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Trump election time foreign policy platform

Trump was the only candidate who during his election campaign was against neoliberal globalization as well as against neoliberal wars for the expansion of US-led global neoliberal empire (but also only until he was elected)

During elections he looked like the best chance to prevent military confrontation with Russia in Syria and the risk of WWIII. After elections he looks quote opposite experiencing political metamorphose similar to Obama who became Bush II in foreign policy in just 100 days: another masterful "bait and switch maneuver"

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)

News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links  Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump adventurism in ME Trump betrayal of his foreign policy platform Trump Colin Powell moment
The Deep State Trump economic platform TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Blowback against neoliberal globalization Immigration and free movement of workers Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Nation under attack meme  American Exceptionalism  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Corporatist Corruption Predator state Neocons New American Militarism Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

Note: On April 6, 2016 Trump surrendered to neocons. Events after April 6, 2017 are discussed at Trump after his Colin Powell moment. The election image of Trump
(like in case of king of "bait and switch" Obama it proved to be false) -- he easily betrayed his election promises


Introduction

Note: this article was written long before the election as as such does not reflect subsequent events such as Trump attack on Syria.

Both choices in US Presidential election 2016 were dismal, but they are unequal in their gravity options. All this blabbering about Trump future appointment of "wrong" (aka reactionary) Supreme Court justices, slashing taxes for rich, elimination of inheritance tax,  and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist. Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite, especially neocons that infest Washington, DC, Obama administration (including Obama himself),   as well as "bloodthrusty" democrats like  Hillary (“no fly zone in Syria” is one example of her craziness). While formally neocons are aligned with Republican party, they feel at home at Democratic Party too as it became the second War Party in Washington. And war (cold or hot are OK, as long as neocons personally do not need to fight in the trenches and somebody else need to die in wars of neoliberal empire expansion) is all they want. Neocons are, in essence, MIC lobbyists. Playing chicken with a nuclear power for the sake of providing MIC with outside profits and maintaining the US global dominance is a crazy policy that exhausts country resources, and impoverish population, like previously was the case with British and Spanish empires.

Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. They completely appropriated formulation of the US foreign policy and dominate the State Department and Pentagon. In this sense Trump is a real outlier (or was, before he was elected). Simplified his foreign policy platform includes two simple and very attractive for the US population slogan, that are completely opposite to Washington official foreign policy doctrine, enforced by "deep state"

So the hissy fit the deep state displayed before December 19  (classic "Russians are under every bed" hysteria, supported by all neoliberal MSM, including WaPo, NYT, CNN, ABC, MSBNC, etc) was not about Russia, it was about the danger that the current neocon-driven foreign policy that was a hallmark of the US forign policy during the  last four administrations (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama) will be abandoned by Trump administration.

The fact the American people discarded  Hillary Clinton is encouraging. As a neocon warmonger she belongs to the dust bin of history. But as it  is not clear whether Trump is capable to deliver his key foreign policy promises/objectives, such a detente with Russia, and no new wars of neoliberal empire expansion. Deep state is way too strong for a single maverick, or even a group of like minded mavericks  change the US foreign policy. Even if they have unconditional support of US military (as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard demonstrated with her recent bill):

On December 8, 2016, Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act to prevent the U.S. government from sponsoring international terrorist groups through funding and the provision of armaments, intelligence, and training. The act was modeled on the Boland Amendment and was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America and the U.S. Peace Council.[107][108]

The chances are high that Trump he will be co-opted by Washington neocons and gradually will became Bush IV or Obama II.  That will be really unfortunate development.  In this chess game, Trump having weaker figures and position in labyrinth of power will need to find  new people ready to go and skillfully navigate around the neocon swamp and MIC land mines. The only countervailing force are US military, who are fighting all those neocon wars and who really hate neocon chickenhawks, and know their real price. Separately, Trump has suggested a new rules prohibiting lobbying for five years after service in his administration and total prohibition of being lobbyist of foreign states. That is really revolutionary  and this alone make Trump distinct from a typical Washington politicians. But those parasites will definitely fiercely resists such sensitive for their family budget change.

Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia. And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle voted for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush publicly declared such an intention. And the fact Hillary is a staunch neocon, and always was.  A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is a crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling. In foreign policy area she was John McCain in pantsuit. Here is one interesting quote ( nakedcapitalism.com )

“What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a ‘tough bitch’, ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times  revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. ”

But it looks that many people in the USA were able to understand that the choice in this particular case was between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.

Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state so while it is still strong aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such cases the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary. That means vote against Hillary.

Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states in the globe into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force, including drone based assassinations (The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy The American Conservative): 

Airstrikes and drone attacks are accidentally killing thousands of civilians, aid workers, wedding parties, and now even the troops of a nation against whom we are not at war. Each of these mistakes, repeated hundreds of times over the past 15 years, creates more antagonism and hatred of the United States than any other single event. Whatever tactical benefit some of the strikes do accomplish, they are consumed in the still-worsening strategic failure the misfires cause.

Bottom line: The use of military power since 2001 has:

These continued and deepening failures kill unknown numbers of innocent civilians each year, intensify and spread the hatred many have of America, and incrementally weaken our national security. But these military failures have another, less obvious but more troubling cost.

Official election platform

With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he wants to risk a war with it, Trump speaks more like a paleoconservative  then a neocon.  He is more reasonable as for US-Russian relation that bloodthirsty warmonger Hillary (which is an easy task because "this woman" wet kiss neocons all the time).

His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish  in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much about South Sea military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):

How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was  not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

  1. Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
  2. Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
  3. Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

Trump challenges after the election

This topic is covered in more details at Trump vs. Deep State

As professor  Andrew Levine wrote in Trouble Ahead With Trump and For Himon (CounterPunch, Nov 18, 2016).  

And his views on relations with Russia and China, regime change wars, and imperial overreach, as best they can be ascertained, are a lot wiser and less lethal than hers.  These are not so much left-right issues as matters of common sense.

Clinton’s overriding concern was and always has been to maintain and expand American world domination — in the face of economic decline, and at no matter what cost.  Trump wants, or says he wants, to do business with other countries in the way that he did with sleaze ball real estate moguls and network executives, people like himself.   He wants to make deals.

The Trump way is, as they say, “transactional.”  The idea is to wheel and deal on a case-by-case basis, with no further, non-pecuniary end in view.

... ... ...

Better that, though, than a foreign policy dedicated to keeping America the world’s hegemon. That is the foreign policy establishment’s aim; it is therefore Clinton’s too. It is the way of perpetual war. Trump’s way is far from ideal, but it is less wasteful, less onerous and less reckless.

During the campaign, Trump would sometimes speak out against banksters and financiers, especially the too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail kind. For some time, though, the “populist” billionaire has been signaling to his class brothers and sisters in the financial “industry” that he is more likely to deregulate than to regulate their machinations.

This will become even clearer once Trump settles on key Cabinet posts and on his economic advisors. It is already plain, though, that the modern day counterparts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “malefactors of great wealth” have little to fear; they and Trump are joined by indissoluble bonds of class-consciousness and solidarity.

Many of the rich and heinous were skeptical of Trump’s candidacy at first; because he is such a loose cannon. But now that he has won, the bastards are sucking up; and glee is returning to Wall Street.

Trump is now starting too to allay the fears of the movers and shakers of the National Security State. He still has a way to go, however. We can therefore still hope that they are right to worry. What is bad for them is good for the country.

Clinton’s defeat also seems to have unnerved their counterparts in European capitals, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in Japan, South Korea and other countries where the presence of the American military has been very very good for the few at the top, and disastrous for ordinary people.

If he means it, then more power to him. The United States and the rest of the world would be well rid of the American dominated military alliances now in place; NATO most of all. However, having talked with him, Obama is now telling the Europeans that Trump is fine with NATO. Time will tell.

Then there is Israel. Trump thinks that the blank check the ethnocratic settler state already gets from the United States isn’t nearly enough. So much for allies paying their own way!

However, even if Trump leaves America’s perpetual war regime and its military alliances intact, some good could come just from him being at the helm – not so much because, as a wheeler and dealer, he would be less inclined actually to start wars than has become the norm, but because he is vile enough, and enough of an embarrassment, to undermine America’s prestige, hastening the day when the hegemon is a hegemon no more.

This would be good for most Americans, and good for the world.

The election he won has already done a lot to explode the idea, more widely believed at home than abroad, that American “democracy” is somehow a model for the world.

Trump election time position on Russia

Campaign trail rhetoric is not the same as actual foreign policy after the elections.  As Sputnik reported (Russia-US Relations Under Trump 'There Will Be Dialogue and Agreements')

"The Democrats consider their views to be the ultimate truth. It is impossible to reach any agreement with them in this respect. They are not focused on national interests, but rather on globalist goals and universal human values. In this sense the ability of Obama's team to reach deals has passed into legend," he said. "In recent years, Russia has not tried to engage in meaningful diplomacy with the Obama administration since it was useless."

But negotiation will be tough because Trump explicit position is to seek advantages for the USA, not equal deals. He might possibly cooperate on tackling Daesh in Syria. If so, this will mark a major departure from Russia's relations with the US under the Obama administration in recent years. But the problem is the Congress which is infected with war hawks (mostly chickenhawks).

Real Trump position on Russia would be more clear when he selects his candidate for the Secretary of State. So far his views were encouraging: he is not in favor of direct confrontation that Obama administration pursued and Clinton administration would probably convert into armed conflict. Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):

Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.

... ... ...

Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.

The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”

The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.

In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.

Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.

In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.

Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.

“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”

Trump election time position on Iran

Trump declared the Obama nuclear deal, the deal which helped to keep oil prices very low since mid 2014, "disastrous" and suggested it would be one of the first arrangements he would "renegotiate" after he assumes the office of the presidency in January, 2017.

"They are laughing at the stupidity of the deal we’re making on nuclear," Trump said of the Iranians, in an interview last summer with CNN. "We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us. They are making an amazing deal."

It is unlear why he calls this stupidity. IMHO this was a very shrewd move, then decimated Russia economic, as Russia budget depends of world prices and also heavily hit KAS, Venezuela and other oil producing nations. Putting some of them on the wedge of bankruptcy. In American Conservative   Daniel Larison  gave very insightful overview of Trump position, which is shared by his close advisors such as General Flynn (Trump and Iran The American Conservative):

Scott McConnell asks what we could expect from Trump on foreign policy, specifically on Iran:

The greater neoconservative goal, of course, is the prevention any American rapprochement with Iran, keeping the sanctions going till they have a president willing to start a war on the country. How does Trump fit into that?

I have tried to avoid writing about Trump as much as possible over the last few months, because it is generally a waste of time to attempt to analyze the policy views of an opportunistic demagogue, but since the question has been asked here I’ll try to answer it.

As far as I can tell, Trump endorses the hard-liners’ position on the nuclear deal. He has characteristically denounced it in the most hyperbolic terms, he is preparing to share a stage with the only other presidential candidate that can match him in demagogic rhetoric to repeat these denunciations, and two of the groups sponsoring the rally that Trump will attend are among the most fanatical hawkish organizations in the U.S. He has also repeated some of the most ludicrous and dishonest hawkish talking points about what the deal requires of the U.S. For instance, he recently repeated the lie that the deal obliges the U.S. to defend Iran from an Israeli attack:

He then claimed that there’s something in the Iran deal saying if someone attacks Iran, “we have to come to their defense.” And so he interpreted that to conclude, “If Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads… that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.”

This is complete and utter nonsense, so it doesn’t surprise me that Trump believes it (or at least claims to believe it). This is the sort of deliberate distortion of the deal’s contents that hard-line “pro-Israel” hawks like to indulge in. Rubio said something similar to this in his questioning of Kerry earlier in the summer.

It should tell us everything we need to know about Trump’s views on foreign policy that he buys into these lies and repeats them. There are all kinds of reasons not to trust Trump’s judgment, but his statements on the nuclear deal are sufficient to prove that his foreign policy judgment is horrible.

Trump election time position on free trade and victims of neoliberal globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trump_vs_deep_state is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:


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[Jul 18, 2018] Fascism A Warning by Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright is a well known neocon who was instrumental in organizing the invasion of Yugoslavia
Notable quotes:
"... Every reader will conclude that his or her political enemies fit the bill. ..."
"... And, unfortunately, I fear, she, in one fell swoop of prose, both fuels the fires of division while exiling the book to practical irrelevance. In the end, she will likely only energize both political extremes, and, I suspect, the reader ratings of this book will ultimately reflect that. ..."
"... She notes, for starters, that the Fascist epithet may be appropriate for the US today for reasons having more to do with economics than populism. The Fascist Party of Italy, which gave rise to general use of the term, was the ultimate merger of the corporate and political states. And that is, in fact, what has happened here in the US. ..."
"... The incorporation accelerated greatly during the dot-com 90s when young entrepreneurs were preaching disruption and libertarianism. It is ironic, indeed, that tech's "democratic" perspective has now produced among the biggest and most powerful corporations the world has ever known. And they pulled it off, actually, while the anti-trust regulators in both Republican and Democratic administrations stood by and watched. ..."
"... To me what we have today is not so much analogous to the Fascist or Nazi parties of the mid-20th Century as it is the power of the church in Medieval Europe. The kings and queens of Washington may wear the crowns, but it is the corporate "popes" of Wall Street and Silicon Valley that are really calling the shots. ..."
"... Neither party has defined an agenda that addresses the issues that originally brought Trump to power. And until that happens I believe Albright's Fascist warning will remain valid. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Gary Moreau, Author TOP 500 REVIEWER 4.0 out of 5 stars | Verified Purchase
Oh how I wanted to rate this book a 6

This is a timely book by a brilliant person who had a front row seat to the tragedy that was Europe in the Mid-20th Century. There is little doubt that the world is starting to look fearfully like it did at the beginning of those dark hours, starting with the tyranny of Hitler and Mussolini and culminating in the Cold War and the gulags of the Soviet Union.

Figuratively speaking, this is really three books. The first will be the most divisive and may, in fact, quite unfortunately, relegate the book to practical irrelevance. The second book is extremely insightful and informative. And the third book, honestly, is pure gold and vintage Madeline Albright.

The first book begins with a contradiction. Albright openly acknowledges that Fascism has become a meaningless epithet, hurled, as it is, by opposing politicians of every stripe and at parents merely attempting to limit the cell phone usage of their children. She goes on to defend the titular use of the term, however, by clarifying her use of the term: "To my mind, a Fascist is someone who identifies strongly with and claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use whatever means are necessary -- including violence -- to achieve his or her goals."

At that point, however, she hasn't really narrowed the list of politicians who qualify for the pejorative label at all. Every reader will conclude that his or her political enemies fit the bill. She seals the fate of this portion of the book, however, when she asks, on page 4 of the book, " why, this far into the twenty-first century, are we once again talking about Fascism?" And answers, "One reason, frankly, is Donald Trump. If we think of Fascism as a wound from the past that had almost healed, putting Trump in the White House was like ripping off the bandage and picking at the scab." And she goes on to make thinly veiled comparisons between Trump, Mussolini, and Joseph McCarthy.

And, unfortunately, I fear, she, in one fell swoop of prose, both fuels the fires of division while exiling the book to practical irrelevance. In the end, she will likely only energize both political extremes, and, I suspect, the reader ratings of this book will ultimately reflect that.

That is most unfortunate because without those opening pages this would be a truly terrific book. It chronicles both relevant history and the recent past to a degree that few other people on the planet could.

The second part of the book is devoted to an analysis of recent political events in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Venezuela, the Philippines, Russia, North Korea, and, of course, the United States. All, to varying degrees, she maintains, are showing signs of a slide toward Fascism and the decline of post-war liberal democracy. It is an informative analysis and unless you are a political junkie, you will learn a lot.

In the third part of the book she truly hits her stride. She notes, for starters, that the Fascist epithet may be appropriate for the US today for reasons having more to do with economics than populism. The Fascist Party of Italy, which gave rise to general use of the term, was the ultimate merger of the corporate and political states. And that is, in fact, what has happened here in the US.

The incorporation of America has been going on since the conservative movement of the 1980s, however, and while Trump is carrying the corporate water at the moment, he can hardly be blamed for allowing Wall Street and Silicon Valley to take control of Washington.

The incorporation accelerated greatly during the dot-com 90s when young entrepreneurs were preaching disruption and libertarianism. It is ironic, indeed, that tech's "democratic" perspective has now produced among the biggest and most powerful corporations the world has ever known. And they pulled it off, actually, while the anti-trust regulators in both Republican and Democratic administrations stood by and watched.

To me what we have today is not so much analogous to the Fascist or Nazi parties of the mid-20th Century as it is the power of the church in Medieval Europe. The kings and queens of Washington may wear the crowns, but it is the corporate "popes" of Wall Street and Silicon Valley that are really calling the shots.

Which is why both parties, I think, should be fearful of whatever happens in the mid-term elections. Be careful what you wish for. Neither party has defined an agenda that addresses the issues that originally brought Trump to power. And until that happens I believe Albright's Fascist warning will remain valid.

In the final chapters of the book Albright notes that putting American interests first invites Russia, China, and others to do the same. And it is here that she lowers her partisan guard (we all have one) and calls for unity through the recognition of our common humanity and the rejection of extremism that favors one group over another.

It is here that she also seems to soften her position on ideals of post-war democratic liberalism and focuses more on compassion, integrity, and fairness. I think of it as defining a new standard of shared obligation and responsibility that includes those countries and those people that aren't rushing to implement an Electoral College and to copy our form of bare-knuckle individualism, but those are my words, not hers.

In the end she notes that spend her time on issues like: "purging excess money from politics, improving civic education, defending journalistic independence, adjusting to the changing nature of the workplace, enhancing inter-religious dialogue, and putting a saddle on the bucking bronco we call the Internet." It's a perfect ending to what is a very good book by an inspiring individual.

I do recommend reading it.

[Jul 15, 2018] Donald Trump told Theresa May how to do Brexit 'but she wrecked it' and says the US trade deal is off

Jul 15, 2018 | thesun.co.uk

THERESA May's new soft Brexit blueprint would "kill" any future trade deal with the United States, Donald Trump warns today.

Mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM's exit negotiation, the President also reveals she has ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks.

Instead he believes Mrs May has gone "the opposite way", and he thinks the results have been "very unfortunate".

His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM's new Brexit plan -- which was unveiled in full yesterday.

It would stick to a common ­rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.

But Mr Trump told The Sun: "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.

[Jul 12, 2018] Mueller again asks for delay in Flynn sentencing by Morgan Chalfant

Jun 29, 2018 | thehill.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is again asking for a delay in the sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to court documents filed Friday.

The special counsel and attorneys for Flynn are asking for two more months before scheduling his sentencing, requesting to file another status report by Aug. 24.

"Due to the status of the Special Counsel's investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time," states a joint status report filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

This is the third time that prosecutors have asked to delay sentencing for Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to FBI agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

... ... ...

[Jul 10, 2018] MoA - BREXIT - Still Not Gonna Happen

The trend is definitely against EU. But Britain may be crushed, like Brazil and Argentina into accepting neoliberal world order for longer.
Notable quotes:
"... Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go. ..."
"... Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU. ..."
"... There is an excellent piece in the Boston Review on the EU- https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/j-w-mason-market-police ..."
"... Iy makes the point that "The European Union offers the fullest realization of the neoliberal political vision. Its incomplete integration -- with its confusing mix of powers -- is precisely the goal." ..."
"... It traces the neo-liberal project, designed to prevent democracy from controlling economic policy, back to von Mises and Hayek. Nothing is more mistaken for critics of imperialism than to buy the line that the EU represents internationalism in any sense. The fact that some racists oppose the EU-just as others support it as a 'white" bastion -- is no reason to give an institution which is profoundly and purposefully undemocratic the benefit of the doubt. ..."
"... It is a wondrous sight to see Western [neo]Liberal Democracy crumbling before our eyes. Have a look at the very founders and protectors of "freedom" corrupt to the very marrow of their bones. ..."
"... Anything bad that can happen to the UK is well-deserved. The home, the womb of Russophobia, lies and illegal wars, as well as the hub of spying against American citizens, is exposed as thoroughly bankrupt politically. ..."
"... EU is bound to collapse but Britain might be tempted to wait it out, and maybe it is the game in London: not to be the first. The most dynamic destructive work in progress is the Euro that benefit to none of its 18 members (the euro-zones) but Geramny and Nederland. Italy has understood it but is using the refugees crisis to enlarge the contestation to non-euro zone countries (Visegrad group and more). ..."
"... As Nato is the real and only cement in this enlarged un-united Europe, in an epoch of accelerating change (collapse maybe) the famous Wait and see of the Brits has just muted in a slow fox-trot. ..."
"... But the puffed up Brits do not even see this danger and would blithely fall into the arms of the mafiosi from across the pond. ..."
"... Brexit is rebellion against the US imposed world order. London money has gone along and profited from the US imposed order, but the ordinary Brits may not have. They may not know where they are going, but they do know where they do not want to be. ..."
"... ditto... status of colony... isn't that what the globalists, corporations, neo liberals and etc want? get rid of any national identity as it gets in the way of corporations having the freedom to rape and pillage as needed.. ..."
"... Trump has reversed some 70 years of US strategy to gain nothing. It is quite remarkable. Strategic vandalism is a good description. ..."
"... The thing about UK and the EU is the UK is basically the US 51st state and the US is a defacto commonwealth nation. The colonization of Europe by the US was never meant to encompass the UK and the City. As they are basically one and the same. ..."
"... EU could not possibly have been a US/CIA idea as it actually works. Yes it is undemocratic, usurps national aspirations, perverts local economies, coddles oligarchs, and all that. But that does not mean it is a US idea. ..."
"... Single union political aspirations have been around for centuries and in many countries. Dare I suggest that it is actually based on the Soviet Union of peoples and most likely a Leninist or Trotskyist plot!! :)))) ..."
"... What do the City of London, the Vatican and Washington DC have in common? Actually, Jerusalem shares many of the same traits. Bonus points for the most creative euphemism for "usurious bank." ..."
"... From my perspective, Nation-States have not been the loci of power for some time (if they ever really were). The US, with its awesome military might and (former) industrial capabilities has served as the enforcement arm of that usurious supra-national cabal throughout "the American Century." ..."
"... Obtainimg strong mandate Cameron went to Brussels to supposedly negotiate better deal with EU ESPECIALLY for security while in fact he went there trying to bully the shape future EU integration especially in political realm and even more in realm of banking Union and integration and coordination of banking rules, laws and unified controlling authorities, via threatening Brexit which would be a deadly blow to EU propaganda glue that holds together this melting pot of divided as never before nations and never since medieval times united national elites integrated in EU ruling bureaucracy. ..."
"... First it was devastating impact of further EU integration on UK banking as London has become legal under U.K. law illegal in EU, money laundering capital of the world and criminal income is huge part of the revenue of the City , US is second. ..."
"... At the passage of Brexit I believed the purpose to be to allow the City of London (the bankers) unlimited financial freedom, perhaps especially in their entering into agreements with the Chinese. This could not be the case under the original EU rules. It will be interesting to see how this works out. ..."
"... The reality of the brexit which the Tory government is determined to raiload through has been designed by elites to better oppress the hoi polloi and to sell it to the masses it has been marketed as a means of restoring 'white power'. ..."
"... That is really saying something because the current version of the UK is one of the sickest, greed is good and devil take the hindmost societies I have ever experienced -- up there with contemporary israel and the US, 1980's South Africa and by the sound of it (didn't experience it firsthand like the other examples, all down to not existing at the time) 1940's Germany. ..."
"... Brexit is nether the problem or the solution, it was just another distraction to keep the mass occupied, whilst they assist stripped the uk and a large part of the world! ..."
"... Every brexiteer I've asked why they voted for out, begins by saying "For once they had to listen to us" and that's usually followed by "there's too many people here" or "it's the E.Europeans". (My response to the europhiles is that you knew the EU was finished a dozen years ago, when all the Big Issue sellers turned into Romanian women.) UK cities are thick with destitute E.Europeans. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
...Hours before Boris Johnson quit his position, Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from Prime Minister May's cabinet.

On July 6 the British government held a cabinet meeting at Chequers, the private seat of the prime minister. Following the meeting it published a paper (pdf) that took a weird position towards exiting the European Union. If it would be followed, Britain would practically end up with staying in the EU, accepting nearly all its regulations and court decisions, but without any say over what the EU decides. The paper was clearly written by the 'Remain' side. The two top Brexiters in May's cabinet felt cheated and resigned. More are likely to follow.

The majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU must feel duped.

My hunch is that Prime Minister Theresa May was tasked with 'running out the clock' in negotiations with the EU. Then, shortly before the March 2019 date of a 'hard Brexit' would arrive without any agreement with the EU, the powers that be would launch a panic campaign to push the population into a new vote. That vote would end with a victory for the 'Remain' side. The UK would continue to be a member of the European Union.

Shortly before the original Brexit vote in June 2016 MoA headlined: BREXIT - Not Gonna Happen

No matter how the Brexit vote will go, the powers that are will not allow Britain to exit the European Union.
Is that claim still justified?

Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go.

Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU.

Then again - Boris may do the unexpected.

How do the British people feel about this?

Posted by b on July 9, 2018 at 11:43 AM | Permalink


Mark2 , Jul 9, 2018 12:07:09 PM | 2

Did you notice how quickly th E U sided with the U K over Salisbury ? That was the deal.
Remain in EU and we're back you!
Then again could have been we'l create a false flag you back us and we'll stay , a suttle nuonce.
bevin , Jul 9, 2018 12:21:17 PM | 3
The likelihood is that the blairite faction in the Parliamentary Labour Party-which has no real political differences with the Tories and is fanatically pro EU, as all neo-liberals are- will prop up the May government. Or a Tory government headed by another Remainer, with Blairites in the Cabinet.
This will prevent the General Election which Tories of all parties fear.


There is an excellent piece in the Boston Review on the EU- https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/j-w-mason-market-police

Iy makes the point that "The European Union offers the fullest realization of the neoliberal political vision. Its incomplete integration -- with its confusing mix of powers -- is precisely the goal."

It traces the neo-liberal project, designed to prevent democracy from controlling economic policy, back to von Mises and Hayek. Nothing is more mistaken for critics of imperialism than to buy the line that the EU represents internationalism in any sense. The fact that some racists oppose the EU-just as others support it as a 'white" bastion -- is no reason to give an institution which is profoundly and purposefully undemocratic the benefit of the doubt.

John Zelnicker , Jul 9, 2018 12:23:35 PM | 4
@Jeff - #1 - You are correct. There will not be another referendum.

I would add that there is some chance, however small, that on March 29th the British government will tell the EU that they just have no way to meet the requirements of Article 50 and would the EU please allow them to continue as a member of the EU and forget about all the shenanigans of the past 2 years. The EU has said previously that they will accept such a result and allow the UK to continue as a member. The Brexiteers will have a total meltdown, and May will most likely be thrown out of office, but most businesses and many individuals will be quite happy for this whole thing to just go away.

For those interested see https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/category/brexit which has been following the Brexit chaos since the beginning.

Babyl-on , Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5
Britain - PATHETIC

It is a wondrous sight to see Western [neo]Liberal Democracy crumbling before our eyes. Have a look at the very founders and protectors of "freedom" corrupt to the very marrow of their bones.

In the US Trump, in the UK the Torys the democracies are now openly imperial and openly corrupt. Rule of law - ask the Skripals. Brexit, Russia, Skripals, Russia, junkies and poisons Russians - minority government - ministers resigning right and left deadlines looming no solutions in sight.

Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas of "democracy" are failing. Democracy is not a religion, it is not the end of history, it is not sacred and immutable - checks and balances have failed utterly. This sweetly written little essay says it all.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/14/the-end-of-the-enlightenment-a-fable-for-our-times-2/

erik , Jul 9, 2018 12:58:47 PM | 13
Look for countries to unilaterally bail from the EU with little or no advance notice. They will simply abrogate and that will trigger an avalanche of others joining in. There are various good economic reasons why they would do that, but I think the groundswell of populism fueled by anger over the open borders cataclysm will be the prime driver.
Red Ryder , Jul 9, 2018 1:12:35 PM | 14
Anything bad that can happen to the UK is well-deserved. The home, the womb of Russophobia, lies and illegal wars, as well as the hub of spying against American citizens, is exposed as thoroughly bankrupt politically.

The current path to chaos is well-trod. Now, we can expect national attention is on the team in Russia in the semi-finals, while the government crumbles and tumbles. But afterward, especially if Kane fails to bring the Cup home? Oh, the chaos. Of course, it will all be Putin and Russia's fault.

UK. Despicable. How long it has taken for folks to realize Theresa May always has been a stalking horse. Highly Likely the UK will stew in its own piss. Put that in their White Hall dossiers, and stamp it "Kremlin Plot".

Al-Pol , Jul 9, 2018 1:19:11 PM | 15
Britain won't be staying in the EU and nor will the EU be accepting May's fantasy ideas for a future relationship giving the UK free trade on everything it needs. There's a remote possibility that a new UK government could begin working on re-joining the EU (Article 49), but there are plenty in Europe who would not let the UK re-join, at least not in the near future.

Friday the 13th is coming soon, scary stuff ?

The "Don't take No for an answer" is rather misleading. Made to vote again ..only after changes to the Treaty. France's vote against the EU Constitution was accepted and when the Dutch also rejected it, it didn't happen.

Charles Michael , Jul 9, 2018 1:41:25 PM | 16
EU is bound to collapse but Britain might be tempted to wait it out, and maybe it is the game in London: not to be the first. The most dynamic destructive work in progress is the Euro that benefit to none of its 18 members (the euro-zones) but Geramny and Nederland. Italy has understood it but is using the refugees crisis to enlarge the contestation to non-euro zone countries (Visegrad group and more).

Now we have this Nato meeting coming and the abomination of Donald meeting Vlad that scares the whole neo-lberals, borgists, russian haters, warmongers.

As Nato is the real and only cement in this enlarged un-united Europe, in an epoch of accelerating change (collapse maybe) the famous Wait and see of the Brits has just muted in a slow fox-trot.

Daniel Good , Jul 9, 2018 1:45:23 PM | 18
Brits, especially the Leave voters, have no real idea what the consequences of leaving the EU are, nor do they care that much. What is uppermost in their minds is they do not want is to be in a union with "losers". Every single country on the Continent is a loser and thus the object of contempt. The only country in Europe that is not a loser (meaning they have never lost a war) is the United Kingdom of Roast Beef and God Save The Queen.

This British loser-phobia also explains the island nation's guttural hatred of Russia, which has bailed out Europe, and so by definition the Brits as well, twice, thereby taking away some of the British luster. (OK the last time around they got a bit of help from their old colonies, the Yanks, but its all the same. Yanks and Brits are the same stock.) As far as EU goes the Brits can leave, no problem. Except that what the Continent would then be faced with was an American armed camp a few miles off shore, not an appealing prospect to say the least. But the puffed up Brits do not even see this danger and would blithely fall into the arms of the mafiosi from across the pond.

b , Jul 9, 2018 2:08:45 PM | 19
Boris Johnson's resignation letter. Well written. Makes the same argument over the Checkers paper that I made above. If Johnson gets 48 back benchers on his side he could launch a vote on no-confidence against May and possibly become PM. The Conservatives in Parliament seem quite upset over all of this.
Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 2:10:07 PM | 20
@18

Brexit is rebellion against the US imposed world order. London money has gone along and profited from the US imposed order, but the ordinary Brits may not have. They may not know where they are going, but they do know where they do not want to be.

dh , Jul 9, 2018 2:44:44 PM | 22
@20 Not sure who qualifies as an 'ordinary Brit' these days. They come in all shapes and colours. I think the ones who moved to Spain are fairly happy with the EU status quo.
psychohistorian , Jul 9, 2018 2:48:42 PM | 23
Thanks for the posting b

I liked the "We are headed for the status of a colony" comment in the Johnson resignation letter

Getting the puppets to talk about the machinations of empire is a good thing for us but probably not good long term for empire.

No one ever said that evolving to a multi-polar world would be easy. All the ugly that kept the unipolar world together must be exposed as it dies.

ninel , Jul 9, 2018 3:11:03 PM | 29
Allow me to enlighten.

Dominic Raab is the new UK Brexit point-man. The previous guy, Davies, just resigned. But Raab's appointment, I think, points to what Brexit has been about all along -- namely, labour market reform beyond the rest of Europe, and to do this the UK must be free of the European Human Rights council and other protections it provides for workers in the member states.

Here is Raab's 2011 paper on employment standards and Brexit. https://leftfootforward.org/2011/11/dominic-raab-attack-on-workers-rights-based-on-no-evidence/ Have a look.

james , Jul 9, 2018 3:12:22 PM | 30
@23 psychohistorian... ditto... status of colony... isn't that what the globalists, corporations, neo liberals and etc want? get rid of any national identity as it gets in the way of corporations having the freedom to rape and pillage as needed..

it was interesting reading near the end of bjs comments "Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals." Guilty first - we will prove it later... maybe he really ought to consider rule from Brussels or where ever, if he can't fathom the concept of innocent until proven guilty...

NotBob , Jul 9, 2018 3:42:22 PM | 35
Al-Pol @ 15

The French populace rejected the EU Constitution in 2005 during the Chirac years, and you are correct that after some changes it was accepted under the Sarkozy government.But that happened because it was the Assembly (the parliament, i.e., the political class) that voted on it, not the people. Can't have those deplorable citizens deciding important matters like that, now can we?

Pft , Jul 9, 2018 5:48:32 PM | 51
According to this the EU was a US/CIA creation. Lol? https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-03/european-union-was-american-idea
james , Jul 9, 2018 5:59:35 PM | 52
@51 pft... in so far as the cia work for the financial complex - yeah, probably.. how to create a currency - the eu - that no one has any real control over, to compete with the us$ and yen... makes sense on that level..
Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53
@Babyl-on | Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5

Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas ...

When we discuss ALL ideas of the Enlightenment, we must remember this:

Wikipedia: "Enlightened absolutism is the theme of an essay by Frederick the Great, who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786, defending this system of government.[1]

When the prominent French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire fell out of favor in France, he eagerly accepted Frederick's invitation to live at his palace. He believed that an enlightened monarchy was the only real way for society to advance.

Frederick the Great was an enthusiast of French ideas. Frederick explained: "My principal occupation is to combat ignorance and prejudice ..."

In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe.

Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53 somebody , Jul 9, 2018 6:38:22 PM | 54
51 Much better summary on the CIA and the EU here .

From 2016

The awful truth for the Leave campaign is that the governing establishment of the entire Western world views Brexit as strategic vandalism. Whether fair or not, Brexiteers must answer this reproach. A few such as Lord Owen grasp the scale of the problem. Most seemed blithely unaware until Mr Obama blew into town last week.

And then came Trump - pro Brexit

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has come out in support of Brexit, saying the UK would be "better off" outside of the European Union and lamenting the consequences of migration in the continent.

The billionaire, who secured the backing of Republican voters on a staunchly anti-immigration platform, said that his support for the UK leaving the EU was a personal belief and not a "recommendation".

"I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe," Trump told Fox News late on Thursday. "A lot of that was pushed by the EU. I would say that they're better off without it, personally, but I'm not making that as a recommendation. Just my feeling."

And very anti-Merkel

Donald Trump accuses Angela Merkel of making 'catastrophic mistake' on refugees. President-elect tells The Times and Bild that EU has become 'a vehicle for Germany'.

US President-elect Donald Trump said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" with a policy that let a wave of more than one million migrants into her country.

In a joint interview with The Times and the German newspaper Bild, Trump also said the European Union had become "a vehicle for Germany" and predicted that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc as Britain did last June.

"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals," Trump said of Merkel, who in August 2015 decided to keep Germany's borders open for refugees, mostly Muslims, fleeing war zones in the Middle East.

Trump has reversed some 70 years of US strategy to gain nothing. It is quite remarkable. Strategic vandalism is a good description.

Ninel , Jul 9, 2018 6:47:54 PM | 55
Even when the 'light' (read truth about Brexit) is revealed, many here choose to ignore it out of sheer ignorance. For a good description of the MOA comment section, one should consult Plato's Allegory of the Cave. And the 'left' blames external elements for its inaptitude and demise when many it has only itself to blame.
Pft , Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56
Somebody@54

Good link, thanks

The thing about UK and the EU is the UK is basically the US 51st state and the US is a defacto commonwealth nation. The colonization of Europe by the US was never meant to encompass the UK and the City. As they are basically one and the same. Its presence in the EU was never really a problem though and was useful in terms of providing a guiding hand, so long as it remained free of the Eurozone. So I am not really sure its a change in strategy. Just another fork in the road.

It remains to be seen how it all works out. Perhaps the UK Brexit is meant to send a message to the other EU states as to the consequences of leaving. One benefit to the US neoliberals might be that UK scraps or at least scales back its NHS due to the economic consequences of a hard Brexit. The 0.1% will be fine at the end of the day and they are the only group that matters . The rest are just pawns on the board.

As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs. All part of the neoliberal blueprint. Divide and rule is an age old tactic perfected by the British to rule the colonies. The EU and Germany being controlled by the Anglo-American ruling elite , and basically occipied by US controlled NATO opened the doors. Reversing this immigration can provide a plausible reason for more terrorism in Europe to empower the EU to become more of a security-police state like US and UK.

On a side note its interesting the head of the ECB and BOE are both former Goldman Sachs employees.

Another related link suggesting the EU also serves a purpose of isolating Russia economically.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-the-european-union-part-of-americas-imperial-project/5536396

uncle tungsten , Jul 9, 2018 7:48:18 PM | 57
@Pft 51

EU could not possibly have been a US/CIA idea as it actually works. Yes it is undemocratic, usurps national aspirations, perverts local economies, coddles oligarchs, and all that. But that does not mean it is a US idea.

Zero Hedge is polishing turds now it seems.

Single union political aspirations have been around for centuries and in many countries. Dare I suggest that it is actually based on the Soviet Union of peoples and most likely a Leninist or Trotskyist plot!! :))))

Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 7:57:17 PM | 59
The Marshal Plan Copy and past from the linked page.

"The Marshall Plan also established the creation of the Organization for European economic cooperation. It did this in a number of ways:

  • promote co-operation between participating countries and their national production programmes for the reconstruction of Europe,
  • develop intra-European trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to the expansion of trade,
  • study the feasibility of creating a customs union or free trade area,
  • study multi-lateralisation of payments, and
  • Achieve conditions for better utilisation of labour.

It was arguably through this persistent interlinking of many European countries economic affairs that to not cooperate would simply be too risky.

This provided the basis for European cooperation and this was favoured by many people because cooperation was seen as a fundamental building block in the establishment of long term European Peace."

bevin , Jul 9, 2018 9:25:30 PM | 61

@Piotr Berman@53

"In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe."

You are right, and that included Catherine the Great for whom Samuel Bentham worked for some years. His brother Jeremy spent some time with him there and was a great admirer of Catherine and Potemkin. He was a key figure in the development of liberal ideology and political economy.

'The Enlightenment' is an historical concept which obscures more than it explains. To suggest that representative democracy's origins lie in this nebulous thing is completely misleading -- the truth is that democracy is as old as community. If anything 'The Enlightenment' movements are the beginning of the current system whereby the trappings of popular government are hung on the reality of a kleptocrats' oligarchy.

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:33:58 PM | 62
Re. Australia: Have you read JOHN PILGER ON A HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO ROSE UP "?" I love that guy even more now.
Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:37:25 PM | 63
Just in time for Emperor Trump's arrival in Britain! I do not understand Great Britain's "democracy," (the very concept of an aristocratic House of Lords Peerage makes my head explode... and what's this about the Monarch having the authority to appoint a Prime Minister if he/she doesn't like the one selected?). But doesn't the party with the majority get to anoint the Prime Minister? Wouldn't that be Labour right now if Missy May is shown the door?
Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:45:25 PM | 64
Furthermore, the assertion that the UK will stay in the EU is entirely plausible. I heard, early in the days after the vote, that the govt had not expected it to go the way it did. Plans were made for a show of Brexit but that 'the idea is that everything stays the same' , i.e., no change. Sadly for the UK, the EU will not allow that to happen. In all probability, another vote will indeed be called. Otherwise, it's going to be a disaster for an already divided UK for many, many years to come!

The main problem with Brexit is that it is so complex that neither the officials who were set the task of drafting it knew little more than the Ministers themselves! NOBODY knew what the fuck to do! And they still don't!

There is every chance a Vote of No Confidence is going to be called on May's government and she will finally fall, as she must as she is the most inept PM there has probably ever been!

Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:48:27 PM | 65
@63 Daniel

No, the Tories will still stay in power. A General Election would have to be called and I cannot see May's successor being that brave. Or stupid!

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:54:28 PM | 66
What do the City of London, the Vatican and Washington DC have in common? Actually, Jerusalem shares many of the same traits. Bonus points for the most creative euphemism for "usurious bank."

Are terms such as "The Five Eyes" and "The AZ Empire" 'trumped' by all this nationalistic furor?

From my perspective, Nation-States have not been the loci of power for some time (if they ever really were). The US, with its awesome military might and (former) industrial capabilities has served as the enforcement arm of that usurious supra-national cabal throughout "the American Century."

But really, does anyone here really believe that a New York City conman or the latest British "mophead" is more powerful than the dynastic power of the Rothschilds, Warburgs or Morgans... or even the nouveau riche like the Rockefellers or Carnegies?

These are dynasties so wealthy and powerful that they don't even appear on Forbes lists of "The Richest" and no one dare mention their names when plotting the next global conflagration.

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 10:20:56 PM | 67
Since David Cameron used Jimmy Cliff's " You Can Get It If You Really Want " for his campaign, Afshin Rattansi's interview with that truly revolutionary artist is not so off topic. And it's well worth 12 minutes to enter a worldview we Westerners rarely live.

I and I say "Ja Mon!"

OK. I can't post Jimmy without " The Harder They Come, " especially as that seems to be the root of most of the comments here.

imo , Jul 9, 2018 10:28:10 PM | 68
@33 -- "...and Western Australia were separate British colonies that all began as penal settlement."

Not entirely correct. Western Australia started as a capitalist investment venture (c. 1828) but suffered chronic labor shortages as slavery was closed down (c. 1833). The colony then resorted to convict imports for a time. Much of the myth about 'criminal' can be re-framed as political prisoners such as the Welsh Chartists (see Chartism in Wales).

Kalen , Jul 9, 2018 11:49:40 PM | 69
One can only be confused if one ignores public and secret reasons while Cameron threatened Brexit vote already in 2015 and went through it in 2016. Officially it was about antiterrorism, security and hence controlling immigration flagship of Tory political campaign that brought them overwhelming electoral win as well as some noises that EU rules and laws stifle economic development and the British lose more in EU payments than they gain.

Obtainimg strong mandate Cameron went to Brussels to supposedly negotiate better deal with EU ESPECIALLY for security while in fact he went there trying to bully the shape future EU integration especially in political realm and even more in realm of banking Union and integration and coordination of banking rules, laws and unified controlling authorities, via threatening Brexit which would be a deadly blow to EU propaganda glue that holds together this melting pot of divided as never before nations and never since medieval times united national elites integrated in EU ruling bureaucracy.

What Cameron was scared of as far as direction of future of EU?

First it was devastating impact of further EU integration on UK banking as London has become legal under U.K. law illegal in EU, money laundering capital of the world and criminal income is huge part of the revenue of the City , US is second.

And second point is future of British monarchy which further integration of EU into superstate would require to be abandoned in UK as elsewhere as states were to loose all even symbolic sovereignty and turn into regions and provinces as in Roman Empire . Needles to say that UK still powerful landed aristocracy want nothing of that sort.

Hence Cameron went to Brussels make special deal for UK and was essentially, with some meaningless cosmetic changes, rebuked into binary decision in EU or out of it no special deal and hence he escalated with calling Brexit vote as a negotiating tool only to increase political pressure to rig elections toward remain if deal reached . In fact as latest scandal revealed results of exit polls were released to stock market betting hedge funds just minutes before polls were closed concluding guess what, that remain campaign won while electoral data in hours showed Brexiters wining simply because to the last moment before closing polls they expected EU to cave in, they did not so they continued pressure by closing openly pro Brexit win.

The pressure continues now while Cameron had to pay political price as he openly advocated staying in EU under phony deal even Tory did not buy, and hence this seeming chaos now fooling people that there is other way but hard Brexit to keep monarchy sovereignty and profits from global money laundering or surrender and humiliation degradation U.K. into EU colony as BJ just said.

Of course which way it goes ordinary Brits will pay but also big crack will widen in EU as national movements will have impact of shattering dreams of quit ascending to EU superstate.

Penelope , Jul 10, 2018 12:35:31 AM | 70
At the passage of Brexit I believed the purpose to be to allow the City of London (the bankers) unlimited financial freedom, perhaps especially in their entering into agreements with the Chinese. This could not be the case under the original EU rules. It will be interesting to see how this works out.

The Chinese, as they are intended to be the regional governor of Asia under the evolving global governance are key to the entire tyrannical plan. The AGW hoax, paid for by Western oligarchs, is the public relations for the UN's Agenda 21, currently being enforced at the local level in many parts of the US.

The Chinese oligarchs are so delighted with its tyrannical land-use provisions that they are actually calling their projects "China's Agenda 21". You may search for it.

http://osnetdaily.com/2014/03/agenda-21-rockefeller-builds-human-settlement-zones-in-connecticut/ Exc introductory summary.

Corbett Report interview of Rosa Koire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7T7ulzNG7o

ben , Jul 10, 2018 1:02:19 AM | 71
@ 62: Thanks for the Pilger article, a good read. There are many today, who would return us all to those days.
Herman J Kweeblefezer , Jul 10, 2018 1:05:09 AM | 72
The reality of the brexit which the Tory government is determined to raiload through has been designed by elites to better oppress the hoi polloi and to sell it to the masses it has been marketed as a means of restoring 'white power'. Bevin & co can whine on about the injustices of the eu for as long as their theoretical view of the world sustains them, but the brexit which will be delivered is based on 'pragmatic realism' developed by a really nasty gang of avaricious lying c**tfaces and will create a society far more unjust, divided and impoverished than the one that currently exists.

That is really saying something because the current version of the UK is one of the sickest, greed is good and devil take the hindmost societies I have ever experienced -- up there with contemporary israel and the US, 1980's South Africa and by the sound of it (didn't experience it firsthand like the other examples, all down to not existing at the time) 1940's Germany.

Jezza was great in the house last night but he didn't call for an immediate general election which would be pretty much SOP for any opposition facing as tattered a government (Seven cabinet 'resignations') as bereft of ideas as the Maybot machine.

The reason he didn't - couldn't in fact, is that the UK left is as divided and dug into their positions as that tory bunch of bastards. Far too many opposition politicians insist that a 'deal' on brexit comes first ahead of sorting out poverty and homelessness, woeful education outcomes (unless you believe wildly juked stats) and the horror show that has been created by three decades of relentless attacks on the health service.

We see it here from the brexiters so convinced of the rightness of their cause they ignore the institutionalised racism that will certainly follow a tory brexit. Or the remoaners who also ignore the unsavory aspects of eu policy to try and render the labour left impotent. Those latter types simply don't give a damn about anything which flows from this debate and division other than killing momentum, they consider even losing the next 5 elections to tories an agreeable sacrifice for ridding the party of Corbyn and co.

Corbyn has recognized the destructive divisiveness of Brexit and tries to ignore it because he holds with fixing the mess so many people are in as being much more important than theoretical arguments which will change nothing for the better regardless of impassioned exhortations by ninnies on both sides of the argument.

The thing which really pisses me off about the lefty brexiters, is that they behave as if it is a now or never situation, when it is anything but. There is nothing to prevent a more united Labour Party who have got their mandate by actually delivering a better life for people rather than irrelevant concepts, returning to sorting out the UK's position in the EU at a later date, ideally at a time when the EU's intransigent support for corporate welfare has run bang smack into a leftist UK Labour government's determination to restore public ownership of natural monopolies (rail, water, power, mail delivery etc).

The lefty brexiters claim the lefty remainers won't allow it, while the lefty remainers claim it is the lefty brexiters clogging the works. In fact it is both gangs of selfish egotistical assholes.

Al-Pol , Jul 10, 2018 1:54:09 AM | 73
NotBob @ 35.
The EU Constitution never happened. The Lisbon Treaty came along a couple of years later and this time round the Irish people voted against it. It got amended and the Irish people accepted it. The French and Dutch (and every other EU) country chose not to "ask the people" and left the decision to the peoples' chosen represtentatives.

The Irish Constitution has a bit in it making it necessary to ask the people before any changes can be made to that Constitution, so every time the EU adds some bits to the EU Treaty that require the Irish to change their own Constitution there's trouble, as those 3 million or so Irish people have the power to scupper anything and everything for the other 500 million EU citizens. Holding a national referendum to make decisions affecting the entire Union doesn't seem to be either fair or democratic. A single EU-wide referendum could be held when there's a major change to the Treaties.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 3:31:38 AM | 75
imo 68

Political correctness is a social disease very similar to syphilis - it fucks with the brain. You really should take precautions if socializing in those circles. Precautionary measures are available at all chemists and most public toilets.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:24:50 AM | 76
Correction to my post @75
Should have read - Political/ideological correctness is....
Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:50:46 AM | 77
I click on MoA now and see a pic of Boris the clown hanging from a rope. If the Brits were smart, they would connect that rope to a weather balloon and allow Boris to ascend to the stratosphere and cruise the jet stream.
paul , Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79
The EU is first and foremost a massive attack on democracy. At the same time it attempts to establish technocracy as the mode of government of the future. But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU...
somebody , Jul 10, 2018 5:24:13 AM | 80
Posted by: paul | Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79

"Democracy" only being possible locally? Numbers I posted on another thread:

Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - population of 3 Billion+

You think EU countries have got a competitive chance if on their own? Or - democracy in Switzerland enables them to decide on their relations with the outside world? Like not being part of the "single market" - they are -including free movement of people - yes you can live and work in Switzerland if you are a EU citizen.

But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU

Maybe because it is a stupid idea?

Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 5:32:30 AM | 81
Brexit is nether the problem or the solution, it was just another distraction to keep the mass occupied, whilst they assist stripped the uk and a large part of the world! The people we are scared to mention are the true people killing and oppressing us. I thank Daniel@66 for naming them ! Rothchild family ect ect I would add the Rothermere family and Murdoch ! Politics are debated, but history is made on the streets. We need to regain our sense of moral outrage (where did that go ?) there are 70 million displaced people in the world ! It could be. You or I next !
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:33:44 AM | 82
Peter AU 1 @75

I don't read imo@68 as politically/ideologically correct but as a statement of fact. As far as I can see, imo didn't deserve your response.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 5:37:18 AM | 83
ADKC
Well that's tough shit isn't it.
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:46:23 AM | 84
Peter AU 1 @83

Ignoring imo's 'feelings' what is wrong/objectionable about his posting @68?

Jen , Jul 10, 2018 5:56:25 AM | 85
Peter AU 1 @ 83: I agree with ADKC and IMO. There were convicts transported to the Australian colonies whose crimes can be considered political crimes. The Tolpuddle Martyrs who came to the Sydney colony in the 1830s are one example: they were transported for the crime of demanding an extension of voting rights to all men, among other demands. Such convicts were a small minority though.
Alan , Jul 10, 2018 6:37:23 AM | 88
@b

Boris Johnson is no clown. You should look beyond the (carefully crafted) popular image and see the dangerous fascist lurking in plain sight.

somebody , Jul 10, 2018 6:41:49 AM | 89
Posted by: Pft | Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56

As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs.

"The demonization of Muslim immigration to the EU ...." - fixed it for you.

The stuff about leaving fewer euros for social programmes is propaganda. Social programmes are designed to force people to work - they are pegged below the minimum wage.

In the case of Germany costs for refugees were accounted to the 0.7 percent of GDP Germany is supposed to spend for development aid by the UN, thereby effectively developing Germany instead.

Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:23:05 AM | 90
Alan @ 88
I am in total agreement with you on your comment regarding Boris Johnson ! His childish buffoonery, is a commen system / tactic of a psychopath . It hides a callous disregard for human life , wins gullible friends which the psychopath manipulates to exploit there power and influence! They are very good at scheming there own self interested plan. But (and here's the crunch ) are totally useless at for seeing the consequences of there actions . And no regard for the victim of there actions!!! Do we want that in charge of the nuclear button ?
Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:49:20 AM | 92
Google ---Boris Johnson grenfail tower
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 8:19:01 AM | 97
Somebody @65

There is nothing wrong/inconsistent with the idea of an interconnected world of sovereign (independent) states. The idea that a treaty or a trade agreement means that a state is no-longer independent is ridiculous. As ridiculous as believing that an individual who purchases a pack of polo mints is no longer free because of the need of a local shop and a manufacturer.

You are basically pushing the idea that there should be no nation states, no borders and all trade free and therefore no need for treaties. From this comes no regulation, a poisoned environment, uncontrolled and rapacious capitalism, no rights for people, no benefits, no protection, just work til' you die and polished off sharpish if you are no longer productive.

I don't object to an EU as a grouping of independent states acting collectively. I do object to an EU that erodes and undermines the nation state, that seeks to remove state leaders and interfere in state elections/policies. The EU that we have is the latter and there is no practical way to reform it to the former.

Stubbs , Jul 10, 2018 8:22:30 AM | 98
@ B. You have too high an opinion of the competence of the main political figures in the UK Governing Party.

Boris Johnson has never been a serious contender for PM. He's good at giving a rousing speech to the Party faithful but that's it. The blue rinses enjoy the titillation of his infidelities but they don't want someone so amoral coming anywhere near their daughters, or representing their principles.

You knew Theresa May had no judgment the first day of her premiership, when she made BoJo her Foreign Secretary. A selection that could kindly be described as risible. He indicated no suitability for the role before his appointment nor has since. Quite the opposite. It was at that decision you knew all was hopeless. Brexit was going to be hopeless. Everything she was going to be involved in was hopeless.

And so it has proved.

The vox pop that I encounter ..... the Remainers are reconciled to Brexit and just want to get on with it. The Brexiteers are sick to death with hearing about it but not seeing anything done. Everyone had made their minds up before the election in 2015. The Referendum campaign was a few weeks of premium entertainment watching the most reviled political figures in the land trying to tear each others' throats out.

Every brexiteer I've asked why they voted for out, begins by saying "For once they had to listen to us" and that's usually followed by "there's too many people here" or "it's the E.Europeans". (My response to the europhiles is that you knew the EU was finished a dozen years ago, when all the Big Issue sellers turned into Romanian women.) UK cities are thick with destitute E.Europeans.

There's a huge disconnect between Parliament (+ media) and the people. A further example of this is the official narrative on the Salisbury poisonings. Ask people in the street and they say "yeah, it was Vlad with the doorknob" and then they crease up laughing. The Govt has no credibility with its "only plausible explanation".

My prediction, since the day BoJo was appointed minister for the exterior, is that the situation is so catastrophic the EU will have to lead us by the hand through the process of brexit. The EU's priority will be the stability of the Euro. They won't want us beggared on their doorstep and as they export 15% of their stuff to us they'll want to keep on doing that. We'll have to have what we're given and be grateful.

The political situation in the UK is so far beyond surreal that a man dragging a piano with a dead horse on it would appear mundane.

Willy2 , Jul 10, 2018 8:28:30 AM | 99
- It doesn't matter who the prime minister is. The UK has already adopted A LOT OF EU regulations/laws and that will make it nearly impossible to perform a "Hard Brexit". The UK still exports A LOT OF stuff to the Eurozone and then it simply has to follow EU regulations, no matter what the opinion of the government is. In that regard, the current EU regulation simply provides a good framework, even for the UK. No matter what one Mrs. May or Mr. Johnson.

- As time goes by the UK can change parts of the EU regulations to what the UK thinks those regulations should be.

- And do I think that Mrs. May and her ministers have drawn that same conclusion.

[Jul 09, 2018] We Are Headed For The Status Of A Colony Boris Johnson's Full Resignation Letter Zero Hedge

Jul 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"We Are Headed For The Status Of A Colony": Boris Johnson's Full Resignation Letter

by Tyler Durden Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:01 89 SHARES

The much anticipated resignation letter penned by the former UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has been released, and in as expected, he does not mince his words in unleashing a brutal attack on Thersa May, warning that "we have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system ."

He then adds that while "Brexit should be about opportunity and hope" and "a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy", he warns that the " dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt. "

He then compares May's proposal to a submission even before it has been received by the EU, noting that "what is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer . It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them."

And his punchline: the UK is headed for the status of a colony:

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement

Explaining his decision to resing, he then says that "we must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go."

It remains to be seen if his passionate defense of Brexit will stir enough MPs to indicate they are willing to back a vote of no confidence, and overthrow Theresa May in what would be effectively a coup, resulting in new elections and chaos for the Brexit process going forward.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg adds, the fact that Boris Johnson, or those around him, made sure his resignation statement came out in time for the evening news - before it was formally issued in the traditional way by May's office, hints at his continued interest in leading the Conservative Party.

His full letter is below (highlights ours):

Dear Theresa,

It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.

They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.

Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.

That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.

We have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.

It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws. Indeed we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts. We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.

So at the previous Chequers session we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from EU rules. But even that now seems to have been taken off the table, and there is in fact no easy UK right of initiative. Yet if Brexit is to mean anything, it must surely give Ministers and Parliament the chance to do things differently to protect the public. If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists -- when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government -- then I don't see how that country can truly be called independent.

Conversely, the British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health -- and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement.

It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.

What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday's document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.

On Friday I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail, and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward. As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.

We must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.

I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary in your Government. As I step down, I would like first to thank the patient officers of the Metropolitan Police who have looked after me and my family, at times in demanding circumstances.
I am proud too of the extraordinary men and women of our diplomatic service. Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals. They have organised a highly successful Commonwealth summit and secured record international support for this Government's campaign for 12 years of quality education for every girl, and much more besides. As I leave office, the FCO now has the largest and by far the most effective diplomatic network of any country in Europe -- a continent which we will never leave.

[Jun 27, 2018] Immigration Western Wars and Imperial Exploitation Uproot Millions by James Petras

Jun 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

"Immigration" has become the dominant issue dividing Europe and the US, yet the most important matter which is driving millions to emigrate is overlooked is wars.

In this paper we will discuss the reasons behind the massification of immigration, focusing on several issues, namely (1) imperial wars (2) multi-national corporate expansion (3) the decline of the anti-war movements in the US and Western Europe (4) the weakness of the trade union and solidarity movements.

We will proceed by identifying the major countries affected by US and EU wars leading to massive immigration, and then turn to the western powers forcing refugees to 'follow' the flows of profits.

Imperial Wars and Mass Immigration

The US invasions and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq uprooted several million people, destroying their lives, families, livelihood, housing and communities and undermining there security.

As a result, most victims faced the choice of resistance or flight. Millions chose to flee to the West since the NATO countries would not bomb their residence in the US or Europe.

Others who fled to neighboring countries in the Middle East or Latin America were persecuted, or resided in countries too poor to offer them employment or opportunities for a livelihood.

Some Afghans fled to Pakistan or the Middle East but discovered that these regions were also subject to armed attacks from the West.

Iraqis were devastated by the western sanctions, invasion and occupation and fled to Europe and to a lesser degree the US , the Gulf states and Iran.

Libya prior to the US-EU invasion was a 'receiver' country accepting and employing millions of Africans, providing them with citizenship and a decent livelihood. After the US-EU air and sea attack and arming and financing of terrorist gangs, hundreds of thousands of Sub-Sahara immigrants were forced to flee to Europe. Most crossed the Mediterranean Sea to the west via Italy, Spain, and headed toward the affluent European countries which had savaged their lives in Libya.

The US-EU financed and armed client terrorist armies which assault the Syrian government and forced millions of Syrians to flee across the border to Lebanon,Turkey and beyond to Europe, causing the so-called 'immigration crises' and the rise of rightwing anti-immigrant parties. This led to divisions within the established social democratic and conservative parties,as sectors of the working class turned anti-immigrant.

Europe is reaping the consequences of its alliance with US militarized imperialism whereby the US uproots millions of people and the EU spends billions of euros to cover the cost of immigrants fleeing the western wars.

Most of the immigrants' welfare payments fall far short of the losses incurred in their homeland. Their jobs homes, schools, and civic associations in the EU and US are far less valuable and accommodating then what they possessed in their original communities.

Economic Imperialism and Immigration: Latin America

US wars, military intervention and economic exploitation has forced millions of Latin Americans to immigrate to the US.. Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras engaged in popular struggle for socio-economic justice and political democracy between 1960 – 2000. On the verge of victory over the landed oligarchs and multinational corporations, Washington blocked popular insurgents by spending billions of dollars, arming, training, advising the military and paramilitary forces. Land reform was aborted; trade unionists were forced into exile and thousands of peasants fled the marauding terror campaigns.

The US-backed oligarchic regimes forced millions of displaced and uprooted pr unemployed and landless workers to flee to the US.

US supported coups and dictators resulted in 50,000 in Nicaragua, 80,000 in El Salvador and 200,000 in Guatemala. President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a military coup in Honduras which overthrew Liberal President Zelaya -- which led to the killing and wounding of thousands of peasant activists and human rights workers, and the return of death squads, resulting in a new wave of immigrants to the US.

The US promoted free trade agreement (NAFTA) drove hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers into bankruptcy and into low wage maquiladoras; others were recruited by drug cartels; but the largest group was forced to immigrate across the Rio Grande. The US 'Plan Colombia' launched by President Clinton established seven US military bases in Colombia and provided 1 billion dollars in military aid between 2001 – 2010. Plan Colombia doubled the size of the military.

The US backed President Alvaro Uribe, resulting in the assassination of over 200,000 peasants, trade union activists and human rights workers by Uribe directed narco-death squad.Over two million farmers fled the countryside and immigrated to the cities or across the border.

US business secured hundreds of thousands of Latin American low wages, agricultural and factory workers almost all without health insurance or benefits – though they paid taxes.

Immigration doubled profits, undermined collective bargains and lowered US wages. Unscrupulous US 'entrepreneurs' recruited immigrants into drugs, prostitution, the arms trade and money laundering.

Politicians exploited the immigration issue for political gain – blaming the immigrants for the decline of working class living standards distracting attention from the real source : wars, invasions, death squads and economic pillage.

Conclusion

Having destroyed the lives of working people overseas and overthrown progressive leaders like Libyan President Gadhafi and Honduran President Zelaya, millions were forced to become immigrants.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Colombia, Mexico witnessed the flight of millions of immigrants -- all victims of US and EU wars. Washington and Brussels blamed the victims and accused the immigrants of illegality and criminal conduct.

The West debates expulsion, arrest and jail instead of reparations for crimes against humanity and violations of international law.

To restrain immigration the first step is to end imperial wars, withdraw troops,and to cease financing paramilitary and client terrorists.

ORDER IT NOW

Secondly, the West should establish a long term multi-billion-dollar fund for reconstruction and recovery of the economies, markets and infrastructure they bombed The demise of the peace movement allowed the US and EU to launch and prolong serial wars which led to massive immigration – the so-called refugee crises and the flight to Europe. There is a direct connection between the conversion of the liberal and social democrats to war -parties and the forced flight of immigrants to the EU.

The decline of the trade unions and worse, their loss of militancy has led to the loss of solidarity with people living in the midst of imperial wars. Many workers in the imperialist countries have directed their ire to those 'below' – the immigrants – rather than to the imperialists who directed the wars which created the immigration problem. Immigration, war , the demise of the peace and workers movements, and left parties has led to the rise of the militarists, and neo-liberals who have taken power throughout the West. Their anti-immigrant politics, however, has provoked new contradictions within regimes,between business elites and among popular movements in the EU and the US. The elite and popular struggles can go in at least two directions – toward fascism or radical social democracy.

[Jun 26, 2018] How Many Turncoats Make a Coverup? Adam Waldman, Julian Assange, Oleg Deripaska and Luke Harding by John Helmer

Teh author stated: "The story of the Trump collusion plot started with an intelligence fabrication scheme hatched by US and British Government officials and their agents, including journalists in Washington, New York and London. This started with the Golden Showers dossier ; the sequel can be followed here . "
Jun 26, 2018 | johnhelmer.net

By John Helmer, Moscow

Over weeks and months of last year, Adam Waldman (lead image, left), a Washington lobbyist with ties to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, tried to lure Julian Assange (second from left) into making incriminating admissions to benefit the Democrats' campaign alleging Russian collusion in Clinton's defeat by President Donald Trump. Assange tried to use Waldman for a deal with the US Department of Justice, exchanging an offer to withhold disclosure of classified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and trade other secrets, some Russian, in exchange for a grant of immunity from US prosecution.

At the same time, Oleg Deripaska (third from left), the oligarch in control of the Russian aluminium industry, paid Waldman to offer US prosecutors information about the Trump election campaign manager Paul Manafort and others connected to the Trump campaign, including Russians, in exchange for a US Government promise not to impose sanctions on Deripaska. Last week Luke Harding (right), a reporter for the Guardian, a London newspaper, sold the story of Waldman's meetings with Assange and Deripaska as a conspiracy to advance a scheme by President Vladimir Putin to control the US Government.

Four plotters; more than four schemes; money in Waldman's and Harding's pockets; not a shred of truth.

The story of the Trump collusion plot started with an intelligence fabrication scheme hatched by US and British Government officials and their agents, including journalists in Washington, New York and London. This started with the Golden Showers dossier ; the sequel can be followed here .

The story of Deripaska's engagement of Waldman as his lobbyist with Hillary Clinton at the State Department and other officials in the Obama Administration has been running for nine years. Deripaska's payments to Waldman have averaged half a million dollars a year; that's a total to date of about $5 million. The failure of every one of Waldman's operations on Deripaska's behalf can be read at this click .

A semi-annual report of Waldman's lobbying activities for Deripaska is required to be disclosed by the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA); the record is accessible at the FARA unit of the Justice Department in Washington. For example, details of which US officials Waldman met and what he wanted them to do for Deripaska were accessible in the FARA filings for 2011 here .

Since then the filings can be followed at six-monthly intervals through December 15, 2017. In last December's filing Waldman claimed to the Justice Department that, among the purposes of Deripaska's engagement, he was being paid for selecting animal welfare charities and promotion of a Russian vaccine for ebola.


Source: https://www.fara.gov/docs/5934-Supplemental-Statement-20171221-17.pdf

Waldman claims on his company website that "Endeavor acts as a core member of its Client's [Deripaska] holding company executive team, and is the sole representative of its Client's myriad interests before the U.S. government." Today the FARA dossier on Waldman's Russian clients shows this:


Source: https://efile.fara.gov/ When Waldman registered himself as lobbying for the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he was doing Deripaska's bidding; Lavrov usually does .

This means that Waldman's registration as Deripaska's agent in Washington remains active and he continues to be paid, even though the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ordered all US individuals and institutions to cease doing business with Deripaska and his companies from April 6.


Source: https://efile.fara.gov/pls/apex/f?p=181:130:6521116159904::NO::P130_CNTRY:RU

The US Treasury did not sanction Deripaska for supporting animal welfare and an ebola vaccine. The reasons for Deripaska's sanction, according to the Treasury, were that "having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as pursuant to E.O. 13662 for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy. Deripaska has said that he does not separate himself from the Russian state. He has also acknowledged possessing a Russian diplomatic passport, and claims to have represented the Russian government in other countries. Deripaska has been investigated for money laundering, and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering. There are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group." For more on the US action against Deripaska, read this .

Waldman has sidestepped the ban on taking money from Deripaska by changing his registration from Endeavor Group -- a lobbying company covered by the OFAC sanction – to "Endeavor Law Firm PC". That's a one-man company whose only employee is Waldman; it isn't mentioned by the Endeavor Group's website. As a law firm acting for Deripaska, Waldman isn't banned by the new sanction.

In February of this year the Murdoch media reported that on Deripaska's instructions, Waldman was attempting to arrange appearances before the US Senate Intelligence Committee for Deripaska and for Christopher Steele, one of the authors of the Golden Showers dossier. Both of them wanted the Democratic minority on the committee to issue the invitations and secure advance undertakings in writing from the Committee, including immunity from US prosecution .

Waldman's telephone texts were exchanged with Senator Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia; Democratic Party runner for president; and at present vice-chairman of the Intelligence Committee. The messages were leaked by Republicans in Congress to the Murdoch media, and then confirmed by Warner himself.

Read the Waldman-Warner series in full .

Deripaska, Waldman told Warner, was trying to negotiate his testimony at the Intelligence Committee against Manafort and the Trump presidential campaign in exchange for protection from US Government sanctions. Exactly what Deripaska told Waldman he was ready to tell the Senate Committee about Russian Government involvement with Manafort and the Trump election campaign has not been disclosed because Waldman failed to get any concession for Deripaska from either the Senators or from the Justice Department officials whom he was lobbying at the same time.

Interpreting the series, a Fox News reporter claimed: "Over the course of four months between February and May 2017, Warner and Waldman also exchanged dozens of [telephone] texts about possible testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee from Deripaska, Waldman's primary Russian billionaire client .In the dozens of text messages between February 2017 and May 2017, Waldman also talked to Warner about getting Deripaska to cooperate with the intelligence committee. There have been reports that Deripaska, who has sued Manafort over a failed business deal, has information to share about the former Trump aide. In May 2017, the Senate and House intelligence committees decided not to give Deripaska legal immunity in exchange for testimony to the panels. The text messages between Warner and Waldman appeared to stop that month." Trump responded by tweeting: "All tied into Crooked Hillary."


Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/371101285/TEXTS-Mark-Warner-texted-with-Russian-oligarch-lobbyist-in-effort-to-contact-Christopher-Steele

For the full story of Deripaska's relationship with Manafort, read this .

Assange was first mentioned by Waldman in a message to Warner on February 15, 2017. By then, according to Ecuadorian Embassy meeting logs exposed only now, Waldman had met Assange three times in January, and was planning to meet him again in March. Waldman told Warner that for this he was acting "pro bono"; that's to say, Assange wasn't paying Waldman's bill. To protect himself, Waldman also claimed that if US officials, including Warner, didn't appreciate the value of Waldman's negotiations with Assange, he would stop them. In retrospect, Waldman continued meeting Assange for another nine months. Waldman's trips to London and his expenses there for at least some of those occasions were charged to other clients of Waldman's.

EXCERPTS FROM THE WALDMAN-WARNER TEXT SERIES


Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/

The significance of Waldman's messages about Assange were ignored in the US at the time of their first release because US reporters were focused on Waldman's Russian connexion, and the potential for damage the reporters believed this might do to Trump. Likewise, Waldman's reports of what Assange told him have been ignored in the London media until the Guardian revealed the Ecuadorian government reports on Assange and the visit logs. The Guardian's purpose, like the earlier Murdoch media reporting, was to find a Kremlin connection.

In retrospect, the Waldman-Warner texts reveal that it was Assange's intention to use Waldman to make a connection, not to the Kremlin, but to the US Government, trading Wikileaks for Assange's freedom. Assange was requesting, so Waldman told Warner, safe passage to Washington and release from threats of US prosecution in return for information regarding "future leaks" and a promise not "to do something catastrophic for the dems, Obama, CIA and national security". Waldman wrote that to Warner on February 16, 2017, adding: "I hope someone will consider getting him to the US to ameliorate the damage".

On March 7, 2017, Wikileaks released publicly what Assange had already described to Waldman. This was the start of publication of the CIA's Vault-7 and Vault-8 files. The files, claimed Wikileaks, were "the largest ever publication of confidential documents by the agency." They revealed the extent, cost and penetration, inside the US as well as globally, of CIA cyber-warfare operations of many kinds, including hacker attacks which the CIA created as false flags, making them appear to originate from Russian sources.

"Since 2001," Wikileaks announced , "the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force -- its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities. By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other 'weaponized' malware."

Assange was quoted in the Wikileaks release as saying: "There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber 'weapons'. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such 'weapons', which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of 'Year Zero' goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective."

This was what Assange had told Waldman, days earlier, was the "something catastrophic" he was planning. But Assange told Waldman more. He was willing to deal if the Justice Department would agree to a quid pro quo. Waldman's messages to Warner confirm this; they also reveal that Waldman got no swift response from Justice Department officials, so he asked Warner for his help. Assange then started his slow release of the Vault-7 archive, one week at a time:


Source: https://wikileaks.org/+-Intelligence-+.html

Assange's last publication in the CIA Vault series was on November 9. Waldman's last meetings with Assange were in the same month.

What exactly were the terms Assange asked Waldman to trade with the Justice Department and Warner's Intelligence Committee? Was he telling Waldman that he would stop the release of more CIA Vault-7 documents in return for immunity from prosecution? Did he reveal to Waldman enough information for the CIA and Justice Department to identify the source of the CIA documents?

Last week, on June 18, the US Attorney's office in Manhattan announced that it had indicted a former CIA software engineer, Joshua Schulte (right), as the source of the Wikileaks releases. Read the 14-page indictment here . Schulte, 29, had worked in the CIA's Engineering Development Group, which designed the hacking tools used by its Center for Cyber Intelligence. In late 2016, he left the Agency and moved to New York to work for Bloomberg. The prosecutors have charged thirteen counts against Schulte; nine of them relate to the Wikileaks releases, and carry a total of 90 years' imprisonment on conviction. Schulte has pleaded not guilty.

Bloomberg has reported Schulte's indictment and court appearance, noting that after he left the CIA in November 2016 he "worked briefly for Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, leaving the company in March 2017." Bloomberg has not been charged with gaining unlawful advantage from Schulte's expertise. US media reporting the Schulte charges claim his disclosures were one of the worst losses of classified documents in the CIA's history. Earlier document releases through Wikileaks by Edward Snowden in 2013 came for the most part from the National Security Agency (NSA), for which Snowden had been a contractor. He has been charged by US prosecutors with espionage, and been granted asylum in Russia.

Wikileaks isn't named in the Schulte indictment; instead, it is referred to as "Organization-1 which posted the Classified Information online". Schulte, the court papers imply, obtained the classified information during 2016, in the months leading up to his departure from the CIA in November of that year. Two months later Assange had the files, because he told Waldman about them during their January meetings.

By the time in March, when Assange started publishing from Vault-7, investigators from the CIA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had already identified Schulte as their suspect. In last week's court papers it is revealed that Schulte was first interrogated by the FBI within days of the first Wikileaks publication.

Source: https://static01.nyt.com/files/

How did the FBI find its way so swiftly to Schulte? Had Waldman's contacts with the Justice Department in February, relaying what Assange had told him, helped pinpoint Schulte as the Wikileaks source?

Assange's current barrister in London is Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers . She and a press spokesman, Elina Gibbons-Plowright, were asked to clarify the meetings between Waldman and Assange which had taken place in 2017. In addition to multiple telephone-calls to their offices, the questions were recorded on Robinson's answer-phone and emailed. She and Gibbons-Plowright were initially reluctant to respond.


Julian Assange and Jennifer Robinson during London court proceedings in 2011. Assange took refuge at the Ecuador Embassy in June 2012; he was granted diplomatic asylum by the Ecuador Government in August 2012, and Ecuadorian citizenship in December 2017. US threats to have the UK Government arrest him and extradite him have been renewed by the Schulte indictment of last week.

Then on Friday Robinson replied by email: "Mr Assange is cut off from phone and internet, and is only permitted legal visits, so the only way I can put your questions to him is to physically go into the embassy. I have no scheduled visits until next week. I trust you understand the difficulties of his current circumstances and the impact of this in terms of ability to provide comment and will acknowledge this in however you report this story."

I replied: "The Waldman-Assange meetings commenced, with your knowledge and counsel for your client, more than a year ago. The SMS texts were published four months ago. Consequently, the questions are for you to answer. You will know that Mr Waldman purports to be the one-man employee of the Endeavor Law Firm PC, as well as the principal of Endeavor Group, a lobbying firm. You knew that he and Mr Assange discussed matters of law and proposals for the US Department of Justice."

The questions for Robinson were: 1. After meeting with Mr Assange in mid-February 2017, Mr Waldman sent an SMS to Senator Mark Warner saying Mr Assange wanted "safe passage from the USG to discuss the past and future leaks". Please explain what "safe passage" meant then. 2. In February Mr Assange told Mr Waldman that he was planning "something catastrophic for the dems, Obama, CIA and national security" – was that the Vault 7 disclosure? 3. Mr Waldman also quoted Mr Assange as saying he wanted to go to the US "to ameliorate the damage" – what did Mr Assange mean by "ameliorate the damage"? 4. Mr Waldman says Mr Assange agreed to "serious and important concessions" for Mr Waldman to take directly to the US Department of Justice and discuss with those officials. What were these concessions? 5. Within hours or days of the first Wikileaks publication of the Vault 7 files, the FBI went to interview Joshua Schulte. Did Mr Assange give Mr Waldman information or promise information about Mr Schulte to help the FBI and CIA to identify him as a source for the Vault 7 files?

Robinson has not answered.

In Washington Waldman hides from email and telephone contact. His website contact email address is secured behind a password barrier set up in Germany. His office telephone number 202-715-0966 provides an extension number 1006 for Waldman, but no message can be left on the answer-phone. Waldman himself does not pick up during office hours. Neither is there an office receptionist. The telephone directory number, like the email address, is a blind.

Questions were sent to Waldman's personal email address, which he has used to communicate with me in the past. Waldman was asked to "clarify what were the client relationships and purposes you held out to Mr Assange which the latter believed to be in his interest to pursue as often with you as he appears to have done?" Waldman refuses to answer.

Harding, a Guardian correspondent in Moscow between 2007 and 2011, reported last week that "US intelligence agencies concluded with 'high confidence' last year, in an unclassified intelligence assessment, that the Kremlin shared hacked emails with WikiLeaks that undermined Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as part of its effort to sway the 2016 election in favour of Donald Trump." For identification of the faults of the US intelligence agency report, read this .

For months after the election in November 2016, Harding has suggested by innuendo, the visits Waldman made to Assange from January to November 2017 – ten reportedly counted from secret logs obtained from the Ecuadorian Government -- indicate that Waldman, Assange and Deripaska were scheming to advance Russian interests in the defeat of the Democratic Party campaign against Trump.

"It is not clear why Waldman went to the WikiLeaks founder or whether the meetings had any connection to the Russian billionaire, who is now subject to US sanctions", Harding reported, then drawing his own conclusion: "But the disclosure is likely to raise further questions about the extent and nature of Assange's alleged ties to Russia." This was Harding's cue for the answer he has already decided – Waldman was Assange's back-channel to the Kremlin. In November 2017, Harding had published a book with this conclusion in the title, "Collusion – How Russia [sic] Helped [sic] Trump [sic] Win the White House". The Latin qualifier has been added to identify the innuendoes for which Harding has reported no conclusive evidence.


The headline claims the Ecuadorian surveillance reports on Assange count nine visits by Waldman. In Harding's text, he reports three Waldman visits to Assange in January 2017; two in March; three in April; and two in November. If accurately counted, they add up to ten. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/ The Waldman telephone texts to Senator Warner which have been published start in February 2017, and refer to contact with Assange which Waldman had had already. In March, when Waldman met Assange twice, he told Warner he had "convinced him to make serious and important concessions and am discussing those w/DOJ [with US Department of Justice]."

The web and print displays of the story don't provide evidence for the reported connection between Deripaska and Assange on which Harding sets store. Assange refused to reply to the questions Harding had sent him; Waldman and Deripaska likewise.

Harding believes Assange met Waldman as a go-between through Deripaska to Moscow. It did not occur to Harding that Assange was negotiating with Waldman for a deal with Washington.

[Jun 25, 2018] Comment on "Trump and "National Neoliberalism""

Jun 25, 2018 | triplecrisis.com
  1. Thomas Williams says: November 30, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Sasha:

    Got my Economics Degree in 1971 – when they still taught the stuff. Maybe I shouldn't, but I still go nuts when educated writers like yourself distort the origins of Fascism. It was a three legged stool consisting of government, industry and labor. Taking care of the working class was a key element. Also, being socialist, it was not market oriented. Neoliberalism is exactly the opposite with it's 'lump of labor' and unregulated markets. It arose in defense of the crushing fist of western capitalism and, had it not been taken over by dictators, might have done the world a lot of good. Other than that you wrote a nice piece. Keep it up

[Jun 19, 2018] Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats. ..."
"... Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior. ..."
"... Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. ..."
"... And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left." ..."
"... There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists. ..."
"... In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work. ..."
"... The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. ..."
"... And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't. ..."
"... Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty. ..."
"... Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that will succeed the institutionally exhausted post-World War 2 financial and political arrangements that more-or-less established U.S. hegemony over the "free world." The Bretton Woods agreement and the founding of the United Nations institutionalized the spread of liberal democracy and free trade, creating a new, post war international order under the firm control of the United States with the American dollar as the benchmark currency. Trump is now rejecting what has become an increasingly dominant global world order in favor of returning to a nineteenth century style nationalism that has become popular as countries struggle to retain their cultural and political identifies. Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats.

Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior.

Inevitably, I have other friends who follow foreign policy closely that have various interpretations of the Trump phenomenon. One sees the respectful meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea as a bit of brilliant statesmanship, potentially breaking a sixty-five year logjam and possibly opening the door to further discussions that might well avert a nuclear war. And the week also brought a Trump welcome suggestion that Russia should be asked to rejoin the G-7 group of major industrialized democracies, which also has to be seen as a positive step. There has also been talk of a Russia-U.S. summit similar to that with North Korea to iron out differences, an initiative that was first suggested by Trump and then agreed to by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There will inevitably be powerful resistance to such an arrangement coming primarily from the U.S. media and from Congress, but Donald Trump seems to fancy the prospect and it just might take place.

One good friend even puts a positive spin on Trump's insulting behavior towards America's traditional allies at the recent G-7 meeting in Canada. She observes that Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. And the military costs exacerbate some genuine serious trade imbalances that damage the U.S. economy. If Trumpism prevails, G-7 will become a forum for discussions of trade and economic relations and will become less a club of nations aligned military against Russia and, eventually, China. As she put it, changing its constituency would be a triumph of "mercantilism" over "imperialism." The now pointless NATO alliance might well find itself without much support if the members actually have to fully fund it proportionate to their GDPs and could easily fade away, which would be a blessing for everyone.

My objection to nearly all the arguments being made in favor or opposed to what occurred in Singapore last week is that the summit is being seen out of context, as is the outreach to Russia at G-7. Those who are in some cases violently opposed to the outcome of the talks with North Korea are, to be sure, sufferers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, where they hate anything he does and spin their responses to cast him in the most negative terms possible. Some others who choose to see daylight in spite of the essential emptiness of the "agreement" are perhaps being overly optimistic while likewise ignoring what else is going on.

And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left."

There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists.

And then there is also Donald Trump's recent renunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), eliminating a successful program that was preventing nuclear proliferation on the part of Iran and replacing it with nothing whatsoever apart from war as a possible way of dealing with the potential problem. Indeed, Trump has been prepared to use military force on impulse, even when there is no clear casus belli. In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work.

The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. In Latin America, Washington has backed off from détente with Cuba and has been periodically threatening some kind of intervention in Venezuela. In Europe, it is engaged in aggressive war games on the Russian borders, most recently in Norway and Poland. The Administration has ordered increased involvement in Somalia and has special ops units operating – and dying – worldwide. Overall, it is hardly a return to the Garden of Eden.

And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't.

Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty.


Mishra , June 19, 2018 at 4:11 am GMT

The Establishment (which includes both major political parties) is furious that Trump may be defusing the (very real) nuclear threat from Kim for the price of a few plane tickets and dinners, while the Establishment was gung-ho for throwing away a few trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, and our nation's once-good reputation in the process of neutralizing Saddam Hussein, who didn't even have any nukes to begin with. Yep, they're sore all right.
Kirt , June 19, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities.

[Jun 11, 2018] I think it wise to examine what Trump's outbursts at and beyond the G6+1 are based upon--his understanding of Economic Nationalism

Jun 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Jun 11, 2018 12:06:47 PM | 111

As we await info on Kim-Trump, I think it wise to examine what Trump's outbursts at and beyond the G6+1 are based upon--his understanding of Economic Nationalism. Fortunately, we have an excellent, recent, Valdai Club paper addressing the topic that's not too technical or lengthy. The author references two important papers by Lavrov and Putin that ought to be read afterwards. Lavrov's is the elder and ought to be first. Putin's Belt & Road International Forum Address, 2017 provides an excellent example of the methods outlined in the first paper.

I could certainly add more, but IMO these provide an excellent basis for comprehending Trump's motivations as he's clearly reacting to the Russian and Chinese initiatives. Furthermore, one can discover why Russia now holds the EU at arms length while Putin's "I told you so" reminder had to sting just a bit.

Then to recap it all, I highly suggest reading Pepe Escobar's excellent article I linked to yesterday higher up in the thread.

[Jun 06, 2018] Why Foreign Policy Realism Isn't Enough by William S. Smith

Highly recommended!
From comments: "Putin, if people would listen, proposes a model that I find acceptable. Respect for national sovereignty and government institutions. In this model, yes, we would tolerate authoritarian governments as long as they respect the sovereignty and stability of other countries." But the problem with this statement is the dynamics of American Imperialism, which would not tolerate any government which is not a vassal.
Notable quotes:
"... Idealism in foreign policy is, by definition, the pursuit of a dreamy vision of a better world that does not seriously ask whether the ideal is actually compatible with reality. Illusions set idealists up for terrible surprises. Addressing problems through, for example, the lens of Fukuyama-style Hegelian idealism, according to which the world is inexorably progressing toward liberal democratic values, would in today's world be not only absurd but dangerous. ..."
"... When realist thinkers -- from Machiavelli to Kissinger -- prick the bubbles of the dreamers, they incur only wrath. For idealists, it is the height of cynicism and bad manners to point out that cunning and force are what actually dominate world affairs. ..."
"... For Kissinger, peace depends upon "a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other's domestic affairs and checking each other's ambitions through a general equilibrium of power." The Peace of Westphalia and, to some degree, the Congress of Vienna embodied such an arrangement, offering the lesson that balance-of-power theory is indispensable in analyzing world events. ..."
"... However, Kissinger was intellectually astute enough to recognize that, in order to create and maintain this equilibrium of power, something more than a mechanical balance is required: enlightened statesmen. Kissinger states explicitly that balance-of-power "does not in itself secure peace." If world leaders refuse to play by Westphalian rules, the system will break down. He warns of the rise of radical Islamists, for example, who refuse to think in Westphalian terms. ..."
"... Morality in foreign affairs, then, is not found in a set of abstract rules of behavior for nation-states, nor is it found in deploying military power to advance some progressive, idealistic cause. Morality can be found only in the souls of righteous statesmen who, under complex international circumstances, act not out of malice or hatred, nor out of greed or pure self-interest, but who find a path to peace that is compatible not only with the interest of their own nations but that of the others. ..."
"... Just had to correct that one sentence, there. Kissinger had no problem intervening in the affairs of "independent states" that posed little military or political threat to the United States, but perhaps threatened the commercial interests, profits or market share of American companies and capitalists. ..."
"... The record of the foreign policy realists, Republican or Democratic, is drenched in blood, from Afghanistan, Indonesia and Angola to Chile, Nicaragua and Guatemala, not to mention Cambodia from Nixon to Carter to Reagan. And the long-term consequences of their decisions (Iran in 1953, Afghanistan under Carter and Brezinski) can bite the rest of us pretty hard, too. Hell, George H.W. Bush and James Baker brought us the first Iraq War, which should have been left to the Arab League to solve (and, frankly, I give not a whit for the independence of the Emirs of Kuwait). ..."
"... An American imperialist is still, when all is said and done, an American imperialist, and woe be to any small, non-nuclear independent state that gets in the way of said imperialist making the world safe for ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs or Citibank. ..."
"... What Machiavelli wrote is that statesmen should advocate conventional religious morality as the default position in most circumstances but when faced with an existential emergency they must sacrifice their soul to not do good and use evil but only as an occasion calls for it to protect the nation. ..."
"... Putin, if people would listen, proposes a model that I find acceptable. Respect for national sovereignty and government institutions. In this model, yes, we would tolerate authoritarian governments as long as they respect the sovereignty and stability of other countries. ..."
"... Kissinger is famous for his attachment to the balance of power concept, particularly in relation to the Congress of Vienna, but I always think that he leaves out the main point. The balance of power wasn't an end in itself. It was a means to the end that the European powers wanted to achieve, namely, the restoration of the "ancien régime". The idea of the balance of powers was to prevent the Great Powers getting into fights with each other, leading to mutual destruction, which, indeed, is what ultimately happened in 1914. ..."
"... There are countless examples where realists cherry-picked the facts (variables). ..."
"... Good discussion. Machiavelli's central insight is that a national leader must get their hands dirty, even to the point of committing evil, to protect the nation from disaster, to reform corruption, to remove internal insurrectionists. But using evil for good is limited to only those real (realistic) threats against the nation. According to Machiavelli in his Discourses, glory is reserved for those who are the founders of republics, reformers or religious leaders of a nation, military leaders followed by literature writers and artists who reflect republican virtues. Contra William Smith, foreign policy can not ALWAYS be "just and moral", which is an idealistic a notion. ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Great power competition is everywhere these days -- in Syria, Ukraine, the South China Sea, North Korea. With the rise of China and the rejuvenation of Russian military power, realist thinking is suddenly back in vogue, as it should be.

Idealism in foreign policy is, by definition, the pursuit of a dreamy vision of a better world that does not seriously ask whether the ideal is actually compatible with reality. Illusions set idealists up for terrible surprises. Addressing problems through, for example, the lens of Fukuyama-style Hegelian idealism, according to which the world is inexorably progressing toward liberal democratic values, would in today's world be not only absurd but dangerous. The liberal idea that the UN can foster world order through international institutions is likewise naïve and perilous. Fantasy lands in art and literature can be wonderful divertissements , but using them as the basis for great nation's foreign policy can produce nightmares.

George W. Bush created a dream world in his mind where it seemed plausible for American military power to end "tyranny in our world." Tyranny, as anyone who has not slipped the bonds of reality knows, is rooted in the human soul and cannot be "ended." Tyranny can be checked and mitigated, but only through extraordinary effort and with the help of a rich tradition.

But it is always easier to assign oneself virtue based on self-applauding and unrealistic notions about world peace. When realist thinkers -- from Machiavelli to Kissinger -- prick the bubbles of the dreamers, they incur only wrath. For idealists, it is the height of cynicism and bad manners to point out that cunning and force are what actually dominate world affairs.

Too Many Foreign Policy Double Standards Hurt U.S. Credibility John Bolton: In Search of Carthage

Yet for all their sagacity, realist thinkers are not without their problems either. They tend to deny the moral nature of human beings and the role that this may play in world events. Because they have seen the great danger of moralistic idealism in foreign policy, they sometimes don't think morality should be considered at all. Realist theory has a cold, inhumane quality that makes it inattentive to the moral dimension of human existence.

The failure of realists to incorporate moral considerations into their thinking has made realism unpopular with the American people, who historically believe that their nation's foreign policy should have at least some moral content. They, after all, send their own boys and girls to war, and they would like to think that those sacrifices are not made for some mechanistic balance of power. They know that statesmen must often make cold calculations in the national interest, but surely somewhere in there must be right and wrong, as in all human endeavors.

Because some realists have adopted the philosophically untenable position that morality has no role in world affairs, many Americans have signed on with the moralists' disastrous crusades instead. The realists have the stronger policy case, but they have ceded the moral ground to the idealists.

Ironically, it may be the work of Henry Kissinger that can show realists an intellectual path toward restoring a sense of morality in foreign policy.

For Kissinger, peace depends upon "a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other's domestic affairs and checking each other's ambitions through a general equilibrium of power." The Peace of Westphalia and, to some degree, the Congress of Vienna embodied such an arrangement, offering the lesson that balance-of-power theory is indispensable in analyzing world events.

However, Kissinger was intellectually astute enough to recognize that, in order to create and maintain this equilibrium of power, something more than a mechanical balance is required: enlightened statesmen. Kissinger states explicitly that balance-of-power "does not in itself secure peace." If world leaders refuse to play by Westphalian rules, the system will break down. He warns of the rise of radical Islamists, for example, who refuse to think in Westphalian terms.

Kissinger also says that enlightened leaders must not only recognize the realities of power politics and the hard Machiavellian truths of international competition, but possess a certain moral quality that he calls "restraint." Without a willingness to restrain themselves and to act dispassionately, world leaders will be incapable of building an international order. When facing difficult challenges, enlightened diplomats and statesmen must have the moral courage to accept certain "limits of permissible action." Implicit in Kissinger's thought is that morality, though of a realistic kind, is essential in foreign policy. Only statesmen of a certain temperament and moral character can support the Westphalian model.

Morality in foreign affairs, then, is not found in a set of abstract rules of behavior for nation-states, nor is it found in deploying military power to advance some progressive, idealistic cause. Morality can be found only in the souls of righteous statesmen who, under complex international circumstances, act not out of malice or hatred, nor out of greed or pure self-interest, but who find a path to peace that is compatible not only with the interest of their own nations but that of the others. Such a policy cannot be sketched out in the abstract in advance; it can emerge only through the moral leadership of genuine statesmen who act to find a specific solution in a set of complex, concrete circumstances. This is one of the great lessons of classical political philosophy: justice is not an abstraction but found concretely in the soul of the just man.

The answer to the question of what a just and moral foreign policy might look like is that it's the kind that truly just and moral, but also supremely realistic, statesmen will adopt. That such statesmen are rare is what has caused the great philosophers to lament that only the dead have seen the end of war.

William S. Smith is managing director and research fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America.


Youknowho June 4, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Please. Morality. And Henry Kissinger do not belong in the same sentence even if you have to break the rules of grammar for it.

Bangladesh, East Timor, Chile, are places where people would rise to accuse him if they were not dead thanks to him.

Janwaar Bibi , says: June 5, 2018 at 12:21 am
Implicit in Kissinger's thought is that morality, though of a realistic kind, is essential in foreign policy. Only statesmen of a certain temperament and moral character can support the Westphalian model.

1) In 1971, the government of Pakistan carried out a genocide of its Hindu minority in what is now Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). Somewhere between 1 and 3 million Hindus were killed, and many thousands of Bengali Muslim leaders and intellectuals were murdered by the Pakistani regime.

Kissinger and Nixon supported Yahya Khan's government, and even shipped weapons to Pakistan while the genocide was going on.
From Gary Bass's article in the New Yorker:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/looking-away-from-genocide

While the slaughter in what would soon become an independent Bangladesh was underway, the C.I.A. and State Department conservatively estimated that roughly two hundred thousand people had died (the official Bangladeshi death toll is three million). Some ten million Bengali refugees fled to India, where untold numbers died in miserable conditions in refugee camps. Pakistan was a Cold War ally of the United States, and Richard Nixon and his national-security advisor, Henry Kissinger, resolutely supported its military dictatorship; they refused to impose pressure on Pakistan's generals to forestall further atrocities.

2) Kissinger was one of key organizers of the 1973 coup against the democratically elected Allende government in Chile. When Allende was elected, this moral stalwart told his staff "I don't see any reason why we should stand around and do nothing when a country goes communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_Chilean_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

In the first months after the coup d'état, the military killed thousands of Chilean leftists, both real and suspected, or forced their "disappearance". The military imprisoned 40,000 political enemies in the National Stadium of Chile In October 1973, the Chilean songwriter Víctor Jara, and 70 other political killings were perpetrated by the death squad, Caravan of Death (Caravana de la Muerte).

The government arrested some 130,000 people in a three-year period; the dead and disappeared numbered thousands.

****************

Tom Lehrer once said that satire died when Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. Fortunately William Smith's article about Kissinger's "morality" shows that comedy is not yet dead, even if the comic relief is inadvertent.

cka2nd , says: June 5, 2018 at 12:51 am
For Kissinger, peace depends upon "a system of MAJOR POWERS refraining from interference in each other's domestic affairs and checking each other's ambitions through a general equilibrium of power."

Just had to correct that one sentence, there. Kissinger had no problem intervening in the affairs of "independent states" that posed little military or political threat to the United States, but perhaps threatened the commercial interests, profits or market share of American companies and capitalists.

The record of the foreign policy realists, Republican or Democratic, is drenched in blood, from Afghanistan, Indonesia and Angola to Chile, Nicaragua and Guatemala, not to mention Cambodia from Nixon to Carter to Reagan. And the long-term consequences of their decisions (Iran in 1953, Afghanistan under Carter and Brezinski) can bite the rest of us pretty hard, too. Hell, George H.W. Bush and James Baker brought us the first Iraq War, which should have been left to the Arab League to solve (and, frankly, I give not a whit for the independence of the Emirs of Kuwait).

Would the realists have responded to the 2009 coup in Honduras with any more morality than Hilary Clinton did? Would the economic war upon Venezuela be any less damaging than it has been under Bush II, Obama or Trump? Yes, some of the realists would not have launched the invasion of Iraq, but would they have lifted the sanctions regime on Iraq? Would they have restrained the Saudis in Yemen?

An American imperialist is still, when all is said and done, an American imperialist, and woe be to any small, non-nuclear independent state that gets in the way of said imperialist making the world safe for ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs or Citibank.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: June 5, 2018 at 1:42 am
Dr. Smith apparently has a misunderstanding about Machiavelli's realism being devoid of morality.

What Machiavelli wrote is that statesmen should advocate conventional religious morality as the default position in most circumstances but when faced with an existential emergency they must sacrifice their soul to not do good and use evil but only as an occasion calls for it to protect the nation.

Example: Truman authorizing the dropping on A-bombs on Japan; Churchill not warning the City of Coventry they were to be bombed by the Luftwaffe in WW II because to warn them would have revealed that the Brits had cracked the German secret codes; and Pres. Reagan freeing American hostages in Iran in exchange for drug money to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.

This is in sharp contrast to statesmen (women) such as Hillary Clinton who used evil gratuitously by taking bribes from foreign nations to fund her foundation; or Pres. Bill Clinton who "wagged the dog" by bombing a drug factory in Sudan to divert attention away from a sex scandal.

Machiavelli was not anti-religious or anti-morality, contrary to pop explanations by liberal media, novels and academics (read Erica Benner's book Machiavelli's Ethics).

S , says: June 5, 2018 at 2:35 am
Henry Kissinger as a moral man? I really wish you had a better example to prove your valid point. The man who was responsible for the murder of millions in Indo China including the bombing of non combatant countries like Laos is hardly qualified to talk about morality of anything.
LouisM , says: June 5, 2018 at 7:30 am
Im not sure morality is even possible. I wonder if it ever was possible.

Everyone in the west is taught the values of multicultural and diversity while the rest of the world is still tribal. It is those tribes who we (US) considers allies which are controlling much of our foreign policy. The other constituency is just as old and its the monied class or the corporations whose only goal is to maintain and grow revenue.

Thank god we have domestic and international law which constrains our foreign policy to moral issues.

Christian Chuba , says: June 5, 2018 at 8:46 am
These terms get murky. Neocons are idealists but most definitely believe in great power competition and dominance. U.S. interests can only be protected if authoritarian regimes are replaced by pro-U.S. Democratic govts which is why we were so aggressive in expanding our influence in Eastern Europe, often through covert means and by force in the M.E. I never had much use for the term 'realism'.

Putin, if people would listen, proposes a model that I find acceptable. Respect for national sovereignty and government institutions. In this model, yes, we would tolerate authoritarian governments as long as they respect the sovereignty and stability of other countries.

We have been brainwashed to consider him an offender in this model because of Ukraine but his response was a minimalist response to a crisis on his border. We go on crusades and experiment on other countries thousands of miles away from our shores.

Digitalwhatsup , says: June 5, 2018 at 8:48 am
Nothing can be said about power. All super powers need to work towards development of People.
Michael Kenny , says: June 5, 2018 at 10:39 am
Kissinger is famous for his attachment to the balance of power concept, particularly in relation to the Congress of Vienna, but I always think that he leaves out the main point. The balance of power wasn't an end in itself. It was a means to the end that the European powers wanted to achieve, namely, the restoration of the "ancien régime". The idea of the balance of powers was to prevent the Great Powers getting into fights with each other, leading to mutual destruction, which, indeed, is what ultimately happened in 1914.

Westphalia was a slightly different situation. A 30-year, on again–off again, triangular German "civil war" between Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists, with much foreign interference, had reached a stalemate, which, in practice, amounted to a Catholic defeat. The only way out was to let everybody keep what they had and agree not to try to take more. It was forced forbearance rather than balance.

In Europe, at least, peace certainly depends upon "a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other's domestic affairs and checking each other's ambitions through a general equilibrium of power". The European Union is the modern expression of that principle.

That's why Putin's interferences in Ukraine's domestic affairs and his undisguised attempts to destroy the EU have set off alarm bells all across Europe and why US unwillingness to check his ambitions is making the EU the only viable option to ensure peace in Europe.

Donald , says: June 5, 2018 at 11:51 am
Kissinger is an extremely bad person to cite on the subject of morality in a realist foreign policy. John Quincey Adam's would be better. Coincidentally, TAC printed him on this very subject --

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/repository/she-goes-not-abroad-in-search-of-monsters-to-destroy/

Mark Thomason , says: June 5, 2018 at 11:51 am
"Idealism in foreign policy is, by definition, the pursuit of a dreamy vision of a better world"

It need not be that. The "vision thing" that Bush I famously did not do could well be a part of our national interest, one of the things coldly evaluated, and contributing to our strength when done correctly.

cka2nd , says: June 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Of Wayne Lusvardi's examples of "existential" emergencies for which evil can be done to "protect the nation," "Truman authorizing the dropping on A-bombs on Japan" is at best debatable given the evidence that the Japanese were willing to surrender as long as they could keep their emperor, and especially to keep the Soviets from declaring war on them, while "Churchill not warning the City of Coventry they were to be bombed by the Luftwaffe in WW II" is legitimate, in my opinion.

But "Reagan freeing American hostages in Iran in exchange for drug money to fund the Contras in Nicaragua" is laughable. American pride may have needed protection from the hostage "crisis," but the American nation certainly did not, as it was not threatened in any way. American foreign policy continued on its way, funding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, backing the Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese Stalinists who drove them from power in Cambodia, and buying off Egypt, so you can't even say that America's "standing in the world" particularly suffered from the hostage "crisis."

And as for "Pres. Bill Clinton who 'wagged the dog' by bombing a drug factory in Sudan to divert attention away from a sex scandal," I'll trump that shameful episode with Pres. Ronald Reagan invading Grenada two days after the Beirut barracks bombing.

cka2nd , says: June 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm
I think Christian Chuba is closer to the mark than Michael Kenny when it comes to Putin and Ukraine.
George Hoffman , says: June 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm
Our D.I. In basic training in his frustration to turn raw recruits into soldiers would raise his arms to the sky imploring the aid of the Commander-in-Chief in the heavens and holler, "Dear Lord, give'em books and all they do is eat'em!" That's the way I viewed William Smith's essay on the need for an infusion of a reconstituted morality in our foreign policy.

After basic training, I then served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam, where I was confronted with the grim and brutal reality of that quagmire and learned that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. LBJ would come to regret calling South Vietnam President Ndo Dinh Diem the "Churchill of Asia." There lies the dilemma when idealism confronts reality.

More generally, I disagree with the centrality of the Westphalian concept of what constitutes a nation in the post-modern world. Smith mentions the influence of non-actors such as jihadists to alter our foreign policy goals but overlooks how corporations have also altered that concept with their doctrine of globalization for profits which undercuts national sovereignty established in Westphalia. Smith seems to be wandering between two worlds, "one dead / The other peerless to be born" as Mathew Arnold lamented in his poem "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse."

Smith is trying to promote a revisionist history of the last fifty years just as Niall Ferguson did in the first volume of his authorized biography of Henry Kissinger as an idealist. Ferguson notes even Kissinger obviously knew the war was a lost cause after he did two fact-finding tours in South Vietnam early in the war but thought the war was still necessary to prosecute to save a vestige of our credibility as policeman to the world. Ken Burns also attempts a revisionist coup of the Vietnam War when he editorialized in his documentary that our fearless leaders prosecuted that war with the best intentions. So unfortunately, I view this essay as a current trend to to promote revisionism in our history of the last fifty years despite the contrary conclusions of the historical facts.

But as John Adams, a foundering father, once observed "facts are stubborn things."

Sisera , says: June 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm
@Christian Chuba:

I agree-Putin's response to our actions is often not even considered: The biggest flaw with realism that it's like a multivariate experiment -- with everyone having different variables they think to be relevant. For instance, Kissinger thought Vietnam would fall under Chinese influence under Communist NVA, yet he ignored the variable of ethnic rivalries between Chinese and Vietnamese. GWB ignored the variables of Iran -- how it would swoop in and nurture newly Shia Iraq..

There are countless examples where realists cherry-picked the facts (variables).

EliteCommInc. , says: June 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Vietnam: perhaps the only conflict fought on half of another of but minor, if any real benefit to the US. That with or without Sec. Kissinger is clear as day. As for quagmires -- it seems that all ward have them. Vietnam was a quagmire because our policy was one of protect and hold as opposed to invade and conquer -- an unfortunate choice. In the world of a realist, we should have killed any and all Vietcong, raced up to Hanoi and ended the matter.

'nough said.

I am not sure many here are reading the same article, because my take is that the author is claiming that Sec Kissinger was a realist -- practical – what needed to be done to accomplish task A -- morality doesn't enter into it. That explains why he found Pres Nixon's faith amusing. So all of the comments bemoaning the Sec lack of moral attend, only confirms the realists perspective.

Nonetheless,

I disagree with your version of the last seventeen years. it has not been orchestrated or led by realists. Quite the opposite. The rhetoric may be couched in all manner of idealism , but so was their application of force.

A realist would not give a lick aboy religious affiliation to the aims of regime chang, cpital market or democracy creation. The onlu factor that would have mattered is who was on board, or not in the way -- all challengers regardless of their faith, political agendas, personality, or concerned about symbols as nonsensical historical artifacts would moved aside by any means necessary. A realist so engaging such large opposition would decided the matter -- to utter destruction to complete compliance – period.

In fact, I will contend that these pseudo realists, were thwarted by their own bouts if idealist moral relativity and were the worst sort for the job at hand.

Buzz , says: June 5, 2018 at 9:30 pm
What a joke of an article, Kissinger as a moralist. He is one of the major war criminals of the second half of the 20th Century. He has the blood of hundreds of thousands if not millions on his hands, as others above have details. And not all foreigners. Lest we forget the part he played in Nixon's great lies about Vietnam that delayed a peace settlement to help Nixon get elected. 30,000 dead Americans later we got pretty much the same settlement. The author of this article has entered into the realm of the absurd.
Miguel , says: June 5, 2018 at 10:27 pm
Wow, I thought I wasn't ever going to read anything on economic war on Venezuela! Finally, even if it is from the comments.

There is an article about not to support/encourage a cup here, but obviously, when it is about the bad economic situation, only the leftish govenrments are blamed, as if Venezuela wasn't thoroughly dependet on debt.

Besides of that, even if that mention weren't thre, I agree and thanks most of the comments in this article.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: June 6, 2018 at 12:18 am
Reply to cka2nd:

Good discussion. Machiavelli's central insight is that a national leader must get their hands dirty, even to the point of committing evil, to protect the nation from disaster, to reform corruption, to remove internal insurrectionists. But using evil for good is limited to only those real (realistic) threats against the nation. According to Machiavelli in his Discourses, glory is reserved for those who are the founders of republics, reformers or religious leaders of a nation, military leaders followed by literature writers and artists who reflect republican virtues. Contra William Smith, foreign policy can not ALWAYS be "just and moral", which is an idealistic a notion.

Bryan Hemming , says: June 6, 2018 at 9:03 am
If, as Samuel Johnson is reputed to have said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" then using Kissinger as an example of realism is the last refuge of a fantasist.

[May 16, 2018] Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea by James Petras

Questionable but interesting. "Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again." Trump really believe like a typical bully. In case of tough resistance he folds and appologize. Otherwise he tries to press opooneent into complete submission.
Notable quotes:
"... The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. ..."
"... Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy. ..."
"... Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah. ..."
"... Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch. ..."
"... Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. ..."
"... Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program. ..."
"... Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so. ..."
"... China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security. ..."
"... "Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof. ..."
May 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Introduction

For some time, critics of President Trump's policies have attributed them to a mental disorder; uncontrolled manic-depression, narcissus bullying and other pathologies. The question of Trump's mental health raises a deeper question: why do his pathologies take a specific political direction? Moreover, Trump's decisions have a political history and background, and follow from a logic and belief in the reason and logic of imperial power.

We will examine the reason why Trump has embraced three strategic decisions which have world-historic consequences, namely: Trump's reneging the nuclear accord with Iran ;Trump's declaration of a trade war with China; and Trump's meeting with North Korea.

In brief we will explore the political reasons for his decisions; what he expects to gain; and what is his game plan if he fails to secure his expected outcome and his adversaries take reprisals.

Trump's Strategic Framework

The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. In other words, Trump's politics of force only recognizes counter-force: limitations in Trump's policies will only result when tangible economic and military losses and costs in US lives would undermine US imperial rule.

Reasons Why Trump Broke the Peace Accord with Iran

Trump broke the accord with Iran because the original agreement was based on retaining US sanctions against Iran; the total dismantling of its nuclear program and calling into question Iran's limited role on behalf of possible allies in the Middle East.

Iran's one-sided concessions; trading military defense for market opportunities encouraged Trump to believe that he could intimidate Iran militarily by closing all its markets.

Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy.

Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah.

The second reason for Trump's policy is to strengthen Israel's military power in the Middle East. The Trump regime is deeply influenced by the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US, dubbed 'the Lobby'.

Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch.

Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. Trump's submission to Zionist power reinforces and even dictates his decision to break the peace accord with Iran and his willingness to pressure. France, Germany, the UK and Russia to sacrifice billion-dollar trade agreements with Iran and to pursue a policy of pressuring Teheran to accept part of Trump's agenda of unilateral disarmament and isolation. Trump believes he can force the EU multi-nationals to disobey their governments and abide by sanctions.

Reasons for Trump's Trade War with China

Prior to Trump's presidency, especially under President Obama, the US launched a trade war and 'military pivot' to China. Obama proposed the Trans-Pacific Pact to exclude China and directed an air and naval armada to the South China Sea. Obama established a high-powered surveillance system in South Korea and supported war exercises on North Korea's border. Trump's policy deepened and radicalized Obama's policies.

Trump extended Obama's bellicose policy toward North Korea, demanding the de-nuclearization of its defense program. President Kim of North Korea and President Moon of South Korea reached an agreement to open negotiations toward a peace accord ending nearly 60 years of hostility.

However, President Trump joined the conversation on the presumption that North Korea's peace overtures were due to his threats of war and intimidation. He insisted that any peace settlement and end of economic sanctions would only be achieved by unilateral nuclear disarmament, the maintenance of US forces on the peninsula and supervision by US approved inspectors.

Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program.

Trump slapped a trade tariff on over $100 billion dollars of Chinese exports in order to reduce its trade imbalance by $200 billion over two years. He demanded China unilaterally end industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations) and China's compliance monitored quarterly by the US. Trump demanded that China not retaliate with tariffs or restrictions or face bigger sanctions. Trump threatened to respond to any reciprocal tariff by Beijing, with greater tariffs, and restrictions on Chinese goods and services.

Trump's goals seek to convert North Korea into a military satellite encroaching on China's northern border; and a trade war that drives China into an economic crisis. Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

Trump believes a successful trade war will lead to a successful military war. Trump believes that a submissive China, based on its isolation from the 'dynamic' US market, will enhance Washington's quest for uncontested world domination.

Trump's Ten Erroneous Thesis

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed! Breaking the nuclear agreement and imposing harsh sanctions has isolated Trump from his European and Asian allies. His military intervention will inflame a regional war that would destroy the Saudi oil fields. He will force Iran to pursue a nuclear shield against US-Israeli aggression and lead to a prolonged, costly and ultimately losing war.

Trump's policies will unify all Iranians, liberals and nationalist, and undermine US collaborators. The entire Muslim world will unify forces and carry the conflict throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Tel Aviv's bombing [of Iran] will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

Oil prices will skyrocket, financial markets will collapse, industries will go bankrupt.

Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction.

Trump's trade war with China will lead to the disruption of the supply chain which sustains the US economy and especially the 500 US multi-nationals who depend on the Chinese economy for exports to the US. China will increase domestic consumption, diversify its markets and trading partners and reinforce its military alliance with Russia. China has greater resilience and capacity to overcome short-term disruption and regain its dominant role as a global economic power house.

Wall Street will suffer a catastrophic financial collapse and send the US into a world depression.

Trump's negotiations with North Korea will go nowhere as long as he demands unilateral nuclear disarmament, US military control over the peninsula and political isolation from China.

Kim will insist on the end of sanctions, and a mutual defense treaty with China. Kim will offer to end nuclear testing but not nuclear weapons. After Trump's reneged on the Iran deal, Kim will recognize that agreements with the US are not trustworthy.

Conclusion

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice. But his assumptions about the consequences of his policy are deeply flawed. There is no basis to think his sanctions will topple the Iranian regime; that Israel will survive unscathed from a war with Iran: that an oil war will not undermine the US economy; that Europe will allow its companies to be frozen out of the Iran market.

Trump's trade war with China is dead in the water. He cannot find alternative production sites for US multi-nationals. He cannot freeze China out of the world market, since they have links with five continents. Trump cannot dominate North Korea and force it to sacrifice its sovereignty on the basis of empty economic promises to lift sanctions. Trump is heading for defeats on all counts. But he may take the American people into the nuclear abyss in the process.

Epilogue

Are Trump's threats of war part of a strategy of bluff and bombast designed to intimidate, in order to secure political advantages? Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so.

Nixon unlike Trump was not led by the nose by Israel. Nixon unlike Trump was not led by pro-nuclear war advisers. Nixon in contrast to Trump opened the US to trade with China and signed nuclear reduction agreements with Russia. Nixon successfully promoted peaceful co-existence.

Trump is a master of defeats.


Realist , May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am GMT

Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea

The Deep State told him to.

Gordo , May 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT

industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations)

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

Realist , May 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed!

Trump has no agenda of his own.

Per/Norway , May 15, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
"Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction."

indeed they will, and sadly it well deserved after the last 20yrs off US terrorism.
the US hubris will soon meet karma, and we all know karma is a bitch..

Biff , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT

Tel Aviv's bombing will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

?Who is going to do this bombing, and counter attacking?

Mark James , May 16, 2018 at 5:58 am GMT

Trump cannot dominate North Korea

You didn't have to be genius to see this coming. In fact, NK played Trump as expected. Anything else would have been gross negligence by their diplomatic negotiators. Getting Trump to speculate about a prospective Nobel (for himself) for bringing nuclear peace to the Pacific was baiting the hook nicely.

The US is now dealing from a position of weakness. Let's see what NK can extract in terms of keeping their weapons and gaining economic assistance in return for getting the meetings back on track.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT
This theory is the opposite of what I suppose is the right explanation, the explanation also given by prof Laslo Maracs, UVA Amsterdam, that Trump and his rich friends understand that the USA can to longer control the world, conquering the rest of the world totally out of the question.

The end of the British empire began before 1914, when the twe fleet standard had to lowered to one fleet.

Obama had to do something similar, the USA capability of fighting two wars at the time was lowered to one and half. What half a war accomplishes we see in Syria.

In the thirties the British, some of them, knew quite well they could no longer defend their empire, at the time this meant controlling the Meditarranean and the Far East. Lawrence R. Pratt, 'East of Malta, West of Suez', London, 1975

The British guarantees to Poland and countries bordering on the Med lighted the fuse to the powder keg that had been standing for a long time. Churchill won, the British thought, and some of them think it still, WWII. But shortly after WWII some British understood 'we won the war, but lost the peace'.

I still have the idea that Trump has no intention of losing the peace, but time will tell.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
@Per/Norway

I suppose Trump just is buying time against Deep State and Netanyahu. The fool Netanyahu is happy with having got Jerusalem, he does not see the cost in increased hatred among Muslims, and Israel having won the Eurovision Song Festival.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice.

Just as Wilson and FDR's, and their successor's regime change efforts were. At least they're consistent! Damn them all.

Franklin Ryckaert , May 16, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again. However, behind the facade of all his bravado hides a puppet of the Jewish Power Structure, which is even more dangerous than Trump himself. "Make Zion Great Again" would be a more apposite slogan.
The Alarmist , May 16, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
Wall Street collapsing will not cause a world depression, but will reflect the very real depression that will arise from huge disruptions to the US supply chain and energy costs and the knock-on effect that will have on the global economy.

A strike on Iran won't by itself be enough to cripple the US economy, but the loss of a single aircraft carrier might be enough of a pull on a thread that unravels the magical mantle of military force that currently holds the empire together and keeps the vassal-states in line to cause things to go pear-shaped quickly.

Proud_Srbin , May 16, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
Nobody can accuse Donald of not being obedient executioner of tasks given by his Masters.
You don't have to be dark skinned to reside in Masters quarters, orange haired and white is ok too..
Kirt , May 16, 2018 at 10:59 am GMT
Overall a good analysis, but as far as his support of Israel is concerned, his family connections with the most ultra-Zionist factions should not be overlooked.
Escher , May 16, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT

Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

On what basis does the author say that? Trump is smart enough to know that China is growing as an economic and military power, not declining. A fairly poorly (and likely hastily) written article.

Mike P , May 16, 2018 at 11:53 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Buying time to do what? How do you think that time will work in his favour?

DESERT FOX , May 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT
Trump is under the control of Zionists just as is the U.S. gov with Zionist dual citizens in control of every facet and has been since 1913 when the Zionists created the FED and the IRS.

Trump is like the Roman emperor Caligula and is a Trojan Horse for the Zionist agenda of a NWO and is continuing the tradition of the U.S. gov breaking its word about everything, just ask the native American Indians.

JoaoAlfaiate , May 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
You haven't convinced me he isn't a psychopath.
Quartermaster , May 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing. The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified. Our "allies" in Europe and Asia knew that and their reaction has not been nearly as negative as the author of this column has claimed.
Joe Hide , May 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm GMT
I continue to admire President Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi of China. WHY? .because RESULTS matter more than opinions on internet websites, T.V., or in printed publications.

N. Korea has stopped performing ICBM or nuke tests, a less extremist regime change "coup" took place in Saudi Arabia, financing/ weapons flows / intelligence to Syrian terrorists has dried up with resulting collapse of ISIS, Iran is threatening to release the names of European & American politicians who previously made millions / billions off the Iran nuke deal if it is dropped, Harvey Weinstein, Allison Mack, and "Weiner" were untouchable before Trump, the list just goes on and continues to get bigger.

A major reason for admiration of Putin is that the Mainstream Media (MSM) can't stop demonizing him. So of course I'm logically led to believe that he is mostly a good guy since the MSM has proven itself repeatedly to distort the Truth. Putin also largely ended the oligarchs power, doubled Russian citizens income, used an tiny Russian military in Syria to gradually reverse ISIS expansion there, improved Russia's internal manufacturing, agricultural, mining, and technological research/ development, intellectually crushed international debate opponents repeated using only logic and facts (You should watch the videos!), built / rebuilt over 10 thousand churches, has patriotic Muslims (Crimea) fighting for Russia in Syria, etc. etc.

Xi of China has pretty impressive creditials but this post is overly long anyway. RESULTS COUNT MORE THAN WORDS!

TT , May 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Gordo

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

• Agree: CalDre

I like your frankness. Every countries is into this at different degree, with ZUS the apex. But been leading in most tech area currently & lazy to produce any useful things, ZUS is very unhappy that their esponage net result is negative, hence the continuous whining.

When tide reverse with China leading in most tech, ZUS will complaint about complex patent system as been flawed in exploitating & suppressing of weaker country innovation, juz as it did for WTO & Globalization now.

Of course any moronic comments about only China is espionaging US IPR & rise purely due to US FDI & Tech transfer will resonate CalDre into high chime.

padre , May 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm GMT
Well, he is not meeting with North Korea either, since Kim didn't chicken out, and is not that stupid as to offer his head on the plate! Bolton made sure of that.
TT , May 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT
Hastily written article cobbled by bits of public info here & there without deep analysis.

1. Today NK declared they have indefinitely terminate all high level exchange with SK. If Trumps insisted on another Libya & Iraq defank & ending model advocate by Bolton, meeting with Trumps will be cancelled. Trumps needs the Korea peace credit to get his Nobel Prize, so as to booster his coming Nov election win. Kim has baited Trumps to put him in tight corner now, hence WH still insisting to go ahead prepare for the meeting.

If venue does changed to Beijing from Trumps' choice of Spore (Kim's cargo plane can't fly his limousine so far, also a risk of him as Spore is US vassal), we will see Kim has K.O. Trumps in another round. Kim will get to keep its nuke weapon until USM remove its Korea present, clear all sanctions, with UNSC guaranteed its safety. If Trumps has the meeting cancelled, then China can roll out its own play book as unchallenged leader in solving Korea crisis. Either way, Trumps will lost influence to China.

2. Trade war with China has exposed ZUS deep weakness in its brinkmanship when china retaliated with no compromise. Four most senior trade & treasury secs scrambled 10,000 miles to Beijing to seek detente, but return empty handed in 2 days with their ridiculous demands in hubris. Still China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security.

Btw, this author has wrongly written about the $100B trade tariff, its only $50B so far. Another additional $100B is only a empty threat ZUS dare not release to avoid China retaliation.

3. JCPOA cancelling is godsend move. First, EU with Germany & France having huge investments in Iran is crying loud that they have to be free from been ZUS vassal. If they caved in to ZUS sanction threat, then EU bosses – Macron & Merkel will face revolt from Europe business sector. China & Russia will be happy to pick up whatever investments in fire sales.

If EU decided to rebel & chart its own destiny with a little spine, then ZUS has lost its tight clutch over EU. EU has juz announced to trade Iran oil in Euro, hasten de-dollarization. The geopolitical game is changing tide. In either way of EU decision, China & Russia win.

Now Iran will continue to enjoy free trades with everyone except ZUS that it dislike most, & win moral high ground in international standing by keeping to JCPOA.

ZUS has juz ordered Trumps to shoot its own foot. It pay the high price of losing every credibility in international agreement, forced EU into seeking independency, have EU trade in Euro, with Iran, China & Russia all smiling.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Yes, but there is much more to your observation..

Of course, but I just wanted to make a point not write a book or even a PhD thesis. thanks for the supplementary material though. Your comments about oil are spot on as you know. The wars were about smashing some real competition.

Herald , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Please try and be serious, that sort of nonsense just won't do.

Vidi , May 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Somebody has to shovel the BS occasionally, to keep the smell down here. I guess it's my turn today, sigh.

The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing.

Then the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many of the major European countries must also be lying when they say that Iran is fully complying with the JCPOA.

The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified.

The United Nations Security Council endorsed the JCPOA; see UNSC resolution 2231. According to the UN treaty, UNSC resolutions are automatically the law of the land, even in the USA -- no Senate ratification needed.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Iran lied about what they were doing.

Citation, please.

Have you ever made a comment that was other than your mere and clearly biased opinion? Try it sometime; it would be interesting to see what evidence you provide to support such transparently erroneous ideas.

dkshaw , May 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Anyone who destroys a carrier is sure to face a nuclear attack, and nuclear war will ensue.

niteranger , May 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm GMT
Trump's only strategy is to do what Israel orders him to do. The Neocon Jews and their friends including the Jew In Chief of the White House Jared Kushner are running the show. You can easily see this in ... Niki Haley's presentation before the UN including walking out before the Palestinian Rep had a chance to speak.

Trump is up to his arms in shady deals with Jewish financiers of his properties and they will get what they want from him politically. It's Israel against the world and the US is nothing more than their war whore. More people will die for this strategy that comes from formerly Tel Aviv and now from the Magic Jewish Capital called Jerusalem.

renfro , May 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
Stars -- They're Just Like Us: Celebs outraged over Gaza are speaking out
US Politics Mondoweiss Editors on May 16, 2018

http://mondoweiss.net/

Some other examples:

New York City's Hip Hop station Hot 97's morning show, "Ebro in the Morning," dedicated an entire segment to yesterday's demonstration in Gaza where the two blasted Israel and President Donald Trump http://pic.twitter.com/43XIqhKFWZ

-- Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 15, 2018
Hadid posted screen shots of Al Jazeera's coverage alongside an image of the Nakba with text written by a relative, "Almost One Million Palestinians were violently forced out of their country and never allowed back to Palestine. The Hadid family was amongst them and they fled in fear to Syria where they became refugees."

Why are these important? Because they have millions of followers on social media .because their audience and followers are the coming voter and leadership force .for better or worse ..and for Israel its the 'worse'. Gigi Hadid for instance has 9 million followers on twitter.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:52 am GMT

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

This true. BUT ..'if' any criminal wrong doing by Trump before he was president is revealed in the course of the Russia investigation he can be indicted for that after he is out of office. IN ADDITION ..'if' any criminal wrong doing is revealed in Trump's businesses then any persons involved in it within his businesses including his sons or daughter can be indicted. And now, as they have no presidential protection.

imo .this is what Trump is most afraid of ..some criminal business like money laundering being exposed. not that Mueller will find Russian election collusion.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
Rex Tillerson just majorly trolled Donald Trump

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/tillerson-trump-truth/

"Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof.
..

Why is this important? Because the graduating class of VMI selects its speakers so that tells you where the minds of the elite military schools are on Trumpism.

[Apr 29, 2018] Immigration and identity politics

Apr 29, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:41

If you are saying that their expertise lies elsewhere, that is surely self-evident?
Crazymoomin , 24 Apr 2018 05:37

Working-class white people may claim to be against identity politics, but they actually crave identity politics.

I think they probably see it more of a "if you can't beat them, join them" scenario. They see the way the wind is blowing and decide if they want representation, they have to play the game, even if they don't really like the rules.

Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:30
No sloth will make you live in poverty, unless you are actually the animal the sloth.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 05:28
The detail. They don't know the detail. They don't have the expertise. Which is what this article is about.

They don't know what they're talking about, even if they do know what they want.

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:22
.... but see my previous post.

They know enough about the EU to know that it isn't one of their patrons and sponsors. They also know that Westminster have been systematically misrepresenting the EU for their own purposes for decades, and they can use the same approach.

What more is required?

CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:15
are we supposed to be impressed by your middle income? Poverty is not caused by sloth.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:12
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:08
Not a fool and I don't hate anyone at 55 I have 1.2M in investments, I make 165k a year and pay 40k+ a year in taxes. I to come across people who live off of we everyday and expect to free load. I am not a blowhard just an engineer who pays for sloth.
KeyboardChimp , 24 Apr 2018 05:07
Non expert berating non experts. The Michael Massing paradox.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 04:57
I've met many fools like you in my over 50 years on the planet, blowhards parading their ignorance as a badge of pride, thinking that their hatred of anyone not exactly like them is normal, mistaking what some cretin says on the far right radio for fact.

You people would be comical if not for the toxicity that your stupidity engenders.

Monkeybiz -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 04:51
It's a play on the motto "One country under God". Rather clever, I thought.
Monkeybiz -> Andrew Nichols , 24 Apr 2018 04:50
Yes, there is a deep lack of context and hence dilution of meaning as a result
Monkeybiz -> Navarth , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Al Jazeera tries to do a better job, at least providing a spectrum of opinion and a lot of depth in quite a few issues, something most other networks fail to do these days.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Don't think I am confusing anything.

My point was about expertise. Brexiteers have goals about which I agree with you.

My point is that they don't know about the subject, the EU, which they are using to achieve their goals.

Monkeybiz -> breitling1884 , 24 Apr 2018 04:47
Really? Were they repeated?
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:37
Don't fall into the associated trap either, of the false equation between STATED and ACTUAL goals.

Fox and Hunt are fully aware that to actually admit their actual goal, would be (probably) just about the only thing which would provoke an electoral backlash which would sweep the Conservatives from office. The NHS is proverbially "the nearest thing the English have, to a religion" and is a profoundly dangerous subject for debate.

Fox and Hunt may be weaving an incomprehensible web of sophistry and misdirection, but no part of it is accidental.

StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:31
Don't disagree with this. Doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:12
Please, please don't make the unfounded assumption that people like Fox, Johnson, Cameron et al are as stupid as they sometimes appear.

Fox and Hunt, in particular, know exactly what they are engaged in - a hard-right coup designed to destroy government control over the NHS and route its enormous cash flows into the pockets of their private, mostly American sponsors. It isn't necessary to look far, to discover their connections and patronage from this source.

Johnson is consumed by ambition, as was Cameron before him; like Cameron, he makes much of his self-presumed fitness for the role, whilst producing no supporting evidence of any description.

Brexit, as defined by its advocates, CANNOT be discussed precisely because no rational debate exists. It hinges upon the Conservative Party's only fear, that of disunity leading to Opposition. They see that Labour are 50-odd seats short of a majority, and that's ALL they see.

cynical_bystander -> aurelian , 24 Apr 2018 04:06
What in God's green world are you talking about? Did you read that before pressing "Post"? It's obvious that you have no knowledge whatsoever of the subject.

The "race riots" of the 1940s and 1950s were essentially about employment protection (the first, regarding the importation of Yemeni seamen into the North-East of England). The mostly Pakistani influx into the North-West of England was an attempt to cut labour costs and prop up a dying, obsolete industry, mortally wounded by the loss of its business model in the aftermath of Empire; an industry whose very bricks and mortar are long since gone, but the imported labour and their descendants remain... the influx of Caribbean labour into London and the South-East was focussed around the railways and Underground, to bolster the local labour force which had little interest in dead-end shift-work jobs in the last days of steam traction and the increasingly run-down Underground.

Labour, in those days, was strongly anti-immigration precisely because it saw no value in it, to their unionised, heavy-industry voter base.

Regarding the ideological, anti-British, anti-democratic nature of Labour's conversion to mass immigration, you need only read the writings and speeches of prominent figures of the day such as Roy Hattersley and Harriet Harman, who say exactly this, quite clearly and in considerable detail. Their ideological heirs, figures like Diane Abbot (who is stridently anti-white and anti-British), Andrew Neather and Hazel Blears, can speak for themselves.

sgwnmr -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 03:50
I guess you're of the "when I'm doubt talk gibberish" school of argument capitulation.
StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 03:17
I was recently struck by this part of the Guardian obituary of Lady Farrington of Ribbleton:

' she possessed the important defining characteristic that, above others, wins admiration across all the red leather benches in the House of Lords: she knew what she was talking about'

Too often these days we are governed by people who don't know what they are talking about. Never has this been truer than the likes of Fox, Davis, Johnson, and other Brexiteers.

But this doesn't seem to matter much anymore. At times it seems that anyone can make generised assertions about something, without having to back them up with evidence, and then wave away questions about their veracity.

Opinion now trumps evidence regularly, even on the BBC where Brexit ideology is often now given a free pass. The problem for those of us who value expertise is that with the likes of Trump, and some EU Leavers, we are up against a bigotry which is evangelical in nature. A gospel that cannot be questioned, a creed that allows no other thinking.

SteveofCaley -> sgwnmr , 24 Apr 2018 02:37
The best you can do is complain about "this?" This WHAT? Try a noun. You're being an embarrassment to troglodytes everywhere. Don't just point and leap up and down. Your forefathers died in bringing you a language. Be an expressive hominid and name the thing that hurts.
gilstra , 24 Apr 2018 02:29
It seems at the moment the Guardian also suffers from a glut of experts without expertise. Not a day goes by that my jaw doesn't drop at some inane claim made by what seems to be a retinue of contributors who have neither good writing skills nor a particularly wide look on things. An example today: "Unlike Hillary Clinton, I never wanted to be someone's wife". How extraordinary. Who says she ever 'wanted to be someone's wife'? Maybe she fell in love with someone all those years ago and they decided to get married? Who knows. But sweeping statements like that do not endear you to quite a few of your once very loyal readers. It's annoying.
aurelian -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 02:03
I think this posits an overriding explanation for people's actions that doesn't exist. Even the idea that immigration is a new liberal plot. Take the wind rush generation of immigrants while there was a Tory government at the time I think the idea this was an attempt to undermine white working class gains is provably nonsensical
cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 01:21
The problem with this article, and the numerous other similar pieces which appear in the various editions of the Guardian on a "regular-and-often" basis, is that it completely avoids a very basic point, because it has no answer to it.

It is this.

The white British (and by extension, Western) populations never wanted mass immigration because they knew from the outset, that its purpose was to undermine the social and political gains they had wrested from the political and financial elite after 1945. They cared not at all for the fratricidal conflicts between alien religions and cultures, of which they knew little and regarded what they did know as unacceptable.

The US achieved a huge economic boom without it. Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA were popular destinations for the British population whose goal and mantra was "no return to the thirties" and who emigrated in large numbers.

White semi-skilled and unskilled (and increasingly, lower middle class) populations everywhere reject, and have always rejected third world mass immigration (and more recently, in some areas, mass emigration from the former Soviet Union) for the simple, and sufficient reason that they have no possible reason or incentive to support or embrace it. It offers them nothing, and its impact on their lives is wholly negative in practical terms - which is how a social group which lives with limited or no margins between income and outgoings, necessarily
perceives life.

Identity politics has no roots amongst them, because they correctly perceive that whatever answer it might produce, there is no possible outcome in which the preferred answer will be a semi-skilled, white family man. They inevitably pick up a certain level of the constant blare of "racist bigot, homophobe, Islsmophobia" from its sheer inescapability, but they aren't COMPLETELY stupid.

RalphDemming , 24 Apr 2018 01:00
Dumb and dumber writers...

[Apr 14, 2018] The Deep State Closes In On The Donald

Apr 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Yet here is the even more unexplainable part of this sorry episode that amounts to the Deep State waging the Donald. The remaining rebels capitulated on Sunday and the government re-upped the evacuation deal. That is, the remnants of Jaish al-Islam are now all dead or have boarded busses--along with their families---and are already in Idlib province.

That's right. There is no opposition left in Douma and it has been liberated by the Syrian army, including release of the 3,200 pro-government hostages who had been paraded around the town in cages by the Saudi Arabia funded warriors of Islam who had terrorized it.

According to the Syrian government, no traces of chemicals or even bodies have been found. They could be lying, of course, but with the OPCW investigators on the way to Douma who in their right mind would not wait for an assessment of what actually happened last Saturday?

That is, if you are not caught up in the anti-Russian hysteria that has engulfed official Washington and the mainstream media. Indeed, the Syrian government has now even welcomed the international community to come to Douma, where the Russians claim there is absolutely nothing to see:

Speaking with EuroNews, Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, said "Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack."

"But we've seen them on the video!" responds EuroNews correspondent Andrei Beketov.

"There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple," responds Chizov. "We've seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained - and you can guess by whom - amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos."

In short, if they are lying, it would not be hard to ascertain. Presumably, the Donald could even send Jared Kushner--flack jacket and all---to investigate what actually happened at Douma.

Alas, the Donald has apparently opted for war instead in a desperate maneuver to keep the Deep State at bay.

Either way, we think he's about done, and in Part 2 we will explore why what's about to happen next should be known to the history books, if there are any, as "Mueller's War".

[Mar 26, 2018] Brexit: UK Capitulates

Notable quotes:
"... The UK is clearly past the point where it could undo Brexit . There was pretty much no way to back out of Brexit, given the ferocious support for it in the tabloids versus the widespread view that a second referendum that showed that opinion had changed was a political necessity for a reversal. Pundits and politicians were cautious about even voicing the idea. ..."
"... The UK still faces high odds of significant dislocations as of Brexit date . All sorts of agreements to which the UK is a party via the EU cease to be operative once the UK become a "third country". These other countries have every reason to take advantage of the UK's week and administratively overextended position. Moreover, these countries can't entertain even discussing interim trade arrangements (new trade deals take years) until they have at least a high concept idea of what the "future relationship" with the EU will look like. Even though it looks likely to be a Canada-type deal, no one wants to waste time negotiating until that is firmed up. ..."
"... On the World Service this morning, the BBC reported from the "cultural front line against Putin". A playwright (perhaps a member of playwrights against Putin) was given half an hour from 5 am to witter on. This is half an hour more than what Brexit will get on the airwaves today. ..."
"... I think the key thing that is driving the politics for the moment is that May has shown an absolute determination to hold on to power at any cost, and she realises that having a transition agreement is central to this. ..."
"... I think you are right that the main political priority now in London is preserving May in her position. ..."
"... -- and I mean no -- ..."
Mar 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A reader was kind enough to ask for a Brexit update. I hadn't provided one because truth be told, the UK press has gone quiet as the Government knuckled under in the last round of negotiations.

It is a mystery as to why the hard core Brexit faction and the true power brokers, the press barons, have gone quiet after having made such a spectacle of their incompetence and refusal to compromise. Do they not understand what is happening? Has someone done a whip count and realized they didn't have the votes if they tried forcing a crisis, and that the result would probably be a Labour government, a fate they feared far more than a disorderly Brexit?

As we've pointed out repeatedly, the EU has the vastly stronger negotiating position. The UK could stomp and huff and keep demanding its super special cherry picked special cake all it wanted to. That was a fast track to a crash-out Brexit. But it seems out of character for the Glorious Brexit true believers to sober up suddenly.

Some observations:

The transition deal is the much-decried "vassal state ". As we and others pointed out, the only transition arrangement feasible was a standstill with respect to the UK's legal arrangements with the EU, save at most some comparatively minor concessions on pet issues. The UK will remain subject to the authority of the ECJ. The UK will continue to pay into the EU budget. As we'd predicted, the transition period will go only until the end of 2020.

The UK couldn't even get a break on the Common Fisheries Policy. From the Guardian :

For [fisherman Tony] Delahunty's entire career, a lopsided system of quotas has granted up to 84% of the rights to fish some local species, such as English Channel cod, to the French, and left as little as 9% to British boats. Add on a new system that bans fishermen from throwing away unwanted catch and it becomes almost impossible to haul in a net of mixed fish without quickly exhausting more limited quotas of "choke" species such as cod .

Leaving the EU was meant to change all that .Instead, growing numbers of British fishermen feel they have been part of a bait-and-switch exercise – a shiny lure used to help reel in a gullible public. Despite only recently promising full fisheries independence as soon as Brexit day on 29 March 2019, the UK government this week capitulated to Brussels' demand for it to remain part of the common fisheries system until at least 2021, when a transition phase is due to end. Industry lobbyists fear that further cave-ins are now inevitable in the long run as the EU insists on continued access to British waters as the price of a wider post-Brexit trade deal.

The one place where the UK did get a win of sorts was on citizen's rights, where the transition deal did not make commitments, much to the consternation of both EU27 and UK nationals. Curiously, the draft approved by the EU27 last week dropped the section that had discussed citizens' rights. From the Express :

Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, demands EU citizens' rights be protected after Brexit .

The comments from Italy's foreign minister come after the draft Brexit agreement struck between Britain and the EU on Monday was missing "Article 32", which in previous drafts regulated the free movement of British citizens living in Europe after Brexit.

The entire article was missing from the document, which goes straight from Article 31 to Article 33.

MEPs from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru have written to Brexit Secretary David Davis for clarification about the missing article, while citizens' group British in Europe said the document failed to provide them with "legal certainty".

A copy of the letter sent to Mr Davis seen by the Independent said: "As UK MEPs we are deeply worried about what will happen to British citizens living in EU27 member states once we leave the EU.

This issue has apparently been pushed back to the April round of talks. I have not focused on the possible points of contention here. However, bear in mind that EU citizens could sue if they deem the eventual deal to be too unfavorable. Recall that during the 2015 Greece-Troika negotiations, some parties were advocating that Greece leave the Eurozone. A counterargument was that Greek citizens would be able to sue the Greek government for their loss of EU rights.

The UK is backing into having to accept a sea border as the solution for Ireland. As many have pointed out, there's no other remedy to the various commitments the UK has already made with respect to Ireland, as unpalatable as that solution is to the Unionists and hard core Brexiters. The UK has not put any solutions on the table as the EU keeps working on the "default" option, which was included in the Joint Agreement of December. The DUP sabre-rattled then but was not willing to blow up the negotiations then. It will be even harder for them to derail a deal now when the result would be a chaotic Brexit.

The UK is still trying to escape what appears to be the inevitable outcome. The press of the last 24 hours reports that the UK won't swallow the "backstop" plan that the EU has been refining, even though it accepts the proposition that the agreement needs to have that feature . The UK is back to trying to revive one of its barmy ideas that managed to find its way into the Joint Agreement, that of a new super special customs arrangement.

Politico gives an outline below. This is a non-starter simply because the EU will never accept any arrangement where goods can get into the EU without there being full compliance with EU rules, and that includes having them subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ and the various relevant Brussels supervisory bodies. Without even hearing further details, the UK's barmy "alignment" notions means that the UK would somehow have a say in these legal and regulatory processes. This cheeky plan would give the UK better rights than any EU27 member. From Politico :

The key issues for debate, according to one senior U.K. official, is how the two sides can deliver "full alignment" and what the territorial scope of that commitment will be -- the U.K. or Northern Ireland.

The starting point of the U.K.'s position will be that "full alignment" should apply to goods and a limited number of services sectors, one U.K. official said.

On the customs issue, the proposal that Northern Ireland is subsumed into the EU's customs territory is a non-starter with London

The alternative would be based on one of the two customs arrangements set out by the government in August last year and reaffirmed by May in her Mansion House speech. They are either a customs partnership -- known as the "hybrid" model internally -- or the "highly streamlined customs arrangement" known by officials as "max-fac" or maximum facilitation.

The hybrid model would mean the U.K. continuing to police its border as if it were the EU's customs border, but then tracking imports to apply different tariffs depending on which market they end up in -- U.K. or EU. Under this scenario, because Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would share an external EU customs border, as they do now, it would remove the need for checks on the land border between the two.

The complexity and unprecedented nature of this solution has led to accusations from the Brussels side that it amounts to "magical thinking."

The "max-fac" model is simpler conceptually but would represent a huge logistical effort for U.K. customs authorities. It would involve the use of technological and legal measures such as electronic pre-notification of goods crossing the border and a "trusted trader" status for exporters and importers, to make customs checks as efficient as possible.

While the U.K. will present both customs arrangements as possible ways of solving this aspect of the Irish border problem, one senior official said that the "hybrid" model was emerging as the preferred option in London.

The UK is already having trouble getting its customs IT upgrade done on time, which happens to be right before Brexit. As we wrote early on, even if the new programs are in place, they won't be able to handle the increased transactions volume resulting from of being outside the EU, and I haven't seen good figures as to what the impact would be of the UK becoming a third country but having its transition deal in place. In other words, even if the "mac-fac" scheme were acceptable to the EU (unlikely), the UK looks unable to pull off getting the needed infrastructure in place. Even for competent shops, large IT projects have a high failure rate. And customs isn't looking like a high capability IT player right now.

So the play for the EU is to let the UK continue to flail about and deliver Ireland "solutions" that are dead on arrival because they violate clearly and consistently stated EU red lines. The UK will then in say September be faced with a Brexit deal that is done save Ireland, and it then have to choose between capitulating (it's hard to come up with any way to improve the optics, but we do have a few months for creative ideas) or plunging into a chaotic Brexit.

The EU27 reaffirmed the EU's red lines in the most unambiguous language possible . F rom their "Guidelines" published March 23 :

6.The approach outlined below reflects the level of rights and obligations compatible with the positions stated by the UK

7. In this context, the European Council reiterates in particular that any agreement with the United Kingdom will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and ensure a level playing field. A non-member of the Union, that does not live up to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member.

The European Council recalls that the four freedoms are indivisible and that there can be no "cherry picking" through participation in the Single Market based on a sector-by-sector approach, which would undermine the integrity and proper functioning of the Single Market.

The European Council further reiterates that the Union will preserve its autonomy as regards its decision-making, which excludes participation of the United Kingdom as a third-country in the Union Institutions and participation in the decision-making of the Union bodies, offices and agencies. The role of the Court of Justice of the European Union will also be fully respected.

8. As regards the core of the economic relationship, the European Council confirms its readiness to initiate work towards a balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging free trade agreement (FTA) insofar as there are sufficient guarantees for a level playing field. This agreement will be finalised and concluded once the UK is no longer a Member State.

The EU also reaffirmed the obvious, "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

The EU nevertheless has relented in its negotiating tactics . The EU's initial approach was to put the most contentious issues up front: the exit tab, Ireland, freedom of movement. You will notice it has achieved closure only only one of those issues where the EU's initial position had been that they had to be concluded before the two sides would discuss "the future relationship," as in trade. This is the opposite of the approach that professional negotiators use, that of starting with the least contentious issues first to establish a working relationship between both sides and create a sense of momentum, and then tackling the difficult questions later. The EU has now allowed the UK to defer resolving the messy issue of Ireland twice, and it is not clear if any progress has been made on the citizens' rights matter.

The UK is clearly past the point where it could undo Brexit . There was pretty much no way to back out of Brexit, given the ferocious support for it in the tabloids versus the widespread view that a second referendum that showed that opinion had changed was a political necessity for a reversal. Pundits and politicians were cautious about even voicing the idea.

As we've pointed out, coming up with the wording of the referendum question took six months. In the snap elections last year, the Lib Dems set forth the most compact timeline possible for a Brexit referendum redo which presupposed that the phrasing had been settled. That was eight months. And you'd have to have a Parliamentary approval process before and a vote afterwards (Parliament is sovereign; a referendum in and of itself is not sufficient to change course).

Spain has been making noises about Gibraltar but they aren't likely to mean much . I could be proven wrong, but I don't see Spain as able to block a Brexit deal. Article 50 says that only a "qualified majority" vote is required to approve a Brexit agreement. Spain as a lone holdout couldn't keep a deal from being approved. And I don't see who would join Spain over the issue of Gibraltar. In keeping, Spain joined with the rest of the EU27 in approving the latest set of texts.

The UK still faces high odds of significant dislocations as of Brexit date . All sorts of agreements to which the UK is a party via the EU cease to be operative once the UK become a "third country". These other countries have every reason to take advantage of the UK's week and administratively overextended position. Moreover, these countries can't entertain even discussing interim trade arrangements (new trade deals take years) until they have at least a high concept idea of what the "future relationship" with the EU will look like. Even though it looks likely to be a Canada-type deal, no one wants to waste time negotiating until that is firmed up.

Like it or not, May is the ultimate survivor . Politico described the method in her seeming madness :

May has lasted in office longer than many pundits predicted she would because, weak as her grip on power may have been since she lost her parliamentary majority last year, she has timed her surrenders cleverly.

It looks chaotic and undignified, but the prime minister has hunkered down and let pro- and anti-Brexit factions in her party shout the odds in the media day and night, squabble publicly about acceptable terms for a deal, leak against each other and publish Sunday newspaper columns challenging her authority.

Then in the few days before a European summit deadline for the next phase of a deal, she has rammed the only position acceptable to Brussels through her Cabinet and effectively called the hard Brexiteers' bluff.

But what kind of leader marches her country into at worst an abyss and at best a future of lower prosperity, less clout, and no meaningful increase in autonomy? Like it or not, the UK is a small open economy, and its leaders, drunk on Imperial nostalgia, still can's stomach the idea that the UK did better by flexing its muscle within the EU that it can ever do solo.


Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , March 26, 2018 at 5:55 am

I'm curious as to the ramifications of the Northern Ireland sea border. Is reunification possible with the ROI, given that the Unionists have been completely castrated?

I'm a Californian so am not one that is tuned into the history.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 6:29 am

Theoretically, there is no fundamental problem with a NI sea border and NI remaining within the UK. Northern Ireland already has its own Assembly and its own laws (the Assembly is suspended at the moment), so it can, if the EU agreed, stay within the EU (albeit without a separate vote or voice at the table). There are precedents for this, such as the dependant territories of France . It would be constitutionally messy, but if authorized by Parliament in London and in the EU itself, it would likely be legally watertight so far as I am aware.

Hardline Unionists oppose this partly because they are ideologically opposed to the EU anyway (although its highly likely many of their constituents don't agree), but also because they see this as a 'thin end of the wedge' leading to a United Ireland. More thoughtful Unionists realise that a sort of 'foot in both camps' approach might actually be an economic boon to Northern Ireland – it could attract a lot of investment from companies wishing easy access to both the internal UK market and Europe.

Colonel Smithers , March 26, 2018 at 6:26 am

Thank you, Yves.

"The UK press has gone quiet as the Government knuckled under in the last round of negotiations." The MSM, corporate or government (BBC and Channel 4), are under orders to go quiet. In any case, it's easier and more fun to cover the anti-semites and anti-transgender whatever in the Labour Party, Trump's extra-marital goings-on and whatever dastardly plot Putin has come up with.

On my 'phone's news feed yesterday and today, the Corbyn's anti-Semitism is not shifting from the top line. The only change is from where the latest article is sourced.

On the World Service this morning, the BBC reported from the "cultural front line against Putin". A playwright (perhaps a member of playwrights against Putin) was given half an hour from 5 am to witter on. This is half an hour more than what Brexit will get on the airwaves today.

How are things playing out locally, Buckinghamshire in my case? The economy is slowing down. More shops are closing. Some IT contractors report contracts not being renewed and having to look for business outside the UK. East Europeans working in farming, care and social services have been replaced in many, but not all, cases by immigrants from south Asia. An cabbie and restaurateur report the worst festive season and first quarter of the year for many, many years.

At Doncaster races last Saturday, the opening day of the flat season, some bookies were offering odds of Tory victory in 2022, if not an earlier khaki one. It seems that May is a survivor and Corbyn's Labour has peaked. All very depressing.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 6:41 am

I think the key thing that is driving the politics for the moment is that May has shown an absolute determination to hold on to power at any cost, and she realises that having a transition agreement is central to this. I've also been puzzling over the relative acquiescence of the hard Brexiteers – I think they've been told by their paymasters that accepting a lousy transitional deal is the key to a 'clean' and firm Brexit. I believe the phrase Gove was reported as using was that they should 'keep their eye on the prize'. I think, as Yves says, the Tory establishment fears a move against May will precipitate a Corbyn government, so they see it as a strategic necessity to keep her in position, and postpone the main Brexit fallout for later.

Of lesser importance, but also I think a relevant consideration given the strong support given by Merkel, Barnier and Tusk to the Irish PM, Varadkar, is that he is rumoured to be planning a snap election in the autumn. His stance on Brexit has proven popular and he sees the time as ripe to go for an overall majority (he is currently leading a minority government). He is very much an EU establishment favourite, so I don't doubt that some of the motivation is to help his domestic politics by giving him what are perceived as 'wins' over Brexit.

If this is the case, then barring an unexpected event, I think there will be a strong political push on both sides to sign off a transition deal which would be both a complete surrender by the UK, but with sufficient spin by a supportively dim witted UK press will allow her to push the whole Brexit issue politically to one side for a year or two. The Tories will be hoping that this can be sold to the public as a success for long enough for them to work out how to stop Corbyn.

David , March 26, 2018 at 8:22 am

I'm taking the liberty of re-posting a comment I made yesterday on one of the links – a Richard North piece – to which none of the usual Brexit scholars responded (Sunday .). It bears very much on this discussion and echoes a number of points made above.

"Richard North's Brexit article is well informed as one would expect, but I think that, like a lot of other commentators, he's missing something. May is a post-modern politician, ie there is no particular link between what she says and does, and her understanding of its impact on the real world. Only her words and actions actually count, and, whether it's threatening Russia or threatening Brussels, real-world consequences don't form part of the calculation, insofar as they actually exist. Her only concern (and in this she is indeed post-modernist) is with how she is perceived by voters and the media, and as a consequence whether she can hang onto her job. I think May has decided that she will have an agreement at any cost, no matter if she has to surrender on every single issue, and throw Northern Ireland to the wolves. She wants to be seen as the Prime Minister who got us "out of Europe," just as Ted Heath got us in. The content of the final deal is secondary: not that she wouldn't prefer to please the City and the Brexit ultras if she could, but if there's a choice she will sacrifice them for a picture of her shaking hands with Barnier and waving the Union Jack with the other hand. The resulting chaos can then be blamed on a treacherous Europe. Indeed, if May can stick it out until next year, I think she'll keep her job. What a thought." I think many of the hardline Brexiters have the same idea – the political prize is exiting the EU: the damage is a secondary consideration. Any deal, no matter how humiliating, can be spun in the end as a triumph because we will have broken the shackles of Brussels.

I'd add that the EU's emphasis on the priority to give to NI was an each-way bet, as I argued at the time. Either the Tory government collapsed, and something more reasonable took its place, or May gave way on everything else, in the hope of surviving and somehow finding a NI solution later. This has indeed proved to be the case.

Finally, I wouldn't put too much store by the imperial nostalgia argument, not least because few Brexiters were even alive then. The real nostalgia is for an independent Britain capable of playing a role on the world stage, perhaps at the head of a coalition of likeminded nations. The idea of a Commonwealth Free Trade area, for example, was raised in the 1975 EU referendum debate, and has its ultimate origins in the ideas of Mill and others in the 19th century for a kind of British superstate, incorporating Australia, New Zealand, Canada and perhaps South Africa. Its ghost still walks.

Finally, let's not get too carried away with the small size of the British economy. It's the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, depending on how you calculate it, ahead of Russia, India, Italy and Spain.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 9:12 am

Thanks for that, David.

I think you are right that the main political priority now in London is preserving May in her position. Whether or not she does a good deal (or any other good policy work) has become irrelevant. Its all about survival, and keeping Corbyn at bay.

Michael KILLIAN , March 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

Who are the 'wolves' to whom NI may be thrown? More interesting, who are the strange Tory Brexiteers, not exactly in sync with the needs and expectations of the City of London, big business in Britain, etc? The people for whom an imperial past is still a ghost that walks? A possible answer here:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n05/william-davies/what-are-they-after

templar555510 , March 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

Thank you David. I agree with your definition of the present Brexit set-up and May herself as post-modernist . The same could be said even more so about Trump . They have in their very different ways taken politics to a place beyond policies and even identities ( it's most recent iteration ) to this very new place where the public ( translation : American people ) simply roll over and get out of bed the next day to whatever is new and move on whether it be bombing in Syria, or Trump and a prostitute . I think the technology of the smart phone and everything that emanates from it is the handmaiden to this change . The speed of daily life as orchestrated by the smart phone has brought us all , whether we like it or not, to this post-modern , everything is a cultural construct , position which is possibly the most terrifying reality the West has ever had to face and yet it barely registers .

vlade , March 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

On your last point – it used to be larger. It would have been inconcievable even 50 years ago that the UK's economy could be compared with Spain's.

The point being that the correlation of physical closeness and trade is about as close as you get in economics to a natural law. The UK is now spurning (wilfully limiting its access to) the closest and the richest markets it has. That will have impact – and no amount of Brexiter's wishful thinking will replace it – if for nothing else, the likelyhood of the UK SMEs suddenly wanting to export to China/India/NZ/whatever is not going to grow with Brexit. Those who wanted and could, already do. The other don't want and are unlikely to want to in a new world.

Olivier , March 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Vlade, 50 years ago Africa still started at the Pyrenées, as the saying was in France. It is not that the UK has shrunk so much as that Spain has dramatically improved its position. So, unhelpful comparison. How the UK fared over those 50 years relative to, say, France and Germany or even Italy, would be more instructive.

Marlin , March 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

In relation to France it stayed roughly the same. But actually the share of British GDP to world GDP is much smaller and international specialisation and globalisation is much increased. For the question if the UK can act as a "big" economy in relation to economic policy the latter is more important.

The Rev Kev , March 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

You watch. About the same time that the British wake to find that the elites have sold them down the river through devastating incompetence and sheer bloodymindedness, they will find that in the transition to Brexit that the government would have voted themselves all sorts of laws that will give them authoritarian powers. And then it will be too late.
It won't matter how bad May is at that point and she might just resign and let somebody else deal with all the fallout over the new regulations at which time she will be kicked upstairs to the House of Lords. Isn't the way that it works in practice? Don't make any preparations, tell the people that they have got it all organized, then when it all hits they start pumping out emergency orders and the like.

Anonymous2 , March 26, 2018 at 10:44 am

It all seems quite curious does it not (curiouser and curiouser?). I wonder if I smell a rat? Forgive me; I have a suspicious nature. I was thinking partly of the role of Gove, which prompted some idle musings.

Gove is reportedly telling people who support Brexit to keep their eyes on the prize, by which he is said to mean letting the clock run down to 29 March 2019 at which time the UK is officially out of the EU. When I read Gove, I tend to think Murdoch, who pulls Gove's strings. Yves quite rightly asks what the press barons are about; that is generally worth knowing when it comes to UK politics. Is Murdoch playing a longer game?

The argument goes that once the UK is out of the EU it will be much harder to get support for it to go back in again as the UK would only be allowed back in without the special privileges it had negotiated for itself over the decades : opt out from Euro, Schengen, various justice issues, the budget rebate. Is this determining Murdoch's approach at the moment – ensure that the UK is outside the EU at almost any cost before proceeding to the next stage, when Ministers will be largely unable to call Brussels in to help them against him and his allies?

Why might Murdoch want to do that? There is talk that May will be ditched once she does a deal. If it is seen as a bad deal then she becomes the scapegoat (and Gove steps in to her shoes?). Post March 2019, it might then be the plan to seek to undercut the effect of any deal struck now by, for example, pulling out of the Good Friday Agreement if that proves to be an obstacle to the trade deals Fox is so keen to sign (is he expecting kickbacks?). At that point the UK might declare that with the demise of the GFA it was no longer constrained by the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement with regards to the Irish Border and with one leap the UK would be free. I have seen cynics suggest that the men of violence in Northern Ireland might be encouraged to go on a bit if a spree to justify claims that the GFA had failed.

I hope I am wrong but as I said I have a suspicious nature and, having watched more of Murdoch's machinations than I have ever wished, know that he is very capable of playing a long game.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

I'm loath to indulge in conspiracy theorising, but when it comes to Brexit (and Northern Ireland) conspiracies are legion and real.

I'm sure in any spiders web Murdoch will be found in the middle of it, and there is certainly something up, thats the only explanation for the low key response of the hard Brexiters. It wouldn't surprise me if he has realised that a tanking UK economy isn't exactly good for his investments (its also worth noting that it seems to have belatedly been realised by the UK media economy that many of them will have to up sticks to Europe if they are to keep broadcasting rights).

My guess is that they 'have a plan' which will involve Gove playing middle man, but actually working for a decisive Brexit doing his duty for the country at some stage to step into Mays shoes. All sorts of behind the scenes promises (mostly jobs, no doubt) have probably been made. I suspect a centre piece of it would be a dramatic repudiation of any deal, supposedly on the UK's terms.

As for Northern Ireland, anything is possible. Several of the Loyalist terrorist groups have been shown over the years to be little more than puppets of the security forces, they will do what they are told. And there have long been rumours that at least one of the fringe Republican groups is so completely infiltrated that they are similarly under control. There have been nearly 50 years of shady assassinations and bombings in NI and the Republic which have the fingerprints of intelligence services, so quite literally, I could believe almost anything could happen if it was in their interest. People who c ould maintain a boys home as the centre of a paedophile ring for political purposes are capable of almost anything.

Clive , March 26, 2018 at 11:56 am

Oh yes, this is a big part of the history of "the troubles". So much of what went on in that conflict was beneficial to the U.K. government. Budget, manpower, little oversight, draconian powers and a lot more besides was enabled merely because of the paramilitary activities. It's not hard to look for well documented examples -- such as the mass warrantless surveillance of all U.K.- Republic telecommunications http://www.lamont.me.uk/capenhurst/original.html by the U.K. security services.

And virtually everyone in the dissident republican movement was under constant monitoring which was put down to "luck" https://www.independent.co.uk/news/how-ira-plotted-to-switch-off-london-1266533.html when schemes were foiled. And even then, there was so much self licking ice creams going on with the RUC effectively knowing about and even setting up IRA hits which were carried out by informants https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_McGartland .

And, there's more, a lot of provisional activity was just your common or garden organised crime -- protection rackets, kidnapping and bribery.

To say that the troubles were merely to do with republicanism and unionism is like saying US Civil War was only about racism and ignoring the politics and the economics.

David , March 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I think that we should remember how much the anti-EU fraternity in politics and the media have had a symbiotic, if not downright parasitic, relationship with the EU itself. Much of their commerce depended on us being members, and so being able to strike poses and make cheap cracks about Europe and Brussels. I have a feeling that reality is starting to dawn, and they are standing to understand that politics will be a great deal more complicated, and probably nastier, after Brexit than even it is now.They'll have to find something else to complain about for easy applause instead of just bashing Brussels.
As for conspiracy theories, well I have the same skepticism about them of most people who've worked in government, and I happen to have been reasonably close to a number of people who had to deal with these issues in the 1970s and 1980s. There was certainly complicity in some cases, and some of the actors involved broke the rules badly , but it's a stretch from that to talk of conspiracies. With what objective? And what objective would such conspiracies have today, and how could they be implemented? The universal refrain among everyone I knew involved in the security forces at the time was Get Us Out of Here.

Anonymous2 , March 26, 2018 at 12:56 pm

To avoid confusion, I was not so much thinking conspiracy as trying to get inside Murdoch's head.

What might his objectives be? Well, the first of course is more power and wealth for himself, but he is not above making mischief.

Clive , March 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm

It'll put a cat amongst the pigeons and no mistake. If I may put in a word from the deplorables who voted Brexit, there's a lot which -- for both the UK and the EU -- was made a whole lot easier because a problem issue could simply be labelled as the British complaining and not understanding The Project.

Take energy. It was probably energy supply as much as Greece and the Ukraine which tipped me over into Brexit. At the behest of the U.K., the European energy industry became, at least in theory, a pan-continental endeavour free from national restrictive practices. Well, a fat lot of good that turned out to be. As exemplified by the recent cold weather snap, UK wholesalers when faced with a shortfall in natural gas supplies spiked the offer price into the stratosphere http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/PrevailingViewGraph/ViewReport?prevailingViewGraph=ActualPriceGraph&gasDate=2018-03-26 . No -- and I mean no -- EU suppliers made any bids. Now, it's either a Single Market or it isn't. It either looks and acts like it's subject to market forces or it doesn't. The rules are either enforced properly amongst all participants or they aren't. Irony's of irony's, when the U.K. needed an augmented natural gas input to match system demand, the only country to answer their doorbell was Russia. That, and some U.K. big capacity users releasing stocks from storage.

Now, the smell of the nationalist pulling up the drawbridge in energy supply is causing the Commission to try to document how in fact the Single Market sometimes isn't a market at all but just a token gesture and is working on the usual eurofudge http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.032.01.0052.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2018:032:TOC (the contortions of which did genuinely have me laughing out loud). There's going to be a lot more of this to come once the U.K. can't be the donkey this kind of tail is routinely pinned on.

And it'll be the same in the U.K. of course. Without the EU ready to play it's role of perpetual bogeyman, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves. And I still cannot, in all honesty, say anything other than bring it on.

(ask me in 5 years if I still think the same..!)

Ape , March 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

People have avoided the difficulty of reciprocal citizen's rights. How can the UK reciprocate with all the EU countries? Simultaneously? Where UK non-citizen residents can relocate for 30 years to an EU country then relocate back in the same way that a Brit in France can move to Germany for 30 years and then move back under current rules? It's even worse if you consider reciprocity to include the rights of all people outside their citizenship country's right to relocate.

The only obvious solution is to reduce Brits to the same status of any immigrant to a EU country. That means not being able to shift your permanent residency without applying for immigration.

Unless you are blue card eligible that's non-trivial.

[Mar 18, 2018] Globalists Or Nationalists Who Owns The Future by Patrick Buchanan

Mar 13, 2018 | Buchanan.org

Robert Bartley, the late editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, was a free trade zealot who for decades championed a five-word amendment to the Constitution: "There shall be open borders."

Bartley accepted what the erasure of America's borders and an endless influx or foreign peoples and goods would mean for his country.

Said Bartley, "I think the nation-state is finished."

His vision and ideology had a long pedigree.

This free trade, open borders cult first flowered in 18th-century Britain. The St. Paul of this post-Christian faith was Richard Cobden, who mesmerized elites with the grandeur of his vision and the power of his rhetoric.

In Free Trade Hall in Manchester, Jan. 15, 1846, the crowd was so immense the seats had to be removed. There, Cobden thundered:

"I look farther; I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe -- drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonisms of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace."

Britain converted to this utopian faith and threw open her markets to the world. Across the Atlantic, however, another system, that would be known as the "American System," had been embraced.

The second bill signed by President Washington was the Tariff Act of 1789. Said the Founding Father of his country in his first address to Congress: "A free people should promote such manufactures as tend to make them independent on others for essential, particularly military supplies."

In his 1791 "Report on Manufactures," Alexander Hamilton wrote, "Every nation ought to endeavor to possess within itself all the essentials of national supply. These comprise the means of subsistence, habitat, clothing and defence."

This was wisdom born of experience.

At Yorktown, Americans had to rely on French muskets and ships to win their independence. They were determined to erect a system that would end our reliance on Europe for the necessities of our national life, and establish new bonds of mutual dependency -- among Americans.

Britain's folly became manifest in World War I, as a self-reliant America stayed out, while selling to an import-dependent England the food, supplies and arms she needed to survive but could not produce.

America's own first major steps toward free trade, open borders and globalism came with JFK's Trade Expansion Act and LBJ's Immigration Act of 1965.

By the end of the Cold War, however, a reaction had set in, and a great awakening begun. U.S. trade deficits in goods were surging into the hundreds of billions, and more than a million legal and illegal immigrants were flooding in yearly, visibly altering the character of the country.

Americans were coming to realize that free trade was gutting the nation's manufacturing base and open borders meant losing the country in which they grew up. And on this earth there is no greater loss.

The new resistance of Western man to the globalist agenda is now everywhere manifest.

We see it in Trump's hostility to NAFTA, his tariffs, his border wall.

We see it in England's declaration of independence from the EU in Brexit. We see it in the political triumphs of Polish, Hungarian and Czech nationalists, in anti-EU parties rising across Europe, in the secessionist movements in Scotland and Catalonia and Ukraine, and in the admiration for Russian nationalist Vladimir Putin.

Europeans have begun to see themselves as indigenous peoples whose Old Continent is mortally imperiled by the hundreds of millions of invaders wading across the Med and desperate come and occupy their homelands.

Who owns the future? Who will decide the fate of the West?

The problem of the internationalists is that the vision they have on offer -- a world of free trade, open borders and global government -- are constructs of the mind that do not engage the heart.

Men will fight for family, faith and country. But how many will lay down their lives for pluralism and diversity?

Who will fight and die for the Eurozone and EU?

On Aug. 4, 1914, the anti-militarist German Social Democrats, the oldest and greatest socialist party in Europe, voted the credits needed for the Kaiser to wage war on France and Russia. With the German army on the march, the German socialists were Germans first.

Patriotism trumps ideology.

In "Present at the Creation," Dean Acheson wrote of the postwar world and institutions born in the years he served FDR and Truman in the Department of State: The U.N., IMF, World Bank, Marshall Plan, and with the split between East and West, NATO.

We are present now at the end of all that.

And our transnational elites have a seemingly insoluble problem.

To rising millions in the West, the open borders and free trade globalism they cherish and champion is not a glorious future, but an existential threat to the sovereignty, independence and identity of the countries they love. And they will not go gentle into that good night.

[Mar 14, 2018] We will probably never learn why President Trump turned on Rex Tillerson. If we ever do, it may be because Neocons are furious reality refuses to bend to their fantasies.

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with you all that replacing Rex Tillerson, who could not be brow-beaten all the time, with Mike Pompeo, "who agrees with me," further isolates the Trump Whitehouse and makes the world that more dangerous. ..."
Mar 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RC 13 March 2018 at 09:11 PM

I agree with you all that replacing Rex Tillerson, who could not be brow-beaten all the time, with Mike Pompeo, "who agrees with me," further isolates the Trump Whitehouse and makes the world that more dangerous.

But, am I alone in noting a tendency of President Trump to fire his staff without warning, at considerable distance, and to deny that anything he might have done was a reason for poor polling?

The first time we saw this was the dismissal of Corey Lewandowski, the man who was with Candidate Trump 24 / 7 for 18 months of Primaries. Corey arrives at his desk in Trump Tower at 6:00 am and is asked to join Trump Jr. He reaches Jr.'s office and is assigned a security guard to vacate his office. "What have I done?" he asks and Jr. does not reply. On 5th Avenue he calls Trump's personal number. The Donald says that "They are killing us." and hangs up. Corey is persuaded to meet Dana Bash of CNN and is extremely loyal to his former boss, while saying he has no idea about the firing. On leaving the studio, Trump calls him to say how proud he was of Corey. A nice gesture, but inadequate given Corey's personal sacrifice. (Let Trump Be Trump -- Lewandowski and Bossie 128 - 133.)

We will probably never learn why President Trump turned on Rex Tillerson. If we ever do, it may be because Neocons are furious reality refuses to bend to their fantasies.

[Mar 02, 2018] The main reason much of the highest echelons of American power are united against Trump might be that they're terrified that -- unlike Obama -- he's a really bad salesman for the US led neoliberal empire. This threatens the continuance of their well oiled and exceedingly corrupt gravy train

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... he Dems disgust me with their neo-McCarthyism and the Repubs disgust me because of the way they are playing out their hand right now as well. Games within corrupt games, and yet normal behavior especially in waning empires (or other types of polities, including powerful int'l corporations). ..."
"... Chapter 14 of Guns, Germs and Steel is titled "From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy" and it used to be available online but my old link is dead and I couldn't find a new one. But a basic definition should suffice: "Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service." I have no idea how one turns this around and I doubt it's even possible. ..."
"... The Real Reason Establishment Frauds Hate Trump and Obsess About Russia https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/02/20/the-real-reason-establishment-frauds-hate-trump-and-obsess-about-russia/ ..."
"... Blaming Russia for all the nation's problems serves several key purposes for various defenders of the status quo. For discredited neocons and neoliberals who never met a failed war based on lies they didn't support, it provides an opportunity to rehabilitate their torched reputations by masquerading as fierce patriots against the latest existential enemy. Similarly, for those who lived in denial about who Obama really was for eight years, latching on to the Russia narrative allows them to reassure themselves that everything really was fine before Trump and Russia came along and ruined the party. ..."
"... he doesn't provide the same feel good quality to empire that Obama did. He's simply not the warm and fuzzy salesman for oligarchy and empire Obama was, thus his inability to sugarcoat state-sanctioned murder forces a lot of people to confront the uncomfortable hypocrisies in our society that many would prefer not to admit. ..."
"... I can't stand Kushner's smirky face and got a good chuckle from this prince's fall as I am not a fan of his passion for Israel. But I don't think he's a stupid idiot either. He's probably very smart in business, but he seems to have no feel for politics. Trump is much better at it than Kushner. Of course they are going after Kushner as a way to attack and disadvantage Trump. Politics is a form of warfare after all. ..."
"... My take is that Trump survives but mostly contained by the Borg ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Originally from discussion at Sic Semper Tyrannis Another SIGINT compromise ...

Valissa -> jsn... 01 March 2018 at 07:44 PM

jsn @16 & 40, in complete agreement with you. Great comments! T he Dems disgust me with their neo-McCarthyism and the Repubs disgust me because of the way they are playing out their hand right now as well. Games within corrupt games, and yet normal behavior especially in waning empires (or other types of polities, including powerful int'l corporations).

Chapter 14 of Guns, Germs and Steel is titled "From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy" and it used to be available online but my old link is dead and I couldn't find a new one. But a basic definition should suffice: "Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service." I have no idea how one turns this around and I doubt it's even possible.

Back when I used to subscribe to STRATFOR, founder George Friedman always made a point of evaluating the elites of whatever country he was analyzing and how they operated amongst themselves and relative to the people and how effective they were or were not in governing a country. But he never did that for the US. I would have paid extra for that report! But of course he could not stay in business if he did such a thing as those people are his clients.

I think Mike Krieger over at Liberty Blitzkrieg nails it from another perspective with this post:

The Real Reason Establishment Frauds Hate Trump and Obsess About Russia https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/02/20/the-real-reason-establishment-frauds-hate-trump-and-obsess-about-russia/

Blaming Russia for all the nation's problems serves several key purposes for various defenders of the status quo. For discredited neocons and neoliberals who never met a failed war based on lies they didn't support, it provides an opportunity to rehabilitate their torched reputations by masquerading as fierce patriots against the latest existential enemy. Similarly, for those who lived in denial about who Obama really was for eight years, latching on to the Russia narrative allows them to reassure themselves that everything really was fine before Trump and Russia came along and ruined the party.

By throwing every problem in Putin's lap, the entrenched bipartisan status quo can tell themselves (and everybody else) that it wasn't really them and their policies that voters rejected in 2016, rather, the American public was tricked by cunning, nefarious Russians. Ridiculous for sure, but never underestimate the instinctive human desire to deny accountability for one's own failures. It's always easier to blame than to accept responsibility.

That said, there's a much bigger game afoot beyond the motivations of individuals looking to save face. The main reason much of the highest echelons of American power are united against Trump has nothing to do with his actual policies. Instead, they're terrified that -- unlike Obama -- he's a really bad salesman for empire. This sort of Presidential instability threatens the continuance of their well oiled and exceedingly corrupt gravy train. Hillary Clinton was a sure thing, Donald Trump remains an unpredictable wildcard.

... Obama said all the right things while methodically doing the bidding of oligarchy. He captured the imagination of millions, if not billions, around the world with his soaring rhetoric, yet rarely skipped a beat when it came to the advancement of imperial policies. He made bailing out Wall Street, droning civilians and cracking down on journalists seem progressive. He said one thing, did another, and people ate it up. This is an extraordinarily valuable quality when it comes to a vicious and unelected deep state that wants to keep a corrupt empire together.

Trump has the exact opposite effect. Sure, he also frequently says one thing and then does another, but he doesn't provide the same feel good quality to empire that Obama did. He's simply not the warm and fuzzy salesman for oligarchy and empire Obama was, thus his inability to sugarcoat state-sanctioned murder forces a lot of people to confront the uncomfortable hypocrisies in our society that many would prefer not to admit.
------------

I can't stand Kushner's smirky face and got a good chuckle from this prince's fall as I am not a fan of his passion for Israel. But I don't think he's a stupid idiot either. He's probably very smart in business, but he seems to have no feel for politics. Trump is much better at it than Kushner. Of course they are going after Kushner as a way to attack and disadvantage Trump. Politics is a form of warfare after all.

My take is that Trump survives but mostly contained by the Borg

[Mar 02, 2018] Trump betrayal of Trumpism

But Trump himself was quickly neutered (in just three month) and now does not represents "Trumpism" (rejection of neoliberal globalization, unrestricted immigration for suppression of wages, rejection of elimination of jobs via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing, rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in Middle east, detente with Russia etc) in any meaningful way. He is just an aging Narcissist in power.
Looks like Trump became a variant of Hillary minus sex change operation.
Notable quotes:
"... He supports same sex relations and marriage of the same. ..."
"... He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership ..."
"... . He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement. ..."
"... He seems too weak to stand his ground on key issues. Syria, (missile attack) ..."
"... His willingness to ignore -- Israel-US problematic relationship. ..."
"... I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

it's easy to come away from CPAC energy and enthusiasm thinking your headline is an accurate description of what is happening in the GOP. I am more conservative thankfully in my views than most members at CPAC. And while I may not be the typical voter. I can say categorically, that :trumoing" is not in my blood. Let's look what a consevative had to consider when evaluating Pres Trump:

3. He supports same sex relations and marriage of the same.

... ... ...

5. He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership

... ... ...

8 . He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement.

9. He seems too weak to stand his ground on key issues. Syria, (missile attack)

10. His willingness to ignore -- Israel-US problematic relationship.

11. He thinks that Keynesian policy is a substitute for economic growth. monetary policy.

12. I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA.

[Mar 02, 2018] The deplorables, having found one another, need to hang together until we find real leadership. Trump, whatever he is, is not a leader.

"Note about Miss Mona Charin: the two agree on so many points on foreign policy, especially Israel, it's hard to see her disdain. I think she rejects his troublesome demeanor and attitude. Presidential decorum is a big deal to many."
Notable quotes:
"... The sixty plus millions of people who voted Trump are politically diverse. They have one thing in common. They were not persuaded by the loud, continuous and shameless lying of the corporate media. Rather they were motivated by it. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , March 2, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT

@EliteCommInc.

Now his other supporters might say, considered against all the other candidates -- he's better. Hmmmm, well, that's why I voted for him.

Thank you. My bullet points would differ from yours but in the end I also voted for Trump. The sixty plus millions of people who voted Trump are politically diverse. They have one thing in common. They were not persuaded by the loud, continuous and shameless lying of the corporate media. Rather they were motivated by it.

The deplorables, having found one another, need to hang together until we find real leadership. Trump, whatever he is, is not a leader.

[Mar 02, 2018] Si>nce 1980th, very little has been done by US Federal Government for the benefit of the common citizen. A great deal has been done to facilitate the degradation of the standard of living of common citizen by the global one percent and by the costs of maintaining global neoliberal empire

Notable quotes:
"... Based on historical evidence, to believe that Trump (with his party - Republican control of House and Senate) will change our course is naive. By contrast, Obama D had both houses also - we got WAR, cash for clunkers, foreclosures, bank bailouts and health care by AHIP with runaway costs. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy | Aug 20, 2017 3:12:28 PM | 133

In fifty years, very little has been done by US Federal Government which benefits the common citizen. A great deal has been done to facilitate the degradation of the common citizen by the global one percent. We have a new world order as called for by GHW Bush.

Based on historical evidence, to believe that Trump (with his party - Republican control of House and Senate) will change our course is naive. By contrast, Obama D had both houses also - we got WAR, cash for clunkers, foreclosures, bank bailouts and health care by AHIP with runaway costs.

Rodger | Aug 20, 2017 3:37:22 PM | 137
ANON

Trump is and has been carrying out his own policies to enrich those that already have everything and to repeal any regulations that were put into place to protect the people. Have you not noticed that he lined his cabinet with Goldman Sachs (which he blasted HRC for associating her self with.

Like I said he and his gang are doing what they want to help enrich themselves on the backs of the rest of us. Wake up and quit upholding these lying pieces of excrement they are no different than the ones before them.

Trump is a dirty businessman the things that he is doing are to benefit him and his family and to screw the rest of us and tell us how great it is for us. You my man have drank from the Trump cup and think that anything that speaks against him is "fake news" when in reality Trump and the likes of Breitbart are the "fake news" a little truth but a bunch of spin

[Mar 02, 2018] Fatal Delusions of Western Man by Pat Buchanan

Highly recommended!
At the core of Trumpism is the rejection of neoliberalism
Pat Buchanan does not understand neoliberalism well and mixes apples with oranges, but the key idea expressed here stands: " Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history."
Notable quotes:
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

At Yalta, Churchill rose to toast the butcher:

"I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world. We regard Marshal Stalin's life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us."

Returning home, Churchill assured a skeptical Parliament, "I know of no Government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government."

George W. Bush, with the U.S. establishment united behind him, invaded Iraq with the goal of creating a Vermont in the Middle East that would be a beacon of democracy to the Arab and Islamic world.

Ex-Director of the NSA Gen. William Odom correctly called the U.S. invasion the greatest strategic blunder in American history. But Bush, un-chastened, went on to preach a crusade for democracy with the goal of "ending tyranny in our world."

... ... ...

After our victory in the Cold War, we not only plunged into the Middle East to remake it in our image, we issued war guarantees to every ex-member state of the Warsaw Pact, and threatened Russia with war if she ever intervened again in the Baltic Republics.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of issuing such an in-your-face challenge to a great nuclear power like Russia. If Putin's Russia does not become the pacifist nation it has never been, these guarantees will one day be called. And America will either back down -- or face a nuclear confrontation. Why would we risk something like this?

Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history.

But the greatest risk we are taking, based on utopianism, is the annual importation of well over a million legal and illegal immigrants, many from the failed states of the Third World, in the belief we can create a united, peaceful and harmonious land of 400 million, composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, tribe, creed, culture and language on earth.

Where is the historic evidence for the success of this experiment, the failure of which could mean the end of America as one nation and one people?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

likbez , March 2, 2018 at 6:47 am GMT

Pat Buchanan does not understand neoliberalism well and mixes apples with oranges, but the key idea expressed here stands:

" Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history."

The truth is that now Trump does not represent "Trumpism" -- the movement that he created which includes the following:

– rejection of neoliberal globalization;
– rejection of unrestricted immigration;
– fight against suppression of wages by multinationals via cheap imported labor;
– fight against the elimination of meaningful, well-paying jobs via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing;
– rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in the Middle East;
– détente with Russia;
– more pragmatic relations with Israel and suppression of Israeli agents of influence;
– revision of relations with China and addressing the problem of trade deficit.
– rejection of total surveillance on all citizens;
– the cut of military expenses to one third or less of the current level and concentrating on revival on national infrastructure, education, and science.
– abandonment of maintenance of the "sole superpower" status and global neoliberal empire for more practical and less costly "semi-isolationist" foreign policy; closing of unnecessary foreign military bases and cutting aid to the current clients.

Of course, the notion of "Trumpism" is fuzzy and different people might include some additional issues and disagree with some listed here, but the core probably remains.

Of course, Trump is under relentless attack (coup d'état or, more precisely, a color revolution) of neoliberal fifth column, which includes Clinton gang, fifth column elements within his administration (Rosenstein, etc) as well from remnants of Obama administration (Brennan, Comey, Clapper) and associated elements within corresponding intelligence agencies. He probably was forced into some compromises just to survive. He also has members of the neoliberal fifth column within his family (Ivanka and Kushner).

So the movement now is in deep need of a new leader.

Miro23, March 3, 2018 at 7:55 am GMT
@likbez

That's a good summary of what the public voted for and didn't get.

And whether Trump has sold out, or was blackmailed or was a cynical manipulative liar for the beginning is really irrelevant. The fact is that he is not doing it – so he is just blocking the way.

At some point the US public are going to have to forget about their "representatives" (Trump and Congress and the rest of them) and get out onto the street to make themselves heard. The population of the US is 323 million people and if just 1/2 of 1% (1,6 million) of them decided to visit Congress directly the US administration might get the message.

pyrrhus, March 3, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT

@anon

Finally, Pat understands that the American [Neoliberal] Empire and habit of intervention all over the world is a disaster.

[Mar 02, 2018] Trump_vs_deep_state as bastard neoliberalism vs classic neoliberalism

In this state the current war between factions of the US elite reminds Stalin fight against "globalists" like Trotsky, who were hell-bent of the idea of world revolution.
Notable quotes:
"... I would define Trump_vs_deep_state as "bastard neoliberalism" which tries to combine domestic "100% pure" neoliberalism with the rejection of neoliberal globalization as well as partial rejection of expensive effort for expansion of US led neoliberal empire via color revolutions and military invasions, especially in the Middle East. ..."
"... That makes screams of "soft neoliberals" from Democratic Party at "hard neoliberals" at Republican Party really funny indeed. Both are essentially "latter-day Trotskyites", yet they scream at each other, especially Obama/Clinton supporters ;-) ..."
"... But in reality Democratic sheeple are just a different type of wolfs -- wolfs in sheep clothing. And Hillary was an old, worn "classic neoliberal" shoe, which nobody really wants to wear. ..."
"... Trump does not intend to change the neoliberal consensus of what government should do domestically, and what should be the relationship between US government and business community. ..."
Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> likbez... December 26, 2016 at 08:08 PM

I would define Trump_vs_deep_state as "bastard neoliberalism" which tries to combine domestic "100% pure" neoliberalism with the rejection of neoliberal globalization as well as partial rejection of expensive effort for expansion of US led neoliberal empire via color revolutions and military invasions, especially in the Middle East.

That's what seems to be the key difference of Trump_vs_deep_state from "classic neoliberalism" or as Sklar called it "corporate liberalism".

From Reagan to Obama all US governments pray to the altar of classic neoliberalism. Now we have a slight deviation.

That makes screams of "soft neoliberals" from Democratic Party at "hard neoliberals" at Republican Party really funny indeed. Both are essentially "latter-day Trotskyites", yet they scream at each other, especially Obama/Clinton supporters ;-)

In this sense Krugman recent writings are really pathetic and signify his complete detachment from reality, or more correctly attempt to create an "artificial reality" in which bad wolf Trump is going to eat Democratic sheeple. And in which media, FBI, and Putin are responsible entirely for Hillary's loss.

But in reality Democratic sheeple are just a different type of wolfs -- wolfs in sheep clothing. And Hillary was an old, worn "classic neoliberal" shoe, which nobody really wants to wear.

Trump does not intend to change the neoliberal consensus of what government should do domestically, and what should be the relationship between US government and business community.

But the far right movement that he created and led has different ideas.

So it might be an interesting period to watch.

[Mar 02, 2018] Trump and DACA

Notable quotes:
"... He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership ..."
"... . He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement. ..."
"... His willingness to ignore – Israel-US problematic relationship. ..."
"... I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

it's easy to come away from CPAC energy and enthusiasm thinking your headline is an accurate description of what is happening in the GOP. I am more conservative thankfully in my views than most members at CPAC. And while I may not be the typical voter. I can say categorically, that :trumoing" is not in my blood. Let's look what a consevative had to consider when evaluating Pres Trump:

1. He has spent most of his life supporting the murder of children.

2. He supports a national healthcare policy

3. He supports same sex relations and marriage of the same.

4. He ha absolutely little or n o knowledge about scripture or its intent in practice.

5. He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership

6. He can't reconcile historical criticism from deciphering a realistic image of the country.

7. He thinks that the country has disadvantaged whites and the previous executive that indication.

8. He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement.

9. He seems too weak to stand his ground on key issues. Syria, (missile attack)

10. His willingness to ignore – Israel-US problematic relationship.

11. He thinks that Keynesian policy is a substitute for economic growth. monetary policy.

12. I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA.

Now his other supporters might say, considered against all the other candidates -- he's better. Hmmmm, well, that's why I voted for him. But that vote is not unconditional or inconsiderate of where this executive and my conservative principles part company. On a personal note -- someone who does not grasp celibacy in theory and practice -- is probably not going to have a conservative bone in his core. There's one aspect of Pres. trump that makes me leary -- but I will bite my tongue. What I have noted is on the record.

The fact that he says things that amount to standing up to democrats and liberals is one thing, but what he engages in as to policy in many respects may not be that far off from their own. Laugh -- he does think someone should stand up for people of faith -- that's a relief.

Note about Miss Mona Charin: the two agree on so many points on foreign policy, especially Israel, it's hard to see her disdain. I think she rejects his troublesome demeanor and attitude. Presidential decorum is a big deal to many.

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 3:45 pm GMT
Integrity matters
Alden , March 1, 2018 at 8:28 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc.

It wasn' t Trump who back pedaled on DACA. He issued the executive order that would rescind it. But in accord with Marbury vs Madison 1804, just 2 low level judges, one in Hawaii and one in Brooklyn NYC overturned the executive order.

The DoJ appealed it went to the Supreme court last week. The Supreme Court refused to hear it.

So the rulings of just 2 low level judges prevailed over the executive order of an elected president.

It wasn't Trump who back pedaled. It was our ridiculous judicial supremacy legal system that ruled that the DACAs can stay. It's nothing new, it's been that way since 1804.

Only 2 presidents defied a Supreme Court ruling: Jackson in his order to expell Indians and Lincon's Suspending haveas corpus for the 4 years of the civil war.

Face it, this country has been ruled by judges from the beginnning.

Abortion? If it were not for abortion the black criminal affirmative action neighborhood and school destroying demographic would be at least 25 percent of the population instead of 12 percent.

No city or school has been able to withstand more than about a 10 percent black population. 25 percent is totally destructive.

The anti homosexual thing is in the Jewish part of the Bible, not the Christian part. I for one can't understand why so called Christians are so obsessed with the sex rape polygamy lie cheat steal and massacre Jewish part of the Bible.

The 2 parts are total opposites. One is kill slay massacre lie cheat and steal. The other is be good and generous sexually chaste virtuous and avoid war and massacring a defeated enemy.

Don't blame Trump for losing on DACA. Blame our judicial supremacy system of government

MarkinLA , March 1, 2018 at 9:35 pm GMT
@Alden

He backpedaled on DACA by not rescinding it on his first day in office like he promised. He did so by creating a deadline and asking Congress do fix it rather than just take it apart like he promised.

This district court judges do not have the power to tell a President that he must maintain a clearly unconstitutional program that was created with nothing but the stroke of the President's pen. He can and should simply ignore the lower courts ruling and force the Supreme Court to get off their butts and reign in these lower courts that think they have the power to make law.

The only reason the courts think they have this power is because everybody defers to them. It is one thing for the court to rule that some law is unconstitutional but quite another for courts to determine how those laws are implemented and what powers the executive has – even when they have nothing to do with those enumerated in the Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution expected men, with all their lust for power, to jealously guard their power and in so doing make it hard for any one part of the governmnt to get too strong. However, now we have cowards in Congress ceding their power to the President so they don't have to make tough decisions that they will be hels accountable for on election day and we have weak Presidents hiding behind ridiculous rulings from unelected judges.

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm GMT
The betrayal has absolutely with a court ruling. His offered compromise is the issue and make no mistake that was no compromise.

I could get in to some other choices the Pres could have chosen on the law created by DHS. But we'd be having a discussion issues pertaining the use of government agencies to in effect make laws without Congressional approval or the consent by the executive. Clearly with the DACA memo, it's clear that its existence rests on the discretion of the executive's enforcement of the law.

But as with most people, I get the excuse but the courts made me do it or wouldn't let me do it. government. He could have issues his memo for his current DHS head to amend the document, period. But I am dipping my toe where it need not be dipped to remain where I came in -- this president caved as he has on several issues. His supposed deal is exemplary of his choice to lob missiles and send troops into Syria.

He gets convinced he is being a "good guy". His hand ringing about a situation he himself created is further indication of his willingness to betray principles come as to why people like myself voted for him.

I have gone to bat for this executive even at the expense of my own moral codes for the sake of fairness. No. His offerings were a betrayal with or without the cover of a court ruling.

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s1-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individuals-who-came-to-us-as-children.pdf

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R44764.pdf

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 10:04 pm GMT
@MarkinLA

I rarely express agreement -- but on this occasion –

I think the above is substantially on point.

[Feb 16, 2018] Is Donald Trump Morphing Into A Neocon Interventionist by Doug Bandow

One year later we can say with confidence, yes he morphed into a neocon in foreign policy.
What is especially bad is that Trump executed "bait and switch" maneuver as smoothly as Obama. Devastating.
Notable quotes:
"... So now it gets me thinking like this: Who are Mr. Bandow's clients today? ..."
"... Some say that the reason for Trump's total reversal of his campaign-position on Russia is the American Deep State (the U.S. aristocracy and its agents). I agree with that view. ..."
"... I believe the American people are beginning to realize the CIA has the obsession for multiple, unending wars all for the benefit of Wall Street. ..."
"... It appears "military-industrial complex" or "deep state" refuses to take step back and insists on sucking more money from taxpayers. On first glance all is great for them, bombing of Middle East will continue, and so will military expansion at cost of civilian programs. However, ramifications to rest of the world should not be dismissed. EU countries are divided on following Washington hard line against Russia or diverge with USA. Currently, EU is cracking and might fall apart. Some in USA would cheer it but in long run it will mean loss of strongest US supporter against China. Regarding Middle East, Trump punished victims of AlQaeda and did nothing against financiers of AlQaeda, which will only increase local tensions. So indeed, not a great start... ..."
"... While I basically agree that Trump is not following through on his campaign, we must keep in mind that the campaign of his opponent was for MUCH more of the same, new wars, vastly increased fighting in current wars. So more of the same is in fact a big step down from the alternative. ..."
"... Stop those wars. They don't serve us. ..."
"... Trump's a liar, and his whole campaign was a calculated fraud from the beginning. We're the victims of a "bait-and-switch" scam. ..."
"... Because he lied. Just like he lied about draining the swamp and just restocked it with new varmints from Goldman Sachs and even an ex-Soros employee. Nothing new for me. Been watching elections for about 60 years and this is same ole. America can't take much more of this before it collapses and splits apart. The world isn't going to take much more from dc either. God help us. We are in a pickle! ..."
Apr 20, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

Why Is Trump Abandoning the Foreign Policy that Brought Him Victory The National Interest Blog

Candidate Donald Trump offered a sharp break from his predecessors. He was particularly critical of neoconservatives, who seemed to back war at every turn.

Indeed, he promised not to include in his administration "those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war." And he's generally kept that commitment, for instance rejecting as deputy secretary of state Elliot Abrams, who said Trump was unfit to be president.

Substantively candidate Trump appeared to offer not so much a philosophy as an inclination. Practical if not exactly realist, he cared more for consequences than his three immediate predecessors, who had treated wars as moral crusades in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. In contrast, Trump promised: "unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct."

Yet so far the Trump administration is shaping up as a disappointment for those who hoped for a break from the liberal interventionist/neoconservative synthesis.

The first problem is staffing. In Washington people are policy. The president can speak and tweet, but he needs others to turn ideas into reality and implement his directives. It doesn't appear that he has any foreign policy realists around him, or anyone with a restrained view of America's international responsibilities.

Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and H. R. McMaster are all serious and talented, and none are neocons. But all seem inclined toward traditional foreign policy approaches and committed to moderating their boss's unconventional thoughts. Most of the names mentioned for deputy secretary of state have been reliably hawkish, or some combination of hawk and centrist-Abrams, John Bolton, the rewired Jon Huntsman.

Trump appears to be most concerned with issues that have direct domestic impacts, and especially with economic nostrums about which he is most obviously wrong. He's long been a protectionist (his anti-immigration opinions are of more recent vintage). Yet his views have not changed even as circumstances have. The Chinese once artificially limited the value of the renminbi, but recently have taken the opposite approach. The United States is not alone in losing manufacturing jobs, which are disappearing around the world and won't be coming back. Multilateral trade agreements are rarely perfect, but they are not zero sum games. They usually offer political as well as economic benefits. Trump does not seem prepared to acknowledge this, at least rhetorically. Indeed he has brought on board virulent opponents of free trade such as Peter Navarro.

The administration's repudiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was particularly damaging. Trump's decision embarrassed Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who had offered important economic concessions to join. More important, Trump has abandoned the economic field to the People's Republic of China, which is pushing two different accords. Australia, among other U.S. allies, has indicated that it now will deal with Beijing, which gets to set the Pacific trade agenda. In this instance, what's good for China is bad for the United States.

In contrast, on more abstract foreign policy issues President Trump seems ready to treat minor concessions as major victories and move on. For years he criticized America's Asian and European allies for taking advantage of U.S. defense generosity. In his March foreign policy speech, he complained that "our allies are not paying their fair share." During the campaign he suggested refusing to honor NATO's Article 5 commitment and leave countries failing to make sufficient financial contributions to their fate.

Yet Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson have insisted that Washington remains committed to the very same alliances incorporating dependence on America. Worse, in his speech to Congress the president took credit for the small uptick in military outlays by European NATO members which actually began in 2015: "based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning" to "meet their financial obligations." Although he declared with predictable exaggeration that "the money is pouring in," no one believes that Germany, which will go from 1.19 to 1.22 percent of GDP this year, will nearly double its outlays to hit even the NATO standard of two percent.

Trump's signature policy initiative, rapprochement with Russia, appears dead in the water. Unfortunately, the president's strange personal enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin undercut his desire to accommodate a great power which has no fundamental, irresolvable conflicts with the America. Contrary to neocon history, Russia and America have often cooperated in the past. Moreover, President Trump's attempt to improve relations faces strong ideological opposition from neoconservatives determined to have a new enemy and partisan resistance from liberal Democrats committed to undermining the new administration.

President Trump also appears to have no appointees who share his commitment on this issue. At least Trump's first National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, wanted better relations with Russia, amid other, more dubious beliefs, but now the president seems alone. In fact, Secretary Tillerson sounded like he was representing the Obama administration when he demanded Moscow's withdrawal from Crimea, a policy nonstarter. Ambassador-designate Huntsman's views are unclear, but he will be constrained by the State Department bureaucracy, which is at best unimaginative and at worst actively obstructionist.


taavitheman , March 10, 2017 4:04 PM

"Unfortunately, the president's strange personal enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin undercut his desire to accommodate a great power which has no fundamental, irresolvable conflicts with the America."

I did my due diligence on the writer after this absolutely baffling argument that has no basis on certain fundamental laws of geopolitics. Referring to this: https://www.bloomberg.com/n...

So now it gets me thinking like this: Who are Mr. Bandow's clients today? Figures...

Eric Zuesse , March 14, 2017 8:24 AM

Some say that the reason for Trump's total reversal of his campaign-position on Russia is the American Deep State (the U.S. aristocracy and its agents). I agree with that view.

Sarastro92 Eric Zuesse , March 19, 2017 11:43 AM

And other say you're a sap for believing a bunch of half-baked one-liners that Trump often contradicted in the same sentence... He never had a coherent policy on anything, no less foreign policy... so don't complain now that he's showing his true colors

tom Eric Zuesse , March 19, 2017 10:28 AM

The USA should FORCE other nations to use DIPLOMACY as a means to preventing wars. If they don't, they lose all support, financial and otherwise, from the USA. This would include Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The only thing Trump should take a look at in all this is the INHUMANE policies that previous administrations have used to placate the military/industrial clique's appetite for money and blood! If it's going to be "America First" for Trump's administration, it better start diverting this blood money to shore up America's people and infrastructures!

America2028 , March 12, 2017 1:19 PM

Most of these issues come down to the fact that President Trump doesn't have anything resembling a "grand strategy", or even a coherent foreign policy. His views are often at odds with each other (his desire to counter China economically and his opposition to the TPP, for example), and I suspect that most were motivated by a desire to get votes more than any kind of deep understanding of global affairs.

R. Arandas , March 10, 2017 9:36 PM

Most of his supporters, at least from what I can tell, are actually quite resolutely against entering a new war, and are strongly condemnatory of the neo-conservatism that involved the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In fact, according to the polls taken at the time, more Democrats favored military intervention in Syria than Republicans did.

olde reb R. Arandas , March 21, 2017 5:53 PM

I believe the American people are beginning to realize the CIA has the obsession for multiple, unending wars all for the benefit of Wall Street.

Ref. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

mladenm , March 11, 2017 8:45 AM

It appears "military-industrial complex" or "deep state" refuses to take step back and insists on sucking more money from taxpayers. On first glance all is great for them, bombing of Middle East will continue, and so will military expansion at cost of civilian programs. However, ramifications to rest of the world should not be dismissed. EU countries are divided on following Washington hard line against Russia or diverge with USA. Currently, EU is cracking and might fall apart. Some in USA would cheer it but in long run it will mean loss of strongest US supporter against China. Regarding Middle East, Trump punished victims of AlQaeda and did nothing against financiers of AlQaeda, which will only increase local tensions. So indeed, not a great start...

Mark Thomason , March 11, 2017 11:13 AM

While I basically agree that Trump is not following through on his campaign, we must keep in mind that the campaign of his opponent was for MUCH more of the same, new wars, vastly increased fighting in current wars. So more of the same is in fact a big step down from the alternative.

That does not excuse doing more of the same, but just asserts that we did get some of what we voted for/against.

We should get the rest of it. Stop those wars. They don't serve us.

richardvajs Guest , March 19, 2017 1:46 PM

There are similarities between Trump and Putin . The GOP and its rich corporate members have decided to use Trump as the oligarchs in Russia used Yeltsin. The oligarchs used a drunken Yeltsin to pry the natural resources out of the public commons for the grabbing by the oligarchs. Likewise, our rich are going to use an unwitting Trump to lower their taxes to nothing while delivering austerity to the 99%.
To the oligarchs' surprise and dismay, Yeltsin's incompetence led to Putin and his scourge of the oligarchs. So will Trump's incompetence lead to the end of our system of crony capitalism and the rebirth of socialism such as the New Deal, and higher taxes.
The crooked bastards can never be satisfied even with 3/4 ths of the whole pie, so no-one should pity them for being hoisted on their own petard.

Asia at War , April 30, 2017 12:52 AM

Trump forgot what he promised to the people. He sold his soul to the devil. I hope he doesn't send more of our children to die for the "Deep state."

Doug Nusbaum , March 21, 2017 5:17 PM

I'm sorry --- Trump had a foreign policy? As near as I can tell, he just said whatever the crowd in front of him wanted to hear. Or do you have evidence to the contrary? Remember that this is a man who can be shown, in his own words, to have been on all sides of almost every issue, depending on the day of the week, and the phase of the moon.

Stefan Reich , March 20, 2017 6:13 AM

You really take all that time to analyze the guy instead of just seeing he is a madman? Wouldn't that be faster?

gentry_gee , March 20, 2017 3:41 AM

He, they, the US, that is, must obey Israel. Israel wants Assad gone in the end for their territorial expansion. It also helps the oil companies and isolates Russia further into a geostrategic corner.

dieter heymann , March 19, 2017 11:58 AM

This headline is way over the top. The first and foremost foreign policy statement which brought numerous voters to Trump was the US-Mexico wall and at least some of that wall will be constructed. Hence it is the only promise which has not (yet) changed except for who will pay for it.

OBTUSEANGLE , March 19, 2017 9:39 AM

The truth can be buried, but eventually it will be exposed. Only a matter of time.

Harold Smith , March 19, 2017 12:34 AM

Why must we give Trump the benefit of the doubt and assume that his campaign presentations were made in good faith? That is a very generous assumption.

There's a simple and more logical explanation for what's going on with "foreign policy" in the "Trump" administration: Trump's a liar, and his whole campaign was a calculated fraud from the beginning. We're the victims of a "bait-and-switch" scam.

freewheelinfranklin543 , March 18, 2017 4:03 PM

Because he lied. Just like he lied about draining the swamp and just restocked it with new varmints from Goldman Sachs and even an ex-Soros employee. Nothing new for me. Been watching elections for about 60 years and this is same ole. America can't take much more of this before it collapses and splits apart. The world isn't going to take much more from dc either. God help us. We are in a pickle!

dieter heymann , March 18, 2017 9:35 AM

The fundamental problem of exonerating Trump and blaming this non-reversal on the non-existing "deep state" is believing that anything a candidate said on the campaign trail can be executed when that candidate becomes president. Such reversal has happened so frequently in our history that it is truly amazing that " he does not do what he promised" still has adherents.

There is no reversal. I see reality clashing with words. I do not blame Trump for reversals. I see some shift from unrealistic to more realistic. It is called learning on the job.

Elelei Guhring , March 11, 2017 8:06 AM

Every political position on the planet is stuck in the 80s. There is no one with a will to change what is happening, mostly because no one wants to get tarred and feathered once the:

a) economy implodes upon itself in the most glorious Depression to ever happen, and;

b) world war 3 erupts but engaging such a variety of opponents, from Islam to China and Russia and even minor trivial players such as North Korea, and;

c) civil disobedience in the western world rivals that of even third world revolutions as people revolt against a failure to protect them from Islamic violence, to preserve their standard of living and their perceived futures. Lots of change coming, but nothing that any politician is promising.

Politicians are dinosaurs. We are entering a world where large numbers of people will make things happen. It's called Democracy.

An Eastern European , March 11, 2017 2:10 AM

Trump will remain close to Putin ideologically and he might continue to admire the man as a strong leader BUT there is one thing that neither Putin nor Trump can change and it is that Russia and America are natural rivals. Geopolitics. Land vs Sea. Eurasia vs Atlantic. Heartland vs Outer Rim.

Trump is hawk, don't be mislead. You cannot have a great country if you're not willing to kill and die for it. Russia knows that. Which is why Putin made Russia great again after the horror of the Yeltsin years. Now America knows that too.

[Feb 03, 2018] Sanders on Trump s State of the Union: Not a word on Nuclear War threat, anti-Russian and anti-Iranian crusades!

Jan 30, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Watch: Bernie Sanders' Response to Trump State of the Union

"Here's the story that Trump failed to mention "

Following President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered a response.

"I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to Trump's State of the Union speech," Sanders announced. "But I also want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, Trump chose not to discuss."

And, he added, "I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year."

Watch:

... ... ...

The complete text of Sanders' prepared remarks follow:

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight , I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to President Trump's State of the Union speech. But I want to do more than just that. I want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, President Trump chose not to discuss. I want to talk to you about the lies that he told during his campaign and the promises he made to working people which he did not keep.

Finally, I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year.

President Trump talked tonight about the strength of our economy. Well, he's right. Official unemployment today is 4.1 percent which is the lowest it has been in years and the stock market in recent months has soared. That's the good news.

But what President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump's first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.

Further, when we talk about the economy, what's most important is to understand what is happening to the average worker. And here's the story that Trump failed to mention tonight .

Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%. Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week. And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs.

Meanwhile, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, the rich continue to get much richer while millions of American workers are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water. Since March of last year, the three richest people in America saw their wealth increase by more than $68 billion. Three people. A $68 billion increase in wealth. Meanwhile, the average worker saw an increase of 4 cents an hour.

Tonight , Donald Trump touted the bonuses he claims workers received because of his so-called "tax reform" bill. What he forgot to mention is that only 2% of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill.

What he also failed to mention is that some of the corporations that have given out bonuses, such as Walmart, AT&T, General Electric, and Pfizer, are also laying off tens of thousands of their employees. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, recently said they were using money from the tax cut to restructure -- laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing 10 plants.

What Trump also forgot to tell you is that while the Walton family of Walmart, the wealthiest family in America, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the wealthiest person in this country, have never had it so good, many thousands of their employees are forced onto Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing because of the obscenely low wages they are paid. In my view, that's wrong. The taxpayers of this country should not be providing corporate welfare to the wealthiest families in this country.

Trump's Broken Promises

Now, let me say a few words about some of the issues that Donald Trump failed to mention tonight , and that is the difference between what he promised the American people as a candidate and what he has delivered as president.

Many of you will recall, that during his campaign, Donald Trump told the American people how he was going to provide "health insurance for everybody," with "much lower deductibles."

That is what he promised working families all across this country during his campaign. But as president he did exactly the opposite. Last year, he supported legislation that would have thrown up to 32 million people off of the health care they had while, at the same time, substantially raising premiums for older Americans.

The reality is that although we were able to beat back Trump's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 3 million fewer Americans have health insurance today than before Trump took office and that number will be going even higher in the coming months.

During his campaign, Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

As president, however, he supported a Republican Budget Resolution that proposed slashing Medicaid by $1 trillion and cutting Medicare by $500 billion. Further, President Trump's own budget called for cutting Social Security Disability Insurance by $64 billion.

During Trump's campaign for president, he talked about how he was going to lower prescription drug prices and take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry which he said was "getting away with murder." Tonight he said "one of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs."

But as president, Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former executive of the Eli Lilly Company -- one of the largest drug companies in this country -- to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump spoke about how in other countries "drugs cost far less," yet he has done nothing to allow Americans to purchase less expensive prescription drugs from abroad or to require Medicare to negotiate drug prices – which he promised he would do when he ran for president.

During the campaign, Donald Trump told us that: "The rich will not be gaining at all" under his tax reform plan.

Well, that was quite a whopper. As president, the tax reform legislation Trump signed into law a few weeks ago provides 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent, drives up the deficit by $1.7 trillion, and raises taxes on 92 million middle class families by the end of the decade.

During his campaign for president, Trump talked about how he was going to take on the greed of Wall Street which he said "has caused tremendous problems for us.

As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street, he has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history. And now, on behalf of Wall Street, he is trying to repeal the modest provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation which provide consumer protections against Wall Street thievery.

What Trump Didn't Say

But what is also important to note is not just Trump's dishonesty. It is that tonight he avoided some of the most important issues facing our country and the world.

How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change? No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a "hoax." It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules, and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.

How can a president of the United States not discuss the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires like the Koch brothers to undermine American democracy by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will represent the rich and the powerful?

How can he not talk about Republican governors efforts all across this country to undermine democracy, suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people or people of color to vote?

How can he not talk about the fact that in a highly competitive global economy, hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford to go to college, while millions of others have come out of school deeply in debt?

How can he not talk about the inadequate funding and staffing at the Social Security Administration which has resulted in thousands of people with disabilities dying because they did not get their claims processed in time?

How can he not talk about the retirement crisis facing the working people of this country and the fact that over half of older workers have no retirement savings? We need to strengthen pensions in this country, not take them away from millions of workers.

How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding. How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?

What Trump Did Talk About

Now, let me say a few words about what Trump did talk about.

Trump talked about DACA and immigration, but what he did not tell the American people is that he precipitated this crisis in September by repealing President Obama's executive order protecting Dreamers.

We need to seriously address the issue of immigration but that does not mean dividing families and reducing legal immigration by 25-50 percent. It sure doesn't mean forcing taxpayers to spend $25 billion on a wall that candidate Trump promised Mexico would pay for. And it definitely doesn't mean a racist immigration policy that excludes people of color from around the world.

To my mind, this is one of the great moral issues facing our country. It would be unspeakable and a moral stain on our nation if we turned our backs on these 800,000 young people who were born and raised in this country and who know no other home but the United States.

And that's not just Bernie Sanders talking. Poll after poll shows that over 80 percent of the American people believe that we should protect the legal status of these young people and provide them with a path toward citizenship.

We need to pass the bi-partisan DREAM Act, and we need to pass it now.

President Trump also talked about the need to rebuild our country's infrastructure. And he is absolutely right. But the proposal he is bringing forth is dead wrong.

Instead of spending $1.5 trillion over ten years rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, Trump would encourage states to sell our nation's highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors, even foreign governments.

And how would Wall Street and these corporations recoup their investments? By imposing massive new tolls and fees paid for by American commuters and homeowners.

The reality is that Trump's plan to privatize our nation's infrastructure is an old idea that has never worked and never will work.

Tonight , Donald Trump correctly talked about the need to address the opioid crisis. Well, I say to Donald Trump, you don't help people suffering from opioid addiction by cutting Medicaid by $1 trillion. If you are serious about dealing with this crisis, we need to expand, not cut Medicaid.

Conclusion/A Progressive Agenda

My fellow Americans. The simple truth is that, according to virtually every poll, Donald Trump is the least popular president after one year in office of any president in modern American history. And the reason for that is pretty clear. The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.

That is not what the American people want. And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with.

But the truth is that there is a lot of good news out there as well. It's not just that so many of our people disagree with Trump's policies, temperament, and behavior. It is that the vast majority of our people have a very different vision for the future of our country than what Trump and the Republican leadership are giving us.

In an unprecedented way, we are witnessing a revitalization of American democracy with more and more people standing up and fighting back. A little more than a year ago we saw millions of people take to the streets for the women's marches and a few weeks ago, in hundreds of cities and towns around the world, people once again took to the streets in the fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

Further, we are seeing the growth of grassroots organizations and people from every conceivable background starting to run for office – for school board, city council, state legislature, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

In fact, we are starting to see the beginning of a political revolution, something long overdue.

And these candidates, from coast to coast, are standing tall for a progressive agenda, an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class. These candidates understand that the United States has got to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer program.

They understand that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, we should not be giving tax breaks for billionaires but demanding that they start paying their fair share of taxes.

They know that we need trade policies that benefit working people, not large multi-national corporations.

They know that we have got to take on the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and move to sustainable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.

They know that we need a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and universal childcare.

They understand that it is a woman who has the right to control her own body, not state and federal governments, and that woman has the right to receive equal pay for equal work and work in a safe environment free from harassment.

They also know that if we are going to move forward successfully as a democracy we need real criminal justice reform and we need to finally address comprehensive immigration reform.

Yes. I understand that the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2018 mid-term elections supporting the Trump agenda and right-wing Republicans. They have the money, an unlimited amount of money. But we have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future.

Thank you all and good night.

Published at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/30/watch-bernie-sanders-response-trump-state-union

[Jan 22, 2018] Ivanka Trump Told by Steve Bannon: 'You're Just Another Staffer Who Doesn't Know What You're Doing,' New Book Claims by Melina Delkic

Jan 22, 2018 | www.yahoo.com

January 22, 2018

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon once told Ivanka Trump: "You're just another staffer who doesn't know what you're doing," according to a new book.

Related: Ivanka Trump's "special place in hell" for child predators comment trolls Roy Moore rally

Bannon, who has long critiqued and clashed with Ivanka's and her husband Jared Kushner's roles in the White House, tried to put the president's daughter in her place in one instance detailed in the book.

"My daughter loves me as a dad...You love your dad. I get that. But you're just another staffer who doesn't know what you're doing," Bannon said, The Washington Post reported when it published excerpts on Monday.


The revelation is part of the latest book about life inside the White House. Howard Kurtz, host of the Fox News show Media Buzz, wrote the book Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth, set to be released on January 29.

The new book, though perhaps not as sensational as the explosive tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, contains several new alleged revelations about the administration. Along with reports of the turbulent relationship between Ivanka Trump and Bannon, are claims that the president himself leaked information to journalists, that his aides referred to his behavior as "defiance disorder" and that his staff was "blindsided" when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones.

[Jan 20, 2018] Will Steve Bannon s Testimony Bring Down Jared by Abigail Tracy

A more interesting question is how those testimonies might affect Bannon -- he is in a very hot water now. If he thought that the meeting was so incriminating why he did not contact FBI and just decided to feed juicy gossip to Wolff?
Also he was not present at the meeting and was not a member of Trump team until two months later. From who he got all this information ? Was is just a slander by disgruntled employee?
Notable quotes:
"... To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr. ..."
"... Bannon has denied that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the election ..."
"... Wolff also quotes the former White House strategist as saying, "This is all about money laundering. [Robert] Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner . . . It's as plain as a hair on your face." ..."
"... Bannon then zeroed in on Kushner specifically, adding that "[i]t goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They're going to go right through that. They're going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me." ..."
Jan 16, 2018 | www.vanityfair.com

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor -- with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers," Bannon is quoted as saying in Fire and Fury. "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the F.B.I. immediately." Bannon reportedly speculated that the chance the eldest Trump son did not involve his father in the meeting "is zero."

When Bannon's comments became public, Trump excoriated his former strategist, whom he accused of having "lost his mind." But while Bannon has since apologized for the remarks and sought to walk back a number of the quotes, he's stopped short of denying that he viewed the Trump Tower meeting as treasonous. Instead, he's merely shifted the blame away from Trump Jr. and onto Manafort. "My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning, and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr. ," Bannon said in a statement to Axios. ( Bannon has denied that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the election .)

... ... ...

Though the Trump Tower meeting took place before Bannon joined the Trump campaign, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House panel, told CNN last week that he plans to question Bannon about "why this meeting at Trump Tower represented his treason and certainly unpatriotic at a minimum."

Jared Kushner's "greasy shit"

Wolff also quotes the former White House strategist as saying, "This is all about money laundering. [Robert] Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner . . . It's as plain as a hair on your face." (Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort have all denied wrongdoing.) Bannon then zeroed in on Kushner specifically, adding that "[i]t goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They're going to go right through that. They're going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me."

He and Trump's son-in-law have never seen eye to eye; their White House feuds were a poorly kept secret, and following his ouster, Bannon has given numerous interviews knocking Kushner, including one to my colleague Gabriel Sherman in which he questioned Kushner's maturity level. If Bannon has dirt on Kushner, he will likely get his chance to reveal it; Schiff also declared his intent to question Bannon on "the basis of his concern over money laundering."

[Jan 16, 2018] The Darkest Time in American History

Notable quotes:
"... What do you think? Perhaps almost 60,000 Americans dying in Vietnam was a darker time. Or maybe when Hitler's armies rolled across Europe, Japan surprise attacked Pearl Harbor, and 400,000 American soldiers died World War II. ..."
"... Anyone who thinks Trump's Presidency is the darkest time in American history is a poor student of American history. And I must assume their lives are pretty amazing if this is the worst they have ever felt. ..."
Jan 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via The Daily Bell

The darkest time in American history.

I saw someone refer to the Trump Presidency as "possibly the darkest time in American history." I've heard some iteration of that many times from people still in a frenzy over the Trump Administration.

I'm not a big Trump fan. I wasn't a big Obama fan either. But their presence in office did not and does not hang over my life like a dark cloud. They really aren't that important.

Yes, they have the ability to make life more difficult for many. It is unfortunate that any politicians have that much control over our day to day lives.

But the darkest time in American history ?

What do you think? Perhaps almost 60,000 Americans dying in Vietnam was a darker time. Or maybe when Hitler's armies rolled across Europe, Japan surprise attacked Pearl Harbor, and 400,000 American soldiers died World War II.

For Japanese Americans, FDR's presidency was likely a darker time, as they sat in detainment facilities. Their crime was having Japanese ancestors.

In 1918 the Spanish Flu swept across the globe killing at least 20 million people worldwide, 675,000 Americans. At the same time, soldiers were coming home from WWI blinded by chemicals and mutilated by bombs.

And that is just going back one century. American history also includes the Civil War, slavery, and the Whiskey Rebellion .

Anyone who thinks Trump's Presidency is the darkest time in American history is a poor student of American history. And I must assume their lives are pretty amazing if this is the worst they have ever felt.

... ... ...

Look at where it left the global warming alarmists . They wanted to reduce pollution, which is a noble cause. But they lied about the goals, they lied about the causes, and they exaggerated the timetable. It's the classic boy who cried wolf.

... ... ...

I used to be paranoid about the government. Obviously, some of that paranoia is well founded. They do monitor communications and disrupt online discourse . They do violate rights . They are oppressive in many ways.

But those are not things I can readily change. I can protect myself, and I can try to show others how to change things for the better. But I can't control everything, and I can't control others .

... ... ...

[Jan 16, 2018] Out Trump Expels CNN's Jim Acosta From Oval Office Over Shiteholegate Questions Zero Hedge

Jan 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Mr. President," Acosta shouted three times, finally getting Trump's attention, "Did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway? Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway? Is that true Mr. President?" Acosta barked at Trump.

" I want them to come in from everywhere everywhere. Thank you very much everybody ," Trump replied while Acosta continued to interject.

" Just Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world people of color ," Acosta asked - effectively calling Trump racist, to which Trump looked Acosta directly in the eye and simply said:

"Out!"

Watch here:

me title=

Different angle:

me title=

Acosta spoke about the incident with Wolf Blitzer afterwards and said it was clear the president was ordering him out of the room. Acosta said he tried to ask his questions again when Trump and Nazarbayev gave a joint statement later on, but Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley "got right up in my face" and started shouting at him to block out any questions.

"It was that kind of a display," Acosta recalled. "It reminded me of something you might see in less democratic countries when people at the White House or officials of a foreign government attempt to get in the way of the press in doing their jobs."

Acosta and CNN were infamously humiliated after Trump called them "fake news" during a January, 2017 press conference in which Acosta attempted to shoehorn a question in front of another reporter:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xy2U55fIBx0

Meanwhile, Acosta was shut down in December by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders after he tried to grandstand during a press briefing over being called "Fake News," telling her that sometimes reporters make "honest mistakes."

Sanders shot back; "When journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them. Sometimes, and a lot of times, you don't," only to be temporarily cut off by Acosta.

"I'm sorry, I'm not finished," Sanders fired back, adding "There is a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people... you cannot say it's an honest mistake when you're purposely putting out information you know is false."

[Jan 14, 2018] Trump Stumped As Bannon-Backed Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Primary By Landslide

Bannon backed candidate later lost. So much for this Bannon "success".
This idea of Trump playing 6 dimensional chess is a joke. It's the same explanation that was pushed for Obama disastrous neocon foreign policy. Here is one very apt quote: "What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan..." What 6-dimetional chess?
According to Occam razor principle the simplest explanation of Trump behaviour is probably the most correct. He does not control foright policy, outsourcing it to "generals" and be does not pursue domestic policy of creating jobs as he promised his electorate. In other words, both in foreign policy and domestic policy, he became a turncoat, betraying his electorate, much like Obama. kind of Republican Obama.
And as time goes by, Trump looks more and more like Hillary II or Republican Obama. So he might have problems with the candidates he supports in midterm elections. His isolationism, if it ever existed, is gone. Promise of jobs is gone. Detente with Russia is gone. What's left?
Note the level disappointment of what used to be Trump base in this site comment section...
Notable quotes:
"... In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide ..."
"... The Steve Bannon-backed candidate, who defied court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and refused to recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, is leading by 9.6 points with 92% of the votes counted... ..."
"... These attacks on Bannon were one of the most prominent news stories in the first week following Trump's election victory. It didn't take long, however, for a counter-attack to emerge - from the right-wing elements of the Jewish community. ..."
"... Bannon is a true fucking patriot trying to pull this once great country from the sinkhole. ..."
"... I think the reality is that this was a message to McConnell much more than Trump. That message is simple: I'm coming to kill your career. Bannon went out of his way to say he fully supports Trump (despite backing the opposite candidate). And, let's face it, if Bannon buries McConnell, he's doing everyone a service, Trump included. ..."
"... The echo chamber media "is so surprised" that in Germany and the US we are seeing a rising tide of pissed off people, well imagine fucking that? Leaving the echo chamber and not intellectually trying to understand the anger, but living the anger. ..."
"... Well, we can only hope that Trump gets the message. He was elected to be President of the USA, not Emperor of the World. Quote from that Monty Python film: "He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty boy!" ..."
"... A cursory background reading on Roy Moore tells me that he is one of the worst types for public office. And he might just turn out to be like Trump -- act like an anti-swarm cowboy and promise a path to heaven, then show his real colors as an Establishment puppet once the braindead voters put him in office. ..."
"... When Trump won the Republican nomination, and then the Presidency it was because people were rebelling against the establishment rulers. There is considerable disgust with these big government rulers that are working for themselves and their corporate cronies, but not for the US population. ..."
"... Trump seems to have been compromised at this point, and his support of the establishment favourite, Luther Strange is evidence that he isn't really the outsider he claimed to be. Moore's victory in Alabama says the rebellion still has wheels, so there is some hope. ..."
"... In Missouri where I live, the anti-establishment Republican contender for the upcoming US Senatorial 2018 race is Austin Peterson. It will be interesting to see how he, and his counterparts in other states do in the primaries. Both of the current Missouri Senators are worthless. ..."
"... I remember well the last "3-Dimensional Chess master" Obama while he too was always out maneuvering his apponents, per the media reports... ..."
"... Every now and then Trump tends to make huge blunders, and sometimes betrayals without knowing what he is doing. "Champions"- (great leaders) do not do that. ..."
"... What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan... ..."
"... It is epitome of self-delusion to see people twisting themselves into pretzels, trying to justify/rationalize Trump's continuing display of disloyalty to America ..."
"... YOU CAN'T BE A ZIONIST AND AN AMERICAN FIRSTER, IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER. ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!

In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide

The Steve Bannon-backed candidate, who defied court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and refused to recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, is leading by 9.6 points with 92% of the votes counted...

... ... ...

However, as Politco reported this evening, President Donald Trump began distancing himself from a Luther Strange loss before ballots were even cast, telling conservative activists Monday night the candidate he's backing in Alabama's GOP Senate primary was likely to lose ! and suggesting he'd done everything he could do given the circumstances.

Trump told conservative activists who visited the White House for dinner on Monday night that he'd underestimated the political power of Roy Moore, the firebrand populist and former judge who's supported by Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to three people who were there.

And Trump gave a less-than full-throated endorsement during Friday's rally.

While he called Strange "a real fighter and a real good guy," he also mused on stage about whether he made a "mistake" by backing Strange and committed to campaign "like hell" for Moore if he won.

Trump was encouraged to pick Strange before the August primary by son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner as well as other aides, White House officials said. He was never going to endorse Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, who has at times opposed Trump's agenda, and knew little about Moore, officials said.

... ... ...

Déjà view -> Sanity Bear •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

AIPAC HAS ALL BASES COVERED...MIGA !

On Sept. 11, the Alabama Daughters for Zion organization circulated a statement on Israel by Moore, which started by saying the U.S. and Israel "share not only a common Biblical heritage but also institutions of representative government and respect for religious freedom." He traced Israel's origin to God's promise to Abram and the 1948 creation of modern Israel as "a fulfillment of the Scriptures that foretold the regathering of the Jewish people to Israel."

Moore's statement includes five policy positions, including support for U.S. military assistance to Israel, protecting Israel from "Iranian aggression," opposing boycotts of Israel, supporting Israel at the United Nations, and supporting direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without outside pressure. He added, "as long as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority wrongly refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, such negotiations have scant chance of success."

While those views would give Moore common ground with much of the Jewish community regarding Israel, most of the state's Jewish community has been at odds with Moore over church-state issues, such as his displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses, and his outspoken stance against homosexuality, both of which led to him being ousted as chief justice.

http://www.sjlmag.com/2017/09/alabama-senate-candidates-express.html?m=1

justa minute -> Déjà view •Sep 27, 2017 2:53 AM

moore misreads the Bible as most socalled christians do. they have been deceived, they have confused the Israel of God( those who have been given belief in Christ) with israel of the flesh. They cant hear Christs own words, woe is unto them. they are living in their own selfrighteousness, not good. they are going to have a big surprise for not following the Word of God instead following the tradition of men.

They were warned over and over in the Bible but they cant hear.

I Claudius -> VinceFostersGhost •Sep 27, 2017 6:27 AM

Forgive? Maybe. Forget? NEVER!! He tried to sell "US" out on this one. We now need to focus on bringing "Moore" candidates to the podium to run against the RINO's and take out McConnell and Ryan. It's time for Jared and Ivanka to go back to NYC so Jared can shore up his family's failing empire. However, if his business acumen is as accurate as his political then it's no wonder the family needed taxpayer funded visas to sell the property. Then on to ridding the White House of Gen Kelly and McMaster - two holdover generals from the Obama administration - after Obama forced out the real ones.

Clashfan -> Mycroft Holmes IV •Sep 26, 2017 11:33 PM

Rump has hoodwinked his supoprt base and turned on them almost immediately. Some refuse to acknowledge this.

"Ha! Your vote went to the Israel first swamp!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gdw_MVY1Vo

Déjà view -> Clashfan •Sep 27, 2017 1:00 AM

MIGA !

These attacks on Bannon were one of the most prominent news stories in the first week following Trump's election victory. It didn't take long, however, for a counter-attack to emerge - from the right-wing elements of the Jewish community. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) came to Bannon's defense and accused the ADL of a "character assassination" against Bannon.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.807776

The Wizard -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:12 PM

Trump should figure out the Deep State elites he has surrounded himself with, don't have control of the states Trump won. Trump thought he had to negotiate with these guys and his ego got the best of him. Bannon was trying to convince him he should have stayed the course and not give in.


Theosebes Goodfellow -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:35 PM

~"American politics gets moore strange by the day..."~

Technically speaking OhRI, with Moore's win politics became less Strange, or "Strange less", or "Sans Luther", depending on how one chose to phrase it [SMIRK]

Adullam -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar •Sep 26, 2017 11:05 PM

Trump needs to fire Jared! Some news outlets are saying that it was his son in law who advised him to back Strange. He has to quit listening to those who want to destroy him or ... they will.

overbet -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:41 PM

Bannon is a true fucking patriot trying to pull this once great country from the sinkhole.

Juggernaut x2 -> overbet •Sep 26, 2017 10:07 PM

Trump better pull his head out of his ass and quit being a wishy-washy populist on BS like Iran- the farther right he goes the greater his odds of reelection because he has pissed off a lot of the far-righters that put him in- getting rid of Kushner, Cohn and his daughter and negotiating w/Assad and distancing us from Israhell would be a huge help.

opport.knocks -> Juggernaut x2 •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

Distancing us from Israel... LOLOLOLOL

https://youtu.be/tm5Je73bYOY

The whole Russiagate ploy was a diversion from (((them)))

NoDebt -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:42 PM

I think the reality is that this was a message to McConnell much more than Trump. That message is simple: I'm coming to kill your career. Bannon went out of his way to say he fully supports Trump (despite backing the opposite candidate). And, let's face it, if Bannon buries McConnell, he's doing everyone a service, Trump included.

Oldwood -> NoDebt •Sep 26, 2017 10:08 PM

I think it was a setup.

Bannon would not oppose Trump that directly unless there was a wink and a nod involved.

Trump is still walking a tightrope, trying to appease his base AND keep as many establishment republicans at his side (even for only optics). By Trump supporting Strange while knowing he was an underdog AND completely apposed by Bannon/his base he was able to LOOK like he was supporting the establishment, while NOT really. Trump seldom backs losers which makes me think it was deliberate. Strange never made sense anyway.

But what do I know?

Urahara -> NoDebt •Sep 27, 2017 12:20 AM

Bannon is hardcore Isreal first. Why are you supporting the zionist? It's an obvious play.

general ambivalent -> Urahara •Sep 27, 2017 2:23 AM

People are desperate to rationalise their failure into a victory. They cannot give up on Hope so they have to use hyperbole in everything and pretend this is all leading to something great in 2020 or 2024.

None of these fools learned a damn thing and they are desperate to make the same mistake again. The swamp is full, so full that it has breached the banks and taken over all of society. Trump is a swamp monster, and you simply cannot reform the swamp when both sides are monsters. In other words, the inside is not an option, so it has to be done the hard way. But people would prefer to keep voting in the swamp.

Al Gophilia -> NoDebt •Sep 27, 2017 3:58 AM

Bannon as president would really have those swamp creatures squirming. There wouldn't be this Trump crap about surrounding himself with likeminded friends, such as Goldman Sachs turnstile workers and his good pals in the MIC.

Don't tell me he didn't choose them because if he didn't, then they were placed. That means he doesn't have the clout he pretends to have or control of the agenda that the people asked him to deliver. His backing of Stange is telling.

Lanka -> LindseyNarratesWordress •Sep 26, 2017 11:07 PM

McMaster and Kelly have Trump under house arrest.

Bobbyrib -> LindseyNarratesWordress •Sep 27, 2017 5:38 AM

He will not fire Kushner or Ivanka who have become part of the swamp. I'm so sick of these 'Trump is a genius and planned this all along.'

To me Trump is a Mr. Bean type character that has been very fortunate and just goes with the flow. He has nearly no diplomacy, or strategic skills.

NoWayJose •Sep 26, 2017 10:35 PM

Dear President Trump - if you like your job, listen to these voters. Borders, Walls, limited immigrants (including all those that Ryan and McConnell are sneaking through under your very nose), trade agreements to keep American jobs, and respect for our flag, our country, and the unborn!

nevertheless -> loveyajimbo •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

I had hope for Trump, but as someone who reads ZH often, and does not suffer from amnesia (like much of America), I knew he was way too good to be true.

We all know his back tracking, his flip flops...and while the media and many paid bloggers like to spin it as "not his fault", it actually is.

His sending DACA to Congress was the last straw. Obama enacted DACA with a stroke of his pen, but Trump "needed to send it to Congress so they could "get it right". The only thing Congress does with immigration is try and get amnesty passed.

Of course while Trump sends DACA to Congress, he does not mind using the military without Congress, which he actually should do.

Why is it when it's something American's want, it has to go through the "correct channels", but when its something the Zionists want, he does it with the wave of his pen? We saw the same bull shit games with Obama...

Dilluminati •Sep 26, 2017 11:02 PM

Anybody surprised by this is pretending the civility at the workplace isn't masking anger at corporate America and Government. I'll go in and put in the 8 hours, I'm an adult that is part of the job. However I'm actually fed up with allot of the stupid shit and want the establishment to work, problem is that we are witnessing failed nations, failed schools, failed healthcare, even failed employment contracts, conditions, and wages.

The echo chamber media "is so surprised" that in Germany and the US we are seeing a rising tide of pissed off people, well imagine fucking that? Leaving the echo chamber and not intellectually trying to understand the anger, but living the anger.

You haven't seen anything yet in Catalonia/Spain etc, Brexit, or so..

This is what failure looks like: That moment the Romanovs and Louis XVI looked around the room seeking an understanding eye, there was none.

Pascal1967 •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

Dear Trump:

Quit listening to your moron son-in-law, swamp creature, Goldman Sachs douchebag son-in-law Kushner. HE SUCKS!! If you truly had BALLS, you would FIRE his fucking ass. HE is The Swamp, He Is Nepotism! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HATE HIM.

MAGA! LISTEN TO BANNON, DONALD.

DO NOT FUCK THIS UP!

ROY MOORE, 100%!!!!

You lost, Trump ... get your shit together before it is too late!

ElTerco •Sep 26, 2017 11:28 PM

Bannon was always the smarts behind the whole operation. Now we are just left with a complete idiot in office.

Also, unlike Trump, Bannon actually gives a shit about what happens to the American people rather than the American tax system. At the end of the day, all Trump really cares about is himself.

samsara •Sep 26, 2017 11:25 PM
I think most people get it backwards about Trump and the Deplorables.

I believed in pulling troops a from all the war zones and Trump said he felt the same

I believed in Legal immigration, sending people back if here illegal especially if involved in crime, Trump said he felt the same.

I believed in America first in negotiating treaties, Trump said he felt the same.

I didn't 'vote' for Trump per se, he was the proxy.

We didn't leave Him, He left us.

BarnacleBill •Sep 26, 2017 11:31 PM

Well, we can only hope that Trump gets the message. He was elected to be President of the USA, not Emperor of the World. Quote from that Monty Python film: "He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty boy!" It's high time he turned back to the job he promised to do, and drain that swamp.

napper •Sep 26, 2017 11:47 PM

A cursory background reading on Roy Moore tells me that he is one of the worst types for public office. And he might just turn out to be like Trump -- act like an anti-swarm cowboy and promise a path to heaven, then show his real colors as an Establishment puppet once the braindead voters put him in office.

America is doomed from top (the swarm) to bottom (the brainless voters).

Sid Davis •Sep 27, 2017 1:40 AM

When Trump won the Republican nomination, and then the Presidency it was because people were rebelling against the establishment rulers. There is considerable disgust with these big government rulers that are working for themselves and their corporate cronies, but not for the US population.

Trump seems to have been compromised at this point, and his support of the establishment favourite, Luther Strange is evidence that he isn't really the outsider he claimed to be. Moore's victory in Alabama says the rebellion still has wheels, so there is some hope.

In Missouri where I live, the anti-establishment Republican contender for the upcoming US Senatorial 2018 race is Austin Peterson. It will be interesting to see how he, and his counterparts in other states do in the primaries. Both of the current Missouri Senators are worthless.

nevertheless -> pfwed •Sep 27, 2017 7:33 AM

I remember well the last "3-Dimensional Chess master" Obama while he too was always out maneuvering his apponents, per the media reports...

LoveTruth •Sep 27, 2017 2:56 AM

Every now and then Trump tends to make huge blunders, and sometimes betrayals without knowing what he is doing. "Champions"- (great leaders) do not do that.

nevertheless -> LoveTruth •Sep 27, 2017 7:16 AM

What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan...

But most treasonous of all was his sending DACA to "get it right", really? Congress has only one goal with immigration, amnesty, and Chump knows dam well they will send him legislation that will clearly or covertly grant amnesty for millions and millions of illegals, dressed up as "security".

Obama enacted DACA with the stroke of a pen, and while TRUMP promised to end it, he did NOT. Why is it when it's something Americans want, it has to be "Constitutional", but when it comes form his banker pals, like starting a war, he can do that unilaterally.

archie bird -> nevertheless •Sep 27, 2017 7:45 AM

Bernie wants to cut aid to Israel https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/09/25/bernie-sanders-yeah-i...

nevertheless •Sep 27, 2017 8:04 AM

It is epitome of self-delusion to see people twisting themselves into pretzels, trying to justify/rationalize Trump's continuing display of disloyalty to America, and loyalty to Zionism.

Trump should always have been seen as a likely Zionist shill. He comes form Jew York City, owes everything he is to Zionist Jewish bankers, is a self proclaimed Zionist...

YOU CAN'T BE A ZIONIST AND AN AMERICAN FIRSTER, IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER.

Either Zero Hedge is over run with Zionist hasbara, giving cover to their boy Chump, or Americans on the "right" have become as gullible as those who supported Obama on the "left".

[Jan 14, 2018] Bannonism Will Live On by Matt Purple

Notable quotes:
"... The Constitution of Liberty ..."
"... The Camp of the Saints ..."
"... As for Bannon himself, his downfall has been fast and unceremonious: trashed by the president after he gossiped to Michael Wolff, abandoned by his deep-pocketed Mercer family funders, sacked by Breitbart, and then forced to watch as Trump indicated in a meeting earlier this week that he could sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Marat's downfall saw him elevated into a revolutionary martyr; Bannon has been banished into exile. ..."
"... But revolutions don't die with their figureheads. Bannonism won't either because, unlike the ethereal ideas behind liberalism and conservatism, it's found visceral real-world resonance -- among blue collars who see economic nationalism as a glimmer of hope among boarded-up plants, service-members frustrated with fruitless wars, young men flummoxed by modern feminism, right-wing activists frustrated with their political party's perceived impotence. Taunt Bannon all you like, but the imprint he leaves behind will be far larger than one spurious tell-all. ..."
"... The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement. ..."
"... The biggest thing lacking of the Bannon/Trump movement is how push back against the economic elite. Trump is governing exactly like an establishment Republican. Look at Trump/Perry ideas on saving coal which was properly turned down. This plan was unbelievably awful and not the right way for a better electric system and was simply handing Murray and First Energy a bunch money. ..."
"... Conservatism stands for stability and community. The accretions of "limited government" and "lower taxes", charming they may be as mantras, are more libertarian (Classic Liberal) than they are conservative ..."
"... A bomb-throwing Bolshevik like Bannon truly belongs on The Left, but in these days of abysmal ignorance of civics, it doesn't matter. "Bannonism" may live on, but thanks to the crackpot nature of its cobbled-together ideology, will remain a niche religion much like hard-core anarcho-libertarianism. ..."
"... Given the current atmosphere of outrage porn, willful ignorance and gleeful brutality, I do not have much hope for a Burkean conservatism to thrive, at least until after the pending social collapse ..."
"... Bannon will likely fade into oblivion via the Bourbon barrel, and the name Trump may become synonymous with "traitor" (but not like the media elite would hope). These men did not create a movement nor inspire anything. They were both savvy enough to see the political reality in this country and to give it voice. They will go, but the reality will remain. Ironically, but predictably, both men will likely be laid low by their own egos. But, so it goes ..."
"... The reality that supersedes these egotistical, narcissistic men is the fact that the traditional core of the American people have "woke" to the fact of their betrayal by the elite class to whom they have entrusted the leadership of this country for decades. They have awakened to find decay and rot throughout every American institution and to discover that these elites have enriched themselves beyond measure with the wealth of the nation at the cost of the workers and taxpayers who make that wealth possible. They have awakened to their own replacement and now realize the disdain with which they are viewed by those who would be their "masters." ..."
"... These Deplorables, white, working, taxpaying, Bible-believing, gun-owning MEN(!), are not going back into the opioid sleep of blissed out suburbia. They are now aware of the ill-hidden hatred which the elite class has for them and the future of serfdom to which these elites have fated them and their children. Gentlemen, a beast is being born out here in the hinterlands. It will not be put back in the cage ..."
Jan 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bannon is an imperfect ideologue. He has a gargantuan ego that often leads him astray, perhaps lately towards the delusion that he himself would be a better populist messenger than the man he helped elect. But he's also hit on a paradox at the core of today's American conservatism. Conservatives, in theory at least, look with skepticism upon grand projects and giant leaps, which too often end up rupturing with the societal traditions they hold dear. Yet much of what conservatives support today is actually quite radical: banning all or most abortions, rolling back the regulatory state, rejecting decades of orthodoxy on the issue of climate change, a massive downshift of power from the federal government to states and localities, a moral ethic rooted in Christianity rather than identity politics -- and lately questioning the "liberal international order" in favor of something more nationalist and protectionist. The enactment of such an agenda would cause a good deal of upheaval and uncertainty, exactly the sort of void conservatives' forebears feared most.

Some have wrangled with this contradiction by scaling back their proposals, claiming great problems can be addressed with light-touch solutions, like child tax credits to arrest sagging birth rates. Others, much of Conservative Inc. it seems, are fine pretending this tension doesn't exist at all. Bannon's approach has been to gleefully embrace conservatism's radical side. Disagree with him all you like (and I do), but his is a perfectly logical position. His ascent -- some would say his transformation -- is a predictable consequence of conservatives yearning for something increasingly distant from the modern world, just as did young people in the quietly simmering 1950s. Indeed, there are many stylistic similarities between the radicals of today and those half a century ago: the "for the lulz" performance art of a Milo Yiannopoulos contains an echo of the prankster Yippies, for example. Those who lack cultural power can sell out, they can evolve, they can retreat to the catacombs -- or they can take Bannon's approach, they can transgress and pump their fists and try to burn it all down.

Bannon's digestible binaries -- establishment versus the people, globalists versus Americans -- are easily superimposed on an electorate that's itself divided both economically and culturally. Red states and the Rust Belt have for decades been the victims of bad federal policy; Bannonism gives them an abstract enemy to blame, a valve for their fury. The algorithmic and library-voiced Mitt Romney and the earnest Paul Ryan seem woefully inadequate by comparison: have those praying they run for higher office again learned nothing? In The Constitution of Liberty , F.A. Hayek critiques conservatism by defining it as "a brake on the vehicle of progress" and observing that a mere decrease in speed "cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." Likewise, while conventional taxes-and-terrorism Republican rhetoric doesn't feel like much of a heave on the ship's wheel, Bannonism furnishes a clear vision, a real change, swords to wield, dragons to slay. Guess which one has greater appeal right now?

The modern right has always had a whiff of radicalism about it, with origins in pushback against the 60s counterculture, a second wind in Newt Gingrich's legislative reformation, and late-life vitality in the Saul Alinsky-invoking tea party. But it's with Bannon that the odor has become most pungent. He is an unlikely revolutionary. An early profile from Bloomberg Businessweek in 2015 portrays him as more of an operative than anything, determined to professionalize a conservative movement that had made too many unforced errors. Other pre-Trump appearances found Bannon worrying about the national debt and extolling his Catholic faith. It's a windy road from there to storming the barricades under Donald Trump's sigil, but it's one many conservatives have traveled in recent years. The challenge for more traditional Republicans will be fashioning a new politics that quenches voters' burning thirst for change -- a position they've arrived at themselves, not been brainwashed into by Fox News -- while circumventing Bannonism's conflagrations and The Camp of the Saints ugliness.

As for Bannon himself, his downfall has been fast and unceremonious: trashed by the president after he gossiped to Michael Wolff, abandoned by his deep-pocketed Mercer family funders, sacked by Breitbart, and then forced to watch as Trump indicated in a meeting earlier this week that he could sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Marat's downfall saw him elevated into a revolutionary martyr; Bannon has been banished into exile.

But revolutions don't die with their figureheads. Bannonism won't either because, unlike the ethereal ideas behind liberalism and conservatism, it's found visceral real-world resonance -- among blue collars who see economic nationalism as a glimmer of hope among boarded-up plants, service-members frustrated with fruitless wars, young men flummoxed by modern feminism, right-wing activists frustrated with their political party's perceived impotence. Taunt Bannon all you like, but the imprint he leaves behind will be far larger than one spurious tell-all.

Matt Purple is the managing editor of The American Conservative

collin January 11, 2018 at 8:50 am

There is always a level of Bannonism /Paleoconservatism in the US politics but who knows how impactful it will be.
  1. Probably the biggest issue for Bannon was Trump was elected in 2016 and our nation did not want or need a Leninist. (It wasn't 2008 anymore)
    Frankly most conservatives were satisfied that HRC and Obama were not President and did not want massive changes.
  2. The whole the people and globalist division is too simplistic and there are a lot 'People' that support free trade or relatively open borders. (For instance I don't see the economic benefit of steel tariffs at all.)
  3. The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement.
  4. We still don't know how much a pushback on Trump/Bannonism will be. Trump is not popular and the House is endangered.

5) The biggest thing lacking of the Bannon/Trump movement is how push back against the economic elite. Trump is governing exactly like an establishment Republican. Look at Trump/Perry ideas on saving coal which was properly turned down. This plan was unbelievably awful and not the right way for a better electric system and was simply handing Murray and First Energy a bunch money.

David Nash , says: January 11, 2018 at 9:12 am
It is a cardinal error to confuse conservatism with The Right, as much as it is to conflate liberalism with The Left.

Conservatism stands for stability and community. The accretions of "limited government" and "lower taxes", charming they may be as mantras, are more libertarian (Classic Liberal) than they are conservative. (Thanks loads, Frank Meyer.)

A bomb-throwing Bolshevik like Bannon truly belongs on The Left, but in these days of abysmal ignorance of civics, it doesn't matter. "Bannonism" may live on, but thanks to the crackpot nature of its cobbled-together ideology, will remain a niche religion much like hard-core anarcho-libertarianism.

Given the current atmosphere of outrage porn, willful ignorance and gleeful brutality, I do not have much hope for a Burkean conservatism to thrive, at least until after the pending social collapse.

Navy Jack , says: January 11, 2018 at 12:14 pm
Bannon will likely fade into oblivion via the Bourbon barrel, and the name Trump may become synonymous with "traitor" (but not like the media elite would hope). These men did not create a movement nor inspire anything. They were both savvy enough to see the political reality in this country and to give it voice. They will go, but the reality will remain. Ironically, but predictably, both men will likely be laid low by their own egos. But, so it goes.

The reality that supersedes these egotistical, narcissistic men is the fact that the traditional core of the American people have "woke" to the fact of their betrayal by the elite class to whom they have entrusted the leadership of this country for decades. They have awakened to find decay and rot throughout every American institution and to discover that these elites have enriched themselves beyond measure with the wealth of the nation at the cost of the workers and taxpayers who make that wealth possible. They have awakened to their own replacement and now realize the disdain with which they are viewed by those who would be their "masters."

These Deplorables, white, working, taxpaying, Bible-believing, gun-owning MEN(!), are not going back into the opioid sleep of blissed out suburbia. They are now aware of the ill-hidden hatred which the elite class has for them and the future of serfdom to which these elites have fated them and their children. Gentlemen, a beast is being born out here in the hinterlands. It will not be put back in the cage.

The writer's allusion to the French Revolution is somewhat telling. The history of the West is replete with moments of savagery and destruction directed inwardly. It will be so again. When these Deplorables turn on their keepers, it will not be pretty. The Progressive elites who believe that they can control and shape "narratives" to harness that power are fools. The cloistered intellectuals who believe that they can "opt" out of the coming clash are dreaming.

The traditional core of the American people are no different than their ancestors. They just don't live as close to the edge as those folks did. But when they are backed up to that edge, when betrayal has been made clear and the institutions are revealed for the Oz that they have become, they will recall that old hatred that still courses in the Western man's veins and will react in ways that will chill the blood. The imaginary "crimes" with which "privileged whites" are damned by the rioting Cultural Marxists will escape imagination and leap into reality. God help us.

JonF , says: January 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Re: The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement.

Perot, for whom I voted in 1992 but not 1996, was not a paleoconservative, but rather a pragmatic centrist. Compare his position on social issues with Pat Buchanan's (Buchanan being Mr. Paleoconservative -- and who ran in 1992 too)

[Jan 13, 2018] Remarks of Stephen Bannon at a Conference at the Vatican

Looks like Bannon is really weak in political economy. He does not even use the term neoliberalism. Go here to read the full transcript of his speech.
One very interesting quote is ""I believe we've come partly off-track in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism."
Notable quotes:
"... That war triggered a century of barbaric -- unparalleled in mankind's history -- virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we're children of that: We're children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age. ..."
"... I believe we've come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism. ..."
"... I see that every day. I'm a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it's a very, very tough environment. And you've had a fairly good track record. So I don't want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, "Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' around capitalism." ..."
"... One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that's the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it's what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn't spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century. ..."
"... The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I'm a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that's a very big part of the conservative movement -- whether it's the UKIP movement in England, it's many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States. However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the "enlightened capitalism" of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost -- as many of the precepts of Marx -- and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they're really finding quite attractive. And if they don't see another alternative, it's going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of "personal freedom." ..."
Jan 13, 2018 | the-american-catholic.com

Buzzfeed has the remarks of Stephen Bannon, former CEO of Breitbart News , and currently appointed by President Elect Trump to be his chief advisor, at a conference at the Vatican in the summer of 2014:

Steve Bannon:

Thank you very much Benjamin, and I appreciate you guys including us in this. We're speaking from Los Angeles today, right across the street from our headquarters in Los Angeles. Um. I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian west, is in a crisis. And it's really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the west, but we're expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian west in our beliefs.

It's ironic, I think, that we're talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we're talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind's history. Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians. Seven weeks later, I think there were 5 million men in uniform and within 30 days there were over a million casualties.

That war triggered a century of barbaric -- unparalleled in mankind's history -- virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we're children of that: We're children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people -- whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it's the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it's the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we've come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

And we're at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that's starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we've been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.

Now, what I mean by that specifically: I think that you're seeing three kinds of converging tendencies: One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief.

I see that every day. I'm a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it's a very, very tough environment. And you've had a fairly good track record. So I don't want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, "Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' around capitalism."

But there's a strand of capitalism today -- two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

  1. One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that's the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it's what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn't spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.
  2. The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I'm a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that's a very big part of the conservative movement -- whether it's the UKIP movement in England, it's many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the "enlightened capitalism" of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost -- as many of the precepts of Marx -- and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they're really finding quite attractive. And if they don't see another alternative, it's going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of "personal freedom."

The other tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we've talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

... ... ...

[Jan 13, 2018] Steve Bannon on white nationalism, Donald Trump agenda - CBS News

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f -- ed over." ..."
"... "Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe," Bannon told Mother Jones in August. "Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements." ..."
"... "It's everything related to jobs," Bannon said and seemingly bragged about how he was going to drive conservatives "crazy" with his "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan." ..."
"... "With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up," he proposed. "We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution -- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
"... Bannon, in the Reporter interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) -- and the "darkness" he touts in fighting against them. ..."
Jan 13, 2018 | www.cbsnews.com

Steve Bannon, the chief strategist and right-hand man to President-elect Donald Trump, denied in an interview that he was an advocate of white nationalism -- and gave hints instead about how his brand of "economic" nationalism will shake up Washington.

In The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon, the controversial former head of Breitbart News who went on to chair Mr. Trump's presidential campaign, discussed why he believed his candidate won the election.

"I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f -- ed over."

Bannon's appointment to the White House has drawn criticism from Democrats and several civil liberties groups, in part because of his (and Breitbart's) strong association with the alt-right , a political movement with strains of white supremacy.

In the past, the former Breitbart CEO has admitted the alt-right's connections to racist and anti-Semitic agendas.

"Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe," Bannon told Mother Jones in August. "Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements."

In the Reporter interview, Bannon challenged the notion that racialized overtones dominated the Trump campaign on the trail. He predicted that if the administration delivered on its election promises, "we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years."

"It's everything related to jobs," Bannon said and seemingly bragged about how he was going to drive conservatives "crazy" with his "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan."

"With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up," he proposed. "We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution -- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

Bannon, in the Reporter interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) -- and the "darkness" he touts in fighting against them.

"Darkness is good," Bannon said. "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. It only helps us when they...get it wrong. When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."

[Jan 09, 2018] Steve Bannon and Trump's Populist Victory by Jeremy Cooper

Notable quotes:
"... When Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Bannon had found what he is quoted describing as a "blunt instrument for us," a man who had "taken this nationalist movement and moved it up twenty years." ..."
"... the rise of Bannon and Trump holds lessons for the Dissident Right. One of them: despite how powerful the Establishment may appear, there are fatal disconnects between it and the people it rules -- for example, on social and identity issues. Thus, many members of this Ruling Class, such as the Republican strategists who predicted a Jeb or Rubio victory, have been more successful in deluding themselves than they have been in building any kind of effective base. Similarly, Clinton campaign operatives believed, without much evidence, that undecided voters would eventually break in their favor. Because the thought of a Trump presidency was too horrifying for them to contemplate, they refused to recognize polls showing a close race, ignored the Midwest and sauntered their candidate off to Arizona in the final days. ..."
"... Of course, currently the ideas that Bannon fought for appear to be on the wane, leading him to declare upon leaving the White House that the "Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." [ Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017] ..."
"... But this is probably somewhat of an exaggeration. I doubt that Bannon laments the fact that the current president is Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio. But it has proved much more difficult to change government policy than to win an election. Unlike GOP strategists, the Deep State appears to know what it is doing. ..."
www.unz.com

Republished from VDare.com

Throughout 2016, I would occasionally turn on the television to see how the punditocracy was responding to the mounting Trump tsunami . If you get most of your news online, watching cable news is frustrating. The commentary is so dumbed down and painfully reflective of speaker's biases, you can always basically guess what's coming next. With a few exceptions -- above all Ann Coulter 's famous June 19, 2015 prediction of a Trump victory on Bill Maher -- these pundits again and again told us that Trump would eventually go away, first after he made this or that gaffe, then after he "failed" in a debate, then after people actually started voting in the primaries.

Finally, after having been wrong at every point during the primaries, they just as confidently predicted that the Republican primary voter had foolishly done nothing more than assure that Hillary Clinton would be the next president.

The most interesting cases to me: the " Republican strategists ," brought on to CNN and MSNBC to give the audience the illusion that they were hearing both sides: Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Ana Navarro, Rick Wilson, Margaret Hoover, Todd Harris. Mike Murphy even convinced donors to hand him over $100 million to make Jeb Bush the next president -- [ Jeb's 2016 departure draws out Mike Murphy critics , By Maeve Reston, February 22, 2016]

With campaigns and donors throwing money at these people, and the Main Stream Media touting them, it was easy to assume they must know what they were talking about. Significantly, each of these pundits was a national security hawk, center-right on economic issues, and just as horrified by " racism " and " sexism " as their Leftist counterparts . By a remarkable coincidence, the " strategic " advice that they gave to Republican candidates lined up perfectly with these positions. Their prominence was a mirage created by the fact that the MSM handed this token opposition the Megaphone because they did not challenge the core prejudices of the bipartisan Ruling Class.

And of course they were all humiliated in a spectacular fashion, November 8 being only the climax. Joshua Green begins his book Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by giving us a view inside the Trump campaign on election night, before tracing Steve Bannon's path up to that point. Reliving the journey is one of the joys of Green's work, which is mostly an intellectual biography of Steve Bannon, with a special focus on his relationship with Trump and the election.

Bannon joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 without any previous experience in electoral politics. But like the candidate himself, the Breitbart editor showed that he understood the nature of American politics and the GOP base better than Establishment Republicans. The "strategists'" supposed "expertise," "strategic advice," and "analysis" was in reality built on a house of cards. (In fact, the Bannon-Trump view of the electorate is closer to the consensus among political scientists that, unlike more nationalist and populist policies, Republican Establishment positions have relatively little popular support. [ Political Divisions in 2016 and Beyon d | Tensions Between and Within the Two Parties, Voter Study Group, June 2017]).

One key example: Green recounts how after Obama's re-election, the GOP Establishment was eager to surrender on immigration, supporting the bipartisan Amnesty/ Immigration Surge Gang of Eight bill . GOP leaders had neutralized Fox News, leaving Breitbart.com, talk radio and guerilla websites like VDARE.com as the only resistance. But the bill died due to a grass-roots revolt, partly inspired by Breitbart's reporting on the flood of Central American "child" refugees t he Obama Regime was allowing across the southern border. GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional seat in a shock upset in the primaries. And little over a year later, Donald Trump became a candidate for president with opposition to illegal immigration as his signature issue.

Bannon at Breitbart.com gave the Republican base what it wanted. Moral: in a democracy, you always have a chance at winning when public opinion (or at least intraparty opinion) is on your side.

Green traces Bannon's journey from his Irish-Catholic working-class roots and traditionalist upbringing, to his time in the Navy, at Harvard Business School and Goldman Sachs, and finally Breitbart.com and the pinnacle of American politics. The picture that emerges is of a man with principles and vigor, refusing to submit to the inertia that is part of the human condition, with enough confidence to realize that life is too short to not make major changes when staying on the current path is not going to allow him to accomplish his goals.

For example, Bannon originally wanted a career in defense policy, and took a job in the Pentagon during the Reagan administration. Yet he was off to Harvard Business School when he realized that the rigid bureaucracy that he was a part of would not let him move up to a high-level position until he was middle-aged. Decades later, after taking over his website upon the unexpected death of Andrew Breitbart in 2012, it would have been easy to go low-risk -- sticking to Establishment scripts, making life comfortable for Republican elites, implicitly submitting to the taboos of the Left. Instead , he helped turn Breitbart News into a major voice of the populist tide that has been remaking center-right politics across the globe.

When Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Bannon had found what he is quoted describing as a "blunt instrument for us," a man who had "taken this nationalist movement and moved it up twenty years."

From Green, we learn much about Bannon's intellectual influences. Surprisingly, although he was raised as a Roman Catholic and maintains that faith today, we find out that Bannon briefly practiced Zen Buddhism while in the Navy. There are other unusual influences that make appearances in the book, including Rightist philosopher Julius Evola and René Guénon, a French occultist who eventually became a Sufi Muslim. Although not exactly my cup of tea, such eccentric intellectual interests reflect a curious mind that refuses to restrict itself to fashionable influences.

It's incorrect to call Devil's Bargain a biography. There is practically no mention of Bannon's personal life -- wives, children. I had to Google to find out that he has three daughters. His childhood is only discussed in the context of how it may have influenced his beliefs and political development.

Rather, we get information on Bannon's intellectual and career pursuits and his relationships with consequential figures such as mega-donor Robert Mercer, Andrew Breitbart and Donald Trump.

As Bannon exits the White House and returns to Breitbart, we must hope that Bannon and the movement he's helped to create accomplish enough in the future to inspire more complete biographies.

But the rise of Bannon and Trump holds lessons for the Dissident Right. One of them: despite how powerful the Establishment may appear, there are fatal disconnects between it and the people it rules -- for example, on social and identity issues. Thus, many members of this Ruling Class, such as the Republican strategists who predicted a Jeb or Rubio victory, have been more successful in deluding themselves than they have been in building any kind of effective base. Similarly, Clinton campaign operatives believed, without much evidence, that undecided voters would eventually break in their favor. Because the thought of a Trump presidency was too horrifying for them to contemplate, they refused to recognize polls showing a close race, ignored the Midwest and sauntered their candidate off to Arizona in the final days.

Of course, currently the ideas that Bannon fought for appear to be on the wane, leading him to declare upon leaving the White House that the "Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." [ Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017]

But this is probably somewhat of an exaggeration. I doubt that Bannon laments the fact that the current president is Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio. But it has proved much more difficult to change government policy than to win an election. Unlike GOP strategists, the Deep State appears to know what it is doing.

In his memoir Nixon's White House Wars , Pat Buchanan writes about how, despite playing a pivotal role in the election of 1968, the conservative movement was mostly shut out of high-level jobs:

Then there was the painful reality with which the right had to come to terms. Though our movement had exhibited real power in capturing the nomination for Barry Goldwater and helping Nixon crush the Rockefeller-Romney wing of the Republican Party, and though we were

playing a pivotal role in the election of 1968, the conservative movement was mostly shut out of high-level jobs:

Then there was the painful reality with which the right had to come to terms. Though our movement had exhibited real power in capturing the nomination for Barry Goldwater and helping Nixon crush the Rockefeller-Romney wing of the Republican Party, and though we were veterans of a victorious presidential campaign, few of us had served in the executive branch. We lacked titles, resumes, credentials Our pool of experienced public servants who could seamlessly move into top positions was miniscule compared to that of the liberal Democrats who had dominated the capital's politics since FDR arrived in 1933.

History repeated itself in 2016, when Donald Trump would win the presidency on a nationalist platform but find few qualified individuals who could reliably implement his agenda.

If nationalists want to ensure that their next generation of leaders is able to effectively implement the policies they run on, they are going to have to engage in the slow and tedious project of working their way up through powerful institutions.

Bannon may have been and remains an "outsider" to the political Establishment. But nonetheless, throughout his life he has leveraged elite institutions such as Harvard, Goldman Sachs, the Republican Party, and even Hollywood in order to become financially independent and free to pursue his political goals.

If enough of those on the Dissident Right forge a similar path, we can be sure that future nationalist political victories will be less hollow. Jeremy Cooper is a specialist in international politics and an observer of global trends. Follow him at @NeoNeoLiberal .

Clyde Wilson > , August 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

Is there any evidence that Trump even tried to find the right people to fill the offices?

Jobless > , August 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT

@Clyde Wilson Is there any evidence that Trump even tried to find the right people to fill the offices? Having dabbled ever so slightly in this process in the spring, my impression is that there is a mechanism run largely by lawyers from the big DC law firms (presumably one for each party) who are the gatekeepers for applicants. The result of this system, which I have little doubt that the "Trump Team" did not try to take on (after all, they had only a couple of months to put together the beginnings of a team, and that left little or no time replacing The Swamp Machine ) is that the key positions throughout the administration are largely filled with lawyers from connected law firms. After all, who better to administer the government than lawyers -- ? -- ?

At any rate, my experience with the process was: on your marks, get set, nothing. 30 years experience in and around federal government, but not a lawyer. Don't call us, we don't want to talk to you. (I also made clear in my cover letter that the key motivator for my application -- and first ever political contributions -- was Trump and his agenda. In retrospect, this "admission" was probably a kiss of death. I was a Trumpite. Eeeewww -- -- -- (I may well not have been qualified for anything, but I'm SURE I was disqualified by my support for Trump )

The triumph of the Swamp.

Clyde Wilson > , August 30, 2017 at 9:08 pm GMT

We have here perhaps the key to Trump's tragic failure. It was our last shot.

Sep 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
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[Jan 08, 2018] Steve Bannon Backpedals On Comments In New Book On Trump by Igor Bobic

Too little, too late. Also Bannon by demonizing Russians has shown that his is a dangerous warmonger. And a weak politician.
Notable quotes:
"... Bannon added that his comments to Wolff were "aimed at Paul Manafort," the former Trump campaign manager who has been charged as part of an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team. Manafort was also at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Manafort, Bannon said, "should have known how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. ..."
"... Bannon released the statement after a three-day barrage of criticism from Trump and his allies. The president dubbed Bannon "Sloppy Steve." Bannon's statement also followed a CNN appearance on Sunday by Stephen Miller, the president's senior policy adviser and former Bannon ally, who eviscerated his comments to Wolff as "grotesque." ..."
Jan 08, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

The former White House aide said Donald Trump Jr. is a "patriot and a good man." Steve Bannon backpedaled on comments to journalist Michael Wolff, whose explosive new book sparked a backlash against the former top Donald Trump aide over his remarks about a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016. According to the book, released a week early due to high demand, the former White House strategist called the infamous meeting in New York between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives at Trump Tower "treasonous."

In a statement to Axios on Sunday, Bannon heaped praise on Trump and his agenda, and called Don Jr. a "patriot and a good man." "My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of 'the evil empire' and to making films about Reagan's war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton's involvement in selling uranium to them, " Bannon said in the statement.

Bannon added that his comments to Wolff were "aimed at Paul Manafort," the former Trump campaign manager who has been charged as part of an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team. Manafort was also at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Manafort, Bannon said, "should have known how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends.

To reiterate, those comments (about the meeting with the Russians) were not aimed at Don Jr." In the statement, Bannon again denied that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. And though he did not deny any of the remarks that were attributed to him in the book, Bannon said he regretted "that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president's historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency."

Bannon released the statement after a three-day barrage of criticism from Trump and his allies. The president dubbed Bannon "Sloppy Steve." Bannon's statement also followed a CNN appearance on Sunday by Stephen Miller, the president's senior policy adviser and former Bannon ally, who eviscerated his comments to Wolff as "grotesque."

Earlier Sunday, Trump railed about what he called Wolff's "Fake Book" on Twitter:

[Jan 06, 2018] Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: Ethno-nationalism -- it's losers. It's a fringe element.

Notable quotes:
"... Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies. ..."
"... Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production. ..."
"... Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario. ..."
"... Here is Bannon's latest: Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more." "These guys are a collection of clowns," he added. Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists. ..."
"... I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s. ..."
"... Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist. ..."
"... Bannon does not seem himself as an "ethno-nationalist". Yet his slanderous contempt for the liberal ethos/values of many Americans would tend to make one question if he can be called a Nationalist. ..."
"... If Bannon was a Zionist, he would never make the comments he does against the financial sector ..."
"... Isn't exceptionalism the same as narcissism? ..."
"... At least the concern for 10 million in Seoul (mostly missing in the discussion of other leaders) show he is not a psychopath ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4
So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5
I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at. Check this out: Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication
Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8
Here is Bannon's latest: Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more." "These guys are a collection of clowns," he added. Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13

Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.

Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15

I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Progressives and Steve Bannon have something surprising in common: hating Wall Street

Pop quiz! Which major American political figure said the following:

  • "The 2008 crisis is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks."
  • "I think the bailouts in 2008 were wrong."
  • "[N]ot one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis."
  • "The Republican Party "is really a collection of crony capitalists that feel that they have a different set of rules" and are "the reason that the United States' financial situation is so dire."

LINK

and here is BusinessInsider's analysis of Bannon's worldview:

LINK

In the Vatican talk, Bannon described in length and detail how he views the biggest issues of the day:

  • He wants to tear down "crony capitalism": "a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people.[.]
  • He is against Ayn Rand's version of libertarianism: "The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism.[.]
  • He believes the West needs to wage "a global war against Islamic fascism": "They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a "river of blood" if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe.[.]
  • He believes the capitalism of the "Judeo Christian West" is in crisis: "If you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West.[.]
  • He believes the racists that are attracted to Trump will become increasingly irrelevant: [.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

this recent Bannon interview with The American Prospect will now go viral. Drudgereport headlines the WAPO spin.

fastfreddy | Aug 17, 2017 11:05:47 AM | 31

Except for the selective Zion-flavored warmongering, Bannon appears to be an intelligent and thoughtful person. Also crafty. Is he not "Trump's Brain" in the way that Rove was Bush's Brain?

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM | 34

@30 Just Sayin'

Agree. I think Bannon's quite bright and very very clever and crafty.

However, if anyone believes the lies he spewed yesterday about white supremacists, let me enlighten you that that's what's called "good PR" or something. Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

Caveat Emptor.

karlof1 | Aug 17, 2017 12:30:01 PM | 36

The first group to call themselves Progressives were the 19th century Populists. Their mantle was adopted by T. Roosevelt and other like-minded Republicans. Lafollette and Wallace are perhaps the best remembered Progressives--yes, FDR is portrayed as one, but when examined really isn't: Eleanor was far more Progressive and since she was people also thought he was too. Once Wallace was ousted from government, Democrats reverted to their old ways, although Truman did order the military to desegregate--perhaps his only Progressive act. JFK was in the process of becoming a Progressive in the months prior to his murder. LBJ very reluctantly made some Progressive noises in his War on Poverty that he was essentially forced into thanks to massive ethnic strife and related riots during the 60s. But essentially since the beginning of WW2, Progressives and their goals vanished from the political landscape. Nader brought it back to the fringe from the wilderness, but the so-called Progressive Caucus really isn't Progressive thanks to its war promotion.

Admittedly, I don't know much about Steve Bannon; he certainly isn't a Progressive, but he doesn't seem to be a Regressive either. The points he made at the Vatican Talk supplied by likklemore @28 are rather encouraging in an anti-Deep State manner. So, his interaction with The American Prospect I don't see as surprising--he's seeking allies: "'It's a great honor to finally track you [Robert Kuttner] down. I've followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it.'... Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me." I think Kuttner will discover Bannon will "still [be] there" after Labor Day, so he might as well make his travel plans.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 12:45:43 PM | 38
@ Just Sayin' 30

I won't give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.
Read and understand as Bannon is proven right on events.

The $28 - trillion (US dollar) global bailouts in 2008 is proven to have failed. A handful on Wall Street became trillionaires instead of being suited in special stripes.
Negative interest rates steal the retirement savings of seniors. Pensions and Insurance companies cannot meet promised payouts.

And all is fine. Corruption flourishes. Judeo-Christian moral values are not in crisis.

les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.

@ 8 as you say... Bannon does not seem himself as an "ethno-nationalist". Yet his slanderous contempt for the liberal ethos/values of many Americans would tend to make one question if he can be called a Nationalist.

@ 9 If Bannon was a Zionist, he would never make the comments he does against the financial sector (see @28).

@28 Bannon would never call himself a Socialist, but the most logical expression of his individualist views when applied to the business world are expressed by none other than Ayn Rand. The financial world simply got legal cover to act on the views that he rails against. Bannon does not like what he sees when the rules he claims for himself are given to the rest of the world. Which makes him an "Exceptionalist"??

Isn't exceptionalism the same as narcissism?

At least the concern for 10 million in Seoul (mostly missing in the discussion of other leaders) show he is not a psychopath.

[Jan 05, 2018] Trump the Eradicator, by Eric Margolis - The Unz Review

Jan 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

Trump's campaign to return manufacturing to America and repatriate profits held overseas makes good business sense. The ravaging of America's once mighty industrial base to boost corporate profits was a crime against the nation by unscrupulous Wall Street bankers and short-sighted, greedy CEO's.

The basis of industrial power is the ability to make products people use. Shockingly, US manufacturing has shrunk to only 14% of GDP. Today, America's primary business has become finance, the largely non-productive act of paper-passing that only benefits a tiny big city parasitic elite.

Trump_vs_deep_state is a natural reaction to the self-destruction of America's industrial base. But the president's mania to wreck international trade agreements and impose tariff barriers will result in diminishing America's economic and political influence around the globe.

Access to America's markets is in certain ways a more powerful political tool than deployment of US forces around the globe. Lessening access to the US markets will inevitably have negative repercussions on US exports.

Trump has been on a rampage to undo almost every positive initiative undertaken by the Obama administration, even though many earned the US applause and respect around the civilized world. The president has made trade agreements a prime target. He has targeted trade pacts involving Mexico, Canada, the EU, Japan, China and a host of other nations by claiming they are unfair to American workers. However, a degree of wage unfairness is the price Washington must pay for bringing lower-cost nations into America's economic orbit.

This month, the Trump administration threatened new restrictions against 120 US trade partners who may now face much higher tariffs on their exports to the US.

Trump is in a hurry because he fears he may not be re-elected. He is trying to eradicate all vestiges of the Obama presidency with the ruthlessness and ferocity of Stalinist officials eradicating every trace of liquidated commissars, even from official photos. America now faces its own era of purges as an uneasy world watches.

[Jan 01, 2018] Donald Trump s National Security Strategy by Thierry Meyssan

I strongly doubt that there is a break from the principle that the United States of America was the world's only superpower
Notable quotes:
"... During the mandates of George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama, the documents defining their National Security Strategies were based on the principle that the United States of America was the world's only superpower. They could wage the " endless war " advocated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, in other words they could systematically destroy any political organisation in the already unstable areas of the planet, beginning with the " Greater Middle East ". The Presidents indicated their projects for every region of the world. All that the unified fighting Commands had to do was apply these instructions. ..."
"... He once again uses his slogan " America First! " and makes it his philosophical foundation. Historically, this formula is still associated with support for Nazism, but this is not its original meaning. It was initially a way of breaking with Roosevelt's Atlantist policy - the alliance with the British Empire in order to govern the world. ..."
Jan 01, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

During the mandates of George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama, the documents defining their National Security Strategies were based on the principle that the United States of America was the world's only superpower. They could wage the " endless war " advocated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, in other words they could systematically destroy any political organisation in the already unstable areas of the planet, beginning with the " Greater Middle East ". The Presidents indicated their projects for every region of the world. All that the unified fighting Commands had to do was apply these instructions.

Donald Trump's National Security Strategy breaks almost entirely with this literature. It conserves certain of the mythological elements of these previous mandates, but attempts above all to reposition the United States as the Republic it was in 1791 (which is to say at the moment of compromise with the Bill of Rights ) and no longer as the Empire that it became on 11 September 2001.

The role of the White House, its diplomacy and its armed forces is no longer to rule the world, but to protect " the interests of the people of the United States ".

In his introduction, Donald Trump marks his difference with his predecessors by denouncing the policies of " régime change " and " world democratic revolution " adopted by Ronald Reagan and managed under successive administrations by Trotskyite senior civil servants. He reaffirms the classic realpolitik as declared by Henry Kissinger for example, founded on the idea of " sovereign nations ".

The reader will however keep in mind that certain intergovernmental agencies of the " Five Eyes " group, (Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom), such as the National Endowment for Democracy, are still directed by Trotskyists.

Donald Trump distinguishes three types of difficulty that his country is going to have to face -

  1. First of all, the rivalry with Russia and China;
  2. Next, the opposition of " rogue states " (North Korea and Iran) in their respective regions;
  3. Finally, the threat to international law embodied by the jihadist movements and transnational criminal organisations.

Although he too considers the United States to be the incarnation of Good, he does not diabolise his rivals, adversaries and enemies, but attempts to understand them, unlike his predecessors.

He once again uses his slogan " America First! " and makes it his philosophical foundation. Historically, this formula is still associated with support for Nazism, but this is not its original meaning. It was initially a way of breaking with Roosevelt's Atlantist policy - the alliance with the British Empire in order to govern the world.

The reader will remember that the first cabinet of the Obama administration gave an excessive place to the members of the Pilgrim Society (no connection with the Mont-Pelerin Society), in other words a very private club presided by Queen Elizabeth II. This was the group which piloted the financial après-crise of 2008.

In order to guide this policy of returning to the Republican principles of 1791 and independence from British financial interests, Donald Trump poses four pillars:

- The protection of the people of the United States, its homeland and its way of life;
- The prosperity of the United States;
- The power of its armies;
- The development of its influence.

Thus, he does not imagine his strategy in opposition to his rivals, his adversaries and his enemies, but as a function of his Republican and independent ideal.

In order to avoid misinterpretation, he specifies that while he may consider that the United States is an example for the world, it is neither possible nor desirable to impose its way of life on others - particularly since this way of life could not be considered as the " inevitable final outcome of progress ". He does not think of international relations as being the rule of the United States over the world, but as the search for " reciprocal relations " with his partners.

The four pillars of the America First doctrine of National Security

- The protection of the people of the United States implies, above all, the restoration of the frontiers (terrestrial, aerial, maritime, spatial and cyber-spatial) which have been progressively destroyed by the globalists.

These frontiers are intended to neutralise the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist and criminal groups, and also to contain pandemics and prevent the entry of drugs or illegal immigrants. Concerning the cyber-spatial frontiers, Donald Trump notes the necessity of securing the Internet by giving priority, successively, to National Security, Energy, the Banks, Health, Communications and Transports. But all that remains rather theoretical.

While, since the presidency of Richard Nixon, the war against drugs had been selective, aimed not at drying up the flood of illegal substances, but at directing it towards certain ethnic minorities, Donald Trump responds to a new need. Aware of the collapse of life expectancy exclusively affecting white males under Barack Obama, the despair that it caused and the opioïd epidemic that ensued, Trump considers that the fight against the cartels is a question of national survival.

Speaking of the war against terrorism, it is not clear whether he is referring to the " lone wolves " who continue to fight even after the fall of the Caliphate, as was the case with certain groups of the Waffen SS after the fall of the Reich, or the maintenance of the British system of jihadism. If the second hypothesis is correct, it would be a clear retraction of his declarations of intention during his electoral campaign and the first months of his presidency. He would therefore be obliged to clarify the evolution of relations between Washington and London, as well the consequences of this change concerning the management of NATO.

In any case, we note a strange passage from the text which states as follows - " The United States will work with their allies and partners to dissuade and destabilise other groups which threaten the homeland - including the groups sponsored by Iran, like the Lebanese Hezbollah ".

For all anti-terrorist actions, Donald Trump considers limited alliances with other powers, including Russia and China.

Finally, concerning the resilience of the United States, he validates the programme of " Continuity of Government ", although it was the direct beneficiary of the coup d'Etat of 9/11. However, he states that citizens who are engaged and informed are the basis of this system, which would seem to avert the danger of a replay of such an event.

- Concerning the prosperity of the United States , a condition for the development of his Defense programme, Donald Trump is a champion of the " American dream ", the " minimal State ", and the theory of " trickle-down economics " (from top to bottom). He therefore conceives of an economy based on free exchange and not financialisation. Taking the opposite point of view from the commonly-believed idea that free exchange was an instrument of Anglo-Saxon imperialism, he affirms that it is only fair for the primary actors if the new actors accept the rules. He claims that several states -- including China -- are profiting from this system without ever having entertained the intention of adopting its values.

He bases himself on this idea -- and not on the analysis of the appearance of a transnational class of the super-rich -- in order to denounce multilateral commercial agreements.

He continues by announcing the deregulation of all sectors where State intervention is unnecessary. At the same time, he is planning the opposition to all interventions by foreign States and their nationalised businesses, which could distort fair exchanges with the United States.

He intends to develop theoretical research and its technical applications, and to support invention and innovation. For that, he plans for special and advantageous conditions of immigration in order to generate a " brain drain " towards the United States. Considering the skills thus acquired, not as the means for establishing a toll-booth on the world economy via patents, but as the motor of the US economy, he intends to create a National Security file of these techniques and to protect them in order to maintain his advance.

Finally, on the subject of the access to sources of energy, he observes that for the first time, the United States is self-sufficient. He warns against policies initiated in the name of global warming, which implies limiting the use of energy. Here, Donald Trump is not talking about the financialisation of ecology, but is clearly lobbing a stone into the garden of France, promoter of the " greening of finance ". Replacing this question in a more general context, he affirms that the United States will support any States which are victims of energy blackmail.

- Affirming that while the United States is no longer the sole superpower, it is the dominant power, he states that his central security objective is the maintenance of this military preeminence , in accordance with the Roman adage Si vis pacem, para bellum [ 1 ].

He first observes that " China is attempting to exclude the United States from the Indo-Pacific region, to extend the reach of its State-run economic model, and to reorganise the region to its own advantage ". According to Trump, Beijing is in the process of building the world's second military capability (under the authority of General Xi Jinping) leaning for support on the skills of the United States.

As for Russia, " it is seeking to re-establish its status as a great power and create spheres of influence at its borders ". To that purpose, it is " attempting to weaken the influence of the United States in the world and separate the USA from its allies and partners. It perceives NATO and the European Union as threats ".

This is the first analysis of the goals and means of the rivals of the United States. Contrary to the " Wolfowitz doctrine ", the White House no longer considers the European Union as a competitor, but as the civilian wing of NATO. Breaking with the strategy of economic sabotage of the European Union by George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, Donald Trump posits the possibility of cooperating with his rivals (which are now Russia and China), but only from a " position of strength ".

The current period sees the return of military competition, with three players this time. Knowing the tendency of military men to prepare for the last war, rather than trying to imagine the next, it is a good idea to rethink the organisation and allocation of the armies while remembering that your rivals will position themselves in whatever sector they choose. We should note that it is not in this chapter that Donald Trump evokes the Pentagon's Achilles heel, but much earlier in the text. It is in his introduction, at a moment when the reader is absorbed in philosophical considerations, that he mentions the new breed of Russian weapons, and in particular their capacity to inhibit the commands and controls of NATO equipment.

The Pentagon must renew its arsenal, both in quantity and in quality. It has to abandon the illusion that its technological superiority (in reality, now overtaken by Russia) can make up for its inferiority in numbers. There follows a long study of the domains of armament, including nuclear weapons, which have to be modernised.

Donald Trump intends to inverse the current functioning of the Defense industry. The industry currently tries to sell its products to the Federal state -- Trump hopes that the Federal state will launch its own offers, and that the industrials will respond to these new needs. We know that today, the Defense industry no longer has the engineers it needs to realise new projects. The failure of the F-35 is the most striking example of this. The change for which the President is hoping therefore supposes the prior organisation of the " brain drain " towards the United States which he has already evoked.

As far as Intelligence is concerned, he has adopted the theories of his ex-National Security advisor General Michael Flynn. He wants to reposition not only the Defense Intelligence Agency, but the entire " Intelligence community ". The objective is no longer being able to pinpoint, at any moment, one terrorist chief or another, but being able to anticipate the strategic evolutions of its rivals, adversaries and enemies. This means abandoning the obsession with GPS and high-tech gadgets in order to rehabilitate analysis.

Finally, he considers the State Department to be a tool enabling the creation of a positive environment for his country, including with his rivals. It is no longer the means of extending the interests of multinational companies, which it was under George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, nor the organiser of the Empire which it became under Bush Jr. and Barack Obama. US diplomats therefore need to regain a little political dexterity.

- The chapter dedicated to the influence of the United States clarifies the end of the " globalisation " of the " American way of life ". The United States will not seek to impose their values on others. They will treat all people equally, and will valorise those who respect the rule of law.

In order to encourage those countries who might wish to become partners, but whose investments are governed by the State, he plans to offer them alternatives solutions which would facilitate the reform of their economy.

Concerning intergovernmental organisations, he announces that he will refuse to hand over the slightest part of sovereignty if it must be shared with countries who question the constitutional principles of the USA - a direct allusion to the International Criminal Court, for example. On the other hand, he says nothing about the extra-territoriality of US Justice, which violates the constitutional principles of other countries.

Finally, reviewing the long tradition which came from the compromise of 1791, he affirms that the United States will continue to support those who fight for human dignity or religious freedom (not to be confused with freedom of conscience).

It is only after this long exposé that Donald Trump addresses the regional application of his doctrine. Nothing new is announced, apart from an alliance with Australia, India and Japan to contain China and combat North Korea.

At best we learn about two new approaches to the Middle East. Experience with Daesh has shown that the main problem is not the Israëli question, but that of the jihadist ideology. And what Washington blames Iran for is the perpetuation of the cycle of violence by its refusal to negotiate.

By default, the reader understands that the Pentagon has to abandon the project by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski that Donald Rumfeld imposed on 11 September. The " endless war " is over. The tension should not only stop spreading throughout the world, but lessen in the Greater Middle East.

Donald Trump's National Security doctrine is very solidly constructed, on the historical level (we can see the influence of General Jim Mattis) and on the philosophical level (following ex-Special advisor Steve Bannon). It is based on a rigorous analysis of the challenges to US power (in conformity with the work of General H. R. McMaster). It validates the State Department's budget cuts (operated by Rex Tillerson). Contrary to the received wisdom of US journalists, the Trump administration has managed to develop a coherent synthesis which clearly distances itself from previous visions.

However, the absence of an explicit regional strategy attests to the extent of the ongoing revolution. Nothing guarantees that the military leaders will apply this new philosophy in their respective domains - particularly since we were able to note, only a few days ago, the collusion between US Forces and the jihadists in Syria. Thierry Meyssan

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[Dec 27, 2017] Bannon Puts Jared Through the Grinder - POLITICO Magazine

Notable quotes:
"... Informing Vanity Fair that Kushner's hunt for political smut led him to over-fraternize with the Russians might not be the best way for Bannon to throw special counsel Robert S. Mueller III off the collusion scent. ..."
"... Sherman's piece reveals the cognitive split that evolved between Bannon and others, specifically Trump, on how to handle the mess that had been created. "Goldman Sachs teaches one thing: don't invent shit. Take something that works and make it better," Bannon told Sherman. He said he consulted with Bill Clinton's former lawyer Lanny Davis about how the Clintons responded to Ken Starr's probe. "We were so disciplined. You guys don't have that," Bannon recalls Davis advising him. "That always haunted me when he said that," Bannon told Sherman. Bannon said the investigation was an attempt by the establishment to undo the election, but he took it seriously and warned Trump he was in danger of being impeached. ..."
"... There's even more hot Bannon on Kushner action. Bannon tells of an Oval Office meeting he attended with Trump, Kushner and Kushner's wife Ivanka Trump in which he called Ivanka "the queen of leaks." "You're a fucking liar!" Ivanka allegedly responded. Hard to know how to score this round, but shattering the public image of Ivanka as poised princess must have been satisfying for a guy who called Javanka "the Democrats." ..."
"... Although "people close to Kushner, who decline to be named" told the Times they don't think the Mueller investigation exposes him to legal jeopardy, the young prince isn't taking chances. The Washington Post reports that his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has been shopping for a "crisis public relations firm" over the past two weeks. (Senator Robert Menendez, the recent beneficiary of a deadlocked corruption trial, is another Lowell client.) ..."
"... Why hire super flacks now? Does Kushner sense disaster? Another Bannon offensive? The Flynn plea bargain exposed him -- according to the press -- as the "very senior member" of the Trump transition team described in court documents who told former national security adviser Michael Flynn to lobby the Russian ambassador about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements. Maybe he's just buying reputation insurance. Or maybe he's taken to heart Chris Christie's scathing comments. Christie was squeezed out of the Trump transition early on, some say by Kushner who is said to hold a grudge against Christie who, when he was federal prosecutor, put Kushner's father in jail . This week Christie said that Kushner "deserves the scrutiny" he's been getting. It was almost as if Christie and Bannon were operating a twin-handled grinder, cranking out an extra helping of Kushner's tainted reputation. ..."
"... President Putin and President Trump occupied the same page about the scandal this week in what was either a matter of collusion or of great minds thinking alike. Speaking at a four-hour media event in Moscow, Putin blamed the scandal on the U.S. "deep state" and said, "This is all made up by people who oppose Trump to make his work look illegitimate." According to CNN , Trump took the opportunity this week to call the Russia investigation "bullshit" in private. In public, he told reporters, "There's absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it." ..."
Dec 27, 2017 | www.politico.com

Former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon milled his former Oval Office colleague Jared Kushner into a bloody chunk of battle sausage this week and smeared him across the shiny pages of Vanity Fair . You've got to read Bannon's quote three or four times to fully savor the tang of its malice and cruelty. After scorning the Russia collusion theories as fiction, Bannon acknowledged the grisly reality that the Russia investigation poses for his former boss. And he blamed it all on Kushner, for having created the appearance that Putin had helped Trump. Dropping Kushner head first into the grinder, Bannon turned the crank.

"[Kushner was] taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared," Bannon told the magazine's Gabriel Sherman. "They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That's his maturity level."

Informing Vanity Fair that Kushner's hunt for political smut led him to over-fraternize with the Russians might not be the best way for Bannon to throw special counsel Robert S. Mueller III off the collusion scent. So what was the big man in the Barbour coat up to?

That Bannon and Kushner skirmished during their time together in the White House has been long established. Kushner advocated the sacking FBI Director James B. Comey, for example, and Bannon opposed it. He later told 60 Minutes that the firing was maybe the worst mistake in "modern political history" because it precipitated the hiring of the special counsel and had thereby expanded the investigation.

Sherman's piece reveals the cognitive split that evolved between Bannon and others, specifically Trump, on how to handle the mess that had been created. "Goldman Sachs teaches one thing: don't invent shit. Take something that works and make it better," Bannon told Sherman. He said he consulted with Bill Clinton's former lawyer Lanny Davis about how the Clintons responded to Ken Starr's probe. "We were so disciplined. You guys don't have that," Bannon recalls Davis advising him. "That always haunted me when he said that," Bannon told Sherman. Bannon said the investigation was an attempt by the establishment to undo the election, but he took it seriously and warned Trump he was in danger of being impeached.

Bannon's gripe against Kushner in Vanity Fair continues: He claims that Donald Trump's disparaging tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions were designed to provide "cover" for Kushner by steering negative media attention toward Sessions and away from Kushner as he was scheduled to testify before a Senate committee.

There's even more hot Bannon on Kushner action. Bannon tells of an Oval Office meeting he attended with Trump, Kushner and Kushner's wife Ivanka Trump in which he called Ivanka "the queen of leaks." "You're a fucking liar!" Ivanka allegedly responded. Hard to know how to score this round, but shattering the public image of Ivanka as poised princess must have been satisfying for a guy who called Javanka "the Democrats."

Getting mauled by Steve Bannon might not be the worst thing to happen to the president's son-in-law this week. He and Ivanka were sued by a private attorney for failing to disclose assets from 30 investment funds on their federal financial disclosure forms. Perhaps more ominous for Kushner, and according to the New York Times , federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records about Kushner's family's real estate business. "There is no indication that the subpoena is related to the investigation being conducted by Robert S. Mueller III," the Times allowed. Yeah, but wouldn't you want to be there when Mueller's team invites Bannon in to talk to him about the Vanity Fair article, and they ask him, "What did you mean about Jared taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff? Like, what stuff?"

Although "people close to Kushner, who decline to be named" told the Times they don't think the Mueller investigation exposes him to legal jeopardy, the young prince isn't taking chances. The Washington Post reports that his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has been shopping for a "crisis public relations firm" over the past two weeks. (Senator Robert Menendez, the recent beneficiary of a deadlocked corruption trial, is another Lowell client.)

Why hire super flacks now? Does Kushner sense disaster? Another Bannon offensive? The Flynn plea bargain exposed him -- according to the press -- as the "very senior member" of the Trump transition team described in court documents who told former national security adviser Michael Flynn to lobby the Russian ambassador about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements. Maybe he's just buying reputation insurance. Or maybe he's taken to heart Chris Christie's scathing comments. Christie was squeezed out of the Trump transition early on, some say by Kushner who is said to hold a grudge against Christie who, when he was federal prosecutor, put Kushner's father in jail . This week Christie said that Kushner "deserves the scrutiny" he's been getting. It was almost as if Christie and Bannon were operating a twin-handled grinder, cranking out an extra helping of Kushner's tainted reputation.

President Putin and President Trump occupied the same page about the scandal this week in what was either a matter of collusion or of great minds thinking alike. Speaking at a four-hour media event in Moscow, Putin blamed the scandal on the U.S. "deep state" and said, "This is all made up by people who oppose Trump to make his work look illegitimate." According to CNN , Trump took the opportunity this week to call the Russia investigation "bullshit" in private. In public, he told reporters, "There's absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it."

Everybody, perhaps, except former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Appearing on CNN , Clapper used direct language to bind former KGB officer Putin to Trump tighter than a girdle to a paunch. "[Putin] knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said. "I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president."

Writing in Newsweek , Jeff Stein collected other tell-tale signs of Trump's cooptation: He refused to take Russian meddling in the election seriously. He responds favorably to Putin's praise and seems to crave more. He dismisses worries about his circle's connections to Kremlin agents before the election and during the transition -- and he tried to call off the Flynn investigation.

It's enough to make you wonder why Bannon thinks Kushner is the enemy, not Trump.

******

If you've read this far, you're probably disappointed that more didn't happen in the Trump Tower scandal this week. Sue me in small claims court via email to Shafer.Politico@gmail.com . My email alerts never believed in collusion, my Twitter feed is set to cut a plea deal with Mueller, and my RSS feed has several crisis PR firms on retainer.

[Dec 16, 2017] Brexit, Trump, and the Dangers of Global 'Jihad' HuffPost by Ben Railton

For 1995 the book Jihad vs. McWorld was really groundbreaking.
Also the concept of "Neoliberal jihad is valid, but it is better to call it Neoliberal World revolution as it was borrowed from Trotskyism
Notable quotes:
"... Jihad vs. McWorld ..."
"... In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. ..."
"... Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. ..."
"... Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.huffingtonpost.com

In his ground-breaking 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld , political scientist Benjamin Barber posits that the global conflicts of the early 21st century would be driven by two opposing but equally undemocratic forces: neoliberal corporate globalization (which he dubbed "McWorld") and reactionary tribal nationalisms (which he dubbed "Jihad"). Although distinct in many ways, both of these forces, Barber persuasively argues, succeed by denying the possibilities for democratic consensus and action, and so both must be opposed by civic engagement and activism on a broad scale.

In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. Case in pitch-perfect point: the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Yet despite his use of the Arabic word Jihad, Barber is clear that reactionary tribalism is a worldwide phenomenon -- and in 2016 we're seeing particularly striking examples of that tribalism in Western nations such as Great Britain and the United States.

Britain's vote this week in favor of leaving the European Union was driven entirely by such reactionary tribal nationalism. The far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and its leader Nigel Farage led the charge in favor of Leave , as exemplified by a recent UKIP poster featuring a photo of Syrian refugees with the caption " Breaking point: the EU has failed us ." Farage and his allies like to point to demographic statistics about how much the UK has changed in the last few decades , and more exactly how the nation's white majority has been somewhat shifted over that time by the arrival of sizeable African and Asian immigrant communities.

It's impossible not to link the UKIP's emphases on such issues of immigration and demography to the presidential campaign of the one prominent U.S. politician who is cheering for the Brexit vote : presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. From his campaign-launching speech about Mexican immigrant "criminals and rapists" to his proposal to ban Muslim immigration and his "Make American Great Again" slogan, Trump has relied on reactionary tribal nationalism at every stage of his campaign, and has received the enthusiastic endorsement of white supremacist and far-right organizations as a result. For such American tribal nationalists, the 1965 Immigration Act is the chief bogeyman, the origin point of continuing demographic shifts that have placed white America in a precarious position.

The only problem with that narrative is that it's entirely inaccurate. What the 1965 Act did was reverse a recent, exclusionary trend in American immigration law and policy, returning the nation to the more inclusive and welcoming stance it had taken throughout the rest of its history. Moreover, while the numbers of Americans from Latin American, Asian, and Muslim cultures have increased in recent decades, all of those communities have been part of o ur national community from its origin points . Which is to say, this right-wing tribal nationalism isn't just opposed to fundamental realities of 21st century American identity -- it also depends on historical and national narratives that are as mythic as they are exclusionary.

Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. Although Trump rallies have featured troubling instances of violence, and although the murderer of British politican Jo Cox was an avowed white supremacist and Leave supporter, the right-wing Islamic extremism of groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram rely far more consistently and centrally on violence and terrorism in support of their worldview and goals. Such specific contexts and nuances are important and shouldn't be elided.

Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. From ISIS to UKIP, Trump to France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, such reactionary forces have become and remain dominant players across the world, influencing local and international politics, economics, and culture. Benjamin Barber called this trend two decades ago, and we would do well to read and remember his analyses -- as well as his call for civic engagement and activism to resist these forces and fight for democracy.

Ben Railton Professor & public scholar of American Studies, Follow Ben Railton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmericanStudier

[Dec 15, 2017] Sic Semper Tyrannis Watergate Deja Vu and Fake News by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. Hardly anyone in the media, mainstream or fringe, are writing about this fact and trying to rally public support for action. What is one to say when confronted with the fact that the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump that was initially commissioned by the Clinton campaign. And who is the FBI Agent paying for the dossier? Why a fellow now revealed as a Clinton partisan. ..."
"... How much of what we see is the real DJT and how much is a projected public persona? ..."
"... DJT's threat to "drain the swamp" has created fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the swamp folk. They naturally fight back. By definition, all swamp critters must toe the neocon line else they would have been fired by previous incumbents. They are all therefore fair game for DJT. ..."
"... I admire your persistence and agree with the points you make in this and your other posts on the topic of Trump. This is an extremely important subject matter. A President was elected, lawfully, and a bunch of stupid ninnies got their panties in a knot over that and are therefore more or less willing to support a Borgist ("deep state", if you prefer) coup d'état. Said ninnies are immune to the rational arguments you present because they are not intelligent, they are hyper emotional and many of them belong to a cult called "[neo]liberalism" (or the "progressive movement", if you prefer). ..."
"... You mention briefly the Steele affair. I still find it difficult to believe that an ex-UK Intelligence Officer can get mixed up in American politics to this extent and scarcely an eyebrow raised. Surely someone's asking questions somewhere about this? The facts are clear enough, for once. ..."
"... And, off stage, a slow but powerful campaign exposing many of Trumnp's enemies as corrupt, perverted hypocrites. And, from time to time, unexpected presents like Brazile's book. But faster please ..."
"... I agree about the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has afflicted the media. I think they are suffering from O.C.T.D.: Obsessive Compulsive Trump Disorder. There are some in the media who are of the opinion that this may not be working with most Americans. ..."
"... The crucial point is not about respect for the man. It is respect for the office. All men are flawed, and high position exposes additional flaws. It is evident, to this outside observer, that Trump won "fair and square" according to the established procedures. The variety of "dirty tricks" used against him, both before the election and after, is astounding. There was a "back room" negotiation on el