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Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Libertarian Philosophy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
National Security State Key Myths of Neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You The Iron Law of Oligarchy Color revolutions Cold War II Two Party System as Polyarchy
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Predator state Corporatism Elite Theory Neo-conservatism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Demonization of Putin Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie
Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Fuck the EU Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Neoliberalism and Christianity
Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Neoliberal corruption DNC emails leak Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Disaster capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism American Exceptionalism The Deep State Obama: a yet another Neocon
Neoliberal war on reality In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers War and Peace Quotes
Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

Neoliberalism -- the current social system in the USA and most European countries, Japan, Russia and China (with some minor variations) -- is a very interesting ideology, one that does not dare to speak its mane ;-). After triumphal march of neoliberalism in late 80th and early 90th (with the collapse of the USSR as the high point), neoliberalism entered a crisis in 2008.

This site is slightly skeptical as for long term viability of Neoliberalism as a social system. After the "triumphal march" over the globe in  late seventies and 80th with the collapse of the USSR (which elite simply changed sides) as the final crescendo of this march neoliberalism might already entered the phase of decline after the crisis of 2008.  It's ideology (market fundamentalism) is now discredited. While neoliberal think tanks try to contain damage, the fatal flaws after 2008 are now apparent and can't be  hidden. The key neoliberal country and the key enforcer of neoliberalism over the globe -- the USA -- entered "secular stagnation" in economics and now is trying to fend of the challenge that China economic growth presents to its world dominance. Election of Trump means that the protest against neoliberal globalization entered  mainstream in the USA in 2016:  Hillary Clinton as defeated as a proponent of status quo, the proponent  of neoliberal globalization and the wars for expansion of neoliberal empire, the candidate who promised to kick the neoliberal can down the road. 

In this sense Trump should probably be viewed as a new stage of this decline, the phase in which financial oligarchy not only failed to put the desired puppet into White House and was farced to unleash a with hunt to put Trump into the line  (During elections Trump used to have anti-globalization inclinations -- anathema for neoliberals -- and that's why he was so viciously attacked after he have won).

As currently I see no viable new alternative to neoliberalism, our analysis of neoliberalism has distinct New Deal capitalism bias, although the restoration of New Deal capitalism looks impossible because the social base of it -- the alliance of corporate management  and trade union leaders, was destroyed due to defection of corporate managers to the side of capital owners.

And yes, my friends, like Moli่re's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it., you are living under neoliberal regime at least since 1980, most probably without knowing it.  Current events are much easier to analyze if you use the framework proposed in those pages. On interesting nuance is that being some kind of "Trotskyism for rich" this regime is almost as far from real democracy as the USSR one party system. It is something Sheldon Volin called "inverted totalitarism". In certain aspects it is even more anti-democratic than the capitalism of the Gilded Age with which it  has some uncanny similarities.  

Another interesting aspect of neoliberalism is the existence of so called "neoliberal rationality" (compare with the "proletarian mindset" of Bolshevism ). As well as the extent of brainwashing into this rationality, especially at the university level. As well as  the level and the sophistication of the use of propaganda -- especially for propagating a set of neoliberal myths very similar that were created by Bolshevism. For example, "Free trade", "free market" (why not fair in both cases?) , "labor market", "human capital", etc.  In reality the key idea behind this Potemkin Village style elaborate false ideological facade  is the redistribution of wealth up toward top 1%  (or even more to the top 0.01%).  Exactly like was the case with Bolshevism, which while proclaiming the false facade of "dictatorship of proletariat" mercilessly suppressed unions and kept 90% of population at the standard of living much lower than in Western and even Eastern Europe, although not close to starvation which is the neoliberal ideal of "plantation economy" (implemented, for example, by Wal-Mart, with its below subsistence wages), with atomized and isolated form each other debt slaves.  In other words, there are some striking similarities between Soviet nomenklatura and neoliberal oligarchy, similarities that no objective scholar  studying neoliberalism  can ignore. See also Two Party System as Polyarchy -- "the first after the post system" proved to be ideal for neoliberal regime as it allows financial oligarchy preselect  candidates from both Parties,  turning the election into expensive staged event -- a grandiose political spectacle, if you wish. but with predicted outcome as stage directors who perform casting are members of a close circle of neoliberal elite -- mostly financial oligarchy.  It could be adopted by Soviet nomenklatura as well as it very effectively prevents  any real challenges to the  existing political regime by pre-selection of two candidates running to the given position and two parties, which are essentially a "soft" and "hard" factions of a single party of financial oligarchy.

The level of "synchronicity" in coverage of foreign events by neoliberal MSS also remind me the level typical for Soviet Union. With all MSM repeating the State Department talking points and in general going out their skin be politically correct stooges of the neoliberal regime.

Yet another very interesting aspect of neoliberal regime is the level of public apathy, limited  public discourse and even vocabulary (try to find the word "neoliberal" in WaPo ;-)  as well as epidemic of narco-addition (especially in Rust Belt, which is more severely hit by neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing). Which is not that dissimilar to the epidemic of alcoholism under Bolshevism. When common people see no future for themselves and their children they tend to engage in self-destructing behaviour.

What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism"  has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-). This set of pages intent is to fight this trend. 

It is also important to understand that the level of hostility to Trump by the "deep state" is directly connected with three main (and very quickly betrayed) promises that Trump made during elections:

  1. No more neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing of jobs and industries;
  2. No more wars for expansion of neoliberal empire;
  3. Jobs for all Americans

All three were a direct revision of neoliberal ideology, as well as "neoliberal rationality".  That's why the counter-attack of both the "Deep State" and neoliberal MSM on Trump was so vicious, with well coordinated set of leaks, appointment of Special Prosecutor (on fake pretext), re-launch of McCarthyism, and campaign of demonization of Trump and his administration in media.  That so vividly resembles the attacks on "revisionists" in the USSR during Stalinism, that you may wish to revisit books devoted to those trials  ;-).

What is new is that elements of color revolutions technology  are used against Trump and his administration by neoliberal nomenklatura to preserve power. The gal is to remove Trump from power. This technology was used probably for second time in the USA history. Nixon's case is somewhat similar and also involves decisive intelligence agencies role (the core of the Deep State) in removal the President, JFK is an earlier case but without any color revolution elements.  Those technologies were designed  to topple "unfriendly" to neoliberalism regimes in xUSSR space and "resource nationalists" in the Middle East (as well as against China in Hong Cong). That suggests that neoliberals felt a real threat from Trump "revisionism". 

Deployment of those technologies does not spell well with the social stability because delegitimization of elected government has lasting effects. Just look at Ukraine which was the victim of the most recent "color revolution" experiment. They have now two breakaway regions.  In other words when the gin of color revolution is out of the bottle it is not that easy to put it back and the events can turn in the direction not anticipated by the originators of such a color revolution.

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Who Rules America


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It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Sep 21, 2017] Emails Hillary Clinton Sought Russian Officials For Pay-To-Play Scheme

Sep 21, 2017 | www.mintpressnews.com

Although Hillary Clinton has blamed numerous factors and people for her loss to Donald Trump in last year's election, no one has received as much blame as the Russian government. In an effort to avoid blaming the candidate herself by turning the election results into a national scandal, accusations of Kremlin-directed meddling soon surfaced. While such accusations have largely been discredited by both computer analysts and award-winning journalists like Seymour Hersh, they continue to be repeated as the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government picks up steam.

However, newly released Clinton emails suggest that that the former secretary of state's disdain for the Russian government is a relatively new development. The emails, obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, show that the Russian government was included in invitations to exclusive Clinton Foundation galas that began less than two months after Clinton became the top official at the U.S. State Department.

In March of 2009, Amitabh Desai, then-Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy, sent invitations to numerous world leaders, which included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Desai's emails were cc'd to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro and later forwarded to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan.

The Clinton Foundation's activities during Hillary's tenure as secretary of state have been central to the accusations that the Clinton family used their "charitable" foundation as a means of enriching themselves via a massive "Pay to Play" scheme. Emails leaked by Wikileaks, particularly the Podesta emails , offered ample evidence connecting foreign donations to the Clintons and their foundation with preferential treatment by the U.S. State Department.

[Sep 21, 2017] Susan Rice admits that she spied on Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Until now, Susan Rice had always denied spying on Donald Trump and his team both in the transition period and also in the run up to the presidential elections. There have been several times when President Trump has denounced the illegal tappings that the Obama Administration had authorized against him, which the Press in the United States had qualified as completely fabricated. ..."
"... President Richard Nixon had been forced to resign for spying on the Democratic Party's electoral headquarters. However, in the case of Susan Rice, the Congressmen have not "acquired a conviction" that she had committed a federal crime and that she had tried to cover it up. ..."
"... In contrast, President Obama's team is presenting the tappings ordered by Susan Rice as wholly legitimate in the context of an investigation into possible Russian interferences. Furthermore, it is a fact that the United Arab Emirates has organized at the same time, a meeting in the Seychelles, between someone close to President Putin and Erik Prince (former director of Blackwater, military advisor to the Emirates and brother of the current Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos). ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | www.voltairenet.org

Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor, has admitted before the House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee that during the transition period, she had spied on Donald Trump and his team when they were in Trump Tower, New York. She also admitted that she had had the names of Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon deleted from summaries of the tappings.

Mrs Rice has guaranteed that her intention was not to find out the secret plans of the Team Trump. She just was trying to figure out what the United Arab Emirates was up to, and was hoping to gather relevant information from the content of an interview that the President Elect was supposed to have given to the Prince and heir to the throne of Abu Dhabi.

Until now, Susan Rice had always denied spying on Donald Trump and his team both in the transition period and also in the run up to the presidential elections. There have been several times when President Trump has denounced the illegal tappings that the Obama Administration had authorized against him, which the Press in the United States had qualified as completely fabricated.

President Richard Nixon had been forced to resign for spying on the Democratic Party's electoral headquarters. However, in the case of Susan Rice, the Congressmen have not "acquired a conviction" that she had committed a federal crime and that she had tried to cover it up.

In contrast, President Obama's team is presenting the tappings ordered by Susan Rice as wholly legitimate in the context of an investigation into possible Russian interferences. Furthermore, it is a fact that the United Arab Emirates has organized at the same time, a meeting in the Seychelles, between someone close to President Putin and Erik Prince (former director of Blackwater, military advisor to the Emirates and brother of the current Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/b6edWWMlbWQ

[Sep 21, 2017] Trump's UN Speech A Neocon Dream by Daniel McAdams

Please listen to the audio at the link...
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
President Trump's speech yesterday at the United Nations got rave reviews from neocons like John Bolton and Elliot Abrams. The US president threatened North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. At the same time he claimed that the US is the one country to lead by example rather than by violating the sovereignty of others. Are the neocons on a roll as they push for more war? Have they "won" Trump?

[Sep 21, 2017] How the United Nations Supports the American Empire by JP Sottile

Notable quotes:
"... Consortium News ..."
"... By JP Sottile / Republished with permission / Consortium News ..."
theantimedia.org
September 21, 2017 at 8:19 am

Originally published by: Consortium News

For decades the American Right has decried the U.N. for encroaching on American sovereignty, but the truth is that the U.N. is a chief U.S. accomplice in violating the sovereignty of other nations, notes J.P. Sottile.

CN ) President Trump opened his big United Nations week and his famous mouth with a predictable plug for one of his properties and some playful glad-handing with French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump also scolded the U.N.'s unwieldy scrum for "not living up to its potential." He made a passing reference to the U.N.'s wasteful use of American money. And he called for "reform" of the much-maligned international forum.

We're revolutionizing the news industry, but we need your help! Click here to get started.

It was a stolid prelude to what will no doubt be "must-see" TV when he speaks to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday about North Korea and Iran. And it was a far cry from the way America's leading "America Firster" spent the campaign lamenting how unfair the U.N . is to the poor schlemiel we call Uncle Sam.

He is likely to use his speech to throw a little bit of that same red meat to his base, but his call for reform falls well short of what his supporters want which is an abrupt end of U.S. involvement in the international body. They are motivated by a grab-bag of reasons that point to the U.N. being a threat to their guns, their bank accounts and their God-given freedom.

Oddly enough, these conspiratorial narratives have been around for decades and they mostly center on a grand plan by U.N. elites to abscond American sovereignty and dissolve the U.S. into a U.N.-led world government. And the evidence of this is the way the U.N. harasses and restricts Uncle Sam while siphoning-off America's wealth. At least, that's what some think.

Most ominously, many object to the way U.N. funds are being used to quietly deploy gun-grabbing U.N. soldiers in advance of the big takeover . But like so much of Trump's intoxicating irredentism this is a grievance more likely rooted in a three-day meth bender in a Tallahassee trailer park than it is from shocking evidence gathered from well-traveled observation. It's paranoia. But really, it's worse than that.

Why? Because the U.N. has basically been the complete opposite of what its angriest critics claim. It is not out to get the U.S. Rather, it has largely been America's tool since its inception and, in particular, it has repeatedly covered Uncle Sam's overly-exposed butt as he (a.k.a. "the royal we") has gone around the world on a three decade-long military bender since the end of the Cold War.

Yes, the Gulf War was U.N. approved and the whole world got behind it because ( April Glaspie's backstory notwithstanding) the prima facie case was strong and it was a fairly clear-cut example of unwarranted aggression. That was an easy call.

Global Violence

But since then, the calls have been nothing short of murky as the U.S. has bombed and droned and deployed and invaded and covertly-acted and regime-changed all around the globe. And the unspoken truth is that the United Nations has been America's all-too silent partner as Uncle Sam traipsed around the planet with a loaded gun, remote control assassination machines and paper-thin rationales for intervention.

Although the U.N. occasionally puts a bug up Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's ass on the issue of the slow-motion ethnic cleansing in the West Bank what other issue is there where the U.N. has taken a real stand against the U.S. or U.S. policy objectives?

Where is the U.N.'s punishment for being lied to by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell? And where is the punishment for destroying a bystander nation under false pretenses? Where is the punishment for Abu Ghraib or Gitmo?

Where is the punishment for America's summary execution of "suspected militants" around the Muslim world simply because they are of "military age" and in the wrong place at the right time and for the CIA, it is always the right time to kill a suspect no matter how wrong the place many be. And where is the condemnation of America's destabilizing role as the world's leading supermarket of military hardware ?

How about mounting civilian causalities from an ever-widening widening bombing campaign? The U.N. can say the killings are " unacceptable ," but does it really matter if there is no sanction? There haven't been any sanctions after children were killed in a " U.S.-backed raid " in Somalia. Go figure, right?

Or what about America's complicity in the catastrophe of Yemen? Where are those sanctions? And what exactly has the U.N. done to punish any number of extra-legal maneuver by a succession of American presidents over the course of the "Global War on Terror"? The simple answer is nothing.

Instead, the Secretary General is largely beholden to the disproportionate influence of the United States. The Security Council's agenda is basically set by the United States and that's particularly true since the Soviet Union collapsed. At the same time, the U.N.'s occasionally contentious debates do little more than offer the imprimatur of international approbation or well-noted disdain despite the functionally inconsequential nature of those debates.

A Fig Leaf for Empire

Either way it is a win for Uncle Sam because the presence of a neutered United Nations provides the United States with a fig leaf just big enough to cover the dangly parts of America's otherwise naked empire.

The money that does go from the U.S. Treasury into the minutia around the margins like UNESCO programs and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and all the other little crumbs that get thrown around the world these are payoffs. This is what the world gets for mostly keeping its mouth shut in the face of America's globe-spanning empire. The tiny amount of aid that trickles down past the bureaucracy much like the bureaucracy itself is not an example of America "getting played" by wasteful foreigners with hidden agendas. This is America paying to play the world like organ grinder with a hurdy-gurdy monkey.

Frankly, the " 28.5% of the overall peacekeeping bill " that Trump calls "unfair" ( about $2.2 billion of the $3.3 billion the U.S. gives to the UN annually ) is a pittance particularly if you want the unchecked right to tell Persians what they can and cannot do in the Persian Gulf, to tell the Chinese what they can and cannot build in the South China Sea, and to tell every other power on the face of the earth why they cannot have the same nuclear capability America not only has but is currently "upgrading" to the tune of $1.5 trillion .

Even more amazingly, the U.S. wants to deny these nations the only real insurance policy against U.S.-led regime change. And why is that? Because there ain't a Curveball's chance in Hell that the U.N. will ever be able to stop Uncle Sam from marching where he wants, when he wants and for whatever reason he wants to cook-up. That's a historically provable fact .

The only real check on U.S. power is the ability of an asymmetrical power to go nuclear. And let's admit it, they are ALL asymmetrical powers when compared to America's gargantuan, trillion-dollar national security beast . And this is why the U.N.'s "partnership" with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only U.N.-associated agency that really matters. They can't do much, but they can throw a wrench into another WMD snipe hunt like they are doing now with the Iran Nuclear Deal .

But like it was tested by Team Bush, the IAEA is going to be tested again as Trump and Netanyahu make their bogus case without a hint of irony that Iran is the world's greatest threat. But that's really just par for a course that's riddled with falsified flags haphazardly stuck into the shallow holes of a back nine that's actually been built by and for a club-wielding Uncle Sam.

A Cult of Grievance
Sep 21, 2017 | theantimedia.org

And therein lies the truly pernicious part of the Trumped-up case against the U.N. because, like so much of America's growing cult of grievance, it reflects an ever-widening gap between America's stated ideals and its self-serving behavior around the world.

As we are learning almost daily, Americans tried to square that circle by electing a profligate liar who fully embodies America's insatiable desire to take credit, particularly where none is due and to outsource the blame to scapegoats like the U.N., particularly when the only alternative is a long look into the mirror.

And in the case of the U.N., that projected guilt is in spite of the fact that it is often tasked with quietly cleaning up some of the collateral damage wrought by their main accuser. They just have to do so without any real power or the funds to do the job. That's the simple truth you won't hear in Trump's speech or any speech, for that matter.

It's the fact that the U.N.'s meager amount of "wasteful spending" doesn't even begin to cover the cost of doing business when your business depends of paying the world to look the other way while you get away with murder.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter .

By JP Sottile / Republished with permission / Consortium News

[Sep 21, 2017] The Worst Mistake in US History by Jacob G. Hornberger

Notable quotes:
"... Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson's lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind. Two, Bush didn't secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was. And three, only the UN, not the US government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq's WMDs. ..."
"... Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus. Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the US government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That's what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on Sixty Minutes whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were "worth it," she responded that such deaths were "worth it." By "it," she was referring to regime change. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation . ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of US soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled "What We're Fighting For" that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article demonstrates perfectly what the national-security state has done to soldiers and others and why it is so imperative for the American people to restore a constitutional republic to our land.

Klay begins his op-ed by extolling the exploits of another US Marine, First Lt. Brian Chontosh, who, displaying great bravery, succeeded in killing approximately two dozen Iraqis in a fierce firefight during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Klay writes:

When I was a new Marine, just entering the Corps, this story from the Iraq invasion defined heroism for me. It's a perfect image of war for inspiring new officer candidates, right in line with youthful notions of what war is and what kind of courage it takes ! physical courage, full stop.
Klay then proceeds to tell a story about an event he witnessed when he was deployed to Iraq in 2007. After doctors failed to save the life of a Marine who had been shot by an Iraqi sniper, those same doctors proceeded to treat and save the life of the sniper, who himself had been shot by US troops. Klay used the story to point out the virtuous manner in which US forces carried out their military mission in Iraq.

Well, except perhaps, Klay observes, for Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison in which Saddam Hussein's government had tortured and abused countless Iraqis and which the US military turned into its own torture and abuse center for Iraqis captured during the 2003 US invasion of the country. Klay tells the story of a defense contractor named Eric Fair, who tortured an Iraqi prisoner into divulging information about a car-bomb factory. Encouraged by that successful use of torture, Fair proceeded to employ it against many other Iraqis, none of whom had any incriminating evidence to provide.

Klay points out that both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were major turning points in the Iraq War because prisoner abuse at both camps became a driving force for Iraqis to join the insurgency in Iraq. Thus, while Fair may have saved lives through his successful use of torture, he and other US personnel who tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay may well have cost the lives of many more US soldiers in the long term.

Klay, however, suggests that none of that was really Fair's fault. While he might have crossed some moral lines, everything he did, Klay suggests, was in accordance with legal rules and regulations. Klay writes:

And Eric did what our nation asked of him, used techniques that were vetted and approved and passed down to intelligence operatives and contractors like himself. Lawyers at the highest levels of government had been consulted, asked to bring us to the furthest edge of what the law might allow. To do what it takes, regardless of whether such actions will secure the "attachment of all good men," or live up to that oath we swear to support and defend the Constitution.
Klay refers to the oath that US soldiers take to support and defend the Constitution. Clearly patting himself and other members of the US military on the back, he says US soldiers fight with honor to defend a "set of principles" that are reflected in the Constitution and that define America.

It would be difficult to find a better example of a life of the lie than that of Phil Klay. He provides an absolutely perfect demonstration of what a national-security state does to soldiers' minds and why the Founding Fathers were so opposed to that type of governmental structure.

The rights of invaders

Notice one big omission from Klay's self-aggrandizing article: Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Instead, it was the U.S government, operating through its troops, that was the aggressor nation in the Iraq War. Wars of aggression ! i.e., attacking, invading, and occupying other countries ! were among the crimes of which the defendants at Nuremburg were convicted.

It is absolutely fascinating that that critically important point seems to escape Klay so completely. It's as if it just doesn't exist or just doesn't count. His mindset simply begins with the fact that US troops are engaged in war and then it proceeds from there to focus on the courage and humanity of the troops, how their bravery in battle inspired him, and how they treated the enemy humanely. It never occurs to him to ask the vital question: Did US troops have any legal or moral right to be in Iraq and to kill anyone there, including Iraqi soldiers, insurgents, civilians, and civil servants working for the Iraqi government?

Many years ago, I posed a question about the US invasion and occupation of Iraq to a libertarian friend of mine who was a Catholic priest. I asked him, If a US soldier is placed in Iraq in a kill-or-be-killed situation, does he have a right to fire back at an Iraqi who is shooting at him?

My friend's answer was unequivocal: Absolutely not, he responded. Since he has no legitimate right to be in Iraq, given that he is part of the aggressor force that initiated the war, under God's laws he cannot kill anyone, not even by convincing himself that he is only acting in "self-defense."

I responded, "Are you saying that his only choice is to run away or permit himself to be killed"? He responded, "That is precisely what I am saying. Under the laws of God, he cannot kill anyone in Iraq because he has no right to be there."

Suppose a burglar enters a person's home in the dead of night. The homeowner wakes up, discovers the intruder, and begins firing at him. The burglar fires back and kills the homeowner.

The burglar appears in court and explains that he never had any intention of killing the homeowner and that he was simply firing back in self-defense. He might even explain to the judge how bravely he reacted under fire and detail the clever manner in which he outmaneuvered and shot the homeowner.

The judge, however, would reject any claim of self-defense on the part of the burglar. Why? Because the burglar had no right to be in the homeowner's house. Like the US soldier in Iraq, when the homeowner began firing the burglar had only two legal and moral options: run away or be killed.

That's what my Catholic priest friend was pointing out about US soldiers in Iraq. They had no right to be there. They invaded a poor, Third World country whose government had never attacked the United States and they were killing, torturing, and abusing people whom they had no right to kill, torture, or abuse.

That's what Klay as well as most other members of the US military and, for that matter, many Americans still don't get: that the Iraqi people were the ones who wielded the right of self-defense against an illegal invasion by a foreign power and that US forces, as the aggressor power in the war, had no legal or moral right to kill any Iraqi, not even in "self-defense."

Klay waxes eloquent about the US Constitution and the oath that soldiers take to support and defend it, but it's really just another perfect demonstration of the life of the lie that he and so many other US soldiers live. The reality is that when US soldiers vow to support and defend the Constitution, as a practical matter they are vowing to loyally obey the orders and commands of the president, who is their military commander in chief.

There is no better example of this phenomenon than what happened in Iraq. The US. Constitution is clear: The president is prohibited from waging war without a declaration of war from Congress. No declaration, no war. Every US soldier ordered to invade Iraq knew that or should have known that.

Everyone, including the troops, also knew that Congress had not declared war on Iraq. Yet, not a single soldier supported or defended the Constitution by refusing George Bush's order to attack and invade Iraq. Every one of them loyally obeyed his order to attack and invade, knowing full well that it would mean killing people in Iraq ! killing people who had never attacked the United States. And they all convinced themselves that by following the president's orders to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis, they were supporting and defending the Constitution.

How do US soldiers reconcile that? They convince themselves that they are supporting and defending the Constitution by obeying the orders of the president, who has been democratically elected by the citizenry. It's not their job, they tell themselves, to determine what is constitutional and what isn't. Their job, they believe, is simply to do what the president, operating through his subordinates, orders them to do. In their minds, they are supporting and defending the Constitution whenever they loyally and obediently carry out the orders of the president.

That means, then, that the standing army is nothing more than the president's private army. As a practical matter, soldiers are going to do whatever they are ordered to do. If they don't, they are quickly shot or simply replaced, which provides a good incentive for others to do as they are told. That's why soldiers invaded Iraq, which had never attacked the United States, and killed people who were defending their country against an unlawful invasion. That's also why soldiers and defense contractors tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere. They all believed they were carrying out the orders of their superiors, from the president on down, and that they were supporting and defending the Constitution in the process.

As people throughout history have learned, that is also why a standing army constitutes such a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of the citizenry. It is the means by which a tyrant imposes and enforces his will on the citizenry. Just ask the people of Chile, where the troops of a military regime installed into power by the US national-security establishment rounded up tens of thousands of innocent people and incarcerated, tortured, raped, abused, or executed them, all without due process of law and with the support of the US government.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, I read that some Catholic soldiers were deeply troubled by the prospect of killing people in a war that the US government was initiating. I was stunned to read that a US military chaplain told them that they had the right under God's laws to obey the president's order to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis. God would not hold it against them, he said, if they killed people in the process of following orders.

Really? Are God's laws really nullified by the orders of a government's military commander? If that were the case, don't you think God's commandment would have read: "Thou shalt not kill, unless your ruler orders you to do so in a war of aggression against another nation"?

To this day, there are those who claim that George W. Bush simply made an honest mistake in claiming that Saddam Hussein, Iraq's dictator, was maintaining weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that US soldiers were justified in trusting him by loyally obeying his orders to invade and occupy Iraq to "disarm Saddam."

They ignore three important points: it was a distinct possibility that Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson's lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind. Two, Bush didn't secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was. And three, only the UN, not the US government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq's WMDs.

Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus. Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the US government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That's what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on Sixty Minutes whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were "worth it," she responded that such deaths were "worth it." By "it," she was referring to regime change.

That desire for regime change in Iraq grew with each passing year in the 1990s, both among liberals and conservatives. Demands were ever growing to get rid of Saddam. Therefore, when Bush started coming up with his WMD scare after the 9/11 attacks, everyone should have been wary because it had all the earmarks of an excuse to invade Iraq after more than 10 years of sanctions had failed to achieve the job.

The best circumstantial evidence that Bush lied about the WMD scare appeared after it was determined that there were no WMDs in Iraq. At that point, if Bush had been telling the truth, he could have said, "I'm very sorry. I have made a grave mistake and my army has killed multitudes of people as a consequence of my mistake. I am hereby ordering all US troops home and I hereby announce my resignation as president."

Bush didn't do that. In fact, he expressed not one iota of remorse or regret over the loss of life for what supposedly had been the result of a mistake. He knew that he had achieved what the US national-security state had been trying to achieve for more than a decade with its brutal sanctions ! regime change in Iraq ! and he had used the bogus WMD scare to garner support for his invasion. And significantly, the troops were kept occupying Iraq for several more years, during which they killed more tens of thousands of Iraqis.

One thing is for sure: By the time Phil Klay arrived in Iraq in 2007, he knew full well that there had been no WMDs in Iraq. He also knew that Iraq had never attacked the United States. By that time, he knew full well that the US government had invaded a country under false or, at the very least, mistaken pretenses. He knew there had been no congressional declaration of war. He knew that there was no legal or moral foundation for a military occupation that was continuing to kill people in an impoverished Third World country whose worst "crime" was simply trying to rid their country of an illegal occupier.

Yet, reinforced by people who were thanking them for "their service in Iraq," Klay, like other US troops, convinced himself that their "service" in Iraq was a grand and glorious sacrifice for his nation, that they were defending Americans' rights and freedoms, and that they were keeping us safe. It was a classic life of the lie because our nation, our rights and freedoms, and our safety were never threatened by anyone in Iraq, including the millions of Iraqis who were killed, maimed, injured, tortured, abused, or exiled, or whose homes, businesses, or infrastructure were destroyed by bombs, missiles, bullets, and tanks.

In fact, the entity that actually threatened the rights and freedoms of the American people was the US government, given the totalitarian-like powers that it assumed as part of its effort to keep us safe from the enemies its interventionist policies were producing. Coming to mind are the totalitarian-like power to assassinate Americans, secret mass surveillance, and the incarceration and torture of American citizens as suspected terrorists ! all without due process of law and without trial by jury.

This is what a national-security state does to people ! it warps, damages, or destroys their conscience, principles, and values; induces them to subscribe to false bromides; and nurtures all sorts of mental contortions to enable people to avoid confronting reality.

Many years after Brian Chontosh's exploits in Iraq, Phil Klay was surprised to learn that Chontosh was experiencing some ambivalence about what he had done. "It's ugly, it's violent, it's disgusting. I wish it wasn't part of what we had to do," Chontosh later wrote.

Perhaps that's because conscience was beginning to stir within him. That's a good sign. Maybe it will begin to stir in Phil Klay too. And other members of the military as well.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation .

[Sep 21, 2017] More Holes in Russia-gate Narrative

Sep 21, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

More Holes in Russia-gate

Narrative

Exclusive: New tests support the skepticism of U.S. intelligence veterans that Russia "hacked" the DNC's computers, pointing instead to a download of emails by an insider, write ex-NSA official William Binney and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By William Binney and Ray McGovern

September 21, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - It is no secret that our July 24 VIPS Memorandum for the President, entitled " Was the 'Russian Hack' an Inside Job? ," gave rise to some questioning and controversy – nor was it a surprise that it was met with almost total silence in the mainstream media.

The ongoing U.S. media campaign against Russia has been so effective that otherwise intelligent people have been unable even to entertain the notion that they may have been totally misled by the intelligence community. The last time this happened in 2003, after a year of such propaganda, the U.S. attacked Iraq on fraudulent – not "mistaken" – intelligence.

Anticipating resistance from those allergic to rethinking "what everybody knows" about Russian "meddling," we based our VIPS analysis on forensic investigations that, oddly, the FBI had bent over backwards to avoid. In other words, we relied on the principles of physics and the known capability of the Internet in early July 2016.

We stand by our main conclusion that the data from the intrusion of July 5, 2016, into the Democratic National Committee's computers, an intrusion blamed on "Russian hacking," was not a hack but rather a download/copy onto an external storage device by someone with physical access to the DNC.

That principal finding relied heavily on the speed with which the copy took place – a speed much faster than a hack over the Internet could have achieved at the time – or, it seems clear, even now. Challenged on that conclusion – often by those conducting experiments within the confines of a laboratory – we have conducted and documented additional tests to determine the speeds that can be achieved now, more than a year later.

To remind: We noted in the VIPS memo that on July 5, 2016, a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 megabytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

Recent Tests

Over the last few weeks, we ran three tests to determine how quickly data could be exfiltrated from the U.S. across the Atlantic to Europe.

–First, we used a 100 megabits-per-second (mbps) line to pull data from a one-gigabyte file to Amsterdam. The peak transfer speed was .8 MBps.

–Second, we used a commercial DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) to send the same one-gigabyte file to a commercial DSL in Amsterdam. The peak transfer speed was 1.8 MBps.

–Third, we pushed the same one-gigabyte file from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK. The peak transfer speed was 12 MBps.

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None of these attempts achieve anything close to the average rate of 22.7 megabytes per second evident in the July 5, 2016 download/copy associated with the DNC. In fact, this happens to be the speed typical of a transfer to a USB-2 external storage device. We do not think this pure coincidence; rather, it is additional evidence of a local download.

We are preparing further trans-Atlantic testing over the next few weeks.

Some researchers have noted that some partitioning of the data might have occurred in the U.S., allowing for a transfer to be made at the measured speed over the Internet, and that this could have made possible a hack from the other side of the Atlantic. One of our associate investigators has found a way to achieve this kind of data partitioning and later transfer.

In theory, this would be one possible way to achieve such a large-data transfer, but we have no evidence that anything like this actually occurred. More important, in such a scenario, the National Security Agency would have chapter and verse on it, because such a hack would have to include software to execute the partitioning and subsequent data transfer. NSA gives the highest priority to collection on "execution software."

Must Americans, apparently including President Donald Trump, remain in a Russia-did-it-or-could-have-maybe-might-have-done-it subjunctive mood on this important issue – one that has been used to inject Cold War ice into relations with Russia? The answer is absolutely not. Rather, definitive answers are at hand.

How can we be so confident? Because NSA alumni now active in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are intimately familiar with NSA's capabilities and practice with respect to bulk capture and storage of fiber-optic communications. Two of us actually devised the systems still in use, and Edward Snowden's revelations filled in remaining gaps. Today's NSA is in position to clear up any and all questions about intrusions into the DNC.

In sum, we are certain that the truth of what actually happened – or didn't happen – can be found in the databases of NSA. We tried to explain this to President Barack Obama in a VIPS Memorandum of Jan. 17, just three days before he left office, noting that NSA's known programs are fully capable of capturing – and together with liaison intelligence services do capture – all electronic transfers of data.

Our Jan. 17 Memorandum included this admonition: "We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks." "If NSA cannot give you that information – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any."

We also appealed to Obama in his final days in office to order the chiefs of the NSA, FBI and CIA to the White House and have them lay all their cards on the table about "Russian hacking," and show him what tangible evidence they might have – not simply their "assessments." We added, "We assume you would not wish to hobble your successor with charges that cannot withstand close scrutiny." Having said this, we already were reaching the assumption that there was no real evidence to back the "assessments" up.

FBI: Not Leaning Forward

The FBI could still redeem itself by doing what it should have done as soon as the DNC claimed to have been "hacked." For reasons best known to former FBI Director James Comey, the Bureau failed to get whatever warrant was needed to confiscate the DNC servers and computers to properly examine them.

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee six months ago, Comey conceded "best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves." And yet he chose not to. And his decision came amid frenzied charges by senior U.S. officials that Russia had committed "an act of war."

But is it not already too late for such an investigation? We hope that, at this point, it is crystal clear that the answer is: No, it is not too late. All the data the FBI needs to do a proper job is in NSA databases – including data going across the Internet to the DNC server and then included in their network logs.

If President Trump wants to know the truth, he can order the FBI to do its job and NSA to cooperate. Whether the two and the CIA would obey such orders is an open question, given how heavily invested all three agencies are in their evidence-impoverished narrative about "Russian hacking."

Let us close with the obvious. All three agencies have been aware all along that NSA has the data. One wonders why it should require a Presidential order for them to delve into that data and come up with conclusions based on fact, as opposed to "assessing."

William Binney ( williambinney0802@comcast.net ) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA. Ray McGovern ( rrmcgovern@gmail.com ) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; from 1981 to 1985 he briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one to President Reagan's most senior national security officials.

This article was first published by Consortium News -

[Sep 21, 2017] Hysteria in America -- Congress Filled With Totalitarians Who Oppose

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, American legislators have published a bill that could potentially block Russian broadcasters from being shown in the US. It could allow US content providers to break their contracts, leaving Russian channels without any legal recourse. ..."
"... "prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from being required to carry certain video content that is owned or controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation" ..."
"... Why the focus on Russia, in what's supposed to be an annual defense spending bill? ..."
"... As we mentioned, various foreign governments fund TV channels in America, but only Russia gets a mention in this bill. Is that a case of double-standards? Should the attention just solely be on Russia? ..."
"... Does it look like this measure has been deliberately buried in a huge defense bill to avoid scrutiny? Or do you expect debate on this? ..."
"... 'Investigate Russia' ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from RT . ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

'Free Market of Ideas' by RT

There are members of Congress who don't want anyone on TV saying America's foreign policy is a disaster and it costs a fortune, Daniel McAdams, executive director, Ron Paul Institute, told RT.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2018, which passed the US Senate earlier this week, carries some added provisions that have little in common with the military.

Indeed, American legislators have published a bill that could potentially block Russian broadcasters from being shown in the US. It could allow US content providers to break their contracts, leaving Russian channels without any legal recourse.

The plan is buried inside a tiny amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The part about Russia is summarized in just a few lines, between details on funding of the US military.

Amendment No 1096 , which aims to "prohibit multichannel video programming distributors from being required to carry certain video content that is owned or controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation" .

RT: Why the focus on Russia, in what's supposed to be an annual defense spending bill?

Daniel McAdams: There is an obsession on Capitol Hill and within the mainstream media with RT because RT is effective and RT is watched. But also, and this is very important because RT carries perspectives that are not available in the mainstream media. Commentators on RT that I know would say the same thing that they say on RT if they were invited by any of the mainstream media, but they won't. The matter of fact is that John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the people who were behind this amendment, the Atlantic Council and the others are trying to silence RT. They are the totalitarians, they are the enemies of free speech; they're the enemies of the First Amendment; they don't want anyone coming on television saying that America's foreign policy is a disaster; it is broken; it is making us more vulnerable to attack, and it's costing a fortune. It cannot stand competition in the area of ideas.

RT: As we mentioned, various foreign governments fund TV channels in America, but only Russia gets a mention in this bill. Is that a case of double-standards? Should the attention just solely be on Russia?

DM: The attention should be on none of these stations. It should be viewer beware. If you're watching RT and you know that it is funded, or its funding comes from the Russian government, you take that into consideration just as any intelligent person would do. When I watch France 24, when I watch the BBC, I know that that takes the perspectives of the British government into consideration, because it is funded by that.

This is a free market of ideas; this is what this is all about. But the people on Capitol Hill are again totalitarians – they don't want a free market in ideas. They want to control the debate. They don't want Americans to wake up and see that the foreign policy that they are pushing is resulting in a charred Earth and a disaster that is coming home to roost.

RT: Does it look like this measure has been deliberately buried in a huge defense bill to avoid scrutiny? Or do you expect debate on this?

DM: This is how it's done, absolutely. I have read a million defense spending bills in my 15 years on the Hill. This is called planting a seed – you plant this kernel, and it starts to grow. If someone objects, later on, you can say – this is already passed in the defense bill; you've already voted on this; this is already part of the law; this is just suggesting, clarifying, or going further. This is how they do things: you bury it in a huge bill like this; you plant a seed and you watch it grow.

I don't know the exact language in the bill; I am sure Russia is not only the flavor of the month, it is the flavor of the year. There is the 'Investigate Russia' committee , where a bunch of Hollywood liberals got together with a bunch of neocons and are finding reds under our beds. There is a hysteria going on in America. I still would like to believe that the average American thinks it's absolutely nuts; I hope it stays that way. Hopefully, this will blow over at some point, and not blow up .

Hollywood was once on the receiving end of McCarthyism in the 50s, and now it looks like they want to dish out McCarthyism on everyone else.

Reprinted with permission from RT .


Related

[Sep 21, 2017] Donald Trump yesterday spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences

Notable quotes:
"... His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea. ..."
"... But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster. ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

That's essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences.

His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea.

But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster.

I learned a long time ago that you do not make threats you are not will to carry out. In fact, I'm a firm believer in the sucker punch. Why tell someone what you are going to do and how you are going to do it? That stuff only works in Hollywood.

Remember this clip from Billy Jack?

[Sep 21, 2017] Neoliberalism has had its day. So what happens next? by Martin Jacques

This article sounds pretty true almost a year after its initial publication with the exception of Trump, who easily betrayed his election platform.
The point of the article is that what you call the left ceased to be social democrats when they embraced neo-liberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight. ..."
"... But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world. ..."
"... The effect of the financial crisis was to undermine faith and trust in the competence of the governing elites. It marked the beginnings of a wider political crisis. ..."
"... But by far the most disastrous feature of the neoliberal period has been the huge growth in inequality. ..."
"... As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable. ..."
"... Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt. Hitherto, on both sides of the Atlantic, the agency of class has been in retreat in the face of the emergence of a new range of identities and issues from gender and race to sexual orientation and the environment. The return of class, because of its sheer reach, has the potential, like no other issue, to redefine the political landscape. ..."
"... The re-emergence of class should not be confused with the labour movement. They are not synonymous: this is obvious in the US and increasingly the case in the UK. Indeed, over the last half-century, there has been a growing separation between the two in Britain. The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement. ..."
"... The neoliberal era is being undermined from two directions. First, if its record of economic growth has never been particularly strong, it is now dismal. Europe is barely larger than it was on the eve of the financial crisis in 2007; the United States has done better but even its growth has been anaemic. Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation ..."
"... A sure sign of the declining influence of neoliberalism is the rising chorus of intellectual voices raised against it. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the economic debate was increasingly dominated by monetarists and free marketeers. But since the western financial crisis, the centre of gravity of the intellectual debate has shifted profoundly. This is most obvious in the United States, with economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs becoming increasingly influential. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century ..."
"... He proposes that US corporations should be required to invest their cash reserves in the US. He believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) has had the effect of exporting American jobs to Mexico. On similar grounds, he is opposed to the TPP and the TTIP. And he also accuses China of stealing American jobs, threatening to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports. ..."
"... To globalisation Trump counterposes economic nationalism: "Put America first". His appeal, above all, is to the white working class who, until Trump's (and Bernie Sander's) arrival on the political scene, had been ignored and largely unrepresented since the 1980s. Given that their wages have been falling for most of the last 40 years, it is extraordinary how their interests have been neglected by the political class. Increasingly, they have voted Republican, but the Republicans have long been captured by the super-rich and Wall Street, whose interests, as hyper-globalisers, have run directly counter to those of the white working class. With the arrival of Trump they finally found a representative: they won Trump the Republican nomination. ..."
"... Another plank of Trump's nationalist appeal – "Make America great again" – is his position on foreign policy. He believes that America's pursuit of great power status has squandered the nation's resources. He argues that the country's alliance system is unfair, with America bearing most of the cost and its allies contributing far too little. He points to Japan and South Korea, and Nato's European members as prime examples. He seeks to rebalance these relationships and, failing that, to exit from them. ..."
Aug 21, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

he western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world.

The first inkling of the wider political consequences was evident in the turn in public opinion against the banks, bankers and business leaders. For decades, they could do no wrong: they were feted as the role models of our age, the default troubleshooters of choice in education, health and seemingly everything else. Now, though, their star was in steep descent, along with that of the political class. The effect of the financial crisis was to undermine faith and trust in the competence of the governing elites. It marked the beginnings of a wider political crisis.

But the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion.

It should be noted that, by historical standards, the neoliberal era has not had a particularly good track record. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

But by far the most disastrous feature of the neoliberal period has been the huge growth in inequality. Until very recently, this had been virtually ignored. With extraordinary speed, however, it has emerged as one of, if not the most important political issue on both sides of the Atlantic, most dramatically in the US. It is, bar none, the issue that is driving the political discontent that is now engulfing the west. Given the statistical evidence, it is puzzling, shocking even, that it has been disregarded for so long; the explanation can only lie in the sheer extent of the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values.

But now reality has upset the doctrinal apple cart. In the period 1948-1972, every section of the American population experienced very similar and sizable increases in their standard of living; between 1972-2013, the bottom 10% experienced falling real income while the top 10% did far better than everyone else. In the US, the median real income for full-time male workers is now lower than it was four decades ago: the income of the bottom 90% of the population has stagnated for over 30 years .

A not so dissimilar picture is true of the UK. And the problem has grown more serious since the financial crisis. On average, between 65-70% of households in 25 high-income economies experienced stagnant or falling real incomes between 2005 and 2014.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot

The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.

As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK. This popular revolt is often described, in a somewhat denigratory and dismissive fashion, as populism. Or, as Francis Fukuyama writes in a recent excellent essay in Foreign Affairs : "'Populism' is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don't like." Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both.

Brexit is a classic example of such populism. It has overturned a fundamental cornerstone of UK policy since the early 1970s. Though ostensibly about Europe, it was in fact about much more: a cri de coeur from those who feel they have lost out and been left behind, whose living standards have stagnated or worse since the 1980s, who feel dislocated by large-scale immigration over which they have no control and who face an increasingly insecure and casualised labour market. Their revolt has paralysed the governing elite, already claimed one prime minister, and left the latest one fumbling around in the dark looking for divine inspiration.

The wave of populism marks the return of class as a central agency in politics, both in the UK and the US. This is particularly remarkable in the US. For many decades, the idea of the "working class" was marginal to American political discourse. Most Americans described themselves as middle class, a reflection of the aspirational pulse at the heart of American society. According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population.

Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt. Hitherto, on both sides of the Atlantic, the agency of class has been in retreat in the face of the emergence of a new range of identities and issues from gender and race to sexual orientation and the environment. The return of class, because of its sheer reach, has the potential, like no other issue, to redefine the political landscape.

The working class belongs to no one: its orientation, far from predetermined, is a function of politics

The re-emergence of class should not be confused with the labour movement. They are not synonymous: this is obvious in the US and increasingly the case in the UK. Indeed, over the last half-century, there has been a growing separation between the two in Britain. The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement.

Indeed, Ukip has been as important – in the form of immigration and Europe – in shaping its current attitudes as the Labour party. In the United States, both Trump and Sanders have given expression to the working-class revolt, the latter almost as much as the former. The working class belongs to no one: its orientation, far from predetermined, as the left liked to think, is a function of politics.

The neoliberal era is being undermined from two directions. First, if its record of economic growth has never been particularly strong, it is now dismal. Europe is barely larger than it was on the eve of the financial crisis in 2007; the United States has done better but even its growth has been anaemic. Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation .

Worse, because the recovery has been so weak and fragile, there is a widespread belief that another financial crisis may well beckon. In other words, the neoliberal era has delivered the west back into the kind of crisis-ridden world that we last experienced in the 1930s. With this background, it is hardly surprising that a majority in the west now believe their children will be worse off than they were. Second, those who have lost out in the neoliberal era are no longer prepared to acquiesce in their fate – they are increasingly in open revolt. We are witnessing the end of the neoliberal era. It is not dead, but it is in its early death throes, just as the social-democratic era was during the 1970s.

A sure sign of the declining influence of neoliberalism is the rising chorus of intellectual voices raised against it. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the economic debate was increasingly dominated by monetarists and free marketeers. But since the western financial crisis, the centre of gravity of the intellectual debate has shifted profoundly. This is most obvious in the United States, with economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs becoming increasingly influential. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been a massive seller. His work and that of Tony Atkinson and Angus Deaton have pushed the question of the inequality to the top of the political agenda. In the UK, Ha-Joon Chang , for long isolated within the economics profession, has gained a following far greater than those who think economics is a branch of mathematics.

Meanwhile, some of those who were previously strong advocates of a neoliberal approach, such as Larry Summers and the Financial Times 's Martin Wolf, have become extremely critical. The wind is in the sails of the critics of neoliberalism; the neoliberals and monetarists are in retreat. In the UK, the media and political worlds are well behind the curve. Few recognise that we are at the end of an era. Old attitudes and assumptions still predominate, whether on the BBC's Today programme, in the rightwing press or the parliamentary Labour party.

Following Ed Miliband's resignation as Labour leader, virtually no one foresaw the triumph of Jeremy Corbyn in the subsequent leadership election. The assumption had been more of the same, a Blairite or a halfway house like Miliband, certainly not anyone like Corbyn. But the zeitgeist had changed. The membership, especially the young who had joined the party on an unprecedented scale, wanted a complete break with New Labour. One of the reasons why the left has failed to emerge as the leader of the new mood of working-class disillusionment is that most social democratic parties became, in varying degrees, disciples of neoliberalism and uber-globalisation. The most extreme forms of this phenomenon were New Labour and the Democrats, who in the late 90s and 00s became its advance guard, personified by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, triangulation and the third way.

But as David Marquand observed in a review for the New Statesman , what is the point of a social democratic party if it doesn't represent the less fortunate, the underprivileged and the losers? New Labour deserted those who needed them, who historically they were supposed to represent. Is it surprising that large sections have now deserted the party who deserted them? Blair, in his reincarnation as a money-obsessed consultant to a shady bunch of presidents and dictators, is a fitting testament to the demise of New Labour.

The rival contenders – Burnham, Cooper and Kendall – represented continuity. They were swept away by Corbyn, who won nearly 60% of the votes. New Labour was over, as dead as Monty Python's parrot. Few grasped the meaning of what had happened. A Guardian leader welcomed the surge in membership and then, lo and behold, urged support for Yvette Cooper, the very antithesis of the reason for the enthusiasm. The PLP refused to accept the result and ever since has tried with might and main to remove Corbyn.

Just as the Labour party took far too long to come to terms with the rise of Thatcherism and the birth of a new era at the end of the 70s, now it could not grasp that the Thatcherite paradigm, which they eventually came to embrace in the form of New Labour, had finally run its course. Labour, like everyone else, is obliged to think anew. The membership in their antipathy to New Labour turned to someone who had never accepted the latter, who was the polar opposite in almost every respect of Blair, and embodying an authenticity and decency which Blair patently did not.

Labour may be in intensive care, but the condition of the Conservatives is not a great deal better

Corbyn is not a product of the new times, he is a throwback to the late 70s and early 80s. That is both his strength and also his weakness. He is uncontaminated by the New Labour legacy because he has never accepted it. But nor, it would seem, does he understand the nature of the new era. The danger is that he is possessed of feet of clay in what is a highly fluid and unpredictable political environment, devoid of any certainties of almost any kind, in which Labour finds itself dangerously divided and weakened.

Labour may be in intensive care, but the condition of the Conservatives is not a great deal better. David Cameron was guilty of a huge and irresponsible miscalculation over Brexit. He was forced to resign in the most ignominious of circumstances. The party is hopelessly divided. It has no idea in which direction to move after Brexit. The Brexiters painted an optimistic picture of turning away from the declining European market and embracing the expanding markets of the world, albeit barely mentioning by name which countries it had in mind. It looks as if the new prime minister may have an anachronistic hostility towards China and a willingness to undo the good work of George Osborne. If the government turns its back on China, by far the fastest growing market in the world, where are they going to turn?

Brexit has left the country fragmented and deeply divided, with the very real prospect that Scotland might choose independence. Meanwhile, the Conservatives seem to have little understanding that the neoliberal era is in its death throes.

Dramatic as events have been in the UK, they cannot compare with those in the United States. Almost from nowhere, -> Donald Trump rose to capture the Republican nomination and confound virtually all the pundits and not least his own party. His message was straightforwardly anti-globalisation. He believes that the interests of the working class have been sacrificed in favour of the big corporations that have been encouraged to invest around the world and thereby deprive American workers of their jobs. Further, he argues that large-scale immigration has weakened the bargaining power of American workers and served to lower their wages.

He proposes that US corporations should be required to invest their cash reserves in the US. He believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) has had the effect of exporting American jobs to Mexico. On similar grounds, he is opposed to the TPP and the TTIP. And he also accuses China of stealing American jobs, threatening to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.

To globalisation Trump counterposes economic nationalism: "Put America first". His appeal, above all, is to the white working class who, until Trump's (and Bernie Sander's) arrival on the political scene, had been ignored and largely unrepresented since the 1980s. Given that their wages have been falling for most of the last 40 years, it is extraordinary how their interests have been neglected by the political class. Increasingly, they have voted Republican, but the Republicans have long been captured by the super-rich and Wall Street, whose interests, as hyper-globalisers, have run directly counter to those of the white working class. With the arrival of Trump they finally found a representative: they won Trump the Republican nomination.

The economic nationalist argument has also been vigorously pursued by -> Bernie Sanders , who ran Hillary Clinton extremely close for the Democratic nomination and would probably have won but for more than 700 so-called super-delegates, who were effectively chosen by the Democratic machine and overwhelmingly supported Clinton. As in the case of the Republicans, the Democrats have long supported a neoliberal, pro-globalisation strategy, notwithstanding the concerns of its trade union base. Both the Republicans and the Democrats now find themselves deeply polarised between the pro- and anti-globalisers, an entirely new development not witnessed since the shift towards neoliberalism under Reagan almost 40 years ago.

Another plank of Trump's nationalist appeal – "Make America great again" – is his position on foreign policy. He believes that America's pursuit of great power status has squandered the nation's resources. He argues that the country's alliance system is unfair, with America bearing most of the cost and its allies contributing far too little. He points to Japan and South Korea, and Nato's European members as prime examples. He seeks to rebalance these relationships and, failing that, to exit from them.

As a country in decline, he argues that America can no longer afford to carry this kind of financial burden. Rather than putting the world to rights, he believes the money should be invested at home, pointing to the dilapidated state of America's infrastructure. Trump's position represents a major critique of America as the world's hegemon. His arguments mark a radical break with the neoliberal, hyper-globalisation ideology that has reigned since the early 1980s and with the foreign policy orthodoxy of most of the postwar period. These arguments must be taken seriously. They should not be lightly dismissed just because of their authorship. But Trump is no man of the left. He is a populist of the right. He has launched a racist and xenophobic attack on Muslims and on Mexicans. Trump's appeal is to a white working class that feels it has been cheated by the big corporations, undermined by Hispanic immigration, and often resentful towards African-Americans who for long too many have viewed as their inferior.

A Trump America would mark a descent into authoritarianism characterised by abuse, scapegoating, discrimination, racism, arbitrariness and violence; America would become a deeply polarised and divided society. His threat to impose 45% tariffs on China , if implemented, would certainly provoke retaliation by the Chinese and herald the beginnings of a new era of protectionism.

Trump may well lose the presidential election just as Sanders failed in his bid for the Democrat nomination. But this does not mean that the forces opposed to hyper-globalisation – unrestricted immigration, TPP and TTIP, the free movement of capital and much else – will have lost the argument and are set to decline. In little more than 12 months, Trump and Sanders have transformed the nature and terms of the argument. Far from being on the wane, the arguments of the critics of hyper-globalisation are steadily gaining ground. Roughly two-thirds of Americans agree that "we should not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems". And, above all else, what will continue to drive opposition to the hyper-globalisers is inequality.

thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 00:51

In the 1970s attacks on social democracy, at least in the UK, were treated with the same disdain by the political and media establishments as attacks on monetarism are today. Thatcher, as it happens, was widely pilloried within her own party for articulating a departure from contemporary economic orthodoxy, and the Tory establishment used their lackeys in the press to continue their assault on her after she became Party Leader.

The lesson, dare I say it, is twofold. Firstly, whether they are wedded to one economic system or another, the ruling classes are inherently conservative, reluctant to sanction change and fearful of anything that chips away at their privilege. Secondly, the press, far from playing a watchdog role on the state and its corporate masters, actually helps to sustain them. This should be clear to anyone who has witnessed the Guardian's reporting of Jeremy Corbyn, but it goes far beyond this newspaper to every title in the country. The same process can be witnessed in the US, and throughout the Eurozone.

You might think this settles the matter, but there is a limit to media propaganda that journalists simply cannot see, which is why so many have scratched their heads at the ascendance of Sanders and Corbyn. I don't think either of these men will ever lead their respective countries, but as you say at the end of this piece the overridding reasons that put them there - an inefficient, corrupt and backwards economic system - are not going away any time soon. They are actually going to get worse, because the establishments in Europe, the UK and the US have cornered their respective electoral 'markets', sponsoring obedient politicians who will gladly do their bidding. These people have no courage and no foresight, and will drag the West further into decline precisely as they claim to advance it.

maxfisher -> thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 01:40

Precisely. Jonathan Cook's uses Kuhn's paradigm shift thesis to describe exactly that which you adumbrate:

Importantly, a shift, or revolution, was not related to the moment when the previous scientific theory was discredited by the mounting evidence against it. There was a lag, usually a long delay, between the evidence showing the new theory was a better "fit" and the old theory being discarded.
The reason, Kuhn concluded, was because of an emotional and intellectual inertia in the scientific community. Too many people – academics, research institutions, funding bodies, pundits – were invested in the established theory. As students, it was what they had grown up "knowing". Leading professors in the field had made their reputations advancing and "proving" the theory. Vast sums had been expended in trying to confirm the theory. University departments were set up on the basis that the theory was correct. Too many people had too much to lose to admit they were wrong.
A paradigm shift typically ocurred, Kuhn argued, when a new generation of scholars and researchers exposed to the rival theory felt sufficiently frustrated by this inertia and had reached sufficiently senior posts that they could launch an assault on the old theory. At that point, the proponents of the traditional theory faced a crisis. The scientific establishment would resist, often aggressively, but at some point the fortifications protecting the old theory would crumble and collapse. Then suddenly almost everyone would switch to the new theory, treating the old theory as if it were some relic of the dark ages.


http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-07-22/why-corbyn-so-terrifies-the-guardian /
janonifus -> thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 01:59

Brilliant. A comment which engaged with the article and says a lot which is sensible. But I disagree with your final conclusion.

I agree that neither Corbyn nor Sanders (nor Trump) will lead their countries but I don't believe their parties will remain stranded on electoral territory which is increasingly infertile. They will move and better, stronger candidates will emerge.

That's not optimism though, or at least not unbridled optimism. I'd welcome a better representation of the left wing's alternative to economic liberalism but a more determined, organised and coherent successor to Trump? That's obviously frightening.

bourdieu , 21 Aug 2016 01:03

I often like Jacques's writing but its Anglocentrism needs to be challenged. Neo-liberalism has earlier origins than Reagan and Thatcher - East Asia in the late 1950s and Latin America in the late-60s and 70s. This matters because it is in Asia especially that the new ideas for a post-neo-liberal era will be found.

And the Sanders-Trump-Brexit trinity of insurgency against neo-liberalism needs to had Xi Jinping added to it. For what it Xi other than China's Donald Trump? A different political persona - avuncular Xi Dada etc. - but his China Dream, making China great again, his Maoist revival, and more all speak of someone overturning China's own post-Mao translation of global neo-liberalism (Socialism with Chinese characteristics).


thetowncrier
, 21 Aug 2016 01:08

As for the economics, the problem with the current economic model is really very simple. Too much money is going to the top 10% in Western societies, and most of this money is not being invested back into the economies in which it is generated or redistributed to the populace through taxation. Great chunks, indeed, get siphoned out of the West and end up in tax havens, where its owners languish like the bloated feudal overlords they are.

This system cannot sustain itself, and is ripe for another global meltdown. Every major recession in capitalist history has come about in the wake of an accumulation of wealth at the top end of society and a corollary decline in earnings and disposable income at the bottom and middle rungs. If you give a minority of people too much money, or at least access to too much money (as was the case in the banks in 2007-8), expect to count the cost soon enough. The system of social democracy allows policymakers to mitigate this problem by redistributing wealth through taxation, and that is precisely what governments should be doing now. However, to expect them to do so when they are in hock to corporations is roughly equivalent to expecting the Pope to talk authoritatively on evolutionary biology. It won't happen, not with the cowards and shysters who dominate our political systems, and it will probably take another major world war to bring about the change we need.

Lancasterwitch , 21 Aug 2016 01:19

The problem is TPTB aka the 1% are in charge and they think that Reagan/Thatcher/Friedman economics has been a huge success. So it doesn't matter who or what the 99% vote for - they can even vote for no more austerity (as in Greece) or even no more EU - the 1% are not going to give up, because most of them don't appear on any ballot paper.
So, as Tony Benn famously asked, "How do we get rid of you?"


CitizenDrob
-> blimeyoreilley
, 21 Aug 2016 01:57

Nevertheless change is coming, not to debate it or plan for its arrival would be irresponsible and ultimately disastrous for us all. Inequality in any system cannot be sustained indefinitely and that rule will apply to the internal politics and economies of nations as well as between nation states.
One way or another there will be a rebalancing of economies, it's inevitable, we can either take advantage of the necessary changes or it will lead to anarchy.
Head in the sand is an option but not the clever one - history will judge us poorly if we do not at least attempt to take proper control of our resources now and at least try to correct the imbalances in our economies.

GutsandGlory , 21 Aug 2016 01:30

Brexit is a classic example of such populism. It has overturned a fundamental cornerstone of UK policy since the early 1970s. Though ostensibly about Europe, it was in fact about much more: a cri de coeur from those who feel they have lost out and been left behind

Quit with the patronising assumption that we voted Brexit because we felt 'left behind', and didn't have the brain power to understand what we were voting for. Everyone in my work, neighbourhood, flat share and extended family were discussing nothing but the EU, it's pros and cons, and arguing their positions right up until the referendum.

CheeseHeads -> GutsandGlory , 21 Aug 2016 02:17

Totally agree. Many on the left still think of Brexiters as knuckle dragging idiots who have destroyed a liberal utopia called the EU. They still think of the working class as something to be pitied that needs guidance because of their own ignorance.
Well BREXIT was a real boot up the arse for them.

abugaafar , 21 Aug 2016 01:33

I found this a very well written and interesting article, but curiously parochial given that it's about globalisation. If you just consider Europe and the United States it seems irrefutable that globalisation has grossly enriched a fortunate few and left many more to struggle with stagnating and insecure incomes. The problem, in that context, is clearly inequality. But was inequality, on a global scale, not the problem before globalisation was conceived, and has globalisation not done much to reduce global inequality? It is not surprising if the reduction has been at the expense of the world's relatively rich, the middle and working classes of the western world. But the winners are not just the rich western elite, but also the millions who have benefitted from free migration and the transfer of capital and jobs to what used to be the third world. If the remedy for western economic ills is, effectively, deglobalisation, there will be losers there too as well as, we hope, winners at home.

[Sep 21, 2017] Mueller investigation is patterned after the independent prosecutors investigation of Bill Clinton. If they pressure Trump long enough, then Trump may well make a mistake such as lying. or they can dig out something embarrassing

Notable quotes:
"... They're trying to manufacture an obstruction of justice charge. Without the independent prosecutor's investigation, there would be no opportunity for someone to lie, mislead, or inadvertently omit facts. ..."
"... The warrant's timing may also shed light on the FBI's relationship to the infamous " Steele dossier." That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele -- who relied on Russian sources. ..."
"... But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research. ..."
"... But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don't cooperate in contempt. ..."
"... No investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey's wiretaps. ..."
"... And beyond delving into Comey's machinations, I think it high time to get former AG, Loretta Lynch under oath in front of a Congressional Committee to inquire after the real substance of her supposedly impromptu meeting with Slick Willy on the airport tarmac. ..."
"... If she needs to be compelled to answer through an offer of immunity, this would be a very clarifying moment, indeed. And if she still refuses, preferring being cited for contempt of Congress, well, that might be pretty interesting in its own right. And if she left any trail of evidence behind her like, say for instance, relating this information to one of her staff, the staffer could be questioned under similar terms. ..."
"... Also a good time to have a little chat with the guy from Crowdstrike, too. And on a related note, maybe a wee bit of inquiry with Mr. Comey on the logic of the FBI in not demanding access to the server ? ..."
"... Working my way through Gibbons' Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. There are ominous parallels to be observed between some of the events he recounts, and events of the present day. The Praetorian Guards and the legions more generally actively manipulated events to attain self-serving outcomes. Elements of our intelligence community seem to be treading a similar path; harrassing, crippling, and if felt necessary working toward the eviction of a legitimately chosen President are rather obviously in play. Not, as in the case of the Roman military, killing him, but effectively overturning the government seems to be the tactic, and all to serve their own ends, and the Constitutional order be damned. History, as has been said, may not repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes. ..."
"... Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. ..."
"... In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that. ..."
"... I have spent more than two years litigating against the Department of Justice for the computer intrusions. Forensics have revealed dates, times and methods of some of the illegal activities. The software used was proprietary to a federal intel agency. The intruders deployed a keystroke monitoring program, accessed the CBS News corporate computer system, listened in on my conversations by activating the computer's microphone and used Skype to exfiltrate files. ..."
"... I was also curious to see what kind of crime would be committed under US law since anything the Russians did was just normal state-to-state competition. ..."
"... Manafort should sue the Federal Gov for violation of his rights against unlawful search and seizure. FISA is unconstitutional and should challenge the entire case on the basis that anything obtained was based on a FISA warrant. Force the courts and above all else the Supreme Court to address the issue finally. Manafort is by no means an angel, but he has rights and deserves a fair shake instead of the train ride he's on. ..."
"... With the world's 7th largest economy, what sane businessman would NOT want to cultivate relationships and develop the Russian market, particularly since it is virtually untapped by Western companies? ..."
"... According to Martha Stewart, a false statement to a federal officer need not be sworn. ..."
"... on't understand any of this. Unless Mr Steele was entirely off the leash, which is difficult to believe, there's evidence of our complicity in covert interference with the US Presidential elections. Then there's evidence of Israeli interference, and that overt. Also, although it's not directly relevant here, there's sufficient evidence that the US itself pulls strings in other countries' elections. ..."
"... The criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and far-reaching that an aggressive prosecutor can find a reason to imprison almost anyone, especially if the target is engaged in political or business matters of any sophistication. ..."
"... This is intentional. The laws are designed such that the people that the establishment wants to imprison are imprisoned when they do the things the establishment doesn't want, and those people that the establishment does not want imprisoned are not. ..."
"... This is why HRC can blatantly violate the Espionage Act and then spoliate evidence with no fear of prosecution. In fact, law enforcement twist themselves into knots to avoid conducting a serious investigation, as that might force them to act. After that farce, Comey publicly justified conduct that (as he admitted) would send a normie on a one-way trip to a SuperMax. ..."
"... Mueller will get some scalps. Guaranteed. ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

It appears to me that the current dream/hope in the "resistance" is that Mueller will fish around enough to come up with "evidence" that DJT and some of the people in his campaign and administration have been witting or unwitting cultivated assets of the Russian state for some years. I do not really understand how that would be crime under US law unless espionage against US official secrets were involved but the political effect would be ruinous. pl

James , 20 September 2017 at 07:35 PM

Personally, I think this investigation is patterned after the independent prosecutor's investigation of Bill Clinton. Bill was brought down by a dalliance with an intern. If they pressure Trump long enough then Trump may well make a mistake such as lying. Or they can use their investigative powers to find something embarrassing (they get to question everyone they want under oath and those questioned have to answer the questions). Otherwise the investigation can just drag on forever.

I wish more people understood that this is not about Democats vs Republicans.

Les -> James ... , 21 September 2017 at 09:50 AM
They're trying to manufacture an obstruction of justice charge. Without the independent prosecutor's investigation, there would be no opportunity for someone to lie, mislead, or inadvertently omit facts.

I'm getting tired of seeing the same events trumpeted by the media and the independent prosecutor as if there was something new. How many times can you disclose you were wiretapping one of the persons of interest or that you raided their home for documents?

turcopolier , 20 September 2017 at 07:37 PM
All

I suppose that there could be a FARA violation if the person involved was involved in US foreign policy or if a false statement were made in something official and sworn. pl

Sam Peralta , 20 September 2017 at 07:37 PM
Col. Lang

In light of what you wrote about the FISA wiretaps, the WSJ has an editorial requesting Congress to investigate "Comey's wiretaps".

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-mr-comeys-wiretaps-1505862793

The warrant's timing may also shed light on the FBI's relationship to the infamous " Steele dossier." That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele -- who relied on Russian sources.

But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research.

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey's FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign. The Justice Department and FBI have stonewalled Congressional requests for documents and interviews, citing the "integrity" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don't cooperate in contempt.

Mr. Comey investigated both leading presidential campaigns in an election year, playing the role of supposedly impartial legal authority. But his maneuvering to get Mr. Mueller appointed, and his leaks to the press, have shown that Mr. Comey is as political and self-serving as anyone in Washington.

No investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey's wiretaps.

JerseyJeffersonian -> Sam Peralta... , 20 September 2017 at 10:30 PM
Sam Peralta,

Amen to that.

And beyond delving into Comey's machinations, I think it high time to get former AG, Loretta Lynch under oath in front of a Congressional Committee to inquire after the real substance of her supposedly impromptu meeting with Slick Willy on the airport tarmac.

If she needs to be compelled to answer through an offer of immunity, this would be a very clarifying moment, indeed. And if she still refuses, preferring being cited for contempt of Congress, well, that might be pretty interesting in its own right. And if she left any trail of evidence behind her like, say for instance, relating this information to one of her staff, the staffer could be questioned under similar terms.

I rather think no staffer would be operating under the delusion that they could survive thumbing their nose at Congress like their boss doubtless would. But then again, maybe Seth Rich's still unexplained death may serve as an incentive to them to clam up and weather whatever consequences might flow from that decision.

Also a good time to have a little chat with the guy from Crowdstrike, too. And on a related note, maybe a wee bit of inquiry with Mr. Comey on the logic of the FBI in not demanding access to the server ?

Probably none of this will happen however, this being arguably what we can expect from Imperial Politics; no longer are we to recognize this as the functioning of a Constitutional Republic, sad to say.

JerseyJeffersonian -> JerseyJeffersonian... , 21 September 2017 at 10:17 AM
Working my way through Gibbons' Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. There are ominous parallels to be observed between some of the events he recounts, and events of the present day. The Praetorian Guards and the legions more generally actively manipulated events to attain self-serving outcomes. Elements of our intelligence community seem to be treading a similar path; harrassing, crippling, and if felt necessary working toward the eviction of a legitimately chosen President are rather obviously in play. Not, as in the case of the Roman military, killing him, but effectively overturning the government seems to be the tactic, and all to serve their own ends, and the Constitutional order be damned. History, as has been said, may not repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes.

Oh, and in a not entirely dissimilar development, in Philadelphia, and in PA, it has emerged that legal immigrants, despite being ineligible, have registered and voted. The hend wavers at the Philadelphia Inquirer are trying to minimize this, of course. The thought arises, if it happened in PA, what about in CA? So maybe yet again, one of President Trump's charges is true? Cue our own crew of handwavers here at SST. Over to you, ladies and gentlemen...

Sam Peralta , 20 September 2017 at 08:05 PM
All

Have we crossed the rubicon to a totalitarian state?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-20/sharyl-attkisson-rages-looks-obama-spied-trump-just-he-did-me

Nobody wants our intel agencies to be used like the Stasi in East Germany; the secret police spying on its own citizens for political purposes. The prospect of our own NSA, CIA and FBI becoming politically weaponized has been shrouded by untruths, accusations and justifications.

You'll recall DNI Clapper falsely assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans."

Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that.

There were also wiretaps on then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in 2011 under Obama.

The same happened under President George W. Bush to former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

Journalists have been targeted, too. This internal email exposed by WikiLeaks should give everyone chills. It did me.

.....

I have spent more than two years litigating against the Department of Justice for the computer intrusions. Forensics have revealed dates, times and methods of some of the illegal activities. The software used was proprietary to a federal intel agency. The intruders deployed a keystroke monitoring program, accessed the CBS News corporate computer system, listened in on my conversations by activating the computer's microphone and used Skype to exfiltrate files.

We survived the government's latest attempt to dismiss my lawsuit. There's another hearing Friday. To date, the Trump Department of Justice -- like the Obama Department of Justice -- is fighting me in court and working to keep hidden the identities of those who accessed a government internet protocol address found in my computers.

Lars , 20 September 2017 at 08:19 PM
It is too early to say where this investigation is going, but there are indications that money laundering and shady real estate transactions are scrutinized. How far up that goes, nobody knows. If close associates of Donald Trump get indicted, he will have both legal and political problems.

Of course that is only one aspect. There may also be some serious conflict of interest problems. All of it is about to face a burst of sunshine and that will illuminate every thing, good or bad. It appears that Donald Trump is seriously bothered by all this activity and that in itself is interesting.

The Twisted Genius , 20 September 2017 at 09:01 PM
I was also curious to see what kind of crime would be committed under US law since anything the Russians did was just normal state-to-state competition.

That happens all the time and will continue to happen all the time. Seems that if anyone on the Trump team can be found soliciting help from a foreign source, it would be a violation of campaign finance laws. If anyone can be tied to the hacking and theft of data or the use of that hacked data (there was a lot of voter data taken in addition to the DNC and Podesta data), the crime would be engaging in a criminal conspiracy. Then, of course, there are the targets of opportunity associated with any cover up like witness intimidation, perjury, obstruction of justice, and the like.

Then there is the NYAG's investigation into Trump and his associates under NY RICO laws. That investigation is still very much alive.

All this makes me wonder who is concentrating on the Russian IO itself. There's no crime here, besides the hacks and theft of data, but that should be the crux of the investigation in my opinion. Perhaps Mueller is doing this. I would think he'd have to understand exactly what was done, how it was coordinated and how it was financed before he could look for any crimes related to this whole Russia thing.

LeaNder -> The Twisted Genius ... , 21 September 2017 at 05:31 AM
TTG, I am not following this closely enough but for whatever reason Manafort popped up on my mind. Maybe due to earlier curiosity concerning the Ukraine. Were would he fit in? And how?

Checking spelling of his name, I realized it made headlines again.

MGS , 20 September 2017 at 09:28 PM
Manafort should sue the Federal Gov for violation of his rights against unlawful search and seizure. FISA is unconstitutional and should challenge the entire case on the basis that anything obtained was based on a FISA warrant. Force the courts and above all else the Supreme Court to address the issue finally. Manafort is by no means an angel, but he has rights and deserves a fair shake instead of the train ride he's on.
JohnH , 20 September 2017 at 10:21 PM
With the world's 7th largest economy, what sane businessman would NOT want to cultivate relationships and develop the Russian market, particularly since it is virtually untapped by Western companies?

Exxon-Mobil certainly wanted to do that. And they don't strike me as unpatriotic dummies --

Will.2718 , 20 September 2017 at 10:21 PM
According to Martha Stewart, a false statement to a federal officer need not be sworn. The best response to an FBI agent or any federal officer is "Have a good day Sir/Maam -- " or Buenos Dias, I prefer to have counsel with me when answering questions.
English Outsider , 21 September 2017 at 05:29 AM
Don't understand any of this. Unless Mr Steele was entirely off the leash, which is difficult to believe, there's evidence of our complicity in covert interference with the US Presidential elections. Then there's evidence of Israeli interference, and that overt. Also, although it's not directly relevant here, there's sufficient evidence that the US itself pulls strings in other countries' elections.

So whatever the Russians did or didn't do messing around with another country's elections, they're pretty far back in the queue. I'm all for the greater readiness to investigate such matters that we see in the US; but why is the spotlight directed only into this little corner?

Sid Finster , 21 September 2017 at 11:14 AM
Google "three felonies a day" or contemplate the words attributed to Richelieu - "Give me but six words written by the most honorable of men, and I will find something therein to hang him with."

The criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and far-reaching that an aggressive prosecutor can find a reason to imprison almost anyone, especially if the target is engaged in political or business matters of any sophistication.

This is intentional. The laws are designed such that the people that the establishment wants to imprison are imprisoned when they do the things the establishment doesn't want, and those people that the establishment does not want imprisoned are not.

This is why HRC can blatantly violate the Espionage Act and then spoliate evidence with no fear of prosecution. In fact, law enforcement twist themselves into knots to avoid conducting a serious investigation, as that might force them to act. After that farce, Comey publicly justified conduct that (as he admitted) would send a normie on a one-way trip to a SuperMax.

Mueller will get some scalps. Guaranteed.

[Sep 20, 2017] The political history of the second half of the 20th century could be summarized as the conflict between its two ideologies -- Keynesian social democracy and neoliberalism, which managed to displace Keyneseanism as a dominant ideology in 70th and in turm entered the crisis in 2008

What Monbiot called 'stories" and "powerful political narratives" are actually ideologies. Neoliberal ideology won in 70th and managed to destroy the weakened and discredited social democratic/Keynesean model and Bolshevism on late 80th early 90th. After 2008 neoliberalism as ideology is as dead as Stalinism was after 1945. You can even view Trump as kind of farcical Nikita Khrushchev who while sticking to neoliberalism "in general" at the same time denounced some key postulates of neoliberalism such as neoliberal globalization with outsourcing and offshoring components and free movement of labor. For Khrushchev that ended badly -- he was deposed and replaced by Brezhnev in 1964. The same might happen to Trump.
You can get better idea about what Monbiot is talking about replacing the word "stories" with the word "ideologies." An ideology is a coherent set of interconnected ideas or beliefs shared by a large group of people (often political party or nation). It may be a connected to a particular philosophy (Marxism in case of Socialism and Communism, Randism and neo-classical economics in case of neoliberalism) . Communism, socialism, and neoliberalism are major political/economical ideologies. Ideology prescribes how a country political system should be organized and how country economics should be run.
Notable quotes:
"... The political history of the second half of the 20th century could be summarised as the conflict between its two great narratives: the stories told by Keynesian social democracy and by neoliberalism. ..."
"... When the social democracy story dominated, even the Conservatives and Republicans adopted key elements of the programme. When neoliberalism took its place, political parties everywhere, regardless of their colour, fell under its spell . ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: George Monbiot: how do we get out of this mess?

Is it reasonable to hope for a better world? Study the cruelty and indifference of governments, the disarray of opposition parties, the apparently inexorable slide towards limate breakdown, the renewed threat of nuclear war, and the answer appears to be no. Our problems look intractable, our leaders dangerous, while voters are cowed and baffled. Despair looks like the only rational response. But over the past two years, I have been struck by four observations. What they reveal is that political failure is, in essence, a failure of imagination. They suggest to me that it is despair, not hope, that is irrational. I believe they light a path towards a better world.

The first observation is the least original. It is the realization that it is not strong leaders or parties that dominate politics as much as powerful political narratives. The political history of the second half of the 20th century could be summarised as the conflict between its two great narratives: the stories told by Keynesian social democracy and by neoliberalism. First one and then the other captured the minds of people across the political spectrum. When the social democracy story dominated, even the Conservatives and Republicans adopted key elements of the programme. When neoliberalism took its place, political parties everywhere, regardless of their colour, fell under its spell . These stories overrode everything: personality, identity and party history.

This should not surprise us. Stories are the means by which we navigate the world. They allow us to interpret its complex and contradictory signals. We all possess a narrative instinct: an innate disposition to listen for an account of who we are and where we stand.

... ... ...

The social democratic story explains that the world fell into disorder – characterised by the Great Depression – because of the self-seeking behaviour of an unrestrained elite. The elite's capture of both the world's wealth and the political system resulted in the impoverishment and insecurity of working people. By uniting to defend their common interests, the world's people could throw down the power of this elite, strip it of its ill-gotten gains and pool the resulting wealth for the good of all. Order and security would be restored in the form of a protective, paternalistic state, investing in public projects for the public good, generating the wealth that would guarantee a prosperous future for everyone. The ordinary people of the land – the heroes of the story – would triumph over those who had oppressed them.

The neoliberal story explains that the world fell into disorder as a result of the collectivising tendencies of the overmighty state, exemplified by the monstrosities of Stalinism and nazism, but evident in all forms of state planning and all attempts to engineer social outcomes. Collectivism crushes freedom, individualism and opportunity. Heroic entrepreneurs, mobilising the redeeming power of the market, would fight this enforced conformity, freeing society from the enslavement of the state. Order would be restored in the form of free markets, delivering wealth and opportunity, guaranteeing a prosperous future for everyone. The ordinary people of the land, released by the heroes of the story (the freedom-seeking entrepreneurs) would triumph over those who had oppressed them.

... ... ...

But the best on offer from major political parties is a microwaved version of the remnants of Keynesian social democracy. There are several problems with this approach. The first is that this old story has lost most of its content and narrative force. What we now call Keynesianism has been reduced to two thin chapters: lowering interest rates when economies are sluggish and using countercyclical public spending (injecting public money into the economy when unemployment is high or recession threatens). Other measures, such as raising taxes when an economy grows quickly, to dampen the boom-bust cycle; the fixed exchange rate system; capital controls and a self-balancing global banking system (an international clearing union ) – all of which John Maynard Keynes saw as essential complements to these policies – have been discarded and forgotten.

This is partly because the troubles that beset the Keynesian model in the 1970s have not disappeared. While the oil embargo in 1973 was the immediate trigger for the lethal combination of high inflation and high unemployment (" stagflation ") that Keynesian policies were almost powerless to counteract, problems with the system had been mounting for years. Falling productivity and rising cost-push inflation (wages and prices pursuing each other upwards) were already beginning to erode support for Keynesian economics. Most importantly, perhaps, the programme had buckled in response to the political demands of capital.

Strong financial regulations and controls on the movement of money began to weaken in the 1950s, as governments started to liberalise financial markets . Richard Nixon 's decision in 1971 to suspend the convertibility of dollars into gold destroyed the system of fixed exchange rates on which much of the success of Keynes's policies depended. The capital controls used to prevent financiers and speculators from sucking money out of balanced Keynesian economies collapsed. We cannot hope that the strategies deployed by global finance in the 20th century will be unlearned.

But perhaps the biggest problem residual Keynesianism confronts is that, when it does work, it collides headfirst with the environmental crisis. A programme that seeks to sustain employment through constant economic growth, driven by consumer demand, seems destined to exacerbate our greatest predicament.

... ... ...

[Sep 20, 2017] Trumps Belligerent U.N. Speech by Daniel Larison

The message to the global community has been clear: it's Trump's way or the highway.
Notable quotes:
"... Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump's choice to cast these states as the "wicked few" portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush's foolish "axis of evil" remarks in 2002. ..."
"... All of this belligerent and confrontational rhetoric just raises tensions in several different parts of the world, and it appears to commit the U.S. to more meddling around the world and potentially risks getting the U.S. into more avoidable wars. ..."
"... None of that has anything to do with putting American interests first. Much of Trump's speech was an assertion of a desire to dictate terms to other states, and as such it is likely to be poorly received by most of the governments of the world. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Trump's speech at the U.N. General Assembly this morning contained a lot of ill-advised and dangerous remarks, but this one stood out:

If the righteous many don't confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.

U.S. foreign policy already suffers from far too much self-congratulation and excessive confidence in our own righteousness, so it was alarming to hear Trump speak in such stark, fanatical terms about international affairs. Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump's choice to cast these states as the "wicked few" portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush's foolish "axis of evil" remarks in 2002.

The statement itself is also rather odd in that it talks about the many being righteous, when religious texts normally present the righteous as being the relatively few and embattled against the wicked multitude.

If the "wicked" are so few, they must be badly outnumbered and don't pose as much of a threat as Trump claims elsewhere. It also strains credulity that Trump speaks on behalf of righteousness when he embraces so many abusive despots and enables Saudi-led coalition crimes in Yemen.

Trump declared the nuclear deal an "embarrassment," which strongly suggests that he won't agree to recertify the deal when the next deadline comes up in mid-October. He emphasized the importance of sovereignty for the U.S., but in everything else he had to say he showed that he was happy to trample on the sovereignty of other states when it suited him. While his threat to "destroy" North Korea was framed as a defense of the U.S. and allies, it will only make the North Korean government more determined than ever to develop its nuclear arsenal and missiles. He hinted that the U.S. would interfere more in Venezuela , which will almost certainly be used by Maduro and his allies to their advantage.

All of this belligerent and confrontational rhetoric just raises tensions in several different parts of the world, and it appears to commit the U.S. to more meddling around the world and potentially risks getting the U.S. into more avoidable wars.

None of that has anything to do with putting American interests first. Much of Trump's speech was an assertion of a desire to dictate terms to other states, and as such it is likely to be poorly received by most of the governments of the world.

[Sep 20, 2017] The Empire's Hustle Why Anti-Trumpism Doesn't Include Anti-War by Ajamu Baraka

Notable quotes:
"... Similarly on the war issue, the only let-up in the constant barrage of negative press that Trump experienced was when he launched an attack on Syria, demonstrating once again that a consensus exists among the oligarchy on what instrument will be used to ensure their continued global dominance. ..."
"... Therefore, anti-Trumpism does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism. ..."
"... The Democrat's are playing games with the people by pretending they are going to block increases in military spending during the appropriation stage of the process. And their criticisms of Trump's bellicosity and claims that he is reckless also are disingenuous because if they thought he was militarily reckless, they wouldn't have joined Republicans in supporting increased military spending. ..."
"... Both parties support militarism because both parties support the interests of the oligarchy and the oligarchy is interested in one thing!maintaining the empire. ..."
"... And to maintain the empire, they are prepared to fight to the last drop of our blood. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

With these words, Paul became one of the few voices to oppose the obscenity that is known as U.S. war policy. But only two other senators joined him: Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). But there is a wrinkle here: Paul is not concerned with the size of the military budget. He's pointing his finger at the continuation of the Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF) of 2001, which was the "legal" basis for the U.S. global "war on terror." He wants Congress to re-assess this legislation that has prompted endless wars abroad.

... ... ...

Nothing rehabilitates an unpopular president in capitalist "America" like war. In fact, the only sustained negative press that Barack Obama received was when he seemed reluctant to fully immerse the United States in direct efforts to cause regime change in Syria by attacking that nation and committing to significant "boots on the ground." For the Neo-cons and liberal interventionists driving U.S. policy, allowing U.S. vassal states to take the lead in waging war in that country was an unnecessary and inefficient burden on those states.

Similarly on the war issue, the only let-up in the constant barrage of negative press that Trump experienced was when he launched an attack on Syria, demonstrating once again that a consensus exists among the oligarchy on what instrument will be used to ensure their continued global dominance.

With the escalating decline in U.S. influence from the Bush administration through Obama and now to Trump, U.S. global dominance increasingly depends on its ability to project military power. Obama's "pivot to Asia," the veritable rampage by the United States through West Asia and North Africa since 2003, the expansion of AFRICOM to offset Chinese influence in Africa, the commitment to a permanent military occupation of Afghanistan to facilitate blocking China's New Silk Road and to exploit Afghan mineral wealth all attest to the importance of continued popular support for the permanent war agenda.

Therefore, the state is vulnerable because it has to generate public support for its war agenda and that provides the domestic anti-war and anti-imperialist opposition with a strategic opportunity.

The abysmal levels of popular support for Congress reflect a serious crisis of legitimacy. That erosion of confidence in Congress must be extended to a critical stance on congressional expenditures related to the Pentagon budget and the rationalization for military/security spending. An ideological opening exists for reframing military spending and the war agenda for what it is: An agenda for the protection of the interests of the 1 percent. And for disrupting the acceptance of patriotic pride in U.S. military adventures beyond the borders of the country.

The current work on the part of the United National Antiwar Coalition to encourage concentrated public educational work on Afghanistan in October, the new coalition to oppose U.S foreign military bases and CODEPINK's military divestment campaign being launched in October are just some of the efforts being organized to take advantage of the moment.

... ... ...

Opposition to Trump has been framed in ways that supports the agenda of the Democratic Party!but not the anti-war agenda. Therefore, anti-Trumpism does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism.

When the Trump administration proposed what many saw as an obscene request for an additional $54 billion in military spending, we witnessed a momentary negative response from some liberal Democrats. The thinking was that this could be highlighted as yet another one of the supposedly demonic moves by the administration and it was added to the talking points for the Democrats. That was until 117 Democrats voted with Republicans in the House !including a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus!to not only accept the administration's proposal, but to exceed it by $18 billion. By that point, the Democrats went silent on the issue.

The progressive community and what passes for the Left was not that much better. When those forces were not allowing their attention to be diverted into re-defining opposition to White supremacy in the form of the easy opposition to the clownish, marginal neo-Nazi forces, they were debating the violence of Antifa. And since hypocrisy has been able to reconcile itself with liberalism, they didn't see that their concerns with the violence of Antifa was in conflict with their support for violent interventions by the U.S. state in places like Libya and Syria. So for that sector since war and violence had been normalized unless it is carried out by unauthorized forces like oppressed peoples,Antifa forces and nations in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism!it is opposed. Why bother with the issues of war and militarism. And so the anti-war and anti-imperialist position was not included as part of anti-Trumpism!

The Democrat's are playing games with the people by pretending they are going to block increases in military spending during the appropriation stage of the process. And their criticisms of Trump's bellicosity and claims that he is reckless also are disingenuous because if they thought he was militarily reckless, they wouldn't have joined Republicans in supporting increased military spending.

Both parties support militarism because both parties support the interests of the oligarchy and the oligarchy is interested in one thing!maintaining the empire.

And to maintain the empire, they are prepared to fight to the last drop of our blood. But we have a surprise for them.

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine.

[Sep 20, 2017] Where Are the Brave Military Voices Against Forever War by Maj. Danny Sjursen

Notable quotes:
"... Today, my peers are silent. ..."
"... For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings. ..."
"... In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so. ..."
"... So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination. ..."
"... By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, my peers are silent.

But they've been taught the way to do it

Like Christian soldiers; not with haste

And shuddering groans; but passing through it

With due regard for decent taste

-- Siegfried Sassoon , How to Die (1918)

It is my favorite moment. Of World War I, that is. The one that stays with me.

Christmas, 1914: Nearly a million men are already dead, and the war is barely four months old. Suddenly, and ultimately in unison, the opposing German and British troops begin singing Christmas carols. At first light, German troops emerge unarmed from their trenches, and walk out into "no-man's land." Despite fearing a ruse, the Brits eventually joined their sworn enemies in the churned earth between the trench lines. Carols were sung, gifts of cigarettes exchanged -- one man even brought out a decorative tree. It only happened once. Though the bloody, senseless war raged across three more Christmases, the officers on each side quashed future attempts at a holiday truce. And yet, for that brief moment, in the ugliest of circumstances, the common humanity of Brits and Germans triumphed. It must have been beautiful.

Ultimately, nearly ten million men would die in battle. For all that, little was settled. It rarely is. The ruling classes still ruled, the profiteers profited, and Europe went to war again not twenty years later. So it went, and so it goes.

Nonetheless, World War I boasted countless skeptics and anti-war activists both in and out of uniform. Their poetry and prose was dark, but oh was it ever powerful. Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen from the Brits; Erich Maria Remarque for the stoic Germans; and our own Ernest Hemingway. A lost generation, which sacrificed so much more than youth: their innocence. They call to us, these long dead dissenters, from the grave.

They might ask: Where are today's skeptical veterans? Tragically, silence is our only ready response.

It was not always so in America. During the brutal Seminole Indian Wars, 17 percent of army officers resigned in disgust rather than continue burning villages and hunting natives down like dogs in Florida's Everglades' swamps. Mark Twain's cheeky prose demolished the Philippine-American colonial war at the turn of the century (some 30 years after he briefly served in the Missouri state militia during the Civil War). Hemingway, laid the truth bare after being wounded in the First Great War while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver. And Major General Smedley Butler -- two-time Medal of Honor recipient though he was -- emerged from the Caribbean "Banana Wars" to admit he'd been naught but a "high class muscle man for Big Business," a "gangster for capitalism."

For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings.

Today, despite a few brave attempts, we are treated to nothing of the sort. Why, you ask?

To begin with, most of the above mentioned wars were fought by draftees, militiamen, and short-term volunteers: in other words, citizen-soldiers. Even now, the identity of "citizen-soldier" ought to emphasize the former term: citizen . It doesn't. Now, as we veterans are constantly reminded, we are warriors . Professionals. Hail Sparta!

In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so.

In truth, the "citizen-soldier" is dead, replaced -- to the sound of cheers -- by self-righteous subalterns hiding beneath the sly veil of that ubiquitous corporate idiom: professionalism. Discipline, motivation, teamwork -- these are all sleek, bureaucratic terms certain to mold terrific middle managers, but they remain morally bare. And, ultimately, futile.

So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination.

Only don't rule out cowardice. Who isn't fearful for their career, income, and family stability? It is only natural. After all, this business -- despite protestations to the contrary -- does not tend to value intellectualism or creative thinking. Trust me. Besides, in this struggling transitory economy, the military "welfare state" is a tempting option for America's declining middle class. Ironic, isn't it, that the heavily conservative officer corps loves their socialized medicine and guaranteed pensions?

Under the circumstances, perhaps silence is understandable. But it is also complicity.

By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why.

Perhaps a good officer suppresses such doubt, maintains a stoic, if dour, dignity, and silently soldiers on. As for me, I am not made of such stuff, and more's the pity. I buried seven men in the fields of the Forever War, casualties of combat and the muted sufferings of suicide.

Their banal sacrifice demands explanation. They deserve as much. For those lonely few, we who publicly dissent, the audience is scant, interest meagre, and our existence: solitary.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular , is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wrote a memoir, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet .

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.)

*** This article has been edited to reflect Mark Twain's brief stint in the Missouri state militia, not the regular Confederate army; and the fact that Ernest Hemingway served the Red Cross during World War I.

[Sep 20, 2017] Manafort News a Blockbuster or Nothingburger

Notable quotes:
"... News anchors keep referring to Manafort as "Trump's campaign manager," elevating his significance. Recall that Trump had Corey Lewandowski as his campaign chairman from January to June; Manafort from June to August; and Stephen Bannon from August to November. Why not say, "Bannon, the second out of three Trump campaign chiefs"? And why not add: " who resigned when it was disclosed that he had been paid huge sums as a consultant for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych?" ..."
"... And then mention that Yanukovych had been democratically elected in 2010, and that Manafort, who had advised U.S. presidential candidates Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi. And that there's probably nothing illegal about that. ..."
"... But why this term, "operative"? What is a "Russian operative," such as the Trump campaign may have met? As opposed to a Russian businessman, politician, lawyer, journalist, priest? The term is tendentious, implying that every Russian operates on behalf of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin. Russophobic language infects the relentless coverage of this issue, which!as Van Jones suggested!has been a nothingburger. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Flipping the channel to U.S. cable news, the lead story is Paul Manafort's imminent indictment, apparently for his business dealings. Presented as a BLOCKBUSTER, it's got all the talking heads smelling blood in the water. Here, they hope, is the smoking gun. Their eyes are bright with hope, if not for Trump's impeachment, for his forced embrace of continued confrontation with Moscow.

On the night of the election, most anchors reacted in shock. Rachel Maddow appeared aghast. They were stunned at their own failure to predict this outcome and were obliged to seek excuses for the unexpected, unfortunate outcome. The Comey announcement was of course the first explanation deployed, but soon a far more useful one appeared: Russia had rigged the election by providing stolen DNC emails to Wikileaks, using them to discredit Hillary. (It's rarely mentioned how, precisely, they had done that, by showing that the DNC under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders.)

Obama requested a quick intelligence report, to justify immediate harsh sanctions. He got it, expelled over 700 Russian diplomats, and closed down consulates and recreational facilities owned by the Russian state. These follow the sanctions applied in 2014 in response to events in Ukraine, which caused Russia to retaliate, among other things, by ending the program through which Americans adopt Russian children.

"Russian Interference"

The meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in June 2016, including Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, Manafort, Rinat Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone appears to have included three elements: withdrawal of sanctions under a Trump administration, restitution of the adoption program (with which Veselnitskaya has indeed been involved) as one action in return, and the issue which drew Don Jr. to the gathering: and possibly the promise of info on Hillary. So if Don Jr. and Jared say it was about adoption they might be telling the partial truth.

Hadn't Junior been told that there were documents that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," and hadn't he said "I love it"? It is just possible that this meeting resulted in Russian hacking of the DNC and the leaking of the documents by Wikileaks (although Julian Assange and colleague Craig Murray strongly deny this).

On July 22, Wikileaks released its first batch of DNC emails. Wasserman-Schultz and half a dozen others had to resign, and DNC sincerely apologized to Sanders for Wasserman-Schultz's comment that it would be "silly" to imagine a Sanders victory.

On July 27 Trump speaking to a news conference in Doral, Florida said this:

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing [from Clinton's emails] I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

On Nov. 7, Wikileaks released a second batch of documents, including a email written by Hillary's own campaign chairman John Podesta in January, saying: "I'm down. Our team is all tactics and has no idea of how to lift her up." Very embarrassing just before the election. But the provenance of the leaked documents is in fact unclear, and contested.

This BLOCKBUSTER news about Manafort reportedly involves financial transactions. The idea may be to trade leniency for financial wrongdoing for information on the alleged "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Moscow. But what if there is none?

News anchors keep referring to Manafort as "Trump's campaign manager," elevating his significance. Recall that Trump had Corey Lewandowski as his campaign chairman from January to June; Manafort from June to August; and Stephen Bannon from August to November. Why not say, "Bannon, the second out of three Trump campaign chiefs"? And why not add: " who resigned when it was disclosed that he had been paid huge sums as a consultant for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych?"

And then mention that Yanukovych had been democratically elected in 2010, and that Manafort, who had advised U.S. presidential candidates Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi. And that there's probably nothing illegal about that.

Why All the Fuss?

Why all this fuss about Manafort in Ukraine? Because he's accused of developing ties with Russians while there, which is hardly surprising, considering that he's a mercenary opportunist and businessman, and Russia and Ukraine have numerous historical, cultural, economic and business ties. Yanukovich's party (Party of Regions) is described by the U.S. as "pro-Russian" although that is simplistic and reflects ignorance of the ethnic mix in Ukraine and the relationship to both Russia and the EU. (Victoria Nuland, Obama's assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, promoted that view and declared the U.S.'s support for "the Ukrainian people's European aspirations.")

Yanukovich could have introduced Manafort to lots of Russians. But that was all over in 2014 before Trump announced his campaign.

We now know that Manafort came under investigation by the FBI soon after the U.S.-backed putsch in February 2014 and is ongoing. But it didn't start as an investigation into Russian election meddling. And it will very possibly not find any evidence for that. It may find, for example, an email in which Manafort supports the withdrawal of the party plank in July 2015 advocating lethal arms to the current government. (This is another of the very few "facts" cited establish "Russian interference." But it seems to me a lot of Republicans don't want to provoke Russia in Russia's backyard. Since when does mere reason constitute "collusion"?) But it would be a stretch to assume he's the key villain interlocutor between "Russian operatives" and the Trump campaign.

But why this term, "operative"? What is a "Russian operative," such as the Trump campaign may have met? As opposed to a Russian businessman, politician, lawyer, journalist, priest? The term is tendentious, implying that every Russian operates on behalf of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin. Russophobic language infects the relentless coverage of this issue, which!as Van Jones suggested!has been a nothingburger.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan ; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan ; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 . He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion , (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

[Sep 20, 2017] America Is Getting Outclassed by Russian Electronic Warfare The National Interest

Sep 20, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

Rokoss , September 19, 2017 9:06 PM

This article will be used by some lobbyist working for Northrop Grumman during his next meeting with a bunch of congressmen. "I told you, those evil russkies are back at it again, we are getting outclassed and thus we need more money. $700 billion is not enough".
The congressmen will cry about the electronic warfare gap, the new increased defense budget will be adopted, multi-billion contracts will be singed, the congressmen will get their fat kickbacks and everyone will be happy. Only in America

1 KoolKat Rokoss , September 20, 2017 4:49 AM

Only in America is money or technology the solution to the problems. I am sorry to to say that ain't going to cut. It all boils down to strategy and tactics that's where the US has its greatest deficit.

WTF 1 KoolKat , September 20, 2017 9:03 AM

One theme stands out in every aspect when it comes to the U.S.A.

Gross mismanagement.

Bongstar420 WTF , September 20, 2017 2:07 PM

So which country do you propose as the paragon of virtue?

The model by which the world is better to progress?

WTF Bongstar420 , September 20, 2017 4:21 PM

Military procurement management. Are you ready? China, Russia and even North Korea. Trackable progress.

US. Dreams and reality. Hit and miss. Promises and delays. Launches and problems.

Bongstar420 1 KoolKat , September 20, 2017 2:05 PM

If we don't free the commoner of social brainwashing, yes, russia will win. They are really good at that game and that game creates a society like current russia.

Bongstar420 Rokoss , September 20, 2017 2:04 PM

So the ruskies didn't do this?
Or do you expect us to lay over and let them pillage our bottom ends?

Do you want to live in russia? Is the American oligarchy just too class mobile for you and you want the russian version with even worse social structures?

cavedave , September 20, 2017 7:47 AM

Almost every article I read distresses about how America's military is inferior to Russia, China and even Iran. We are threatened that our aircraft carriers will soon be sunken nuclear waste sites, our submarines are inferior, aircraft vulnerable, our tactics outdated, our civilian leaders corrupt, military leaders incompetent, and sailors, soldiers, airman, and Marines poorly trained and equiped thugs. Let's save a bunch of money and tell the rest of the world we are no longer their protector. Bring our men and women home from these hell-holes and use the money to rebuild our own infrastructure, health and education systems, and take care of America's citizens.

Bongstar420 cavedave , September 20, 2017 2:09 PM

Its psyops. Fits in with the russian EWar bit.

The win is American loss of dominance. You propose we let them accomplish their goal.

cavedave Bongstar420 , September 20, 2017 2:40 PM

Yup!

mrakobeskopf , September 20, 2017 7:05 AM

the point is that russina EW is focused on defense
by means of disruption

tells you much about who is the aggressor (the one developing offensive means)
and who is only trying to protect his realm (by defensive weapons)

understand?

Bongstar420 mrakobeskopf , September 20, 2017 2:12 PM

Its highly probable that the ruskies are planning for replacing America.

cavedave Bongstar420 , September 20, 2017 2:42 PM

For what Amerika has become we not only deserve it; but we probably wouldn't notice much difference.

obama , September 20, 2017 4:07 PM

Still, the Russian are still silently sucking it up after the Israel Air Forces sneaked up under the S400 radar to bomb Syrian chemical bomb assembly plant in early September 2017.

Mark Thomason , September 20, 2017 1:34 PM

The Russians took a very different approach to electronic warfare.

In the US, it was pursued as a method to enable air strike packages to get in and hit a target. Hence, it focused on installations in aircraft.

In Russia, it was pursued as an element of land warfare, part air defense, and part to enable armored forces to operate. Much of it was put in trailers on the ground, near army HQ and signals units.

The different locations and roles produced different abilities. They got different things because they sought different things.

Now the US wants it all. What it got, and what the Russians got. Understandable, but the Russians are not so much "ahead" as just doing different things.

Bongstar420 Mark Thomason , September 20, 2017 2:14 PM

Detonate a low yield nuke several miles above the conflict zone.

How many devices are properly shielded from such an act?

Is this website a putin rag or what?

Mark Thomason Bongstar420 , September 20, 2017 3:11 PM

True, nuclear war would change everything. However, the whole point of conventional forces is that nuclear war is not the automatic event.

a new hope , September 19, 2017 10:41 PM

We are outclassed in EW by the Russians and our AAMs and ASMs and ATACS missiles are also inferior.
Who in the US military will be courageous enough to take responsibility?

1 KoolKat a new hope , September 20, 2017 4:59 AM

The Russians have been watching, studying and learning about the US military (putting all their eggs in one basket - technology) for quite awhile. EW is simply a "Method" or strategy to counter US tech. Blunder after blunder... within the US military to always first seek advance technology for the solution. They can't seem to grasp that it's all about philosophy of use and implementation. Strategy and tactics have always won on the battlefield and always will

Bongstar420 1 KoolKat , September 20, 2017 2:21 PM

I'm sure

Historian , September 19, 2017 9:40 PM

Good to keep pace. If I jam you, you jam me. What is there to battle?

mrakobeskopf Historian , September 20, 2017 7:06 AM

american military tech is to a much more degree reliant on hi-tech solutions

disrupt connectivity - and american military is a sitting duck

0x7be Historian , September 20, 2017 6:17 AM

You can still use knives and bayonets :)

vpurto 0x7be , September 20, 2017 9:12 AM

Bayonet? Do Historian really want to see bayonet match between American mercenaries hired by promise to became US citizens and Russian marines?

[Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
"... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
"... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
"... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
"... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
"... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
"... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
"... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders. ..."
"... The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. ..."
"... Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses. ..."
"... The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons: ..."
"... the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. ..."
"... Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees. ..."
"... Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains. ..."
"... Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities. ..."
"... American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. ..."
"... They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter. ..."
"... How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ... ..."
"... It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself ..."
Sep 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ' the Generals' to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama's Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama's Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

The Obama 'legacy' consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama's 'glorious legacy' initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars , neo-colonial 'nation' building and free trade. A furious Obama 'informed' (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

Trump's bid to shift from Obama's sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet's nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump's economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama's global order.

Trump Under Obama's International Order

After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'.

Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

Trump's military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama's globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama's international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ' Mad Dog' ) as Defense Secretary.

The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the 'psychological-warfare' embedded in Trump's emotional ejaculations on 'Twitter'.

The ' Mattis Doctrine' combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

The junta's policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media's already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals' Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv's main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin's words) ' would rather eat grass than disarm' . The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an 'existential' threat to the US mainland.

Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ' Mad Dog' Mattis would ever take Putin's advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama's policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US's Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ' negotiated settlements' .

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump's resort to ' his Generals' is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump's appointment of ' Mad Dog' Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any 'finding' of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ' their international order' – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ' Mad Dog' Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta's threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang's commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US 'regime change' invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ' Mad Dog' managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called 'military option' without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow's conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called 'partners' in the Trump regime.

The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis' short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

Conclusion

The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump's nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media's passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General 'Mad Dog' Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour 'pep-talks' and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family's next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

Raffler, September 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. Those policy thrusts will accomplish the opposite of the stated intention.

They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter.

nsa, September 16, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

Anyone with military experience recognizes the likes of Mad Poodle Mattis arrogant, belligerent, exceptionally dull, and mainly an inveterate suck-up (mil motto: kiss up and kick down).

Every VFW lounge is filled with these boozy ridiculous blowhards and they are insufferable. The media and public, raised on ZioVision and JooieWood pablum, worship these cartoonish bloodletters even though they haven't won a war in 72 years .not one.

How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ...

KA, September 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself .

Now military has decided to reverse the roles . At least the military leaders don't have to campaign for re employment . But very soon the forces that corrupt and abuse the civilian power structure will do same to military .

The Alarmist, September 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

Never met him at any of the parties I attended in the '70s and '80s, so I don't know much about Mad Dog, but I can say that only in America can the former commander of a recruiting station grow up to pull the strings of the President.

[Sep 20, 2017] Foreign Policy Realists Hit Nerve With Establishment Elite by Andrew J. Bacevich

The problem with neocon chickenhawks is that they all want money from MIC. So their jingoism is a king of prostitution...
Notable quotes:
"... "Saving Realism" is the handiwork of Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, well-connected scholars employed by elite institutions. Brands teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and, according to his bio, has "consulted with a range of government offices and agencies in the intelligence and national security communities." Feaver teaches at Duke University. During the George W. Bush administration, he served on the staff of the National Security Council. They are classic policy intellectuals, one foot planted in academe, the other in the corridors of power. ..."
"... Especially since the end of the Cold War, reality itself is impinging on the prerogatives to which members of the American foreign-policy establishment have grown accustomed and to the arrangements that sustain those prerogatives. It therefore becomes incumbent upon scholars who serve that establishment to deflect such threats. They do so by contriving a "reality" conducive to affirming existing prerogatives and arrangements. ..."
"... The only past that matters is the Cold War, carefully curated as a narrative of American triumphalism. Anything that happened before the Cold War qualifies as irrelevant. Cold War episodes that turned out to be less than triumphal!Vietnam, for example!receive the barest acknowledgment. As for misfortunes that may have befallen the United States since the Cold War ended almost three decades ago, Brands and Feaver shrug them off as insignificant. Sure, "the invasion and occupation of Iraq did prove far costlier than expected." But so what? Stuff happens! ..."
"... Stripped to its essentials, their argument reduces to a brazen tautology: Approaches to policy that worked during the Cold War will work today because they worked during the Cold War. Of course, the argument presumes that the world in which we live today is more or less comparable to the world that existed back in the Forties and Fifties. As to how the supple, nuanced doctrine advanced by realists during that Golden Age yielded such dubious propositions as bipolarity, the domino theory, and the bogus enterprise known as nuclear strategy, Brands and Feaver are conveniently silent. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In the September issue of Commentary, a magazine of distinguished lineage, there appears an essay bearing the title "Saving Realism from the So-Called Realists." Once upon a time, essays published by Commentary , penned by such eminences as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Hans Morgenthau, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Robert C. Tucker, shaped the debate over U.S. foreign policy. Those days have long since passed. If "Saving Realism" serves any purpose, it is to expose the intellectual exhaustion of the foreign-policy establishment. Those who fancy themselves the source of policy-relevant ideas have given up on actually thinking.

"Saving Realism" is the handiwork of Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, well-connected scholars employed by elite institutions. Brands teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and, according to his bio, has "consulted with a range of government offices and agencies in the intelligence and national security communities." Feaver teaches at Duke University. During the George W. Bush administration, he served on the staff of the National Security Council. They are classic policy intellectuals, one foot planted in academe, the other in the corridors of power.

The chief purpose their essay is to mount a frontal assault on a group of individuals they deride as "academic realists." Of course, when not occupying positions on the fringes of power, Brands and Feaver are themselves academics. Here, however, their use of the term drips with ridicule and condescension. "Academic" becomes a synonym for na๏ve or wooly-headed or simply irresponsible.

To their credit, Brands and Feaver do not balk at naming names, fingering Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Barry Posen, and Christopher Layne, prominent political scientists, as dangerous proponents of academic realism.

Take the claims made by Brands and Feaver at face value and this Gang of Four poses a direct threat not only to U.S. national security but to the very possibility to creating a decent global order. "Today's academic realists essentially argue," they write, "that the United States should dismantle the global architecture that has undergirded the international order" ever since World War II. Academic realists seek "the deliberate destruction of arrangements that have fostered international stability and prosperity for decades." They are intent on tearing down "the pillars of a peaceful and prosperous world." They are, in short, a wrecking crew.

Brands and Feaver do not explain what motivates Walt et al., to undertake this nefarious plot, merely hinting that personal pique is probably a factor. "Having lost policy arguments that they thought they should have won," on issues such as NATO expansion and invading Iraq, "academic realists decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater." They are, in effect, soreheads.

For this reason alone, their critique of U.S. policy, suggesting that since the end of the Cold War the United States has squandered a uniquely advantageous position, is without merit. So too with their complaint that in recent decades the United States has misused its military power. What academic realists are actually proposing, Brands and Feaver charge, is to "stake everything on a leap into the unknown." Their calls for greater restraint amount to little more than a pose. In reality, they advocate unvarnished recklessness.

Worse still, Brands and Feaver see worrisome signs that the Gang of Four is making headway. In Donald Trump's White House academic realism "seems to be finding a sympathetic hearing." Indeed, they write, "One of the least academic presidents in American history may, ironically, be buying into some of the most misguided doctrines of the ivory tower."

This is pretty wild stuff. Let me acknowledge that I know each member of this Gang of Four and hold them in high regard. That said, whether individually or collectively, they wield about as much clout in present-day Washington as Karl Marx.

Indeed, the reader will search "Saving Realism" in vain for evidence actually linking the Gang of Four to President Trump. To my knowledge none of the four are Trump supporters. I am unaware of any of them having endorsed the policies of the Trump administration. As for Trump himself, my bet is that he could care less about anything Walt, Mearsheimer, Posen, and Layne have to say. If our president has absorbed the Gang of Four's policy perspective, he must be doing it by osmosis.

In short, the case presented by Brands and Feaver comes precariously close to being a McCarthyite smear!guilt by association without even establishing that any association actually exists.

To which the average American citizen, tested by the trials of everyday life, might well respond: Who cares? An intramural tiff among privileged members of the professoriate might merit a panel at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. But should it qualify as a matter of general interest?

In one specific sense, perhaps it ought to. While it may not be their intended purpose, by mounting their overheated attack on "academic realism," Brands and Feaver succeed in demonstrating why genuine realism rarely receives a serious hearing inside the Beltway. The answer is simply this: Especially since the end of the Cold War, reality itself is impinging on the prerogatives to which members of the American foreign-policy establishment have grown accustomed and to the arrangements that sustain those prerogatives. It therefore becomes incumbent upon scholars who serve that establishment to deflect such threats. They do so by contriving a "reality" conducive to affirming existing prerogatives and arrangements.

Brands and Feaver do their very best to conjure up such a "reality." Having established to their own satisfaction that Trump and the Gang of Four are somehow colluding with each other, they offer their own prescription for a "reformed realism" to be built on "seven bedrock insights."

The seven insights share this common quality: They are unflaggingly banal. Yet the last of the seven manages to be both banal and immensely instructive: Realism, Brands and Feaver write, "requires not throwing away what has worked in the past."

Here we come to the heart of the matter. What exactly is the "the past" that remains relevant to the present and that provides the basis for their version of authentic (as opposed to academic) realism?

On this point, Brands and Feaver, are admirably candid. The only past that matters is the Cold War, carefully curated as a narrative of American triumphalism. Anything that happened before the Cold War qualifies as irrelevant. Cold War episodes that turned out to be less than triumphal!Vietnam, for example!receive the barest acknowledgment. As for misfortunes that may have befallen the United States since the Cold War ended almost three decades ago, Brands and Feaver shrug them off as insignificant. Sure, "the invasion and occupation of Iraq did prove far costlier than expected." But so what? Stuff happens!

Rather than get hung up on Iraq or Afghanistan or the ongoing debacle of U.S. interventionism in the Islamic world, Brands and Feaver keep their focus on the early Cold War, which they depict as a veritable Golden Age of realism and by extension of American statecraft. Peppering their account are favorable references to "Cold War-era realism" and "Cold War realists." After World War II, "realist thinkers understood that America was uniquely capable of stabilizing the international order and containing Soviet power." Back then, serious realists!in contrast to today's academic types!were the very inverse of wooly-headed. "Cold War realists were willing to see the world as it was," according to Brands and Feaver. "During the Cold War, then, realism was a supple, nuanced doctrine."

Stripped to its essentials, their argument reduces to a brazen tautology: Approaches to policy that worked during the Cold War will work today because they worked during the Cold War. Of course, the argument presumes that the world in which we live today is more or less comparable to the world that existed back in the Forties and Fifties. As to how the supple, nuanced doctrine advanced by realists during that Golden Age yielded such dubious propositions as bipolarity, the domino theory, and the bogus enterprise known as nuclear strategy, Brands and Feaver are conveniently silent.

"Contemporary academic realists," Brands and Feaver charge, "sit atop a pyramid of faulty assumptions." They themselves require no such pyramid. Their version of realism rests on just a single assumption: That history is a menu from which Americans can pick and choose. To escape from currently bothersome predicaments, in no small part the product of our folly, Brands and Feaver would have the United States choose from that menu only those bits that we find congenial. The rest we can simply ignore.

Come to think of it, that's an approach that might find favor with Donald Trump himself.


Andrew J. Bacevich is The American Conservative 's writer-at-large.

[Sep 20, 2017] None of what Trump describes as a "strategy for victory" in Afghanistan is, in fact, a strategy

It's "yet another surge"... With probably the same results. Military contractors will became richer. Some US solders will be dead of maimed. A lot of afghans will be killed.
Notable quotes:
"... From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups. ..."
"... In fact, the US has not had anything remotely resembling a strategy in Afghanistan for years already. If it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable, really. What he really see here is the total absence of any strategy and, again, a total reliance on magical thinking. ..."
"... The amazing reality is that they don't have a goal even defined. How one achieves "victory" when no goal is even defined is anybody's guess. ..."
"... I would say that the only chance to get anything done, any viable result at all, is to negotiate a deal with all the parties that matter: the various Afghan factions, of course, but also with the Taliban, Pakistan, Iran and even Russia. ..."
"... Pakistan and Iran have a de-facto veto power over any outcome for Afghanistan. This may not be what the US would want, but this is the reality. Denying reality is just not a smart approach to these issues, especially if "victory" is the goal ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

What we see here is undeniable evidence that far from being "real warriors" or "strategists" the military gang around Trump (Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, etc.) are either primitive grunts or folks who owe their rank to political protection. Why do I say that?

Because none of what Trump describes as a "strategy for victory" is, in fact, a strategy. In fact, the US has not had anything remotely resembling a strategy in Afghanistan for years already. If it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable, really. What he really see here is the total absence of any strategy and, again, a total reliance on magical thinking.

Ask yourself a basic question: have you ever heard from any Trump administration or any US General anything which would suggest to you that these guys have i) a clear goal in mind ii) an understanding of what it would take to achieve this goal and iii) a timeframe to achieve this goal and iv) an exit strategy once this goal is achieved? No? Well, that is not your fault, you did not miss anything. They really don't have it.

The amazing reality is that they don't have a goal even defined. How one achieves "victory" when no goal is even defined is anybody's guess.

[Sidebar: without going into a lengthy discussion of Afghanistan, I would say that the only chance to get anything done, any viable result at all, is to negotiate a deal with all the parties that matter: the various Afghan factions, of course, but also with the Taliban, Pakistan, Iran and even Russia.

Pakistan and Iran have a de-facto veto power over any outcome for Afghanistan. This may not be what the US would want, but this is the reality. Denying reality is just not a smart approach to these issues, especially if "victory" is the goal]

[Sep 20, 2017] The hubris, ignorance and stupidity in face of the failure of "regime change" operation in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years. ..."
"... The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination. ..."
"... And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

When I heard these words I felt embarrassed for Trump. First, it is absolutely pathetic that Trump has to claim as his success the victories with the Syrians, the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah have achieved against the Wahabi-crazies of Daesh/al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/etc, especially since the latter are a pure creation of the US CIA!

The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years.

The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination.

And now that a tiny Russian contingent has achieved infinitely better results that all the power of the mighty CENTCOM backed by the Israeli and Saudi allies of the US in the region, The Donald comes out and declares victory?!

Pathetic is not strong enough a word to describe this mind-bogglingly counter-factual statement.

And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe

[Sep 20, 2017] Sovereign Nations Is Main Theme Of Trump's UN Speech

Sovereignty is oppose of neoliberal globalization, so in a way this is an some kind of affirmation of Trump election position. How serious it is is not clear. Probably not much as Imperial faction now controls Trump, making him more of a marionette that a political leader of the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. ..."
"... The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in. ..."
"... There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told". ..."
"... "The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in" ..."
"... The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had. ..."
"... He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion. ..."
"... Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011. ..."
"... How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces. ..."
"... Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology ..."
"... I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open. ..."
"... Trump - the Republican Obama ..."
"... "The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality. ..."
"... The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?" ..."
"... it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. ..."
"... Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are ..."
"... baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking. ..."
"... In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today the President of the United States Donald Trump spoke (rush transcript) to the United Nations General Assembly. The speech's main the me was sovereignty. The word occurs 18(!) times. It emphasized Westphalian principles .

[W]e do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation

All leaders of countries should always put their countries first, he said, and "the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition ."


The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 - bigger

Sovereignty was the core message of his speech. It rhymed well with his somewhat isolationist emphasis of "America first" during his campaign. The second part of the speech the first by threatened the sovereignty of several countries the U.S. ruling class traditionally dislikes. This year's "axis of evil" included North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba:

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary."

Many people will criticize that as an outrageous and irresponsible use of words. It is. But there is nothing new to it. In fact the U.S., acting on behalf of the UN, totally destroyed Korea in the 1950s. The last U.S. president made the same threat Trump made today:

President Barack Obama delivered a stern warning to North Korea on Tuesday, reminding its "erratic" and "irresponsible" leader that America's nuclear arsenal could "destroy" his country.

The South Korean military sounds equally belligerent :

A military source told the Yonhap news agency every part of Pyongyang "will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells". ... The city, the source said, "will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map".

Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. There was essentially nothing in Trump's threats than the claptrap the last two U.S. presidents also delivered. Trump may be crazy, but the speech today is not a sign of that.

The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in.

Posted by b on September 19, 2017 at 01:05 PM | Permalink

somebody | Sep 19, 2017 1:32:33 PM | 2
There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told".
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

b | Sep 19, 2017 1:51:10 PM | 3
@1 somebody - thanks - link corrected.

@2 somebody - yes, unaimed hostile prose from the speechwriter. Such is in the speech of every U.S. president. But it is not the general theme of the Trump speech when one reads it as one piece. The weight is put in the other direction (though the media will likely point to the threats instead of reading the more extraordinary parts where Trump pushes national sovereignty.)

Luther Blissett | Sep 19, 2017 1:53:43 PM | 4

If there is more to this than the usual US double-speak, I don't see it.

james | Sep 19, 2017 1:57:07 PM | 5
thanks b... ''the criminal regime of donald trump'' is much more on target....
Perimetr | Sep 19, 2017 2:02:47 PM | 6
"The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in"

It appears that his generals are instructing him what to "believe in". At least, he certainly doesn't seem to "believe in" most of his campaign promises, not unlike his recent predecessors. The whole "democracy and freedom" thing in the US is just a charade, as far as I am concerned.

financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had.

I think this was a very good interview of Vijay Prashadby by Chris Hedges

Prashad

He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion.

Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011.

--------

The good news is that Syria is turning out much different than Libya. Would be great to see the US cooperate with the China/Russia etc economic goals rather than stirring up trouble in the Phillippines, Myanmar etc. The first test will be to see if Trump can deliver single payer health care to the US. :) ie start to back off on the anti socialism rhetoric

Jeff Kaye | Sep 19, 2017 2:24:19 PM | 8
The "nation state" brought us the millions slaughtered in World War 1. The nation states threatened by the internationalist communist ideology of the USSR (in its early days) ultimately brought us World War 2. The hypertrophied nation state that is the United States of America will bring us World War 3 in its drive to secure its total supremacy. Luckily for us, there will be no World War 4.
Christophe Douté | Sep 19, 2017 2:27:49 PM | 9
How can a country A be "forced to defend itself" by a country B so weak comparatively to country A it can actually be "totally destroyed" by country A?

How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces.

Robert Beal | Sep 19, 2017 2:34:28 PM | 10
beyond hypocrisy, refined doublespeak
OJS | Sep 19, 2017 2:40:10 PM | 11
Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 2:43:24 PM | 12
The United Nations is based upon the equal sovereignty of nations.
--from the UN Charter --
Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 2:46:18 PM | 13
Trump's speech seemed to represent an ignorant mouthy bully with a big stick who is threatening any nation he is told to hate. I have to agree with Paveway IV that Trump is just the announcer. The "national sovereignty" comments were just for internal consumption for his base of supporters.

The "Trump world: appears to be getting very crazy given the agendas of the people who handle Trump:
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_77417.shtml
http://www.unz.com/jpetras/who-rules-america-2/

To a major extent Trump's focus on the "great leader" of countries opposed to the US helps simplify the hate for the "little people" in the US. They have not noticed that the US (as in most other Western countries) has many mini "great leaders" who work toward the same goals while distracting the "little people" with political theatre.

Linda O | Sep 19, 2017 3:05:11 PM | 14
I really don't know what the purpose of this rambling threat to the rest of the world was supposed to accomplish.

Yes, it really was nothing new. The fundamental material of the speech was the very same garbage written by the same Washington establishment of previous administrations - essentially the nuclear armed US regime is 'special' and reserves the right to attack and destroy any country it chooses to.

While the Trump speech is rightly being both ridiculed around the world, what is very scary is the humiliated Trump base is seizing on it.

The Trump base is begging for their failed 'God Emperor' to attack someone to feel better about their own humiliation.

Very, very scary.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 15
Sovereignty is also an excuse for US intervention, get it? . . .Trump does....
America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity.
duplicitousdemocracy | Sep 19, 2017 3:27:35 PM | 16
His speechwriters deserve to be fired and the text size on both teleprompters should have been increased. Alternatively, he should wear glasses (along with a more suitably fitted toupee). Sarah Palin would seem like Einstein at the side of this clown.
Ort | Sep 19, 2017 3:32:27 PM | 17
Trump's speech is Orwellian! Not just generally-- it is arguably an elaboration of a close paraphase of an Orwell quote, to wit: "All nations are sovereign, but some nations are more sovereign than others."

I have a strongly ambivalent reaction to Trump's UN appearance-- although I confess that I can only stand to watch and listen to him for brief time periods. It's appalling and embarrassing to watch any of the US's seemingly inexhaustible supply of lizard-brained degenerates at the UN. But part of me thinks it's better to have the quintessential Ugly Amerikan beating his chest and engaging in rhetorical feces-flinging. At least the rest of the world won't be bamboozled, the way they might be by a smooth, silver-tongued liar.

likklemore | Sep 19, 2017 3:50:54 PM | 18
@OJS 11

Putin, Xi and other leaders did not attend this year's UN gathering. They are busy attending the affairs of their citizens.

We are being distracted from the game changer ahead – de-dollarization now on the fast track.
While the toothless dog barks,

Putin orders to end trade in US dollars at Russian seaports

https://www.rt.com/business/403804-russian-sea-ports-ruble-settlements/

This is on the heels of Trump's threatening to exclude China from use of SWIFT (the USD) and China's gold yuan oil futures contract coming mid October as opposed to USD. The petro-yuan is a game changer; hitting the petro-dollar hegemony that keeps the dollar in worldwide demand.

The toothless dog has only his bark. Are Americans prepared for hyper-inflation?

psychohistorian | Sep 19, 2017 4:08:53 PM | 19
I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open.

The abuse of the term sovereignty by Trump is part of a crafted Big Lie message. Just like Trump linking to the poster of him, with a rope over his shoulder, dragging a barge of companies back to America......the internationalism genie will never go completely back into the bottle and is counterproductive to all.

Christian Chuba | Sep 19, 2017 4:46:02 PM | 20
John Bolton and the moron, Sean Hannity, love the speech. That should be all anyone needs to know. It was Orwellian, super-villain, double-speak.
If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
Madman. How has Iran violated the U.N. charter? They were invited into Iraq and Syria by the UN recognized govts. Okay, they make veiled threats against Israel, they get a demerit for that. Even if you argue that they are 'predicting' rather can 'threatening to cause' Israel's demise, I'd take that as a veiled threat. But Israel makes equally hostile comments towards Iran albeit, in a passive / aggressive manner. Netanyahu, 'We recognize Iran's right to exist but truth be told the planet, no wait, the entire universe itself would be better off if they disappeared'.
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:02:50 PM | 21
Trump - the Republican Obama
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:32 PM | 22
If you like your sovereignty, you can keep your sovereignty.
Andy | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:41 PM | 23
Well, it has finally arrived at the U.N. speech. Trump is showing his real colors, whether they are forced or were originally his own. It doesn't matter. He is spouting the same nonsenze as the neocons and the rest of them. He has crossed over - he maybe never knew the way through, but was only parroting other's views. He is clearly a chameleon, willing to change his stripes on a dime. The man is darkly lost in the woods, or is it the swamp?
chet380 | Sep 19, 2017 5:26:05 PM | 24
Sorry, somewhat off-topic --

While there have been hints that the Rohingya "rebels" are receiving funds from expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is there anything concrete that connects the CIA to the rebels?

Laguerre | Sep 19, 2017 5:42:58 PM | 25
Frankly Trump is a big mouth, but there's no evidence that he's more than that. If he wanted war, we'd already be there. It's different from Saddam in the old days, who went to war within a year of becoming leader, or the Saudi crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, who launched the war against Yemen.

59 Tomahawks, that's the style. I haven't seen different from then.

Taxi | Sep 19, 2017 5:46:38 PM | 26
Hypocrisy - huuuge hypocrisy, believe me it was tremendous hypocrisy!
mcohen | Sep 19, 2017 5:47:45 PM | 27
trump is mr thunder thump
Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:50:25 PM | 28
He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos."

Like the pundits who shadow him, he really has no understanding of irony.

Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:52:58 PM | 29
#4 - "Failed State" - A country too poor for us to exploit.
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:01:13 PM | 30
The advantage of having Trump around is that he seems to diffuse energy. He is not building a case against N. Korea like Bush did with Iraq, but instead he is big on bluster. There is no appeal to the emotions of people and their fears and as such he is not marketing it, something he knows a lot about. In his own way I believe he is defusing the situation by talking big but remebering Bannon's comments when he left. And as a consummate player at the table of power (unlike the novice Obama) he has his status.

What interests me is Tillerson and the State Department and its attitude to Israel. Syria is where Israel met its match and was soundly thrashed. The world will never be the same again, And the State Department is recognizing this reality. I think there is a recognition in certain powerful quarters that whole neocon-Zionist shit has got America nowhere. As Talking Heads said, "We're on the road to nowhere."

Extra | Sep 19, 2017 6:12:58 PM | 31
Andy@23
It's the swamp. Sounds like Pete Seeger's 'Waist deep in the Big Muddy' all over again.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:15:58 PM | 32
The speech (it reminds me on movie The Kings Speech https://youtu.be/PPLIw64rLJc TERRIBLE MOVIE) is for internal the US purpose, for Amerikkaans. Majority of them, according to the Gov. media outlets, support military action against DPRK and mostly likely against Iran (the most hatred nation by far) as well. Amerikkaans will support any crime anywhere and probably destruction of whole planet Earth.

In the same time his words and deeds are the most irrelevant of any US presidents. I bet he never heard of that word "sovereignty" before nor for "nation state". This morning when Trump woke up some member of National Security Council put sheet of paper with the speech on his desk and tell him "Read this!". Just as they did to Obama in many occasions, one of example is this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/may/04/obama-drinks-flint-water-video

There some people in the US who knows what is going on:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

For all the very considerable expense, however, the American military does not have a very impressive record of achieving victory. It has won no wars since 1945!especially if victory is defined as achieving an objective at acceptable cost!except against enemy forces that essentially didn't exist.
james | Sep 19, 2017 6:24:49 PM | 33
@7 financial matters.. good comment and relevant.. i agree with you.. unipolar no more.. however, not quite multipolar yet either... we are still in a transitional place.. syria is no libya fortunately.. but causing this kind of shit around the globe is what the usa is known for.. they will continue to make war projects, especially if you believe as b notes a couple of threads ago - trump is no longer calling the shots.. it is military guys full on..
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34
@ 52

I rather liked the film "The King's Speech because it was about speech. Your English is fucking awful Chancey, not good enough for this forum. Get some lessons and come back.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:28:50 PM | 35
@Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

Read this Nazi. https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

"The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality.

The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?"

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:29:56 PM | 36
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

You like a movie. Of course, it is for morons.

Lozion | Sep 19, 2017 6:38:33 PM | 37
Comment @4 is spot on..
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:39:43 PM | 38
@Lochearn aka Nazi

I recognize you from before, but how do you like these links?

https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

Where have you raised, under rock or in cave?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:51:12 PM | 39
For a Nazi. A question, do you believe in science? Here is one. But does one need to be scientist to figure this out?"The Rise of Incivility and Bullying in America"

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201207/the-rise-incivility-and-bullying-in-america

you are lost case anyway but here is good text from fellow Amerikkaan. But "Rise" from where? I would argue not from Zero but from 60 on scale of 100.

Agree?

karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40
Violating the sovereign sanctity of nations is what the Outlaw US Empire has done without parallel since the United Nation's formation. One of those nations was Vietnam, and a somewhat respected documentary film maker looks like he's going to try--again--to pull wool over the eyes of his intended audience by trying to legitimate the Big Lie that provided the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's illegal war against Vietnam. The detailed argument regarding Ken Burns's effort to "correct" the actual historical record can be read here, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/19/getting-the-gulf-of-tonkin-wrong-are-ken-burns-and-lynn-novick-telling-stories-about-the-central-events-used-to-legitimize-the-us-attack-against-vietnam/ and it is probably the sort of history Trump would enjoy since he doesn't seem to know any better.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:09:16 PM | 41
@Lochearn aka Nazi

How many nick/names do you have? You may hide under this and that stupid but your associations are still here. You stay stupid. I know, I know the truth hurts. You Amerikkaans are not used to it. Go and watch a porn, before de-dollarization is in full swing. Than you are going to stave to death, no more credit cards and quantitative easing. That's is Trump's speech for.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Happened-to-All-Those-by-Jim-Hightower-Banksters_Homeownership_Housing-170819-119.html

Wall Street bought them -- and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:13:05 PM | 42
Oh my terrible English. Forgive me, would you?

Instead "stave" should be "starve".

All this has to do with shitty Europe, Germany first and foremost.

MadMax2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:14:02 PM | 43
Posted by: financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
Nice interview from a couple of years back. Prashad's worldview is worthy of reposting. Enjoyable. Cheers.

US Americans might have proved themselves very adept at destroying both nation states and the English language, though it will be Syria who restores true meaning to the word 'sovereign' - with some collective help of course.

The almost failed state will emerge from this steeled with a sense of identity, pride and purpose. The minnow that refused to buckle.

The Don putting together some performances that finally warrant the unified, rabid reaction from the press....

Oilman2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:42:50 PM | 44
"But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in."

Are you serious? Everything coming out of DC is still the same - sanctions against other sovereign countries who do not tow the line the US demands, cruise missiles for the little guys, disavowing and de-legitimizing the JCPOA, unrelenting 'freedom of navigation' patrols, threats to cut nations off from the SWIFT system, every word out of Nikki Haleys' mouth... It's really easy to go on and on, and his first year isn't even done.

The amount of disrespect for other sovereign nations by the USA is mind boggling, and that is only the official stuff. Throw in CIA ops and NGO ops and there you have an entire other level of the failure to recognize sovereignty.

Can you send me some of what you are smoking? Because it obviously makes you oblivious to the obvious, and that may help my mood...

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:48:40 PM | 45
Obviously, the UN has became an arena of the one country show and that country puppets. Zionist PM, the West most "faithful ally" on Middle East, and his speech. Mix of infantilism, rhetoric and implicit racism of "God Chosen People". And sea of self-congratulating lies.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47844.htm

In par with Trump's speech.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:56:52 PM | 46
Oilman2!

is that you?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:05:13 PM | 47
What is Trump's speech for?

Senate backs massive increase in military spending
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-congress/senate-backs-massive-increase-in-military-spending-idUSKCN1BT2PV

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:32 PM | 48
karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40

Great comment re: Vietnam. The Ken Burns documentary is just one more fairy tale of the U.S. involvement/war in Vietnam.
Among the many myths, foremost is that Ho Chi Minh was a communist; he most assuredly was not. Yes, he was a member of the party in France, but it is irrelevent to history (Ho was a nationalist).
Did you know he tried to engage FDR?
Below is a remarkable interview with John Pilger on the real history of the U.S. and Vietnam; it ain't pretty. Even Mao tried to engage the U.S., which the U.S. duly ignored.

https://www.rt.com/shows/watching-the-hawks/403760-nuclear-standoff-crisis-china/

PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49
Why is everyone hating on Trump? Be realistic: sometimes you have to genocide 25 million people to save them. We're the God damn hero here - you bastards should be thanking the USA.

Well, I guess we're really not trying to save the North Koreans at all. But they refuse to leave the buffer zone (all of North Korea) that is protecting the world from red Chinese expansion south. Worse than that, the North Koreans insist on protecting themselves BY FORCE from the US. How evil is that?

Reminds me of those evil Syrians and Iraqis who refuse to vacate the buffer zone protecting Israel from Iran. The nerve!

Only US lapdog nations have the right to defend themselves - as long as its with US-made weapons and they're protecting themselves from anybody except the US. And we get to build US bases on their soil. Who wouldn't want that? Because the US is... what did Trump say... RIGHTEOUS. You know:

"...good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent; ethical, principled, moral, high-minded, law-abiding, honest, honorable, blameless, irreproachable, noble; saintly, angelic, pure..."

Tell me which one of those synonyms DOES NOT apply to the US? I prefer 'angelic'.

The first thing psychopaths do when they attain any measure of power and control is to redefine evil as anything that threatens their power and control. Then constantly hammer that threat into the minds of the little people so the little people don't think too hard about stringing them up from the lamp posts.

Everything the US has done in my lifetime has been about preserving and protecting the US government no matter how corrupt, evil or immoral it acts. Protecting the people is only given lip service when it can be used to justify further protections for the state. Creation of the Department of Homeland Security Stazi is probably the end stage for full-spectrum dominance over the little people - it is slowly morphing (as planned) into a federal armed force to protect the US government FROM the little people. I guess the FBI wasn't up to the task.

"The government you elect is the government you deserve" Thomas Jefferson, Founding Terrorist.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:14:56 PM | 50
PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49

Spot on...

Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 8:26:44 PM | 51
Chauncey Gardiner@ 32

Do you agree that to point of National Interest article seem to be that the US is not capable of invading and controlling non-European countries?

I did find the Cato Institute author to be very poorly informed about the US invasions of Granada and Panama, the Balkan wars, the Kosovo invasion and the Syrian war.

As for ISIS, the author does not know anything about the incubation of ISIS by the US administrations and the Libyan war (Hillary/Obama/Sarkozy) connection . He also does not discuss the billions in military hardware that the US allowed ISIS to capture in Iraq.

As for the US efforts they are more about preventing the formation of an integrated economic sphere between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanese Republic. The war efforts by the US in fighting ISIS are minimal compared to the Syrian and Russian efforts, yet he lies by omission to pump up the US efforts. At least he didn't attempt to praise Turkey (sic) for their efforts in cutting off aid to ISIS and Al Qaeda (under all its names).

Remember that the Cato Institute is another flavor of the NGO spider supporting the deep state!

Please understand that this is not a personal attack as I am here to learn and share.

John Gilberts | Sep 19, 2017 8:44:57 PM | 52
Canada's Trudeau will follow Trump at the UN on Thursday. Today he received an award from the Atlantic Council: 'Worldwide the long established international order is being tested..' And obviously the sexy northern selfie-king knows his place in it...
https://youtube.com/watch?v=Kp49TFRMR8g
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 53
@ 49
Yes, to save the 25 million North Koreans the US must destroy them!

"No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more."
. ..but there are limits. . .

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

So give me that "no more contempt" line again, Donald? (Personally, I can't imagine Hillary doing any less. So much for elections.)

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:56:49 PM | 54
"Why is everyone hating on Trump?" Preposterous. You give him too much importance. He is rather the object of ridicule.

"The word occurs 18(!) times."

While the word Sovereignty

Maybe by accident maybe not just conspicuous coincidence. But it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. With self-inflicted wounds ($20T Gov. debt) and new president who is (initially) inward looking, it is time to talk about old stuff. As if the US statehood has been in question for a moment. Old trick of capitalist class.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 9:04:30 PM | 55
I was looking for Putin and Sovereignty and I've found this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-uses-putins-arguments-to-undermine-the-world
nonsense factory | Sep 19, 2017 9:21:01 PM | 56
File under "propaganda for domestic consumption"

Targeting Iran was never about nuclear weapons (the U.S. let Pakistan expand its nuclear weapons program without interfering, despite knowing all about the AQ Khan network, because Pakistan was cooperating with the U.S. agenda in Afghanistan and elsewhere), it was about the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (during the GW Bush era) and the expansion of economic ties with Syria (during the Obama era).

Now, with the easing of sanctions, Iran's pipeline deals have been revived, such as Iran-Pakistan, or Iran-India (undersea) , Iran-Europe, with China and Russia and Turkey as potential partners. Meanwhile, the proposed TAPI pipeline backed by the Clinton, Bush & Obama State Departments, as well as Chevron and Exxon, from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean, is still held up due to instability in Afghanistan (i.e. the Taliban would immediately blow it up). Obama's 30,000 troop surge to 100,000 couldn't solve that, and the recent Trump troop surge (much smaller) will have little effect on that either.
TAPI pipe dreams continue, Sep 17 2017

There's no way Trump or Tillerson would ever be honest about this in an international forum, any more than Obama and Clinton would, or Bush and Condi Rice, but it's the same old "great game" for Central Asian oil and gas that's dominated U.S. regional foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 9:26:11 PM | 57
@ 54/55
Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are subject to baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking.
b4real | Sep 19, 2017 10:12:08 PM | 59
[throws meat to the lions] Orlov has a great read up
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60
It is foolish to consider the trumpet's lunatic ravings in isolation, according to that organ of empire foreign policy dot com , the amerikan airforce is ready and rearing to go and blast the bejeezuz outta North Korea.
Sure it may be bluster when they come out with seeming tosh like:
""We're ready to fight tonight," Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, told reporters at an Air Force conference in Washington on Monday. "We don't have to spin up, we're ready.""

Because everyone knows that a manned tactical airforce is on the way out, that bombing a population has only ever served to strengthen resolve within that population, but the first point that the airforce of jocks n fighters is verging on obsolescence, might just drive the generals of middle management, concerned that their career is about to hit a brick wall, to go for one last roll of the dice. Blow some shit up, create a few heroes and maybe the inevitable can be staved off for long enough for their scum to rise to the surface, jag a great gig with a contractor, then retire in luxury. I mean to say it's gotta be worth a shot right? The alternative of layoffs and all the sexy fighting stuff being done by unsexy drones, is just too awful to consider.

So what if Guam gets wasted, a good memorial at Arlington will balance that shit and when it is all said and done, most of the people who will get nuked by DPRK aren't amerikans - but here's the best bit, we can sell them to the idjits just like they were, while we build the anger and bloodlust, then backpedal on that when it comes down to lawsuits, compensation or whatever it is those whale-fuckers whine about - right?

A pre-emptive attack based on the possibility that DPRK hasn't yet developed nuke tech sufficiently, but will do so "if we continue to sit on our asses" would be an easy sell to an orange derp whose access to alternative points of view has been cut off.
The only real question is whether the rest of the military (the non-airforce parts) go for it.
The navy likely will because they are in the same boat (pun intended) as the airforce when it comes down to usefulness as a front line conflict agent and they too will likely get a role to play in the destruction of North Korea - at the very least as a weapons platform (just like with the mindless Syria aggression) and may even get to be the forward C&C base since South Korea isn't mobile and may cop a fair amount of DPRK reaction.

Only the army for whom a pre emptive attack on the people of North Korea has little upside, but lots of downside, may oppose this insane butchery. The army will be tasked with neutralising a population whose innate loathing of all things amerikan has just been raised by about ten notches. So soon after the Iraq debacle, they may see an attack as all negative in that once again they will cop the blame and even worse the old enemies - the airforce and navy - will come out smelling like roses. It is true that the bulk of the yellow monkey's 'advisors' are army types, so under normal circumstances they would obstruct any such bullshit grabs for the brass ring by the navy & airforce upstarts - but there is a high probability that the army leadership will do no such thing.
The reason for that is as old as humanity itself and I was sad to see that it copped little mention in the last thread about the 'soft' coup at the whitehouse.

Many people were cheering the takeover by the military doubtless the same people who imagine that "amerika could be great again - if only we go back to the way it was in the 1950's and 60's". What they miss is that everything is fluid; nothing is held in stasis as a proof that perfection has been reached. The 'eisenhower/johnson years were merely steps on the path, the world was never gonna stay in white bourgeois contentment no matter whether unwhites kicked up or not. There are diverse reasons for that from ambitious careerism forcing change so a lucky few can ascend one more rung on the ladder, to the reality that it is impossible for all humans to be content all the time -some groups will be disadvantaged, advertise that then be 'adopted' by careerists as an excuse for forcing change. That is inevitable - as inevitable as the reality that once the military gained power, their next move would be to consolidate it and to try ensure that they kept it for ever.

In other words the initial coup may have been largely bloodless (altho several million dead mid easterners would strongly disagree if they could) but any study of human behavior reveals that it is the need to hold on to power which is what really incites oppression violence and mass murder.
The Pennsylvania Avenue generals understand that the simplest way of retaining control is gonna be if the orange 'whipped* gains re-election. If the orange chunder is gonna win the next one he needs to hit some home runs and have a lot less ties or outright defeats.

At this stage it doesn't matter what turkey kicked up the Korea bizzo, or even it it has any moral dimension at all, what matters is that the trumpet has made it a major issue and if he doesn't 'prevail' in the short-term, the odds of him retaining support much less gaining more support, are gone - very likely for the duration of the tangerine prezdency. It's not as if the ME situation offers the slightest chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Syria is history now and that Iran thing has a good chance of dividing europe from amerika, just as climate change has. I reckon that the junta who, individually & institutionally have a big investment in Nato, will be looking to steer the orange nit away from inciting a confrontation over the nuke deal. Korea could be the alternate shiny thing the junta draws trumpet's attention to in order to distract the dingbat.

So even though it is a total cleft stick that the junta is in, I reckon it is extremely probable that the army branch of the amerikan government will allow the airforce and possibly the navy as well, their moment in the sun.

The way this fuckwittery is shaping up, people of Korea are more likely to be enduring Predators up their jacksies than not, before the end of "the summer of '18'

*anyone who doesn't see that the trumpet displays all the signs (boasting of alleged performance, number of 'conquests' size of penis etc) of a man who is unable to have his voice heard above the demands of the women around him, doesn't comprehend the nature of inter-gender relationships (doncha love 'inter-gender' it sounds exactly like the type of pallid word the identity-ists would use heheh).

Forest | Sep 19, 2017 10:45:08 PM | 61
Ah sovereignty vs. solvency.

There's the rub.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 10:47:15 PM | 62
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60

The main problem I have with your post is China. You do not say anything about China. The Chinese made it clear that if the U.S. pre-emptively attacks the DPRK; China will get involved; and I should think Russia will be somehow involved as well. Moon Jae-In has told the U.S. it (SK) will be the one to decide on an attack, as it should.

But, I do get your drift; I just hope the U.S. will not act...for once. That said; I do think the U.S. lost its tether decades ago...

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 11:00:10 PM | 63
The other possiblity the U.S. won't attack DPRK is that the U.S., cowardly as it is; hasn't attacked a country of any military consequence since WWII.
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 11:36:48 PM | 64
There's one little factor about getting it on with DPRK, besides the ones mentioned, and that is that SecDef Gates several years ago declared that Korea was safe enough to allow it to be an accompanied tour, i.e. soldiers could have their families join them in the Land of the Morning Calm. This coincided with the consolidation of US bases, with a ten billion dollar expansion of Camp Humphreys about seventy miles south of the DMZ. So now we have high-rise apartments with wives, kids, pets, etc. in this "safe" place, now 35,000 strong including all. They practice evacuation. From a recent report --

The noncombatant evacuation operations, or NEO, are aimed at making sure everybody knows their roles in the event of a noncombatant evacuation, which may be ordered in the event of war, political or civil unrest, or a natural or man-made disaster. "I liken the NEO operation to being a scaffolding. It's not a fully fleshed out plan because it's preparing for a million different worst-case scenarios," 1st Lt. Katelyn Radack, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, told Stars and Stripes. ... Brandy Madrigal, 32, was participating in her third NEO -- so she knew exactly what to pack when she got the call to report to the Assembly Point at the main gym at Camp Humphreys on June 5. She ticked off the list -- clothes, food for the kids, documents, phone, toiletries -- before driving with her two children from their first-floor apartment to the base to be processed.

Imagine that -- all those people assembling in one place for "processing." They'd get processed, all right. So the US Army won't be red-hot for the mighty US Air Force to (again) conduct its aerial murder in North Korea, with their loved ones being in rocket range of a counter-attack. That's in addition to any feelings people have for the ten million plus South Koreans in Seoul, close to the border.

Stumpy | Sep 19, 2017 11:54:05 PM | 65
Karlof @ 40

re: Ken Burns Viet Nam -- one only has to look at the sponsors. Burns will cleave to the line only more so. Darling of the aristocratic charities. Somehow reaching the glory 50 years later. Now that Agent Orange has nearly completed the harvest.

Action against Iran and NK, could it really be termed "war", anymore?

ben | Sep 20, 2017 12:16:54 AM | 66
Luther Blissett @ 4 said:"sovereign nation" = a country that obeys the US over its own interests

"rogue nation" = a country that has actual sovereignty

Succinct but true..

The fucking hypocrisy in that UN speech takes my breath away. Trump and his mannerisms sure do remind me of "il Duce".

Debsisdead | Sep 20, 2017 12:19:55 AM | 67
@ V Arnold # 62

I deliberately left China outta the equation because the conflict with DPRK will be engineered to be kicked off with a provocation allegedly committed by DRPK, amerika will 'respond' andthe war will quickly escalate. Yes PRC may become involved, but getting into a war with amerika right now is not great for the PRC either, if the most vital concern is the proximity of amerikan troops to the China border, amerika can give an agreement signed in blood that amerikan military will pull back behind the 38th parallel once the 'regime has been changed' and that only Korean men and equipment will remain.

Of course China would be smart to distrust that but sold correctly with incentives and maybe even the use of some mutually trusted referee, China might decide that is a superior option to kicking off ww3.

As for the enlisted mens families somehow I doubt that the military cares any more about them than it does the men and women they have in their forces - so not very much - smart officer class types will be considering the need to 'further their children's education back home' right now, whether or not the trump decides to go for broke. As I pointed out before, the plan will require that DRPK feels trapped into committing some type of really egregious provocation, or false flagging such a provocation.

Imagine Guam got nuked and all initial evidence pointed to DRPK, China is in a tough spot plus most amerikans will be of the opinion that protecting the families in South Korean barracks comes second to vengeance. That would be an easy sell on fox and msnbc.

Amerika seemingly being attacked is also gonna end msnbc & the rest's potshots at the orange derp, just as 911 halted just about all reference to the view shrub stole the election from Gore in the MSM.

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 12:20:32 AM | 68
Ignoring Trump.

What scares me the most about the US regime's threats to attack and destroy North Korea is I had naively assumed that all the talk was just the standard game theory back and forth. There never was any real threat beyond the occasional minor incident like there have been in the past few decades.

And I didn't understand why China would so openly and absolutely support North Korea with any sort of attack by the US regime.

But then I read some of the neocon online postings or writings about North Korea and it was a sickening shock to realize that I had been so foolish to believe the Korean crisis was not about Korea, but China.

Getting the US regime's military directly on the Chinese border is something the neocons are perfectly willing, and most likely gleefully happy, to trade millions to tens of millions of North and South Korean lives for.

I can't imagine the revulsion and horror the rest of the world must be feeling towards the United States right now.

Nuff Sed | Sep 20, 2017 12:33:07 AM | 69
Talking of Westphalia... Here is an excerpt from an article of mine which which appeared in the Vineyard of the Saker's site earlier this year:
https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/

The German philosopher and sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 – 1936) distinguished between two types of social groupings. Gemeinschaft (often translated as community or left untranslated) and Gesellschaft (often translated as society). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft describe the crucial distinction between community and "Civil Society"; community being characterized by a dispensationalist consensus or a sacred communal consensus on a dispensation sent down from on high, and the latter being characterized as a consensus to "agree to disagree" and to agree that a consensus in any meaningful form can no longer be reached, paving the way to a "conventional" polity (agreed to by secular-humanist convention). This "agreement to disagree" which crystalized between the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the Peace of Westphalia (1644 – 1648) was, in effect, the West's long and excruciating decision to throw out the baby of Community with the bathwater of the Church's malfeasance in the revolutionary fervor of the Reformation and the "Enlightenment" that followed in its wake. But whereas the integrality of church and state was lost with the Peace of Westphalia circa 1648 whereat pre-Westphalian communities gave way to the Westphalian order of "Civil Societies", the Islamic Revolution of 1979 restored community to the Moslem nation of Iran.

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 12:49:38 AM | 70
I posted this comment over in the latest Syria summary thread but then thought that it belongs here as an example of the craven duplicity of empire about Syria sovereignty.

The following is a link and article quote from China news that says Russia is accusing the US of chickenshit (my term) tactics in Syria

"He said the advancing Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Air Force managed to break the fierce resistance and liberate
more than 60 square km of territory on the left bank of the Euphrates River in the last 24 hours.

But their advance was hampered by a sudden rise of the water level in the Euphrates and a two-fold increase of the speed of its current
after the government troops started crossing the river, Konashenkov said.

In the absence of precipitation, the only source of such changes in the water level could be a man-made discharge of water at the dams
north of the Euphrates, which are held by the opposition formations controlled by the international coalition led by the United States, he said.
"

Russia accuses U.S., opposition of hampering Syrian gov't troops' advance

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:02:39 AM | 71
What's worries me the most in Trumps speech, sounds actually ominously, is the phrases "dead Poles, fighting [???!!!] French, strong[!] English" ... Is this what's planned for the near future? I'm not liking it a bit.

What about Syria's sovereignty? VoltaireNet predicts launching a big campaign to carve out AnloZio run "Kurdistan" (a la Kosovo) from her right after illegal Sep 25th referendum organized by the Barzani mob. Was the speech (written by Jewish ) hinting to POTUS support for that? Meyssan says that Trump could go both ways. I concur, confusing the enemy has been the name of his game so far.

Orwellian "two minutes of hate" against Trump in the lame-scream media does it stop either:

Situation in the US is getting worse, seems that this Fall big changes are coming, and no lies can hide the truth: LIES, LIES & OMG MORE LIES Who is the enemy? Some names can be found here (and in a recent Eric Zuesse piece):

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:08:39 AM | 72
Hitlary Killton just can't go away:

Hillary Clinton May Challenge Legitimacy of Presidential Election

The Borg, the AngloZio pedo-satanic cabal of the City of London Crown Corporation, the web of merchants of death and corporate oligarchy have been doing whatever possible to help her stay relevant and expand information war, blame Russia:

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton's New Book

Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

Hysterical US Lawmakers Breach Time and Space Limits in Fight With Radio Sputnik

james | Sep 20, 2017 1:43:12 AM | 73
@59 b4real.. thanks.. great article.. here it is again for anyone interested..

http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/09/military-defeat-as-financial-collapse.html

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 3:10:44 AM | 74
@ james #72 with Orlov link

Nice summary but I disagree with the dedollarization part. To me, ending the US dollar as reserve Currency is just a part of the issue. If that occurs American paper money becomes worthless as the article states. While this bankrupts the US, what will it do to the global world of private finance, BIS, SWIFT, IMF, etc.? Does private finance, private property and inheritance all get dealt with in this adjustment? How long will the adjustment period take?

What is clear though now is that there are two factions that are moving in "opposite" directions and the implications will lock up global commerce at some point....fairly soon (weeks/months)......and hopefully adults from all sides will work things out peacefully.

dirka dirka | Sep 20, 2017 4:15:13 AM | 75
Pistachio imperialism -- Bring it on --
john | Sep 20, 2017 5:25:11 AM | 76
these 16 years of bin laden wars constitute the most concerted assault on sovereignty since time out of mind. conspicuously in the cradle of civilization...cultural harmonies undermined and religious sects set at each others throats, tribes ripped from their roots, their facilities and systems desecrated, their families ravaged by rack and ruin and displacement, an alien scourge unleashed on their landscape.

but as someone upstream suggested, the window on these destructive incursions might be closing, what with Russia and China being unconquerable and all.

of course there are other dark forces gnawing at sovereignty , possibly even more stealthily treacherous ones...

like the alien scourge of mass tourism.

b | Sep 20, 2017 5:35:41 AM | 77
Others pointing out the "sovereignty" contradictions: Obama lover and liberal (zionist) interventionist Peter Beinart:

A Radical Rebuke of Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Legacy - Donald Trump used his first address at the United Nations to redefine the idea of sovereignty.

On the one hand, Trump defended sovereignty as a universal ideal. On the other, he demanded that America's enemies stop mistreating their people. The result was gobbledygook.
...
to make his incoherence even more explicit, Trump declared that "our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being." That's like saying that my respect for your right to do whatever you want in your garden should be a call to action for you to stop growing weed.
...
For Trump, by contrast, sovereignty means both that no one can tell the United States what to do inside its borders and that the United States can do exactly that to the countries it doesn't like. That's not the liberal internationalism that Obama espoused. Nor is it the realism of some of Obama's most trenchant critics. It is imperialism. General Pershing, in the Philippines, would have approved.

The Saker at UNZ: Listening to the Donald at the UN

In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done.
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:57:26 AM | 78
Pressure will be intense on U S business in east coast China to refrain from converting their 'yuan' profits into gold .
What a contradictory set of pressures much
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:59:47 AM | 79
what a contradictory set of pressures much U S business will be under . That's the nature of Capitalism , isn't it ?
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 80
Wtf? Actor Morgan Freeman featuring in cold war warmongering propaganda campaign directed against Russia and Putin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9PNoecNxU
notlurking | Sep 20, 2017 7:10:22 AM | 81
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 79

I would think that most of Hollywood is neolib heavy on foreign policy.....

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 8:03:48 AM | 82
My god... That Morgan Freeman video is bizarre and sickening. I see that dimwitted lowlife Rob Reiner was one of the people who funded that garbage.

[Sep 20, 2017] It appears that for the foreseeable future the Neocons will continue to focus their energy on trying to impeach Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Since when did Trump become an expert on political science and world history anyway? Who does he think he is lecturing? Yet another US middle school classroom?! Does he not realize that a good number of the countries represented at the UN consider themselves Socialist?! Furthermore, while I don't necessarily disagree with the notion that Socialist and Communist ideas have often been a disaster in the 20th century, Socialism in the 21st century is an entirely different beast and the jury is still very much out on this issue, especially when considering the social, political, economic, ecological, psychological and even spiritual disaster Capitalism is now proving to be for much of the planet. Being the President of a country as dysfunctional as the US, Trump would be well-advised to tone down his arrogant pontifications about Socialism and maybe even open a book and read about it. ..."
"... My guess is that all they want is to send a clear messages to the Comprador elites running most countries that this is the "official ideology of the AngloZionist Empire" and if they want to remain in power they better toe the line even if nobody takes this stuff seriously. Yup, back to a 1980s Soviet kind of attitude towards propaganda: nobody cares what everybody else really thinks as long as everybody continues to pretend to believe the official propaganda. ..."
"... Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. ..."
"... Because, and make no mistake here, if the US cannot get anything constructive done any more, they retain a huge capability to disrupt, subvert, create chaos and the like. ..."
"... However, the US themselves are now the prime victim of a decapitated Presidency and a vindictive and generally out of control Neocon effort to prevent true American patriots to "get their country back" (as they say) and finally overthrow the regime in Washington DC. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

...then he suddenly decided to share this outright bizarre insight of his:

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.

Since when did Trump become an expert on political science and world history anyway? Who does he think he is lecturing? Yet another US middle school classroom?! Does he not realize that a good number of the countries represented at the UN consider themselves Socialist?! Furthermore, while I don't necessarily disagree with the notion that Socialist and Communist ideas have often been a disaster in the 20th century, Socialism in the 21st century is an entirely different beast and the jury is still very much out on this issue, especially when considering the social, political, economic, ecological, psychological and even spiritual disaster Capitalism is now proving to be for much of the planet. Being the President of a country as dysfunctional as the US, Trump would be well-advised to tone down his arrogant pontifications about Socialism and maybe even open a book and read about it.

I won't even bother discussing the comprehensively counter-factual nonsense Trump has spewed about Iran and Hezbollah, we all know who Trump's puppet-masters are nowadays so we know what to expect. Instead, I will conclude with this pearl from The Donald:

In remembering the great victory that led to this body's founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil, also fought for the nations that they love. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain.

Echoing the nonsense he spoke while in Poland, Trump is now clearly fully endorsing that fairytale that "The West" (in which Trump now hilariously includes Poland!) has defeated Hitler and saved the world. The truth is that the Nazis were defeated by the Soviets and that all the efforts of the Poles, French, Brits and even Americans were but a minor (20% max) sideshow to the "real event" (Those who still might believe in this nonsense can simply read this ). Yet again, that the Americans would feel the need to appropriate for themselves somebody else's victory is, yet again, a clear sign of weakness. Do they expect the rest of the planet to buy into this nonsense? Probably not.

My guess is that all they want is to send a clear messages to the Comprador elites running most countries that this is the "official ideology of the AngloZionist Empire" and if they want to remain in power they better toe the line even if nobody takes this stuff seriously. Yup, back to a 1980s Soviet kind of attitude towards propaganda: nobody cares what everybody else really thinks as long as everybody continues to pretend to believe the official propaganda.

[Sidebar: When my wife and I watched this pathetic speech we starting laughing about the fact that Trump was so obscenely bad that we (almost) begin to miss Obama. This is a standing joke in our family because when Obama came to power we (almost) began to miss Dubya. The reason why this is a joke is that when Dubya came to power we decided that there is no way anybody could possibly be worse than him. Oh boy where we wrong! Right now I am still not at the point were I would be missing Obama (that is asking for a lot from me!), but I will unapologetically admit that I am missing Dubya. I do. I really do. Maybe not the people around Dubya, he is the one who truly let the Neocon "crazies in the basement" creep out and occupy the Situation Room, but at least Dubya seemed to realize how utterly incompetent he was. Furthermore, Dubya was a heck of a lot dumber than Obama (in this context being stupid is a mitigating factor) and he sure did not have the truly galactic arrogance of Trump (intelligence-wise they are probably on par)].

In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the US. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done. Because, and make no mistake here, if the US cannot get anything constructive done any more, they retain a huge capability to disrupt, subvert, create chaos and the like.

But for as long as the US remains paralyzed this destructive potential remains mostly unused (and no matter how bad things look now, Hillary President would have been infinitely worse!). However, the US themselves are now the prime victim of a decapitated Presidency and a vindictive and generally out of control Neocon effort to prevent true American patriots to "get their country back" (as they say) and finally overthrow the regime in Washington DC.

Step by step the US is getting closer to a civil war and there is no hope in sight, at least for the time being. It appears that for the foreseeable future Trump will continue to focus his energy on beating Obama for the status of "worst President in US history" while the Neocons will continue to focus their energy on trying to impeach Trump, and maybe even trigger a civil war. The rest of us living here are in for some very tough times ahead. As they say in Florida when a hurricane comes barreling down on you "hunker down!".

Dan Hayes > , September 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm GMT

The Saker,

Netanyahu has spoken, stating that Trump has given the boldest, most courageous UN speech that he has ever heard.

Well that settles that with the prescient oracle rendering his definitive and omnipotent judgement!

FKA Max > , Website September 20, 2017 at 2:02 am GMT

For What It's Worth, Trump Great On Immigration, Refugees At U.N. Today

http://www.vdare.com/posts/for-what-its-worth-trump-great-on-immigration-refugees-at-u-n-today

A lot of old friends didn't like President Trump's UN speech today because it didn't break cleanly with UniParty foreign policy!e.g. Paul Craig Roberts' comments here. But it did contain these revolutionary comments on immigration and refugee policy !the latter especially significant because Trump has to set the quota for U.S. quota for refugees (actually expedited, subsidized, politically favored immigrants) in the next few days. Who knows what Trump will do!but Hillary would never even have said it
[...]
For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.
[...]
For decades, the United States has dealt with migration challenges here in the Western Hemisphere. We have learned that, over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries.

For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform, and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms.

For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are borne overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.

peterAUS > , September 20, 2017 at 2:35 am GMT

Disagree with most of the article, of course.

Agree with these three:

.the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting .

. no matter how bad things look now, Hillary President would have been infinitely worse!) ..

The rest of us living here are in for some very tough times ahead.

Fidelios Automata > , September 20, 2017 at 3:13 am GMT

I still maintain that the worst President in history (excluding possibly Woodrow Wilson) was Bill Clinton (strongly influenced, no doubt, by Hillary.) Sure, the 90′s were a great time in America, but Clinton's evil actions (signing NAFTA, the Crime Bill, ignoring Bin Laden, and repealing Glass-Steagall to name just a few) had not yet come to fruition.

Robert Magill > , September 20, 2017 at 3:40 am GMT

Assuming the keen political insight Trump exhibited to get himself the job he sought still exists, perhaps all this insane blather is proof it continues. Consider that the scene he bought into is the product of 70 years of constant propaganda aimed at the American psyche and how successful that has been. Then imagine Trump feeding the ravenous American mindset for the status quo while actually working around it. Brilliant!
Then again, if he truly means what he says, all is lost.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

FKA Max > , Website September 20, 2017 at 3:52 am GMT

@FKA Max

The speech was reportedly written by Stephen Miller, a.k.a. Darth Vader to many in the mainstream media,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trumps-strikingly-conventional-un-speech/2017/09/19/876cb41a-9d75-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921_story.html?utm_term=.6df8b480a4d8

Thank you Stephen Miller! He must be reading Peter Singer:

International support for countries bearing the greatest refugee burden also makes economic sense: it costs Jordan about €3,000 ($3,350) to support one refugee for a year; in Germany, the cost is at least €12,000.

http://www.unz.com/isteve/im-not-sure-why-but-this-headline-cracks-me-up/#comment-1746720

Another threat to the Church is the illegal immigration control movement. If this movement succeeds, and what is perceived by Latin Americans and other governments as an escape valve is shut off, these governments would logically say, "Our demographic course cannot continue." These governments would have little choice but to confront the Church and say, "If we are to survive as governments, then we must get serious about population growth control. Otherwise, we in Latin America are destined to become a sea of chaos. We, as Latin Americans, must make family planning and abortion services fully available and encourage their use." Turning off the valve to illegal immigration is therefore a serious threat to the power of the Church.

http://www.unz.com/article/rule-or-ruin/#comment-1623864

Talha > , September 20, 2017 at 4:27 am GMT

We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense.

Yeah – this ain't your grandpa's government-sponsored transgender surgery – inflation, let me tell ya! Yuge!

Peace.

Cyrano > , September 20, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT

If Kim Jong-un is the Rocket Man, then Trump definitely has to be the Space Oddity, which means that they could be a perfect match – they are both out of this world. Maybe they can randevu somewhere in outer space where they'll both be sitting in their tin can, so they can resolve their differences there.

Jokes aside, for the current situation I blame the Koreans, no, not those Koreans – the South Koreans. How do you allow US to interject itself into a family dispute? US operate strictly on the basis of traitors. Every country has them: they can be called different names: opposition groups, dissidents, rebels, democratic reformers – whatever.

There is one simple test for all of them to do in order to find out if they are doing something right for their country. If any of those groups, anywhere in the world, in any country find themselves that they are being supported by US – that means that they are doing something wrong and harmful for their country and they should stop their activity immediately and make 180 degrees adjustment. Same thing goes for South Korea – the mere fact that they are supported by US means that they are wrong. It's as simple as that.

anon > , Disclaimer September 20, 2017 at 5:23 am GMT

Saker, where is the value in taking a nuanced speech and then hammering at pieces of it out of context? Trump didn't insult all nations which incorporate socialist policies – he mentioned, rightly, that full blown socialism/communism has been used to repress the freedom and ingenuity of peoples all over the world – and he did so to highlight that it's being done in Venezuela.

As for criticism of America's ideals because of mistakes and over-reach in her history – it's foolish to expect Trump to refrain from preaching good ideas because of the sins of others.

I hope you continue to enjoy living your attack mode life. Meanwhile, the world must get on with it.

anon > , Disclaimer September 20, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

Oh, and one more thing – of course WWII would have turned out differently had Stalin not callously sacrifices millions of his subjects. As it would have had America not made its efforts.
Shame on you for giving credit for victory to only one party.

Realist > , September 20, 2017 at 7:47 am GMT

@peterAUS Hillary would not have done anything different than Trump. Trump is a dumb shit sycophant of the Deep State just like Hillary.

FKA Max > , Website September 20, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT

@FKA Max


The speech was reportedly written by Stephen Miller, a.k.a. Darth Vader to many in the mainstream media,
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trumps-strikingly-conventional-un-speech/2017/09/19/876cb41a-9d75-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921_story.html?utm_term=.6df8b480a4d8

Thank you Stephen Miller! He must be reading Peter Singer:


International support for countries bearing the greatest refugee burden also makes economic sense: it costs Jordan about €3,000 ($3,350) to support one refugee for a year; in Germany, the cost is at least €12,000.
- http://www.unz.com/isteve/im-not-sure-why-but-this-headline-cracks-me-up/#comment-1746720

Another threat to the Church is the illegal immigration control movement. If this movement succeeds, and what is perceived by Latin Americans and other governments as an escape valve is shut off, these governments would logically say, "Our demographic course cannot continue." These governments would have little choice but to confront the Church and say, "If we are to survive as governments, then we must get serious about population growth control. Otherwise, we in Latin America are destined to become a sea of chaos. We, as Latin Americans, must make family planning and abortion services fully available and encourage their use." Turning off the valve to illegal immigration is therefore a serious threat to the power of the Church.
- http://www.unz.com/article/rule-or-ruin/#comment-1623864 This is Michael Anton on Trump's UN speech:

President Trump's Message: Make The United Nations Great

In fact, he's strengthened our alliances in meetings in Washington with key allies, by going to foreign capitals - the trip to France and the Bastille Day with America's oldest ally, with which the United States has in recent years had something of a rocky relationship – was strengthened enormously by that visit to Paris this year. And the president has, you know, both on a personal level and on an alliance level, really strengthened the alliance with France and with President Macron. In fact, he met with him yesterday and had a very, extremely positive and friendly meeting where they talked substantive business, but they also talked about the history of the alliance and reminisced a bit about the grandeur of that trip to Paris in July.

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/19/552025707/president-trumps-message-make-the-united-nations-great

The French president's suggestion that African women are breeding like animals and must be restrained by an enlightened elite awakens primordial terrors in the hearts of the mainstream Left and Right.
[...]
If Europeans are replaced with Africans, Western Civilization will disappear. The choices are simple: The West, yes or no? The white race, yes or no? Our rulers have exhausted all other options.

http://www.unz.com/article/trumps-warsaw-speech-and-the-real-clash-of-civilizations/#comment-1946225

Peter Singer on How Political Correctness Let African Population Growth Run Amok for a Generation

The outrage evoked by Macron's remark, however, appears to have little to do with its inaccuracy. Macron violated a taboo that has been in place since the International Conference on Population and Development, held under the auspices of the UN in Cairo in 1994. The conference adopted a Programme of Action that rejected a demographically driven approach to population policies, and instead focused on meeting the reproductive-health needs of individuals, especially women. Population targets were out; rights were in.

http://www.unz.com/isteve/peter-singer-on-how-political-correctness-let-african-population-growth-run-amok-for-a-generation/

I would like to explain what led me to conclude that Emmanuel Macron has an "Alt Right" worldview.

http://www.unz.com/article/collateral-damage/#comment-1955020

Don't lose hope
[...]
I shared this video here at the Unz Review before, but I would like to share it again, because it best encapsulates and captures what I personally associate with term "Alt Right"

http://www.unz.com/article/the-system-revealed-antifa-virginia-politicians-and-police-work-together-to-shut-down-unitetheright/#comment-1967326

French army band medleys Daft Punk following Bastille Day parade

The Scalpel > , Website September 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT

"Step by step the US is getting closer to a civil war"

That pretty much says it all. All it will take is for US troops to get an unexpected butt kicking somewhere, sometime.

Studley > , September 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm GMT

Churchill himself, one of a long list of Anglo-genocidal killers (according to The Saker's last post) admitted that, "The Red Army tore the guts out of The Wehrmacht." Is this even in dispute?

In Russian thinking therefore, with only 20% contribution by American/UK Commonwealth forces, we subtract that, and this is the diplomatic question. Why would Stalin's T34s not have rolled up to The English Channel and installed compliant Communist regimes in France/Belgium/Holland as they did in Eastern Europe?

They did the same in North Korea by installing the grandfather (Kim Il-Sung) of this young 'Rocket Man' in 1945 at the conclusion of the fighting against Japan in the far-east.

[Sep 20, 2017] EXCLUSIVE Six U.S. Agencies Conspired to Illegally Wiretap Trump; British Intel Used as Front to Spy on Campaign for NSA Tru

www.washingtonpost.com
And none of it was very legal. In fact, most of it was very illegal, according to federal law enforcement sources who are blowing the whistle on a sweeping scheme to undermine the Executive branch and the electorate's choice for president of the United States. And according to high ranking FBI sources, the Bureau played a definitive role in plotting this sweeping privacy breach. But the FBI had much help from the NSA, CIA, the Office of of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury financial crimes division under DHS, and the Justice Department, federal law enforcement sources confirmed. The Deep State caretakers involved are familiar names: James Comey (FBI), John Brennan (CIA), James Clapper (ODNI), Loretta Lynch (DOJ), Jeh Johnson (DHS), Admiral Michael Rogers (NSA). And then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since resigned from the esteemed British spy agency.

President Barack Obama's White House too could be implicated, sources said. But while evidence certainly points to involvement of the Obama administration, sources said they did not have access to definitive intelligence proving such a link.

Here is what we now know, per intelligence gleaned form federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates:

Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who spearheaded the Trump Tower meeting with the Trump campaign trio, was previously barred from entering the United Sates due to her alleged connections to the Russian FSB (the modern replacement of the cold-war-era KGB).

Yet mere days before the June meeting, Veselnitskaya was granted a rare visa to enter the United States from Preet Bharara, the then U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York. Bharara could not be reached for comment and did not respond the a Twitter inquiry on the Russian's visa by True Pundit.

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Federal law enforcement sources said Bharara was simply following the orders of Attorney General Lynch, who lobbied the State Department to issue the disavowed Russian a B1/B2 non-immigrant visa. This permitted Veselnitskaya entry into the United States for the sole purpose of entrapping Trump associates to use as fuel to commission wiretaps, federal sources said.

Veselnitskaya may have been paid as well by the U.S. government, FBI sources said. It was reported last week that Steele, who compiled the Trump dossier was paid at least $100,000 from FBI funds as well. But that came later, after the wiretapping was well underway.

The illegal eavesdropping started long before Steele's dossier. Federal sources said the wiretaps on Trump insiders began in late 2015, almost a year before the 2016 election. The targets then were Flynn and Page, sources confirmed. When no smoking gun was recovered from those initial taps, U.S. intelligence agencies moved to broaden the scope through their newly-formed alliance.

Intelligence garnered from the British eavesdropping, which again was merely a front for the NSA, was then used in August 2016 to secure a legitimate FISA warrant on Manafort, Trump Jr. and Kushner. That warrant was issued on or about September, 2016, federal sources confirm.

It was the third time the cabal of U.S. intelligence agencies sought a FISA warrant for the Trump associates and this time it was approved.

FBI sources said finally obtaining the FISA warrant was important because it provided the agencies cover for previous illegal wiretapping which they believed would never be discovered.

"This would make for an incredible string of Senate hearings," one federal law enforcement source said. "I don't think they ever thought he (Trump) would win and information would come out about how they manipulated evidence."

-30-

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[Sep 20, 2017] Why the FBI wiretap on former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is a big deal by Randall D. Eliason

Neocons still dream of Trump impeachment. Neutering him is not enough... the number of potentially illegal wiretaps of Trump associates suggests that threr was a plan to derail plan in three letter agencies headquarters (with blessing of Obama). Plan of interfere with the US election to be exact.
Notable quotes:
"... The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. ..."
"... A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate. ..."
"... Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | washingtonpost.com

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort at the Republican National Convention. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Reports that the FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are a further sign of the seriousness of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. But there's still a great deal we don't know about the implications, if any, for the broader inquiry into possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

CNN reported Monday night that the FBI obtained a warrant to listen in on Manafort's phone calls back in 2014. The warrant was part of an investigation into U.S. firms that may have performed undisclosed work for the Ukrainian government. The surveillance reportedly lapsed for a time but was begun again last year when the FBI learned about possible ties between Russian operatives and Trump associates.

This news is a big deal primarily because of what it takes to obtain such a wiretap order. The warrant reportedly was issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A FISA warrant requires investigators to demonstrate to the FISA court that there is probable cause to believe the target may be acting as an unlawful foreign agent.

When news broke last month that Mueller was using a grand jury to conduct his investigation, many reported it with unnecessary breathlessness. Although a grand jury investigation is certainly significant, a prosecutor does not need court approval or a finding of probable cause to issue a grand jury subpoena, and Mueller's use of a grand jury was not unexpected .

A FISA warrant is another matter. It means investigators have demonstrated probable cause to an independent judicial authority. Obtaining a warrant actually says much more about the strength of the underlying allegations than issuing a grand jury subpoena.

That's also why the search warrant executed at Manafort's home in July was such a significant step in the investigation. Unlike a grand jury subpoena, the search warrant required Mueller's team to demonstrate to a judge that a crime probably had been committed.

But it's important not to get too far in front of the story. The FBI surveillance of Manafort reportedly began in 2014, long before he was working as Trump's campaign manager. So the initial allegations, at least, appear to have involved potential crimes having nothing to do with the Trump campaign. And most or all of the surveillance apparently took place before Mueller was even appointed and was not at his direction.

Mueller's involvement now does suggest that the current focus relates to Manafort's role in the Trump campaign. But we don't know exactly how, if at all, any alleged crimes by Manafort relate to his work in that role. And we don't know whether any other individuals involved in the campaign are potentially implicated.

We also don't know what evidence was obtained as a result of the surveillance. The fact that warrants were issued does not mean any evidence of criminal conduct was actually found.

The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. Even if Mueller were to indict Manafort for crimes not directly related to the Trump campaign, it would be a significant development. A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate.

Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly.

But news of the FISA surveillance is the latest evidence that Mueller's investigation is serious, aggressive and will be with us for some time.

Randall D. Eliason teaches white-collar criminal law at George Washington University Law School.

[Sep 20, 2017] MIC bonanza from Trump: We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense

Notable quotes:
"... "We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been" ..."
"... while the US military is extremely good at killing people in large numbers, it is also extremely bad at winning wars ..."
"... Trump is under the illusion that spending a lot of money "buys" you a better military. This is completely false ..."
"... If spending money was the key to a competent military force, the US armed forces would have already conquered the entire planet many times over. In reality, they have not won anything meaningful since the war in the Pacific. ..."
"... just like all this predecessors, Trump conflates handing out money to the Military Industrial Complex with preparing for war. ..."
"... Frankly, this is good news: let the Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy, let them further neglect their military and let them continue to believe that this kind of magical thinking will bring them to victory. ..."
"... Sidebar: for the record, I have met and studied with plenty of excellent, well-educated, honorable, courageous and patriotic American officers and the kind of money-centered hubris I describe above is in no way directed at them, if only because they know even much better than I how bad the situation really is. There are plenty of highly-educated officers in the US armed forces who understand history and who know that money bring corruption, not victory. But they are mostly kept at ranks no higher than Colonel and you will often find them in military teaching institutions and academies. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

You can read the full (rush,not official) text here or watch the video here . Most of it is so vapid that I won't even bother posting the full thing. But there are a few interesting moments including those:

"We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been"

This short sentence contains the key to unlock the reason behind the fact that while the US military is extremely good at killing people in large numbers, it is also extremely bad at winning wars. Like most Americans, Trump is under the illusion that spending a lot of money "buys" you a better military. This is completely false, of course. If spending money was the key to a competent military force, the US armed forces would have already conquered the entire planet many times over. In reality, they have not won anything meaningful since the war in the Pacific.

Having surrounded himself with "Mad Dog" kind of "experts" on warfare, Trump is now reusing that old mantra about how money buys you victory and this is something extremely important. This kind of magical thinking signals to the countries most threatened by the US that the Americans are unable to engage in a basic "lessons learned" kind of exercise, that history teaches them nothing and that, just like all this predecessors, Trump conflates handing out money to the Military Industrial Complex with preparing for war.

Frankly, this is good news: let the Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy, let them further neglect their military and let them continue to believe that this kind of magical thinking will bring them to victory.

[ Sidebar: for the record, I have met and studied with plenty of excellent, well-educated, honorable, courageous and patriotic American officers and the kind of money-centered hubris I describe above is in no way directed at them, if only because they know even much better than I how bad the situation really is. There are plenty of highly-educated officers in the US armed forces who understand history and who know that money bring corruption, not victory. But they are mostly kept at ranks no higher than Colonel and you will often find them in military teaching institutions and academies. Having studied with them and become good friends with many of them, I feel sorry for them and I know that if they had the means to stop this insanity they would]

[Sep 19, 2017] The myth of pro-Israeli groups defining the US foreign policy

Highly recommended!
The US foreign policy is defined by interests of neoliberals and neocons, or to be exact by interests of multinational corporations, who are not necessary led by Jews ;-). The whole discussion of the US foreign policy via the lens of Jew/non-Jew dichotomy is far from the best approach to this problem.
While it is true that a large number of neocons end even some "economic nationalists" like Steve Bannon identify with Israel. But the real allegiance of neocons is not to Israel. It is to many from American MIC. In this sense, neither chickenhawk Michael Ledeen (a second rate figure at best, without much political influence), no chickenhawk Bill Kristol (third rate figure, with little or no political influence at all), but Senator McCain and Dick Cheney are proper examples of really dangerous neocons.
Yes, neocons has a large, sometimes decisive influence on the US foreign policy. But this is because they are neoliberals with the gun, political prostitutes serving MIC interests, not so much because some of them are "Israel-firsters" (this term is not without problems, although it denotes Jewish nationalists pretty well, see an interesting discussion in The Volokh Conspiracy )
Notable quotes:
"... I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
"... This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud. ..."
"... Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s. ..."
"... Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. ..."
"... Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout. ..."
"... The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted. ..."
"... I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism. ..."
"... You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan. ..."
"... Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down. ..."
"... A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM. ..."
"... So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them. ..."
"... Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel. ..."
"... There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it.. ..."
"... Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"? ..."
"... I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad? ..."
"... Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it). ..."
"... Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba). ..."
"... How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"? ..."
"... "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard? ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars by Philip Giraldi September 19, 2017 - The Unz Review

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

@Brabantian Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel:

US alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, appeared on Israeli TV last month to call himself a "white Zionist"
The above from an interesting article by British activist and Nazareth, Palestine resident Jonathan Cook , speaking of how Israel's Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ... and hence the 'progressive' Jews should abandon any support for boycott of Israel or for Palestinian rights:
The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly called on all Jews to come to Israel, claiming it as the only safe haven from an immutable global anti-semitism. And yet, Mr Netanyahu is also introducing a political test before he opens the door.

Jews supporting a boycott of Israel are already barred. Now, liberal Jews and critics of the occupation like Mr Soros are increasingly not welcome either. Israel is rapidly redefining the extent of the sanctuary it offers – for Jewish supremacists only.

For Mr Netanyahu may believe he has much to gain by abandoning liberal Jews to their fate, as the alt-right asserts its power in western capitals.

The "white Zionists" are committed to making life ever harder for minorities in the West in a bid to be rid of them. Sooner or later, on Mr Netanyahu's logic, liberal Jews will face a reckoning. They will have to accept that Israel's ultra-nationalists were right all along, and that Israel is their only sanctuary.

Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-Semitism that will benefit them both.

Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel

Steve Bannon and his supposed alt-right rag Breitbart are incredibly pro-Israel. I supposed it has something to do with its founder Andrew Breitbart being a Jew. Every time Trump or Nikki Haley says something nasty about Iran, you'll get plenty of Breitbart commenters echoing their sentiment egging them on, you can tell by their inane comments many have no idea why they should hate Iran, other than Breitbart told them to.

They've fully bought into the Breitbart narrative that Iran is evil and must be destroyed. The Trump fan boys/girls who continue to blindly support him despite all his betrayals are every bit as stupid as the libtards they claim to hate.

jamsok , September 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht..."

I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud.

Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Randal

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.
Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.
Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

"What gives" is that I think lunatic screeds about "America's Jews" (like Noam Chomsky?) manipulating foreign policy do damage to the anti-war cause. I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just Jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's slightly better than the 1-dimensional Joo-paranoia, but it doesn't begin to describe the problem.

You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

I am glad you think Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Yet it doesn't square with your earlier statement which reads " I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them ". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

Before you decide to label as sociopath, anyone who proposes a worldview grounded in reality, you might think long and hard about the multitude of paths this world can take under the scenario of a wholesale withdrawal of U.S. presence in the Gulf. Most one hears on this forum, including your own, reduce to precious nothing over virtue signaling.

Like it or not the world is never going to assume the shape of a collection of nations equal in power, interests and endowments. Hoping for that is to live in a state of delusion.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran . Far from it; yet facilitating her allies' aspirations to join the American vision isn't one we are about to walk away from. That is not chest beating. It is eminently in evidence from the number of nations wishing to join the Western economic and cultural model. I am keenly aware of the lunatics on this forum who believe they'd be perfectly happy to embrace other cultures, I can only invite them to make haste.

Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

"I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

In the case of a defensive war with United States, there sure would be. At that point Iran would not have much hope but to inflict as much damage as possible on the aggressor. Although Iran does not nearly have the ability to fully reciprocate the harm the US can inflict on it, it hopefully has the capability to inflict enough damage so that an offensive war against it would be intolerable to the US. That's how deterrence works.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran.

If that's true, and I sincerely hope it is, it's because Iran has sufficient deterrent capacity, which includes not only the anti-ship missiles in the Gulf, but also Hezbollah's arsenal of ~130,000 short, medium and long-range rockets capable of reaching every square inch of Israeli territory.

Believe me, I'm a realist. You don't have to lecture me on the reality of aggressive rogue nations.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Nope. As far as I know, he was being perfectly serious.

And that is exactly the way the power elite think - although they are usually much more cautious about speaking their mind in public.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed – not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir.

True words sir!

The evil empire sustains itself primarily through this attitude of its people. It does not matter how the Jews connive to shape it. Only thing that matters is that they buy into it without exercising their conscience.

Americans, remember, such glory has a cost. You will find soon enough that a cancerous soul is too high a price to be "Top Nation," for essentially a blink in cosmic time.

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM.

The late Samuel Huntington said in his amazing book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for supremacy in the Islamic world. Syria is a proxy war between the two countries. Now Israel has become BFF with Saudi Arabia because they too want a piece of Syria, for the oil reserve in the Golan Heights. So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them.

Make no mistake Jews and Arabs run this country. That is why Trump went to Israel and SA for his first foreign trip, he knows who America's daddy is, even if most Americans are still in the dark.

His entire administration is crawling with Israel loving Jews, starting with his son-in-law the most loyal son of Israel. Even Steve Bannon and Breitbart are crazy gung ho pro-Israel. Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel.

When was the last time Iran conducted a jihad against the west? All the Muslim terrorists now attacking the west are Sunnis, funded by Saudi Arabia. The only time Iran had direct armed conflict with the US was when they kicked us out of Tehran, for trying to steal their oil. All their beef is with Israel, not with the US. Why are we taking up Israel's cause? Trump is a moron of the first order and has no understanding of what really goes on in the mideast. He surrounds himself with pro-Israel neocons and Jews and is easily manipulated. He's stupid and dangerous. I voted for him because he presented himself as someone completely different, someone anti-war and anti-immigration, now he's a neocon globalist libtard, the worst of all worlds. Someone needs to primary him out in 2020.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@iffen as sociopaths like you

Speaking of unhinged I'd say the sentiment that America has the right to threaten and/or attack other countries to maintain its "economic interests" is sociopathic. What would you call it? And I didn't say that he personally was in charge of US/Israeli/Saudi policy towards Iran, if that's what you thought I meant. That would be unhinged. I just said that sociopaths like him are.

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

@KBRO [In comments, allcaps is shouting. Stop shouting or your comments will be trashed.]

RE:
BUSH-CHENEY-CLINTON-TRUMP--MCMASTER--KELLY---AND THE LOT OF THEM ALL AIN'T JEWS:

WELL PUT. GIRALDI IS A MIXED BAG, WRITES SOME GOOD STUFF, BUT IT MISIDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM--THE ENEMY-- BY LABELING IT AS "THE JEWS". THE NEO-CONS--AND NEO-LIBERALS--WHO DRIVE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COME IN MANY FLAVORS.
I'M AN ANTI-ZIONIST, AND IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST.

IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST

There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it..

Giraldi is discussing the latter and not the former, and doing a service to the American nation by his taboo-busting.

Brooklyn Dave , September 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT

I wonder where Mr. Giraldi would put David Horowitz on the list? Although Horowitz is not a public policy maker, but rather an author and blogger, but definitely is a known Jewish voice. I respect Horowitz tremendously because of his background as an ex-Communist and his dead-on criticism of the American Left, both historically and currently. Although rather knee-jerk in his defense of Israel, I would not doubt his loyalty to this country one iota.

I do not know if David Horowitz is a dual Israeli-American citizen, but he is not a legislator nor a government policy maker, so as far as I am concerned, the issue is moot. If one questions the loyalty to America, of Jews or any other group for that matter, the issue of holding dual citizenship while holding certain government offices should be something of concern. Once out of public office or service, then they can resume their dual citizenship. It makes the issue of loyalty less questionable.

wayfarer , September 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@bjondo Regarding jew and war:

Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"?

reckon his serving in other ways was/is lying and pushing for wars for his real country israel. Truth hurts, America.

Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent or less than a half of one-percent.

Guess they were too busy partying in college, while pursuing their law degrees.

During the Vietnam war the U.S. selective service system gave deferments to those attending college, which delayed their eligibility for conscription.

"Among partners of the top law firms in New York, I estimate that at least 25% are Jews."

source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4726694_Going_to_College_to_Avoid_the_Draft_The_Unintended_Legacy_of_the_Vietnam_War [accessed Sep 19, 2017].

source: http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/6/5/is-lack-of-diversity-at-big-law-firms-a-crisis

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@matt I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.

Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@matt I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons. In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran. On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. The fact that there are so many who profess to the Christian faith, who are as evil as those Joo neocons, such as those you mentioned, simply cannot be denied. Even if hypothetically speaking the Joos were to vanish overnight, the wars of aggression by the Evil Empire will continue unabated.

The Evil Empire and its Evil b!tch both share the same satanic vision of world domination. Two evil nations, made for each other, in a match made in Hell.

Btw, the orange scumbag was hilariously evil at the UN.

Both N.Korea and Iran should simply call this bastard's bluff, by literally giving him the finger. I say, let the chips fall where they may. Let's see how the American, Japanese, S.Korean, Israeli & "Royal" pussies like the consequences.

To you N.Koreans, its been written that you will target the thousands of American Terrorists stationed in the south. I am counting on that, so don't you miss chaps.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anonymous

They should. If Raimondo starts blaming the Jews, he can avoid taking responsibility for his idiotic and embarrassing cheerleading for the current warmonger-in-chief.
I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad?

And started plans for attacking Iran? Who? Hillary? Hahahaha. Ted Cruz? Hahahaha. Etc.

Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it).

Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba).

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

@Randal

If an article titled "America's Jews are Behind America's Wars" isn't unhinged and bigoted, I'd like you to tell me what is.
How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"?

Or is it not the statement of the facts that you are outraged by, but merely the proposed solutions? If so, then what solutions to the problem identified by Giraldi and by Haaretz would you propose?

If Trump's insane rhetoric on Iran and push for war isn't an example of bloodlust, why don't you tell me what it is?
Good examples might be the desperate attempts to prevent the deal with Iran that hopefully will prove to have cauterised the longstanding efforts to use the spurious nuclear weapons issue to push the US towards confrontation and war with Iran:

KEY JEWISH DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SAY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST IRAN DEAL

Or when Israel's primary agents of political influence in the US went "all out" to try to get the US to attack Syria and hand yet another country to (even more) jihadist-ridden chaos:

AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

But hey, I suppose for you those are just more examples of "unhingedness" and "bigotedness".

It must be strange living in the world you inhabit, so far removed from basic reality by a desperate need to avoid being seen as any kind of badwhite. I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Sam Shama They can certainly try, and, I suppose you'd require the U.S. to stay her hand as a matter of fair principle while watching said bases destroyed. Nice idea, but I'd stick to reality. U.S. has vast interests, including economic ones; those which benefit every U.S. citizen, and, to be practical, all her allies. Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Its anti-ship missiles are for deterrence, which Iran has plenty of need for, as sociopaths like you populate the American, Israeli, and Saudi governments and are itching to attack.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

Heather Heyer's Ghost , September 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Jews are white. Ashkenazi Jews, and those are the ones we are mainly dealing with, are an endogamous caste of bankers, progressive journalists, lawyers, and social scientists (including, now, education), that have migrated all over Europe, but never identifying as European, with exceptions that prove the rule.

As a tribe, once can read Kevin MacDonald's work to see how they work in remarkable ethnic cohesion–not necessarily as an "organized conspiracy" (though that certainly happens), but as an ethnic drive.

Being neither European as such, nor Christian, and although their skin is white, they are not White.

Stan d Mute , September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

Dual loyalty is an avoided and career-ending subject for a couple reasons. One must never, ever, criticize Jews (a third rail at complete odds with) and one may not criticize immigrants' behavior.

The obvious problem is Treason. Just how much Treason is the result of so-called "dual loyalty"? And isn't Treason subject to some rather serious legal sanctions?

...

just an internet commenter , September 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

I just want to point out, being a (fake) "news" consumer, I hear about Israel all the time, all while not hearing a lot of follow-up detail about Israel and its interests. Isn't that a clever sleight of hand? According to the pro-Israel (by extension jews) propaganda I'm required to care about, despite it having nothing to do with my life, my family's life, my neighbors' lives, and my community's lives Israel is that big of a deal. Actually, I hear more about Israel in the media than I hear about my home state of Michigan. Michigan is probably a lot more important to the US economy, US security, US tourism industry, Midwestern industrial technology industry, US engineering industry, and the Midwestern Farming economy, than Israel is. Then there are the people who live here, who are Americans. Israel first, then Americans? Okay, got it.

If the public were exposed to as much emotionally captivating propaganda about Michigan as they were about Israel, I'd posit the public would see a far better investment in Michigan than they would in Israel. That includes an emotional investment.

I don't know what can be politely said or how it would shape up, but Midwesterners desperately need to understand the Israel (by extension jewish) problem. They're bleeding us and getting away with it, all while getting away with incessantly calling us racists and anti-semites. Because again, caring about Michigan and its people first is just morally irreprehensible. Israel first, then Israel second, etc Got it bigot? That sleight of hand, it's just always there. I don't fully grasp how this large scale agit-prop psychology works. I do understand jewish solidarity. I'll hand it to jews, they have the strongest ethnic/religious/cultural solidarity I've ever seen. If Midwesterners realized the value of this level of solidarity, they wouldn't enlist their sons in the military to serve jewish interests overseas.

Anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

From Money Manipulation And Social Order (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1944) by Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Dublin:

When the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, created in 1913 by Mr. Paul Warburg, a German Jew belonging to the Banking Firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had been a few years in existence, in 1916 to be precise, President Woodrow Wilson thus summed up the situation in U.S.A.: "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. . .

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world!no longer a Government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." From the similar testimonies quoted by Christopher Hollis in The Two Nations, let us take one. "Behind the ostensible government," ran Roosevelt's policy, " sits enthroned an invisible government owning no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

Corvinus , September 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@Che Guava

Bullshit.

Anyone who reads knows that Israel (and its agents, where not dual citizens, the Jewish ones effectively all are, and the goyim dupes and toadies, who are not, 'cept sometimes with marriage) have been the tail that wags the US dog for many years, starting over a century ago, in finance, commerce, and law in NYC, in a small way the scope is ever wider and the effects more and more blatant.

The USA is a colony of Israel, everybody is knowing it, but some lie and deny.

From my reading of history, I would placing the tipping point from 'excessive power' to 'colonial masters' at the 1967 war of Israel and its neighbours.

Others may dating it to the end of the Third Reich, with all sorts of Jewish DPs and US Jews who had never seen combat running around in US military and MP uniforms to persecuting and killing Germans, under the command of Eisenhauer, the Morgenthau plan, etc.

Others may picking a different time.

It is funny that you are posting as Anonymous on this, can only mean that you are a more subtle pro-Israel troll with your usual u-name. "So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews."

Certainly SOME Israelis and American Jews are involved in developing policy designed to generate hostility to the point of potential war.

But Dick Cheney and Erik Prince, among other prominent non-Jews, bear mentioning.

Regardless, the Jew fixation here is duly noted. Boo! Goes the Joo!

"The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard?

[Sep 19, 2017] Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trumps triumph: How a ruthless network of super-rich ideologues killed choice and destroyed people's faith in politics by George Monbiot

Notable quotes:
"... The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone. ..."
"... But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap. ..."
"... He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands. ..."
"... The general thrust is about the gradual hollowing out of the middle class (or more affluent working class, depending on the analytical terms being used), about insecurity, stress, casualisation, rising wage inequality. ..."
"... So Hayek, I feel, is like many theoreticians, in that he seems to want a pure world that will function according to a simple and universal law. The world never was, and never will be that simple, and current economics simply continues to have a blindspot for externalities that overwhelm the logic of an unfettered so-called free market. ..."
"... "Neoliberalism" is entirely compatible with "growth of the state". Reagan greatly enlarged the state. He privatized several functions and it actually had the effect of increasing spending. ..."
"... As for the rest, it's the usual practice of gathering every positive metric available and somehow attributing it to neoliberalism, no matter how tenuous the threads, and as always with zero rigour. Supposedly capitalism alone doubled life expectancy, supports billions of extra lives, invented the railways, and provides the drugs and equipment that keep us alive. As though public education, vaccines, antibiotics, and massive availability of energy has nothing to do with those things. ..."
"... I think the damage was done when the liberal left co-opted neo-liberalism. What happened under Bill Clinton was the development of crony capitalism where for example the US banks were told to lower their credit standards to lend to people who couldn't really afford to service the loans. ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
he events that led to Donald Trump's election started in England in 1975. At a meeting a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative party, one of her colleagues, or so the story goes, was explaining what he saw as the core beliefs of conservatism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared book, and slammed it on the table . "This is what we believe," she said. A political revolution that would sweep the world had begun.

The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.

This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.

He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands.

Democracy, by contrast, "is not an ultimate or absolute value". In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take.

He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

The ultra rich are "scouts", "experimenting with new styles of living", who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these "independents" to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality. There should be no connection between merit and reward, no distinction made between earned and unearned income, and no limit to the rents they can charge.

Inherited wealth is more socially useful than earned wealth: "the idle rich", who don't have to work for their money, can devote themselves to influencing "fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs". Even when they seem to be spending money on nothing but "aimless display", they are in fact acting as society's vanguard.

Hayek softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is "an overwhelming case against a free health service for all" and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics .

By the time Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek's doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic, abundantly financed by some of the world's richest people and businesses , including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek's anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme.

Thatcherism and Reaganism were not ideologies in their own right: they were just two faces of neoliberalism. Their massive tax cuts for the rich, crushing of trade unions, reduction in public housing, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services were all proposed by Hayek and his disciples. But the real triumph of this network was not its capture of the right, but its colonisation of parties that once stood for everything Hayek detested.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than develop a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate . In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a "third way".

It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek's triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair's expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act , which had regulated the financial sector. For all his grace and touch, Barack Obama, who didn't possess a narrative either (except "hope"), was slowly reeled in by those who owned the means of persuasion.

As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If the dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people's lives; debate is reduced to the jabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.

The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism's crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek's "independent"; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, beginning with the agreement to limit global warming .

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It's too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish . The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity.

justamug -> Skytree 16 Nov 2016 18:17

Thanks for the chuckle. On a more serious note - defining neoliberalism is not that easy since it is not a laid out philosophy like liberalism, or socialism, or communism or facism. Since 2008 the use of the word neoliberalism has increased in frequency and has come to mean different things to different people.

A common theme appears to be the negative effects of the market on the human condition.

Having read David Harvey's book, and Phillip Mirowski's book (both had a go at defining neoliberalism and tracing its history) it is clear that neoliberalism is not really coherent set of ideas.

ianfraser3 16 Nov 2016 17:54

EF Schumacher quoted "seek first the kingdom of God" in his epilogue of "Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered". This was written in the early 1970s before the neoliberal project bit in the USA and the UK. The book is laced with warnings about the effects of the imposition of neoliberalism on society, people and the planet. The predictions have largely come true. New politics and economics needed, by leaders who place at the heart of their approach the premise, and fact, that humans are "by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish". It is about reclaiming our humanity from a project that treats people as just another commodity.


Filipio -> YouDidntBuildThat 16 Nov 2016 17:42

Whoa there, slow down.

Your last post was questioning the reality of neoliberalism as a general policy direction that had become hegemonic across many governments (and most in the west) over recent decades. Now you seem to be agreeing that the notion does have salience, but that neoliberalism delivered positive rather than negative consequences.

Well, its an ill wind that blows nobody any good, huh?

Doubtless there were some positive outcomes for particular groups. But recall that the context for this thread is not whether, on balance, more people benefited from neoliberal policies than were harmed -- an argument that would be most powerful only in very utilitarian style frameworks of thought (most good for the many, or most harm for only the few). The thread is about the significance of the impacts of neoliberalism in the rise of Trump. And in specific relation to privatisation (just one dimension of neoliberalism) one key impact was downsizing (or 'rightsizing'; restructuring). There is a plethora of material, including sociological and psychological, on the harm caused by shrinking and restructured work-forces as a consequence of privatisation. Books have been written, even in the business management sector, about how poorly such 'change' was handled and the multiple deleterious outcomes experienced by employees.

And we're still only talking about one dimension of neoliberalism! Havn't even touched on deregulation yet (notably, labour market and financial sector).

The general thrust is about the gradual hollowing out of the middle class (or more affluent working class, depending on the analytical terms being used), about insecurity, stress, casualisation, rising wage inequality.

You want evidence? I'm not doing your research for you. The internet can be a great resource, or merely an echo chamber. The problem with so many of the alt-right (and this applies on the extreme left as well) is that they only look to confirm their views, not read widely. Open your eyes, and use your search engine of choice. There is plenty out there. Be open to having your preconceptions challenged.

RichardErskine -> LECKJ3000 16 Nov 2016 15:38

LECKJ3000 - I am not an economist, but surely the theoretical idealised mechanisms of the market are never realised in practice. US subsidizing their farmers, in EU too, etc. And for problems that are not only externalities but transnational ones, the idea that some Hayek mechanism will protect thr ozone layer or limit carbon emissions, without some regulation or tax.

Lord Stern called global warming the greatest market failure in history, but no market, however sophisticated, can deal with it without some price put on the effluent of product (the excessive CO2 we put into the atmosphere).

As with Montreal and subsequent agreements, there is a way to maintain a level playing field; to promote different substances for use as refrigerants; and to address the hole in ozone layer; without abandoning the market altogether. Simple is good, because it avoids over-engineering the interventions (and the unintended consequences you mention).

The same could/ should be true of global warming, but we have left it so late we cannot wait for the (inevitable) fall of fossil fuels and supremacy of renewables. We need a price on carbon, which is a graduated and fast rising tax essentially on its production and/or consumption, which has already started to happen ( http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/SDN/background-note_carbon-tax.pdf ), albeit not deep / fast / extensive enough, or international in character, but that will come, if not before the impacts really bite then soon after.

So Hayek, I feel, is like many theoreticians, in that he seems to want a pure world that will function according to a simple and universal law. The world never was, and never will be that simple, and current economics simply continues to have a blindspot for externalities that overwhelm the logic of an unfettered so-called free market.

LionelKent -> greven 16 Nov 2016 14:59

And persistent. J.K. Galbraith viewed the rightwing mind as predominantly concerned with figuring out a way to justify the shift of wealth from the immense majority to an elite at the top. I for one regret acutely that he did not (as far as I know) write a volume on his belief in progressive taxation.

RandomLibertarian -> JVRTRL 16 Nov 2016 09:19

Not bad points.

When it comes to social safety net programs, e.g. in health care and education -- those programs almost always tend to be more expensive and more complicated when privatized. If the goal was to actually save taxpayer money, in the U.S. at least, it would have made a lot more sense to have a universal Medicare system, rather than a massive patch-work like the ACA and our hybrid market.

Do not forget that the USG, in WW2, took the deliberate step of allowing employers to provide health insurance as a tax-free benefit - which it still is, being free even from SS and Medicare taxes. In the post-war boom years this resulted in the development of a system with private rooms, almost on-demand access to specialists, and competitive pay for all involved (while the NHS, by contrast, increasingly drew on immigrant populations for nurses and below). Next, the large sums of money in the system and a generous court system empowered a vast malpractice industry. So to call our system in any way a consequence of a free market is a misnomer.

Entirely state controlled health care systems tend to be even more cost-effective.

Read Megan McArdle's work in this area. The US has had similar cost growth since the 1970s to the rest of the world. The problem was that it started from a higher base.

Part of the issue is that privatization tends to create feedback mechanism that increase the size of spending in programs. Even Eisenhower's noted "military industrial complex" is an illustration of what happens when privatization really takes hold.

When government becomes involved in business, business gets involved in government!

Todd Smekens 16 Nov 2016 08:40

Albert Einstein said, "capitalism is evil" in his famous dictum called, "Why Socialism" in 1949. He also called communism, "evil", so don't jump to conclusions, comrades. ;)

His reasoning was it distorts a human beings longing for the social aspect. I believe George references this in his statement about people being "unselfish". This is noted by both science and philosophy.

Einstein noted that historically, the conqueror would establish the new order, and since 1949, Western Imperialism has continued on with the predatory phase of acquiring and implementing democracy/capitalism. This needs to end. As we've learned rapidly, capitalism isn't sustainable. We are literally overheating the earth which sustains us. Very unwise.

Einstein wrote, "Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society."

Personally, I'm glad George and others are working on a new economic and social construct for us "human beings". It's time we leave the predatory phase of "us versus them", and construct a new society which works for the good of our now, global society.

zavaell -> LECKJ3000 16 Nov 2016 06:28

The problem is that both you and Monbiot fail to mention that your "the spontaneous order of the market" does not recognize externalities and climate change is outside Hayek's thinking - he never wrote about sustainability or the limits on resources, let alone the consequences of burning fossil fuels. There is no beauty in what he wrote - it was a cold, mechanical model that assumed certain human behaviour but not others. Look at today's money-makers - they are nearly all climate change deniers and we have to have government to reign them in.

aLERNO 16 Nov 2016 04:52

Good, short and concise article. But the FIRST NEOLIBERAL MILESTONE WAS THE 1973 COUP D'ETAT IN CHILE, which not surprisingly also deposed the first democratically-elected socialist government.

accipiter15 16 Nov 2016 02:34

A great article and explanation of the influence of Hayek on Thatcher. Unfortunately this country is still suffering the consequences of her tenure and Osborne was also a proponent of her policies and look where we are as a consequence. The referendum gave the people the opportunity to vent their anger and if we had PR I suspect we would have a greater turn-out and nearly always have some sort of coalition where nothing gets done that is too hurtful to the population. As for Trump, again his election is an expression of anger and desperation. However, the American voting system is as unfair as our own - again this has probably been the cause of the low turn-out. Why should people vote when they do not get fair representation - it is a waste of time and not democratic. I doubt that Trump is Keynsian I suspect he doesn't have an economic theory at all. I just hope that the current economic thinking prevailing currently in this country, which is still overshadowed by Thatcher and the free market, with no controls over the city casino soon collapses and we can start from a fairer and more inclusive base!

JVRTRL -> Keypointist 16 Nov 2016 02:15

The system that Clinton developed was an inheritance from George H.W. Bush, Reagan (to a large degree), Carter, with another large assist from Nixon and the Powell Memo.

Bill Clinton didn't do it by himself. The GOP did it with him hand-in-hand, with the only resistance coming from a minority within the Democratic party.

Trump's victory was due to many factors. A large part of it was Hillary Clinton's campaign and the candidate. Part of it was the effectiveness of the GOP massive resistance strategy during the Obama years, wherein they pursued a course of obstruction in an effort to slow the rate of the economic recovery (e.g. as evidence of the bad faith, they are resurrecting a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Obama originally proposed in 2012, and now that they have full control, all the talk about "deficits" goes out the window).

Obama and the Democratic party also bear responsibility for not recognizing the full scope of the financial collapse in 2008-2009, passing a stimulus package that was about $1 trillion short of spending needed to accelerate the recovery by the 2010 mid-terms, combined with a weak financial regulation law (which the GOP is going to destroy), an overly complicated health care law -- classic technocratic, neoliberal incremental policy -- and the failure of the Obama administration to hold Wall Street accountable for criminal misconduct relating to the financial crisis. Obama's decision to push unpopular trade agreements didn't help either. As part of the post-mortem, the decision to continuing pushing the TPP may have cost Clinton in the rust belt states that went for Trump. The agreement was unpopular, and her shift on the policy didn't come across as credible. People noticed as well that Obama was trying to pass the measure through the lame-duck session of Congress post-election. With Trump's election, the TPP is done too.

JVRTRL daltonknox67 16 Nov 2016 02:00

There is no iron law that says a country has to run large trade deficits. The existence of large trade deficits is usually a result of policy choices.

Growth also hasn't gone into the tank. What's changed is the distribution of the gains in GDP growth -- that is in no small part a direct consequence of changes in policy since the 1970s. It isn't some "market place magic". We have made major changes to tax laws since that time. We have weakened collective bargaining, which obviously has a negative impact on wages. We have shifted the economy towards financial services, which has the tendency of increasing inequality.

The idea too that people will be "poorer" than in the 1920s and 1930s is just plain ignorant. It has no basis in any of the data. Wages in the bottom quartile have actually decreased slightly since the 1970s in real terms, but those wages in the 1970s were still exponentially higher than wages in the 1920s in real terms.

Wages aren't stagnating because people are working less. Wages have stagnated because of dumb policy choices that have tended to incentives looting by those at the top of the income distribution from workers in the lower parts of the economy. The 2008 bailouts were a clear illustration of this reality. People in industries rigged rules to benefit themselves. They misallocated resources. Then they went to representatives and taxpayers and asked for a large no-strings attached handout that was effectively worth trillions of dollars (e.g. hundreds of billions through TARP, trillions more through other programs). As these players become wealthier, they have an easier time buying politicians to rig rules further to their advantage.


JVRTRL YinxxXing 16 Nov 2016 01:50

Part of the problem is a quirk of the U.S. system. We have an electoral college system, which was originally adopted over 200 years ago, in part, in order to help to preserve slavery. If the presidential election was based on a national vote, I suspect we would have higher participation rates, because every vote in every state would carry equal weight.

As things stand now, in 35-40 states in any election cycle, there usually isn't much doubt about the result of the presidential race.

On top of this, there are all kind of obstacles that tend to make voting more difficult. e.g. voting on a weekday, voter IDs, voter suppression efforts.

JVRTRL -> RandomLibertarian 16 Nov 2016 01:44

"The tyranny of the 51 per cent is the oldest and most solid argument against a pure democracy."

"Tyranny of the majority" is always a little bizarre, given that the dynamics of majority rule are unlike the governmental structures of an actual tyranny. Even in the context of the U.S. we had minority rule due to voting restrictions for well over a century that was effectively a tyranny for anyone who was denied the ability to participation in the elections process. Pure majorities can go out of control, especially in a country with massive wealth disparities and with weak civic institutions.

On the other hand, this is part of the reason to construct a system of checks and balances. It's also part of the argument for representative democracy.

"Neoliberalism" is entirely compatible with "growth of the state". Reagan greatly enlarged the state. He privatized several functions and it actually had the effect of increasing spending.

When it comes to social safety net programs, e.g. in health care and education -- those programs almost always tend to be more expensive and more complicated when privatized. If the goal was to actually save taxpayer money, in the U.S. at least, it would have made a lot more sense to have a universal Medicare system, rather than a massive patch-work like the ACA and our hybrid market.

Entirely state controlled health care systems tend to be even more cost-effective. Part of the issue is that privatization tends to create feedback mechanism that increase the size of spending in programs. Even Eisenhower's noted "military industrial complex" is an illustration of what happens when privatization really takes hold.

daltonknox67 15 Nov 2016 21:46

After WWII most of the industrialised world had been bombed or fought over with destruction of infrastructure and manufacturing. The US alone was undamaged. It enjoyed a manufacturing boom that lasted until the 70's when competition from Germany and Japan, and later Taiwan, Korea and China finally brought it to an end.

As a result Americans born after 1950 will be poorer than the generation born in the 20's and 30's.

This is not a conspiracy or government malfunction. It is a quirk of history. Get over it and try working.

Arma Geddon 15 Nov 2016 21:11

Another nasty neoliberal policy of Reagan and Thatcher, was to close all the mental hospitals, and to sweeten the pill to sell to the voters, they called it Care in the Community, except by the time those hospitals closed and the people who had to relay on those institutions, they found out and are still finding out that there is very little care in the community left any more, thanks to Thatcher's disintegration of the ethos community spirit.

In their neoliberal mantra of thinking, you are on your own now, tough, move on, because you are hopeless and non productive, hence you are a burden to taxpayers.

Its been that way of thinking for over thirty years, and now the latest group targeted, are the sick and disabled, victims of the neoliberal made banking crash and its neoliberal inspired austerity, imposed of those least able to fight back or defend themselves i.e. vulnerable people again!

AlfredHerring GimmeHendrix 15 Nov 2016 20:23

It was in reference to Maggie slapping a copy of Hayek's Constitution of Liberty on the table and saying this is what we believe. As soon as you introduce the concept of belief you're talking about religion hence completeness while Hayek was writing about economics which demands consistency. i.e. St. Maggie was just as bad as any Stalinist: economics and religion must be kept separate or you get a bunch of dead peasants for no reason other than your own vanity.

Ok, religion based on a sky god who made us all is problematic but at least there's always the possibility of supplication and miracles. Base a religion on economic theory and you're just making sausage of your neighbors kids.

TanTan -> crystaltips2 15 Nov 2016 20:10

If you claim that the only benefit of private enterprise is its taxability, as you did, then why not cut out the middle man and argue for full state-directed capitalism?

Because it is plainly obvious that private enterprise is not directed toward the public good (and by definition). As we have both agreed, it needs to have the right regulations and framework to give it some direction in that regard. What "the radical left" are pointing out is that the idea of private enterprise is now completely out of control, to the point where voters are disenfranchised because private enterprise has more say over what the government does than the people. Which is clearly a problem.

As for the rest, it's the usual practice of gathering every positive metric available and somehow attributing it to neoliberalism, no matter how tenuous the threads, and as always with zero rigour. Supposedly capitalism alone doubled life expectancy, supports billions of extra lives, invented the railways, and provides the drugs and equipment that keep us alive. As though public education, vaccines, antibiotics, and massive availability of energy has nothing to do with those things.

As for this computer being the invention of capitalism, who knows, but I suppose if one were to believe that everything was invented and created by capitalism and monetary motives then one might believe that. Energy allotments referred to the limit of our usage of readily available fossil fuels which you remain blissfully unaware of.

Children have already been educated to agree with you, in no small part due to a fear of the communist regimes at the time, but at the expense of critical thinking. Questioning the system even when it has plainly been undermined to its core is quickly labelled "radical" regardless of the normalcy of the query. I don't know what you could possibly think left-wing motives could be, but your own motives are plain to see when you immediately lump people who care about the planet in with communist idealogues. If rampant capitalism was going to solve our problems I'm all for it, but it will take a miracle to reverse the damage it has already done, and only a fool would trust it any further.

YouDidntBuildThat -> Filipio 15 Nov 2016 20:06

Filipo

You argue that a great many government functions have been privatized. I agree. Yet strangely you present zero evidence of any downsides of that happening. Most of the academic research shows a net benefit, not just on budgets but on employee and customer satisfaction. See for example.

And despite these privitazation cost savings and alleged neoliberal "austerity" government keeps taking a larger share of our money, like a malignant cancer. No worries....We're from the government, and we're here to help.

Keypointist 15 Nov 2016 20:04

I think the damage was done when the liberal left co-opted neo-liberalism. What happened under Bill Clinton was the development of crony capitalism where for example the US banks were told to lower their credit standards to lend to people who couldn't really afford to service the loans.

It was this that created too big to fail and the financial crisis of 2008. Conservative neo-liberals believe passionately in competition and hate monopolies. The liberal left removed was was productive about neo-liberalism and replaced it with a kind of soft state capitalism where big business was protected by the state and the tax payer was called on to bail out these businesses. THIS more than anything else led to Trump's victory.


[Sep 19, 2017] Is this the beginning of the end for neoliberalism?

Notable quotes:
"... East Twickenham, Middlesex ..."
"... International officer, GMB ..."
"... Wallington, Surrey ..."
"... Leamington Spa, Warwickshire ..."
Apr 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF. Her claims that the IMF helped avoid another great depression in 2008 are challenged

Your editorial on the French elections ( 11 April ), with its encouraging mention of the rise of the higher tax and spend candidate Jean-Luc M้lenchon, failed to mention possibly his biggest electoral draw: the fact that he is a leftwing protectionist . Prior to the 2012 election, polls showed that over 80% of French across the political spectrum thought that free trade had a negative impact on employment. So it's not just immigration that is fuelling ever-broadening support for Marine Le Pen, it is also the fact that she too is an overt protectionist.

These trends have obviously not been lost on the unholy trinity of free trade pushers the IMF, WTO, and the World Bank ( Report , 11 April). Having forced nations across the world to accept their open-borders, export-led growth mantra they are now busy crying crocodile tears for the "left behind", the inevitable result of their policies. They still rail against protectionism, despite the fact that if it has a progressive end goal, it could enhance the economic and social conditions of the globally disadvantaged.

In terms of the relevance of all this to the UK, and at the risk of intruding on public grief, what are the Labour party's views on these under-publicised protectionist trends? The likes of Trump and Le Pen have been able to turn it into a politically potent and successful issue, so why are so many progressives over here absent from this pivotal debate?
Colin Hines
East Twickenham, Middlesex

The attempt by the World Bank , IMF and WTO to defend the role of "free" trade merely serves to underline their role as advocates of a neoliberal order that impoverishes the many and benefits the few. The call for a "robust global trading system based on the WTO" is aimed at locking in countries to a system that removes decision-making from sovereign states and places it instead in the boardrooms of transnational corporations. When their report states that trade is good for growth, what they really mean is that it is good for corporate balance sheets. And when they refer to helping those "left behind", they are inviting us to believe in discredited theories of trickle-down economics which holds that what is good for the rich is good for the poor.

As we move into the uncertainties of a new post-Brexit trading regime, it is incumbent upon us to develop alternative models to outdated concepts that automatically equate GDP growth with increased wellbeing. And it's also time to not only challenge the WTO's direction of travel but also to recognise it for what it is and campaign for its abolition, replacing it instead with a consensual model of economic integration based on the needs and aspirations of independent states and their regional priorities. As Donald Trump preaches protectionism, he would do well to heed his far wiser predecessor, Thomas Jefferson, when he said: "Peace commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none."
Bert Schouwenburg
International officer, GMB

We must not lose sight of the downsides to globalisation and world trade. The rampant consumerism which is driving economic growth is certainly lifting incomes for some while also lining the pockets of global corporations. But only recently ( Pollutionwatch , 10 April) you reported that our consumption of Chinese products causes about 55,000 early deaths from air pollution across China every year. While the three organisations say that they want to pay attention to disadvantaged individuals and communities, they will not be able to "lift up those who have been left behind" if they are dead.
Fiona Carnie
Bath

"We worked together to ensure that the great recession did not become another great depression", says Christine Lagarde of the IMF. The truth is quite the opposite – they and their supporters in the US, the World Bank and the WTO, brought about the crash in 2008 with their insistence on deregulation of the finance business. The aftermath of 2008 is still penalising the poor and what used to be the better-off, both in the rich and poor worlds.
Michael McLoughlin
Wallington, Surrey

Doughnut economics is very compelling, but George Monbiot ( Opinion , 12 April) and, presumably, Kate Raworth, seem not to have encountered A Blueprint for Survival. This remarkable document was published by the Club of Rome, with spadework by MIT, in 1969. It postulated that pollution would end matters if the world proceeded on its continual pursuit of economic growth. That hasn't happened, but not for our want of trying. But the important message was how to create a no-growth, vibrant successful economy by pouring all the world's efforts into recycling, making things that lasted as long as possible and general encouragement of invention centred on conservation of resources and environment.

I and my colleagues teaching general studies in FE spent some enlightening weeks with our students exploring the validity of the proposals. I also wrote to my MP asking what the government's attitude was; I got a nondescript reply. And that's where matters shuddered to a permanent halt. I do hope Kate Raworth has better luck for all our sakes.
Ted Clark
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

[Sep 19, 2017] When all parties want 'an economy that works', you know neoliberalism is kaput by Tim Jackson

May 31, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Tim Jackson Free-market economics has undermined the fabric of society and left millions behind – and manifestos across the political spectrum recognise it

'Privatised gain and socialised loss is the defining story of capitalism over the last decades.'

When all parties want 'an economy that works', you know neoliberalism is kaput Tim Jackson Free-market economics has undermined the fabric of society and left millions behind – and manifestos across the political spectrum recognise it

Something strange is happening in British politics. I'm not talking about the divisive quagmire of Brexit or the frightening rise of xenophobia. I'm talking about a broad cross-party agreement that the economic model of the last half a century has failed. I'm referring to an (almost) ubiquitous call across the multi-coloured manifestos of the 2017 election to start building "an economy that works" – for everyone.

Isn't it a bit odd to find this exact same turn of phrase across the political spectrum: blue , red , orange , green ? (Only Ukip has no truck with an economy that works.) It looks a little bit like someone has been copying someone else's homework; and it isn't entirely clear who. When Theresa May first used the phrase, on the steps of Downing Street back in July 2016 , she made it sound like her own idea. But in fact she lifted the language – lock, stock and barrel – from a speech Jeremy Corbyn gave at the launch of Labour's inaugural state of the economy conference . He promised to "create an economy that works for all, not just the few".

A careful archivist could uncover a longer pedigree. The phrase appeared on the Green party's website long before Corbyn and May borrowed it. Interesting. The Greens picked it up from a campaign launched by the Aldersgate Group – an alliance of leaders driving action for a sustainable economy. Curiouser and Curiouser. Ultimately, we can trace it to the worldwide chorus of disapproval against the " age of irresponsibility " that created the financial crisis.

Almost a decade on, it seems kind of obvious that something different is needed . An economy that works has to be a good thing, right? Meaningful work, decent incomes, good life chances, reliable access to healthcare and education, affordable housing, resilient communities, inclusive societies, living in a world that doesn't trash the climate or the rivers or the soils. What's not to like about this vision – a tantalising promise to create a "good society"?

Of course it rather depends who you are. And what your life chances happen to be at the time of asking. There's a minority who have done rather well from an economy that doesn't work at all. The much reviled 1% . A financial (and political) elite who've managed to benefit massively from the machinery of growth: globalisation, financial deregulation, asset price speculation, collateralised debt obligations, credit default swaps. An impenetrable language hiding a tale of human misery. Not just to benefit, indeed, but to use their considerable power in persuading a captive state to stack the odds in their favour and sweep the risks under the public carpet. Privatised gain and socialised loss is the defining story of capitalism over the last decades.

But it also depends how you set about translating vision into practice. How, for instance, does an economy that works, actually work? What does work itself look like in the economy of tomorrow? Work is more than just the means to a livelihood. It's a vital ingredient in our connection to each other – part of the "glue" of society. Good work offers respect, motivation, fulfilment, involvement in community and in the best cases a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

The reality, of course, is often different. Too many people are trapped in low-quality jobs with insecure wages . If they're lucky. Two-thirds of European countries now have youth unemployment rates higher than 20%. In Greece and Spain , youth unemployment in 2015 was close to 50%. This enormous waste of human energy and talent is also a recipe for civil and social unrest. It undermines the creativity of the workforce and threatens social stability. The long-term implications are nothing short of disastrous.

Some of this is on the radar. Matthew Taylor's review of employment practices will be one of the first things to arrive on the next prime minister's desk. The chances are it will be an immensely useful document, particularly if it goes beyond the vaguely puritanical promises to crack down on tax evasion in the gig economy that currently pepper the blue manifesto. Even more so, if it dares to talk about the quality of work. Or if it begins to question the prevailing assumption that a hi-tech digitalised world of robots and AI is going to save us.

Let's be clear. Technical innovation can deliver us a better quality of life, freedom from drudgery, the ability to be more productive. But there are also places where it makes no sense. Certain kinds of tasks rely inherently on people. The care and concern of one human being for another is a case in point. Its quality rests primarily on the attention paid by one person to another. And yet compassion fatigue is a rising scourge in a health sector hounded by meaningless productivity targets.

Craft is another example. It is the accuracy and detail inherent in crafted goods that endows them with lasting value. It is the attention paid by the carpenter, the tailor and the designer that makes this detail possible. Likewise it is the time spent practising, rehearsing and performing that gives creative art its enduring appeal. What – aside from meaningless noise – is to be gained by asking the London Philharmonic to reduce their rehearsal time and play Beethoven's 9th Symphony faster and faster each year?

An economy that works must have something to do with investing in work itself. Care, craft, culture, creativity: these sectors offer a new vision of enterprise: not as a speculative, profit-maximising, resource-intensive division of labour, but as a form of social organisation embedded in the community, working in harmony with nature to deliver the capabilities that allow us to prosper.

Much of this exists in the rainbow manifestos of the 2017 election, but there are differences of course. Labour, remarkably, has fully costed the vision. The Tories appear somewhat arrogant in failing completely to do so. The Lib Dems have understood that the vision needs to be personal. The Greens have gone furthest in offering innovative policy to deliver it. Their proposals to trial a land tax, to challenge executive remuneration and to introduce a universal basic income are radical, pragmatic and extremely timely in dealing with the challenges ahead.

Manifestos will come and go but one startling realisation persists. The failed experiment of free-market, neoliberal economics that has haunted modern politics, undermined the fabric of society, disempowered government and left millions behind, may just be coming to an end. Building an economy that works for everyone has become a precise, definable and meaningful task.

Tim Jackson is the author of Prosperity without Growth (Routledge)

JudeSherry , 20 Jul 2017 07:16

We give our power to corporations and governments. This can be given through consumerism or a vote. Indeed we need to stop believing this is the only way we give or take back power. But to ignore that both of these very important actions is irresponsible and delusional.

Indeed we need collective action and what biggest collective action do we take part in every day then the energy & stuff we consume.

In a neo-liberal world view 'the market' wins every time, and if we keep driving, eating meat, flying 'the market' will provide this for us with as much profit for shareholders. This in turn will give corporations & shareholders more resources to lobby for less regulations and more data to argue that this is what people want, so we should ensure they get what they want. In turn ensuring governments have no option but to continue as as they are.

We can make personal choices to earn a living in a responsible manor, to not partake in excessive consumption, to live a life based on real needs not fickle ego wants. We can do all this while also taking part in collective action. In fact I believe choosing a life of less will free us up to do more. I feel much more energised reducing my consumption than the depression I was in when living a life I knew made others suffer through the job I had, the stuff I bought etc.

The idea that we cannot do individual and collective action is insulting to every human. We all have a responsibility in the actions we take, we are not afforded the same privilege of ignorance that previous generations had, our material wealth comes at a cost, a cost we in privileged countries do not pay.

Andre Piver , 19 Jul 2017 13:45
Yes left out of the general conversation , sad and obvious, once stated; Inseparable from the lifeblood of our long supply lines (including political donations and wages for enslaved debtors) being corporate. These are new cancerous multi-organismal organisms rampaging......not an idle metaphor, but actually sharing many specific properties, no limits on reproduction of the pattern, no attachment to place and likely to wipe out the larger host planet...is there any better hope than collapse sooner than later? Unfortunately, amongst individuals more information than ever available but little experiential preparation, sense of connection and belonging necessary to spark a material revolution rather than just more information sharing.
Eddiel899 , 19 Jul 2017 11:14
Everything in the world today revolves around ownership and ownership rights. Is it not strange therefore that there are many people who would like us to believe that there is no such thing as ownership of human life.
Yet these people would like us to believe that all life is based on evolutionary principles of survival of the fittest and of course the fittest are those who set themselves no limit to their exploitation of human life and the human environment.
And these are the same people who tell us that they are the only ones who can be trusted to manage our lives and our environment.
Lame0912 , 19 Jul 2017 05:48
Neoliberalism has conned us. Fullstop.
By fragmenting society (do you remember "There is no such a thing as a society"? I'm sure you all do) into millions of individual atoms, power is left in the hand of the very few.
And we are conned into believing we can better our work situation by individually bargaining, or that we can fend for ourselves individually in every important aspect of life (say education or health just to name two) where, in fact, we are confronting a concentration of power never seen in human history.
chasadel , 19 Jul 2017 00:24
Personally, I think the point at which the corporate world will wake up & listen is when living costs rise so much that us plebs won't have any free cash to buy their products any longer and their diminished profit margins will start to tell the story. The world is raped & poisoned almost beyond repair while these corporate pigs have only one thing on their minds - increased growth & profits. This is happening now with many of us surviving by only buying food and necessities and forced to forego luxuries such as holidays & dining out etc. This is the stark reality of living in this corporate greed driven world. I am now in my late 50s, grew up with Thatcher and am still hearing this neoliberalism garbage and wondering why my fellow citizens continue to vote these idiots in to run our country (I live in Australia now which has similar issues). There is a tipping point that many of us are fast approaching. This whole neoliberalism crap has got to stop before we self-destruct and destroy our planet! The corporate world must accept responsibility for this situation and must be held accountable, as many have made fortunes from their irresponsible attitudes towards the planet's resources. I agree with the author of this piece, but lets start with voting in governments who govern for their people and NOT the greedy corporations. The younger generations, who have been politically ambivalent so far, are slowly waking up to what is happening and will only act when they realise what the corporations have done to our world and the limited opportunities that await them. Where is Monsieur Guillotine when you need him?
GreyBags , 18 Jul 2017 22:57
The self centred greed merchants will fight to the last breath for their right to destroy the planet for personal gain. Those who are not already rich and powerful who push denialist lines are the right wing equivalent of Stalin's 'Useful Idiots'.

It is time the farmers and the small business owners realise that right wing parties only funnel more and more money into the unquenchable maw of big business. What is good for big business is bad for everyone and everything else on the planet.

diggerdigger , 18 Jul 2017 22:31
If you, as a comfy middle class First World urban individual, can't even be bothered to switch off all unused appliances at the wall because it is inconvenient, then you lose all entitlement to complain about the cost of energy - both monetary and climatically. You also lose your entitlement to complain that "corporate" energy providers aren't being forced to do more to reduce their carbon footprint.

A Choice report in 2016 estimated that one act alone could reduce your personal GHG emissions by 1000kg/yr as well as at least $100 off your electricity bill. Not a big difference on its own, but if there are 10 million households in Oz doing that, then that's 10Mt less GHG emissions every year, and you can claim the moral high ground when demanding the onus for action be put back on government and private industry.

Of course, the reality is that virtually no-one in the First World (me included) does this because when it comes down to it, we choose convenience over cost, and would rather sheet home all responsibility and obligation for "doing something about it" to someone else. Preferably those "big evil faceless capitalists" who provide all those things that we poor powerless disenfranchised individuals want and demand.

I'm sorry - but if you want change you have to take responsibility for your own individual contribution to the problem. We're like drug addicts claiming its not our problem or our fault that we're hooked on the shit of every day consumption ...

BTW - I accept I'm a glass house dweller with a handful of stones - I can't be arsed turning stuff off or choosing inconvenience over moral superiority, but then I don't complain when I get my electricity bill, or get stuck in traffic.

https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/standby-energy-savers/articles/standby-energy

Matt Quinn -> Lawrie Griffith , 18 Jul 2017 21:55
Cheating is the game. Sooner or later the cheats outweigh wealth producers, a crash ensues until enough 'aspirationals' are shaken out of the elite, and it starts over. The devil is in the details, and we all need to know them:

Resources for seekers of economic truth, the pre-requisite for justice:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
How land barons, industrialists and bankers corrupted economics - Review and outline of "Progress and Poverty" & "Corruption of Economics", links below.

The Corruption of Economics , Gaffney & Harrison (1994) - How you were Robbed.
Progress and Poverty , Henry George (1879) - The Cause(singular) of Poverty.
Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy , Mosler (2010) - How $'s Work.

Iamfuture , 18 Jul 2017 18:25
Neo-Liberalism aka Neo Colonialism is empowered by the Vatican/Crown-Bar/Banker/Global Militia-Police States and THEIR governments, IMF/World Bank to DRIVE the masses to naively wrongly believe via their small collective efforts we can cut emissions sufficiently to stop Climate Change. As the articles published New York Times...The Uninhabitable Earth...correctly assesses C/C changes thus far and their projected amplification going forwards, that we are passing the point of no return to save ourselves and planet. In the mean time, the public, politicians, bankers, wealthy, poor, slaves and owners of oil and gas industry care not for any change to current systems. They do this while well knowing to continue as is to destroy the planet. yet each one individually may we be terrified of the consequences for their children and generations and know they are powerless to stop the rot. Others in turn who have spent millions of their own as well as others money to invent develop the required emissions reduction tech & renewable energy system, have wisely after finding out there is no Public/Private/Government/Banks money available for such noble pursuits, long given up with their efforts. Be these people individuals of small teams they resign themselves to giving up such effort to save the planet with a new understanding that no matter what they seek to do, be it disruptive or paradigm changing they now KNOW those in power via governments, banks, military, police state are under orders to STOP them. It is curious that Guardian Journo's, Writers, Reporters, Invites appear to be afraid of confronting the reality that we humans are in a full blown war with very ancient evil actors and off-worlders in league with equally corrupt evil humans who have little compunction to sell humanity down the road for a price. It is only when closeted 'fraidy cat' news men and women grow some courage will we see publication about real matters few want to appear in media, they having spent centuries using the vast wealth and influence and arms covering up, the mankind would remain in the dark. Do if able fellow Man/Women...do if able awaken from the subtle spell cast over your mind, via global electronic transmissions systems which is preventing you from seeing past the veil of deception hard at work killing your species and world.
Eddiel899 , 18 Jul 2017 13:17
What is needed is recognition of the truth in regard to human life and the position it holds in the world in which we live.
At present there are two rather extreme positions:
1. the liberal democracy position that sees human life as no different to any other form of life and insists that all forms of life have equal value and therefore all life should be treated equally.
2. The neo-liberal position that see human life as no different to any other form of life but due its position on the evolutionary table it must insist on complete dominance of not only all other forms of life but also over the weaker or more docile individuals of the human species.
But there is a third position based on the Christian position where human life is entitled by its nature to dominate all other forms of life but because human life has a value and a destiny that nothing in this world can confer it has a responsibility for sustaining and nourishing all future generations of human life through nourishing and cherishing what is available in all other forms of life.
RobinS -> Lawrie Griffith , 18 Jul 2017 10:08
My, non-economist, understanding of the consequence of Hayek/Rand/Friedman et al thinking - essentially selfishness, individuality and greed - is Commons Tragedy. E are now experiencing many such Tragedies - atmospheric and ocean pollution (CO2, plastics etc), species extinctions, ever greater failure of antibiotics, bonus culture....

This is the ghastly consequence of 'There is no alternative' religious ideological mantra. It has to be denounced but few are doing so. When has a senior politician, elder statesman or mainstream journalist ever denounced the dogma? Those who try, are lampooned, ridiculed and rubbished.

"Thinking is difficult; that's why most people judge," said Carl Jung. I'm trying to think about what's going on - as above - but what judgement is given?

Lawrie Griffith , 18 Jul 2017 09:07
This has to be one of the best articles ever published in the Guardian.
Articulated within it is a core truth about human affairs.
When those who wield power make everyone responsible for everything, we end up with no one responsible for anything.
Look at the lie the powerful tell our children:
You can be anything you want. Yeah right.
Code for: Your life is crap because you are a loser .
The media is soaked with the lesson that only rule breakers succeed, that co-operation is antisocial and will crush an individuals opportunity. Lies.
This is a disease that is rampant in an America that got rich fighting two world wars and never left victorian era capitalism behind.
Even middle of the road media and political parties like the lib-dems etc. hold to this myth, when the truth is that economic fundamentalism (and its hand maiden religion) crush individual opportunity through economic inequality.
Democracy is the enemy of unfettered power, and democracy is collective behaviour.
Martin Lukacs is correct.
We will all do our part, (and I will do my bit) but the battle to save the planet will only be achieved through political means.
freeman69 -> jeroenspeculaas , 18 Jul 2017 08:11
Excellent points. By the same token, the established trade unions were also cleverly absorbed in to the system such that they have become, in many instances, agents of neo-liberalism. Same for New Labour. But there is now an appetite for a pull back and hopefully the momentum can continue.
pacoguerilla , 18 Jul 2017 06:02
Globalisation intensifies transport of material and goods, polluting air, sea, ground. Growing population increases demand for cheap goods produces regardless of the consequences on the environment. Pressure on natural ressources leads to destruction of biodiversity, e.g. cutting down forest to grow palm trees. Electrification is supported bu nuclear lobbies, leading to other Fukushima accidents. Large scale investments are urgently need to complete Inga hydroelectric dawn, to produce electricity for central Africa. This can only be done by rich governments, able to tax multinational companies. But, these escape to taxes by hiding their profits in fiscal paradises. Individuals need to unite to force government to act in the common and public interests, not for private interests.
redactedusername , 18 Jul 2017 04:52
The author makes some refreshing observations about the way that we have been 'trained' to not think systemically. One might go even further and propose that if we did think systemically, we may not be in the mess we are currently in because we would have recognised that - as Barry Commoner put it way back in 1971 - "there's no such thing as a free lunch in nature" (I paraphrase).

Gregory Bateson, again back in the late 60s and early 70s, was adamant that a species that destroys its environment destroys itself, because the unit of survival is the organism plus its environment, not one without the other.

Even Darwin understood this, and his claim that evolution was the survival of the fit does not mean the ascendancy of alpha individuals, but rather the continuous process of species adapting (i.e., fitting) their environmental niches.

In other words, everything is interconnected, and when we lose sight of those webs of connectivity we begin to die out, in one way or another. We see this in habitat fragmentation - when habitats become fragmented, the species that are connected within those habitats are impacted and begin to die out - the percolation theory, in effect.

The point being is that thinking systemically is not news ... or rather, it shouldn't be. So when this author (correctly) points to the neoliberal agenda as divide and conquer he is quite right to do so, because that division separates us from each other and us all from the planetary systems on which we quite literally depend. Chief Seattle is alleged to have observed that once the last tree has been cut down and the last fish fished, we will realise that one cannot eat money. We seem to have forgotten this basic and fundamental wisdom of who we are, and more critically, our ontological status as a species .

The emphasis in the modern day on individual action is all well and good, and should be continued. But we should not overlook the elephant in the room, and I think that this is the author's main point: we are almost all participants in an exploitive economic model that recasts the world as a vast resource base that belongs to no-one so therefore is free for the taking. But these commons are by definition, held in common for all of us, and for those who have yet to be born.

There are plenty of examples from around the world compiled by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, of communities who have banded together in self-organising groups to care for these common pool resources (e.g. irrigation, plantation, and other resource systems) in novel ways that undermine Hardin's so-called 'tragedy' of the commons that could only be resolved via government intervention or private ownership, and these groups deal effectively with the free-rider problem and violators of the group normative agreements.

I'm pleased to note that ecological economics has begun the process of recalibrating the linear models of classical economic theory, and while the notion of valuing ecosystem services is very anthropocentric, it is still at least a start for those who only think in terms of profit and loss to begin to attribute inherent value to the complex and interwoven systems that have, for so long, been taken for granted and abused. Kate Raworth's "Doughnut economics" is an excellent starter to begin thinking about these issues.

By reconnecting the different nodes in the network, by looking at the ripple effect of actions at a local scale traveling out towards wider, more spatially and temporally remote areas, and holding those who treat the planet as their corporate profit enhancing vehicle to account, calling upon our politicians to be clear about what they are going to do to address this rot, perhaps these may prove to be the more effective measures in the long run.

But, of course, we don't have that much time according to the rapidly accumulating evidence. Therein lies the rub. Moreover, those who stand to lose out through changes in the dominant economic paradigm are not going to surrender without a fight, and unfortunately, they have the capacity to call on politicians and the police and military forces to do their bidding and to defend their interests.

Nevertheless, all credit to this author for naming the elephant in the room: working in groups and communities, making the inter-connections explicit between what happens to my patch and what happens elsewhere, physically and socially, economically and culturally, these seem to offer the best hope in trying to preserve something for those who have yet to follow and who will inherit whatever we bequeath them.

sierrasierra , 18 Jul 2017 04:43
"Neoliberalism has not merely ensured this agenda is politically unrealistic: it has also tried to make it culturally unthinkable. Its celebration of competitive self-interest and hyper-individualism, its stigmatization of compassion and solidarity, has frayed our collective bonds. It has spread, like an insidious anti-social toxin, what Margaret Thatcher preached: "there is no such thing as society."

There's another word for this and it's called 'cancer' the metaphoric kind in addition to the physical and emotional kinds.

ColinKnight -> TheSnial , 18 Jul 2017 03:07

Unfortunately, that's not true. Brexit was organised by ultra-neoliberals who see the EU as a barrier to tearing down the state. Their goal is to inflict a form a Shock Doctrine on the country which pushes us into the arms of a right-wing Anglosphere and the same sort of anti-environmental policies pursued by Trump, Abott and Harper. It's a delusion to think that Brexit represents anything else: no country is an island, even though we literally are surrounded by sea.

You're basing your statements on what you would like to believe, driven by the romanticism of family, rather than the facts.

You could start by recognising that the EU is a protectionist trading area. Set up from the very beginning to protect both French farming and German manufacturing, in a time when world tariffs were relatively high.

Whilst world tariffs have have since reduced drastically to typically 3 to 5%, those EU tariffs are still unrealistically very high, at typically 20% on EU agricultural imports and 10% on EU manufacturing imports, which the UK has to pay as party to the customs union. The beneficiaries of those EU tariffs are not the citizens and consumers of the EU, who as a result have to pay a lot more for non-EU products, but the organisations that the high tariffs protect.

Due to their protectionism, that harms EU citizens, the EU tariffs are now way out of step with typical low and reducing world tariffs.

Consequently, when we leave the EU, and are outside the high EU tariff walls of the customs union, many products will be far cheaper, and UK consumers will benefit greatly. Those benefits will increase even further, when we leave the customs union, as we are able to progressively agree unilateral low tariff trade deals with multiple nations that are outside the EU.

conguruous , 18 Jul 2017 02:18
Fine words, intelligent ideas, excellent analysis of the neoliberal mad house we live in. Consumerism and greed, narcissistic megalomania and political apathy all mixed into a pot of poison that is infecting the entire planet and, through solution and abuse, all its life forms. Each generation, each civilisation faces its nemesis and ours is well understood; but like all those who went before us, we will face our extinction unable to do much about it. In pursuit of happiness, it behoves us all to reflect in philosophical and spiritual ways; to understand the wounds and suffering we each bear and to find compassion for ourselves and each other. Even though we must try, all our political and material attempts to solve our problems fall into the same bottomless hole. So little we can do out there; so much we can do within.
Gonebush , 18 Jul 2017 01:45
Excellent article. Big business corporations are becoming the effective governments of nations and will soon be able to enforce their interests without government restraints--unless people take committed, collective action against their encroaching powers. Many governments have sunk alarmingly into isolation, incompetence and ineffectiveness, not to mention dependence on corporate donations. They must now be disregarded as guardians and promoters of their peoples' interests.
LeftyMcPitchfork , 18 Jul 2017 01:41
Holy Guacamole you're so oblivious to your own neoliberal tendency to absolve your first world capitalist consumption from blame for the ills of the world, I actually had to create a Guardian account to express my incredulous disgust that you'd actually attempt to use socialism as an excuse for individuals to weasel out of responsibility for their consumer choices.

Anarchist, vegan and far left groups have known for decades in a capitalist market economy like ours YOU MUST OPT OUT. It's as simple as not joining a murderous street gang.. You also don't buy the products or from companies killing the earth.

Buy local food, and ethical small business. Recycle, trade, buy used goods, use less fuel, stop eating meat, drink coffee at home or at a local cafe instead of in a disposable Starbucks cup. Its the only way to build a new healthy culture. You can't keep blaming corporations if you keep lining their pockets.

It is both. I find this article dangerously simplistic and as some one who is really far left, disgusted that you'd use socialism as an excuse to passively keep participating in corporate capitalism. Nothing could be more neoliberal than that!

quokkaZ -> iruka , 18 Jul 2017 01:23

That's exactly why some people get so incandescently angry at Green Parties

How about we drop the psycho babble and cut to the chase. Some environmentalists are angry at green parties because of their stupid anti-science polices on very important questions inclusing nuclear power and GMOs.

And a great deal more people are angry at Green Parties because a large percentage of people on the planet consume too little rather than too much. They live in an unacceptable state of poverty. There is only one fix for that - economic development. All this talk of consumption presupposes that there is some plausible reduction of consumption in developed countries that could compensate for the economic development in the rest of the world. Manifestly there cannot be. In the end western green ideology cannot end up with any other logical conclusion than keeping vast swathes of the worlds population poor - for the sake of the environment. Despite all protestations and rationalizations the conclusion is inevitable. They cannot combine humanism and environmentalism and if you can't do that you will fail.

And an inevitable conclusion entirely missed by greens - the climate problem is just as much (or even more) a problem of production rather than consumption. France does not have a lower per person carbon emissions footprint because they are frugal, or more ethical or any of the rest of the nonsense. It's because of nuclear power.

iruka , 18 Jul 2017 00:15
Green consumerism clearly invites comparisons to religion, as described by Marx: "..the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions..."

It's a way of achieving a sense of wholeness and purity in a corrupt world, and a sense of having taken substantive action in a world that has rendered us powerless. It's an excuse for believing that we aren't - collectively, passively - dooming our grandchildren to a world in which the living, to quote Merkin Muffley, will envy the dead. Individual green piety is the opiate of the people.

Of course for that matter: individualism and consumerism themselves, pursued within the atomising conditions of any modern society, are for most people not fields of dumb, solipsistic egoism. They're means of negotiating and establishing some sense of being a moral creature. They're ways of conforming, of touching some sort of (wholly imaginary) shared consciousness. They're forms of pious religious conformity in their own right.

That's exactly why some people get so incandescently angry at Green Parties, or at exhortations to consume less: it isn't that their self-indulgence or their selfishness is being called out. It's that their habitual sense of being a moral person is being undermined.

The anger is almost inevitable given how rudimentary and self-contradictory a sense of one's own goodness that's rooted wholly in conformity is bound to be (see: "only following orders...")

Federalist10 , 17 Jul 2017 23:55

...it is time to stop obsessing with how personally green we live...

Martin, this is dangerously off base.

As the Laudato Si encyclical reminds us, personal responsibility is the root of all moral action. Indeed, we have barely begun to obsess.

Yes, neoliberalism is killing us, and we have a moral duty to fight corporate desecration in all its forms. But this alone won't let us personally off the hook.

stanphillips , 17 Jul 2017 22:16
This is a great article, although it is wishful thinking to imagine that it would be anything but difficult to counter the attacks that corporations, many governments and the conservative media would use to stifle attempts to at organizing opposition to the oligarchies, their cronies in power and nationalizing power grids, water supply and public transport, to name a few.

Population growth is not given enough attention, given that in western societies that has generally been on the decline. Not so in other parts of the world, particularly South and Central America, parts of Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

Therein lies the difficulty, because to effect the changes mentioned in the article would be difficult enough in western nations. To enable them in countries where the rule of law and natural justice is transient and either flexible or non-existent depending on who is in power would be well nigh impossible, although use of resources per capita in those countries can be much less than the so-called "affluent" west. Most importantly, female rights in those countries (as they still are to a degree in western countries) are often ignored and they are paramount to solving environmental problems.

In no way can a habitable biosphere be achieved or maintained without the empowerment of women, without women occupying positions of power across the board on their own terms and absolutely having control over their own persons and reproductive rights

GabrielM -> bobkolker 17 Jul 2017 21:13

But most scientific and technological innovation is government funded, because it's far too risky for hedge funds or the like to take any interest until there are proven results. Then the corporate world cashes in: on a much safer developmental basis. Read Mariana Mazzucato of Sussex University about this. Conventional wisdom flogs the lie that entrepreneurs take all the risk -- they don't: governments do.

GabrielM -> biggshoson 17 Jul 2017 20:20

Maybe it was his intention to say that individual effort is "not enough" but my impression was that his anger at the divide-and-rule, atomising effects on us as consumers of products of large corporations, made him overstate his case: that neoliberalism exemplified by corporations was blinding us to the pointlessness of individual action as a "feel-good" factor only, with no real relevance to the scope of the problem.

I think this is misguided on two counts: first that this so-called "individual" action might accurately reflect a solitary situation e.g. sorting stuff for recycling, but it's essentially undertaken with a collective understanding that resources are limited, that the way we dispose of what we regard as "waste" which could also be regarded as a resource, has consequences in terms of eg pollution.

Second, that such individual-but-also-collective actions do in aggregate make a tangible difference to available resources and pollution; it's not just an inconsequential ritual. And the dividing lines between personal and political are often far from clear, in a context where local government often sets the parameters of what is or is not possible: e.g. provision or not of recycling facilities, of allotments for flat dwellers, etc for growing the carrots. It doesn't necessarily take a delegation to raise issues with a local Council or MP: a few concerned and persistent individuals can make sure something gets attended to.

The individual can be very political just by writing well-informed letters and refusing to take silence or no for an answer. We have more power than we think we do, and organising is even better.

[Sep 19, 2017] The political project of neoliberalism, brought to ascendence by Thatcher and Reagan, has pursued two principal objectives. The first has been to dismantle any barriers to the exercise of unaccountable private power. The second had been to erect them to the exercise of any democratic public will

Sep 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The political project of neoliberalism , brought to ascendence by Thatcher and Reagan, has pursued two principal objectives. The first has been to dismantle any barriers to the exercise of unaccountable private power. The second had been to erect them to the exercise of any democratic public will.

Its trademark policies of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts and free trade deals: these have liberated corporations to accumulate enormous profits and treat the atmosphere like a sewage dump, and hamstrung our ability, through the instrument of the state, to plan for our collective welfare.

Anything resembling a collective check on corporate power has become a target of the elite: lobbying and corporate donations, hollowing out democracies, have obstructed green policies and kept fossil fuel subsidies flowing; and the rights of associations like unions, the most effective means for workers to wield power together, have been undercut whenever possible.

At the very moment when climate change demands an unprecedented collective public response, neoliberal ideology stands in the way. Which is why, if we want to bring down emissions fast, we will need to overcome all of its free-market mantras: take railways and utilities and energy grids back into public control; regulate corporations to phase out fossil fuels; and raise taxes to pay for massive investment in climate-ready infrastructure and renewable energy -- so that solar panels can go on everyone's rooftop, not just on those who can afford it.

Neoliberalism has not merely ensured this agenda is politically unrealistic: it has also tried to make it culturally unthinkable. Its celebration of competitive self-interest and hyper-individualism, its stigmatization of compassion and solidarity, has frayed our collective bonds . It has spread, like an insidious anti-social toxin, what Margaret Thatcher preached: "there is no such thing as society."

Studies show that people who have grown up under this era have indeed become more individualistic and consumerist . Steeped in a culture telling us to think of ourselves as consumers instead of citizens, as self-reliant instead of interdependent, is it any wonder we deal with a systemic issue by turning in droves to ineffectual, individual efforts? We are all Thatcher's children.

Even before the advent of neoliberalism, the capitalist economy had thrived on people believing that being afflicted by the structural problems of an exploitative system – poverty, joblessness, poor health, lack of fulfillment – was in fact a personal deficiency.

Neoliberalism has taken this internalized self-blame and turbocharged it. It tells you that you should not merely feel guilt and shame if you can't secure a good job, are deep in debt, and are too stressed or overworked for time with friends. You are now also responsible for bearing the burden of potential ecological collapse.

Of course we need people to consume less and innovate low-carbon alternatives – build sustainable farms, invent battery storages, spread zero-waste methods. But individual choices will most count when the economic system can provide viable, environmental options for everyone!not just an affluent or intrepid few.

If affordable mass transit isn't available, people will commute with cars. If local organic food is too expensive, they won't opt out of fossil fuel-intensive super-market chains. If cheap mass produced goods flow endlessly, they will buy and buy and buy. This is the con-job of neoliberalism: to persuade us to address climate change through our pocket-books, rather than through power and politics.

Eco-consumerism may expiate your guilt. But it's only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis. This requires of us first a resolute mental break from the spell cast by neoliberalism: to stop thinking like individuals.

The good news is that the impulse of humans to come together is inextinguishable – and the collective imagination is already making a political come-back. The climate justice movement is blocking pipelines, forcing the divestment of trillions of dollars, and winning support for 100% clean energy economies in cities and states across the world. New ties are being drawn to Black Lives Matter, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and fights for better wages. On the heels of such movements, political parties seem finally ready to defy neoliberal dogma.

None more so than Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour Manifesto spelled out a redistributive project to address climate change: by publicly retooling the economy, and insisting that corporate oligarchs no longer run amok. The notion that the rich should pay their fair share to fund this transformation was considered laughable by the political and media class. Millions disagreed. Society, long said to be departed, is now back with a vengeance.

So grow some carrots and jump on a bike: it will make you happier and healthier. But it is time to stop obsessing with how personally green we live – and start collectively taking on corporate power.

[Sep 19, 2017] How neoliberalism left a toxic legacy

Notable quotes:
"... Henllan, Denbighshire ..."
"... Wallington, Surrey ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Reading your long read on liberalism, it crossed my mind that Friedrich Hayek must be turning in his grave ( The big idea that defines our era , 19 August). Neoliberalism has demolished Hayek's theory of markets. Markets are not free: they are controlled by a wealthy minority of state-sized corporations. Markets are not efficient: they generate mountains of waste as corporations walk away from every abandoned disaster, expecting someone else to clear up the mess. Markets are not competitive: mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and buyouts reduce competition and choice for the consumer. Multinational corporations and international banks so dominate national governments that criminality is tolerated and, in the case of banks, even accepted as normal.

The 2008 crash showed that only the insiders of the financial services industry know what is going on. When a combination of incompetence and greed wrecked the international economy, taxpayers/consumers had to fund a colossal bailout. If big government hadn't organised a rescue, the neoliberal marketplace would have disappeared up its own rectum. The "market economy" is not an "objective science". Hayek's big idea is fatally flawed.
Martin London
Henllan, Denbighshire

Hayek's may have been "the big idea that defines our era", but economies run by governments favouring his ideas, broadly those since Thatcher and Reagan, have been far less successful providing for the majority of their people than those that favoured John Maynard Keynes. Albert Camus wrote that his generation's task was to prevent the world destroying itself. Today it requires a triumph of hope over experience to believe that free marketeers will address climate change. And if the "invisible hand" should always decide, it was odd that its manifestation, almost immediately after WWII, was the finance sector recruiting (directly or indirectly) economists, journalists and politicians to reverse Keynes's theories and policies and to denounce him as a "tax and spender".
David Murray
Wallington, Surrey

What is neoliberalism? It's that moment when you ought to step in to do something about the dehumanised, exploited fast food courier, pedalling furiously along the busy pavement to the beat of the algorithm (past the homeless in their sleeping bags, the slaves in their nail bars and massage parlours, and the private security officers patrolling the "investment properties" that were once homes) before he ploughs into the arthritic, mentally ill woman painfully inching her way to humiliation at an "independent" work capability assessment – but you don't bother because you know the market's invisible hand will sort things out for you.
Ian McCormack
Leicester

[Sep 19, 2017] Goodbye neoliberalism, hello common good by Robin Le Mare

Notable quotes:
"... Allithwaite, Cumbria ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The academic, political and philosophical basis, with its misanthropic view that everyone is essentially selfish, is bust, argues Robin Le Mare Margaret Thatcher and Ronal Reagan great believers in neoliberilsm.

The academic, political and philosophical basis, with its misanthropic view that everyone is essentially selfish, is bust, argues Robin Le Mare

Letters

Sunday 6 August 2017 13.22 EDT Last modified on Sunday 6 August 2017 17.00 EDT At last, a clear indication of the neoliberal revolution coming to an end ( How Britain fell out of love with the free market , 5 August). I wish it were more clearly stated by politicians and in the questions journalists ask them. It is high time to denounce those behind the whole scheme – one which is so obviously leading to many tragedies of the commons.

The academic (Friedman, Hayek, Buchanan et al), political (Reagan, Thatcher ...) and philosophical basis, with its misanthropic view that everyone is essentially selfish, is bust. The hypocrisy of that idea is astounding, the more so that it gained such following and influence, as every one of those who supported it had families, lived in communities, joined clubs and depended on others every day.

The article mentions the corruption of 2007-08 banking. The consequences from it, and neoliberalism generally, being many examples of tragedies of the commons: bonus culture, plastics pollution, accelerated species extinctions, atmospheric chaos and oceanic acidification, wars and mass migration. There's a great deal of highly damaging social and ecosystem free riding in play, and directly related to the perverse economic philosophy that is currently dominant.

Failed models need to be denounced and rejected, but that is inadequate without a clear statement of alternatives. The ghastly "there is no alternative" has to be rebuked, as there are and have to be alternatives. I would start by emphasising Elinor Ostrom's analysis of economic governance, especially the commons, for which she was awarded the Nobel prize in 2009. I encourage people to ask their councillors and MPs how policies benefit the common good. I want journalists to ask every politician how their actions benefit the common good.

Discussions about the boundaries between public, private and common need to be promoted in churches, pubs, town halls and parliament. Every policy is conducted with reference to the economy, but rarely are questions asked about the externalities involved in the policy. I look forward to a Guardian long read describing "alternatives to the orthodox".
Robin Le Mare
Allithwaite, Cumbria

Your excellent long read last Saturday could also have included a further casualty of capitalism – welfare services. In the late 80s, when I was working in Bolton's social services, I remember the arrival of the purchaser-provider split doctrine when some key health service manager colleagues were barred from our regular joint health and social services meetings because they were providers.

This approach of introducing the market economy started to affect us in social services in the early 1990s when we, too, were obliged by the government to restructure our departments and separate purchasing staff from providing staff.

It always intrigued me how introducing the market economy into the provision of welfare services would do anything but drive costs down rather than improve and increase our services to meet ever-increasing demand and expectations. So much so, that I chose to examine what differences a Labour government would bring to the delivery of social services and whether it would continue with a market economy approach, when I began my M Phil at Lincoln University in 1998.

Needless to say, when I completed my study three years later, I could only conclude that Labour continued to promote the concept of trading and a welfare industry driven by market forces, which has now led to the current crisis of a decimation of so many of the services we were once so proud of.

Your article implies that there is "a stirring among genuine Conservatives that capitalism is against place and home" I would add that capitalism is also against welfare.
Nick Thompson
Liverpool

[Sep 19, 2017] Trump behaviour at UN and Nixon's "madman gambit" against Soviets

Highly recommended!
Trump said nothing about the Saudi-led war on Yemen or its role in causing the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Sep 19, 2017 | www.msn.com

Trump's address to the United Nations on Tuesday should erase any doubts that he is threatening a completely unprecedented military strike against North Korea. This seems to be Trump even more fully embracing the so-called Madman Theory, in which he makes himself so unpredictable that other world leaders fear setting him off.

But that approach isn't without its downsides. Former general David Petraeus described it thusly a few days back :

"There is some merit to this. You can argue perhaps there is some merit to it in international relations, although it obviously can go too far. My concern there with the so-called 'madman theory -- that actually (Richard) Nixon put forward through Kissinger where he had Kissinger tell the Soviets, 'You know, Nixon's under a lot of pressure right now and, you know, he drinks at night sometimes, so you guys ought to be real careful. Don't push this into a crisis.' There may, again, be some merit into the madman theory until you get in a crisis. But you do not want the other side thinking you are irrational in a crisis. You do not want the other side thinking that you might be sufficiently irrational to conduct a first strike or to do something, you know, so-called 'unthinkable.'"

Polls show the American people are not confident in Trump's ability to handle the North Korea situation, with 61 percent saying they are "uneasy" Trump's words Tuesday likely won't calm many fears, but he's clearly gambling on North Korea backing down in the face of big talk.

[Sep 19, 2017] The Glaring Omissions in Trumps U.N. Speech by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
harmful and dangerous things in this U.N. speech today, but it is also worth noting the things that he chose to leave out. Many observers have already pointed out how the worsening crisis in Myanmar and the military's large-scale ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya didn't rate a mention in the speech, but then I suppose Trump wouldn't have anything constructive to say about the violent mass expulsion of a Muslim population in any case. The most obvious omission in the speech was also the most predictable: Trump said nothing about the Saudi-led war on Yemen or its role in causing the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and when he did mention Yemen at one point it was perversely to claim credit for providing humanitarian aid for the catastrophe that our government has helped create.

There was no attempt to justify ongoing U.S. support for the war, and there wasn't even any acknowledgment that the Saudi-led war effort was happening. Trump's enthusiasm for the Saudi relationship means that he isn't going to call attention to the disaster the Saudis and their allies have created with our help, and the only other time he referred to Yemen was to use it to criticize Iran. Iran is faulted for supposedly fueling "Yemen's civil war," which exaggerates their involvement, but there is no mention of the Saudi-led coalition's role in escalating the conflict and wrecking the country for over two years. It is a given that the Saudis and Iranians are judged by two very different standards by this administration, but emphasizing the minimal Iranian role in Yemen while completely ignoring the massive, devastating role that the Saudis and their allies (and the U.S.) have had is as bad as it gets. As usual, those most responsible for the suffering of the people of Yemen weren't held responsible, the war on Yemen was ignored, and Trump's Iran obsession won out.

[Sep 19, 2017] I had shared with you my opinion that the anti-Iran bluster was just that, given that Russia is Iran's strategic partner.

Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anon > , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm GMT

I had emailed the following comment to a friend just a few hours ago. It seems germane, so I'm taking the liberty of just pasting it here, in the context of the Iran policy discussion :

!

As you know I had high hopes of Trump, based mostly on my wishful thinking about his dog-whistles. Now I am mostly inclined to view him in terms appropriate to the sell-out to the Judaic world order detailed by Petras in his recent article on Who Rules America.

The main serious person I know of who continues to harbour hopes about Trump's hidden agenda is Mark Glenn of The Ugly Truth.

I had shared with you my opinion that the anti-Iran bluster was just that, given that Russia is Iran's strategic partner. But lately I concluded that it was probably just dangerous Judaic policy. A recent editorial essay in Rothschild's Economist has given me pause. The article strongly opposes taking on the nuclear pact with Iran. So what are the mega-Jews concerned about? Maybe Trump intends to lever Iran into nuclear status. Their leadership says that's what will happen. Trump, like Bannon with his absurd affirmations of allegiance to Judeo-Christian civilisation, might be loving the Jews to death. A nuclear armed Iran might very well be what humanity needs. And America as well. Just a thought.

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21728896-it-right-worry-about-irans-growing-influence-trump-administration-may-be-about

I know this will not convince you. That's okay. It's just a possibility. But keep it tucked away in a recess of your head for future reference.

!

If Iran gives every indication of proceeding with nuclear arming, once the US leaves it no alternative, it would require a nuclear umbrella until such time as it could defend itself. That might come from Russian or Chinese nukes under the rubric of SCO. Like American nukes in Turkey and Germany, these could be put at the disposal of the Iranis without violating the Non-Proliferarion Treaty, or at least no more than the American nukes under foreign control do.

[Sep 19, 2017] Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times

Notable quotes:
"... Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about). ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

matt > , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

[Sep 19, 2017] Boston Startups Are Teaching Boats to Drive Themselves by Joshua Brustein

Notable quotes:
"... He's also a sort of maritime-technology historian. A tall, white-haired man in a baseball cap, shark t-shirt and boat shoes, Benjamin said he's spent the last 15 years "making vehicles wet." He has the U.S. armed forces to thank for making his autonomous work possible. The military sparked the field of marine autonomy decades ago, when it began demanding underwater robots for mine detection, ..."
"... In 2006, Benjamin launched his open-source software project. With it, a computer is able to take over a boat's navigation-and-control system. Anyone can write programs for it. The project is funded by the U.S. Office for Naval Research and Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit. Benjamin said there are dozens of types of vehicles using the software, which is called MOOS-IvP. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.msn.com

Originally from: Bloomberg via Associated Press

Frank Marino, an engineer with Sea Machines Robotics, uses a remote control belt pack to control a self-driving boat in Boston Harbor. (Bloomberg) -- Frank Marino sat in a repurposed U.S. Coast Guard boat bobbing in Boston Harbor one morning late last month. He pointed the boat straight at a buoy several hundred yards away, while his colleague Mohamed Saad Ibn Seddik used a laptop to set the vehicle on a course that would run right into it. Then Ibn Seddik flipped the boat into autonomous driving mode. They sat back as the vessel moved at a modest speed of six knots, smoothly veering right to avoid the buoy, and then returned to its course.

In a slightly apologetic tone, Marino acknowledged the experience wasn't as harrowing as barreling down a highway in an SUV that no one is steering. "It's not like a self-driving car, where the wheel turns on its own," he said. Ibn Seddik tapped in directions to get the boat moving back the other way at twice the speed. This time, the vessel kicked up a wake, and the turn felt sharper, even as it gave the buoy the same wide berth as it had before. As far as thrills go, it'd have to do. Ibn Seddik said going any faster would make everyone on board nauseous.

The two men work for Sea Machines Robotics Inc., a three-year old company developing computer systems for work boats that can make them either remote-controllable or completely autonomous. In May, the company spent $90,000 to buy the Coast Guard hand-me-down at a government auction. Employees ripped out one of the four seats in the cabin to make room for a metal-encased computer they call a "first-generation autonomy cabinet." They painted the hull bright yellow and added the words "Unmanned Vehicle" in big, red letters. Cameras are positioned at the stern and bow, and a dome-like radar system and a digital GPS unit relay additional information about the vehicle's surroundings. The company named its new vessel Steadfast.

Autonomous maritime vehicles haven't drawn as much the attention as self-driving cars, but they're hitting the waters with increased regularity. Huge shipping interests, such as Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, Tokyo-based fertilizer producer Nippon Yusen K.K. and BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's largest mining company, have all recently announced plans to use driverless ships for large-scale ocean transport. Boston has become a hub for marine technology startups focused on smaller vehicles, with a handful of companies like Sea Machines building their own autonomous systems for boats, diving drones and other robots that operate on or under the water.

As Marino and Ibn Seddik were steering Steadfast back to dock, another robot boat trainer, Michael Benjamin, motored past them. Benjamin, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a regular presence on the local waters. His program in marine autonomy, a joint effort by the school's mechanical engineering and computer science departments, serves as something of a ballast for Boston's burgeoning self-driving boat scene. Benjamin helps engineers find jobs at startups and runs an open-source software project that's crucial to many autonomous marine vehicles.

He's also a sort of maritime-technology historian. A tall, white-haired man in a baseball cap, shark t-shirt and boat shoes, Benjamin said he's spent the last 15 years "making vehicles wet." He has the U.S. armed forces to thank for making his autonomous work possible. The military sparked the field of marine autonomy decades ago, when it began demanding underwater robots for mine detection, Benjamin explained from a chair on MIT's dock overlooking the Charles River. Eventually, self-driving software worked its way into all kinds of boats.

These systems tended to chart a course based on a specific script, rather than sensing and responding to their environments. But a major shift came about a decade ago, when manufacturers began allowing customers to plug in their own autonomy systems, according to Benjamin. "Imagine where the PC revolution would have gone if the only one who could write software on an IBM personal computer was IBM," he said.

In 2006, Benjamin launched his open-source software project. With it, a computer is able to take over a boat's navigation-and-control system. Anyone can write programs for it. The project is funded by the U.S. Office for Naval Research and Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit. Benjamin said there are dozens of types of vehicles using the software, which is called MOOS-IvP.

Startups using MOOS-IvP said it has created a kind of common vocabulary. "If we had a proprietary system, we would have had to develop training and train new employees," said Ibn Seddik. "Fortunately for us, Mike developed a course that serves exactly that purpose."

Teaching a boat to drive itself is easier than conditioning a car in some ways. They typically don't have to deal with traffic, stoplights or roundabouts. But water is unique challenge. "The structure of the road, with traffic lights, bounds your problem a little bit," said Benjamin. "The number of unique possible situations that you can bump into is enormous." At the moment, underwater robots represent a bigger chunk of the market than boats. Sales are expected to hit $4.6 billion in 2020, more than double the amount from 2015, according to ABI Research. The biggest customer is the military.

Several startups hope to change that. Michael Johnson, Sea Machines' chief executive officer, said the long-term potential for self-driving boats involves teams of autonomous vessels working in concert. In many harbors, multiple tugs bring in large container ships, communicating either through radio or by whistle. That could be replaced by software controlling all the boats as a single system, Johnson said.

Sea Machines' first customer is Marine Spill Response Corp., a nonprofit group funded by oil companies. The organization operates oil spill response teams that consist of a 210-foot ship paired with a 32-foot boat, which work together to drag a device collecting oil. Self-driving boats could help because staffing the 32-foot boat in choppy waters or at night can be dangerous, but the theory needs proper vetting, said Judith Roos, a vice president for MSRC. "It's too early to say, 'We're going to go out and buy 20 widgets.'"

Another local startup, Autonomous Marine Systems Inc., has been sending boats about 10 miles out to sea and leaving them there for weeks at a time. AMS's vehicles are designed to operate for long stretches, gathering data in wind farms and oil fields. One vessel is a catamaran dubbed the Datamaran, a name that first came from an employee's typo, said AMS CEO Ravi Paintal. The company also uses Benjamin's software platform. Paintal said AMS's longest missions so far have been 20 days, give or take. "They say when your boat can operate for 30 days out in the ocean environment, you'll be in the running for a commercial contract," he said.

... ... ...

[Sep 19, 2017] Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world by Stephen Metcalf

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The word ["neoliberalism"] has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names the reigning ideology of our era – one that venerates the logic of the market and strips away the things that make us human. ..."
"... Last summer, researchers at the International Monetary Fund settled a long and bitter debate over "neoliberalism": they admitted it exists. Three senior economists at the IMF, an organisation not known for its incaution, published a paper questioning the benefits of neoliberalism ..."
"... The paper gently called out a "neoliberal agenda" for pushing deregulation on economies around the world, for forcing open national markets to trade and capital, and for demanding that governments shrink themselves via austerity or privatisation. The authors cited statistical evidence for the spread of neoliberal policies since 1980, and their correlation with anaemic growth, boom-and-bust cycles and inequality. ..."
"... In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, it was a way of assigning responsibility for the debacle, not to a political party per se, but to an establishment that had conceded its authority to the market. For the Democrats in the US and Labour in the UK, this concession was depicted as a grotesque betrayal of principle. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, it was said, had abandoned the left's traditional commitments, especially to workers, in favour of a global financial elite and the self-serving policies that enriched them; and in doing so, had enabled a sickening rise in inequality. ..."
"... Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan helped shape the ideal of society as a kind of universal market ..."
"... Of course the goal was to weaken the welfare state and any commitment to full employment, and – always – to cut taxes and deregulate. But "neoliberalism" indicates something more than a standard rightwing wish list. It was a way of reordering social reality, and of rethinking our status as individuals. ..."
"... In short, "neoliberalism" is not simply a name for pro-market policies, or for the compromises with finance capitalism made by failing social democratic parties. It is a name for a premise that, quietly, has come to regulate all we practise and believe: that competition is the only legitimate organising principle for human activity. ..."
"... No sooner had neoliberalism been certified as real, and no sooner had it made clear the universal hypocrisy of the market, than the populists and authoritarians came to power ..."
"... Against the forces of global integration, national identity is being reasserted, and in the crudest possible terms. What could the militant parochialism of Brexit Britain and Trumpist America have to do with neoliberal rationality? ..."
"... It isn't only that the free market produces a tiny cadre of winners and an enormous army of losers – and the losers, looking for revenge, have turned to Brexit and Trump. There was, from the beginning, an inevitable relationship between the utopian ideal of the free market and the dystopian present in which we find ourselves; ..."
"... That Hayek is considered the grandfather of neoliberalism – a style of thought that reduces everything to economics – is a little ironic given that he was such a mediocre economist. ..."
"... This last is what makes neoliberalism "neo". It is a crucial modification of the older belief in a free market and a minimal state, known as "classical liberalism". In classical liberalism, merchants simply asked the state to "leave us alone" – to laissez-nous faire. Neoliberalism recognised that the state must be active in the organisation of a market economy. The conditions allowing for a free market must be won politically, and the state must be re-engineered to support the free market on an ongoing basis. ..."
"... Hayek had only his idea to console him; an idea so grand it would one day dissolve the ground beneath the feet of Keynes and every other intellectual. Left to its own devices, the price system functions as a kind of mind. And not just any mind, but an omniscient one: the market computes what individuals cannot grasp. Reaching out to him as an intellectual comrade-in-arms, the American journalist Walter Lippmann wrote to Hayek, saying: "No human mind has ever understood the whole scheme of a society At best a mind can understand its own version of the scheme, something much thinner, which bears to reality some such relation as a silhouette to a man." ..."
"... The only social end is the maintenance of the market itself. In its omniscience, the market constitutes the only legitimate form of knowledge, next to which all other modes of reflection are partial, in both senses of the word: they comprehend only a fragment of a whole and they plead on behalf of a special interest. Individually, our values are personal ones, or mere opinions; collectively, the market converts them into prices, or objective facts. ..."
"... According to the logic of Hayek's Big Idea, these expressions of human subjectivity are meaningless without ratification by the market ..."
"... ociety reconceived as a giant market leads to a public life lost to bickering over mere opinions; until the public turns, finally, in frustration to a strongman as a last resort for solving its otherwise intractable problems. ..."
"... What began as a new form of intellectual authority, rooted in a devoutly apolitical worldview, nudged easily into an ultra-reactionary politics ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The word ["neoliberalism"] has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names the reigning ideology of our era – one that venerates the logic of the market and strips away the things that make us human.

Last summer, researchers at the International Monetary Fund settled a long and bitter debate over "neoliberalism": they admitted it exists. Three senior economists at the IMF, an organisation not known for its incaution, published a paper questioning the benefits of neoliberalism . In so doing, they helped put to rest the idea that the word is nothing more than a political slur, or a term without any analytic power. The paper gently called out a "neoliberal agenda" for pushing deregulation on economies around the world, for forcing open national markets to trade and capital, and for demanding that governments shrink themselves via austerity or privatisation. The authors cited statistical evidence for the spread of neoliberal policies since 1980, and their correlation with anaemic growth, boom-and-bust cycles and inequality.

Neoliberalism is an old term, dating back to the 1930s, but it has been revived as a way of describing our current politics – or more precisely, the range of thought allowed by our politics . In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, it was a way of assigning responsibility for the debacle, not to a political party per se, but to an establishment that had conceded its authority to the market. For the Democrats in the US and Labour in the UK, this concession was depicted as a grotesque betrayal of principle. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, it was said, had abandoned the left's traditional commitments, especially to workers, in favour of a global financial elite and the self-serving policies that enriched them; and in doing so, had enabled a sickening rise in inequality.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world – podcast

Over the past few years, as debates have turned uglier, the word has become a rhetorical weapon, a way for anyone left of centre to incriminate those even an inch to their right. (No wonder centrists say it's a meaningless insult: they're the ones most meaningfully insulted by it.) But "neoliberalism" is more than a gratifyingly righteous jibe. It is also, in its way, a pair of eyeglasses.

Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan helped shape the ideal of society as a kind of universal market (and not, for example, a polis, a civil sphere or a kind of family) and of human beings as profit-and-loss calculators (and not bearers of grace, or of inalienable rights and duties). Of course the goal was to weaken the welfare state and any commitment to full employment, and – always – to cut taxes and deregulate. But "neoliberalism" indicates something more than a standard rightwing wish list. It was a way of reordering social reality, and of rethinking our status as individuals.

Still peering through the lens, you see how, no less than the welfare state, the free market is a human invention. You see how pervasively we are now urged to think of ourselves as proprietors of our own talents and initiative, how glibly we are told to compete and adapt. You see the extent to which a language formerly confined to chalkboard simplifications describing commodity markets (competition, perfect information, rational behaviour) has been applied to all of society, until it has invaded the grit of our personal lives, and how the attitude of the salesman has become enmeshed in all modes of self-expression.

In short, "neoliberalism" is not simply a name for pro-market policies, or for the compromises with finance capitalism made by failing social democratic parties. It is a name for a premise that, quietly, has come to regulate all we practise and believe: that competition is the only legitimate organising principle for human activity.

No sooner had neoliberalism been certified as real, and no sooner had it made clear the universal hypocrisy of the market, than the populists and authoritarians came to power. In the US, Hillary Clinton, the neoliberal arch-villain, lost – and to a man who knew just enough to pretend he hated free trade . So are the eyeglasses now useless? Can they do anything to help us understand what is broken about British and American politics? Against the forces of global integration, national identity is being reasserted, and in the crudest possible terms. What could the militant parochialism of Brexit Britain and Trumpist America have to do with neoliberal rationality? What possible connection is there between the president – a freewheeling boob – and the bloodless paragon of efficiency known as the free market?

It isn't only that the free market produces a tiny cadre of winners and an enormous army of losers – and the losers, looking for revenge, have turned to Brexit and Trump. There was, from the beginning, an inevitable relationship between the utopian ideal of the free market and the dystopian present in which we find ourselves; between the market as unique discloser of value and guardian of liberty, and our current descent into post-truth and illiberalism.

Moving the stale debate about neoliberalism forward begins, I think, with taking seriously the measure of its cumulative effect on all of us, regardless of affiliation. And this requires returning to its origins, which have nothing to do with Bill or Hillary Clinton. There once was a group of people who did call themselves neoliberals, and did so proudly, and their ambition was a total revolution in thought. The most prominent among them, Friedrich Hayek, did not think he was staking out a position on the political spectrum, or making excuses for the fatuous rich, or tinkering along the edges of microeconomics.

He thought he was solving the problem of modernity: the problem of objective knowledge. For Hayek, the market didn't just facilitate trade in goods and services; it revealed truth. How did his ambition collapse into its opposite – the mind-bending possibility that, thanks to our thoughtless veneration of the free market, truth might be driven from public life altogether?


When the idea occurred to Friedrich Hayek in 1936, he knew, with the conviction of a "sudden illumination", that he had struck upon something new. "How can the combination of fragments of knowledge existing in different minds," he wrote, "bring about results which, if they were to be brought about deliberately, would require a knowledge on the part of the directing mind which no single person can possess?"

This was not a technical point about interest rates or deflationary slumps. This was not a reactionary polemic against collectivism or the welfare state. This was a way of birthing a new world. To his mounting excitement, Hayek understood that the market could be thought of as a kind of mind.

Adam Smith's "invisible hand" had already given us the modern conception of the market: as an autonomous sphere of human activity and therefore, potentially, a valid object of scientific knowledge. But Smith was, until the end of his life, an 18th-century moralist. He thought the market could be justified only in light of individual virtue, and he was anxious that a society governed by nothing but transactional self-interest was no society at all. Neoliberalism is Adam Smith without the anxiety.

That Hayek is considered the grandfather of neoliberalism – a style of thought that reduces everything to economics – is a little ironic given that he was such a mediocre economist. He was just a young, obscure Viennese technocrat when he was recruited to the London School of Economics to compete with, or possibly even dim, the rising star of John Maynard Keynes at Cambridge.

The plan backfired, and Hayek lost out to Keynes in a rout. Keynes's General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936, was greeted as a masterpiece. It dominated the public discussion, especially among young English economists in training, for whom the brilliant, dashing, socially connected Keynes was a beau id้al . By the end of the second world war, many prominent free-marketers had come around to Keynes's way of thinking, conceding that government might play a role in managing a modern economy. The initial excitement over Hayek had dissipated. His peculiar notion that doing nothing could cure an economic depression had been discredited in theory and practice. He later admitted that he wished his work criticising Keynes would simply be forgotten.

... Hayek built into neoliberalism the assumption that the market provides all necessary protection against the one real political danger: totalitarianism. To prevent this, the state need only keep the market free.

This last is what makes neoliberalism "neo". It is a crucial modification of the older belief in a free market and a minimal state, known as "classical liberalism". In classical liberalism, merchants simply asked the state to "leave us alone" – to laissez-nous faire. Neoliberalism recognised that the state must be active in the organisation of a market economy. The conditions allowing for a free market must be won politically, and the state must be re-engineered to support the free market on an ongoing basis.

That isn't all: every aspect of democratic politics, from the choices of voters to the decisions of politicians, must be submitted to a purely economic analysis. The lawmaker is obliged to leave well enough alone – to not distort the natural actions of the marketplace – and so, ideally, the state provides a fixed, neutral, universal legal framework within which market forces operate spontaneously. The conscious direction of government is never preferable to the "automatic mechanism of adjustment" – ie the price system, which is not only efficient but maximises liberty, or the opportunity for men and women to make free choices about their own lives.

As Keynes jetted between London and Washington, creating the postwar order, Hayek sat pouting in Cambridge. He had been sent there during the wartime evacuations; and he complained that he was surrounded by "foreigners" and "no lack of orientals of all kinds" and "Europeans of practically all nationalities, but very few of real intelligence".

Stuck in England, without influence or respect, Hayek had only his idea to console him; an idea so grand it would one day dissolve the ground beneath the feet of Keynes and every other intellectual. Left to its own devices, the price system functions as a kind of mind. And not just any mind, but an omniscient one: the market computes what individuals cannot grasp. Reaching out to him as an intellectual comrade-in-arms, the American journalist Walter Lippmann wrote to Hayek, saying: "No human mind has ever understood the whole scheme of a society At best a mind can understand its own version of the scheme, something much thinner, which bears to reality some such relation as a silhouette to a man."

It is a grand epistemological claim – that the market is a way of knowing, one that radically exceeds the capacity of any individual mind. Such a market is less a human contrivance, to be manipulated like any other, than a force to be studied and placated. Economics ceases to be a technique – as Keynes believed it to be – for achieving desirable social ends, such as growth or stable money. The only social end is the maintenance of the market itself. In its omniscience, the market constitutes the only legitimate form of knowledge, next to which all other modes of reflection are partial, in both senses of the word: they comprehend only a fragment of a whole and they plead on behalf of a special interest. Individually, our values are personal ones, or mere opinions; collectively, the market converts them into prices, or objective facts.

... ... ...

The more Hayek's idea expands, the more reactionary it gets, the more it hides behind its pretence of scientific neutrality – and the more it allows economics to link up with the major intellectual trend of the west since the 17th century. The rise of modern science generated a problem: if the world is universally obedient to natural laws, what does it mean to be human? Is a human being simply an object in the world, like any other? There appears to be no way to assimilate the subjective, interior human experience into nature as science conceives it – as something objective whose rules we discover by observation.

... ... ...

More than anyone, even Hayek himself, it was the great postwar Chicago economist Milton Friedman who helped convert governments and politicians to the power of Hayek's Big Idea. But first he broke with two centuries of precedent and declared that economics is "in principle independent of any particular ethical position or normative judgments" and is "an 'objective' science, in precisely the same sense as any of the physical sciences". Values of the old, mental, normative kind were defective, they were "differences about which men can ultimately only fight". There is the market, in other words, and there is relativism.

Markets may be human facsimiles of natural systems, and like the universe itself, they may be authorless and valueless. But the application of Hayek's Big Idea to every aspect of our lives negates what is most distinctive about us. That is, it assigns what is most human about human beings – our minds and our volition – to algorithms and markets, leaving us to mimic, zombie-like, the shrunken idealisations of economic models. Supersizing Hayek's idea and radically upgrading the price system into a kind of social omniscience means radically downgrading the importance of our individual capacity to reason – our ability to provide and evaluate justifications for our actions and beliefs.

As a result, the public sphere – the space where we offer up reasons, and contest the reasons of others – ceases to be a space for deliberation, and becomes a market in clicks, likes and retweets. The internet is personal preference magnified by algorithm; a pseudo-public space that echoes the voice already inside our head. Rather than a space of debate in which we make our way, as a society, toward consensus, now there is a mutual-affirmation apparatus banally referred to as a "marketplace of ideas". What looks like something public and lucid is only an extension of our own pre-existing opinions, prejudices and beliefs, while the authority of institutions and experts has been displaced by the aggregative logic of big data. When we access the world through a search engine, its results are ranked, as the founder of Google puts it, "recursively" – by an infinity of individual users functioning as a market, continuously and in real time.

... ... ...

According to the logic of Hayek's Big Idea, these expressions of human subjectivity are meaningless without ratification by the market – as Friedman said, they are nothing but relativism, each as good as any other. When the only objective truth is determined by the market, all other values have the status of mere opinions; everything else is relativist hot air. But Friedman's "relativism" is a charge that can be thrown at any claim based on human reason. It is a nonsense insult, as all humanistic pursuits are "relative" in a way the sciences are not. They are relative to the (private) condition of having a mind, and the (public) need to reason and understand even when we can't expect scientific proof. When our debates are no longer resolved by deliberation over reasons, then the whimsies of power will determine the outcome.

This is where the triumph of neoliberalism meets the political nightmare we are living through now. "You had one job," the old joke goes, and Hayek's grand project, as originally conceived in 30s and 40s, was explicitly designed to prevent a backslide into political chaos and fascism. But the Big Idea was always this abomination waiting to happen. It was, from the beginning, pregnant with the thing it was said to protect against. Society reconceived as a giant market leads to a public life lost to bickering over mere opinions; until the public turns, finally, in frustration to a strongman as a last resort for solving its otherwise intractable problems.

... ... ...

What began as a new form of intellectual authority, rooted in a devoutly apolitical worldview, nudged easily into an ultra-reactionary politics. What can't be quantified must not be real, says the economist, and how do you measure the benefits of the core faiths of the enlightenment – namely, critical reasoning, personal autonomy and democratic self-government? When we abandoned, for its embarrassing residue of subjectivity, reason as a form of truth, and made science the sole arbiter of both the real and the true, we created a void that pseudo-science was happy to fill.

... ... ...

[Sep 19, 2017] Rolling Back the Warfare State by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome. ..."
"... Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place. ..."
"... The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president. ..."
"... The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent! ..."
"... Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded Congress that in matters of war, they have the authority and the responsibility to speak for the American people. Most Senators were not too happy about the reminder, which came in the form of a forced vote on whether to allow a vote on his amendment to repeal the Afghanistan and Iraq war resolutions of 2001 and 2002.

It wasn't easy. Sen. Paul had to jump through hoops just to get a vote on whether to have a vote. That is how bad it is in Congress! Not only does Congress refuse to rein in presidents who treat Constitutional constraints on their war authority as mere suggestions rather than as the law of the land, Congress doesn't even want to be reminded that they alone have war authority. Congress doesn't even want to vote on whether to vote on war!

In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Last week, Rand said, "I don't think that anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes that these authorizations from 16 years ago and 14 years ago authorized war in seven different countries."

Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place.

Some might argue that losing the vote was a defeat. I would disagree. For the first time in years we saw US Senators on the Senate Floor debating whether the president should have authority to take the US to war anywhere he pleases. Even with just the small number of votes I thought we might have gotten on the matter, that alone would have been a great victory. But getting almost 40 percent of the Senate to vote our way? I call that a very good start!

The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president.

The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent!

Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons.

We have achieved a small victory last week, thanks to Senator Paul. But we still have a lot of work to do! We must keep the pressure on and convert more to the cause of peace and prosperity!

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity .

[Sep 19, 2017] Senate Backs Bill to Pump $700 Billion into Military by Jason Ditz

Sep 18, 2017 | news.antiwar.com
89-8 vote , the Senate today overwhelmingly passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion military spending bill for the year. The bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version before it goes to the White House for signature.

The bill is more than the Pentagon requested, and more than the large spending increase the White House requested. At present both the House and Senate seem to be competing to see who can outspend the other with their version of the bill, while rejecting all cuts proposed by the Pentagon to keep the budget in line.

It was this massive increase that had the normally hawkish Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) as a surprise no vote on the bill. Corker said the bill blows through budget caps, and he also objected continuing to put money into "Overseas Contingency Operations" budget, where it can be shifted around at will, saying that fund has been repeatedly abused.

Though President Trump has publicly objected to several aspects of the NDAA, including the "premature" increase in spending on missile defense, there are no signs a veto is being considered, and he is expected to sign whatever Congress ultimately puts in front of him.

[Sep 19, 2017] The Lucy Stein Gang Rides into Moscow by Israel Shamir

Sep 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

In Moscow (which is the only place in Russia that counts) the three main opposition parties, the Communists and the Nationalists, as well as Kremlin-friendly Socialists, were been decimated. Their votes had been snatched by pro-Western liberals, self-described as "those of good genes", "the fair-faced ones", "handshake-worthy"; all these epithets vaguely connected in Russian mind with prosperous Jewishness, of sorts, or with Jewified Sovi nomenclature . The best-known names include Ms Lucy Stein, a young Jewish journalist of some notoriety – she installed plaster copies of her breasts and filmed a staged act of a little boy being roughly treated by Putin's police. Another one is Mr Maxim Katz, a young Jewish activist – he organized the delivery of flowers to the place of the opposition leader Mr Nemtsov's assassination, allegedly with some profit for himself.

These youngsters (in their early twenties) have been led by Mr Dmitry Gudkov, a Russian Parliament Member and a son of a Russian Parliament Member. This sounds like the House of Lords, but Gudkov the Senior is an ex-KGB colonel, an oligarch and the owner of a bailiff business, rather than a hereditary peer. Gudkov's people made a loose coalition with Yabloko (Apple, in Russian), a liberal party of some prominence in the Yeltsin years. They are against Putin's policies, for the restoration of the Crimea to the Ukraine and for an alliance with the liberal West.

While other parties didn't give a hoot, the liberals cared to come to the neglected elections, and they delivered their voters to the booths. For that purpose, they imported American technology , and one of Sanders' operatives, a Russian-born Mr Vitali Shklyarov, who had come to set up what they called "a political Uber", a web app for fielding candidates and getting voters. In addition, they vastly overspent their competitors.

Democracy in action? Forsooth! This was a clear-cut example of real (as opposed to imaginary) interference in foreign elections. While endless FBI probes have never produced any tangible proof of Russian interference in the US elections, and the Facebook investigation "revealed that it had sold as much as $150,000 in political ads to pro-Kremlin entities between 2015 and 2017", the US interference in recent Moscow elections had been vast, powerful and effective. The pro-American forces spent over sixty million dollar in Moscow alone by very conservative estimates, and probably much more. And the funds came from abroad.

The very idea of Russian interference in the US elections had been flattering but silly. The Russians are not in the same league, in speaking of political technologies. The Americans are much more masterful, being trained in a competitive environment. The Russians' only chance to have fair elections is adopting another American technology, namely the active fight against foreign interference. The Kremlin could and should investigate the path of every US buck to the Stein-Katz Gang, and deal with it as harshly as Americans are dealing with imaginary Russian interference. But would they? I doubt it. The wiseguys who mismanaged elections for Kremlin will do all they can to kill the story. No important Russian media carried it, by direct orders from Kremlin.

We have proof to back up our claims of the US interference in the Russian elections: a confession made by the coordinator for Open Russia , a political body created by Mr Michael Khodorkovsky. This oligarch, once the richest man in Russia, did nine years in a Russian jail for massive tax evasion, white-collar crimes, organized crime and conspiracy for murder, as brutal and ruthless a shark as ever swam murky waters of Russian business and politics.

Mr Khodorkovsky had been an American agent of influence for many years. Since being pardoned by President Putin, he moved abroad and became the focal point for the US-led clandestine campaign for regime change in Russia. Together with other exiled (and wanted) oligarchs, Tel Aviv-based Mr Nevzlin and London-based Mr Chichvarkin , Mr Khodorkovsky funnels money to Russia's pro-Western opposition.

His coordinator Ms Maria Baronova had been quite close to Mr Khodorkovsky but parted with him some time ago. In her Facebook blog she admits that "Gudkov and Katz are a secret project of M. B. Khodorkovsky" while other elements of the opposition are a public project of Mr Khodorkovsky. In other words, the whole campaign has been organized from Washington, or perhaps from Langley.

As we learned from Wikileaks-published State Department cables, this is the current trend of CIA for orchestrating regime change: instead of sending money directly to the opposition with a courier, they employ oligarchs as go-between. This mode has been used in Syria since 2006, as well as in Lebanon, and now is being applied in Moscow.

The winners of the recent municipal elections in Moscow weren't just the "fair-faced" children of nomenclature, but appointees of the US deep state. They did it using American know-how and American money. This is the real and very successful interference, and the organisers got away with it. 5371 September 18, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT

A law should be passed making it compulsory to swear an oath affirming that Crimea is part of Russia in order to hold any office. That was effective in dealing with similar vermin in Hong Kong. More fun, of course, would be to shoot them down like dogs in the street, and hopefully that will happen one day.

The Alarmist > , September 18, 2017 at 11:25 am GMT

You know, if Vlad and his gang were as evil as Western MSM and politicos makes them out to be, these folks wouldn't have even lived to see the election.

iffen > , September 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT

@5371 A law should be passed making it compulsory to swear an oath affirming that Crimea is part of Russia in order to hold any office. That was effective in dealing with similar vermin in Hong Kong. More fun, of course, would be to shoot them down like dogs in the street, and hopefully that will happen one day. would be to shoot them down like dogs in the street, and hopefully that will happen one day

Yes, nothing says electoral democracy like large scale killing of candidates.

Parbes > , September 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm GMT

@iffen would be to shoot them down like dogs in the street, and hopefully that will happen one day

Yes, nothing says electoral democracy like large scale killing of candidates. These are not "democratic candidates", disingenuous chutzpah-filled Zio-boy; they are open traitors being FUNDED AND DIRECTED by a foreign enemy nation that is threatening war and is currently engaged in all kinds of hostile actions against "their" country – as is clearly explained in the article. Are you too stupid to read and understand, or do you take everyone else on this website to be so?

But I guess deliberate cognitive dissonance is par for the course for you arrogant neo-Orwellian Anglo-Zio trollboys.

survey-of-disinfo > , September 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm GMT

The Russians are not in the same league, in speaking of political technologies.

Some would argue that Russian "fair faced ones" wrote the book on "political technologies":

Funny how it is all unfolding precisely as he predicted.

Gerard2 > , September 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

@peterAUS


media silence that accompanied both the election and its results.

.internal Russian politics (as opposed to foreign relations). They are parochial, obscure and not democratic.

Kremlin wiseguys try and fix the results with all the subtleness of Democratic primaries under Ms Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

they had zero publicity, zero announcements, zero TV coverage.
The Russian post-Soviet political system as organized by Putin's wiseguys should share the blame.

Don't say.....

they had zero publicity, zero announcements, zero TV coverage.
The Russian post-Soviet political system as organized by Putin's wiseguys should share the blame.

Shamir is simply talking bollocks. There was more than enough publicity. I was watching Rossiya24 and they had full analysis during and after the election. Yabloko guys interviewed as well as the major parties. Not to mention the newspapers,radio and so on.

Anatoly Karlin > , Website September 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm GMT

@5371 A law should be passed making it compulsory to swear an oath affirming that Crimea is part of Russia in order to hold any office. That was effective in dealing with similar vermin in Hong Kong. More fun, of course, would be to shoot them down like dogs in the street, and hopefully that will happen one day. What do you have against dogs anyway?

Anatoly Karlin > , Website September 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm GMT

Great article, nothing to substantively disagree with here.

However, it is not unusual for such bodies to reach for more power in a revolutionary situation. In France, in 1789, the elected parliament was intended to be an advisory to the monarch, but very soon it assumed all the powers and chopped off the king's head. In the USSR, in 1991, the Russian Federation parliament had very few rights being subservient to the Soviet parliament, but it assumed rights and broke up the USSR.

Though Israel is omitting the most famous such institution of them all: The Petrograd Soviet.

The Ukraine had been ruled by a similar Party of the Regions. Led by Mr Victor Yanukovych, the party fell to pieces after the coup, its members deserting the sinking ship as fast as they could.

As concerns the "real" parties, commies and liberals were neck and neck, with nationalists at half their strength, and that's in my heavily prole district (where liberals perform poorly).

In the center and southwest, of course, the liberals are dominant, sometimes even surpassing United Russia.

Hypothetically, if Putin (and consequently, United Russia) were to somehow vanish tomorrow, it will be the liberals vs. the commies and the nationalists.

And frankly, the liberals would win. They are much better funded, have more brainpower, can cooperate with each other while commies and nationalists never will. Commies have some brains but they're too old, while nationalists have brawn on the streets but they're too stupid on average. (I say this is an LDPR-voting nationalist myself).

The military is strongly nationalist, but they're probably not going to intervene, since Russia has never had an activist military in the Third World junta style.

anony-mouse > , September 18, 2017 at 10:33 pm GMT

I am very pleased that so many people here have gotten into a panic over the results of a municipal election. Where I live most people , including myself, couldn't tell anybody the results of the last election except for who got elected mayor.

Although I'm very angry that a dedicated bus lane is being built near where I live. Must be the CIA.

anon > , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:14 am GMT

@Michael Kenny I don't see why this party is described as "pro-American", other than as a rather silly attempt to divert attention away from Russiagate. You mean, no evidence but gut feelings of Mrs. Clnton and the NYT editors re "Russiagate" are much stronger factor than the documented evidence of the "pro-American forces spent over sixty million dollars in Moscow alone and the funds came from abroad "
Let's talk arithmetic. There is currently a mega-hysterics over the probable involvement (via the Facebook) of some probably Russians who probably wanted to affect the elections in the US. This probable involvement was estimated as worth $100.000 .
Now, Mr. Michael Kenny, let's compare $100.000 that were probably spent on the Facebook by probably Russians to probably affect the US elections with the $ 60.000.000 spent by the pro-American forces to affect elections in Moscow alone.

"Mr Khodorkovsky had been an American agent of influence for many years. Since being pardoned by President Putin, he moved abroad and became the focal point for the US-led clandestine campaign for regime change in Russia. Together with other exiled (and wanted) oligarchs, Tel Aviv-based Mr Nevzlin and London-based Mr Chichvarkin, Mr Khodorkovsky funnels money to Russia's pro-Western opposition."
If you are still not convinced of the malignancy of the US meddling in Russian affairs, here is more about Mr. Khodorkovsky: "In October 2014, Khodorkovsky visited the U.S., delivering the keynote address at a Washington, D.C., meeting of Freedom House and giving a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Khodorkovsky
The US meddling is not a probable cause; this is a well-documented involvement of the US stooge in Russian elections. Until you show any evidence of Russian Federation' meddling into the US elections, your insinuations re Russiagate will remain insinuations – a slander, actually.
If you care about the purity of the US politics, see no farther than the AIPAC and the Saudi's contributions to the Clinton Foundation and such.

[Sep 19, 2017] Time for a Conservative Anti-Monopoly Movement by Daniel Kishi

Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Amazon, Facebook and Google: The new robber barons?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2010. Credit: /CreativeCommons/SteveJurvetson Earlier this month Amazon, announced its plans to establish a second headquarters in North America. Rather than simply reveal which city would become its second home, the Seattle-based tech company opted instead to open a bidding war. In an eight page document published on its website, Amazon outlined the criteria for prospective suitors, and invited economic developers to submit proposals advocating for why their city or region should be the host of the new location.

Its potential arrival comes with the claim that the company will invest more than $5 billion in construction and generate up to 50,000 "high paying jobs." Mayors and governors, hard at work crafting their bids, are no doubt salivating at the mere thought of such economic activity. Journalists and editorial teams in eligible metropolises are also playing their parts, as newspapers have published a series of articles and editorials making the case for why their city should be declared the winner.

Last Tuesday Bloomberg reported that Boston was the early frontrunner, sending a wave of panic across the continent. Much to the relief of the other contenders, Amazon quickly discredited the report as misinformation, announcing in a series of tweets on Wednesday that it is "energized by the response from cities across [North America]" and that, contrary to the rumors, there are currently no front-runners on their "equal playing field."

That Amazon is "energized" should come as no surprise. Most companies would also be energized by the taxpayer-funded windfall that is likely coming its way. Reporters speculate that the winner of the sweepstakes!in no small part to the bidding war format!could be forced to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local subsidies for the privilege of hosting Amazon's expansion.

Amazon has long been the beneficiary of such subsidies, emerging in recent years as a formidable opponent to Walmart as the top recipient of corporate welfare. According to Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C. organization dedicated to corporate and government accountability, Amazon has received more than $1 billion in local and state subsidies since 2000. With a business plan dedicated to amassing long-term market share in lieu of short-term profits, Amazon, under the leadership of its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, operates on razor-thin profit margins in most industries, while actually operating at a loss in others. As such, these state and local subsidies have played an instrumental role in Amazon's growth

Advocates of free market enterprise should be irate over the company's crony capitalist practices and the cities and states that enable it. But more so than simply ruffling the feathers of the libertarian-minded, Amazon's shameless solicitation for subsidies capped off a series of summer skirmishes in the Democratic left's emerging war against monopolies.

Earlier this summer when Amazon announced its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, antitrust advocates called upon the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission's Antitrust Division to block the sale and update the United States government's legal definition of monopoly. Although the acquisition!which was approved in August!only gives Amazon a 1.5 percent market share in the grocery industry, it more importantly provides the tech giant with access to more than 450 brick-and-mortar Whole Foods locations. Critics say that these physical locations will prove invaluable to its long term plan of economic dominance, and that it is but the latest advance in the company's unprecedented control of the economy's underlying infrastructure.

Google also found itself in the crosshairs of the left's anti-monopoly faction when, in late June, the European Union imposed a $2.7 billion fine against the tech company for anti-competitive search engine manipulation in violation of its antitrust laws. The Open Markets Program of the New America Foundation subsequently published a press release applauding the EU's decision. Two months later, the Open Markets Program was axed . The former program director Barry Lynn claims that his employers caved to pressure from a corporation that has donated more than $21 million to the New America Foundation. The fallout emboldened journalists to share their experiences of being silenced by the tech giant, and underscores the influence Google exerts over think tanks and academics

Most recently, Facebook faced criticism after it was discovered that a Russian company with ties to the Kremlin purchased $100,000 in ads from the social media company in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. Facebook, as a result, has become the latest subject of interest in Robert Mueller's special investigation into Russian interference in last fall's election. But regardless of whether the ads influenced the outcome, the report elicited demands for transparency and oversight in a digital ad marketplace that Facebook, along with Google, dominates . By using highly sophisticated algorithms, Facebook and Google receive more than 60 percent of all digital ad revenue, threatening the financial solvency of publishers and creating a host of economic incentives that pollute editorial autonomy.

While the Democratic left!in an effort to rejuvenate its populist soul !has been at the front lines in the war against these modern-day robber barons, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute of Local Self-Reliance, suggests that opposition to corporate consolidation need not be a partisan issue. In a piece published in The Atlantic , Mitchell traces the bipartisan history of anti-monopoly sentiment in American politics. She writes :

If "monopoly" sounds like a word from another era, that's because, until recently, it was. Throughout the middle of the 20th century, the term was frequently used in newspaper headlines, campaign speeches, and State of the Union addresses delivered by Republican and Democratic presidents alike. Breaking up too-powerful companies was a bipartisan goal and on the minds of many voters. But, starting in the 1970s, the word retreated from the public consciousness. Not coincidentally, at the same time, the enforcement of anti-monopoly policy grew increasingly toothless.

Although the modern Republican Party stands accused of cozying up with corporate interests, the history of conservative thought has a rich intellectual tradition of being skeptical!if not hostile!towards economic consolidation. For conservatives and libertarians wedded to the tenets of free market orthodoxy!or for Democrats dependent on campaign contributions from a donor class of Silicon Valley tycoons!redefining the legal definition of monopoly and rekindling a bipartisan interest in antitrust enforcement are likely non-starters.

But for conservatives willing to break from the principles of free market fundamentalism, the papal encyclicals of the Roman Catholic Church, the distributist thought of Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, the social criticism of Christopher Lasch, and the observations of agrarian essayist Wendell Berry provide an intellectual framework from which conservatives can critique and combat concentrated economic power. With a respect for robust and resilient localities and a keen understanding of the moral dangers posed by an economy perpetuated by consumerism and convenience, these writers appeal to the moral imaginations of the reader, issuing warnings about the detrimental effects that economic consolidation has on the person, the family, the community, and society at large.

The events of this summer underscore the immense political power wielded by our economy's corporate giants. To those who recognize the dangers posed by our age of consolidation, the skirmishes from this summer could serve as a rallying cry in a bipartisan war for independence from our corporate crown.

Daniel Kishi is an editorial assistant at The American Conservative . Follow him on Twitter at @DanielMKishi

[Sep 19, 2017] If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame

Iraq war shaken potion of Us neocon, but they managed to recover. And the main beneficiaries of the war with Iraq were Israel, Iran, and the US oil companies. Now they are again the force that pushed the USA for the war with Iran.
Trump was very jingoistic toward Iran from the very beginning. That was a really strange position taken into account his more or less isolationist approach to foreign policy during elections. The same was true for Bannon and Flint.
Notable quotes:
"... Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. ..."
"... If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. ..."
"... The 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy argued that a loose coalition of interests, which supports Israel, lobbies the U.S. government to skew U.S. foreign policy to Israel's favor. The authors also assert this reality damages, both America's and Israel's, long-term interests. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.

... ... ...

There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don't put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn't you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.

Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.

matt, September 19, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT

I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons.

In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran.

On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face.

RobinG, September 19, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT

@geokat62

It takes real courage to defy The Lobby, but, unfortunately, few have it. This was made for you, Geo.

Co-Authors Reflect Ten years After Publishing Controversial Book,
'The Israel Lobby'

https://www.wbez.org/shows/worldview-podcast/coauthors-reflect-ten-years-after-publishing-controversial-book-the-israel-lobby/912a4c83-8144-442e-99b2-93e6156f39f4

"The 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy argued that a loose coalition of interests, which supports Israel, lobbies the U.S. government to skew U.S. foreign policy to Israel's favor. The authors also assert this reality damages, both America's and Israel's, long-term interests." The Israel Lobby" ignited a firestorm of debate. Critics accused the authors of giving voice to historic anti-Semitic slurs. Supporters hailed the book as opening a door to needed dialogue on a taboo subject.

Ten years later, the book's co-authors, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, join Worldview to discuss the changes in Middle East dialogue in the decade since they wrote the book. Mearsheimer is professor of political science at the University of Chicago and authored numerous books including, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Walt is a professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He also authored the book, Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy."

Greg Bacon, Website September 19, 2017 at 10:02 am GMT

From an April 2003 Haaretz article:

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible.

This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/white-man-s-burden-1.14110

If we're not careful, these same treacherous back-stabbing thugs will get the USA involved in a hot war with Iran, while Israel sets on the sideline, laughing about how gullible and stupid those Americans are.

exiled off mainstreet, September 19, 2017 at 6:34 am GMT

Though it goes against political correctness (itself a term invented in the DDR (East Germany) to describe those not on board with the regime, what is stated is obvious to those looking at it dispassionately. If, as a result things go wrong, provided we survive the failure, scapegoats will be sought after for the debacle.

[Sep 18, 2017] Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish partnerships with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California. ..."
"... Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story. ..."
"... Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats". ..."
"... US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China. ..."
"... The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth. ..."
"... The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect. ..."
"... In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site. ..."
consortiumnews.com

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

There is no reason to assume that the trollish rants of "Voytenko" are from some outraged flag-waving "patriot" in Kiev. There are plenty of other "useful idiots" ready, willing and able to make mischief.

For example, about a million Jews emigrated to Israel ("made Aliyah") from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Some 266,300 were Ukrainian Jews. A large number of Ukrainian Jews also emigrated to the United States during this period. For example, out of an estimated 400 thousand Russian-speaking Jews in Metro New York, the largest number (thirty-six percent) hail from Ukraine. Needless to say, many among them are not so well disposed toward the nations of Russia or Ukraine, and quite capable of all manner of mischief.

A particularly "useful idiot" making mischief the days is Sergey Brin of Google. Brin's parents were graduates of Moscow State University who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979 when their son was five years old.

Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.

In fact, Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish "partnerships" with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their "Don't be evil" culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: "We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see."

The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: "You can make money without doing evil".

This new gospel allows Google and its "partners" to make money promoting propaganda and engaging in surveillance, and somehow manage to not "be evil". That's "post-truth" logic for you.

Google has been enthusiastically promoting Eliot Higgins "arm chair analytics" since 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Google and Bellingcat.

In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an "Investigathon" in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins' "War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations" song and dance via their YouTube page.

Higgins constantly insists that Bellingcat "findings" are "reaffirmed" by accessing imagery in Google Earth.

Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. Google Earth uses satellite images provided by the company Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with deep connections to both the military and intelligence communities.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as "a true mission partner in every sense of the word". Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

Google has quite the history of malicious behavior. In what became known as the "Wi-Spy" scandal, it was revealed that Google had been collecting hundreds of gigabytes of payload data, including personal and sensitive information. First names, email addresses, physical addresses, and a conversation between two married individuals planning an extra-marital affair were all cited by the FCC. In a 2012 settlement, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. Though it was the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission had ever imposed for violating one of its orders, the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings the previous quarter.

Google is a joint venture partner with the CIA. In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. The company developed technology that strips information from web pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts.

In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California.

Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank. Alperovitz said that Crowdstrike has "high confidence" it was "Russian hackers". "But we don't have hard evidence," Alperovitch admitted in a June 16, 2016 Washington Post interview.

Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats".

The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Higgins and Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google's Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

Google's 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as "a world–leading expert in news verification".

Higgins claims the DNI funding "allowed us to push this to the next level".
https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former "unemployed man" now busy independently "Codifying social conflict data", Google neglects to mention Higgins' role as a "research fellow" for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Despite their claims of "independent journalism", Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their "online investigations".

The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

– US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

– The NATO military alliance

– Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

– Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

– Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King's College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council "reports" on Ukraine and Syria.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins' effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

Wilson stated, "We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it's thanks to works, the work that's been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we've been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up." (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

However, the Atlantic Council claim that "none" of Higgins' material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

Higgins' primary "pieces of evidence" are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence's "hybrid war" against Russia.

The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

"an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report "Hiding in Plain Sight", which used open source information to detail Russia's military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine."

While it honors Higgins' enthusiastic "trawling", King's College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins' "findings" on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

King's College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's "Future Europe Initiative", was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council "report" on Syria.

The report's other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

There is no daylight between the "online investigations" of Higgins and Bellingcat and the "regime change" efforts of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.

Thanks to the Atlantic Council, Soros, and Google, it's a pretty well-funded gig for fake "citizen investigative journalist" Higgins.

[Sep 18, 2017] The NYT's Yellow Journalism on Russia by Rober Parry

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America's Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you'll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that. ..."
"... At this stage, the Times doesn't even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of "Russian aggression" or a "Russian invasion." The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media. ..."
"... The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a "Kremlin stooge" in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq's WMD in 2002-03 were called "Saddam apologists." ..."
"... Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate. ..."
"... For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia. ..."
"... The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn't seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... The Trans-Atlantic Empire of banking cartels rest upon enmity with the only other Great Powers in the World: Russia and China, while keeping USA thoroughly within their orbit, relying on our Great Power as the engine that powers this Western Bankers' Empire (the steering room lies in City-of-London, who has LONG maneuvered, via their Wall Street assets, to bring us into Empire). Should peaceful, cooperative and productive relations break out between USA, Russia, and China, this would undermine everything the Western Empire has worked to build. ..."
"... THIS is why the phony Russiagate issue is flogged to get rid of Trump (who seeks cooperation with Russia and China), AND keeping Russia as "The Enemy", keeping the MIC, Intel community, various police-state ops, in high demand for "National Security" reasons (also positioned to foil any democratic uprisings, should they see past the progs daily curtain and see their plight). ..."
"... The funny thing about living through the 'fake news' era, is that now everyone thinks that their news source is the correct news source. Many believe that outside of the individual everyone else reads or listens too 'fake news'. It's like all of a sudden no one has credibility, yet everyone may have it, depending on what news source you subscribe to. I mean there's almost no way of knowing what the truth is, because everyone is claiming that they are getting their news from reputable news outlets, but some or many aren't, and who are the reputable news sources, if you don't mind my asking you this just for the record? ..."
"... To learn how to deal with this 'fake news', I would suggest you start studying the JFK assassination, or any other ill defined tragic event, and then you might learn how to decipher the 'fake news' matrix of confusion to learn what you so desire to learn. I chose this route, because when was the last time the Establishment brokered the truth in regard to a happening such as the JFK assassination? Upon learning of what a few well written books has to say, you will then need to rely on your own brain to at least give you enough satisfaction to allow you to believe that you pretty well got it right, and there go you. In other words, the truth is out there, hiding in plain sight, and if you are persistent enough you just might find it. Good luck. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The NYT's Yellow Journalism on Russia September 15, 2017

Exclusive: The New York Times' descent into yellow journalism over Russia recalls the sensationalism of Hearst and Pulitzer leading to the Spanish-American War, but the risks to humanity are much greater now, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Reading The New York Times these days is like getting a daily dose of the "Two Minutes Hate" as envisioned in George Orwell's 1984, except applied to America's new/old enemy Russia. Even routine international behavior, such as Russia using fictitious names for potential adversaries during a military drill, is transformed into something weird and evil.

In the snide and alarmist style that the Times now always applies to Russia, reporter Andrew Higgins wrote – referring to a fictitious war-game "enemy" – "The country does not exist, so it has neither an army nor any real citizens, though it has acquired a feisty following of would-be patriots online. Starting on Thursday, however, the fictional state, Veishnoriya, a distillation of the Kremlin's darkest fears about the West, becomes the target of the combined military might of Russia and its ally Belarus."

This snarky front-page story in Thursday's print editions also played into the Times' larger narrative about Russia as a disseminator of "fake news." You see the Russkies are even inventing "fictional" enemies to bully. Hah-hah-hah -- The article was entitled, "Russia's War Games With Fake Enemies Cause Real Alarm."

Of course, the U.S. and its allies also conduct war games against fictitious enemies, but you wouldn't know that from reading the Times. For instance, U.S. war games in 2015 substituted five made-up states – Ariana, Atropia, Donovia, Gorgas and Limaria – for nations near the Caucasus mountains along the borders of Russia and Iran.

In earlier war games, the U.S. used both fictitious names and colors in place of actual countries. For instance, in 1981, the Reagan administration conducted "Ocean Venture" with that war-game scenario focused on a group of islands called "Amber and the Amberdines," obvious stand-ins for Grenada and the Grenadines, with "Orange" used to represent Cuba.

In those cases, the maneuvers by the powerful U.S. military were clearly intended to intimidate far weaker countries. Yet, the U.S. mainstream media did not treat those war rehearsals for what they were, implicit aggression, but rather mocked protests from the obvious targets as paranoia since we all know the U.S. would never violate international law and invade some weak country -- (As it turned out, Ocean Venture '81 was a dress rehearsal for the actual U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.)

Yet, as far as the Times and its many imitators in the major media are concerned, there's one standard for "us" and another for Russia and other countries that "we" don't like.

Yellow Journalism

But the Times' behavior over the past several years suggests something even more sinister than biased reporting. The "newspaper of record" has slid into yellow journalism, the practice of two earlier New York newspapers – William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World – that in the 1890s manipulated facts about the crisis in Cuba to push the United States into war with Spain, a conflict that many historians say marked the beginning of America's global empire.

Except in today's instance, The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America's Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you'll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that.

At this stage, the Times doesn't even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of "Russian aggression" or a "Russian invasion." The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media.

Even as neo-Nazi and ultranationalist protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police, Yanukovych signaled a willingness to compromise and ordered his police to avoid worsening violence. But compromise wasn't good enough for U.S. neocons – such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland; Sen. John McCain; and National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman. They had invested too much in moving Ukraine away from Russia.

Nuland put the U.S. spending at $5 billion and was caught discussing with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should be in the new government and how to "glue" or "midwife this thing"; McCain appeared on stage urging on far-right militants; and Gershman was overseeing scores of NED projects inside Ukraine, which he had deemed the "biggest prize" and an important step in achieving an even bigger regime change in Russia, or as he put it: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

The Putsch

So, on Feb. 20, 2014, instead of seeking peace , a sniper firing from a building controlled by anti-Yanukovych forces killed both police and protesters, touching off a day of carnage. Immediately, the Western media blamed Yanukovych. Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev.

Shaken by the violence, Yanukovych again tried to pacify matters by reaching a compromise -- guaranteed by France, Germany and Poland -- to relinquish some of his powers and move up an election so he could be voted out of office peacefully. He also pulled back the police.

At that juncture, the neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists spearheaded a violent putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, forcing Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Ignoring the agreement guaranteed by the three European nations, Nuland and the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the coup regime "legitimate."

However, ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which represented Yanukovych's electoral base, resisted the coup and turned to Russia for protection. Contrary to the Times' narrative, there was no "Russian invasion" of Crimea because Russian troops were already there as part of an agreement for its Sevastopol naval base. That's why you've never seen photos of Russian troops crashing across Ukraine's borders in tanks or splashing ashore in Crimea with an amphibious landing or descending by parachute. They were already inside Crimea.

The Crimean autonomous government also voted to undertake a referendum on whether to leave the failed Ukrainian state and to rejoin Russia, which had governed Crimea since the Eighteenth Century. In that referendum, Crimean citizens voted by some 96 percent to exit Ukraine and seek reunion with Russia, a democratic and voluntary process that the Times always calls "annexation."

The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a "Kremlin stooge" in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq's WMD in 2002-03 were called "Saddam apologists."

But what is particularly remarkable about the endless Russia-bashing is that – because it started under President Obama – it sucked in many American liberals and even some progressives. That process grew even worse when the contempt for Russia merged with the Left's revulsion over Donald Trump's election.

Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate.

The Times, The Washington Post and pretty much the entire U.S. news media joined the "resistance" to Trump's presidency and embraced the neocon "regime change" goal for Putin's Russia. Very few people care about the enormous risks that this "strategy" entails.

For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia.

The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn't seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism.

The Times and rest of the mainstream media are just having too much fun hating Russia and Putin to worry about the possible extermination of life on planet Earth.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

jo6pac , September 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Amerikas way of bring the big D to your nation. Death

http://www.globalresearch.ca/unknown-snipers-and-western-backed-regime-change/27904

Thanks RP for reading the times so I don't have to not that would.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the link, I knew about the use of snipers in Venezuela '02, did not realize there were so many more.

BayouCoyote , September 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

Kinda reminds me of what our only "Ally in the ME" did to our Marines in Iraq.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIiGfUjZnbU

JWalters , September 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Bingo -- In a surely related story, the mainstream press is equally relentless in AVOIDING telling Americans the facts about Israel, and especially about its control over the American press.
"Israel lobby is never a story (for media that is in bed with the lobby)"
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/09/israel-lobby-never/

Virtually everything average Americans have been told about Israel has been, amazingly, an absolute lie. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would be unable to resist the zionist army. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.

How has this gigantic package of outright lies has been foisted upon the American public for so long? And how long can it continue? It turns out they did not foresee the internet, and the facts are leaking out everywhere. So it appears they're desperately coercing facebook and google to rig their rankings, trying to hide the facts. But one day soon there will be a 'snap' in the collective mind, and everybody will know that everybody knows.

For readers who haven't seen it yet,
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Common Tater , September 17, 2017 at 3:48 am

JWalters
I can tell you are angry. I too was angry when I figured it out.
Long before I figured it out, I was a soldier. Our unit was prepared for an exercise and we were all sleeping at the regiment compound, the buses would arrive at zero-dark thirty. I was reading a book about the ME(this was shortly after 9-11). A friend, came up and asked what I was reading. I told him I was reading about the Balfour paper and how that had a significant effect on the ME. He began explaining to me how the zionist movement had used the idea that no one lived on that land, to force the people from that land, out of that land.
I quickly responded that Israel had defended that land against 5 Arab armies and managed to hold on to that land. I informed him he was mistaken.
He agreed to disagree, and walked away.
This happened way back in 2002 if only I could pick his mind now. How did he know about this, way back before the internet was in any shape to wake people up?
There is hope still that guys who are young as i was, will say "Fuck You I defend this line and no further."
Without their compliance, there can be no wars.

Bernard Fisher , September 17, 2017 at 8:57 am

CommonTater your story parallels mine -- I was in the military, went to Vietnam to 'defend our nation against communism', felt horror at the Zionist stories of how Palestinians rocketed them, was told by senior officer about what Zionism is really about and I, like you, disbelieved him. That was in 1974 -- -- Now, with all the troubles in the world I won't read the MSP but look towards the alternative news sources. They make more sense. But as I try to educate others on what I have learned I am as disappointed as my senior officer must have been back them. Articles such as this one reproduced by ICH are gems: I save and print them in a compendium detailing ongoing war crimes.

Common Tater , September 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Bernard Fisher
Thanks for your response.
Good Idea to save and print these "gems" on consortiumnews.
Hopefully they wake more Americans.
Cheers

michael fish , September 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Mr. Parry,
You are a voice in the hurricane of hatred and lies propagated by the richest people on the planet.
Eventually some moron who believes this new York Times garbage will actually unleash the bomb and we will all be smoke.
That has always been the result of such successful propaganda. And it is very successful. It has almost occluded any truth for the vast majority of westerners .
Michael Fish

Yomamama , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 am

Agreed. I wish this clear and comprehensive article could be stapled on every American voter's door (wanted to say forehead but violence is bad). Many would toss it in the trash. Many would not agree even with full comprehension because of their own horrid beliefs. But maybe a few would read it and have an epiphany. It's very hard work to find an avenue to change the minds of millions of people who've been inculcated by nationalist propaganda since birth. Since 4 years old seeing the wonderful National Anthem and jets fly over the stadium of their favorite sports team. Since required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

I refused to stand for or recite the Pledge when I was seven or eight years old. I was sent to detention. My awesome mom though intervened and afterwards I could remain seated while most or all other kids stood up to do the ritual. I refuse to stand up and place hand-on-heart and remove cap during any sporting contests when the Anthem is played. I've been threatened with physical violence by many strangers around me.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/exclusive-documents-expose-direct-us-military-intelligence-influence-on-1-800-movies-and-tv-shows-36433107c307

Thanks Mr. Parry, your voice is appreciated, your articles and logic are top-notch. Very valuable stuff, available for the curious, the skeptical. Well, until Google monopolizes search algorithms and calls this a Russian fake news site, perhaps or Congress the same

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Excellent link, Yomamama.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

My hat is off to you sir, I have not been to any sporting events since I woke up, but I imagine it would be very difficult to remain seated and hatted during the opening affirmation of nationalism. My waking up coincides with a drastic drop in sports viewing. I used to be an NFL fan, rooted for the Niners (started watching NFL in the late eighties), the last full season I followed was the 2013-14 season.

It was the Ukraine coup that woke me up. It started when watching videos on youtube of guys stomping on riot cops, using a fire hose on them like a reverse water cannon. Then I realized these guys were the peaceful protesters being talked about on t.v. It was like a thread hanging in front of me, I began pulling and pulling until the veil in front of my eyes came apart. It was during this time I discovered consortiumnews.com.

Thomas Dickinson , September 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Mr Common Tater–just appreciating reading that someone else "woke up". That is the way it has felt to me. For me it was Oct 2002 and Bush's speech that was clearly heading us to war in Iraq. The "election" (appointment) of Bush in 2000 though was the first alarm clock that I started to hear. Most recent wake up is connected to Mr Parry's relentless (I hope) and necessary debunking of the myth of Russian nastiness and corresponding myth of US rectitude. Been watching The Untold History of the United States and have been dealing with the real bedrock truth that my government invented and invents enemies as a tactic in a game–ie. it's a bunch of boys thinking foreign relationship building is first and foremost a game. It has been hard to wash away all this greasy insidious smut from my life.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Thomas Dickinson

It sucks to wake up, in a way. Once one gets past the denial, Tom Clancy novel type movies lose some of it's fun, although still entertaining. One secretly knows the audience in the cinema is just eating it all up and loving it. The American hero yells "yippie kayay mother f -- -r" as he defeats the post-Soviet Russian villain in Russia blowing up buildings, and destroying s–t as he saves the world for democracy. The Russian authorities amount to some guy in Soviet peaked hat, and long coat, begging for a bribe.

Oliver Stone's series is really good, it turns history on his head and shakes all the pennies out his pockets. Another good reporter is John Pilger, he has a long list of docs he has done over several decades.

Cheers

Homer Jay , September 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm

I have been watching that same series, about 3 episodes in. The most mind blowing part to think about is how the establishment consipired to block the nomination of the progressive Henry Wallace as a repeat VP for Roosevelt, leading instead to Harry Truman's nomination as VP, and then you know the rest of the story.

Funny how history repeated itself with the nomination of Clinton instead of Sanders. Btw, after Sanders mistakenly jumped on the Russia bashing bandwagon he was one of the few who voted against the recent sanctions being imposed against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. So yeah, I'd feel alot better with a Sanders president at this point.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Apart from the obvious Exceptionalist and Zionazi imperative to destroy Russia and China in order that God's Kingdom of 'Full Spectrum Dominance' be established across His world by his various 'Chosen People', the USA always needs an enemy. Now, more than ever, as the country crumbles into disrepair and unprecedented inequality, poverty and elite arrogance, the proles must be led to blame their plight on some Evil foreign daemon.

Only this time its no Saddam or Gaddaffi or Assad that can be easily bombed back to that Stone Age that all the non-Chosen must inhabit. This time the bullying thugs will get a, thermo-nuclear, bloody nose if they do not back off. Regretably, their egos refuse to withdraw, even in the interest of self-survival.

Paranam Kid , September 16, 2017 at 6:13 am

" It has almost occluded any truth for the vast majority of westerners."

You are so right about that, I notice it every day on other forums on which I discuss current affairs with others: the US views are the accepted ones, and I get a lot of stick for stating different views. It is actually frightening to see how few people can think for themselves.

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm

The American people are being systematically lied to, and they don't have a clue that it is happening. There is no awake and intelligent public to prevent what is unfolding. The worst kind of criminals are in charge of our government, media, and military. The sleeping masses are making their way down the dark mountain to the hellish outcome that awaits them.

"These grand and fatal movements toward death: the grandeur
of the mass
Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity
For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it
seem monstrous
To admire the tragic beauty they build.
It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering
Glacier on a high mountain rock-face,
Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November,
The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves,
Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and
kissing.
I would burn my right hand in a slow fire
To change the future I should do foolishly. The beauty
of modern
Man is not in the persons but in the
Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the
Dream-led masses down the dark mountain."

Robinson Jeffers

HopeLB , September 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Great, Dark and Accurate poem -- Thank You -- Think I'll send it to Rachel Maddow, Wapo and the NYTimes.Might do them some good. Wouldn't that be lovely.

Patrick Lucius , September 16, 2017 at 12:42 am

Which poem is that? Not Shine, perishing Republic, is it?

Thomas Dickinson , September 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Rearmament by Robinson Jeffers. I liked that a lot, too, so looked it up. https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/rearmament/

Jeff Davis , September 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

Fabulous reply. Back atcha:

Dulce et Decorum Est
BY WILFRED OWEN

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas -- GAS -- Quick, boys -- -- An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. --
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

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

And this, from Bob Dylan's "Jokerman" .

Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

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

I love life and am by nature a cockeyed optimist, but I find myself intermittently gloomy, my optimism overwhelmed by cynicism, when I see the abundance of moronic belligerence so passionately snarled out in the comments sections across the internet. Clearly, humans are cursed with an addiction to violence For my part, I am old and will die soon and have no children, plus I live in a quiet backwater far away from the nuclear blast zone. Humanity seems on course for a major "culling". Insane and sad.

Mike Morrison , September 15, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Over three years now the war in Donbass, Ukraine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BoKj39HKls

Dr. Ando Arike , September 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

I'd like to see more investigative reporting on the NYT's and other major media outlets' links to the CIA and other Deep State info-war bureaus. What the Times is doing now is reminiscent of the Michael Gordon-Judith Miller propaganda in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Operation Mockingbird, uncovered during the mid-70s Church Hearings, is an ongoing effort, it would seem. Revealing hard links to CIA information ops would be a great service to humanity.

SteveK9 , September 15, 2017 at 7:22 pm

After 'Michael Gordon-Judith Miller' I stopped reading the Times.

Beard681 , September 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

I am amazed at how many conspiracy types there are who want to see some sort of oligarch, capitalist, zionist or deep state cabal behind it all. (That is a REALLY optimistic view of the human propensity for violent conflict.) It is just a bunch of corporate shills pushing for war (hopefully cold) because war sells newspapers.

Rich Rubenstein , September 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Robert Parry has gotten this exactly right -- I'm a regular NYTimes subscriber /-have been for years -- and I have NEVER read anything about Russia that has not been written by professional Russia-haters like Higgins. Frankly, I don't get it. What accounts for this weird and dangerous bias?

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Have you looked into who owns the NYT?

Paranam Kid , September 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

Why do you keep reading the NYT? Not only the Russia stories are heavily biased, but all their stories are. Most op-ed's about Israel/Palestine are written by zealous pro-Israel/pro-Zionists, against very few pro-Palestine people.

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:07 am

The Trans-Atlantic Empire of banking cartels rest upon enmity with the only other Great Powers in the World: Russia and China, while keeping USA thoroughly within their orbit, relying on our Great Power as the engine that powers this Western Bankers' Empire (the steering room lies in City-of-London, who has LONG maneuvered, via their Wall Street assets, to bring us into Empire). Should peaceful, cooperative and productive relations break out between USA, Russia, and China, this would undermine everything the Western Empire has worked to build.

THIS is why the phony Russiagate issue is flogged to get rid of Trump (who seeks cooperation with Russia and China), AND keeping Russia as "The Enemy", keeping the MIC, Intel community, various police-state ops, in high demand for "National Security" reasons (also positioned to foil any democratic uprisings, should they see past the progs daily curtain and see their plight).

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Progs=propaganda stupid iPad.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Here in Aust-failure I read the papers for many years until they became TOO repulsive, particularly the Murdoch hate and fear-mongering rags. I also, and still do, masochistically listen to the Government ABC and SBS. In all those years I really cannot recall any articles or programs that reported on Russia or China in a positive manner, save when Yeltsin, a true hero to all our fakestream media, was in charge. That sort of uniformity of opinion, over generations, is almost admirable. And the necessity to ALWAYS follow the Imperial US ('Our great and powerful friend') line leads to some deficiencies in the quality of the personnel employed, as I one again reflected upon the other day when one hackette referred to (The Evil, of course)Kim Jong-un as 'President Un', several times.

Jeff Davis , September 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

"What accounts for this weird and dangerous bias?"

Several points:

The Russian -- formerly Commie -- -- boogieman is a profit center for the military, their industrial suppliers, and the political class. That's the major factor. But also, the Zionist project requires a bulked up US military "tasked" with "full spectrum" military dominance -- the Wolfowitz Doctrine, the American jackboot on the world's throat forever -- to insure the eternal protection of Israel. Largely unseen in this Israeli/Zionist factor is the thousand-year-old blood feud between the Jews and Russians. They are ancient enemies since the founding of Czarist Russia. No amount of time or modernity can diminish the passion of that animus. (I suspect that the Zionist aim to "destroy" Russia will eventually backfire and lead instead to the destruction of Israel, but really, we shouldn't talk about that.)

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 6:26 pm

The richest man in the world has the controlling interest in the NYT. Draw your own conclusions.

http://freebeacon.com/issues/mexican-billionaire-carlos-slim-becomes-top-owner-of-new-york-times/

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:36 am

Mexico, ground zero for the world fascist movement in the 20s and 30s (going by name Synarchy Internationale still does) throuout Ibero-America, centered in PAN. The Spanish-speaking World had to contend with Franco, and Salazar being in power so long in the respective "Mother Countries" of the Iberian Peninsula. This was the main trail for the ratlines to travel.

I saw a dead coyote on the side of the road the other day. I know you know what that means to me, Mike. Omens are a lost art in these modern times, and I have no expertise in these matters, but it struck my attention hard. It was on the right side of the road: trouble for Trump coming from The Right? They are more potent than the ineffective Left, so this might be the way Trump is pulled down.

Sfomarco , September 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Carlos Slim (f/k/a Salim)

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Yes, but who bankrolls Slim?

Stiv , September 15, 2017 at 6:51 pm

I wouldn't even need to read this to know what's going to be said. After the last article from Parry, which was very good and interesting .plowing new ground for him he's back to rehashing the same old shit. Not that it's necessarily wrong, only been said about a hundred times. Yawn

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:46 am

After months of so many people pointing out how and why the "Russia stole the election" claim is false, it came roaring back (in liberal media) in recent days. It demands a response.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

No one is required to read anything on CN.

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

RP brought lots of new things into play in his article and showed how they mesh together and support one another "against Trump." I almost skipped it because so familiar with the topic, but RP brought new light to the subject, in my humble opinion.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I do not need to read or watch established "news" media to know what's going to be said. After the last b.s. story from the usual talking heads which was low brow and insulting to the intelligence of the audience, they are back at it again same ol'shit by the same talking heads. It is most definitely wrong, and it needs to be countered as much as possible not yawning.

Gregory Herr , September 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

That's what struck me just how absurdly insulting will the Times get?

And I think the point that trying to destabilize the Russian Federation may very well bring about a more militant hardline Russia is important to stress.

anon , September 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

"Stiv" is a troll who makes this junk comment every time. Better to ignore him.

Colin , September 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

Were you planning to contribute anything useful to the discussion?

SteveK9 , September 15, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I always wonder what motivation the accusers believe you have when they call you a 'Putin stooge'. Why would you be one? Are you getting paid? Of course not, so this is just a judgment on your part. They could call you a fool, but accuse you of 'carrying water for the Kremlin' as I heard that execrable creature, Adam Schiff say to Tucker Carlson? That just makes no sense. Of course, none of it is rational.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm

They're insane. A crumbling Empire which was supposed to rule the world forever, 'Under God' through Full Spectrum Dominance, but which, in fact, is disintegrating under its own moral, intellectual and spiritual rottenness, is bound to produce hate-crazed zealots looking for foreign scape-goats. Add the rage of the Clintonbots whose propaganda had told then for months that the She-Devil would crush the carnival-huckster, and her vicious post-defeat campaign to drive for war with Russia (what a truly Evil creature she is)and you get this hysteria. Interestingly, 'hysteria' is the word used to describe Bibi Nutty-yahoo, the USA's de facto 'capo di tutti capi', in Sochi recently when Putin refused to follow orders.

David Grace , September 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm

I have another theory I'd like to get reviewed. These are corporate wars, and not aimed at the stability of nations. It is claimed that in 1991, at the fall of the Soviet Union, the oligarchs were created by the massive purchasing of the assets of the collapsing nation. The CIA was said to have put together a 'bond issue' worth some $480 Billion, and it was used to buy farms, factories, mineral rights and other formerly common holdings of the USSR. This 'bond issue' was never repaid to the US taxpayers, and the deeds are in the hands of various oligarchs. Not all of the oligarchs are tied to the CIA, as there were other wells of purchasers of the country, but the ties to Trump are actually ties to dirty CIA or other organized crime entities.

The NY Times may be trying to capture certain assets for certain clients, and their editorial policy reflects this.

I'd appreciate feedback on this.

Thanks,
David

David Grace , September 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm

There are many on-line videos on this theme. Searching 'Black Eagle Trust' is one form. Here is one link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhBZJEqoe0A

stephen sivonda , September 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

David Grace . what have we here, a thinking man? I like your premise, and I haven't even watched the link you supplied. That being said, I'll sign off and investigate that link.

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:39 am

Conspiracy theories upon conspiracy theories, ensuring that the public will never be able to root out the facts. People still argue about the Kennedy assassination 54 years later.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm

There is no rational 'argument' about what really happened to JFK.

Zhu Bajie , September 17, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Most conspiracy theories are fantasy fiction. If you have real evidence, based on verifiable facts, then it's not a theory any more. But most of the conspiracy theories popular in the USA just serve popular vanity. We never have to accept our mistakes, our crimes against humanity, etc. It's always THEIR fault.

We Americans over all are like small children, always making excuses.

mark , September 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Some of the material on the Black Eagle Trust are suspect. It gives figures for stolen Japanese war loot, for example, that are simply ludicrous. Figures of so many thousand tons of gold, for example, when the references should probably be to OUNCES of gold.

RBHoughton , September 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

One sniper in Ukraine overthrew the democratic government. Previously one sniper in Dallas overthrew another democratic government. Are there any other examples?

Is our infatuation with democracy just a propaganda thing – to fool citizens into supposing they have value beyond their labour?

AshenLight , September 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm

> Is our infatuation with democracy just a propaganda thing – to fool citizens into supposing they have value beyond their labour?

It's about control -- those who know they are slaves will resist and fight, but those who mistakenly believe they are free will not (and if you give them even just a little comfort, they'll tenaciously defend their own enslavement). It turns out this "inverted totalitarianism" thing works a lot better than the old-fashioned kind.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:19 am

Indeed. Gurdjieff told the tale of a farmer whose sheep were always wandering off due to his being unable to afford fences to keep them in. Then he had an idea, and called them all together. He told some of them they were eagles, and others lions etc. They were now so proud of their new identities that it never occurred to them anymore to escape from their master's small domain.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:23 am

MLK is another example, as is Robert Kennedy.

Anna , September 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The American patriots are coming out: "CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All To Expose The Shadow Government" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbrOg092G That would be the end of the Lobby, mega oilmen and the FedReserve criminals

mark , September 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Yes, snipers on rooftops in Deraa, southern Syria, in 2011. These mysterious figures fired into crowds, deliberately targeting women and young children to inflame the crowd. At the same time the same snipers killed 7 police officers. Unarmed police had been sent in to deal with unrest without bloodshed. These police officers were armed only with batons.

This is a standard page from the CIA playbook. The mysterious snipers in Maidan Square in 2014 are believed to have been Yugoslavian mercenaries hired by the CIA.

Zhu Bajie , September 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm

The US has had oligarchy since 1789.

BobH , September 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

We all have some kind of a bias but fortunately most of us here know the difference between bias and propaganda. Bias based on facts and our own values is often constructive but the N.Y. Times(like most msm) has descended into disseminating insidious propaganda. Unfortunately the search for truth requires a bit more research and time than most people are willing to invest. Thankfully, Robert Parry continues his quest but the dragons are not easy to slay. My own quest for truth once led to a philosophical essay. The cartoon at the bottom(SH Chambers) sums it up.
https://crivellistreetchronicle.blogspot.com/2016/07/truth-elusive-concept.html

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:13 am

I put a comment on your blog.

BobH , September 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

Mike, thanks so much, I'll look forward to reading it(so far, I don't see it Moderation?)

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

If we have a bias towards honesty, that helps. It keeps one's mind more open and provides a willingness to entertain various points of view. It's not naivete, however, but thoughtful consideration coupled with awareness and that protects one from being easily manipulated. But then, oppositely, there's a human tendency to want to be popular which inclines one towards groupthink. But why that so entrenches itself, making people impervious to truth, is a conundrum -- Maybe if the "why" can be answered, the "how" will become apparent -- how to reach individuals with the truth as so oft told, though hard on the ears, at CN.

Jacob Leyva , September 15, 2017 at 10:12 pm

So what do you think of the Russia-Facebook dealings? When will we get an article on that?

Fuzzy , September 18, 2017 at 7:19 am

Really? You think this is important?

http://davidswanson.org/warlist/?link_id=3&can_id=ed31bf4cbc8f991980718b21b49ca26d&source=email-how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928-2&email_referrer=email_232560&email_subject=how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928

John , September 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm

The Russian /Iranian vs the Ashkenazi has been going on for many, many years ..The USA is to a large extent controlled by the Ashkenazi / Zionist agenda which literally owns most of the MSM outlets .Agendas must be announced through propaganda to sway the sleeping public toward conformity .The only baffling question that remains is why do Americans allow Zionist to control such a large part of their great republic ?

Art , September 16, 2017 at 1:43 am

Robert, you come from intelligence. Why don't you look at Russia-gate from all possible angles?
I suggest the following. Putin is an American spy. Russia-gate is created to make him a winner, a hero.
And the specious confrontation is a good cover for Putin.
This is in a nutshell.
I can obviously say mu-uch more.

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Throughout 2017, we've seen a surge of efforts by both parties -- via the media that serve them -- to build support for a final nuclear war. The focus jumps from rattling war sabers at China (via Korea, at the moment) to rattling them at Russia, two nuclear-armed world powers. This has been working to bring Russia and China together, resolving their years of conflict in view of a potential world threat -- the US. Whatever their delusions, and regardless of their ideology, our political leaders are setting the stage for the deaths of millions of us, and the utter destruction of the US.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 6:59 am

Our political leaders have betrayed us.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Thermo-nuclear war would cause human extinction, not just billions of casualties.

Jim Glover , September 16, 2017 at 3:15 am

It is the same now with North Korea and China. So what would happen if those nations were destabilized by Sanctions or worse Russia, China Iran and more would support Kim. How to make peace?

Dennis Rodman has the guts to suggest call and talk with Kim or "Try it you might like it better than total mutual destruction". Think Love and Peace it can't hurt like all the war, hate and fear the media keeps pushing for advertising profits. War and Fear is the biggest racket on the planet. What can I do? Fighting a losing battle but it is fun tryin' to win.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 6:57 am

We may be losing now, but who knows? It ain't over till it's over. Hang in there.

GMC , September 16, 2017 at 3:20 am

Great article- again . I used to live in the US, I used to live in Alaska, I used to live in Crimea, Ukraine but now I live in Crimea, Russia and Smolensk, Ru. I watched this all go down but it took awhile to see the entire picture. I seldom get any more emails from the states – even my brother doesn't get it. They think I'm now a " commie" , I guess. I see it as the last big gasp of hot, dangerous air from an Empire -- Exposed. Unfortunately, its not over yet and maybe we/you will have more bad times ahead. Crimea this summer is doing well with much work going on – from the badly needed new infrastructure to the new bridge, the people are much better off than in Ukraine. They made th