensive version. MSM and chats are narrative tools reducing and calibrating our souls.
2) with regards to China and Russia stay tune about context
3) be careful about "translation".

For this "WWE double smackdown" you must read here:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/65172


To Biden as an old man, Putin just wish him Good health.


"I would say "stay healthy." [... ] I am saying this without irony or tongue in cheek."

But "secondly, taking a broader approach to this matter"
"to the US establishment, the ruling class – not the American people who are mostly honest, decent and sincere people who want to live in peace and friendship with us",
he said something like [you are not qualified to speak to Russia from a position of strength]


their mindset [of US ruling class] was formed in rather challenging circumstances which we are all aware of. After all, the colonisation of the American continent by the Europeans went hand-in-hand with the extermination of the local people, the genocide, as they say today, outright genocide of the Indian tribes followed by a very tough, long and difficult period of slavery , a very cruel period. All of that has been part of life in America throughout the history of the United States to this day. Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from? To this day, African Americans face injustice and even extermination.

The ruling class of the United States tends to address domestic and foreign policy issues based on these assumptions. After all, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons , mind you, against a non-nuclear state – Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II. There was absolutely no military need for the bombing. It was nothing but the extermination of civilians.

I am bringing this up, because I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interets .
[...]
despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.
We, with our national interests in mind, will promote our relations with all countries"


And he said that on March 18th, 7th anniversary of Crimea reuniting to Russia.

The next Day in Anchorage
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218870.shtml and scroll....

Yang Jiechi stated China's position at his opening remarks, saying China hopes this dialogue is sincere and honest.
Opening remarks were for 8mn (4x2mn),
But after Yang Jiechi spoke Blinken broke protocole agrement, recall journalists in order to show is strength. They came to 90mn press conference.

Strength was on chinese side:
"we thought the US would follow the necessary diplomatic protocol In front of the Chinese side, the US side is not qualified to speak to China from a position of strength"

"the US must focus on its own human rights issues -- like the Black Lives Matter movement -- and not meddle in the country's internal affairs "

Grieved , Mar 21 2021 0:31 utc | 169

Putin's elaboration of the history and founding culture of the USA was brilliantly well done, I thought. As an academic lesson it could hardly be more concise, nor more penetrating and accurate.

He was speaking to his home constituency of Russia, but he was well aware that the whole world would listen. The so-called Global South listens to these words for the same reason we do, to know what has now been said out loud and thus can now be referenced in future discussions and in future geopolitical positions and stances.

In this sense, all of these words, and words like them, are strength to the backbone of the world. It clarifies what Russia is now prepared to say out loud, and it suggests very clearly where a lesser nation might stand, perhaps, and even solicit the support of Russia - at the UN or in diplomacy at least, if not with S-400s.

And so as these words are sent out into the real world as things that can now be "noticed", to use the judicial sense of the word, the growing world alliance coheres around these words, and the world changes in its global attitude.

Those who believe that none of this matters - and this would obviously include the ruling class of the US, described so perfectly by Putin - are in for a shock.

I can't easily demonstrate how greatly these words matter, other than to remind us how things used to look half a dozen years ago, when the US was such an ogre, and how things look now, when the US is more literally a dotard than ever before, and when the fear of challenging the US is beginning to disappear from the world, overcome by disgust.

These are dangerous times - for the US. Being described accurately is a small step from being in someone's cross-hairs.

[Mar 21, 2021] How do we change a nation state that has so thoroughly morphed into an advertising and marketing phony, aided and abetted by so many deluded morons?

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vetinLA , Mar 20 2021 5:24 utc | 98

Many great observations tonight, but all, beg the question; How do we change a nation state that has so thoroughly morphed into an advertising and marketing phony, aided and abetted by so many deluded morons?

[Mar 21, 2021] Going to be a lot of very confused people at Foggy Bottom. They may never have experienced this degree of contempt before.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Mar 19 2021 22:08 utc | 46

This is interesting. Apparently both the Russians and the Chinese have concluded that Biden intends to use "CornPop" faux-macho posturing as his foreign policy, and they have both decided that "f**k that, let's nip this in the bud".

Because it looks like they have decided they have had a gut-full of US "exceptionalism" and are quite determined to say so. To anyone, but especially to the Americans.

Going to be a lot of very confused people at Foggy Bottom. They may never have experienced this degree of contempt before.


karlof1 , Mar 19 2021 22:10 utc | 47

ak74 @39--

I about fell on the floor when I read Blinken's words, my first thought being "this klutz has zero knowledge of history since 1588 and just admitted as much. In China, Blinken would never achieve any position of power.

The decadence of the Outlaw US Empire's government is like so many prions turning brain tissue into a swiss-cheese-like mass and then boasting about how finely tuned are its cognitive abilities. And when Harris is installed, we'll have a genuine novice in charge--The Blind leading the Blind.

It's no wonder the Chinese sought an audience with Lavrov ASAP.

[Mar 21, 2021] The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about?

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Mar 20 2021 1:53 utc | 85

The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about? A sad picture. And dangerous. A madman with nuclear weapons (and chemical weapons, by the way) is not the best option for a reliable negotiating partner.

alaff | Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 32:

And Bio-weapons.

[Mar 19, 2021] On 17 March Russia withdraws it's US Ambassador for consultations:

Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 0:33 utc | 45

  1. 17 March Russia withdraws it's US Ambassador for consultations:
    "Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been summoned to Moscow for consultations in order to analyse what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States.

    The new US administration took office about two months ago and the symbolic 100-day mark is not too far away, which is a good occasion for trying to appraise what Joe Biden's team has managed to do and where it was not very successful.

    The most important thing for us is to identify ways of rectifying Russia-US relations, which have been going through hard times as Washington has, as a matter of fact, brought them to a blind alley.

    We are interested in preventing an irreversible deterioration in relations, if the Americans become aware of the risks associated with this."

  2. Pres. Putin invite Pres. Biden for a live on-line public discussion of issues:
    "I want to invite President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do this actually live, as they say, online. Without any delay, but directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that it would be interesting for the people of Russia, for the people of the United States, and for many other countries", Putin said on air on the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
  3. The talk to be tomorrow (Friday). If not, then Monday, as he is spending free time in the Taiga (oblique reference to North Korea going up the sacred mountain to re-majorly rethink policy). This also places a live face to face in Prime media time, avoiding the dead news weekend.
  4. Biden is an intelligent man, but can't appear on an unedited live TV show with Putin - not because of his age-related related memory recall difficulty - this is normal - but because it risks exposing the cartoon-like tropes, lies, racism, & duplicity of the US Govt. approach.

    Especially when compared and contrasted with the serious and adult approach of the Russian President. Nearly 100 days in, USA Govt. has been given the chance, and it is clear USA Govt aggression and attempts to interfere in Russian domestic policy will continue. Should Russia abandon soft diplomacy and strategic patience with USA?

  5. Perhaps it is all theatre, coordinated by the Presidential envoys.

    Perhaps a 'crisis' is created, Ukraine creates a threat to Europe, climate must be cooperatively addressed, the Middle East could explode at any moment, a new peace treaty in the Gulf required, blah blah, blah.

    A live face to face airs the issues from both sides publicly, done respectfully, sensibly, no political point scoring or spittle-mouthed fabrications from the US Govt side.

    The Press filter is sidestepped - a Trump tactic. It would be intended as a circuit breaker, and the start of a new course for USA Govt. Russia is ready, has been for years, and repeated it over and over.

    If the USA Govt fails to step up it will hardly be the end of the world. But it will show what a lot of short-sighted, self-interested, careerist, and functionally useless time-servers most of the US political class are.

    They will identify themselves as impediments to the health and welfare of the American people.

[Mar 19, 2021] For those who have been waiting for Putin's response to Biden's "killer" slur, we now have it

Putin is trolling Buden ;-) It is no secret Biden is suffering from severe dementia.
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
worldblee , Mar 18 2021 20:00 utc | 14

For those who have been waiting for Putin's response to Biden's "killer" slur, we now have it:

https://www.rt.com/russia/518521-putin-biden-live-debate/

The president named the fight against the pandemic, regional conflict resolution, and strategic stability issues as possible topics, noting that he would be ready to talk to Biden on Friday or Monday in an "open" chat.

"I would like to suggest to President Biden that we continue our discussion, but on the condition that we actually do it live, without any delays, directly in an open, live discussion," Putin told the Russia 24 TV channel on Thursday. "I think it would be interesting for the people of Russia and the people of the United States and many other countries," he added.

It would be so delicious to actually witness such a debate. By asking for it to be streamed live, Putin is subtly calling out Biden's lie that he "told Putin he had no soul" (whereas it's unlikely that Biden actually had a 1:1 meeting with Putin during the Obama administration) as well as making Biden look weaker when Crash Test Dummy doesn't respond to the invite.


oldhippie , Mar 18 2021 21:23 utc | 27

Biden"s time is limited. Cannot be trusted near a microphone, no matter how well prepared or how thoroughly edted. Has trouble walking, begins to have trouble standing up.

Kamala is still very much a problem. First, no one likes her. Not the public, not her peers. The public is not prepared for her accession. Her competence is possibly even lower than Biden's. She may be better able to read a TelePrompter, she still annoys everyone when she speaks. May turn out to have some aptitude for riding herd on the advisors, we shall see. She may be able to function as some sort of ringmaster but will contribute nothing, she knows nothing.

It shall be government by advisors and functionaries and hidden hands. The advisors and functionaries are all steeped in hegemony and exceptionalism. They have no idea of anything else. Anyone who ever had a thought in their head was weeded out of academia and out of public life a long time ago. That leaves the hidden hands. We will never know much about that. It does appear they are perhaps ready to close down the American project and move on.

karlof1 , Mar 18 2021 21:25 utc | 28

S @24--

If those within the US government were so stupid as to swallow Russiagate's bullshit thus resulting in a "deep hatred of Russia," why would Russia want to deal with such obtuse idiots incapable of logic or critical thinking?

IMO, the current goal of Russia/China/Iran is to completely ice-out the Outlaw US Empire from having any practical impact on global affairs. The new initiative to Re-ratify the UN Charter is a case in point for such a policy. The not agreement capable nation now has a figure head that can't be allowed to talk without minders, a fact Putin would like the entire world to observe. The world has no way to deny that it sees a nation talking like a Gangster and acting like a Gangster as its recent behavior's been very explicit and public. IMO, such behavior hasn't been observed since 1938, but there'll be no appeasement or betrayal of another nation this time. China's already invited Lavrov to Beijing once its diplomats return from Alaska. Yet the Empire lies to itself when it says it has more tools to deal with Russia. The reality is it has no more cards to play--not even its nukes.

Australian lady , Mar 18 2021 23:02 utc | 38

Absolutely no difference in foreign policy?
B, I think you're pandering to your audience.
I wonder what President Putin would think- or perhaps "feel" about teamBiden versus Trump?.
How would you like to be called a "killer, without a soul"? Not withstanding all the theatrical bellicosity of Pompeo, Putin at least understood that Trump admired him as a person. I contend this is a big difference.
Do you think the Dems want any comparison with the Trump administration? They are after contradistinction.
The Dems, the internationalists and the Blairites imagine themselves to be on a roll. Putin is in their crosshairs.
This time the belligerence is the real thing.

powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 1:27 utc | 53

And...18th March..

in a circuitous way, Pres. Putin calls Pres. Biden the real killer:

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/65172

International Music Festival volunteer coordinator and representative of Crimea Federal University Polina Bolbochan: Mr President, I have a somewhat personal question for you. Yesterday, President Biden got quite tough in his interview, including with regard to you. What would you say to him?

Vladimir Putin: With regard to my US colleague's remark, we have, indeed, as he said, met in person. What would I tell him? I would say "stay healthy." I wish him good health. I am saying this without irony or tongue in cheek. This is my first point.

Secondly, taking a broader approach to this matter, I would like to say that difficult, dramatic, and bloody events abound in the history of every nation and every state.

But when we evaluate other people, or even other states and nations, we are always facing a mirror, we always see ourselves in the reflection, because we project our inner selves onto the other person.

You know, I remember when we were children and played in the yard, we had arguments occasionally and we used to say: whatever you call me is what you are called yourself. This is no coincidence or just a kids' saying or joke. It has a very deep psychological undercurrent.

We always see ourselves in another person and think that he or she is just like us, and evaluate the other person's actions based on our own outlook on life.

With regard to the US establishment, the ruling class – not the American people who are mostly honest, decent and sincere people who want to live in peace and friendship with us, something we are aware of and appreciate, and we will rely on them in the future – their mindset was formed in rather challenging circumstances which we are all aware of.

After all, the colonisation of the American continent by the Europeans went hand-in-hand with the extermination of the local people, the genocide, as they say today, outright genocide of the Indian tribes followed by a very tough, long and difficult period of slavery, a very cruel period.

All of that has been part of life in America throughout the history of the United States to this day. Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from? To this day, African Americans face injustice and even extermination.

The ruling class of the United States tends to address domestic and foreign policy issues based on these assumptions. After all, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons, mind you, against a non-nuclear state – Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II. There was absolutely no military need for the bombing. It was nothing but the extermination of civilians.

I am bringing this up, because I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms.

Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code .

But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us.

They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults.

They will have to reckon with this.

My bolds, to bring out the essence.

Essentially, he is saying 'We reject your posturing and rudeness, do what you want. We are ready, and will go our own way. You are not worthy of our cooperation. It' over'.

So, the ball, once again, is in the USA Govt court.

[Mar 14, 2021] Four recurrent themes in demonization of Vladimir Putin: Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy by Keith Gessen,

Jan 20, 2021 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: From the archive- Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy- the many myths of Vladimir Putin – podcast - News - The Guardian

Vladimir Putin, you may have noticed, is everywhere. He has soldiers in Ukraine and Syria, troublemakers in the Baltics and Finland, and a hand in elections from the Czech Republic to France to the United States. And he is in the media. Not a day goes by without a big new article on " Putin's Revenge ", " The Secret Source of Putin's Evil ", or "10 Reasons Why Vladimir Putin Is a Terrible Human Being".

Putin's recent ubiquity has brought great prominence to the practice of Putinology. This enterprise – the production of commentary and analysis about Putin and his motivations, based on necessarily partial, incomplete and sometimes entirely false information – has existed as a distinct intellectual industry for over a decade.

...At no time in history have more people with less knowledge, and greater outrage, opined on the subject of Russia's president. You might say that the reports of Trump's golden showers in a Moscow hotel room have consecrated a golden age – for Putinology.

...

Compared to the 40-year cycle of US deindustrialisation, during which only the rich gained in wealth; the 25-year rightwing war on the Clintons; the eight-year-old Tea Party assault on facts, immigration and taxes; a tepid, centrist campaign; and a supposed late-breaking revelation from the director of the FBI about the dubious investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server – well, compared to all those factors, the leaked DNC emails must rank low on the list of reasons for Trump's victory. And yet, according to a recent report, Hillary Clinton and her campaign still blame the Russians – and, by extension, Barack Obama, who did not make a big issue of the hacks before November – for her electoral debacle. In this instance, thinking about Putin helps not to think about everything else that went wrong, and what needs to be done to fix it.

This evasion is the essence of Putinology, which seeks solace in the undeniable but faraway badness of Putin at the expense of confronting the far more uncomfortable badness in front of one's face. Putinology predates the 2016 election by a decade, and yet what we have seen in connection to Trump these past few months has been its Platonic ideal.

[Mar 08, 2021] Example of naive populism

Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

TruthFreedomPeace 6 hours ago

Hope that more people start cancelling cable TV and boycotting companies like Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon and others to counter the censorship, bias and corruption.

I don't think the corrupt politicians of either party will pay attention until We The People unite behind basic principles and become an economic force. Money talks and it can be used to make positive change in contrast to all the bad things it is also used for.

ACTION PLAN FOR IMMEDIATE CHANGE to counter the corruption , censorship and surveillance by media/tech/finance giants and politicians:

1)Cancel Cable TV (All channels should be made available individually so consumers don't have to give money to channels they don't want to)

2)Do Not donate money to politicians & consider boycotting companies that give them money or pay them for speeches.
Some might decide to boycott Facebook,Twitter,Apple,Amazon,Microsoft, Google and Netflix for censorship or corruption issues alone.

3)Bank with small local banks & invest with small brokerages & insist your employer/pension fund do the same.
Buy from small local merchant stores and use cash when possible.

4)Demand a pardon for Julian Assange & Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers/truthtellers

5)Join Pro freedom social networks like MINDS and Gab ,where freedom of speech and truth are respected.
Follow Zero Hedge and Project Veritas for pro truth/freedom news.

6)Use web browsers like Dissenter,Tor or Brave rather than Chrome or Safari when you surf the web.
Use search engines like Quant or DuckDuckGo rather than Google or Bing for web searches.
Use an email service like ProtonMail rather than Gmail.
Save important online videos/articles/posts to your PC hard drive or phone.
Post videos to Bitchute and LBRY rather than youtube
Shop online at Overstock and smaller independent retailers rather than Amazon/Wayfair

7)Use Linux operating systems like Linux Mint,Debian or others on your computer rather than Windows, Mac or Chrome OS (Almost any PC can be switched to Linux).
Use a Linux based smartphone like PINEPHONE or a "dumbphone" rather than Google Android or Apple iPhone.
Avoid buying a "smart" TV as it is smarter to buy a "dumb" TV with no operating system pre-installed.
Use a Linux mini PC with wireless keyboard on your TV for web browsing/computing/gaming/video streaming rather than amazon fire tv/roku/google chromecast/apple tv/microsoft xbox/nvidia shield.

8) Do NOT support the phony "War on Drugs" which causes more crime,death,murder,gang violence,incarcerations,enriching criminals while millions of people still use illegal drugs anyway.

9) Support a new foreign policy where We The People worldwide unite behind and promote the principles of truth/freedom/goodwill/integrity/humility/Non-Aggression Principle/Golden Rule and focus on winning hearts and minds.

10) Support a worldwide effort to voluntarily help others in the hope that it will win over more people to these principles.

Please share this plan of action with others via text,email & social media if you agree.
Here is the link to share this message.Thank You https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/943148464663228416?referrer=truthfreedompeace

littlewing 6 hours ago

If you buy anything from that TREASONOUS Amazon you should be run out of your neighborhood when the truck shows up.

andrew h nelson 2 hours ago

Institutional corruption. And that's why they are sitting behind a barb wire fence around Washington D.C. OBTW, walls seem to work when these idiots want one.

newworldorder 5 hours ago

And there we people of the USA have it all. Brazen in our face political and institutionalized corruption with no consequences for the Senior US Bureaucracy. If that does not say it all, - nothing else will.

Hope and Change? For the "connected elite," - it's a done deal. You are either in the club or you are not.

[Mar 08, 2021] The Prophet Of The Trump Era by Matt Taibbi

The key is the collapse of neoliberalism and this topic Tabbi tries to avoid. Which makes this article junk with a couple of interesting, thought provoking quotes.
The " collapses of faith in traditional hierarchies of power " should peropery called the "deletimization of the elite." and the situation the result due to it "the revolutionary situation" when the elite can't rule "as usual" and "Deplorables" does not want to live "line usual" anymore. Actually Marxists wtore quite a bit about revolutionary situation, although the fact tht they assign mystique stiat of "future hegemon class" to proletariat undermines much of their writings.
Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News ,

I entered Martin Gurri's world on August 1, 2015. Though I hadn't read The Revolt of the Public , at the time a little-known book by the former CIA analyst of open news sources, I hit a disorienting moment of a type he'd described in his opening chapter. There are times, he wrote, "when tomorrow no longer resembles yesterday the compass cracks, by which we navigate existence. We are lost at sea."

Gurri's book is about how popular uprisings are triggered by collapses of faith in traditional hierarchies of power . I felt such a collapse that day in Waterloo, Iowa, covering the Republican presidential primary . The first debate was five days away and the man expected to occupy center stage, Donald Trump, held a seemingly inexplicable six-point lead .

Two weeks before, on July 18th, Trump lashed out against former Republican nominee John McCain. Even McCain's critics considered his physical and mental scars from years as a Vietnam war prisoner to be unassailable proofs of his patriotic gravitas, but the service-evading Trump was having none of it. "I don't like losers," he said, adding, "He's only a war hero because he was captured." It was the universal belief among colleagues in campaign journalism that this was an unsurvivable gaffe, a "Dean scream" moment. We expected him to apologize and wash out. Instead, he called McCain a "dummy" and kept a firm grasp on the lead.

... ... ...

Elections in the pre-Trump era had been stale rituals. As recently as 2013, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post called them " remarkably scripted and controlled ." Donors, party chiefs, and pundits could concoct contenders through sheer alchemy, mesmerizing the public with incantations like "electability." But in Iowa that summer, one "electable" Republican candidate after another -- from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker to Marco Rubio -- flopped in public appearances, savaged as phonies on social media. Walker, the betting favorite among reporters, saw his campaign deflated when his online strategist, Liz Muir, started tweeting her real feelings about Iowa (including the classic, "#agsubsidies #ethanol #brainless").

I'd spent weeks crisscrossing the state in search of even one piece of evidence that conventional wisdom still had predictive power in Republican politics, finding none. Now, here was Christie, reduced from being lionized in a Time cover story as a favorite and a " guy who loves his mother and gets it done ," to being nobody at all, a clown standing alone in a park. The realization that no one was in control of the campaign show anymore was jarring even to me, a critic of the old gatekeeping ritual.

In the introduction to The Revolt of the Public , Arnold Kling speaks of a different "Gurri moment": when Dan Rather's 2004 expose about George W. Bush's military service was blown up by an amateur blogging under the name "Bucklehead ." In the past, a media titan like CBS could only be second-guessed by another major institutional power. In "Rathergate," both the network and one of its most iconic celebrities were humiliated by a single individual, a preview of the coming disorientation.

The thesis of The Revolt of the Public is that traditional centralized powers are losing -- have lost -- authority, in large part because of the demystifying effect of the Internet. The information explosion undermined the elite monopoly on truth, exposing long-concealed flaws. Many analysts had noted the disruptive power of the Internet, but what made Gurri unique is that he also predicted with depressingly humorous accuracy how traditional hierarchies would respond to this challenge: in a delusional, ham-fisted, authoritarian manner that would only confirm the worst suspicions of the public, accelerating the inevitable throw-the-bums-out campaigns. This assessment of the motive for rising public intransigence was not exactly welcomed, but either way, as Kling wrote, "Martin Gurri saw it coming."

Gurri also noted that public revolts would likely arrive unattached to coherent plans, pushing society into interminable cycles of zero-sum clashes between myopic authorities and their increasingly furious subjects. He called this a "paralysis of distrust," where outsiders can "neutralize but not replace the center" and "networks can protest and overthrow, but never govern." With a nod to Yeats, Gurri summed up: "The center cannot hold, and the border has no clue what to do about it."

Read the rest of the report here .


Bank_sters 1 hour ago remove link

Taibbi forgot to cover the Coup?

RedDog1 1 hour ago

Why would he want to be Arkansancided (or what ever Barry's team calls it)?

Oldwood 29 minutes ago

Obamanated.

YuriTheClown 17 minutes ago

Taibbi is a camp follower. He always seems to be on the spot a year or two late.

But at least he gets there unlike so many others.

Estimated_Fractal PREMIUM 1 hour ago

I read the book last week. At times you'll feel like he's pro liberal and times when he sounds pro conservative. It's not a political book. It's about the deluge of information, in the age of being online, and how the public have just as much information, if not more than the elites. This creates a crisis of authority. I'm trying to sum it up. You should just go read it.

This interview with Beck would be a good primer.

https://youtu.be/7jnAspvyiBc

overbet 1 hour ago

how the public have just as much information, if not more than the elites.

Except the information online is filtered by the elites. So theres that.

Patmos 36 minutes ago

MSM outlets no longer have the scoop, because the internet beats them to it. MSM outlets no longer are the gatekeepers, because the internet exposes their lies. Their authority is neutered. It's why people who still follow the MSM parade around like little nutless b!tches.

Isn't Life Gland 30 minutes ago

Yet they slap each other on the back with Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes which nowadays is the equivalent of showing what sellout snakes and intelligence bitches they really are.

fightapathy 23 minutes ago remove link

Happy memories of Trump stomping on Mad Dog McCain's face.

Thank you, Matt!

I Write Code 1 minute ago

Exactly, whatever myths the MSM told themselves about "Maverick", if half the stories about McCain were ever true, he should never have been elected to anything, unfit. Before his brain exploded he was a sweet guy, but never stable, and maybe not even before the POW bit. Taibbi is really shocked when Trump only barks out what everyone already knows, namely the TRUTH?

Isn't Life Gland 45 minutes ago (Edited)

I tried to read the "rest of the report"...subscription required.

Oh, and F*CK John McCain..good riddance

Slaytheist 57 minutes ago

Taibbi is the left's Ben Shapiro. He will use logical arguments to concede certain facts, but never those that threaten the establishment he critiques so tirelessly.

I Write Code 7 minutes ago remove link

The thesis of The Revolt of the Public is that traditional centralized powers are losing -- have lost -- authority, in large part because of the demystifying effect of the Internet.

Gurri might be right or wrong, I dunno, about how it stood in 2015 - but Taibbi here only shows how utterly clueless he and the entire MSM have been since 2015. They had maybe half a clue from 2008-2015. Maybe two-thirds of a clue from 1992 through 2007. But since 2015 they have not even wanted a clue, they've decided to do without.

HOW ABOUT THIS, THE PUBLIC HAD EVERY RATIONAL RIGHT TO BE REVOLTED BY THE ACTIONS OF THE ELITE AND THE CLUELESSNESS OF THE PRESS after 2015. I don't know how or why the MSM had their heads cut off at that point, but Taibbi shows this to be the case - BRAGS about it being the case.

LouTurks PREMIUM 32 minutes ago

This is nothing new. What has happened is there is a new medium the computer so info can now be shared without the ruling consent. Last time it was the printing press. Ideas could be shared acrossed distences. Thomas Locke and his likes could print ideas and sent them far and wide.

But sadly US is going towards a French style revolt instead of the splendid experiment we now have and have destroyed by our own ignorance.

[Mar 06, 2021] Hong Kong vs. USA cancel campaign: I cannot believe the authors of that article think they can win sympathy from the scores of millions of Americans opposed to the establishment crackdown, "cancelling", and labeling of them as "domestic terrorists".

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 5 2021 16:48 utc | 15

'Hong Kong is crumbling': seven days that crushed city's last resistance

I love some capitalist tears.

William Gruff , Mar 5 2021 18:06 utc | 22

vk @15: "I love some capitalist tears."

More Americans, and in particular the "deplorable" ones, need to read that article. One can safely bet that they will not take away from it what the Grauniad intended. I cannot believe the authors of that article think they can win sympathy from the scores of millions of Americans opposed to the establishment crackdown, "cancelling" , and labeling of them as "domestic terrorists" .

The phones rang on Friday.... More than 50 [agents of American imperialism] across Hong Kong received a call from the authorities: they were to report to police on Sunday.

What? Masked stormtroopers didn't kick in their doors at 3:00AM and drag them naked out of bed as happens in America to "insurrectionists" "? They just got a call to show up in court the next week? Let me play a sad song for them on the world's smallest violin!

[Mar 06, 2021] This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul , Mar 4 2021 21:57 utc | 37

Thanks b for the research and journalism.

One of the favourite tropes of the transparent cabal who have seized power in the US and other captive nations is that the solution to the Palestine/Israel problem is "the path to peace is through direct negotiations.'

This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

The alien invaders are under an obligation to simply get out. Every 'agreement' is null and void.

The New Zealand government and the NZ superannuation fund has recently decided to divest their investments in Israeli banks citing international law, the Geneva Conventions and reputation damage as key factors.

Read the decision making document here:

https://www.nzsuperfund.nz/assets/documents/responsible-investment/R-GNZS-IC-Paper-Exclusion-of-Israeli-Banks-January-2021.pdf

Expect a MSM wall of silence on this one.

It is sheer hypocrisy for the usual suspects to talk about human rights, rules based international law, democracy and our values, while advocating the opposite policies in the middle east.

Is it possible they actually believe their own propaganda and their own lies through Bernays like repartition?

[Mar 06, 2021] If Russia and China really ever formed a bloc Europe and several countries in the Middle East and Asia would immediately switch firmly into the American camp and form a bloc, too. That`s precisely what Washington wants!

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

m , Mar 5 2021 10:33 utc | 87

@4 dsfco
If Russia and China really ever formed a bloc Europe and several countries in the Middle East and Asia would immediately switch firmly into the American camp and form a bloc, too. That`s precisely what Washington wants!

Bejing does the opposite, making deals with key allies of the USA, like recently the EU, Japan, Australia, New Zealand (RCEP) etc. - thus stalling the US efforts. The "Eurasian Bloc" is a Russian wet dream but it`s not in the interest of China.

@42 Passer by
You are reading this wrong. It says in sweet EU diplomacy talk: "Accept a partnership on equal level if you want our continued support."

[Mar 06, 2021] The US could also suffer damage.But then the US has also never been shy about losing lives in the US to maintain its hegemony

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lucci , Mar 5 2021 9:43 utc | 86

[The US could also suffer damage.But then the US has also never been shy about losing lives in the US to maintain its hegemony.

Interesting times ahead. The US goal of full spectrum dominance is on schedule and raring to go.

Posted by: jiri | Mar 5 2021 3:57 utc | 73]

The US do not have a functional Nuclear Shelters for their citizens. That's a first.
It's also do not have nuclear proofed infrastructure such as power infrastructure, farms, water system, etc.
It doesn't have citizens cohesion necessary to survive shattered government authorities (easy to riot, looting, and murdering happen. Too divided)
Nor it trained or can be controlled in any nuclear warfare scenario protocols to reorganize and rebuild (recent covid measures reveals their Karen mentality).
It never have or achieve food securities and independence.
It never have energy independence.
It's industrial sector hollowed up with middle managerial class the one that have the knowledge to ensure their crews and workers can remain in production rapidly aging and or moving aboard with no replacement due to corporate 'restructuring' culture (no regular s became senior enough to have their level of experience).
I can go on and on of how delusional your statement is but I'll just stop for now because it's dumb when you have to specifically point this out.


The only one that can take nuclear war and win their race for rebuilding perhaps just Russia.

[Mar 06, 2021] The difference between Soviet and China political leadership

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Mar 4 2021 23:27 utc | 45

Mao Cheng Ji @ 39:

Soviet leaders were of the people as you say, yes, but when you drill into the details of their careers before they became General Secretaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, you find they had careers as political administrators and propagandists. Only Leonid Brezhnev had a technical background. They were the early equivalents of people like former UK Prime Minister David Cameron who went straight into the British Conservative Party after leaving Oxford University with typical graduate qualifications for a career party hack and who for a time worked for a media communications company; or like current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who worked in marketing executive roles in which his most outstanding qualities were his sheer ineptitude and flouting procurement guidelines.

From Nikita Khrushchev onwards, all General Secretaries with the exceptions of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko (neither of whom lasted long as leaders) had some personal or family connection with the Ukrainian SSR. This may not have been coincidence: it may suggest that there was a network of individuals selecting future leaders for promotion based on close personal career connections.

Until recently most people in the most senior levels of the Communist Party of China , from whom China's leaders are drawn, had technical, engineering or scientific backgrounds. Current members are now drawn from most walks of life though several of them have worked in factories or done manual labour at some point in their working lives.

[Mar 06, 2021] Some still think that the collapse of the USSR was a tragedy

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Smith , Mar 6 2021 0:02 utc | 54

As a south east asian myself, I do think the east asians really aren't the way forward, not until Korea is united, Vietnam and China rid themselves of "to be rich is to be glorious" Dengists, Japan free of LDP and American sock puppetry. I'm also VERY wary of chinese reactionaries who speak of Confucianism.

Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side, but I look favorably to the slavs and their culture, and of course the shining beacon that was the USSR and the 2nd world until 1991 fucks everything up.


Smith , Mar 6 2021 0:18 utc | 58

@ james

Taoism nowadays is basically superstitions. The historical taoist practiced by the ancient and medieval chinese political class is basically free market libertarianism "just let the market regulates itself bruh".

There's a reason that most of the greatest chinese emperors practice legalism (Qin Shi Huang, Liu Bang, Han Wudi), which is direct government intervention in all matters, especially in market and infrastructure, while the Taoist-leaned dynasty (i.e. the Song) resulted in mysticism and the take-over of China by the khitdan and then mongols.

In the West, "Taoism" and "Buddhism" are rebranded as some kind of new age exotic philosophies, but in Asia proper, Taoism is kookery and Buddhism is militarist/nationalist state religion, see Myanmar and Thailand.

karlof1 , Mar 6 2021 0:27 utc | 61

james @55--

I see you qualify your comment by specifying Hong Kong Chinese. They most certainly are not Mainlanders and have a culture polluted by British Imperialism that's closer to the Gangsterism of Chiang Kai-shek than Mao's Collectivism.

You may recall the book and video Affluenza that does a good job of explaining how traditional conservative mores are assaulted and trampled by affluent modernity. Such outcomes aren't restricted to North America but are global thanks to human similarity.

If one were to develop a moral equivalency chart evaluating all global cultures and major sub-cultures, you'd see a majestic hodge-podge with very little uniformity, which also relates to the very uneven state of human development in all its facets. The great task of humanity over the next several centuries is to peacefully level out those disparities. But as I wrote on the Shia thread, the remaining Imperialist nations are a very large impediment in attaining that goal and need to be removed so humanity can evolve.

LurkingDragon , Mar 6 2021 1:17 utc | 66

There is no reason to speculate. Chinese culture, history, stories, have the answers.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for example, has:

3 brothers who are put forwards as "godly". There is a celebrated image of the three of them making the vow of brotherhood in an orchard. The leader, Liu Bei, is a prince of the declining dynasty. He basically constantly virtue signals, but basically mostly does as the rest, which is fight, kill, and grab other people's territories. His two other brothers include a psycho drunk and a supremely self satisfied other. They look good next to a character like Cao Cao;

the intelligentsia are basically bunch of self satisfied gurus of varying degrees of competence that compete with devising deception schemes against other kingdoms.

the military is hardcore, brutal. also stuck on formations, aesthetics, which can be a weakness.

the general population are docile cattle.

What the world hasn't seen for 2 centuries is the famous Chinese arrogance that was their reputation until they truly pooped the pooch of their country with the arrival of Jews and Europeans.

A certain fragrance of superstition and sentimentality also is always present, at various degrees.

Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Carl Denis Stephan , Mar 6 2021 1:32 utc | 68

Lurking Dragon 66
Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Well, this is what we are seeing from our western "partners" as was bestowed upon the globe by so many self righteous defenders of human rights, democracy and the "white man's burden"

See for an example Halliburton's mercenaries, ISIS and other creepy creatures invented and bestowed upon civilisation by people that believe that if you are not jewish, you are not human and, therefore, can be dispensed at will if of no use to the chosen ones.

Smith , Mar 6 2021 1:32 utc | 69

@ james

Yes, the western hippie generation is very fueled by drugs and new age philosophies. But note that these rebranded exotic religions do not resemble the native ones.

For example in Asia proper, you have actual deities to worship in Taoism, and it's not just a philosophy waxing about the Dao like in the west.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daode_Tianzun

And Taoist priests are still an actual thing, and you can hire them to check Feng Shui and even exorcism.

Still, it's superstitions and money making schemes, and I wouldn't put much trust in them.

Bemildred , Mar 6 2021 1:36 utc | 70

Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Posted by: LurkingDragon | Mar 6 2021 1:17 utc | 66

That sounds pretty much like every job I have had here in the USA all of my life. (Except the union jobs.) There is a reason they hate unions, especially ones that have not been domesticated yet.)

Jen , Mar 6 2021 4:15 utc | 77

James @ 55:

Hong Kong culture is very different from the culture of Mainland China, thanks in no small part to HK having once been a link between China and the rest of the world for a long time and becoming very wealthy as a manufacturing and financial services centre as a result. HK people are very materialistic and status-conscious, and look down on other Chinese (to say nothing of what they think of other Asians and other non-white people) who do not speak HK Cantonese. The only people HK people respect are English-speaking white British and Americans.

My parents visited HK back in the 1990s and my mother tried speaking Taishanese (our native language: it is related to Cantonese and is spoken just west of the Pearl River delta not far from Macau, in Guangdong province) to shop assistants. They ignored her and it was only when she switched to English that their attitude changed dramatically and fell over one another to help.

Before the 1980s, huge numbers of Cantonese people living in English-speaking countries were actually Taishanese speakers. My parents visited San Francisco's Chinatown in 1988 and nearly everyone they came across spoke Taishanese. It was the dominant language there.

Jason , Mar 6 2021 5:41 utc | 80

My dad's second (and current) wife is Chinese. He met her online in the late 90's, and she moved with her young son to Wisconsin and married him around 2000.

I think my dad was looking for a docile women after his previous marriage and girlfriends, and on the surface, Xue Lin seemed docile...in reality she is not docile, but subtle, a characteristic I found true of her, her son and the Chinese people I have met thru them. Nobody ever got my dad to work as hard or be as frugal as she!

They came over with money and bailed my dad out of a tax mess. She still owns apartment buildings in China. Both are very hard working, smart and frugal, but not materialistic.

Jake (her son) and I ended up being pretty close. He received an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and worked in the natural gas business in Texas before moving back to China where I've had the pleasure of visiting him.

My impression of China and the Chinese is largely positive, the extreme work ethic can be a bother given I am a pothead hippy slacker. There is a lot of optimism and energy there, it makes the USA feel like a barbaric backwater country whose best days are past.

Jason , Mar 6 2021 5:52 utc | 81

@66
Sounds like projection. You have nicely described my experience in the USA! Aside from my union jobs, it has been kiss up and kick down...even self-employed.

"A certain fragrance of superstition and sentimentality also is always present, at various degrees." Growing up in a small, conservative religious town, this is a great description of my experience.

I will say, the general American population isn't docile, but are herded about like cattle none the less. I'd also say the Chinese aren't so much docile as they are subtle, which I believe is far more effective than rowdy but dumb.

vk , Mar 6 2021 15:52 utc | 98

... ... ...

The stereotype of the Chinese as the greedy merchant in SE Asia comes from the colonial era. Western colonization of China created a Chinese comprador elite who was allowed many commercial privileges within the Mainland (as middlemen) but also in the SE Asian region. As every Latin American well know, comprador elites are the worst of the worst. No wonder the peoples of Indonesia, Philippines etc. etc. see the Chinese as a negative force in their countries.

The same is true for the stereotype of the Chinese as a mafioso in Latin America: the Chinese who emigrated to Latin America are mainly triad and hyper-capitalists from Taiwan or pre-communist China (who may or may not have indirectly come from Taiwan in later decades).

The same is true for the stereotype of the Chinese as the arrogant, pro-laissez faire upper middle class individualist in Canada, USA, Australia and Western Europe in the modern times. They are most tourists and/or a selected bunch of upper middle class Chinese who are lured into real estate schemes in those countries (Australia, Vancouver etc.).

As we can see, peoples make up stereotypes of other peoples based on small and heavily skewed samples. That's why we have statistics, and they tell us the Chinese are one of the most if not the most down-to-Earth, non-religious, socialist and tolerant peoples of the world today.

[Mar 06, 2021] pfizer not the USA, wants military bases

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Mar 4 2021 21:42 utc | 32

pfizer not the USA, wants military bases
very interesting.. extension of the office of the president to a private corporation

This does not comport with Article II(Section 2) of the USA constitution.. which says
"The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the usa, and of the Militia of the serveral states, when into the actual service of the USA,

but no where do I find a private corporation may exercise the power of the Office of the President ...? What did I mis?

[Mar 06, 2021] Not agreement capable

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 6 2021 0:38 utc | 62

arby #56

Are you gonna believe what I tell you or are you gonna believe what you see, comes to mind.

I believe what I see and I don't see the USA doing any bridge building, even in its own country where bridge infrastructure is in serious decay.

I repeat: These are not normal people in charge. They have lost their minds.

Maybe once a long time ago the USA diplomatic corp was supported by elected officials that set out to make allies based on mutual respect. But those days are long gone. The only bridges the USA builds is munition supply channels, be it by air or by sea. They destroy physical and metaphorical bridges in every nation they occupy.

The USA builds walls and barriers and obstruction: at home at the Mexican border, in the capital state, by economic sanctions illegally applied throughout the world, by destroying its home regulatory system to keep poisoned citizens from seeking judicial or regulatory redress for pollution and human suffering.

I see a mendacious, failed state surrounding its elected officials and financial institutions and even suburbs with walls and barriers. Then they attack people who criticise them in moderately peaceful ways. That is who they are, that is what I see.

[Mar 04, 2021] US politicians usually justify their bloodlust wars with Thucydides Trap style rhetoric. " Let's fight "X" there so that we don't have to fight them here ." Most of us are old enough to remember Rice's ominous warning about the " smoking gun becoming a mushroom cloud

Mar 04, 2021 | www.unz.com

ValMonde , says: March 2, 2021 at 8:44 pm GMT • 2.2 days ago

@Steve Naidamast

US politicians usually justify their bloodlust wars with Thucydides Trap style rhetoric. " Let's fight "X" there so that we don't have to fight them here ." Most of us are old enough to remember Rice's ominous warning about the " smoking gun becoming a mushroom cloud ". Granted, it's part of the consent manufacturing process but it's the public perception of an imminent danger that matters.

[Mar 04, 2021] Putin Blasts W.E.F. Honchos at Davos Gabfest, by Mike Whitney

Mar 04, 2021 | www.unz.com

At the end of January, Putin was given the opportunity to address the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland (online). The WEF is a prestigious assembly of political leaders, corporatists and billionaire elites many of who are directly involved in the massive global restructuring project that is currently underway behind the smokescreen of the Covid-19 pandemic. Powerful members of the WEF decided that the Coronavirus presented the perfect opportunity to implement their dystopian strategy which includes a hasty transition to green energy, A.I., robotics, transhumanism, universal vaccination and a comprehensive surveillance matrix that detects the location and activities of every human being on the planet. The proponents of this universal police state breezily refer to it as "The Great Reset" which is the latest make-over of the more familiar, "New World Order". There's not a hairsbreadth difference between the Reset and one-world government which has preoccupied billionaire activists for more than a century. This is the group to which Putin made the following remarks:

"I would like to speak in more detail about the main challenges ..the international community is facing . The first one is socioeconomic .. Starting from 1980, global per capita GDP has doubled in terms of real purchasing power parity. This is definitely a positive indicator. Globalisation and domestic growth have led to strong growth in developing countries and lifted over a billion people out of poverty .Still, the main question is what was the nature of this global growth and who benefitted from it most ..

developing countries benefitted a lot from the growing demand for their traditional and even new products. However, this integration into the global economy has resulted in more than just new jobs or greater export earnings. It also had its social costs, including a significant gap in individual incomes . According to the World Bank, 3.6 million people subsisted on incomes of under $5.50 per day in the United States in 2000, but in 2016 this number grew to 5.6 million people.. ..

Meanwhile, globalisation led to a significant increase in the revenue of large multinational, primarily US and European, companies In terms of corporate profits, who got hold of the revenue? The answer is clear: one percent of the population .

And what has happened in the lives of other people? In the past 30 years, in a number of developed countries, the real incomes of over half of the citizens have been stagnating, not growing . Meanwhile, the cost of education and healthcare services has gone up. Do you know by how much? Three times

In other words, millions of people even in wealthy countries have stopped hoping for an increase of their incomes. In the meantime, they are faced with the problem of how to keep themselves and their parents healthy and how to provide their children with a decent education .

These imbalances in global socioeconomic development are a direct result of the policy pursued in the 1980s , which was often vulgar or dogmatic. This policy rested on the so-called Washington Consensus with its unwritten rules, when the priority was given to the economic growth based on a private debt in conditions of deregulation and low taxes on the wealthy and the corporations .

As I have already mentioned, the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. In the last year, the global economy sustained its biggest decline since WWII. By July, the labour market had lost almost 500 million jobs . In the first nine months of the past year alone, the losses of earnings amounted to $3.5 trillion. This figure is going up and, hence, social tension is on the rise." (" Session of Davos Agenda 2021Online Forum, Putin Addresses World Economic Forum, Jan 27, 2021)

Why is Putin telling his elitist audience these things? Does he think these fatcats don't know how the system works or how it was originally set up? Does he think they are unaware of the glaring flaws in a system that shifts all of the profits to obscenely wealthy corporations and scheming elites while working people slip further into debt and desperation?

Putin knows how globalisation works, just as he knows who it was designed to benefit. It's no secret. Check out this quote from the Russian president in a speech nearly 5 years ago:

"Back in the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature. But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War, not just saw themselves this way but said it openly, took the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.

In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organizations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalization and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, but not for everyone." (President Vladimir Putin, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

"To the victor belongs the spoils"? Isn't that what Putin is saying, that Washington figured its Cold War triumph entitled them to create a system whereby they could pillage and loot the rest of the world with impunity?

Indeed, that is precisely what he's saying. And he knows what he's talking about, too. Putin has followed developments in global trade for over 20 years. He knows the system is rigged and he knows who rigged it. And now he's telling them in no uncertain terms that they are responsible for the mess the world is in today. "The world is in crisis, because you fu**ed up." That's what he's saying. It's not a subtle message, he's simply laying it on the line. Check out this blurb from an earlier speech by Putin where he shows that he's not just a capable leader but also an astute critic of social trends linked to globalization:

"It seems like elites don't see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class (but the situation) creates a climate of uncertainty that has a direct impact on the public mood. Sociological studies conducted around the world show that people in different countries and on different continents tend to see the future as murky and bleak . This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy. As for the claim that the fringe and populists have defeated the sensible, sober and responsible minority – we are not talking about populists or anything like that but about ordinary people, ordinary citizens who are losing trust in the ruling class. That is the problem . " (President Vladimir Putin, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

In this one brief comment, Putin shows that he has a better grasp of 'what is going on' in the west than any of the numbskulls in congress today. And notice how he ignores the hype about "racial justice", BLM, "white supremacy" and the other "racialized" bunkum that's propagated in the media today. He's not hoodwinked by that nonsense. He knows it's just another diversion promoted by the cadres of dirtbags who use race and identity politics to conceal their role in the ongoing class war. That's what's really going on. The men that Putin is addressing in his speech are the very same men who are doing everything in their power to eviscerate democracy, skewer the middle class and grind America's working population into dust. It's plain old class war dolled-up to look like racial unrest. Here's more from Putin:

" During the past 20 years we have created a foundation for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (AKA–"The Great Reset") based on the wide use of AI and automation and robotics. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated such projects and their implementation . However, this process is leading to new structural changes, I am thinking in particular of the labor market. This means that very many people could lose their jobs unless the state takes effective measures to prevent this . Most of these people are from the so-called middle class, which is the basis of any modern society.

. The rise of economic problems and inequality is splitting society, triggering social, racial and ethnic intolerance . Indicatively, these tensions are bursting out even in the countries with seemingly civil and democratic institutions that are designed to alleviate and stop such phenomena and excesses.

The systemic socioeconomic problems are evoking such social discontent that they require special attention and real solutions. The dangerous illusion that they may be ignored or pushed into the corner is fraught with serious consequences." ( Putin, WEF)

Putin understands that the Covid-related lockdowns and closing of "non-essential" businesses is merely prelude for the massive societal restructuring project elites have in store for us. They've already put millions of people out of work and expanded their surveillance capabilities in anticipation of the social unrest they are deliberately inciting. Putin thinks this futuristic strategy is unnecessarily reckless, disruptive and fails to account for intensifying social animosities and widening political divisions that are bound to have a catastrophic impact on democratic institutions. But Putin also knows that his appeal for a more cautious approach will be brushed aside by the billionaire powerbrokers who set the policy and call the shots. Here's more:

" Society will still be divided politically and socially. This is bound to happen because people are dissatisfied not by some abstract issues but by real problems that concern everyone regardless of the political views that people have or think they have. Meanwhile, real problems evoke discontent. "

This is a recurrent theme with Putin and one that shows that he has a deeper understanding of what is really happening in both the United States and Europe than any of his peers. Populist candidates, like Trump, have not gained momentum due to thier abilities and charisma, but because the financial situation of millions of Americans continues to deteriorate forcing them to seek remedies outside the establishment candidates. The economic distress is real and widespread and, as Putin notes, it is expressing itself in outbursts of discontent, frustration and rage. Here's more:

"So, the key question today is how to build a programme of actions in order to not only quickly restore the global and national economies affected by the pandemic, but to ensure that this recovery is sustainable in the long run, relies on a high-quality structure and helps overcome the burden of social imbalances. Clearly economic growth will largely rely on fiscal incentives with state budgets and central banks playing the key role.

Actually, we can see these kinds of trends in the developed countries and also in some developing economies as well. An increasing role of the state in the socioeconomic sphere at the national level obviously implies greater responsibility and close interstate interaction when it comes to issues on the global agenda.

Calls for inclusive growth and for creating decent standards of living for everyone are regularly made at various international forums. This is how it should be, and this is an absolutely correct view of our joint efforts.

It is clear that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit a million people , or even the golden billion. This is a destructive precept. This model is unbalanced by default. The recent developments, including migration crises, have reaffirmed this once again." ( Putin, WEF )

Putin's recommendations, of course, are going to be dismissed with a wave of the hand by the men in power. The last thing these sociopaths want is "inclusive growth.. and decent standards of living for everyone." That's not even on their list, and why would it be. After all, they know what they want. "They want more for themselves and less for everyone else." (George Carlin) Which is why the system works the way it does, because it was constructed with that one solitary goal in mind.

Putin also acknowledges the need for greater state intervention in the economy to counterbalance the more destructive effects of "smash and grab" capitalism. And, while he rejects the swift and far-reaching structural changes (The Great Reset) that would precipitate massive social upheaval, he does support a larger role for the state in providing essential fiscal stimulus, employment and a more equitable distribution of the wealth. This does not imply that Putin supports state socialism. He does not. He merely supports a more regulated and benign form of Capitalism that veers from the "scorched earth" model backed by powerful members of the WEF and other elitist organizations.

With that in mind, Putin makes these specific recommendations:

"We must now proceed from stating facts to action, investing our efforts and resources into reducing social inequalit y in individual countries and into gradually balancing the economic development standards of different countries and regions in the world. This would put an end to migration crises."

The focus of this policy aimed at ensuring sustainable and harmonious development are clear. They imply the creation of new opportunities for everyone, conditions under which everyone will be able to develop and realize their potential regardless of where they were born and are living

I would like to point out four key priorities , as I see them.

First, everyone must have comfortable living conditions, including housing and affordable transport, energy and public utility infrastructure. Plus, environmental welfare, something that must not be overlooked.

Second, everyone must be sure that they will have a job that can ensure sustainable growth of income and, hence, decent standards of living. Everyone must have access to an effective system of lifelong education, which is absolutely indispensable now and which will allow people to develop, make a career and receive a decent pension and social benefits upon retirement.

Third, people must be confident that they will receive high-quality and effective medical care whenever necessary, and that the national healthcare system will guarantee access to modern medical services.

Fourth, regardless of the family income, children must be able to receive a decent education and realize their potential. Every child has potential." (Putin, Davos )

What does it mean that the current president of Russia is now throwing his weight behind a program that is nearly identical to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's economic Bill of Rights? Doesn't that seem a bit odd? After all, Putin is a devout Orthodox Christian, a strong proponent of the traditional family, a self-avowed social conservative, and a hardscrabble survivor of the failed Soviet state. Who would have thought that such a man would support a program that provides a decent standard living to every member of society regardless of their circumstances?

But it makes sense, doesn't it? Putin is pushing for a return to the heavily-regulated "Heyday" of 20th Century capitalism, when workers' wages were still on the rise, when college tuition and health care were still affordable, and when the American Dream was still within reach of the average guy. People were happier then, because they felt that if they applied themselves, worked like hell, and stashed their savings in the bank; they'd eventually reach their goal. But that's not true anymore. People are much more pessimistic now and no longer believe that America is the land of opportunity.

Putin wants to rekindle that optimism. He wants to avoid social unrest by implementing programs that provide a more equitable distribution of the wealth. This isn't a return to Communism. It's sensible way to soften the harsher effects of unrestrained capitalism , which is presently ravaging the West. Here's Putin again:

"This is the only way to guarantee the cost-effective development of the modern economy, in which people are perceived as the end, rather than the means . A strategy, also being implemented by my country, hinges on precisely these approaches. Our priorities revolve around people, their families, and they aim to ensure demographic development, to protect the people, to improve their well-being and to protect their health. We are now working to create favourable conditions for worthy and cost-effective work and successful entrepreneurship and to ensure digital transformation as the foundation of a high-tech future for the entire country, rather than that of a narrow group of companies.

We intend to focus the efforts of the state, the business community and civil society on these tasks and to implement a budgetary policy with the relevant incentives in the years ahead ." ( Putin, Davos )

Imagine a political leader who actually put the needs and well-being of his people before the special interests of his deep-pocket donors and shady corporate buddies. Imagine a leader who stood eye-to-eye with the big money guys and told them that their system "sucked" and that they were taking too much for themselves leaving nothing for anyone else. Imagine a leader who invited more criticism, hectoring, demonizing and punitive sanctions for "speaking truth to power" in order to stand on the side of ordinary working people, pensioners, cast-offs and the other victims of this globalist rip-off system.

The reason Putin spoke out at the WEF confab and put himself at risk, was because Putin is one of the "good guys" who actually believes that everyone deserves a shot at a decent life. And that's what sets Putin apart from the other leaders in the world today. He doesn't just "talk the talk", he also "walks the walk."


RG , says: March 3, 2021 at 4:45 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

IF the above comment by BHObama is really him he is arguing that we should hold the course of American exceptionalism and dominance. I personally, after 70 years of hearing how "we should tell the world that only we matter" and expect them to ignore their own needs and aspirations is why China (in particular) is on the rise and the 'myth of America' is crashing. The recent rebellion among people sick of the way things are heading (typified by the so-called tRUMP diversion) should serve as a wake up call that something is horribly wrong.

It wasn't tRUMP that was the problem nor was his idiocy a solution. It is the results of years of flagrant propaganda that created a nation that considers itself exceptional. We are exceptionally selfish and war like.

Anonymous [306] Disclaimer , says: March 3, 2021 at 5:06 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
@Rubicon

Had the US corporate/banking/Wall Street NOT MADE the egregious mistake with millions of jobs "offshored"

It was not a mistake. It was done consciously by design by the NWO ELITE CABAL, knowing the Consequences is going to bring to the 99.9%. The Transnational Globalist Elites do not have allegiance to a country any more. All they care about is more profit and power.

Majority of One , says: March 3, 2021 at 7:20 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

After reading Putin's statements and Whitney's commentaries, I am further convinced that whenever some individual or organization constantly and consistently badmouths Putin and Russia ; these messages come from the enemies of humanity.

Vojkan , says: March 3, 2021 at 7:51 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Franz

It depends on what is meant by globalisation. Globalisation of trade is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that "trade" is not the operative word of the elites, "loot" is.

El Dato , says: March 3, 2021 at 8:18 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Barack Hussein Obama with as little friction as possible.

That thing doesn't exist. Every complex society in history has eventually collapsed and had to be regrown from a new basis. Trying to "design a system" is self-defeating. I guess one could rig governmental buildings with self destruct charges and sarin gas containers controlled by random nuclear decay to keep the monster in check and to shed useless load from time to time. "Schrödinger's Office Warmers". I'm going to patent that.

Anyway:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_collapse#Tainter's_critique

Showmethereal , says: March 3, 2021 at 12:22 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

There is too much of a focus on "isms". Right policy is right policy no matter the system. But the ghosts of Cecil Rhodes still exist. There is a certain group that believes it is their divine right to rule over all others. There are some who dont belong to their group but will agree with them as long as they can reap crumbs. Hence the struggles in the world. God alone will eventually "fix" the problems of man. Until then it is a constant squabble.

bayviking , says: March 3, 2021 at 2:23 pm GMT • 1.5 days ago

The premise that Putin is not the dangerous evil that the US Military Industrial Complex makes him out to be, is certainly valid. He is trying to carve out a profitable role for Russia in the future, that depends on participation in Western economies. Germany is on board with that, but not the USA.

But, like claiming Trump is a populist, there is a certain naivety in suggesting Putin is an advocate for the common man. I agree with all his words, which fall on deaf ears in the West, but like Trump, Putin takes care of himself first. Trump sought to destroy universal health care and was able to pass another tax cut for the rich, designed by the Aynn Rand nutcase Paul Ryan.

Still it should be recognized that when Clinton and Larry Summers bamboozled Russia into reorganizing their society into a dozen Oligarchs, the average Russian suffered greatly, which ultimately led to Yeltsin resigning in tears and handing the reins of Government over to Putin. Under Putin the average Russian income doubled.

Meanwhile, the USA is doing its best to reignite the cold war. Given our engineered reliance on Chinese goods today, this doesn't make a lot of sense. These Putin speeches make a lot of sense yet contradict the current economic structure of Russia and China today, not just the West.

For those of us in the West taxing the rich is a partial solution to designing a sustainable economy, which promotes the general welfare, as declared in our constitution. This is an issue which only Sanders, Warren and a fresh delegation of progressive representatives support today. They are still a minority.

Temporary Insanity , says: March 3, 2021 at 2:58 pm GMT • 1.5 days ago

""To the victor belongs the spoils"? Isn't that what Putin is saying, that Washington figured its Cold War triumph entitled them to create a system whereby they could pillage and loot the rest of the world with impunity?"

Mike Whitney , says: March 3, 2021 at 3:09 pm GMT • 1.5 days ago

Putin is an Orthodox Christian and I greatly admire that.

He is also pro family, pro traditional values and a social conservative.

But some people might think that his conservative leanings make him more "free market" than he really is.

Putin does not worship the market or the people who are able to exploit the system to their own advantage. Remember, in order to put Russia back on the right track, Putin had to reign in the oligarchs who had split up the country's wealth under Yeltsin leaving the economy in dire straits.

This is the lesson that Putin has for us all: If you can't reign in the Bill Gates, George Soros and other cutthroat oligarchs who want to own and control everything, than you are not going to have a free and prosperous society .

I was hoping that Trump would meet Putin so Putin could give him so pointers on this issue. But now the oligarchs have their puppet in the White House so we're screwed.

the grand wazoo , says: March 3, 2021 at 3:18 pm GMT • 1.5 days ago

I've been admiring Putin for several years now. However I can't get one particular thought out of my head. And it goes to Trump too. Why did he give his credence to Covid19? Why hasn't he, or any major leader, stood up to the 'science' and rebuked the world wide reaction to this obvious psy-op? I'm not saying there isn't a set of symptoms (and that's the CDC definition) that define Covid19. What I'm saying is what any one with a thinking brain is pondering: Why is everyone wearing a useless mask, closing their pub, standing on a specific X when in line, bumping elbows, and acting like a certain type of cattle? Why is MSM dedicating 50 minutes of every hour to a set of symptoms we have all lived with our entire life? I'll answer my own question. Remember 911 and the news coverage then? If you don't let me remind you. It was 24/7 Osama Bin Laden, Iraq Iraq Iraq, Muslim bad, weapons of mass destruction. Over and over again. And today we are living with the consequences of our silent acquiescence. And if you don't know what the consequences were you haven't been on an airplane. There's a reason the media reports the way they do. It's not really reporting, it's a particular method, a method of indoctrination, previously known as brainwashing. Ala Edward Bernays.
We have been criminally assaulted by Big Tech, the MMSM, and corrupt politicians, and there should be consequences.

anarchyst , says: March 3, 2021 at 3:53 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
@the grand wazoo

COVID-19 was a brilliant tactic used by the world oligarchs to facilitate "the great reset".

Irish Savant , says: Website March 3, 2021 at 4:16 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
@Rubicon

It was NOT a mistake. Just ask Romney or Paul Ryan or any "American" CEO. The people behind the offshoring knew exactly what would happen. How could they not? They didn't care as long as they made personal fortunes out of it.

Paul Greenwood , says: March 3, 2021 at 5:15 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

Go back to the London Conference 1953 and see how The West rigged export surpluses in West Germany's favour together with 66.2% Debt Reduction and limits on repayments to permit export surpluses.

This deal alone guaranteed Trade Deficits in UK and USA and a violation of IMF and GATT rules on persistent trade surpluses. Look how Germany had an undervalued D-mark made convertible in 1957 and not until 1972 did USA try to reverse it with a Forced Revaluation of D-Mark. That is when the Werner Plan put the EEC on course for a Single Currency. – which 1991 Germany locked in at an undervalued rate against D-Mark thus gaining persistent surpluses when Unification should have meant trade deficits.

Distortions of World Trade to serve Western geopolitical interests led directly to higher inflation in USA and UK which required OPEC to recycle surpluses through Western Banks into Second World economies. The distortions are what skewed global trade and currency crises for 50 years.

Globalisation was simply a means of exploiting cheap labour and welfare standards to FINANCIALISE the economic system and facilitate Unbalanced Budgets in The West consistently and on an upward trend.

China has simply exploited The West and accessed technology and manufacturing capacity to render The West a non-industrial society of paper-shufflers and transaction-traders wholly dependent on China for physical goods

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: March 3, 2021 at 5:31 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
@the grand wazoo more of the same? Bomb Syria. Check. More troops to Syrian and Afghanistan. Check. More sanctions on Russia. Check.

In Syria, they are stealing 140,000 barrels-day. That is a Trump legacy. But Bidet is doubling down. They now have 11 bases in Iraqi Kurdistan-North Syria province. They seem to want to create a de facto country in North Syria.

They are also focusing on Thailand and Myanmar. This is fundamentally 'If we can't have it, we destroy it.' And a f#ck you to China.

I expect that under Bidet we are going to see Israel dictate American Foreign policy to the point where the U.S. is no more than a Thug. BiBi the Clown faces another election. I wonder how that will play out?

Showmethereal , says: March 3, 2021 at 6:16 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@GMC is why they stepped in to help Syria. Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa – the real reason it was invaded is because Gaddafi had been influencing African leaders to switch Africa to a gold standard and to price all African commodities in a new African currency. That would have pushed out France and the US economic influence over Africa. So for that he had to die – and now Libya is among the worst places in Africa. But France reaped what it sowed. Refugees on top of refugees using Libya as their spring board.

Europeans should thank Putin because the refugee problem could be even worse from Syria right now. But they have themselves to blame anyway.

Proud_Srbin , says: March 3, 2021 at 8:50 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Vojkan

Christianity is actually more humane than leftist secular humanism or any of its ideological offsprings.

Did anyone compare number of victims during Christian forced conversions, inquisition and compare it to victims of other ideologically inspired terror and atrocities?
Orthodox dogma is VERY VERY different from Vatican or Protestants that is much closer to Plato's time when God and Mother Nature were synonymous.

chris , says: March 3, 2021 at 9:00 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Franz investment in clandestine media control in Russia (Max Blumenthal article), sanctions, Syria, the neocons are circling Russia and getting ready to strike and Putin is going to this Davos dufus derby talking about stagnant US wages. There's a deafening lack of focus here.

The whole point with Russia, in case some might have missed it, is that the Empire sees the need to control Russia as an existential priority. Not just to eliminate it as a threat but because they know that if China has free access to Russia's natural resources, the Empire is finished.

It's for this reason that I think that if Putin doesn't see this, he's ceded the field already.

frontier , says: March 3, 2021 at 10:31 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Anonymous derstands this now, but Russia is still stuck at the reaction part of the problem-reaction-solution cycle. They are being bombarded with problems and can't catch a break. I see some attempts by the Russian government to form some sort of a political line and seek real political allies but it looks like they are being blocked by Germany and the Russian oligarchs. We shall see.

Mike Whitney is reading way too much into Putin's Davos speech, it's simple politics – praise globalization some to make Xi happy, poo-poo it some to appeal to the average Westerner, add happy talk about fairness, stir, not shake and serve cold – there's nothing more to it.

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: March 3, 2021 at 10:34 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

For all these many years now Putin has been relentlessly demonized as a thug, dictator, threat, you name it. Many Americans have bought into these images under the influence of the American propaganda machine. One can see the reason for this campaign when one looks at what he actually says. Americans might get some idea that a president should be looking out for their interests and that would be bad. Putin can give speeches, field questions, give his personal analysis on different subjects whilst standing on his feet. Compare him to the current addled mental midget we have and note the vast difference.

antibeast , says: March 3, 2021 at 11:35 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@chris oy the USA. In an ideal world, the US Deep State would like the USA Empire to have an exclusive monopoly on nuclear weapons while preventing other geopolitical rivals from acquiring nuclear weapons. That is exactly what happened at the end of WWII when Truman decided to drop two atomic bombs on Japan to intimidate Stalin who frantically embarked on a nuclear weapons program.

What the Yanks wants to do is to 'defang' the Russian bear so they no longer have to fear Russian nukes, without which Russia would no longer pose an 'existential threat' to the USA. The Yanks could then do anything, such as bomb any country they want and pretty much rule the world, FOREVER.

Avery , says: March 4, 2021 at 12:35 am GMT • 1.1 days ago
@chris

{" What shocked me then about Trump, and now about Putin is that they don't seem to get it, this isn't some kind of friendly game of Cricket or something, their opponents don't just want to beat them they want to destroy them "}

Don't be fooled by Putin & Co speeches to the West.
Don't be fooled either by them using terms like "our partners" and such.
Russian leadership got a rude awaking after Yeltsin: Putin is quite aware of what GloboSorosaNATO is trying to do. He is a former KGB officer posted to East Germany and knows quite a lot about West/NATO mindset.

anon [298] Disclaimer , says: March 4, 2021 at 1:06 am GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Flying Dutchman han to its own? And particularly a people that suffers from the mania of objectivity as much as the Germans. For, after all this, everyone will take the greatest pains to avoid doing the enemy any injustice, even at the peril of seriously besmirching and even destroying his own people and country.

Now it is entirely unlikely that a KGB agent cum President of Russia is ignorant of matters relating to propaganda.

Isn't it perfectly understandable that the whole country ends up by lending more credence to enemy propaganda, which is more unified and coherent, than to its own?

The inevitable conclusion in a world, where even the Ayatollah wears a face mask, is that this is all kabuki theatre. Donald A Thomson , says: March 4, 2021 at 2:03 am GMT • 1.0 days ago

...I concede that here's plenty of US racism expressed by wars of aggression against countries outside the USA but that's supported by all races within the USA and both main parties. In foreign policy, there's only one War Party, dedicated to ruling the world, in the most aggressive country on earth. That's nothing like the reality within the USA. Yanks don't want to treat other Yanks like they treat disobedient foreigners and they certainly don't want to copy Israeli Jews. donthomson1@hotmail.com

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: March 4, 2021 at 3:48 am GMT • 22.6 hours ago
@Avery

Absolutely agree.
Russia lacks solid, political structures-from a written constitution and time honored customs and conventions-and Putin knows this. I thought his reforms were meant to address this area?

Russia needs some more time, some more babies and good men at the helm. We can hope.

chris , says: March 4, 2021 at 6:51 am GMT • 19.5 hours ago
@antibeast ct and practical causes than the more theoretical nuclear threats it poses.

Owning the significant Russian natural resources would make the US bullying of China, Europe, the Middle Eastern vassals all the more effective. Yeah, the official story might be nukes but the vastly more significant pay-off is the control of all the other actors. The proof is the fact that the neocons are absolutely in a frenzy about destroying Russia, and yet nuclear stuff never even comes up.

And if you wanted to neutralize a threat, you don't make a frontal attack on it, you would be better served to befriend the country and create better ties than to try to overtly destroy them.

[Mar 03, 2021] The Tycoon Plot by Israel Shamir

Mar 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

A classic villain of 1970s and 80s was the evil tycoon. James Bond took on some of them. Meet Hugo Drax of the Moonraker , or Karl Stromberg of The Spy Who Loved Me ; these guys were willing to destroy mankind to replace it with a better version. Stromberg planned to trigger a global nuclear war and survive it underwater. Drax intended to poison mankind with his deadly gas and repopulate the world with his new chosen ones. Another one was de Wynter, the super-villain of The Avengers, played by Sean Connery. He controlled the world weather, and could kill us all off by hurricanes and tsunamis.

Before the tycoons, when the Cold war raged, a villain was a KGB agent or a Chinese operative. As détente calmed relations between the blocks, the agents went out of fashion; later, the fantastic villains of Marvel came into a vogue. The evil tycoons were uncomfortably close to the real thing; and they moved from the cinematic world into our reality.

The world we live in is the world formed by evil tycoons. They are the modern Demiurges, the evil creators of the Gnostics, an early sect that confronted the Church. Like the Demiurges, they are practically omnipotent; stronger than the State. The government needs lot of permissions and authorisations to spend a penny. If a penny had been misspent, the dark word 'corruption' will sound. 'Corruption' is a silly concept; by applying it, the oligarchs eliminated state competition, for they can pay whatever they want to whomever they wish. The State must observe intricate arcane rules, while the tycoons have no such limits. As a result, they shape our minds and lives, making the State a poor legitimate king among powerful and wealthy barons.

The Corona crisis is a result of their activity. Now, a group of WHO scientists completed its four weeks inspection tour of Wuhan trying to find out how the virus found its way to humans; some of them think (as President Trump did) the virus escaped the Wuhan Lab. Matt Ridley of The Daily Telegraph concluded his piece analysing their findings: "A growing number of top experts [he provides the list] say that a lab leak remains a plausible scientific hypothesis to be investigated". It is rather unlikely, said the WHO , but other explanations (pangolins etc) also border on the improbable . The Chinese are understandably upset. Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman for the Foreign Affairs ministry (the Chinese counterpart for the State Department's Ned Price) rejected the idea saying, "The United States should open the biological lab at Fort Detrick, and invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the United States". The Guardian report said she promoted "a conspiracy theory that it came from a US army lab"; while Ms Hua accused the US of spreading "conspiracy theories and lies" tracing the source to Wuhan. Whatever we say is a fact-based result of diligent research; whatever you say is a conspiracy theory – both the US and China representatives subscribe to this mantra.

Our own Ron Unz made an excellent analysis of these accusations and counter-accusations in his April 2020 piece . He noted that the virus attack in Wuhan took place at the worst possible time and place for the Chinese; therefore, an incidental release (or intentional release by the Chinese) is extremely unlikely. Ron Unz suggested that it was an American biowarfare attack upon China. Didn't American people suffer from the disease? Yes, the US government is "grotesquely and manifestly incompetent " and they were likely to expect "a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America".

Perhaps, but a better explanation is that some evil tycoon(s) played the part of Karl Stromberg who intended to nuke both Moscow and New York causing war and world-wide devastation, as in the James Bond movie. It could be somebody like Bill Gates, who is a major investor in Wuhan Lab. A fact-checking site with its weasel language admitted that the Lab "has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but Bill Gates can hardly be called a "partner" in the laboratory." Sure, not a partner. Just an investor, and that is more important than a partner. And he is not the only one; other multi-billionaires also are involved in bioresearch, in vaccine manufacturing, in Big Pharma. "Glaxo, BlackRock, and Bill Gates are all partners, but not owners of Pfizer", says another fact-checker . "In 2015, Anthony Fauci did issue a USD 3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but not to "create the coronavirus" – the fact-checking site adds. Well, you could not possibly expect Fauci to word the grant in such a straightforward way, could you?

Perhaps it is too formidable a job even for an evil tycoon like Gates. A plot of several evil tycoons is more likely. Together, they could try to change the world and mankind to suit them.

The evil tycoons could poison China on their New Year holiday and take this uppity state down a ring or two. They could import the virus into the US to undermine and remove Trump whom they hated. (He was certain to win the elections but for Corona.) They could poison Europe to weaken it and make it more docile and obedient to their demands – and to buy their assets on the cheap. Corona and lockdown did not harm them for they are normally withdrawn from the bustle of the common man's life.

The billionaires control the media; that much we know, and the part media has played in the Corona crisis was enormous. The media coverage of the crisis has a huge hidden cost. Try to publish information you consider important on the front page of a newspaper. It will cost you a lot. Still, all newspapers belonging to the Billionaires' Media block beginning with the New York Times and ending with Haaretz gave at least a third of its front page to Corona news each day. The sheer cost of this advertising runs into billions. Will we ever know who paid for it?

Steven Soderbergh's (2011) film Contagion predicted many features of the Covid-19, notably the origin of the virus. In the film, the disease originates from bats in China and is spread through markets where contaminated pork meat is sold. How could Soderbergh (or his script writer Scott Z. Burns) possibly know eight years before the event that the contagion should originate in the Chinese bats? Who told him? Wouldn't you expect he knew something? Burns was instructed by WHO experts, the CNN site explains. Isn't it interesting that the same Bill Gates is a major donor of WHO? Is it entirely impossible that already in 2011 Gates' people began to leak some details of the future virus through their own WHO to Hollywood?

The tycoons could force a weak state to follow their instructions. Scientists do obey orders: otherwise, no grants, no positions. In April 2020, the German scientists were ordered , "to instill the fear of Corona". And they did it, as we learned this week, producing numbers of dead on demand.

It seems that tycoons gained most from the Corona Crisis. Their assets grew by trillions, while the assets of the middle classes decreased by the same amount. More importantly, all states suffered from the crisis; they took loans and credit, they were responsible for their citizens' health, while billionaires just had fun and enjoyed it. For this reason, I tend to dismiss the case against states, be it the US or China, while (some) billionaires appear the only possible villains.

These billionaires are able to influence people much better that the state. Consider Pierre Omidyar. Besides being the owner of eBay, he is the force behind hundreds of NGOs. His organisations form the 'progressive' agenda and train the foot soldiers of the Green Deal. Roslyn Fuller of Spiked-online checked the plethora of NGOs he employs.

She says his NGOs and charities are "engaged in 'social engineering' – that is, using their resources to artificially change the structure of society to how they think it should be. If successful this would amount to an extreme circumvention of democracy, utilising money not just to win elections, but to substitute paid or subsidised content for actual support, and thereby flip an entire political culture on to a different track by amplifying some voices and drowning out others."

He is just one of the Masters of Discourse, next to the infamous George Soros. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon are even more powerful. The billionaires have immense clout and they decide what we can and can't say and write. Just last week Amazon banned my Cabbala of Power , a book that was sold by them for some ten years. The estimable The Unz Review is banned on Facebook and shadow-banned on Google. Twitter switched-off President Trump, showing who is the real boss of the United States. Probably almost all movements described as 'leftists' nowadays are engineered by the tycoons like Omidyar or Soros. True left had been left for dead on the battlefield of ideas.

The tycoons are directly involved in the Corona Crisis, because its results are good for them. And it means they have us where they want to have us, and they won't let us out. We are cancelled until we regain the government and cancel them.

SAGE, as British Corona management team rather presumptuously named itself (it included the ridiculous figure of Neil Ferguson, he of the millions of predicted deaths), already declared that lockdowns will be a part of British life for years to come, vaccine or no vaccine. The Guardian , the Voice of the Oligarchs, gently pooh-poohed them, for it is not good to declare what must happen right away. Let people have some hope, so they run to vaccinate themselves, and then only afterwards can we reveal that, sorry, it does not help, you still have to don a mask and observe social distance and, yes, suffer lockdowns. "It's much easier to follow the rules if we think of them as temporary."

The plotters' plans aren't secret; they were described by Klaus Schwab in his book The Great Reset . Schwab is not a great thinker, being merely a weak scientist with just a few publications, and not a good or even decent writer. He had to collaborate with a journalist Thierry Malleret to produce the book. He is just a voice for the tycoons. But the question is, will he/they get what they want?

[Mar 01, 2021] Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may not be what Talibal wants

Nov 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
jinn , Nov 12 2020 23:34 utc | 81

The Afghans (including the Taliban) do not want the US to leave their country. The flow of US$ into the country (including the flow of heroin$) is what the Afghans have lived on for many decades. Its not like the Afghans don't have control of their own country. They have complete control of all the parts of the country that they want to control. They are perfectly happy to allow Americans to control small parts of the country as long as the $$$ keep flowing into the whole country.

The US power elite may have figured out that just like every other power that has ever tried to occupy Afghanistan that it is a black hole that sucks the life out of the power trying to conq


Haassaan , Nov 13 2020 0:16 utc | 86

@76 Tom
Interesting! Been too busy for reviewing the new military appointees until I read your post. It looks like this is a last ditch attempt by Trump to get troops out of Afghanistan and Syria...

Tom , Nov 13 2020 0:20 utc | 87

"withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may well be exactly what TPTB want."

Posted by: jinn | Nov 12 2020 23:34 utc | 81

Well, they have had, what 19 years years to do that and now that President Trump makes another push for it, all hell breaks loose from the forever war team, you know that team of Democrats and RINO's who are now vying for a spot on Biden's team of psychopaths for war. The we came, we saw and aren't leaving team.

Haassaan , Nov 13 2020 0:32 utc | 89

@81 Jinn

"withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may well be exactly what TPTB want."

Anything is possible, but given the pushback that is taking place (quietly of course, lest the masses get awoken) that is seriously doubtful.

Afghanistan can be likened to one of the central squares on a chessboard...control of central squares is vital as it reduces the mobility of your opponent and lays ground for offensive action.

China has a border with Afghanistan, as does Iran...were Afghanistan to free itself from USA occupation, it would make a great conduit for the BRI.

That is without getting into Afghanistan's role in opium trade and the related black budget, nor its wealth in rare minerals. One might say for the Hegemon to remain the Hegemon it needs to control Afghanistan.

The problem for the hegemon is Afghanistan is expensive to hold on to...and this is without Russia, Iran or China putting any effort in to chase US troops out via arming and training proxies...that could be done quickly, and I am guessing the groundwork is already in place.

jinn , Nov 13 2020 0:46 utc | 91

Well, they have had, what 19 years years to do that
_________________________________________

Well sure but you need to remember the story of why we were there in the first place.
They can't just dump all the BS that they have been feeding us for nineteen years and say "never mind" like Roseanne Roseannadanna.

As for the warmongers who support attacking Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc that was done to send a message to any country that does not want to knuckle under to the $$$ hegemony and thinks about trying to escape it.
That messaging does not apply to the Afghan war. That war sends the exact opposite message.

[Feb 28, 2021] Vladimir Putin's Very Bad Week

Feb 28, 2021 | www.counterpunch.org

BY STEVE O'KEEFE

Vladimir Putin's Very Bad Week

It's been a rough week for Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin. The European Union imposed sanctions under Euro-Magnitsky; Australia is expected to pass its own Aussie-Magnitsky ; and imprisoned anti-corruption crusader, Alexei Navalny, is leading a growing Russian protest movement from behind bars. Oh yeah, Pussy Riot is back!

Putin is considered the richest man in the world for the amount of wealth he controls , not the amount he owns. Alexei Navalny is considered the bravest man in the world for returning to Russia after recovering from Novichok poisoning in Germany. Putin had Navalny's returning flight diverted to avoid mobs of protestors, then arrested Navalny at the airport.

Never lacking a certain Russian sense of humor, Putin charged Navalny, whom he calls "the blogger," with violating parole

... ... ...

Putin called the EU's bluff, expelling three E.U. diplomats from Russia during a visit by the EU's foreign minister, Josep Borrell, on February 5. Putin's pugnacious foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, spoke disapprovingly of the E.U. in a press conference standing right next to the humiliated minister. This is the same Lavrov seen laughing in a famous White House photo with U.S. President Donald J. Trump on the day after Trump fired FBI Director, James Comey.

With the E.U. suddenly voting 28-0 against Russia, with Joe Biden proclaiming "America is back," and with Tony Blinken promising Russia must pay for the recent SolarWinds cyber attack against the U.S., Vlad the Underpants Poisoner must be feeling his briefs getting uncomfortably snug.

As Putin desperately tries to wriggle out of the sanctions surrounding him and his oligarch buddies, he faces the ultimate decline in his fortune: the green new deal. The majority of Putin's wealth is still in the ground , and it's worthless if the world turns away from fossil fuels as quickly as it appears to be. Without the NORD-2 pipeline shipping gas from Russia to Germany, without the corrupt contracts to supply satellite nations with fuel, Russia has nothing to sell except tourism and nesting dolls.

Putin will encounter the same problem the nations of the Arab Spring encountered: domestic youth realizing their futures look nothing like the lives they see on their phones. The Russian people are not stupid. They know they're not enjoying the same quality of life as their European neighbors. Even though Western Democracies fail to provide for basic living needs, they are at least exciting and hold the possibility of getting unbelievably rich.

... ... ...

STEVE O'KEEFE is the author of several books, most recently Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers , from New World Library, based on over 250 interviews. He is the former editorial director for Loompanics Unlimited.

[Feb 27, 2021] The democrats identity politics push way too far for the country to stomach

Feb 27, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DanP66 , February 27, 2021 at 3:49 pm

I've been saying this same thing for months. Trump's policies were widely popular. It was Trump's personality that did him in along with a lot of help from a pandemic, the FBI and the media.

The democrats are going to push way too far left for the country to stomach. You do not have to be a hard core conservative to think that it is unfair for girls to compete against trans girls or some guy that claims to identify as a girl and nor is any liberal father going to be thrilled with his 13 yr old daughter sharing a locker room with one.

Pretty sure that if we took a vote more than 90% of adults in this country would agree that the government should not be able to step in and override a parents decision not to provide puberty blockers to their child or that children should even be given puberty blockers. BUT that is what is being nominated by the Biden team.

Trump tried to get us out of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq but the dems fought him tooth and nail right along with the hawks in the republican party. WHO KNEW the dems would become the war hawks? Biden sent more troops into Syria on his first day. Now he is trying to figure out how to get out of the withdrawl in Afghanistan and Germany.

All these "green" energy policies are going to lead to higher costs for electricity, gas, home heating oil, natural gas and they are gonna do it while unemployment is high.

Going to push for $15 minimum wage that they KNOW is going to kill a lot of jobs while unemployment is already obscenely high.

BTW Trump voters were overall higher earning than Biden voters. That they had fewer college degrees tells me two things. First, that the average Trump voter is not a toothless redneck but a professional tradesman or small business owner. It also tells me that a college degree aint worth the paper its printed on if your looking just at earning potential.

Point is .the democrats are going to tick off a lot of people. Pass the minimum wage and those that get the increase will love you but those that lose their jobs will hate you and small business owners across the country will detest you. Do not pass it and the left will never forgive you.

Yep, I think the democrats are going to have a very very hard time and they are going to end up turning on each other. I also think that Trumpism without Trump has a very good future.

Dont get me wrong, Trump will be around. He will attend rallies, raise money, drive the media nuts and the democrats insane but he will not run again. He is going to just create headaches for the media, the democrats, the never Trump republicans and enjoy the heck out of it. But he will not be a candidate.

[Feb 27, 2021] Retarget the Christian Right from abortion to usury and neoliberal Dems will be sidelined. One out of seven Americans has a debt collector after them. Everybody, even this atheist, knows the story about Jesus throwing moneylenders out of the temple.

Feb 27, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jack Parsons , , February 27, 2021 at 7:05 pm

The 'New Democrats' have stolen the nouveau riche from the Republicans, and the nouveau riche are fantastically richer than the old money. The NewDems have also abandoned poor people. The only way forward for the Repubs is to corral the poors.

The way to do it? Retarget the Christian Right from abortion to usury. 1 out of 7 Americans has a debt collector after them. Everybody, even this atheist, knows the story about Jesus throwing moneylenders out of the temple.

If Trump wants to get any traction in 2024, he's got to weld the Repubs back together. Usury is a great strategy.

[Feb 27, 2021] A good article by Martin Sieff on the West hall of mirrors delusional politic.

Feb 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Feb 27 2021 21:05 utc | 62

Good read by Martin Sieff on the wests hall of mirrors delusional politics.


Trapped in the empty luxury and petty court intrigues of Versailles, the French ruling class could only see their own imagined beauty and illusions of power reflected in mirrors. They were ignorant and blind to the despair and rage building up against them among the ordinary people of France.

Today, old Reagan Free Market, minimum government Republicans and tree-hugging, coal, oil and natural gas-hating and abortion-loving romantic Green Democrats who hold the politics of Washington and its media in an iron (and rusting) grip are the true heirs of those decadent French aristocrats. Their Mainstream Media has become a 21st century Cybernetic Hall of Mirrors 2.0. Across the Atlantic the dark and doomed Spirit of Versailles has migrated from the outskirts of Paris to Brussels where it now resides in the European Commission.

History has repeated itself on a colossally larger scale.

[Feb 27, 2021] Populism is a term used in neoliberal Newspeak instead of the term "mass social protest" and it is used by neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM in order to smear the rejection of neoliberalism by the vast swats of the US population

Feb 27, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

likbez , , February 27, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Populism is a term used in neoliberal Newspeak instead of the term "mass social protest" and it is used by neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM in order to smear the rejection of neoliberalism by the vast swats of the US population. Generally this social movement (and it is a social movement) is about the resistance to neoliberalism and globalization.

When the term "populism" moves on front pages of neoliberal MSM and into papers like this one that, first of all, means the process of de-legitimization of the ruling (in our case neoliberal) elite reached at a moderately dangerous for the elite stage which requires some "active countermeasure" not just passive suppression in MSM and ostracism.

The typical charges of corruption, the control of government by financial oligarchy, outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing jobs as well and suppression of wages and redistribution of wealth up are just icing on the cake. The core is the rejection of neoliberalism, the rejection of accumulation by dispossession – gangster capitalism in other words. Which is politely called "redistribution of wealth up" in the neoliberal MSM.

Trump during his 2016 election campaign (and only during it; he governed like Bush III ) voiced some concern that are typically associated with this mass rejection of neoliberalism and instantly became kind of de-facto leader of the movement. But, in reality, he was yet another "full-blown BS artist" as Tucker called him.

So Trumpism or "national neoliberalism" is not exactly populism – it is more of the attempt to hijack and channel the protest in a way beneficial for the "nationalist" part of national oligarchy and military-industrial complex like happened in Germany in late 20th – early 30th. Only this time "national neoliberalism" card is played instead of "national socialism". And what is interesting is that intelligence agencies, which typically are viewed as a part of the military-industrial complex, fought Trump and this movement tool and nail. The Russiagate gang of Brennan-Comey-McCabe was not an accident.

Please note that the social base of Trump movement are not so much blue collar unionized workers but owners of small business and contractors. They stick to Trump as their leader despite blatant betrayal of their interests on his part. that does not exclude part of blue collar workers but if you look at the social composition of the Jan 6 meeting participant I do not see many blue color workers in it. But is did included some former police officers, which is pretty telling and makes it superficially looks like Germany 2.0.

And rapid construction of barbed fence and National Guard sleeping on Capitol floors is another testament that neoliberal elite took this threat seriously.

[Feb 27, 2021] Probably whatever Durham was investigating will receive a quiet burial

After all President Biden in 2016 was active participant of Russiagate false flag operation
Feb 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
gm , Feb 26 2021 22:54 utc | 24

Special Counsel John Durham Resigns as US Attorney – Effective February 28th -- Before Biden AG Merrick Takes Office

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/scammed-breaking-john-durham-resigns-effective-february-28th-biden-ag-takes-office/

Durham was investigating the Mueller Russia-Collusion coup against President Trump and his administration.
He was appointed as Special Counsel in October.

He resigned as US Attorney in Connecticut.

There will likely be no indictments after the Deep State spied on Trump and attempted to throw him from office.

[...]

Update 3:59 pm EST via Twitter/Chad Pergram:

"John Durham steps down as US Atty in CT. But stays on board as special counsel probing origins of Trump/Russia investigation. Biden Admin asked US attys to resign by end of February"

Probably means whatever Durham was investigating will receive a quiet burial.

[Feb 25, 2021] Most Americans consider Kissinger a war criminal too, and informed Americans know that Zbignue Brzenski has lost all credibility. He was a cold war era Anti-Russian. He has said little if anything relevant since the collapse of the USSR.

Feb 25, 2021 | www.unz.com

No Friend Of The Devil , says: February 23, 2021 at 3:45 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

Most Americans consider Kissinger a war criminal too, and informed Americans know that Zbignue Brzenski has lost all credibility. He was a cold war era Anti-Russian. He has said little if anything relevant since the collapse of the USSR.

Informed Americans would prefer a doplomatic relationship with their neighbors south of the border. It would be much more economically and environmentally sustainable to have a cooperative agreement with Venezuela, rather than the KXL advocates north of the border, that Biden thankfully banned. It may be the only thing tbat he ends up doing correctly. I hope not. I did not vote for him, Trump, or anyone else. Biden, Blinken, and Austin speak about wanting to go back to the JCPOA and START, but whether they are willing to give up their policy errors of force through sanctions, and falsely blaming Iran for the attack on the Irbil Iraq airport will probably determine whether they can do this successfully or not. Everyone is sick of the bullshit from the American government, including American citizens! The government does what they Globzi investors demand from them. They really do not give a damn about anyone else. Everyone is just a means to an end to them, and unkess someone is exceptionally wealthy, they are an irrelevant pain in the ass to the government, unless they are willing to sell out their own interest in order to elevate the corrupt government.

Andrea Iravani

Sirius , says: February 23, 2021 at 9:25 am GMT • 2.5 days ago
@Spanky

That's true. As a barometer of establishment thinking, Foreign Affairs is indeed useful. I would just make a distinction of using it to understand establishment thinking versus using it as a source for good policy, which is evidently questionable if its editors still think Robert Kagan has anything useful to propose.

[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?

[Feb 24, 2021] The Art Of Being A Spectacularly Misguided Oracle

Feb 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Feb 23 2021 13:37 utc | 208

Hey, Hey, Hey!

It appears that Pepe Escobar reads the comments at MoA
and may even appreciate drinking games.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/02/open-thread-2021-014.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdebe2482200c#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdebe2482200c


Neocons never collide with reality
they just rewrite around it.

Have I got a drinking game for you !

The Neocon Reality Check Game

Zoom connect to a party of friends
and simultaneously read through the
linked Neocon article together.

A Superpower, Like It or Not
Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role
By Robert Kagan
March/April 2021

Pepe read the article, I can't speak to how many times he played the game.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/escobar-art-being-spectacularly-misguided-oracle

Escobar: The Art Of Being A Spectacularly Misguided Oracle


Peace is Forever War

Now let's move to another oracle, a self-described expert of what in the Beltway is known as the "Greater Middle East": Robert Kagan, co-founder of PNAC, certified warmongering neo-con, and one-half of the famous Kaganate of Nulands – as the joke went across Eurasia – side by side with his wife, notorious Maidan cookie distributor Victoria "F**k the EU" Nuland, who's about to re-enter government as part of the Biden-Harris administration.

Kagan is back pontificating in – where else – Foreign Affairs, which published his latest superpower manifesto. That's where we find this absolute pearl:


That Americans refer to the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as "forever wars" is just the latest example of their intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats. In both cases, Americans had one foot out the door the moment they entered, which hampered their ability to gain control of difficult situations.

So let's get this straight. The multi-trillion dollar Forever Wars are "relatively low-cost"; tell that to the multitudes suffering the Via Crucis of US crumbling infrastructure and appalling standards in health and education. If you don't support the Forever Wars – absolutely necessary to preserve the "liberal world order" – you are "intolerant".

"Preserving a general peace" does not even qualify as a joke, coming from someone absolutely clueless about realities on the ground. As for what the Beltway defines as "vibrant civil society" in Afghanistan, that in reality revolves around millennia-old tribal custom codes: it has nothing to do with some neocon/woke crossover. Moreover, Afghanistan's GDP – after so much American "help" – remains even lower than Saudi-bombed Yemen's.

[Feb 21, 2021] Some context to the 2016 to 2020 Trump interruption to Business as Usual

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Robert Snefjella , says: February 15, 2021 at 8:32 pm GMT • 4.4 days ago

Some context to the 2016 to 2020 Trump interruption to Business as Usual:

The United States in 2016 was long lost as republic. Politically it had been transmuted into something for which there is no simple traditional title. Oligarchy and plutocracy and tyranny and corporatocracy and insane asylum and stupidocracy, with disproportionate Jewish presence at levers of influence and power, still fails to capture the whole adequately.

This – whatever descriptive we give it – political conglomeration aka the 'United States' had residual elements of Empire – 1000 ish military bases and uncounted numbers of biological warfare related facilities outside its borders. It still militarily occupied Japan and Germany and Italy and South Korea and many other countries.

Doctrine promoting 'full spectrum domination' – that is, the intention of achieving global totalitarian control – was still hanging in the air and influencing behaviour. The Federal Reserve dollar was still the dominant international currency. The United States was still a heavyweight in the IMF and UN Security Council. Many countries remained de facto vassal to it (Canada, Australia, Norway )

At home a police state had been in place for generations, but the mass media and educational system steadfastly refused to call a spade a spade. The mass media had comprehensively for generations been a mind warping propaganda system. Publicly execute JFK and RFK. In response the political and judicial system and the media have been comatose or lying to the people for half a century.

The treasonous false flag 9/11 2001 is carried out, and again, the mass media tell lies and censors and the political system is silent or complicit in buttressing the official lies. More police state measures are implemented, and mass murdering wars of aggression abroad are initiated. The more general 'war on terror' war of terror is launched, which is actually merely the old policy of subversion, robbery, murder etc abroad given a new title and a refurbished rationale (from fighting communists to fighting terrorists).

Meanwhile at home the middle class and the blue collar workers and the infrastructure are in steady decline. 40 % of Americans are living hand to mouth while billionaires proliferate. Tens of millions are on anti depressants, while tens of millions more are morbidly obese or beset with chronic serious health problems. Etc. Growing basket case.

Meanwhile David Rockefeller famously confesses that he and his family (and fellow 'intellectual elite' and banking exemplars) have been working against the best interests of America and towards the goal of world government. Sort of a Rockefeller Pinky and the Brain syndrome, but not a cartoon, a real intention, steadily worked towards. He writes that all we need is the "right big crisis" and voila, we will have it!!: World Government. The New World Order.

Then something happened. Whatever folly and genius and everything in between Donald J. Trump possesses, whatever his intentions conscious or unconscious might have been, he in 2o16 won election over the selection of the Powers that BE. They tried to steal the election, but the tide for Trump was too strong.

In the wake of this political rookie's election, while he may have been naive, and foolish, and made any number of questionable moves, he was also facing the entire phalanx of the global establishment.

One of his first acts was to announce that he was going to drain the swamp, and all the many powerful swamp creatures took this as an unforgivable and deeply threatening public challenge. So a four year unending attack on Trump by FBI, DOJ, mass media, former CIA, European politicians, tech giants, and the American political establishment ensued.

Equally guaranteed to create a massive effort by the PTB was his rhetoric on behalf of national sovereignty and against globalism – The Rockefeller-esque extended pipedream. One of his first acts was to cancel the TPP, which had threatened a further erosion of national sovereignty on behalf of the power of transnational corporate and financial power.

Another fundamental really priceless contribution that Trump made was to continually and pointedly jeer at and identify the "fake news": The NYT and CNN were subjected to the public humiliation of a sitting President continually accurately describing them.

Trump's willingness to call out the mass media propaganda and brainwashing system that the CIA under largely Jewish auspices (or vise versa?) had intensely inflicted on the American people for decades was an indispensable act of rebellion. American politics and media is dependent upon the pretense that it is legit. Trump's message was: there's something deeply wrong here: Fake news and the Swamp.

Trump also at least gave frequent voice to the desirability of reducing American military activity and presence abroad, and stands in contrast to his Nobel Peace Prize winning predecessor Barry ( aka B.O.) Soetoro (Libya destroyed) and George Bush the Latter (Iraq and Afghanistan attacked) and Clinton (Serbia attacked). Trump as comparatively a deplorable peacenik.

So then we have the COVID- psyop, creating de facto world medical martial law, which is a kind of sick facsimile to Rockefeller's pipe dream. And also, dislocating, disorienting, social and economic turmoil and pain. Trump was placed at the center of that storm, surrounded by ghoulish Fauci and the CDC and the Bill Gates contaminated WHO.

Then the looters and burners and rioters were let loose. And the underlying goal was to have Americans so sick of it all and Trump could be blamed and surely he would be thrown out of office.

But even so, no. He wins in a huge landslide. And the Swamp goes all out and installs a pathetic creature in Trump's place. This story is not over .

[Feb 21, 2021] I will direct you to the latest spew from the Atlantic Council entitled "The Longer Telegram: Toward A New American China Strategy". It makes for farcical reading, and an interesting thought game it to substitute the US in any instance China is mentioned, and vice versa

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

rgl , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:04 pm GMT • 8.3 days ago

"The world has moved on." – the character 'Roland' in Stephen King's The Dark Tower. (an excellent series, btw)

Change is constant. It is inevitable. It is an ever-flowing river. America however, does not ascribe to this truism. America has *not* moved on. It does not change or adapt. It simply continues to fervently believe it is it's right to rule the world. Simply put, the days and decades where a single country 'rules the world' – like the Mongol, Byzantine, Romans, French, and British empires before, are gone. The Americans are nonetheless very slowly coming to realize this historical point, and they are desperately trying to reverse the trend. To absolutely no avail. They cannot escape history. The American empire will die the same death as all empires did before it. Maintaining empire, and peace 'at home' becomes unsustainable. The costs are simply too great.

It is ludicrous that a country founded on genocide and slavery, at war during 90% of it's existence demands the rest of the world look to it's 'beacon on the hill' as a viable option for humanity. It is laughable.

I read the hope inherent in the comments section to this piece. It is unfounded. Why do I say this? I will direct you to the latest spew from the Atlantic Council entitled "The Longer Telegram: Toward A New American China Strategy". It makes for farcical reading, and an interesting thought game it to substitute the US in any instance China is mentioned, and vice versa. Nonetheless, it is a plan by the movers and shakers to re-establish American global dominance. It is a disgusting piece of work. Much like America itself.

[Feb 21, 2021] The Tycoon Plot: Putin noted that digital tycoons are dangerous for the world. In his own words, "Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, are de facto competing with states. In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests"

The truth is hard to come by, like a needle in a haystack.
Notable quotes:
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at ..."
"... The Unz Review ..."
Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Putin surprised me. He flatly refused the offer of Schwab and his ilk. He condemned the manner of recent pre-Covid growth, for all the growth went into a few deep pockets. Moreover, he noted that digital tycoons are dangerous for the world. In his own words , "Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, are de facto competing with states. In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests".

The tycoons were probably amazed. In 2007 in Munich, they laughed at him. Max Boot, a Russian Jewish émigré, called Putin, "The louse that roared" and added, "in Putin's sinister and absurd rhetoric, you can hear an empire dying". Mad Max didn't know yet which empire is dying.

Putin was supposed to be softened up by pro-Navalny demos on January 23 (The Davos talk was on January 27), but he was not. Quite the reverse. The Russian President does not like to be pushed. The demo on January 31 was met with force; those detained were sentenced to heavy (by Russian standards) fines. Three European diplomats were expelled from Russia for joining the demonstration. Josep Borrell, a Spanish diplomat and a representative of the EU, went to Moscow and was harshly treated. In the concluding press-conference, the Russian minister for foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov told the press that Russia does not (repeat, not) consider the EU to be a "reliable partner". The expulsions were carried out at the same time. In addition, Putin warned the West that 'sanctions' (acts of economic warfare) could cause Russia to use direct military force. It was probably the first such warning since 1968.

At the same time, Russia practically ended corona restrictions. Bars and restaurants have been opened for night revellers; sport events have returned; schools are open; in some parts of Russia, the masks became "recommended" instead of "compulsory". Russians are now allowed to travel and return freely from many countries. The Russians have easy access for their vaccine Sputnik-V that was deemed by The Lancet the best of all existing Corona vaccines. It is a coup comparable to the first Sputnik launched in 1957, the Western experts said. Thus Russia has derailed the Grand Reset.

This development had caused a huge shift in consciousness in Russia. If until now (since 1970, at least) the Russian educated classes tended to feel inferior to the West, the prosperous lands of the free, then this has now changed. One of the leading Russian theatre directors, Constantine Bogomolov declared that the West is undone. The West's compulsory political correctness, its culture-cancelling, its kneeling and boot-licking of BLM, its cult of transgenders, its fear of 'harassment' and sex, its obligatory smile, its wokeness, its fear of death (and of life!), are comparable to the behaviour of Alex, the victim of Clockwork Orange therapy, said Bogomolov.

The young man [Alex] does not just get rid of aggression – he is sick of music, he cannot see a naked woman, sex disgusts him. And in response to the blow, he licks the boot of the striker. The modern West is such a criminal who has undergone chemical castration and lobotomy. Hence this false smile of goodwill and all-acceptance, frozen on the face of a Western person. This is not the smile of Culture. It is a smile of degeneration.

He concludes:

The West tells us: Russia is at the tail of progress.

Wrong.

Just by chance, we have found ourselves at the tail of a runaway train, rushing headlong into [Hieronymus] Bosch's hell, where we will be greeted by smiling multicultural, gender-neutral devils.

We should uncouple our carriage off the train, make a sign of cross and start rebuilding our good old Europe, the Europe we dreamed of. The Europe they have lost.

Take notice of his call to 'make the sign of the cross'. In the West, the churches are barred, service had been discontinued. The Anglican Church is on the verge of dying , with its Archbishop of Canterbury celebrating BLM, removing statues from the churches, accepting every SAGE edict locking the churches up. Meanwhile Russian churches are all open and worshippers are pouring into their cathedrals every feast and Sunday.

Russian boys and girls are flirting with each other, fearless of MeToo and harassment charges. Russian cafes are open. Whoever wants, can get a jab against Covid, or ignore it.

For the first time in many years, Russia shows the way for the West. This is good. Perhaps, the West, after a long-needed correction, will be able to overtake Russia again. Though Russia showed the way of socialism to Europe, the best results of socialism were achieved elsewhere, in the North of Europe. Good old Europe (and the US, its overseas offshoot) are still able to repeat this feat and get rid of the plotting tycoons and their preaching of compulsory love. At this occasion, perhaps banning all tycoons is a good idea. In the better world before their rise, there were no multi-billionaires. History is not over; we are entering the most interesting part of it. Be of good cheer!

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .


St-Germain , says: February 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm GMT • 9.4 days ago

Bravo! Israel Shamir. I enjoyed every syllable of that essay. It frames the shocking reality that is nowhere treated so forcefully in print in the decadent West. These tycoons not only purchasse their corrupted governments but are positioned to trade them in concert like Monopoly board properties, all in plain sight of our blind mass media.

Putin courageously stepped up a notch when he said as much to the Davos crowd and then demonstratively restored to his own countrymen many of the basic freedoms that have just been erased in the locked-down EU.

How long will it take for Europe's venal career politicians to realize they are in danger of becoming just expendable hirelings in the new world order they have so gleefully promoted? Probably nothing short of a revolution could now save the United States from the new feudalism.

But Putin's warning must have resonated among the European politicians, whose status and relevance still derives from a long tradition of statism with a strong social components. Will the national governments finally grasp that the gravest threat is not the hated populism but relegation to irrelevance by corporations and plutocrats. The stakes are clear; either governments will reassert their prerogatives or plutocrats will govern.

Franz , says: February 11, 2021 at 5:49 pm GMT • 9.3 days ago

For the first time in many years, Russia shows the way for the West. This is good . Perhaps, the West, after a long-needed correction, will be able to overtake Russia again.

This is good and timely and needs to be repeated often.

Actually, near where I'm at, "Russia" has been showing the way since Putin got rolling, even before they tried pulling the Obama rug over our eyes when our hollowed-out economy became obvious in the days after Bush W. ("War President") made large segments of the old working class ashamed to be American again.

By all means, let Putin pull out a dusty copy of Ron Reagan quotes and start punting them back to the United States of Blah.

How did Ron put it in 1982? Oh Yeah: "A nation that cannot honor its own people's rights cannot be trusted anywhere else."

Putin can simply quote the Dead Cowboy. The current Plutocracy won't get it, the economically wrecked in the USA already knows it, and everyone else can enjoy the Old Truth that always gives a wicked return: What goes around comes around.

Notsofast , says: February 11, 2021 at 7:14 pm GMT • 9.3 days ago

thank you mr. shamir for the uplifting analysis of this brave new world order being foisted upon us.

I don't think we will be able to throw off our billionaire overlords unfortunately, as the average citizen is too compliant and indoctrinated to understand what is happening to them.

We have no vladimir putin to slay the dragon here. i'm just glad that russia is here as a counterweight to the kleptocratic cthulhu wrapping its tentacles around the world.

Three of Swords , says: February 11, 2021 at 9:51 pm GMT • 9.1 days ago

Still another note of thanks, Mr. Shamir, for this insightful article.

Thus Russia has derailed the Grand Reset.

I do hope that you are correct in your assessment that the train has been derailed and not just delayed in its arrival.

Cheers!

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: February 12, 2021 at 8:05 am GMT • 8.7 days ago

Max 'Jack' Boot's comment reminds one of Croesus. Contemplating whether to attack Persia or not, he consulted the Pythia at Delphi and the oracle declared that, if he attacked, a great kingdom would fall. He attacked, but the Empire that fell was his, not Persia. And brilliant example of Zionazi hubris.

Biff , says: February 12, 2021 at 8:56 am GMT • 8.7 days ago

The State must observe intricate arcane rules, while the tycoons have no such limits. As a result, they shape our minds and lives, making the State a poor legitimate king among powerful and wealthy barons.

That nails it.

Miro23 , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:50 pm GMT • 8.3 days ago

Just by chance, we have found ourselves at the tail of a runaway train, rushing headlong into [Hieronymus] Bosch's hell, where we will be greeted by smiling multicultural, gender-neutral devils.

We should uncouple our carriage off the train, make a sign of cross and start rebuilding our good old Europe, the Europe we dreamed of. The Europe they have lost.

There are some fine sentiments – and many in the West would like to joint the project.

[Feb 20, 2021] The No Change Presidency

Feb 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mike from Jersey , Feb 19 2021 18:56 utc | 1

After a month as president Joe Biden has already broken several major campaign promises.

There will be:

As Alan MacLeod summarizes :

Biden began his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in June 2019 at a Manhattan hotel, telling wealthy donors that "nothing would fundamentally change" under his presidency. After one month in office, it appears as if that is one campaign promise he is likely to keep.

The U.S. will also continue its wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

We are left to guess where, not if, Biden will start another one.

Posted by b on February 19, 2021 at 18:46 UTC | Permalink

I always thought that Biden's campaign slogan should have been a modification of Obama's "Hope and Change" slogan.

Biden's campaign slogan should have been: "No Hope and No Change."


robin , Feb 19 2021 20:11 utc | 17

t Posted by: vk | Feb 19 2021 19:20 utc | 7

And, contrary to the 1960s-1970s, it will now have to start to win those wars, otherwise the wealth will stop flowing.
I believe the objective now is to prevent wealth from flowing East. This means that the definition of 'winning' the war may not be the one we intuitively may think of.

An obvious example which illustrates the strategy is the one of a functioning, promising nation with the highest standard of living on the African continent turned into a devastated stretch of rubble.

Another example is the success the empire is having in Syria. With large chunks of confiscated land and a state of durable smoulder everywhere else, we shouldn't expect the Eastern bloc to extend westward to the Mediterranean anytime soon. Nor should the empire fear the regional actors gaining sufficient economic and political mass to ever make an impression on the world podium and demand the return of occupied territories and repatriation of all refugees as required by law.

uncle tungsten , Feb 19 2021 20:41 utc | 22
No change presidency means that the USA will continue to steal from the poor. Someone should inform Ethiopia and Egypt about this reality.
_K_C_ , Feb 19 2021 20:57 utc | 25
"We are left to guess where, not if, Biden will start another one."

Given the context of the past 20 years including the Bush, Obama and Trump presidencies and current geopolitical realities, I doubt Biden starts a war on par with Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and most certainly not on the level of Iraq. They will have to try hard to grow and harvest so-called low hanging fruit if they intend to engage in any real, direct, shooting military engagements much less invasions/occupations. I'm not saying that can't or won't happen - and I predicted a much wider scale military confrontation with Iran if Trump was re-elected. Maybe not an all out invasion which would never sell back home and would be a military and societal folly of epic proportions. But Trump did try with Soleimani, tanker seizures, and standard militaristic posturing and prodding, not to mention brutal sanctions.

Biden isn't as beholden to Israel (which isn't saying much since the rest of the gov't is) or Saudi Arabia (there is a "damning" report coming soon on the Kashogghi murder which allegedly ties it directly to MBS...duh) and most countries which are even possible military targets that represent a "threat" to US or Israeli interests have been thrown into chaos and instability (which was the real goal). China, Russia, North Korea, and even Iran are off the table in my opinion.

Guess we'll have to wait and see. While the US corporate media were the main cheerleaders for the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, they sold Obama's wars much more subtly, often intentionally ignoring or burying stories that were contrary to that administration's image. That is the kind of treatment I expect from them for Biden if and when he starts a new war.

psychohistorian , Feb 19 2021 21:03 utc | 27
The Harris/Biden presidency will not start any more wars just like the Trump presidency because we are in the throes of a civilization war already and it escalated to MAD phase in late Obama days.

Yes, there can be border skirmishes but no more invasions like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Russia has said that Iran is a strategic partner of Russia and I believe both China and Russia are protecting Venezuela to some degree.

The process of taking sides in this civilization war continues and as the membership of those sides firms up, the firming events at some point will precipitate the final act......extinction or capitulation.......I hope I get to see the final act and maybe experience a bit of the denoueument period.

It sure looks to me like empire is in crash and burn mode but we haven't reached the final act of this shit show yet.

_K_C_ , Feb 19 2021 21:07 utc | 28
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 21:02 utc | 26

Of course. That goes without saying at MoA. Those who frequent this site understand the brutality of sanctions and embargoes. We also know they are acts of war. But I don't think that's what b meant when he said: "We are left to guess where, not if, Biden will start another one." If so, what other countries are left to sanction? Keep in mind that "another one" means one that isn't currently sanctioned/sabotaged - which Biden will of course continue doing. So what countries do you think might be on their radar for new brutal sanctions?

Closest thing I can think of when it comes to war under Biden would be Reagan/Bush/Clinton (incl. Hillary)style coups and "behind the scenes" support for right wing death squads in Central and South America. Otherwise, I think the Biden administration sits back and supports Israel's invasion or destruction of Lebanon.

tucenz , Feb 19 2021 21:29 utc | 31
Really, why would anyone be surprised that a candidate who did nothing to win the Presidency should similarly do nothing once elected?

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:15 utc | 30


Thanks for that. I'm sure I'll use that line whenever I can!

Stephen Laudig , Feb 19 2021 21:41 utc | 32
Come on, you can do better:
"its wars"?
How about "Its unlawful, war crime, extra-constitutional wars of aggression".
The US military: most expensive, losingest military in human history. Hasn't won a war since 1945 unless you count Panama and Grenada.
William Gruff , Feb 19 2021 21:41 utc | 33
"America is back!"

So Biden is saying he Made America Great Again ? Just by successfully scamming the election? Even if he never delivered at least Trump's MAGA referenced jobs and industry and economic growth. Biden's MAGA is just about tone and empty posturing. Which one attempted to deal with reality and which one is just delusion? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader!

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 19 2021 21:47 utc | 35
Really, why would anyone be surprised that a candidate who did nothing to win the Presidency should similarly do nothing once elected?
Posted by: c1ue | Feb 19 2021 21:15 utc | 30

Ouch!!
Many a true word is spoken in jest...
...
It'll be easy for the Biden Admin to start a new war with Jewed-up John (Assad Must Go) Kerry as USA's Climate Czar. The Climate Czar has a big say in Energy Policy which Trump interpreted as Stealing Oil. Kerry's appointment is unlikely to have been an accident.

_K_C_ , Feb 19 2021 22:03 utc | 36
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 19 2021 21:47 utc | 35

"...which Trump interpreted as Stealing Oil."

LOL

So are you saying that Trump didn't "steal oil" in and around Syria or are you simply commenting on his campaign messaging and not his proven history of stealing (no quotes needed and anyone can find the information) oil?

vetinLA , Feb 19 2021 22:12 utc | 38
IMO Biden's got two choices, continue the class war, or try to mitigate it, by helping the American working classes.

His epitaph is yet to be written....

karlof1 , Feb 19 2021 22:16 utc | 39
Strategic-Culture Editorial on the topic:

"Biden's Post-Trump NATO Reset Points to Failing U.S. Global Power in Multipolar World."

Key snippet:

"American hegemonic ambitions required to satisfy its corporate capitalism are dependent on a zero-sum geopolitics. The globe must divided into spheres of influence as in the earlier Cold War decades. There must be antagonism to thwart genuine cooperation which is anathema to American capitalism. Indeed, it can be said that the Cold War never actually ended when the Soviet Union dissolved more three decades ago. America's imperialist ideology continued under new guises of 'fighting terrorism', 'democracy promotion and nation building', or more recently 'great power competition' with Russia and China.

"The bottom line is that NATO is more important than ever for enabling Washington's global power ambitions given the demise of American capitalism and the rise of China and Eurasia. NATO provides a crucial political cover for what would otherwise be seen as naked American imperialism ." [My Emphasis]

IMO, the socio-political-economic set of crises within the Outlaw US Empire will deter BidenCo from going to war elsewhere, especially if Dollar Hegemony's to be salvaged or at least delayed from ending soon. The one big change that Hudson will raise in his rewritten, third edition of Super Imperialism will be the Outlaw US Empire's loss of ability to have the world finance its Imperialism as was the case until 2008. That's why Stoltenberg's cost-sharing proposition is being warmly received in DC.

Nick , Feb 19 2021 23:39 utc | 43
The Texas has been returning for 7 days the stone age . IF Germany wants destroy the Nordstream II project for American gas.. I wish they see what is happening in TEXAS.
alaff , Feb 19 2021 23:40 utc | 44
We are left to guess where, not if, Biden will start another one.

He actually started one already. It's called a war against his own people (~ half of the population, to be precise).
There is no need for a democratically elected president, for whom the majority of voters honestly voted, to sit behind several rows of high barbed wire fences guarded by thousands of soldiers. And if this happens, then not everything is okay. Not okay at all.
Jackrabbit , Feb 20 2021 0:01 utc | 45
_K_C_ @Feb19 21:07 #28

I think there's a hyrid war on all countries that have:

I count at least a dozen countries (along with the stateless Palestinians) that qualify.

And lets not forget the war on whistle-blowers, "populist movements", "conspiracy theorists" and other domestic dissidents. Example: white nationalists are fine when they support Trump's expanded military budget and denunciation of socialism but become an evil threat when they rail against his total support for Israel or demand answers as to why they are being de-platformed/canceled.

Those who claim (directly or indirectly) that Trump didn't start any new wars are (knowingly or unknowingly) minimizing the outrage of the Empire's many, and ongoing, hybrid wars for total global domination.

!!

Jim , Feb 20 2021 0:02 utc | 46
Tannenhouser (#3) said 'Actually lends credence to the theory that there aren't 2 parties anymore ... Soon to b 3 parties just like Canada. Then u will have 3 parties doing squat....except for donors.'

Might be true for the US one day, but here in Canada our third party is a centre-left alternative to the two centre-right parties...

snake , Feb 20 2021 0:03 utc | 47
Why would anyone be surprised that a candidate who did nothing to win the Presidency should similarly do nothing once elected? by: c1ue @ 30 <= based on the laws, decisions and lies in years since 1788 it seems obvious to me the less the USA does, the greater will be America.
Grieved , Feb 20 2021 0:05 utc | 48
@44 alaff

I get what you're saying but I don't think the war is against one half versus another half. In my view the real war is from the top against all below.

~~

On the US domestic scene, I happened to notice today that the Administration signed off on extending foreclosure forbearance until midsummer, but didn't extend the eviction moratorium past March.

I'm on the side of mortgage holders (i.e. small landlords), and forbearance is useful, but no extension for tenants? They are determined to clean the weak off the rolls, aren't they?

That's a 3-month margin for landlords to evict tenants, rehab the property and get it rented again at a a higher rent. Tight, but doable for small landlords (whom I regard as little different from the rest of the poor, by the way - rentier philosophies notwithstanding).

~~

What the US always does supremely well is knock the weakest portion of society into the gutter through financial manipulations (recessions) and then sweep them all into a memory hole so they don't exist anymore. Those who survive don't notice the carnage and it is never mentioned, so life goes on as if there's a working economy.

There's a subliminal tacit agreement in US society, I think, not to mention the ones who fell by the wayside, in case this should plunge the economy into another fall. No one dares to talk about the weak who are lost. Some of the survivors glory in their survivorship, while others I suspect are simply afraid to call the airstrike down on themselves. No negative thinking, lest the magic runs out.

But it keeps the economy running, for a bit longer.

In light of the Romanoff recent articles, I think this dynamic fits the national psyche somewhere.

Tannenhouser , Feb 20 2021 0:19 utc | 49
@jim46. The orange house in Canada is in cahoots w whatever party happens to be in power at any given moment. It spouts
virtuous rhetoric at every opportunity, and then does what ever blue or red house tells it to. ALL three parties in Canada serve the same interests, and it isn't yours or mine. Ever. Look no further than each parties stance on Palestine. All three are beholden to Non sovereign interests. The Red house handed 2 elections to the Blue house under Harper by fielding unelectable candidates. Dion 1st and then Ignatieff. The blue house has done the same, second unelectable candidate being O'tool. The NDP is left in rhetoric only. Under its previous leader it may have had a chance at leading federally. Jagmeet hasnt a hope here, and he knows it, which why he pretends to be relevant with virtue signaling. Its all Kayfabe just like the states.
ian , Feb 20 2021 0:21 utc | 50
Rejoining the Paris accords does not constitute a change as it was purely cosmetic.
Kadath , Feb 20 2021 0:42 utc | 51
Re: Jim #46,

Im not sure if the NCP counts as center left in any meaningful way compared to the Liberals or Progressive Conservatives. Nowadays, the NDP are mostly "Liberals" who weren't cut-throat enough to cut it in the Liberal Party. The Greens are at least slightly different from the Liberals & Conservatives in that they are fanatical in their devotion to "Green" policies. However, I would hesitate to call the Greens "leftist", as they every bit as Neo-liberal in their economic policies as the Liberals & Conservatives (just with a green veneer slapped on top) and pro-war as well, i remember during the last election I was considering voting green and saw their foreign policy boiled down to keep trying to overthrow of Assad and the mass settlement of Syrian refugees into Canada. Call me old fashioned, but I've always felt that sinking ships so you can praise yourself for rescuing the lifeboats is a repugnant morality. Perhaps one day Canada will have a political party worth voting for, but until that day I will keep casting my vote for Putin

Smith , Feb 20 2021 0:45 utc | 52
I love Biden and his quotes.

His "I will not make that (stimulus, minimum wage, student debt writeoff) happen" line is the best of 2021 so far.

Dave , Feb 20 2021 0:52 utc | 53
Just the latest in a long list of no-change presidencies. Obama tinkered, Trump tinkered, and nothing fundamentally changed as usual.
spudski , Feb 20 2021 0:53 utc | 54
Re #46 and #51

I agree with Kadath that the Greens, under Annamie Paul, are neoliberal and not at all antiwar. Ms Paul seems to unquestioningly accept all the Sinophobic and Russophobic propaganda peddled in our Canuckistan media. I was really hoping that Dimitri Lascaris would win the leadership but "Democratic" (DNC) style rigging, including by the outgoing leader, ensured that Dimitri would not succeed Elizabeth May.

Bemildred , Feb 20 2021 0:55 utc | 55
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 22:16 utc | 39

Thanks for your posts, that's what I see too. They found another slice of the salami. I've seen a few other rhetorical touches that suggest they are heading towards less "kinetic" options, and Iran is aware of the situation. They took the bait. Psaki has said that is all we are going to do before talking. Zarif says "we agree", but all the stuff Trump did must be undone. Which would seem like a congenial choice for Biden to consider. But I don't suppose everybody is going to take this lying down. But this all does suggest a dose of reality is at work, which would be nice. I notice the Bidenites want China and Russia in the talks too.

Mao , Feb 20 2021 1:10 utc | 58
China May Ban Rare Earth Tech Exports on Security Concerns
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-19/china-may-ban-rare-earth-technology-exports-on-security-concerns

Biden to order review of U.S. reliance on overseas supply chains for semiconductors, rare earths
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/biden-to-order-supply-chain-review-to-assess-us-reliance-on-overseas-semiconductors.html

Wolle , Feb 20 2021 2:29 utc | 59
Munich Security Conference 2021(video conference): SleepyJoe, no comment, he can't remember his speech anyway.
Obvious stoned Stoltenberg reports about NATO's low-carbon warfare! LOL!
U.v.d.Lying, no comment! Sic!
Looks like dancing vampires:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n5s6he1feg
Lisa Fritz Kabarett, sorry German only.
gm , Feb 20 2021 2:42 utc | 61
Re: "China May Ban Rare Earth Tech Exports on Security Concerns"
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-19/china-may-ban-rare-earth-technology-exports-on-security-concerns

-Mao | Feb 20 2021 1:10 utc | 58

This so-called rare earth (RE) element shortage is a false narrative pumped out by the fake media, controlled by the US -asset-liquidating vulture GloboCapitalists.

There are lots of mothballed US/North American RE mines/deposits that were shut down/abandoned/undeveloped, for cheaper Chinese sourced (cheaper labor/dirty coal energy-powered/pollution friendly) RE mined resources.

The Vulture GloboCaps just don't want to pay the extra out-of-pocket to mine RE domestically.

That would cut into their profit margins...[just like in Texas...]

michaelj72 , Feb 20 2021 2:58 utc | 62
Well, NATO is sending 3,500 new troops to... Iraq.

increasing its invasion force from 500 troops to 4,000. So maybe that's an indicator where the next 'war zones' are going to be: Iraq and Syria... Again

Gotta keep a hold on that Syrian oil and the better part of the Syrian northeast as well, which can easily be used as a springboard (along with the al-Tanf area) to mount/support either frequent ISIS and/or al Qaeda, etc attacks on the Syrian government and people.

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/02/18/nato-increasing-troops-in-iraq-from-500-to-4000/

vetinLA , Feb 20 2021 3:06 utc | 63
And after endless debate, the simple question is; How much improvement in the lives of workers across America, will Biden's owners let him tinker with? After all is said and done, that's the key to any president's term.

We'll see. Take a deep breath and pay attention to what's done, not what's said, especially in the empire's MSM.

Roger , Feb 20 2021 3:09 utc | 64
@urblintz, @Ian,

So true. Radoslav Dimitrov captured the reality so well in his concept of "Empty Institutions" designed not to make any real policy progress, but rather to provide performative political art on a regular basis to distract from the actual lack of real progress. I have linked to his paper below:

https://politicalscience.uwo.ca/people/faculty/full-time_faculty/Empty%20Institutions%20-%20ISR%20article.pdf

psychohistorian , Feb 20 2021 3:42 utc | 68
Below is a quote from Biden's speech to the Munich conference....at least he agrees with my civilization war context....

"
"We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future direction of our world. Between those who argue that -- given all of the challenges we face, from the fourth industrial revolution to a global pandemic -- autocracy is the best way forward and those who understand that democracy is essential to meeting those challenges."

"Historians will examine and write about this moment. It's an inflection point. And I believe with every ounce of my being that democracy must prevail."
"

When is the world going to call BS on the democracy term applied to a society that has its money system controlled by a cult of private individuals? The longer humanity continues to live the myth/lie of democracy in the West, the more likely our species will go extinct because we are unable to evolve beyond barbarism as our form of social organization.

Josh , Feb 20 2021 3:44 utc | 69
No offense to anyone (or their imaginary friends),
But,
What are these silly bitches going to do when the music stops?
Seriously?
https://youtu.be/AULRSOK1KPQ
...
Just sayin'...
div> The world is like an onion, it has layers. Where Trump attacked everything Obama, Biden is attacking everything Trump plus his supporters and, while the MSM is mostly silent on this, about half the USA is gearing up for a civil war. Meanwhile the international wars have been increasing, just not so visibly. Don't forget the digital wars, the apparent biological wars, the propaganda wars, the food wars, and etc. And while most people just recognize the shooting wars the oligarchs, through the military-industrial-congressional complex and other world governments, are playing a global game of Monopoly against each other where even superpowers are but pawns. WWIII started years ago, it's just that most people don't recognize it as such because it's not state actors calling the shots, it's oligarchs who are, in essence, ghosts because we can't see them.

Posted by: Glenn S Olson , Feb 20 2021 4:17 utc | 71

The world is like an onion, it has layers. Where Trump attacked everything Obama, Biden is attacking everything Trump plus his supporters and, while the MSM is mostly silent on this, about half the USA is gearing up for a civil war. Meanwhile the international wars have been increasing, just not so visibly. Don't forget the digital wars, the apparent biological wars, the propaganda wars, the food wars, and etc. And while most people just recognize the shooting wars the oligarchs, through the military-industrial-congressional complex and other world governments, are playing a global game of Monopoly against each other where even superpowers are but pawns. WWIII started years ago, it's just that most people don't recognize it as such because it's not state actors calling the shots, it's oligarchs who are, in essence, ghosts because we can't see them.

Posted by: Glenn S Olson | Feb 20 2021 4:17 utc | 71

psychohistorian , Feb 20 2021 4:29 utc | 72
@ psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 3:51 utc | 70 quoting US Senator Tom Cotton about calling China "new Evil Empire".

I didn't think about it but would someone ask Tom Cotton to describe the old/existing Evil Empire......grin

james , Feb 20 2021 4:29 utc | 73
"The USA has lied, stolen, and killed its way to the top. China, Russia, Iran, etc needs a plan to beat this Evil Empire."

fixed it for you pschohistorian!

@ 54 spudski.. ditto your comment.. canada isn't far behind in this democracy charade..

vetinLA , Feb 20 2021 4:47 utc | 74
GSO @ 71 said;

"And while most people just recognize the shooting wars the oligarchs, through the military-industrial-congressional complex and other world governments, are playing a global game of Monopoly against each other where even superpowers are but pawns. WWIII started years ago, it's just that most people don't recognize it as such because it's not state actors calling the shots, it's oligarchs who are, in essence, ghosts because we can't see them."

This is obvious to anyone paying attention, so, you'd think more folks would get it.

Well stated GSO, thank you....

[Feb 19, 2021] You can see what happened in the United States. This is a watershed running across the world as a whole, an ideological watershed, which is absolutely obvious

Feb 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 17 2021 20:22 utc | 22

Putin's response to the Duma Speaker is worth citing fully. Too bad so few will read his words:

"What you have said regarding the so-called platforms, the IT companies, presents a major challenge, and not only to us alone. You can see what happened in the United States. This is a watershed running across the world as a whole, an ideological watershed, which is absolutely obvious . I have said this before, but I can repeat it now: if they behave like this in their own country, how will they treat others if they think themselves exceptional? This is a serious matter, and we certainly need to think about it in advance, this is the obvious thing.

"As for freedom of speech, the situation is perfectly clear to us as well. The so-called double standards have manifested themselves so vividly recently that we have no doubt about how our so-called opponents will behave towards us, no doubt at all.

"Just take a look at Ukraine, where three leading channels have been shut down at the stroke of a pen. And everyone keeps silent, while some have even given them an approving pat on the back.

"How can we comment on that? The only thing we can say is that they are using these instruments to attain their own geopolitical goals. This is also true for Ukraine. Why are the developments pivoted on Nord Stream 2? They want Russia to pay for their Ukraine geopolitical project, that is it. In fact, this is a rather primitive and simple thing. We have become aware of this long ago, but this is the world we are living in.

"Or take a look at what has happened in Latvia. They have clamped down on 16 of our media outlets, but the only reaction to this is silence. Why have the Western truth seekers not provided any assessments of what is happening to freedom of expression there, in Europe? No, there are no evaluations, as if this is how it should be, because they are allegedly fighting propaganda. As if what they are doing is not propaganda. What is it then? This is an instrument of attaining their geopolitical goals, in this particular instance, with regard to our country.

"We must take this into account. I would like to say once again that this is nothing out of the ordinary. I believe we have been observing this, seeing this happen for a long time, but the recent events have especially vividly confirmed the correctness of our views and assessments." [My Emphasis]

Myself and many others would certainly like to know what Putin sees as "their geopolitical goals" as well as those "with regard to our country." I know Putin's said he sees the Outlaw US Empire is trying to deter Russia's development, but that seems too simplistic to me knowing that the #1 policy goal is Full Spectrum Dominance.

[Feb 19, 2021] I'm curious as to how Russia will regulate Western Big Tech platforms licensed to operate within Russia if they violate the terms of the agreement outside its borders, as Twitter did recently to a Russian group outside of Russia.

Feb 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 17 2021 22:43 utc | 39

psychohistorian @27--

Thanks for the FYI. That's not at all an unexpected assault on a method for the people to redress grievances, not that it was actually acted upon since the Executive has a very nasty habit of not obeying the law.

I'm curious as to how Russia will regulate Western Big Tech platforms licensed to operate within Russia if they violate the terms of the agreement outside its borders, as Twitter did recently to a Russian group outside of Russia. Perhaps Russia will make an extraterritorial law such that if Twitter, for example, unjustifiably freezes an account as it does daily it will lose its rights to operate within Russia. As for the individual user, IMO its dumb to sign onto a service that you know practices censorship and shares private data with governments and other entities--either you value your own privacy or it will be stolen from you. With luck, quantum computing and its encryption algorithms will destroy all efforts at data collection; but those days are a ways off and will likely first become available on Chinese devices which the West will ban.


karlof1 , Feb 17 2021 23:24 utc | 46

I wonder what our Aussie barflies have to say about this :

"Facebook to ban Australian users from reading and sharing news in response to government's Big Tech bill."

That's right! FB Australia is going to ban its users from discussing a legislative proposal by the Australian government that would regulate Aussie FB.

If that's how they choose to operate, more nations will ban them. And again I ask why have anything to do with an organization that censors basic content.

Debsisdead , Feb 17 2021 23:41 utc | 47

re karlof1 #46

Google promised the same about two weeks ago as the Murdoch controlled Oz legislature is pushing to ensure that if big tech carries links to articles in news sites such as Murdoch's Daily Telegraph or Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald they, big tech, will have to kick back a proportion of the advertising revenue they make.
Despite it being murdochian the claim has some merit, but no monopoly is going to acquiesce to such a small population as Australia's so Google, FB, Twitter etc, will just ban all news links to Oz sources.

The Oz conservatives are likely to do their usual "damn the voters, full speed ahead" as long as nothing else crops up to make this too on the nose.
This if it happens will be a win win for the Oz population as they will revert back to sourcing their own news and sharing it with others free of big tech's control & censorship. It will be an interesting time, although the monopolies will be pushing shock horror tales about it outside Oz. There is no chance of it happening in amerika as BidenCorp is a big tech puppet, but it could happen eventually as the fishwraps still retain considerable power over the amerikan political structure.

karlof1 , Feb 17 2021 23:58 utc | 48

Debsisdead @47--

Thanks for your reply! I recall one of the Cold War talking points was that the Free Flow of Information was Vital to democratic governance and was a major reason why the USSR and Warsaw Pact was so backwards as they stifled all information flows through censorship and other means. VoA Trumpeted that constantly. Such hubris is going to encourage the world's nations to come together to control what are clearly becoming outlaw organizations.

[Feb 19, 2021] Lots of trolls accuse Putin of promoting Neoliberalism. The above proves them liars. Putin's foremost concern has always been for the welfare of his fellow Russians.

Feb 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 17 2021 20:49 utc | 24

The last outstanding nugget from Putin's conference is an admission by Putin of his political-economic philosophy made during his reply to the Communist Party's Gennady Zyuganov:

"The growth of unemployment during the pandemic – it is not big but it is still here and we are seeing and recording it. I speak about this all the time and encourage the Government to do what is necessary to reach pre-crisis levels. In general, the situation is improving and has proven to be better than preliminary forecasts. But you are right. It is clearly necessary to focus on this all the time .

"Of course, I know that the Communist Party is always concerned over issues of privatisation. I have also spoken about this. Probably, our approaches to this matter do not always coincide, but at any rate I believe we share the common view that privatisation for the sake of privatisation is unacceptable for us, especially the way it was carried out in the 1990s in some areas. It must be beneficial for the economy; it must improve the economic structure. We must proceed from the premise that any step in this context must create a better, more efficient owner de facto, in practice rather than formally . But obviously, this must be done in a certain environment so as not to give away what costs millions and maybe billions for next to nothing. This is the bottom line for us." [My Emphasis]

Lots of trolls accuse Putin of promoting Neoliberalism. The above proves them liars. Putin's foremost concern has always been for the welfare of his fellow Russians. If I haven't made that clear over the years of my reporting on his speeches and pressers, then the failure must be on those feigning blindness when they can see perfectly well.

IMO, the four main political parties are all fundamentally nationalist, even the Communists. I don't think anyone/party anti-Russian/pro-Neoliberalism has any chance politically, and won't for many years. However, it's what I'll term progressive nationalism that seeks to promote the same in its partners--even in those nations that don't deserve such treatment. Russia takes the high road and doesn't deviate, which I find commendable. It's my hope that the Eurasian Bloc will follow the examples of Russia and China, but selfishness and greed are formidable obstacles, not to mention exceptionalism.

[Feb 15, 2021] EU - Russia Conflict Deepens

Feb 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Feb 12 2021 17:38 utc | 2

Last week. during a visit by the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slapped down the EU's sanctimonious interference in Russia's internal policies.

Back in Brussels, Borrell, who was criticized by some EU hardliners for not directly rebuffing Lavrov's talk, set down to write a blog post in which again attacked Russia over the latest Navalny stunt:

I have just returned from a very complicated visit to Moscow, on which I had embarked to discuss the fraught state of EU-Russia relations. They have been low for a number of years, and deteriorated even further after recent developments linked to the poisoning, arrest, and sentencing of Alexei Navalny as well as the related mass arrests of thousands of demonstrators. The purpose of this mission was to express directly the EU's strong condemnation of these events and to address, through principled diplomacy, the process of a rapid worsening of our relationship with Russia, and to help prepare the forthcoming European Council discussions on EU-Russia relations.

Borrell is delusional. Hardly anyone in Russia believes the nonsensical poisoning story for which the 'west' could provide exactly zero evidence:

Brett Harris @BrettHar123 - 18:41 UTC · Feb 7, 2021

Only 15% in Russia believe the Navalny poisoning was the Govt trying to eliminate an opponent, and the 15% based this opinion from Telegram and the Internet and were mostly 18-24. The rest think it was staged, a Western false flag, personal or opposition: https://levada.ru/2020/12/24/...

The whole Navalny poisoning was obviously some secret service operation to bash Russia. His lavish living in in a 5 bed room luxurious apartment in Germany after he was released from hospital was paid by the libertarian oligarch Evgeny Chichvarkin . Chichvarkin, who lives in London, is probably an MI6 cutout. It is still not known who paid the multimillion production costs for the fake 'Putin palace' video. The studio renting for the video was requested by a company in Los Angeles. Some U.S. involvement is thereby assured.

Poland and other NATO countries are now openly pressing Navalny and other traitors like him to continue their regime change attempts:

Cont. reading: EU - Russia Conflict Deepens

Posted by b at 17:14 UTC | Comments (120)

This confrontation was predictable. There is a limit to what Russia can accept. Even after the russophobic UK departure from the EU, the mood is the same.
Therefore a frank confrontation may either be a wake-up call for Europe that they may lose totally Russia as a partner or in the contrary bring them more apart.
What the EU fails to realize is that without Russia , it may end up become the puppet of the USA and the UK
Time will tell



james , Feb 12 2021 17:39 utc | 3

thanks b.... you're correct borrell is delusional and a perfect representative for a delusional europe.... i am glad lavrov said what he did.. i just wish russia would throw the shit back at them by making a parallel with the wests treatment of assange... it really highlights the outrageous-ness of the west at this point...

and someone on the open thread posted about mh17 and trying to access more info contained in boxes on the rear part of the plain that might lead to a different conclusion... as i see it mh17, skripal, navalny and etc. etc - are all frame ups to take down russia... it has reached a level of insanity and borrell is the perfect delusional character to represent it all here..

throw the shit back at them russia... call the west out on their endless bullshit... the time for diplomacy is long gone and this appears to be the conclusion that russia is indeed coming to, however slowly....

jayc , Feb 12 2021 18:02 utc | 6
Borrell - "The strategic choices we make now will determine international power dynamics in the 21st century, and notably whether we will advance towards more cooperative or more polarised models, based on closed or on freer societies."

He answers his own question - the EU (and "partners") will advance towards a more polarized international model, based on their own self-serving definitions of "closed" or "freer" societies. This self-generated dichotomy will be used to mask the true nature of this perceived crossroad: "they" can live with us, but "we" can't live with them.

Beibdnn , Feb 12 2021 18:07 utc | 7
In a video posted earlier today, 12/02/2021 Alexander Mercuoris of The Duran analysed the reaction of Germany's politicians to Lavrov's comments.
Basically even Heiko Maas the anti-Russian foreign minister shit his pants at the though of Russia abandoning Europe and therefore jeapordizing Germany a significant percentage of it's energy supply.
When all is said and done, the E.U. will suffer far worse than Russia if Moscow abandons Europe.
The technocrats know this. However the level of maturity required to overcome their hubris is patently lacking and to re-orientate themselves idealogically will be viery difficult as can be seen by the reaction of 70 mental retards who pose as M.E.P.s in a letter they signed calling for Borrell's resignation and a tougher stance on Russia.

Interesting times ahead.

Carlos , Feb 12 2021 18:11 utc | 8

Until a few years ago, Russia did not have an alternative for purchases of many items other than from the West. It now has China to supply most needs. When China finally solves the problems caused by the US sanctions to semiconductor factories (it will take roughly a decade to develop its own photolithography and design, the most critical tools of advanced semiconductor processing), China will be able to provide everything that Russia needs except for warm climate fruits and vegetables (maybe Turkey?). This new paradigm seems to be behind Russia's new assertiveness. Europe should make peace with Russia before it fully tilts towards the East.

AriusArmenian , Feb 12 2021 18:14 utc | 9

In 1990 at the what I then thought end of Cold War there seemed an opening to the coalescing of a northern hemisphere zone of peace - but that vision has come to nothing. What an idiot I was! How could I ever have thought that the best of the inheritance of Western civilization would lead in the West. The plowing, plundering, grasping, murdering and scheming for profit psychos in the West stabbed that vision in the heart. I am sure now another opening will not come in my lifetime - the West will make sure of that.

If I was younger I would leave the US but now can only hunker down and stay out of the way of the juggernaut of rampaging psychos lurching from one failure to another. The only relief from the deepest moments of despair is looking to the East and others that are building and working together to build a new world. Obviously Russia and China, along with Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and others. It is a strange world for me turned upside down when I even include North Korean resistance to the US Empire of Mendacity as contributing to the building of that new world.

Hoyeru , Feb 12 2021 19:56 utc | 14

the Reality is NOT quite right the way b has present it. EU together with US, Canada CAN and WILL hurt Russia deeply if they slap severe economic sanctions on Russia's energy sector. And Russia knows that and EU knows that Russia knows it.
The West's game is very simple: cut Russia from the Western world, by denying it access to any type of new tech, economic loans and any type of ties with the West. (this worked quite well with the Soviet Union, so it WILL work again) And this WILL hurt Russia deeply economically, no question about it. And before you tell me about China and the supposed Russia-China's ties, let me inform you that the ties are merely economic and both still don't trust each other. The Russians are well aware of CHina's claims over Siberia. They don't really work together, most of those ties are imaginary and dont really exist.
Putin has made several mistakes, and he is too dependent on the Rich Russian millionaires. The threat of sanctions made him freeze when the West went after Ukraine and Putin didn't act to save it. Russia will cry bloody tears over this in the very near future. This is only the overture of things to come. There will be another fake false flag even in the Azov sea after which USA will demand Russia be boycotted. Ys that will hurt EU also, but the Eu are masochists who love getting their asses fucked by US.
Russia better get prepared and get their supply ass grease ready, they will be getting serious ass fucking very very soon. And they wont be able to do anything about it. Good going, Putin!

karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 19:58 utc | 15

AriusArmenian @9--

I commiserate as we're in the same boat. I watch like a hawk because forewarned is forearmed!

/////

Published at the right moment given events is this Strategic-Culture Editorial : "NATO's Road To Perdition With Ukraine." It omits the Borrell incident to focus on the recent meeting between NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg hosted Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shymhal at the organization's headquarters in Brussels:

"At a joint press conference, both men were upbeat about Ukraine joining NATO. Stoltenberg admitted that the former Soviet Republic has been eyed for membership of the alliance since 2008, a timescale which puts more recent conflict over the past nearly seven years in perspective. He also confirmed that NATO forces have been building up their presence in the Black Sea in coordination with Ukrainian counterparts. In recent weeks, three US warships have been training with Ukrainian naval vessels in order to counter what Stoltenberg says is 'Russian aggression'."

So, there's much more in the stew than it appears:

"It is interesting to speculate why Stoltenberg – a former Norwegian premier and nominal civilian head of NATO – this week appeared to give new impetus to Ukraine's ambitions. Could it be related to the change of administration in the United States? Senior members of the Biden administration have publicly stated during Senate hearings a willingness to increase military support for the Kiev government in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. American and European envoys at the UN Security Council this week reiterated strident accusations against Russia claiming that Moscow was responsible for prolonging the conflict in Ukraine . Russia's envoy Vassily Nebenzia countered that it was the Kiev regime and its Western allies who have not implemented the previously agreed Minsk peace accord signed in 2015." [My Emphasis]

Bald-faced lies in public forums that began with Clinton/Gore have steadily escalated and clearly aren't a product of any one administration but a continuity of the War Party's attempt at Full Spectrum Domination that keeps slipping further away from any possibility of occurring, thus its desperation. Yesterday, I provided this link to The Saker's latest analysis and called it a Must Read. Within he links to several reports from Russian media and military sources that those watching closely need to read. Yesterday, Putin met with his Security Council ostensibly about arms control but I think the conversation went well beyond that, although I have no confirmation. The Solovyov-Lavrov transcript isn't complete yet, but what's there is incredible! As Lavrov said, "Well, this is some kind of a kingdom of crooked mirrors." If what Lavrov said of Borrell's position, we should have some pity for him being put into such an impossible position--but then, he's well paid to do his duty.

Brendan , Feb 12 2021 20:22 utc | 18

Patrick Armstrong wrote yesterday about the consequences of the Navalny brothers' scam in 2012 against Yves Rocher:

NAVALNIY. The story continues. The theory that he's being fitted up for a treason charge was given a boost when Zakharova said he should be called an "agent of influence" rather than a politician. His suspended sentence for fraud was lifted and he's off to prison. Read Yves Rocher's statement; sounds to me as if the company believes he did swindle them. The fact that there's now a campaign against the company suggests my deduction is correct.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2021/02/11/russian-federation-sitrep-11-february-2021/
That contains a couple of links giving more details of the case.

Armstrong also links to this tweet by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a video showing many examples of police brutality in the West and also violence by protesters against police in Russian (the opposite of what is shown in Western media).
https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/1356674233464729609

karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 20:23 utc | 19

Stonebird @12--

Several days ago on the 10th, I posted this link and commented about what I deemed the notable words spoken by Lavrov on Diplomats' Day. IMO, it's a martial pep-talk given his peroration followed by this paragraph:

"Russia's attempts to become an independent state, to uphold its right to an independent foreign policy and to protect international law are coming against increasingly harsh resistance of our Western colleagues, who would like to teach 'obedience' to us. They would like us to accept the highly questionable interpretation of common human values, an interpretation that contradicts Russia's cultural and civilisational traditions. They would like Russia to become a 'convenient' territory for promoting their own security, economic, social and political interests. We can see that these are becoming ever more aggressive with every passing day. We must actively apply our efforts, knowledge and experience, based on the wisdom of our predecessors, to consistently promote the foreign policy course formulated by President Vladimir Putin."

How else do you prepare your diplomatic corp for war?

If you've followed Lavrov closely for many months as I have, the change in his demeanor is quite marked; yet as Paco notes, he still maintains his professionalism. Lavrov's perplexity about how consensus is supposed to function was well put--we know several nations disagree with the policy yet go along with it--WHY?--the united front undercuts your own interests. In Putin's latest conversation with his Energy Minister, there was no mention of Nord Stream 2's situation. Given all the sanctions and lack of pushback by the EU nations most dependent on it, IMO Russia is willing to sacrifice it as it didn't bear all the costs and has plenty of potential customers for its hydrocarbons. So, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Russia stopped short of finishing, said it would fulfill its existing contracts, but no more would be negotiated until conditions drastically change. Hardball is just that--Hardball.

alaff , Feb 12 2021 21:14 utc | 24
Only 15% in Russia believe the Navalny poisoning was the Govt trying to eliminate an opponent, and the 15% based this opinion from Telegram and the Internet and were mostly 18-24. The rest think it was staged, a Western false flag, personal or opposition:
https://levada.ru/2020/12/24/chto-rossiyane-dumayut-ob-otravlenii-alekseya-navalnogo/

Levada is considered a [pro-]Western sociological service (there are links with Soros) in Russia and the results of its polls, let's say, cause a certain skepticism. 15% of those who believe in "poisoning"... I would say figures of 5-8 (maximum 10) percent look much more realistic.
It is still not known who paid the multimillion production costs for the fake 'Putin palace' video.

Well, I would look for sources in names like Khodorkovsky or/and Browder .
Both scammers are longtime haters of Russia.

The Kremlin later said that some media misrepresented Lavrov's remarks but essentially confirmed his stand

According to Russian legislation, the country's foreign policy is determined directly by the president. The Foreign Ministry is essentially just a repeater, although of course it introduces its own peculiarities. Therefore, there is no doubt that Lavrov's words were coordinated with (and approved by) Putin. Peskov, as usual, in his own manner, tried to somewhat "smooth out"/"embellish" Lavrov's directness and rigidity, which, however, does not negate the essence of the statements themselves.

Today Navalny was back in court for publicly insulting a World War II veteran. The EU will certainly make remarks about that. But only a few days ago police in Scotland arrested someone because he typed a mean tweet about a British veteran of that war.

Here I can only support the British, who massively stood up for the offended veteran Sir Thomas Moore.
Citizens wrote mass appeals, statements to the police demanding to bring to justice the degenerate who insulted the memory of the war hero.

Unfortunately, Russian society often lacks such civic initiative. Yes, the authorities will do their job, and a piece of shit named Navalny, who slandered the war veteran, will be punished. But besides the actions of the authorities, it would be nice to see also the "demand of the people", you know.

Stonebird , Feb 12 2021 21:18 utc | 25

karlof1 | Feb 12 2021 20:23 utc | 19

And I have been following you, following Lavrov.....

The Nordstream II is a question mark. It is being finished by the Russians, with their own ships. The Germans have also realised that their own interests are tied up there. The "Threatening situation" (from the west) does not come from either one.

My conclusion is that EU policy is being dictated from outside , the secondary question is "by whom". Unfortunately I suspect that the main driving force is the same one that "enabled" Biden, Enabled the ousting of socialist candidates in many countries. (Corbyn, and in S. America generally), and generally assume they are the top of the top.

Is this force based on "nationality" or on "interests", call them Religious nuts, Extreme militarists OR Financial Fascists? Alternatively are they a mixture of all three***.

One explanation for Lavrov's coldness is that IF the EU was an independent representative body (which it isn't) then certain actions to improve the lot of the populace would have been taken. That they are not means that they lack the ability to deviate from what they have been ordered. By way of an explanation, the Media will lie, because they cannot do otherwise having been "bought" in some way. Lavrov has certainly changed. Because he probably knows what is "supposed" to happen, and the EU miasma do not understand that they too will be in the forefront of any battleground. (Since that includes me, I am not too happy about the situation either).

Aside; *** They could be mixture of all three tendencies. ie. 9/11 had operatives from the Saudis, Israel, and the Pentagon, with three different motivations. Religious (Saudis), Suprematist (Israel) and monetary (Pentagon and it's "lost" trillions, and profitability by insiders).

uncle tungsten , Feb 12 2021 21:20 utc | 26

The stalker zone has a good take on it:

As the head of the Soviet intelligence service, Leonid Shebarshin, an extremely well-informed man, once said: "The west wants only one thing from Russia -- that it does not exist".
karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 22:24 utc | 30

Stonebird @25--

Thanks for your reply! You wrote:

"One explanation for Lavrov's coldness is that IF the EU was an independent representative body (which it isn't) then certain actions to improve the lot of the populace would have been taken ." [My Emphasis]

Now what current ideology supports such a policy--that the lot of the masses isn't supposed to be improved; rather, they are to have their wealth wrung out, then be tossed aside and used as manure. Hint: It was famously announced as Trickle-down Economics, which was lambasted as Voodoo Economics.

If you read Hudson, then you know where the power center lies within the Outlaw US Empire and its network of vassals--The privately held Central Banks and those that control them and many other key corporations thanks to interlocking boards of directors--the same basic cabal that failed to assassinate FDR and oust him via a coup but succeeded with JFK, RFK, MLK, and so many others: millions when adding in their terrorists and their Death Squads.

To rid Europe of its Central Bank, the EU would need to be disbanded. But to gain complete sovereignty, NATO would need to die also. Currently, Europe is essentially occupied by a force every bit as immoral as the Nazis. It's not by accident that Lavrov, Putin and others invoke the Great Patriotic War and the events that led to it as recurring.

I would not be surprised to see Russia actually perform the deeds it's accused of, like actually invade and subdue Ukraine. It it did so, realistically what would change? Nuland famously gave the answer Russia would now echo--Fuck the EU. As with the Republic's Trade Federation secretly aligning with the Sith, the EU will come to regret playing dummy to the Outlaw US Empire as it gets barred from gaining any benefits from being in the Eurasian Bloc and China's BRI Combo.

_K_C_ , Feb 12 2021 22:45 utc | 31

I don't really follow the Navalny situation anymore because as soon as I see Russia mentioned in any Western media I assume it's an "intelligence community" psyop or just plain old propaganda. But something piqued my curiosity regarding this alleged mansion of Putin's.

Strategic culture provided two links to YouTube videos in their articles, one of which to my knowledge isn't subtitled so I don't know what was being said in Russian. In this video a group of guys made the trip to the site of this mansion compound and showed the place in disrepair, looking like exterior had aged quite a bit.

The other is to Navalny's own video which alleges to explain that the reason for the current state of the project is that the original design/construction were faulty and that a serious mold problem, as well as leaking roofs, had caused them to strip out the entire interior ostensibly to rebuild from scratch (and allegedly tossing "billions" of rubles worth of marble and other fancy construction materials). He also says that the original photos and video which show the place in pristine condition, were from 6 years ago before the teardown.

Leaving aside the obvious fake photos (like the one in Moscow times which was a photoshopped Putin swimming in his new mansion, lol) and the situation in general (i.e., whether Putin has anything to do with this structure at all), can anyone square this circle for me? Is it disproven that the place was indeed built a while back and later stripped down due to the leaking roofs and mold? If so is there a source in the English language that explains the situation?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

Kiza , Feb 12 2021 22:52 utc | 32

There is a strong whiff of desperation of the EuroCrapsters and their US masters to grab what Russia has (resources) and thus delay own economic collapse. All these crapsters are freezing their asses off right now whilst dreaming of profits from pillaged Russian energy. The most precarious is the Western pension system, which with ZIRP and NIRP interest rates has stopped existing. There is no source of funding in this World that could feed that hungry monster with ageing population. The Western printing presses are overheating and this is only a delaying solution for the deeply debalanced system. Absolutely the only way out for the West is to bring down Russian government and pillage. If Russia did not have nuclear weapons this would have happened a while ago. The Russians understand this perfectly.

Will the sick West run into a desperate confrontation against a bee with a big sting? It must be unusually frustrating for the AngloAmerican crapsters not to be able to just take what they want and need from the World as they have been doing over the past couple if centuries. They have the big sting but their mark has an even bigger (hypersonic) sting. What a profound change in world affairs - pillaging from now on to come at the huge cost. And Putin appears prepared to prevent pillaging of not only Russia.

The calculation is fairly clear - either they will feed, cloth and keep warm the Western elderly and others using Russian resources or there will be no pensioners after a nuclear Holocaust. Either way problem solved.

JB , Feb 13 2021 0:58 utc | 41
would like to know, in concrete terms, what is the benefit from constant denigration and provocation of Russia, and who benefits, in precisely what ways. I do know, however, who does not benefit. The vast majority of Europeans, the Russians and generally the majority of humanity.
-Pushing Russia around and away is counter productive for the EU and Europe as whole. It is a big, peaceful, neighbouring country willing to cooperate on the basis of mutual respect and interest. Russia has put foreward many constructive proposals, all of which have been rejected
- There is no rational basis for the long-lasting and escalating pressure on Russia. If that is correct, the goals and actions of the West, and the the EU in particular, are irrational from the perspective of the real life interests of the majority of European citizens and welfare and wellbeing of the majority of people in the world.
- I hope that Russia does not abandon its orientation towards Europe, because it is a European state. It should be part of European integration projects, albeit not on the present model of the EU. That does not clash, but accords, with its Asian relations and projects.
- The EU should radically change its policies towards Russia, and welcome it as an important partner in all fields.
- The qeustion is - who is going to stop the race into the abys that the European leaders are accelarating? I don't see anyone or anything on the European scene considering, capable of and willing to put an end to this utter madness. I do see who is paying the price and who will pay even more dearly in the future. The majority of European citizens.Deeply depressing and very scary.
J W , Feb 13 2021 0:59 utc | 42
Truest words that has ever been spoken at the EU.
S.P. Korolev , Feb 13 2021 4:57 utc | 54

AntiSpin @33, gm @39

The Bulletin article doesn't really delve into the issues around the US' new low-yield 'tactical' nukes, it concentrates on a new big 'strategic' ICBM system, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). It seems to be basically an attempt to resurrect the capabilities of the Reagan era MX 'Peacekeeper' that was scrapped under the START treaties as it was optimised to carry a large number of warheads and the US preferred to keep a larger number of Minuteman III missiles with single warheads.

Although it probably won't be quite as large as the MX, it will be better suited than the Minuteman for carrying multiple hypersonic glide vehicles like the Russian 'Avangard' system. The Russians have an initial operating capability on their SS-19/UR-100N ICBM (similar in payload to the Minuteman) but will soon deploy their much larger RS-28 Sarmat which will allow multiple hypersonic gliders to be carried.

The article describes a typically corrupt US procurement process, with the big three arms companies (Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman) fighting it out for the mountain of $. Northrop Grumman managed to win out by buying up the only manufacturer of the large solid rocket motors that the contract required the contractors to use. Solid rocket motors were one of the only aspects of space technologies where the US was unequivocally in the lead, with 4 or 5 companies producing them. By the time of the GBSD contract only one company remained after the orgy of mergers and buyouts, Orbital ATK. ATK was the successor to Thiokol Corp, whose product doomed the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger (being basically a big 'light it and stand the f*** back' firework solid motors are not a great option for crewed spaceflight, but well suited to ICBMs).

By buying up ATK, Northrop Grumman threatened to massively cut into the profits of any other company bidding, ensuring a clear run to the contract for itself. Many analysts had suspected that Boeing would be given the GBSD contract to compensate for their losses on the 737Max, but Northrop's maneuvers and Boeing's terrible recent track record in space made that impossible. Boeings SLS moon rocket failed its crucial static-fire test in Jan 2021 and is 5 years behind schedule despite it being basically a Space Shuttle tank with Shuttle engines bolted to the bottom (early 70s tech). Its Starliner Space Station ferry also failed its uncrewed flight test last year due to a plethora of software errors, one of which was discovered with minutes to spare and would have killed a crew by crashing the service module into the crew module moments after the modules seperated for reentry into the atmosphere.

With all that in mind I don't think the Russians are too troubled by the US's prowess in space or financial technology. Whatever Frankenstein's Rocket emerges from the GBSD program will be most unlikely to rival the RS-28 (known to NATO as 'Son of Satan'), and by that time the 'Grandson of Satan' will probably be flying.

Gravel Rash , Feb 13 2021 12:19 utc | 70

The problem with armchair strategists is of course they don't know all the facts, those at hand to the actual players. Some leaks into the real world but far too much is hidden.

All we know is that Russia appears to have stopped its subservient position and have started with the EU, not the US. Is that because they believe they are now finally powerful enough for a military conflict? Or perhaps as they believe one is coming anyway? Or are there other hidden factors in play?

One thing of interest is that it hasn't taken long for the NATO/Russian situation to escalate quickly since Trumps removal, anyone still doubt he was removed? Also of note the US general now stating nuclear war is possible, more fear to add or just introducing the idea to us as something that may "have" to be done to save the world for democracy?

How much does one believe in coincidence? Karmically there is no such thing. Many big issues going on in the world now from covid with its fascist responses to Big Resets, massive world debt, and now increasing military tension with Russia and perhaps China as well soon. All interlinked?

Eighthman , Feb 13 2021 15:14 utc | 83

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982

Putin created a document about lessons from WW2. Even if you disagree with him or just hate him, ask yourself if Trump, Biden, Pelosi or any other elderly US leaders could reason at this level or offer this depth of thought. That's my take away...

pretzelattack , Feb 13 2021 16:02 utc | 88

navalny is apparently the ramon guaido of russia, the designated front man for a us coup operation.

bevin , Feb 13 2021 18:22 utc | 97

The problem with Navalny is not that he is a 'traitor' to Russia but that he is an agent of the Empire, on the payrolls of the Five Eyes security complex. Which makes him a traitor to humanity.

[Feb 14, 2021] Yanis Varoufakis- Trumpism after Trump NEWSWEEK Magazine, Interviewed by Basit Mahmood

Trumpism is "national neoliberalism." Trump actually betrayed almost all his election promises so it is unfair to call it after him.
Feb 14, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"The wave of enthusiasm regarding the Biden administration has not washed over me," he says. "I'm glad Trump is out, but at the very same time I'm very worried that Trumpism is going to get stronger. I'm very worried that the Democratic Party is in the process of turning in on itself, of divisions between the establishment figures, those who were effectively supported by Wall Street to become senators or congressmen or presidents for that matter and the socialists.

"The clash is already there, the blame game has begun. While the Trumpists are more united than ever, they're going to be aided and abetted by two things. First, the [financial] slump which is unavoidable given the pandemic, they will be blaming it on the system and the swamp that has taken over again and a false but real sense that they have, false in the sense that it's untrue but real in the sense they do feel it, that they were robbed of the election.

"So this combination, solidity on the Trumpist side, political economy which is strengthening their feeling and their unity and the fragmentation of the Democratic side which is only going to get worse as we're moving towards the congressional elections two years from now. That for me is the great danger."

Varoufakis doesn't believe that the Biden-Harris ticket will improve outcomes for the poor or radically redistribute wealth. Nearly eight million Americans, many of them children and minorities, have fallen into poverty since May last year as the pandemic took its toll, according to Columbia University research .


arkansasangie , February 13, 2021 at 6:39 am

Opinion -- there are Trumpers who like Trump. There are also Trumper who are broadly against the level of corruption today and "1984" materializing before them. They believe that the deep state exists and that the two primary political parties are one and the same; their differences being cosmetic only

And guess what. Neither party likes them.

Northeaster , February 13, 2021 at 7:43 am

Didn't vote for Trump, but in a blue state it wouldn't matter with vote bundling (sans Nebraska & Maine), but this post resonates. Basically we're in political exile, both Party's are corrupt and most spend their time calling donors and/or taking lobby monies for their Party dues in exchange for their vote. The only politician I can stand is Massie, who's not even allowed in the RNC building, and actually walks-the-walk on issues, and me as a Vet, Massie doesn't vote for unending war (NDAA).

kayjay , February 13, 2021 at 6:19 pm

who the hell is massie?

The Rev Kev , February 13, 2021 at 6:27 pm

I would imagine that to be Thomas Massie. You may not know the name but he was one of the few who stood against that CARES Act last March. He copped lot of flak from Trump and John Kerry at the time which means that he must have been right-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Massie

flora , February 13, 2021 at 11:12 am

This was interesting. I wish YV had defined the term "Trumpism". I haven't seen it defined anywhere; it's used to smear voters, but I haven't seen it defined.

Imo, it's the rising populism (in the good sense) in the US trying to stop financial predations by the banks and Wall St. speculators, stop trade deals that undercut US wages and off shore jobs, again regulate and breakup the new monopolies – especially the tech monopolies whose rents attach to nearly everything now. That's my definition. I wonder what YV's definition is. It's happening in the US, in the UK (Brexit), in France (jillet jaunes), and in other Western countries where the bottom70-80% of the populations – the once large and financially stable middle class – has been economically undermined for the past 30 years by govt policy and deregulation. Its a reasonable, sane response to seeing your childrens' and grandchildrens' life chances and life expectancies fall at the same time billionaires are getting richer and richer.

But calling the idea that this economic destruction needs to be addressed, calling it "Trumpism" smears the entire idea there's something badly out of balance that needs to be addressed. Calling it "Trumpism" dismisses these ideas as unimportant and maybe even slightly unhinged.

So, again, I wish YV had defined "Trumpism" as he understands it. Otherwise, the argument sounds a bit like "these crackpots are a worry, how can we keep the crackpots under control"? Shorter: over half the country has real, long term, ongoing financial grievances against the current system, but I'll use this dimissive name for them and still expect everyone to take half the country's financial and health care grievances seriously. It doesn't work that way, imo.

Amfortas the hippie , February 13, 2021 at 12:13 pm

trump will be a weapon against any populism, at all.
think the next election had problems? the primary? you must be a moron and a trumper.
think the economy is rigged for the powerful, and ruinous for everyone else? damned trumpy racist moron.
on and on on just about every real problem we face, there is a rebuttal there in trump that will dismiss it out of hand no matter the glaring evidence that the problem is real.
just as the Left appeared to be getting it's shit together, the Powers have their out.
see Haydar Khan's part 2:
https://thescrum.substack.com/p/the-great-reset-part-2

of course, dismissing the myriad problems or doing them in such a way that they are ineffective, if very profitable will only make them worse, and that will eventually have consequences.

Patrick , February 13, 2021 at 2:39 pm

From the great reset – an attempted corporate coup: "The recent social media cancellation of former president Donald Trump is certainly a demonstration of private corporations serving as private trustees of society."

Thanks for the link

Alfred , February 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Agreed that Newsweek should have pressed Mr Varoufakis to define his key term. 'Trumpism' seems to defy succinct definition, however. Possibly its vagueness counts as an advantage in ideological discourse? Still I think the Wikipedia article on 'Trumpism' is a pretty good place to get a start on understanding it. I noticed that it actually suggests the existence of more than one 'Trumpism' in the US, and as covers it/them as an international phenomenon. It also makes clear what a wide variety of assessments of it have already emerged. It provides a rather vast bibliography. More provocative, in the good sense of thought-provoking, are the several definitions offered up by contributors to Urban Dictionary. They emphasize its reliance on deception to market itself. Personally I think it may make more sense to understand 'Trumpism' as a mode of political discourse – a means of advancing a certain political agenda, apparently a means especially amenable to social media though I very much doubt one engendered by its parameters – than as any particular agenda as such.

Amfortas the hippie , February 13, 2021 at 4:03 pm

that wiki page is a pretty good read in itself, and provides a launch pad for further digging.
and, i hadn't realised that Bob Altemeyer was still around and on the case.
his main book was one of the most important in trying to understand the people i've been embedded in for all my life.
https://theauthoritarians.org/options-for-getting-the-book/

re: the wiki, the sections on "Methods of Persuasion" and "Social Psychology" are particularly good, and link to a lot of names familiar to me from my own research project/field study into the american right, circa 2002-2014~.

by comparison, just about the entire canon of interpretation of the trump phenomenon by NYT, WaPo, etc etc is useless unless you are after a mirror image emotional response/catharsis, rather that actually trying to understand what why and how.
we'll be dealing with this mess for a long time to come.

RMO , February 14, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Thank you Amfortas! I too hadn't realized Bob Altermeyer was still writing – he hadn't added anything new in quite a while so I figured he had retired and I hadn't been checking.

Runkelstoss , February 13, 2021 at 4:32 pm

I wish YV had defined the term "Trumpism"

a draft

1. America first
2. white supremacy
3. pandering to religious fundamentalists
4. pandering to gun enthusiasts and right wing militias
5. marking people and groups as enemies of the people
6. decrying so called hostile elites
7. creating alternative 'facts' and imaginary realities
8. xenophobia
9. misogyny
10. politics of force, inside and outside

flora , February 13, 2021 at 9:04 pm

2016 campaign:

a. Campaigning against more trade deals like TPP and TPIP (NAFTA on steroids)

b. Campaigning on ending the endless wars and bringing troops home

c. Campaigning on bringing back on shore manufacturing and good jobs.

d. Campaigning on closing the US/Mexico border and stopping the inflow of the cheapest labor possible undercutting wages of already very low paid workers here.

e. Campaigning on lowering military tensions with Russia

(not that he did these things, but he campaigned heavily on economic issues and reducing military adventurism, both important to the middle class/working class in 2016. Not sure what the 2020 message was.)

Keith Newman , February 14, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Good list Flora. For some I would also guess a giant effu to the cultural elites.

Pelham , February 14, 2021 at 10:41 am

Let's see:

1. America first. True. Is this so bad?
2. White supremacy. False. Very few of these characters exist, although they're much in demand from the left.
3. Pandering to religious fundamentalists. False, although substitute "appealing" for "pandering" and it's true.
4. Pandering to gun enthusiasts and right-wing militias. Sigh, true, although there's nothing wrong with gun enthusiasts, broadly speaking.
5. Marking people and groups as enemies of the people. False, I think. Needs to be more specific, though.
6. Decrying so-called hostile elites. True if you omit the "so-called."
7. Creating alternative "facts" and imaginary realities. Sigh, True.
8. Xenophobia. Mostly false. It's not fear of others, it's mostly a plea to at long last shut off the firehose of wage-crushing immigration.
9. Misognyny. Mostly false. Trump has certainly had his moments, but many women were happy to serve in the Trump administration, and I'm not seeing evidence of misogyny among his backers.
10. Politics of force, inside and outside. True to a small degree but not nearly as characteristic of Trumpists as of leftists, who destroyed thousands of buildings and businesses last summer, and the media, which have cheerfully allied themselves with our internationally murderous intelligence community.

Patrick , February 13, 2021 at 12:45 pm

flora, I'm thinking your "populism in the good sense" aligns with the political science textbook definition of a populist, at least the economic component of that definition: a populist is an economic liberal (one who generally believes that government should play a role in the economy to protect the 99% by regulating and otherwise reining in large and powerful private sector interests, especially big business).

The textbook definition says that a populist is also a cultural conservative (one who believes that government should play a role in our private/social/cultural lives by promoting traditional values). (I am not sure you are meaning to discuss this cultural aspect of a populist; I'm just providing the textbook definition.)

I am thinking that arkansasangie (above) is also describing populism in the same way ("Trumper(s) who are broadly against the level of corruption today and "1984" materializing before them. They believe that the deep state exists and that the two primary political parties are one and the same; their differences being cosmetic only" (if by the "deep state" she might mean a government that has been captured by and serves the interest of corporate elites, eg, globalization, market monopoly, empire, etc.).

And I am thinking Amfortas the hippie's "feedstore people" are, likewise, (economic liberal) "populists" (who could have "been won by a new New Deal"). (Having enjoyed many of Ath's posts, I'm guessing they are also cultural conservatives.)

I do think that some if not most "Trumpists" are populists. But what I think is interesting is how they are being managed (as in how the Koch brothers (created and) managed Tea Party "populists").

Conservatives are reactionary – they react to change. It seems to me that one of the ways they react is by co-opting the changes taking place, dressing them up and claiming at least some aspect of those changes as their own. I find myself thinking about the Social Gospel of Christ. Or Adam Smith's "free markets". Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle for freedom (transformed into idpol?). I think all of us understand that this is largely what is happening today with the term "populism".

Thomas Frank would agree ("The People, No") https://tcfrank.com/product/the-people-no/
And he would speak to the manipulation – he would as "What's the Matter with Kansas?"

Susan the other , February 13, 2021 at 1:20 pm

While Janet Yellen advocates pouring money into the covid/economic crisis now because it will be cheaper in the long run (and we know from various indications that the term could be a decade) and post-Trump the trade deficit is no longer talked about since nobody's counting – nobody's buying as much – except RVs and groceries and the stats show a vertical drop down in commercial activity and a vertical shot up in bankruptcies and closings and while Klaus Schwab talks about the great capitalist reset from shares to stakes but not to sovereign states, China is busy establishing the new silk road and consolidating its neighbors into cooperative economic behavior. I don't even want to know what that combined CO2 footprint is. Cooperative economics has really already been precluded here in the West – we can't turn back that clock. So, Biden is looking for an excuse to go to war. He is wasting no time letting Russia and China know. It's possible that when Yellen says spend whatever is necessary now she is being encouraged by Biden and the militarists who will receive much of that financial aid whether we actually go to war or not. It would be so idiotic and wasteful it is hard to imagine that even that dope Biden would march us off to war. So when YV talks about "financial engineering for a better world" it sounds too Klaus Schwab to embrace at face value. I don't see how a switch from shareholders to stakeholders is going to change western capitalism significantly unless there is a financial separation between old capitalism and new capitalism. That being the West and China. And the big problem there is that capital seeks its best return. Otherwise it's not capital for long. So either direction we are looking, (neoliberalism or socialism) financial engineering will have to restrain capital, hence "capitalism" will be a euphemism. Which it has been for a long time, but who's even noticing? It's possible that "war" as we knew it is also a thing of the past and when Biden salivates for war he'll have to be content to just do "war engineering" to achieve the necessary separation from China. It's all so meta. The irony is that the thing called "sovereignty" is the only tool we have to organize all this neoliberal and/or social protection. And the big one – the environment? Still no details.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 14, 2021 at 4:14 am

Why isn't capitalism working as it should?
You need to identify where real wealth creation occurs in the economy to get it working well.
Houston, we have a problem.

Mankind first started to produce a surplus with early agriculture.
It wasn't long before the elites learnt how to read the skies, the sun and the stars, to predict the coming seasons to the amazed masses and collect tribute.
They soon made the most of the opportunity and removed themselves from any hard work to concentrate on "spiritual matters", i.e. any hocus-pocus they could come up with to elevate them from the masses, e.g. rituals, fertility rights, offering to the gods . etc and to turn the initially small tributes, into extracting all the surplus created by the hard work of the rest.
The elites became the representatives of the gods and they were responsible for the bounty of the earth and the harvests.
As long as all the surplus was handed over, all would be well.

The class structure emerges.
Upper class – Do as little as they can get away with and get most of the rewards
Middle class – Administrative/managerial class who have enough to live a comfortable life
Working class – Do the work, and live a basic subsistence existence where they get enough to stay alive and breed

Their techniques have got more sophisticated over time, but this is the underlying idea.
They have achieved a total inversion, and got most of the rewards going to those that don't do anything.
The last thing they needed was "The Enlightenment" as people would work out what was really going on.
They did work out what was going on and this had to be hidden again.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.
They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith:
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."
There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.
They had to earn money to live.
The classical economists could never imagine those at the bottom rising out of a bare subsistence existence as that was the way it had always been.

Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.
How can we protect those powerful vested interests at the top of society?
The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".
They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.
The landowners, landlords and usurers were now just productive members of society again.

Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.
Confuse making money and creating wealth and this problem goes away and we can get back to the traditional order.

Upper class – Do as little as they can get away with and get most of the rewards
Middle class – Administrative/managerial class who have enough to live a comfortable life
Working class – Do the work, and live a basic subsistence existence where they get enough to stay alive and breed

Sound of the Suburbs , February 14, 2021 at 4:14 am

What happens when you confuse making money and creating wealth?
We are forty years in, just look around.

When you equate making money with creating wealth, people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.
You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.
It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.

You've just got to sniff out the easy money.
All that hard work involved in setting up a company yourself, and building it up.
Why bother?
Asset strip firms other people have built up, that's easy money.
The private equity firms have found an easy way to make money that doesn't actually create any wealth.
Letting private equity firms ransack your economy is not really a good idea, even though they do make lots of money.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.
They will load your economy up with their debt products until you get a financial crisis.
On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6
At 18 mins.
The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.
As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.

UK bankers started to make a lot of money after 1980.
Oh no.

The UK used to be the great financial superpower and it looks as though we understood this in the past.
Someone knew what real wealth creation was and how banks should work.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png

What happened in 1979?
The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979, the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.
The transfer of existing assets, like real estate, doesn't add to GDP, so debt rises faster than GDP until you get a financial crisis.

Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)
Debt grows with GDP
Bankers don't make much money

After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)
Debt rises faster than GDP
Bankers make lots of money

2008 – The financial crisis

Banks – What is the idea?
The idea is that banks lend into business and industry to increase the productive capacity of the economy.
Business and industry don't have to wait until they have the money to expand. They can borrow the money and use it to expand today, and then pay that money back in the future.
The economy can then grow more rapidly than it would without banks.
Debt grows with GDP and there are no problems.
The banks create money and use it to create real wealth.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Sound of the Suburbs , February 14, 2021 at 4:17 am

They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.
What will happen?
Now everyone trips up over the cost of living, even the Chinese.
It is well hidden.

Someone from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has just seen the equation.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Two seconds later ..
They realise the UK's high housing costs push up wages, and are actually paid by the UK's employers reducing profit.
UK's high housing costs make UK labour very expensive compared to elsewhere in the world, and it makes it very expensive to do anything in the UK.
Employees get their money from wages.
Employers pay the UK's high housing costs in wages reducing profit.

You can pay wages elsewhere that people couldn't live on in the West.
To maximise profit you will need to off-shore.

Why was China always going to be the winner in an open, globalised world?
Maximising profit is all about reducing costs.
Western companies couldn't wait to off-shore to low cost China, where they could make higher profits.
China had coal fired power stations to provide cheap energy.
China had lax regulations reducing environmental and health and safety costs.
China had a low cost of living so employers could pay low wages.
China had low taxes and a minimal welfare state.
China had all the advantages in an open globalised world.
It did have, but now China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

China trips up over the cost of living.

Davos 2019 – The Chinese have now realised high housing costs eat into consumer spending and they wanted to increase internal consumption.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBcIFu-_V0
They let real estate rip and have now realised why that wasn't a good idea.

The equation makes it so easy.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
The cost of living term goes up with increased housing costs.
The disposable income term goes down.
They didn't have the equation, they used neoclassical economics.
The Chinese had to learn the hard way and it took years.

They have let the cost of living rise and they want to increase internal consumption.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
It's a double whammy on wages.
China isn't as competitive as it used to be.
China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

I worked the other way.
I looked at the world around me and worked back to find the cause.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 14, 2021 at 5:05 am

We got some stuff from Ricardo, like the law of comparative advantage.
What's gone missing?

Ricardo was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.
"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist

What does our man on free trade, Ricardo, mean?
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
Employees get less disposable income after the landlords rent has gone.
Employers have to cover the landlord's rents in wages reducing profit.
Ricardo is just talking about housing costs, employees all rented in those days.
Low housing costs work best for employers and employees.

In Ricardo's world there were three classes.
He was in the capitalist class.
The more he paid in labour costs (wages) the lower his profits would be.
He was paying the cost of living for his workers through wages, and the higher that was, the higher labour costs would be.
There was no benefits system in those days and those at the bottom needed to earn money to cover the cost of living otherwise they would die. They had to earn their money through wages.
The more he paid in rents to the old landowning class, the less there would be for him to keep for himself.

From Ricardo:
The labourers had before 25
The landlords 25
And the capitalists 50
.. 100

He looked at how the pie got divided between the three groups.

The capitalist system actually contains a welfare state to maintain an old money, idle rich in luxury and leisure. In the UK we still have an aristocracy, so it is hard to forget.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith:
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."

There were three groups in the capitalist system in Ricardo's world (and there still are).
Workers / Employees
Capitalists / Employers
Rentiers / Landowners / Landlords / other skimmers, who are just skimming out of the system, not contributing to its success
The unproductive group exists at the top of society, not the bottom.
Later on we did bolt on a benefit system to help others that were struggling lower down the scale.

[Feb 14, 2021] Tucker Carlson Says Show Is Being Targeted for Cancelation

Feb 14, 2021 | www.theepochtimes.com

Fox News ' Tucker Carlson said on the Thursday night episode of his program that his show has been targeted for cancellation.

Carlson said that "in the last several weeks, and particularly in the last 24 hours, the call to take this show off the air by groups funded -- for real -- by the Ford Foundation, or by George Soros, by Michael Bloomberg, by Jeff Bezos, has become deafening, going after our advertisers, going after the companies that carry our signal into your home."

What's more, he added, there has been a "cowardice and complicity" on behalf of the "entire media class in all of this," suggesting that eventually, reporters at legacy news outlets will be targeted as well.

Writing for Fox News' website, Carlson added that it may be part of a larger campaign to silence Fox News and other media, noting that some legacy news outlets have dedicated resources calling for the channel to be taken down. One columnist for The New York Times, he added, "has written three separate columns demanding that someone yank this news channel off the air immediately" and on Wednesday, "suggested that 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' was somehow guilty of terrorism and violence, something that we've opposed consistently for four years."

"Fox is the last big organization in the American news media that differs in even the smallest ways from the other big news organizations. At this point, everyone else in the media is standing in crisp formation, in their starched matching uniforms and their little caps, patiently awaiting orders from the billionaire class. And then there's Fox News off by itself, occasionally saying things that are slightly different from everyone else," Carlson wrote .

He added: "These are craven servants of the Democratic Party. They are feline, not canine. All of their aggression is passive aggression."


[Feb 14, 2021] Although the Port Authority carried only $1.5 billion of insurance coverage on the WTC complex, which earlier that year had been valued at $1.2 billion, Silverstein had insisted on doubling that amount, insuring the buildings for $3.55 billion

Feb 14, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mustapha Mond , says: February 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm GMT • 7.8 hours ago

@Gina Schrank because he liked paying huge premiums to insurers.

Here, again, is what The Corbett Report wrote on that:

"Although the Port Authority carried only $1.5 billion of insurance coverage on the WTC complex, which earlier that year had been valued at $1.2 billion, Silverstein had insisted on doubling that amount, insuring the buildings for $3.55 billion."

( https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-308-911-trillions-follow-the-money/ )

Indeed, Larry was one 'lucky' guy (unlike the occupants in his buildings that fateful morning ..)

Peripatetic Itch , says: February 13, 2021 at 5:31 pm GMT • 6.0 hours ago
@Mustapha Mond e was in the habit of spending his mornings in the Windows on the World Restaurant at the top of the North Tower. He even forgot he had a doctor's appointment that morning. But for his wife's gentle reminder, Windows on the World might as well have been his Windows at the End of the Universe.

More seriously, I was about to commend Mr. Giraldi for his mastery of the art of subtle irony. Then I thought perhaps he could give lessons to you and that Just-another-Serf guy (as well as our dear departed Trickster), who have been getting all too obvious at times. However, I see you at least are back in form.

ChuckOrloski , says: February 13, 2021 at 6:25 pm GMT • 5.1 hours ago
@Peripatetic Itch

Yo itch!

Linked below is Al Franken.
He discussed how he got Odigo messenger WARNING on 9/11.

Having become a US Zenator, Franken was attacked for groping women. Vindictive Israeli-pressure applied, Al stepped down...

[Feb 14, 2021] The Dancing Israelis

If one follows the time-honored formula for crime detection -- means, motive, opportunity -- it easy to see that such a spectacular crime could not happen without the involvement of a sophisticated (shadow) government.
Feb 14, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sparkon , says: February 13, 2021 at 7:11 pm GMT • 4.4 hours ago

...Certainly three employees of Urban Moving Systems were spotted on 9/11 on the roof of a van in the parking lot of the Doric Apartments in Union City, NJ taking pictures and exchanging high fives with the WTC burning in the background. Subsequently, the van was pulled over and five Israelis in it were arrested, detained for two months, and then released to Israel. Reportedly, all the pictures they took on 9/11 have been destroyed. Witnesses saw the van in the parking lot the morning of 9/11 before the attacks on the WTC, so there is at least circumstantial evidence these guys had foreknowledge of "the event," and later claimed on Israeli TV they had been there to record it.

For some reason, the five documenting photo-shlomos have come to be known as "The Dancing Israelis" despite the fact there were never any reports of them dancing, so typically, when it comes to Israel, the players are out of focus and mislabeled

There were indeed numerous reports from workers in both Twin Towers of frequent and ongoing elevator work extending back several months before 9/11, giving the plotters ample opportunity to plant explosives or do other prep-work for a (barely) controlled, or at least planned demolition.

But to get to the bottom of 9/11, you really do have to follow the gold.

[Feb 14, 2021] At officer level in the Navy, regular army and Air Force it will be an orgy of rent seeking from the pet minorities

Feb 14, 2021 | www.unz.com

Intensifier , says: February 12, 2021 at 3:14 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

@Just another serf

The vast majority of the military never actually fight. When was the last serving member of the US Navy killed while on active service aboard ship? The army is useless against any but third world opposition.

The Marines and Special forces such as the SEALs and Rangers do the actual fighting and I suspect that the junior officer and NCO positions there will be relatively free of diversity in order to keep them at least semi-useful.

Meanwhile, at officer level in the Navy, regular army and Air Force it will be an orgy of rent seeking from the pet minorities

[Feb 14, 2021] The U.S. is inept, disorganized, and dishonest. The possibility of a nuclear detonation, or nuclear war, occurring through incompetence, miscalculation, or systems error, is now significant

Feb 14, 2021 | www.unz.com

SafeNow , says: February 10, 2021 at 8:43 pm GMT • 3.8 days ago

The U.S. is inept, disorganized, and dishonest. The possibility of a nuclear detonation, or nuclear war, occurring through incompetence, miscalculation, or systems error, is now significant. Probably the Russian and Chinese policymakers give the U.S. a lot of latitude for that very reason, the way a parent might placate a two-year-old to prevent a tantrum.

[Feb 14, 2021] Putin was saying there's no single democratic model. That was eventually conceptualized as "sovereign democracy". Democracy cannot exist without sovereignty

Feb 14, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sirius , says: February 12, 2021 at 11:04 am GMT • 2.2 days ago

Putin was saying there's no single democratic model. That was eventually conceptualized as "sovereign democracy". Democracy cannot exist without sovereignty

This is one of the key concepts here and to me the most interesting one. "Sovereign democracy". There are actually now very few countries in the world with true sovereignty, never mind democracy.

The ones that try to exercise sovereignty, or even that don't show sufficient servility, are severely punished. If they aren't large or strong enough, like Syria and Lebanon, they suffer tremendously under "sanctions", which in reality is economic warfare. If they are, like Russia and Iran, they still suffer sanctions, but will probably ride them out.

I remember a speech by King Hussein of Jordan in 1990, in a moment of rare candor, remarking something like, and I paraphrase: "We live in a world dictatorship". The context was the run up to the US/Saudi/Zionist-led attack on Iraq the first time around, when George Bush I, urged by Margaret Thatcher, assembled a huge coalition against that country. I've never been able to locate that speech since (I would be grateful to anyone who can).

For a background on that conflict, which set up the post-Cold War order:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/S8BGpohOupQ?feature=oembed

[Feb 10, 2021] Despite its huge military budget it can't field an army. It has a foreign legion. ISIS, for instance, is part of its foreign legion. The European NATO is part of its foreign legion.

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Prof Hudson:

The United States is muscle-bound. Despite its huge military budget it can't field an army. It has a foreign legion. ISIS, for instance, is part of its foreign legion. The European NATO is part of its foreign legion. But there's no way American can ever have a land war again, so you can never invade and conquer a country with a military army. All America has is the Atom bomb, and that's muscle bound. It cannot go to wage any kind of war except atomic war. There's nothing in between.

I think Russia and China know that, and Russia at least has taken steps to protect itself and said, "If the United States wants atomic war, we'll be wiped out but it'll be wiped out too, and Europe will be wiped out." I think probably the first exchange would be to wipe out England and Europe, to say "We don't want to go to war with you and really blow up the world, America. Let's just show you what we can do. Let's blow up England and Europe so at least you won't have your colonies there." If America persisted, it would be the end of the world. Will America really do that?

There was worry that Donald Trump would do that so he could go down in history as the man who destroyed civilization, but I don't think other people are going to do that.


Alex Cox , February 6, 2021 at 12:55 pm

This is a great piece, but I'm not sure its nuclear war-fighting take is accurate. If the US and Russia engage in nuclear war, there is no way it can be limited to Europe and the UK. France and England have hundreds of nukes of their own. The atomic destruction of Europe would result in a nuclear winter of indeterminate length and disastrous consequences.

Orange Man Bad actually asked an interesting question re. US nuclear policy: does the US really want to start an atomic war in order to 'defend' Lithuania or Japan? Would it not make more sense for them to acquire their own nukes, or [fill in saner alternative]?

rosemerry , February 7, 2021 at 4:28 am

Michael made it clear, quoting Putin, that it would be the end of the world.

HotFlash , February 7, 2021 at 3:58 pm

I think that what Prof Hudson points out is true: The US has not won any land war since (at the least) 1948, they have not the smarts to win an economic war (as have the Chinese), and the only arrow in their quiver is E=mc2. Talk about bringing a nuke to a knife fight!

[Feb 10, 2021] Pax Americana

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jsn , February 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Pax Americana:
US clandestine agencies, and the State Department and Pentagon to varying degrees, have been involved in non-stop regime change efforts towards the global integration of populations and resources in this system of private, capitalist control. Mostly successful since WWII, these efforts began with Greece in 1948, followed by Syria in 49, Albania from 49-53, Iran in 53, 54 Guatemala, Syria again in 56, Haiti in 57, Indonesia 57, Laos 58-60, Cuba 59-present, 59 Cambodia, 60 Ecuador, 60 Congo, 61 Dominican Republic, 62-64 Brazil, 63 Iraq, 63 South Vietnam, 64 Bolivia and Brazil, 65 France, 65 Indonesia again, 66 Ghana, 67 Greece again, 70 Costa Rica, 71 Bolivia again, 73-75 Australia, 73 Chile, 74 Portugal, 75 Angola, 75 Zaire, 76 Argentina, 76 Jamaica, 79-89 Afghanistan, 79 Seychelles, 80-92 Angola again, 80-89 Libya, 81-87 Nicaragua, 82 Chad, 83 Grenada, 82-84 South Yemen, 82-84 Suriname, 87 Fiji, 89 Panama, 91 Albania again, 91 Iraq, 93 Somalia, 99-2000 Yugoslavia, 2000 Ecuador again, 01 Afghanistan again, 02 Venezuela, 03 Iraq again, 04 Haiti again, 07 to present Somalia again, 11 Libya again, 12 to present Syria for a third time, 14 Ukraine, Brazil again in 16 and Bolivia and Ecuador in 2018. Ongoing destabilization efforts are underway in Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China.

Susan the other , February 6, 2021 at 8:12 pm

I thought Christine Lagarde had her nerve saying the US had an exorbitant privilege by owning the reserve currency. After WW2, according to a better view of our goals, the United States wanted a Pax Americana.

We wanted to actually police the world and bring all boats up with a rising tide of prosperity via free trade. We had been too frustrated by tariffs imposed on our goods by the old empires, specifically the British Empire for too long. It makes some sense that we willing bought everyones manufactured goods and went into a big deficit to do so because holding the reserve currency we made money on loans and financial services to make up for it. All the while controlling foreign military dust ups.

And for a while, through the 50s, we manufactured all sorts of things. Interesting to learn that the funding from having the reserve currency paid for the military. (and for the FIRE industry too)

It makes sense knowing this because the military and finance can get anything they ask for from the budget. Nothing is too much. Because the money coming in, as protection money for our military, more than covers it. But when it comes to sufficient social spending, there has never been enough.

The Empire always neglected its home base. Other countries do not operate that way.

So Ms. Lagarde, I'd hardly call that exorbitant. It was simply two separate economies.

[Feb 10, 2021] Well, Great Britain's performance in the first half of the 20th century has hardly inspired America to treat it with much respect: Well, move forward a half century and sub 'US' for 'GB' in your entire comment. Look familiar?

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ObjectiveFunction , February 7, 2021 at 7:51 am

Well, Great Britain's performance in the first half of the 20th century has hardly inspired America to treat it with much respect:

1. Excepting their heroic 1940 defense of Britain, and beating an overextended (and mainly Italian) army at Third Alamein, they were either thrashed or bled white in every major battle of both world wars, relying on US armies/navies and materiel to prop them up. For all the eloquent theorizing, Britain's strategies were visibly self-serving, beyond its power, or outright quixotic, not to mention criminally incompetent (Somme, Bengal, soft underbelly, etc.)

2. Their vast colonial empire was becoming a crazy quilt of gigantic monocropped plantations and mines, increasingly nonviable as functional societies, and the locals knew it.

3. The US, Germany and Russia had all eclipsed Britain as industrial powers and had overtaken it as an innovator as well, although it remained strong in this sphere with an influx of Eastern Europeans.

.So to the emerging American technocratic elites, by 1945 the Mother Country must have seemed a mere shell: still supercilious, but myopic, exhausted and consistently unable to walk its talk.

(apologies to my British friends)

Prof. Hudson, many thanks for another good read, although I do continue to feel you view China through very rose colored glasses. Harmony and fairness are rather different concepts, but I'm eager to hear more from you on this topic in the future.

HotFlash , February 7, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Well, Great Britain's performance in the first half of the 20th century has hardly inspired America to treat it with much respect:

Well, move forward a half century and sub 'US' for 'GB' in your entire comment. Look familiar?

[Feb 10, 2021] American empire and fear of communism

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Dftbs , February 6, 2021 at 11:28 am

As always Professor Hudson is great, thank you for sharing this. I would note that it goes very well with the subsequent post on the site, dealing with negative rates.

I'd quibble ever so slightly with two things, the first the historical vacuum with regards to the Soviet Union and communism as a historical force which shaped the contours of this American system. The submission of the British Imperial system to the American one was driven by the fear of communism, not necessarily Soviet Communism but even the domestic sort. The American distaste for the overt imperial structure of the UK wasn't driven solely by economic sadism or democratic character, but the fear of communism as the vanguard of anti-imperialism: America and the UK as best of allies, but leave the Suez alone or Nasser will go commie.

The 2nd quibble is that the American collapse in this regard is already well underway. While I love professor Hudson's historical analysis I disagree with his economic determinism. The notion that the system whose creation he described was guided by actions bounded by the rules of economics. And that the next stage of historical development will follow those rules just in different contexts. As opposed to understanding that those rules are largely artifice.

Beneath the economic collapse, the conundrum the US finds itself in is that of its ruling class. As opposed to the British ruling class which understood that submission to the American system would protect their ancient privileges. The American ruling class can't find the same concordat with China. The Chinese are communist, and as Jack Ma's case demonstrated to the world recently. They aren't intimidated by the myths around wealth that sheepishly guide Americans.

So those same rules that governed balance of payments and modified American behavior throughout the Cold War don't apply today. They only applied then because they reinforced the interests of the American ruling class. As a matter of fact they subverted those very rules quite easily, note the talk of negative interest rates on the site today.

The Chinese BRI initiative seems less about generating profit for China and more about exposing the inadequacy of the current dollar system.

Professor Hudson correctly notes that the US is powerless against this. It can only act via proxy and those have been neutralized, see Syria. And that both Russia and China now are just trying to manage American decline and avoid the only American option left, nuclear war.

rosemerry , February 7, 2021 at 4:23 am

I often wonder if the "threat of communism" was genuine, as if there could not be cooperation among states with different systems of government. This is seen in the continued hatred of Russia in the last thirty years when it is no longer communist-in fact I think that Pres. Putin seems to be a far more Christian leader than any in the USA or other Western powers!!!
The arrogant attitude to Russia in the recent development of vaccines, when derision and skepticism a few months ago are replaced by amazement and acceptance now that the "West" has realized that the sputnik V seems to be among the best vaccines available. The USA does not yet seem to realize that the Russian defense (yes it IS for defense) is actually effective, unlike the US aggressive actions.

Dftbs , February 7, 2021 at 8:35 am

I think it was genuine if you were "Lord something or other" or a Dulles brother. That's not to say the world would've suffered from it. Simply those predecessors of our current tormentors may have suffered from it.

I think the interesting thing is that, for the US, that ship has sailed. There is submission to it, but no cooperation with it; and I doubt there ever will be again.

jrkrideau , February 7, 2021 at 9:46 am

This is seen in the continued hatred of Russia in the last thirty years when it is no longer communist

I often get the impression that Western, US in particular, politicians and political analysts have failed to grasp that the USSR has collapsed and that one part of it, the Russian Federation is now a capitalist country.

We also have to remember that the USA elite always needs an external enemy to blame. The loss of the USSR must have been traumatic and they have substituted the Russian Federation in its place.

Dftbs , February 6, 2021 at 3:50 pm

As always Professor Hudson is great, thank you for sharing this. I would note that it goes very well with the subsequent post on the site, dealing with negative rates.

I'd quibble ever so slightly with two things, the first the historical vacuum with regards to the Soviet Union and communism as a historical force which shaped the contours of this American system. The submission of the British Imperial system to the American one was driven by the fear of communism, not necessarily Soviet Communism but even the domestic sort. The American distaste for the overt imperial structure of the UK wasn't driven solely by economic sadism or democratic character, but the fear of communism as the vanguard of anti-imperialism: America and the UK as best of allies, but leave the Suez alone or Nasser will go commie.

The latter is that the American collapse in this regard is already well underway. While I love profesor Hudson's historical analysis I disagree with his economic determinism. The notion that the system whose creation he described was guided by actions bounded by the rules of economics. And that the next stage of historical development will follow those rules just in different contexts. For instance does China

[Feb 10, 2021] Wad the US entry into WW1 a bailout of Wall Street?

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Nels Nelson , February 6, 2021 at 11:31 am

I am curious to know Professor Hudson's thoughts on the role U.S. banks (i.e. J.P, Morgan) played in the US entry into WW1 and the creation of the Creel Committee propaganda campaign.

With Russian withdrawal from the eastern front giving Germany the ability to transfer resources to the western front, it became highly probable that Germany would win the war and US banks would suffer considerable losses.

In other words was US entry into WW1 a bailout of Wall Street.

Yves Smith , February 7, 2021 at 1:32 am

World War I and the end of the Gold Standard due to the inability to ship gold greatly diminished the power of the House of Morgan. JP Morgan had been the conduit for foreign capital into the US. He was trusted as a vetter of promising investments. That role became less important and less profitable after the US became a creditor nation. World War I accelerated that process.

[Feb 10, 2021] The (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror by C.J. Hopkins

Feb 10, 2021 | www.unz.com

C.J. HOPKINS FEBRUARY 8, 2021 1,500 WORDS 139 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More RSS

If you enjoyed the Global War on Terror, you're going to love the new War on Domestic Terror! It's just like the original Global War on Terror, except that this time the "Terrorists" are all "Domestic Violent Extremists" ("DVEs"), "Homegrown Violent Extremists" ("HVEs"), "Violent Conspiracy-Theorist Extremists" ("VCTEs"), "Violent Reality Denialist Extremists" (VRDEs"), "Insurrectionary Micro-Aggressionist Extremists" ("IMAEs"), "People Who Make Liberals Feel Uncomfortable" ("PWMLFUs"), and anyone else the Department of Homeland Security wants to label an "extremist" and slap a ridiculous acronym on.

According to a " National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin " issued by the DHS on January 27, these DCEs, HVEs, VCTEs, VRDEs, IMAEs, and PWMLFUs are "ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority" and other "perceived grievances fueled by false narratives." They are believed to be "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, police use of force," and other dangerous "false narratives" (e.g., the existence of the "deep state," "herd immunity," "biological sex," "God," and so on).

"Inspired by foreign terrorist groups" and "emboldened by the breach of the US Capitol Building," this diabolical network of "domestic terrorists" is "plotting attacks against government facilities," "threatening violence against critical infrastructure" and actively "citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about Covid-19." For all we know, they might be huddled in the "Wolf's Lair" at Mar-a-Lago right now, plotting a devastating terrorist attack with those WMDs we never found in Iraq, or generating population-adjusted death-rate charts going back 20 years , or posting pictures of " extremist frogs " on the Internet.

The Department of Homeland Security is "concerned," as are its counterparts throughout the global capitalist empire. The (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror isn't just a war on American "domestic terror." The "domestic terror" threat is international. France has just passed a " Global Security Law " banning citizens from filming the police beating the living snot out of people (among other "anti-terrorist" provisions). In Germany, the government is preparing to install an anti-terror moat around the Reichstag . In the Netherlands, the police are cracking down on the VCTEs, VRDEs, and other " angry citizens who hate the system ," who have been protesting over nightly curfews. Suddenly, everywhere you look (or at least if you are looking in the corporate media), " global extremism networks are growing ." It's time for Globocap to take the gloves off again, root the "terrorists" out of their hidey holes, and roll out a new official narrative.

Actually, there's not much new about it. When you strip away all the silly new acronyms, the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror is basically just a combination of the "War on Terror" narrative and the "New Normal" narrative, i.e., a militarization of the so-called "New Normal" and a pathologization of the "War on Terror." Why would GloboCap want to do that, you ask?

I think you know, but I'll go ahead and tell you.

See, the problem with the original "Global War on Terror" was that it wasn't actually all that global. It was basically just a war on Islamic "terrorism" (i.e., resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology), which was fine as long as GloboCap was just destabilizing and restructuring the Greater Middle East. It was put on hold in 2016 , so that GloboCap could focus on defeating "populism" (i.e., resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology), make an example of Donald Trump, and demonize everyone who voted for him (or just refused to take part in their free and fair elections ), which they have just finished doing, in spectacular fashion. So, now it's back to "War on Terror" business, except with a whole new cast of "terrorists," or, technically, an expanded cast of "terrorists." (I rattled off a list in my previous column .)

In short, GloboCap has simply expanded, recontextualized, and pathologized the "War on Terror" (i.e., the war on resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology). This was always inevitable, of course. A globally-hegemonic system (e.g., global capitalism) has no external enemies, as there is no territory "outside" the system. Its only enemies are within the system, and thus, by definition, are insurgents, also known as "terrorists" and "extremists." These terms are utterly meaningless, obviously. They are purely strategic, deployed against anyone who deviates from GloboCap's official ideology which, in case you were wondering, is called "normality" (or, in our case, currently, "New Normality").

In earlier times, these "terrorists" and "extremists" were known as "heretics," "apostates," and "blasphemers." Today, they are also known as "deniers," e.g., "science deniers," "Covid deniers," and recently, more disturbingly, "reality deniers." This is an essential part of the pathologization of the "War on Terror" narrative. The new breed of "terrorists" do not just hate us for our freedom they hate us because they hate "reality." They are no longer our political or ideological opponents they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder. They no longer need to be argued with or listened to they need to be "treated," "reeducated," and "deprogrammed," until they accept "Reality." If you think I'm exaggerating the totalitarian nature of the "New Normal/War on Terror" narrative, read this op-ed in The New York Times exploring the concept of a "Reality Czar" to deal with our "Reality Crisis."

And this is just the beginning, of course. The consensus (at least in GloboCap circles) is, the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror will probably continue for the next 10 to 20 years , which should provide the global capitalist ruling classes with more than enough time to carry out the " Great Reset ," destroy what's left of human society, and condition the public to get used to living like cringing, neo-feudal peasants who have to ask permission to leave their houses. We're still in the initial " shock and awe " phase (which they will have to scale back a bit eventually), but just look at how much they've already accomplished.

The economic damage is literally incalculable millions have been plunged into desperate poverty, countless independent businesses crushed, whole industries crippled, developing countries rendered economically dependent (i.e., compliant) for the foreseeable future, as billionaires amassed over $1 trillion in wealth and supranational corporate behemoths consolidated their dominance across the planet.

And that's just the economic damage. The attack on society has been even more dramatic. GloboCap, in the space of a year, has transformed the majority of the global masses into an enormous, paranoid totalitarian cult that is no longer capable of even rudimentary reasoning. (I'm not going to go on about it here at this point, you either recognize it or you're in it.) They're actually lining up in parking lots, the double-masked members of this Covidian cult, to be injected with an experimental "vaccine" that they believe will save the human species from a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms in roughly 95% of those "infected," and that over 99% of the "infected" survive .

So, it is no big surprise that these same mindless cultists are gung-ho for the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror, and the upcoming globally-televised show trial of Donald Trump for "inciting insurrection," and the ongoing corporate censorship of the Internet, and can't wait to be issued their " Freedom Passports ," which will allow them to take part in "New Normal" life -- double-masked and socially-distanced, naturally -- while having their every movement and transaction, and every word they write on Facebook, or in an email, or say to someone on their smartphones, or in the vicinity of their 5G toasters, recorded by GloboCap's Intelligence Services and their corporate partners, subsidiaries, and assigns. These people have nothing at all to worry about, as they would never dream of disobeying orders, and could not produce an original thought, much less one displeasing to GloboCap, if you held a fake apocalyptic plague to their heads.

As for the rest of us "extremists," "domestic terrorists," "heretics," and "reality deniers," (i.e., anyone criticizing global capitalism, or challenging its official narratives, and its increasingly totalitarian ideology, regardless of our specific DHS acronyms), I wish I had something hopeful to tell you, but, the truth is, things aren't looking so good. I guess I'll see you in a quarantine camp , or in the psych ward, or an offshore detention facility or, I don't know, maybe I'll see you in the streets.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Feb 10, 2021] Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jsn , February 6, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Reading Blacks biography of Roosevelt, Hudson's work, Talbot's "The Devil's Chessboard" and Douglas's "JFK and the Unspeakable" one discerns a clear line between the UK interwar Foreign Office, military intelligence and rentier class and the Dulles brother's post war ascent to the pinnacles of back room power.

Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

These books all rely extensively on previously lightly touched primary sources.

[Feb 05, 2021] Cornel West called Barack Obama black mascot for Wall Street which was correct.

Feb 05, 2021 | www.ineteconomics.org

If you go back under Eisenhower, the wealthiest segment of the population, the wealthiest corporations paid 91% income tax. What you saw, and I learned much of this from Ralph Nader who was turned into a pariah consciously, is that they pushed out the real liberal wing of the Democratic party. Ralph himself wrote I think 24 pieces of legislation, consumer protection, the mine and safety act, the clean water act. This was all Nader. But it was pushed through by liberal senators, Proxmire, Fulbright and others, Wellstone, maybe being one of the last. All of these people were pushed out of the Democratic party and replaced with these full liberal, I would call them full liberals figures like Obama, figures like Clinton, who spoke in that traditional feel, you're paying language of the Democratic party but serve the interest of Wall Street. Cornel West called Barack Obama black mascot for Wall Street which was correct.

[Feb 05, 2021] Former CIA Counterterror Chief Suggests Going To War Against -Domestic Insurgents

Feb 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

The former head of the CIA Counterterrorism Center has suggested that counterinsurgency tactics used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan should be applied to 'domestic extremists' inside the US.

NPR reports that Robert Grenier, who directed the CIA's Counterterrorism program from 2004 to 2006, declared "We may be witnessing the dawn of a sustained wave of violent insurgency within our own country, perpetrated by our own countrymen."

In an op-ed for The New York Times last week, Grenier suggested that "extremists who seek a social apocalypse are capable of producing endemic political violence of a sort not seen in this country since Reconstruction."

Grenier, also a former CIA station chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan, grouped together "the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, 'Christian' national chauvinists, white supremacists and QAnon fantasists" and claimed they are all "committed to violent extremism."

Grenier labeled dissenters an "insurgency" and called for them to be "defeated" like an enemy army.

In further comments to NPR, Grenier stated that "as in any insurgency situation, you have committed insurgents who are typically a relatively small proportion of the affected population. But what enables them to carry forward their program is a large number of people from whom they can draw tacit support."

Grenier also stated that insurgents may emerge from groups who "believe that the election was stolen," or those "who don't trust NPR or The New York Times ."

"The most violent elements that we are concerned about right now see former President Trump as a broadly popular and charismatic symbol," the CIA spook added, before comparing Trump to Saddam Hussein.

"You know, just as I saw in the Middle East that the air went out of violent demonstrations when [Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein was defeated and seen to be defeated, I think the same situation applies here," he proclaimed.

Grenier suggested that Trump should be convicted at the upcoming impeachment trial as a 'national security imperative' because "So long as he is there and leading the resistance, if you will, which he shows every sign of intending to do, he is going to be an inspiration to very violent people."

Grenier then compared Americans to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, noting that in Afghanistan "the thrust of our campaign there was, yes, to hunt down al-Qaida, but primarily to remove the supportive environment in which they were able to live and to flourish. And that meant fighting the Taliban."

"I think that is the heart of what we need to deal with here," he added.

Listen:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/963343896/963361404

Linking to Grenier's comments, journalist Glenn Greenwald quipped that wedding guests throughout America should watch out for drone missiles:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1356976927068798978&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-counterterror-chief-suggests-going-war-against-domestic-insurgents&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The call to treat Americans as terrorist insurgents comes on the heels of a Department of Homeland Security warning that those dissatisfied with the election result may rise up and commit acts of terrorism in the coming weeks.

"Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," stated the bulletin issued last week through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System -- or NTAS.

The bulletin added that 'extremists' may be "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force."

[Feb 05, 2021] House Democrats And 11 Republicans Boot Greene From Committees Over QAnon - ZeroHedge

Feb 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

House Democrats on Thursday voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments after arguing that her past support of QAnon disqualified her from holding them.

Lawmakers voted 230-199 to remove Greene from the House education and budget committees, with 11 Republicans joining the Democrats, after the GOP declined to take action themselves, according to The Hill .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1357478333106294786&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhouse-democrats-and-11-republicans-boot-greene-committees-over-qanon&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The vote came after members of both parties gave impassioned speeches for or against removing Greene - with much of the GOP stepping up to her defense, while at the same time condemning her past comments.

Some Republicans warned Democrats that they were setting a dangerous precedent .

"I think you are, frankly, overlooking the unprecedented nature of the acts that you've decided upon, and where that may lead us when the majority changes," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), the senior Republican member of the Rules Committee.

On Wednesday night, Greene received a standing ovation during a closed-door GOP conference meeting, where she apologized for embracing QAnon. Then on Thursday, Greene said in a House floor speech that she had recently 'realized the dangers' of such narratives .

Greene described how she'd "stumbled across" QAnon in late 2017 and began posting about it on Facebook while she was "upset about things and didn't trust the government."

Later in 2018, Greene said, "when I started finding misinformation, lies, things that were not true in these QAnon posts, I stopped believing it."

Greene also disavowed her previous support for several conspiracy theories, declaring a belief that school shootings are "absolutely real" and that 9/11 "absolutely happened."

But as Greene concluded her speech, she adopted a more defiant tone, blasting unnamed Democrats for what she suggested was their encouragement of the violence that, at times, accompanied last year's national protests against police brutality. - The Hill

" If this Congress is to tolerate members that condone riots that have hurt American people, attack police officers, occupy federal property, burn businesses and cities, but yet wants to condemn me and crucify me in the public square for words that I said, and I regret, a few years ago, then I think we're in a real big problem ," she said, before criticizing the MSM.

"Will we allow the media, that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies, to divide us?" Greene asked, drawing sharp rebuke from House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) who called the comparison "beyond the pale."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F5bItzYCqNE

Yet, at the end of the day, Greene's defense wasn't enough to overcome the Democrats and 11 Republicans who decided to punched right over a colleague's past.

[Feb 03, 2021] The Trump Administration Viewed from the Right by John Morgan

Feb 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

The Trump experiment is over, and the strange journey that the last five years have been is now at an end. There are already lots of assessments being made about the meaning of Trump's presidency, but most of them are from either liberal or conservative viewpoints. It also needs to be evaluated from the viewpoint of the Dissident Right -- those of us such as myself who fall outside what is usually called "Right-wing" in today's mainstream. And no group had more dramatic ups and downs with Trump than the Dissident Right did.

I imagine my experience with Trump was the same as that of many other people reading this. When he first announced his candidacy in 2015, I was initially dismissive and didn't even think he'd make it to the primaries. It was when I saw him in the Republican debates that I decided that, first, he was preferable to the other candidates in both parties; and second, that he actually had some good positions, such as on immigration and non-interventionism. I never really put my faith in the guy -- I always thought people who hailed him as the "God Emperor" were being naïve -- but I could see that he was the least bad option among his many competitors (and "least bad" is all I ever look for when contemplating the American political scene). As his campaign developed, the signs were more and more encouraging -- mainly because Trump was free to just talk without having to deliver on anything he was saying.

No one was more flabbergasted than me when Trump actually managed to win, and like many people I allowed myself to become giddily optimistic for a few months after the election. I was proud of the fact that Michigan, where I vote, was one of the states that had dramatically swung over into Trump's column after having been solidly Democrat for decades, but it confirmed for me that the white working class, which remains Michigan's backbone despite the weakening of the American auto industry, had finally come to see more or less eye-to-eye with the Dissident Right on many issues. I had suspected this even before the election, but it was nice to see it confirmed in reality.

Perhaps, I thought, as an outsider and maverick, Trump could actually bring about some real change in Washington, especially with the help of genuine populists like Steve Bannon. But those hopes were soon dashed by the bombing of Syria only two and a half months after he took office, which seemed to herald the gradual rolling back of the entire agenda he had campaigned on. By 2018, with Bannon out, Bush leftover John Bolton as Secretary of State, the President himself embroiled in the seemingly endless Russia investigation, and the promised Wall nowhere to be found, it looked like the Swamp had subdued Trump after all.

Still, I never for a moment felt that the support the Dissident Right gave to Trump in 2016 had been a mistake. There was no question that Trump, as poor as his performance was from our perspective, was nevertheless preferable to what we know Hillary would have enacted. (In the run-up to the 2016 election, when people would ask me why I was voting for Trump, I would say, "I know exactly what Hillary will do; I can't say with any certainty what Trump will do, but he's at least saying some of the right things.") And whenever Trump spoke his own mind -- which he made sure to do often -- he usually stayed on message, even though we always knew that the reality would end up being different from his words. (Remember when he promised to abolish birthright citizenship in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections?) For us, I think the epitaph we can write on the tombstone of his presidency is "It could have been worse."

I don't know what Trump really believed while President, and quite honestly I don't care; it was his words and his actions that mattered, and even if it was all a cynical ploy, his impact on American politics and culture is undeniable. It became a tired cliché, but it was nevertheless true that Trump moved the Overton window further to the right in a way that isn't likely to be undone anytime soon. Many issues that were virtually nonexistent except at the margins of American political discourse before 2015 are now front and center. Some dislike Trump for his personality and failings, feeling that these contributed to his lack of achievement as President. While this is justified, it's indisputable that only someone like Trump, who was independently wealthy and already held celebrity status among the white working class, could have made the breakthrough as an outsider that he did. And even if he didn't succeed in remaking Washington, he nevertheless weakened the Washington Establishment during his tenure. Most importantly, it's always best when the Washington elite remains so divided and gripped by internal conflicts that it can't pursue its evil designs on the rest of us, and Trump turned the heat up in Washington beyond where it had been at any time since the Civil War.

We also shouldn't overlook the fact that Trump was continually embattled with the Washington Establishment, the opposition, the mainstream media, and on many occasions even his own party from the day he took office. It also shouldn't be forgotten that when Trump took office, his party controlled the executive branch and Congress, and yet the President still had to fight every step of the way to pursue his agenda -- often unsuccessfully. James O'Meara once commented that Trump was in fact a third-party candidate who managed to hijack one of the two major parties. This was true, and many Republicans in the House never lost sight of that, showing that their true loyalties lay with maintaining the Establishment rather than with supporting their erstwhile leader's agenda.

We can't ignore the short, spectacular life of the Alt-Right, either. Those of us who had been on the Dissident Right for many years prior, and who understood that the only way to bring America into line with genuinely Rightist principles would be to transform the country from its very foundations on issues such as citizenship, immigration, and capitalism, always saw Trump as merely a stepping stone to something grander and better. And indeed, although this fact has vanished into the mists of prehistory, before the 2016 election "Alt-Right" merely referred to anyone on the Right whose views fell outside those of the Republican Party; even Steve Bannon infamously told Mother Jones in 2016 that Breitbart was "the platform of the Alt-Right," a statement I imagine he came to regret later. I myself was happy to accept the label at first. And like many, I was naïve enough to think that the Alt-Right could make use of the mainstream media rather than the other way around.

Once they realized that a Trump presidency was a reality, the mainstream media quickly understood that the "Alt-Right," which was a nebulous phenomenon with no clear leadership or goals, could be used to discredit Trump and populism more generally. Its decentralized nature and lack of an organizational structure were in one sense a strength in that it was more difficult to pin down and target it; but at the same time, anyone ranging from libertarians to outright neo-Nazis could claim the mantle or be designated "Alt-Right" by clever journalists. As such, it was perfect from their perspective as a means of attacking the populist Right as a whole, since they spun the ridiculous narrative that the Alt-Right was somehow vaguely responsible for getting Trump elected. The fact is, of course, that there was never any relationship between what was called the Alt-Right and the Trump administration, but the Alt Right's media-appointed leaders were hungry for attention that the media was more than happy to provide -- and the rest is, regrettably, history.

It might have been possible to develop an alternative movement in late 2016 and 2017 that could have piggybacked on Trump's success while laying the groundwork for a genuinely innovative form of the American Right more in keeping with genuine Right-wing principles, and yet that could still have appealed to ordinary Americans. It quickly became apparent, however, that those individuals who found themselves thrust into the Alt-Right spotlight lacked the character, maturity, and judgment to make it happen. Being wizards at winning followers for websites, podcasts, and social media was no proper education to prepare them for entering the arena of actual politics. Granted, they were confronting forces far beyond what any marginal group could be expected to compete with; but by adopting tactics that had failed for George Lincoln Rockwell half a century earlier and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with actual Nazis and Klansmen, they played the role of cartoon Nazis that the media had cast them in to a tee. After being led into the trap that was Charlottesville, the Alt-Right's tombstone was written and Trump was never again able to plausibly deny that he was a white supremacist. We must persist in our efforts, but the fact remains that the Alt-Right's spectacular and tragically unnecessary failure will continue to hamper us for many years to come.

Despite our disappointment, we must still acknowledge that President Trump accomplished some goals that deserve our thanks. It must be granted that throughout his tenure, despite the constant accusations of warmongering by his opponents, he didn't start any new wars. There were a few close calls, of course, particularly with Syria and Iran, but none of America's enemies called his bluffs despite provocation and things remained at the level of low-intensity conflict. It is certainly true that when it comes to foreign policy, Trump did much more for Israel than he did for America, but he nevertheless made strides toward ending the conflicts he had inherited and never bowed to the pressure to start new ones. As a corollary to this, no Islamist terror attacks occurred within the United States during Trump's tenure apart from the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, which puts him above both Bush and Obama in that category. (It struck me as odd that Trump didn't play this up more in his second campaign.)The most glorious moment of Trump's presidency for me, however, remains his refusal to denounce the Alt-Right in the notorious press conference that he held three days after Charlottesville. While it certainly wasn't the unequivocal defense of White Nationalism that the media has made it out to have been ever since, the fact that he refused to issue the standard denunciations of the Alt-Right that he had doubtless been asked to deliver stands for me as a rare moment of principle for President Trump. In the end, it meant nothing in practical terms, but it's one of the few clear examples we have that there was something deeper to his presidency than mere egotism. It's also a sign of how much worse things were to get over the subsequent years that he failed to show the same spirit when dealing with those of his supporters who stormed the Capitol, opting for submissiveness rather than the spirit of defiance that had characterized his campaign and the early days of his term.

Additionally, Trump's strident Euroskepticism forced Europe for the first time since the Second World War to consider pursuing greater independence from NATO and the US and to perhaps even solely pursue its own interests in foreign policy yet again, rather than serving as America's lapdog on many issues and continuing to rely on the US for defense. It remains to be seen if this trend will persist or reverse now that Trump is gone, but we can hope that more forward-looking European politicians will continue thinking in terms of preparing for a post-American global order.

We should also bear in mind that the Trump administration established good relations with Right-wing populist parties in Europe in a way that would have been unimaginable under any other presidency. The present governments of Hungary and Poland, in particular, enjoyed friendly relations with Washington for the first time and will sorely miss Trump now that Biden has made it clear that he intends to return to a confrontational policy with them. (At the same time, it's worth noting that some European politicians on the Right I have spoken with said that they preferred a Trump defeat, since they feel that Trump and American politics more generally have become an obsessive distraction for the European Right and that his removal would allow Europeans to focus on their own problems again.)

Domestically, Trump could hardly be considered a success on his signature issue, immigration, although he wasn't entirely a failure, either. We certainly didn't get anything like the sort of sweeping and radical changes on immigration that many of us had hoped for in the beginning. Indeed, the Trump administration did not pass a single new piece of immigration-related legislation. By some metrics , in fact, certain types of immigration remained the same or increased during Trump's tenure. In those currents where it decreased, some of it appears to have occurred as a result of the pandemic rather than due to any political action. And of course, the Wall remains mostly unbuilt and now surely faces cancellation.

At the same time, Trump did fortunately withdraw the US from the United Nations' ethnomasochistic Global Compact on Migration. He did make limited progress in a few other areas as well , particularly making it more difficult for "refugees" to come to the US and for illegal immigrants to remain there. And he did put a stop to some of the more troubling immigration policies that have emanated from both parties in the past, such as the push for amnesties for illegals, and called a temporary moratorium on visas for "guest workers" in response to the pandemic.

The issue that could be regarded as his second-biggest signature issue was opposing globalization and helping ordinary working Americans; bringing industry back home was a constant theme of his first campaign. In the end, however, Trump remained largely ineffectual in this area. We should thank him for ending the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). But the treaty he signed to replace the former, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement , is only slightly better than its precursor. The other nations which were part of the TPP ended up signing the virtually identical Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which the US has not signed but which it remains eligible to join at any time. In other words, the Trump administration didn't do much to halt the drumbeat of globalization.

When it comes to the Dissident Right, Trump offered little but empty rhetoric. Despite occasionally talking about establishing controls over Big Tech to prevent their blatant censorship of non-conformist views that challenge the neoliberal narrative, no action was ever taken in this direction. Apart from his Charlottesville press conference, neither did Trump ever take a stand in defense of white advocates, and he often went in the other direction, such as in September , when he promised to declare the "Ku Klux Klan" a terrorist organization (thus opening the door for any Dissident Right groups to be targeted given the lack of an easily identifiable unified KKK organization), calling for Juneteenth to be declared a federal holiday, and promising $500 billion in aid to black communities.

Thus, President Trump achieved modest successes at best, and even those issues on which he won victories can be easily reversed by the Biden administration -- and in some cases they are already doing so. But such is the ephemeral nature of politics in a liberal democracy.

On the plus side, the Republican Party now finds itself in its direst predicament since the 1940s, if not before, as a result of Trumpism taking root within it. The conflict between populists and neoliberals within its ranks, which now threatens to come to a head as a result of Trump's second impeachment, may very well end the party for good, or at least result in a split -- either outcome of which might perhaps open the door for a more genuinely Right-wing party to fill the void it will leave behind. Only time will tell, but if it happens, it will be a parting gift from Trump to have achieved what once seemed impossible, back when the Republican Party was nothing more than the party of multiculturalism and globalism plus Jesus and low taxes.

President Trump's most important contribution is that he lit the flame that genuinely started the fire of Right-wing populism in America after previous attempts such as Pat Buchanan's campaigns and the Tea Party ( yech ) had guttered out without raising the temperature in Washington by even a degree. Whether that flame can continue burning now that he's gone remains to be seen, but we can still hope that it was the start of a trend rather than a temporary deviation. If American populism is to survive, it will clearly stand on the Right; the Left has already amply demonstrated in its underhanded suppression of more populist Democratic candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard that they will not tolerate the rise of any form of Leftism that doesn't conform to the Washington Elite's expectations.

Now, Unpresident Biden and the entire Democratic Party apparatus, emboldened by their largely successful efforts to discredit the Right as a whole by blaming it in its entirety for the Capitol occupation, believe themselves to be in a place where they can reshape American politics according to their own agenda without any regard for the other side whatsoever. As they've done continuously since the 2016 election, the Democrats always choose to double down on their extremist rhetoric rather than doing any soul-searching about how they might have contributed to bringing the situation about, nor about how they might be able to seek some sort of compromise with the other side. They are too self-righteous to be capable of critical reflection.

The Capitol "coup," harebrained as it was, certainly does not even begin to compare to the Democrats' -- and some Republicans' -- efforts to undermine the Trump administration and the will of the American electorate at every turn over the past four years, which to my mind much more accurately fits the definition of a coup. It will be the task of the Dissident Right -- and hopefully the Right more generally, if they have the stones -- to do to the Left exactly what they have been doing to us by throwing endless obstacles in their path, denying their legitimacy, and constantly calling them to account for their injustices and excesses at every possible opportunity.

The Democrats are not as strong as they believe. Even most liberals only supported Biden grudgingly and purely out of expediency. Unpresident Biden is America's Brezhnev -- his health and stamina failing, he is merely an old Establishment tool who has been resurrected in an attempt to prop up an order that everyone knows is on its last legs. A telling video from the inauguration shows Biden passing a contingent of Marines on guard duty, who any sitting president is supposed to salute, being the Commander-in-Chief. Biden just shambles past them without a gesture, oddly mumbling "salute the Marines" under his facemask. The quite plausible theory that has been making the rounds is that Biden was being instructed on what to say and do through an earpiece, and that he mistakenly repeated an instruction to salute the Marines rather than actually doing it. This seems a good metaphor for his entire administration. (If you're wondering who is on the other end of Biden's earpiece, it might perhaps be one of the many Jews with whom he has packed his cabinet -- such a number that makes Trump's pandering to the Jewish lobby seem tame in comparison. What happened to diversity? Does the White House need affirmative action for whites nowadays?)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/21BU0YK0cO4?feature=oembed

Like the late Soviet Union, however, Washington Inc. will project images of power in order to conceal the reality of their order's decrepitude. That is surely the motive behind the deployment of 26,000 soldiers to Washington, DC -- more than the number currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined -- in response to the supposed Right-wing "threat." It isn't about security, it is a show of force to prove to America that they are back and that they intend to keep Washington and propagate their policies by any means necessary. Further, I predict that the US will engage in some significant military action within the next year to make a similar show of force on the world stage, flexing its muscles to prove that America intends to resume its role as the world's policeman.

Starting from before the inauguration, the Left has been making their intention to declare war on anything authentically white or Rightist clear. But while it was very easy for the Establishment to muzzle the few thousand adherents of the Alt-Right, it will be much more difficult for them to silence the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump -- in many cases not because they loved Trump but simply because they wanted to prevent the return of the ruling clique that had been governing our country entirely unopposed for decades before Trump's rise.

In the final analysis, the most important lesson to be taken away from the Trump administration is that the last five years were never about Trump himself. American populism didn't start with him and it won't end with him. Samuel Francis was already predicting the rise of a populist figure like Trump in the 1990s, even heralding a " revolution from the Right " in a way that seems extremely prescient today. What the Capitol occupation showed is that the populist current has grown beyond Trump's ability to channel and contain it. As a result -- maybe -- we have an opportunity to transcend him and construct something real out of the movement he energized, and do it better.

The real news of the last few months was the fact that 11 million more Americans voted for Trump in 2020 over 2016, despite the ongoing demographic changes and despite all of his flaws and failures. There is nothing that more aptly proves that it wasn't all merely about him than this. American populism isn't dead. White America isn't dead. That's why I didn't use a photo of Trump himself to illustrate this post, but rather one of his supporters -- ordinary Americans, who were the real motor behind these changes in the political landscape.

I can't say at present what will come next for the Dissident Right. I'm not sure who will, or even could, emerge to form the leadership of a post-Trump populist movement. Perhaps those who follow the American political scene more closely than I do might have an inkling of who is waiting in the wings that might be qualified to take charge. One thing that is certain is that these new leaders must be completely disconnected in every public way from the fiasco that was the Alt-Right. That brand is dead. But hopefully what is best in the Dissident Rightist milieu can still inform whatever follows in our, and Trump's, footsteps.

With Trump's wings clipped, ordinary white Americans are looking for a leader. Here's hoping they can finally get the one they deserve.


elvisroy0000 , says: January 26, 2021 at 2:02 pm GMT • 4.0 days ago

https://rushlimbaughjrjr.blogspot.com/2021/01/biden-harris-shipwreck-2021.html

Well Lets see interesting year Biden wins ,Pennsyllvanis by 25,000 more votes than Registered voters. He wins Wisconsin by 17,000 more votes than voters, their were two states with over 300,000 combinred votes that were from people who did not exist, But according to the courts all the way up to the supreme court who said it was legal, needless to say i no longer, trust the supreme court

Chris Moore , says: Website January 26, 2021 at 4:01 pm GMT • 3.9 days ago

Trump succeeded in two things, both for the Jewish cause: advanced the Zionist interest in Israel, and put back the opposition to the liberal-neocon Jewish establishment in America. How is that in any way a "win" for authentic America Firsters?

Ann Coulter got it right: His loyalties were to himself and his entitled (Zionist) bloodline.
https://anncoulter.com/2021/01/06/the-election-is-over-heres-the-truth-about-trumpxxx/

Exalted Cyclops , says: January 27, 2021 at 8:10 am GMT • 3.3 days ago

Trump was never anything but a con from the start. Don't feel bad, lot's of us were conned...

RoatanBill , says: January 27, 2021 at 10:39 am GMT • 3.2 days ago

I was proud of the fact that Michigan, where I vote

No real dissident votes. When one votes, he is buying into the scam that continually produces the next savior and continually produces nothing but more repression.

A real dissident understands he is getting reamed and won't cooperate in his own demise. A dissident has a brain that actually thinks. A voter is a mindless spectator in the endless game of politics purposely designed to provide a false sense of control for people too stupid to understand the system offers them no control.

Brian Reilly , says: January 27, 2021 at 12:59 pm GMT • 3.1 days ago

Trump was a little bit better choice than the other candidates. And they were really, really, really bad. I was not disappointed in Trump because I never expected much out of him. RIP Donny!

troof , says: January 30, 2021 at 5:32 am GMT • 9.2 hours ago

It's always amazing to see how many right-wingers have invented a country for themselves called "this country", which is everywhere, has no population, but lives in their minds anyway. All for the sake of a chimera called "the white working class".

How is it an imaginary class which is actually a minority, and that has no history anywhere is also going to rule over a continent of 50 States with 300+ million people?

Everything "right wing" is a mental fantasy cult.

Jimmy le Blanc , says: January 30, 2021 at 6:58 am GMT • 7.7 hours ago

I called it the day he rode down the escalator. I was happy he won, but not happy with his performance. Even so, I voted for him again, because the alternative was much worse.

Trump ran on a Democrat 1980 platform: manufacturing jobs, family values, everything the Democrats were before homosexuals, Scientism, and "people of color" changed the party. Hardly "right wing," but given today's politics, who knows what the labels mean anymore. Contrary to the New York Times, he was not a racist or a fascist. He pandered more to blacks and Hispanics than he did to Whites. His pardon of two negro rappers just before he left office was disgusting. Allowing that Kardashian whore into the Oval Office was likewise disgusting. And his Jewish in-laws were nauseating.

He was not my ideal candidate, but, as I said, the alternative was far worse. As for the future, I will not vote again. We are unlikely to ever see a promising leader that Whites can follow.

Yukon Jack , says: January 30, 2021 at 7:53 am GMT • 6.8 hours ago

From a right wing perspective, Trump was in bed with the enemy Israel.

animalogic , says: January 30, 2021 at 7:55 am GMT • 6.8 hours ago
@Exalted Cyclops

If Jared is involved, then the seeds of corruption are already sprouting.

gotmituns , says: January 30, 2021 at 9:26 am GMT • 5.3 hours ago

trump was/is a carnival huckster who fooled enough people to become president.

Anonymous [199] Disclaimer , says: January 30, 2021 at 9:34 am GMT • 5.1 hours ago

While it is true that Trump didn't start the war with Syria, that honor belongs to our 44th White President, make no mistake: we are at war with Syria and should not be.

Can everybody please stop calling it "immigration"? And start calling it "illegal alien invasion"? Immigration is not the problem although the H1B visa program is a disaster for American workers, just a way to import cheap mostly Indian labor and it needs a moratorium.

Ghost of Emanuel Swedenborg , says: January 30, 2021 at 9:45 am GMT • 4.9 hours ago

I think the author is far too generous in his assesssment of Trump. The only positive thing I can see was that he didn't start any new wars, only maintained the ones that was although the blatant zionist provocation of Iran was unforgivable.

It all started the first day after the election when Trump et al decided that they would not be going in opposition to their own party. That was his first mistake. His econd mistake mistake was not hiring people loyal to him and Bannon's vision and third mistake was being a dumbfuck who let himself be led into the most stupid things by the corrupt -- - Kushner who had way too much influence over everything, yes everything, in the administration.

Ultimately Trump was a bloviating buffoon (Although that was known to anybody reasonable before the election) with a degree of narcissism never seen in a white goy in politics before that was only thinking about himself the whole time, without any convictions at all.
He squandered the first two years on going along with the GOPe agenda and ultimately the only people who got anything out of his presidency was blacks/criminals, the left (Because he riled them up and poked them while never using the force of the state to shut them down, even dropping his own voter fraud investigation halfways and crying on twitter that somebody should do something about so many different things when he was the President – an absurd thing to do), the rich 1 % elite and Jews (But i repeat myself).

If Russia anneses Crimea, which was a part of the country until the 1950s or 60s, it's a crime against humanity. If Israel annexes the West bank it's only good and right.

Why? Because Jews run the USA and Trump did nothing at all to stand up to them in any real way that gave any results (And I mean implicitly, not explcitly of course).

R2b , says: January 30, 2021 at 12:50 pm GMT • 1.9 hours ago

As mr Morgan said, its not about Trump, it is American Populism rising, and betrayed once again. I
Israel got the most!
Four years wasted, and no organizing but ludicruos fringe alt-right queers, and nazi-fan boys!
This should be about the ordinary people, 75 million, long since betrayed by the democrats calling them "deplorables" and "fly-over-people".
Organize now!
Pick up Tulsi Gabbard and forget about Bernie Sanders!
Create a movement and form resistance, before they jab you out in space!

BannedHipster , says: Website January 30, 2021 at 1:56 pm GMT • 46 minutes ago

The record is quite clear at this point.

Trump never cared about immigration, the wall, deporting illegals, bringing jobs back, ending the wars for Israel in the Middle East.

Trump was always, 100%, about Israel's Likud agenda.

[Feb 03, 2021] On the Cusp of the -Blue Terror- by Alan Sabrosky

Feb 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [420] Disclaimer , says: February 2, 2021 at 12:43 am GMT • 4.9 hours ago

The Fate of Empires by Sir John Glubb:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=TheFateofEmpiresbySirJohnGlubb&t=brave&ia=web

Sir John Glubb's essay on the rise and fall of empires is a must read. As this quote from his work shows, empires throughout history have had an extraordinary pattern of lasting an average of 250 years from rise to fall.

Assyria: 859 B.C. – 612 B.C. 247 years
Persia: 538 B.C. – 330 B.C. 208 years
Greece: 331 B.C. – 100 B.C. 231 years
Roman Republic: 260 B.C. – 27 B.C. 233 years
Roman Empire: 27 B.C. – A.D. 180 207 years
Arab Empire: A.D. 634 – A.D. 880 246 years
Mameluke Empire: A.D. 1250 – A.D. 1517 267 years
Ottoman Empire: A.D. 1320 – A.D. 1570 250 years
Spain: A.D. 1500 – A.D. 1750 250 years
Romanov Russia: A.D. 1682 – A.D. 1916 234 years
British Empire: A.D. 1700 – A.D. 1950 250 years
United States: A.D. 1776 – A.D. ???? ??? years

Some more quotes from this essay:

Feminism isn't working out too well today. It didn't work out for 10th century Arabs either:

In the tenth century, a similar tendency was observable in the Arab Empire, the women demanding admission to the professions hitherto monopolised by men. 'What,' wrote the contemporary historian, Ibn Bessam, 'have the professions of clerk, tax-collector or preacher to do with women? These occupations have always been limited to men alone.' Many women practised law, while others obtained posts as university professors. There was an agitation for the appointment of female judges, which, however, does not appear to have succeeded. Soon after this period, government and public order collapsed, and foreign invaders overran the country. The resulting increase in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets, with the result that this feminist movement collapsed.

One half of America's population at the other half's throat? Yeah, the Byzantines have been there and done it already:

In the fourteenth century, the weakening empire of Byzantium was threatened, and indeed dominated, by the Ottoman Turks. The situation was so serious that one would have expected every subject of Byzantium to abandon his personal interests and to stand with his compatriots in a last desperate attempt to save the country. The reverse occurred. The Byzantines spent the last fifty years of their history in fighting one another in repeated civil wars, until the Ottomans moved in and administered the coup de grâce.

What do the new overlords do when they take control of a ravaged empire? Civilised Persian officials found out when the barbaric Mongols took the empire they had let fall by the wayside:

When the Mongols conquered Persia in the thirteenth century, they were themselves entirely uneducated and were obliged to depend wholly on native Persian officials to administer the country and to collect the revenue. They retained as wazeer, or Prime Minister, one Rashid al Din, a historian of international repute. Yet the Prime Minister, when speaking to the Mongol II Khan, was obliged to remain throughout the interview on his knees. At state banquets, the Prime Minister stood behind the Khan's seat to wait upon him. If the Khan were in a good mood, he occasionally passed his wazeer a piece of food over his shoulder.

I'm not American, but I feel like crying as I put this together. Anyway, America will do its best to buck the 250 year trend.

Resartus , says: February 2, 2021 at 2:03 am GMT • 3.6 hours ago
@Anonymous antines spent the last fifty years of their history in fighting one another in repeated civil wars, until the Ottomans moved in and administered the coup de grâce.

Can't forget the American Indians, the South American Indians etc never stopped fighting each other once Europeans showed up .
Many Tribes did little more than welcome better weapons (firearms) to continue their genocide against neighboring Tribes .
No matter how much the Left talks about the plight of the First Peoples, they paid attention to the outcome and are pushing much the same internal conflicts

gay troll , says: February 2, 2021 at 2:34 am GMT • 3.1 hours ago

We have a problem. The U.S. government is supposed to be of, by, and for the people. But it has held itself unaccountable for decades while systematically stupefying, demoralizing, and impoverishing the public through popular culture. Does a republic always turn to an empire, a democracy to a tyrant, and a tyrant into pieces? The world needs globalism, but it does not need monoculture. When the U.S. regime collapses it may be different this time. This time we have the internet. The whole world watches everything.

Juri , says: February 2, 2021 at 4:26 am GMT • 1.2 hours ago

I also predict the 1917 outcome. Worst outcome the Trump presidency was knowledge that Red America is incapable to organize on the grassroot level, unite and fight back . So the Blue can do whatever they want .

There are 2 issues remain. Elite infighting may make Government dysfunctional. New democrats like the Squad want to push old Swamp Things out and fill Government positions with their supporters.

Financial system blows off and massive economic disaster with chaos makes country ungovernable.

[Feb 02, 2021] Facebook and the Surveillance Society- The Other Coup - The New York Times

Notable quotes:
"... By 2013, the CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's mission "to collect everything and hang on to it forever," acknowledging the internet companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Fitbit and telecom companies, for making it possible. ..."
"... The revolutionary roots of surveillance capitalism are planted in this unwritten political doctrine of surveillance exceptionalism, bypassing democratic oversight, and essentially granting the new internet companies a license to steal human experience and render it as proprietary data. ..."
"... What's been reinvented is no less than the idea of people as property. ..."
"... As an internet executive who has been in the game from the very beginning (1995 and onward), I am still dumbfounded that the overwhelming majority of Google search users have no idea that when they search for a product or a store, for example, the results are not democratically revealed. Using fashion as an example, Google's business model has stores and brands bid on keyword search terms, like "fine lingerie," or "red pumps," or "blue silk robe," to name a few of the billions of search terms. ..."
"... surveillance economies of scale and AI insights of prediction that allow a herd animal, us, to be more profitably managed and the profit more efficiently extracted. ..."
"... Alexa, dim the lights! ... like the hundreds of millions of other herd animals living the same delusion. if we were paid for our data use, we would just become aware of its use. this is a defect in a system designed to make you feel unique and special. that's the kink: at bottom, you like being surveilled and controlled. ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.nytimes.com

We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.

By Shoshana Zuboff

Dr. Zuboff, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is the author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism."

Two decades ago, the American government left democracy's front door open to California's fledgling internet companies, a cozy fire lit in welcome. In the years that followed, a surveillance society flourished in those rooms, a social vision born in the distinct but reciprocal needs of public intelligence agencies and private internet companies, both spellbound by a dream of total information awareness. Twenty years later, the fire has jumped the screen, and on Jan. 6, it threatened to burn down democracy's house.

I have spent exactly 42 years studying the rise of the digital as an economic force driving our transformation into an information civilization. Over the last two decades, I've observed the consequences of this surprising political-economic fraternity as those young companies morphed into surveillance empires powered by global architectures of behavioral monitoring, analysis, targeting and prediction that I have called surveillance capitalism. On the strength of their surveillance capabilities and for the sake of their surveillance profits, the new empires engineered a fundamentally anti-democratic epistemic coup marked by unprecedented concentrations of knowledge about us and the unaccountable power that accrues to such knowledge.

In an information civilization, societies are defined by questions of knowledge -- how it is distributed, the authority that governs its distribution and the power that protects that authority. Who knows? Who decides who knows? Who decides who decides who knows? Surveillance capitalists now hold the answers to each question, though we never elected them to govern. This is the essence of the epistemic coup. They claim the authority to decide who knows by asserting ownership rights over our personal information and defend that authority with the power to control critical information systems and infrastructures.

... ... ...

The second stage is marked by a sharp rise in epistemic inequality , defined as the difference between what I can know and what can be known about me...

The Surveillance Exception

The public tragedy of Sept. 11 dramatically shifted the focus in Washington from debates over federal privacy legislation to a mania for total information awareness, turning Silicon Valley's innovative surveillance practices into objects of intense interest. As Jack Balkin, a professor at Yale Law School, observed , the intelligence community would have to "rely on private enterprise to collect and generate information for it," in order to reach beyond constitutional, legal, or regulatory constraints, controversies that are central today.

By 2013, the CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's mission "to collect everything and hang on to it forever," acknowledging the internet companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Fitbit and telecom companies, for making it possible.

The revolutionary roots of surveillance capitalism are planted in this unwritten political doctrine of surveillance exceptionalism, bypassing democratic oversight, and essentially granting the new internet companies a license to steal human experience and render it as proprietary data.

Young entrepreneurs without any democratic mandate landed a windfall of infinite information and unaccountable power. Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, exercised absolute control over the production, organization and presentation of the world's information. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has had absolute control over what would become a primary means of global communication and news consumption, along with all the information concealed in its networks. The group's membership grew, and a swelling population of global users proceeded unaware of what just happened.

The license to steal came with a price, binding the executives to the continued patronage of elected officials and regulators as well as the sustained ignorance, or at least learned resignation, of users. The doctrine was, after all, a political doctrine, and its defense would require a future of political maneuvering, appeasement, engagement and investment.

Google led the way with what would become one of the world's richest lobbying machines. In 2018 nearly half the Senate received contributions from Facebook, Google and Amazon, and the companies continue to set spending records .

Most significant, surveillance exceptionalism has meant that the United States and many other liberal democracies chose surveillance over democracy as the guiding principle of social order. With this forfeit, democratic governments crippled their ability to sustain the trust of their people, intensifying the rationale for surveillance.

The Economics and Politics of Epistemic Chaos

To understand the economics of epistemic chaos, it's important to know that surveillance capitalism's operations have no formal interest in facts. All data is welcomed as equivalent, though not all of it is equal. Extraction operations proceed with the discipline of the Cyclops, voraciously consuming everything it can see and radically indifferent to meaning, facts and truth.

ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story

In a leaked memo , a Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, describes this willful disregard for truth and meaning:

"We connect people. That can be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack. The ugly truth is anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good."

In other words, asking a surveillance extractor to reject content is like asking a coal-mining operation to discard containers of coal because it's too dirty. This is why content moderation is a last resort, a public-relations operation in the spirit of ExxonMobil's social responsibility messaging. In Facebook's case, data triage is undertaken either to minimize the risk of user withdrawal or to avoid political sanctions. Both aim to increase rather than diminish data flows. The extraction imperative combined with radical indifference to produce systems that ceaselessly escalate the scale of engagement but don't care what engages you.

I'm homing in now on Facebook not because it's the only perpetrator of epistemic chaos but because it's the largest social media company and its consequences reach farthest.

The economics of surveillance capitalism begot the extractive Cyclops, turning Facebook into an advertising juggernaut and a killing field for truth. Then an amoral Mr. Trump became president, demanding the right to lie at scale. Destructive economics merged with political appeasement, and everything became infinitely worse.

Key to this story is that the politics of appeasement required little more than a refusal to mitigate, modify or eliminate the ugly truth of surveillance economics. Surveillance capitalism's economic imperatives turned Facebook into a societal tinderbox. Mr. Zuckerberg merely had to stand down and commit himself to the bystander role.

Internal research presented in 2016 and 2017 demonstrated causal links between Facebook's algorithmic targeting mechanisms and epistemic chaos. One researcher concluded that the algorithms were responsible for the viral spread of divisive content that helped fuel the growth of German extremist groups. Recommendation tools accounted for 64 percent of "extremist group joins," she found -- dynamics not unique to Germany .

The Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018 riveted the world's attention on Facebook in a new way, offering a window for bold change. The public began to grasp that Facebook's political advertising business is a way to rent the company's suite of capabilities to microtarget users, manipulate them and sow epistemic chaos, pivoting the whole machine just a few degrees from commercial to political objectives.

Image
Credit... Pool photo by Graeme Jennings/EPA, via Shutterstock

The company launched some modest initiatives, promising more transparency, a more robust system of third-party fact checkers and a policy to limit "coordinated inauthentic behavior," but through it all, Mr. Zuckerberg conceded the field to Mr. Trump's demands for unfettered access to the global information bloodstream.

Mr. Zuckerberg rejected internal proposals for operational changes that would reduce epistemic chaos. A political whitelist identified over 100,000 officials and candidates whose accounts were exempted from fact-checking, despite internal research showing that users tend to believe false information shared by politicians. In September 2019 the company said that political advertising would not be subject to fact-checking.

To placate his critics in 2018, Mr. Zuckerberg commissioned a civil rights audit led by Laura Murphy, a former director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office. The report published in 2020 is a cri de coeur expressed in a river of words that bear witness to dashed hopes -- "disheartened," "frustrated," "angry," "dismayed," "fearful," "heartbreaking."

The report is consistent with a nearly complete rupture of the American public's faith in Big Tech. When asked how Facebook would adjust to a political shift toward a possible Biden administration, a company spokesman, Nick Clegg, responded, "We'll adapt to the environment in which we're operating." And so it did. On Jan. 7, the day after it became clear that Democrats would control the Senate, Facebook announced that it would indefinitely block Mr. Trump's account.

We are meant to believe that the destructive effects of epistemic chaos are the inevitable cost of cherished rights to freedom of speech. No. Just as catastrophic levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere are the consequence of burning fossil fuels, epistemic chaos is a consequence of surveillance capitalism's bedrock commercial operations, aggravated by political obligations and set into motion by a 20-year-old dream of total information that slid into nightmare. Then a plague came to America, turning the antisocial media conflagration into a wildfire.

... ... ...

The Washington Post reported in late March that with nearly 50 percent of the content on Facebook's news feed related to Covid-19, a very small number of "influential users" were driving the reading habits and feeds of a vast number of users. A study released in April by the Reuters Institute confirmed that high-level politicians, celebrities and other prominent public figures produced 20 percent of the misinformation in their sample, but attracted 69 percent of social media engagements in their sample.

... ... ...

In 1966, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann wrote a short book of seminal importance, "The Social Construction of Reality." Its central observation is that the "everyday life" we experience as "reality" is actively and perpetually constructed by us. This ongoing miracle of social order rests on "common sense knowledge," which is "the knowledge we share with others in the normal self-evident routines of everyday life."

Think about traffic: There are not enough police officers in the world to ensure that every car stops at every red light, yet not every intersection triggers a negotiation or a fight. That's because in orderly societies we all know that red lights have the authority to make us stop and green lights are authorized to let us go. This common sense means that we each act on what we all know, while trusting that others will too. We're not just obeying laws; we are creating order together. Our reward is to live in a world where we mostly get where we are going and home again safely because we can trust one another's common sense. No society is viable without it.

"All societies are constructions in the face of chaos," write Berger and Luckmann. Because norms are summaries of our common sense, norm violation is the essence of terrorism -- terrifying because it repudiates the most taken-for-granted social certainties. "Norm violation creates an attentive audience beyond the target of terror," write Alex P. Schmid and Albert J. Jongman in "Political Terrorism," a widely cited text on the subject. Everyone experiences the shock, disorientation, and fear. The legitimacy and continuity of our institutions are essential because they buffer us from chaos by formalizing our common sense.

... ... ...

For many who hold freedom of speech as a sacred right, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's 1919 dissenting opinion in Abrams v. United States is a touchstone. "The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas," he wrote. "The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." The corrupt information that dominates the private square does not rise to the top of a free and fair competition of ideas. It wins in a rigged game. No democracy can survive this game.

Our susceptibility to the destruction of common sense reflects a young information civilization that has not yet found its footing in democracy. Unless we interrupt surveillance economics and revoke the license to steal that legitimates its antisocial operations, the other coup will continue to strengthen and produce fresh crises. What must be done now?

... ... ...

Shoshana Zuboff is a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and the author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism."

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .


Caledonia Massachusetts Jan. 30 Times Pick

Jaron Lanier has made the same arguments in a more accessible style. "You Are Not A Gadget" and "Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts" are highly recommended!
AW AUS Jan. 30 Times Pick
Professor Zuboff is being polite and cautious. What's been reinvented is no less than the idea of people as property. Your data is owned. Behavior is traded like a commodity. There is limited personal protection. Imagine you live completely off the grid. One day you come into town to get coffee with an old friend. You don't bring any electronic device because you don't own any. You pay in cash. You are 'not' surveilled. Your friend is surveilled. She has a phone and lives typically. The bill has two coffees. A data point is created about you. Scale up to trillions data points and this reflective data gathering spreads like COVID. This isn't benign information either such as your preferred coffee order. The difference between data 'person favours this political party' and metadata 'person looked at a website for this many seconds, liked these posts, walks at this pace or was at such and such location' is merely a mathematical function of utility. With enough data one can be translated to the other and monetized. When placed into a market outcomes like 'engagement' are really euphemisms for inputs that you may consider private like your sexual and reproductive history, your love and spiritual beliefs or who you voted for. Like Climate Change there's no individual 'opt out'. Unlike Climate Change, there are relatively near term solutions.
Surfrank Los Angeles Jan. 30 Times Pick
Had a nice dinner with my daughter and nephew. We used Siri to get to the restaurant. My iphone was on the table while we talked. What came up in conversation was carpet cleaning; something I don't recall e-mailing or texting about. (My place then had hardwood floors) Next day; boom, e-mails and ads from carpet cleaning places all over my e-mail, phone, texts. So does the internet just snag the info you voluntarily give to them? Or connect to companies when you mention something in an a-mail or text? It's worse. Siri actually listens to you while you're chatting over dinner. Try what I've described. Pick a topic you haven't communicated about recently.
Byron Chapin Chattanooga Jan. 30 Times Pick
I've got to confess that I gave up on this about page three. It strikes me as paranoid; 2+2=6, maybe seven. These titians of the internet need to get way better before they are as dangerous as portrayed. It causes me to think of 'how close we are to driverless cars' - no we aren't.
markd michigan Jan. 30 Times Pick
If you don't care about privacy (which many don't) then the digital world is an Eden. People voluntarily post intimate details of their lives willingly. You have to really work at it to have any privacy today. It can be done though. The US needs to take a harder stance towards internet privacy like the EU. Any service that operates in the US needs an opt out clause in their user agreements towards sharing any of their personal information. Most people would just click on the "I Agree to Share" but the people who care about their privacy will opt out.
HB nyc Jan. 30 Times Pick
As an internet executive who has been in the game from the very beginning (1995 and onward), I am still dumbfounded that the overwhelming majority of Google search users have no idea that when they search for a product or a store, for example, the results are not democratically revealed. Using fashion as an example, Google's business model has stores and brands bid on keyword search terms, like "fine lingerie," or "red pumps," or "blue silk robe," to name a few of the billions of search terms.

The stores or brands that bid highest most often appear at the top of the list. As well, above those results sit paid ads, though again, most users do not know those ads are actually ads, as they consider them to be legitimate results.

Over the years, I've read many a user survey on Google search, and still--as savvy as we believe we have become in the online space--most users believe the results at the top of the list must be the best results out there. Talk about a rigged system. Sadly and frighteningly, most of us do not know, or probably even care, that it is.

drollere sebastopol Jan. 30 Times Pick
i've been an admirer of dr. zuboff's take on technology for many years. but it's useful to reverse this analysis and consider it from the corporate side: surveillance economies of scale and AI insights of prediction that allow a herd animal, us, to be more profitably managed and the profit more efficiently extracted.

it's important to see that surveillance fundamentally benefits command and control capabilities: china uses it to command obedience; corporations use it to control profit extraction, and to guide your car GPS. we do not mind that we are being commanded and controlled because this brings us home delivery, voice control systems, GPS navigation, targeted ads, on demand media, vast connectivity and personal media bubbles. these make us feel unique and almost godlike ... Alexa, dim the lights! ... like the hundreds of millions of other herd animals living the same delusion. if we were paid for our data use, we would just become aware of its use. this is a defect in a system designed to make you feel unique and special. that's the kink: at bottom, you like being surveilled and controlled.

you like the commercial and recreational benefits this brings. you don't care who uses what, provided you get all the consumer satisfaction and none of the dark web blowback. i'm not optimistic about "unprecedented solutions." there is no imminent stampede of the herd to get out of the corral. we like it in here.

Rob Philadelphia Jan. 29 Times Pick
My life has gotten better since I deleted Facebook a few years ago. I get fewer updates from high school acquaintances, but my real friendships have continued just the same, and my professional life has improved (since I have one fewer distraction). My anxiety level is also lower. Of course the news over the past year has been a major source of anxiety, but it would have been worse if I'd spent 2020 doom-scrolling on Facebook. I think a lot of people's lives would be better if a lot of people got off social media...for these reasons as well as the important issues this essay addresses.
PlanetSilence Salt Lake City Jan. 29 Times Pick
I'm 100% behind the "surveillance society" as long as corporations and lawmakers are surveilled. But when an Assange or a Snowden proves that the NSA and CIA are criminal enterprises...the dishonest politicians hide behind the Espionage Act to quash the facts.
Until Next Week Park Avenue Jan. 29 Times Pick
Right from the beginning I knew this Internet and social media revolution was dubious Right from the start, I tried never to use my real name on SM or in email addresses...But they figured it out...It's been creepy from day one... Let's regain our old-fashioned anonymity!

[Feb 02, 2021] Would You Be Considered A Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill by Robert Wheeler

Notable quotes:
"... "It's so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don't have to guess about where this goes or how this ends," Gabbard said. ..."
"... She continued: "When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he's spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they've seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians." ..."
"... "What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this" ..."
"... "You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally, " Gabbard said. ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Wheeler via The Organic Prepper blog,

After 9/11, the entire country collectively lost its mind in the throes of fear. During that time, all civil and Constitutional rights were shredded and replaced with the pages of The USA PATRIOT Act .

Almost 20 years later, the U.S. has again lost its collective mind, this time in fear of a "virus" and it's "super mutations" and a "riot" at the capitol. A lot of people called this and to the surprise of very few, much like after 9/11, Americans are watching what remains of their civil liberties be replaced with a new bill.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

The DTPA is essentially the criminalization of speech, expression, and thought . It takes cancel culture a step further and all but outlaws unpopular opinions . This act will empower intelligence, law enforcement, and even military wings of the American ruling class to crack down on individuals adhering to certain belief systems and ideologies.

According to MI Congressman Fred Upton:

"The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it," Upton said. "The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

Congressman Upton's website gives the following information on DTPA:

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government's efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint, biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.

DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Those who read the bill aren't so gung ho to shred the Constitution

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has some serious reservations. In a recent interview on Fox News Primetime, Gabbard stated that the bill effectively criminalizes half of the country. (Emphasis ours)

"It's so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don't have to guess about where this goes or how this ends," Gabbard said.

She continued: "When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he's spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they've seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians."

Gabbard, stating her concern about how the government will define what qualities they are searching for in potential threats to the country, went on to ask:

"What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this"

Tulsi said the bill would create a dangerous undermining of our civil liberties and freedoms in our Constitution. She also stated the DPTA essentially targets nearly half of the United States.

"You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally, " Gabbard said.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the only one to criticize the legislation

Even the ACLU , one of the weakest organizations on civil liberties in the United States, has spoken out. While the ACLU was only concerned with how the bill would affect minorities or "brown people," the organization stated that the legislation, while set forth under the guise of countering white supremacy, would eventually be used against non-white people.

The ACLU's statement is true.

As with similar bills submitted under the guise of "protecting" Americans against outside threats, this bill will inevitably expand further. The stated goals of the DPTA are far-reaching and frightening enough. It would amount to an official declaration of the end to Free Speech.

Soon there will be no rights left for Americans

In the last twenty years, Americans have lost their 4th Amendment rights, and now they are losing their 1st. All that remains is the 2nd Amendment , and both the ruling class and increasing numbers of the American people know it.

Dark days are ahead.

[Jan 29, 2021] Industrial capitalism's resistance to this international pressure is necessarily nationalist, because it needs state subsidy and laws to tax and regulate the FIRE sector

Jan 29, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 29 2021 17:18 utc | 23

The acronym ought to be ISUS or USIS. Of course, al-Tanf is a terrorist base, the terrorists primarily being forces of the Outlaw US Empire and its main accomplice. Accepting that as fact, we must then determine WHY? What is the overall aim? If Hudson's correct about the overall geopolitical aims of the Parasitical Neoliberal Fascists running the Outlaw US Empire and its NATO vassals, then we've known the answer for quite awhile. The following is what Hudson has distilled it to:

"All economic systems seek to internationalize themselves and extend their rule throughout the world. Today's revived Cold War should be understood as a fight between what kind of economic system the world will have . Finance capitalism is fighting against nations that restrict its intrusive dynamics and sponsorship of privatization and dismantling of public regulatory power . Unlike industrial capitalism, the rentier aim is not to become a more productive economy by producing goods and selling them at a lower cost than competitors. Finance capitalism's dynamics are globalist, seeking to use international organizations (the IMF, NATO, the World Bank and U.S.-designed trade and investment sanctions) to overrule national governments that are not controlled by the rentier classes . The aim is to make all economies into finance-capitalist layers of hereditary privilege, imposing anti-labor austerity policies to squeeze a dollarized surplus .

" Industrial capitalism's resistance to this international pressure is necessarily nationalist , because it needs state subsidy and laws to tax and regulate the FIRE sector . But it is losing the fight to finance capitalism, which is turning to be its nemesis just as industrial capitalism was the nemesis of post-feudal landlordship and predatory banking. Industrial capitalism requires state subsidy and infrastructure investment, along with regulatory and taxing power to check the incursion of finance capital . The resulting global conflict is between socialism (the natural evolution of industrial capitalism) and a pro-rentier fascism, a state-finance-capitalist reaction against socialism's mobilization of state power to roll back the post-feudal rentier interests ." [My Emphasis]

The situation in Syria and Iraq represent the kinetic edge of what's mostly a Cold War globally. It's noted that some of the Parasitical organizations have powers equal to some nation-states and that the main underlying aim is the weakening of governments's abilities to regulate them. The pandemic has weakened a great many nations while the Parasites have grown stronger as they get massive transfusions from the Fed. Thus it seems very plausible that given their motive, the Parasites spawned the pandemic, not this or that government. We watched as those forces operated independently of Trump by disobeying his orders, and now we have further understanding of why the so-called Forever Wars. We can also understand the real motive for 911 was the destruction of evidence at Building 7 and the Pentagon that would've gravely injured the Parasites while also providing a covering reason for launching the Forever Wars. IMO, the only way the Outlaw US Empire will leave the areas it occupies is if its physically ousted--Korea, Japan, Europe, Afghanistan, Southwest Asia. It ought to be possible to now see how Full Spectrum Domination can be obtained without a military conflict, as well as the real reasons behind the demonization of China and Russia.

Both Putin and Xi told Davos and the Parasites that they're committed to their development path which is completely at odds with what the Parasites desire. IMO, the global masses would agree with both and join them if they knew what they said. We can also see why the attack on the Ummah, which is the Islamic global collective that adheres to the values that promote the collective, not the Parasites that would feed on it. And we just witnessed how the Parasites are able to quickly counter any concerted effort to disciple them, which also served the purpose of outing Big Tech as an enemy of the collective. Cold War or Class War? The difference between them is close to indistinguishable.

snake , Jan 29 2021 13:52 utc | 12

How can a U.S. citizen even respond? U.S. Intel agency secrets. CENTCOM's treason, the nation's complicity in another eternal war for Israel. It's just too sad to comment about. Maybe voting and the law will fix this mess.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 29 2021 11:31 utc | 2

I think maybe its time to rethink is it actually the nation state of Israel, OR is it that the Nation State of Israel is the same as the Nation State of the USA, a warrior, pawn and get it done group that both holds captive its citizens by rule of law and that serves the will and wishes of the Oligarch..

Oligarchary has gone global. They are in control of the top of nearly all governments and they privately own (92% owned by just 6 entities) the media (the ninth tier in the 9 tier model) At the top and at the bottom they have what it takes to keep divided the populations so the deplorable cannot effectively organize. Until someone comes up with a way to overcome the divided nation,nothing effective is likely to surface. Nation states are the pawns, the war machine (leg breakers) that keep the Oligarch familes wealthy.. forget the nation state as the center of power, the nation state is not, the center of power is invisible, the nation state is just the war machine, and law making machine and the wealth extraction machine the oligarch depend on to keep their wealth and to deny the deplorable their chance at the good life.

One of the biggest challenges to democracy lay in the copyright and patent monopolies. these monopolies are creatures of the rule of law, without law there can be no privately owned monopolies. as of Oct 1, it is reported that 90% of the balance sheets of the traded companies is either patents or copyrights. that only leaves 10% for physical assets. Rule of law, without effective input from those who are the governed, is the enemy of the deplorable and the supression of Democracy, Independence of mind, thought and deed.

If you removed the laws that enable copyright and patents, overnight some mighty big corporate enterprises would be broke.

[Jan 29, 2021] Speaking about rich families who own the world. There is one unique feature of german oligarchy, they don't change.

Jan 29, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

rico , Jan 29 2021 19:24 utc | 32

Speaking about rich families who own the world. There is one unique feature of german oligarchy, they don't change. More than half of the hundred richest families now have already been rich before ww1. They made the crazy history of last century possible. Please just go for a second in the perspective they have.

[Jan 29, 2021] No one's above the law- FBI lawyer who altered evidence to enable spying on Trump gets PROBATION instead of jail -- RT USA New

Jan 29, 2021 | www.rt.com

29 Jan, 2021 18:47 / Updated 6 hours ago Get short URL No one's above the law? FBI lawyer who altered evidence to enable spying on Trump gets PROBATION instead of jail Kevin Clinesmith is the FBI lawyer who altered evidence to secure a FISA warrant for spying on Carter Page (December 7, 2018 file photo). © REUTERS/Yuri Gripas 152 Follow RT on RT The only FBI official charged in the improper use of FISA warrants to spy on President Donald Trump via campaign aide Carter Page got a slap on the wrist. Kevin Clinesmith's sentence was a year of probation, and community service.

Clinesmith worked at the FBI General Counsel's Office (GCO) and was assigned to Crossfire Hurricane, the probe of Trump's alleged ties with Russia during the 2016 election. In that capacity, he altered an email from the CIA that described Page as a source for the spy agency, to say he was "not" a source – enabling the FBI to request a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Page as a "Russian agent" – and, through him, spy on the Trump campaign, transition and presidency.

ALSO ON RT.COM Trump declassifies 'binder of materials' related to Russiagate probe, but caves to FBI & keeps saucy bits secret

On Friday, federal judge James Boasberg – who also sits on the FISA court – sentenced Clinesmith to 12 months' probation, 400 hours of community service, and a $100 fine.

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Boasberg was reportedly swayed by Clinesmith's insistence that he'd acted in good faith and that his wife has a baby on the way, while shrugging-off Page's testimony that his life had been ruined as the result of false claims he was a "Russian agent."

The Republicans sitting on the House Judiciary Committee called the sentence "insanity" and "outrageous."

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Led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California), the Judiciary GOP first exposed the FISA abuse and published a memo about it in February 2018, revealing that the FBI had relied on the "Steele Dossier" – a collection of spurious claims compiled by a British spy and paid-for by Hillary Clinton's campaign – in the initial spying request.

Others pointed out that Clinesmith's transgression was far greater than almost anyone who ended up going to jail as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' probe. Campaign aide George Papadopoulos spent two weeks in jail for allegedly lying to the FBI – the same process crime Clinesmith pled guilty to last August – and General Michael Flynn spent four years trying to beat the same charge.

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Clinesmith is also the only FBI official to face any scrutiny over the bureau's handling of Crossfire Hurricane. Former director James Comey, his deputy Andy McCabe, lead agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page – all of whom were involved in the probe – have landed lucrative book contracts or cable news jobs, or become heroes of the Democrat "resistance" instead.

ALSO ON RT.COM Twitter influencer Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, arrested for allegedly tricking Clinton backers to lose their votes in 2016

The lenient sentence for a FBI lawyer altering evidence was seen as especially egregious, as, earlier this week, a Trump supporter going by the handle 'Ricky Vaughn' on Twitter was arrested and charged by the Biden administration for "conspiracy to deprive people of their voting rights" by posting memes that allegedly misled Clinton voters in 2016.

"The entire game is rigged," said Federalist editor Sean Davis. "The rule of law is dead."

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"As outrageous as this is, it's also useful. It's in our faces now," wrote lawyer and filmmaker Mike Cernovich. "When they come for more Trump supporters Remember today."

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Democrats, who spent the past four years insisting that "no one is above the law" and that Trump must be investigated for an array of suspected crimes, did not comment.

ALSO ON RT.COM Pro-Trump 'WalkAway' campaign founder Brandon Straka arrested by FBI on federal charges linked to Capitol riot

[Jan 29, 2021] The phenomenon of Donald Trump the villain President has been used as an excuse to destroy free speech and shoe horn in authoritarian policies\

Due to the immense power of propaganda, normal people who should identify politically as the "left" are actually supporting these dangerous policies and the erosions of liberty are accelerating in direct proportion to the level of resistance, such as r/Wallstreetbets and the immediate crackdown across several platforms to stop them.
Jan 29, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Rutherford82 , Jan 28 2021 18:40 utc | 5

I've seen an extraordinary erosion of rights and liberties over the past few years. It really started with the cover up after the Trump election, which sought to steer the narrative of public opinion away from the failure of the Clintons and the Democratic machine with obvious fantastic lies about Russia.

For a myriad of reasons probably understood best by likes of Freud, Jüng, and others, everyone on the left (who are supposed to be the smart and rational ones in society) bought these lies and repeated them.

Once this was allowed to happen, once Maddow was allowed to lead the vanguard of libel with no recourse, the snowball began to roll and now we are seeing the enforcement of that thought-policing, which is as unconstitutional as the libel itself, especially considering it is being perpetrated ubiquitously among media owners.

The phenomenon of Donald Trump the villain President has been used as an excuse to destroy free speech and shoe horn in authoritarian policies. Due to the immense power of propaganda, normal people who should identify politically as the "left" are actually supporting these dangerous policies and the erosions of liberty are accelerating in direct proportion to the level of resistance, such as r/Wallstreetbets and the immediate crackdown across several platforms to stop them.

This Wall St. favoritism is obvious, but will likely end without bankers taking much damage besides some short term outrage. They still control all the levers of currency and trade no matter the President.

The real dangers of the day are the clamping down on speech. Starting with imprisoning Julian Assange and then migrating to various corners of the Internet. I'll be very interested to see how things shake out with the stock market, but I imagine it will go back to the firm grip of those who control the money supply, which it was for a very long time.

In the meantime, shutting down the Reddit forums and Discord servers is a very serious danger and I hope we can shine a light on it.

[Jan 28, 2021] 'Where is the line between global business attempts to control society-' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech

Jan 28, 2021 | www.rt.com

'Where is the line between global business & attempts to control society?' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech 27 Jan, 2021 12:10 / Updated 3 hours ago Get short URL 'Where is the line between global business & attempts to control society?' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech © Pixabay / Gerd Altmann 354 18 Follow RT on RT Technology giants have become powerful rivals to governments, but there are doubts over the benefits for society of their monopoly positions, Russia's President Vladimir Putin told the annual World Economic Forum, on Wednesday .

"Where is the line between a successful global business, in-demand services and consolidation of big data – and attempts to harshly and unilaterally govern society, replace legitimate democratic institutions, restrict one's natural right to decide for themselves how to live, what to choose, what stance to express freely?" Putin wondered.

"We've all seen this just now in the US. And everybody understands what I'm talking about," he added.

The Russian leader was apparently referring to the crackdown by Big Tech corporations like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, mostly on Donald Trump and his supporters, during the recent presidential election in the US. The companies, which, according to some critics, sided with Democratic candidate Joe Biden, blocked President Trump's social media accounts over accusations of inciting violence, with the same being done to many pages of groups and individuals who'd backed him.

ALSO ON RT.COM YouTube prolongs Trump suspension citing 'ongoing potential for violence' as Big Tech doubles down on deplatforming policies

However, one-sided bias claim voiced by some might be an overestimation – the accounts of Democrats supporters were also subject to restrictions, but on a much smaller scale.

Conservative Twitter-like platform Parler was also forced offline, and now there are calls to block the Telegram app as well.

These events have shown that Big Tech companies "in some areas have de facto become rivals to the government," Putin said.

Billions of users spend large parts of their lives on the platforms and, from the point of view of those companies, their monopolistic position is favorable for organizing economic and technological processes, the Russian president explained. "But there's a question of how such monopolism fits the interest of society," he stressed.

ALSO ON RT.COM Putin tells Davos that divided modern world facing 'real breakdown', with demographic struggles & echoes of 1930s pre-WW2 tensions

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shadow1369 8 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 07:51 AM

This is a great opportunity for Russia to create some Big Tech operators which actually allow free speech. Russia certainly has the expertise and the means, and cannot be bullied by western regimes.
Proton1963 shadow1369 1 hour ago 27 Jan, 2021 02:54 PM
Sure.. But only after the Russians can build a drivable car or a decent smart phone or a laptop.
Election_Fraud Biden shadow1369 1 hour ago 27 Jan, 2021 02:12 PM
The West is surely giving Russia a lot of opportunities, through its own arrogance and stupidity, does not it ? It keeps going backwards in its effort to diminish Russia. And the same goes for China too.
JOHNCHUCKMAN 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 08:45 AM
Putin is a remarkable statesman, and he sets a very high standard for political discourse. I can't think of any of our Western leaders who speak in these truthful and philosophic terms. What we hear in the West are slogans or whining or complaining.
Tenakakhan JOHNCHUCKMAN 3 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 01:03 PM
The patriarch of the west has become extremely weak. It seems like our leaders lack any moral authority to speak truth and common sense for fear of being cancelled. What we see now is the virtue signaling dregs sponsored by extreme groups leading our nations down the toilet. If a real war was to break out now we would be cannon fodder.
Hilarous 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 09:04 AM
I think there's a simple explanation. Big tech is afraid to lose section 230 of the communications act, which stipulates that online platforms are not legally responsible for user content. Trump and some Republicans have accused social media sites of muzzling conservative voices. They said undoing Section 230 would let people who claim they have been slighted sue the companies. So Big Tech has a strong interest to remove Trump and run down a few bad examples to convince people and politics that Section 230 must remain.
Count_Cash 8 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 07:40 AM
In many cases they aren't rivals, but owners of government. Money controls everything in the west and big tech have it. They have taken control of, or are blackmailing governments. The Western Liberal Regime straddles both Big Tech and government!
RTaccount Count_Cash 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 08:57 AM
Correct. Let us never forget that in America we are ruled by oligarchs just like the rest of the world, and that our oligarchs are largely hidden. They are our true government, and so it is meaningless to make this type of distinction.

[Jan 28, 2021] Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Jan 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:18 am

It's part & parcel here especially from DUP types who sometimes appear to be living in a fantasy world – Shinners not so much but I imagine that SF dissidents have similar extreme positions & all of this comes from some intelligent & professional people not just the malleable mobs. Meanwhile there is a turf war for the gangster versions of both UVF & UDA hitting the streets in Belfast.

I recall a few years back reading an account from a British Army general who was familiar with both Northern Ireland & the former Yugoslavia before they blew up, who in both instances was shocked by how people who had for the most part lived happily side by side within a relatively short space of time became sworn enemies. All of that had a religious background with the latter including ethnicity, but to him both sides in both cases spiraled down through negative reactions into extremes, becoming in the end each others sworn enemies.

Politics & Class have I believe caused the same fractures & after all the successful & presumably intelligent PMC also have their deplorable others that are largely a construction based on generalisations & stereotypes, while sadly peace & reconciliation efforts as far as I can tell always appear to arrive as an epilogue to a very bad book.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 8:33 am

Yugoslavia definitely didn't live happily side by side. Its tensions were hidden under Tito, but existed before (cf WW2 Croats vs Serbs, as most visible example), and blew up after, to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet. It might have given a semblance of "happines", but it wasn't really there.

Can't comment on NI.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:11 am

I was only in Yugoslavia once for about a week in 1982, and you could see what a mess it was in the making. I'm used to Europeans drinking, but Belgrade made em' look like teetotalers. Add in age old tensions and kaboom!

One of the biggest hyperinflationary episodes came out of their civil war, only to be eclipsed in the numbers game by Zimbabwe after the turn of the century.

The Rev Kev , January 27, 2021 at 9:46 am

I was going through Yugoslavia by train in 1981 and the one thing that struck me looking out the windows was flags. You had Yugoslavian flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish. It was only years later that I wondered if the point of those flags was to encourage the different groups to think of themselves as Yugoslavians first and foremost.

Robert Gray , January 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm

> flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish.

Erm that sounds just like the US of A.

a different chris , January 27, 2021 at 9:21 am

> to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet.

But this seems to excuse the fighting? If everybody was "suppressed" then why did they kick sideways, rather than up? As I think I said once before, my friend from Serbia would say "I'd be on "my" side of the street and "they" would be shooting at me, and then I'd cross the street and "my" people would be shooting at me".

He, like so many nowadays, came to the US not because this was some beacon of hope but because where he lived, a place he loved for many reasons, was that messed up.

Reading Wikipedia I come across this tiresome sentence: "The Croat quest for independence led to large Serb communities within Croatia rebelling and trying to secede from the Croat republic. Serbs in Croatia would not accept a status of a national minority in a sovereign Croatia, since they would be demoted from the status of a constituent nation of the entirety of Yugoslavia."

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species? It's as bad as the Reconstruction South, but per my example above people didn't even have different colored skin, heck they were physically indistinguishable. They just wanted something they themselves couldn't even describe without foaming at the mouth.

To be considered above somebody else by birth was what it really was.

Oh, and another head-banging quote: "the "Croatian Spring" protest in the 1970s was backed by large numbers of Croats who claimed that Yugoslavia remained a Serb hegemony and demanded that Serbia's powers be reduced .Tito, whose home republic was Croatia,"

An iron-fisted dictator runs the country, he is from Croatia, yet the country is considered by Croatians to be "Serb hegemony". Ok whatever, hey it does make more sense than following a normal-height dark-haired dark-eyed man because he says that tall blond-haired blue eyed people are superior. And that was a short-by-American-standards drive away

We can give the globe a spin and find the same idiocy in Asia, where "they all look alike" to western eyes but oh boy they slaughter each other just as regularly as we do.

Ok I'm done ranting. What a plague on the planet this species is.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

Kicking sideways (or downwards) is always easier than kicking upwards, especially if people were doing it for years.

Otherwise, you're just accentuating my point – and I agree with you. It was incredible watching people in pub who were getting on very well until one of them asked where the other was from, and that has changed the whole atmosphere.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:59 am

My cousin from Prague came to America in the late 90's to live on a genuine ranch for a spell and go on a long roadtrip in search of

So he gets pulled over for speeding in a red state and gives the officer his Czech drivers license, and he told me the officer went into a harangue over all the ethnic cleansing that was going on in his country, and how sorry he was about it, and let him off.

Cousin was torn between telling the copper, nah that's a few countries over, but went for the victim card instead.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 11:23 am

Hah, do you know the Western press brain-melt induced by having Slovakia and Slovenia (which, moreover have very similar flags..) in the same World Cup (soccer) 2022 qualification group?

ex-PFC Chuck , January 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species?

Not different species, but different religions; Roman and Orthodox Catholicism, respectively. Think German-speaking Europe during the Thirty Years War.

km , January 27, 2021 at 1:33 pm

The irony of course is that, in 1992, Croats for the most part didn't go to mass, Serbs did go to Liturgy, and Bosniak Muslims thought beer went well with their pork chops.

Think of it not as a religious war, but a re-hash of WWII.

jsn , January 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Karl Von Hapsburg and the Pope were both involved in prying the Catholic portions loose from the Yugoslav federation and bringing them back into the Mont Pelerin orbit of the former Habsburg empire.

The Orthodox regions have been left to the Russians with black markets to everyone's benefit and the Bosnians given the standard settler/colonial treatment of designated "races."

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Vlade – perhaps I should not have used the word happily but basically neighbours were not killing each other as was also mainly the case in NI, although there were tensions gradually building up in tandem with the Civil Rights movement based on the MLK. model.

I don't know what the tipping point was in the Balkans, but in NI it was the treatment received by the marchers & the likes of the Bogside at the hands of the B specials & RUC in Derry which gradually spread elsewhere in mass battles between mobs from both sides & the above armed cops. All of this capped off in 72 by the Provos most successful recruiting campaign courtesy of the Parachute regiment on Bloody Sunday, while about that time around 10,000 Catholic refugees crossed into the Republic.

PlutoniumKun , January 27, 2021 at 12:02 pm

If the General thought that people in NI lived happily side by side before the Troubles, then he was sorely misinformed. Tensions were always very strong, although not just religious ones. In Dublin growing up I had neighbours who were Belfast protestants but had been driving out of Belfast because their grandfather was involved in a shipyard trade union and that was sufficient for him to have been labeled as a communist and Taig lover.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Yes happily was the wrong word but in the North outside of the cities there was mixing & occasionally mixed marriages.

You are very correct in relation to the troubles in the shipyards, which I read a few books about in prep for a statue. Funny thing is that during my 2 stints at the Titanic studios for GoT I was informed by the top man that many of the tradesmen were ex paramilitaries from both sides who managed to work well together for a decade, but in separate teams. That was also tjhe case during the yearly Wraps where they all took full advantage of the free bars but besides a few scuffles, there was never any real trouble.

A lot of the work would have been carried out in the original paint hall.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Oooh.. Reminds me of E.T. Setton's Two Savages and the difference between "Emmy Grants" and "Passengers"..

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:58 pm

You have lost me there Vlade ( If you were indeed commenting on my post ) as I don't know the book, but you have reminded me of one very violent incident on location in Spain between 2 Catholics in a bar. It was due to one of them being a member of another group of savages that plagued Belfast as the other 2 wound down.

They were called the Hoodies who were part of the huge crime wave that hit Belfast as a consequence of the Troubles. It was cleaned up in Catholic areas over about 7 years under the command of Bobby Storey.

[Jan 27, 2021] Blinken rose to become deputy Secretary of State in the final years of the second Obama administration. In those roles he was a key player in a series of foreign interventions including Libya and Syria which turned out to be utterly disastrous

Jan 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 26 2021 18:47 utc | 17

Looks like continuity will be the rule with Blinken now confirmed as Sec of State if Finian Cunningham's assessment is correct :

"Blinken has said that America's foreign policy must be conducted with 'humility and confidence', which may sound refreshingly modest. But it's not. Underlying this 'quiet American' is the same old arrogance about U.S. imperial might-is-right and Washington's presumed privilege of appointing itself as the 'world's policeman'.

"If Blinken's record is anything to go on, his future role as America's top diplomat is foreboding.

"Previously, he was a senior member in the Obama administrations serving as national security advisor to both the president and Joe Biden who was then vice-president. Blinken rose to become deputy Secretary of State in the final years of the second Obama administration. In those roles he was a key player in a series of foreign interventions which turned out to be utterly disastrous."

The once upon a time manufactured aura of Virtue projected by the Outlaw US Empire that was swallowed by so many naïve nations has vanished with nothing other than its stark ugliness as a replacement. Refusal to see that reality is what Xi just referred to again as "arrogance" which puts Blinken into the same ideological camp as Pompeo. As Global Times notes , if the Outlaw US Empire's attitude's not going to change, than why should China's as Pompeo's constant lying is replaced by Psaki's:

"When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question Monday about US-China relations, she said that 'China is growing more authoritarian at home and more assertive abroad,' adding that China 'is engaged in conduct that hurts American workers, blunts [US] technological edge, and threatens [US] alliances and [US] influence in international organizations.' She also noted that Washington is 'starting from an approach of patience as it relates to [its] relationship with China.'"

The editor's response to such inanity:

"Psaki's statement shows that the Biden administration's view and characterization of China is virtually identical to those of the Trump administration. Psaki stressed that 'We're in a serious competition with China. Strategic competition with China is a defining feature of the 21st century,' reflecting that the Biden administration only cares about a "new approach" to holding China accountable."

And Psaki's words are the same as Blinken's, which were the same as Pompeo's and Trump's. In other words, the hole digging by the Outlaw US Empire in its relations with the rest of the world will continue, which will cause further deterioration of its domestic Great Depression 2.0. Yesterday I posted a comment that highlighted Putin's expounding on the further enhancement of the educational component of Russia's Social Contract that is impossible for Navalny's backers to match. On the previous thread, a good comparison was made between the Yeltsin years and the ongoing drowning of the Outlaw US Empire. The Reset that's in the works isn't the one envisioned by Global Neoliberals like Klaus Schwab of the WEF/Davos crew. It's what Xi spoke of yesterday that I commented upon and Escobar reported on today. The Winds of Change are blowing again, but there's a gaping hole in the USA's wind sock so it can't see in which direction it's blowing.


james , Jan 26 2021 18:52 utc | 18

blinken is bad news.. i think that is very obvious from a superficial read on him.. the usa can't get out of the ditch it has made for itself.. nothing is gonna change...
michaelj72 , Jan 27 2021 0:51 utc | 89


'liberal interventionism' has always been the hallmark of the US Liberal Class and its foreign policy Establishment, especially since at least Wilson's jumping into WWI.

Has the US ever not intervened in Latin America whenever it felt like it or thought its "interests" were at stake?

I think Caitlan J. has a good grasp on what to expect from the Biden war mongering crowd that has recently moved into DC once again:

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/01/24/what-bidens-warmongering-will-actually-look-like/

"....Trump's base has been forcefully pushing the narrative that the previous president didn't start any new wars, which while technically true ignores his murderous actions like vetoing the bill to save Yemen from U.S.-backed genocide and actively blocking aid to its people, murdering untold tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, rolling out many world-threatening Cold War escalations against Russia, engaging in insane brinkmanship with Iran, greatly increasing the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians, and reducing military accountability for those airstrikes....

....Rather than a throwback to "new wars" and the old-school ground invasions of the Bush era, the warmongering we'll be seeing from the Biden administration is more likely to look like this. More starvation sanctions. More proxy conflicts. More cold war. More coups. More special ops. More drone strikes. More slow motion strangulation, less ham-fisted overt warfare...."

---

Simply put, more small scale wars/ops mostly by proxy, more support for local wankers (like Guaido in Venezuela, who has incredibly little popular support), and more of these killing sanctions, which are especially pernicious to the civilian populations in vulnerable countries like Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Nicaragua and Venezuela, etc.

[Jan 27, 2021] Part of the reason the establishment ushered Trump into the race in 2016, apart from thinking that would guarantee Clinton a win, was the intention to socially/culturally marginalize the "Deplorables" and crush their morale when their "champion" was brutally humiliated by losing the election bigly

Notable quotes:
"... Blatantly frauding the election against Trump wasn't enough and they have to hold show trials and even label the "Deplorables" as terrorists to get back to where they expected to be after the election in 2016. This is why the establishment feels they have to go forward with the second impeachment, and it is why the public is being treated to the spectacle of hysterical, over-the-top hyperbole from the establishment mass media about the threat of imaginary white supremacists and Capitol building insurrectionists. ..."
"... If Trump WAS a "champion" of the right he would've mauled the establishment via prosecutions (that never came) and true 'America First' actions. Instead, we see Biden just picking up where Trump left off. ..."
Jan 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jan 26 2021 19:30 utc | 24

vinnieoh @14

Part of the reason the establishment ushered Trump into the race in 2016, apart from thinking that would guarantee Clinton a win, was the intention to socially/culturally marginalize the "Deplorables" and crush their morale when their "champion" was brutally humiliated by losing the election bigly. Though Trump winning against all expectations set back the establishment's plans for rolling out its more "inclusive" formulation of capitalist exploitation, they are now fully committed to picking up the pieces of their plans and trying to run with them as if the previous four years never happened.

The only difference in their plans is that Trump actually was president, so the establishment has to work much harder at shaming and humiliating the "Deplorables" into subjugation.

Blatantly frauding the election against Trump wasn't enough and they have to hold show trials and even label the "Deplorables" as terrorists to get back to where they expected to be after the election in 2016. This is why the establishment feels they have to go forward with the second impeachment, and it is why the public is being treated to the spectacle of hysterical, over-the-top hyperbole from the establishment mass media about the threat of imaginary white supremacists and Capitol building insurrectionists.

Of course the establishment's plans will not work any better now than they did in 2016, but it should be fun to watch them continue to cluelessly flounder about.

Jackrabbit , Jan 26 2021 20:51 utc | 42

William Gruff @Jan26 19:30 #24

Part of the reason the establishment ushered Trump into the race in 2016, apart from thinking that would guarantee Clinton a win ...

Firstly, "the establishment" is very broad. I think those who "select" the President is a much narrower group of power people and the interests they represent. If there's one thing that they have in common, it is this: their outlook is EMPIRE-FIRST, and the interests they represent benefit from the Empire.

The Presidency is the lynchpin of the Empire.

There's evidence that Hillary was meant to lose to Trump:

  1. as sheepdog, Bernie all but guaranteed that Hillary would win the Democratic nomination;
  2. Hillary, a seasoned campaigner made egregious "mistakes" that angered key voter groups - mistakes that no seasoned campaigner in a 'must win' campaign would do: she snubbed blacks (she was very cold to BLM); alienated progressives (bringing Debra Wasserman-Schultz into her campaign); and declared that non-progressive whites were "deplorables."

    In the closing weeks of the campaign, she also refused to campaign in the THREE STATES that SHE KNEW would decide the election.

  3. After Russia stood up to USA in Syria and Ukraine, Kissinger wrote a WSJ Op-Ed (August 2014) that all but called for MAGA! He argued for a return to America's global leadership/dominance. 10 months later Trump entered the race as the ONLY MAGA! candidate.
=
... was the intention to socially/culturally marginalize the "Deplorables" and crush their morale when their "champion" was brutally humiliated ...

But Trump was hardly a "champion" of the Tea Party Republicans in 2015-16. He was just a billionaire poser that was paying lip service to them. Many weren't sure they could trust him but he was sure as hell better than Hillary. The popular right's embrace of Trump mostly came after the election as propaganda from Qanon and others spun every action of Trump's as heroically fighting the good fight.

=
The only difference in their plans is that Trump actually was president ...

And therein lies the rub! If Trump WAS a "champion" of the right he would've mauled the establishment via prosecutions (that never came) and true 'America First' actions. Instead, we see Biden just picking up where Trump left off.

!!

[Jan 27, 2021] The Truth Behind Russia's Navalny Protests by Mark Episkopos

Jan 27, 2021 | nationalinterest.org

There is no singular "opposition" for Washington to support -- no unified alternative ideology, least of all one palatable to the West, to replace the current Russian state and institutions.

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[Jan 27, 2021] Jailed Kremlin foe Navalny being used by West to destabilise Russia- Putin ally - Reuters

Jan 27, 2021 | www.reuters.com

Jailed Kremlin foe Navalny being used by West to destabilise Russia: Putin ally

By Reuters Staff

3 MIN READ

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is being used by the West to try to destabilise Russia, a prominent hardliner and ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, saying he must be held to account for repeatedly breaking the law.

Slideshow ( 2 images )

Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days last week after returning from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning. He could face years in jail for parole violations and other legal cases he calls trumped up.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council, called for Navalny to face the full force of the law in comments that offered a glimpse into the mood inside Russia's security establishment after tens of thousands of Navalny's supporters protested against his jailing on Saturday.

"He (Navalny), this figure, has repeatedly (and) grossly broken Russian legislation, engaging in fraud concerning large amounts (of money). And as a citizen of Russia he must bear responsibility for his illegal activity in line with the law," Patrushev told the Argumenty i Fakty media outlet.

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"The West needs this figure to destabilise the situation in Russia, for social upheaval, strikes and new Maidans," Patrushev said, in a reference to the 2014 revolution in Ukraine that ousted a Moscow-backed president.

When asked about Patrushev's comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was up to a court to make further decisions in the opposition politician's case and that it was not a matter for the Kremlin.

Navalny faces a court hearing on Feb.2.

RELATED COVERAGE

G7 calls for peaceful Navalny protesters to be released by Russia

Police detained more than 3,700 people on Saturday as protesters called on the Kremlin to release Navalny. The Kremlin said the protests were illegal.

Peskov on Tuesday said there could be no dialogue with illegal protesters, accusing them of behaving aggressively and of using what he called unprecedented violence against the police.

He said incidences of police violence against protesters, some of which were captured on video, were far fewer and being investigated.

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In a sign that Russian authorities may crack down hard after the protests, the Kommersant newspaper on Tuesday cited unnamed security sources as saying they may open a criminal investigation that would treat the demonstrations as "mass unrest".

The West has called for Navalny's release, but the European Union has said it will refrain from fresh sanctions on Russian individuals if Moscow releases Navalny after 30 days.

[Jan 27, 2021] Kremlin urged to freeze payments from 'foreign agents' such as US state media outlets over claims they fund info war in Russi

Jan 27, 2021 | www.rt.com

News outlets and campaign groups that get cash from overseas could be prevented from spending money in Russia under proposals put forward by an influential Moscow think tank.

RT obtained a copy of the proposal, addressed to Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev on Wednesday. Developed by Anton Orlov, director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Politics, the draft regulations would effectively ban groups that are registered as "foreign agents" from making financial payments to individuals.

Orlov claims in his statement that one such organization has been demonstrated to have "organized unauthorized street political actions in Russian cities." He added: "At the same time, representatives of the organization disseminated information on social networks and in the media that they were ready to pay the fines of citizens received as a result of committing offenses at these events."

It is unclear how this would affect the ability of these groups to pay their staff in Russia.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'Register and keep working': Russia's 'foreign agents' law protects from outside meddling, doesn't infringe on anyone, Putin says

A number of organizations have been labeled as foreign agents under government rules, because they receive significant proportions of their funding from abroad, predominately from Western governments. Among them are US state-run media outlets Voice of America and RFE/RL, as well as the opposition-leaning Moscow-based Levada Center.

READ MORE Influential Russian senator Klimov accuses foreign spooks of helping to organize weekend protests in support of Navalny Influential Russian senator Klimov accuses foreign spooks of helping to organize weekend protests in support of Navalny

In March last year, President Vladimir Putin defended the law, comparing it to equivalent measures in the US and arguing that it "exists simply to protect Russia from external meddling in its politics."

"Nobody's rights are being infringed on here whatsoever. There is nothing that runs counter to international practice," he added.

One of the country's most senior parliamentarians, Senator Andrey Klimov, told Rossiya-1 news channel on Sunday that the street protests organized in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny last weekend had been orchestrated from outside the country. "The Senatorial Commission has reason to believe that all these activities are clearly traced to the actions of foreign states, and it is all happening with the assistance of foreign specialists," he told the broadcaster.

A number of organizations have been labeled as foreign agents under government rules, because they receive significant proportions of their funding from abroad, predominately from Western governments. Among them are US state-run media outlets Voice of America and RFE/RL, as well as the opposition-leaning Moscow-based Levada Center.

READ MORE Influential Russian senator Klimov accuses foreign spooks of helping to organize weekend protests in support of Navalny Influential Russian senator Klimov accuses foreign spooks of helping to organize weekend protests in support of Navalny

In March last year, President Vladimir Putin defended the law, comparing it to equivalent measures in the US and arguing that it "exists simply to protect Russia from external meddling in its politics."

"Nobody's rights are being infringed on here whatsoever. There is nothing that runs counter to international practice," he added.

One of the country's most senior parliamentarians, Senator Andrey Klimov, told Rossiya-1 news channel on Sunday that the street protests organized in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny last weekend had been orchestrated from outside the country. "The Senatorial Commission has reason to believe that all these activities are clearly traced to the actions of foreign states, and it is all happening with the assistance of foreign specialists," he told the broadcaster.

Dachaguy 3 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 09:57 AM

America used their weaponized dollar to fund mercenaries in Syria and we all saw the result of that. Russia has a duty to prevent that type of attack against Russia. America's Achilles' Heel is the US dollar, so cutting off its use by foreign agents to fund nefarious activities is a good place to start.
Count_Cash 3 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 10:44 AM
Not enough - its time to send the diplomatic note to western countries that Russia considers itself under attack by Western powers through an info war. Then it should close all foreign media and campaign groups over night. It cannot be the case that enemy spying posts and combatants are allowed on Russian soil during conflict!

[Jan 26, 2021] Well, the Entire Command Structure of the United States Air Force co-operated with False Flag 9/11

Jan 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

ImaBotKnot , says: January 25, 2021 at 6:51 pm GMT • 8.0 hours ago

@ben sampson r-Force-Senior-Leaders/

And for example until recently The Air Force member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was David Lee Goldfein who flew with his Israeli equivalent over Israel during Israeli military exercises.

He who lives by the drone dies by the drone? Also there is supposed involvement by certain Air Force resources in all the Chemtrail, High Altitude Aerial Spraying operations?

The entire command structure of the US Military has been subverted?

ImaBotKnot , says: January 25, 2021 at 8:06 pm GMT • 6.8 hours ago
@ImaBotKnot an intelligence/stress test 1. How stupid are the American People 2. How totally controlled is US Media 3. If the people of the US fall for this how many other lies can we get away with 4. If they accept the Patriot Act what other restrictions will they embrace 5. How corrupted is the US Military

The capital thing was our Ukrainian Maidan along with the